Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Amy Pitts Awarded IHSA Senior Academic Achievement Essay Honors

Amy Pitts at an IHSA show at Crosswinds Equestrian Center, Lagrangeville, New York. Photo courtesy of Amy Pitts.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – June 8, 2020 –The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) recognizes students through the Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation (IEF) with scholarships and academic awards. The IHSA Senior Academic Award is granted to seniors who have earned a 3.5 grade-point average or higher. To win the Senior Academic Achievement Essay Award, they must first meet Senior Award requirements. Then, they must submit a 500-word essay about how their IHSA and academic experience have prepared them for a future career. Amy Pitts (New Haven, Vermont), a member of the Marist College team, exceeded the criteria and submitted the winning essay.

“Amy has been an invaluable member of our equestrian team since she joined in 2016,” said Clare Knapp-Englehart, IHSA board member and coach of the Marist College team. “For four years, she has worked tirelessly to serve the team in any capacity possible and was the only candidate we considered for treasurer. Amy is highly intelligent, incredibly disciplined, amazingly organized, and a complete team player.”

Pitts, a double major in applied mathematicians and data science with a minor in computer science, qualified for Regionals in the World Equestrian Center Limit Equitation on the Flat division.

“Our region adjusted the schedule to accommodate Amy so she could rush back to school to present the keynote address for the Honor Society induction that evening,” Knapp-Englehart said. “Sadly, Regionals were canceled due to COVID-19.”

In addition to serving on the Marist College Equestrian Team executive board as treasurer, Pitts was president of both Pi Mu Epsilon (a math honors society) and the Association for Women in Mathematics. She also served as the vice president of Marist Math Club and for two years ran the Marist math lab. Pitts also participated in research with Marist faculty during the academic year and over the summers.

Pitts has accepted a fellowship at Columbia University to study in their Ph.D. biostatistics program.

“Amy has been an unsung hero for a Marist Equestrian Team, and is a great representation of the IHSA,” Knapp-Englehart said. “I cannot think of a more fitting student-athlete for this award.”

Read Amy Pitts’ Essay

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

Paul O’Shea Pilots Squirt Gun to Victory in $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix at ESP June I

Paul O’Shea and Squirt Gun. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – June 8, 2020 – The long-awaited ESP June Spring Series officially kicked off last week. It started with the ESP June Equitation Day on Wednesday, June 3, followed by four full days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The weekend culminated with the $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix (plus $3,800 in add back money) on the Derby Field during which 59 competitors contested the track, and Paul O’Shea aboard Squirt Gun came out on top. O’Shea of Wellington, FL piloted Eye Candy Jumpers, LLC’s mount around the jump-off course to victory in just 44.726 seconds. “The field was fantastic. After all those rounds, the footing was still perfect,” commented O’Shea after the class. “It’s actually incredibly to get to jump out here. The horses always learn a lot out here because there’s just so much to look at. So, it’s a great opportunity.”

O’Shea and his team will continue competing in Wellington next week for the ESP June II show and then travel north: “After next week we’ll go up to Kentucky for Split Rock and then Tryon for the summer. That’s the plan at the moment. We’re certainly glad to be back competing again.”

Claiming second place was Wellington, FL’s Alberto Michan and his entry Cosa Nostra after crossing through the timers in 45.677 seconds. Emily Ward of the United Kingdom rounded out the top three once she completed the jump-off in 45.695 seconds aboard Millioninmind, owned by Stephen Barnes. The track was designed by Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola and proved tough for many, as only 13 competitors made it to the second round.

