All posts by Associate Editor

Werth and Emilio Are Sublime at Second Leg in Lyon

Photo: Isabell Werth and Emilio. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Where sport meets entertainment is where you find the world’s best Dressage riders and those two planets collided to explosive effect at the second leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League in Lyon, France, where reigning champion, Germany’s Isabell Werth (47), came out on top. In a competition that built to a thrilling climax, it was Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat who finished second ahead of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel in third while Werth’s compatriot, Dorothee Schneider, lined up fourth.

Werth had to settle for runner-up spot with Don Johnson at the first leg in Denmark two weeks ago, but partnering the 11-year-old gelding Emilio, she threw down an unbeatable mark of 86.115 percent when fifth-last to go of 15 starters from eight different countries.

“This was a personal-best score with Emilio and I’m so happy because he worked so well; he was really relaxed but with so much power that he gave me goosebumps!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

From the moment they danced into the arena the German duo had the audience completely spellbound. To a gloriously classical musical score they demonstrated dramatic changes of rhythm and pace, and it was captivating from the very start to the perfect final halt. It was no surprise when they were awarded three artistic scores over 90 percent including 92.800 from Judge at E, Vincenzo Truppa from Italy. All five members of the Ground Jury were in agreement as they put them in pole position, and as they left the arena the spectators rose to their feet to salute the lady whose medal-winning record in equestrian sport is second to none. But the excitement was far from over.

Ferrer-Salat’s Delgado put 82.630 on the board as the four-time Olympian and 2015 European silver medallist showed that her 16-year-old horse is coming right back on form after the injury-break that followed the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. And then Kittel set the arena alight with one of his trademark electrifying rides. This ultimate showman and his Olympic partner, the 13-year-old mare Deja, simply swung to the funky sounds of Stevie Wonder, all but willing the crowd to sing and clap to the strains of “Isn’t She Lovely,” because Deja most certainly is. The wait for the judges’ marks was a tense one, but 81.555 wouldn’t threaten Werth’s domination and when fellow-German Dorothee Schneider and the elegant Sammy Davis Jr posted 80.315 for fourth place, it was a done deal.

Werth was delighted with Emilio. “He has become so much more confident; even in the warm-up he was focused and concentrated; he’s becoming more professional and improving all the time,” she said. And now she plans to bring out her top ride, the brilliant mare Weihegold, who helped her take the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage title last March and triple-gold at the Longines FEI European Championships this summer, to the next leg of the Western European League which will take place on home turf in Stuttgart, Germany in two weeks’ time. Following that she will compete in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in January and she intends to campaign all three of her horses ahead of the series Final in Paris, France next April even though she is automatically qualified as defending champion.

Kittel, meanwhile, is sitting pretty at the top of the league table going into the next round with 54 points, a whopping 23 points ahead of second-placed Marcela Krinke Susmelj from Switzerland who finished seventh with Smeyers Molberg. “I’m over the moon about being so far ahead!” Kittel said. “And my goal is definitely Paris – it’s going to be awesome,” he added.

Media contact:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Congress Targets Our Wild Horses and Burros

Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Special interests in the ranching, oil and gas and mining industries and the lawmakers who do their bidding have a nefarious but underreported agenda: to round up and destroy the wild horses and burros on America’s public lands.

This is not the first time they’ve tried, but this time, the stars are aligned in the worst way, and they just might succeed.

First, some quick history. Back in the 1950s, wild horses were at the brink of extinction. They had no federal protections. People known as Mustangers were chasing, rounding up and selling them for slaughter by the thousands. Anyone who has seen the classic 1961 Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe film The Misfits has a sense — albeit a sanitized, Hollywood sense — of this dirty work.

That changed when activist Velma Johnston, famously known as Wild Horse Annie, inspired the passage of the Wild Horse Annie Act in 1959, which provided some protection for these animals. That law was followed by even stronger legislation: the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. It expressly prohibited the hunting, capture, injury and disturbance of wild horses and burros.

