Category Archives: Jump Media

Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows Are CSI Rated and Offer Under 25 Competitions

Mclain Ward and HH Azur competing at the 2015 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. Photo by Jump Media.

North Salem, NY – The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows will now offer even more for show jumpers as they have been classified as CSI-rated competitions by the The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). The FEI classes will give riders the opportunity to gain valuable Longines FEI World Ranking points. Additionally, the Spring Horse Shows will feature Under 25 competitions, including a $15,000 U25 Grand Prix, sponsored by T&R Development, for up and coming jumper riders.

“Our team here at Old Salem Farm is always looking to stay out in front of what is up and coming for our sport,” said Old Salem Farm Trainer Frank Madden. “We feel the U25 competition is hugely important in the development of our young riders, and therefore important that we make it a priority to offer it at the Spring Shows.”

The first week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows will run May 10-15 with a CSI2* classification and the second week, a CSI3*, will take place May 17-22 at the acclaimed Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.

The 2016 schedule includes top competition for hunters, equitation riders and world-ranked jumper riders alike. Highlights planned for the celebrated grand prix field during the Spring Shows include:

– $130,000 Empire State Grand Prix
– $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix
– $35,000 New York Welcome Stake Grand Prix
– $35,000 North Salem Grand Prix
– $35,000 Speed Derby of North Salem
– $15,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Derby
– $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
– $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, sponsored by T&R Development

“The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows have attracted some of the most accomplished riders in show jumping and delivered top sport each year they have taken place. Now, we are proud to offer those riders more opportunities to gain world ranking points, as well as bring an even higher level of equestrian competition to Westchester County,” said Old Salem Farm Manager Alan Bietsch. “We have been working to deliver CSI-rated competition to the Spring Shows after witnessing the great success the American Gold Cup has enjoyed, and we are very excited that both weeks of competition will be sanctioned by the FEI in 2016.”

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows feature Premier rated hunters and USEF 5* and USEF 6* jumpers, and was most recently ranked on the North American Riders Group Top 25 List in 2014. The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows feature over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, bringing together top competitors, including Olympic show jumpers, from across the country. Old Salem Farm’s beautifully manicured grounds, a list of elite horses and riders, and fantastic social gatherings draw spectators from Westchester County and beyond to watch horses and ponies of every size compete for over $500,000 in prize money.

For more information on the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, including sponsorship opportunities, ticket sales, VIP table reservations and available vendor space, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net/spring-shows.

About Old Salem Farm
Old Salem Farm, located just one hour north of New York City, is one of the best equestrian competition venues in North America, as rated by the North American Riders Group since 2011. Host of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, the prestigious American Gold Cup CSI-W 4*, and year-round competitions, the facility offers a state-of-the-art turf grand prix field, indoor riding arena, and two all-weather footing rings. As a boarding and training facility, Old Salem Farm is second to none and home to top trainer Frank Madden. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net or call 914-669-5610.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
Jump Media
Cell: (518) 586-6258
Lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Daniel Bluman Opens International Division with a Win at 2015 Royal Horse Show

Bluman and Conconcreto Sancha LS. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Daniel Bluman of Colombia opened international show jumping competition with a win in the $20,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 10, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Show jumping talent representing six nations – Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ireland, the United States, and New Zealand – arrived in Toronto for five days of fierce international competition. Bluman and Conconcreto Believe, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ukato x Burggraaf) owned by Blue Star Investments, Alberto Simhon and Abraham Chehebar, topped a 19-horse starting field to score the first victory of the week. The pair turned in a time of 32.09 seconds for the win over a track set by British course designer Richard Jeffery.

“The first class of the week is usually a friendly one, but still has a very good purse,” said Bluman, 25. “If you have a horse that is naturally fast, you can let them go a little bit. That was the case with Believe; she is very careful and very, very fast. I saw the people go before me and they weren’t going crazy so I thought I wouldn’t intervene too much. It paid off, and I am happy to start with a win.”

Bluman is competing at the Royal Horse Show for the fourth time, and said, “I love Toronto. This show is a very prestigious indoor event here in North America, and I am always delighted to be invited to take part in the competition.”

Before Bluman clinched the victory, Reed Kessler of the United States had held the lead. She and Charity 33, owned by Kessler Show Stables, would eventually finish second with a time of 33.46 seconds while Ireland’s Conor Swail and Cita, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, took third place in a time of 34.42 seconds. Ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON and the appropriately named Heros took fourth in 34.76 seconds for owners AMMO Investments. Dermott Lennon of Ireland rounded out the top five aboard Fleur IV, owned by Canada’s Rebecca McGoldrick, in 35.24 seconds.

Having already scored one victory, Bluman has his sights set on Wednesday night’s feature event, the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto. The Royal Horse Show® was selected as one of only four Canadian events to be part of the newly formed Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.

“This is a great new format,” said Bluman of the change. “Before, there were too many World Cup qualifiers, making it difficult for the riders to jump in all of them. I think it’s great to have fewer events with more prize money and bring the level up. You can see that this week; there are only 24 riders here, but if you look at those 24, you have the big guns here. Longines has been a great supporter of equestrian sport and we, as riders, are very thankful for that.”

The Royal Horse Show marks Bluman’s fifth Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League appearance so far this season. His goal is to qualify for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final to be held from March 23 to 28 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“I’m in a qualifying spot, but it’s not over and I need to add more points,” said Bluman. “The idea is to go to World Cup Final this year. I’ve been building a string of horses for a very long time and finally now I have enough to go.”

Bluman plans to ride Conconcreto Believe in Wednesday night’s qualifier, explaining, “The characteristics of this venue fit her well and if the course is what I expect it will be, I think I could get a good ribbon.”

Conor Swail and Martha Louise
Conor Swail and Martha Louise

The $35,000 Jolera International Jumper Welcome was held Tuesday evening, and saw the final rider of the night come home with the win. Having settled for third earlier in the day, Swail tripped the timers in the fastest time, 58.17 seconds, to take the victory riding Martha Louise for owners Susan and Ariel Grange of Cheltenham, ON. Roberto Teran of Colombia placed second with a time of 59.30 riding Woklahoma for the ARK Partners LLC while Laura Kraut of the United States took third with a considerably slower time of 64.02 riding Andretti S for Stars & Stripes.

The $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby, also held Tuesday evening, saw a win for Darcy Hayes riding Say When for owner Danielle Trudell Baran. The pair was awarded the Paddy Ann Burns Trophy in recognition of the achievement.

