Category Archives: Pony

Hannah Dodd and Blink of an Eye Capture Pony Jumper Championship

Hannah Dodd and Blink of an Eye.

Hannah Dodd will be going home from the Devon Horse Show with much more than prize from the country fair and the famous Devon fudge. Competing at the historic event for the first time at just 13 years old, Dodd piloted her talented mount Blink of an Eye to the Pony Jumper Championship after winning the $2,500 Pony Jumper Classic.

Sixteen ponies competed in the Dixon Oval during Sunday night’s highlight event, and five advanced to the jump-off with clear efforts over the first course. Maya Lovdal was the first to return with Miracles Happen, but a rail at one of the tall verticals incurred four faults in 35.389 seconds, which would only be good enough for fifth place.

Elizabeth McDougald was the pathfinder during the tiebreaker, clearing the short course in a time of 34.143 seconds with Knock My Sox Off. Emily Schnebel tried to catch McDougald with Suspicious Minds, but as she raced to the last fence it hit the ground for a four-fault effort in 33.673 seconds for fourth place.

Prima Rose Bonaventura also tried to beat McDougald aboard Just One Look, and while the pair had the time, a rail at the double combination cost them four faults. Their time of 33.122 seconds would be good enough for the third place award.

It was the last in the class that would prove to be the best of the night. Hannah Dodd picked up a quick gallop to the first fence with Blink of an Eye and never held back. Slicing the fences and sharply cutting the turns, the duo raced over the final obstacle in a time of 33.792 seconds to take home the victory over McDougald.

“I think a lot of my time gets shaved off because I land and I try to go out as fast as I possibly can,” said Dodd. “I try to keep my momentum through the turns too. I work a lot on trying to control him while still going quickly. I thought the courses were really nice here.”

With Sunday night’s victory and a sixth place ribbon earlier in the day, Dodd and Blink of an Eye captured the division’s championship award, while McDougald and Knock My Sox Off’s second place finish paired with a win on Saturday earned them the reserve championship.

Dodd’s skillful ride with Blink of an Eye not only helped them win the Pony Jumper Championship, but they were also presented with the Pony Jumper Style Award sponsored by Kathryn Lily Equestrian, given to the pony jumper rider who exhibits the best classic jumper style of riding.

“This is my first time at Devon,” expressed Dodd. “I thought the show is really nice. I love the footing. I love everything about it like the location and all of the people here. Everyone’s been very nice.”

Dodd has been riding Blink of an Eye for two years and hopes to compete with him at the U.S. Pony Finals later this year at the Kentucky Horse Park. “He’s very funny,” she laughed. “We call him a drama pony, because he likes to throw little dramas all the time. He likes to flick his head overdramatically a lot.”

Dodd concluded, “I’ve always been really into my horses and try to give them lots of love and support for how much they’ve done for me.”

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will continue on Monday with the NAL Adult Jumper Classic taking center stage in the evening. For more information about the show and complete results, visit www.DevonHorseShow.org.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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D.C.’s “Cutest Sport” Is on the Road to the Washington International Horse Show

WASHINGTON – May 20, 2015 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the wildly popular WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, will be off and running again in 2015. The entertaining event features pint-sized jockeys in colorful silks racing the cutest, fluffiest Shetland Ponies to the cheers of spectators of all ages.

The first stop in the series will be the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, Pa., May 24 and May 25, and it will conclude with the finals at WIHS in October at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Introduced in 2013 and expanded last year, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races, dubbed “D.C.’s newest — and cutest — sport” by Gillian Brockell of 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 seven to 14 mounted on traditional Shetland Ponies racing over a course of mini-hurdles.

For those unable to attend in person, the Devon races will be streamed live by EQSportsNet (eqsports.net) and archived on WIHS.org.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Series,” said WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan. “It’s been so much fun to create and build a fresh, fun and exciting event for spectators of all ages. Pony racing is also a great way for kids to get into equestrian sports. Not too many people know that Kent Farrington, one of the world’s top-ranked show jumpers and a frequent competitor at Washington, used to race ponies!”

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.

Before entering the USPR program, ponies are evaluated for their suitability and every child is fully prepared for race day. “We don’t want [the ponies] to be little race horses, we want them to be good ponies that kids can ride,” said Regina Welsh, USPR founder and director. “We want well-rounded kids and well-rounded ponies.”

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. Devon and Washington offer an ideal showcase for this sport and we encourage equestrians and non-equestrians alike to come out to experience and enjoy it.”

The 57th annual Washington International Horse Show will be held October 20-25, 2015, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit WIHS.org.

About the Washington International Horse Show (www.wihs.org)

Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 26,000 spectators to 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. Event highlights include the Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday), the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a World Cup qualifier (Saturday night) 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 recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the international governing body for horse sports.

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Dermott Lennon Leaps to Victory on Last Day of Royal Windsor 2015

Dermott Lennon.

May 17 2015 – The fifth and final day of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015 saw an unprecedented number of people walk through the Windsor gates for their last chance to watch the equestrian extravaganza in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. The crowds were treated to a thrilling finale in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix with last year’s champion Chester Weber retaining his title while Ireland’s Dermott Lennon also made a victorious return to the show to claim the CS13* Alltech Grand Prix in front of pack.

SHOWJUMPING: LENNON’S VICTORIOUS RETURN TO WINDSOR

Having not competed at Royal Windsor Horse Show for 10 years, Irishman Dermott Lennon’s return resulted in him etching his name in the prestigious event’s history books by winning the Alltech Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy. Partnering the consistent Loughview Lou-Lou, he thrilled the crowd with the kind of performance expected of a former World Champion.

“I’d watched [Britain’s] Yazmin Pinchen go and she rode a great round,” said Dermott. “My main concern was getting over the planks, but once I’d done that I was able to go.”

His tactics paid off and he was able to pinch back three seconds, holding on to the lead over eventual second placed Robert Whitaker [Catwalk IV] for Britain.

“I always love to come to Britain and win,” Dermott joked. “It’s a great and famous show with classes for every type and shape of horse I think.”

Home rider Laura Renwick secured her second win of the week by claiming the remaining three-star international competition of the show. Riding Rembrandt Blue, Laura set such a pace that, despite collecting eight seconds in penalties, she still managed to hold a lead over France’s Michel Hecart [Toupie de la Roque].

The USA’s Emma Heise rounded off a week of strong results with a win in the Royal Windsor one-star international Grand Prix riding Viper Vrombautshoeve Z. Based in Warwickshire with Olympic Gold Medallists Laura Kraut (USA) and Nick Skelton (GBR), Emma, who bettered seven rivals in the jump-off, has enjoyed her time at the iconic venue.

“I really like it here,” she said. “It’s been so interesting seeing so many disciplines and competitions we just don’t get in the US.”

Chester Weber
Chester Weber

DRIVING: CHESTER WEBER WINS BACK TO BACK TITLES

In a dramatic finale to the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, last year’s horse four-in-hand winner, Chester Weber from the USA – in second place overnight – coupled professional nerve with outstanding driving skill to retain his title with a back-to-back win.

