Category Archives: Events

Canadians Clinch Pole Position in First Qualifier

Yann Candele and Theodore Mancaias (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Team Canada posted the only zero score in the first qualifier to claim pole position going into the title-decider at the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP). On a day of high drama, The Netherlands, USA, France and Germany were next in line when they all finished with four faults, while Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland claimed the last three qualifying places with eight faults apiece.

Team Ireland also finished with eight, but their slower combined times saw the country that claimed team gold at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) four weeks ago line up ninth, and just outside the qualification zone.

As the last side of 15 into the arena, the Canadians had the best of the draw and Yann Candele (46) got them off to a flying start with a clear round riding Theodore Manciais. Another from Tiffany Foster (33) with Tripple X was followed by eight faults for Chris Pratt (48) and Concorde. But with the best three scores to count, it was 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze (49) who wrapped it up with a fault-free effort from Coco Bongo.

Canadian Chef d’Equipe, Mark Laskin, admitted however that he wasn’t entirely confident about how things might play out. And he was more than pleasantly surprised with Candele’s opening effort.

“We had a couple of question marks, a couple of unknowns – some of our horses and riders were not available to come. And Yann Candele, that was only the third time he’s ever ridden that horse, that was the first course he jumped with it, and this is the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona! With Yann I always said I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a couple of rails down, so to come through like that as first rider, it really gave us a spark!” — Mark Laskin (Team Canada)

Candele has his own way of going about things, as his team manager explained.

“He’s been traditionally our lead-off rider because he doesn’t count strides, he just adjusts; he improvises. Even after he went into the ring he did some numbers (of strides) that we weren’t planning, and Eric Lamaze said to me, ‘Why do we even walk the course with him? He might as well just go in and wing it!’” — Mark Laskin (Team Canada)

It seemed that the French would also share a zero score, but last-line rider Roger Yves Bost was disqualified for using hind boots on his horse that weren’t in accordance FEI regulations. But the 2016 Olympic team gold medallist and 2013 European champion will still be part of the French side on Saturday night as that is a separate competition.

Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the United Arab Emirates will line out for the honours in the Longines Challenge Cup which is always guaranteed to be a thriller. But for the Canadians, and the seven other qualified nations, it’s all about lifting that very special Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping trophy the following night.

Mark Laskin is hopeful for Canada in the Final, but he’s not prepared to anticipate too much. He said:

“Anything can happen once you get to the dance! We don’t get ahead of ourselves; there are clichés for a reason because it’s a good way to think: one step at a time, one round at a time; we’ll see what happens.” — Mark Laskin (Team Canada)

Mark Laskin – Team Canada, talking about his team’s chances of winning the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping title: “I’m very happy we qualified; in fact definitely ecstatic! We’ll be there on Saturday night; we are fighters!”

Lauren Hough – Team USA, talking about the course: “This is a fantastic course builder (Santiago Varela). That triple at the end is quite fearsome, but I think it is very jumpable.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Entry Deadline Approaching for National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship

Photo: Geoff Teall, Chairman of the Equitation Committee for the National Horse Show.

Lexington, KY – Sept. 25, 2017 – Entries for the inaugural National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship close on September 29, 2017.

The Championship will take place on Sunday, October 29, in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park and will not require riders to be prequalified to participate. The prizes that will be awarded at the end of the class will include a trophy for the winning rider, the winning rider’s name inscribed on a commemorative trophy that will be proudly displayed at the Kentucky Horse Park Museum, as well as a commemorative cooler for the top 10 finalists. A Trainer’s Award will also be presented to the trainer of the winning rider.

“I am very excited for the National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship class,” said Geoff Teall, Chairman of the Equitation Committee for the National Horse Show Association. “Not only does this class help a whole new tier of riders utilize the equitation division as it was intended, as a learning tool, but it also exposes these same riders to the history and tradition of both our sport and the National Horse Show. Going forward I anticipate this class will become a great and comfortable stepping stone for our young riders of the future.”

While no qualifying classes will be held for the 2017 event, qualifying classes for the 2018 Championship will begin September 1, 2017.

Please email Cindy Bozan at cindy@nhs.org with any questions.

For 84 years, the National Horse Show has hosted the ASPCA Maclay National Championship competition, the most important event in equitation. These finals consistently highlight the country’s top junior equestrian athletes who will go on to be the future professional American equestrians. With the addition of the National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship, riders who have dreams of becoming the next winner of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship will have the opportunity to hone their skills in the same ring as their 3’6” counterparts.

“We are thrilled to support the National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championships in its maiden year,” said Jennifer Burger Senior Vice President of the National Horse Show. “This class represents a wonderful opportunity for young riders to compete at our event and we are excited to see the competition grow to become an integral part of the equitation legacy at the National Horse Show.”

With $810,000 in prize money offered, this year’s show has been designated a CSI-W 4* show by the FEI and the International Open Jumpers will compete for almost a half a million dollars in prize money. For the sixth year in a row, The National Show Hunter Hall of Fame has named the CP National Horse Show the ‘Horse Show of the Year’. In 2017, the top-rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000.

For information regarding the National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship competition and its rules and regulations, click here.

Dom Schramm and Ryan Wood Win US Open Arena Eventing at Central Park Horse Show

(MAHWAH, NJ) – September 24, 2017 – Land Rover North America returned to the heart of New York City as the official vehicle of one of the world’s most iconic equestrian events, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Following three days of thrilling world-class action, Dom Schramm riding No Objection and Ryan Wood aboard Alcatraz were crowned champions of the inaugural U.S. Open Arena Eventing twelve team competition in front of a sell-out crowd under the world-renowned New York City sky line.

The two-round competition incorporated both show jumping and cross-country elements of the sport, as riders, paired into teams of two, contested an Intermediate level track set by renowned course designer Captain Mark Phillips. The top six teams, based on cumulative time from round one, where brought back for the second and final “money” round for the overall prize fund, which they split based on the final rankings in the second-round speed competition. The competition ran with a faults-converted format, adding two seconds to a team’s overall score per jumping fault. Winning riders Schramm and Wood earned the title of U.S. Open Arena Eventing Champions.

“The inaugural U.S. Open Arena Eventing competition proved to be an exciting thrill ride for the crowd tonight at the Central Park Horse Show,” said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America. “The final round was a massive crowd-pleaser and a real nail biter as the two-man Australian team galloped across the finish line setting the pace for the rest of the teams to chase down their time.”

Third place Chelsea team member Oliver Townend [GBR], when asked how this event compared to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials: “I’ve never been to New York in my life and its very special to be here as it’s such a unique setting and so is Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, so it’s worlds apart but two very special places.”

Winning East Village team member Dom Schramm [AUS] said: “I didn’t really know what to expect. I was thinking: Central Park – how do you run a horse show with cross-country jumps in the middle of the City? We both just went out there with an open mind and were pumped up and were ready to put it on the line and it paid off.”

Fellow team member Ryan Wood [AUS] commented: “It was pretty amazing – I’ve got to take my hat off to my team mate here Dom [Schramm]. Arena eventing is a great sport as it can all be seen in one setting and it’s pretty exciting. We will both be back here next year – no question!”

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group, said: “Eventers are always fun to work with, and they were all excited about this. We got eight of the top ten U.S. riders, and eight or nine Olympians, and we were able to put this together in a way that I think was very interesting, and with a high level of quality.”

