The Ocala Premiere closed the books with high scores in the Hunter Prix and back to back wins in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.
The $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Welcome started the week for the Open Jumper division with Bree Rosales taking the victory. She rode VOIGTSDORFS QUONSCHBOB to a blue ribbon finish with a time of 42.443.
2nd Place: Heren Lee & EVERYDAY HERO
3rd Place: Kaitlyn Williams & VEDOR
The fastest time for the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix went to Brian Feigus with a time of 33.973 on CATOKI to grab the blue ribbon.
The $10,000 1.35m Jumper Classic on Saturday was won by Sarah Meier. She had the blue ribbon round with a time of 39.030 aboard CHANEL.
2nd Place: Savannah Unger & FABIO TN (40.931)
3rd Place: Grant Seger & DR. J (41.853)
Claire McDonald took home the winning round in the $2,500 Pyranha Junior 1.25m Jumper Classic, capturing the win on LUNA.
Bringing home the blue ribbon in the $2,500 Pyranha A-O/AM 1.25m Jumper Classic was Molly Struve. She crossed the timers in 38.872 aboard AURORA to finish with top honors.
Hayley Waters was the winning rider in the $5,000 Summit Joint Performance Jr/AO/AM 1.35m Jumper Classic. She piloted IDALIE VAN DOPERHEIDE across the timers for a top honors finish.
Sima Morgello rode a great jump-off round to finish first in the $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/AM 1.45m Jumper Classic. She was aboard ORIENTALES to catch the first place win.
Aaron Vale returned to the Ocala Horse Properties stadium for $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday and wowed the crowd with a repeat performance of last week’s victory. Vale and MAJOR finished with a time of 45.891 for their second Grand Prix win in a row.
When it came to tough competition and impressive victories, the hunters gave the jumpers a run for their money at the Ocala Premier.
The winning score in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix was close to call, but Alexandra Carroll was able to come out on top of the pack. She was aboard CHINCHINO, earning a first round score of 81. And, when combined with her second round score of an 80, gave her the overall winning score of 161.
2nd Place: Kelly Anne Siock & SANTEUR (159.50)
3rd Place: Lena Rea Reeb & CALL ME (157.50)
Robin Swinderman Mitchell earned the top score for the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix this week. Mitchell earned a first round score of 85 and a second round score of 90 to win the class with an overall total of 175. She was aboard CLASSIC to seal the blue ribbon finish.
Aaron Vale and Finou 4. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Washington, D.C. – October 26, 2018 – The 60th Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 26, with some of its most exciting competition yet, featuring the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, won by Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY on Paola 233. Reaching great heights with victory in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance were Aaron Vale of Williston, FL and Finou 4. The classes were part of a full schedule of exciting competition and entertaining exhibitions during Military Night, presented by Caterpillar, Inc.
The $25,000 Land Rover Puissance is one of the most popular classes at WIHS to attend, and Friday night’s feature class didn’t disappoint. Aaron Vale and Finou 4, owned by Thinks Like A Horse, jumped to a height of 6’11 ½” to capture victory for the third year in a row.
With a small field in the class, it came down to two very game riders that kept going over five rounds of competition. The wall started at 5’9” and was raised to 6’2”, 6’6”, 6’8 ½”, and finally to 6’11 ½”. Vale and Finou 4 stayed clear, while Andy Kocher and Blaze of Glory II, owned by Erica Hatfield, made it to the final round before knocking blocks off the top of the wall to finish in second place.
“I was just hoping somebody could hang in there a while, so we could get a decent class for the crowd. It was great. Andy’s horse jumped it well and hung in there until the last round. It made a really good class and worked out the way that I wanted. I got a little competition, but I still got the blue!” – Aaron Vale
This is Vale’s fifth win in the puissance class at WIHS, with previous wins coming in 1996 with Big Joe, in 1998 on Happyness, and now three consecutive years with Finou 4, who seems to have a certain something that makes him successful over the big wall – despite blindness in his left eye.
“He’s got a lot of ability,” said Vale of the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by For Pleasure. “He’s very limber, plus he’s got a lot of power, so it just seems to be easy for him. I think they could keep raising it, and I’d keep riding him to it.”
Georgina Bloomberg Bests $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final
Riding over a faults-converted speed course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, Georgina Bloomberg and Paola 233, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare by Pontifex owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, sped to victory in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final. The handy grey mare and Bloomberg finished clear in 52.90 seconds, edging out McLain Ward (USA) on Walstib Stables LLC’s Queen Jane, who recorded a time of 53.15 seconds.
Third place went to last night’s winner, 17-year-old Brian Moggre (USA), this time riding MTM Vivre le Reve, owned by Major Wager LLC, in 53.39 seconds. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Catoki’s Son Z, owned by Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein, were fourth with a time of 53.52 seconds. Aaron Vale (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Major were fifth in 54.66 seconds.
Bloomberg used Paola’s natural ability to rise to the top of the class.
“She has a good enough stride, but she doesn’t need to leave out strides. She’s really quick in the turns, and she’s very quick in the air. Given the option, I always play it safe, and I add a stride because I know I can be quicker other places. Really any of the other options of leaving out strides I didn’t love for her. I felt like I could just be quicker by turning and using her natural speed.” – Georgina Bloomberg
With a light competition schedule since the Hampton Classic Horse Show in late August, Bloomberg aimed Paola for WIHS.
“We brought her here with these two [speed] classes at WIHS in mind. This was my goal for her.”
Lexington, Ky. – July 31, 2018 – Aaron Vale was the first rider in the $5,000 Open 1.40m Jumpers during the opening day of the Kentucky Summer Classic and, after putting in a clear round on Sarah Turner’s Acolina R, he wasted no time in completing a very fast jump-off that proved to be unbeatable throughout the remainder of the class. Alex Granato and Beorn achieved another double clear effort that put them in second place, while Christoph Schroeder finished third on Diamant De Revel.
This was the second time in as many weeks that Vale piloted Acolina R to a top placing in the Rolex Stadium. Last week, the pair finished second in the $5,000 Open 1.40m Jumpers Wednesday, ahead of the mare’s strong performances with owner Turner in the Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions. Acquired by Turner four years ago for Vale to show in the grand prix, Acolina R has proven herself to be an incredibly valuable partner for both Vale and Turner.
