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Rebecca Bruce wins USHJA Classic

Special to the Horsetrader - June 16th, 2011 - Show & Event News
Rebecca Bruce and Kenzington win the $3,000 Memorial Day USHJA National Hunter Classic May 29 in Burbank.

Flying Horse photo

Rebecca Bruce and Kenzington win the $3,000 Memorial Day USHJA National Hunter Classic May 29 in Burbank.

BURBANK — Hunters had a Sunday night opportunity to show their grace when crowds gathered for the $3,000 Memorial Day USHJA National Hunter Classic. After two rounds of competition and despite the unseasonal wind storm, Rebecca Bruce and Kenzington (Olivia McGovern, owner) led the pack to take top prize.

“I was a little nervous with the wind because of my green horses,” said Bruc, who also showed Cirque du Soleil to ninth place. “The classic being a night class didn’t really bother me, but I was nervous, especially with the winner because of the wind and shadows but he didn’t really care.”

Bruce had not participated in this type of class for a while because she has had a lot of green horses. They are now old enough, and by her results, they are clearly ready for the challenge.

“It’s lots of fun to come back and do well,” she said. “We imported these horses from Europe a few years ago, so I’ve been doing a lot of training with them and haven’t gotten to go in these big classes.”

During the class, the berm was filled nearly to capacity for the After The Finish Line Derby Party. The event was a fundraiser for After the Finish Line (ATFL), an organization that finds show homes for off-the-track Thoroughbreds. Spectators enjoyed dinner while watching the show, and riders and spectators alike bid on numerous silent auction items including a box at Del Mar Racetrack, horse racing art, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to television shows and other events, and more. All of the funds raised will go toward grants to California-based Thoroughbred rescue organizations to help California ex-racehorses.

In Saturday’s Memorial Day Classic Equitation Challenge, a competition between teams made up of a professional, a junior, and an amateur rider jumping for the highest combined score. The winning team receives a week’s stay in Maui for the professional member of the team, while the other two take home beach bikes.

This year’s winning team was “Triple Threat,” consisting of trainer Tommi Clark joined by Devon Manze (junior) and Belle Calkin (amateur).

“It was almost more nerve-wracking to watch my teammates ride than going in the ring and doing it myself,” said Clark. “I just wanted them to do well. It was great, though, and my team members were awesome. We had a lot of fun.”

In addition to its support for ATFL, the Memorial Day Classic also hosts a fundraiser for the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation. George Chatigny, General Manager of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and secretary of the CPHA Foundation, heads the project.

“It’s a great blend of social fund-raising activity that’s out of the ordinary,” he said. “There’s simple food and madness on the lanes. All of the funds benefit the CPHA Foundation, and they are used for the purposes of benevolence, education, and financial aid. We provide scholarships for CPHA family members and do our best to help out when a horseman is in need.”

While the show was affected by people’s reaction to the EHV-1 outbreak, everyone adapted and those who attended the Memorial Day Classic were treated to a quality show complete with special classes and events surrounding the show.

More results: http://bit.ly/106B_MemDay.

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