Halifax, MA – May 15, 2013 – The first day of the Fieldstone Spring Festival welcomed the top riders in the nation to the new and improved Fieldstone Show Park. After an overhaul, the Fieldstone Show Park kicked off the first day of the weeklong show with thrilling hunter and jumper competition. David Oliynyk rode to the top of the 1.15m Jumpers, while Kristen Bumpus piloted Cupid to the top of the ranks during the 1.25m Schooling Jumpers as she tackled the course on the grass field.
Keith Bollotte of Culleoka, TN, designed all of the courses for the jumper divisions today. He used his interesting eye to create the 1.15m course, challenging both horse and rider alike. The course began over a simple vertical set down the middle of the ring. With a left turn, riders then took a vertical-oxer lone and made their way toward the outside vertical, which led to the oxer-vertical black-and-white double combination. Next riders took the blue oxer at the far end of the ring, and with five strides moved into the second oxer-vertical combination. The eighth obstacle, an oxer, led the pairs to the single vertical where they then raced to trip the timer as they took the final green-and-white oxer to stop the clock.
It was David Oliynyk and Carino W, owned by W. Charlot Farms of Stratford, Ontario, Canada, who dominated the 1.15m Jumpers. The time allowed of 70 seconds proved an issue for many of the riders as they put quality over speed during the first round, with many collecting time faults for their conservancy. Oliynyk was the first to tackle the course, completing all 12 efforts in 66.067 seconds, and leaving all rails intact. He immediately moved into the jump-off, but instead of throwing caution to the wind, Oliynyk focused on guiding his new mount through the process of the jump-off with ease and fortitude. Collecting five time faults in the short course, Oliynyk left the ring with a smile, knowing that the time was tight, and others were sure to make the mistake of speed over accuracy. He was able to post one of only two double-clear efforts of the division.
“That’s a 7-year-old that has a lot of potential to jump the bigger jumps,” Oliynyk said of Carino W. “I just got him, so I wanted to play over some medium sized jumps before doing the bigger stuff. He has the talent, so we will see.”
The only other rider out of the field of entrants to even come close to challenging Oliynyk was Gregory Mangan and his own Dr. J. After a year away from the show ring to build a new business in Rochester, NY, Mangan decided to try the Fieldstone Spring Festival for the first time, guiding his 11-year-old gelding through the course for their chance at the blue ribbon win.
Mangan took the first course with a simple ease, riding to a time of 67.411 seconds to move into the jump-off. He knew that Oliynyk had already posted a double-clear effort, but with the Grand Prix in mind for Saturday, Mangan was focused on solely mimicking his clean effort and not trying to beat his time. Mangan and Dr. J finished the course in 50.738 seconds to collect the second place ribbon, but Mangan was all smiles as he described his horse’s natural talent.
“He’s great, he just needs to be left alone and do his own thing,” Mangan explained. “He is very keen, he loves going to shows. If there is a trailer pulling up to the barn, he wants to climb in-he is out of a mare I showed for the Irish team, and he has the natural talent and love for the sport.”
Mangan continued, “This is my first time showing at this show, but it was a beautiful course-great footing. They have done a lot of work with the grounds, just look at the stonewall and the Grand Prix ring. When I drove in, I felt like I was pulling up to a European show, it is very reminiscent with the beautiful grass field. I am building up to the Grand prix slowly. We will see how it goes from there.”
Alan Griffin tied for the third place finish aboard two mounts, during the 1.15m Jumpers. He rode Atonement, owned by Tricolor Stables, LLC of Darien, CT, to the clear round in 67.124 seconds, opting to finish with his first round effort to conserve his ride for later in the week. He also chose the same path for Tricolor’s Charlie Brown, finishing the first round course with no faults in a time of 65.388 seconds.
The Fieldstone Show Park opened a rare class in the afternoon for the riders to take the opportunity to school in the newly improved Grand Prix Field. Tomorrow riders will have the opportunity to compete in the $7,500 Speed Derby, as well as the 1.25m Open Jumpers, YJC 7 & 8-Year-Old 1.30m Qualifier, and the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Bollotte once again designed an interesting path for the riders to navigate.
