Category Archives: Championships

Victory in $72k NetJets Grand Prix CSI 2* Goes to Mario Deslauriers and Amsterdam 27

Mario Deslauriers and Amsterdam 27. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 19, 2019 — The “Saturday Night Lights” series continued on January 19 with the $72,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI 2* and Olympian Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Amsterdam 27 scoring a win under the lights at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in the second week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

There were 45 entries in the grand prix, and eight were able to go clear over a course designed by Oscar Soberon of Mexico.

Brad Wolf Snags Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36+ Champion Title

Brad Wolf and 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship winner Private Practice took home the tricolor ribbon in the Palm Beach Equine Clinic Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36+ division during Week 2 of WEF.

After ribboning two firsts, two seconds, a seventh, and an eighth, the pair was asked to return for a “hack-off” with Becky Gochman and Mythical, with whom they were tied for champion. As both combinations took to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Field one last time, Private Practice once again displayed winning form as a hunter and sealed the victory for himself and Wolf.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Lauren Hough and Valinski S Victorious in $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2*

Lauren Hough and Valinski S. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 17, 2019 – Lauren Hough rode Valinski S to the win in the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2* on Thursday, January 17, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

A starting field of 100 entries faced off in Thursday’s featured event, the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI 2*, with 15 advancing to jump off over the Oscar Soberon (MEX) designed short course.

Jennifer Bauersachs and Another Love Jump to Championship in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9”

The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” division concluded on Thursday, January 17, at the Winter Equestrian Festival with a victory for New Jersey native Jennifer Bauersachs aboard Another Love. The pair performed well in the previous day’s over fences and under saddle classes having placed first, third, and fifth. Returning to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, the duo took another first place to secure the championship.

The reserve champion title went to Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY aboard Spectacular, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cachas x Varese) owned by SHP Barn, LLC. The duo claimed two seconds, a third, and a ninth place.

Bauersachs has piloted the 10-year-old Holsteiner mare for Debra Carey’s Meritage Stables, LLC for two years, but she only began competing her a year ago after Bauersachs came back from an injury.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Women Return to Dominance in $75,000 Battle of the Sexes

Team captain Nicole Bellissimo. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2019 – After suffering their first loss in 10 years in 2018, the women’s team stormed back to dominate the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center in 2019 by winning 29 points to the men’s team’s 11 total points. The competition ended after just five of the 10 match races completed when it was clear the men couldn’t garner enough points to take victory.

In the opening speed round, the women and men tied with five points each. The fastest speed round of the night went to Jessica Mendoza (GBR), who recorded a time of 51.258 seconds to win her round over Daniel Coyle (IRL).

The women took over in the second phase, the relay. They won all three relays, picking up 15 points to increase their total to 20 points, while the men remained on five points. While the men showed an early glimmer by winning the first two match races with David Blake (IRL) and Andrew Bourns (IRL), three subsequent victories by Carly Anthony (USA), KC Van Aarem (USA), and Sydney Shulman (USA) sealed the overall win for the women.

Adrienne Sternlicht Takes Top Prize in $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic

Out of a field of 29 entries, Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) stood at the top after a fast jump-off round in 37.178 seconds riding Just A Gamble. Eleven advanced to the jump-off over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Coming in second place was Mario Deslauriers (CAN) on Amsterdam 27 in 37.202 seconds, while Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Aristoteles V took third place with a time of 37.748 seconds.

This was the first week of competition for Sternlicht and her new horse, Just A Gamble, who arrived in Florida in December, and they have since spent time getting to know each other.

“[It] was really not doing too much flatwork because she’s super hot,” said Sternlicht of the 10-year-old BWP mare by Toulon x Corofino. “We’ve put her on what we call the ‘Rothchild Program,’ which is a lot of walk/trot work, a lot of trail riding, trying to get her to settle a bit. It’s almost better if she’s more unfit than fit. Even with her build and technique, she’s a powerhouse behind; she has all the scope in the world. It’s about keeping her mentally calm.”

Maggie Hill and O’Ryan Sweep the Small Junior Hunters 3’6 16-17 to Win First Championship of WEF

The Small Junior Hunters 3’6 16-17 riders returned to Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday to contend for the championship title of Week 1. After two firsts, a second, and a fifth over fences along with another second under saddle, Maggie Hill of Jackson, WY took home the tricolor ribbon. Hill piloted Stella Styslinger’s O’Ryan, a 17-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding, to consistent top placings with two firsts, two seconds, and a fifth.

She and O’Ryan have been successful partners for the past two years under the careful tutelage of three-time USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship winner Liza Boyd. The pair has been successful with their junior hunter endeavors, but Hill hopes to compete the veteran hunter in several derbies throughout the rest of the season.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Celso Ariani Victorious in $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 1

Celso Ariani and Ukulman de la Nutria. Photo © Sportfot.

Brazil’s Celso Ariani won the first round of the Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL on Thursday, January 10.

With their share of $35,000 on the line, Ariani‘s mount Ukulman de la Nutria was fast across the ground and careful over the fences to top a six-horse jump-off over courses designed by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. The pair will now focus on the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix, which takes center stage on Sunday, January 13.

“He is from Mexico and it’s the system there to break them at five or six, but for some reason he was in pasture for a little longer,” said Ariani. “I was very happy with his results over the last year and I have a lot of expectations for him. I believe he can become a very important horse.

“He has a huge stride and I was confident in the jump-off because it was a long track,” continued Ariani. “The last line was seven or eight [strides], but I believed he could do it in six and he did!”

Scott Stewart Captures Championship in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6” aboard Bright Side

Scott Stewart returned to the Winter Equestrian Festival in winning form as he secured the championship in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6” division during Week 1. Stewart piloted new mount, Bright Side, to an easy victory as the pair was awarded two firsts, a third, and a fourth over their courses.

“We weren’t sure we were going to show him this week, but he was so good in the warm-ups on Tuesday that we decided to jump right in,” commented Stewart. “Since I don’t know him very well, I just had to trust him. He went right out there and handled it exceptionally well.”

Stewart, of Flemington, NJ, is new to the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ultimo x Tiara), who was purchased as an Adult Amateur 3’6” horse for his client, Stephanie Danhakl, only several weeks ago. Previously owned by Mountain View West Farm, LLC, the gelding has extensive Adult Amateur and Performance Hunter placings on the west coast.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

McCoy and His Boys Prove They’re the Real Deal

An eager crowd was treated to an action-packed fifth day at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. The first Show Jumping competition of the day saw 18-year-old Robert Murphy produce a sublime performance going double-clear and securing a memorable victory in The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final. A faultless Boyd Exell was once again on majestic form, finishing just under 30 seconds ahead of eventual second-placed Driver, Belgian Glenn Geerts. British riders dominated The Keith Prowse Father Christmas Stakes, with William Whitaker, William Funnell, Ben Maher, and Guy Williams taking the top four places, respectively.

In a first for Olympia Horse Show, a team of five top-class female jockeys took on their male counterparts in the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund – a fast and furious Show Jumping team relay competition. The Boys’ Team – with stand-out rides from Richard “Dickie” Johnson and Jim Crowley – did just enough to beat the Girls’ Team by a combined time of little under eight seconds, while Girls’ Team captain Bridget Andrews earned a consolation winning the prize for the quickest round.

The evening drew to a close with The Longines Christmas Cracker. Out of a field of 28 competitors, 13 jumped a clear first round and progressed to the jump-off, which then saw a further six pairs jump double clear. While Holly Smith (Claddagh Iroko) and Laura Kraut (Confu) put themselves firmly in contention, it was Robert Whitaker and his nine-year-old bay mare El Wee Widge who rose to the occasion, crossing the finish line in an unbeatable time of 34.51 seconds.

Jenny Kimber and Rogue took the honours in The Kennel Club Large Novice Dog Agility Finals on the third evening of canine competition at Olympia. After a fantastic qualifying round win, Naarah Cuddy and Lemon were last to run in the Final. The pressure was on for the pair to beat a fast and accurate round set by Jenny Kimber and Rogue, but an unfortunate early fault dashed their title hopes. The afternoon performance of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National was won by Zak Kent and Briar Smokey Joe, while the evening performance was won by Lucy Aspell and Magheradartin Beeswax.

Jockeys Go Flat Out for Charity

The Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) proved a huge crowd pleaser when, for the first time, five female jockeys, including recent big-race winner Bryony Frost, took on their male counterparts against the clock over the coloured poles in the unfamiliar environment of a densely packed indoor arena.

The fiercely competitive Boys’ Team, trained by Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton and captained by 20-time champion Sir “AP” McCoy with champion jockeys Richard Johnston and Ryan Moore, were victorious with a collective time of 151.16 seconds against the girls’ 159.11, but it was Bridget Andrews who was fastest of all, upholding female honour with the prize for the quickest round, in 33.88 seconds.

Her fiancé, Harry Skelton, caused great hilarity when, last to go for the Boys’ Team and riding one of Laura Kraut’s jumpers, he suffered tack malfunction when the hackamore bridle ended up around the horse’s ears. Not to be defeated, he set off again, after some hasty repairs with a cable tie, but the same thing happened so he borrowed a teammate’s horse.

However, Harry had to settle for the third fastest time of 35.85 seconds behind flat jockey Jim Crowley. “The wedding’s still on,” announced commentator Clare Balding. Harry promised: “We’ll be back next year – with better tack.”

The jockeys were clearly thoroughly enjoying their Christmas party, but IJF president AP was quick to thank Olympia for giving the charity this great fund-raising platform. Next year, a third rehabilitation centre, named after the late commentator Sir Peter O’ Sullevan, will open in Newmarket.

Exell Is in the Driving Seat

Boyd Exell, the reigning world champion in Carriage Driving, laid down the strongest possible marker for the final of the FEI Driving World Cup™ leg, presented by Dodson & Horrell, at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

In a display that left spectators breathless, the defending champion, who is competing here on a wild card, was second into the arena behind British hopeful Dan Naprous, who had driven a well-controlled clear round.

