Zionsville, IN – August 9, 2012 – Much-needed rain came to the Zionsville, IN, area on Thursday and added a few puddles and a few delays but did not detract from the festivities and competition at the 2012 Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse Show and Country Fair at picturesque Wild Air Farms in Zionsville, IN. Guests and exhibitors enjoyed live music on the grounds wafting from the annual Charity Garden Party.
Course designer, Phil DeVita, built a technical track in the Russell Fortune Grand Prix Arena adding more combinations and tricky turns, presenting the rider and horse teams with interesting questions to answer and determining whether they could deliver fast times and clear rounds.
The course for Phase Two of the Zone 5 Open Jumper Championship got underway on the far end of the arena with a single oxer on the diagonal headed toward home. The track took an immediate right turn around to the far end of the ring to a single vertical then an immediate right turn to an oxer-to-vertical combination and a long bending gallop to a single oxer. Then left bending line to a vertical, landing very close to the rail across from the jumper tower. The course turned to the left and continued on the diagonal to a vertical-vertical combination and a left bending line to an oxer. Next, a turn to the right to a liverpool, a rollback to the right to an oxer and a bending line to a vertical-oxer combination. A left past the in-gate led to the final fence, an oxer.
Five horse and rider teams managed clear rounds-three of those teams were led by Aaron Vale-with Wodka L, owned by Thinkslikeahorse, Honeylands Douglason, owned by Doug’s Crew, who just won the 1.35 Open Jumpers on Tuesday and Phase 1 of the Zone Five Open Jumper Finals, and Palm Sunday, owned by Amen Corner Farm.
Andrew Welles had a beautifully executed clear first round on his own Zinnia and Michael Morrissey also answered DaVita’s jumping questions in round one aboard Crelido.
In the jump off round, Morrissey opted not to return. Welles delivered another lovely, fast and stylishly clean round in a time of 38.358 seconds, not quite quick enough to best Vale’s trips on each of his three mounts, with which he went 1-2-3 with Wodka L, Palm Sunday and Honeylands Douglason.
“I’ve got a group of horses that have been really good this summer,” said Vale. “Tibor, Admiral Clover, then Palm Sunday joined the group last week and almost won the Saturday night Grand Prix in Kentucky last week. Those are three older horses that are really jumping well. Then I have Wodka, a 9-year-old that has had some good placings as well, he’s a bit like Douglas. He’s still maturing and needs experience. Just depending on how they all go and feel here I could have as many as five in the Grand Prix.”
In the Jumper Annex, the Adult Amateur Jumpers offered exciting fast rounds and a crowd gathered under the shade of the canopy, cheering on the entrants and their horses.
The course took the horse and rider teams to all corners of the arena and included winding turns and tricky combinations. Ten horse and rider teams produced faultless first rounds. In the jump-off rounds, the crowd audibly reacted to incredibly tight inside turns and strides left out.
In the end a rare thing happened- two riders had the same time, creating a tie. A blue ribbon went to both Rachel Boggus and her Wiedam and Erin Felton and Almost Perfect.
“My horse is 14, I’ve had him for six years,” said Erin Felton. “He’s a thoroughbred so he’s definitely very excited. He loves his job. Sometimes he can pull some fancy stunts, but once he’s in the ring he’s awesome. He jumps everything, he’s really forgiving and he likes to go fast and turn tight.”
“I’m in school now at the University of Minnesota,” continued Felton. “I’m shocked that I won because I haven’t been riding. Since I’ve been home in May I’ve been trying to take as many lessons as I can. I train with Bethany Parins. Nancy Whitehead has been helping us out at the show. I have to thank both of them.”
“This is my third year at Traders Point and I just love it. We love hanging out all day and watching the grass ring go. It is just a really fun place to be.”
The Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse Show and Country Fair is held on the beautiful 250-acre grounds of Wild Air Farms in Zionsville, IN. The show offers top prize money with two Grand Prix events and a USHJA International Hunter Derby. Exhibitors at Traders Point enjoy fun family activities and events while participating in a competitive, high-quality show. For more information or a prize list, please visit www.traderspoint.org/exhibitors.html