Category Archives: National Horse Show

Sam Walker Makes History as 2018 ASPCA Maclay National Champion at NHS

Photo: Sam Walker on Waldo.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 4, 2018 – Celebrating its 135th year, the National Horse Show has come to be known as one of America’s premier indoor equestrian events thanks to its rich history and classical traditions, with the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, adding even more prestige as one of the four major equitation finals held each fall season. Since 1933, an elite junior rider’s name has been etched into history as the annual champion, and this year the competition tested 175 horses and riders over a series of challenging phases to determine the deserving victor. The culmination of a week at the Kentucky Horse Park, the 2018 National Horse Show concluded with a dream realized for Sam Walker of Ontario, Canada, now the newest champion of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and winner of the esteemed ASPCA Horsemanship Trophy.

Over the course of the day, the initial field of participants took turns tackling Bobby Murphy’s (USA) expertly designed equitation track, which looked deceptively straightforward at first glance. Incorporating most jumps as part of lines, the efficient course offered competitors multiple opportunities to either spotlight their talents or fall victim to the design’s tests, with distances between fences varying and requiring riders to lengthen or collect quickly within the same series of obstacles. Structurally, the fences presented a different type of challenge, with Murphy’s creative collection of jumps including plenty without standards in addition to a handful of skinny jumps, a gate, and an airy triple bar. As the 39th in the order-of-go, Walker and North Run’s Waldo exemplified the pinnacle of equitation, completing a flawless trip to jump into the first standby list.

Separated from the rest of the pack as the creme of the crop, 25 partnerships were hand-selected by the judges’ booth, which was occupied by esteemed horsemen Walter T. Kees and Chance Arakelian, to return for the second phase of the contest after top-notch performances over fences. Headed into the under saddle and second over fences portions of riding, Walker, Brian Moggre, Ava Ellis, Emma Kurtz, Catalina Peralta, Paige Matthies, Daisy Farish, and Coco Fath were pegged as the frontrunners, all riding head-to-head in the same flat section.

During the under saddle phase, horse-and-rider combinations’ adjustability, balance and connection were put to the test by the judges, who asked for a series of skill demonstrations such as the counter-canter, extended canter, and sitting trot, among others. With one final chance to prove their abilities, the top contenders returned to the Alltech Arena for a second trip over Murphy’s track, this time consisting of almost no fences with standards, a hand gallop, a counter-canter, a trot fence, and an airy fence jumped in both directions.

Returning in reverse order of the standings for the second over fences phase, Moggre had the advantage as the last entry to ride, with Walker, Farish, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, Ellis, and Alexandra Worthington sitting in second through eighth positions, respectively, and all aiming to knock him from the top of the leaderboard. Following the completion of the top 25, the judges needed one last look at the top six, and asked for testing from Walker, Moggre, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, and Mimi Gochman, who leapfrogged from 12th place into the work-off. Of the remaining contenders, Moggre was the only one to have been victorious in a national equitation final previously, having won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show earlier this fall, but it was Walker who had moved to the top of the standings headed into the last display of riding. Sunday afternoon’s test asked riders to canter fence 7, canter fence 2, counter-canter fence 6a, canter fence 6b, canter fence 4, halt, and return to the line.

As the last to ride in the work-off, Walker capped off the day’s championship with an exclamation point, navigating a textbook trip aboard Waldo seemingly with ease and displaying high levels of precision, correct form, and aid effectiveness to secure the championship tricolor and the prestigious honor of ASPCA Maclay National Champion. As the 2018 victor, Walker’s name now joins the ranks of past winners that include some of the sport’s icons such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and George Morris, as well as recent superstars Lillie Keenan, Victoria Colvin, and Madison Goetzmann.

Sunday’s distinction for Walker is one of the highlights of his competitive equitation career, although he has come close to the top call more than once. This year alone, he has placed within the top 10 in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show as well as the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final. A multi-talented equestrian, Walker also campaigns in the upper level jumpers, having won U25 and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes across the United States and Canada under the tutelage of his trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan from North Run. For training the winning rider, Audi of Lexington donated a one-year lease of an Audi to Walker’s trainers.

