Tag Archives: Darragh Kenny

T. J. O’Mara Wins Ninth Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship

T. J. O’Mara and Kaskade. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Darragh Kenny Claims $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic with Chanel

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2016 – Week eleven of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday with a win for T. J. O’Mara riding Kaskade in the Ninth Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship and victory for Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Chanel in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic.

WEF 11 features CSI 4* rated jumper and ‘AA’ rated hunter competition running March 23-27, 2016, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Saturday highlights the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, presented by Equiline, on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a brunch hosted by Equiline in the Tiki Hut at The Stadium beginning at 10:30 a.m. The $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* will be the feature event in the International Ring on the main show grounds on Saturday evening beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Competition concludes on Sunday with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic also held on the derby field at The Stadium beginning at 11:30 a.m. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.

The Ninth Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship was held in three rounds with 35 riders competing in round one. The top 15 returned for round two, and the top four rode for additional testing in round three to determine final placings. Course walk plans and schooling were the sole responsibility of the riders as competitors were allowed no contact with their trainers during the class, turned in their cell phones before the start of the class, and were responsible for time management, warm up, and schooling of their own horses with the assistance of one groom.

Bobby Murphy designed the course, in conjunction with the judges. The riders were judged by two panels and also received a score in the schooling area after the first and second rounds. Judging Panel 1 included Jimmy Torano and Candice King; Panel 2 included Bobby Braswell and Chris Kappler, with Karen Golding as the Schooling Ring Judge.

T. J. O’Mara led through both rounds to make it to the final four and come out on top riding Kaskade, a ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. The rider earned the high score of 91.5 in round one and returned for round two to score a 92. His two round total of 183.5 combined with an excellent test in the final four put the rider in first place overall.

McKayla Langmeier finished second riding Eclipse with scores of 91 and 83.75 for a 174.75 heading into the final four, and a bold test that was rewarded in the work-off. Sophie Michaels rode Acortair to third place honors, and Ava Stearns finished fourth aboard Micah.

Judge Jimmy Torano spoke about the class and what went into the final decision on the top four placings.

“I think it is a great class. This is the ninth year, and I think I have judged it seven times,” Torano noted. “I love judging these championship classes, and I think the format really makes the kids think for themselves. It is at the end of the circuit, and you are seeing the top riders. Especially when you got to the second round, and then you saw the top four work off, it was really some top riding from the kids.

“Obviously T. J. and McKayla are outstanding,” Torano continued. “They are both going to ride on the team, and they are both going to go anywhere they want to go in the future. Unfortunately for McKayla, that horse clobbered one jump in the second round. In my mind I said 89, take off the four points for the rail and give her an 85. I think they [judged] her a little harder on the other judging panel. T. J.’s rounds were good, time and time again. He came in and nailed it in the first round. He led for both rounds, and to be honest, he would have had to really flub up in the test not to win it. McKayla came in and knew that the first two riders did not really hand gallop, so she really got our attention. She hooked the corner and turned and went for it, and that horse landed and was at a standstill. T. J. I would say did not gallop as strong as she did, but he did not really need to. He was far enough ahead.”

Commenting on his win, O’Mara stated, “It feels great. This is my third year doing the class and I have slowly moved up the ranks, so I am really happy. My horse felt great today, and I could not have asked for better rounds.

“The first round, me and my barnmates were not really sure what we should do,” O’Mara admitted. “We were originally planning on going around and just catching a nice second jump, but as the class went on, more and more people started doing the inside turn, so we thought that in order to stay with the competition we needed to step it up a little bit. I thought the gymnastic was very steady, and it really tested the rider’s ability to stay collected and maintain the position while keeping impulsion at the same time.”

O’Mara continued, “The second round was a little confusing for some riders on what to do in strides. The beginning of the class we saw some doing six strides in the one line, but with my horse I was worried about her swapping off to the left at that vertical, so I opted to go around and do a steady seven to get straight and soft to the inside. We were also thinking to go inside at that vertical after the triple bar, but we thought it looked better going around and catching a flow to the oxer.”

Without trainers to tell the riders what to do, they had to work together to come up with a solid plan.

“We really focused on teamwork in this,” O’Mara detailed. “As each person was going, one of us was at the in-gate telling them the new plan and giving them helpful hints. In the course walk, we really collaborated on what we should do for each line and what we should do as an entrance. I felt bad at the beginning of the class because the riders in my barn were a little unsure what to do and I was not really sure myself, so I really just told them to go with their gut and see what their horse was best at, and most of them did.”

Speaking of his mount, Kaskade, O’Mara stated, “I have had her since 2013. She has really just become my horse of a lifetime. We have really bonded together, and we have a great connection. She was amazing through all of these rounds. She listened to every single thing I asked her to do. She really was amazing and I could not have asked for her to be better.”

Langmeier also worked together with her barn mates, and although she had a rail in the second round, she finished out strong in the work-off and was happy with her mount, Eclipse.

“It is nice having a team to walk the course with you with all of the other juniors that qualified from your barn,” Langmeier noted. “It is like having multiple trainers with you.

“I liked my first round,” she said. “I really liked my second round besides the rail; I kind of let him shift in too much. I could have done the six strides there in the second round, and I probably should have to avoid the rail. Then in my test, my hand gallop jump was my favorite.”

Speaking of Eclipse, Langmeier detailed, “I have not ridden him that much. I [rode] him at Medal Finals and WIHS Finals. I showed him last week in one class and then this week. He is somewhat newer, but I have had multiple lessons on him.”

Along with the top prizes, several other awards were presented at the end of the evening. Sophie Michaels’ mount, Acortair, was named Best Turned Out Horse by the judges and her groom, Moses Hernandez, received a special prize to acknowledge his hard work. O’Mara’s mount, Kaskade, also received the award for Best Equitation Horse. Stacia Madden and Krista Freundlich received awards as the trainers of the winning rider. Special awards were also presented to the families of the champion and reserve champion, and the top eight trainers received prize money.

Darragh Kenny Claims $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic with Chanel

Darragh Kenny (IRL) continued his recent string of successes at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Friday with a win in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic aboard Chanel for owner Kerry Ann, LLC.

Darragh Kenny and Chanel
Darragh Kenny and Chanel

The pair bested a field of 59 over a one-round speed track built by course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER). From the 48th position in the order, Kenny and Chanel, an eight-year-old Oldenburg mare (Challan x Lordanos) stopped the clock in 62.43 seconds for the win. Two trips later, Andrew Ramsay (USA) set out to take the lead, but came up nearly two seconds short with a time of 64.88 seconds to settle for second place in the irons of The Doodle Group’s Cocq A Doodle.

Abdel Said (EGY) and California took third in 65.39 seconds for owner American Equestrian Association II, LLC. Conor Swail (IRL) and Cita, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, claimed fourth in 54.50 seconds, while Margie Engle (USA) and Elm Rock, LLC’s Böchmann’s Lazio rounded out the top five in 65.60 seconds.

With two grand prix wins to his credit and coming off the heels of a victory in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 on Thursday, Kenny is pleased with how the 2016 season is shaping up for him and his horses.

“It’s been going really well, and the horses have been great,” he said. “I haven’t rushed at all this circuit, and I never tried to pressure the horses. I have been waiting until they feel like they are ready to do the classes that I want to do well in and it has worked out.”

Kenny got the ride on Chanel in September and has jumped the mare sparingly throughout the winter season with goals to produce it into a young rider mount for Kenny’s student and owner, Kerry McCahill.

“She jumped clear on Wednesday and today she felt like she could go fast, so we did,” said Kenny. “She felt great in the warm-up, and I knew she was jumping well. I was quick to fence one and two and then very tight back to three. I got there deep and she tried really hard, and then kept the pace and felt like she got better and better.”

Week 11 of WEF is the first time Chanel has competed at the FEI level, and while Kenny has worked to perfect the mare’s rideability, he feels she has what it takes to be competitive at the top level.

“She is still young, but she really wants to be careful,” he said. “We bought the mare with the intention of her jumping big classes, and I think she is going to be very good.”

Also competing in the International Ring on Friday, the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge saw a win for Lucas Porter (USA) and B Once Z, owned by Sleepy P Ranch, LLC.

WEF 11 continues on Saturday with the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, presented by Equiline, on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC beginning at 11:10 a.m. with a brunch hosted by Equiline in the Tiki Hut at The Stadium beginning at 10:30 a.m. The $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* will be the feature event in the International Ring on the main show grounds on Saturday evening beginning at 7:45 p.m. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent Win $35k Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11

Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Louise Serio Pilots SS Telling Secrets to Pre-Green Hunter 3’3″ Championship

Wellington, FL – March 24, 2016 – Week eleven of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Artisan Farms, continued on Thursday with a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Red Star d’Argent in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11. Competing in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, the pair beat out Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance in second, and Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) aboard Limestone Grey in third.

WEF 11 features CSI 4* rated jumper and ‘AA’ rated hunter competition running March 23-27, 2016. Friday features the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic in the morning and the 9th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship in the evening.

Saturday highlights the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, presented by Equiline, on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC beginning at 11 a.m. with a brunch hosted by Equiline in the Tiki Hut at The Stadium beginning at 10:30 a.m. The $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* will be the feature event in the International Ring on the main show grounds Saturday evening beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Competition concludes on Sunday with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic also held on the derby field at The Stadium. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the course for the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Coup Round 11 on Thursday with 65 entries and 17 advancing to the jump-off. Eight of those were able to complete double clear rounds over the short course with Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent clocking the fastest time of 37.52 seconds. Farrington and RCG Farm’s Creedance finished just off the mark in the slimmest of margins in 37.53 seconds to place second. De Luca and his own and Stephex Stables’ Limestone Grey followed with the third place time of 38.51 seconds.