The class saw several riders that had multiple mounts, including Vale, who also rode Darling GR and Da Vinci. The competitor was able to draw on his past performances with the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare to make a crucial inside turn that no other competitor attempted during the jump off, which ended up giving him the edge over Granato, who also rode three horses in the class.
McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2017 — It was a bittersweet night for show jumping fans as they saw one of the sport’s best in his final competition. HH Carlos Z went out on top with victory in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, presented by the Man O’ War Project in partnership with Columbia University Medical Center. As HH Carlos Z and McLain Ward (USA) entered the arena for their victory gallop, it was announced that “Carlos” would retire.
Riding out of the 11th spot in the order in the faults converted (Table C) format class, Ward and HH Carlos Z, a 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z owned by Double H Farm, finished in 57.77 seconds.
“I love the format of this class,” Ward said. “It’s a 1.50m, but a Table C, so people can have a fence down and still be in the mix. I think it makes it a much more exciting class for the spectators.”
Devin Ryan (USA) and Eddie Blue, owned by LL Show Jumpers LLC, were second in 58.50 seconds, while Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Lady Maria BH placed third with a time of 59.05 seconds.
Following the class, Ward stated, “That’s it. He’s done. He’s given more than he had to give. He’s been an incredible horse, an incredible winner. He’s won everything from five-star grand prixs and jumped Nations’ Cups to being a day in and day out winner.
“I wanted the horse to win a good class to finish on,” he continued. “I didn’t want him to end poorly. This is a nice moment, and I’m very, very grateful to Mr. Harrison and Double H Farm to have the opportunity to ride this horse and also for the opportunity to care for him and retire him in the way he deserves.”
Ward concluded, “He’s always been a winner when it counted. He did it again. It’s a little bittersweet, but he doesn’t owe us anything.”
The Jump for TAPS Challenge raised $16,000 on Friday night, with every clear over the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) fence raising money for the WIHS Official Military Charity.
Aaron Vale Clears 6’7” to Win $25,000 International Jumper Puissance
Aaron Vale (USA) and Finou earned their second consecutive WIHS Puissance victory on Friday night, this year clearing 6’7” to take the win in the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company.
“It’s the horse,” said Vale on the secret to tying with McLain Ward in 2016 and winning outright in 2017. “This horse actually has quite a bit of talent for this. It feels like he could actually jump a very big wall if the class played out that way. He’s very comfortable at it, and it’d be exciting to try something pretty high with him if it ever happened. My personal best is 7’2 ¼”. If I made higher it than that – that’s pretty high to me.”
The Puissance wall began set at a height of 1.80m (5’11”) and gradually progressed to the 6’7” height through four rounds of competition. Four horse and rider combinations all successfully contested the first round, with Paulo Santana (ESA) being the first eliminated after failing to clear the wall in the second round with his mount Una du Keske Z, owned by Santana Stables LLC.
Finishing in third were Kama Godek (USA) and her own De Grande. Following Godek and De Grande’s elimination in the third round, only Vale and Hunter Holloway (USA) aboard Cassevel, owned by Hays Investment Corp., remained, and Holloway elected to save the gelding jumps for another day, opting out of the fourth round. Vale could have chosen to also call it a night and accept a tie, but much to the enjoyment of the crowd, he chose to return for a fourth and final round.
“We’ve got a big crowd here today, number one,” Vale said on his reasoning for choosing to return. “Number two, my horse actually is a very fresh horse, so he needs work. He’ll be jumping the grand prix tomorrow night. Last year he jumped five rounds, and then he jumped clean in the grand prix, so four rounds might not have been enough work for him! Maybe I should have come back one more time!”
Emma Kurtz Rides Dedication to Grand Junior Hunter Championship
The 2017 WIHS Grand Junior Hunter Championship and the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds and given to the grand championship winner, were presented to Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH and Dedication, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
On their way to winning the grand championship, Kurtz and Dedication, a 12-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding (by Casado), earned two firsts and a third over fences to take the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter Championship and the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, presented by Chansonette Farms and donated by Brooke Carmichael-McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. The division reserve championship went to MTM Hands Down, ridden by Annabel Revers of Weston, MA and owned by Beechwood Stables LLC.
At the 2016 WIHS, Kurtz rode Wisdom, owned by Rivers Edge, to the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter championship, but this year marked her first time claiming the WIHS Grand Junior Hunter Championship.
“It’s amazing [to win here],” said Kurtz of Hudson, OH. “For [Dedication] to come in here and be bombproof is awesome.”
Kurtz, 16, acquired the ride on Dedication in mid-2016 and has made winning on the gelding look easy ever since, but the 17-hand gelding has his quirks.
“He’s a little funny about his leads. We never practice lead changes at home, so that he doesn’t get nervous for them,” Kurtz explained “He’s also particular about the way you hold your body over the jump. You have to give him enough time off the ground, but bend over enough the he doesn’t hit it behind. It’s a formula for sure.
“But he jumps amazing. He’s beautiful, he’s a good mover – he’s the whole package,” said Kurtz. “We love him.”
In the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters, sponsored by the Wasserman Foundation, the championship went to Annabel Revers and Kingpin, owned by Beechwood Stables. The reserve championship was awarded to Haley Redifer of Barboursville, VA and her own Linus.
The Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division championship, also sponsored by the Wasserman Foundation, went to Stella Wasserman of Beverly Hills, CA riding Boss, owned by Laura Wasserman. Finishing in reserve were Sophie Gochman and Dominik, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.
In the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division, it was Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA who claimed the championship aboard Small Affair, owned by Lyn Pedersen. For her performances and display of horsemanship and sportsmanship, Iwasaki was selected as the Best Child Rider on a Horse, sponsored by Gotham North, and she was presented with the DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Mark DiVecchia, for the win.
“It’s really exciting,” said Iwasaki, 13, of her win. “It’s very exciting to come into the city. I think it’s just so different and so cool because when do you get to drive into a city and just show on the streets?”
Taking the reserve championship in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters were Brooke Morin of Calabasas, CA and Seaside, owned by Strasburg Morin Inc.
The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals also kicked off on Friday, and Ava Stearns currently sits at the top of the leaderboard with a score of 89 in the hunter phase. Sam Walker, Alexandra Worthington, Annabel Revers, Haley Redifer, and McKayla Langmeier round out the top six riders, consecutively, heading into the jumper phase. The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged to determine the top ten riders who will then participate in the final work-off phase.