The men represented well this year, with Moggre capturing the reserve honors behind his peer, Walker. Moggre rode Efendi, owned by Donald Stewart, over the course of the contest. Jacob Pope was the last male athlete to claim the top honors in 2012, and prior to that was Brian Walker in 2001. Coincidentally, Sam got paired with Waldo partly with the help of the previous winner that shares his namesake. Jumping from sixth place after the second over fences phase, Paige Matthies piloted Barbara Smith’s Blurred Lines to third overall thanks to her standout work-off test to round out the podium finishers.

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Beezie Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt Win FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W at NHS

Photo: Beezie Madden on Chic Hin D Hyrencourt.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2018 – The feature show jumping event of the 2018 National Horse Show, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, brought 35 of the sport’s upper echelon horses and athletes to the Alltech Arena to compete head-to-head for the greatest share of the purse and valuable World Cup ranking points towards the 2019 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Representing the United States, Beezie Madden added to her winning streak, as she and Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt outpaced the talented field with their careful and efficient jump-off trip to capture the coveted top prize in front of a packed house. Earlier in the day, Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 nabbed victory in the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix.

n total, eight countries from four continents were represented in the premier contest of the evening, which is the eighth jewel of 14 in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping schedule, and the group of entries included a staggering amount of talent, most notably the four gold medal-winning members of the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team from the World Equestrian Games: McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, and Adrienne Sternlicht.

For his final course of the week, designer Ken Krome (USA) constructed a 16-effort track for contenders that featured plenty of directional changes and a triple combination as the second-to-last obstacle, which proved to be one of the bogey fences of the evening. Out of the initial pack of combinations, only six partnerships mastered the track penalty-free within the tight 74-second time allowed to qualify for the jump-off, and four pairs faced heartbreak after leaving all the fences intact but accruing one time fault. Lucy Davis (USA), Kent Farrington (USA), Kraut (USA), Madden, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), and Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) all returned to the show ring for a final shot at glory over the abridged jump-off course.

The first two back in the ring, Davis and Farrington both accumulated penalties on their mounts, opening the door for Kraut and St. Bride’s Farm Confu, who navigated the first double clear of the evening in 38.10 seconds. Not to be outdone, Madden and the 10-year-old grey gelding systematically sliced across the 8-fence track at a blazing clip, stopping the clock in 36.57 seconds to take over the lead with only two left to challenge them. Unfortunately for Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse, LLC’s Luibanta BH, two rails would come down, meaning Ashe Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou would be the last to battle Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt’s time. The pair looked to be on pace to usurp the frontrunners with a fault-free trip, but ultimately were just tenths of a second too slow, tripping the timers in 36.77 seconds to settle for second place, with Kraut and Confu rounding out the all-female podium as the final double clean pair of the class.

Currently ranked ninth in the world and the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion, Madden has been proving her prowess lately and has added numerous accolades to her ever-growing trophy case. Just one week ago at the Washington International Horse Show, she led the victory gallop aboard Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, and has since been the queen of the National Horse Show. In addition to Saturday evening’s triumph with Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, Madden piloted Wexner’s Jiva to the winning prize in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, second place in Friday’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, and third place in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. With her win Saturday, Madden walks away with not only the largest cut of the purse, but also a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington as the Leading International Open Jumper Rider Award, plus the Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Garber Leading Lady Rider Award.

The reserve finisher, Ashe Cawley, has been taking turns with Madden at the head of the leaderboard over four days of competition, only once giving up the top spot in five classes to another rider, Farrington. In addition to her reserve championship aboard Cat Ballou, Ashe Cawley navigated Picobello Choppin PC to the highest honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4* and the Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, just a hair ahead of Madden.

Capping off an already competitive week of jumping in the Amateur-Owner/Junior ranks, the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix offered the non-professionals one final opportunity for a chance at the tricolor. At the completion of the first round of riding, nine pairs were eligible for the jump-off after turning in clean and clear initial trips. Ransome Rombauer, Annabel Revers, Haley Gassel, Elli Yeager, Tali Dejong, Sophie Gochman, Coco Fath, Riley Newsome, and Anna Beth Athey all qualified aboard their respective mounts.

