Traverse City, MI - July 26, 2008 - It's becoming a regular occasion at Horse Shows by the Bay for riders to win big classes two weeks in a row. The equestrian festival is held at the Flintfields Horse Park though August 3. Victoria Birdsall of Topsfield, MA, won her second big class in a row today when she took home the top prize in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, sponsored by PhelpsSports.com, with Jerremy. Michigan rider Erin Haas finished second with Chianti 67, while Kimberly Seay of Mason, OH, rode to third place with Belvedere.
Today's course was designed by Canada's Michel Vaillancourt, and it was technicality that was called for on the track. Ten riders advanced to the jump-off, which featured tight turns, a combination, and gallop to the final oxer. Birdsall mentioned, "It was a forward course; time was little tight so I wanted to gallop around a little. It was pretty technical and pretty big."
First to go in the jump-off was Henry Pfeiffer of Temperance, MI, on Sister. Pfeiffer unfortunately had a rail at the first jump. He finished with eight faults in 34.055 seconds.
Birdsall was next to go with Jerremy, an 18-year-old Warmblood gelding that has been winning in the jumpers for years. They made very tight rollbacks through the first three jumps on course and kept a quick, consistent pace. They finished with a clear round and stopped the timers in 37.122 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable for the duration of the class.
Birdsall was not able to see someone ride in the jump-off before her, but the course was the same from the class before. Birdsall took advantage of this and watched how the riders from the previous class tackled the course. "I didn't see Henry go, but I wanted to go in and go fast again," she said. Birdsall thought she made up time in the jump-off, "definitely jump one to two- he just sliced the second jump and was almost parallel to it. I trusted him so much and I knew he could do it. We left out so many strides from jump one to two! Then, rolling back to the double he was also really fast. He's a good boy!" she added.
Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W were double clear in 38.711 seconds, following her was Seay and Belvedere, who were clear again with a time of 38.387 seconds. Jamee Crawford scored a second clear round in 39.330 seconds, and Katie Dinan on Logan were double clear in 41.384 seconds. Another double clear came from Haas and Chianti 67, who were closest to catching Birdsall's time in 38.038 seconds.
Julia Lourie and Vivaldi had one rail down for four faults in 38.714 seconds, while both Laura Pfeiffer with Thorstin and Jessica Miltz on Sintra had eight faults.
It was another great win for Birdsall, who took home the blue ribbon in the same class last week. Her partnership with Jerremy has gotten better with each show, and they are proving to be one of the top junior jumper combinations in the nation.
The pair has only been together since this past winter, but Birdsall knew Jerremy and his accomplishments when he showed with owner Natalie Johnson, who also rides at Heritage Farm with Birdsall. "I watched him show at Old Salem the year before I got him and I really liked him," Birdsall remembered. "They weren't really interested in selling him because she was winning. I kept him in the back of my head. The next year, they said I could sit on Jerremy and see if I wanted to lease him. I was so excited. It was like my dream coming true."
When asked whether she thought she would come to Horse Shows by the Bay and win both $10,000 classics, she replied, "Definitely not! I was happy to win one; I never thought I would win both."
Earlier in the day, the winner of the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic was Erin Haas on All of a Sudden.
Horse Shows by the Bay continues tomorrow with the highlight class of the week, the $25,000 Grand Traverse Bay Grand Prix, which will start at 2:30 p.m. following the Leadline class and a dressage demonstration in the Team Elmer's Grand Prix Ring. For more information and full results, please visit http://www.horsesportsbythebay.com
Final Results: $10,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic
1. JERREMY, VICTORIA BIRDSALL, NATALIE JOHNSON, 0, 0, 37.122
2. CHIANTI 67, ERIN HAAS, NORTH FACE FARM, 0, 0, 38.038
3. BELVEDERE, KIMBERLY SEAY, KIMBERLY SEAY, 0, 0, 38.387
4. ROCKY W, KAITLIN CAMPBELL, KRESTWOOD LLC, 0, 0, 38.711
5. LIKE MONEY, JAMEE CRAWFORD, JAMEE CRAWFORD, 0, 0, 39.330
6. LOGAN, KATIE DINAN, KATIE DINAN LLC, 0, 0, 41.384
7. VIVALDI, JULIA LOURIE, SPY COAST FARM, 0, 4, 38.714
8. SISTER, HENRY PFEIFFER, FOX MEADOW FARM, 0, 8, 34.055
9. THORSTIN, LAURA PFEIFFER, FOX MEADOW FARM, 0, 8, 39.043
10. SINTRA, JESSICA MILTZ, JESSICA MILTZ, 0, 8, 39.170
Photo Credit: Victoria Birdsall and Jerremy won their second $10,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, sponsored by PhelpsSports.com, at Horse Shows by the Bay. Photo (C) 2008 Jennifer Wood/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/birdsall-jerremy-sjhof-junior-jumper-horse-bay-07-08.html">Birdsall and Jerremy Win $10,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic at Horse Shows by the Bay</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com