Red Star d’Argent is an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Quick Star that Kenny’s Oakland Ventures and Sergio Alvarez Moya own in partnership. Moya sent the horse to Kenny to be sold this winter, and the pair has had fantastic results. They already won the $130,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* during week six competition, as well as the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSIO 4* in week eight.

Speaking of what he has learned about the horse, Kenny stated, “He likes to win. He is a fighter. He wants to be careful, he wants to be good, and he wants to win. I just have to not screw it up.

“He has been doing great, so we will just take our time and see what happens,” the rider continued. “I am having a lot of fun. He is a great horse. He twisted a shoe two weeks ago and put the clip up his foot and was lame for a few days, so we could not ride him. I only started riding him again on Saturday, and jogged on Tuesday and he felt good, so we went today. He is just an incredible horse. I have used him very sparingly this winter, but every time he comes out, he comes out great.”

Coming out the ring after Thursday’s jump-off, Kenny did not think that he had done enough to get the win with the fast combinations still to go, but he got a little lucky.

“I did not think I was fast enough. Kent is extremely fast, and he actually would have been faster,” Kenny explained. “He did one more stride to the last fence just because his horse shifted right at the second to last, but he would have been faster otherwise. I kind of got lucky there. There were a lot of fast riders like Lisa Goldman, and a couple of the others still to go, so you never know until the end.”

Detailing his jump-off, Kenny noted, “It is kind of the same thing I do with that horse. He is quick, and I just go as fast as I feel I can. I felt I was a little bit slow to the orange vertical, and that is where I thought I left a bit of time, but I knew that was the right thing to do for him. He felt great, and the rest of it was super. Kent’s horse is a super horse and Kent is an amazing rider and I knew he was going to be very fast, so I had to do as much as I felt comfortable with.”

In addition to the winning prize money, Kenny earned a $3,000 bonus for wearing his SSG ‘Digital’ style riding gloves as part of the SSG Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion.

Also competing in the International Ring on Thursday, the day began with a win for Lauren Hough (USA) and Paris Sellon’s Adare in the $8,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m jump-off class.

Louise Serio Pilots SS Telling Secrets to Pre-Green Hunter 3’3″ Championship

Louise Serio, of Kennett Square, PA, rode SS Telling Secrets to the championship title in the Perfect Products Pre-Green Hunter Level 2 (3’3″) this morning in the Rost Arena. Serio and the seven-year-old Trakehner gelding topped the under saddle and one of the four over fences classes on their way to the championship win. The pair also earned a fifth-place ribbon in another over fences class. Heather Hays and Stacey Shore Werner’s Sebastian took home the reserve title, placing first, third, and fourth over fences. Sebastian, a six-year-old Holsteiner gelding, also earned a fourth-place ribbon in the under saddle.

Louise Serio and SS Telling Secrets
Louise Serio and SS Telling Secrets

Rain clouds circled around the show grounds for much of the morning, but veteran rider Louise Serio was not daunted by the potential for bad weather. Despite some windy conditions, Serio and SS Telling Secrets performed consistently well. “Today he got a little bit green in the first round and over-jumped some. In the second round he went really nicely,” Serio commented.

Serio was pleased to have a successful first outing with new mount SS Telling Secrets. She plans to take things slowly with the young gelding. “He hasn’t shown much before; he’s only shown four other times in his life,” she explained.

SS Telling Secrets is indeed a very new horse for the team at Derbydown Farm. The gelding was only purchased one week ago. “We just bought him,” Serio commented. “We bought him through Kim and Andy Marone. He had only shown one other time here at WEF, which we got to see, and then we purchased him just last week.”

Serio expressed a lot of excitement about the new acquisition and is enthusiastic about the young gelding’s future. “We are very excited. He’s gone very nicely so far!” Serio said.

“He has an outstanding disposition,” Serio remarked. “He’s just really, really quiet, and we are very happy. He’s been really pleasant since the purchase.”

SS Telling Secrets is a stunning mover, which is what convinced Serio to purchase the gelding. “He’s just a gorgeous mover,” Serio stated. “He won the under saddle in this division yesterday, and I think he will continue to do well in the under saddle classes wherever he goes.”

Serio plans to continue showing SS Telling Secrets in the Pre-Green Hunter divisions. “I plan to gear him up to show in the Pre-Green incentive classes,” she added. Serio also explained that the gelding was purchased for amateur rider Meredith Lipke and that she will be taking over the reins and begin showing with him very soon.

The eleventh week of competition at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Friday with the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic featured in the International Ring in the morning and the 9th Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships in the evening. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Callie Seaman for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent Win $216,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSIO 4*

Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Mexico and USA Top Hollow Creek Farm Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Grand Prixs; Christina Rogalny and Marvelous Win Engel & Völkers Low Children’s Hunter 2’6″

Wellington, FL – March 6, 2016 – Week eight of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, March 6, with a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Red Star d’Argent in the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSIO 4*. Riders representing five different countries qualified for the jump-off, with Kenny leading the way for Ireland over Colombia’s Roberto Teran Jr. and Woklahoma in second, and Australia’s Matt Williams aboard Valinski S in third.

The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider divisions also concluded the week with their grand prix classes Sunday morning. Mexico’s Luciana Gonzalez Guerra and Zidane won the Children’s Grand Prix, Mexico’s Carlos Hank Guerreiro and Golden Horta topped the Junior Grand Prix, and Victoria Colvin (USA) and another Zidane were victorious in the Young Rider Grand Prix.

USA’s Steve Stephens and Ken Krome were the course designers in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) for CSIO week at WEF. In their final competition of the week, Stephens and Krome saw 50 entries in the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix, with five riders qualifying for the jump-off.

Matt Williams and Wyndmont’s Valinski S were first to qualify, and first to return for the short course, completing the track without fault in the third place time of 45.79 seconds. Roberto Teran, Jr. was next to jump off aboard Ark Partners’ Woklahoma, with another clear round and a faster time of 44.89 to finish second. Next in the ring, Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent clocked the winning time of 42.83 seconds. Hardin Towell (USA) and Jennifer Gates’ Emilie de Diamant AS had one rail down in 46.84 seconds to finish fifth. Last to go, Ben Maher (GBR) and Jane Clark’s Sarena also dropped a rail, but finished in a faster time of 44.43 seconds to place fourth.

Watch Darragh Kenny and Red Star d’Argent in their winning jump-off round!

Red Star d’Argent is an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (by Quick Star) that Kenny’s Oakland Ventures owns in partnership with Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya. This was the second win of the circuit for the newly paired duo, who also topped the $130,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* during week six competition at The Stadium at PBIEC.

Speaking of their partnership and what he has learned about the gelding over the last several weeks, Kenny remarked, “I am learning that he is a really good horse. He can go anywhere and do anything at the moment. The horse gives me a great feeling every time I jump him; he is getting better and better.

“I was working a lot with the rideability, and getting him confident, and feeling confident with me,” Kenny explained. “Today, I must say he jumped excellent from the word go. He felt super. He feels really happy and he is jumping great. Up until this week I had never even jumped him over the water. I called Sergio on Wednesday and was like, ‘Does he jump the water?’ I must say, I am lucky to have the horse, and Sergio is great. He puts no pressure on me and lets me do what I want with the horse, and it is paying off. He is going to want him back next week!”

Kenny had the opportunity to watch Williams complete his jump-off round before he entered the ring, and had an idea of what he needed to do to get the win.

“I watched Matt go, and Matt’s horse was amazing and he had a super round,” Kenny stated. “I felt that I just wanted to go as fast as I felt comfortable. I know the horse is very fast. I know I did one less stride after the black skinny, and I just had a feeling where I was and that I was up a little bit (on the time). I did not realize I was going as fast as I was, but it ended up being great.”

“He is just a great horse; it does not matter you do with him,” Kenny continued. “You can go fast, slow, deep, long and he just wants to jump the jumps, and that is what a great horse does. He has been stepping up every time. I did not know what he was going to do today. He was very good week six, and I gave him week seven light, and I knew my plan was to gradually build him up towards this grand prix. Right now my plans are working.”

Roberto Teran, Jr. has had his mount, Woklahoma, for three years and continues to earn very consistent results with the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Sheraton x Calvados).

“She has been improving month by month, year by year, and now she is at a point where she is a very good Nations’ Cup horse,” Teran detailed. “She went to the Pan American Games and was outstanding. Our goal is to make it to Rio in good shape. Now it is about good management to get us from here to there in the best condition possible. She is super careful, super serious, and is getting better every day. She is a dream to ride.”

Matt Williams also has his sights set on the Olympic Games in Rio and has a great new partnership with Valinski S, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Nijinski x Julius.

“I have not had him that long. I got him at the beginning of the winter and every time he has gone in a big grand prix, he has been clear or four faults, so he is consistent and giving me a great feeling,” Williams said of his mount. “He jumps with a lot of heart, so at the moment I just have to keep him fresh and hopefully it will keep going to way it is going.”

Speaking of his opening ride in the jump-off, Williams noted, “I have not jumped this grand prix in four years, and the last time I did it, I was first to go in the jump-off as well, but unfortunately there were 12 in the jump-off that time and it did not work out as well. I went out there today with an idea to do as much as I could and leave the jumps up. I got a little bit wide to the last jump. I drifted out a little bit, but I do not think I would have gone any quicker if I was after Darragh. I would not have been able to catch him; his round was as good as it comes.”

Red Star d’Argent’s groom, Nickki O’Donovan, accepted the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, to reward her dedication and hard work as an integral member of the winning team.

Kenny was also presented the Niall Grimes “Cheers” Perpetual Trophy, which is presented each year to the top Irish rider during the CSIO Nations’ Cup week.

