Roberto Teran and Hasbrouck Donovan Victorious
as Finale Week Begins in Jacksonville

Green Cove Springs, FL—FEB 8 2008—

The finale week of the 2008 Jacksonville Winter Series began with near perfect weather and a nice win for Roberto Teran and Distant Star 3E in Thursday’s Lucky Sevens Welcome Stake sponsored by Ring Power.

The 9 year-old Canadian sport horse mare, bred and owned by King Ridge Stables, is no stranger to winning having captured top honors in the Young Jumpers 7-8 Year Old Championships in 2007. “She’s just a great ride.” Teran began of his partner; “We have high hopes for her this season.” From the starting field only two riders cleared the first round of designer Tim Hott’s 13 obstacle [16 efforts], which included several roll backs throughout the course as well as a triple combination that seem to be the pitfall for many of the horses. “It was tight for the scopey horses.” Roberto agreed, “the short 3 stride from the B element [vertical] to C element [vertical] was tougher with the triple headed towards the back corner.” More than 80 percent of the faults occurred here. The other “trap” came in setting the final #13 oxer practically at the end gate, more than a few took a momentary glance towards the exit when approaching it. The time allowance of 90 seconds seem to give some horses’ trouble as well, most from airing on the cautious side with the younger horses and riders. “I thought it was a nice course. Lots of roll backs and turns, but fair to the rider and horse.” Roberto said.

One through thirteen in the order went with no clear rounds, then last week’s Grand Prix winners Bill Lowry and Polygraaf showed them how it’s meant to be. Going clean in 87.424 then on to the jump off [as per the Table II.2b format] where the dynamic pair remained clean, ahead of the 45 second limit, until the final fence with an unfortunate hard rub that dropped the rail leaving them with a finish of 4 faults in 37.011. Following Bill was the eventual winner Roberto and Distant Star with another clean ride in 88.103, but as with Lowry an unfortunate rail at the end of the 7 obstacle layout left Teran with 4 faults. Their time however was a scorching 34.922 seconds. Four riders remained to challenge both the course and Teran, but in the end all failed to conquer, assuring Roberto the victory. “We’ll be here for the Grand Prix this weekend. It should be a tough one, with some great riders coming out.” Roberto concluded as he headed to the barn to school one more horse before calling it a day.

This evening, Friday, saw the junior hunter competitors take the spotlight with the $2500 Equitation Classic. An interesting layout of 11 obstacles that asked questions of both rider and horse; the answer to designer Tim Hott’s course was the ability to collect and balance a horse, not just hand gallop or leave out strides.

Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, FL and Levity, her 10 year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, both trained by the highly respected Donald Stewart, began the first round 9th in the order and executed a beautiful first round earning them a score of 87. “I thought he [Levity] was really, really good and I was very happy with how he did.” the very shy Hasbrouck said following her victory gallop. This evening’s course provided just the test Hott wanted, offering technical bends and sweeping turns ensuring the panel of 3 judges; Dacia Johnson, Penny Wahler, and Steve Wall would see the best and worst of each rider.

“Top of the line work ethic”, winning trainer Donald Stewart bragged of his 13 year-old student. The quiet and modest Hasbrouck merely blushed, but when asked about competing with several of her close friends was quick to say it was not at all uncomfortable. Stewart confirmed, “While some kids may not be good sports, that’s not the case here. She’s [Hasbrouck] a great sport and everyone loves her.” No sooner had those words escaped his lips than two exuberant fellow competitors rushed to hug the evening’s star.

Roberto Teran winning the Welcome Stake
with Distant Star 3E
Photo: © Flashpoint Photography

Don expressed how pleased he was with both Hasbrouck and Levity’s performance, explaining the horse is “a little quirky, but gives her some nice challenges. He’s got beautiful balance, beautiful jump, and he’s got just the right amount of experience so that it’s comfortable enough for a 13 year-old to all this.” Asked how she manages school and showing, Hasbrouck gave a little shrug, but Don was quick to pick fun with her by answering, “she’s like my oldest daughter, she’s got to work at it. She [Hasbrouck] doesn’t have trouble learning the courses-riding that is.” Being one of only 4 riders called back for testing speaks volumes as to how this young rider’s “learning” paid off. The final exam called for by the judges was quite the task. Riders were instructed to canter fence #5-an oxer from the line up, canter to vertical #6, then trot a broken line to fence #1, counter canter to oxer #2 where upon landing demonstrate 2 simple changes of leads and canter to vertical #11- barely 3 strides and return to the line in a sitting trot. Hasbrouck and Levity were flawless in their efforts, with all three judges passing them to the head of the class.

When asked what was next for this pair, “Olympics” has the howling answer an excited Don Stewart laughed out. Hasbrouck on the other hand will be happy to move on to Ocala with future hopes of some nice ribbons there and later at Devon. She hinted that she would also like to dabble in the jumpers, so she may get the last laugh on trainer Don Stewart after all.

In the equitation classic, 2nd place went to last year’s winner Laura Pfeiffer riding Holston for owner Fox Meadow Farm. 3rd place to owner-rider Ansley Carter and Urco and 4th to Capitalio partnered with Samantha Schaefer for owner Katherine Press.

The Jacksonville Finale continues with the thrilling $25,000 Jacksonville Finale Grand Prix Saturday evening at 7PM as well as the naming of the $10,000 Reynolds, Smith, & Hills High Point Grand Prix Award and on Sunday the $5,000 Bruning Foundation High Point Hunter Award, presented to the top riders, calculated by earned points, of the four-week series.

 

For more information or results on the 2008 Jacksonville Winter Series please visit www.classiccompany.com or call the show office at 904-284-9492.

 

 

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