Category Archives: Show Jumping

Nutrena Young Horse Show Finals Sees Record Entries

Photo: ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – December 1, 2020 – The 2020 edition of the Nutrena® Young Horse Show Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm welcomed a record 130 entries to Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) November 5-8, 2020, showcasing the future of American-bred sport horses, ranging from yearlings to five years old. From in-hand and liberty classes to jump-chute, under saddle and over fences competition, the young equine athletes were evaluated over four days in a safe and educational environment intended to support and promote American sport horse breeders across many breeds and disciplines.

Jean Yves Tola, the organizer of the Young Horse Show (YHS) Series, was thrilled with the “largest turn out so far” of the series’ tenth year of competition since inception. Despite a no-spectators mandate due to COVID-19 and strong safety measure in place, the enthusiasm for young sport horses remained unaffected, he reported.

“It was a great way to end our 10-year anniversary season,” he recapped. “The overall quality [of entries] keeps climbing every year, making this competition noteworthy. The live stream addition this year was fantastic too, as it allowed us to reach an audience beyond the United States. We had buyers, breeders, and owners tuning in from around the world. We’re very much looking forward to 2021!”

Sara McCormick of Orchid Hill Farm was a first-time competitor in the YHS Finals, adding the Finals to her competition calendar after a friend’s recommendation. McCormick brought her stallion, “Jimmy” [Orchard Hill’s Finer by Far], who is a third-generation foal for her. She was excited to experience the YHS Series as she’d “never actually done anything like the Young Horse Show.”

“I wanted to bring him out into a different venue than he’s been in before. He actually showed on the line last year for the Young Pony Hunter Breeding in the USEF stuff. Last year, he won Best Young Pony at Devon, and was first at Upperville. I had plans to get him out this year, but because of COVID, Devon and Upperville were cancelled. I decided to bring him home and then bred him to five mares. One of my friends was coming to this, so I said, ‘Okay, let’s take him!’ It’s been a lot of fun. I hope to bring a few more next year and see how it goes. It’s something for the young horses to do, and a new venue for them.”

McCormick noted that being able to connect with her friends and fellow breeders she knows online, but has never met in person, was a highlight for her:

“I loved meeting and seeing so many people who I know on social media, but haven’t put two eyes on. We met a lot of different people who were interested in the stallion and interested in what we’re doing, too. Everyone was really nice. Breeders benefit [from the Young Horse Show] because people get to see horses bred in the U.S. and the quality of the horses bred here in a more European setting. They can really view the animals and their different styles.”

View all Finals results here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Lucy Deslauriers and Hester Are Better of Two Deslauriers Duos in Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*

Lucy Deslauriers and Hester ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2020 – The first week of the ESP Holiday Series concluded on a high note on Sunday, November 29, with the $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*, presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Sunday’s challenging class saw an elite group of four pairs rise to the top as the only jump-off returners, two of which were family members in the form of Lucy Deslauriers (USA) and Mario Deslauriers (CAN). Besting her father and the rest of the international pack as the youngest competitor in the class, 21-year-old Lucy jumped mother Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to the top of the leaderboard, making it a true family affair with mother, father, and daughter all represented in the top of the standings.

“I just have so much gratitude for my horse,” commented Lucy on Hester, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker. “At the beginning of the week, I definitely felt a little bit rusty. I’ve actually been at school for the last two months, so this was my first week back in the show ring. I think the result is just a testament to my horse and our team because they’ve kept my horses in shape and kept him ready to go for when I got here. Huge thanks to them. I’m so happy!”

Sunday’s feature contest attracted 45 horse-and-rider combinations hailing from 11 nations, including the United States, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Egypt. For the first round of riding, course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) constructed a pattern of 17 efforts up to the 1.60m height, a track fit for the occasion of a CSI4* class. It took until the 29th entry in the start list to see a clear round, which came from the younger Deslauriers, Lucy, and Hester as the successful pathfinders. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve forced a jump-off with their clear round, and Kent Farrington (USA) soon followed suit riding Kaprice. The elder Deslauriers, Mario, turned in the final fault-free ride on Bardolina 2.

“I really had to stay focused and stick to our plan,” noted the winning Deslauriers of her plan in the first round after so many rides with faults from competitors. “We had a pretty clear layout of what I wanted to do and what I needed to do based on what we thought would lead to a clear round, so I couldn’t really think about the fact that nobody had gone clear yet. I really just had to stay super narrow-minded, like tunnel vision almost, toward our plan.”

