All posts by Associate Editor

Eric Lamaze Ends Global Champions League with Team Victory

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid. Photo by Stefano Grasso for Global Champions League.

Doha, Qatar – Canada’s Eric Lamaze, riding alongside Harrie Smolders, led the Hamburg Diamonds to the overall victory in the final event of the Global Champions League held November 10 and 11 in Doha, Qatar.

The 2017 Global Champions League saw 18 teams participate, with the majority named for stops on the Global Champions League tour.  Heading into the final event of the season, the Hamburg Diamonds held a narrow lead over Valkenswaard United, with the final rankings to be decided over two days in Doha.

Lamaze incurred nine faults in Friday’s opening round, hindered by two broken ribs suffered days earlier, while his teammate, Harrie Smolders of The Netherlands, jumped a clear round to keep hopes of an overall victory alive.  On Saturday night, Lamaze delivered when it counted most, producing a clear round aboard his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old bay Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.  When Smolders matched his fault-free performance riding Don VHP Z, the Hamburg Diamonds secured the 2017 Global Champions League title with a total of 312 points over Valkenswaard United, who kept the pressure on right until the end and finished runner-up with 308 points.  The Mexico Amigos finished a distant third with 250 points.

The Hamburg Diamonds won a total of €2,269,614 in prize money throughout the 2017 Global Champions League season.  Lamaze, Smolders, and six-time British Olympian John Whitaker were joined by Audrey Coulter of the United States and Jos Verlooy of Belgium, both two-time World Cup Finalists, in representing the Hamburg Diamonds over the course of the 2017 season for owners Copernicus and Euro Horse.  Two riders from each team are selected to compete in each of the 15 Global Champions League events held around the world.

“Thank you to Axel Verlooy and the Coulter family for including me on their team this season,” said Lamaze, 49, who rode alongside Smolders, Coulter, and Jos Verlooy during his 2017 season appearances.  “When Axel first approached me, I didn’t hesitate to join such a strong team.  It took the best riders to win the championship title.

“I would also like to thank my owners, particularly Andy and Carlene Ziegler, for allowing me to ride their horses in the Global Champions League this year,” added Lamaze.

Lamaze competed in four Global Champions League events riding his 2016 Rio Olympic mount, Fine Lady 5.  He also made three appearances with Chacco Kid, an 11-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler, Rick and Sara Mershad, and Ludi and Carol Sollak, who, collectively, form The Chacco Kid Group.

Lamaze has two competitions left on his 2017 schedule.  The three-time Canadian Olympic medalist will compete at the CSI5* Paris Masters in France from November 30 to December 3 before heading to Switzerland for the CHI Geneva from December 7 to 10.  In Geneva, Lamaze will defend his title in the innovative Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final, which offers 475,000 Swiss francs in prize money to the top ten ranked riders in the world, on Friday night, December 8, as well as contest the Rolex Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Sunday, December 10.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.EricLamaze.com.

Media Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Celso Ariani and Dali T Best Competition in $25,000 November Grand Prix

Celso Ariani aboard Dali T. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 15, 2017 – The ESP November competition concluded on Sunday, November 12, at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), with a steadfast victory for Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL aboard Rodrigo Padilla and Ricardo Romero’s Dali T, in the $25,000 November Grand Prix. The pair bested the competition, stopping fast-track timers in 40.941 seconds, and ultimately clinched the first place position.

Second place was awarded to Elisa Uribe of Ft. Lauderdale, FL aboard her own Havana De La Lande, after completing the course, designed by Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL in 41.585 seconds. Third place honors were captured by Kevin Mealiff of Flemington, NJ, piloting Maarten Huygens Audi’s Dimple to a finish of 43.602 seconds.

The $10,000 TackNRider Welcome Stakes saw Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Armageddon, owned by Cenci Jumper, LLC, take first place with a jump-off time of 43.497 seconds. Second place honors were awarded to Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL aboard his own Cortina 186 with a jump-off time of 44.092 seconds, while third place was secured by Rebecca Conway of Wellington, FL and Cornwall 9, owned by Blue Hill Farm, LLC, with a fast-track time of 45.166 seconds.

The Child/Adult Jumper Classic was won by Emmanuelle Greenberg of Boca Raton, FL and her own Curacao, completing the jump-off in 42.486 seconds. Brielle Biggins of Palm Beach Gardens, FL slid into second place after the jump-off with a time of 41.551 seconds and with four additional faults, aboard Good Boy H M, owned by Equine Equities and Investments LLC. Third place was also awarded to Emmanuelle Greenberg and her own Carlos G, after adding four faults to their jump-off time of 48.854 seconds.

Caroline Donnally of Wellington, FL won the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic aboard her own Reve Du Razzy, after stopping the jump-off timers at 44.31 seconds. Second place was earned by Dolores Funes of Wellington, FL aboard Samuel Parot’s Chantilly, finishing with a jump-off time of 44.702 seconds. Teri Kessler of Lexington, KY took third place with Skribbelino, owned by Kessler, on a jump-off time of 45.448 seconds, and also adding four faults to their score.

The Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic awarded first place to Lisa Moore of Boca Raton, FL and Royal Equines, LLC’s Jester Van De Gerkenberg, after completing the jump-off in 36.123 seconds. Laura Piedrahita of Wellington, FL rode her own Funoranchi to second place with a jump-off time of 38.147 seconds. Third place was captured by Ella Hess of Boca Raton, FL and Susanne Richey’s All’s Well, finishing the jump-off in 43.078 seconds.

