Tag Archives: Darragh Kenny

Darragh Kenny and Quiz Win $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m Speed at FTI WEF 9

Darragh Kenny and Quiz. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 5, 2014 – The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) kicked off its ninth week of competition on Wednesday, March 5, with a $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class and a top finish for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny aboard Quiz.

FTI WEF week nine, sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies, continues through Sunday, March 9. Thursday’s competition will begin with the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m in the International Arena at 8 a.m. followed by the $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at 11 a.m. The High Amateur-Owner Jumpers have been moved to the Mogavero Ring.

The week will continue on Friday with the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m in the afternoon as well as the $25,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Semi-Final Friday night. The $280,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI-W 4*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, will be featured on Saturday night and the $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be held on Sunday. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

Ireland’s Alan Wade is the course designer in the International Arena for week nine. Wade set the track for 58 competitors in Wednesday’s 1.45m speed class with 14 clear rounds. Darragh Kenny finished first with Quiz and third aboard Picolo, with Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala in second.

Kenny jumped the first clear round of the class aboard his first mount, Oakland Ventures LLC’s Picolo, and set the pace at 61.91 seconds. He then beat his own time with Spruce Meadows’ Quiz several rounds later, taking the lead in 61.65 seconds. Kenny sat first and second until the end, when Lauren Hough jumped into second with Ohlala in 61.76 seconds. Quiz took the win and Picolo settled for third.

“I had a good plan with the first horse,” Kenny noted after the class. “I was really planning on being quick, and he is careful, so I wanted to have a good go. Out of the double, I did eight strides to the liverpool, and I just got caught. He shifted right, and I got caught doing one more stride.”

“I knew somebody was going to beat me, so I said, ‘I better go and try to do it myself!'” Kenny laughed. “With Quiz, I just start and get a good pace, and then if he feels good, I just keep going faster. I am very lucky. I have some really great horses right now and some really great owners. My business is really coming together and the horses are really coming together, and I am a very lucky guy.”

Kenny and Quiz also won the $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic during week four competition. “He has been great,” Kenny acknowledged. “I am just taking my time with him and not pushing him too much. I am just keeping him in the 1.45m and 1.50m classes. He is a very good horse. He is really careful, and he really wants to do well. I am lucky to be able to ride him.”

“Picolo is a horse I had last summer,” Kenny detailed. “He was placed in a couple of grand prix classes. He’s a super fun horse, and he is really competitive. He had some stomach problems over the winter; he got ulcers, and so he has not been showing a lot. I just started him back about four weeks ago, did two weeks, gave him a week off and then did this. He is really easy. He wants to win and wants to be careful, so he is really perfect for these classes.”

Coming from Ireland, Kenny grew up jumping Alan Wade’s courses and always enjoys Wade’s style. “For me, Alan is one of the best course designers in the world,” Kenny declared. “I think he is absolutely fantastic. He does a great job. He never makes anything too difficult that anybody crashes or anything like that, but the issues that you are having, he weeds them out straight away. If you have a problem with a horse’s rideability, guaranteed you are going to have a problem with it. The same if a horse isn’t careful enough, he will catch them out. He’s not very big about the time allowed being very tight. He just builds really good, technical courses up to the height, and he lets the horses and the riders figure it out from there.”

Also showing on Wednesday, week nine’s competition began in the morning with a win for Laura Chapot and Bradberry in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class. Chapot then went on to her second win of the day in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class riding Mary Chapot’s Umberto. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

First Time Is a Charm for Darragh Kenny and Alpha VDL at HITS Ocala

©ESI Photography. Darragh Kenny and Alpha VDL’s on their way to a win in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix.

OCALA, FL (February 18, 2014) – With no faults and the fastest time, Darragh Kenny of Wellington, Florida and Alpha VDL bested a large field of 51 top tier horses and riders to win the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis at HITS Ocala. The nine-year-old gelding, Alpha VDL, was purchased by Eva Castegren at the VDL Auction in West Palm Beach last March and has been shown lightly until making his grand prix debut with Kenny this weekend.

Most grand prix competitors felt the track designed by course designer Martin Otto of Muenster, Germany to be challenging. The time allowed was set at 71 seconds, but later raised to 73, the course included a total of twelve obstacles and fifteen jumping efforts with a tricky triple combination at fence ten. The course was consistent with knock-downs and time faults as Otto’s track tested the competitors. First to post a clear round was Lazaro and Jordan Coyne of New Port Richey, Florida and only four others would follow them to the jump-off.

Returning first, Lazaro, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood and Coyne finished with four faults at fence seven and a time of 37.7 seconds, which was good for fourth. Quality Girl, a 12-year-old Warmblood mare, with professional rider Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida in the irons finished second in the Zoetis Million at Saugerties last year and pulled a rail at 10b for four faults and finished with a time of 38.28 seconds for fifth place.

Third to jump and making it look easy was the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Viriato ridden by professional Scott Keach of Reddick, Florida, with two double-clear rounds during the class for owner Southern Cross Equestrian. Keach established the Great American Time To Beat at 44.90 seconds with Viriato. This would ultimately give them a third place finish. Next to jump off was Fernando Cardenas of New Hill, North Carolina aboard his 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Quincy Car. With no faults and a speedy time of 43.75 seconds, they finished seconds.

Kenny was definitely the underdog on a horse with no grand prix experience, but he and Alpha VDL prevailed in the thrilling five-horse jump-off, going clear with a time of 42.24 seconds for the win.

“He’s a big, easy-going horse I’ve shown him a few times now and nothing fazes him,” said Kenny. “He has a big stride and for a big horse he is amazingly light on his feet.”

There will be more grand prix action next Sunday as HITS VI – the Ocala Masters kicks off with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and later the $50,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, both presented by Zoetis. The excitement is building for the first-ever Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. The Great American Million will debut as the second jewel in the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping Monday, March 24 in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.

About Zoetis
Building on 60 years of experience as Pfizer Animal Health, Zoetis delivers quality medicines and vaccines, complemented by diagnostics products and genetics tests and supported by a range of services. They work every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. Zoetis produces a comprehensive range of safe and effective products, including equine vaccines, dewormers and sedative analgesics, to help professionals and individual horse owners keep their animals healthy. Both veterinarians and horse owners know and trust the Zoetis will help their horses live longer, healthier lives.

©ESI Photography. Haley Gassel and Werner 61 jump to the blue in the $7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Amateur-Owner High Jumper Classic
©ESI Photography. Haley Gassel and Werner 61 jump to the blue in the $7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Amateur-Owner High Jumper Classic

$7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Amateur-Owner High Jumper Classic, presented by Bayer’s Legend

With two entries in the class and hopes of qualifying for the Bayer’s Legend (hyaluronate sodium) Injectable Solution $250,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix in, Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee and Werner 61 rode to win in the $7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Amateur-Owner High Jumper Classic, presented by Bayer’s Legend. With a ‘better get it done or you’re going to get left’ attitude, Gassel and Werner 61, a big grey Warmblood, attached the track set by Otto in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.

