Category Archives: Phelps Media Group

Phelps Media Group

Horse & Country TV’s Coverage of World Equestrian Games Begins on Thursday

Left to right: Patrice Delaveau (FRA), Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) and Beezie Madden (USA) on the podium at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Photo: Arnd Bronkhorst.

London, U.K. – Sept. 11, 2018 – As the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) officially kicks off, Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) is gearing up to bring exclusive, in-depth coverage of the prestigious championship straight to its viewers with its Daily Review and highlight shows.

Don’t miss a minute of the action! Cheer on your team and join H&C TV today to watch all of the competition from WEG here.

H&C TV will be showing daily one-hour recaps throughout the games in addition to coverage of all Olympic and non-Olympic events.

WEG is held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is one of the biggest events on the equestrian calendar. It features a total of eight equestrian disciplines: show jumping, dressage, para-dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. It is the major global championship of 2018.

The 2018 games are being held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, Sept. 11-23.

With a new episode broadcasting each day throughout WEG, Daily Reviews will premiere at 1 p.m. EST and will replay at 5 p.m. EST and 8 p.m. EST each day they air. The first Daily Review will premiere on Thursday, Sept. 13.

In addition, viewers can watch highlights from each discipline at the following schedule (all times EST):

  • Team dressage: Thursday, Sept. 20, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Dressage Grand Prix Special: Friday, Sept. 21, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Endurance: Friday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 p.m.
  • Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle: Saturday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Reining: Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10:30 p.m.
  • Eventing: Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m.
  • Team jumping: Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m.
  • Para-dressage: Monday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.
  • Vaulting: Monday, Oct. 1, at 8:30 p.m.
  • Driving: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Individual jumping: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia and in the United States on cable, satellite and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo Capture USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

Photo: Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo.

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 26, 2018 – Competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse Championships, and the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals at the Lamplight Equestrian Center concluded on Sunday, crowning champions in each of the day’s five divisions.

Competitors in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship returned to the ring for the Grand Prix Freestyle to ride for the championship title. Following a strong freestyle performance, it was Charlotte Jorst and her own Kastel’s Nintendo who held onto their lead and took home the overall victory.

“I thought my freestyle went great. I had such a good time; it was the first time I’ve ridden to my new music and it worked out really well. It feels incredible!” – Charlotte Jorst

Dawn White-O’Connor and Bailarino Earn Tricolor in Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship

To close out Sunday’s competition, Dawn White-O’Connor on Bailarino, owned by Four Winds Farm, earned the top tricolor in the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship.

“This is my first time here [at the Markel/USEF Developing Horse National Championships] and it’s been amazing. I’m very happy with my horse today. I think it was a good group of people and there was a lot of really fun horses to watch. It was a really great experience; the facility is beautiful as well.” – Dawn White-O’Connor

Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS Earn Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship

In the Markel/USEF Young Horse 6-Year-Old Dressage National Championship, Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS (Idocus-Caliente DG, OO Seven) maintained their top position in the division to take home the win with an overall score of 8.98.

“It’s very surreal to think that I would even have the chance to have a horse good enough to achieve this. I have a picture of [Habanero CWS] as an embryo and I actually pulled him out of the mare myself so it’s been a long journey. It’s exceeded all of my expectations.” – Craig Stanley

From International Vaulter to National Champion, Miki Yang Earns Top Honors in USEF Children Dressage National Championship

From competing as the youngest member of the U.S. Vaulting Team at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy to winning a national dressage title, Miki Yang’s had quite a successful week in the USEF Children Dressage National Championship.

“I feel really proud and grateful for everybody that helped me get here, especially my mom [Akiko Yamazaki] for supporting me. It was so fun to be able to compete with her her; it was like a dream come true.” – Miki Yang

Sophia Schults Wins Gold at USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18 Championship

Youth riders battled it out in the arena for the title of national champion in the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18 Championship. Following the competitive class, it was Sophia Schults of St. Joseph, Michigan riding Samour M who took home the gold medal and was named the new national champion.

