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Teenager Addison Phillips Out-jumps Field of Veterans to Win the $75,000 In the Woods Grand Prix..….Lynndee Kemmet reports for PhelpsSports.com
Saugerties, New York – July 30, 2006 – Seventeen-year-old Addison Phillips, of New York City, bested a field of show jumping veterans to win the $75,000 In the Woods Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson V.
The young rider, who earlier in the week won the $5,000 Top Ten Under Saddle competition with Who’s on First at the 2006 Show Circuit Magazine/USEF National Junior Hunter Championships, beat out a field of 37 riders, among them a number of former Olympians.
Phillips was one of five riders who went clear in the first round to qualify for the jump-off and she was the last to go in the final round. Two riders had gone clear ahead of her – Henrik Gundersen riding Complete and Brianne Goutal riding Onira.
Goutal had the time to beat of 35.51. The time allowed was 60 seconds. Phillips finished the jump-off with a time of 35.11. Goutal, also 17, finished in second and thus, the top two placings went to teenagers.
The jump-off consisted of a mere six jumps, with one being a double combination, but there were long stretches between jumps and sharp turns from one to the next. Thus, riders were forced to ride fast and turn sharp, most took the jumps at angles to cut down turning time.
Though a bit stressed riding last in the jump-off and knowing that she had to go clear and beat a fast time, Phillips said she didn’t let the stress get to her, partly because of her faith in the 9-year-old Trezebees. She has owned and ridden the mare for the past two years and has won a grand prix with her before.
“I have an amazing horse and I know that with her I always have a shot at it,” Phillips said. “And while it was a bit stressful, I’ve been in situations like this before. Certainly not as big a deal as this, but I’m good under pressure.”
The first-round course, designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, was a challenging one for most riders. Aside from Phillips, Goutal and Gundersen, only Margie Engle on Hidden Creek’s Perin and Laura Chapot on Little Big Man made it through the course clear.
“The triple was particularly a problem because it seemed really very much out of stride,” Phillips said. “You really needed a scopey horse to make it.”
In the jump-off, both Engle and Chapot knocked a rail on the first fence when they took it at a sharp angle in an effort to reduce the turning time to the second fence.
Phillips said her strategy in the jump-off was to let lose and go for broke.
“There were only five in the jump-off and there was already a fast ride. So I figured I should just go for it,” she said. “The worst case scenario was that I ended up in fifth, which isn’t anything I would have been disappointed with. So I just went in and went for it.”
Phillips couldn’t thank Trezebees enough after the awards ceremony and showered her partner with hugs and kisses.
“I love you, I love you,” she told the mare.
RESULTS - $75,000 In the Woods Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson V