Adams Wins 2009 Essex Classics/USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Class

image00112Adams Wins 2009 Essex Classics/USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Class

Taylor Ann Adams bested the top junior talent in the nation by winning the 2009 Essex Classics/USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Class in Saugerties, New York . Adams of Memphis, Tennessee secured her victory in the third and final round of the prestigious equitation class after switching mounts with reserve champion Quincy Hayes.

“Quincy helped me out in the schooling area before the final round,” Adams said. “Her horse was a lot of horse for me to ride and completely different than what I’m used to, but he did a great job.”

Adams is trained by Don Stewart of Ocala, Florida and won the WIHS Medal class the day before. She trailed Hayes throughout the three-part class, finishing half a point behind the 17-year-old junior in the first round. “The first course was a lot of fun. I got a little lost, but my horse helped me out,” Adams said of her equitation mount Debonaire. The Dutch warmblood gelding is owned by Olivia Chowdry and has just recently been paired with Adams.

The top 10 riders were then called back to compete in the second round handy course. Course designer Jerry Dougherty set a challenging track that tested the riders’ horsemanship skills. Adams rode the course well, showing off her horse’s handiness. “He’s always there when it counts. There’s not a better one out there,” Adams says of Debonaire. The pair finished the handy round in second place behind Hayes who led the class with a total score of 172. Hayes, trained by Andre Dignelli, rode Heritage Farm’s Drumline, an 8-year-old Swedish warmblood gelding.

At the end of the second round, judges Karen Healey and Jimmy Toon made the decision to bring back Hayes, Adams, Christina Lin and Katie Dinan for the third and final round work off. Each of the riders switched mounts for the final round and were given two minutes to prepare in the schooling ring. Then all four of the riders were called back into the grand prix ring were they had their final work off. The course consisted of eight jumps and included a trot fence and called for a counter canter to fence eight. Adams’ performance in the third round pushed her past Hayes and earned her overall champion honors. Each of the trainers of the top four riders received a share of a $10,000 check donated by Heritage Farm and HITS.

A record 68 entries rode in the fifth annual Essex Classics/USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Class developed by the USHJA Junior Hunter Task Force. The class began in 2005 and was developed as a unique equitation class that combines the precision of equitation and the handiness of hunters.

Title Sponsor, Essex Classics, provided each of the 68 riders their choice of a complimentary riding shirt, and Awards Sponsor, Frantisi Incorporated, provided Grand Prix Joules and GPA product to the top 10 places.

The top 10 winners were: Champion – Taylor Ann Adams on Debonaire, owned by Olivia Chowdry Reserve Champion – Quincy Hayes on Drumline, owned by Heritage Farm Inc 3rd -Christina Lin on Icon, owned by Addison Phillips 4th – Katie Dinan on Borealus, owned by Katie Dinan LLC 5th – Danielle Cooper on Spencer, owned by December Dreams, Inc. 6th – Tina Di Landri on Cadeau, owned by Heritage Farm Inc 7th – Emma Johnson on Calvin 46, owned by Chase Meadows Farm 8th – Lauren Sogard on Concerto, owned by Linda Sogard 9th – Schaefer Raposa on Y2K, owned by Hap Hansen 10th – Leylan Gleeson on The Golden Compass, owned by Stepping Stone Farm.

USHJA would like to thank our sponsors for 2009: Title Sponsor: Essex Classics Trainers Award: $10,000 donated by HITS and Heritage Farm Award Sponsor: Frantisi Incorporated