Devon, Pa. – Sept. 13, 2019 – Highlighting the day at the 2019 Devon Fall Classic was the $5,000 Speed Stake, with 27 competitors vying for the lion’s share of prize money. Hosted at the iconic Dixon Oval, horse-and-rider combinations were pressured to produce a clear round with the fastest time. Ultimately, Callan Solem and VDL Wizard emerged victorious to take home the coveted Devon Blue at the end of the competitive speed class.
Amanda Dobbs and MJ Claim Championship Title in Thoroughbred Jumper Division
A fall feel in the air, cool temperatures, and a light breeze set the stage for jumper competition Friday morning at the Devon Fall Classic. Midway through the day, Thoroughbred Jumpers took to the Dixon Oval, which was lined with festive pumpkins and cornstalks. Several entries made an appearance over the two days of Thoroughbred competition but ultimately, it was Amanda Dobbs and MJ who took the overall championship title.
Devon, Pa. – Sept. 12, 2019 – The 2019 Devon Fall Classic returned on Thursday, with a large number of entries entering the iconic Dixon Oval to try their hand in a vast selection of jumper classes. The highlight of the day’s events was the $5,000 Welcome Jumper Stake, with Callan Solem aboard Collin and Virginia McNeil’s Imogen De Regor claiming the top spot ahead of the field of competitors.
Taryn Nolte and Pablo Mejia Capture Wins in the Young Horse Jumpers
Thursday also saw up-and-coming horses competing in the 6-Year-Old Jumpers and 7-Year-Old Jumpers. Taking to the ring first, it was Taryn Nolte and New Normandy Farm’s Domino Normandy who captured the win in the 6-Year-Old division. Following, Pablo Mejia and his own Don’t Worry VH Scheefkasteel Z produced a clean and clear round to take the top placing in the 7-Year-Olds.
West Palm Beach, FL (February 3, 2017) – The pristine all-weather arenas at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center once again played host to some of show jumping’s top names during the final week of January, with two of the USA’s top Olympic riders jumping to victory over courses set by FEI Level 3 Designer Mark McGowan. Friday and Saturday’s $15,000 RV Sales of Broward 1.40 and 1.45m Grand Prix highlighted 5 days of hunter and jumper competition, with divisions ranging from Teeny Tiny Jumpers, 6- and 7-Year-Old Jumpers, Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumpers, and .65-1.35m Jumpers. Endless class offerings, spacious warm-ups, and exceptional footing and courses define The Ridge Palm Beach Series, tempting even the Olympians to come fine-tune their synergy in a stress-free environment.
3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward Goes 1, 2 in Saturday’s 1.45m Grand Prix
With one veteran mare and another fresh out of quarantine from Germany, US Olympian McLain Ward reiterated his versatility as a rider and skill in maximizing a horse’s potential in Saturday’s 1.45m Grand Prix. Kicking off the class with Quinta 106, Ward guided his new ride over the course with the ease, speed, and precision that have become his trademark. The fast but conservative double clear finished with a jump-off time of 36.566 and the lead, impressive for a horse not yet on American soil for a full week.
With established Grand Prix competitor Tina La Boheme, Ward put in another direct but conservative double clear, taking over his own lead from Quinta 106 with a final jump-off time of 35.865. The bay Selle Francais mare, who was an extremely successful campaign horse for Ward over the past year, jumped with the alacrity and expression that comes from a long break and Ward stated he is pointing both horses at the FEI ring later in the season.
“Tina is just getting back in the arena after a rest and Quinta only just arrived from quarantine on Tuesday,” said Ward of his two horses and his rides at The Ridge. “It’s a nice quiet atmosphere for the horses and allows riders to focus, and the courses and footing are good. It was a legit 1.45m today, but because of the reduced numbers, elements like the time allowed are a little more straightforward and I think for preparing horses for bigger things down the road that’s a big help. For Tina, I wanted to jump big to get her back in top form but didn’t want to take her to the FEI ring just yet, and Quinta and I are in just the first few shows of our partnership so we are just trying to figure out what she is all about. This is also a great event for young and advancing Grand Prix riders and horses, to get basic experience at this level but with enough of a challenge to allow them to develop.”
Quite a few top competitors chased after Ward’s first and second place standings, including Lauren Fischer and My Pleasure and the husband-wife team of Ireland’s Jonathan McCrea and the USA’s Christine McCrea. A last minute rally from Manual Fernandez Hache and Al Calypso boosted him into third behind Ward, bumping Fischer and the McCreas to 4th, 5th, and 6th.
