Category Archives: Events

Pessoa Rides to Top of Leaderboard in $86,000 Tryon Sunday Classic CSI 5*

Rodrigo Pessoa and Chaganus. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 22, 2017 – Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Chaganus stole top honors in Sunday’s feature class to close out the week of Tryon Fall V competition, stopping the short course timers of the $86,000 1.50m Tryon Sunday Classic in 39.865 seconds. Quentin Judge (USA) and Giorgio Van’t Hagenhof, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Bentley Van De Heffinck x Kannan) owned by Double H Farm, took second place after finishing their jump-off round in 40.397 seconds, while third place honors went to Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) aboard Aikido Z, a 2006 Zangersheide gelding (Accardi x Corrado I) owned by Stal Bijloos Bvba, who stopped the clock at 40.542 seconds.

Forty-one entries tested the CSI 5* track set by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) on the Grass Complex at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), while spectators enjoyed a catered brunch in the hospitality tent overlooking the field. Eight pairs went clear in the first round and returned to tour the short course with four finishing double clear.

Pessoa explained that Chaganus, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-blue x Carthago) owned by Pessoa Stables LLC, is a new ride for him and that his mount is fairly untested in this caliber of competition. “I’ve only had this horse for two months, and this was the first time I’ve been to a jump-off with him, so I didn’t know how he’d react. I was planning on being safe and conservative with him, and he jumped really well. This is really good for developing him for future, bigger classes. I’m really pleased,” he said.

Pessoa added, “I started riding him in July and started playing around with him. I haven’t had much chance to show him that much because I’ve been busy with the Irish team, so I’ve done maybe only four or five shows with him. I thought the class yesterday would have been too severe for him, too early at this stage [in his career], so I decided to go on the grass instead. It’s always nice when the plan works out.”

The variety that the Grass Complex adds to the riders’ experience at the venue is refreshing, said Pessoa, and the highlight class ran well on the strong TifTuf Bermuda grass footing: “I think the course was nice. It’s always good to ride in a big, open, green field like this. I thought the course was tough enough, but we still had eight initial clear so the plan for the jump-off was to be clear,” he commented.

Early in the jump-off order, Pessoa’s goal was to put in a good round and see what Chaganus could do, he elaborated. “When you go early you never really know how it’s going to play out, but I wanted to try to take some nice inside lines and have a go. I knew I could be beat, but I think he showed he’s a fast horse today. We didn’t do anything crazy, but he covers the ground pretty well and it’s exciting. The next time we’re in the jump-off I know I can let him go a little bit more and make him harder to beat.”

Speaking to their week at the venue, Pessoa concluded, “This is a spectacular place. It’s really built for the well-being of the horses and the riders. We’ve really enjoyed our two weeks here and are looking forward to coming back next September for some very serious competition. It’s really great what they’ve done here and we’re always thrilled to come to Tryon.”

Hunter Highlights

The $500 NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Hunter 3′ Classic saw a top finish for Alex Stevens of Kernersvilee, NC and her own Sky Pilot. Second place was also awarded to Joan Alberti of Troutville, VA and her own Chechessee Circle, while Kathryn Haefner of Hamburg, NY took third place aboard her own Endeavour.

The $500 Small/Medium Pony Hunter Classic awarded first place to Parker Mechling of Davidson, NC aboard Chloe Mechling’s Limerick. Second place was captured by Linen Ownes of Marion, NC piloting her own Cloud Nine. Third place went to Madeline Rubin of Mooresville, NC riding Exuberance, owned by Rubin.

The $500 Large Pony Hunter Classic saw a victory for Naomi Clark of Milton, GA piloting her Paparazzi. Second place went to Cassidy Rein of Raleigh, NC and Bestseller, owned by Tara Dow-Rein. Jessie Marie Spade of Terrell, NC and Eddie Bauer rounded out the top three.

The $1,000 Amateur Owner  Hunter Classic 3’3″/3’6″ awarded first place to Alisa Berry of Verona, VA and Phantom, owned by Michael Cline. Madeline Thatcher of West Bluffdale, UT took second place, piloting Summer Place, owned by Pony Lane Farm. Third place was awarded to Dana Schwartz of Brandford, CT riding Grey Street, owned by Float On Equestrian LLC.

The $1,000 Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Junior Hunter Classic 3’3″/ 3’6″ presented the blue ribbon to Madison Busey of Ashburn, VA and Upcountry Pisani, owned by Busey. Second place finish was presented to Grace Skillman of Mount Pleasant, SC and her own Duchesse. Third place honors went to Reynolds Cole of Tuscaloosa, AL aboard Lisa Chaney’s Cristal.

Lily Hiller of Statesboro, GA won the $500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic 3′ with her own Cake Walk. Second place was awarded to Isabella Di Benedetto of Huntersville, NC and Primroso, owned by Di Benedetto. Katelyn North of Wake Forest, NC rounded out the top three finishers aboard First Class, owned by North.

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Brianne Goutal and Fineman Win $35,000 Horseware Ireland Jumper Classic CSI 5*

Brianne Goutal and Fineman. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 20, 2017 – The $35,000 Horseware® Ireland Jumper Classic CSI 5* welcomed a steadfast victory for Brianne Goutal (USA) and Fineman hosted on the Grass Complex at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo raced to complete the short course in 42.929 seconds, prompting a final victory gallop lap for Goutal and the 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Feliciano x Kotiljong II) owned by Rose Hill Farm.

Commenting on Fineman’s ride on the Grass Complex, Goutal said, “It’s a big change for some of the horses because they’ve been in an arena so much and then they switch over to the grass. I didn’t show last week on the grass, and it really is a very unique atmosphere. I think the field and the course jumped and rode very well. For Fineman, there is an added ‘spook’ factor to be out there with the flowers and the grass and everything. I think most riders can agree, when the footing is good, we want to be on the field as much as we can and I think this footing is excellent.”

The gelding belongs to a student of Goutal’s and she has been working with the pair for a few years. She explained, “His owner is studying abroad in Rome, so I am campaigning him a bit while she’s away. I rode him at the Hampton Classic, and now here at TIEC. I’ve been keeping him going for her, so I’m trying to do right by everybody and he’s really put in some great rides at this level. The idea is to just get him ready for her return.”

This trip to TIEC is Goutal’s third to the venue and she has been pleased with the facility thus far. She concluded, “We love it. The cabins and restaurants are lovely. It’s convenient for my husband and I because we have a 9-month-old daughter, so this trip is family friendly. We are no strangers to the ESP show scene and we are really excited about this new stop on our horse show list.”

Second place in the $35,000 Horseware® Ireland Jumper Classic CSI 5* was awarded to Beezie Madden (USA) aboard HH Hercules, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse, owned by John Madden Sales, after stopping the timers in 42.961 seconds.

“Today went very well,” commented Madden. “He [HH Hercules] was good. The first round went really well and then in the jump-off I left out a stride in the first line. He’s only eight, so I’m very happy with him.”

Madden continued, “The grass footing is great and it rides like it walks. The horses jump wonderfully off of it and the ground is excellent. This venue is one of the best.”

Alberto Michan (MEX) rode Gigolo Van De Broekkant, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Heartbreaker x Sinaeda) owned by Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein, rounded out the class with a third place positioning after finishing the jump-off round in 43.195 seconds.

Of his rides on the grass, Michan exclaimed, “I think it’s a fantastic field, really. The horses jump so good and it’s so nice. You can see after a lot of horses have gone that there’s not one hole in the footing. For me, really, it’s very difficult to find a venue with this kind of grass footing. It’s really, really nice.”

“Twenty-one combinations pressed forward to the jump-off, so I was lucky to go kind of in the last part, so I could see the turns and the times and the strides they were doing. In the end, with so many good riders in this class, you had to go really fast to try to catch them,” concluded Michan.

Schuyler Riley and Cleopatra’s Smile Boast Top Performance in $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

The third day of competition at Tryon Fall V brought many of the top hunter riders in the country out to contest the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby track in the George H. Morris Arena, designed by Andy Christiansen. A competitive 23 horse and rider combinations completed the first round, while the top twelve pairs returned to test their skills around the handy course. Schuyler Riley of Wellington, FL and Cleopatra’s Smile posted the highest score, ending their afternoon on a 383.

“I thought it was a great course,” stated Riley. “I love doing the derby classes because I always feel that the jumps are a lot more interesting and you have to ride each jump differently based on what you feel underneath you.”

Riley was leading after contesting the first round, but was followed very closely by Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, as well as ultimate second-place finisher, Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL aboard Like I Said, owned by Pony Lane Farm, who finished the day on a 375. Third place went to Tommi Clark of Agoura Hills, CA, riding Stephen Borders Extraordinaire, after earning a final score of 369.

Of her handy round, Riley said, “I was debating whether or not I should go back in and do the high option at jump one, as I was already leading. I knew that most riders had been putting in some good scores, and I have so much faith in my mare because she’s so careful and scopey, that I just decided to go for it and ride it like I was going to win it.”

The mare, imported in April and owned by Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc., has guided Riley back into the spotlight in major hunter classes around the country.

“The first place that I showed her was in Kentucky and I let a Junior rider pilot her there where she was champion in the Small Junior Division. After that, I came here and did a USHJA National Derby and then won an USHJA International Derby out on the Grass Complex. That was my first USHJA International Derby and that’s when I really fell in love with them.”

As an international show jumper and seasoned FEI Nations’ Cup competitor, Riley stressed the importance of quality horses. “Above anything else, what it always gets back to, is it’s always about the horse. That’s what made me fall in love with this sport, whenever you get a horse like this one, it doesn’t matter what ring you’re riding in, you just have to appreciate a really good ride.”

Riley concluded with a compliment of TIEC, where she competes whenever given the opportunity. “For me, Tryon has always been lucky. I love being here. I love the crowd they always get on Saturday night. The footing on the Grass Complex is amazing. I just love it here.”

$10,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Jumper Classic Sees Victory for Christina Kelly and Eckham Van Het Steentje

The day concluded with a strong win for Christina Kelly of Aiken, SC and Eckham Van Het Steentje in the $10,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Jumper Classic. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL took a sweep of second and third place positions, stopping jump-off timers in 40.378 seconds and two time-faults aboard Bon Jovi, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Verdi x Whoopy C) for second place, while Boy IV, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Boy x Samira III), finished in third-place after a securing a time of 72.216 seconds in the first round and accumulating only a single time fault.

Kelly has only been paired with the 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Berlin x Atleta Van ‘T Steent Je) owned by Elm Rock, LLC for a few weeks. “I don’t know this horse very well yet,” she said. “The course actually rode a bit trickier than expected, but he jumped fantastically.”

Kelly rides with Margie Engle, who has been helping her build a partnership with the gelding. Kelly stated, “He’s amazing to ride. I’m hoping I get to keep the ride on him for a while.”

She continued, “I love the way she trains. She’s very forgiving and just amazing. She’s an amazing rider herself and I think you can hang onto the words she says. She knows this horse inside and out, so I’m excited for what’s next!”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Kent Farrington and Gazelle Steal Win in $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*

Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 21, 2017 – Thirty-three horse and rider combinations went head-to-head in the biggest “Saturday Night Lights” event of the 2017 season at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) featuring the $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* competition in front of the packed stands of the George H. Morris Arena. Ultimately the FEI World Number One Kent Farrington (USA) captured top honors aboard Gazelle, owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and longtime mount Bariano finished in second place with a jump-off time of 35.918 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Carrabis Z stopped the timers in 35.637 seconds and added four faults for third place.