Spectators that attended the iconic Central Park location throughout the weekend not only witnessed some of the world’s best event riders in action, top-class Show Jumpers also took to the ring to display their enviable talent in the U.S. Open $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex which took place on Friday evening. In a tense final round, Kent Farrington produced a stunning round aboard Creedance to lift the coveted Grand Prix trophy under the lights of the City that never sleeps.

Speaking after the class, Farrington said: “This is a very special venue, very impressive for the horses. Warming up in the back of the park and walking across in the dark, some of them are a bit star struck so luckily we have a very good course designer. He built a fair course for us and I’m very happy to get out with a win.”

When asked about his decision to donate his winnings to the hurricane relief effort, Farrington remarked: “I am a resident of Florida; my mum lives there and had to relocate to New York to stay with my sister after the hurricane. We were lucky that the hurricane relocated to the other side of Florida but some others weren’t so lucky. I feel very fortunate to be travelling the world and competing for prize money. This event is all about showcasing our sport and I thought it was a great opportunity to do something for people that could use it.”

To learn more about the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, please visit: cphs.coth.com.

Hardin Towell and Lucifer V Win $40k US Open CSX FEI Speed Class at Central Park Horse Show

Photo: Hardin Towell and Lucifer V.

New York, NY – September 21, 2017 – The second day of the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) featured international and national show jumping competition, showcasing top equestrians from around the world on Thursday, September 21, in the heart of New York City’s Wollman Rink.

The evening was presented by CSX, highlighting the $40,000 U.S. Open CSX FEI Speed Class, which saw a win for Hardin Towell (USA) and Lucifer V, as they opened elite show jumping competition for the week. The evening’s competition also featured the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, which saw Emanuel Andrade (VEN), Kama Godek (USA), and Todd Minikus (USA) split the victory three ways after each cleared the traditional brick wall at a height of 6’9″ inches. The $5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Class was topped by Mimi Gochman of New York, NY aboard Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s entry, Avoloma BH.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA), course designer of the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, returns to Wollman Rink as the show jumping course designer for this week’s national and international competition. The U.S. Open $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class saw 30 horse and rider combinations take to Wollman Rink for their first night of competition, including some of the world’s very best, highlighting rounds by Kent Farrington (USA), and McLain Ward (USA), alongside rising talent Lucy Deslauriers (USA), who finished in a competitive fifth place.

The winner of the U.S. Open $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class, Hardin Towell (USA), guided Evergate Stables’ Lucifer V, a 2006 Westphalian gelding (Lord Pezi x Grandina), improving upon the pair’s third place finish last year and crossing through the timers in 53.53 seconds. Towell was the last entry on course and ultimately overtook Daniel Bluman (ISR) aboard Bacara D’Archonfosse, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Asca Z x Queen D’Archonfosse) owned by Kim Douglas and Alexa Schwitzer, who stopped the clocks in 55.75 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Bijous Van De Vijfheide) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, rounded out the competition in third place, finishing in 55.98, adding four faults to their converted time.

“I felt the course was nice. It had a twisty turning start, but it wasn’t so big and my horse has been jumping big classes all year,” he said. “Tonight was a very competitive class, but I had a lot of confidence in my horse, so I took some shots and it was fantastic. I felt he was pretty quick to the second to last jump, and I thought my turns were nice. Last week at Gold Cup I only got third, but I didn’t trust my horse or myself through the first line and in the second line I had the third jump down. I would’ve ended up third even if I’d gone clean, so today I decided to believe in my horse. I felt fast today and I knew it was quite good.”

Towell and Lucifer V have been partnered together for several year and amassed top finishes around the globe in international competition. The pair has excelled during the summer season and Towell felt that the size and structure of the ring helped the duo secure the win and spoke to the versatility of Lucifer V.

“He’s a very diverse horse. In big fields like Spruce Meadows, he’s also great. He doesn’t have the biggest stride, so in an arena like this it’s even better because he’s quicker in the turns, but this is quite a good ring. I’d also like to add that Daniel is one of my very close friends and we’re very competitive, so it’s always fun to win, but to beat one of your friends is even better,” laughed Towell. “I’m not going to lie, the reason I really tried was because Daniel was winning, and he’s won enough the past couple of weeks.”

Bluman is also coming off of a very successful European tour, like his friend Hardin Towell, and was pleased with Bacara D’Archonfosse and her performance, as they look towards the $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex.

“The mare jumped really well again tonight. We’ve been jumping great the past few shows and winning some classes. I walked the course and like Hardin said it wasn’t too big,” he explained. “I got to see Kristen [Vanderveen] go after me and she had a beautiful round and was super-fast. At that point I figured Hardin would get me at the end. He’s a competitive guy. We work together and grew up together, and I knew he was going to try and he got me, so I’m happy for the second place, happy for him, and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Bluman explained that though the mare is a serious competitor in the competition arena, she’s extremely relaxed outside of the ring. He commented, “Hardin and I were joking in the warm-up that if she were a horse used for transportation two hundred years ago, it wouldn’t do. She doesn’t want to work because she’s so relaxed. It took her twice the amount of time to get from stabling to the ring than any other horse, but she goes in the ring and she knows what she has to do. She’s a competitor and she likes to win. She allows me to do my job. She’s really fantastic horse who always wants to jump clear.”

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili were incredibly close to stealing the win in Wollman Rink and used the tight course to their advantage, posting the third fastest time despite knocking the first rail at the one-stride combination.

“He is super-fast and the small ring here actually plays to his advantage because he’s really quick on the turns. I felt that we were very tight everywhere and he ended up catching me off guard by the end of the course. He was so ready for the turns that I cut him a little too aggressively at the combination and it caught up with me,” she explained. “But I was very pleased with him tonight. He’s so rideable for me. He’s listening all the time and asks where I want to go, and that really helps in a ring of this size, and with his size as well. He’s right where I want him.”

Emanuel Andrade, Kama Godek, and Todd Minikus Split Top Honors in U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance

The evening’s competition concluded with the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, which saw a three-way tie between Emanuel Andrade (VEN) aboard Clouwni, a 2003 Holsteiner gelding (Colman x Odessa XVII) owned by Andrade, Kama Godek (USA) and her own De Grande, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Verdi x Concorde), and Todd Minikus (USA) piloting VDL Excel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Douglas and owned by Autumn View Farm.

The class boasted five entries that began the competition at a wall height of 5’3″. All five entries contested a height of 6’9″, before Andrew Kocher (USA), and Paul O’Shea (IRL) were eliminated in the fourth and final round of competition.

“I started to train last year and I had an equitation horse,” smiled Godek. “I got an email asking if anyone wanted to do the Puissance at Central Park and I mean say no more! I had another client riding this horse in the 3’6″ Equitation and I knew he jumped big. I practiced a couple of times last year and we came back to win this year!”

Emanuel Andrade and Clouwni

Emanuel Andrade, a notable name on both the national and international show jumping circuits, contested his first Puissance class under the lights aboard his own Clouwni, ultimately clearing the massive wall set at 6’9″.

“This was my first Puissance and it was very exciting. It was impressive the first time I jumped that wall, but after that I started getting confident and it got much better. It was huge! I’m very happy about it,” he said. “I’m very happy about the group of horses that went this year. They were all so good.”