“For me, it’s a huge honor to be here. I’m grateful. It’s the second time I’ve been able to do this competition and it turned out super well this year. To help prepare I have taken a lot of lunge lessons. I feel like those have really benefited how I sit and how I’m able to control the horse without just using my hands and my legs.” – Sophia Schults

For more information about the Lamplight Equestrian Center, click here.

Charlotte Jorst and Heather Blitz Blaze to Wins at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions

Photo: Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo.

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 23, 2018 – Competition at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center continued on Thursday with winners named in each of the day’s seven divisions.

Competition for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions continued on Thursday afternoon, seeing Grand Prix and Intermediate I combinations compete for top scores. Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo claimed first place in the Grand Prix for the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with a score of 70.217 percent. In the Intermediate I for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship, Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero rode away with the win on a score of 72.853 percent.

“Nintendo has just had three months off so he is very fresh and he was really excited to be back in the ring. I think my piaffe and passage were really balanced and nice. Because he was a little fresher than usual, I had some mistakes but overall, he was on fire. We had a lot of fun and it was a great day.” –Charlotte Jorst

Codi Harrison and Ellanor Boehning Claim Blue Ribbons on Second Day of 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions

The USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship, presented by Dressage Today, had riders return to compete in their second class, the Grand Prix 16-25 Test. After a morning of tough competition, Codi Harrison and her own Katholt’s Bossco maintained their lead from Wednesday to walk away with the top score of 72.744 percent. In the Pony Rider Team Test for the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship, Ellanor Boehning and Kabam took first place with a score of 71.524 percent.

“I was so proud of him today and yesterday. I’m really happy with the overall feeling. He’s such a good boy. I hope he can continue this for Saturday. Today, the last piaffe took a little bit to get into it, but it was such a good feeling once I had it on the centerline.” –Codi Harrison

Emily Miles, Alice Tarjan, and Endel Ots Lead after Opening Day of Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships

Competition for the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships began in the Dunham Ring with Emily Miles, Alice Tarjan, and Endel Ots topping the leaderboard in their respective young horse classes.

In the USEF 4-Year-Old Test, it was Miles riding Sole Mio, owned by Leslie Waterman, who impressed the judges to secure the victory with a total score of 8.42. Tarjan and Fairouz took the lead in the USEF 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test with a total score of 8.78, while Ots on Max Ots’ Lucky Strike won the Prix St. Georges for the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship with a 72.794 percent.

“I was super happy with him today. The trot work is usually his highlight and it definitely was today too. I think the judges liked how supple and fluid he can be. It’s super because he had enough energy going around but he was relaxed and focused on me so I was really proud of him.” – Emily Miles

For more information about the Lamplight Equestrian Center, click here.

US Dressage Festival of Champions Opens with Three Divisions at Lamplight Equestrian Center

Photo: Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero.

Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 22, 2018 – On the opening day of competition for the 2018 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, the USEF Dressage Medal Seat Finals and the USEF/Markel Young and Developing Horse Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center, three divisions rode down centerline for their first test.

Competition on Wednesday morning kicked off with the FEI Prix St. Georges Test for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship at 8 a.m. with a full field of 15 competitors. Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero, her 9-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, topped the class with a score of 72.853 percent.

“It’s an honor to be invited as one of the top 15 in the country. This is something that I can’t miss and I do whatever I can to be here. It’s always run so well and Lamplight Equestrian Center has great footing. As a competitor, it’s always a great experience.” – Heather Blitz

Codi Harrison and Katholt’s Bossco started off the week on the right foot, taking a victory in the FEI Intermediate II Test for the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship, presented by Dressage Today, with a 71.941 percent.

“I was really happy with Bossco today. He felt really good and really with me. I was happy with his piaffe and passage work in the ring. We haven’t shown since season so I’m thrilled that he felt so good.” – Codi Harrison

In the Young Rider Team Test for the USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship, Callie Jones rode an expressive test on her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Don Philippo, to clinch the win with a 72.255 percent.

