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Tampa Equestrian Festival Week 2 Wrap-up, March 26-30, 2008, Tampa Bay Classic

Written by: Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2008-03-31

Tampa, FL - March 31, 2008 - William Lowry and Rio Corde were the last of 30 riders on course in the $75,000 Just World Grand Prix of Tampa, last to go in the jump off, but first when it counted – during the awards ceremony.

Not only was this grand prix a qualifier for the American Invitational on Saturday, April 5th, it was also the final qualifying competition for riders vying to go to the Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden April 23-26, 2008.

“This is the first World Cup class that I have won and it is also Rio’s first grand prix win which is very exciting,” said Lowry. “He has been a bridesmaid so many times. He’s won a lot of welcome stakes and been second in so many grand prix, but is never quite fast enough.”

That all changed on Sunday for the quiet and unassuming rider from Scituate, RI. Lowry entered the ring on his big bay gelding and 36.92 seconds later was the winner of the class. He and Rio Corde turned in a clear round 6/100 of a second faster than Engle.

“Margie was quick enough today, but it was catchable,” said Lowry. “She had a few steering issues and I was able to catch her. It was very exciting. There was an inside cut but it wasn’t necessary today. Rio is very careful but doesn’t turn as well as my other horse.”

In addition to the spectacular show jumping seen in the ring today, presentation of a check for $10,000 was given by Michael J. Morrissey, Managing Partner of Stadium Jumping Inc., to Jessica Newman the founder and Executive Director of Just World International. This charity acts as a catalyst for positive change in the developing world by working with local partner organizations to provide basic education, nutrition, health and hygiene programs, and vocational training for children in impoverished communities. Stadium Jumping Inc. is proud to assist them in their goals.

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday through Saturday

The jumper courses this week were designed by Jose “Pepe” Gamarra of Bolivia. Wednesday’s 1.40m class format was Time First Jump-off. Twelve were clean in the first round to advance to the immediate jump-off course.

The third combination to go in the class was District and Georgina Bloomberg. They set the time to beat in the jump-off at 36.463 seconds and more importantly, had a clear round. Bloomberg made the inside turns and had smooth trip. Many pairs followed her into the jump-off, but no one was able to beat her time. The only other double clear round was Norman Dello Joio on Malcolm, who finished in 37.714 seconds.

This was a good win for New York City resident Bloomberg, who has only shown District, an 11-year-old French-bred horse, since this past fall. “I really kind of got thrown into the grand prix too quickly with him because I had a lack of horses, and I really didn’t have time to get to know him,” she explained. “So he’s taken a step back through Florida. We’ve kept him lower, and I’ve gotten to know him a little bit better. It’s really starting to pay off now.”

William Lowry of North Scituate, RI, and his horse Polygraaf sped to the win on Thursday for their first victory at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. This week is the Tampa Bay Classic, CSI 3*-W, and Lowry was victorious in the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup, CSI 3* over Margie Engle and Hidden Creek’s Pamina L and McLain Ward with Quo Vadis.

Jose “Pepe” Gamarra set today’s track that included 13 numbered obstacles, a triple combination, and a difficult triple bar to plank vertical double combination. There were 41 entries in the class, and 9 were clear to move on to the jump-off.

Lowry rode Polygraaf, a 10-year-old Westphalen gelding, and pushed the huge horse for speed in the turns, sliced across jumps, and then waited to the final careful vertical on the rail. He finished as the first clear round in 35.22 seconds.

After the class, Lowry explained how he rode the jump-off course. “I was fast from 1 to 3; he covered so much ground. He made a pretty good turn back to the skinny jump and did the five (strides) down that line. I really sliced into the in and out, I thought. I was maybe a hair slow to the last jump. I was steadying there. I just went as fast as I could and rode the turns the best that I could to see what happened,” he said.

This was Lowry’s first win in Tampa, but it was his and Polygraaf’s third grand prix win this year. They also won the Leading Rider Bonus at the Jacksonville horse show series. This winter, Lowry chose to compete in Jacksonville and Gulfport, MS, instead of at the Winter Equestrian Festival. This put him behind in the standings to qualify for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, which was a goal of his for this year.

Kate Levy of Katonah, NY and Pacific Beach showed everyone at the Tampa Equestrian Festival, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center that they know how to step on the gas, as they bested a field of 13 horse and rider combinations to take first place in the 1.40m Jumper Speed class where fast and careful will take you to the winner’s circle.

The first clear round of the class wasn’t seen until Margie Engle and Hidden Creek’s Calippo 12 entered the ring. Engle and the big grey were fast but careful and completed the course of jumps in a time of 63.079.

