Week 1 of the Atlanta Summer Classic drew to a close the same way it kicked off: with Chasen Boggio in the winner’s circle. This time, he topped the field in Saturday’s $25,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix aboard Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle.
This win comes on the heels of the pair’s victory in Wednesday’s $7,500 Welcome Classic.
“Winning the Wednesday class definitely gives you that boost of confidence heading into the weekend,” Boggio said.
Boggio, of Canton, Georgia, outgunned the other contenders to claim top prize in the grand prix, held in the Olympic Ring at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Only two contenders returned to the arena to battle it out over the jump-off course.
“The track was more technical than I initially thought when I walked the course,” he said. “I thought we may see a few more clears in the first round. But the course rode like one related distance, so if something happened, it was hard to get yourself re-organized and back on track.”
First up to tackle the shortened course was Boggio, aboard the Selle Français mare. Weaving their way around the track, the duo set the winners pace at clear and quick 31.68 seconds.
“Quesada is very fast, very careful, with a huge stride, and I knew I could ride her aggressively,” he said. “But I knew Michael [Kirby] would ride aggressively too. I tried to be quick and clear, taking the direct lines. In the last line, I left a stride out, doing nine instead of 10, and I think that may have been the difference.”
Boggio is no stranger to the Conyers venue or to Classic Company horse shows. He said he’s grateful for all the work that’s been done to refresh the footing at the Conyers facility, adding that it’s those kinds of management efforts that make attending Classic Company horse shows worthwhile.
“I don’t ride full time, so we’re very selective about where we go to show,” he said. “We plan the majority of our year around Bob [Bell]’s shows.”
Michael Kirby, of Williston, Florida, returned to the ring in an attempt to catch the pace to beat. In the irons of Fairly Stable LLC’s Play Boy, Kirby navigated his way to a clean jump-off round in a time of 32.17 seconds—less than a second behind the winners. The duo ended the competition in second place.
Boggio ranked third for his clear first round with his own Co-Pilot. The pair did not attempt the jump-off round.
Heather Hooker, of Wellington, Florida, placed fourth for her ride in the saddle of Meredith Darst LLC’s Quester de Virton. The pair finished well within the time allowed of 83 seconds, but a rail tumbling early in the first -round cost them four faults. Ranking fifth was Williston, Florida’s Tricia O’Connor, who garnered a four-fault performance with Michael Kirby’s KT Bolo. And Kirby found himself back in the ribbons, claiming sixth for his four-fault ride with his own Disaronno.
Seventh place was awarded to Merideth Bryans, of Newborn, Georgia, who was riding her own Guidam Sid, while Ocala, Florida’s Dana Noga ranked eighth aboard her own OBOS Pepperpot. Nicki Mathen, of Austin, Texas, rode to ninth position aboard CopperHillSportHorseSales.com’s Felix BC. Rounding out the Top-10 placings was O’Connor, back in the ring aboard her own Coolman 78.