Erin McGuire and Cassallo [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
The Hunters were happening Week I of the Atlanta Spring Classic at the Georgia International Horse Park.
The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, awarded the blue ribbon to Cassallo, owned and ridden by Erin McGuire of Cornelius, North Carolina. McGuire and Cassallo held the lead after the first round with their score of 88 and topped that with a second round score of 90 for a combined 178.
McGuire commented, “The course was great. Allen [Rheinheimer] always does a great job. The Derby had a great first round and the second round had lots of options and you could make it as Handy as you wanted,” she said. “I just kind of cruised around and had a blast,” she said.
“I’ve had Casallo for about six years. He was my Junior Hunter and we leased him to one of Bob Crandall’s clients and I just got him back maybe in November or December,” said McGuire. “Bob was the one who bought and imported Casallo as a four year old and got him started and I then I bought him when he was seven. Leasing him back to Bob really brought everything full circle,” she said.
“I know him really well and he’s my heart and soul,” said McGuire. “He gives me all he’s got and I give him the same,” she said. “I focused so much on qualifying for the big shows when we did the Juniors and to show him again is just icing on the cake. Now it is so much fun to just go to horse shows and have fun,” she added. “He’s still available for lease or purchase, but for now I’m just enjoying the opportunity to ride and show him,” McGuire said.
Allure, owned and ridden by Gianna Cobb of Marietta, Georgia, earned a second place ribbon after earning a first round score of 83 and Handy score of 82 for a total of 165.
Sarah Milliren of Athens, Georgia piloted Don’t Tell, owned by Courtenay Billings, and Saint Oliver, owned by Karen Bailey, to a third and fifth place showing, respectively. Don’t Tell earned a combined score of 161 and Saint Oliver earned a total combined score of 157.
Perfektionist, owned and ridden by Phoebe Topping of Sagaponack, New York, placed fourth with their combined score of 158.
Pansy Winters’ Wheels of Fortune, ridden by Cindy Ball of Covington, Georgia, earned a sixth placing for their combined first and second round scores of 152.
Seventh went to Capriccio, owned by Samantha Kench and ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, and eighth was awarded to Americana, owned by Wind Haven Farm and ridden by Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana.
Perfect Gentleman, owned and ridden by Brittany Wyatt of Fayetteville, Georgia, placed ninth and Seaside Tony, owned and ridden by Karema Moheisen of Southport, Florida, placed tenth. Blue Dane Equine Investment’s Essential, ridden by McKala Cass of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed eleventh and Duchesse, owned and ridden by Grace Skillman of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, wrapped the class up in twelfth place.
Holly Shepherd and Sky High [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High galloped away with their first Grand Prix win in the $40,777 Kruse Cushion Ride Grand Prix, presented by the City of Gulfport, on a course designed by former Assistant Olympic Course Designer for the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2016 Games, Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico.
Esparza set the first round time allowed at 83 seconds. “The course was well designed and had a nice flow to it. Early on the course looked pretty good, and there weren’t any big tricks, but it rode a little backwards,” commented Shepherd. “You’d jump in fast but then have to slow it down, hurry up, slow down,” she said. “The jumps were big and the time allowed was really tight,” she added.
Carson Grisham of Southlake, Texas and her own Crack De Muze, winners of the $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome two days earlier, were the first horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round in a time of 49.566 seconds.
Four rides later, Shepherd and Sky High insured there would be a jump off with their clear first round in a time of 82.345 seconds.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia followed Shepherd with the next clear first round in a time of 82.706 seconds and would round out the jump off roster.
Grisham and Crack De Muze were the first to go in the jump off and turned in a fault free round, beating the time allowed of 59 seconds with their own 49.566 seconds. Shepherd and Sky High were next to go.
“My jump off plan was to leave the strides out, rather than slow it down,” she said when asked about her strategy. “He loves the field, and he’s a great galloper,” Shepherd said. “He’s a little slow in the air, but he has such a big stride it’s really beneficial,” she added.
And beneficial it was. Shepherd and Sky High, also known as “Pete”, turned in a fault free second round in a time of 48.745 seconds, setting the new time to beat. When Hicks and Emir D retired from the second round, Shepherd and Sky High were crowned the victors.
