“I am so happy!” enthused Richelle Cornell (CAN), after winning the Equestrian Canada Open Classic Benefitting #WeRideTogether class at Thunderbird Show Park on Sunday, aboard Certified.
“I honestly really believe in that horse. I thought we really had a chance and it turned out we did.”
With 102 competitors in the class, competition was stiff for the charity class. Run for the first time at tbird, the class was combined across three heights—1.15m, 1.10m, and 1.0m—and open to all riders, vying for the $7,500 in prize money.
Seven hours after its 9am start, Cornell and 7-year-old Certified, a recent Irish import owned by Wincroft Equestrian, were crowned the winners. Jumping in the 1.0m section, their winning jump-off time was 30.6 seconds.
“We’ve been working hard at developing her as a jumper,” said Cornell. “This week, she was 0.70m Champion [with her owner], and then we thought we’d put her in this class, because she’s so kind and willing. She stepped up and was amazing, and I couldn’t ask for better.”
Their round also supported a fantastic cause. Proceeds from the entry fees will directly benefit #WeRideTogether, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making all sports safer for youth, amateur, and professional athletes. The class raised about $25,000. In addition, tbird posted the #WeRideTogether Coach-Athlete Pledge at all in-gates on the show park.
“We thought a multi-height class could encompass as many people as possible,” said tbird President Chris Pack. “I think a lot of people wanted to do this class, because they believe in what #WeRideTogether is doing. Thunderbird obviously does. It was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to doing it again.”
“We are proud to partner with tbird and Equestrian Canada for this inclusive charity class,” said Michaela Shepherd, Executive Director of #WeRideTogether. “The response to the class was incredible, as was tbird’s willingness to set an example in promoting safe and healthy sport.”
All riders were gifted #WeRideTogether socks or a hat for participating in the class. Equestrian Stockholm also generously donated polos, saddle pads and a bonnet, which were distributed among the top six placing riders.
Learn more about #WeRideTogether and how you can support the mission at weridetogether.today.