Category Archives: Championships

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg Win USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 15, 2020 – The MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) after four days of international and national Eventing competition and showcasing the largest competition hosted on the East Coast in 2020. An incredibly close Show Jumping phase was undecided until the very end, resulting in a win for Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg in the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, laying down a clear round to hold the top spot and ending on a score of 28.10. In reserve, Phillip Dutton (USA) piloted Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z), to a clear round and a final score of 28.80 for T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran. Rounding out the podium and finishing on their Dressage score of 29.10, Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie 135, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking XX) owned by Woods, Kim, and James Baughman, Jr., produced a clear round in Tryon Stadium to achieve the podium.

Just 0.10 points behind Baughman, Doug Payne (USA) earned fourth place with Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley in partnership with Doug and Jessica Payne, while Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA), the leader after Cross-Country, had a heartbreaking rail at the last fence aboard Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, to drop to fifth place and a final score of 30.10.

Martin piloted three mounts through the course set by Chris Barnard (Millbrook, NY), and each went better than the next, he recalled. “I had a little bit of a rough start today. It got better and better. Luckily, I had three horses in it: Blackfoot Mystery was a little bit tired and had big gaps. For On Cue, I had two poles knocked over, and she’s usually jumping clear. Finally, the old campaigner ‘Thomas’ went into the jumps like a champion, so I’m thrilled because show jumping is the weak phase of his, and we’ve worked pretty hard at it. It was just very satisfying to get a good round out of him under pressure.”

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to CCI 3*-L Win

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS sailed to a win in the CCI 3*-L Division, holding the lead all the way for a final score of 25.70 with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. In second, Boyd Martin (USA) piloted Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, to a score of 25.90, adding nothing to their score all weekend, while Leslie Law (USA) improved from fourth place third with Lady Chatterley, the 2011 Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law and Jackie and Steve Brown, walking away with a score of 27.80. Ending on fourth after a tiebreaker with Law, Ariel Grald and Caballe, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Cliostro x Lansing) owned by Anna Elridge, also ended on a score of 27.80.

Coleman was piloting Chin Tonic HS through his first 3*-L and noted that he was still quite fresh after Cross-Country: “The Show Jumping went well, and my horse jumped great. He was looking around a bit when the wind started blowing and things like the flowers and fillers were moving. He still felt pretty fresh after yesterday!”

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria Climb to Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Win

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp prevailed in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division with Cooley HHS Calmaria, ending on their Dressage score of 28.30. Elizabeth Bortuzzo (USA) and Belongs to Teufer, the 2009 Thoroughbred gelding (Teuflesberg x Belong To Me) owned by John. A Witte, held steady to their Dressage score to end up in second on a score of 28.60, while the weeklong leader, Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, Edith Rameika’s 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding, dropped just one rail on course to land in third with a score of 29.20.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x Chester Lass) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm have only been partnered since June of this year, she revealed, and found the win to be “a nice surprise” but one that only confirms the quality of the up-and-coming mount.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Top CCI 4*-S Division

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill carried their lead through to the finish in the CCI 4*-S division, adding 20.80 penalties for time to their Cross-Country run and still keeping the lead score of 47.80. In second, Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Crosstown Dancer x Wolverlife) owned by Madison Foote, Theresa Foote, and John Meyer, cleared the White Oak Course with 12.40 time penalties for a total score of 48.50. Rounding out the top three, Nobie Cannon (USA) and Bust A Groove, her own 2004 Thoroughbred gelding (Busterwaggley x Groovy), were by far the closest to making the time on a muddy course, adding only eight time penalties for a total score of 52.20.

Caras mentioned that it was only the third advanced competition for the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, and that the atmosphere only added some nice spark to an already nice Dressage test. “I was going for consistency and no mistakes, and I was happy with him overall,” she recalled. “He couldn’t have been better in the Show Jumping. I know that it can be hard to make the time in that ring, and he has a long stride and can be a bit slow, so I went in and rode forward. He’s such a great jumper and it’s nice to be able to just focus on the riding and the plan.”

