Category Archives: Winter Equestrian Festival

Laura Chapot Earns One-Two Finish in Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at WEF

Laura Chapot and Quointreau un Prince. Photos © Sportfot.

Kat Fuqua and Small Suggestion Hit Their Stride in Animo Medium Pony Hunter

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2017 – USA’s Laura Chapot took first and second place in Sunday’s $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to conclude week ten at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Chapot was aboard Quointreau un Prince for the win, and also guided Thornhill Kate to second place.

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) concluded his duties in the International Arena for week ten with 47 starters in the 1.50m competition and 11 to jump-off. Out of six double clear rounds, Chapot first took the lead with her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince in 34.79 seconds. She then jumped into second place aboard her own and Mary Chapot’s Thornhill Kate with a time of 35.88 seconds. Kent Farrington (USA) finished third, riding his own and Tanma Corp.’s Dublin through the timers in 36.69 seconds.

“I am thrilled,” Chapot said of her result. “I thought both horses were really on their game today, and they jumped fantastic. The jump-off was really fast, so I just took a big shot at it, and they came through for me.

“I tried to follow the same track with both of them,” Chapot said of her rounds. “There was a long distance between fence one and two, and I think that is mostly where the class was won. Once I got over fence one, I tried to really get over to fence two as quick as I could, because the rest of it you had to go by the numbers and just make the best turns you could. Both my horses are very fast, and I thought that was a place where I could use that speed to my advantage.”

Chapot has had Quointreau un Prince, a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Rosire), since he was five years old and knows the horse extremely well. “Prince” was also given the week ten Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award, presented by Laura Fetterman.

“He was really excited to show today,” Chapot said of Prince. “He has been excited all week because he loves the little bit cooler weather. I thought he was just jumping out of his skin today; he felt really super.”

Thornhill Kate is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Courage II x Clover Hill) that Chapot has had for just over one year.

“I think we really started to bond last summer,” Chapot said of “Kate”. “She won a bunch of grand prixs over the summer and into the fall. She was second in the 1.45m on Wednesday and jumped super again today. She is a real trier. She has a strong personality, but she uses that to her benefit in the ring.”

While Quointreau un Prince was always a naturally fast horse, Chapot has been working on developing Thornhill Kate’s speed.

“I think I have turned Kate more into a ride similar to Prince,” Chapot explained. “When I first got her, she was used to going more up and down and not quite as forward and long-strided. Now she really loves to gallop and leave out strides. She actually has a very big stride, so she is becoming more similar to Prince, who is just a pleasure to ride. You just gallop with him, and if he sees a long distance, he gets there in a heartbeat.”

Chapot plans to compete Quointreau un Prince, Thornhill Kate, and her other top mount ISHD Dual Star through the final weeks of WEF competition. She will then give her string a long break before gearing up for the Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania at the end of May.

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Sam Walker and Twan won the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic. The $10,000 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic concluded the day with a win for Reid Patton and Twisther.

Kat Fuqua and Small Suggestion Hit Their Stride in Animo Medium Pony Hunter

Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA guided Small Suggestion, an entry owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, to win the championship of the Animo Medium Pony Hunter division. Throughout the winter circuit in Wellington, Fuqua has ridden the medium pony to several good placings; however, the tricolor ribbon had eluded them. The pair won the conformation class and the handy trip and placed sixth in an over fences round to clinch the championship title.

Kat Fuqua and Small Suggestion

“My handy round was my favorite,” Fuqua detailed. “It feels really good to be champion on him because I haven’t been doing my best on him. I’m really happy I had some great rounds on him this week.”

Speaking of the nine-year-old liver chestnut gelding, Fuqua said, “His barn name is Ollie, and my favorite thing about him is that he loves to cuddle. He is very sweet. It takes a lot of leg to ride him because he can be really slow.”

Fuqua trains with Elizabeth Reilly and Keri Kampsen and started showing Small Suggestion during the summer of the 2016 season.

“[Fuqua’s] handy round was one of the nicest rounds I’ve ever seen her have,” said Kampsen. “She was much more consistent today than she has been. I’m really proud of her!”

While both Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT and Augusta Iwasaki, of Calabasas, CA earned 17 points in the division, Rizvi walked away with the reserve title because she earned more points in the over fences portion. All 17 points of Rizvi’s were collected from over fences classes and Iwasaki amassed 16 points over fences aboard Isabella Griffin’s Happily Ever After.

Rizvi rode Smallwood Mystic, owned by Peacock Ridge, LLC, to win an over fences class, place third in the handy, fourth in another over fences, as well as fifth in the conformation. Smallwood Mystic is an eight-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding by Mapleside Wish List that Rizvi has ridden since 2015. The pair has seen much success during the 2017 winter circuit, winning the championship ribbon during weeks five, six, and eight.

The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its eleventh week of competition on March 22-26, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Jose Roberto Reynoso and Galip Capture $130k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* at WEF

Jose Roberto Reynoso and Galip. Photos © Sportfot.

Kerry McCahill and Charly Chaplin S Top Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final; Cassanto Wins Championship in Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2017 – Brazilian Olympian Jose Roberto Reynoso and Galip were the winners in Saturday night’s $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* during week ten at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. The pair topped a six-horse jump-off over U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and Creedance in second and young rider Eve Jobs (USA) riding Tiny Toon Semilly in third.

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) saw 45 entries over his first round course for Saturday night action in the International Arena at PBIEC. Six combinations qualified for the jump-off, and four jumped double clear in the tiebreaker, where Reynoso and his 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Galip (Nonstop x Feo) crossed the timers in 35.57 seconds for the win.

Farrington was aboard his own and RCG Farm’s Creedance for the second place finish in 36.23 seconds. Jobs rode Tiny Toon Semilly to third place honors in 37.80 seconds. Colombia’s Roberto Teran, Jr. jumped the fourth place time of 38.25 second with Brilliant du Rouet.

“I am really, really happy. It is like a dream to be here, and to come from Brazil and win something like this grand prix,” said Reynoso, who is competing at WEF for the first time. “I knew that Kent is a really fast rider. I just tried to be faster.”

Reynoso continued, “I bought Galip six months ago. Since I bought him, he has just been doing better and better. Today he was just amazing.”