Over the years, however, lawmakers have chipped away at this legislation, removing many of its vital protections. Tremendous damage was done by the 2004 Burns Amendment; it passed without so much as a hearing and permitted the sale of these animals for commercial purposes. Many ended up at slaughter.

The biggest threat to wild horses today is a group of ranchers — known as “welfare ranchers” — who use federal lands to graze their cattle. They have made it clear that they want the horses and burros gone. They believe they are entitled to the land and water rights for their livestock.

Though they style themselves as independent pioneers, these ranchers are given huge subsidies by the federal government, enabling them to lease our public lands for a pittance, while the wild horses and burros are rounded up and sent to holding facilities operated by the Bureau of Land Management, a division of the Interior Department.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, this program has cost the American taxpayer more than $1 billion over the past decade and is “ruinous to the public lands and the wildlife that inhabit it.”

There is no doubt that our wild horses and burros can be managed humanely, but that is not what is going on. Nearly 50,000 healthy animals are now being held captive in Bureau of Land Management holding facilities. Many suffer and die horrible deaths during the roundups, which are cruel and unnecessary.

Making matters worse, a five-year investigation released in July by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation accuses the bureau of deliberately trying to deceive American taxpayers and members of Congress about the costs and consequences of their actions.  READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Many thanks to Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates, for writing this excellent OpEd for the New York Daily News.

Emily Moffitt Makes Winning Debut at CP National Horse Show

Photo: Emily Moffitt and Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2017 – The CP National Horse Show featured the $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W. Competing for the first time at the historic event, Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date, along with the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, aboard Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve.

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt tested 43 international horses and athletes over a 13-fence track in the first round. Out of the 18 combinations who jumped clear, only 14 returned to battle it out in the jump-off, while others elected to save their mounts for the highly anticipated $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W.

Beezie Madden (USA) was the first to navigate the short course with no faults, piloting Darry Lou, owned by Abigail Wexner, to a time of 37.260 seconds.

Laura Kraut (USA), winner of the $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* with Whitney, followed Madden and produced another double-clear performance with Confu in 36.990 seconds to move into the first place position.

Moffitt was the fourth out of five combinations to complete the jump-off fault-free, riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Poden Farms. It was Kraut and partner Nick Skelton who originally found Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve for Moffitt and the pair has since established a strong, winning partnership, even contributing to Great Britain’s gold medal in the young rider team competition at the FEI European Jumping Championship in August.

The 19-year-old, who trains with British Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, crossed the finish line one second ahead of Kraut, her former trainer, in 35.700 seconds for the win, while Kraut claimed second place and Madden rounded out the top three.

Prior to the highlight event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 25 international horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.

The faults converted speed class saw Devin Ryan of the United States and his own Cooper post one of the fastest times early on in the class as 10th in the order-of-go, despite incurring faults, in 66.310 seconds. However, Jessica Springsteen (USA) and new mount Volage Du Val Henry, a Selle Français mare owned by SCEA Elevage De Voise, blazed around the course, designed by Vaillancourt, fault-free in 65 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable throughout the remainder of the competition.

In the end, Ryan settled for third place honors, while Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group’s Cocq A Doodle finished in second place in a time of 65.530 seconds after faults.

The USEF Under 25 National Championship began with the $15,000 faults converted speed competition, where high school senior Madison Goetzmann rode her own Prestigious to the win with a speedy, fault-free round in a time of 61.968 seconds.

Goetzmann and the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding partnered less than a year ago, but have found great success in the jumpers throughout the year. The 17-year-old junior rider from Syracuse, New York has proved her versatility, winning the Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship with hopes of also capturing the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

Abigail McArdle and Plain Bay Sale’s Chuck Berry 8 were close behind with a time of 62.784 seconds, while Jennifer Gates followed in third aboard Evergate Stables LLC’s Alex in 64.473 seconds.