The jump-off brought back only three riders to contest the short course and had the entire venue of 9,000 spectators on their feet as they watched the top three combinations take on the competitive course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER). Farrington and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Diva ‘Ter Elsen’), stopped timers after an incredibly quick round ending in 34.676 seconds.

While Farrington emphasized that the course was very difficult, he also acknowledged that his mount is not easily stumped by hard questions.

“Gazelle is a very experienced horse, so I think that I have the advantage that she’s been around the world and seen a lot of things. They’d have to build something crazy that she hasn’t seen before,” he said. “The ring rides smaller than it looks. The jumps come up fast and with a lot of people I think it’s more difficult for the horses than you would expect when you first walk the course. I think it was an excellent course, and Olaf is a very good builder. I expected five clear, and we ended up with three, so I thought it was a stronger course for a bigger money class, which was appropriate for today.”

Despite the tense competitive environment and exciting atmosphere, Farrington commented that Gazelle is a reliable athlete in these kinds of situation. “She’s a very sweet horse at home. She likes everybody and she likes attention, but in the ring she’s an unbelievable competitor,” he explained. “I don’t know how many Grand Prix classes she’s won this year, but I always can count on her and when she’s in the jump-off I can really call on her and take big risks. She’s incredibly careful, so I’m not worried about the jumps, but try to not make any mistakes and stay out of her way.”

Second place honors were captured by 21-year-old Garza and the 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Jetset-D x Ulderina Van Westleven), who were the first to produce a double clear effort  in round one. The pair also entered the jump-off round as the first combination, finishing behind Farrington in 35.918 seconds.

The pair has been together for nearly Garza’s entire career and their bond has only grown stronger as they have moved through the levels. Garza stated, “Bariano has been my longtime partner for forever. I did the Children’s Jumpers with him, so obviously it’s very nice to have a horse you can grow up with. This week we really took it day by day since he is a little bit older and the CSI 5* is not in his comfort zone.”

“He’s such an amazing horse, and has so much heart. I think he showed that tonight. He tried really hard and when we went clear it was an absolutely unbelievable feeling. Then we just hoped there weren’t as many clear,” he laughed. “The course was great, and I really did have a blast. I couldn’t have hoped for anything more from him or my team,” he concluded.

Third place honors were presented to Richie Moloney (IRL) and Carrabis Z, a 2003 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Canabis Z x Ma Pomme VD Zwarte Hoek), owned by Equinimity LLC. The pair were hot on Farrington’s heels until the final fence of the track, which was tipped from the cups and led to four faults. Moloney discussed his round and the advantage of going later in the class.

“It’s always nice to see riders go beforehand, and where most riders did five strides from fence three to four, I did six, and that was my plan from the start. It always helps to go later. In the jump-off, Kent is always very quick, so we tried to catch him, but not today.”

Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), concluded the evening by discussing the incredible turnout of both top riders and spectators the venue sees with each passing competition. “I think there are a lot of great challenges with equestrian sport in this country, in terms of building a following of spectators,” said Bellissimo. “It was really amazing to see at the end a lot of people stuck around and people had a following for Kent as he rode around the ring. We’re pulling great crowds, which I think makes the sport much more interesting. It’s one thing to go out and see some world class competitors like Kent, Eugenio and Richie, but to see a crowd appreciate it means a lot.”

Bellissimo continued, “I want to thank Rolex as well. It’s very unusual for a brand like Rolex to take a bet on a piece of dirt, which four years ago is all this place was: a bunch of rolling hills. For them to step up and be a sponsor of this venue is greatly appreciated. They’re all here for this event and I want to thank them for that. I think [TIEC] is really emerging as one of the top destinations in this country and we anticipate that it will be one of the world’s top destinations as we prepare for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in September of 2018.”

“This was a great preview of the competitors that will be participating in that event, so we’re excited about the present and the future of the facility and the venue,” he concluded.

Margie Engle (USA) received the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson of Town & Country Realtors for her consistent performances in FEI competition throughout the week. Kent Farrington’s groom, Denise Moriarty, was presented with the Absorbine FEI Grooms’ Award, honoring her dedicated care to the winning mount, Gazelle.

Developing Jumper Series Final Presented by Spy Coast Farm Concludes at TIEC

Earlier in the day, the Developing Jumper Series Final presented by Spy Coast Farm, drew an impressive array of young horses to the George H.  Morris Arena. In the 5-Year-Old Jumper Division, David O’Brien (IRL) took a sweep of first and second place awards, piloting the champion, Maldonado SCF, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, as well as reserve, Maui SCF, also owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC., after completing the short track in 36.222 seconds. Third place was awarded to Brittni Raflowitz (USA), and ESI Show Jumpers Inc.’s, Mevis De Muse, after a final jump-off round of 37.468 seconds.

O’Brien and the top-class 5-Year-Old stopped jump-off timers in 35.943 seconds. He commented, “Maldonado was second in the 5-Year-Old Finals in Kentucky, and he’s a very easy-going guy. He’s probably my most consistent horse I’ve had out this year. We just want to produce him and bring him on up the levels. He should be able to jump the 1.50m, no doubt.”

O’Brien also dominated the 6-Year-Old Division, aboard Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Lazuli II SCF, ending the series on a jump-off time of 34.515 seconds.

Of the talented 6-Year-Old, O’Brien stated, “Lazuli’s half-sister was second in the 5-Year-Old Division. This mare has been brought along as well, and these horses are produced to be the ones at the top of the sport.”

