BCO Olymp and Shuford Capture First Win Together in at Tournament of Champions
Tampa, FL – April 6, 2007 – The Tournament of Champions, CSI is the final week of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Today’s feature class in the covered arena was the $20,000 1.50m Classic. BCO Olymp and Eliza Shuford of Hickory, NC, had their first winner’s circle experience together in the class after they were the only double clear entry.
Great Britain’s Stephen Renouard was today’s course designer. The 1.50m Classic featured 13 numbered obstacles in a rolling course with a triple combination. Of the 30 entries in the class, nine were clear to advance to the jump-off. The fastest four-faulter in the first round for tenth place was Church Road, ridden by Max Amaya (ARG) for Sarah Becker of B&B Saddlery.
The first to return for the jump-off was Beezie Madden on the initial of three qualified mounts, Select, owned by Elizabeth Busch Burke. Madden had a slick, quick trip, but missed jump number four due to confusion on the posted course sheet. Madden was eliminated for being off course and ended up in ninth place with Select.
Richard Spooner and his first mount of the jump-off entered the ring next. Ace, owned by S&B LLC Corporation, had the third jump down as well as a rail behind at the last jump. They had a score of eight faults in a time of 41.267 seconds.
Shuford and BCO Olymp, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, were next to challenge. Shuford took her time through the turns and maintained an even pace. They finished with a clear round in 50.117 seconds to take the lead. “I didn’t go fast in the jump-off,” Shuford acknowledged. “I was extremely slow because I’ve only jumped but so many jump-offs with him. Every time I’ve done one, he gets too strong and by the end of it, he’s running away with me. So I just decided to go nice and slow. I went around to the skinny jump because he doesn’t turn left very well. I just wanted to give him a nice round before Charlotte next week.”
Jonathon Millar (CAN) and Fancy Hill, owned by Jebb’s Creek Investments, had another eight-fault performance, but their time was 43.561 seconds and put them into seventh place at the end of the class.
Another rider with more than one chance in the jump-off was Lauren Hough, who rode Casadora for her first trip. Owned by Laura Mateo, Casadora had a good first rollback and was quick in 42.357 seconds, but with four faults at the third jump, they finished in third place.
Madden returned with her second mount, Onlight, owned by Team Onlight. The third jump proved to be the bogey fence once again as Onlight took the back rail down. They stopped the timers in 41.361 seconds with four faults, which would finish in second place.
Spooner and Apache, another S&B LLC Corp.-owned entry, had rails at the second and third jumps. Their eight-fault total in 43.458 seconds finished just behind Ace in sixth place.
Hough and Mateo’s second horse, Quick Study, were yet another pair to have the third jump down, and added another rail on the floor at the second element of the one stride. They finished in 50.679 seconds for eighth place.
The last to challenge was Madden on her third mount. When the back rail of the third jump fell, it was Shuford who ended up as the winner. Play On, owned by Allen Shore Jr., finished the rest of the course clear in 45.840 seconds for fourth place.
Shuford purchased BCO Olymp last summer. After good finishes in Washington, the National Horse Show and Jacksonville, Shuford felt confident with BCO Olymp heading into WEF. She would be reminded, however, that WEF is not your normal horse show. “After the National, I was confident, but at the Sunday grand prix in Palm Beach, I thought, ‘Oh, we’re not really ready!’ It definitely was a learning experience and put me in my place as a rider,” she said with a smile.
“I chipped at the second fence today,” she went on to say. “I thought I would just canter down and be smooth, and then I changed my mind and pulled on his face. He got out of it well. At 1.60m, you can’t get away with that, you have to be right on at every distance, and we just aren’t quite there yet. I can get away with it a little bit here. But at WEF, it really showed where we were exactly. We have a lot more things to smooth out.”
“We were struggling through WEF and were up and down, so it’s nice to end on a good note,” she concluded.
Tomorrow night at the Raymond James Stadium, the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival will conclude with the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by the Tampa Tribune and Sweetbay Supermarket. It will be held on Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets, which range from $25 to $40 for advance purchase, are still available by calling 877-909-9436.
CLASS: $20,000 1.5M CLASSICTIME FIRST JUMP-OFF, II, 2(a),
1. 137, B.C.O. OLYMP, ELIZA SHUFORD, ELIZA SHUFORD, 0, 0, 50.112
2. 72, ONLIGHT, BEEZIE MADDEN, TEAM ONLIGHT, 0, 4, 41.361
3. 623, CASADORA, LAUREN HOUGH, LAURA MATEO, 0, 4, 42.357
4. 68, PLAY ON, BEEZIE MADDEN, ALLAN SHORE, JR., 0, 4, 45.840
5. 8, ACE, RICHARD SPOONER, S & B LLC CORP., 0, 8, 41.267
6. 9, APACHE, RICHARD SPOONER, S & B LLC CORP., 0, 8, 43.458
7. 283, FANCY HILL, JONATHON MILLAR, JEBB'S CREEK INV, 0, 8, 43.561
8. 348, QUICK STUDY, LAUREN HOUGH, LAURA MATEO, 0, 8, 50.679
9. 69, SELECT, BEEZIE MADDEN, ELIZABETH BUSCH BURKE, 0, OffCrs, 0.000
10. 149, CHURCH ROAD, MAX AMAYA, SARAH BECKER, 4, 75.108
11. 152, RALVESTHER, BRIANNE GOUTAL, CLOVERLEAF FARM, 4, 75.828
12. 404, PERFEKT, CANDICE KING, PERFEKT GROUP, 4, 77.609
Photo Credit: BCO Olymp and Eliza Shuford, winners of the $20,000 1.50m Classic at the Tournament of Champions. Photo © 2007 Jennifer Wood.
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