Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Daniel Bluman Wins $72k Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center 1.50m Qualifier

Daniel Bluman aboard Colestina H, pictured with ring master, Steve Recto. ©ESP.

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2019 – Daniel Bluman of Israel raced to a first-place finish aboard Colestina H, owned by Blue Star Investments & Kim Douglas, in the $72,000 Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center 1.50m Qualifier. The pair stopped the jump-off timers in 34.779 seconds, putting in a double-clear effort. Taking home second place was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson of Wellington, FL and Carol Rosenstein’s Akuna Mattata after their 34.958-second jump-off. Michael Morrissey of Wellington, FL rode Chance Ste Hermelle, owned by Qbs Equestrian LLC, through the timers in 35.132 seconds to claim the yellow ribbon.

The 1.50m track, set by FEI designer Anthony D’Ambrosia, challenged a total of fifty-three competitors. Fourteen pairs returned for the jump-off, while six completed the tracks double-clear. “It was a nice round. I thought it was a good number of people in the jump-off,” commented Daniel Bluman after his win. “Honestly, the most important thing is that the footing is amazing. We’re so happy to have nice footing, it’s pleasurable for the horses, safe for us, and honestly, we’re just very grateful. It makes a huge difference. It makes the show a different quality and you can feel the excitement of everyone around.” Bluman revealed that he will be riding his 16-year-old mare Sancha LS in the Saturday night Grand Prix.

Tiffany Morrissey Claims Top Honors with Sebastian in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Tiffany Morrissey of Wellington, FL claimed top honors with Stacey Shore Werner’s Sebastian in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by #1 Education Place, achieving a total score of 177.5 after two impressive rounds. Jennifer Bliss of Loxahatchee, FL was close behind, putting in a final score of 177 with Harris Hill Farm, LLC’s Face the Music. The early class leader, Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT, took home third place after a beautiful performance aboard No Doubt, owned by Elizabeth Phillips, and receiving a final score of 176.5. Shulman and No Doubt also received the “Best Turned Out Award” presented by Enviro Pet.

“In the first round, I always try to do what’s best for him and hope for a good score,” stated Morrissey after her win. “Then Jen Bliss went in for the Handy round and got a very high score, so I knew I had to go in and pull out all the stops and jump all the bigger options. It was kind of a ‘go big or go home’ move!”

Morrissey has been riding the 8-year-old for several years now: “His owner Stacey rides him in the Low Adults and I get to do him once in a while. He was good last week, really in the groove, and then great again this week. Before that, he actually hadn’t shown with me since last year’s WCHR week when he was champion in his 3’3″ Performance Hunter division. So he’s doing really good and we’re excited to compete at WEF, maybe chase some derbies!”

To learn more about the ESP Holiday Series and PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Tryon Fall Festival 2 and Festival of the Hunt Conclude Equestrian Events at TIEC for 2019

The Parade of Hounds ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – November 20, 2019 – The 2019 equestrian competition calendar concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort with the 2019 Festival of the Hunt presented by Two Rivers Hay and the final component of the Tryon Fall Festival series, Tryon Fall Festival 2. The competitions overlapped with the kickoff of Winterfest at Tryon Resort, which runs November 15 through January 5, 2020.

The Festival of the Hunt presented by Two Rivers Hay featured two days of off-site judged hunts, celebrating the sport of foxhunting and evaluating competitors in the field. No animals are harmed. Concluding the competition, all participants competed in mock hunt and field hunter tests alongside Open Field Hunter classes.

Results for the TIEC Field Hunter Championships presented by Defiant Whisky are as follows:

  • First: Erin Kimmer (Mecklenburg Hounds) riding Finnis Chrome Magnum
  • Second: Gisele Beardsley O’Grady (Green Creek Hounds) riding Atoka
  • Third: Catherine Mooneyham (Green Creek Hounds) riding Kessler
  • Fourth: Nicola Deines (Green Creek Hounds) riding Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Fifth: Amara Baker (Moore County Hounds) riding Battalion
  • Sixth: Lisa Biederman (Long Run Woodford Hounds) riding Eva
  • Seventh: Randi Goulding (Green Creek Hounds) riding Dynamik II
  • Eighth: Cameron Sadler (Moore County Hounds) riding Secret Bid

“Finny and I have been a team for a couple years,” said Kimmer, who topped the TIEC Field Hunter Championships in her first Festival of the Hunt experience. “We do eventing as well as fox hunt. He’s just a really cool guy! He pretty much does whatever I want him to do. He’s a great all-around horse.

“I’ve been foxhunting for about five or six years now, but this is my first time competing in the Festival of the Hunt,” Kimmer, who hunts with the Mecklenburg Hounds, shared. “I’ve wanted to come every single year you all have had it, but it just hadn’t worked out for my schedule. I am so glad it worked out this year! I’m going to tell all of my friends how wonderful it was, and we’re all coming back next year.”

