Category Archives: USHJA

Erica Quinn Captures First Career International Hunter Derby Win with Need I Say at TIEC

Erica Quinn and Need I Say. Photos ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 in $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*

Mill Spring, NC – June 10, 2016 – Erica Quinn of Mainesville, OH and Need I Say captured their first career derby win together, topping the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Mirimichi Green at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Quinn and Need I Say received a final two round score of 369 to take the win. Kelley Farmer of Wellington, FL guided Point Being and Baltimore to second and third place, respectively, earning total scores of 368 and 359 from the judging panel. Competition at TIEC continues Saturday with the highly anticipated $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* for the Governor’s Cup beginning at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with free admission and free parking for all attendees.

Quinn, who recently took over the ride on the 2008 Warmblood gelding owned by Kelley Farmer, was elated with the performance of Need I Say under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena. The pair completed an effortless and athletic handy round, which ultimately pushed them to the top of the leaderboard. Andy Christison built the course, which showcased a number of airy oxers and difficult combinations, proving to be a tough test for riders throughout the evening.

“He’s just an amazing animal. I can’t say enough nice things about that horse. In the first round, I bobbled going into the two stride, which I was mad at myself for, but then I came back in the second round and was confident. He’s just such a good handy horse. I feel like I can do anything on him,” she explained.

Need I Say has an attitude and athleticism that allows him to excel in the handy round, which is one of his most notable strengths. The pair received 10 handy points from each of the judging panels to boost their score after performing an effortless, but bold second round.

“When I turn, it doesn’t matter if it’s one stride or three strides, he’s always going to leave the ground. He gives you such a nice feeling over the fences,” she added. “I’m new to doing the derbies and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I also think that I just need to keep doing them and get used to the atmosphere.”

Originally, Friday’s class was not on Quinn’s planned competition schedule, as she had arranged to stay in Kentucky, but at the last minute decided to bring Need I Say with the other group of horses traveling to the TIEC venue with Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke.

“Kelley told me to come down here to do the $50,000 instead of staying in Kentucky and now I’m sure glad I did,” she smiled. “It really worked out for us and I can’t say enough nice things about Larry and Kelley. This is an amazing opportunity for me and I couldn’t thank them enough.”

Farmer had the initial ride on the gelding after he arrived stateside and collected two derby wins right off the bat in Pensacola, FL, establishing Need I Say as a strong derby contender. Quinn took over the ride this spring, and has been competing the gelding since, learning from Farmer and her winning ways.

“Kelley has quite a few horses in her derby string and was nice enough to let me ride this horse. He finished very well here a few weeks ago too. This is our second derby together and the other was a few weeks ago here where we finished in third,” explained Quinn. “I’m just so thankful that she gave me the ride.”

Quinn has worked at Lane Change Farm with Glefke and Farmer for nearly two years and focuses on many of the Pre-Green horses in the barn, but is beginning to turn more of her attention to Need I Say.

“Erica has worked with us for a while and has done a very good job. She’s worked for this chance and she’s definitely paid her dues. Everyone needs a chance and she’s earned this,” said Farmer. “I have plenty of horses in my string and I wanted her to have a horse that had no tricks and that was capable of competing with mine. In the handy rounds, when we tell her, you know, you have to go inside, she has a horse that can do it.”

Farmer found Need I Say on a trip to Europe and his talent and scope drove her to cancel an original flight home and travel across Germany to try the horse for herself. She explained, “One of our agents over there showed him to me and I bought him on the same trip that I bought It’s Me. It turned out to be very worthwhile,” she laughed.

“He had done quite a bit in Europe and had won as a young horse. He was cut late and I got on him not too long after he was gelded. I watched him jump some pretty big courses and when I sat on him I thought that there is no way they can build anything on a Saturday night at Derby Finals that will phase this horse.”

“There is no horse that can do things like he does in the handy. It’s really unbelievable. He is the most beautiful and rideable horse. Anywhere you put him he’s going to go. I knew that he would walk into any derby ring and win,” she added.

Farmer also commented on her second and third place rides, noting that both horses performed well, while Baltimore’s third place finish makes him the fastest earning hunter to reach $100,000 in prize money.

“Baltimore was a really good boy and I made a little bit of a mistake, which pushed down our score and it was my fault, but Point Being was great. He still can get a little bit green, especially at night,” she elaborated. “He wants to try so hard and he’s such a careful horse. He’s an overachiever and he gets a little overwhelmed at night, but that’s just him and that’s what I love. He just has an intensity that you don’t typically feel and is what makes him so special.”

Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 to Secure a Win in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*

Karl Cook (USA) quickly crossed through the timers to secure victory in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5* aboard Caillou 24 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Cook rose to the top of the leaderboard with an efficient time of 65.10 seconds to secure the win. Richie Moloney (IRL) trailed closely behind with a time of 65.80 seconds with his mount Slieveanorra, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 rounded out the top three with a time of 67.31 seconds.

Karl Cook and Caillou 24
Karl Cook and Caillou 24

Cook and Caillou 24 tackled Alan Wade’s (IRL) track with a smooth and quick effort, as the pair used the opportunity to gain valuable experience at the 1.45m height. Wade has built competitive and educational courses throughout the week and Cook noted that the design was very suitable for the strengths of his horse.

He elaborated, “The way Alan [Wade] set the course made for the riders to take exciting turns instead of having to protect the front rails. It allowed us to flow down the lines and it was very nice to ride.”

Caillou 24 is a talented and young mount for Cook, as the pair has just started to regularly compete at the FEI level together. Caillou 24, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Corrado I), previously campaigned to the FEI CSI 3* level in Europe before Cook took over the ride early in 2014. Taking his time training the gelding at home, the pair have built confidence and a stronger relationship over the past year. After concluding a successful winter campaign, Cook felt it was time to gain more experience in a major FEI competition atmosphere.

“We have been protecting him a little bit and trying to teach him how to jump the way we want. But, at the same time, they also need to learn how to go fast and the only way to do that is by competing,” he explained. “He’s very good because he turns extraordinarily tight yet has a huge stride to leave out in a lot of the lines too. Normally you never get those two together in a single horse, so it’s a great feeling to have in the ring.”

Cook is based year-round out of Woodside, CA and spoke about what motivated his team to travel to TIEC for the venue’s first ever FEI CSI 5* week. Eric Navet (FRA), who Cook trains with year-round, also made the trip east with several horses.

“I had heard rumors about the place and wanted to see it for myself. My first impression of the venue was just wow, to be honest,” said Cook. “It has taken an incredible and obvious amount of foresight and investment to bring this facility to where it is. The thing is, this area is closer than people on the back home would think. You’re only five hours from Kentucky and it’s in a really great location for travel.”

“You also have to acknowledge the huge amount of prize money available at this venue. It is modern jumping. You are jumping on consistently good footing and the jumps are great,” he added. “Everything is really convenient for everyone and that’s what is important. It’s not just rings and barns; it’s so much more. Nothing about this venue is bad for our sport; it’s only going to do great things for it.”

Cook and his team will head back to California once the week concludes on Sunday, but will make arrangements to return to the venue in 2017 for next season’s competitive spring series. Once his string is back and settled, the team will look to finish a very strong summer and fall season, which will include several FEI World Cup Qualifiers, which will now be hosted on the West Coast.

