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Press Release


Hunt Tosh and Say Again generate multiple championships in their first week of the Tampa Equestrian Series

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Tampa Bay Classic Wrap-Up, March 28 – April 1, 2012

Written by: Elizabeth Vieira
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2012-04-02

Tampa, FL – April 2, 2012 – The Tampa Bay Classic, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL, has come to an end after an exceptional week of competition. After a week of unparalleled athleticism and talent, exhibitors are reveling in their success and taking a quick break before the second week of the Tampa Equestrian Series begins.

The main highlight was on the concluding day of the Tampa Bay Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and competition was fierce as the nation’s top competitors strived to pave their way to the 2012 World Cup Finals in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. The $50,000 Grand Prix of Tampa CSI 2*-W was the last opportunity for riders to qualify for the impending World Cup Finals, and the battle came down to two as Beezie Madden and Margie Engle fought to the finish. Madden and Mademoiselle emerged the victors, beating Engle’s jump-off time by only six-tenths of a second.

“I think Margie was a little faster in the beginning,” commented Madden. “My plan was to keep myself in contention if I had a rail down in the beginning, but I was already a little bit into the jump-off by the time I had the rail, it was a good thing I had the end of the ring. “

Engle described the scene as she watched Madden jump the double combination, “I saw when Beezie hit the fence in the combination that she suddenly was flying after that. Her turn after the combination to the wall definitely sliced some time off and allowed her to move in front of me. It was a great class and a lot of fun, I knew it was going to be difficult to beat Beezie going in, but more than anything I was pleased with how well my horse did.”

Jumper Highlights (March 28 – April 1):

Wednesday morning jumpers began with 1.30m Open Jumper class. Michael Morrissey was the first in the ring with Vorst, completing the first course with ease and keeping all rails in place. He moved into the jump-off, once again concluding with a clear round and posting one of only three double-clear efforts. His time of 32.602 seconds stayed solid until Leslie Howard took her turn at the course with Goed Zo, owned by 73 West Group. Howard’s quick pace through the short course and tight turns eventually earned the talented duo the blue ribbon ride.

Morrissey tried to regain the lead aboard Starbit Partners, LLC’s Padie Blu Cardu, once again going clean and moving into the jump-off. Even though he beat his previous time by nearly one full second, the duo moved into the second place position behind Howard with their time of 31.999 seconds, and Morrissey also took the third place honors aboard his previous mount, Vorst.

Nicholas Dello Joio posted the quickest four-fault time aboard his mount Jagger. His jump-off time proved faster than even Howard’s, but an unlucky rail over the black and white oxer earned them the fourth place honors. Dello Joio also picked up the fifth place award for his second four-fault effort with Geledimar Z.

Anticipation filled the covered arena on Thursday morning, as some of the nation’s top riders took their turn at the technical track of the Open Jumper classes. Nicholas Dello Joio and Geledimar Z were the big winners, claiming the victory in the 1.40m Open Jumper class with the fastest clear effort. In the 1.30m Open jumper class, it was Elizabeth Bates and Marvelous 6 that took home the blue ribbon after completing a quick and clear jump-off.

Earlier in the morning, the 1.35m Open Jumper class saw fierce competition as riders battled for the top slot. Elizabeth Bates and Marvelous 6 of Toronto, Ontario, showed the way to the top of the leader board. The competitive duo were only the second to attempt the course, leaving all rails in their cups and stopping the clock at 33.56 seconds eventually earning the winning prize.

The only other double-clear effort of the division was Dello Joio and Jagger, falling only two-tenths of a second behind Bates at 33.770 seconds, proving good enough for the second place award. Greg Croick and Landino of Auburn Hills, MI, took the third place honors during the morning’s class.

Friday’s crowd was alive with anticipation as 10 riders moved into the Tampa Bay Welcome Stake jump-off this evening. The nation’s top riders joined the series, attempting to garner the championship prize in the $32,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake CSI 2* at the Tampa Equestrian Series. Molly Ashe-Cawley and Carissimo were the top finishers, leading the way as only one of three double-clear efforts.

After Friday night’s Tampa Bay Welcome Stake CSI 2*, it became apparent that the jumper divisions were feeling a competitive edge as the Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner classes got underway in the Covered Arena. Blue ribbons were awarded to Ashley Prusak and Rabin for their amazingly accurate and speedy double-clear effort during the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and to Alexa Adelson who rode Padie Blu Cardu in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers Power and Speed class. Later in the afternoon, it was Heather Villemaire and Ca Va who took control of the course, mastering the track and riding to the top of the leaderboard in the Adult Amateur Jumpers.

KC Van Aarem and High Five were the first to complete the first round course without fault and move into the jump-off during the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The duo broke the beam at 32.472 seconds, setting the standard for the remainder of the class. It seemed as though no other rider would be able to beat their time and accuracy, with Meg O’Mara and Tebow earning another double-clear round, but proving unable to master Van Aarem’s time. The pair took the third place honors for their clear effort and more conservative time of 34.624 seconds.

