Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

Olympic Veteran Anne Kursinski Dominates
Garden State Grand Prix At Garden State Horse Show

Out of a field of 26, only four horses kept the rails in the cups in the $45,000 Garden State Grand Prix, and three of them were ridden by three-time U.S Olympic veteran Anne Kursinski of Flemington, NJ. The Garden State Grand Prix was the highlight of the Garden State Horse Show, held May 1-5 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ.

Kursinski’s winning horse was Eros, not a surprise considering their long and successful history together. Eros was Kursinski’s mount on the USET’s Silver Medal team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It had been a while since Eros and Kursinski had led the victory gallop and that made Kursinski even more thrilled.

Kursinski’s other two mounts that qualified for the jump-off are young jumpers who exhibited their strong talent in the grand prix ring. This combination of young and experienced horses in the Grand Prix was a major factor for course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio when building the course.

“It was a slightly mixed field,” said D’Ambrosio. “So I built a course that was demanding enough to separate them and technical enough without being overly scopey. Like the triple — I used two verticals to an oxer. It was more careful and gymnastic-like instead of needing power and scope.”

The only rider other than Kursinski to finish clean over the first course was James Benedetto of Northport, NY, riding Cacique. The nine-year-old Holsteiner is owned by Benedetto and the Kamine Family.

“I think it was a brilliant course by Anthony D’Ambrosio,” said Benedetto, “I think it wasn’t a huge, difficult course, but it was a very careful course which is why we saw so many problems at the triple combination. It was very very delicate.”

Kursinski’s first ride over the shortened course was on Indeed, a Holsteiner owned by The Group Indeed. The pair jumped the nine-fence jump-off in a steady pace with smooth turns and accurate distances. Indeed finished the jump-off without fault, in 44.376 seconds. It would be a time good enough for second place.

After a short wait for Kursinski to switch horses and warm up, she returned aboard Eros. In his usual style, the chestnut Thoroughbred was quick across the ground and executed tight turns. When the clock stopped without fault in a blistering 42.925 seconds, it put the pressure on Kursinski’s competition.

“Eros is just a fast horse,” said Kursinski. “He’s a Thoroughbred so I said, ‘Let’s go’.”

Benedetto and Cacique followed Eros’s trip, but he wasn’t worried about winning. He was simply happy to have made it into the jump-off with the young jumper. Benedetto explained, “(Cacique) just moved up to the grand prix. I was excited just to ride against Anne.”

Cacique started with a steady pace over the first three jumps but pulled the front rail on the fourth fence, a 4’9” oxer. Once the pair had the first rail down, Benedetto eased up on his speed. Cacique went on to lower the height of the sixth jump posting a total of eight faults on the board and crossing the timers in 47.255 seconds. His eight faults would leave him in fourth place.

The final horse to attempt the shortened course was Escapade, a nine-year-old Hanoverian. Although the big German-bred finished with a clean round, he couldn’t beat Eros. Escapade finished third with a time of 44.508.

Kursinski said of Escapade, “He’s still green. He’s a real intermediate horse, but he rode beautifully today. Give him a year or two and I think he’ll be a famous horse. He just has to learn to go faster.”

In addition to winning the grand prix, Kursinski collected the championship in the high preliminary division riding Sincere, as well as the reserve championship with Faldo. Faldo tied for the reserve with Clea Newman’s Katrinka and Stacia Madden’s Marga. Kursinski was also involved in a three-way tie for the modified jumper championship. Riding Indeed, Kursinski tied Laura Chapot on Warren II and Cruise Missile with Kevin Babbington in the irons.

Following the grand prix, the $2500 John H. Fritz Challenge drew children’s and adult jumpers to the main ring. The course resembled the grand prix with fences 3’ to 3’3” in height. The blue ribbon was awarded to Ali Wolff riding Beudelair. Second was awarded to Maria Schaub riding Concorde. Schaub and Concorde also went on the following day to win the $1500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper class sponsored by Stillwell-Hansen.

