Hampton Falls, NH – August 9, 2012 – The Jumper Classic®, presented by Fidelity Investments® and Audi of America, hosted their $12,000 Welcome Stake today at the Silver Oak Equestrian Center. The winner of the $12,000 Welcome Stake was Jonathan McCrea of East Windsor, CT, on Twisther, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables.

Located in the beautiful town of Hampton Falls, NH, The Jumper Classic is New England’s premier equestrian event. This elite level competition attracts the country’s top riders, past Olympians and local equestrians. The Jumper Classic runs through Sunday, August 12, with the highlight class, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, on Sunday.

There were five classes held in the Coldwell Bankers Previews Grand Prix Field today, and the courses were designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Munich, Germany. There were 22 entries in the $12,000 Welcome Stake, and riders had the option to ride their jump-off round immediately following their first round or to return at the end of the class. The $12,000 Welcome Stake was a qualifier to determine the Order of Go for Sunday’s grand prix class. McCrea and Twisther rode their jump-off immediately following their first round and were able to lower the winning time to 34.539 seconds with a clear round.

Jonathan McCrea and Twisther


To watch an interview with Jonathan and hear more about Twisther, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyCyiXXrghM


McCrea just beat his wife, Christine, who rode Victor E to a clear jump-off in 36.000 seconds. Third place went to Candice King on Louisburg Farm’s Whistler. They completed the jump-off fault-free in 37.158 seconds. Rounding out the double clear rounds were McCrea and his second mount Colorado (37.743 seconds) for fourth and Michael Dorman on Seventh Fee in fifth with a time of 39.004 seconds.


McCrea has ridden Twisther, a 12-year-old KWPN stallion by Farmer x Zevenster, for six months and took over the ride from Christine McCrea after the horse had six months off. “I started him up for a little bit and she was supposed to take him back, but thank God she didn’t,” he said with a smile.


Twisther is a breeding stallion and comes with success as the winner of the “Sires of the World” competition in Lanaken, Belgium, as a seven-year-old. The McCreas purchased him as an eight-year-old, and while Christine had success with him, it wasn’t an easy ride for her. Jonathan got the ride on Twisther, and Christine took over riding duties for his horse Victor E.


“Chris had him and she won a bunch of stuff with him, but just never really got along with him. We traded horses,” he explained. “I let him be himself. He jumps in great technique, but he wants to be kind of hunterish. It was a hard thing to learn. Watching Chris and how she struggled with him, it came to me. He doesn’t want to go like that. When I flat him at home, it’s like trail riding every day. No draw reins or anything. He’s super careful, and he tries every time he goes in the ring.”


Despite a new partnership, McCrea and Twisther have won several big classes, including at Spruce Meadows. Coming into today’s class, McCrea said, “With him, the plan is always to win. He’s good in the brain. He won’t come out tomorrow and be running. He’ll be the same. I know Twisther is probably the fastest in the barn that we have, next to Romantovich Take One.”


For Sunday’s grand prix, McCrea will compete with Colorado and Twisther. He said, “With Twisther, I don’t really think he’s a top grand prix horse, but he keeps giving me more and more. Saying that, he’s been good. The plan is that Colorado will be my top horse on Sunday. Twisther is just a bonus. Today was to win, and Sunday if he makes the jump-off, he’ll be hard to beat. That’s a different day and a different course.”


Jonathan McCrea and Twisther in their awards presentation


The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions started today, and the opening class was the $1,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers with 37 entries. Riding to the win with a clear jump-off time of 32.129 seconds was Cody Parker of New York, NY, on Ambitious, a seven-year-old KWPN-NA mare. Parker bred Ambitious herself out of her retired jumper, Kolumbina, and Ambitious is by Indoctro. “It worked out pretty well!” Parker expressed.


Parker started Ambitious when she was four years old, and they show lightly during the year. The pair started at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival this winter and have shown four times this summer, but they had a two month break from competition before The Jumper Classic. Parker said, “I probably went faster than I was supposed to go. I’ve been working a lot so I haven’t shown her in two months. I was excited to go. I was really long to the first and second jumps, and she turned back really fast at the fourth jump.”


