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Leone and Kursinski Jump To The Top At Garden State

AUGUSTA, NJ—May 2, 2002— Although the rain created a muddy venue on the second day of the Garden State Horse Show, held May 1-5 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the exhibitors.

Peter Leone and Anne Kursinski started out strong this week in the main ring, a successful warm-up for Saturday’s $50,000 Garden State Grand Prix. Leone of Greenwich, CT, piloted Clea Newman’s Katrinka to a blue-ribbon finish in Thursday’s high preliminary jumper class. The bay mare stopped the clock in a blistering 33.370 seconds, blowing past second place Sincere ridden by Anne Kursinski of Flemington, NJ. Sincere posted a 35.188 on the board. The gelding is owned by Meralex Farm of Brandon, Florida.

In Thursday’s modified jumper class Laura Chapot, daughter of Olympians Mary and Frank Chapot of Neshanic Station, bested a field of 19 riding Warren II. The bay gelding, owned by Starwyn Farms of New York, NY, cleared the six-fence jump off in 26.803. Finishing second in 27.488 seconds was Leone riding Lataro. The bay gelding is owned by the Lataro Group, also of Greenwich.

These jumper riders, along with other United States Equestrian Team veterans can be seen riding in Saturday’s $50,000 Garden State Grand Prix. Nona Garson, New Jersey resident and member of the Olympic Team at Sydney, will attempt to defend her title with a second consecutive win. The Grand Prix is scheduled for a 1:30 start.

Following the grand prix the $2500 John H. Fritz Challenge will showcase junior and adult jumpers over fences 3’3” in height.

Hunter champions pinned so far include the green working hunter Colin ridden by Scott Hofstetter. Colin is owned by Penelope Ayers of Far Hills, NJ, and collected the tricolor with 40.5 points. In the regular working hunter division Entitled collected the championship ridden by Carol Hoffman. Entitled is owned by Market Street, Inc.

One of the highlights in Friday’s schedule of events is the Colonel Saunders $10,000 Gamblers Choice class. The event is slated to run after 5pm and is an exciting timed class in which riders are to accrue points in 60 seconds over a course of 4’ to 4’6” fences. The money raised by the class entry fees will be used for the Essex Troop Educational Fund. This fund was established by the Junior Essex Troop to help children of families in the National Guard pursue educational endeavors.

Junior and amateur classes will dominate the weekend’s events. A few exciting classes scheduled in the main ring include the $5000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior & Amateur Owner Prix as well as the $2500 Garden State Junior & Amateur Owner Prix. The competitive Marshall and Sterling classes for children’s and adult hunters and jumpers will also take place in the final days of the show.

Spectators can get into the show grounds free of charge except for Saturday. The admission on Grand Prix Saturday is $10 a carload with the gate proceeds going to the Sussex County 4-H. For information on the Garden State Horse Show please call the show office at 973-948-5022.


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