Freehold, NJ – August 9, 2006 - The 111th Annual Monmouth County Horse Show, held at East Freehold Park, in Freehold, New Jersey, is New Jersey’s longest running and most prestigious equestrian competition. The show, which runs from August 16 through August 20, 2006, will feature top show jumping riders, including three United States Olympians and a member of the Irish Olympic team.
Leslie Howard of Westport, Connecticut, Anne Kursinski from Frenchtown, New Jersey, Nona Garson of Lebanon, New Jersey and Kevin Babington from Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, will challenge defending Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix champion Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, at this year’s event. The Monmouth County Horse Show features a first class jumper division. The riders will be focused on the highlight event of the five day show, the $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix on Sunday, August 20, at 1pm. New for this year, the show will offer a Thursday Grand Prix competition.
“We’re excited about Thursday,” smiled Show Manager Leo Conroy. “Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Paul Miller Automotive Saab/Land Rover of Woodbridge, we will now have a $25,000 Grand Prix on Thursday. This is in addition to the $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix on Sunday. With this new class, we feel we’ve really upgraded our jumper division at Monmouth this year.”
New Jersey’s Anne Kursinski, a veteran of four Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta, will make Monmouth a stop on her 2006 tour. Kursinski comes home to New Jersey following her participation on the United States Samsung Super League Tour in Europe. Earlier in the year Kursinski rode Roxana 112 to the win in the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix at the Wachovia Jumper Classic at Beacon Hill Show Stables. She was a winner last year of the $60,000 Lincoln Idle Dice Classic in Wellington, Florida, and also picked up top prizes last year in the $75,000 Cosequin Florida Open and the $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH International Cup in March and the $75,000 I Love New York Grand Prix in July.
Leslie Howard, one of the country’s most decorated riders, will attend Monmouth this year. Howard was a member of the Gold Medal Olympic team at Los Angeles in 1984, and the Silver Medal team at Atlanta in 1996. In 1999, Howard was a key member of the Silver Medal team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, and a member of the Gold Medal Pan Am Games team in Caracas, Venezuela in 1983. Howard has 18 World Cup Final appearances, and in 1986 she claimed the FEI World Cup Final victory. She has posted wins in the Queen Elizabeth Cup at Spruce Meadows and the President’s Cup at Washington. She is a four time winner of the Grand Prix of New York, and she was a member of the United States World Equestrian Games squad in 1994 and 2002. Howard comes to New Jersey following a stunning victory in the $175,000 Chrysler Classic Derby at Spruce Meadows, Canada, in July.
Kevin Babington, based in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, rode for his home country of Ireland in the Olympic Games at Athens in 2004. He has competed in two World Championships and one European Championship for Ireland and has been a member of twelve victorious Nations Cup teams for Ireland, including his team’s victory in Wellington, Florida, in 2005. Babington has led the victory gallop at LaBaule, France, Hickstead, England, Toronto, Canada, and at Spruce Meadows, among others.
Nona Garson of Lebanon, New Jersey, was a member of the United States Olympic Show Jumping Team at Sydney, Australia, in 2000 and was a Pan Am Games Team Bronze Medalist at Buenos Aires in 1995. Garson has notched wins in the AGA Championships, the Grand Prix of Lake Placid, The Gold Coast Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival and at Cincinnati, Garden State and Old Salem.
They will all be chasing after defending Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix Champion Laura Chapot. Last year, Chapot finished first and second in the $30,000 Sunday main event with her two gray mares, Sprite and Samantha. This year, after a great Winter Equestrian Festival, Chapot rode to victory in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix at Saugerties, NY, and was Reserve Open Jumper Champion at Devon. A former AGA Rookie of the Year, Chapot captured the East Coast World Cup League title in 1996, and in 1994 she was the Eastern Conference Show Jumping Hall of Fame Champion.
Chapot looks forward to defending her title and appreciates the hard work done by the organizers at the Monmouth County Horse Show. “I think they’re doing a great job with Monmouth,” she said. “Every year we see a few changes. As the show continues to grow, it gets better every year. I think it is very important to thank the great sponsors at Monmouth and the people that support the show year after year and have faith in the show. Those are the people that have allowed Monmouth to return to being a great show like it once was.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Two-time Olympian Leslie Howard will compete at the 2006 Monmouth County Horse Show. Pictured here on Youp winning the Grand Prix of Palm Beach. Photo ©2006 by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/monmouth-county-jumper-line-up-8-06.html">111th Annual Monmouth County Horse Show Jumper Line Up</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com