SAUGERTIES, NY (September 6, 2013) – Illinois and New Jersey were the teams to beat in the Team Championship at the inaugural USHJA Child/Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championships taking place at HITS Saugerties this week. The Children’s team from Illinois was guided by Chef Mary Goldman and included team members Caelinn Leahy, Louisa Brackett, Sarah Scarnechia and Grace Knox. Chef Robin Fairclough led the Adult New Jersey team, which includes Tammy Kelly, Katherine Pontone, Elizabeth Kirby and Wendy Chapot Nunn.
In Wednesday’s Individual Qualifier, Mackenzie Kane of Durham, Connecticut lead the Children with Linda Radigan’s Realist, and Katherine Pontone of Red Bank, New Jersey piloted Kali Jerman’s Belladonna to the top of the Adults. Individual Champions will be determined tomorrow as both Children and Adults take the stage as part of HITS Championship Weekend at HITS Saugerties.
CULPEPER, VA (August 22, 2013) – The USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals returned to HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia this weekend and welcomed Nora Jodrey and Mark Bone’s Cashmere to the winner’s circle. Jodrey of Bethesda, Maryland trains with Virginia Edwards at Hidden Hollow Farm and topped a field of 29 competitors over a courses designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland.
Saturday marked the eighth year HITS Culpeper has hosted the USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals. Qualified riders traveled from Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia for the popular final and competed in 3’ and 3’6” sections with one overall set of results. Riders competed in an over fences with the top 12 returning on the flat and a final test of the top riders.
After finishing the three phases on top, which included an 86 in the over fences, Jodrey was awarded a Tad Coffin Performance Saddle, as well as a cooler donated by Gary Baker, among other prizes, for her win. “Nora is one of the most dedicated kids I have ever met,” said Edwards. “Whether it’s at the barn or in school, she is not afraid to work hard and today it paid off.”
Krome’s course included 11 obstacles and 13 jumping efforts, including a pair of double combinations at fence four and 11.One of the more technical elements presented by Krome was an option in the first line, which could either be ridden in a direct seven strides or a bending eight strides.
“Nora added the shape and did eight beautifully,” commented Edwards. “The course was great for this type of class. It is hard to design for two heights because it has to be tricky enough, but also safe enough. Ken did a great job.”
Edwards stars the Zone III Junior Equitation Finals on her calendar each year because of its proximity to her farm as well its similarities to the big equitation finals. “This encompasses a lot of the areas that we focus on all year, so I point my riders at it every year,” she said.
Behind Jodrey, Alyson Gurney of Washington D.C. was second in the irons of Heathfield Hunters’ The Golden Compass and scored a pair of custom leather half chaps, donated by Chuck Pinnel’s Custom Leather. Devan Graham of Chevy Chase, Maryland was third with her own Delorian. Graham won a show bridle, donated by Edwards’ Hidden Hollow Farm. Alexandra Gilbertson finished fourth on her own Luxurious and was awarded a leather show halter and lead shank, donated by The Tack Box. Ellie Williams of Woodbine, Maryland capped the top five with Lisa Boettner’s After FX.
For their participation in the annual final, each of the riders who finished in the top ten received a $75 gift certificate to Champion Saddlery, a selection of saddle pads, courtesy of Clifton Saddlery, as well as ribbon sashes and medals, donated by Tom Struzzieri.
All of the qualifiers for the class donned boutonnieres during competition, which were donated by Jonelle Mullen Stern and TuDane Farm. They also received gift bags from Dover Saddlery, as well as embroidered caps from H&R Embroidery. Trainers of the top three competitors were presented with cash awards equaling $300, $200 and $100, respectively. Additional sponsors included USHJA Zone III and Hazel River Farm.
Lexington, KY – August 16, 2013 – The press conference at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show following today’s Classic Hunter Round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship bore a striking resemblance to that of last years. For the second year in a row, Scott Stewart sat in the winning seat at the Kentucky Horse Park with Liza Boyd to his right in second and Jennifer Alfano to his left in third. Stewart’s win today aboard Garfield, owned by Rose Hill Farm, also marked the talented riders third consecutive time winning the Classic Hunter Round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
The similarities for this year’s top three finishers don’t stop there. While it was Dedication, not Garfield, whom Stewart rode to the top of the leader board in last year’s round, Boyd and Alfano’s top three finishes today came aboard the same mounts as last year – veteran derby competitor Brunello for Boyd and last year’s USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion Jersey Boy for Alfano.
