Wellington, FL – January 18, 2020 – Mexico’s Santiago Lambre rode Cetano van Aspergem Z to a speedy victory in the $73,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* on Saturday, January 18, during “Saturday Night Lights” at the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Clears were hard to come by in the opening round set by course designer Oscar Soberon (MEX). A tight time allowed was first bested by Lillie Keenan (USA) riding Fasther, a mount that lived up to its name and led the way. Keenan was joined by five more riders, setting the stage for a six-horse speed duel over the second round’s short course.
Rails fell for both Keenan and fellow U.S. rider Todd Minikus, riding Calvalou, before U.S. team Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward set the pace on a clear round in 43.60 seconds aboard Jet Blue. His time, however, was quickly beat when Lambre and Cetano van Aspergem Z stopped the clock in 40.22 seconds.
“This horse is naturally fast,” said Lambre of the horse he has been competing internationally for almost three years. “I tried to not lose my mind, and I tried to keep a good, nice rhythm. The horse, at this level, can be very fast, and tonight it was.”
Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling Capture Championship in Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over
The Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over division came to an end on Saturday with Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling earning the title of champion. Gochman piloted Last Man Darling, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to two firsts, a third, a fifth, and a sixth-place ribbon.
This championship was an extra-special one for Gochman, of Wellington, FL. This season is the mare’s return to the show ring after an injury sidelined them for two years. This was the pair’s second week showing again. “Last week she was a little excited, and I was a little nervous; this week we both calmed down and took a breath,” Gochman described.
Last Man Darling has been in the Gochman family for close to five years. “She started off with my girls, Sophie and Mimi, in the junior hunters, and then I began to show her successfully in the 3’3” amateur-owners,” Gochman explained.
Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2019 – Donning festive costumes to celebrate the Halloween season, 57 horse-and-rider partnerships representing 10 nations tested their footspeed Wednesday evening in the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, the first show jumping class of the 2019 National Horse Show. Ranked No. 9 in the world based on the Longines FEI standings, Darragh Kenny (IRL) proved why he deserves that distinction with a rapid navigation of the course with the reins on Vlock Show Stables LLC’s Billy Dorito, besting a field comprised of riders in guises such as the Flintstones, Toy Story characters and the Joker, among many other inventive outfits.
Operating under a one-round speed format, the class challenged exhibitors to be quick and careful over designer Ken Krome’s (USA) 13-effort track, which ultimately only saw a total of 26 clear rounds from the initial start list. Riding first in the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Brego R’N B wasted no time as the first pair to successfully tackle the course without incurring any faults, serving as the trailblazers and setting the standard at 72.46 seconds. Just a few trips later still early in the order of go, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) substantially improved upon his peer’s time, slicing across the course and tripping the timers in 64.11 seconds aboard Karlin Van’t Vennehof to propel themselves to the early lead.
Amazingly trimming even more time off the clock, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and CHS Krooze maneuvered the pattern at a breakneck pace, galloping across the finish line almost ten full seconds faster in 53.80 seconds. Their time would not hold for long though, as fellow Irishman Kenny jockeyed Billy Dorito to the slightly faster time of 53.74 seconds, capturing the lead by mere milliseconds as the 16th duo in the order. More than 40 subsequent contenders, which featured costumes such as jockeys, a judge, Mario and Luigi, multiple generations of Madonna and more, chased down the frontrunners over the remainder of the class, but the swift speed put forth by Kenny and Billy Dorito proved uncatchable, solidifying the Irish partnership as the 2019 winners of the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*. Dressed as a skeleton, Coyle retained second position with his own CHS Krooze, and Andy Kocher (USA) jumped to the final podium spot aboard Eye Candy Jumpers’ Fashion V, breaking the beam in 54.070 seconds as Freddie Mercury and his golden steed.
Appropriately outfitted for the Kentucky crowd, Sloane Coles (USA) dressed as a bottle of bourbon for her ride aboard Calisto 26. Going all out with a body suit and cut-out photos of the famous Kentucky liquor, she was awarded the Best Costume Award for her creative efforts.
