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Marque Cincotta and Chappie Capture Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Low Victory

Tampa, FL -April 2, 2009 - Today marked the forth day of the Tournament of Champions, the third and final week of the Tampa Equestrian Festival. The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, located on the Florida State Fairgrounds, was plagued by rain in the early morning hours but by the afternoon the weather had cleared and the sun was shining. The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers competed in the Covered Arena this morning where rain was not an issue. The top competitor of the day was Marque Cincotta and Chappie in the Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Low class where they took home the day's blue ribbon.

Cincotta and Chappie were one of only two entries to complete the first round of the Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Low class fault-free and advance to the jump-off. Today's first round course included a liverpool, a double combination, and a triple combination. The faults were widely distributed throughout the course but the most difficult fence was the first vertical of the triple combination.

Jordan Coyne and Calisto were the first horse and rider combination to leave all the fences standing after their first round. The pair advanced to the jump-off and completed another clear round, stopping the clock in 36.654 seconds and moving to the top of the scoreboard.

Coyne's lead was short lived as Cincotta and Chappie stepped into the ring next, also completing a clear first round and moving on to the short course. Cincotta and Chappie made tight turns and galloped around the course while still managing to leave all the rails in their cups. The duo raced through the finish line in 30.456 seconds, six seconds ahead of Coyne to win the class.

"My plan was to stay forward through the whole course," explained Cincotta. "Michel Vaillancourt likes to build scopey, so everything has to be a little bit out of stride. I had a good horse that does all of that well, forward, scopey, wide, so it was definitely his course."

Cincotta continued, "My jump-off plan is always the same: to go forward. Even if I know the time and I don't have to crazy I go forward because there is always a chance someone could go faster than you."

Chappie is an old mount of champion rider Debbie Stephens and Cincotta feels grateful to have the opportunity to ride such an experienced horse. "Chappie is a horse that is always the same," she noted. "I was watching videos of him last night from the grand prix and he's the same horse. He's a little feisty and he always has been, but he gets the job done and he's always there."

This summer Cincotta and Chappie will begin competing in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High division at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. Tomorrow Cincotta is looking forward to watching Stephens compete in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational with Chapeau Z.

Tomorrow will mark the last day of competition at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. The horse show's grand finale is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, which will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational is the crown jewel of American show jumping and brings together and elite group of international equestrians to compete for one of the sport's richest purses.

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

Photo Credit: Marque Cincotta and Chappie produced a double clear effort to win today's Junior/Amateur-Owner Low class at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo Randi Muster. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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