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ATTACHED PHOTOS

George D'Ambrosio and Nona Garson

Todd Minikus and Edulcee D'Hulst

Kevin Babbington and Mark Q

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The Ridge at Wellington 1.40m Grand Prix Invitational Series Attracts Exhibitors With Successful First Event

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: The Ridge Farm http://www.theridgefarm.com
Release Date: 2013-01-11

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2013 – Pristine new fences, a relaxed atmosphere, top of the line competitors and the chance at prize money totaling $15,000 attracted 36 rides to the first class in The Ridge at Wellington’s inaugural Friday Grand Prix Series.

The 10-class series that kicked-off today features a single 1.40m class each Friday with $15,000 in prize money each week before culminating in a $24,750 Grand Prix series finale on March 23, 2013. Creators and hosts of the series, George D’Ambrosio and Nona Garson see the classes as an exciting new opportunity for horses that would not normally compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as well as a chance for a change of venue, fences and footing for those that do. With the course open from 8 am to 4:30 pm, riders are able to come walk the course and jump at their own convenience.

“You might want to jump a horse that isn’t up to jumping in the Grand Prix out at WEF, and we still have a really nice class for him,” Garson said. “My other thought was for a little variety, because also what happens in the 1.40m classes is every week the same class goes in the same ring, so you’re always jumping in the same venue. A little variety in footing and in jumps would be nice from a training aspect, as well.”

Today’s line-up of entrants, including Kevin Babbington, Lauren Hough, Candace King and Todd Minikus all agreed that the series is an exciting new addition to the Wellington show season.

“It fit a niche,” King said of the first day of the series. “It did a good thing filling a void that some people need.”

For Babbington, it provided some place different for Grand Prix mount, Mark Q, before showing in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

“This horse is going to be competing a lot in the main ring, and I didn’t want him to get stale, so I thought maybe I would start him out some place different,” Babbington explained. “I like the flexibility of it. I have a tight schedule at the horse show so it’s nice to be able to come walk the course at your own time and show up at your own time. The footing is really good, and I enjoyed it.”

Babbington and Mark Q finished in third today, behind leader Andres Rodriguez on Elatrice and second place winner Peter Lutz. Rodriguez soared through the Pierre Jolicoeur designed course to join 16 other riders in the jump-off. Rodriguez, Lutz and Babbington were three of twelve to go double clear following the jump-off.

“I figure it’s going to be the good, the bad and the ugly,” Jolicoeur said of the reasoning behind today’s course design. “You always want the good to win, but you don’t want the bad to get hurt. It’s nothing really, really big, but you have to ride good enough to be able to jump it clean. The horse is going to get educated, the rider is going to learn something and the best horse will win.”

The course presented a good learning opportunity for Minikus’ mounts, and the top rider also had rave reviews for the course and the venue.

“This is something that I think is a good opportunity to do. It’s nice to be able to bring a young horse to a new venue. I think it’s excellent,” Minikus said. “I’ll probably be here every week.”

Riders who participated in eight out of the 10 Friday Grand Prix classes will have
the opportunity to show in the $24,750 Grand Prix Series Finale on Saturday, March 23, 2013, with no entry fee. Riders are encouraged to get their entries in for this exciting event as soon as possible to let the event coordinators know they are participating and will be at the ring for their jumping times, although same-day entries are also accepted.

The Ridge still has available sponsorships for the Invitational Series. For more information, call (908) 500-0996 or download information at  http://www.theridgefarm.com.

Sponsorships are available for the $25,000 Finale, $15,000 Weekly Grand Prix, $2,000 Weekly Hospitality Text, $3,500 Show Jump Sponsor for series, $1,500 Grooms Award Sponsor for series, $750 Ring Banner for the series, and $500 Weekly Class Presenter.  

1.40m Grand Prix Invitational Series Results

1 ANDRES RODRIGUEZ  ELATRICE 000 000 39.852
2 PETER LUTZ  KENYON 000 000 40.007
3 KEVIN BABBINGTON  MARK Q  000 000 40.034
4 SAMUEL PAROT  MANDALAY  000 000 40.730
5 ANDRES RODRIGUEZ  ABERDEEN  000 000 40.919
6 AMY MILLAR  QUIDAM 13  000 000 42.811
7 ALEXA LOWE-WISEMAN DUBLINE 000 000 43.165
8 DECLAN ORPEN  AMADEUS 000 000 43.347
9 HECTOR FLORENTINO  STRANSKYS MISSION FARM 000 000 43.535
10 PENNY BRENNAN  WANDA  000 000 43.993
11 CATHERINE PASMORE Z CANTA 000 000 42.102
12 TRACY FREELS  KEEP IT SIMPLE  000 000 46.642

 

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