Penny Brennan and Greater Good Jump to the $7,500 EquiFit Speed Stake Victory at the Fieldstone Summer Showcase II

RELEASE: August 23, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Penny Brennan and Great Good win the $7,500 EquiFit Open Speed Stake at the Fieldstone Summer Showcase II. (Kendall Bierer/PMG)
Penny Brennan and Great Good win the $7,500 EquiFit Open Speed Stake at the Fieldstone Summer Showcase II. (Kendall Bierer/PMG)
Halifax, MA
- Despite cloudy conditions, Penny Brennan once again shone through during the Fieldstone Summer Showcase II to win the $7,500 EquiFit Speed Derby aboard Great Good. Torrential downpours threatened the Fieldstone Show Park Thursday, but that did not deter riders from competing for the prize. Brennan captured first place, outriding her competitors by nearly 14 seconds. Kristen Bumpus and Cupid rode to the second place finish, while Rebecca Lituchy and Volare finished third.

Eric Hasbrouck of the United States designed the $7,500 EquiFit Open Speed Stake, utilizing 14 efforts to challenge the pairs on the turf. He used the entire Grand Prix Field, designing a course filled with an oxer-vertical double combination, a vertical-oxer double combination, a liverpool, hard roll backs and the bank.

Speed was the name of the game for the riders, but with slippery conditions and a daunting course, accuracy also played a key role. Kristen Bumpus and Cupid were only second in the order to go, but after coming off of Saturday's $50,000 Fieldstone Grand Prix, she had a firm plan in place.

"I thought he felt great, I thought he might be a little sucked back after the Grand Prix last week, because he worked so hard. I wanted to get him in there jumping clear, confident and not worrying about the course," Bumpus said. "I wanted him to have a confident round, and do something a little more simple. I wanted to do something where I was neat, and work on the pace a bit."

Working on her pace definitely proved successful. The duo cleared all 14 obstacles with ease, and tripped the timers in 91.248 seconds. It seemed as though she had the win in her hands.

"I thought it was a fun course, it was funny, parts of it felt really similar to the Grand Prix the other day, so I rode it similarly. It worked for us today," Bumpus concluded.

The following riders attempted to catch Bumpus' time, however, it held strong. It was not until Rebecca Lituchy and Volare entered the ring that defeat seemed a possibility. The talented young rider guided her mount through the course without incurring any faults, but her time of 95.812 seconds was over the time allowed, due to some conservative turns, costing her time faults. They ended with the final time of 97.812 seconds.

Brennan was the last to take on the track, and she opted to only show one of her mounts. Her veteran mount Japan had the day off, while Greater Good stepped up and gave the crowd exactly what they were looking for-a real speed stake.

"I knew I had it because I got up this morning and felt good, and when I went to walk the Grand Prix Field, I saw Greater Good's name up on the board, and knew we had the win," Brennan laughed. "I went in the ring with a good feeling knowing that."

Brennan opened up the course with a long-strided gallop, slicing the first jump to make the inside turn to the skinny vertical, however, they were a little too slick during the slice to the third obstacle, the EquiFit oxer. They dropped the back rail after taking the oxer a little too deep and short.

"There are 14 jumps, and when you hit the third jump with clean fast rides ahead of you, the likelihood of you making it up is pretty hard," Brennan explained. "It is faults converted though, so you never give up-I doubled the speed."

She landed from the oxer and she set an even more forward pace for the rest of the course, slicing the rollback to the Boston Red Sox vertical, and then threw the reins forward, gave a kick, and Greater Good jumped the opening of the line down the middle with enormous scope. With a bend in the line, she was able to keep her forward pace and position Greater Good for the perfect cat-like distance, jumping from the base of the jump forward to the vertical, and onward through the in-and-out.

Brennan continued to push Greater Good forward over the course, landing after the Stanley Cup oxer in 77.774 seconds, nearly 14 seconds faster than her competitors. Even with the four faults from earlier in the course, Brennan and Greater Good took the win with the final time of 81.774 seconds.

"He did everything that I asked of him," Brennan stated. "The first time I ever rode Greater Good was in a Grand Prix, and we jumped clean, we ended up in the top five. This is my third horse show with him, and I just think he is one hell of a good horse. He loves to win, leave the jumps up, and have a good challenge. You go into the ring knowing that if you ride good enough, you are probably going to win."

Bumpus was awarded the second place for her efforts aboard Cupid, while Lituchy and Volare took the third. Wendy Collins and Tomasa finished fourth, Linda Langmeier and Pay It Forward were presented with the fifth place ribbon, and Liz Mahoney and Carpe Diem rounded out the top six.

"I am very excited for the Grand Prix this Saturday," Brennan concluded. "Today's course was very different from yesterday's Welcome Stake, and I am sure that the Grand Prix will be a challenge. Eric Hasbrouck always designs challenging courses, but he is so brilliant at never getting the horses into trouble. It is going to be a good class, and I will have my whole string ready for that one."