The Accuhorsemat Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Classic was won by Emmanuelle Greenberg aboard Curacao, with a jump-off time of 35.462 seconds. Second place saw Paige Myers of Plantation, FL riding her own Klyde’s Getaway complete the jump-off in 38.903 seconds to finish in the top two. Third place went to Ava Tarone of West Palm Beach, FL aboard Isabel Sanchez’s Chino, after a jump-off round that stopped the timers in 41.03 seconds.

Karen Walcott of Wellington, FL captured the victory in the Pilates Rock Low Adult Hunter division on KEQ, LLC’s Charm City. Walcott also took the reserve champion finish aboard Right On Q, owned by Walcott.

The Equitation 14 & Under Division awarded champion to Chloe Watrous of Evanston, IL and her own Quintus Rubin. Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL took reserve champion, piloting Alleala, owned by Beltran.

The Adult Amateur Hunter Division saw Kira Telford of Chicago, FL take top honors aboard Calistoga Gold, owned by Telford ahead of Francis Kruel of Wellington, FL and State Of Play, who captured reserve champion.

The Children’s Hunter Division was topped by Lily Beatty of Stuart, FL and Long’s Stable LLC’s Amoroso Z as the pair took divisional honors, while Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL and her own Alleala finished with reserve champion honors.

The Equitation Adult Amateur Division saw Alexandra Davidson of New York, NY and her own Tyruso take top divisional honors, while Zachary Gellman of Delray Beach, FL and Waterfall Z took reserve champion.

For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Lots of people talk to their horses, but not many actually listen in return. Have you noticed that?

I have a way I talk to my farrier. When the leg I’m standing on gets tired, I asked him to give back the one he’s held up. I tug the foot a little bit against his hands to let him know. He’s smart enough to listen to me, and he gives me my leg so I can put it down and rest. I’m not being belligerent or stubborn. I’m simply talking to him in the only language I have. I’m grateful that he listens.

Has your horse ever tried to tell you something, but you didn’t listen? Has your horse ever told you he or she was tired, or hurt, or scared, but you decided it was defiance or laziness? Do you tend to use force when your horse says no?

Figuring out what your horse is trying to tell you is part intuition, part observation, and part faith. If you’ve struggled with this, try taking a step back and using a different part of your brain than usual. If you normally go by your gut feeling, try looking at the situation through intense and unbiased observation of the physical evidence. If you normally use only your logical mind and five senses, try using your feelings and intuition to assess the situation.

You can expand your skills by acknowledging what you normally do, and then adding something else. You have the time. You have the ability. Why not give it a bit of practice?

Jane reads me pretty well. She usually knows when I don’t feel good and when I’m just being lazy. She doesn’t just assume that I’m being belligerent, and knows that to push me when I’m not feeling my best would be counter-productive.

Give yourself and your horse a break now and then. Remember, all living creatures have good days and bad days. Sometimes we just need a little respect for how we are feeling in the moment. Of course, if your horse really does become belligerent or stubborn for no reason, a little pushing may be just want he needs. The key is learning to recognize the difference.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

FEI World Ranked Para-Dressage Rider Katie Jackson Earns Top Accolades in 2017

Katie Jackson and Royal Dancer. Photo by Susan J Stickle.

Austin, TX – November 13, 2017 – International Para-Dressage athlete Katie Jackson from Austin, Texas has been working hard in 2017 topping Grade V Para-Dressage with scores in the mid 70’s and recently earning her USDF Silver Medal and High Point Award in the Fourth Level Open Division in able-bodied Dressage. Only two years ago Jackson was just out of surgery and barely even walking after she was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of soft tissue cancer. Amputation of her right leg, above her knee, was the only option to make sure all of the cancer was removed from the area. Jackson made a commitment to herself to continue to do the sport she loved and aim for the world stage. With talent, hard work, and a strong support system Jackson and Royal Dancer, now owned by Jackson and her husband Yancy thanks to the generosity of Rachel and Julia Handt, have become a top duo on the Para-Dressage stage. Jackson’s list of accomplishments in two years include earning the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Lloyd Kramer Annual Sportsmanship Trophy, United Stated Dressage Federation (USDF) Grade IV Para Equestrian National Champion Number One Rider of the Year, helping to win four gold medals at each Nation’s Cup for Team USA in Florida and California, Awarded Women’s Sports Foundation 2017 Travel & Training Grant, and currently she is the third ranked FEI World Para-Dressage Grade V athlete. In September, Jackson topped Grade V at the US Equestrian 2017 Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and CPEDI3* in Tryon, NC. In October 2017, Jackson rode at the GAIG/USDF Region 9 Championships, Southwest Dressage Championships and Houston Dressage Society Autumn Classic where she earned her USDF Silver Medal and High Point Award in the 4th Level Open Division. Finishing off the year, Jackson was presented the Grade V 2017 Adequan®/USDF Para-Dressage Grade V Rider of the Year in addition to the All Breeds Para-Dressage Rider of the Year from the Westfalen Horse Association, for her accomplishments with Royal Dancer.

In Summer 2015, Jackson could only imagine where she would be weeks, months, and years down the road. In 2016, she was a brand new Para-Dressage rider and one year amputee competing at her first international Dressage competition. Jackson stated, “It has been an incredible year and I am so thankful to be able to be on this journey.  I have learned so much about myself, my riding, and what it takes to be a top competitor.  It is very rewarding to challenge my body and my mind to see what I can accomplish, especially now, as an amputee.”

Jackson has been a horse woman and athlete since she began riding at six years of age focusing on Dressage. She continued her riding even after graduating from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor in Arts and then from the UCLA School of Dentistry, beginning her dental practice in Austin, TX in 2007. She noted, “Earning my silver medal has been on my bucket list of goals. Even as a little girl I always dreamed about getting to wear the pretty shadbelly coat and riding at the FEI level.  I just never imagined I would be earning it so soon.  Earning this medal now, as a para-equestrian, makes it even more meaningful and special for me.”

