American Saddlebreds Set to Showcase Beauty and Versatility at 2019 Devon Horse Show

Carson Kressley competes in front of a packed crowd at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Photo by Brenda Carpenter Photography.

Devon, Pa. – April 9, 2019 – A vision of spirited beauty and power, the American Saddlebred excels in the show ring, demonstrating two unique gaits to the breed: the Slow Gait and the accelerated Rack. Tracing the breed’s ancestry to the early 1700s, the classic American Saddlebred will once again be showcased in a variety of divisions because of their incredible versatility at the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, scheduled this year for May 23 – June 2, 2019. Saddlebred and Hackney competition will take place from Wednesday, May 29 through Saturday, May 1.

Spectators can expect to see all of the five primary disciplines represented at the Devon Horse Show: Three-Gaited, Five-Gaited, Fine Harness, Park, and Pleasure. The $5,000 Three-Gaited Saddlebred Stake is the most anticipated class of the Walter Mooney American Saddlebred Three-Gaited Section. Any entries that participated in another class of the section can take part in the Friday evening stake at the Dixon Oval.

Characterized by a trimmed mane to emphasize their long and elegant neck, three-gaited horses show in trot, canter, and animated walk. Celebrity Saddlebred exhibitor and judge of the Ladies’ Hat Contest at Devon, Carson Kressley, picked up his first tricolor ribbon aboard Famous Kiss in the Open Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake in 2016.

“I’ve shown in a lot of places, but there’s nothing as special as the crowd support at Devon,” said Kressley. “Showing in front of thousands of people in the Dixon Oval is a thrill like no other. I’ve shown this horse a couple times this season and we’ve been second every time. So, to pull it together and win a big class like this here is a huge thrill. Devon is one of the greatest shows in the country. It’s where you come, watch, and dream of competing.”

Another crowd favorite in the Five-Gaited Section is the $3,000 Five-Gaited Saddlebred Stake, which will also take place Friday, May 31st under the lights of the Dixon Oval. Five gaited horses have been taught two specific four beat gaits that are either performed slowly or with rapid, high steps.

Refined yet powerful, the Saddlebreds will be seen parading through the ring with their natural tail and mane flowing and riders dressed in traditional saddle seat habit. The always popular pleasure classes will also return for exhibitors to view in addition to many hunter divisions and open English pleasure division.

The pleasure divisions are always a favorite for exhibitors and spectators alike as riders showcase their mounts in the Dixon Oval. These events will take center stage Wednesday, May 30th through Sunday, June 2nd. Highlights will include the English Pleasure, Country Pleasure, Three Gaited Show Pleasure, Western Country Pleasure Championships, and the ASB Hunter Country Pleasure. The ASB Hunter Country Pleasure division is rising in popularity and is a part of the World Championship horse show for the first time.

Two years ago, the late Janet Sterba earned a championship title in her division once again, sweeping the Five Gaited Pleasure Championship piloting Born For This. “This is our second year working together,” Sterba said about her at the time 12-year-old mare, CH Callaway’s Born For This. “She’s had a grand career. I’m just thrilled to have a good ride, especially on this mare. I’m blessed to get to show her.”

Fine harness, a discipline where horses are shown at the trot and animated walk in a four-wheeled cart, will culminate in the $1,500 Fine Harness Horse Championship at the Devon Horse Show. Drivers are permitted to wear long dress and suits, accenting the elegance of the drive.

Distinctive traits including mental acuteness and willingness to learn have positioned the Saddlebred as a diverse equine athlete. Revered as the “Horse America Made,” Devon Horse Show is proud to feature the talents of this historical breed.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options, and special entertainment events.

To purchase tickets to the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, email tickets@devonhorseshow.org. For more information, visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

Week II of the Jacksonville Spring Classics Is Underway

Week II of the Jacksonville Spring Classics is a busy one with the $5,000 Marshall & Sterling Classic Hunter Derby with Non Pro Rider Bonuses, $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Glen Kernan Golf and Country Club on the grass grand prix field, and the $35,000 Classic Company Grand Prix presented by EMO Insurance, slated for the indoor stadium complete with VIP seating. A portion of the proceeds from the table sales are donated to a local charity and they sell out fast.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Team Dublin Set to Face Off with Team Palm Beach in Gladiator Polo Championship Final

Photo Credit ©AlexPacheco.

Wellington, FL – April 8, 2019 – Team Dublin sponsored by Horseware Ireland edged Team New York sponsored by Spy Coast Farm for the win in the third Gladiator Polo™ match of the season on Saturday, April 6, pushing them into the season finale to be hosted this Saturday against Team Palm Beach sponsored by Five Star Builders in U.S. Polo Assn. Coliseum at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Team Dublin outpaced Team New York to finish the game on a final score of 20-18.

The Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final will be hosted on Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m.

A children’s Ninja Polo™ match featuring Team Miami vs. Team Buenos Aires will be hosted before the start of the final game. General admission and parking are free.

