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Canadians Capture Catskills III Grand Prix

Horse Shows In The Sun presented its third Grand Prix show jumping event of the Catskills series on Sunday. The $75,000 class was the highlight of five days of showing at Kelly Farms in Ellenville, NY.

It was Canada’s day as Canadian Olympic veteran Mario Deslauriers topped a field of twenty-five riders to capture first place in the $75,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix. Keean White, an up and coming young rider, also from Canada, took second place. Danny Foster of Ontario, Canada designed the course. Danny was the individual winner of a Pan American Gold Medal, and he is the current Chef d’equipe of the Canadian Team. The Canadian presence was also felt in June when Canada’s seven-time Olympian Ian Millar won the second of the Catskills Grand Prix.

Twenty-five horse and rider combinations competed over Danny Foster’s first round course. Following the class, Foster noted that the field consisted of several young horses together with seasoned campaigners. Therefore his goal was to design a fair yet demanding course that would encourage the inexperienced entries, while still meeting the standards of a $75,000 class matching the prestige of competition in the Catskills.

Each of the sixteen jumping efforts on course produced at least one fault, and it was the twelfth horse in the order, After Eight ridden by Christine Tribble of Suffield, CT, that turned in the first clear round. Then the fifteenth and seventeenth horses in the order also went clean – Everest with Mario Deslauriers and Libidou with Keean White. There were no further clear rounds, so those three proceeded to a shortened jump-off course.

Mario Deslauriers aboard Everest produced the only double-clear performance, which made him the winner. He was followed by Keean White, second and Christine Tribble, third. Deslauriers, in addition to being a veteran of the Canadian Olympic squad, is also a past winner of the World Cup for show jumping. White is in his first year of Grand Prix competition, and he has already placed in several Grand Prix including Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) Ocala.

In conjunction with a great day of show jumping, the Kingston Hospital hosted a reception in the VIP tent at ringside for its dedicated group of donors. At the same time HITS presented “A Taste of the Hudson Valley & Equine Art Exhibit,” with six restaurants and Brotherhood Winery participating. Over four hundred people were served. Participating artists included: Karin Ruoff, poster artist for HITS Catskills 1998 & 1999; Jean Haines; Rachel Monticelli; poster/program artist for HITS Catskills 2002; Rita Dee, Peirre Rich; and Sharon Edmonds.

Next week the Hudson Valley Regional Chili Cook-Off will take place on the horse show grounds. This is a sanctioned competition, which will be judged from 11am to noon. There will be twenty cooks participating from the tri-state area. Winners will qualify for the finals in Reno, Nevada, in October. Everyone is invited to taste the chili and salsa from noon to 3pm.<![endif]>

The horse show resumes on Wednesday with a regular schedule of hunter and jumper classes. The next Grand Prix event will be on Sunday, July 28th at 1pm.


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