Category Archives: Show Jumping

Guerdat Gallops Them All into the Ground at Stuttgart

Photo: Steve Guerdat and Hannah. (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

On a day when a host nation win seemed all but a given, Swiss superman Steve Guerdat (35) and his flying machine Hannah galloped the opposition into total submission with a whirlwind jump-off round at the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League at Stuttgart, Germany. Never a man to flinch against the clock, the 2012 Olympic champion and winner of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title in both 2015 and 2016 was third-last to go of the 16 that made the cut into the deciding second round. And to the disbelief of almost everyone including long-time leader Philipp Weishaupt, he shaved more than a half-second off the German rider’s scorching-fast target time to clinch it.

“You have to really believe you have a chance, especially when you are going at the end of a jump-off. I’ve been five times second in the Grand Prix here in Stuttgart and I really wanted to win it one day. I would have preferred to have one down in the fastest time than not to be fast enough today, so I really went for it!” — Steve Guerdat SUI (1st)

There were 11 German contenders on the 40-strong start-list so the result seemed heavily weighted in favour of a home victory. But in the end the best they could do was line up behind the speedy Swiss partnership, Weishaupt in runner-up spot with Asathir ahead of Christian Ahlmann with Epleaser van’t Heike in third and Simone Blum and DSP Alice in fourth.

Guerdat is delighted with his 10-year-old mare. “Hannah has been amazing all season. She never jumped indoors before we went to the first World Cup leg in Oslo last month and she wasn’t perfect there, but she was much better in the next round at Helsinki, and here in the big Stuttgart arena it’s more like jumping outdoors so she was very happy with that,” he explained.

“She feels like she really loves her job – as soon as she sees a fence she really wants to jump it and it’s lovely to compete with a horse that loves so much what she does. I think she has fantastic times ahead!” — Steve Guerdat SUI (1st)

Guerdat now tops the Western European League table and, with 43 points, is already qualified for the Longines 2018 Final in Paris next April.

Next stop in this thrilling series is Madrid, Spain on Saturday 25 November.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Richard Spooner and Chatinus Claim Longines Victory

Photo: Richard Spooner and Chatinus (FEI/Amy McCool)

The old adage claims that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but it will be hard to keep secret the talent of Richard Spooner’s (USA) new equine star, Chatinus. Spooner piloted the 10-year-old Hanoverian to the gelding’s first World Cup qualifier victory in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas (USA).

“I’m just very optimistic for the future with this horse. It’s just absolutely blowing my mind!” — Richard Spooner (USA)

Spooner defeated Alison Robitaille (USA) and Serise du Bidou to claim the top check, outpacing that duo’s time by nearly three seconds. First to go in a select jump-off field of three, Robitaille and her mount crossed the timers in 40.20 seconds; Spooner and Chatinus finished in 37.30 seconds. Karrie Rufer (USA) and Georgie d’Auvray EC, the only other combination to advance to the shortened track, finished in the third position. Last to go and Spooner to catch, Rufer elected to retire after her mount pulled a rail, but it was still a career-best finish for the amateur rider, who was competing in just the second World Cup qualifying competition of her career.

The course designed by Oscar Soberón (MEX) made for great show jumping, as the crowd on hand was on the edge of their seats waiting for a clear round. They did not get one until 21 horse and rider pairs had competed, but they did not have to wait much longer for a second: The west coast audience showed their appreciation when fan favorite Spooner, 24th to go, guaranteed a jump-off. A total of 29 competitors jumped in Round 1.

“I stuck with my plan. I walked the course and just did what my original plan was, and it worked out!” — Richard Spooner (USA)

Spooner now sits atop the standings of the west coast sub league of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League with 58 points. Robitaille leads the east coast sub league standings; she has 52 points.

“For me, it’s unfamiliar ground to have a horse that just kind of goes in the ring and is just like an ATM machine at this point!” Spooner said of Chatinus, whom he has only had since the summer. Chatinus also posted top five finishes in World Cup qualifiers at Sacramento (USA) and Del Mar (USA) this season.

The next event on the North American League will take place in Guadalajara (MEX) on Saturday, 27 January 2018.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Hunter News from the Atlanta Fall Classics

Holly Shepherd and Kodachrome [Alison Hartwell Photography]

Seasoned derby riders, Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, battled it out for the top placings in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby over a course designed by Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey.

Twenty-five horse and rider teams took to the oval arena and it was Derby Queen Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Nina Moore’s Kodachrome who took home the blue ribbon for their overall score of 375.

