Category Archives: Pony

Storyteller and Mimi Gochman Lead Large Ponies on Day One of 2016 U.S. Pony Finals

Mimi Gochman and Storyteller.

So Enchanted and Caroline Passarelli Sweep the Small Green Pony Hunter Model and Under Saddle

Lexington, KY – Aug. 9, 2016 – Mimi Gochman kicked off her fifth year at U.S. Pony Finals with a win aboard Fair Play Farm’s Storyteller in the Large Pony Model and a third-place finish in the Large Pony Under Saddle, heading into day two of competition sitting in the lead with 521.8 points.

“I’m really excited and very happy,” Gochman said, smiling. “Since I’ve done Pony Finals so many times, it makes me so happy to have success here. In the past few years I’ve gotten better at doing this, but modeling is hard and hacking can be very hard, so to win out of so many kids, I’m very proud of him.”

The 11-year-old, who is based out of West Palm Beach and trains with both the Baxter Hill and Rivers Edge Farm teams, said she got the ride on Storyteller around this time last year, just one week after Pony Finals.

“Story has always been really simple,” Gochman said. “He is easy. He has a great personality. You can always trust him to be safe, and you can always have fun on him, which is really good. He’s funny – he has a great personality. It’s really fun to have a pony that you can hang out with, too. He has a big, grand neck and he’s pretty shiny, thanks to my groom.”

Going into Wednesday’s over-fences class, Gochman acknowledged that her job was not done yet, and said she is going to focus on thinking ahead and continuing to ride her best.

“Tomorrow, I have to keep going,” Gochman said. “I can’t just say that I did well now and not try tomorrow. I’ve got to keep trying really hard. I try not to be nervous and to make it like it’s another show, but again this show is so much fun and we’re in the big ring. The ponies don’t get to go in a big ring like this a lot, so it’s special.”

Coming in second with 258.760 points in the Large Pony model was Ashley Aycox’s Garavani, who was handled by Devin Seek. In third place with 257.37 points was Tantallon Co-Captain of MDHT Equestrian LLC, handled by Dakota Champey.

In the under saddle, it was Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Soldier and Augusta Iwasaki who took home the blue ribbon with their score of 264.58 points. Taking home second place on the flat with a score of 262.5 points was Foxlair Syncopation, ridden and owned by Kayla Jacobs.

Coming in second overall at the end of day one with 509.85 points is Garavani, owned by Aycox and shown by Seek. Heading into day two in third with 506.2 points is R Cinderella Man, owned and shown by Abigail Fox.

So Enchanted and Caroline Passarelli Sweep the Small Green Pony Hunter Model and Under Saddle

Fourteen-year-old Caroline Passarelli rounded out the first day of U.S. Pony Finals with back-to-back blues in the Small Green Pony Hunter division with her mount, So Enchanted.

“Lex,” as the mare is called in the barn, is owned by Jessica Zandri, and Passarelli recently got the ride aboard the 8-year-old chestnut mare in the beginning of June. Despite this new partnership, Passarelli took the top prize in the model before heading back into the ring for the under saddle phase, where she triumphed yet again.

Passarelli was calm and collected going into this year’s U.S. Pony Finals as it is her fifth consecutive year. The Pony Finals veteran trains with the team at Heritage Farm based in Katonah, New York. She only had positive things to say about her mount.

“This pony, she’s really a special one,” Passarelli beamed. “You don’t come across ponies like this many times. She has a great mind; she really wants to win and she knows that she can be the winner.”

“You really have to ride kind of like you’re asking her to do stuff, not telling her,” Passarelli continued. “She really wants you to ride her like she’s the driver. She’s truly amazing – she’s one that you don’t find many times. And for her to have the whole package, it is really special to be able to ride her.”

Passarelli, of High Falls, New York, knew what her game plan was going into the under saddle phase — Lex prefers her pilot to be simple and let her do her job.

“She’s a great mover, so it’s just letting her go forward and kind of do her own thing. She doesn’t like when you fuss with her too much, so you just set her up and leave her there and she likes to hold her own.”

In terms of the model, Passarelli noted, “You can just leave her alone and she’ll look pretty.”

The young rider had a mature and realistic attitude going into Wednesday’s over-fences portion.

“Well, they’re green ponies so anything can happen no matter how great they are the rest of the time, so I’m just planning on giving her a really strong, confident ride and having her be her best. Hopefully, it will all turn out well.”

So Enchanted and Passarelli are heading into the second day of U.S. Pony Finals in the lead in the Small Green Pony Hunters with a total score of 518.46, while Lauren Reed and Starstone are currently sitting in second place with a total of 497.67. Casey Oliver and her mount, Picturesque Bow Tie, are in third with 489.98.

Competition at the 2016 U.S. Pony Finals will resume Wednesday morning in the Walnut Arena starting with the Regular Small Pony Model followed by the under saddle.

For more information about the 2016 U.S. Pony Finals, please visit

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Pony Club Riders Receive Unique Competition Experience at Tryon International Equestrian Center

Photo Credit ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – August 1, 2016 – More than 600 young riders, ages 12-25, traveled from across the United States to Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to participate in the 2016 U.S. Pony Club Championships East hosted from Wednesday, July 27, through Sunday, July 31. In addition to the competition, which featured seven disciplines of equestrian sport, Pony Club members and their families were treated to a week’s worth of entertainment and fun.