Team Dublin, who was victorious in their first game over Team Los Angeles sponsored by Alugha, headed into this weekend’s match requiring an all-out effort from their talented team roster of Juan Martin Obregon, Tito Ruiz, and Mariano Obregon in order to move forward to the final game of the season. The trio came from behind in the first chukker and maintained their pace of play throughout the six chukker match. New York’s Pelon Escapite registered the first tally of the game before Juan Martin Obregon put Dublin on the board.

Holding Team New York scoreless in the second chukker, Team Dublin went on an eight-point streak to lead 12-6 heading into the third chukker. The match evened out in the fifth chukker with Team Dublin only holding a two-goal lead heading into the last minutes of play, but rallied to add three scores pulling them within reach of the win. Mariano Obregon was awarded with MVP honors presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

The Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final is expected to be a fast-paced and intense match-up between this year’s two best teams. Team Palm Beach has notched wins in two stellar performances this season and Team Dublin hit their stride as a team following their well-played match against Team New York, dethroning the early season favorite.

Team Palm Beach boasts a strong roster featuring arena veteran and inaugural first pick of the 2019 team draft, Tommy Biddle, who plays alongside talents Toro Ruiz and Geronimo Obregon. Team Dublin has shown their team grit in their first two matches and will need to bring their best game to the arena for Saturday’s showdown.

The Ninja Polo™ match featuring Team Miami vs. Team Buenos Aires will be hosted before the start of the Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final set for this Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. General admission and parking are FREE.

To view the full Gladiator Polo™ 2019 schedule, click here.

To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.

Chris Ewanouski and Binja Take $35,000 ProElite Spring I Grand Prix at PBIEC

Chris Ewanouski and Binja. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – April 9, 2019 – Chris Ewanouski of Wellington, FL and Binja, owned by Castle Point Farm LLC, rose to the top of the leaderboard in the $35,000 ProElite Spring I Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) after dashing through the jump-off timers in 45.057 seconds. Lauren Tisbo of Wellington, FL piloted Tequestrian Farms, LLC entry Jeleena de Muze to second place with a jump-off time of 45.228 seconds. Margie Engle of Wellington, FL and her trusty partner Indigo rounded out the top three with a time of 45.307 seconds.

The class saw 28 entries contest the Philip Devita designed track with 11 entries posting a clear effort in the first round to move forward to the jump-off. Ewanouski narrowly edged out Tisbo for the win, but Binja jumped efficiently in the second round to secure their win.

“I felt great after the class. You always feel good after a result like that. The course was really well done for the Grand Prix and Philip did a great job. It worked well for Binja, especially the jump-off,” commented Ewanouski. “She’s normally very fast in the jump-off and I could make a few tight turns. She has a huge stride and there was a long run to the last jump in the jump-off and I made a really neat turn and just galloped as fast as I could at the last fence. It caught her attention just enough, but she’s that fast anyway and the jump-off worked in our favor.

“We’ve had her for about two years. She’s owned by Castle Point Farm, who is a client of ours, Lindsay Strauffus. She showed her in the amateurs a bit last year and I started showing her over the summer. We did some good classes in Kentucky throughout the summer season,” he elaborated on the mare’s performance this past year.

Ewanouski and Binja have produced impressive results together since he took over the ride, but ensured the mare was well-rested and feeling sharp for the ESP Spring Series, which their team felt better suited the mare.

“We laid low during season a little bit and FEI is so competitive. She’s brave and very scopey and is super fun for me to show. We wanted to set her up for success this season, so we decided to have an easy WEF. She showed in some of the national classes with good results at the end of season. We were planning on gearing up for this circuit, which suits her really well. She’s really fresh and not tired and that worked in our favor. She came into last week’s show just a bit fresher than the others I think,” he explained.

As for the future of the pair, Binja is for sale, but Ewanouski will continue to compete her throughout the spring and summer until she’s partnered with a new rider. The duo will look towards an FEI start in May if she is still part of the program, as the owners enjoy watching Ewanouski compete her.

“She is for sale, but I don’t think that we’re in a huge rush. The owners love being able to watch her show and produce good results. She’ll come to KY with us in the spring and potentially do the FEI 2* at Split Rock and we’ll go from there. We base mostly in KY for the summer and do some shows in that area and she’ll go if we still have her at that point. We’d like to end on a high note here and we’re walking away from this win with her feeling really fresh and happy.”

For full results from the $35,000 ProElite Spring I Grand Prix, click here.

For more information on PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Genevieve Edwards Tops $15k 1.35-1.40m Jumper Classic & $5k 1.35m Welcome Stake at Tryon

Genevieve Edwards and Vantablack De Muze. ©AllisonAho/Tryon Resort.

Mill Spring, NC – April 8, 2019 – Genevieve Edwards (Guyton, GA) rode to the top in the $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Classic aboard her own Vantablack De Muze earning a jump-off time of 31.044 seconds at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Jumping in at 31.758 seconds, Aida Sanchez Long (Chattanooga, TN) earned second place with MHS Indiana owned by Dimitri Pauli. Allen Nabors Jr. (Odessa, FL) took third place with Bon Chatsworth Pierre owned by Jessie Mazzoni earning a time of 34.114 seconds.