“We are going to head home and work with the horses because you can’t really train them at the show the best you would like to.” Cook commented. “We might come back to do Central Park and possibly loop that in with the Million in Saugerties. I felt like we needed to come out here and feel it out. We will be back for the Spring Series here next season for sure,” he added.

For more information on the events and activities at TIEC, please visit

Taylor Land and Nepal Earn First Place Finish in $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix

Taylor Land and Nepal. Photos: ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Hunter Holloway and Entourage Take Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Mill Spring, NC – June 3, 2016 – Taylor Land of Atlanta, GA and Nepal collected a first place finish in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), completing the jump-off in 40.795 seconds for the win. Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL finished in second place aboard Quintus Fabius, crossing through the timers in 41.623 seconds, while Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, NM and Cezarro earned third with a time of 42.012 seconds. Competition at Tryon Spring 7 continues Saturday with the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the class is set to start at 8:00 p.m.

Land and Nepal, a 2002 Argentine gelding (G.S. Raimundo x Rye Grass Finest RP H-31) owned by Jay Land, went early in the order, entering the ring as the third pair to test the track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). Land and Nepal led with a clean effort on the first round track, moving them forward to the jump-off round. Brittni Raflowitz, of Palm City, FL and Baloumina Du Ry, followed after Land, also securing a place in the jump-off and ultimately finishing in fourth.

“He’s fourteen and we’ve had him for nine years now. He’s like a family heirloom,” laughed Land. “He’s been passed around between me, my sister, and my dad, and he’s just been a great horse for us all around.”

The duo rode a crisp first round, which demanded technical attention and skill, as it included several tight turns and two forward combinations. According to Land, Nepal has made great strides since her family bought him as a young horse, and he has steadily made his way through the ranks with several members of the Land family.

“We started him when he was five and he hadn’t jumped any bigger than 1.20m at the time. I’ve done so much with him and he’s been such a great horse for me,” explained Land. “We’ve done NAJYRC and Spruce Meadows together and really anything we ask of him he’ll always do.”

This is the duo’s top finish to date at TIEC this season and Land was pleased with their rides in both rounds, noting that the gelding felt fresh and mentally prepared for the class even before they entered the ring.

“This is our first class this week, but we’ve been here for three weeks so he felt like he was ready to go,” she noted. “My plan was to try and be smooth and clear in the first round and I think we accomplished that.”

Land went first in the jump-off round and attacked the course with a forward and bold round in an effort to seal the win, knowing that only three riders followed her in the order. She explained, “Since I had to go first in the jump-off I knew there weren’t so many people behind me and I decided to go fast and really go for it. It was either going to be first or fourth for us, but it worked in our favor today.”

The duo will stay and compete next week at TIEC, before taking a small break ahead of the summer season. Land explained, “We’ll be here next week for the CSI 5* and then I think head home for a bit of a rest. I love showing here though because the atmosphere is just incredible. The bigger classes on Saturday always have a great crowd and I love the feel of the ring. It just feels really intense all of the time.”

Hunter Holloway and Entourage Take Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS continued her momentum from Tryon Spring 6 into this week’s competition, capturing top honors in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby hosted at TIEC aboard Entourage, owned by Hays Investment Corp., with a total score of 173. Blythe Marano of Franklin, TN and Fondant, owned by Virginia Ingram, finished in second with a total score of 172.5, while Daniel Bedoya of Magnolia, TX and Playbook, owned by Monica Hanks, collected third place, receiving a 170.5.

Hunter Holloway and Entourage
Hunter Holloway and Entourage

Holloway and Entourage received a score of 82 in the first round from the judges, before returning in the handy round to receive an impressive 91. Marano and Fondant sat atop the leaderboard after the first round, earning an 88 from the judges, but a score of 84.5 in the handy would ultimately drop them to second place.

“He’s seven and we got him a year ago. He moved up to the Junior Hunters towards the end of the season in Ocala and has been really awesome ever since. He just keeps stepping up,” commented Holloway. “He scored a 90 last week and a 91 today so I’m feeling pretty good about how he’s going right now.”

Holloway rode the handy round beautifully, piloting Entourage to a smooth and accurate round, showcasing his athleticism and attentiveness. She entered the round with a plan to take advantage of the numerous inside turns on course, which helped her to secure the win.

“There were a lot of inside turns that were options and I felt like I had ground to make up from the first round so I decided to go for them,” she said. “I wanted to take the chance and really go for it. He handled it very well. He was up for the task all the way around and I was really impressed.”

Entourage began his derby career this past spring with Holloway guiding from the irons and he’s displayed a sense of consistency and bravery that has impressed everyone at Equi-Venture Farm.

“He’s very easy and is a really straight forward horse. We’re hoping for a good summer season and success at indoors in the fall,” she smiled.

Competition at TIEC continues Saturday with the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Gates open to the public at 6:00 p.m. and competition begins at 8:00 p.m. Parking and general admission are free! For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of weekly results, please visit

Kevin Babington and Mark Q Win $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon

Kevin Babington and Mark Q. Photo By: The Book, LLC.

Devon, Pa. – June 2, 2016 – The luck belonged to the Irish during the 2016 $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*. Kevin Babington and Mark Q repeated their 2011 victory in the Dixon Oval, beating Danielle Torano and McLain Ward in a three-horse jump-off for the lion’s share of the prize money.

A crowd of 9,000 spectators turned out for the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair’s highlight event, watching as the best in the country competed over the technical CSI4* course built by Kelvin Bywater. Only three were able to master the first round, and it was Babington and Mark Q that were the pathfinders. Returning at the top of the tiebreaker, they once again left all the rails intact to set the pace to beat at 38.43 seconds.

“I thought to myself, whatever I do McLain is going to figure out a better plan anyway,” joked Babington. “The leave-out to the double was risky for me, but I knew I could be fast across the ring. At that stage I thought had already sort of lost it, but it’s always nice to win a class!”

The second to return was Danielle Torano aboard Callas III. With a slightly more conservative path on the young 9-year-old mount, the amateur rider and mother of two cleared the track in 39.49 seconds to take over second place behind Babington. At the end of the night, Torano was honored with the Richard E. McDevitt Style Award for the rider who exemplified the best style of riding.

“Callas III is a chestnut mare, so that should tell you a little bit,” laughed Torano. “She was pretty up in the schooling area before the first round, which rattled me for a minute. I decided there was nothing I could do, so I just went with it. To come in the ring and look at all the people – she’s never seen anything like that. As I went to the first jump she felt super focused, and she was amazing in the first round. I messed up a little bit in the jump-off, but she’s super careful.”

The crowd roared when the final rider of the night entered the Dixon Oval. Olympian McLain Ward on his Pan American Gold medalist-mount, Rothchild, seemed like a sure bet. Coming off a streak of eight international victories, Ward seemed unstoppable. And he was. Until the last fence.

As the crowd let out a yell at the penultimate vertical, Rothchild lost his focus on the homestretch to the final oxer and ducked out at the fence, much to the shock of all who watched. The error left Ward to pick up the third place prize while Babington led the lap of honor.

“What makes Rothchild great is that he’s sensitive, he’s sharp; he’s a little fireball,” explained Ward. “The place erupted and I think that rattled him slightly, but that’s brilliant. That’s what we need in the sport. I wouldn’t want it any different. I need to deal with it better; he needs to deal with it better. That’s what makes this place so special.”

Winning an international event five years later with the same mount takes a special horse, and for Babington, Mark Q is his favorite mount of all time.

