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Cara Cheska And Education Win Adequan High Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship

Clara Lindner And Strapless Win Amateur-Owner Hunter, 18-35 Championship

WELLINGTON, FL – February 28, 2004 – Cara Cheska, 27, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, and Wellington, Florida, won the Adequan High Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship riding Education, an Australian Thoroughbred that she owns with her husband, Donald Cheska. The championship was determined after three days of competition at the 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. The win was Cheska’s first Championship in the 2004 circuit. “Last year Education was Circuit Champion in the High Amateurs,” she said. “I’ve been having some rough luck early on this year, so this was a good confidence builder.”

High Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship Winner: Education, ridden by Cara Cheska, owned by Donald and Cara Cheska
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

Cheska did not contest the first class, the $2,500 Adequan High A-O Time First Jump-Off on February 26; Quinault ridden by Danielle Torano for Laurenzo Torano & Sir Ruly topped the field of 33 horses for the win. Cheska won the second competition, the $2,500 Adequan High A-O Power and Speed on February 27, besting 46 entries. Wrapping up the Championship today, in the $10,000 Adequan High A-O Jumper Classic, a Member Event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic Series, Cheska and Education placed second; Charlie Jacobs riding Innocence for Deeridge farm was the winner. Based on accumulated scores, Cheska and Education earned 16 points to claim the Championship. Torano and Quinault earned 10 points, and Jacobs and Innocence also earned 10 points, for the Reserve.

“I don’t ever do three classes. Last year I only did one a week. This year just getting going again, I’ve been doing two because he’s 16, “ Cheska said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He doesn’t need the practice. It’s just for me. The focus is always on the Classic because that has a $10,000 purse. I pick one class before as a warm- up. I don’t set out saying that I want to be champion. I always want to do well in the Classic and if another ribbon comes along, then that’s a bonus.”

Cheska chose the Power and Speed class as her warm-up and picked up the blue ribbon yesterday. “I just went as fast as I could go leaving the jumps up. He’s extremely fast – he flies. He’s extremely careful and if there’s a jump that comes down, it’s always my fault.” She explained that she chose to do this class rather than the Time First Jump-Off because there are fewer fences “It sets you up for Saturday. You don’t have to jump a first round and then a jump-off, like the first class.”

In today’s class, in a field of 53 horses, four were eliminated on course and four voluntarily retired, but 16 went clear for the tiebreaker. “It was a nice course,” said Cheska of the round one track set by Leopoldo Palacious Jugo. “There wasn’t anything too tricky. He didn’t use the water and everything was set on a nice stride, nothing was on the half stride. There were some options. There were a couple tall verticals and one or two wide oxers.”

In the jump-off, Daryl Portela riding Mister for James B. Pirtle Enterprises, Inc. set the pace with her clean in 40.145, but finished third. Jacobs and Innocence were the fifth to go and edged Portela out of the lead with a clear round in 37.274, which held up for the win. Cheska and Education were 10th in the order, and clocked in clean at 39.166 for second place. “I knew I had to be extremely fast, so I just took off,” said Cheska. “I added a stride in one line to the big tall white plank because I was worried about having it down – it was a hard turn afterwards. Sometimes when I pull Education doesn’t listen and when I pulled there, he listened so I ended up adding one too many, and that’s how Charlie got me. But I am not upset at all. Education was wonderful. He’s a little bit freakish, a little sensitive, but mostly he’s very strong and not naughty.”

Cheska imported Education 18 months ago, an experienced horse whose show record includes World Cup and World Championship competition. “He got stuck in Belgium because of hoof and mouth and was doing nothing for an entire year. We were there trying horses and I rode him and loved him. He was supposed to be for my husband to do the big classes but he’s never even sat on him,” Cheska said with a laugh. “He worked out perfect for me. It was very lucky.”

Cheska is in her second season as an amateur. A rider since she was eight years old, she trained with Nona Garson and then Emil Spadone in her home state of New Jersey. As a junior, she had a jumper, but mainly competed as a catch rider. When her family moved to North Carolina, she became a professional and operated a pony barn. When she married Donald Cheska a year ago last Thanksgiving, the couple decided that one pro in the barn was sufficient. “We thought it was wise to get my amateur status back because he is an excellent rider and trainer,” explained Cheska. “There was no need for two professionals in the family. To get my amateur status back I had to take a year off, but it was worth waiting the year out.”

Clara Lindner And Strapless Win Amateur-Owner Hunter, 18-35 Championship

It was icing on the cake for Clara Lindner, 18, of Cincinnati, Ohio, when she picked up the Amateur-Owner Working Hunter 18-35 Championship aboard Strapless – a sweet topping to this duo’s win a week ago in the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation Hunter Classic Spectacular. “It feels really good to win,” said Lindner. “This is only our second full weekend of showing.”

Amateur-Owner Working Hunter 18-35 Yrs. Champion Winner: Strapless, ridden by Clara Lindner, owned by All Seasons Farm
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

Lindner competed in four over fences classes and an Under Saddle class over two days to earn the younger A-O Hunter Championship. Her accumulated scores clearly put her in the winner’s circle – she totaled 30 points. Lee Kellogg aboard her own Gifted was the Reserve with 14 points.

On Friday, February 27, Lindner won the first over fences class, placed second in the Under Saddle, and then was out of the ribbons in the third over fences class. She came back today to place third in the opening jumping class, and then finished up with a win in the final class of the division. “It was her consistency that won the Championship,” said Lindner. “Strapless was in the top three in every class but one. She’s a great jumper and a great mover – she’s the whole package.”

Strapless, owned by the Lindner family’s All Seasons Farm, is an 11-year-old, 15.3-hand, Dutch warmblood mare by Leandro. Lindner, a high school senior, started showing Strapless in 2001. She is aiming her for Devon and the points today paved the way to the prestigious Pennsylvania show. “It’s a relief to know that I’m qualified now,” said Lindner.

Lindner assessed that of the five competitions in the division she felt her final performance in the ring today was her best one. “Definitely the last class. She was relaxed and was just amazing. I rode my best and just let her do her thing.”


Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.


February 25 - 29 PDP Capital Wellington Masters CSI***

March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W

March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***

March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y

(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)

March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)


February 29 $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***

March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W

March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****

March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****

March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W

April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational,

Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune


Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

April 9 -11 Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****

April 11 $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcat Cup


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