Poor Weather Conditions Result in No Jump-Off at Evergreen Invitational
RELEASE: September 25, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Rebecca Michuda
The aftermath of Hurricane Ike made for a rainy Saturday afternoon of show jumping at the second annual Evergreen Invitational in Wisconsin, about 60 miles north of Chicago. Top riders Margie Engle, Scott Lenkart and Maggie Jayne, rode clear in the $75,000 Grand Prix, but had no jump-off on account of the weather and footing.
The constant rain from Friday, which continued through Saturday, didn’t discourage the 17 riders who competed in the grand prix at M.K. Pritzker's 230-acre farm. Scott Lenkart and Impulsive were the first to go clear. Maggie Jayne on J.F. and Margie Engle on Hidden Creek's Pamina L soon followed. Although there were no faults for the three riders, no jump-off proceeded. “The rain created poor course conditions that meant greater risk for the horses and riders,” admitted M.K. Pritzker, event founder and owner of Evergreen Farm. “It just wasn’t worth it. I made the call.” The purse was split evenly amongst them.
Olympic Gold medalist Beezie Madden on Play On owned by Allan Shore, Jr., came in fourth with four faults at the first fence of the double liverpool two-stride. Charlie Jayne had a fast ride with Gansta, but unfortunately had four faults, putting him fifth. Kent Farrington had two rides in the grand prix. On his first horse, Untitled, he had eight faults, placing 12th. Later in the class when the footing wasn't as sound, Farrington chose to retire after only four faults on his second horse,Thunder Ball. Other retirees in the class were Larry Hollahan on Sky King and Kristen Vanderveen on For Future 3.
The footing was the biggest concern for the riders. “It was about feeling your horse. If he was sucking back, I added in a few places,” Maggie Jayne said. “The overall ride was about finding your bearings and getting comfortable out there.” Considering the amount of rainfall, riders agreed the footing was better than expected. “It could have been a lot worse out there. And only having two classes in this ring helped,” Lenkark said.
“It was a little wet, but that’s one of the obstacles you have to deal with. Your horse has to prepare for that and you have to prepare for that. I think the first half of the riders had more of an advantage because the grass wasn’t as dug up,” Charlie Jayne said. “The second half of the riders had to fight for it a little more because it got deeper, which made it harder to jump out of.”
The $25,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic was held earlier in the day, giving those riders the upmost advantage of adequate footing. Again, only three jumped off, but Taylor McMurty from Barrington, IL, stole first place by one tenth of a second on her horse, Just An Illusion. Laura Linback from Woodrun Farm came in a close second on French Kiss and Catie Hope on La Paz was close as well, but had four faults at the last fence, the natural oxer, putting her in third.
The grand prix and Jumper Classic were part of a fundraising benefit for Prentice Women’s Hospital of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The event raised $900,000 for innovative patient care programs for women and infants. About 650 guests showed their support for the cause and the equestrian sport.