Category Archives: Events

Fuchs Flies to Victory at Longines Leg in Lyon

Martin Fuchs and Clooney. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs (26) and Clooney produced a spectacular victory as the fourth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League more than lived up to expectations at Equita Longines in Lyon, France. In an edge-of-the-seat 10-horse jump-off that included four riders flying the host-country flag, it came down to a race to catch the target-time set by Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange, who were fifth to go.

And the last three chasing down that time were Rio 2016 Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France and the silver and bronze medallists from this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™, Fuchs and fellow-countryman Steve Guerdat.

“I was always going for the win, but I wasn’t sure I could beat Lorenzo – I’m not always super-fast with Clooney and Lorenzo looked really fast on the screen. I didn’t know what time I had going through the finish, but when I looked up, I saw first place and I was very, very happy!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

With a third-place finish last weekend in Verona, Italy, the Swiss rider now heads the Western European League table carrying a handsome 35 points, so only needs a few more to book his ticket to the Longines Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

French course designer, Gregory Bodo, gave them plenty to think about in the first round in which the 75 seconds time-allowed proved highly influential. “With the top riders and horses present, it’s not easy to find the right balance, but the time was perfect and riders had to keep the right tempo from the start to the end to be in time,” he explained.

Italy’s de Luca really put it up to the rest of them in the jump-off when stopping the timers in 37.78 seconds with a great run from his powerful 14-year-old gelding and, with just three left to go, Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten was his nearest rival after posting 38.00 with Dana Blue. The 7,000-seat stadium was packed with French fans who held their collective breath as Staut set off with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet, but despite their best effort the pair didn’t threaten the lead when breaking the beam in 38.32 seconds.

Second-last into the ring, however, Fuchs had his foot to the floor all the way, and with a brilliant turn to the vertical three from home and a breathtaking gallop to the last, he stormed through the timers in 37.25 seconds and not even Guerdat and his brilliant mare Bianca could match that. De Luca held on for runner-up spot, while 2012 Olympic champion Guerdat, twice-winner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title, had to settle for third when stopping the clock on 37.89.

“Clooney had a one-month break after Tryon (FEI World Equestrian Games) and then we came to Verona and Lyon because I really want to qualify for the Final. I’m going to Wellington (USA) in January, so I wanted to focus on the World Cup qualifiers now,” Fuchs explained. He’s had an extraordinary year with the horse he competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and with which he claimed two European team bronze medals, in 2015 and again in 2017.

They kicked off 2018 with 5-Star Grand Prix wins at Basel and Zurich (SUI), but Clooney then had to undergo colic surgery in April and that was a worrying time. He bounced back, however, and just a few weeks after claiming World Championship individual silver, the grey horse is continuing to show incredible form.

“He’s such a tough horse; he always fights. When I got him in the beginning, I was struggling a lot because he has his own mind and he’s so strong. But over time we have come to work really well together, and now we can do anything!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

The Swiss rider now plans to compete in the next leg of the series at Stuttgart in Germany in two weeks’ time and at Olympia in London (GBR) in December.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Sam Walker Makes History as 2018 ASPCA Maclay National Champion at NHS

Photo: Sam Walker on Waldo.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 4, 2018 – Celebrating its 135th year, the National Horse Show has come to be known as one of America’s premier indoor equestrian events thanks to its rich history and classical traditions, with the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, adding even more prestige as one of the four major equitation finals held each fall season. Since 1933, an elite junior rider’s name has been etched into history as the annual champion, and this year the competition tested 175 horses and riders over a series of challenging phases to determine the deserving victor. The culmination of a week at the Kentucky Horse Park, the 2018 National Horse Show concluded with a dream realized for Sam Walker of Ontario, Canada, now the newest champion of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and winner of the esteemed ASPCA Horsemanship Trophy.

