The popular Memorial Day Classic (May 25-29) concluded on Monday with the $10,000 Memorial Day Grand Prix, where riders took to the grass field for their shot at a piece of the purse. Seven riders left every rail of Jack Robson's course in place, and Jenni Martin McAllister had three of the seven horses in the jump off. When all was said and done, it was Justin Resnick who emerged victorious aboard Quantum Leap. He also had the distinction of wearing the world's first 3-D rider camera on his chest, provided by Show Jumping Unplugged (www.sjutv.com) for their coverage of the event. Jenni Martin-McAllister followed him with her Sammy in second place and Majuscule (Christina Caruso, owner) in third.
"The first round was technical but suited to the level of the class," commented junior rider Brittany Albrecq, who placed fourth in her first grand prix appearance and hopes to represent Zone 10 at this year's North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. "Jack Robson really took into account the level of horses that would be there, the height, and the field itself. The jump off course was straight forward but required smart riding because he left a lot of room to get lost in the corners so you had to know your track." Justin set the pace for the seven horse jump off, but no one could quite catch him. Brittany was faster but had a rail, and Jenni came within a tenth of a second, but had to settle for second.
On Sunday night, crowds gathered for the $3,000 Memorial Day USHJA National Hunter Classic and the accompanying Derby Party, which was a fundraiser for After the Finish Line, an organization that finds show homes for off-the-track Thoroughbreds. After two rounds of competition and despite the unseasonal wind storm, Rebecca Bruce and Kenzington (Olivia McGovern, owner) led the pack to take top prize.
"I was a little nervous with the wind because of my green horses," she recalled. "The classic being a night class didn't really bother me, but I was nervous, especially with the winner because of the wind and shadows but he didn't really
care." Rebecca also placed ninth with her Cirque du Soleil.
The Memorial Day Classic Equitation Challenge is a team competition with teams made up of a professional, a junior, and an amateur rider jumping for the highest combined score. The winning team receives a week's stay in Maui for the professional member of the team, while the other two take home beach bikes. This year's winning team was "Triple Threat," consisting of trainer Tommi Clark joined by Devon Manze (Junior) and Belle Calkin (Amateur). "It was almost more nerve-wracking watching my teammates ride than going in the ring and doing it myself," said Tommi. "It was great, though. My other two team members were awesome. We had a lot of fun."
For more information on the Memorial Day Classic, including a prize list and results, visit www.langershows.com.