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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sports at a Glance

All stories by Jean Schurman

Milk Run results

Jumpers and Hunters show their stuff

Milk Run results

About 45 runners of all ages ventured out in the smoke Saturday morning at the Annual Creamery Picnic Milk Run. The event featured a 5k, 10k and a fun run. The event, with coordinator Mary Pat Osler in charge, is a nice way to begin Saturday’s events. This year, several runners from Sue Wasser’s running club from the Stevensville School took part as well.

Creamery Picnic Milk Run Results

Men's 5k

Overall winner John Fiscus, 20:18.

Age 12 and under - 1st - Hunter Casey, 24:42; 2nd - Jess Bodner, 28:23; 3rd - Damien Chaplin, 30:49; 4th - Brandon Pettinger, 31:32.

Ages (30-39): 1st - Mark Joy, 20:40; 2nd - David Doering, 24:46; 3rd - John Bodner, 32:39.

(40-49): 1st - Mark Nanamacher, 21:16; 2nd - Rich Adams, 22:14; 3rd - Vic Mortimer, 25:51; 4th - Jeff Crews, 27:25.

Women's 5k

Overall winner Nichole Snow, 22:36.

12 and under: 1st - Emarie Majors, 31:23; 2nd - Paige Bodner, 32:39; 3rd - Mikayla Sorenson, 43:30; 4th - Brittany Pettinger, 43:35.

(13-19): 1st - Allison Jones, 23:23; 2nd - Rachel Warr, 25:13; 3rd - Natalie Bishop, 25:54; 4th - Miliann Thorson, 33:01; 5th - Sara Grimes, 33:15; 6th - Kerry Roebke, 34:28.

(20-29): 1st - Amber Parks, 26:40.

(30-39): 1st - Jennifer Wicks, 22:57; 2nd - Heidi Yaskus, 26:02; 3rd - Cheryl Mahler, 28:15; 4th - Mikell Bodner, 28:37; 5th - Kristin King, 30:30; 6th - Megan Rosenstock, 50:26.

(40-49): 1st - Sandy Anderson, 50:21.

Masters: 1st - Gere Peckinpaugh, 28:24; 2nd - Diane Muller.

Men's 10k

Overall winner James St. Claire, 39:47.

(30-39): 1st - Stephen Rudmen, 43:05; 2nd - Barry Yaskus, 46:02.

(40-49): 1st - Jeremy Oury, 40:23; 2nd - Steve Longbottom, 54:15.

Masters - 1st - Art Brownless, 49:29; 2nd - Jon Winthrop, 1:02; 3rd - Ian Root, 1:21:49.

Women's 10k

Overall winner Jean Longbottom, 58:39.

(20-29): 1st - June Vetter, 58:56,

Masters: 1st - Anne Marie Carbin, 1:21:49.

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Jumpers and Hunters show their stuff

The third annual Bitterroot Classic Horse Show was held last weekend at the Sapphire Events Center. Equestrians from Montana, Idaho, and Washington took part in the three day hunter/jumper show. This show is sanctioned by the Professional Horsemen’s Association and is one of three held in Montana.

A horse show does not just happen. At a show such as this one, there are people to make sure the right classes are held. Elaine Coller of Stevensville was the show manager and divided her time between keeping the show rolling and keeping up with her students.

Then there is the show steward. The steward is, as she described herself, the parliamentarian. Phyllis Ryan of Rochester, Washington was the steward. She not only checks to make sure the riders are doing what they are supposed to, wearing the correct clothing – including the helmets, and using the correct equipment – she also continually checks the horses to see that they are ok. The smoke in the valley was a concern at this show. Once the show concludes for the day, Ryan then makes sure the boarding facilities for the show animals are up to par. Ryan said she had had no problems and was enjoying the show very much, aside from the smoke, that is.

The judge brings hours and hours and even days and months of knowledge to the show ring. One does not simply just become a judge. Many hours in the saddle, many hours teaching and many hours observing all aspects of horsemanship are all used to judge a class. This year’s judge was Meg Schulman of LaQuinta, California.

Interning beside her was Dillon’s Dr. John Xanthopoulous. Xanthopoulous usually is a show manager but was using this show to work toward becoming a judge. He was also pulling double duty as the ring announcer.

The Bitterroot Classic had many classes for all types of riders and horses. They ranged from "short stirrup" classes for the young riders to timed jumping classes such as the jumper level IV which involves jumping jumps that are 3’9” high.

Hunters are judged no matter what the age of the rider. The judge takes in the appearance of the hunter, looking for stamina and strength and sturdiness, as well as looking at faults over fences, faults between fences, and manners and way of going. Typically a perfect hunter should take a fence in stride without interrupting the rhythm of the gait. Horses who go off course, have three refusals at a fence, or bolt from the ring, are disqualified.

In some classes, the rider is judged, not the horse. These are equitation classes. Some of these classes are "on the flat" or "over fences." On the flat, the rider should be balanced and keep the horse moving in a fluid manner. The riders need to keep their horse collected whether they are walking, trotting or cantering. A collected horse is easier to control and easier to ride. The work on the flat is the first step to jumping and the fundamentals need to be in place. Equitation over fences also includes executing the fundamentals correctly. Balance is key as is maintaining contact with the horse. A rider leaning too far back throws the horse off balance and can cause the horse to knock a rail down or even the entire jump.

Show jumping is judged on whether the horse clears the jump or not and how fast the course is run. Style is not judged but if the fundamentals are not there, neither will the speed be there.

There were several different courses used at the Bitterroot Classic. These jumps are temporary jumps comprised of uprights and cross rails. If hit hard enough, the rails will fall so the horses won’t get hurt. Most of the courses used the same jumps, just at different heights and the routes through the jumps varied from class to class. It is the contestant’s responsibility to memorize each course prior to their class.

Coller deemed the show a success and is already looking forward to next year’s show.

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