“My horse was really reliable as always. The trot work was excellent, so I was super happy with that. He did get a little fired up in the canter work so I had to remind myself to stay relaxed and calm so I could give him the confidence. I just hope that on Friday we put out another clean test. I want it to be a positive experience and no matter the outcome, I’ll be happy.” – Callie Jones

For more information about the Lamplight Equestrian Center, click here.

Victoria Colvin Rides to Back-to-Back USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships

Photo: Victoria Colvin and Private Practice.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 20, 2018 – Known for her prowess in the hunter ring, Victoria Colvin capped off a winning week in Kentucky at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show with her exceptional victory in the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, making her one of only two riders in the program’s history to capture the tricolor more than once. The 2017 champion solidified her reign as one of the country’s elite hunter riders by besting more than 80 entries in the most premiere hunter competition of the year. This time, Colvin piloted Brad Wolf’s Private Practice to two days of standout scores in the classic and handy round to finish more than 16 points ahead of the rest of the pack, claiming the championship honors in impressive fashion.

“I am so thrilled to be on the top of the podium again this year! Private Practice is an outstanding horse with so much natural ability, and I have loved riding him this year. He certainly deserves this win, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him,” commented Colvin. “I couldn’t have gotten here without the support of my sponsors, and I have to also congratulate owner Brad Wolf and trainer Tom Wright for producing such an incredible horse. Hopefully we can do it again next year!”

After the first day of competition, Colvin and Private Practice sat in second position just a handful of points behind the early leaders. During the final handy round of riding, the partners improved upon their performance, riding to a nearly perfect score of 327 comprised of individual marks of 95, 96 and 96 plus 12 bonus points and 28 handy points to jump to the top of the leaderboard with the highest score for the evening and overall.

In the post-event press conference, judge Carlton Brooks shed his insight on what set Colvin and Private Practice ahead of the rest:

“Tori’s horse jumped every jump exactly the same. She never changed her pace. It really separated her and there was no question. Tori never missed a lick. Tori walked in the ring and it was the Tori Colvin that we all know and love,” reflected Brooks.

The 8-year-old Private Practice is a newfound hunter after recently transitioning from the jumper ring, and this is his first year with Colvin in the irons. The solid partnership was led to victories in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Palm Beach Masters Series’ Deeridge Derby and the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Aiken Charity Horse Show. Additionally, he has carried Colvin to fourth place in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and sixth place in the prestigious $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival, not to mention countless prizes in upper-level hunter divisions at horse shows throughout the year.

With their 2018 win, Private Practice helped Colvin to add her to the history books, as she can now boast her status as the second athlete to champion the event more than once as well as the second athlete to win the rosette back-to-back during the program’s 10-year history. With two championships now under her belt, it is a good bet Colvin will continue to reign in the hunter ring and return to the 2019 finale for another shot at the top honors.

Following a highly successful junior career as one of the winningest young riders in history, Colvin launched her own enterprise in the hunter/jumper industry based just outside of Wellington, Florida. She offers clients the opportunity to train with an acclaimed show rider/trainer and compete in “AA” horse shows across North America during the spring and fall, as well as compete in Wellington at the world-famous Winter Equestrian Festival during the winter season. Outside of training and coaching services, Victoria Colvin, LLC also includes a strong focus on finding, developing, and selling quality young show horses.

For more information, please visit www.victoriacolvin.com.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Kady Abrahamson and Charline 28 Finish First in $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix

Photo: Kady Abrahamson and Charlene 28.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 19, 2018 – The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park saw 32 athletes and their mounts vying for the top prize in the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. At the end of the competition, it was Kady Abrahamson and her mount, Charline 28, who finished strong with a clean and clear round to take home the blue ribbon. Additionally, Abrahamson walked away with the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.

Ken Krome’s 16-effort track proved tricky for the 32 horse-and-rider combinations, as only four produced a fault free round to advance to the jump-off. The time allowed for round one of competition was set to 84 seconds; however, after some athletes struggled to make that time, it was adjusted to 88 seconds. The technical track not only caused time difficulties for many, athletes also struggled with the triple combination (vertical-oxer-vertical) in the final portion of the course, which resulted in many fallen rails.

