Mr. Whoopy Wins a Big One at the Bay Area Summer Festival
RELEASE: July 7, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Marnye Langer
Mr. Whoopy, Simone Coxe’s flamboyant bay stallion is as recognized for his antics in the ring as he is for his brilliant jumping style. However, during the $20,000 Bayfest Grand Prix on June 27 at the Bay Area Summer Festival in Woodside, CA, he got down to business. With nine horses returning for the jump-off over Jamie Alder’s challenging track, scope and speed were paramount, and Mr. Whoopy showed that he had plenty of both. Helen McNaught tried to dislodge Duncan McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy from their lead, but aboard Lancer Farms’ Condor she finished just tenths of a second behind the winning team.
McNaught was really hoping for a victory in the Bayfest Grand Prix aboard Ocean Cat (Doug and Julie White, owners) because it would keep her in contention for the $25,000 Woodside Jumper Accumulator prize awarded to the rider who can win all three major jumper classes during the Woodside Summer Circuit aboard the same horse. Ocean Cat stunned the audience when she stopped at the vertical approaching the water, and even more surprising was McNaught’s unplanned dismount. Undaunted and determined, McNaught returned to the ring to pilot her two remaining horses to clear rounds. Again the Woodside Jumper Accumulator will go unclaimed this year, but $5,000 is still on the line if a jumper rider can win two of the three major classes aboard the same horse.
Mariano Alario gave the leaders a run for their money with his diminutive, but talented chestnut stallion Vayrac de Ste Hermelle (Mia Beckham, owner). They were clearly the crowd favorites as they returned for the jump-off, and the crowd only got louder as Alario blazed around the course. They had to settle for third, but Alario still pumped his fist in the air as if to applaud his horse’s fabulous performance.
Prior to the start of the class, hunters took to the ring for the First Annual Bayfest Hunter Under Saddle Derby. "We really wanted to do something special with our grand prix classes," said Show Manager Chris Collman. "The first week the stick horse class exceeded all my expectations. The kids had fun decorating their stick horses and about 30 of them paraded around the ring right before the Woodside Jumper Classic. This week I thought it would be fun for the hunters to have a special class."
Hunters, with their riders sporting formal attire, worked under the direction of judges Dale Pederson and Sue Ashe. Gradually the judges called one horse after the other into the center of the ring, all the while asking for more tests. The buzz grew as only two horses remained on the rail. Rienzo was champion in the First Year Green Hunters and Thoughtful was champion in the Pre-Green Hunters. Finally the judges called Rienzo to the center of the ring and left Thoughtful as the champion.
Beverly Jovais found Thoughtful, a half-Thoroughbred and half-Hannoverian gelding with Scott Stewart. Amateur rider Bridgett Twomey wanted a fancy horse she could campaign in both the open and amateur hunter sections. With Katharina Coleman in the irons, the pair finished as champion in the Pre Green Hunters the first two weeks of the Woodside Summer Circuit. "He is a phenomenal mover and an amazing jumper," said Coleman of the six-year-old gelding. "He is quiet and has such a good mind. I love his style." When asked about the Hunter Under Saddle Derby, Coleman said she and Beverly Jovais were not sure what it was all about, but they decided it would be fun. "When it got down to only four on the rail, I kept thinking I better not mess up. When they called the other horse in and I was the only one out there it was such a blast. We need to have more fun classes in our shows. I can’t wait to do this again next year!"
Jovais had a number of winners among her Chestnut Hill horses and riders. Tyler Nowell was a star aboard her new pony, Otteridge Black Hawk. The Bay Area Festival was only the pair’s second show, but they performed like veter