Have you registered yet for the free USHJA Zone 4 Riding Clinic with Tony Sgarlata? Scheduled for Monday, June 19th at the Georgia International Horse Park during the Atlanta Summer Classics, the clinic will focus on General Horsemanship including flat work and jumping techniques that will improve your show ring performance for the Hunters, Jumpers and Ponies.
Clinician Tony Sgarlata is a well-known and respected USEF “R” Judge, Rider, Trainer and Coach. The clinic is FREE for Zone 4 Riders and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. In the Pony section, besides teaching flat work and jumping, Tony will also instruct participants on how to properly model their ponies. The Hunter and Equitation section will address flat work, jumping skills and include Handy Hunter, Equitation and Hunter Classic strategies to win. The Jumpers will focus on winning techniques. Tony looks forward to giving back to the sport, interacting with riders and providing insight into what is expected when showing and how the USEF judges score riding skills. The Riding Clinic is FREE for all USHJA Zone 4 Members and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Janet McCarroll at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and for more information.
Big news for those showing at the Atlanta Summer Classics, set to kick off on June 14 through the 22nd at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. For NO ENTRY FEE, riders can enter the $5,000 1.15m Dash for Cash Non Pro Jumper Classic scheduled for Friday night, Week I, during the Outback Steakhouse Dinner and silent auction to benefit the Hope Clinic, in the VIP tent.
The 2017 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, presented by Dover Saddlery, starts off the non-stop action at the Atlanta Summer Classics June 11th through the 15th. Chris Kappler and Anne Thornberry will be the clinicians. During the five-day program, riders have the opportunity to work with top riding clinicians and stable managers. Riders are instructed on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, as well as an intensive stable-management curriculum that incorporates proper care and grooming, horsemanship skills and barn management.
The Atlanta Summer Classics get underway on June 14th and both weeks offer Sidelines Green Hunter Divisions, both qualifiers for the upcoming $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, presented by Ariat, JPC Equestrian, The Farmhouse and Friends of Ellen Veitch, slated for Friday, Week I of the Atlanta Fall Classics. Weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, and Week II adds the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby to the class roster. Both weeks offer $25,000 Grand Prix and $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcomes. Week II also hosts the USHJA Children’s Adult Regional Championships. With so much going on, you won’t want to miss a day of the excitement. Go to horseshowsonline.com to enter.
Brian Moggre and MTM Flutterby [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Week III of the Jacksonville Spring Classics was one for the books when fifteen year old Brian Moggre of Flower Mound, Texas and Major Wager, LLC’s MTM Flutterby won the $35,000 Sidelines Grand Prix against a field of twenty-three seasoned, professional riders.
“I’ve won a couple of grand prix before this but I would say it was a pretty tough crowd to compete against,” commented Moggre. MTM Flutterby is only 15.3 hands and Moggre has been riding her for about two years. “I went in and wanted to do my best and it feels pretty good to come out beating your trainers,” he laughed.
“When we [Moggre, McCormick and Fenney] walked the course, we knew in the first round you could do a bending 6 or 5 or direct 4. We talked about what would be best and decided that smooth and fast, executing the smoothest route with the least amount of strides was the plan,” he said.
Eleven advanced to the jump off round over a course designed by Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana and Moggre had two in the jump off, MTM Flutterby and DDM Equestrian LLC’s Condero 3.
First to go was David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee and KM Farms’ KM Corfina. While their time of 35.421 seconds beat the time allowed of 43 seconds, eight jump faults would see them finish in tenth place overall. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas and MTM Farm’s Igor Van De Heibos followed Jennings and KM Corfina with four jump faults in a time of 34.979 seconds which would see them finish in fifth place overall.
Moggre, in the irons Condero 3, followed Fenney in the order and earned eight jump faults in a time of 32.694 seconds which would find them placing eighth overall.
Dorothy Douglas of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts and MTM Farm’s MTM Malfoy followed Moggre and Condero 3 and with four jump faults in a time of 39.153 seconds finished seventh overall.
Diamant’s Legacy, owned and ridden by Derek Petersen of Williston, Florida, followed and the pair turned in the first double clear jump off round in a time of 33.873 seconds and set the new time to beat.
Moggre followed Petersen, this time in the irons of Major Wager, LLC’s MTM Flutterby with their own clear round in a time of 30.638 seconds and took the lead, setting the new time to beat.
Sitting in the last to go position, Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Como No earned 16 jump faults and two jump faults in a time of 44.860 seconds and finished in eleventh place overall. The fastest of the first-round four-faulters was Dorothy Douglas and MTM Farm’s S & L Elite in a time of 85.716 seconds and they wrapped up the class in twelfth place.
“MTM Farm had a lot in the jump off and we were all going after each other and it was really fun,” he said. “My win made everyone on the MTM team really happy,” he added.
MTM Farm’s Mike McCormick commented, “We think Brian is going to be really famous. I try to not treat him like a ‘prima donna’ here. I make him tack all of his horses and help with lunging and school them,” he said. “The home team and on the road team is doing great. We must have 30 at home and 30 on the road and everyone has really been team players to get us where we are. Everyone has to work hard, because if you don’t, you’re going to have problems,” he said. “Heck, even Tracy helps!” he laughed.
“We’ve been doing great and we’re winning in the hunters and the jumpers. We’re qualified for Devon and things look great for MTM,” McCormick added.