Tackling the short course seemingly with ease, Haley Gassel and Westwind Equine Training Center’s Quite Dark 2 were able to fend off their counterparts in the jump-off, riding their second clean trip of the night in a quick 41.539 seconds to emerge as the victors. The leading pair was followed by Coco Fath and her own Huckleberry in the reserve position, who also left all the rails up but tripped the timers in a slower 41.611 seconds. Sophie Gochman and Carola BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse, LLC, wrapped up the podium finishers as the third and final double-clean duo, laying down a foot-perfect round in 41.822 seconds.

In addition to the class winner, three other individuals were recognized for their achievements in the division or Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) circuit. Sophie Gochman and Tali Dejong were crowned the SJHOF Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions, respectively, and Riley Newsome was awarded the National Horse Show’s division championship for her performances throughout the week.

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Inaugural $50k National Horse Show Hunter Classic Goes to Scott Stewart and Lucador

Photo: Scott Stewart and Lucador.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2018 – The National Horse Show debuted a brand new competition on Friday evening in the Alltech Arena: the $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic. Similar to the world famous horse show, now in its 135th year, the sport of hunters is deeply rooted in tradition and history, and the National Horse Show was pleased to showcase the grace and beauty of the nation’s top hunter horses and riders in its 2018 event at the Kentucky Horse Park, where the inaugural prize went to Scott Stewart and Lucador. His top score also earned him a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington, presented by Samuel A. B. Boone, as well as the lion’s share of the Leading Professional Hunter Rider Bonus.

The pair stayed true to their winning ways as Stewart, of River’s Edge Farm in Flemington, New Jersey and Wellington, Florida, secured the coveted Leading Hunter Rider Award for the 12th time in his career on Wednesday at the National Horse Show, while Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, earned his fourth career and second consecutive Grand Champion Professional Hunter title.

Horse-and-rider combinations awarded championships or reserve championships in their respective hunter divisions earlier in the week were eligible to compete in Friday’s $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic, with participants competing at the respective height (3’6”, 3’9”, or 4’) of the section from which they qualified.

The class, which counted towards Horse of the Year points, consisted of two rounds, with the top 12 returning for a second round from low to high score within their respective heights of 3’6” and 3’9”, with no 4’ entries earning a spot in the second phase. The final average score from round one was added to the final average score from round two to determine the overall total final score and winner.

Under the watchful eyes of two panels of judges consisting of James Clapperton, Daniel Robertshaw, Walter T. Kees, and Chance Arakelian, Friday’s first round course, designed by Bobby Murphy, welcomed 32 horses and riders to demonstrate their style and athleticism over obstacles composed of a variety of natural elements.

Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Outbid led the way after the first round with a score of 89, but Stewart followed close behind with the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding and a score of 87.25.

Returning for the second round, the top 12 combinations were tested once more in the handy phase of competition. An unfortunate bobble in round two caused Fenney to slip down into 10th place in the final standings, which left the top spot open for Stewart as the final entry in the class. Stewart stayed consistent and impressed the judges with another solid performance to finish round two with a score of 87.5 for a total combined score of 174.75.

Finishing behind Stewart and taking home reserve honors was Kentucky native Havens Schatt, from Georgetown, Kentucky, and Diatendro, owned by Kelley Corrigan. The pair finished the first round in fourth place with a score of 85 and received a score of 86.5 in round two for a total score of 171.50.

Rounding out the top three was Amanda Steege of Ocala, Florida and Zara, owned by Frances Moppett, who were awarded scores of 86 and 84.5 for a cumulative tally of 170.5. Steege and Stewart were the only two entries to qualify two mounts in the handy round. Stewart also rode Dr. Parker’s Private Life to an 11th place finish, while Steege piloted Cheryl Olsten’s Lafitte De Muze to seventh place.

