Thursday, 24 February 2011
The FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) hosted the 2011 Inaugural College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show (CPI) during its first week of competition. The CPI was developed with the goal of preparing and educating student riders in grades 6-12 about the format of college equestrian competition, to encourage academics and horsemanship, and to provide the riders with resources to create their desired college equestrian experience. The weekend of events included special seminars and scholarship opportunities as well as the chance to compete in a college format competition.
Riders showed in Novice, Limit, Intermediate and Open divisions according to their level of experience, showing both over fences and on the flat. With over a hundred entries, classes were divided into sections of 12 and competitors were awarded ribbons through eighth place in each section. Judges included renowned equestrians John French, Nona Garson, and Georgina Bloomberg. Horses were provided for the show by helpful local barns.
Students hailed from all over the country, Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas to participate in the CPI. In the Open division, winners on the flat included Isabella Meyer of Atlanta, GA, Jennifer Delman of Greensboro, NC, and Colby Wood of Dover, NH. Over fences, Kristen Mohr of Hackettstown, NJ, and Marielle Golden of Boca Raton, FL took home blue ribbons.
Samantha Kraus of Mt. Sinai, NY, is in Wellington training with Frank Madden and will be competing in the hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions throughout the winter. Kraus won Section B of the Open Equitation over fences. The CPI provided a fantastic opportunity for 17-year-old Kraus to look further into her college plans in the near future.
"I am still in high school and I am waiting to hear back from a bunch of schools that I applied to," Kraus said. "I don't know what I want to do yet, but I know that I definitely want to ride in college."
Commenting on her participation in the inaugural CPI, Kraus smiled, "I thought this was great. It is a good experience for all of the riders and it helps you figure out what college is going to be like if you ride for a team. I have never done anything quite like this where you just draw a horse and go into the ring, so it is definitely a challenge, but I think it makes you a better rider."
Additional blue ribbon winners at the event included:
Open Equitation on the Flat: Isabella Meyer (Atlanta, GA), Jennifer Delman (Greensboro, NC), Colby Wood (Dover, NH)
Intermediate Equitation on the Flat: Eveline Smith (Wellington, FL), Abigail Postle (Columbus, OH), Cherry Williamson (Cumming, GA)
Intermediate Equitation Over Fences: Taylor Ann Clark (Red Bank, NJ), Eilie Cole (Friendswood, TX), Emma Calebrese (Wellington, FL)
Limit Equitation on the Flat: Emma Boslet (Orlando, FL), Victoria Griffith (Wellington, FL), Katherine McCabe (Granville, OH)
Limit Equitation Over Fences: Mckenzie Miller (Miami, FL), Victoria Griffith (Wellington, FL), Carlin Counter (Winter Haven, FL)
Novice Equitation on the Flat: Alessandra Fernandez (Miami, FL)
Novice Equitation Over Fences: Sierra Montuori (Loxahatchee, FL)
CPI Alumni Medal Challenge: Jane DaCosta (Medford, NY)
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 12 through April 3. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.
||Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.