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Press Release


Penny Brennan and Japan

David Oliynyk and Sumas Luxury

Gwen Goodwin and Fedel

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Penny Brennan Captures Fieldstone Speed Derby Victory With Japan In Blazing Time

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2013-05-16

Halifax, MA – May 16, 2013 – Speed was the name of the game today at the Fieldstone Spring Festival, and Penny Brennan played her cards right. She rode Japan to the top of the $2,000 Fieldstone Speed Derby leader board in a blazing time of 80.91 seconds. Riders gathered on the green Grand Prix Field at the Fieldstone Show Park in Halifax, MA, to welcome the second day of first-class jumper competition. Exhibitors tackled the courses with dexterity as they crossed the finish line to seal their fate in the long-awaited speed derby, as well as the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

The $2,000 Fieldstone Speed Derby was no easy feat for the field of entrants this afternoon. Keith Bollotte of Culleoka, TN, created a course consisting of 15 efforts including the use of two banks, a vertical-oxer double combination, vertical-vertical combination, triple bar and liverpool. His course gave riders the ability to create many options to slice the seconds and trim the time as they took each obstacle. They were challenged by hard rollbacks and tight turns, demanding agility and thinking on their feet as they pushed forward in an attempt to earn the coveted first place finish.

It was Penny Brenan who took a go at the course first, riding Pay It Forward, owned by Wright Star. With four faults early in the course, it seemed as though the riders would have to think on their feet as they navigated the serpentine of obstacles. Brennan concluded the first ride with a time of 113.841 seconds for the eventual seventh place award.

“Pay It Forward won the 1.25m Open Jumpers this morning, but when we started the course today he got a bit spooked and off balanced by the people next to the wall watching the class,” Brennan explained. “He is a super horse, a new mount for me, but he has so much potential. He won the Puissance at WEF last year at 6’11”. He is only 11 years old, and I am excited to see how he continues to go.”

David Oliynyk was the next to take on the derby course, and aboard Sumas Luxury, owned by Melissa Nicholas, he knew he could set the pace. Using the mare’s open stride and quick turns, he was able to make up the seconds to finish with added faults in a time of 86.188 seconds. They wore a target on their back as each consecutive rider attempted to best his quick and tidy round. Oliynyk has only been riding Sumas Luxury for about three weeks, but she is no newbie to the show scene.

“She had been in Florida with Peter Leone, and he sent her to me to play with her a bit, and show in some nice classes in the meantime. This was only the second class I have shown her in. I don’t know how far we will be able to go, but we are having fun finding out,” Oliynyk said.

“Sumas Luxury is a bit aggressive, strong—but not in a bad way. She hauls me along, but every time she goes in the ring she gets better and better. I don’t think she has shown for about a month or so, and I think she might be excited to get back in the ring,” Oliynyk stated. “She rode really well today, and was very efficient about her turning. It was helpful in the speed class, we weren’t as fast in the open space, but our turns allowed us to keep a good pace. The banks add a challenge to the course; it makes it a challenge and different. You don’t see those every where, it is nice to have a change.”

Oliynyk continued, “I have been coming to Fieldstone since the 80s, and I love the improvements. I am hoping that more people will come out and see how wonderful this show is. We are aiming for the Grand Prix on Saturday, and hopefully things will go our way out there.”

Brennan returned to the field with her eye on the prize, taking the reins and chasing Oliynyk’s time to beat. She posted a time of 88.347 seconds aboard Sun Tzu, leaving all of the rails in place as she cleared the final triple bar to cross the finish line. Her speed across the open areas of the field was fierce, but nearly two seconds separated her from knocking Oliynyk out of the top spot. Daredevil also presented a fantastic speed round, excelling through the banks and turning tightly; however, his time of 93.946 seconds proved good enough for the fourth place award.

“Sun Tzu is a new mount for me, this is the first time I rode him. He is a 10-year-old. I am going to show him in the Grand Prix,” Brennan said. “Daredevil was also a first ride with me today. He did really well out there, and I trust Johnny when he tells me to get on and ride it. He knows a rock star when he sees one.”

