Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament Featuring the 125th National Horse Show Wrap-Up
RELEASE: November 6, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring the 125th National Horse Show was an exciting show for everyone. The five days of competition, from October 29 to November 2, involved seminars, demonstrations, autograph sessions and more.
Sunday's final event in the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse had the crowd cheering in this fun event. Beezie Madden was able to pilot her horses Prima and Judgement to secure the $50,000 Animal Planet Sporthorse Cup. This special three-phase event was designed specifically for spectators, with a format that is unique to Syracuse.
The "Syracuse Seven" coming into the class were Cara Raether, Callan Solem, Brianne Goutal and Madden, of the United States; Harry Smolders and Henk Van De Pol of The Netherlands; and Ben Maher of Great Britain. Madden on her rising star, Prima, won the first phase, garnering 11 points in the unbeatable time of 48.55 seconds. In the second phase, the popular four-bar competition, Madden rode Judgement to a tie for first place. Going into the third phase, she had 26 points with Maher and Smolders just behind her with 24 each. Madden kept her cool and piloted Judgement fault free to take the win to the roar of the Syracuse fans. Maher ended in second and Smolders was third.
The Animal Planet Sporthorse cup will be broadcast on Animal Planet on January 10, 2009 at 3 p.m.
On November 1, Christine McCrea bested all to secure the win in the $100,000 Budweiser FEI World Cup Qualifier of Syracuse. For the first time in the Syracuse Sporthorse Tournament's six-year history, there was no jump-off needed to secure the win. McCrea was the sole rider to successfully clear the entire World Cup class within the tight time allowed of 72 seconds. The pair jumped in amazing form—brave and forward to all the fences.
Second-place finisher, Todd Minikus rode immediately before McCrea. He rode Pavarotti brilliantly and while leaving all the rails up, the pair passed through the timers just 0.2 seconds over the time allowed, coming home in 72.23. Rider after rider tried valiantly to conquer Leopoldo Palacios' formidable course, only to be denied. Maher had a fantastic round with Robin Hood W jumping incredibly high over every fence. The crowd cheered when the pair cleared the final fence, but they earned one time fault, stopping the clock at 75.35. Ian Millar secured fourth place with the lone four fault round within the time limit. The bogey fence for many was the tricky triple combination along the rail. The fence that brought the worst heartbreak of the night was the final fence on the course. With its natural colored rails and position just past the ingate, it was the nemesis of several riders, just as predicted by commentator Melanie Taylor-Smith.
In another event, Smolders was the prince of speed in Syracuse. For the second consecutive year he out-raced competitors, winning the sixth annual $15,000 TK 99 Speed Derby. Smolders galloped his mount Riovanna through the timers in 55.40 seconds, edging out Solem on Mianta by just 0.2 seconds. When asked if he came to the class confident of a victory, the young Dutchman replied, "You never know, there are so many good competitors at the Syracuse horse show." Third place went to Henk Van De Pol on Tennessee W with the fastest time of the evening of 52.61, but a rail down added four seconds, leaving him with a total of 56.61. Hillary Dobbs and Marengo were fourth with a time of 56.94. In this, its debut event, over $20,000 was raised by the Riders for Research initiative that benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The hunter and equitation divisions were exceptionally exciting. Jennifer Alfano, who rides for SBS Farms and Susie Schoellkopf, took home the top tricolor in the regular conformation hunters on Sting, owned by Helen Lenahan. The pair had a stellar week with three firsts, a fourth and fifth-place ribbons. Reserve champio