Patricia Griffith and Caitie Hope Victorious at Wachovia Showplace Spring Spectacular II
RELEASE: June 18, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
At the Wachovia Showplace Spring Spectacular II Horse Show, the $10,000 ASG Software Solutions/USJA International Hunter Derby presented by Dietrich Insurance featuring Walsh Harness & Saddlery was won by New Yorker Patricia Griffith on North Country, owned by Laura King-Kaplan.
The class of more than forty entries produced flawless performance after flawless performance, but Griffin was the star of the day aboard North Country, an eight-year-old bay Warmblood.
The course, designed by Skip Bailey, consisted of ten jumps in two rings. The jumps were created specially to emulate obstacles that one would come across while field hunting. Natural elements were used, such as birch poles, logs, gates and brush. Several of the fences were created as 3'6" or 4'option jumps.
"He went out and jumped every jump like a ten. He was really on," said Griffith. With a first round score of 183 and a second round score of 186, she had the highest scores in the first round and was second in the handy round.
In the first round all 44 horses competed. In the second round, only the horses with the top twelve highest scores were invited back to compete over a handy hunter round. In this round, the course was shorter and riders who made bolder choices, such as galloping or taking the higher option fence, were rewarded with bonus points added onto their score.
The highlight jumper class of the day was the $5,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Derby, sponsored by the Hope Family. In a twist of fate, the fastest rider in the class who took victory was Caitie Hope of Barrington, IL, on La Paz.
The speed derby had 22 entries. The riders competed over a multitude of interesting jumps, they were asked to jump out of the ring, down a grass hill, and back into the ring, and they also jumped a one stride combination that connected the two riding rings where the event was held. It was a fun and interesting class for the riders and spectators alike.
Hope and La Paz executed a smooth, quick round, and blazed through the finish timers in 68.509 seconds. Hope's time beat the leader at the time, Zaboomerang and Morgan Kennedy, by almost a half a second.
Hope was surprised and happy about the win in the class, especially considering her family sponsored the class. "It's nice to win! I didn't expect to win," she remarked. "It was really competitive and there were a lot of good people in the class."
The Wachovia Showplace Spring Spectacular II Horse Show continued the with jumper competitions in the Grand Prix ring, the highlight jumper event of the week will be the $50,000 Wachovia Securities Grand Prix on Saturday, June 21, at 3:30 p.m.