Wilmington, Ohio – World Equestrian Center – Wilmington featured new, special classes during Winter Classic #3. The Sanctuary Arena saw a variety of horses and riders meet for the $3,000 Gamblers Choice 1.05m-1.15m and the $3,000 Gamblers Choice .90m-1.00m. Bobby Murphy (USA) set the unique format of obstacles for the field of riders to create their own plan. Ultimately, Darby Pease (USA) and Fenn (Eldorado Van De Zeshoek x Odin) out-rode 16 entries to earn the most points to take the win.
The format of Gamblers Choice competition includes numerous obstacles set up in the arena. Each obstacle carries from 10 to 120 points according to its difficulty. Riders are to put together a plan that allows them to jump the fences in a fashion that awards them the most points. The obstacles must be built so that they can be jumped in each direction. Points allocated to the obstacles may be repeated at the discretion of the course designer. Each competitor is credited with the number of points carried by each obstacle that he or she has jumped correctly.
Pease from Danville, Kentucky, was under the guidance of trainer Teri Knowlton, to develop a plan to jump the highest point value of jumps while also making it through the timers in the center of the arena in 60 seconds. Aboard Tyson Ziebarth’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Fenn, Pease successfully jumped 14 obstacles in the first 60 seconds to earn 1190 points. The duo went on the clear the Joker jump to earn an extra 200 points to the original score to take the win.
“I chose to do Fenn because she is the fastest horse I have ever sat on. My plan worked out really well, but I would have been stressed if I had a rail since I was so set on my plan, but it ended up working out. The end jump for 120 points came up quickly but Fenn is really clever, so it all worked out great,” Pease shares about her ride.
$3,000 Gamblers Choice 1.05-1.15m Results
1 Fenn, Darby Pease, Tyson Ziebarth | 1390 | 63.128
2 Ismael, Ashley Stumm, Ashley Stumm | 1390 | 64.764
3 Captain America, Luke Rinehart, Catherine Rinehart | 1370 | 62.132
4 HJ Blind Date, Molly Kindness, Molly Kindness | 1360 | 66.949
5 Ever So Clever, Rebecca Cohen, Rebecca Cohen | 1300 | 62.393
6 Arnac Du Mazes, Michaela Munson, Roberto Teran Tafur | 1250 | 63.632
7 Ragazzo Carino, Adeline Pavlin, Adeline Pavlin | 1190 |63.063
8 Azealia, Cooper Beisel, David Beisel | 1180 |71.201
9 Stonehenge 5, Kama Godek, Kama Godek | 1170 | 65.306
10 Not In Charge, Ellen Halle, Rachel Lively | 1150 | 66.524
Taylor Johnson & Ace of Spades Impress the Crowd in the $3,000 Gamblers Choice .90m-1.00m at Winter Classic #3
Earlier in the afternoon, 17 horse-and-athlete combinations strategized for the $3,000 Gamblers Choice .90m-1.00m. A combination of young as well as experienced horses and riders were the first group to try their hand at the task, but none could outsmart young professional Taylor Johnson, as she stuck to her plan aboard Ace Of Spades (Diarado x Zarina XIV) to earn the most points for the win.
Johnson, also training under Teri Knowlton, executed a technical plan for Ace Of Spades. The six-year-old Holsteiner gelding took the challenge in stride and with great confidence. Johnson of Brownsburg, Indiana, guided the young, talented horse to a powerful round, adding a great success to their record.
“I have done a couple Gamblers Choice classes, but it is great to do it here. There was a large crowd watching and it was a large track. A class like this is great, especially for a young horse like mine,” comments Johnson on the unique class.
The duo made effortless turns making great time to fit 13 obstacles into their plan, earning 1100 points. Johnson moved on to clear the decorative Joker jump after a 20 second countdown to add an additional 200 points to their score to earn the blue ribbon.
$3,000 Gamblers Choice .90-1.00m Results
1 Ace Of Spades, Taylor Johnson, Christopher Johnson | 1300 | 67.763
2 Byolga, Celia Papasavvas, Emily Reder | 1290 | 61.932
3 BSS Isa, Courtney Berling, Courtney Berling | 1290 | 65.628
4 Some Kind Of Wonderful, Danika Hamilton, Shawn Butler | 1190 | 69.912
5 Calboy, Isabella Boes, Brigette Myers | 1170 | 62.669
6 Barolo, Kazara Aldeborgh, University of Findlay | 1130 | 65.595
7 Balouba, Grace Binkey, University of Findlay | 1100 | 68.452
8 Ruby Tuesday, Aliah Butler, Shawn Butler | 1070 | 68.721
9 Canyon Z, Lisa Bac, Lisa Bac | 1060 | 69.063
10 Aca Carpion, Ava Sweeney, Keely O’Hara | 1040 | 66.836