All posts by Associate Editor

Ramsay and Cocq a Doodle Take First $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix of 2018

Andrew Ramsay and Cocq a Doodle (Photo courtesy of Erin Gilmore Photography)

Wellington, Florida (January 16, 2018) – The first of 13 $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix classes of the 2018 season was captured by Andrew Ramsay and the spectacular mare Cocq a Doodle, who put in a quick and efficient double clear effort to finish with a jump off time of 37.921 seconds over a course designed by Christopher Jones. Held on the springy, all-natural turf footing at Polo West, just off South Shore Boulevard, Friday’s Grand Prix and jumper classes of all levels wrapped up the fourth week of competition hosted by The Ridge at Wellington. Chasing Ramsay and Cocq a Doodle’s time was a field of 22 horse and rider combinations, with Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Jessica Mendoza’s Horst Van de Mispeleare securing second with a jump of time of 38.021. Wednesday’s 1.30m Rising Star Classic winners, Sam Walker and Acardi Du Houssoit Z, gave the leading pair a run for their money with a double clear and a jump off time of 37.150, but a rail at the final fence cost them a placing.

The ten-year-old KWPN bay mare Cocq a Doodle (Tolan R x Niagara) has been a successful Grand Prix horse for Ramsay, who rides and trains out of his own Shalanno Farms. Fresh off an October 2017 victory in the $130,000 Split Rock Farm CSI3* Grand Prix, Ramsay, Cocq a Doodle, and his other rides spent Wednesday and Friday of this past week sharpening up over the spacious warm-up and beautiful jumper rings of the Turf Tour. Ramsay called his rides at Polo West and his victory in the Grand Prix “a great start to 2018.”

Friday Night Lights Showcases Child Adult Jumpers at Polo West

With the brilliant stadium lights, beautiful jumps, and an eager audience of diners at the Polo Bar & Grill, Friday’s Child Adult Jumper class had the feel of a Grand Prix and proved to be an exciting event for both riders and spectators alike. Despite a torrential downpour just a few hours before the 6pm start, Polo West’s sand arena held its own, providing exceptional footing for the 1.10m course. Riders had the option of a M&S/NAL/WIHS Qualifying Classic, or a speed round over two separate courses. Kate Taylor and the 11-year-old Chacco Blue topped the Classic.

“The footing was fantastic despite the conditions and this was such a fun class,” said Taylor. “I loved showing under the lights, and the energy was incredibly fun. Everyone was having a great time and I’m already excited to come next week!”

George D’Ambrosio, who co-founded The Ridge and the Palm Beach Series with US Olympian Nona Garson, presented Taylor with her ribbon, and stated that the idea behind both the Turf Tour and all of their shows was to create an ideal atmosphere and experience for both horse and rider. “We want to give riders the option of showing on the grass or under the lights, in new venues and on very good footing,” said D’Ambrosio. “This class was just one way to give our child and adult amateur riders a way to experience what it’s like to ride at night in a stadium, and make them feel like they’re at the Olympics. We strive to create a learning experience for horses and riders in all of our events, from the Turf Tour, to our USEF Equitation Tuesdays, to our USHJA National, International, and Pony Hunter Derbies.”

For a full schedule of events hosted by The Ridge at Wellington, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Hollywood Gold Cup Winner Early Pioneer Euthanized

Early Pioneer at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 15, 2018 – Early Pioneer, winner of the 2000 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), was euthanized January 12th at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement sanctuary in Georgetown, KY, where he had been pensioned since 2009.

The 23-year-old son of Rahy and winner of over $1.1 million was experiencing complications of chronic laminitis and cancer was also suspected.  The results of a full necropsy are pending.

Prior to Early Pioneer’s Gold Cup win, he finished second in both the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (G2) and the Californian (G2) after upsetting the San Bernardino Handicap (G2) at odds of 27-1. The flashy chestnut was bred by Mr. and Mrs. John C. Mabee and raced in their colors before being claimed for $62,500 in 1998.

Typecast as a sprinter, new trainer Vladimir Cerin gave Early Pioneer a shot at two turns, and it made all the difference. He was never finer than in the 2000 Gold Cup, where he bested favorite General Challenge at odds of 24-1.

Early Pioneer raced only twice after his Gold Cup win, and was retired. However, in 2007 he was discovered racing on the unofficial fair circuit. He was bought for $1,000 by Nevada horseman Shawn Davis who later worked with Arizona’s Second Call program and equine aftercare advocate Rhonda “Cass” Dewey to permanently retire the former champ.

Given his background, Dewey thought Early Pioneer was a good candidate for Old Friends and contacted founder Michael Blowen.

“Early Pioneer was one of four Hollywood Gold Cup winners that have been retired at Old Friends, and we were so proud to have him,” said Blowen. “He was a fan favorite and a farm favorite, and I know he will be missed by all.