Perched ring-side, accomplished professional David Jennings commented on the course: “This stadium has wonderful footing and the course is big enough without being ‘trappey.’ I have jumped lots of courses set by Martin and I know first-hand he is one of the best.”

With an order of go including 23 starters, six moved on to the jump-off. First, Acrobat with Robert Lee of Old Saybrook, Connecticut in the irons for Brook Run Farm, LLC rode to no faults and set The Great America Time to Beat at 34.55 seconds. They ended the class in second.

Gassel returned next and carved out a time of 33.21 seconds for the win. Third place was awarded to Laura Linback of Mundelin, Illinois with four faults and a time of 31.83 seconds. Fourth place on his second entry El Grecco was Lee who returned to best his own time to beat, but clipped a rail to settle with four faults in a time of 33.64 seconds. Michelle Stopford of Reddick, Florida and Zilano M, riding for Hardford Farm M&M, capped the top five with four faults and a time of 34.89 seconds.

$7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Junior High Jumper Classic, presented by Bayer’s Legend

The Junior section of the High Jumper Classic was able to also jump for their share of prize money over the weekend. It was Dakota Schramer of Holmes Beach, Florida riding No Autographs Please that was the pair to beat and the only one to post a double-clear round.

First to return in the jump-off was Kady Abrahmson of Loveland, Ohio on Basco, trained by Scott Keach of Reddick, Florida. Unfortunately, they pulled a rail at the second element of fence four to pick up four faults, with a time of 31.99 seconds. Their time was eventually the fastest in the jump-off, an effort good enough for second place.

©ESI Photography. Dakota Schramer and No Autographs Please win the $7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Junior High Jumper Classic
©ESI Photography. Dakota Schramer and No Autographs Please win the $7,500 U-Dump/SJHOF Junior High Jumper Classic

Next in the ring was Schramer and No Autographs Please. With trainer Kris Di Carlo looking on, Schramer was flawless with a clear-round in a time of 32.83 seconds for the win. Third place went to Hayley Waters on No Double with four faults and a time of 38.56 seconds for owner/trainer Chuck & Dana Waters.

With the win came an ample amount of cheering from Schramer’s ring-side fan club and a few tears of joy from her very happy mother. “We have had our problems – he doesn’t like to get deep to the jumps, but he’s getting better and better, and today he was perfect,” said Schramer. “I am gaining a lot of confidence as we go.  I really liked the openness of the stadium and am excited to try to qualify for the Bayer’s Legend Jumper Prix in Saugerties.”

About U-Dump
Since 1980, U-Dump has been manufacturing the finest dump trailers in the industry.  Built strictly from top-grade materials, all of their trailers are made with the latest construction techniques to eliminate bending and breakage in all stress areas.  U-Dump Trailers has built their reputation on manufacturing state-of-the art trailers of the highest quality and endurance. For more information on U-Dump, visit udumptrailers.com.

About Bayer Animal Health
Bayer Animal Health is amongst worldwide leaders in animal health. Bayer has attained this leadership position by continuously researching and developing products for animal health since 1919. A responsible relationship between humans, companion animals and livestock requires ensuring the health of animals. For more information on Bayer Animal Health, visit bayer.com.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Speed to Victory in $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. Photos © Sportfot.

Darragh Kenny and Quiz Triumph in $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Team of Dobbs, Mershad, Barnhill and McArdle Wins $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event; Spencer Smith and Beau Van Het Keysershof Take Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search

Wellington, FL – January 31, 2014 – The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued with a full schedule of competition on Friday, January 31, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 began the day’s competition with a win for Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala. The $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held in the afternoon with a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Quiz.

The day also featured the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, which was held at The Stadium at PBIEC in the evening with a top finish for the team of Kalvin Dobbs, Gabriela Mershad, Hayley Barnhill, and Abigail McArdle.

FTI WEF four, sponsored by Ariat, runs January 29 to February 2. The week will feature the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments featuring a concert by four-time Grammy Nominee Hunter Hayes on Saturday night, and the $50,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI 2* on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday afternoon. The FTI WEF features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week four competition. For the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4, which was held as a speed class, Palacios saw 63 entries with 22 clear rounds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Solerina, owned by Sweet Oak and Spy Coast Farms, held the lead through most of the class with their time of 62.58 seconds, but eventually settled for second when Lauren Hough and Ohlala raced through the timers in 61.46 seconds.

Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Arao Enterprises LLC’s Caballito finished third in 62.98 seconds. Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Capall Zidane placed fourth in 63.36 seconds, and Ben Maher (GBR) and Jane Clark’s Aristo Z took fifth place honors with their time of 63.82 seconds.

Ohlala, owned by The Ohlala Group, is a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento. The mare has had success around the world with Hough in the irons and continued her winning ways with a speedy top finish in Friday’s class.

“It was a nice course,” Hough stated. “Obviously not many of the horses got worked yesterday with the torrential downpour, and I sort of geared her towards this class this week knowing it was a one round. She is obviously a very quick horse. It wasn’t terribly big, but it was quite careful. There were rails throughout the course, and I think he did a good job considering that for most of these horses it was probably their first class this week. I wouldn’t say it was super technical today, but you needed a really careful horse.”

Hough saw Sweetnam’s round and knew she had a fast time to beat, but looking back, she was not sure where she made up the time.

“I put more steps in than he did, but she is just so quick across the ground,” Hough said. “I always have to stick with my plan and hope that I end up faster than the one in front of me. I don’t know where I made it up. She just was sort of on it everywhere. I was quite quick back to the last double. I didn’t waste a lot of time there, but I did eight strides to the last where most did seven.”

“She is a winner,” Hough noted. “I had a little bit of bad luck last week and not great riding in the grand prix and had two down, which is very uncharacteristic of her. I was a little disappointed in myself, and I thought I would give it a go this week. She is great. First class out, you can go fast and she knows her job.”

In addition to the prize money in Thursday’s class, Hough earned a special $3,000 bonus as part of the SSG ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion for wearing her SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves. Each week of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series, a $3,000 bonus will be awarded to the winning rider if they are wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.

She was also awarded a special trophy for her win, earning the Barry Louise Lane Perpetual Memorial Trophy, presented by Debbie Lane.

Darragh Kenny and Quiz
Darragh Kenny and Quiz

Darragh Kenny and Quiz Triumph in $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

The $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held on Friday with a win for Darragh Kenny and Spruce Meadow’s Quiz. The class saw 23 entries with 5 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off and three double clears. Kenny and Quiz earned top honors in 41.05 seconds.

McLain Ward (USA) and Kantunaro, owned by Ellen Holtgers and David Paige, finished second, clearing the course in 41.17 seconds. Alexa Pessoa (USA) and Rodrigo Pessoa’s Levade 35 were the first pair to jump clear and stopped the clock in 42.41 seconds to finish third.

