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David Raposa and Master Man Score In $75,000 Avis Grand Prix

A field of twenty-five horses contested the featured class on Sunday in Ellenville, NY. This was the AVIS Grand Prix, the fourth in the series presented by Horse Shows In The Sun for the 2002 season. Course designer Jerry Dougherty was responsible for building a fair and challenging course that would meet the stringent requirements for a $75,000 Grand Prix competition at the national level.

The third horse to perform was last week's Grand Prix winner, Everest ridden by Mario Deslauriers. The pair toured the course in 89 seconds, well within the time allowed of 97 seconds, and they had just one rail down at fence 4B. The very next horse to compete was Altair, ridden by Beth Underhill. They had no jumping faults and just one-quarter time fault for exceeding the time allowed by less than one-half second. Early in the going, and based on these two performances, it looked as though the course would produce several clear rounds within the time allowed.

It was the eighth horse in the order, Master Man, owned by the Shalamar Farm and ridden by David Raposa that turned in the first and only clean round of the class. Despite the fact that the seventeen horses that followed were unable to duplicate David's effort, the crowd stayed with the action, cheering for each of the competitors and hoping for a jump-off. It developed that the time allowed was just tight enough to be a factor, and the jumps were imposing enough that they required a careful ride.

Jerry Dougherty, the Course Designer, was not disappointed in the class, even though there was no jump-off. He noted that several of the four-fault performances were simply unlucky, and most of those were well within the time allowed. Tom Struzzieri, president of Horse Shows In The Sun, concurred noting the caliber of the horses and the degree of difficulty presented by the course. Both gentlemen said, "that's show jumping."

David Raposa, of Clinton, NY, collected $22,500 for Shalamar Farm in winning the AVIS Grand Prix. Beth Underhill pocketed $16,500 for second place with Altair's one-quarter time fault. Horses with four faults collected third through ninth places, and these placings were determined by the time taken to complete the round. Mario DesLauriers placed third as the fasted four-faulter in the time of 89.137. He was followed by 4th, Crazy You and Kent Farrington; 5th, Brave Ally and Ian Silitch; 6th, After Eight and Christine Tribble; 7th, Cienaguera and Manuel Torres; 8th, Florin du Murier and Laura Bowery; and 9th, Conduct and Beth Underhill. Except for Mario, who was very fast, fractions separated the four-fault performances.

Southlands Foundation held a charity luncheon in the VIP tent adjacent to the Grand Prix field. A current project at Southlands is the construction of a barn to house horses that have been rescued or retired. The Hudson Valley Regional Chili Cook-Off was very popular with a large group of spectators in attendance. In addition to the regular judging, everyone was invited to sample the various recipes and vote for their favorite. In the judged section for red chili, Dottie Lorenz was the winner, topping her son Dave who finished in second and Ann Grossman who was third. The people's choice award went to Duncan McCalmont who hails from England. Duncan was thrilled, as were the spectators who had not suspected that the British knew anything about chili.

AVIS, sponsor of today's Grand Prix, is the official car rental company of Horse Shows In The Sun. AVIS sponsors HITS events in California, Florida, New York, Virginia and Nevada throughout the year. Be sure to mention HITS when making your next reservation with AVIS!

The horse show resumes on Wednesday with a regular schedule of hunter and jumper classes. The next Grand Prix event will be on Sunday, August 4th at 1pm.


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