Aaron Vale and Stakko [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
The Atlanta Summer Classic was non-stop jumper action Week I at the Georgia International Horse Park. Featured events included the $5,000 Horseflight Welcome, the $5,000 1.15m Dash for the Cash Non-Pro Jumper Classic, the 1.15m Elite Equine Sport Horse Medicine and Lameness and the $8,000 Arenus Jr/AO Jumper Classics. The $25,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix, presented by EMO, was the exclamation point event to this exciting week.
Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida dominated the Olympic Arena. He kicked off the week taking the second and third places in the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome with Troy Glaus’ Darling GR and his own Stakko, respectively, then proceeded to win the $25,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix, presented by EMO, with Stakko as well as the fourth and ninth places with his own Bonzini S and Jorge Ludgwig’s Exclusive, respectively.
The jumper action kicked off on Friday morning with the $5,000 Horseflight Open Welcome which welcomed a field of fourteen to the Olympic Arena. Vale and Darling GR were the first to go clear with their first round time of 77.214 seconds and they set the second round time to beat at 31.828. Dana Noga of Ocala, Florida and Joan Nichols’ Obos Pepperpot were the second horse and rider team to advance to a second round and beat Vale and Darling GR’s time with their own fault free round in a time of 31.797 seconds which took the lead and set the new time to beat. Hailey Rogge of Lafayette, Louisiana and her own Zine Dine were the next to advance to the second round, but four faults in a time of 32.849 seconds would finish them in fifth place overall. Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarique followed Rogge for a second round, but their four faults in a time of 28.467 would see place fourth overall.. Vale and Stakko were the last pair to advance to the second round and although they posted no faults, their time of 32.000 seconds would find them taking third place, leaving the win to Noga and Obos Pepperpot.
Friday evening the highly anticipated $5,000 1.15m Non-Pro Dash for the Cash Jumper Classic took place during the Outback Charity Dinner for the Hope Clinic. A sold out VIP tent was on the edge of their seats as twenty three horse and rider teams competed over the course, one faster than the next. “Everyone had so much fun,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company. “It’s not often that these 1.15m riders can just get out there and go fast,” he said. “I got nothing but big ‘thank yous’ from everyone who competed in this event,” he added.
Michael Williamson of Loomis, California and Fairfield Farms, LLC’s Whip Jet 41 took the class with their lightning fast clear round time in 76.666 seconds, well within the 120 seconds time allowed. Second place honor went to Grace Boston of Owings Mill, Maryland and Don Stewart’s Forrest Gump 108 for their clear round in a time of 78.601 seconds. Olivia Epple of Palmetto, Georgia and Livhaven Stables’ Hot Spot took third place and Boston returned for a fourth place with The Boston Family’s Herminas. Louisa Brackett of Grayslake, Illinois and her own Memphis Belle placed fifth and Isabella Durnell of Suwanee, Georgia with MTM Farm’s MTM Fashionista earned sixth place.
Saturday welcomed thirteen horse and rider teams back to the Olympic Arena for the $25,000 Outback Steakhouse Grand Prix, presented by EMO, and only saw three horse and rider teams return for the jump off round set with a time allowed of 49 seconds. Stakko and Vale were the first to go and turned in a clear jump off in a time of 46.321 seconds, setting the new time to beat. Chasen Boggio of Caton, Georgia and his own Co Pilot followed Vale but with four jump faults in a time of 46.739 seconds, the pair would settle into third place overall. Last to go was Glenn Hartigan of Alpharetta, Georgia and his own Z Coco Cabana. The pair earned four jump faults in a time of 43.709 seconds and finished in second place.
The fastest of the four fault first rounds was Vale and Bonzini S who finished in fourth place. Fifth was awarded to Penny Brennan of Montmorenci, South Carolina and her own Sun Tzu. Julia Curtis of Villa Rica, Georgia and her own Isarus earned a sixth place finish and Tricia O’Connor of Williston, Florida and her own Cool Man 78 took seventh.
The Arenus Jr/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic welcomed Louisa Brackett and Andrew Bourns Sport Horses, Inc.’s Czechmate to the winner’s circle in the 1.40m section and Sarah Boston in the irons of Don Stewart’s Ulordiva took the 1.30m section. Second place was Jodie Camberg with her own Veneto DH Z and third place went to Meghan Hurst and her own Lagoona Paradise.
The Elite Equine Sport Horse Medicine and Lameness 1.10m Child/Adult Jumper Classics welcomed Carly Hoft of Roselville, North Carolina and Jumper.com’s Available Ohio to the winner’s circle in the Children’s Jumper section after the pair bested a field of nine in the $2,500 class. Second place went to Lily Bennett of Atlanta, Georgia and her own Zimba, while third place went to Anissa Jessee of Tampa, Florida and her own Twister for a third place finish.
The Adult section of the $2,500 Elite Equine Sport Horse Medicine and Lameness 1.10m Child/Adult Jumper section saw seven riders compete for the win and Kimberly Leslie of Ocala, Florida and her own El Fernantez Zet won the class. Second place honors went to Sawyer Evans of Canton, Georgia and her own Contendra, while third place went to CF’s Alcassina ZH, owned and ridden by Sydney-Jade Matyczynski, also of Canton.
On the Road to the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic, presented by Ariat, JPC Equestrian, the Farmhouse and Friends of Ellen Veitch.
The riders were out in full force looking to earn valuable points to qualify for the Atlanta Fall Classic’s Green Hunter Classic. The top twenty will be invited to compete for no entry fee and the competition definitely got heated up during Week I.
In the Sidelines 3′ Green Hunters, Hunt tosh and Douglas Wheeler’s Bastogne took the Championship and Daniel Geitner and Hannah Echols’ Blackberry won the Sidelines Green 3’3″ Division. It’s not too late to earn points for this special Classic designed to promote the Green Hunters. Week II in Atlanta and Weeks I and II at the Charleston Summer Classic will be riders’ last opportunities to qualify.
The Atlanta Summer Classics kicked off Week I hosting the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program with well-known Chris Kappler and Anne Thorneberry as the clinicians. Dr. Jay Altman of Arenus presented a seminar on Monday and discussed the importance and connection between horse health and performance.