Alex Granato (USA) and Wood Run Farms’ Mullaghdrin Rado had the fastest time of 39.80 seconds, but had one rail down to place fourth. Sydney Shulman (USA) and Marcus Hagglund’s Quirado had four faults in the jump-off in 42.37 seconds to place fifth.

Quiz is a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding by For Pleasure x Laudanum, owned by Spruce Meadows and the Southern Family. Kenny got the horse last year and has brought him along nicely.

“He’s ten, but he hadn’t done so much. He had only been doing 1.30m,” Kenny noted. “He won a good grand prix with me last year in Saugerties the week of the $1 million class. He has kind of just grown. He is unbelievably careful, he has loads of scope. I really think he is a top horse. I think he is a super, super horse. I am so lucky that Spruce Meadows owns him and that I get to ride him.”

Describing his strategy in the jump-off, Kenny explained, “I just thought, ‘Start going a little bit and then just keep building as the course went on.’ He is still green, so you can’t just go crazy from the start, but he has a big stride and he really wants to be careful, so you have to just keep going at the jumps. Then as it went I just got gradually faster.”

Kenny plans to keep Quiz competing at the 1.50m level this winter and is very happy with the horse’s progress. “He seems to be doing great. He was second last week and he won this week,” Kenny smiled. “He is going to have a week off next week. I really think a lot of the horse, so I am going to take my time with him.”

In addition to Quiz, Kenny has a lot of great young horses this year and is having a nice start to the FTI WEF circuit. “It has been going great,” he said. “I am very busy. I have a lot of good clients and a lot of good owners and some really nice horses. I haven’t yet jumped a Saturday night grand prix, but I’m taking my time. There is no rush. One horse will show next week in the big classes. These horses are all a little bit younger, and I am trying to produce them for the future.”

Team of Dobbs, Mershad, Barnhill and McArdle Wins $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte

Friday’s competition concluded with the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, held in the International Arena at The Stadium at PBIEC (home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival) in the evening. The class was held in a Nations Cup format over two rounds of competition. With nine teams competing, labeled Team A through Team I, Team F was the winner.

Team F, made up of Kalvin Dobbs and Treesdale Farms’ Winde, Gabriela Mershad and Mershad Stables LLC’s Udonna, Hayley Barnhill and Cara Cheska’s Zephire, and Abigail McArdle aboard David McArdle’s Cosma 20, finished on a total of four faults after the two rounds of competition. The team Chef d’Equipe was Abigail Blankenship.

After the first round, each team dropped their highest score. In the second round, all nine teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults with three riders each. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team’s top three riders from each round.

Dobbs and Winde jumped clear in round one and finished with four faults in round two. Mershad had four jumping faults and one time fault in round one to be the drop score in round one and did not return for round two. Barnhill and McArdle both jumped double clear rounds to help their team to victory.

Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20
Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20

McArdle (19), of Wellington, FL, was the anchor rider for her team and had the pressure of putting in a second clear round to clinch the victory for her team as the last to go. McArdle definitely felt the weight on her shoulders, but was confident in her experience.

“Obviously I had to be clean, but we have done this before,” McArdle stated. “We have been team members before where I have been anchor and I have been in this position. It was a great feeling to go in and be able to lay it down and be clean to win.”

McArdle has had great success with her mount Cosma 20, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (Couleur Rubin x Stakkato), and really wanted to go clean for her team.

“Even though I know her back and forth and obviously she is an incredible, once in a lifetime sort of horse, I still get nervous and want to do well,” McArdle admitted. “It’s the same pressure every round, whether it’s this or a speed class, or anything. I feel the same pressure and I want to jump clean and do well. I never assume that I know her, and she’s going to jump clean. We go in and ride to jump clean.”

Barnhill (20), from Collierville, TN, had a different experience with her mount, Zephire, an 11-year-old KWPN mare. Although they have not known each other quite as long, the pair also put in two great clear rounds.

“This is a new horse for me,” Barnhill noted. “I got her at the end of the year last year. She has never shown under the lights or done anything like this before, so we didn’t really know how she was going to be and she was fantastic. She could not have jumped any better, so I was really excited.”

Dobbs (18), from Carmel, IN, has a more experienced horse in Winde, his 11-year-old KWPN mare by Numero Uno x No Limit. The pair has done plenty of night classes, and this is their third year competing in the Artisan Farms young rider series.

“She usually picks up under the lights and it is definitely a lot different because it is more uncommon for us to show under the lights, but she is fun and it’s no big deal for her,” Dobbs said. “I was a bit nervous just because everything was cancelled yesterday, and I haven’t been here for a week and a half. Winde just jumped for the first time this morning since the last young rider grand prix, but we knew how to properly prepare her. It was nice that the course was fair. I thought it was a good course and set us up for a successful class. It ended up being a really fun, good young riders grand prix.”

Mershad (18), from New Albany, OH, showed in the first round with Udonna, her 13-year-old KPWN mare by Madison x Cavalier. Although she did not get to return for the second round, Mershad enjoyed the team experience and appreciated the camaraderie with her teammates.

“I think it is awesome. It teaches you how Nations Cup works, which is a big part of it when you go to senior riding,” Mershad detailed. “It really teaches young riders how it is going to be – how to work with a team and the pressure to be on a team and the support that you need to give each other.”

Showing in the beautiful arena at The Stadium at PBIEC also gave the riders a chance to compete in a different environment from the rings at the main show grounds. Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms noted that the main goal of the series is to give riders different experiences, and the night’s class did exactly that.

“Part of what we’re trying to do is give them exposure to different things,” Ziegler stated. “This particular ring feels like Europe to me. It feels like Vienna, it feels like Cannes, it feels like a stop on the Global Champions Tour. This is magnificent. If they’re looking for that exposure, this is it.”

The riders agreed, also saying that they felt like they were riding in a European arena.

“I loved showing here,” McArdle stated. “I thought this was really cool with the stadium on one side and the tent on the other side. It gave a very arena, international sort of feel. There were so many people here tonight, so I thought it was a great experience. It was really fun. You feel better going in the ring when you have more people supporting you.”

Barnhill added, “I have never shown over here before, so this was a new experience for me and I thought it was great. It was a good experience for all of us, and the horses to get to do something different.”

Behind the winning team, Team H finished second on a six fault total under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe John Roche. The team was made of up of Lorcan Gallagher and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s O’Splendido, Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Patriot, Chloe Reid and Chloe D. Reid LLC’s Athena, and Wilton Porter aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Radio City. Chloe Reid and Athena were the only other pair to jump double clear in the competition with Barnhill and McArdle. Team H also earned the Best Team Spirit Award.

Team A, coached by Chef d’Equipe Michelle Grubb, placed third with 15 faults in total. The team was made up of Hayley Waters and Dana Waters’ No Doubt, Ali Wolff and John C. Wolff’s Caya, Adrienne Sternlicht and Hathaway, and Alexander Zetterman aboard Springfield Showjumpers’ Zidane.

