Traverse City, MI – July 23, 2015 – Erin Haas of North Face Farm entered Thursday afternoon’s Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival aboard her mount, Coachella, with the same attitude as the week prior – ready to win. Excitingly enough, she did just that.
Haas and North Face Farm’s eye-catching grey mare earned the championship ribbon of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic during week three of the festival, and have their eyes set on the same prize for the fourth and final week. Things are looking promising for the two, after becoming the fastest four-faulters of a field of 9 competitors to excel to the jump-off round on Thursday. The confident team knocked a rail, but still managed to ride away with the blue after tripping the timer in the jump-off with a 32.588 second ride.
Jennifer Waxman piloted her mare Shakira to the second place standing, also knocking one rail down, and navigated her mount to a time of 34.873 seconds in her second round; the jump-off. Not a single horse-and-rider pair was able to pull off a double-clear round, and Haas had some insight on what the reason might have been behind the faulty rides.
“There really were some hard lines. In the jump-off I was debating whether or not I wanted to do the inside turn to the oxer before the in-and-out, but I figured I should give it a shot just in case I have to do a turn like that in the Classic on Saturday,” Haas explained. “The combinations and the positioning of the jumps in this course were tricky for the time allowed. It really forces you to make some tighter turns.”
Haas and Coachella will return to the ring together on Saturday to take a shot at this week’s $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, and Thursday’s ride helped to familiarize and prepare them for what the class will have in store for them.
Thursday afternoon’s Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class was the busiest class of the day in the Grand Prix Ring at Flintfields Horse Park, but 14-year-old Kyle Perkovich managed to promptly master the course to take away the win in the 22-entry class.
As Haas also commented earlier, features of course designer Bernardo C. Cabral’s new track included multiple sharp turn options, and a two stride in-and-out to a bending eight stride line that caused problems for many of the competitors in Perkovich’s class. However, none of these new course challenges phased Perkovich or his partner, Roc My World, known around the barn as “Maya.”
Electing to cut corners and ride up to the distances, Perkovich put in double clear rounds aboard Maya, the second of which being the leading jump-off round, clocked at 32.044 seconds.
“I’ve been working with Maya for about 3 years now; she’s a Roc Irish sport horse from Nancy Whitehead. She’s fast, but you have to really use your legs and stay coordinated on her,” Perkovich explained. “I’ve been riding since I was 4, and I just moved up to this division in the spring.”
Prior to stepping up to the Low Amateurs in April, Perkovich showed in the 3’6″ hunters on Maya, but made it clear on Thursday that the pair is versatile enough to beat out a handful of riders in the Grand Prix Ring as well. The duo earned fourth and fifth place ribbons in last week’s first Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, so climbing the ranks to first place was an exciting feat.
Emily Reder and her mount, Byolga, refused to fall far behind the leading ride in the Low Junior/Amaetur Owners, with a jump-off time of 32.959 seconds, just .915 of a second behind Perkovhich. Byolga and Reder also maneuvered two precise and clear rounds, yet Perkovich sat still at the top of the leaderboard.
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will continue on Friday beginning at 8:00 a.m. The Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumpers will take place once again, with the 1.30m class following. The highlighted event is the $25,000 Welcome Stake, which is set to begin at 2:00 p.m.
Press release courtesy of Phelps Media Group