Jackson is thankful to all of her support including her husband Yancy. She is also thankful to Austin Prosthetic Center who has helped to tell her story and keep her mobile so Jackson can continue living a life without limits. Jackson added, “I am extremely grateful to Kai Handt of North Texas Equestrian Center as well for believing in me and challenging me to ride at this level.   Kai’s support and coaching have aligned me for these successes and I am very thankful to be able to ride under someone with his knowledge and experience.”

Jackson is now aiming at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina and the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

For more about Jackson’s story, please visit https://www.austinprostheticcenter.com/single-post/2017/10/21/Riding-toward-the-2020-Paralympics.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

Julia Curtis and Isarus Win the $25,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix

Julia Curtis and Isarus [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

It was a happy anniversary for Julie Curtis of Villa Rica, Georgia and her own Isarus when they won the $25,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix, presented by EMO, under the lights in the Olympic Arena.

“He’s nine coming ten years old and I got him one year ago here at the Atlanta Fall Classics,” said Curtis. “Kyle Timm called my trainer Harrison [Ford] and told him that he thought he had a perfect horse for me,” she said. “I really wasn’t even looking,” she added. “I was a junior then and only rode him in the 1.20 Low Juniors last year. Then we came here in the spring and got a third in our first Grand Prix but this is our first win together!” exclaimed Curtis.

Curtis and Isarus were the only horse and rider team to turn in a clear round in this Grand Prix. “When my trainer Harrison and I walked the course, we thought it was going to be simple and not so technical,” she said. “But once we got in the arena, there were no places to take a rest and you had to keep moving throughout the whole course,” commented Curtis.

“After the triple there was a bending seven to a wide oxer and my trainer said that once you got through the triple, the seven would come up tight,” she said. “Lots of horses had the back rail because they got there so tight,” she added.

“But my horse has a really hard left drift and since that part of the course was the hardest for me, when I jumped out of the triple, I used his drift to my advantage in order to get down the seven without coming in too tight to the oxer,” she said.

That strategy worked well for Curtis and she and Isarus were the only horse and rider team to go clear in a time of 74.535 seconds, beating the first round time allowed of 77 seconds. Glenn Hartigan of Canton, Georgia and his own Z Coco Cabana kept the rails up in the first round, but their time of 77.281 earned them one time fault and a second place ribbon.

The fastest of the four fault rounds, Danielle Grice of Northfield, Tennessee and Highridge Farm, LLC’s Kaprio placed third with their time of 71.488, and Summer Hill of Lexington, Kentucky, in the irons of Andrea Simpson’s Vendome DH Z, earned a fourth place ribbon with their four fault round in a time of 71.859 seconds.

Fifth was awarded to Seth Valhonrat’s Conbalou, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, for their four fault first round in a time of 71.875 seconds. Guidam Sid, owned and ridden by Meredith Bryans of Newborn, Georgia, placed sixth with their four fault first round in a time of 74.303 seconds, and seventh was awarded to Chasen Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot for their eight fault round in a time of 71.799 seconds.

Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee and Werner 61, owned by Westwind Equine Training, placed eighth and she also earned a ninth place ribbon with Westwind’s Quite Dark 2. Vick Russell’s Shining De Reve, ridden by Thomas John Russell of Columbus, North Carolina, placed tenth, and Madison Dehaven’s Chanel, ridden by Sarah Meier of Lexington, Kentucky, wrapped up the class with an eleventh place finish.

“I’m a freshman at the University of Kentucky and studying psychology, but have been horse showing the last two weeks,” commented Curtis. “I rode in the National Horse Show last week with a hunter I own and we got eighth in one of the rounds and jogged in two of them. Then I left Kentucky on Thursday and drove here to show this weekend,” she said. “Tomorrow I have another horse here to do the Barry Lane and then I need to head back to Lexington and be a student again,” she said.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Blue Ribbon Days Percherons Named $25k Six-Horse Draft Champions at Royal Horse Show

Blue Ribbon Days Percherons, driven by Dean Woodbury. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – The horses of Blue Ribbon Days Percherons, owned by the Albert Cleve and Jim Day families and driven by Dean Woodbury, won the $25,000 Royal Six-Horse Draft Championship on Saturday, November 11, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The $25,000 Royal Six-Horse Draft Championship, presented by Ames Construction Inc., was the culmination of five days of six-horse, breed-specific competition at The Royal, with the top three Belgian, Clydesdale, and Percheron hitches invited to contest Saturday night’s championship in front of a sold-out crowd in the Ricoh Coliseum.

The Blue Ribbon Days Percherons hitch of Farmington, MO finished second in Friday’s Percheron Six-Horse Hitch class to qualify for Saturday night’s championship, where they claimed the prestigious title.

“It’s a great honour to win at The Royal,” said Dean Woodbury, who first contested The Royal in 1982. “It makes you feel good to win the last show of the year no matter what you’ve done the rest of the time!”

While Woodbury frequently drives a talented team of geldings for Blue Ribbon Days Percherons, it was a team of mares that took the win on Saturday night.

“There was lots of power in that ring tonight and lots of very good hitches all the way through,” said Woodbury. “The horses get driven at least every other day, if not every day.  They’re just like an athlete; they have to be trained and toned.  You want them to be fit to go into the ring.”