Moggre has been buying horses from MTM Farm since 2012 and toward the end of 2015 started training with Mike McCormick and Tracy Fenney, moving his three horses to MTM Farm. “For the most part, I live on the road with them. I do online school and am a sophomore. My family has an RV and either my Mom or Dad will be at the shows with me,” commented Moggre. “I have a brother and a sister and it gets pretty hectic at times, but it’s easy to stay at the horse shows and not have to travel to and from home,” he added. “I have a very supportive family and I’m thankful for that,” Moggre said.
“I definitely want to make a career out of this like Mike. And of course, my dream since I was a kid was to be on the Olympic team. I love the sport and just want to be successful,” he added.
“This year I want to test the waters with the bigger jumps and the Nations Cup team is something I have my eye on this year,” he shared. “My next big show is Devon and that’s one I’m looking forward to,” Moggre said.
The $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome kicked off the jumper action at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and MTM Farm’s Tracy Fenney took the win in the irons of MTM Farm’s Reve Du Paris with their double clear rounds of 83.239 seconds and 29.310 seconds, well within the 43 seconds time allowed. No one would beat that fast second round and leave the rails up. Brian Moggre and MTM Farm’s Condero 3 came close with their clear second round in a time of 30.013 seconds, but they would settle into a second place overall finish.
Third place was awarded to KM Farm’s Corfina, ridden by David Jennings, for their clear second round in a time of 30.724 seconds. Fenney picked up a fourth place with MTM Farm’s Igor Van De Heibos for their clear second round in a time of 32.205 seconds and Jennings returned for a fifth place ribbon with Full Circle Farm’s Harvest Moon for their clear second round effort in a time of 32.472 seconds.
Moggre and Major Wager, LLC’s MTM Flutterby earned a sixth place ribbon and Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Como No placed seventh. Another MTM Farm rider, Dorothy Douglas, and Erika Guthinger’s Tiger Lion placed eighth, and Cassandra Kahle of Califon, New Jersey and Redfield Farm’s Wall Street earned a ninth place ribbon. Haley Gassel and Westwind Equine Trail’s Werner 61 came in tenth. Douglas returned for an eleventh place ribbon with MTM Farm’s S & L Elite, and Mark Jungherr of Williston, Florida and Susan Banta’s Conte Couleur wrapped up the class with a twelfth place.
Tamara Provost and Salt [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Week II at the Atlanta Spring Classics was all about the Hunters! The Sidelines Green Hunter Divisions, all qualifiers for the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, in memory of Ellen Veitch and presented by Ariat, JPC Equestrian, the Farmhouse and Friends, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby all took place at the home of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Salt, owned by Bridget Hallman and Merrylegs South and ridden by Tamara Provost of Westfield, Indiana, galloped away with the blue ribbon in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. This was Provost’s first time showing at the Georgia International Horse Park. She had such a good experience she said she will be returning for the Atlanta Fall Classics in November.
Provost and Salt won the Classic round with their score of 168 and, combined with their Handy score of 175 and overall 343, won the class.
Fairy Tale Farm’s Novel T, ridden by Megan Rosenthal of Charlotte, North Carolina, followed in second with their Classic score of 157 and leading Handy score of 180 for a combined 337 total.
Hilary Baylor’s Naddel, ridden by Harrison Ford of Villa Rica, Georgia, earned a Classic score of 157 and Handy score of 177 for an overall 334 and a third place ribbon.
Ezra, owned and ridden by Julie Curtin of Villa Rica, Georgia, rode away with the fourth place ribbon after earning a Classic score of 137 and Handy Round score of 175 for a combined 312. Casallo, owned and ridden by Erin McGuire of Cornelius, North Carolina, placed fifth with their overall score of 310, and Ava, owned and ridden by Kathryn Jarriel of Collins, Georgia, earned sixth place with their overall score of 309. Seventh place went to Absalon, owned by Halle Brandt and ridden by Raffi Kechejian of Fayetteville, California, for their overall score of 305. Eighth was awarded to Allure, owned and ridden by Gianna Cobb of Marietta, Georgia, for their overall score of 292, and Don Stewart’s Cassius, ridden by Caitlyn Shields of Wellington, Florida, took ninth place honors with their overall score of 290. Liddy Strickland’s Valentine, ridden by Sarah Milliren of Athens, Georgia, placed tenth with their overall score of 270, and Summer Stone Farm Horses, LLC’s Blue Grass, ridden by Amanda Wise of Wagener, South Carolina, placed eleventh with their overall score of 263. Wise also took the twelfth place ribbon in the irons of her own Remedy.
The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, awarded the blue ribbon to Capriccio, owned by Samantha Kench and ridden by Carolyn Bell for their overall score of 176. Bell, owner of Fortitude Farm in Alpharetta, Georgia, commented, “I was thrilled to get to do the same course as the International Derby. It was just a fantastic experience. The Handy course was designed to be very Handy. It was really technical and challenging and made us really ride up to that challenge.
“When Capriccio and I left the ring, I thought he did phenomenally well and was really pleased with his performance and didn’t even pay attention to the scores. I even went on to the next ring and kept on doing my thing until a trainer walked up and congratulated me. I said ‘for what?’ She told me that we won the Derby! To get a score of 90 for our Handy round was just awesome,” she said.
