Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the dates and locations for the 2017 USEF Dressage National Championships. The U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will be divided between two competitions. The Grand Prix, Intermediaire I, and Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ National Championships will be held at the USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., May 18-21. The Children, Pony Rider, Junior, and Young Rider National Championships will coincide with the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse Dressage National Championships and USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals taking place at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill., August 24-27.
The following championships will be held at the USET Foundation:
USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today
USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship
Qualifying for these championships will close on May 1, 2017.
The following championships and divisions will be held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center:
USEF Children Dressage National Championship
USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship
AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship
AGCO/USEF Young Rider Dressage National Championship
Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships (Four-, Five-, and Six-Year-Old divisions)
Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage National Championships (Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix divisions)
USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals (13 & Under and 14-18 divisions)
Qualifying for these championships will close on July 31, 2017.
For further qualifying information and selection procedures, visit usef.org.
Katherine Lewis of Aiken, S.C. had already had a fairy-tale trip to the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® after being crowned Friday’s Fourth Level Adult Amateur Champion. But when her distinctive freestyle music featuring the American Authors hit “Best Day of My Life” rang out over the loudspeakers in the Alltech Arena in Lexington, her winning week was about to get even better. “What more is there to say for a freestyle when you’re here riding in this type of atmosphere on your once-in-a-lifetime horse?” she asked.
That special horse is the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding Donneur (Donnerschwee out of Akorina by Cordeur), who has reformed his formerly self-destructive ways into cruising to another Finals victory in the Fourth Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship with 73.778% (see Lewis’ winning freestyle ride HERE courtesy of US Dressage Finals videographer Richard’s Equine Video). “We had to learn to manage him in turnout, because he’s jumped out, crashed on pavement, and taken high-speed farm tours. We had to be so vigilant because he kept hurting himself,” she explained. “But at the same time we didn’t want him to have to be locked up forever. So finally we just held our breath and turned him out in a 12-acre field with a retired show hunter to babysit him. And thankfully it worked.”
Lewis also had to figure out how to channel her mount’s energy in a positive direction in the electric setting of the Alltech Arena. “It’s such an amazing venue and it gives my horse lots of extra lift and presence, but he also can get quite worked up especially during awards,” she said. “My incredible trainer Shawna Harding is staying at my house taking care of all my animals so we could be here, and she and my husband figured out a way to Facetime our schooling and warm-ups. Her help has been invaluable to me, and we worked out a plan to use Donneur’s lift and brilliance in that ring to our advantage. It’s a fine line because he’s an overachiever and we want him to feel good about himself, but he still has to listen. Shawna always says, ‘don’t bore me, wow me,’ so that’s what I tried to do and it worked!” Lewis’ freestyle music also has a family connection. “My daughter and son-in-law are here with me, and they used two of the songs from my freestyle including ‘Best Day of My Life’ in their wedding at our farm last year,” she explained. “It was a little bit of a home job putting this together, but I’m so proud to win with their wedding music.” Taking home the Reserve Championship was Anne Chapin of Charlottesville, Va. (Region 1) with her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare Luna Popp (Liberty Gold x Fein Dancer by Feinbrand, bred in the U.S. by Isabel de Szinay) on 68.833%.
Michael Bragdell, Colora, Md. (Region 8) also enjoyed his freestyle as he rode William and Laura Mitchelson’s six-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Faberge Blue (Contango x Kroniek U by Democraat, bred in Maryland by Marie Emrey) to the winner’s circle in the Third Level Open Freestyle with 73.556%. “I’m a big ‘80s fan so Karen Robinson was excited to put this together for me. It’s fun, my horse seems to love the music, and I think it goes really well with his gaits,” said Bragdell. “I’m so excited for his owners. He grew up on our farm and he’s always been a worker bee – he’s a thrill to ride and I love his brain and work ethic. He’s the type of horse that if he’s not ridden first in the morning then he’s a little disappointed in me.” Jennifer Roth of Sunbury, Ohio (Region 2) earned Reserve honors with her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Reebok (Royal Prince x Andromache by Arrian, bred in Pennsylvania by Diane and Jack Vickery) with 72.889%. “I used music from Game of Thrones, because who doesn’t love dark and scary music?” she laughed. “It’s my horse’s first season back after two years off for a rear suspensory injury, so it means a lot to be here. I’m just so glad to have my horse back.”
In the Second Level Open Freestyle, Region 2’s Jennifer Conour of Carmel, Ind. rode the nine-year-old American Warmblood mare Emerald (Andre x Opal, bred in Illinois by Indian Hills Stables) to victory for owner Diane Breier with a top score of 72.778%. “The chilly temperatures didn’t bother her at all, she’s very steady and such a good girl. She was purchased for her owner who asked me to help ride her so I get the pleasure of competing her here. She’s so solid in her work, really good with her simple changes which have coefficients, and she seems to like her music,” said Conour, who also explained why the music has special meaning for Breier. “Her owner picked out her music because it was her father’s favorite music from the movie ‘The Sting’, so she thinks of her dad every time she hears the freestyle music.” Finishing in Reserve with 72.111% was Deirdre Malburg of Belton, Texas (Region 9) with Boldness Be My Friend SLR, a nine-year-old Friesian cross gelding (Gabriel x Savannah SLR by Whitesville) owned by Raelynn Stephens. “He also is a very steady horse and I can always count on the fact that he’s going to go in the ring and do his job,” Malburg explained. “He’s half Friesian, a quarter Thoroughbred, and a quarter Shire and was purchased by his owner for $500. I got him about a year ago and he wasn’t the easiest to work with at first, but he had a breakthrough this year and has decided he loves dressage and loves competing. After going through three freestyles we now use tango music because he chose it!”
