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Michael Morrissey and Scaraberas Clear Seven Feet to Win $25,000 Puissance

Charlotte, NC - April 11, 2009 - It was a full day of exciting show jumping action at the Time Warner Cable Arena today for the 2009 Charlotte Jumper Classic, CSI 5*. The highlight class was the $25,000 Puissance. Michael Morrissey of Bradenton, FL, cleared a seven-foot wall on Scaraberas to win the Puissance class. Earlier in the evening, Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Palouchin de Ligny won the $15,000 Accumulator Class, while Clementine Goutal (USA) on Kelline Fonroy won the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Accumulator. Beezie Madden (USA) and Exclusive were victorious in the $15,000 Open Speed class.

The $25,000 Puissance class drew a field of six horses and riders. The first round started at 5'6", and all six riders were clear. In the second round, it was raised to six feet tall. Henri Kovacs (HUN) and Sassicaia faulted at the first jump on course, but cleared the wall, so they would not return for the next round. Rodrigo Pessoa and Let's Fly were also clear over six feet, but Pessoa opted not to return for the third round. The remaining riders - Georgina Bloomberg, Charlie Jayne, Pablo Barrios, and Morrissey - were clear and moved on to the third round.

In the third round, the wall went up to 6'6". All four riders were clear again over the imposing wall and moved on to the fourth and final round, where the wall would stand at seven feet tall.

First in was New York City's Georgina Bloomberg on Curius. Riding in her first ever Puissance class, Bloomberg had gone through the first three rounds with ease, but she and her horse had trouble in the third round. Curius refused and bumped into the wall, causing it to topple over with great effect. Bloomberg retired and settled for the fourth place ribbon.

Next in was Charlie Jayne (USA) on Thomas Edison. They toed the top block off the wall to finish with four faults and would end up tied for second place.

Morrissey and Scaraberas would come down to the wall next, and with great effort, Scaraberas hiked his legs up and cleared the wall. The crowd cheered in unison for the leader, but Morrissey would have to wait for one more horse to see if he would take home the top prize.

Morrissey's victory was sealed when Pablo Barrios (VEN) and Sinatra had the top blocks down on the wall in the final round. Barrios would end up tied for second place with Jayne.

It was another sweet win for Morrissey, who won the same class at last year's Washington International Horse Show. His win tonight was just half an inch shorter than his win in Washington.

Morrissey said that he did feel a difference between the two wins, however. "At Washington, the wall was set directly going towards the in-gate, and here it was set coming home, but the in-gate was to the left. So, every time I came down to the wall he kept shifting left on me trying to go to the in-gate, and that played a huge factor. I think that if it would have been coming more towards the in-gate, it would have been a little easier, but it still all worked out."

Another difference was that in Washington, the approach and turn to the wall was to the left, while here in Charlotte, it was to the right. This made a difference for Scaraberas, who is stronger to the right. Morrissey explained, "His mouth is better when he is on the right lead, and I think that he is stronger on the right lead. It was great that it was on the right lead for me tonight, and each round he shifted harder and harder towards the in-gate. That last round he shifted in front of it really hard, and I just dug my left spur in and off he went."

Morrissey feels that Scaraberas, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding and half-brother to the famous Shutterfly, has shown his talent for the specialty class, which is only offered at Charlotte and Washington in North America.

"I'm very happy," he beamed. "My horse is a great Puissance horse; he has what it takes to jump a big wall, and he is very brave and kind. He really tries hard. He has certainly found a specialty in the Puissance, and he does it quite well."

In the first class of the evening session, Rodrigo Pessoa and Palouchin de Ligny were very quick for the win in the $15,000 accumulator class. They were able to best Beezie Madden and Exclusive by almost two seconds in this class. Pessoa cleared the course and took the 20 point Joker fence option, finishing with a perfect score of 65 in 45.61 seconds. Madden and Exclusive were also clear over the joker, but were slower in 47.39 seconds. Third place went to another 65 point score from Lauren Hough on Urgent, who finished in 48.17 seconds.

Palouchin de Ligny, a 10-year-old Belgian gelding, is a home-bred horse for Pessoa. He is by Baloubet du Rouet, Pessoa's Olympic gold medal mount, and out of a mare by Chin Chin. Palouchin de Ligny won ten classes during the winter circuit in Florida, and Pessoa said that he is a hard horse to beat when it comes to speed.

"He is a very competitive horse and very fast," Pessoa described. "He can go really fast and the thing with him is that he really stays careful. You are not worried about the shape or having to slow down. You can always accelerate, which is nice for a speed horse."

Pessoa thought the Accumulator format was "something different," and that "it is always exciting with the joker at the end because you really don't know." He added, "The joker is always a skinny or tall vertical or something like that, so it is always difficult to jump. Once you go fast and you come to the joker and it is 20 centimeters bigger than the rest of the course, it is always pretty difficult. But he did it really well, so I am pleased."

In the afternoon session, Beezie Madden (USA) and Exclusive were able to chase down the winning time for victory in the $15,000 International Open Jumper speed class. They posted a quick time of 48.29 seconds with no faults to take the lead from Rodrigo Pessoa and Palouchin de Ligny. Rodrigo finished in 48.41 seconds with no faults. Third place went to the first competitor in the class, Pablo Barrios on LaGran. He set the first clear time at 51.89 seconds.

