Alex Granato and Zenith Dance Leave No Margin for Defeat in the $2500 1.30m Open Jumpers

RELEASE: July 11, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Carrie Wirth for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Parker, CO - Exciting show jumping action kicked off the first day of competition at Summer in the Rockies V in the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena at the Colorado Horse Park.

Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima welcomed horse and rider combinations to Week V of the "AA"-Rated series with courses that offered interesting options for shaving off time.

Thirty riders and their mounts jumped around the 1.30m track. Hunter Holloway and Julie Dodd's Libra were the first to go double clear, laying down a jump-off round of 28.654. Next, Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run's Le Conte progressed to the jump-off and delivered a faultless short round with a time of 30.994, putting the pair in second place.

Bjorn Ikast and Iz's Viva La Vida were next to go fault-free on both the long and the short tracks, edging VanderVeen out of second place with a time of 29.058 in the jump-off. Next to go was Alex Granato aboard Zenith Dance, owned by Page Tredennick. Granato asked the grey Dutch Warmblood gelding to go faster and he obliged, putting in an incredibly fast round of 27.938.

"It's a new ride for me because the owner - Sarah Tredennick - her back was a little sore so she has given me the pleasure of showing him this week," said Granato. "He's just a neat horse. He's small but he's really fast and really game."

Five additional horse and rider pairs went double clear, including another Granato mount, Higgins, owned by David Hopper, who came in at 29.52. Caitlin Hope and Total Touch stopped the clock with a time of 29.458, and Bjorn Ikast and Omar Sharif slid in with a slightly faster time of 29.330.

In the end, Granato and Zenith Dance prevailed and captured the win. Hunter Holloway maintained her second place position. Third and fourth place both went to Ikast with his own two horses, Iz's Viva la Vida and Omar Sharif.

"It was a fun course," said Granato. "It was interesting. In the first round, there were a few options of inside turns to stay within the time allowed and it all had a very good flow to it. It was a new ride for me."

"We are based out of Elizabeth, CO, but we're not here very much," he continued. "We're traveling in the mid-south and east coast. This is our first time back in about four years. We go to a lot of Pat Boyle Showplace Production Shows. We've gone to Chicago for a lot of years. That's the reason we came back. The changes are great- the footing, the new faces with the course designers- they're doing a great job."

"Higgins is a new ride for me," said Granato about his sixth place horse. "We've only had him a few weeks and we're still playing around with him to see what he can do."

In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Haylie Jayne and Fly Away, owned by Alex Jayne, were first in the order. The pair produced a clear round and progressed to the jump-off round, where their performance yielded a time of 28.811 that would stand as the leader to win the class.

"He is ten years old this year and we actually bred him, he's been with us his whole life," said Haylie Jayne about the bay gelding. "He's really cool, he loves to go fast and it was a fast jump-off so I got to go with him. Last week he won the 1.30m and was third in the Gambler's Choice. Later on this week I'm going to do the Speed Derby."

"I loved the course," she continued. "The first round rode really smooth. Anything is great in that ring- it gives you such a stadium feel. The footing is amazing. There were some options for some really fun turns and you could leave some strides out." 

"This is my fourth year at the Colorado Horse Park," said Jayne. "We love coming here. On Monday our whole barn went white water rafting and we had a blast. We're going to keep coming back here, for sure."