Spencer Smith and Beau Van Het Keysershof Take Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at FTI WEF

Spencer Smith and Ashland Farm’s Beau Van Het Keysershof, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood, topped the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search on Friday morning at the FTI WEF. This was the second week in a row the pair collected the top prize for the class.

Second place went to Victoria Colvin with Stallone VDL and the top three was rounded out by Lilly Ulrich and Vocus. The top ten riders over fences were called back to test on the flat, when riders were asked to demonstrate lengthening of stride and the counter canter in both directions, including a simple change in front of the judge’s box.

Smith, a 17-year-old Wellington, FL resident, admitted he was a little thrown by the judge’s request for a simple change.

“I was like ‘Oh, no!'” Smith laughed. “But it worked out nicely. My horse did it really well.”

Beau Van Het Keysershof is a new ride for Smith. The pair have only been together for the last two months, but Smith described the pair as a perfect match.

“We’re a good fit. He’s really my ride, which is nice. He takes you to the jumps, but he’s also really soft and he can melt really quickly,” Smith described.

He continued, “He really wants to do well. He doesn’t want to make mistakes. He can do this course really smoothly.”

While there was lingering evidence of the downpour that drenched Wellington on Thursday, Smith didn’t think it had any effect on his ride.

“It was a nice course. Nothing too tricky and it all worked out nicely for my horse. The footing held pretty nicely in my opinion,” Smith detailed.

The heavy rainfall put a hold on competition for the FTI WEF, with competition being cancelled Thursday. Smith still decided to spend his rain day getting wet, heading to the beach to surf and taking a day off from riding.

Hunter divisions that were to finish on Thursday were pinned based on results from Wednesday’s classes. The Loddon Stalls Pre-Green Level 1 division was split due to a high number of entries, with two division champions ultimately crowned.

Champion of Section A was Cy Young, ridden by Tim Goguen and owned by Belhaven Stables, LLC. Cy Young, a six-year-old Warmblood gelding, swept the section, winning the under saddle class and both over fences rounds. In Section B, CC Cool and Lainie Wimberly were crowned champion. Wimberly and CC Cool, a four-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Piccolino Farm, LLC, placed eighth under saddle and first and second over fences.

Hunter and equitation competition continue Saturday morning with the Ariat National Adult Medal in Ring 6 of the PBIEC. The “Saturday Night Lights” event will highlight the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge (FTI GCC), presented by Fidelity Investments, featuring a concert by multi-platinum recording artist and four-time Grammy nominee, Hunter Hayes. The FTI GCC has raised $1.75 million for the 35 charities chosen to participate in this year’s event. For full horse show results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
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Darragh Kenny Wins $30,000 Zoetis Wild Card Grand Prix to Break the Tape on HITS Championship Weekend

©ESI Photography. Darragh Kenny and Quiz jump to the top of the $30,000 Zoetis Wild Card Grand Prix.

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 6, 2013) – While Friday’s $30,000 Zoetis Wild Card Grand Prix didn’t deliver a true wild card entry for the Zoetis Million, it did give Darragh Kenny of Wellington, Florida some momentum heading into Sunday’s coveted event. Kenny piloted Quiz, owned by Spruce Meadows, to the top spot over a field of 37 as excitement continues to build leading up to HITS Championship Weekend in Saugerties, New York.

After only a month together, Kenny and Quiz recently moved up to the grand prix level after success in 1.30m competition. “He has gained a lot of experience in Saugerties and was good in the grand prix at the Hampton Classic last week, but was super today,” said Darragh. “Today’s course was perfect – tough enough, but not too tough leading up to Sunday.”

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Meunchen, Germany set Friday’s course and will also build for the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix this weekend. His Wild Card course included 13 obstacles and 16 jumping efforts, boasting two double combinations – one at the fifth fence of the track and another in the last line.

Under the gorgeous blue skies of the Hudson Valley, ten conquered the first round to move on to the jump-off. It was crowd favorite McLain Ward of Brewster, New York who set the Great American Time to Beat at 40.59 seconds with the first clear round in the second trip of the jump-off. Kenny was soon to answer, however, piloting Quiz to a clear round just shades faster in 40.04 seconds.

Out of the ten who advanced, Ward and Kenny were the only two who posted double clear efforts. Behind them, John Pearce of Bermuda Dunes, California rode Forest View Farm’s Johnny B Good to third. Pearce has been in the grand prix money three times since arriving on the East Coast for the Zoetis Million. He won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix aboard Son of a Gun last Friday and tuned Chianto up for his fourth-ever $1 Million Grand Prix appearance with a win on Sunday in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. Quite possibly the West Coast favorite, Pearce is hopeful but practical about Sunday’s Zoetis Million. “You can predict odds in this sport, but can never predict a winner,” he said.

Margie Engle of Wellington, Florida rode to fourth place in the irons of Indigo, owned by Garber, Griese, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds. The pair had a rail down at the second to last fence in the jump-off and posted a time of 42.00 seconds. Capping the top five, Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey rode Quointreau Un Prince, owned by herself and Ward, to a four-fault round in 46.08 seconds.

With Sunday’s Zoetis Million quickly approaching, Kenny is putting his leg over a new mount and will ride Wistful, recently purchased from West Coast rider Ashlee Bond. “We have only jumped one class together, but Wistful jumped the Million in California and has the perfect amount of experience at that level,” he said. “It’s unbelievable how lucky we are to be able to ride on this footing for this kind of prize money against this level of competition in this country. It’s really something special.”

As all attention now turns to Sunday, custom jumps will soon arrive at HITS-on-the-Hudson to make their debut in the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix and, according to Ward, will be the biggest factor on Sunday. He admits that no one knows exactly what is coming from Petersen. Ward will pilot 2012 Pfizer Million winner Antares F on Sunday.

As the sun sets on regular competition at HITS-on-the-Hudson this weekend, riders, trainers, owners and spectators alike are gearing up for some of the most exciting show jumping in the country and the world this weekend. The Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix takes the stage Sunday at 2pm EST and is available via live webcasts at HRTV.com and iEquine.com.

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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Darragh Kenny and Ramiro Quintana Score Opening Day Wins as Silver Oak Jumper Tournament Kicks Off

Darragh Kenny and Picolo. Photos by Tony DeCosta.

Fifteen-year-old Maria Brugal takes opening class with Arann DV

Hampton Falls, NH – August 7, 2013 – Five days of exciting show jumping got underway on Wednesday as the inaugural Silver Oak Jumper Tournament lifted off under gorgeous partly sunny skies in what’s known as the Seacoast region of the Granite State. For those that have never made the trip to New Hampshire, we suggest you put it on your to do list right away. This is a beautiful part of the United States that stretches for miles along the Atlantic Ocean from New Hampshire’s border with Massachusetts to the Piscataqua River and New Hampshire’s border with Kittery, Maine.

Hampton Beach is a wonderful beach town, right on the ocean with classic old hotels with balconies overlooking the main drag, magnificent beach houses, the famous “Shell” and some of the best seafood (and fried dough) you’ll ever get a chance to eat.