TIEC and Polk County welcomed the Pony Club community with a block party on Wednesday night featuring free carousel rides, face painting, karaoke, magician, pony rides, games and a bouncy house. The fun continued on Thursday night with the first-ever “Battle of the Barns Lip Sync Contest,” where 25 teams competed for bragging rights and prize money. The first place team took home $1,000, second place won $750, and third place won $500. TIEC made an additional $1,000 donation to the U.S. Pony Club in honor of the first place winning team.

On Friday night, TIEC welcomed the world-famous Double Dan Horsemanship, a duo who entertains crowds around the world, performing their electrifying liberty horse demonstration and displaying the ultimate partnership between horse and human. Afterward, attendees stayed to watch “National Velvet” on the jumbotron in the George H. Morris Arena as part of TIEC’s weekly “Friday Night at the Movies” series.

TIEC introduced Pony Club to its popular “Saturday Night Lights” entertainment series on Saturday, culminating the unique, Tryon-based championship experience. Both Pony Club members and spectators enjoyed free carnival-style fun including carousel and pony rides, face painting, entertainers, and a special pre-show by the Skydiving Angels parachute team.

Courtney Hoffman, a dressage competitor, particularly enjoyed the added entertainment. “The nighttime activities, those were really fun,” said Hoffman. “We got to hang out with our whole region. The lip sync was really fun! We actually didn’t sign up; we were the ones who kept dancing in the bleachers and who kept trying to get on the jumbotron.”

Both TIEC and U.S. Pony Club share a goal to grow equestrian sport by making it accessible and available to anyone. For TIEC, the entertainment events serve a greater purpose in growing the sport.

“Pony Clubs stand for horsemanship, teamwork, respect for the horse, respect for oneself, service, and education, and those are all attributes and areas of focus that we want to be true of Tryon Resort and Tryon International Equestrian Center,” said Sharon Decker, Chief Operations Officer for Tryon Equestrian Partners Carolinas Operations. “We think we make great partners because one of our objectives is to grow equestrian sport and pony clubs are where it all begins, so it’s been a true honor to host the United States Pony Club Championships East this week and we look forward to a long relationship with pony clubs.”

Building upon this mission, TIEC also held a challenge during the week to give at least 100 kids their first pony ride. More than 100 kids participated in the challenge and TIEC awarded a $250 Pony Club scholarship to three participants chosen at random.

“The purpose of these fun events is to expose Pony Club and equestrian sport to our local audiences and generate interest in the sport,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners. “This championship event brought many new families to our Carolinas region and we wanted to give these young riders an audience to celebrate their major accomplishments with them. Everything we do at TIEC goes back to our mission of growing interest in equestrian sport.”

Pony Club member Bella Curtis appreciated the fan fare from the crowd. She said, “During the senior games [on Saturday night], it was really cool that a lot of people were seeing mounted games for the first time and they were cheering like it was a football game because a lot of the time the only people who watch games are the other people who ride games.”

The duration of the week hosted Pony Club riders competing in seven different disciplines simultaneously around the show grounds, showcasing the magnitude of the TIEC venue what the facility can accommodate in terms of championships competition. Pony Club eventing competitors also had the privilege of being the first to ride on a portion of the new cross-country course at TIEC.

For many Pony Club competitors, the TIEC facility was one of the first that allowed different disciplines to intermingle and celebrate together in a unified Pony Club atmosphere.

“[The TIEC facility] lets others come together because sometimes during Championships you don’t get to communicate with other people from other regions and you’re really able to come together as a whole Pony Club here and I think that’s really cool,” said Pony Club member Georgia Diroberto.

To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center and U.S. Pony Club Championships East, please visit

Pony Club Rider First to Experience Cross-Country Course at Tryon International Equestrian Center

Rachael Wood and Standing Ovation. ©GRCPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 30, 2016 – More than 600 riders participated in the U.S. Pony Club Championships East held at Tryon International Equestrian Center from July 27-31, 2016. Embracing the Pony Club motto, “where it all begins,” competitors made history as the first riders to experience TIEC’s highly-anticipated cross-country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips, one of the world’s most renowned cross-country course designers. Out of all the Pony Club members in attendance, Greenville, SC native Rachael Wood (20) and her 17.2 hand Clydesdale x TB/Warmblood cross, Standing Ovation, were the very first competitors to set out around the newly minted track.

For Wood, being the first rider on the course was an “incredible” moment and will forever be one of her favorite memories at TIEC.

“You feel like you’re some top Olympian because everyone’s there and they saw the whole thing,” explains Wood. “You can hear them cheering and then you come off and feel like you’re just the greatest rider in the world because everyone’s like, ‘Whoooooo!’ You don’t normally get that on a regular cross-country course.”

Click here to learn more about TIECs cross-country course.

“We are pleased to have the facility’s first cross-country course rider be a Pony Club member,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners. “Like the organization’s motto states, Pony Club is where many top riders around the world begin their equestrian careers, and we are grateful for the investment Pony Club makes in shaping these young equestrians.”

