Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Barrios and Elano 22 Earn Blue in $25,000 Osphos Grand Prix in ESP Fall Finale

Pablo Barrios and Elano 22. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 6, 2018 – Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL and Elano 22 rode home with blue in the $25,000 Osphos® Grand Prix to wrap up Fall competition in the 2018 ESP Fall Finale at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Barrios and Elano 22, his own 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Almox Prints), raced through the jump-off in 40.473 seconds to take the lead as the fastest four-fault finish. Jumping in close behind the pair was Marilyn Little of Frederick, MD and RF Casablanca, a 2010 Holsteiner mare (Cosido x Landos) owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc., who claimed second place with a jump-off time of 41.027 seconds on four faults. Derek Petersen of Archer, FL came in third aboard his own, Diamant’s Legacy, a 2009 Oldenburg stallion (Diamant de Semilly x Couleur-Rubin), also accumulating four faults with a time of 42.919 seconds.

Of the 31 competitors to test the course, designed by Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL, eight combinations advanced to the jump-off. “It was a good class. I went first so I was just trying to go as fast as possible in the jump-off with the other eight other riders behind me. I guess I was a little bit lucky that nobody went clear in the jump-off and I ended up winning the class,” Barrios commented.

“It was a new ride for me. I have only been back here for the last seven months. She came from a rest from the summer and she felt really good. Now we will start warming up for circuit. She is a really good mare and I have a lot of hope for her, especially for the winter. I am looking forward to more competitions with her,” concluded Barrios.

For more information on the ESP Fall Series, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Kilby Brunner Deforest Crowned MarBill Hill Farm Royal Pony Jumper Final Winner

Kilby Brunner Deforest and Beaverwood’s Halo. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Kilby Brunner Deforest of Hillsburgh, ON claimed a victory in the $5,000 MarBill Hill Farm Royal Pony Jumper Final to take the division championship riding Beaverwood’s Halo on Sunday, November 3, at the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The top spots were decided in a two-horse jump-off duel between 14-year-old Brunner Deforest and Tatum Horan of Oakville, ON. Horan, riding Royal, led off and was clear over the course, designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade, to post the time to beat at 29.50 seconds. Brunner Deforest returned second and handily took over the lead by nearly two seconds with a time of 27.88 seconds.

Grace Stevenson of Lakeside, NB piloted Ever So Clever, owned by Foshay South Eventing, to third by posting the fastest four-fault round over the original course, while Eva Marquis of Caledon, ON settled for fourth riding Red on a Roll for owner Mark Marquis. Maya Chahine of Oakville, ON rounded out the top five with I Love Lucy, owned by Julie Taddeo.

After also winning the stake class earlier in the day, Brunner Deforest was presented with Royal All-Canadian Pony Jumper Championship title, presented by MarBill Hill Farm.

“This is my fifth time competing in the pony jumpers at The Royal, and it’s exciting to be here!” said Brunner Deforest, who was reserve champion in pony jumper competition at The Royal in both 2016 and 2017. “This is a new pony for me; I got her one year ago and have been competing on her all summer.

“She is very fast and really good in the turns,” continued Brunner Deforest of her 14-year-old mare owned by Kristen Brunner. “She’s very confident and handled the noise and the [Coca-Cola Coliseum] very well. I love coming here and competing over a few days in front of a big crowd.”

While Brunner Deforest and Beaverwood’s Halo put all the pieces together for a win at the Royal Horse Show, their connection took some effort.

“She is a complicated, and in the beginning of the season we were trying other bits and a lot of different things,” said Brunner Deforest. “But we realized I just needed to learn to ride her. We went to a plain, simple snaffle, and I got to know her not try to train her. Other than me telling her to ‘whoa,’ she does it all.”

Also claiming a championship on Sunday afternoon was Jordan Macpherson of Toronto, ON aboard Fiestamunde, owned by Sved Stables Ltd.

Macpherson and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare finished third in Sunday morning’s $2,500 Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Competition before returning later in the day to win the $10,000 Dominion Regalia Limited Junior/Amateur Jumper Royal Stake and ultimately the Royal All Canadian Junior/Amateur Jumper Championship, presented by Dominion Regalia Limited.