Here are a few other things you might not know about New Hampshire.

Of the thirteen original colonies, New Hampshire was the first to declare its independence from Mother England, a full six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed. In 1833 the first free public library in the United States was established in Peterborough. New Hampshire adopted the first legal lottery in the twentieth century United States in 1963. The Pierce Manse in Concord is the home of the only New Hampshire citizen ever elected President, Franklin Pierce, and most importantly, the Bavarian-style hamlet of Merrimack is home to one of the famous eight-horse hitches and the Clydesdales maintained by the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

Just a couple of miles down the road from the beach is the Silver Oak Equestrian Center, a horseman’s jewel in Hampton Falls, NH.

Show Chairman Jeff Papows has spent a year and a lot of money getting the property ready for this year’s event, including a complete makeover and change of location of Jumper Ring #2 and making sure the stunning grass grand prix field is in perfect condition. His hard work has been rewarded with nearly four hundred horses turning out for this inaugural offering. “We couldn’t be more excited,” said a delighted Papows. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing this past week and all of us are delighted with the turnout for the show. We had to overcome a lot to get the show rolling this year. We had to deal with cautious exhibitors who were scared by the terrible press the previous event garnered and then the worst blow of all, the death of my dear friend David Birdsall,” he said.

Birdsall, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, was the owner of the Silver Oak Equestrian Center. There will be a special ceremony honoring his memory during Sunday’s Grand Prix festivities.

There’s a new Vendor Village location, with a number of fun shops located there and others situated across the grounds. And the food… the food is going to be great if last night’s opening staff meeting and get together is any indication. The White Apron, located in Dover, will be providing their delicious delicacies throughout the week. They have won numerous awards and it’s easy to see why.

Germany’s Olaf Petersen, Jr. is on hand to design the course for this year’s Silver Oak Tournament. Petersen, one of the world’s most popular and respected builders, has worked the world’s best shows, including the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

Maria Brugal and Arann DV
Maria Brugal and Arann DV

In the first event of the day, the 1.20m Open Jumpers, Time First Jump-Off class, it was junior rider Maria Brugal scoring the victory with her feisty gray horse Arann DV. The fifteen-year-old rider ripped through the short course in 45.357 seconds for the win, topping a starting field of forty-one in the opening affair.

Of the forty-one that went to the post, fifteen went on to the jump-off, fourteen of those going double clear.

Second through fourth places were tightly bunched within the 46 second range. Eight tenths a second behind in second place was Kevin McCarty and Ambitious who tripped the timers in 46.127 seconds. Third place went to Allyson Shryoc, piloting Cheval D’Espoirz to a final time of 46.227 seconds, just a tenth of a second off the pace for second place. Rounding out the top four was Maria Brugal’s second mount, Diabolo Van Cadzandhoeve, crossing the finish line in 46.780 seconds.

“This is my first time here,” smiled Brugal, who rides with “Titi” Mills. “Riding out on the big field was great fun. The grass is in wonderful shape, the footing is great and you could do a lot of galloping. It’s refreshing to come to a new place that’s so beautiful.”

Speaking of her equine partner, Brugal said, “He’s an eight-year-old. I just got him last year. We’ve been working with him a lot. He’s a little bit strong, but I think our hard work is beginning to pay off.”

The 1.30m Jumpers, also scored at Table II, Sec 2b Time First Jump-Off class was next with thirty-one going to the post.

The last proved to be the best as Ramiro Quintana stormed to victory on Bialda, a top seven-year-old Young Jumper owned by St. Bride’s Farm of Upperville, Virginia. Quintana blasted through the finish line in 34.719 seconds to steal the win from Darragh Kenny and Mantana, owned by Oakland Ventures. Kenny had held the lead since the thirteenth to go in order. Kenny’s second place time was 35.483 seconds. Kenny also secured third place with Quiz, second to last to go in the class. Quiz, also owned by Oakland Ventures, tripped the timers in 36.454 seconds.

“David and Barbara Roux bought the horse a year ago for me to bring along. She’s very scopey, she’s very brave and she’s really quite fast as you saw in today’s class,” Quintana said of Bialda. “She’s going to the Hampton Classic to compete in the Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Finals and then I’ll bring her along through the program, advancing her to the Eight-Year-Olds next year.”

Ramiro Quintana and Bialda
Ramiro Quintana and Bialda

Quintana, who outdistanced Kenny by almost a full second, explained where he found the faster track. “I got a chance to watch Darragh go,” he said. “I left out a stride in the last line and did seven there where everyone else was doing eight and I was quite neat to one-two-three and back on the double combination.”

“Awesome. A great venue,” Quintana said of the Silver Oak facility. “This is the first time here for me and I couldn’t be happier that I came. I have a bunch of young horses here. I have six-year-olds, seven-year-olds, eight-year-olds and I wanted to give them the experience and mileage on grass because they are all headed to the Hamptons. It’s hard to find shows in America in the summer where there’s a grass field and this field is absolutely perfect,” he noted and added, “Plus, I was really pleased with Olaf; you’ve got a great course designer in Olaf Petersen, Jr. with good footing and beautiful jumps so the horses are jumping really, really well. I couldn’t be happier.”

Rounding out the top six were Lauren Tisbo and Tequesta Farms’ Sting Van de Withoeve, Peter Leone aboard Alias, owned by Kiva Iscol and Candice King with Bellissimo LLC’s VDL Maleklou. Tisbo clocked in at 37.133 seconds, Leone broke the beams in 37.548 seconds and King came home in 37.670 seconds.

Of the thirty-one that started, sixteen went clear the first time and fourteen went on to be double clear.

The final event on opening day was the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Table II Section 2b, Time First Jump-Off with twenty starters. This time around, Irish rider Darragh Kenny left no doubt, making sure he wouldn’t get bumped out of the top spot. In fact, he finished first and second to wrap up a very successful afternoon.

Riding Oakland Venture’s Picolo, Kenny secured the victory without really trying. “I didn’t think I was that fast on my last horse. At that point, I knew I had the class won and I was only really schooling for the Welcome class tomorrow,” Kenny explained. “But, he’s naturally so fast; it’s so easy to gallop with him. In the jump-off I didn’t think I was faster, but he’s so quick across the ground and he’s so careful, you don’t have to worry about anything at the jumps. It’s so rare that a horse does both.”

Kenny, who had been leading with Quiz, another Oakland Ventures entry in 34.732 seconds, managed to slice a tenth of a second off of that time with Picolo to finish in 34.633 seconds for the victory.

“I bought him during the off week at Spruce Meadows,” Kenny noted. “He came from France two weeks ago and went straight to HITS Saugerties where he placed in all four grand prix over the two weeks in Saugerties. He was second last Friday and second in the $100,000 grand prix up there. I brought him here and wasn’t really intending on showing him today, but I’ve only had him two weeks and had never ridden him on grass, so I thought I’d get him out and see how it goes,” he said.

