Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic – Week I: Federico Sztyrle Wins Welcome Stake and Cleveland Grand Prix

Federico Sztyrle Wins Welcome Stake and Cleveland Grand Prix
Technically demanding course design / Alfano switches it up with Miss Lucy

Photos Via: Anne Gittins Photography

MORELAND HILLS, Ohio – July 16, 2012 – Federico Sztyrle now considers the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic a lucky show. His first time here in the Chagrin Valley, Sztyrle and Crossfire 10 won both the $10,000 Welcome Stake and the $30,000 Cleveland Grand Prix during Week I of the Classic.

The Cleveland Grand Prix, the highlight of the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic, was North America’s first show jumping grand prix, debuting here at the Polo Fields in 1965. This year’s event featured competitors from around the world, including former Olympians from the United States (Joe Fargis) and Venezuela (Pablo Barrios), and a local professional, Megan Moshontz-Bash of Chagrin Falls.

A half-hour downpour disrupted the festivities leading up to the Cleveland Grand Prix, but after this short delay the sun came out and everything proceeded as planned. The downpour heavily soaked the grand prix ring, but thanks to the Riso 2000 footing’s advanced drainage system the ring crew had no problems getting the ring quickly prepared for competition. “The ring is amazing,” said Sztyrle, “I really like this show. I will ride in the welcome stake and grand prix next week, and I plan to return next year. This show is lucky!”

Sztyrle dominates the competition
With no faults and a jump-off time of 36.72 seconds, Sztyrle and Crossfire 10 dominated the competition in Friday night’s Welcome Stake. Their success continued on Sunday in the Cleveland Grand Prix, again with no faults and with a jump-off time of 40.183 – more than one second faster than Venezuelan Juan Ortiz and Accordance, who took second-place with a jump-off time of 41.427. Rebecca Conway, of Salt Lake City, and Twister took third-place with a jump-off time of 41.949.

Born and raised in Argentina, Sztyrle, 47-years-old, has been living in the United States for 16 years. Based in Wellington, Fla., he came to the Chagrin Valley from his current summer home in Lexington, Ky. Sztyrle has been paired with Crossfire 10, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for three years. “When he goes in the ring, he knows he’s competing. He’s fun to ride,” said Sztyrle, “In the [grand prix] jump-off he knew it was time to go fast, he kept looking for the next fence.”

Technically demanding course design
The $30,000 Cleveland Grand Prix hosted a field of 24 competitors. Course designer Steve Stephens, of Palmetto, Fla., designed a technically demanding course of 5-foot jumps – including a line that could be ridden in a long six strides or in a short seven strides. It was this line, specifically the liverpool at the end, that proved to be the most challenging aspect of the course, which saw only six riders go clear in the first round.

Local professional Megan Moshontz-Bash, owner, trainer and rider with Cleveland Equestrian, had two entries in the Cleveland Grand Prix. “The course was very technical,” Moshontz-Bash said, “Exactly the kind of course you would expect from the man who designed the Olympic courses in Beijing. It’s so exciting to have such amazing talent – course designers, riders, horses, etc. – right here in Cleveland’s backyard. I love this show and am very proud to be a part of it.”

Alfano switches it up with Miss Lucy
Jennifer Alfano led the way once again in the $10,000 International Hunter Derby. For the fifth year in a row, every year that the Classic has hosted it, Alfano won the Derby – but she switched things up a bit this year by winning aboard Miss Lucy instead of Jersey Boy. The past four years Jersey Boy and Alfano were unbeatable, and since Alfano also placed second this year, aboard Jersey Boy, they are still unbeatable by any other rider in the Classic’s Derby.

Gliding beautifully around the course, Alfano and Miss Lucy finished with a score of 400. It was the perfect day for Miss Lucy’s owner, Helen Lenahan, to be on hand to watch her mare show. Next up, Alfano and Jersey Boy finished with a score of 378. Laura Steffee and Idole du Chateau placed third with a 352 and close behind them, with 348.5, was Leylan Gleeson and Playboy in fourth.

About the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic
The Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic is presented by the Chagrin Valley PHA (Professional Horseman’s Association) Horse Show, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization headed by a voluntary Board of Trustees, comprised of local residents, business leaders and equestrians.

The show continues Tuesday, July 17, and runs through Saturday, July 21. This second week of national competition, rated AA hunters and level 4 jumpers, will conclude with the $25,000 CVPHA Grand Prix on Saturday, July 21.

For more information please visit or call 330-903-9915.

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