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Danube Victorious in $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic

Harden Towell Wins Pinnacle Hunter Event at the Hampton Classic Horse Show

Bridgehampton, NY – September 5, 2006 – The $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic was open to Junior and Amateur-Owner horse/rider pairs who have shown in at least two classes in their respective hunter divisions at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. The winner of this year’s prestigious event was an eight year old, Dutch Gelding named Danube. The chestnut was piloted by Jack “Harden” Towell in the Hermes Classic and was shown earlier in the week by Paige Allardice in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter Division.

There were fifteen entries originally scheduled to show in the Classic, which was scored under the USEF Article 2436, Open Numeric system. Leo Conroy of Wellington, FL, and Philip J. Devita of Apopka, FL, both judged this year’s Hampton Classic under unfortunate conditions. “The riders didn’t have the opportunity to warm up like they normally would, and they really couldn’t prepare properly,” Conroy explained. “This caused many of the horses to be fresh and added to the challenge of the Classic.” The soaked arenas got little reprieve from rain and wind, and horses competed in brisk weather without proper preparation. “Conditions were not perfect for today’s class, but the riders really made the best of it,” Devita added.

Going into the second round of competition, scores ranged anywhere from 15 to 82. There were an unusual number of jumping faults, voluntary withdrawals, and refusals. Take Away, ridden by Cortright Wetherill, was in the lead with a score of 82. Harden Towell was right behind him with a score of 80 aboard Danube. The pair put in a really strong final trip and was given an 87. Wetherill trailed behind with an 84.

“It was a spooky day but, I came out here to win the money,” Towell stated. Hermes increased the prize this year by $5,000, and representatives Maureen Baltazar, who is the Managing Director at the Madison Avenue Hermes, William Whitehead, Director of Equestrian Sales, and Courtney Caverzasi, Equestrian Manager of Hermes Madison Avenue, presented the awards.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Towell were seen smiling from the sidelines, “Did Good Hardin,” Towell, Sr called. “Danube was brought here on lease to Paige Allardice and got nice ribbons with her in the Younger Large Juniors,” he explained. Liza Towell (daughter of Jack) won the $25,000 Hunter Classic on Danube in Conyers, GA, this summer and has been Champion of every Second Year Green Division that she has shown him in since June.

“Ronnie Beard sent Danube to us this spring, and he is just darling,” Towell, Sr said. “He’s a sweet, sweet horse, and I do not say that lightly. Danube is a warmblood in a thoroughbred’s body. He has the temperament and quietness of a warmblood, and the beauty and body type of a thoroughbred,” he explained. “He does exactly what we ask and always comes out of the box to win. What more can I ask for?” he laughed.

Results from the $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic:

1. Danube – Jack Towell & Wyndmont – Jack “Hardin” Towell – 167

2. Take Away – Cotwright Wetherill – Cortwright Wetherill – 166

3. Tiziano – Stone Hill Farms – Chelsea Moss – 158

4. Untold – Jodi Czaplick – Jodi Czaplick – 128

5. Sweet Emotion - Shannon McGrath – Shannon McGrath – 124

6. The Chancellor – Savannah Harms – Savannah Harms – 118

7. North Country – Laura Beth King-Kaplan – Laura Beth King – Kaplan – 75

8. Fiyero – Katherine Press – Katherine Press - 74

Photo Credit: Liza Towell aboard Danube and Hardin Towell riding Danube at the Hampton Classic. Photos by: FLASHPOINT and Jon Kassel.


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