Category Archives: Disciplines

British Polo Days Charity Exhibition Gets a Dose of Casares’ Photographic Style

Oxfordshire, UK (November 6, 2018) – The sport of kings got a taste of art this summer, as a host of celebrities, royalty, and some of the best handicapped polo players in the world descended on the Black Bears Polo Club outside of London for the 2018 British Polo Days. An unprecedented social and sporting event, the stage for this prestigious charity polo exhibition was set by a selection of artwork, including a large print of Adolfo Cambiaso’s cloned champion polo mare, Dolfina Cuartetera B09, donated by photographer Ramon Casares. Known for his dramatically illuminated and detailed artistic animal and equine portraits, Casares has been photographing horses and wildlife for famous polo teams and conservation societies around the world.

As a family, the Cambiasos of La Dolfina Polo Team hosted the La Dolfina Sunset Polo and Gala during the Polo Days. Designed to raise funds and awareness for Prince Harry of England’s charity Sentebale, which supports mental health and well-being of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana, the Polo Days exhibition featured some of the top players and patrons of polo in the world, including Pelon Stirling and Juan Martin Nero, ten goal handicapped players of La Dolfina Polo Team, Cambiaso’s patron Bob Jornayvaz, young talent in the form of Cambiaso’s son and daughter, Poroto and Mia, Prince Harry himself, and a slew of famous spectators including the newest member of the house of Windsor Meghan Markle and tennis superstar Serena Williams. The two exhibition games were also highlighted by exclusive parties and a large fireworks show.

Casares’ contribution of a fine art print of Cuartetera 09 scratches the surface of the artist’s support of both humanitarian causes and wildlife conservation. In addition to portraits of some of the world’s top polo and sport horses, his rescued wildlife series BROKEN highlights both rare and common rehabilitated species on multiple continents. The intimate portraits and stories behind each animal provide a captivating look at the power, fragility, and complexity of nature.

Building on influences from his background as a native of Argentina and career as an exotic animal caregiver at the country’s largest zoo, Casares expanded his photographic talents to include all species of creature, from human and equine to possum and crocodile. He has photographed animals from nearly every phylum, class, and order in the animal kingdom. With Casares Fine Art Photography appearing across the globe and garnering international acclaim, his images have captured the imagination of audiences at major media outlets and international art shows.

But despite his passion for the horses and traditional commissioned work, Casares’ portrait style images of nature’s rarest and most common species are the artist’s true accomplishment and calling card along with his trademark style devoid of background distractions and illuminated to detail each whisker, feather, or scale. Casares captures an essence with each image that underscores his own passion and vision as a photographer and conservationist. As a former keeper for the Buenos Aires Zoo, Casares was witness to the beauty, ferocity, and fragility of the animal kingdom firsthand. During the evolution of his photographic career, he began to visit wildlife rescues to document the plight of their patients. Realizing his images could generate support and awareness for those injured and recuperating commonplace species, as well as those who are in danger of extinction, Casares embarked on a mission to unite his talent for photography with his passion for conservation. Broken was the result.

Combining Casares’ distinctive artistic style and the plight of rescued animals, Broken is the final product of 3 years’ worth of photography, the resilience of each animal, and the selfless efforts of their rescuers. In the oversized fine art book, the saga of each animal is told beside their stunning and emotionally evocative images with the goal of bringing awareness to their struggle and rehabilitation. An ever-growing endeavor, Casares intends to expand the Broken: Rescued Wildlife Fine Art Project to multiple countries and continents to maximize awareness and resources for endangered wildlife.

For more information on Casares Fine Art Photography, visit www.RamonCasares.net.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

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.

Angela Langen Honored with Sportsmanship Award at IALHA National Championship

Angela Langen and Gabarito Da Cerca. (Photo courtesy of Genie Images)

Katy, Texas (November 6, 2018) – Angela Langen showed judges why she and Gabarito Da Cerca were the most suitable choice to become the Dressage Suitability Amateur National Champions at the International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA) Nationals, October 9-13 in Katy, Texas, and the German rider (now based in Napa, California) showed such generosity of spirit among her fellow baroque breed lovers that it also earned her the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Sportsmanship Award.

