Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Kat Fuqua and Clara Propp Ride to Early Lead at 2018 USEF Pony Finals

Photo: Kat Fuqua and Brighton.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 7, 2018 – Tuesday morning marked the highly-anticipated commencement of the 2018 USEF Pony Finals, presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, at the Kentucky Horse Park, with nearly 200 ponies and their junior riders taking center stage in the first two divisions of the week. The most celebrated event of its kind for pony riders in the United States, the USEF Pony Finals is a three-phase competition judging the pony’s conformation, way of moving and jumping ability. After the first two rounds of competition for the Large Regular Pony Hunters, Kat Fuqua and Brighton emerged as the early leaders by impressively earning blue ribbons in both the model and hack ahead of 146 fellow contenders. Besting the field in the Small Green Pony Hunters, Clara Propp and With Love will ride last over fences as the initial frontrunners in their division.

Though Fuqua and her own Brighton have only been paired together for one short month, their short relationship did not detract from their performance in the Walnut Ring as the pair consistently impressed the judges’ panel in the Large Regular Pony Hunters. Under the tutelage of trainer Michael Newman of Aubrey Hill Equestrian in Pace, Florida, the 11-year-old rider and chestnut pony collected scores of 260.23 in the model and 281.42 in the hack to solidify their place atop the leaderboard headed into the final portion of competition. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Brighton carried Claire Campbell to a similar lead in the division after day one of the 2017 USEF Pony Finals with a cumulative score of 512.62, and this year the pony improved on his performance to stand an even better chance of sweeping the division with total marks of 541.65 headed into day two.

Chasing Fuqua and Brighton’s commanding early lead, Chandler Wilks and Ashley Vail Aycox’s Valentino currently sit in the reserve spot with 534.56 points, while Caroline Passarelli piloted another Fuqua-owned mount, Chic in Time, to third position overall. Sitting in fourth is Brynn Kuhnell and D’Artagnan, owned by Simply Ponies, LLC, trailed by Ava Aguilar and Sienna Gustafson’s Imagine That rounding out the top five slots.

In the Small Green Pony Hunters, Clara Propp began her day on a high note, winning the model with Aquitaine Equine’s With Love to the tune of 265.98 points from the judges. In the flat portion of the division, fellow bow-clad rider Omi Enkin and her own Happiness nabbed the first prize with a score of 258.00, but Propp and With Love’s third place marks of 254.50 were enough to propel the 11-year-old from Canada and her grey pony to the top of the overall scorecard. Boasting a composite score of 520.48, Propp and With Love currently sit 10 points ahead of the next-closest competitors, Enkin and Happiness with 510.20 points, headed into the over fences final phase.

Currently sitting in third place, Helen Ryan and Town Line Equestrian, LLC’s Charming will attempt to usurp the leaders, with owner-rider Jordan Gibbs and Show Off hot on their tails less than one point behind. Vanessa Mazzoli and her own Partly Cloudy clinched fifth place to close out the top contenders after day one.

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

2018 Southeast Medal Finals Prize List and Entry Forms Now Available

Tampa, Fla. – July 31, 2018 – The highly anticipated prize list for the upcoming 2018 Southeast Medal Finals, to be held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, 2018 is now available. Exhibitors are conveniently offered two entry methods: printable copies located on the Southeast Medal Finals website that can be mailed or electronic entry at HorseShowsOnline.com.

As an added benefit, competitors will receive a discounted weekend stall rate of $175 if they enter online or send in entry forms by August 26, so don’t delay!

The Southeast Medal Finals will offer hunter, jumper and equitation competition for all levels and ages. USEF-rated and sanctioned by the CFHJA, this regional competition is the perfect season culmination for riders seeking an affordable and attainable horse show experience.

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

Alyssa Mansfield and Candor Can’t Be Caught in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Photo: Alyssa Mansfield and Candor.