“The Royal is always such a great event in front of the home crowd,” said Macpherson. “It’s great to win, but it’s even better when you win at The Royal!”

Macpherson and Fiestamunde were one of four entries to advance to the jump-off in Sunday afternoon’s stake class, and over the short course, they stopped the clock clear in a time of 39.38 seconds. Finishing in second with the only additional double-clear effort was Sara Tindale of Campbellville, ON riding Djibab van de Linthorst, owned by Tindale Farms. Rounding out the top three was Hubert Lamontagne of Montréal, QC riding his own Dalton to four faults in a time of 38.64 seconds. Fourth place with 13 faults in the jump-off went to Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON aboard Quidam’s Caprice M, owned by AEI Corp.

Isabelle Lapierre and Carrera S Claim $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby Victory

Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC rode away with the win in the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby, presented by Rosemary Phelan – Braeburn Farms, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.

When Lapierre and Carrera S, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Johannie Légaré, entered the Coca-Cola Coliseum as the final of 20 entries to contest the Rob Carey designed track, Erynn Ballard and Enchanted held the lead with an overall score of 100, including handy and high option bonus points. Lapierre and Carrera S not only bested Ballard’s score, they did so by a sizeable margin, earning a base score of 95 and a grand total score of 113.

“It’s always a surprise when you get your score,” said Lapierre, a longtime Royal Horse Show competitor in both the hunter and jumper divisions. “I’m always the one, when I come out, I don’t really show so much emotion, because you never know what to expect. Then when they said 113, I was like ‘oh my God!’ I knew he was good, but not that good! It just all happens so fast.

“I really like the derbies,” continued Lapierre. “You can make plans, but you can change it based on the way it’s going in the ring. You have to think a bit how to do it. If you win, it’s not because you only have a good horse; it’s because you have to do the course well.”

With Lapierre clinching the win, Ballard of Tottenham, ON and Enchanted, owned by Christel Weller, took second, while third place with a score of 99 went to Kristjan Good of Campbellville, ON riding Stakkato Grande W for owner Augustin Walch.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Sam Walker Makes History as 2018 ASPCA Maclay National Champion at NHS

Photo: Sam Walker on Waldo.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 4, 2018 – Celebrating its 135th year, the National Horse Show has come to be known as one of America’s premier indoor equestrian events thanks to its rich history and classical traditions, with the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, adding even more prestige as one of the four major equitation finals held each fall season. Since 1933, an elite junior rider’s name has been etched into history as the annual champion, and this year the competition tested 175 horses and riders over a series of challenging phases to determine the deserving victor. The culmination of a week at the Kentucky Horse Park, the 2018 National Horse Show concluded with a dream realized for Sam Walker of Ontario, Canada, now the newest champion of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and winner of the esteemed ASPCA Horsemanship Trophy.

Over the course of the day, the initial field of participants took turns tackling Bobby Murphy’s (USA) expertly designed equitation track, which looked deceptively straightforward at first glance. Incorporating most jumps as part of lines, the efficient course offered competitors multiple opportunities to either spotlight their talents or fall victim to the design’s tests, with distances between fences varying and requiring riders to lengthen or collect quickly within the same series of obstacles. Structurally, the fences presented a different type of challenge, with Murphy’s creative collection of jumps including plenty without standards in addition to a handful of skinny jumps, a gate, and an airy triple bar. As the 39th in the order-of-go, Walker and North Run’s Waldo exemplified the pinnacle of equitation, completing a flawless trip to jump into the first standby list.

Separated from the rest of the pack as the creme of the crop, 25 partnerships were hand-selected by the judges’ booth, which was occupied by esteemed horsemen Walter T. Kees and Chance Arakelian, to return for the second phase of the contest after top-notch performances over fences. Headed into the under saddle and second over fences portions of riding, Walker, Brian Moggre, Ava Ellis, Emma Kurtz, Catalina Peralta, Paige Matthies, Daisy Farish, and Coco Fath were pegged as the frontrunners, all riding head-to-head in the same flat section.