Callan Solem and VDL Torlando Top Friday’s 1.40m Grand Prix
England, Ireland, and the USA had a tight battle for the lead during Friday’s 1.40m Grand Prix, with barely a second separating the top three finishers. With a line-up once again featuring some of the top Olympic and international riders from around the world, USA’s Callan Solem and her veteran partner VDL Torlando rose to the top of the pack.
Choosing to utilize The Ridge’s open in-gate policy, Solem and Torlando went later in the day, using the time to their advantage. The scopey gray went double clear and with a final jump-off time of 38.937, stole the top spot from Jonathan McCrea and D Carolus with a 39.234. Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and his two rides, Aristo Z and Tic Tac, sat third and fifth in the final results, while Audrey Robison and the spunky Gorky slipped into 4th between Maher’s two international mounts with a 40.628.
Solem, whose exceptional riding was indicative of her passion for both her horse and the sport, was also awarded the EQUO Stylish Rider Award for her winning performance. Presented with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot from EQUO and a special edition Palm Beach Series belt from Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks from Nona Garson, Solem’s excitement about the win was evident.
“I just love this horse,” said Solem of Torlando, a gelding she has owned and ridden for ten years. “He’s my best friend and he is the most serious about show jumping of any horse I’ve owned. He treats every show like it’s the Olympics, and it was fantastic to bring him somewhere a little different. This week was our first time here this year, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the horses to get out and jump with a little less pressure and stress. It’s a great venue to practice being very competitive, or to try out a new riding style or piece of tack. It’s very representative of proper show jumping and the footing was perfect.”
Ridge Riders Win Big in Pony Jumper, Children’s/Adult, and Jr./A-O Divisions
Week 4 also crowned numerous Champion and Reserve Champion honors, as well as saw a number of the future generation of Grand Prix riders in its leadline and Teeny Tiny Jumper classes. A full hunter division runs alongside the Palm Beach Series each week at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, and a rich offering of both prize money and prizes highlights the circuit. From $200-$400 gift certificates from US Animo to the end of circuit prize of a brand new jumper saddle courtesy of Southern Stars Saddlery, riders and horses leave The Ridge Palm Beach Series with far more than just ribbons!
Rome, Italy – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team tied for the Silver medal with France in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Longines at CSIO5* Rome in Italy on Friday. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the team of Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, Callan Solem, and McLain Ward battled through a tough competition to finish on 12 faults. This marks the second Silver-medal performance for the U.S. in two weeks, having placed second at CSIO5* La Baule where the U.S. was represented by Lucy Davis, Margie Engle, Lauren Hough, and Todd Minikus. Both competitions served as observation events for members of the Short List for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team. Great Britain won the Nations Cup at Rome for the second consecutive year on a total of four faults.
“Second-place in this company is good,” said Ridland. “We always want to win and were in position to win both [at La Baule] and here, but we are happy with the performance today. Out of the five Nations Cups we have competed in this year, we have been in the top two in all of them and have done so with 19 different horses. There were some great athletes here and we are very pleased with the overall result.”
Course designer Uliano Vezzani presented a large, straightforward 5* track that proved to require every bit of determination to produce a clear round. Leading off for the U.S. in round one with a clear effort was Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Amalaya Investments’ 2002 KWPN gelding, Voyeur. Entering the arena next for the U.S. was Solem (Glenmoore, Pa.) and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard, a 2003 KWPN gelding. The pair got out of their rhythm a bit mid-course and had rails at fences 6 and 8A. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Old Willow Farms, LLC’s 2007 Holsteiner mare, Zeremonie, had a solid round, but tipped a rail down in the triple combination at fence 4B. Team anchor Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) expertly guided Double H Farm & Francois Mathy’s HH Azur over the course and through the timers with zero faults in the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare’s first Nations Cup appearance. The U.S. entered round two on four faults, tied for second with Italy, The Netherlands, and France.
Round two proved, as always, to be influential, with almost half the number of clear rounds turned in as seen in round one. Farrington and Voyeur were again in good form, but had an unlucky rail at the final fence. Both Solem and VDL Wizard and Kraut and Zeremonie had the rail at fence 7, a tall skinny, down, giving the U.S. a total of eight faults. The pressure was on Ward and HH Azur as the final combination for the U.S. and they delivered a foot-perfect clear round, giving them one of only four double-clear efforts in the field. With Great Britain sitting on four faults, anchor rider John Whitaker needed to produce a round with no more than seven faults to avoid a three-way jump-off between Great Britain, the U.S., and France. Whitaker never looked in doubt, delivering a double-clear effort and the win for Great Britain.