Veteran of the group, Todd Minikus, guided a young talent in his string in the class, also clearing the impressive wall at its top height. At only eight-years-old, VDL Excel looks to be a strong contender for the future and Minikus commented on the experience for both horse and rider under the lights in Central Park, while thanking class sponsor Spy Coast Farm for the opportunity.

“I’d like to thank Spy Coast Farm for sponsoring this. We all really appreciate it and the crowd seems to really appreciate it,” said Minikus. “I rode a young horse tonight. We just started doing some smaller grand prix and this is great for giving the horses experience under the lights.”

The revival of the Puissance in New York City was sparked by the once popular National Horse Show hosted at Madison Square Garden for many years. Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group (IEG), felt it was necessary to keep the tradition alive in Central Park, once again bringing the entertaining brick wall back to the iconic city.

“The National Horse Show used to be here and no one can replace that show, but we are hoping in time we can bring that type of energy with us to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” he commented. “This is the opportunity to do that, so last year we decided to add the Puissance class. It’s a great thing to have in this sport. It engages the crowd and gives people something to root for that they understand. It’s simple, if you leave the wall up, you move on to the next round.”

Spy Coast Farm, a sport horse breeding and training operation based in both Lexington, KY, and Wellington, FL, was a first year sponsor of the U.S. Open $50,000 Puissance class and Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm was on hand to discuss their participation in the event this year and discuss her love for Puissance, which was sparked by watching the entertaining class at the Dublin Horse Show each summer.

“I was so happy that we got this group of riders this year and we were so thrilled that they all came out. That’s what the Puissance is all about. If you don’t have good riders and good horses, then the class falls flat. We had the right group tonight, and that’s what it comes down too,” she said. “I called Mark after watching the Puissance at the Dublin Horse Show and told him that I was in for Central Park because it’s such a fantastic class.”

Mimi Gochman and Avoloma BH Ride to Win in $5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Class

The night commenced with the $5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Speed Class, which awarded a victory for New York City’s own Mimi Gochman, piloting her new mount, Avoloma BH, a 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare (Quasimodo Z x Voloma) owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.

“I used to have parties in Wollman Rink for my birthday,” commented Gochman. “It’s amazing to see the transformation from an ice skating arena to an amazing show with a beautiful backdrop. It’s such a privilege to be able to show in the middle of New York City. Central Park has always been a fun place to hang out, but I never imagined I’d be riding in a horse show here.”

Of her round, Gochman said, “It was a nice course. It was a little complicated with the angles but our trainer really helped. She told us where to go and set us up for the best possible route, so that was very helpful. She’s a new mare for me, and we’ve had a lot of success so far. I’m really starting to figure out what she likes and doesn’t like. She’s game for anything and she always tries to jump her best. She’s just a really good mare.”

Gochman completed the track in 52.97 seconds, almost three full seconds ahead of the second position finisher, Alexandra Crown, also of New York, NY,  who rode her own Quentucky Jolly, a 2004 Selle Francais gelding (Nirvan V x Fabiola Depinette), to second place on 55.82 seconds.

“I got this horse in the middle of July,” said Crown, “We’ve only gone to about five shows together or so. He’s incredibly competitive and he’s very good at venues like this. He’s comfortable with the tight rings. This worked out in his favor, but we still couldn’t beat Mimi. That was fast! We gave it a go and he was fantastic, so I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

The class continued with an impressive New York native streak as Sophie Gochman took the third place slot aboard Wirina, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harlem x Sarina) also owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, after finishing the course in 55.87 seconds.

“I’ve been competing against Mimi for basically my entire life,” commented the eldest Gochman sister. “This doesn’t really change anything. I’m always rooting for her and she’s always routing for me. Tonight I was just taking one for the team. Whoever wins, it’s still good because go team Baxter Hill!”

For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

Central Park Horse Show Crowns US Open Arabian Champions

Brooke Fuchs and EQ Escalade earned the win in the Arabian Mounted Native Costume class. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

New York, NY – September 20, 2017 – The fourth annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) began on September 20, in New York City’s Wollman Rink with U.S. Open competition celebrating the versatile Arabian. Aljassimya Farm proudly presented the third annual U.S. Open Arabian competition at RCPHS, showcasing the natural beauty and athleticism of one of the world’s oldest and most notable breeds.

The evening began with the Arabian Mounted Native Costume class, impressing and entertaining the spectator audience as they experienced both horses and riders galloping in traditional dress used centuries ago. A number of classes were offered throughout the night and included under saddle competition featuring Hunter Pleasure Pro/Am, Western Pleasure Pro/Am, and Country English Pleasure Pro/AM, as well as in-hand and halter competition. Classes alternated between performance classes and in-hand competition. In-hand competition saw Junior Mares, Junior Stallions, Senior Mares, and Senior Stallions presented to a panel of judges. Gold, silver, and bronze medal champions for each division were honored throughout the evening.

The Arabian Mounted Native Costume class saw Brooke Fuchs pilot Dr. James Blevins and Kimberly S Butler’s mount, Eq Escalade, to top honors. The silver medal was awarded to Squeezebox, owned by Mary Elizabeth Kelly and exhibited by Virginia Goodwin, while the bronze medal went to Hawk Haven Farms’ entry, the 28-year-old HL Sanction, exhibited by Cathy Vecsey.

Melissa Fry’s mount Harry Trotter, exhibited by both John Ryan and Fry, was awarded the gold medal in the Arabian Country English Pleasure Pro/Am competition, which saw the largest number of class of entries. “This is my second year being back after 17 years away from Arabian horse competition,” said Fry, who hails from Annapolis, MD, of her winning ride. “To be doing this after only the second year back – it’s just such a perfect experience. The Arabian has always been a part of my life, so I’m just so proud to be here representing the Arabian breed.”

The silver medal went to Katherine Kirby and Kirby Arabians LLC’s entry CP Manifesto, piloted by Joshua Shino and Katherine Kirby. Dr. Nancy O’Reilly of Amazing Horse Woman LLC’s entry, CSP Hennessy, took third with Jim Lowe and Nancy O’Reilly in the irons.

After traveling all the way from her hometown of Montecito, CA, Dr. Nancy O’Reilly said that Wednesday night’s ride was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “I ran the New York Marathon here, and now I’ve ridden in Central Park. My bucket list is getting smaller,” she laughed. “This has been a wonderful event. You can’t make stuff like this up. The story will get better and better as the years go on. The horses that are here and the trainers that are here, they’re the best. This is what it’s all about. Being surrounded by people who love horses and who love their horses. Those are the people you want to be around.”

The J. Frank and Sara Chisholm entry from Palmetto Arabians LLC, PA Kid Khan, earned top honors in the Arabian Western Pleasure Pro/Am class, taking the gold medal for a second consecutive year at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show with riders Rob Bick and Janie Heslep. Holdin Aces, owned by Joelle Wright of East Manor Arabians and piloted by Tommy Garland and Ray Price, took the silver medal, while the bronze medal was awarded to PA Appalonia Dancer, riders Tim Phelan and Lisa Gaudio, and owners Lisa Gaudio and James Kazanjian.

