Itapira, SP, Brazil (June 23, 2017) – The beauty and presence of the Interagro Lusitano have caught the eye of international publications around the world, from Dressage Today and Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar to Zulu Interagro posing with supermodel Gigi Hadid in the December 2016 article of Allure. In May 2017, an Interagro stallion once again was featured as the cover image for one of the US’s top equestrian magazines, Horseman’s News, boosting Interagro’s number of magazine covers from 22 to 23.
The regal profile of Hobbit Interagro (Bungo Interagro x Radiosa (MAC)), who was purchased and exported from Brazil to Texas by Haras dos Cavaleiros, graces the May cover against a black backdrop. Highlighting the horse’s excellent conformation, the cover features Hobbit clad only in the traditional halter and braids which sets off the dapple grey stallion’s elegant topline. The cover image was taken by Patricia Ernesto, wife of the head rider of Haras dos Cavaleiros, which acts as ambassador for the Lusitano breed in the United States.
Hobbit Interagro is no stranger to the spotlight: at the 2016 North American Lusitano Show, his historic stallion revision score of 76.5 points is the highest ever awarded to a Lusitano in the United States, following nearly 200 horse revisions. The coming six-year-old stallion is described by Haras dos Cavaleiros as “stunning.” They also note that his temperament and willingness, paired with exceptional “suspension, suppleness, and lightness in his steps,” naturally inclines him for the upper level and FEI disciplines.
With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the modern Interagro Lusitano sporthorse currently shows and competes in a variety of disciplines – including Grand Prix dressage, Paralympic dressage, World Cup working equitation, driving, and jumping – continuing that legacy as they compete across four continents.
For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst, at 817 368 9447.
Eros Interagro and Alexandre Souza. Photos courtesy of Interagro Lusitanos.
Itapira, SP, Brazil (June 7, 2017) – May shows brought top finishes once again for Interagro Lusitanos of Brazil, where the horses and riders of the prestigious stud and training facility based in Itapira, Sao Paulo dominated in a variety of disciplines from FEI dressage to working equitation. In what has already been a banner year for Interagro, their team shows no signs of slowing down and only seems to be building more steam with bigger competitions and better results each time they venture off the 1,300 acre home farm. With the vision of developing a modern Lusitano sporthorse from the purest Portuguese lineages, Interagro strives through meticulous breeding, training, and exportation to preserve the ancient breed’s future in modern FEI sport.
At the 36th Annual International Lusitano Show, held May 25-28, 2017, Interagro’s team and horses bred by the Brazilian stud excelled in dressage and working equitation. Exclusively showcasing the athletic talents of the Portuguese breed, the International Lusitano Show is a benchmark for the breed in Brazil, attracting only the best horses and riders from around the country and featuring nationally ranked and FEI classes. A rising star in Interagro’s barn, Fellini Interagro’s poise and performance earned him top honors in the 7-year-old division as part of the National Dressage Championship (CDN). Under the guidance of Pia Aragao, Fellini’s winning score continues his winning streak from his 2016 6-year-old season, and under the new FEI judging he is currently the top ranked 7-year-old in Brazil. Aragao also rode Hamilcar Interagro to a third place finish in the 5-year-old division as part of the Sao Paulo Dressage Championship. Hamilcar, who was sold during the 13th Interagro Yearlings Auction in 2012, is owned by Martina Irene Brandes, head trainer for Interagro.
Fellini Interagro is the first and only dressage horse to reach this level under Brazil’s federation ranking. Aragao, who has been his prime trainer throughout his career, stated that the combination of technical and traditional FEI judging, which is new to Brazil this year, was a challenge for the pair, and Fellini rose to the occasion beautifully: “I was very pleased with him overall; for a young horse he performed super well and with a bit more time, experience, and polish I’m confident Fellini will truly shine.” She also elaborated on Hamilcar’s performance, saying, “Hamilcar is such a joy to ride, with a wonderful canter as well as amazing talent for collection and engagement.”
Advancing through the levels at the Lusitano Show, Edmar Brito and Hadrian Interagro topped the First Level Open division with a 67.408% as part of the ABPSL Dressage Cup. Alexandre Souza rode Hectar Interagro to 3rd in First Level Open with a score of 66.852%. Finorio Interagro, a horse sold at the 2013 Interagro Collection Auction to Haras Crystal, was guided to reserve honors in Second Level Open with Jefferson Rodrigo Pereira in the saddle. Brito also guided Empreiteiro Interagro to victory in the ABPSL Dressage Cup’s 3rd Level Open division with an impressive score of 64.167%. Finally, Generoso Interagro, who was sold at the 2011 Interagro Yearlings Auction and is now owned by Mrs. Magali Soares Pereira Unterkircher, scored a 66.848% to top the Training Level Open division under the guidance of Luciano dos Anjos.