For the jump-off, D’Ambrosio produced an abridged course of eight fences that featured plenty of options to cut time off the clock with tight turns or quick gallops. First to go, Lucy and Hester once again set the standard with a foot-perfect ride in 35.06 seconds. Though Springsteen and Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve (Bamako de Muze x Heartbreaker) put in a valiant effort with no rails down, they missed the top spot by a margin of a second, tripping the timers in 36.21 seconds. The paternal half of the Deslauriers and Bardolina 2 (Clarimo x Landos) went third due to a thrown shoe from Farrington’s Kaprice, and the team continued the clear streak but logged a time of 38.23 seconds to slip into third position with only one left to go. As the final entry, the ever-speedy Farrington galloped Kaprice through the course on pace to test the leaders’ time, but downed a single rail to incur four faults for fourth place.

“I haven’t really gone for it in a jump-off with him,” commented Springsteen, who spent the year in Europe, “so I was going to do a safe and clear ride, then I decided it would be good practice for us to really try and go a little bit. I tried to do as neat of turns as I could. I was really happy with him! He’s amazing – he has all the scope, he’s super careful, and he’s very reliable. Wellington is like home to me, so it’s nice to be back and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

The win is an auspicious start for Lucy’s and Hester’s winter season as they make their return to the show ring following their last competition in Traverse City, MI during the American Gold Cup in September.

“To ride with my daughter is so exciting,” remarked Mario. “We have had a few placings like this – first and second or first and third – so it’s always our goal. I love it when she goes a bit before me so I can concentrate on myself after. I get nervous when she goes so it’s good to get that done first. Our horses jumped great, so we are going to have a good family dinner tonight!”

Lucy mirrored her father’s thoughts on competing as a family, saying, “It’s so much fun. I think it adds fuel to our fire because we want to be more competitive against each other. A one-two finish is the goal, so we just want it even more when we both go clear.” She continued to say that though they are family, their mounts are not similar, meaning different strategies in the class. “We actually have super different horses, so we try to do our own thing and the chips are going to fall where they are. We had a great day, and it goes back to our team – we have such a great group of people and horses.”

On competing back in Wellington under COVID protocols, Mario concluded, “The whole ESP crew is doing a tremendous job. We, as riders, feel very safe. Let’s keep it up for the circuit. It looks great around here.”

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

Sydney Shulman Gallops Ardente Printaniere to Victory in $37k Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*

Sydney Shulman and Ardente Printaniere ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2020 – The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* continued for its penultimate day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Saturday, November 28, with the $37,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*. Jumping to two top-five placings in the class, Sydney Shulman (ISR) finished the day on a high note with a victory on Jill Shulman’s Ardente Printaniere and a fifth-place result aboard the same owner’s Villamoura.

“She’s older; she’s 15. I bought her from Maarten Huygens and McLain Ward a little over five years ago,” commented Shulman of the winning 2006 Belgian Sporthorse mare by Joyeux Ardent x Ramiro. “She’s wonderful. She’s a bit unconventional but she’s super fast, super consistent, and you can really count on her. She has had some injuries over the years, so she has been on and off a bit. I really want to thank my grooms, Lily Stanbridge and Merri West. They take amazing care of her and she’s quite difficult because she’s unconventional to manage, but they’ve done an amazing job bringing her back from the injuries. They really deserve a lot of the credit.”

For the first and only round of riding in the $37,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Speed CSI4*, course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) challenged the 65 entries with a track of 15 efforts. Sixth in the order, Shulman and Villamoura set the pace as the pathfinders with the first clear trip in 63.29 seconds. Though the leaders were overtaken for a short time by Kent Farrington (USA) and Austria 2, the winners of Wednesday’s $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*, Shulman made sure to put herself at the top of the leaderboard once again with her second ride aboard Ardente Printaniere. The duo stopped the clock without any faults in a time of 61.62 seconds as the 39th in the order, leaving 26 partnerships left to chase them down.