Exell, too, went clear but knocked 15 seconds off Naprous’s time and no one thereafter could come close; American driver Chester Weber suffered the disappointment of being eliminated for missing the first obstacle. Belgium’s Glenn Geerts claimed second place and the vastly experienced Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands was third.

In the drive-off between the first three, de Ronde bettered his first-round time but collected 12 seconds in penalties. Geerts also bettered his time, but his additional eight-second penalties gave the Australian maestro breathing space.

However, he had no need of it. In an electrifying drive, he knocked eight seconds off his first round time to romp into first place, 30 seconds ahead of Geerts and de Ronde.

“I’ve put two new horses into my team – one in the lead and one in the wheel – and they’ve moved the speed up like you cannot believe,” Exell explained. “They were machines today – I could not be more pleased with them, although, of course, tomorrow is the all-important competition.”

There was a great boost for British driving when Naprous, who was also previously performing at Olympia as leader of the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Display Team, was the only other driver to go clear – he only missed the drive-off by two seconds.

Robert Whitaker Produces a Christmas Cracker

An Olympia victory was just what the doctor ordered when, two weeks after having his appendix removed, Robert Whitaker produced a masterful performance in a 13-horse jump-off for Friday’s main class, The Longines Christmas Cracker.

His winning mount was the relatively inexperienced nine-year-old El Wee Widge, owned by his uncle, Michael Whitaker.

“I just said to Michael: ‘I’m going to have a bit of a go’ as the horse likes to go forward,” said Robert, who took over the ride when his uncle was injured, finishing second in a major class at Oslo Show. “I went to Michael and said that I was really short of horses and he kindly let me have El Wee Widge.”

Laura Kraut, a world team gold medallist this year, came closest to catching Robert – she was just 0.4 seconds slower on the grey Confu, beating young British rider Holly Smith on Claddagh Iroko by a mere 10th of a second.

Keeping it in the family, Robert’s father John had the crowd roaring in excitement, but he lost time trying to keep the mare Leen O.L. on her line and had to settle for fourth place.

Earlier, to the delight of the packed home crowd, Robert’s cousin, William Whitaker, riding Lammy Beach, topped a British one-two-three-four in the Keith Prowse Father Christmas Stakes, an accumulator class against the clock. A final tricky joker fence gives double points if jumped cleanly, but is double the penalty if knocked down.

“It’s like you’re riding in a speed class, but then have that big last fence to think about,” explained William, who represented Britain at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ this year. “I had a lot of quick ones to come after me so I had to take a few risks and got away with it. I wanted one stride less to one fence, and I didn’t get it, so I knew I had left some room for others to catch me.”

The buzzing atmosphere suited the 10-year-old Irish-bred gelding. “The closeness of the crowd doesn’t suit some horses, but it really makes him light up,” said William. “I am really happy with this horse and it is a real privilege to ride here.”

With two more days to go, Norway’s Geir Gulliksen is currently Leading Rider of the Show with five placings, pushing Darragh Kenny from Ireland into second. William Funnell, who has been runner-up three times, is third.

Robert Murphy and Chablis Are the Toast

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final ended on a thrilling high note when, last to go in an eight-horse jump-off, 18-year-old Robert Murphy rode an audacious round on Newbridges Chablis to overhaul the brilliant early target set by Harry Charles, 21, on Vivaldi du Dom.

This prestigious class, which has been won by the likes of Scott Brash and Jessica Mendoza, gets stronger every year, the bulk of the field being represented by the talented sons and daughters of such well-known horsemen such as Michael Whitaker, Graham Fletcher, Mike Saywell, Duncan Inglis, Peter Charles, the late Tim Stockdale, and Badminton Horse Trials course-designer Eric Winter.

Robert, the son of former leading jumper Peter Murphy, set a scorching pace, confidently taking out strides and turning on a sixpence, to snatch the win from Harry by 0.5 seconds.

“There were a few options, but you had to take risks – I tried to mimic Harry’s round,” explained Robert, who was presented with the Tim Stockdale Trophy in memory of the much-loved rider who died last month.

Last year, Newbridges Chablis hit three fences, but Robert, whose aim for 2019 is to get into the Young Rider team, explained: “He’s quite a sensitive horse and he didn’t settle well in the stable, but he’s had some more mileage since then and things were quite different this time.”

Eight riders went through to the jump-off. Jodie Hall McAteer’s spirited challenge on Fantom, clear in 31.1 seconds, was good enough for third place behind Charles, whose brilliant year continues.

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Abigail McArdle Victorious in $50k USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship with Victorio 5

Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – December 3, 2018 – Abigail McArdle (Barrington, IL) maintained her lead to take the title after a double-clear performance in the final day of the USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), piloting Victorio 5, a 2006 Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graefin) owned by Victorio Equine Group LLC, to the top and besting a field of 15. North Salem, NY native Mattias Tromp had one rail down in the first round of Finals competition but countered with a fault-free score of 70.73 seconds in round two with Eyecatcher, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Ninewood) owned by Beyaert Farm Inc., to improve his rank by one and claim reserve honors on the week. Samantha Cohen of New York, NY entered round two on just two penalties with her own Carmen, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare (Whitesnake x Wanado), and finished the day on a four-fault score of 74.05 seconds to be recognized with third place. The $25,000 USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship Class 3 welcomed back the top twelve pairs for the second round in order to discern the day’s winners, influencing the weeklong results as well.