Sharon Decker, Chief Operations Officer for Tryon Equestrian Partners Carolinas Operations, added, “One of our priorities is growing equestrian sport and Pony Club is the place it all begins,” said Decker. “Pony Club’s focus on horsemanship, teamwork, respect for the horse and self, service, and education totally align with who we are as an organization. We are so proud to have this event here and look forward to many more exciting Pony Club events here in years to come.”

Wood has been a member of Pony Club since she was 12 years old and grew up riding in the western discipline before transitioning into the hunter/jumpers. She fell in love with cross-country after watching it once and started eventing shortly thereafter. Standing Ovation is blind in one eye, but lives to please a crowd according to Wood and was encouraged by the crowd’s continuous cheers.

“[Standing Ovation] was sharp and very excited,” said Wood. “Today with all the commotion he was extra excited, but he was very attentive to my aids. It was a little bit ‘looky’ for him, but he definitely came to play.”

Wood had previously participated in a Karen O’Connor clinic in 2014 at TIEC and was impressed by the facility’s rapid development since then, especially surrounding the George Morris Arena.

“When we rode in [the George Morris Arena], Legends Club wasn’t even here,” said Wood. “You come back and you’re like, is this the same arena? It’s crazy.”

Wood is returning in September to compete in the Nutrena® USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover (AEC), also being held at TIEC from August 31 – September 4.

To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center, U.S. Pony Club Championships East, or USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), visit

USEF Announces Partnership with Upper Echelon Academy

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Upper Echelon Academy (UEA) have signed an exclusive provisioning agreement making Upper Echelon Academy the Official Tutoring Provider of the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) and the 2016 US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, as well as a Bronze Sponsor of the Adequan®/FEI NAJYRC.

“The United States Equestrian Federation is honored that Upper Echelon Academy has chosen to sponsor the Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North and the US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm,” said USEF CEO Bill Moroney. “With UEA’s extensive private tutoring program designed to accommodate demanding equestrian schedules, we couldn’t think of a better partner for our athletes competing at both events.”

The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North are the premier equestrian competition for up-and-coming talent in North America. Young equestrian athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 will compete for Team and Individual FEI medals at the 2016 NAJYRC, July 26-31, at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colo.

The US Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gait Farms is a six-day National Championship event featuring hunter, jumper, and equitation classes for ponies and their youth riders. It will be held August 9-14, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Upper Echelon Academy in Wellington, Fla. has a rich history of meeting the unique demands of equestrians and elite athletes outside a typical school environment. Using the latest technology, UEA meets the educational needs of each student and works closely with schools to provide tutoring that exceeds expectations. Upper Echelon Academy has an extensive background in designing and delivering curriculum and has established a cohesive relationship with respected schools across North America.

Visit for more information.

For more information about USEF Sponsorship, please contact Lauren Carlisle at

From the USEF Communications Department

Tradition Continues at Devon Horse Show and Country Fair with 50th Carriage Pleasure Drive

Championship Drive-Off Winner John White.

Devon, Pa. – May 29, 2016 – For 120 years, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair has prided itself on the exceptional talent that pours in to compete at the oldest horse show in the country. Tradition is an important staple of this 11-day event, and the Carriage Pleasure Drive has been part of that tradition for 50 years.

The well-known Drive is expected every Sunday before Memorial Day. Families, friends and locals line the streets and the Devon Horse Show grounds to watch and admire the beauty and grace of the horses, carriages and presentation of the whips and passengers.

“This is home,” said Devon Horse Show Director, Richard O’ Donnell. “I can’t give enough thanks to the folks along the route of the marathon today. We came upon people who were giving water out to everybody. That’s community support. I think the community really does welcome this competition.”

O’Donnell has been involved with the horse show for 45 years, and made his 42nd appearance in the Carriage Pleasure Drive with his wife by his side in the Double-Harness Pairs-Tandems class.

The two, along with their groom, enjoyed the 40-minute route in their Spider Phaeton carriage, which was built in 1880. The Philadelphia-native vehicle has been kept in its original state, since the O’Donnell’s purchased it at auction about three years ago.

“This is our second year using it here at Devon,” O’Donnell added. “Everything on it is in the original state we bought it in at auction, except for the wheels that have been repainted. It’s a very comfortable vehicle.”

The classic vehicle was being pulled by “Teddy” and “Billy.” The horses have been with the O’Donnell’s for eight years, and are used for riding and driving.

“Our horses are Hackney/Clydes,” O’Donnell proudly stated. “We have four of them at home. They’re wonderful animals and fun to be around. They’re big, but they’re teddy bears. There isn’t a mean bone in either one of their bodies.”

The Unicorns and Four-in-Hands class was won by John White, who was also crowned the Drive-Off Champion. He was accompanied by three other passengers in a Heavy Dog Cart carriage. The vintage vehicle was pulled by four beautiful grey Kladruber horses.

“This is the oldest horse show in the country,” White said. “It’s a very special event for people who are interested in horses and people like me that are interested in carriages. This marathon is a special event that gives you a chance to show your horses off not just in the ring, but on the road.”

