Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Darragh Kenny Out with a Bang in $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3*

Darragh Kenny and Scarlett du Sart Z. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 14, 2020 – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny scored a victory in the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday, March 14, to conclude a banner season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt built a track for 45 starters with 12 advancing to the tie-breaking jump-off. Returning near the end of the jump-off round, Kenny and Scarlett du Sart Z, owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC, broke the timers in 33.54 seconds to claim the lead and bump Israel’s Sydney Shulman into the runner-up position. Shulman and J-Boston S.E, a horse she owns together with her mother Jill, posted a time of 33.96 seconds.

“I’ve been very lucky – I had a good winter and all the horses went very well,” said Kenny of his season at WEF. “I had a great feeling coming into this winter because I have an incredible group of horses, and I’m very lucky that I have those horses.”

Kenny got the ride on Scarlett du Sart Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (Stakkato de hann x First Bride), during the horse’s seven-year-old year. He has high hopes for the mare’s future, saying, “This is a mare that Teddy Vlock and his owner bought for me, and we’ve been slowly producing her. She’s really starting to turn a corner, and I think she’s an incredibly talented horse that will end up jumping at the highest level.”

Sofia Maskowitz and Samantha Takacs Ride to Top Honors in THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under

Equitation riders took on Ring 6 on Saturday morning to compete for the blue ribbon in the THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under class. Due to the large number of entries, the medal was held in a California Split format with Sofia Maskowitz and Samantha Takacs riding to the top of the class. Maskowitz rode Quantum Chanel to a first-round high score of 84 and remained in the lead during the test. Takacs and her mount Cooper moved up one spot during the test, after a first-round score of 82.

Maskowitz, of Freehold, NH, has been partnered with her equitation mount, Quantum Chanel, for only a couple months. The pair, trained by Laura Bowery, stayed on top of the class through the first round of 44 entries and the test. Maskowitz described that she is still working on figuring out the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Quality, so she was extremely pleased with her first round.

Takacs, of Oldwick, NJ, and her horse Cooper also put in two consistent rounds in the medal to earn the blue ribbon in their section. The duo has been working together since last spring, with the help of New Hope, LLC as well as Findlay’s Ridge, LLC. Takacs loves the eight-year-old KWPN gelding’s big stride and sweet personality.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Update

In compliance with the City of Jacksonville, Parks and Recreation Department, and Mayors Office, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will be closed until further notice, as are all other City venues.

The events currently affected include, but are not limited to:
Dressage on the First Coast, March 14-15
FRHA Reining Show, March 20-22
Shamrock Showdown Barrel Show, March 27-28
Jacksonville Spring Classics, April 2-11

This list will be updated as we have additional information. We will stay in close contact with all show managers on upcoming events.

Please use the “Contact Us” form on our website if you have any further questions. We can also be reached via phone on our main number at 904-255-4254.

Health and safety are our number one concern. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

http://www.jaxequestriancenter.com/send-us-a-message/

HITS Ocala Taking Steps to Protect Health and Safety of Participants

While there are no reported cases of coronavirus in the Ocala area, out of an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our exhibitors, their horses, and HITS employees, we will close this year’s HITS Ocala Winter Circuit at the end of competition on Sunday, March 15.

“Safety and health come first,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “Obviously horses can stay on the property following competition on Sunday. Please reach out to HITS staff if you have any special timing needs. All of us at HITS are greatly disappointed with this news, but are happy to be able to make this announcement in a voluntary manner. Riders planning on showing in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix should stay tuned for an announcement from HITS regarding a replacement competition of equal importance to this unparalleled class.” Looking ahead, we are pleased that Great American has signed on to sponsor the Ocala Million again in 2021.

Riders who have been competing for 2nd-Half and Overall Grand Circuit Champion Awards will be honored this Sunday prior to the $200,000 CaptiveOne Grand Prix.

Through next week and beyond as needed, HITS Staff will remain on-site at Post Time Farm. Feed and bedding will continue to be available. Rings will be maintained for use by riders on-site. Food service and the Horse Show Office will remain open. Those staying in Campers, GenZHomes, or the on-site Houses and Condos are also welcome to stay.

Beginning Friday, March 13, HITS Post Time Farm will be closed to the general public.

HITS will continue to closely monitor the health situation and stay in daily contact with appropriate officials and health experts in Marion County.

