Fifi Schmidt and Gotta Dance Show No Signs Out of Step as They Capture Performance Hunter Championship at Fieldstone Summer Showcase I
Halifax, MA – August 15, 2013 – Fifi Schmidt and Gotta Dance rode to the top of the Performance 3’3″-3’6″ Hunter Championship today during the Fieldstone Summer Showcase I. Blue skies greeted riders at the Main Hunter Ring early this morning, welcoming the second day of competition at the Fieldstone Show Park. Lisa Foster and Castleguard returned to the ring to defend their June championship title in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, and they rose to the top of the ranks with a clean sweep of the first day’s classes.
The Performance Working Hunters were up first in the Main Hunter Ring. Many competitors posted solid trips, but it was ultimately Schmidt who claimed the division’s championship with Gotta Dance, owned by Alexis Anderson of New Canaan, CT. Schmidt was awarded the first and third during yesterday’s classes, and she showed no hesitation as she once again took the third and first over fences today. As Always, owned by Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL, with Jennifer Hannan in the irons, captured the reserve championship, sealing the award with the first place win in the over fences this morning.
“This is his last horse show with me before he goes off to college with Alexis,” Schmidt said. “It was really exciting that he was so good and won the championship. Alexis is going to do the juniors later today, and hopefully our championship is a good sign for things to come.”
Schmidt continued, “He wants you to ride him the way he wants to go, and doesn’t want you to interfere with him. He is a fabulous jumper, and mostly just wants you to leave him alone. I thought this course was lovely, and he won the handy yesterday. The handy is his favorite class. He jumps better when there are a lot of turns.”
Schmidt is a local resident, and has been attending the shows at the Fieldstone Show Park since childhood. She always attends the shows, and rides several horses for Ken Markosky of Silvermine Farm while showing during the series.
“I live locally, and I have known this place since it was small. They have done so many improvements, and really made the Fieldstone Show Park into something special,” she stated.
The Pre-Green Hunters took to a different stage today, showing off in Hunter Ring 2. With only three classes remaining before naming the champion, the anticipation was high as each rider took their turn at the courses. It was Jennifer Smith and Quincento who proved victorious, claiming the tricolor, while Jennifer Tate and Florestan, owned by Barbara Kravetz, rode to the reserve championship.
Later in the day, the Amateur-Owner Hunters began their division in the Main Hunter Ring. Lisa Foster and her own Castleguard rode to the top with a clean sweep of the over fences, handy and under saddle classes. The pair has been working together for 10 years, and Foster always puts horsemanship above the competition. Danielle Franchi also rode to good ribbons, earning the third and second over fences, as well as the second place in the under saddle.
“He’s like a puppy dog,” Foster explained. “When I come in to do night checks ‘Thomas has the cutest way of reaching his nose around to show me where he wants to get scratched. I started him out when he was a 3-year-old, so I know him very well, and I think that our relationship is what keeps us so fluid in the ring. Our partnership is pretty well established at this stage of the game.”
Foster laid down two beautiful over fences rounds, especially during the handy course. Although Castleguard is a large bay, his agility and athleticism was apparent as the pair made their way through the turns and collected perfectly for the trot jump.
“He was on his game today. He seemed a little relaxed this morning but when he went in the ring, he did everything I asked him to, and more,” Foster said. “I love the handy class, he is so on it. Since he was so quiet I had to make sure that he was awake at the in-gate and not waste any time. Once I felt him come off the ground there, I knew we were in good shape. He listens so closely, is agile and turns great in the air. He comes back to such a relaxed trot which is a pleasure.”
Foster concluded, “He really seems to like it here a Fieldstone. We try to come to all of the shows, and we love the facility with all of the improvements. It is always such a pleasure to show here.”
The Fieldstone Summer Showcase will continue tomorrow with the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic and the $2,500 Fieldstone 2’9″ Hunter Derby. Riders will also be able to show off their mounts on the turf during the $10,000 3’3″ Hunter Derby on Sunday, Aug. 18. For more information on Stadium Jumping and the Fieldstone Summer Showcase,