“The first horse I rode was Villamoura, who is a speed demon,” reflected Shulman on her two rides. “I got jumped loose in the tack yesterday, so today I went for a little more conservative round on her. The winning horse, we call her Prima, only has one way of going and is a bit unconventional, so you kind of just leave her alone and let her do her thing. Most of the time it works out like today. I didn’t think Kent was beatable, so I really had nothing to lose and just tried to do the least amount of strides. She’s a massive mare and she covers the ground, so I was just hoping that she would stay careful enough, which she did.”

Though the remainder of the pack aimed to eclipse the Israeli partnership, none were able to pass their leading time, solidifying Shulman and Ardente Printaniere as the winners. Shulman’s mount has already seen respectable success this year as the winner of the $10,000 Hermes U25 Welcome CSI3* during Week Six of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival and the second-place finisher in the $72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2* this past summer in Traverse City, MI. In Saturday’s speed class, Ellen Whitaker (GBR) jumped into second place riding her own Jack Van’t Kattenheye in a clear time of 62.19 seconds, and Farrington and Austria 2 held on for the third spot.

“I’m grateful that we can continue to do what we love to do,” noted Shulman of competing under COVID protocols. “I’m really thankful to the show for allowing it to be safe and feel comfortable to do our job and to have the shows. I think we actually ended up showing more than we would have with FEI shows prior to COVID, so I really feel lucky that we can be outside and be with the horses every day and still compete. It’s a little bit different, but I think everyone is being respectful so we can continue to show.”

Run in the DeNemethy Ring, the $2,550 1.35m Jumper Speed Stake, presented by Cabana Coast, ran concurrently with the CSI4* class in the International Arena in the morning. Run over one round, the contest gave competitors just one chance to try to cross the timer quickly without any faults, and Annie Bolling of Fair Hope, AL made use of her opportunity with the fastest ride on her own Mykonos SCF. As the second-to-last pair to ride, they were up against a leading clear time of 66.16 seconds, but improved upon that time with ease to break the beam fault-free in 64.54 seconds to capture victory. Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Alex Jayne’s Arizona ODF claimed second place with their time of 66.16 seconds, and Dana Gattuso of Stockton, NJ rode her own Halocia to third position in a clear time of 74.09 seconds.

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

McLain Ward and Noche De Ronda Claim $73,000 Holiday & Horses 1.50m Qualifier CSI4*

McLain Ward and Noche De Ronda ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 27, 2020 – The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* returned to the main stage at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, November 27, with the $73,000 Holiday & Horses 1.50m Qualifier CSI4*, presented by Premier Equestrian. Claiming a familiar place at the top of the leaderboard, Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) piloted Noche De Ronda, the horse he co-owns with Marilla Van Beuren and Bob Russell, to the fastest double-clear time of the contest.

Friday’s field included 73 horse-and-rider pairs representing 13 countries, including the United States, Ireland, Switzerland, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Egypt, Chile, Japan, and Russia. Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) created a 16-effort track for competitors that produced 16 clear rounds from the starting order.

“The jump-off was fast, and it sometimes comes off the way you want,” reflected Ward of his jump-off ride. “I think after the double combination [we made up time]. Bliss’ horse is an incredible jumper and a very fast horse, but doesn’t have the stride that Ronda has, and I was able to do one stride less, maybe two less, across the diagonal after the double combination and for sure one less stride coming home. I think probably those two places most of all helped us. It was one of those jump-offs where the plan just worked.”

Trimmed down to eight fences, the jump-off pattern led to eight teams finishing on a second fault-free ride. Halfway through the class, Daniel Bluman (ISR) held the lead aboard Colestina H, owned by Blue Star Investments and Kim Douglas, with a foot-perfect time of 36.16 seconds. Bliss Heers (USA) inched faster riding Bridgeside Farms LLC’s Antidote De Mars in 35.10 seconds, but the fifth-to-last partnership, Ward and Noche De Ronda, sliced even more time off the clock. The quick pair broke the beam with no faults in 34.26 seconds, a time that proved unbeatable for the remaining contenders. Heers and Antidote De Mars maintained the runner-up spot, followed by Ben Maher (GBR) on Deborah Perkins’ Day Dream in 35.53 seconds.

“Ronda has jumped well this year since Florida in the spring but has had a little bit of an unlucky four-fault streak in a few big grand prix classes though she has been performing well. She has always been great in this ring, and she was really in great form today,” Ward noted of his partner for the class, a 2009 Oldenburg mare by Quintender x Loves Corinth.

