Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011 Red Barn Festival Wrap-Up

The 2011 Red Barn Festival took place under sunny skies on Oct 9th at Stanford's historic Red Barn. The day began with the annual and much-anticipated Student/Alumni Challenge. The student team (comprised of Morgan Abbett, Nikki Aguirre, Laura Benard, Kate Erickson, Rachel Kolb and Justine Thomas) took on the alumni team (of Avery Brown, Gwyn Gordon, Anders Jones, Sarah Scharf, KC Simon and Jane Sunde) for the combined phases of equitation over fences and timed relay. While the alumni jumping riders (Gordon, Scharf and Simon) posted a strong lead for their team, it was the lightning speed of the student riders in the relay phase that turned the tables. Along with their comeback victory, the students secured their names on the Bill Lane memorial trophy.

The 2011 Heidegger Family Stanford Invitational began at 2pm. Right off the bat, the event proved to be full of excitement as Kayleigh Mattoon of Burgundy Farms posted a big win in the 1.20m accumulator phase. Although it was Burgundy Farm's first showing at the Stanford Invitational, with this early move they proved themselves to be the team to beat. Last year's champions, Blackstone Farm, had partnered with Jan Pearce Training to bring a combined team for this year's Invitational; they soon put the pressure on by winning the relay phase, thanks to the fast time--as well as smooth baton pass--of riders Nick Wells and Jane Barry.

Ultimately the trophy came down to the 5-bar high jump competition, which began at 3'9" and quickly rose up the standards. Shady Lane owner/rider/trainer, Matt Archer, gave some beautiful rides as the anchor-leg rider for the Derby Hill team, but by class's end it was Catherine Hannay (from the Blackstone/Pearce team), Meredith Herman (captaining the Burgundy team), and Constance Kilmartin (competing in the event independently) who watched the final fence reach 5'7". After a tie-breaking round through, it was Herman and Kilmartin who took the win--including the coveted Antares helmet. The results helped propel Herman's Burgundy Farms to the overall Invitational victory, with Blackstone Farms, Derby Hill, and Charlesbois rounding out the top of the field.The event continued into the evening with a silent auction and wine tasting. All proceeds went to benefit the Stanford Equestrian Team and Stanford Student Equestrian Programs.