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Clara Lindner Wins Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship at Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, FL – March 4, 2007 – At the sixth week of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the Zada Enterprises LLC Wellington Masters, competition came to an end today. Multiple hunter championships were awarded, and in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters sponsored by Kilkenny Insurance Agency, Clara Lindner and In the Black won the championship.

In the Black, an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding, has been with the Lindner family for almost a year and has been improving with each horse show. “When we got him he was a little green, and I was a little skeptical, but everyone in the barn believed in him,” Lindner recalled. “Everyone worked so hard with him, and he’s really improving and doing a great job.” Since last year, Lindner said that “he’s a lot more relaxed. He’s not as spooky, and he’s a lot more trusting. He used to get a little bit nervous and up, but he’s going much, much more consistent now.”

In the Black was originally purchased for Clara’s mother, Frances. “He’s actually my mom’s horse, and I’ve just been showing him for fun. My mom practices on him during the week; she doesn’t show yet. She likes riding around and jumping on him,” Lindner explained. “She’s just having fun. If she feels like it, she’ll show him, but it’s no pressure. It’s enough for her to go around and practice, and I get to show on the weekend.”

In the Black jumped to second and third place ribbons yesterday, was third in the under saddle and won both over fences classes today. The reserve champion in the division was Midnight Date, ridden and owned by Rachel Geiger.

Maggie McAlary won her second hunter championship of the week on Reed Kessler’s Carita in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Carita was first and third over fences yesterday and won the second jumping class today. The reserve champion was Mirasol, ridden and owned by Addison Phillips.

McAlary picked up the ride on Carita since it is Kessler’s first year showing in the junior hunters. “This is the first time I’ve shown Carita. Reed had been showing her, and they asked me this weekend to show her. She’s so much fun,” McAlary remarked. “I got on to give her a little bit of a school. It went well. Reed might ride her next week or I might show her again. I won’t complain if I get to ride her!”

Yesterday, McAlary had multiple rides in different rings of the horse show, so time was tight and she ended up running from one ring to the next to compete. “Yesterday was so busy,” she affirmed. “I had everything going on at once and I just jumped on her, did a couple jumps and went in. She’s amazing.”

Of Carita, she described, “I just got on the gallop, and she jumped so high and tried really hard. She’s small, but she has a huge stride. She jumps really high, and she gives you a real scopey feeling. She’s very handy, so I got the canter and she just hunted around.”

Alexandra Thornton was a big winner this week once again. The 13-year-old rider from Bedminster, NJ, saw double tricolors. On High Noon, she was champion in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters for the third week. In the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division sponsored by Davlyn Farms, she was champion for the fourth time this season on Tobasco. The younger Large Junior Hunter reserve championship went to Onassis, ridden by Jennifer Waxman for Sarah Ward. Folklore and Alexandra Arute finished as reserve champions in the younger Small Junior Hunter division.

Various divisions of the Adult Amateur Hunters, which are sponsored by Carol A. Sollack PA and Illustrated Properties, finished competition today. In the A section of the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, Peter Pan and Arriana Boardman, who rode for Katharine Press, took home the championship. The reserve champion of section A was Serendipity, ridden by Mary Alexis Healey and owned by Mary LeBlanc. The B section championship went to Barcelona, ridden by Ansley Grainger for Sherry Geddes, and the reserve champion was Playtime, ridden by Jennifer Reid for Stacee Scott.

In the Adult Amateur 36-50 Hunters, Jeanine Zuckerman and Winter Castle, who is owned by Vanessa Redfern, finished as champions. The reserve championship went to Cozzi and Kelly Klein.

Next week’s competition runs from March 7-11, 2007. The CN Wellington Open, presented by Cosequin, is the seventh week of showing at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Photo Credit: Clara Lindner with In the Black at the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter championship presentation. Photo © 2007 Jennifer Wood.


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