USEF “R” Judge, Rider, Trainer and Coach, Tony Sgarlata, will be the clinician scheduled for Monday, June 19th at the Georgia International Horse Park for the USHJA Zone 4 Complimentary Riding Clinic. The clinic will focus on General Horsemanship including flat work and jumping techniques that will improve your show ring performance for the Hunters, Jumpers and Ponies.
(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Aaron Vale and Quality on Top.
Ocala, FL (February 19, 2017): The CSIO4* Week continued at HITS Post Time Farm on Saturday with the $41,200 HITS Jumper Classic. Riders from several countries, including USA, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, Colombia and the recent winners of the $100,000 FEI Nations Cup™, Ireland, took their turn over the course set by Marina Azevedo of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The rider to beat would be hometown hero, Aaron Vale riding Quality on Top, owned by North Face Farm. They would indeed finish on top by an impressive three seconds. Third place rider from Venezuela, Pablo Barrios, made Vale work for it though, entering immediately before Vale in the jump-off order, setting down a time Vale had to chase.
“My horses have jumped great all circuit; I just haven’t had luck on my side. Today, it was,” said Vale. “This was this horse’s first ribbon in an FEI class, and for it to be a blue one is pretty special.”
The course was winding and included two roll-back turns and two exciting galloping points that riders could hustle across the ring to shave the seconds off of the clock.
First to return to the shortened course was McLain Ward riding Quinta, a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare he co-owns with Francois Mathy. They laid down a clear round right out of the gate, clocking in at 42.48 to set the tone for the class. The trip would ultimately settle them in sixth place, with the remaining contenders, aside from Vale, all finishing within a few fractions of a second of each other.
Pablo Barrios grabbed the next clear round of the eventual top five placings, going fourth in the jump-off order aboard Zara Leandra, owned by ZL Group, Inc. Cheers rang out from the Venezuelan team supporters as they watched them laid down a cool, clear round in 41.17. They’d ultimately take home the third-place prize.
Vale followed next, taking care to ensure the lead did not stay in Barrios’ hands for long. Vale and Quality on Top powered through the course, flying across the arena from the fifth fence on course to the combination, which required riders to gallop to the opposite end of the ring then change direction.
“I got to watch McLain go, and I thought he was quite fast so I knew I had to be especially quick,” said Vale. “There were a couple of spots early in the course where I could have been faster, but I wanted to be careful too.”
The crowd gasped as they zoomed toward the finish, the lead imminent by their quick speed. They passed the timers in 38.43, a time no other could catch.
“We had a rub in the combination and I actually thought we had had a rail down. I looked up at the scoreboard a couple of times waiting for the 4 [faults] to come up, but it didn’t – so then I just went as fast as I could to the last few jumps. My horse is fairly quick-footed, so that really paid off.
Emanuel Andrade and Mattias Tromp both put in valiant efforts to catch Vale. Andrade, another speedy Venezuelan rider, powered home to a fault-free 41.33-second ride for the eventual fourth place, riding his bay gelding, U.
Tromp, entered behind Andrade in the order piloting Avon, owned by Swede Ventures, LLC. They put the pedal to the metal in the course, trying with all of their might to catch Vale’s leading time. Their finish in 40.33 would settle them in second place.
Ali Wolff would round out the top five riding Quirie, co-owned with John Wolff. They put in a clear round in 41.90 for fifth place.
Ocala, FL (December 5, 2016): Sunday marked the finale of the first week of the HITS Ocala Holiday Series, concluding with the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix. Exhibitors and spectators enjoyed a beautiful week to kick off the winter at HITS Post Time Farm with a swell of new features, including updated footing in Grand Prix ring and adjacent schooling area as well as other rings to emulate the very popular Ocala Horse Properties Stadium footing.
Thirty contenders vied for the top prize but only one horse and rider could take home the lion’s share over the course designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida.
The rider to beat proved to be hometown equestrian, Aaron Vale, who would not only take home the victory, but the second-place spot as well.
“Sunday’s course was a nice, balanced course with a good design and it gave a nice tour of the ring,” said Vale. “We’re happy to be here at HITS — the rings have always been very nice here and the footing in the Grand Prix ring felt great.”
Vale grabbed the top two spots with both mounts owned by North Face Farm, first place with Carlo, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, and second place with Quality On Top, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding.
The nine-horse jump-off was challenging, and as none would go clear over the shortened course, it all came down to speed.
Vale and Carlo went first in the jump-off, and it looked as though they would lay down a clear round, but they were fooled by a rail at the final fence as the pair clocked in at 44.941. Vale’s second-place trip aboard Quality On Top would be in 45.649 seconds, also with only one rail.
Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida would come in third behind Vale’s two rounds piloting Diamant’s Legacy after stopping the clock in 46.048 with one rail at a mid-course vertical prior to the combination.
Flower Mound, Texas equestrian, Tracy Fenney, climbed her way from eighth place in Friday’s Grand Prix to score the fourth-place prize with MTM Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm in a 46.529-second round. This pair is no stranger to success in the Grand Prix Ring at Post Time Farm. Their success in this week’s Grand Prix is in addition to Fenney’s recent third-place finish in the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September.
The final spot in the top five belonged to Ocala resident Kyle Dewar riding Gomez van de Withoeve. They snagged fifth place with one rail in 47.296 seconds.
Kady Abrahamson Wins the $7,500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
A talented group of Junior and Amateur riders turned out for the first feature Junior/Amateur-Owner class on the first Sunday of the two-week Holiday Series. Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, Ohio would come out on top of the leaderboard with Bugatti, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian, LLC, in a thrilling two-horse jump-off battle.
Abrahamson challenged Haley Waters of Sparr, Florida, a residual victor of several HITS Ocala Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics, Grand Prix and veteran winner of the 2015 $250,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Final.
First to contest the shortened course was Waters aboard Idalle van Doperheide, owned by Chuck and Dana Waters. Waters and her mount powered through the course to turn in a cool, clear round in 40.546.
Abrahamason knew what she had to beat to take the lead. She flew to the finish leaving every rail in the cups. The time of the clock was 39.537; a second fast enough for the victory.
Following Abrahamason’s ride, Young equestrian Jared Petersen garnered a third place time with Constantine, owned by Derek Petersen, with the quickest of the four-fault rounds.
Fourth place went to Hasbrouck Donovan and Spitfire-W and fifth place went to Alysson Siopes and Hagrid Van Ten Biesen, owned by AMS Sport Horses, LLC.
McLain Ward and ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH Take $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final; Eve Jobs and Beth Von Brecht Victorious in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers; Annabel Revers Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship and Best Child Rider Title
Washington, D.C – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured a wide range of equestrian sport on Friday showcasing the grace, power, and speed of some of the world’s finest horses and riders. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire was victorious with Luibanta BH in the $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final. Eve Jobs riding Calizz and Beth Von Brecht aboard Melody earned wins in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The Junior Hunters concluded their competition for the week, presenting their Grand Junior Hunter Championship to MTM Hands Down and the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse to Annabel Revers.
A fantastic day of competition concluded with the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, where six horses and riders attempted the impressive wall, and USA’s McLain Ward and Aaron Vale tied for first place with clear rounds jumping seven feet.
Reaching Great Heights in the Puissance
The Puissance began with the wall set at 1.72m (5’8”) in height and moved all the way up to 2.13m (7’) through five rounds of competition. All six horse and rider combinations cleared the first round at 5’8”. Danielle Torano (USA) jumped the Puissance for the first time riding her own and Jimmy Torano’s Cash and faulted in round two to finish sixth. Kama Godek (USA) and her own De Grande, and Andrew Kocher (USA) riding Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia, each cleared 1.85m (6’1”) and knocked the wall down in round three to finish in a tie for fourth place. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms’ Mr. Visto cleared three rounds up to 1.97m (6’6”) and dropped a block in round four to place third.
Aaron Vale riding Thinks Like a Horse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and McLain Ward aboard his own ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z, cleared round four at 2.00m (6’9”) and continued on to a fifth and final round at 2.13m (7’). Two veterans of Puissance competition, with Ward having won this class seven times and Vale twice. Each rider guided their mount easily over the imposing height, ending in a tie.
Remarking on the excitement and great competition of the night, Vale stated, “Puissance at Washington on Friday night is always a big night. There are lots of people in the stands, and they always cheer a lot. It is good to have a class where two horses went pretty far. It was a good class.”
Ward agreed, “This has always been a special night at Washington. Both Aaron and I have a good history in this class and we enjoy it and the crowd enjoys it. It is nice when it works out well.”
Ward and ZZ Top, a 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Zandor Z x Latus), also tied for a win in the Puissance in Central Park in September, clearing 6’9”.
Commenting on his horse’s effort Friday night, Ward noted, “This is only the second time I’ve shown him, so as far as I know this is the biggest he has jumped. He is a wonderful horse. I have bought and sold him a couple of times now. He has been a great horse for many people and after this he will probably go and be a great teacher for somebody else next year.”
Vale plans to jump Finou 4, a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding (For Pleasure x Concetto), in Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, and used the Puissance as preparation to jump the big fences.
He explained, “He is a very fresh, energetic horse, so my plan was to jump him tonight to hopefully take the edge off him and give him some focus for tomorrow. He has a lot of power and he is pretty limber, so I had an idea he could maybe jump a big fence pretty well. The class was great fun and hopefully it sets me up pretty well for tomorrow night.”
Ward and Vale were awarded The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober, as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. They were also presented The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, for the owners of the winning horses.
Derbyshire Dashes to Victory in International Speed Final
Prior to the Puissance, the $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format with a win for Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire riding David Gochman’s Luibanta BH. The pair was first to go, and cleared Alan Wade’s (IRL) speed course in a time of 54.72 seconds that held on through 21 rounds for the win.
McLain Ward (USA) and his own Malou were faster, but added two seconds to their time with one rail down, finishing close behind in 54.87 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S also dropped one rail, but with a very fast time, to place third on 55.19 seconds.
Derbyshire has been to WIHS six times helping with the Gochman Family’s Baxter Hill horses and riders, but this is the first time that she has competed herself. She just started showing Luibanta BH, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Luidam x Abantos), at the end of August and this is their fourth show together.
“I am very proud of her. She is eight years old, and she has never been to a venue like this before,” Derbyshire detailed. “She is fazed by nothing so far that we have ever put her to, so I am thrilled. She just tries her heart out every time. She really is so special.”
Commenting on her round and going first to set the challenge, Derbyshire explained, “I saw the order online this afternoon, and I said, ‘Well, I just have to give it all I’ve got.’ So I did. I did the right strides everywhere and then I did leave one stride out in the last line. I was trying to go as fast as I could. I thought at the end they were all going to beat me, but thankfully they didn’t. Last time McLain and I were in a speed class together, he was first and I was second, so it was kind of nice for it to be the other way around for once. For sure it won’t happen very often, but it was nice tonight.”
Remarking on her first experience competing at WIHS, and one of the biggest wins of her career, Derbyshire stated, “This is pretty special. It has been so much fun. It has been tiring; we haven’t had much sleep, but it has been better than I ever expected.
“We have a show like this in England called the Horse of the Year Show, and I would say this is comparable to that,” Derbyshire added. “The ring is small, the crowds are big, and it is really special. I have watched the competition here for the last few years, the international classes at night, and this year I thought that I would like to do it. This year I got two horses good enough to do it, so I am lucky for that.”
Luibanta BH will now have a few weeks off before picking up again at the Holiday & Horses competition in Wellington, FL at the end of November. Derbyshire then plans to show the mare in Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival.
In the “Jump for TAPS” Challenge, 21 riders were clear over the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) jump in the speed class, raising $21,000 for the WIHS Official Military Charity.
Revers Leads Junior Hunters
The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship, sponsored by Shamrock Ventures, was awarded to Beechwood Stables’ MTM Hands Down ridden by Annabel Revers of Weston, MA. The pair was presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds. Revers then earned the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse, sponsored by Gotham North, and received the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.
On the way to earning the grand championship, Revers took championship honors in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, with MTM Hands Down. The pair placed first, first, and second over fences. David Gochman’s Papyrus ridden earned the reserve championship with a win under saddle ridden by Taylor St. Jacques and third, third, and sixth place ribbons over fences with Mimi Gochman in the irons.
Revers also took home the reserve championship in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by the Wasserman Foundation, with Beechwood Stables’ Kingpin. The pair won two classes and placed fourth in one class over fences. Emma Kurtz guided David Gochman’s Wisdom to that championship with a win under saddle and over fences, as well as two fourth-place ribbons over fences.
Grand champion, MTM Hands Down, is a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding that Revers has had for almost three years. “Cody,” as he is known in the barn, lives at Revers’ farm in Massachusetts and has a special bond with his young rider since she gets to see and ride him almost every day.