As Ashley Prusak and Rabin entered the ring as the penultimate rider, it was obvious that the talented duo refused to take “no” for an answer. Expertly, Prusak navigated Rabin throughout the first round course, leaving all rails intact as they crossed the finish line. Almost instantaneously, the pair picked up a fast pace, and began their race against the clock. Prusak had already ridden the short track earlier in the class aboard Hip Hop; however, they had sacrificed accuracy for speed, incurring 12 faults and earning the fifth spot, so Prusak decided to learn from her mistakes. The pair took wider turns, using their large stride to their advantage, tripping the timer at 31.944 seconds.

The $1,000 Adult Amateur Jumper also saw a highly competitive group this afternoon. Seven horse and rider combinations were able to master the first round, moving into an extremely heated jump-off, but it was Heather Villemaire and Ca Va who came out the victors.

Villemaire and Ca Va provided the most riveting first round, surprising the spectators as the 12-year-old gelding saved Villemaire through the triple combination, correcting a bad distance that could have cost them the chance to continue into the short course.

Earlier in the day the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers showed over the course in the Covered Arena. Alexa Adelson and Padie Blu Cardu, owned by Starbit Partners, LLC of Scarborough, NY, led the way by completing a clear first round. They then repeated their fault-free effort during the jump-off, setting the pace at 33.205 seconds, which proved durable with the duo taking the top award.

Following shortly after, My Weber and Available Poetic Othello, owned by of Ocala, FL, also posted a clear first round attempt. As they continued into the short track, it became clear that their pace was too conservative to take over Adelson’s previously set time. The pair posted a clean jumping effort, but one time fault earned them the third place prize. Van Aarem piloted Mastermind to the second place finish with a double-clear score and time of 34.424 seconds.

Sunday’s covered arena was alive with an energetic buzz as riders gathered to compete for the top honors on the concluding day of the Tampa Bay Classic held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL. Juniors and Amateurs alike gathered for the chance to compete for the championship title of the afternoon’s divisions. It was Elizabeth Bates and Monsieur Taloubet who came out triumphant in the $2,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

Landrie Folsom was the first of the riders to return to the arena. She expertly guided Santa Teresita Fantasma, owned by Don Stewart of Ocala, FL, to a double-clear effort in a time of 41.834 seconds. Her time proved too conservative in the end, earning the pair the second place honors.

Next in the ring was Meg O’Mara and Tebow, who posted phenomenal scores in yesterday’s divisions. Although the duo had the pace, an unfortunate rail dropped them from the spot of top contender, and earned the third place award. Joy Slater and Silvester took home the fourth place honors.

Elizabeth Bates and Monsieur Taloubet proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. She entered the ring with one thing on her mind, speed. She saw the opportunity to master the course following a similar plan to that of Folsom; however, she knew that her horse could cut out a few seconds with inside turns. Her plan was a success as Bates broke the beam in 39.304 seconds and nabbed the championship.

Hunters Highlights (March 28 – April 1):

A warm sun greeted exhibitors on Wednesday morning for the first day of the Tampa Bay Classic, in the first week of the Tampa Equestrian Series. Wednesday marked the beginning of the five-day competition held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. The competition consisted of Amateur, Junior and Professional classes, spanning all levels of the riding.

Wednesday began with the Green Conformation Hunters, taking on their hunter and handy courses with nothing short of confidence and skill. The well-crafted pattern of the course, designed by Keith Bollotte, was evident as Tosh directed Say Again, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler, to each fence with perfect striding. The handy round included a trot fence that steadily led to a bending line, followed by an ending roll back. Tosh has had numerous wins with Say Again in their short amount of time together, and he was quick to acknowledge his mounts tenacity.

The next division in Wednesday’s hunter ring was the Green Working Hunters with a competitive group. Tosh and Say Again were yet again a dominant team, taking the first place ribbons in both classes. Amanda Steege put in distinguishable rides with Big Girls Don’t Cry, earning the second and third place ribbons for their efforts over fenes. Steege also guided Harvard to the third and second place ribbons in the over fences, respectively. The division consisted of several notable pairs including Adrienne Iverson aboard Zed and Fidelia, Greg Crolick and Acantus, and Mary Eufemia aboard M.J.

The day continued with the Performance 3’6-3’9 Hunters. It proved to be a busy afternoon for Mary and Kevin Eufemia, her husband and trainer. Mary completed in her third division of the day, once again aboard M.J. Mary also exhibited Unbelievable, owned by Paula Pell. She earned a well-deserved first and second place ribbon for her rounds in the over fences and her apparent ‘handiness’ during the handy round. Mary also took home the second and fourth place ribbons for her rounds aboard Unbelievable, extremely happy for both her horses’ consistency in the ring. Eufemia was able to round out her active day with another first and second in the under saddle.