Taking the Royal Six-Horse Draft Reserve Championship title were the Percherons of All Star Farms, driven by Ross Honsberger of Bellevue, MI and owned by Doyle and Renee Dingman.  Honsberger and the All Star Farms hitch won the Percheron Six-Horse Hitch class over Blue Ribbon Days Percherons to qualify for the championship.

Bryce Smith’s Double S Belgians hitch, driven by Kyle Forsyth of Tillanook, OR, rounded out the top three in the championship, having qualified by winning the Belgian Six-Horse Hitch class on Wednesday, November 8.

In addition to the popular Six-Horse Hitch classes, the 2017 Royal Horse Show also offered Two-Horse, Four-Horse and Unicorn classes for the draft teams.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.

Festive Freestyles Featured on Third Day of 2017 US Dressage Finals

“I wasn’t looking for another Friesian when I got the call about Wietze, so at first I said I wasn’t interested. But then I tried him and after 10 minutes I said, ‘I have to have this horse!’”

Little did retired dance teacher Lynnette Wadsworth of Hastings, Fla. (Region 3) know that her now 18-year-old Friesian gelding Wietze G (Rypke x Wijke by Reitse) would carry her to back-to-back victories in the Grand Prix Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship division at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, being held November 9-12 in Lexington, Ky. The pair claimed the Calaveras County Perpetual Trophy (presented by Olva Stewart Pharo) in 2016, and came back to the Alltech Arena to reclaim the title with a top score of 66.417% for their classic rock-themed performance.

“He was actually quite tense today but I was able to pull him together and make a decent ride out of it. I wanted to have a good time because it’s new music for us and it was all about having fun this year,” said Hastings. “Nine years ago when I bought Wietze, he had all of the upper-level movements already on him but I was barely a Third Level rider. So I get this big horse and he can piaffe and passage but I couldn’t get basic movements out of him, so I had to rise to the occasion – he’s really taught me how to ride. We started together at Third Level and with lots of help from my trainers I’ve been able to get to his level. He’s so willing, safe, and fun – I couldn’t ask for a better dance partner.”

Finishing in reserve was Jennifer Drescher of Frederick, Md. (Region 1) riding her 16-year-old Morgan gelding Blue and White Raven (Night Hawk of Rocking M x Four-L Black Magic by Goldenaire Senator G, bred in the U.S. by Joanna Kelly) with 66.058%. “We’ve also come through the levels together and I’m so lucky to have him,” Drescher noted. “He was a superstar and so willing today and I couldn’t be happier.”

A tough field of horses and riders competed for Intermediate I Freestyle Open Championship honors, and in her first trip to the US Dressage Finals Melissa Taylor of Wellington, Fla. (Region 3) rode the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood Ansgar (Special D x Diona by Formateur) to a decisive victory with 74.058% as owner Nicole Polaski watched her gelding earn the win from New York City via livestreaming on the USEF Network. “I’d always heard great things about this show, and this year the timing worked out for us to come. I love the facility and it’s an amazing event,” Taylor explained. “When I got Ansgar, we needed to work on trusting each other in the show ring, and it really took me all season to develop that. Just now I felt like he really stepped up at Regionals, and again here at the Finals. I was super proud of him today – he’s a hot little tamale who definitely has an opinion of his own, so I was pleased that we came together in such a good way.”

Nicole Levy (Georgetown, Ky. Region 2) was also pleased with her partnership with Kate Sanders’ nine-year-old Hanoverian mare Floratina (Fidertanz x Rubina by Rubin-Royal) as they claimed reserve honors with 71.817% for their final Intermediate freestyle performance before moving up to the large tour next year. “It took a while to gain her trust and get her to want to work for me, not feel like she had to,” said Levy. “So my goal for her is to always come out and feel confident in what she does, and she was really good today.”

For Adult Amateurs in the Intermediate I Freestyle Championship, 2016 reserve champions Alexandra Krossen of Basking Ridge, N.J. (Region 8) and Heather Mason’s 11-year-old Hanoverian cross mare Damani (Duvall x Godiva by Gesandt, bred in the U.S. by Virginia Godfrey) came back to Kentucky to claim the top title with 70.842%. “She was amazing – she was very calm and collected, which isn’t always the way she is so it was a nice surprise,” Krossen noted. “She was totally with me and did everything I could have asked. She has really good flying changes, so I did my 3s on a circle and my 2s down centerline to really show them off, and our pirouettes have gotten a lot better this year as well.”

Friday’s Intermediate I Adult Amateur Champions Elma Garcia of Mill Spring, N.C. (Region 1) padded her resume even further by earning reserve in today’s freestyle with her 15-year-old Hanoverian mare Wenesa (Westernhagen x Dancing Girl by Davignon) on 68.792%. “We’re fairly new to freestyles, but I was inspired by Mongolian music at a film festival so I decided to try it for our performance,” said Garcia.

The top placings for the Fourth Level Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship could hardly have been closer as less than one-tenth of a point separated champion from reserve, but it was Susan Jones of Walton, Ky. (Region 2) who claimed the top spot with her 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding Reliance (Rohdiamant x Gesstine by Classiker) on 71.067% for their Beach Boys-themed performance. “We’ve been together almost eight years – I got him to build my confidence and learn to be the best dressage rider I could be, and he’s lived up to his name,” Jones explained. “He’s always very calm, but today six mounted police officers went by the warm-up 10 minutes before my ride, and I thought I was going to get bucked off. I went into the ring thinking it was going to be the best ride I’ve ever had or it would be a disaster. I was able to use everything I’d learned to harness that feistiness and he was awesome. Now I should thank those officers! It was the best we’ve ever done so it was a bit of a surprise in a nice way and very special.”