Special, owned by Missy Nolen and ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, earned a second place ribbon with their overall score of 363, and Shepherd returned for a third place ribbon in the irons of Belle Rolfe’s Cesar De Lison Z for their overall score of 362. Maddrix returned to the winner’s circle for the fourth place ribbon, this time aboard Margaret Camp’s Cascaron, for their overall score of 349.

Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California took the fifth, sixth, and seventh placings with Kelly Sims’ True Enough [348.50], his own Nil Du Buffan [347.50], and Sims’ True Story [347].

Sarah Milliren of Athens, Georgia and Liddy Strickland’s Valentine placed eighth, ninth was awarded to Allison Reichenbach’s High Life, ridden by Danielle Grice of Northfield, Tennessee, and tenth went to Vick Russell of Columbus, North Carolina and his own Tall Paul. Eleventh and twelfth were awarded to West Meadow Farm, LLC’s Fergus, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, and Wimberly Debono’s Indecision, ridden by Maddrix.

“It was great to see so many compete in the International Hunter Derby,” commented Bob Bell, President of Classic Company. “We’ve had a strong showing in the hunter divisions both weeks I and II.”

Julie Curtin and Cheryl Rubinstein’s Capisce Victorious in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia took the top two placings in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, besting a field of 23 horse and rider teams over a course designed by Paul Jewell. Curtin and Cheryl Rubinstein’s Capisce took the class with their combined score of 179.5, but beating Curtin’s second ride, Rebekah Warren’s Cassico, by only half a point.

“In the Handy round, Capisce and I had a couple of options. We took the inside turns and he was really smooth and extremely handy which made for a good trip. He just edged out my other horse, so it was really close,” she said.

Final results had Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama taking the third and fourth placings with Belle Rolfe’s Boure and Micaela Kennedy’s Magnus Hermes, respectively, with overall scores of 175 and 174.

Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, ridden by Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California, placed fifth with their overall score of 171.5, and Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed sixth with their overall 171.

Sabina Holtzman of Clayton, Missouri and her own Jerez Mail earned a seventh place ribbon and Cassino Royale, owned by Anna Huggins and ridden by Clay Alder of Germantown, Tennessee, placed eighth. Shanna Beyer’s Lacoste, ridden by Mary Mielenz of Collierville, Tennessee, earned a ninth place finish, and Curtin returned for a tenth with Select Sport Horses’ Hudson for a tenth place ribbon. SLF Bellarena, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina and owned by Helen Byrd, placed eleventh, and Hannahlea, owned by Kelly Sims and ridden by Maggie Diehl of Alpharetta, Georgia, wrapped up the class with a twelfth place.

“I’ve ridden Cheryl’s horse before, but I rode him as a Pre Green. I was excited when Phoebe and Cheryl asked me about a week ago to ride him,” said Curtin. “He’s [Capisce] has really matured and grown up a lot and we just clicked right away. He’s a wonderful horse and I felt so comfortable on him.

“Paul used the same course for us as the International Hunter Derby and it rode really well for both heights,” she added. “It was open, flowing and there were lots of single jumps. Because the arena is very long, but not as wide, he did a great job on making it flow. He put a couple of jumps at the end of the ring because it was so long he had to use some of the width. The very first jump was on the end of the ring and the horses had to pay attention at Jump 1,” she commented. “But Paul let us finish with a nice long run to an oxer for our last jump which was really nice.

“It was so nice to see both the International and National Hunter Derbies with big numbers, especially now at the end of the year,” she added. “I’m looking forward to Gulfport this winter and plan on doing four weeks there.”

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Eric Lamaze Ends Global Champions League with Team Victory

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid. Photo by Stefano Grasso for Global Champions League.

Doha, Qatar – Canada’s Eric Lamaze, riding alongside Harrie Smolders, led the Hamburg Diamonds to the overall victory in the final event of the Global Champions League held November 10 and 11 in Doha, Qatar.

The 2017 Global Champions League saw 18 teams participate, with the majority named for stops on the Global Champions League tour.  Heading into the final event of the season, the Hamburg Diamonds held a narrow lead over Valkenswaard United, with the final rankings to be decided over two days in Doha.

