Show Jumping Heats Up at the 20th Anniversary Jumper Classic
RELEASE: September 10, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Anne Wargo
Show jumping action continued on Thursday, September 3, at the 20th Annual Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic. Located in beautiful seacoast town of Hampton Falls, NH, the Jumper Classic has become known as New England's Premiere equestrian event. This elite level competition caters to top level riders with a chance to compete for over $200,000 prize money. The Jumper Classic offers over 40 classes and divisions designed to attract competitors of all ages and levels. As temperatures rose at the Silver Oak Equestrian Center in Hampton Falls, NH, so did the competition on the field.
In the featured class, the $750 1.30m Class, Johnathan McCrea rode Primo for Windsor Show Stables of Westport, CT, into the winner's circle. Over 40 riders competed on the course designed by Linda Allen. Allen gave riders an option that integrated several of the natural derby style elements on the Coldwell Banker Previews Grand Prix Field expected to be used in the $12,000 Mohegan Sun Derby this upcoming Saturday. Several riders took the option to warm their horses up to the derby obstacles in the class, which included the bank and the grob.
Allen who hails from Fillmore, CA, mentioned that she is pleased with the conditions of the field and the selection of obstacles she has to work with. She hopes to challenge both horse and rider in order to test their skill sets, keeping safety in mind, all while creating a fun and exciting atmosphere for both competitors and spectators alike.
Thursday marked the kick-off of the equitation divisions that were added to the class roster of the Jumper Classic in order to open up competition to the local riders who are pursuing points to qualify for their regional medal finals in their respective divisions. Alexandra Cherubini, President and CEO of EquiFit, Inc., and board member of the Jumper Classic, took top honors aboard her horse, Equifit Pozitano in the NEHC Adult Medal Class. EquiFit, Inc., sponsored the warm-up rings at the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic.
This year the weather gods have been good to the Jumper Classic, but that has not always been case. Past years have been incredibly challenging, especially last year when Hurricane Hannah galloped on top of the east coast of New England trampling heavy rains and high winds onto the grounds of the Silver Oak Equestrian Center. Groundskeeper Ray Brunet, who has been with the Jumper Classic since its inception in 1989, responded lightning fast and had his crew working all throughout the night to manicure the grounds. His primary focus was to keep the footing of the courses safe for riders and horses alike.
"Amazingly we have never had to cancel the Jumper Classic, though back in 2007 the weather certainly presented us with a significant challenge, and miraculously we pulled it off," said Brunette, grounds-keeper for the Jumper Classic. "Managing equestrian grounds in New England definitely keeps you on your toes."
In 2007, the Jumper Classic was impacted by the notorious fluctuation of New England weather when it went from a blistery 96 degrees on Saturday, to a major Nor'easter on Saturday night, cooling temperatures to 62 degrees for Sunday's grand prix.
Luckily the weather is better than was hoped for and the competition is abundant. There were 10 competitive horse jumping classes on Wednesday, 18 on Thursday and approximately 45 classes occurred on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the day of the much anticipated $75,000 Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic Grand Prix.
On Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. the Jumper Classic hosted a "Special Meet and Greet" in the Elite Equine Shaving Rider's Tent of the 75-acre Silver Oak Equestrian Center. The event itself is sponsored by Miele Professional who manufacturers specialty equine laundry equipment. The Jumper Classic welcomed numerous children who have an opportunity to meet some of their equestrian heroes. The panel included Peter