During the under saddle phase, horse-and-rider combinations’ adjustability, balance and connection were put to the test by the judges, who asked for a series of skill demonstrations such as the counter-canter, extended canter, and sitting trot, among others. With one final chance to prove their abilities, the top contenders returned to the Alltech Arena for a second trip over Murphy’s track, this time consisting of almost no fences with standards, a hand gallop, a counter-canter, a trot fence, and an airy fence jumped in both directions.

Returning in reverse order of the standings for the second over fences phase, Moggre had the advantage as the last entry to ride, with Walker, Farish, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, Ellis, and Alexandra Worthington sitting in second through eighth positions, respectively, and all aiming to knock him from the top of the leaderboard. Following the completion of the top 25, the judges needed one last look at the top six, and asked for testing from Walker, Moggre, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, and Mimi Gochman, who leapfrogged from 12th place into the work-off. Of the remaining contenders, Moggre was the only one to have been victorious in a national equitation final previously, having won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show earlier this fall, but it was Walker who had moved to the top of the standings headed into the last display of riding. Sunday afternoon’s test asked riders to canter fence 7, canter fence 2, counter-canter fence 6a, canter fence 6b, canter fence 4, halt, and return to the line.

As the last to ride in the work-off, Walker capped off the day’s championship with an exclamation point, navigating a textbook trip aboard Waldo seemingly with ease and displaying high levels of precision, correct form, and aid effectiveness to secure the championship tricolor and the prestigious honor of ASPCA Maclay National Champion. As the 2018 victor, Walker’s name now joins the ranks of past winners that include some of the sport’s icons such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and George Morris, as well as recent superstars Lillie Keenan, Victoria Colvin, and Madison Goetzmann.

Sunday’s distinction for Walker is one of the highlights of his competitive equitation career, although he has come close to the top call more than once. This year alone, he has placed within the top 10 in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show as well as the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final. A multi-talented equestrian, Walker also campaigns in the upper level jumpers, having won U25 and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes across the United States and Canada under the tutelage of his trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan from North Run. For training the winning rider, Audi of Lexington donated a one-year lease of an Audi to Walker’s trainers.

The men represented well this year, with Moggre capturing the reserve honors behind his peer, Walker. Moggre rode Efendi, owned by Donald Stewart, over the course of the contest. Jacob Pope was the last male athlete to claim the top honors in 2012, and prior to that was Brian Walker in 2001. Coincidentally, Sam got paired with Waldo partly with the help of the previous winner that shares his namesake. Jumping from sixth place after the second over fences phase, Paige Matthies piloted Barbara Smith’s Blurred Lines to third overall thanks to her standout work-off test to round out the podium finishers.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.org.

Inaugural $50k National Horse Show Hunter Classic Goes to Scott Stewart and Lucador

Photo: Scott Stewart and Lucador.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2018 – The National Horse Show debuted a brand new competition on Friday evening in the Alltech Arena: the $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic. Similar to the world famous horse show, now in its 135th year, the sport of hunters is deeply rooted in tradition and history, and the National Horse Show was pleased to showcase the grace and beauty of the nation’s top hunter horses and riders in its 2018 event at the Kentucky Horse Park, where the inaugural prize went to Scott Stewart and Lucador. His top score also earned him a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington, presented by Samuel A. B. Boone, as well as the lion’s share of the Leading Professional Hunter Rider Bonus.

The pair stayed true to their winning ways as Stewart, of River’s Edge Farm in Flemington, New Jersey and Wellington, Florida, secured the coveted Leading Hunter Rider Award for the 12th time in his career on Wednesday at the National Horse Show, while Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, earned his fourth career and second consecutive Grand Champion Professional Hunter title.

Horse-and-rider combinations awarded championships or reserve championships in their respective hunter divisions earlier in the week were eligible to compete in Friday’s $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic, with participants competing at the respective height (3’6”, 3’9”, or 4’) of the section from which they qualified.