Results for the Hilltopper Championship presented by Defiant Whisky are as follows:

  • First: Cathy Gomez (Belle Meade Hunt) riding Princeton
  • Second: Anne Pierce (Goodwin Hounds) riding Ted

Cathy Gomez and Princeton repeated their 2018 win in the Hilltopper Championships, and she shared that “Princeton, who we’ve had for two years, loves to hunt! It was really fun coming back here after my win last year, because I knew what it would be like, and got to practice.” Gomez continued, “It’s really nice that they change [the course] each time, so you’re not totally prepared, except for that you know there’s water, the berm to go up and down, and so on. This year, we had a bridge and the gate, so they made us get on and off, which was good.”

Gomez chose to participate in the judged hunt with the Green Creek Hounds, and complimented the experience as well as the portions of the competition hosted at TIEC on Saturday. “We got to hunt at Green Creek Hounds, and it was fabulous! It was such beautiful country – just lovely. I always like the gallops and halts because Princeton is really responsive. They’re his favorites! The mock hunt is always fun, too. It’s such a great opportunity, and TIEC is a beautiful facility! It’s such a treat to get to come here.”

Tryon Fall Festival 2 Sees John Angus and W. Tonix Hero Claim $15,000 Jumper Classic

John Angus (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and W. Tonix Hero, Stephanie E. Angus’ 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ogano Sitte x Itaquine de Roll), dominated Sunday’s $15,000 Jumper Classic at TIEC, clearing the short course in a time of 39.528 seconds for the win. Christina Kelly (Aiken, SC) and Shining de Reve, a 2006 Selle Francais gelding (Zandor Z x Akinella) owned by Vick Russell, claimed second on a time of 39.912 seconds, while Kate Gluckman (Arlington, VA) and her own Uncle Ad W Z, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Untouchable Z x Annie Z), received third on a time of 43.772 seconds.

Savannah Unger and Fabio Fly to $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

Savannah Nicole Unger (Morriston, FL) and her own Fabio, a Dutch Warmblood gelding (Tangelo van de Zutthoeve x Ullah), sped around the jump-off in a time of 37.746 seconds to win the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday, ahead of John Angus and Stephanie E. Angus’ W. Tonix Hero’s second-place effort in a time of 37.893 seconds. Chasen Boggio (Canton, GA) and mount Co Pilot, a Westphalian gelding (Coney Obellnsty x Pauline), took third with 38.595 seconds.

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

Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) and Jaguar, a 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Vickie Bryans, championed the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday, with a two-round score totaling 166. Tommi Clark (Tryon, NC) and Appointed, a 2011 Mecklenburg gelding (Cassilas x Rosali) owned by Chosenbrook Show Stables, earned a total score of 162 to receive second. Suzanna Treske (Waxhaw, NC) and her own Conella I, a 2010 Holsteiner mare (Connor x Geste), were awarded third after their efforts totaled 159 points.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

The Atlanta Fall Classic Wraps Up and the Champs Are Crowned

Leigh Hartrampf and Anglonorman Platiere.

The Atlanta Fall Classic wrapped up after two weeks of top competition at the Georgia International Horse Park to close out the 2019 Classic Company show calendar. “Thank you to all who came to our shows over the year and especially to those who showed with us here in Conyers. We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing you next at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics February 13th!” said Bob Bell, Classic Company President.

The popular $25,000 Barry Lane Jumper Classics took place over the two weeks of the Atlanta Fall Classic.

The first installment Week I, the $5,000 Barry Lane Jumper Classic awarded Leigh Hartrampf and Alexandra Howard’s Anglonorman Platiere the first-place ribbon and lion’s share of the prize money, besting a field of 18 horse and rider teams.

The $7,500 NAL WIHS Barry Lane Jumper Classic awarded Kathryn Currey and her own Alil Evil the first-place honors.

Week II awarded the blue ribbon in the $5,000 Barry Lane Jumper Classic to Lane Brown Park and her own Zazoe while Leigh Hartrampf returned to the winner’s circle in today’s $7,500 NAL WIHS Barry Lane Jumper Classic with Anglonorman Platier and also received the overall championship.

Tracy Magness and John Bartko’s Chopin Du Chateau Hollogne 2 won the Week I $15,000 Jumper Classic, presented by EMO. Dylan Daly and Burgundy Farms’ Domino Van Lange Weeren won the Week I $5,000 Welcome and Week II, grabbed the win in the $15,000 Jumper Classic, presented by EMO.

Sydney Swarr, in the irons of Derek Petersen’s Titus 2:11 won the Week II $5,000 Welcome.

The Marshall & Sterling Classic Hunter Derby took place both Weeks I and II.

Livie Guyton’s Christophe, ridden by Carolyn Bell, won the $2,000 Marshall & Sterling Classic Hunter Derby Week I. Sarah Caswell aboard her own Ocelot won the Marshall & Sterling 3′ Classic Hunter Derby $250 Non-Pro Rider Bonus. Charlotte Sprague and her own McNamera won the Marshall & Sterling 3’3″ Classic Hunter Derby Non-Pro Rider Bonus.

