Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Gulf Coast Finale – Updates and Reminders

I want to thank all the exhibitors, trainers, owners and my staff for the best winter shows we have ever had in Gulfport.   Both Janet McCarroll and I are thrilled that our shows went so well and were so well attended.  It’s always sad when all the horse trailers and campers start leaving after a circuit but all good times must come to an end.   We look forward to six weeks of fun on the Gulf next year.  The Harrison County Equestrian Center will start building the 500 new permanent stalls around April 1st.  I will keep you all up on the progress.

We had a great circuit and I would love to list the 45 Grand Champions but I am afraid it would make for such a long message, that no one would read the whole thing.  They will be listed in an ad we are making for the Chronicle of the Horse along with some great pictures of our five winners our Grand Prix events.  I will say that Lincoln Case was selected by the staff as the winner of the 2011 Gulf Coast Sportsmanship Award.  Congrats to Lincoln and thanks for the support for 13 years.

Today we also had a tribute to Continental B, a wonderful horse who was a great supporter of our events.  It was a great few minutes between rounds of our Grand Prix to remember the history of CB.  He looked great covered in all his champion ribbons and everyone ringside took the moment to remember all the classes he won.  We were proud to have the tribute at our show in Gulfport and that he will be taking it easy from now on in a pasture.

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Michelle Parker and Gretchen Lof Headline at the HITS Arizona Winter Festival

© Michelle Parker and Lassila De Moyon soar over the course in Sunday's $25,000 HITS Grand Prix at the HITS Arizona Winter Circuit.

TUCSON, AZ (March 11, 2011) — Competition at the HITS Arizona Winter Festival at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona was highlighted by big wins for Michelle Parker in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and Gretchen Lof in the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.

Maryland’s Ken Krome set a twisting course which had 16 efforts, including a triple combination and a liverpool mid-way through the track, with a time allowed of 90 seconds for Sunday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.

The first of the two clear rides came three trips in when Janine Weatherby of Bellevue, Nebraska rode flawlessly through the course aboard Laurel Lachowiez’s Allegro. Parker, who had two mounts in the class, followed immediately with a clean round aboard her own Lassila De Moyon to ensure a jump-off. The rest of the class was unable to follow suit, which kept it a head-to-head jump-off battle between Weatherby and Parker.

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AQHA Hands Out 2010 High-Point Awards

The American Quarter Horse Journal – At its annual convention in Grapevine, Texas, the American Quarter Horse Association handed out its coveted all-around high-point awards in the youth, amateur and open divisions. Molli Lyn Jacobs and Radical McCue won the Featherlite AQHA Youth All-Around High-Point title; Lindsey Stevenson and RL Cocoas Version won the Featherlite AQHA All-Around Amateur title; and Four Bonnie Bay, owned by Mike St. Clair of Kahoka, Missouri, won the Featherlite Open All-Around High-Point title.

All-Around Youth

In 2010, Molli Lyn Jacobs rode her way into AQHA history books as the Featherlite AQHA Youth All-Around High-Point Champion with Radical McCue. They also collected youth high-point titles in showmanship and performance halter geldings, and finished third in trail, fourth in horsemanship and fifth in hunt seat equitation. Radical McCue is a 2000 bay gelding by Radical Rodder and out of Jetterri McCue by Tuff Joe Jet.

“He’s very athletic and very strong,” says Molli, a high school senior at Garaway High School in Sugarcreek, Ohio. “You could put him through anything, and he’s going to come out stronger than before.”

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It’s A Magical Time in the Gulf for Frances Land and Merlin – First National Victory in the $25,000 EquiFit Grand Prix

Frances Land & Merlin ©Flashpoint Photography

GULFPORT, MS — Mar. 7, 2011 — “It’s a little surreal!” an amazed 16-year-old Frances Land said as the realization of her first national prix victory began to sink in. The duo bested a field of 22 prominent competitors in Sunday afternoon’s featured event, the $25,000 EquiFit Grand Prix.

The audience’s excitement combined with the level of competitiveness among the starters was the perfect recipe for a thrilling afternoon. Course designer Allen Rheinheimer’s 12 obstacle [15 efforts] test on the vast grass field had all the action spectators expected, including two sets of combinations, one being the triple at 4abc, an oxer into a vertical and out over another oxer that caught several riders early in the course.

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Celebration of Hunters – Gulf 4

This week was the largest week that we have ever had in Gulfport.  The Celebration of Hunters was a giant success.  I would like to thank all the exhibitors who were part of this show.  The weather did not want to work with us on Friday or Saturday but it all worked out fine on Sunday due to great exhibitors and trainers.

On Friday we hosted the USHJA International Hunter Derby.  We started the day with a breakfast for everyone sponsored by Adequan.  The class had 50 entries and it was great to watch.  Not only did Allen Rheinheimer and Paul Jewel build a challenging course, but the morning had rain and strong winds that added to task of a good round.  The results of the class were as follows:

Official Results for the 2011 Gulf Coast $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

1st Yes Indeed with Sarah Mechlin for owner Olivia Weaver

2nd Primera with Catherine Rinehart for owner Helen Gilbert

3rd Ovation with Courtney Calcagnini for Taylor Reid

4th Corazon with owner-rider Patrick McGinnis

5th Carson with Courtney Calcagnini for owner Kristen Blomstrom

6th Figaro B with Holly Shepherd for owner Linda Bobrik

7th Dress Up with owner-rider Jana Rodes

8th Carlano with Will Roberts for owner Andrea Ramirez

9th CR Carolato II with Jordan Siegel for owner Buddrus Equine, LLC

10th Dolce with owner-rider Sue Takata

11th Marquis with Daniel Geitner for owner Lee Cesery

12th Damocles with Daniel Geitner for owner Janet Peterson

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Sarah Mechlin and Yes Indeed Win Gulf Coast Winter’s USHJA International Hunter Derby

Sarah Mechlin & Yes Indeed ©Flashpoint Photography

GULFPORT, MS — Mar. 5, 2011 — A very positive minded 23-year-old Sarah Mechlin of Cincinnati, OH partnered with Yes Indeed took the top spot over 50 competitors in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the fourth week of the Gulf Coast Winter Classics.