After successfully qualifying in Region 7, Kendall Brookhart decided to bring her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare Rianna (Regazzoni x Desert Princess by Diamont, bred in Arizona by Sharee and Kendall Brookhart) all the way to Kentucky from her home in Cave Creek, Ariz. “I had heard some wonderful things about competing here so we were very excited to come,” said Brookhart. “We had planned to bring Rianna in 2014 but she came down with a cough so we couldn’t put her on the trailer and had to scratch. So it’s been a two-year wait, but now I couldn’t be happier to be here.” Her patience paid off with a win in the Second Level Adult Amateur Freestyle Championship on the strength of a score of 71.722% for a performance using music from Madonna that Brookhart had originally planned to use with Rianna’s dam. “It was so much fun riding in the Alltech today. She was a little on edge and spooked pretty hard in the corner so I had to ride creatively and adjust as I went, but I’m really pleased. She gave me all that she could today.” Hometown girl Michelle Morehead of Lexington, Ky. (qualified in Region 3) rode her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare Silhouette (Staccato* x Lafonsa by Hofnar, bred in Virginia by Donald and Yolanda Williamson) to a close second with 71.444%. “Right before we went in the ring, my trainer told me I had to go for it, so we did,” she said. “My previous mare had suffered a career-ending injury and I was just devastated. Soon after my trainer found Silhouette who was up for sale, and she said I really needed to look at her. So she kind of fell in my lap, and it’s been quite a blessing to say the least.”
Region 9’s Ashlee Watts and her family had to go the extra mile to make it back to this year’s Finals with her eight-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Hampton (Blue Hors Hotline x Madigan L), but those efforts paid off with a victory in the First Level Adult Amateur Championship with 72.059%. “I am an equine orthopedic surgeon in College Station, Texas, and I almost didn’t come due to work commitments,” she said. “But the more I thought about it, the more I said, ‘I have to go’.” So her husband drove the horse to Kentucky while she flew in the day before competition to meet him, which didn’t leave much time for preparation. But Watts didn’t let that, or an unfortunate off-course error in her test, keep her from victory. “Hampton was more settled today and was perfect in our test. To come here where it’s such a showcase with so many great riders and amazing horses, with an atmosphere that is competitive but so pleasant and happy, it’s a great way to end the year.” Reserve Champion was Lauren Lewis-Gladish of St. John, Ind. (Region 2) who rode her six-year-old Hanoverian mare Sinfonie (Soliman de Hus x Bravour by Belissimo M) to a score 71.961%. “This is my dream horse – I saved money for 15 years to be able to get a horse like her,” Lewis-Gladish explained. “I’ve owned her for two years but she had a foal last April and she’d never been shown prior to being bred, so this is her first season out. Today she settled in and decided to show me what she’s capable of doing and tried so hard to please me. It’s so amazing that I’m sitting here and we’ve accomplished so much in such a short time.”
Heather McCarthy of Prairie Grove, Ill. (Region 2) has found plenty of success at the Finals in past years, and she once again found the winner’s circle as she rode Sandi Chohany’s five-year-old Oldenburg gelding Au Revoir (Ampere x Lara by Liberty M) to a score of 73.971% to claim the First Level Open Championship title. “This is a new horse for me – we’ve only been together since April and this was his first big show season. I rode him a little conservatively yesterday not knowing how he’d handle everything, but today he was just perfect and I could really go for it,” she said. “I’ve attended every single Finals and look forward to it every year. I have an even bigger group with me than ever before, including several first-timers, and we wouldn’t miss this for anything.” McCarthy just edged out Mike Suchanek of Cambridge, Minn. (Region 4) who rode three horses to top ten finishes in the class, including Reserve honors with the five-year-old Hanoverian mare Duchess L (Damsey x EM De La Rosa by De Niro, bred in the U.S. by owner Leatherdale Farms) with 73.627%. “It’s just her first year of showing so I am really proud of her coming all this way,” he noted. “She’s still growing in strength but her gaits have been really improving.”