To view full results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z Rise to USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship Lead

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 14, 2020 – Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Deniro Z cleared the White Oak Cross-Country Course with just 1.60 penalties for time to rise to the lead position in the highlight division of the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event. Heading into the final phase of the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, Halliday-Sharp sits on a score of 26.10, just two points ahead of Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, holding a score of 28.10 with the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner. Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran, rounded out the top three carrying a score of 28.80 after their double-clear Cross-Country performance.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate haven’t challenged a long-format competition since Burghley last year, she revealed, so she was thrilled with the day’s results, taking over the lead from Marilyn Little after she and RF Scandalous retired. “Deniro is amazing and I have a great partnership with him, which makes a big difference,” she emphasized. “We haven’t run for eight weeks because Chatahoochee got canceled, which is a little bit longer than I’d like before an important four-star event, but he’s such a professional. I am a little mad at myself that I didn’t make the time, but that’s not his fault!”

In fact, Halliday-Sharp continued, Deniro Z has proven himself to be stronger and more responsive in the tack than ever before, she detailed. “He’s actually just been so incredibly polite this year. I nearly pulled him up a little bit too much in front of two combinations, and he just came back so fast. Honestly, I think every fence and combination rode how I planned it, and the horse was phenomenal and he didn’t make it feel hard. He finished very fresh. I feel like it was a great day because he finished with the attitude of ‘Oh, that was easy!’”

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Coast to Continued CCI 3*-L Lead

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS cleared the White Oak Course to hold their CCI 3*-L lead, and he called Chin Tonic’s run “the best of the day for me” despite challenging his first 3*-L with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. The duo sits on a score of 25.70 heading into the final phase. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged: with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

“This was his first 3*-L. He’s just an eight-year-old, but he’s a really magic horse. You know, the light was a bit funny [by the afternoon] – he came out of the box a little looky and he felt almost green, but he’s just so honest and got better and better as he went. I was thrilled with him; his conditioning felt great, and he really jumped the jumps all very easily.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality Hold Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division Lead

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, maintained their hold on the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after their double-clear Cross-Country round, carrying forward their score of 25.20. Dani Sussman (USA) and Jos Bravio, the self-owned 2011 Argentinian Warmblood gelding (Jos Fapillon x Remonta Guinea), improved from fourth to second and sit on a score of 27.30 after a clear Cross-Country round, with third belonging to Tik Maynard and Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Richard Maynard, who added 2.00 penalties for time to hold a score of 28.10.

“The course rode super well,” Murphy shared. “The footing was really good, and they worked so hard on it. Otter went out at 8:20am, so I went out and walked [the course] as soon as it was light out, and I was really happy with the ground. I was curious as to how it was going to ride going down the hill and things like that, but it was all lovely,” she reported. “There was a good balance going down there. As I said yesterday, the course was really appropriate for the level. It was all exceptionally well built with good designing. You had all of the questions that you needed, but it was appropriate for the level, so it encouraged the young horses or younger riders with older horses.”

For Murphy, she knew in advance that her young jumper tends to have more hang time in the air, and chose to be cognizant of her time as much as possible on course. “I knew I was going to have to go a little bit more on these courses that are a bit winding. He’s a good jumper so he has quite a bit of airtime, so I just wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to give points away because all of our Dressage scores were so close. He cruised across the ground, and still had plenty of play left at the end. He’s very proud of himself!”

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Keep Their CCI 4*-S Lead After Two Phases

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, jumped clear to maintain their lead on a score of 27.00. Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, still hold a score of 27.40 to keep second place, with Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste, the 2007 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Lucky Lionell) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, sitting on a score of 30.60 for third.

To view full results thus far from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Day One Dressage Leads Unchanged in CCI 4*-L and CCI 2*-L

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 13, 2020 – Day two of Dressage wrapped up the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division with a continued lead for Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, besting the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship thus far on a score of 21.50. Gaining second after earning a 24.50, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp piloted Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, while Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner, grabbed third heading into Cross-Country on a score of 26.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, keep their top placing to sit in fourth, also tied with Tamra Smith (USA) and Danito, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wolkenstein II) owned by Ruth Bley.

“There’s always pressure,” Little admitted about the atmosphere surrounding the CCI4*-L National Championship, “but truly the only pressure I feel is pressure I’ve put on myself. I believe Kitty and I both tend to produce our best performances in the most pressurized moments, so I really look forward to the butterflies! We know how to do weeks like this, and I believe we have come into this weekend prepared and ready to take on all three phases the way we would like – but of course the stars have to align!”

Erin Sylvester-Kanara and Paddy the Caddy Easily Dominate CCI 4*-S Dressage Phase

Erin Sylvester-Kanara (USA) and Paddy the Caddy produced a score of 24.60 to handily dominate the sandbox in the CCI 4*-S Division, followed in second by Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, receiving a score of 27.00. Third currently belongs to Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, after their performance earned a score of 27.40.