Reynoso grew up in an equestrian family. His father was a successful rider, and it was Reynoso’s dream to compete at the top level. He represented Brazil in the 2012 London Olympic Games and continues to develop top horses. Reynoso made the trip to Wellington for the first time to compete against the best in the world and further develop his career in the sport.

“I came because of a dream. I did everything in Brazil that I could do, and I just wanted to try something new,” Reynoso stated. “I would like to be here with a good owner and get more horses, because I like really it here.”

Second place finisher, Kent Farrington, took an unusual fall from Creedance in last week’s grand prix and was happy to complete two good rounds with the ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) on Saturday.

“This was a recovery,” Farrington stated. “I got thrown on my head last week, so that was not ideal. I thought he jumped great in the WEF (Challenge Cup) this week, and I thought he jumped great tonight. I thought my strategy was good for the jump-off, and unfortunately, we just got beat today. I think the jump-off suited a longer-strided horse. I had to add to the oxer across the middle before the double verticals, and I think that is where I lost a bit of time.”

Third place finisher, Eve Jobs (18) was competing in her first “Saturday Night Lights” grand prix at WEF and was thrilled with her top finish.

“I was just trying to go for a really nice double clear,” she said of her jump-off plan. “I tried to set the pace as best I could. I was not going to leave out in some risky places. Like down the first line, I still did the seven strides and tried to set up for the double verticals. I tried to go clear and have a good result, so I am very happy.”

“I bought this horse about a month and a half ago from Charlotte Mordasini,” Jobs said of the ten-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Kannan). “Right off the bat I clicked with him, and my trainer, Eddie Macken, has just kind of been putting me in the bigger classes. It has been going really well. This was the biggest we have jumped to date, and I could not be happier. He jumped amazing.”

In addition to the third place prize, Jobs was presented the Leading Lady Rider Award for week ten, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Kerry McCahill Wins $35,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, sponsored by The McNerney Family

The $35,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, sponsored by The McNerney Family, was held early Saturday afternoon at the Winter Equestrian Festival with a win for Kerry McCahill (20) riding Kerry Ann LLC’s Charly Chaplin S.

Kerry McCahill and Charly Chaplin S

Thirty-seven entries started over Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) first round track, and 12 advanced to the jump-off. The short course yielded five double clear rounds, where McCahill and her ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Harley VDL x Burggraaf) clocked the fastest time of 39.35 seconds.

Alma Bjorklund (SWE) and Unex Captain Chaos 8 finished second in 40.53 seconds. Lucas Porter (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco placed third in 40.80 seconds. Leah de Martini (USA) and Elm Rock LLC’s Firth of Lorne finished fourth in 42.84 seconds, and Emma Butchard (USA) rounded out the top five riding Brasil to a time of 43.54 seconds.

McCahill earned a third place finish in the under 25 grand prix during week two of the circuit riding Cadensky and explained that this win was a much different experience on a horse that she knows well.

“Unlike the last time I was in the top three here, that was with a very new horse I only just got in November,” McCahill stated. “In contrast, Charly Chaplin is one that I have a stronger relationship with. I have gotten some top three finishes with him in some big grand prix in Europe this year. It was our plan all along to use him for the semi-final and hopefully the final for this year, so I was really happy with the way he jumped. He is an amazing horse.”

McCahill continued, “Charly is sort of a giant. You have to give him a lot of room. He is very careful though, for such a big horse, and very sensitive. It was a bit surprising I passed the first round clear today, to be honest. Earlier in the week, he stopped twice at the water in the Welcome, so I was not quite sure what was going to happen. That was the main area that I was focusing on clearing today. He was super. I could not be happier with his performance today.”

Unex Captain Chaos 8 is a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Con Air x Landaris) that Bjorklund (23) recently began riding at the end of the summer in 2016.

“I have not had him for very long. It is just now that we have kind of gotten to know each other better,” Bjorklund noted. “He is truly amazing for me. He fits me really well and makes me feel safe. Obviously today he did an amazing job.

“This is my first bigger jump-off with him,” Bjorklund added, “so I was just kind of trying to go clear. Before I went in, my trainer Eddie [Macken] was telling me that I should try to go for it, so it was kind of in between. I started off a little slow, and then as I got more comfortable, I got a little faster. He was really great.”

Porter (19) has had several top three finishes in this year’s Under 25 Series and used the opportunity to gain more experience with his trusty mare Diamonte Darco, a 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse (by Unbelievable Darco).

“I have been really fortunate this season. Diamonte Darco has jumped really well,” Porter stated. “Pretty much every time that I have gone out, she is ready to roll and ready to jump a clear round. Whether I make a mistake or not is really what determines whether we get into the jump-off. I have been knocking on the door, just trying to get that first ‘W’. My trainer just keeps telling me to do what I’m doing because it is clearly working, and eventually it will fall my way.”

The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, was developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition. The series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition, all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. The series concludes with a $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious won the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch. Teddy Vlock and Vlock Show Stables’ Chakito were victorious in the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engle & Völkers.

Styslinger and Langmeier Pilot Cassanto to Championship of Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17

Stella Styslinger of Birmingham, AL and Mckayla Langmeier of East Granby, CT rode Cassanto in the Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division to earn the championship title. Styslinger rode the striking chestnut to a second place finish in the under saddle class, and on Friday, while Styslinger was away at school, Langmeier guided Cassanto to first and second place finishes over fences.

Styslinger leases the 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Canto from Float On Equestrian, LLC.

“I just started riding him,” Styslinger explained. “We saw him at [the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals] a few years ago. He was third overall that year, and we really liked him. We found out he was for lease this year, and it is a great situation because I’m going off to college in the fall. He is really easy-going, has a great personality, [is] super friendly, and is very forgiving.”

Langmeier, who had never ridden the gelding before showing him on Friday, praised his nature.

“He is really straightforward, super scopey, and he has a big stride,” Langmeier detailed. “I know he has amazing show results. My strategy was just to have smooth and consistent rounds, and he really did a super job.”

Emma Kurtz of Wellington, FL and Stellar settled for reserve honors just one point overall behind the leader. The duo won two over fences classes and placed fifth in another. Kurtz started riding the coming seven-year-old Hanoverian mare by Quintender at the beginning of the winter circuit and has found much success with her, earning the championship title in the division during weeks four and seven.