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

Kelley Farmer and In Writing Win $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with One Round

Kelley Farmer and In Writing ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – June 6, 2020 – Friday’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the marquis Hunter class of the Tryon Spring 6/92nd Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), saw Kelley Farmer (USA) and In Writing top the first round on a score of 186. Due to weather forcing competition to halt, their first-round score would be enough to take the win. In second, Aaron Vale (USA) and Iwan, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quasimodo VD Molendreef) owned by Madison Rauschenbach, received a total score of 182, while Jennifer Alfano (USA) rode Channing, a 2010 German Sporthorse gelding (Crossfire x Korg) owned by Olivia Woods, to their place on the podium on a score of 169. Josh Dolan (USA) and Menelik, Signe Ostby’s 2010 Hanoverian stallion (Monte Bellini x Statella P), also scored 169, receiving a base score of 83 from the tie-breaker judge to collect fourth place.

Farmer and the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Quirado x Pandora VLL) owned by David Glefke and Wendy Hofmeister navigated the Lewis Pack (USA) course alongside 21 other horse-and-rider pairs, and added four points for high options. “The course was lovely, and I have to say, I’ve got to brag on my horse a little bit. I have an incredible animal, which makes my life really easy,” Farmer detailed. “The first three jumps were nice, and kind of got you into the course, and for the fourth to fifth bending line you had to have a horse with a bit of scope to jump the high option. But, I know my horse has all the ability in the world, so I never really worry with him – it’s a nice problem to have – when I walk a course, I know that pretty much anything they can build, he can do it.”

Brian Moggre and Nikita Jolie Claim $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

Brian Moggre (Flower Mound, TX) and Nikita Jolie cleared the short-course in 28.582 seconds to take top honors in Thursday’s $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake in the International Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). In second, Shane Sweetnam (Lexington, KY) piloted Viti de Longa, a 2009 Selle Francais mare (Contendro I x Babeth Desmulottes) owned by Seabrook LLC, to a jump-off time of 28.807 seconds, while Andrea Torres Guerreiro (Waterford, VA) collected third aboard her own mount Fifty Shades, stopping the timers at 29.125 seconds aboard the 2008 Westphalian gelding (Call Me Number One x Sheltana).

In addition to besting a competitive field, with 53 entries testing the Lewis Pack (Mill Spring, NC) course design, Moggre also claimed fourth aboard the Major Wager LLC owned MTM Vivre le Reve, a 2009 Westphalian gelding (Ustinov x Chellana). Nineteen horse-and-rider pairs challenged the jump-off track, with eight double-clears on the day. For both of Moggre’s mounts, it was their first class after COVID-19 related pauses in horse showing, he explained:

“It was actually the first class back showing for those two horses of mine. I thought it was very welcoming, but at the same time a nice track for the competition. I was very happy with how my horses performed,” he shared. “After having such a long break due to the current circumstances, it is very exciting to be showing again.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

A Recap of the First ESP Shows with New Safety Protocols

What to expect at ESP June Show Series

Wellington, FL – June 1, 2020 – The first two weeks of schooling shows at Equestrian Village have wrapped up, after a successful reopening of the facility following the COVID-19 closures in mid-March. While the situation continues to evolve daily, the ESP staff was hard at work to ensure the safety of all its exhibitors, trainers, and staff during competition. New protocols were put into place, including specific points of entry complete with thermal scanners, an online system for show entries, and social distancing across the grounds.

A total of fifteen security guards, five dedicated cleaning personnel, two paramedics, and two Palm Beach County fire rescue crew members were stationed at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to assist with these protocols. Another fifty-six ESP staff members were on-site to operate the competition and oversee social distancing. Approximately seven gallons of hand sanitizer, one thousand pairs of gloves, and six hundred masks were utilized over the past two weeks.

Although public sentiment for attending public events varies across the country, the first two weeks of ESP competition showed that equestrians are ready to get back in the show ring. During the May Schooling I Show (May 22-24), a total of 412 horses were entered, while Schooling II (May 29-31) had 473 horses compete. Entries are expected to rise for the upcoming June Show Series, which will feature Equitation Days, USEF “A” National, and Jumper 4* level competition. CLICK HERE to view the ESP June Spring Series Prize List.

