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Grand Prix of Germantown
Saturday’s crown jewel of the Germantown Charity Horse Show, the $25,000 Grand Prix of Germantown, sponsored by The City of Germantown, Tennessee, saw some of the best Grand Prix riders from the area compete. Show manager and course designer Phil DeVita and Olympic medalist Melanie Smith Taylor explained the course, the jumping efforts involved, and the time allowed.
Michael Tokaruk assured himself of some of the prize money with four entries in the class. Welcome Stake winner Adam Sklansky on Ellen Walker’s Hakini was back to make his bid for the win, as was Brownland Farm Grand Prix star Louise Graves. Danielle Grice brought a remarkable 20-year-old veteran Grand Prix horse, who showed the crowd he’s “still got it!” Seasoned jumper rider Shanna Beyer brought her veteran jumper Invictus and experienced hunter/jumper rider Mary Mielenz took a shot at it on John Deere MG. Novice to Grand Prix jumping, Evie Jaeckle brought two horses to try her luck.
Tokaruk set the pace on his first entry Quality Iris with a clear round and 67.555 seconds on the clock. Next to try the course was Evie Jaeckle on Clochard. They were doing OK until her horse hit the vertical before the Liverpool, and fell, knocking Evie on the ground, too. Fortunately, she was wearing her inflatable vest, so seemed to be unhurt. The horse left the arena, seemingly OK, too.
Third to go was Mary Mielenz on John Deere MG, but she did not go clean.
Then Adam Sklansky and Hakini entered the arena and rode a clear round in 69.574 seconds, bringing two now to the jump-off.
Next, Impossible II and Leah Curtiss tried the course, but they did not go clear either.
Michael Tokaruk came back with his second mount My Lord Castanoo, riding another clear round in 72.955 seconds. Now there would be three in the jump-off.
Next was the 20-year-old grey Kaprio to take the course, with Danielle Grice aboard. This amazing guy showed his stuff with a clear round in 68.841 seconds. Make that four in the jump-off!
Louise Graves trotted into the arena with her mount, VDL Glitter Van De Kalevalei sporting a Tennessee Equine Hospital cupola painted on his rump. She was right on time and it was another clear round. Five returning to the jump-off.
Favorite grey Steel the Love was next in the arena with Michael Tokaruk. Unfortunately, he had one rail down (4 jump faults) in a good time of 69.624.
Moving down the line was Shanna Beyer and Invictus, looking good until fence three, when they had a sit-down stop. Shanna stayed on and they were successful at jumping on their second attempt. But the cost was 4 jump faults and 2 time faults (78.314 time).
Evie Jaeckle made her second try at the course on TJC’s Kygo, this time successful, albeit with a few jump faults.
Once again it was time for Michael Tokaruk, this time on Cupid Shuffle. It was another clear round with 67.168 on the clock. Tokaruk gave his horse a treat as he headed out of the arena. Add a sixth to the jump-off!
The jump crew was back in the arena to change the course for the jump-off – with an odd addition. One of the jump crew had a bird on his shoulder. I asked him if it was his pet, but he said this wild bird just landed on his shoulder and rode on him into the arena. While he worked the jumps he had to set the bird down on the ground, and it managed to stay out of the way of the wagon and tractor. He picked up the bird and took it to the safety of the railing while the jump crew finished their work. The bird remained on the rail for a while, even as the jumpers came back in.
Quality Iris and Michael Tokaruk were first to go in the jump-off with another clear round in 36.742 seconds. The heat was on!
Adam Sklansky and Hakini were next, but had 4 jump faults in a time of 38.004.
Re-enter Michael Tokaruk and My Lord Castanoo. His time of 39.585 was good, but he racked up 4 jump faults.
Next was the senior member of the group, Kaprio with Danielle Grice aboard. They had a superior time, 35.742, but unfortunately 4 jump faults.
Louise Graves and VDL Glitter Van De Kalevalei were next, looking good around the course until the last fence. Louise checked a tad too much and her horse lost some impulsion, so knocked down the rails of the last jump.
Enter Michael Tokaruk for the third time, now on Cupid Shuffle, posting another clear round in 35.122 seconds. The winner!
1st: Cupid Shuffle, Michael Tokaruk
2nd: Quality Iris, Michal Tokaruk
3rd: Kaprio, Danielle Grice
4th: Hakini, Adam Sklansky
5th: VDL Glitter Van De Kalevalei
6th: My Lord Castanoo, Michael Tokaruk
7th: Steel the Love, Michael Tokaruk
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