Lisa Rush’s 17-hour drive from Dell Rapids, S.D. (Region 4) almost ended in disaster after arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park, but she and her eight-year-old Westfalen gelding Finestep HW (Florenciano x Merana by Medici) rebounded to claim reserve championship honors with 70.989%. “After we arrived here on Wednesday, he fell in the lunging ring and hurt his stifle and I wasn’t sure we’d even be able to ride,” said Rush. “So I’m very grateful that he recovered so quickly and end up being able to be here today – he felt great! He works so hard for me and I’ve really enjoyed being with him, and we’d like to try for the Developing Prix St. Georges Championship next year.”

Adult amateurs from across the country also competed Saturday for the Second Level Freestyle Adult Amateur Championship, where Sara Stone of Lake in the Hills, Ill. (qualified in Region 2) rode her six-year-old American Warmblood gelding Gotham (Gabriel x Mystic bred in the U.S. by Indian Hills Sport Horses) to the win with 72.844%. This was the pair’s third trip to the Finals, but their first attempt at a freestyle which featured music from One Republic. “He was very relaxed – actually it was the most relaxed he’s been all weekend. He came out ready to work today,” said Stone, who works in commercial insurance when not in the saddle. “Every year he just gets better and better and I learn more and more. I was actually quite nervous, and to be sitting here as the champion is just unreal. I love this horse show, and to be fortunate enough to come back year after year is just incredible.”

Family nurse practitioner Ashley Miller of Fort Myers, Fla. (Region 3) rode her 15-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding Hickeys Creek (Afternoon Deelites x Slewadore by Seattle Slew, bred in the U.S. by Wild Ride LLC) to reserve honors with 69.833% for their Madonna-themed performance. “I like to pick music that makes people stop and want to watch, that’s easily recognizable and which people can relate to,” Miller explained. “We had some training setbacks due to Hurricane Irma and shoeing issues, but we made it to Regionals and then here to the Finals. He’s a very steady Eddie kind of guy who’s taught me so much, and he really ‘brought it’ today.”

In the Second Level Freestyle Open Championship, Hailey Guard of Huntersville, N.C. (Region 1) with her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Dalwhinney (UB 40 x Windsor CA by Warkanson, bred in the U.S. by Susen Shumaker) cruised to the unanimous win under all three judges with 74.556% for their Tchaikovsky-themed performance which Guard put together herself. “I originally wanted to use Swan Lake but it didn’t quite suit her, but then stumbled on the Nutcracker and it matched her gaits so well so that’s what I went with,” said Guard. “‘DW’ has been phenomenal this week and I couldn’t be prouder. I actually started her under saddle as a four-year-old for a client in Minnesota, but she was bred the next year and then I moved away so I didn’t see her for three years. A year ago the owner got in touch with me and said they didn’t really have a use for her anymore and asked if I wanted her because I had loved her so much, so a big thank you to her previous owner for bringing her back into my life. Since then we’ve taken our time and went back to basics for this year – I’m enjoying bringing her along and now look forward to moving up together.”

Also looking forward to great things to come is reserve champion Kristen Becker of Lemont, Ill. (qualified in Region 2) who earned 71.544% with her six-year-old Oldenburg gelding Amadeus (by Ampere bred by Tricia Veley). “Our freestyle uses Lou Bega’s ‘Mambo No. 5’, and it’s really fun and suits his personality. He’s such a great competition horse and I’m really excited about the future with him.”

Angela Jackson of Henderson, Ky. (Region 2) had her hands full juggling four rides on Saturday morning, but her hard work paid off in spades as she claimed both Champion and Reserve honors in the Third Level Freestyle Open division. As the first pair down centerline, Jackson topped the leaderboard with Jane Lineberry’s seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Femke Zarma TF (Contucci x Allure S by Rousseau, bred in the U.S. by KC Dunn) on the strength of a score of 74.100%, a mark which could not be caught for the duration of the class. Jackson’s own home-bred seven-year-old RPSI gelding Figaro H (Fantasmic x Romina H by River H) finished a close second with 72.211% for reserve honors.

“Both horses had lovely tests and I’m so proud of them. Yesterday Femke was a little distracted outside, but today she really focused and it was the best freestyle we’ve had all year, so it was great to have that kind of ride here at the Finals,” said Jackson, who interestingly also found success at this event in previous years with Femke Zarma TF’s dam, Allure S. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to breeders like KC Dunn who breed amazing horses like this right here in the U.S., as well as everyone who makes this event a reality, including Adequan, whose support helps to make all of this possible. It’s a dream for us to be here.”

In outside rings, Anna Marek (Williston, Fla., Region 3) rode Diane Morrison’s five-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Haiku (Sir Sinclair x Melvira by Gentleman) to win the First Level Open Championship with 72.843%. “I’ve ridden her since she was three and she has endless energy and loves to have all attention on her,” Marek laughed. “She’s young and sometimes it can be a little bit ‘hit or miss’ with her, but we had a great ride today. She does have a little bit of an ego, but I like that about her because she goes in the ring and tries so hard, and I think that will eventually help make her a really good upper-level horse.”

Martin Kuhn of New Berlin, Ill. (Region 4) was also pleased with Elizabeth Cronin’s six-year-old Westfalen gelding Venivici (Vitalis x Sabrina by Sherlock Holmes) as they earned 71.324% for reserve. “Venivici hasn’t had a lot of show experience, but he’s eager and wants to do a good job,” said Kuhn, who earned his second Reserve Championship title of the weekend. “He tries really hard – sometimes too hard – but I was very proud of him and as his confidence grows, I think his good qualities are really going to blossom.”