To round out their month of May dressage success, Team Interagro prefaced their impressive performance in dressage at the International Lusitano Show with corresponding wins and top placings at the 3rd phase of the SHP Dressage Ranking, held May 13 at Sociedade Hipica Paulista in Sao Paulo. Among the most impressive performances were Pia Aragao and Zepelim Interagro, whose score of 63.525% in the FEI Grand Prix earned them 3rd place. Aragao also took out Fellini Interagro in the 7-year-olds, where he won the class with a final score of 7.88. Edmar Brito and the enigmatic Herodotus Interagro danced their way to second place at Second Level with a 64.848%. Brito also rode Hadrian Interagro to 3rd place in First Level with a 63.796%. Herodotus, who was sold just one day before his performance at the Ranking, has recently arrived in the US to begin his career with his new owners.
Aragao went on to note that all of her horses and pairs of riders from Interagro’s team have had a spectacular May season of dressage. “Zepelim stepped up to put in an excellent show in May. I was really pleased with him, and to have him back in the ring after a break. All of Interagro’s horses and riders showed great improvement, especially in an environment that is challenging for young horses and stallions. As they continue to improve and build on their technical skill and concentration, the horse’s athletic ability and poise in the arena will be even more apparent.”
Originally from Sweden, Aragao trains with Stefan Jansson and wrapped up a clinic with him on May 24th. “Stefan comes here regularly, about 4 times a year. He was thrilled with Fellini’s progress, his maturity, how easy he learns, and is able to perform what we ask of him. Zepelim is also stronger than ever, showing fantastic piaffe, passage, and transitions. The pirouettes are also very good and his elastic half-passes show impressive impulsion and crossing. With a few more trips to build confidence and concentration, Stefan and I are confident he will be a very solid competitor, and it’s exciting to see him succeed as we have been working with him since he was 5 years old!”
Interagro’s passion for working equitation also shone through in their performances at the International Lusitano Show. Empreiteiro and Edmar Brito rose from their 3rd level dressage victory to earn reserve honors in the Preliminary Division, marking the versatility of the Interagro horse. Alexandre Souza and Hector Interagro won the Novice A division; Souza also rode the impressive Eros Interagro to third place in the Novice B division and Feitor Interagro to 4th in the Preliminary division. Feitor, a coming 8-year-old, is the youngest in the division, competing against much more seasoned horses; Eros Interagro, who stands at 16.3h high, demonstrates the agility and athleticism of the Interagro Lusitano. More Lusitanos bred by Interagro also finished in the ribbons, with Dorus Interagro, who was sold at the 2011 Interagro Collection Auction, taking second, and Porfirio Interagro, who was sold at the 1997 TOP Interagro Auction, taking third in the Intermediate division.
While working equitation and dressage are fortes of Interagro’s team, the week before Antonio Souza, Fabio Silva, Valentim Brito, and Ana Carolina Borja took the reins of single and four-in-hand Interagro horses at the 2nd phase of the 2017 Brazilian Driving Championship, held May 20 at Club Hipico Quinta da Baroneza. Souza and the powerful Hospedeiro Interagro blazed to victory in the Single Cones division, while Silva and Canaletto Interagro took second. Brito guided Herbert Interagro to third to secure Interagro’s 1-2-3 victory in the division. Borja and her team grey Lusitanos, which include Viajor Interagro, Semaneiro Interagro, Erva Doce do Top, and Erotica do Top, owned by Alvaro Coelho da Fonseca, proved their proficiency over the tricky four-in-hand cones course, taking first in the Open division.
During the 1st Phase of the Brazilian Driving Championship, held May 8, 2017 at Clube de Campo de Sao Paulo, Interagro’s horses once again dominated, this time in dressage as well as cones. Silva and Canaletto finished first with a 78.87; Souza and Hospedeiro finished second with a 72.90; Brito and Herbert finished third with a 72.31. The cones also saw Souza and Hospedeiro as champion, with Silva and Canaletto in second and Brito and Herbert in fourth. Borja also dominated the four-in-hand cones with Viajor Interagro and Semaneiro Interagro in the harness.
With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.
For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst, at 817 368 9447.
Itapira, SP, Brazil (May 14, 2017) – In a test of speed, precision, agility, and partnership, Brazil’s 2017 Working Equitation Championships combine the country’s passion for horse sport with the traditional working practices of their rich equestrian culture. The horses and riders of Interagro Lusitanos of Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil are known for their versatility, excelling in disciplines from driving and dressage to jumping and Paralympic events. This responsiveness to the rider and the athleticism to compete at the international level is what grants the Interagro Lusitano success in working equitation. In late April, Interagro’s team traveled to Hipica Manege Alphaville in Santana de Parnaiba, Brazil for the second round of championship working equitation competition.
Working equitation tests the horse and rider partnerships in three phases: dressage, speed, and ease of handling, which get progressively more complicated as the riders advance. At levels ranging from Cavalos Novos A, or Novice A division for horses new to working equitation, to the more advanced Preliminary and Intermediate levels, Interagro bred horses consistently ranked at the top of the standings. Hector Interagro, with Alexandre Souza at the reins, finished first in the Novice A division for the second time this year. Tackling a variety of obstacles and challenges requiring focus, athletic ability, and faith in his rider, Hector Interagro, at only 6 years old, displayed the poise and talent typical of Interagro’s herd. With Phase 2 only being the gelding’s second show, the elegant grey also finished at the top of the Novice A division during the first phase of the 2017 Working Equitation Championships in March.