Levy asked, and the little bay delivered. They sped around the course with no problems to cross the timers in an astonishing 57.423 seconds.

“She’s got a big stride and is fast, careful and easy to ride,” said Levy. “She really tries to win. I just tack up and go. I’ve only had her for three weeks. She was shown by other riders in Wellington. I did one class here last week and she was second. She is naturally fast and stays relaxed at that speed. She does what you tell her and is so confident.”

Jimmy Torano wanted to win the 1.40m Jumper Classic held during the Tampa Bay Classic, part of the Tampa Equestrian Festival at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. He asked, and his mount Morgan, owned by RV Sales of Broward, delivered.

That set the stage for Torano and the 16.1 hand, 14 year old Selle Francais gelding Morgan. Gearing up, they crossed the start timers with determination and pace and turned in a clear round in a time of 28.219 seconds to win the class.

“I wanted this and the horse jumped great today,” said a very happy Torano. “I guess that it ended up being a tough enough course today because there were only 4 clear. My horse is very careful and he actually ended up jumping around there pretty easily.”

Hunter Highlights: Wednesday through Sunday

Clarity and Kelley Farmer started off the second week of competition, the Tampa Bay Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, in the same manner that they did the first week, in the winners circle.

The stylish bay gelding, owned by Larry Glefke of Keswick, VA, stepped into the ring for the first Regular Conformation Hunter class and negotiated the eight elements on course with his usual elegance. The second class of the division was the same – a confident and perfectly jumped round. They were awarded top place in both classes, to make the competition for the division championship a game of catch up for the rest of the competitors.

Farmer and Clarity returned in the next division, Regular Working Hunter, and in the first class were again victorious to make it three for three. Mary Lisa Leffler aboard Sam Adams for owner Ashley Foster of Brookeville, MD, won the second class.

The Green Working Hunter division did not produce one star, but many. The first class over fences was won by True Fate with Amanda Steege in the irons for owner Jessica Lundgren of New York, NY.

Clarity, owned by Larry Glefke of Keswick, VA, picked up the championship in the Green Conformation Hunter division. The flashy 5 year old bay gelding made it look easy as he set the bar for the rest of the competitors. His first class mimicked his second as Farmer rode him easily to double blue ribbons.

“His barn name is Oreo and he is the most amazing animal I have ever owned. Wait until you see him jump four foot,” said Glefke. “He has been champion in the Regular Working and Regular Conformation at least three or four times this year.”

Right behind with reserve champion were Mary Eufemia and Black Pearl, owned by Madison Miller of Franklin, TN, who put in two stellar rounds of her own.

In the Green Working Hunters, this time it was Eufemia and Unbelievable, who grabbed the blues and a championship. Unbelievable he was, never missed a step and beat out reserve champion rider Amanda Steege and True Fate, owned by Jessica Lundgren of New York, NY.

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. After all the tests, the USEF Medal class was won by 14 year-old Molly Braswell and her horse Tenacious, from Ocala, FL.

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 Amateur-Owner and Adult Amateur Hunters finished up their divisions on Saturday. Champion of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 division was rider Michelle Spadone and Endo Fino, owned by Redfield Farm of Califon, NJ. Reserve champion went to owner/rider Jennifer Farri of Brooksville, FL and Bling Bling.

Winning the Championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 3’3” division was Foster and owner/rider Joan Ehrhart from Ocala, FL. Reserve champion also went to Ehrhart and her other horse Goodnight. The Amateur-Owner Working Hunter Over 35 division champion was presented to Kimberly Mallomian and Twist of Fate, owned by Margaret Page of Montclair, NJ. Reserve champion was Wellington and owner/rider Shelbi Sinclari of Somers, NY.

Both champion and reserve champion in the Small Jr. Hunter division belonged to one rider, Samantha Schaefer. She carried over her success from yesterday. Schaefer of Westminster, MD collected a champion ribbon aboard her own horse, Monroe and the reserve champion riding Mister Maryland, owned by Charlotte Fetridge of Potomac, MD.

“I kind of go a little crazy in the handy hunter, sometimes it gets me into trouble, but it worked out OK,” said Schaffer. “I was able to hand gallop the long run oxer and I took the inside turn to the two stride; I know all my horses are really good with that.”

The Large Jr. Hunters also finished up their division with a hunter and handy hunter class. Samantha Schaefer was not only champion in the Small Jr. Hunters, but the Large Jr. Hunter division as well with D’Atragnan, owned by Equine Dreams of Ft. Salogna, NY. The reserve champion award went to owner/rider Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, FL and her horse Eastwood.


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