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Penny Brennan and Japan Defend Their Title Winning $7,500 Welcome Stake at the Fieldstone Summer Showcase II

RELEASE: August 22, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Paul O'Shea and Skara Glen's Sienna (Anne Gittins)
Paul O'Shea and Skara Glen's Sienna (Anne Gittins)
Halifax, MA
- Sixteen horse and rider combinations gathered on the Grand Prix Field at the Fieldstone Show Park this afternoon to compete for the winning honors in the $7,500 South Shore Equine Clinic Welcome Stake. Penny Brennan and Japan once again stole the show, capturing the first place and defending their title for the second day of the Fieldstone Summer Showcase II. Brennan also piloted Dare Devil to the second place price, outriding Paul O'Shea and Skara Glen's Sienna with a speedy jump-off.

Eric Hasbrouck of the United States designed the Welcome Stake course, utilizing 13 obstacles to test both horse and rider on the turf. The technical track included two oxer-vertical double combinations, bending lines, standalone verticals, and obstacles spread out across the entire field.

Eight of the combinations found their way into the jump-off, but the competition was fierce as riders sliced turns to shave the seconds. Paul O'Shea was the first to tackle the track with Skara Glen's Sienna. He picked up a quick pace from the start, taking the opening vertical and riding the broken line to the EquiFit oxer. He then made a tight left rollback and jumped the in-and-out where he took an inside turn to the Antares oxer set on a diagonal on the middle of the field. With a speedy left turn he went inside two parallel verticals and cut the seconds, zeroing in on the single vertical and then racing toward the final obstacle, an oxer, where left in place would put him at the top of the leader board.

O'Shea successfully mastered the second course, finishing in a speedy time of 33.768 seconds and becoming the class pathfinder. He has been working with Skara Glen's Sienna for nearly two years, and today was all about gaining experience for the young mare. He did not run her off her feet in the jump-off, but he wanted to set a time that would be difficult to beat, while still maintaining a strong confidence.

"I think she is a very special horse," O'Shea said. "It was a very good class for a 7-year-old, and it was the first time I have gone fast on her. She responded really well, she turned good and stayed in balance. I am over the moon. She is really a champions horse."

O'Shea continued, "I am very lucky to have the ride on her. She is very simple in the ring, but at home I have to be very patient with her. She is the boss. You have to ask her to do things, not tell her. She has a lot of character. She is going to the Hamptons next week for the 7/8-Year-Old Finals. It was a wonderful experience to have her prepare on the grass here. I might be riding her in the Grand Prix this weekend, but I am definitely not going to go for speed. It is all about building her up."

Although Hannah Lavin and Canetti tried to duplicate O'Shea's effort, they found fault as fence 12, which proved to be the trickiest obstacle of the shortened course. They proved good enough for the seventh place finish. Three riders found fault in the same place on course, but David Tromp and Zidane Z were the two to post the quickest round out of the four faulters. With Brennan still a threat in the order, Tromp knew he had to post a speedy time. The four faults cost him the win, but he earned the fourth place ribbon for his time of 33.715 seconds. Linda Langmeier and Classic Care took the fifth place, while Cory Hardy and Camelot 105 rounded out the top six.

Brennan entered the ring with an explosive pace, riding through the serpentine of fences and to the first place finish. His quick foot speed and almost no hang time gave her an advantage. Although she kept to the planned seven strides down the first line, she still was able to blow O'Shea's time out of the water. They completed the course in 30.759 seconds, a full three seconds.

"He loves this field, and he jumped the first course beautifully," Brennan smiled. "He's a funny horse. He will not even come to the ring unless you have cookies, but when I am on his back he is looking for the start line. I had seen Paul go with Sienna, and he is such a fantastic rider, and he jumped the first fence on an angle and easily did the six in the opening line. I couldn't ask that of Japan, it was a question that I knew he would not like the answer to."

Brennan continued, "Japan is a small horse, he is only 15.2 hands, and he is so fast that you can go and not leave a stride out and still win by three seconds. He likes the double-deep distance, if you ask him to leave long it breaks his heart a bit. He knew exactly what he was doing out there. I saw every distance perfectly, and he jumped his heart out. I just drop the reins, and he rides like a race horse."

With one more mount left in the class, Brennan was up again against the timers with her more recent mount Dare Devil. The sale horse can jump well over 1.60m; however, Brennan was not focusing on speed with him. She admitted that none of her other horses had the same speed as Japan. Dare Devil responded beautifully to her on the course, completing the track in 32.449 seconds for the second place. As the last horse of the day, Brennan rode right to the center of the winner's circle to claim her 1-2 finish.

"My horses are such crowd pleasers," Brennan concluded. "They love this field, and this is my favorite horse show. Both of them went great today, and Dare Devil has such a big stride that he ate up the seconds. We sliced real hard throughout the course, and he jumped everything so easily. He made it look effortless, and he really brightens up on this field, and at this facility."

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