Jumper competition kicked off with the Equithrive Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by Horse Network. 16-year-old Samantha Cohen and her own Carmen bested a field of 29 horse-and-rider combinations to take home the win.

Nine jumped clear over Vaillancourt’s first round course to advance to the jump-off, where David Oberkircher and Tyson De Verteveuille, owned by Southfields Farm LLC, were the early clear pathfinders in 39.424 seconds. Cohen and the 10-year-old KWPN mare took over the top spot two rounds later in 38.837 seconds. Their lead held throughout the remaining six rounds to garner them the first place prize and the “Skymaster” Memorial Trophy. Daisy Farish and Stone Ridge Farms, LLC’s Alberto II finished in second place in 38.894 seconds, while Oberkircher finished in third place.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

There is a lot of water around here, where we live. Lots of Jane’s friends have boats. One day a couple of people walked by my stall talking about sailing. I heard one of them say to her friend: “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors…”

I pondered that idea, and realized she was right. If you had a horse who never challenged you, always did whatever you asked, could read your mind, and would perform perfectly every time, how good a rider would you become? Not very good, I would think…

Sometimes the challenges we face are the things that bring out the best in us. It’s our judgement that these challenges are “wrong” that causes us a problem, not the problem itself.

Think about the thing that’s bothering you the most right now. How could you use that situation to learn and to grow? How could you make that a positive event in your life?

Perhaps I’ll challenge Jane a little bit today, just to see what she’ll do. It’s my job to keep her skills sharp!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

Today, I met a two-legged person who is just my size. I could look right into her eyes and see the joy she felt at my presence. She smiled at me like she really meant it. It made me feel so good inside. I really like her!

Did you know that animals can read your mood, your attitude, and your intention? We KNOW if you’re upset or pretending to be okay when you’re not. We sense the incongruence when you’re smiling but the rest of you wants to cry or is afraid. We’re not easily fooled.

Do you have permission to feel your feelings? Did you know that resisting uncomfortable feelings can make them even stronger? Let yourself FEEL what you honestly feel! If you really allow it, really experience it, that icky feeling will shift. Then you can replace it with something that feels good!

My new little friend, Paz, is a very happy girl. She is such a joy to be with! So today I’m going to allow myself to feel joy.

How about you?

Love, Indy

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

Fall Happenings at Old Friends – Breeders’ Cup and More

1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup (Photo © Laura Battles)

The Breeders’ Cup always brings back great memories, whether it’s Black Tie Affair and Alphabet Soup winning the Classic or our four Sprint winners: Precisionist, Gulch, Amazombie, and Cajun Beat. The greatest day in American racing brings the best to run against the best every year. Now, I always look at the entries for both handicapping information and, more importantly, speculating on who might be a future Old Friends resident once their racing and breeding careers are complete.

Special thanks to Hall of Famers — trainer Bill Mott and jockey Jerry Bailey — for signing the limited-edition, commemorative Maker’s Mark/Breeders’ Cup Champions for Charity “Cigar” bottle.

A few are still available and information about ordering can be found HERE.

All the money will be shared by Old Friends and The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. For those who have already purchased one, we thank you for your support!

(PS: You don’t have to be at Breeders’ Cup to collect your bottle — other options are available.)

Keeneland’s 5th Annual Sporting Auction will be held Sunday November 19th at 2 pm at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion, and an item in the catalog will benefit Old Friends. “Sheep in a Meadow,” a 36″ x 57″ oil on board by German artist August Friedrich Albrecht Schenk, has been consigned by our friend Jim Smith, and proceeds from the sale will help the horses. You can see the catalog and register to bid online by CLICKING HERE.

For more information on any of our Fall happenings, call us at the office: (502) 863-1775.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for 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

Professional Hunters Highlight Halloween Competition at CP National Horse Show

Photo: Scott Stewart and William Hill.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 31, 2017 – The 2017 CP National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park got back underway on Tuesday with the professional hunter divisions. The nation’s best hunter horses and riders came together once again to kick off their respective divisions at the historic event on Halloween.

