Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH Win $70k Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 4

Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2018 – The fourth week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival hosts jumpers on the grass derby field at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), show grounds of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Luibanta BH were victorious in the $70,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 4.

Sixty-four entries contested the WEF Challenge Cup, and 10 found the key to a clear round over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) course on the grass. It was Derbyshire and Luibanta BH, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Luidam x Abantos, who blazed around the jump-off to win in 47.50 seconds.

Victoria Colvin and Dragonstone Repeat Championship Performance in Pre-Green Hunter 3 & 4 Year Olds

Victoria Colvin and new partner, Dragonstone, owned by Bryan Baldwin, claimed their second championship win in the Pre-Green Hunter 3 & 4 Year Olds division on Thursday morning of WEF 4. The pair was first, second, and third over fences and first in the under saddle.

“This was my second time showing him,” said Colvin. “The first time I showed him he was champion as well. I have only been riding him for a bit, but he really is the sweetest and easiest horse.”

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | |

First Win for Olympian Alberto Michán Since Switching Nationalities in Week Four

Alberto Michán and Redmond. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 31, 2018 – Action in week four of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) had a change of scenery, with almost 80 riders crossing the road to the grass derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival).

Newly-minted Israeli rider Alberto Michán — double Olympian for his home country of Mexico at Beijing and London — logged his first win for his new nation, riding Redmond in the $6,000 FEI Bainbridge 1.40m.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | |

Friday Night Lights Fuses Child/Adult and Open Classes with a Spectacular Atmosphere

Photo: Owen McWilliams and Secret Alloy.

Wellington, FL (January 31, 2018) – Get the Grand Prix vibe this Friday, February 2nd. Take advantage of welcoming courses, fantastic Child/Adult prizes, a variety of classes, and the under the lights atmosphere at Friday Night Lights, presented by The Ridge at Wellington. Running every Friday through April (with the exception of March 16) choose from 1.0-1.10m Speed and Classic rounds for Open and Child/Adult riders, while spectators can enjoy dining and drinking as they watch the jumping at the Polo Bar and Grill beginning at 5:30pm. New this Friday, February 2nd, Friday Night Lights has added a Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic in addition to the $1,000 Child/Adult M&S Qualifier Classic and 1.0-1.10m Jumper Speed Classes.

A variety of classes ranging from 1.0-1.10m, Open/Child/Adult, Speed Rounds, and Classics ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy on varying weeks.

Thanks to The Ridge’s generous sponsors, Child/Adult riders have even more of a reason queue up at the in gate for Friday Night Lights: Prestige Italia, a longtime sponsor of The Ridge’s co-founder and US Olympian Nona Garson, will award a Prestige jumping saddle to the high point rider of the Friday Night Lights series. Similarly, River Run Farm will offer a cash bonus to the top placing Friday Night Lights Child/Adult riders at the end of the season.

The previous Friday Night Lights, held January 19, saw Austin, Texas’s own Owen McWilliams and Bickford Hill Show Stables’ Secret Alloy top the 1.10m Child/Adult M&S Classic Qualifier. “I come down every weekend for the winter shows with Don Stewart, and Friday Night Lights was a last-minute decision for us to practice for showing on Saturday,” said McWilliams. “I got on Secret Alloy for the first time last week and we clicked instantly. This was our first time riding under the lights, and he marched right out like he owned the place. It was a really fun round.”

January’s 1.10m Child/Adult Jumper Speed round went to Canada’s Joseph Aman and his own Echo, a ten-year-old Irish bred gelding. ” I loved the atmosphere, and it was very different having to show under the lights,” said Aman. “Echo definitely was a bit excited with the spectators and the lights, and the lively atmosphere was really fun.” While originally being open to only Child/Adult competitors, The Ridge has recently added an Open Welcome Class so that riders and horses of all levels can experience the unique stadium atmosphere.

Entries are limited and will be taken on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to get your entries in as the classes are sure to fill fast.

