Category Archives: USEF

Roxanne Trunnell Tops USEF Para Dressage National Championship with Dolton

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 15, 2019 – Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3* and CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan® concluded Sunday at Tryon International Equestrian Center, wrapping up three days of international and national Dressage competition at the venue that simultaneously hosted the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship. In CDI 3* competition, Karen Lipp (USA) rode to a win in Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* with Whitney, while Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) and Alcazar claimed their second FEI CDI 3* win Sunday with a 70.341% in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*. Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton secured the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship title with a final cumulative score of 75.247%, and David Botana was named National Reserve Champion following his efforts riding Lord Locksley to a cumulative score of 74.318%.

“It feels really good [to win a National Championship], Trunnell shared. “I haven’t been with Dolton for very long. [Our] partnership is really forming.” Trunnell also relayed that one of the highlights of her tests with Dolton was “just how consistent he was. Always marching!”

Trunnell scored a 79.333% in the FEI CPEDI 3* Freestyle Grade I, earning the highest score of the weekend with the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Unknown) owned by Flintwood Farm LLC. “Our Freestyle music is from ‘Forrest Gump’ – it’s adorable!”

While Trunnell is hoping to be named to Team USA for the Tokyo Paralympics, she reflected that accuracy is a big focus, and that gaining experience at TIEC is a great environment to prepare for atmosphere and stiff competition going forward. “[Going forward we’ll do] just a lot of training, and working on accuracy with geometry. I think the bigger venue and more competition is more realistic of what we’ll get [in Tokyo], so it helps us mentally.”

Botana shared that his weekend with the 2001 Trakehner stallion (Unkenruf x Lida x Enrico Caruso) owned by Margaret L. Stevens, Lord Locksley, had been an “amazing” culmination of hard work over the summer: “We’ve worked all summer and learned a lot. We practiced the halt, bending, and improving precision, plus overall harmony. I think it all really came together this weekend. I think we were able to pull off some really improved balance in our turns, and stayed constant throughout the weekend with high scores. It’s been amazing; everything kind of came together, from working with my trainer and meeting to go over our test before each ride, and taking the judges’ comments and what I felt during each ride to transition on to the next test. [That 75] was amazing. We had a perfect ride, and it all came together.”

Botana and the big grey stallion have made strides towards harmony and Lord Locksley knows his job well despite a serious career change, Botana explained. “It’s a big transition from being a Grand Prix International stallion to being in Para Dressage Grade I, and he’s taken beautifully to it. It took us a while to get into a groove,” Botana recalled, “but now we’re in a perfect balance. He knows that as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup, we’re going to walk, and that’s it. There can be a million things going on, and he won’t bat an eye. But the second I get off and step a foot away, he’ll be back to his regular big stallion self!”

Katherine Bateson Chandler Wins FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*

Bateson Chandler and the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cantango x Polina x Ferro) owned by Jane Forbes Clark repeated their Friday win in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* with the top score in Sunday’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, but Alcazar was “a bit more with me today,” she explained. “I’m a little happier with this ride, because he’s another two days down the road of being in the heat, and sort of it’s been a little tough for him. He came off a lot of atmosphere in Europe, so now he’s a little like, ‘what happened to everybody?’ This has been an amazing show and he felt a bit more with me today.”

The pair has had a busy summer and Alcazar is ready for a break, Bateson Chandler relayed, but spent their last competition before a holiday making the most of their stay. “It’s an amazing venue. This is truly a world-class venue with beautiful stabling, which always really matters to us. We’ve got fans in the stalls, which really helps with the heat.”

Karen Lipp and Whitney Win the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*

Karen Lipp and Whitney travelled down centerline to win the blue rosette in Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* with a score of 61.185%. Lipp shared that she has been working with Whitney, a 2005 Hanoverian mare (White Star x Hauptstutbuch Grace) owned by Kathleen Oldford, since she was four years old and has brought her through all of the young horse programs: “We did the four, five, and six-year-old programs. Her owner rode her a little bit and then decided to sell her, and then she didn’t like that idea, so she said, ‘You keep her and ride her.’ I’ve been showing her in the Grand Prix now for about two and a half years.

