Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin N' Juice Jump to Claim First Place in the CIC*** Division at The Event at Rebecca Farm
Buck Davidson Claims Second; Alexandra Slusher Leaps from Seventh to Third
KALISPELL, MONT. (July 24, 2011) -- After slowly trotting her way up in the standings with each event of the 3-day competition, Hawley Bennett-Awad on Gin N' Juice, owned by Linda Paine, jumped a near-perfect round to finish first in the CIC*** division at the Event at Rebecca Farm. Landing in a close second, Buck Davidson and Ballyneocastle RM, owned by Carl Segal, navigated the colorful and elegantly decorated show jumping course with only one rail down, and Alexandra Slusher jumped Christie Campbell's horse Last Call through a clean, fault-free round and finished third.
"I am thrilled with Ginny," said Bennett-Awad. "The crowds were awesome and she was excited. I did make a mistake on one jump and had an unfortunate rail, but I'm very happy. To take the top three with my best friends is awesome."
All three of the riders spoke about how happy they were to win together, since they train together and are good friends. They also indicated how badly they felt for Alison Springer, who was leading after the cross-country competition yesterday. Springer's horse Arthur got spooked in the show jumping ring and during a difficult round she dropped seven rails to slip to 11th place.
"None of us wanted to move up like that," said Davidson. "Alison has worked so hard and it's too bad that Arthur panicked."
"But my horse was great today," added Davidson, one of the elite riders who had their horse flown out from Maryland to Kalispell on charter flight Air Horse One. "I am kicking myself about my dressage score, though, but I'll just have to come back next year and go one place higher." Davidson finished second overall in the CIC*** last year at Rebecca Farm, too. Making Davidson's ride even more special, however, was Bennett-Awad's first-place finish. "Hawley has worked so hard and I am privileged to be a part of it," said Davidson, who has been Bennett-Awad's coach for a decade.
"Fergie was awesome," said Slusher. "She was energetic and I was just trying to stay focused. I am thrilled to have run a clear round and wound up in the top. But I couldn't have done it without Buck and Hawley."
Davidson and Bennett-Awad have their sights set on the London Olympics next summer, representing America and Canada respectively. Slusher is an up-and-coming international rider who hopes to compete in Europe soon.
"I feel that this event ran exceptionally well for the 10th anniversary," said Sarah Broussard-Kelly, the Event's organizer, and daughter of the late Rebecca Broussard. "It showed the exceptional team of people that we have here and the wonderful support that we have from the community. From great weather to exciting competition, this was a wonderful show of what this sport is capable of offering. And, this is a testimony to what my mom created. The group of people that she assembled and the education that she gave us all allowed us to produce such a magnificent event. Her thumbprint was evident on every aspect of the weekend."
Closer to home, Braun Lowry of Kalispell finished fourth in the Senior Open Training C class, Lakeside resident Briana Patyk finished fifth in the Junior Open Training division, Whitefish resident Frank Sweeney landed fifth in the Senior Open Novice C division, Cindy Marvin of Kalispell placed seventh in the Open Intermediate class, Darcy Barnes of Kalispell placed eighth in the Senior Open Novice C, Jeannine Pukas of Lakeside finished ninth in the Tree-day Training division, and Kim Liddell from Columbia Falls placed fifth in the Senior Open Training B class and 10th in the Senior Open Novice D.
Watch Bennett-Awad's cross-country run from Saturday via a helmet-cam video on the Rebcecca Farm website: http://www.rebeccafarm.org.
Top 10 CIC*** Final Results
Hawley Bennett-Awad, Gin N' Juice, 53.4 (Langley, BC)
Buck Davidson, Ballyneocastle RM, 54.4 (Reddick, FL)
Alexandra Slusher, Last Call, 58.2 (Auburn, CA)
Jolie Wentworth, GoodKnight, 59.2 (Martinez, CA)
Barbara Crabo, Eveready II, 59.8 (Scottsdale, AZ)
Heather Gillette, Our Questionnaire, 60.8 (Califon, NJ)
Carl Bouckaert, 60.8, (Dalton, GA)
Sara Kozumplik, 64.8 (Berryville, VA)
Jessica Phoenix, Exponential, 65.8 (Ontario, Canada)
Joe Meyer, 66.2 (New Zealand)
Montana Riders Top 10
Cindy Marvin - Kalispell - 7th.
Jr. Open Training
Briana Patyk - Lakeside - 5th.
Lindsay Ross - Missoula - 10th.
Sr. Open Training B
Kim Liddell - Columbia Falls - 5th.
Sr. Open Training C
Braun Lowry - Kalispell - 4th.
Sr. Open Novice A
Tammy Yost-Wildin - Boyd - 6th.
Sr. Open Novice B
Rachel Ambrose - Missoula - 8th.
Brittney Trowbridge - Missoula - 10th.
Sr. Open Novice C
Frank Sweeney - Whitefish - 5th.
Jeff Goodwin - Clancy - 7th.
Darcy Barnes - Kalispell - 8th.
Sr. Open Novice D
Kim Liddell - Columbia Falls - 10th.
Sr. Open Novice E
Erica Seas - Billings - 3rd
Lynne Larsen - Buffalo - 4th
Jeannine Pukas - Lakeside - 9th.