Second last to go in the cones phase, it looked for all the world as if he would produce the first double clear; however, going just over the allowed time, he picked up 0.18 penalty. In the winning position and ready to take up the challenge, Boyd Exell from Australia drove smoothly and steadily to just past the halfway point on the course. Here his left wheeler slipped on a tight turn, temporarily affecting the steering and losing time. When a ball dropped further on he had to push hard for home; the penalties he accrued dropped him 2.5 penalties behind Weber.

“I’m elated,” Weber remarked. “It’s such a privilege to drive at Royal Windsor and my horses have been outstanding. The course designer here [Christian Iseli from Austria] is the hardest in the world but I have a good record with his courses. I knew if I could go clear the pressure would be on.”

In the pony four-in-hand, Bram Chardon proved himself a champion right to the end. The only competitor to drive the cones course within the allowed time, he had just one ball down to add a win in this phase to his first places in dressage and cross-country, finishing 20 penalties ahead of Tinne Bax from Belgium. Two times gold medallist with this team of grey Welsh ponies, two of which were bred in this country, this is his second time competing – and winning – at Royal Windsor.

“My aim was to finish with a double clear,” he smiled. “But we have had a wonderful event.” His father, Ijsbrand Chardon, finished third in the horse four-in-hands.

SHOWING: PONIES SHOW THE WAY

Kinvara Garner
Kinvara Garner

It was ponies all the way on the final leg of the prestigious Royal Windsor Horse Show.

North-Wales based Kinvara Garner, 12, who was unable to compete last year because her father, Chief Steward Sebastian Garner, was taken ill, came back with vengeance. She took the coveted novice show pony title with the family’s home-produced 4-year-old Alonby Dauphin.

The show hunter pony went to another young lady on the verge of an exciting equestrian career. Alice Homer from Banbury, Oxon is only 11 but is already following in the footsteps of her famous showing family – her mother is Loraine Homer and her grandfather is the legendary showman David Tatlow. Having won her working hunter pony class aboard nursery stakes contender Lemington Nougat, she hot-footed it to another arena to win the 133cm class on Annandale Maria. Then she produced an electrifying performance in the Castle Arena to take her first Windsor Championship.

PONY CLUB MOUNTED GAMES: WIN FOR WALES

A fantastic fast-paced finale in the Daks Pony Club Mounted Games saw Wales vault to victory with England, who they had been battling it out at the top of the table all week, coming in a close second. As ever, the mounted games wowed the crowd with the five nations impressing the applauding audiences all week with their pace, agility and incredible skill in all of the races.

For more information and to view results, please visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact Hollie Bostock, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: hollie@revolutionsports.co.uk, T: +44 207 592 1207.

Royal Windsor Horse Show takes place on 13-17 May 2015. Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the 72nd year of the Royal Windsor Horse Show which offers its audience astounding displays in the main Castle Arena, such as The Musical Ride from the Household Calvary and The King’s Troop Musical Drive, the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Shetland Pony Grand National. As well as the equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 230 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of goods for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink. HM The Queen has attended every year since it started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public. Royal Windsor Horse Show is organised by HPower Group, also organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show www.hpower.co.uk.

Royal Windsor Horse Show’s official charity is the ABF Soldiers Charity. The show was first set up in 1943 by King George VI in order to raise funds for the war effort and has ever since continued to donate thousands of pounds to veterans and serving soldiers in need of help.

Super Saturday at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Laura Kraut.

May 16 2015 – The sun shone on super Saturday as more than 10,000 spectators were wowed by another fantastic day of competition and equestrian displays. World-class showjumpers, including Ben Maher, Laura Kraut and Peter Charles, battled it out in CS13* classes. The marathon phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix proved to be popular as ever as it drew in hordes of fans ready to witness the drivers masterfully steer their course through a combination of obstacles.

SHOWJUMPING: LAURA KRAUT CLAIMS HER WINDSOR FIRST

Despite winning two national classes earlier this week, and having been a regular visitor for many years, an international win at Royal Windsor Horse Show had eluded Laura Kraut. But, in front of a packed crown, the former Olympic Gold Medallist changed that today by taking top place in the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup.

With a midway draw in the 10-strong jump-off, Laura produced a superbly quick round and held the lead by a huge margin of over five seconds from Britain’s Robert Smith [Bavi].

“It was a fun round to ride,” said Laura. “She [Nouvelle] has been unlucky with injuries and sickness – and after investigation, she was found to have cysts on her ovaries [which have now been treated].

“She’s now much happier and I am so pleased for her owners [Evita Group]. It’s also really nice to give [my other top horse] Cedric a bit of a break.”

France’s Adeline Hécart also secured her first Royal Windsor Horse Show win during her first visit to the event. She did it in fine style in the Falcon Stakes riding Question d’Orval.

“The show is amazing,” she said. “Everything is organised with the horse in mind and the ground and atmosphere are so good. I really hope I can come here again.”

The USA’s Emily Moffitt and HHS Fafa continued their run of good form at Windsor by securing a second win of the week, this time in the Martin Collins Enterprises Speed Stakes.

Boyd Exell
Boyd Exell

DRIVING: EXELL LEADS THE PACK

The battle for the lead in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix was a dramatically contested one through the second phase – the cross-country marathon. With less than 1.5 penalties separating the top three competitors at this stage – 2014 winner Chester Weber from the USA, six times winner Boyd Exell from Australia, and five times winner Ijsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands – meant they pushed their horses and themselves to the limit, mindful that fractions of a second in an obstacle could make a difference. New obstacle timings were constantly being recorded, only to be replaced by the next driver storming through.

Going in reverse order of placing, Chardon threw down the gauntlet with a blistering, fluently driven round that certainly ensured he kept his third place at this stage. Exell, however, gave no quarter – driving cleanly and with breathtaking precision he recorded the fastest time in six of the obstacles. Chardon drove with exemplary skill and care but was unable, in the main, to match the times of the other two.

The results as they go into the final cone driving phase tomorrow are Exell in first place, 4 penalties ahead of Weber. Chardon is in third place, less than 2 penalties behind Weber. Exell will be hoping to clinch his seventh win in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix tomorrow, which will put him just one behind Great Britain’s legendary driver, George Bowman, who is still competing here.

The smaller field of pony four-in-hands saw the overnight winner, Holland’s Bram Chardon – son of Ijsbrand – increase his lead with a stunning win in the marathon. Impressing the crowd with his immaculate rein-handling, he has a 20-penalty lead over his closest challenger Tinne Bax from Belgium. Sara Howe from Great Britain drove a good marathon to put her in sixth place overall.

SHOWING: FAMILY FORTUNES IN MOUNTAIN AND MOORLAND WORKING HUNTER PONY

ponyBrother and sister Charlie and Tori Oakes from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire pulled off a remarkable feat with one taking the mountain and moorland working hunter pony championship and the other being awarded the reserve. Tori, 23, claimed the top spot riding her 7-year-old highland gelding, Cairns Fergus, while younger brother Charlie, 13, won his class and was reserve with the Countess of Shrewsbury’s homebred welsh section B gelding, Chetwynd Caspar.