Helio, Herodotus, and Heliodoro Interagro, three more of Interagro’s H generation 6-year-olds, also competed to top finishes in Novice A. Helio Interagro and Johnny Miranda put in a fast and accurate performance to finish third, while Herodotus and Heliodoro, piloted by Edmar Brito and Fabio Lombardo Jr., finished fourth and fifth. Heliodoro Interagro was sold as a yearling in the 2012 Interagro Yearlings Auction and is now owned by Alexandre Siqueira. The Novice B division saw Alexandre Souza pilot another Interagro horse to a top finish; this time aboard the impressive Eros Interagro, Souza captured 6th place.
In the Preliminary division, where technical requirements and complexity of the courses demand more of each combination, Souza also guided Feitor Interagro to third place. Feitor was the youngest horse in the class at 8 years old, was competing against much more mature horses up to 14 years old. The winners of the Preliminary division, Xama Comando SN and Rafael Grumann, held a connection to Interagro as Xama, a powerful buckskin, was sired by one of Interagro’s top breeding stallions, Nicola MAC.
The Intermediate and Open Amateur divisions also hosted a number of horses bred, sold, or related to Interagro. Colirio das Mangueiras, a son of Tufao Interagro and Venus Interagro owned by Haras das Mangueiras, finished second in the Intermediate class with Sergio Antunes de Oliveira at the reins. Third and fourth went to two more Interagro breds, Bilbo Interagro and Porfirio Interagro, both ridden by Marcio Aparecido de Almeida and owned by Haras das Mangueiras. In the Open Amateurs, Fronteiro Interagro and Jose Luis Fernandes finished fourth overall. Fronteiro is the maternal brother of the Novice A victor Hector Interagro, and was sold during the 2010 Interagro Yearling Auction. Xama Comando SN, the son of Nicola MAC who was victorious in the Preliminary division, also made his mark in the Open Amateurs. Maria Isabel Casimiro piloted Xama, who is owned by Coudelaria Amour e Cura, to a fifth place finish.
For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website. To organize a trip to Brazil or for any questions regarding sales or the logistics of importing horses to the US, contact their US Sales Representative, Peter van Borst, at 817 368 9447.
Sierra Keasler and Lux Stensvang (Photo courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing)
Wellington, Florida (March 29, 2017) – Sean Sierra Keasler of Wellington, Florida closed out her 2017 CDI season on Friday, March 24 with a silver medal, champagne soaked shadbelly, and the realization of a career goal: to ride for the US in a Nations Cup. Aboard her own Danish Warmblood gelding Lux Stensvang (Lobster x Verona Stensvang x Diamond), Keasler was awarded Individual Silver for her CDIO U25 Freestyle on Friday and Team Gold during the CDIO Intermediaire II team competition on Wednesday, along with Team USA members Anna Buffini with Sundayboy and Kerrigan Gluch with HGF Brio. Team USA’s historic success at the first U25 Nations Cup in North America and the international camaraderie of all the countries represented speaks of a bright future for the sport.
Under the dazzling lights of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s International Arena, Friday’s Grand Prix Freestyle commenced with the characteristic excitement and electricity. In her first performance during the Friday Night Lights exhibition and second time presenting their newly developed Freestyle, Keasler and Lux rode a dramatic and precise test choreographed by Cynthia Collins of Luna Tunes and set to music that matched Lux’s movement and presence. Drawing accolades from judges Linda Zang (USA), Lee Tubman (CAN), Stephen Clarke (GBR), Dr. Evi Eisenhardt (GER), and Cesar Torrente (COL), the pair scored a 71.675% to finish second overall and secure the Individual Silver Medal.
“As soon as I heard the news that Wellington would be having a U25 Nations Cup in 2017, that became my goal for this season,” said Keasler. “It has been a dream of mine to ride under the lights here at Global, and to experience the team spirit of a Nations Cup competition. Lux felt great in the Freestyle; the highlight for me was just after the first canter tour and an extended trot, as we were coming through the short side I felt him really start to swing to the music and relax into the rhythm. In that moment I felt like ‘Okay, this is what it’s all about; this is riding a Freestyle,’ and that was a great feeling.”
Earlier in the week, Keasler and Lux put in a supporting score of 67.263% in the CDIO U25 Intermediaire II on Wednesday to boost Team USA to Gold in the Team Competition. Thursday’s CDIO U25 Grand Prix class saw the pair finish just out of the medals, with less than a percentage point separating third (Bronze) with fourth and fifth place. Keasler noted that while Lux’s abundance of energy had affected their performance earlier in the week, the pair seemed to hit their stride in the Freestyle.