White, who drove down from his New Jersey home for the Drive, imported the horses from the Czech Republic and has had the team for five years.

The vehicle has been in the White family for ten years and has been driven by White for six years at Devon, at which time he started competing in the historic horse show.

“The carriage is called a dog cart,” White explained. “It was used when people were going hunting with dogs. There is a compartment underneath that was used to put the dogs in. This particular carriage was built in Belgium in the 1880s.”
At noon, the crowd cheered as the gate opened for the first group of competitors that drove into the Dixon Oval for the Single-Harness Two-Wheel class, which was won by Rachel Shoemaker. The Malvern, Pennsylvania resident rode in a late 1800s Kimball Brother Ralli Cart.

Sequentially following Shoemaker’s blue-ribbon victory was Betsy Demarino VMD, who rode away with the victory in the Single-Harness Four-Wheel class. Demarino sported a circa 1860 English Ralli Cart by Moor & Sons.

The wins of O’Donnell and White followed the above classes and wrapped up the horse division of the Carriage Pleasure Drive. Soon after, the pony-driven carriages stole the show.

The Single-Harness Two- and Four-Wheel classes were won by Nicole Cable and Katie Kashner and their ponies, respectively.

The final pony contenders drove into the ring for the Double-Harness Pairs-Tandems class. Mary Stokes Waller rode away triumphantly in her Spider Phaeton carriage with Welsh pony brothers pulling the vehicle.

Spectators anticipated the arrival of Roberta O’Dell, who is known for her clever and witty carriage appearances each year. The 92-year-old was dressed as a jailer and rode in a Police Wagon that was being pulled by four white mules in the Light Commercial and Farmer’s class.

Driving continues tomorrow with Pair Horses Pleasure Turnout and Championship followed by Scurry Driving in the morning. The evening session features Coaching, Pair Pony Pleasure Turnout and Championship, as well as Pony Scurry Driving.

Bailey Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher Score Pony Jumper Championship

Junior Weekend at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair has come to a close, but not before Bailey Doloff rode away two blue ribbons and a championship in the Pony Jumpers. On Sunday afternoon, he piloted Wishlea Star Dasher to a victory in the second class of the division, and then returned in the evening to deliver the only double clear in the $2,500 Pony Jumper Classic and earn the division’s championship prize.

Bailey Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher
Bailey Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher

“It’s such an honor,” expressed Doloff. “It’s such a big show, and it’s been building up for months. We have spent months working and practicing and using other shows as schooling instead of trying to win just try to school to get ready for this show.”

Earlier in the day Doloff again had the only double clear round in the Pony Jumpers to earn a blue ribbon with Wishlea Star Dasher. Despite rain beginning to fall during the $2,500 Pony Jumper Classic, Doloff kept his focus on the task at hand – delivering clear rounds.

“My whole plan was just to have clear rounds and not worry about the time, because I’d rather have placed third three times than try to rush and have any rails,” explained Doloff. “It also started raining, so I wanted to make sure Dasher didn’t slip or anything.”

Maya Lovdal set the pace to beat as the first to return for the jump-off in the Classic with Miracles Happen. However, in an attempt to set a fast time, the pair had one rail down, and would settle for second place in a time of 34.552 seconds. Catherine Wilson had a more conservative time as the second to return aboard EZ To Spot, but they also lowered the height of a fence to place third.

As the last to enter the Dixon Oval, Doloff knew he just needed to leave all the fences intact during the jump-off. Despite an issue with the timers that delayed his start, Doloff and Wishlea Star Dasher were ready to win, and that is exactly what they did. The pair carefully cleared each obstacle, breaking the beam at 36.604 seconds to claim their second blue ribbon of the day and win the Pony Jumper Championship.

“The delay was better because it gave Dasher more time just to settle,” laughed Doloff. “He gets excited when he goes into the ring for the first time, so it just gave him more time to settle and relax. The first two people before had rails, so it was more just about making sure I was clear.”

This is Doloff’s third year competing at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and he has been riding Wishlea Star Dancer since the spring of 2014. “He’s kind of unpredictable because a lot of times he’s fresh and will take off and rear, so it takes a lot of patience,” admitted Doloff. “He surprisingly needs a forward ride because he can get too choppy and get rails. Today he felt great!”

The Pony Jumper Reserve Championship went to Saturday’s winner, Just One Look with Prima Rose Bonaventura in the irons. Caitlin Pedersen was presented with the Pony Jumper Style Award for exhibiting the best classical jumper style of riding.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will continue Monday with the kick-off of the Professional Hunter divisions, as well as the $7,500 North American League Adult Amateur Classic followed by the Adult Jumper Championship. Highlight events during the week include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

For more information, please visit

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WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series Announces 2016 Dates

WIHS #PonyPower Kicks Off in May at the Devon Horse Show

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington International Horse Show’s wildly popular Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, will be held in May and October 2016, commencing Memorial Day weekend at the Devon Horse Show.  The high octane sport features junior jockeys in the saddle racing the cutest, fluffiest Shetland Ponies to the enjoyment of spectators of all ages.