Lexington, Ky. – July 29, 2018 – The final day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show concluded competition with hunter horses highlighted in the Stonelea Ring for the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows. Twenty-five horse-and-athlete combinations contested Jasen Shelley’s classic round over ten obstacles with four high options, with Alyssa Mansfield posting an unbeatable total score of 178 across two rounds to claim the victory with Ashland Farms’ Candor.

Rachel Kennedy earned the second place ribbon aboard Lissa Bachner’s Meridian, just one point shy of the win with a 177-point total, while Rachel McMullen and Centerfold K, owned by Henge Hill Investments, rode to third place with a score of 175.5.

Twelve riders were called back to challenge the handy round in reverse order of score over nine fences with four high options, finishing with a trot fence. Returning with an 84, Kennedy laid down an impressive second round to capture the highest handy round score of 93. She remained on the top of the leaderboard through the following four riders until Mansfield and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding returned second to last in the order. Taking all high options to earn a handy score of 90, Mansfield’s combined score caught her the win.

Fresh off of a win in the $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Junior and Amateur Section at Country Heir II in June, Mansfield and Candor have already made a great team within their few short months of partnership. In addition to their derby success, the pair competes in the adult amateur division and recently captured the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter Championship at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

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

Prize List Now Available Online for 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show

Washington, D.C. – The prize list for the 2018 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), which will celebrate its 60th anniversary from October 23-28 at Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C., is now available online.

WIHS will continue a longstanding tradition as one of the world’s most cherished indoor horse shows in 2018 and again host the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington, presented by Events DC, with coveted qualifying points on offer for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final taking place in Göteborg, Sweden in April. Additionally, WIHS will welcome qualified hunter, jumper, equitation, and pony riders from across the nation and celebrate year-end titles.

“Sixty years is a milestone that we at WIHS have been looking forward to celebrating for some time,” said Victoria Lowell, WIHS President. “Winning a ribbon at WIHS is a momentous event for any rider and we are excited to make it even more special this year as we celebrate this anniversary. We are proud to welcome more than 26,000 spectators, pay out over $500,000 in prize money, and encourage the equestrian community to experience urban horse showing at its best in the heart of our nation’s capital city.”

In addition to some of the world’s top riders and rising stars from within North America, WIHS management has prepared an A-list lineup of judges and officials for the 2018 event. Headlining the list is two-time U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Anne Kursinski, who will judge the coveted Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals.

“WIHS is a very exciting horse show because of its history, prestige, location in the heart of the city, and because of the fact that you have to earn your way to get to Washington by qualifying,” said Kursinski, a two-time U.S. Olympic team silver medalist who competed for her country as part of the United States Equestrian Team in Nations’ Cup competition at WIHS. “Specifically, the WIHS Equitation Finals is unlike any other in the country.

“It’s exciting to judge the class, but it also gives me an opportunity to look at the bigger picture,” continued Kursinski, who is the Chef d’Equipe for the U.S. Show Jumping Development program. “Seeing the development of riders from the junior level all the way through to the selection of our WEG team is a lot of fun. That’s where Washington plays a great role; there I can watch the next generation of riders who will likely go on to ride for the U.S. team.”

In memory of the 2017 Amateur-Owner Grand Champion, owned and ridden by Lindsay Maxwell, WIHS will introduce the Technicolor Award to be given to the horse who best exemplifies the classic hunter in aesthetic, jumping style, and presence in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” division.