The tenth week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Arena. The Animo Medium Pony Hunter division will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 12. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra Score Irish Win in $35k Illustrated Properties 1.45m at WEF

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra. Photos © Sportfot.

Kendra Gierkink Returns to Equitation to Win Ariat National Adult Medal

Wellington, FL – March 17, 2017 – It was a win for the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, as Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra took top prize in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class on Friday, March 17 at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) saw 66 entries and 21 clear rounds over his 1.45m speed track. Julie Welles (USA) and Alexander LLC’s Ryanair de Riverland set a fast pace, second to go in 65.33 seconds, and eventually finished third. Laura Chapot (USA) with her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince topped that time in 65.04 seconds and held a long lead, but settled for second place in the end. Third to last in the order, it was Irishman Richie Moloney riding Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra who took the win in 64.81 seconds.

The 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) had a strong 2016 season and took some time off after concluding his year in November. He started back in week eight at WEF and came out fresh for his first FEI event this week.

“He is naturally a very fast horse,” Moloney said of his longtime partner. “I think I did more strides than the people before me, but his stride is so quick. He is quick across the ground, and he does not waste any time in the air. I just knew to keep going as quick as I could and I would be close enough.

“I saw Laura go,” Moloney added. “I knew it would be hard work to catch her. I saw that the top seven or eight were around 65 seconds, so I knew we had to try to win or else we could be seventh or eighth. He is just quick everywhere. She did fewer strides than me from number five to six; my horse just covered the ground faster.”

Moloney is pleased to have Slieveanorra back jumping in good form and hopes to compete the gelding in more 1.45m classes over the last two weeks of WEF competition.

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, Christina Antonucci and Zonneglans won the $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed. Santiago Lambre (MEX) topped the $6,000 FEI 1.40m speed class riding Dingeman. The day concluded with a win for Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes’ South Street in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge.

Kendra Gierkink Returns to Equitation to Win Ariat National Adult Medal

After aging out of equitation competition at the end of the 2016 show season, Kendra Gierkink of Harpswell, ME had no plans to ever compete in another equitation class. However, on Friday morning, Gierkink rode Casstess HBC to win the Ariat National Adult Medal. The class consisted of a first round and a test of the top four riders. Gierkink and Casstess HBC, owned by Kadley Holdings, LLC, earned the high score in the first round, an 88, and laid down a flawless test to take the blue ribbon.

Kendra Gierkink and Casstess HBC

The nine-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Cassiano had never competed in an equitation class before Friday, as he was previously campaigned by Gierkink’s sister, Addison Gierkink, in the Medium Amateur-Owner jumpers.

“I started riding him at the beginning of the winter circuit,” Gierkink explained. “He decided he doesn’t want to be a jumper anymore, so I’ve just been riding him at home and taking lessons. I was doing the warm-up in this ring on Tuesday and my trainer, Missy Clark, said, ‘Oh, he goes really cute; why don’t you do an Adult Medal?’ We decided to do the Ariat, and he was super!”

All four riders in the test executed the more challenging and shortened track smoothly, but Gierkink’s consistency and smoothness over both rounds helped her win the class.

Speaking of her trips, Gierkink said, “In the first round there were several options, but I decided to ride off of what I was feeling. I liked the course and my horse went around really well, he landed all the leads and was great. Testing is not always my strong suit, but I thought it was a good test!”

Catie Staszak of Boynton Beach, FL piloted Agnes Augusta, an entry owned by East Wind Farms, LLC, to the second place ribbon. The pair earned the second highest score in the first around, an 86. Rounding out the top three placings was Gabi Morris of Bridgewater, NJ. Morris guided her own Hypnotic to a first round score of 85.

Week ten of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday in the International Arena featuring the $35,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, sponsored by The McNerney Family, and the $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division will determine championship and reserve honors in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Darragh Kenny and Gasper van den Doorn Win $35k Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10

Darragh Kenny and Gasper van den Doorn. Photos © Sportfot.

Scott Stewart and Holly Orlando Earn Tricolor Ribbons in Bainbridge Green Hunter 3′

Wellington, FL – March 16, 2017 – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny jumped to victory with brand new mount Gasper van den Doorn in Thursday’s $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set the course for Thursday’s Challenge Cup, with 78 starters and 21 clear rounds. Four entries opted not to jump-off, leaving 17 to continue on to the short course. Kenny and Vlock Show Stables’ Gasper van den Doorn jumped the fastest of eight double clear rounds in 38.13 seconds.

Marilyn Little (USA) and Karen O’Connor’s Clearwater finished second in 40.05 seconds. Jimmy Torano (USA) placed third with Missy Clark and North Run’s Betagravin in 40.14 seconds. Stephanie Macieira (BRA) and Bonne Chance Farm’s Randon Pleasure placed fourth in 41.26 seconds, and Eve Jobs (USA) riding Tiny Toon Semilly rounded out the top five in 41.65 seconds.

“I did a turn that nobody else did in the class,” Kenny said of his winning jump-off. “I watched a few people go, and I kept looking when I was in the warm-up ring. I was like, ‘I think that turn is there.’ Then I went in the ring and I saw it. He is such a nice horse that I know he is never going to stop or do anything wrong, so it was only up to me to get the right distance. Then I did everything that everybody else did. I think that turn was where I won the class.”

Kenny, who just began riding Gasper van den Doorn two weeks ago, has a gift for quickly forming winning partnerships with his horses. Kenny’s student, Teddy Vlock, purchased the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Calvaro x Larome) from 2008 Canadian Olympic team silver medalist Mac Cone, and plans to ride the horse in the future. Gasper was both the 2015 and 2016 Canadian Show Jumping Reserve Champion with Cone.

“I was just playing about with him for a couple of weeks just trying to get to know him a little bit for Teddy,” Kenny noted. “I am now very lucky that Teddy has agreed to let me show him for a few more weeks because I am a little bit short of a grand prix horse.

“Today he was really excellent,” Kenny continued. “I have only jumped him 1.40m before this, but he jumped big classes with Mac Cone before. He jumped clear in World Cup qualifiers at Deeridge and Toronto. He is a really exceptional horse.”

