Billy Jo Bob
US-bred Show Jumper Competes in Europe
by Susan Hutsinpiller
A positive sign of the times, Billy Jo Bob (AHS registered name Elite), an up and coming American-bred Grand Prix Jumper by Empire out of Alexis by Adlerfarn I, is now competing in Europe under rider/trainer Rich Fellers of Wilsonville, OR. Billy Jo Bob is one more fine example that Hanoverian breeders in North America are producing horses that are every bit the quality of their German counterparts.
Billy Jo Bob, a 16.2 hand chestnut gelding foaled in 1989, was bred by Heritage Farms Inc. of Spanaway, WA. His sire, the Elite Hanoverian stallion Empire is a son of Einblick, who has long been one of Celle's most influential sires. Empire's dam Mon Cherie also produced the stallion brothers Wenzel I and II. On his dam's side, Billy Jo Bob has the super of Adlerfarn I and Grande.
Holly and Molly Chapman, also of Wilsonville, OR, purchased Billy Jo Bob from Heritage Farms in 1993. He was then turned over to rider/trainer Rich Fellers. From early on in his training, Billy Jo Bob showed tremendous potential as a competitive show jumper. In 1995 and 1996 he won many High Preliminary Jumper Classes at Spruce Meadows, the Indio Desert Circuit, and the Corona International at Monterrey. He then went onto a third place finish in the 1996 Rocky Mountain Budweiser Grand Prix. At the 1997 Indio Desert Circuit, Billy Jo Bob placed in both the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix Desert Circuit II and III. He won the $2,000 Gamblers Choice Desert Circuit IV and was the Desert Circuit Reserve Champion Modified Jumper for 1997.
In April of this year, the now eight-year-old Billy Jo Bob was shipped to Europe along with two of Rich Fellers's other mounts to compete and gain experience at several CSI/CDI shows. His tentative show schedule included: Maubeuge, France, April 25 -27 (CSI-B); Eindhoven, Holland, May 8 - 11 (CSI-A/CSIJ); La Courneuve, France, May 17 - 19 (CSI- A); and Hamburg, Germany, May 22 - 25 (CSI-A/CDI). Competing at the 1.45 meter level, he earned high placings against large fields of Europe's top jumpers.
US-bred Billy Jo Bob (Empire/Alexa/Adlerfarn I) and rider Rich Fellers. Fifth place, Rocky Mountain Budweiser Grand Prix, 1996.