“I’ve had him for about nine months. He’s got a great personality, loves to be scratched all over and is a really great horse. We’ve been doing the Grand Prix and he’s ribboned quite a bit, but this is our first win. We did a bit change a couple of weeks ago in order to maintain his step and shape, and I think we maybe found the magic. I feel like we’re on the right path and we’ll be showing here the next two weeks,” said Shepherd.
Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas picked up fourth and fifth place ribbons in the irons of Hannah Donald’s Hector for their one time fault first round in 83.209 seconds and his own Lochnivar who earned three time faults in their first round in a time of 85.314 seconds.
Sixth place went to Frank Owens of Windcrest, Texas and MTM Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl with their four fault first round in a time of 78.874 seconds, and Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu placed seventh with their four fault first round in a time of 79.737 seconds.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia placed eighth with their four fault first round in a time of 80.742 seconds and Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso placed ninth. Tenth was awarded to Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarique, Colleen Acosta of Roanoke, Texas and Evalyn Grace LLC’s Himini earned eleventh, and Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Ceralena wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.
The $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place on Friday and sixteen horse and rider teams tackled the course designed by Manuel Esparza.
The first round was set with a time allowed of 89 seconds and eight horse and rider teams advanced to a second round opportunity. Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round, and their clear second round in a time of 46.642 seconds, set the new time to beat.
Frank Owens and DS Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl followed Hicks with double clear rounds. Their clear second round in a time of 43.967 moved Hicks and Emir D into second position and they took the lead.
The lead was short lived when Jorge Ludwig and his own Lamarique followed suit, turning in double clear round and a second round in a time of 43.365 seconds and set the new time to beat.
Laura Connaway of and her own Ceralena followed Ludwig with a clear first round and advanced to the second round. Four faults in a time of 48.168 would see the pair finish in eighth place overall.
Cerulean Stables, LLC’s HHS Louis, ridden by Penny Brennan, were the next horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round. Their fault free second round in a time of 43.721 seconds would see the pair finish in third place overall.
Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High followed with the next clear first round effort. Their second round resulted in four jump faults in a time of 44.630 seconds which would find them with a seventh place finish.
Carson Grisham and her own Crack De Muze followed Shepherd and Sky High with double clear rounds and a second round time of 42.222 which took the lead.
Matt Cyphert and Hannah Donald’s Hector, winner of last week’s $25,000 CWD Grand Prix, followed Grisham, but their second round saw four jump faults in a time of 43.126 seconds which would find them finishing in sixth place overall.
Final results had Grisham and Crack De Muze with the win and Ludwig and Lamarique in second. Brennan and HHS Louis picked up third and Owens and MTM Twenties Girl placed fourth. Hicks and Emir D finished in fifth and Cyphert and Hector picked up sixth place.
Matt Cyphert and Hector [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas and Hannah Donald’s Hector won the $25,000 CWD Grand Prix over a course designed by world-renowned course designer Leopoldo Palacios.
“I think it’s really interesting how the course designers have such different styles. Last week we had Michel Vaillancourt and he is just brilliant and this week to have Leopoldo [Palacios]! Both are amazing and have such unique styles. We’re so lucky and fortunate to have those experiences with the top designers here in Gulfport,” he said.
“Leopoldo used the whole field and you galloped the whole thing. There weren’t a lot of related distances,” commented Cyphert. Of the fourteen horse and rider teams, only three qualified for the jump off and Cyphert had two in the mix.
Cyphert and his own Lochnivar were first to go in the jump off order and turned in a clear round in a time of 49.811 seconds, within the 60 seconds time allowed, setting the new time to beat. “I was first to go and I thought I was really fast on Lochnivar and thought he was really good. I’m at the in gate discussing strategy with my girlfriend Kelly and I turned to Pedro Tamayo who is my longtime groom and in charge of Hector and said, ‘I don’t think I can go that fast on Hector’. Then Jorge [Ludwig] went in and beat our time! Pedro turned to me and said, ‘Well I guess you have to now’,” he laughed. Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarque beat Lochnivar and Cyphert’s time with their own 49.042 seconds.
Last to go in the jump off order was Hector and Cyphert. “I’ve had Hector for a couple of years and the Donalds purchased him for their daughter. She did the Young Riders with him last year and then went off to school. So, we just sort of needed him to do something and continue to show,” said Cyphert.
