Roberto Teran and Hasbrouck Donovan Victorious as Finale Week Begins in Jacksonville
RELEASE: February 14, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Robbi Meisel
The finale week of the 2008 Jacksonville Winter Series began with near perfect weather and a nice win for Roberto Teran and Distant Star 3E in Thursday’s Lucky Sevens Welcome Stake sponsored by Ring Power.
The nine-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare, bred and owned by King Ridge Stables, is no stranger to winning having captured top honors in the Young Jumpers Seven- to Eight-Year-Old Championships in 2007. “She’s just a great ride,” Teran began of his partner. “We have high hopes for her this season.”
From the starting field, only two riders cleared the first round of designer Tim Hott’s 13 obstacle/16 effort course, which included several rollbacks throughout the course as well as a triple combination that seem to be the pitfall for many of the horses.
One through 13 in the order went with no clear rounds. Then last week’s grand prix winners Bill Lowry and Polygraaf showed them how it’s meant to be. Going clean in 87.424, then on to the jump-off [as per the Table II.2b format] where the dynamic pair remained clean, ahead of the 45 second limit, until the final fence with an unfortunate hard rub that dropped the rail leaving them with a finish of four faults in 37.011. Following Lowry was the eventual winner, Teran and Distant Star, with another clean ride in 88.103. But as with Lowry, an unfortunate rail at the end of the seven-obstacle layout left Teran with four faults. Their time however was a scorching 34.922 seconds. Four riders remained to challenge both the course and Teran, but in the end all failed to conquer, assuring Teran the victory.
On Friday, the junior hunter competitors take the spotlight with the $2,500 Equitation Classic. An interesting layout of 11 obstacles that asked questions of both rider and horse, the answer to Hott’s course was the ability to collect and balance a horse, not just hand gallop or leave out strides.
Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, FL, and Levity, her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, both trained by the highly respected Don Stewart, began the first round ninth in the order and executed a beautiful first round, earning them a score of 87. “I thought he [Levity] was really, really good, and I was very happy with how he did,” Hasbrouck said following her victory gallop. The evening’s course provided just the test Hott wanted, offering technical bends and sweeping turns ensuring the panel of three judges—Dacia Johnson, Penny Wahler and Steve Wall—would see the best and worst of each rider.
“Top of the line work ethic,” winning trainer Stewart bragged of his 13-year-old student. The quiet and modest Hasbrouck merely blushed, but when asked about competing with several of her close friends, was quick to say it was not at all uncomfortable. Stewart confirmed, “While some kids may not be good sports, that’s not the case here. She’s [Hasbrouck] a great sport, and everyone loves her.” No sooner had those words escaped his lips than two exuberant fellow competitors rushed to hug the evening’s star.
Stewart expressed how pleased he was with both Hasbrouck and Levity’s performance, explaining the horse is “a little quirky, but gives her some nice challenges. He’s got beautiful balance, beautiful jump, and he’s got just the right amount of experience, so that it’s comfortable enough for a 13-year-old to all this.”
Asked how she manages school and showing, Hasbrouck gave a little shrug, but Stewart was quick to pick fun with her by answering, “She’s like my oldest daughter, she’s got to work at it. She [Hasbrouck] doesn’t have trouble learning the courses—riding that is.”
Being one of only four riders called back for testing speaks volumes as to how this young rider’s “learning” paid off. The final exam called for by the judges was quite the task. Riders were instructed to canter fence #5-an oxer from the line up, canter to vertical #6, then trot a broken line to fence #1, coun