Week II welcomed Jo Ann Forman’s Haiku, ridden by Aida Sanchez Long, to the winner’s circle. Sarah Bucholz and her own Encore won the Marshall & Sterling 3′ Classic Hunter Derby $250 Non-Pro Rider Bonus, and Josie Evans and her own QVF Colt Seavers won the Marshall & Sterling 3’3″ Classic Hunter Derby $250 Non-Pro Rider Bonus.

For more information and results, please visit horseshowsonline.com.

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GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

IHSA Members Lead Nation at USHJA Emerging Athletes Program and Horsemanship Challenge Finals

Julianna Empie aboard Woody. Photo by Rachel Sowinski/USHJA.

Fairfield, Conn. – Nov. 16, 2019 – Members of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) from across the country participated in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) National Training Session and Horsemanship Quiz Challenge held at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio Nov. 7-10.

Out of the 252 riders that applied for the EAP this year, 192 participated in a Regional Training Session. Sixteen riders and three stable managers were invited to the finals, six of whom are IHSA members.

The 2019 Horsemanship Quiz Challenge had 426 registrants. Of the entrants, 309 completed the Level One quiz and 106 of those made it to the Level Two quiz. Only 24 were invited to participate in the HQC Finals. Three IHSA members made the shortlist of finalists.

The EAP was created in 2009 to provide opportunities for young riders to advance their horsemanship and riding skills. EAP winners and participants have gone on to win numerous championships in the hunter, jumper, and equitation arenas including the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals, ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Prix des States, and at IHSA Nationals.

Finalists are evaluated on their riding skills, stable management, combined with their score on a written test. Throughout the four-day event, riders train with Olympic Gold Medalist and IHSA Cacchione Cup winner Peter Wylde. Each finalist trained and cared for a horse generously provided by the University of Findlay, Lake Erie College, and Henry Pfeiffer.

Julianna Empie, a 19-year-old Penn State Equestrian Team member, bested the field of 15 nationally-qualified riders after a rigorous four days of evaluation and a Nations-Cup Style competition. Empie has ridden at regional training sessions since 2016 with clinicians Kip Rosenthal, Anne Kursinski, Joe Fargis, and Karen Healey.

“I was excited to just be at EAP National Finals,” Empie said. “It was amazing because I’ve looked up to other riders and past winners, and now to be a winner of this program is just crazy.”

Empie spent the first few days of the EAP Finals figuring out her mount Woody, provided by Henry Pfeiffer. She said that he was a different ride than she is used to but her consistency in the saddle helped her secure the win.

“Riding multiple horses through the IHSA has given me the skill to feel my horse out in those first few moments and put it all together for a smooth ride,” Empie said.

Wylde complimented Empie as a natural rider with a big future. He commented on her effortless and consistent her rounds aboard Woody in the Nations Cup-style competition. Four riders were called back for a ride-off on different mounts after two rounds of competition on Sunday. Empie’s ride-off round was aboard Clark, owned by the University of Findlay, and won the EAP Outstanding Horse Award. The judges gave Empie the nod and the national finals honor.

As this year’s winner, Empie received a spot in the 2020 USHJA Gold Star Clinic in the 1.10/1.15m section. “I’m so excited for the Gold Star Clinic,” Empie said. “The opportunity to ride in Florida and learn from other professionals in stable management is huge.”

The IHSA members that took part in the EAP National Training Session are:

  • Julianna Empie, 19, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania – Penn State University
  • Joelle Hylton, 19, Manteca, California – Cal Poly
  • Rose Kauffman-Skloff, 19, Los Angeles, California – Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Evelyn Smith, 18, Morristown, New Jersey – Delaware Valley University
  • Alicia Weismann, 19, Southampton, New Jersey – Rider University
  • Mara Picciochi, 20, Morristown, New Jersey – Centenary University

Also held at the University of Findlay was the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge (HQC) Finals. The HQC consists of two levels of online horsemanship quizzes comprised of multiple choice and true/false questions that cover horsemanship, anatomy, nutrition, riding theory, and welfare. To be eligible for finals, participants must score an 80 or higher on Level One and a 90 or higher on Level Two. The HQC Finals includes the written test and a hands-on practicum that puts the finalists to the ultimate test.

Keedysville, Maryland native Chloe Bellerive topped the field of HQC finalists to stand atop the podium as winner of the overall competition.

“The IHSA has helped a lot participating over the years,” said Bellerive, a 20-year-old University of Kentucky senior. “The horsemanship you learn from being able to figure out your horse while riding and what it needs from bits and tack to barn management.”

Bellerive is no stranger to HQC competition. She has participated since its inaugural year in 2012. “It was truly very rewarding to take my years of experience after competing for so many years to rise above and win,” she said.