WIHS Prize List Now Available Online

Prize Money & Cash Bonuses

Total prize money of $518,000 will be awarded throughout the week, including the following special cash bonuses:

  • $10,000 to the Leading International Jumper rider
  • $10,000 to the Leading International Jumper rider 25 years of age or younger
  • $5,000 to the Leading Professional Hunter rider
  • $20,000 Young Jumper Championship Incentive Program

Judges and Officials

Technical Coordinator: Joseph Carnicom of Toledo, OH

Course Designers: Olaf Petersen Jr. (Jumper) of Munich, Germany and Alan Lohman (Hunter) Poolesville, MD

Hunter/Equitation Judges: Brian Lenehan of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Mike Rosser of Southern Pines, NC, Steve Wall of Pinehurst, NC, and Anne Kursinski (Equitation) of Frenchtown, NJ

Jumper Ground Jury: Ralph Alfano, (President) of Wellington, FL, Neil O’Connor of Southampton, NY, and Foreign Member TBA

Footing Specialist: Karsten Koch (FEI, The Footing Firm) of Bremen, Germany

Stewards: Dan Reed (FEI Chief Steward) of Batavia, OH, Donna Rocchetti (USEF) of Falls, PA, Rich Herrera (PGEC) of Wellington, FL, and Glena Wirtanen (USEF) of Phoenix, MD

Schooling Supervisors/Assistant FEI Stewards: Maria Biancone of Roseland, NJ, Jean Bonsall of Saranac Lake, NY, Shawn Frazer of Huntersville, NC, Peter Lane of Wellington, FL, and Mary O’Connor of Southampton, NY

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

The Cavalier Classic Is a Wrap at HITS Culpeper

Agustin Rosales and CAPELIUS. Photo Courtesy of ESI Photography.

Agustin Rosales Soars to First and Second in the Open Prix; Dominique Damico Jumps to First in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Exhibitors jumped into another week of Show Jumping Competition at HITS Commonwealth Park to wrap up the July series of the circuit in Culpeper, Virginia. With trees and flowers blooming and beautiful sunny weather, the two-week HITS Culpeper July Series were just what exhibitors were hoping for.

“It’s been a nice two weeks for me in Culpeper,” said Gavin Moylan, owner, trainer, and rider at Meadowville Farm, based in Middleburg, Virginia and Wellington, Florida. “I won the Devoucoux Hunter Prix last week and the Johnson Horse Transportation Prix this week, so I practiced all the disciplines!” he continued. “I have a new group of horses and this was a great place to bring them to get them started jumping some bigger classes. The footing is great – even better this week than last. Rian Beals (Technical Coordinator) does a nice job running things outside and is easy to work with.”

Pam Baker, owner and trainer at her Hillcrest Farm in Bealeton, Virginia, had a successful two weeks with her clients, and expressed her appreciation of the shows. “I’ve always loved Culpeper – of course I’ve been showing here decades! Now that the footing has been redone I think Culpeper is one of the best facilities in the country.” Pam is also a fan of the Quiche breakfast special served on Saturday mornings at the restaurant. “I wish they had quiche on Sunday too! It’s SO good!”

Melissa Rundershausen and CHARMEUR ASK soared into the Cavalier Classic with a win in the $5,000 Open Welcome Jumper on Wednesday, securing the first place ribbon.

On Friday, Gavin Moylan would capture the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Prix aboard DON FERNANTES Z in a time of 38.347. Taking home the second place ribbon was Lucy Matz and CARDELLA in a time of 38.360, followed by Agustin Rosales and CAPELIUS S in third with a time of 39.291. Dominique Damico would take home the fourth and fifth place ribbons aboard WOODSTOCK O and DORELLA HBC, respectively. Damico finished with times of 40.036 and 40.260.

Shelly Zimmerli and GUMMI VAN OZ captured a win in the $2,500 Pyranha Jr/A-O/Am 1.20m Jumper Classic with a time of 41.216.

Taking home top honors in the $5,000 Summit Joint Performance Jr/A-O/Am 1.30m Jumper Classic with a time of 43.228 was Ginny Gale and EVENSONG.

Tamara Morse and RAVENNA ADELHEID Z soared to a first place finish in the $7,500 Jr/A-O/Am 1.40m Jumper Classic in a time of 41.286.