Over the course of the day, the initial field of participants took turns tackling Bobby Murphy’s (USA) expertly designed equitation track, which looked deceptively straightforward at first glance. Incorporating most jumps as part of lines, the efficient course offered competitors multiple opportunities to either spotlight their talents or fall victim to the design’s tests, with distances between fences varying and requiring riders to lengthen or collect quickly within the same series of obstacles. Structurally, the fences presented a different type of challenge, with Murphy’s creative collection of jumps including plenty without standards in addition to a handful of skinny jumps, a gate, and an airy triple bar. As the 39th in the order-of-go, Walker and North Run’s Waldo exemplified the pinnacle of equitation, completing a flawless trip to jump into the first standby list.

Separated from the rest of the pack as the creme of the crop, 25 partnerships were hand-selected by the judges’ booth, which was occupied by esteemed horsemen Walter T. Kees and Chance Arakelian, to return for the second phase of the contest after top-notch performances over fences. Headed into the under saddle and second over fences portions of riding, Walker, Brian Moggre, Ava Ellis, Emma Kurtz, Catalina Peralta, Paige Matthies, Daisy Farish, and Coco Fath were pegged as the frontrunners, all riding head-to-head in the same flat section.

During the under saddle phase, horse-and-rider combinations’ adjustability, balance and connection were put to the test by the judges, who asked for a series of skill demonstrations such as the counter-canter, extended canter, and sitting trot, among others. With one final chance to prove their abilities, the top contenders returned to the Alltech Arena for a second trip over Murphy’s track, this time consisting of almost no fences with standards, a hand gallop, a counter-canter, a trot fence, and an airy fence jumped in both directions.

Returning in reverse order of the standings for the second over fences phase, Moggre had the advantage as the last entry to ride, with Walker, Farish, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, Ellis, and Alexandra Worthington sitting in second through eighth positions, respectively, and all aiming to knock him from the top of the leaderboard. Following the completion of the top 25, the judges needed one last look at the top six, and asked for testing from Walker, Moggre, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, and Mimi Gochman, who leapfrogged from 12th place into the work-off. Of the remaining contenders, Moggre was the only one to have been victorious in a national equitation final previously, having won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show earlier this fall, but it was Walker who had moved to the top of the standings headed into the last display of riding. Sunday afternoon’s test asked riders to canter fence 7, canter fence 2, counter-canter fence 6a, canter fence 6b, canter fence 4, halt, and return to the line.

As the last to ride in the work-off, Walker capped off the day’s championship with an exclamation point, navigating a textbook trip aboard Waldo seemingly with ease and displaying high levels of precision, correct form, and aid effectiveness to secure the championship tricolor and the prestigious honor of ASPCA Maclay National Champion. As the 2018 victor, Walker’s name now joins the ranks of past winners that include some of the sport’s icons such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and George Morris, as well as recent superstars Lillie Keenan, Victoria Colvin, and Madison Goetzmann.

Sunday’s distinction for Walker is one of the highlights of his competitive equitation career, although he has come close to the top call more than once. This year alone, he has placed within the top 10 in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show as well as the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final. A multi-talented equestrian, Walker also campaigns in the upper level jumpers, having won U25 and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes across the United States and Canada under the tutelage of his trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan from North Run. For training the winning rider, Audi of Lexington donated a one-year lease of an Audi to Walker’s trainers.

The men represented well this year, with Moggre capturing the reserve honors behind his peer, Walker. Moggre rode Efendi, owned by Donald Stewart, over the course of the contest. Jacob Pope was the last male athlete to claim the top honors in 2012, and prior to that was Brian Walker in 2001. Coincidentally, Sam got paired with Waldo partly with the help of the previous winner that shares his namesake. Jumping from sixth place after the second over fences phase, Paige Matthies piloted Barbara Smith’s Blurred Lines to third overall thanks to her standout work-off test to round out the podium finishers.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.org.

Nicole Walker Claims Canadian Show Jumping Championship Title

Nicole Walker riding Falco van Spieveld. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON claimed the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship title on Saturday night, November 3, at the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

“I will never forget this! It feels amazing. I’m very excited for my whole team, and I think the horse deserves a title like this because he’s such a special boy. I’m glad he could have a title to his name.” ~ Nicole Walker, who will celebrate her 25th birthday on Sunday, November 4

Having claimed victory in Friday’s $25,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round One, presented by Lothlorien, Walker held the lead coming into Saturday night’s two-round competition. The defending Canadian Champions, Amy Millar, 41, of Perth, ON and Heros piled on the pressure by opening Saturday night’s competition with a clear round while Walker incurred four faults.