Another special award was presented to fellow Irishman Conor Swail. Swail earned the Kate Nash Boone Style Award as the international equestrian who exemplifies best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure while competing in the CSIO Nations’ Cup week at WEF.

Canada’s Tiffany Foster was also presented the award for Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for week eight, an award sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Mexico and USA Win Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior and Young Rider Grand Prixs

The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s Grand Prix was the first class of the day in the International Ring on Sunday with a win for Mexico’s Luciana Gonzalez Guerra (13) riding H.R.M. Melse’s Zidane.

The class saw 31 entries, and an eight-horse jump-off, with three double clear rounds. Gonzalez Guerra and Zidane completed the fastest clear round over the short course in 39.40 seconds. Madison Hilderman (CAN) and Kenzo placed second with a time of 41.88 seconds, and John Gallagher (IRL) and Sportsfield Eterina, owned by Noel Delahunty and Thomas O’Brien, finished third with their time of 45.01 seconds.

Luciana Gonzalez Guerra and Zidane
Luciana Gonzalez Guerra and Zidane

Gonzalez Guerra is from Mexico City and has had her horse Zidane, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Celano x G. Ramiro Z), for two years.

“I could not match with him at first. It was very difficult, but now we are one,” the rider stated. “I started to win everything with him, so I had to bring him to Wellington. He is a very lazy horse, but when you kick him, he just wants to run and you cannot stop him, so it is a little bit difficult.”

This was Gonzalez Guerra’s first time competing in Wellington and she had a great experience, finishing second in the Welcome class on Thursday, winning the Nations’ Cup with her team from Mexico on Saturday, and now finishing out with a win in the grand prix.

Speaking of her strategy for Sunday’s jump-off, Gonzalez Guerra detailed, “My plan was just to not have any knock downs and go as fast as I could to try to win.”

Commenting on her experience in Wellington, she added, “It is amazing. The group was perfect. I did my job, my horse did the job, and my team did the job, so it was great.”

The division also presented a leading rider award to the competitor with the best overall placings in the week’s children’s classes. The award went to Juana Trosch of Argentina riding Emanuel Andrade’s Black Pearl.

The $2,500 Hollow Creek Farm FEI Junior Grand Prix was next to go in the International Ring Sunday morning with another win for Mexico. The junior class saw 28 entries, with a seven-horse jump-off, and four double clear rounds. The win went to Carlos Hank Guerreiro aboard Eurohorse BVBA’s Golden Horta with the fastest time of 30.01 seconds.

Also riding for Mexico, Mauricio Huesca Perez finished second riding Mauricio Huesca Bustamante’s Adermie PP through the timers in 30.86 seconds. Ireland’s Conor McMahon finished third in a time of 31.13 seconds aboard Pine Hollow Farm’s Casinjo Ex Z. Canada’s Jennifer Mattell rode Joe Mattell’s Cherokee ET to fourth place honors in 31.97 seconds.

For his success throughout the week, Guerreiro earned the leading rider award for the junior division. He and Golden Horta also placed fourth in the Welcome class on Thursday.

The 15-year-old rider, from Mexico City, trains with Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes and has been competing at WEF since the beginning of the circuit in January. His mount, Golden Horta, is a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood by Lord Z x For Pleasure.

Commenting on his win and a great week of competition, Guerreiro stated, “I am really happy. We have been here since the beginning of the winter, and I have just been training up to this weekend with my horse and he has been jumping great. All weekend he jumped really good; I felt confident, and I am really happy.”

“He is a little hot,” Guerreiro said of his mount. “You have to be patient with him. In the warm-up he is a little crazy. He is special, but then when he gets in the ring, he gets concentrated and then he jumps his best always.”

Commenting on the jump-off, Guerreiro detailed, “This jump-off did not have a lot of space to run. It was tight turns and you just had to make the most of the spaces you got. To the second to last jump, and the last jump, you just had to go all out.”

This was Guerreiro’s third year coming to Wellington to compete in the Hollow Creek Farm Series. He won the gold medal with team Mexico in the 2014 Children’s Nations’ Cup and also showed on the junior team in 2015.

“It is great experience for bigger Nations’ Cups later on,” Guerreiro acknowledged. “It is a fun weekend with your team. It is always good and I like it very much.”

The $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm FEI Young Rider Grand Prix concluded the 2016 series with a win for USA’s Victoria Colvin. The Young Rider Grand Prix saw 13 competitors, with six advancing to the jump-off, and four double clear rounds. For the win, Colvin and Springfield Showjumpers’ Zidane were last to go on the short course, completing the track in 34.97 seconds.

Fernanda Rodriguez de Haene (MEX) and Fernando Rodriguez Cerdan’s Teuz DLN Liban finished second in 35.11 seconds. Cormac Hanley (IRL) and Missy Clark and Stephex Stables’ Twan placed third in 38.88 seconds, and Giulia del Canton Scampini (BRA) and Constantino Scampini’s Keep on Fighting finished fourth in a time of 39.67.

Colvin and Zidane made a clean sweep of the Young Rider classes this year, winning the Welcome class on Thursday, topping the Nations’ Cup with Team USA on Saturday night, and finally winning the closing grand prix. For her success, she was also presented the young rider’s leading rider award for the week.

Colvin (18), of Loxahatchee, FL, watched the very fast round of Fernanda Rodriguez de Haene before entering the ring for her jump-off, and was not sure if she could beat it.

“I had watched on the Jumbotron and then I saw the horse galloping by the in gate and I was like, ‘Yeah, there is probably no way I can beat that,'” Colvin admitted. “But I went in there and I was like, ‘Well, Zidane, we are gonna go.’ I have not done too many jump-offs with him, but he was really game for it, so we just went for it.”

Colvin has been riding Zidane, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Sam R x Calvados), throughout this year’s Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series at WEF.

“It has gone well so far; he has been a great horse,” Colvin stated. “He is basically like a hunter. You do not really want to touch his mouth. You just leg him at the base of the jumps.”

Speaking of her experience competing in the Hollow Creek Farm Series for the first time this year with such great success, Colvin stated, “Yesterday was a fantastic opportunity. I did not show in the second round to save him for this class, but it was amazing to go in the first round and for him to put in a clear, and to know that you got a clear round for your country was really amazing.”

Christina Rogalny and Marvelous Top the Engel & Volkers Low Children’s Hunter 2’6″

Christina Rogalny piloted Marvelous, a sixteen-year-old Oldenburg gelding, to the Engel & Volkers Low Children’s Hunter 2’6″ division championship honors this Sunday afternoon. A competitive field of twenty-eight horse and rider combinations battled it out for the tricolor honors, but Rogalny and her catch-ride Marvelous, who is owned by Maarten Huygens, came out on top. The duo won three of the four over fences classes and placed second in another. They also earned the blue ribbon in the under saddle class.

Rogalny, of Wellington, FL, has a great deal of experience catch-riding horses. “I usually catch-ride because I don’t own a horse or pony of my own,” Rogalny commented. Her experience paid off with new mount Marvelous, who she rode for the first time this week.

“I rode him in a schooling class on Friday and then showed him this weekend,” Rogalny said. “He was great; he was awesome!”

“He’s a really good horse,” Rogalny commented. “His trainer told me he’s been all around the world and done a lot of things, but now he’s older and they wanted him to do a few little classes to see how it would go with a smaller kid.”

Trained by Ali Sweetnam and the team at Sweet Oak Farm, Rogalny enjoys a lot of success catch-riding different horses each week. She especially enjoyed riding Marvelous for owner Maarten Huygens. “He’s actually pretty easy, but he’s a little spooky sometimes on the ends of the ring. That was a little hard, but overall he was really good,” she smiled.

Rogalny has been around horses her entire life. “My mom always rode as a kid, so we had a barn when we were younger. Riding was in the family,” she commented.

As a full-time resident of Wellington, she does not have to commute each weekend to compete at WEF. “It’s great; I get to show all circuit!” the 15-year-old freshman of King’s Academy School exclaimed.

Rogalny currently competes in numerous classes each week at WEF. “I show in a lot of the pony divisions and also the equitation classes. I do the THIS medal and the 12-14 equitation,” she stated. Rogalny hopes to qualify for indoors this year and she also aspires to move-up to compete in some of the bigger classes. “I want to go to indoors and do the big equitation and the bigger hunter classes.”

The 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its ninth week of competition sponsored by Douglas Elliman on March 9-13, 2016, featuring CSI 5* jumper and ‘AA’ rated hunter divisions. The week’s highlight event is the $380,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI5* on Saturday night, March 12. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Callie Seaman for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Darragh Kenny and Red Star D’Argent Win $130,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* at WEF 6

Darragh Kenny and Red Star D’Argent. Photos copyright Sportfot.

3’3″ Hunters Garner WCHR Week Championships

Wellington, FL – February 19, 2016 – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny was the winner of Friday night’s $130,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* aboard a brand new mount, Red Star D’Argent, during week six at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Competing under the lights in the International Ring at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), Kenny topped a three-horse jump-off over Laura Chapot (USA) and ISHD Dual Star in second and Sayre Happy (USA) aboard Ludwig’s Joker B in third.

While hunters take center stage on the main show grounds for World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week, the international jumpers get a fresh change of scenery competing in both the Global International Ring and the Derby Field at The Stadium through Sunday. The feature “Saturday Night Lights” event will be the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherhill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday, February 20, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The $10,000 Artisan Farms U25 Welcome, sponsored by EnTrust Capital, and the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will both be held on the derby field at The Stadium on Saturday. The $25,000 Artisan Farms U25 Grand Prix, sponsored by EnTrust Capital, as well as the $50,000 WEF 6 National Grand Prix, will both be held on the derby field at The Stadium on Sunday. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.

Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the course for 42 starters in Friday night’s grand prix with only three clear rounds for the jump-off. Sayre Happy qualified her mount Ludwig’s Joker B, but had a refusal at the second fence in the short course and chose to retire after her horse lost a shoe. Laura Chapot jumped next with Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star, completing a clear round in 39.48 seconds. Last to go, Darragh Kenny and Red Star D’Argent clocked in two-tenths of a second faster to take the win in a time of 39.27.

Kenny just recently got the ride on Red Star D’Argent, an 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion by Quick Star. The horse was previously shown under Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and is now competing with Kenny to be sold. Red Star arrived in the U.S. in the beginning of January, and Kenny has taken his time to get to know his new mount over the last several weeks before stepping up to Friday night’s grand prix.

“My relationship with him is very new,” Kenny detailed. “He was formerly ridden by a very good friend of mine, Sergio Moya. We had talked about the horse coming this winter for me to ride a little bit. He came about five or six weeks ago, and I have just really been getting to know him the last few weeks. He has jumped a lot of good rounds, but has had an unlucky jump down. Today he was fantastic. This was the first grand prix I have jumped him in. I have jumped some WEF (Challenge Cups) and some 1.50m (classes). I did not feel 100% comfortable that I knew him, that I had the right bridle, and everything like that. This week, he felt fantastic. He was really unlucky in the WEF, but fantastic today.”

“The idea is to sell the horse, and that is why he came here for me to ride and show,” Kenny continued. “I have had a lot of horses come and go lately. Some have gotten sold, some have gone to other people, and it does not really bother me because I am trying to produce new horses all of the time so that they can get sold and I can have horses to ride at the top level. The last few weeks I have been very unlucky, so to get this win is really great.”

Commenting on his jump-off round, Kenny said, “I did not actually watch Laura. I know that Laura is an extremely fast rider, and the horse is a super horse. I had one of my friends, Hardin (Towell), watch her. He said that you basically just have to go for it and see what happens.”

“The horse is very easy to turn, and he jumps even better when you turn him back up to jumps,” Kenny continued. “He really tries and is really careful, with good technique, so it makes it easy to turn really short with him.”

Knowing that Red Star turns so well, Kenny had planned to show the horse in Friday night’s grand prix in the smaller arena at The Stadium for the last four weeks.

“I had the aim of jumping him this week. I think this venue suited him,” Kenny said. “He is agile; he is good in a small ring. I knew it would be a careful course, (and) he is very careful.”

Chapot thought she may have been able to take more risk in hindsight, but the rider was very pleased with her jump-off round aboard ISHD Dual Star.

“I thought she jumped fantastic tonight,” Chapot stated. “I do not think she even came close to touching a rail. I think I just played it too safe in the jump-off. I probably should have made at least one of the inside turns, either after the double or to the last line. But with only three in the jump-off and the first one obviously being out, I wanted to put a little pressure on Darragh and not make a mistake. With the way my horse was jumping, I probably should have gone ahead and done that, and that would have made the difference.”

Although Sayre Happy had to retire from her jump-off round, the rider was happy with the way Ludwig’s Joker B jumped on Friday night. The horse was double clear and fourth on Thursday and continued to jump well for his third place finish under the lights.

“My partner and I bought the horse to sell, and I do not think we knew he would be as good as he is,” Happy noted. “I got this horse in July and just did some smaller 1.40m, 1.45m, and this is the biggest class I have jumped with him. The stop was my fault; I was a mile away. He tries his heart out every time, and he is a really fun horse.”

Speaking of the night’s course, Happy stated, “I honestly thought there were going to be a few more clear. Yesterday, the course I walked was what I rode. I watched a bunch of people go and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, maybe I should change my plan.’ But I stuck with it. Tonight I felt the same way. It kind of rode what he set when I walked it, and I stayed with my plan. I thought he did a great job.”

Kenny also spoke of the course, noting, “When I walked the course, it did not look so difficult, but always in this ring, the jumps come up so fast. It ends up riding much more difficult. It suited a smaller horse with more blood. There were a lot of questions here and there about the numbers, but in the end I think he did a super job on the course.”

Chapot, agreed, adding, “This ring rides a little bit more like an indoor ring, and after coming off riding in the International Arena, which is so wide open, it was difficult for horses to adjust that quickly. I thought he posed a lot of questions all throughout the course, and he had rails everywhere.”

Along with the prize money for her third place finish Friday night, Sayre Happy was presented the award for Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for her success in week six. The award is sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate in memory of Dale Lawler.

3’3″ Hunters Garner WCHR Week Championships

Stephanie Danhakl wrote the perfect ending to a comeback story for her nine-year-old Warmblood gelding Quest in the culmination of the Osphos® 3’3″ Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division Friday. After much success with Danhakl’s trainer Scott Stewart in First Year competition in 2014, Quest suffered a rare complication involving the veins in his hooves that required over a year of rest to completely regrow healthy hoof.

Stephanie Danhakl and Quest
Stephanie Danhakl and Quest

This week marked the two-year anniversary of his First Year championship at WEF with Stewart, and he celebrated it by carrying Danhakl to first and second over fences, fourth under saddle and a win in the handy on a score of 91 for champion in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owner Division.

“I have to credit my vet Haynes Stevens for getting Quest back to full health,” said Danhakl. “After his First Year Championship his feet started getting sore, and we didn’t really know what was wrong. Haynes was the only one who could figure out how to bring him back.”

After over a year off, Quest returned in style and has been back in the show ring with Danhakl for the past few months.

“I’m happy to have him back – he’s an amazing horse,” she said. “He was phenomenal both yesterday and today. I never have to worry about him spooking, and I was confident about him showing in the International Arena. I really look forward to this week with the focus on the hunters. There is a lot of excitement in the air, and it is nice to be able to gallop around and really let out his stride.”

Danhakl admits that her division is a competitive one with a lot of junior riders moving up into amateur competition, but she is happy to be kept on her toes.

Scoring first and third over fences and second under saddle, Vivian Yowan piloted Anytime, owned by Saddle Ridge, LLC, to reserve champion behind Danhakl.

In the Karina Brez Jewelry 3’3″ Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Division, Daryl Portela and Winner, owned by Isalou, Inc., claimed champion after jumping to reserve honors during Week 5. Portela and Winner were first and fifth over fences, second in the handy, and third under saddle to clinch the tricolor.

“I had a great week,” said Portela. “It’s a tough division with a lot of good horses and a lot of good riders, but I feel very comfortable with [Winner].”

Portela has had the ride on the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding for four years after her trainer Jimmy Torano imported him.

“He didn’t have much of a personality and had never done the hunters when I got him,” she said, “but I started him right away. He developed a great personality and became very comfortable.”

For Portela, having a chance to shine in the International Arena is a rare treat. “We never get to show in here. It’s a long way around, but it’s so exciting,” she said.

Reserve champion honors in the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over 3’3″ division was awarded to Lynn Seithel and her own Walk the Moon after a third place finish over fences and a blue ribbon in the handy.

The UHealth Ear Institute 3’3″ Junior Hunter Division saw stiff competition during WCHR week and was split into two sections with Lili Halterman and her own Genuine taking champion in Section A and Mimi Gochman earning champion in Section B aboard Papyrus for owner David Gochman.

Seventeen-year-old Halterman is savoring her final season as a junior competitor at WEF and admits that earning champion during WCHR week was a special bonus.

“This season was most about having fun and enjoying being on my horses,” she said. “I really enjoy big rings, but this ring especially.”

Halterman and Genuine collected two first place finishes over fences, a second-place ribbon in the handy, and a win under saddle to secure champion honors.

“He has always been great,” said Halterman of her 17-year-old Oldenburg gelding. “He always steps up and acts like a babysitter for me, and I have won a lot with him because of that.”

Halterman also earned reserve champion honors in Section A on her own Cussini with a win in the handy, as well as second and sixth over fences.

Taking the Section B Championship, Gochman rode Papyrus to third over fences, adding to his second over fences and wins in the handy and under saddle earlier in the week with Emma Kurtz in the irons.

Gochman, 11, showed in the International Arena at WEF for the first time this week and did it on a new mount. Papyrus, a nine-year-old German Warmblood gelding is one of the youngest and most green horses Gochman has sat on. She only started riding him at the beginning of the winter season.

“I have to be a lot more gentle with him – he is always really cautious so I try to be really soft, which is new to me,” said Gochman. “He took care of me out there today, and it was really a treat. It was fun to have the experience, but also to do well in the big ring. I’m proud that I could keep it together with a new, green horse.”

Mimi’s sister Sophie Gochman collected reserve champion in Section B with Last Man Darling, owned by David Gochman. She won Friday’s over fences class after Emma Kurtz piloted Last Man Darling to fourth over fences and second under saddle earlier in the week.

Week six of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday with more hunter and jumper action on both sides of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Luck of the Irish Rules during Turf Tour Week 6

Conor Swail and Fortis Fortuna (Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)

Wellington, Florida (February 14, 2016) – In one of its busiest shows yet this season, week 5 of The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour series combined world-class competition and ideal weather as Olympians, amateurs, juniors, and young horses vied for top honors on Wednesday and Friday, February 10 and 12, 2016. Irish riders rode to top finishes across the major divisions, including the Grand Prix and 1.30-1.35m divisions, as Darragh Kenny, Cian O’Connor, and Conor Swail dominated the standings to make it a true Irish sweep.