Sylvester-Kanara and the 2007 Irish Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Unknown) owned by Frank McEntee are only contesting the Dressage phase this weekend and will not continue on in the CCI 4*-S, she revealed, after improving upon a previous score with the same test a few weeks ago at Plantation Field International.

“I was really, really happy with his test. I did that same test at Plantation and we just had some trouble getting into a rhythm with that test. It has a different flow in the trot work, and it’s a little bit more technical right at the start,” she explained. “You don’t have any mediums to kind of get out in a forward rhythm, so I set it as my goal to get that test a lot better, because I really didn’t have a good enough performance or score at Plantation. I actually intended to finish his season that weekend, and he was super in the Jumping phases, but I felt like I just needed to finish off with one more improved Dressage test.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Holds Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Lead after Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA), Otta B Quality and their day one lead were untouched after the conclusion of the Dressage phase in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI2*-L Division, sitting on a score of 25.20. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged after day two: Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third stays with Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy admitted that while she believes the next two phases of competition will be extremely influential for the division, she’s hopeful that her spot remains intact going forward if she’s able to navigate the White Oak Cross-Country Course according to plan: “With the scores being as tight as they are, I think tomorrow and Sunday will be hugely influential. I believe that we’ll see it shuffle around a bit here and there, just hopefully not with me!”

To view full Dressage results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Dominic Gibbs Hoists Winning Title at 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Dominic Gibbs and Cent 15.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2020 – Capping off the 137th anniversary of the historic Heritage competition, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, highlighted the efforts of hopeful equitation riders from around the country Sunday at the National Horse Show. The last major equitation final for the year, the prestigious class featured record numbers, with 255 horse-and-rider partnerships taking their turns around the technical course designed by Bobby Murphy set within the Alltech Arena. As one of the United States’ most storied competitions thanks to its rich history, the National Horse Show has been the longtime host of the Maclay National Championship, which since 1933 has crowned a junior rider as the champion, a distinction regarded as one of the highest in the equitation discipline, especially considering how many advance to successful professional careers. In the irons aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, Dominic Gibbs reigned supreme to earn the tricolor honors as the most consistent junior rider throughout four arduous rounds of competition that tested exhibitors’ precision and efficiency to add a fourth top finish to his repertoire of growing equitation accolades.

Beginning early in the morning and throughout the first portion of the afternoon, exhibitors performed one-by-one over Murphy’s smartly-designed pattern, which was composed of 15 obstacles reminiscent of those riders would have seen in decades past. The hunt-inspired fences appeared in forms such as gaits, hedges, stacked logs and rolltops, plus a one-stride combination created out of racetrack fencing that proved to be one of the bogey tests of the day and plenty of wingless jumps. Murphy’s track was an apt test for the distinguished class as it called attention to the performances of those riders who mastered the course, separating that elite group from the pack as they successfully completed forward and tight lines, a precarious vertical and an obstacle jumped both directions, among other questions.

Faced with the tough job of ranking the multitude of riders seen throughout the day, judges Mark Jungherr and Emil Spadone ultimately settled on a final standby list of 24 juniors ahead of the second phase of the competition, the flat round. Thanks to her exemplary performance over fences that demonstrated correct, precise riding, Gigi Moynihan sat superior to her peers as the frontrunner following the challenging first fences round, leading ever since she tackled the pattern as the 36th in the start list. Behind Moynihan, the remainder of the top of the callback list included Dominic Gibbs, Taylor Griffiths-Madden, Mimi Gochman, Alexia Rule, Sophee Steckbeck, Ellie Ferrigno, Skylar Wireman, Chase Finizio, Hannah Dodd, Hannah Hoch, and Zayna Rizvi. Headed into the hack, those top 12 high-scoring riders were sectioned off to compete against each other under saddle, while the latter half of the standby list rode in another segment.

Excited to have made the top of the standings but with more tests to master, both sets of riders took to the Alltech Arena to compete in the flat phase of competition, during which they were challenged to show off their balance and strength via a series of directions from the judges that included all three gaits; working, extended, and collected sitting trot; simple change of lead to the counter-canter in front of the judges and walking to the line on a long rein. The leaderboard did not remain unchanged, as Gibbs leapfrogged up to the first spot, followed by Gochman, Griffiths-Madden, Steckbeck, Moynihan, and Ferrigno, in that order. Kierstin Antoniadis and Natalie Jayne moved their way up the list the most, advancing to 10th and 11th, respectively, after previously holding the 13th and 16th spots.

