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Mario Deslauriers and Tigger Triumph in 1.40m at the Tampa Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL - March 20, 2009 - The sun was shining brightly over the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds for the third day of competition at the Tampa Equestrian Festival, as jumpers competed for top prizes in the Covered Arena. This week is the Suncoast Internationale, the first week of the three-week long festival, which features first-class competition between the nations top hunters and jumpers.

Mario Deslauriers was today's top rider again winning both the 1.30m and 1.40m classes in the Covered Arena. First Deslauriers competed in the 1.30m class with Lutopia, owned by Jane Clark of New York, NY, where they earned only one time fault. He then competed with Tigger, also owned by Clark, in the 1.40m class, where the pair completed double clear rounds and had the fastest jump-off time.

The 1.30m class competed first in the Covered Arena over an 11 obstacle course designed by Philip J. De Vita. Today's course included two double combinations, a bending line, a fan jump and a liverpool, and it was scored under Table II section 1, fastest first round.

Deslauriers and Lutopia were the first and only pair to leave all the jumps in tact over today's 1.30 course. They came in at a time of 72.708, just over the time allowed of 72 seconds, but despite their one time fault, held on to the first place position. Brock Clermont and Top Chic D, owned by Clermark Equuestri of Brandenton, FL, were one of two to produce a four fault jumping effort, after pulling a rail at fence nine, a large oxer, after the first double combination. The duo tripped the timers at 72.321, also just over the time allowed, for a total of five faults and the second place ribbon. Mario Deslauriers and his second mount, Cocu, owned by Jane Clark, also faulted at fence nine, and stopped the clock at 75.304 for four time faults. Their eight fault score earned them third place honors.

The 1.40m class was the next to compete in the Covered Arena today at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Mario Desauriers, of New York, NY, and Paradigm were the first pair to post a clean first round jumping effort and move into the jump-off, where they posted a second clear round with a time of 37.345. Double clear would not be enough in today's class, but their time held up for fourth place. RMW New Day and Mary Shirley, of Wellington, FL, were the next combination to post double clear rounds, and the pair tripped the timers at 36.491 to earn the third place ribbon. Deslauriers entered the ring next with his second mount, Vicomte D, also owned by Clark. The duo moved into the jump-off after completing a clear first round. Their jump-off time was the fastest yet at 35.070, but they had a rail at the last fence, earning four faults and moving into fourth place.

Deslauriers and his third mount Tigger would be the next pair to complete clear rounds in both the first round and the jump-off, crossing the finish line in a time of 32.378, the fastest of the day, and garnering the blue ribbon. Deslauriers tried to catch his own time with his fourth mount, Diablo, and came very close with a faultless jump-off round, but the pair crossed the finish line with a time of 34.956, earning the second place prize.

"Today's course was very nice," commented Deslauriers, "It wasn't easy but it wasn't overly difficult either. The skinny fence is always hard, and the tight oxer on the corner to the double combination was a little tricky, but overall it was a really good class."

"Tigger has a classic jumping style but sometimes he just needs a little extra leg because he will look at the jumps a little," Deslauriers said. "He's very quick, probably one of my fastest, and he's very handy. He has a big step and he can turn quickly because he is very quick with his knees. We're teaching him to go faster, so today was a really good exercise for him."

The Tampa Equestrian Festival is always a favorite horse show destination for Mario Deslauriers. "The fairgrounds have been here for a long time and the facility is excellent," he stated. "The city of Tampa has a lot of nice restaurants and a lot of great places to go visit with the family."

Deslauriers will to compete next week at the Tampa Equestrian Festival, which will begin Wednesday, March 25. Tomorrow the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division will complete its second day of competition and receive championship and reserve championship awards, and Sunday will feature the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The Tampa Equestrian Festival comes to a close Saturday, April 4, at Raymond James Stadium following the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, the nation's most prestigious show jumping event.

For more information please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: Mario Deslauriers and Tigger had today's fastest double clear round for the win in today's 1.40m class at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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