Angela also rode the seven-year-old Lusitano gelding, owned by Marilyn Hite and trained by Carlos Carneiro (who trained and rode IALHA Horse of the Year and Grand Prix National Champion, Andiamo 2005), to second place in Lusitano Saddle Geldings.

“We were nervous. It was only our second competition, but we felt like a good team. I’ve been in the United States for about a year and a half, so I really appreciate meeting other riders, spending time with them, and competing here. I enjoyed this show and my horse was perfect.”

The optimism that won Angela the JEC Award is reflected in her outlook with her striking bay partner with his big white blaze and socks: “We have only been riding together since May. My goals are to keep feeling this trust between us and go on this adventure together. I’m not about the ribbons but about getting to know each other better.”

Now that’s the kind of winning attitude that can contribute to success in horses, riders, and shows.

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

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4225
timjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

International Show Jumping Stars Set for Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Kent Farrington aboard Voyeur. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Kent Farrington to Defend $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto Title

Toronto, Ontario – U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington will headline a star-studded field as the international show jumping division gets underway at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running November 2 through 11 at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

Four days of international show jumping competition will culminate in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, on Saturday night, November 10. Having won last year’s featured event riding Voyeur, Farrington plans to saddle up Creedance as he attempts to defend his title against some of the best show jumping competitors in the world.

“I love the Royal Horse Show,” said Farrington, 37, of Wellington, FL. “It’s a throwback in time with everyone wearing black tie and a packed house. All of the classes feel important. It’s one of my favourite shows in a beautiful city.”

Of Creedance, an expressive 11-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the rider and R.C.G. Farm, Farrington said, “I’ve had him since he was seven and he’s really stepped up to be a very competitive grand prix horse on the biggest level. He has won classes at The Royal and other five-star events and is very fast indoors. Now that he’s more mature, he’s gotten more predictable and easier to manage. He was quite difficult to manage when he was young but he’s getting better with age.”

Joining Farrington in representing the United States are three of the four 2018 World Championship gold medal team members, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and McLain Ward. Molly Ashe-Cawley, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Andy Kocher, and Catherine Tyree will also represent the stars and stripes in this year’s international division.

The eight international competitors invited to this year’s Royal Horse Show include Daniel Bluman of Israel, Capt. Brian Cournane, Cormac Hanley, and Conor Swail of Ireland, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, Karen Polle representing Japan, Rowan Willis of Australia, and New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley.

Canada will also be represented by eight competitors to make up the total of 24 athletes who contest The Royal’s international division each year. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high-performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON and Amy Millar of Perth, ON earned their tickets into the international division as the newly crowned Canadian Show Jumping Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively.

The international show jumping division officially opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session. A sentimental favourite, the $85,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge highlights Thursday evening while the popular $50,000 Weston Canadian Open is featured on Friday evening’s Royal Horse Show schedule.

Saturday afternoon, November 10, is Family Day, presented by McDonald’s, at the Royal Horse Show. The entertaining K9-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, pairs show jumping horses with agility dogs to see who can complete their respective courses in the fastest time. In an unparalleled evening of horse sport, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, will bring down the curtain on closing night of the Royal Horse Show.

In entertainment, Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the 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.

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

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.

Fuchs Flies to Victory at Longines Leg in Lyon

Martin Fuchs and Clooney. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs (26) and Clooney produced a spectacular victory as the fourth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League more than lived up to expectations at Equita Longines in Lyon, France. In an edge-of-the-seat 10-horse jump-off that included four riders flying the host-country flag, it came down to a race to catch the target-time set by Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange, who were fifth to go.

And the last three chasing down that time were Rio 2016 Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France and the silver and bronze medallists from this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™, Fuchs and fellow-countryman Steve Guerdat.

“I was always going for the win, but I wasn’t sure I could beat Lorenzo – I’m not always super-fast with Clooney and Lorenzo looked really fast on the screen. I didn’t know what time I had going through the finish, but when I looked up, I saw first place and I was very, very happy!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

With a third-place finish last weekend in Verona, Italy, the Swiss rider now heads the Western European League table carrying a handsome 35 points, so only needs a few more to book his ticket to the Longines Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

French course designer, Gregory Bodo, gave them plenty to think about in the first round in which the 75 seconds time-allowed proved highly influential. “With the top riders and horses present, it’s not easy to find the right balance, but the time was perfect and riders had to keep the right tempo from the start to the end to be in time,” he explained.