“Overall, everyone was very respectful of our new policies and obeyed the rules for wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart,” stated David Burton Jr., Show Manager and COO of Equestrian Sport Productions. “I think everyone was just happy to be back and showing again and returning to some sort of ‘normal’. However, it’s very important that all exhibitors continue to help us with these protocols so we can continue operating.”

Here’s what to expect if you are planning to compete at PBIEC in the coming weeks:

  • Come prepared with your own face mask and gloves. If you forget yours, packs of both are available for purchase in the show office for $10, with proceeds going to charity.
  • Enter the show grounds at Checkpoint D for thermal camera detection.
  • All ESP Staff will be wearing yellow vests, reminding you to stay 6 feet apart and wear your mask properly (covering nose and mouth).
  • Mounted riders do not need to have a mask on, but must wear one as soon as they dismount.
  • Hand sanitizing stations and newly installed temporary sinks have been placed around the grounds for continued cleansing.
  • Refrigerators with free, individual water bottles have been placed by each arena for exhibitors.
  • Prepare to stand in designated positions when entering the show office and only entering when capacity is under 6 people.
  • Only 2 people are allowed at each jump in the warmup ring (one person per jump standard).
  • Course maps are uploaded online HERE the night before competition to reduce congregating by the in-gates.
  • Live streaming will be available HERE for each arena so friends and family can safely watch from home.
  • For a full list of all safety protocols, CLICK HERE.

Trainers – As we prepare for larger entry numbers and on-site stabling to be at full capacity, please remember that it is YOUR responsibility to uphold the safety protocols within the barns at PBIEC. This area is very difficult for ESP Staff to monitor, so we need you to maintain your barn area to the same standards that ESP is applying to the rest of the show grounds. One picture of incorrect behavior in the barns could be catastrophic for the whole sport.

Equestrian Sport Productions is also working on ways to keep its competitors updated in real time while on-site, with a new texting service. Those who opt-in will receive texts regarding impending weather alerts, safety reminders, links to course maps, and more. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Remember, the only people allowed on-site are the following:

  • ESP Staff & Officials
  • Essential Personnel (Vets, Farriers, etc. actively treating horses on the grounds)
  • Trainers (that have exhibitors competing today)
  • Grooms (that have clients competing today)
  • Riders (that are competing today)
  • One Guest per Rider (One family member or one friend of the rider)

As entry numbers grow in June, it is essential to our industry’s continuation that everyone follow these rules to control our numbers and ensure social distancing and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not enter the grounds if you are not allowed. We look forward to welcoming you all back when it is safe to do so. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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

Important Information Regarding the Kentucky Summer Classic

Lexington, Ky. – June 1, 2020 – Due to the number of entries already received for the Kentucky Summer Classic, July 28 – August 2, the supply of stalls has been exhausted and at this time we will no longer be able to accept stall requests for that show. Any stall requests received after May 30, 2020 will be placed on a WAIT LIST. Exhibitors on the WAIT LIST will be notified should stalls become available. Published below is the Revised Entry Policy for the Kentucky Summer Classic.

For questions or further information, please contact Colleen Morrissey at (859) 300-9899 or colleen@kentuckyhorseshows.com

REVISED ENTRY POLICY

Entry blanks will be accepted ONLY when signed by the owner, rider, or handler AND trainer. They must be accompanied by a check or credit card authorization for stabling fees. Post entries will be accepted as noted above; however, no stall will be reserved unless stall fees are paid by the closing of entries.

Please note that in the event the supply of stalls is exhausted, preference will be given to those exhibitors who are showing at both shows. Additionally, at the Kentucky Summer Classic, 125 stalls will be set aside for those competitors who have entered the USHJA pony hunter derby finals – east coast by the closing date of entries (June 23). The remaining available stalls will be assigned on a “first come, first served” basis. Once the supply of stalls is exhausted, additional stabling requests will be placed on a wait list and the affected exhibitors will be notified.