“Carling King made me and is the horse of a lifetime,” said Babington. “Mark Q is my favorite horse that I’ve ever had. He’s stepped up to the plate so often, and he’s kept me in the sport and kept me jumping big classes, even when he shouldn’t have. I’d enter him in the HITS Million class, and he’d jump around and maybe pull one down, but on the day you can put him anywhere, indoors, outdoors. He’s not a superstar but he gives it 100 percent. Now, at 14, he’s jumping better than he has ever jumped.”

Babington added, “He just feels more elastic in his body for some reason. He’s more focused. He was a very difficult horse at the beginning; a very quirky horse. He’s still erratic and it’s still very hard to get his lead changes in the ring. But he’s trying to be careful. I don’t have to protect him as much as I used. He’s just in a happy place at the moment.”

With the addition of an international ranking through the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the Devon Horse Show has continued to try and improve the standards at the world-class event.

“I’ve always been a great fan of Devon,” noted Ward. “The team here has made it first class. I think becoming FEI 4*, increasing the prize money; I hope it continues to grow. I don’t think this group here will rest on their laurels. I think the goal will be to go to 5* and have even more money. I think the people will come. I think the riders will start to come.”

The Devon Horse Show is a special event for everyone involved, and consistently draws one of the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds in the world. “Devon is very special to me because I live 30 minutes from here,” noted Babington. “All the students are here tonight, people I helped 20 years ago are here tonight, so it’s definitely very special. It’s a fantastic venue and the footing is fantastic. Where else can you have such a crowd behind you than Devon? I tell all the other riders around: if you haven’t been to Devon it’s a show you have to come to!”

Show Manager Peter Doubleday concluded, “We basically tried to do everything that the riders had requested. We doubled the prize money. We went FEI. We truly believe that it’ll be a work in progress. I know with our group we can be very patient. We want to continue our FEI affiliation and to make it even bigger and better. This event to me and all these other riders will tell you that this is truly, truly the best show jumping audience in North America. We have a great product here and we’re heading in the right direction.”

Liza Boyd Wins the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Thursday was derby day at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and in true derby queen fashion, Liza Boyd bested the field of 24 to take home the blue ribbon aboard Like I Said in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, which was sponsored by the Wheeler Family in memory of the late Russell Frey.

In the first round, Nick Haness set the score to beat on Countdown, taking all four high options to finish with a score of 191. After the first round, Louise Serio was sitting pretty in second place aboard El Primero with a score of 187, which included the four bonus points for taking the high options.

Going into the handy round, Sandy Ferrell waited in third place on Meredith Lipke’s Fifty Shades with a score of 183, including an added four points for jumping the high options. Boyd sat in fourth aboard Billie Steffee’s Maggie May with a score of 181, also including an added four points for riding the high options.

Liza Boyd and Like I Said
Liza Boyd and Like I Said

Boyd and Pony Lane Farms’ Like I Said entered the handy hanging back in fifth place with a score of 178.5, which included four points for choosing the high options.

As the handy round began, it was clear that the Alan Lohman-designed course would dash the derby dreams of multiple riders, including Serio and El Primero’s, who were one of two entries to refuse the trot jump.

As Boyd returned on Like I Said, however, her tidy turns and forward ride caught the attention of the judges, earning her a whopping score of 213, including the added 9.5 points for handiness and four for choosing the high options. Much to father Jack Towell’s excitement, Boyd exited the ring and waited for the class to finish with a total score of 391.5.

“For me, I always like to be the underdog,” Boyd said. “I don’t mind going back a little low. These derbies are my passion. I absolutely love these, and I love the handy rounds. I love the excitement of it. Like I Said is a great mare. A good mare has a lot of desire, and that mare just dug deep and tried really hard for me. I just try to stay out of her way and just go forward. She’s a little bit like an old fashion hunter. I think she has a little bit more of a Thoroughbred-type of way of going.”

The 8-year-old Like I Said, one of only two mares in the class, actually began her career as a jumper under the tutelage of Kent Farrington. Boyd added that she thinks the mare’s strong base on the flat contributes greatly to her ability as a derby horse.

“Larry and Kelley did an amazing job producing her into a hunter in Florida this year,” Boyd commented. “For these derbies, you really have to do your homework and flat them. I think that’s what makes it exciting, at least for me. When I go home, I know what to work on. I do a lot of dressage lessons and flat work with the derby horses. You’re always trying to strive to improve yourself and your horse, and that’s fun for us as riders.”

Ferrell and Fifty Shades delivered a smooth ride as well, choosing to take three of the high options and impressing the judges to earn the duo and extra seven points for handiness for a final score of 379.

“He and I get along pretty well,” Ferrell said. “No one is quite sure how I stay on him because he jumps so high, but I just think it’s so much fun. I don’t even think about it. He gets a little too excited after the big jumps sometimes and loses a little focus, so that’s what I took into account when choosing to jump the low option at the first jump, because I had to turn tight. I took the safety route, which I lost some points on. I kept missing all week in the High Performance, and we put it together today, so that was really nice.”

Haness was the last entry to return aboard Countdown, and the pair laid down a nearly perfect trip as the crowd waited with baited breath. However, a heartbreaking knockdown at the last fence dashed the young professional’s hopes for the derby win.

Boyd and Like I Said’s high score of 391.5 would hold out for the top spot, leaving Ferrell and Fifty Shades in second with 379 points. Third place ended up going to Sloane Coles, who piloted Autumn Rhythm to a final score of 353.

“Today, I am second to the derby queen,” Ferrell laughed. “It’s like winning to me. It’s an honor to me. She is much more veteran at this than I am. She is one of my heroes. Getting beat by a good horse and a good rider is really ok. There is a lot of camaraderie out there. You have to have fun doing this.”

As the equestrian community grieves the loss of Russell Frey, Boyd added that the class being held in his memory made it very special for all of the riders.

“I think that Sandy [Ferrell] would say, as well, that this class being in memory of Russell [Frey] was special for everyone,” Boyd said. “I think he would’ve given us a run for our money today. We might be second and third right now. I think he would be happy.”

Ferrell added that showing at Devon this year has been such a pleasure and said, “I don’t come every year, but I thought that this year the horses as a whole jumped so beautifully and performed so well in all the classes.

“You had to win to win. I have never seen that many 90s in one horse show. You had two very veteran horsemen in there judging. It wasn’t people just throwing big numbers. They believed in what they saw. The horses, one after another, just kept coming in and being nicer and nicer. Kudos to the footing, the weather, the jumps and everyone behind the scenes.”

Amanda Murchison Wins the Robin Hill Challenge Trophy

Amanda Murchison has been waiting for the opportunity to compete at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair for nearly 30 years. On Thursday, she not only competed in the Dixon Oval, but she rode away with the Robin Hill Challenge Trophy and Devon blue ribbon in the Adult Three-Gaited English Show Pleasure class.

“It’s a dream come true to show in a place so historic, where so many amazing trainers have shown and so many horses have been exhibited,” Murchison said. “It’s such an honor.”

Murchison and her mount CH Spread the Word have been working together for about two years. In that time, the duo has claimed some of the highest honors in the discipline. Together, they’ve won the United Professional Horsemen’s Association American Saddlebred Adult Amateur Show Pleasure Horse of the Year and the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure.