Second place went to Why, owned by Charlotte Warren and ridden by Rebekah Warren of Atlanta, Georgia, for their overall score of 171. Saint Oliver, owned and ridden by Karen Bailey of Athens, Georgia, earned a third place ribbon for their overall score of 169. Fourth place went to Honey Badger, owned and ridden by Julie Curtin, for their overall score of 166. Five Henry Stables’ Ledger, ridden by Avery Lynch of Charlotte, North Carolina, earned a fifth place ribbon for their overall score of 162, and Callie Rheinheimer’s Steel Magnolia, ridden by Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana, earned sixth place with their score of 150. Seventh place was awarded to Guest of Honor, owned and ridden by Nolan Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Americana, owned by Wind Haven Farm and ridden by Heather Zuber, earned eighth place.
“We had a great time at the Atlanta Spring Classics,” said Bell. “I have to say, Allen [Rheinheimer] always does such a good job managing the Classic Company shows and their footing. I’ve been very pleased with the footing since the Classic crew has been improving it. They really work hard at it and their efforts definitely make a positive difference,” she said. “I was also happy to see that Voltaire is a sponsor of the shows. It is great to have them onsite with their great customer service.
“I had thirteen horses here one week and fourteen the other week. Capriccio jogged first in two of his Green Conformation Hunters and has had a good spring. He really is an amazing horse,” she said. “He’s a 7 year old Holsteiner that I imported from Germany three years ago and he just started the Derbies this year. I also do the 3’6″ Green Conformation Hunter with him and he does the 3′ Adults with Sammy (his owner) during the week. He has been a great horse for her to ride. He is one of the sweetest, calmest and bravest horses I have ever had the pleasure of training. Sadly, he is going to be for sale come May since Sammy is heading off to college in the Fall. But he is going to make someone an excellent Junior Hunter,” she added.
Green Hunters Go for the Green
The Sidelines 3′ and 3’3″ Green Hunter Divisions saw eleven horse and rider teams compete in the 3′ Division, earning valuable points on their road to the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, in memory of Ellen Veitch, presented by Ariat, JPC Equestrian, The Farmhouse and Friends, scheduled for Week I of the Atlanta Fall Classic. The top twenty finalists will be invited to compete for no entry fee. Five additional riders will be selected by lottery. All others showing in the Sidelines Green Hunters 3′ and 3’3″ Divisions Week I at the Atlanta Fall Classic may enter for a fee of $500.
Gospel, owned by Patchwork Farm, LLC and ridden by Lauren Kissel, won the 3′ Sidelines Green Hunter Division Championship, and Prime Time, owned by Sloan Linginfelter and ridden by Carolyn Bell, were Reserve.
Honey Badger, owned and ridden by Julie Curtin, took the Championship honors in the 3’3″ Sidelines Green Hunter, and Argento, owned by Isabelle Lafferty and ridden by Carolyn Bell, were awarded Reserve.
Erin McGuire and Cassallo [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
The Hunters were happening Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classic at the Georgia International Horse Park.
The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, awarded the blue ribbon to Cassallo, owned and ridden by Erin McGuire of Cornelius, North Carolina. McGuire and Cassallo held the lead after the first round with their score of 88 and topped that with a second round score of 90 for a combined 178.
McGuire commented, “The course was great. Allen [Rheinheimer] always does a great job. The Derby had a great first round and the second round had lots of options and you could make it as Handy as you wanted,” she said. “I just kind of cruised around and had a blast,” she said.
“I’ve had Casallo for about six years. He was my Junior Hunter and we leased him to one of Bob Crandall’s clients and I just got him back maybe in November or December,” said McGuire. “Bob was the one who bought and imported Casallo as a four year old and got him started and I then I bought him when he was seven. Leasing him back to Bob really brought everything full circle,” she said.
“I know him really well and he’s my heart and soul,” said McGuire. “He gives me all he’s got and I give him the same,” she said. “I focused so much on qualifying for the big shows when we did the Juniors and to show him again is just icing on the cake. Now it is so much fun to just go to horse shows and have fun,” she added. “He’s still available for lease or purchase, but for now I’m just enjoying the opportunity to ride and show him,” McGuire said.
Allure, owned and ridden by Gianna Cobb of Marietta, Georgia, earned a second place ribbon after earning a first round score of 83 and Handy score of 82 for a total of 165.
Sarah Milliren of Athens, Georgia piloted Don’t Tell, owned by Courtenay Billings, and Saint Oliver, owned by Karen Bailey, to a third and fifth place showing, respectively. Don’t Tell earned a combined score of 161 and Saint Oliver earned a total combined score of 157.
Perfektionist, owned and ridden by Phoebe Topping of Sagaponack, New York, placed fourth with their combined score of 158.
Pansy Winters’ Wheels of Fortune, ridden by Cindy Ball of Covington, Georgia, earned a sixth placing for their combined first and second round scores of 152.
Seventh went to Capriccio, owned by Samantha Kench and ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, and eighth was awarded to Americana, owned by Wind Haven Farm and ridden by Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana.
Perfect Gentleman, owned and ridden by Brittany Wyatt of Fayetteville, Georgia, placed ninth and Seaside Tony, owned and ridden by Karema Moheisen of Southport, Florida, placed tenth. Blue Dane Equine Investment’s Essential, ridden by McKala Cass of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed eleventh and Duchesse, owned and ridden by Grace Skillman of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, wrapped the class up in twelfth place.
Frank Owens and Capricello 2 [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey designed a tough course on Sunday for the $40,777 Beau Rivage 777 Grand Prix with a first round time allowed of 87 seconds. Only five would go clear and advance to the jump off phase.
First to go in the jump off order was Alexis Brown of Dallas, Texas and Alexandra Comly’s A & A Balthazar. The pair went clear in a time of 45.135, well within the 47 seconds time allowed and set the new time to beat.