Detailing the horse further, Kenny stated, “He is really fun and super competitive. He is very easy. He is like the perfect horse. He is beautiful to ride; he has this amazing canter, and his jumps are fantastic. He is a really cool horse.”

Kenny and Gasper van den Doorn can be seen back in action together in Saturday night’s $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*.

Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Daisy won the $8,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m.

The $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Welcome was held in the afternoon with a win for Katherine Strauss (USA) and All In. The Series also hosted a 1.40m competition, which saw a win for Kerry McCahill (USA) and Charly Chaplin S.

Scott Stewart and Holly Orlando Earn Tricolor Ribbons in Bainbridge Green Hunter 3′

Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL and Playbook, an entry owned by Fashion Farm, were champions of the Bainbridge Green Hunter 3′ division. Stewart and the coming seven-year-old Warmblood gelding by Samba Hit dominated the division, winning three over fences classes and the under saddle, as well as placing second in another over fences round. The pair has been strong contenders in the division throughout the winter circuit, earning the championship title during weeks one, three, and eight.

Scott Stewart and Playbook

Speaking of Playbook, Stewart said, “He is really easy and has a big stride. He moves and jumps incredible and is just the whole package! I rode him in Kentucky in the Baby Greens last May, and he didn’t show again until coming down to Wellington. He has been amazing.”

Holly Orlando of Wellington, FL captured the reserve title aboard Lion King. The duo earned two seconds, third, and fifth place ribbons over fences, and fourth place under saddle. An entry of Sam Edelman’s S & L Farms, Lion King began his hunter career with Orlando at the beginning of the winter circuit as he previously competed in the Five-Year-Old jumper division.

“Lion King is one of my favorite horses,” said Orlando. “He is a very good jumper and is so my type: very soft, carries himself, and looks beautiful through the bridle. I can really gallop out of the turns on him, and he jumps the same every time.”

Orlando was quick to credit much of the six-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding’s success to Nathanael Estes, who works for Sam Edelman.

“I couldn’t do it without Nate [Estes],” Orlando explained. “He helps ride Lion King and is an excellent person to have on the ground. Nate puts a lot of effort into the horse, and we are both really excited about the gelding.”

Competition continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class in the International Arena. The Ariat National Adult Medal will determine a winner in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Laura Kraut and Caelle Win $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m at WEF

Laura Kraut and Caelle. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2017 – U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut was victorious riding Caelle in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class to open week ten on Wednesday, March 15, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Michel Vaillancourt (USA) set the speed track for 69 starters in the morning’s 1.45m and saw 20 clear rounds. Kraut rode Stars and Stripes’ Caelle, an eight-year-old Zangersheide mare (Clinton x Darco), to the winning time of 62.25 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) placed second in 62.31 seconds riding her own and Mary Chapot’s Thornhill Kate. Emily Moffitt (GBR) crossed the timers in 63 seconds to place third riding Poden Farm’s Zagahorn. Lisa Goldman jumped into fourth place in 63.15 seconds aboard Barbara Disko’s Sovereign. Chapot also took fifth place honors, riding her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince to a time of 63.26 seconds.

“I am really pleased,” Kraut said of Caelle. “I got her at the end of her six-year-old year and just spent last year doing the seven-year-olds. This was her first time ever jumping FEI, so she is off to a good beginning.

“She is wonderful,” Kraut continued. “She is super brave, she is so fast, and she is just very competitive. This morning, even though it is her first time jumping in an FEI 1.45m class, I knew she would not have any issues. I just went as quick as I thought I needed to, and she is so fast.”

Detailing her winning round, Kraut stated, “Michel Vaillancourt set a nice course this morning. It was a few sharp turns and then quite a nice gallop across the ring a couple of times, which she does well. It was tricky enough. The triple combination was difficult to gallop in; it was a big vertical to vertical and then an oxer. She handled that well. Really, I just tried to be as neat and quick as I could. Then towards the end of the course, I took a little bit of a pull and slowed her down just because she does not know still about going flat out at that height of jump, but she responded. I am just very happy with her.”

Caelle will jump again in Friday’s 1.45m competition. Kraut is taking her time bringing the mare along and hopes to step her up to 1.50m later this season.

Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, Amber Harte (USA) and Austria 2 won the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m speed class. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes’ South Street were victorious in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Power and Speed.

Week ten of the Winter Equestrian Festival continues in the International Arena on Thursday featuring the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 and $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Welcome. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

NBC Sports Network to Broadcast $380k Suncast Grand Prix CSI 5* on Sat., March 18

Photo copyright Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2017 – Equestrian Sport Productions is pleased to announce that the five-star event from the seventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, March 18, at 5-6 p.m. EST. Watch live or set your DVR – don’t miss this grand prix action!

The $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5*, which was held on February 25, features the world’s best show jumpers in one of the most anticipated events of the season at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

The broadcast is a great opportunity for fans from all over the country to watch the best equestrian sport in the United States and for sports fans of all types to become familiar with equestrian athletes from the U.S. and abroad. Use the NBC Sports Network Channel Finder to find NBC Sports Network in your area, and tune in.

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Equestrian Sport Productions and Palm Beach Equine Clinic Address Sick Horse Information at WEF

Wellington, FL – March 14, 2017 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) and Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the official veterinarians of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, were recently made aware by a competitor’s veterinarian that a horse stabled off the horse show grounds has tested positive for equine influenza.

This horse has been isolated along with other in-contact horses under the supervision of their veterinarian. The horse was appropriately vaccinated and is no longer febrile or showing clinical signs of disease.

This horse tested negative for equine herpes and strangles, and at this time there are no confirmed cases of equine herpes at WEF. As it has always been the standard practice, ESP and Palm Beach Equine Clinic, along with competitors’ veterinarians, are prepared to isolate and test any further horses with fevers of unknown origin and will update competitors as necessary.

We thank everyone for being responsible in reporting such cases. As competitors are vaccinating this time of year to prepare for travel leaving Wellington, fevers may happen. We remind all competitors the importance of hygiene and biosecurity, with suggested protocols listed below.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your veterinarian or the horse show office at 561-793-5867. Questions may also be directed to Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.

Further information will be updated as it becomes available.