For questions or concerns, please contact the staff at HITS Post Time Farm, 352-620-2275 or info@hitsshows.com.

Final Two Weeks of Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan Global Dressage Festival Canceled

In response to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommendations of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the Federation Équestre Internationale (FEI), Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining two weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) following the close of competition on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

“At the current time the threat is relatively low but after consulting with the USEF and the FEI, we have decided to cancel the final two weeks of competition in an effort to protect all involved with the competition and production at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC),” said Michael Stone, ESP President. “We encourage all members of the equestrian community to operate with an abundance of caution as we all work through this situation.”

“Friday Night Stars,” beginning at 7 p.m. at AGDF, and the $137,000 Horseware Grand Prix CSI3*, taking place at 4 p.m. at WEF, will continue as planned. Both facilities, however, remain closed to the public.

Stabling and access to stalls will be available for those that have purchased stabling packages until the expiration of those packages. ESP can accommodate those in need of stabling during this period. Staff will be available in the horse show office as needed, and a limited number of rings will be maintained for exhibitor use. We will also provide schooling opportunities to ensure that the horses are ready to compete when competition resumes. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to provide updates through our website at www.PBIEC.com.

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick, except to get medical care
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily

For more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com and www.PBIEC.com.

Abigail McArdle Soars to Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 Win

Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2020 – Abigail McArdle (USA) won the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 riding Victorio 5 on Thursday, March 12, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set courses for 82 horses with 18 jumping clear over the opening track. After eight riders elected not to return, the stage was set for a 10-horse jump-off. With only fractions of a second to spare, McArdle stole the win with a blistering jump-off time of 41.40 seconds.

“For sure this is the best season I’ve ever had in my life – and maybe will ever have,” said McArdle of her consistency throughout the WEF season. “I’m just so happy, and I’m so lucky to be riding such a nice horse.”

McArdle has been competing Victorio 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graf Top), since the end of 2018 with their success culminating this year. “Obviously, it doesn’t happen right away,” she said. “He’s always been a good horse. He’s always jumped clean rounds, but getting to the point where I feel like I can walk in and win a big track like this has taken time. I’d say it’s taken that long just to mesh with him. Now we’re thinking the same, and it’s a good feeling.”

Hunter Kay and Lucca Earn Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter Championship

The Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division came to a close on Thursday with Hunter Kay riding Lucca to the top honors in Ring 11. Kay and the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Fit to Fight earned two firsts, a second, and a third-place ribbon.

Kay and Lucca, owned by Pauline Lampshire, have a longtime partnership of six years. The pair first began showing together in the Adult Hunter divisions when Kay was still an amateur. Now that Kay is a professional, the duo dominates the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division and won the finals last year at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“It’s so nice that they still have this division to help promote and support the thoroughbreds,” Kay said of the Thoroughbred Hunter division.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

COVID-19 Update for Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is working closely with the Village of Wellington, Palm Beach County, and local health services to take extra precautions concerning the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Competition at both the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will continue as planned through March 29, 2020, with policies in place to protect the health of riders, grooms, owners, and their families. In addition, the ESP Spring Series, running from April 1 through May 10, will run as scheduled with the same health and safety precautions. We will continue monitoring the situation and will follow all State and local recommendations.

In an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the venues to the general public and there will be no general admission. Only cars with an official car pass will be permitted on the venues.

For this week we will hold the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* at approximately 4 p.m. in an effort to minimize the number of persons on the grounds. “Friday Night Lights” will continue as scheduled, but without General Admission. The timings for future events will be announced as the situation develops.

During upcoming events at both venues, the following policies will be enacted:

  • Staff will be located around the facilities with hand sanitizer for exhibitor use
  • Food and beverage teams are taking all necessary precautions when handling food and cooking surfaces
  • Extra housekeeping staff has been allotted for more frequent sanitizing of restaurants and restrooms

In accordance with the Florida State Department of Health’s Guidance for Mass Gatherings Protocol, ESP is recommending that anyone in the following situations not attend WEF or AGDF events:

  • Over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions
  • Are immune compromised
  • Are ill
  • Have been exposed to someone with a respiratory illness in the last 14 days
  • Have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease
  • Have traveled internationally within the last 14 days, especially to a destination under a level 3 travel advisory
  • Have traveled to or from a geographic area with widespread community transmission of COVID-19

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick, except to get medical care
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily

“We are monitoring this situation very closely and working diligently with local county and state government agencies to ensure the safety of all spectators, exhibitors, and the general public,” said Mark Bellissimo, ESP CEO. “Our number-one priority is to ensure that all people involved with ESP events remain healthy and safe during this time.”

