Category Archives: Equestrian Sport Prod.

Equestrian Sport Productions

Winter Equestrian Festival Celebrates 2020 Circuit Champions

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2020 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is proud to congratulate the Circuit Champions for the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Featuring 10 weeks of world-class jumper, hunter, and equitation competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, this year’s circuit was a great success despite its early finale due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion Awards go to the top finishers in every division, based on prize money or points won.

ESP would like to congratulate all riders, trainers, grooms, and owners on a fantastic 2020 circuit, and wish them a safe and healthy year. Circuit Champion Award winners are encouraged to pick up their prizes from the horse show office.

Click here for a full list of Circuit Champion Award Winners. For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center COVID-19 Update

In response to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and with the guidance of US Equestrian, Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) will maintain their cancellation of previously scheduled competitions but hopes to aid riders, trainers, and owners in keeping their horses fit and healthy.

Based on feedback from the equestrian community, and in an effort to preserve equine welfare and keep the staff of PBIEC and those industry professionals who work at ESP events in jobs they can depend on, ESP will offer the following:

  • Open schooling through the end of this week (March 22). Please check schooling schedules on PBIEC.com. Riders must wear their assigned back numbers. No new back numbers will be issued. Next week schedule to be determined.
  • Limiting the number of people accompanying horses to the ring to five per horse (rider, groom, trainer, no more than two additional).
  • No more than two people should be at any fence at one time (ring or schooling area) and a six-foot social distancing protocol is encouraged between all people on the grounds.

How we are keeping you safe:

  • Spectator and public access remains prohibited.
  • ESP has purchased sanitation foggers to clean seating areas and public spaces.
  • ESP staff will continue to diligently clean and sanitize bathrooms.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the grounds. ESP recommend using hand sanitizer both before and after the schooling session. Remember, people are touching the same items (rails, cups, etc.).

Stabling and access to stalls is available for those that have purchased stabling packages until the expiration of those packages. ESP can accommodate those in need of stabling during this period as long as the horses have already been issued WEF back numbers. Staff will be available in the horse show office as needed, but everyone is encouraged to organize weekly close outs and stabling arrangements online, or via telephone.

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick or uncomfortable being in public, except to get medical care.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

The goal of PBIEC is to keep all humans and horses healthy and safe during this time, while doing our best to help encourage an easy transition back into competition when the time comes. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to provide updates through our website at www.PBIEC.com.

Natalie Dean and Ceitasi Win $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final to Conclude WEF

Natalie Dean and Ceitasi. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2020 – Concluding the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season on a high note, Natalie Dean (USA) and Ceitasi topped a five-horse jump-off in Sunday’s feature class, the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final CSI3* and the exciting finale of the CaptiveOne Advisors Jumper Series.

From a large field of 66 world-class show jumping athletes and their equine partners, only eight answered the questions in the first round of Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) course that tested speed and skill. Over the short course, Dean stopped the clock at 34.26 seconds for the win on one of two mounts.

“Ceitasi was amazing today and she jumped the first round fairly easy and everything showed up nicely, so I was happy with her,” said Dean of her 10-year-old Westphalian mare (Caretello B x Cavalier) owned by Marigold Sorthorses LLC. “In the jump-off, a couple people had one down and I did as well on my first horse, so for my second time in the ring, I wanted to be competitive enough that I would win, and it worked out in my favor.”

This was only Dean’s second appearance in the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series, and she noted, “The track flowed well. I was happy that the triple was vertical, oxer, vertical, which was good for both of my horses.”

Meghan Knapic and Best in Blue Earn the Tri-Color in Animo Adult Amateur Hunters Younger Section B

On the final day of hunter competition, Meghan Knapic rode Best in Blue to the Adult Amateur Hunters Younger Section B championship, sponsored by Animo. Knapic and Best in Blue took on the Rost Ring to win two firsts, as well as second, fourth, and eighth-place ribbons.

Knapic is currently in Wellington for her spring break and was given the opportunity to show Best in Blue, also known as “Elton” around the barn. The rider, from Smithtown, NY, is a sophomore studying at Auburn University and training with Jenna Weinfurt. Elton, owned by First Blue LLC, is a very new mount for Knapic, and also a new horse to Weinfurt.