Taking home top honors in the $20,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Open Prix at the Cavalier Classic was Rosales and CAPELIUS S in a time of 39.236. Rosales also captured the second place ribbon aboard AVALON in a time of 41.862. Alex Matz rode to a third place finish aboard CASHEW CR in a four-fault time of 41.762. Ashley Foster would round out the top five, taking home both the fourth and fifth place ribbons aboard DALIANTE M and LUMINOUS, respectively. Foster jumped to her placings with a four-fault time of 49.645 for fourth and an eight-fault time of 53.620 for fifth.

In the Hunter Rings, riders were looking to qualify for the HITS Championship that takes place September 5-9 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. HITS Culpeper features the $1,500 Devoucoux and $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix each week, which are the respective qualifying classes for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Finals and the Platinum Performance $100,000 Hunter Prix Finals.

To go along with her successes in the jumper ring, Damico jumped to a win in the $1,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard NEMESIS 11 with a score of 84 in Round One and 82 in Round Two for a combined score of 166 to secure top honors. Taking home the red ribbon in the Hunter Prix was Sara Taylor aboard EXCELLENT with scores of 86 and 78 in her two rounds, adding up to a total score of 164. Rounding out the top three in the Prix was Katie McAfee and CAPPUCCINO. McAfee scored an 87 in the first round, the highest of those competing, and a 75 in the second round putting her in third with a two round total of 162.

Taking home the top honors in the $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix was Catherine Black and HEADLINES with scores of 77 and 84 for a combined score of 161. Second place was Jakob Kronenwetter and EYEWITNESS scoring a 75 in Round One and 72 in Round Two for an overall score of 147. Lauren Miller would round out the top three in the Junior/Amateur Prix aboard FERNHILL STARBOY with a two round total of 134. Miller scored a 65 in the first round and a 69 in the second round.

Visit hitsshows.com for more information.

Two More Exceptional Weeks at Tryon for Team Minikus

Todd Minikus’ Exceptional “being exceptional” (Photo courtesy of Team Minikus)

Tryon, NC (July 11, 2018) – Todd Minikus and his team wrapped up two more successful weeks at Tryon, NC with more than a dozen wins in the jumper, hunter, and yes, cross rails divisions!

During the Tryon Summer 3 CSI2*, Todd Minikus once again showed his exceptional versatility for winning on numerous fronts by winning the Green Hunter 3’6 and the Green Hunter 3’6 Handy Hunter Class on Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus, LTD.  The pair then raised the bar to the 4’ Hunter Performance Division winning first and second over fences and first in the under saddle class and a Division Championship. “Exceptional just keeps doing the job,” said Minikus after winning the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby the week prior. “Exceptional is, well, exceptional!”

Also during Summer 3, Minikus enjoyed some top finishes in the jumper ring culminating with double wins on Maidenway’s Chaco 34 in the 1.35m Open Jumper and the 1.40m Open Jumper.  Team Minikus super star Victoria Zelch rounded out the week three winnings taking top honors in the NAL Low Junior Classic aboard Sniper.

It should have been a tough act to follow, but not so for Team Minikus.  At the Tryon Summer 4 CSI3*, Exceptional delivered a repeat performance winning the 3’6 Green Hunter and the 3’6 Green Handy Hunter.  Then Todd rode three horses to wins in their respective 1.40m Open Jumper classes. The triple threat included Minikus’ own Juju VDM, Erin Rorabaugh’s Julesraimus De Barisy, and Melissa Bilodeau’s handsome stallion, Lord Calador.

But the biggest celebration of the show was for Team Minikus’ littlest rider, Todd and Amanda Minikus’ 7-year-old daughter Langley. Despite a rain out on day one, Langley Minikus took to arena on day two riding Reagan Thoennes’ pony Love Bug and showed her jumper linage by winning both Cross Rail classes.

It made the winning weekend just a little bit more special. “We love showing at Tryon,” said Amanda Minikus. “It’s beautiful here, the facility is awesome, the horses love it, we love it, and my kids love it.”