“We are making these adjustments in an effort to ensure that we can continue to provide the safest environment for our exhibitors and their staff,” said Michael Stone, ESP President. “We will continue to monitor the situation and update our protocols as recommended by the Florida Department of Health and other relevant bodies.”

For more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com and www.PBIEC.com.

Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi Breeze to Victory in $50k Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*

Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 8, 2020 – While strong winds blew at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, an array of talented horse-and-rider combinations aimed for the top spot in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*. The final event on Sunday, March 8, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded week nine.

With a highly competitive field of 44 starters, 16 competed in the jump-off round. In the second round, there were 11 competitors from the USA, three from Ireland, and one each from Israel, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. Saving the best for last, Lacey Gilbertson (USA) piloted Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi to a fault-free round with a lightning fast time of 32.78 seconds, edging out Shawn Casady (USA) aboard Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms, who had held the top spot for most of the jump-off round with a time of 33.27 seconds. Close behind was Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s 7 Pillars, owned by Hampton Farm and Skara Glen Stables, stopping the timers at 34.33 seconds.

“My horse is adjustable so that worked in our favor in the first round,” said 26-year-old Gilbertson. “In the jump-off, my initial plan was to add a stride in every line, but as the class progressed the numbers showed that wasn’t the right plan if you wanted to win.”

Turning to the second to the last jump, the crowd helped cheer her on to go faster. “It definitely helped keep me going,” added Gilbertson.

Foster and Brighton Return to Winning Ways in $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic

Forty-four entries contested Sunday’s $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic, and it was the first to go in the jump-off that set an unbeatable time. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, blazed to the win in 32.72 seconds.

“I know he’s super fast and where I can make up the strides,” said Foster. “He has a bit of a left drift so anything heading left I can usually drop the stride whereas anything heading right I usually can’t. But I know that, and I learned a long time ago not to panic if I haven’t done the number that I was hoping to because I know I’ll make it up somewhere else. I knew the last line, the seven strides, was going to be nice and forward for me so it was a fast way to finish. I love my horse; he’s just the best.”

Sterling Malnik and Prestige Claim Large Pony Hunter Championship

The Large Pony Hunter division came to a close on Sunday with Sterling Malnik riding Prestige to the tricolor ribbon. Malnik, of Ocean Ridge, FL, rode Prestige to three first place ribbons as well as a fourth and eighth place.

Malnik has only owned Prestige since late August, but the pair, trained by Bill Schaub, has already proven to be a successful match in the show ring. Malnik describes the nine-year-old Belgian Riding Pony gelding by Ive Van De Delthoeve as one of the kindest ponies, both on the ground and to ride.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Ashlee Bond Wins $401k Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI5* at WEF

Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 7, 2020 – Ashlee Bond (ISR) recorded her first career five-star grand prix victory with Donatello 141 in the $401,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI5*, on Saturday, March 7, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Forty riders went to post in the “Saturday Night Lights” feature, four of which found the path to a clear round to advance to the jump-off over a course designed by Alan Wade of Ireland. Riding out of the first spot in the jump-off, Bond and Donatello 141 rocketed through the course in 39.64 seconds to set the winning pace.

Following Bond, 23-year-old Lillie Keenan (USA) piloted Fasther through the short course, stopping the timers in 40.61 seconds. They would finish in third place. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Darry Lou put on the speed from the start, but an unfortunate rail for four faults in a time of 39.97 seconds relegated them to fourth place.

Riding out of the final spot in the jump-off, fellow Israeli rider Daniel Bluman and Ladriano Z finished just off the pace in 39.96 seconds to settle for second place.

For Bond, the ability to say she is now a five-star grand prix winner isn’t taken lightly. She said, “The feeling is surreal. It hasn’t really hit me, the emotions of tonight. Not only was it my first five-star grand prix win here, but it was my first five-star grand prix win ever. I’ve gone clear in a few, but winning it was not there yet.”

Havens Schatt and Anneliese Kolaska Ride to Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Hunter competition continued at the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Saturday with the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Ninety-one professional, amateur, and junior riders took their turn on the grass field hoping to earn the blue ribbon. The class was split into two sections, one for 48 professionals and a second for the 43 junior/amateur riders. Havens Schatt rode Highlander to victory in the professional division, while Anneliese Kolaska rode Herr Drosselmeyer to the top of the junior/amateur section.