Part of her winner’s package includes a two-month paid internship at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, Kentucky during the summer of 2020. Bellerive said that she is excited to experience all aspects of the top-notch Warmblood breeding and training facility.

On her way to the overall win, Bellerive scored third on the written exam, first on the horsemanship/identification exam and second on the practicum.

When asked what advice she’d give to those looking to ride in the IHSA, Bellerive said, “Ride as many horses as you can and take every opportunity to keep learning because you can truly never learn enough.”

Two other IHSA members competed in the HQC Finals. University of Michigan student Rebecca Hopkins (Northville, Michigan) scored second on the written exam and fourth on the horsemanship/identification exam. Lauren Obermeyer from Hamilton, Ohio, who rides at the University of Findlay, scored third on the horsemanship/identification exam and fourth on the practicum exam.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Winn Alden Wins Welcome Stake, Jumper Classic, USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC

Winn Alden and Question de Cour ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – November 6, 2019 – Winn Alden (Bristow, VA) was the star of Tryon Fall Festival 1 at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, claiming wins aboard Jamie Stryker’s Question de Cour in the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake and $15,000 Jumper Classic, also piloting Curtis Loew to a win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

In the $15,000 Jumper Classic hosted Sunday, November 3, Alden piloted the 2009 Warmblood gelding of unknown breeding to a win by stopping the short-course timers in a time of 37.683 seconds and with one rail down. The pair had previously conquered the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday, November 1, continuing their winning ways at the venue. Second place went to John Angus (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) aboard Stephanie Angus’ W. Tonix Hero, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ogano Sitte x Itaquine de Roll), who stopped the jump-off timers in 39.177 seconds with four faults, while third went to Robert Stucky (Waxhaw, NC) riding Caron Stucky’s Uranus 112, a 2011 Oldenburg gelding (Uccello x Conny), to a first-round score of 75.559 seconds with four faults in the first round.

“This is my first show with him,” Alden revealed of Question de Cour. “I brought him here to see how he would do and get to know him because I have two A shows the next two weeks. I love him! He tries really hard. He gets a little nervous when the course is over, but he tries hard, jumps well, and he’s really careful. He’s jumped some in Europe, but hadn’t done a ton of Grand Prix classes.

“I think it [the course] was perfect for this class,” she detailed. “He [Dean Rheinheimer] does a really good job based on who’s at the horse show and what kind of class it is. I think that it was challenging enough for the horses who were here, without being too hard. It rode really nicely! There were a couple of questions, but not overly difficult.”

As it was her first competition with the gelding, Alden shared that Sunday was also her first jump-off experience with Question de Cour, where she aimed to stay clear, and then to be the fastest four-fault round when the pair knocked a rail:

“It was the first jump-off I’ve done with him. He won the Welcome, but we didn’t have a jump-off, so my strategy was really just to be clear [this time]. He hit the second jump – I think he wasn’t sure that we were going to it – so I knew I had to go a little faster. He’s been great!

“Tryon is one of my favorite places to horse show,” emphasized Alden about the venue. “It’s where I won my very first Grand Prix a few years ago, so it’s really fun to win my first one on him here, too. The staff is really nice and accommodating. We love coming here and look forward to coming back!”

In Friday’s $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, Alden and Question de Cour stopped the first-round timers in 72.483 seconds and were the only pair to put in a clear round, guaranteeing them the win without a jump-off. John Angus (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and Stephanie Angus’ W. Tonix Hero, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ogano Sitte x Itaquine de Roll), knocked one rail and stopped the clock at 62.439 seconds to finish in second, while Alden also claimed third with Andrew Kocher’s Altezza du Jardin, a 2010 Selle Francais mare with unknown breeding, ending on four faults in a time of 73.801 seconds.

It was the first time ever Alden had competed with Question de Cour after he’d been imported from Europe, and day one started with two wins, she detailed. “Today is the first day that I have ever shown him. His owner, Jamie Stryker, imported him from Europe and sent him straight to me. I came here to get to know him before I show him next week at an A show. So far, he’s really fun! He feels like he can jump the big jumps.

“The course was perfect for the horses that were here,” Alden continued. “The in-and-out was a bit tight which is what got Altezza du Jardin, my other mount. I think Dean Rheinheimer does a really nice job.” She concluded, “I didn’t know what to expect with Question de Cour. I did him in a 1.20m class this morning and he won, but I had no idea how he would handle the bigger jumps.”

Winn Alden and Curtis Loew Claim $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Alden dominated Tryon Fall Festival 1 competition in the Hunter ring as well as in the Jumpers, claiming Saturday’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Curtis Loew, the David Raposa-owned 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Contender x Fayence), on a total score of 177. Robert Stucky (Waxhaw, NC) and Allie Rae Hayes’ The Girl From Ipanema, a 2009 Hanoverian mare (Clinton I x Vorbuch), totaled 173 to claim reserve, while Tori Bentley (Alpharetta, GA) piloted Charles M. Waters’ Cornesch, the 2010 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Tornesch x Coriria), to a two-round score of 158 for third.