Next stops for Team Minikus after the Tryon Summer circuit is Balmoral Park, Chicago for the end of their HITS summer series, then Saugerties Hits-on-the-Hudson VIII for the FEI CSI5*. To catch up with FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Minikus and his team, follow on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, visit Team Minikus on Instagram, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.

Riders Are All Smiles after Successful Week at HITS Culpeper for Showday National

Photo Courtesy of ESI Photography.

Jennifer Brennan and Gavin Moylan Ride Away with Top Finishes in the Featured Hunter and Jumper Classes

Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation riders return to HITS Commonwealth Park for another week of USEF-Rated Show Jumping Competition. The Showday National featured over 400 classes, including qualifiers for the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Finals and the HITS Championship, and of course the featured $20,000 ULCERGARD Open Prix. Riders would trot away with blue ribbons, championship titles, and smiles on their faces.

Professionals were ecstatic to be back at HITS Commonwealth Park to kick off the July Series. Ken Krome, USEF and FEI Course Designer and Judge, travelled from his farm in Westminster, Maryland to show at the Showday National in Culpeper, Virginia. Krome stated, “It was beautiful here this week. Rian Beals (Manager and Technical Coordinator) did a great job. The show grounds look the best it ever has, and the footing was tip top in every ring.” Krome had riders with top finishes in Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation classes. “From the schedule, to the in-gate staff to the office, everything ran smoothly and we’re looking forward to another great week,” Krome said, expressing his excitement for the show this week.

Ian Silitch, a well-known trainer and rider in Virginia, now based out of Ocala, Florida, said, “Culpeper really is a hidden gem! We came early this week, and everything was ready to go from the start. We could have started showing on Monday!” Silitch continued, “Coming to Culpeper always puts a smile on my face – it’s like coming home. The footing was perfect, the stabling is some of the best in the country, and the staff did a great job. The course designer got it just right on Sunday and [Rian] Beals has really taken the reins, and is always friendly and approachable.”

Randy Johnson, of Greener Pastures Equine in Clarksburg, Maryland, had a first and third place finish in the Junior/Amateur Jumper Classics on Sunday. Earlier in the week, he was reminiscing with Kristen Vale-Mosack, Show Office Manager, about their time showing here in the 1980s. “It was so nice to be in Culpeper this week, especially for those of us who feel like we grew up here!” he said.

In the Grand Prix Ring, riders jump-started the week with the $5,000 Open Welcome. Kicking the week off with a win was Melissa Runderhausen aboard CHARMEUR ASK in a time of 40.057. Finishing in second place would be Agustin Rosales aboard CAPELIUS S in a time of 41.865, followed by Shelly Zimmerli and her partner CHARDONAY HARAS DES BARRAGES in third with a time of 42.916. Taking home the white ribbon was Savannah Unger and FABIO TN, followed by Jennifer Brennan and MAC rounding out the top five.

Jumper riders joined us back in the Grand Prix Ring on Friday for the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Prix where Cian McDermott and NEWCASTLE would add a win to their record. Mcdermott would fly to a first place finish, crossing the timers in 34.026. Ashley Foster would jump to second and fifth place finishes aboard LUMINOUS and DALIANTE M, respectively. Foster finished with her two equine partners in times of 34.403 and 37.072. Sarah Hubbard and GENIUS would claim the third place award in a time of 34.463. Returning to the Winners Circle and claiming the fourth place award in a time of 35.087 would be Brennan and MAC.

On Sunday, Jessica Rich and CAVALIER CLOVER BOY took home top honors in the $2,500 Jr./A-O/Am. 1.20m Jumper Classic in a time of 29.371.

In the $5,000 NAL Summit Joint Performance Jr./A-O/Am. 1.30m Jumper Classic, Randy Johnson and JADE VAN DE START would finish at the top of the standings in a time of 28.824.

Claiming top honors in the $7,500 Jr./A-O/Am. 1.40m Jumper Classic was Zimmerli and CHARDONAY HARAS DES BARRAGES in a time of 32.990.