Abrahamson and Charline 28, a 13-year-old Mecklenburg mare, were the third to go in the jump-off round. Although she was not able to watch the first two competitors, Daisy Farish and Liza Finsness, go in the jump-off, she knew that she had to push her mare for a quick round, with the first two rounds going clear and only differing by a tenth of a second. Ultimately, Abrahamson was able to put in the winning round with a time of 43.228 seconds thanks to her mare’s quick step and quick jump.

Charline 28 and Abrahamson have been paired together for three years, and although they had a rocky start, the two now have an exceptional relationship that has led them to success. Last week, they won their first grand prix together at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Coming in second place was Daisy Farish and her own Great White. Farish and her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding were second to go in the first round of competition. While the pair left all the jumps standing, they accrued three time faults. However, after the following athletes continued to acquire time faults, the decision was made to adjust the time allowed which put Farish and Great White through to the jump-off. First to go in the jump-off, Farish set the bar high for the three remaining competitors with her swift time of 45.001 seconds.

Third place was captured by Liza Finsness and Shiver, who placed also third in Friday night’s the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix. The pair has had a successful summer on the show circuit, having just recently placed first in the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan in Traverse City.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Private Practice Carries Victoria Colvin to Repeat USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

Photo: Victoria Colvin and Private Practice.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2018 – Living up to her reputation, 2017 champion Victoria Colvin once again reigned supreme in the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, defending her title this time aboard Brad Wolf’s Private Practice. Hunter superstar Colvin and Private Practice were accompanied Saturday evening by 33 of the nation’s top hunter horses and athletes, ultimately jumping into a league all their own with a 16.5-point victory over the next closest competitor to easily secure the lead spot in the victory gallop and the greatest share of the nearly $300,000 purse. No stranger to finishing within the top of the rankings, Liza Boyd stylishly piloted both of her mounts to a podium finish, claiming the runner-up honors with Clemens and the third place slot with Tradition.

Throughout the entirety of the class, the lead consistently changed hands as horse-and-athlete partnerships one-upped each other in the eyes of the judges. Within the last half of the class, the lead changed no less than five times, with Meagan Murray-Tenuta on Becky Price’s Editorial, Jamie Taylor aboard Iwasaki and Reilly’s Small Kingdom and Dorothy Douglas in the saddle on MTM Farm’s MTM One Time each taking a turn commanding the class.

True to handy round standards, veteran course designers Alan Lohman and Danny Moore constructed a winding 11-effort track that incorporated a trot jump, lofty high-option fences and inside turn options in addition to a three-pronged obstacle that allowed exhibitors to elect to jump as a bounce, a one-stride or a two-stride depending upon preference. With only two left to ride, Boyd and Clemens, owned by Finally Farm and Westerly Farm, cantered into the ring with two fresh horseshoes, having pulled a pair in the warm-up ring prior to their turn. The duo proved to be the best performers at that point in the competition with a two-round score of 589.50, thanks to their individual marks of 89, 91 and 92 plus 12 high-option bonus points and 29 handy points out of a possible 30.

Riding second-to-last, Colvin and the chromey chestnut gelding needed 310.5 points to match the cumulative score of the current class leaders. Leaving nothing to chance, the 20-year-old professional navigated Private Practice to all four of the high-option fences, while showcasing the gelding’s handiness and graceful way of moving, finishing a fanciful trip to the tune of a near perfect score. Colvin and Private Practice put the pressure on the classic round winners and the last pair to ride, Holly Shepherd and Helen Brown’s Tybee, with impressive scores of 95, 96 and 96 plus 12 bonus points and 28 handy points, to add 327 points to her day one score for a composite tally of 606 points, more than 16 points ahead of Boyd and Clemens. Colvin and “Peter” did not have to wait long, as Shepherd and Tybee were not able to muster the necessary points to take over the head spot atop the scorecard, securing Colvin and Private Practice the 2018 championship.