“I was paying very close attention to how he felt in the warm up [on Friday], and he felt really good as we prepared to enter the stadium. My strategy going into the Freestyle was to do as many tempi changes as possible,” laughed Keasler. “The changes are really his forte and what he enjoys, so I knew it was to our advantage to do as many as we could. It’s really an honor to be able to ride in this fantastic competition with a team atmosphere; the Nations Cup is so important and having one for the U25 Grand Prix riders is such great experience for those of us who dream of competing on that level. I can’t thank the USEF, show organizers, and show sponsors enough for hosting this event, and am forever grateful to my horse, Lux, for carrying me here. I’d also like to thank everyone who has helped me every step of the way: my parents Sean and Andrea Keasler, my grandfather Pete Anderson, coach Silke Rembacz, sponsors, and team for supporting me, our Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald and my teammates who’ve all contributed to making this dream a reality, and Caroline Roffman of Lionshare Dressage for giving me the ride on Lux that began our career.”
Keasler began her advanced dressage career in 2011 as a successful Junior competitor at the NAJYRC. She spent almost 5 years as a working student for Lionshare Dressage in Wellington, Florida, where she honed her skills as a Young Rider and eventually came to purchase Lux. She placed in the top 5 at Nationals that year, and quickly progressed to the FEI level, earning her USDF Silver Medal after competing Hyperion Farm’s Corcovado at Prix St. Georges. She and Corcovado were also the Fourth Level Young Rider Region 3 Champions in 2014. In 2015 she earned the ride on Lux Stensvang, and in their first outing at Grand Prix scored 72.9%. That same year they successfully competed in the U25 Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and were the Reserve Champions in the 2015 Brentina Cup. In 2016 she began training with Silke Rembacz, and again campaigned Lux in the U25 Grand Prix, culminating in a 4th place overall finish at the 2016 US Dressage Finals. Lux and Keasler are also active participants in the USEF’s Select Athlete One-on-One Coaching Program, and recently took advantage of her first training sessions with FEI Judge Charlotte Bredhal. This season she and Lux were victorious in the U25 Grand Prix during the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, and with a Team Gold and Individual Silver under their belt, Keasler plans to continue to develop her international dressage career.
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Don’t miss the final Turf Tour of the season, our April 1st $24,999 1.40m Finale at Polo West. In addition to the Grand Prix, the morning will host a 1.25m-1.30m division and Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumpers running all day on the grass. Complimentary refreshments and lunch are provided, as well as super spacious warm-ups and the relaxed atmosphere The Ridge is known for. Polo West is located just six minutes from WEF.
Click here for full schedule, contact information, etc.
Lisa Goldman and Sovereign (Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing)
Larrazabal and Champion for Volt Blaze to Victory in 1.30m Open Stake
Wellington, Florida (March 28, 2017) – The second to last week of competition on the 2017 Palm Beach Series invited riders to the beautiful grass field and sand arena at Schuyler Riley’s Wolfstone Stables, as well as the pristine all-weather arenas of Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, where divisions from Teeny Tiny and Low Schooling Jumpers to the Grand Prix offered exhibitors the chance to show in a relaxed, utopian atmosphere. Organized by Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the Ridge Palm Beach Series combines their vision of a laid-back, exhibitor focused event with the flair of the old world European tours where Garson’s career as an international and Olympic show jumper flourished. An expansion of their popular Turf Tour dates, which feature show jumping for all levels on springy turf courses at spectacular venues around Wellington, 2017’s line-up included 3 Hunter Derby Day events, weekly USEF Equitation Tuesdays, full jumper divisions running Wednesday-Sunday, and Palm Beach Series Schooling Dressage, which incorporates the same principles for developing dressage horses and riders.
Lisa Goldman and Sovereign Reign in $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix
The highlight of each weekly competition on the Palm Beach Series is the Turf Tour Grand Prix, which was hosted most recently on March 24 at Schuyler Riley’s Wolfstone Stables. The elegant turf field, lined by active polo matches and Wolfstone’s sand arena, which doubled as Jumper Ring 2, took on the designs of Pierre Jolicoeur for the 1.25m-1.30m divisions in the morning and the 1.40m Grand Prix in the afternoon.
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny set an early standard in the Grand Prix that held through the majority of the day. Jumping off immediately after his first round clear with Oakland Ventures’ Billie Onslow, they were the first double clear on 38.644. Despite impressive efforts from some of the sport’s top names, including Kenny’s countryman Daniel Coyle, England’s Peter Jordan, Canada’s Kevin Crosby, and USA’s Molly Ashe, Kenny maintained his lead until the very end of the class. Late in the day entries from Lisa Goldman of Red Coat Farm in Chicago, Illinois were the final horses to go, and a fast and clear effort from Goldman and Sovereign, owned by Barbara Disko, stopped the timers at 36.614 to put them at the top of the class. Canada’s Kevin Crosby and Concelo, owned by Sher-Al Farm, rounded out the top three with the third fastest double clear effort, finishing on 38.768 seconds.
Goldman, who has numerous Grand Prix victories to her name including a 2016 Turf Tour Grand Prix with her other mount, Morocco, commented on her ride, saying, “This was Sovereign’s first time ever showing on the grass, and it obviously was too his liking. I started him off pretty slow but he placed well in the 1.40m FEI class this year and now won here on the Turf Tour, so he’s definitely an up and comer of mine. There was at least one tricky line, and I chose to leave out a stride to one of the oxers and was trying to be very quick after which paid off. I love showing on the Turf Tour; it’s something different to do and a great environment for the horses. Nona and George make it super easy and convenient to come and jump, and make it easy to fit into our winter schedule. This farm was just stunning, as all of their venues are, and I’m really happy we decided to make a last minute choice to come show!”
