Karen Healey Stables Team Wins Memorial Day Classic Team Equitation Challenge

Burbank, CA – May 27, 2009 – Karen Healey Stables spent the holiday weekend at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, competing at the Memorial Day Classic Horse Show, held May 21-25, 2009. Healey’s students showed in the hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions throughout the weekend and earned top placings in all three disciplines.

The Memorial Day Classic had an exciting equitation team challenge over the weekend that provided a fun opportunity for each team, which was made up of one professional, one amateur, and one junior rider to compete together. After completing the team challenge, it was the Karen Healey team made up of Kasey Ament, Michelle Morris, and Navona Gallegos, who took the first place prize. Amanda Ballew, Yvette Lang-Einczig, and Jocelyn Neff made up the fourth place team.

The equitation challenge consisted of two rounds, with the first round on Friday night and the second on Saturday night. Ament, Morris, and Gallegos scored well with a top score of 86 from Gallegos, riding Cortes 7, on Friday and an 87 from Morris on Saturday.

Morris, who has just returned from the University of Georgia, was excited to be back at home showing her horses. She helped her team win the National Championship for Varsity Equestrian. Morris rode her veteran horse Bergerac in the team challenge.

“It’s nice to be back home,” Morris said. “I’m looking forward to showing this summer.” Since she has been home, Morris has won two USEF Show Jumping Talent Search classes. This will help her towards her goal of qualifying for the finals this fall and help her achieve a Silver Medal. Morris needs just two more wins to acquire the prestigious award.

Morris noted that the courses were particularly suited the variety of riders in the class and helped make the competition challenging. “I really liked the courses. They weren’t outrageously technical or incredibly difficult, but there were still elements to it that got people. You really had to make decision about which track to ride and what the boldest choice might be. They had a nice flow.”

Ament rode Krosus, a six-year-old equitation horse owned by Kristi Siam. “He’s a wonderful horse,” Ament said. “It’s his first year in equitation. We just got a few months ago, and he’s like a dreamboat.”

Ament praised the format of the class and was thrilled to win her second big equitation championship of the year, having taken the top place in the Del Mar Open Equitation Championship a few weeks ago. “It was a really fun class. Our team was called Brown Sugar because we were all on bay horses,” she laughed. “I think we did very well overall as a team. It’s a great class because there are not a lot of team classes here, so it’s nice that you can join up with fellow riders and see how you do together. It paid off for us.”

The winning trainer of the equitation team challenge won a trip to Hawaii, and the junior and amateur riders were awarded new beach cruiser bicycles. Ament won the team challenge in 2004 as a junior rider, but this was her first win as a professional. “I’m very excited, I can’t wait to go!” she exclaimed. “I’m a total beach person. I surf and snorkel, so I would love to go to Hawaii for that kind of stuff.”

After riding on the winning team, Michelle Morris went on to win the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search class this week, as well as the Foxfield Medal, and won the second place ribbon in the USEF Adult Equitation. Morris also earned the reserve championship honors in the 1.20m Jumpers riding Liechtenstein 7.

Navona Gallegos went on from the team challenge to win first place out of 45 riders in the CPHA Foundation Medal. She then won the Equitation 16-17 over fences, was second in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and the WIHS Equitation Classic, and placed fourth in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Acrobat.

Jocelyn Neff took her team’s fourth place finish and went on to win the LA Junior Medal as well as the overall win in the WIHS Equitation Classic. Neff also placed second in the CPHA Foundation Medal, was fourth in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Blue Shot Baco, and second and third in the Low Junior Jumpers with Golden Flip. Neff also rode Allegro in the $10,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby and placed twelfth.

Samantha Harrison showed at the Memorial Day Classic this weekend as well and placed fifth overall in the Hunter Derby after a brilliant second round improved her place in the standings. Harrison was fourth in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search with Triple Lutz and won first place in the High Junior Jumpers with Santika. Harrison and Santika also placed third in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

Grace Shelton showed in the equitation this weekend and did very well. Shelton came in first place in the CPHA Junior Medal and was second in the LA Junior Medal as well as fourth in the CPHA Foundation Medal and third in the Equitation 14-15 on the flat.

Yvette Lang-Einczig placed second in the Foxfield Medal after riding on the fourth place team in the equitation challenge.

Kristi Siam and Krosus won the blue ribbon in the USEF Adult Equitation. Siam also placed fourth in the Ariat National Adult Medal.

Yvette Harris showed this weekend and placed third and fifth in the Adult Amateur 36-50 division. Harris also placed sixth in the PCHA Adult Horsemanship class. Alex Block showed this weekend, placing second in both the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and the Junior Hunter Classic.

Tammy Chipko won a blue ribbon in the Six-Year-Old Jumpers at the Memorial Day Classic. Chipko also placed second in the Classic with Wonderfull and fifth in the Futures with Quinolli. Other placings for Chipko include a fourth place ribbon in the 1.35m and a second place in the 1.40m Jumpers.

Following her team’s win in the equitation challenge, Kasey Ament went on to earn multiple wins in the jumpers throughout the weekend. Ament showed Roma M to a first place ribbon in the 1.30m Jumpers and was awarded the division’s reserve championship. She also won in the 1.30m with Damiro 21 and The Jackal, and placed third with Golden Flip. Damiro 21 was also fifth in the Low Junior Jumper Classic with Lauren Kay, and The Jackal was sixth in the Low Classic with Dylan Kornbluth.

Kasey Ament then showed Bailey’s VH Muelenhof to a first place win as well as the division championship in the 1.35m Jumpers, and placed first in the 1.40m Jumpers with both Acrobat and Zico-13. Bailey’s VH Muelenhof was also third in the Low Classic with owner Elizabeth Dickinson.

Other top finishers for Karen Healey Stables include Hannah Bibb and Kristen Holwick. Bibb won the first place ribbon in the Equitation 16-17 on the flat and then placed seventh and eighth in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division with Regatton. Holwick placed third and fifth in the Six-Year-Old Jumpers with Catch Me If You Can.

Karen Healey Stables will compete next at Blenheim Equisports’ Showpark June Jamboree Festival, held on May 28-31, 2009, at the Del Mar Horse Park.

Reprinted with permission from EquestrianMag.

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