CULPEPER, VA (September 28, 2001)--Canadian Jill Henselwood, 38, of Oxford
Mills, Ontario, riding Toyz R Us won the $25,000 HITS Wild Card Grand Prix at
the Cosequin® U.S. Grand Prix League Finals Horse Show in Culpeper, Virginia,
today. Henselwood bested a field of 43 that included five Olympians, and was
the fastest of three double-clears in an eight-horse Jump-Off. Toyz R Us
earned $7,500 for her owner, Juniper Farms Ltd, Henselwood's training stable.
Henselwood was already qualified for the Finals and didn't need the Wild Card
win to compete in the $100,000 Cosequin® Invitational Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Wild Card went to Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on Lancier 4,
who placed third, which was the highest place earned by a rider not already
qualified for Sunday's Grand Prix.
Henselwood said that she is on a winning streak with Toyz R Us and plans to
ride her in the $100,000 Cosequin Grand Prix Final. "She just came off a very
good week at Spruce Meadows where she ended up second for the National Open
overall," said Henselwood. "And then she won the $50,000 Tournament of
Champions on Sunday, so she's actually coming right off a win in the Grand
Prix. This is the next class after that. She's on a bit of a roll."
Dave Ballard of Toronto, Ontario designed today's course. For Round One,
Ballard built a 14-jump track that included a tricky series of tight
turn-backs at Fence Nos. 3, 4, and 5, a vertical-oxer-vertical triple
combination at No. 6, water at No. 7, and an oxer-vertical double at No. 10.
Time Allowed was set at 79 seconds. Eight horses went clean and qualified for
the Jump-Off. "Round One was big enough," said Henselwood. "Certainly no easy
walk today. David is showing a little bit what he's going to do on Sunday. He
keeps turning them back on the jumps, which makes you have to go to more
Ballard's seven-element Jump-Off required riders to start at the oxer at
Fence No. 1, then gallop directly to the tight series of loops at Fence Nos.
3, 4, and 5, sweep around to the double at No. 10, and finish with a long
gallop home to a new Fence, an oxer at No. 14. Time Allowed was set at 46
Torano was first to go on the Jump-Off Course with Lancier 4 owned by Sir
Ruly Inc. and set the pace with a clear round in 37.151, but was edged into a
third place finish. Next on course was Henselwood's student Stacie Ryan of
Ogdensburg, New York, with Same Old Song who lowered Fence. No 5 for four
faults in 41.232, earning fifth place for owner Steven Alex Earle. Third to
go was James Benedetto of Northport, New York, on Cacique owned by the Kamine
Family. The duo had three rails down for 12 faults in 40.259, which placed
Henselwood was next to go in the Jump-Off and snatched the lead from Torano
with her clear round in 35.079 on Toyz R Us, which proved to be unbeatable.
U.S. Sydney Olympic Team Member Nona Garson of Lebanon, New Jersey, on New
Flame owned by The Ridge Farm LLC chased Henselwood, but with a refusal, a
rail down and time faults, Garson finished with 12 faults in 50.290, which
relegated her to eighth. Seven-time Canadian Olympic Team Member Ian Millar
of Perth, Ontario, who is Henselwood's trainer, went for the win on Glory
Days owned by Millar Brooke Ltd, but he had both elements of the double down
for eight faults in 36.842, earning sixth.
U.S. Sydney Olympic Team Member Lauren Hough of Ocala, Florida, on her
Olympic mount Clasiko who is owned by The Clasiko Group, almost took the lead
from Henselwood with her clear in 36.774, but her time was only good enough
for second place. Last on course was Molly Ashe of Wellington, Florida on
Daylight owned by Mr. And Mrs. Bertram Firestone, who had No. 3 down for four
faults in 39.800, taking fourth place.
"I knew what Jimmy did and our strategy was to just beat him," said
Henselwood after the Jump-Off. " I knew exactly what he'd done so I just
tried to best him and then let the rest come to me. Actually I thought Lauren
was going to catch me. She was fast enough. Ian was ahead of me on the split
time. So I was beatable." Henselwood said the key to the Jump-Off was the
double. "Every where else she was very good. I just picked up on speed and
she did the double. I knew if I got up to it and I was traveling maybe a
little too fast that she'd do all the right things inside. I just know her.
She handled that part and all I did was meter the speed."
Toyz R Us is an 11-year-old Dutch warmblood mare that Henselwood has been
riding for four years. "She's a little mare. We call her 16 hands on her
passport but we never measured her. She's careful and always tries. And she's
feisty every day," said Henselwood. "She's my horse for Sunday. "
Today's competition was Henselwood's first time riding at Commonwealth Park
though she was here two years ago with students training for the Central
American Games. "The ring is great. The atmosphere here is super," she said.
$25,000 HITS Wild Card Grand Prix, September 28, 2001
HITS Culpeper VI, Cosequin® USGPL Finals, Culpeper, Virginia
Course Designer: Dave Ballard
Pl#/Horse/Rider/Owner/Prize Money/Rd 1 Faults/J-O Faults-Time
1/Toyz R Us/Jill Henselwood/Juniper Farms Ltd/$7,500/0/0-35.079
2/Clasiko/Lauren Hough/The Clasiko Group/$5,500/0/0-36.774
3/Lancier 4/Jimmy Torano/Sir Ruly Inc./$3,250/0/0-37.151
4/Daylight/Molly Ashe/M&M Bertram Firestone/0/4-39.800
5/Same Old Song/Stacie Ryan/Steven Alex Earle/$1,500/0/4-41.232
6/Glory Days/Ian Millar/Millar Brooke Ltd/$1,250/0/8/36.842
7/Cacique/James Benedetto/Kamine Family/$1,000/0/12-40.259
8/New Flame/Nona Garson/The Ridge Farm LLC/$750/0/12/50.290
9/Peace Train/Norman Dello Joio/Annie Shaker & John Swartz/$750/¼ /NA
10/Glaasgow/Norman Dello Joio/Glasgow Group/$500/ ¼ /NA
11/Hidden Creek's Jones/Margie Engle/Hidden Creek Farm/$500/4/NA
12/Aftershock/Ian Millar/The Point & Millar Brooke Ltd/$500/4/NA
Number of horses who competed in this class: 43
Class Prize Money: $25,000
The Invitational Finals classes of the Cosequin® USGPL will be contested on
Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30. The competitions are:
$25,000 Pre-Green Hunter sponsored by Stillwell-Hansen & Four Winds Farm,
Saturday, Sept. 29
$15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low, Sunday, Sept. 30, 8am
$25,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High, Sunday, Sept. 30, 10am, and
$100,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix Sunday, Sunday, Sept. 30, 1:00pm
The $100,000 Cosequin Grand Prix will be televised on the Outdoor Life
Network on December 18 at 8pm and 11pm EST, and again on December 19 at 11am.
The Cosequin® USGPL Finals Horse Show is the sixth and last show in the HITS
Culpeper 2001 series held throughout the summer at Commonwealth Park. The
horse show hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 8am to approximately 4pm, with
evening classes on Friday. Parking is free. Admission is free Wednesday
through Saturday. Sunday is $5 per adult, children under 12 free.
DIRECTIONS: HITS Commonwealth Park is located on Rte. 522, 3.5 miles south of
the junction with Rte. 3 in Culpeper, Virginia. During HITS Culpeper horse
shows, telephone 540-825-7469 for more information.