Category Archives: Championships

Sam Walker and Waldo Win George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship

Sam Walker and Waldo. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — March 22, 2019 — Sam Walker of Nobleton, ON piloted Missy Clark’s and North Run’s Waldo to the win in the 12th Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship. Forty combinations of young equitation athletes and their mounts took to the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on the evening of Friday, March 22, at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Elli Yeager collected second place, Sophee Steckbeck was third, and Emma Fletcher rounded out the top four.

To qualify for the 12th Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship, each of the entries had to have previously won an equitation class during the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival circuit or during the 2018 Holidays & Horses circuit leading up to it. The competition was held in a three-round format with all participants contesting first-round course designed by Steve Stephens and Nick Granat. Only the top 15 were asked to return for the second phase in reverse order. Unlike a regular equitation class, the championship requires riders to turn off and hand in cell phones before its start and prohibits any interaction with trainers or staff. Riders were in charge of conducting their own course walk and schooling their own horses with the help of only one groom.

Ballard, Jayne, and Verswyvel Capture Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series Classic Wins

Opening up Friday’s competition in the International Arena at the main grounds of PBIEC for the eleventh week of WEF, the Developing Jumper Series Classics, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, offered top prize money and a chance to compete in the grand prix arena for up-and-coming equine show jumping stars.

There were 25 entries in the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Classic, and 11 were clear to advance to the jump-off held at the end of the first round. Of those, seven were double clear. The fastest in the class was Maestro Vica v/d Ark, ridden by Erynn Ballard for owner Natalie Dean. They stopped the timers in 31.502 seconds for victory.

The $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic hosted 25 entries as well, with nine clear and only two finding the path to a double clear finish. The fastest of those in 38.434 seconds – faster by 5.5 seconds – was Charlie Jayne riding his father Alex Jayne’s Virginia ODF.

The $10,000 Spy Coast Farm 5-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic had 17 entries and was held in an immediate jump-off format. Eight were clear in their first round and went straight into their jump-off, where four were able to go double clear. With a leading time of 34.667 seconds, Jorge Verswyvel rode his own Majesty to victory.

Luiz Francisco de Azevedo and Collin Are Comeback Kids in $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic

Brazil’s Luiz Francisco de Azevedo brought his horse Collin back from the brink of slaughter to lead the victory gallop of the $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic CSI 4* on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Friday, March 22.

Germany’s Olaf Petersen, Jr. set the single-round speed track for 42 starters with 12 jumping clear, leaving the clock to decide their placings. Azevedo and Collin, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Colandro x Amethist), broke the timers in 63.90 seconds for the victory.

Azevedo bested Mexican rider Santiago Lambre, who finished on a time of 64.96 seconds for second riding Dingeman. U.S. rider Hunter Holloway took third with a time of 65.96 seconds aboard VDL Bravo S for owner Hays Investment Corp. Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa took fourth in 66 seconds on Filou Imperio Egipcio, owned by Haras Imperio Egipcio/Equivarandas, LDA, while Canada’s Erynn Ballard rode Z Diamanty to round out the top five in 66.23 seconds for owners The Z Group, Javier Salvador Stables, and Diamante Atelier.

For full results, please visit pbiec.coth.com.

Become a Volunteer at European Championships for Ponies

Photo: Leszek Wójcik.

Strzegom, Poland, 12 March 2019: Are you an equestrian fan; are you full of energy and sporting passion? Don’t miss the chance to submit to Volunteers’ Programme for European Championships for Ponies that will take place in the middle of August in Strzegom, Poland. The recruitment continues until the end of April.

The success of any big sporting event is always built around a team effort with the significant input of numerous volunteers. “To ensure everything works smoothly and efficiently, we need over 100 volunteers to help,” says Agnieszka Mossakowska-Knast, Volunteers’ Programme Coordinator. “There are various roles and many tasks to be undertaken during the Championships, so volunteers of all abilities, experience, and all ages should apply. If you like contact with people, you are open to new challenges, and you can work with dedication and enthusiasm, we need you!”

To join us, all you need to do is to fill in application form in http://www.strzegom2019.pl/en/volunteers.html.

Volunteers are required for: Organizers Office, Press Office, Info Points, Service Points, IT service. We also need stewards, scribes, and fence judges, as well as people to help in the stables area, at the dressage and show jumping arena, with posters and leaflets distribution, transfer to/from the airport, amongst many other activities.