In 2017, Colvin won the title aboard John and Stephanie Ingram’s Cuba, and with her 2018 win, she is added to the history books as only the second athlete to champion the event more than once as well as the second athlete to win the rosette back-to-back during the program’s 10-year history. In good company, Colvin shares the status with derby poster child Boyd, the three-time winner with Brunello in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Though Boyd did not earn the top call once again in 2018, she still made out with plenty of reasons to celebrate as the reserve champion and third place finisher. While Colvin and Private Practice won nearly $50,000 for their championship performances, Boyd’s two top placings earned her just over $56,000, the largest amount given to one rider during the evening.

Displaying an unmatched level of talent, Private Practice is on his way to being one of the most highly-decorated hunter horses in the sport, accruing numerous victories and standout results in his short tenure as a hunter. Some of his recent high-profile accolades include winning the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Palm Beach Masters Series’ Deeridge Derby and the first place prize in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Aiken Charity Horse Show. He carried Colvin to fourth place in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and sixth place in the prestigious $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Outside of derbies, the flashy gelding has accumulated countless blue ribbons in 3’9” and 4’ divisions at horse shows across the country. Adding to his impressive nature is the fact that 8-year-old Private Practice only recently transitioned to the hunter ranks from the jumper ring, and this year is his first with Colvin in the saddle.

In the final standings, Shepherd and Tybee jumped to fourth place overall with 584.25 points, just fractions of a point behind Boyd and Tradition’s score of 584.75. Samantha Schaefer and Madeline Schaefer’s In the Know maneuvered their way into fifth place, up from ninth place after Friday’s classic round, while Douglas and MTM One Time rounded out the top six in the standings. As the highest-placing of the Tier II pairs based on winnings throughout the qualifying period, Douglas and the Holsteiner gelding added to their prize money as the Section B winners, concluding the championship with nearly $25,000 more to their names.

Earlier in the afternoon, 40 horse-and-athlete combinations that missed the cut-off for the handy round took another shot at earning some prize money, riding in the $10,000 Derby Challenge. Similar to the evening’s handy round, Lohman and Moore’s course included plenty of high-option jumps and opportunities to utilize inside turns, allowing riders to exhibit their mount’s abilities. Ninth in the order, Amanda Steege and Wendy Salomon’s Maitre D’ earned the first standout score of the evening, riding to total marks of 295 from the three panels of judges. Steege and the bay gelding’s lead would not hold long though, as little more than halfway through the class Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Silver Alert set their sights on the top spot on the leaderboard, improving upon their peers’ performances to capture the lead with 299.50 points.

Subsequent competitors laid down solid performances with scores in the 70s and 80s, but none were able to catch the high score set forth by Fenney and MTM Silver Alert, solidifying them as the Derby Challenge champions and largest prize winners of the class. Other than the champions, Steege and Maitre D’ also remained unsurpassed to claim the runner-up spot, trailed by Havens Schatt and Kelley Corrigan’s black stallion Diatendro, who garnered a final score of 290 to finish in third place.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Holly Shepherd and Tybee Lead Classic Phase of USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

Photo: Holly Shepherd and Tybee.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 17, 2018 – Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship returned Friday to the Kentucky Horse Park for the first of two days of competition, bringing along with it 83 of the country’s top hunter horses and athletes. Since 2012, the program finale has steadily increased in prize money, and this year is no exception, with the overall purse nearing $300,000, a welcome incentive for the collection of skilled entries. With only 40 slots in Saturday evening’s championship handy round up for the taking, competitors needed to showcase themselves well enough to earn a place in the top half of the scorecard to retain a shot at the title. Rising to the challenge in the face of an onslaught of rain, Tybee carried Holly Shepherd to the highest marks of the day to emerge as the early front-runners ahead of a field comprised of both veterans and newcomers.