The class, which counted towards Horse of the Year points, consisted of two rounds, with the top 12 returning for a second round from low to high score within their respective heights of 3’6” and 3’9”, with no 4’ entries earning a spot in the second phase. The final average score from round one was added to the final average score from round two to determine the overall total final score and winner.

Under the watchful eyes of two panels of judges consisting of James Clapperton, Daniel Robertshaw, Walter T. Kees, and Chance Arakelian, Friday’s first round course, designed by Bobby Murphy, welcomed 32 horses and riders to demonstrate their style and athleticism over obstacles composed of a variety of natural elements.

Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Outbid led the way after the first round with a score of 89, but Stewart followed close behind with the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding and a score of 87.25.

Returning for the second round, the top 12 combinations were tested once more in the handy phase of competition. An unfortunate bobble in round two caused Fenney to slip down into 10th place in the final standings, which left the top spot open for Stewart as the final entry in the class. Stewart stayed consistent and impressed the judges with another solid performance to finish round two with a score of 87.5 for a total combined score of 174.75.

Finishing behind Stewart and taking home reserve honors was Kentucky native Havens Schatt, from Georgetown, Kentucky, and Diatendro, owned by Kelley Corrigan. The pair finished the first round in fourth place with a score of 85 and received a score of 86.5 in round two for a total score of 171.50.

Rounding out the top three was Amanda Steege of Ocala, Florida and Zara, owned by Frances Moppett, who were awarded scores of 86 and 84.5 for a cumulative tally of 170.5. Steege and Stewart were the only two entries to qualify two mounts in the handy round. Stewart also rode Dr. Parker’s Private Life to an 11th place finish, while Steege piloted Cheryl Olsten’s Lafitte De Muze to seventh place.

Earlier in the day in the junior ranks, Jordan Allen and Ramble On Farm’s Rockette had reason to celebrate as the best-performing junior pair out of nearly 60 exhibitors. Thanks to consistently high-scoring rounds, the duo accumulated more points than any other competitors across the four junior divisions comprised of small and large hunters split by age groups, and they were rewarded with the title of Grand Junior 3’6” Champions and the Huntland Perpetual Cup. Even more impressive was the fact that Allen only first sat on the horse Thursday, the same day they took to the show ring and earned top ribbons.

Over the course of the two days of competition, Rockette garnered first place in the under saddle and stake class and third place in the over fences and handy classes to secure championship honors in the Gochman Family Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division, in addition to the Cantitoe Farm Challenge Trophy. Adding another accolade to their growing collection, Allen and Rockette also earned the “Inclusive” Perpetual Cup, chosen by the judges as the best performers of the group from both the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter and Large Junior 16-17 Hunter stake classes.

For more details and info, click here.

Professional Hunters Get Underway at 2018 National Horse Show

Photo: Victoria Colvin and Private Practice.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2018 – The country’s top hunter horses and riders arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the highly anticipated 2018 National Horse Show and kicked off the professional hunter divisions in the Alltech Arena on Tuesday. Green Hunter competition saw Victoria Colvin and Holly Orlando take home blue ribbons in the 3’9” and 3’6” divisions, respectively.

Liza Boyd and Tradition, owned by Maggie Hill, earned the win in the first over fences round of the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, with Colvin finishing close behind in second place with Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf.

Returning for the handy round, Colvin claimed the win with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who she won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with in August at the Kentucky Horse Park. Boyd and Colvin are currently tied heading into the final phases of the division after Boyd also took home second place in the handy round.

Prior to the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten, rode to the top of the leaderboard in the initial over fences round of the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, while the handy round went to Holly Orlando and the 7-year-old Hanoverian mare Whisper, owned by Privet Farm, LLC. Back-to-back second place finishes went to Chris Payne and Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci.

The Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division also got underway with Dudley MacFarlane and Roland Park, owned by Mount Fair Equine, LLC, claiming the win and the “Automation-Model Cadet” Memorial Perpetual Trophy for her performance in the first over fences round.

