Category Archives: Jump Media

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Top $35,000 Welcome Stake at WIHS

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Laura Kraut and Andretti S Victorious in $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class; Isabel Ryan and Eve Jobs Win Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Speed Rounds

Washington, D.C. – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted its third day of equestrian competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. on Thursday. USA’s Lauren Hough and Ohlala were the winners in the $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by CMJ Sporthorse LLC. Another win for the USA went to Laura Kraut riding Andretti S in the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class, presented by the Gochman Family.

The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers also competed on Thursday with a win for Eve Jobs and Sandor de la Pomme in the $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, and a one-two finish for Isabel Ryan with Levistano 2 and Abilitydance in the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by The Strauss Family.

In Thursday’s $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by CMJ Sporthorse LLC, course designer Alan Wade (IRL) set for 29 entries with seven clear rounds over his first round track. Callan Solem (USA) and Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard chose not to return for the jump-off and finished in seventh place. David Will (GER) and Centin Güngor’s Cento du Rouet were first to go over the short course, finishing fifth with four faults in 34.67 seconds. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Bertram and Diana Firestone’s Ace were next to go, jumping a double clear round in 38.00 seconds to eventually finish third. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and his own and the Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt dropped two rails in 36.94 seconds to end in sixth place. Next to go, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and David Gochman’s Lady Maria BH were double clear in 37.92 seconds to take a brief lead. Laura Kraut (USA) jumped into fourth place with her time of 38.54 seconds riding St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu. Last to go, Lauren Hough (USA) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala clocked the winning round in 35.27 seconds.

Hough first partnered with Ohlala, a 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Orlando x Cardento), five years ago and last competed at WIHS in 2012 when the pair won the $32,000 International Open Jumper faults converted class. At that time, Hough had been riding Ohlala for just one year and was stepping the mare up to the grand prix level with high hopes. Ohlala has since lived up to great expectations and won major classes all over the world.

Explaining her decision to return to WIHS after a three-year hiatus, Hough said, “I am really trying to concentrate on the World Cup qualifiers. I would like to go to the World Cup Finals with her this year, and so I decided to do a tour here. I did Tryon last week. I will go back to Europe to go to Doha next week and then carry on to Toronto.”

“She is wonderful. She loves to win,” Hough said of Ohlala. “I think her favorite part was the prize giving today. Indoors obviously suits her, being a small horse. I felt in the jump-off I did what I needed to do without taking too much risk, and still keeping Saturday night in the back of my mind and having a good prep for that. I feel like I have left enough in the tank to try to win again on Saturday as well.”

The pair will compete in Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, so Hough did not want to take too much risk in the jump-off.

“She is naturally very quick, so I just rode my round and kept the turns a little bit short,” Hough detailed. “I made quite a short turn into the double and she did that great. Then I still took my time to the last. I didn’t leave out, but just her natural rhythm and the pace she carries over the ground made my job very easy.”

Hough added, “We bought her the end of her seven-year-old year and she has won her whole life. She jumps at a very high level, and I have been concentrating a lot on Nations’ Cups, so it is nice to let her go enjoy it a little bit and be able to go fast.”

Hough is based part of the year in the United States and part of the year in Europe. Being back at WIHS after several years, she has enjoyed the competition.

“I love America, and I love riding here. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to compete all over the world and be based in both places, but it is always really special to be back in America in front of a home crowd,” Hough acknowledged. “This is a great horse show. In the nighttime they get great crowds, and to be in the middle of D.C. is something special. I know they try really hard, and I like to support good American shows.

Laura Kraut Wins $35,0000 Accumulator Costume Class

The $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class, presented by the Gochman Family, was held on Thursday evening during the show’s always-popular Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery with the generous support of The Peterson Family Foundation and National Harbor. Local young riders and horse enthusiasts attended in groups and had the chance to enter contests, win big prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening that included the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Races, presented by Charles Owen, and internet sensations Dally & Spanky.

Laura "Little Red Riding Hood" Kraut and Andretti S
Laura “Little Red Riding Hood” Kraut and Andretti S

For the win, Kraut and her mount, Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S, cleared the course and the high side of the joker fence for a 65-point total in the fastest time of 44.47 seconds. Kraut was awarded the Crown Royal Trophy, donated by Crown Royal, as the winning rider, and Andretti S earned the Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy, donated by the Washington International Horse Show, as the winning horse.

Dressed as Little Red Riding Hood for the costume class, Kraut had a great time competing in front of the Barn Night crowd and was proud of Andretti S for his great performance. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Corland x Animo) has shown at WIHS three times and thrives in the atmosphere at Verizon Center.

“He has been really good. He started out the year fantastic in Florida,” Kraut detailed. “Then we had an accident; he fell at a water jump, and it took him a little while just to get his confidence back. He never did anything bad, but he just was nervous. Sort of starting at the Gold Cup he has gotten better. He always seems to like that show, and he has been going well again, and he has been very consistent.

“For some reason he loves Washington,” Kraut added. “He is a claustrophobic-type horse. He doesn’t like other horses coming towards him, but I think this is the third year I have brought him here and he always does well, so it is fun. I am happy with him.”

Second place honors went to Catherine Tyree (USA) riding Mary Tyree’s Bokai with a score of 65 in 45.15 seconds. Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and David Gochman’s Luibanta BH finished third with 65 points in 45.50 seconds. Andrew Kocher (USA) earned a perfect score of 65 as well riding Eagle Valley Partners LLC’s Ciana, and finished fourth with his time of 51.63 seconds. Kocher and Ciana then earned the Best Costume Award, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions, for their impressive clown attire.

Barn Night was a huge success as some of the region’s top groups came out Thursday night to participate in special contests and enjoy the unique competition. Memory Hill earned the award for Best Group Video, Harmony Ridge won Best Group Banner, Meadowbrook won Overall Largest Group, and Serene Acres took home the award for Best Group Spirit.

Isabel Ryan and Eve Jobs Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by The Strauss Family, was held on Thursday afternoon with a one-two finish for 17-year-old Isabel Ryan of Locust Valley, NY. Ryan rode Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Levistano 2 to victory and finished second riding her own Abilitydance.

Twenty-two entries started over Alan Wade’s (IRL) one-round speed course, which saw eight clear trips. Ryan and Levistano 2 cleared the course in 48.52 seconds. Abilitydance stopped the clock in 49.21 seconds, and Quinn Larimer and Nestledown Equine Services LLC’s Bronson CR finished the track in 49.40 seconds to place third.

For the win, Ryan was awarded the Beagle Brook Farm Perpetual Trophy. This was her first time winning at WIHS since riding ponies, and her first trip back to the show in three years. In 2014, she started riding with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm and just started doing the jumpers last year.

“It was a good return (to WIHS),” Ryan admitted. “My horses were so good. I was really happy because Billy (Abilitydance) is younger, and he was perfect. He really listened to me, which I was worried about. Levi (Levistano 2) was amazing. He was fast, but I was able to get him back really easily, and that was the goal going in. They were both amazing.”