Amy Swerdlin of Region 3 took the long drive north from Wellington, Fla. as well as the chilly temperatures in stride as she and her homebred six-year-old Oldenburg gelding Quileute CCW (Quaterback x Gluckslady by Gluckspliz) claimed the Third Level Adult Amateur Championship with 67.650%. “He was quite fresh and excited today but he stayed with me, and despite a few bobbles overall I was very happy,” she said. “It’s even more special because I bred him myself and I was there when he was foaled. There were so many good riders in the class but I think he has a lot of presence and is a bit of a show-off so that helps him do well.” Lisa Rush of Dell Rapids, S.D. (Region 4) also traveled a long way to the Finals and was rewarded with Reserve Championship honors with her seven-year-old Westfalen gelding Finestep HW (Florenciano x Merana by Medici) on a score of 67.393%. “My horse was also fresh today, but all in all he did everything I asked him to do,” noted Rush, who added that she and her daughter trailered her mount 17 hours to Kentucky in order to participate in the Finals for the first time. “Three years ago I purchased him sight unseen off the internet and imported him. It was quite a leap of faith, and at first you think, ‘what have I done?’ But he’s been fantastic and it’s turned out really well.”
Region 8 riders claimed top honors in the Fourth Level Open Championship, where Shannon Stevens of Annandale, N.J. rode her seven-year-old Hanoverian mare Pik L’s Donabella (Pik L x Donatela by Don Primero, bred in the U.S. by Horses Unlimited) to the win with 71.556%. “I bought her when she was two years old, sight unseen from an online auction. There was something I saw in her in the first 30 seconds that made me feel I had to have her, but my husband thought I was out of my mind!” she laughed. “My mare is a super energetic, exuberant type so my goal going into this was to ride a clean, conservative, harmonious test and I think we achieved that. To be honest, she’s a humbling horse and every day can be a bit of a challenge, but she’s pushed me to become a better rider. I’ve learned so much from her and I was really pleased with our performance today.” Region 8 team mate Jane Hannigan of Harvard, Mass. rode the seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding Fackeltrager (Fackeltanz x Whisper D by Gribaldi, owned by Ruling Cortes LLC) to Reserve with 69.741%. “We did Third Level here last year and wanted to come back because it’s such great experience for him to be in this environment,” said Hannigan. “It was cold and windy today and he was a little snorty but he tried his best to pay attention. He tried to do too many flying changes but he was just trying too hard. He’s a very elastic mover and the lateral movements are his strength.”
After traveling all the way across the country to compete, a Region 6 competitor once again grabbed headlines as Morgan Barrows of Monroe, Wash. rode Janice Davis’ eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding San Corazon (San Amour x Ridehna by Rohdiamant) to victory in the Intermediate I Open Freestyle Championship with 71.708%. “I came out knowing I needed to do better than I did in the Intermediate I class yesterday, but pulling the first ride in the class is not a position I like being in. I don’t get nervous during the ride, but I do get extremely anxious after the ride so it was hard for me to watch the rest of the class,” said Barrows. “I’ve been using this freestyle in CDIs this season and I knew what I needed to do to amp it up, so I took those risks and it paid off. It’s a long way for us to come to the Finals, but we had a super trip coming here and have no regrets. For all of those people sitting at home considering coming in the future, I would have to say, ‘get in the truck and go.’ It’s great here in Kentucky and I’m not sure there’s anywhere else that can do this event like this.” Earning her second straight Reserve Championship of the weekend was Ashley Wimmer of Winston-Salem, N.C. (Region 1) who earned 71.583% with her own 11-year-old Oldenburg mare Somerhall (Sir Donnerhall x Arantscha B by Archipel). “She was a little bit tense in the Alltech today but I was able to get her settled for the most part. We had a mistake in the three-tempis but it was completely my fault, and the rest was really good,” said Wimmer. “My freestyle was designed by my daughter and it suits my horse really well because she’s a very elegant, light-moving horse. That can be a challenge to get right, but we get great scores for it.”
Less than one-tenth of a point made all the difference for Darcy Gaines of nearby Versailles, Ky. (qualified in Region 4) to win the Intermediate I Adult Amateur Freestyle with 69.917% aboard her 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Amigo (by Scandic). “I’m so thrilled. Everything I asked for, he responded – he was right with the music and didn’t make any mistakes. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from him today,” said Gaines, who described her long journey to find her current partner. “I spent about 13 years buying and selling inexpensive horses to build up enough money to buy a really fabulous horse. But after only a year and getting to show at Prix St. Georges one time, he suffered a career-ending injury and I thought I was done with the sport. But I kept working my tail off and saved every penny I could, and went to Europe where I found Amigo as an unbroken two-year-old and didn’t spend a lot of money on him. I’ve brought him along all by myself and I still do everything I can to support this hobby I love.” Alexandra Krossen of Basking Ridge, N.J. (Region 8) and Heather Mason’s 11-year-old Hanoverian cross mare Damani (Duvall x Godiva by Gesandt, bred in the U.S. by Virginia Godfrey) earned the Reserve Championship for this division in 2015, and returned to Kentucky to earn the same honor this year with 69.833%. “Damani came to Heather as a sale horse, and last year was our first season together. Luckily I still have the ride on her,” said Krossen, who works for a pharmaceutical company when not in the saddle. “She was a little hot today but that actually made things flow a little easier, despite a bobble in our three-tempis.”