Returning in reverse order of the judges’ preference, the top 25 contenders each displayed their skills over Murphy’s second course, which asked for a long approach to fence one at a hand gallop, two counter-canter fences, a triple combination, and a forward 6-stride bending line. Not cutting any breaks for the qualified horse-and-rider challengers, the second jumping portion of the event served to further trim down Jungherr and Spadone’s ticket of premier performers. Wanting one last look at four entries, the judges requested that Steckbeck, Moynihan, Griffiths-Madden, and Gibbs, in that order, complete a final work-off. The test consisted of cantering fences 4 and 5, trotting fence 6, cantering the original fence 8C and 9, trotting fence 10, and hand galloping fence 12 before leaving the ring.

All four final contestants turned in valiant showings over the work-off track, leaving the judges the final job of separating the top contenders. The top ten returned to the ring for the awards presentation and as the reserve champion was announced as Griffiths-Madden, who just weeks previously won the 2020 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, it became clear that Gibbs had clinched the coveted title following four rounds of textbook riding. The champion rider piloted Cent 15, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding he worked with Beacon Hill trainer Stacia Klein-Madden, a former Maclay National Championship winner herself, to transition from a jumper to a successful equitation horse.

Based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 17-year-old Gibbs has had an astounding year with top-five finishes in all four equitation finals, now culminating in his victory in the 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm. Gibbs kicked off his equitation reign with fourth place in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, followed by fifth position overall in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – East just one week later and another fourth-place result in the WIHS Equitation Finals. With his victory Sunday in Kentucky, Gibbs has added his name to an esteemed list of Maclay National Championship victors that include sport legends such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and Bernie Traurig, as well as new age stars like Jessica Springsteen, Lillie Keenan, and Victoria Colvin.

Though she hoped for the blue ribbon, Griffiths-Madden put in a superb performance that captured the runner-up honors following her efforts on her own Mac One III, and Moynihan was awarded the final podium spot with Christy Johnson’s Quantico. Stechbecl rounded out the top four riding Itteville, owned by Donald Stewart.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 137th National Horse Show, which featured nine days of equestrian action in the equitation, hunter, and jumper disciplines in 2020.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

Schaefer Sisters Rule the Day with Grand Hunter Championships at National Horse Show

Samantha Schaefer and Trademark.

Lexington, KY – October 28, 2020 – Following Tuesday’s start to hunter divisions at the 137th National Horse Show, the first round of championship honors were awarded Wednesday within the Alltech Arena, which saw a series of awards go to the Schaefer sisters from Shadow Ridge Equestrian. Thanks to a series of winning performances that topped the field of talented contenders in the High Performance, Conformation and Green Hunter divisions, Samantha Schaefer and Take 3 LLC’S Trademark were honored with the title of Meralex Farm Grand Champion Professional Hunter, presented by Bryan Baldwin. Additionally, the Meralex Farm Leading Hunter Rider Award was also presented to Schaefer, for which she earned the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy presented by Bryan Baldwin, following her standout performances aboard both Trademark and In The Know over the initial days of the competition. In the Amateur-Owner 3’6” ranks, owner-rider Madeline Schaefer and Sutton Place received the “Ruxton & Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy for their Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title.

The first set of major awards saw Samantha staying in the ring for one accolade after the next, starting with the championship honors in the Judith Murch High Performance Hunters. She and sister Madeline’s In The Know earned the tricolor ribbon thanks to first-place trips over fences and in the handy, as well as third position in the stake and fourth place under saddle. Though the horses swapped, Samantha maintained her place in the winner’s circle, now with Trademark, to accept the Meralex Farm Grand Champion Professional Hunter Award, presented by Bryan Baldwin. The flashy gelding carried his rider to a perfect score in the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunters with four first-place results, as well as top-five placings in all five of the classes in the Mrs. Kenneth Garber Green Conformation Hunters. Considering her lengthy list of standout results, it came as no surprise that Samantha’s list of achievements culminated with her being named the Meralex Farm Leading Hunter Rider.

Samantha’s trophies are the culmination of a successful year for the rider that is based out of Maryland and Florida, who rode to success at Tryon, Kentucky Horse Shows, Traverse City Horse Shows, American Gold Cup, and Capital Challenge Horse Show during 2020. Aboard her two main hunter mounts In The Know and Trademark, the trainer from Shadow Ridge Equestrian topped scorecards all around the country, both in divisional competition as well as derbies.