Out of the field of 42 horses, 15 went clean. Schaub was the final rider to navigate the shortened course. The pair managed to keep the rails in the cups and cut a second off the fastest time. They posted a 30.448-second finish. Schaub trains with Frank and Stacia Madden of Beacon Hill Farm. The New Jersey trainers had two other students collect a blue on the final day of the show.

Their adult rider, Allison Cerwonka, rode Ideal to top honors in the $2500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper class sponsored by The Ridge Farm. Forty-four horses attempted the course and 14 advanced to the jump-off. Eight riders were able to navigate the shortened course without fault, but Cerwonka’s time of 30.553 could not be beaten.

Beacon Hill’s final student to collect a blue was Krista Freundlich riding Laurin in the $5000 Garden State High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix, sponsored by Agway. The National Horse Sports Foundation Show Jumping Hall of Fame Class drew 17 entries. Freundlich was one of only three riders to go clean in the first round and was the final rider to face the shortened course. Laurin and Freundlich made an aggressive attempt at the blue and were successful with a clean finish in 33.619. The pair not only led the victory gallop but also collected the high junior/amateur-owner championship. Laurin, a big grey mare owned by Healy and Gleneayre Farms, won the class last year with owner Alexis Healey in the irons.

The final class in the main ring for the 2002 Garden State Horse Show was the $2500 Garden State Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Prix. The mini prix was won by Mary Roth, 15, of Oldwick, NJ, riding Coco Chanel. Roth and the 11-year-old warmblood topped the eight horses who qualified for the jump-off. The pair train with Jeff Cook at Hunterdon.

Hunter champions pinned included 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.

In the amateur-owner hunters, Lee Kellogg, 30, of New York, NY, rode her seven-year-old Oldenburg Gifted to her second consecutive championship in the younger amateur-owner division. This year, however, Kellogg and Gifted also collected the grand amateur-owner championship. Kellogg also collected top ribbons in the division with her second mount, Blessed.

For the third consecutive year, Katie Conover, 17, of Pipersville, Pa., topped the $1500 Garden State Pony Hunter Classic. Conover took home the blue ribbon riding Atlanta, a large pony owned by Lillian Lee Grant.

Not only did the pair top the Classic, but they swept the first three classes of the large pony division, well on their way to the championship. Conover trains with Patty Miller, also of Pipersville, Pa.

Conover also won the $1500 Garden State Hunter Classic sponsored by First Hope Bank. Riding Tallyover, the pair posted an 87 and an 88 to lead the victory gallop. Tallyover’s usual rider Kelley Cowperthwait rode the gelding in the first day of the small junior hunter division but wasn’t able to ride him the second day due to illness. Conover picked up the ride and won both junior hunter classes to collect the reserve championship.

In the $500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Hunter, Allison Fernandez of Summit, NJ, had a repeat performance. This year’s top finish was earned aboard Magnum. Riding the bay gelding, Fernandez also took home the championship ribbon in the adult amateur hunter under 35 division. Fernandez, 30, trains with Robert Beck of Hunters Crossing in Long Valley, NJ.

Beck also trained Nell Rainey, 16, of New York, NY, to the grand children’s hunter championship. Riding Winter Garden, a seasoned 13-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred, Rainey bested riders in four sections of the division: small/medium; large; horse under 15; and horse 15-17. For her win, Rainey was awarded a Miller’s Crosby saddle compliments of The Tack Box and Millers Harness Co.

Results from the $45,000 Garden State Grand Prix

1 Eros Anne Kursinski The Eros Group
2 Indeed Anne Kursinski The Group Indeed
3 Escapade Anne Kursinski The Escapade Group
4 Cacique James Benedetto Kamine Family & J. Benedetto
5 Riptide Kyle King Alison Friedman & Kyle King
6 Midnight James Benedetto Emergold Equestrian, Inc.
7 Innocence Beezie Madden Allan Shore, Jr.
8 Graf Rossini S Mary Lisa Leffler Bruce Chovnick LLC
9 Lataro Peter Leone Lataro Group
10 Green Card Laura Chapot Dellwood
11 Cloud Nine Beezie Madden Mr&Mrs Joseph Patton


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.