Under a stunning November moon shining over the frosty Bluegrass countryside, Region 3 riders quickly heated things up in the Alltech Arena as evening festivities got underway with the Grand Prix Adult Amateur Freestyle, where Lynnette Wadsworth of Hastings, Fla. rode her 17-year-old Friesian gelding Wietze G (Rypke x Wijke by Reitse) to claim both the win and the Calaveras County Perpetual Trophy presented by artist Olva Stewart Pharo with 66.750% over Phyllis Sumner of Atlanta, Ga. with her 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Wilby (Walt Disney I x Doretta by Darling) on a score of 66.500%.
As the next-to-last combination to canter down centerline in the Grand Prix Open Freestyle, the elegant pair of Chase Hickok of Wellington, Fla. (Region 3) and Sagacious HF (17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Welt Hit II x Judith by Cocktail, owned by Hyperion Farm Inc.) quickly took command of the crowd and powered to their second Finals triumph in as many days. Their winning score of 74.167% gave them the unanimous victory under all three international judges including Janet Foy, Lilo Fore, and William Warren. “We are just ecstatic with the results from this weekend! Our goal was to come here and have a positive experience in anticipation of moving up to the CDI Grand Prix level during the upcoming Florida season, but this far exceeded our expectations,” said a delighted Hickok. “I really love our freestyle. The music actually came with Sagacious, and I’ve tweaked it a bit to suit us and changed around the choreography some, but the credit for the design and music selection really goes to Marlene Whitaker. It’s such a fun freestyle to ride and I think the music really suits Sagacious and highlights his strengths.” After winning Thursday’s Intermediate II Open title, Heather Mason of Lebanon, N.J. (Region 8) and her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Warsteiner (Riverman ISF x Welona by Roemer) had another strong performance to finish with Reserve honors on a score of 72.917%.
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.
Source: Yellow Horse Marketing for the US Dressage Finals
Mill Spring, NC – November 12, 2016 – Anita Crouse, representing Green Creek Hounds of Tryon, NC, piloted her own Rickie to top honors in the Tryon International Equestrian Center Field Hunter Championships presented by Adequan® hosted on the Grass Complex at the venue this afternoon. The TIEC Field Hunter Championships presented by Adequan® served as the highlight of the inaugural “Festival of the Hunt”, which brought together three fox hunting organizations from the region for a week of sport across the Carolina Foothills community.
Crouse and Rickie participated in the organized hunts throughout the week and were selected by judges Snowden Clarke, Linden Wiesman Ryan, Roger Smith, and Thomas Cadier to compete in the TIEC Field Hunter Championships presented by Adequan® as a culmination of the weeklong festivities.
“It was a great experience. My horse handled this very well. It was a little bit nerve wracking at the beginning, but I trust him and here I am,” said Crouse.
As part of the championship event, the top three combinations were asked to return to the complex by the judges, who then rode parts of the course on their respective choices to further exemplify the rideability and braveness of the top three finishers.
“I felt so confident when the judge got on Rickie, especially because the judge, Thomas Cadier, has a horse that is very much a look-a-like to mine,” explained Crouse. “I knew that he’d like him.”
This is the first time that Crouse was offered the opportunity to ride on the Grass Complex at TIEC and it was a memorable afternoon for her and Rickie. She elaborated, “Galloping in the field with all of my friends and other foxhunters will always be a highlight of this week. Just the gala and camaraderie around it is something I won’t forget.”
“It’s exposure to the public for what fox hunting is,” continued Crouse. “It can be such a fun sport and we’re glad that people were able to experience it here.”
The judges are experienced fox hunters and have a breadth of experience between them, participating in numerous hunts across the East Coast. In an effort to gain more attention and participation for the sport, the “Festival of the Hunt” will continue to be a staple of the fall season at the venue for years to come.
Snowden Clark, who hails from Middleburg, VA, one of the fox hunting capitals of the world, served as a judge for the competition and echoed Crouse’s sentiments, noting that the tradition of the sport, which dates back to the early 1500s, can only grow with festivals and events such as the one hosted at TIEC throughout the week.
“I think what was important about this week is that it showed the diversity of the horses and people who participate in fox hunting and hopefully made for an enjoyable experience for everyone,” he said. “It was a great first event.”
Roger Smith, a partner of the Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) and avid fox hunter, also served as a judge for the weeklong competition and is already looking forward to the growth of the “Festival of the Hunt” in the future.
“We hope this becomes a great tradition and legacy for the Carolinas. May I also say to Anita, who hunts all of the time, that I’m so proud of your performance and if anyone deserves the blue ribbon, it’s you,” commented Smith.
As each of the judges touched on the importance of the week, Linden Wiesman Ryan of Blue Ridge, VA was also quick to comment on the stellar performance of Crouse and Rickie, noting, “Anita’s horse was just one that stood out to me all week. It was just lovely and never put a foot wrong. We hope, as Roger said, that this becomes a yearly event and a tradition, ultimately attracting more people to fox hunting.”
“I believe that fox hunting is the foundation for virtually all of the equestrian sports that we love to watch and compete in. I feel that an event like this helps remind all of us, as well as engages spectators too,” added judge Thomas Cadier.