The show pony championship, one of the most prestigious on the circuit, took place in front of a capacity crowd who clearly enjoyed the sight of Britain’s finest animals. The title went to North Somerset based Lucile Bywater with Broadgrove Only You, an 8-year-old 138cm campaigner, bred and owned by her grandmother Ann Fowler.

Sunday Highlights

Tomorrow promises to be an action-packed finals day which will ensure the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015 will go out on a high. The hotly anticipated CSI3* Alltech Grand Prix will feature a number of the top British riders hoping for victory on home soil and the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix will no doubt draw to a climax with the top drivers in the world battling it out for first place.

Once again there will be a feast of equine entertainment taking place throughout Sunday with performances carrying on into the early evening, including the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Musical Drive of The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact Hollie Bostock, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: hollie@revolutionsports.co.uk, T: +44 207 592 1207.

Royal Windsor Horse Show takes place on 13-17 May 2015. Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the 72nd year of the Royal Windsor Horse Show which offers its audience astounding displays in the main Castle Arena, such as The Musical Ride from the Household Calvary and The King’s Troop Musical Drive, the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Shetland Pony Grand National. As well as the equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 230 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of goods for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink. HM The Queen has attended every year since it started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public. Royal Windsor Horse Show is organised by HPower Group, also organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show www.hpower.co.uk.

Royal Windsor Horse Show’s official charity is the ABF Soldiers Charity. The show was first set up in 1943 by King George VI in order to raise funds for the war effort and has ever since continued to donate thousands of pounds to veterans and serving soldiers in need of help.

Emma Kurtz and Valor Win Grand Pony Hunter Championship at Capital Challenge Horse Show

Emma Kurtz and Valor. Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Kelli Cruciotti Victorious in $10,000 Junior/A-O Jumper Challenge; Gochman, Passarelli, Yowan, Petersen, and Humphries Earn Tricolors

Upper Marlboro, MD – October 4, 2014 – Ponies ruled today at The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by The Gochman Family. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, concludes on Sunday, October 5. Emma Kurtz piloted David Gochman’s Valor to the Grand Pony Hunter Championship and Best Pony Rider honors. Six pony and junior hunter divisions awarded championships. In the evening session, Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante won the $10,000 North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup Final Round.

Kurtz (14) of Hudson, OH rode to the top of the Pony Hunters today on David Gochman’s Valor. They were the Large Pony Hunter champions, and with two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth under saddle, and received the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, sponsored by Ali Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm. They were awarded the VanderMoore Designs Trophy, donated by VanderMoore Designs. Kurtz was named the Best Pony Rider, an award sponsored by Archibald Cox and Brookway Stables. They were presented with the Kitty Borisoff Memorial Trophy donated by her many friends. The reserve champions were All My Love and Kirklen Petersen, who rode for Dr. Betsee Park. They placed first and second over fences and were first under saddle. Petersen won the EMO Trip of the Show with a score of 91.5 on All My Love.

This was only the second time that Kurtz has shown Valor after their initial outing this summer in Kentucky. Valor shows in the Green Pony Hunters as well. “He’s a little bit green, but he always jumps a good jump. He’s really smooth, and he has a huge stride. For the first class trotting in, he was a little nervous, but then he was fine after that. He’s green, but he’s not really green. I didn’t really have any expectations because he was kind of new to me,” Kurtz admitted. But after placed first and second in the opening day of competition, she added, “After the first day, I had expectations!”

This is the third time Kurtz has shown at CCHS, and she was champion in the same division two years ago with Aladdin. This is her first Grand Championship at CCHS. She said of showing at Capital Challenge, “I like how they have one day outdoors so if your pony doesn’t like it inside, you get another day.”

Kurtz acknowledged the great opportunity to ride Valor for the Gochman family. “I’m really grateful. They were so nice to let me ride him. He’s an amazing pony,” she expressed.

Kurtz trains with Amanda Lyerly and Mike Rheinheimer and often catch-rides. “It’s never boring. You’re always on your toes,” she said. Lyerly said that she tells Kurtz to trust her instincts. “She’s pretty good at what she does, if she believes in herself. She is a pleasure to teach. Every time she walks in the ring, she tries her hardest and she’s super focused. She can pretty much ride anything you put her on. She has a lot to ride, but whether it’s good or bad, she tries to get the best out of it.”

Winning stayed in the Gochman family in the Medium Pony Hunter division with the championship going to Sophie Gochman on Truly Noble. They won two classes and were second and sixth in the division over fences. The reserve championship went to Show Me Love, ridden by Natalie Jayne for Scott Stewart. They placed first over fences and first under saddle.

Gochman has ridden “Noble” for two years. “I know him pretty well,” she said. “He’s kind of a quirky pony. He talks a lot and flaps his lips. He loves giving kisses and love. You have to leg him a bit around the ring. He has a good canter to him; he feels a little bit like a small horse. He’s easy to see the distances on.”

For the 11-year-old from New York, NY, winning a championship at Capital Challenge is “a big deal.” “It really feels good because this is the first indoor show that I’ve been champion at. It’s a good accomplishment,” she said with a smile.

Thirteen-year-old Caroline Passarelli of High Falls, NY won the Small Pony Hunter championship, sponsored by Spring Mill Farm/Jenny Yandell, riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Bit Of Love. The Harper Taskier Wright Memorial Trophy, given in memory of Harper by her loving parents Michael and Alexandra Borissoff Wright, friends, and family whose lives she touched, was given to Passarelli for winning the Small Pony Hunter championship. Passarelli and Bit of Love were first, first, and second over fences and fourth under saddle. The reserve champion was Rollingwood’s Knee Deep, ridden by Zayna Rizvi for Peacock Ridge LLC. They placed first and third over fences.

Passarelli has ridden Bit Of Love for a year. While she acknowledged that when she first started riding him, she was “a little inexperienced” for him and he was still a bit green, things got better with every show. “Soon it finally clicked. He really wanted to win and so did I, and it was a really good match,” she said. “He wants to win just as badly as you do. You can tell he’s sad when you let him down, which I’ve done before. He’s so amazing and so smooth. He’s not spooky. He’ll jump whatever from wherever; he doesn’t mind. The best thing is that he wants to win too.”

Moving into the indoor Show Place Arena today for the handy hunter class, Passarelli said she had to remember some adjustments with “Chester.” She explained, “With Chester, in the handies you try not to look where you are going so much and lay on the leads so much; he’ll get a little bit confused. You have to ride it almost more like it’s a regular hunter course and then work your turns in, yet you still have to be handy so that if you’re really going for it, you can win.”

She added, “I just can’t thank Betsee Parker enough for letting me show him and Elation and the other ponies I show for her, and Scott and Ken for training me.”

The Children’s/Pony Hunter championship went to Simply Magical, ridden by Hensley Humphries and owned by First Blue LLC. This was the first time that Humphries, an 11-year-old from New York, NY, has competed at Capital Challenge. Having started riding at camp from a pony ride, she has progressed through riding to her first indoor championship. “I’m really excited, and it’s amazing to be champion,” she said.

She has ridden Simply Magical for 10 months. “I tried him, and I really liked him. He’s really fun to jump, and he has a really comfortable canter,” Humphries described. “He can be sweet, and he really likes peppermints. We give him one every time we go to the ring.

