We ♥♥♥♥ Upperville – oh yes, we do! and sincere apologies for not posting about Sunday on Sunday night, but we were knackered and had some deadline stuff to deliver… The spirit was willing, but the flesh very weak in terms of posting about the Elizabeth Busch Burke $75,000 Upperville Jumper Classic, but better late than never!
Today, Tuesday, we’re finally starting to feel much less sun-addled – it rained! – and slightly less frazzled from the daily commute (nearly an hour). Lucky the folks who parked campers on the west end of Upperville’s hunter side: we would love to do that next year…
The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, but hot hot hot. Shade was nice – more people are opting for shade at Upperville for the grand prix, but the sun is all wrong from the east side of the T. A. Randolph field and from the west side you fry while you photograph, but the sun’s on your back and that’s best. Special thanks to the good folks who tailgated in the tent up on the hill: appreciation to Turan Attay, thanks to Karen Buckley for the invite – great party, terrific food, loved the fizz, you all rock! Thanks also to Lee Smith & his wife from United Metro Golf Cart Rentals and to John & Penny Denegre, Middleburg Hunt, for cold water before and during the grand prix – we might not have survived without it! Oh, and dark chocolate from Jeanne Blackwell of MadCap Farm.
Aaron Vale won the $75,000 Upperville Jumper Classic with Colonel Clover and finished sixth with Wodka L – his third horse Tibor did well in the Welcome Stakes, but hooked a rail in the first round of the Classic. Six horses out of 27 went clear for Sunday’s jump-off. Tori Colvin and her Monsieur du Reverdy served as trail-blazer, going first and posting a clear round right out of the starting gate. They went first again in the jump-off and put in the first clear, setting the time to beat at a quick 43.984 – T.A. was 56 seconds.
Aaron went next with Wodka L, but they pulled a rail on 44.089. Luis Larrazabal piloted G and C Flash to a clear round in 43.984, a touch slower than Tori’s time, and good for fourth place. Daniel Bluman and G & C Blue went the fastest of anyone in the jump-off, but alas, picked up four jump faults to finish 5th. Aaron had his strategy mapped out from Wodka L’s jump-off round and from watching Luis and Daniel: he attacked the course with his relatively new ride, Admiral Clover, who seems as honest as the day is long and scorched the combination to trip the timer at 42.383 to take the lead. Last to go, Allison Robitaille, who lives in Upperville, partnered with Cover Girl for a quick clean round just 3/10 of a second shy of besting Aaron’s time to beat, to take second place. Tori and her “Frenchie” finished third.
Okay, we did it – highlighted the Upperville Jumper Classic.
Now, all of you 3-day eventing enthusiasts, near and far – hark please (hunting term for quiet & listen per piacere): one of our most persistent and dedicated riders was just named to the 2012 London Olympics 3-day US short-list and there’s a party planned in Middleburg to raise funds to help defray Allison’s expenses, because she and Arthur have to fly to the UK to compete in the Barbury Castle Horse Trials at the end of the month – billed the “Clash of the Titans” for all the Olympic-calibre riders who will be running there for a final tune-up for London, that’s the final selection trial for the US 3-day team. Allison Springer bases her eventing stables at Beverly Equestrian in The Plains, VA – there’s a big party going on in Middleburg on Thursday – cocktails, dj, dancing, silent auction – a suggested donation of $50 at the door will help to fund Allison’s Olympic bid. She’s such a good rider and she has believed in the uber-talented Arthur when others might have given up – they earned the National four-star championship with their performance at Rolex in April – such faith, such dedication merits our support.
Visit Allison’s Facebook page or the Olympic Fundraiser for Allison Springer for details about Thursday’s party & be sure to RSVP so they have an idea about the numbers. If you aren’t anywhere near Middleburg and you want to help, visit Allison Springer Eventing and look for that little yellow “Donate” button down the right side of the home page. The Olympics have been Allison’s dream since she was a little girl… we’ve all had that dream, but Allison has worked for years to live the dream. Support her Olympic bid – every little bit helps!
We ♥♥♥♥ Upperville and 3-day eventing!!!