The 2018 championship, held inside the Rolex Stadium for its ninth year, featured a 12-effort track from designer Alan Lohman, who chose to implement plenty of lofty oxers and the standard four high-option fences for exhibitors to highlight their precision and scope. As the 10th pair in the order-of-go, Jamie Taylor aboard Iwasaki and Reilly’s Small Kingdom set the bar high for subsequent contenders with a total tally of 266 points. The top slot soon changed hands, however, as three-time champion and veteran hunter rider Liza Boyd piloted Maggie Hill’s Tradition just nine trips later to the first 90 score of the day, accompanied by an 86, 89 and 12 bonus points to overthrow the early leaders with a whopping 277 points. Intermittent downpours of rain plagued the morning, and Shepherd and Holly Brown’s Tybee were one of the unlucky pairs to have to face the elements for their classic round. The skilled duo overcame the added difficulty, earning scores of 88, 91 and 92, in addition to 12 bonus points, for cumulative marks of 283 to usurp Boyd and Tradition for the throne with more than 50 partners still left to ride.

As only the 25th to take their turn around the ring, Shepherd and Tybee anxiously waited to see if their place atop the leaderboard would hold. On her second ride of the day, reigning champion Victoria Colvin and Brad Wolf’s Private Practice gave the top contenders reason to worry, electing to jump all four high-options and pulling in a total score of 279, just four points shy of the lead. As 54 more entries continued to come forth throughout the morning and afternoon, many with the benefit of sunny skies, the cut-off score for 12th place continued to rise, ultimately settling on 267.50 as challengers consistently illustrated exceptional rounds that raked in scores in the 80s. However, none were able to catch the leading trio of Shepherd, Colvin, and Boyd, each of whom rode within the first 30 in the line-up and only a few trips from each other.

Heading into the final handy phase of competition, Shepherd and Tybee will face off against a group of top talent, aiming to retain their spot at the head of the class as the last to ride Saturday. Just points off the lead, Colvin undoubtedly hopes to match her 2017 results, jumping from third place after the classic round to the championship tricolor and largest prize money check of the competition thanks to a standout handy portion. No stranger to the winner’s circle and always a threat to the leader, Boyd managed to maneuver her way into both the third and fourth place spots with Tradition and Finally Farm and Westerly Farm’s Clemens, respectively. Tied with Clemens’ score of 276.50 is Tracy Freels’ Red Ryder with Hannah Isop at the helm, while Jenny Karazissis held the reins on the sixth highest-scoring horse, Dulcie Lou Morris’ Big Shot.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Patricia Griffith and Sandy Ferrell Earn Top Honors in USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Photo: Patricia Griffith and Endeavor.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 16, 2018 – The final phase of riding for both the 3’/3’3” and 3’6”/3’9” divisions of the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship took place Thursday afternoon, bringing back eligible exhibitors to the Walnut Ring for one final time around the course and a shot at the greatest purse of the three-day competition. Patricia Griffith and Endeavor added to their two previous performances with an uncatchable score in the 3’/3’3” competition to ride away with the victory, while Sandy Ferrell and Hemingway followed suit with the highest score of the entire competition to emerge as the inaugural winners of the 3’6”/3’9” section.

Entering the ring just slightly more than halfway through the order in the 18th slot, Griffith and Callie Seaman’s Endeavor were up against the leading score at the time of 263, earned by Sara Taylor and Ingrid Avera’s Noah who rode eight trips earlier. Displaying an excellent show of precision and consistency, Griffith and the 9-year-old bay gelding made their way smoothly around Bobby Murphy’s 11-fence track at the 3’3” height to the tune of scores of 88, 88.5 and 88.5 for a cumulative 265 points from the judges to take over the top spot on the leaderboard. The talented pair was chased by their subsequent counterparts, and although a handful would lay down solid performance to earn scores in the high 80s, ultimately none could catch them on the scorecard, solidifying Griffith and Endeavor as the blue ribbon and biggest prize money winners of the afternoon in their section.

One of the last to ride and Wednesday’s class winner, Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM First Dibs jumped their way into the reserve spot with a total tally of 264.50, just half of a point behind Griffith and Endeavor. Fenney and MTM First Dibs edged out the 2019 champions in terms of prize money by just a few hundred dollars thanks to their top rankings in each of the three phases. Though Taylor and Noah were bumped from the top of the podium, the duo maintained a top finish to finish with the bronze medal, trailed by three-time champion Scott Stewart with Rivers Edge’s Everwonder in fourth position. Kim Buzby, in the saddle aboard Catherine Cox’s Final Cut, took fifth position.