Humphries and Simply Magical won an over fences class, as did reserve champions, Ellia Giuliani and Bill Schaub’s Tuxedo Park. It came down to a hack-off for the championship. Since Humphries had ridden her other pony in the under saddle, rider Arabella McFarland stayed on Simply Magical to ride him to the top tricolor in the hack-off. “I was really nervous because I’ve never seen a hack-off before,” Humphries said. “I didn’t really know what it was, but it was really exciting.”

Adam Edgar of Leesburg, VA was awarded the Stewart Warner Cup for pony riders, given in memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart & Mary Warner Brown by Donald E. Stewart, Jr. and Louise W. Serio. It is awarded to up-and-coming junior riders, who, in the opinion of the panel of judges, exhibit the best hunter style and show potential as a young hunter rider.

First Junior Hunter Championships Awarded

The older age sections of the Small and Large Junior Hunters finished their divisions outside today, with the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter championship going to Taken, ridden by Kirklen Petersen for Jessica Stitt. They also won the High Point Junior Hunter 16-17, sponsored by The Clothes Horse, by winning two over fences and placing third in another jumping class. Vivian Yowan and Saddle Ridge LLC’s Ransom were the reserve champions with two seconds and a third over fences and a second under saddle.

Petersen is 17 years old and from Great Falls, VA, just 45 minutes away from CCHS. Riding since the age of six, Petersen has shown for six years at Capital Challenge, since she was on small ponies. Her ride on Taken has been “on and off” for three years; they have only shown together approximately six times. “I don’t really show him regularly. He just comes out for the big shows, and he never lets me down,” she explained. “He is definitely my favorite. It was a lot of pressure the first time, especially to not let him down because he’s such an amazing horse. There’s nothing that horse hasn’t won. He’s so much fun, and he makes it so easy. He’s always really fun to ride.”

Taken and Petersen are a good combination, as she lets him pick up the gallop and hunt around to the jumps, suiting his classic style. “There’s nothing he can’t do. You can be right next to it; you can leave from five feet away. He has a huge stride and jumps amazing,” she said.

Petersen acknowledged that Taken is a favorite in the barn too. “He’s probably one of our most personable horses in the barn. He loves his carrots. He definitely has an attitude; he knows he’s good, which is what makes him so special I think. Debbie Buchanan is his groom, but he’s such a special horse that everyone helps out. We have Julio, Marcos, Pancho, and Gus. He has a whole crew. They were all up here to watch him this morning.”

Yowan moved up to the championship presentation in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, sponsored by Beacon Hill Show Stables – her first championship at Capital Challenge. She accomplished this feat on Alliy Moyer’s Libretto in only their second show together. “I showed him last year here, and I was lucky enough for the Moyers to ask me to show him again this year. Last year was good. It was my first time riding him. This year I understood his ride a little more. He’s got a huge stride, and he’s really slow off the floor.”

Yowan and Libretto were first and fourth over fences – winning the handy hunter class – and placed second under saddle for the top tricolor ribbon. The reserve champion was Cayero, ridden by Martha Ingram for John and Stephanie Ingram LLC. They placed first, second, and sixth over fences.

“I’ve never been champion. It’s finally nice!” she remarked. “I’ve been so close so many times, so to finally get it is really exciting.”

The 16-year-old rider from Lexington, KY had the added bonus of watching Libretto compete in the handy round in last night’s WCHR Professional Finals with Hunt Tosh. “He got him all ready for me today!” Yowan laughed. “I’ve watched Libretto a lot because I’ve watched Alliy show him all the time. I’ve known the horse for a long time. Last night, he was really handy. Hunt did all the inside turns. I felt pretty comfortable today with a handy that wasn’t as intense!”

For her handy round, Yowan was happy that the class was outside. “There is a lot more space outdoors, so for him, he’s a big horse and he’s got a lot of stride, so it’s nice. In the bigger ring, you can show it off more. He’s really handy, so it was awesome.”

The winner of the Junior World Champion Hunter Under Saddle class, sponsored by Cynthia Williams and New England Farm, was Anna Claire Smith and Celebration.

Cruciotti Fast for Jumper Challenge Victory

In the $10,000 North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Challenge Cup Final Round, 23 entries competed in the final round, which was held in jump-off format. Four riders advanced to the jump-off, and while all of them had faults, it was a race to the finish to see who could be fastest.

As the last to go, Kelli Cruciotti (16) of Elizabeth, CO rode her own Zidante, a 10-year-old mare, as the last in the jump-off. She knew that the three before her had faults and a clear round would seal the win. But with an early rail, Cruciotti had to put the speed on for victory. Landing from the final jump and finishing in 33.314 seconds, that’s exactly what she did.

Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante
Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante

Cruciotti said of her jump-off plan, “I had in my head that I wanted to go fast and even if I had one down, I still wanted to be fast. I was lucky that it happened so early in the course so I could stick with my plan and go really neat everywhere. She really came through for me. I knew it would be fast. I didn’t know if it would between four faulters or clear, but I knew it would be fast.”

In second place was Kristen Blomstrom on Zeros, who had four faults in 33.539 seconds. Vivian Yowan and Vornado van den Hoendrik were third with four faults in 39.887 seconds.

Cruciotti trains with her mother Cindy and has worked with Olympic gold medalist Peter Wylde for the past nine months as well. “It is a really great balance. My mom and I work at home and practice. We get to the shows and he has amazing tips about riding the course and the jump-off strategies. That experience really helps when you’re riding a course that I haven’t ridden that much and he obviously has.”

She has ridden Zidante for a year and a half, and Cruciotti was very happy with her mare’s performance over the past two days. “I was a little worried that she’d be too tired because I don’t usually do two days in a row with her. I thought yesterday she jumped really, really well and fast, and today she tried her heart out. She was a little tired, but she jumped great. Tonight she really proved herself that she can be reliable. I feel like the partnership is coming along very nicely,” she said.

Cruciotti has been coming to Capital Challenge since her mother started showing here 14 years ago. “Ever since I can remember I would come along. This is my favorite horse show,” she expressed. “They really make a big deal with the ribbons and sponsors and presentations. The course was great tonight, and it is such a pleasure to show here. It’s really special to win here.”

For their win in the final round, Patton was presented with the Remy Martin Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres and Melanie Wright. Cruciotti was the overall winner of the North American Junior/Amateur Jumper Challenge and was awarded the Ariat Congressional Cup. The Best Junior Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Courtney Calcagnini/CSC/Fleur Di Lis Farm, was given to Cruciotti, while Darby Toben won the Best Amateur Jumper Rider Award sponsored by Lyman T. Whitehead and Eight Fences, LLC.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show concludes tomorrow with championships for the 15 & Under sections of the junior hunters, the new Junior Hunter 3’3” division, both sections of the Children’s Hunter Horses, WCHR Junior Challenge, and the WCHR Children’s Hunter Finals.

For full results, more information, or to watch the live webcast, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. Like the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook and on Twitter @capchallenge and Instagram @capitalchallengehorseshow.

In its 21st year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 27 – October 5.

Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

First Annual Central Park Horse Show Concludes

Wins for Isabell Werth and Georgina Bloomberg

22 September 2014 – New York, USA – The first annual Central Park Horse Show, presented by Rolex and produced by The Chronicle of the Horse, yesterday concluded four days of top horse sport featuring the world’s best horses and riders in Show Jumping and Dressage, in New York City’s Trump Rink.

Georgina Bloomberg Wins Inaugural $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix CSI 3*

Twenty-three of the world’s best horses and riders jumped in the inaugural $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, with an exciting victory for New York’s own Georgina Bloomberg riding Juvina on Thursday 18 September. The Central Park Grand Prix was televised live on NBC Sports Network as the first live primetime broadcast of equestrian sport on a major sports network. Later in the evening, New York native Lucy Deslauriers rode her horse Hester to victory in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by PwC.

Thursday’s competition was just the beginning of an exciting four days of equestrian sport in New York City’s beloved Central Park. The Central Park Horse Show continued with its second day of show jumping competition on Friday 19 September under the beautiful New York City skyline. The evening featured a $50,000 “NYC vs. The World” Team Speed Challenge, presented by Donald J. Trump, with a win for Suncast® Corporation’s World Team. Representing his home nation of Ireland, Conor Swail won the competition overall with the leading round aboard Lansdowne.

A $5,000 Junior/Amateur Speed Challenge was held later in the evening with a win for 22-year-old New York based rider Hilary McNerney and Oscar. Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington, the number 3 ranked rider in the world, guided the winning efforts in both competitions serving as captain of the victorious Suncast World Team as well as training McNerney to her win.

Farrington commented on the event following another great evening of competition representing his winning team. “I think this is one of the best venues we can have to showcase our sport,” he stated. “It is really exciting to be here and be a part of this event, getting it off the ground. A special thank you to everybody that has put big efforts into making this happen – Mark Bellissimo, Donald Trump, Rolex being our sponsor here, all the staff of the park, and everybody that has helped. I think for the first year, it’s a success, and I know there will be big efforts into making it better. I think that this could turn into a major stop on our tour and turn into a world-class event.”

Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW Win First Ever Central Park Dressage Challenge

Five-time Olympic Gold Medallist Isabell Werth of Germany won the inaugural $40,000 Central Park Dressage Challenge, presented by The Axel Johnson Group, riding El Santo NRW on Saturday 20 September. The United States’ Steffen Peters brought his superstar mount Ravel out of retirement for one special freestyle, and Jan Ebeling retired his famous mare Rafalca after the duo had their final performance together. It was an incredible night celebrating the beauty, grace, and power of dressage.

Performing their freestyle in Trump Rink with an incredible backdrop of skyscrapers in the New York City skyline, Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW received a score of 82.042% from the judges to take top honors in the dressage challenge. Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud showed his mount Glock’s Flirt to a score of 78.833% to finish second, and Canada’s Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri scored a 73.500% to place third. El Santo NRW is a 13-year-old Rheinlander gelding by Ehrentusch x Rythmus owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze and Isabell Werth. The rider has had great success with the talented horse in Europe and decided to bring him to the United States for the first time for this very special evening.

“I have to say thank you in the name of all riders for the great idea for this event,” Werth stated. “In the beginning when I heard it, I couldn’t believe, but I was waiting to see if it was really coming true, and it really came true. I say a big thank you. It is a special event. If you go here through Central Park and if you arrive in New York, you can’t imagine that you will compete here in this arena. It was a lot of fun and a pleasure to be here.”

Along with the evening’s freestyle competition, dressage star Steffen Peters brought his famous Olympic and World Equestrian Games partner Ravel out of retirement for one special performance. The 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding last competed with Peters in 2012 after a career that launched them to the front of the world dressage stage, including an individual fourth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, wins in the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup Final (Las Vegas) and the 2009 Aachen CDIO (GER), two bronze medals at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (KY), and two U.S. Equestrian Federation National Grand Prix Championship titles. The exciting evening at Trump Rink showcased the world-renowned duo for one final performance of their award-winning freestyle.

U.S. Pony Club Games and The Shetland Pony Steeplechase

Saturday also featured two matinee performances with various exhibitions representing different disciplines of equestrian sport. The United States Pony Club Games highlighted New York’s top young Pony Club riders in a series of entertaining and competitive games. The inaugural Central Park Grand National Shetland Pony Steeplechase races, part of the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Series presented by Charles Owen, saw jockeys age seven to 16 riding atop one of the world’s most adorable pony breeds.

U.S. Vaulting Team & Polo

The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games’ U.S. Vaulting Team showcased their world-class horseback gymnastics thanks to sponsor Akiko Yamazaki. Polo’s rising stars also took to the ring thanks to support from Wellington’s Grand Champions Polo Club. The U.S. Polo Association Central Park Polo Challenge concluded a fantastic weekend on Sunday afternoon.

For more information on the inaugural Central Park Horse Show and full results on all the competitions held over the four days, please visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
www.revolutionsports.co.uk

Pony Jocks Star at Marshall & Sterling Insurance Finals

©ESI Photography. Blythe and Heavenly Zechariah make an irresistible pair.

Saugerties, NY (September 18, 2014) – Pony jocks and their four legged partners descended upon the HITS show grounds and Strongid®C 2X Grand Prix Stadium during the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson last weekend.

Jodhpurs and bows, ice cream socials, cheering friends and families and fierce competition — combined into an unforgettable weekend.

Pony Ring Action

Children’s Working Hunter – Small Pony
Champion: Heavenly Zechariah and Blythe Novick
Reserve: Short Story and Stella Propp

Blythe Novick from New Canaan, Connecticut, riding Heavenly Zechariah, owned by David Bakutis of Wallingford, Connecticut, trains with Ruth Nicodemus at Serenity Show Stables (Stamford, Connecticut).

Blythe is 10 years old and ridden with Nicodemus for the past three years. She began her winning ways in walk trot classes at an early age.

“The Marshall & Sterling finals was our big goal this year,” said Novick. “It’s a fantastic and rare opportunity for kids to ride in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium.” “I’m a huge fan of HITS’ course designers — the hunters and Eq courses invite smooth, fluid riding and true flatwork. They were challenging without over facing and judges top notch.”

“Blythe was champion on Zechariah and took second and eighth over fences on her other pony Backstage,” added Nicodemus. “Overall we’re very pleased.”

“I’m so sad it’s over. Can we come back next year, Ruth?” Blythe asked during the interview. “You bet,” Nicodemus replied. She plans on bringing a group of qualified students to Marshall & Sterling Finals 2015 in Saugerties and thanked HITS for “a great experience and week — the staff is accommodating and warm, and really know how to run a horse show.”

Reserve Champion was Stella Propp, from New York, New York. Propp is a Marshall & Sterling Finals pony pro, having shown at the Finals and Hits-on-the Hudson before and taken multiple championship honors home. She trains with Joe Currais and looks forward to qualifying and returning to Marshall & Sterling Finals next year.