Erynn Ballard and Valentino Now, owned by MVB Group, accepted the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy, awarded to the high point horse following both the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby held Monday evening and the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby. Ballard and Valentino Now won Monday night’s $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby before placing second in Tuesday’s featured competition.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Jill Henselwood Claims Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship

Jill Henselwood and Farfelu du Printemps. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON claimed the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Saturday night, November 7, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Riding Farfelu du Printemps, Henselwood entered the second and final phase of competition in the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Saturday evening with a perfect score of zero, having won Friday night’s opening round. The pair stayed consistent, jumping another clear round before facing off against the top six in a final jump-off. Despite having a rail down early on course, Henselwood held on the lead to win the 2015 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship title.

“As soon as we started to jump and he could sense from me that it was serious he gave good efforts,” said Henselwood of the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Action Breaker x Volume vd Gasthoeve) owned by John Madigan. “For this horse to get this title really means something in his resume, and starts to identify him as a top horse for Canada.”

Farfelu’s rail fell at the third fence in the final round, leaving on room for further error.

“I thought we were going to jump it, but made a mistake,” Henselwood said of her downed rail. “After that, I think Farfelu jumped everything else with a margin of another foot. I could feel the effort that he made; he didn’t want to make another mistake. He’s that kind of horse.”

Henselwood’s victory marked her second Greenhawk Canadian Championship title at the Royal Horse Show®, having also won in 2005 aboard Black Ice.

Mac Cone aboard Gasper van den Doorn
Mac Cone aboard Gasper van den Doorn

British course designer Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, Dorset set difficult tracks in all three rounds comprising the Canadian Championships, which saw Canadian Equestrian Team veterans rise to the challenge. With two beautifully executed rounds on Saturday night, Canadian Olympian Mac Cone, 63, of King City, ON, moved into the Reserve Champion position with a final score of 4.79 riding Gasper van den Doorn for owner Chadburn Holdings, Inc.

Another Canadian Olympian, Lisa Carlsen, 50, of Okotoks, AB, produced strong performances to finish third with 5.66 penalties aboard Worlds Judgement for owners WJ Partners. Susan Horn of Bolton, ON and Kingsland Farm’s Lillyfee placed fourth on 6.15 penalties, while Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON and Bart C posted 6.93 penalties to placed fifth for owner Jaybird Farm. Keean White of Rockwood, ON rounded out the top six aboard For Freedom Z, owned by Angelstone Partners, with 14.11 penalties.

Based on their results in the Canadian Championships, Henselwood and Cone secured the final two positions available in The Royal’s international show jumping division, which begins on Tuesday, November 10. They will join pre-qualified riders Carlsen, Ballard, Ian Millar of Perth, ON, Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, and Chris Sorensen of Caledon East, ON, in representing the Canadian flag.

Also highlighting the action on Saturday, Isabelle Lapierre of Breakeyville, QC and Cescha M dominated the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships, presented by Uplands Charitable Foundation. Lapierre and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Hera XXIV) owned by Ecuries de la Chaudiere, topped both phases of competition to top a starting field of 16 contenders.

“She will try every time,” said Lapierre, 36, who has been riding Cescha M for the past three years. “Even when I make a mistake, she’s there, and if she makes a mistake, she knows I’ll be there. We’re a good team.”

Lapierre set a goal to pilot Cescha M in the National Talent Squad Championships following a successful summer, explaining, “She’s a young horse, and they need mileage in the ring before doing the big classes. This is a good class for young riders, and also for riders like me trying to produce young horses.”

Lapierre also won the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships riding Diaka de Semilly, the half-sister of Cescha M’s sire, Diamant de Semilly.

“I won this 15 years ago with Diaka de Semilly and I knew talent ran in the family,” she said. “Both horses have what it takes to win, and that’s all because of their breeding.”

Another Quebec athlete, Billie Derouet of Bromont, took home the Reserve Championship in the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships aboard her own Bonaparte VP Wisebecq. Derouet placed second to Lapierre in Friday’s opening round of competition before taking third place in Round Two on Saturday.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Top Riders Ready for International Show Jumping Competition at 2015 Royal Horse Show

Two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, pictured riding Rothchild, will be back to defend his grand prix title at the 2015 Royal Horse Show. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Downtown Toronto will host some of the world’s most decorated equestrian athletes – both two-legged and four – during the 2015 Royal Horse Show, which runs November 6 to 15 as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at Exhibition Place. International show jumpers from five different countries will converge in Toronto for top-level competition, highlighted by the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto as part of the newly founded FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.

Show jumping action kicks off at the national level with the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships during opening weekend, November 6 and 7. Twenty-five Canadian riders, including Olympians Lisa Carlsen, Mac Cone, Jill Henselwood, Beth Underhill and defending champion Ian Millar, will vie for the coveted national title.

The highlight event of the international division takes place Wednesday, November 12, when the Royal Horse Show hosts the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto. One of only four Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping events to be held on Canadian soil, the competition is a qualifying event for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Goteborg, Sweden.

Friday, November 13 will showcase the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open, while Saturday afternoon brings family-friendly fun with horses and dogs teaming up for the $15,000 International Canine/Equine Challenge, presented by The Toronto Star. The 2015 Royal Horse Show closes out with the $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge, presented by Hudson’s Bay Company, on Saturday night, November 14.

Eight riders from the United States have been invited to travel to the Royal Horse Show. Most notably, two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY is eyeing his third win in a row in Wednesday night’s featured grand prix event. Ward has won the grand prix at the Royal Horse Show six times and is the defending champion from both 2013 and 2014.

“The Royal is a first-class, traditional event in a beautiful city,” said Ward, who recently claimed the individual gold medal riding Rothchild at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. “The Royal always has a packed house, making the atmosphere great. You need an experienced horse that handles that situation well.”

This year, Ward plans to defend his title riding HH Azur, an up-and-coming superstar owned by Double H Farm. The pair recently competed at the mare’s first indoor event at the Los Angeles Masters, where Ward characterized her performance as “phenomenal”, and Ward is confident in their chances at the Royal Horse Show.

“The presence of FEI competition in North America has been transforming over the last few years and it’s in a better place now,” said Ward of the Royal Horse Show’s inclusion in the new Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. “It’s always an asset to have more World Cup qualifiers, and this league has certainly been competitive.”