“Leopoldo used a large part of the field for the jump off. There was one set track and we all did the same turns, so I just really tried to let him gallop between the jumps. That was the first time I really called upon Hector and the first time I pushed it with him. He was really good, just wonderful and listening to me, coming back before the jumps. It was a really fast jump off and I went as fast as I could, especially to the last jump which was the CWD jump. When I talked to Jorge after the class, that’s where he thought I caught him,” said Cyphert.
Hector and Cyphert finished their fault free jump off round in a time of 48.207 seconds and took the win! “We will never underestimate Hector again!” commented Cyphert.
“Hector is one of the most athletic horses I have ever ridden and he just covered the ground and jumped out of his skin,” said Cyphert. “The Donalds are fantastic people and clients and I’m so happy for them,” Cyphert added. “It’s a privilege to ride a horse that nice.”
The class wrapped up with Cyphert taking the first and third place ribbons with Hector and Lochnivar, respectively, and Ludwig taking the second place ribbon with his own Lamarique.
Sun Tzu, owned and ridden by Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama, picked up the fourth place ribbon as the fastest four-faulter with a time of 82.213 seconds, followed by Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Ceralena, who placed fifth with their four-fault first round in 83.852 seconds.
Sixth went to Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama and her own Clearwater 5 for their four-fault first round in a time of 84.978 seconds. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama earned a seventh and ninth place ribbon with Deja Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High. Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri picked up an eighth and twelfth place ribbon with Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and Al Pacini, respectively, while Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso placed tenth. Brennan returned for an eleventh place ribbon in the irons on her own and Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach’s Mister Money.
“We were thrilled we won the class,” said Cyphert. “And then the craziest thing happened. I got a call from a friend with some terrible news. He told me that Jim Calareso who owned Fox Creek Mobile Equine Outfitters suddenly died of a heart attack this morning,” he said. “We were crushed. We went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Jim was such an icon in Colorado. I’ve known Jim for half of my life. He lived life to the fullest; he loved his friends, vacation and the entire equestrian community. His loss is huge to the Colorado horse community and those that knew and loved him,” he said. “So I am dedicating my win today to Jim. He meant so much to me and others. He will be terribly missed,” he added.
The $8,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place on Friday and fourteen horse and rider teams tacked the course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Only four advanced to a second round opportunity. Matt Cyphert and Suzanne Suitles Better Judgement turned in a clear second round in a time of 50.175 seconds, well within the 55 seconds time allowed and set the new time to beat.
Laura Connaway and her own Ceralena followed Cyphert and Better Judgement with a clear second round in a time of 48.697 seconds, moving Cyphert and Better Judgement into the second place position.
Penny Brennan and her own Sun Tzu were the next horse and rider team to advance to the jump off round. However, four faults in a time of 46.143 seconds would find them as the fastest four faulter and sitting in third place. Cyphert returned with Hector for their second round opportunity, but four faults in a time of 48.499 seconds would see them finish in fourth place overall.
Fifth was awarded to Dominique Damico and her own Canoso for their first round which suffered one time fault in a time of 86.330 seconds. Holly Shepherd and Hanley Morrison’s SCS Luigi placed sixth after earning two time faults for their first round in a time of 87.199 seconds.
Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia and EMC International’s Fluttersby placed seventh with their first round in a time of 87.672 seconds which earned them two time faults.
Brennan and her own and Michelle Guardino-Deffelbach’s Mister Money earned an eighth place ribbon after turning in a four fault first round in a time of 82.534 seconds.
Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama and her own Clearwater 5 placed ninth after a four fault first round in a time of 84.940 seconds and Jorge Ludwig and his own Lamarique placed tenth.
The Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classics 1.20 m and 1.30 m awarded Madison Akins of Bogart, Georgia and her own Chasm Z the blue in the 1.20 m and Lila Sessums of Clinton, Mississippi and her own Jet the win in the Arenus 1.30 m Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic.
Only six riders in the 1.20 m earned a second round opportunity and Akins and Chasm Z were the fastest on the field, turning in a clear second round in a time of 32.341 seconds. Olivia Epple of Palmetto, Georgia and Livhaven Stables’ Corini earned a second place ribbon with their clear second round in a time of 35.446 seconds.