The course design by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) “asked all the questions,” said McArdle, who has finished on the podium twice prior at the USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship. “This is actually my third year competing. Every year I’ve had a great horse and it felt like it was just my time. I was ready to win it. I have a lot of belief in this horse right now and I sort of walked into this week knowing I was going to win,” she recalled.

“It’s not at all like a normal show, where you jump a few classes or do your round and then get ready for the grand prix,” McArdle said of the multi-day format. “It asks different questions of your horse. If they’re tired because they’ve jumped a lot of rounds, it’s hard for them to jump that many clean rounds. You also had to go fast – it’s a lot.”

Runner-up Tromp touched on the importance of the U25 division for up-and-coming riders like himself, saying, “I think this division gives the opportunity for younger riders to compete in a championship format that I think will be very important later on in our careers. I think it’s also a great place for us to develop as riders, and also some younger grand prix horses also fit very nicely into this division.

“I think the hardest part is the first day because it’s faults-converted,” Tromp elaborated. “And although the format is done that way so that a good rider can still be in it if they have a rail down, the reality is there are very fast riders involved. I think going into several days of competition it can undo a horse very quickly, so I think as riders we have to be conscious of our horses – yes, we have to ride fast because it’s a faults-converted format, but we can’t undo the horses, either, so that they’re rushing at fences the rest of the week.”

Cohen agreed, “After the first day with Carmen, I had to do a lot of work on the flat before Friday’s class to kind of reel her back in, because I really made her go the first day and she was at the end of stride. I think remaining consistent is definitely a challenge through all of the rounds – it’s really not over until you’ve jumped the last jump.”

But for Cohen, the week’s youngest competitor, the pressure of a national championship was not a hindrance, and might have pushed her to perform at a higher level, she revealed. “Being on Carmen, the pressure doesn’t really get to me as much because I’m so confident on her, and she really never puts a foot wrong in the ring. This summer I’ve gotten to jump a lot of big classes with her and in a couple of pressure situations, and she’s really helped me out. Sometimes pressure helps me ride better, and I just try to block everything out and just focus on myself and my horse. When I’m on a horse like her, the pressure never seems too bad,” she concluded.

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

Another Golden Bonanza for Brazil

The Chilean Pre-Junior and Junior team silver medallists. (FEI/Cristian León/TopComunicaciones)

Chilean delight with double team silver; Argentina claims three podium places

Brazil dominated once again when taking all the gold on offer, and more, at the FEI Jumping South American Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children 2018 at San Carlos de Apoquindo in Las Condes, Chile. These Championships are a great test for the next generation of Jumping athletes in the region, and a total of 93 horse-and-rider partnerships from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela competed at this year’s edition.

With medals on offer in seven categories, the Brazilian haul was little short of spectacular as they scooped 16 of the 21 sets on offer. However, there was plenty for the hosts to celebrate as they produced their best performance of the last four years when claiming both Pre-Junior and Junior team silver, while Argentina claimed bronze in the Children’s Team competition along with Young Riders Individual silver and bronze.

Children

The Children’s Championship was one of the most exciting of the week, coming down to a three-way jump-off for individual silver and bronze. Brazil’s Eduardo Coelho Barbara (13) was already in gold medal position after a brilliant series of performances with Quatuor de Coutol before his compatriots Antonio Johannpeter Cirne Lima and Gabriela Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan took on Argentina’s Lucas Guevara in the race against the clock.

Guevara had enjoyed a brilliant run with CT Chamaco, winning the first qualifier, contributing to his country’s team bronze medal success, and then coming out on top in the Individual Final competition. It seemed the 14-year-old must be destined to take a podium placing, but he left a fence on the floor in the jump-off and had to settle for fourth place behind Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan in bronze and Johannpeter Cirne Lima in silver.

A zero score for the Brazil Amarelo side of Augusto Bonotto Perfeito, Maithe Carolina Gabriel de Limo Marino, Camila Alvares Correa de Siqueira, Henrique Maranhao, and Audrey Jean Paranaiba McKinnon clinched the Children’s team title. Coelho Barbara was joined by Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan, Johannpeter Cirne Lima, Lara Ozores de Souza, and Joao Felipe de Albuquerque Maranhao Gomes to claim silver while Argentina’s Guevara, Delfina Spinella, Bautista Jaled, Camila Sensever, and Thiago Brown bagged bronze.

Pre-Junior

All eyes were on Philip Greenlees in the Pre-Junior Championship after his victory in the 2017 FEI Children’s International Classics Final in Beijing last December, but the 15-year-old had to settle for individual silver behind Maria Luiza da Silva Martha Vieira, while Lys Katherine Park Kang sealed another completely Brazilian podium.

