Chris Kappler Continues Winning Streak at Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic
Hamilton, MA – September 8, 2006 – Show jumping action continued today under sunny skies at the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic, held in Hamilton, MA. On the Coldwell Banker Previews Field, forty-one entries participated in today’s main feature, the $7,500 Turnabout Farm Welcome Stake. The class was scored under a Table II, 2 (a) format, with a time allowed of 82 seconds in the first round.
Competing over a course designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, an amalgamation of our nation’s very best convened- each in hopes of winning today’s top award.
Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, achieved that goal with his impressive ride on VDL Maseratie, currently owned by VDL Stud. Kappler took home the grand prix victory last week at The Hampton Classic, and his momentum continues to keep him at the top of the leader board. Today, he and VDL Maseratie were the first pair to qualify for the jump-off and the first to return for the tie breaker. In addition to Kappler, eight other horse and rider combinations qualified for the short course.
VDL Maseratie and Kappler revisited the arena for a stellar performance in the jump off. Tripping the timers in 32.216 seconds after a clear go, the stallion’s polished performance created the time to beat. Rockford and Keri Potter of Wellington, FL, approached the field once again for a flawless finish. Her time of 32.752 seconds, however, fell short of Kappler’s. Third to take a shot over the speed course was Christine McCrea on Promised Land, owned by Candy Tribble of East Windsor, CT. McCrea’s gallop was met with an unfortunate rail down at fence 10, a brown oxer, added a four fault penalty to their time of 33.699 seconds.
Jennifer Hannan and Gemini de Terlong, owned by Starwyn Farms, LLC of New York, NY, were the next to challenge Kappler’s time, and their speed caused the last rail to drop as they crossed the finish line in 33.275 seconds. The last fence became a problem for the next exhibitor as well. Kent Farrington and Titus raced for the finish after a confident ride, and his mount, owned by Jessica Speiser, lost that confidence at the very end, which resulted in a refusal at the final vertical and a score of four faults. His time of 39.938 seconds held up for seventh place.
Penalties continued to appear on the score board as Schuyler Riley and South Beach Stables’ Ilian tallied eight, Eliza Lehrman and VDL Platini were eliminated, and Leslie Howard lowered the oxer at fence 10 with Lennox Lewis 2. Howard came in with a quick final time of 32.390, and her student, Cody Auer, followed in her footsteps when Auer’s horse, Jolie Dame du Marais, dropped the top rail of the same brown oxer. Auer’s time of 34.612 seconds resulted in a sixth place ranking. The victory gallop was led by Chris Kappler and VDL Maseratie once again.
“This is a really good, experienced horse,” said Kappler about his mount. “He just went great. I went early in the class, and he went beautifully. Then he went back and gave me a really great jump-off too. He flew down to the last vertical and was excellent.”
“I was worried about the footing, to be honest,” he revealed. “It’s a little bit mucky and deep. They rolled it the best they could, but I just stayed a little wider on the turns- just hoping to give him a better chance at the fences. And I hoped for the best.” He continued, “I’ve been riding him for a few months now, and he won the grand prix last week at South Hampton. He was leading Open horse there and was second in another class, and he’s just been a really good horse for me. We got him from Holland about three months ago, and I’ve been riding him ever since. He’s a superstar.”
Other features in the Grand Prix Arena included the Level 4 Masters class, sponsored by The World. Donald Little and Soprano came away with the top award. First place honors in the Young Jumper class went to Westenwind and Darren Graziano, and first place in the Level 6 was awarded to Leslie Howard and Lady in Red 4. In the $2,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, the blue ribbon was pinned on the bridle of Aisen, ridden by Matthew Metell.
Results of $7,500 Turnabout Farm Welcome Stake
1. VDL MASERATIE, CHRIS KAPPLER, 0, 32.216
2. ROCKFORD, KERI POTTER, 0, 32.752
3. LENNOX LEWIS 2, LESLIE BURR HOWARD, 4, 32.390
Leslie Burr Howard
4. GEMINI DE TERLONG, JENNIFER HANNAN, 4, 33.275
Starwyn Farms, LLC
5. PROMISED LAND, CHRISTINE MCCREA, 4, 33.699
6. JOLIE DAME DU MARAIS, CODY AUER, 4, 34.612
7. TITUS, KENT FARRINGTON, 4, 39.938
8. ILIAN, SCHUYLER RILEY, 8, 35.209
South Beach Stables
9. VDL PLATINI, ELIZA LEHRMAN, Elim.
10. RODOS, LAUREN HOUGH, First Round: 4, 76.805
Victoria Vargas D’Agostino
11. CATWALK, DARRIN DLIN, First Round: 4, 77.393
Odyssey Venture, LLC
12. PERFEKT, CANDACE KING, First Round: 4, 78.271
Photo Credit: Chris Kappler and VDL Maseratie at the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic. Photo by: ESI- The Digital Place.
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