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Caitlin Hope and Total Touch Hit the Target to Win the $15,000 McElvain Energy Welcome Stake at Colorado Horse Park


Parker, CO- July 18, 2013 - The $15,000 McElvain Energy Welcome Stake was the highlight of the day in the Kathy and Brad Coors Family Grand Prix Arena at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, CO. The Colorado Horse Park's scenic views of distant mountains paired with blue skies and gentle breezes set the stage for an ideal day of show jumping competition at Summer in the Rockies VI.

 

International Course designer Danny Foster built a large, challenging course appropriate for the final week of the Summer in the Rockies circuit.  

Caitlin Hope and Total Touch

"I've known him (Foster) since I first started going to Calgary and he was riding on the Canadian team," said Diane Carney, trainer of the winning rider, Caitlin Hope. "I thanked him for building a track that let the horses jump. It was fair- there was some careful, there was some width. There was variety in the fences. All of that is really great for keeping the horses sharp, and producing a riding contest, as we saw."

 

"The jump-off was hard - it was long," said John Pearce, the second place finisher aboard Chianto. "I left two strides out on the angle. I thought it was difficult."

 

"It was a hard course," said Daniela Stransky, who rides for the Step by Step Foundation with trainer Hector Florentino and earned third place aboard Twister. "I spoke to John Pearce and he said, 'Just have fun.' And I did."  

  

John Pearce and Chianto

Of the 29 horse and rider combinations that tackled Foster's course, 10 progressed the jump-off round. Of the 10, John Pearce and Forest View Farm's Chianto were the first to complete the short course fault-free with a time of 44.409. Then Stransky and Twister, owned by Stransky's Mission Farm, delivered a brilliant performance, leaving all the rails in their cups in a time of 48.467.

 

Next, Caitlin Hope and Total Touch, owned by Kathleen Hope, put in an incredibly fast and accurate performance that edged Pearce out of the first place position, stopping the timer at 43.806. Hope and Total Touch were second in the Welcome Stake during Summer in the Rockies V.

 

Sarah Tredennick returned on Page Tredennick's Zenith Dance and also accomplished a double clear effort, timing in at 52.492, which landed the pair in fourth place.  

 

Sarah Tredennick and Zenith Dance

"She rode great,' said Foster of Hope. "It was just how you hope those top stakes classes work out - the best rider of the day wins. I don't think anybody would dispute that she rode fantastic."

 

"You always hope that it is going to be your day," said Hope. "And a lot of times you're close to hitting the center of the target but you're just right off the target. My horse Total Touch did some of the short turns back to the skinny and also the slice to the vertical. I tried really hard just to be smooth, starting with enough to the first jump so that everything showed up nicely."

 

"I said to Caitie in the beginning, 'This is going to be a jumping contest today,'" said Carney. "The riders are going to have to ride smooth and the horses are going to have to jump so I was extremely pleased and proud in how she rode and how she navigated the questions because Danny's questions were hard today. They came out double clean with the win."

Caitlin Hope and Total Touch

"I wanted to be good on Chianto today and he needed to stretch his legs," said Pearce of his longtime partner. "I made some nice turns on him but I didn't really put the pedal to the metal on him today. I'm going to try to save him and keep him a little fresh for Saturday. Winning both classes is against the odds so it was a little bit strategy. He was great, though and so was the other horse, Johnny B Good. He was third string at the beginning of the circuit and he's been doing some good things. He's been clean in almost every grand prix."

 

Pearce and Forest View Farm's Johnny B Good ended up in fifth place and were the fastest four-faulters.

 

Third-place finisher Stransky looks forward to the future as she continues to improve. "I'm 17," said Stransky. "I'm still young and I'm still learning. I beat my trainer (Florentino), so that's fun. He's my trainer- of course he wants me to do better than him."

 

"You love to see these emerging riders take a top pro on like that and go head to head," said Foster. "Some days John (Pearce) will beat them. These kids are proving that they are good enough that they can compete."

 

"I've been in love with Twister. I got him a year ago," Stransky said. "I call my horses my boyfriends because my dad doesn't want me to have real boyfriends. So I'll just have horses."

Daniela Stransky and Twister

"I'm not the easiest course designer, I know that," said Foster. "I'm not trying to make life hard for them. I just want them to be better and better. I'm a born teacher. There is reward after so much is put in. We all know what a tough sport it is to succeed. There is so much losing and so much heartbreak. You can come out with 4 or 8 faults and feel like - wow! That was electric! In the end, this is who I am. This is what I do and I try to do."

 

"At the Colorado Horse Park, the jumps are great and the footing is great," added Foster. "You have every reason to succeed here. I am happy to be a part of it. They are making this a legitimate mid-summer competition venue. It wouldn't surprise me if this becomes one of the major venues. Kentucky is one and this should be one. The weather is dependable. The climate is great."

 

"We're going to start coming here a lot," said Stransky. "We like to come here because I like to meet new people, to compete against new people with good prize money. I love it here."

 

Caitlin Hope and Total Touch

 

 

589. $15,000 McElvain Energy Welcome Stake

1/1532/Total Touch/Kathleen Hope/Caitlin Hope

2/1237/Chianto/Forest View Farm/John Pearce

3/1655/Twister/Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc./Daniela Stransky

4/1242/Zenith Dance/John Tredennick/Sarah Tredennick

5/1239/Johnny B Good/Forest View Farm/John Pearce

6/1647/Liverpool/Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc./Hector Florentino

7/1244/Mullaghdrin Rado/Page Tredennick/Sarah Tredennick

8/1603/Vorione Fortuna/Marieke Slik/Trapp O'Neal

9/1431/Cupido de Laubry/Morgan Hill Partners/Hannah Holik

10/1590/Mad Season/Alex Granato/Alex Granato

11/1611/Caribe/Steve Schaefer/Steve Schaefer

12/1702/Highlander/Joan Kalman/Andrew Kocher

 

553. $500 High Jr/AO Jumper

1/1340/Bull Run's Believer/Empire State Equine Sales, LLC/Chelsea Babcock

2/1654/Wauw/Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc./Daniela Stransky

3/1527/Shea/Blair Cudmore/Karen Cudmore

4/1521/Papa Douba Diob/Iron Horse Farm/Karina Aziz

5/1410/Quite Quick/Jennifer Flynn/Delaney Flynn

6/1226/Katie Riddle/Rancho Corazon, LLC/Chenoa Mc Elvain

7/1338/Bull Run's Guardian/Empire State Equine Sales, LLC/Chelsea Babcock

8/1516/Venti/Hannah DeLano/Hannah DeLano