Scott Stewart and Becky Gochman Reign Supreme
Wednesday morning at the 136th annual National Horse Show brought top hunter horse-and-rider combinations to the Alltech Arena of the Kentucky Horse Park. As the oldest indoor horse show in the United States, the National Horse Show has earned a permanent spot on the calendars of many elite professionals and amateurs who make the trip from far and wide to vie for the titles and perpetual trophies up for grabs each year. Following Tuesday’s start to the hunter divisions, the first round of championship honors was awarded for the 2019 National Horse Show on Wednesday. Of the contenders, it was Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador, piloted by Scott Stewart, who received the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title. Stewart also went on to claim the Leading Hunter Rider trophy for his 13th time, while Becky Gochman and Catch Me earned the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter trophy, walking away with the iconic black cooler embroidered with the National Horse Show historic emblem.
Stewart and Lucador have a long-standing history of excellence together. After years of accumulating tricolor ribbons across the nation, the pair earned their final Grand Champion Professional Hunter title in their last show together. Stewart and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding earned their points in the High Performance Hunter division, taking top three placings in all of the over fences classes and first in the under saddle class over the course of the two days, resulting in their championship honors in the division. Lucador’s name is already etched on the Grand Champion Hunter Trophy four times, adding his name once again to the coveted centerpiece in 2019 for the fifth time. The talented horse will go on to compete in the Junior 3’3” Hunters 15 and Under with Maddie Tosh, a transition that is bittersweet for Stewart as their successful partnership comes to a close.
During the awards ceremony, Stewart was once again invited back to the arena for the Meralex Farm Leading Hunter Rider Award for the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy. Phenomenally, this was Stewart’s thirteenth time placing his name on the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy, which was originally donated by Mr. and the late Mrs. Kenneth Wheeler. The well-known hunter rider accumulated his points towards the trophy with a whopping seven horses, including Everwonder, Cabrio, Critics’ Choice, Lucador, Private Life, Catch Me, and Cameo.
Also returning competitors to the National Horse Show, Gochman and Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, clinched the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title for the “Ruxton & Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. The pair made a clean sweep in the Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter 36+ division, winning every single class for a perfect 40 points. This is Gochman and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding’s second year in a row securing the Ellen Van Dyke-donated trophy. With “Snoopy,” Gochman has found much success in the Amateur divisions across the country, most recently taking Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Champion at the Washington International Horse show.
To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.
Devon Horse Show Open Jumper champions: Amanda Derbyshire (aboard Roulette BH) and McLain Ward.
Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2019 – Since Tuesday, international horses and athletes have been competing for valuable points towards the week’s coveted Open Jumper championship, sponsored by Hermès. Following their top performances throughout the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Roulette BH, ridden by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, and Double H Farm’s HH Azur, ridden by the USA’s McLain Ward, were crowned the 2019 Open Jumper champions and winners of the Little Big Man Challenge Trophy. Both horses tied with 15 points at the conclusion of Saturday’s $72,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4*, which was won by Derbyshire and Roulette BH.
Becky Gochman and Stephanie Danhakl Shine in Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships
The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up on Saturday with each section awarding the grand champion title to the athletes who accumulated the most points throughout two days of competition. The Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter championship was awarded to Becky Gochman and Catch Me, while the Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter championship, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, was presented to Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said.
Smith Lilly Rides Off in Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake with Extreme Ways
Saturday evening in the Dixon Oval closed out with several championships in the breed divisions. In the exciting Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake, Smith Lilly and Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Extreme Ways took the top spot after impressing the judges with his performance, manners, presence, quality, and conformation against six other competitors. They were awarded the championship cooler, sponsored by Misdee Wrigley Miller, as well as the Betsy Van Duren Memorial Perpetual Trophy.
Wellington, FL – February 21, 2019 – Daniel Bluman of Israel rode Ladriano Z to the win in the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 on Thursday, February 21, during Week 7 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
In Thursday’s featured WEF Challenge Cup class, 56 entries faced-off over the Anthony D’Ambrosio designed track, with 16 horse and rider combinations ultimately qualifying for the short course.
Bluman and Ladriano Z, owned by Over the Top Stables, LLC, were the very first to contest the jump-off track, and they set a time to beat of 38.09 seconds that would go untouched by the remainder of the returning entries.
Becky Gochman and Trumpet Win the NHS THIS Adult Medal
Competition at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Thursday morning with the NHS THIS Adult Medal where Becky Gochman emerged victorious. The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center saw a total of eight horse-and-rider combinations contest the course, and all pairings were invited back to test on the flat.
Gochman has owned the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Indoctro x Pastorale) for several years and originally purchased him as a steady equitation mount for her daughters.