Kenny, who ventured out on his own after a long stint with top trainer Missy Clark, has developed a nice group of young horses and couldn’t be happier at this point of his life. “Really good,” he smiled. “I’ve got a great string of horses – very careful, very competitive and easy to ride. I think it’s going to be a little bit of fun for me now. I have some great clients and some wonderful horses underneath me, so I couldn’t be happier.”

As far as the Silver Oak facility, Kenny said, “I think the facility and the horse show is absolutely fantastic. I think it’s a brilliant show. The show is run well, the field is beautiful, the footing is super, so it’s really enjoyable to be here. The people are so nice. I can’t say enough good things about this horse show. And the course designer did a lovely job today.”

With a lot of clean rounds through the three classes today, Kenny expects that to change as the week progresses. “Nobody had anything bad happen. I think he was just trying to be fair today. Just get everybody in the ring, get everybody jumping around and get everybody happy. I think he will be a little tougher tomorrow and then I think he’ll be quite tough by the time we get to Sunday,” Kenny stated. “I think he has a good feel for the good riders that are competing here.”

Molly Ashe-Cawley finished third in today’s 1.40m class with Lincourt Gino, owned by Monica Carrera. Crossing the finish line in 34.883 seconds, Ashe-Cawley missed the mark by just 2/10ths of a second. Fourth place went to another Darragh Kenny mount, Cequila, owned by Oakland Ventures, who broke the beams in 35.248 seconds.

Fifth place went to Ziedento and Ramiro Quintana for the St. Bride’s Farm and sixth went to Wiesielottie from the Winley Farm.

The $20,000 Welcome Stake highlights tomorrow’s show schedule, along with a variety of Open and Junior-A/O Jumper classes.

The $75,000 Equestrian Estate Planning Group Grand Prix dominates the Sunday schedule in Hampton Falls as an elite group of top riders will vie for big prize money in the class and the $25,000 Boston Strong Bonus. The $25,000 cash prize will go to any horse and rider combination that win both the $75,000 Equestrian Estates Planning Group Grand Prix at Silver Oak and the Grand Prix at Fieldstone next week. Sunday’s Grand Prix is preceded by the $15,000 Agero Speed Classic.

Saturday’s session features a number of exciting show jumping competitions, including the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics for top Junior and Amateur Owner Jumpers and the $15,000 DG Ventures Speed Derby, a challenging test over 18-20 obstacles in a race for the title.

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Darragh Kenny and Any Given Sunday Leave Competition Behind at The Ridge 1.40m Grand Prix Invitational

Darragh Kenny and Any Given Sunday.

Wellington, FL – March 8, 2013 – The grass was freshly cut, the vibrant and colorful jumps were set and music was playing in the background for the ninth week of The Ridge’s 1.40m Grand Prix Invitational Series. Eleven went clear over Pierre Jolicouer’s course, but no one could catch up to Darragh Kenny in the jump off. Aboard Any Given Sunday, the two were on a mission to claim first place and were not about to let anyone stop them.

After completing the first round with a time of 75.127, Kenny was racing to beat McLain Ward and Cruz Z. Aboard Any Given Sunday, the pair jumped the first four fences of the second round effortlessly, then blazed over the final oxer to vertical combination in a time of 33.638 seconds. They went as fast as they could to finish in first. Earlier in the day, Kenny piloted S & L Slingback to a third place finish with a time of 36.146.

“Any Given Sunday is a ten-year-old stallion I’ve had since the start of the winter season. I just brought him here to give him a change of venue. It’s a great show, a fantastic venue; they do a great job and it’s really enjoyable,” acknowledged Kenny. “We’re always at WEF all the time and so busy, but then you come here and it’s so peaceful; it’s a nice break.”

Jeffery Welles and Merlin
Jeffery Welles and Merlin

Jeffery Welles was the closest rider to being able to catch Kenny, with a double clear effort. Aboard 11-year-old Merlin, the two finished the jump off in 35.923 seconds. The veteran used the field to his advantage, utilizing quick turns and a fast pace.

“He’s quite a hot horse, strong, but he’s careful and brave. This is the best setting for him. A new field that looks different. We’re so used to jumping in sand fields and all-weather footing that it’s nice to jump on the grass,” explained Welles.

With only one week remaining in the 10-week series, many were taking advantage of the grass field at Mida Farm and the relaxing atmosphere that is offered to competitors. Many familiar faces were seen entering the in-gate, such as Ward, who has competed in five of the nine weeks.

Ward and Cruz Z went on to finish the class in fourth place with a time of 36.932. After only working together for about three weeks, the pair certainly showed that they are ones to watch out for in the future. McLain was holding the top spot with his other mount, Cocoa 135, until he turned too quickly in the during the second round, knocking a rail down over the last vertical.

“I think it’s giving some options and showing that people enjoy having a change of venue,” stated Ward. “To continue on one venue is difficult on the trainers, staff, and horses. The theory that you can choose what weeks you want to show at WEF doesn’t work well, for the trainers and staff you are there all the time. This is a breath of fresh air to have a change of venue and I think the horses enjoy it.”

The change of venue and relaxing atmosphere has been catching on more and more. The series, which started out small has grown immensely and is widely popular among the top professionals and amateurs alike.

“I’m very happy that farms like G & C are here and Luis, and to have Jeffery back, Amy Miller. It proves that it’s a need and that people are loving it,” remarked George D’Ambrosio. “There are a lot of happier people and smiles, a feeling of accomplishment for introducing something new and inventive.”

Mida Farm, owned by Victoria McCullough, has become the popular spot and has been key for keeping riders coming back. This week, Jan Tops, the field’s namesake, was in town and came out to show his support for the series and the sport.

The immense grass field has become a cornerstone of the series and McCullough and Top’s generous support is has taken the sport to a higher level. By allowing riders on the property, McCullough has opened the sport to a more traditional and European way of riding, and has brought the relaxed and majestic atmosphere to show jumping.

“This wasn’t made to be a competition,” said D’Ambrosio. “We wanted to add to the magnificence that is in Florida, wondering what better place there was to develop this stage and level of competition. We wanted to be able to provide a different venue offering the traditional grass ring, hospitality, using beautiful, colorful jumps to enhance the development of young horses and riders. We wanted to create something that wasn’t commercialized and create education for the future generations of our sport. The main purpose was to develop young riders and send them to European tours with some experience and a strong backbone. We were fortunate enough to meet generous people such as Victoria who believe in the future of the sport and the riders as well as want to provide an old world charm with a European type flair. What we created was so positive and was such a need and filled a niche in Wellington.”

D’Ambrosio continued, “We wanted to compliment the Winter Equestrian Festival by helping riders prepare to face challenges and learn to ride outside of the box. We didn’t create this to make money; it was designed to give back to a sport that has given us everything we have. We are trying to give back in every way we know how. We welcome everybody to the final event and we would like to thank all of the riders, friends and supporters who believe in the series and show the importance of it for the future.

