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Jessica Phoenix and Mike Winter Earn Top Five Finishes at Jersey Fresh
Allentown, NJ, USA
Photo: Amber Heintzberger/
Jessica Phoenix (CAN) and Exploring
2007 Pan American Games teammates Jessica Phoenix of Uxbridge, ON, and Michael Winter of originally of Toronto, ON, and now residing in Newnan, GA, contested a top place finish in the CCI 3* division, with Jessica overtaking Mike on the third day and both placing in the top five, at the 2008 Jersey Fresh CCI 3* Three Day Event, held May 8–11, at the Horse Park in Allentown, New Jersey, USA. Several other Canadians posted good finishes earning qualification rounds for the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

Paired with her own 11-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding Exploring, Phoenix sat in 23rd place following dressage on a score of 57.6. A flawlessly ridden cross country performance over John Williams' (USA) technical cross-country course, added just 4.4 time faults to move the pair up the leader board into the eighth position. After turning in a perfect show jumping round, they moved up to finish in third place on a final score of 62.0.  

"Exploring was incredible all weekend. The courses rode beautifully, and the event was fantastic," said Phoenix, who was also awarded the prize for the best conditioned horse in the division. "I could not be happier. It was a great competition."

Not far behind was Winter, competing three horses in the 3 star division and finishing fifth aboard Wonderful Will, Sher and Elliot Schwartz's 10-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding. A dressage score of 56.1 put them in a tie for 17th place, but they moved up to third place after putting in a clean cross country effort  adding  just 4 time faults to their score. One costly rail dropped the pair to fifth place on a final score at 64.1.

Winter also placed 11th with his second horse Glen Morangie, a nine-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding owned by Dr. and Mrs. Cathy and Mike Sigman. Winter was tied for 19th place following dressage with a score of 56.3. The pair added 12.40 cross-country time penalty points and eight faults in show jumping and to finish on a score of 76.7.

Also placing in the CCI 3* division was Toronto, ON, native Leslie Grant-Law, who now resides in Ocala, FL. Grant-Law finished in 13th place with her longtime partner, Timber Spirit , the 14-year-old English Thoroughbred gelding she co-owns with her father Anthony Grant. Tied for 12th place following dressage, the pair maintained their position in the standing after posting a clean cross-country jumping round posting just 12.4 time penalties. With one rail and three time penalties in the show jumping, the pair finished with a score of 82.7.

Karl Slezak of Tottenham, ON, and Showdown, Don J. Good's 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, were in 35th place following dressage. The pair shot up the standings to 17th after adding only 7.2 time faults cross-country, and moved up to finish in 15th place after adding eight jumping faults in show jumping for a final score of  86.1.

Diana Burnett of Blackstock, ON, riding her eight-year-old Canadian Thoroughbred gelding, Manny, were in 22nd, with a score of 57.2 place following dressage. The pair added  21.6 time penalties on cross-country and 8 faults in show jumping to finish with a score of 86.8 which was good for 17th place

Canadian Olympian Hawley Bennett of Langley, BC, rounded out the top 20, paired with Splendorofthesun, the 12-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding owned by the rider and Pamela Hudson who finished on a final score of 95.0.

In the CCI 2* division, two up and coming Canadians finished in the top ten. Young Rider Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch of Summerland, BC, was the top placed Canadian, riding her 10-year-old Canadian bred gelding Port Authority to a ninth place finish. A dressage score of 62.7 had them in 29th position and after adding no jumping, but 3.6 time faults they were in 11th place. Eight jumping faults in show jumping moved them up to finish in ninth place with a final score of 71.1.

Right behind Rhodes-Bosch, 10th place, was Maya Studenmund and her horse Business Class, an 11-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding. With their dressage score of 60.2 putting them in 20th place, the pair quickly moved up to ninth place after adding only 3.6 time penalties on cross-country. With eight faults in the show jumping round ,Studenmund finished in 10th place with a score of 71.8.

American Amy Tryon of Duvall, WA, won the CCI 3* aboard Leyland. Fellow American Maya Black won the CCI 2* division riding Kejsarinna.

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