The Arenus 1.30 m Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic had only two horse and rider teams return for a second round opportunity and the first to go in the order, Jet and Sessums, soared fault free over the beautiful grass grand prix field in a time of 33.158 seconds, setting the new time to beat. Second place finisher Heather Zuber of Zionsville, Indiana and her own Phoenix also advanced to the second round. Although their round was fault free, their time of 35.946 seconds would see them finish in second place.
The $4,777 Jumper Classic, always a favorite at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics, saw eighteen horse and rider teams go for the blue. Penny Brennan and her own Japan rode away with the win after turning in lightning fast double clear rounds in times of 72.675 seconds and 32.643 seconds. Lila Sessums and her own Jet earned the second place ribbon after their double clear rounds and second round time of 35.040.
Matt Cyphert and Lochinvar [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Matt Cyphert of North Lake, Texas arrived at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit Week II and kicked it off with a trifecta win in Friday’s $8,000 Horseflight Open Welcome and brought home the first, second and third place ribbons.
As the first to turn in double clear rounds on his own Lochinvar, with times of 70.036 seconds and 37.313 seconds, respectively, Cyphert set the new time to beat besting the 47 second round time allowed.
Only two other horse and rider teams advanced to the second round besides Cyphert and included last week’s $25,000 Domino’s Grand Prix winner Lincoln Case’s Canebrake, ridden by Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Helen Gilbert’s Al Pacini, ridden by Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri.
Canebrake and Boyce-Petrey followed Cyphert and Lochinvar with double clear rounds, but their second round time of 44.150 finished them in fourth place overall.
Cyphert followed Boyce-Petrey and Canebrake with Hannah Donald’s Hector with the next set of double clear rounds. Their second round time of 43.054 seconds rewarded them with a third place finish.
Hicks and Al Pacini were the next horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round and although their second round time was the fastest in 35.973 seconds, four jump faults had them finish in fifth place.
Cyphert and Suzanne Suttles’ Better Judgement sat in the last to go position. Going clean in their first round, the pair’s fault free second round time in 39.347 seconds would have them finish in second place overall.
Hicks returned for both sixth and seventh place ribbons in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and C’Havinia after turning in four fault first rounds in times of 70.113 seconds and 70.181 seconds, respectively.
Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu earned an eighth place ribbon after turning in a four fault first round in a time of 71.089 seconds.
Whitney Boyce-Petrey and Canebrake [Alison Hartwell Photography]
Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake won the $25,000 Domino’s Grand Prix under sunny skies at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic. As their first Grand Prix win, the victory was especially sweet!
Course Designer Nancy Wallis of Lambertville, New Jersey set the first round time allowed at 79 seconds. “I think Nancy did a great job designing all week,” commented Boyce-Petrey. “She built all week and got everyone comfortable. Each class she designed would present us with a new challenge or question on the course leading up to the Grand Prix,” she added.
First to go Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia turned in a first round effort in a time of 73.434 seconds, but with four jump faults would finish in second place as the fastest four fault round.
Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama in the irons of her own Clearwater 5 followed in a time of 75.961, but a heartbreak rail at the final fence had them finish in sixth place overall.
Penny Brennan and her own Sun Tzu, the victors in Friday’s $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome, had a rail at the second fence and their time of 75.067 would find them finishing in fifth place overall.
Boyce-Petrey had her first ride in the grand prix field on WRB Show Stables, LLC’s Mira, but their time of 79.688 seconds with five rails and time faults would find them finishing in eleventh place overall.
Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Cauoso followed with an eight fault first round in a time of 75.759 seconds, awarding them an eighth place overall.
Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia and EMC International’s Fluttershy also earned eight jump faults, and their time of 79.993 seconds added one time fault for an overall ninth place finish.
Hicks returned to the field, this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Al Pachini. Four faults in a time of 74.495 seconds earned them a fourth place ribbon.
Brennan and Mister Money, owned by Brennan and Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach, followed in the order, but eight jump faults in a time of 74.762 seconds awarded them a seventh place finish.
Boyce-Petrey was up next, this time with Canebrake and the pair turned in the only first round leaving all the rails up. Their time of 79.049 seconds earned them one time fault, but also the win.