Kenny, who was victorious with Diamond D a few weeks ago on the Turf Tour, stated, “I really like the show and the concept, especially for horses getting going again. It’s not a huge pressure situation for them and a nice, different environment especially for younger horses that are being developed for the bigger, more intense classes. It’s also a nice change to show on the grass. Their [the organizers’] idea is super and it’s a great concept for the horses and riders.” Following in the same vein, Crosby, who has topped The Ridge Palm Beach Series $5,000 1.30 Open Stake and utilizes the Turf Tour’s atmosphere to continue to develop his horses, also reflected on the importance of a relaxed environment and change of scenery for his mounts: “I’ve become more and more familiar with The Ridge and its organizers, and they do a great job creating a relaxing environment and providing an opportunity to develop horses.”
Venezuela’s Luis Fernando Larrazabal and Champion for Volt Victorious in 1.30m Open Stake
The aptly named Champion for Volt, with Luis Fernando Larrazabal in the irons, blazed around Saturday’s 1.30m course to emerge victorious, securing the win following a double clear effort and jump off time of 31.233. Larrazabal knew he needed to shave as many seconds off his time as possible to best Audrey Robison and her scope chestnut Gorky, who had jumped clean and fast to lead the class with a 32.508.
“We did one less stride to the second oxer, and then I kept him in that forward rhythm in the tight turn to the last jump, which I think is what gave me the best time,” said Larrazabal, who early in the season won the Palm Beach Series’ 1.40m Grand Prix with Altodetto and the week after placed second in the same class with G&C Close Up. Owned by Augusto Surico, Champion for Volt began his career with Larrazabal at the end of 2016 and the pair has been doing the 1.30m and 1.40m classes as they develop their partnership. “He is super easy to ride, very careful, and has an excellent technique,” Larrazabal continued. “I love to bring my horses here [to the Palm Beach Series]. It’s great for horses that are moving up, to give them a quiet place to build their confidence while still presenting a challenge to allow them to develop. The Turf Tour is fantastic; it’s great for all of the horses to get a change of scenery, of footing, and environment as showing the same place over and over can be very tiring.”
Third place in the Open Stake went to Casey Larruso and Cool Runnings, who also delivered a quick, clean double clear effort and jump off in 33.299.
James Chawke and GK Coco Chanel. Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC.
March 10 Hunter Derby Day Crowns Schatt and Buttenweiser
Wellington, Florida (March 15, 2017) – Wrapping up its tenth week of competition, the 2017 Palm Beach Series has become a haven for developing horses and riders to hone their skills and synergy in the competition arena. In the third and final Hunter Derby Day of the 2017 winter season, an exceptional course welcomed riders for a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, where gorgeous jumps in shade of the covered arena set the stage for a utopian derby showcase on Friday, March 10th. Full jumper divisions hosted riders Wednesday and Thursday, with Saturday’s competition including the week’s headline class, a $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix designed to offer a technical but obtainable challenge for emerging Grand Prix mounts and riders.
James Chawke and GK Coco Chanel Lead from Wire to Wire in Palm Beach Series X 1.40m Grand Prix
World class jumps, course designs, and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere drew riders to the in-gate of Jumper Rings 1 & 2 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center during Week 10’s competition, and Saturday’s 1.40m Grand Prix presented an interesting combination of challenges for the field of competitors. The headline class, which featured a course by FEI designer Mark McGowan, granted a number of double clears but no one could best James Chawke and GK Coco Chanel’s effort, which secured them victory.
As one of the first riders to go, Chawke’s early jump-off time of 40.612 couldn’t be touched throughout the class. As all of the Palm Beach Series’ jumper classes feature an open in-gate policy, allowing riders to arrive, school, and show at their own pace and as per their own schedule, the majority of the field was still chomping at the bit following Chawke’s early double clear, but in the end none would best the elegant bay mare’s athletic display of speed and power.
Giving chase to Chawke and Coco, Stephen Moore piloted to Istafan Issi to reserve honors with a jump off time of 44.553. Peter Jordan and P&F Cordillo Z rounded out the top three efforts in the Grand Prix, less than a second behind Moore with a 45.148.
The spectacular Grand Prix course, which asked a number of questions of its horses and riders, offered the option of a straightforward ride with a few bending lines and combinations to keep things interesting, as well as the choice to test agility, scope, and stamina. Acting as a catalyst for the development of young or green horses as well as developing riders, the Palm Beach Series weekly Grand Prix classes, Hunter Derby Day events, and other jumper divisions serve as a stepping stone to the larger jumper classes without the pressure and stress of intense competitions and atmospheres.