“I didn’t really have a quality horse to show in CDI for a year, so it’s been nice to have Whitney go the CDI ring because it was a long break for me out of the ring, and it’s a lot different than riding in normal shows.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

USEF Para Dressage National Championship Results in Win for Team USA

Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 14, 2019 – Day Two of the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship saw a win for Team USA at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, consisting of Roxanne Trunnell, Kate Shoemaker, Rebecca Hart, and Sydney Collier combining efforts for a total score of 439.585. In second, Team Canada, including Lauren Barwick, Lee Garrod, Jody Schloss, and Winona Hartvikson, finished on a score of 416.079. David Botana and Lord Locksley currently lead in the Individual competition, with Trunnell just behind heading into the final day of competition.

Hart and “Tex” claimed a win in the CPEDI 3* Individual Grade III on a score of 73.775%, but Hart revealed that the weekend was about much more than the current competition for her just a year following her double-medal achievements at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) hosted at the venue last September.

“This arena has so many emotions for me. I’ve had some monumental moments – the epitome of my riding career here. I rolled in to the venue on Monday and all the emotions came back,” she recalled. “And I was having the memory of meeting up with my parents – because my parents don’t get to come to shows that often, and my dad was here – and I was telling myself, ‘don’t get weepy, you just got in the driveway!’

“But revisiting the place where I saw my dad, and where I was waiting in the chute for the final rides when we realized I had gotten the bronze and the first medal ever for US Para Equestrian in a WEG, was just fantastic,” Hart continued. “To have Tex here again with me, and to have him perform so well for me again in this arena… Tryon has such a special place in my heart.”

Hart is now focused on 2020, and admitted, “We’re Dressage riders – we always want more and want to get that extra little tenth of a point that we can get anywhere! Heading into next year we’ve got a lot of little things to work on.”

But it was a significant change in routine that has helped deepen Hart and her mount’s connection, she detailed: “We had actually changed up our routine coming into this event, which was a little intimidating, because changing anything before a big championship can go one of two ways, but it has really worked for us. I now do all the warm-up myself with Tex, which has made for a much more symbiotic relationship with my horse.”

Hart elaborated, “Before, I had my trainer doing the warm-up, because I don’t post, so I liked to give him a bit of a warm-up with an able-bodied rider to get his back moving, but I always felt like there was a bit of translation period from the two rides, and I would basically have to re-warm him up all over again. And then, any issue they had would translate into my ride as well, so me handling him from the start myself makes it my own ride, and it gives us a lot more confidence in the ring.”

Trunnell and Dolton, the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Unknown) owned by Flintwood Farm LLC, claimed second behind Botana in the CPEDI 3* Individual Grade I test Saturday, scoring a 73.571%. “It was a wonderful weekend,” Trunnell said after the Team USA win. “We really have been working on solidifying them [our tests]. It feels like they’re really coming together. I love how he just kept marching.  We’re hoping to make it to Tokyo, so that’s what we’ll be working on.”

Collier and All In One grabbed third place in the CPEDI 3* Individual Grade I Competition to help earn the win for Team USA, and shared that she was impressed with her mount’s reliability in their first CPEDI competition together: “For this weekend, we wanted to come out, be consistent, and I personally wanted to work on my geometry. With him being as great of a horse as he is, I have to step up to his amount of talent! Being a visually-impaired rider, geometry can be one of the most difficult things to nail, so I’ve really been working at home on perfecting my step counts, because that’s how I do my geometry.”

Collier continued of the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphin) owned by Going For Gold LLC, “Being here in the big ring with different lighting and situations, I was very impressed with how ‘Alle’ stepped up his game. He was like, I’ve got your back! Really, we had no idea what to anticipate going into our first CPEDI.”

Working towards Tokyo 2020 and hoping to be named to next year’s team, Collier emphasized that competing at TIEC has been a valuable learning experience for such a new combination. “[Going forward] I just want to work on fine-tuning the little things we’ve observed here. It’s been an amazing learning experience for us, and for only having him since mid-June, I think there is so much room to improve on so many things, which is just – I keep using the word exciting, but I don’t think it really sums up the feeling that I feel about our partnership. We connected so quickly, and I can’t wait for the future with him,” Collier concluded.

Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 presented solo once again in the CPEDI 3* Grade IV Individual competition, scoring a 73.049% and putting in what she felt were “personal bests” for her team this weekend regardless of scores: “I think this was really the best work we’ve gotten in the arena – we’ve been together for five years now, and every show has been a step in the right direction: we get it at home, then we get it in the warm-up, then we get it around the arena, and then we get it in [the arena], so I felt like we had some really amazing moments in the arena this week. So, that’s what I’m really excited about, and regardless of the scores, they were personal bests.”

“I just want to keep adding more cadence, self-carriage and balance into the work, so we can show the expressiveness that he has,” Shoemaker said of the 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Sandro hit x Dynastie x De niro). “There’s so much in there, and he’s just waiting for me to tap into it.”

The Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship will be streamed live on USEF Network throughout the weekend. Click here to watch.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Katherine Bateson and Alcazar Kick Off Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3* with a Win

Katherine Bateson Chandler and Alcazar ©Susan J. Stickle Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 14, 2019 – Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3*/CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan® and the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) kicked off Friday when Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) piloted Alcazar down centerline to win the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* after capturing a total score of 69.196%. Michael Pineo (USA) and his own 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Jazz x Belalussi x Samba Hit), Farrington, were awarded second place in the class with a score of 63.63%. Third-place honors were then awarded to Julio Cesar Mendoza Loor (ECU) and Aileen Daly’s Rosali, a 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Horse Romanov x Mosegardens Ratina x Ragazzo), with a score of 63.587%.

Chandler explained that she and the 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cantango x Polina x Ferro) owned by Jane Forbes Clark have been working together for seven and a half years now, during which they have had to face many challenges: “It’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but he’s a horse that we’ve always believed in and I’m excited for him to start to come into his own.

“We’ve just come off a European tour with a lot of atmosphere, and a lot of big shows. We were on the Aachen Nations Cup Team and he was really super there. He actually is one of those horses that the bigger the environment and the bigger the show the better he gets and sort of rises to the occasion,” Chandler continued, “I’m super happy with him [today]. He was so honest and made no mistakes — I couldn’t be happier with him!”

Chandler, who competed in the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG), but missed coming to Tryon in 2018, is aiming at Tokyo in 2020 and enjoyed a Grand Prix win on her first-ever trip to the venue, she detailed: “Our next goal is Tokyo, so that’s why we’re here. To qualify we have to do four Grands Prix, and I wanted to get one in, so I didn’t have all the pressure of getting them all during Florida, and to get one score under my belt. My goals [for this weekend] are to get in the ring and get experience, and to get my scores as high as I can before going into the Florida season. I’ve never actually been here before; I’m so impressed, and it’s a beautiful facility.” Chandler concluded, “After this show, I’ll go back to Wellington where we’re based, and then in January, the circuit starts!”

USEF Para Dressage National Championship Team Competition Sees Tight Competition between the USA and Canada

After the first half of Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship Team competition, the Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team, consisting of Roxanne Trunnell, who currently leads Individual competition, Kate Shoemaker, Rebecca Hart, and Sydney Collier headed into Individual Tests on Saturday in Tryon Stadium. Team Canada, consisting of Lauren Barwick, Lee Garrod, Jody Schloss, and Winona Hartvikson, are close behind with a chance to make up the difference in day two of competition.

Rebecca Hart (USA) and El Corona Texel topped Grade III Team Test competition on a score of 71.226%, while Canada claimed second via Lauren Barwick and Engelbrecht, her own 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vivaldi x Regina x Rimini), scoring 70.098%. USA also claimed third, with Meghan Benge and Worth the Trip, the 1998 Welsh Cross gelding by Anjershaf rocky, bringing home a score of 68.137%.

“This is kind of our first technical qualifying event for Tokyo. He felt amazing today,” Hart said of the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes) owned by Rowan O’Riley. “We had created a plan leading up to this event on how we wanted everything to go, and so far the plan has worked accordingly and we’ve been able to do everything that we wanted to.”

While she’s “actively campaigning for Tokyo,” Hart explained, for now the plan is to continue their progress this weekend: “I just want to continue with the progress we have made. I hope he has very confident and encouraging rides moving forward so that we can build and bring in the dynamic and expressiveness that I know we can. We’ve got two more events in January in Wellington, and then a final observation event after that.”

