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Phillips Triumphs for Triple Tricolors at Bainbridge Florida Classic

Thornton and Bellissimo Take Championships in Junior 15 and Under Hunters

Wellington, FL – February 24, 2007 – The Winter Equestrian Festival presented championship awards to the junior hunter divisions today at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. After jumping their final round over fences in the Internationale Arena, the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters, sponsored by Davlyn Farms, were the first to conclude for the week. Champion and reserve champions of each rated division are invited to compete tonight in the AHJF Hunter Spectacular of Palm Beach.

Alexandra Thornton and Tobasco, owned by Dunwalke LLC, earned another tricolor in the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters for their stellar performance. Thornton and her chestnut gelding earned the championship last week as well, and they continue to top the charts for blue ribbon wins. Thornton resides in Bedminster, NJ, and trains with Susie Humes.

“Yesterday Alexandra had a double ear infection and a fever of 102,” revealed Humes about her student. “She got off the last horse and went to the hospital, so she was really sick. I wouldn’t have let her go if I had known she was that sick.”

“She’s such a soldier, and she kept saying she felt fine,” Humes said. “She was so upset because she didn’t think she would be able to do the night class tonight, which is such a big thing for her. Before she went in the ring today, I told her to go out there and try to win, not to go out there and ride for third. She galloped down to that first jump and took a lick and never looked back. She was great.”

Reserve champion in the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters was awarded to Falcon and Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

In the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters, Nicole Bellissimo and her mount Say The Word, owned by Far Niente Equine LLC, came away with the championship. Waxman captured another reserve champion for her beautiful rides aboard Sarah Ward’s horse Onassis. Both riders train with Ken and Emily Smith and David Nation at Ashland Farm, and Bellissimo lives in Wellington, FL.

“He was my mom’s horse in the Adults, and then last year I started doing him in the Children’s Hunters,” stated Bellissimo. “Then I started doing the Juniors on him this summer, and he’s been really good to me. He’s really lazy, and I have to wear big spurs on him. He was really good in the field today, and I’m excited about doing the night class.”

Addison Phillips took home double tricolors in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters aboard Mimosa and Morocco. Mimosa earned the championship after picking up first and third yesterday and second in the under saddle. Morocco followed with the reserve championship after winning first, second, and fourth over fences and fifth in the under saddle class.

“I was champion on Mimosa, who I’ve had for a year now,” explained Phillips. “I did the First Year Greens with both horses last year, and this will be their first year showing out on the big field under the lights. I think Mimosa will definitely go around beautifully, and she’s a beautiful horse to watch. And I’m excited for Morocco too. I think they’ll both be great. They are both really brave, and they try to win.”

Phillips then finished with her third championship ribbon for the day in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters after solid rounds on her new mount Mirasol.

“Mirasol just turned eight, and he had never shown as a hunter,” said Andre Dignelli, Phillips’ trainer. “We did double divisions this week and qualified for tonight. He’s done nothing but win since the day we got him,” he smiled. “We couldn’t be happier because we’d been looking for a Small Junior for Addison for quite some time, and I think we found a really great one.”

“He’s really great to ride,” added Phillips. “He goes on a really loose gallop, so I can just get into a half-seat and gallop around. He’s a really careful horse, and he looks to jump all the jumps clean. My only job is finding the jumps, and he does the rest.”

Reserve champion in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters went to Tatiana Dzavik and Sienna, owned by Hannah Goodson Cutt.

The Adult Amateur 51 and Older Hunters, sponsored by Carol A Sollak PA and Illustrated Properties, also wrapped up today in the Grand Hunter Field. In section A of the Adult Amateurs Hunters, Solitaire and Stephen Martines rode to the championship, and Marsia Holzer took home the reserve championship with Sahara.

Section B of the Adult Amateur 51 and Older Hunter division presented Sandra Epstein and Chatham Lights with the tricolor, and Margaret O’Meara received reserve champion for her rides on Sensation, owned by Woodland Way, Inc.

The Bainbridge Florida Classic, CSI-W/ WCHR Spectacular, presented by the Palm Beach Post, will come to a close tomorrow at the Winter Equestrian Festival with the Pony Hunter and Children’s Hunter divisions concluding for championships. In addition, the Rost Ring will host the Florida Pony Hunter Classic, and the Grand Hunter Field will welcome entries into the Florida Children’s Hunter Classic and the Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic.

Photo Credit: Addison Phillips and Mirasol. Photo© 2007 Jennifer Wood.


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