“Jenna, my trainer, got him five days ago and I was coming down from school and I wanted something to show this weekend. We decided to bring him out and he was amazing!” Knapic explained.

Knapic and Elton quickly formed a relationship in the show ring and proved to be tough competition after winning two over-fences classes on the first day of the division.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Darragh Kenny Out with a Bang in $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3*

Darragh Kenny and Scarlett du Sart Z. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 14, 2020 – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny scored a victory in the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday, March 14, to conclude a banner season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt built a track for 45 starters with 12 advancing to the tie-breaking jump-off. Returning near the end of the jump-off round, Kenny and Scarlett du Sart Z, owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC, broke the timers in 33.54 seconds to claim the lead and bump Israel’s Sydney Shulman into the runner-up position. Shulman and J-Boston S.E, a horse she owns together with her mother Jill, posted a time of 33.96 seconds.

“I’ve been very lucky – I had a good winter and all the horses went very well,” said Kenny of his season at WEF. “I had a great feeling coming into this winter because I have an incredible group of horses, and I’m very lucky that I have those horses.”

Kenny got the ride on Scarlett du Sart Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (Stakkato de hann x First Bride), during the horse’s seven-year-old year. He has high hopes for the mare’s future, saying, “This is a mare that Teddy Vlock and his owner bought for me, and we’ve been slowly producing her. She’s really starting to turn a corner, and I think she’s an incredibly talented horse that will end up jumping at the highest level.”

Sofia Maskowitz and Samantha Takacs Ride to Top Honors in THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under

Equitation riders took on Ring 6 on Saturday morning to compete for the blue ribbon in the THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under class. Due to the large number of entries, the medal was held in a California Split format with Sofia Maskowitz and Samantha Takacs riding to the top of the class. Maskowitz rode Quantum Chanel to a first-round high score of 84 and remained in the lead during the test. Takacs and her mount Cooper moved up one spot during the test, after a first-round score of 82.

Maskowitz, of Freehold, NH, has been partnered with her equitation mount, Quantum Chanel, for only a couple months. The pair, trained by Laura Bowery, stayed on top of the class through the first round of 44 entries and the test. Maskowitz described that she is still working on figuring out the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Quality, so she was extremely pleased with her first round.

Takacs, of Oldwick, NJ, and her horse Cooper also put in two consistent rounds in the medal to earn the blue ribbon in their section. The duo has been working together since last spring, with the help of New Hope, LLC as well as Findlay’s Ridge, LLC. Takacs loves the eight-year-old KWPN gelding’s big stride and sweet personality.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Abigail McArdle Soars to Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 Win

Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2020 – Abigail McArdle (USA) won the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 riding Victorio 5 on Thursday, March 12, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set courses for 82 horses with 18 jumping clear over the opening track. After eight riders elected not to return, the stage was set for a 10-horse jump-off. With only fractions of a second to spare, McArdle stole the win with a blistering jump-off time of 41.40 seconds.

“For sure this is the best season I’ve ever had in my life – and maybe will ever have,” said McArdle of her consistency throughout the WEF season. “I’m just so happy, and I’m so lucky to be riding such a nice horse.”

McArdle has been competing Victorio 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graf Top), since the end of 2018 with their success culminating this year. “Obviously, it doesn’t happen right away,” she said. “He’s always been a good horse. He’s always jumped clean rounds, but getting to the point where I feel like I can walk in and win a big track like this has taken time. I’d say it’s taken that long just to mesh with him. Now we’re thinking the same, and it’s a good feeling.”

Hunter Kay and Lucca Earn Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter Championship

The Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division came to a close on Thursday with Hunter Kay riding Lucca to the top honors in Ring 11. Kay and the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Fit to Fight earned two firsts, a second, and a third-place ribbon.

Kay and Lucca, owned by Pauline Lampshire, have a longtime partnership of six years. The pair first began showing together in the Adult Hunter divisions when Kay was still an amateur. Now that Kay is a professional, the duo dominates the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division and won the finals last year at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“It’s so nice that they still have this division to help promote and support the thoroughbreds,” Kay said of the Thoroughbred Hunter division.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Public Health Notice for PBIEC Visitors

The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is taking extra precautions to help you stay healthy during this time of concern posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19). We have reviewed with our employees the recommended precautions listed on the Center for Disease Control website. These precautions are also posted in employee areas of the facility.