Earlier in the morning, the first round of the two-phase 3’6”/3’9” section of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship determined the top 30 finishers out of the 42 original entries that would return for a stake at more prize money and the top honors. Over the first course, Hunt Tosh rode Ceil Wheeler’s Bastogne to the high score of 268, followed by Ferrell with the reins aboard Stephanie Bulger’s Hemingway with marks of 265 from the three panels of judges. Though the second round operated with riders returning with a blank slate, Tosh and Ferrell, along with other top contenders Stewart, Liza Boyd, and Katherine Newman, among others, had already once proved their horses’ prowess in the ring to earn a favorable reputation headed into the grand finale.

Unlike the prior class, more entries opted for the smaller fences in the final class of the day, with only five pairs electing to tackle the 3’9” obstacles and the rest preferring the 3’6” height. One of the first horse-and-athlete combinations to maneuver the course, Kelley Farmer and Aizlynn Radwanski’s Shameless set the bar high with a score of 264, the same score that had earned Fenney’s reserve placing only a few minutes before. Farmer’s lead would not hold long though, as Ferrell and Hemingway entered the showring as the 11th in the order of go, laying down a textbook trip to earn scores of 90, 92 and 93 for a composite score of 275 points, the highest of both height sections across all three days. Ferrell and Hemingway waited out their peers, and in the end were awarded with the rosette and the greatest stake of the pot.

Farmer and Shameless remained unsurpassed by any other exhibitors to clinch the reserve championship honors, while Stewart tied himself aboard two mounts owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, Private Life and Harvard Hall. Liza Boyd showcased Maggie Hill’s Tradition to the next-highest score on the scorecard to round out the top five.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Tara Metzner and Lion Lead Day Two Rankings at USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships

Photo: Tara Metzner and Lion.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 15, 2018 – The second phase of the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships brought more than 140 exhibitors back to the Walnut Ring on Wednesday, presenting horses and riders one final chance at qualifying for the championship round by earning a place in the top 30 contenders. Jumping from sixth position after day one, Tara Metzner and Lion secured their place in the finale with a standout performance to nab the overall lead on the scorecard and the second place ribbon in the day’s over fences class. Only two points behind in the rankings, Tracy Fenney and MTM First Dibs also navigated their way into the third portion of riding with the highest score of the day to secure the tricolors and fourth place overall.

Unlike past years, competitors did not return in reverse order of standings for phase two, but instead the class operated under a somewhat random order of go. The 3’ horses first tackled the Bobby Murphy track, which once again offered a first fence option, followed by the 3’3” entries. In the end, the top five pairs overall turned out to be horses jumping the higher fences, led by Metzner and Davlyn Farms’ Lion with a two-day total score of 526.50. Following Tuesday’s initial round, Metzner and the Selle Francais gelding were sitting in the sixth slot thanks to their 262.50-point marks, which the pair added to Wednesday with a textbook trip to the tune of 264 points from the judges to jump to the lead overall and for the day slightly more than halfway through the class.

Competing at the 3’3” height, Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM First Dibs were one of the last pairs to ride for the day, and saved the best performance of the class for nearly last with their standout trip around the expansive Walnut Ring. Earning scores of 86, 88 and 92 from the three panels of judges for an over fences score of 266, Fenney and the chestnut gelding propelled themselves to the top of the leaderboard for the day and jumped into fourth place overall, up from 11th after day one. The 2015 winner of the event aboard MTM Personalized, Texas-based Fenney has only been paired with MTM First Dibs since April, but their short relationship certainly did not hold them back in the showring.

In the overall standing, Metzner and Lion earned a narrow lead with their cumulative score of 526.50, only 1.5 points ahead of both Scott Stewart aboard Rivers Edge’s Everwonder and Haylie Rolfe with the reins on Pony Lane Farm’s Queen Celeste, each with 525 points. Fenney and MTM First Dibs sit in fourth, followed by Sara Taylor and Noah, owned by Ingrid Avera, in fifth place.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com