Da Silva Martha Vieira and Park Kang were joined by Caroline Souza Chade, Joao Pedro de Almeida Chaves, and Leandro Jose Abrahao Duarte Alecrim to take the Pre-Junior Team title, and Greenlees was on the bronze-medal winning Brazil Amarela side. But strong performances from Trinidad Soffia, Benjamin Fuente-Alba Vignola, Maria Ignacia del Pedregal Villalobos, Jose Tomas Duran Ramirez, and Guillermo Garin put smiles on Chilean faces as they easily slipped into silver medal spot.

“The work begins to be reflected in the results, which is very important. We have developed an arduous process and this medal reflects an advance because in this category we have won two consecutive bronzes.” — Joaquín Larraín (Coach, Team Chile)

Juniors

Brazil’s Thales Gabriel de Lima Marino took double-gold in the Junior division to increase his South American medal tally to five. The 17-year-old who won team gold and individual bronze in Buenos Aires (ARG) last year was joined by the experienced trio of Laura Bosquirolli Tigre, Marcelo Gozzi, and Pedro Malucelli Egoroff to clinch the team honours yet again. However, the Chilean foursome of Carmen Novion, Magdalena Pena, and brothers Mateo and Raimundo Guarda was less than 10 points adrift in silver medal spot, while the Brazil Verde team claimed the bronze.

The host nation made a great start when Raimundo and Mateo finished first and third in the opening individual competition. But De Lima Marino was unstoppable on his way to individual glory, and when Gozzi seized silver and Felipe Pereira Teixeira took his second bronze medal of the tournament, it was another all-Brazilian party on the podium.

Young Riders

There were just five contenders for the Young Rider title and while gold went to Brazil, it was Argentina that took silver and bronze.

Argentina’s Richard Kierkegaard and Contiki won the opening round, but Brazil’s Victoria Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca (20) topped the next two competitions partnering the Holsteiner Una Bella to complete on a score of just 7.91 penalty points. That left her way ahead of Argentina’s Emilia Grimaldi in silver and Victoria Garcia Colombo in bronze when the final scores were counted.

This was Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca’s seventh South American Championship and brought her tally of gold to four. She scooped double-gold at the South Americans in Sao Paolo (BRA) in 2016 when she was also on the team that finished second in the FEI Junior Nations Cup at Wellington, Florida (USA).

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Kuhn Weathers the Storm to Win on Second Day of 2018 US Dressage Finals

Friday morning at the 2018 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington dawned with the type of weather conditions more suitable for staying in bed than having the ride of one’s life. Hailing from New Berlin, Ill., Martin Kuhn (Region 4) is no stranger to chilly weather, but when he entered the ring at 10am for the Training Level Open Championship, the persistent rain and 40-degree temperature was admittedly tough to handle. But his mount, Debra Klamen’s five-year-old Hanoverian gelding Ronin (Romanov Blue Hor x Something Royal by Sir Donnerhall I, bred in the U.S. by Marcia Boeing) held steadfast, earning the championship title with an impressive score of 72.803%.

“It was really cold and wet, but my horse seemed unaffected by the conditions – they bothered me much more!” Kuhn laughed. “Situations like this can often be ‘interesting’ with young horses, but even though he’s only five, at this point in the show season he’s been out a lot and in some challenging environments. So when the time came to go down centerline today, he put his head down and did his job. I couldn’t be more happy with him.”

Kuhn is no stranger to success at the US Dressage Finals, finding the winner’s circle with several talented mounts over the last six years. But in his opinion, Ronin stands out. “He’s an amazing athlete – I think he’s the most talented young horse I’ve ever sat on,” Kuhn explained. “I’ve had the privilege to work with lots of horses who have ability, are willing and fun to ride, but on top of that, Ronin is easily the most athletic and elastic horse I’ve ever ridden.”

Also impressed with the maturity of her young partner under adverse weather conditions was Reserve Champion Kelsey Broecker of Celina, Texas (Region 9), who rode Molly Huie’s four-year-old Hanoverian gelding Caelius (Christ x Hauptstutbuch Bonny by Buddenbrock) to a score of 71.818%. “By our ride time, I was ready to be done,” she laughed. “But like Martin’s [Kuhn’s] horse, mine was also unfazed by weather and the overall atmosphere. He doesn’t act like a typical four-year-old – he’s a bit of an old soul, so agreeable and so much fun to ride. He’s just a joy to bring to shows.”

Hometown Girl Laura Crowl Wins Big in Second Level Adult Amateur Championship

Almost 40 competitors from all across the country entered the Claiborne Ring to compete for this year’s Second Level Adult Amateur Championship title, but local eventer and newlywed Laura Crowl of Lexington, Ky. (Region 2) only had to drive a few miles down the road to claim the blue ribbon with her six-year-old U.S.-bred Dutch Warmblood mare Hana (UB-40 x Jolien E by Chronos). After overcoming an untimely hoof abscess right before the Region 2 Championships, Crowl and Hana successfully made it to the Finals and became the only combination to top the 70% mark from all three judges, earning the unanimous victory with 71.585% to earn their first national title.

“I loved almost everything about our test,” said Crowl. “She was really spot on the entire time and did everything I asked. Over the last month I’ve asked her for a little more expression in the movements, and I think the judges appreciated it. She really stepped up to the plate.”

