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Leigh Healey Rides in Style to Win $10,000 CK Equitation Championship At the 2003 Hampton Classic

Bridgehampton, NY—August 30, 2003—Leigh Healey of Lumberton, NJ, rode to the top of the $10,000 CK Equitation Championship at the 28th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY.

The competition was held over two rounds, over two days, over two separate courses in the grass grand prix ring. The top ten riders from Thursday’s Round 1 advanced to Saturday’s Final where they carried forward their scores and competed in reverse order of standing. Healey, in sixth position coming into Round II riding the 13-year-old bay gelding, Starlight, topped the ten-horse field.

“Starlight is owned by my older sister, Mary Alexis, but she’s in college now so he’s mine to ride,” explained Healey, 17, who began riding Starlight in February. “I also ride him in the low junior jumper division. He’s a very brave and honest horse. Even if he gets nervous, he’ll never cheat you out.”

It was Healey’s second attempt at competing in the $10,000 CK Equation Championship where competitors are judged solely on their riding style as they negotiate a variety of obstacles set at heights ranging from 3’6” to 3’9”. She entered the class last year but pulled up when the weather conditions proved to be less than favorable. This year, it was clear sailing under ideal sunny skies.

Both Healy and runner-up, Brianne Goutal of New York, NY, taking her first crack at the Championship, train with Frank Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables in Colts Neck, NJ.

“Frank and Stacia believe in you and that confident attitude carried me through,” said Healey, who started riding Starlight in February. “Everyone is so supportive, our whole barn is just one big family.”

“Frank loves what he is doing and it shows through,” added Goutal, 14, of her trainer.

Goutal placed second riding the seven-year-old Orina, a horse she purchased just two months ago from Canadian Show Jumping Team member Sulu Rose.

“Orina is the son of a broodmare that Frank and Stacia have had for a long time,” said Goutal, whose family owns the horse under the name Clover Leaf Farm. “She was such a good horse and they thought that Orina might be just as good. I tried the horse and I loved the horse. He’s so brave and he doesn’t look at anything. He jumped right up and down the bank, no problem.”

The $10,000 CK Equitation Classic is open to amateur riders aged 21 and under. Unique in this class, it is the trainers who split the $10,000 in prize money as opposed to the riders. In this case, Madden picked up a trophy and $2,500 in prize money for first place and $2,000 for second.

Each year the Hampton Classic Horse Show attracts more than 50,000 spectators and celebrities to watch the country’s best horses and riders compete as well as enjoy the extravagant social events. The Hampton Classic concludes on Sunday, August 31, with the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix.

Five show rings, plus vendors, restaurants, and the children’s area are operating throughout the week. Admission is $5 per person or $15 per carload, with children under 6 admitted free. Reserved grandstand seating for Grand Prix Sunday, August 31, is $15 per person (in addition to $5/person or $15/carload admission) or $25 per person in the special Premium Seating center sections. Parking is free throughout the show week.


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