BIOSECURITY SUGGESTIONS

An integral part of a showing environment includes healthy horses.  Exhibitors, especially those traveling long distances, can contribute to that healthy environment by following some basic recommendations listed below.

  1. A current negative Coggins test. Please renew before it expires, and not just before it is necessary to leave the state. It is strongly recommended that all horses be vaccinated for Equine EHV-1 (either modified live or killed vaccine) no sooner than 7 days prior and no later than 90 days prior to entering the show grounds. Most EHV-1 vaccines are only considered effective for 90 days. Check with your veterinarian about which vaccine you use.
  2. A health certificate within 48 hours is required for all horses shipping onto the property. All horses should be able to produce proof of vaccine, preferably labeled on these health certificates. Those who need health certificates when they arrive can contact Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599 or contact PBEC vets on the show grounds.
  3. You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24 hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately.
  4. Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van, or moving from stable to stable, is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbors’ horses’ health.
  5. Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin should be reported to Equestrian Sport Productions Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises.
  6. Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and express its importance to your grooms in everyday care.

Please visit www.PBIEC.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux Top $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* at WEF

Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux. Photos © Sportfot.

Tiffany Foster and Victor Win Suncast® 1.50m; Augusta Iwasaki and Caleche Crowned Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter Champions

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2017 – Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Special Lux concluded week nine competition of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Sunday, March 5, with a win in the $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Also showing on Sunday, two-time Olympian Tiffany Foster of Canada won the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic riding Victor.

Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) concluded his week challenging the international competitors at WEF with 45 entries in the two-star grand prix and 11 in the jump-off. McCrea and Candy Tribble’s Special Lux completed the fastest of six double clear rounds in 36.74 seconds. Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s Presence stopped the clock in 38.75 seconds to place second. Jonathon Millar (CAN) and Millar Brooke Farm’s Daveau finished third with a time of 40.89 seconds.

McCrea and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lux x Coille Mor Hill) have been partnered for almost four years and won the FEI World Cup™ qualifier in Bromont, Quebec, in July 2016, but the rider felt like his horse lost some form after that. He was happy to have the two-star division to compete in this week, and the pair also won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman CSI 2* 1.45m speed class on Thursday.

“It’s always a struggle when that happens – when you go from everything to nothing overnight,” McCrea stated. “Literally, I just backed right off him. Two weeks or three weeks ago was his first time showing in Ocala. He was second in the two-star there in the grand prix. Then I gave him a week off and came here, again just with the idea of showing in the two-star to get him confident and happy.”

Detailing his winning round, McCrea noted, “I was in the position today to go last, which is always in his favor. I had seen Paul go. I knew maybe I had a little bit more ground speed with my horse, and he maybe has a bit more experience than Paul’s on the rollback turns. He is super careful, so I am never afraid to gallop with him.

“His ride is a little different; he is very Irish,” McCrea said of Special Lux. “He loves to gallop. I think even if you look back at his first round, he was almost ten seconds under the time allowed. That is how he his. He wants to be able to gallop; that is his strength. He is very careful. I just have to let him alone, and let him jump.”

O’Shea was aboard a young mount in Skara Glen’s Presence, a nine-year-old Holsteiner stallion (Contendro x Nekton) that he owns in partnership with Skara Glen Stables and Michael Haydon, and was happy with both of his rounds.

“I was just delighted with my horse,” O’Shea stated. “He is just a nine-year-old. I have done four grand prix with him, and he has won two of them, and second now today, so I could not be happier. I just love him; he has been really consistent.”

O’Shea found the horse when it was six and showed him in Europe as a seven-year-old. He detailed, “I think he jumped in 24 rounds, and he was clear 19 times. He is just a fantastic horse. He does not really have a weakness. He is very scopey and very careful. He is a real fighter. He is a horse for the future. I think he is a horse that is going to do championships if I don’t get in his way, so I am delighted. When they have his kind of quality, it makes everything much easier. He has the raw materials.”

Remarking on his jump-off, O’Shea added, “It was for sure the fastest jump-off I have done with him. I went very quick; Jon was just faster than me today. If I was to do it again, I do not think I could have done anything different. Maybe to the last two, I could have been a little bit quicker, but I would not have been quicker than Jon.”

For his third place finish, Millar was aboard Daveau, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Glennridge) that he has been bringing along for two years. The pair was also second in week seven’s two-star grand prix, and Millar has been pleased with his horse’s consistency.

“The last three two-star grand prixs, he was fifth, second, and now third, so double clean in all three,” Millar pointed out. “The addition of these two-star classes has been fantastic for a wide variety of horses and riders. It just gives everybody a little bit of a different option. It is fantastic to be able to take this opportunity and develop my horse.

“I could not be more pleased with him,” Millar continued. “I am just trying to teach him about turning and galloping, and things like that, without running his legs off here. He has always been a very consistent horse. I think he has a bright future, and I am just trying to develop him and give him the exposure here.”

Detailing his jump-off, Millar stated, “He does cover the ground really well. He is efficient, and quick, and turns really well. I think [the times were] pretty close, and that is what these classes end up being. It is where you can take your risks and what your horse’s sort of risk/reward situation is. Fractions of a second is what it comes down to, so overall I could not be more pleased.”

Tiffany Foster and Victor Win Suncast® 1.50m

Fifty entries started in round one of Sunday’s $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, with ten advancing to the jump-off and five double clear rounds. Two-time Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster took top honors with her veteran partner Victor, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Elmshorn x Grandeur) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable.

Jimmy Torano (USA) set the pace in the jump-off in 40.23 seconds to eventually finish fifth aboard Day Dream, owned by Jimmy and Danielle Torano. Laura Kraut (USA) and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Constable II upped the pace in 38.75 seconds to earn the third place prize. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm’s Skyhorse followed with the fourth place time of 40.21 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) briefly jumped into the lead with a time of 37.56 seconds riding his own and Susan Heller’s Tina la Boheme, but was bested in the end. Third to last, Foster and Victor raced through the timers in 36.82 seconds.