The first stop in the series is the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, Pa., on Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30, and it concludes in the fall with the finals at the Washington International Horse Show on WIHS Barn Night, Thursday, October 27, and Grand Prix Night, Saturday, October 29, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Introduced in 2013, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races, dubbed “D.C.’s newest — and cutest — sport” by the Washington Post, are run like professional racing events with a bugler, race caller and photo finish, but in miniature. The jockeys are youngsters from ages seven to 14 mounted on traditional Shetland Ponies racing over a course of mini-hurdles.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Series from our fans,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. “Not only is it really exciting to watch, pony racing is also a great way for kids to get into equestrian sports. Not too many people know that Kent Farrington, currently ranked #6 in the world in show jumping and a frequent competitor at Washington, used to race ponies.”

For those unable to attend in person, the races at Devon and Verizon Center will be streamed live by USEF Network at, and archived on Fans can also follow WIHS on Periscope (@WIHS) for exclusive behind-the-scenes and live race action.

An exciting social media contest will have race fans studying the race card for each pony’s winning form. The #PonyPower Prize Sweepstakes will take place May 29 and 30 in conjunction with the races at Devon. Fans can enter to win a Swag Bag of official WIHS merchandise including VIP tickets to the 58th Annual Washington International Horse Show, October 25-30 at Verizon Center.

Well-established in the United Kingdom, pony racing is growing in popularity in the U.S., thanks in part to Maryland-based U.S. Pony Racing, LLC (USPR), organizer of the WIHS exhibition series, which runs flat and jumping pony races at events throughout the region, including at Pimlico.

“Our partners at USPR work closely with the children and ponies to ensure they are fully prepared for a safe, fun, and exciting race day,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director. “We love including sports across equestrian disciplines at WIHS, especially those like pony racing that are such fun to watch.”

Ongoing sponsor Charles Owen is no newcomer to pony racing. The Wrexham-based helmet maker has been a significant supporter of pony racing in the U.K. since 2005.

“Charles Owen is delighted to continue its support of the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series,” said Roy Burek, Managing Director of Charles Owen. “With our long association with pony racing in the U.K., we’re especially excited to be a part of its growth in the U.S. The WIHS Series at Devon and Washington offer an ideal showcase and we encourage everyone to come out and experience it.”

The 58th annual Washington International Horse Show will take place October 25-30, 2016, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.  For the show schedule, tickets, hospitality and more, please visit

For more information on the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Series, visit

About Washington International Horse Show,

Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious equestrian sporting events in North America. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, the President’s Cup Grand Prix, presented by Events DC, (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is currently ranked #7 in the Top 25 Horse Shows by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media

International Celebrations at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Kent Farrington receiving his trophy for the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup from HM The Queen and Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, The King of Bahrain.

The promotion to 4* status had a magnificent effect on this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show which took place from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th May.

The upgraded status of the show attracted some of the world’s top riders and the competition was fierce across all disciplines, providing a fantastic spectacle for the thousands of visitors attending over the four days.

Despite the cancellation of ‘Windsor Wednesday’ due to incessant rain and flooding, the resilient British public turned out in force for the remaining days and ticket sales were up by 20% day on day compared to previous years.

Spectators enjoyed world-class equestrian sport and fabulous international entertainment in the stunning grounds of Windsor Castle – the only time of the year that HM The Queen opens up the private grounds to the public.

There was a real international feel to the event this year, with international competitions in Show Jumping, Driving and Endurance as well as spectacular displays from acts from around the world including the Canadian Mounted Police, The Chilean Huasos and the Dancers and Karabakh horses and dancers from Azerbaijan, all of which were taking part in The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration, which took place on each evening of the event.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “This year’s event was very special. Not only did we have the upgraded status of the show to 4* level, thus attracting some of the world’s top equestrian athletes, but there was a celebratory feel to the whole event with The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations in the evening.”

No fewer than five Olympic gold medallists were amongst the entries of the newly upgraded CSI 4* International Show Jumping classes at Royal Windsor Horse Show to kick start a summer where all eyes lead to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It was World No. 6 Kent Farrington who stole the show, taking the two feature events of the weekend, the Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy, as well as the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup. Riding the speedy Creedance, the American visitor was on flying form taking both classes by over a second from second place riders John Whitaker and Tiffany Foster respectively.

The Rolex Testimonee, who was competing at Royal Windsor Horse Show for the first time, was thrilled with the results, which saw him presented with The King’s Cup by The Queen. “What more can I ask for? I’ve never been here before, so we’re off to a great start, and with this being The Queen’s Birthday Celebration too, it’s a great moment.”

Despite the international fields, with riders from 13 countries taking part in the 4* competitions, the opening day of the Show was dominated by Great Britain. Robert Whitaker and Catwalk IV returned to the scene of their 2015 Grand Prix victory to win the Bahrain Pearl Stakes and Guy Williams took the Manama Speed Stakes aboard chestnut gelding Casper De Muze.

In other action, there was a scintillating win for Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, who was victorious in The Falcon Stakes riding Heliodor Hybris and France’s Adeline Hecart, who returned after a successful 2015 Royal Windsor Horse Show, to take the Palm Accumulator.