As an eventer who has competed through the FEI 2* level, Crowl originally found Hana in the local barn of her breeder, Reese Koffler-Stanfield, when searching for her next prospect. But the relationship got off to a rocky start. “The first time I rode her she bit me, and it turned out she hated stadium,” Crowl laughed. “But she loved dressage so I had to adjust to what she wanted to do, and along the way I realized it’s fun, not just something you get through to go cross-country. It definitely was a little interesting in the beginning, but we’ve grown to love each other since then.”

In her first trip to the US Dressage Finals, Amanda Lopez of Sarasota, Fla. (Region 3) earned Reserve Championship honors with her nine-year-old Westfalen gelding Rubitanos Dream (Rubitano x Diva by Dream of Glory) with 69.431%. “I like horses with a little character, and we joke that he’s like one of the ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz – it has to fit, and we just really ‘click’ with each other,” said Lopez of her mount. “I feel so lucky that he chose me as his person. He aims to please with a heart of gold, and I was so honored to show him today in front of these judges and against this caliber of competition.”

Growing Confidence Earns Sandeman the Third Level Open Championship

Angela Jackson of Henderson, Ky. (Region 2) already knew Sandeman was a nice horse, since earlier this summer the six-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Flora by Florencio, owned by Julie Cook) earned reserve honors at the Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships at Lamplight. But it was the youngster’s ever-growing confidence in himself that carried the pair to the unanimous victory under all judges in Friday’s Third Level Open Championship with a total score of 73.632%.

“It was one of our nicest rides of the year, so to do that here is special,” Jackson explained. “Sandeman has grown up a lot. I could finally ride each movement of the test with a little more confidence today, and everything fell into place. This is definitely ‘the’ show of the season. I’m so thankful for all of the sponsors who support this event, and everyone who makes it possible. It’s the highlight of our year.”

Martin Kuhn (Region 4) participated in his second awards ceremony of the day, this time taking Reserve Champion with 72.265% at Third Level aboard Elizabeth Cronin’s seven-year-old Westfalen gelding Venivici (Vitalis x Sabrina by Sherlock Holmes), who earned First Level Open Reserve Championship honors last year. “It was a little exciting in the cold and the rain, but he stayed with me,” Kuhn noted. “It was definitely a little bit of a conservative ride, but he trusted me and was happy to do his job. He used to be a little bit of a nervous type, but like Angela’s [Jackson’s] horse, as he’s matured, he’s become much more confident.”

Sara Stone Rises to the Challenge in Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship

As Sara Stone of Lake in the Hills, Ill. (Region 4) and her seven-year-old American Warmblood gelding Gotham (Gabriel x Mystic, bred in the U.S. by Indian Hills Stables) prepared for their afternoon ride in the Fourth Level Adult Amateur Championship, she knew she was facing quite a challenge. “It was a very tough class, and I didn’t think we had a chance at all,” Stone admitted. “But Gotham was in a great mood this afternoon, and he actually likes this chilly weather. When we came out of the ring, I was so focused on what we were doing that I actually wasn’t sure what to think about our test.”

Not long after, all Stone could think about was how proud she was of her mount as the pair emerged as victors with a winning score of 67.704%. “I bought him when he was just three, and he’s the first horse of my own that I have ridden at this level. He’s my best friend,” said Stone, who works in commercial insurance in addition to raising a family. “As an adult amateur, all of the hard work, passion, sweat and tears that goes into having an everyday job and being a mom all while trying to ride…to be able to come to a show like this and lay it all on the line with so many people supporting you…it’s the icing on the cake at the end of the year, and I can’t wait to come back again next year.”

Reserve Champion Amy Gimbel of Oldwick, N.J. (Region 8), who also works in the insurance field when not in the saddle, was equally delighted with her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Eye Candy (UB-40 x Wednesday by Weltmeyer, bred in the U.S. by Judy Barrett) and their second-place score of 67.407%. “We had some nice moments as well as some tense moments, but overall I was pleased,” Gimbel noted. “We’ve been to the Finals before but took a few years off – Eye Candy had an injury and it’s been a bit of a slow, arduous journey back, something that so many horse people can relate to. Just to be back here is a big accomplishment for us and means a lot.”

Romantico SF Bounces Back to Claim Intermediate I Open Championship

Over the course of more than four straight hours of hard-fought competition on Friday afternoon in the Alltech Arena, competitors battled for top honors in the Intermediate I Open Championship. With a score of 72.157%, ultimate victor Heather Mason of Lebanon, N.J. (Region 8) explained how her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Romantico SF (Romancero H x Wesermelodie by Wenzel I) had already proven to be the winner of a much bigger battle – for his life.

“He was laid up for a year with an injury, and I only had about two rides on him when he went in for colic surgery the week after I returned home from last year’s Finals,” Mason remembered. “But amazingly here we are. He’s not an easy horse, which is how I originally ended up with him for just a dollar. But he was great today: the first medium trot was a little bit tentative, but as we got more comfortable in there he was very good. His canter work is generally strong, his pirouettes were very solid, and his zig zag was good. He’s back and better than ever.”

