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Telluride Farm's Caitie Hope Wins William R. "Bill" Fitch Sportsmanship Award

Stephanie Pearson Takes Top Ribbons in Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers at Tampa Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL - April 7, 2008 - On Saturday, April 5, Caitie Hope of Telluride Farm was presented the William R. "Bill" Fitch Sportsmanship Award at the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational. Under the lights of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL, Hope was recognized with the sportsmanship award in a ceremony held before the start of the grand prix. Sixteen-year-old Hope is a student at Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois. She rides with trainer Diane Carney of Telluride Farm.

Hope currently competes with two of the best junior hunters in the country: Lyle, owned by Stephanie Keen and trained by Don Stewart Jr., and Caped Crusader, owned by North Run and Missy Clark. She and Lyle were Small Junior 16-17 Hunter circuit champions at the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter circuit, and she and Caped Crusader are currently second in the nation in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters standings.

Over the past two weeks, Hope earned top ribbons with Lyle in the junior hunters, coming home with the Tampa Equestrian Festival Circuit Championship. She also accrued impressive ribbons in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers aboard La Paz.

"I'm always proud of my students when they are perceived by other exhibitors as having manners and sportsmanship," commented Carney, Hope's trainer. "I think it's a huge part of the sport, and there's always room for more of it. I am very proud of Caitie, and I'm thrilled that she was recognized for having sportsmanship. It's one of the highest compliments that can be paid in any sport."

"Empathy, compassion and humility are so important with riding," she added. "To have your student presented with such a prestigious and valuable award at such a class as the American Invitational, it is truly an honor and a dream come true for any trainer."

On Sunday, April 6, Hope also pinned ninth in the International Hunter Derby, held in Naples, FL. "That was a huge feather in her cap there," smiled Carney. "It was a very bold track. Caitie did all of the four foot options, and she did very well. The class was extremely difficult. For her to finish in the top 12 was quite an accomplishment."

Stephanie Pearson, who trains with Carney at Telluride Farm, had a successful show at the Tampa Equestrian Festival as well. Pearson competes in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers with her mount Sympathico III. The duo earned second place in the $5,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic at the Tampa Classic and fourth in a class at the Tournament of Champions in Tampa.

Carney, based out of Hampshire, IL, has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year, in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart Jr. Carney is also a driving force behind the United States Hunter Jumper Association's High Performance Hunter Committee, which created the International Hunter Derby program that focuses on bringing the lost art of tradition and horsemanship back to the show ring.

Photo: Caitie Hope, recipient of the William R. "Bill" Fitch Sportsmanship Award, with presenters Eugene Mische, Mason Phelps, and Tim Bolton. Photo (C) 2008 Randi Muster. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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