Again for the second year in a row, the point differentials between the three riders were also strikingly similar – Stewart marginally out ahead and Boyd and Alfano neck-and-neck in the second and third positions. Stewart and Garfield jumped to the top of the list with scores from the three judging panels of 90, 92 and 92 plus four high option points added to each score for a 286 total. Boyd and Brunello, owned by Janet Peterson, finished their round with scores of 88, 90 and 86 for a 276 total including all four high options. Alfano was close on her heels with scores of 88.5, 87 and 87.5 plus the four high options for a 275 total.
“We like to really be close; we’re good friends,” Boyd joked about her and Alfano’s scores. “We like to keep it one point apart. Last year was only a quarter. This year we’re stretching it out. And then Scott’s 10 ahead of us. He is in his own league over there!”
From a field of 88 contenders, Boyd and Brunello were the first of the three top finishers to compete over the Steve Stephens designed course in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. The course featured fences meant to appear similar to what a horse and rider may encounter on a hunt field, including an airy, white plank fence, a large brush jump and another large brush and timber fence. The high option fences were also included throughout the course, presenting riders with the opportunity to earn additional points by jumping any or all of the four slightly higher obstacles.
Boyd elected to take all four of those high options, and she did so seamlessly and with ample room to spare as she and Brunello soared over the final fence in front of the in-gate. Their efforts earned them the 276 first round score and shot them to an early lead in the class.
“Brunello feels great and better than ever,” Boyd said. “You needed some scope out there and a super careful horse. Steve Stephens would do a big oxer and a careful vertical and then another big oxer. He led you into getting a little sloppy, and I think you saw some rails and rubs.”
While that was definitely the case, there were no rails or rubs for Stewart and Garfield as they maneuvered the course midway through the order of go to earn their score of 286.
Following last year’s USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships, Stewart had tentatively stated his retirement from the derby ring, but after his success in years past he was persuaded to return again this year.
“They twisted my arm,” Stewart said. “They asked me if I wanted to do it, and I wasn’t sure at that point. But we entered the horses, and I got to stay home and practice for two weeks so I felt comfortable enough to do it. I felt good last week and thought we’d give it a go.”
Stewart continued: “I haven’t ridden Garfield since the Alltech National Horse Show [in October], and he’s been doing the Junior Hunters. He was the best he’s ever been today. He was so relaxed. I didn’t really have to do anything. He likes me to just ride him once in a while. I think he was super.”
A dozen entries after Stewart and Garfield’s round, it was the defending champions Alfano and Jersey Boy’s turn to tackle the 13 obstacle course, and they proved that they are well within in the running for the top title again this year with their overall 275 score.
“I thought Jersey Boy was great,” Alfano said. “He made me a little nervous when I trotted in. He was pretty spooky. He sort of trotted toward the third jump and acted like he might want to spin around and go the other direction, which he can do. So I was maybe not all that confident heading to the first jump, but once he got going, he was really great.”
Alfano continued: “I was thrilled with him. He’s had a lot of time off this year, and I wasn’t really sure he was ready fitness-wise and strength-wise, but I was really happy with him.”
Alfano, Boyd and Stewart will be lead the rankings as the top 30 riders return tomorrow night for the Tier I Handy Hunter Round and the crowning of this year’s USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion.
Another hunter highlight at this week’s Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will be the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday, August 18. In addition to being the week’s premier hunter competition, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show offers top jumper competition throughout the week, attracting top riders from across the country. This week’s final jumper highlight will be the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix on Sunday, August 18.
For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and all of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
To learn more about the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program and the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship Finals, visit www.ushja.org.
Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
HITS is pleased to host the 8th annual USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals! This prestigious equitation final will take place Saturday, August 17, during the Winston National horse show.
What you need to know:
The class will be divided into two sections – 3′ and 3’6″
The Qualifying period runs from August 11, 2012 through August 11, 2013
Don’t forget! Riders are qualified after winning an equitation medal, including Zone III medals, or by winning the USEF Medal, ASPCA Maclay or the WIHS Medal in ANY State or Zone.
