Katie Prudent Outshines the Field at the 2006 Budweiser Upperville Jumper Classic
Upperville, Virginia - June 12, 2006 -
Warm sun and a gentle Virginia Spring breeze provided the perfect setting for the 2006 Budweiser Upperville Jumper Classic. A field of 20 horse and rider combinations contested Ken Kromes Grand Prix course for the first prize of $30,000.
The first combination into the ring was one of the hometown favorites, and veteran of the Upperville Grand Prix field, Joe Fargis. Fargis and Edgar 12 put the pressure on the rest of the field with a clean round despite having a couple of hard rubs.
When the next five horse and riders into the ring (Droxello and Aaron Vale, Hidden Creeks Wapino and Margie Engle, Rockford I and Keri Pessoa, Humour du Parc and Kate Prudent, and Lorenzo and Anne Kursinski) also jumped clear, everyone including the announcer began wondering if the course was too easy.
However after Laurie Jakubauskas and Mirage had the middle element of triple down, the rails began falling non-stop. Only Marilyn Little riding Rarete and Aaron Vale riding Artur 28 managed to join the jump-off.
Pato Muente survived a heart-stopping moment at fence 7, the brick wall, by leaving out at least a full stride, but then had an unlucky rail behind at the end of the course. 18-year-old Evan Coluccio and Champigny looked professional and relaxed, but had an unlucky rail in front at the first element of the triple.
With eight horses moving into the jump-off, the crowd was treated to a full afternoon. Interestingly six of the eight horses (the first six in the class) had not competed at Upperville until the Grand Prix.
Fargis led off the jump-off and had the second fence down in front. After the rail, Fargis looked conservative and his time of 45.98 ended up being the slowest of the jump-off. Aaron Vale and his first ride Droxello had a good round except for the third fence, where they took the front and back rail down.
Margie Engle and Wapino zipped around the course but had the 6th fence down after a very light touch in front. Her quick round was good enough for fourth place. Keri Pessoa also had the second fence in front and ended up in seventh.
Katie Prudent and Humour du Parc looked a class act. Her round would not have been out of place in the hunter classes held throughout the week on the other side of the road. Despite a light rub at the end of the course, all of the fences stayed in place and her time of 44.118 was by far the quickest of the division up to that point.
Anne Kursinski and Mirage tried everything to get ahead of Purdent. Their round was not pretty, but Kursinski coaxed Mirage through, and with a clean round in a time of 45.02 seconds, Kursinski earned the runner-ups paycheck of $22,000.
Marilyn Little had her hands full with a feisty Rarete, but their effort was spoiled when the second to last fence fell.
Aaron Vale and Artur 28 looked determined to either win the class or fail in spectacular fashion. They flew around the course in 42.28 seconds, but had the very last fence down. Despite their disappointment, they still collected $13,000 for finishing in third place.
The Upperville Horse Show once again provided great competition and unique courses and terrain. The world-class field only added to the flair and mystique of the historical show grounds, which will return for the 154th time next year.
Results - $100,000
Budweiser/Upperville Jumper Classic
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