Lamaze incurred nine faults in Friday’s opening round, hindered by two broken ribs suffered days earlier, while his teammate, Harrie Smolders of The Netherlands, jumped a clear round to keep hopes of an overall victory alive.  On Saturday night, Lamaze delivered when it counted most, producing a clear round aboard his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old bay Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.  When Smolders matched his fault-free performance riding Don VHP Z, the Hamburg Diamonds secured the 2017 Global Champions League title with a total of 312 points over Valkenswaard United, who kept the pressure on right until the end and finished runner-up with 308 points.  The Mexico Amigos finished a distant third with 250 points.

The Hamburg Diamonds won a total of €2,269,614 in prize money throughout the 2017 Global Champions League season.  Lamaze, Smolders, and six-time British Olympian John Whitaker were joined by Audrey Coulter of the United States and Jos Verlooy of Belgium, both two-time World Cup Finalists, in representing the Hamburg Diamonds over the course of the 2017 season for owners Copernicus and Euro Horse.  Two riders from each team are selected to compete in each of the 15 Global Champions League events held around the world.

“Thank you to Axel Verlooy and the Coulter family for including me on their team this season,” said Lamaze, 49, who rode alongside Smolders, Coulter, and Jos Verlooy during his 2017 season appearances.  “When Axel first approached me, I didn’t hesitate to join such a strong team.  It took the best riders to win the championship title.

“I would also like to thank my owners, particularly Andy and Carlene Ziegler, for allowing me to ride their horses in the Global Champions League this year,” added Lamaze.

Lamaze competed in four Global Champions League events riding his 2016 Rio Olympic mount, Fine Lady 5.  He also made three appearances with Chacco Kid, an 11-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler, Rick and Sara Mershad, and Ludi and Carol Sollak, who, collectively, form The Chacco Kid Group.

Lamaze has two competitions left on his 2017 schedule.  The three-time Canadian Olympic medalist will compete at the CSI5* Paris Masters in France from November 30 to December 3 before heading to Switzerland for the CHI Geneva from December 7 to 10.  In Geneva, Lamaze will defend his title in the innovative Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final, which offers 475,000 Swiss francs in prize money to the top ten ranked riders in the world, on Friday night, December 8, as well as contest the Rolex Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Sunday, December 10.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.EricLamaze.com.

Media Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Celso Ariani and Dali T Best Competition in $25,000 November Grand Prix

Celso Ariani aboard Dali T. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 15, 2017 – The ESP November competition concluded on Sunday, November 12, at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), with a steadfast victory for Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL aboard Rodrigo Padilla and Ricardo Romero’s Dali T, in the $25,000 November Grand Prix. The pair bested the competition, stopping fast-track timers in 40.941 seconds, and ultimately clinched the first place position.

Second place was awarded to Elisa Uribe of Ft. Lauderdale, FL aboard her own Havana De La Lande, after completing the course, designed by Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL in 41.585 seconds. Third place honors were captured by Kevin Mealiff of Flemington, NJ, piloting Maarten Huygens Audi’s Dimple to a finish of 43.602 seconds.

The $10,000 TackNRider Welcome Stakes saw Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Armageddon, owned by Cenci Jumper, LLC, take first place with a jump-off time of 43.497 seconds. Second place honors were awarded to Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL aboard his own Cortina 186 with a jump-off time of 44.092 seconds, while third place was secured by Rebecca Conway of Wellington, FL and Cornwall 9, owned by Blue Hill Farm, LLC, with a fast-track time of 45.166 seconds.

The Child/Adult Jumper Classic was won by Emmanuelle Greenberg of Boca Raton, FL and her own Curacao, completing the jump-off in 42.486 seconds. Brielle Biggins of Palm Beach Gardens, FL slid into second place after the jump-off with a time of 41.551 seconds and with four additional faults, aboard Good Boy H M, owned by Equine Equities and Investments LLC. Third place was also awarded to Emmanuelle Greenberg and her own Carlos G, after adding four faults to their jump-off time of 48.854 seconds.

Caroline Donnally of Wellington, FL won the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic aboard her own Reve Du Razzy, after stopping the jump-off timers at 44.31 seconds. Second place was earned by Dolores Funes of Wellington, FL aboard Samuel Parot’s Chantilly, finishing with a jump-off time of 44.702 seconds. Teri Kessler of Lexington, KY took third place with Skribbelino, owned by Kessler, on a jump-off time of 45.448 seconds, and also adding four faults to their score.

The Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic awarded first place to Lisa Moore of Boca Raton, FL and Royal Equines, LLC’s Jester Van De Gerkenberg, after completing the jump-off in 36.123 seconds. Laura Piedrahita of Wellington, FL rode her own Funoranchi to second place with a jump-off time of 38.147 seconds. Third place was captured by Ella Hess of Boca Raton, FL and Susanne Richey’s All’s Well, finishing the jump-off in 43.078 seconds.

The Accuhorsemat Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Classic was won by Emmanuelle Greenberg aboard Curacao, with a jump-off time of 35.462 seconds. Second place saw Paige Myers of Plantation, FL riding her own Klyde’s Getaway complete the jump-off in 38.903 seconds to finish in the top two. Third place went to Ava Tarone of West Palm Beach, FL aboard Isabel Sanchez’s Chino, after a jump-off round that stopped the timers in 41.03 seconds.

Karen Walcott of Wellington, FL captured the victory in the Pilates Rock Low Adult Hunter division on KEQ, LLC’s Charm City. Walcott also took the reserve champion finish aboard Right On Q, owned by Walcott.

The Equitation 14 & Under Division awarded champion to Chloe Watrous of Evanston, IL and her own Quintus Rubin. Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL took reserve champion, piloting Alleala, owned by Beltran.

The Adult Amateur Hunter Division saw Kira Telford of Chicago, FL take top honors aboard Calistoga Gold, owned by Telford ahead of Francis Kruel of Wellington, FL and State Of Play, who captured reserve champion.

The Children’s Hunter Division was topped by Lily Beatty of Stuart, FL and Long’s Stable LLC’s Amoroso Z as the pair took divisional honors, while Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL and her own Alleala finished with reserve champion honors.

The Equitation Adult Amateur Division saw Alexandra Davidson of New York, NY and her own Tyruso take top divisional honors, while Zachary Gellman of Delray Beach, FL and Waterfall Z took reserve champion.

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

Julia Curtis and Isarus Win the $25,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix

Julia Curtis and Isarus [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

It was a happy anniversary for Julie Curtis of Villa Rica, Georgia and her own Isarus when they won the $25,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix, presented by EMO, under the lights in the Olympic Arena.

“He’s nine coming ten years old and I got him one year ago here at the Atlanta Fall Classics,” said Curtis. “Kyle Timm called my trainer Harrison [Ford] and told him that he thought he had a perfect horse for me,” she said. “I really wasn’t even looking,” she added. “I was a junior then and only rode him in the 1.20 Low Juniors last year. Then we came here in the spring and got a third in our first Grand Prix but this is our first win together!” exclaimed Curtis.

Curtis and Isarus were the only horse and rider team to turn in a clear round in this Grand Prix. “When my trainer Harrison and I walked the course, we thought it was going to be simple and not so technical,” she said. “But once we got in the arena, there were no places to take a rest and you had to keep moving throughout the whole course,” commented Curtis.

“After the triple there was a bending seven to a wide oxer and my trainer said that once you got through the triple, the seven would come up tight,” she said. “Lots of horses had the back rail because they got there so tight,” she added.

“But my horse has a really hard left drift and since that part of the course was the hardest for me, when I jumped out of the triple, I used his drift to my advantage in order to get down the seven without coming in too tight to the oxer,” she said.

That strategy worked well for Curtis and she and Isarus were the only horse and rider team to go clear in a time of 74.535 seconds, beating the first round time allowed of 77 seconds. Glenn Hartigan of Canton, Georgia and his own Z Coco Cabana kept the rails up in the first round, but their time of 77.281 earned them one time fault and a second place ribbon.

The fastest of the four fault rounds, Danielle Grice of Northfield, Tennessee and Highridge Farm, LLC’s Kaprio placed third with their time of 71.488, and Summer Hill of Lexington, Kentucky, in the irons of Andrea Simpson’s Vendome DH Z, earned a fourth place ribbon with their four fault round in a time of 71.859 seconds.

Fifth was awarded to Seth Valhonrat’s Conbalou, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, for their four fault first round in a time of 71.875 seconds. Guidam Sid, owned and ridden by Meredith Bryans of Newborn, Georgia, placed sixth with their four fault first round in a time of 74.303 seconds, and seventh was awarded to Chasen Boggio of Canton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot for their eight fault round in a time of 71.799 seconds.

Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee and Werner 61, owned by Westwind Equine Training, placed eighth and she also earned a ninth place ribbon with Westwind’s Quite Dark 2. Vick Russell’s Shining De Reve, ridden by Thomas John Russell of Columbus, North Carolina, placed tenth, and Madison Dehaven’s Chanel, ridden by Sarah Meier of Lexington, Kentucky, wrapped up the class with an eleventh place finish.