Hart is no stranger to the venue, as just a year ago she made history as the first U.S. Para Dressage athlete to claim a medal at WEG, later securing a second medal in the team competition. “I love showing at Tryon,” Hart emphasized. “The arena we are competing in this weekend has special memories for me, as it’s where we received our medals from the Tryon 2018 World Equestrian Games last year, so it’s always nice to come here. It’s a great feeling and it has a nice vibe to it.”

CPEDI 3* Grade I Team competition saw the day’s high score as Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and Dolton, received a 74.881% to dominate the field. David Botana (USA) and Lord Locksley, the 2001 Trakehner stallion (Unkenruf x Lida x Enrico Caruso) owned by Margaret Stevens, scored a 73.274% to claim second, while Sydney Collier (USA) and All In One, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphin) owned by Going For Gold LLC, scored an even 71.000% to achieve third.

“Dolton is a seven-year-old; he’s just a little baby,” said Trunnell. “He felt really good today! I love showing here at Tryon! It is so pretty and I love the mountains. We hope to continue to have great rides and help build his confidence even more this weekend. We’re hoping to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

CPEDI 3* Para Dressage Team Grade V results saw Canada top the podium, with Lee Garrod (CAN) taking top honors on a score of 69.225% with Question, the 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Quaterback x Evita) owned by Lee Garrod. Cayla van der Walt (RSA) and Daturo II, her own 2006 Andalusian gelding (Merlito XI x Daturna x Pestillo), scored a 68.217% for second, while Cynthia Screnci (USA) and her own Eragon VF, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Don romantic x Ujinja), landed in third with a 63.101% score.

In CPEDI 3* Para Dressage Team Grade II competition, Beatrice De Lavalette (USA) claimed first on a score of 69.495% with Duna, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vivaldi x Nicola x Amethist) owned by Nicolas De Lavalette, while Jason Surnoski (CAN) rode Phoenix, a 1999 Westphalian gelding owned by Cynthia Nugent, to a score of 69.192% and second place. Alanna Flax-Clark (USA) and El Paso, her own 2004 Dutch Riding Pony gelding (Elegant x Karin x Carl), earned third with a total score of 67.778%.

CPEDI 3* Para Dressage Team Grade IV competition saw Kate Shoemaker (USA) present solo for a score of 73.083%, riding her own Solitaer 40, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro hit x Dynastie x De niro).

CPEDI 1* Para Novice Test A Grade IV saw Emma Jameson (USA) make her FEI debut aboard Cortesana La, a 2007 PRE mare owned by Misha Marshall, to score a 50.052%.

The Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship will be streamed live on USEF Network throughout the weekend. Click here to watch.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Kat Fuqua Outshines the Field in Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Finals

Kat Fuqua and Prestige.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 11, 2019 – The 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, drew to a close Sunday, with Kat Fuqua claiming the top honors in what is hailed as the capstone class of the week, the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Finals, to conclude her trip to the Kentucky Horse Park on a high note. Fuqua bested a field of nearly 200 riders aboard small, medium, and large ponies over two rounds of competition to emerge victorious with the ride on Prestige. The win marks Fuqua’s second of the week, after she piloted her own Prestige to the championship in the Large Regular Pony Hunters.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Maddie Tosh and Alexa Lignelli Victorious with Hunter Championships at 2019 USEF Pony Finals

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 10, 2019 – Action in the Walnut Ring concluded Saturday at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, with Maddie Tosh and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Bit of Love adding to their trophy collection as they were honored as the Grand Regular Pony Hunter champions, the most coveted title of the weekly hunter competition. The award marks the second grand championship of the week for both Tosh and Dr. Parker following Friday’s Grand Green Pony Hunter title with Baroness of Locheil. With only one class left to conclude the Medium Regular Pony Hunters, the Kentucky Horse Park welcomed 154 entries for the final and largest division of the week. Maintaining their day one lead, Alexa Lignelli and EMC Entourage continued to rally over fences to clinch the division championship ahead of the massive field.