Ward and Noche De Ronda’s victory Friday added to their list of successes in Wellington after two grand prix victories in the span of a week in February 2020. The pair topped the $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* during Week Five of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival, then six days later earned the victory in the $213,300 Grand Prix CSIO5* during one of two Nations Cup weeks in Wellington.

“She’s going to jump this week and then in two weeks again. We will start back up a little later in the season this spring for some of the bigger classes,” Ward commented on his plans for Noche De Ronda through the remainder of the ESP Holiday Series and the upcoming 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival.

The International Arena’s classes concluded Friday with the $10,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Open Stake, which saw 53 entries in the first round of riding and 13 in the jump-off. As the fifth to go over the short course, Laura Kraut (USA) turned in a quick time of 34.76 seconds on Cherry Knoll Farm Inc’s Haley to take the lead, and their time would be unbeatable. McKayla Langmeier (USA) claimed the second spot riding Linda Langmeier’s Cadence De L’Escaut in a clear time of 34.98 seconds, while Erynn Ballard (CAN) captured third spot with Katherine Benard’s Delirius Del Sol in 35.06 seconds.

Geoffrey Hesslink and Small Occasion Are Big Winners in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Hunter riders took to the ring Friday during the ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4*, which is the first show out of six that make up the ESP Holiday Series. The highlight hunter class of the week, the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Bainbridge, featured 31 entries over courses designed by Jasen Shelley. With two scores nearing the 100-point mark, Geoffrey Hesslink of Shelbourne, VT and Small Occasion, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC, claimed the victory ahead of a high-scoring field.

“She is a famous horse and has won all over the country at the main events,” Hesslink remarked on Small Occasion. “It just so happened that we were lucky enough to fall into place with her this summer for one of my clients, Raina Swani, as her first junior hunter. She is just so much fun. She is a blast and a winner and always puts in 110 percent.”

Following the first round of the class, the cut-off score for the top 12 sat at a lofty 86 points thanks to a series of top performances from exhibitors. Hesslink and Small Occasion, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, led the way with 96 points, earned from a classic score of 92 plus four bonus points for taking the high option fences. Kristy Herrera of Wellington, FL rode Kate Ellis’ Valhalla to second position with 93 points, and last week’s National Derby winner Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano were not far behind with a score of 92. All told, 10 points separated first position from twelfth place, keeping standings tight headed into the handy round.

“We continued to show through most of the year even with everything going on, so I feel like I’ve adapted pretty well to how things are going now,” Hesslink commented of competing under COVID protocol. “This is sort of our first week back into it, so it was a great start and the horses feel great. They do a nice job here, so we are very excited and happy. It’s nice to be able to show and feel safe. My clients and I have a really top string of hunters and horses for every ring, just like her, and I’m really excited to get the chance to show them and hopefully do well this season.”

In the handy phase, competitors returned in the reverse order of the standings, giving Hesslink and Small Occasion the advantage of going last as the early frontrunners. Torano and Laskano had moved up one spot to hold the lead with only one pair left to go, earning 94 points over the handy course to push them to 186 total points. In the end, Hesslink and Small Occasion retained their status at the top of the scorecard with 93 points to finish on a cumulative two-round score of 189. Torano and Laskano claimed second place, and Herrera captured the final podium spot with Valhalla. Jennifer Bliss of Loxahatchee, FL also had a great day, finishing aboard three horses in the fourth, fifth, and sixth positions.

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

Fieldstone Show Park Announces 2021 Show Schedule

Photo courtesy Fieldstone Show Park.

The 2020 show calendar has been anything but typical, but Fieldstone Show Park wants its loyal exhibitors to know, there’s much to look forward to in 2021.

The popular venue, a staple in the northeast and a Massachusetts landmark, has announced its 2021 show dates, which will feature eight USEF nationally-rated hunter-jumper competitions throughout the months of May, June, August, and September.

The Fieldstone Spring Festival, set to kick off May 12, 2021, is sure to be a celebratory occasion, after the global COVID-19 pandemic forced the rescheduling and cancellation of many of Fieldstone’s 2020 events.

“When you’re ready, come show with us” is the venue’s mantra, as Fieldstone heads into 2021 with an outlook that is equal parts centered around positivity, safety, and comfort for horse and rider.