Despite frigid morning temperatures, Stephanie McNutt of Mechanicsville, Md. (Region 1) rode her five-year-old Westfalen gelding Freestyler HRH (Furst Fugger x Dolce Vita HRH by Don Bosco) straight to the winner’s circle in the First Level Adult Amateur Championship with 72.598%. “A little chilly would be an understatement, but I do have to say that brisk is good – it keeps the horses motivated,” McNutt noted. “I was super happy with him – he’s had a long season and was feeling a little unmotivated, but he really pulled it together for me today and gave me good energy, so I couldn’t ask for more than that. He’s a really good egg. I’m excited to be back for my fourth Finals – this is the pinnacle event for adult amateurs, and to make it here again is really thrilling.”

Bonnie Canter of Hocksley, Texas (Region 9) has had a great week at this year’s Finals, and a “rear-and-spin move” just before entering the arena did not deter Canter from earning reserve with her youngster Shakira 467 (five-year-old Hanoverian mare, Sporcken x Waluga by Weltmeyer) with 71.176%. “She’s definitely a hot red-head,” Canter laughed. “She’s still young so can be a bit unreliable, but once she’s in the ring she’s great and I was pleased that she kept it together today.”

Drawing the day’s first ride time of 8am, Linda Currie of Holliston, Mass. (Region 8) had to deal with some of the worst of the sub-freezing temperatures as she prepared for her championship ride. But 25 degrees did not stop her and her appropriately-named seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Frost T (San Remo x Alona by Jazz) from posting the best score of 70.000% in a huge field of 35 competitors in the Third Level Adult Amateur Championship, ahead of Bonnie Canter of Hockley, Texas (Region 9) and her Connemara/Hanoverian cross mare Fifinella GCF (Fred Astaire x South Ridge Bliss by South Ridge Duncan’s Honor, bred in the U.S. by Sharon Garner) who finished in reserve with 69.829%. “I hope someone out there appreciated the irony of my horse’s name,” she laughed. “Fortunately I live in New England so I’m used to riding in cold weather. Frost T is young but knows his job and has never let me down. Some say it was karma that I got him – I had lost my previous horse to a tragedy and found Frost T just ten days later. He had just been imported and all this weird stuff happened that just seemed meant to be. We have just clicked ever since. He’s very talented and is a cool character but he does have an electric side to him that comes out sometimes. Everything seems to come easy to him and he’s so willing, he thinks everything is fun and he hasn’t had a bad day in his life.”

With multiple titles already to her credit, Heather Mason of Lebanon, N.J. (Region 8) knows her way around victory lane at the US Dressage Finals and once again had no problem finding her way there with her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding RTF Lincoln on a top score of 72.852% to win the Fourth Level Open Championship. “I’ve known this horse since he was born,” said Mason. “He was reserve champion at Third Level at the inaugural Finals in 2013, but the next year he hurt himself and was out of competition for two years. But now he’s back in the ring and better than ever. His amateur owner sold him to me for a dollar last year because she had to have hip replacement surgery, and she knew he wouldn’t be the right fit for her after that. But she felt like he’d be in good hands with me, and she’s even here cheering us on. It’s a great situation for everyone. This is such an exciting show to come to – we love this show and come every year, and I have a bunch of clients who also like to come. It’s challenging, but everyone gets a lot out of the experience and I look forward to bringing Lincoln back for the small tour next year.”

Mason just edged out Region 3’s Nora Batchelder (Williston, Fla.), who rode her eight-year-old Hanoverian mare Fifi MLW (Fidertanz x Wolkenstanza MLW by Wolkentanz I, bred in the U.S. by Mary Winn) to reserve with 72.593%. The pair earned a reserve championship at Third Level last year and had no trouble now succeeding at Fourth. “She was a little tight when we first started and there’s a lot to look at out there, but she loosened up well and was a really good girl in the ring. I was especially happy with our trot work,” Batchelder added.

The highlight of the evening was the Grand Prix Freestyle Open Championship and the presentation of the new Jazzman Perpetual Trophy (presented by Donna Richardson), where fan-favorite and hometown hero James Koford of Lexington, Ky. (Region 2) rode the eye-catching chestnut tobiano 10-year-old Friesian Sporthorse mare Adiah HP (by Nico, owned and bred by Sherry Koella) to a victorious score of 71.133% for the debut performance of their brand new cowboy-themed freestyle. “She’s just starting Grand Prix so I was actually feeling guilty this week thinking ‘what am I doing?’ because I wasn’t sure I had her ready,” Koford explained. “When you’re this visible and this different, you don’t want to not be ready or seem unpolished, but then I thought, ‘bring it on’.

“She has so much talent but there’s nowhere to school for these types of conditions – it doesn’t matter how much you practice at home or go to regular shows, it’s not the same,” Koford continued. “So win, lose or draw I felt like I had to expose her to this and see if she wants to go ‘bright lights, big city’. She literally heard the applause from the horse before her and charged down the tunnel to go in the ring, like ‘hang on Jim, I’ve got this’ and I said ‘game on sister, let’s go!’ I could feel that the crowd was so into it. I love riding her and she makes me laugh every day – she’s bigger than life.”

Also enjoying success in their first season at the Grand Prix level were reserve champions Nicole Harrington of Amelia, Ohio (Region 2) and Three Oaks Farm LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Wizard of Oz (Weltmeyer x Vadella by Landacel), earning 70.617% for their appropriately-themed Wizard of Oz freestyle. “The music just seemed to suit him to a ‘T’. He’s still a little green but it’s all coming along,” said Harrington. “He’s such a hard worker and is a character in the barn. Has only been to maybe six shows in his life and this was the biggest environment he’s been in, but he handled this atmosphere fantastically.”

