Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Nutrena Young Horse Show Finals Sees Record Entries

Photo: ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – December 1, 2020 – The 2020 edition of the Nutrena® Young Horse Show Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm welcomed a record 130 entries to Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) November 5-8, 2020, showcasing the future of American-bred sport horses, ranging from yearlings to five years old. From in-hand and liberty classes to jump-chute, under saddle and over fences competition, the young equine athletes were evaluated over four days in a safe and educational environment intended to support and promote American sport horse breeders across many breeds and disciplines.

Jean Yves Tola, the organizer of the Young Horse Show (YHS) Series, was thrilled with the “largest turn out so far” of the series’ tenth year of competition since inception. Despite a no-spectators mandate due to COVID-19 and strong safety measure in place, the enthusiasm for young sport horses remained unaffected, he reported.

“It was a great way to end our 10-year anniversary season,” he recapped. “The overall quality [of entries] keeps climbing every year, making this competition noteworthy. The live stream addition this year was fantastic too, as it allowed us to reach an audience beyond the United States. We had buyers, breeders, and owners tuning in from around the world. We’re very much looking forward to 2021!”

Sara McCormick of Orchid Hill Farm was a first-time competitor in the YHS Finals, adding the Finals to her competition calendar after a friend’s recommendation. McCormick brought her stallion, “Jimmy” [Orchard Hill’s Finer by Far], who is a third-generation foal for her. She was excited to experience the YHS Series as she’d “never actually done anything like the Young Horse Show.”

“I wanted to bring him out into a different venue than he’s been in before. He actually showed on the line last year for the Young Pony Hunter Breeding in the USEF stuff. Last year, he won Best Young Pony at Devon, and was first at Upperville. I had plans to get him out this year, but because of COVID, Devon and Upperville were cancelled. I decided to bring him home and then bred him to five mares. One of my friends was coming to this, so I said, ‘Okay, let’s take him!’ It’s been a lot of fun. I hope to bring a few more next year and see how it goes. It’s something for the young horses to do, and a new venue for them.”

McCormick noted that being able to connect with her friends and fellow breeders she knows online, but has never met in person, was a highlight for her:

“I loved meeting and seeing so many people who I know on social media, but haven’t put two eyes on. We met a lot of different people who were interested in the stallion and interested in what we’re doing, too. Everyone was really nice. Breeders benefit [from the Young Horse Show] because people get to see horses bred in the U.S. and the quality of the horses bred here in a more European setting. They can really view the animals and their different styles.”

View all Finals results here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Sydney Shulman Gallops Ardente Printaniere to Victory in $37k Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*

Sydney Shulman and Ardente Printaniere ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2020 – The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* continued for its penultimate day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Saturday, November 28, with the $37,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*. Jumping to two top-five placings in the class, Sydney Shulman (ISR) finished the day on a high note with a victory on Jill Shulman’s Ardente Printaniere and a fifth-place result aboard the same owner’s Villamoura.

“She’s older; she’s 15. I bought her from Maarten Huygens and McLain Ward a little over five years ago,” commented Shulman of the winning 2006 Belgian Sporthorse mare by Joyeux Ardent x Ramiro. “She’s wonderful. She’s a bit unconventional but she’s super fast, super consistent, and you can really count on her. She has had some injuries over the years, so she has been on and off a bit. I really want to thank my grooms, Lily Stanbridge and Merri West. They take amazing care of her and she’s quite difficult because she’s unconventional to manage, but they’ve done an amazing job bringing her back from the injuries. They really deserve a lot of the credit.”

For the first and only round of riding in the $37,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*, course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) challenged the 65 entries with a track of 15 efforts. Sixth in the order, Shulman and Villamoura set the pace as the pathfinders with the first clear trip in 63.29 seconds. Though the leaders were overtaken for a short time by Kent Farrington (USA) and Austria 2, the winners of Wednesday’s $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*, Shulman made sure to put herself at the top of the leaderboard once again with her second ride aboard Ardente Printaniere. The duo stopped the clock without any faults in a time of 61.62 seconds as the 39th in the order, leaving 26 partnerships left to chase them down.