It wasn’t until Brennan returned upon the 9-year-old Japan that the first place came into question. She picked up a blazing speed from the start, taking the opening vertical with ease and making a hard left rollback over the second oxer. She used her horse’s natural stride to open up through the lengthy distances, and sliced several turns in an attempt to push Oliynyk out of the top spot. Her plan proved successful as she broke the beam in 80.950 seconds to take home the first place.

“He is insanely good about speed derbies, I won my first Grand Prix with him in New Jersey with him in October last year. Right now he is my top horse, and also my best friend, “ Brennan smiled. “He loves pace, he loves to run at the jumps, but he also loves to be held back. He is 15’3, but he thinks he is 18-hands. It doesn’t matter how big the jumps are, he will take them—he’s just that good.”

Brennan continued, “Japan is so fast that he normally wins. If he loses it is usually because of me. With Japan you have to think slow because he is already fast, if you think fast he will outrun his legs.  When Johnny Maher and I originally found him he was doing the Children’s Jumpers. I knew that he was the kind of horse that takes a special ride—he would either go for you or not—I guess I am that special ride.”

“Japan loves it here, he won both derbies here last time. They have three big classes here that are really great, and I love the use of the Grand Prix Field. The management here is fantastic, and it is a friendly atmosphere. I love coming to Massachusetts and Fieldstone for the relaxed atmosphere.”

Juan Jose Lavieri and Don Pedro, owned by Jessica Herman, took the fifth place finish behind Brennan and Daredevil. Securing the sixth place finish was Kristen Bumpus and Cupid.

It was a story of fate earlier in the day for Gwen Goodwin and her very own 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood Fedel. The pair went up against a field of talented riders in the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers to take the victory with the only clear first round effort, confirming their success with a second clear effort across the short track.

Fedel did not have the easiest of beginnings, Goodwin described of the bay gelding. It was about three years ago when Goodwin visited Florida and saw the 13-year-old horse in the pasture after a rough colic surgery. Goodwin described the moment she saw him in rehab in the field as the moment she fell in love. Time brought the two of them back together only a year ago.

“I wasn’t shopping for a horse at the time,” Goodwin said. “He was just getting into work when I had first seen him, and last year when one of the trainers asked if I knew of someone who need a Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper, something told me it was Fedel, and I had to have him. I bought him without riding him, and it has worked out really well. It has been a fate thing.”

This was Goodwin and Fedel’s first time showing on the grass at the Fieldstone Show Park, and the bay beauty rose to the challenge. They completed the first course sans faults, and secured the win with a faultless jump-off in 35.328 seconds.

“This was our first time out on the grass. He seemed ready and good, and the footing was fantastic here,” Goodwin stated. “He was really fantastic, and he jumped great. He didn’t have the easiest start. It is nice to see him blossoming into everything everyone thought he could be.”

Goodwin continued, “I was worried about the time allowed in the first round, so I tried to be neat with that. Once he jumped as well as he did, and he was pretty rideable, we pushed for the win. We have really been working on his rideability, and today he jumped super. He has always been ridden by a man, but Gretchen Anderson has helped so much with his style and teaching him to have a woman ride him. We work great together. The more you can stay out of his way the better. He worries when you try to tell him to do so much. I am a bit of a control freak—but the more you leave him alone the better.”

Addison Gierkink and Lady Macbeth DH were awarded the second place ribbon for their round. They posted a beautiful round with no fences down; however, two time faults kept them from the victory. Michael Janson and Sangre Azul rounded out the top three for the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

Friday commences the third day of the Fieldstone Spring Festival. The Grand Prix Field will welcome hunter riders and horses to attempt the traditional hunter derby course in the 2’9” and 3’ Fieldstone Hunter Derbies. The jumpers will continue to raise the heat in the Jumper Ring as they get prepared for the approaching classics, as well as the $25,000 Fieldstone Grand Prix. For more information on Stadium Jumping and the approaching Fieldstone Spring Festival, please visit You can also follow the Fieldstone Horse Shows on Facebook at


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