“I’m a freshman at the University of Kentucky and studying psychology, but have been horse showing the last two weeks,” commented Curtis. “I rode in the National Horse Show last week with a hunter I own and we got eighth in one of the rounds and jogged in two of them. Then I left Kentucky on Thursday and drove here to show this weekend,” she said. “Tomorrow I have another horse here to do the Barry Lane and then I need to head back to Lexington and be a student again,” she said.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Beezie Madden Wins Two in a Row at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Beezie Madden riding Breitling. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY won the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday, November 10, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in downtown Toronto, ON.

Hot off her win in Thursday’s $35,000 Brickenden Trophy with Coach, Madden returned to the Ricoh Coliseum with Breitling LS, owned by Abigail Wexner. Riding second in the order, Madden set the early time to beat over the speed track designed by 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, stopping the timers clear in 50.03 seconds. The only rider to come close to catching Madden was Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium who piloted Inouk P, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, to a time of 51.97 seconds for owner and father, four-time Olympian Ludo Philippaerts.

“There were some really good riders out there, but I think I set the pace fast enough that they had to take some risks and that was difficult to do,” said Madden, 53, a regular competitor and crowd favourite at the annual Royal Horse Show. “This has been quite a good show for me. The quality here is always good with good jumping, which makes it is difficult to win, so I am thrilled to win two classes.”

Of her mount Breitling LS, Madden noted, “He has had a phenomenal year! He has developed into a horse I can depend on in any kind of class.

“Tonight, there were a lot of inside turns with jumps coming up quick, so you needed a horse that was rideable and that is one of his very strong points,” continued Madden of the 11-year-old La Silla stallion (Quintero x Armonia). “He has become quite a quick thinker, which he had to develop into, so I was really happy that he did that well with this course.”

Canada’s own François Lamontagne of St. Eustache, QC took third on home soil with a clear round in 54.42 seconds riding Chanel du Calvaire, while Sharn Wordley New Zealand claimed fourth in 56.32 seconds on Caiman des Sequoias for owner Sky Group. Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB was the only other rider to post a clear round, piloting Chemas home in a time of 56.67 seconds.

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

Beezie Madden Claims Brickenden Trophy at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Beezie Madden riding Coach. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden won the $35,000 Brickenden Trophy on Thursday, November 9, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in downtown Toronto, ON.

Madden of Cazenovia, NY was the one to beat in a 15-horse jump-off over tracks set by 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. She and Coach, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Con Air x Corofino I) owned by Abigail Wexner, crossed the timers double clear in 30.35 seconds for the victory.

Less than a second separated the top five with Madden unseating fellow U.S. show jumping athlete Andrew Kocher from the top of the leaderboard. The Oklahoma native settled in second place with a time of 30.60 seconds riding Artemise du Houssoit, owned by Double H Farm. Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts jumped into third aboard Aikido Z with a time of 30.70 seconds while the number-one ranked rider in the world and winner of Wednesday night’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Toronto, Kent Farrington of the United States, took fourth riding Creedance with a clear jump-off effort in a time of 30.73 seconds. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle rounded out the top five, having posted the first double-clear performance with a time of 30.97 seconds aboard Martha Louise.

“I try to come to The Royal every year because I think this show is fantastic; the jumping is always good here and the crowd is incredible,” said Madden, who also placed third riding Coach in the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 7. “This year, I have a great string that I am building, and they needed some indoor experience. Coach has all the potential in the world, and today I used his huge stride to my advantage and was able to do less strides around the ends of the ring, which not very many other riders could do.”

Madden has selected Coach as her mount for the $87,000 GroupBy Big Ben Challenge on Saturday night, November 11, noting, “I am just starting to step him up into the top level. After two classes this week, I feel he is settled enough and ready for a big class on Saturday.”

On Thursday evening, three-time U.S. Olympic medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $35,000 International Accumulator Challenge over Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam. Both riders collected 65 points over the course, but Ward had an edge on the clock with a time of 49.88 seconds riding HH Callas for owner Double H Farm, while Sweetnam broke the timers in 50.47 seconds aboard Don’t Touch du Bois, owned by Spy Coast Farm, Paul Tracy, and Sweet Oak Farm.