With many exhibitors in the northeast lacking nearby show options in 2020, Fieldstone will be ready to put the industry spotlight back on Halifax, MA next year, offering a safe, spacious venue for riders to comfortably get back in the show ring. Fieldstone’s 106-acre facility features an all-grass Grand Prix field, five competition arenas and schooling areas with all-weather GGT footing.

Among the events slated for 2021 are the Northeast Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Finals, scheduled during the Fieldstone Summer Showcase (Aug. 18-22, 2021); the New England Hunter Jumper Association Derby Finals (Aug. 24-28, 2021); the Massachusetts Hunter Jumper Finals (Aug. 29, 2021); and the ASPCA Maclay Region 1 Finals at the North East Classic (Sept. 12, 2021). Scheduled between the Fieldstone Summer Showcase and the Fieldstone Spring Festival is the two-week Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic (June 23 – July 3, 2021).

Save the dates for Fieldstone Show Park’s 2021 horse show schedule, when an East Coast Tradition continues.

Fieldstone Spring Festival I —  05/12/2021 – 05/16/2021
Fieldstone Spring Festival II —  05/19/2021 – 05/23/2021

Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic I —   06/23/2021 – 06/27/2021
Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic II —   06/29/2021 – 07/03/2021

Fieldstone Summer Showcase I & Northeast Jr/AO Hunter Finals—  08/18/2021 – 08/22/2021
Fieldstone Summer Showcase II & NEHJA Derby Finals —   08/24/2021 – 08/28/2021
MHJ Finals —  08/29/2021

North East Classic & ASPCA Maclay Region 1 Finals —  09/8/2021 – 09/12/2021

© 2020 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Kent Farrington and Austria 2 Land the $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*

Kent Farrington and Austria 2. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 25, 2020 – International competition returned to the main grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to kick off the ESP Holiday Series with the $37,000 Holiday & Horses 1.45m Opener CSI4*, presented by Dover Saddlery, on Wednesday, November 25.

Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) created a track of 15 efforts for the class, which was run under an altered power-and-speed format. The first nine fences constituted the first phase, and the final six jumps made up the second phase, with riders continuing to the latter portion of the course even if they had faults in the first set of obstacles. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cadans Z, owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, set the bar as seventh in the order with a speedy second phase time of 27.717 seconds and held on to that position until Kent Farrington (USA) and Austria 2 flew through the speed phase in 25.999 seconds. Less than a second behind the second-place finisher was Andrew Bourns (IRL) and his own Darquito, who landed in third with a clear time of 27.836 seconds.

“This will be my second WEF with Austria 2. I’ve been riding her for two years now,” remarked Farrington of the 2008 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Corrado I owned by Take the High Road, LLC. “She’s been an amazing little horse; she wins tons of classes. She has jumped some huge grand prix classes, she’s fast enough to win a speed class, and she’s brave enough to win the top ten final at Geneva. I think that really shows her versatility and her heart.”

Although Farrington will be showing all week, he shared that he does intend to have family time on Thanksgiving. “My mom and my sister are both here, so I always try to spend a little time with my family,” he said.” I’m thankful for the team here that has put protocols in place that allow us to compete under these circumstances. I feel very fortunate to be here.”

The day began with the $1,000 Bainbridge 1.40m CSI4*, which had 53 entries compete over the first-round course. Time proved to be a factor as 19 pairs were kept from the jump-off due to only one or two time faults, still leaving a whopping 24 fault-free teams eligible for the jump-off, 21 of which were double clear. In the end, Liubov Kochetova (RUS) emerged victorious riding her own Trevita (Graf Top x Stakkato) in a time of 32.72 seconds. The duo saved the best for last as the final partnership to ride over the abridged jump-off pattern, just edging out second-place finishers Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC’s Vienna, who finished the course in 33.53 seconds. Anna Dryden (USA) rounded out the top three aboard Van Schijndel’s Double Bee, owned by Double Meadows Farm LLC, in 33.93 seconds.

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

Olympic Medalist Anne Kursinski Brings Riders Back to Basics at Rutledge Farm Sessions

Photo: Paige Cade.

Middleburg, Va. – Nov. 23, 2020 – To close out the 2020 season, Rutledge Farm welcomed Olympic medalist Anne Kursinski Saturday, Nov. 21 to host an exclusive one-day clinic as a part of the Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Kursinski brought decades of experience with her, including five Olympic show jumping campaigns that earned her two team silver medals. Welcoming riders from all skill levels to the picturesque property in Middleburg, Virginia, Kursinski brought riders back to the basics on the flat and over fences, including dropping their stirrups, mastering the automatic release and building a stronger awareness of how they work with their horses.