When the top six in the standings went through to the all-deciding final, Walker kept her cool to deliver another clear jumping round, picking up one time fault over the course set by Ireland’s Alan Wade to bring her total score to five faults. When Millar and Heros faulted the second time out, their final score of 7.13 penalty points left them in second place, handing Walker her first Canadian Show Jumping Championship title riding Falco van Spieveld, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding.

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON delivered a clear round riding Count Me In to finish in third position, while 12-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ian Millar, 71, of Perth, ON took fourth place riding Calvin Klein for Brookstreet Stables. Olympic team silver medalist Mac Cone of King City, ON guided Zaia di san Giovanni to fifth for owner Mark Samuel’s Chadburn Holdings Inc., while Hyde Moffatt of Brantford, ON also made the cut for the top six riding Granturo.

As the defending Under 25 National Champion at the Royal Horse Show, Walker has grown up competing at the annual Royal Horse Show.

“I had a lot of friends and family here tonight as it’s very close to home,” said Walker, who trains with 2012 Irish Olympic individual medalist Cian O’Connor and his assistant trainer, Mark Kinsella. “But beyond everything, the atmosphere is incredible here. It has so much tradition. I would recommend every rider to come visit it at some point, even if they’re not riding. It’s just such a cool experience.”

With their top finishes on Saturday night, Walker and Amy Millar earned their tickets into the international division as the two highest placed finishers in the Canadian Show Jumping Championships not already qualified. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. The international division opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session.

Lauren Kieffer Rocks $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge

The popular $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge rocked the house on Saturday night as competitors tackled a mix of delicate show jumping fences and challenging cross-country obstacles set by course designer Mark Phillips. Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA made her Royal Horse Show a winning one, riding Glendening Avis, a 13-year-old buckskin Canadian Sport Horse mare owned by Callie Evans, to victory.

“I’m thrilled.  The mare is just incredible; she tries her guts out,” said Kieffer, who was riding a borrowed mount that she rode for the first time on Friday.  “It’s very rare that you hop on something and sync together so quickly.  It was so much fun to do this on her, and I felt so in sync with her.

“Brandon and Kendal certainly put the pressure on; I was hoping for a little bit more breathing room!” joked Kieffer following her indoor eventing debut.  “The format is fun; it’s energetic.  If it gets one person to leave here and go Google ‘eventing’ and get into it, then it did its purpose.”

Finishing second was Toronto’s own Brandon McMechan riding Oscar’s Wild to a clear round in a time of 92.78 seconds to hold off third-placed Kendal Lehari of Uxbridge, ON, who was also clear riding Totally Frank in a time of 94.30 seconds.

At the conclusion of the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge, World Championship and Pan American Games medalist Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON was presented with the Michael Gutowski Award, donated by Mr. Iain Gilmour, as the highest-ranked Canadian athlete on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Eventing World Athlete Rankings.

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

Beezie Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt Win FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W at NHS

Photo: Beezie Madden on Chic Hin D Hyrencourt.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2018 – The feature show jumping event of the 2018 National Horse Show, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, brought 35 of the sport’s upper echelon horses and athletes to the Alltech Arena to compete head-to-head for the greatest share of the purse and valuable World Cup ranking points towards the 2019 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Representing the United States, Beezie Madden added to her winning streak, as she and Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt outpaced the talented field with their careful and efficient jump-off trip to capture the coveted top prize in front of a packed house. Earlier in the day, Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 nabbed victory in the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix.

n total, eight countries from four continents were represented in the premier contest of the evening, which is the eighth jewel of 14 in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping schedule, and the group of entries included a staggering amount of talent, most notably the four gold medal-winning members of the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team from the World Equestrian Games: McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, and Adrienne Sternlicht.

