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Stephanie Novas Wins $7,500 Cavalor High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Celebrating Sweet Sixteen at Equifest II

RELEASE: August 4, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Stephanie Novas and Amyra R rode to the top of the $7,500 Cavalor High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic leader board for the final day of Equifest II (Kendall Bierer/PMG)
Stephanie Novas and Amyra R rode to the top of the $7,500 Cavalor High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic leader board for the final day of Equifest II (Kendall Bierer/PMG)
Wayne, IL
- Some girls dream of the "Pretty In Pink" sweet sixteen fantasy, others fantasize of beautiful ballrooms and dazzling dresses, but for Stephanie Novas her sixteenth birthday marked a major accolade. Novas rode Amyra R to the $7,500 Cavalor High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic victory, riding to a blazing fast time that proved unstoppable for the final day of Equifest II at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Brittni Raflowitz rode to the second place aboard Zacca Zoeloe as the only other double-clear effort. 

Guilerme Jorge of Brazil designed a dexterous course for the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers today. He included an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination, liverpool, vertical-oxer double combination, as well as several sharp turns and tight rollbacks. Only four riders were able to master Jorge's opening course. The jump-off utilized six obstacles, starting with the opening oxer set at the far end of the arena. Riders then had to make a left turn over the purple oxer and then make a right over a single burgundy and green vertical on the outside. A tight right rollback brought the pairs over the skinny white vertical, and then led them into the double combination. They then had to race toward the final brown oxer to break the beam.

Brittni Raflowitz and K.T. Undercover, owned by Michael Kirby, were the first to master the opening course. As the class' pathfinder they navigated the jump-off course with great speed; however, they found fault at two fences, earning an eight-fault total in a time of 32.568 seconds.

Stephen Foran and Etienne B were the next to tackle the short track. They were able to beat Raflowitz's time, but similarly earned eight faults during the double-combination and the final oxer. Although Foran's time was the quickest of the class at 30.616 seconds, his efforts would eventually prove good enough for the third place. 

It wasn't until Stephanie Novas entered the ring aboard Amyra R that a double-clear effort even seemed possible. She picked up a blazing speed right from the in-gate, and raced around the shortened track, slicing as many turns as possible to shave off the seconds. They cleared the second round course in 30.758 seconds, leaving all rails in their cups.

"The course out there today was bigger than anything I have ever jumped," eventual winner Novas described. "Amyra has really come so far since I got her last year. I thought she was going to be quiet, but she really brightened up out there on the course."

"Amyra so good, she will do anything," Novas said. "She is so brave, and she is really honest. She doesn't care when you get to the jumps, she listens so well, and she will jump from anywhere."

Raflowitz was back to try to steal the lead aboard Zacca Zoeloe, owned by Maarten Huygens of Wellington, FL. They cleared the opening course, and retuned the jump-off to tackle the track. She sliced the turns with ease, but Zacca Zoeloe was a little longer in air, they tripped the timers in 30.814 seconds to take second place with only 1/10ths of a second costing them the lead.

"Brittni was really fast out there, and I thought that she was going to beat us, but luckily we had that little bit extra," Novas expressed with relief. "We had some great turns to the liverpool and the skinny vertical. I think we really made up our time with the foot speed today. It worked out for us."

Novas donned a pair of SSG riding gloves on Amyra R, also earning the $500 bonus check, sponsored by Saddlers Row, as a part of the SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves promotion. Needless to say, it was icing on the cake for the newly turned 16-year-old. Riders wearing the SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves with the SSG horse head logo clearly visible during all rounds of competition in the designated event are eligible for the bonus.

"I really like it here, it is like a home away from home since I am local," Novas stated. "We will be driving up to Trader's Point tomorrow morning to celebrate my 16th birthday. Hopefully as a belated present we will do just as well there."

Jorge presented a similar course for the $1,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner NAL Jumper Classic and the $1,000 Modified Junior/Amateur Owner Classic. Comparable to that of the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic, Jorge utilized an oxer-vertical-oxer combination, bending lines, rollbacks, a liverpool and the difficult vertical-oxer in-and-out.

The first rider to advance to the short course in the $1,500 Low NAL Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers was Giavanna Rinaldi with her partner GPS Brilliante Design. It seemed as though the pair had all of the answers, laying down a faultless jump-off in 31.644 seconds, Her time proved fast and good, but two more riders remained to challenge the young talent. 

Novas portrayed her talent aboard the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood Aretina M as she navigated the course with a speedy pace, but eight faults in the jump-off would keep her from the lead. She laid down the fastest round in 30.736 seconds for the eventual third place.

It was Catherine Hanlon and Helsinki, owned by Catherine Sheridan, who surprised the onlookers this afternoon. They took the first place with their blazing speed and double-clear effort. They surpassed Rinaldi with a time of 31.039 seconds for the win.

"I have had him for four years, and he is amazing. He is the best horse in the entire world, I couldn't ask for a better horse. I think we make a pretty good team," Hanlon smiled. "He is very fast, so for me he is perfect. I think our turns were really great out there, he really turned with me and was so responsive."

In the $1,000 Low Modified Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, Izabelle Quadracci and Senturo were the only pair to master the first round course. Heather Zuber and Steel Magnolia came in second, while Jose Ochoa and Indy 500 took third.

Today was the final day of the two-week Equifest series. Now, the Lamplight Equestrian Center will begin to prepare for the Markel USDF Young Horse Championships, and the Showplace Fall Classic "A" Finals where top-tier competition will return to compete for the coveted championship titles.

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