Crowd favorite Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas and his own Lochinvar followed in the jump off order with their clear jump off round in a time of 40.850 seconds and snagged the lead from Brown. Frank Owens of Windcrest, Texas and DS Holdings, LLC’s Capricello 2 bested Cyphert’s time by fractions of a second with their own 40.496 seconds and took the lead.
Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee and Richie Maloney’s Lord Hugo Warande Z tried to beat Owens’ round, but their clear jump off round in a time of 44.479 seconds wouldn’t oust Owens from his leading position.
Last to go Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D had eight jump faults and then retired from the round, leaving Owens and Capricello 2 as victors.
Final placings had Cyphert winning second place with Lochnivar and earning a tenth place with Hannah Donald’s Hector. Tokaruk and Lord Hugo Warande Z placed third and Bowen and Mullentine Imperial finished in fourth. Hicks placed fifth and eleventh with Emir D and Al Pachini, respectively, and Penny Brennan of Aiken, South Carolina finished sixth and ninth with Cerulean Farm’s HHS Louis and her own Sun Tzu, respectively. Owens returned for an eighth place ribbon in the irons of DS Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl and Alexis Brown of Dallas. Texas wrapped up the class with a twelfth place riding Alexandra Comley’s A & A Balthazar.
$10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome Week V
The jumper action kicked off Week V with the $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome on the beautiful grass grand prix field. Eight horse and rider teams turned in clear first round efforts out of a field of 18 and advanced to the second round.
Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first to go clear in a first round time of 78.371. Their second round time in 38.774, within the time allowed of 45 seconds, had four faults and would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Holly Shepherd and Dejan Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS followed with a clear first round in a time of 77.662. Their second round had four faults at the first fence and their time of 38.079 had them finish in fifth place overall.
Matt Cyphert and DGS Farms, LLC’s Better Judgement were next up and turned in a clear first round in a time of 78.884 seconds. Their second round was the first to go clear in a time of 40.960 seconds and took the lead.
The lead was short lived when next to go Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee and Richie Maloney’s Lord Hugo Warande Z followed with double clear rounds in times of 77.952 and 38.551 seconds, setting the new time to beat.
Five more would go before the next clear first round. Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso turned in a clear first round in a time of 78.620. However, four jump faults in their second round in a time of 40.356 would see them finish in eighth place overall.
Shepherd returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of Loretta Patterson’s Sky High, posting double clear rounds in times of 82.754 and 39.274 seconds, which would find them with an overall fourth place finish.
Alexis Bowen of Dallas, Texas and Alexandra Comly’s A & A Balthazar followed Shepherd and Sky High. They turned in fast, double clear rounds in times of 83.420 and 39.274 seconds and temporarily took the lead.
Sitting in the enviable last to go position was Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Al Pachini. Their fault free rounds in times of 79.335 and 36.720 seconds, respectively, bested Bowen’s time and had them ride away with the win.
Final placings had Bowen and A & A Balthazar in second place and Tokaruk in third with Lord Hugo Warande Z. Shepherd rode away with fourth and sixth places aboard Sky High and Belle Clara DKS, respectively, and fifth was awarded to Matt Cyphert and Better Judgement. Hicks picked up seventh and ninth placings with Emir D and C’Havinia and Damico earned eighth with Canoso. Sara Dees and her own Clearwater 5 placed tenth, Frank Owens and DS Holdings, LLC’s Capricello 2 earned eleventh, and Penny Brennan and Cerulean Stables’ HHS Louis earned twelfth place.
Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classics
Nineteen horse and rider teams competed in the $3,000 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper 1.20 m Classic Week V and it was Gulfport’s own Abigail Bergin and her own Cumlaude who galloped away with the win in their double clear rounds of 66.085 and 45.777 seconds. Of the eleven who advanced to a second round opportunity, they were one of five horse and rider teams to successfully navigate over the second round with the fastest time.
Mikayla Foster of Dallas, Texas and her own Dare to Dream held the lead from the beginning of the Classic with their clear, second round time of 48.066 seconds until Bergin and Cumlaude bested their second round time. Foster and Dare to Dream came in second place with their 48.066 second, clear second round.
Half Time, owned and ridden by Grayson Bell of Franklinton, Louisiana, placed third with their clear second round in a time of 48.952 seconds. Christina Fisher of Alpharetta, Georgia and her own Zanzibar finished fourth and Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana earned a fifth place finish with her own Firebird. Sixth went to Maria Roberts of Collierville, Tennessee and her own Qasqai while seventh was awarded to Apex Equestrian Center’s Ashville Rock, ridden by Foster. Catherine Zaunbrecher of Lafayette, Louisiana and her own Leonardo wrapped up the class with an eighth place finish.
Nine horse and rider teams competed in the $5,000 Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner 1.30 m Jumper Classic and it was Isabella Bleu Baxter and her own Jahil who took the blue. The pair was the second to go in the class and while they had four jump faults, their time of 50.789 seconds lead the pack. Sara Dees of Chathom, Alabama and her own Rico 5 also earned four jump faults in the second round, but their time of 51.421 had them finish in second. Third place was awarded to Sydney Swarr of New Orleans, Louisiana and High Hopes Farm’s Carl Loui TSP for their twelve fault second round in a time of 48.412 seconds. Fourth place went to Carson Ruff of Jackson, Missouri and Ron Daugherty’s Toulouse for their four fault first round in a time of 72.641 seconds. Ashley Shaw of Ellisville, Missouri and her own Capua placed fifth for their four fault first round in a time of 74.187 seconds. Sixth was awarded to Cassie Kime of Collierville, Tennessee and her own Tenacious D for their four fault first round in a time of 74.497 seconds. Lila Sessums of Clinton, Mississippi and her own Jet placed seventh and Charles Casey of Homewood, Alabama and his own CC Kolaborant wrapped up the class with eighth place.