Among 10 entries with only four pairs in the jump-off, Edwards, the last rider in the round, secured the top score in an exciting jump-off on the course set by Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN). Edwards revealed, “I’ve had ‘Ocho’ since he was four. I bought him as an unbroke 4-year-old off of a YouTube video.

“I brought him through the levels and now he’s really coming into his own at the 1.40m and 1.45m levels. We’re hoping to hit a couple of grand prixs this year. I’d like to shoot for FEI in 2020. He’s like my dog. He actually gets turned out in my yard. He’s like my big pet, and he likes bananas. My husband trail rides him, and he does leadline classes too. He’s awesome; he’s a cool horse,” she concluded.

Click here to view full results from the $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Stake.

For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg Sail to Redemption with CCI 4*-S Win at The Fork

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul Swoop to Advanced Division Win

Tryon, NC – April 7, 2019 – Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg sailed clear through the Cross-Country course to take top honors and conclude CCI 4*-S competition at The Fork at TIEC presented by Lucky Clays Farm at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Martin stopped the timers in 6:47 to finish on a total score of 35.00, improving from a third place rank throughout the week. Felix Vogg (SUI) and Colero earned second place after their clear, 6:54 Cross-Country effort to garner a score of 39.80, while Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Fernhill By Night completed the podium on a score of 40.00. Halliday-Sharp also collected fourth place awards aboard Deniro Z, with a final score of 41.70.

Twenty-six pairs tested the track set by Captain Mark Phillips (IRL), hosted on the White Oak Course at TIEC and mimicking the same course used for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG). Martin was happy for some redemption over a particular sailboat obstacle that he admitted was less distracting than in September: “At WEG I got the wrong ride in, plus there was a lot of other stuff around it to distract the horse and that wasn’t there today, so it was a little bit easier to get him over it today,” he explained.

“But still, it was a good feeling getting over it and I got a big, big cheer from the crowd. I could distinctively hear the owner shrieking, Christine Turner, who has been a great supporter and I could hear her cheering on her horse,” said Martin. “It was good to get that behind [me] and come here, and to be honest the horse, Thomas, is a little bit more seasoned now and a little further on. He’s probably learned a little bit more in the last 12 months, so he feels a lot more seasoned now, so he’s a lot easier to ride.

“He’s not so distracted and I’ve learned how to ride him a bit differently and a bit better, too,” Martin continued of the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner. “It was good to have a win because I had a bit of an awkward start to the year – just sort of bouncing around, a bit injured here and there, and missing a few shows, and it was good to win one, but [it’s] also good to always remember that some of the best horses here chose to run a bit slow to prepare for Kentucky, so we still got a little bit of work ahead of us. But he was good and strong in all three phases.”

Martin allowed that he did plan to go a bit quick due to missing some prior events in the year, but didn’t go “flat out.” He continued, “I thought [he needed] a good run and a bit of a fitness run, but not to go so fast that you risk an injury or anything like that. He felt very, very strong around the whole track and was quite fit. He jumped really well and I think we’re in good shape.”

The White Oak Course, which hosted CCI 4*-S, CCI 3*-S, CCI 2*-S, Advanced, Intermediate, and Preliminary Divisions for Cross-Country, is one that Martin knows very well. “I like it down there. It’s a really, really good track,” he elaborated. “It’s not as easy to ride as you think just because it’s an old golf course, so there’s all these little humps and lumps and the ground is not quite flat. So sometimes it’s a bit deceiving, especially on the galloping jumps, you think you see a good line and then it changes just a little bit just because the undulation of the ground.

Martin concluded, “It was good coming here just with a handful of horses and here for a few days just to concentrate and zero in on them. I think it’s a great show and a great preparation for Kentucky and a really good show for the young horses to get them ready. Obviously, I love this place. On top of that, I think Captain Mark Phillips is such a great course designer and he really knows how to build a good track. I think he’s building better tracks now than ever.”

Vogg was also aiming for another crack at the White Oak Course after WEG and analyzed that Colero “did a good job, but just needs more preparation for the jumps [on the way to them]. I tried to ride him a little bit differently than I did at WEG and I think the mistake at the water [at WEG] didn’t happen at the water, but I think it happened in the jumps before and I couldn’t prepare him that well. I saw it a bit different and rode him differently today and it worked out pretty well,” he recapped.

Having cruised through a competitive track at TIEC, Vogg is feeling well-prepared for his trip to Kentucky. “There’s always something to fix and some little stuff to do that I’ll try to get done in the next two weeks. It’s never perfect, but I’m pretty sure he’s more ready for Kentucky this year than last year, or maybe than he was for WEG,” Vogg conceded of the self-owned 2008 Westphalian gelding (Captain Fire x Bormio XX). “I think the course [at TIEC] is pretty difficult because it’s so quick between fences and so many things after each other, so I think Kentucky will be easier for Colero.”

Halliday-Sharp held on to her podium position in the aboard Fernhill By Night, the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentinus) owned by Deborah Halliday, and finished just behind with Deniro Z in what she was hoping to use as a Kentucky schooling round. “Blackie [Fernhill By Night] was really, really good. He got a little bit sort of tired towards the end, but it would be quite an intense course for him. He hasn’t probably done a course that intense for a while, but I was really pleased. He got a little bit bogged down near where the squirrels were, but he fought for me there, and then he was just feeling like I was running out of push as I got near the end, so I chose the easier route through the water because I thought that was the right decision,” Halliday-Sharp recalled. “He really tried and he’s not a racing snake, so he did the best he could, so I’m pleased with where we ended up.

