Cartouche Z repeats at The Hood River Classic

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

June 21, 2006

The Hood River Hunter Jumper Classic is known across the west as one of the most beautiful equestrian shows in the country each year. When the weather cooperates, competitors and spectators are towered over by an unobstructed view of Oregon’s tallest peak from about 15 miles away. Photographers rejoice, clicking away for the classic shots of riders and horses negotiating the course directly in front of contrasting blue skies and the white, snow-covered mountainside.

Save for some intermittent showers during the first couple days of the five-day event, the weather was in all respects ideal for the 15th annual Hunter Jumper Classic. This year, an estimated 270 horses competed in the A-rated U.S. Equestrian event, which acts as an annual fund-raiser for the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“It was a great show and another great week of competition” said Executive Director Lynn Everroad.

“It just seems to run smoother and smoother every year,” said coordinator Davinne McKeown-Ellis. “Of course, a big part of that is all the great volunteers and support we continue to get from the local community.”

Starting last Wednesday, Jensen Mills Meadow was teeming with activity. Immaculately kept horses pranced around the fields with shiny coats, braided manes and polished saddles, guided by riders with similar attention paid to the details of their getups. For the hunter competitors, appearance is a large portion of what they are judged on. For the jumpers, speed and accuracy is all that matters.

The event’s finale, the $10,000 Hood River Inn Grand Prix, took place Saturday evening with clear skies and a breeze. The competition pitted 23 of the most elite riders against each other for a winner-takes-all jump-off for the loot, top honors and bragging rights until next year.

And, for the second year in a row, Reno’s Cartouche Z outperformed the others to win the event. Rider Kevin Winkel had the reins.

With a total purse of $25,000 and loads of product prizes, the show was broken down into about 50 divisions and 200 classes of competition, which gave riders of all skill levels the chance to compete against others of similar levels.

“We’ve noticed that we are seeing a lot more people coming from farther away,” McKeown-Ellis said. “It started as a more locally known show, but it has grown to bring competitors from longer distances each year. The event is recognized now as the top show in the Northwest each year … and we couldn’t have made it that way without the help of all our volunteers and sponsors. People worked all week to help run the event, and we can’t thank them enough. The local community is very supportive of the show and that is very appreciated, from us and from the visitors. We’ve had a lot of feedback from people who say how friendly and fun of a place Hood River is to visit and that they want to come back here for vacation.”

In addition to Grand Prix sponsor, the Hood River Inn, other major sponsors of the event this year were: Derby sponsor Kerrits Actionwear; Patron sponsor Hood River Distillers; Gold sponsors the Hood River News and Horses, Inc.; Mini Prix sponsor Columbia River Bank; Division sponsors Stadelman Fruit, Duckwall-Pooley Fruit Company, Diamond Fruit Growers, Inc., Hood River Alpine Veterinary Hospital, and Sprint-Embarq.

Event highlights:

(Horse, home town, rider)

Hood River Inn Grand Prix —

1st Cartouche Z, Reno,

Kevin Winkel

2nd Royal Vialli, Vancouver,

B.C., Gary Brewster

3rd Osilvis, Reno, Kevin

Winkel

Columbia River Bank Mini

Grand Prix —

1st Show Me The Money,

Beavercreek, Karyn Albrecht

2nd Rugby, Eugene, Amy Gau

3rd Araucano, Eagle, Idaho,

Deborah Long

Hood River Classic Open

Welcome Jumper —

1st Tokkie, Newberg,

Megan Garcia

2nd Watermark, West

Vancouver, B.C., Gary Brewster

3rd Cartouche Z, Reno,

Julie Winkler

Kerrits Children/Adult

Amateur Low Jumper Derby —

1st Wavelength, Gig Harbor,

Taylor Robinson

2nd Chance to Shine,

Snohomish, Wash., C. Youell

Kerrits Children/Adult

Amateur High Jumper Derby —

1st Innisfree, Jennifer Wagner

2nd St. Thomas, Carson

City, Hayley Bowen

Kerrits Adult Amateur Hunter

Derby —

1st Isn’t She Lovely,

Beaverton, Elizabeth Chalupsky

2nd True Value, Sherwood,

Melanie Pennington

Kerrits Junior/Amateur Owner

Derby —

1st Cincenatty, Reno,

Amelia Esqueda

2nd Genuine, Happy Valley,

Allison Farley

Kerrits Childrens’ Hunter

Derby —

1st Clarissa, Portland,

Zoe Brenneke

2nd Rosalea, Portland,

Alexandra Poorman

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