Fifty equine athletes were being braided before dawn and began lunging at 5:30 Friday morning in preparation for their first big test, the official presentation and jog before the panel of judges: Mike Rosser, Ray Francis, Betsy Perry, Tucker Erickson, and show veterinarian Juan Gamboa. Once soundness was established, riders donned Shadbelly jackets, shined their boots and mounted up for one last trip in the warm up ring before entering the arena to take on the first round course of 10 obstacles [12 efforts], comprised mostly of natural materials such as logs, brush, and gate planks, all from the creative minds of co-designers Paul Jewel and Allen Rheinheimer. Within the track riders encountered four optional fences offering a height choice up to 4’ which provide the opportunity to score bonus points, as well as bending and broken lines, an in and out, at least one line with an unrelated distance, and a fence with a long approach. The two panels of judges’ scores were combined to determine the top 12 who would be invited back for round two.

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Ferrell and Moshi Make a Lasting Impression in the Green Conformation Hunters

Sandy Ferrell and Moshi are the Green Conformation Hunter Champions during the eighth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – March 3, 2011 – The eighth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3, is well into its second day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The sun was shinning along with strong gusts of wind as the Green Conformation Hunters made their way into the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Thursday morning.

Sandy Ferrell was aboard the new entry from Stephanie Riggio, Moshi, for the championship win in the Green Conformation Hunters. Riggio purchased Moshi, a seven-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding by Quintus, around the fourth week of competition at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. “He’s a new ride for me, so I get to be the lucky girl, which is nice,” beamed Ferrell.

Moshi and Ferrell secured the championship honor by winning the model and the under saddle classes. The duo went on to win another over fences class and receive a second and two thirds in the division’s remaining classes.

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Atlanta Spring – Summer – Charleston Summer

Just some updates… Atlanta Spring (March 23 – April 3) – I know so many of you are in the middle of your winter circuits but if you are planning to attend, we need to hear from you about stall reservations.   843 768 5503

Atlanta Summer (June 15-26) – Lots of new classes and much more prize money this summer.   We will have a $25,000 USHJA Hunter Derby this summer again in the Grand Prix ring. We will also have two $35,000 Grand Prix classes.  We will have several clinics including a Water Jumper Clinic, a Pony Model Clinic, and an Ask the Judge Clinic.  This will be along with the 2nd Annual Freestyle Class in the Grand Prix.  Lots planned for the Summer Show in Conyers.  The prize list will be out around the 1st of April.

Charleston Summer Classic (July 13-23) – The new schedule is on the web and the prize list will be out around the 1st of April.  This will be another fun filled two weeks on the coast.  Remember, it’s time to get your condos reserved.

We are now on Facebook:

See you at the rings,

Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

Ladies Reign in Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal, Ocala, and Arizona as Winter Show Season Heads into Final Weeks

© Flying Horse Photography. Hope Glynn and Sabrina Hellman's Woodstock in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal.

SAUGERTIES, NY (March 2, 2011) — The Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final is the talk of the town this season and its key to qualifying, the Devoucoux Hunter Prix, continues to be one of the most popular offerings at the HITS Winter Circuits in Ocala, Florida, Thermal, California, and Tucson, Arizona. Never before has a purse of this magnitude been offered for hunters, and never before have so many talented riders at all levels of their careers had the opportunity to aspire to such a lofty goal.

United States Chef d’Equipe George Morris was on-site at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California this past weekend and got to witness first-hand the excitement and energy of the Devoucoux Hunter Prix.

During his visit, Morris shared in the enthusiasm that’s sweeping the sport. “Doing the Hunter Prix series at 3’3” was genius. It really crosses over to so many different riders and is sure to continue to be overwhelmingly popular. I look forward to being back in Europe and asking my European horse colleagues ‘what sort of prize money is Europe offering now?’ We are jumping for a half a million in the Hunters in the States. I can’t wait to see their faces,” Morris said with an approving smile.

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Pre-Screening of Sundance Award Winning Film BUCK to Support Emerging Athletes Program

Wellington, FL – March 3, 2011 – Support the USHJA’s Emerging Athletes program by purchasing tickets to see the Sundance Award Winning film Pre-Release Screening of BUCK on Sunday, March 6 at 7:00 PM in the Special Events Tent by the Grand Prix Arena on the WEF Showground in Wellington, Florida.

You must put the name of the person for the ticket and each ticket is $100.00, which includes a big Event night filled with the spirit of the Horse Whisperer himself.  Food and drink and a very worthy cause: our young riders of the USA who need sponsorship and help to fulfill their dreams of a chance to be one of America’s best in the saddle.  Come on folks! Support these kids! If you can’t make it, you can still support and donate.  Almost every other country in the world has a support for young equestrians to get training and consideration.  It’s time for us to do MORE! SUPPORT THE SPORT!

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit

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