Becky Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, impressed the judges and scored the win in the handy round as well as the under saddle class, while Clementina Brown and her own Eagle took home second place in both over fences classes.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Tessa Downey and Anisette Are Grand on Final Day of 60th Anniversary WIHS

Tessa Downey and Anisette. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

October 28, 2018 – Washington, D.C. – The 60th anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) concluded on Sunday, October 28, at Capital One Arena in downtown D.C. with the naming of the 2018 Grand Pony Hunter Champion, as well as WIHS Pony Equitation Finals and WIHS Regional Hunter Finals winners.

Taking the weeklong show’s top pony hunter honor was Tessa Downey of Houston, TX riding her own Anisette.

Downey, 13, and the 12-year-old black Welsh Pony Cross mare topped two of the Medium Pony Hunter over fences classes and finished second in the handy to earn the Medium Pony Hunter Championship, for which they were presented the Shenandoah Sundowner Perpetual Trophy, donated by Evan Coluccio and Ashmont Farms, Lt.

The pair’s consistent rounds proved to be enough to then clinch the Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick & Rustic Woods, as the Grand Pony Hunter Champions. Downey and Anisette also received the Potomac Trophy for the High Score Junior Hunter Rider on a Pony, and Downey was named the Best Child Rider on a Pony, sponsored by Gotham North. For the Best Child Rider award, Downey received the Captain V.S. Littauer Perpetual Trophy.

“I grew up watching Maddie Schaefer and everyone who is now in the big eq win this trophy, and I’m just super excited. We came here just with our goal being to jog in every class. That was our goal at Harrisburg too; we just wanted to be consistent. Then we go and this happens, and we’re over the moon!” – Tessa Downey

Downey started riding Anisette this past year, after purchasing the mare from the Hoch family, and she has seen great success with her since, including winning the Medium Pony Hunter Championship at the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Pony Finals in August.

Samantha Takacs Rides to Redemption in WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

Samantha Takacs of Oldwick, NJ scored an 88 in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals to take home top honors riding Storyteller. The win was a redeeming effort for Takacs after going off course from the first in the order in the very same class during the 2017 WIHS.

“Last year was my first time at WIHS and this year I was really hoping I did the course correctly. I was a little bit nervous because I hadn’t shown in the hunters at this show this year because I didn’t have a horse to ride so today was my first trip.” – Samantha Takacs

Thirteen-year-old Takacs borrowed the ride on Storyteller, owned by Temple Equestrian, LLC and leaded by Caroline Signorino. Despite qualifying for the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, Takacs didn’t have a mount available to compete and jumped her first fence with Storyteller the morning of the final.

“I am so thankful that my friend Caroline and Temple Equestrian were both kind enough to let me borrow him,” said Takacs of the 15-year-old German Sport Pony gelding. “I rode him this morning and I felt like he was such a good boy and we were a good match. Then in the schooling area, I got a little self-conscious and wasn’t sure how it was going to. But, once I got in the ring I knew he would do it for me.”

After the jumping phase of the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, the top ten riders were tested on the flat. Takacs pocketed the top score to best second-place finisher Kat Fuqua, who finished one point off the lead with an 87.

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

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Dominic Gibbs and Hannah Brown Reign Supreme in Equitation Championships at NHS

Dominic Gibbs on Limitless with the Hamel Family, Jennifer Burger, and Mason Phelps.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 28, 2018 – The second day of the 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, with exhibitors in the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship and Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship taking center stage. Adding his name as only the second champion of the prestigious class in as many years, Dominic Gibbs piloted Limitless to the top honors in the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship, while Hannah Brown outshone the pack aboard Dimacho in the Taylor Harris NHS Adult Equitation Championships.

A familiar face in Kentucky, course designer Bobby Murphy challenged the original crop of 104 horse-and-rider combinations over his winding track that served to distinguish the frontrunners from the rest of the field. Whittled down to the highest-scoring 25 pairs, eligible competitors returned for a flat phase and a second trip over fences in front of the watchful eyes of the judges to determine the elite four that would test for the title.

Separated from their peers as the top performers, Blythe Goguen, Sophie Bluhm, Dominic Gibbs, and Layla Kurbanov were each given one final opportunity to exhibit their skills. The abridged testing course challenged the four contenders to walk, canter fences one and two, then counter-canter fence three before transitioning to a trot for fence four, after which they were asked to halt and exit at a walk.

