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Three Different Professionals are Maui Bound

Burbank, California. For the second year in a row, Langer Equestrian Group, Inc. is sending three professional horseman to Maui for a week long stay at Marriott’s Maui Ocean Resort. The vacation prizes are awarded to recognize trainers. “I remember taking 30 plus horses on the road,” said Larry Langer, President and CEO of LEG. “Trainers are not recognized enough in our highly labor intensive sport. My staff and I thought that a special vacation and cash awards for professionals would be meaningful since they are the backbone of our sport.”

In addition to the three vacation awards for the Memorial Day Classic, the Colorado Equitation Incentive, and the Woodside Hunter Incentive, LEG awarded more than $10,000 in bonus cash to the top five equitation trainers at the Colorado shows and the top five trainers at the Woodside shows.

Hap Hansen won the Los Angeles based Maui trip when he captained his equitation team, Hap’s Honeys, to victory in the Memorial Day Classic Junior-Professional-Amateur Equitation Challenge. Hansen decided to give his long-time groom and assistant, Lisa Baldassari, the award. “I’ve never been to Hawaii before and I am so excited,” said Baldassari. She will enjoy an ocean-front suite at the deluxe resort situated right on Ka’anapali Beach.

Tracey Powers of Colorado Springs, Colorado was named the leading equitation trainer in the Colorado Equitation Incentive at LEG’s eight hunter/jumper shows held at the Colorado Horse Park. “My kids decided to try to win this for me,” said Powers. “I didn’t think we could win.” The race was down to the wire and Powers discovered that her horses and riders had won the most equitation-based points. “I have never been to Hawaii before and I hear Maui is the best island,” said Powers.

The race was heated during the seven Woodside shows held at the Horse Park at Woodside. The Maui trip is awarded to the leading hunter trainer. John Bragg held the lead for most of the year, but double points at the Woodside Fall Finale made the contest tight. In the last classes of the show, the Childrens Hunters, Leslie Nelson edged Bragg by just 6.5 points. “When I looked at the points before the show, I was in fourth and I thought to myself that there was not a chance.” However, Nelson saw the mid-show points on Sunday morning and saw that the gap between her and Bragg had closed substantially. “I thought we were out of the running, but when my customers found out how close it was, we entered a horse in the Childrens Hunters.” That was enough to take over the lead. Although Bragg was relegated to second, he will still get a sizeable cash award. The top five trainers all receive cash awards equal to the total points accrued for the year.

Nelson was last year’s winner as well, and because she was seven months pregnant she sent her assistant, Alanna Bloomberg to Maui. “I am so excited,” said Nelson. “My baby is now seven months old and he is getting on that plane and going with us. This is just such an incredible opportunity. There aren’t many prizes like this available to professionals.”

All three winners will head to Maui the first week of December for an eight day stay in paradise.


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