Italy’s de Luca really put it up to the rest of them in the jump-off when stopping the timers in 37.78 seconds with a great run from his powerful 14-year-old gelding and, with just three left to go, Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten was his nearest rival after posting 38.00 with Dana Blue. The 7,000-seat stadium was packed with French fans who held their collective breath as Staut set off with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet, but despite their best effort the pair didn’t threaten the lead when breaking the beam in 38.32 seconds.

Second-last into the ring, however, Fuchs had his foot to the floor all the way, and with a brilliant turn to the vertical three from home and a breathtaking gallop to the last, he stormed through the timers in 37.25 seconds and not even Guerdat and his brilliant mare Bianca could match that. De Luca held on for runner-up spot, while 2012 Olympic champion Guerdat, twice-winner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title, had to settle for third when stopping the clock on 37.89.

“Clooney had a one-month break after Tryon (FEI World Equestrian Games) and then we came to Verona and Lyon because I really want to qualify for the Final. I’m going to Wellington (USA) in January, so I wanted to focus on the World Cup qualifiers now,” Fuchs explained. He’s had an extraordinary year with the horse he competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and with which he claimed two European team bronze medals, in 2015 and again in 2017.

They kicked off 2018 with 5-Star Grand Prix wins at Basel and Zurich (SUI), but Clooney then had to undergo colic surgery in April and that was a worrying time. He bounced back, however, and just a few weeks after claiming World Championship individual silver, the grey horse is continuing to show incredible form.

“He’s such a tough horse; he always fights. When I got him in the beginning, I was struggling a lot because he has his own mind and he’s so strong. But over time we have come to work really well together, and now we can do anything!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

The Swiss rider now plans to compete in the next leg of the series at Stuttgart in Germany in two weeks’ time and at Olympia in London (GBR) in December.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

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.

Nicole Walker Claims Canadian Show Jumping Championship Title

Nicole Walker riding Falco van Spieveld. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON claimed the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship title on Saturday night, November 3, at the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

“I will never forget this! It feels amazing. I’m very excited for my whole team, and I think the horse deserves a title like this because he’s such a special boy. I’m glad he could have a title to his name.” ~ Nicole Walker, who will celebrate her 25th birthday on Sunday, November 4

Having claimed victory in Friday’s $25,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round One, presented by Lothlorien, Walker held the lead coming into Saturday night’s two-round competition. The defending Canadian Champions, Amy Millar, 41, of Perth, ON and Heros piled on the pressure by opening Saturday night’s competition with a clear round while Walker incurred four faults.

When the top six in the standings went through to the all-deciding final, Walker kept her cool to deliver another clear jumping round, picking up one time fault over the course set by Ireland’s Alan Wade to bring her total score to five faults. When Millar and Heros faulted the second time out, their final score of 7.13 penalty points left them in second place, handing Walker her first Canadian Show Jumping Championship title riding Falco van Spieveld, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding.

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON delivered a clear round riding Count Me In to finish in third position, while 12-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ian Millar, 71, of Perth, ON took fourth place riding Calvin Klein for Brookstreet Stables. Olympic team silver medalist Mac Cone of King City, ON guided Zaia di san Giovanni to fifth for owner Mark Samuel’s Chadburn Holdings Inc., while Hyde Moffatt of Brantford, ON also made the cut for the top six riding Granturo.

As the defending Under 25 National Champion at the Royal Horse Show, Walker has grown up competing at the annual Royal Horse Show.

“I had a lot of friends and family here tonight as it’s very close to home,” said Walker, who trains with 2012 Irish Olympic individual medalist Cian O’Connor and his assistant trainer, Mark Kinsella. “But beyond everything, the atmosphere is incredible here. It has so much tradition. I would recommend every rider to come visit it at some point, even if they’re not riding. It’s just such a cool experience.”

With their top finishes on Saturday night, Walker and Amy Millar earned their tickets into the international division as the two highest placed finishers in the Canadian Show Jumping Championships not already qualified. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. The international division opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session.