Hallie Rush Races to 2019 Pony Jumper Championship Honors with Sky Miles

Saturday evening saw the pony jumpers return to the Alltech Arena for the third phase of individual competition during USEF Pony Finals. The top 13 riders returned for the finals, all vying for the championship title. Hallie Rush and Sky Miles proved to be the most consistent over the three days of competition, never incurring any faults to impressively finish on a score of zero to earn the title of the 2019 USEF Pony Jumper Individual Champion.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Tosh and Downey Ride to Championship Rosettes in Green Pony Hunters at USEF Pony Finals

Maddie Tosh and Baroness of Locheil.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 9, 2019 – Hunter ponies and their riders returned to the Walnut Ring for the second-to-last day of hunter competition Friday at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm. Two more champions were crowned following successful over fences performances, as Maddie Tosh and Baroness of Locheil hoisted the title in the Medium Green Pony Hunters and Tessa Downey and Sandcastle led the victory gallop as the best partnership in the Large Green Pony Hunters. Additionally, Tosh and Baroness of Locheil were awarded the Grand Green Pony Hunter title as the highest-scoring Green pair of all of the size groups.

Hat Trick for Zone 10 at USEF Pony Jumper Team Championship

Down the road from the action in the Walnut Ring, the pony jumpers took center stage in the Alltech Arena to compete for the USEF Pony Jumper Team Championship title. Young athletes and their ponies returned for the second and final round of team competition, and in the end Zone 10, comprised of team members Hannah Attar, Devi Ferreira, and Tabitha Okistsu, topped the podium to take home gold medal honors for the third year in a row.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love Reprise Championship Title at 2019 USEF Pony Finals

Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 8, 2019 – It was déjà vu for Maddie Tosh and Bit of Love at the 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, on Thursday as the talented partnership defended their title in the Small Regular Pony Hunters ahead of a large field of challengers. The 2018 victors once again proved why they belong at the top of the scorecard, riding to the highest score over fences and in the cumulative standings to emerge victorious for the second time. Tosh had double the reasons to celebrate Thursday as she also led teammate Baroness of Locheil to the initial lead in the Medium Green Pony Hunters with two phases of competition completed. In the Large Green Pony Hunters, Tessa Downey and Sandcastle lead the way prior to the final over fences round to determine the division champion.

Returning as the day one leaders and reigning champions, Tosh and Bit of Love had a target on their backs as the pair to beat in the Small Regular Pony Hunters, which featured 127 entries. The 13-year-old Tosh and Dr. Betsee Parker’s 13-year-old Welsh Pony Cross, Bit of Love, concluded the first two phases of the divisional contest ahead of the closest duo by a slim margin of only six points, meaning they still needed to demonstrate a textbook trip over the course to top the pack and secure overall victory. Not giving in to the pressure, the skilled combination performed perfectly as the final contenders to ride, earning scores of 87.50, 89 and 89 for total over fences marks of 265.5, pushing them to the top of the jumping leaderboard and a composite score of 1,063 to clinch the championship for the second year.

Tosh and Bit of Love are no strangers to USEF Pony Finals, both having competed at the event multiple times. With three appearances under her belt, Tosh has already accrued two major divisional victories two years in a row, adding to her growing list of accolades that includes wins in the Children’s Hunters, Junior Hunters, and equitation. Coming from an equestrian family, Tosh is trained by her father, acclaimed rider and trainer Hunt Tosh, out of Alpharetta, Georgia, and has been riding “Chester” for three years.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Samantha Takacs and Annabelle Brown Start Strong at 2019 USEF Pony Finals

Samantha Takacs and Brighton.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 6, 2019 – Hundreds of ponies descended upon the Kentucky Horse Park once again for the first day of competition during the annual installment of the 2019 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, to mark the event’s 52nd year. The most celebrated event of its kind for pony riders in the United States, the USEF Pony Finals is a three-phase competition judging the pony’s conformation, way of moving, and jumping ability. With blue ribbons in both the model and under saddle phases, Samantha Takacs and Brighton emerged as the early frontrunners ahead of a pack of nearly 150 pairs in the Large Regular Pony Hunters, while Annabelle Brown and Sunshine Kid topped the leaderboard in the Small Green Pony Hunters.

