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New Partners Speed to Victory in Palm Beach Post National Horse Show

Wellington, FL - December 5, 2007 - In their first competition together, Lutopia and Nicole Simpson won the $5,000 Palm Beach Post National Horse Show Welcome Stake, CSI. Lutopia is owned by Jane Forbes Clark of New York City. Today's class was the opening competition for the international open jumper riders at the 124th National Horse Show, which runs through Sunday, December 9, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington.

Today's class had 38 entries, and the course was designed by Pierre Jolicouer of Wellington. There were seven clear rounds in the class, and three more were clear jumping but had time faults.

The first in the ring and the pacesetter for the majority of the class was Eduardo Salas Herrera (MEX) on RMW New Day. They had a clear round in a time of 69.54 seconds. Their time held up through another 25 rounds until Simpson and Lutopia took away the lead. Simpson kept a fast, steady pace and made good inside turns throughout the course. Lutopia's inherent speed led them to the win.

Riding out of the 13th spot in the order, Casey Hodges of Aiken, SC, and Audio K made a good bid for victory, but fell just short with a clear round in 69.71 seconds. They ended up in fourth place.

A late challenge in the class came from Wellington resident Margie Engle on Hidden Creek's Wapino. Engle just missed Simpson's winning time and finished in 65.51 seconds.

Today was a great victory for Simpson, who was all smiles after the class. This was her first competition on Lutopia, although the 14-year-old mare is a seasoned and successful competitor. Simpson admitted she was a bit intimidated to ride such a winning horse, but that she's "really, really fun" and similar to a horse she used to ride.

Simpson only jumped Lutopia three times before showing today, but she prepared by watching videos of Lutopia with her previous rider, Molly Ashe-Cawley, who is now pregnant. "That helped a lot to get to know her. I've always watched Molly, but it's different to watch with the intention of having to ride (the horse)," Simpson explained.

Lutopia has won many speed classes in America and Europe, so Simpson felt confident in today's class. "I knew she's very fast on her own and has that gear. I figured if I got her pointed at the jumps, it was a pretty good chance," she said. "I pretty much kept it even for the start. About halfway through, I was feeling comfortable and let her just open up a bit more."

Simpson will continue to show in the international division this week, including tomorrow's highlight class, the NHS Speed Classic, at 3 p.m.

FINAL RESULTS: $5,000 PALM BEACH POST WELCOME STAKE

1. LUTOPIA, NICOLE SIMPSON, JANE F. CLARK, 0 faults/65.380 seconds

2. HIDDEN CREEK'S WAPINO, MARGIE ENGLE, HIDDEN CREEK FARM, 0/65.510

3. RMW NEW DAY, EDUARDO SALAS HERRERA, ROCKYMT WARMBLOODS, 0/69.540

4. AUDIO K, CASEY HODGES, WENDY ARNDT-HODGES, 0/69.710

5. ORMSBY HILL, JIMMY TORANO, JIMMY TORANO, 0/71.460

6. LA ROCCO JUN, MICHAEL WALTON, PENLYN FARM, 0/72.340

7. LANGUSTER, NONA GARSON, RYAN AUTOMOTIVE, 0/73.980

8. COULETTO K. JAMES, KATHERINE MIRACLE, OVERLOOK FARM INC., 2/75.320

9. LUNE D'ELLA, MARIO DESLAURIERS, MARIO DESLAURIERS, 2/75.790

10. PHILLIPA, MCLAIN WARD, SAGAMORE FARMS, 3/76.830



Photo Credit: Lutopia and Nicole Simpson, winners of the $5,000 Palm Beach Post National Horse Show Welcome Stake. Photo (C) 2007 Randi Muster

 

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