Jocelyn Neff of Karen Healey Stables Wins $10,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby at Blenheim Spring Classic III

Jocelyn Neff and Allegro

Karen Healey Stables showed at the Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic III this past week on April 7-12, 2009. Many of the riders did well this week including 16-year-old Jocelyn Neff of Newport Beach, CA, who won the $10,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby with her horse Allegro.

“It was very exciting,” Neff said of her win. “It was really nice because it was my horse’s first show back after nine months off and it was like his debut.”

Neff has owned Allegro for a year and a half and has only ridden the Westphalian gelding for about three of those months after an injury put him on the sidelines for most of the past year. It was great for the young rider to have her horse come back and do so well.

The Hunter Derby course that Neff and Allegro won over had a very unique element that involved the horses and riders jumping out of the ring. “When I first walked the course I thought it was insane to jump out of the ring, but then we practiced jumping in and out of the warm up ring, and I just pointed my horse at the fence and he jumped right over it,” Neff recalled. “I jumped from dirt to grass back and forth and went straight to a four-foot oxer and he didn’t even care, so I went into the ring feeling really confident.”

“It was so much fun and he was really, really brave,” Neff continued. “He is really comfortable and he is a beautiful mover, which made him really nice in the Hunter Derby. He is really easy to ride, he jumps really well, and he is really eager to please. He wants to do anything I ask him to do, and he is very intelligent. You look in his eye and he understands what I’m thinking, and he just trusts me to lead him through the course safely.”

Neff has been training with Karen Healey for a year and a half and praised the trainer for helping her prepare Allegro before the Hunter Derby class. “She does a great job training my horses. She got on Silver that morning before the class and he was so soft and so ready to go, which makes me feel more confident when I am riding him,” Neff acknowledged. “Karen is really honest. She won’t sugarcoat anything; she will always tell you what you did and why it happened, and I really like that. She gets right to the point, and it makes it easier to fix things.”

Navona Gallegos also competed in the Hunter Derby class and placed tenth with her horse Class Action.

There was a $35,000 Grand Prix that two of Karen Healey’s riders competed in this week. Kasey Ament rode Siendefie in the grand prix and placed fourth and Samantha Harrison and Santika made their grand prix debut and placed tenth.

The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic saw top finishes from Navona Gallegos and Lauren Kay. Gallegos placed first in the class with Drossana and third with her horse Acrobat. Lauren Kay showed Damiro 21 and placed fifth.

Navona Gallegos showed her horse Cortes 7 in the equitation classes this week and did very well. Gallegos and Cortes 7 placed first in Pessoa/USEF National Hunter Seat Medal, first in the Equitation 15-17 over fences, third in the Equitation 15-17 under saddle, third in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal, and third in the CPHA Foundation Medal.

Hunter Derby winner Jocelyn Neff showed in the jumper and equitation divisions this week as well. Neff competed in the $5,000 Open Jumper Classic with Blue Shot Baco and place fourth. Neff also competed in the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and placed fourth, the CPHA Junior/Amateur Medal and placed second, and was fifth overall in the WIHS Equitation Classic.

Kasey Ament showed several horses in the jumpers this week. Ament won championship honors riding Roma M in the 1.30m Jumpers after placing first in two division classes. In the 1.35m Jumpers Ament rode Zico 13 to a second place finish, Acrobat to a fifth place finish, and Octavia to a fourth place finish. In the 1.25m Jumpers Ament placed fourth with Thallassa, and she showed Siendefie to a third place ribbon in the 1.40m Jumpers.

Alex Block showed both All That and Walk the Line in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division. Riding All That, Block placed second, third, fourth, and sixth in the division’s classes and with Walk the Line she was third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Hannah Bibb also showed in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division this week with Regatton, and placed second, fifth, sixth, and sixth.

Kristi Siam and her horse Krosus showed one day this week and did very well. The pair place fourth in the Equitation 18 and Over under saddle, first in the Equitation 18 and Over over fences, first in the USEF Adult Medal, and third in the CPHA Medal.

Demi Stiegler placed second in the Equitation 15-17 under saddle, second in the WIHS Equitation Classic jumper phase, and was fourth overall in the WIHS.

Carol Bird showed her horse Mambo in this week’s $2,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and placed fifth. Kylee Arbuckle showed Lord Conda G and placed first in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal and third in the CPHA Foundation Medal. Yvette Harris placed fifth over fences in the Limit Equitation.

Karen Healey Stables will compete next at the Showpark Spring Classic and Flintridge Children’s Horse Shows on April 23-26.

Reprinted with permission from Phelps Media Group.

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