Derek Petersen and Lazaro Pick Up Another Win in Lucky Sevens Welcome Stake
at Atlanta Summer Classics III

Conyers, GA - July 18 2008

At the Lucky Sevens Welcome Stake, which kicked off week III of the Atlanta Summer Classics, Derek Petersen, Legacy Farm of Archer, FL and Lazaro picked up where they left off in June.

With the Archer, FL-based Derek Petersen at the controls, the young gelding bested the field of 17, including seven in the jump-off round, with two clear rounds and a sizzling jump-off time of 29.133 seconds.

“It was really fair. A good test I thought,” said Petersen of the Allen Rheinheimer-designed challenge. “Honestly,” he continued, “I enjoyed it. Even though I thought I knocked the first jump down! I looked around to see, I thought for sure it was down because he just ran right through it.”

Petersen’s laid-back nature and honest evaluations of any performance attracts fellow professionals to seek his advice as well as earning their respect. Jack Hardin Towell, who had held the lead with his mount Cotopaxi 2 until Lazaro narrowly surpassed their time of 30.387, was among the first to extend congrats to Petersen and then sought an opinion of his ride.

Petersen and Lazaro navigated Round One perfectly, even avoiding what appeared to be the “oops what just happened fence,” the #9 vertical that cut down many in the field. “I went inside, it was an inside turn to make that last line. I just boxed it, squared it, and rode it in six [strides],” explained Petersen. “Most of them did seven [strides] or didn’t square up to it.” A decision that cost others four faults. But Lazaro remained clean and fast.

Jordan Coyne, a student of Petersen’s, owns Lazaro. “He is just a neat horse. He’s gonna be a real one—I mean he is the real one I believe ” Derek added of the eight-year-old Warmblood he has high hopes for. “Jordan won the high Junior Amateurs with him less than two hours ago. They were the only clear ride! He has been in four Grand Prixs so far, and won both of the Lucky Sevens Welcomes he’s been in.”

Both Petersen and Coyne agree the young Gelding is just naturally fast and careful. “I didn’t really run him today, because I wanted to keep him for the Grand Prix. I just wanted to keep him rideable,” Petersen said.

Derek Peterson and Lazaro winning the Lucky Sevens Welcome Stake
at Atlanta Summer Classic III
Photo:© Flashpoint Photography

The top performance has been credited to Petersen’s saddle choice. With a sincere but whimsical chuckle, Petersen stated, “I couldn’t win without my Antares underneath me!” and further explained the theory, “I bought that saddle for Promised Land right before a big class, and he won the $100,000 Prix! And now I’m using it with Lazaro—we’re winning!” Petersen's number one fan, wife Anita, nodded in agreement and confirmed, “It’s true; when he rides in the Antares he does great.” Good luck charm or superstition, no matter what you wish to call it, Petersen isn’t wavering from what seems to work.

So until Saturday evening’s main event, the $25,000 Grand Prix, both Lazaro and the saddle will stay polished, pampered, and ready to take on the competition. “Our plan is to win it all!” laughed Petersen as he and the entire Petersen family headed off to celebrate.

Rounding out the results for the Lucky Sevens Welcome were Hardin Towell and Cotopaxi 2 in second place with a fault-free time of 30.387, Taylor Land and Canaille in third with a clean 33.164 time, and Angel Karolyi completed the top five aboard Boxster owned by Alex Jayne going clear in 33.682 finished fourth, while Dirty Dancing owned by Andrea King finished fifth with a clean 34.001.

The Atlanta Summer Classics continue through July 27 with showing taking place Wednesday through Sunday each week. Classes begin daily at 8 a.m. until approximately 4:30 p.m., and the public is invited. Admission is free and each Saturday evening will host an exciting $25,000 Grand Prix Jumper event.

For more information or results on the Summer Classics, visit


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