“This is my third show on him, and he hasn’t shown in about a month,” said Alden of the talented gelding. “I plan to do the four-foot division and the International Derby Raleigh next weekend, so I wanted to bring him down here first. He’s the sweetest horse, and is really good at the handy rounds! He loves them.

“It was a nice course,” detailed Alden of the Dean Rheinheimer-set course. “I think he does a really good job with both the Hunter and Jumper courses. I was a little bit late up one line in the first round, so I was a little worried about a lead-change, but he [Curtis Loew] was good. In the handy, I took a couple risks because I knew that Curtis is really good at it. I thought he really stood out in the handy round,” Alden reflected of their second score of 91.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Ava Stearns Wins ASPCA Maclay National Championship at National Horse Show

Ava Stearns on Acer K.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2019 – On the final day of its 136th anniversary, the National Horse Show welcomed junior equitation riders to the Alltech Arena for the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, the last of the four major equitation finals held each fall season. The National Horse Show has come to be known as one of America’s premier indoor equestrian events thanks to its rich history and classical traditions, one of which is the prestigious championship that is regarded as one of the most coveted equitation distinctions in the sport. Since 1933, an elite junior rider’s name has been etched into history as the annual champion, and this year the deserving victor was 18-year-old Ava Stearns, who topped the scorecard during her final junior year ahead of 175 athletes to capture the tricolor honors as the 2019 ASPCA Maclay National Champion and winner of the esteemed ASPCA Horsemanship Trophy.

Throughout the majority of the day, entries contested designer Bobby Murphy’s course one-by-one in attempts to showcase their abilities over the expertly created 14-effort pattern. The efficient course featured a diverse collection of fence types ranging from sturdy to airy, with the majority of the jumps not implementing standards, and was a nod to popular obstacles of the past as Murphy incorporated a series of fences that were reminiscent of those seen in previous generations. Exhibitors were offered fair opportunities to shine or fall short, with a forward 5-stride line, a collected 6-stride line, two in-and-outs, and an obstacle jumped twice both directions all integrated into the course.

Faced with the task of whittling down the initial start list of 176 pairs to only the top 25 performers, judges Jimmy Torano and Tamara Provost ranked the collection of participants who had earned a callback into the next rounds of competition. As the 92nd to ride in the original order-of-go, Stearns, riding Acer K, proved to answer Murphy’s questions the best as they exemplified the pinnacle of equitation, completing a textbook trip to jump to the head of the standby list following the first phase of competition. Headed into the under saddle and second over fences portions of riding, Stearns, Isabelle Song, Breanna Bunevacz, Emma Fletcher, Alexa Aureliano, Juliette Joseph, Catalina Peralta, Jordan Toering, and Savannah Hemby were pegged as the frontrunners, all riding head-to-head in the same flat section.

During the under saddle phase, riders’ balance and strength, as well as their horses’ adjustability, were put to the test through a series of directives from the judges, which included lengthening of stride, flying changes, and changes of gait, most of which was done without stirrups. Thanks to impeccable showings, both Bunevacz and Fletcher managed to usurp the early leader to claim the first and second positions, respectively, ahead of the final over fences phase. Hemby, Casas, Pielet, and Griffiths also performed well and leapfrogged up the ranks to inch that much closer to the top spot.

Returning in reverse order of the standings for their last chance to display their skills, all of the top 25 contenders navigated the Alltech Arena once more in an effort to either win the competition or force a work-off. With the points too close to make a championship decision yet following the second jumping phase, the judges requested a final test for six riders, which included highest-placed Stearns, Fletcher, Casas, Hannah Hoch, Sophie Gochman, and Elli Yeager. Originally outside of the top six, Hoch, Gochman, and Yeager were each able to maneuver their way up the leaderboard to keep them in contention.

For their final ride-off, competitors were asked to canter directly to fence one, counter-canter fence 11, canter fences 12a and 12b, canter to fence 13 in six strides, halt, canter fence eight, hand gallop fence five, and exit at the walk. The first five partnerships each turned in solid performances with no major errors, keeping the competition tight as the final entry walked through the arch for the last over fences trip of more than 200 throughout the day. As the ultimate challenger to ride, and with the lead to lose, Stearns jockeyed Acer K to an exemplary and seemingly effortless round, concluding the day’s activities on a high note with her precision, correct form, and aid effectiveness. After waiting through the nerve-wracking announcement of results, Stearns was rewarded for her superior efforts with Acer K as the 2019 ASPCA Maclay National Champion.