The Jumper Groom’s Class sponsored by Oakwell Farms and Whitney and Frank Owens took place Sunday before the $40,777 Beau Rivage Grand Prix and awarded Dominique Damico’s groom, Ivan Montes, the big money. The Groom’s Award is an annual event at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic and recognizes the show’s unsung heroes, the grooms. “We are proud to recognize the hard workers behind the scene who are often charged with the responsibility of the care of our horses,” said Bob Bell, Gulf Coast Classic Company President.
Holly Shepherd and Sky High [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High galloped away with their first Grand Prix win in the $40,777 Kruse Cushion Ride Grand Prix, presented by the City of Gulfport, on a course designed by former Assistant Olympic Course Designer for the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2016 Games, Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico.
Esparza set the first round time allowed at 83 seconds. “The course was well designed and had a nice flow to it. Early on the course looked pretty good, and there weren’t any big tricks, but it rode a little backwards,” commented Shepherd. “You’d jump in fast but then have to slow it down, hurry up, slow down,” she said. “The jumps were big and the time allowed was really tight,” she added.
Carson Grisham of Southlake, Texas and her own Crack De Muze, winners of the $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome two days earlier, were the first horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round in a time of 49.566 seconds.
Four rides later, Shepherd and Sky High insured there would be a jump off with their clear first round in a time of 82.345 seconds.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia followed Shepherd with the next clear first round in a time of 82.706 seconds and would round out the jump off roster.
Grisham and Crack De Muze were the first to go in the jump off and turned in a fault free round, beating the time allowed of 59 seconds with their own 49.566 seconds. Shepherd and Sky High were next to go.
“My jump off plan was to leave the strides out, rather than slow it down,” she said when asked about her strategy. “He loves the field, and he’s a great galloper,” Shepherd said. “He’s a little slow in the air, but he has such a big stride it’s really beneficial,” she added.
And beneficial it was. Shepherd and Sky High, also known as “Pete”, turned in a fault free second round in a time of 48.745 seconds, setting the new time to beat. When Hicks and Emir D retired from the second round, Shepherd and Sky High were crowned the victors.
“I’ve had him for about nine months. He’s got a great personality, loves to be scratched all over and is a really great horse. We’ve been doing the Grand Prix and he’s ribboned quite a bit, but this is our first win. We did a bit change a couple of weeks ago in order to maintain his step and shape, and I think we maybe found the magic. I feel like we’re on the right path and we’ll be showing here the next two weeks,” said Shepherd.
Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas picked up fourth and fifth place ribbons in the irons of Hannah Donald’s Hector for their one time fault first round in 83.209 seconds and his own Lochnivar who earned three time faults in their first round in a time of 85.314 seconds.
Sixth place went to Frank Owens of Windcrest, Texas and MTM Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl with their four fault first round in a time of 78.874 seconds, and Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu placed seventh with their four fault first round in a time of 79.737 seconds.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia placed eighth with their four fault first round in a time of 80.742 seconds and Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso placed ninth. Tenth was awarded to Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarique, Colleen Acosta of Roanoke, Texas and Evalyn Grace LLC’s Himini earned eleventh, and Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Ceralena wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.
The $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place on Friday and sixteen horse and rider teams tackled the course designed by Manuel Esparza.
The first round was set with a time allowed of 89 seconds and eight horse and rider teams advanced to a second round opportunity. Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round, and their clear second round in a time of 46.642 seconds, set the new time to beat.
Frank Owens and DS Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl followed Hicks with double clear rounds. Their clear second round in a time of 43.967 moved Hicks and Emir D into second position and they took the lead.
The lead was short lived when Jorge Ludwig and his own Lamarique followed suit, turning in double clear round and a second round in a time of 43.365 seconds and set the new time to beat.
Laura Connaway of and her own Ceralena followed Ludwig with a clear first round and advanced to the second round. Four faults in a time of 48.168 would see the pair finish in eighth place overall.
Cerulean Stables, LLC’s HHS Louis, ridden by Penny Brennan, were the next horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round. Their fault free second round in a time of 43.721 seconds would see the pair finish in third place overall.
Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High followed with the next clear first round effort. Their second round resulted in four jump faults in a time of 44.630 seconds which would find them with a seventh place finish.
Carson Grisham and her own Crack De Muze followed Shepherd and Sky High with double clear rounds and a second round time of 42.222 which took the lead.
Matt Cyphert and Hannah Donald’s Hector, winner of last week’s $25,000 CWD Grand Prix, followed Grisham, but their second round saw four jump faults in a time of 43.126 seconds which would find them finishing in sixth place overall.
Final results had Grisham and Crack De Muze with the win and Ludwig and Lamarique in second. Brennan and HHS Louis picked up third and Owens and MTM Twenties Girl placed fourth. Hicks and Emir D finished in fifth and Cyphert and Hector picked up sixth place.
Matt Cyphert and Hector [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas and Hannah Donald’s Hector won the $25,000 CWD Grand Prix over a course designed by world-renowned course designer Leopoldo Palacios.
