Stephanie Novas Takes Amyra R to the Top of the Equifest High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Leader Board

RELEASE: July 26, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Stephanie Novas and Amyra R (Ashley N. Williams)
Stephanie Novas and Amyra R (Ashley N. Williams)
Wayne, IL
- It was a soggy day at the Grand Prix Arena where Equifest I at Lamplight Equestrian Center was sure to continue rain or shine. Wet footing had competitors using caution as they assessed the jumper course for Friday's competition in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions. It was Stephanie Novas and Amyra R who gauged the conditions well for zero errors and the fastest time to earn the blue ribbon in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division. Giovanna Rinaldi and G.P.S. Brilliante Disguise emerged victorious against the elements; receiving top marks for riding double clear in the best time for the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner.

Manuel Esparaza of Mexico designed the courses, testing horse and rider alike with a variety of obstacles. He utilized a liverpool, vertical-oxer double combination, and a oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination. It was the standalone vertical set on the outside of the ring that gave riders the most difficulty.

Stephanie Novas aboard mount Amyra R vanquished the course's trialing curves riding both rounds fault free, but closing out the competition with the record time of 37.712 seconds. Also joining Novas in the jump-off was Brittani Raflowitz and her two horses, Zacca Zoeloe and K.T. Undercover. Raflowitz cleared the course without fault with each of her talented mounts; however, even her quickest time fell shy of the lead. Finishing with a time of 42.903 seconds, Raflowitz and Zacca Zoeloe placed third in the division while she scooped up the second place ribbon with K.T. Undercover in 40.675 seconds.

"My horse [Amyra R.] is pretty good everywhere," shared Novas. "I don't think the rainy weather messed with her too much. The difficulty of the course for us was that it was my first time riding in the High division. At first it was kind of iffy for me, but I jumped the course in the morning during the 1.20m Open Jumpers, so that made it so much better. I think it went pretty well overall."

Novas continued, "When my sister was younger she decided to take lessons, and later when I was old enough I did, too. It really became my passion. Training with Lance Williamson has brought me a long way. I've had awesome opportunities riding for him that I may not of had otherwise."

Later in the day as the rain picked up, the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner division's blue ribbon was claimed by Giovanna Rinaldi and her steed, G.P.S. Brilliante Disguise. The duo's efforts produced a course clearing display and tripped the clock in a time of 40.100 seconds, securing the first place position. Rinaldi, proving to be an accomplished rider, placed again in the second position, this time riding C Cool, with a more conservative time of 46.452 seconds. With an immaculate time of 38.497 seconds, Stephanie Novas posed true competitive spirit, riding to another high marked finish this time aboard Aretina M for the third place finish.

"It went really well despite the rain," explained Rinaldi. "When I went on Hugo [GPS Brilliant Disguise] I knew I only had to go double-clean just to beat my own time. Competing against myself really took the nerves off, and I was able to really focus on achieving a better time."

"The tricky part of the course was 8A-B it was the green one-stride with the box underneath it. Both horses didn't like the box, so they jumped really long and high over it. They were jumping really good for me, no rubs, they rode clean," Rinaldi concluded.

These two riders will return Saturday to take on the two divisions with fresh horses and hopefully better weather as they battle it out for the division championship titles. The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions will return to the center stage this Sunday when they compete in the $1,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the $7,500 Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The highlight of the week, the $35,000 Grand Prix de Lamplight will commence tomorrow at 4 p.m. with top-tier competition.