Tampa, FL – March 28, 2008 – The juniors riders turned out in top form, ready to compete and ready to win at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. In the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class every rider was invited back for the second phase. Coming out on top was rider/owner Hasbrouck Donovan and her mount Levity, from Califon, NJ.
Juniors competing in the USEF medal, proved to be no slackers. Most riders walked out of the ring from the Maclay, put their martingales on, schooled over a fence and turned right around to go into the USEF class. The course was demanding, with many rollbacks, tight turns, and a difficult two stride combination. It required a thoughtful, well planned ride. The test seemed simple and straightforward, but was difficult to execute. A few of the riders found themselves with a canter step or two at the trot fence and one rider forget to halt altogether. After all the tests, the class was won by 14 year-old Molly Braswell and her horse Tenacious, from Ocala, FL.
“The lines were riding nice, but there were a lot of rollbacks,” said Braswell. “He really kind of hunted up to the two stride for me,” she said. “I have had this horse for three years and have been riding since I was four. Wow, ten years. This is what we practice at home. The hardest part of the test was the trot fence because after, you had a rollback right away and you didn’t have enough time to get a good pace to the next jump.”
There were no standout individuals who were racking up the blue ribbons in the Amateur Hunter division. The ribbons were divided among many of the competitors, yet no one complained and all seemed pleased with their results.
The Amateur-Owner Hunter division was not lacking in spirit. Each rider put in a heart-felt effort and made the division something to remember.
Winning the first class of the division was Bling Bling and owner/rider Jennifer Farri of Brooksville, FL. The second class went to Endo Fino and Michelle Spadone riding for owner Redfield Farm of Califon, NJ. Winner of the under saddle was Nijinski and owner/rider Darby Toben of Princeton, NJ. Since there was not a clear leader of the pack, the race for Champion and Reserve Champion is wide open..
The Adult Amateur Hunters managed to mimic the Amateur-Owners with different color ribbons finding their way into a variety of hands. No matter what placing they received, everyone seemed to be having fun.
“I’m having so much fun,” said Adult Amateur competitor Colline McKenna. “I haven’t been in the hunter ring for a few years and this horse makes it easy to get back into the swing of things.”
The first class in the Adult Amateur division went to Wellington and rider/owner Roberta Previ of Orlando, FL. The second class in the division was won by Boodenbrooks and rider/owner Kittney, ME.
The Ariat National Adult Medal brought back the top four riders from the first round for a short test that included a trot fence, three canter fences and a halt. Top honor went to Ocala, FL native Joan Ehrhart aboard Goodnight.
The Tampa Equestrian Festival runs from March 19-April 6, 2008. Competition for the Tampa Bay Classic continues through Sunday, March 30. The highlight class for hunters at the Tampa Equestrian Festival is the $20,000 ASG Software Solutions USHJA International Hunter Derby. The class will host a “Tradition, Tailgate, Top Hot, and Tails” party and will be held on Sunday, April 6, at 1 p.m. at Wrenwood Farm in Naples, FL.
For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival, please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.