O’Brien rides for Spy Coast Farm, and knows the importance of the Developing Jumper Series in regard to the future of quality horses in America. “In order to produce these horses in America, we need these classes. To get into the main ring in Tryon, it’s one of the best in the world. You want to be here, you want to jump these jumps. On top of that, it’s great to have an establishment like Spy Coast Farm to back this, and to support it. Lisa Lourie is not only breeding young quality horses, but she is also creating these opportunities for these horses to learn and gain important experience.”

Second place position was awarded to Doug Payne and Quintessence, owned by Jane Dudinsky, ending the jump-off in 36.234 seconds. Shawn Casady rode Cecotto De La Ogi, owned by Robert Gomez, to third, with a jump-off time of 41.967 seconds and four faults.

The 7-Year-Old Division of the Developing Jumper Series Final saw a victory awarded to Harold Chopping (CAN) and Fantom, owned by Hunter Farms, after a speedy jump-off round of 37.238 seconds. Ireland’s Aidan Killeen boasted second place with his own Snotty, completing course in 38.204 seconds. Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) rode Kayack to third place after a short course time of 41.086 seconds.

“Fantom is just a very talented horse,” exclaimed Chopping. “He is definitely something for the future. He was a little green when he was started earlier in the year. He can really jump a big jump and is dead brave. I get along with him so well. I really love him.”

Chopping noted that the strategy with a series like the Developing Jumper Series is always consistency. “You obviously want to come out with clear rounds on all three days, so you just try to do the best you can. We started in one ring and then spent the final two days in the George Morris Arena, and I think that it really helps that this horse is very brave. He went right in, and it didn’t take him any extra classes to get comfortable with the big setting.”

He concluded, “To have these young horses jump against their peers is certainly productive for everybody. These horses won’t get lost as just another face in the crowd out there, as they aren’t competing against a variety of ages and experience levels. I think it’s just an overall great concept.”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Valegro’s Shoe Donated by Carl Hester Earns Top Dollar to Benefit Equestrian Aid Foundation

Carl Hester coaching at the NEDA 2017 Dressage Symposium. Photo by Mary Phelps.

New Gloucester, Maine – Oct. 19, 2017 – A silver-plated horseshoe once worn by superstar dressage horse Valegro raised $5,000 for Equestrian Aid Foundation at the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Carl Hester Symposium, held Oct. 14-15 in New Gloucester, Maine. The bidding was hot among the clinic attendees. In the end, Betsy Dangel from Newton Center, Massachusetts made the highest bid when the auction closed.

The top-priced auction items were presented to the winners on the closing day of the symposium. Hester admitted he took the silver-plated shoe from Charlotte Dujardin’s desk.

“We made nine of these shoes which have all been donated to charity,” Hester said. “Now I have to tell Charlotte the last one went to America.”

Other items included an original painting of Hester and his horse Nip Tuck titled “The Master” by artist Lisa Marie Bishop with Hester’s signature, and a signed banner photo collage of Hester, Nip Tuck, Dujardin and Valegro created by DressageDaily’s Mary Phelps.

In total, nearly $8,000 was raised for Equestrian Aid Foundation. Hester said he was thrilled that the auction went so well.

“Not only did I have great riders and horses to train, Valegro’s shoe raised $5,000 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation,” he said.

The auction was orchestrated by Markel’s Mary Phelps, a Gold Sponsor of the event. Phelps has been a supporter of Equestrian Aid Foundation since its founding in 1996.

“Let’s face it,” Phelps said. “Carl is a rock star and so is Valegro. People were stalking the bidding table until the closing bell.”

Janise Gray, Equestrian Aid Foundation director of grant recipient services, attended the event.

“We are grateful to Mary Phelps for the success of the silent auction,” Gray said.  “For two decades, Mary has exemplified our ‘Show You Care’ motto. The Equestrian Aid Foundation helps people across the country involved in all facets of the horse community.  It is through the efforts of our supporters like Mary and Carl that we are able to provide financial assistance, hope and dignity to help our recipients heal.”

Edited press release from HorsesDaily.com.

Equestrian Aid Foundation
11924 West Forest Hill Blvd
Suite 10A-377
Wellington, FL 33414
800-792-6068
EquestrianAidFoundation.org

Marilyn Little and Clearwater Win $130k Suncast Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 5*

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 19, 2017 – Tryon Fall V continued on Thursday, October 19, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with yet another fast-paced victory for Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater in the $130,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 5*. The pair sped through the jump-off track in a quick 38.941 seconds to secure the victory. Kent Farrington (USA), currently the top ranked show jumper in the world, guided Dublin, a 2007 German Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Caribik) owned by Farrington and Tanma Corp, to the second place position after stopping the timers in 40.076 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) and Royce, a 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Café Au Lait x Petula) owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, captured third place with a short-track time of 40.115 seconds.

The afternoon saw 45 horse and rider combinations test the track, cleverly composed by Olaf Peterson Jr. (GER), while eleven combinations returned for the competitive jump-off round.

Of the course, Little said, “I thought Olaf did a beautiful job designing the course today. You have to make the 5* courses complicated and I think he did that with the width of the jumps. It was very technical. There were still a good number clear after the first round and it was a fast jump-off, which I love.”

The George H. Morris Arena is sporting several new jumps specifically made for the CSI 5* week, built by Eric Sassmannshausen and team at U.S. Precision Construction LLC (USPC), a manufacturing company operated by Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP). Little commented on the freshness of the ring and how new obstacles helped to tune Clearwater’s focus in the ring.

