Thermal, CA - March 3, 2009 - The riders out of Karen Healey Stables have proven themselves yet again during the fifth week of competition in Thermal, CA, for the HITS Desert Circuit. Week five ran from February 24 through March 1, and many of Karen Healey's horses and riders topped the hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions.
Karen Healey's student Lauren Kay has been very successful throughout the circuit in the Amateur-Owner Jumpers with her horse Damiro 21. This week, Kay and Damiro 21 placed fourth in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. They also placed fourth in one class of the High Amateur-Owner Jumper division and second in the Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers.
Kay has owned eight-year-old Damiro 21 for less than a year, since last May. "I did very well this week," Kay commented. "This was only his third week doing the High A/O Jumpers, and he was great."
"Karen has brought him along amazingly well," Kay continued. "He is very quick and smart, and he is very balanced. For me that makes it a lot easier because my challenge is getting too far ahead and putting the balance too far forward. But he stays really balanced, and he is very adjustable. He is always thinking where the next jump is and he is careful, so it is a lot of fun."
Kay has been riding with Karen Healey since her days competing as a junior in the equitation and hunter divisions, but as an amateur, she is really enjoying doing the jumpers. "The basics are all the same, and I think having such a strong equitation foundation was really beneficial for me, but I really love the jumpers," Kay explained. "It is really fun, and I like how technical it is."
"Karen has taught me a lot of things that have not only been very valuable in riding, but that have been very valuable in life," Kay expressed. "Probably the biggest thing is that there are no emotions in riding. She always says, 'Lower your expectations, and your performance will rise', which has come in very handy for me. She is just really an excellent teacher. She is a thinking teacher; she has a very methodical way of working, and it's not just about you as a student, it's also about you and your horse and how your horse is prepared."
"It is the subtleties of the straightness and turns, and understanding how to make decisions on course," Kay continued. "Her training sets up all of those tests and lessons so that when you are out there without her in the ring, you know what decisions to make to be successful. She is a competitor, which, as a competitive person, it has been great to have a trainer who wants to win so much."
Demi Stiegler is another rider out of Karen Healey Stables who has had continued success at the HITS Desert Circuit this year. Stiegler and Vigo, owned by Citrus Hill Farms, LLC, placed first in both the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship and CPHA Foundation Equitation Medal classes and were fourth in the USEF Talent Search Medal. The pair also competed in the WIHS Equitation Classic, placing fourth in the hunter phase and second in the jumper phase, for a second place finish overall.
Kristi Siam rode her horse Krosus to another series of wins this week, placing first in both the USEF Adult Medal and Foxfield Medal classes. Siam and Krosus also competed in the Low Amateur-Owner Hunter division and won first and second place ribbons.
Kylee Arbuckle did well in the jumper divisions this week. Arbuckle rode her horse Valentino to a first place finish in the $2,500 M&S Child Jumper Classic and placed fourth in both the Children's Jumper 15 and Under and Level 4 Jumper divisions. Arbuckle also rode Ampy Benach's horse Leon in the WIHS Equitation Classic, placing fourth in the jumper phase.
Alexandra Block rode Tammy Chipko's talented hunter All That in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division this week. Block and All That placed second in the under saddle and were second, second and fourth over fences.
Mackenzie Baker showed Safira 9, owned by Karen Healey, to fourth place in the Equitation 16-17 under saddle as well as a fourth place in the Central Equine Junior Medal. Baker and Kona, owned by Thea Disney, placed first and sixth in the Modified Junior Jumper division and fifth in the $4,000 Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.
Juliana Ball showed in the jumpers with her horses Philadelphia and Sjapoo this week. Ball rode Philadelphia to a third place finish in the Children's Jumper 15 and Under division and was also second in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Child Jumper Classic. With Sjapoo, Ball placed fifth in the Modified Junior Jumper division and second in the $1,000 Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.
Other top riders for Karen Healey Stables this week included Kasey Ament, Yvette Harris, Jocelyn Neff, and Grace Shelton.
Kasey Ament rode Chris Surbey's horse Siendefie in the Level 4 Jumpers and placed fourth. With Alexandra Block's horse Walk the Line, Ament won two third place ribbons in the Adequan Hunter division. Ament also rode Livingstone, owned by Addy Graves, to a fifth place finish in the Adult Equitation 2'9" division.
Yvette Harris also rode Livingstone this week, showing in the Novice Adult Hunter division, and earning one fifth and two sixth place ribbons in the individual classes. Jocelyn Neff rode John Endicott's Blue Shot Baco in the Level 7 Jumpers and placed fifth. Grace Shelton rode Eventual, owned by Michelle Morris, to fourth place in the CPHA Hunter Seat Junior Medal.
Karen Healey Stables' horses and riders will compete again next in week for HITS Desert Circuit VI, which runs March 3-8.
For more information please visit http://www.karenhealeystables.com
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/karen-healey-stables-lauren-key-jumpers-03-09.html">Karen Healey Stables' Lauren Kay and Damiro 21 Garner Top Ribbons in High A/O Jumpers</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com