Ryan first started showing Levistano 2 in the jumpers last year and learned quickly with an experienced partner in the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding (by Levisto). Abilitydance is a newer partnership, but the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Orame) has also given the young rider great experience.

“I’m fairly new to the jumpers, and I first got Levi because he is older and very experienced,” Ryan detailed. “He was my first real jumper. I started with him at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) this year in the Low Junior Jumpers and then I slowly moved up. Billy was actually my equitation horse last year and then we switched him to the jumpers in week two of WEF this year. He has been getting used to this job, and he was amazing.”

It was a different experience competing on a horse in the jumpers compared to Ryan’s last experience at WIHS on ponies, but her horses gave her two great rounds.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, especially because the last time I was here I was jumping 2’3”, so that was a big difference,” Ryan acknowledged. “It was really nice to have Levi because I have a lot of confidence in him, and I knew that even if it wasn’t the most competitive round, at least he was going to help me have a nice, good experience at Washington. With Billy, my main goal was just to have a nice round and be clean because this is a big step up from anything that he has done before, so it was a great experience showing here.”

WIHS was Ryan’s last show before heading down to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL for the winter show season. She is a senior in high school and recently submitted applications to colleges. She plans to continue riding as much as possible.

The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, was held during the evening session with a win for 18-year-old Eve Jobs of Palo Alto, CA riding her own Sandor de la Pomme. The pair was awarded The “Footloose” Perpetual Trophy in remembrance of Ruth Ellen Wilmot, donated by The Curtin Family in honor of 1990 winner “Footloose.”

Twenty-four entries showed in the speed competition with just eight clear rounds. Katherine Strauss and All In led with a time of 52.88 seconds, but were pushed to second place in the end as Jobs crossed the finish line in a time of 50.16 seconds. Alexandra Pielet and Co-Pielet LLC’s Helene Ve finished third in 54.62 seconds.

Jobs was competing at the Washington International Horse Show for the first time on Thursday and had great confidence in her mount, a 14-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Darco) that she has ridden for two years. The pair also won the Junior Jumper Championship at the Devon Horse Show earlier in the year. Jobs has trained with Missy Clark and John Brennan at North Run in Warren, VT for the last six years and will take a gap year to continue her riding in 2017 before heading to college at UCLA in September. For now, the rider will enjoy a hard-won victory in the challenging competition on Thursday.

“These are my really good friends, and I know that a lot of them are very fast riders. I did not get to watch much, so I was a little intimated walking in there of course,” Jobs admitted. “I think because my horse had such a big stride I was able to do the nine strides down the second to last line, and then the six coming home, which I don’t think many people did. That is probably where I picked up the most time.”

Speaking further of her mount, Jobs said, “This horse is so special. Everything that I have done has been because of this horse. He has taught me an exponential amount. He is truly one of the best horses I have ever ridden.”

Jobs’ main goal this year was to compete in the major equitation finals, and she will also show in the WIHS Equitation Finals this week, starting with the hunter phase on Friday. She then heads to the CP National Horse Show in Kentucky to conclude the season. She will begin competing as an amateur at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL starting in January.

Commenting on her first experience at WIHS, Jobs stated, “All of the horses were wonderful. I think the show is a lot of fun. I think the atmosphere is unlike anything I have ever been to. It is a small ring, but the track rode really nice, and I am very happy with my first day.”

The Washington International Horse Show continues on Friday with the championships for the Junior Hunter divisions as well as the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals. The Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers will have jump-off classes in the afternoon session. The evening session begins with a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, followed by the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company. For full results, visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com
www.jumpmediallc.com

Star-Studded Lineup Brings High Octane Fun to Washington International Horse Show

The ponies and jockeys have been training all season to be ready to race at WIHS! Photos © Alden Corrigan Media.

Olympic Team Medalists, Guy McLean, Shetland Pony Steeplechase Races, Terrier Races, Dally and Spanky, and Much More

Washington, D.C. – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is quickly approaching, and the lineup of exhibitions for this year’s event promises to be one of the best yet!

Featuring members of the U. S. Olympic silver medal show jumping team fresh from Rio, and many of the nation’s best horses and riders, WIHS is the pinnacle of the show season for many equestrians. Along with important year-end competition, the event also features entertaining performances from multi-discipline equine stars. The 58th annual Washington International Horse Show runs October 25-30, 2016, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

“Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are especially hot at WIHS, with thrilling competition and the best in equestrian entertainment. This year crowd favorites return like the Shetland Pony Steeplechase, and two of the internet’s most talented stars, Dally and Spanky, are making the long trip from Spokane, Washington to celebrate horses in the capital city!” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell.

WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Races

Thursday, October 27, and Saturday, October 29, will feature the popular WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Races presented by Charles Owen and U.S. Pony Racing.

Introduced in 2013, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races, dubbed “D.C.’s newest — and cutest — sport” by the Washington Post, are run like professional racing events with a bugler, race caller and photo finish, but in miniature. The jockeys are youngsters from ages eight to 13 mounted on traditional Shetland Ponies racing over a course of mini-hurdles.

Dally and Spanky

Special performances by Dally and Spanky will be held on Thursday, along with additional performances on Friday and Saturday nights at this year’s WIHS. Dally is a Jack Russell terrier and Spanky – her best friend – is a rescue miniature horse. They are internet sensations with more than five million views on YouTube and seven million on Facebook, and have appeared on the David Letterman Show, won the Hot Dog award at the World Dog Awards in Hollywood, and appeared on the National Geographic Channel. This dynamic duo will make its first appearance at WIHS to the thrill of fans big and small!

Jessica Springsteen goes Western to ride the barrels for Navy
Jessica Springsteen goes Western to ride the barrels for Navy

Army vs. Navy Barrel Racing

Friday night, October 28, is Military Night at WIHS and the fun Army vs. Navy Barrel Racing Exhibition presented by Washington Area Chevy Dealers, will be a highlight of the evening featuring teams of professional Barrel Racers, top show jumpers, plus Army and Navy representatives competing together.

Horsemanship Master Guy McLean

Renowned Australian horsemanship master Guy McLean is scheduled to perform his one-of-a-kind demonstrations on Friday evening, bringing his unbelievable horsemanship and showmanship to WIHS. McLean works as an equine performer traveling internationally with his well-known horses.

The power of McLean’s performances hinge on the deeply personal and loving relationships he forms with his horses. All of his performances, as well as his horsemanship methods, are self-taught and are of an unprecedented depth. McLean believes that the best tools in horsemanship are “Knowledge, Compassion, Patience, and Imagination,” and these principles have led him to numerous awards and honors.

Terrier Races, and more!

The WIHS Mounted Color Guard, represented by the Maryland National Capital Park Police, the U.S. Park Police and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police, will open the show on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Friday night will also feature a performance from the U.S. Army’s Brass Quintet.