Stalls may be reserved only by submission of completed entry forms along with payment. No reservations by telephone. Management reserves the right to charge a non-showing fee of $100 to any horse not accumulating entry fees of $100.

Join HITS for the Great American Summer Series

HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that, pending USEF approval, HITS-on-the-Hudson will be host to a six-week series of shows this summer that will combine three existing Vermont Summer Festival shows and three HITS Saugerties Summer Series shows to create the Great American Summer Series, July 1 – August 9, 2020.

“We are pleased to be working with John Ammerman and the Vermont Summer Festival to create the Great American Summer Series at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York this year,” said Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS. “When John [Ammerman] first found out he could not run shows in Vermont in 2020, we immediately began collaborating to bring our two circuits together to provide exhibitors with a world-class experience this summer.”

The Great American Summer Series will begin July 1 with two VSF Shows, the Vermont Summer Special and Manchester Summer Festival, followed by the three-week HITS Saugerties Summer Series, and finishing with the Vermont Summer Celebration.

We expect to hear from USEF next week and will make our final announcement and publish the Great American Summer Series Prize List then.

Stay tuned for more information at HITSShows.com.

NARG Releases Sport Report: 2020 Winter Venues

May 21, 2020 – When the North American Riders Group last sent a release about plans for the return of the NARG Top 25, the terms COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place order, social distancing, and face masks were not common in our daily vocabulary. As we dealt with the challenges of a global issue on an international horse show level, and rearranged our schedules to stay at home until competition begins again, NARG decided to issue a Sport Report focusing on the Winter Venues.

NARG Top 25 work began last fall when we revisited the evaluation form, and reached out to managers, riders, and owners to get feedback. As a result, and to level the playing field, the evaluations include subjective scoring, plus NARG research and points awarded via a questionnaire answered by management.

In North America, the competition year kicked off with a winter season comprised of 21 CSI 3*, 4*, and 5* events over an 11-week period, leading directly into a busy spring season that had 12 more events of this caliber plus a Longines FEI World Cup™ Final that were to be complete by the end of May.

By the time that mid-March hit and shows were canceled, 19 shows over nine weeks at eight venues throughout North America were in the books and evaluations well underway. These events and the venues that hosted them are the focus of this first edition of the NARG Sport Report.

WHAT HAPPENED IN A DECADE

The sport of show jumping has evolved in the decade since we gave a voice to the riders, owners, and trainers in North America. The number of FEI events offered has more than doubled, but more importantly the star-ratings went up. For example, in 2010 there were four CSI5* events on the calendar, with three of them in summer or fall in Calgary; in 2020, there were 20 CSI5* events on the calendar, with eight (40%) scheduled in Wellington, Mexico City, and Miami, before the Canadian season even commenced.  Of course, these are pre COVID-19, but illustrate the point of how North America has stepped up in this regard.

In the four years and three months since we last released a report, new events, organizers, tours, and facilities have come on the scene, and we commend all of their efforts. We are truly sorry for those events that canceled since mid-March, as the loss is felt on so many fronts.

2020 REFLECTION, REALIZATION AND RECOGNITION

We were all set to have a busy year, from the NARG Top 25 perspective, focusing only on CSI 3*, 4*, and 5* events, there were 74 events and one Final to focus on. With this global change that halted the end of the winter season and obliterated the spring season, we all took a deep breath and considered what we had accomplished this winter.

Up from four events in 2010, eleven in 2015, Mexico had 22 FEI CSI 2*-5* events on their calendar. Six of those offered top competition at three impressive venues this winter.

The winter season is certainly important to the sport of show jumping in North America and worthy of its own report. Since the events are produced in two countries, at eight different venues by six managements, each week was evaluated multiple times and we averaged the scores by venue.

Although the evaluation form was updated for 2020, interestingly the highest scoring venue was within a percentage point of the top score earned by Spruce Meadows in 2015. The eight venues were separated by less than 14 percentage points, and the lowest scoring venue is certainly not ‘the bottom’ as the score would have not only made the top 25 in 2015, but securely in the middle of the list.  We also noticed that had we continued through the full year of 75 events we would have been splitting hairs with scores.