“It is my favourite show in the world,” she said. “Last year, the atmosphere was amazing and the people who come here are so knowledgeable and appreciative of horses. But this year you can really feel that there is something more and sense how much people love The Queen and want to celebrate her birthday.”

With his magnificent four-in-hand warmbloods, reigning World Champion, Boyd Exell from Australia, drove to victory in the final phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, reclaiming the win that has been his six times previously.

“We’ve been second for the last two years,” smiled a relieved Exell. “I lost it in the cones last year and I really did not want to do that again.” He added, “I’ve been trying out new combinations of horses in recent years but these ones have really gone well for me.”

Exell was in first place going into the final day, but the pressure did not get to him as he drove a sure and clean double clear to take his seventh Royal Windsor win.

Pony four-in-hands provided an even more nail-biting finale with Jan de Boer and his Welsh Section As claiming victory at Royal Windsor for the sixth time, with Germany’s Michael Bugener and Vilmos Jambor Jr, both competing for the first time here, taking second and third.

In the Nations Cup competition, the Netherlands – Ijsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman – never looked like relinquishing the first place they held since the first day. Germany – Rainer Duen, Marieke Harm and Christoph Sandmann – also retained their second position throughout but Belgium – Dries Degrieck and Edouard Simonet – overtook the Australian team for third place on the final day.

Royal Windsor Horse Show is seen as the early season mecca of showing and this year saw riders of all ages share the limelight.

Fittingly at a Show that was celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, The Queen had a particularly successful few days. For the second year running, her homebred Barber’s Shop, ridden by Katie Jerram, landed the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Championship on Thursday whereas black Fell mare Murthwaite Dawn Chorus delighted her owner by winning her class and then going on to stand reserve supreme in-hand mountain and moorland champion on Friday.

In ridden ranks on Friday, Clare Twiston-Davies’s reigning Horse of the Year Show cob champion Randalstown Musketeer took his first Royal Windsor title for Wales based producer Vicky Hesford.

Britain’s glorious native breeds took centre stage on Saturday, with the top spot going to Newbury based Hannah Horton with Lady Huntingdon’s stunning Connemara Slieve Bloom Jill with her first Royal Windsor native title. Elsewhere, the prestigious show pony title went to Yorkshire based combination Georgina Holmes and her 148cm winner Wilderness Early Bird.

One of the most popular winners in the working hunter pony division on Sunday was the 18-year-old 143cm grey gelding Carnsdale Casper, owned by the Beaconsfield based Wrennall family, ridden by twelve-year-old Katie Wrennall. Another game veteran of the pony ranks, 16-year-old CJs Tonto, accounted for the 133cm division, but the section title went to Sophie Lawes and her 135cm bay mare Carnsdale Vanity Fair.

Winning rider Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui rides Ramaah to the finish line (left) with SH Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum
Winning rider Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui rides Ramaah to the finish line (left) with SH Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum

Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui of the UAE triumphed at Royal Windsor Endurance kindly supported by the Kingdom of Bahrain. Riding Ramaah he finished in a time of 04:41:27, almost six minutes clear of the second placed rider, Mohammed Adbulsamad from Bahrain on Derrom Galiem, who was just one second ahead of third placed Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum on Intisaar, also from the UAE.

Ramaah’s trainer, Ismael Mohammed, said: “It is a really good result for the UAE, starting off the summer season with this win. We came here with good horses and we were hoping for this result.”

Now in its fourth year, a field of 52 competitors from a record thirteen nations set off into Windsor Great Park to complete four loops, and a total distance of 120km. The course included the home straight of Ascot Racecourse on loop one, and a number of picturesque landmarks and backdrops throughout. Despite the recent torrential rain, conditions out on the course were excellent and the average speed of Al Mozroui was a brisk 25.6 kilometres per hour.

Royal Windsor Endurance Director, Michael Shephard, said: “We are very pleased to have hosted another successful ride in this beautiful setting, and delighted to have had more countries than ever on the start line. The weather was very kind to us and the competition as fierce as ever.”

For full results, please click here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Further information can be found on

Royal Windsor Horse Show Concludes in Front of a Packed Audience

The final day of Royal Windsor Horse Show combined top class sport and entertainment as the excitement builds ahead of The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration in Home Park (Private).

A full house of enthusiastic visitors witnessed the USA’s Kent Farrington claim the biggest spoils of the week in the Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy. Despite a valiant challenge by Britain’s John Whitaker (Argento), who thrilled the home crowd, the American visitor took the win with the super speedy Creedance.

After an exciting first round, 14 riders came through with faultless score cards to the jump-off. Canada’s Tiffany Foster, riding Brit Ben Maher’s former London Olympic gold medal winning ride Tripple X III, was second to go and held the lead for almost half the second phase with her clean performance. She was toppled from pole position when Kent smashed her target by three seconds, causing those watching to whoop in delight at the display of calculated horsemanship.

John then tried to steal the win for the home crowd, but finished one second adrift despite a strong start out on the shortened course.

“Up to the planks [halfway around the track] I knew I was quicker,” said John, who praised Royal Windsor Horse Show’s move to four-star jumping. “Then he spooked at something. I don’t know what it was, so I ended up doing two or three strides more than Kent.”