Hailing from Oldwick, New Jersey, Takacs is no stranger to the winner’s circle or the pressure of leading a division head into the over fences portion of competition. In 2018, the now-14-year-old rider modeled and hacked Galianna to the day one lead in the Medium Green Pony Hunters, eventually securing the overall championship following an exemplary over fences performance. Similarly, Ellie Sadrian’s Brighton is a returning champion, boasting two major accolades from the 2018 event. With the highest cumulative score of the six divisions, Brighton reigned supreme with rider Kat Fuqua to capture the Grand Regular Pony Hunter championship title, along with the rosette in the Large Regular Pony Hunters. The partnership will jump last Wednesday as the current leaders with 544.27 total points, comprised of their scores of 266 in the model and 278.27 in the under saddle.

In the Small Green Pony Hunters, Brown nabbed the top spot on the overall scorecard with Sunshine Kid, owned by Alina Glover. Earning 258.55 points in the model, the duo was awarded second place out of a pack of 44 challengers and later returned to the Walnut Ring to with a score of 248.25 and fourteenth place in the under saddle. Sitting on a cumulative tally of 506.80 points, Brown and Sunshine Kid lead the division by just one point ahead of a hotly-contested field and will aim to retain their momentum during Wednesday’s third phase of competition.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Abigail McArdle Victorious in $50k USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship with Victorio 5

Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – December 3, 2018 – Abigail McArdle (Barrington, IL) maintained her lead to take the title after a double-clear performance in the final day of the USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), piloting Victorio 5, a 2006 Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graefin) owned by Victorio Equine Group LLC, to the top and besting a field of 15. North Salem, NY native Mattias Tromp had one rail down in the first round of Finals competition but countered with a fault-free score of 70.73 seconds in round two with Eyecatcher, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Ninewood) owned by Beyaert Farm Inc., to improve his rank by one and claim reserve honors on the week. Samantha Cohen of New York, NY entered round two on just two penalties with her own Carmen, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare (Whitesnake x Wanado), and finished the day on a four-fault score of 74.05 seconds to be recognized with third place. The $25,000 USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship Class 3 welcomed back the top twelve pairs for the second round in order to discern the day’s winners, influencing the weeklong results as well.

The course design by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) “asked all the questions,” said McArdle, who has finished on the podium twice prior at the USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship. “This is actually my third year competing. Every year I’ve had a great horse and it felt like it was just my time. I was ready to win it. I have a lot of belief in this horse right now and I sort of walked into this week knowing I was going to win,” she recalled.

“It’s not at all like a normal show, where you jump a few classes or do your round and then get ready for the grand prix,” McArdle said of the multi-day format. “It asks different questions of your horse. If they’re tired because they’ve jumped a lot of rounds, it’s hard for them to jump that many clean rounds. You also had to go fast – it’s a lot.”

Runner-up Tromp touched on the importance of the U25 division for up-and-coming riders like himself, saying, “I think this division gives the opportunity for younger riders to compete in a championship format that I think will be very important later on in our careers. I think it’s also a great place for us to develop as riders, and also some younger grand prix horses also fit very nicely into this division.

“I think the hardest part is the first day because it’s faults-converted,” Tromp elaborated. “And although the format is done that way so that a good rider can still be in it if they have a rail down, the reality is there are very fast riders involved. I think going into several days of competition it can undo a horse very quickly, so I think as riders we have to be conscious of our horses – yes, we have to ride fast because it’s a faults-converted format, but we can’t undo the horses, either, so that they’re rushing at fences the rest of the week.”

Cohen agreed, “After the first day with Carmen, I had to do a lot of work on the flat before Friday’s class to kind of reel her back in, because I really made her go the first day and she was at the end of stride. I think remaining consistent is definitely a challenge through all of the rounds – it’s really not over until you’ve jumped the last jump.”

But for Cohen, the week’s youngest competitor, the pressure of a national championship was not a hindrance, and might have pushed her to perform at a higher level, she revealed. “Being on Carmen, the pressure doesn’t really get to me as much because I’m so confident on her, and she really never puts a foot wrong in the ring. This summer I’ve gotten to jump a lot of big classes with her and in a couple of pressure situations, and she’s really helped me out. Sometimes pressure helps me ride better, and I just try to block everything out and just focus on myself and my horse. When I’m on a horse like her, the pressure never seems too bad,” she concluded.