“The course walked nice and didn’t scare you when you walked it,” said Boyce-Petrey, “but it rode a little different,” she said. “It was fun and rode well, but it was a bit tougher,” she added. Boyce-Petrey continued, “The Horseflight jump wasn’t near the in gate, but you had to ride toward the gate and then make a 90 degree turn to get to the Horseflight jump. With my first horse I rode, I overrode the one stride and then my horse spooked really hard at the Horseflight jump. For my second ride, I made sure my horse saw the Horseflight jump,” she said.
Dees returned with her own Rico S for her second ride, but twelve jump faults in a time of 73.089 seconds saw them finish in tenth place overall.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D sat in the enviable last to go position, but four jump faults in a time of 73.862 seconds would see them finish in third place overall.
“We just got him [Canebrake] in the beginning of the fall and this was his first Grand Prix of the season and his first win,” Boyce-Petrey exclaimed. “We got him from a friend of mine in Ohio who got him as a Low Junior Jumper. She did some smaller classes with him and thought he could be something special and that’s when we bought him,” she said.
Boyce-Petrey continued, “We started working for the Case family about a year ago and they are just the loveliest and most supportive people. Since then, our business has grown tremendously. And we have a great staff! Heather Hays, Andrew Michael and Cullen Latimer are just amazing,” she added.
“We really like showing in Gulfport every year,” said Boyce-Petrey. “We brought nineteen horses with us and we’ll be here next week too. It’s a great show; we live in New Orleans so it’s an easy hour drive from home so we can run back and forth when we need to and the people here are so nice!”
Penny Brennan and Sun Tzu [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu kicked off the opening week of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic with a blue ribbon in the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome besting a field of fifteen horse and rider teams! “That was such a fun class!” exclaimed Brennan. “It was like a horse race! You had a bunch of double clears and they just kept getting faster and faster,” she said.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia were the first to go in the order and turned in a clear first round effort in a time of 71.808 seconds. Although their second round in a time of 33.234 seconds beat the time allowed of 40 seconds, their four jump faults would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Dennis Murphy, Jr. of Vandiver, Alabama and Lila Sessums’ Jet followed in the order with double clear rounds in times of 76.313 seconds and 37.938 seconds, setting the new time to beat.
Sydney Luzicka of Albuquerque, New Mexico and her own St. John 10:9 were the next to turn in double clear rounds in times of 68.312 seconds and 32.881 seconds, taking the lead.
Hicks returned to the Grand Prix field, this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and turned in the next double clear round in times of 72.122 seconds and 33.127 seconds, respectively, and would finish the class in fourth place.
Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake followed with the next clear round in a time of 77.106 seconds. However, their second round in a time of 50.062 seconds with fifteen faults would find them finishing in eighth place overall.
Dees returned to the field with the next clear first round in the irons of her own Clearwater S and posted double clear rounds in times of 69.987 seconds and 33.828 seconds, respectively, which would earn them a fifth place ribbon.
Brennan and Sun Tzu were the next to turn in double clear rounds. The pair is a force to reckon with each year at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics and it looks as if 2017 will be no exception. Brennan piloted Sun Tzu through the first round fault free in a time of 72.054 seconds. Their lightning fast, clear second round in a time of 29.950 seconds set the new time to beat and would take the lead.
“It was a really fast class!” said Brennan. “There was jump one and then two, then a roll back over the vertical and then another roll back. After the roll back there was a hedge around the gazebo and I swear I cut it so tight I went right through it! There were leaves all around me – that’s how hard I hit it!” she laughed.
“The Horseflight oxer was narrow and square, set on an angle and set up to have the front rail down,” commented Brennan. “It felt like you were jumping into the VIP tent which took the horse’s focus,” she added. “The way it was set, it was hard to slice it but Shannon sliced it and went through it,” she said. “The distance I saw was the angle and we took the tight distance which is not what I meant to do. But if I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have won the class and Sun Tzu is just that brilliant,” she added. “We did a flat out run to the last jump. I walked it in 10 and I think we did it in 8!” she said.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Al Pachini challenged Brennan and Sun Tzu’s round, posting double clear trips in times of 71.383 seconds and 30.858 seconds, respectively, which would find them finishing in second place.