Watch live online streaming on the popular USEF Network at: https://www.usef.org/network/coverage/2017usdressagefinals/. To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at http://www.usdressagefinals.com.

Source: Yellow Horse Marketing for the US Dressage Finals

Beezie Madden Wins Two in a Row at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Beezie Madden riding Breitling. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY won the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday, November 10, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in downtown Toronto, ON.

Hot off her win in Thursday’s $35,000 Brickenden Trophy with Coach, Madden returned to the Ricoh Coliseum with Breitling LS, owned by Abigail Wexner. Riding second in the order, Madden set the early time to beat over the speed track designed by 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, stopping the timers clear in 50.03 seconds. The only rider to come close to catching Madden was Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium who piloted Inouk P, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, to a time of 51.97 seconds for owner and father, four-time Olympian Ludo Philippaerts.

“There were some really good riders out there, but I think I set the pace fast enough that they had to take some risks and that was difficult to do,” said Madden, 53, a regular competitor and crowd favourite at the annual Royal Horse Show. “This has been quite a good show for me. The quality here is always good with good jumping, which makes it is difficult to win, so I am thrilled to win two classes.”

Of her mount Breitling LS, Madden noted, “He has had a phenomenal year! He has developed into a horse I can depend on in any kind of class.

“Tonight, there were a lot of inside turns with jumps coming up quick, so you needed a horse that was rideable and that is one of his very strong points,” continued Madden of the 11-year-old La Silla stallion (Quintero x Armonia). “He has become quite a quick thinker, which he had to develop into, so I was really happy that he did that well with this course.”

Canada’s own François Lamontagne of St. Eustache, QC took third on home soil with a clear round in 54.42 seconds riding Chanel du Calvaire, while Sharn Wordley New Zealand claimed fourth in 56.32 seconds on Caiman des Sequoias for owner Sky Group. Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB was the only other rider to post a clear round, piloting Chemas home in a time of 56.67 seconds.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.

Beezie Madden Claims Brickenden Trophy at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Beezie Madden riding Coach. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden won the $35,000 Brickenden Trophy on Thursday, November 9, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in downtown Toronto, ON.

Madden of Cazenovia, NY was the one to beat in a 15-horse jump-off over tracks set by 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. She and Coach, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Con Air x Corofino I) owned by Abigail Wexner, crossed the timers double clear in 30.35 seconds for the victory.

Less than a second separated the top five with Madden unseating fellow U.S. show jumping athlete Andrew Kocher from the top of the leaderboard. The Oklahoma native settled in second place with a time of 30.60 seconds riding Artemise du Houssoit, owned by Double H Farm. Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts jumped into third aboard Aikido Z with a time of 30.70 seconds while the number-one ranked rider in the world and winner of Wednesday night’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Toronto, Kent Farrington of the United States, took fourth riding Creedance with a clear jump-off effort in a time of 30.73 seconds. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle rounded out the top five, having posted the first double-clear performance with a time of 30.97 seconds aboard Martha Louise.

“I try to come to The Royal every year because I think this show is fantastic; the jumping is always good here and the crowd is incredible,” said Madden, who also placed third riding Coach in the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 7. “This year, I have a great string that I am building, and they needed some indoor experience. Coach has all the potential in the world, and today I used his huge stride to my advantage and was able to do less strides around the ends of the ring, which not very many other riders could do.”

Madden has selected Coach as her mount for the $87,000 GroupBy Big Ben Challenge on Saturday night, November 11, noting, “I am just starting to step him up into the top level. After two classes this week, I feel he is settled enough and ready for a big class on Saturday.”

On Thursday evening, three-time U.S. Olympic medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $35,000 International Accumulator Challenge over Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam. Both riders collected 65 points over the course, but Ward had an edge on the clock with a time of 49.88 seconds riding HH Callas for owner Double H Farm, while Sweetnam broke the timers in 50.47 seconds aboard Don’t Touch du Bois, owned by Spy Coast Farm, Paul Tracy, and Sweet Oak Farm.

Earlier on Thursday, Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON won the opening phase of the Alfred Rogers Uplands Under 25 National Championship riding Excellent B. The pair posted one of two clear rounds over the speed track, stopping the timers at 61.07 to hold off runner-up Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON, who rode Quidam’s Caprice M to a time of 61.62 seconds for owner AEI Corp.

Alexanne Thibault of Boucherville, QC took third riding Chacco Prime with the fastest four-fault effort, while Julia Madigan of Vancouver, BC finished fourth on Farfelu du Printemps, owned by John Madigan. Ashley James of Senneville, ON rounded out the top five riding Dartagnan Z.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.

Hunter News from Week I of the Atlanta Fall Classic

Hunt Tosh and Bastogne [photo by Alison Hartwell Photography]

The highly anticipated $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, sponsored by Ariat and Friends of Ellen Veitch, took to the Olympic Arena at the Georgia International Horse Park and welcomed twenty-one finalists to the inaugural Classic championship.

Riders showed their horses in the Sidelines Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ Divisions all year hopeful to qualify for this inaugural Classic. The first round of the 3′ class had fourteen horse and rider teams and the 3’3″ saw seven horse and rider teams.

Bastogne, owned by Doug Wheeler and ridden by Hunt Tosh of Milton, Georgia, galloped away with the first place honors and their $9,000 share of the prize money, besting twenty other horse and rider teams. “Bastogne is five years old and we only started him in the Green Hunter Division in the Spring. He hasn’t even been doing this a full year! He is one of our greener horses but he went really well today. We went early in the first round and we turned in a really nice first round and his second round was more of a handy course for the Green Hunters and he did well in that too, turning in two solid, nice rounds,” commented Tosh.