Schatt, of Georgetown, KY, returned to the handy with a first round score of 92.5, which put her in third place. After scoring a 93 in the handy, Schatt and Highlander rose to the top of the leaderboard with a total score of 185.5.

Kolaska returned to the handy round in third place with a first round score of 87. Kolaska and her horse Herr Drosselmeyer earned a high score of 90 in the second round for a total score of 177.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kristen VanderVeen Scores Second Five-Star Win in Ninth Week of WEF

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 6, 2020 – The ninth week of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday, March 6, with a second win for Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili. They sped to the top of the $37,000 Bainbridge 1.45m CSI5*.

VanderVeen and her veteran campaigner were the fastest of 18 clear rounds out of 43 entries in the 1.45m over a course set by Alan Wade of Ireland. They took over the lead from Lucas Porter (USA) and Hope Street, who had set the time to beat at 59.66 seconds. They would finish in third place. Riding out of the 24th spot in the order, VanderVeen and “Frosty” brought the winning time down to 56.54 seconds.

“I didn’t see anybody go before me that was really trying to win the class,” said VanderVeen. “There were some more careful components, so I was actually a little more conservative than I planned on being! Thankfully it still worked out. He just covers the ground so well and is still quick in the air.”

Fabio Leivas da Costa and Randon Pleasure Can’t Be Caught in $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m

Following the morning’s five-star Bainbridge 1.45m competition, the second victory of the day in the International Arena went to Brazil’s Fabio Leivas da Costa in the $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m CSI2* class. Da Costa was part of a starting line-up of 73 horse-and-rider combinations set to contest Alan Wade’s next course.

Seven combinations were kept from the jump-off with a single time fault while another 16 suffered the fault of a single rail. Out of the field, only 13 pairs managed to clear the timers fault-free to return for the second phase; that number became 12 when Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) withdrew from the jump-off field. Athletes from both Ireland and Venezuela were at the top of the leaderboard, but it was da Costa and Bonne Chance Farm’s 15-year-old Selle Francais mare Randon Pleasure (For Pleasure x Quidam de Revel) that raced through the timers in unbeatable speed.

Clara Propp Pilots News Day to the Win in the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby

Friday morning began with pony riders taking on the Derby Field at the Equestrian Village. It was Clara Propp and News Day who took top honors in the competitive $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. After receiving a high score of 86 in the first round, the pair maintained their lead with a score of 80 in the handy round for a total score of 166.

Propp, of New York, NY, and News Day, owned by Aquitaine Equine, were the last to return for the handy round after they earned the highest score in the classic round. The 12-year-old gelding by Clovercroft’s Abba Adonai has been in the Propp family for several years and originally showed in the Large Green Pony Hunters with Propp’s older sister, Stella. Once Stella outgrew ponies, Clara took over the reins and continued News Day’s successful show career.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Spencer Smith Scores Win in $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI5*

Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 5, 2020 – The USA’s Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais topped a field of 53 entries to win the $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 CSI5* on Thursday, March 5, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

On the way to Thursday’s win, Smith, 23, was the first of 12 entries to return for the Alan Wade (IRL) designed short course, and he and Theodore Manciais crossed the finish in what would prove to be an unbeatable 39.79 seconds.

“I went first, so Eric [Lamaze] told me to just ride my plan and don’t count too much with the numbers, just to ride it off my eye and feel it,” said Smith, who trains with Canadian Olympic champion Lamaze. “So that’s what I did, and it worked out.

“Here you can never know [if your time is going to hold up],” continued Smith. “You could have been 10th with that time. You just don’t know. They go so fast here with so many good riders.”

Coming the closest to catching Smith’s time was U.S. Olympian Beezie Madden who finished in second with a time of 39.84 seconds riding Darry Lou, owned by Abigail Wexner.

Havens Schatt Rides Highlander to Equitan Performance Hunter 3’6” Championship

Havens Schatt and Highlander were crowned champions of the Performance Hunter 3’6” sponsored by Equitan on Thursday afternoon in the Grand Hunter Ring. The pair earned two second and three third place ribbons in the division.

Schatt has been partnered with Meredith Mateo’s Highlander for only one month, but the duo has already proven to be very successful.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.