Kursinski commented, “I have been teaching for a long time, so it is about quickly finding the riders’ weaknesses to give them some tools and exercises that can help with their awareness. I think that is so important. In our short amount of time, my goal is to get them to try to change something or improve something and it’s rewarding when they feel more confident afterwards by having a few new tools to take home.”

Four groups and a total of 18 riders traveled to Rutledge Farm to learn from Kursinski’s vast experience. In the spirit of “No Stirrup November,” Kursinski asked riders to drop their stirrups on the flat in order to build a strong foundation for the exercises to follow. Riders were also asked to knot their reins for a portion of the flatwork, a tool Kursinski utilizes to build awareness and encourage quick corrections. Over fences, riders practiced with driving reins and an automatic release to learn body control and work in sync with their horses.

Amber Ide commented on her experience, saying, “I’ve only owned my horse for one week, but I feel like a lot of the exercises we did, like halting and having them listen on the back side, really helped me get to know him better. It’s a really awesome opportunity to ride with Anne Kursinski, and this facility is gorgeous. There is so much land, the footing is great, the jumps are great, and it’s really an awesome facility to have a clinic like this.”

“Rutledge Farm is a fabulous, beautiful facility,” Kursinski added. “And of course, Aleco [Bravo-Greenberg] is so enthusiastic in wanting to share the education with people and that is wonderful in our business to have somebody like that. It’s fabulous to help riders become better horsemen and to be better for the horses. To me education is about the riders, but it is really about how the riders are improving with their horses and making their lives better.”

For more information about the Rutledge Farm Sessions, click here.

Farrington Leads the Way with Orafina at SFHJA Charity Horse Show

Kent Farrington and Orafina. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – November 23, 2020 – Held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) from November 18-22, the 70th Annual South Florida Hunter Jumper Association (SFHJA) Charity Horse Show concluded Sunday following a week of exciting competition. The show was the final installment at PBIEC before the beginning of the ESP Holiday Series, which starts November 24, the first day of the Holiday & Horses CSI4*.

Saturday afternoon featured the highlight jumper event of the competition as Kent Farrington (USA) and his own Orafina jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the $50,000 Spy Coast & Sweet Oak Farm Grand Prix. The 16-effort course set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA) in the International Arena saw 53 horse-and-rider partnerships contest the track, with nine athletes successfully turning in fault-free rounds to advance to the jump-off. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) led the way, and he was soon joined by Ilan Bluman (COL), Santiago Lambre (MEX), Schuyler Riley (USA), and Erynn Ballard (CAN) by the halfway point. In the latter portion of the pack, Willie Tynan (IRL), Kent Farrington (USA), Ashley Vogel (USA), and Ashley Fleischhacker (USA) also added their names to the list.

Following faults from the first five partnerships, Tynan and Michelle Guardino’s Fancy Girl finally turned in the initial clear round of the jump-off as the sixth duo to go in a time of 41.51 seconds to claim the early lead over the abridged pattern. Their top spot did not hold long though, as Farrington and Orafina were the next to follow and galloped to a foot-perfect time of 40.58 seconds. Tynan and Fancy Girl retained the second spot, followed by Fleischhacker on Quadros 3, owned by Ashland Show Stables LLC, in a clear time of 44.817 seconds, the final double-clear partnership.

“Orafina is a great young talent,” commented Farrington of the eight-year-old KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo. “She doesn’t have a lot of experience, certainly not like this. Really hats off to the team here that keeps these shows going for us and allows us to keep doing our job and our sport. Early in the season like this, it’s great for these young horses to get into the main ring. Tonight they even got a little taste of going under the lights. All in all, even besides the win, this was a great experience for my horse.”

Saturday’s victory was the second major win for Farrington and Orafina of the week, after also topping the $15,000 Paul Tracy Farrier Services Welcome Stake on Thursday as the quickest clear pair from the 14-horse jump-off. As the second duo to navigate the short course, designed by Hasbrouck, Farrington and Orafina served as the pathfinders with the first double-clear ride of the day, setting a lightning-fast precedent in 38.04 seconds. As the second round of riding progressed with 12 more combinations, it became clear that the frontrunners’ time would hold to claim the top spot by nearly two full seconds.