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

Fuqua and Brighton Power to New Heights

Kat Fuqua and Brighton (Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillan)

Lexington, Kentucky (August 31, 2018) – A new gold standard set by a golden pony and his rider: the 2018 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm saw the birth of a new superstar partnership and a new era in Pony Hunter competition. Kat Fuqua and Brighton were a world apart: sweeping their division and leading the field by over 30 points was the beginning; being crowned Overall Grand Pony Hunter Champion for the entire Finals was the bridge. And to clinch their extraordinary effort, having just turned 11 years old, Fuqua may be the youngest and highest scoring USEF Pony Finals Champion in the event’s history.

Fuqua, who came to have the ride on Brighton just a few months ago, went into the USEF Pony Finals aboard the flaxen maned pony with an undefeated record. They were to quickly prove their mettle by sweeping all three classes, a rare achievement, and garnering an impressive 1063.65 points, the highest cumulative score for a USEF Pony Finals competitor. With over 30 points differentiation between Champion and Reserve, Fuqua galloped to Overall Grand Pony Hunter Champion and is one of the youngest, if not the youngest ever, Grand Pony Finals Champions. Her trainer, Michael Newman, was awarded the Emerson Burr Perpetual Trophy, which recognizes the trainer of the Overall Champion at USEF Pony Finals and their contribution to the advancement of youth riders.

“Michael doesn’t put a lot of pressure on me, and even when I’m nervous before a big show like USEF Pony Finals he always finds a way to make me laugh before I go in the arena,” said Fuqua. “It teaches me the importance of being relaxed in the saddle. Brighton is such an easy, happy pony; I think that is what has made us click so well even though I haven’t known him that long.” Channeling this happy attitude instilled by her trainer, Kat’s team, including her mom and a few friends, decided to have a dance off to Earth, Wind, and Fire’s classic “Let’s Groove,” while waiting for her ride. Despite some level of embarrassment, Kat admits that the positive, relaxed atmosphere has contributed to her high scores in the show ring.

With Brighton taking the blue in the 10 & Under Large Pony Hunter, the Owner/Rider Large Pony Hunter, the Large Pony Hunter Championship out of a field of 147 Large ponies, and Grand Pony Champion out of 417 ponies of all sizes, it would be fair to assume that Fuqua’s other ponies may have fallen by the wayside. That was not the case, however, as she piloted her medium gray pony mare, Sasha Fierce, to Reserve Champion Overall in the 10 & Under Medium Green Pony Hunter, 12th in the Model Medium Green Pony Hunter, and 17th Overall in the Medium Green Pony Hunter out of 72 entries. Her Medium pony, Finesse RF, a.k.a. Ladybug, was also well placed: 6th overall in the 10 & Under Medium Pony Hunter, 7th in the Under Saddle Medium Pony Hunter, and 25th in the Overall Medium Pony Hunter out of a field of 167.

Because the USEF Pony Finals restricts riders to only one pony per division, Fuqua passed the ride on her other large pony, Chic in Time, aka Spicey, to her friend and another prominent champion equestrian Caroline Passarelli. Spicey and Passarelli were 2nd in the Under Saddle Large Pony Hunter, 15th in the Model Large Pony Hunter, and 3rd in the Large Pony Hunter Combined Model & Under Saddle.

With the whirlwind of USEF Pony Finals behind her, Fuqua then stepped into the irons of her Junior Hunter, RS Levitation, a.k.a. Jett, to take home the Division Championship at the 2018 Atlanta Summerfest III, held August 16-19, 2018. The Junior Hunter division has been a natural next step for Fuqua as she expands her horizons beyond just ponies, and she states that her success in the show ring comes from the support of her family as well as the advice guidance of trainer Michael Newman.

She and Jett also placed 3rd in the country during July’s USEF National Junior Hunter Championships before setting her sights on USEF Pony Finals and the Atlanta Summerfest. Fuqua’s next outing will be September’s Brownland Fall Horse Show Series in preparation for indoors at Harrisburg and Washington Championship Shows in October.

Fuqua’s USHJA Zone 4 rankings, also as of August 27, 2018, currently sees Finesse RF as the #1 Medium Hunter Pony, Chic in Time as the #1 Large Hunter Pony, RS Levitation as the #1 Junior Hunter Small 15 & Under, and her other Junior Hunter mount, Calvaro, as the #3 Junior Hunter Small 15 & Under.

For more information on Kat Fuqua, visit her website at www.KatFuqua.com.

Media contact:
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Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
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holly@equinium.com
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