Lexington, KY – August 3, 2013 – The first and second place line-up of this week’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Summer Classic bore a striking resemblance to that of last week’s class. Colin Syquia and Apropos took the first place position in the derby just six days ago, and they returned to do so again today. Last week’s second place finisher, Meredith Darst, was once again number two, this time aboard Capstone.
Today’s hunter derby was the fourth event in the seven-part Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, which features the $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards. This week’s class saw 52 entries competing over the first round course designed by Bobby Murphy. Following the completion of the first course, the top 12 riders returned for the handy round. Both courses presented riders with options to take four higher fences, and riders added one point to their score for each successfully cleared high option. For the handy round, Murphy also presented riders with a trot jump and tested them with a hand gallop to the opening oxer.
Molly Sewell and Zin Zin, owned by Travis Lingenfelter of Saginaw, MI, were early to go in the opening order, and they maneuvered the course beautifully, electing to take all four high options for a total first round score of 91. Sewell’s score would remain well out of reach for much of the class, until finally being bested by Shawn Casady and Sedona, owned by Susan Stanley of Delray Beach, FL. Casady and Sedona also opted to take each of the higher options, earning a score of 92.
Following the completion of the first round, Casady and Sewell were the clear front runners, while Bruce Christison and Apalachicola, owned by Heather Conder of Lugoff, SC, sat in third with a total score of 87. Syquia and Apropos, owned by Chiddingstone Farms LCC of New York, NY, were close behind in fourth place with a score of 86.5, and Darst and Capstone, owned by Norgan, Inc. of Wellington, FL, went into the second round in fifth place with a score of 86.25.
Unfortunately for all three of the first round leading riders, their handy rounds would go as smoothly. Riders returned in reverse order of their first round standings, working backward from the twelfth place rider until finishing with Casady and Sedona in the first place position. Christison and Apalachicola therefore were the first of the top three to return, but a disappointing handy round saw him drop quickly down the leader board to the eventual eleventh place position.
To the disappointment of Sewell, that trend continued as she returned with Zin Zin. Sewell and Zin Zin’s second round total score of 64 moved them down the list from second to tenth with a grand total score of 155. The current Hallway Feed Series Leading Rider, Casady, was the last to return on Sedona, and as they seamlessly made tight turns and maneuvered the handy round it appeared as though they had the win all sewn up. The crowd gathered at the Stonelea Ring had already begun to applaud his gorgeous course and almost surefire win, but a devastating light bump over the final fence knocked the rail out of the cup and moved Casady and Sedona to the twelfth place spot.
The disappointing handy rounds for Christison, Sewell and Casady, combined with beautiful second rounds for Syquia and Darst shot them to the top. Syquia and Apropos handled the hand gallop, tight turns and trot fence of the handy round flawlessly, and with four points added for the high options, they earned a second round score of 92 and a winning grand total of 178.50.
“He went really nicely in the first round, but he just wasn’t as inspired as he was last week,” Syquia explained. “He hasn’t shown as much recently, so he wasn’t quite as fit, and it was hard going back-to-back weeks. So when it came down to the handy, I figured I’d just turn tighter and steer him a little bit more, and he really responded. He jumped beautifully in the second round.”
Syquia continued: “It’s amazing. You don’t want to think that you could possibly win it two weeks in a row, but I was hoping to. He’s such a good boy; I thought I’d have a chance. Hopefully we’ll be back in September to try it again.”
Darst and Capstone earned a second round score of 90 after jumping each fence brilliantly and flowing through the handy course. With a grand total of 176.25 they captured the second place honors.
While Casady did not see a top finish with Sedona, the talented young rider did nab both the third and fourth place positions aboard Stars Go Blue, owned by Marigot Bay Farm LLC of Dover, MA, and Vogue, owned by Georgia Saad of Lexington, KY, respectively. Casady has been extremely successful throughout the series, winning the first event aboard Stars Go Blue and placing third and fourth during each of the following events, securing his position as the current Hallway Feeds Leading Rider.