Thursday morning commenced with a competitive class of Pre-Green Hunters, completing the division for the first week of the Tampa Equestrian Series. Submerged in a group of talented horse and rider teams, it was Iverson who would take the championship honors. She directed Maximus, owned by Redfield Farm, to a triplet of winning rides. Under the direction of trainer Emil Spadone, Iverson managed to seal her spot at the top in the first day of the Tampa Bay Classic.

Following closely behind, Steege piloted her second horse of the Pre-Green Hunter division, Winter Wonder, owned by Lise Rever, to a the first and third place wins securing her first week one title of reserve champion.

The continuation of the day included the Performance 3’3” Hunters. It was organization and consistency that brought Steege to the top yet again. She showed four different mounts in the division, with all earning top awards in every round. Cashmier, owned by Judy Rutowski, took the championship honors, with Prestigious, owned by Dr. and Mrs. McGuire, earning the reserve tricolor for their efforts. Steege continued her success with Judi Root’s Vintage Ink earning the first and fourth place ribbons for their efforts. The successful rider continued to dominate the division, leaving nothing to chance aboard Bouley, owned by Ivy Trzebucki, the talented duo snatched up the remaining top ribbons with ease.

Friday morning began with a competitive group of Amateur Owners, those 35 and over. Mary Eufemia generated a third place hunter round and a winning handy course, sealing her championship with another first place in the under saddle. While Eufemia and MJ are seasoned veterans, she certainly had some deep competition. Taking the winning ribbon in the mornings first class would be Danielle Bartoletta and Speranza, while Bartoletta’s trainer, Lauren Barth, followed close behind aboard Chinchino. Rider and trainer were more than pleased with the outcome of the
morning division and the reserve champion win.

The morning continued with the Amateur-Owners 18-35 Hunters. The division was competitive with a high quality group of horses and riders, all of which were vying for the peak of the pinning’s. While rounds were consistently steady, Adelson and Reeva II came out on top with stellar form over the fences and a distinguishable forward stride through the twists and turns of the handy round. Adelson, under the direction of Mathew Morrissey, generated two winning courses, as well as a second place finish in the under saddle.

A continuation of the day showed even more triumph as the 3’3 Amateur Hunters were next to compete, and this time it would be Lynn Seithel guiding Versace to the top. While these exhibitors completed only a first day of showing, Seithel was able to jump to the top of class with a fourth in the hunter and a first in the handy, putting her in a competitive spot for tomorrows championship.

The main ring opened on Saturday with exceptional rides by the Large Junior Hunters, each with a flowing first round. The course forced riders to make decisions and acquire a forward canter. While the majority of the division had clean and careful rounds, it was the dauntless riding of Hasbrouck Donovan that impressed the judges. The accomplished junior showed Redfield Farm’s Fidelia, under the direction of Emil Spadone, and gained two well-deserved wins. The most impressive aspect of the win was that Donovan was riding the mare for the first time.

The Amateur-Owners were the next arrive at the arena, eager to get underway with the remainder of their division. There was a consistency that followed through from Friday’s classes as Robin Swinderman and Inxs remained at the peak of the results, earning second and first to gain the championship title. Swinderman could hardly restrain her excitement after adding yet another title to this winter’s success.

Lisa Arena had similar things to say about the success with her own mount, Endo Fino. Under the direction of Amanda Steege of Ashmeadow Farms, Arena guided her gelding to a first and second place win this morning. Fellow competitors, pinning closely behind Swinderman and Arena, were Amanda Foard and Julian, and Lauren Muller aboard Irresistible Opportunity. After a nail biting two days, these four exhibitors certainly exhibited their competitive edge.

The Small Junior Hunters started off the concluding day of the Tampa Bay Classic, bringing forth a group of talented athletes. Hasbrouck Donovan has been the junior to keep an eye on, as she dominated the Large and Small Junior Hunters, in both Saturday’s preliminary classes and Sunday’s championship wrap-up. Guiding Stephanie Keen’s Lyle to the Small Junior win, Donovan was thrilled to end her week on a positive note.
Caroline Kellogg piloted her own horse, Felicci, to a close reserve champion title, just points away from championship spot. She was consistent throughout the division, earning the second and fourth place ribbons in the concluding day of competition, securing her position at the top.

The morning proceeded with a group of Large Junior Hunters, generating similar results than the previous group. Once again, it was Donovan who would take the division, this time aboard Emil Spadone’s, Fidelia. This was hardly a surprise after her double win in Saturday’s handy and hunter rounds, however, the anticipation kicked in when Amber Henter and Kudos put in a winning round, and received the blue for a graceful under saddle.

During the Tampa Equestrian Series, riders will have the opportunity for championship and reserve championship honors in the Professional Hunter divisions, Junior Hunter divisions, and Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. The event also features the Tampa Series Hunter High Score Circuit Awards in several hunter divisions, which will be awarded during the 40th Annual $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational presented by G & C Farm, at Raymond James Stadium. 

For more information on Stadium Jumping, Inc. and the 2012 Tampa Equestrian Series please call (941) 744-5465.


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