Schatt & Buttenweiser Crowned in March 10 Hunter Derby Day
March 10 was an incredible season finale for The Ridge Palm Beach Series’ hunter derby competitions, and a celebration of the grace, athleticism, and pageantry that have come to embody the performance hunter and highlight The Ridge Palm Beach Series’ Hunter Derby Days. The spectacular jumps gave character and substance to the Derby courses, which were designed by Skip Bailey to test and reward some of the best hunter horse and rider combinations in the world. Including stacked hay bales, brick and picket verticals and oxers, stone walls, and lushly decorated fences, the final Hunter Derby Day of the 2017 winter season began with the $5,000 USHJA National Derby in the morning and the $15,000 USHJA International Derby in the afternoon.
Hallie Buttenweiser and Wanderlust jumped with the presence and precision that are the hallmarks of an exceptional derby ride, earning them the championship title in the $5,000 USHJA International Derby. Wanderlust, who is known around the barn as Turkey, made a particularly strong statement in the handy round to earn himself and Buttenweiser the win in the horse’s first outing of the show season.
“He is so handy, and so very brave,” said Buttenweiser. “This was his first show this season, and he proves himself to be so adaptable and it was nice to get him out and showing without pressure. I could tell he really enjoyed jumping this course; it was beautiful and impressive enough without being spooky. These classes are a great step up for horses just starting to do the derbies and I felt confident going to all of the higher options. Turkey is great at turning, and he corrected for a mistake I made at the trot fence.”
Buttenweiser, who has also shown this year on The Palm Beach Series Turf Tour and jumper circuit, also stated her appreciation for the series’ relaxed atmosphere and nurturing environment for developing horses: “I love showing here and have really enjoyed the laid-back environment on the Turf Tour. It’s a great option to bring horses who are kind of in the middle and need to build confidence, plus the amenities and spacious warm-ups are a major plus.”
With the arena freshly drug and the course reset for the $15,000 USHJA International Derby, it was decorated hunter rider Havens Schatt and Continental’s turn to shine. The athletic bay, under the guidance of Schatt, epitomized the talent and poise required to top one of the discipline’s most prestigious classes. After beginning his career as a 1.35m jumper, Continental has grown under Schatt’s guidance into a successful Derby horse as well as an exceptional amateur hunter.
“Skip built a great course today for this class,” said Schatt. “His handies really make you think, and give you some options for what best suits your horse and yet still keep the ride very handy, as well as some options for young or greener horses. I thought it rode very well and the course itself was beautiful. For us its really nice to show here and it’s a great thing they [The Ridge] offer. I brought another horse who I knew may make some mistakes but its great experience for him and I’ve even brought some young horses just to school and get them off the farm.”
For more information on the 2017 Palm Beach Series, including full schedules, prizelists, and entry blanks, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.
Darragh Kenny and Diamond D. Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing.
Wellington, Florida (March 11, 2017) – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Canada’s Kevin Crosby leapt to victory during the ninth week of competition at The Ridge Palm Beach Series, where five days of competition over varied surfaces and venues continued The Ridge’s tradition of elite horse shows in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. From leadline and Pony Jumpers to the Grand Prix with top ranked FEI competitors, the Palm Beach Series offers a unique show experience designed to act as a catalyst for developing horses and riders.
Darragh Kenny and Diamond D Shine in $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix at The Ridge at Wellington
Crossing the utopian flair of old world horse shows with the competition and excitement of modern showjumping, The Ridge at Wellington’s grass jumping field welcomed a cross section of riders for its 1.30m division and $15,000 Turf Tour 1.40m Grand Prix on Saturday, March 4th. Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumpers worked in tandem with the main ring’s flow of competitors, which included some of the top names in the sport.
The USA’s Kent Farrington, who as of late February 2017 is #2 in the Longines FEI World Rankings, brought a group of young, up and coming horses to the Turf Tour, and quickly set the standard with the elegant Baltic Star 2. Despite a casual ride, the pair topped the class early with a jump-off time of 49.972.
“He’s a new horse for me, and a bit green but he shows terrific potential,” said Farrington of the 8-year-old Baltic Star 2. “Today we were just cruising around; it’s great to bring the horses someplace new and he showed a lot of bravery on the grass. I like the atmosphere for young horses [at The Ridge] and it’s a less expensive, less hectic alternative to bring highly strung or green horses and to ride in a low key environment.”
Farrington’s laid back round with Baltic Star wouldn’t last as the rest of the class took the field. Week 8’s Turf Tour champions, Taylor Land and Nepal, made easy work of the Chris Jones course putting in a double clear effort to finish on 44.630 seconds. Land, who rides her family’s veteran Grand Prix horse Nepal under the guidance of her father, Jay Land, refers to the gelding as a family heirloom.
“Nepal loves grass and jumped very well today,” said Land. “It was a big, long course and I think I was a slightly more conservative just because of how he felt today. The Ridge is a great break for both me and the horses and jumping on grass is such a nice change, especially for Nepal as he prefers it to sand.”
An impressive effort by Canada’s Kevin Crosby and Casino put them into third behind Land and Nepal. The relatively new partnership took to the grass, and Crosby chose the Turf Tour and Palm Beach Series’ laid back atmospheres to show a number of horses in the past few weeks. “I’ve been riding Casino for about a month and half, and this was a great experience for both of us for a change of scenery,” said Crosby. “He’s an experienced horse but seemed to enjoy jumping on the grass. I’ve become more and more familiar with The Ridge and its organizers, and they do a great job creating a relaxing environment and providing an opportunity to develop horses.”