“I think it’s really interesting how the course designers have such different styles. Last week we had Michel Vaillancourt and he is just brilliant and this week to have Leopoldo [Palacios]! Both are amazing and have such unique styles. We’re so lucky and fortunate to have those experiences with the top designers here in Gulfport,” he said.
“Leopoldo used the whole field and you galloped the whole thing. There weren’t a lot of related distances,” commented Cyphert. Of the fourteen horse and rider teams, only three qualified for the jump off and Cyphert had two in the mix.
Cyphert and his own Lochnivar were first to go in the jump off order and turned in a clear round in a time of 49.811 seconds, within the 60 seconds time allowed, setting the new time to beat. “I was first to go and I thought I was really fast on Lochnivar and thought he was really good. I’m at the in gate discussing strategy with my girlfriend Kelly and I turned to Pedro Tamayo who is my longtime groom and in charge of Hector and said, ‘I don’t think I can go that fast on Hector’. Then Jorge [Ludwig] went in and beat our time! Pedro turned to me and said, ‘Well I guess you have to now’,” he laughed. Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarque beat Lochnivar and Cyphert’s time with their own 49.042 seconds.
Last to go in the jump off order was Hector and Cyphert. “I’ve had Hector for a couple of years and the Donalds purchased him for their daughter. She did the Young Riders with him last year and then went off to school. So, we just sort of needed him to do something and continue to show,” said Cyphert.
“Leopoldo used a large part of the field for the jump off. There was one set track and we all did the same turns, so I just really tried to let him gallop between the jumps. That was the first time I really called upon Hector and the first time I pushed it with him. He was really good, just wonderful and listening to me, coming back before the jumps. It was a really fast jump off and I went as fast as I could, especially to the last jump which was the CWD jump. When I talked to Jorge after the class, that’s where he thought I caught him,” said Cyphert.
Hector and Cyphert finished their fault free jump off round in a time of 48.207 seconds and took the win! “We will never underestimate Hector again!” commented Cyphert.
“Hector is one of the most athletic horses I have ever ridden and he just covered the ground and jumped out of his skin,” said Cyphert. “The Donalds are fantastic people and clients and I’m so happy for them,” Cyphert added. “It’s a privilege to ride a horse that nice.”
The class wrapped up with Cyphert taking the first and third place ribbons with Hector and Lochnivar, respectively, and Ludwig taking the second place ribbon with his own Lamarique.
Sun Tzu, owned and ridden by Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama, picked up the fourth place ribbon as the fastest four-faulter with a time of 82.213 seconds, followed by Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Ceralena, who placed fifth with their four-fault first round in 83.852 seconds.
Sixth went to Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama and her own Clearwater 5 for their four-fault first round in a time of 84.978 seconds. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama earned a seventh and ninth place ribbon with Deja Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High. Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri picked up an eighth and twelfth place ribbon with Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and Al Pacini, respectively, while Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso placed tenth. Brennan returned for an eleventh place ribbon in the irons on her own and Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach’s Mister Money.
“We were thrilled we won the class,” said Cyphert. “And then the craziest thing happened. I got a call from a friend with some terrible news. He told me that Jim Calareso who owned Fox Creek Mobile Equine Outfitters suddenly died of a heart attack this morning,” he said. “We were crushed. We went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Jim was such an icon in Colorado. I’ve known Jim for half of my life. He lived life to the fullest; he loved his friends, vacation and the entire equestrian community. His loss is huge to the Colorado horse community and those that knew and loved him,” he said. “So I am dedicating my win today to Jim. He meant so much to me and others. He will be terribly missed,” he added.
The $8,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place on Friday and fourteen horse and rider teams tacked the course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Only four advanced to a second round opportunity. Matt Cyphert and Suzanne Suitles Better Judgement turned in a clear second round in a time of 50.175 seconds, well within the 55 seconds time allowed and set the new time to beat.
Laura Connaway and her own Ceralena followed Cyphert and Better Judgement with a clear second round in a time of 48.697 seconds, moving Cyphert and Better Judgement into the second place position.
Penny Brennan and her own Sun Tzu were the next horse and rider team to advance to the jump off round. However, four faults in a time of 46.143 seconds would find them as the fastest four faulter and sitting in third place. Cyphert returned with Hector for their second round opportunity, but four faults in a time of 48.499 seconds would see them finish in fourth place overall.
Fifth was awarded to Dominique Damico and her own Canoso for their first round which suffered one time fault in a time of 86.330 seconds. Holly Shepherd and Hanley Morrison’s SCS Luigi placed sixth after earning two time faults for their first round in a time of 87.199 seconds.
Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia and EMC International’s Fluttersby placed seventh with their first round in a time of 87.672 seconds which earned them two time faults.
Brennan and her own and Michelle Guardino-Deffelbach’s Mister Money earned an eighth place ribbon after turning in a four fault first round in a time of 82.534 seconds.
Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama and her own Clearwater 5 placed ninth after a four fault first round in a time of 84.940 seconds and Jorge Ludwig and his own Lamarique placed tenth.
The Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classics 1.20 m and 1.30 m awarded Madison Akins of Bogart, Georgia and her own Chasm Z the blue in the 1.20 m and Lila Sessums of Clinton, Mississippi and her own Jet the win in the Arenus 1.30 m Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic.
Only six riders in the 1.20 m earned a second round opportunity and Akins and Chasm Z were the fastest on the field, turning in a clear second round in a time of 32.341 seconds. Olivia Epple of Palmetto, Georgia and Livhaven Stables’ Corini earned a second place ribbon with their clear second round in a time of 35.446 seconds.