The Organizers provide insurance, free space in the camping area, and two meals each day.

“Taking part in our Programme not only gives the opportunity to be involved backstage at a great sport event, you will acquire experience and find new friends. It’s also the satisfaction of helping out, being part of a team, and simply having a great time,” sums up Agnieszka Mossakowska-Knast.

The recruitment will be open until 27th April. Rules and application form are available on the official website www.strzegom2019.pl.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt Wins Second Consecutive Overall Champion Title at FIYDC

Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt and Dhannie Ymas. ©SusanStickle.com

Wellington, FL – March 3, 2019 – Competition on Sunday, March 3, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured freestyle classes and the conclusion of the seventh annual Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (FIYDC).

The 2019 FIYDC featured competition for riders in the Under 25, Young Rider, Junior Rider, Children and Pony divisions, offering them a chance to compete on the big stage in the Global International Arena at AGDF and showcase their talent at one of the world’s largest and most high-profile dressage competitions.

This year there were 13 horse and rider pairs in the FEI U25 division, 11 entries in the FEI Young Rider division, six in the FEI Junior Rider Division, one in the FEI Children division, and three in the FEI Pony Rider division. The riders represented four countries, including Canada, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt (ESP), a 17-year-old from Madrid, Spain, was the division winner in both the FEI Young Rider and FEI Junior Rider divisions. Bacariza Danguillecourt rode Dhannie Ymas, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Don Crusador owned by Yeguada de Ymas in the Young Rider division. The pair earned a score of 72.843% in the FEI Young Rider Team test on Friday, a score of 72.500% in the FEI Young Rider Individual test on Saturday, and a score of 74.742% in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle on Sunday.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

AGDF Hosts Seventh Annual Florida International Youth Dressage Championships

Photo © Lily Forado.

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2019 – The 2019 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (FIYDC), presented by Sarah Davis, Terri Kane, USEF Dressage Owners Task Force, Hampton Green Farm, and Dressage4kids, will take place during week 8 at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) on February 27 – March 3 at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Kim Van Kampen of Hampton Green Farm noted, “We look forward to once again hosting these championships. Every year, more is added to the program to make it feel special, and we are encouraged by the great participation and the feedback that we get from the young riders.”

The week will feature competition for riders in the Under 25, Young Rider, Junior, Children, and Pony divisions, offering them a chance to compete on a larger scale, with events throughout the week to increase camaraderie and sportsmanship. Young riders wishing to compete at the international level are provided with an opportunity to showcase their talent at one of the largest dressage competitions in the world.

Entry numbers continue to impress each year, and as the sport expands, the number of competing youth riders also increases. This year will be the seventh year that the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships will be hosted by AGDF, and the competition will be organized by Equestrian Sport Productions. Production in promoting the youth riders has stepped up and will include photography, videos, and biographies available on all of the competitors and shown on the jumbotron screen at AGDF.

At the FIYDC, there will be three riders in the FEI Pony Rider division, one rider in the FEI Children’s division, six entries in the FEI Junior Rider division, 11 entries in the FEI Young Rider division, and 13 horse and rider pairs in the FEI U-25 division. There are riders from four different countries, including the United States, Canada, Spain, and Germany.

“We are extremely encouraged by the numbers of riders participating in the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships,” said Lendon Gray of Dressage4Kids. “We feel that this is a wonderful opportunity for youth riders to learn and grow.”

This year, the FIYDC are once again working in partnership with JustWorld International, and winners will choose JustWorld Programs that will receive a percentage of added prize money. Week 8 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will also include FEI CDI-W competition.

Riders will start the week with a Meet and Greet session with top international dressage riders and will have various get-togethers during the week to foster friendships and learning. This includes “Tacos for a Cause” on Tuesday, February 26, at 6 pm, in support of Just World International and hosted by Sarah Davis. Games, a taco bar, and drinks will be served at Belle Herbe Farm and welcome all FIYDC competitors and interested parents.

“While the competition is a major component of the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships, so is the chance for riders from different regions of the country and nations around the world to meet and spend time together,” said Sarah Davis. “The week of events and riding all play a part in producing well-rounded athletes.”

The riders will be welcomed into the Global International Arena on Friday evening prior to the “Friday Night Stars” freestyle competition for a Parade of Nations.

For more information on the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival and the 2019 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

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.

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