Back by popular demand on Saturday, October 29, the Jack Russell Terrier Races, presented by Nutro, will be held during President’s Cup Night at WIHS! This fan favorite thrills the WIHS crowd as Jack Russell Terriers soar through the air in pursuit of that elusive foxtail. Jumping tiny hurdles, these cute, energetic, and spirited pups bring great laughter and applause from the enthusiastic WIHS crowd, while putting a smile on everyone’s face.

Schedule of Special Exhibitions at WIHS 2016:

Thursday, October 27, 2016: Barn Night
* WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Races
* Dally and Spanky

Friday, October 28, 2016: Military Night
* Army vs. Navy Barrel Racing Exhibition
* Guy McLean
* U.S. Army’s Brass Quintet
* Dally and Spanky

Saturday, October 29, 2016: President’s Cup Night
* WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Races
* Jack Russell Terrier Races
* Dally and Spanky

WIHS tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Verizon Center Box Office. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more through Verizon Center Group Sales. Call 202-661-5061 for details.

About WIHS, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events in North America. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington for the President’s Cup, presented by Events DC (Saturday night), the Puissance high jump presented by The Boeing Company on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is currently ranked #7 in the Top 25 Horse Shows by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
lauren@jumpmediallc.com

 

Old Salem Farm Welcomes Top Equitation Riders at ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships

Katherine Bundy aboard Co Co Pop. Photo by Jump Media Photography.

North Salem, NY – Old Salem Farm was host to both the Region 1 and 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships on Saturday, September 17, during the American Gold Cup CSI 4*-W. Elite local equitation riders competed with hopes to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championship at the CP National Horse Show on November 1-6 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Old Salem Farm gives equitation riders an early opportunity for indoor competition at a top-quality venue before all of the indoor finals each fall. Seizing that opportunity, both Katherine Bundy of Westport, CT and Maya Nayyar of New York, NY are making the most of their final year as junior riders and clinched Regional Championship wins at Old Salem Farm after an over fences phase and a flat phase. Bundy and her mount Co Co Pop, owned by her trainer Missy Clark and North Run, topped Region 1 competition, while Maya Nayyar and her own Fox Z won for Region 2 under the direction of trainer Stacia Madden.

The American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm offers equitation riders a chance to shine among some of the best riders in the world as top athletes converge for a stop on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League tour. For Bundy, who also won the Regional Maclay Championship at Old Salem Farm in 2015, it is a learning moment.

“I have always loved Old Salem Farm because I think the indoor is amazing and so well kept, but competing during the [American] Gold Cup is really special,” said Bundy. “So many people who flock to this horse show are important to watch and having that visual experience is so important for me. I love watching a 1.40m speed or a 1.50m and then go do the regionals. Although they are different classes, the discipline is similar. It’s really important to be here and watch those people, and that’s why I love this horse show.”

Bundy admits that Co Co Pop is a seasoned veteran in the equitation ring, having ribboned at the Regional Championships at Old Salem Farm with several past riders of North Run trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan. She, however, is eager for the experience she gains at the Regional Championships leading into the finals season.

“Each year getting competition experience and having that mentality of going into finals and composing yourself gets less and less intimidating,” she said.

When asked about Bundy as a rider, Clark responded, “She is such a great competitor, and she has worked so hard. She has a very calm attitude in these situations, and I felt very confident in her handling the course today. This indoor is a great venue, and these equitation riders are accommodated so well all weekend.”

For Nayyar, Saturday’s Region 2 win was a not an uncomplicated one. While warming up for the over fences phase, both she and Madden noticed that their entered mount, Connaro, was not quite himself.

“Maya gets a tremendous amount of credit,” said Madden. “I’ve learned through experience that anyone who has the ability to have a backup horse should have it here and ready. She jumped one jump and said, ‘I need to be fair to my horse’.”

Madden left the final decision to Nayyar who chose to compete Fox Z.

“She had faith in her horses, preparation, instructor, and herself to make a good judgment that was right for the horse and ultimately right for her,” added Madden.

“Today was a good confidence booster,” said Nayyar. “I am happy we qualified, and my plan was just to get everything done. I came [to Old Salem] just for regionals, and I’m glad it worked out.”

When asked what she likes about bringing riders to Old Salem Farm, Madden said, “I’m a big proponent of having all the regionals indoors because I think that if you’re getting ready for finals indoors, you should be having your regionals indoors. This is a very nice venue to use as preparation.”

Full horse show results can be found at www.theamericangoldcup.com.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Scott Brash Repeats Victory in CP International Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Scott Brash and Ursula XII. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB – For the second year in a row, Great Britain’s Scott Brash took the win in the biggest Grand Prix in show jumping competing at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO5*. On Sunday, September 11, Brash and Ursula XII were the winners of the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, in a thrilling jump-off against USA’s McLain Ward and HH Azur. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange LXII finished third.

Brash also won the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex, in 2015, along with taking the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping for the first time in history. The prize money was even bigger this year, initially listed as $2 million, and then jumping up to $3 million in an additional increase made by CP just prior to the event. For his win alone, Brash took home a check of $1 million.

Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) set difficult tracks for Sunday’s competition, held over two rounds. A challenging oxer-oxer-vertical triple combination set next to the in-gate with double liverpools was responsible for many faults in the first round. Only four entries were able to clear the first round course without fault.

The top twelve entries in the first round were then invited to return for round two in reverse order of penalties. The twelve that returned included the four clear rounds, as well as seven competitors carrying four faults, and one entry on five faults.

The four best entries from round one were able to maintain their positions on top of the leaderboard after the second round. Scott Brash and McLain Ward each jumped clear in round two to move on to a third round for an exciting head-to-head jump-off. Brash was first to go on the short course with Ursula XII and set the challenge with a clear round in 41.19 seconds. Ward followed with HH Azur, but dropped one rail to solidify a second place finish in a time of 43.11 seconds.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca just missed out on the jump-off with a single time fault in round two, leaving the rider in third place overall with Stephex Stable’s Ensor de Litrange LXII. Kent Farrington (USA) was clear in round one and dropped one rail in round two to finish with four faults. Kevin Staut (FRA) also finished on four faults in total with a rail in round one and a clear in round two. Their tie was broken by first round times, leaving Farrington and Amalaya Investment’s Voyeur in fourth place, and Staut aboard For Joy Van’t Zorgvliet HDC in fifth place.

The biggest Grand Prix in the sport, the CP International is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, which was won for the first time by Brash on a historic occasion in 2015. Brash and Hello Sanctos topped three consecutive grand prix competitions in Geneva, Aachen, and then Calgary to earn the title. Though he was not in contention for the Grand Slam this year – he finished a close second in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen with Ursula XII in July – winning the CP International for the second year in a row was just as exciting for Brash.

