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Laura King-Kaplan and Vida Blue Named Grand Junior Hunter Champions at Horse Shows by the Bay

Scheriff and Keenan Take Blue in $5,000 NAL/WIHS Hunter Classics

Traverse City, MI - July 19, 2008 - Horse Shows by the Bay action kicked off this morning in the Polk Family Hunter Ring as the Junior Hunters competed for championship titles today. The four divisions lasted a fair portion of the morning and afternoon as week one competition continued here at Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, MI. The first week of the show concludes tomorrow, while next week's runs from July 23-27.

Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL, had a very successful day in the Polk Family Hunter Ring today. Newman rode both Lifetime Guarantee, owned by Robert Cole, and Pirate, owned by Shaw Johnson Price, to wins in the Small Junior Hunters 16-17 Year-Old division classes both today and yesterday. At the completion of the division today, Lifetime Guarantee was named Champion and Pirate was Reserve Champion.

Seventeen-year-old Newman was excited about her wins and talked about how great both horses are. "Lifetime Guarantee was really good this week," Newman said. "The other horse, Pirate, I have never shown before. I just started showing him here this week. He is really fun. They both went really well actually."

"I really appreciate the rides that I have gotten," Newman continued. "Especially for getting to ride Pirate and Lifetime Guarantee, they are both really nice horses."

Next up for the day's competition was the Small Junior Hunters 15 Years and Under sponsored by Matchmaker, Ltd. and Connie Stevens of Lake Bluff, IL. With several nice rides in the two days of Junior Hunter competition, Laura King-Kaplan of Irvington, NY and her horse Heartfelt walked away Champions of the division.

The eight-year-old Warmblood is very special to King-Kaplan. "He was really, really good today," she said after her win. "When he goes well he goes better than anybody else. He is just a really special horse."

Following close behind King-Kaplan and Heartfelt were Ande Farish and Cape Town, owned by Lanes End, in Versailles, KY as Reserve Champions.

The competition next moved on to the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Year-Old division sponsored by Foxtail Farm and The Norris Family of Lexington, KY. Coming out victorious again was Katherine Newman with another Championship win, this time on her large horse, All The Answers, owned by Sherri Crawford of Atlanta, GA.

Coming in a close second to Newman and All the Answers were Hillary Q. Ross and her horse Klondike. Ross, of Reese, MI, had several great rides in the two days of Junior Hunter competition and rode to victory as Reserve Champion of the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Year-Old division.

The final division of the day for the Junior Hunters was the Large Junior Hunter 15 Years and Under division sponsored by Boggs Hill and Tim and Kelly Goguen of Wellington, FL. Triumphant yet again was young rider Laura King-Kaplan, this time with her large horse, Vida Blue.

Laura King-Kaplan and Vida Blue were also named the Junior Hunter Grand Champions. King-Kaplan credited her talented young horse for such a great win.

"She is pretty straightforward," King-Kaplan said after being honored with the award. "She always tries really hard. It is so nice to ride a horse that always tries."

Following King-Kaplan and Vida Blue in the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under Championship was Caitlyn Ziegler of Mequon, WI and her dark bay gelding Africa. The pair was awarded the Reserve Champion honor.

All championship awards for series I of Horse Shows by the Bay are given courtesy of Custom Fox Tack Shop, in Temperance, MI, which provided all of the championship winners of today's divisions with their awards. Laura King-Kaplan and Vida Blue were honored in their Grand Junior Hunter Championship win thanks to the sponsorship of Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Shook of Fenton, MI.

In hunter ring number three, the day wrapped up with two classics: $5,000 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic and $5,000 NAL/WIHS Children's Hunter Classic. When the adult classic was set to start, so did the rain. The top 12 riders had to navigate their second round course in a downpour.

Both classics were sponsored by Lisa A.H. Cudahy. Her contributions allowed for both adult and child riders to compete for a purse which totaled $10,000.

Taking home the blue ribbon in the $5,000 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic was Tracy Scheriff and her grey gelding Absolut. As they went into the ring for the award presentation, a rainbow appeared. Scheriff and Absolut have not been together that long.

"I am really excited. He's really young and I just started showing him towards the end of Florida," said Scheriff. "He is really a good boy. He always goes out there and tries to do his best for you, and he is just so much fun to ride."

Scheriff's plan in the class was focused on giving her horse a good round. She believed the reason the mud from all the rain didn't affect them very much was due to the effort of the horse show's maintenance of the rings.

"My plan today was to go out there and be really consistent for him as well as for myself since he is so green and give him a really confident ride," commented Scheriff. "The rain actually didn't end up being bad at all. The ring held up great and it had pretty much tapered off by the time I got in there. The show at Traverse City so far has been wonderful. It is so beautiful and it seems to be running really well."

The $5,000 NAL/WIHS Children's Hunter Classic winner was Lillie Keenan and chestnut mare Violets are Blue. At age eleven, Keenan blew away the competition. She just recently moved up to horses from ponies and she has only been riding the horse for five weeks.

"I was a little nervous riding in the mud because I have never ridden her in the mud before, but she was perfect; she didn't care about it," said Keenan. "I have just started with the horses, so I am still a little nervous when it comes to stuff like bending lines; I didn't know how many strides the horses were going to get in there, but after watching other people and seeing how the lines rode it made it seem a little easier."

All Keenan cared about was giving the mare a good ride, and she did just that. She has also enjoyed the show so far.

"I knew I had done my job and she had done hers, so I would have been happy no matter what score we got. This is my first year in Traverse City and we love it. I love everything about it. It is really fun," commented Keenan. "I have some friends staying in campers and the show has stuff for the kids to do behind the scenes; like kid and dog jumps for us to play with. They make it very inviting for everyone."

For more information on Horse Shows by the Bay and the fun events planned for competitors and spectators alike, please go to http://www.horsesportsbythebay.com.

$5,000 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic

1. Absolut, Tracy Scheriff, Tracy Scheriff

2. Glencheck, Bradley Wolkoff, Bradley Wolkoff

3. Popularity, Kimberly Risser, Kimberly Risser

4. Pompidoe, Pinecroft LLC, Annie Frazier

5. Something's Cookin', Sue Hehl, Sue Hehl

6. Manitou, Tricah Partners, Carrie Henderson

7. First Things First, M/M David Beisel, Paige Beisel

8. Great Expectations, Tingle Barnes, Tingle Barnes

9. Namiro 6, Starr Meijer, Star Meijer

10. Foreign Encounter, Terri Dandino, Terri Dandino

$5,000 NAL/WIHS HSBB Children's Hunter Classic

1. Violets are Blue, Lillie Keenan, Lillie Keenan

2. Peerless, Amy Yankekevitz, Anna Levy

3. Daria, Audrey Layman, Audrey Layman

4. Madrigal, Orysia Bezpalko, Orysia Bezpalko

5. Recoup, Jane Marie Milani, Lauren Polito

6. Tommy, Summer Lalor-Schleck, Kate Roach

7. Georgio, Cara Monforton, Cara Monforton

8. Glimmer, Emily Kowalchik, Emily Kowalchik

9. Princeton, Sierra Fischer, Sierra Fischer

10. Arthur F, Holly Long, Holly Long

Photo Credit: Laura King-Kaplan and Vida Blue: Junior Hunter Grand Champions at Horse Shows by the Bay. Photo (C) 2008 Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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