“I would like to thank Linden and Snowden for traveling here and adding their knowledge and expertise in judging to our first event, as well as the lovely young lady who put this all together, Carolyn Cadier. Without her it would not have been as successful as what we saw this year,” concluded Smith.
TIEC would also like to recognize the accomplishments of Ginny Howard of Green Creek Hounds and her own Bubby for their first place finish in the Hilltoppers divisions, as well as Jana Hinely of Green Creek Hounds and Calli for their first place finish in the Appointments class. West Hamryka of Shakerag Hounds and mount Cooper were presented with the “Best Conditioned Award” while Erin Gambrell and her own Entity earned the “Sportsmanship Award” alongside Daniel McFerrin and his own Bohannan.
The event management team also sends its sincerest gratitude to Jim Troppman for his diligence as Master of Ceremonies for the event.
The “Festival of the Hunt” also featured an evening Meet & Greet event with renowned artist and photographer Drew Doggett in the Legends Club Lobby, as his collection “Band of Rebels: White Horses of Camargue” has been on display at TIEC for the past month. For more information on Drew Doggett and to view the collection online, please visit www.drewdoggett.com.
For more information on “Festival of the Hunt” and TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.
Toronto, Ontario – The horses of Ames Percheron Farm, driven by Travis Shaw, won the $25,000 Royal Six-Horse Draft Championship on Saturday night, November 12, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
The $25,000 Royal Six-Horse Draft Championship, presented by Ames Construction, was the culmination of five days of six-horse, breed-specific competition at The Royal with the top three Belgian, Clydesdale, and Percheron hitches invited back for Saturday night’s championship in the Ricoh Coliseum.
The Ames Percheron Farm hitch of Jordan, MN had finished second in the $2,500 Percheron Six-Horse Hitch to qualify for Saturday night’s grand finale. In front of a sold-out crowd of more than 6,000 spectators in the Ricoh Coliseum, The Ames Percheron Farm claimed the overall championship title.
“We’re always aiming to be at the top but it takes so little, one little mistake, to drop you from first to fourth,” said Shaw. “It’s tough.”
Despite the stiff competition, Shaw and the team at Ames Percheron Farm are no strangers to success at the Royal Horse Show, having previously claimed the championship title in 2013 and 2014 before finishing as the reserve champions in 2015.
“There’s no other show that we ever see that’s as prestigious as The Royal,” Shaw said. “The crowd, the atmosphere, the arena, the lighting – it’s all a first-class show.”
Country Lane Belgians of Sunderland, ON, driven by Kyle Forsyth for owners Ted and Chris English, took the Royal Six-Horse Draft Championship Reserve Championship title. The Country Lane Belgian team topped the $2,500 Belgian Six-Horse Hitch class earlier in the week.
Rounding out the top three in Saturday night’s championship were the winners of the $2,500 Percheron Six-Horse Hitch, the All-Star Farms hitch, driven by Ross Honsberger for Doyle Dingman and Nick Wagner.
“This is a real big win for us,” said Honsberger following his victory driving an all-mares team in the Percheron Six-Horse Hitch. “We actually took some of the fall off with these girls. They’d been off for a good seven or eight weeks. This is their first show back after a break off; we didn’t know what we’d have but they performed well. We were really ecstatic.”
All-Star Farms first competed at the Royal Horse Show in 2010, and the prestigious indoor horse show has been a favourite ever since.
“We look forward to it every year,” said Honsberger. “It’s so unique compared to everything we do. To have the other breeds here and the lights, the cameras, the action, the pomp and circumstance – that’s the Royal! That’s what you think of when you think of it. It’s just a classy, classy event. We always look forward to it every year, and it’s usually our last show of the year, so it’s kind of the grand finale.”
Finishing in fourth in the $25,000 Royal Six-Horse Draft Championship were the winners of the $2,500 Clydesdale Six-Horse Hitch competition, the Express Clydesdales of Yukon, OK, driven by Josh Minshull for owners Bob Funk and Express Clydesdales.
In addition to the popular Six-Horse Hitch classes, the Royal Horse Show also continually offers Two-Horse, Four-Horse and Unicorn classes for the draft teams.
For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, visit royalfair.org/horse-show. Next year’s Royal Horse Show will be held from November 3 to 11, 2017.
The top ribbon winners in the Classic Company Equitation classes competed Friday and looked to earn an invite to compete in the evening’s National Classic Equitation Championship Finals under the lights of the covered arena. Only the top six were called back for the evening’s Finals.
Agents Steve Way and Rachel Gonter of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers sponsored the National Classic Equitation Championships Reception last night and everyone enjoyed a dinner of delicious shrimp, chicken, vegetable and beef kabobs, refreshments and deserts.