Madden has only had Exclusive since the fall, and they have only competed together outdoors. However, Madden has followed Exclusive's career as a young horse and knew she had plenty of experience competing indoors in Europe.

"She is eight years old, and she is a Dutch Warmblood. She was actually home-bred by Johan Heins, who we have gotten a lot of our horses from, including Authentic," she explained. "I had always liked her and followed her career and knew that she had done quite a bit indoors."

Madden felt that she made up time on Pessoa through fences three to five, where she left out strides. It was a good win for Exclusive, who Madden feels has a lot of potential as a show jumper. "It feels great to win on a new horse," she said. "Elizabeth Busch Burke is partners with us as the owner. She has been such a great owner for us, and it is nice for her to have a good horse. She deserves it."

Clementine Goutal piloted her 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Kelline Fonroy to the win in the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Accumulator class. They posted a perfect score of 65 points after they cleared the joker fence. They were one of three who had a perfect score, but their faster time of 48.98 seconds gave them the win over Reed Kessler and Ice d'Ancoeur (49.51 seconds) and Katherine Miracle with Miss Liberty 7 (51.86 seconds).

Goutal made a neat inside turn and kept a forward pace throughout the course, which helped her have the fastest time of the night. Goutal praised her horse, who she said is "really good at turns." She added, "She was really confident, and she lets me take those chances and make tight turns. I am really lucky to have her."

Tomorrow is the final day of the 2009 Charlotte Jumper Classic, CSI 5*. The afternoon begins with the $35,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and is followed by the highlight class of the week, the $450,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte for the Charlotte Bobcats Cup.

For more information, please visit http://www.charlottejumperclassic.com.

Final Results: $25,000 Puissance

1. Scaraberas, Michael Morrissey, Eugene R. Mische: 7 feet

2. Thomas Edison, Charlie Jayne, Alex R. Jayne: 6 feet, 6 inches

2. Sinatra, Pablo Barrios, Pablo Barrios: 6 feet, 6 inches

4. Curius, Georgina Bloomberg, Gotham Enterprizes: 6 feet

5. Let's Fly, Rodrigo Pessoa, Double H Farm: 6 feet (WD)

6. Sassicaia II, Henri Kovacs, Plain Bay Farm: 5 feet, 6 inches

Final Results: $15,000 International Open Jumper Accumulator

1. Palouchin de Ligny, Rodrigo Pessoa, Rodrigo Pessoa: 65/45.61

2. Exclusive, Beezie Madden, Elizabeth Busch Burke: 65/47.39

3. Urgent, Lauren Hough, Alice Lawaetz: 65/48.17

4. Sinatra, Pablo Barrios, Pablo Barrios: 65/50.25

5. Chambertino, Ljubov Kochetova, Ljubov Kochetova: 65/53.20

6. Street of Diamonds, Georgina Bloomberg, Gotham Enterprizes: 61/54.57

7. Goldika 559, McLain Ward, McLain Ward: 25/45.90

8. Thomas Edison, Charlie Jayne, Alex R. Jayne: 25/50.50

9. Chiron S, Paige Johnson, Salamander Farm: 25/50.96

10. Caracas 49, Kevin Babington, Babington Jumpers: 25/51.32

11. Bravo van de Kwakkelhoek, Brianne Goutal, Cloverleaf Farm: 25/52.89

12. Lord G, Cara Raether, Trelawny Farm: 12/54.65

Final Results: $15,000 International Open Jumper Speed Class

1. Exclusive, Beezie Madden, Elizabeth Busch Burke/John Madden Sales USA: 0/48.29

2. Palouchin De Ligny, Rodrigo Pessoa, Rodrigo Pessoa BRA: 0/48.41

3. LaGran, Pablo Barrios, Pablo Barrios VEN: 0/51.89

4. Caracas 49, Kevin Babington, Babington Jumpers IRL: 0/52.46

5. Athena, Charlie Jayne, The London Group USA: 0/53.75

6. Aslan, Ljubov Kochetova, Ljubov Kochetova RUS: 0/55.55

7. Rothchild, Mclain Ward, Sagamore Farms USA: 2/64.80

8. Ublesco, Cara Raether, Trelawny Farm USA: 2/65.44

9. Chiron S, Paige Johnson, Salamander Farm USA: 4/52.53

10. Bravo Van De Kwakkelhoek, Brianne Goutal, Cloverleaf Farm USA: 4/55.11

11. Little John, Eliza Shuford, Eliza Shuford USA: 7/67.06

12. Urgent, Lauren Hough, Alice Lawaetz USA: 8/49.01

Final Results: $10,000 A/O-Jr Accumulator

1. Kelline Fonroy, Clementine Goutal, Cloverleaf Farm: 65/48.98

2. Ice d'Ancoeur, Reed Kessler, Reed Kessler: 65/49.51

3. Miss Liberty 7, Katherine Miracle, Overlook Farm: 65/51.86

4. Canaille, Taylor Land, Taylor Land: 25/50.61

5. Ardeche van de Zelm, Lisa Silverman, Lisa Silverman: 25/50.87

6. SS Twister, Whitney Linders, WEE Enterprises: 25/59.48

7. Carneval, Susan Knoblauch, Susan Knoblauch: 24/55.03

8. Cincinatti La Silla, Sean Crooks, Glen Youell: 19/49.59

Photo Credit: Clementine Goutal and Kelline Fonroy won the $10,000 Jr/A-O Accumulator class. Photo 2009 Jennifer Wood/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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