Our food handlers and servers are trained on proper hand washing techniques and are wearing gloves when preparing your food. Any employee showing the slightest sign of illness will be sent home and asked to call in prior to their shift. Proper sanitizing methods for surfaces are always used in our food preparation areas.

Although we have a thorough cleaning schedule at the facility, extra housekeeping staff has been allotted for more frequent sanitizing of our restaurants and restrooms. As a further precaution, hand sanitizer has been provided in multiple areas of the facility for exhibitors and spectators. If you are joining us for our Saturday Night Lights events, we will have greeters stationed at each entrance with additional hand sanitizers. In the coming days, fumigators and surface antimicrobial spray will arrive to be used to sanitize all seated areas of the show grounds, including but not limited to the International Arena box seats, stadium seats, International Club, spectator viewing decks, and rider lounges.

We are doing our best to keep our visitors and staff healthy. We appreciate our exhibitors and spectators doing the same for their fellow visitors and staff. Please feel free to call the admin office if you have any concerns or questions at 561-793-5867. For further details, please visit US Equestrian’s resource page here.

Below are the recommended precautions from the CDC website (www.cdc.gov):

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Handwashing
  • For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | news@equestriansport.com | www.PBIEC.com

Bertram Allen Opens WEF 10 with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Victory

Bertram Allen and Lafayette van Overis. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 11, 2020 – Ireland’s Bertram Allen clinched the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI3* riding Lafayette van Overis to open the tenth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL on Wednesday, March 11.

Allen continued a streak of 1.45m victories at WEF with another win over tracks set by course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). Seventy horses contested the two-phase course, but Allen and his quick gelding could not be caught. They stopped the clock at 32.68 seconds, which proved to be less than a half a second faster than runner-up Natalie Dean (USA) riding Ceitasi.

“He was very relaxed, and straight away won this easily,” said Allen of his Ballywalter Stables-owned mount. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to go full speed, but because it was a two phase, I could see how he was feeling and he felt very good.

“He is so naturally fast,” continued Allen. “There were people doing more galloping or less strides, but I did not want to do that with him today. I thought I would do as good a round as I could, and see where that left us. Because he’s so fast, he was able to get out on top.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi Breeze to Victory in $50k Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*

Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 8, 2020 – While strong winds blew at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, an array of talented horse-and-rider combinations aimed for the top spot in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*. The final event on Sunday, March 8, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded week nine.

With a highly competitive field of 44 starters, 16 competed in the jump-off round. In the second round, there were 11 competitors from the USA, three from Ireland, and one each from Israel, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. Saving the best for last, Lacey Gilbertson (USA) piloted Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi to a fault-free round with a lightning fast time of 32.78 seconds, edging out Shawn Casady (USA) aboard Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms, who had held the top spot for most of the jump-off round with a time of 33.27 seconds. Close behind was Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s 7 Pillars, owned by Hampton Farm and Skara Glen Stables, stopping the timers at 34.33 seconds.

“My horse is adjustable so that worked in our favor in the first round,” said 26-year-old Gilbertson. “In the jump-off, my initial plan was to add a stride in every line, but as the class progressed the numbers showed that wasn’t the right plan if you wanted to win.”

Turning to the second to the last jump, the crowd helped cheer her on to go faster. “It definitely helped keep me going,” added Gilbertson.

Foster and Brighton Return to Winning Ways in $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic

Forty-four entries contested Sunday’s $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic, and it was the first to go in the jump-off that set an unbeatable time. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, blazed to the win in 32.72 seconds.

“I know he’s super fast and where I can make up the strides,” said Foster. “He has a bit of a left drift so anything heading left I can usually drop the stride whereas anything heading right I usually can’t. But I know that, and I learned a long time ago not to panic if I haven’t done the number that I was hoping to because I know I’ll make it up somewhere else. I knew the last line, the seven strides, was going to be nice and forward for me so it was a fast way to finish. I love my horse; he’s just the best.”

Sterling Malnik and Prestige Claim Large Pony Hunter Championship

The Large Pony Hunter division came to a close on Sunday with Sterling Malnik riding Prestige to the tricolor ribbon. Malnik, of Ocean Ridge, FL, rode Prestige to three first place ribbons as well as a fourth and eighth place.