Children’s 3′ Equitation Champion: Victoria Willetts in the irons of her own Sirachi
Res. Champion: Halle Brandt riding her own Absalon
Amateur Owner Equitation 3’/Adult Equitation 3′ Champion: Michelle Newman riding UK Equestrian Team’s Royal Blue
Res. Champion: Libby Greene riding Edie Caldwell’s Petra
Short Stirrup/Pre-Children’s/Pony Champion: Isabelle Aldridge and Woodlands Misty Rain, owned by Aldridge Equestrian
Res. Champion: Isabella Griffin riding her own Happily Ever After
Junior Champion Champion: Isabel Harbour riding Greer Hindle’s Freedom
Res. Champion: Abigail Poss riding her own Upset de Talma
“We were happy to offer this no class fee Finals Competition to our loyal competitors and we were thrilled to have the support of Steve Way and Rachel Gonter of Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Metro Brokers,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company. “The event went really well and we congratulate all of our NCEC Champions!” he added.
Brin and Gracie Fairband (Photo courtesy of Avalon Photography)
Springfield, OH (November 11, 2016) – Excellent riding skills earned the young Fairband sisters Championship titles at the 2016 International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) World and Grand National Championships, but it took even more for the girls to win the title of Premier Equestrian. The Premier Equestrian Award is presented at horse shows across the United States to equestrians who go above and beyond to make a positive impact on the equestrian community by showing good sportsmanship attitudes and kindness toward their horses and fellow competitors. The award is named after its presenter, Premier Equestrian, which is a prominent company known for its world-class footing, horse jumps, and quality dressage arenas.
Brin Fairband won not only the Premier Equestrian Award but also two World Grand Championships and two World Reserve Champion titles at the IFSHA World and Grand National Championships. “Often people do not see the bonding, care, and effort that go into these Friesians outside the show ring,” Fairband said. “These things are what made our wins in the Championships all the more special.” Brin’s sister, Gracie Fairband, shared in the Premier Equestrian Award and also won three World Grand Champion titles. She credited her success at the show to the reliability of her champion mount, Hugo.
These two exemplary young ladies truly understand the importance of always putting their horses first and supporting fellow competitors, which they showcased at the Springfield, Ohio competition. As Brin accepted the Premier Equestrian award, she explained, “Offering help and friendship to other competitors and devoting attention to the horse I competed with do not seem like amazing feats to me; it doesn’t even seem significant. I think that all of us should live naturally without any thought or motive behind it. Every kind action, no matter how small, is significant, large, and beautiful to the one receiving it.” Gracie agreed, stating, “Being polite and acting modestly are two actions I hope to encourage every competitor to display because it doesn’t cost anything to do so, yet it gives so much in return.”
Premier Equestrian was proud to present the two young sisters with an official tri-colored Premier Equestrian Award ribbon, an engraved plaque, a three-step mounting block, and the title of “Premier Equestrian.”
At the IFSHA World and Grand National Championships, Brin and Gracie rode under the guidance of Nathan and Erin Miley, owners of Miley Friesians in Greenville, Ohio. Both sisters lent a hand to fellow competitors of all ages by offering their help and sharing snacks behind the scenes. “We may be competing against one another in the ring, but we are humans and friends first,” Gracie said. Premier Equestrian congratulated their sincere sportsmanship, horsemanship, and efforts to create a positive show atmosphere – all crucial elements for an enjoyable horse show experience.
“We are both very grateful for not only receiving this special award, but for the whole amazing experience we had at the Friesian World Show,” Brin said. “Thank you to IFSHA and Premier Equestrian for recognizing us and for inspiring us to continue to always give and do our best.”
The girls’ mother, Sandi Fairband, also thanked Premier Equestrian, IFSHA, and Miley Friesians for the wealth of opportunities that her two young daughters enjoyed throughout the competition. “People I didn’t even know told me how polite, kind, and funny my daughters are. It always does a mama’s heart good to hear these kinds of sentiments. The Miley family is the real deal in terms of kindness and wanting to promote this amazing breed and show format. They truly believe in what they live, and they were huge role models to my girls during the entire week of the IFSHA Championships in how they treated and interacted with all other competitors.”
Premier Equestrian takes great pride in recognizing stellar sportsmanship, and in offering affordable choices for first-rate American-made products that enhance horses’ and riders’ performances. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and horse jumps, please visit www.PremierEquestrian.com or call 1-800-611-6109.
Five months ago, the last thing on Amy Leach’s mind was returning to the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® to defend her 2015 Intermediate II Adult Amateur Championship title. She just wanted her horse Radcliffe to be healthy again.
“It’s been a very difficult year for us. He had some serious health issues and was off from last December until June. We’ve had some very long days, but he’s my family and I fought hard for him,” she explained. “When he finally started feeling better, we started back to work just for fun and he felt really good. So we went to a few shows in August, and Regionals was just his fourth time down centerline where we qualified to come here.”
Then disaster nearly struck again. “Two days ago, he stepped on me in the stall 15 minutes before he got on the trailer. I knew right away he had broken my foot. My mom had to drive the truck and trailer seven hours to get here and then I went to the emergency room after we arrived,” said Leach of South Elgin, Ill. (Region 2). “I didn’t even know if I would be able to get my foot in my boot today.”