As the 2019 victor, Stearns’ name now sits amongst some of the sport’s greatest athletes and icons, including past winners such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, Lillie Keenan, Victoria Colvin, and 2018 winner Sam Walker. Even more impressive is the fact that the junior rider claimed the championship aboard 8-year-old Acer K, North Run’s gelding who has just completed his first indoor season competing in the equitation finals. Though their partnership is relatively new, Stearns and Acer K have already achieved an incredible amount of success together, earning the reserve champion honors in both the 2019 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – East as well as 2019 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final, in addition to topping the inaugural Dudley B. Smith Equitation Championship at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival during the summer. As the trainers of the winning rider, Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run were also awarded a one-year lease of an Audi, courtesy of Audi of Lexington.

Hot off third place honors in Saturday’s Hollow Brook Wealth Management $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix CSI4*, 18-year-old Casas continued her successful weekend with the reserve champion honors. The 2018 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final winner, 17-year-old Yeager added to her equitation reputation by earning the overall third place status. The 2019 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final winner just weeks ago, Fletcher clinched fourth place, while Gochman earned fifth place and Hoch rounded out the top six.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2019 National Horse Show, but the equestrian event will return in 2020 to once again host the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

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

Darragh Kenny Wins $36k Free x Rein Int’l Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4* Costume Class at NHS

Darragh Kenny on Billy Dorito.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2019 – Donning festive costumes to celebrate the Halloween season, 57 horse-and-rider partnerships representing 10 nations tested their footspeed Wednesday evening in the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, the first show jumping class of the 2019 National Horse Show. Ranked No. 9 in the world based on the Longines FEI standings, Darragh Kenny (IRL) proved why he deserves that distinction with a rapid navigation of the course with the reins on Vlock Show Stables LLC’s Billy Dorito, besting a field comprised of riders in guises such as the Flintstones, Toy Story characters and the Joker, among many other inventive outfits.

Operating under a one-round speed format, the class challenged exhibitors to be quick and careful over designer Ken Krome’s (USA) 13-effort track, which ultimately only saw a total of 26 clear rounds from the initial start list. Riding first in the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Brego R’N B wasted no time as the first pair to successfully tackle the course without incurring any faults, serving as the trailblazers and setting the standard at 72.46 seconds. Just a few trips later still early in the order of go, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) substantially improved upon his peer’s time, slicing across the course and tripping the timers in 64.11 seconds aboard Karlin Van’t Vennehof to propel themselves to the early lead.

Amazingly trimming even more time off the clock, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and CHS Krooze maneuvered the pattern at a breakneck pace, galloping across the finish line almost ten full seconds faster in 53.80 seconds. Their time would not hold for long though, as fellow Irishman Kenny jockeyed Billy Dorito to the slightly faster time of 53.74 seconds, capturing the lead by mere milliseconds as the 16th duo in the order. More than 40 subsequent contenders, which featured costumes such as jockeys, a judge, Mario and Luigi, multiple generations of Madonna and more, chased down the frontrunners over the remainder of the class, but the swift speed put forth by Kenny and Billy Dorito proved uncatchable, solidifying the Irish partnership as the 2019 winners of the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*. Dressed as a skeleton, Coyle retained second position with his own CHS Krooze, and Andy Kocher (USA) jumped to the final podium spot aboard Eye Candy Jumpers’ Fashion V, breaking the beam in 54.070 seconds as Freddie Mercury and his golden steed.

Appropriately outfitted for the Kentucky crowd, Sloane Coles (USA) dressed as a bottle of bourbon for her ride aboard Calisto 26. Going all out with a body suit and cut-out photos of the famous Kentucky liquor, she was awarded the Best Costume Award for her creative efforts.

Scott Stewart and Becky Gochman Reign Supreme

Wednesday morning at the 136th annual National Horse Show brought top hunter horse-and-rider combinations to the Alltech Arena of the Kentucky Horse Park. As the oldest indoor horse show in the United States, the National Horse Show has earned a permanent spot on the calendars of many elite professionals and amateurs who make the trip from far and wide to vie for the titles and perpetual trophies up for grabs each year. Following Tuesday’s start to the hunter divisions, the first round of championship honors was awarded for the 2019 National Horse Show on Wednesday. Of the contenders, it was Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador, piloted by Scott Stewart, who received the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title. Stewart also went on to claim the Leading Hunter Rider trophy for his 13th time, while Becky Gochman and Catch Me earned the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter trophy, walking away with the iconic black cooler embroidered with the National Horse Show historic emblem.

Stewart and Lucador have a long-standing history of excellence together. After years of accumulating tricolor ribbons across the nation, the pair earned their final Grand Champion Professional Hunter title in their last show together. Stewart and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding earned their points in the High Performance Hunter division, taking top three placings in all of the over fences classes and first in the under saddle class over the course of the two days, resulting in their championship honors in the division. Lucador’s name is already etched on the Grand Champion Hunter Trophy four times, adding his name once again to the coveted centerpiece in 2019 for the fifth time. The talented horse will go on to compete in the Junior 3’3” Hunters 15 and Under with Maddie Tosh, a transition that is bittersweet for Stewart as their successful partnership comes to a close.