Ward was very pleased with his talented young mare, posting a double-clear performance in her first Nations Cup. “I thought she was incredible, as she has been,” said Ward. “She is amazing and came here and performed how I thought she would. We are very pleased with the team. [Another] second-place finish is a good step on the road going towards the Olympic Games.”
Gothenburg, Sweden – The 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final concluded this afternoon with 26 starters entering the Scandinavium Arena for day three’s round one. Twenty combinations moved forward to round two, taking on challenging tracks set by course designer Santiago Varela Ullastres. Impressing in their FEI World Cup™ Final debut, Callan Solem and VDL Wizard finished the day as the top-placed American combination in seventh place. Also representing the U.S. in the final round were Peter Lutz and Robin de Ponthual who placed 19th and Rich Fellers and Flexible who finished tied for 22nd.
Entering round one tied for sixth on five faults, Solem (Glenmoore, Pa.) and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard had an unlucky rail at fence one, but otherwise put on a masterclass performance. Returning 12th in the order on nine faults in round two, the pair proved their mettle, putting in a foot perfect clear round.
“He [VDL Wizard] should have been double-clear, but I was a bit slow getting to the first fence. It was totally my fault. But even with the first fence down, we kept fighting, which I think is so important. And then he came back in round two and was perfect. He is the best,” said Solem.
Lutz (Goldens Bridge, N.Y.) and Katherine Gallagher and M. Michael Meller’s Robin de Ponthual began round one tied for 10th on eight faults. They had an unfortunate start to round one, downing the wall at fence three, then added eight more faults to their score for a total of 12, qualifying for round two on 20 total faults. In round two, Robin de Ponthual showcased great scope, but had three rails down over the massive track to finish in 19th.
“I was a bit unlucky in the first round. Robin has been great all week, but he was totally surprised by the wall. So we had a bit of a rough start, but I think he recovered quite well and jumped the rest of the course fine, just a little distracted by what had happened. He finished really well also, just had some of his inexperience show in round two. All the scopey tests of the course, he sailed over them,” said Lutz.
The day capped off a successful week for the pair, representing the U.S. and competing in the FEI World Cup™ Final for the first time. “I learned so much here. I came here wondering how big the jumps were going to be, and they were big, but now I know that my horse can do it and that we can do it,” said Lutz.
Competing in their seventh Final, Rich Fellers (Sherwood, Ore.) and Harry and Mollie Chapman’s Flexible were in 25th place on 18 faults entering round one. The 20-year-old stallion demonstrated once again that age is only a number, jumping a smart round and adding one rail to their overall total. The pair did not qualify for round two, placing 22nd overall.
With the top five on the leaderboard beginning the day within four faults of each other, it proved to be an exciting and tense battle for the Champion title. After clear round one jumping efforts from Steve Guerdat (SUI) with Corbinian, Harrie Smolders (NED) with Emerald N.O.P., and Daniel Deusser (GER) with Cornet d’Amour, the three sat atop the leaderboard within three faults of each other with Guerdat on zero, and Smolders and Deusser on three. In a nail-biting end to the Final, both Smolders and Deusser jumped clear in round two to put the pressure on Guerdat. The 2015 Champion, Guerdat, emerged the victor, defending his title after a faultless final round. Smolders took second place overall based on a faster round two time, while Deusser placed third.
(c) ESI Photography. Callan Solem and Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard jump their way to a $50,000 HITS Grand Prix victory.
Ocala, Florida (February 1, 2015): Course designer Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario gave the entries in Sundays $50,000 Hits Grand Prix a daunting course of 17 efforts and a time allowed that took no mercy. Only two riders jumped clear within the allotted time to advance to the jump-off: winner Callan Solem on Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard and Tracy Fenney on MTM Farm’s MTM Centano.
Solem, of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, had two rides in the class, and, as the seventh to attempt the course, she and VDL Wizard, were the first to finish without a fault. It took 17 more entries before a jump-off was assured, when Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, aboard MTM Centano also went clean. In the jump-off, Solem and VDL Wizard rode beautifully and finished with a clear round in a time of 49.739 to put the pressure on Fenney. Fenney planned to leave out a stride between fence 6 and 7a, but her horse’s huge stride got her there too early and he had a rail. Fenney chose to retire after the rail, and Solem claimed the victory with VDL Wizard while her other horse, VDL Torlando, finished fifth.
Solem said of VDL Wizard, “I’m just so lucky to have this horse to ride. He’s such a special horse. It’s so nice on these winter circuits to have the opportunity to jump courses by different course designers and they all ask different questions and you come out with a really produced horse. I’ve had this horse since he was a 7-year-old but he’s really just gotten into top form in the last nine months or so. I knew he was ready for a win.”