Earlier on Thursday, Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON won the opening phase of the Alfred Rogers Uplands Under 25 National Championship riding Excellent B. The pair posted one of two clear rounds over the speed track, stopping the timers at 61.07 to hold off runner-up Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON, who rode Quidam’s Caprice M to a time of 61.62 seconds for owner AEI Corp.

Alexanne Thibault of Boucherville, QC took third riding Chacco Prime with the fastest four-fault effort, while Julia Madigan of Vancouver, BC finished fourth on Farfelu du Printemps, owned by John Madigan. Ashley James of Senneville, ON rounded out the top five riding Dartagnan Z.

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

Hunter News from Week I of the Atlanta Fall Classic

Hunt Tosh and Bastogne [photo by Alison Hartwell Photography]

The highly anticipated $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, sponsored by Ariat and Friends of Ellen Veitch, took to the Olympic Arena at the Georgia International Horse Park and welcomed twenty-one finalists to the inaugural Classic championship.

Riders showed their horses in the Sidelines Green Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ Divisions all year hopeful to qualify for this inaugural Classic. The first round of the 3′ class had fourteen horse and rider teams and the 3’3″ saw seven horse and rider teams.

Bastogne, owned by Doug Wheeler and ridden by Hunt Tosh of Milton, Georgia, galloped away with the first place honors and their $9,000 share of the prize money, besting twenty other horse and rider teams. “Bastogne is five years old and we only started him in the Green Hunter Division in the Spring. He hasn’t even been doing this a full year! He is one of our greener horses but he went really well today. We went early in the first round and we turned in a really nice first round and his second round was more of a handy course for the Green Hunters and he did well in that too, turning in two solid, nice rounds,” commented Tosh.

Bastogne and Tosh’ s total score of 176 led the pack followed by Walkabout Investments, LLC’s Godric Gryffindor, ridden by Erin Mccabe Clayton of Zionsville, Indiana, with their overall score of 171. Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina in the irons of Liz Hudspeth’s Limelight, LTD earned an overall score of 169, awarding them a third place.

Tosh returned for a fourth place ribbon this time in the irons of Ceil Wheeler’s Lights Out with their overall score of 167. “He’s only six and we started him out in Florida last winter and he ended up winning the future hunter championships. He’s had a bit of a break but he went really nicely here. He had a little rub in the one round which kept him from placing higher, but we were happy with him,” commented Tosh. “This class was great for him and we’re excited about starting him the First Year Greens in 2018,” he added.

Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, ridden by Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California, placed fifth with their overall score of 161.5, and Isabella Lafferty’s Argento, ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed sixth with their overall score of 160.

Tosh picked up a seventh with Douglas Wheeler’s Uptown for their overall score of 159.5. “Uptown is a six-year-old and has been really doing well and although we had a little mistake in the first round, we did well in the second round and overall went nicely. He’s a blast to ride!”

David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee picked up eighth and ninth places with Belle Rolfe’s Boure [overall score 157.5] and Sabina Holtzman’s Jerez Mail [overall score 150].

Karen Lackinger’s Gratis, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, South Carolina, placed tenth with their overall score of 145, and Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, ridden by Carolyn Bell, placed eleventh for their 126 overall score. Cypress, owned by Missy Nolen and ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, wrapped up the class with twelfth place and an overall score of 124.

“To get three nice checks was really great,” said Tosh. “Classes like this make you feel like you’re ready to move up to the 1st Year Greens. The Classic gives the owners, riders and trainers something to look forward to and to jump for $30,000 is really great.

“Our horses did well and everyone in the class did a great job,” Tosh continued. “I think it’s great that Bob offers the Green Hunters for $5 a division and gives everyone something to shoot for with this $30,000 Green Hunter Classic,” he added. “We have the Capital Challenge and then we’re finished. To have this class come later is perfect and Paul [Jewell] did a wonderful job with the course.

“Because of classes like these, we’re able to develop our horses and move them up next year. Now we have some new young ones to school and we’ll definitely be back to show in the Classic Company Green Hunters,” he added.  Tosh also received a pair of Fabbri Boots from Susan Benson and Somerset Sport Equestrian Trading.

Bob Bell commented, “We are so pleased with the success of our inaugural $30,000 Green Hunter Classic. We are committed to the development of our hunter horses and feel that by offering the Division for only $5 and then producing a $30,000 Finals Classic helps the horses, owners and riders continue to produce quality hunters,” he said. “To dedicate this Classic to our dear friend Ellen Veitch makes it that more special,” he added. “We are appreciative to everyone who supported our efforts this year and would like to especially thank Ariat for its sponsorship.”