“There are some new jumps out there and the skinny made it so much fun. They all really jumped well, but they went in and definitely noticed the change. Especially those of us that have been showing here for a while. There was a nice combination of filled in jumps and then some airy ones and it really helps keep their attention.”

Little and the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Tricolore-W) owned by Karen O’Connor dominated the Tryon Fall IV $130,000 Suncast® Commercial Grand Prix CSI 3* last week, and are maintaining a solid blue-ribbon streak.

“This is his first 5* week,” Little noted. “I’ve only prepared for this by waiting for him to get older. He’s a 10-year-old now. We’ve been bringing him along and just waiting for him to get stronger. He’s a real technician in terms of his rideability, and that came before his strength to jump the big jumps. He just keeps stepping up as he goes along, and you think ‘maybe this is all there is,’ and then he answers the next questions and I think he’s the real deal.”

Although he is very focused in the ring, Little described the gelding’s personality out of the show ring. “He is a total dude. We call him ‘Dish’, ‘Dishy’, ‘Dirty Dishes’ if he’s bad, and ‘Clean Dishes’ if he’s good. He’s just a total ham. He comes in from the paddock and is filthy. He walks in as a bay horse head-to-toe. He then comes out here and is a true showman.”

She concluded, “I don’t know how Saturday night will conclude, but I know he’s ready and he’s proving he can do it. I’m so proud of him.”

Developing Jumper Championships presented by Spy Coast Farm Pave Road to Future Success

Earlier in the day, the Developing Jumper Championships presented by Spy Coast Farm continued at TIEC in preparation for the final on Saturday, October 21. Amongst the entries moving onto the final rounds in the 5-Year-Old, 6-Year-Old and 7-Year-Old classes is Doug Payne, piloting several mounts, including the 5-year-old Cascor, owned by Stephen Blaunder.

Of the gelding, Payne commented, “This horse was purchased for Eventing, but he’s a great jumper. We brought him over from Holland and broke him here and I’ve done everything with him thus far. What we generally try to do with the horses that are bred to jump, but could also event, is we steer them in what direction suites them the most. We actually just got back from the Young Event Horse Finals at Fair Hill, he’s competed through Training in Eventing, and this is probably the biggest jumping class he’s done.”

Payne is also riding the 6-year-old Quintessence, owned by Jane Dudinsky. “He’s a special horse,” said Payne. “He also has done Eventing. His last competition was at The Fork here in the spring. He’s crazy careful, and while I think he is a good eventer, I think that jumping is going to be where he is best suited. He’s a spectacular horse. I haven’t ridden anything like him. I’m very grateful to have this ride.”

Of the Developing Jumper Series concept, Payne concluded, “I think it’s critical to have these classes. In any sort of developing series, I think it’s critical for the success of this country’s future. At the moment, it’s far less expensive to develop them over in Europe. I think then we are in a pigeonhole for sure because either you’re going to pay an astronomical price for a top-quality horse, or generally the ones for sale are second tier because the best ones are identified early and are not sold. I think for us to have a parallel developmental track, it makes it a bit more economical to get them off the ground and it should follow with a much stronger team in the years to come.”

Lambre and Casino N Continue Success in $35,000 1.45m Power & Speed CSI 5*

The $35,000 1.45m Power & Speed CSI 5* saw top honors awarded to Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Casino N, as the pair dashed through the finish to stake claim on the first FEI class of the week. Lambre and the 2007 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Careful x Nicky), owned by Aurora De Alba, completed the short track in 31.695 seconds, ending the day at the top of the leaderboard.

“I went toward the beginning of the class,” commented Lambre. “I think that helped us a bit because the class was long with over 60 riders. I thought that the course was technical with the double vertical in the second phase, so it wasn’t so easy for us.”

The horse belongs to Lambre’s wife, Aurora, but he took over the ride for her as she is currently expecting a baby. “Casino is for my wife and I started to ride him about 6 months ago. He is a High Amateur horse, and she will start to ride him again when we get to Wellington,” he said.

Second place was captured by Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) and his own Collin, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Colandro x Oberlina) in 32.064 seconds, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) rounded out the third-place position aboard Don’t Touch Du Bois, a 2009 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Virginia) owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy, stopping timers in 33.284 seconds.

Lambre has had a successful few weeks at TIEC, winning the $35,000 Horseware® Ireland 1.45m Classic CSI 2*, as well as the $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2* during Tryon Fall III.

Lambre stated, “We were here for the summer and have been here for the past few weeks. The horses know the arenas and are comfortable here.”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Can Arrogate Defend His Breeders Cup Classic Crown for the Final Time?

Photo source: Clockers Corner via Twitter.

By James Hall

The Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate is one of the stars of thoroughbred racing and is aiming to clinch successive Breeders Cup Classics when he takes to the track at Del Mar on November 4. The lucrative race is set to be Arrogate’s final outing before heading to stud at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky. The multiple Grade 1 winner faces stiff competition from Steve Asmussen’s Gun Runner, who will be aiming to crash the party and steal the headlines.

Arrogate’s trainer enthused about his chances in the race and was left beaming following a successful workout at Santa Anita. “That went perfect,” he declared after watching his charge travel the six furlongs in 1:13.20, whilst rider Rafael Bejarano boldly declared, “He’s ready now.”

After clinching a track record during his first ever Stakes race appearance, Arrogate was always destined for the top and the Baffert-trained horse will be hoping to end on a high after a mixed 12 months. Success in the Dubai World Cup in Meydan was followed by two underwhelming performances (by his high standards) which both came here at Del Mar. Some are blaming the track for the fourth place in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap but the four-year-old must prove his credentials and ability to bounce back at this particular venue on November 4th.

Arrogate’s last competitive action came here at the end of August when finishing behind Collected in the Pacific Classic Stakes, going down by half a length.