With a backdrop of the verdant polo fields of the International Polo Club, the fast and accurate pair of Conor Swail and Fortus Fortuna, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, delivered the winning ride in the $15,000 Grand Prix on Friday, over a course designed by Nick Granat. His double clear effort was contested by only a handful others, while his jump off time of 36.078 proved unbeatable in the course of the day. Another Irish native and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Cian O’Connor, took reserve honors with a final jump off time of 38.161 aboard his own Enriques of the Lowlands. O’Connor also took fourth place with Duke of Carnival behind two-time US Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward and HH Ashley. 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist Beat Mandli of Switzerland settled into fifth with Grant Road Partners’ Celina, followed by 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and Jane Forbes Clark’s Aristo Z in 6th, Stephen Moore and Teddy Vlock’s Team de Couquerie in 7th, and Cathrine Dinan aboard Grant Road Partner’s Galan S in 8th. Maher, who has competed on the Turf Tour for the past three weeks, has made use of the venues and divisions to prepare the experienced Aristo Z for bigger classes later in the season. “We had a holiday towards the end of last year, and have been using a few classes here to build him up for the bigger Grand Prix next week,” stated Maher. “[The Turf Tour] is great, a nice change from what is on offer, with a relaxed environment and excellent venues. It’s been great for me so far this year.”

Darragh Kenny and Gatsby
Darragh Kenny and Gatsby

To round out the Irish dominance during week 6, Darragh Kenny and Gatsby, owned by Toffolon Partners, LLC, won both of the 1.30-1.35m classes, with Beth Underhill aboard Cadermie and Edward Levy aboard Starlette de la Roque taking the reserve in each class. Granat’s designs in the Grand Prix and 1.30-1.35m made excellent use of the expansive turf course, and was intended to present a challenge that relied upon the use of strong basics and tactful riding to adjust between the first round and jump off. Thanks to the generosity of the Turf Tour’s newest sponsor, Bright’s Creek, the winner of Friday’s Junior/Amateur Owner Classic and Grand Prix will receive a 3-day, 2-night trip to their beautiful destination in the mountains of North Carolina. From equestrian activities and fine dining to luxury accommodations and an exclusive BMW Off Road Excursion through 7.2 miles of wilderness trails, hardwood forests, and ancient rock formations, the Turf Tour’s competition now have even more reason to put their best foot forward as Bright Creek will be sponsoring the Grand Prix and Junior/Amateur Owner Classic through the rest of the season. For more information visit the Bright’s Creek website.

In addition to the Grand Prix and 1.30-1.35m divisions, the second arena featured Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumpers, 5-, 6-, and 7-Year-Old Jumper classes and qualifiers, a Junior/Adult Amateur Classic, and Speed/Jump Off classes. Intended to act as a catalyst for the growth and development of horses and riders, the Turf Tour combines breathtaking venues with amenities as world class as the riders to consistently draw some of the top competitors in Wellington. Week Seven of the Turf Tour will again take place on the beautiful grounds of the International Polo Club on Wednesday and Friday, February 17 and 19, 2016.

For more information, visit www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow The Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
954 205 7992

Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W Triumph in $25,000 Equiline Holiday I Grand Prix

Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W. Photos: ©ManciniPhotos.

Darragh Kenny and Zabel D Take $10,000 Equiline Open Stakes Class

Wellington, FL – December 15, 2015 – Kaitlin Campbell and longtime mount Rocky W added another win to their extensive partnership, as the duo captured the $25,000 Equiline Holiday I Grand Prix on Sunday, December 13, at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Campbell, of Springfield, PA, and Rocky W crossed through the timers in 52.192 seconds to take the lead from Irish rider Darragh Kenny and Zabel D who finished in 54.507 seconds, while Abigail McArdle, of St. Charles, IL, and Harriri V.D. Maltahoeve collected third place honors with a time of 54.87 seconds. Competition at PBIEC will continue today with the start of the ESP Holiday II including the $10,000 Pony Up Treats Open Stake and the $25,000 Pony Up Treats Holiday II Grand Prix on Thursday, December 17.

Campbell and her own Rocky W, a 1998 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Libero H x Mona Liza), made easy work of the first round track, set by Hector Loyola (PRI), and dashed to an exciting finish in the jump-off round, where the duo finished nearly two seconds faster than Kenny and Zabel D. With a knack for finding the fastest routes on course, Campbell commented that Rocky W’s ability to cover ground and remain balanced through tight turns offered her the opportunity to push for the win.

“This is his first big class down here and he’s usually pretty on it when he knows we’re back in the International Ring. He was being incredibly careful today. I knew that I could go for it and he would stay off the rails,” commented Campbell. “He’s so quick though the turns that you really only need to think turn and he’ll get there. He was really fast through the second turn and I think that’s where we made up the time.”

The duo has been together for quite some time, earning a number of top wins including the $25,000 Nutrena® Grand Prix hosted at PBIEC in March 2015. As Rocky continues to be competitive at the top levels of the sport, Campbell is sure to keep her partner’s happiness and well-being a priority. She explained, “I try not to waste classes and jumps on him. We don’t jump at home too much and I always try to pick classes where I know he can be successful,” explained Campbell. “I’m not aiming him for 5* Grand Prix classes. It’s more about finding classes that I know he can succeed in. It keeps him mentality sharp.”

After an incredibly successful career together, Campbell and Rocky W have established a bond, which allows them to fully trust each other when taking risks on course. Campbell’s gutsy ride through the jump-off round showcased the duo’s relationship and proved rewarding, as they secured another grand prix win at PBIEC. The experience the pair has gained together throughout the years has been incredibly beneficial and Campbell hopes to continue their success this season.

“He knows he’s the best in the barn and sometimes takes advantage of it,” laughed Campbell. “We’ll do some of the smaller FEI Speed classes this year because I don’t want to push him and over face him. He’s so fast that I think they’ll be a perfect fit for him. We’ll see how he’s feeling throughout circuit and play it from there,” she continued.

Darragh Kenny and Zabel D Take $10,000 Open Stakes Class

Darragh Kenny capped a banner weekend with Zabel D, owned by Kerry Anne, LLC, after the duo captured the $10,000 Open Stakes class on Friday, December 11, and then placed second in the $25,000 Equiline Holiday I Grand Prix on Sunday.

Darragh Kenny and Zabel D
Darragh Kenny and Zabel D

The duo took top honors in the $10,000 Open Stake with a time of 42.318 seconds, finishing the class with one of four double clear trips. Peter Wylde aboard Aimee finished in 43.862 seconds, while Heather Caristo Williams and Cosmopolitan 30 rounded out the top three with a time of 46.00 seconds.

Competition at PBIEC continues today with the start of the ESP Holiday II Series, which will conclude on Thursday, December 17. The ESP Holiday III Series will begin on Friday, December 18, and conclude on Sunday, December 20. Please visit www.pbiec.com for a full weekly schedule of competition events and to view daily results.

Darragh Kenny and Dirocco B, Sarah Scheiring and Eros SCF Win Adequan Young Jumper Classics

Darragh Kenny and Dirocco B. Photos © Sportfot.

Say When and Danielle Baran Start and Finish WEF 2015 as Champions of the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Section A

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2015 – Week twelve of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Rolex, continued on Friday featuring the rising equine stars of the circuit in their young jumper finals. The $20,000 Adequan® 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic saw a win for Darragh Kenny and Dirocco B, and the $15,000 Adequan® 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic was won by Sarah Scheiring and Eros SCF. The $10,000 Holtgers 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic was held in the morning, rewarding clear rounds from the circuit’s youngest horses.

WEF 12 continues through Sunday, March 29. The week features the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, March 28, and the $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final will also be held on Saturday. The 1.50m jump-off and the Rolex Grand Prix, starting at 6:30 pm, will be live streamed here: http://bit.ly/1MaVwBa. The $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will host its first round on Saturday; its second round on the derby field Sunday, starting at 1 pm, will be live streamed at http://bit.ly/1H5mkfF.

Steve Stephens (USA) set the courses for Friday’s young jumpers classes. The $20,000 Adequan® 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic concluded the day with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny aboard Oakland Ventures and Missy Clark’s Dirocco B. Seventy-eight entries showed in the class, with 18 clear to jump-off, and seven double clear rounds. The riders were given the option to jump-off immediately following their first round or to wait until the end.

Kenny waited until the end of the class to jump off and raced to the winning time of 36.531 seconds with Dirocco B. He edged out Laura Chapot, who had jumped off earlier with Mary Chapot’s BEC Hugo in 38.40 seconds. Lauren Tisbo and Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Hip Girl finished third in 39.42 seconds.

Kenny and Missy Clark purchased Dirocco B two months ago. The Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zirocco Blue VDL x Lux Z) previously had great success as a six-year-old with rider Devin Ryan, and Kenny has high hopes for the horse’s career.

“I got him through a good friend of mine, Andy Kocher,” Kenny detailed. “He had the horse, and I tried him once or twice and really liked him. He is unbelievably competitive. He is super careful, really fast, and extremely brave. He reminds me a lot of my good horse Picolo. He is the same type of horse that will win every class, and you can go all the time. I think it is a super nice horse.”

“We bought the horse together as a horse for the future,” Kenny said of his partnership with Clark. “I think it is going to be really talented. I am very lucky that Missy is helping me to get a few horses together to build up my career. I am very lucky that I have some very good owners right now, and I just want to keep trying to have younger horses coming up through the levels so that I have them when my older horses are ready to be done.”

Kenny continued, “It is hard to know what they will do. He is one of those horses where you are not going to know until you do it. He jumps every height just as easy as he likes, and then you move up and he does that the same way, so I’ll never know until I have to try to do it.”

Commenting on his jump-off round, Kenny detailed, “He is a really naturally very quick horse. You do not really need to change the pace. You just pick up a good pace, and he stays going and then all I had to do was put him at the right distance.”

Scheiring and Eros SCF Go for the Win

In the $15,000 Adequan® 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic, 57 horses showed, with 14 clear for the jump-off and seven double clear rounds. The riders were once again given the option to jump-off immediately or wait until the conclusion of the first round. Lisa Goldman and Melissa Hirt’s Roc N Groovy jumped off early and eventually finished second with their time of 33.66 seconds. Sarah Scheiring and Lauren Gristwood’s Eros SCF jumped off later, taking the lead with their time of 32.22 seconds. Sarah Kerins and her own Tykillen Livella clocked in at 35.77 seconds to place third.