“Deniro [Z] had a really great round and I was really, really happy,” Halliday-Sharp described of her trip aboard the2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero VDL x French Buffet XX) owned by the Deniro Syndicate & Ocala Horse Properties. “He was just so fast at Carolina, and a little bit wild, and the plan today was to really put the pieces in place 100% with Kentucky in mind.”

Halliday-Sharp was able to hear Martin’s time announced and knew she wasn’t going to be going “quite that fast,” she said. “I sort of went out with a plan and I think executed the plan exactly how I had planned, and I had a super round.”

Though the plan was to go quick with Fernhill By Night and pay more attention to rideability than speed with Deniro Z, their times were within a second of each other in light of Deniro Z’s fitness, Halliday-Sharp revealed. “He was really ridable, and he made it feel easy. I was really thrilled and he finished fresh and never really got out of fourth gear, so it was great! I think I’ve got Deniro [Z] where I want him if I’m really honest.”

Of the course, Halliday-Sharp commented, “I really enjoyed that. It was a good course; it was a good, strong course, intense and basically what we needed before a 5*, so I thought it was perfect. It was a lot stronger than in previous years and I thought that was necessary, so it was good.”

CCI 3*-S competition saw Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness claim first-place honors on the week after their Cross-Country ride for a total score of 33.20, while second went to Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste for their final score of 38.00, and third was awarded to Katie Lichten (USA) and RF Luminati with a weeklong total of 41.10 points.

In the CCI 2*-S Division, Ryan Wood (AUS) and Ruby placed first with a score of 37.00, followed by Will Faudree (USA) and Mama’s Magic Way in second with 37.70. Ryan Wood (AUS) also took third place with Chusinmyconfession with a score of 39.00.

Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul Swoop to Advanced Division Win

Clark Montgomery (USA) and Caribbean Soul flew to a win in the Advanced Division after their fast and clear Cross-Country performance in 6:39 to finish on a score of 38.20, while Boyd Martin (USA) and Long Island T collected second-place honors on a score of 45.70. Third went to Felix Vogg (SUI) and Archie Rocks following their Cross-Country round, returning to their Dressage rank on the week to finish on a score of 48.70.

Montgomery attributed his hectic week to a slightly higher Dressage score to kick off the week, saying, “She [Caribbean Soul] was really good all weekend. To be fair to her, I was packing to go home to Kentucky like crazy just a couple days before we got here, and didn’t get to do my normal preparation for the Dressage, so that was probably my fault. She wasn’t misbehaved at all, she just didn’t have a very clean test, with a couple little mistakes, so we didn’t score as low as we’ve been scoring, but I was still really happy with her.”

Much like his rankings throughout the week, the performance of the 2007 Thoroughbred mare (Cimarron Secret x Ogygian), owned by the Caribbean Soul Syndicate, only got better as competition went on, Montgomery detailed. “For the jumping she was great – she was really, really good. And then in Cross-Country she was absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for her to be better. I mean, her gallop is just the coolest thing I’ve ever felt, for sure. It’s just so easy,” he emphasized. “And honestly, I wasn’t going to go quick on her today and she just loves it. It’s just the speed she operates out of, so I just let her kind of cruise around and she came in that fast. It was wonderful.

“I thought the course was super,” Montgomery said of the White Oak Course. “I thought it was definitely tough enough and big enough and I thought it was the biggest track she had jumped to date, so I was excited to see how she handled it and I like Mark’s courses a lot. They remind me a lot of the tracks you jump in England, with the bolder, forward distances and bigger fences. The setting down there on the old golf course is just absolutely beautiful around the lake, so I thought it was great!”

Martin was pleased with the Cross-Country ride put in by Long Island T, the 2006 Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding (Ludwig Von Bayern x Heraldik XX) owned by The Long Island T Syndicate, but noted that “he’s definitely a little bit too keen and is a strong, feisty wild man” on course. “He still jumped really well, and gave me a good ride. I think he’ll be better suited for Kentucky because it’s a longer and more flowing course, where you can get him to fall asleep a little bit more between fences.

“He’s very strong in the Dressage and Jumping and he’s very game on Cross-Country, but he just gets really strong and a little bit out of control. He’s a hard horse to ride fast,” Martin admitted. “You get baited into wrestling with him and have to steady him up. It could go either way come Kentucky, but you got to be in it to win it.”

Vogg and his own Archie Rocks, a 2008 Thoroughbred gelding (Le Monde x Unbridled Jet), are still getting to know one another but put in a sub-seven-minute Cross-Country ride to regain the podium. Compared to Vogg’s CCI 4*-S mount, Colero, “Archie is really slow,” admitted Vogg, but also “more used to Cross-Country, I think, from racing in his career before.