A successful week in the Grand Prix Ring ended with the $20,000 ULCERGARD Open Prix. Three riders would return to the Jump-Off all in hopes of securing top honors in the featured class at the Showday National. All riders completed the Jump-Off with four-fault scores, meaning that the standings would be determined by who was the fastest. Brennan and MAC would soar to a first place finish in a time of 41.938. Following Brennan, in second place was Foster and LUMINOUS in a time of 44.252. Brian Murphy would round out the top three in a time of 49.212 aboard MIMMO T.Z. Not returning to the jump off but round out the top five would be Gavin Moylan and DON FERNANTES Z in fourth and Hubbard and LATINO VAN DE LOOISE HEIDE in fifth.

In the Hunter Rings, riders joined us for HITS Championship qualifying classes the $1,500 Devoucoux and $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

Moylan and STRING OF PEARLS would be victorious in the $1,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with scores of 87 and 84, for a two round total of 171. In second place, with a combined score of 169, was Riley Hogan and RONALDO scoring an 83 in Round One and 86 in Round Two. Foster and SUMMERLIN would be awarded third place with scores of 79 in Round One and 87 in Round Two, for an overall score of 166.

Junior and Amateur riders would join us for the $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Lydia Davidson and PARK AVENUE would secure first place with a score of 73 in the first round and an 86 in the second round for a combined score of 159. Jumping to a second place finish was Lilly Pollin and PURA VIDA, receiving scores of 74 and 80 in her two rounds for a combined score of 154. Rounding out the top three in the HITS Championship qualifier was Kathryn Piper Martin and ANDIAMO with an overall score of 148. Martin received scores of 70 in Round One and 78 in Round Two.

Taking home top honors in the Culpeper Equitation Classic was Lauren Miller. The Culpeper Equitation Classic is open to both Junior and Amateur riders and is held at both 3′ and 3’6″. It offers riders a unique opportunity to compete together in an interesting format, and as the featured class in the Grand Prix Ring on Saturday afternoon, it is a great opportunity for riders to gain experience showing in the spotlight. Miller received a score of 78 to secure top honors in the Culpeper Equitation Classic. Riley Hogan placed second with a score of 74 and Natalie Tezsla placed third with a score of 70.

Visit hitsshows.com for more information.

Curtin Claims First $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Win during Tryon Summer IV

Julie Curtin and Cassico. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2018 – Julie Curtin of Woodstock, GA and Cassico, owned by Rebekah Warren, jumped to victory in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the Derby Field at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) during the fourth week of Tryon Summer Series competition. The duo rose to the occasion after a first round score of 184 and kept an ironclad grip on the blue rosette. Curtin piloted the gelding through the handy round earning a 196 to land on a final score of 380. Second place honors were awarded to Dorothy Douglas of West Bridgwater, M, riding MTM Farm’s MTM One Time to a collective score of 373.5. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX and MTM Outbid rounded out the top three, placing a second MTM Farm entry into the top three with a final score of 370.

The win was a memorable one for Curtin, as it was her first time atop the leaderboard in an USHJA International Hunter Derby, as well as her mount’s first year competing in major derbies of this size. “It feels awesome,” Curtin commented. “He handled everything great. He’s by nature a very good-brained horse and he handles everything really well.”

Despite only being seven years old this year, Curtin has big plans for the Holsteiner gelding, whose even temperament has landed him the reputation of being a ham back at the barn. “He’s going to Derby Finals this year,” she explained. “He’s young, but it doesn’t make me nervous because I’m so confident with him. He just gives you the best feeling in the world. I did the high performance with him this week and he was champion, so I’m starting to prep him for all of that.”

The pair navigated the Andy Christiansen designed course with ease, besting the field of 23 other horse-and-rider combinations in the process. “We were all worried that with the grass and the rain it was going to be too slick,” stated Curtin, “but the footing is so nice and they’ve done such a good job with the field that it was great out there.”