Courageously, Leach did get her dress boot on, and would not be denied another victory as she and her 18-year-old Holsteiner gelding that she’s developed from a gangly three-year-old (Rantares x Felicitious by Coriolan, bred in the U.S. by Cheryl Kellerman) earned 67.982% for the unanimous victory under all three judges in the Intermediate II Adult Amateur Championship. “This would not have been possible without so many people helping me, both my friends and members of the show staff, who offered assistance without my even having to ask for anything. It’s been so amazing and I’m so appreciative,” Leach continued. “Our intention was just to enjoy this experience and have fun after everything we’ve been through, and he’s a total ham – he lights up in the show ring. It’s our fourth time here, and I’m so glad to be back. It’s our favorite event and I so appreciate all the sponsors and people who make it happen. It’s not about competing and coming out on top – for me, it’s about enjoying each moment with him. I even took time to look around me today in the arena, and it was a great feeling.”
Fellow Region 2 competitor Amy Grahn of Lake Bluff, Ill. and her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Zabaco (Contango x Piacenza by Juventus, bred in Florida by Roy and Beth Godwin of Bear Creek Farm) were first down centerline and gave Leach a run for her money with a solid mark of 64.254% to earn the Reserve Championship title. “My horse showed in the Grand Prix here two years ago, and then when he came up for sale I was lucky enough to try him. I’d never ridden at this level, so for the first two months I couldn’t even get him to canter, so we’ve come a long way!” she laughed. “We had a good clean test and he’ll work his heart out for you. For our first time here and riding at this level, I’m thrilled. I have to say that I have been so impressed with how nice everyone is here. It’s so welcoming, and the facility and organization are the best. I’ve never been in anything like that – going in that arena is overwhelming.”
Leach and Grahn were two of the nearly 400 horse/rider combinations representing all nine United States Dressage Federation (USDF) regions and 39 states as well as the District of Columbia in attendance at this year’s US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, being held November 10-13 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Due to the high number of entries (which have steadily increased every year since the Finals’ inception in 2013), the first two championship classes were held on Thursday afternoon, a day traditionally reserved for “warm-up” classes held as part of the Dressage in the Bluegrass open competition.
The day’s second awards ceremony was held for the Intermediate II Open division, where Heather Mason of Lebanon, N.J. (Region 8) rode Warsteiner to victory. Mason found the Dutch Warmblood (Riverman ISF x Welona by Roemer) as a two-and-a-half year old in Europe and purchased him as a resale project, but soon decided to keep the now 13-year-old gelding with the big personality for herself to develop through the levels. And Mason’s brave decision to make a last-minute tack change and discard her double bridle for the Finals resulted in a winning score of 69.737%. “It’s the first time he’s shown in a snaffle bridle since Third Level,” Mason explained. “I decided to change it up after Regionals because he’s always gone well with it, even though I was having second thoughts this morning because he was jumping around! But I had made the decision so I stuck with it, and it paid off. He felt really good and elastic today; we just worked to keep the test steady and not too electric. He is the barn favorite and he’ll stay with me forever.”
Finishing with Reserve honors was Karen Lipp (Ball Ground, Ga.) of Region 3 with Kathleen Oldford’s 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Whitney (White Star x Grace by Grand Cru) on a score of 68.202%. “I showed her in the USEF Young Horse Program as a four-, five-, and six-year-old, then the owner rode her for a while, and now we’re back together to work on the Grand Prix,” said Lipp. “She’s a hot, electric horse and I was a little worried about the atmosphere because it’s a lot for them to deal with, but she stayed with me in there and I was very happy with her.”
Also competing in the Intermediate II Open class was none other than USDF President George Williams, who finished sixth with Sara Anderson’s Dutch Warmblood mare Uniqa. “I have to say, from its inception I’ve wanted to ride in the Finals, but it just hadn’t worked out until now,” said Williams. “I just started competing this horse this spring, and I find myself here. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s great to see everything from the competitor perspective, and yes, I had that same magical feeling that so many others have experienced. There is something exceptional about riding in the Alltech; it’s a great atmosphere here, and it’s even more special knowing all the hard work and vision it took to create this event in the first place.”
Brett Burlington and Bluf (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Lexington, Ky. – The future stars of U.S. show jumping were tested during three days of tough competition for the 2016 $100,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship presented by Deeridge Farms, Elm Rock LLC, the Strauss Family, and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres, & Friedman LLP. Following a double-clear performance in Sunday’s $30,000 Two Round competition at the CP National Horse Show, Brett Burlington stood atop the podium as the Gold medalist.
Burlington (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Bluf, Alden Burlington’s 2006 KWPN gelding, were in excellent form throughout the championship over courses designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). They kicked off Thursday’s $15,000 Faults Converted competition by finishing second with no faults and a time of 64.145. The duo had another solid performance in the $20,000 Jump-Off competition on Friday, having a faultless first round and a single rail in the jump-off to finish third. These performances put them in second place in the overall standings heading into Sunday’s final competition. Burlington and Bluf’s double-clear effort allowed them to pass overnight leaders Hilary McNerney (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Z Acodate DDL, who incurred eight faults in the second round of the final competition.