Next week will be the final week of the series and the Invitational finale will be held on March 23, where the Leading Rider will be announced.

For more information about the Ridge at Wellington, please go to http://www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow the Ridge at Wellington on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ridge-at-Wellington/219358376264.

Arianna Delin for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Team USA Wins $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup

Beezie Madden and Simon. Photo © Sportfot.

$10,000 G&C Speed Stake Victory Goes to Darragh Kenny and Delilah; LDM Dramatik and Amy Smith Secure Championship Title in Low Adult 2’6″ Hunters Section A

Wellington, FL – March 1, 2013 – The powerhouse U.S. show jumping team of Kent Farrington, Reed Kessler, Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden earned victory in Friday night’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm, at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Teams representing seven different countries participated in the evening’s competition with a win for Team USA over Canada in second and Germany in third.

Week eight CSIO competition runs February 27 – March 3, 2013. The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Nations Cups will be featured on Saturday, March 2. The $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will be held on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Friday’s nights Nations Cup competition consisted of two rounds shown over a challenging course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. Teams of four represented the countries of Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, USA, Colombia and Venezuela.

After the first round, each team dropped their highest score. In the second round, all seven teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team’s top three riders from each round.

Watch an interview with U.S. Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland
Watch an interview with U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland

The winning team from the United States was represented by Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko, Reed Kessler and her Cylana, Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.’s Cedric, and Beezie Madden riding Abigail Wexner’s Simon under the guidance of new Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

In round one, Farrington had four faults aboard Uceko and Kessler, Kraut and Madden all jumped clear rounds to lead the way into the second phase of competition. In round two, Farrington and Kessler each jumped clear rounds, Kraut and Cedric had four faults, and when it was determined that the USA could not be beat, the team decided that Madden and Simon did not have to jump. They finished on a two round total of four faults for the victory.

Beezie Madden had a little trouble at the water in round one but still jumped clear for her team. She noted, “I probably had the most interesting round. Other than the water jump, he felt great. He was fantastic. I looked at the scoreboard afterwards; I thought he was clear of it. I knew he hit the box, but that was probably putting it mildly. I was just happy he recovered from that and he finished off with a clear.”

Reed Kessler and Cylana. Photo © Sportfot
Reed Kessler and Cylana. Photo © Sportfot

Eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler had her first win as well as her first double clear in a Nations Cup class and was very excited.

“To ride on the home team in front of the home crowd is a really big honor so I’m thrilled that it went the way it did,” Kessler smiled. “Cylana was awesome. She has shown pretty lightly all of circuit to prepare for this. It’s my favorite thing when I ride her to hear the crowd scream and she gets so animated and so wild. When she heads to the first jump, she has total focus. She could not have done better.”

Kent Farrington had a rail in round one but came back strong for the second round. He commented, “I’ve known that horse a little while and our first ride wasn’t our best. Towards the end of the round he just got too strong and he took over at the last oxer. I was actually pleased with how he came back in the second round. He performed more like himself and was more relaxed.”

Laura Kraut had a great night with Cedric and enjoyed winning on home turf.

Laura Kraut and Cedric. Photo © Sportfot
Laura Kraut and Cedric. Photo © Sportfot

“I was thrilled with Cedric tonight,” Kraut smiled. “Both rounds he was fantastic. The second round I was maybe a little overly cautious down the last line and he had such a light rub. I think he thinks he was double clear. I think he’s pleased right now. As Reed said, it was very comforting to ride tonight. Normally, I would be very tense about riding in front of the home crowd, but when you have three horse/rider combinations going with you, I felt pretty comfortable that if I did something really stupid they’d be there to back me up. I’m thrilled that we won and I’m really happy for Robert because he was really nervous. He just sort of listened to what we thought we wanted to do and supported us. We’re all getting to know each other and our new system. But I think it worked quite well.”

Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland was very happy with his team and admits to being a little nervous.

“I was told I was pacing a lot,” Ridland laughed. “What do you do? For me, this has been a long journey and great to get here. It was about a year ago that I was named coach and we went through the Olympic trials and all that. At the same time, Furusiyya and the FEI changed the Nations Cup and there are a lot of us that feel this is one of the best things that will have happened to the sport in a long time. It will revive the Nations Cup. We knew this was going to be a really big deal coming in being a qualifier for the Final and we made it a huge priority before the beginning of the year, not only to try to win this, but to be in a good position for the Final.”

Friday night’s Canadian team consisted of Eric Lamaze and Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stables’ Wang Chung M2S, Tiffany Foster and Artisan Farm LLC’s Victor, Mac Cone and Chadburn Holdings, Inc.’s Amor van de Rostal as well as Ian Millar and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dixson with Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin.

In round one, Lamaze had five faults for a rail and one time fault, Foster and Millar jumped clear, and Mac Cone was eliminated for the drop score. All four riders continued on into round two where Lamaze, Foster and Millar all jumped clear. Mac Cone’s score was once again dropped to leave the team on five faults total for their second place finish.

Third place finisher, Team Germany, included Janne Friederike Meyer aboard Meyer, Friedrich and Anne Sophie’s Cellagon Lambrasco, Johannes Ehning and Nybor Pferde GMBH & Co. KG’s Salvador V, Andre Thieme and his Contanga 3, and Daniel Deusser aboard Stephex Stables & Pedro Veniss’s Cornet d’Amour headed by Chef d’Equipe Dietmar Gugler.

In round one, Germany dropped Ehning’s score of eight and kept Meyer’s four fault score and Theime’s one time fault with a clear round from Daniel Deusser. In round two, Deusser once again jumped clear, Meyer was clear, and Ehning and Theime each had four faults, one of which was dropped. The team finished on five faults from round one and four faults from round two for a nine point total.

The fourth place team from Ireland finished with eleven faults. Other teams included Colombia, who finished on a score of 41 to place fifth, Venezuela, who had a two round total of 48 to finish sixth, and Mexico, who finished on a score of 59 to place seventh.

All in all, there were five double clear rounds for the night, including Reed Kessler, Tiffany Foster, Ian Millar, Daniel Deusser and Cian O’Connor on Splendor. Foster was especially enthusiastic about her performance aboard Victor.

The 2013 season has seen the introduction of a new formula for the FEI Nations Cup. Following a new sponsorship deal with the Saudi Equestrian Fund, this historic series will now be known as the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. Under the new rules, the world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for a World Final. The six regions are Europe 1 and 2, North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Africa.

On behalf of Furusiyya, HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan was present for the class and commented on the evening. “First of all we are very happy for the American team for their win today,” he stated. “They were amazing and they had really good horses coming in. The other teams also performed really well and it was very close.”