Ward will be joined at the Royal Horse Show by fellow Americans Georgina Bloomberg, Leslie Howard, Charlie Jacobs, Reed Kessler, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and Todd Minikus.

Rounding out the international field participating at the Royal Horse Show will be eight riders representing Belgium, Colombia, Ireland and New Zealand. Coming off a recent string of impressive wins, Ireland’s Conor Swail will return to the Royal Horse Show as a hot favourite.

“The Royal has always been a lucky show for me,” said Swail. “Every time I go there I have good success, but I also love the prestige and the huge crowds that come with the show. It’s extremely fun.”

Dermott Lennon will join Swail in representing Ireland. Twins Nicola and Olivier Philippaerts and Francois Mathy Jr. will represent Belgium, while Daniel Bluman and Roberto Teran will be flying the Colombian flag. New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley will be making his Royal Horse Show debut.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. The 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Molly Ashe and Balou’s Day Date Receive Equis “Best Presented Horse Award”

Molly Ashe and Balou’s Day Date

Lexington, KY – Equis Boutique, a luxury shopping experience for the discerning equestrian, awarded coveted “Best Presented Horse” honors to Molly Ashe and Balou’s Day Date this weekend after Thursday’s FEI Horse Inspection at Split Rock Jumping Tour’s Bourbon International CSI 3* in Lexington, KY.

Ashe and Balou’s Day Date, owned by Louisburg Farm, took part in FEI competition at Split Rock Jumping Tour’s second 3* event this year after its premiere show, the Lexington International CSI 3*, kicked off in May. In addition to the Equis Boutique “Best Presented Horse Award”, Ashe and her 10-year-old Oldenburg Mare (Balou Du Rouet x Linda-Dolores) placed fifth in Sunday’s $100,000 CSI3* Grand Prix against a starting field of 36.

Equis Boutique is the most convenient and luxurious choice for top equestrian brands to dress the horse and rider, including Parlanti, Anna Scarpati, Kingsland Equestrian, Kentucky Horsewear, Dy’on, specialty imported bits, as well as Official FEI and Just World International merchandise. Continuing their dedication to excellence in all areas of horse sport, Equis Boutique has devoted their presence at North American horse shows to enhancing the importance and prestige of the FEI Horse Inspection.

Ashe’s award commended the overall turnout of both her and her horse after evaluation by the Split Rock Jumping Tour FEI Ground Jury, made up of Jenny Ross-Koning (USA), Bobby Murphy (USA), Leslie Brown (USA), and led by President Jonathan Taylor (CAN).

She and Balou’s Day Date were presented with a commemorative silver plate, as well as assorted products from Equis partner brands for the honor.

“This is a cool award because it’s really a shout-out to the caretakers of the horses,” said Ashe. “They don’t always get the appreciation or thanks that they deserve, so this is huge fun for the grooms.”

Balou’s Day Date is meticulously cared for by Louisburg Farm groom Ezequiel Remigio, who took her over at the end of the 2015 season in Florida. “You could see how proud he was to earn the award – she [Balou’s Day Date] can do no wrong in his eyes,” added Ashe.

Ashe and Balou’s Day Date picked up their fifth-place ribbon on Sunday over a big, difficult course from designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). “She’s a feisty little horse with a huge heart and I’m proud of her,” said Ashe. “She gives it her all every time out and she tried hard.”

The Bourbon International was the final horse show of 2015 for Ashe and Balou’s Day Date. The mare now gets a well-deserved break before Ashe’s string spends the winter competing in Florida. “We have done a lot this year and I think this winter Balou’s Day Date will do the 1.50m and 1.45m FEI classes at WEF – that seems to be her niche.”

Equis Boutique was founded in 2014 by FEI judges Elena Couttenye and Cesar Hirsch, and in addition to creating a mobile, one-stop shopping opportunity for high-end international riding apparel within the American market, they wanted Equis to elevate FEI Horse Inspections with a little friendly competition among owners, riders and grooms. From that idea, the Equis Boutique “Best Presented Horse Award” was born and has been given at nearly ten horse shows across the U.S. so far this year. These shows include both weeks of the Split Rock Jumping Tour, as well as the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, NV and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“We started presenting this award in the spring of 2015 and each horse inspection gets more and more impressive,” said Hirsch. “It’s rewarding to see riders take pride in their mounts and for the caretakers of these horses to get recognition for the hard work to keep them competition-ready and looking their best.”

Hirsch is excited to see the success of the Equis Boutique award spread and looks forward to presenting it again throughout the 2016 season beginning at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) this January. “Split Rock Jumping Tour is a creative new addition to the horse sport calendar and we were proud to be involved as sponsors,” said Hirsch. “It’s events like these that offer top competition, as well as a true quality experience for athletes and spectators, that fit perfectly with the mission of Equis Boutique.”

Equis Boutique made a successful debut season at WEF in Wellington, FL and HITS Horse Shows in Ocala, FL this winter, and has had a busy summer season at horse shows around the U.S. For a complete schedule of Equis Boutique locations, visit equisboutique.com/find-us.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
Jump Media
Cell: (518) 586-6258
Lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

2015 WIHS Regional Horse Show Offers Competitors a Chance to Qualify for WIHS

The WIHS Regional Horse Show will host a qualifier for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series. Photo copyright Alden Corrigan.

Washington D.C. – October 9, 2015 – The highly anticipated 2015 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals will be hosted at Prince George’s Equestrian Center (PGEC) in Upper Marlboro, MD from Friday, October 16, to Sunday, October 18, offering local and regional riders a final opportunity to punch their qualifying ticket to show at the world-renowned Washington International Horse Show (WIHS).

Entries for the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals close Friday, October 9. View the prize list for more information at www.wihs.org/wihs-regional/. The Washington International Horse Show begins Tuesday, October 20, and continues through Sunday, October 25, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., offering a week of elite equestrian competition showcasing the best of the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines.

Highlights of the WIHS Regional competition hosted at PGEC include the Maryland Horse Show Association Gittings Horsemanship Finals on Friday, October 16, beginning at 6 p.m. Grand championship honors will be awarded to the Children’s and Adult Hunters alongside the Children’s Hunter Pony division. The USHJA Zone 3 Finals will be held on Sunday, October 18, with special zone points being awarded to top place finishers.

Other highlights include the MHSA Children’s Pony Medal, presented by Oldfields School, Zone 3 Adult Amateur Hunter Finals 36 & Over, presented by the Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, and Zone 3 Large Children’s Pony Hunter Division, presented by The Saddlery.