With stiff competition, Bollotte knew he would have to utilize the whole space of the field to showcase the horses’ true potential over his course. He designed a course with 14 efforts to test the teams as they took their turn. The course began over a triple bar, and also featured bending lines, a triple combination and a double combination. It was the jump-off that truly separated the competition. The short track opened once again with the triple bar, and then riders continued to a black-and-white oxer, made a hard right to the oxer-vertical double combination, made a left turn to the Boston Celtics oxer and then took the vertical on the left bank as they raced over the maroon vertical and onto the final orange butterfly oxer to break the beam.
The schooling class proved crucial as the horses had the opportunity to ride on new turf and see the brightly colored obstacles. Oliynyk was the first of the field to take his turn at the course. Coming off of his blue ribbon ride in the 1.15m Jumpers, he now guided Sumas Luxury, owned by Melissa Nicholas of Chelmsford, MA. Although this is another new mount for Oliynyk, it was clear that they understood one another with ease. He used today’s 1.25m Schooling to get to know her better without tackling both a difficult track, and high heights. They made the first round look effortless, and as the wind picked up for the short course, nothing seemed to bother Sumas Luxury and Oliynyk. They made it through the open track in 71.464 seconds, earning time faults for being conservative, but posting a second clean effort none-the-less.
“Depending on the numbers tomorrow in the speed derby, that is something she could do-we are kind of gearing towards that,” Oliynyk stated. “She got better as she went along. She over-jumped a bit in the beginning, but as she relaxed a bit, and started to become a little easier, she became less excited.”
Oliynyk continued, “She is a horse that I think has the talent to jump bigger jumps. She is very useful and very talented but I am just getting to know her. This was the first time I’ve shown her. She’s pretty strong, so I think you have to be a little bit of a strong rider but once she goes around a little bit I might change my opinion. She was not spooky, she was over-jumping a bit but she is very safe. I would like to take her in the speed class tomorrow and then hopefully the Grand Prix on Saturday if she goes well.”
It seemed as though Oliynyk was going to walk away as the leader today, that was until Kristen Bumpus and Cupid entered the field. Time was no problem for the duo as they set the pace for the first round course with a speedy time. Picking up pace at the beginning of the track, she took the opening fences with speed, and was able to balance her pace with accuracy as she whipped through the turns and left all the rails in their cups for the winning ride of 55.264 seconds with the only double-clear effort.
“I think this was his best class ever,” Bumpus exclaimed. “I wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be like. This was his first class-he hasn’t shown since last year, and he really hasn’t jumped a whole lot this winter because I went to Florida while he stayed home.”
Bumpus continued, “I thought he rode better than he ever has. Nobody was more pleasantly surprised than me. I wasn’t expecting it to go that well. My plan in the jump-off is to just make sure he is steering because he is always fast and usually pretty clear but sometimes he is so fast he doesn’t steer very well. We were concentrating on steering because he is bad at turning left so if there is a hard left turn sometimes we don’t make it. The last jump was a little tight turn to the left but it felt really good and it was great.”
“He is extremely sensitive, and he’s probably the hardest horse I’ve ever ridden because you never know what to do next. Just when you think you have it all figured out, he will come up with something, and you have to work for a while to figure it out. He is really fun and fast; he’s hard to keep track of because he wants to be fast. He is kind of quirky, which makes it all the more fun. I love showing out on the grass and he probably likes it more,” Bumpus concluded.
Other horse and rider combinations to look out for this week will include Emily Bickford and Rio, who rode to the third place finish during the 1.25m Schooling Jumpers this afternoon. Rhian Murphy and Hopeful Star, owned by Jedd Papows of Cambridge, MA, took the fourth place finish with four jumping faults and five on the clock. Bickford also navigated Melody to the fifth place finish, while Mangan rounded out the top six with Dr. J.
Tomorrow will welcome the second day of the Fieldstone Spring Festival. The Grand Prix Field will once again welcome riders as they attempt the 1.25m Open Jumpers, High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, YJC 7 & 8-Year-Old Qualifier, and the $7,500 1.35m Speed Derby. The highlight of the week for the jumpers will be the $25,000 Fieldstone Grand Prix. For more information on Stadium Jumping and the approaching Fieldstone Spring Festival, please visit www.showfieldstone.com. You can also follow the Fieldstone Horse Shows on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fieldstone.equestrian.