For his final course of the week, designer Ken Krome (USA) constructed a 16-effort track for contenders that featured plenty of directional changes and a triple combination as the second-to-last obstacle, which proved to be one of the bogey fences of the evening. Out of the initial pack of combinations, only six partnerships mastered the track penalty-free within the tight 74-second time allowed to qualify for the jump-off, and four pairs faced heartbreak after leaving all the fences intact but accruing one time fault. Lucy Davis (USA), Kent Farrington (USA), Kraut (USA), Madden, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), and Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) all returned to the show ring for a final shot at glory over the abridged jump-off course.

The first two back in the ring, Davis and Farrington both accumulated penalties on their mounts, opening the door for Kraut and St. Bride’s Farm Confu, who navigated the first double clear of the evening in 38.10 seconds. Not to be outdone, Madden and the 10-year-old grey gelding systematically sliced across the 8-fence track at a blazing clip, stopping the clock in 36.57 seconds to take over the lead with only two left to challenge them. Unfortunately for Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse, LLC’s Luibanta BH, two rails would come down, meaning Ashe Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou would be the last to battle Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt’s time. The pair looked to be on pace to usurp the frontrunners with a fault-free trip, but ultimately were just tenths of a second too slow, tripping the timers in 36.77 seconds to settle for second place, with Kraut and Confu rounding out the all-female podium as the final double clean pair of the class.

Currently ranked ninth in the world and the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion, Madden has been proving her prowess lately and has added numerous accolades to her ever-growing trophy case. Just one week ago at the Washington International Horse Show, she led the victory gallop aboard Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, and has since been the queen of the National Horse Show. In addition to Saturday evening’s triumph with Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, Madden piloted Wexner’s Jiva to the winning prize in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, second place in Friday’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, and third place in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. With her win Saturday, Madden walks away with not only the largest cut of the purse, but also a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington as the Leading International Open Jumper Rider Award, plus the Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Garber Leading Lady Rider Award.

The reserve finisher, Ashe Cawley, has been taking turns with Madden at the head of the leaderboard over four days of competition, only once giving up the top spot in five classes to another rider, Farrington. In addition to her reserve championship aboard Cat Ballou, Ashe Cawley navigated Picobello Choppin PC to the highest honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4* and the Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, just a hair ahead of Madden.

Capping off an already competitive week of jumping in the Amateur-Owner/Junior ranks, the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix offered the non-professionals one final opportunity for a chance at the tricolor. At the completion of the first round of riding, nine pairs were eligible for the jump-off after turning in clean and clear initial trips. Ransome Rombauer, Annabel Revers, Haley Gassel, Elli Yeager, Tali Dejong, Sophie Gochman, Coco Fath, Riley Newsome, and Anna Beth Athey all qualified aboard their respective mounts.

Tackling the short course seemingly with ease, Haley Gassel and Westwind Equine Training Center’s Quite Dark 2 were able to fend off their counterparts in the jump-off, riding their second clean trip of the night in a quick 41.539 seconds to emerge as the victors. The leading pair was followed by Coco Fath and her own Huckleberry in the reserve position, who also left all the rails up but tripped the timers in a slower 41.611 seconds. Sophie Gochman and Carola BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse, LLC, wrapped up the podium finishers as the third and final double-clean duo, laying down a foot-perfect round in 41.822 seconds.

In addition to the class winner, three other individuals were recognized for their achievements in the division or Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) circuit. Sophie Gochman and Tali Dejong were crowned the SJHOF Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions, respectively, and Riley Newsome was awarded the National Horse Show’s division championship for her performances throughout the week.

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Werth Gives a Masterclass with Emilio at Lyon

Isabell Werth with Emilio. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Defending series champion and equestrian sports legend, Germany’s Isabell Werth (49), kicked off her FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 campaign with a convincing win with Emilio at the second leg of the Western European League series at Equita Longines in Lyon, France.

With two Technical scores over 80 percent and one Artistic mark of 93 percent, the six-time Olympic gold medallist racked up a total of 84.410 that left her well clear of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel (42) in second and Antonia Ramel (33) in third.