Children’s Working Hunter – Medium Pony
Champion: Glencoe Charter Party, owned and ridden by Andrew Heim of Cape May, New Jersey
Reserve: One Hot Pepper, Eliza Kimball of New York, New York, owned by Joe Currais, New York, New York

©ESI Photography. Sophee Steckbeck and Romeo in classic form during the HITS Children's Working Hunter Pony - Large division
©ESI Photography. Sophee Steckbeck and Romeo in classic form during the HITS Children’s Working Hunter Pony – Large division

Children’s Working Hunter – Large Pony
Champion: Romeo, Sophee Steckbeck
Reserve: Benlea Sea Wolf, Chloe Terestcheuko

An extraordinary event happened during the Children’s Working Hunter Large pony Competition — the coveted Championship was decided with a four pony hack off!

Ultimately it was Romeo, beautifully ridden by Sophee Steckbeck, of Clarksburg, New Jersey and owned by Morgan Ward of Milford, New Jersey, who took top honors. 11-year-old Steckbeck rides under the tutelage of Barbara and Brian Feigus. Steckbeck started riding at age four and a half, showing in the leadline divisions. She has leased Romeo for over a year from owner Ward.

Steckbeck heads to sixth grade in September and her next big event will be competing at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg in October.

Reserve went to Benlea Sea Wolf owned and ridden by Chloe Terestcheuko, of New York, New York.

Children’s Working Hunter – Horse
Champion: Private Ryan and Lena Rae Reeb
Reserve: US Marshall and Rachael Hopkins

The seemingly unbeatable pair of Lena Rae Reeb, fifteen, from Weston, Connecticut, and Private Ryan, owned by Jamie Ringel of Wilton, Connecticut, were crowned Champion in the HITS Children’s Working Hunter – Horse division.

Reeb’s mother and trainer Leslie Kogos was ecstatic. “I am so proud of my daughter,” said Kogos. “She is focused and hardworking. Every day after the show she’s back in the barn, putting away horses, wrapping legs and doing whatever else needs to be done. She works just as hard in school and is a straight-A student.”

Reeb’s other trainer Michele West noted, “I’ve known her since she was six years old and to see how far she has come amazes me. She is a pleasure to teach and simply be around.”

What does Reeb love most about the Marshall & Sterling Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson?

©ESI Photography. Private Ryan and Lena Rae Reeb on course
©ESI Photography. Private Ryan and Lena Rae Reeb on course

“Riding in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium and jumping the beautiful jumps,” she said.” Reeb also enjoys the “family like atmosphere of seeing her friends and Marshall & Sterling qualifiers throughout the year, HITS staff and how they want all competitors to have a great experience… the beautiful presentations and awards. HITS and Marshall & Sterling make every win feel special — no matter how many years I’ve been coming here.”

Reserve was US Marshall, owned by Kiki Hopkins and ridden Rachael Hopkins, both from Ashland, Massachusetts. Rachel rides with Kathryn Fletcher at Grazing Field Farms.

Reeb Wins It for Her Team ~ Overall Grand Hunter Champion

Overall Hunter Champion: Private Ryan, Lena Rae Reeb, owned by Jamie Ringel
Reserve: Huckleberry Finn, owned by Susan Huyett, ridden by Sarah Tyndall

What can one possibly say that has not already about Junior rider Lena Rae Reeb and her partner in success Private Ryan?

This was Private Ryan’s 5th Grand Hunter Championship at the Marshall & Sterling Insurance Finals and Reeb’s second consecutive year being honored with the title (riding Private Ryan). Owner Jamie Ringel was previously Overall Grand Hunter Champion three times at the Marshall & Sterling Finals — with the same horse.

“Ryan is truly the horse of a lifetime,” said Leslie Kogos, Lena’s mother and trainer, of the venerable yet lovable sixteen year old chestnut Wurttenberg gelding. Along with taking home the Marshall & Sterling Overall Championship honors, the pair captured the HITS Children’s Working Hunter Division Championship and Reeb was named Best Junior Rider on a Horse.

“I had an amazing Marshall & Sterling Finals experience this year at HITS,” said Reeb, “and am grateful to Jamie Ringel for the ride on Ryan. Also to my mother and Michele West, the best trainers and role models.”

She added, “I would like to thank Tom Struzzieri (HITS Founder and CEO), his staff and Marshall & Sterling Insurance for making this event possible at all.”

Best Junior Rider — Horse: Lena Rae Reeb, Weston Connecticut, trained by Leslie Kogos and Michele West, on Jamie Ringel’s Private Ryan

Best Junior Rider — Pony: Sophee Steckbeck, Clarksburg, New Jersey, trained by Barbara Feigus at Nevergreen Farm on Romeo, owned by Morgan Ward, Milford, New Jersey

HITS warmly thanks the fantastic competitors, trainers, supporters and Marshall & Sterling Insurance for making this the most successful Finals ever.

About the Marshall & Sterling League

The Marshall & Sterling League was designed to enhance the level of competition for children and adult riders, with an opportunity to qualify for a prestigious National Finals competition. Now celebrating their 23rd year, the Marshall & Sterling League features 14 divisions of competition. Riders who are members of the League have the opportunity to earn points throughout the year by competing in Marshall & Sterling classes to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling League Finals, held at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

The Marshall & Sterling League is proudly sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc., founded in 1864 and among the largest privately owned insurance agencies in the United States. For more than a quarter century Marshall & Sterling has protected precious equine assets with unparalleled service and support, whether the family hunter, a champion racehorse or a commercial farm. An employee-owned company, Marshall & Sterling is recognized throughout the nation as a leader in providing exceptional service and support. The company maintains a national presence and licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

St Jacques Shines in USEF Pony Medal Final

Taylor St Jacques.

Lexington, KY – August 10, 2014 – From 7 a.m. until well into the afternoon, talented young pony rider after talented young pony rider trotted into the Alltech Arena to vie for the win in the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Final, but there was one talented rider in particular that stood out from among the 169 entries: Taylor St Jacques.

St Jacques and her mount, Happy Feet, met the opening vertical of the first round course perfectly, setting the tempo for nine more seamless fences, a well-executed simple change of lead down an outside line and a firm halt at the end of her course.

That first round course shot St Jacques to the top of the standby list for further testing, and she would remain untouched in that first place position through to the end of three total rounds, clinching the 2014 USEF Pony Medal Final victory.

“I’m really excited,” said a smiling St Jacques following her win. “This is my second year at Medal Finals, and I wasn’t expecting it to go as well as it did today.”

From the initial course, judges Karen Healey and Stacia Madden called back the top 20 riders for round two: another 10 fence, Richard Jeffery’s designed course. From there, they whittled it down further, calling back the top four for additional testing on the flat.

St Jacques, Camyrn Halley, Ericka Koscinski and Alexandra Pielet demonstrated the walk, trot, canter and sitting trot in the counter-clockwise direction before reversing and performing the same gaits sans stirrups.

The final testing confirmed what the judges had thought all the way through from the first round: that the victory was St Jacques’. Finishing behind St Jacques in the second place position was Pielet, while the third place honor went to Koscinski.

“Going into the second part of the first test I was just focused on staying smooth again, trying to keep my heels down and looking up,” 15-year-old St. Jacques said. “There are usually a few minutes when I get really nervous… but then after I realize that it’s just another trip at another horse show, I’m fine. I try to not let it get to me and just think ‘I’m just going in again for another trip just to be judged again.’ When I start overthinking I really start over thinking, and it goes badly.”