Proving his consistency and performing masterfully for the fourth time Sunday, Gibbs directed 8-year-old Limitless to a textbook trip that earned him the high marks of the day to secure the championship rosette. Gibbs, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, joins inaugural winner Jaden Porter as the newest name to be inscribed on the commemorative trophy, which is proudly displayed throughout the year at the Kentucky Horse Park Museum.

Bluhm and her own Quadro D’ Ag claimed the reserve honors, followed by Kurbanov and Olga Kurbanov’s Calberon B in third place. Goguen and Z Jappoo Sow, owned by Colette Cacciatore, rounded out the top four in the standings.

In its inaugural year as a National Horse Show class, the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship attracted a talented field of contenders each vying for the top prize. Like their junior counterparts, the adult entries in the equitation class aimed to showcase their talents over Murphy’s course during the preliminary round of competition in order to earn the advantage headed into the subsequent under saddle phase and final jumping round.

Maneuvering their way to the lead thanks to a series of strong performances, Brown and A. Brooke Farr’s Dimacho ultimately clinched the coveted rosette and the lead spot in the victory gallop. Brown hails from Manchester, Connecticut and is already on a hot streak at the National Horse Show, having won the blue ribbon Saturday in the Adult Equitation over fences class in addition to the second place finish under saddle, also with Dimacho.

Jeanine Cash of Winthrop, Massachusetts earned the reserve honors with MTM Magnum, owned by Olivia Rubin, followed by Darby Mazzarisi of Chesterfield, New Jersey in third position aboard West Hill’s Resonate. Coincidentally, the three podium finishers in Sunday’s championship were also the top three in Saturday’s Adult Equitation over fences class, with Cash and Mazzarisi swapping spots.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Emily Kowalchik Claims Boggs Hill KHJA Equitation Championship at National Horse Show

Emily Kowalchik on Fernleigh. Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, KY – October 27, 2018 – The highly-anticipated National Horse Show returned Saturday to its home in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for its 2018 installment, the culmination of the east coast summer equestrian season. This year, the National Horse Show offers new equitation championships throughout its opening weekend, with the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship, presented by the Goguen Family, serving as the first to crown a winner and the feature event of day one’s competition. The inaugural champion, Emily Kowalchik, masterfully directed Kelsey Taylor’s Fernleigh to top marks across two phases to earn the top slot on the leaderboard, while nine different junior and adult combinations each rode to victory in their respective age-group classes.

In its debut year, the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship saw its first crop of qualified contenders take their turns around course designer Bobby Murphy’s track for a shot at the blue ribbon. Entries into the inaugural class were determined by the year-end standings of the KHJA based upon showings throughout the year, so only the top performers were eligible to compete in the grand finale, consisting of a preliminary over fences round and a flat phase. Over the course of the class, Kowalchik and her mount consistently displayed their equitation talent to pull away from the group and distinguish themselves as the class leaders, ultimately claiming the championship title.

The 27-year-old Kowalchik reigns from Loveland, Ohio and has been training with David Beisel for 13 years. Though she has a long relationship with her trainer, the tenure with her horse is newer, having only just picked up the ride this past July. Fernleigh has experience in the equitation and showed up at Beisel’s stables as a sale horse at the time that Kowalchik learned she had qualified for year-end classes, and the fit seemed perfect. Kowalchik will return to the show ring Sunday hoping for another championship title, this time in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship.

Larissa Hufnagel of Lexington, Kentucky earned the reserve championship just behind Kowalchik, a positive start to her first appearance at the National Horse Show. Hufnagel piloted her own Devout, the horse she has been paired with for the last three years, and used her knowledge of the horse’s normal way of going to ensure they set themselves up for success. Owner-rider Adeline Pavlin of Cincinnati, Ohio rounded out the top three podium spots with her horse, Ragazzo Carino.