Earlier in the day in the junior ranks, Jordan Allen and Ramble On Farm’s Rockette had reason to celebrate as the best-performing junior pair out of nearly 60 exhibitors. Thanks to consistently high-scoring rounds, the duo accumulated more points than any other competitors across the four junior divisions comprised of small and large hunters split by age groups, and they were rewarded with the title of Grand Junior 3’6” Champions and the Huntland Perpetual Cup. Even more impressive was the fact that Allen only first sat on the horse Thursday, the same day they took to the show ring and earned top ribbons.

Over the course of the two days of competition, Rockette garnered first place in the under saddle and stake class and third place in the over fences and handy classes to secure championship honors in the Gochman Family Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division, in addition to the Cantitoe Farm Challenge Trophy. Adding another accolade to their growing collection, Allen and Rockette also earned the “Inclusive” Perpetual Cup, chosen by the judges as the best performers of the group from both the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter and Large Junior 16-17 Hunter stake classes.

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Kent Farrington and Creedance Capture $135k International Jumper Classic CSI4* at NHS

Photo: Kent Farrington on Creedance.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday with a series of upper-level show jumping competitions capped by the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4*, attracting some of the best horses and athletes from the United States and beyond. Earning the largest share of the day’s purse as well as the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance captured the victory in the evening’s feature event, while Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Picobello Choppin PC also solidified themselves as one of the day’s champions by outrunning the pack in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.

With the class serving as a prerequisite to qualify for Saturday’s $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, exhibitors in the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* were challenged to finish within the top 40 in order to earn a coveted slot in the show jumping grand finale of the week. Up against a sizable field of talented contenders and a challenging 15-effort track constructed by Ken Krome (USA), 13 pairs mastered the first course to gain eligibility into the jump-off, while four duos fell victim to a single time fault and a handful were knocked out of contention at the oxer-vertical in-and-out, the bogey fences of the evening.

Proving why he has previously held the title of best in the world based on the Longines Rankings, Farrington maneuvered 11-year-old Creedance, the horse he owns with R.C.G. Farm, to the first double-clean ride of the evening as third in the jump-off order-of-go, stopping the clock in 37.49 seconds to set the standard to beat for his peers that would follow. Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Peter Lutz (USA), Conor Swail (IRL), Beezie Madden (USA), and Sharn Wordley (NZL) all followed suit with subsequent double-clear trips, but none were quick-footed enough to overthrow the class leaders.

A familiar face in the winner’s circle, Farrington is a multi-time Olympian for the United States and has been successful on the world stage with mounts such as Voyeur, Uceko and Gazelle, in addition to Creedance, for a number of years. Farrington wore the world’s No. 1 armband from May 2017 until April 2018, only being overthrown from the top spot after a leg injury prevented him from competing. Since returning to the show ring, he has quickly returned to his winning ways, nabbing victories in Valkenswaard, Germany; Valence, France; Calgary, Canada; and Tryon, USA, among others.

Ultimately, Lutz and Robin De Ponthual, owned by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller, earned the reserve position with their double-clean time of 39.34 seconds, and Swail and Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel clinched third place overall in 39.65 seconds.

Prior to Thursday’s feature event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 31 horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. Operating under a faults-converted format, any downed rails added three penalties to the time to determine a final score for the round, meaning both speed and precision were imperative for a respectable tally. As one of the first to enter the ring, the ever-formidable Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Jiva set the pace with their quick trip in 56.51 seconds. Hot off their win in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, Madden and Jiva looked to be the ones to beat as pair after pair failed to usurp them.

Nearing the end of the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Tarioso Manciais, owned by Grant Road Partners, finally edged out the frontrunners, tripping the timers just a hair faster in 56.34 seconds to jump to the top spot, but their lead wouldn’t hold. As the reigning American Gold Cup winner of the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W with D’Arnita, Cawley’s reputation preceded her, and the veteran competitor did not disappoint. As one of the final five to take to the ring, Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Picobello Choppin PC blazed around the Alltech Arena, carefully slicing across the track and leaving all of the rails up in a lightning fast final time of 54.20 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the previous class leaders, to clinch the blue ribbon ahead of reserve finishers Dinan and Tarioso Manciais as well as Madden and Jiva.