Werth, who took triple-gold at the 2017 FEI European Championships and double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) just seven weeks ago, is already aiming for a fifth FEI Dressage World Cup™ title, and her third in a row, when the series finale returns to Gothenburg, Sweden next April. However, she only just managed to keep Kittel at bay in the Grand Prix and was deeply disappointed with that performance. But with typical skill and determination, the lady who has three horses in the top four in the current World Rankings just turned it all around again with a sparkling ride that left the result beyond doubt.

“I’m very happy – yesterday Emilio was full of tension, but today he was much better from the beginning, and he got back his confidence step by step during the competition.” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Great Britain’s Hayley Watson-Greaves (35) and Rubin’s Night raised the bar to 77.355 percent in the closing stages and young Spaniard, Juan Matute Guimon (21), slotted in behind her when posting 77.070 for an eye-catching test with Quantico that included a one-handed pirouette. But Werth blew that all into infinity with her massive score, and it was the two Swedes who proved her closest rivals at the end of the day.

Ramel’s 80.060 with Brother de Jeu was hugely impressive and took even her by surprise. But the talented rider who has been on two winning Nations Cup teams for her country this year has been training diligently with three-time Olympian Kittel for the last two years, and he was very proud of her.

He is often coached by Werth, and earlier this week he visited her to ask her advice about his stallion, Delatio. “I was at Isabell’s on Monday because I wasn’t sure if I should take him to Lyon – but she said yes!” said the Swedish star who scored a handsome 80.980 for second place.

Talking about Emilio, Werth said, “It’s his first competition since Aachen (where he won the Freestyle and Special and was on the winning team in July), it’s his first indoor of the season, and it’s a new Freestyle for him, so there were a lot of new things for him to handle and I’m very happy how it went, even though there are still some details to be worked out.” She has exchanged her Freestyle programmes, with Bella Rose now doing Emilio’s floorplan while Emilio does the one designed for her WEG-winning mare. Emilio is looking slimmer and fitter than ever.

“Yes, he has more muscle and less fat! So the canter-work is much better, and I was sad that yesterday I couldn’t show that, but today it came back!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Werth plans to compete all three of her top horses during the 10-leg Western European League, and Emilio will be back in action for the next leg in Stuttgart (GER) in two weeks’ time where Bella Rose will also line out.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Nicole Walker Opens Royal Horse Show with a Win

Nicole Walker riding Falco van Spieveld. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON opened the Royal Horse Show with a win in the first phase of the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship held Friday, November 2, as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Speed was the name of the game in Friday night’s $25,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship, Round 1, presented by Lothlorien. As the final competitor to tackle Irish course designer Alan Wade’s speed track, Walker laid down the winning round, jumping clear in a time of 64.37 seconds with her partner of three years, Falco van Spieveld, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding.

“It was nice to be able to watch a couple go since I went last,” said Walker, 24, of being the final competitor on course. “I knew just how fast I needed to go without risking too much. Hopefully we will have the same luck tomorrow.”

As the defending Under 25 National Champion at the Royal Horse Show, Walker spoke to her progression from winning in the Under 25 division to winning the opening phase of the Canadian Championships.

“The Under 25 program is a great stepping stone,” said Walker. “You get to be in [the Coca Cola Coliseum] and be in that kind of pressure situation. Being indoors is a bit of a different vibe than outdoors. You really need to be on it. Just having that experience helped to get to the next level.”

In a sport where men and women compete as equals, it was another young female athlete, Ali Ramsay, 26, who finished runner-up. Riding Casino, a 10-year-old Oldenburg owned by Ramsay and Angelstone Farms, the Victoria, BC native also left all the rails in place and crossed the timers in 66.47 seconds. Keean White, 35, of Rockwood, ON and Leilani left two poles on the ground, but their incredibly fast time of 59.04 seconds held up for third place despite having an eight-second time penalty added for an adjusted total of 67.04 seconds.

It was a family affair as 12-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ian Millar, 71, of Perth, ON took fourth place with a time of 70.23 seconds riding Calvin Klein for Brookstreet Stables while the reigning Canadian Champion, Amy Millar, 41, also of Perth, placed fifth with a time of 70.63 seconds riding her 2016 Rio Olympic mount, Heros.