“Special thanks to Cass Dewey and all those who helped him and helped him find his way to Old Friends,” Blowen added.  “Caring for him has been a privilege.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for over 175 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Men’s Team Captures 10th Annual Battle of the Sexes at WEF

The final match race was close, but it was Spencer Smith who sealed the win for the men’s team over Maggie Jayne. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 13, 2018 – On the opening “Saturday Night Lights” and in the 10th annual Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, the men’s team was victorious for the first time in the history of the class. The event is one of the most popular events at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Teams of ten men and ten women battled it out for this year’s Battle of the Sexes title, with team captains Charlie Jayne and Nicole Bellissimo at the helm. Bellissimo led Heather Caristo-Williams, Amanda Derbyshire, Maggie Jayne, Caelinn Leahy, Abigail McArdle, Chelsea Sundius, Annabella Sanchez, Sydney Shulman, and Alexandra Welles on her team.

Jayne’s team included David Blake, Andrew Bourns, Jordan Coyle, Alex Granato, William Hickey, Darragh Kenny, Luis Larrazabal, Spencer Smith, and Michael Tokaruk.

The contest was held in three phases, consisting of a faults converted speed round, a relay race, and a match race. The men and women were pitted against each other in each phase over courses set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA).

In round one, it was a tie with both teams scoring five points. Ireland’s Jordan Coyle had the fastest time of 49.21 seconds.

Minikus Goes for Gumption in Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Out of 20 entries in the 1.50m Classic, five went clear over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA), and three of those were double clear. Taking the win in a time of 36.676 seconds was Todd Minikus (USA) on Carlo, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Landlord owned by North Face Farm.

Tina Allen Claims Blue Ribbon Aboard Two Mounts in Osphos® Amateur Owner 3’3” 36 & Over

Saturday’s third class of the day came to a close with Tina Allen, from New Canaan, CT, taking first place honors in both Osphos® Amateur Owner 3’3” 36 & Over jumping classes. Allen claimed the first blue aboard her 7-year-old Westphalian mount, Sinatra, and rode Galaxy, her 12-year-old partner of six years, to victory in the second round over fences.

“I’m thrilled about it,” said Allen. “I made a mistake on each horse in both classes, but I am very happy to come out on top.”

Having recently purchased Sinatra here in Wellington, FL, Allen praised her new grey gelding on his performance.

“This is my third show on him in the 3’3”,” said Allen. “I am ecstatic with him. He is so fun to ride and has a huge stride. He gives you confidence when you go in the ring even though he is so young.”

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

$75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix Victory Goes to Emily Moffitt and Tipsy du Terral

Emily Moffitt and Tipsy du Terral. Photo © Sportfot.

The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, concluded its first week of competition on Sunday with the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix. Victory went to Emily Moffitt (GBR) riding Poden Farms’ Tipsy du Terral.

There were 44 entries in Sunday’s grand prix, and they competed over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck.

Fifteen went clear to return for the jump-off, and six went double clear. It was 19-year-old Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Tipsy du Terral, an 11-year-old Selle Francais mare by Toulon, who recorded the fastest time of 35.508 seconds for the win.

“I figured I’d just go as fast as I could,” said Moffitt. “I know she’s a fast horse, but she’s also a really big horse, so coming to the double I saw a distance that wasn’t super close to the jump, but I figured why not; it’s going to save some time and it ended up working in my favor. I’m happy she’s as careful as she is.”

Near the end of the jump-off, Mattias Tromp (USA) and Chicago Hof Eversem Z, owned by Swede Ventures LLC, slotted into second place with a time of 37.323 seconds, while McLain Ward (USA) and HH Gigi’s Girl were third in 37.713 seconds.

Suzanne Smith and Le Caro Take Top Honors in FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunter Older Sec. B

Suzanne Smith and her mount, Le Caro, were crowned champions at the end of Sunday’s FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunter Older Sec. B. The duo, partners since October of 2016, took home a first and second over fences out of 22 total competitors with an impressive score of 82 in both rounds. They also placed second in the under saddle. The reserve championship went to Coolidge, ridden by Nancy Hooker and owned by Richard Prant.

“He’s a really good soul,” said Smith of the 8-year-old bay Oldenburg gelding. “This horse has all the ability to jump. He is a lovely mover, has a kind heart and a big step, and he thinks well.”

Having taken a brief hiatus from showing at the end of 2017, Smith, a full-time veterinarian from Milford, NJ, was happy to start the new year on a high note. The rider praised her trainer, Rachel Kennedy, for all her help, and commented on her trust in the professional’s preparation of Le Caro.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

Faugheen Heads to Cheltenham

Following his most recent run, Faugheen certainly has questions to answer but there is no doubting he is one of the greatest horses of recent times. Through his 15 starts he has only tasted defeat on two occasions this being his most recent run and to the ill-fated Nichols Canyon when he clearly badly needed the run. If Faugheen had not had his injury it would be likely we are talking about a three-time Champion hurdle winner to equal the likes of the Istabraq, who to many is the greatest champion hurdler in history.

