Summer in the Rockies Begins Week Two with Wins by Janine Weatherby in the 1.40m and Kristen VanderVeen in the 1.30m

RELEASE: June 13, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Carrie Wirth for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run's Le Conte siezed the 1.30m Open Jumpers
Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run's Le Conte siezed the 1.30m Open Jumpers
Parker, CO
- On the first day of week two of Summer in the Rockies at the Colorado Horse Park, staff, show management and competitors got serious about helping nearby communities ravaged by wildfires. The wildfires span 8,000 acres. A major fire is concentrated in the heavily wooded Black Forest area, northeast of Colorado Springs. Thousands have been evacuated and 80 to 100 homes have been destroyed in the blaze.

"Right now we have a few people headed into Black Forest to bring 50 horses to the property and we're also building some steel pens on our western arena to have some extra space for horses," said Brian Curry, Vice President of Colorado Horse Park. "We also have some cows and farm animals coming. We're going to do as much as we can to help out in this situation. We're pretty full as it is. We're going to create some extra space to utilize the upper paddock area. The horses that live here will stay inside so we have some extra paddock areas to use."

Brian confers on a regular basis with his brother-in-law, a Fire Chief for San Jose, CA. The Horse Park, equipped with many water trucks, a dedicated staff and a mission to contribute to the community, is a safe zone in an area that has witnessed wildfires throughout the years.

"This is our second-go-round at a pretty major catastrophe here in Colorado," Curry continued. "Two years ago we had burning tree fires. We had trailers lined up from around the main entrance in and around the barns. We had more trailers than horses. It was kind of neat to see that many people come together to help. We were able to extract 100 plus horses to this facility in 45 minutes."

"We have had people asking all day how they can help," said Marion Maybank, who works with Showplace Productions, the show management company for Summer in the Rockies. "They'd say, 'If you have a truck and trailer, I can go get some horses.' Joel Rifkin called earlier and said, 'I have trucks and trailers but I don't have drivers.' We had some volunteers and sent them over."

With no real fire risk to the Colorado Horse Park, competition went on as planned, and the Open Jumpers warmed up on the first day of week two with Danny Foster's courses.

"I always make the jumping on Wednesday and Thursday very friendly and very inviting," Foster said. "It's a good day for horses to move up a division and try something new. The older proven horses, particularly the grand prix horses, usually don't show on Wednesday.  And it gives me a chance to see what I've got here, which riders are here and the caliber of their horses. I am sensitive to the idea that the horses have a long way to go on this tour and I'm trying to not use them up too hard in the process."

Kristen VanderVeen, a well-known face at the Colorado Horse Park, went 17th in a field of 19 in the 1.30m Open Jumpers and pulled off the win aboard Bull Run's LeConte, owned by Empire State Equine Sales LLC. VanderVeen also won the 7/8-Year-Olds with Bull Run's Revive.

"Bull Run's Le Conte is a 12-year-old horse that I have been doing in the grand prixes," VanderVeen said. "This is his warm-up.  That actually gives me a lot of confidence. I wanted to take it a little slower with and give him an easier class since they changed the footing here. It has turned out quite nicely. The horses seem to be jumping off of it really well and he seems really comfortable. I'm really excited to see how we'll be in the Welcome and the Grand Prix."

Like all the competitors, VanderVeen has been kept abreast of the situation with the wildfires.

"I had heard that they were bringing horses from the surrounding areas into the Park," she said. "I think that is great. The organization seems really great. They are really on top of it, communicating and keeping everyone calm and aware of the situation."

The winners of the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Janine Weatherby and Chris Falewitch's 16-year-old Panache, have had a long relationship.

"I got him as a 3-year-old," Weatherby said. "Andy Barone hacked him once for me and said, 'That's never going to happen. No one is ever going to be able to ride him except you.' He has a little hesitation in front of the jump and he's getting so he doesn't even do that anymore. The older he gets the higher he jumps and the better he is."

Panache is a Thoroughbred and Weatherby did the 1m Thoroughbred Jumpers when she was in Scottsdale to support the Thoroughbred division. In addition to Panache, she brought some youngsters to the Colorado Horse Park to show during Summer in the Rockies.