“There is still a lot of work to do because we don’t know each other that well and it was our second Cross-Country run, but for that he did it pretty well,” Vogg concluded, “and [despite] yesterday’s [downed rails and time faults]. Both my horses did well today.”

Clark Montgomery and Theodoor landed at the top of the Open Intermediate Division with a score of 32.20, with Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play in second with a score of 36.30, then Annie Goodwin and Fedarman B in third with a score of 42.80.

Dylan Phillips aboard Fernhill Fierce placed first in the Junior Young Riders Open Preliminary with a score of 34.80. Second place was awarded to Jessica Ebzery and Share Option with a score of 37.60.

In the Open Preliminary Division, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp landed the blue ribbon with 30.10 points aboard Gorsehill Cooley followed by Kathy Cain, who took second place with Legal Limit on a score of 33.30. Allison Springer and Crystal Crescent Moon took third place with 33.60 points.

The Preliminary Rider Division saw Allison Smith and Gude Affair place first with a score of 35.20. Isabelle Bosley and Night Quality took second place with 36.80 points, and third place went to Campbell Jourdian and Marquet Rise with a score of 45.80.

In the Modified Division, Cornelia Dorr and Prinz S.W. took top honors after finishing on their Dressage score of 25.70, while Ashley Adams and Coronio improved their rank to second to end on a score of 28.40. Sinead Halpin and Stakkato Bronx finished on a score of 28.70 to take home third.

Dominic Schramm and Quadrocana scored first place in the Open Training Division with a score of 20.50. Ema Klugman and Kangaroo Court took second place with 26.20 points, and Ashley Adams took third place aboard Charly with 28.10 points.

In the Training Rider Division, first place went to Payne Murray and Baron with a score of 31.90. Second place went to Emily Shilling and Enchanting Class with 33.00 points, and third place went to Anna Billings and Wexford Cruise with a score of 35.80.

Lena Bruno and Brighid Charity RSH claimed first place in the Novice Rider Division with a score of 28.30. Nell Nicastro and Abecca GS took second place with a score of 30.50. Third place went to Jessica Copland and Silly Wabbit with a score of 31.70.

Dominic Schramm landed another victory for the week, this time in the Open Novice Division aboard Casalto with a score of 24.10. Ashley Adams also added another second place win to her list aboard Princely Perfect with a score of 26.00. Morgan Batton and Sommersby took third place with a score of 26.40.

In the Open Beginner Novice Division, Erin Buckner with Picassi and Aaron Hill with Denali were tied for first place following Dressage, along with Macie Sykes with Delilah’s Boy. Buckner and Hill went on to also tie for first place in the Jumping phase. Ultimately, Buckner and Picassi took first place with 26.40 points. Hill and Denali also scored 26.40, but received second by Cross-Country tie-breaking policies. Sykes and Delilah’s Boy finished in third place with a score of 28.00.

Click here to follow along with live results from The Fork at TIEC.

Guerdat Shows Nerves of Steel to Seal His Third Title

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (centre) celebrates in style with his compatriot and runner-up Martin Fuchs (left) and third-placed Peder Fredricson from Sweden (right). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (36) showed exactly why he is the No. 1 rider in the world right now when holding his nerve under the most intense pressure to take the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019 title at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg (SWE). This was his third time to lift the trophy in the long history of the prestigious series, and his glorious win sees him join an elite group of three-time champions.

He had thrown down the gauntlet when topping Thursday’s opening competition, but a fence down on Friday saw him come into the two-round finale in third place, and two points off Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (35) at the head of the leaderboard. Guerdat wondered if his 11-year-old gelding Alamo was ready to step up to the level of sport they faced. The horse had never jumped courses as big as this before. Course designer, Spain’s Santiago Varela, set them an enormous test, but Alamo didn’t crumble.

“I was a bit unsure going to the final today as this is his first championship and I was a little nervous on Friday after the speed class, but in the end he has been amazing all week!” said the man whose won his first title in Las Vegas (USA) in 2015 and his second in Gothenburg a year later.

There were only five first-round clears, and Guerdat moved into pole position when Alvarez Aznar dropped out of contention with two fences down, and second-placed Swede, Peder Fredricson (47), faulted once with Catch Me Not at the bogey water-try vertical at fence 10 on the tough 13-fence track to the dismay of the crowd. But the home hero and reigning European champion was still very much in the hunt, in third carrying five penalty points as round two began with Guerdat at the head of affairs carrying two, but only a single point ahead of fellow-countryman Martin Fuchs (26) and Clooney who had three on the board.

You could hear a pin drop when Fredricson returned to take on the simply colossal second-round track, but there was an explosion of sound when he brought his grey gelding home with nothing to add. The Swiss pair now had no breathing space: any mistake would ensure a Swedish victory, but Fuchs didn’t falter, Clooney showing all the class that secured individual silver for his talented young rider at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA) last September.

Now Guerdat had no room for manoeuvre – nothing but a foot-perfect run would do. Alamo showed a little inexperience on the way but there’s nothing quite like a horse that gives you everything it’s got, and the Dutch-bred did just that to bring it home.