Tiffany Foster and Victor

“I think that I had an advantage, going later in the jump-off, and knowing how fast that everybody was going,” Foster said following her round. “It was one of those jump-offs where you just needed foot speed and you needed to take a little bit of an extra risk at some point. I know my horse obviously really well, since I have had him forever, and I knew that if I landed on stride one in that last line, I could probably get there in seven. I kind of opted for seven very fast strides instead of eight formal strides, but I have huge trust and confidence in my horse, and I knew he would get there. It turned out well, because if not, I do not think we could have won it.”

Even in the first round, Foster knew that she had the longtime partnership with Victor on her side.

“He is such an experienced and great horse that to jump one of these courses, even though they are difficult, you feel like it is easy for him,” Foster noted of the horse she has ridden for eight years. “That makes a big difference. There is a big margin of error I think, when you go into a class like that on a horse with that much scope and experience. That obviously is a huge advantage, and you feel a lot of confidence with that.”

Now that Victor is 15 years old, Foster and the team at Artisan Farms pick his classes carefully and try to keep the gelding’s schedule light.

“I was not even planning to do this class,” Foster laughed. “Victor’s owner, Andy Ziegler, has full credit for me even being in this class today. I had a time-fault in the WEF (Challenge Cup), and I was so mad at myself because my plan was for that to be Victor’s only class. If it were not for Andy, I never would have entered, so he has full credit for this win.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious were victorious in the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic.

Augusta Iwasaki and Caleche Crowned Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter Champions

The Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter division finished Sunday morning on ‘Pony Island.’ Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA guided Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ Caleche to win two over fences classes, place fourth in the other over fences round, and fifth in the conformation. The pair earned the championship honors with a total of 23 points.

Caleche, a ten-year-old Oldenburg Pony mare by Constantin, was imported late in 2011 and started her U.S. show career at WEF in 2012. The mare is currently stabled at Stefanie Mazer’s Forget Me Not Farm in Wellington, FL.

“She’s an awesome large pony,” Mazer complimented. “She’s beautiful, easy to take care of, and so sweet. It is a real pleasure to have her in the barn. She always jumps in great form and is a really classy mare.”

Mazer introduced Caleche to her current owners two years ago when they first purchased the mare.

“I actually sold her to her current owners,” Mazer continued. “She was for [Barrett-Gurtis’] daughter to show in the pony divisions. Her daughter outgrew ponies, and they sent the Caleche back to me at the 2015 Washington International Horse Show to sell. The mare has been doing really well during the winter circuit!”

Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC captured the reserve ribbon aboard Valor. The pair received a second place ribbon under saddle, second in an over fences trip, and third in the conformation class. Valor, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, is a 13-year-old Welsh Pony gelding that Mimi Gochman previously campaigned.

The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its tenth week of competition on March 15-19, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Karen Polle and With Wings Win $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*

Karen Polle and With Wings. Photos © Sportfot.

Fuqua and Colvin Victorious in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – March 11, 2017 – Karen Polle (JPN) and With Wings made it two-for-two during week nine at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL with a victory in Saturday night’s $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, after also topping Thursday’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup (the grand prix qualifier). U.S. Olympian Margie Engle (USA) riding Royce, and Spanish Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya aboard Charmeur, placed second and third, respectively.

Alan Wade’s (IRL) course got the best of many on Saturday night, as only four out of 39 entries cleared the first round without fault. In the jump-off, Polle and her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x L. Ronald) were the only pair to complete a second clear track, racing through the timers in 42.42 seconds.

Engle and Gladewinds Partners’ Royce had one rail in the double combination and finished in 43.36 seconds. Alvarez Moya and Charmeur dropped one rail at the final fence in the jump-off with a time of 43.81 seconds. Quentin Judge (USA) placed fourth, riding Double H Farm’s HH Conrad to 12 faults over the short course in 45.22 seconds.

Remarking on her win, 24-year-old Polle declared, “I feel disbelief first of all. It has not really sunk in yet. The week could not have gone any better. I won both my classes, and my horse jumped unbelievably all week, every jump. He really helped me out, and he felt great tonight, so I am really, really happy.”

Detailing her strategy for the jump-off, Polle stated, “My plan was just to go as fast as I could. There were only four, so I just wanted to go for it, because I was going to get a good ribbon either way. I just picked up a good gallop and tried to be as neat as I could.”

Saturday was Polle’s first time jumping clear, and her first time jumping off, in a Saturday Night Lights grand prix at WEF. She had the great confidence of a longtime partnership riding With Wings on her side.

“When I first got him, I did not know so much. I was still a junior, but I knew he was special,” Polle said of their seven-year partnership. “I really believed in him, and I did not ever feel like there was a jump that was too big for us, or a course that was too difficult for us. I am just really glad that we were able to win because I have always felt like he is a real winner.”

During their years together, Polle and With Wings have had the guidance of some of the biggest names in show jumping. Olympic team gold medalist and Rolex Grand Slam Champion Scott Brash (GBR), Olympian Mario Deslauriers (USA), ten-time Olympian Ian Millar (CAN), and Olympic silver and bronze medalist Paul Schockemöhle (GER) have all played a role in developing this young talent. On Saturday night, Polle was competing under the tutelage of Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil.

“I have been really lucky to work with quite a few top professionals,” Polle acknowledged. “All of them have really helped me and Wings get to where we are now. I used little things that I have learned from all of them tonight to do the course, and to do the jump-off.

“I hope to win a lot more classes like this,” she added. “It is an unbelievable feeling, and this is why we do this – why we work so hard at home to then come here and be able to win a class like this. I hope I can continue to have many more of these moments and many more Saturday night grand prix wins.”

Engle was aboard her talented mount Royce for a second place finish on Saturday and was happy with her horse’s efforts.

“He has felt great all circuit,” Engle said of the 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Café au Lait x Grandilot). “Karen just was the one to beat this week. She was on fire. I was very happy with Royce. He has been riding very well. He jumped well on Thursday and then again tonight. I just jumped in a little big into the double (in the jump-off). He tried to get out of the way. I just needed to nip inside, but he felt great.”

Commenting on the evening’s course, Engle continued, “I thought it was tough enough. It was appropriate for a five-star event. There were a lot of technical questions. The course was long, and it was up and down. It was kind of nice to have only four in the jump-off. You knew that if you went clean, you were going to get a good piece of the prize money.”