"I've got all babies," Weatherby shared. "All three I've raised by my other Grand Prix stallion who's now retired. I have my 5-year-old stallion who beat the 6-year-olds last week- so we were very happy. He'll hopefully do that again tomorrow. I hope to go to Kentucky and do the 5-year-olds there. He also did the hunters with Kim Barone and she loved him. It was really easy for him. The other two are a Baby Green and a Pre Green horse."

"I haven't been here in ten or twelve years but I love this footing," Weatherby continued. "Panache is peculiar about his footing. He doesn't leave the ground very well if he doesn't like it and he actually loves the footing here. I love Danny Foster's courses. He makes them difficult enough without killing anybody. "

Everyone seems to agree on the new footing at Colorado Horse Park.

"I think they did a great job with the footing," VanderVeen said. "They really listened to the exhibitors and they responded really well to that. The ground could get really hard out here before with the sand. To me, this is great. I came this year the whole time because you can jump them now the whole six-week series because of the footing. It is a great change."

"Rudy Leone did the new footing," Foster said. "He did a good job. I had suggested that they consider him, seeing his work in Woodside, CA. He's very good at it. The horses are jumping great."

Exciting jumper action continues on Thursday of week two of Summer in the Rockies with the $15,000 Welcome Stake in the Kathy and Brad Coors Grand Prix Arena at the Colorado Horse Park.. And with a little luck, the winds will subside to allow firefighters to contain  the wildfires  to the south of the Horse Park.

942. $300 1.20 M Jumper
1             340             Cannon                         Carli Kirsch                                     Carli Kirsch           
2             288             Bonaire                         Serenity Farm                         Kelli Clevenger           
3             385             Gama Righter Z             Ceinwen Muma                         Ceinwen Muma           
4             753             Felix                                     Harriet Bunker                         Harriet Bunker           
5             342             Little Miss Sunshine             Allison Kroff                                     Allison Kroff           
6             391             Chantico                         Forest View Farm & Karen Ball             John Pearce           
7             845             Blue North                         Caitlin Burns                                     Caitlin Burns           
8             754             Can Do                         Toby Cromwell                         Harriet Bunker

947. $500 1.25 M Jumper
1             380             Mont Blanc                         Ceinwen Muma                         Bjorn Ikast           
2             271             Jetsetter 3E                         Cora Leeuwenburg                         Armando Hassey
3             221             Emilio                                     Tony Font                                     Tony Font           
4             351             Lightning                         Shale Harper                                     Shale Harper           
5             853             MTM Balvino                         Brandon Howard                         Brandon Howard           
6             243             Quickie                         Natascha Gates                         Natascha Gates           
7             322             Nele                                     Bjorn Ikast                                     Bjorn Ikast           
8             182             Sir Sean                         Jordan Dean                                     Matt Cyphert           

585. Open Jumper 1.3M
1             485             Bull Run's Le Conte             Empire State Equine Sales, LLC             Kristen Vanderveen
2             234             Sheishof's Gloria             Ashton Galo Paley                         Ashton Galo Paley           
3             339             Frog                                     Carli Kirsch                                     Carli Kirsch           
4             854             Vernon G                         Kelsey Van Ackeren                         Kelsey Van Ackeren
5             169             S & L Zeppelin             Caroline Beecherl                         Caroline Beecherl           
6             461             Zenith Dance                         Page Tredennick                         Sarah Tredennick           
7             227             Kissimmee                         Deana Blackburn                         Tony Font           
8             355             Clarissa                         Laura Love                                     Laura Love           

587. Open Jumper 1.4M
1             470             Panache                         Chris Falewitch                         Janine Weatherby           
2             338             Casco                                     Carli Kirsch                                     Carli Kirsch           
3             237             Soulshine                         Equestrian Investments, L.L.C. Courtney Frederick           
4             279             Eminem                         Taggert Enterprises LLC             Armando Hassey           
5             233             Calotta                         Ashton Galo Paley                         Ashton Galo Paley           

560. $500 Low Jr/A/O Jumper
1             341             Quite Quick                         Jennifer Flynn                         Delaney Flynn           
2             174             Quinta                         Jacqueline Ward                         Jacqueline Ward           
3             175             Nala                                     Jacqueline Ward                         Jacqueline Ward           
4             181             Ralmea Z                         Blair Julia Wright                         Blair Julia Wright