Finishing in Reserve with 71.373% were last year’s Prix St. Georges Open division champions Nora Batchelder of Williston, Fla. (Region 3) and the 10-year-old U.S.-bred Hanoverian gelding Faro SQF (Fidertanz x MS Rose by Rotspon, bred by Jill Peterson). “He was super brave and ready to go today – there’s always a lot of atmosphere in the Alltech Arena but he dealt with it really well,” Batchelder said of her mount. “The canter work is always his strong suit, and I also thought his trot extensions were nice. It’s even more exciting for him to do well because his co-owner and my cousin Andrea Whitcomb is here to watch this year, which makes it extra special.”

Finals First-Timer Hannah Hewitt Wins Intermediate I Adult Amateur Championship

It may have been Hannah Hewitt’s very first time cantering down centerline into the impressive atmosphere of the Alltech Arena, but she and Tammy Pearson’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Fidens (Tango x Bliss by United) looked like Finals veterans as they came away with the victory in the Intermediate I Adult Amateur Championship on a score of 67.745%.

“I’m so excited to be here for my first Finals, and it’s been amazing. My trainer, Karen Lipp, has been here several times and really encouraged me to try for this,” said Hewitt, of Atlanta, Ga. (Region 3), who attends law school and finds time to train by being in the saddle before 7am almost every day. “I was very happy with the energy we had today: a little more expression in the trot, and I loved our pirouettes. He’s still young, but has grown up a lot even in just the last few months, and he surprised me a little bit in that he was unaffected by the Alltech Arena – he was very steady and good. He’s a small horse with a big personality, and is just a joy to ride.”

After claiming the 2017 title at this level, defending champion and director/cinematographer Elma Garcia of Mill Spring, N.C. (Region 1) returned to the Finals to claim this year’s Reserve Championship with her 16-year-old Hanoverian mare Wenesa (Westernhagen x Dancing Girl by Davignon) with 67.696%. “Since this spring I have a new program with Wenesa because we’re preparing for the Intermediaire II, so she’s changed a lot since last year – she’s feeling very powerful and is more sensitive,” Garcia explained. “I love coming here and showing in front of so many top judges, and experiencing the camaraderie among the competitors from all over the country and seeing so many different breeds, all in one place. It’s a special feeling.”

Alice Tarjan Wins Second Straight 2018 Finals Title in Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship

After emerging victorious in Thursday’s Intermediate II Adult Amateur division, Alice Tarjan of Oldwick, N.J. (representing Region 1) is now two-for-two at this year’s US Dressage Finals with her eight-year-old Hanoverian mare Candescent (Christ x Farina by Falkenstern II). The pair returned to the winner’s circle in the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Championship with a score of 64.203% to claim the new George W. Wagner Jr. Perpetual Trophy (presented by the International Georgian Grande Horse Registry). “She was on fire in the warm-up,” said Tarjan. “Even though we had a couple of mistakes today, I’m thrilled because she’s a young horse and the quality keeps getting better and better. She’s so much better than she was just six months ago.”

Fellow Region 1 rider Kristin Herzing of Harrisburg, Pa. and her Hanoverian gelding Gentleman (Grusus x Rumpelstilzchen by Raphael, bred in the U.S. by Kathryn and Jeffrey Nesbit) have been together for 15 years, and traveled to Kentucky this year for their fourth US Dressage Finals. The pair’s persistence paid off with Reserve Champion honors in the Grand Prix Adult Amateur division with 61.667%. “Coming to the Finals is on my list of goals every year,” Herzing explained. “I’m so pleased with my horse today. He may be 20 years old, but he is a bit of a nervous type. He knows his job and the test, so I just try to keep him calm and steady. I knew I needed to have a clean test, and we did.”

Adiah HP Wows the Crowd in Grand Prix Open Championship

At first glance, the colorful mare Adiah HP may not look like your stereotypical Grand Prix dressage champion. But everyone knows a book can’t be judged by its cover, and this 11-year-old Friesian Sport Horse (Nico x Marije ANT by Anton, owned and bred in the U.S. by Sherry Koella) is no exception. In the experienced hands of James Koford of Winston-Salem, N.C. (Region 1), Adiah HP had the crowd cheering in the Alltech Arena as she claimed the Grand Prix Open Championship and Veronica Holt Perpetual Trophy (presented by USDF Region 5 and Friends) with 69.130%.

“I am so pumped! She’s getting so mature – now she goes in the ring and gets excited, but I can channel that energy,” said Koford after the win. “I saw her in a clinic four years ago and thought she was the most fun horse I’d ever seen, and I had to sit on her. Now she’s gone on to do everything I’ve asked and more. She’s like my dirt bike: I just get to run around and have fun, without stress or drama. It just gives me goosebumps because it’s so much fun to get on a horse like this that loves to go in the show ring.”