The final double clear of the class came from Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci (Casallo Z), but a steadier round than the two prior faultless performers meant third place and handed victory to Kent.

“Creedance is a naturally fast horse and was flying out there, but I held my breath a bit when John went,” said Kent. “I grew up watching him and he is still just as good now as he was then.

“I’ve taken two big wins this week so I think I should get out of town quick!”

France’s Adeline Hecart prevented a home win too, this time for Robert Smith (Cimano E) in the Palm Accumulator. The 20-year-old pinched back 0.01sec from the Brit’s long-time target to steal her second Royal Windsor win in two years with Questions D’Orval.

“There weren’t really many places to make up extra time, so I think there was a bit of luck involved,” said Adeline, who won last year’s winning round competition with the 12-year-old mare.

A huge fan of the show, Adeline is delighted to be here during this special year.

“It is my favourite show in the world,” she said. “Last year, the atmosphere was amazing and the people who come here are so knowledgeable and appreciative of horses. But this year you can really feel that there is something more and sense how much people love The Queen and want to celebrate her birthday.”

ExellWith his magnificent four-in-hand warmbloods, reigning World Champion, Boyd Exell from Australia, drove to victory in the final phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor, reclaiming the win that has been his six times previously.

“We’ve been second for the last two years,” smiled a relieved Exell. “I lost it in the cones last year and I really did not want to do that again.” He added, “I’ve been trying out new combinations of horses in recent years but these ones have really gone well for me. They got me out of trouble in obstacle seven yesterday when we almost took a wrong turn.”

Exell was in first place as the final phase began, but the pressure mounted as the top drivers began recording double clear rounds. Four-time World Champion, Ijsbrand Chardon, was less than one cones penalty behind Exell and is usually exemplary in this section. However, uncharacteristically, he had two balls down which dropped him behind fellow countryman Koos de Ronde and German driver Christoph Sandmann and gave the current World Champion a bit of breathing space. He didn’t need it – he drove a sure and clean double clear to take his seventh Royal Windsor win.

The cones course was designed by experienced course designer, Richard Nicolls from the USA, and was described by competitors as ‘classic Nicolls’.

“They know that I design course that are flowing but technical,” he said. “There are changes of rein and various options but I don’t like mad dashes across the arena or a course that constantly doubles back on itself. It’s better for the drivers if the course flows and it is better for spectators too.”

Pony four-in-hands provided an even more nail-biting finale. Saturday’s marathon winner, Germany’s Michael Bugener, lying in third place overall attacked the course with vigour; it earned him a round that was clear on time but at the expense of 12 penalty points. In second place at this stage, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands drove confidently and steadily, also making the time but picking up just 3 penalties. In the lead, Vilmos Jambor jr from Hungary drove with some caution – he dropped behind on time, but more punishingly accrued 9 penalties. Jan de Boer and his Welsh Section As, therefore, claimed the win at Royal Windsor for the sixth time with Bugener and Jambor jr, both competing for the first time here, taking second and third.

“I’m particularly pleased with the new pony I have in the wheel,” said the delighted Dutchman, who last won here two years ago. “I felt I really had to look after him in the marathon, particularly in the first obstacles, as he is still inexperienced.”

In the Nations Cup competition, the Netherlands – Ijsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman – never looked like relinquishing the first place they have held since the first day. Germany – Rainer Duen, Marieke Harm and Christoph Sandmann – also retained their second position throughout, but Belgium – Dries Degrieck and Edouard Simonet – overtook Australia for third place.

Working hunter ponies delighted a packed audience around the Frogmore arena this morning. One of the most popular winners was the 18-year-old 143cm grey gelding Carnsdale Caspar, owned by the Beaconsfield based Wrennall family, beautifully ridden by Katie Wrennall, 12. The still enthusiastic campaigner jumped one of only two clears over a demanding course.

Another game veteran, 16-year-old CJs Tonto, accounted for the 133cm division, but the section title went to Sophie Lawes and her 135cm bay mare Carnsdale Vanity Fair.

For full results, please click here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Further information can be found on

Ponies Prove Big Things Come in Small Packages at Ocala Week VI

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Alexis Cruz and Summer Nights.

Ocala, FL (February 28, 2016): The presentation of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Zone 4 Handy Hunter Classic to the Ocala Masters commenced with the Zone IV Pony Handy Hunter Classic on February 26 at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida.

Riders maneuvered their ponies through the course, all in hopes of securing a prestigious blue-ribbon victory in the Classic. Only one could take home the title, and that team to beat was Summer Nights, owned and ridden by Alexis Cruz of Oviedo, Florida – not only was the victory a first-time class win for Cruz, but was also her first-ever go at the $1,000 Zone 4 Pony Handy Hunter Classic.

“The course was fun, and we couldn’t be happier that HITS offers this class,” said Cruz’s trainer Laura Barrett-Gurtis. “This is a great program and it’s really nice that Zone 4 gives back to the competitors.”

First to challenge the course was Macho Man, owned and ridden by Alpharetta, Georgia equestrian Daphne Rowse. Rowse and her bay Welsh gelding came in behind Cruz with a score of 69, with an Option Bonus Score of three points and a Handy Bonus Score of three points. They earned a total score of 74 for their efforts, ultimately finishing in second.

