Thomas Cerra and United Garner Grand Prix Victory

A picture perfect day in Wayne, IL, set the backdrop for another great day of competition at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II on Saturday. In the Grand Prix Ring, Thomas Cerra and United raced to victory in the outstandingA picture perfect day in Wayne, IL, set the backdrop for another great day of competition at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II on Saturday. In the Grand Prix Ring, Thomas Cerra and United raced to victory in the outstanding

Story originally posted by Horsecity.com Staff

A picture perfect day in Wayne, IL, set the backdrop for another great day of competition at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II on Saturday. In the Grand Prix Ring, Thomas Cerra and United raced to victory in the outstanding $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix, sponsored by Tapestry Farm of Bristol, Wisconsin.

The day began with a win for Samantha Wagner and Brosius in the $2,500 Modified Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, and following the grand prix, The Low Children’s and Adult Jumpers rode for top honors. Susan Harrell and JHS Bullet won the $2,500 Low Adult Classic, and Shannon Helsper rode Spur O’The Moment to victory in the $2,500 Low Children’s Classic, sponsored by Mill Run Farms. The day concluded with the ever exciting $5,000 Gentleman’s Invitational, with the big win going to Kristjan Goode riding Woodstock.

Thirty-six competitors entered the ring for week two’s highlight class, the $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix, set by course designer Ken Krome. Ten of the original entries were able to complete the first round fault-free to advance to the jump-off, and five horse and rider combinations then finished double clear to race against the clock.

Krome’s shortened course featured eight fences to be navigated in a 52-second time allowed. The track wound tightly around the numbered obstacles throughout the spacious Grand Prix Ring and finished with a long gallop to the final oxer. The winning combination of Thomas Cerra and United jumped double clear in the fastest time of 39.495 seconds to take home the top prize of $9,000, a championship tricolor and cooler, as well as a pair of Parlanti boots.

Maggie Jayne and her mount Thomas Edison posted the second fastest time of 39.608 seconds to earn their cut of $6,600 in prize money. Other top finishers included Wilhelm Genn and Copyright 3, who raced through the timers in 39.870 seconds for third place honors, as well as Denise Wilson and Namos, whose time of 43.431 seconds earned fourth place. The final double clear round belonged to Kathy Frame and Spitfire-W after the pair crossed the finish line in 44.057 seconds to receive the fifth place prize.

"This was an exciting win and it was a lot of fun," smiled Cerra after his round of honor. "I am so happy for the horse and for the owners too, the Banas family; it is pretty rewarding."

United is a nine-year-old gelding owned by Brampton Woods Farm. This was only the big bay’s third time competing in a grand prix class, and Cerra noted that the talented young horse really stepped up to the challenge today. "He is still a little playful and young at heart, but every time I go in the ring he gets a little smarter and he learns really fast," the rider stated. "Today was one of the few days that I really pushed him hard in the jump-off and made really tight turns. I galloped him in some spots and challenged him at the combination. He just got better and better the harder I challenged him today and I am so proud of him."

Cerra had a great ride on course with United today and recalled the excitement of going into the jump-off following Maggie Jayne’s fast time. "I knew I was going to have to be fast to win, so he jumped the first jump really well and I caught the second jump well, so I just never really looked back. Every other jump kept coming up nicely for us. It looked like about two miles from the second to last jump and the last one; it was a long run and I did not see a distance, but I just kept running at it and it worked out."

Throughout the grand prix and afternoon classes, Showplace Productions’ newest sponsor, Gruno’s Diamonds, hosted a special luncheon and exhibitor party. Excellent food and beverages were served all day in the VIP pavilions set ringside as spectators watched the talented horses and riders compete. The $2,500 Low Adult Classic immediately followed the grand prix with a big win for Susan Harrell of Rush Springs, OK, and her mount JHS Bullet. The pair had the fastest of seven double clear rounds to take home the top prize
over the challenging course.

Up next, the $2,500 Low Children’s Classic was held thanks to the generous sponsorship of Mill Run Farms. Seventeen-year-old Shannon Helsper of Zionsville, IN, was the only rider to jump double clear in the class with the skill of her riding and the dependability of her seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Spur O’The Moment.

Helsper bought Spur O’The Moment when the mare was four and a half years old and this is the pair’s second year showing together. "This was one of my first big wins ever," Helsper smiled. "I have placed in classics before, but I have never gotten first, so it is exciting!"

Helsper rides with trainer David Dorner and explained that her main strategy was sitting up and getting the turns done. "The course went really, really well today, so I was very happy with it," Helsper explained. "She can be really fast, but it depends on if she wants to go over the jumps or not; if she goes over the jumps then she will not hit anything."

Concluding the day was the rescheduled $5,000 Gentleman’s Invitational, presented by True North Farm. Ten gentlemen rode in the class, and each earned prize money to be donated entirely to a charity of their choice. The first place prize was awarded to Kristjan Goode, riding McLain Ward’s horse Woodstock to the fastest double clear of the afternoon. Goode earned $1,200 for his winning round and chose to donate all of his earnings to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. Along with the prize money, Goode was presented with the coveted Gentleman’s Invitational Cup and led the round of honor for his fellow competitors.

RESULTS – $30,000 SHOWPLACE PRODUCTIONS GRAND PRIX

1-UNITED, THOMAS CERRA
2-THOMAS EDISON, MAGGIE JAYNE
3-COPYRIGHT 3, WILHELM GENN
4-NAMOS, DENISE WILSON
5-SPITFIRE-W, KATHY FRAME
6-Y B BLUE, NICK NOVAK
7-KATIE RIDDLE, JOHN MCCONNELL
8-LIFE IS LIFE 15, DENISE WILSON
9-ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, BRANDIE HOLLOWAY
10-VICTOR, CHARLIE JAYNE
11-PILOT, AMELIA MCARDLE

12-LUCILLE, MAGGIE JAYNE

For more information on Showplace Productions and the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.