“It is a little different, but just as good actually,” Brash stated. “I am actually so happy for my horse Ursula because it has been a long road with her. She has always been an unbelievable horse, but probably never had the recognition she deserves. She was the number one horse in the world, but never actually won a grand prix (before today). She was second so many times in so many big grand prixs, but never actually won one, so she picked a good one to win. She went through two years of injuries, and to finally get her back to the top end of this sport and then win the biggest grand prix in the world, I am absolutely over the moon, for the horse especially.”

Though several riders have won the CP International Grand Prix on more than one occasion, only Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa has previously achieved the feat of winning the competition in back-to-back years. He took the title in 2000 and 2001 aboard Gandini Lianos. Brash’s wins were with two different horses, but he had great confidence in Ursula this year, just as he had in Hello Sanctos in 2015.

Ursula XII, a 15-year-old Scottish Sport Horse mare (Ahorn x Papageno) owned by Lady P Harris and Lady P Kirkham, previously showed at Spruce Meadows with Great Britain’s Tina Fletcher in 2012 and jumped well during that time.

“I know her very well and I was always quite confident that she would be good in this ring, but never had the opportunity to bring her here,” Brash detailed. “I was just happy to get her here in good form to give us a chance at the grand prix, and she sure delivered today.”

With the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping on the line last year, Brash had a lot of extra pressure on his shoulders to do well. This year was different, but the jump-off with recent Rio Olympic team silver medalists McLain Ward and HH Azur presented a different kind of pressure.

“I think, to be fair, there was more pressure last year,” Brash admitted. “I do not think I was just expected to win the grand prix this year. I think all eyes were on Sanctos last year. He was in great form – he had won in Geneva and Aachen – and everyone was talking about it and the lead up to it. This year has been a lot different, but the pressure of the competition is still difficult. McLain and Azur are a fantastic combination, so I knew it was not over until he went. The pressure was on until the last moment.

“I am very confident in her because I know what a wonderful horse she is, but it was a strong field out there and when you have the likes of McLain and Azur coming behind you, you feel like you are at a bit of a disadvantage,” he continued. “Going out first in the jump-off actually probably worked in my favor this time. I knew I had to keep the poles up, but I knew I also had to do more than that to try to beat McLain, so I took a few risks and a few chances and she jumped amazing.”

McLain Ward and HH Azur
McLain Ward and HH Azur

Though Ward would have liked to win, his second place prize of $600,000 was still bigger than most competitions around the world, and he was very pleased with HH Azur on Sunday. The 10-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui) owned by Double H Farm and Francois Mathy has achieved a lot at a young age and only continues to improve.

“She is still a young horse and still learning a little bit to jump-off against the clock and to jump three rounds,” Ward noted. “That gets better with maturity, so I do think that as amazing as she is, the future is even brighter for her.

“If you are going to be second to anybody, being second to Scott is a good choice,” Ward added. “He is brilliant and has probably been the most on-form rider over the last several years. I am not disappointed. The horse was spectacular. That was the only fence she touched all day; I thought she jumped in great form.”

Though the course was tough for many competitors, the best horses and riders rose to the top on Sunday, and Leopoldo Palacios was happy with the final result. With the biggest payday in show jumping at stake, the competition is meant to be challenging and has only seen three jump-offs in the 40-year history of the event.

Remarking on his outcome, Palacios stated, “In reality, it is not my first time that I have used this triple combination, with the same material, in the same position. I am not very happy that there were so many problems in that combination; that was not what I expected, but at the end I think I had a very good grand prix. I want to congratulate the winners. I think the competition today was beautiful except for the problem on the liverpools. I am happy that we had a jump-off today. I have a very tough second round, and the time allowed was short, as Lorenzo can tell you. Scott and McLain did fantastic, and they deserved to have a jump-off.”

As Palacios mentioned, Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange LXII finished third with just the one time fault in round two, but the rider was happy with his result. This was de Luca’s first trip to Spruce Meadows, and he also won a competition earlier in the week aboard Limestone Grey.

“I had a great week, so I can’t complain,” de Luca stated. “When you come to Spruce Meadows, like everyone told me and as I have watched, it should be hard. You find double ditches here just like you find in Aachen. The same combination was used in Aachen last year at the European Championships. You need to have a good horse.”

De Luca continued, “This show is amazing, and my horses jumped great.  This is my first time here, and if I can come again next year, for sure I will come. I think this is the best show ever. It is proper sport, big classes, and good jump-offs. It is fantastic to be here.”

Concluding the day’s competition, Brash also remarked on the difficulty of the event, noting that the course builder set an appropriately demanding track.

“When we come to Spruce Meadows, we know what we are in for,” Brash stated. “It is the richest grand prix in the world, and it should be difficult. We know that those double of ditches are going to be in there. You do still need a special horse to be able to jump that combination. It is all very hard, but we expect it to be hard.  If there were more clears, and there were six or seven in the third round, I would be disappointed with the competition. The same with Aachen – the course builder was criticized because there were no clears in the first round – but these are the hardest grand prixs in the world and they should be difficult in my opinion.”

With another fantastic win to his name, Brash heads next to compete with Ursula on the team for Great Britain at the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup Finals in Barcelona, Spain, at the end of September. The mare will then have a short break before preparing for the third leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in Geneva, Switzerland, in December.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2016 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO5*. For full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.grant@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com

Switzerland Wins BMO Nations’ Cup at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Steve Guerdat and Corbinian. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Cian O’Connor and Callisto Top Suncor Energy Winning Round 1.50m

Calgary, AB – The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO5* hosted its BMO Nations’ Cup on Saturday afternoon with a demanding competition that came down to a thrilling jump-off for the gold medal between Switzerland and Brazil. In the end, the team from Switzerland took the win, with a second place finish for Brazil, and the host nation of Canada taking bronze.

Saturday’s highlight event saw record attendance of over 89,700 spectators – nearly 4,000 more than ever before – to watch ten teams from around the world compete for top honors. The Suncor Energy Winning Round 1.50m was also held earlier in the day with a victory for Ireland’s Cian O’Connor aboard Callisto.

On Saturday, ten teams representing the countries of Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Belgium, USA, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, France, and The Netherlands started in the first round of the BMO Nations’ Cup. The top six teams then returned for a second round over the same course, which was set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios.

The difficult course yielded only five clear rounds out of 38 total competitors in round one. In round two, only four individuals jumped clear out of 24 starters for the top six teams.

Team Switzerland was represented by Werner Muff aboard Pollendr (who incurred 9 faults in rd. 1 and 9 faults in rd. 2), Alain Jufer riding Wiveau M (clear in rd. 1 and 1 time fault in rd. 2), Nadja Peter Steiner with Capuera II (4 and 9), and anchor rider Steve Guerdat aboard Corbinian (4 and 0). They were led by Chef d’Equipe Stephane Montavon.

