Green Cove Springs, FL –The opening week of the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series kicked off with a warm welcome to competitors, especially Denise Wilson of Dousman, WI and her brilliant mare For Elenor who won Saturday evening’s Naders $10,000 Jumper Classic.
Wilson and the 9 year-old flashy Hanoverian chestnut For Elenor are no strangers to winning, with more than a dozen top 5 placings in 2009 including the victory lap of the $20,000 Showplace Spring Junior-Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. “This is our third year together and we’re bonding more, especially in the ring. I’m so proud of her!” Wilson said. Taking on a competitive field of athletes, Wilson was one of only 8 to make the final jump off round.
For Elenor owned by the Blue Gate Farm, LLC had no trouble passing the first round test in nearly 4 seconds below the allotted 84 with a clear time of 80.149. “I thought it was a great course. It felt exactly right!” Wilson began about her journey around the arena tonight, “There were a couple of tricky spots, the last line was a hard forward 5 stride, and getting to #9 was a tricky line because it was a forward 3 [stride] and the #9 came up real sharp after the combination [8AB].” she said referencing the first round of the Allen Rheinheimer design.
Going into the final round of 7 obstacles- 8 efforts proved to be a challenge of speed versus strategy. The question for most of tonight’s competitors became whether to go for it or ride smarter to triumph. “The jump off was a blast!” Wilson began with a hearty laugh, “Theo [Genn- both fellow competitor and Wilson’s boyfriend] gave me a lot of good advice, just set up a good pace and keep galloping. Everything came up really nice.” Indeed sound direction as Wilson and For Elenor cleared the final obstacle in 32.539, far below the allowed 40 seconds. “I couldn’t be happier! Elenor was perfect!” the beaming Wilson said.
Rounding out the top five positions for Saturday’s Jumper Classic were in second place Chantal ridden by Wilson’s trainer Wilhelm Genn for owner Laura Ryan-Barnaclo with a clear round time of 33.279. Third place went to owner-rider Wilhelm Genn with Happy Z in a clean 33.410 seconds. The fourth position went to Theo Genn on board Paradox for owner Thomas Bruinsma with a clear time of 34.093 and completing the fifth spot was Erin Bruheim aboard Cicero 75 for owner Northern Lights Farm, LLC in a clear time of 34.698. Classic Company President Bob Bell said of the evening “We’re very pleased with the caliber of horses the show attracts. The riders are the best in the world…in and out of the saddle. Next Saturday night is going to be thrilling to watch.” Denise Wilson added to his sentiment, “This is our 3rd year and I plan to come back every year because I love it here! And this new footing is wonderful- really good cushion and it packs pretty easily. The staffs here always do a great job from ring maintenance to hospitality.”
The Jacksonville Winter Series continues through February 7th with classes Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8AM until about 5PM except for special events on Saturday evenings at 7PM such as next weekend’s big $100,000 Green Cove Springs CSI3* Grand Prix featuring Olympic and International superstars of the Show Jumping world. Admission to the shows is free – parking at special weekend events is a $5 donation, which goes to support local charities.
For more information or results on the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series please visit www.classiccompany.com or call the show office at 904-284-9492.
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