“I count my blessings every time I get to go through the gate on his back,” Murchison said about her horse. “He was a driving horse when we bought him, and my trainers David and Kristen Cater, and his caretaker Louise are so amazing. He’s been a dream come true for me.”

Unlike Murchison, Sallie-Mason Wheeler is no stranger to the Devon show grounds. The 14-year-old has been competing in the historic show for six years. In the Five-Gaited Saddle Horse Junior Exhibitor class, Wheeler took her chances aboard Bodidly and won.

“It’s my third show with him, and I just wanted to have a nice and clean go,” Wheeler said about the class. “It worked. Next time, in the championship, I have to show against the adults. So, I have to dig in a little bit more, but this ride was nice and clean. This show has a great atmosphere. You get to watch multiple disciplines, and I love it.”

A Devon veteran, who had never experienced the winner’s circle before, won the Park Horse Open blue ribbon. Emily Van Duren rode to her first victory aboard a new mount, My Royale Prince.

“I’ve shown here about six times,” Van Duren said. “It’s my favorite horse show ever. It’s pretty incredible to win here. I’ve always wanted to, ever since I was 11. It’s my first time winning here.”

Thursday marked the second day of competition for American Saddlebreds, Hackney ponies and Friesians at the 2016 Devon Horse Show. Coaching continued as well, with John White notching another victory in the division driving his White Road Coach Excelsior.

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Vale Widens Hagyard Challenge Series Leads, Hesslink Tops Hallway Feeds Standings

Aaron Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck.

Lexington, Ky. – May 23, 2016 – Aaron Vale has widened his early lead in the 2016 Hagyard Challenge Series by claiming the second place prize for the second week in a row during Thursday’s $34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*. Vale, who has been competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows for 28 years, piloted Quidam’s Good Luck to a double-clear round, finishing just shy of the winner, Todd Minikus and Quality Girl. The Kentucky Spring Classic also featured the second event for the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series, where Geoffrey Hesslink earned the second place prize to further his lead in the standings.

During the first event of the Hagyard Challenge Series Vale placed second and third to claim the early lead. Pablo Barrios of Venezuela continues to hold the second place position in the standings after claiming the victory in the first leg of the Series aboard ASD Farfala. Todd Minikus and Quality Girl are just 30 points behind Barrios after winning Thursday’s highlight event.

The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.

The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse.

The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology.

For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit

Several generous sponsors have helped m

Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco
Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco

ake this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include title sponsor MWI Animal Health and presenting sponsor Zoetis as well as Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, Pike & Preston, Sallee Horse Vans and Hagyard Pharmacy. Additional sponsors include Equine Therapy and FooteWorks.

The Kentucky Spring Classic also featured the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the second event in the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. Hesslink took home the second place honors with Esco, which was combined with his first and third place ribbons during the first week to take over the lead in the standings. Aaron Vale earned the victory during the Kentucky Spring Classic with Madewell to move into the second place position, while Hunter Holloway rounds out the top three and is the leading junior competitor.

The five-part series will feature a $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby throughout the spring and summer, and at the conclusion of the series the Leading Rider Bonus will be presented.  The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus will award a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. The series-leading amateur and junior riders accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 21.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the formula for success.

For more information on Hallway Feeds, please visit

The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Fenwick Equestrian Products, EquiVision, Inc., Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Bauer Hay & Straw, Alfagreen Supreme, Trouw Nutrition, The Andersons, Mark Fischer Inc., Double S Liquid Feed Services, Inc., Agri-Business Insurance Services and Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series, please visit

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Three-Peat for Minikus and Quality Girl with $130k Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* Win

Todd Minikus and Quality Girl.

Aaron Vale Demonstrates Skills in Hunter Ring with $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Win

Lexington, Ky. – May 21, 2016 – The Kentucky Spring Classic’s main event, the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, was an unforgettable one as Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl pulled off their third FEI win for the week. The win was extra meaningful to Minikus as it honored his dear friend and horsewoman Mary Rena Murphy.

“I’ve been coming to the horse park since before it was cool to come to the horse park,” said Minikus. “Mary Rena was putting on the horse shows here and she used to give me a lot of grief. At the same time, she was very nice and helped me along quite a bit. She was an awesome lady and did a lot for the sport. It makes me very happy to win the grand prix with her name attached to it. Her entire family has been instrumental to the horse park and this whole facility for decades now.”

“Todd was one of my mom’s bad boys and she loved him,” said Renie Murphy, daughter of Mary Rena Murphy. “He’s been trying for 17 years since she died to win this grand prix so the family is really happy. It’s happy and sad, but we’re glad that Todd won it – for our family.”

Forty-one exhibitors went head-to-head over the challenging 14-fence first round course, designed by Olaf Petersen, where horses and riders were tested to their limits. Only three were able pass the test and jump clear to advance to the jump-off.

Minikus and Quality Girl, owned by the Quality Group, were nineteenth in the order-of-go and the first to jump clear.

“Tonight this was a proper course,” said Minikus. “You had the time tight and some of those lines were very sophisticated. The combination rode scopey, and I think it ended up being a great class for the crowd.”

Shane Sweetnam (IRL) piloted Chaqui Z, owned by Spy Coast Farm, to a faultless effort five rounds later to challenge Minikus in a jump-off.

“The course was jumping difficult, but I got to watch a few so I had a plan,” said Sweetnam. “I wasn’t sure if I’d be inside the time because there weren’t so many options, but he can turn very tight. He jumped really well. I thought he was a little fresh tonight, maybe fresher than normal, but he still jumped very well.

“Olaf did a great job,” continued Sweetnam. “Time definitely played a factor and then you had a few tricky options. The lines got very tight coming home. I think the course tripped up people everywhere, but it was definitely a difficult last line.”

It looked as if the two would go head-to-head for the top prize once again, after Sweetnam already placed second to Minikus in Thursday’s $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3* with Cyklon 1083, but Daniela Stransky (VEN) added herself to the good list as the last contenders in the first round aboard Stransky’s Mission Farms’ HH Donnatella.

“I just wanted to take it jump by jump,” said Stransky. “It’s my first big class on her; I really wanted to take it slow, jump by jump and just have a nice, cool head – no emotions. It really paid off – every single ounce of effort this whole weekend. I love that mare, and she loves me, thank God!”

Minikus and Quality Girl entered the ring once again as the first to tackle the jump-off course. They set the pace for Sweetnam and Stransky, producing another double-clear round, in 40.70 seconds.

Sweetnam and Chaqui Z tried their luck next but pulled an unfortunate rail to earn them a 4-fault jump-off finish in 43.92 seconds, which would garner them second place honors.

“Luckily, or unfortunately, I got to see Todd go so I knew I really had to go,” said Sweetnam. “I think I did one less up the first line and then the second line it made me very flat and then that flattened the plank. I could maybe try all day to beat Todd’s time because that mare is very, very fast and he did everything right. He did a great job.”

“I was nineteenth in the original order and no one had gone clear,” said Minikus. “It rode tricky and, between her and me, we’re not short of experience. She went great and Shane is a very fast rider so I really thought I needed to go in the first part of that jump-off and put enough pressure on Shane. He tried to do the leave-out and got his horse undone just a little bit and had the plank down so it worked out for us.”

It was all up to Stransky to catch Minikus. However, the new pair could not match the seasoned partnership of Minikus and Quality Girl. They finished with a 4-fault effort in 44.66 seconds, claiming a very respectable third place.