The morning commenced with the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, sponsored and presented by the Wheeler Family, where Kathryn Haley and Outshine, owned by Alexandra Worthington, won the first over fences class and the Yvonne Schulthess Memorial Challenge Trophy. Scott Stewart and Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, won Tuesday’s handy round as well as the model class in addition to the Baroness of Locheil Perpetual Trophy and the “Henry the Hawk” Memorial Trophy.

In the Green Conformation Hunter over fences class, Havens Schatt and Playmaker, owned by JT Farm, claimed the blue ribbon. Schatt and the Holsteiner gelding have only been competing together for two months but show winning potential after their debut at the National Horse Show on Tuesday. Both the handy and model classes of the division once again went to Stewart, this time aboard Private Life, owned by Dr. Parker. Stewart and the 6-year-old gelding have had a very successful indoor season, winning the Green Conformation Hunter championship at the Washington International Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and Capital Challenge Horse Show.

Next up in the Alltech Arena was the Goshen Hill Green 3’6″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran. Last to go in the classic round was Stewart and Luster, owned by Dr. Parker. The pair impressed judges Susan Schoellkopf and Robert Bielefeld to win the class, while Stewart also claimed third place with Wonderly, owned by Dr. Parker. In the handy round, Daniel Geitner and Walk the Moon, an Oldenburg gelding owned by Lynn Seithel, took home the win.

The Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9″ Hunter division, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare and Ms. Patricia Adikes-Hill, saw Stewart grab back-to-back blue ribbons in the over fences and handy rounds with William Hill, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC. The pair have experienced great success this indoors season, winning the Green 3’9″ Hunter championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show. Megan Young is also in the hunt for a tricolor ribbon in the division after riding to a second place finish in the classic round aboard EHM Equestrian LLC’s 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Kenan.

In the Judith Murch High Performance Hunter division, presented by the Corrigan family and Winners Circle Trailer Sales, Jennifer Hannan and Olympic Fire, owned by Roger Smith, clinched top honors and the “Captain Flash” Challenge Trophy in the classic round. Stewart maintained his winning ways, besting the competitive field to take the top three spots and the Edyth Lindner Trophy in the handy round with Catch Me in first, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, A Million Reasons in second and Cameo in third place, both owned by Dr. Parker.

In the classic round of the Woodland Way, Inc. Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’3″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Margaret O’Meara, Stephanie Danhakl rode to a one-two finish on her own Warmblood geldings Enough Said and Quest, respectively. Third place classic round finisher, Kendall Meijer, claimed the handy round victory aboard Moonwalk, owned by Copper Fox LLC.

The Meralex Farm and Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3″ Hunter division, presented by Ms. Bryan Baldwin and Ms. Gretchen Hunt, saw Seithel and her own 18-year-old gelding Walk The Line claim both the over fences and handy rounds.

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Mikimoto a Strong Contender for Western Australian Guineas

Photo: AusHorse_TBA via Twitter.

The Western Australian Guineas will offer a chance for the Group 2 selection of horses to make their mark for the 2017-18 flat season. The site of the race Ascot Racecourse in Perth adds prestige to the contest, sharing a name with its famous namesake in England.

Variation won the contest last season and there are a number of strong competitors that will be vying for the crown this term. As a result, punters will be looking to track the best odds by comparing the value online with ChampionBets, with Mikimoto certainly worthy of attention for the meet.

The three-year-old won the opening race of her career with a strong performance at Bunbury. In a small field, the bay filly was able to rise to the top to deliver a convincing victory to claim her maiden placing in the winners’ circle. Mikimoto followed that outing with another winning display at Belmont. Grant Williams’ charge dominated the rest of the field to secure the victory by over two lengths, building off her initial success.

The stakes were raised at Amelia Park Lamb Handicap and William Pike in the saddle produced a solid ride to guide the bay filly to the win. The horse struggled to pull clear of the field through the early stages of the race and was in second place with 400m remaining in the meet.