St Jacques trains with Bill Schaub and Molly Sewell at Over the Hill Farm, and she credits much of her win today to their training and to the generosity of Lily Ezrow. Ezrow is currently leasing St Jacques’ winning mount, Happy Feet, and she has allowed St Jacques to show the pony for the past several months.

“I really want to thank Lily and her mom Isabelle,” St Jacques said. “I’m really fortunate to rides these ponies, and I’ve had a great time on them. I’m really happy that they’re happy for me and that they’re letting me do this.”

“They’ve been very generous,” Schaub added. “I’m very proud of Taylor. She’s worked very hard and learned a lot. We just really emphasize keeping the basics strong and working on exercises, and then it all makes everything fit together. Pony Finals isn’t really something you can practice for. You’ve got to learn all of your skills so when you’re thrown out there you can do whatever test they ask of you.”

St Jacques has handled any and all tests thrown her way this week at the USEF Pony Finals with ease. In addition to her win today, St Jacques was reserve champion in the Large Green Pony Hunters with Empire’s Victory, champion in the Medium Pony Hunters with Finders-Keepers and the recipient of the 2014 Mindy Darst Perpetual Trophy. The trophy was presented to St Jacques as the rider the judges deemed the most likely to become a top professional rider.

Perhaps making her final USEF Pony Finals win today a little bit extra special for St Jacques was being able to finish on top alongside some of her closest friends.

“My top three closest friends were us three that got the top three [St Jacques, Pielet and Koscinski],” Pielet said.

Pielet made one of the biggest moves up the rankings throughout the three rounds, climbing from ninth after the first round to the eventual second place spot.

“I was really nervous because [Secret Love] kept wanting to go faster as he got closer to home. I was like ‘no, no,’ and I was really nervous,” Pielet said of her first round course. “Then it was a lot quieter and smoother the second one. I was just so concerned about making (the second round]. Then I just relaxed… and it was fun.”

The USEF Pony Finals fun comes to an end today, but competition continues this week at the Kentucky Horse Park with the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show beginning on Tues., Aug. 12.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org, and to find out more about all of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Summer Series Fast Facts

Events:
Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals.

What:
The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2014 series includes five weeks of top competition throughout the summer. These premier hunter/jumper competitions host the Hagyard Challenge Series with seven grand prix competitions that culminate with a Leading Rider Award, as well as the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series.

Where:
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When:

NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR & YOUNG RIDER CHAMPIONSHIPS – July 15-20, 2014
KENTUCKY SUMMER HORSE SHOW – July 23-27, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 29 – August 3, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2014 USEF PONY FINALS – August 5-10, 2014
BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL HORSE SHOW – August 12-17, 2014
USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 20-24, 2014
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, GGT Footing, Equestrian Services International, Johnson Horse Transportation, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program, Sleepy P Ranch, and the Official Hotel The Clarion

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions:
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at tomblank@bellsouth.net
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709

Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Ring Dimensions/Specs:

The Stonelea Ring, Murphy Ring, Walnut Ring, Stonelea/Murphy Schooling Ring, the Alltech Arena and the Rolex Stadium have Otto Sport footing consisting of fine sand and synthetic fiber on pvc mats. The Claiborne, Annex, and Covered Arena (old) rings’ footing consists of a sand cushion on limestone base. The dimensions of the competition areas are as follows:

Stonelea: 140′x 280′, Murphy: 135′x 280′, Stonelea and Murphy Schooling: 110′x 400′
Walnut: 300′x 370′, Claiborne: 140′x 270′, Annex 130′x 250′, Covered Arena (old): 145′x 285′ Rolex Stadium: 360′ x 384′, Alltech Arena: 132′ x 265′

Shopping:
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels:

CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at sherryd.logan@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Management:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

Munson Earns 2014 Individual Championship at US National Pony Jumper Championships

Genevieve Munson and Bluebelle (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Lexington, Ky. – The 2014 US National Pony Jumper Championship, held as part of the US Pony Finals, came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday night with Individual titles up for grabs. Nineteen competitors came back to jump a fourth round over Richard Jeffery’s challenging course, with combinations producing their best performances of the week. A single rail separated the top 6 riders heading into Saturday’s final round.

Cecily Coors and Genevieve Munson entered the Alltech Arena on Saturday tied with zero faults coming forward into the final phase of competition. Munson (Rogers, Ark.) riding the 14-year-old mare, Bluebelle, owned by Carlie Beisel put the pressure on as she produced a beautiful clear round making easy work of the track. This effort would earn her the Gold medal as the only rider to finish with zero faults after the fourth round of competition.

“I knew I just had to go in and trust her; we have a good relationship and she is such a good jumper, I can’t even tell you how happy I am tonight,” 10-year-old Munson noted. In preparing for the evenings Individual final she had confidence in the mare and stated, “I was pretty nervous and just tried to focus on riding like I’ve been practicing. I know she won’t stop at one of the jumps; she just loves it.” The Gold medal was the second for Munson this week as she was part of the winning United States Pony Club Team Championship effort last night.

Coors (Denver, Colo.) riding KC Sports LLC’s Thoroughbred/Welsh Cross gelding Monstarz Superfly was the final competitor to tackle the 13-jump course. Finishing with zero jumping faults, wide turns left her in the Silver medal position as she gained three-time faults towards her final score.

Although she wished that she had ridden a little bit quicker, Coors said, “I just wanted to do the best I could for my pony. It really is a team effort. It was really fun and the course designer did a great job making lots of questions that ended up being a big part of how you finished in the end.” Reflecting on her entire week at the US Pony Finals, she said, “It all was an amazing experience; I have had such a fun time.”

A jump-off for Bronze saw two competitors come back who ended the fourth round on an overall total of four faults.

As the first rider in the jump off, Carson Ruff (Maple Park, Ill.) knew that if she could leave all the rails in the cups and post a competitive time with Jet Pilot owned by Sarah Ruff, she would have a shot at the final medal. The pair did just that, jumping faultlessly and stopping the timers at 37.792 seconds to clinch the Individual Bronze medal.

Catalina Peralta (Geneva, Fla.) riding Cookies & Cream owned by Wendy Ritter Peralta finished with four faults in the jump-off with a time of 40.587 to earn fourth-place honors.

The evening concluded with Julianna Empie (Chester Springs, Pa.) being awarded the US Pony Jumper Style Award as the competitor that the judges believed to display the best jumping style of riding throughout the week.

Earlier in the day, Charlie Orona (Manhattan, Kan.), riding Fox Creek’s Curious George, owned by Diana Orona, came out on top in the farewell competition.

To follow all the action from the US National Pony Jumper Championship and the 2014 US Pony Finals, visit http://usefconnect.com/ponyfinals/.

Finders-Keepers Finds Medium Pony Hunter Championship Tricolor at 2014 USEF Pony Finals

Taylor St Jacques and Finders-Keepers.

Lexington, KY – August 9, 2014 – Taylor St Jacques is in her third year competing at USEF Pony Finals, and each year, her goal has been to improve upon the previous year’s results.