The Alltech Arena also played host to the $10,000 Junior Jumpers and $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumpers earlier in the day. In the junior contest, Isabella Bleu and her own Jahil led the way with a fault-free jump-off effort in 32.995 seconds to edge out the reserve finishers, Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Street Hassle BH, with their final time of 33.809 seconds. Not far off the pace, Paige Matthies and Barbara Smith’s Dirkie Z rounded out the top three with a clean jump-off ride in 35.023 seconds. Out of the field of amateur-owners, owner-rider Riley Newsome piloted Dakar VDL twice successfully, leaving all of the fences intact and breaking the beam in 39.783 seconds over the short course, just ahead of the time earned by the reserve champions, Addison Glerkink and Kadley Holdings LLC’s Erco Van T Roosakker, in 40.073 seconds. Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, finished in the third position, riding to a clean and clear jump-off time of 40.791 seconds.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Professional Hunters Get Underway at 2018 National Horse Show

Photo: Victoria Colvin and Private Practice.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2018 – The country’s top hunter horses and riders arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the highly anticipated 2018 National Horse Show and kicked off the professional hunter divisions in the Alltech Arena on Tuesday. Green Hunter competition saw Victoria Colvin and Holly Orlando take home blue ribbons in the 3’9” and 3’6” divisions, respectively.

Liza Boyd and Tradition, owned by Maggie Hill, earned the win in the first over fences round of the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, with Colvin finishing close behind in second place with Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf.

Returning for the handy round, Colvin claimed the win with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who she won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with in August at the Kentucky Horse Park. Boyd and Colvin are currently tied heading into the final phases of the division after Boyd also took home second place in the handy round.

Prior to the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten, rode to the top of the leaderboard in the initial over fences round of the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, while the handy round went to Holly Orlando and the 7-year-old Hanoverian mare Whisper, owned by Privet Farm, LLC. Back-to-back second place finishes went to Chris Payne and Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci.

The Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division also got underway with Dudley MacFarlane and Roland Park, owned by Mount Fair Equine, LLC, claiming the win and the “Automation-Model Cadet” Memorial Perpetual Trophy for her performance in the first over fences round.

Becky Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, impressed the judges and scored the win in the handy round as well as the under saddle class, while Clementina Brown and her own Eagle took home second place in both over fences classes.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Dominic Gibbs and Hannah Brown Reign Supreme in Equitation Championships at NHS

Dominic Gibbs on Limitless with the Hamel Family, Jennifer Burger, and Mason Phelps.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 28, 2018 – The second day of the 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, with exhibitors in the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship and Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship taking center stage. Adding his name as only the second champion of the prestigious class in as many years, Dominic Gibbs piloted Limitless to the top honors in the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship, while Hannah Brown outshone the pack aboard Dimacho in the Taylor Harris NHS Adult Equitation Championships.

A familiar face in Kentucky, course designer Bobby Murphy challenged the original crop of 104 horse-and-rider combinations over his winding track that served to distinguish the frontrunners from the rest of the field. Whittled down to the highest-scoring 25 pairs, eligible competitors returned for a flat phase and a second trip over fences in front of the watchful eyes of the judges to determine the elite four that would test for the title.

Separated from their peers as the top performers, Blythe Goguen, Sophie Bluhm, Dominic Gibbs, and Layla Kurbanov were each given one final opportunity to exhibit their skills. The abridged testing course challenged the four contenders to walk, canter fences one and two, then counter-canter fence three before transitioning to a trot for fence four, after which they were asked to halt and exit at a walk.

Proving his consistency and performing masterfully for the fourth time Sunday, Gibbs directed 8-year-old Limitless to a textbook trip that earned him the high marks of the day to secure the championship rosette. Gibbs, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, joins inaugural winner Jaden Porter as the newest name to be inscribed on the commemorative trophy, which is proudly displayed throughout the year at the Kentucky Horse Park Museum.

Bluhm and her own Quadro D’ Ag claimed the reserve honors, followed by Kurbanov and Olga Kurbanov’s Calberon B in third place. Goguen and Z Jappoo Sow, owned by Colette Cacciatore, rounded out the top four in the standings.