Sarah Scheiring and Eros SCF
Sarah Scheiring and Eros SCF

Eros SCF is a Dutch Warmblood gelding by Balou du Rouet x Coriano, bred by Karin Jimenez (USA) at Sporting Chance Farm in Pennsylvania. His rider, Sarah Scheiring, is based out of Chester Riding Club in New Jersey with trainer Jamie Maillet. His owner, Lauren Gristwood, was a working student at the farm five years ago, and was looking for a project after selling her previous horse. They found Eros SCF as a yearling, and Gristwood immediately bought him after seeing the horse’s great movement and quiet demeanor.

Gristwood, of Virginia, broke the horse herself. She occasionally rides Eros at home when she has the time, but leaves the showing duties to Scheiring. She currently works as a groom for Canadian show jumper Ben Asselin.

“The first time I ever got on him was bareback in a field,” Gristwood noted. “Sarah is the only other person that has ridden him. He was my first yearling. I love the young ones. It is really cool starting them from the ground up and see the progress.”

“You would not believe how many people told Lauren how bad of a decision she was making when she first got him,” Scheiring explained. “Every single person said, ‘Why would you do that? That is so dumb! Why would you buy a one-year-old horse? Who knows what it’s going to be?’ But she believed in me. She always has. Last year she turned the reins over to me, and he has been unbelievable ever since.”

“He is perfect. He is wonderful, and he never lets me down,” Scheiring said of Eros. She then described the day they first saw him.

“He walked great,” she remembered with a laugh. “It was winter; the ground was rock hard with snow. We put a pole in the round pen, made him trot over it, and he would not canter. We said, ‘Okay, we can work with that.’ Also, a dog came barreling in the barn when he was on the crossties, and he did not flinch at all.”

Eros SCF only showed in three classes this winter as Scheiring geared him toward Friday’s final classic. Commenting on their winning round, Scheiring detailed, “I saw Lisa Goldman go first, and she is always fast. She is hard to beat. My horse jumps really high and spends a lot of time in the air, so I knew I had to make it up in the lines and I had to leave one out. He is really good at turning, so I could land and turn. I walked the line from the Sotheby’s jump to number 15 and walked a seven and stuck to it. It was a little bit scary, but that horse is so careful, I know he is not going to knock it down if I can get him there.”

In addition to their winning prize, Scheiring and Eros SCF accepted the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week twelve. With a great day to conclude his winter, Eros SCF will have a little time off and then show in the summer with the main goal of competing in the Young Jumper Championships at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in August.

Also showing on Friday, the $10,000 Holtgers 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic was held in the morning, awarding prize money for clear rounds overall from the promising young horses. Todd Minikus and Spring Girl, Victor Amaya and Donald Cheska Stables’ Foreigner, Nick Novak and Ricochet, Ronan McGuigan and Blythe Masters’ Maximus, Charlie Jayne and Haylie Rolfe’s Zara, Emily Hill and KBS Ronnin, and Candice King and Bellissimo LLC’s First VDL all cleared the course without fault.

Say When and Danielle Baran Start and Finish WEF 2015 as Champions of the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Section A

No stranger to the winner’s circle, Danielle Baran, from Ontario, Canada, and her horse, Say When, added another tricolor ribbon to their collection during the final week of WEF. This past weekend Baran earned a first, a second, and two fourths over fences on their way to topping the field of 17 riders in the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Section A. After kicking off WEF as champions during week 1, Baran exclaimed, “We haven’t had a down time during this entire circuit, which is incredible!”

Claiming the reserve champion spot was Carlotta with owner and rider, Ashley Hodges. Hodges rode Carlotta to a first, a second, and a fourth over fences in the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Section A.

With a final championship during week 12, Baran secured the circuit championship with Say When in the Adult Amateur 36-49 Hunter division. Baran also finished as reserve circuit champion with her horse, Vizcaya. “She has had an amazing season!” trainer Chris Sorensen stated. “Wellington is always a big test for us because we go up against the best horses and riders in North America. Danielle [Baran] has been one of the top hunter owners in Canada for the past couple of years, so it is nice to see her come down here and have a great season.”

Coming to Wellington with the same horses as last year, Baran credits the extra help from trainer Darcy Hayes for her best WEF circuit yet. “I’ve never had a year this consistent. Darcy [Hayes] has really helped prepare the horses, and I enjoy having two trainers supporting me at the ring,” Baran explained.

After an amazing start to 2015, Baran is looking forward to fine tuning her riding throughout the rest of the year. “I want to make sure it doesn’t look like luck,” Baran smiled.

Baran went on to say, “Eventually I would like to move up to the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ and will probably buy another horse with Chris [Sorensen] in the next couple of years to add in some new ones. Hopefully I can keep my horses going as long as possible because I adore them and feel blessed to have them.”

While Baran is done showing, Say When will compete tomorrow in the USHJA International Hunter Derby with Hayes. At the conclusion of the weekend, Baran and her horses will take a break before returning to Ontario for the summer shows.

WEF 12 continues on Saturday evening featuring the $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final jump-off followed by the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* in the International Arena. Hunter coverage returns to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring for the Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 and the first round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Darragh Kenny Earns One-Two Finish in $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m at the 2015 WEF

Darragh Kenny and Picolo. Photo © Sportfot.

Tomeu, Burlington, Gilbertson and Foley Claim $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Team Event; T. J. O’Mara and Kaskade Receive High Score in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase

Wellington, FL – January 30, 2015 – Show jumping action at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) took place on both sides of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday with classes for top international show jumpers as well as young up-and-coming talents.

In the International Arena on the main show grounds, Darragh Kenny (IRL) took the top two spots in Friday’s $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class aboard Oakland Ventures LLC’s Picolo and Toffolon Partners LLC’s Gatsby. The $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Team Event, presented by the McNerney Family, was held in the International Ring at The Stadium at PBIEC with a win for the team of Kaely Tomeu, Brett Burlington, Lacey Gilbertson and Tom Foley.

Week four of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, continues through Sunday, February 1. The week will feature the $372,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Fidelity Investments®, on Saturday, January 31. Other highlights include the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Classic on Sunday, February 1.

The $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase, presented by Asheville Regional Airport, will finish with their final two phases on Saturday, January 31. The cross-country begins at 1:30 pm on The Stadium derby field. The special showcase will feature some of eventing’s top horses and riders competing for phenomenal prize money in the winter equestrian capital of the world.

Both of tomorrow’s phases of the $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase, presented by Asheville Regional Airport, and Saturday night’s $372,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Fidelity Investments®, will be live streamed at www.COTH.com.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the track for Friday’s 1.45m with 51 competitors and 23 clear rounds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC’s Melody des Hayettes Z set the leading pace at 60.31 seconds to eventually finish sixth. Alvaro de Miranda (BRA) upped the time in 59.49 seconds with his own and Victory Equestrian Sport BV’s AD Amigo B, but was later pushed to fifth place. Darragh Kenny jumped into the lead with Gatsby in a time of 57.87 seconds, but soon topped himself to put Gatsby in second. Jessica Springsteen (USA) followed with a clear round in 58.20 seconds to take third place honors riding Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S. The only person who could beat Darragh Kenny was Kenny himself as the rider topped his own time in the winning round with Picolo in 57.13 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) jumped into fourth place in the end in 59.26 seconds aboard Vanessa Mannix’s Grand Cru vd Jijf Eiken.

“I just said to somebody that for these classes with those two horses, it is difficult not to be in the top six,” Kenny said of Picolo and Gatsby after his top-two finish. “They are two incredible horses. They are so careful, they are really fast, and you can do whatever you want with them.”

Kenny’s winning mount, Picolo, is a 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Alme. With Kenny in the irons, Picolo jumped to an impressive eight FEI victories in 2014 alone. The horse had a four-month break and started back last week with a couple of 1.40m classes. He stepped right up to the 1.45m this week and never missed a beat.

“Honestly, this horse is just amazing. Every time I ride him he is unbelievable. I have never, ever had a horse like this,” Kenny proclaimed. “He just wants to win so much, and he tries so hard. He is so competitive, and he is just an incredible horse.”

Second place finisher, Gatsby, is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion (Simba x Cruise On) that normally competes with amateur rider Allison Toffolon.

“Ali usually shows him, and she is coming in two weeks. I thought I’d show him this week just to give him a round, and it is just easy,” Kenny stated. “Their styles are a little bit different. I know Picolo so well. I know Gatsby quite well, but not as well. I went fast with Gatsby. I did four strides along one line, and I think Conor (Swail) was the only other person that did four there. Gatsby has such a big stride, so that is where you can be faster with him.”

“I saw Jessie (Springsteen) go and she was really fast and really good and that made me a little bit nervous,” Kenny admitted of his hold on the lead. “Then Eric (Lamaze) was really fast. He was actually faster than Gatsby, so I was a little more nervous. When I went with Picolo, I just wanted to make sure that I went as fast as I could possibly be. He is just incredible when you go against the clock. He is so easy. You just gallop at the jumps, and you never really worry that he is going to knock them down.”

Now that Picolo is off to a great start for his 2015 season, Kenny plans to move the horse up to some bigger classes.

“I am just starting to build him up,” the rider explained. “This is his second week back showing. He will probably jump the 1.50m this week. My goal is to jump him on the Nations Cup team here in week eight. Then he might jump one of the under the lights grand prixs after that. He has just been such a great horse. You can do whatever you want with him, so it is great to have him.”

Gatsby will continue to show in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers with Toffolon, and they also have plans to compete in the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series throughout the circuit.

Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in a California Split with 95 total rounds. Laura Chapot (USA) was the fastest clear aboard Mary Chapot’s Zealous to win Section A. Roberto Teran, Jr. (ARG) won Section B aboard ARK Partners LLC’s Farina.

A $500 Shapley’s Groom’s Class was also held in the afternoon. The winner was Miguel Barrera with Revelation, owned by Lori Harvey from Laura Stern Stables. Second place went to Fernando (Uno) Mendoza with Parlay, owned by Laura Stern of Laura Stern Stables.

Tomeu, Burlington, Gilbertson and Foley Claim $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Team Event

Competition in the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Team Event was tight to the very end Friday evening with the final placings being determined by a two-horse jump-off. Under the lights of The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Kaely Tomeu led her team of Sweet Oak Farm riders to victory in a head-to-head duel against Eugenio Garza.

Two teams jumped clear in the first two rounds of competition, but only Tomeu kept the streak alive riding to her third clear trip of the night aboard Fidalgo van het Leliehof and delivering a win to fellow teammates Brett Burlington, Lacey Gilbertson and Tom Foley.

The Team Event is one phase of 2015 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by the Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte which will offer $170,000 in prize money in seven featured events throughout the Winter Equestrian Festival.

In total, 16 teams competed in two rounds over a 12-effort course designed by Richard Jeffery (GBR). Jeffery will also set the track for the stadium jumping phase of the $50,000 Wellington Eventing Showcase, presented by Asheville Regional Airport highlighting Week 4 of the WEF on Saturday. After the evening’s first round, each team dropped their lowest score before advancing. In the second round, 15 teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults. The winner was determined by the lowest total score after two rounds and a tie-breaking jump-off.

Garza’s four jump-off faults with Bariano – his only in the class – settled his team of Spencer Smith, Shawn Casady and Michael Murphy in second place. Smith with IV Ever and Casady on Twister jumped to a pair of double-clear efforts, while Murphy ended on 12 faults from two rounds.

Making Chef d’Equipe Shane Sweetnam and fellow trainer Michael DelFiandra proud, 19-year-old Tomeu jumped the final round of the night with a win hanging in the balance. “It was a lot of pressure, but it made me do better knowing that other people were counting on me,” she said. “It was going to be exciting no matter how I did because we would have had good results being second, but it was great going clear and winning.”

Fellow Sweet Oak Farm riders Gilbertson aboard Record De Pleville and Foley on Petrushka III ended on zero faults. Burlington and Anders Wictor L had a single rail in each round.

While not the oldest on the team, Tomeu brought the most Under 25 Grand Prix Series experience. After competing in 2012 and 2013, Tomeu didn’t chalk the win up to being a veteran, but rather gave credit to 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Fidalgo van het Leliehof.

“This horse is amazing,” she said of the mount Sweetnam found for her in June. “I actually didn’t ride my best in the jump-off, but he pulled through for me. I landed off that last jump, realized we had won and knew it was all him that did it. I ride him in the High Amateur Jumpers and he really takes me around – he knows his job.”

Camaraderie from the barn aisle spilled over into the show ring during competition, according to 21-year-old Gilbertson. “Obviously we always want each other to do well because we ride in same barn, but it was special to be able to ride together on a team,” she said.

“We don’t get to do this very often,” added 15-year-old Burlington. “Showing in this stadium ring under the lights on a team was a fun experience.”

Riding last in the second round, 18-year-old Foley kept his team’s hopes for a win alive going clear and guaranteeing a jump-off. “It was good to go last – the pressure makes you try a little bit harder. My horse fought to the end for me,” he said of the 10-year-old KWPN mare he piloted. “It was more the horse than me to be honest.”

Third-place was a two-way tie between two four-person teams including Taylor Reid, Ryan Genn, Theo Genn and Richard Neal as well as Michael Hughes, Catherine Tyree, Katherine Strauss and Lucy Deslauriers. Both teams finished with four faults after two rounds.

The Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series is designed to give young riders a valuable stepping-stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level and culminates with the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final. The Final will take place Sunday, March 22 on the grass derby field at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center during WEF 11.

T. J. O’Mara and Kaskade Receive High Score in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase

This morning in the Rost Arena, 58 junior riders came to compete in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase. After three hours of competition, T. J. O’Mara’s score of 90 was unbeatable, and O’Mara earned top honors in section A. Madison Goetzmann finished in second with a score of 88.5 and Katherine Bundy rounded out the top three with a score of 87 in section A.

Kelli Cruciotti won section B with a score of 89. Just behind Cruciotti was Ailish Cunniffe who earned a score of 88 to take home second place in section B. Lucy Deslauriers was the third place finisher in section B of the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase with a score of 86.

O’Mara, from Rumson, NJ, was partnered with his own horse, Kaskade, today for the winning ride. Kaskade came to O’Mara two years ago having been a hunter, but O’Mara and his trainers at Beacon Hill thought Kaskade could be a good fit in the equitation. “We saw how much potential she [Kaskade] had, and we decided she would be an amazing equitation horse,” O’Mara explained.

Having come from the hunter ring, O’Mara and his trainers have been working on getting Kaskade softer and more accustomed to doing the tight turns required in the equitation. Talking about the preparation, O’Mara said, “This past week the trainers have been working with her [Kaskade], and she felt amazing today.”

While O’Mara and Kaskade started off the day on a high note winning the WIHS Hunter Phase, they also went on to win the WIHS Jumper Phase section A with a score of 91. With top scores in both phases, O’Mara was awarded the overall first place prize.

“I was worried about the jumper phase. The first line was forward and going to the right, so I was worried about Kaskade’s left drift and not making it up the line. Also, the last line was a very steady six to one and I thought she collected very well, making it easier than I thought it was going to be,” O’Mara commented about his Jumper Phase round.

After today’s win, O’Mara is qualified for the George Morris Excellence in Equitation class and is excited to compete in it during WEF 11. Looking past the WEF circuit, O’Mara has set his sights on continuing to win equitation classes throughout the summer, as well as have a successful equitation finals season this fall.

Equitation continues tomorrow with the THIS Children’s Medal 15-17 in ring 8. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Darragh Kenny and Windbreaker Top Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jump-Off at the 2015 WEF

Darragh Kenny and Windbreaker. Photos © Sportfot.

Brooke Banks Wins Adult Amateur 18-35 Section A Championship in First Week as Amateur Rider

Wellington, FL – January 9, 2015 – Week one of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL with the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off and Speed Challenge classes held in the International Arena in the afternoon. The jump-off class went first with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny aboard Windbreaker. The Speed Challenge saw a win for Laura Chapot (USA) and Shooting Star. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through March 29, 2015, awarding over $8.2 million in prize money.

Eric Hasbrouck (USA) set the course for the day’s 1.40m competition with a busy schedule of show jumping. The $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class saw 77 entries in total 15 clears in round one. Entries jumped off immediately following their first round where seven more went double clear.

David Beisel and Equine Holdings LLC’s Ammeretto were the first pair to jump double clear over the short course and held the lead through much of the class with their time of 32.69 seconds, but eventually finished in third place. Darragh Kenny came along many rounds later with Windbreaker and took the lead in 31.89 seconds. Victoria Colvin and Karen Long Dwight’s Chanel B 2 jumped into second place at the end of the class in 32.59 seconds.

Class winner, Windbreaker, is a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Farmer. Kenny explained that he was just schooling the horse for its owner, but easily breezed past the leaders to take over the top position.

“This is only the second time I have ridden the horse,” Kenny detailed. “It is trained by Laura Bowery, and it is owned by Kerry McCahill. It is actually her junior jumper. I was just riding it in a class or two for her this week to give it a school.”

“Laura said to me that it is a really quick horse and it is super easy, so it was easy to go fast on him,” Kenny said of his jump-off. “He is super nice to ride, very uncomplicated and very careful. I think he will make a really good junior jumper.”

“I didn’t know the horse and actually I didn’t see David go either, so I just went as quick as the horse felt comfortable with and it turned out to be good enough,” Kenny added of his round. “It is a quick horse and he is very uncomplicated, so I could do whatever I wanted, and it was very easy just to be fast on him.”

Kenny praised this week’s course designer, Eric Hasbrouck, on another great track, noting, “He has been super. Eric is a brilliant course designer. He rode himself, so he knows a lot about it and I think the courses this week have been great.”

Kenny looks to show Windbreaker a few more times throughout the circuit in preparation for his rider. “It will be just doing the same thing, a couple of schooling classes to have him set up for Kerry, and Laura will ride him a little bit as well. Between us all I think the horse should go really well,” he stated.

Kenny has a big group of horses to show throughout the winter and looks forward to a great few months. “I have a lot of good horses for this circuit, so hopefully it goes really well,” he concluded.

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held later in the afternoon with a win for Laura Chapot aboard Mary Chapot’s Shooting Star. Forty-nine entries showed with 13 clear rounds. Chapot and Shooting Star jumped the fastest clear round in 62.14 seconds early in the class. Nicolas Pizarro and Jacobo Zaga’s Calvaretto finished second in 62.45 seconds. Chapot also took third place honors with Mary Chapot’s Zealous in 62.84 seconds.

Brooke Banks Wins Adult Amateur 18-35 Section A Championship in First Week as Amateur Rider

While it’s far from Brooke Banks’ maiden season in Wellington, she is jumping her first fences as an amateur rider this week. When the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, she shed her junior status and set her sights once again on the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, this time as an amateur. Not letting her new title faze her, however, Banks jumped her own eight-year-old Mecklenburg gelding Brodeur to the championship in Section A of the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter division.

Brooke Banks and Brodeur
Brooke Banks and Brodeur

Banks and Brodeur boasted two third-place performances over fences yesterday and returned today to win both the Under Saddle and the first of two final jumping tests. Trainer Ron Esposito admits that watching the always quiet and regal Brodeur take home the brag-worthy flat win was no surprise.