The Schaefer family name continued to be represented well thanks to Madeline and Sutton Place, the partnership that competed in the Hunt LTD Amateur-Owner Hunters for the Under 35 age group. Much like their familial counterparts, Madeline and the chromey chestnut gelding impressively garnered the division championship due to a perfect 40-point score following four winning rides, which also propelled them to the head of the leaderboard for the overall Amateur-Owner honors as the best-performing Amateur-Owner partnership over the 3’6” fences. Though Madeline and Sutton Place have only been paired together since the summer, the duo has made quick work of show rings around the U.S. beginning with their first event together at Traverse City Horse Shows.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

CDI World Cup Winners and Para-Dressage National Champions Command Centerline

Abraham Pugh and Elfenperfekt ©Sharon Packer Photography.

 Mill Spring, NC – October 27, 2020 – Abraham Pugh (USA) and Elfenperfekt grabbed their first career CDI wins together at Tryon Fall Dressage 3 at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), claiming the FEI Grand Prix on a score of 68.109% and topping the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 74.010%. Julio Mendoza Loor (ECU) and Rosali, Aileen Daly’s 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Horse Romanov x Mosegardens Ratina), claimed second in both the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle and the FEI Grand Prix, scoring 73.990%, and 67.022%, respectively. Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, the 2008 Connemara Cross gelding (Gun Smoke x Kynynmont Tara x Greystone McErrill) owned by Pam Liddell, claimed third in both CDI competitions, scoring 66.261% in the FEI Grand Prix and earning 71.150% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle.

Pugh and the 2006 Trakehner stallion (Peron x Elfentruam x Zauberklang) owned by Alice Drayer have been together for seven years now, he said, and they keep “getting better and better” as they go. “My weekend went really well. This is our first time winning an international competition like that, so it’s pretty special. He just keeps getting better, and I keep getting better, so it’s really exciting. He really is a great partner,” Pugh shared of his mount. “He really will try his heart out for me day, in and day out; he doesn’t tell me no. He comes to work the same horse, whether we are at a show, whether we are in a big environment or a small environment.”

Rebecca Hart Is the 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Champion

Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel ©Leslie Potter/US Equestrian

The Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Championship named Rebecca Hart (Wellington, FL) and Rowan O’Riley’s El Corona Texel at the 2020 Champions, earning a total composite score of 77.029%, with the Reserve Championship awarded to Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, MI) scored a personal best in her freestyle with Going for Gold LLC’s All In One in the Grade I division with a 78.711%, which gave her a composite score of 76.147%.

“I’m so blessed to have him,” said Hart, who led all weekend and produced consistent personal bests with the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes). “He’s such a fun ride. He’s very dynamic and powerful. He was just awesome all week for me. I couldn’t have asked for more. He gave me the best birthday present ever! All three days were his top scores. Each test was the best it’s ever been for that test.”

With the 2020 season drastically impacted by COVID-19, Hart relayed that she focused on “getting back to basics,” so that their debut performance this weekend would be a strong one. “It was a crazy year! We went back to basics. We [sometimes] get so set on this date and that date with all of the shows, so we took the break as a silver lining. We caught our breath and really focused on the training and keeping our horses happy and healthy,” she emphasized. “We’ve done a lot of training at home working on certain things while in lockdown. This is our first time back out, so to have him be so happy and strong was fabulous.”

Sydney Collier and “Alle,” the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphin), produced personal best after personal best to finish in reserve, and shared that she was searching for words other than “incredible” to describe her experience:

“It has been just so fun, and I wish I had better words to describe how good it feels to be back in the show ring, and to see all of our hard work during quarantine pay off. To step in there and be better than we ever have been is something that is really beyond words, and it invigorates me for going home and continuing on the same path and polishing up on some things before heading to Florida.”

For more competition information, visit www.Tryon.com/dressage.