In its inaugural year as a National Horse Show class, the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship attracted a talented field of contenders each vying for the top prize. Like their junior counterparts, the adult entries in the equitation class aimed to showcase their talents over Murphy’s course during the preliminary round of competition in order to earn the advantage headed into the subsequent under saddle phase and final jumping round.

Maneuvering their way to the lead thanks to a series of strong performances, Brown and A. Brooke Farr’s Dimacho ultimately clinched the coveted rosette and the lead spot in the victory gallop. Brown hails from Manchester, Connecticut and is already on a hot streak at the National Horse Show, having won the blue ribbon Saturday in the Adult Equitation over fences class in addition to the second place finish under saddle, also with Dimacho.

Jeanine Cash of Winthrop, Massachusetts earned the reserve honors with MTM Magnum, owned by Olivia Rubin, followed by Darby Mazzarisi of Chesterfield, New Jersey in third position aboard West Hill’s Resonate. Coincidentally, the three podium finishers in Sunday’s championship were also the top three in Saturday’s Adult Equitation over fences class, with Cash and Mazzarisi swapping spots.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Emily Kowalchik Claims Boggs Hill KHJA Equitation Championship at National Horse Show

Emily Kowalchik on Fernleigh. Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, KY – October 27, 2018 – The highly-anticipated National Horse Show returned Saturday to its home in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for its 2018 installment, the culmination of the east coast summer equestrian season. This year, the National Horse Show offers new equitation championships throughout its opening weekend, with the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship, presented by the Goguen Family, serving as the first to crown a winner and the feature event of day one’s competition. The inaugural champion, Emily Kowalchik, masterfully directed Kelsey Taylor’s Fernleigh to top marks across two phases to earn the top slot on the leaderboard, while nine different junior and adult combinations each rode to victory in their respective age-group classes.

In its debut year, the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship saw its first crop of qualified contenders take their turns around course designer Bobby Murphy’s track for a shot at the blue ribbon. Entries into the inaugural class were determined by the year-end standings of the KHJA based upon showings throughout the year, so only the top performers were eligible to compete in the grand finale, consisting of a preliminary over fences round and a flat phase. Over the course of the class, Kowalchik and her mount consistently displayed their equitation talent to pull away from the group and distinguish themselves as the class leaders, ultimately claiming the championship title.

The 27-year-old Kowalchik reigns from Loveland, Ohio and has been training with David Beisel for 13 years. Though she has a long relationship with her trainer, the tenure with her horse is newer, having only just picked up the ride this past July. Fernleigh has experience in the equitation and showed up at Beisel’s stables as a sale horse at the time that Kowalchik learned she had qualified for year-end classes, and the fit seemed perfect. Kowalchik will return to the show ring Sunday hoping for another championship title, this time in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship.

Larissa Hufnagel of Lexington, Kentucky earned the reserve championship just behind Kowalchik, a positive start to her first appearance at the National Horse Show. Hufnagel piloted her own Devout, the horse she has been paired with for the last three years, and used her knowledge of the horse’s normal way of going to ensure they set themselves up for success. Owner-rider Adeline Pavlin of Cincinnati, Ohio rounded out the top three podium spots with her horse, Ragazzo Carino.

Earlier in the day, age group equitation classes for juniors and adults offered exhibitors opportunities to display their precision and correct form in the show ring, both over fences and under saddle. In the Under 14 Equitation, Emma Borders aboard her own Chapot Z claimed the top honors under saddle, while the duo of Madison Nadolenco and her own Quieri finished in first place over fences. Owner-rider Hensley Humphries and Ixion Van Het Netehof similarly proved their prowess in the ring to earn the highest distinction in the 14-15 Equitation Section A on the flat, and Sheridan Johnson maneuvered Palmyra Partners’ Brad Pitt to the blue ribbon over fences. In Section B, Maggie Hill and Charmeur, owned by North Run, earned first prize under saddle, while Dominic Gibbs and Limitless, owned by Erin R Gibbs, scored the highest in the over fences class.

