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Allison Kroff Wins $60,000 AGA Grand Prix of Denver

Equestrian Sports Promotions

For a moment it looked like John McConnell and La Picolina were going to collect the $25,000 bonus for winning two grand prix during the Colorado Summer Circuit at the Colorado Horse Park. The pair had won the $25,000 High Prairie Grand Prix on July 9, and had a clear round in the final leg of the Colorado Horse Park Triple Crown, but when they finally tripped the timers, they were more than one second slower than eventual winner Allison Kroff. Since Jeff Campf and Armando Hassey each had a rail, Peter Pletcher was the only rider left to challenge Kroff in the five-horse jump-off in the $60,000 AGA Grand Prix of Denver Presented by Dillards and Ariat. Unfortunately the duo had an uncharacteristic three rails to finish fifth.

The grand prix win at the Colorado Horse Park was the sixth this year for Kroff, of Mesa, Arizona. She rode Omar Sharriff, a nine-year-old Dutch gelding by Indoctro. Although Kroff has owned the gelding since he was two years old, he stayed in Europe until last year. Unfortunately an injury sidelined the chestnut upon his arrival and the pair didn’t make their American debut until 2005. The time off certainly did not hurt the duo who has wins in California, Arizona and Colorado.

Kroff has been competing in the grand prix since she was fifteen, and she credits her parent’s support for her success. “My dad’s here all the time,” she says. “We go all over the United States.” Kroff also has the encouragement of her best friend Mallory Laughlin, who also competes in the jumpers. The pair school and groom for each other. “We do everything together. Sometimes I get more nervous for her [than I do for myself],” Laughlin says. Kroff now heads to Virginia to compete in her final North American Young Riders Championships.

Kroff and four other riders mastered a challenging first round course set by World Cup Finals course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Trouble spots included the big oxer before the triple combination and the combination itself, which caused the elimination of two previous winners at the Colorado Horse Park. However, three of the largest fences on course—the oxers at 7 A and B, which Jorge described as a scope test, and the final vertical, caused very few problems. Twenty-seven entries from several countries competed.

$60,000 AGA Grand Prix of Denver Presented by Dillards and Ariat
1. Allison Kroff - Omar Sharriff
2. John McConnell - La Picolina
3. Jeff Campf - Lady D
4. Armando Hassey - La Roche
5. Peter Pletcher - Charmed

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The Colorado Horse Park is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization. The purpose of the Colorado Horse Park is to showcase the history and heritage of the West using the horse as the primary teaching tool through hands-on educational programming, museum exhibitions, competitions, boarding and training, recreation, entertainment and therapy for all ages.