“The first horse I rode was Villamoura, who is a speed demon,” reflected Shulman on her two rides. “I got jumped loose in the tack yesterday, so today I went for a little more conservative round on her. The winning horse, we call her Prima, only has one way of going and is a bit unconventional, so you kind of just leave her alone and let her do her thing. Most of the time it works out like today. I didn’t think Kent was beatable, so I really had nothing to lose and just tried to do the least amount of strides. She’s a massive mare and she covers the ground, so I was just hoping that she would stay careful enough, which she did.”

Though the remainder of the pack aimed to eclipse the Israeli partnership, none were able to pass their leading time, solidifying Shulman and Ardente Printaniere as the winners. Shulman’s mount has already seen respectable success this year as the winner of the $10,000 Hermes U25 Welcome CSI3* during Week Six of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival and the second-place finisher in the $72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2* this past summer in Traverse City, MI. In Saturday’s speed class, Ellen Whitaker (GBR) jumped into second place riding her own Jack Van’t Kattenheye in a clear time of 62.19 seconds, and Farrington and Austria 2 held on for the third spot.

“I’m grateful that we can continue to do what we love to do,” noted Shulman of competing under COVID protocols. “I’m really thankful to the show for allowing it to be safe and feel comfortable to do our job and to have the shows. I think we actually ended up showing more than we would have with FEI shows prior to COVID, so I really feel lucky that we can be outside and be with the horses every day and still compete. It’s a little bit different, but I think everyone is being respectful so we can continue to show.”

Run in the DeNemethy Ring, the $2,550 1.35m Jumper Speed Stake, presented by Cabana Coast, ran concurrently with the CSI4* class in the International Arena in the morning. Run over one round, the contest gave competitors just one chance to try to cross the timer quickly without any faults, and Annie Bolling of Fair Hope, AL made use of her opportunity with the fastest ride on her own Mykonos SCF. As the second-to-last pair to ride, they were up against a leading clear time of 66.16 seconds, but improved upon that time with ease to break the beam fault-free in 64.54 seconds to capture victory. Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Alex Jayne’s Arizona ODF claimed second place with their time of 66.16 seconds, and Dana Gattuso of Stockton, NJ rode her own Halocia to third position in a clear time of 74.09 seconds.

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

McLain Ward and Noche De Ronda Claim $73,000 Holiday & Horses 1.50m Qualifier CSI4*

McLain Ward and Noche De Ronda ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 27, 2020 – The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* returned to the main stage at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, November 27, with the $73,000 Holiday & Horses 1.50m Qualifier CSI4*, presented by Premier Equestrian. Claiming a familiar place at the top of the leaderboard, Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) piloted Noche De Ronda, the horse he co-owns with Marilla Van Beuren and Bob Russell, to the fastest double-clear time of the contest.

Friday’s field included 73 horse-and-rider pairs representing 13 countries, including the United States, Ireland, Switzerland, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Egypt, Chile, Japan, and Russia. Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) created a 16-effort track for competitors that produced 16 clear rounds from the starting order.

“The jump-off was fast, and it sometimes comes off the way you want,” reflected Ward of his jump-off ride. “I think after the double combination [we made up time]. Bliss’ horse is an incredible jumper and a very fast horse, but doesn’t have the stride that Ronda has, and I was able to do one stride less, maybe two less, across the diagonal after the double combination and for sure one less stride coming home. I think probably those two places most of all helped us. It was one of those jump-offs where the plan just worked.”

Trimmed down to eight fences, the jump-off pattern led to eight teams finishing on a second fault-free ride. Halfway through the class, Daniel Bluman (ISR) held the lead aboard Colestina H, owned by Blue Star Investments and Kim Douglas, with a foot-perfect time of 36.16 seconds. Bliss Heers (USA) inched faster riding Bridgeside Farms LLC’s Antidote De Mars in 35.10 seconds, but the fifth-to-last partnership, Ward and Noche De Ronda, sliced even more time off the clock. The quick pair broke the beam with no faults in 34.26 seconds, a time that proved unbeatable for the remaining contenders. Heers and Antidote De Mars maintained the runner-up spot, followed by Ben Maher (GBR) on Deborah Perkins’ Day Dream in 35.53 seconds.