Alvarez Moya was riding a less experienced mount for the night’s competition with his ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Charmeur (Numero Uno x Gelha’s VDL Emilion).

“I am very happy the way he jumped today. It is his first big grand prix,” Alvarez Moya noted. “He is pretty sensitive, and I was doubting actually until last night if I was going to ride him in the grand prix or not, but he is normally very brave. I was very happy when I saw there were only four in the jump-off. I knew they were fast, but I had to be a little careful at the number three. In the first round my horse did a little bit of a funny jump, and I did not want to scare him in the jump-off. I think the rest was good. He tried hard. He was very careful, and I am just very happy with him.

“I have had him since he was six,” Alvarez Moya continued. “Last year he did a few bigger classes, but not like this, and for sure not under the lights and a five-star grand prix. I always believed a lot in him. I think he is a pretty special horse. He is just very sensitive and sharp, so I took it very slow with him. I definitely think he is the one I have to replace Carlo, which is not an easy job.”

Representing Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Don Langdon remarked on the evening’s competition and praised the riders on a great night of sport.

“First of all, congratulations to the top three – Margie, Sergio, and Karen,” Langdon stated. “It is great for me, who does not ride, to participate for the last 30 years and to see the growth of what has happened in this community. Mark (Bellissimo) has built this brand far greater than any sights that we had ever imagined. Douglas Elliman is the fourth largest real estate company in the country. We are a private company, which is great. This plays right into our brand. We like to patronize the people that also patronize our company, and obviously the equestrians have been an amazing role in our success in the Wellington area. We appreciate that.”

Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo wrapped a great night with his comments. He stated, “There were people years ago who said that we would never fill the seats when we built them, and I think the reality is that we are coming consistently every Saturday with pretty much a full house. I think it is a testament to the athletes here. People here are developing a following. I think the sport is really taking hold in this community, and hopefully, that is something that can be replicated in other markets. I want to thank Rolex first and foremost. These five-stars are very important to attract the talent that we have here. Rolex is the brand that has stepped up and really transformed this facility with very heavy investment, and allowed us to get to the four five-star events.

“I am really proud of the riders,” Bellissimo continued. “To see Karen and that smile; it is great when you see someone win something for the first time. This was the first time that a Japanese rider has won a five-star grand prix here. I was very happy to see the excitement of Karen’s win, and hopefully it is the first of many.”

As the grand prix winner, Polle was presented the Herman ‘Kappy’ Kaplan Perpetual Memorial Trophy. She was also given the Leading Lady Rider Award for week nine, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Giavanna Rinaldi and Haylie Rolfe’s Caretina III won the $10,000 SJHOF Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch. The $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers, saw a win for Lacey Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi. Kamille Marcussen and Bull Run’s Pistol Pete were also victorious in the $1,500 Martha Jolicoeur, Douglas Elliman Low Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class.

Fuqua and Colvin Victorious in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Junior, amateur, and professional hunter riders guided their horses around the grass derby field at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Equestrian Village on Saturday morning in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. The class was awarded in two sections, a junior/amateur section and an open section, and consisted of first and second rounds, where the top 12 competitors returned for a handy trip.

Kat Fuqua and High Noon 3E

Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA won her second big class of the weekend. After winning the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby on Friday, she bested a field of 20 juniors and amateurs aboard High Noon 3E. The pair earned scores of 83 in the first round and 84 in the second round for a combined total of 167.

Speaking of her third experience showing the gelding in a national derby, Fuqua said, “It feels really good to win the derby. This is the first horse derby I’ve placed in with him. I loved doing the victory gallop, and he felt really good on the grass field. I train with Liz Reilly and Keri Kampsen; they’ve helped me improve a lot.”

One of the youngest in the class, Fuqua started riding the 2003 Canadian Sport Horse, owned by Float On Equestrian, LLC, earlier in the winter circuit and also shows him in the Children’s Hunter and Equitation 11 & Under divisions.

“We call him ‘Hippo’ in the barn,” she continued. “He loves attention (and) treats and is really friendly. My favorite thing about him is his smooth stride. I’m really proud of my horse!”

Kira Telford of Chicago, IL claimed the second place ribbon. Telford rode Calistoga Gold to matching scores of 82 in both rounds, for an overall total of 164. The third place ribbon went Lisa Butzer of Boca Raton, FL, and CS Online, owned by Allyson Coluccio. The pair received scores of 81 and 76 in the first and second rounds, respectively, for a total score of 157.

Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL piloted Harper Lee to the win in the open section. Colvin and the six-year-old Polish Warmblood mare earned the highest scores in both trips, an 88 in the first round and a 94 in the second round, for an overall score of 182.

“She’s the easiest horse in the world,” Colvin explained. “She just goes right around the field and doesn’t look at the spooky jumps or anything. In the handy round, the horse before me was really nice so I had to go for it, and she was amazing. I just let go and cantered around.”

Laura Karet has owned the mare for two years and recently started showing her in the Low Adult Hunters.

“We’ve been bringing her along slowly, and this is really exciting,” said Karet. “This is her second derby. She’s really never done anything like this so we didn’t know what to expect. We’re very proud of her!”

Colvin also picked up the third place in ribbon in the open section guiding Caliber, another entry owned by Laura Karet, to a first round score 84 and a handy score of 90, which resulted in a total score of 174. Kim Barone of Watertown, MN received the second place ribbon aboard Easy Street HU, owned by Raven Ridge Farm, with scores of 87.5 and 91 in the first and second round, respectively, to earn a combined score of 178.5.

The ninth week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Arena. The Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter division will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 11. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle Race to Five-Star Win at WEF

Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle. Photos © Sportfot.

Pony Hunters Take Over Derby Field

Wellington, FL – March 10, 2017 – Lillie Keenan (USA) and Be Gentle clocked a blazing fast time to win the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* on Friday, March 10, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) saw 18 clear rounds out of 47 entries to contest his 1.45m speed track, and the times got faster and faster until the very end.

Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm’s Cyklon 1083 raced in at 60.50 seconds for a brief lead, but eventually finished fourth. Ali Wolff (USA) and John C. Wolff’s Caya stole the lead in 60.34 seconds, but settled for second in the end. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) came close to the time, but placed third with his round in 60.40 seconds riding E2 Stables’ Caruschka 2. With three left to go, Keenan and Chansonette Farm’s Be Gentle raced to the win in 59.83 seconds.