The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards will present a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the seven classes that make up the Series. The amateur rider and junior rider 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 Kentucky National Horse Show on September 21, 2013.
Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides the opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advances. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the Formula for Success.
The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Central Equipment, Alfagreen Supreme, Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, Caddel Equine Therapy Center, KER Sport Horse Nutrition, The Tack Shop of Lexington, Turf Town Properties, Trouw Nutrition and PNC Bank.
Lexington, KY – August 18, 2012 – It was a night that will be well remembered, and a win well deserved. The Rolex Stadium was packed at the Kentucky Horse Park as the Handy Round brought the 2012 $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals to a close during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. One of the industry’s most successful hunter professionals, Jennifer Alfano, led the victory gallop aboard her renowned mount Jersey Boy. Elizabeth Boyd and Brunello rode to the second place honors, while Scott Stewart and Garfield took the third place award.
After a 12-month qualifying period, the hunter elite were invited to compete for the coveted championship title. With a record number of 95 entrants, the Derby Finals got underway yesterday in the Rolex Stadium, with the top 30 horse and rider combinations returning to tackle the handy hunter course. The scores from the Classic Hunter Round carried over into tonight’s competition, factoring into the overall score for each pair.
The esteemed Rob Bielefeld, Patrick Rodes, Linda Hough, Geoff Teall, Betty Oare and Scott Williamson had the pleasure of judging the rounds tonight, scrutinizing the style and handiness of each trip. Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, designed the final course and riders were able to increase their overall score by attempting the high options, adding an additional point per fence to their base score, as well as earning ‘handy points’ from the judges’ panels for their ingenuity and ability.
Lexington, KY – August 20, 2011 – It was an incredible night for the Final Round of the 2011 $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Spectators gathered in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park to see who would take home tonight’s victory. Junior Rider Lillie Keenan rode to success with C Coast Z proving to be unbeatable throughout tonight’s competition. Scott Stewart and Declaration took home the second place honors while Tammy Provost and Carlson earned the third place award.
After a 12-month qualifying period, the top 75 horses were invited to compete for championship honors. Yesterday the qualifying round was held in the Rolex Stadium, and the top 25 horse and rider combinations returned to show during tonight’s Second Round competition. Riders were tested over a Classic Hunter Course with the top 12 scoring combinations advancing to the Handy Hunter Course. Scores from yesterday’s qualifying round did not carry over and riders began with had a fresh start to impress the judges. However, the scores earned in the Classic Hunter Round did carry over in the Handy Hunter Round and was a factor in determining tonight’s results.
Scott Hofstetter, Otis Brown, Russell Frey, Julie Winkel, Carleton Brooks, Jimmy Torano, Jim Clapperton, and Mike Rosser had the pleasure of judging each of tonight’s rounds. The courses were designed by Bobby Murphy and Patrick Rhodes and were created to replicate traditional hunt country. The course was beautifully set, mimicking a picturesque hunt field and barnyard with a winding stream and fence separating the barnyard from the open fields. The courses included hedges, stonewalls, oxers, coops, hay bales, gates, logs, and an in-and-out. During the Handy Round there were several elements to test both horse and rider and plenty of opportunities to show off handiness and earn bonus points as well as four higher options that would add an additional point per fence to their base score due to their added heights and elevated difficulty.
Lexington, KY – August 19, 2011 – The day that riders, trainers, owners and spectators have been waiting for throughout the Kentucky Horse Shows Series has finally arrived. The 2011 $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals commenced this morning in the Rolex Stadium. Attendees could not have ordered a more perfect day with sunny skies and moderate temperatures to kick off the long anticipated event. This is the third annual USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals and it has returned to the Kentucky Horse Park. Scott Stewart and Carlos Boy won today’s class and Stewart placed in the top six with all of his mounts and is one of the top 25 horse and rider combinations to advance to tomorrow evening’s final event. Lillie Keenan took home the fourth and fifth place finish with Madison and C Coast Z, respectively.