Wellington, FL – January 20, 2018 – In the circuit’s first nighttime grand prix, three-time Olympian Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Calle 67 won the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix CSI 2* at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The “Saturday Night Lights” series continues throughout the 12-week WEF circuit, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Out of a starting field of 45 entries, nine found the way to a clear round to advance to the jump-off over a course set by Oscar Soberon (MEX). Coming back sixth in the jump-off, it was Michaels-Beerbaum and Calle 67, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding by Carell x Capitalist, who had the fastest clear round in a time of 36.85 seconds to take the win.
Second place went to 21-year-old Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm’s Skyhorse in a time of 37.01 seconds, while Emily Mason (GBR) placed third in a time of 37.58 seconds with Explosion W, owned by Poden Farms.
Fourth place went to World Number One Kent Farrington and Baltic Star 2, owned by Farrington and Tanma Corp., in 37.63 seconds, while Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze picked up fifth place on Artisan Farms LLC’s Coco Bongo with a time of 39.02 seconds.
While Michaels-Beerbaum and Calle 67 competed in the young horse classes under the lights at Aachen CHIO, she did say that Saturday night’s grand prix was “a major step up for that horse.”
Becky Gochman and Catch Me Receive Champion Honors in Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6” Division
The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring featured an exciting championship win for Becky Gochman of Wellington, FL and her mount of three years, Catch Me. Gochman piloted the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding to a first, first, and seventh over fences with a win in the under saddle in the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6” Division. The pair scored an impressive 87 and 88 to claim the blue in both jumping classes.
McLain Ward and Tina La Boheme. Photo by: The Book, LLC.
Devon, Pa. – June 4, 2016 – On Friday, McLain Ward of Brewster, New York was named the Longines World Number One in show jumping. He has spent the last week competing at the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and on Saturday night he captured his third victory, winning the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake aboard Tina La Boheme.
Six entries advanced to the jump-off in the highlight event of the evening sponsored by Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. Laura Chapot set the pace to beat with her first mount Thornhill Kate, clearing the track in 37.082 seconds. Her lead was short lived, as Ward entered the arena aboard Tina La Boheme, who has proven to be a dominating force in the Dixon Oval. The pair was four seconds faster and left all the rails intact, crossing the finish line in 33.906 seconds.
Only Chapot was able to beat the initial time she clocked, beating her first mount’s time on Quointreau Un Prince. The duo had a faultless time of 36.660 seconds to place second, while she and Thornhill Kate took third. The fourth place prize went to Danielle Torano and Callas III, the only other pair to clear the short course.
With a quick and clear double clear, Ward not only won the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake, but also earned the Open Jumper Championship with Tina La Boheme and the Leading Open Jumper Rider title.
“We’re obviously very excited,” said Ward. “I think Tina has won her last four classes in a row. It’s really great to see how she’s progressing. At the end of Palm Beach and even Old Salem, when I stepped her up to some bigger classes I had to kind of help her a long a little bit. She was a very good jumper, but she was green. It’s interesting to see her come out of that show at Old Salem and be very handy in this ring and start to follow where I am going. That’s what makes horses fast: they look for the next fence. We are really excited about her. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for the future.”
Ward has been competing since he was just 5 years old in the Leadline division. Now, he is the top ranked rider in the world. “It’s a great recognition of consistent success because our peers are so good now,” explained Ward. “The top of the sport now is so good and so competitive, so I am proud of that. I can’t say that was ever a goal. The goal has always been championships and medals and the biggest grand prix events in the world. The honor in that is amongst your peers.”
After placing second and third in Saturday’s main event, the Carol Hoffman Thompson Leading Lady Rider Challenge Trophy was presented to Laura Chapot, who also earned the title in 2014.
“This is one of our favorite horse shows, and I think this is one of the most important shows in the country,” noted Chapot. “They really raised the bar this year with added prize money and making it an FEI competition. To be the leading lady rider here is certainly very prestigious, and I am so proud to win the trophy that is donated by Carol’s family. She was a great friend to us. I’m really thrilled to have won it again.”
Earlier in the day, the Amateur Owner Jumpers competed in their highlight event, the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. After fourth place finish on Friday, Alex Matz came back for the victory in the Classic with Quinta.
Six combinations advanced to the jump-off, with Cloe Hymowitz setting the pace on her first mount Baritchou DBT. They turned in a clear effort in 32.901 seconds. Their lead did not hold for long, as Ailish Cunniffe turned in a faster time of 41.151 seconds with all the rails intact aboard Betty Boop III. They would eventually settle for fourth and fifth, respectively.
Next in the Dixon Oval was Matz with Quinta. With smooth turns and a fast gallop, they broke the 40-second mark when they stopped the clock at 37.937 seconds. Hymowitz tried to catch him with her second mount Fidalgo Van Het Leliehof, but would pick up third place with a clear round in 38.375 seconds. Reid Patton and Twisther slipped into second place with a faultless effort in 38.360 seconds. The fastest round belonged to Anna Cardelfe and Dollar Van’T Eigenlo DH, but their time of 36.783 seconds came at the expense of a rail for sixth place, sealing Matz victory.
“My plan originally was to be neat around the turns and not go crazy fast. I ended up adding a stride in one of the lines, but Quinta was excellent,” smiled Matz. “This is our fifth year with her. She’s been great. She’s been loyal, that’s all you could ask for in a horse.”
Matz and Quinta not only led the lap of victory for Saturday afternoon’s event, but they also returned to the center of the Dixon Oval to accept the Amateur Owner Jumper Championship and Amateur Owner Jumper Leading Rider Award.
“This is a special place because it’s so close to home,” noted Matz, a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. “It means so much. I love this place and it was a goal. Young Riders is a big goal, but this is very special.”
Becky Gochman Defends Grand Amateur Owner 3’6″ Hunter Championship Title at Devon Horse Show
As the Amateur Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Becky Gochman and Empire moved up the rankings to take home the division championship in the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Over 35 Hunter division for the second time.
Gochman and Empire took home two blue ribbons and two reds to earn enough points for the division championship and the Grand Amateur Owner 3’6″ Hunter championship, with Gochman also picking up the Devon Leading Amateur Owner 3’6″ Hunter Rider award. Gochman thanks her daughters for giving her the confidence to go out and win.
“I get fearful with the long, bending lines, and I watched my kids do it this week, and they do it so naturally and so easily,” Gochman explained. “I said, ‘I’m just going to go a little forward and just count’, and so that really did help a lot to watch them do it so effortlessly.”
Gochman also credits her partnership with Empire for her success, and said she has owned 14-year-old gelding for six years.
“Thank God he’s been a very sound horse all the way through,” Gochman said. “I think since he’s been such a good horse to us for so long, we’re making a promise to show him just at special shows now. That way his mind stays clearer and crisper. He really enjoys coming out for the big ones, and he is not a spooky horse, so it’s really OK to do that plan.”
Interestingly, Empire’s equally eye-catching baby, Evermore, also impressed the judges and took home the Devon Grand Junior Hunter Championship with rider Emma Kurtz during Junior Week.
“I think Empire didn’t really want to be outdone by his son, so he said, ‘You know, I’ll step up too,'” Gochman said. “They’re not exactly the same, but he definitely put his stamp on Evermore. I’m so proud. I don’t know if father-son Grand Champions has ever been done at Devon.”
Gochman also presented the Sambalino Award to Krista Weisman and Reality.
“I was so proud to give the Sambalino Award to Krista,” Gochman said. “She is such a pretty, gentle rider. I really respect the judges’ decision to pick a horse like Reality that has an amazing, flowing, beautiful style. That made me really happy.”
Earlier in the day, the Amateur Owner 3’6″ 18-35 Hunter division came to a close, with Laura Sexton claiming the championship aboard Set to Music. The division’s reserve championship was awarded to Samantha Schaefer and Classified.
“Set to Music is special, and I am very, very lucky,” Sexton said. “After having my horse Zoom, who has been just such a spectacular horse for all of these years, I wasn’t quite sure that anybody would be able to get up to that rank, but let me tell you, this horse has done it faster than I ever could have imagined. He’s an absolute joy.”
In the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ 18-35 Hunter Division, Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said took home both the division championship and the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Championship for the second year in a row. The reserve championship in the division was awarded to Vivian Yowan and Anytime.
“Devon is definitely one of the shows that I care the most about doing well because of the tradition,” Danhakl explained. “I think it’s the hardest horse show to qualify for in the country, so it always brings out the best competition. To be able to win here means you did a pretty good job.”
Danhakl said Enough Said is a dream to ride, and she’s had the 10-year-old gelding for three years.
“We really clicked right away from the beginning,” Danhakl explained. “We’ve had a lot of success together. It was really exciting to be able to show here again. I was a little nervous about having to defend the championship, but he couldn’t have been better. I think he really loves his job and makes it really easy on me.”
The Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Over 35 Hunter Division, Glen Senk and Loyalty brought home the championship, while Missy Luczak-Smith and Executive claimed the reserve honors.
The Local Hunter division rounded out the day, and it was Blue Monday and Suzanne Smith and Close At Hand and Cathy Sacher who took home the championships. The reserve championships were awarded to Tristan, ridden by Caroline Ratigan and Daybreak, ridden by Leah Swope.
Janet Sterba and Maureen Quackenbush Successfully Defend Their Championship Titles
For Janet Sterba and Maureen Quackenbush, earning the tricolor ribbon in front of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair crowd was an honor the first time around. On Saturday, both of them were pleased to learn that they earned the championship title in their respective divisions once again.
“This is our second year working together,” Sterba said about her 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.”
The American Saddlebred and her owner had the repeat victory in the Five Gaited Pleasure Driving Championship, while Maureen Quackenbush won the Hackney/Harness Pony Pleasure Driving Championship.
Quackenbush drove a new pony around the Dixon Oval for the traditional victory lap. This year, she was pulled by her 5-year-old Hackney, Four Point O.
“It’s a big deal to win here at Devon,” Quackenbush said. “To go in there and show is just awesome. To win, I mean, it just doesn’t get better than that.”
Quackenbush competed at Devon for the first time in 2015 with C B Party Girl and returned to win with a new pony.
“I’ve had him since last fall,” Quackenbush said about Four Point O. “We’ve only shown once before and that was last November. He won at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. He’s the Canadian National Champion. He’s a really good boy. We’re just getting to know each other, but we’re getting there.”
The Devon Horse Show hosted the English Pleasure-Saddle Seat Championship for the first time in 120 years, opening the Dixon Oval to multiple breeds. Among the Saddlebreds, Friesians and Morgans competing one Morgan came out on top and that was CBMF Restless.
“I think it’s awesome,” champion Allyson Wandtke said. “I hope they [Devon] include Morgan’s in the future. We’ve had a great time in the ring. I love being here with the Saddlebreds, the Friesians and the Hackney ponies. I think it’s just great for all the breeds to be together.”
Wandtke and her 9-year-old Morgan are no stranger to the tricolor ribbon, winning three world titles and one reserve world championship.
“I have never competed here before,” Wandtke continued. “It’s wonderful to win here, and the other horse I show [CN Timeless Masterpiece] for my mom [Cindy Nord] won reserve. I’ve had a very successful show and couldn’t be happier.”
Danhakl and Gochman Claim Championships in Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions
Lexington, Ky. – May 14, 2016 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded on Saturday with the day’s highlight event: the $130,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and Bariano bested a field of 41 competitors to claim the top prize with a blazing jump-off round in 39.160 seconds.
“I’ve had [Bariano] for almost four years,” said Garza. “He’s been my horse for everything. He’s taken me from Children’s Jumpers to the grand prix, so I owe him pretty much everything. He feels better than ever. He really gave it his all tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Nine horse and rider combinations were able to master the Bernardo Costa Cabral opening course, moving into a jump-off that six would go on to produce double-clear efforts from.
“The course was really nice, [Bernado] did an extremely good job,” said Garza. “It was definitely a challenge – something to think about while going around the course, but it was not crazy. I think it was overall a really nice track. His tracks have been amazing all week and I think it was perfect for tonight.”
Aaron Vale (USA) and Quidam’s Good Luck, owned by Troy Gaus, were hoping to claim their second consecutive Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix after winning the event in 2015. They were the early clear pathfinders in the first round and set the pace for the jump-off as the first to take on the shortened track in a speedy 39.920 seconds.
“[Bernardo] does a great job every time,” said Vale. “He gives a tight time allowed, but gives you different ways to get it. You can leave some strides out; you can make a short turn to the left or a short turn to the right. You kind of ride your horse and figure out a way to make the time allowed. Tight times allowed with these big fields are popular these days, but he does it fairly. If your horse has a weakness or a strength you can kind of pick and choose and still make the time.
“Quidam’s Good Luck wins a lot all year long, but he especially goes well in this ring,” continued Vale. “He won both FEI grand prix last spring, and he’s won some other grand prix here as well. This horse just loves this ring. He goes super here. Kentucky is a great place; it’s one of the premier facilities in the country, if not the premier facility.”
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Chaqui Z, owned by Spy Coast Farm, entered the Rolex Stadium one round later and attempted to catch Vale’s time, but felt short by one second in 40.540 seconds. The pair would go on to take third place honors.
It was looking like Vale would take the title once again until Garza, who placed second behind Vale last year, and the 15-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, returned to the ring to challenge Vale’s time as seventh in the jump-off order-of-go.
The two horse and rider combinations battled it out for the second year in a row, but this year it was Garza who was able push ahead Vale’s time by 8/10th’s of a second to take the lead in the victory gallop.
“Leading off the jump-off, you never want to go first, but better to go first in the jump-off than not at all,” laughed Vale. “I was quite fast to the fourth jump. I did check up a little to the combination and again to the last, and that was the difference. If I could have found one of those strides to leave out I don’t think Eugenio would have got me.”
“I saw Aaron go first – and you know Aaron, he’s very fast – and I honestly didn’t think anyone could catch him, including me,” admitted Garza. “My trainer, Eddie Macken, just told me to feel how it goes, and just give it my all and that’s what we did. Bariano just helped me out and was amazing and everything just came up really nice in the jump-off. I think I was able to gain a little bit more time to the last one. I took one stride less than Aaron, but it was really close and I don’t think I could asked anything more from Bariano.”
The young rider from Mexico enjoys returning to the Kentucky Horse Shows each spring and competing at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park.
“Kentucky always treats us well,” said Garza. “I love it here. It’s an amazing facility, the footing is perfect, the organization is amazing – we just love it here. Fortunately, we’ve been doing well and it’s just an amazing show to come to. It’s really relaxed and it’s great for the horses. The weather has been great all weekend and the horses love it here.
“A big thank you to all of my team,” continued Garza. “They have been amazing and I’m just so happy to have such a great team behind me.”
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will come to an end on Sunday with the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, which will count toward valuable points earned in the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List.
Danhakl and Gochman Claim Championships in Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions
It was all about the stallions on a cold and blustery day Saturday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in the Stonelea Ring. Championships in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 and Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunter divisions both went to stallions. In the younger division, Stephanie Danhakl took home the top prize on her 7-year-old Hanoverian stallion First Light. The reserve championship went to Alliy Moyer and Carlson. In the older division that followed, Becky Gochman won the championship aboard the 14-year-old Warmblood stallion Empire with the reserve going to John Ingram and Airport 48.
First Light was back in the tricolors today having won the Regular Conformation Hunter championship on day two with trainer Scott Stewart.
“First Light is definitely my greenest horse,” Danhakl explained. “He’s only 7 years old this year and he’s a stallion, so he’s a little bit trickier for me. I feel like I started to get the hang of him this year. He’s a little different ride than what I’m used to. He really requires you to direct him and be very accurate in your turns and balanced. He keeps me on my toes.”
The drastic change in the weather was certainly a factor for riders on Saturday.
“When I got on him today he was very fresh because of all the wind,” Danhakl said. “He was still a little fresh in the ring, but he gives you such a great feeling and is very well mannered. He whinnied a few times going around, but I’m sort of used to that so he really was great.”
Gochman also commented on the cooler weather Saturday.
“It was a very brisk day in Lexington, Kentucky, so I had a little bit of a different horse in Empire today,” Gochman said. “He was feeling a little frisky. Yesterday we really clicked. I feel like he’s in a really great frame of mind and he’s just such a special horse.”
Another generation of winning hunters may be on the way for Gochman as well.
“We’re excited because we recently purchased his son Evermore,” Gochman explained. “We hope he can take after his dad in his ways too.”
Danhakl and Gochman were both full of praise for the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the city of Lexington.
“It’s a great tradition for us to come here,” Gochman said. “It breaks up the ride back home for the horses and it gives us a chance to compete somewhere where the fences are really put together in a lovely manner.”
Gochman was also enthusiastic about all that Lexington has to offer.
“We have always enjoyed the town of Lexington,” Gochman continued. “The whole Gochman family can’t get enough of it. We really enjoy the restaurants and the horse themed artwork throughout the town. It always holds a special place in our hearts so we are always excited to come back to Kentucky.”
Danhakl was also appreciative of the environment at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
“It’s such a beautiful place,” said Danhakl. “I love all of the greenery, the grass, the rolling hills and the trees everywhere. I like to be able to escape the heat at this time of year in Florida. All of the horses just left and came straight here so they’ve had a nice time getting to enjoy the cooler weather.”
Sunday is “Derby Day” with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby taking place.
EQSportsNet will be streaming live webcasts of the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Saturday, May 21. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can also watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at www.eqsports.net.
Lexington, KY — May 9, 2015 — Stephanie Danhakl, Becky Gochman and their talented horses are no strangers to success, and today’s hunter classes at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show awarded the amateur riders plenty of chances to shine atop their entries.
The day began with the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’6 Hunters, as Danhakl piloted her flashy chestnut Golden Rule to two third-place finishes. Despite only being the gelding’s third show this year, the pair from Pacific Palisades, California earned two blue ribbons and a red ribbon on Friday, adding up to enough points for the division championship.
“Golden Rule has just been a phenomenal horse,” Danhakl said. “He has been champion pretty much every time I’ve shown him. He just has a really great rhythm and a nice, slow, sort of even way of going, so he’s pretty easy to see the distances on. He has a big stride and is scopey. He’s my dream horse.”
Kelly Bauernschmidt and her horse Legato placed first over fences and eighth in the handy, and combined with the previous day’s blue ribbon and fifth-place finish, the duo earned the division’s reserve championship.
The next division of the day was the Amateur-Owner 35 plus 3’6 Hunters, in which Becky Gochman, of New York, New York, delivered smooth rides atop Last Call, her stunning seal bay gelding. The pair earned a blue ribbon, two second-place ribbons and a third-place ribbon over the course of two days, boosting them to the top of the pack to claim the division championship. Gochman proclaimed Last Call is a perfect delight, and the barn favorite always gets a ton of carrots.
“Last Call is a great horse; I have had him for not quite a year yet, but he is very sweet and he always wants to do his job,” Gochman said. “He’s so adjustable that it makes it easy for the rider. He is so big, and in the beginning I was a little intimidated, but he feels so comfortable to me now that I don’t think about his size.”
The division’s reserve championship was awarded to Emily Morin and Ace of Spades of McLean, Virginia. The pair combined a first-place finish with two fifths, a fourth and a third to earn the tricolor.
In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3 Hunters, Danhakl captured both the division’s championship and reserve championship aboard her horses Enough Said and First Light, respectively.
“First Light has come such a long way,” Danhakl commented. “Every week, he just gets easier and easier to ride. I’ve only had him for a few months, and I’ve just kind of been getting to know him, figuring him out. He was great yesterday. Now he’s going well for me, which is nice.”
Saturday’s final division, the Amateur-Owner 35 plus 3’3 Hunters, got underway with Becky Gochman back in the irons on Mythical. The duo captured the division’s championship, with the reserve championship going to Dawn Fogel atop Summer Catch, of Louisville, KY.
The action of week one at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue Sunday in The Claiborne for “Derby Day.” The highlight events will include $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts
Events: 2015 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows
The Kentucky Horse Shows 2014 series includes two weeks of top hunter/jumper competitions during the month of May. The Kentucky Horse Show Series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series.
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.
KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOW – May 6-10, 2015
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2*
$85,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI2*
$25,000 Bluegrass Classic
$25,000 U25 Classic
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Recognized Hunter Competition
KENTUCKY SPRING CLASSIC – May 13-17, 2015
$34,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*
$127,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*
$50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix
$20,000 Bluegrass Classic
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program and the Official Hotel The Clarion.
8am – 5pm daily
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.
CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at email@example.com. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.
Sambalino and Becky Gochman Top Elite Shavings Amateur-Owner Over 35 Championship
Wellington, FL – January 21, 2012 – A great crowd came out to watch the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2* at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Topping a full field of competitors and winning in front of more than 4,000 spectators was Great Britain’s Scott Brash on Stan Brash’s Intertoy Z. Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) was second on Torrey Pines & Ashland Stables’ Derly Chin de Muze. Eighteen-year-old Katherine Dinan (USA) was third on Grant Road Partners’ Vancouver.
The second week of the FTI WEF runs through Sunday, January 22, and is sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. The 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.