New for 2015, the WIHS Regional Horse Show will host a qualifier for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen. The Shetland ponies and their mini jockeys will compete in a race to earn their spot to compete in the feature events at Verizon Center. They will run in the indoor arena at PGEC on Friday, October 16, at 5:00 p.m. The top finishers will then compete in the finals at WIHS during its main week of competition on Thursday, October 22, and Saturday, October 24. An ice cream social will be held Friday night during the qualifying event. There will also be a pizza party on Saturday, open to all exhibitors, thanks to Buckeye Nutrition.

The fourth annual Laura Pickett Award for Excellence in Horsemanship will also be selected during the WIHS Regional competition, honoring and remembering local equestrian and trainer Laura Pickett, and will be presented to a rising adult or child rider alongside their respective trainer/s for exhibiting enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and a sense of style, bringing out the best of horse and rider combinations. The award, presented by WIHS President Vicki Lowell on Thursday night at Barn Night, will honor the many qualities for which Pickett is remembered. Nominees for the award will be asked to wear a pink armband and will be judged for their performances inside the ring and their conduct throughout the weekend. The winner will be notified by Monday, October 19, and will receive a pair of custom boots provided by Fabbri Boots.

Children’s and Adult hunters and jumpers will take center stage during the weekend, as final qualifying spots are up for grabs to compete in the WIHS Championship Finals as well as the Regional Hunter Finals at Verizon Center. The WIHS Championship Finals will feature the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championship on Tuesday, October 20. The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship will both be held on Wednesday, October 21. Regional hunter combinations who earn a qualifying spot in the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals will compete at Verizon Center on Sunday, October 25.

All of the fantastic regional competition in Upper Marlboro, MD leads up to the 57th annual Washington International Horse Show, featuring many of the nation’s top horses and riders as well as some of the world’s best international competitors. For more information, please visit www.wihs.org.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. 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. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition 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 recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Allison Brock to Perform Musical Freestyle at Washington International Horse Show

Allison Brock and Rosevelt. Photo © Meg McGuire.

Washington, D.C. – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the most prestigious equestrian sports events in North America, is pleased to announce dressage rider Allison Brock will be a highlight exhibition at the 57th edition of the show taking place at Verizon Center October 20-25, 2015. Fans of dressage and equestrian sport won’t want to miss this special event!

Brock, a reserve for the 2015 United States Pan American Games team this past summer, will perform a musical freestyle dressage exhibition, presented by Deloitte, on Saturday night, October 24. Commonly referred to as horse ballet, the WIHS dressage exhibition will feature a crowd-pleasing grand prix freestyle to music (Kür), where the horse and rider performs specially choreographed patterns to music.

Brock will be riding Fritz and Claudine Kundrun’s stunning 2002 Hanoverian stallion, Rosevelt. He is her top FEI-level mount, with whom she’s won a number of grand prix events this year.

“We are thrilled to welcome dressage and its fans back to WIHS,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. “We thank Deloitte for their support of dressage at the international level and in helping dressage return to WIHS. We love featuring the best of horse sports across disciplines at WIHS, and the beauty and intricacy of dressage freestyle is a can’t-miss experience.”

Deloitte, one of the world’s largest professional services firms, is an important sponsor of U.S. athletes aspiring to compete at the Olympic Games and has become increasingly involved with the equestrian sport of dressage. Earlier this year, Deloitte announced its sponsorship of U.S. rider Laura Graves on her quest to ride at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with her horse, Verdades.

Deloitte Tax Chief Corporate Development Officer Judith Sloan, principal, Deloitte Tax LLP, was integral in helping dressage return to WIHS. “As a premier fall indoor competition in the United States, WIHS presents a unique opportunity to showcase the sport of dressage,” she stated. “Deloitte is committed to helping raise the profile of Olympic level athletes, and we believe that collaborating with WIHS is a perfect opportunity to accomplish that with their large spectator base and local community involvement. I can’t wait to see Allison and Rosevelt show the crowds at WIHS what they can do!”

Brock, a talented figure within the U.S. dressage community, has made a name for herself as a consistent and competitive rider among the best in the world. She has earned her gold and silver United States Dressage Federation medals and has accumulated numerous wins at the grand prix level with several different mounts.

“I’m really looking forward to riding at WIHS. It will be a great opportunity to give my horse valuable experience in an impressive and energized indoor environment and at the same time showcase the sport of dressage in front of thousands of spectators,” said Brock. “I have to thank Deloitte for their continued support of dressage. What they’re doing for the sport will make a real difference, and I think it’s fantastic in terms of the growth of the sport and where it is headed.”

Buy your tickets today to see this one-of-a-kind dressage experience! Tickets are available for purchase at the Verizon Center box office, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. General admission tickets for daytime performances are $15 (plus applicable service charges), Tuesday through Sunday, with children 12 and under admitted for free. VIP section seating is available for evening performances. For more information on ticket pricing and group discounts, military/seniors and students, please call 202-661-5061 or visit www.wihs.org/tickets.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. 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. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition 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 recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Yowan and McCloskey Collect Grand Champion Junior Hunter Honors

Vivian Yowan and Ransom. ©JumpMedia.

Karp Earns Grand Champion Children’s Hunter Award; Ward, Smith, and Iwasaki Victorious in Final WCHR Challenge Classes

Upper Marlboro, MD – On the final day of the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, junior hunter riders stole the show and concluded an elite week of competition at Prince George’s Equestrian Center, highlighting the prestigious World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) yearly finals. Hosting three WCHR Challenge classes throughout the day, the WCHR Junior Challenge 3’6”, WCHR Junior Challenge 3’3”, and the WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge, Sunday proved to be a competitive day for many of the country’s top junior combinations. The final Grand Champion awards of the week were also presented in the Junior Hunter and Children’s Hunter divisions.

Vivian Yowan of Lexington, KY was crowned Grand Champion Junior Hunter 3’6” presented by Shadow Ridge Farm aboard Ransom owned by Saddle Ridge LLC. Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH, aboard Prologue owned by Rendezvous Farm, captured top honors as the High Point Junior 15 & Under combination for their performances in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, in which they also earned champion. Sara McCloskey of Pound Ridge, NY and her own Austin picked up Grand Junior Hunter 3’3” honors as the final Grand Champion combination awarded at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show. Samantha Karp of Wellington, FL piloted her own Central Park to the Grand Champion Children’s Hunter title presented by Mary Jane King.

