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Two big wins for Beth Underhill at Caledon Equestrian Park Summer Classic

Photo by Mackenzie Clark

Schomberg's Beth Underhill and Count Me

Former Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill was in the zone last week during the Summer Classic at the Caledon Equestrian Park.

Underhill, who hails from Schomberg, Ont., steered her mount Count Me In to victory in both Friday’s (July 1, 2016) $10,000 Alberta Premium Open Welcome and Sunday’s $25,000 Grand Prix, presented by RAM Equestrian.

Photo by Mackenzie Clark

Beth Underhill and Count Me In with Tanya Panczuk representing Alberta Premium

Underhill and Count Me In beat out a field of 40 riders in Friday’s Welcome that saw 14 horses qualify for the jump off. The pair was last to go in second round and were an eleventh of a second faster than runners up, Nina Fagerstrom and Flower to claim the top prize.

“I had given my horse a nice, easy class on Wednesday and he felt very confident. My priority was (the Grand Prix on Sunday), but he felt so comfortable and confident that I decided to take a shot in the jump off and it ended up being fast enough to win,” said Underhill.

American course designer Ken Krome made things a little tougher in Sunday’s Grand Prix with only three riders out of a field of 26 conquering the first round to advance to the jump off.

“Kenny built a very technical track and used the ring in quite an unusual way. He brought out a lot of the Pan Am Games jumps, so for the horses to see all that colour, I think may have been a little daunting for some of them,” said Underhill.

This time, Underhill and Count Me In, a nine-year-old Hannovarian gelding owned by Sandy Lupton, were first to jump off.

It made little difference, however, as Underhill was the only rider to go clean in the second round, topping Sam Pegg and Courtney Vince for her second win of the week.

“Today we went first in the jump off. That’s always more of a consideration because you have to try and anticipate the horses coming behind you. It’s important to go clean and put the pressure on, but you also have to be fast enough to hold up throughout the class,” said Underhill.

“Going right at the end (on Friday) gave me a bit of an advantage, so I was hoping my time would hold up for this class and I ended up getting a little lucky,” she added.

Underhill said she sees a lot of promise in her winning mount.

“He’s a fantastic horse and Sandy and Rob Lupton are wonderful owners. This is our third season together and he doesn’t have a ton of experience at this level, he’s just moving into the meter-45 level,” she said.

“He’s showing immense promise for the future. He always tries his best. He’s careful, he’s brave and he’s fast, and those are all the components you need in a modern show jumper. I’m really excited and grateful to have such a wonderful horse to ride,” added Underhill.

Photo by Mackenzie Clark

Beth Underhill and Count Me In accepting the victory with Ross Millar of RAM Equestrian and Bob Northcott of Arther Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ltd.

The week’s action wasn’t only reserved for the jumpers. There were some impressive performances in the hunter ring as well.

Katherine Padilla and her horse Essex Street took top prize in Saturday’s (July 2, 2016) $3,000 OHJA three-foot JR/AM Handy Hunter Challenge. Padilla and Essex Street bested a field of 27 horses and riders to claim top prize.

Deborah Weir and Red October made it two in a row on Sunday after taking home top prize in the $1,500 Adena Springs Thoroughbred Hunter Challenge.

“He was good in the first round and better in the second. He had a good horse show. It was nothing particular, he just had a good show and was in the groove,” said Weir of her mount, Red October.

Weir and Red October also won the first portion of the four-class thoroughbred series at Caledon Equestrian Park this season on May 28, 2016 during the Classic at Palgrave Phase 2.

Weir is a veteran of the thoroughbred classic, having competed in the series since its inception. Founded by LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, the program gives retired racehorses a second chance to shine in the hunter ring.

“I love what they do. I’ve been a supporter of thoroughbreds for a very long time. I’ve always shown thoroughbreds and have always loved them,” said Weir.

I like their spunk, I like their intelligence and I really love that the LongRun people are supporting people using thoroughbreds,” she added. “It’s a difficult and expensive industry to get into and I think it’s great if people can take up thoroughbreds who haven’t been able to find work at the track.”

There are two more thoroughbred classes still to come this season at Caledon Equestrian Park, and with ever-growing numbers, the future of the series looks bright.

Photo by Mackenzie Clark

Deborah Weir and Red October

Coming up this week at the Caledon Equestrian Park is the Caledon Premiere from July 5-10, 2016. On the schedule are the $3,000 Leon's Furniture Canadian Hunter Derby- presented by Leons and the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix-presented by Champion Shavings on Saturday (July 9, 2016), with things wrapping up with the $20,000 Grand Prix on Sunday (July 10, 2016).

Saturday afternoon will also feature a customer appreciation/exhibitor event at the main pavilion in association with Pommies Cider Co., who will also be sponsoring the $5,000 1.35-metre jumper class on Thursday (July 7, 2016) in the Grand Prix ring.

Visit for a full schedule of events.

Results – Summer Classic (Horse/Owner/Rider):

$10,000 Open Welcome Presented by Alberta Premium (Friday, July 1)

  1. Flower / Finca Horses Inc. / Nina Fagerstrom

  2. Knock Out 3E / Kingridge Stables / Hugh Graham

  3. Corrido / Jessie Bonisteel / Neil Badcock

  4. Stanley Stone / Sher-Al Farm / Kim Farlinger

  1. $3,000 OHJA 3' JR/ Count Me In / Sandy Lupton / Beth Underhill

AM Handy Hunter Challenge (Saturday, July 2)

  1. Essex Street / Katherine Padilla / Katherine Padilla

  2. Fitzwilliam / Laura Whyte / Tara Vandenboom

  3. Perfect Timing / Jordan Maliakkal / Heather McCann-Cuddy

  4. Fan Fan K / Alexandra Sermer / Alexandra Sermer

  5. Woodstock / Rachel Schnurr / Olivia Love

$1,500 Adena Springs TB Hunter Challenge (Sunday, July 3)

  1. Red October / Deborah Weir / Deborah Weir

  2. Prodigioso / Marilyn Lee Hannah / Robin Hannah-Carlton

  3. Northolt / Cindy Phillips-Wood / Cindy Phillips-Wood

  4. Future Kings / Marilyn Lee Hannah / Robin Hannah-Carlton

  5. Takingthestage / Melinda Dupont / Melinda Dupont

$25,000 Grand Prix Presented by RAM Equestrian (Sunday, July 3)

  1. Count Me In / Sandy Lupton / Beth Underhill

  2. Shaia de Macheco / Michael Pegg / Sam Pegg

  3. Valetto JX / Ashford Farm LLC / Courtney Vince

  4. Lines 41 / Fares Kabbani / Fares Kabbani

  5. Flower / Finca Horses Inc. / Nina Fagerstrom

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