That is no easy feat when your previous year’s results include a reserve championship in the Medium Pony Hunters and the only remaining upward step is a championship, but St Jacques did it Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park.

She clinched the tricolor in the Medium Pony Hunters aboard Finders-Keepers, a 10-year-old Welsh Pony gelding (Flying Diamond the Bailef – NR Burgundy Lace) owned by R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc.

“I’m so, so excited. Last year, I was reserve. I wanted to try to beat it again,” St Jacques, age 15, said. “I just wanted to do well this year, especially on this one, because it’s my last year in the mediums. I’m very thrilled to be champion.”

St Jacques’ enthusiasm at the idea of being named champion was evident from the minute she and Finders-Keepers cleared the last fence of their course. As soon as all four of Finders-Keepers’ small feet where back on the ground, St Jacques broke out into a giant grin. She knew that together they had turned in a course that could easily secure them the championship victory, and sure enough, it would do just that.

Their round would put them in second place over fences and move them up from 11th into the number one spot overall where they would go untouched for the remainder of the class.

“I’m usually happy after my trips, but I don’t usually smile that big,” St Jacques said, continuing to smile. “[Pony Finals] is a big thing.”

St Jacques first got the ride on “Keepers” at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Lily Ezrow, who is presently leasing Keepers, had brought the gelding to train with Bill Schaub at Over the Hill Farm, with whom St Jacques also trains.

“The last week of WEF, Bill decided to would be a good idea to see how it would be in the regulars. He put me on it, and it went really well,” St Jacques said.

“He’s really fun to ride. You kind of just have to leave his face alone and just tell him to keep going. No matter what distance you get to, he always jumps well so that helps a lot,” Jacques continued. “He never looks at anything, and he’s very brave, not nervous at all. It’s really good because this is his first year in the regulars out of the greens. He’s awesome. I love him so much.”

Finishing in reserve in the medium pony hunters were Emma Kurtz and Lonesome Dove’s Goodhearted Woman, owned by Lonesome Dove Farm. The duo earned the reserve championship honor after riding away with the win in the over fences phase.

The conclusion of the Medium Hunter Pony competition marked the end of all of the 2014 Regular Pony Hunter divisions, and it ushered in the crowning of the 2014 Grand Regular Pony Hunter champion.

The esteemed honor awarded to the pony with the highest point total across all three of the regular pony division was presented to Natalie Jayne and Blueberry Hill. Jayne and the Welsh Pony cross (Gayfields Vida Blue – Emerald Hill) mare clinched the Small Pony Hunter championship early this week before also claiming the overall award.

Following the conclusion of the pony hunter classes, the pony jumper competitors took center stage in the Alltech Arena.

Munson Sets Record as Youngest Rider to Take Gold at USEF Pony Jumper Individual Championships

Genevieve Munson has two gold medals and a new record to her name following the conclusion of the 2014 USEF Pony Jumper Individual Championships.

Munson piloted Bluebelle to help the U.S. Pony Club capture team gold on Friday, and Saturday night she put in another clear and fast effort over Richard Jeffrey’s course to take individual gold as well. At age 10, it makes her the youngest rider ever to do so.

If you ask Munson, it is not her that should be patted on the back for her wins. When describing what it meant to capture the individual gold medal, the 10-year-old rider said: “I’m just really, really happy, but I really want to congratulate Bluebelle. She’s the one that jumped over the fences; it wasn’t me.”

Bluebelle would not have made it very far without her talented (and humble) rider’s guidance; Munson made the track that had tripped others up look easy as she skillfully navigated through each question asked on course.

“It was definitely a Richard Jeffrey course,” Munson said. “He makes you ride technically; he won’t let you run around in there. You have to really think about what you’re doing, but it was a great course. It was great for us to learn on.”

It is easy to forget you are talking to a 10-year-old when Munson gives answers like that. Her father, Michael Munson, assures that his daughter is not always so business-like. Mr. Munson, who just founded Northwest Arkansas Pony Club this year out of his own Rogers Equestrian Center in Rogers, Arkansas, has a theory on why Genevieve is such a natural rider.

“I think Genevieve is a horse!” Mr. Munson laughed. “Literally, we came out of the hotel and she’s cantering to the elevator!”

When she is not imitating her four legged friends, Munson is busy riding with a number of different trainers, who she was quick to thank for getting her to the top of the podium. Bluebelle’s owner Carlie Beisel is one of those trainers, and she said Genevieve had started riding her pony last fall with the intention of coming to Pony Finals in two years.

Thanks to Munson’s determination, she reached that goal a whole year early in what Beisel describes as her “mission.”

“I met her at a Pony Club clinic and sat next to her,” Beisel said of Munson. “She happened to find out that I owned Bluebelle, and she had heard about Bluebelle being at Pony Finals the year before. She kind of attached herself. She was on a mission. She decided Bluebelle was a part of her mission.”

Munson also trains with Britt McCormick and Martin van der Hoven, and she credits van der Hoven for guiding her to her first big pony jumpers win.

“He helped us so, so much. He coached us through our first blue ribbon in pony jumpers,” Munson explained.

Some riders like to revel in their victory, but Munson is not one of them – she’s already looking toward the future.

“We’re going to go home and fix things up, just tighten everything up and see from there,” Munson said of her plans.

While Saturday marked the conclusion of the Pony Hunter and Pony Jumpers, USEF Pony Finals competition continues with the Pony Medal Finals tomorrow beginning at 8 a.m. in the Alltech Arena.

To learn more about the USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.ponyfinals.org.

Kentucky Summer Series Fast Facts

Events:
Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals.

What:
The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2014 series includes five weeks of top competition throughout the summer. These premier hunter/jumper competitions host the Hagyard Challenge Series with seven grand prix competitions that culminate with a Leading Rider Award, as well as the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series.

Where:
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When:

NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR & YOUNG RIDER CHAMPIONSHIPS – July 15-20, 2014
KENTUCKY SUMMER HORSE SHOW – July 23-27, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 29 – August 3, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2014 USEF PONY FINALS – August 5-10, 2014
BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL HORSE SHOW – August 12-17, 2014
USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 20-24, 2014
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, GGT Footing, Equestrian Services International, Johnson Horse Transportation, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program, Sleepy P Ranch, and the Official Hotel The Clarion

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions:
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at tomblank@bellsouth.net
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709

Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Ring Dimensions/Specs:

The Stonelea Ring, Murphy Ring, Walnut Ring, Stonelea/Murphy Schooling Ring, the Alltech Arena and the Rolex Stadium have Otto Sport footing consisting of fine sand and synthetic fiber on pvc mats. The Claiborne, Annex, and Covered Arena (old) rings’ footing consists of a sand cushion on limestone base. The dimensions of the competition areas are as follows:

Stonelea: 140′x 280′, Murphy: 135′x 280′, Stonelea and Murphy Schooling: 110′x 400′
Walnut: 300′x 370′, Claiborne: 140′x 270′, Annex 130′x 250′, Covered Arena (old): 145′x 285′ Rolex Stadium: 360′ x 384′, Alltech Arena: 132′ x 265′

Shopping:
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels:

CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at sherryd.logan@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Management:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com