Enter online at or download the Prizelists, entry forms, and schedules from and send them to

Contact or 908 500 0996 for more information.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
+1 954 205 7992

Hesslink Continues Winning Ways; Stovel Takes USHJA National Hunter Derby

Photo: Geoffrey Hesslink and Cadoretto.

West Palm Beach, FL (January 30, 2018) – It was a day for the chromey chestnuts during the second week of Hunter Derbies on the Palm Beach Series, as Geoffrey Hesslink and Cadoretto once again topped The Ridge’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, and Patricia Stovel and Pancaspe rode to victory in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. With both classes held on Friday, January 26 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, a healthy group of spectators and trainers gathered to watch both the afternoon National class and evening International class, while full divisions of hunters, jumpers, and equitation classes ran from Wednesday – Sunday at Jim Brandon.

Hesslink continued to build on his already impressive hunter resume with a second win in The Ridge’s International Hunter Derby. Under the guidance of trainer Andre Dignelli of Heritage farm, he and Cadoretto, known around the barn as Cad, topped both rounds of the night class, successfully tackling all of the questions asked by course designer Archer Bailey. “He is just so honest,” said Hesslink. “Anything I ask of him, he does it; any mistake I make, he covers for me. Going into the handy I began to doubt my plan, which was to take an ambitious line to one of the larger options. But that is his better lead and as usual he did it without hesitation and was absolutely perfect. Surprisingly, I think he was even better this time than the last time [at The Ridge].”

As for the next steps, Hesslink says he has no intention of stopping now. “We will probably do the Derby next week in the International arena at WEF, and the one at Deerridge as well,” he stated. “I really love The Ridge and their shows because of the facility and the quality of the courses and atmosphere. It feels really special to show under the lights, and I think Cad definitely enjoys and jumps better in this atmosphere. Of course, we will plan to come back for the last of The Ridge’s Hunter Derbies in mid-March.”

Earlier in the day, a mare that could be Cadoretto’s stunt double worked the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, coming out on top with Patty Stovel in the irons. The 10-year-old American-bred Hanoverian is fresh off her first shows with Stovel in the 3’3″ Pre Green Hunters in November, where she also won a Derby in Ohio and was champion in Ocala. Owned by Virginia Bartholomew, Pancaspe’s somewhat green status didn’t slow her down a bit over the National course.

“She hasn’t done too many horse shows,” said Stovel of the chestnut mare, “but she has always been just so straightforward and easy, even as a pre green horse. After our good results in Ohio and Ocala, we decided to venture down to Wellington for a few shows and these are a perfect match, both for her and so her owner could be on hand to see her progress. I didn’t want to be super handy with her, as she is still pre green, but we just focused on turning and always looking towards the next jump.”

As a veteran of the hunter jumper ring, Stovel’s history with The Ridge stretches back to founder Nona Garson’s days with Olympic mount Rhythmical, and she also frequents their spring, summer, and fall shows in New Jersey. “I’ve been coming to The Ridge for years, and they’re always so friendly and great to work with,” Stovel said. “The course was beautiful, and the warm ups and covered were lovely to ride in. I couldn’t be happier with our choice to come or Pancaspe’s performance, and we are looking forward to attending more of The Ridge’s shows!”

For a full schedule of events hosted by The Ridge at Wellington, visit

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
+1 954 205 7992

Darragh Kenny Beats the Field in $132,000 Adequan Grand Prix CSI 3*

Darragh Kenny and Cassini Z. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 27, 2018 – The highlight class of the third week at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was the $132,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Victory in the “Saturday Night Lights” event went to Ireland’s Darragh Kenny on Cassini Z, owned by Bowers Cone, LLC.

Saturday night’s grand prix had 45 entries over a course designed by Peter Grant of Canada. There were 16 clears, making for a very competitive and fast jump-off. The best of the bunch was Kenny on Cassini Z, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Cassini II x Capone. They went 12th in the jump-off and were chasing a time of 39.36 seconds set by Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cristalline.