In the slightly older age bracket, Marcus Cmola Au and Barn Rat LLC’s Nobel Laureate were double winners, laying down the best showing of the division to earn the top position in the 16-17 Equitation under saddle and over fences. Elizabeth Chenelle, in the irons aboard Armand Chenelle’s Li Bond, claimed first place in the Adult Equitation on the flat, and Hannah Brown and Dimacho, owned by A. Brooke Farr, rounded out the series of winners in the Adult Equitation over fences.

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World Equestrian Games Team Gold Medalists to Compete at National Horse Show

Photo: Laura Kraut on Whitney.

Lexington, KY – Oct. 24, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show promises to be thrilling with top notch international competition! Adding to the excitement will be the participation of 2018 World Equestrian Games Gold Medal athletes, McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Beezie Madden. Team USA performed in top fashion during the World Equestrian Games, which was held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in September. Athletes who participated in the games are ones that are well-known throughout the equestrian community, especially now as they bring home the first ever WEG team gold medal for the United States. However, they have also been familiar faces at the National Horse Show for many years.

Last year’s Leading Lady Rider title, as well as Leading Open Jumper Rider, was claimed by Laura Kraut after she successfully won the $35,000 Welcome Speed class aboard St. Bride’s Farm’s chestnut mare, Whitney. In 2017, Kraut also had a top 10 finish in the $250,000 Longines Grand Prix, where Devin Ryan finished fifth, and Adrienne Sternlicht sixth. Kraut was integral in assuring team USA’s gold medal success as she delivered multiple clear rounds throughout the week and finished 10th overall individually.

Reserve athlete, Beezie Madden, piloted HHS Hercules to the victory in the $35,000 Salamander Resorts & Hotels Accumulator class in 2017, while Kraut was close on her heels in second place, and Devin Ryan secured third. Madden was also third in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix in 2017. Madden is known for her terrific display of athleticism with Cortes C in the 2014 $250,000 Canadian Pacific Grand Prix. She secured her place as part of the 2018 WEG team at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final earlier this year, as she emerged victorious all three days of competition.

Fan favorite McLain Ward has also been successful in the Alltech Arena during recent years. In 2012, he captured the victory in the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix. He was then featured as a judge for the 2014 ASPCA Maclay Finals. Ward rode to fifth place in the 2016 $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington and continued to move up the ranks to become the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion. In the lead up to the World Equestrian Games he has embarked on a journey that has included grand prix victories, including the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon for the tenth year in a row as well as capturing the $382,000 Longines Grand Prix of New York during the Longines Masters of New York. Ward finished fourth behind teammates Beezie Madden and Devin Ryan at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. At this year’s WEG in one of the most nail-biting finals, Ward pulled off a spectacular jump-off with Clinta to secure the team gold for USA over Sweden. His performance throughout the week delivered him a top five individual medal as well.

Young star Adrienne Sternlicht has competed at the National Horse Show as both a junior and professional and captured her first victory at the National Horse Show in 2015 when she won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series Final. As Ward’s student, she has always been hot on his heels and finished only two spots below him in the 2016 $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington. As the youngest on the team, Sternlicht acquired her first WEG medal and held an impressive 11th place in the overall standings out of the 124 competitors.

2018 was unquestionably a break out year for Devin Ryan. His string of success included a one-two punch to emerge victorious in the $35,000 CSI3* Longines World Ranking Class at Live Oak International and secured the U.S. to both first and second place by winning the reserve at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. Last year, Ryan had multiple top ten finishes the National Horse Show including a 3rd place finish in the $35,000 Salamander Accumulator Class, 5th place in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington, and an 8th place in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

For tickets, click here.

International Equestrian Athletes Gather in Lexington for National Horse Show

Lexington, KY – Oct. 15, 2018 – Equestrians from around the world will soon arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the National Horse Show, Lexington’s biggest show jumping event of the year held October 27 – November 4, 2018.  An exciting 8 days of world-class equestrian competition, the National Horse Show feature events include the $135,000 International Open Jumper Classic on November 1, the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic on November 2, and our premier event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Saturday, November 3. With over $845,000 in total prize money, the National Horse Show is proud to welcome Olympians, World Champions, and top international equestrian athletes, including the United States Gold Medal World Championship Team.