“Ronda has jumped well this year since Florida in the spring but has had a little bit of an unlucky four-fault streak in a few big grand prix classes though she has been performing well. She has always been great in this ring, and she was really in great form today,” Ward noted of his partner for the class, a 2009 Oldenburg mare by Quintender x Loves Corinth.

Ward and Noche De Ronda’s victory Friday added to their list of successes in Wellington after two grand prix victories in the span of a week in February 2020. The pair topped the $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* during Week Five of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival, then six days later earned the victory in the $213,300 Grand Prix CSIO5* during one of two Nations Cup weeks in Wellington.

“She’s going to jump this week and then in two weeks again. We will start back up a little later in the season this spring for some of the bigger classes,” Ward commented on his plans for Noche De Ronda through the remainder of the ESP Holiday Series and the upcoming 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival.

The International Arena’s classes concluded Friday with the $10,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Open Stake, which saw 53 entries in the first round of riding and 13 in the jump-off. As the fifth to go over the short course, Laura Kraut (USA) turned in a quick time of 34.76 seconds on Cherry Knoll Farm Inc’s Haley to take the lead, and their time would be unbeatable. McKayla Langmeier (USA) claimed the second spot riding Linda Langmeier’s Cadence De L’Escaut in a clear time of 34.98 seconds, while Erynn Ballard (CAN) captured third spot with Katherine Benard’s Delirius Del Sol in 35.06 seconds.

Geoffrey Hesslink and Small Occasion Are Big Winners in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Hunter riders took to the ring Friday during the ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4*, which is the first show out of six that make up the ESP Holiday Series. The highlight hunter class of the week, the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Bainbridge, featured 31 entries over courses designed by Jasen Shelley. With two scores nearing the 100-point mark, Geoffrey Hesslink of Shelbourne, VT and Small Occasion, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC, claimed the victory ahead of a high-scoring field.

“She is a famous horse and has won all over the country at the main events,” Hesslink remarked on Small Occasion. “It just so happened that we were lucky enough to fall into place with her this summer for one of my clients, Raina Swani, as her first junior hunter. She is just so much fun. She is a blast and a winner and always puts in 110 percent.”

Following the first round of the class, the cut-off score for the top 12 sat at a lofty 86 points thanks to a series of top performances from exhibitors. Hesslink and Small Occasion, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, led the way with 96 points, earned from a classic score of 92 plus four bonus points for taking the high option fences. Kristy Herrera of Wellington, FL rode Kate Ellis’ Valhalla to second position with 93 points, and last week’s National Derby winner Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano were not far behind with a score of 92. All told, 10 points separated first position from twelfth place, keeping standings tight headed into the handy round.

“We continued to show through most of the year even with everything going on, so I feel like I’ve adapted pretty well to how things are going now,” Hesslink commented of competing under COVID protocol. “This is sort of our first week back into it, so it was a great start and the horses feel great. They do a nice job here, so we are very excited and happy. It’s nice to be able to show and feel safe. My clients and I have a really top string of hunters and horses for every ring, just like her, and I’m really excited to get the chance to show them and hopefully do well this season.”

In the handy phase, competitors returned in the reverse order of the standings, giving Hesslink and Small Occasion the advantage of going last as the early frontrunners. Torano and Laskano had moved up one spot to hold the lead with only one pair left to go, earning 94 points over the handy course to push them to 186 total points. In the end, Hesslink and Small Occasion retained their status at the top of the scorecard with 93 points to finish on a cumulative two-round score of 189. Torano and Laskano claimed second place, and Herrera captured the final podium spot with Valhalla. Jennifer Bliss of Loxahatchee, FL also had a great day, finishing aboard three horses in the fourth, fifth, and sixth positions.

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

Fieldstone Show Park Announces 2021 Show Schedule

Photo courtesy Fieldstone Show Park.

The 2020 show calendar has been anything but typical, but Fieldstone Show Park wants its loyal exhibitors to know, there’s much to look forward to in 2021.

The popular venue, a staple in the northeast and a Massachusetts landmark, has announced its 2021 show dates, which will feature eight USEF nationally-rated hunter-jumper competitions throughout the months of May, June, August, and September.