Whilst all eyes will be on Arrogate, the Baffert stable comes into this race extremely strong-handed as they aim to land the $6million prize-pot on offer to winning connections. They are likely to pitch Collected, West Coast and Mubtaahij into the contest and all three thoroughbreds are likely to be in the top six of the betting. The latter is an Irish-bred five-year-old who will be aiming to make it back-to-back successes in Grade 1 company after taking the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita at the beginning of October.

Source: JSC Communications via Twitter

Gun Runner is the current favourite for the one and a quarter mile contest and is fancied by many punters to steal Arrogate’s thunder. He has also been working out at Santa Anita ahead of the Grade One contest completing five furlongs in 1:00.40 and reportedly looking “fantastic” according to XBTV reporter Camilla Yakteen. She later added that the horse has a “huge reach”.

Trainer Steve Asmussen was equally impressed by his charge, claiming, “Gun Runner looked great galloping out throughout the wire; he cooled out nicely.” He comes off the back of successive Grade One victories, including making all in the Whitney and Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. The stable will be desperate to avenge the narrow defeat to Arrogate in the aforementioned Dubai World Cup back in March.

Another fascinating rematch arrives in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, where the Wesley Ward-trained Lady Aurelia comes up against Marsha once again, with just a nose separating the pair in the Nunthorpe at York racecourse earlier in 2017. It will be a debut Breeders’ Cup for both trainer Sir Mark Prescott and jockey Luke Morris and they’ll be hoping to make a winning start at the annual meeting.

No European representative has ever been successful in the Turf Sprint and the pair will be aiming to set records tumbling this year. Another British hope likely to be partaking in the Breeders Cup is Ribchester, although the Richard Fahey trained four year old also has an entry for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot’s Champions Day, a race in which the horse will be the 15/8 second favourite according to racing analytics site Timeform.

Arrogate is undoubtedly the star of the show once again and the Baffert stable appears to be pleased with his progress ahead of the showdown with Gun Runner. Despite a poor couple of runs here at the track, the four-year-old does have a victory to its name here at Del Mar but that success came back August 2016 when starting 1/10 favourite in an Allowance Optional Claimer, finishing narrowly ahead of Kristo. The Asmussen horse is the narrow favourite but Arrogate will be determined to add one final triumph to his already glittering racetrack record.

Paulo Santana and Una Du Keske Z Ride to Victory in $10,000 TackNRider Stake

Paulo Santana and Una Du Keske Z. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography & PBIEC.

Wellington, FL – October 18, 2017 – Paulo Santana of Wellington, FL and Una Du Keske Z earned top honors in the $10,000 TackNRider Stake at ESP Fall I at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), topping the class with a time of 47.664 seconds in the jump-off and adding four faults to their score. Penny Brennen of Bruhl, AL and Beaujolais Du Ruet, owned by Santata Stables LLC, finished in second place with a time of 47.902, also adding four faults to in their jump-off round. Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL and Tuja 6 rounded out the top three with a time of 55.551 seconds and an additional ten faults.

Perla Boord of Key Biscayne, FL and her own Charlie XVIII topped the Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Classic with a time of 36.518 seconds in the jump-off round, while Mateo Coles of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and V.I.P., owned by Daniela Roy, stopped the timers in 33.729 seconds for second place. Moira Maclean of Key Biscayne, FL and her own Quinam Des Etisses earned the fastest four-fault trip in the first round after finishing in 72.453 seconds.

The Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic saw Clara Vidal of South West Ranches, FL and Carneyhaugh Riddle, owned by Daniela Roy, finish atop the class as the only combination to contest the jump-off. Mariana Herrera of Loxahatchee, FL and Tango, owned by Laura Maria Herrera, collected second place after adding a single time fault to their first round score. Samantha Palermo of Merritt Island, FL and QRHF Elleana, owned by Kelly Simpson, finished in third place after dropping a rail for four faults in the first round and stopping the timers in 71.042 seconds.

Robyn Hannigan of Celebration, FL and her own Copacabana took top honors in the Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic after completing their short course trip in 47.775 seconds. Dolores Funes of Wellington, FL and Chantilly, owned by Samuel Parot, took second place honors with a time of 47.832, while Paige Coles of Boca Raton, FL and her own Chicago 88 rounded out the top three with a time of 48.206 seconds.

The Accuhorsemat Child/Adult Jumper Classic saw Isabel Sanchez of West Palm Beach, FL and her own Chino rode to top honors in the class after finishing their jump-off track in 44.457 seconds. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. of Wellington, FL and Queretaro 2, owned by Gut Einhaus, LLC, finished in second place in the jump-off after dropping a single rail and stopping the timers in 42.679 seconds. Ashley Anzulewicz of Tampa, FL and her own Fleur Royale took third place as the quickest four fault combination in the first round with a time of 87.348 seconds.

The UHealth Children’s Hunter Division was topped by Isabella Watson of Lake Worth, FL and her own Worthington as the pair took divisional honors while Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL and her own Alleala finished with reserve champion honors.

The Adult Amateur Hunter Division saw Eliza Eddy of Lighthouse Point, FL and Madewell, owned by Richard Cunkle, finish as the division champions, while Eddy also took reserve aboard Cussini, owned by Lili Halterman.

Ashley Briggs of Loxahatchee, FL and her own All Wrapped Up finished atop the #1 Education Place Junior A/O Hunter 3’3″ Division ahead of Madison Wanicka of Palm Beach, FL and her own Robin Hood, who finished a strong weekend with reserve champion honors.

Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Rose Gold, owned by Lisa Lesko, captured champion accolades in the Large Pony Hunter Division. Emma Vandenhouten of Plantation, FL and her own Spiderman finished in reserve.