“I’m really excited. I didn’t come into the final expecting to win. I knew my horse Bluf would do his job; I just didn’t know if I would be able to hold it together through all those rounds, so I am really pleased with how he went and also really pleased with how I rode,” Burlington said. “I knew that even if I jumped clear there was still a chance of Hilary also jumping clear and keeping her place in the Gold position, so today I was surprisingly not as stressed as I expected because I knew the only thing I could possibly do was jump clear. My focus was just on jumping clear so I knew everything else would have to play out however it would.”
The 2015 Gold medalist Lucy Deslauriers (New York, N.Y.) climbed from fourth on the overall standings to finish with the Silver medal following the final competition. She and Hester, Lisa Deslauriers’ 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding, had a strong performance in the $15,000 Faults Converted competition with no faults and a time of 64.752 to finish third. They had a four-fault round in the $20,000 Jump-Off competition, but made a comeback in the $30,000 Two Round competition by having one of three double-clear performances, along with Burlington and Mattias Tromp (North Salem, N.Y.), to finish second in the championship.
Abigail McArdle (Wellington, Fla.) and Adamo, Plain Bay Sales’ 2005 KWPN gelding, were solid performers throughout the championship and received the Bronze medal. They finished fourth in the $15,000 Faults Converted competition with no faults and a time of 65.261 and were second in the $20,000 Jump-Off competition. McArdle and Adamo nearly went double-clear in the $30,000 Two Round competition, but an unlucky rail at the final fence of the second round put them in a tie for fifth in the class.
McNerney and Z Acodate DDL, her own 2004 Dutch Warmblood mare, won both the $15,000 Faults Converted competition and $20,000 Jump-Off competition and finished fourth in the overall championship.
U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor DiAnn Langer shared her excitement over the championship preparing young, up-and-coming talent for the senior ranks, saying, “This division, the U25, has really stepped the whole group up and it has become the bridge it was meant to be.”
Ian Millar riding Dixson. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.
Toronto, Ontario – Ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON landed his record 12th Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Saturday night, November 5, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
Millar returned last in the second and final round of the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Saturday night, having posted the fastest clear in Friday night’s opening speed round riding Dixson. Millar and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Susan and Ariel Grange of Cheltenham, ON repeated their flawless performance in Saturday’s two-round final over tracks set by course designer Bernardo Cabral of Portugal.
“It’s a lot of stress, that final round!” said Millar, 69, who has now claimed the national title a total of 12 times in his illustrious career. “There’s no room for error, and that’s what jumping it is all about. There was no option but to do what Dixson did.”
Saturday night’s victory marked an impressive comeback for Dixson after two sinus surgeries sidelined him earlier in the year and ultimately kept Millar from competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“In the years that I’ve been riding him, I’ve never jumped him indoors, but it was not an issue for him,” said Millar, who last won the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Champion in 2014 riding his London Olympic mount, Star Power. “It’s great to have this quality of horse here at The Royal because we’ve got some serious competition coming at us next week in the international division.”
Having returned to competition in August, Dixson was back at the top of his game, holding off Mac Cone, 64, of King City, ON. For the second year in a row, Cone earned the Reserve Championship title riding Gasper van den Doorn for owner Chadburn Holdings, Inc. The pair finished on a combined total of 1.73 penalties carried forward from Friday night’s speed phase, and joined Millar as the only other horse-rider combination to leave all the rails in place over three rounds of competition.
Hyde Moffatt of Brantford, ON posted two clear rounds in Saturday night’s final to finish third with a total of 4.45 penalties riding Granturo, owned by Western Sales & Development.
Having finished second and third behind their father on Friday night, Jonathon and Amy Millar, both of Perth, ON, remained in the top five following the final phase of competition. Jonathon Millar and Bonzay, owned by Isotropic investments, finished on 4.46 penalties for fourth while Amy Millar incurred 8.42 penalties to place fifth riding Heros, owned by AMMO Investments.
Based on their performances in the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship, Cone and Moffatt move forward to the international division, beginning Tuesday, November 8. They join fellow Canadians Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, BC, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, who were all pre-qualified based on their world ranking.
The $130,500 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto on Wednesday evening, November 9, highlights international show jumping competition at the Royal Horse Show, and is a qualifying event for the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska, next spring. Rio Olympic champions Nick Skelton and Big Star of Great Britain headline the list of international entries, which also includes Kent Farrington and McLain Ward, who were both members of the U.S. Olympic silver medal team in Rio.
For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.
About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs from November 4-13, 2016, at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results, and to purchase tickets, visit www.royalfair.org.
Woodlands Misty Rain and Isabelle Aldridge. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Washington, D.C. – Management at Washington International Horse Show announces a change in results at the 2016 event, which was held October 25-30 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The reserve champion of the Large Pony Hunter division was incorrectly announced. The reserve champion of the division was Woodlands Misty Rain, ridden by Isabelle Aldridge for Aldridge Equestrian LLC.
Aldridge and Woodlands Misty Rain, a Welsh Pony Cross mare by Woodlands Velvet Rain, were second in the Large Pony Hunter Stake class and won the Large Pony Hunter under saddle. They also went on to finish second in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals.
Washington International Horse Show apologizes for the error.
The 2017 Washington International Horse Show will be held once again at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on October 24-29.