Tuesday, July 11, 2006
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.
(Horse, home town, rider)
Hood River Inn Grand Prix —
1st Cartouche Z, Reno,
2nd Royal Vialli, Vancouver,
B.C., Gary Brewster
3rd Osilvis, Reno, Kevin
Columbia River Bank Mini
Grand Prix —
1st Show Me The Money,
Beavercreek, Karyn Albrecht
2nd Rugby, Eugene, Amy Gau
3rd Araucano, Eagle, Idaho,
Hood River Classic Open
Welcome Jumper —
1st Tokkie, Newberg,
2nd Watermark, West
Vancouver, B.C., Gary Brewster
3rd Cartouche Z, Reno,
Amateur Low Jumper Derby —
1st Wavelength, Gig Harbor,
2nd Chance to Shine,
Snohomish, Wash., C. Youell
Amateur High Jumper Derby —
1st Innisfree, Jennifer Wagner
2nd St. Thomas, Carson
City, Hayley Bowen
Kerrits Adult Amateur Hunter
1st Isn’t She Lovely,
Beaverton, Elizabeth Chalupsky
2nd True Value, Sherwood,
Kerrits Junior/Amateur Owner
1st Cincenatty, Reno,
2nd Genuine, Happy Valley,
Kerrits Childrens’ Hunter
1st Clarissa, Portland,
2nd Rosalea, Portland,
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