In the Arabian Hunter Pleasure Pro/Am class, PA Mayhem, ridden by Caralyn Schrotter and Brooke Hines, earned the gold medal for owner Debra Hines. The Combs Family Trust entry Wize Beybe, guided by Daniel Weeks and Christina Balch, earned silver medal honors, while Kim Bergeron of Rollingwood Farm’s Ggrand Slam, piloted by Charles Ethier and Kim Bergeron, received bronze medal honors.

The Arabian Junior Mare Halter class saw top performance from Ted Carson and Geneva CS, owned by Jeff and Sybil Collins and James and Kay Smith Collins. The silver medal went to MD Mirka, presented by Michael Wilson and owned Manuel Durini Medrano. The gold medal in the Arabian Senior Mare Halter class went to Rodolfo Guzzo and Triana, owned by Triana Holding LLC. The silver medal standing went to Sashaa LHT, presented by Michael Wilson and owned by Frank Hennessy, Hennessey Arabian Horse Partners LLC.

Baha AA, owned by Baha Partners LLC, and Andrew Sellman were presented with the gold medal in the Arabian Senior Stallion Halter division to conclude the evening’s competition, while Ted Carson and Tempezst, owned by Nichole Mesik, captured the silver medal. Arabian Junior Stallion Halter saw yet another win for Ted Carson, this time earning the gold medal with SF Baahir Jawhar, owned by Chloe and Al Cox of Sycamore Farm LLC.

One of the panel judges, Graham Smith (AUS), commented on the high caliber of Arabian horses displayed in Wollman Rink. “It’s been a great experience. The facility is amazing, and I give that credit to the organizers,” he said. “New York is New York and what a great place to promote not only the Arabian horses, but also the other disciplines as well. The level of talent we saw tonight was very high. I was happy with the placings and the horses are competitive.”

Nancy Harvey, President of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), was a first-time attendee to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show and commented, “I was amazed at the quality of the horses, and just the ambiance of the entire facility was wonderful. Everything was amazing. I don’t have enough superlatives to describe this experience.” She continued, “I think an event like this is exceptionally important for the outreach that it provides. A lot of people in this city never get to see horses, let alone Arabian horses. It’s wonderful to see the support that the Arabian community gives to each other, and if we can show others that these horses are important to us, we’ve done our job,” she concluded.

For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

Full results from the 2017 U.S. Open Arabian presented by Aljassimya Farm are available at www.arabianhorseresults.com.

Central Park Horse Show Welcomes Back US Open $50k Puissance on Sept. 21

McLain Ward and ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z clear the Puissance wall at the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Photo Credit ©MegBanks/RCPHS.

New York, NY – September 14, 2017 – The U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance will return to Central Park for the second consecutive year, showcasing the courage and finessed communication between participating horse and rider combinations. Always a spectator favorite, the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance will begin after the conclusion of the U.S. Open $40,000 CSX FEI Speed on Thursday, September 21, and is set to start at 9:00 p.m. in Wollman Rink.

The competition will begin with a traditionally decorated brick-wall obstacle set at 4 feet, 6 inches high. As combinations clear the jump, the wall is raised for reach round and the thrilling competition continues until only a single combination remains. Who will clear the towering wall as it grows taller and taller? Join us and find out!

Last year’s competition saw a tie for McLain Ward riding Evergate Stables’ ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z and Andrew Kocher aboard Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia. Seven entries started over the imposing Puissance wall and the competition continued up through four more rounds as Ward and Kocher jumped head-to-head at the final height of 6’9″. Neither rider was able to clear the wall at that height, leaving them tied for the win.

Ward entered 2016’s competition at the last minute, though he’s no stranger to Puissance competitions. In fact, he has won many (including seven times at the Washington International Horse Show), and noted that the highest he has cleared is a staggering 7’3″.

“I also attempted to jump an 8-foot wall six different times, but never cleared it. I have no intention of doing that again!” Ward laughed. “2016 was interesting though, because I thought in the second to last round my horse jumped it better, and I thought in the last round Andy’s horse jumped it better. So it was pretty even at the end. I thought it was a nice, exciting class with horses jumping very well.”

Kocher was a first-year competitor at the RCPHS last year, and he had only attempted the Puissance a few times prior. “That mare (C’Havinia) has never done anything like that,” he said. “I have done the Puissance three times at the Washington International Horse Show, and the first time was really bad, but this time I have been practicing for a few weeks. I didn’t have a big enough wall, so I put some hay bales in there to stack it up. It was fun,” he laughed.

Kocher is excited to return to this year’s competition, and commented, “I really like the Central Park Horse Show. It’s just really exciting because it’s right in the middle of New York City, and they have a big crowd. I love the Puissance and I love the high jump. It’s one of my favorite classes and I wish they had it at more horse shows.” He added, “These classes really highlight everything we are supposed to be. We are supposed to be fearless and tough, we have to go out there and go for it.”

Regarding the addition of the Puissance competition to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in 2016, Ward added, “It is a fun way to end the evening. It gets everybody into the competition, and I think the draw of this class is that it is something that everybody can easily understand-how high can you jump?”

For more information on the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, please visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

A portion of ticket sales will benefit a lengthy list of New York, as well as equestrian based, charities.

Seating is limited and the demand for tickets is expected to be high. All seats have unobstructed views. All ticket sales are final, non-transferable; no refunds and no exchanges. Gates open 30 minutes prior to start of event.

For Reserved Seating questions, please contact 1-844-319-CPHS (2747) or email tickets@img.com.

For VIP Table Sales, please contact vip@centralparkhorseshow.com.

Laura Chapot and Lucy Matz Claim Victories at 2017 Devon Fall Classic

Laura Chapot and Out of Ireland.

Devon, PA – September 15, 2017 – Horses and riders returned to the Dixon Oval for another shot at the prize money for the 2017 Devon Fall Classic. Both the $5,000 Speed Stake and the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers were run as pure speed classes, pressuring competitors to lay down a quick and clean first trip. The largest check of the night ultimately went to Laura Chapot, who piloted Out of Ireland to the winner’s title in the $5,000 Speed Stake. Lucy Matz and Bailey VI bested the field in the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class to ride away with the blue ribbon as the leading pair.

Capping off the evening under the lights as the most prestigious class of the day, the $5,000 Speed Stake challenged each contender to ride an effective trip over the 1.40m fences faster than the rest of the pack. Course designer Paul Jewell proposed a lofty series of obstacles to the horses and riders, proving no issue for Chapot and Out of Ireland, owned by The Edge, who blazed through the track in the unbeatable time of 60.446 seconds as the third to enter the ring. Though a series of competitors managed to keep all the rails in the cups for clean trips, none managed to surpass Chapot and Out of Ireland’s clean time except Chapot herself, who nearly outdid herself in the class aboard Mary Chapot’s Zealous. As one of the last to go, Chapot and Zealous laid down a strong performance and the quickest trip of the night in 59.971 seconds, the only pair to break 60 seconds, but unfortunately Zealous clipped the jump standard on a tight turn, toppling the rails to accumulate 4 faults against them.

Ibrahim Barazi and IB Stables’s Softbeat took their turn around the track two trips later, and it appeared that Barazi and his mount may give the early leaders reason to worry until a rail fell near the end of the course, with the pair finishing on 4 faults in a quick 61.125 seconds, the only pair at that point to come within a second of Chapot and Out of Ireland. The second-to-last to go, owner-rider Pablo Mejia and RL Queen Mary looked to pose the greatest threat to Chapot, crossing the timers in a nail-biting finish with all the rails still up, but unfortunately just a half-second too slow in 60.913 seconds, securing Chapot and Out of Ireland’s spot atop the scorecard.