During the awards ceremony, Stewart was once again invited back to the arena for the Meralex Farm Leading Hunter Rider Award for the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy. Phenomenally, this was Stewart’s thirteenth time placing his name on the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy, which was originally donated by Mr. and the late Mrs. Kenneth Wheeler. The well-known hunter rider accumulated his points towards the trophy with a whopping seven horses, including Everwonder, Cabrio, Critics’ Choice, Lucador, Private Life, Catch Me, and Cameo.

Also returning competitors to the National Horse Show, Gochman and Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, clinched the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title for the “Ruxton & Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. The pair made a clean sweep in the Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter 36+ division, winning every single class for a perfect 40 points. This is Gochman and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding’s second year in a row securing the Ellen Van Dyke-donated trophy. With “Snoopy,” Gochman has found much success in the Amateur divisions across the country, most recently taking Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Champion at the Washington International Horse show.

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

Eleanor Rudnicki Victorious in Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship

Eleanor Rudnicki on Quinten F.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 27, 2019 – The final day of the 2019 National Horse Show’s Opening Weekend, which showcased equitation classes for all ages, offered two final championship opportunities for exhibitors. Up against a lofty field of 161 athletes in the start list, Eleanor Rudnicki proved her prowess in the equitation ring riding Quinten F throughout multiple rounds of competition to emerge victorious as the 2019 winner of the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship, the class which featured the most entries all weekend. In the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship, Emily White topped the scorecard aboard Scandeek thanks to two strong showings over fences and on the flat.

Designed by Bobby Murphy, the 12-effort track presented exhibitors with a number of opportunities to highlight their abilities in front of the judges’ panel, which was comprised of Emil Spadone and Mary Lisa Leffler. Following the first round of riding, 161 hopeful entries were whittled down to only 24 of the top performers, each of whom were invited back to the Alltech Arena to battle it out with their peers at least twice more, once under saddle and another time over fences, plus additional testing if required. Turning in the strongest showings during the first two rounds, Rudnicki, Ainsley Wade, Lilly Goldstein, Jordan Gibbs, and Vanessa McCaughley led the standings headed into the final jumping phase.

Once again, Murphy’s track provided a handful of route options in order for exhibitors to distinguish themselves from their peers, and many competitors took advantage of the opportunities with a series of inside turns. Sitting as the frontrunner after the first over fences and under saddle portions of the contest, Rudnicki had the advantage of jumping Murphy’s second pattern last since the qualified individuals returned in reverse order of the standings.

At the conclusion of the second jumping portion, only two riders, 14-year-old Rudnicki and 16-year-old Wade, were asked back for a final work-off in order for the judges to determine who would receive the 2019 class honors. Coincidentally, Rudnicki and Wade rode back-to-back in the initial order of go, with Rudnicki riding 45th in the start list aboard Jessie Rechs’ Quinten F and Wade as the 46th of the day with the reins on her own Cumano Boy Z. Returning for one final test, the two ladies switched horses for a competitive flat work-off. After a nail-biting ride-off, the results were in: Rudnicki had captured the championship after leading from start to finish in the 2019 Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship. Wade was awarded the reserve honors, and Lola Head moved up from eighth place to capture the final podium spot.

Impressively, Sunday’s victory came during Rudnicki’s first year competing in the equitation ranks as well as her first indoors season. Adding another level of prestige to her win is the fact that she only rode Quinten F for the first time one week ago, but the young rider quickly learned to adapt to the horse and rode as if on a familiar mount. Rudnicki is coming off an already successful week at the National Horse Show, having earned the championship tricolor in the Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett Under 14 Equitation, presented by Palm Beach International Academy, on Saturday. Moving forward, Rudnicki will continue to ride in the junior hunters and equitation, with her sights set on the major medal classes next year.

Commencing the day’s activities earlier in the morning, the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship brought a contingent of talented horses and riders to the forefront to compete for the tricolors over two rounds of riding. Athletes had the opportunity to jump at either the 2’6” height or the 3’ height, with the pack splitting in half to tackle their preferred fences. Up first, the 2’6” exhibitors took their turns around the Bobby Murphy-designed track, followed by the 3’ challengers, who ultimately proved to shine the brightest as the top three finishers each opted for the higher obstacles.

Headed into the flat phase, White, Melodie Robitaille, and Lilli Power each had garnered top scores to keep them in contention for the title with their respective mounts, but White’s faultless performance under saddle pushed her to the top of the scorecard, clinching the top spot on the podium as the 2019 Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation champion. Power and her own Wingman ultimately earned second position overall, followed by Robitaille and Coveted, owned by S&R Investment Group LLC.