Team Brazil consisted of Eduardo Menezes riding Quintol (with 8 faults in rd. 1 and 1 time fault in rd. 2), Yuri Mansur Guerios aboard Quartz de la Lande (0 and 4), Felipe Amaral with Premiere Carthoes BZ (9 and 5), and Pedro Veniss riding Quabri de l’Isle (0 and 5), led by Chef d’Equipe Lucia Faria Alegria Simoes.

After round two, Switzerland and Brazil were tied on 18 faults each and both selected one combination to jump in a tie-breaking round. Yuri Mansur Guerios and Quartz de la Lande were selected to jump-off for Team Brazil, dropping one rail in a time of 45.95 seconds over the short course. Alain Jufer and Wiveau M jumped off for Team Switzerland, securing their team’s victory with a clear round in 48.76 seconds.

As the anchor rider for Switzerland, it all came down to Steve Guerdat in round two, as his clear round was last to go and solidified the need for a jump-off for the gold medal. Guerdat was aboard Corbinian, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot) that he owns with La Giraffa SA. Since he will also jump Corbinian in Sunday’s CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, the decision was made to send Jufer in for the tiebreaker.

“They were expecting me to go, which would have been the normal choice because my horse was still warm and he jumped really well today, but so did Alain’s horse,” Guerdat noted. “I said that I did not want to do the jump-off because there is tomorrow also. I feel that I did quite a lot for my team. I rode my best horse today, which not everybody would have done in my position with the Rolex Grand Slam coming tomorrow. I decided that I would really prefer not to go, so it was a quick change. Everybody was holding a leg, putting the studs and the boots on Alain’s horse, and he did three jumps and went on. That makes the win even better that he did such a great job.”

Guerdat and Jufer are childhood friends and have only jumped on two Nations’ Cup teams together before, both at Spruce Meadows. To win the BMO Nations’ Cup for the first time was a special event for Guerdat, made better by his friend’s added success.

“Every Nations’ Cup win is a great win. They are very tough classes to win and we do not win them often,” Guerdat stated. “I do not know how many Nations’ Cup classes I have won, but not so many. Spruce is always a special show to me and I love to come here. It is even more special to win with Alain because we grew up together and we started riding together. We are very good friends. To win in this condition just makes it even more special, so as you can imagine, it is a great day for us. We had great conditions today; we had a tough course, a nice course. The horses were jumping very well, and it was just a great afternoon of sport, and a great day for Switzerland.”

Jufer and Wiveau M were essential to the team victory, as the pair jumped clear in round one, earned just one time fault in round two, and clinched the victory with their clear jump-off round. With the quick change before the tiebreaker, Jufer did not have much time to get nervous, and put his confidence in Wiveau M, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Niveau x Concorde) owned by Lutta Gian-Battista.

“For me it was the first time to ride a jump-off this big,” Jufer detailed. “They told me I had to be clear and I tried to do my best. My horse jumped fantastic. This is the biggest stage I have won on. The feeling is amazing.”

Jufer got Wiveau M when the stallion was nine years old and explained that the horse developed to the top level quickly.

“He has always done a good job,” the rider stated. “He gives everything to go clear and he jumped fantastic today. He does so much for me.”

Nadja Peter Steiner was aboard Capuera II, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Come On x Baloubet du Rouet) owned by Hans O. Peter. Saturday was Steiner’s first Nations’ Cup win with Team Switzerland and a momentous occasion for the rider.

“For me it is an honor to be here because I do not have a lot of experience on the Nations’ Cup team at the moment,” Steiner remarked. “It was an honor to have such a great team and to win this Nations’ Cup. The feeling is just incredible. It was my first Nations’ Cup win, so there is a lot of emotion.

“My horse and I grew up a little bit together,” Steiner continued. “He never jumped big classes before, but we learned together as we moved up to this big level. He gives a lot for me; he always fights and does his best.”

The fourth member for Team Switzerland was Werner Muff aboard Pollendr, an 11-year-old Rheinlander gelding (Polytraum x Corrado) owned by Mühlebach Marlis. The pair was also a part of the winning Swiss team in Falsterbo, Sweden, over the summer and produced double clear rounds there.

Commenting on his part in Saturday’s victory, Muff stated, “To win is always a great thing. I am in the lucky position that I could be on the team that won the Nations’ Cup already this year in Falsterbo, but to win at Spruce Meadows is something really special for all of us. To win the Nations’ Cup here is something in life that you will for sure never forget.”

Muff spoke to the difficulty of Saturday’s course, which was challenging for many competitors.

“I think it was a real tough course like always at Spruce Meadows,” he said. “They have a lot of special fences that a lot of horses don’t know because in the entire world if you are on tour, you never jump special fences like here. It was great building; everything was asked. You had to have control everywhere and you had to do everything possible with the horse. There are so many riders with such good horses here that they have to ask a bit more. That is normal.”

Saturday’s win was the first ever for Team Switzerland at Spruce Meadows and Chef d’Equipe Stephane Montavon was thrilled to get the first victory. He has led the Swiss team in the event at the ‘Masters’ on 10 different occasions.

“It is a wonderful feeling to win here. We have never won here,” Montavon remarked. “It is fantastic. It is marvelous. For me as a team Chef d’Equipe it is the first time that I have won ever with the team. I am very happy.”

Canada’s Tiffany Foster and Victor were the only pair able to jump clear in both rounds of competition to help their team earn the bronze medal. Led by Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin, Team Canada also saw rounds from Kara Chad and Bellinda (5 faults in rd. 1 and 9 faults in rd. 2), Amy Millar and Heros (9 faults and 0), and Eric Lamaze aboard Check Picobello Z (12 and Retired).

Commenting on her success, Foster stated, “This is the first time I have ever been double clear at the ‘Masters’. That is a really big moment and something that I am very proud of. I know Victor so well, and that makes a big difference in a situation like today when you have to go in first.

“The good ones rise to the occasion,” Foster noted. “I’m so proud of Victor.  He is a champion. I think he likes doing Nations’ Cups in Canada. The home crowd here is so enthusiastic and so supportive. I love it when they scream and cheer!”

Team Germany finished fourth, Team USA placed fifth, and Team Belgium rounded out the top six in round two. France, Mexico, Great Britain, and The Netherlands finished out the order from seventh to ten place to conclude Saturday’s BMO Nations’ Cup competition.

Cian O’Connor Takes Suncor Energy Cup

Saturday at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament hosted the Suncor Energy Winning Round, with a win for Ireland’s Cian O’Connor aboard Ian O’Grady, Philippe de Balander, and Ronnoco Jump Ltd.’s Callisto. Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Hofgut Albführen GmbH’s Albfuehren’s Happiness finished second, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) aboard the Chacco Kid Group’s Chacco Kid placed third.

Held in a winning round format over a 1.50m course set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios, 30 entries started in round one. The top ten competitors were then invited to return for the winning round, in which they begin again with zero penalties. The combination that has the fewest faults in the fastest time in the winning round is the winner.

