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Adams and Fortino Sweep Medal and Maclay Classes at 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL – April 5, 2007 – Although the final week of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival is winding down, Taylor Ann Adams is just getting started with a new mount in the equitation ring.

Adams, of Eads, TN, was victorious in both the USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal and the ASCPA Maclay equitation classes this morning, besting fields of almost 30 riders in each respective division. Adams rides with Bill Schaub of Over the Hill Farm and Don Stewart and was partnered with a new horse, Fortino, in both classes.

“Fortino is very new to me. He was just a horse at Don’s. I’ve ridden him at the farm a couple times, but this is my first time showing him,” Adams explained. In addition, today’s medal class was the first 3’6” class of her early career, and she noted that she only began competing in the medal classes at Jacksonville this season.

She added that “Forty” went beautifully today and helped her out of a few problem areas in both classes. “The medal went really well. I didn’t know what to expect because horses change in the ring, and he really came to play. He helped me out,” she commented. “There were a couple spots where I said, ‘I don’t know, I’m sorry,’ and he just did it.”

The test for the top four at the end of the class required riders to canter from the in-gate directly to fences 7A and 7B, a one stride, canter fence 5, trot fence 6, halt in front of the announcer’s stand and exit the ring at the walk.

She continued, “The test was good. I’ve never tested before so I was a little nervous, but he got it and was nice and calm. He was really good to me.”

Zazou Hoffman and Littlefoot took second place in the medal, while Catie Boone and Holiday were third. Jennifer Whitt rode Piece of Art to the fourth place ribbon, and Korino and Carolyn Lichtenberg were fifth. Alexandra Thornton and Samson rounded out the top six places.

In the Maclay, Adams noted that the most difficult part of the course for her was the final fence, an airy vertical. “Coming to the last jump, I always get anxious, and it was a very long-run vertical. I was like, ‘There it is,’ and he was like, ‘No, we have to wait – be patient!’ He was a very good boy,” she said.

At age 13, Adams has several years left in the equitation ring and she said she hopes to go to the medal finals next year, as she feels she’s not quite ready this year. Aside from the equitation, she also competes in the junior hunters and pony hunters. While her time at the Winter Equestrian Festival was limited, she competed at HITS Ocala and had many wins and top ribbons.

Nicole Bellisimo finished in second place in the Maclay riding Coach, and Christina Lin took third place with Allegro. Hillary McNerney and Skyy were fourth, while Corthwright Wetherill and Lando were fifth. Thornton and Samson took sixth place again.

Competition in the equitation ring will resume tomorrow in the Covered Arena with the Washington International Horse Show Equitation class and the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search class.

PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Ann Adams and Fortino. Photo by Chrissy Lane/PhelpsSports.com.


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