Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

It All Comes Together for Chapot and Chandon Blue in “Saturday Night Lights” Victory

Laura Chapot with Chandon Blue. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 22, 2022 – While the international competition during this week of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) has been held at Equestrian Village, all eyes were on the International Arena tonight at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL for the $50,000 Marshall & Sterling/Great American Insurance Group National Grand Prix, part of the exciting “Saturday Night Lights” series. Laura Chapot (USA) delivered a thrilling performance as she and Chandon Blue raced through the timers for the win.

Forty-five entries contested the grand prix track set by Nick Granat (USA) with 11 combinations jumping clear and were through to the jump-off.

First in the ring for the jump-off was Grand Prix Qualifier winner, Cathleen Driscoll (USA) aboard her winning mount Flotylla, owned by Don Stewart. Driscoll duplicated her first-round clear performance, laying down a quick, clean effort in 37.07 seconds over the shortened course, which would hold up for fourth place.

A couple horses later, it was Nick Dello Joio (USA) and The Berry Group’s Cornet’s Cambridge that set the new time to beat at 36.33 seconds. That would ultimately be good enough for a third-place finish.

Dello Joio’s time was quickly slashed as next in was Irish Olympian Shane Sweetnam who finished the short course in 35.728 seconds with James Kann Cruz, owned by Gizmo Partners LLC. However, Sweetnam would have to settle for second place.

After watching their new target in Sweetnam and James Kann Cruz, Chapot and Chandon Blue went pedal to the metal, finishing in 34.485 seconds for the win.

Adrienne Sternlicht Leaves It All on the Field for 1.50m Victory

The $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic started an action-packed day of competition on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village with 50 horse-and-rider combinations contesting Oscar Soberon’s (USA) educated first track. More than 13 nations were represented in the class and seven of those countries were represented in the returning jump-off field which consisted of 18 fault-free competitors.

Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam held the leading time for a majority of the shortened track until FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 U.S. team gold medalist Adrienne Sternlicht found an even faster pace. The young professional proved ready for an impressive season as she captured the first win of the day aboard Lafayette Van Overis.

Sternlicht laid it all on the line with the 11-year-old BWP gelding (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Houdini Van Overis) with a variety of long gallops and tight turns to shave an entire three seconds off of Sweetnam’s time and blaze through the timers in 42.51 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Grace Debney and Boheme de la Roque Rock $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic

Grace Debney and Boheme de la Roque. © Sportfot.

International competition during week one of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded with the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic as part of the weekly CaptiveOne Advisors Jumper Classic series. Grace Debney (GBR) flew to the win with her trusty mare Boheme de la Roque.

Stormy weather threatened to derail afternoon classes, but the clouds parted ways long enough for the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic to run as scheduled.

There were 20 combinations that competed over a course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen Jr. (ECU). Time allowed was a factor with eight riders accumulating time faults. Only three riders ultimately advanced to the jump-off.

First to jump off was Brian Moggre (USA) riding Stevie Macken’s Dior P Z who set the time to beat at 36.95 seconds for an eventual third-place finish. Next to challenge was Debney and her own Boheme de la Roque. They shaved almost two seconds off of Moggre’s time, finishing in 35.02 seconds. Matthew Boddy (GBR) was last to go in both the first round and the jump-off, but he couldn’t quite catch Debney, crossing the timers in 36.20 seconds and finishing in second place.

Debney was competing in the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Griffis Residential, when it started torrentially downpouring, and management eventually had to put the show on hold.

In Writing and Sterling Malnik Dazzle in T&R Development Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Division

The first championship in the Rost Arena was for the T&R Development Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division. Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL with her horse In Writing topped three out of the five classes in the division on their way to the championship title.

The division started Saturday and resumed with the under saddle on Sunday morning, in which Philippa Ammann strutted to the win with Katarina Ammann’s Balousock B.B.S. Ammann and the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Balougraph went on to score an 85 in the stake class for their second win of the day, boosting them to the reserve championship honors.