“She’s a very new horse for me,” said Stransky. “I’ve had her for less than a year. This is my third grand prix on her ever – in my life, actually. I could not have been happier. I actually went against my favorite rider Todd Minikus, which is kind of funny, and I don’t like him anymore because he beat me. I’m beyond happy and – just wow!”

After winning both the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3* and the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, Minikus and Quality Girl wrap up a phenomenal Kentucky Spring Classic with their third win in a row.

“My mare was awesome this week,” said Minikus. “I was in Europe for the past couple of weeks and I haven’t really ridden her since the Ocala million. For a couple of months, I really didn’t ride her. I’ve got to thank my wife, Amanda, who was very diligent at home working her and giving her a couple of schools before we came here to the horse show.”

Next week Minikus heads back to Europe, where he will represent the U.S. next at CSIO5* St. Gallen in Switzerland along with teammates Lucy Davis, Margie Engle, Lauren Hough and Reed Kessler as he continues to compete for a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team.

However, he will return to the U.S. in June to compete Quality Girl in the $380,000 Tryon Grand Prix CSI5*.

Aaron Vale Wins $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Hunter riders braved the rain Saturday in the Stonelea Ring to compete in the second leg of the $40,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series. Aaron Vale and Madewell were on top in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, followed by last week’s winner Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco in second place and Ally Marrinan and At Last rounding out the top three.

Aaron Vale and Madewell
Aaron Vale and Madewell

The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is part of the $40,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series, which is returning for the fifth year in a row at the Kentucky Horse Park. The five-part series awards a $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus presented at the conclusion of the series.

Vale took the lead in the first round on Madewell, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, with a score of 90, taking all four high options on the Bobby Murphy-designed course.

“Last week I only took three high options,” Vale explained. “One option was ridiculously high last week so I skipped that. This week all the options were doable. It was just a nice, smooth course in spite of the weather. He was really settled and a bit more relaxed than last week so I was able to ride him around pretty smoothly. It was good fun.”

Vale returned in the handy round, again taking all four high options, scoring an 87.5 and a cumulative score of 177.5.

“My handy round plan was to take the inside turns, jump the high options and try not to get too greedy where you make a mistake,” Vale said. “I have to watch that. I want to get aggressive – I want to go fast. You have to just keep your patience, make the turns, be smooth and not try to overdo it.”

The derby course challenged horses and riders today even on fences that, at first glance, seemed inviting.

“It was kind of a hard turn to the brush on the end,” Vale said. “That was kind of tricky in both rounds. Even the first round horses didn’t jump this option fence really well. You’d think they would because it’s all brush and solid, but for whatever reason a few of them jumped a bit out of shape. Just being patient to that jump and making sure you got a distance so the horse didn’t make a mistake was important.”

Geoffrey Hesslink won last week’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Rookie, and he was the series’ leader coming into this week’s class with Esco, an 8-year-old Rhinelander gelding. Hesslink posted a score of 81 in the first round, taking all four of the handy options.

“I went second in the order and it was raining so I was a little conservative in round one,” Hesslink said.

Hesslink and Esco returned in the handy round to earn the score of 89, taking all four handy options again.

“For the handy course I thought he was on it,” Hesslink said. “I thought he executed it perfectly, and he did everything I asked him. We ended up second, and he was really good today. The rain didn’t bother him at all; I think it bothered me more than him.”

Hesslink was enthusiastic about continuing to compete in the $40,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series throughout the rest of the summer.

“That’s one of my goals for this year,” Hesslink said. “It wasn’t one that I was thinking, but after last week and this week, it is. I think it’s a great class and they do a great job with it so I’m pretty sure I’m going to continue with it because we are going to be here for all of the summer shows.”

Vale echoed Hesslink’s sentiments.

“Anything that has a bonus is nice,” said Vale. “Now we have more reasons to try to put Kentucky Horse Shows on our summer schedule because the Hallway shows are going to be the same shows that have the Hagyard classes, and I’m doing well in both of them.”

The Kentucky Spring Classic, running through May 22, features a FEI CSI3* rating. The featured national classes will be the $50,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 22, in the Rolex Stadium.

EQSportsNet will be streaming live webcasts throughout the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Eternal Win $50k Commonwealth Grand Prix at Kentucky Spring

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Eternal.

Kelley Farmer Wins $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Lexington, Ky. – May 15, 2016 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show wrapped up on Sunday in the Rolex Stadium with the featured national classes: the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix followed by the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Eternal outpaced a 15-horse jump-off to grab the win in the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by Audi of Lexington, which also counted towards valuable points earned in the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List.

After consistently producing clear rounds all week, Vanderveen and Bull Run Jumpers’ Bull Run’s Eternal proved to be a force to be reckoned with after beating Aaron Vale and Carlo’s early jump-off lead of 42.001 seconds by three full seconds.

“It was so nice to finally get it all together,” said Vanderveen. “He’s actually the horse I’ve owned the longest. I’ve had him for three years so we really know each other quite well, and that really helped today in the jump-off because it was pretty fast.”

47 exhibitors navigated the Bernardo Costa Cabral-designed first round course, consisting of 13 obstacles, which challenged riders with a double and triple combination, a triple bar fence and multiple tight rollbacks in a time allowed of 81 seconds. The jump-off revealed a seven-fence serpentine with many large oxers that resulted in faults for five of the 15 second round challengers.

Vanderveen and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were third in the jump-off order-of-go and broke the beam in 39.091 seconds, which set the pace for the rest of the 12 horse and rider combinations that would prove to be unbeatable.

“My strategy was to basically start with a gallop and be able to hold it the whole way,” said Vanderveen. “There were a lot of hard left turns right at the beginning in the jump-off, and he’s really handy to the left, so I was able to not worry too much about making the turn because he’ll cut left fast anyways. So I tried to start before jump one with a really good gallop and never take away from him. He did quite well with that.”

It did not look like anyone would come close to Vanderveen’s time until five rounds later when Andrew Ramsay and Cocq A Doodle, owned by The Doodle Group, entered the ring. They raced around the shortened track to catch Vanderveen’s time but only made it within 9/10th of a second, after laying down a solid double-clear effort, finishing in 39.942 seconds and taking second place honors.

Even as the second to last jump-off contenders were unable to catch Vanderveen’s time, she had already secured her win for the class by returning to the ring as the last entry to go in the jump-off round on her second mount, Bull Run’s Holy Smokes.

“Bull Run’s Holy Smokes is actually a little bit greener than [Bull Run’s Eternal] is,” said Vanderveen. “It was a really nice feeling to be able to come in and know that she doesn’t need to really run like crazy so I was going to go for a nice slow, clean round and then she hit the last jump down, but I’m still really pleased with her. She hasn’t done nearly as much as he’s done.”

Rounding out the top three in the Sunday finale of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show was Ramiro Quintana and Whitney, owned by St. Bride’s Farm. They tripped the timers in 40.215 seconds.

After a successful finish to the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Vanderveen will be returning to Tryon next week to train clients, but always enjoys visiting and competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows.

“After this week, I think I should never leave Kentucky,” laughed Vanderveen. “I jumped clean in every single FEI class – it just hasn’t come to a win until today. I’m going back to Tryon next week. I have all of my clients in Tryon and they got this week off, so I’ll be back to help train them.