Bastogne and Tosh’ s total score of 176 led the pack followed by Walkabout Investments, LLC’s Godric Gryffindor, ridden by Erin Mccabe Clayton of Zionsville, Indiana, with their overall score of 171. Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina in the irons of Liz Hudspeth’s Limelight, LTD earned an overall score of 169, awarding them a third place.

Tosh returned for a fourth place ribbon this time in the irons of Ceil Wheeler’s Lights Out with their overall score of 167. “He’s only six and we started him out in Florida last winter and he ended up winning the future hunter championships. He’s had a bit of a break but he went really nicely here. He had a little rub in the one round which kept him from placing higher, but we were happy with him,” commented Tosh. “This class was great for him and we’re excited about starting him the First Year Greens in 2018,” he added.

Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, ridden by Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California, placed fifth with their overall score of 161.5, and Isabella Lafferty’s Argento, ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed sixth with their overall score of 160.

Tosh picked up a seventh with Douglas Wheeler’s Uptown for their overall score of 159.5. “Uptown is a six-year-old and has been really doing well and although we had a little mistake in the first round, we did well in the second round and overall went nicely. He’s a blast to ride!”

David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee picked up eighth and ninth places with Belle Rolfe’s Boure [overall score 157.5] and Sabina Holtzman’s Jerez Mail [overall score 150].

Karen Lackinger’s Gratis, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina, placed tenth with their overall score of 145, and Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, ridden by Carolyn Bell, placed eleventh for their 126 overall score. Cypress, owned by Missy Nolen and ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, wrapped up the class with twelfth place and an overall score of 124.

“To get three nice checks was really great,” said Tosh. “Classes like this make you feel like you’re ready to move up to the 1st Year Greens. The Classic gives the owners, riders and trainers something to look forward to and to jump for $30,000 is really great.

“Our horses did well and everyone in the class did a great job,” Tosh continued. “I think it’s great that Bob offers the Green Hunters for $5 a division and gives everyone something to shoot for with this $30,000 Green Hunter Classic,” he added. “We have the Capital Challenge and then we’re finished. To have this class come later is perfect and Paul [Jewell] did a wonderful job with the course.

“Because of classes like these, we’re able to develop our horses and move them up next year. Now we have some new young ones to school and we’ll definitely be back to show in the Classic Company Green Hunters,” he added.  Tosh also received a pair of Fabbri Boots from Susan Benson and Somerset Sport Equestrian Trading.

Bob Bell commented, “We are so pleased with the success of our inaugural $30,000 Green Hunter Classic. We are committed to the development of our hunter horses and feel that by offering the Division for only $5 and then producing a $30,000 Finals Classic helps the horses, owners and riders continue to produce quality hunters,” he said. “To dedicate this Classic to our dear friend Ellen Veitch makes it that more special,” he added. “We are appreciative to everyone who supported our efforts this year and would like to especially thank Ariat for its sponsorship.”

True Enough and Michael Leon Win the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride

Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California and Kelly Sim’s True Enough bested a field of twenty-five horse and rider teams to take the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Leon had four horses in the class and guided three of them to finish in the top twelve. “It was fun,” said Leon. “The course was nice and open and he [True Enough] jumped really bright which let me show off how scopey he is with a couple of nice long gallops to a single. In the handy, he was really on it – very bright and strong,” he said. “He’s one of those horses that just wants to win,” he added.

“True Enough is seven coming eight and I’ve been riding him since last June in the Green Divisions. This is our third National Derby win,” he commented.

Leon also picked up the second place ribbon with his own Nil Du Buffant Rouge, also known as ‘Frenchy’. “He is a veteran,” commented Leon. “He’s 15 years old and I’ve won more than ten National Derbies and three International Derbies with him. I did it for fun and to be competitive. I try equally on all of the horses I ride, whether they are mine or my clients’,” he said. “Frenchy jumped beautifully, but he had a little swap at the last jump which moved him down in the placing.”

Third place was awarded to Tim Maddrix and Missy Nolen’s Special, and Cassico, owned by Rebekah warren and ridden by Julie Curtin, finished in fourth place.

Sue Gibbs’ Gioia, ridden by Vick Russell of Columbus, North Carolina, earned a fifth place finish, and Leon returned with Kelly Sims’ True Story for a sixth place ribbon.

Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, Georgia and her won RS Levitation placed seventh, and Matt Martin of Petersburgh, Tennessee rode Jessica Dicampli’s Berlinka to an eighth place finish. Shane Powell of Sterling, Massachusetts rode Sydney Mannon’s One Love to a ninth place finish, and Kat Fuqua took home the tenth place ribbon with her own High Noon 3E. Curtin and her own Honey Badger finished in eleventh place, and Russell returned for the twelfth place ribbon, this time in the irons of Skipping Foal Sport Horses’ Corton Charlemagne.

“This is my first year here,” said Leon. “I showed here in June and then relocated to the area from California so this is the first time for me making it to all of these shows,” he said. “Bob does a fantastic job. It’s been a breath of fresh air for me to experience Classic Company shows and their team. The show management and staff all the way to the folks who work the in gate – everyone is nice, the show runs on time, and you can just feel how much this horse show cares about the horses, competitors and owners. It really makes a difference how the Classic Company really cares about the professionals and stays on top of everything. Bob is out at the rings, the staff is always eager to help you out and everyone is so nice,” he said.  “We’ll be here next week too and I’m looking forward to riding four in the International.”

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