Faugheen reached a peak RPR of 177 following his 2016 victory in the Irish Champion hurdle where he beat a top horse in stablemate Arctic Fire by 15 lengths with Nichols Canyon a further 13 lengths behind. When Faugheen was performing to this level would any horse have been able to defeat him? This is an unfortunate question that we will never get the answer to. With all this in question it was very unfortunate to see Faugheen be pulled up on his most recent start but no problems or answers have been found as to why this happened.

Faugheen will now head to Cheltenham looking vulnerable, but if he returns to the level he ran to on his comeback we are set for a fascinating clash between two Champion hurdle winners as Buveur D’air looks to defend his crown. The Cheltenham Festival 2018 odds on Paddy Power has the reigning champion as the clear favourite. Check this infographic out to see how Faugheen compares to the greatest Champion hurdlers throughout history.

US Equestrian Recognizes Janie Salisbury and Isabelle Parker with 2017 Vaulting Honors

Photo: Janie Salisbury (background) with Bridget Kiernan, pas de deux bronze medalists at the 2017 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors (© Barny Thierolf).

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) is pleased to recognize Janie Salisbury as the 2017 USEF Vaulter of the Year and Salisbury’s coach Isabelle Parker as the 2017 USEF Vaulting Coach of the Year. Salisbury, a two-time FEI World Vaulting Champion for Juniors Pas de Deux bronze medalist, stood out among the seven applicants for her competition success and extracurricular activity.

Salisbury (Atherton, Calif.) began vaulting when she was seven years old as a member of the Woodside Vaulters out of Redwood City, Calif., and amassed several top results with Parker’s coaching and training. In addition to her FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors bronze medals in 2015 and 2017, she was the 2012 USEF/American Vaulting Association (AVA) National Vaulting Champion, 2013 Region 2 Champion, and 2015 USEF/AVA Reserve National Champion, among others.

Outside of vaulting, Salisbury has been active in her community. In high school, she led the Baking for Charity Club, where she helped organize bake sales with proceeds going to Pencils of Promise, a charity supporting children’s education in the developing world. She also volunteered for fundraising benefits and worked in the barns at the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy, a therapeutic riding facility that helps children and adults with neurophysiological, cognitive, sensory processing, and psychosocial challenges. Currently, Salisbury attends the University of Southern California where she intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in dance.

Other candidates for the 2017 USEF Vaulter of the Year award included Tessa Belardi (Aptos, Calif.), Audrey Kiernan (San Mateo, Calif.), Elizabeth Osborn (Menlo Park, Calif.), Luke Overton (Stanwood, Wash.), Ana Schult (Longmont, Colo.), and Haley Smith (Parker, Colo.).

Parker (Redwood City, Calif.), co-founder and coach of the Woodside Vaulters, represented the U.S. in international competition for five years and earned her AVA Gold Medal in 1992. Parker has coached four National Champion A Teams and the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Rome, Italy. She is a two-time United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Trainer of the Year, the 2013 AVA Mentor of the Year, an AVA judge and Technical Committee member, an FEI steward, and a member of multiple USEF vaulting committees. She is the current Chief Financial Officer of Summit Public Schools. This is Parker’s second time receiving the USEF Vaulting Coach of the Year Award.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

2018 Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham festival 2018 is now just a few months away as anticipation continues to build for jumps racing premier fixture. The penultimate day is all about St Patrick’s Day as the Irish fans descend on Cheltenham to support the away side.  The main race on day three is the Stayers hurdle which this year looks to have a fairly open look to it. However, the underdog Sam Spinner will be looking to provide his small-time connections with success and he continues to improve on each ran. The latest Cheltenham 2018 Betfair odds has Sam at the head of the betting at 7/2.

There looks to be plenty of challengers that could include Apple’s Jade. She is likely to defend her crown in the Mares hurdle but if she took her chance would without a doubt head the betting as she continues to dominate. A key challenge as things stand looks to be Supasundae who looks a stayer to follow following a hard-fought defeat to the previously mentioned Apple’s Jade. Check out the infographic below to find out the key facts and horses in the main races come March.

Laura Chapot and Out of Ireland Race to the Win in $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge

Laura Chapot and Out of Ireland. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2018 – Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland out-paced a field of 91 entries to win the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge on Friday, January 12, concluding the third day of competition at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Of the 91 entries in Friday’s $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge, 16 jumped the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course without fault, but speed was the name of the game, and none proved able to catch Chapot and Out of Ireland, owned by The Edge and Laura Chapot. Chapot and the 11-year-old Anglo European mare went 19th in the order, tripping the timers in 64.681 seconds and setting a time to beat that would go untouched for the remainder of the class.

