2008 Tampa Equestrian Festial
and Rio Corde
Bring Down The House But Not The Fences
Tampa, FL - March 30, 2008 -
William Lowry and Rio Corde were the last of 30 riders on course in the $75,000 JustWorld Grand Prix of Tampa, last to go in the jump off, but first when it counted - during the awards ceremony.
Not only was this grand prix a qualifier for the American Invitational on Saturday, April 5th, it was also the final qualifying competition for riders vying to go to the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden April 23-26, 2008.
"This is the first World Cup class that I have won and it is also Rio's first Grand Prix win which is very exciting," said Lowry. "He has been a bridesmaid so many times. He's won a lot of welcome stakes and been second in so many grand prix, but is never quite fast enough."
That all changed today for the quiet and unassuming rider from Scituate, RI.
Course designer Jose Gamarra put together a very demanding track that had only two elements, 6 and 7, that followed a straight track. In addition, he set wide oxers on forward related distances followed by tight combinations and many tight turns. It was truly a World Cup level course. That being said, it is to follow that many tried and few mastered this course. There were only five riders who managed to turn in clear rounds.
Schuyler Riley and Nottingham were the first pair to return to the main arena to try their luck over the 7 jumping efforts of the shortened course, and it was not their day. They had the first and third fences down for a penalty score of eight in a time of 41.73 seconds.
Eduardo Salas Herrera and RMW Estina had the crowd cheering as they executed the track fault free in a time of 39.79 to claim the early lead.
Leslie Howard and Raimond W entered the ring looking for the places to save time. She managed to leave out a stride but also managed to have the top rail of fence two down giving her a score of four faults in a time of 36.19.
This left Margie Engle with an opportunity. Engle kicked Hidden Creek's Pamina L into gear and was zooming around the course until the pair had a slight miscommunication about where the next fence was located. Engle knew it was to the right; Pamina L thought it was left. By the time they got it straightened out, precious seconds had ticked by. Despite almost missing the turn to the fourth fence in the jump off, they turned in a clear round in 36.98 seconds.
Lowry entered the ring on his big bay gelding and 36.92 seconds later was the winner of the class. He and Rio Corde turned in a clear round 6/100 of a second faster than Engle.
"Margie was quick enough today, but it was catchable, said Lowry. "She had a few steering issues and I was able to catch her. It was very exciting. There was an inside cut but it wasn't necessary today. Rio is very careful but doesn't turn as well as my other horse."
In addition to the spectacular show jumping seen in the ring today, presentation of a check for $10,000 was given by Michael J. Morrissey, Managing Partner of Stadium Jumping Inc., to Jessica Newman the founder and Executive Director of JustWorld International. This charity acts as a catalyst for positive change in the developing world by working with local partner organizations to provide basic education, nutrition, health and hygiene programs, and vocational training for children in impoverished communities. Stadium Jumping Inc. is proud to assist them in their goals.
Results of $75,000 JustWorld Grand Prix of Tampa CSI 3*-W:
1. Rio Corde/William
Lowry/Windsor Farm Sales/0/0/36.92/$18,500
Competition for the jumpers starts Tuesday, April 1st at the Tournament of Champions, the final week of the Tampa Equestrian Festival and ends on Saturday April 5th. The Tampa Equestrian Festival runs from March 19-April 6, 2008. The final event at the Festival for the jumpers is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, held at Raymond James Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 5.
Tickets for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational are still available. Advance ticket prices are $25 in the white section, $35 in the blue section, and $40 in the red section. An Advance Family 4-pack is available for $70 in the white section and $125 in the blue section (Prices higher day of show: $30, $40, $45, $85, $140). Group prices for 20 or more people are available with advance purchase only. They are $17 each in the white section and $30 each in the blue section. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster 813-287-8844, 727-898-2100 or ticketmaster.com
For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival and the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, please visit www.stadiumjumping.com