Showplace Spring Spectacular II Wrap-Up
RELEASE: June 17, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The Showplace Spring Spectacular wrapped up another year of fantastic competition on Sunday with five classes, totaling $100,000 in prize money awarded. The winner of the $50,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix was 16-year-old Kelsey Thatcher of South Jordan, UT, on Carlotta. Denise Wilson and For Elenor won the $20,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, while Frances Land and Cassia Catalina were tops in the $10,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Madison Smith and Oloma were winners in the $10,000 NAL Children's Jumper Grand Prix, and Tiffany Hammack cruised to first place with Carrera Z in the $10,000 NAL Adult Jumper Grand Prix.
Thatcher was the youngest rider in Sunday's $50,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix, but it didn't deter her from winning the biggest class of the horse show. She and Carlotta, a 12-year-old Warmblood mare she has owned since this winter, were one of five pairs to return to the jump-off.
There was a starting field of 21 entries over the course designed by Hector Loyola ("I") of Puerto Rico. The first horse in the ring was clear, and they returned first in the jump-off. Wilhelm Genn and Chantal, winners of both $10,000 Open Welcome Stake classes this year, were unfortunate in the jump-off. They had 12 faults and finished in a time of 40.717 seconds for fifth place.
Genn was the next one in on his second clear horse, Happy Z, who won last week's $30,000 grand prix. Genn had Happy Z revved and ready, but a rail dropped at fence 10a. They had the fastest time of the day in 37.451 seconds, but it was not enough with four faults.
Thatcher and Carlotta were the next ones to contest the shortened course. Thatcher made a very tight turn back to the one stride (a triple bar to vertical), and Carlotta gave 110% through it. They kept up their quick pace and ended up as the only double clear in the class, finishing in 42.354 seconds.
Thatcher's trainer, Maggie Jayne, would be the next in the jump-off on Merlin 369. Going for one less stride in the first line, they would not make it at the second jump and had a refusal. A rail at jump 11 would add up with another time fault for a total of 9 faults in 48.177 seconds for fourth place.
The final rider in was Morgan Kennedy on Zaboomerang. Kennedy kept a smooth, quick speed, but a rail at jump 11 would relegate them to third place in 40.014 seconds.
"It feels amazing to win the grand prix!" Thatcher exclaimed afterwards. "I just started the big jumpers last year, and my first grand prix was last year at Ledges. This year, I won my first grand prix at that same show on Carlotta."
After Sunday's class, Thatcher has gained a lot of confidence in the ring over bigger courses. This will help her when she represents Zone 5's Junior team at this year's Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Riders Championships. Thatcher's other goal for the year is to be in the top three for the Showplace Leading Open Jumper Riding Series, which is a rider bonus series awarding $30,000 to the top three open jumpers this year at Showplace Productions competitions.
The final class of the day was the $20,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Our Day Farm and Alex Jayne. Out of 23 entries, the fastest of six in the jump-off was Denise Wilson of Dousman, WI, on her eight-year-old Hanoverian mare, For Elenor. They were double clear and stopped the jump-off timers in 35.753 seconds. Despite a quick last round, Laura Linback and Mohawk Du Claire De Lune just missed out and finished second in 36.742 seconds.
Frances Land and Cassia Catalina were tops in the morning in the $10,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by Roc USA. Land and Cassia Catalina were one of only two to take the "b" option for the jump-off, meaning they stayed in the ring after their first round for the shortened course. There were 46 entries in the class, and 18 w