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Gundersen and Garbo Race to Win Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson V

Henrik Gundersen and Darvin Garbo Race Through the Jump-Off to Win Thursday’s $25,000 Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson V

Saugerties, New York – July 27, 2006 – Henrik Gundersen and Darvin Garbo raced through the jump-off course to take the win in the $25,000 Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson V.

The pair beat out a field of 36, of which ten went clear in the first round to qualify for the jump-off. Gundersen said the course, designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, was just right for a Thursday afternoon Grand Prix and he was not surprised that so many riders went clear in the first round.

“There are a group of riders here who are very capable. But I think it’s right to set the course for the horses rather than for the riders. A more difficult course is unfair to some horses that aren’t as experienced. It means that we’ll have a few more horses in the jump-off, but it also means the course won’t scare the younger horses,” he said.

Competitors lucked out with the weather. Thunderstorms could be heard and seen all around the show grounds, but only the last three riders in round one actually had to ride through a bit of rain – Darragh Kerins, Eliza Shuford and Nona Garson. And the rain ended before the jump-off began.

Of the ten who qualified for the jump-off, six finished with a clear round, which meant that speed was the key to victory.

Gundersen and Darvin Garbo sailed through the course so rapidly that they finished with the fastest time among all in the jump-off – those who went clear and those who didn’t. Their time of 39.99 was well ahead of the allowed time of 58 seconds. The closest to them in time was McLain Ward riding Sapphire. Ward finished the course in 40.18 seconds but had a four-fault penalty.

Gundersen was seventh to go and entered the ring knowing three riders had gone clear ahead of him, one of whom was Margie Engle. Her time aboard Hidden Creek’s Alibi, of 44.10, was the time to beat.

“Margie is always fast and I knew she had a time of 44. I also knew I had Laura Chapot coming after me,” Gundersen said. “So, basically, I just went as fast and short as I could all the way around. Sometimes you have a fault when you take chances, but today, everything came together.”

Both of the riders who followed Gundersen, Chapot on Samantha and Todd Minikus on Pavarotti, went clear but couldn’t catch Gundersen’s time. Chapot finished second and Minikus finished fifth behind Engle and William Lowry riding Polygraaf.

Gundersen, originally from Denmark but now based in Wellington, Florida, has been working with Darvin Garbo, a 10-year-old Danish Warmblood, since the horse was six.

“He’s a horse my father found when he was a five year old,” Gundersen said. “He’s a good horse. I train him a lot on my horse treadmill that I sell. It makes him very scopey and powerful off the ground.”

RESULTS - $25,000 Grand Prix HITS Thursday Grand Prix

1 1607 DARVIN GARBO – Henrik Gundersen – 0-0/39.99

2 128 SAMANTHA – Laura Chapot – 0-0/42.55

3 1370 HIDDEN CREEK’S ALIBI – Margie Engle – 0-0/44.10

4 1423 POLYGRAAF – William Lowry – 0-0/44.26

5 793 PAVAROTTI – Todd Minikus – 0-0/45.51

6 69 INDY STAR II – Laura Bowery – 0-0/48.37

7 773 SAPPHIRE – McLain Ward – 0-4/40.18

8 538 SUMMER STORM – Amy Momrow – 0-4/42.31

9 245 MEMPHIS – Caitlyn Shiels – 0-4/46.74

10 891 GENESIS JUMPING SPORT – Simon Nizri – 0-12/44.345

11 772 LARIOSO – McLain Ward – 4/71.27

12 1643 TREZEBEES – Addison Phillips – 4/75.115

This special report is a preview provided by PhelpsSports.com. Look for the debut of this new equestrian news website during the World Equestrian Games in August. Visit http://www.PhelpsSports.com for more information.


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