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Caitie Hope Triumphs for Double Blues at 'North American' Tournament in Spruce Meadows

Calgary, AB, CAN - July 3, 2008 - Today Caitie Hope of Barrington, IL, scored two major wins at the 'North American' Tournament at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Sixteen-year-old Hope rides with trainer Diane Carney of Telluride Farm. This year the young rider has added numerous wins to her expanding list of accomplishments, and today's double victory catapulted Hope forward to an all-new milestone.

In the 1.20m junior jumpers, Hope guided Jennifer Hauser's horse Corrato to an incredible first place finish. She was the only rider to execute a double clear round out of 40 starting exhibitors. After securing the 1.20m blue ribbon, Hope piloted her mount La Paz to an impressive win in the 1.30m junior jumper class. Hope surpassed 41 other riders for the victory.

"Her time was 36.5 seconds and the second place horse was 36.8," stated Carney. "It was a great track, and she rode beautifully. It was a special win. The course was very technical, and it's definitely a strong international level of competition here. The Canadian and Mexican riders are dynamite. They are well-mounted and fearless. I think Caitie saw this and learned from them."

"Caitie's equitation background and her mileage helped her out today. Her timing and feel were spot on, and it was a super day," Carney continued. "This is her second visit to Spruce Meadows. She's won ribbons here, but this was the first time she won a class and received a stable plaque. She really hit the center of the target here. As her trainer, I am so proud of her. It just feels great."

Hope's older sister Megan, who trained with Carney throughout her junior years, is also competing at Spruce Meadows. After taking a break from horse shows, she is back in the saddle, and she earned ribbons in this week's 1.10m amateur jumper classes. Stephanie Pearson, who trains with Carney as well, won ribbons in the 1.15 junior jumpers aboard Sympathico III.

The 'North American' Tournament continues through Sunday, July 6, and the horses and riders at Telluride Farm are preparing for the rest of this week's competition. After today's two impressive wins, Hope will show her horses in the division grand prix classes on Saturday.

"She's going to do the 1.25m open jumper grand prix," explained Carney. "We think this will be a great experience. We're going to take a shot and go down in size, but up in competition level."

She added, "Caitie is really finding her stride, and that makes the horses try even harder. La Paz has the scope and carefulness. He has a lot of blood and a thoroughbred feel to him. He gives her all his heart, and she gives him all hers. She's starting to figure out she can do anything with him. Corrato is very large, about 17.2 hands. He has a huge cantering stride and jumps great. She transitions easily from one to the other; she's a very talented rider and works really hard. I'm extremely proud of her."

Carney, based out of Hampshire, IL, has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year, in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart Jr. Carney is also a member of the United States Hunter Jumper Association's High Performance Hunter Committee, which created the International Hunter Derby program that focuses on bringing the lost art of tradition and horsemanship back to the show ring.

Photo: Caitie Hope on La Paz. Photo (C) 2008 Kenneth Kraus. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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