Strapless Shows Her Style Again In 2004 AHJF Hunter
FL February 23, 2004 For the fourth straight year,
Strapless took her rider to the victory circle, this time with her
owner Clara Lindner in the irons. For the past three years it had
been Emily Williams who claimed the winning ribbon but now it was
Claras turn on February 21, 2004, in the ninth annual American
Hunter-Jumper Foundation Hunter Classic Spectacular in Wellington,
couldnt believe it happened. I still cant believe it
happened. Its weird it was me up there. Im so used to
it being Emily, commented the 18-year-old who resides in Cincinnati,
OH, a sparkle in her eyes, a smile on her face and warmth in her
heart. Shed done what she thought couldnt be done.
wasnt nervous going into the first round, she continued,
because I didnt think it was humanly possible to win
Clara Lindner riding Strapless-photo credit Randi Muster
may be the most thrilled out of the whole group, especially for
Clara, commented her trainer, Tom Wright, of Cincinnati, OH.
This is the most amazing thing that could have happened, having
that mare do it again.
were a record number in this two-round class of 33 of the nations
top horses and riders. All had to qualify throughout the weeklong
hunter classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Lindner was 20th
in the first round and her score of 90.5 put her second to 33-year-old
Tammy Provost, Zionsville, IN, riding Tommy Bahama.
Rises To The Challenge And Reclaims Her Lead
Coming back for the second round of eight qualified riders, Lindner
was a little nervous. Now she knew it was humanly possible
for her to win this class.
knew I had to be bold in order to win, explained Lindner,
who didnt have to worry. It was as though Strapless knew just
what she had to do to claim the victory. She knows when its
a big class. She loves the crowd and she loves galloping around.
She was right on. Shes absolutely amazing.
large part of the aura of this class is the fact that the horses
can gallop around in a huge arena. Course Designer Kenny Krome took
advantage of the space the Internationale Arena afforded him.
the rings are all so rectangular that it sort of forces you into
a figure 8 pattern, explained Krome. But that huge field
is like having a whole empty canvas to paint your course on.
a result Krome set an old style hunt course which did not
have all the lines set at a particular distance. I added a lot of
wide open galloping with some interesting turns to try to get away
from the basic figure 8 course.
to return in the second round was Ken Smith, of Wellington, FL,
on Carmen, who totaled 85.75, for a two round total of 172.612.
Then Chopard and Scott Stewart, of Flemington, NJ, who in 2003 claimed
the title of Monarch International Show Circuit Magazine World Champion
Hunter Rider, scored 88.750 (175.125). Next rider to go, St. Nick
and Caroline Moran, who resides both in North Salem, NY, and Wellington,
FL, had the lowest score of the eight (70/157.5). Miracle with Alex
Skiffington, of Wellington, FL, on board scored 87.5 (175.5). Lucky
Strike and Brianne Goutal, New York, NY, had 88 (176.125). Then
Addison Phillips, New York, NY, came in on Whos On First and
when she scored 91.5 (181.312) it was clear that the two remaining
horses would have to rise to the challenge.
so it was Lindners turn. Her score of 91 gave the High Score
of the day to Addison but her two round total of 181.5 meant last
rider to go, Provost, and Tommy Bahama would have to be brilliant.
They were good but not good enough to take over the lead (88.625/179.625)
and they finished third behind Strapless and Whos On First.
actuality, this was a brilliant round for Tammy who had only been
matched with Tommy Bahama, a six-year-old, 16-hand, brown Belgian
Warmblood gelding, for less than three months.
was so proud. I couldnt ask for more of her, commented
Joe Norick, Tammys trainer who had found the horse in Holland.
Tammy was beaming. Hes like riding a big pony,
she said of her mount. Hes smooth, hes brave and
hes a great jumper.
The AHJF Hunter Classic Is All About
This class has become like the Holy Grail for hunter riders and
it is because of the AHJF that this wonderful night competing under
the lights in the beautifully decorated Internationale Arena over
an immaculate course watched by thousands of spectators took place.
Those sitting around the field or in the Jockey Club tent enjoying
the AHJF fundraising dinner while watching the competition were
able to appreciate just how far the hunters have come since the
start of this class in 1997.
the best horses in the country all in one class, explained
Lindner, who had also won the class in 1999 aboard High Hearts.
The first time I didnt know what to think of it.
Now Lindner realizes when you win this class it puts you at a whole
new level. This has built my confidence so much.
have an amazing group of horses here and we really want to show
off their jumping ability and it really is the horses that show
their stuff more than the riders under the lights, added Krome.
continues to be the best class of the year. I have to hand it to
the AHJF, noted Wright.
are the best competitors from around the country. Its the
best of the best, commented announcer Brian Lookabill. As
an announcer it is not too difficult to give them this spotlight.
To The American Hunter-Jumper Foundation
The AHJF was formed in 1992 because of the need to support and reward
hunter riders and horses. It is a member-supported non-profit organization.
The AHJF was formed to further the development of the sport of show
hunter competition by providing a national office to organize, coordinate
and support hunter rider and show jumping equestrian competition.
Programs of the AHJF include the World Championship Hunter Rider
Awards, the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund, AHJF Educational Programs,
the AHJF 401k and Profit Sharing Plan, the Legacy Cup and the AHJF/Dover
Saddlery Junior Hunter Challenge. The Hunter Classic is a major
fundraiser for the AHJF and its programs.
so a big thank you goes to the AHJF from Strapless and Lindner and
all the other riders who competed in a setting that can only be
described as picture perfect. For her win, Lindner claimed a check
for $12,000 out of a total purse of $48,500, a Tad Coffin Performance
saddle, the Dark Continent Perpetual Trophy courtesy of Jim Green,
a custom jacket by Personalized Products and a cooler donated by
Grazing Fields Farm, Inc.
member Kavar Kerr described it the best when she noted, This
class is one of a kind. You have all week to qualify. You are riding
in the International Arena and you are riding at night under the
lights. It only happens once a year. We are in Palm Beach. The uniqueness
of the class really brings out the competitiveness of everybody.
There are only so many that can go in it. And everybody wants to
be the one that gets in and wins.
information about the Hunter Classic, the AHJF or its programs,
contact the AHJF at 335 Lancaster Street, West Boylston, MA 01583-0369,
call 508-835-8813, fax 508-835-6125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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