Silver Oak Jumper Tournament
Day 4 – Saturday, August 17, 2019
That’s a wrap for the fourth day of events and festivities here at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament 2019! With stunning weather for the majority of the day and arenas filled to the brim with enlivened competitors it had all the makings of a spectacular day. Before the main event, and after myriad prize money classics for all ages, we had a very special moment on the grounds today.
Owner, founder, and Chairman of SOJT, Jeff Papows PhD, after months of planning, took a few moments to celebrate the retirement of his phenomenal equine partner of over ten years, Merlin. In his youth a fierce partner to the renowned Canadian superstar Ian Miller, this horse has enjoyed our wonderful sport alongside his trusted human counterparts for a long, successful career and it was beautiful to take the time to appreciate such a special horse and what his successes symbolize for all equestrians:
Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity… A willing servant yet no slave. -The Horse (author unknown) Merlin’s trademark exuberance was on full display making his tremendous care all the more evident and the crowd loved every minute of it.
After the tear-jerking retirement ceremony was today’s main event, the Gumbits sponsored Farm SOJT Cup. Modeled after the exceedingly fun Nation’s Cup competition style, it promised an exciting afternoon for all. Amongst the six, color-coordinated teams, each boasting a clever team name, the winning three were from the green team, aptly named the “Dirty Leprechauns”. Fittingly, Irish rider Willie Tynan and two students Kayla Walker and Alexander (Sasha) Kozlov walked away champions today!
Willie, aboard the stunning 9 year-old mare Luminous, humbly admitted his ride was only a small part of their win today (but a down-right lovely ride it was to watch none-the-less!) “It’s always good to do a nations cup, and it was a great experience for the kids (fellow junior teammates) too. And you know, the nice thing about the ‘drop score’, was my score didn’t even count, really, so I jumped a clear round but the girls before me had already jumped two clear rounds. The pressure was off me, and I could really just enjoy the ride. They did the job and got it done!” When Kayla Walker (17) found out how trainer, teammate and impressive pro rider Tynan gave so much credit to them for the win she was at a loss for words! These are the moments we live for in this sport just as much as the feeling we get over those fences! Silver Oak is the venue where we feel them, it’s beyond special.
Fellow teammate, Alexander (Sasha) Kozlov (also 17) had plenty of great things to say about her time here at Silver Oak. “I absolutely love this venue here. It’s super friendly to visitors, so family can easily come and watch. They have a fabulous viewing area where you can watch the action in both the field and the in international sand arena. And then the show itself is just run so smoothly; classes have all had really appropriate run times. Not a single complaint here from me, that’s for sure!”
For one final day of great fun and competition, join us tomorrow for the grand finales: the $15,000 Stud Tree Mini Prix at 9:00 and our final event, the $75,000 Agero Grand Prix at 1:00 features so many of show jumping’s super stars.