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Karen Cudmore Wins the $60,000 AGA Grand Prix of Denver

Parker, CO ----- Karen Cudmore and her mounts Ocelot and Southern Pride took the first and third place finishes, respectively, in the $60,000 AGA Grand Prix of Denver Presented by Dillards and Ariat at The Colorado Horse Park on Saturday night. Cudmore beat out six riders in the jump-off to go home with the top prize. Mickie Sage and Cocknito CH galloped away with the red ribbon.

Thirty-three horse and rider combinations competed over Olaf Petersen Jr.'s course, with eight jumping clear to advance to the second round. Although the course looked simple, it asked many questions from the riders. Among the hazards was the triple combination that headed into the crowd, but it was the large double combination along the outside rail that claimed 10 riders. The riders praised Petersen's choices. Mickie Sage commented, "I thought the course was amazing. It asked all the right questions."

Cudmore, who hails from Omaha, Nebraska, was thrilled with her horses' performances. "I had an advantage going into the jump-off with two horses, but Ocelot is always faster. Southern Pride is a Mercedes Benz; Ocelot is a Ferrari," explained Cudmore. Although Ocelot is faster across the ground, both of the scopey stallions are Holsteiners bred by Joan Irvine, of California. Ocelot is by Ocean II who is by the famous South Pacific, who is the sire of Southern Pride.

Cudmore is a decorated rider who has represented her native country of Canada at the World Equestrian Games and served an alternate for the 2007 Pan American Games. She has been competing at The Colorado Horse Park for more than a decade and frequently leads the victory gallop. "I love the crowd here. Colorado has very enthusiastic people and it motivates you. I love showing here."

While Cudmore has become an institution at the park, Mickie Sage was a hometown favorite. Sage rides out of Castle Rock, Colorado and enjoys being back home. "I have been on the road for 16 months and love coming home. The crowd is so great here and I love having people who have watched me come up through the ranks cheering me on," said Sage.

Sage and her mount, Cocknito CH, have traveled coast to coast to compete in 13 Grand Prix in their first year at this level. The pair will now travel back to California to contest a World Cup qualifier. Cocknito CH, a 9-year-old Swiss Warmblood, jumped a brilliant round and certainly showed his fantastic bloodlines. He is by Cockney II, a stallion that won the prestigious Valkenswaard Grand Prix with rider Beezie Madden. "Cocknito CH is an amazing creature," said Sage.

The Grand Prix of Denver marked the finish of the Leading Open Jumper Rider race. John McConnell took the title, with prize money earnings of $17,150. Mexico's Armando Hassey finished in reserve with $15,500 in prize money. Both gentlemen made it into the jump-off of the Grand Prix of Denver. Hassey finished fourth and McConnell fifth.

The Colorado Summer Circuit wrapped up after four weeks of sold-out hunter, jumper and equitation classes. Visit http://www.coloradohorsepark.org for more info about the park.

Results (placing, rider, horse)

$60,000 AGA Grand Prix of Denver Presented by Dillards and Ariat

1. Karen Cudmore-Ocelot

2. Mickey Sage-Cocknito CH

3. Karen Cudmore-Southern Pride

4. Armando Hassey-La Roche

5. John McConnell- Carolina

6. Kristen Vanderveen-Bull Run's Charly Brown

7. Susan Artes-Presto B

8. Kevin Gielen- Surryal

About the Colorado Horse Park

The Colorado Horse Park is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization. The purpose of the Colorado Horse Park is to showcase the history and heritage of the West using the horse as the primary teaching tool through hands-on educational programming, museum exhibitions, competitions, boarding and training, recreation, entertainment and therapy for all ages. For more information visit http://www.coloradohorsepark.org.


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