“He doesn’t live with my trainer, so I know him really well and I have a really strong bond with him since he does live at home,” Revers stated. “I think that is a really special thing for me since I have had him for so long. I feel like he has been knocking on the door and coming really close to having a major championship a couple of times, but this is the first really big thing that he has won in a while, so it is really exciting.
“He might not be your traditional hunter,” Revers detailed. “He goes in a little bit more of a frame than my horse Kingpin, but he is a really soft ride and I was happy that he was so brave with the atmosphere here today. He just has a great jump and a really comfortable canter, so he is a really fun ride for me.”
Revers and Kingpin had a fantastic year that included a Grand Championship at the Hampton Classic Horse Show and Best Child Rider titles at the Hampton Classic and Upperville Horse Shows.
“Kingpin is more of your traditional hunter,” the rider explained. “I can really get a good gallop with him and just find the distances. They come out of stride really nicely with his pace. I try to keep a very consistent pace around, which he is really good at, and I think his jump is just awesome. He is really fun and soft, and it is so fun to have confidence in him and be able to gallop and show off a good pace.”
For their winning stake round with a high score of 93 on Friday, Revers and Kingpin earned the award for best Junior Hunter stake to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy. Revers was also presented with the Georgetown Trophy as the high score Junior Hunter Rider on a Horse.
“That was probably my favorite round that I have ever had with him,” said Revers, who has owned Kingpin for almost two years. “I think that it was so good because I was able to keep the same pace all the way around and all of the distances just came up right out of stride. He jumped amazing, so I was really happy with it.”
Commenting on winning the Best Child Rider on a Horse award, Revers added, “It is really exciting. I was just excited to show that I could consistently ride well over the course of the show, which is something that I have really been working on over the last couple of years.”
Revers has trained with Olympian Peter Wylde for two years and had her trainer by her side throughout the week’s competition. Commenting on her success, Wylde stated, “Annabel is incredibly talented. She has a great eye. She rides forward to the jumps, which a lot of kids don’t, and she has a beautiful position. Horses jump well for her. She is harmonious with the horse, which promotes good jumping. She rode absolutely beautifully this week in every jumping round. Through her riding, these horses have gotten better and better. Cody (MTM Hands Down), I think went the best he has ever jumped for us this week.”
Revers’ next stop is the CP National Horse Show in Kentucky next week. She then plans to work on moving up to the High Junior Jumpers in the coming year.
The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Rose Hill Farm, also presented championship honors on Friday. The championship tricolor went to Laura Wasserman’s Boss, ridden by Katherine Dash, with a win over fences and under saddle. Hunter Holloway showed Vlock Show Stables’ Boris to reserve honors, with first, fourth, and sixth place ribbons over fences and a third place finish under saddle.
Mountain Home Stables’ As Always and Hunter Siebel earned the championship in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by the ALTEC/Styslinger Foundation, to conclude hunter competition for the day. The pair earned a win and two second-place finishes over fences and capped their week off with a third place ribbon under saddle. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. Hunter Holloway and Hays Investment Corp.’s The Governor won two classes over fences to take reserve honors.
Also competing earlier on Friday, the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals saw matching scores of 96 at the top for Hunter Holloway riding Any Given Sunday and Lucy Deslauriers with Class Action. Kendra Gierkink, Taylor St. Jacques, Madison Goetzmann, and Maya Nayyar round out the top six riders heading into Saturday’s jumper phase. Holloway placed first in the WIHS Equitation Final Hunter Phase based on her higher score from the Judge 1 panel.
The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.
Jobs and Von Brecht Top Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
WIHS hosted the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers in their first jump-off classes of the week on Friday afternoon with wins for Eve Jobs and Beth Von Brecht.
The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, saw 21 entries, with seven clear rounds to advance to the jump-off and three double clears. Eve Jobs of Palo Alto, CA, won for the second day in a row. She topped Thursday’s speed class with Sandor de le Pomme and won Friday’s jump-off with another mount named Calizz. The pair clocked the winning time of 28.66 seconds and was presented with the Cover Story Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Farm.
Katherine Strauss and All In were the runners up for the second day in a row with their time of 29.30 seconds. Brian Moggre and Major Wager LLC’s MTM Flutterby stopped the clock in 29.75 seconds to place third. Madison Goetzmann and her own Wrigley were fastest in the jump-off in 27.46 seconds, but dropped one rail to finish fourth.
The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family, with 23 entries and six advancing to the jump-off. Only one combination was able to clear the short course without fault. Beth Von Brecht and her own Melody jumped double clear in 34.41 seconds for the win. The pair was awarded the Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.
Madison Dehaven and her own Chanel finished second with four faults in 32.61 seconds. Louisa Brackett and her own Memphis Belle placed third with four faults in 33.41 seconds.
Competition continues on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Staysail Farm. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals will close out the afternoon session.
The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, will conclude the night. For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.
Kelley Farmer and Baltimore (Photo: Shawn McMillen)
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 19, 2016 – Out of 66 entries in the first classic round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Kelley Farmer had four of the rides. Not only did the hunter derby veteran qualify two of her mounts, Baltimore and Kodachrome, for Saturday’s handy round, but she also took first and second place honors for Lane Change Farm.
Baltimore, owned by Jane Gaston, was the first ride of the day for Farmer. She took the 11-year-old Oldenburg around the course, designed by Danny Moore and Bobby Murphy, to earn scores of 92, 95, and 92 for a total of 291 points going into Saturday’s handy round. Farmer also chose to jump all four high-options. Contrary to the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, where the top 30 qualified horses go into the final round with a clean slate, the classic points will carry over to merge with Saturday’s handy round score.
Although Farmer had three other rides left, she was able to maintain her first place position with Baltimore throughout the entire class. As much as the other riders tried, Farmer’s near-perfect scores could not be beat as the class continued. Since she got the ride on the bay gelding by Balou du Rouet, Kelley has also earned many titles and championships in the Regular Conformation Hunters and High Performance Working Hunters.
Kelley did not let the thought of going early on in the class take away from her concentration.
“He was amazing. He was unbelievable. He went first last week in Saugerties and I sort of was glad to get it over with,” Farmer said. “It was a little nerve wracking that I had to do him first, but he was unbelievable. I mean, he tried so hard and he’s so brave. He can jump so much, so I never worry about what they build.”
Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm added, “I never say this, but it was flawless. Because usually, I have a lot to say when she comes out of the ring. Flawless.”
Friday was bittersweet for Farmer, because her usual winning derby mount, Mindful, is currently out of commission. However, Farmer was happy as he is set to get back to work at the beginning of next week.
“It is what it is, but he’ll be back for Florida,” Farmer said about her longtime partner. “He’s been a great horse for me and I’ll be excited to have him back.”
Coming in second place during Friday’s classic round was Farmer and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Moore. Although Farmer has not had the ride on him for very long, the pair still laid down a beautiful trip to earn the red ribbon and a grand total of 280 points.
Trainer Larry Glefke was also extremely pleased with Kodachrome’s performance, saying, “He fits in with Mindful and Baltimore. He has that kind of ability to pop at the jumps. He has a freaky jump, and it gets bigger every week because he’s getting stronger. Both of those horses have quality; [Miss] Lucy has the same quality.”
He continued, “They walk to the jumps every day and they don’t want to knock them down. I mean, things go wrong, things can happen, but they make an effort to jump the jumps every day. You never have to ask them to do too much. Their sincerity is to jump this high over everything.”
Farmer agreed, “It’s a nice feeling when you know that no matter what you aim at, they not only can jump over it, but they can jump over it high, clean and well.”
Kristy Herrera had the ride on Helen Lenahan’s Miss Lucy, who is normally Jennifer Alfano’s mount, and took third place in the classic round. Alfano is currently injured from a fall that occurred at the Devon Horse Show, so she entrusted her longtime friend, Herrera, to take the reins for her. Herrera only had one other show under her belt with Miss Lucy, so she was a little nervous going into Friday’s classic round on the “quirky” mare.
According to Alfano, “She has a little bit of a funny canter, and she doesn’t really like you to touch the reins.”
“It’s Lucy’s way or no way. I was the one that needed to adjust to her,” Herrera said with a laugh. “She has her own way of going and it is different from a lot of other horses I’ve ridden, but she’s so incredibly athletic and smart that once you get it, you don’t have to do anything else.”
She continued, “I was nervous about it, but she walks in that ring and puts her ears forward and gives you the confidence that you can jump anything. It was awesome.”
While Alfano was a little sad that it was not her in the irons aboard Miss Lucy, she was very proud of Kristy and Miss Lucy’s trip that received a combined total of 276.5 points.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled. I was so nervous, I thought I might have a heart attack. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I woke up this morning and I was a little sad and feeling sorry for myself. Watching her go around, it made me teary eyed. That was a hard thing she did today,” Alfano said.
“And I don’t think if anyone else was standing on the ground, I could have walked in there on a horse like that,” Herrera said.
Alfano said that her efforts were a result of trust and friendship built over many years. Alfano had faith in Herrera to take the ride on Miss Lucy, and Herrera trusted Alfano to instruct her as to how best ride the mare.
“I think what made it easier was that we have such a long-standing relationship. We’ve been together since she was 9 years old,” Alfano said. “She may not know the horse, but she and I are so in sync. Lucy is a little different. Kristy has the faith in me to say, ‘Okay, if that’s what you say to do, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll take your word for it and do it.’ I could not be any more proud of either one of them.”
Thirty horses and riders have qualified to compete in Saturday’s handy round, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium. Keep your eyes out for Kelley Farmer and her two horses, as well as Kristy Herrera and Miss Lucy.
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
After winning the 1.40m Open Jumpers on Thursday, Aaron Vale was looking to continue his winning streak under the lights on Friday night. The Ocala-based professional and Finou 4 did just that, stealing the win from Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“This was a great class,” Vale said. “It was good fun, and I’m glad I came out on the long end of the stick. It ended up being an entertaining class. You get a little flavor this week with the jumps for [USHJA International Hunter] Derby Finals. The horses are so used to jumping stripes, so tonight we got more of a natural tone to some of the obstacles, so that was a fun thing.”
Bobby Murphy’s first-round course produced a 16-horse lineup for the jump-off, with Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt going double clear and setting the early lead with a time of 36.909 seconds.
Vale re-entered the ring aboard Thinkslikeahorse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and used his horse’s massive stride to his advantage, cutting his turns and tripping the timers in a blazing fast 33.035 seconds.
“Each horse you have to ride to their strengths, you know,” Vale said. “Finou has a big enough stride that I can leave a stride out, even in a forward line. It’s a strength of his, covering ground.”
Two more challengers came close to Vale’s time. Sharn Wordley and the Sky Group’s Famoso D Ive Z were the first to come within seconds of the lead, clocking a time of 35.84 seconds to eventually finish in third, bumping Sweetnam down to finish in fourth.
Going second-to-last in the order was Benjamin Meredith and Shader Sporthorses LLC’s Anabelle 28. Meredith and Anabelle finished strongly in second place after stopping the clock in 34.022 seconds – just fractions of a second behind Vale, whose time proved unbeatable.
“I didn’t see Aaron go, but for sure I was going to try to beat him,” Meredith said. “The only place I could have gotten ahead of him was the first line. I jumped the first jump, and I landed and said there’s no way I can leave a stride out. But the rest of the course Anabelle kept up with him. We tried to win again, but we just couldn’t get there.”
Vale said he began riding Finou 4 about a year ago. Surprisingly, the gelding is blind in his left eye. Vale said that Finou 4 is instinctively very protective of his body, and will swing himself around worriedly to be able to see.
“He’s a little difficult to train because he’s working against his instinct and he’s worried,” Vale explained. “When he has a good day he usually wins. He’s got enough stride, he has a lot of ability, and he can be really fast in the jump-off. When I have his brain right, he gives me a great class. There were a few things I was worried about for him tonight, but he handled it all.”
Making his victory even sweeter, Vale has reclaimed the top spot from Pablo Barrios in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings, moving one step closer to earning the leading rider bonus.
“We’re all chasing the $50,000 bonus,” Vale laughed. “I’ve got a wedding next week, so I’m missing that class. I know Pablo was at the Olympics this week, so he missed this one. You’re not supposed to count points. You’re supposed focus on riding your horse in the class, so it’s just an added pressure. For people like me it makes a difference, so thankfully we got it done tonight. Hopefully we can come out on the right end of the bonus, because it’s a great thing for Hagyard to do and Kentucky to put it on. We love coming here.”
