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Equestrian Summer Showcase Riders Take Home $15,000.
D.J. Volandre of Norwell, MA, and Penny Brennan of Ocala, FL, jumped fast and clean during the last two featured events at Fieldstone Show Park, the $7,500 Harvest Group at UBS Welcome Stake and the $7,500 Open Speed Derby.
Located just outside of America's Hometown, Plymouth, MA, Fieldstone Show Park hosts several of the largest show jumping competitions in Massachusetts. Over the next four days, the premier equestrian facility will welcome top competitors from across the country to compete for thousands of dollars in prize money. Featured classes at this week's Summer Showcase include the $25,000 NEHJA 3'3 Hunter Derby on August 24, and the $25,000 SmartPak Equine Grand Prix on August 25.
Yesterday’s $7,500 Open Speed Derby offered an exciting climax to Thursday’s Summer Showcase events at Fieldstone Show Park as Penny Brennan of Ocala, FL, raced to her second consecutive victory atop Japan. Competition was scored with jumping faults converted to time, creating a window of opportunity for riders to take home top ribbons after knocking down a rail. Brennan and Japan, however, were both fast and clean, finishing the 500-meter speed course fault-free in 83.796 seconds.
Second place honors were awarded to Jamal Eljadidi of North Oxford, MA, atop Josephine St. George. Eljadidi finished slightly faster than Brennan, but added four seconds to their final time after lowering the height of the last fence. Third place went Timothy Hooker and Sovereign Mystery, finishing in 89.590 seconds with four faults.
The winning mount, Japan, is a nine-year-old Aldatus gelding who, according to Brennan, is all personality. The playful chestnut jumper is known for peering over his stall wall during feeding time to check on the progress of his dinner, and escaping from grooms on multiple occasions.
Following their win, Brennan commented on course designer Eric Hasrbouk’s jumper track. “If you were a speed demon, you’d run into a trap out there,” she said, “there were a few half distances that forced you to commit to a decision on strides and approach…it was the kind of course where if you got out of control just a little bit, the rest was going to ride badly.”
While Japan is typically one of the fastest horses in the ring, Brennan opted for control over speed considering the twisting nature of the course. “I wanted to discipline myself and get it back a little bit before the Grand Prix on Saturday,” Brennan explained, “I usually let him gallop all out and just slow him before the jump, but today I never really let him go.”
In the end, controlled speed proved to be the best strategy for the winning combination, contributing to their second consecutive victory at the Summer Showcase this season.
Wednesday's $7,500 UBS Welcome Stake winner, Volandre, was injured during a similar event last week when he fell from his mount, Tequila, in the first round of competition. Volandre was one of seven riders to be called back for a second round jump-off in Wednsday's competition after finishing fault-free during round one. The winning combination completed the jump-off in 37.950 seconds, surpassing the previous leader by over three seconds. Second place honors were awarded to Jean Sheptoff of Littleton, MA, who finished in 41.232 seconds atop Ami Des Gemmes.
The victorious mount, Tequila, is a fifteen-year-
Wednesday's $7,500 Welcome Stake was presented by The Harvest Group of UBS, a team of certified financial planners who offer comprehensive wealth management services to help individuals and their families achieve their financial objectives. UBS representative, Todd Ingwersen attended the event and commented on Volandre's ride. "The harvest group of UBS is proud to support the dedication displayed by riders and their horses," Ingwersen said, "the passion demonstrated by an injured D.J. riding Tequila clean and fast this afternoon is inspiring. Fieldstone is a breathtaking event, which we are fortunate to be a part of."
Following the win, Volandre commented on the incident that led to his fall from Tequila last week. "She just really stuck off the ground at the first combination,"
After several doctors advised Volandre not to ride, the young professional refused to sit on the sidelines and decided to risk competition anyway. "The doctors said that there was nothing they could do," Volandre explained, "they told me to try to do as little as I can, but I would have been more upset if I had to sit and watch while everybody else was out there riding."
Ultimately, the risk was worth the reward for Volandre and Tequila. The pair will rest up over the next few days, before aiming for similar victory in the $25,000 Show Jumping Grand Prix presented by SmartPak Equine on Saturday, August 25.
Final Results: $7,500 Harvest Group at UBS Welcome Stake
1. Tequila, D.J. Volandre, Gina Volandre
2. Ami Des Gemmes, Jean Sheptoff, Elite Ventures
3. Instant Karma, Michael Hayden, Michael Hayden
4. Luke 54, Adam Cramer, Equi-Sport LLC
5. Chino, Derek Reed, Derek Reed
6. Wanda, Penny Brennan, Penny Brennan
7. Winsome Utopia, Jennifer Ritucci, Redwood Farm
8. Japan, Penny Brennan, Penny Brennan
9. Wednesday Mornin, Wendy L. Smith, Diane Denby
10. Zidane Z, David Tromp, David Tromp Show Stables
11. Wizz, Paul O'Shea, Daniel Walsh
12. Skara Glen's If, Paul O'Shea, Skara Glen Stables
Final Results: $7,500 Open Speed Derby
1. Japan, Penny Brennan, Penny Brennan
2. Josephine St George, Jamal Eljadidi
3. Sovereign Mystery, Timothy Hooker, Timothy Hooker
4. Oreade des Dames, Adrienne Sternlicht, Adrienne Sternlicht
5. Hathaway, Adrienne Sternlicht, Adrienne Sternlicht
6. Spargel, Sarah Wayda, Sarah Wayda
7. Wednesday Mornin, Wendy Smith, Diane Denby
8. Carpe Diem, Liz Mahoney, Liz Mahoney
9. Melisande, Amy Lowrey, Narnia Farms
10. Zazu, Cory Hardy, Patricia Hurter
11. Zia, Tattie Singer, Watershed Farm LLC
12. Canetti, Hannah Lacin, Volo Farm
Fieldstone Show Park's Summer Showcase is a unique outdoor event that offers spectators the opportunity to browse food, beverage and merchandise vendors, while enjoying exciting show jumping competition. On Saturday, August 25, Fieldstone will host a Silent Auction to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Children's Wish Foundation International. Auction items include Boston Bruins memorabilia, equestrian inspired jewelry, a vintage road bike and more. Fieldstone will also host a Canine High Jump competition open to all spectators with a first place prize of $100. Tickets to the Summer Showcase are available for purchase at the entrance of the Show Park, or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.