“That was really exciting!” Keenan stated. “That horse gives you a great feeling because pretty much any class you enter, you have a shot at winning as long as you stay out of her way. I think there are very few horses that you can say that about.”

Keenan had the advantage of jumping the track first on her horse Super Sox, and then going at the end with ‘Jenny,’ an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ticallux Verte x Gentleman).

“After I jumped my first horse, the one that I really wanted to watch to get a sense of what the winning track would need to be was Shane Sweetnam,” Keenan detailed. “I think everyone would agree that he is a master of these classes, especially on Cyklon. I watched him go, and I thought that I would be happy if I was second to that. Then they started going faster and faster.

“The great thing about Jenny is that we walked a plan, and I knew what I had to do. She lets you make decisions in advance because she is so dependable,” Keenan continued. “I was able to do a lot of the leave-outs. Where she makes up so much time is in the turns. I count the strides between the jumps that are on the corners. I think that is what made the difference, but the class got really fast at the end.”

The 20-year-old rider is in school at Harvard University and splits her time between Boston and Wellington each week. The busy schedule is a bit different from most professionals, but trainer Cian O’Connor and his team at Karlswood Stables keep Keenan’s horses ready to go.

“It is fun to be able to participate in classes like that and actually have a shot,” she noted. “Unlike most professionals, I go to school for half the week. I don’t sit on a horse, and then I show up on Thursday morning and try to jump the main class that day. When I first started the circuit, it was a little bit of a reality check. I am much shorter on experience than a lot of the riders in these classes, and I am tough on myself about that, but at the same time I have to be realistic.

“It is amazing to have a horse like Jenny that knows her job,” Keenan added. “She is funny because at home on the flat, or in the schooling area, she does not want to do traditional work. She does not need to be drilled on anything; she just wants to go her own way. When you watch her walk into the ring, I just have her on a loose rein, and then as soon as she hears the buzzer, she knows. As soon as you pick up a canter and point her at a jump, it is like she zeroes in. She is an amazing horse.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 2* class saw 62 entries and 18 qualified for the jump-off. Sixteen entries continued on for the tiebreaker, where eight jumped double clear.

The win went to Hilary McNerney (USA) and Z Acodate DDL in the fastest time of 35.17 seconds. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s d’Arnita finished second in 35.52 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) aboard her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince placed third in 35.64 seconds.

McNerney’s Z Acodate DDL was also given the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week eight, presented by Laura Fetterman.

Earlier in the day, Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya earned his second win of the week, topping the $6,000 1.40m Speed Challenge riding Iron Man 111. The $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed concluded the day with a win for Olivia Chowdry and Cosma 20.

Pony Hunters Take Over Derby Field

Pony hunters competed Saturday on the grass derby field at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Equestrian Village. Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA won the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, and Luke Jensen of Benton, TX topped the Small Pony Hunter Classic, sponsored by Visse Wedell and Douglas Elliman. Both classes consisted of first and second rounds, where the top 12 competitors returned for a handy trip.

Sixty-five riders vied for the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby title, but it was Fuqua who rode Somekindawonderful, an entry owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, to win the blue ribbon. The pair earned the high score in the first round, an 89, and an 81 in the second round for a total score of 171.

Kat Fuqua and Somekindawonderful

“It was really fun,” said Fuqua. “I love the grass and all the jumps. I’ve been riding Somekindawonderful for about a year. We call him Ronald. He’s really sweet and loves to cuddle.”

In addition to riding the 16-year-old New Forest Pony by Justice H.R., Fuqua rode three other ponies in the class on Saturday and finished inside the top 15 with each of them. Fuqua trains with Elizabeth Reilly of Makoto Farms and competes in the Pony Hunter and Equitation 11 & Under divisions.

“In the handy round on my other pony I went off course, so I really had to focus on the course,” Fuqua explained. “The last thing Liz [Reilly] said to me before going in the ring was to ‘keep going forward.’ I am really thankful for Liz. Since I started training with her, I have improved a lot.”

Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC earned the second place ribbon. Gordon piloted Elle Gibbs’ Astro Boy to scores of 85 and 83 in the first and second rounds, respectively, for an overall score of 168.

Speaking of the 2006 medium Welsh Pony, Gordon said, “He just has the best personality around the barn, as well as when you’re on him. He’s a lot of fun to jump, and he jumps really well. It was exciting to ride on the grass field.”

Gordon also rode several other ponies in the class.

“My first two rides didn’t go as planned,” she continued. “It is a really spooky venue, so I got on Max [Astro Boy] with the mentality of whatever comes, comes. It ended up going really well so I’m happy!”

The third place ribbon went to Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA and Caleche, owned by Laura Barrett-Gurtis. Iwasaki guided the 2006 large pony mare by Constantin to a first round score of 81 and a second round score of 86, earning a total score of 167.

Jensen rode So Enchanted, an entry owned by Rendezvous Farm, to win the $1,000 Small Pony Hunter Classic, sponsored by Visse Wedell and Douglas Elliman. The pair was sitting in third place after the first round with a score of 83, but consistency was key and a second round score of 84 for an overall total of 167 was enough to warrant the blue ribbon.

After dutifully helping untack the 2008 Welsh Pony Cross mare by Maple Side Mr. Magic, Jensen explained why he enjoyed showing on the grass field.

“I love being able to get away from a regular show ring,” he said. “I got to gallop, and my rounds were very consistent and smooth. I love being able to really gallop up to the jumps and have her jump so well. She really paid attention in the grass field, which I liked. She’s really sassy, but the thing I like most about her is her canter.”

Clara Propp of New York, NY earned both the second and third place ribbons. Propp and her second place mount, Everyday Enzo, owned by Olivia Golden, LLC, received a score of 82 in both rounds for a combined score of 164. Everyday Enzo is a 17-year-old Welsh Pony that Propp started riding at the end of 2016. A total score of 161 for Propp and Quicksilver Butterfly was enough for third place. The 2005 Welsh Pony mare by Mortons Best Man is owned by Aquitaine Equine.

Week nine of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday featuring the $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, in the International Arena during the evening. The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby will decide a winner on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds). For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.