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Feller Tops $500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Hunter Class and Earns Grand Championship

AUGUSTA, NJ—May 2, 2003— Melissa Feller, 19, of Mendham, NJ, topped the two-round $500 Marshall & Sterling adult hunter class riding Tammy Craig-Smith’s horse Rumors Fly on the third day of the Garden State Horse Show. Garden State is held April 30 – May 4 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ.
In addition to picking up the blue ribbon in the Marshall & Sterling class, she also collected the younger adult amateur championship as well as the grand champion ribbon in the adult division.
Winning a Marshall & Sterling class is nothing new for Feller who finished first last year at Garden State in the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Hunter class aboard her own horse Imported. The pair also took home the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Hunter Championship held at the Capital Challenge Horse Show last October.

Moving into the adult amateur division has clearly been a smooth transition for Feller. The young adult also piloted her own horse Imported to the second place in the adult amateur Marshall & Sterling class and picked up three thirds, a second, and a fourth place to take the reserve championship for the division.

Feller is finishing her freshman year at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. She is also a working student for trainer Robert Beck of Hunters Crossing in Long Valley, NJ. This is the third consecutive year Beck has trained the winner of the Marshall & Sterling Adult Hunter class as well as the grand adult amateur champion. Last year’s winner Alison Fernandez was unable to defend her two-year title as she stood on the rail nine months pregnant and watched her fellow stablemate pick up the honors.

In the $1500 Garden State Pony Hunter Classic Kelley Cowperthwait rode Cheryl Creque’s large pony Scandal Sheet to top honors. Second went to Kaitlin Campbell and her medium pony Crack of Dawn. Campbell also took the fifth place riding Jean Russell’s medium Believe in Magic.

Nona Garson and Chris Kappler, both New Jersey residents, have proven to be clear contenders for the $50,000 Garden State Grand Prix scheduled for a 1:30pm start on Saturday in the main ring. Garson and Kappler were part of a three-way tie for the Modified Jumper championship. Both won a class aboard Rhythmical and Profox, respectively. The third rider involved in the tie was Laura Chapot riding Green Card.

Kappler also won two classes in the low preliminary division aboard Jewel’s Titanium to take the division championship. Jewel’s Titanium is owned by Michael Morrone and Equisport. Morrone found and imported the young bay stallion for Kappler to show. Jewel’s Titanium is now seven years old and was started on the Florida circuit.

Saturday’s schedule also includes the $2500 John H. Fritz Challenge. The Challenge class showcases junior and adult jumpers over fences 3’3” in height and will run at the conclusion of the Grand Prix.

The schedule on the final day of the show includes the Marshall & Sterling Children’s and Adult Jumper League classes, the $5000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior & Amateur Owner Prix, and the $2500 Garden State Junior & Amateur Owner Prix. Hunter action will also continue with the $1500 Garden State Hunter Classic and the $500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Hunter class.

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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