Kenny and Cassini Z were fast from the start and never let up to finish with a winning time of 38.21 seconds. Sternlicht and Cristalline finished in third. Slipping into second place just 2/100ths of a second slower than Kenny was Jessica Springsteen (USA) on RMF Swinny du Parc, owned by Rushy Marsh Farm LLC, in 38.23 seconds.

Lindsay Maxwell Pilots Belgravia to Championship Win in Adequan® Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’3” Division

Lindsay Maxwell made a smooth comeback on Saturday afternoon in the Rost Arena with her mount of almost a year, Belgravia, in the Adequan® Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’3” division. The duo, who were seventh in Friday’s under saddle, did not place in the division’s first two jumping classes. However, they returned on Saturday in full force to take both remaining blue ribbons over fences.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | |

Eugenio Garza and Bariano Win $35,000 Bainbridge FEI 1.45m Classic at WEF

Eugenio Garza and Bariano. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 26, 2018 – The third week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued Friday with the $35,000 Bainbridge FEI 1.45m Classic as the main feature in the International Arena. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and his mount of six years, Bariano, captured the win in the FEI ranking class.

The $35,000 Bainbridge FEI 1.45m Classic had 61 entries competing over a speed course designed by Peter Grant of Canada. Eighteen of those were clear, and the fastest in the class was Garza with Bariano, a 17-year-old BWP gelding by Jetset-D x Skippy owned by El Milagro, with a time of 63.57 seconds.

Tina Allen and French Kiss Claim Championship Title in Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter Middle Sec. A

Tina Allen, of New Canaan, CT, continued her winning streak from week one of the Winter Equestrian Festival into week three with an impressive championship win aboard her mount, French Kiss, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, in the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter Middle Sec. A. The pair dominated the division with three blue ribbons and a second over fences, with a third-place finish in the under saddle.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | |

Lamaze Notches 25th WEF Challenge Cup Victory in Week Three of 2018 WEF

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 25, 2018 – Canadian Olympic champion Eric Lamaze added another accolade to his list of accomplishments on Thursday of the third week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). He notched his 25th WEF Challenge Cup victory, this time in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 with Chacco Kid at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

The $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 had 85 entries, and there were 27 clears over the course designed by Peter Grant of Canada. Seventeen of those returned for the jump-off, and it was once again Lamaze and Chacco Kid who were fastest to lead the victory gallop. They crossed the timers in a speedy 40.02 seconds, the fastest time of the day and also a clear round. Lamaze now ties Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) for 25 WEF Challenge Cup victories, the most in the history of the class. Lamaze and Chacco Kid won this class just last week as well.

Jennifer Hannan and Mindful Crowned Champions in Antares Sellier France High Performance Working Hunters

Jennifer Hannan and her mount, Mindful, owned by Kensel, LLC, took to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring on Thursday and captured the championship title with three firsts and a fifth over fences and a second in the under saddle in the Antares Sellier France High Performance Working Hunters.

“He is a really good horse, and he knows his job,” said Hannan of the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “He’s a blast to ride and has all the stride and scope you could ask for.”

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | |

Announcing the 2018 Atlanta Spring Classics

Photo credit Alison Hartwell Photography.

The Gulf Coast Winter Classic six-week circuit kicks off on February 7th. The show moves directly from the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast to the home of the 1996 Olympics at the Georgia International Horse Park for the Atlanta Spring Classics which start on March 22nd and run through March 31st – no horse show on Easter Sunday.

Two weeks of exciting competition at the world-famous facility offer more than $200,000 in cash and awards. Special events include the Sidelines Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ Divisions which will count as qualifiers for the second installment of the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic scheduled for the Atlanta Fall Classics. The top 20 qualifiers will receive an invitation to compete in this Finals competition for no entry fee.

Don’t miss the new $5,000 Classic Hunter Derby offered both Weeks I and II at the Atlanta Spring Classic. In addition to the $3,000 prize money, a $2,000 Rider Bonus will be awarded to a non-professional hunter rider each week.