However, Mikimoto made a strong surge down the final throes of the contest to secure her third win on the bounce. The three-year-old made her debut at Ascot with Pike once again in the saddle, with the horse being considered the leading contender for the victory.

Source: CSBlackwell69 via Twitter

However, on this occasion the bay filly got off to a poor start, dropping towards the back of the field through the first 400m. Mikimoto managed to gradually move her way through the field to close on to the heels of the leaders within sight of the finish line. She ended the race with a powerful drive for the line, beating out Medom by a length to notch her fourth victory on the bounce.

Williams’ charge has known nothing but success in her fledgling career, but will face a greater challenge at the meet at the end of November. Another horse trained by Williams could be on course to battle his stable-mate as Arcadia Prince is also poised to compete at Ascot.

The bay gelding has quality, although he has not quite enjoyed the unrelenting success of Mikimoto. Pike has manned the Australian horse for all five of its meets, with the three-year-old finding his form over the last two outings. Arcadia Prince had a slow start to his race at York in the WA Country Builders Maiden, but came through the field to win the event by a comfortable margin.

In his last outing at the Crown Bar Sports Plate at Ascot, the bay gelding was not on form through the opening two thirds of the race. Williams’ charge struggled at the back of the field in sixth place at the 800m-mark, but Pike rallied the horse for a strong finish to clinch the win by 0.2 lengths ahead of Necklet.

Williams’ charges could be set for an enticing duel at Ascot, with the winner perhaps earning the favour of their trainer for the rest of the 2017-18 flat season.

Jaden Porter Claims Inaugural National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship

Jaden Porter and Dragonfly’s Corleone B.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 29, 2017 – The 2017 CP National Horse Show kicked off on Sunday with an exciting brand new event: the National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship. Jaden Porter became the first name to be inscribed on the commemorative trophy, which will be proudly displayed at the Kentucky Horse Park Museum.

The inaugural National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship did not require riders to be prequalified in order to participate and was open to junior members of US Equestrian or Equestrian Canada who have never competed in any of the following national equitation finals with fences at 3’6″ in height: ASPCA Maclay National Championship, Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals (East or West), WIHS Equitation Final, Jump Canada Medal Final or the North American Junior Equitation Championship.

Sunday’s National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship included a preliminary over fences round, which saw 47 horses and riders come forward to contest the course designed by Bobby Murphy. Judges Robin Rost and Walter T. Kees invited the top 20 riders to return to the Alltech Arena for a flat phase and a final over fences round. After all three rounds were completed, the judges opted to test the top four riders: Jada Fuleky, Molly Canfield, Caroline Blake and Porter.

The test consisted of six obstacles and challenged riders with a trot fence as well as asking for a halt after cantering over the first two oxers.

Porter, 14 years old from St. Louis, Missouri and Wellington, Florida, was first in the order-of-go in Sunday’s first over fences round. With the help of trainer Stephanie Peterson of Dragonfly Farms, she and Dragonfly’s Corleone B remained consistent throughout all four rounds to come out on top as the first-ever winner of the National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship.

Finishing in reserve was Blake, trained by Cynthia Williams of New England Farm, aboard Larry, while Canfield, trained by Lorrie Canady of Galway Farm, and Caprioso 2 rounded out the top three.

For 84 years, the National Horse Show has hosted the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, the most highly sought-after prize in equitation for the country’s top junior athletes. With the addition of the National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship, riders who have dreams of becoming the next winner of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship have the opportunity to hone their skills in the same ring as their 3’6″ counterparts.

The National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship will be held annually the weekend before the National Horse Show in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park using the same format as the ASPCA Maclay National Championship with fences set at 3’3″ in height.

While no qualifying classes were required for the 2017 event, qualifying classes and specifications for the 2018 National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship began on Sept. 1.

For information regarding the National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship competition and its rules and regulations, click here.