Lauren Kieffer Makes Royal Horse Show Debut

Opening night of the Royal Horse Show also featured the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge. Making her Royal Horse Show debut, Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA rode Glendening Avis, a 13-year-old buckskin Canadian Sport Horse mare owned by Callie Evans, to victory in the opening phase of competition. With a clear round in a time of 90.03 seconds over the course designed by Mark Phillips, the Olympic, World Championship, and Pan American Games veteran now holds the lead heading into the second and final round of competition on November 3. Finishing second was Toronto’s own Brandon McMechan riding Oscar’s Wild to a clear round in a time of 92.78 seconds to hold off third-placed Kendal Lehari of Uxbridge, ON, who was also clear riding Totally Frank in a time of 94.30 seconds.

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

Inaugural $50k National Horse Show Hunter Classic Goes to Scott Stewart and Lucador

Photo: Scott Stewart and Lucador.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2018 – The National Horse Show debuted a brand new competition on Friday evening in the Alltech Arena: the $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic. Similar to the world famous horse show, now in its 135th year, the sport of hunters is deeply rooted in tradition and history, and the National Horse Show was pleased to showcase the grace and beauty of the nation’s top hunter horses and riders in its 2018 event at the Kentucky Horse Park, where the inaugural prize went to Scott Stewart and Lucador. His top score also earned him a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington, presented by Samuel A. B. Boone, as well as the lion’s share of the Leading Professional Hunter Rider Bonus.

The pair stayed true to their winning ways as Stewart, of River’s Edge Farm in Flemington, New Jersey and Wellington, Florida, secured the coveted Leading Hunter Rider Award for the 12th time in his career on Wednesday at the National Horse Show, while Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, earned his fourth career and second consecutive Grand Champion Professional Hunter title.

Horse-and-rider combinations awarded championships or reserve championships in their respective hunter divisions earlier in the week were eligible to compete in Friday’s $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic, with participants competing at the respective height (3’6”, 3’9”, or 4’) of the section from which they qualified.

The class, which counted towards Horse of the Year points, consisted of two rounds, with the top 12 returning for a second round from low to high score within their respective heights of 3’6” and 3’9”, with no 4’ entries earning a spot in the second phase. The final average score from round one was added to the final average score from round two to determine the overall total final score and winner.

Under the watchful eyes of two panels of judges consisting of James Clapperton, Daniel Robertshaw, Walter T. Kees, and Chance Arakelian, Friday’s first round course, designed by Bobby Murphy, welcomed 32 horses and riders to demonstrate their style and athleticism over obstacles composed of a variety of natural elements.

Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Outbid led the way after the first round with a score of 89, but Stewart followed close behind with the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding and a score of 87.25.

Returning for the second round, the top 12 combinations were tested once more in the handy phase of competition. An unfortunate bobble in round two caused Fenney to slip down into 10th place in the final standings, which left the top spot open for Stewart as the final entry in the class. Stewart stayed consistent and impressed the judges with another solid performance to finish round two with a score of 87.5 for a total combined score of 174.75.

Finishing behind Stewart and taking home reserve honors was Kentucky native Havens Schatt, from Georgetown, Kentucky, and Diatendro, owned by Kelley Corrigan. The pair finished the first round in fourth place with a score of 85 and received a score of 86.5 in round two for a total score of 171.50.

Rounding out the top three was Amanda Steege of Ocala, Florida and Zara, owned by Frances Moppett, who were awarded scores of 86 and 84.5 for a cumulative tally of 170.5. Steege and Stewart were the only two entries to qualify two mounts in the handy round. Stewart also rode Dr. Parker’s Private Life to an 11th place finish, while Steege piloted Cheryl Olsten’s Lafitte De Muze to seventh place.

Earlier in the day in the junior ranks, Jordan Allen and Ramble On Farm’s Rockette had reason to celebrate as the best-performing junior pair out of nearly 60 exhibitors. Thanks to consistently high-scoring rounds, the duo accumulated more points than any other competitors across the four junior divisions comprised of small and large hunters split by age groups, and they were rewarded with the title of Grand Junior 3’6” Champions and the Huntland Perpetual Cup. Even more impressive was the fact that Allen only first sat on the horse Thursday, the same day they took to the show ring and earned top ribbons.

