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Aaron Vale and Admiral Clover take home win in $25,000 Atlanta Spring Challenge Grand Prix

May 21, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

May 21st~2012, Conyers, GA- Yesterday marked the conclusion of the 9th annual Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show.   The event took place at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA and saw a record number of participants this year.  “We are beyond thrilled with the turnout”, said show organizer JP Godard.  Godard, based out of his hometown of Aiken, SC, and his Equus Events have produced the show for the past nine years.  “I have to thank all of our exhibitors, staff, and sponsors for their continued support of Equus Events and the Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show”, it is a team effort and without that support it is tough to grow in this economy”.  “We have managed to build this event up the past 9 years and I am really looking forward to going all out for our 10th anniversary next year!”

Aaron Vale and Admiral Clover (Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography)

The much anticipated $25,000 Atlanta Spring Challenge Grand Prix took place Saturday evening under the lights in the International Arena with 38 horse rider teams competing and a huge crowd set to cheer them on.  Olympic silver medalist Michel Vaillancourt designed a course that was challenging giving many riders some tricky spots to contest with.  The final jump, the Fenwick oxer #13 proved to be one of the more problematic spots as 9 riders had that final rail down in the first round.  After the initial round, 11 horses and riders graduated to the jump off including 2 entries for Ocala, FL based riders Aaron Vale and Sharn Wordley.  With only 4 clean, Aaron Vale and Carmen Rojas Admiral Clover soared to the win with a time of 40.648 just edging out Vale’s second jump off qualifier Tibor owned by Bonnie Smith.  Megan Edrick also hailing from Ocala, FL took home the third place ribbon with the Procedures, Inc. owned entry of Cadence while Sharn Wordley and his Cederick rounded out the top 4 spots.

During the class, exhibitors and spectators gathered ringside of the International ring to enjoy the show’s annual Preakness Party and Exhibitors Dinner which was graciously sponsored by Daniel and Cathy Geitner and their DFG Stables.  The annual event also included a viewing of the 137th Preakness Stakes on a big screen TV which was provided by the Kasper Family and Dr. Juan and Jennifer Gamboa.  The screams and cheers could be heard throughout the show grounds as I’ll Have Another kept his Triple Crown hopes in an unbelievable finish.  A clothing sale and raffle fundraiser for beloved horse show braider Linda Tinkler was also a part of Saturday evening’s events.  At the time of this press release over $4,500 had been raised to support Linda and her fight with breast cancer.  If you are interested in making a donation to this wonderful cause please contact Equus Events at 803-643-5698 or

Sunday, the final showing day brought blue skies and many exciting finishes in the hunter and jumper rings.   In the jumper ring, Hayley Waters and her Tommy Bahama took home the blue in the $7,500 High Jr/Ao Jumper Classic over Meg Omara and Walstib Stable’s Aragon Rouet who finished second.  Jared Peterson and Liviticus finished up in third.  Nelson Long and ML Hartwick capped off an exciting week by winning the NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic over Dr. Juan Gamboa and Partizan who took home second.  In the Children’s NAL/WIHS Jumper Classic it was Reily Rieker and Iago Du Quesnoy capturing the blue over Lizzie Van Der Walde and Think Like A Horse’s Mi Phone.

McGraw and Kimberly Quinn

Up in the hunter rings a full day of competition took place with many division championships’s being awarded.  In the main hunter ring Kimberly Quinn and her McGraw had an exciting weekend of showing bringing home the Amateur Owner 35 and Over division champion winning 3 of the over fence classes including the handy.  They also took home the Amateur Owner Hunter Classic win.  Quinn trains with Daniel and Cathy Geitner and their DFG Stables out of Aiken, SC.  Quinn hopes their winning ways will continue as her and McGraw travel to the famed Devon Horse Show next weekend to compete in the Amateur Owners hunters.  Hasbrouck Donovan who trains with Don Stewart and Bibby Hill out of Ocala, FL also had a banner weekend sweeping the Small Junior division winning every class including the classic with Confidential and bringing home the reserve championship in the Large Junior 16-17 division with Wagner.  She also captured the blue ribbon in the WIHS hunter and jumper phase as well as the overall.  In the pony ring Bergan Sanderford had a stellar week taking home the Large Pony championship and the classic win aboard Maria Yeoman’s Center Ice and the reserve on Katie Dinan LLC’s Keep Dreamin.  Sanderford trains with Brad Spragg and his Atlanta Hunt Club out of Smyrna, GA.  Other divisions champion this weekend at the 2012 Atlanta Spring Challenge included;

Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3”- Diplomat and Elizabeth Eubank

Amateur Owner 18-35- All The Best and Christina Fisher

Large Junior 15 and Under- Rio owned by Hays Invest. Corp and ridden by Hunter Holloway

Large Junior 16-17- Casallo and Erin McGuire

Small Pony- Harmony owned by Emma Butchard and ridden by Bernadette Chungunco

Medium Pony- Sassafras Creek owned by Bibby Hill and ridden by Ashton Alexander

Green Pony Hunter- Catch a Kiss owned by Nolan Thompson and ridden by Megan Rosenthal

Adult Amateur 18-35- Titletown owned by Nicki Alexander and ridden by Shelby Merrit

Adult Amateur 36-45- Casino and Sherri Geddes

Adult Amateur 46 and Over- So Ya Say and Lee Cesery

Children’s Hunter 14 and Under- Too Cool and Addison Byrd

Children’s Hunter 15-17- Zeven owned by Hannah Suh and ridden by Elizabeth Butterworth

Bergan Sanderford and Center Ice and Keep Dreamin

For complete results please log on to  Equus Events would like to thank its Gold sponsors at this year’s Atlanta Spring Challenge Horse Show; Fenwick Equestrian, Equifit, Inc., The Mark Lexton Collection, Dietrich and Company Equine Insurance, One K Helmets, Equestrian Connect,        Daniel F. Geitner Stables, The Barn Book, and Gamboa Veterinary Services.  Silver sponsors included; Integrity Fine Equestrian Linens, JTF RV Supercenter, Hot To Trot Boutique, Finally Farm, The Aiken Horse, Meadow Hill Stables and the Porath Family and Balmy Breeze Embroidery.

Hospitality sponsors included;

-Arbor Hill Farm and the Boggio Family

-Booth Parker

-The Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue

-Brad Spragg and the Atlanta Hunt Club

-DFG Stables and Daniel and Cathy Geitner

-Don Stewart Stables

-Finally Farm and the Towell Family

-Elizabeth Warmington and Brooksgate Stables

-Equestrian Connect

-The Friedman Family and Aaron Vale, Inc.

-Highridge Farm and the Fried Family

-Hot To Trot Boutique

-Janet Salem and Patchwork Farm

-Juan and Jennifer Gamboa

-Liz Tarumianz

-Meadow Hill Stables and the Porath Family

-Proof of The Pudding

-Sunny Stevens and Stevehaven Stables

-Terry Brown and Showcase, Ltd.

-Windermere Farm and The Kasper Family

-Windy Oaks Farm/Market Place Sales and Wendy Livingston and Matt Martin

Equus Events is now gearing up for the 2012 Tryon Summer Classic to benefit the Tryon Hounds May 31-June 2 at beautiful FENCE in Tryon, NC.  For more information please contact Equus Events at 803-643-5698 or log on to .