“I love the area here,” continued Vanderveen. “I love that the horses can graze and can go out on the trail rides. I think it’s so great for their minds. The stadium’s great as well. I love riding in a big ring. I have a lot of big horses with big steps so to be able to just open up and gallop around the course is how my horses jump best and go best, and I like to ride that.”

Earlier in the day, the Under 25 Grand Prix was held in the Rolex Stadium and the blue ribbon went to Noel Fauntleroy and her own Cabras, who bested a starting field of 26 and a jump-off field of 13.

“I started riding [Cabras] a little over a year ago in Florida last year,” said Fauntleroy. “She was part of the gold medal team and won an individual bronze medal at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships last year. She is very comfortable. She might look a little hot, but she’s actually kind of cold. I have to get her going, but once I do she’s all game and will jump anything. She’s really brave.”

Fauntleroy and the 12-year-old Holsteiner mare were among six to produce double-clear rounds, finishing the fastest by one second in 30.003 seconds.

“My plan today was to just stick with the numbers,” said Fauntleroy. “The jump-off I thought was a really good test for the riders. From one to two there was an option for seven or eight strides, and I trust her a lot so I went with seven and knew that she would jump that. I made sure to go inside the gazebo after the two because I didn’t think anyone else had done that, and I think that might have been where I made up a little bit of time.”

Eve Jobs and her own Sandor De La Pomme were close behind Fauntleroy stopping the timers in 31.242 seconds to take second place, while Hunter Holloway and VDL Bravo S, owned by Hays Investment Corp., took the third place spot finishing in 32.489 seconds.

Having shown in the U25 series multiple times, Fauntleroy really appreciates the bridge the series provides for young riders to develop experience at competing their horses on an international level.

“I think it’s an awesome stepping-stone for young riders,” said Fauntleroy. “If you feel like you’re over-qualified for the highs but aren’t ready to go into the Saturday night classes yet, the U25 series is a perfect stepping-stone for that.”

In addition, Fauntleroy shared similar sentiments as Vanderveen in regards to competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows.

“Kentucky always has a really good atmosphere,” said Fauntleroy. “There’s lots of open space for the horses. The footing is always amazing. It’s been pouring rain and you can’t even tell. It’s really an awesome place to come!”

The Kentucky Spring Classic held May 18-22 will also feature a FEI CSI3* rating. The $35,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 21, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Once again all three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. In addition, the featured national classes will be the $50,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 22, in the Rolex Stadium.

Kelley Farmer Wins $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Sunday was ‘Derby Day’ in the Claiborne Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. The International Hunter Derby was dominated by Kelley Farmer who took the top two spots on Baltimore and Point Being and had a total of five horses in the class. The third spot went to Peter Wylde and Quax.

Kelley Farmer and Baltimore
Kelley Farmer and Baltimore

Farmer took the lead in the first round on Baltimore, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding with a score of 189, taking all four high options on the Bobby Murphy-designed course. “When you jump the high options, he can jump careful and it doesn’t matter what you get,” said Farmer. “Long or deep, he doesn’t really care. He is that dependable, that careful, that brave – that’s him. No matter what I ask him he tries.”

With five horses in the class, Farmer was able to use each round to improve her plan for the next. “When we walked the handy and we saw the inside turns I thought they were ugly to be totally honest,” Farmer explained. “I did them on Need I Say because he is handy. I thought if he can do them then at least I know how hard or not hard they are. I kind of knew what I was going to do on Need I Say and was a little bit play-it-by-ear on the rest depending on what everyone else did and how it was going.”

Farmer and Baltimore excelled in the handy, pulling in scores of 89 and 90 from the judges. Adding on four points for taking the high options, and seven and five handy points, respectively, bringing their total score to 388. She was full of praise for Baltimore’s performance in the handy round.

“Baltimore can get so high and so careful,” said Farmer. “He can land and turn. He is so catty and his front end is so automatic. He’s a fantastic horse.”

Farmer also impressed the judges on Point Being bringing in a score of 369 and taking all of the high options in both rounds. Peter Wylde and Quax were right behind her in third place with a score of 368.5.

Earlier in the day, Geoffery Hesslink excelled in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby winning aboard Rookie, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding, and taking third place with Esco. Douglas Boyd took second place with Calido’s Son.

The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is part of the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series which is returning for the fifth year in a row at the Kentucky Horse Park. The five-part series awards a $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus presented at the conclusion of the series.

Hesslink started off the first round with a score of 90, taking all four high options. “My first round was a little conservative,” Hesslink said. “I was a little nervous with how the class was going, but I decided to do all the high options and I think that really paid off because not many other people did.”

Hesslink returned in the handy round taking three of the high options to a score of 89 and a total score of 179. “I liked my handy round a lot better,” Hesslink admitted. “I went all out and tried to do all the inside turns. I tend to be better at those and I thought both horses were amazing.”

Hesslink praised the course design for its ability to play to each horse’s strengths. “I thought the course was great. It was a lot of singles and long approaches,” Hesslink explained. “You were able to show your horse’s stride and ride the course out of a rhythm.”

Douglas Boyd and Calido’s Son were right behind Hesslink in second place with a score of 178. Hesslink rounded out the top three with a score of 176 aboard his second mount Esco.

Hesslink was enthusiastic about his experience here in Kentucky. “I came here last summer for the first time,” Hesslink said. “I really liked it and that’s why I’m back this year. I think the Kentucky Horse Park is an amazing facility and they do a great job here with everything from the jumps to the events and the prestige – they make it really nice for the spectators and riders.”

The Kentucky Spring Classic will continue May 18-22 with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Stonelea Ring on Saturday, May 21. The Kentucky Spring Classic will also offer WIHS and NAL qualifiers plus $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics.

EQSportsNet will be streaming live webcasts of the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Saturday, May 21. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can also watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Redfield Farm Ruled the Hunter Division Week II at the Jacksonville Spring Classic

Cassandra Kahle and Amari.

Redfield Farm of Califon, New Jersey owned the Hunter Division Week II at the Jacksonville Spring Classic!

The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Legend, awarded Amari, owned by Emma Richardson and ridden by Cassandra Kahle of Califon, New Jersey, the win after earning a first round score of 91 and a Handy score of 92 for a total score of 183.

Whiskey Tango, owned by Lee Cesery and ridden by Megan Young of Jacksonville, Florida, earned a Classic score of 89 and a Handy score of 88 for a total of 177, which took second place.

Meadowood Farm’s Sandrimo, ridden by Lauren Schweppe of Ocala, Florida, placed third overall after earning a Classic score of 85 and a Handy score of 89 for an overall score of 174.

Kahle also picked up fourth through sixth place. Fourth was awarded to Redfield Farm’s Nino Nacho after earning a first round score of 88 and Handy score of 83 for an overall 171. She rode Redfield Farm’s Balouette to a fifth place finish with a Classic score of 86 and a second round score of 85 for a total of 171. She placed sixth with Isabel Stettinius’ Guest of Honor with an overall score of 169.

Lee Cesery’s Swagger, ridden by Camryn Hulsey of Saint Augustine, Florida, placed seventh, followed by Janine Pappas’ Romanov, ridden by Claire Lee of Ponte Vedre, Florida. Ninth place went to Peggy Fuller’s Entreprenur, ridden by Nashea Powell of Jacksonville, Florida.