The Fieldstone Spring Festival, set to kick off May 12, 2021, is sure to be a celebratory occasion, after the global COVID-19 pandemic forced the rescheduling and cancellation of many of Fieldstone’s 2020 events.

“When you’re ready, come show with us” is the venue’s mantra, as Fieldstone heads into 2021 with an outlook that is equal parts centered around positivity, safety, and comfort for horse and rider.

With many exhibitors in the northeast lacking nearby show options in 2020, Fieldstone will be ready to put the industry spotlight back on Halifax, MA next year, offering a safe, spacious venue for riders to comfortably get back in the show ring. Fieldstone’s 106-acre facility features an all-grass Grand Prix field, five competition arenas and schooling areas with all-weather GGT footing.

Among the events slated for 2021 are the Northeast Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Finals, scheduled during the Fieldstone Summer Showcase (Aug. 18-22, 2021); the New England Hunter Jumper Association Derby Finals (Aug. 24-28, 2021); the Massachusetts Hunter Jumper Finals (Aug. 29, 2021); and the ASPCA Maclay Region 1 Finals at the North East Classic (Sept. 12, 2021). Scheduled between the Fieldstone Summer Showcase and the Fieldstone Spring Festival is the two-week Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic (June 23 – July 3, 2021).

Save the dates for Fieldstone Show Park’s 2021 horse show schedule, when an East Coast Tradition continues.

Fieldstone Spring Festival I —  05/12/2021 – 05/16/2021
Fieldstone Spring Festival II —  05/19/2021 – 05/23/2021

Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic I —   06/23/2021 – 06/27/2021
Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic II —   06/29/2021 – 07/03/2021

Fieldstone Summer Showcase I & Northeast Jr/AO Hunter Finals—  08/18/2021 – 08/22/2021
Fieldstone Summer Showcase II & NEHJA Derby Finals —   08/24/2021 – 08/28/2021
MHJ Finals —  08/29/2021

North East Classic & ASPCA Maclay Region 1 Finals —  09/8/2021 – 09/12/2021

© 2020 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Farrington Leads the Way with Orafina at SFHJA Charity Horse Show

Kent Farrington and Orafina. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 23, 2020 – Held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) from November 18-22, the 70th Annual South Florida Hunter Jumper Association (SFHJA) Charity Horse Show concluded Sunday following a week of exciting competition. The show was the final installment at PBIEC before the beginning of the ESP Holiday Series, which starts November 24, the first day of the Holiday & Horses CSI4*.

Saturday afternoon featured the highlight jumper event of the competition as Kent Farrington (USA) and his own Orafina jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the $50,000 Spy Coast & Sweet Oak Farm Grand Prix. The 16-effort course set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA) in the International Arena saw 53 horse-and-rider partnerships contest the track, with nine athletes successfully turning in fault-free rounds to advance to the jump-off. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) led the way, and he was soon joined by Ilan Bluman (COL), Santiago Lambre (MEX), Schuyler Riley (USA), and Erynn Ballard (CAN) by the halfway point. In the latter portion of the pack, Willie Tynan (IRL), Kent Farrington (USA), Ashley Vogel (USA), and Ashley Fleischhacker (USA) also added their names to the list.

Following faults from the first five partnerships, Tynan and Michelle Guardino’s Fancy Girl finally turned in the initial clear round of the jump-off as the sixth duo to go in a time of 41.51 seconds to claim the early lead over the abridged pattern. Their top spot did not hold long though, as Farrington and Orafina were the next to follow and galloped to a foot-perfect time of 40.58 seconds. Tynan and Fancy Girl retained the second spot, followed by Fleischhacker on Quadros 3, owned by Ashland Show Stables LLC, in a clear time of 44.817 seconds, the final double-clear partnership.

“Orafina is a great young talent,” commented Farrington of the eight-year-old KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo. “She doesn’t have a lot of experience, certainly not like this. Really hats off to the team here that keeps these shows going for us and allows us to keep doing our job and our sport. Early in the season like this, it’s great for these young horses to get into the main ring. Tonight they even got a little taste of going under the lights. All in all, even besides the win, this was a great experience for my horse.”

