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Ed Copeland and Virginia

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Riders Rise to the Occasion at 2015 Asbury Classic at The Ridge at Riverview

Written by: Caroline Nickolaus
Client: The Ridge Farm
Release Date: 2015-10-23

Asbury, New Jersey – October 23, 2015 – The Ridge at Riverview recently concluded hosting The Asbury Classic, which took place on Oct. 8-11 and Oct. 15-18 in scenic Asbury, New Jersey. The seventh annual event did not disappoint attendees, with its tough competition, generous prize money, outstanding sponsorship and unique classes.


Riders and trainers were able to take advantage of being outside in fresh air, surrounded by fall foliage, rather than crowded at the indoor shows and finals. The weather cooperated and was an ideal way for riders to achieve points before they either head south for the winter, or brave the cold at indoor venues.


Managed by highly-respected Olympic show jumper, Nona Garson, the event gave competitors the opportunity to show off their talents in three state-of-the-art rings, a brand new 150 x 300-foot all-weather sand arena, and an immaculate grass derby field. Riders looking for a place to relax and grab a bite to eat in between classes were able to unwind in the rider’s tent.


Asbury Classic Week I


The well-run event offered a total of over $60,000 in prize money for jumper competitors; so all riders were determined to rise to the occasion. The Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic saw Cienne Warren triumph with her own Fabius, and the talented combination also sped to a second place finish in the Low Junior/Amateur Speed class. Boston VDL and Bridget Perier, trained by Adam Cramer, just missed Warren and Fabius, taking second place in the Jumper Classic.


In the Asbury Hunter Derby, Kim Casola‘s Saturday Fever was navigated by Helen Goddard to claim the tricolor ribbon and top prize money. The winner’s circle also saw another mount ridden by Goddard be successful—Abasi, owned by Ellen Deckoff, garnered the reserve champion ribbon. Liam, owned and ridden by Jill Curtis, rounded out the top three spots.


In the Children’s/Adult Hunter Derby, both two- and four-legged females dominated the competition. Katelyn Friesema and her Holsteiner mare, Everlasting Love, impressed the judge and came out on top; while Brittany Yard collected the second place award with her own Divine Comedy, a 2007 gray mare. 


Asbury Classic Week II


One of the highlights of the second week was the Open Jumper Welcome Class. The difficult course consisting of fences set at 1.35m proved to be no obstacle for Amber Harte, who sped to victory aboard LC Phantom Associate LLC’s Emir Van De Helle and Harte continued her winning ways when she earned second place riding Whiskey Business, owned by Ireland Clancy.


Harte expressed, “I thought the courses were great. It was very straightforward, everything rode nice, nothing terribly tricky. The courses made you work and think, and they presented options, but nothing was a trap. I loved [the Asbury Classic]! I have watched that show facility grow over the last couple od years, and every time they get to doing something, as they develop it, they have done a great job. The footing in the main jumper is now the reason to go to that place, it is beautiful.”


Harte led the class aboard Whiskey Business for a large majority of the time, but being new to the ride while Clancy is away at college, Harte chose not to take the turn that would seal the victory for her aboard her second mount, Emir Van De Helle.


While Ireland is away at college, I was fortunate enough to have the ride on Whiskey Business,” Harte elaborated. “The family wanted to see if he could step up and do some bigger classes. I saw the turn on him, but with us being a little unfamiliar, I did not feel comfortable taking it. When I saw it on my stallion, I knew that we could make the turn, I was completely comfortable doing that.”


The Ridge at Riverview Grand Prix’s tricky course designed by Nick Granat and George D’Ambrosio, saw numerous riders vie for the prize, but Ed Copeland got a taste of victory aboard Virginia, owned by CD LLC as the only clear round out of an eight-horse field.


Copeland was awarded the Rebecca L’Heureux Perpetual Memorial Challenge Trophy for his win in the Ridge at Riverview Grand Prix, as well as the Open Jumper Style of Riding Award, sponsored by IRH Helmets, winning a beautiful helmet. IRH sponsored four Style of Riding awards, and Prestige gave out four attractive bridles to the winners of the classics during the two weeks of competition.


"I thought it was a really nice event,” Copeland said. “George [D’Ambrosio] and Nona [Garson], I've been to a couple of their shows now, and they always seem to really put the exhibitor first. The jumps were beautiful, it was a great course, the footing in the ring was fantastic, so I thought they did a nice job. They always try to make you feel special and important."


"I was there riding client horses, and [The Rige at Riverview] really did a nice job with the presentations and the ribbons. The owners felt like they really got their money's worth out of the event," Copeland explained. "I for sure plan to go back again next year. My plan would be this show and some other shows, not only this winter, but for sure during the summer and the fall."


The M&S Children’s Pony Medal Small/Medium division was swept away by Caitlyn Kohler and her own Honor Roll, while Tia Maria earned a respectable second place ribbon with owner, Ashlyn Morelli, in the irons. The large pony group tackled the 2’6” course and watched Calista Fentan guide Sir William’s Top Knight to victory. Closely behind Fentan was fellow barn mate, Sarika Somaiya, and her own Bye For Now. Virginie Lussan trained both riders.


The winner of the second week’s Asbury Hunter Derby was also awarded The Gary Zook Perpetual Trophy. This year’s winner, Balunito and Alicia Madretzke, put in a flawless round while Helen Goddard piloted Ellen Deckoff’s Abasi to the red ribbon. Ashley Williams and her bay gelding, Little Lion Man, delivered a stellar round that gave them a third place finish.


Carbonado jumped clean with guidance from rider and owner, Emma Dries, in the NJPHA High Children’s/Adult Jumpers. Rhian Davies and her own mount, Scarpazza, a bay Oldenburg, earned a red ribbon in the division, and coming in third place was Colleona and Alicia Weisman.


The costume lead-line class provided fun and friendly competition for children and their mounts, where Kara Bresbis and A Spoonful of Sugar were awarded the championship ribbon, and Deanna Mastrocolocasa and Skip Shipping Annie were named reserve champions of the day.


Exhibitors and their canine friends even got the chance to participate in the entertainment in a “Doggie Parade” that was held during the second week.


The horse show benefited Riding With Heart, a non-profit charity in nearby Pittstown, New Jersey, that offers equine-assisted therapy activities, such as riding or grooming, to children and adults with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities.

This beautiful state-of-the-art facility offered a fully array of classes, generous prize money, and tough competition for hunters, jumpers, and equitation riders. The Ridge at Riverview is only an hour from Philadelphia, PA, and an hour from New York City, which makes the show convenient for competitors in the northern United States.

The Ridge at Riverview was pleased to have the Holiday Inn Clinton as their official host hotel and competitors received a special rate if they mentioned “The Ridge” when making their reservations.

The Ridge at Riverview will gear up to host a two-day clinic with Olympian Nona Garson on October 24-25th. All levels of hunter, jumper and equitation riders are welcome and will be divided into three categories: Low (Fences 2’6’’ and under, ponies welcome), Intermediate (Fences about 3’), and Advanced (Fences 3’6’’ and above). More information and registration forms are available on the website.


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