“I’ve only met two Mecklenburgs, but they were both quiet and consistent,” he said. “I don’t have many in my barn, but I plan to find more.”

Posting consistent top performances, Lexey Hall collected Reserve Champion aboard her own Lacoste. The pair was first and second over fences yesterday and returned to collect third today, as well as fourth under saddle.

Banks has enjoyed her share of early success with Brodeur, a horse she only acquired a year ago from Patricia Griffith and Heritage Farm. Their 2014 goal of jumping at USEF Junior Hunter Finals was realized at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show this summer. “I rode him in Hunter Finals in Harrisburg, was fourth overall and haven’t ridden him since,” said Banks.

A freshman at Cornell University, 18-year-old Banks is juggling a Communications course load and collegiate extracurricular activities, in addition to a robust riding schedule, leaving Brodeur’s schooling to Esposito. “My trainer kept him [Brodeur] in great shape for me. To come back to WEF and win right away is a great feeling. I’m really excited for the rest of the circuit – I am hoping to get down here more than originally planned,” she commented.

Banks is focused on showing consistently at 3’6″ in the coming months and looks forward to making more time for Brodeur. “I love that his stride is big, but he goes slow – every distance is always right there. His jump is so smooth, and he comes up nicely with his knees,” she said.

While an obvious competitor in the ring, Brodeur is a pocket-pony in the barn, according to Banks. “He has the best personality – in the barn he is so quiet and always sleeping,” she concluded with a smile. “He’s like a pet that then goes into the ring and jumps around beautifully.”

The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival continues in the International Arena on Saturday with the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at 2 p.m. and the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, the first “Saturday Night Lights” event of the circuit, at 7 p.m. Hunter and equitation competition continue as well with the EnTrust Capital Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division awarding championships in the Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Darragh Domination of American Gold Cup CSI4*-W Continues with Third Win in a Row

Darragh Kenny and Prof De La Roque jump onto the tabletop in Saturday’s $34,000 Fidelity Investments Speed Derby.

North Salem, NY – September 13, 2014 – Darragh Kenny has done it again. For the third day in a row, the talented Irish athlete made headlines at the American Gold Cup CSI4*-W, this time after clinching the victory in the $34,000 Fidelity Investments Speed Derby CSI4*.

The Speed Derby victory comes amidst an unbelievable American Gold Cup winning streak for Kenny. On Thursday, he blew the competition out of the water to claim victory in the $34,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome aboard Gatsby. On Friday, the pair did it again, turning in the fastest clear jump off time to win the $100,000 Hermès American Gold Cup Qualifier. A third victory for Kenny however, would not come without a hard earned fight for the fastest finish.

Fellow Irishman Ronan McGuigan galloped into the Speed Derby course aboard Capall Zidane with guns blazing. McGuigan successfully navigated the rolling terrain and the 14 obstacles of the Alan Wade designed course set on the grass grand prix field of Old Salem Farm, to turn in a clear ride in 79.890 seconds.

Fifteen more horse and rider combinations completed the course that wound around the Old Salem Farm grand prix field. None would come close to matching or besting McGuigan’s time. But Kenny was determined to keep his phenomenal win streak alive and not even a downed rail would stop him from doing just that.

Aboard Prof De La Roque, owned by Postage Stamp Farm, LLC of Wellington, FL, Kenny flew over the course, up and down the tabletop fences and down a slight grassy embankment at an impressive clip. The speed caught up to the pair at one fence as a rail rolled out of the cups and hit the grass, but at the end, Kenny and Prof De La Roque blazed through the finish line timers in 75.850 seconds.

That time was just four-hundredths of a second fast enough to earn the victory, even with the additional four seconds added for the rail penalties, relegating McGuigan to second place. Rounding out the top three were Peter Lutz and Robin De Ponthual who finished clear in a time of 81.170 seconds.

The victory on Saturday with Prof De La Roque is not only the third major victory in the same number of days at the American Gold Cup for Kenny; it comes in the midst of what has been a year of incredible success for Kenny.

Most recently, he earned back-to-back wins at the Hampton Classic Horse Show before immediately boarding a plane to France for the World Equestrian Games where he was named 12th in the world.

“It’s been going amazing. I’ve had an incredible year,” Kenny said. “To be honest, it’s very little to do with me. It has to do with the horses that I have, the people that are behind me and the staff that work with me. The team behind all of me is all of them. That’s what makes everything go so well.”

Kenny and his team will now set their sights on the feature event of the 2014 American Gold Cup: the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W Grand Prix. He and Gatsby will join some of the world’s top competitors on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Flo Fulton First in $10,000 Mitchell-Innes & Nash Fine Art Adult Jumper Classic

The Adult Jumpers rode to their finale today in the $10,000 Mitchell-Innes & Nash Fine Art Adult Jumper Classic. From a field of 55 horses, 23 advanced to jump-off before Flo Fulton and her mount Mirell rode away with the win.

Flo Fulton and Mirell
Flo Fulton and Mirell

“We got [Mirell] in February, and we really clicked from the beginning,” Fulton said of the 8-year-old Hanoverian mare. “She’s really a little winner. When we’re feeling on, we always have great rounds. She doesn’t like you to fuss with her or push and pull. Once you get the motor going, she’ll really just take you to the fence.”

Outside of riding, Fulton, who trains with Jeffery Welles, operates her own consulting firm, aiding luxury brands with strategic events. She, her husband and their dog split their time between New York, Los Angeles, CA and Colorado, but she always enjoys traveling to the American Gold Cup.

“I love this farm. I love the Morrisseys [of Stadium Jumping]. They run an amazing horse show,” Fulton said. “I also love that they have the Hermès booth here so that I can do a little shopping!”

Finishing in a close second behind Fulton were Dean Dignelli and Redefin, while Laura Faulkner and Pompadour rounded out the top three.

Top Equitation Riders Compete in the Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Regional Championship

While the American Gold Cup CSI4*-W is a renowned show dedicated almost strictly to show jumping, it is also home to the esteemed Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Regional Championships.

A top finish in one of the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Regional Finals is necessary to advance to the prestigious ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show in Kentucky on Nov. 2, 2014.

Taking the top three spots in today’s Region 2 Finals were Michael Hughes, Ailish Cunniffe and Lucy Deslauriers, respectively.

Tune in to the exciting conclusion of the 2014 American Gold Cup Sunday at 2 p.m. with the live streaming of the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W Grand Prix available here!

More information can be found by visiting the www.theamericangoldcup.com or www.stadiumjumping.com.

45th Annual American Gold Cup Fast Facts

The $200,000 American Gold Cup, an FEI World Cup Qualifying Competition CSI4*-W

September 10-14, 2014

Old Salem Farm, 190 June Road, North Salem, NY

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday with the ASPCA Regional Championships on Saturday afternoon.

Facility: Old Salem Farm is New York State’s Westchester County’s premier equestrian facility, offering 26 annual competitions, boarding, top-level training and sales. It offers state-of-the-art facilities surrounded by 120 gorgeous acres.

Stalls are 10 x 10 and housed under canvas. The FEI stalls are 10 x 12 and stabling area will be secured by fencing with 24/7 security. FEI horses will be scheduled to school separately from non-FEI horses. Schedules will be posted and riders will be given notification of times during the horse inspection.

Available on the grounds

From Interstate 84 or Interstate 287: Take interstate 684 to exit 8 (Hardscrabble Road), turn right. Old Salem Farm is on the right.

Before Show – before 9/6/14: 941-744-5465/800-237-8924
During Show – 914-669-5610 ext 201
Stable office – 941-744-5465
Prize List Advertising – 941-744-5465
Vendors – Matt Morrissey 941-915-3457

Website – www.theamericangoldcup.com

Televised Broadcast:
The 2014 American Gold Cup Grand Prix will be broadcast on NBC Sports Sunday, September 21 at 4:00 p.m. EST.


Weekdays: Admission is free to the public.
Saturday and Sunday: Admission is $20 per person, $15 per child 4-12 years and seniors 65+, children 3 and under are free.

Gates open at:
Wednesday – Saturday: 8 a.m.
Sunday: 12 noon

Tickets are on sale now and are available online at www.theamericangoldcup.com and at the gate. (Online ticket sales will be available June 1 – Sept. 1.)

Charity Partners:

JustWorld International


Sponsorship Opportunities:

Matt Morrissey

Connie Sawyer

Advertising Opportunities:

Mary Silcox 800-237-8924

Ring dimensions and footing:
Grand Prix Field 350′x450′, footing bluegrass mix turf. Grand Prix Annex 200′x250′, Schooling 130′x170′. Jumper Annex 146′x307′, Schooling 155′x173′. Indoor 115′x195′, Schooling 74′x135′. Hunter 138′x243′, Schooling 108′x158′. Footing in all arenas is all-weather German-designed fiber and sand.

Official Hotel of the American Gold Cup
Danbury Crown Plaza
(877) 270 1393
Ridgefield, CT

West Lane Inn (203) 438-7323
Brewster, NY 5 – 10 min
Heidi’s Motel (845) 279-8011
Mt. Kisco, NY 5 – 10 min
Holiday Inn (914) 241-2600
Danbury, CT 10-20 min from grounds
Hilton Gardens (203) 205-2000
Comfort Inn (203) 205-0800
Danbury Plaza (203) 795-0600
Ethan Allen (203) 774-1776
Spring Hill Suites (203) 744-7333
Residence Inn (203) 797-1256

Stadium Jumping, Inc.
1301 Sixth Ave. West, Suite 406
Bradenton, FL 34205
Tel: (941) 744-5465 Fax: (941) 744-0874

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Boulevard, Suite 105 Wellington, FL 33414
Tel: 561.753.3389 Fax: 561.753.3386