Lauren Kieffer Rocks $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge

The popular $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge rocked the house on Saturday night as competitors tackled a mix of delicate show jumping fences and challenging cross-country obstacles set by course designer Mark Phillips. Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA made her Royal Horse Show a winning one, riding Glendening Avis, a 13-year-old buckskin Canadian Sport Horse mare owned by Callie Evans, to victory.

“I’m thrilled.  The mare is just incredible; she tries her guts out,” said Kieffer, who was riding a borrowed mount that she rode for the first time on Friday.  “It’s very rare that you hop on something and sync together so quickly.  It was so much fun to do this on her, and I felt so in sync with her.

“Brandon and Kendal certainly put the pressure on; I was hoping for a little bit more breathing room!” joked Kieffer following her indoor eventing debut.  “The format is fun; it’s energetic.  If it gets one person to leave here and go Google ‘eventing’ and get into it, then it did its purpose.”

Finishing second was Toronto’s own Brandon McMechan riding Oscar’s Wild to a clear round in a time of 92.78 seconds to hold off third-placed Kendal Lehari of Uxbridge, ON, who was also clear riding Totally Frank in a time of 94.30 seconds.

At the conclusion of the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge, World Championship and Pan American Games medalist Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON was presented with the Michael Gutowski Award, donated by Mr. Iain Gilmour, as the highest-ranked Canadian athlete on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Eventing World Athlete Rankings.

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

Beezie Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt Win FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W at NHS

Photo: Beezie Madden on Chic Hin D Hyrencourt.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2018 – The feature show jumping event of the 2018 National Horse Show, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, brought 35 of the sport’s upper echelon horses and athletes to the Alltech Arena to compete head-to-head for the greatest share of the purse and valuable World Cup ranking points towards the 2019 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Representing the United States, Beezie Madden added to her winning streak, as she and Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt outpaced the talented field with their careful and efficient jump-off trip to capture the coveted top prize in front of a packed house. Earlier in the day, Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 nabbed victory in the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix.

n total, eight countries from four continents were represented in the premier contest of the evening, which is the eighth jewel of 14 in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping schedule, and the group of entries included a staggering amount of talent, most notably the four gold medal-winning members of the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team from the World Equestrian Games: McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, and Adrienne Sternlicht.

For his final course of the week, designer Ken Krome (USA) constructed a 16-effort track for contenders that featured plenty of directional changes and a triple combination as the second-to-last obstacle, which proved to be one of the bogey fences of the evening. Out of the initial pack of combinations, only six partnerships mastered the track penalty-free within the tight 74-second time allowed to qualify for the jump-off, and four pairs faced heartbreak after leaving all the fences intact but accruing one time fault. Lucy Davis (USA), Kent Farrington (USA), Kraut (USA), Madden, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), and Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) all returned to the show ring for a final shot at glory over the abridged jump-off course.

The first two back in the ring, Davis and Farrington both accumulated penalties on their mounts, opening the door for Kraut and St. Bride’s Farm Confu, who navigated the first double clear of the evening in 38.10 seconds. Not to be outdone, Madden and the 10-year-old grey gelding systematically sliced across the 8-fence track at a blazing clip, stopping the clock in 36.57 seconds to take over the lead with only two left to challenge them. Unfortunately for Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse, LLC’s Luibanta BH, two rails would come down, meaning Ashe Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou would be the last to battle Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt’s time. The pair looked to be on pace to usurp the frontrunners with a fault-free trip, but ultimately were just tenths of a second too slow, tripping the timers in 36.77 seconds to settle for second place, with Kraut and Confu rounding out the all-female podium as the final double clean pair of the class.

Currently ranked ninth in the world and the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion, Madden has been proving her prowess lately and has added numerous accolades to her ever-growing trophy case. Just one week ago at the Washington International Horse Show, she led the victory gallop aboard Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, and has since been the queen of the National Horse Show. In addition to Saturday evening’s triumph with Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, Madden piloted Wexner’s Jiva to the winning prize in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, second place in Friday’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, and third place in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. With her win Saturday, Madden walks away with not only the largest cut of the purse, but also a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington as the Leading International Open Jumper Rider Award, plus the Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Garber Leading Lady Rider Award.

The reserve finisher, Ashe Cawley, has been taking turns with Madden at the head of the leaderboard over four days of competition, only once giving up the top spot in five classes to another rider, Farrington. In addition to her reserve championship aboard Cat Ballou, Ashe Cawley navigated Picobello Choppin PC to the highest honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4* and the Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, just a hair ahead of Madden.