On Saturday, November 3, join us for the National Horse Show 5k to benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at 5pm, followed by a Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party in Maxwell Place, a boutique shopping and dining experience.  Local barns are eligible for complimentary tickets and prizes as part of Barn Night.

We are proud to offer a unique opportunity for local charities to earn a cash bonus as part of our new NHS Bluegrass Charity Initiative, presented by Goshen Hill and Meralex Farm. Various Bluegrass charity organizations are encouraged to register for their chance to win cash bonuses on either Friday November 2 or Saturday November 3.

For complimentary tickets to support one of our participating charities, use one of the following ticket codes at nhs.org/tickets:

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation: JOCKEYCLUB

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: SECRETARIAT

Making a Difference Now Kentucky: MADNKY

Old Friends Equine (Thoroughbred Retirement Farms): OLDFRIENDS

Paris Animal Welfare Society: PAWSPETS

United Professional Horsemen’s Association: UPHA

The first two days of competition are all about the amateur and young riders. Saturday, October 27, the National Horse Show is proud to host age group equitation classes and the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship. Sunday October 28th features another full day of equitation beginning with the inaugural Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championships, followed by the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship. Admission is free of charge and boutique shopping will be open!

Hunter classes begin at 7am on Tuesday, November 30th with Jumper classes beginning on Wednesday evening with the Free x Rein $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Speed class at 7pm. The excitement will continue to build on Thursday with the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumper Speed class and the $135,000 International Jumper Classic at 8pm. Friday night’s competition features the Salamander Hotels and Resorts $35,000 Accumulator class followed by the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic.

Saturday will host the main events, kicking off with the NHS 5k benefitting the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at 5pm. After the race, join us for a Breeder’s Cup Viewing Party in Maxwell Place before the featured show jumping event, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington at 7:00pm. Watch the top show jumpers in the world compete for a chance to qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping™ World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden next year.

Sunday will conclude the week’s events with the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Championship presented by Chansonette Farm in which the top junior riders from across the country will compete for the 2018 title.

Admission is free and open to the public October 27-30.  Tickets are required for evening competitions on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2, and for all competitions on Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4. Boutique shopping and dining will be open in Maxwell Place during show hours.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

For tickets, click here.

NHS 5k Run to Benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center

Lexington, KY – August 23, 2018 – The National Horse Show is pleased to announce the Kentucky Equine Humane Center as the official charity partner for the 2018 National Horse Show 5k, held Saturday, November 3rd at 5:00pm outside of the Alltech Arena. A portion of the proceeds that are generated through the annual National Horse Show 5k will benefit this Lexington-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safe haven for horses in need.

The National Horse Show 5k event will kick off an evening of family-friendly entertainment and is open to participants of all ages. At the conclusion of the race, participants are invited in to the Alltech Arena for the National Horse Show Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party and Craft Beer Garden, followed by international show jumping competition. The premier event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Qualifier, will begin promptly at 7:00pm. This world-class event features Olympic level competition from athletes that represent countries all over the world. Each horse and rider combination will be vying for the opportunity to qualify for Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals held the following spring in Gothenburg, Sweden.

All registered participants in the NHS 5k receive complimentary access to the National Horse Show festivities after the race. Children 12 and under are always admitted free!

The Kentucky Equine Humane Center is a 70+ acre facility that is best known as a safe haven for horses in need. The sanctuary takes in horses from any background and offers them a place to rest and rehabilitate before matching them with their perfect forever home. To ensure the best foundational support for these horses, the Kentucky Equine Humane Center collaborates with highly experienced veterinarians, farriers, and training professionals. The center also takes it upon itself to educate the public on the responsibility of equine stewardship to help prevent further horse crisis situations.

“We are excited that this year we are the beneficiary of the NHS 5k,” said Karen Gustin, Executive Director of the Kentucky Equine Humane Society. “We rescue horses from the entire state of Kentucky that have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or are owner surrendered and adopt them out nationally, so to be partnered with an event with the recognition of the National Horse Show is invaluable to our cause.”

To learn more about the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, click here.

Click here to register for the NHS 5k.

To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.