Atlanta Fall Classics' Second Week Off to Perfekt Start
RELEASE: November 20, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Robbi Meisel
Photo by Flashpoint Photography (Kyle King winning the $25,000 Atlanta Fall Grand Prix on Paola. )
“I was a little nervous,” commented the surprised winner, Chase Boggio of Canton, GA, “I just went in it to get around and maybe go clean.” Boggio and his Royal Dutch Warmblood Perfekt captured the top spot in the Open Welcome Stake sponsored by Classic Equine Equipment on Thursday, November 13.
Neither the 15-year-old pilot or 10-year-old gelding showed any signs of being anxious when crossing the start timer of their first Welcome Stake. Shortly into round one the duo made it clear to the field of 28 their mind set was “game on” and finished with a flawless run in 70.81, well below the allowed 81 seconds. The afternoon held a few firsts for Boggio and Perfekt—first time competing in a Welcome Stake plus jumping under the lights in the Olympic-sized arena. “It was definitely tough!” Boggio said with broad smile. “I did the Hunter Derby during the summer under the lights, but this is my first time doing a jumper—and a Welcome.” Add to that taking on talent like international competitor Bjorn Ikast, not to mention U.S. veterans Chuck Waters and last week’s grand prix winner Derek Petersen, and Boggio had a debut he’ll not soon forget.
The first round of 12 obstacles appeared pretty typical, with lots of cutting turns and three double combinations. However, the designer is Pierre Jolicieur this week, and all the “regulars” to his courses know to count on two things: big spreads—today’s averaged 4’6”—and the infamous “bogey fence.” Fifteen fell victim to Jolicieur’s test, the #4 plank vertical, which followed a hard left turn off of the #3 oxer and preceded a short left over vertical #5. Most teams nicked the top of the plank just enough to drop it. “That first line you could either do a nine or 10 [strides] but the five [stride] to that vertical was really tight,” Boggio said.
Using the Table II.2b format meant their jump-off was immediate, and the race to beat the 42-second allowance over six obstacles became Jolicieur’s ultimate challenge. Only ten riders rose to the occasion. Jolicieur’s comments on the jump-off course were, “They need to ride fast in the beginning and slow in the end.” Even Boggio agreed it was straight forward, no real traps. Pierre wanted pure speed, he wanted the fastest horse to win. Perfekt was, well, perfection with a fast time of 34.182 to over take the leader, Bjorn Ikast. “It’s an honor to lose when it’s to a better rider,” classic horseman Ikast said when shaking hands with young Boggio.
Paired with Perfekt since March of this year, Boggio already has an eye on the grand prix competition. “I was actually entered in last week’s prix because we didn’t see a high junior’s class, but there was the classic on Sunday...so we did that.” A look of relief etched on the face of his mother said it all, “He’s still showing in the 14-year-old divisions,” she laughed. However, a combination of talent and his angelic smile may just change her mind by Sunday.
Final results placed Ikast in second and third place with Little Bullet in 35.670 and IZ’s Lifetime in a clear final time of 36.311. Kitt Ritter piloting Jumbo Jet for owner Ann Ritter took fourth place with a clear time of 36.698. And completing the top five was Danielle Grice with Sarah Patterson’s entry Quilmes in a final time of 37.710.
Friday saw the naming of some hunter division champions, beginning with Bruce Christison partnered with Olyvia Graves’ Lyrik HF in the green working section. Local favorite Terry Brown of Canton, GA, scored dual championships in both levels of the pre green hunters, in the three-foot division, Brown took the tri-colors with Darcy Cooper’s entry, Seduced, and in the 3’3-foot division with Sandy Gregory’s new ride Formality. Another home town hero, Casey Hodges, garnered top honors aboard the Paige Burton-owned Andiamo in the baby green hunters.
All last week’s excitement was geared toward Saturday evening’s main event, t