Sydney Luzicka and her own St. John: 10:9 finished with third place honors and Hicks returned for a fourth place ribbon with Emir D. Sara Dees and her own Clearwater S finished in fifth and Dennis Murphy, Jr. and Jet took sixth place. Hicks returned for seventh with C’Havinia and Whitney Boyce-Petrey and Lincoln Case’s Canebrake finished in eighth place.
Dees and Rico S placed ninth and Dominique Damico and her own Canoso earned a tenth place ribbon.
“My horses had a little time off and this was a first class for us for the season and I’m so happy how well we did!” commented Brennan. “And it was great winning one with my Dad here who flew in from Birmingham, England,” she added. Added her father, “It was worth every bit of the journey! Penny was absolutely brilliant!”
Marylisa Leffler and Bling Bling [photo credit Bob Bell]
Marylisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland is on a winning streak Week II of the Pensacola Winter Classic Circuit and galloped away with the win in the $25,000 Sidelines Grand Prix in the irons of Rolling Acres’ Bling Bling, besting a field of twelve horse and rider teams. “We really had a great week,” commented Leffler. “We won the Horseflight Welcome, I won the small derby and Ashley and Kevin were Champion and Reserve in the Adults,” she said. “It was just great for the whole barn,” she added.
The time allowed in the first round was set at 77 seconds and eight advanced to the jump off round. Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first pair to go clear in a time of 68.656 seconds. Their jump off round was also clear and their time of 33.742 seconds, well within the 44 seconds time allowed, set the new time to beat.
Christian Rogge of Spring, Texas and GK Performance Horses, LLC’s Kahlua followed Hicks with a clear first round in a time of 69.983 seconds. Although Rogge and Kahlua turned in a clear jump off round, their time of 34.550 seconds was not quite fast enough to take the lead and would temporarily sit in second place.
Christian Rogge’s wife, Hailey Rogge, and her own Zine Dine followed with a clear first round in a time of 69.896 seconds, but with eight jump faults in the jump off round in a time of 33.261 seconds, would find themselves finish in sixth place overall.
Hicks returned to the arena, this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Al Pacini. They turned in a clear first round in a time of 71.856 seconds but their jump off had a rail and subsequent four jump faults in a time of 33.617 seconds which would place them in fourth overall.
Juan Lavieri of Columbia, Connecticut in the irons of his own Don Pedro followed with the next clear first round in a time of 68.169 seconds, but eight jump faults in the jump off round in a time of 36.253 seconds would find them finishing in eighth overall.
Christian Rogge returned to the arena in the irons of his own Mojo TSP and posted a clear first round in a time of 73.236 seconds. Eight jump faults in a time of 33.937 seconds landed them in seventh place overall.
Hicks returned with her third ride in the event this time in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia. The pair turned in a clear first round in a time of 71.277 seconds, but earned eight jump faults in the jump off round in a time of 30.941 seconds, leaving them in the fifth place position overall.
Marylisa Leffler and Bling Bling were the last to go clear in the first round of the class in a time of 69.218 seconds. The horse and rider team flew through the jump off round in a time of 32.816 seconds, taking the win and moving Hicks and Emir D to second place. “I wasn’t really sure about how the first round was going to go because it was hard to get to the first fence which was a triple bar and a sharp left,” commented Leffler. “She really made up the time in the jump off on her turn back to the four to a one and then a tight turn to the last jump,” said Leffler. “But she really is pretty quick and all I had to do was think it and she just does it,” she added.
“I got Bling Bling last year. This time last year, Pensacola was my first show with her,” said Leffler. “She was doing the 1.40m in Holland before I got her and I think we’ve won four grand prix now with yesterday’s win included,” she said.
“I remember when I looked at her and heard her name and thought, ‘hmmm…Bling?’ Because, you know, I’m kind of conservative,” said Leffler. “But I think the name really suits her,” she added. “She even got a new brow band this week with lots of bling,” she laughed.
Third place was awarded to Christian Rogge and Kahlua. Hicks returned for a fourth place ribbon with Al Pacini and a fifth place with C’Havinia. Sixth and seventh went to the Rogge family: Sixth for Hailey and Zine Dine and seventh for Christian and Mojo TSP. Lavieri and Don Pedro picked up eighth and Hailey Rogge placed ninth with Andy Kocher’s Tresor Platiere. Leffler also picked up the tenth place ribbon with EMC International’s Fluttershy.