Earlier in the day, age group equitation classes for juniors and adults offered exhibitors opportunities to display their precision and correct form in the show ring, both over fences and under saddle. In the Under 14 Equitation, Emma Borders aboard her own Chapot Z claimed the top honors under saddle, while the duo of Madison Nadolenco and her own Quieri finished in first place over fences. Owner-rider Hensley Humphries and Ixion Van Het Netehof similarly proved their prowess in the ring to earn the highest distinction in the 14-15 Equitation Section A on the flat, and Sheridan Johnson maneuvered Palmyra Partners’ Brad Pitt to the blue ribbon over fences. In Section B, Maggie Hill and Charmeur, owned by North Run, earned first prize under saddle, while Dominic Gibbs and Limitless, owned by Erin R Gibbs, scored the highest in the over fences class.

In the slightly older age bracket, Marcus Cmola Au and Barn Rat LLC’s Nobel Laureate were double winners, laying down the best showing of the division to earn the top position in the 16-17 Equitation under saddle and over fences. Elizabeth Chenelle, in the irons aboard Armand Chenelle’s Li Bond, claimed first place in the Adult Equitation on the flat, and Hannah Brown and Dimacho, owned by A. Brooke Farr, rounded out the series of winners in the Adult Equitation over fences.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

For tickets, click here.

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS Are Best at Washington International Horse Show

Beezie Madden. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. – October 27, 2018 – The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) came to a peak on Saturday, October 27, with a victory for reigning FEI Jumping World Cup™ champions Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC. Earlier in the evening, 16-year-old Elli Yeager claimed the coveted Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals riding Copperfield 39.

A four-time U.S. Olympian, Madden topped a 24-horse field by more than two seconds in 30.74 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner over courses built by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. From a four-horse jump-off, she edged out Katherine Dinan (USA) riding Dougie Douglas, owned by Grant Road Partners, LLC, who sat on a leading time of 32.93 seconds.

Madden’s silver medal teammate from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lucy Davis (USA), rounded out an all-female podium in 33.44 seconds riding Caracho 14, owned by Old Oak Farm.

Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam rounded out the jump-off with a four-fault performance for fourth place riding Don’t Touch Du Bois, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy. A 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medalist, Laura Kraut (USA) finished fifth with the fastest four-fault ride from the opening round aboard Confu, owned by St. Bride’s Farm.

“This was his first indoor event of the year, so it’s nice to see that he’s in form. It shows why he was good at the World Cup [Final]; he walked right in here and was clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.” – Beezie Madden

A quick horse by nature, Madden relied on Breitling’s foot speed to shave significant time off the clock, saying, “I thought one to two was a little bit of a tough turn to a big jump, so I didn’t think that was really the place to win it. I feel like I was a touch slow there, but then I knew my horse has some speed, and he’s quite good at turning, so I think I made it up at the turns on both ends, particularly the last turn.”

Madden has set her sights on the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Göteborg (SWE) with a solid string of horses to choose from.

Elli Yeager Earns 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals Victory

Elli Yeager, 16, of Wellington, FL, bested a field of 40 of the nation’s top junior riders to win the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals on Saturday.

In order to win the competitive, year-end equitation final, Yeager had to earn the highest cumulative score over three phases of competition: a hunter phase held on Friday, a jumper phase held on Saturday afternoon, and a final work-off held during Saturday night’s featured session. Riders’ average scores from the first two rounds were combined, with the 10 top-ranked competitors then swapping horses in the work-off.

Yeager and her longtime partner, Copperfield 39, topped the hunter phase with a score of 92.50 and finished fourth in the jumper phase with a score of 91.25 for a 183.75 total going into the final round.

The win in the jumper phase went to Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT on a score of 94.50. With a fourth-place finish and a score of 89.25 in the hunter phase, Fath’s cumulative total also sat on 183.75, putting she and her Beacon Hill Show Stables barn mate, Yeager, in a tie going into the final round.

For the work-off, the two front-runners swapped mounts, with Fath taking over the ride aboard Copperfield 39, and Yeager taking the reins on Fath’s mount, equitation championship veteran Class Action, who won the Finals in 2008 with Katherine Newman.

While both delivered seamless rounds, a well-executed inside turn by Yeager, which Fath elected to forego, would give Yeager the slight, tie-breaking advantage and ultimately the 2018 WIHS Equitation Finals victory.

