Third Week of Horse Shows by the Bay Sees Peter Pletcher Garner the Ovation Leading Hunter Rider Award and David Beisel and Patoile Capture the $10,000 Welcome Prix
RELEASE: July 24, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Lauren Fisher and Rebecca Walton
The Horse Shows by the Bay Series III got under way on Thursday, July 23, at the scenic Flintfields Horse Park, following the cancellation of the horse show due to rain and thunderstorms throughout the day. On Thursday, the top prize was awarded to Peter Pletcher, who earned the Ovation Leading Hunter Rider Award after three weeks of competition. Laura Pfeiffer took home the Ovation Leading Junior Hunter Rider Award for her excellent performance over the last three weeks. The Horse Shows by the Bay Series III will continue through Sunday, July 26, and the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival will continue with exciting polo and dressage action through August 2.
Peter Pletcher started the day off right by earning both the championship and the reserve championship tricolors during the morning's Working Hunter division. Pletcher rode Argentum to the championship prize after earning two first-place ribbons, a second-place ribbon, and a third-place ribbon. Pletcher captured the reserve championship honors aboard Portofino, after the pair earned a first-place ribbon, two second-place ribbons, and a third-place ribbon.
Pletcher and Argentum then went on to earn the Grand Champion Working Hunter title. This week's Grand Champion awards are sponsored by Equestrian Endeavors, of Holly, MI. Pletcher's excellent performances throughout the three weeks at the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival earned him the Ovation Leading Hunter Rider Award, generously sponsored by English Riding Supply of Scranton, PA.
The current goal for Pletcher's top mount, Argentum, is the United States Hunter Jumper (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Finals in August at the Kentucky Horse Park. "I really want him to shine at the Finals," he said. "That is what this year has really been about, so hopefully our plan will come into play."
Pletcher admitted that his team of riders, trainers, and owners is the key to his success. "The most important part of the business is that everybody work well together," he explained. "We have a good team and everything runs smoothly. We have a lot of horses and we get them to the rings as fast as we possibly can and try not to hold people up much. That's an impressive thing when you have maybe seven horses in a division."
Pletcher has been very happy with the excellent show that Horse Shows by the Bay owners and managers Dean and Alex Rheinheimer have put together. "I think they do a great job," he smiled. "They offer a lot of different classes for people, and they've put a limit on how many horses can be here. I think that is probably one of the best things about this horse show. There's a little division for every person to show in, but it still runs smoothly because there is a limit."
Pletcher was also very impressed with how they handled yesterday's weather and cancellation of the show. "I thought it was amazing. They stopped, they took into consideration that it was pouring down rain, it was lighting, it was thunder and it was pretty much going to do that all day," he noted. "So it was really nice that they pulled together, still did the classes the next day, and made it as nice as they could."
The next division to compete in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring was the Green Conformation Hunters. Greg Crolick took home top honors, obtaining the championship award with Profound and the reserve championship prize with Vinsetta. Crolick and Profound were also honored with the Grand Champion Conformation Hunter award and the Susan Wallace Memorial Trophy.
Crolick and Top Call Farm donated the Susan Wallace Memorial Trophy and he was thrilled to receive the award. "It feels wonderful to win this award," he said. "We donated it after one of my clients unfortunately passed away, so it's nice to go back in there and win the award for her. We've been in the process for about four years now, so it's nice to get the awar