The Gold Coast Feed Performance Hunter 3’3″ Division saw Isaac Leffkowitz of Ocala, FL and Cartington, owned by Edward O’Connor, finish atop the weekend’s division. Leffkowtiz guided Pianist, owned by Kat Chrysostom, to reserve champion.

The USHJA Hunter 2’3″ & 2’6″ was championed by Courtney O’Brian of Rineback, NY and Right On Q, owned by Karen Walcott. O’Brian also guided Charm City, owned by KEQ, LLC, to reserve champion.

For more information please visit www.pbiec.com.

Bank of America Challenge Championships

The American Quarter Horse Association, October 17, 2017 – The 25th running of the Bank of America Challenge Championships took place at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on October 14 and saw a hometown hero conquer the biggest event of the night.

Iowa-bred stallion The Fiscal Cliff romped to a three-quarter-length victory in the $330,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) for Iowa City, Iowa-based owner and breeder Tom Lepic.

This is the third time the championship event has been hosted at Prairie Meadows, and it featured horses from all over North America. The horses must earn invitations to the event by placings in regional race competition.

The Fiscal Cliff is a 4-year-old son of PYC Paint Your Wagon out of the Shazoom mare Signs Zoomer. He qualified for the race by winning the July 4 Bank of America Canterbury Championship Challenge. He cruised 440 yards in this race, over a sloppy track, to win in :21.297 for trainer Kasey Willis and jockey Benito Baca.

“Thank you so much, AQHA,” said Lepic after the race. “Thank you for being in Iowa; thank you so much for letting us run on our home turf.

“He’s going to California for the Champion of Champions (at Los Alamitos Race Course),” Lepic added. “To have an Iowa-bred do this, on his own turf in this kind of conditions, is unbelievable.”

Baca is the program’s year-end high-point jockey.

“It was a dream trip,” he said. “He stepped away and all I had to do was hold on the whole 440. He’s an awesome horse to ride.”

The Fiscal Cliff has earned $564,875 in his career, while winning 13 of 23 career starts.

Horses competing in the Challenge Championships underwent and passed hair testing.

“This is evidence that AQHA’s stance on integrity is effective, and a high percentage of horsemen wish to abide by our rules,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber.

Other winners on Challenge Championship night include:

  • Dauns First Desirio, winner of the $180,000 Adequan® Derby Challenge Championship (G3) for owner Rogelio Carbajal Santos of Thornton, Colorado; trainer Julio Corral and jockey Cesar Gomez. The gelding by Desirio is out of the First Down Express mare First Daun Express, and was bred by Dan and Jolene Urschel.
  • Jess Paint Your Lips, winner of the $105,000 Boehringer Ingelheim Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and breeder Michael Pohl of Colorado Springs, Colorado; trainer Stacy Charette-Hill and jockey Jorge Torres. The 4-year-old mare is by Jess Louisiana Blue and out of the Corona Cartel mare Paint Your Lips.
  • Carris Cartel, winner of the $131,300 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) for owner and breeder Nancy Carrizales of Harlingen, Texas; and trainer Edelmiro Carrizales and jockey Santos Carrizales. The filly is by The Louisiana Cartel and out of the Strawfly Special mare Shesa Wicked Gypsy.
  • Zoomin Racer, winner of the $105,000 AQHA Distance Challenge Championship (G1) for owner and trainer Fernando Carrete of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and jockey Ricky Ramirez. The 4-year-old gelding was bred by AQHA Past President Jerry Windham and is by Jess Zoomin and out of the Runaway Winner mare Racing Winner.

For more information on American Quarter Horse Racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Coleman and Smith Earn USEF CCI3* and CCI2* Eventing National Championship Titles

Will Coleman and Tight Lines (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

O’Hanlon Claims CCI3* Victory at Fair Hill International Three-Day Event

Fair Hill, Md. – The show jumping phase proved influential for CCI3* competitors on Sunday at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, with Will Coleman and Tight Lines claiming the title of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Champions. Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius remained unaffected by the challenging show jumping phase to close out a start-to-finish win of the CCI2* division.

In the CCI3*, the leaderboard shuffled to put Canada’s Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High on top as the winning pair of the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event. It was a rollercoaster weekend for O’Hanlon (Ontario, Canada), as she bounced from first to second and back on top again with Foxwood High, a 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding owned by John and Judy Rumble. Ultimately, the CCI3* win and a $15,000 prize were hers for the taking after she added three deliberate time penalties in Sunday’s show jumping to finish on a score of 44.0.

Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and Tight Lines were crowned The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* National Eventing Champions and second overall at the 2017 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event after a faultless show jumping round left them on their dressage score (46.3) as the highest placed American pair. As the national champion, Coleman will also receive one free, round-trip flight to Europe, for one horse from The Dutta Corp.

“He was magic yesterday on the cross-country. I was thrilled with how he ran. He made it feel like it was well within his capabilities, and today he just tried his heart out,” Coleman said of The Conair Syndicate’s 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. “I think the horse’s biggest attribute is that he just gives 100% all of the time. He’s not the simplest, but he really tries. As long as you can harness that the right way, you can do some good things. We’ll just try to reproduce it now over and over again.”

A clear round catapulted Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Christine Turner’s 10-year-old Trakehner gelding Tsetserleg to third place in the CCI3* for The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* reserve champion title. A score of 46.1 in the dressage and 1.2 time penalties on cross-country gave them a final result of 47.3.

“He’s a newer horse for me,” Martin commented on his talented partner. “He just doesn’t wow you at home, but when you get to a competition, this horse all of the sudden grows to about 17.2, he jumps as high as you want to jump, and moves like Totilas. We saw that this weekend at Fair Hill.”