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.
The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.
The title sponsor, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry. Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse.
The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology. For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Saturday with the finale of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
Aaron Vale Victorious in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 18, 2016 – Scott Stewart’s name is synonymous with winning hunters, and Thursday at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show was no different. Stewart had a total of seven entries that qualified for the final round in the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, but it was Rivers Edge’s Storm Watch, who was in the lead after Wednesday’s second round with 520.5 points, who took home the prize. For the top thirty horse and rider combinations, it was an even playing field going into the championship round, as everyone had a clean slate.
Stewart and Storm Watch were the second pair to compete in the 3’3″ section, but as soon as the 6-year-old Oldenburg landed from the final fence, it was obvious that the pair had impressed the judges as well as the crowd outside the Kentucky Horse Park’s Walnut Arena. The three judging panels awarded them with scores of 91, 88, and 85.5 for a grand total of 264.5 points.
Thursday’s stellar performance by Storm Watch proved that Stewart had made the right decision to make time to try him out during his vacation in Holland.
“I bought him off a video. Randy Hendri sent me a video and I couldn’t go over to look at him, so it was almost two months before I got to go and the horse was still there,” Stewart said. “He was in Holland, and the week after the National Horse Show, we went over. We didn’t go over specifically to look at horses, but he was sort of in the area so we looked. It was supposed to be a vacation, but it was on the route.”
Stewart has recently returned to the show ring after time off from a pinched nerve in his neck. During his time recovering, Ken Berkeley took the reins for Stewart to prepare the horses before coming to Kentucky.
“Ken has been riding him at home, so he really got the horse ready for here,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t able to ride for a month or so, right after Devon. I got through the last day of Devon and this is my first show back. I rode at home last week, then came to Pony Finals. I went to some very good doctors in New York and they said I just needed physical therapy.”
Stewart said that Storm Watch’s way of going is slightly different than what he prefers, but the gray gelding is improving every day.
“He’s pretty laid back and quiet. He’s naturally a good jumper, but his balance is a little low.” Stewart continued, “He doesn’t pull, but it’s a little of a different ride for me. I don’t really like them that low, but he’s getting better and better.”
In addition to the tricolor ribbon, wool cooler, and generous prize money, Stewart was awarded a free lease for one year on a Sundowner Charter SE two-horse trailer.
Coming in second place was Lisa Hankin’s Hanoverian, Puissance R, ridden to victory by California’s Jenny Karazissis. The duo won the first round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship on Tuesday, and Thursday’s efforts in the 3’3″ section proved that the mare is ready to show at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in October. Judges awarded them scores of 88, 89, and 87 for a total of 264 points.
“This is my first time doing the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. I’m so excited to be here. We were going to choose between here and Capital Challenge,” Karazissis explained. I said, ‘She can come here and if she does well, she could do both.’ So I’m really glad that we made the trip and it was so worthwhile.”
In third place overall was Hunt Tosh and Douglas Wheeler’s Chicago, who campaigned in the 3’3″ section. Tosh led the 8-year-old gelding around the course to finish up with scores of 86, 84, and 92 for a total of 262 points.
All three hunter professionals agreed that the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship was a step in the right direction for the hunter sport. It is a great way to showcase the younger horses and it features good prize money, which attracts the owners.
The next event for hunter fans during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show is the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days. Some of the same hunter riders who went head-to-head Thursday will set their eyes on the prize for the derby championship, which starts on Friday at 8 a.m. in the Rolex stadium.
Aaron Vale Victorious in 1.40m Open Jumpers
After coming close to winning the 1.40m Open Jumper class on Wednesday, Aaron Vale and Acolina R returned on Thursday, this time taking home the blue ribbon with their double-clear round during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
Going near the middle of the order in the Rolex Stadium, Vale and Sarah Turner’s Acolina R tripped the timers in 36.069 seconds in the jump-off and unseated Kyle Timm and Georgie B from their leading time of 37.727 seconds.
“I tried out a different bridle today,” Vale explained. “Acolina is hard to find the right bridle for, so more than anything I was trying a new piece of equipment, and it seemed to suit her pretty well. She kind of likes to go. I caught the fences off the turns really well, so she just ended up being really fast today.”
Vale said he got the ride on the 11-year-old mare about a year and half ago. Together, the duo has had top placings in grand prix events at a number of horse shows, including the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and Kentucky Horse Shows.
“She gets a little wound up,” Vale explained, laughing. “Her energy probably gets in the way more often than it helps us, but when things come up right and I can do the turns smoothly and keep that gallop, her forwardness is definitely good. Controlling her across a technical course can be difficult, though. You live by the sword; you die by the sword.”
However, Vale said the course rode perfectly for the mare, who was unfazed by the sand sculptures that dotted the ring.
“She wasn’t worried about the sand at all,” Vale said. “It’s nice having the decorations for the [USHJA International Hunter] Derby fences. It livens the ring up. It’s such a big ring, but with the decorations there was more ambiance out there. The courses themselves were really fun and balanced today, and I really liked the tracks. It was a pretty course for my eye.”
Earlier in the day, Sharn Wordley continued his successful week with a win in the 1.35m Open Jumper division aboard Didienne.
“I just got Didienne,” Wordley said. “She’s a cool horse. I gave her a little warm-up yesterday to see how she was in the ring and get to know her, and she was really good. I thought today I’d give her a little try to see how fast she was, and she was really fast. I was only just cruising, and she was just naturally very fast and careful. She’s such a good horse in the ring.”
Wordley purchased the mare with Steve Tinti in Morocco about six months ago. After riding the 8-year-old for the past three weeks at home, this marks the duo’s first appearance together in the show ring.
“She’s a special horse,” Wordley said. “We kept her at our barn in Belgium for six months. My rider there did some shows with her there and got her trained up, because she hadn’t seen a whole lot yet when we got her. This is my first show on her, and she’s turned out to be a real pleasure of a horse; I really like her, and I’m excited about her future.”
Wordley said he plans to continue showing the mare in the 1.35m division, and will try her out in the 1.40m division next week.
“The 1.35m is probably enough for her now,” Wordley said. “She’s had a couple of months off, so from now on, we’ll just see where she’ll be comfortable. She’s improved so much in her rideability in the past three weeks that I’ve had her, so I’ll just see how quickly she wants to go, and she’ll tell me.”
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Friday with the beginning of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.