A veteran equitation competitor and previously a coach, White took advantage of the opportunity provided by the National Horse Show to continue competing as an adult, which helped to allow her to remain partners with her own Scandeek, who she began riding in the equitation as a junior. Thanks to their longtime relationship, White and Scandeek have continued to accrue accolades in the adult classes, and earlier this year won the Ariat National Adult Medal during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

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

Richie Moloney and Merqusio Master the $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix at TIEC

Richie Moloney and Merqusio ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC — October 27, 2019 — It was Richie Moloney (IRL) aboard Merqusio to win Sunday’s $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Fall 6 competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a fault-free effort in a time of 43.623 seconds. Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple, a 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm, retired in the jump-off to finish second, while fastest four-faulter Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) and Dena Sienne, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Van Gogh x Animo) owned by Waldman Horses BV, claimed third-place honors after completing the first round in 75.697 seconds.

Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) course saw 22 entries test the first round, with only two returning for the jump-off. Moloney explained that he thought it was the triple combination in the first round that seemed to cause the most trouble, but “apart from that it was a really fair course.

“I went first in the jump-off, so I just wanted to be quick and put some pressure on her [Tracy Fenney]. I knew her horse is really fast, so it was important for me to leave all the jumps up,” detailed Moloney of his second-round strategy.

Moloney and the Equinimity LLC-owned 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cicero Z x Flamenco De Semilly) have been a team for a couple years, shared Moloney. “He’s been competing at the 1.45m and 1.50m level and he has done some FEI Grand Prix as well. He’s a good horse and is very careful.

“Last Sunday I had really good results and then yesterday I was second in the Grand Prix and today I had a win, so it’s a nice way to finish up,” Moloney said. “We’re going to Wellington on Tuesday but Equinimity, whom I work for, has a farm ten minutes away so I’ll be back in April.”

Hunter Kay and Alright Rise to the Top in the $20,000 Open Hunter Classic 3’-4’ 

Friday’s $20,000 Open Hunter Classic 3’-4’ at TIEC saw Hunter Kay (Columbia, SC) and Alright score a two-round total of 176.25 to win the blue rosette. Dorothy Douglas and Abigail Davenport’s MTM Exceptional, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Casall Ask x Unknown), earned second after receiving a two-round score of 173, while Jacqueline McQueen piloted Quadrolino, the 2011 Bradenberg gelding (Quadroneur x Unknown) owned by Holly Calantoni Houser, to a third-place finish after receiving scores of 172.5.

Twenty-six horse-and-rider pairs tested the Archer “Skip” Bailey course in the first round, with Kay qualifying for the handy on three different mounts. “I liked the course. There were a lot of broken lines, a couple of combinations, and not a lot of direct distances or numbers so you could just do what you wanted and show off with different things.

“He felt really good in this class,” Kay said of Ann Rice Ervin’s 2011 Warmblood gelding with unknown breeding. “I think the big ring got his attention and he was able to gallop. I thought he might be a little tired since he also competed in the 3’9” division this week, but he jumped great. We love the big ring!

“I had just a little bit of a bobble in the first round, so I wanted to correct that. We picked up a good canter from the start and just tried to maintain the same pace and have a nice gallop at the last one,” shared Kay of his handy-round strategy.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Samantha Takacs and Brighton Take Top Pony Hunter Honors at WIHS

Samantha Takacs and Brighton. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

The final winners of the 61st annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) were named on Sunday, October 27, at Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C., marking the conclusion of the six-day horse show.

Among those claiming victories on Sunday was Samantha Takacs, who rode Brighton to the Grand Pony Hunter Championship title, and claimed The Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick and Rustic Woods. Hallie Moss topped the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals aboard Birtley’s Crowned Jewel to take home The Jane Marshall Dillon Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Friends and Students of Mrs. Jane Marshall Dillon.

Takacs, 14, of Oldwick, NJ, and Brighton, owned by Ellie Sadrian, won the under saddle and earned a first and second over fences in the Large Pony Hunter division to clinch the division championship and the Pegasus Stable Perpetual Trophy, donated by Ms. Fenwick Kollock, on their way to the grand championship title.

“It feels so good!” said Takacs of her major victory. “I can’t even describe how happy I am feeling right now. It’s such an honor at this amazing horse show.”

Takacs topped the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals last year riding Storyteller, and this year, she got the ride on Brighton from her good friend and fellow rider, Sadrian.

Hallie Moss Wins WIHS Pony Equitation Finals on Her First Try

Hallie Moss watched Sam Walker win the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals on Saturday evening at WIHS and carried her inspiration from that into her performance in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals to take the blue.

Moss, 11, scored an 84.5 in the over fences phase of the class to stand in third before the flat phase, after which the judges, Sue Ashe and Timmy Kees, put her on top as the winner with Birtley’s Crowned Jewel. It was Moss’s first time showing in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, though she showed in the pony hunter divisions last year.

“It’s my last show on ‘Teddy,’ so it’s pretty incredible,” Moss said. “I wasn’t slow, which I’ve been working on, and I was able to find the jumps out of stride.” Teddy is a 12-year-old Welsh Pony by Eyarth Tayma and owned by Three Ships LLC.

For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.