Team of Ament, Morris, and Gallegos Win Memorial Day Classic Team Equitation Challenge
RELEASE: May 28, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood and Lauren Fisher
Karen Healey Stables spent the holiday weekend at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center competing at the Memorial Day Classic Horse Show, held May 21-25, 2009. Healey's students showed in the hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions throughout the weekend and earned top placings in all three disciplines.
The Memorial Day Classic had an exciting equitation team challenge over the weekend that provided a fun opportunity for each team, which was made up of one professional, one amateur, and one junior rider to compete together. After completing the team challenge, it was the Karen Healey team made up of Kasey Ament, Michelle Morris, and Navona Gallegos, who took the first-place prize.
The equitation challenge consisted of two rounds, with the first round on Friday night and the second on Saturday night. Ament, Morris, and Gallegos scored well with a top score of 86 from Gallegos, riding Cortes 7, on Friday and an 87 from Morris on Saturday.
Morris, who has just returned from the University of Georgia, was excited to be back at home showing her horses. She helped her team win the national championship for Varsity Equestrian. Morris rode her veteran horse Bergerac in the team challenge. "It's nice to be back home," Morris said. "I'm looking forward to showing this summer." Since she has been home, Morris has won two USEF Show Jumping Talent Search classes. This will help her towards her goal of qualifying for the finals this fall and help her achieve a Silver medal. Morris needs just two more wins to acquire the prestigious award.
Morris noted that the courses were particularly suited to the variety of riders in the class and helped make the competition challenging. "I really liked the courses. They weren't outrageously technical or incredibly difficult, but there were still elements to it that got people. You really had to make a decision about which track to ride and what the boldest choice might be. They had a nice flow."
Ament rode Krosus, a six-year-old equitation horse owned by Kristi Siam. "He's a wonderful horse," Ament said. "It's his first year in equitation. We just got a few months ago, and he's like a dreamboat."
Ament praised the format of the class and was thrilled to win her second big equitation championship of the year, having taken the top place in the Del Mar Open Equitation Championship a few weeks ago. "It was a really fun class. Our team was called Brown Sugar because we were all on bay horses," she laughed. "I think we did very well overall as a team. It's a great class because there are not a lot of team classes here, so it's nice that you can join up with fellow riders and see how you do together. It paid off for us."
The winning trainer of the equitation team challenge won a trip to Hawaii, and the junior and amateur riders were awarded new beach cruiser bicycles. Ament won the team challenge in 2004 as a junior rider, but this was her first win as a professional. "I'm very excited, I can't wait to go!" she exclaimed. "I'm a total beach person. I surf and snorkel, so I would love to go to Hawaii for that kind of stuff."
After riding on the winning team, Michelle Morris went on to win the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search class this week, as well as the Foxfield Medal, and won the second-place ribbon in the USEF Adult Equitation. Morris also earned the reserve championship honors in the 1.20m Jumpers riding Liechtenstein 7.
Grace Shelton showed in the equitation this weekend and did very well. Shelton came in first place in the CPHA Junior Medal and was second in the LA Junior Medal as well as fourth in the CPHA Foundation Medal and third in the Equitation 14-15 on the flat.
Kristi Siam and Krosus won the blue ribbon in the USEF Adult Equitation.
Tammy Chipko won a blue ribbon in the Six-Year-Old Jumpers at the Memorial Day Classic. Chipko also placed second