Yowan Rises to Top of Small Junior Hunter 3’6” Division aboard Ransom

Vivian Yowan completed a successful week at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, picking up several top-place finishes throughout the week in all three disciplines offered at the competition with hunter, jumper, and equitation mounts under her guidance. Yowan continued with her success today in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, which she championed, and would ultimately go on to collect Grand Champion Junior Hunter 3’6” accolades aboard Ransom owned by Saddle Ridge LLC.

Yowan and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding nearly achieved a clean sweep, earning only first and second place finishes throughout the four divisional classes in the Small Junior Hunters. Ransom’s talent and consistency over fences lifted the pair to Yowan’s first Grand Champion recognition of the week, alongside earning the High Point Junior Hunter 16-17 presented by The Clothes Horse and receiving the Best Junior Rider Award 3’6” sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables.

“For the past two days in the Small Juniors he just jumped unbelievable. He’s really a powerhouse. He comes out every day and we say he has springs on his feet because it’s kind of freaky how well he consistently jumps day in and day out. I’ve never had a horse that has really tried as hard as he does for me,” she remarked.

The duo received a score of 89.00 from the judges for their handy round to receive the EMO Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency for all Junior Hunters rounds, as the score was unmatched by the rest of the competition.

“My handy with him was definitely the highlight of the week. He just jumped the first jump on course better than anything I’ve ever felt and I knew that if we kept it throughout we’d be able to get a good score,” she remembered.

Morgan Ward of Milton, NJ and Flirt picked up reserve champion in the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” division behind Yowan.

Gabriella Cinquini of Pana Point, CA aboard Coffeetalk earned the championship award in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under while Lara McHale of Chagrin Falls, MI and Mine collected reserve honors in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under.

Bailey Smith of Portland, OR and Papyrus earned top honors in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’6” division capturing the champion title, while Kimmie Gottwald of Richmond, VA aboard Casallo took the reserve champion award for the division.

Ward, Smith, and Iwasaki Take WCHR Challenge Honors in Respective Divisions

Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ was elated with her first place finish aboard Broadway in the WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge presented by Elena and David Graves, which hosted 33 entries. The duo bested the class with a score of 86.50 to narrowly edge out Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH and Prologue who followed in second with a score of 86.41, as Rachel McMullen of Chagrin Falls, OH and Clear Sailing rounded out the top three receiving an 86.33 from the judging panel.

Morgan Ward and Broadway. ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography
Morgan Ward and Broadway. ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography

Ward and Broadway won their second trip over fences two days ago in the Junior Hunter 3’6” division but Ward was quick to admit that she didn’t ride her best on the second day of competition and felt the need to redeem herself in the WCHR Challenge class.

“I didn’t have the best rounds yesterday and I felt like I owed it to my horse to have a good ride. I went in and he sure helped me out a lot but the round went really well and he just jumped awesome,” she commented. “It means a lot to win this class. I didn’t think that I was qualified coming here because I had only done two WCHR weekends, but coming in when I saw that I was qualified I thought, ‘Oh I’ve got to pull this off,’ and it was really fun. A great way to end.”

Ward, who comes from a family of equestrians, felt the pressure in the WCHR class, as she and Broadway headed down the final line after a very solid trip. “Going to the last line I was like, ‘OK Morgan, please don’t mess anything up now. Please see the correct distance to the last jump,’” she laughed. “One day this week my trainer whistled before I was finished and then I did something wrong so I was like please don’t whistle yet, please don’t whistle yet.”

The bubbly blonde commented on the talent of Broadway, who she says is one of the greatest horses she’s ridden. The Wards bought him in January during the winter circuit, but Ward admittedly understands that as her last time in the Junior divisions comes to a close with the conclusion of indoors this fall, Broadway will most likely find a new young rider to show the ropes.

“I just bought him in January and ever since then we’ve been a great team. He’s been champion or reserve every time in Ocala and all of that. We qualified for Devon and then we still have indoors left, but I know that it might be my last time owning him because I’m aging out and it’s sad, but I understand that it is part of the sport.”

Enjoying not only her WCHR win, Ward stated that Capital Challenge has a way of making the riders feel so special for their achievements. “Not only does this show get you prepared for indoors, but they give you great prizes, which I think is a big deal. They make everything so special and it’s not just ‘Oh, here’s your ribbon’; it’s more important than that. I just love this show.”

Alexandra Smith of Wellington, FL aboard Perfekionist, owned by Tracey Topping of Wellington, FL, rose to the occasion in the WCHR Children’s Challenge presented by Stephanie Bulger and MeadowView, which saw 21 entries. The duo scored an 87.75 to finish atop the only WCHR Challenge class held in the outdoor this week. Hensley Humphries of New York, NY and Pomodoro finished in second with a score of 86.75 and Lauren Katz of Potomac, MD aboard Highland’s Right Royal earned third place with a score of 86.50.

“I’ve never done a challenge class in the children’s division, but I did it last year for in the pony division. We got him about two months ago when we decided to lease him from Tracey Topping and this is our third show together,” she explained. “He’s really sweet and I like him a lot already.”

At only 12 years old, Smith, who rides with parents Ken and Emily of Ashland Farms, comes from a long line of successful equestrians as older brother Spencer is making his way through the upper level jumper ranks. The course, which was set at two different heights for ponies and horses, rode nicely for Smith and long-strided Perfektionist, who is known around the barn as Fred.

“I think it was a very good course and it was fun. Fred can be a little bit lazy but I still have fun. You have to get him going but after that he’s really good,” she explained. The duo will take the next few months to fine tune their skills before entering the show ring again at the Winter Equestrian Festival in just a few short months.

“We aren’t going to do indoors this year so our next show will probably be at WEF. He’s really nice and I feel comfortable on him already so it hasn’t been that hard getting to know him,” she remarked.

Continuing on with her fantastic season, Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA was victorious in the WCHR Junior Challenge 3’3” presented by Canterbury Farm and the Durpetti Family, aboard Illusion with a score of 86.66. Kirsten Ostling and Given followed in second with a score of 85.66 while Caroline Dance and Aate earned third place with a score of 84.16.

Illusion, a 1999 Hanoverian gelding owned by Dogwood Hill LLC, is a veteran in the show ring and helped Iwasaki to another major victory in her young career, winning her first WCHR Challenge class.