True Enough and Michael Leon Win the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride

Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California and Kelly Sim’s True Enough bested a field of twenty-five horse and rider teams to take the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Leon had four horses in the class and guided three of them to finish in the top twelve. “It was fun,” said Leon. “The course was nice and open and he [True Enough] jumped really bright which let me show off how scopey he is with a couple of nice long gallops to a single. In the handy, he was really on it – very bright and strong,” he said. “He’s one of those horses that just wants to win,” he added.

“True Enough is seven coming eight and I’ve been riding him since last June in the Green Divisions. This is our third National Derby win,” he commented.

Leon also picked up the second place ribbon with his own Nil Du Buffant Rouge, also known as ‘Frenchy’. “He is a veteran,” commented Leon. “He’s 15 years old and I’ve won more than ten National Derbies and three International Derbies with him. I did it for fun and to be competitive. I try equally on all of the horses I ride, whether they are mine or my clients’,” he said. “Frenchy jumped beautifully, but he had a little swap at the last jump which moved him down in the placing.”

Third place was awarded to Tim Maddrix and Missy Nolen’s Special, and Cassico, owned by Rebekah warren and ridden by Julie Curtin, finished in fourth place.

Sue Gibbs’ Gioia, ridden by Vick Russell of Columbus, North Carolina, earned a fifth place finish, and Leon returned with Kelly Sims’ True Story for a sixth place ribbon.

Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, Georgia and her won RS Levitation placed seventh, and Matt Martin of Petersburgh, Tennessee rode Jessica Dicampli’s Berlinka to an eighth place finish. Shane Powell of Sterling, Massachusetts rode Sydney Mannon’s One Love to a ninth place finish, and Kat Fuqua took home the tenth place ribbon with her own High Noon 3E. Curtin and her own Honey Badger finished in eleventh place, and Russell returned for the twelfth place ribbon, this time in the irons of Skipping Foal Sport Horses’ Corton Charlemagne.

“This is my first year here,” said Leon. “I showed here in June and then relocated to the area from California so this is the first time for me making it to all of these shows,” he said. “Bob does a fantastic job. It’s been a breath of fresh air for me to experience Classic Company shows and their team. The show management and staff all the way to the folks who work the in gate – everyone is nice, the show runs on time, and you can just feel how much this horse show cares about the horses, competitors and owners. It really makes a difference how the Classic Company really cares about the professionals and stays on top of everything. Bob is out at the rings, the staff is always eager to help you out and everyone is so nice,” he said.  “We’ll be here next week too and I’m looking forward to riding four in the International.”

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Farrington’s World No. 1 Dominance on Display in Longines Victory at Toronto

Photo: Kent Farrington with Voyeur (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

At a milestone 95th edition of the prestigious Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, Kent Farrington (USA) proved why he is the world’s top-ranked rider on the Longines Rankings. He and his 2016 Olympic Games partner Voyeur topped the $150,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto in front of a packed, enthusiastic crowd at the only indoor competition in Canada.

Farrington and his 15-year-old mount laid down a flawless jump-off round, winning with a final time of 35.51 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Main Road made a gallant run at the winner, and it came down to the final fence, but the duo crossed the timers just off the pace in 36.84 seconds to finish second. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Barnetta were the only other double-clear performers to finish third; their time was 43.48 seconds.

“Voyeur’s really been a career horse for me,” Farrington said. “[Owners] the Nusz family have been long-term supporters of my career and bought Voyeur for me with the hope that he’d be a Champion horse for me. He has been — every bit of it and more. Tonight he really showed why he’s special.”

“Voyeur’s really been a career horse for me!” — Kent Farrington (USA)

Six competitors produced clear rounds over the Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed track in the first round, which included four 1.60m verticals, an imposing wall, and a wide, airy final liverpool oxer that proved to be a frequent heartbreaker on course, ending early the night of four-time defending champion McLain Ward (USA), among others. The number of clears was halved in the jump-off, and none made their work look quite as smooth as Farrington and his veteran partner.

“I think what you’re seeing is a horse that I know really well,” Farrington said. “I know his weak points, and I know his strengths. I’m very confident in him to do what he can do. My strategy was to put pressure on the last two so that they were really going to have to try. It’s a great partnership, and I hope he still has some more wins down the road also.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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