For the jumpers, the $5,000 Open Welcome is offered both Weeks I and II as well as the $15,000 1.35m Jumper Classic. There’s plenty of prize money for the Jr/Amateurs at the 1.20m and the 1.30m/1.40m as well as the Open Jumpers, 1.20m, 1.30m and 1.40m. Check the prize list, now online, for details.
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Gilbertson Wins $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix

Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi. Photo © Sportfot.

Opening the day was the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix, which had 44 entries. Six were clear to advance to the jump-off over International Arena tracks set by course designer Oscar Soberon of Mexico.

With the advantage of going last in the jump-off, Lacey Gilbertson, 24, watched and saw what she needed to do for the win. She and Baloppi, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Seabrook LLC, galloped through the timers in 31.756 seconds.

Second place went to Hunter Holloway (USA) and Eastern Jam, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Lexicon, owned by Hays Investment Group. Their jump-off time was 32.613 seconds.

Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Zagahorn, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Matterhorn owned by Poden Farms, finished third with a time of 32.793 seconds.

Marilyn Little and Clearwater Return to the Ring for Win in $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic

With 75 entries in the class, and 28 clear rounds, Sunday’s $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic proved to be a formidable challenge for the riders in the class. Out of the 26 who chose to return for the jump-off, it was a race to see who could be fastest out of the 12 clear trips over the shortened course designed by Oscar Soberon (MEX).

Despite recently returning to riding after an injury, Marilyn Little of Frederick, MD rose to the challenge to pilot Clearwater to a blazing jump-off time of 36.23 seconds for victory.

Second place went to Wilton Porter (USA), who nearly caught Little as the last to go in the jump-off riding Delinquent JX, an 11-year-old gelding by Darco, to a time of 36.65 seconds. Emily Moffitt continued her successful start to WEF with a third-place finish on Galip and turned in a time of 37.09 seconds.

Stephanie Bulger and Mariano Crowned Wanderers Club Adult Amateur Younger Sec. B Champion

The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring witnessed an exciting comeback made by Stephanie Bulger of New York, NY and her mount Mariano, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, on Sunday as she took a first, second, and seventh over fences in the Wanderers Club Adult Amateur Younger Sec. B division to claim the championship title. The second week of the Winter Equestrian Festival marked the pair’s first time back in the show ring together after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus.

Equestrian Sport Productions | 561-793-JUMP | |

HH Azur and Cuba Win 2017 Horse of the Year Titles

HH Azur (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Lexington, Ky. – On a night dedicated to celebrating the horse, US Equestrian is pleased to share that HH Azur, owned by Double H Farm and François Mathy, has been voted the 2017 International Horse of the Year and Cuba, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, has been voted the 2017 National Horse of the Year.

International Horse of the Year

HH Azur (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sion van de Zuuthoeve/Sir Lui)
2006 Belgian Warmblood mare
Owners: Double H Farm and François Mathy

HH Azur’s raw athleticism and keen instinct for the sport was evident from the moment her hooves stepped into the show ring with her superstar rider McLain Ward at the reins. Known as “Annie” in the barn, her storybook year began with a win in the $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in February. Continuing to demonstrate her dependability and undeniable talent in a major championship, HH Azur delivered three perfect rounds to guide Ward to his first Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final title in April. Following the World Cup Finals, HH Azur returned to competition at Spruce Meadows in the prestigious $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup CSI5*. From there, she and Ward anchored the U.S. team to a silver-medal tie in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup™ at CHIO Aachen in July and a silver-medal finish in the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in September. It should be noted that HH Azur has not had a single fault in team competition in 2017.

National Horse of the Year

Cuba (Namelus R x Ups-A-Daisy/Mermus R)
2007 KWPN gelding
Owners: John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC

Cuba, John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding, had an impressive year in 2017. Having proven himself a successful hunter, Cuba started his campaign as a Derby horse just one year ago. With rider Victoria Colvin, the pair stood out at the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Championship in August, placing third in the Classic Round, winning the Handy Hunter Round, and finishing as the overall champion by a significant margin of 9.75 points. Cuba closed the competition year as the USHJA International Derby horse with most money won. Over the course of only five competitions, Cuba earned $55,853.

by US Equestrian Communications Department