Tenth was awarded to Masterpiece, owned and ridden by Paige Moose of Tampa, Florida. Eleventh was awarded to TM Hills Farm International’s Ingo De Kalvaire, ridden by Dominque Gonzalez of Dunellen, Florida, and Seven Hills, LLC’s Conradi 10, ridden by Kristin Martiniello, wrapped it up in twelfth place. For full results, click here.

Redfield Farm’s Giovanni, ridden by Cassandra Kahle of Califon, New Jersey, brought home the Championship in the 3′ Division along with almost $200 in prize money, all for a $5 entry fee! King, owned by Tracy Treace and ridden by Chad Watridge, was Reserve Champion.

Kahle went on to win the 3’3″ Pre-Green Hunter Division Championship in the irons of Emma Richardson’s Amari and collected close to $250 in prize money for the $5 entry fee. Redfield Farm’s Nino Nacho, ridden by David Wilbur, rode away with the Reserve Champion honors.

All sponsorship and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel at
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Farmer Is Fabulous in the International and Williams Is Wonderful in the National

Kelley Farmer and It’s Me.

The top hunter riders in the country competed in the Jacksonville Spring Classic’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Glen Kernan Golf and Country Club, Friday afternoon.

Kelley Farmer of Keswick, Virginia, winner of the $77,700 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, won the class with Bibby Hill’s It’s Me. She also took the second place ribbon with Amanda Hone’s Publicized. She took fourth with Dani Brown Swanston’s Need I Say More as well as eighth and ninth places in the irons of Jane Gaston’s Taken and Kensel, LLC’s Clever Conversation and then wrapped up the class with Gaston’s Because in twelfth place.

Farmer led the way earning the highest Classic score of 172 with It’s Me. Their second round score of 194 locked them in for a total of 366 and the win.

Farmer and Publicized earned a first round score of 166. Combined with their Handy score of 192.50, their combined score of 358.50 would find them in second place.

Emily Williams of Ocala, Florida and Amanda Flint’s Cabana VDL earned a first round score of 163. Their Handy score of 189 for a total of 352 would see them finish in third place. Farmer returned to the winner’s circle to pick up her fourth place with Need I Say More after earning a Classic Round score of 163 and a Handy score of 189 for a total of 352.

Emily Williams and Heartthrob
Emily Williams and Heartthrob

Artillery Lane, LLC’s Chances R, ridden by Gregory Prince of Sherborn, Massachusetts, placed fifth overall after earning a Classic score of 151 and a Handy score of 185 for a total of 336.

Kris Killam of Naples, Florida in the irons of Barbara Fishman’s Mr. Big finished in sixth place overall after earning a first round score of 156 and second round score of 175 for a total score of 331.

Farmer returned for seventh with Jane Gaston’s Taken after earning a Classic score of 124 and a Handy score of 171 for a total of 295.

Emily Terry Peterson of Naples, Florida rode Leslie Terry’s Pet Rock to the eighth place ribbon with a combined score of 280, and Farmer returned for ninth place in the irons of Kensel, LLC’s Clever Conversation with a combined score of 260. Megan Young of Jacksonville, Florida rode Lee Cesery’s Rockaway to the tenth place finish after earning a combined score of 258, and Claire Lee White of Ponte Vedra, Florida rode Janine Pappas’ Romanov to eleventh place after earning a combined score of 243.

Farmer wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish in the irons of Jane Gaston’s Because with a combined score of 237.

For full results on this class, click here.

All sponsorship and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel at
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Hunters Take Over Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics

Marylisa Leffler with Headlines.

Mary Lisa Leffler Rides Headlines to the Win in the International Hunter Derby

Friday was a double header Derby Day during Week II of the Atlanta Spring Classics when the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Nalley Toyota Stonecrest, and the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Legend, took center stage.

Jason Berry of Staunton, Virginia, winner of last week’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, and Stacey McFadden, LLC’s Wistful led the Classic round after earning a score of 174. Headlines, owned by Felicia Harrsch and ridden by Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland, followed in second place after the first round with a score of 169.

North C, owned and ridden by Jaime Steinhaus of Milton, Georgia, followed in third place in the Classic round after earning a score of 164. Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina, in the irons of Stella Styslinger’s O’Ryan, sat in fourth position after earning a score of 164. Boyd also had the fifth place position after the first round with Finally Farm’s Shamrock, earning a first round score of 162. Kris Killam of Naples, Florida and Barbara Fishman’s Mr. Big sat in sixth place with their score of 160. Boyd also had the seventh place horse after earning a first round score of 158.5. Berry held both the eighth and ninth place positions after the first round with Willoughby Stables’ Falcor and their score of 158 and Oakledge Farm’s Cobalt Blue R with a score of 150. Tenth place after the Classic round saw Why, owned by Charlotte Warren and ridden by Julie Curtin of Villa Rica, Georgia, earn a first round score of 150. Sitting in eleventh place after the first round was Liddy Strickland’s Valentine, ridden by Sarah Milliren of Jenks, Oklahoma, with a score of 149; Redfield Farm’s Fandango HX, ridden by Cassandra Kahle of Califon, New Jersey, sat in twelfth place after earning a score of 133.

The Handy Round of the Derby saw Kahle and Fandango earn a score of 147 for a total of 280, which would finish in twelfth place overall. Milliren and Valentine moved up to tenth place overall after earning a second round score of 160 for a total of 309. Curtin and Why moved to an eleventh place overall placing after earning a second round score of 143 for a total of 293.

Berry and Cobalt Blue R moved from a ninth place position to finish in fifth place overall after earning a second round score of 186 and overall 336. Berry also moved from the eighth place spot to sixth place overall with Falcor, earning a total score of 335.

Boyd and Cellino moved from seventh place to third overall after earning a Handy score of 185 and an overall 343.5. Killam and Mr. Big moved to finish in ninth place overall after earning a Handy score of 154 and an overall 314. Boyd and Shamrock moved up to finish in fourth place overall after earning a Handy score of 180 and an overall 342. Boyd and O’Ryan moved from a fourth place standing after the Classic round to an overall second place finish after earning a Handy score of 187 and an overall 351.

Steinhaus and North C moved to finish in seventh place overall after earning a Handy score of 160.5 and an overall 324.5.

Sitting in second place after the Classic Round, Leffler and Headlines earned a Handy score of 187.5 for a total of 356.5 which moved them into the lead.

Berry and Wistful were in first place after the Classic Round, but after earning a Handy score of 145 for a total of 318, finished in eighth place overall.

The heavy rains had moved through the area earlier that morning, so the main hunter event was moved to the Oval Ring. Liza Towell Boyd, whose resume includes three time Overall World Champion Hunter Rider as a Junior, four time recipient of the Best Child Rider Award at the Washington International Horse Show, and second place finisher in the Washington International Equitation Finals, as well as a multitude of National and International Hunter Derby wins, commented, “I was pleasantly surprised, that with all the rain the night before and how wet everything was, how great the rings held up,” she said. “I woke up, looked outside and thought that we may not even be able to show. You know, the Derbies are the equivalent of the Hunter Grand Prix and we were really looking forward to showing,” she said. “They moved the Derby to the Oval Ring which is so big and impressive and it’s actually even better for the younger generation of the up and coming Derby horses,” she said. “It was amazing how well the footing held up. It was really perfect. We were able to do those inside turns and the footing was great,” Boyd commented.