Mejia and RL Queen Mary nabbed the second position behind Chapot and Out of Ireland in the victory gallop, followed by Barazi and his own Omnia Incipit, who finished in a clean 64.183 seconds to claim third position. Chelsea Babcock and Da Vinci, owned by Empire State Equine Sales, LLC, claimed fourth place with a clean time of  66.571 seconds, and Willie Tynan Red Barn Farm, LLC’s KEC City Limits rounded out the top five with their time of 67.228 seconds.

Earlier in the evening, Matz and Bailey VI, owned by Dorothy Matz, made their mark on the 2017 Devon Fall Classic with a win in the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Matz and Bailey VI coasted around the track in a speedy 63.950 seconds, leaving the course intact and setting the standard for the remaining athletes. Three seemed to be a lucky number as, just like Chapot, Matz rode third in the order of go. Jesse Smith and her own Charles Pinckney Windsor Z gave the early leaders a run for their money with their clean ride, but tripped the timers a bit too slowly in 64.518 seconds. With only one pair left to ride, Matz and her mount’s time still stood at the top of the leaderboard as Cynthia McGrath and Mapledale Associates, LLC’s Quinaro, who won the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class, entered the ring. Though McGrath and the towering Quinaro navigated the course faster than any other entrants, stopping the clock in 63.704 seconds, Matz and Bailey VI remained unparalleled as McGrath and her ride rolled rails to drop to fourth position overall.

Smith and Charles Pinckney Windsor Z retained the reserve position, followed by owner-rider Adrienne Marciano aboard Laspari, who finished in 70.380 seconds with 4 faults. McGrath claimed fourth and fifth place with Quinaro and Caruso, respectively.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Mills, McCutcheon, Reynolds Crowned at USEF Reining National Championships

Photo: Matt Mills and Wimps Cool Breeze (Waltenberry)

Lexington, Ky. – Three 2017 USEF Reining National Championship titles were up for grabs at the Tulsa Reining Classic at Expo Square in Tulsa, Okla. Matt Mills and Wimps Cool Breeze claimed top honors in the Adequan $10,000 Added USEF Open National Championship presented by Markel Insurance. In the $2,000 Added USEF Youth National Championship, Kalena Reynolds and Gun Whiz It won the 13 & Under division, while Cade McCutcheon and REF Sturgis were crowned the champions in the 14-18 division.

In the Adequan $10,000 Added USEF Open National Championship presented by Markel Insurance, Mills (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Wimps Cool Breeze performed a great round across the board to impress the judges as they performed pattern nine. Mills and Janice Dickson’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion earned a score of 221.5 to win the championship.

“I think the horse really circled well. It felt like a round where nothing stood out more than anything else. It was a really solid round from start to finish, but if I have to pick something, I would say the circles were very good,” Mills said of his ride on Wimps Cool Breeze. “I have had this horse going for quite a while, and he has always been good in the show ring.”

Mills last won a USEF national championship title in 2006 and was happy to add another accolade to his resume. “It feels great and feels great for the owners. This is their second experience with an FEI/USEF horse. … We are aiming for the WEG [the FEI World Equestrian Games] next year.”

Casey Deary (Weatherford, Texas) finished second and third after finishing one point apart on his two mounts. Deary and Reeboks Rerun, his son Owen Deary’s 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, took the reserve champion title with a score of 219.5, while he and Who Dat Hot Chic, Neiberger Performance Horses LLC’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse mare, finished third with a score of 218.5.

Fresh off his trip to the 2017 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders, McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) rode REF Sturgis to the win in the 14-18 division of the $2,000 Added USEF Youth National Championship. He and Anne-Marie Burns’s five-year-old Quarter Horse gelding had a solid performance of pattern 12 to receive a score of 219.0.

“He was really good. Easy. His circles were good, he stopped well, and the whole round was pretty dang good,” McCutcheon said of his first-ever ride on REF Sturgis. “It feels good. This was my first time in this division, so it was fun to do something new.”

Dani Latimer (Marietta, Okla.) was McCutcheon’s teammate on the Platinum Performance U.S. Young Rider Team at the world championships, and she was not far behind him. She and Sparklin Nite, Elaine Latimer’s five-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, scored 217.5 to be named the reserve champion. Blair Thompson (Amarillo, Texas) and Whiz N Chica Dee, her own eight-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, finished third with a score of 214.0.

In the $2,000 Added USEF Youth National Championship 13 & Under division, Reynolds (Whitesboro, Texas) and Gun Whiz It laid down a good run of pattern 12 to finish atop the leaderboard. Reynolds and Tammy Reynolds’s six-year-old Quarter Horse mare won with a score of 212.5.

“It was very good; we were together on all maneuvers. She was really with me,” Reynolds said. “It’s really amazing! I’m very thankful. I haven’t had this mare very long, but we have gotten along well together.”

Carlee McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and Whatta Royal Vintage, Tom and Mandy McCutcheon’s eight-year-old Quarter Horse mare, were the reserve champions with a score of 208.0.

Find more information at www.tulsareining.com.

By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department

French Stand Firm to Win Last Qualifier in Gijon

Photo: Nicolas Delmotte and Ilex VP. (FEI/Xurde Margaride)

Team France won the last qualifying leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 2 series in Gijon, Spain where, in a roller-coaster of a competition, The Netherlands finished second ahead of Ireland in third.

The French were already out in front on a zero score at the halfway stage, but were being closely chased by Canada carrying just a single time fault. However, the course designed by Spain’s Avelino Rodriguez-Miravalles saw some serious shuffling of the pack as the second round progressed. And the Dutch, lying joint-third with Spain and Mexico, and Irish who were in joint-sixth with Great Britain, were rewarded for holding their ground while those around them lost theirs.

When Kevin Staut (36) and For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC hit the middle element of the triple combination three fences from home and Gregory Cottard (39) and Regate d’Aure lowered the bogey final fence to also collect four faults second time out, then it fell to French anchorman Nicolas Delmotte (39) and Ilex VP to save the day as the best three scores per team would be counted and his side was now carrying four faults. Edward Levy (23) and the fabulous stallion Sirius Black had followed up their single first-round error with a great clear, but only the same from Delmotte would prevent a jump-off against the Dutch who, like the Irish, were fault-free at their second attempt.

“Being last to go I felt the responsibility, but I had confidence, and I had a horse that responded brilliantly!” — Nicolas Delmotte (Team France)

One mistake and France would be on level pegging with The Netherlands on eight faults and forced into a jump-off. Any more than that and victory would be lost. But Delmotte held his nerve to bring Ilex home with a classic clear when posting one of four double-clear rounds on the day.

Ireland lined up third on their first-round total of 12 faults and the Canadians, hampered by second-round elimination for Jaclyn Duff and Eh All or None who had collected just a single time fault in the first round, had to settle for fourth place with 13 faults on the scoreboard. Great Britain (20 faults) finished fifth, Mexico (24 faults) lined up sixth, Germany (28 faults) finished seventh and the host nation (29 faults) finished eighth. Team Egypt collected 18 faults in the first round so didn’t make the cut into round two.