It was Malnik and In Writing’s consistency over the two days of competition that ultimately clinched the championship. The pair won both over fences classes on Saturday including the handy with scores of 86 and 88. They finished on Sunday with a win in the third over fences class with a score of 86.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Opening 2022 WEF Grand Prix Victory Goes to McLain Ward and Catoki

McLain Ward and Catoki © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 9, 2022 – Premiere week at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 9, with a highlight class of the week, the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix. McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki took the victory in the class.

The Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix had 32 entries that contested a course set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). Eight were clear to advance to the jump-off. First to return for the jump-off were Thursday’s Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup winners, Hector Florentino (DOM) and ABC Quantum Cruise, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by OBOS Quality x Cruising owned by Wyndmont. They set the time to beat at 37.677 seconds with a clear round.

Robin Schwartz Celebrates a Championship Return to WEF

Robin Schwartz and her horse Back in the Game won all three classes on Sunday to conclude the Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Hunter Older (Section B) division with the championship ribbon. Sharing the winner’s circle was Nicole Harris and her horse Le Diplomate, who finished with the reserve championship honors. Schwartz, who trains with Devan Cottrell and Matt Piccolo at Arrow Hill Farms, and Harris, who trains with Jason Schnelle at Autumn Chase Farm, both hail from Tennessee.

This was Schwartz’s first time back showing at WEF in 19 years, and it has been an emotional return.

“It feels amazing to be back at WEF, and I am blessed to have such an awesome horse,” said Schwartz. “[The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring] was always my favorite ring to show in.”

Schwartz’s daughter’s developing passion for horses got her back in the saddle.

Schwartz explained, “I knew if she liked it, then I’d have to get back into this, because I love all things about this.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Women Dominate Again in $75,000 Battle of the Sexes at WEF

Abigail McArdle and Samuel Parot Jr. face off. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 8, 2022 – The first “Saturday Night Lights” event of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off on January 8 with the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center. The women’s team won for the 11th time in the 13-year history, and the class made its return after a hiatus in 2021.

The women’s team for Battle of the Sexes consisted of team captain Kelly Soleau-Millar, Hayley Iannotti, Taylor Land, Caelinn Leahy, Samantha Mackenzie, Mia Mannis, Abigail McArdle, Jacqueline Steffens, Anna Wilks, and Heather Caristo-Williams.

The men’s team, led by captain Charlie Jayne, also included David Blake, Christian Coyle, Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, Luis Larrazabal, Simon McCarthy, Samuel Parot Jr., Michael Tokaruk, and Hardin Towell.

WEF First Timer Richard Vogel Makes His Debut a Winning One

The CaptiveOne Advisors Championship series kicked off on Saturday as well. Germany’s young talent, Richard Vogel, and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z sped to the win in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic. In a field of 26 riders, Vogel was one of 12 who jumped clear over Eric Hasbrouck’s (USA) delicate first track.

In the jump-off, Vogel’s blistering pace could not be beat as he crossed the timers in 33.011 seconds. Right behind him was Vanessa Hood (USA) who finished the short course in 33.392 seconds with Take Two LLC’s Cascalretto. Grant Seger (USA), who won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class earlier in the week, jumped to third place with Plot Z owned by Grey Fox Crossing in 33.707 seconds.

Not only are Vogel and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z making their WEF debut this year, it is also their first time ever competing in the United States. Vogel, who is based in Germany, is delighted by what he’s seen so far at WEF.

Hayley Hewitt Holds Top Spot in THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under

Saturday in the FarmVet Ring 7 began with 25 horse and rider pairs vying for a top spot in the THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under. The course required riders to be deliberate in setting their pace, finding their line, and sticking to a plan.

Less than half of the entries had scores 80 or above and of those, only five were called back to test with only three points separating the first from the fifth spot.

After a challenging work-off which included a halt mid-line, counter canter, and trot jump, Hayley Hewitt and Harper Phipps remained unchanged in their positions securing the first and second place finishes, respectively.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Laskano Takes Top Spot in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*

Jimmy Torano and Laskano © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – Hunters were the highlight on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano took the top spot in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*.

After securing the second spot in round one with a score of 182 out of 26 entries, Jimmy Torano piloted Laskano around a twisty second round with bold and precise execution to finish top of the field with a second-round score of 211 and a total of 393.