The Arenus 1.30 m Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic had only two horse and rider teams return for a second round opportunity and the first to go in the order, Jet and Sessums, soared fault free over the beautiful grass grand prix field in a time of 33.158 seconds, setting the new time to beat. Second place finisher Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana and her own Phoenix also advanced to the second round. Although their round was fault free, their time of 35.946 seconds would see them finish in second place.
The $4,777 Jumper Classic, always a favorite at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics, saw eighteen horse and rider teams go for the blue. Penny Brennan and her own Japan rode away with the win after turning in lightning fast double clear rounds in times of 72.675 seconds and 32.643 seconds. Lila Sessums and her own Jet earned the second place ribbon after their double clear rounds and second round time of 35.040.
Julie Curtin and Fairfax [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
The action kicked off with the overwhelmingly popular Sidelines Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ Divisions, which are offered for only $5, thanks to sponsor Sidelines Magazine.
Twenty-two horse and rider teams competed in the 3′ Division and eight in the 3’3″ Division. Tom Brennan and Olivia Falkenberry’s Notes from the Underground took the Championship in the 3’3″ Division and Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia and Rebekah Warren’s Cassico were Reserve.
Courtney Calcagnini and Lori Mathews’ Sidenote were champions in the 3′ Division and Tom Brennan and Riley King’s Refined were awarded Reserve Champion.
Trainer Tom Brennan commented, “The division formerly known as Pre-Green, now currently Green, are the most important divisions for horse shows to pay attention to. The pressure in our sport is to focus on the age of our horses, the young horses, when in fact we need to focus on good horses. They need a place to develop and this development process costs money. If you can ‘incentivize’ the people with a $5 entry fee, this is good for the future Juniors and Amateurs who will own these horses.” Brennan continued, “All of the owners I’ve had have noticed the discounted entry fee and it hasn’t gone unappreciated. If the class doesn’t go well, it’s easy to laugh it off and say, ‘Well, it was only a dollar,'” he laughed.
“My mission is to save the Green Hunters,” said Brennan. “The best thing about the Green Hunters is that those divisions allow the trainers of the horses the flexibility to decide what the horse is ready for. Maybe this is a second career horse, maybe it hadn’t been discovered, and maybe it was doing dressage. The pace we bring them along is more important than some specification in a division like age or something that dictates what height they should be jumping,” he said. “It’s the trainer’s job to decide what that horse is ready to do and the Green Hunters provide that flexibility,” he said.
Julie Curtin commented, “The $5 Sidelines Green Hunter Division is awesome. I have a couple of sale horses and it can get really expensive campaigning them. This Division gives me the opportunity to get them mileage.”
The hunter action continued Friday with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride [KCR] on Friday and thirty three horse and rider teams went on the hunt for the blue.
Julie Curtin and Liz Hudspeth’s Fairfax bested the field of 33 and took the win. “I actually wasn’t even going to ride him that day,” she said. “Liz was going to ride him, but the scores were really high and last minute I ended up riding. There were a lot of single jumps and I thought the judges were looking for a bold ride. So I just picked up a gallop and approached them that way,” she said.
Curtin and Fairfax earned a first round score of 90 and a Handy score of 93 for a combined 181 which won the class. Second place finisher Jade, owned by Shaw Johnson Price and ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, earned a first round score of 91 and a second round score of 87.5 for a combined 178.5. G.K Cassio, owned by Erin Mulloy and ridden by Megan Young of Jacksonville, Florida, was awarded a third place ribbon after earning a first round score of 88 and Handy score of 89 for a combined score of 177.
Shepherd picked up a fourth place ribbon in the irons of Micaela Kennedy’s Magnus Jaque Mate Mail for their combined score of 176 and fifth place went to Helen Gilbert’s Primera, ridden by Sarah Young of Spring Hill, Kansas, for their score of 174.5.
Curtin returned for a sixth place ribbon in the irons of Wesley Wilson’s Whitny for their combined score of 173.25. Shepherd and Belle Rolfe’s Boure placed seventh with their overall score of 172.75 and Paige Parker of Southampton, New Jersey rode Jane Gaston’s Taken to an eighth place finish with their overall score of 170.5. Ninth was awarded to Riley King’s Refined, ridden by Thomas Brennan of Charles Town, West Virginia, for their total score of 154. Lee Cesery’s Candidate placed tenth and Curtin returned for an eleventh place ribbon in the irons of Rebekah Warren’s Cassico. Whiskey Tango, owned by Lee Cesery and ridden by Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia, wrapped up the class with twelfth place.
“The footing is great in this arena,” said Curtin. “The horses go very well and land just beautifully with this footing,” she said. “Although the weather here has been great, if it rains, the footing is seriously all weather, holds really well and there’s no slipping at all,” she added. “The size of the main hunter arena is great. It’s really large and so nice to ride in,” she added.
Brennan commented, “We love this show circuit. It improves every year, every time. I like the Hunter Arena and I think the best thing about it is that they religiously work the footing. We had some rain earlier in the week and then some dry weather and the footing was fine,” he said.
The pony rings expanded and the course was built for the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Week III and Lauren Reid of Nazareth, Pennsylvania brought home both the first and second ribbons with Good Reason, owned by Capstone Farm, LLC and Annabelle Brown’s Sunbeam.
Third place was awarded to David Dowler’s Cherrybrook Deblue, ridden by Kaitlyn Williams of Wayne, Pennsylvania, and fourth and fifth was awarded to Stars Above and Cherrybrook Just Blue In, respectively, both owned and ridden by Erica Van Dyken of Moorestown, New Jersey.