“It’s up to the horse to jump the fences, so I really tried to focus on my riding and give the him his best chance, and he responded really well,” Guerdat said. He’s growing ever-fonder of Alamo, although he admitted that the horse he holds closest to his heart will always be his great partner Nino des Buissonnets who carried him to Olympic glory in London seven years ago.

It was a bit of a frustrating result for Fuchs because he has now finished second in two major events, last year’s World Championship and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final. “But if I have to be beaten it is great if Steve wins; he is my friend and training partner. Clooney was amazing; he jumped both rounds easy; he is one of the best horses in the world. Two times second place is already a great achievement, and I am already looking forward to the European Championships this summer!” he said. That top step of the podium will surely come their way very soon.

But it was Guerdat who reigned supreme, and he now joins an elite group of three-time World Cup winners that includes Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning, Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, and Austria’s Hugo Simon, the man who won the very first title in Gothenburg in 1979.

“When I was young, I used to dream of winning the World Cup, and when I finished second twice I wondered if it would ever happen. So when I won in 2015 it was very special, and to win here in Gothenburg the next year was even better, because this is such a great show; the crowd is like nowhere else and the atmosphere is unbelievable. To win three times, and to do it in Gothenburg again today – this makes me very proud!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Cesar Parra Brings Sir Beckmann Up through the Ranks, Winning Again AGDF Week 12 CDI

Cesar Parra and Sir Beckmann (Photos Courtesy of Performance Farms)

Wellington, FL (April 6, 2019) – The 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will go on record as another successful season for Dr. Cesar Parra of Performance Farms.  Well known in the international dressage community for always having a stable full of happy talented horses, Parra continued to gracefully dance his way into the winner’s circle on some of the most willing equine athletes around. Most recently, Parra’s success has been with the big, gorgeous Hanoverian gelding, Sir Beckmann (Sir Donnerhall x Witchita).  Bringing this young horse up through the ranks over the last few years has been a joy for Parra, and he feels Sir Beckmann is coming into his own.  His outstanding performances in the FEI Tests for 7-year-olds during Week 10 of AGDF showed off the pair’s hard work. “The horse felt really fantastic with such amazing gaits,” Parra recalls about Sir Beckmann. “He did everything nice and clean overall.  I am very, very pleased with him. I love him very much, and I’m looking forward to what he’s going to bring in years to come,” he adds.

Receiving gait scores of 9 on trot and 9 on canter, Sir Beckmann stepped up and made his rider proud. Parra describes that showing as a 7-year-old can be challenging, but his horse was up to the task at hand. “The 7-year-old classes are a little bit different from the 4, 5 and 6-year-olds. In the 7-year-old, you have two sets of scores,” he explains. “One set of scores is about the gaits and normal things like with the 6-year-olds, but then you have another score sheet which is as if you were in a Prix St. Georges. So, a 7-year-old has almost the same requirements as a Prix St. Georges, which is pretty intense and demanding for such a young horse.”

Parra goes on to say that he is looking forward to bringing Sir Beckmann up further through the ranks as he matures. “The plan is to be very vigilant in his development and training to make sure he keeps loving what he does,” he explains. “We really want to have a happy athlete. We want him to have harmony, and we want him to be comfortable.  I don’t think he’s learned yet how to fully move through his body, so that’s what we’re working on,” Parra continues.  He also explains that he’s only planning to show Sir Beckmann once a month going forward. “I don’t want to show him too much because I don’t want him to get sour at the shows,” Parra describes. “I want him to be happy in the show environment.”  Parra also says that he’s added a little something extra to Sir Beckmann’s training program. “I’ve been taking him on a lot of trail rides, which in the beginning was a little scary, but it’s getting better and better!” he smiles.

The extra time, love, and attention that Parra gives to all horses in his charge is consistent with his personal philosophy, as well as that of the classical training methods of Performance Farms. Parra’s philosophies by which he conducts his life are discipline, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, sharing, and strength of character. These are the same qualities he tries to pass on to the students and staff who make up his team. The Classical Training Methods are those taught by the old Masters and perfected by some modern-day riders. These Methods are based on the Training Scale: Relaxation, Rhythm, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness, Collection (Losgelassenheit, Takt, Anlehnung, Schwung, Geraderichtung, Versammlung).  This Training Scale is the foundation of the Classical System and of Parra’s training philosophy.

Located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and also Jupiter, Florida, Performance Farms provides its clients with full-service training programs that are tailored based on the needs of the individual horse and rider combination. For more information, visit www.piaffe-performance.com.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Parra
Piaffe-Performance Farm
(410) 977-8352
DrCesarParra@msn.com
www.piaffe-performance.com

Strzegom Eventing: 4-Star Class for the Netherlands

Mateusz Kiempa with Libertina. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

Good Rides from Polish Athletes in Lower Classes

Strzegom, Poland, April 7: Tim Lips with the 13-year-old Bayro was unbeatable in the CCI4*-S class during Strzegom Spring Open. Mateusz Kiempa (POL) has won the 3* class with Libertina.

The Dutch rider has taken the lead after the dressage trial, went clear on the fences during the cross country with penalty points for the time, and the showjumping test with a clear round on Sunday proved him to the best of all, and secured his leading position in the class.