Smith’s (Murrietta, Calif.) show jumping trip proved successful on Sunday as she completed a wire-to-wire win in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship with Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius. The nine-year-old Trakehner gelding ended the weekend on his dressage score of 40.9.

“I’m thrilled. He was perfect in every phase, and I couldn’t have asked him to be better. He show jumped today like a million bucks,” Smith said proudly.

For Smith, a win like this means all the more for the horse’s owners, Pamela Duffy and Donald Trotter of Sunsprite Warmbloods. “The owners have a fairly small to medium breeding farm in southern California, and Pam [Duffy] is very diligent about breeding horses and what horses she acquires for the sport,” explained Smith.  “I’m just really happy for them. It’s been kind of a long road to get here, so I’m thrilled for them.”

Coleman and Off The Record moved nimbly around Sally Ike’s winding show jumping track to finish in second place in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship. The Off The Record Syndicate’s eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding avoided jump penalties throughout the weekend for a final result of 49.8.

“Anytime you finish a three-day event on your dressage score, I think it’s a major accomplishment,” Coleman said proudly. “This horse has done it twice this year, which I’m really proud of. There are some things we will try to improve on over the winter. He’s been consistent this year, and that’s something we can hang our hat on.”

Matthew Flynn (Reddick, Fla.) and Get Lucky, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Flynn Sporthorses, steadily climbed the leaderboard through all three phases, ending the competition in third. Only 0.4 cross-country time penalties marred their finishing result of 50.4. Get Lucky was also awarded the Best Presentation Award.

“I was really happy with him in all three phases,” said Flynn. “I was disappointed to be one second over [the time on cross-country], but such is life. For him, I’m thrilled. It’s his second two-star event and he’s been third here before, so it was nice to repeat it.”

The John H. Fritz Trophy was awarded to Sophia Click as the highest-placed Young Rider in the CCI2* division. Nina and Tim Gardner’s FE Lifestyle, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding, earned the USEF National Young Horse Championship title for six- and seven-year-old horses. The Small But Mighty Award was given to Colleen Rutledge’s (Frederick, Md.) 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Uno for being the smallest equine to complete the CCI2*.

For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications

Rutledge Gallops to CCI3* Lead at Fair Hill International Three-Day Event

Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Smith’s Control of CCI2* Continues

Fair Hill, Md. – Spectators and competitors enjoyed a thrilling day of cross-country at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, where international pairs proved their mettle over Derek di Grazia’s challenging track. Colleen Rutledge held on to her lead in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship with Covert Rights, and Tamra Smith and Sunsprite Syrius kept their lead in the The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship.

A fast cross-country round gave Maryland native Rutledge (Frederick, Md.) and her own Covert Rights the top position in the CCI3* division. The 11-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding remains on his dressage score (39.8) after a fault-free performance.

“He gets every gold star I could possibly give him. He saved my butt when I got us into trouble, and he was foot-perfect at 90% of the course,” Rutledge commented, noting that she had experience on her side with four-star partner Covert Rights. “Luckily, I know that he’s got the experience behind him. He’s already done two four-stars. He reads the fences. He’s so much more mature now, and he’s so much more experienced now, where I could just gallop down and see the stride from six strides away and attack the fences. That was probably one of the most fun cross-countries that I’ve had in a long time.”

Overnight leaders Selena O’Hanlon (Ontario, Canada) and Foxwood High finished four seconds over optimum time to drop them into second place. John and Judy Rumble’s 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding picked up 1.6 time penalties to sit on a two-phase result of 41.

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) and The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines leapt from 13th to third after an incredible cross-country effort. The 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding continues on a score of 46.3.

“He never lacks run or gallop. He’s just an animal out there. It was a hard course, but I thought it was a proper test. I think it’s a testament for the cross-country riding in this country,” Coleman commented. “It was a difficult three-star, and I’ve ridden a lot of three-stars around the world, and I would put Fair Hill at the very top, in terms of difficulty.”

Smith (Murrietta, Calif.) and Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius were the first combination to come home clear within the time on Saturday’s cross-country. The nine-year-old Trakehner gelding made quick work of di Grazia’s course to remain on his dressage score (40.9) going into Sunday’s show jumping finale.

“I didn’t know what to expect. He hasn’t been in an environment like this before. He was super. He didn’t question one thing. He was spot on. You bring them here to the two-star at Fair Hill and know if you definitely have a three-star horse and beyond, and I definitely feel that,” Smith said of the young horse’s promise.

Following Smith’s lead, Cornelia Dorr (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.) also remained in second place with her own Louis M, a 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding. Dorr piloted both Louis M and her own fifth-placed Sir Patico MH, an 11-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, to double-clear cross-country results.

“My first one, ‘Hugo,’ was amazing. He and I have a wonderful relationship. I felt super-confident with him. It was nice to go out and do all that with him, then be able to make tighter lines on Louis. They were both great and super-fit. I’m happy with them,” Dorr smiled.

Again in the CCI2*, Coleman climbed the leaderboard, this time with Off The Record, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Off The Record Syndicate. The duo completed the course penalty-free to move into third place on a score of 49.8.

“I was proud of him. He’s an eight-year-old horse, and he was second in [The Pedigree Bromont CCI2*] this year, and the last four to five times out he’s been in the top five. So he’s been consistent. That’s what we are going for, for all the horses this year, trying to build consistent performances throughout all three phases,” Coleman remarked. “I think it was a proper test with a pretty good group of horses here. [The Dutta Corp./Fair Hill International Three-Day Event] gets billed as a two-and-a-half-star, and I think people have a lot of respect for it and come ready.”

For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, visit www.fairhillinternational.com.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications