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Memorial Day Classic gets Underway

The Memorial Day Classic (May 21-25, 2009) is underway and a number of champions have already been recognized. Of the special classes and events, two have already culminated. On Friday night, thirteen teams contested the Memorial Day Equitation Challenge presented by LA Saddlery (http://www.lasaddlery.com), and with a trip to Maui on the line competition was fierce. A junior rider, an amateur rider, and a professional made up each team and only the eight best teams qualified for the second round on Saturday night.

Although the scores were close, Team Brown Sugar emerged as the winner. For professional Kacey Ament the victory was especially sweet. "When I rode on a team as a junior we won and I really wanted the trip to Hawaii. I loved my beach bike, but now I get to go to Maui!" Michelle Morris rode as the amateur member and Navona Gallegos earned the junior score. Both girls were thrilled with their beach bikes they won for their efforts.

Blondes Have More Fun came in a close second. Katie Gardner, another winner as an amateur in a previous year rode in the professionalís irons. Holly Scapa braided up her handsome jumper and earned the amateur score and Kilian McGrath served as the junior member of the team. Rounding out the top three was Marchelmar Maui Bond. Professional Marla Amormino, junior Rachel Thurman, and amateur Marnye Langer had fun creating a play on their names with "Marchelmar."

The Fourth Annual California Professional Horsemenís Association Foundation Bowling Benefit provided a great deal of fun for competitors and raised money for the Foundation. The funds raised help support the Foundationís worth programs of aiding professionals in times of need and providing higher education opportunities through scholarships and grants. Over the years the Bowling Benefit has grown in popularity and some teams have resorted to seeding their teams with experienced players. Philip Klipaís Marlay Farms bowlers were not content with just supporting the event and this year they were determined to unseat the LEG Up Bowlers who have won two of the last three years. (http://www.cpha.org/Foundation/)

Stan Edwards, father of junior rider Nicole, recruited two friends to join the team. When trainer Philip Klipa had to have shoulder surgery, Mark Farndale, who has his own training barn alongside Klipaís at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center stepped in. "Actually I was happy Mark wanted to bowl on our team because he bowls much better than I do," laughed Klipa. Marlay Farms was marvelous and bowled their way right to the top. In second was event organizer George Chatignyís Bowled Tendons, with the LEG Up Bowlers taking third.

"The Benefit has turned into a fun night for everyone and is a kind of revival at the bowling alley with beer, pizzas, and snacks. It is also a great fundraiser and in a couple of hours we raise some much appreciated funds for the CPHA Foundation." Chris Norden of Norden Equine affiliated with Markel Insurance fielded a team for the first time and they had a ball (pun intended). "I last bowled when I was ten," laughed Norden "but this was so fun. What a great idea and we will definitely be back next year." (http://www.nordenequine.com)

Up next at the Memorial Day Classic is the ASG Software Solutions USHJA International Hunter Derby. With almost 40 horses contesting the course during a catered dinner on the terrace overlooking the Large Oval, the event promises to be a special evening for all. Then the Memorial Day Classic concludes with the $25,000 Memorial Day Classic Grand Prix, which also serves as a selection trial for the Zone 10 Young Rider candidates.

Complete results and schedules are available at: http://www.langershows.com.


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