“It was Bayro’s first start of the season. I know my horse is a super star. We had a great start in the dressage already. About the cross country, I think it was a very nice course for the beginning of the season, Bayro is a very experienced horse and it felt easy for me. Today in the showjumping he did a great round and gave me a fantastic feeling.”

Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) finished in the second place with Calle 44. Third place was at question during the three trials. French rider Aurelie Riedweg was third after dressage. After cross country her position was taken by Andreas Dibowski, who then finished the showjumping with two knockdowns, giving up his third place to Katrin Khoddam-Hazrati (AUT) with Oklahoma 2, coming up from her fifth position before the last trial.

Polish riders outside the top ten. Mariusz Kleniuk with the Polish-bred Winona was the highest ranked Polish athlete in the class, finishing at 11th.

Strzegom Spring Open began the eventing season in Poland this year. Almost 250 riders from 21 countries, including China and Japan, competed in six international and five national classes of different difficulty levels, and almost 350 horses have galloped through the hippodrome in Morawa during the 4 days of the show.

Mateusz Kiempa was the best in the CCI3*-S class with the 10-year-old Libertina. The Polish athlete took the lead after dressage, but exceeding the time allowed on the cross-country course cost him his leading position and placed him at sixth. He took back his position in the showjumping, where he went clear, winning the whole class. Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) was second with Bart L JRA, and third place went to the current Polish national champions, Jan Kamiński with the Polish-bred Senior.

The CCI2*-S class belonged to Dutch riders. Myrle Schoones with Dimitri won the class, second place went to Bjinse Benderbosch with Vesuve d’Averyon, and Antonia von Baath (GER) finished third with Freddie C. The best Polish athlete in the class was Wiktoria Knap, who finished 6th with Quintus 134.

The first place in the CCI1*-INTRO class went to Vanessa Bölting riding Baumann’s Filou. Mateusz Kiempa with Pitagoras took the third place.

Two international classes for ponies were also played out during Strzegom Spring Open. Luna Richter (NED) with Rolsteds Viola won the CCIP1-S class, and the win in CCIP2-S went to Siw Kaas (NED) with Hesteklewa Be My Best Smokey.

Online results: http://eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/results/2019/sso/

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Two Horses and Two CCI4*-S Phases in the Bag for Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp at The Fork

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Tryon, NC – April 6, 2019 – Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) retained control over the first and second-place slots in CCI 4*-S competition at The Fork at TIEC presented by Lucky Clays Farm hosted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), walking away from the Show Jumping phase adding four faults to her score on Fernhill By Night for 28.80 points, and putting in a clear round aboard Deniro Z to maintain her score of 30.10. In third, Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner, are no longer tied for the spot, also going clear and under the time to bring a score of 30.20 into Cross-Country competition on Sunday.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentinus) owned by Deborah Halliday could afford the rail down on the USA’s Chris Barnard-designed course to keep the lead, she allowed, but would rather have saved the cushion for the Cross-Country course.

“Blackie [Fernhill By Night] jumped out of his skin and I thought I had it in the bag,” she explained. “He was my first ride of [three] and I just kind of rolled down the last fence. I had a little bit of turn on him still, and he just twisted the tiniest bit into his left shoulder in the air, which is very rare for Blackie. It was probably my fault; maybe I was a little too casual about it because I thought I had it done – and I know better – but the horse jumped amazing, so it’s not his fault.”

With Deniro Z, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero VDL x French Buffet XX) owned by the Deniro Syndicate & Ocala Horse Properties, Halliday-Sharp was thrilled with his performance on the day and looked ahead to her Cross-Country round with Kentucky in mind, saying, “Deniro [Z] really needs a good prep run for Kentucky. I don’t plan to run him slow because I don’t think that would suit him. I need to get him a little bit more with me; he was a bit of an animal Carolina. He’s like an airplane now; he’s so strong and has so much power and I just need to make sure he’s sort of listening to me and that I can put him in the same place looking ahead to Kentucky, so that will be my goal with him.

“With Blackie, I’m gonna have a damn good crack and try and make the time and try and take him to the win,” Halliday-Sharp elaborated. “I think it’s a stronger track than Carolina, in my opinion, and I think there’s a lot more to do than there was at Carolina, so it will take some riding for sure, especially if you’re going fast. I’m just gonna go out and try to give them a really great run and lots of confidence and kick on,” she concluded.

“I had an up and down day,” said Martin. “The two horses I was worried about having tough rounds on jumped like bunny rabbits. Contestor and Tsetserleg, they were fantastic. My two reliable jumping horses were a little bit spooky today!”

Martin detailed that Tsetserleg can be a little bit tricky in the combinations, so the morning’s preparation included “popping him through a couple small, sort of novice-like combinations over and over again, and it just got him thinking, waiting, and slow. And then the two combinations [on course] and here arched really well. I was pleased that he jumped not only clear, but in good fashion. I think leading into Kentucky it’s not so much the result, but the feeling they’re giving you when you ride them.”