Of course, there are many events that would certainly have been recognized in the NARG Top 25 this year that we regrettably won’t be evaluating this season, including some of the top over many years, Thunderbird’s May events and the aforementioned Spruce Meadows, to name just two. NARG looks forward to the return of these as well as the GCT, Split Rock Jumping Tour, Tryon, and others to the North American calendar.

One final note – NARG is aware that our sport goes beyond FEI Jumping; that there are young horse programs, jumper development programs, as well as high performance hunter and equitation events and programs. Currently our focus is on high level show jumpers. We intend to expand that over time.

Wishing all riders, owners, trainers, organizers, and the wide net of those who help make this sport what it is, as well as all their horses, good health.  NARG presents the Sport Report: 2020 Winter Venues.

Sign Up for Ride Times Now with ShowGroundsLive

Wellington, FL – May 21, 2020 – Exhibitors participating in the ESP May Schooling Shows and June Spring Series may now sign up online for their order-of-go via ShowGroundsLive on PBIEC.com. Beginning May 21, competitors may select their ride times between 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. EST for the following day’s competition. To learn how to select ride times online, please click here. The decision to offer online sign-ups was made in an effort to reduce in-person contact at the in-gate and to allow riders a more accurate way to plan their schedule while showing at PBIEC’s Equestrian Village.

We are planning to use this sign-up system at least through the month of June, so we encourage trainers to learn this optional process during the schooling shows. It is our intention to have orders-of-go for all sections that are open in the schedule. After 7:00 P.M., the rest of the unselected rounds will be ordered by the in-gate personnel to establish a final order-of-go. This is a new process for ESP as well, so we appreciate your patience in advance while we work out the kinks together over the next few weeks. Course maps for all classes will also be posted online at PBIEC.com the day prior to competition by 7:00 P.M. in order to reduce large gatherings for course walks.

As previously stated, exhibitors must fill out all (4) four forms online prior to entering the show grounds: Schooling Show Entry Blank, Schooling Show Waiver, the Spring & Summer Show Entry Blank, and the USEF Waiver & Release of Liability Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. These forms and the revised ESP June Spring Series Prize List are now available on the homepage under the ‘Competitors’ tab.

Thanks to the great efforts of a local charity, ESP will also be able to provide $10 packs of protective supplies. Each kit includes ten (10) 3-ply masks and two (2) pairs of nitrile gloves, and will be available at the show office for purchase. All proceeds will go towards XPI Emergency Relief Fund to continue providing critical supplies to those in need. To contact the show office, please contact Jenn Glosson at jglosson@equestriansport.com or 561-313-5133.

Please take the time to read through the ESP COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures so you have a full understanding of what to expect here. To answer just a few questions that have been asked:

Yes, we will be taking temperatures of everyone entering the property. We ask everyone to get in the habit of checking your temperature in the morning to avoid surprises. We will have multiple places where your temperature will be checked either with a touch-less thermometer or a thermal camera system. Please allow a little extra time for this process.

Yes, everyone on the show grounds will require a facial covering. Riders while mounted will not be required to wear a facial covering, but should have access to one after getting off their horse. If a rider chooses to wear a mask in any class, there will be no point deductions from the judges.

Yes, we will be enforcing all of these protocols at the schooling shows in May. These two practice shows will also allow our staff to better enforce these rules and make modifications if necessary. This is new to all of us and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding in advance.

Yes, braiding is optional in all classes. Judges will be asked not to add or deduct any points for braiding choices. Braiders have taken a huge financial hit with the shut down and we did not want to exclude braiding for this reason.

No, we have no official answers on the 24-hour rule, jogging, confirmation, or model classes. We expect that information to be released soon and we will update our Prize List and COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures by announcements and edition date on PBIEC.com.