McLain Ward Notches First 2022 WEF Win

Four-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward (USA) notched his first win of the 2022 WEF circuit on Friday in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Speed Challenge on Bonnie M Z over 44 other entries. The pair sped to victory in 60.780 seconds over the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course. Finishing just off the pace in second place were Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland, owned by Chapot and The Edge, who stopped the timers in 61.304 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof were third in 65.324 seconds.

Ward and Bonnie M Z showed on Wednesday and improved to a winning performance in Friday’s 1.40m class. Ward got the ride on Bonnie M Z two weeks ago through the Holtgers family of Gut Einhaus LLC. Ward has started a new partnership with them and will train Ansgar Holtgers Jr. Gut Einhaus entered into ownership of the horse in 2018, and he has been ridden by Olympic champions Eric Lamaze of Canada and Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).

“They asked me to ride the horse and see what I thought he could be,” said Ward of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Bentley Van De Heffinck x Berlin. “He’s done up to three-star grand prix. The Holtgers have owned him for a few years, and now we’re getting started with him.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Hector Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise Capture First Adequan WEF Challenge Cup

Hector Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – The series of Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup classes began on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Olympian Hector Florentino (DOM) took the win in the $35,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Premiere Round with ABC Quantum Cruise, owned by Wyndmont.

In a 35-horse field, Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise were one of five that advanced to the jump-off over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). First into the jump-off were Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Centriko Volo, owned by Celtic Park LLC, who had a rail for four faults in 38.289 seconds for third place. The only other double clear round for second place came from Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Cornet’s Cambridge, owned by The Berry Group LLC. They finished the jump-off in 41.001 seconds. In the final spot in the jump-off, Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise brought the winning time down to 40.495 seconds with a clear round.

For Always and Scott Stewart Rise to the Top in Green Hunter 3’9”

The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” division came to a stylish finish Thursday in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.

With an almost perfect clean sweep, Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL rode Betsee Parker’s For Always to the championship title with four firsts (including a division high score of 92) and one second place ribbon.

Stewart was quite pleased with the eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Nick Skelton’s famous Olympic show jumper Arko, noting, “He felt great, jumped great, the courses rode nice, and he felt fresh again.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Crowns Season with Successful Record-Breaking Event

Kim Burritt and Do You Have a Winner, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 31, 2021 – The 2021 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit culminated a successful season with another record-breaking event showcasing the nation’s top Quarter Horses and riders from all over North America. Under the show management services of An Equine Production, more than 500 exhibitors and 20,000 entries competed in the renowned horse show at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center from December 27-31.

Competitors at the five-day event enjoyed beautiful weather and ideal conditions while earning significant year-end points and phenomenal awards. High Point winners in 15 divisions received sought-after Porta Cool Coolers and Reserve High Point received a comfortable sling chair. The overall third place in each division received a backpack, useful for riders of all ages.

Kim Burritt of Murfreesboro, Tennessee was the Select High Point Award Champion with her horse Do You Have a Winner. This was her first appearance at the Gold Coast, making it memorable by walking away with the Porto Cool cooler. Competing at the Gold Coast has been on her bucket list for years, and she felt that the time was right to compete this year.

The Youth 14-18 High Point Award Champion was Alexa Black of Springfield, Ohio riding Huntin a Hot Cowgirl. The 18-year-old was third in the division last year and was very happy that it all came together at the 2021 Gold Coast. The week was especially important for Black as she is nearing the end of her competing as a Youth rider.

Rachel Trebesh of Fairhope, Alabama also walked away with a coveted award after riding No Doubt I Shine to the Senior High Point Award Champion and Amateur High Point Reserve Champion. The pair moved up in the standings during Friday’s competition to close out the show. Trebesh spoke highly of her horse, noting how much he loves his job and enjoys competing.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Amateur Riders Make Time to Shine at Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit

Jeanie Presler and Lovies Lil Rey, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 29, 2021 – Unlike professional horsemen, amateur riders need to make a plan in order to take time away from their careers and attend the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit. Throughout the week they come to Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds to enjoy what matters the most to them, spending time with their families and riding their horses in one of the most prestigious Quarter Horse shows in the country.

Kaleena Weakly of Shelbyville, Illinois is a part-time graphic designer and a stay-at-home mom. Weakly has a lengthy and successful show record at the Gold Coast. She took a four-year break to care for matters at home, and now she and her family use the five-day event as a holiday vacation. Weakly won the Amateur Hunter Seat Equitation class with her horse Definitely a First, making the family vacation a memorable one.

Jeanie Presler of Nokomis, Florida is a Mixed-Animal General Practitioner. She returns to the Gold Coast after a 20-year hiatus due to a demanding school and career schedule. The VRH Amateur Ranch Horse divisions were new to Presler and her Reined Cow Horse Lovies Lil Rey. It worked out well as she and her eight-year-old birthday present finished on top in the VRH Amateur Ranch Horse Reining class.

Leah Roehl of Ruther Glen, Virginia is busy as a government worker and a mother of five children. It took a great deal of planning for Roehl to make it to the Gold Coast. The support she receives from her family and friends makes the herculean effort to compete all worthwhile. Roehl and her gelding AlDoWhatYouLove won the Senior Pleasure Driving and L1 Novice Amateur Working Hunter classes.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Rodger Call Is Super at the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit

Rodger Call, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 28, 2021 – The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit is renowned for hosting Quarter Horse competitors of all ages at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center vying for the coveted year-end awards. This year, the five-day event includes a unique participant, Rodger Call of Midway, Utah, the only Super Select rider out of the more than 500 exhibitors and 20,000 plus entries at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

“To be a Select rider you have to be 50 years old, and to be a Super Select rider you need to be at least 70 years old. I am the only Super Select rider at this show,” Call said proudly. “I turn 80 years old next month.”

Call has been competing at the Gold Coast for decades, even though it means taking two flights in two different airport terminals to arrive in Tampa.

“This show is one of my favorites. I have been coming here for years,” said Call. “I can remember when the hedges around the arena were really short and now, they’re huge! Years ago, there were elephants in the barns behind the arena that were part of the parade.”

Call will be competing in the driving and hunter divisions. He has been training with Chuck Briggs since 1989, although he receives additional support both in and out of the arena.

“We’re like family here; we all encourage each other,” said Call. “Trainer Linda Crothers rode my horse, Go Big Sky, to High Point Horse of the nation and Sandy Vaughn coaches me when I compete in the pleasure driving. Even though I don’t have my horses at her barn, she offers to help. We have a good group of people. Sometimes we go out to dinner after the show and have a great time.”

Horses have always been a family affair for Call. He grew up in Northern California where his father imported some of the first King Ranch Quarter Horses. On Friday nights, he and his dad would enjoy competing in team roping jackpot classes. When his son Robert wanted to ride in the jumping events, Call changed from riding Western to English.

Call added, “I also used to compete at the Gold Coast with my wife Ann before she passed away in 2007. We would always have both a junior and senior horse to show. Next year, my junior horse becomes a senior, so Chuck found me a junior horse that has a lot of potential. That is what keeps me going: potential and having fun. That’s what riding does. It keeps me active, happy, and looking forward to tomorrow.”

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Luis Pedro Biraben and Chacco Bumpy Win $50k Spy Coast & Sweet Oak Farm Grand Prix

Luis Pedro Biraben and Chacco Bumpy ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Nov. 28, 2021 – The feature event of the 2021 71st Annual SFHJA Charity Horse Show took place under the lights on Saturday evening as 34 talented teams competed for the win in the $50,000 Spy Coast & Sweet Oak Farm Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Course designer Oscar Soberon (USA) created a 16-effort track for the class, which saw seven duos advance to the jump-off. Less than one second separated the top three finishers at the conclusion of the contest, led by Luis Pedro Biraben (ARG) and his own Chacco Bumpy.

Wednesday’s $15,000 Southern Arches 1.40m Welcome Stake saw Jennifer Waxman (USA) best a field of 25 entries with HDB Quality, owned by Sweet Oak and Spy Coast Farm. The winning pair placed two foot-perfect rounds, clearing the jump-off in 37.40 seconds to win the class.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.