Cian O'Connor and Callisto
Cian O’Connor and Callisto

Only eight entries were able to clear the first round without fault, and both Cian O’Connor and Steve Guerdat advanced to the winning round with one time fault each in round one. O’Connor and Callisto were first to jump in round two and cleared the course in the winning time of 47.87 seconds. Guerdat immediately followed with a clear aboard Albfuehren’s Happiness in 48.20 seconds. Lamaze and Chacco Kid later jumped into third place with their clear round in 48.65 seconds.

Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) guided Ludo Philippaerts H&M Quenzo de la Roque to a clear second round in 49.51 seconds to place fourth. Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Stephex Stables’ Limestone Grey jumped clear with the fifth place time of 50.60 seconds.

Commenting on his victory, which is O’Connor’s first at Spruce Meadows, the rider stated, “It is always nice to get a win. It is a good competition because you get a chance to clean the slate if you make the top ten. I had a time fault, just over the time allowed in the first round, but he jumped well. Then I was first to go in the jump-off.

“I had walked the course quite well and I just tried to play to his strengths because he has such a big stride,” O’Connor continued. “He actually is not that nippy or quick, so I have to really leave out strides. In this arena, a horse that has a huge length of stride and stays careful has a big advantage, so it was great.”

O’Connor took over the ride on Callisto, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quasimodo Z x Jokinal de Bornival), from France’s Aymeric de Ponnat at the start of 2016. He explained that the gelding has an issue with being very horse shy and does not like having other horses around him.

“The previous rider had difficulty warming him up if a horse came towards him, so I spent a lot of time working with him, and trying to get him relaxed,” O’Connor detailed. “We started using blinkers in his training and that has really helped him a lot. He does not wear them in the competition, but just during the warm-up, so he stays relaxed and focused.

“Horses are herd animals, so I do not know why he is like that. Maybe he just got a fright at some stage,” O’Connor mused. “Gradually I am going to take the blinkers back and I would say eventually he will be able to go without them. He has not been as afraid, so it is interesting how they have worked. As he has started to settle, I can train him and jump him bigger, and I think he is going to be a really exciting horse for the future. He takes well to this ring, so I was already thinking about coming back here for the Summer Series next year, and now I am definitely going to come back.”

Remarking on his first Spruce Meadows victory, O’Connor smiled. “It feels cool. There is nowhere better. The crowd is great. I love the show and the way they do everything. From the time you land at the airport and the people pick you up, everything is organized. The people are so nice, and so professional, and so helpful. All of the shows in Europe could come here and take a lesson to see how they look after people here. The way they do the sponsors and the prize givings, just everything is done A to Z top class.”

O’Connor looks forward to jumping his top mount Good Luck in Sunday’s $2 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, and noted that he feels “quietly confident” heading into the competition.

“Good Luck is the best horse I have ever had, so I am confident that we have a very good chance tomorrow,” O’Connor stated. “He has extraordinary scope. He can jump the biggest fences, he is so careful, he is quite fast against the clock, and he is just one of the better horses in the world I think. He jumped twice this week, double clear the first day and one down the second day. He has had two days off now, so he should be ready to go tomorrow.”

The ‘Masters’ Tournament concludes on Sunday, September 11, featuring the best horses and riders in the world competing in the $2 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.grant@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com

Sameh el Dahan and WKD Diva Win Friends of the Meadows 1.60m at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Sameh el Dahan and WKD Diva. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Chris Surbey and Arezzo Top ATCO Six Bar

Calgary, AB – Friday night’s Mercedes-Benz Evening of the Horse at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO5* featured an exciting line-up of international show jumping competition capped off by live music and a dazzling display of fireworks.

It was a packed house to watch many of the world’s best horses and riders compete in the evening’s events, which included the Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.60m with a win for Egypt’s Sameh el Dahan and WKD Diva, as well as the always-exciting ATCO Six Bar competition with a victory for hometown favorite Chris Surbey (CAN) riding Arezzo.

The ‘Masters’ Tournament runs September 7-11, 2016, featuring the best horses and riders in the world competing at Spruce Meadows. Highlights include the BMO Nations’ Cup on Saturday, with teams from around the world competing for top honors; and Sunday’s CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, with a staggering $2 million in prize money up for grabs in this year’s competition.

Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios set a challenging track for the 30 starters in Friday’s Friends of the Meadows 1.60m competition. Only five entries were able to clear the first round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, where the short course yielded just two double clears.

Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and G&C Quitador Rochelais, owned by Gustavo Mirabal and AM Horses SL, were the first pair to qualify for the jump-off and return over the short course. The pair tipped a block off the wall to incur four faults and finish fourth with their time of 48.93 seconds. Sameh el Dahan and Joanne Sloan Allen’s WKD Diva were next to go and cleared the course in the winning time of 47.90 seconds.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Stephex Stables’ Ensor de Litrange LXII followed, dropping one rail jumping out of the vertical-to-oxer double combination, and finishing their round in 48.45 seconds for a third place finish overall. For the third day in a row, The Netherlands’ Frank Schuttert landed in second place, this time riding Syed Omar Almohdzar’s Apart to a clear jump-off round in a steady 56.26 seconds. Last to go, Denmark’s Nikolaj Hein Ruus guided Gerardo Pasquel’s Big Red to fifth place honors with two fences down, the first and the last on course, in a time of 51.72 seconds.

El Dahan got WKD Diva, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Balourado x Hors La Loi II), three years ago when she was six years old. He has built a great partnership with the feisty chestnut and declared that, as her names implies, the mare can be a “wicked diva.”

Describing Diva’s energy, el Dahan stated, “She impresses me every time she goes into the ring. She gives everything for me in the arena. She uses her energy in a good way, so it makes it a bit easier.”

The course was a challenging one on Friday, with many riders faulting at the final fence on track, and el Dahan was proud of his young mare for clearing it.

“I was 20th to go and by that stage there was only one clear round,” el Dahan detailed. “It was very difficult for everybody. That last jump was very wide. You have a big, tall vertical before it, so the horses jump too careful. They need a little bit of scope to jump that oxer and I was lucky. The mare has plenty of scope and lots of ability, so I encouraged her a little bit on the back rail, and she jumped beautifully. I’m lucky to be sitting on such a good horse.”

After completing a clear round in the jump-off, the rider described his initial feeling as relief, noting, “You look for a win for a long time. That was a good jump-off, and I thought it was quick enough, but there is always somebody that can be faster. You always have to wait until the last one in the ring and that sigh of relief comes if you are still in the lead.”

Friday’s win was one of the biggest in el Dahan’s career, and he remarked on the feeling of achieving that victory at the esteemed ‘Masters’ Tournament, stating, “That was one of my biggest wins and it is always a privilege to be at Spruce Meadows. The ‘Masters’ is such a big event and people watch it around the world. Being in the winner’s circle is a privilege. I am very lucky to be here.”