Over the course of the two days of competition, Rockette garnered first place in the under saddle and stake class and third place in the over fences and handy classes to secure championship honors in the Gochman Family Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division, in addition to the Cantitoe Farm Challenge Trophy. Adding another accolade to their growing collection, Allen and Rockette also earned the “Inclusive” Perpetual Cup, chosen by the judges as the best performers of the group from both the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter and Large Junior 16-17 Hunter stake classes.

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Kent Farrington and Creedance Capture $135k International Jumper Classic CSI4* at NHS

Photo: Kent Farrington on Creedance.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday with a series of upper-level show jumping competitions capped by the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4*, attracting some of the best horses and athletes from the United States and beyond. Earning the largest share of the day’s purse as well as the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance captured the victory in the evening’s feature event, while Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Picobello Choppin PC also solidified themselves as one of the day’s champions by outrunning the pack in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.

With the class serving as a prerequisite to qualify for Saturday’s $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, exhibitors in the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* were challenged to finish within the top 40 in order to earn a coveted slot in the show jumping grand finale of the week. Up against a sizable field of talented contenders and a challenging 15-effort track constructed by Ken Krome (USA), 13 pairs mastered the first course to gain eligibility into the jump-off, while four duos fell victim to a single time fault and a handful were knocked out of contention at the oxer-vertical in-and-out, the bogey fences of the evening.

Proving why he has previously held the title of best in the world based on the Longines Rankings, Farrington maneuvered 11-year-old Creedance, the horse he owns with R.C.G. Farm, to the first double-clean ride of the evening as third in the jump-off order-of-go, stopping the clock in 37.49 seconds to set the standard to beat for his peers that would follow. Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Peter Lutz (USA), Conor Swail (IRL), Beezie Madden (USA), and Sharn Wordley (NZL) all followed suit with subsequent double-clear trips, but none were quick-footed enough to overthrow the class leaders.

A familiar face in the winner’s circle, Farrington is a multi-time Olympian for the United States and has been successful on the world stage with mounts such as Voyeur, Uceko and Gazelle, in addition to Creedance, for a number of years. Farrington wore the world’s No. 1 armband from May 2017 until April 2018, only being overthrown from the top spot after a leg injury prevented him from competing. Since returning to the show ring, he has quickly returned to his winning ways, nabbing victories in Valkenswaard, Germany; Valence, France; Calgary, Canada; and Tryon, USA, among others.

Ultimately, Lutz and Robin De Ponthual, owned by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller, earned the reserve position with their double-clean time of 39.34 seconds, and Swail and Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel clinched third place overall in 39.65 seconds.

Prior to Thursday’s feature event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 31 horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. Operating under a faults-converted format, any downed rails added three penalties to the time to determine a final score for the round, meaning both speed and precision were imperative for a respectable tally. As one of the first to enter the ring, the ever-formidable Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Jiva set the pace with their quick trip in 56.51 seconds. Hot off their win in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, Madden and Jiva looked to be the ones to beat as pair after pair failed to usurp them.

Nearing the end of the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Tarioso Manciais, owned by Grant Road Partners, finally edged out the frontrunners, tripping the timers just a hair faster in 56.34 seconds to jump to the top spot, but their lead wouldn’t hold. As the reigning American Gold Cup winner of the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W with D’Arnita, Cawley’s reputation preceded her, and the veteran competitor did not disappoint. As one of the final five to take to the ring, Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Picobello Choppin PC blazed around the Alltech Arena, carefully slicing across the track and leaving all of the rails up in a lightning fast final time of 54.20 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the previous class leaders, to clinch the blue ribbon ahead of reserve finishers Dinan and Tarioso Manciais as well as Madden and Jiva.