Victoria Colvin Honored as National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Rider of the Year

Colvin piloted Private Practice to victory in the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular in 2019 and 2020.

Wellington, Fla. – May 20, 2020 – One of the most prominent hunter riders in the United States today, Victoria Colvin has once again been recognized for her talent in the ring. Voted on by the trainers of champions at the top ten shows of the year, the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Trainers Choice Annual Awards recognize the accomplishments of one rider, one owner, and seven horses for their success in the hunter ring. Thanks to her astounding collection of winning performances throughout all of 2019, Colvin has been named the Rider of the Year. Originally scheduled for May 26, 2020, The Hall of Fame’s Annual Awards and induction ceremony will now be held June 1, 2021, at The Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, Pennsylvania in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Throughout 2019, Colvin topped a multitude of scorecards and continued to add to her lengthy list of accomplishments. Beginning the year with a rapid succession of class and division wins during the Winter Equestrian Festival, the young professional rider and trainer was ultimately honored as the WEF Overall Hunter Rider and also emerged victorious in both the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular and the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. In the summer, Colvin made history as a three-time winner of the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, topping the leaderboard by nearly 25 points in the 2019 installment aboard El Primero. The fall saw more success as she came out on top in the $10,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals during the Capital Challenge Horse Show.

“I am so thrilled and humbled to be named the Rider of the Year as part of the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Trainers Choice Annual Awards! The fact that fellow trainers and riders voted on this and recognized me as one of their peers makes it even more special. This is an incredible privilege, and I have to thank my team and supporters for all of their dedication and hard work that allowed me to reach this milestone. I’d also like to congratulate Bryan Baldwin and Brad Wolf on their awards!” commented Colvin.

In addition to Colvin’s recognition as Rider of the Year, two of her connections also received annual honors. Bryan Baldwin, the owner of El Primero, was named the Owner of the Year. Colvin piloted El Primero to victory in August 2019 in the $256,640 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, among other derby and division championship honors throughout the year. Honored as the High Performance Horse of the Year, Private Practice is owned by Brad Wolf. “Peter” is another of Colvin’s equine partners that she has ridden to consistent success, and in 2019 the duo won the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular, later winning again in 2020 for the second time in a row.

Colvin will aim to maintain her winning ways in 2020 when horse shows resume in both the hunter and jumper rings. Although the schedule is subject to change, the original calendar included Colvin’s participation from July to the end of the year at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Hampton Classic Horse Show, Kentucky National Horse Show, and a series of indoors shows.

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

Tryon Resort Begins Phased Reopening

Mill Spring, NC – May 14, 2020 – In full compliance with local, state, and federal mandates, Tryon Resort and Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) will reopen with limited operations on May 27, 2020. Horse show competitions will open for competitors, their families, and staff only beginning with the Tryon Spring 6 competition June 3-7. Onsite lodging, shopping, and carry-out-only food service will resume on May 27. TIEC has implemented stringent guidelines to alleviate the potential impact of COVID-19 and the remaining 2020 schedule will follow in accordance with government reopening protocol. All onsite guests are required to wear cloth masks and practice social distancing. These protocols will be strictly enforced.

Horse Shows Closed to the Public

To ensure that the reintroduction of horse shows is smooth, efficient, and most importantly, safe for all involved, TIEC horse shows are closed to the public until further notice, and only competitors, their families, and staff are permitted at this time. Saturday Night Lights is cancelled through the end of summer and hopefully will resume for the fall competition series. That decision will be dependent upon state requirements. Please continue to visit our website at www.Tryon.com and follow our Facebook page for updates on when competitions will reopen to the public.

Live Streaming Available for All Competitions

While public spectating of horse show competitions is not permitted during this limited operations phase, online spectating of all competitions at TIEC will be available via live stream. Schedules, prize lists, daily live stream links, class lists, and orders of go can be found at www.Tryon.com/ThisWeek.

Learn more at www.Tryon.com or call 828-863-1000.