The gelding, sired by fellow competitor Callie Seaman’s veteran Derby horse, Carrico, was originally purchased to be an adult amateur ride for his owner. After a quick assessment of his talents, it was clear to Curtin that he also deserved a chance to prove himself on the Derby field. She noted, “His owner does him in the amateurs, so he was bought to be an amateur horse, but he’s just so great at the derbies. That’s just his calling.”

Curtin continued, “Last year it was hard because we did the Pre-Greens with him because he was a baby, but the jumps were just so easy for him. It was hard keeping his attention because the jumps were so little and we were thinking about how we couldn’t wait to step him up. Last year we did a National Derby out on the grass and it was like he was made for this. He loves it.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the $5,000 Tryon Resort 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 3* welcomed another first-place finish for Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 2008 Oldenburg Sandetto (Sandro Boy x Chellano Z), after piloting the stallion around the Alan Wade (IRL) designed course in 62.9 seconds. Second place went to Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Casall x Romino) Abracadabra WKT, owned by Monica Hanks, after the two rode to a time of 65.76 seconds. Sydney Shulman (USA) claimed third in 67.42 seconds aboard Jill Shulman’s 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare Hilgarie (Calvaro x Kashmir van Schuttershof).

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

ASPCA Maclay Championship Regional Qualifiers Rapidly Approaching

Lexington, KY – July 3, 2017 – With the horse shows well underway, the all-important regional qualifiers for the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championship is rapidly approaching.

The ASPCA Maclay National Championship, to be held this year November 4 in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, is one of the most prestigious equitation championships in history. Past winners include some of the biggest names in the equestrian sport, including William Steinkraus (1941), Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972) and Nicole Shahinian Simpson (1992). Equestrians from all around the country prepare year-round for this highly anticipated event, and the NHS has officially announced the 2018 dates and locations for each of the eight regional qualifying competitions.

Both ASPCA Maclay Regionals for Region 1 (Northeast – CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) and Region 2 (East – NJ, NY, PA) will be held at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York Saturday, September 22, 2018. For further details, 914-669-5610 or mary@mmg.management.com.

Region 3 (Southeast – AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) Sunday, September 23, 2018. Southeast Fall Classic Horse Show in Tampa, Florida. For further details, 407-619-0891 or devita124@aol.com.

Region 4 (Midwest – IL, IN, KY, MI, OH) Saturday, September 22, 2018 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. For further details, 615-838-7560 or wldwoo@aol.com.

Region 5 (Central – IA, KS, LA, MO, MN, ND, NE, OK, SD, TX, WI) Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the St. Louis Charity Horse Show in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. For further details, 314-308-1162 or stlnchorseshow@aol.com.

Region 6 (Mountain – AZ, CO, NM, UT) Sunday, September 16, 2018 at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, CO. For further details, 303-841-5550 or email mmaybank@coloradohorsepark.com.

Region 7 (Northwest – AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY) Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the The Northwest Autumn Classic in Monroe, Washington. For further details, 360-805-6711 or DIANJNSN@aol.com.

Region 8 (West – CA, HI, NV) Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the Blenheim Fall Tournament in San Juan Capistrano. For details, 949-443-1841 or showpark@aol.com.

Entries for the Regional Maclay Championship classes will close, and must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern time September 1, 2018, at the NHSAA’s office.  If you wish to change your region, you must notify the NHS in writing by August 15, 2018, using the official form provided by the NHSAA that can be found at www.nhs.org.

Nicole Bellissimo & Casino Top $35k 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 2* at Tryon Summer III

Nicole Bellissimo and Casino. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 1, 2018 – Competition concluded on Sunday, July 1, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a swift victory for Nicole Bellissimo (USA) and Casino. The duo rounded out a successful week by finishing first in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 2*, crossing through the jump-off timers in 42.762 seconds. Second place honors went to Tracy Magness (USA) and John Bartko’s 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare, Intenz Van HD (Elvis Ter Putte x Nabab de Reve), completing their fast-track round in 46.075 seconds, while third place was awarded to Samuel Parot (CHI) and his own Atlantis, a 2003 Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L), after achieving a time of 78.95 seconds in the first round.

