Wayne, IL - June 15, 2014 - Wayne, IL - June 15, 2014 - Silence fell on the crowd at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II as Texan Tracy Fenney raced around the jump-off track aboard MTM Centano. A rub down the double-combination of the final line had spectators on the edge of their seats, but the rail stayed in its cups as Fenney dashed across the final oxer in 31.456 seconds to win the $30,000 Nutrena Grand Prix at the Lamplight Equestrian Center.
"Centano is kind of deceiving because he has such a big stride, and he turns super tight. He looks like he is going super slow, like a hunter, so people never think that he is actually going that fast, but he doesn't spend much time in the air and turns quick," Fenney explained of her winning mount. "People always think he is a big, slow and stupid horse, but he is really nervous inside and has a lot of energy-very spooky. His angles to the verticals were amazing today, and we made such good slices. It was a really fun jump-off."
The bay Holsteiner gelding, owned by MTM Farms of Flower Mound, TX, is 14 years old, and Fenney has owned Centano since he was a 5-year-old.
"I am really lucky that I have two very special horses," Fenney smiled as she spoke of MTM Centano and MTM Timon. "They are both 14, and they owe me nothing. I have had Centano since he was 5, and Timon since he was 7 going on 8 years old. They are my veterans, and they know their jobs out there. If they don't want to jump another jump, I will happily turn them out to pasture with our other retirees."
Fenney almost rode to a one-two finish with MTM Timon clocking in at 31.658 seconds; however, the last rail fell for the eventual sixth place. "I was nervous about leaving out a stride on Timon down the final line. I knew Centano could do it, but I probably should have ridden Timon to the final oxer in seven strides. I just sort of let the reins go, and he got a little flat."
Lisa Goldman fell only 2/10ths of a second behind Fenney, riding Centurion B to the second place finish. Theo Genn and Paradox, owned by Thomas Bruinsma of Ada, MI, captured the third place with a clean round posted in 33.361 seconds. Wilhelm Genn and Welcome COR, owned by Ann Anastasio of Wayne, IL, laid down a clear and conservative ride in 35.621 seconds for the fourth place. Local young talent Giavanna Rinaldi and G.P.S. Brilliant Disguise posted the quickest time of the class in 31.448 seconds, but four faults at the final oxer knocked her into the fifth place.
Fenney commented on the day's track saying, "It's funny because the course designer [Catsy Cruz] is so totally different from the course designer last week. The triple was in a difficult place, but she used a lot of straight lines. I really liked the variety of the courses, it allows for other horses with different strengths to show off."
$10,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
Thirty-eight horse and rider combinations took on the track at the LUXMAX U.S.A. Grand Prix Ring for the $10,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by LUXMAX U.S.A., but only 11 mastered the opening course and continued into the jump-off. As the third to return, Stephanie Novas and her own Amyra R, raced to the top finish in the speedy time of 32.028 seconds, capturing their second Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic win of the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series.
"I went early in the class, so Lance [Williamson] told me that I was pretty much going to have to fly," Novas laughed. "Luckily, that is never really an issue on her. I knew I was going to have to run everywhere and not hold back at all. There weren't any real inside turns, but you did have to spin back a couple of times. I knew I was going to have to run after the jump and collect and balance in front."
Fellow barn mate at Lance Williamson Stables, Grace Knox, also qualified for the short course, taking the second place behind Novas with a double clear in 32.612 seconds aboard Tilikum. Rinaldi also shined in the Classic with Collette, owned by Spencer Ranch, posting a clean jump-off round in 33.420 seconds for third.
"I really like this series, it is a lot of fun, and everyone goes so fast. Chicago has really fast jump-offs, so the class always promises a competitive conclusion," Novas stated. "Next week I will probably compete with both of my horses in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic, Amyra R just needed a little time to pull herself together first. Our goal is to do a couple of small grand prix by the end of the summer."
$5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Classic
Brenda Perkovitch and Dante-B stole the show during the $5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by Canterbury Farm. Their time of 35.573 seconds proved fast enough for the first place finish.
"I love Drake. He has been with Red Coat since he was a 2-year-old. I have been in love with him for a really long time, and I have had him for a couple of years. I just feel like I ride him in 3-D," Perkovitch said. "He needs a supportive ride, but he is so experienced. He has taught me so much, and he has made me a better rider."
C'Blue earned the second place with Christie Rugh-Bileddo in the irons, while Kelbee Miller and Podansa earned the third.
$5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Classic
Anika Pirkle and Just A Dream finished first in the $5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Classic, sponsored by Northern Pines Farm. Madi Grady and Warhol took the second place, and Nancy Whitehead's Varina with MacKenzie Snider in the tack followed them to the third.
The Showplace Spring Spectacular II came to a conclusion today, but Showplace has added a third week to the schedule. This Tuesday, June 17, 2014 the long-anticipated hunter derby day will kick off the third week of the series. Riders can look forward to the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and a $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the WCHR week. More prize money has been added to the schedule, including the $40,000 Weatherteach Grand Prix.