Jumping For Joy – And Money!
The family of Harold Walker presents the Gambler's Choice trophy to Andy Kocher, 2012 winner the Gambler's Choice class. Pictured are daughters of Harold Walker, Snow and Virginia with granddaughters, Mary Lampton and Ann Elise; wife, Foxey; sister, Tempe Chancellor; and son DeFord Walker.
June 4-8 at the Germantown Charity Horse Show the jumpers will be out in full force to win big bucks. Every night of the week starting at 5:00 p.m. there will be fierce competition for money, culminating in the $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday. The pros will be there to jump as high and fast as necessary to take home the cash.
The show week starts on Tuesday with the $5000 Hunter/Jumper Versatility Challenge. There are two rounds to this competition: the hunter-style round where the horses jump 3’3” to 3’6” and the jumper speed round looking for fastest clear round. The top 12 jumpers from round one come back for round two. Overall winner is the highest point total from both rounds. Andy Kocher from Tuscaloosa, Alabama won last year and will be back to try again.
In addition to prize money, the winner receives the Keepsake Perpetual Trophy donated by Peggy Jones and Barney Mallace in honor of a 1990 Dutch Warmblood named Keepsake, who was noted for her versatility in winning both in the hunter ring and the jumper ring. She was always game and willing to do whatever was asked including trail riding.
Wednesday is the $15,000 Welcome Stake Open Jumpers. This competition was won last year by Richard Cheska, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Thursday night is the $4000 Gambler’s Choice sponsored by the Harold Walker Family. The fences are numbered according to a point value from 10 to 200. In the time allotted, the fences may be jumped in any order and as many times as possible to accrue points. At the end, the rider may choose to jump the JOKER for another 200 points. If the fence is knocked down, the rider loses 200 points. Andy Kocher won last year and will be back to try for another win.
As a competitor, Gambler’s Choice was a favorite class of the late Harold Walker. He competed regularly in the 1960s and later as President of the Germantown Charity Horse Show. He revived the class, and it once again has become a crowd pleaser and competitor favorite.
Friday in the main arena, the $2500 Pony Hunter Classic and the $5000 Germantown Hunter Classic draw crowds of spectators to see the formally dressed hunter riders.
Be sure to come early on Saturday to park and find a seat for the $25,000 Grand Prix of Germantown. It is an exciting array of 12-15 fences that must be navigated with finesse and speed. The turns are tight and the jumps are high! After the first round, those with clear rounds will come back for a jump-off, in which time will decide. Tensions climb as the timer ticks off the seconds in the jumper rounds. This year Michael Tokaruk will be back to try for his third consecutive win of the Grand Prix against some of the best jumpers in the nation.
If jumping is your favorite thing at GCHS, plan to come early, get a ring side seat, and cheer for your favorite rider and horse all five days June 4-8.
Go to gchs.org for more information and keep up with GCHS on Facebook for the latest news.
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