Sarah Milliren with Don't Tell
Sarah Milliren with Don’t Tell

Don’t Tell and Sarah Milliren Win the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Legend, followed the International Derby and saw Courtney Billings’ Don’t Tell, ridden by Sarah Milliren, win the class after earning first round score of 86 and second round score of 91 for a combined 177. Davinci, owned and ridden by Josie Baird, placed second after earning a first round score of 82 and Handy score of 88 for a combined 170. Third place honors went to Charlotte Warren’s Enticement, ridden by Julie Curtin, after posting a first round score of 80 and second round score of 87 for a total of 167.

Suntrust, owned by Sandra Ward and ridden by Jacqueline Ward, earned a first round score of 77 and second round score of 83 for a total of 160 and fourth place. Fifth was awarded to Replax du Plant, owned and ridden by Libby Greene. I’ve Been Spotted, owned and ridden by Rebecca Hollman, won sixth place; Iamwhatiam, owned by Dawn Mason and ridden by Jason Berry, placed seventh overall. Click here for more results.

All sponsorship and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel at
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Kodachrome and Russell Frey Win $50k USHJA International Hunter Derby to Conclude WEF

Kodachrome and Russell Frey. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – April 3, 2016 – The 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) completed its final day of competition on Sunday with a win for Russell Frey and Nina Koloseike Moore’s Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Held on the beautiful grass field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the final feature of the circuit was presented by Dietrich Insurance and hosted by Tailored Sportsman, and sponsored by Charles Owen, Dover Saddlery, The Clothes Horse and Essex Classics.

The first round of derby competition was held in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Saturday, where 45 entries took on the first round course designed by Ken Krome. Two panels of judges scored each round, and riders were awarded extra points for jumping high options.

The top 24 entries then moved on to the derby field for Sunday’s handy round, jumping Bobby Murphy’s course with natural obstacles on the grass. Two panels of judges once again scored the contestants, awarding bonus points for high options as well as handiness on course. Judges Rick Fancher and Jack Towell scored the rounds on panel one, and Danny Robertshaw and Jim Clapperton judged the rounds on panel two.

Russell Frey and Kodachrome led the standings heading into Sunday’s final round with the high score of 185 in round one. The pair then earned the high score of 200 on Sunday for the winning two-round total of 385.

Kodachrome is an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding that Moore purchased for Frey last year with hopes that the gelding had Derby Finals potential.

“He was doing the 3’3″ Performance Hunters starting out, and I just saw him and liked him, and then I tried him and had to have him,” Frey stated. “He has learned and come along. This was his first really big derby. This was a different type of class, to show over at the horse show on the grand hunter field, and then to come over here just to do the handy round on the field in a completely different venue for all of the horses. It was a pretty good test for every horse and rider that was out there.

“He was a little nervous in different places on the course, but he seemed to handle everything okay,” Frey continued. “The jumps were not the issue; it was just a little bit of his anxiety and settling in. I thought he finished up the last half of the course really confident and that is always a nice way to end, so I was very happy with him.”

Speaking of Kodachrome’s winning style, Frey detailed, “He jumps in very correct style. He uses all of his parts. His front end comes up, his back gets high, and he has great follow through. The overall context of the jump from take-off to landing is very correct. He is pretty fearless when it comes to the jumps. I had never jumped him over the bank, and I have no idea whether he ever has in the past, and he jumped right up on the bank like he had been doing it all his life. Pretty much anything you point him at, he is okay with. He is an attractive horse, and he goes across the ground nicely. He gallops along nicely with a great rhythm, and he is appealing when you look at him.”

This was Frey’s first international hunter derby win and a momentous occasion in his career.

“It means a lot,” the rider stated. “I am relieved that we finally won one. I have gotten good ribbons consistently in the derbies, but I have never won one, much less won the first round. I have come back second and third, but there is pressure on both sides. One is to try to protect your lead. You have to be a little bit careful and not do anything too crazy, but by the same token it is never free.”

Classified and Samantha Schaefer
Classified and Samantha Schaefer

Samantha Schaefer and her own Classified sat second coming into Sunday’s round with a score of 184 carrying over from their first round. The pair then earned a score of 190 for their handy course, finishing second overall with a total score of 374. The 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion is Schaefer’s amateur hunter and this was only their third derby together.

“I thought he was great,” Schaefer stated. “I was a little bit spookier at the course than I think he was. Looking back, I think that in order to really win these classes in the future, you have to go for it and jump the high options and take some risks. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it does not. Today, I feel like we did exactly what we planned when we walked the course. After I watched ten or so not do it successfully, I just had to walk away and remember that I know my horse, and I could not be worried about what everyone else was doing. I just had to ride what I was capable of. He was great. He is an awesome horse, and I had a lot of fun out there.

“I have had this horse a year and a half, and I think it was kind of meant to be for me to have him,” Schaefer detailed. “It took a lot of people to put it together for me to be able to have him. He has been an important horse for my career because I was in college, and as a junior I had a lot of horses to ride and was really in it and showing all of the time. Then when you are not doing it as much, it makes it really hard to come here and really feel like you have a shot. He has kind of been that horse for me to make me feel like I can be competitive again, and I can go in there and compete with the best. He has definitely been a big part of my career looking forward, so I am very lucky to have him.”

Amanda Steege and Susan Darragh’s Zidane made a big jump to finish third overall. The pair came into Sunday’s final round in 14th place with a first round score of 166, but a fantastic score of 197 over the handy track shot the pair up 11 spots in the final standings.

Steege and the 12-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding also jumped in last year’s derby at the end of the 2015 WEF circuit, and Steege came into this year’s class confident in her mount.

“I came back in 14th place today and moved up to third, but I think last year I came back even lower than that and I remember being a little nervous because we do not see venues like this very often, but he was so good last year,” Steege explained. “This year I felt very confident in the horse. I went out there knowing that I could do all of the high options and make as many turns as I could find to do out there. I was only in 14th place, so unlike Russell, I did not have anything to lose. I just thought the whole thing was a lot of fun, and I felt like my horse felt that way too. He was not nervous at all.

“He sort of eats up the atmosphere, and he certainly loves the grass,” Steege continued. “It feels like he has an extra little push out there. He can jump a little higher, and a little wider, and I do not have to ride careful to the jumps. I can gallop right up to them, and he sort of sets himself. I had a great time. I was looking forward to coming here, and it was as fun as I hoped it was going to be.”

One special thing about Zidane is that the horse also competes in the Pre-Adult Hunters with his owner, Susan Darragh.

“Susan works for me to be able support me, and Zidane, and for us to be able to go to the derbies,” Steege noted. “She imported Zidane as a two-year-old, and he is twelve now. She shows him herself in the Pre-Adult Hunters, which I do not think there are too many horses that can compete in hunter derbies and do the Pre-Adults. It keeps him on his toes. He is never sure if the jumps are going to be 4’3″ or 2’3″! I think that is pretty remarkable.”

Jennifer Bliss and Harris Hill Farm LLC’s Poker Face finished fourth with scores of 171 and 185 for a 356-point total. Peter Wylde and Dana Tourville’s Candor 15 placed fifth, also with a 356-point total, carrying over a 173 from round one and receiving 183 in round two. Scores from judging panel two broke the tie for sixth place. Louise Serio and Autumn Janesky’s Temptation rounded out the top six with scores of 173.5 and 182 for a 355 total.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for another fantastic season. For full results and more information, please visit

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.