French Chef d’Equipe, Philippe Guerdat, was delighted with his country’s eleventh FEI Nations Cup™ success at the famous Las Mestas Arena in Gijon. “This is a lucky venue for us!” he said.

Kevin Staut FRA (winning team): “I am very happy – this is my second Nations Cup win in this city!”

Shane Breen IRL (3rd placed team), talking about the bogey fences: “Fence eight was like a gate, a stile type fence and it was narrow. There was a roll-back up to it and some lost a bit of balance on the turn and found they didn’t have the space to jump it. It was very light and short and it looked quite tall. The last fence came after the triple bar and there was a floaty six strides to it. It was cleverly designed with a white plank at the bottom and on the top, and some horses slightly misjudged it.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Marilyn Little Maintains Lead in USEA Advanced Gold Cup Division

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – September 2, 2017 – The fourth day of the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® saw another large group of divisions conclude with impressive show jumping rounds, while the remaining horse and rider combinations tackled their cross-country courses at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Riders from the Novice divisions and a single Preliminary division were honored and recognized with final awards, while the Beginner Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced divisions will conclude Sunday, September 3.

Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous produced a double clear show jumping round to keep a tight hold on their lead in front of an enthusiastic crowd, as they head into the final phase of cross-country in the Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup division. The pair made easy work of the track underneath the lights to remain on their score of 27.8.

“I’ve jumped a lot of classes in this ring, and it’s been a lucky ring for me so far,” said Little. “I hope I get luckier, but it’s been a great experience. It’s special to get to bring Scandalous in here to take center stage; she deserves this so it’s cool for me.”

In preparation for jumping under the lights, Little arranged for RF Scandalous, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) owned by Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe & Michael Manders, to travel with her show jumping string to Balmoral Park in Chicago, IL to contest an evening class.

“I actually drove her to Chicago so I could do a night class. I was really glad that I did because it also affected her quite seriously in the warm-up area. She’s just a smart horse and she was a little nervous in the ring under the lights last time, so I didn’t know if she was still going to be that way, but, she’s such a smart horse and she’s a good partner, so she took what she learned and came out really solid tonight.”

Jennie Brannigan continues to sit in second place aboard her longtime and veteran mount Cambalda, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse by Balda Beau out of Cathys Lady and is owned by Nina Gardner. Brannigan, who managed an unusually sensitive “Ping” in the warm-up, encountered some trouble before heading into the ring, but produced a nearly foot perfect round to hold their placing on the leaderboard.

“I had an interesting warm-up. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped that horse under the lights before. He was quite fresh and I thought that was going to be a good thing. I warmed up with Phillip and he was building square oxers. I don’t know if it was the combination of the lights, but I crashed into a jump and fell on my hand,” she explained.

“I know that horse well and I haven’t had a bad warm-up like that ever, but he jumped well, so that’s good. He’s consistent, so I was a little worried about what he was going to do, but he jumped great once we got out in the ring.”

Angela Bowles traveled all of the way from the state of Texas to contest the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena® and was thrilled with her rise up the leaderboard on Bliss III, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Corland x Lenja) owned by Alyssa Phillips. The pair was holding fifth place following dressage, but a strong show jumping round propelled them up the leaderboard where they now occupy third place.

“I’ve been helping Alyssa with Bliss since we imported the horse about three years ago, and I’ve ridden her on and off throughout that time as Alyssa has been transitioning from high school to college. I recently retired my upper level horse and Alyssa has been super busy with school. She has two other horses to ride, so she was really gracious to let me have the ride on her,” explained Bowles. “We targeted this because we were qualified, so we came and I’ve show jumped the horse a lot. I like to do ‘A’ shows in Texas and I’ve done a couple of grand prix classes on the mare. I did the Wellington Eventing Showcase on the mare, so I know her very well and it’s a big atmosphere.”

The pair’s last Advanced level outing together was at The Colorado Horse Park earlier in the month, so Bowles is excited to test the track at TIEC to better gauge where their blossoming partnership stands. She added, “I’m going to go have another look around the course tomorrow. I don’t know the mare as well at this level, so our first Advanced cross-country was a month ago in Colorado. I’m going to get out there in the morning and then make a plan from there.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Open Intermediate

Jennie Brannigan has been busy gathering top finishes across multiple divisions throughout the week, and called this afternoon’s cross-county run a success. “Today was good. I ate some Mexican food, took a nap and woke up to watch Lynn and Donner ride at Burghley on the replay, and I was like, ‘All right, let’s go fast.’ And they’re both cool horses. They’re both only seven years old.

“I’ve always believed in Twilightslastgleam. He loves cross-country and is a Thoroughbred, so he’s quite natural at it. He’s got a smaller step, so there’s a lot of options for doing different strides on this course, so I actually did one set of strides on one horse and one on the other, which is different for me,” she commented.

Brannigan learned that Twilightslastgleam had risen the ranks to first place while she was already on course with FE Lifestyle. “You’re always wondering whether to go for time or not. On FE Lifestyle I knew I was tied for first, but on Twilightslastgleam I wasn’t sure, and then I decided to have a crack at it anyway,” she said. “So we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Both of these are exciting horses for the Gardiners, because we need the future, and they are the future, and it’s cool to see them stepping up to the game and into the spotlight,” she concluded.

Charlotte Collier, aboard Parker Collier’s Clifford M, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cristo x Naomi IV), sits in third after finishing with 3.6 time penalties on cross-country, improving her first day rank by two.

Novice Horse

The Novice Horse division saw Booli Selmayr and Thomas Duggan’s Kildare’s MHS Tampa, a 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Quintender x Lady Ligustra)remain in first place throughout all three phases of competition to finish on top of the division.

“The course today was so nice,” said Selmayr. “It flowed so nicely, made you think a little and not just gallop around. It tests the obedience and the stamina of the horse.”

Despite only working with this horse since the spring, Selmayr says that the young mare has taken to the atmosphere of Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) remarkably well.

“We got here Monday after a 15.5-hour drive from NY, so I was interested in seeing how she was going to be this weekend. It’s such a big atmosphere and she’s just five, but she’s been so calm the whole time. She’s such a competitor and she’s such a workhorse. She doesn’t really get flustered by anything,” she explained.

Next, the pair will finish off the year with Young Horse Championships at Fair Hill. “After that we will take her down to Aiken, and I definitely think she can do a 1* next year. She’s a classy mare and she has the breeding to be a top-level horse, and as long as she’s still happy doing that, that’s what we are going to do.”

Ashley Giles and her own Chayenne, a 6-year-old Trakehner mare (Elfado x Charima), also stayed consistent throughout all three phases to finish in second place. Giles explained that she qualified for this week’s competition aboard Chayenne after competing and winning their first show together with a broken back.

“I got this mare back in November and I was coming back from a three-year eventing hiatus. I started bonding with her, and then we entered our first horse trial. The day beforehand, I broke my back and didn’t figure it out until after I’d competed. She’s a fabulous horse and won that horse trial, and then we qualified, which was our goal all along.”

Coming into the course, Giles was feeling the pressure, she said, but her mount performed beautifully nonetheless. “She was fabulous yesterday, and I thought the cross-country course was super fun, and I loved [how it twisted]. It was super fun to ride. I had never been sitting in this position before going into the final phase, so I was pretty nervous going into show jumping, but she went in, and she did her job. She’s a brilliant horse. Every day that I get to sit on her, I feel lucky,” she concluded.