Fenney said she had planned to leave out a stride between fence 6 and 7a and commented after the class, “I did the seven in the first round and planned the six in the jump-off. I put a little curve in it but not enough and got there too early and had the rail. He just covers so much ground.”
MTM Centano owner Mike McCormick, of MTM Farm in Flower Mound, Texas, said, “It was a big hard class. A lot of lines you had to come back in. Some were long and flat; a couple were really tight. It provided a lot of questions and the questions always had to be answered by a really, really careful horse that had to be scopey. The slowdown five after the triple to the giant oxer really called on your horse’s scope.”
Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee, riding Westwind Equine Training Center’s Quite Dark 2, finished with just one time fault but in a time of 91.244 in the first round to earn third place.
Sulu Rose Reed from Mechanicsville, Virginia, riding her own Envy, went first in the class with no jumping faults but was also just over the time allowed for one time fault in 91.559 seconds and fourth place. “I started out over the first three jumps a little slow. I was a little cautious on the turn from one to two,” she said.
Laura Linback Wins $7,500 U-Dump Jr/Am Classic Again
Laura Linback scored back-to-back wins on Whitaker MVNZ in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit $7,500 U-Dump Jr/Am Classic Sunday, finishing first in the class two weeks in a row.
Five horses out of 13 jumped clean around the first round track designed by Danny Foster, of Milton, Ontario, Canada. Linback was in the catbird seat, going last in the jump-off. No one had been clean yet, and Linback rode slow and steady with Whitaker MVNZ to finish with no faults and clinch the win in 47.915 seconds.
“It was just the luck of the draw,” Linback said. “With no one else clear I could nurse my way around. It’s been a great week here at HITS. I won the Medium Amateur Jumper Classic, too, for the second week in a row. My hunter was champion and I was fifth in the SmartPak Grand Prix on Thursday with HH Dauphin.”
Whitaker MVNZ (which stands for Mountain View, New Zealand) is a Dutch Warmblood, bred by Wendy Kedell who imported his dam from Europe. She keeps in close touch on his career with the Linbacks, she said.
Second place in the class went to Unique, owned and ridden by MacKenzie McGehee, of Jacksonville, Florida, with the fastest four-fault trip in 43.421. Third was Valentina 156 and Alex Parrish of Midway, Kentucky, also with four faults but just a touch slower in 46.660. Rounding out the top five was Via Dolorosa owned by Derek Petersen and ridden by Jared Petersen of Archer, Florida, with eight faults and a fast time of 45.734 for fourth, and Quirant with Hayley Waters from Sparr, Florida with16 faults and a time of 57.379 for fifth.
OCALA, FL (February 7, 2014) – In front of a dedicated crowd of onlookers at the HITS Ocala Winter Classic, professional rider David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee and Nandy Fontaine won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, for owner Emily Reiney on Thursday. The blue was their first grand prix victory of the circuit.
The course, designed by Dave Ballard of Tottenham, Ontario, Canada, challenged twenty-nine riders with oxers, verticals, combinations, rollbacks and a time allowed of 74 seconds. Many riders appeared cautious in the first round, resulting in time penalties and rails down. The triple combination at fence 11 proved to be troublesome, with the most rails down.
The dash for cash began when thirteen returned to jump off, with 42 seconds as the time allowed. The top five were double clear with Kelley Robinson and Enzo, riding for Cimarron Farm of Russell, Ontario, were the first to go, setting the Great American Tim to Beat at 38.28 seconds. This would eventually give them fifth place. A crowd favorite, Ammeretto – the little guy with the big jump – and David Beisel of Goshen, Ohio threw caution to the wind with a blistering all-out-effort and time of 33.57 seconds, taking second place for Equine Holdings LLC.
Third went to Titus 2:11 with a seemingly effortless jumping style, ridden by Jared Petersen for Derek Petersen, both from Archer, Florida, with a time of 34.03 seconds. The extremely versatile Coco and professional Scott Keach took fourth for Southern Cross Equestrian of Reddick, Florida with a time of 34.57 seconds.
“Nandy Fontaine is rusty after an extended lay-off,” stated David Jennings. “He is a high-energy horse with a lot of talent. He loves to train and he loves to jump.”
Having ridden him to past wins for owner Emily Reiney, she called Jennings to show him as a sale horse. “As we saw today, this horse can rise to the occasion,” added Jennings.
There will be more grand prix action on Sunday as the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit continues with the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. The show-down will return to the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium as excitement builds for the first-ever Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. The Great American Million will debut as the second jewel in the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping Monday, March 24 in the new Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.
