Parker, CO – June 19, 2013 – Cindy Cruciotti and her Serenity Farm had a standout day at the Colorado Horse Park as Summer in the Rockies III got underway. Cruciotti swept the first, second and fourth place spots in the 3’6” Performance Working Hunter over fences and handy classes, won that division’s hack, and picked up another win over fences in the 3’3” Performance Working Hunter. Meanwhile, Cruciotti’s assistant, Jessica Dalton, collected first and second place finishes in the 3’3” Performance Working Hunter division, putting her into a prime position to challenge for the championship.
Cruciotti began the day by riding three of Nicole Lyvere’s horses in the 3’6” Performance Working Hunter division. In the first over fences class, she rode Wink to the win, All In to second place, and Promo to fourth place. She and Wink triumphed again in the handy, where Promo and All In swapped places to finish second and fourth, respectively.
She might have a had a problem on her hands in the hack, with three capable mounts to choose from, but Kelli Clevenger and Jessica Dalton stepped in to help. Cruciotti paired with Promo for the win, Dalton and All In took third, and Clevenger and Wink were fifth.
“(Clevenger and Dalton) are my two associates,” Cruciotti said. “I could not do any of this without help from these people, my staff and all my grooms.”
Wink, All In and Promo each present separate challenges to Cruciotti and owner Lyvere. “They’re all so different,” Cruciotti said of her three 3’6” mounts. “All In is a little bit more of a Thoroughbred type. Promo is more of a pony type, kind of kick-along. And then Wink is between the two.”
She and Lyvere, a student of hers for nearly four years, chose the horses to help Lyvere transition into the Amateur Owner division. Cruciotti said Lyvere has enjoyed riding and learning from the variety of horses she owns. Lyvere will take over the reins later in the week, when she plans to ride All In and Wink in the Amateur Owners, Promo in the National Hunter Derby, and Drumline, her other Amateur Owner mount, in the International Hunter Derby.
Cruciotti described Wink as a “special, special horse” who benefits from having a specific routine on show day. “He’s a horse that doesn’t like surprises,” she described. “So his routine is very specific in the morning. We get up, he goes in the ring, he hacks for maybe 10-15 minutes, and he likes to walk around the ring and look at where the jumps are placed. He doesn’t necessarily have to look at each jump, but he likes to know where everything is. Then we come out for his class and he’s very settled.”
“But if you skip that step, he goes in very suspicious of what the course is and what you’re going to throw at him,” she continued. “We’ve tried to do some derbies on him – we’re graduating into those. It takes some time to build his confidence to do those, because he doesn’t know where everything is.”
Cruciotti, whose Serenity Farm is just 15 minutes from the Colorado Horse Park, spends the summer competing there and then travels with her students to the major hunter/jumper circuits around the country. She enjoyed the Scott Starnes-designed courses. “They all rode super,” she said. “Scott Starnes always does just a fabulous job. We love coming to Pat (Boyle)’s shows – the jumps are beautiful, they’re well managed, and the staff is friendly. The new footing that the Colorado Horse Park put all that money into is wonderful.”
After her success in the morning, Cruciotti switched over to the 3’3” Performance Working Hunter division and scored a blue ribbon in the over fences class with Abigail Graham’s Balaika du Ry, while Dalton rode Woodhaven Stables Inc.’s Three Rivers to second in that class and first in the handy.
Cruciotti said Balaika du Ry is versatile and always dependable. “Balaika du Ry is an equitation horse, and she’s kind of a jack-of-all-trades,” Cruciotti explained. “She’ll go into any ring and do anything we ask her: she jumps the water, does the jumper jumps, does the medals, and does the hunters.”
The mare’s lovely gaits and consistent effort earned her the win in a popular class that drew over 20 competitors. Now that Cruciotti has gotten her off to a good start, her next outing will be with Graham in equitation classes, including the ASPCA Maclay qualifier, later in the week.
Dalton’s success in the division with Three Rivers was made all the more impressive by the 5-year-old gelding’s relative lack of experience. He was imported from Europe over the winter for owner Jennifer Wallen’s Woodhaven Stables Inc., has been making rapid progress under Serenity Farm’s program, and is just setting out on his show career.
Dalton noted that Three Rivers was initially distracted but settled in and got down to business. “The first round, someone had a really pretty dog on the berm and they were trotting by, and it took me about three or four jumps to get him back in the game,” she said. “Then, after that, I felt like his canter got better and better and his jump got better and better.”
“Jumping is very easy for him and he gets bored super fast,” she added. “He’s 5, so we keep the jumps as low as we can. He’s learning to keep his eye inside the ring, and he’s really starting to ask me questions on course: ‘Is this right? Is this where I’m supposed to be?’ He’s not taking over. He’s just being very humble about it and respecting the jumps now.”
Dalton looks forward to a bright future for Three Rivers and is encouraged by his intelligence and work ethic. “I love the fact that he likes to be challenged,” she said. “He’s understanding now what it takes to be a champion. He’s starting to figure that out. I think the fence height can just keep going up and up with age, and I’m really excited to see where he goes.”