For the win, Yeager was presented with the WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy, donated by Mr. & Mrs. G. Ralph Ours III, and as the winning horse, Copperfield 39 was awarded the Lugano Memorial Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill.

“This is my favorite horse show, and it went better than I ever could have imagined! I didn’t think this was ever going to happen to be honest – especially just being 16. But it happened, and I’m just elated that it happened here at my favorite horse show with my favorite horse who is the best partner that I could ask for.” – Elli Yeager

Yeager has been riding her winning mount, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for nearly six years.

“Over the years, I’ve grown about 10 inches, but he’s always been the same,” said Yeager. “He always has his game face on. He’s never let me down. He’s been the best horse I could have ever asked for.”

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

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Royal Horse Show Doubles Down on Derby Fun

Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Adrienne Lyle headlines new Dressage Derby; Hunters Showcased in Knightwood Hunter Derby

Toronto, Ontario – U.S. Olympian Adrienne Lyle will headline the new Dressage Derby on Tuesday evening, November 6, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. This year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs from November 2 through 11 at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

Doubling down on Derby fun, Tuesday evening’s Royal Horse Show performance opens with the impressive Knightwood Hunter Derby followed by the Dressage Derby, a new concept that will see four riders go head-to-head riding borrowed horses in a ‘knock-out’ format. Riders will have only minutes to get to know their mounts before entering the Coca-Cola Coliseum to perform their test. The winner of each ‘knock-out round’ will move forward to a second round in the hopes of being crowned the Royal Dressage Derby Champion.

Lyle, a member of the U.S. silver medal team at the recent FEI World Equestrian Games, will be making her first trip to Toronto in addition to her Royal Horse Show debut.

“I’ve always wanted to go to the Royal and I thought it was a fun chance to get to compete there,” said Lyle, who is based in Wellington, FL. “I have competed in some derbies in Florida before and I think they are really fun. The crowd loves them and they are a great test of rider skill.”

Joining Lyle in the Dressage Derby are Canadians Tom Dvorak and Jaimey Irwin along with Esther Mortimer of Guatemala.

“It’s the ultimate test of rider skill to have to ride a horse you don’t know and have never had a chance to watch or ride before,” said Lyle, who is looking forward to the challenge of riding an unfamiliar mount. “It’s an easy format for the crowd to understand because it makes sense and it is usually obvious which rider gets along best with their horse. Sometimes there’s also a lot of comedy involved! I grew up in pony club riding many different horses and I really enjoy the challenge of getting on and sorting it out in a few minutes. A lot of it is being able to read the horse and come up with a strategy.”

Prior to the Dressage Derby, Canadian Dressage Team veteran, Jacqueline Brooks, will retire her long-time partner, D Niro, in a fitting celebration at the Royal Horse Show. Brooks and the 19-year-old grey Swedish Warmblood gelding affectionately known as ‘Goose’ have represented Canada in international competition around the globe, including at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2013 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Following the Dressage Derby, Brittany Fraser will perform a musical freestyle riding All In to close out the evening. The highest-placed member of Canada’s dressage team at the recent 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in September, Fraser will demonstrate both the artistry and difficulty in choreographing required movements to the music of her choice.

Opening Tuesday evening’s Royal Horse Show performance, the elegance of high performance hunters will be on display in the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby. Competitors from across the country have been earning points all year in the hopes of vying for the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy, presented to the overall Canadian Hunter Derby Series Champion.

From the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Friday and Saturday evenings, November 2 and 3, through to the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, on Saturday night, November 10, the Royal Horse Show offers something each day for all fans of horse sport.

In featured entertainment, Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the ten-day Royal Horse Show while Pogo Puissance by Xpogo will take jumping to new heights as young athletes attempt to set records by jumping obstacles on pogo sticks.

More than 1,000 horses from around the globe will compete for $980,000 in prize money during the 10-day CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show. VIP Platinum and Gold seating, as well as group and individual tickets, are on sale now and moving quickly. All Royal Horse Show tickets include general admission to the Fair.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.