This event was created to bring show hunters to the world stage, to increase spectators, media and sponsorship interest, and bring tradition and basic riding principles back to the sport of show hunters. It is an event that involves a 12-month qualifying period and only the top 75 horses are invited to compete for the championship title. Opening ceremonies began at eight this morning, and soon after the competition got underway with the qualifying round for all 59 horse and rider combinations in the Rolex Stadium. The judges panels were comprised of Scott Hofstetter and Otis Brown for panel one, Russell Frey and Julie Winkel for panel two, Carleton Brooks and Jimmy Torano for panel three, and Jim Clapperton and Mike Rosser for panel four.
Bobby Murphy and Patrick Rhodes designed the qualifying round course, the first of three courses in the finals. This Hunter Derby style course challenged riders over 12 fences ranging from 3’6″ to 4’0″. The course offered four optional obstacles that would add an additional point per fence to their base score due to their added heights and elevated difficulty. The fences being used throughout the weekend are reminiscent of those that would be found out on a hunting field. Obstacles on the course included oxers made up of natural posts, rails and white board fences, gates, hedges, hay bales, a brush, logs, and natural foliage.
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (August 3, 2011) — Sarah Milliren of Sapula, Oklahoma was all smiles when the number 515 – her number – was announced as the winner of Tuesday’s USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup, the jewel of the equitation competition at the USEF National Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast at HITS Saugerties.
Milliren, trained by Bibby Hill and Don Stewart, rode to victory in the three-round class aboard Stewart’s War Eagle. According to Milliren, her smiles were both of joy and a little bit of shock as Lillie Keenan of New York, New York was pinned second aboard Catherine Cowie’s Vidarco.
“I was so surprised when we won the class – I thought Lillie had it,” said Milliren. “I have never won anything like this before, so it is really exciting.”
She finished the first round with a score of 85 to sit sixth, and then scored an impressive 90 points in the second round, which placed her in third with a total of 175 points going in for the final test.
Milliren posted a score of 89 points in the third-round test of eight fences. Per the specifications of the class, judges Hap Hansen and Russell Frey had riders switch horses, to serve as the deciding factor for the class. Milliren, therefore, rode Scott Stewart’s Vip Z to the blue, originally ridden in the class by Victoria Colvin of Loxchatchee, Florida. Milliren, however, couldn’t deny her original mount the credit he was due.
“[War Eagle] made the course seem simple,” she added. “He was amazing and I could not have asked for a better performance from him.”
Lexington, KY – July 31, 2011 – The final day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show was filled with nothing but sunshine and a practically cloudless blue sky. The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Classic witnessed talented horse and rider combinations striving to showcase their skills and claim the winning title in the Stonelea Ring. Stacey Arani and Bolero led the class from start to finish and eventually led the victory gallop after earning a total score of 185. Olivia Herbert and Capistrano finished second falling five points behind Arani and Bolero, while Abbygale Funk directed Enough Said to the third place award.
Today’s courses were designed by Bobby Murphy and simulated riding over a hunt country with all of the fences set to 3′ with four 3’5” high options and four handy options. Stacey Arani of Dover, MA, and Bolero took an early lead as the first rider of the Classic, scoring a 90 during the first round with three bonus options for a 93 total. Although they were the last to return during the handy round, the duo did not hold back. After executing a slice during an inside turn to an optional fence, they stayed consistent and smooth, receiving scores of 88 with four bonus points for a score of 92. Their two-round total of 185 points landed the pair the blue ribbon prize.
“I had so much fun out there with him,” Arani exclaimed as she patted Bolero’s neck. “He was great in both rounds and I feel as though everything went really smooth and flowed really nicely. The handy was slightly more difficult, but Bolero was so good, he turned back for me, I did a slice I wasn’t intending, but when I was out there and turned, the option presented itself and we took it.”
Since the introduction of the National Derby in 2010, the program has continued to grow and experience success. “The National Derby is a great option for people that don’t want to do the big derby classes,” Arani explained. “I haven’t been able to compete in a classic since I was a kid.” For Arani the USHJA National Hunter Classic provided a fun class with a course that has 3′ jumps with higher options,which make it so she can relax and enjoy the ride. According to the USHJA, the popularity of the International Hunter Derby Program prompted them to develop a separate series of competitions modeled after the Derby but geared toward the up and coming horses and riders. The National Hunter Classic Program was launched in 2010 to provide both horses and riders a place to gain experience in Derby competition at a lower height and difficulty level.