Capping off an already competitive week of jumping in the Amateur-Owner/Junior ranks, the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix offered the non-professionals one final opportunity for a chance at the tricolor. At the completion of the first round of riding, nine pairs were eligible for the jump-off after turning in clean and clear initial trips. Ransome Rombauer, Annabel Revers, Haley Gassel, Elli Yeager, Tali Dejong, Sophie Gochman, Coco Fath, Riley Newsome, and Anna Beth Athey all qualified aboard their respective mounts.

Tackling the short course seemingly with ease, Haley Gassel and Westwind Equine Training Center’s Quite Dark 2 were able to fend off their counterparts in the jump-off, riding their second clean trip of the night in a quick 41.539 seconds to emerge as the victors. The leading pair was followed by Coco Fath and her own Huckleberry in the reserve position, who also left all the rails up but tripped the timers in a slower 41.611 seconds. Sophie Gochman and Carola BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse, LLC, wrapped up the podium finishers as the third and final double-clean duo, laying down a foot-perfect round in 41.822 seconds.

In addition to the class winner, three other individuals were recognized for their achievements in the division or Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) circuit. Sophie Gochman and Tali Dejong were crowned the SJHOF Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions, respectively, and Riley Newsome was awarded the National Horse Show’s division championship for her performances throughout the week.

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Werth Gives a Masterclass with Emilio at Lyon

Isabell Werth with Emilio. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Defending series champion and equestrian sports legend, Germany’s Isabell Werth (49), kicked off her FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 campaign with a convincing win with Emilio at the second leg of the Western European League series at Equita Longines in Lyon, France.

With two Technical scores over 80 percent and one Artistic mark of 93 percent, the six-time Olympic gold medallist racked up a total of 84.410 that left her well clear of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel (42) in second and Antonia Ramel (33) in third.

Werth, who took triple-gold at the 2017 FEI European Championships and double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) just seven weeks ago, is already aiming for a fifth FEI Dressage World Cup™ title, and her third in a row, when the series finale returns to Gothenburg, Sweden next April. However, she only just managed to keep Kittel at bay in the Grand Prix and was deeply disappointed with that performance. But with typical skill and determination, the lady who has three horses in the top four in the current World Rankings just turned it all around again with a sparkling ride that left the result beyond doubt.

“I’m very happy – yesterday Emilio was full of tension, but today he was much better from the beginning, and he got back his confidence step by step during the competition.” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Great Britain’s Hayley Watson-Greaves (35) and Rubin’s Night raised the bar to 77.355 percent in the closing stages and young Spaniard, Juan Matute Guimon (21), slotted in behind her when posting 77.070 for an eye-catching test with Quantico that included a one-handed pirouette. But Werth blew that all into infinity with her massive score, and it was the two Swedes who proved her closest rivals at the end of the day.

Ramel’s 80.060 with Brother de Jeu was hugely impressive and took even her by surprise. But the talented rider who has been on two winning Nations Cup teams for her country this year has been training diligently with three-time Olympian Kittel for the last two years, and he was very proud of her.

He is often coached by Werth, and earlier this week he visited her to ask her advice about his stallion, Delatio. “I was at Isabell’s on Monday because I wasn’t sure if I should take him to Lyon – but she said yes!” said the Swedish star who scored a handsome 80.980 for second place.

Talking about Emilio, Werth said, “It’s his first competition since Aachen (where he won the Freestyle and Special and was on the winning team in July), it’s his first indoor of the season, and it’s a new Freestyle for him, so there were a lot of new things for him to handle and I’m very happy how it went, even though there are still some details to be worked out.” She has exchanged her Freestyle programmes, with Bella Rose now doing Emilio’s floorplan while Emilio does the one designed for her WEG-winning mare. Emilio is looking slimmer and fitter than ever.

“Yes, he has more muscle and less fat! So the canter-work is much better, and I was sad that yesterday I couldn’t show that, but today it came back!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Werth plans to compete all three of her top horses during the 10-leg Western European League, and Emilio will be back in action for the next leg in Stuttgart (GER) in two weeks’ time where Bella Rose will also line out.

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By Louise Parkes

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