“Somebody that I work with in Europe, Leon Thijssen, said he had a horse that he thought I would like and would work for me because it’s extremely careful,” remarked Farrington of the new relationship with Orafina. “The plans are to build her up, just like always. Keep doing what we are doing by giving her positive experiences and time to mature. We will let her grow into herself. It was a great first step tonight.”

Though Mark Bluman (COL) and Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) managed to stop the timers slightly quicker than the winning pair, they both did so at the expense of a downed rail to incur four faults. Riding Stone Hill Farm’s Hungry Heart, Jessica Springsteen (USA) earned second place with a clear time of 39.81 seconds, and Jonathon Millar (CAN) rounded out the podium in third aboard Shadow De Shalimar, owned by Isotropic Networks Inc.

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

Emma Butchard and Andre Nagata Earn Success in Panningen, The Netherlands

Photo: Emma Butchard and Cascada K.

Nov. 21, 2020 — The sun has set on another full day of work at Nagata Sport Horses in Panningen, The Netherlands. But Emma Butchard (USA) and Andre Nagata (BRA) can still be found in the barn.

The couple, partners in both business and in life, take the term “hands on” very seriously. After bringing home a top placing, they celebrate by cleaning stalls. Each morning, there’s an early wake-up call to drop feed, turn out the horses and clean the stalls again — all before even getting to the real work of training their string of 12 horses.

Don’t be mistaken. A quick look at Butchard and Nagata’s impressive resumes of top international placings reveals a pair that has already paid their dues in the industry. But these two riders believe in earning their success, both in and out of the saddle.

“We’re focused on the details,” Butchard said. “Andre is very much into the details in the arena, setting courses, improving groundwork with the horses, and training on the flat. I’m very detail-oriented with the management of the barn and planning for our string. We do everything together, and we complement each other really well.”

It’s a mindset that has served them especially well in 2020, as FEI competition in Holland has come to a temporary halt for the second time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The monthly FEI shows at the local Peelbergen Equestrian Center have been replaced with Training CSI shows, where local operations can school their horses in a competitive environment. Butchard and Nagata have taken advantage of the opportunity, bringing their entire competition string, including their young horses, for positive training experiences at the popular show venue. At home, they commit extra time to flatwork and even groundwork, as they work with a specialist in studying the way their horses move and use their bodies.

“We’ve been focusing on dressage work, which for me, I didn’t learn a whole lot of when I was in the U.S. Andre’s very good at it,” Butchard said. “We’ve also set several gymnastic exercises at home. It’s been great to practice.

“Peelbergen’s Training CSI shows have also been really nice,” she continued. “It’s calm and quiet at the venue, and the courses are still tough enough. They don’t go easy on that!”

Butchard and Nagata combined their respective Leatherstocking Farm and Nagata Sport Horses operations in the spring of 2019, when Butchard relocated from her longtime base in Wellington, FL. Together, the pair runs a boutique dealing barn, with a focus on developing equine talent for top sport.

“We have some horses that we’re producing and taking our time with that don’t have to be sold right away, and then some horses that are in and out more quickly for sale,” Butchard explained.

“It’s so nice to work with the horses and to see them improve,” she added. “It’s such a great feeling. We recently took our 4-year-old Itran to his first show, and it was so fun and so rewarding when he put in such a lovely round and was so professional — he acted like a saint! Then it’s nice to be competitive [with our more experienced mounts] in the international shows.”

Butchard was a regular on the international circuit in the eastern United States. She competed at the 2016 U-25 Final at the National Horse Show as well as the Open Jumper division at the historic Washington International Horse Show. The year 2017 produced many more top performances in what was surely a breakout year for the now-27-year-old: Emma and top mount Brasil (Tenerife VDL x Farrington) placed in CSI4* competition at both the Devon Horse Show and the Hampton Classic.

While Brasil took some time off in 2018, Butchard sought an opportunity to grow as a professional and set her sights on Europe. The timing was right; she met Nagata, who was in the process of relocating to Holland, shortly thereafter. A six-month stint turned into a permanent move, and both Brasil and Butchard’s other international mount Cascada K (Calido I x Lacros) have joined her across the pond.