With Land and Nepal leading, Emmanuel Andrade and Gaverdi Z edged out Crosby and Casino for third, and Ireland’s Darragh Kenny ultimately claimed the top prize with Diamond D, with a late in the day effort finishing on 42.984 to win the class. The decorated Irish rider brought a number of horses to capitalize on the pristine turf course.
“He [Diamond D] is a new horse for me, he arrived last week and I was impressed with him today,” said Kenny of the 10-year-old gelding. “We jumped Wednesday and Thursday in the 1.30 divisions [on the Palm Beach Series] at Jim Brandon, and he felt really good and jumped brilliant today on the grass. I really like the show and the concept especially for horses getting going again. It’s not a huge pressure situation for them and a nice, different environment especially for younger horses that are being developed for the bigger, more intense classes. It’s also a nice change to show on the grass. Their [the organizers’] idea is super and it’s a great concept for the horses and riders.”
The Turf Tour continues March 17 at Carben Farms and March 24 at Wolfstone Stables with Low, Medium and High Jumpers, 1.30m division and the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, and concludes April 1st at Polo West.
For full schedules, prize lists, and entry blanks for all of the Palm Beach Series events, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.
Sierra Keasler and Lux Stensvang (Photo courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing)
Wellington, Florida (March 10, 2016) – In a clean sweep of the Intermediaire II, Grand Prix, and Grand Prix Freestyle in the U25 division, Sierra Keasler and Lux Stensvang once again proved their mettle, this time in the prestigious international arena during Week 8 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. In her first CDI of 2017, Keasler and the Danish Warmblood gelding (Lobster x Verona Stensvang x Diamond) delivered expressive, correct, and elegant tests across three days and against rigorous competition to dominate the Derby’s CDI U25 division, presented by Diamante Farms.
After a victorious U25 Grand Prix debut at the national level a few weeks before, Keasler was thrilled that her CDI performance was on par. Under the guidance of trainer and coach Silke Rembacz, Keasler and Lux kicked off the week’s competition with a win in the Intermediaire II, scoring 68.15% in their first CDI appearance of 2017. Friday’s U25 Grand Prix brought in a similar score for Keasler with less than a percentage point’s deviation from the Intermediaire II: she once again topped the class with a 68.860%. Sunday called for the FEI U25 Grand Prix Freestyle, which was Keasler’s first attempt at the Kur with Lux and at the CDI level. The pair opened their CDI Freestyle career with a 71.042% to once again win the class and delivering a hat trick succession of wins during the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W.
Highlighted by an exceptionally fluid and elastic canter tour, Lux and Keasler’s dressage partnership began in 2015 and has progressed to success in the FEI level. “I’m mainly thrilled with consistency of our scores, and of course with the success of our Freestyle,” said Keasler of their Derby performance. “Lux is so special to me and I am so incredibly thankful to have a horse of his caliber and talent. He really settled into the ring this week and tried his best for me. None of our success would be possible if not for Silke’s guidance and the support of my family and friends, especially my amazing mother who was our super groom. It was great to be surrounded by positive people who show so much support for my horse and I. The atmosphere was very relaxed and I really enjoyed being back in the international arena and sharing the experience with other young riders. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and enjoying developing our dressage career even further this season.”
Lux and Keasler, in addition to Rembacz’s mentoring, have been selected to participate in the USEF’s Select Athlete’s One-on-One Coaching Program, and recently took advantage of the first of her sessions with FEI Judge Charlotte Bredhal before the Derby CDI-W.
Keasler began her advanced dressage career in 2011 as a successful Junior competitor at the NAJYRC. She spent almost 5 years as a working student for Lionshare Dressage in Wellington, Florida, where she honed her skills as a Young Rider and eventually came to purchase Lux. She placed in the top 5 at Nationals that year, and quickly progressed to the FEI level, earning her USDF Silver Medal after competing Hyperion Farm’s Corcovado at Prix St. Georges. She and Corcovado were also the Fourth Level Young Rider Region 3 Champions in 2014. In 2015 she earned the ride on Lux Stensvang, and in their first outing at Grand Prix scored 72.9%. That same year they successfully competed in the U25 Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and were the Reserve Champions in the 2015 Brentina Cup. In 2016 she again campaigned Lux in the U25 Grand Prix, culminating in a 4th place overall finish at the 2016 US Dressage Finals. After purchasing Lux as her primary competition mount, Keasler began training in 2016 with FEI dressage trainer Silke Rembacz as she prepares to compete in the CDI U25 Grand Prix divisions at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
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Kelley Farmer and Because (Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing)
Andrade Secures Second Consecutive Win in Grand Prix
West Palm Beach, FL (February 18, 2017) – The sixth week of The Ridge Palm Beach Series welcomed back the popular monthly hunter showcase, Hunter Derby Days, as well as the circuit’s standard $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix and full hunter and jumper divisions at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. With the winter equestrian season now in full swing, the Palm Beach Series full hunter and jumper divisions run each week from Wednesday to Sunday, with unique show offerings each week including USEF Equitation Tuesdays, the unique and spectacular venues of the Turf Tour, the elegance and performance of Hunter Derby Days, and, newly launched in 2017, Schooling Dressage Shows. Week 6, which ran from February 8-12, featured the February 10th Hunter Derby Day and Saturday’s $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, presented by RV Sales of Broward.