The Alltech Arena also played host to the $10,000 Junior Jumpers and $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumpers earlier in the day. In the junior contest, Isabella Bleu and her own Jahil led the way with a fault-free jump-off effort in 32.995 seconds to edge out the reserve finishers, Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Street Hassle BH, with their final time of 33.809 seconds. Not far off the pace, Paige Matthies and Barbara Smith’s Dirkie Z rounded out the top three with a clean jump-off ride in 35.023 seconds. Out of the field of amateur-owners, owner-rider Riley Newsome piloted Dakar VDL twice successfully, leaving all of the fences intact and breaking the beam in 39.783 seconds over the short course, just ahead of the time earned by the reserve champions, Addison Glerkink and Kadley Holdings LLC’s Erco Van T Roosakker, in 40.073 seconds. Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, finished in the third position, riding to a clean and clear jump-off time of 40.791 seconds.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Brend Daughter Tessa KCF Wins the ISF IBOP Dressage Cup

Tessa KCF, Star. Photo credit: Rae Wilkins.

Coatesville, PA — Each year the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA) awards the prestigious Iron Spring Farm IBOP Dressage Cup. The national championship is presented to the high scoring horse competing in the IBOP riding test during the FHANA keurings held each fall throughout North America.

This year the Cup went to Tessa KCF, Star. Tessa is by Brend 413, Sport out of Yve, Star (by Sibald 360).  The 4-year-old mare scored an impressive 82 points to receive the championship. “We were elated!” Jack Vanderkooy, Tessa’s breeder, said of the award. “We were confident halfway through the test that she would do well, but when the judge announced her total score of 82 points, we were thrilled beyond measure.”

The IBOP test is a dressage test of all three gaits and includes serpentines and medium gaits. “I always recognized that Tessa was the mare in the field to do the most frolicking, like she enjoyed being athletic. During the test, she really showed off her suspended and elastic [gaits],” Vanderkooy explained. Kevin Brutsche, of Clinton, WA, purchased Tessa shortly before the FHANA keuring.  The mare was ridden by and has been in training with Cecile Von Martels, of Ridgetown Ontario.

Vanderkooy, owner of KCF Farms, has had other mares compete in the IBOP Cup over the years. “We wish to thank Iron Spring Farm for their generosity in offering this rewarding prize each year to the FHANA membership,” he said. Iron Spring Farm began sponsoring the IBOP Dressage Cup in 2010. The Cup recognizes Friesians with serious dressage talent. Prizes include coolers for the Top Five national finishers, as well as $500 to the champion and $250 to the reserve champion.

Tessa’s sire, Brend 413, Sport, also had a successful dressage career. He won through Third Level with scores near 70%, including the GAIG/USDF Region I Third Level Adult Amateur Championship. Brend is by Brandus 345, Sport/Preferent, out Meta Van De Strubbenhof, from stam line 34. Brend’s sons and daughters have won numerous championships and dressage classes.

For the latest updates, photos and videos, please visit the Iron Spring Farm Facebook page and www.ironspringfarm.com.

Professional Hunters Get Underway at 2018 National Horse Show

Photo: Victoria Colvin and Private Practice.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2018 – The country’s top hunter horses and riders arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the highly anticipated 2018 National Horse Show and kicked off the professional hunter divisions in the Alltech Arena on Tuesday. Green Hunter competition saw Victoria Colvin and Holly Orlando take home blue ribbons in the 3’9” and 3’6” divisions, respectively.

Liza Boyd and Tradition, owned by Maggie Hill, earned the win in the first over fences round of the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, with Colvin finishing close behind in second place with Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf.

Returning for the handy round, Colvin claimed the win with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who she won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with in August at the Kentucky Horse Park. Boyd and Colvin are currently tied heading into the final phases of the division after Boyd also took home second place in the handy round.

Prior to the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten, rode to the top of the leaderboard in the initial over fences round of the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, while the handy round went to Holly Orlando and the 7-year-old Hanoverian mare Whisper, owned by Privet Farm, LLC. Back-to-back second place finishes went to Chris Payne and Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci.

The Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division also got underway with Dudley MacFarlane and Roland Park, owned by Mount Fair Equine, LLC, claiming the win and the “Automation-Model Cadet” Memorial Perpetual Trophy for her performance in the first over fences round.

Becky Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, impressed the judges and scored the win in the handy round as well as the under saddle class, while Clementina Brown and her own Eagle took home second place in both over fences classes.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.