Leffler is going to celebrate with a massage and looks forward to competing Bling Bling in next week’s $25,000 Pensacola Sports Grand Prix, presented by Nutrena.
It was a double header Derby Day at the Pensacola Winter Circuit.
Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama rode three horses in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and galloped away with the blue on Alina Dumitrescu’s Shutterbug and then secured the third place with Missy Nolen’s Special and fifth place with Sarah Digiorgio’s Quarterback Z at the Escambia County Equestrian Center.
“I was really excited to win the class with Shutterbug,” commented Maddrix. “He’s been knocking on the door for the past year and coming in second and third in the International Derbies, but this was his first win,” he said.
Maddrix led the pack in the first round after earning a score of 174 with Shutterbug. Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia and Helen Gilbert’s White Lightning sat in second position after the first round with a score of 168. Maddrix and his first ride in the class, Special, earned a Classic score of 164. Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia rode four horses in the prestigious event and after the first round, sat in fourth position going into the Handy round with a score of 160 with Ellen Addison’s El Tindo, fifth position with Mary Antonini’s Rocking the Boat with a score of 158, eleventh and twelfth with EMC International’s Burlesque and Love Game, respectively, with first round scores of 142 and 138.
Sitting in sixth position after the Classic round was Liddy Strickland’s Valentine, ridden by Sarah Milliren of Jenks, Oklahoma, with a score of 158.
Maddrix and Shutterbug held their lead after the Handy round, earning a score of 185.5 for a total of 359.5. “I thought it was a nice Handy course,” said Maddrix. “When I walked the course, the trot jump to the oxer didn’t look too tough,” he said. “It turned out riding it was in fact challenging because if was tight and you really had to line it up to the oxer in order to make it work,” he added. “I think that was the biggest question in the Handy round,” he added. “I took the low options with all three of my rides in the Handy round so I could make the tighter inside turn with them,” he said. Coluccio and Rocking the Boat pulled themselves up from their Classic round fifth place position to finish in second overall after earning a Handy score of 190 for a combined 348.
Maddrix and Special’s second round score of 184 and combined 348 secured the third place ribbon and Milliren and Valentine moved up to finish in fourth place after earning a Handy round score of 178 for a total combined score of 336. Maddrix and Quarterback Z moved up from their first round eighth place standing to finish in fifth with a Handy score of 175 for an overall score of 325. “That was Quarterback Z’s second Handy round ever and he was really great. We were all really happy with how he went,” he said.
White Lightning and Julie Curtain moved from their initial second place standing after the Classic round to finish in sixth place after earning a Handy score of 155 for an overall score of 323.
Fabrege, owned by Sara Stephens and ridden by Anna Marie Mayes of Memphis, Tennessee, held their seventh place position after the Handy round earning a combined score of 316.5.
Coluccio and Burlesque moved up from their initial eleventh place standing after the Classic Round to finish in eighth place after posting a second round score of 174 for a combined 316. His other mount, El Tindo, finished in ninth place after earning a second round score of 156 for a combined 316. Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland in the irons of Cynthia Hallman’s Fig Street’s Duchess finished in tenth place with an overall score of 150. Eleventh place was awarded to Cachas Fumar, owned by Rachel Eubanks and ridden by Ashley Hotz of Eads, Tennessee, for their overall score of 359.5 and Coluccio finished the class in twelfth place with Love Game after earning a combined score of 292.
“I had a great day and I really want to thank Alina [Dumitrescu], Missy [Nolen] and Sarah [Digiorgio] for the opportunity to ride such great horses,” Maddrix said. “And I think Allen [Rheinheimer] deserves a big thank you too. I saw him out there on Monday and he and his team were working the hunter rings and redid the footing. It made a huge difference and we are all really pleased with the improvements,” he added.
“The people here cannot believe what a difference there is in the footing. The show would have been cancelled today if the ring had not been re-crowned. The footing was amazing today for all the rain we had,” commented Office Manager Jonathan Rabon.
Cartagena BD Wins the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland is having a good Week II at the Pensacola Winter Circuit. After winning the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome with Bling Bling, she seamlessly moved to the Hunter Arena and rode away with the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby with Kirsten Pollin’s Cartagena BD after earning a combined score of 170.
