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Class Action Wins at the Classic June 9, 2002

Sandi Hall Website

Hugh Graham & Class Action
Hugh Graham and Kingridge Stable’s Class Action won the $5000 Classic @ Palgrave II Modified Grand Prix on June 9. This Dutch stallion by Libero H is a graduate of the Jumper Development Program. Graham, who has competed in more then one hundred World Cup Qualifiers, had double the reason to celebrate as his wife, Cindy Firestone-Graham, took 1st, 2nd and 4th in the Adult Amateur Hunters with Gettysburg.

The Modified Grand Prix was preceded by a Junior/Amateur 4/5 Stake in the main ring. There were just twelve entries, and the win went to Regan Clermont of Guelph, and Valkyrie. Clermont had a terrific show, winning all three of his classes. Emily MacIntosh and Livingstone were second, putting in two lovely rounds but finishing just off the pace. Jacklynn Carey and Inside Out were uncharacteristically steady in their jump off round and finished up third.

Regan Clermont & Valkyrie
After the snow and rain at the last competition at the Caledon Equestrian, the high temperatures, sun and blue skies were welcomed by all. There were twenty-one starts in the $5000 Classic @ Palgrave II Modified Grand Prix. Faults were distributed all round Sven Lowe’s course, with six pairs moving on to the jump off. The bogey fences were a vertical at nine, a very skinny vertical at ten, and the final element of the triple combination, an oxer, at the end of the course.

The first clear came early on from Beth Underhill and her own grey, Conduct. Underhill set the target with a faultless (thanks to the rail at 12c rolling back into the cups) clear, putting the pressure on the rest of the field. Doug Henry and his big, quiet chestnut, Ike, had a super trip but collected time faults. Greg Kuti, the 1999 Ontario Hunter-Jumper Association’s Jumper Coach of the Year, and his zealous ride, Cantor, also went clean and had no trouble making the time, thus guaranteeing a jump off. It looked as though Underhill and her second ride, Cuervo Nero, winners of a Level 4 Jumper earlier in the week, would also go on. However, they took a rail at fence 8, an oxer coming off of a turn for four. John Pearce and Jamco’s Demeure took up the challenge and looked to be in with a chance until the very end, when 12c and the final fence, a vertical heading towards the in-gate, caught them out.

Beth Underhill & Conduct
Hugh Graham and Class Action were next. The handy stallion had no trouble clearing the fences and coming in well under the 85 seconds allowed. Erynn Ballard, the busiest rider in the Modified, went clean with Futurist, W. Charlot Farm’s hanoverian stallion by For Pleasure. Robert Krcmar of Aurora, Ontario, who chalked up twenty faults with his first ride, went clean with his second, the powerful hanoverian, Rocco. Beth Underhill returned to the ring once more and made it six for the jump off with Magdaline.

The jump off track was very twisty with few places to really gallop. Underhill was first to return with Conduct. Since her magnificent horse *Altair was injured at the end of 1999, Canadians have seen all too little of this popular rider. When Conduct ran out at the third fence in the jump off, there was an audible groan of disappointment from the spectators. Erynn Ballard and Futurist also had trouble at eight, knocking the rail, but luck was with them and it stayed in the cups. A time of 40.498 put Futurist into the lead. Greg Kuti and Cantor also posted a double-clear but were three seconds slower.

Erynn Ballard & Almighty Twist
Hugh Graham, never one to dawdle on any horse, and Class Action flew around the course. They rubbed 12c, the penultimate fence on the jump off course, but it stayed. Their time of 38.546 would be tough to beat. Robert Krcmar pulled out all the stops with Rocco, but at the expense of two rails. The final challenger was Beth Underhill and the chestnut, Magdaline. They set a cracking pace and surely had Graham wondering if his time would be good enough, when Magdaline clipped the wing of 12c, sending the entire fence to the ground, and leaving the win to Class Action.

*Altair fans take note: after a full year off following the freak injury to a suspensory in 1999 at Monterrey, Beth Underhill began the long, slow road of bringing Altair back to peak performance. He returned to the Grand Prix ring in 2001 in California where he won the $35,000 Orange County Register Grand Prix and enjoyed other top placings. Altair’s careful rehabilitation continues. Good luck, “Flying One”!

June 9, 2002 $5000 Classic @ Palgrave II Modified Grand Prix

1st Class Action Hugh Graham Kingridge Stables
2nd Futurist Erynn Ballard W. Charlot Farms
3rd Cantor Greg Kuti The G. String Syndicate
4th Magdaline Beth Underhill Darryl B. Williams & Asso.
5th Conduct Beth Underhill Beth Underhill Stables
6th Rocco Robert Krcmar Mike Robson

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