“It’s really exciting and I love riding him so it was really fun. I’ve been riding since him since maybe March or April. He used to do the 3’6” juniors before I started riding him,” said Iwasaki. “The first time that I showed him there were these brick roll-tops and he jumped them really, really high. It was fun and felt good. I like riding him.”

Even though Illusion may be considered older on the spectrum of competition horses, Iwasaki loves his personality and the attitude he brings to show ring for her. Competing with numerous upper level riders throughout his career, Iwasaki said she could tell that he knew the class was special.

“I really like his personality because he’s really outgoing and always is asking for treats. It’s really exciting to win this class because I’ve never done well in a Challenge class before. I was eleventh in the pony class this week and he was perfect today,” she continued. “I’m so happy that I get to ride him because he’s 16 and he’s been around a long time. He knew that it was something important for me.”

Iwasaki will next head to Harrisburg where she will show Bit of Laughter, Kingston and True Colors in the pony divisions then heading home to California for a week of rest before returning to the east coast for the Washington International Horse Show.

McCloskey Takes Final Grand Champion Honors at 2015 in Junior Hunter 3’3”

Sara McCloskey was the final Grand Champion to be recognized at the 2015 CCHS, as the Junior Hunter 3’3” division was the second to last division of the day. Earning two first place finishes while also collecting a second place in the three over fences classes, McCloskey and Austin made themselves difficult to beat for Grand Champion honors, as their consistent riding propelled them through the large division in McCloskey’s first appearance at CCHS.

“I am so excited. This is the first time that I’ve ever competed at Capital Challenge and the courses were set so perfectly. Austin was great throughout the week and I couldn’t have asked for a better show,” she remarked. “We’ve had him for about two and half years now and we bought him as my Children’s Hunter horse. He’s taken me all the way through the Junior Hunters. He’s taught me so much and he was just great this week.”

Capping her first CCHS with success, McCloskey commented on the show and how much she is looking forward to returning next year. “I thought overall it was a great week and even with the weather the rings held up amazingly and they weren’t sticky or muddy. I think the courses rode beautifully all week and overall it was just a great show for us. We’re looking forward to coming back!”

Kirsten Ostling of New Canaan, CT and Given earned reserve champion accolades in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 14 & Over division while Briana Sukert of Newport Coast, CA aboard Nonchalant took home the champion tricolor in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 13 & Under. Sophie Gochman of New York, NY and World Time received reserve awards for the division.

Emma Kurtz Wins Grand Champion Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH dominated the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division to receive the Grand Champion Junior Hunter 15 & Under presented by Sherri Geddes and Geddaway Farm.

“I started riding him two winters ago in Florida but he hasn’t lived with us for most of the time so I would just meet him at the shows. After Devon this year though he came home with us and has been living with us and I’ve gotten to know him better,” she said. “He jumps amazing and he has a huge stride which makes him really fun to ride. I’m really excited to have been named Grand Champion and I think it is a big honor.”

In the duo’s handy round, Kurtz was pleased with the boldness of the 2005 Warmblood gelding who tried his hand at the jumpers before switching disciplines, as he can be green to certain obstacles, but didn’t bat an eye today in the ring. She explained, “He can be pretty green to trot jumps and I was really excited that he did that well today in the handy. He didn’t even react to it, which was really good.”

“We’ll head to Harrisburg, Washington, and the National over the next two months but we really like coming to Capital Challenge. I really like that you are outside one day and inside the next day because I feel like it balances you out and gives you experience in both atmospheres, especially if a horse doesn’t like being indoors,” she noted.

Hunter Siebel of Woodside, CA was honored with reserve champion awards aboard As Always in the Large Junior Under 15 & Under division.

Samantha Karp and Central Park Earn Top Spot in Children’s Hunter Division

Samantha Karp was thrilled with her performances aboard 2005 Hanoverian gelding Central Park in the Children’s Hunter division as the duo collected two first place finishes alongside a fifth. Karp noted that after the conclusion of the upcoming indoor circuit, she will have aged out of the Children’s Hunter division and will continue to show as an amateur. Karp was also honored with both champion and reserve champion honors in the division, as she piloted McGraw owned by Kimberly Quinn to reserve champion behind Central Park.

“This win feels amazing. This is really my first year going to any of these bigger shows, so to come out here and do these bigger classes I was really nervous, but all of my horses were incredible and they each brought their A-game this week,” commented Karp. “This is my last division in the Children’s. I’ll do the Children’s Hunter Finals at Harrisburg and Washington International and then I’ll be done with the division, which is bittersweet.”

Karp, who trains with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm, piloted three horses through the Children’s Hunter 15-17 division, also picking up a blue ribbon aboard McGraw in an over fences class. Her point-awarded performances on all three horses helped her to capture champion awards for the Children’s Hunter 15-17 division, also leading to the her presentation as Grand Champion Children’s Hunter for the 2015 competition. Karp also collected Best Children’s Hunter Rider awards presented by Wild Sky Farm and the Nelson Family, which is awarded to the Grand Champion Children’s Hunter rider.

Ellia Giuliani of Middleburg, VA and Quillaja earned champion honors in the Children’s Hunter 14 & Under division, while Zoe Ganek of New York, NY and Bellagio captured reserve champion. Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and Q-2 were crowned champions in the Children’s Hunter Pony division while Laura Katz of Potomac, MD and Highland’s Right Royal finished with reserve champion.

Capital Challenge Horse Show would like to thank all staff, sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, and volunteers who helped to make the 2015 competition possible. Please visit www.capitalchallenge.org to see a full list of results.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Samantha Schaefer Dominates Amateur Division Taking WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge

Samantha Schaefer and Classified. Photos: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography.

Danhakl and Quest Win WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3”Challenge, Maida and Moran Collect Grand Champion Honors, Reisman Finishes on Top in $10,000 Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge

Upper Marlboro, MD – Amateur riders were the highlight on the sixth day of competition at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, as a number of divisions crowned their champions and gifted prestigious awards. Local superstar and homegrown talent Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, MD continued to add to her successful career at CCHS, amassing two more major championship wins as she earned Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter honors and topped the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge aboard Classified. Competition at CCHS will continue through Sunday, October 4.