Caroline Tinsley Jumps Zonder Z Quattro to NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship Honors

Caroline Tinsley with Zonder Z Quattro

Lexington, KY – October 25, 2020 – The final day of the 2020 National Horse Show’s Opening Weekend continued to showcase equitation talent Sunday, with a substantial field of 174 junior contenders taking to the Alltech Arena to vie for the tricolor honors in the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship, the final contest of the weekend. Featuring the largest field of the weekend, the class celebrated its third year after a successful debut in 2018 and enhanced turnout in 2019. Thanks to three textbook rounds – twice over fences and once on the flat – Caroline Tinsley added her name to the list of winners of the prestigious class as the 2020 champion. The clear victor, Tinsley’s three rides aboard sister Abigail Tinsley’s Zonder Z Quattro were so exemplary that the judges panel did not feel the need to request a work-off due to the impression left by the leading pair, who never fell from the first spot following their first ride around the ring.

The 12-effort first round track, crafted by veteran designer Bobby Murphy, was fit for the occasion, offering exhibitors opportunities to shine while also serving as a useful tool to separate the top performers from the rest of the pack. In front of the judging panel of Keri Kampsen and Chance Arakelian, horse-and-rider combinations put their best foot forward, with 24 of them ultimately pegged to return for the flat phase of the contest as the highest point-earners thus far. Split into two sections, the qualified exhibitors displayed their prowess at all three gaits, plus the counter-canter, then advanced to the third phase of competition. Headed into the next portion of riding, Caroline Tinsley led the way, followed by Julia Nickl, Francesca Guidi, Jessica Carney, Christian Dominguez, and Taylor Cawley.

Returning to the ring for a second over fences trip, the list of remaining contenders once again aimed to impress the judges over Murphy’s newest track, which featured a fence jumped both directions as well as plenty of bending lines and changes of direction. The field rode in reverse order of the standings, giving Tinsley the advantage of riding last as the frontrunner. The top 24 duos aimed to inspire, collectively turning in a series of standout performances during what would turn out to be the final phase of the competition.

Though the judges had the opportunity to request further testing, Kampsen and Arakelian decided they had seen all they needed to determine the results of the top finalists. As the results were announced one by one, it became clear that Tinsley had succeeded at maintaining her grasp on the top spot on the leaderboard, a status she held ever since her first trip around the arena as the 97th in the starting list in the irons aboard Zonder Z Quattro. Making a jump from seventh place, Madison Olvert captured the reserve honors in her last-ever junior class on her own Green Book, a welcome addition to her division championship in the Pérez & Bennett 16-17 Equitation Over Fences earlier in the weekend. Nickl piloted her own Zurich to the final podium placing, and owner-rider Madison Sanders clinched fourth place with Calvandani Z, a substantial jump from 15th place after the under saddle phase.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

Madison Sellman and Clover Win THIS National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship

Madison Sellman aboard Clover.

Lexington, KY – October 24, 2020 – The 137th National Horse Show (NHS) continued Saturday, October 24, bringing top athletes to the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for another day of historic sport. In addition to naming its first round of champions, day two of the 2020 National Horse Show featured the highly-anticipated Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship. Seventy-six adult equitation riders were called to order in the evening for the THIS National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship, which challenged them to show their best position and style over a three-phase contest. Ultimately, Madison Sellman outshone the rest to ride to a standout victory aboard Clover.

A hefty start list of 76 exhibitors navigated course designer Bobby Murphy’s 12-effort track for the first phase of competition. The flowing course featured a series of lines, including two bending lines to fences at the far end of the ring, a question that repeatedly posed a challenge to riders and their equine partners. Following the conclusion of the first round, judges Keri Kampsen and Chance Arakelian invited 24 contenders back to the arena for the final two phases of competition, which consisted of a flat class in addition to another trip over fences. Whittled down to the best performers, the flat portion of the class was split into two sections, which saw the remaining challenger demonstrate all three paces. Following that, all 24 eligible partnerships advanced to the final phase, one more over fences trip to demonstrate their skill.

A new pattern, Murphy’s second course featured some familiar elements from the first track, but offered riders a few new opportunities to showcase their abilities. With the 24 rounds completed, judges Kampsen and Arakalien invited four finalists – Jessica Stone, Madison Myro, Madison Sellman, and Ashton Alexander – back to the ring for one final test.

Riding in that order, Stone tackled the track first, which consisted of counter-cantering fence 1, cantering fence 2, a halt, cantering fences 4a and 4b, trotting fence 5, cantering fences 6a and 6b, then returning to the line. She and her mount put the pressure on with an expertly-navigated work-off to set the standard for the remaining contestants, and Myro followed suit, managing to halt her horse earlier than her peer. Not willing to be outdone, Sellman performed admirably with another expert trip, hoping to add further success to her division championship won earlier in the day, leaving Alexander for last. Also a division tricolor winner Saturday, Alexander piloted her equine partner to a seemingly flawless execution of the pattern, leaving a tough decision for the judges to order the quartet of talented riders.