Malnik has only owned Prestige since late August, but the pair, trained by Bill Schaub, has already proven to be a successful match in the show ring. Malnik describes the nine-year-old Belgian Riding Pony gelding by Ive Van De Delthoeve as one of the kindest ponies, both on the ground and to ride.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kristen VanderVeen Scores Second Five-Star Win in Ninth Week of WEF

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 6, 2020 – The ninth week of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday, March 6, with a second win for Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili. They sped to the top of the $37,000 Bainbridge 1.45m CSI5*.

VanderVeen and her veteran campaigner were the fastest of 18 clear rounds out of 43 entries in the 1.45m over a course set by Alan Wade of Ireland. They took over the lead from Lucas Porter (USA) and Hope Street, who had set the time to beat at 59.66 seconds. They would finish in third place. Riding out of the 24th spot in the order, VanderVeen and “Frosty” brought the winning time down to 56.54 seconds.

“I didn’t see anybody go before me that was really trying to win the class,” said VanderVeen. “There were some more careful components, so I was actually a little more conservative than I planned on being! Thankfully it still worked out. He just covers the ground so well and is still quick in the air.”

Fabio Leivas da Costa and Randon Pleasure Can’t Be Caught in $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m

Following the morning’s five-star Bainbridge 1.45m competition, the second victory of the day in the International Arena went to Brazil’s Fabio Leivas da Costa in the $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m CSI2* class. Da Costa was part of a starting line-up of 73 horse-and-rider combinations set to contest Alan Wade’s next course.

Seven combinations were kept from the jump-off with a single time fault while another 16 suffered the fault of a single rail. Out of the field, only 13 pairs managed to clear the timers fault-free to return for the second phase; that number became 12 when Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) withdrew from the jump-off field. Athletes from both Ireland and Venezuela were at the top of the leaderboard, but it was da Costa and Bonne Chance Farm’s 15-year-old Selle Francais mare Randon Pleasure (For Pleasure x Quidam de Revel) that raced through the timers in unbeatable speed.

Clara Propp Pilots News Day to the Win in the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby

Friday morning began with pony riders taking on the Derby Field at the Equestrian Village. It was Clara Propp and News Day who took top honors in the competitive $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. After receiving a high score of 86 in the first round, the pair maintained their lead with a score of 80 in the handy round for a total score of 166.

Propp, of New York, NY, and News Day, owned by Aquitaine Equine, were the last to return for the handy round after they earned the highest score in the classic round. The 12-year-old gelding by Clovercroft’s Abba Adonai has been in the Propp family for several years and originally showed in the Large Green Pony Hunters with Propp’s older sister, Stella. Once Stella outgrew ponies, Clara took over the reins and continued News Day’s successful show career.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Spencer Smith Scores Win in $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI5*

Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 5, 2020 – The USA’s Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais topped a field of 53 entries to win the $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 CSI5* on Thursday, March 5, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

On the way to Thursday’s win, Smith, 23, was the first of 12 entries to return for the Alan Wade (IRL) designed short course, and he and Theodore Manciais crossed the finish in what would prove to be an unbeatable 39.79 seconds.

“I went first, so Eric [Lamaze] told me to just ride my plan and don’t count too much with the numbers, just to ride it off my eye and feel it,” said Smith, who trains with Canadian Olympic champion Lamaze. “So that’s what I did, and it worked out.

“Here you can never know [if your time is going to hold up],” continued Smith. “You could have been 10th with that time. You just don’t know. They go so fast here with so many good riders.”

Coming the closest to catching Smith’s time was U.S. Olympian Beezie Madden who finished in second with a time of 39.84 seconds riding Darry Lou, owned by Abigail Wexner.

Havens Schatt Rides Highlander to Equitan Performance Hunter 3’6” Championship

Havens Schatt and Highlander were crowned champions of the Performance Hunter 3’6” sponsored by Equitan on Thursday afternoon in the Grand Hunter Ring. The pair earned two second and three third place ribbons in the division.

Schatt has been partnered with Meredith Mateo’s Highlander for only one month, but the duo has already proven to be very successful.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.