Jennie Brannigan rode Justine Dutton’s Arctic Tiger, a 5-year-old British Sport Horse, to a third-place finish, moving up from their previously-held fourth place rank and posting two double clear rounds.

“Unfortunately Justine is hurt, so she asked me to take the ride. I had only sat on him twice before this week, and it’s his first AEC, so I know that she was really happy. I’m happy that she trusts me enough to take him out,” said Brannigan. “He’s a great mover, and this was a lot, since it’s a big atmosphere. He was a little nervous out on cross-country, but I was really impressed with him today. He went out and stepped up to the plate,” she concluded.

Novice Amateur

Bailey Snyder and her own Corina, a 7-year-old Holsteiner mare (Acorino x Phaedre), cruised through the show jumping phase to remain at the top of the Novice Amateur division, maintaining the first-place slot they had occupied since Thursday’s dressage test.

“Going into dressage she was just being a star, despite the weather and the rain, and she put in a really good test followed by a super confident cross-country round, so today there was definitely some pressure,” she said. “It’s a great division and scores were all really high, so my goal was to just go in and do the best we could. It was awesome and she was a super star.”

The pair has been climbing the ranks in eventing since Corina came to Snyder as an unbroken four-year-old, and she’s excited to see where they go from here.

“I’m going into my senior year of college, so my goal with her is to just keep her happy and healthy. I’m up for whatever she is confident enough to do. We’ve got an easy fall planned after this, and then we will look to the spring to get to some good shows that we can travel to and see some more exciting venues. We will definitely come back to Tryon to see what she can take on. She’s still a young horse so we are trying to get her more confident and ready to move up,” she concluded.

Savannah Welch and her own Langcaster, an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Languster x Galiffi), maintained her second-place status throughout the week despite a hectic effort to save her horse from the path of Hurricane Harvey. “We are from Houston, so we kind of just threw the horse in the trailer and say ‘we are leaving NOW,’ two days early,” she said.

“It takes him a while to get used to everything because he is also young and is still learning how to settle in with situations like this. With dressage, he did everything right, and I couldn’t have asked more of him,” she commented. “We bought him as a four-year-old that didn’t really know anything and my trainer and I have taken him along, improving his scores and working on his confidence. Now we are just taking his education step by step.”

As a senior in college, Welch said it’s sometimes difficult to keep a strict competition schedule, but she plans to end her fall strong, adding, “Maybe we’ll compete in more Novices and hopefully move up to Training next year,” she concluded.

Krissy Smith Shellenberger and her own Invictus, a 7-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Ibisco x Viness SH) rose from fourth place to claim the third-place slot with a four-fault show jumping round.

Novice Rider

Ryan Bell and Way Jose, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred (Jose x Riverside Charmer) owned by Karen Czarick, climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the Novice Rider division at the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®. Bell, a dressage competitor that recently began eventing, won the division on his dressage score of 25.8.

“I was a dressage rider and I got bucked off a couple of dressage horses, so I got a little nervous riding my own horses and I thought ‘Okay, I really need to push myself out of my comfort zone.’ So, what’s more out of a dressage rider’s comfort zone than eventing? So here we are,” commented Bell. “It feels amazing,” he continued. “I’m a little shocked because I didn’t think it would happen. I think I got lucky, but I tried really hard and did the best I could, so I’m really happy that it all paid off.”

Lenora Evan Hollmann moved up in the standings following cross-country and rode a double clear round aboard her own Christian Grey, a 7-year-old PMU gelding. “He’s such a trier,” said Hollmann, “He’s always there for me. I want to move up to Training with him, but for now we are just having so much fun together enjoying the moment.”

Hollmann adopted the gelding as a 3-year-old from LastChance Corral in Ohio. “LastChance Corral got him at about a week old and so he was a bucket fed baby, and he was sold to me only with the description, ‘has done parades.'”

Liza Bunce and Gail Bunce’s 17-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse gelding, Chance, started out the competition in ninth and made a climb throughout the weekend to end up in third place, adding nothing to her dressage score of 27.3. Of her experience at AEC, Bunce said, “It’s been a great weekend. It’s wonderful for my horse to get this exposure. The course was incredible; the footing was amazing. We really don’t get too much of the opportunity to go from the arena to grass back to the arena. It was so different but so worth coming here to compete.”

Master Novice Amateur

Megan Northrop maintained her first-place position throughout the phases aboard her own Fleur De Lis, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare, to finish on top of the Master Novice Amateur division.

“Show jumping tends to be my weakest phase, and I felt a little rattled coming in on the top. My mare jumped so great yesterday,” she said. “She has grown so much this year. I knew she was brave and I knew that if I just left her alone a little bit, she would go. She got a little too forward on me a couple of times today, and I had to correct that, but for the most part, she did what I asked and I’m really proud of her for that.”

Sarah Wildasin and James Wildasin’s Totally Awesome Bosco, a 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, improved their third-place spot to finish in second. “I was just very happy to remember where I had to go,” she commented. “My horse is amazing and does everything. I just have to steer and go along for the ride!”

Jenny Brinkley and her own Guinness X, a 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, rose from fifth place after cross-country to collect third in the division final. “I have one of those once in a lifetime horses,” she said. “I did the first AEC that they ever held, and then topped out at Preliminary level with him. He was so talented that my trainer took him through Advanced, and then my daughter took him out at Intermediate and was very successful at Young Riders with him,” she continued. “[My daughter] went off to college and then I got him back, and my goal was to get back here to AEC. Now, I’m just happy to be here.”

Junior Novice

Sunny Courtwright and her 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Around Midnight, were crowned the final champions of the 2017 AEC. Courtwright lead the Junior Novice division from start to finish on her dressage score of 23.5.

“Marble was really good today. I just can’t believe this,” said an awe-struck Courtwright. “I loved the course. I was just worried about the distractions, but she was perfect. This whole week has been so fun. It’s gone by so fast and I’m sad it’s going to be over soon.”

Courtwright and third place finisher Suzanne Stevens both ride out of Mike Huber’s Gold Chip Stables in Fort Worth, TX. “It’s really fun to be here with Sonny and my other barn mates from Texas,” commented Stevens.

Kira Cibak and her own October Tryst had a clear round in the show jumping to move them from fourth to second. She and the 11-year-old Morgan gelding finished on their dressage score of 27.8. Cibak said, “This was my first AEC so I was really happy with my horse. We are going to try to move to Training, we are going to try to move up and see where that goes!”

Suzanne Stevens and her own Smokin’ Boots, a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare (More Smoke x Miss Boot Scoot) ended in third on a 28.8. “This is the biggest show my horse has been to, so it’s been a great experience for the both of us. She’s come so far,” Stevens concluded.

Beginner Novice Horse

Amanda Ruane and her own Bally Lord Who, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, maintained their lead in the Beginner Novice Horse division, mastering the track and continuing on their original dressage score of 22.3 to hold top honors heading into show jumping.

“He felt so good today. Cross-country is always his favorite phase,” said Ruane. “The biggest thing with him is that he’s 17hh. He’s a big horse, so we need to work on not eating up the time so quickly. A couple of times I had to check my watch and then say ‘Okay, let’s take a breather and tone it down a notch.’ He’s bold and brave, and he’s a really fun ride.”