Saturday’s victory was the second major win for Farrington and Orafina of the week, after also topping the $15,000 Paul Tracy Farrier Services Welcome Stake on Thursday as the quickest clear pair from the 14-horse jump-off. As the second duo to navigate the short course, designed by Hasbrouck, Farrington and Orafina served as the pathfinders with the first double-clear ride of the day, setting a lightning-fast precedent in 38.04 seconds. As the second round of riding progressed with 12 more combinations, it became clear that the frontrunners’ time would hold to claim the top spot by nearly two full seconds.

“Somebody that I work with in Europe, Leon Thijssen, said he had a horse that he thought I would like and would work for me because it’s extremely careful,” remarked Farrington of the new relationship with Orafina. “The plans are to build her up, just like always. Keep doing what we are doing by giving her positive experiences and time to mature. We will let her grow into herself. It was a great first step tonight.”

Though Mark Bluman (COL) and Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) managed to stop the timers slightly quicker than the winning pair, they both did so at the expense of a downed rail to incur four faults. Riding Stone Hill Farm’s Hungry Heart, Jessica Springsteen (USA) earned second place with a clear time of 39.81 seconds, and Jonathon Millar (CAN) rounded out the podium in third aboard Shadow De Shalimar, owned by Isotropic Networks Inc.

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

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras Earn Double Victory at Tryon Fall Festival 2

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras ©TIEC/Bailey Beck Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 20, 2020 – Matthias Hollberg (Ocala, FL) and D.A. Duras sped to double victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) last week, topping the podium in both the $15,000 Tryon Resort Jumper Classic on Sunday and the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday. In the Jumper Classic, Hollberg piloted D.A. Duras to a winning time of 37.438. Second place was awarded to Lynsey Whitacre (Saint Joseph, MO) aboard her own Barillo W, the 2003 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Unknown x Unknown), with a time of 37.817. John Michael Durr (Shelby, NC) and Marissa Nielsen’s Vinetta M, the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Valentino x Parodie M), rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 38.251.

Hollberg and D.A. Duras, 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Quattro) owned by Debbie J. Adams & Jacqueline Badger Mars, challenged 14 entries on the course designed by Joe Carnicom (Toledo, OH). An ex-Event horse, Hollberg has been training his new mount to be a top-level show jumper and is consistently pleased with his performance.

“Duras [D.A. Duras] is a 12-year-old ex-Event horse that I just got the ride on three months ago. I’m planning to make him into a high-level jumper and then sell him. I’m lucky to have him. He wins pretty much every class he goes in! For the first month or two, we were just getting to know each other. Now, he’s on the job every time he goes in the ring,” shared Hollberg.

Merideth Bryans and Jaguar Win $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

November 14, 2020 – Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) and Jaguar topped the podium at the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby earning 79 points in round one and 89 in the handy round to end with a score of 168. Second place went to Alexandra Dow (Matthews, NC) and Sally Watkins’ Maxumus, the 2012 Rheinlander gelding (Magnum x Octavia), with 158 points. Genevieve Edwards (Guyton, GA) guided JoJo Howland’s Star Jewel, the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Amazing x Quinta) to a third-place score of 155.

Seven entries tested TIEC’s final hunter derby course of 2020 designed by Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN) and Bryans praised her and Jaguar’s experience.

“The course was great. I loved the first round. [Jaguar] always lands on his right lead, so I knew landing left on the two bending lines was going to be challenging for us, but we worked it out. The first round was nice. In the handy round, I knew going from one to two was going to be a gamble with the right turn, but again, he lands better [on the right lead], so I opted to take the chance. It paid off!” explained Bryans.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Gleneayre Equestrian Program Reflects on 2020

Lumberton, New Jersey – Nov. 16, 2020 – Since the late 1990s, the Gleneayre Equestrian Program’s (GEP) mission has centered around “bringing horses and people together for the betterment of each other’s lives.” As with many other non-profits, 2020 has been a difficult year to not only continue their mission but also to connect with their current donors and participants. Based out of Lumberton, New Jersey, founders Bob and Ellen Healey have dedicated their lives to growing the program into the success that it has become today. With the GEP now in its 31st year, the Healeys were determined to continue the program’s growth despite of the many challenges that the community has faced.

The GEP is centered on three main programs – the Working Student program, the Equine Facilitated Learning program, and the Mental Health program. The GEP serves a wide range of individuals, including veterans, juvenile first-offenders, and those who are in need of additional support. All of the horses within the GEP are donated, including many former show horses, that have years of purpose left to give.

Due to social distancing regulations and the on-going impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GEP made the decision to cancel the Gleneayre Horse Show and Hunter Derby in the best interest of their staff and exhibitors. The annual event is the program’s largest fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for GEP to interact with friends and the community.

“Although we were saddened to have to cancel our 2020 Horse Show and Hunter Derby, ultimately we know that it was the right thing to do for the greater good,” remarked Ellen Healey. “We are looking forward to having our event again with renewed energy in 2021!”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equine Facilitated Learning Program has been put on hold. Fortunately, the Working Student Program is running and currently has openings for qualified children ages 10 to 18. This special program pairs children with their own horses, allowing students to gain knowledge in horsemanship, responsibility, self-confidence, and more.

“The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has a positive impact on its students by providing a place of structure, consistency, and normality during these uncertain times,” said Alison Johnson, Managing Director and Trainer. Jeannie Mattioni, Program Assistant and Trainer, echoed her thoughts by stating, “The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has given our kids a safe sanctuary where they can relieve stress and be outdoors. I think, especially now, we can all understand and appreciate the power that a little bit of normality can have in bringing a smile to our face.”

GEP takes great pride in the fact that all horses entering their programs have a forever home and are able to live out the remainder of their lives with comfort and love. Despite cancellations and program suspensions that were caused by 2020 events, the Gleneayre horses still need care. The programs encourage friends and supporters to consider sponsoring one of their special horses in order to support the unique connection between horses and humans. A charitable contribution $750 will sponsor a horse for 6 months; $1,500 will sponsor a horse for 1 year.

“All horses that enter our programs have a forever home at Gleneayre,” said Executive Director Bill Rube. “Since the cancellation of the 2020 Hunter Derby, we rolled out a Sponsor a Horse Program to help supplement the cost of care for our program horses. If you feel a special connection with one of our horses, consider sponsoring them to show your support! Your generous donation will make a difference in our horses’ lives.”

For more information regarding this opportunity, please click here.

To learn more about GEP’s important mission and current happenings, click here.

Delaney Flynn Captures Double Wins in $10k Bainbridge Companies 1.40m and $5k HorseLinc 1.35m

Delaney Flynn and Milan IV ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 9, 2020 – The ESP November Show’s final day of competition ended on Saturday, November 7, 2020, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Unfortunately, Sunday’s scheduled competition on November 8, 2020 had to be canceled that morning due to the unpredictability of weather conditions caused by Tropical Storm Eta. Plenty of champions and victors still celebrated a successful week of showing after rising to the top of their respective leaderboards throughout the first three days of the event. The ESP November Show was the sixth of seven shows in the ESP Fall Series, which concludes with the ESP Pre-Charity Show CSI3* on November 11-15.

Competition in the International Arena, which featured courses designed by Jasen Shelley, kicked off Friday morning with the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. Delaney Flynn of Park City, UT and Milan IV, owned by Grace Jacobsen, stopped the clock at 38.422 seconds to take the win, while Bryn Sadler of Ocala, FL and Showcase 81 LLC’s Cezarro came in a close second, stopping the jump-off timers in 38.445 seconds, just milliseconds off the pace. Hilary McNerney of Wellington, FL piloted her own Lovelight through the jump-off track in 41.097 seconds to finish in third place.

Friday’s victory was the second for Flynn, after she topped the leaderboard Thursday in the $5,000 HorseLinc 1.35m Open Jumper Stake with Maarten Huygens’ Fatima thanks to a quick 43.568-second jump-off round. Angela Covert of Wellington, FL claimed second place with her Hollywood De Rase Z after completing the jump-off in 46.848 seconds, and also bookended the top three on her Candyman Z to claim a third-place finish with a jump-off time of 47.615 seconds.

The Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Jumper division saw three different riders win classes earlier in the week, which resulted in a three-way tie for champion honors. Capt. Brian Cournane of Wellington, FL piloted Vittorio 12, owned by Glenbeigh Farm LLC, through the short course in 35.089 seconds to claim Thursday’s class. On Friday, Catherine Tyree of Chicago, IL flew through the timers in 63.308 seconds, nearly nine seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, with the Catherine Tyree LLC-entry, Amor Van Jonnckhoeve Z, to win the day. Ben Maher of Great Britain cleared the jump-off pattern in 38.686 seconds with Jane Forbes Clark’s Ginger-Blue to win Saturday’s class ahead of a talented field.

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

Domination by Darragh Kerins in $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Darragh Kerins and Skara Glen’s Para Bellum ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – November 1, 2020 – Darragh Kerins (Wellington, FL) took the top call and the yellow rosette in Saturday’s $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), clearing the short course timers with Skara Glen’s Para Bellum in 38.607 seconds and also piloting Carlos JD Z, the 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Canturo x Baloubet) owned by NRG Farm LLC, to third on a time of 42.011 seconds. Brian Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat, the 2008 Warmblood gelding (Clinton H x Weinzuber) owned by Allyson & Andrew Lamb, scored second place with their 39.409 second jump-off performance.

Concluding the Tryon Fall Series with a strong showing in the week’s highlight class, Kerins qualified both his rides in the jump-off after successfully navigating the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, which tested 15 pairs. Five pairs returned for the jump-off round, where Kerins utilized his position as last in the order of go to pull the lead from Murphy and Denison Park Combat, who had conquered the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake earlier in the week.

Kerins and the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Singulord Joter x Labor’s VDL Indorado) owned by Hampton Farms LLC, Patricia Hurter and Skara Glen Stables, have been paired together for just over a year, he relayed, and “he’s really come into his own this summer. This is actually the second Grand Prix that he’s won here this season. He’s been off for the last couple of weeks, so this was a great class to do before he shows next week.”

Brian Murphy Makes Easy Work of $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake with Denison Park Combat

October 29, 2020 – Brain Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat clicked in just their second show together to top the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 38.216 seconds with one rail. Also pulling a rail and claiming second, Taylor Granat (Bolingbrook, IL) and Escada 289, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Clearway x Coriano) owned by Windridge Farm LLC, halted the clock at 43.064 seconds. Rounding out the podium on their first-round, four-fault score, Grace Long (The Plains, VA) rode Happiness VD Hazel Hof, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood mare (Falaise de Muze x Ursina) owned by G&T Equestrian to a time of 73.75 seconds and the final podium spot.

One of 12 trips to tour the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, Murphy and Granat were the only two horse-and-rider combos to go clear in the first round, both pulling rails in the speed test. While his main goal was to go double-clear, Murphy admitted that the win was a nice alternative result:

“Honestly, I was just trying to go double clear. I didn’t get to see anyone go before me, but I had a plan. I didn’t want to do anything too silly. I’m very proud of him, and hopefully we’ll jump clear later in the week. I’ve had him for two months and this is my second horse show with him; Scott Keach found him for me in Australia, and so far, he’s been a pleasure.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Dominic Gibbs Hoists Winning Title at 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Dominic Gibbs and Cent 15.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2020 – Capping off the 137th anniversary of the historic Heritage competition, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, highlighted the efforts of hopeful equitation riders from around the country Sunday at the National Horse Show. The last major equitation final for the year, the prestigious class featured record numbers, with 255 horse-and-rider partnerships taking their turns around the technical course designed by Bobby Murphy set within the Alltech Arena. As one of the United States’ most storied competitions thanks to its rich history, the National Horse Show has been the longtime host of the Maclay National Championship, which since 1933 has crowned a junior rider as the champion, a distinction regarded as one of the highest in the equitation discipline, especially considering how many advance to successful professional careers. In the irons aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, Dominic Gibbs reigned supreme to earn the tricolor honors as the most consistent junior rider throughout four arduous rounds of competition that tested exhibitors’ precision and efficiency to add a fourth top finish to his repertoire of growing equitation accolades.