As the results were announced in reverse order, Sellman’s efforts over four phases were ultimately rewarded as the judges named her the 2020 Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Horse Show Adult Equitation champion. Alexander was awarded reserve honors, followed by Stone in third place, while Myro rounded out the top four.

From Honeoye Falls, N.Y., Sellman is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she was named the 2019-2020 SEC Equestrian Scholar Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. In the competition arena, Sellman excelled as well, earning NCEA All-America Second Team and All-SEC honors as a senior for her work on the flat. Her catch-riding skills from collegiate equestrian came in handy Saturday, as the young rider navigated Clover, a horse that she does not normally ride, to a prestigious victory.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

Amy Speck-Kern and Team Deliver Top Finishes at Region 3

Mynanke A and Amy Speck-Kern (Photo by Gwen Poulin)

Ocala, FL (October 24, 2020) – New faces and old faces at Excel Dressage came together this October at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala. Excel’s founder and Grand Prix rider Amy Speck-Kern and her team qualified 4 horses at levels from Training to Intermediaire I for the Championships, and closed out a rollercoaster 2020 with top finishes. A number of Excel imports also made their mark at Regionals, and the final scores resulted in all of Excel’s horses and riders qualifying for the 2021 Dressage Finals.

Speck-Kern’s newest young superstar is Mynanke A (Hennessy x Ferro), aka Maya, who since her arrival from Holland in July has won each of her tests and finished 3rd out of 18 in her fourth show ever, the 2020 Regional Championships. Speck-Kern piloted Maya to a 74.569% in the Training Level Open, and one the Training Level Test 3 Open class with a 75.345%. Hand-selected by Speck-Kern earlier this year in The Netherlands, Maya has proven herself to be a focused and talented competitor despite being on the brink of turning 4 years old.

Excel’s student and business partner Katie Hoog of Stal Hoog in Loxahatchee, Florida rode the 14-year-old Zhivago (Obelisk x Fruhling) to a 6th place finish in the Intermediaire 1 Freestyle Championship with a 69.038%. A relatively new partnership, Hoog and Zhivago clicked immediately, qualifying for the Regional Championships with a Freestyle set to the music of Portugal. The Man, Justin Bieber, Kygo, and Selena Gomez. Another of Hoog’s horses, Gimmick (Oscar x Olivi), ridden by Wellington-based trainer Caleb Scroggins, danced to Reserve Champion in the First Level Freestyle with a score of 73.901%. Gimmick and Scroggins also finished 7th overall in the Training Level Open Championship with a 70.776%. Hoog’s sister, Sarah Hoog, rode her own US bred Federer (Fidertanz x Rubentein) to12th place in the First Level AA Championship with a 65.417%.

Two Excel alums also joined in the competition at Regionals. Marilyn Mannroe, a horse selected by Speck-Kern for friend Emily Kiefner, finished 8th in the First Level AA Championship with a 66.459% and 3rd in the Training Level AA Championship with a 71.982%. At the Region 2 Championships, an Excel Dressage/Stal Hoog import, Esteban (Rosseau x Naturel), won the AA Prix St. Georges Championship with a 67.353.

For more information on Amy Speck-Kern, Excel Dressage, or its services, visit www.ExcelDressage.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Les 5 Étoiles de Pau 2020: Let’s Go!

Kelly Houtappels-Bruder ©S. Bailly/Centaure Production.

The 2020 edition of the “5 Étoiles de Pau” began with part one of the dressage test, the first test in the FEI Driving World Championships for singles. At the end of the opening day of this international event, the Canadian driver Kelly Houtappels-Bruder is at the top of the provisional leaderboard. Fabrice Martin gave the best French performance, finishing sixth. For this 30th edition, the “5 Étoiles de Pau” is also hosting the only CCI5*-L in the world this year (full equestrian eventing competition). After the vet inspections, the leading international riders will enter the arena for the dressage test, the first in this equestrian triathlon.

From now until Sunday the Domaine de Sers will be welcoming the best international riders and drivers for five days of competition at the highest level. The starting lists, results, maps, practical information, and ticket office are available on the mobile App “Les 5 Étoiles de Pau” or on the website for the event:  www.event-pau.fr.

Juliette Feytout – E-mail: juliette@blizko-communication.com