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Hunter Jumper Classic returns to Polo Field
Hunter Jumper Classic returns to Polo Field
By CANDY LAWRENCE
As perennial as summer grass, the annual Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic gallops again into the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in Moreland Hills from July 9 to 25 for an extended appearance that spreads over three extended weekends.
The event will feature back-to-back U.S. Equestrian Federation-rated horse-show competitions, world-class equestrians competing aboard international caliber mounts, canine exhibitions, boutiques, benefit parties, live music, carriage rides, youth events and a host of family oriented activities.
Gates open daily at about 8 a.m., with two to three rings running simultaneously.
"This addition follows the trend in the horse-show industry. Horse shows are extending their dates so that the competitors can have less show stops, thereby reducing their traveling expenses," Karen Schneider, co-chairman of the Chagrin Valley Professional Horsemen's Association Horse Show, said. By extending our show dates, it allows competitors to spend more time in our area, which will result in increased revenues for the local economy."
Competition will begin with Schneider's Saddlery opening weekend July 9 to 11. Geared toward local equestrians, opening weekend is not USEF-rated but Saturday and Sunday's classes are recognized by the Ohio Professional Horsemen's Association, the Western Pennsylvania Professional Horsemen's Association and the Up and Over show series. The riders with disabilities competition is scheduled for July 9.
Local competitors merge with national equestrians during the first rated week, which will include USEF AA-rated hunters and level four-rated jumper competitions from July 14 to 18. Featured classes throughout the week will include the $5,000 North American League Open Jumper Speed Stake on July 15 and the $10,000 Welcome Stake sponsored by the Friends of Sarah Steffee at 5:30 .m. July 16.
During Friday evening's Welcome Stake, spectators can join the CVPHA endowment fund benefit cocktail party at 5 p.m. Established in 2006, the fund is used to raise money to preserve and protect the historic CVHJC horse show for generations to come. The benefit party requires reservations and a separate ticket which can be arranged by contacting (440) 564-5518. Individual tickets for the benefit cocktail party range from $85 for exhibitors to $125 for non-exhibitors, including $75 being tax-deductible.
A second CVPHA endowment fund benefit dinner party, "Summer Supper," will be held July 17 prior to and during the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse-U.S. Hunter Jumper Association International Hunter Derby. The benefit dinner begins at about 5 p.m. Separate ticket arrangements for the supper can be reserved by calling (440) 564-5518. Individual tickets for the benefit dinner party range from $120 for exhibitors to $250 for non-exhibitors, with $150 tax-deductible. A silent auction to benefit Chagrin Valley Stables will be held Friday and Saturday in conjunction with both benefit endowment events.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. July 17, Family Day is scheduled, featuring pony rides, character appearances by Hunter the Horse, a horse-less horse show for children, crafts, face painting and other youth and family oriented activities. Children under age 12 are admitted free for this special event. At about 2 p.m, the Ashland Farm Pony Hunter Classic will feature miniature equestrians aboard polished and braided-tuxedoed ponies as they compete for the shrunken rider pony tiara.
Hunter the Horse, the gray-haired mascot of the CVHJC, who promotes the "Reading and Riding" program, will be making appearances throughout Grand Prix weekend.
The Classic K-9 dog events and exhibitions will be showcased from July 16 to 18. The Classic K-9s will entertain several times a day with Olympic-styled events such as grand-prix agility racing, musical mats, barrel racing, relay racing and world record canine high jumping.
Carriage rides also will be available. The open carriage, pulled by Ellie Bellie, a 10-year-old Clydesdale mare, offers a 15-minute tour of the show grounds. The carriage can hold six people in the back and one upfront riding next to the driver in the co-pilot's seat.
The highlight of the CVHJC, the 45th running of the $30,000 Cleveland Grand Prix, the first grand-prix jumping competition to be held in the United States, is scheduled for 18.
Gates open for grand-prix day at 8 a.m. with the $3,500 Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic followed by the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. Beginning at 8 a.m. in the hunter ring, the $750 Adult Amateur Hunter Classic will be showcased followed by the $750 Children's Hunter Classic.
Grand-prix festivities begin at 1:30 p.m. with the historic headline event beginning at 2:30. Olympic-caliber riders and horses will be on hand to tackle a course consisting of obstacles as high as 5 feet with spreads of equal distance. Crowd favorite and nine-time Cleveland Grand Prix winner Margie Engle plans to take on the challenge.
"We've always been lucky here," Engle said. "This show is great, the footing in the ring is fantastic and I love coming to this show. The people are just great and the grounds are beautiful."
A ringside benefit brunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. will be hosted during grand-`prix day with proceeds going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Individual tickets are $115. For $600, patrons receive a table for six along with three VIP parking passes. A table for eight, which includes four VIP parking passes can be purchased for $800. Call (216) 910-1220 for more information or to reserve single or group tickets for the benefit brunch.
The final extended weekend of rated showing, July 22 to 25, will include USEF A-rated hunter competition and jumper level two-rated competition. The final day of competition, July 25, will include the $1,500 NAL Washington International Horse Show Adult Jumper Classic and the $1,500 NAL Junior Amateur Owner Jumper Classic.
General admission for spectators is free from July 9 to 15 and the final leg of the show from July 22 to 25.
On July 16 and 17, general admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children under the age of 12, with the exception of July 17, where children under the age of 12 are admitted free in celebration of family weekend activities. Admission on grand-prix day July 18 is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12.
General admission tickets can be purchased the day of the show at the South Woodland Road (Route 87) entrance or in advance by calling (330) 903-9915. Ringside box seats and classic box seats with and without shade are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rates start at $25 for a single day to $1,000, which accommodates a reserved table of six for the duration of the show. Hospitality tent and VIP parking passes are available based on the level of box seating purchased.
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