“Cassi has really thrived over here and has benefitted from the extra dressage and flatwork that Andre has made such an important part of our program,” Butchard said. “Brasil is doing great and getting fit. I’m excited to get back to FEI shows with both of them.”

Butchard and Nagata boast a talented group of equines, ranging from 4 to 14 in age.

The 4-year-old Itran (Indoctro x Balou) is a special source of excitement. The tall gelding quickly made an impression on the Nagata Sport Horses team, displaying a poise well beyond his age and scope worthy of big things.

“He’s for sale, but we are also sort of producing him. He’s a big, young horse and needs some time to grow, but he’s capable, brave, and scopey for sure,” Butchard said.

Kara des Rosiers (Kannan x Papillon Rouge), two years Itran’s elder, stands out for her style; Butchard and Nagata think she will be a quick study. “She’s a really commercial type; she’s easy and brave,” Butchard said. “We’re not sure how high she’ll jump, but she’s going to do it well. She’s very careful. She just goes right around, nice and easy.”

Icarus (Quasimodo Z x Campbell VDL), a 7-year-old, is another exciting young prospect in the group — “very scopey,” as described by Nagata. More experienced mounts like Calviska de la Felize (Calvados Z x Papillon Rouge), currently located at Nagata’s brother Felipe’s Italy-based operation, and Cascada K are also for sale as Butchard and Nagata look to grow the sales side of their business.

There are bigger aspirations, of course. But if anything is certain during a year of unprecedented changes, it’s this: Butchard and Nagata are willing to put in the work required to achieve whatever they set their minds to.

“My long term goal is to still be able to ride for Team USA in Nations Cups and Championships, while having a successful business with Andre,” she said. “One thing that’s different about being in Europe is that in the U.S., I was always surrounded by my family and close friends, who supported me at home — training and at every show. Here, it is just Andre and me, except the one time my family visited for during Brasil’s CSI1* comeback last year. Andre and I can support each other through the good days and bad days, when we need a little extra push or support.”

Leatherstocking Farm & Nagata Sport Horses
www.leatherstockingfarm.com

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras Earn Double Victory at Tryon Fall Festival 2

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras ©TIEC/Bailey Beck Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 20, 2020 – Matthias Hollberg (Ocala, FL) and D.A. Duras sped to double victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) last week, topping the podium in both the $15,000 Tryon Resort Jumper Classic on Sunday and the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday. In the Jumper Classic, Hollberg piloted D.A. Duras to a winning time of 37.438. Second place was awarded to Lynsey Whitacre (Saint Joseph, MO) aboard her own Barillo W, the 2003 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Unknown x Unknown), with a time of 37.817. John Michael Durr (Shelby, NC) and Marissa Nielsen’s Vinetta M, the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Valentino x Parodie M), rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 38.251.

Hollberg and D.A. Duras, 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Quattro) owned by Debbie J. Adams & Jacqueline Badger Mars, challenged 14 entries on the course designed by Joe Carnicom (Toledo, OH). An ex-Event horse, Hollberg has been training his new mount to be a top-level show jumper and is consistently pleased with his performance.

“Duras [D.A. Duras] is a 12-year-old ex-Event horse that I just got the ride on three months ago. I’m planning to make him into a high-level jumper and then sell him. I’m lucky to have him. He wins pretty much every class he goes in! For the first month or two, we were just getting to know each other. Now, he’s on the job every time he goes in the ring,” shared Hollberg.

Merideth Bryans and Jaguar Win $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

November 14, 2020 – Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) and Jaguar topped the podium at the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby earning 79 points in round one and 89 in the handy round to end with a score of 168. Second place went to Alexandra Dow (Matthews, NC) and Sally Watkins’ Maxumus, the 2012 Rheinlander gelding (Magnum x Octavia), with 158 points. Genevieve Edwards (Guyton, GA) guided JoJo Howland’s Star Jewel, the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Amazing x Quinta) to a third-place score of 155.

Seven entries tested TIEC’s final hunter derby course of 2020 designed by Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN) and Bryans praised her and Jaguar’s experience.

“The course was great. I loved the first round. [Jaguar] always lands on his right lead, so I knew landing left on the two bending lines was going to be challenging for us, but we worked it out. The first round was nice. In the handy round, I knew going from one to two was going to be a gamble with the right turn, but again, he lands better [on the right lead], so I opted to take the chance. It paid off!” explained Bryans.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.