Phoebe Backman and Destiny Claim Championship in Adult Amateur Hunter Younger Sec. A

The Adult Amateur Hunter Younger division finished with Phoebe Backman claiming the championship title aboard Destiny, her mount of three-and-a-half years. The pair took first and second place in Thursday’s jumping classes, and Destiny claimed second and third over fences and fourth under saddle on Friday with rider Tracey Gorin-Byrne.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

Records Broken at the First 2018 Friday Night Stars at AGDF

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Paridon Magi. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2018 – The second day of action at the 2018 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) culminated in another show-stopping performance by Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (SWE) on Lövsta Stuteri’s Paridon Magi at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

The Swedish warmblood Paridon Magi had never scored over 79% before, so his winning 81.15% represented a huge new record for the 15-year-old gelding by Don Primero.

“It’s really nice to be back here again,” said Vilhelmson Silfvén, who rode to a Queen medley by Cees Slings. “I like to start the season like this – and then keep going like this; that would be nice.

“I’m extremely happy,” added the seven-time Olympian, who is enjoying her eighth consecutive winter season in Wellington. “This is the perfect place to compete, with all the different details for the horses worked out.”

Paridon Magi’s groom, Johanna Jendland, was presented with a $500 check by sponsors Adequan®, who have signed on for another three years as title sponsor.

Allyn Mann of Adequan® said: “It’s really become a family here: owners, organizers, riders, press, everyone. We look forward to another exciting season, especially as the riders look forward to the bigger picture in Tryon this year.”

Shelly Francis (USA) filled the runner-up spot on Patricia Stempel’s 14yo Hanoverian gelding Danilo, posting 77.725%. It was the first time the pair had performed under lights.

“He was a bit edgy as it was at night and he got hot, so there were little mistakes, but it was really fun and I could actually smile while riding. He keeps getting better; he’s nice and fit, a little more tuned up,” added Francis, who rode to a compilation of music put together by Marlene Whitaker.

The 20-year-old Spaniard Juan Matute Guimon filled third after a rousing performance on his father’s 12-year-old Quantico Ymas, whom he has been riding since the horse was seven. His expressive test included one-handed pirouettes that earned whistles from the appreciative crowd, and 75.275% from the judges.

“I felt like a gladiator out there! It was a challenging ride, but I earned all my points,” said Matute, who rode to music made by his mother and a floorplan designed by his father.

Earlier in the day Matute bolstered his prize-money further, topping both the FEI under-25 Grand Prix presented by Diamante Farms, as well as the FEI Young Rider Team test, sponsored by his family’s stud farm, Yeguada de Ymas.

His smooth 71.643% U25 grand prix win came aboard the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Diego Ymas, taking the horse’s tally to two wins in two days. His young rider horse Copernico Ymas – an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by San Amour x Don Gregory – scored 71.235% to win the small class convincingly.

Another rider recording back-to-back victories was America’s Jennifer Baumert. She topped the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* with 71.471% – improving on her winning Prix St. Georges score – with Elizabeth Juliano’s Handsome, a 13-year-old Hochadel x Weltmeyer Hanoverian gelding.

Canadian rider Diane Creech steered her own and Louise Leatherdale’s Robbie W to FEI Intermediate I CDI3* honors. The 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Rubin Royal x Inschallah posted 69.706%. The class, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition, was a nail-biter, with Creech finishing just 0.03% ahead of second-placed Melissa Taylor (USA) and Ansgar.

Four riders contested the amateur FEI Prix St. Georges class, sponsored by Rowan O’Riley. It was topped by Janne Rumbough on Armas Zumbel, a Spanish-bred PRE by Escarzo x Relampago II. The 15-year-old grey gelding scored 68.441% for the win. Rumbough will celebrate her 74th birthday next month.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Jordan Coyle Takes Round One Victory in $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup

Jordan Coyle and Eristov. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2018 – The 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival continued with its second day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL on Thursday. Jordan Coyle (IRL) rode Eristov, owned by Andrew Kocher, to victory in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round One.

There are two highlight events for week 1 of WEF, sponsored by Wellington Regional Medical Center. They include the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, to start the “Saturday Night Lights” series on Saturday, January 13, at 7 p.m., and the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix, the first grand prix of the season, on Sunday, January 14, at 2 p.m.

There were 36 entries in the first round of the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup and they competed over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Eleven were clear to continue to the jump-off, to which 10 returned. Coyle and Eristov were fourth in the jump-off order, and had to follow a very quick time set by Todd Minikus (USA) and Victorio 5 of 37.999 seconds.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com