Sarah Milliren piloted Courtenay Billings’ Don’t Tell to second place with score of 168 and returned to pick up the third place honors in the irons of Karen Bailey’s Troubadour with an overall score of 156.
Evan Coluccio rode Jacob Brupbacher’s Capilano to a fourth place after earning a combined score of 149. Charlotte Warren’s Why, ridden by Rebekah Warren, placed fifth with an overall score of 148. Cesium, owned and ridden by Baylee Turner, won sixth place for their overall score of 148 while Leffler returned for seventh place with Tara-Dawn Hazen’s Gold Digger after earning an overall 147.
Primera, owned by Helen Gilbert and ridden by Ashley Shaw, placed eighth and HC San Patrignanon, owned by HC Sport Horses and ridden by Lucy Heaton, finished in ninth place. Rebekah Warren’s Enticement, ridden by Julie Curtin, finished in tenth place and Larry Antonini’s Six Pack, ridden by Coluccio, took eleventh place.
Week II of the Pensacola Winter Circuit is in full swing and the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome kicked off the jumper action in the covered arena at the Escambia County Equestrian Center.
As first to go in the class, Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland and Rolling Acres’ Bling Bling set the bar high for the rest of the horse and rider teams, posting double clear rounds in times of 69.169 seconds and 37.023 seconds, respectively, well within the first round time allowed of 73 seconds and the second round time allowed of 42 seconds.
All horse and rider teams following Leffler finished their first rounds with four jump faults until Hailey Rogge of Spring, Texas and Greg Burrow’s Curly Sue finished their first round with no jump faults, but their time of 74.117 earned them 2 time faults.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D followed Rogge and posted a clear first round in a time of 68.424 seconds, advancing to the second round. However, four jump faults at the second fence in a time of 40.264 seconds would keep Leffler in the lead.
Christian Rogge, also of Spring, Texas, in the irons of his own Mojo TSP, followed Hicks. Four jump faults in their first round in a time of 67.119 seconds would find the pair finish in sixth place overall.
Hailey Rogge returned to the ring in the enviable last to go spot, this time aboard her own Zine Dine. The pair turned in double clear rounds in times of 69.416 seconds and 38.191 seconds, finishing second overall and leaving Leffler and Bling Bling the victors.
Third place was awarded to Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D and Hailey Rogge and Greg Burrow’s Curly Sue took fourth place honors. Hicks also picked up fifth place with Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia after turning in a four fault first round effort in a time of 64.403. Christian Rogge and his own Mojo TSP took sixth place after earning four faults in their first round in a time of 67.119 seconds. Hailey Rogge and Andy Kocher’s Tresor Platiere placed seventh after picking up four faults in a first round time of 68.085 seconds. Leffler and EMC International’s Fluttershy finished in eighth place after posting a four fault first round in a time of 70.007 seconds.
The Gulf Coast Classic Company is just days away from kicking off the sixth anniversary of the Pensacola Winter Circuit that starts on January 11th. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to reserve your stalls and book your rooms. Reserve your stalls by December 30th with your Amex card, and you could earn 2x the points.
Pensacola offers something for everyone and is considered the best circuit to jump start your winter competition schedule. Week I features the $10,000 EMO Jumper Classic; Week II and III offers Grand Prix. USHJA National Hunter Derbies are offered Weeks II and III and an International Hunter Derby takes place Week II.
The Official Lodging Partner of the Pensacola Winter Circuit is the Red Roof Inn. Great rates and pet friendly. Located minutes from the show grounds, it’s the easiest lodging option and the best value.
Grand Prix take place on Saturday nights which makes it easy for riders who need to commute, and an easy option to fly out on Sundays. The airport is only a ten minute drive from the show grounds. For those looking to enjoy the Pensacola coastal location, the pristine beaches are just a few short miles from the show and offer fabulous dining, water sports and breathtaking Gulf of Mexico sunsets. Fun for the whole barn!
Three weeks of destination location horse shows are followed by the popular Gulf Coast Winter Classics in Gulfport that takes place February 8th through March 14th.
There’s a reason why the grass is greener on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With more than a million dollars in cash and prizes awarded, the best grass Grand Prix field in the country, top Olympic and International Course Designers, new permanent stabling, covered arena, KCR footing, and parties every week, and all of this takes place within minutes of the white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
Any questions? Email or call the office at 228-832-2745. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.