Caroline Moran of Wellington, FL and Bacardi picked up the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 and Over division and earned Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” presented by Will and Lindsay Roberts. Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA rode Quest, a former mount of Scott Stewart, to victory in the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge presented by Milestone LLC and Havens Schatt. Alexis Maida, traveling from Danville, CA piloted Tolstoy to the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter title presented by Steve Martines, while Micki Reisman dominated the $10,000 Children’s Adult/Amateur Jumper Challenge presented by Equis Boutique.

Schaefer, who earned Grand Champion Pony Hunter and Grand Champion Junior Hunter accolades early on in her storied junior career and has risen through the ranks of the WCHR program, felt the toll of taking time away from the saddle. A senior at Baylor University, she will complete her Communications degree this December, which put a hiatus of sorts on her competition schedule this year.

“I went to Saugerties in September and I don’t think I felt very in the groove or in practice, which for me, someone who is used to riding multiple horses every day, was hard,” Schaefer honestly revealed. “He’s absolutely amazing and can make about anything look great though. He’s an easy horse to come in on and have fun and that’s why we have him, you know, to have one nice one that we can always count on.”

Before capturing the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge, Schaefer was also awarded with the CCHS Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” title presented by Troy Hendricks and Kimberview Stables, as well as the Dr. Harold M. S. Smith Trophy awarded by Dr. Suzanne Smith. The duo received top ribbons in each major class in the division including a win in the under saddle. Aboard 2005 Hanoverian gelding Classified (Lordanos x St. Pt. Hauptstutbuch) Schaefer capitalized on her consistency as the first combination to ride in The Show Place Arena for the WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge. Laying down a near perfect round, Schaefer remained unbeaten throughout the class as 21 entries attempted to catch her averaged score of 87.50.

“The first day I felt like he was doing really well but maybe not at our absolute best. We rubbed a rail twice which left us in third both times and then we won the hack, but in the Challenge today he was just incredible and we had a little bit of luck work in our favor,” she continued. “That was the round where it really felt like it all came together and that is what it’s supposed to feel like. It was smooth and I’m really happy with it. He’s done now till Florida and the winter season so he’ll get a really good rest.”

In an effort to preserve her horses for the winter season ahead, Schaefer decided to forgo the heavy indoor season this fall and looked to have a solid outing this week before returning to school to enjoy her last semester of college. “I wanted to have a successful Capital Challenge and then let the horses be done for the year. Now that I’ll be in Florida consistently this winter, I think we’ll be asking a lot more of them than in the past and I want them to hit the ground running and still feel fresh.”

The duo has only been together for a year and Schaefer is excited to see what lies ahead, as Capital Challenge marked the year anniversary of his purchase, which she noted, has brought them truly full circle, as the duo competed in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” division a year ago. After only a single trial ride, Classified switched hands to Schaefer with the help of Kate Conover, who dotes upon the inquisitive chestnut gelding as much as Schaefer. Schaefer said with a smile, “I like to say that we have joint custody. Kate loves him as much as I do and he’s really like her baby.”

The gelding’s expression and consistency continue to earn him top marks from judging panels in the hunter ring and Schaefer will look to extend that success into the competitive winter season, as the gelding checks all of the right boxes in her eyes.

“I would say that one of the biggest things that I love about that horse is that he doesn’t ever look to lose. He’s never going to try to lose and I think that’s a really important quality,” continued Schaefer. “There are a lot of horses with talent but they don’t have that will to win. He always is trying his best and has a great attitude and is just a fun horse with a lot of character.”

Stephanie Danhakl captured reserve honors behind Schaefer in the division, piloting her own Golden Rule.

Krista Weisman of Sherborn, MA and Reality finished just behind Schaefer, receiving an 87.00 to take second place honors in the Challenge class. Elizabeth Faraci of Annapolis, MD rounded out the top three placings, receiving an 85.66 aboard Chamonix.

Schaefer also collected the honors for Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Rider presented by Betty and Ernie Oare.

Becky Gochman and Last Call, owned by David Gochman, earned a tricolor in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36 & Over presented by Betty and Ernie Oare, while Ellen Toon and Mirror Image followed in reserve.

The EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Trip of the Show was presented to Ellen Toon and Mirror Image for their score of 89.25, awarded by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency.

Danhakl and Quest Win WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge

Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA and Quest captured the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge in fine fashion, as the duo received a total score of87.50 to nudge out Becky Gochman of New York, NY and Touchdown for the top prize, as they followed in second with an 86.50 while Lisa Arena Davis of Penfield, NY and Balou finished in third place with an 84.33.

Stephanie Danhakl and Quest
Stephanie Danhakl and Quest

Danhakl piloted Quest, a 2007 Warmblood gelding, to top honors after concluding a solid week of competition at CCHS. Danhakl purchased Quest from trainer Scott Stewart almost two years ago after he was campaigned through the First Year Green Hunter classes with Stewart. Once she took over the ride, the duo excelled in the Amateur-Owner division before the gelding developed a chronic foot condition that led to nearly a year off.

“I’ve really only shown him six or seven times in total even though I’ve owned him for a while. He’s an amazing horse and he’s a beautiful jumper. I love his rhythm and I’m really happy to have him back,” she explained.

Alongside her other top mounts, Enough Said and Golden Rule, who have both found success at Capital Challenge in past years, Danhakl was excited to bring Quest out this week with the hopes of continuing to develop their partnership for the future.

“Every time he goes into the ring he gives his all and he’s truly a sweet horse. I feel like this is his time to shine because he is an amazing horse and has never really had a chance to prove how good he is,” she continued. “He hasn’t gotten the name he deserves yet.”

The gelding’s swift and steady movement makes him an ideal hunter for Danhakl, as she believes the gelding’s jump is a true highlight and ultimately sets him apart. “He tries so hard over every jump and it’s just a great feeling. He’s so round and he gets a ton of height. I think he excels at everything and he’s really easy to ride. He did everything perfectly.”

With a busy work schedule, Danhakl took a short break from competing this summer, as she prepares to move to Boston, MA to work for the Museum of Fine Arts as a Graduate Research Associate and prepare for the journey to receive her PhD. Even with a strict agenda, Danhakl was excited to make it to Capital Challenge this year as she prepares to balance both of her passions. She will compete through the rest of the indoor series, while adjusting to life in a new city.

“To be with the horses I love and go around the ring and have the trips we did, it’s really just icing on the cake for me to win this class and overall I’m feeling really excited,” she remarked.

The pair also collected champion honors in the Amateur-Owner 3’3’ 18-35 division presented by Cindy Cruciotti, Serenity Farm and Endeavor Farm. Hannah Goodson-Cutt and Prime Time followed with reserve champion honors.