She added, “She’s a very good horse for me because I don’t get to ride a lot. When I show up she’s just always excited to show. She was really on her game today. She deserves more credit than me!”


Parker said that both she and Ambitious enjoy The Jumper Classic. “She loves this horse show,” Parker agreed. “She was champion here when she was in the Five Year Old Young Jumpers. I love this show. It’s really fun to show on the field, and the smaller rings are really nice. It’s always been a really good show for us.”


Cody Parker and Ambitious


The $1,500 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class was also held in a jump-off format, and New York City’s Francesca Bolfo piloted Venus TR to the win.


In today’s class, Bolfo wanted to acclimate Venus TR to the grass field in preparation for Sunday’s $15,000 Equine Insurance Services Speed Stake presented by Great American. “It’s the beginning of the week and we’re aiming for the speed class on Sunday. It was nice to take her in and show her around. She’s great on the field. We got her jumping legs up,” Bolfo explained.


Bolfo has ridden Venus TR, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Skippy II, for five years. She described, “She’s a blast. I’ve never had so much fun showing a horse. She’s as much of a competitor, if not more, than I am. I think if you showed her a course chart, she could do it on her own! She’s got a lot of heart, a lot of blood, and she’s just great.”


This is Bolfo’s first time at The Jumper Classic. “It’s lovely; the facility is beautiful and everybody is so great. The courses have been wonderful. I love jumping Olaf’s courses,” she said.


Francesca Bolfo and Venus TR


Starting out the morning was the $3,500 1.40m Jumpers. The class was held in a faults converted format, and the fastest for victory was Zephyr, ridden and owned by Michael Dorman.


Michael Dorman receives prizes in his awards presentation


Jeffery Welles was able to come away with the win in the $2,000 1.30m Jumpers out of 29 entries riding Valdano, owned by Laura O’Connor. Coming in second place was Feeling, ridden and owned by Tammy Marek. Third place went to Raccoon, ridden by Molly Ashe Cawley for McLain Ward.


Jeffery Welles and Valdano


Additional winners in the GGT Footing Ring Two today were:

$500 Holistic Animal Healing Clinic Masters Jumpers: Foxgate’s Joker, Christine Blair, John Blair

1.10m Jumpers: Revelstoke, Annie Phillips, Annie Phillips

1.15m Jumpers: Super G, Paul Halpern, Kathleen Kamine

$750 Sidelines Magazine 1.20m Jumpers: Don Pedro, JJ Lavieri, Jessica Herman

$500 Watershed Farm Low Children’s/Adult Jumpers: Shades of Bay, Sidney Gerken, Sidney Gerken


The Jumper Classic presented by Fidelity Investments and Audi of America continues tomorrow with the highlight class, the $3,500 D.G. Ventures Speed Derby. Other classes include $3,500 CMJ Sporthorse 1.30m and $5,000 1.40m Jumpers as well as $3,000 Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.


For more information, please visit The Jumper Classic website at www.jumperclassic.com.


Final Results: $12,000 Welcome Stake

1 Twisther, Jonathan McCrea, Candy Tribble: 0/0/34.539

2 Victor E, Christine McCrea, Christine McCrea: 0/0/36.000

3 Whistler, Candice King, Louisburg Farm: 0/0/37.158

4 Colorado, Jonathan McCrea, Jonathan McCrea: 0/0/37.743

5 Seventh Fee, Michael Dorman, Michael Dorman: 0/0/39.004

6 Lincourt Gino, Peter Leone, Monica Carrera: 0/4/34.704

7 Tilghman, Sarah Segal, Horatio Street Ventures: 0/4/36.140

8 Wriomf, Molly Ashe, Jolly Group: 0/4/38.426


The Jumper Classic® presented by Fidelity Investments® and Audi of America, now in its 23rd year, annually attracts some of the nation’s most elite equestrian athletes as well as international competitors. The show offers five days of competition and culminates in the premier event, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, held on one of the top grass grand prix fields on the east coast. For more information on The Jumper Classic, please visit www.jumperclassic.com.


PHOTO CREDIT: Photos © Tammy Hardy Photography. These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.


WEBSITE: www.jumperclassic.com, Press Releases and Photos are available for download.