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Press Conference Panel Praises Progress of Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic

South Hamilton, MA - September 7, 2006 – The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic, now underway at Coldwell Banker Previews Field in Hamilton, MA, hosted a press conference on Wednesday, September 6, at Eurostoves in Beverly, MA. An impressive panel of some the nation’s hottest riders was assembled for a question and answer session that was attended by both press and avid fans. The panel, which was repeatedly welcomed by applause, discussed the excitement surrounding The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic and also addressed the development of the sport of Show Jumping in our country.

The panel consisted of Candice King, Darlene Sandlin, Kevin Babington, Nona Garson, Jeffery Papows, who is Chairman of the Board for The Jumper Classic, Schuyler Riley, Course Designer Richard Jeffery, and Leslie Howard.

Topics covered at the conference included compliments to show organizers for making the competition such an exhibitor friendly show and comments from exhibitors about how thrilled they were to see a well run event that has attracted an impressive list of corporate sponsors. Some of these sponsors include: Fidelity Investments, Mohegan Sun Casino, Lufthansa, Mercedes Benz, and The World.

The riders talked about how important it is for them to support smaller shows like The Jumper Classic, and how this kind of support is necessary to help the development of young horses and riders in our country. They commented on how nice it is to attend venues that are smaller productions that cater to the growth of the sport.

“There are a lot of cookie cutter horse shows out there,” stated Leslie Burr Howard. “In Europe, every show has so much pride. Every show that you go to is competing to be the best show that it can be. The Fidelity Investments show gets so much support from the community, and it really does a lot for the sport. You don’t get this kind of support at other venues. I wish we had more shows like this one.”

Schuyler Riley complimented, “This show has great course designing, beautiful jumps, and a great sponsor tent. They really roll out the red carpet for exhibitors here. They are really showcasing us and our horses, and I think that really gives it a draw for spectators to come cheer us on. We need to keep supporting events like this in our country. I think this is really important, and I’d like to see more shows like this pop up.”

World renowned Course Designer Richard Jeffery was enthusiastic and discussed how critical it is to design courses with the development of the horse and rider in mind. “One of the reasons I’m here is that this horse show has our future horses- these are horses that will represent America someday. This show is the stepping stone to take the young horses to the next level. Every course I build is, for me, the best course I can build,” he related. “Whether I’m building for a five year old or for a grand prix, each course is important, and that’s what I focus on while I’m here.”

Jeffery Papows also added commentary about the Masters class that is offered at The Jumper Classic for senior riders, and Nona Garson addressed questions from some of the younger members in the audience. She advised, “For this sport, it’s a long, steady process. It’s a long term sport; it’s not something like gymnastics that you can age out of. It’s not unusual for it to take awhile to get from the pony ring to the grand prix ring, so stick with it, keep showing up, and work hard.” Howard also encouraged riders to develop horsemanship skills, and she articulated that the relationship between a horse and rider is created both in and out of the show ring.

The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic continues through Sunday, September, 10. Highlights of the show this year include the $75,000 Fidelity Investments AGA Grand Prix, the $7,500 Mohegan Sun Speed Stake, the $7,500 Welcome Stake, The Young Jumper Division presented by William A. Berry and Sons, the $4,500 Masters Division sponsored by The World, the $2,500 SUCCEED™ High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, the $2,500 Best In Show Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, and the $2,500 Equine Insurance Services Future’s Classic.

Photo Credit: Press Conference Panel of Grand Prix Professionals at Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic. Photo by: Jenny Ross.

 

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