Maida Collects Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter

The Adult Amateur classes at Capital Challenge Horse Show draw a generous number of dedicated competitors each year. Hailing from the west coast, Alexis Maida and Tolstoy, owned by Ashley Weiman, dominated the Adult Amateur 18-35 division presented by Lainie Wimberly and Brigadoon Show Stables, Inc., capturing divisional champion honors before being named as the 2015 Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter presented by Steve Martines. Maida also was awarded with the Best Adult Amateur Hunter Rider sponsored by Phoebe Weseley and River Run Farm and the Best EMO Adult Amateur Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency with a high score of 86.5. Her trainer Nicolas Haness received the Leading Adult Amateur Trainer award.

Alexis Maida and Tolstoy
Alexis Maida and Tolstoy

“I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to ride him and I can’t thank Ashley enough for allowing me to compete him. He’s a great horse all around,” said Maida. “This means everything to me to be Grand Champion here. It’s a dream come true to be honest. I never thought that I would ever have the opportunity to ride a horse like him, let alone be champion or best adult rider.”

With an equestrian-immersed childhood, Maida began riding at the age of 3 and worked with a number of trainers on the west coast, soon becoming a regular of the indoor series, competing in the Maclay and Medal Finals and WIHS Equitation Finals several times. After finishing her junior career in the big equitation divisions, Maida decided to focus on her career before returning to the sport a year ago.

“I’ve competed at Capital Challenge before, but this is the first time back in like ten years for me. Being on the East Coast to compete is on a whole new level. The competition here is unreal and to get a prize here let alone to win just feels amazing,” she smiled. Taylor Willever of Pen Argyl, PA, and Short Stop, owned by Troy Hendricks, earned reserve champion honors behind Maida.

Kimberly Jungherr of Williston, FL and Shock Top owned by Brook Run Farm LLC earned champion honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-50 presented by Gina Badagnani and JOD’s. Lisa Cox of Richmond, VA and Castleton, owned by the Barracks, followed with reserve honors.

Laurie Stevens of Boca Raton, FL and her own Santiago captured a divisional championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over while Gina Day, of Boulder, CO, and Premier, owned by Day, earned reserve champion.

Moran and Bacardi Make Mark at CCHS

Caroline Moran and Bacardi, a veteran of the Future Hunter program at CCHS collecting Grand Future Hunter Champion honors in 2011, Future Hunter Championship awards in 2012, and Grand First Year Green Hunter in 2013, were back in the winner’s presentation again in 2015, as they earned Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” honors presented by Will and Lindsay Roberts, after a phenomenal week, in which they swept the over fences classes in the Adult Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36 & Over division presented by Margaret O’Meara and Paige Tredennick.

Bacardi has continued to build confidence through the years with Moran’s and trainer Havens Schatt’s guidance and a highlight of the pair’s week this year, was their recognition for the EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency, as they averaged a score of 93.00 in one of their over fences classes.

“My horse just loves this horse show. He absolutely does. I think from when he did so well in the Future Hunters a few years ago right on through the First Years, he just loves this horse show, as do I,” commented Moran. “We love the footing and the jumps. He definitely lets you know when you get somewhere if he feels comfortable or not. Havens [Schatt] said when she got on him here that he just felt comfortable right off the get go.”

Blessed with an incredible jump and knack for leaving the judges wanting more, Bacardi continues to impress with scores now consistently reaching the upper 80s and low 90s. Moran, who was even surprised with their consistency this week, commented on the gelding’s skill for the hunter ring, “I’m thrilled but still surprised. When I went the first day outside I was overly critical of myself and then we got an amazing marker of a score, I said maybe I shouldn’t be so critical. He was definitely on his game. I can tell from the moment I pick up his trot if he is.”

The pair has grown together and their bond is obvious and Moran feels the pressure when she knows the 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Casco x Varilla R) has brought his game face to the ring. Moran bought Bacardi as a five-year-old and has worked with Havens Schatt to continue molding his talent and consistency.

“He’s consistent when he wants to be, but if he doesn’t like something he’ll let you know. When he is on and good he’s really good,” she said. “There is a sense of pressure though because when you know you’re on a horse that can score in the 90s it falls more on you, but at this show I feel like I don’t even need to be here. He knows exactly what he’s doing and I’m just here to enjoy the ride.”

The duo captured divisional champion honors in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36 & Over division presented by Margaret O’Meara and Paige Tredennick, while Dawn Fogel of Louisville, KY and Summer Catch earned reserve champion recognition.

Reisman Finishes on Top in $10,000 Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge

At the young age of 16, Micki Reisman of Cleveland, OH captured her first major jumper victory at CCHS, as she and the feisty chestnut mare Za Zou raced to victory, besting a class of more than 70 entries. The duo crossed the timers in 38.558 seconds in the jump-off to seal their win. Will Kennedy of Brookeville, MD and Ontario finished in second with a time of 41.363 seconds, while Phoebe Alwine of Delray Beach, FL and Zenith Dance rounded out the top three with a time of 41.381 seconds.

The immediate jump-off format proved nerve-wracking for competitors slated to compete in the middle of the order such as Reisman, who didn’t think her jump-off time would outlast the vast number of entries in the class.

“I went in the middle of the class, I think about 29th, and tried to think to myself that I wanted to go double clear. I had a rail yesterday and I wasn’t planning on going that fast,” she explained. “When I went double clear and that fast I was just ecstatic. She’s a new mare for me; we only purchased her in August, so this is a huge win for us.”

“I’ve never had a win like this before and I’ve just been waiting for it to happen. We competed her locally after we took her to Kentucky this summer and she really loved this show,” said Reisman. “I’m so excited and ecstatic. There was some really good competition in the class and I’m really proud that we were able to maintain our lead.”

The Best Presented Model Horse sponsored by Equis Boutique was awarded to John French and Laura Wasserman’s Boss, who is cared for by Carlos Soriano and Alex García of Brookway Stables, in the Green Conformation Model, while Scott Stewart with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador was awarded in the Regular Conformation Model and is prepared by the River’s Edge Farm team.

Capital Challenge Horse Show continues tomorrow with the highlight class of the week, the $5,000 WCHR Pro Finals, beginning at 7pm in The Show Place Arena at Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The day will also include the beginning of Junior and Pony competition, which will conclude on Sunday, October 4.

For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com