Beginning early in the morning and throughout the first portion of the afternoon, exhibitors performed one-by-one over Murphy’s smartly-designed pattern, which was composed of 15 obstacles reminiscent of those riders would have seen in decades past. The hunt-inspired fences appeared in forms such as gaits, hedges, stacked logs and rolltops, plus a one-stride combination created out of racetrack fencing that proved to be one of the bogey tests of the day and plenty of wingless jumps. Murphy’s track was an apt test for the distinguished class as it called attention to the performances of those riders who mastered the course, separating that elite group from the pack as they successfully completed forward and tight lines, a precarious vertical and an obstacle jumped both directions, among other questions.

Faced with the tough job of ranking the multitude of riders seen throughout the day, judges Mark Jungherr and Emil Spadone ultimately settled on a final standby list of 24 juniors ahead of the second phase of the competition, the flat round. Thanks to her exemplary performance over fences that demonstrated correct, precise riding, Gigi Moynihan sat superior to her peers as the frontrunner following the challenging first fences round, leading ever since she tackled the pattern as the 36th in the start list. Behind Moynihan, the remainder of the top of the callback list included Dominic Gibbs, Taylor Griffiths-Madden, Mimi Gochman, Alexia Rule, Sophee Steckbeck, Ellie Ferrigno, Skylar Wireman, Chase Finizio, Hannah Dodd, Hannah Hoch, and Zayna Rizvi. Headed into the hack, those top 12 high-scoring riders were sectioned off to compete against each other under saddle, while the latter half of the standby list rode in another segment.

Excited to have made the top of the standings but with more tests to master, both sets of riders took to the Alltech Arena to compete in the flat phase of competition, during which they were challenged to show off their balance and strength via a series of directions from the judges that included all three gaits; working, extended, and collected sitting trot; simple change of lead to the counter-canter in front of the judges and walking to the line on a long rein. The leaderboard did not remain unchanged, as Gibbs leapfrogged up to the first spot, followed by Gochman, Griffiths-Madden, Steckbeck, Moynihan, and Ferrigno, in that order. Kierstin Antoniadis and Natalie Jayne moved their way up the list the most, advancing to 10th and 11th, respectively, after previously holding the 13th and 16th spots.

Returning in reverse order of the judges’ preference, the top 25 contenders each displayed their skills over Murphy’s second course, which asked for a long approach to fence one at a hand gallop, two counter-canter fences, a triple combination, and a forward 6-stride bending line. Not cutting any breaks for the qualified horse-and-rider challengers, the second jumping portion of the event served to further trim down Jungherr and Spadone’s ticket of premier performers. Wanting one last look at four entries, the judges requested that Steckbeck, Moynihan, Griffiths-Madden, and Gibbs, in that order, complete a final work-off. The test consisted of cantering fences 4 and 5, trotting fence 6, cantering the original fence 8C and 9, trotting fence 10, and hand galloping fence 12 before leaving the ring.

All four final contestants turned in valiant showings over the work-off track, leaving the judges the final job of separating the top contenders. The top ten returned to the ring for the awards presentation and as the reserve champion was announced as Griffiths-Madden, who just weeks previously won the 2020 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, it became clear that Gibbs had clinched the coveted title following four rounds of textbook riding. The champion rider piloted Cent 15, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding he worked with Beacon Hill trainer Stacia Klein-Madden, a former Maclay National Championship winner herself, to transition from a jumper to a successful equitation horse.

Based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 17-year-old Gibbs has had an astounding year with top-five finishes in all four equitation finals, now culminating in his victory in the 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm. Gibbs kicked off his equitation reign with fourth place in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, followed by fifth position overall in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – East just one week later and another fourth-place result in the WIHS Equitation Finals. With his victory Sunday in Kentucky, Gibbs has added his name to an esteemed list of Maclay National Championship victors that include sport legends such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and Bernie Traurig, as well as new age stars like Jessica Springsteen, Lillie Keenan, and Victoria Colvin.

Though she hoped for the blue ribbon, Griffiths-Madden put in a superb performance that captured the runner-up honors following her efforts on her own Mac One III, and Moynihan was awarded the final podium spot with Christy Johnson’s Quantico. Stechbecl rounded out the top four riding Itteville, owned by Donald Stewart.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 137th National Horse Show, which featured nine days of equestrian action in the equitation, hunter, and jumper disciplines in 2020.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.