ph. Albany Classic Media
In front of a sellout event the 16th annual New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. proved to be a nail biter as 31 horse and rider combinations vied for the $125,000 purse and the Authentic Cup on the John G. McCoy Show Field. Named by the North American Riders Group as the #1 Specialty Equestrian Event in 2012, The Classic drew more than 20,000 people and raised over $1.7 million to support the work of The Center for Family Safety and Healing, an organization supporting family violence initiatives founded by Abigail Wexner, the host of The Classic in New Albany, Ohio.
U.S. rider Kent Farrington of Wellington, Florida bested nine riders in the jump off to claim the Authentic Cup aboard Blue Angel, an 11-year-old AES Mare, owned by Robin Parsky of Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Just prior to the Grand Prix, Authentic, the most decorated Olympic Show Jumping athlete of all time, was featured in a retirement celebration that included his rider, Beezie Madden, trainer John Madden, owner Abigail Wexner and longtime caretaker, Clark Shipley. The capacity crowd stood in appreciation of Authentic’s incredible accomplishments as he took his final walk around the show field. Authentic departed the ring with Beezie and Clark, walking through a gateway of riders and trainers that lined the course.
Ridden to global acclaim by the second ranked rider in the world, Beezie Madden, Authentic holds individual and team Olympic medals, World Equestrian Games medals and was named Horse of the Year by the United States Equestrian Foundation in both 2006 and 2004.
Authentic, a bay Dutch Warmblood by Guidam out of Gerlinda, is owned by founder and host of The New Albany Classic, Abigail Wexner. His global performance propelled him to legendary status among the most elite show jumpers since the sport became a part of Olympic competition in 1912.
Abigail Wexner said, “Authentic holds a special place in my heart. He was definitely the horse of a lifetime and it was such a joy to be at the 2008 Olympic Games and share in the success with Beezie and the entire U.S. Equestrian Team.”
“To have his official retirement celebration here in New Albany and to name our Classic trophy the Authentic Cup seemed like a fitting tribute to this wonderful athlete who has given so much to his sport,” Wexner concluded.
This year, The Classic also welcome several local riders at the beginning of their Grand Prix careers including first time New Albany Classic competitor and nineteen-year old Dublin, Ohio resident, Kate Morrison; nineteen-year old New Albany resident and second-time Classic competitor, Gabriela Mershad; and twenty-three year old and fifth-year competitor from New Albany, Ohio, Ali Wolff. Ali Wolff was the only local rider to go clear in the first round and advance to the jump-off with eight other riders. Wolff finished 9th overall.
The Tween Brands Concert presented by Justice featured Ariana Grande, Republic Records’ platinum recording artist, who’s first full-length album, Yours Truly, hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and this summer’s hottest new band Emblem3. Rounding out the entertainment was the recently crowned winner of America’s Got Talent, dancer and performance artist, Kenichi Ebina.
Along with the Grand Prix show jumping competition and the national headline concert, guests were treated to a myriad of other activities including carnival rides, petting zoos, pig races, crafts, games and appearances by Disney Channel star Stefanie Scott and race car driver Michael Shank.
Source: Press Release