Beth Stelzleni and Mighty Handsome, a 5-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Mighty Magic x SPS Whitney) kept their second-place position with a score of 25.8, while Holly Payne-Caravella piloted Benjamin Button, a 4-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Classic Alliance x Lively Lady) owned by Kathleen Hall, also maintaining their 25.8 score to remained tied with Stelzeni for second place.

Beginner Novice Amateur

After moving up from third place, Leah Backus and her own Diamond of Truth, a 5-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Salute the Truth x Mainways Queen of Diamonds), have taken the lead in the Beginner Novice Amateur division heading into the show jumping phase.

Backus bred Diamond of Truth and has enjoyed bringing him along for the past few years, she said, and was excited to achieve her goal of making it to AECs this year. “I liked going up on the hill so that you could look out over the [cross-country] course,” she said about her ride.

“When we got up there, my horse kind of looked out over the field, and our course was going pretty well at that point, so it was pretty exciting. For tomorrow, he’s never been in a ring that big, so I think he’ll be excited. He’s enjoying the show scene, so I think he’ll like it, and maybe he’ll perform extra well.”

Despite two time penalties, Diane Zrimsek aboard her own Coronado Charlie, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Bwana Charlie x Pleasure Hunt), sit tied for second place with Nicole Thomas and her own Here N’ Now, an 18-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding.

Beginner Novice Rider

After two phases Kathleen Bertuna and her own Millye’s Mojave, a 12-year-old OTTB gelding (Mojave Moon x Slew the Dragoness) have moved from third to first place in the Beginner Novice Rider division following their clear cross-country round.

Bertuna was happy with her mount’s focus on the fences and said the course encompassed the many tests of horse and rider she’s seen all year. “There were a lot of tests, from the changes in terrain to riding towards and away from the warm up area, towards and away from the barn area, and the difference between the ring and the wet, sometimes muddy grass, up and down the hill-it definitely tested all those facets that we’ve been working on all year in all the different courses and put them all into one big course,” she explained.

After nineteen years away from the sport and wanting to return on a safe horse, Bertuna connected with Millye’s Mojave last November. The Seattle Slew-bred gelding is “just a prince,” she said, and the pair will likely move up to Novice.

“He is wonderful. He takes care of me and has gotten me back into the business very nicely. At the beginning of this season Beginner Novice was looking really big, but now it’s looking more manageable, so I’m hoping that there will be a nice move up in the spring.” For now, she’s just looking to put in an accurate and forward course in the show jumping phase.

Kymberly Pullen and Sara Webb’s Homer, a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Golden Missile x Zaza), currently sit in second place 1.5 points behind Bertuna, while Amber Duncan and her own Renegade, a 10-year-old paint gelding (Reflecting Merle x Windy’ Rascal Dottie), hold third place.

Master Beginner Novice Amateur

Carrie Griffen continues her lead going into the show jumping round, clutching first place aboard her own Feuertanzer ES, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nicholas x Daybreak) on their original dressage score of 23.3.

Robin Barr and her own Tout Fini, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Purge x Firehouse Waltz), maintain their second-place spot with a score of 24.8, while Cindi Moravec and her own Holloway have a new hold on third place after receiving a 27.3.

Junior Beginner Novice Fourteen and Under

Ashley Stout and her own Deo Volente, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, remain on top of the Junior Beginner Novice Fourteen and Under division following their clear round in the cross-country phase.

Stout commented that her ride was a huge improvement from the pair’s two most recent cross-country runs, so she’s pleased with her mount’s effort. “I felt like it went really well. We were a little looky at some fences, but we managed to get over them and push through it and he was very willing with everything.”

“We were actually a little fast-we had a minute left at the third to last jump, so we ended up doing some circles and making it through with four minutes and thirty seconds. I’m super proud of him,” she explained. “My plan [for tomorrow] is to get through without knocking anything down. I’ve looked at the course, and it’s challenging, but not too bad,” she concluded.

Avery Cascarino remains in second aboard Gloria Cascarino’s Dudley Do Right, a 13-year-old gelding, with a score of 20, while Viktorija Petraitis and Our Little Secret, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding owned by the Petraitis Family, continue to hold third place with a score of 25.

Junior Beginner Novice

Brynn Hershbine and Rowan Edmonds both went around the cross-country without a hitch, so they remain tied for first in the Junior Beginner Novice division. If they both jump double clear in show jumping, it will be Hershbine who is named champion as she crossed the finish line closer to the optimum time of 5:02 with Julie Hershbine’s Cadenza Aria, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Turnofthecentury x Whisper).

Edmonds, riding Liberty Bell, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Hellion x Beth) owned by Michelle Jones was eight seconds faster.

Sydney Lee accrued 1.2 time penalties with Sweet Georgia Brown, dropping her from third to fourth. Carson Birdsong moved up into third with Ballygrace Laralai, an 11-year-old Irish Draught mare (Glenlara x Significadre) owned by Brooke Birdsong.

Preliminary Horse

Jennie Brannigan moved up from second place to finish on top of the Preliminary Horse division concluding with a clear round in the show jumping phase aboard Grayson Wall’s Balmoral Oakey, a 10-year-old Australian Warmblood mare (Falchrich x Diamond Sea Road).

Brannigan explained that Balmoral Oakey is for sale, and that this horse has the potential to move past the Preliminary division. “I knew [coming into today] that she hadn’t had a rail in like two years or something like that, so I was a little bit nervous thinking ‘Wow,’ I’m going to be the one to mess that up,’ but she jumped great. She’s obviously a super horse so I just trusted her to do her job, and she obviously knows what that job is.”

Brannigan has been winning across multiple divisions this week and currently sits in second place in the competitive Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup division aboard her longtime mount Cambalda.

“I was joking around [earlier] because last year I brought a bunch of horses and I think only placed 15th with one of them, so I’d say this year has gotten off to a better start. I’m really grateful for that and I just hope that I can continue to keep things going in the right direction,” she commented.

Leslie Law and Beatrice Rey-Herme’s LCC Vogue, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Kroongraaf x Clear Cavalier), rode to a second-place finish, and he said that LCC Vogue has only done a handful of Preliminary level competitions so far. “We could have gone at this at training level, but I thought that the Prelim would be a decent challenge for him, and would be much more educational,” he said. “He’s a lovely horse and he has an incredible future. I’m excited that he was second. I think that this facility is a wonderful experience for the younger horses, and I think in the end it was all done very well,” he noted.

Third place went to Alexandra Knowles aboard Katherine O’Brien’s Business Class, a 7-year-old Selle Francais gelding, moving up from sixth place after cross-country. Business Class was imported from Ireland at the beginning of this year.

“I actually haven’t done a lot with him due to an injury in March, but he’s an absolutely fantastic horse. He’s cool as a cucumber, and all of the pressure is on me to do it right because if I do it right, he’ll definitely step up to the plate. He cruised around cross-country this week, and was great. I really enjoy riding him and am looking forward to moving up to the next level with him,” she commented.

“I thought the course was very fun, and it was very different from anything that I have done before. I really enjoyed it. The facility is second to none-it’s been a great experience. I never want to leave! Everything you need is here, and it’s beautiful. It doesn’t get much better than this,” Knowles concluded.

For more information on the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover and Nutrena®, please visit www.useventing.com and to learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.