Tryon Fall Series Concludes with Final Win for Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti

Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 29, 2017 – Competition concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win for Samuel Parot (CHI) and Couscous Van Orti in the $25,000 Tryon Sunday Classic during the final week of the Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. Second place was captured by Margie Engle (USA) piloting Bockmanns Lazio, a 2000 Westphalian stallion (Lancer II x Cesseria) owned by Gladewinds Partners, LLC, stopping jump-off timers in 36.612 seconds. Third place was awarded to Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and his own Ricore Courcelle, a 2005 Selle Francais stallion (Quaprice Bois Margot x Dancing Bride), after completing their fast track round in 36.672 seconds.

The 2017 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) served as one of the most highly anticipated circuit opportunities in North America during the fall season. The season featured four weeks of internationally-sanctioned FEI competition and distributed more than $1.9 million in prize money across the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines throughout the total six weeks at TIEC.

Parot and the 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nabab De Reve x Vroni Van Orti), who he has guided in the ring for several years, have competed successfully around the world, including an appearance at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

The duo raced around the day’s course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and completed the jump-off in 36.023 seconds. Nine of the original 36 entries moved forward to contest the short course. Parot commented on his go around the track, saying, “I didn’t have that great of a week because with all of my horses I kept having one down. Today, I stayed very concentrated and I had two horses clear for the jump-off. My first horse, VDL Aberlino, had two down in the jump-off. But this horse, Couscous Van Orti, is very fast.”

Parot watched intently as Andrade and Engle navigated their way through the short course, tailoring his plan for the jump-off. “I saw Emanuel and Margie go very quick, so I tried to make my turns much tighter than theirs. I wasn’t so worried about the time because this horse is so fast. Obviously, I had a good final result with him today.”

As the season ends, Parot’s horses will go on vacation and head to Wellington, FL to prepare for their winter circuit. “It’s vacation now for the horses. The three horses I have here will go and I have horses arriving from Europe that I will begin showing in national shows to prepare for the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival.”

Hunter Highlights

The $1,000 Green Hunter 3’/3’3″ Classic saw Liza Boyd of Camden, SC and Callahan, owned by Rolling Hills Show Stables, finish atop the class on a score of 168. Jason Berry of Verona, VA and Credence, owned by Lee Cesery, collected second place after amassing a score of score of 167.5. Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL and Exceptional finished in third place after achieving a score of 165.

The $500 Medium/Large Pony Hunter was topped by Jessie Marie Spade of Terrell, NC and her own Eddie Bauer after receiving a score of 163. Morgan Ashby of Lincolnton, NC captured the second-place spot aboard Beatrix Potter, owned by Ashby, after scoring a 162.5. Third place was awarded to Linen Owens of Marion, NC and Cloud Nine, ending the day with a 150.

The $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Classic saw a victory for Annie Diehl of Bristow, VA and her own Cosil, after completing the day with a score of 167.5. Second place saw a win for Lee Cesery of St Augustine, FL and Central Park, after a score of 166. Third place went to Alisa Berry of Verona, VA and Michael Cline’s Phantom, after a final score of 144.

Elly Ficca of Charlotte, NC and Quatrain took top honors in the $1,000 Junior Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Classic after completing their course with a score of 139. Kara Jones of Cornelius, NC and Chello, owned by Jones, took second place honors with a score of 138, while Robert Milligan of Boca Raton, FL and his own Fresco rounded out the top three with a 136.

The Absorbine Green Hunter 3′ Division was topped by Liza Boyd of Camden, SC and Rolling Hills Show Stables’ Callahan as the pair took divisional honors, while Nikko Ritter of Geneva, FL and Kathryn Haefner LLC’s Marshall finished with reserve champion honors.

The Children’s Hunter Pony Division saw Elodie Watrous of Evanston, IL and her own Crystal Acres Chocolatier, finish as division champions, while Elizabeth Smith of Spartanburg, SC took reserve aboard Double Gold, owned by Smith.

The USHJA Hunter 3′ Division saw Thomas Serio of Arberdeen, SC and Winston, owned by Nokomis Farm, take top divisional honors, while Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL and her own Quincento took reserve champion, alongside Suzanne Russell of Tryon, NC who also captured reserve aboard Shadowman, owned by Megan Hill.

The USHJA Hunter 2’9″ Division saw Steve Heinecke of Charlotte, NC take top honors aboard his own Pink, ahead of Dana Senn of Chicago, IL and her own Baricello, who captured reserve champion.

For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center, please visit www.tryon.com.

Beat Mändli Claims Top Prize in $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington

Beat Mändli and Dsarie. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

October 28, 2017 – Beat Mändli of Switzerland made his first visit to the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) a successful one, claiming the victory in the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, on Saturday night.

Competing for the coveted President of the United States Perpetual Cup, donated by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as valuable Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifying points, the grand prix was the highlight event of the week-long show, continuing through Sunday, at the Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C.

Mändli was one of 26 international jumper competitors to contest the first round track set by course designer Alan Wade (IRL), and he and his mount Dsarie, owned by Grant Road Partners GmbH, were one of 11 combinations to advance to the jump-off. As the sixth to return, Mändli and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare set what proved to be an untouchable time of 32.07 seconds.

U.S. Olympian and reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ champion McLain Ward came the closest to besting Mändli, finishing in second aboard HH Callas, owned by Double H Farm, with a time of 32.30 seconds. Young U.S. rider Catherine Tyree, 23, rounded out the top three in a time of 33.83 seconds aboard Enjoy Louis, owned by Mary and Joseph Tyree.

“I feel great. Everything worked out better than I was thinking at the start of the week,” said Mändli. “I’m just super happy for the horse and for the whole team. It was a great night for me.”

It was a good night for Ward as well, who only partnered with HH Callas, a ten-year-old warmblood mare, at the beginning of the 2017 show season.

“I was pleased. We didn’t have a brilliant grand prix last week in Tryon. It was nice to rebound and have a good finish today,” said Ward. “Beat had a spectacular jump-off tonight. You were going to have to be pretty perfect to be able to catch him.”

With 11 horses in the jump-off, the first-round course proved slightly easier than Alan Wade anticipated, but the course designer was still happy with the outcome.

“I thought they’d have had to ride harder to jump clear, but horses seemed to be jumping very well,” said Wade. “Still at the end of the jump-off, the cream rose to the top, and the best competitors are here on the podium.”

Part of the reason for the horses jumping well could be attributed to new footing installed in the Capital One Arena for the 2017 horse show, something that WIHS President Victoria Lowell spoke to following the class.

“There was no question that we had to invest in the best possible footing for the horses,” Lowell said. “I was so happy to hear the positive feedback that we had this year because [the footing] was the most important thing to our board this year. The World Cup designation is very, very important to us. We need to make sure that this event continues. It’s a very historic event; it’s a very special event because it’s downtown in the city much like Madison Square Garden was. We work very, very hard to make it the best show possible.”

Following the conclusion of Saturday night’s class, several special awards were presented along with the top grand prix prizes. Mändli was presented with the $10,000 Leading International Rider Award, sponsored by Robin Parsky; the Leading Foreign Rider Award, and the International Jumper Championship. Tyree was awarded the $10,000 Leading 25 Years of Age & Under Award, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, and the Leading Lady Rider Award, sponsored by Longines. The Leading Jumper Owner Award went to Grant Road Partners.

The George Morris Style of Riding Award was also presented earlier in the day to Mändli, as the International Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation and jumping and the respectful, dignified, and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.

Newly introduced this year in honor of the late Dr. John Steele, the “Doc Steele” Spirit Award, presented by M. Michael Meller, went to Cristalline, ridden by Adrienne Sternlicht and owned by Gabrielle Kuna, recognized as the horse that best exemplifies the heart and athleticism necessary to be competitive at the highest levels of show jumping.

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