Jessica Bader of Bluffton, South Carolina and her own Hershey’s Kiss came in behind Rowse and Macho Man. They earned a score of 55 with an Option Bonus Score of three points and a Handy Bonus Score of eight points for a sum total of 66, putting them in third place.

Lourdes Low, of O’Katie, South Carolina, and Overcast entered next but two unfortunate refusals eliminated the pair from the ribbons.

Fourth to go in the order, Cruz piloted her steady grey mount to earn a score of 68, with an Option Bonus Score of two and a Handy Bonus Score of seven for a sum total of 77 to move up the leaderboard over Rowse’s round.

“She is a really hard-working and dedicated kid,” said Barrett-Gurtis. “She’s very focused and we are thankful to have this class to compete in when we travel.”

Camryn Halley, of Oviedo, Florida, and Caleche, owned by Laura Barrett-Gurtis, were the final pony and rider to test the course in the $1,000 Zone 4 Pony Handy Hunter Classic. They finished with a score of 50, an Option Bonus Score of three and a Handy Bonus score of 10 to put them in fourth place.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel •

TIEC to Partner with US Pony Clubs to Bring Championships East to North Carolina in July

Photo: ©UnitedStatesPonyClubs.

Mill Spring, NC – February 1, 2016 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is proud to announce the initiation of a major partnership between the venue and The United States Pony Clubs Inc. that will bring the 2016 Pony Club (USPC) Championships East to the expanding equestrian center for the first time ever in July 2016. The USPC Championships East will begin on Wednesday, July 27, and conclude on Sunday, July 31, as multiple disciplines will be showcased throughout the week, including dressage, eventing, show jumping, polocross, quiz, tetrathlon and mounted games.

The United States Pony Clubs, a staple in the educational foundation for many young riders in the U.S., was established in 1954 to guide younger generations of equestrians through the basic concepts of English riding and horsemanship. The goal of USPC has remained the same since its inception nearly six decades ago, to promote sportsmanship, stewardship and leadership through horsemanship.

The newly minted initiative between The United States Pony Clubs and Tryon International Equestrian Center will conjoin a wealth of resources and knowledge, as management teams of both operations hope to inspire a greater interest in horse sport through their combined efforts.

“Each year hundreds of Pony Club Members from across the nation qualify to compete at USPC Championships. Providing these members an opportunity to compete and showcase their equestrian sports and horsemanship skills at a world-class equestrian venue is exciting,” said Teresa Woods, Executive Director of United States Pony Clubs, Inc. “USPC and Tryon International Equestrian Center share the goals of creating a championship level competition and a special experience for all competitors, their families and the volunteers at Championship East.”

The United States Pony Clubs provides a nation-wide outlet for individuals interested in riding, regardless of background and previous equestrian experience, offering a range of age groups access to a wide variety of disciplines and educational resources.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to host the 2016 United States Pony Club Championship East at TIEC. In a world where participation in equestrian sport has been stagnant in most disciplines over the last 10 years, we are inspired and motivated by the opportunity to work with US Pony Clubs management to create innovative ways to enhance interest and increase access to one of the most important gateways into equestrian sport, Pony Clubs,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners. “Through the construction of this facility, we have built a family oriented platform, which we believe can cultivate an increased interest in equestrian sport based on the connection between these magical animals and their riders.”

With more than 1,000 participants, contestants, and volunteers anticipated to travel to TIEC in late July for the event, the venue will prepare to host families, competitors, and their equine partners for an action-packed week of fun, open and free to the general public. TIEC boasts seven barns with permanent stabling, 10 large arenas outfitted with world-class footing, as well as a newly added grass derby field, and Beginner Novice through Advanced level cross country course.

Competitors will take to the famed George H. Morris Arena at TIEC for the USPC Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, July 28, as well as for mounted games competition on the evening of Saturday, July 30, underneath the lights in an electrifying atmosphere.

“We are honored to be working with The United States Pony Clubs and are eager to expand opportunities and awareness for their organization and longstanding mission to empower young equestrians with leadership and horsemanship skills,” said Sharon Decker, Chief Operating Officer, Carolinas Operations, Tryon Equestrian Partners. “The Foothills region of North Carolina is the perfect setting for a championship event of this stature and we look forward to engaging and involving the local community as we prepare the facility.”

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and Tryon Resort offer an array of family-friendly opportunities and activities in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, also providing numerous on-site lodging and dining options for a conveniently located stay. If interested in booking lodging for the event, please contact for more information regarding weekly rates for the duration of the event.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center & Tryon Resort

The Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Resort are destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 1200 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a resort hotel, condo and apartment buildings, mixed use retail space, sports complex, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts and a year-round destination for non-equestrian visitors, offering an array of fine-dining selections and family entertainment. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit

About Pony Club

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (Pony Club) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. There are approximately 9,000 Pony Club members in over 600 clubs and riding centers throughout the country. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including several of our Olympic team members, business professionals, government leaders and career military officers, have roots in Pony Club. Youth members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25. Pony Club also offers educational opportunities to a growing number of adults through Horsemasters membership. Please visit for more information.