Surbey Checks a ‘Masters’ Win off His Bucket List

Friday night at the ‘Masters’ featured the ATCO Six Bar competition in front of a fantastic crowd in the International Ring at Spruce Meadows. Twelve entries started in round one where the fences climbed to a final height of 1.60m. Eleven continued on to round two where the final height went up to 1.75m. Seven combinations advanced to the third round with the final fence set at 1.85m, where only two were able to clear the obstacles without fault. In the fourth and final round, the height went up to a towering 1.90m with only two left to go.

Chris Surbey and Arezzo
Chris Surbey and Arezzo

From twelve entries down to two, Canada’s Chris Surbey jumped clear at the 1.90m-height aboard Spruce Meadows’ own Arezzo to take a hometown victory. Robert Smith (GBR) and his own Ilton brought down two fences to settle for second place. Knocked out in round three, Richard Spooner (USA) and Chivas Z, Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and Arrayan, and Pedro Veniss (BRA) aboard Rissoa d’Ag Bois Margot all tied for third place.

Commenting on his victory, Surbey declared, “It is unbelievable. It is bucket list material to win a class at the ‘Masters’. It feels amazing.”

Surbey’s winning mount, Arezzo is an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Querlybet Hero x Walzertakt) that the rider took over from fellow Spruce Meadows rider Kelly Koss-Brix this summer.

“As far as I know he has not done anything like this before,” Surbey detailed. “Kelly rode the horse for most of the season and I just took him over in June. We have just been progressively building our partnership. He had some good competitions here at the Summer Series. Then he came with me on a European tour and stepped up to jump some grand prix competitions. He is starting to gain a lot more experience, which I think helped him tonight under the lights.”

The atmosphere was electric in the International Ring Friday night as a packed house of fans cheered the riders on.

“It was amazing. We had a super crowd,” Surbey noted. “They get a lot of people in the same area right along the fence line to watch, so it is very special. I definitely felt them cheering me on.”

Though Surbey acknowledged that he has never jumped a fence of that size before, he felt like Arezzo could have jumped even bigger, and had confidence in his mount.

“He is super brave. He just got better as we went,” Surbey stated. “I tried to keep everything fairly consistent and I think he jumped it pretty easy. I think he found that the distance was getting quite short, so he drifted a little bit to the side to try to make himself more room, but I thought he jumped really well. He has lots of power and scope, so the height was not a problem.”

The ‘Masters’ Tournament continues on Saturday featuring the Suncor Winning Round 1.50m, followed by the BMO Nations’ Cup, with teams from 10 different countries competing. For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.grant@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com

Prize List for 2016 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship Now Available Online

Devan Graham and Sandro Sky, winners of the 2015 MHSA Gittings Horsemanship Finals. © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Top Local Show Offers Chance to Qualify for WIHS at Verizon Center

Washington, D.C. – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the prize list is now available online for the 2016 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, which will be held Oct. 21-23 at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md.

A popular stop on the local horse show circuit, the WIHS Regional competition offers riders an enjoyable showing experience and the opportunity to qualify to compete at Verizon Center in the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, on Oct. 30, as well as qualification for the WIHS Championship Finals for Children’s and Adult Hunters and Jumpers on Oct. 25 and 26.

> Link to WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship Prize List

“I’ve always treasured my time with horses,” said Sue van der Linden of The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, a longtime supporter of the WIHS Regional Horse Show and presenting sponsor of this year’s event. “This is a great opportunity to encourage others to make the most of their rides, too. Best of luck and congratulations to our horses and riders, and a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the parents, spouses, coaches, and friends who support us in our equestrian dreams.”

The WIHS Regional Horse Show is proud to host the USHJA Zone 3 Championship again this year on Sunday, Oct. 23. Approximately the top 18 horses in each division, based on total USHJA points, will be invited, with additional horses to be invited if invitations are not accepted.

“We are excited to welcome The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley as our presenting sponsor and look forward to another terrific weekend of competition and fun for locally based riders and their families,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director.

This year’s highlights include:

  • The MHSA Gittings Horsemanship Finals featured on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
  • New equitation classes: NCEA 3’3” Junior Hunt Seat Medal and USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal
  • The fifth annual Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship, presented by Victoria Lowell
  • Ice Cream Social on Friday night and Pizza Party on Saturday afternoon for all exhibitors
  • Grand Championships awarded for Children’s and Adult Hunter and Children’s Hunter Ponies
  • Watch the qualifying event for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Finals, presented by Charles Owen, on Friday evening.

Entries will be accepted electronically through www.HorseShowing.com.

About WIHS, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events in North America. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington for the President’s Cup, presented by Events DC (Saturday night), the Puissance high jump presented by The Boeing Company on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is currently ranked #7 in the Top 25 Horse Shows by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
lauren@jumpmediallc.com

Jonathon Millar and Kelly Soleau-Millar Earn Opening Day Victories at CSI2* Ottawa Int’l Horse Show

Jonathon Millar and Caprice. Photo by Jump Media.

Ottawa, Ontario – The CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Show opened on Wednesday, July 20, with Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON and his wife, Kelly Soleau-Millar, each enjoying a win on the grass grand prix field at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

The five-day international show jumping tournament runs through Sunday, July 24, and boasts an impressive list of top competitors, including four members of the Millar family.  Ten-time Olympian Ian Millar, 2016 Canadian Olympic Show Jumping Team member Amy Millar, and husband and wife Jonathon Millar and Kelly Soleau-Millar are all competing at this year’s Ottawa International Horse Show.  The husband and wife duo scored victories in the two featured classes on opening day, with Jonathon winning the 1.35m Open Jumper competition, presented by Deloitte, with Caprice while Soleau-Millar of Wellington, FL, topped the 1.25 Open Jumper, presented by Juniper Farm, riding Hoolie Hoo.

Soleau-Millar and Hoolie Hoo, the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by C. F. Farms, bested a field of 32 entries with a double clear effort in a winning jump-off time of 43.99 seconds.  The 1.35m Open Jumpers were next, and this time it was Jonathon riding Caprice, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Peter Edgar, who produced the winning round to beat out 24 other competitors.

“It’s been a real Team Millar day!” said Soleau-Millar of the back-to-back victories, which were immediately followed by a win for their student, Adam Rittenberg, riding Alazan in the 1.30m Junior/Amateur competition.

Married in December, Jonathon and Soleau-Millar are no strangers to traveling and competing together, most often alongside Ian and Amy.

“We’re on the road a lot, and it’s nice to be able to travel with the whole group,” said Jonathon.  “We’re really fortunate that way.  The horses have all been great, so that always makes showing together even more special.”

Jonathon continued, “We’re also fortunate that we all have a common goal.  We all want to be successful ourselves, but we also want each other to be successful.  Hopefully at the end of the day, at least one of us has had a good day!”

Millar Brooke Farm has brought a total of 30 horses from its home base in Perth, ON to the Ottawa International Horse Show.  Sanctioned as a CSI2* by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), riders competing in the feature events are able to earn valuable World Rider Ranking points.