Hunters Take Center Stage during February’s Hunter Derby Day
The second of The Ridge Palm Beach Series’ Hunter Derby Days commenced February 10th, featuring a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, and a $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby. Held under the spectacular covered arena at Jim Brandon, the three classes featured a challenging and beautifully designed course, as well as some of the top horse and rider combinations showcasing the athleticism of the performance hunter. Friday’s events kicked off with the USHJA National Derby, continued to the International Derby in the afternoon and concluded with the Pony Derby under the lights in the evening.
Julie Oliver and Bossa Nova Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Bossa Nova, piloted by Julie Oliver, danced over the beautiful hunter course set for the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, besting a class of 26 horses to finish on a score of 186. Kim Barone rode Easy Street HU to reserve honors, and her other mount, Dolce Vita, to third place. Dolce Vita, with Barone in the saddle, was the USHJA National Hunter Derby Champion at January’s Hunter Derby Day.
Kelly Farmer and Because Top $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
With the jumps and prize money raised, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby began with Kelly Farmer and Scripted took an early lead with 182, but eventually was bested by her own effort with Because to secure victory. Scripted’s early effort was bumped to fifth by Amy Momrow and Aeroplane, Jennifer Hannan and Flamingo-K, and taking reserve honors, last month’s USHJA International Hunter Derby champions, Louise Serio and Rock Harbor.
The Dutch-bred gelding Because, who was purchased in Ocala barely a year ago with Jane Gaston, had only the highest accolades to his name from Farmer, who rode him to his first Derby victory, and from Gaston, who has ridden him to numerous championships and Horse of the Year Honors in the Amateur Owner divisions. “He is an extraordinary animal, with potential to be one of the best Derby horses I’ve ever ridden,” stated Farmer. “He usually pulls double duty with me and his owner, and has won in everything, now from the Derbies to the greens, 4-foot, and Amateurs.”
Owner Jane Gaston had equally rave reviews, stating, “He has huge range & scope, and is a total gentleman. Originally started as a jumper, he has made great progress with Kelley and I in the hunter ring, and we are thrilled with his first Derby win.”
As one of the top hunter riders in the world, Farmer is a regular on The Ridge at Wellington’s Hunter Derby Days series, taking top honors in the International Derbies in 2016 and now a win with Because in 2017. “Nona and George do a great job, they’re very accommodating, and this is a great venue and show for a young horse to learn what horse shows are without getting thrown into a very intense environment. This, for a derby horse, is a bit like starting a Grand Prix horse: they get to jump at a real horse show on nice footing, real jumps, nice course designers, and are still doing the real thing without the pressure. Nona and George have done a beautiful job creating the perfect conditions for effectively bringing along horses.”
Kat Fuqua and Somekindawonderful Sweep $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby
From the big leagues to the ponies, the covered arena transformed once again into a miniaturized version of the International Derby course and welcomed a group of talented ponies and riders. An exceptional round by Kat Fuqua and Somekindawonderful led the field for the evening’s $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby from beginning to end. Fuqua and her Captain America, who were the champions of January’s USHJA Pony derby, finished third, with Augusta Iwasaki and Small Suggestion taking reserve honors.
Consistently attracting top names in the sport, including Olympians, medal finalists, and international champions, the Hunter Derby Day competitions offer an exclusive way to gain national and international experience, as well as qualifying scores, in a utopian show atmosphere.
Emanuel Andrade and Belita Secure Second Consecutive Victory in Saturday’s $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix Presented by RV Sales of Broward
For the second week in a row, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade and Belita ruled the Grand Prix, putting in impressive double clear rounds that proved to be uncatchable. The first double clear round went to Ilan Bluman and Eax Run Run LS, who finished on a final jump off time of 34.385. Soon after, Lauren Crooks and Columbeille de Reve stole the lead from Bluman, only to have it stolen almost immediately by Andrade and Benita. The athletic bay mare and the Venezuelan young rider put in a blazingly fast jump off round, taking a commanding lead over the rest of the field with a 29.431. A late effort by Kelly Cruciotti and My Flores bumped Crooks into third, but no horse & rider combinations were able to challenge Andrade’s lead, despite a field full of accomplished international Grand Prix competitors including Daniel Bluman, Darragh Kenny, Pablo Barrios, and Peter Jordan.
The Ridge at Wellington’s Palm Beach series continues with full hunter and jumper divisions each week, Wednesday – Sunday, as well as February 24th’s Turf Tour at Polo West, USEF Equitation Tuesdays, and each week a $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix on Friday and a $5,000 1.30m Open Stake on Saturday.