The win was the second podium placing of the week for Bellissimo and the Bellissimo LLC’s 2007 Holsteiner (Cassini II x Carano), as the 24-year-old also guided the stallion to a second-place award in Friday’s Tryon Resort $5,000 1.40m Speed Stake CSI 2* class. Of her mount, she explained: “I got him at the end of his nine-year-old year, and he was doing the high-jumper classes out in California. We slowly moved up; I’ve ridden him in several CSI 2*s at this point, and he’s just been a really excellent horse for me. He’s exceptionally careful, and I always have to think a little bit more when it comes to time allowed with him, but he’s gotten quicker about that.”

The first-place result also happened to be the pair’s second blue ribbon of the Tryon Summer Series, with both victories taking place on the Derby Field at TIEC. “The grass is really fantastic,” said Bellissimo. “I think that the most important thing that you can say about a grass field is that you can’t feel that you’re riding on grass. Not once, during either of the weeks, did I feel him slip out there. He jumped really solid rounds. Sometimes when they’re on grass, as they leave the ground they may slip, but with the security of this field, it’s like you’re riding in a sand ring.”

The partnership between the two has grown over the past few years, and getting to know the stallion has given Bellissimo an appreciation for his minimal antics. “He is a stallion,” she elaborated, “so he can be a bit fresh on the ground. But he has an amazing groom, Alex Mullen, and she does an incredible job with him. However, for the most part he’s pretty sweet, and really isn’t too bad. He’s just a really special horse.”

Bellissimo plans to give Casino some time off over the next week, and then will return to the show ring ready to tackle the Tryon Summer V CSI 2* competition. She concluded, “He’ll get his break, and then we will come back for week five and hope for the same result then!”

Elizabeth Smith and Double Gold Come Up with Blue in $10,000 Pony Hunter Classic

Tryon Summer III competition boasted the Pony Spectacular, with pony classes featured throughout the week and many hosted in the George H. Morris Arena to help competitors prep for USEF Pony Finals later in the summer. Friday’s highlight class, the $10,000 Pony Hunter Classic, saw a win for Elizabeth Smith of Spartanburg, SC piloting her own Double Gold after their two-round score of 164. Just behind in reserve was Maddie Tosh aboard Smallwood Mystic for Peacock Ridge LLC out of Milton, GA, scoring 163, while Lauren Lomel (Ocala, FL) and Woodlands Lightning Thief, owned by Megan Galloway, achieved a score of 158 to finish third.

Smith has been riding “Nugget” for three years, but was a first-time competitor at Tryon’s Pony Spectacular. One of 12 called back for a second round, Smith knew she had a lead and said that she knew she had to take advantage of the arena’s space with her trustworthy mount:

“I just wanted to have fun and do what my trainer told me. I didn’t want to panic – I wanted to make sure I was relaxed,” said Smith. “I knew that going into the second round I had to carry a forward pace because the lines were riding a little forward. My trainer always tells me to take a deep breath and have fun no matter what, so I knew I had to give my pony leg, and then stay out of his way and he would take care of me.”

Smith didn’t seek out a palomino pony, she revealed, but fell in love with him and his steadfast nature. “My favorite thing about Nugget is his personality. He’s the same pony every day and he loves me so much, and he’ll get me out of anything I put him in,” said Smith. “But he hates having his tail braided.”

Despite the big atmosphere, Smith commented on Double Gold’s tolerance for the arena’s size and energy, as well as his talent contributing to the win, saying, “In this big arena, I can open up his stride more and he doesn’t get too antsy, so he’s good for this ring. Yes, I’m excited for the win, but it’s all my pony,” she concluded.

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