Mr. Hollywood, owned and ridden by Nicolette Perry of Milford, New Jersey, placed sixth and Competition Equstrian’s Ontario, ridden by Valerie Staniloff of Setauket, New York, earned a seventh place ribbon. Eighth was awarded to Hidden Springs Woodstar, owned and ridden by Gabrielle Roderick of Spring Hill, Kansas, and ninth went to Tangled Up in Blue, owned and ridden by Hailey Hurst of Zionsville, Indiana.
Brownland Miss Kimmy, owned and ridden by Calder Trotz of Memphis, Tennessee, placed tenth and Wind Haven Farm’s Brownland’s Millennium, ridden by James Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana, earned eleventh place. Ever After, owned and ridden by Gabrielle Sokolow of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, wrapped up the class with twelfth place.
Shannon Hicks and Emir D [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Jumper action was in full swing at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics and Sunday’s beautiful weather was the perfect backdrop to the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix which closed out Week II.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri rode away with a first Grand Prix win for Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and also picked up third and fourth placings with Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia and Al Pacini. “Emir has been second and third a bunch of times, but this was our first win together!” said Hicks.
World renowned course designer Michel Vaillancourt designed the course. “It was tough,” commented Hicks. “Week I was soft. This week was more of a test than last week. The lines were a little tricky and the jumps were wider. It wasn’t easy, but it was better for my horses because they jump the higher jumps better,” she said.
Vaillancourt set the first round time allowed at 83 seconds. “Al Pacini was my first ride in the class. We left a stride out on our way to the Horseflight jump. We then rolled back to the liverpool and we got a little dull when we were organizing for that and had a rail,” she commented. The pair finished their first round with four faults in a time of 76.858 which would find them finish in fourth place overall.
Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and Mister Money, owned by Brennan and Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach, followed Hicks. Brennan won last week’s $8,000 Horseflight Welcome with her own Sun Tzu and after posting a clear first round in a time of 81.906, sat in the lead position.
“Emir was my second ride and has a shorter stride. I added to the Horseflight with him and he went clean,” she commented. The pair qualified for the jump off round after earning a first round time of 76.946 to the delight of the crowd.
Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia was her last ride in the class. “With C’Havinia, I left a stride out to the Horseflight jump and got there a little earlier than I planned and she had the back rail,” said Hicks. The pair finished in third place with four faults in a first round time of 73.989 seconds.
No other horse and rider teams advanced to the jump off round. “Penny is notoriously fast and I thought that if she goes in there and lays it down then I’m out,” commented Hicks. “When I saw her drop some rails I realized I could take it easy with Emir and just cruise around and if anything, I just got a little too conservative,” she said. Brennan and Mr. Money suffered three rails with twelve jump faults in a time of 47.369 seconds and left the door open for Hicks and Emir D. They finished the jump off round with four faults in a time of 43.984 seconds, securing the win and leaving Brennan and Mr. Money in second place.
Fifth place was awarded to Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama and her own Clearwater 5 after they turned in a four fault first round in a time of 77.039 seconds. Sixth was awarded to Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas and his own Lochinvar for their four fault first round in a time of 78.258 seconds. Brennan and her own Sun Tzu earned a seventh place ribbon for their four fault first round in a time of 78.540 seconds and eighth went to Cyphert and Hanna Donald’s Hector for their four fault first round in a time of 80.897 seconds. Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso placed ninth overall after posting a four fault first round in a time of 80.947 seconds. Tenth was awarded to Dejan Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS, ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, and eleventh went to Whitney Boyce-Petrey and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake.
“This week Matt [Cyphert] and Holly [Shepherd] got here and Penny and I were joking like we were here first, but now they’re going to kick our butts,” she laughed. “So we were both definitely pleased with how we did,” she added.
“I’ve had Emir the longest. I got him from Andy Kocher last November and he is my old reliable. He is 13 and has a lot of mileage, and he’ll jump clean every week if I don’t screw up,” she laughed. “He’s not super-fast at the jump offs, but he jumps very high and lofty,” she added.
“Helen Gilbert owns all of these horses and she is the greatest owner ever. She’s super supportive on all fronts and lets me do what I want,” said Hicks. “Without her, I wouldn’t be here,” she added.
“Even though Helen [Gilbert] wasn’t here ringside, she had an especially great week! Holly [Shepherd] won the Derby with her horse White Lightening and then Emir won the Grand Prix and C’Havinia and Al Pacini were also in the ribbons,” she said.
“I’ve been coming to the Gulf shows on and off since it started but we have been here consistently the last five or six years for sure,” said Hicks. “I come here because I love Bob’s shows. He gives away great money and the Grand Prix field is awesome. There are so few places in the country you can jump on that beautiful grass field week in and week out. The weather is here is awesome and the area is great!” she added. “We’ll definitely be here all six weeks,” she added.
The Arenus Jr./Amateur Owner Jumper Classic took place on Sunday and awarded Rico 5, ridden by Sara Dees, the win, besting a field of fourteen horse and rider teams. Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana and her own Phoenix took second place and Amanda Scule rode Seale Horses, LLC’s VDL Endorado Ryal K to a third place finish. Zuber returned to the winner’s circle for a fourth place ribbon, this time in the irons of her own Firebird. Ramble On Farm’s Shaq, ridden by Kaitlyn Williams, placed fifth and Shanna Beyer and her own Invictus earned a sixth place ribbon.