Last year’s Intermediate II Open Reserve Champion Judy Kelly of Clarkston, Mich. (Region 2) returned to the Finals with her 14-year-old Hanoverian mare Benise (Breitling W x Rubina by Rubinstein) and added another Reserve title to their resume, this time in the Grand Prix Open division with 67.862%. “This is her second year at the level so she can do everything; I just wanted to be able to guide and direct her and show her off. Now we’ll try to do the same thing tomorrow night in the freestyle,” said Kelly.

To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, review day sheets and results, and read daily news releases, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com.

Angela Langen Honored with Sportsmanship Award at IALHA National Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kilby Brunner Deforest Crowned MarBill Hill Farm Royal Pony Jumper Final Winner

Kilby Brunner Deforest and Beaverwood’s Halo. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Kilby Brunner Deforest of Hillsburgh, ON claimed a victory in the $5,000 MarBill Hill Farm Royal Pony Jumper Final to take the division championship riding Beaverwood’s Halo on Sunday, November 3, at the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The top spots were decided in a two-horse jump-off duel between 14-year-old Brunner Deforest and Tatum Horan of Oakville, ON. Horan, riding Royal, led off and was clear over the course, designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade, to post the time to beat at 29.50 seconds. Brunner Deforest returned second and handily took over the lead by nearly two seconds with a time of 27.88 seconds.

Grace Stevenson of Lakeside, NB piloted Ever So Clever, owned by Foshay South Eventing, to third by posting the fastest four-fault round over the original course, while Eva Marquis of Caledon, ON settled for fourth riding Red on a Roll for owner Mark Marquis. Maya Chahine of Oakville, ON rounded out the top five with I Love Lucy, owned by Julie Taddeo.

After also winning the stake class earlier in the day, Brunner Deforest was presented with Royal All-Canadian Pony Jumper Championship title, presented by MarBill Hill Farm.

“This is my fifth time competing in the pony jumpers at The Royal, and it’s exciting to be here!” said Brunner Deforest, who was reserve champion in pony jumper competition at The Royal in both 2016 and 2017. “This is a new pony for me; I got her one year ago and have been competing on her all summer.

“She is very fast and really good in the turns,” continued Brunner Deforest of her 14-year-old mare owned by Kristen Brunner. “She’s very confident and handled the noise and the [Coca-Cola Coliseum] very well. I love coming here and competing over a few days in front of a big crowd.”

While Brunner Deforest and Beaverwood’s Halo put all the pieces together for a win at the Royal Horse Show, their connection took some effort.

“She is a complicated, and in the beginning of the season we were trying other bits and a lot of different things,” said Brunner Deforest. “But we realized I just needed to learn to ride her. We went to a plain, simple snaffle, and I got to know her not try to train her. Other than me telling her to ‘whoa,’ she does it all.”

Also claiming a championship on Sunday afternoon was Jordan Macpherson of Toronto, ON aboard Fiestamunde, owned by Sved Stables Ltd.

Macpherson and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare finished third in Sunday morning’s $2,500 Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Competition before returning later in the day to win the $10,000 Dominion Regalia Limited Junior/Amateur Jumper Royal Stake and ultimately the Royal All Canadian Junior/Amateur Jumper Championship, presented by Dominion Regalia Limited.

“The Royal is always such a great event in front of the home crowd,” said Macpherson. “It’s great to win, but it’s even better when you win at The Royal!”

Macpherson and Fiestamunde were one of four entries to advance to the jump-off in Sunday afternoon’s stake class, and over the short course, they stopped the clock clear in a time of 39.38 seconds. Finishing in second with the only additional double-clear effort was Sara Tindale of Campbellville, ON riding Djibab van de Linthorst, owned by Tindale Farms. Rounding out the top three was Hubert Lamontagne of Montréal, QC riding his own Dalton to four faults in a time of 38.64 seconds. Fourth place with 13 faults in the jump-off went to Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON aboard Quidam’s Caprice M, owned by AEI Corp.

Isabelle Lapierre and Carrera S Claim $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby Victory

Isabelle Lapierre of Lévis, QC rode away with the win in the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby, presented by Rosemary Phelan – Braeburn Farms, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.

When Lapierre and Carrera S, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Johannie Légaré, entered the Coca-Cola Coliseum as the final of 20 entries to contest the Rob Carey designed track, Erynn Ballard and Enchanted held the lead with an overall score of 100, including handy and high option bonus points. Lapierre and Carrera S not only bested Ballard’s score, they did so by a sizeable margin, earning a base score of 95 and a grand total score of 113.

“It’s always a surprise when you get your score,” said Lapierre, a longtime Royal Horse Show competitor in both the hunter and jumper divisions. “I’m always the one, when I come out, I don’t really show so much emotion, because you never know what to expect. Then when they said 113, I was like ‘oh my God!’ I knew he was good, but not that good! It just all happens so fast.

“I really like the derbies,” continued Lapierre. “You can make plans, but you can change it based on the way it’s going in the ring. You have to think a bit how to do it. If you win, it’s not because you only have a good horse; it’s because you have to do the course well.”

With Lapierre clinching the win, Ballard of Tottenham, ON and Enchanted, owned by Christel Weller, took second, while third place with a score of 99 went to Kristjan Good of Campbellville, ON riding Stakkato Grande W for owner Augustin Walch.

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