“Having FEI competition in our backyard is amazing,” said Soleau-Millar.  “We couldn’t ask for a better venue, and the prize money is outstanding.  I ride a lot of the young horses and bring them along, and it’s hard to make your way without wonderful shows like this one that have such strong support and money behind them.”

Having a world-class competition situated only 45 minutes from home is a big draw for the Millar family.

“The field is unbelievable to ride in, and the improvements made every year are just outstanding,” Soleau-Millar said.  “The schedule is wonderful, and everything is competitor and horse friendly.  It’s really nice to have a place that’s close to home and at a venue that’s so beautiful.”

Spectators at the CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Show can expect to see the Millar family in action throughout the week.  Featured events include the $35,000 CSI2* Open Welcome on Friday, the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix on Saturday, and the $100,000 CSI2* Classic on Sunday, all beginning at 2 p.m.

To find out more about the Ottawa National and CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Shows, visit www.ottawaequestriantournaments.com. For complete results from the Ottawa National Horse Show, visit ottawa.showmanagementsystem.com.

Jennifer Ward
cell: 613-292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Ian Millar Captures $50,000 Brookstreet Grand Prix at Ottawa National Horse Show

Ian Millar and Teddy du Bosquetiau. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Ottawa, Ontario – Ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar, known as ‘Captain Canada’ to his fans, added another win to his extensive resume by taking victory in the $50,000 Brookstreet Hotel Grand Prix, on Saturday, July 16, at the Ottawa National Horse Show at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

The large crowd at Wesley Clover Parks witnessed great sport as nine of the 33 contenders jumped clear to advance to the jump-off.  Millar of Perth, ON was the seventh rider to return for the tie-breaking jump-off aboard Teddy du Bosquetiau, a 13-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding owned by Emily and Fiona Kinch.  The pair made easy work of the jump-off track, leaving all the rails in place and coming home in a time of 42.43 seconds.

“This was definitely the fastest I’ve ever ridden Teddy,” said Millar.  “He’s really, really fast, but what happens to him sometimes is that his feet get going faster than his brain.  Then rails can come down because of that.  So as you’re riding him, you try to keep the two in sync.  It’s about knowing your horse, and I was quite thrilled with him today because this was a fast jump-off.  I knew my time would be hard to beat.”

Melissandre Lincourt of Montreal, QC immediately followed Millar and gave him a run for his money over the course designed by 1976 Olympic individual silver medalist Michel Vaillancourt.  She came close, stopping the clock in 43.79 seconds to finish second riding Just Stella L, a ten-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Gabrielle Pelchat.

Millar’s son, Jonathon Millar, also of Perth, ON, jumped clear in the jump-off with a time of 43.87 seconds to place third with Daveau, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by his family’s Millar Brooke Farm.

Melissandre Lincourt and Just Stella L
Melissandre Lincourt and Just Stella L

For Ian, competing at Wesley Clover Parks is incredibly meaningful, as he has spent a lifetime riding at the facility and has been instrumental in developing the riding school program and competitions on-site throughout the years.  He has been an advisor to the Wesley Clover Parks organizing committee, headed by Karen Sparks, since it took over management of the facility in 2013 and reintroduced world-class show jumping to the nation’s capital in 2015.

“This is where I really learned about show jumping when I was 15 years of age,” said Ian of the facility now known as Wesley Clover Parks.  “This is where I really started with two-day eventing, three-day eventing, and the jumpers.  The big shows were in Montreal and Toronto; we were sort of the bush league back then.  So when the opportunity came along years ago to get this place going and get a show here, I was so excited to do it.  To be able to bring show jumping to this area was very important to me, and to all of the people on the committee.

“As time went on, the horse shows sort of got into a little difficulty and faded out,” continued Ian.  “Then, because of the Matthews family and its Wesley Clover Foundation, the park has been put back together and on the map.  The riding school and the show operation are doing fantastic, and these horse shows are back in Ottawa and better than ever.  Within the horse show community, we’re getting rave reviews about the show this year, as we did last year.  I would say the future is very bright for Wesley Clover Parks.”

Ian’s own future is also looking bright.  The Canadian Show Jumping Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was announced during the Ottawa National Horse Show, and Ian’s daughter, Amy, was named to the four-rider squad.  While the elder Millar will not be riding in Rio, he debuted a new horse, the eight-year-old Hanoverian stallion Vittorio 8, at the Ottawa National Horse Show.

Where did Ian go to find a new grand prix partner?

“Munich, which was actually the site of my first Olympics,” said Millar, 69, smiling broadly.  “It’s funny, going back to Munich, the site of my first Olympics, to find my next Olympic horse.”

To find out more about the Ottawa National and CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Shows, visit www.ottawaequestriantournaments.com. For complete results from the Ottawa National Horse Show, visit ottawa.showmanagementsystem.com.

Jennifer Ward
cell: 613-292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Sharon Lynn Campbell Named Official Artist of 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show

Sharon Lynn Campbell’s portrait ‘Beautiful Bay.’

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The artwork of Sharon Lynn Campbell has appeared at many of the country’s most prestigious horse shows, including the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show. As the newly named official artist of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Campbell is masterfully creating two paintings for the 2016 edition of the horse show, to be held October 1-9 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

The Rochelle, VA based artist’s work will appear on the cover of the horse show prize list and on the annual Capital Challenge commemorative poster. Both paintings will be unveiled in August alongside the release of the official prize list.

“I painted the prize list cover art for Capital Challenge for the last two years, and this year, I have created a very artsy composition for the prize list cover art of the same horse that will be used as the jumping portrait for the poster and the horse show program,” Campbell explained.

As the winner of the $25,000 World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge and the 2015 $5,000 WCHR Professional Finals at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, Scott Stewart was selected as the rider to grace both the prize list and poster painting on the horse of his choosing.

“I met with Scott to see which horse he would like to put on the cover, and he choose the Gochmans’ beautiful grey gelding Catch Me,” Campbell said, referencing the mount on which Stewart earned the 2015 $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge victory. Campbell has now beautifully recreated a photo of the gelding, captured by James Parker, for the prize list cover.

For Campbell, the opportunity to paint horses like Catch Me for the Capital Challenge Horse Show is an incredible honor.

“I just really love this horse show,” Campbell said of Capital Challenge. “It’s the perfect transition from the outdoors to the indoors, and I have the opportunity to catch up with my West Coast clients and meet new people from all over the country. It’s always a great group of people that come to show. The management for the show are wonderful people, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.”

Campbell is a lifelong horsewoman, having grown up riding, showing, training, and even shoeing horses at her family’s horse farm in Indiana. Her equestrian knowledge and great understanding of the horse’s conformation and expression is evident in each piece of artwork that she creates. To learn more about Sharon Campbell, visit www.sharoncampbell.com.

For more information on the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show, please visit www.CapitalChallenge.org.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com