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Erica Pritz and Landessa 4 earned the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers blue ribbon after a stunning double clear victory at the Tampa Equestrian Festival.

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Erica Pritz and Landessa 4 Earn Double Clear Victory in Junior/Amateur Owner Jumpers at Tampa Equestrian Festival

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG) http://www.stadiumjumping.com/sj/index.cfm
Release Date: 2009-03-21

Tampa, FL - March 21, 2009 - It was an exciting day of competition at the Tampa Equestrian Festival for the fourth day of Suncoast International week. In the Covered Arena junior and amateur riders began competing at 8 a.m. The first class of the day was the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, where Erica Pritz, of Chicago, IL, and Landessa 4 earned the day's blue ribbon after performing the only double clear round of the class.

Today's course, designed by Philip J. De Vita, featured ten obstacles at level six. Riders began over a single oxer on the diagonal, followed by a tight turn to a single vertical, to another single oxer in the middle of the ring. Then riders continued to a vertical-to-vertical double combination, to an oxer off a tight turn followed by a vertical to oxer combination. Next riders continued to a single vertical, to an oxer to vertical combination, and finished over a liverpool to oxer line.

Erica Pritz and Landessa 4 were the first combination to enter the ring, and laid down the first round in 70.735. The pair entered the jump-off and was again faultless, with a time of 33.785, the only double clear in the class to earn first place.

Staisha Bejarano, of Sarasota, FL, entered the ring next aboard Valentino, but the pair had a rail at the first fence of the second combination and the last fence of the course for a total score of eight faults, which would earn them fifth place. Michael Murphy, of Apopka, FL and Cheeky made a valiant attempt at the course, but had a rail at the vertical before the last combination. They tripped the timers at 71.654, the slowest of the four-faulters, earning them the fourth place ribbon. Morgan Hale and Wildcat, owned by Don Stewart of Ocala, FL, also had four faults after an unfortunate rail coming out of the last combination. Their time of 69.881 earned them third place honors. Elizabeth Patz, of Windermere, FL, and A Touch II made an excellent effort at today's course, but had the rail at the very last fence. Their time was the fastest of four-faulters after speeding through the finish line at 69.220 seconds for the second place award.

"Today the plan was to be a little aggressive," explained Pritz after her double clear victory. "Sometimes I'm not very aggressive about doing the inside turns, but today I managed to do them and Landessa was perfect. She likes to be ridden forward in your hand and leg, which is a little different than I'm used to, but it's working."

Pritz, who trains with Donald Cheska, has owned Landessa for three years. "I was thinking about giving up riding, and then she came into my life, and now here I am; I absolutely love her, she's the best!"

The Tampa Equestrian Festival will continue for three more exciting weeks of competition. Tomorrow riders will have the opportunity to compete in the Children's/Adult Jumper Classic and the NAL Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic in the Covered Arena, followed by championship and reserve championship presentations to the top horse and rider combinations in each division.

Next week is the Tampa Bay Classic, which will run from March 25 - 29. On Sunday, March 29, the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa CSI-W will be held in the Covered Arena beginning at noon. It is the final qualifier for the FEI Rolex World Cup Finals being held in Las Vegas in April, and the points are currently in very close contention for the East Coast standings, so it will prove to be a very difficult class.

Week three of the Tampa Equestrian Festival is the Tournament of Champions, which will run from March 31 - April 4. On Wednesday, April 1, the Grand Prix of Florida CSI will be held in the Covered Arena, as the final qualifier for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational.

The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational will be held April 4 at Raymond James Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. It is the nations most premiere show jumping event and will feature the world's top horses and riders competing for one of the sport's largest purses.

For more information please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: Erica Pritz and Landessa 4 earned the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumperís blue ribbon after a stunning double clear victory at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo © Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

 

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