Dalton joined the Serenity Farm team in the fall of 2012 and feels her move from California to Colorado to work with Cruciotti has been well worth it. “I like the fact that Cindy is extremely fair to the horses,” Dalton said. “She is a very kind soul. It’s hard to produce winners in this sport while still being fair to the horses. I really feel that I’ve learned a lot about how my horses are thinking underneath me, without overschooling them, overmedicating them, all of that.”
She said that Cruciotti’s sensitivity to and understanding of her horses has been a valuable lesson. “I really feel that she truly gets into what the horse is thinking and builds their confidence in a way that is one of a kind,” Dalton said. ”She rises to the pressure but doesn’t over-pressure her horses, and I really appreciate that. I feel that her horses go better because of it."
Also featured in the Olson Family Hunter Arena were the first classes in the Second Year Green/High Performance division. Mark Mead and Amoro De Legante got off to a promising start, collecting wins over fences and in the handy as well as a second place in the hack. Mead said Amoro De Legante excels in the handy and is nimble around the turns.
“He’s beautiful to look at, he jumps really well, and he has a good step,” Mead said. “At that point, it becomes just me finding the jumps. He’s a cool horse.”
Amoro De Legante is owned by Laura Fereday, who shows him in the Junior Hunters. Fereday is getting ready to head off to school, so the horse is for sale. He was successful with both Mead and Fereday in the saddle at week two of Summer in the Rockies, collecting two reserve championships in the Working Hunter and Junior Hunter divisions.
Summer in the Rockies III continues Thursday at the Colorado Horse Park. While Cruciotti and her team may be tough to beat in the 3’6” and 3’3” Performance Working Hunters after Wednesday’s impressive finishes, they face a full lineup of top competitors from around the country, all vying for the divisional championships. Second Year Green/High Performance Hunters will wrap up as well, with the action beginning at 8:15 a.m. in the Olson Family Hunter Arena.
Results: Summer in the Rockies III - June 19, 2013 (Number/Horse/Owner/Rider)
The Colorado Horse Park Summer in the Rockies Fast Facts
What: Summer in the Rockies AA-Rated Hunter Jumper Show Series
Summer in the Rockies I June 5-9, 2013
Summer in the Rockies II June 12–16, 2013
Summer in the Rockies III June 19–23, 2013
Summer in the Rockies IV July 3–7, 2013
Summer in the Rockies V July 10–14, 2013
Summer in the Rockies VI July 17–21, 2013
Prize List: Click here for an online version of the prize list
For a hard copy of the prize list, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number and specify which prize list you would like (spring/fall or summer).
Entries: Mail to The Colorado Horse Park, 7522 South Pinery Drive, Parker, CO 80134 or fax to (303) 841-7879. Opening date for Stall Reservations: April 1, 2013. Closing date May 20, 2013.
Contact Information: Pat Boyle, Show Manager (847) 274-6834 Brian Curry, Show Manager (303) 918-2908 Show Office (303) 841-7461 Show Office Fax (303) 841-1419 Colorado Horse Park Main Office (303) 841-5550 Colorado Horse Park Main Office Fax (303) 841-7879
Tentative Schedule: Wed - Sun: Show starts daily at 8 a.m. unless otherwise noted
Address: 7375 E Bayou Gulch Rd, Parker, CO 80134
From North: I-25S exit Ridgegate Parkway – go east under the freeway. Ridgegate Parkway to S. Chambers Road, approx 3 miles (Traffic light) – turn right/south onto Chambers Road. At end of Chambers Road turn left/east onto Hess Road. Hess Road to Parker Road/Hwy 83 – turn right/south onto Hwy 83 approx 4 miles to Bayou Gulch Road. (Traffic light). Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
From South: I-25N, exit Founder’s Parkway. Founder’s Parkway to Highway 86, approx 4 miles (traffic light). Turn east/left onto Hwy. 86 to Franktown/Hwy 83. At Franktown go north on 83 approx. 7 mi. to Bayou Gulch Rd. (Traffic light), turn right/east onto Bayou Gulch Rd. Follow signs to Colorado Horse Park.
About the Colorado Horse Park Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the Colorado Horse Park was founded by visionary Helen Krieble who acknowledged the need for a high-volume horse show and horse boarding facility to serve Colorado. The Colorado Horse Park welcomes more than 75,000 visitors per year and hosts over 40 competitions annually. CHP features a derby arena designed by Olympic-designer Linda Allen and a cross-country course designed by Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor and eventing super-star James Atkinson. There are 300 permanent stalls with capacity for more than 1,000 stalls.
The picturesque property, located only minutes from the town of Parker, hosts international equestrian events in multiple disciplines. Visitors enjoy the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountain surroundings and access to miles of trails and open space. The Colorado Horse Park is committed to supporting equestrian education and amateur athletics, preserving open space, fundraising for local charities and supporting the community.