Martin is hoping to carry that good feeling into the competition, which seems to be overshadowed by one obstacle that didn’t go well for Martin during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 at the venue last year, he noted. “It’s a very weird thing. Last year’s [WEG] was just a horrible memory here and it was only one jump. It’s a very weird sport because one jump can just destroy emotion or feeling and everyone’s moral for months and months and months, so it’s good to be back here, to be honest.

“Obviously, [for] the boat in the water, I really want to give him a good ride there. I’ve probably gone over that jump [in my mind] more times, you know, what I did wrong, or what could have happened differently than any other jump I’ve ever jumped, so [I’m] looking forward to going in there and riding that in a better way,” Martin remarked.

The obstacle looming in his mind is not the only thing Martin needs to pay attention to while on course, he continued. “Then, [in light of] the horses going to Kentucky, I think giving them a slightly quicker round because the ground will be good, and make sure that they’re thinking good. Sometimes if you ride them real fast, the next time you ride them, they’re a bit out of control, so I’ll try and give them a good blow out here – a good fitness run – but then also schooling them a little bit so that they’re waiting and thinking for you. It’s a catch 22,” he concluded.

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection Rise above Competition in Advanced Show Jumping ahead of Cross-Country

Lynn Symansky improved her ranking to first in the Advanced Division following Show Jumping aboard Under Suspection, adding four faults to bring a score of 31.20 into Cross-Country competition going forward. Second place after two phases belongs to Ariel Grald aboard Leamore Master Plan, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master IMP IHR x Cavalier Royale) owned by Anne W. Eldridge, on a score of 31.40, while Boyd Martin and Long Island T sit in third with a score of 32.50, adding eight time faults to score for the 2006 Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding (Ludwig Von Bayern x Heraldik XX) owned by The Long Island T Syndicate. Martin also holds fourth place aboard Contestor, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contango x Killer Jer) owned by Denise Lahey, on 34.30 points.

Symansky and the 2004 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Exorbitant XX) owned by Mary Ann Ghadban were slated to sit in second before Will Faudree and Pfun withdrew from competition, but now enjoy a top placing that Symansky said wasn’t really her focus, but is nice to have.

“She was good. I totally take credit for the rail we had down – she jumped really well; I just didn’t ride across the back rail of that oxer. But yeah, she tried really hard. It was good to get in a little bit more atmosphere because she’s been to places that were a little bit quieter, so it was good to get in here and practice in a venue that really prepares you for Kentucky,” she commented.

“The plan tomorrow would be to have a good run that prepares her for Kentucky. I don’t really have the clock in mind; the chips kind of fall where they do. I’m excited to ride around the track tomorrow – I rode it on a horse I knew very well last year, and this is one I’ve had the ride on for about a year now. The venue looks great, too – the ground is great and the courses look awesome.”

About the venue in particular, Symansky mentioned, “This place prepares you so much. Especially for young horses to come see this kind of venue, and the courses and the footing are really good, with jumper classes going on at the same time so you could even bring young horses or students, too. It’s really is a fantastic venue for all levels and experience.”

Grald was pleased with her mount’s performance on the day, saying, “My horse jumps super and is very careful. He gets a little strong, but I’m lucky that he really tries over the fences. There’s a lot of atmosphere in that arena, but I thought it was a great course that challenged accuracy,” she recalled. “I didn’t give him the best ride going into the final line, but he took care of himself and dealt with the mistakes. He jumped really well.”

Heading into the Cross-Country competition, a favorite phase for both Grald and Leamore Master Plan, she noted the course contains both size and accuracy-related questions to tackle. “I’m looking forward to going out and getting galloping. There’s a lot of big jumps out there that are going to be fun, but there are some good accuracy questions, too. He’s really good at Cross-Country. He loves to gallop and he’s brave. I think it’s going to be a great set up for future spring events, too,” Grald concluded.

“I had two good rounds,” Martin recapped. “Contestor is pretty green and he went in there as the first horse of the day and jumped like a bunny rabbit. I was thrilled with him because it’s been a bit tough in show jumping for him in the past.”

He continued, “Long Island T was really good in there; I was very happy with him. He did have two poles down, but he just nicked them. One was the back rail of the triple bar, which I set up a bit too early, so that one was my fault and then he knocked an oxer right at the end. I felt like he was making a really good show; he was trying. It doesn’t look that good on the score board, but he gave me a good feel. I’ve still got a bit of homework to do with him before Kentucky if we take him there, but all in all, I was happy with both.

“The rain yesterday is going to make the turf sensational,” Martin predicted of the Cross-Country course. “It’s a real test, but we’re gonna have to ride every stride of the course.”

The CCI 3*-S Division leading pair remains unchanged after a clear Jumping round for Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, sitting on a score of 27.60 to maintain first position. Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste continue to hold second with 29.60 points, while Therese Evans (USA) and Clover Joe are third with 31.50.

The CCI 2*-S Division saw Courtney Cooper (USA) aboard Excel Star If Never in first with a score of 36.30, while Dasha Ivandaeva (CAN) jumped to second aboard Kingcarra Cooley Diamond to remain on a score of 36.70, and third place stands with Ryan Wood (AUS) riding Ruby, sitting on 37.00 points ahead of Cross-Country.

Click here to follow along with live results from The Fork at TIEC.

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