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Jeffery Welles And Octavius Win $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge, Leigh Healey And Laurin Win $2,500 Junior Jumper High Power & Speed, Abigail Carpenter And Augustus Win $2,500 Amateur-Owner Jumper High
TAMPA, FL – March 26, 2004 – Jeffrey Welles of Pound Ridge, NY, riding Octavius for International Jumpers LLC won the $5,000 Acorn Hill Farm Challenge today at the Tampa Bay Classic, marking the ninth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. The 1.40m speed class, held in the covered arena at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, is a member event of the North American League (NAL) Open Speed Series.
Twenty-seven entries attempted the 14-effort course designed by Jorge Guilherme Nogueira Jorge of Brazil, with Time Allowed set at 84 seconds. Mary Lisa Leffler riding Graf Rossini S for Bruce Chovnick LLC went sixth in the order and posted the first clear trip in 73.552, but her lead was short-lived and she ended up third. Welles went 10th in the order aboard Octavius, an eight-year-old, dark brown Dutch stallion by Jumbo Jet, and blazed around the course fault-free in 67.445, which proved to be unbeatable, though three more riders went clean. Four rides after Welles, Debbie Stephens of Palmetto, FL, aboard Gran Lu for ADBF Inc. challenged, but her time of 75.968 placed her fourth. Seven-time Olympian Ian Miller of Perth, Ontario, aboard Sweet Dreams owned by Scotia Farms gave it a shot as the 17th rider on course and broke the beam at 70.969, but still three seconds slower than Welles, the time put him in second place. Paige Johnson of Wellington, FL, riding Crabamboli for her family’s Salamander Farm stopped the clock fault-free in 78.311 as the 24th entry, which gave her the fifth place ribbon. Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, posted the fastest trip today, crossing the timers in 66.230 aboard Sprite, but a rail down put her sixth.
The North American League (NAL) runs season-long series in six hunter and jumper divisions - Children's Hunter, Children's Jumper, Adult Hunter, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper, and Open Jumper Speed. Each series culminates with a championship final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, in October. Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in any qualifying classes, but only current members earn points toward year-end finals. For more information and a list of qualifying competitions for 2004, visit the Ryegate Show Services website at www.ryegate.com.
Leigh Healey And Laurin Win $2,500 Junior Jumper High Power & Speed
Leigh Healey of Mt. Holly, NY, topped a class of 16 entries aboard Laurin owned by Mary Alexis Healey to claim victory in the $2,500 Junior Jumper High Power & Speed. She was one of only two riders to post clear rounds in both the Power and Speed phases. Nine riders were able to clear the Power phase, a nine-effort course with time set at 54 seconds, and move on to the seven-effort Speed phase with time set at 55 seconds. Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL, riding Champion for owner Alex R. Jayne, was the only other fault-free performer in the class. Jayne had the lead from his 11th place start in the order of go clearing the Power phase in 46.718, and then the Speed phase in 49.618. Going last in the order, Healey left all the fences up in the Power phase, clocking in at 47.947, and then conquered the Speed phase in 45.661 seconds, more than four seconds faster than Jayne, which gave her the win. Third place went to Sloane Coles riding Cloud Nine for Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton of Cedarburg, WI, who had the fastest time of all the riders in the Speed phase, breaking the beam at 44.390, but a rail down kept her out of the winner’s circle.
Abigail Carpenter And Augustus Win $2,500 Amateur-Owner Jumper High
Abigail Carpenter of Greenwich, CT, riding her own Augustus bested a class of 11 entries to win the $2,500 Amateur-Owner Jumper High, a two-phase Power & Speed competition. Six riders cleared the nine-effort Power phase with time set at 54 seconds and moved on to the Speed phase, with time set at 55 seconds. Going fifth in the order, Carpenter posted two clear trips and crossed the timers in the Speed phase at 48.944, which proved to be a time no one could catch. Megan Moran of Malvern, PA, riding her own Mr. Happy came closest to Carpenter, breaking the beam in the Speed phase at 51.657. Cara Cheska of Waukesha, WI, aboard Modra owned by Donald Cheska was the only other rider in the class to post a double clear performance. Cheska’s time in the Speed phase was 52.961, which placed her third.
Ken Smith of Wellington, FL, riding Carmen for owner Millridge LLC won the Regular Working Hunter Championship. After two days of competition, Carmen placed third in the Under Saddle and in the over fences classes logged two wins and two second place finishes to clinch the Championship. Louise Serio riding Gray Slipper for Bridget Hallman was the Reserve.
Scott Hofstetter of Ocala, FL, riding Paladyne for owner MatchMaker Farm claimed the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship after two days of classes. Paladyne placed second in the model, and over fences earned fourth, second, and two first place ribbons to secure the Championship. Ken Smith aboard Westcliffe owned by Christy Russo and Elizabeth Russo was the Reserve.
2004 WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL SPECTATOR INFORMATION
Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival in Tampa, FL, are Wednesday through Sunday, March 24-28, and Wednesday through Saturday, March 30-April 3. Gates open at 8:00am and action continues through late afternoon. The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center is located off Orient Road at the Tampa Fairgrounds. Admission and parking are free.
For ticket information for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune, visit ticketmaster.com or call (813) 253-2782 or Toll-Free (877) 909-9436. Ticket prices range from $20 to $70 for reserved seating at the Raymond James Stadium.