About SmartPak SmartPak powers healthy horses and happy riders. The patented SmartPak Supplement Feeding System makes it easy for riders across the country to take the best care of their horses. Founded in 1999, with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements and medications to horses, the system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly.
About Zoetis Building on 60 years of experience as Pfizer Animal Health, Zoetis delivers quality medicines and vaccines, complemented by diagnostics products and genetics tests and supported by a range of services. They work every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. Zoetis produces a comprehensive range of safe and effective products, including equine vaccines, dewormers and sedative analgesics, to help professionals and individual horse owners keep their animals healthy. Both veterinarians and horse owners know and trust the Zoetis will help their horses live longer, healthier lives.
Callan Solem and Cortender Win $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome Callan Solem of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania and Cortender emerged as winners of the $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome on Wednesday. They bested a difficult course set by designer Ballard with the time allowed of 74 seconds.
In their first appearance of the circuit, Solem rode the entry of Horseshoe Trail Farm to a clean first round to face six clean in the jump-off with a time allowed of 45 seconds. The pair jumped clean in the jump-off with a time of 38.06 seconds to take the win. Solem also had a clean first round on her mare Magic Cruise. In the jump-off, they had the time of 36.78 seconds, but four faults moved them to third.
Second place went to rider/trainer Brandie Holloway of Topeka, Kansas on Any Given Sunday for owner Hays Investment Corp. with a time of 35.59 seconds and four jumping faults. Fourth went to Adare, ridden by Rebecca Conway of Wellington, Florida, owned by Blue Hill Farm LLC, while fifth went to Visette, entered by Redfield Farm and trained/ridden by Adrienne Iverson of Califon, New Jersey.
Callan Solem is glad to be back at HITS Ocala. “I feel like I’ve come home – this is where I grew up,” she stated. “I can’t wait to jump in the new Ocala Horse Properties Stadium this weekend.”
When asked about her horse, Cortender, the 9 year old Dutch Warmblood, she beamed. “I am crazy about him – he’s such a fun horse to ride,” she said. “I have only had him since last year, and this is his first trip to Ocala.”
As far as Solem is concerned, she’s set her goal high and plans to qualify for the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on March 24 and hopes to have a good showing in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix this Sunday.
Brook Ledge Horse Transportation will continue to present a weekly jumper class throughout the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Welcome riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus, which includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the HITS Ocala circuit.
Devon, PA – June 7, 2011 – With its home base just a few miles away in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, Callan Solem Show Stables competed at the prestigious Devon Horse Show this past week. Professional rider Callan Solem showcased her two leading mounts under the lights in the historic Dixon Oval, during the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon. Solem placed second aboard VDL Torlando, and eighth with Magic Cruise. Following the Grand Prix ride for ribbons, Solem was pleased to be named the winner of the Richard E. McDevitt Style Award. “It has always been a goal of mine,” she said. “So many amazing riders have won it before; it certainly is an honor to win that award, it added to a very exciting week.”
Designer Olaf Peterson presented the country’s leading riders with a challenging grand prix course, but Solem had clear first rounds on both of her horses. She went in the first slot to show in the jump-off with VDL Torlando, and the duo paved the way with a second clear effort, which would eventually garner them the second place honors. Solem then tackled the track with Magic Cruise to score the eighth place award.
“It is such a great show and a really special place to do so well, so I was very happy,” commented Solem. “I think Olaf did a great job with the course, it was difficult but he got the result he wanted. VDL Torlando is just turning 11 years old, so he’s entering the prime of his life. I’ve had him since he was six and he has so much experience now; it’s fun to have developed him. He’s starting to go like a professional. He came out there and knew exactly what he needed to do, he felt very knowledgeable.”
Wellington FL – March 8, 2011 – Aiming for the HITS Million Dollar event in Saugerties, NY, Callan Solem finished in the top twelve with her two mounts, during Sunday’s difficult $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix at HITS Ocala, Week IV. Showing in her first ever Sunday Grand Prix, Magic Cruise had a great inaugural round, guided by Solem!
The rider also competed aboard her more experienced partner VDL Torlando. Placing in the top twelve was no easy task during the event, with only two horses advancing to the jump-off.
Callan and Magic Cruise finished in eighth place, after earning a fast four fault score, while VDL Torlando took home the ribbon for eleventh, after incurring four faults as well.
“Magic Cruise was so good,” commented Solem. “I love her! She is such a good girl! She really likes the ring in Ocala and she really enjoyed herself. I am excited for having taken that step forward with her and also really excited about the rest of the year!”
Solem added, “VDL Torlando is so fit and he is so ready to show. That horse loves showing more than any horse I have ever met. He feels like King Kong! It’s like he can jump anything.”