“To start off, Furusiyya is a single Arabic word and it is based on embracing the idea of horsemanship, chivalry and equestrian knowledge in general,” he added. “The term is a derivation of ‘faris,’ the horseman and the horse, so it’s a combination of both. In time, Furusiyya will become the brand name under which Saudi Arabian equestrian products will be licensed and marketed. To date, there is a perfume called Furusiyya which is a product for sale in Saudi Arabia. It is our duty in Saudi equestrian to sponsor Saudi equestrian activities for the nobility. Not only in the narrow sense of their history and heritage, but rather in the cultural and behavioral aspects that surround the sport in celebration of the horse. It has instilled chivalry, honor, value and virtue. This is the essence of our mission in the Saudi Equestrian Fund-the connection between horse and rider is universal and we are fortunate that the horse is so noble that they allow us to share their strength and passion.”

Class and weekly sponsor Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm also spoke about the evening. “I am very proud to again be the Nations Cup sponsor as well as many FEI classes,” Mirabal stated. “I think we have to do this in America-more FEI classes and more FEI points so we can have more riders in the top of the world. I recognize all of the American riders as amazing riders and people, and I am proud to be the sponsor.”

Also commenting on the class, John Madden, representing the FEI, noted, “I think we witnessed a little bit of history tonight. This is the first Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup here in North America. Last week we witnessed it in Abu Dhabi and we think it’s a really bright future for our sport.”

“I would like to, on behalf of the FEI, thank the USEF as our host federation and ESP, Michael (Stone) and everybody for a great job this evening,” Madden acknowledged. “I think we really have to thank Gustavo and G&C. They really bring the hemisphere together. They bring the Americas together like a family and we really have to thank His Highness Prince Faisal and Furusiyya. Thank you, on behalf of the FEI for bringing the world together.”

Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo added, “I’d also like to thank the sponsors and His Highness. This is an amazing start of a tradition in the United States and it is great that the U.S. team was able to prevail here. Canada and Germany also did very well and I think we’re just pleased to have top sport in Wellington.”

“I’d like to thank my friend Gustavo Mirabal, who stepped up very early in our ownership of this and has just been an amazing sponsor and supporter through all dimensions of the sport,” Bellissimo said. “It takes great sponsors to elevate the sport in the United States and we hope this is a relationship for many years to come. Again, we thank the FEI and USEF for creating the platform for this great demonstration.”

Darragh Kenny and Delilah Dash to Victory in $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake

Darragh Kenny and Delilah. Photo © Sportfot
Darragh Kenny and Delilah. Photo © Sportfot

G&C Farm’s $10,000 Speed Stake was also held on Friday with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Delilah, owned by Derbypie, LLC. In a field of 35 international starters, Kenny and Delilah completed the fastest of 9 clear rounds in 59.07 seconds. Germany’s Johannes Ehning and Cayenne 162, owned by Winley Farm LLC, finished second in 59.63 seconds. USA’s Reed Kessler and Ligist were third with a time of 61.54 seconds.

Delilah is a 13-year-old KWPN mare by Lancelot x Gracio owned by young American rider Hasbrouck Donovan, who has shown successfully in the junior jumpers. Kenny explained that he has been keeping the mare fit for her rider over the winter and asked if he could use her as a speed horse this week.

“It is a super horse,” Kenny stated. “She is so easy and brave and uncomplicated and careful. She has a huge stride and you can really gallop with her. She wants to win, so it makes my life really easy.”

Commenting on Friday’s class, Kenny noted, “It was a really nice result. I thought it was a really good course for a speed class. There were enough questions and tight turns, but also a lot of galloping. It was really interesting because in a really good speed class you have to be careful about leaving the jumps up too and a good few people at the start had faults. You just had to be a little bit careful and then you had to go pretty quick.”

Kenny is frequently one of the fastest riders in any class and explained that confidence in his horses is key. “I am lucky; I just know how to go fast,” he smiled. “At this stage I have had a lot of practice. It is a simple thing. If you can trust your horses to jump the jumps clear, then speed comes a lot easier. Delilah is so careful and she tries so hard that when I turn back to anything, even if I am not at the perfect distance or even if I am going too fast, I know she is going to try. That makes it easier; it gives you more room to go faster.”

Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, McLain Ward and Tequestrian Farm’s Coco 135 earned a victory in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. Johannes Ehning and Appearance 2, owned by Nybor Pferde GMBH & Co. KG, triumphed in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class.

LDM Dramatik and Amy Smith. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
LDM Dramatik and Amy Smith. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

LDM Dramatik and Amy Smith Secure Championship Title in Low Adult 2’6″ Hunters Section A

Amy Smith and her newly acquired mount, LDM Dramatik, topped the Low Adult 2’6″ Hunter Section A division during week eight of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Smith and her fourteen-year-old Westphalian mare were fifth and fourth over fences on day one of competition for the division. The pair was second, fourth and first over fences on day two.

Reserve championship honors went to Elizabeth Reed and her own Serenade. Reed and Serenade were third over fences day one and earned a blue ribbon over fences on day two.

Smith bought LDM Dramatik from Lynn Berg only two weeks ago, who was competing the mare in Adult Amateur divisions at the FTI WEF. While their relationship may be new, the pair is clearly a winning match.

“She’s been awesome. Last week, [during World Championship Hunter Rider Week], we were fifth in the classic out of 73 and ninth and eleventh out of 73 in the other two over fences classes,” Smith recalled.

Smith has enjoyed getting to know her new mount as the two continue their success at the FTI WEF. “My horse that I had for six years was totally different from her – it’s like night and day. She stays consistent, while he would change at every jump. If you saw a long one on him, he might go for it or you might chip. I’m adjusting to her well. She makes it easy,” Smith described.

“She’s such a good girl, she’s really right there for you,” Smith continued. “She helps you out and she never changes unless she needs to.”

Smith also praised LDM Dramatik’s way of going for making her so competitive at a high-caliber competition like the FTI WEF. “A lot of it is the way she goes across the ground. She’s just so smooth and she jumps the same style from any distance. She doesn’t stay in the air too long over jumps and she’s got just the right amount of arc. She can cover up your mistakes, also. If you get a little too deep to a fence, she’ll still jump it very well,” Smith explained.

Smith has been competing at the FTI WEF since 1990. She looks forward to her annual trip south from Nashville for more than just the Florida sunshine. “The facilities are beautiful, first of all. The competition is the toughest in the country which makes me ride better. It makes me more competitive,” Smith commented.

“And of course, who couldn’t love being in Palm Beach in the winter?” Smith added with a smile.

Week eight of the FTI WEF, sponsored by G&C Farm, will continue Saturday, March 2, 2013, with the THIS National Children’s Medal 15-17 class in Ring 8 of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Nations Cups will be held in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Darragh Kenny Scores Both First and Second Place in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix

©ESI Photography. Darragh Kenny and Wannahave soar over a fence on course in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix on their way to a win.

SAUGERTIES, NY (June 4, 2012) – Darragh Kenny walked away with the top two ribbons in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, on Sunday when he piloted Wannahave and Sandor de la Pomme, both owned by The Wannahave Group, to the first and second place honors, respectively. It was a memorable week for Kenny, who found himself in third place in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard Sandor de la Pomme.

Kenny, a native of Ireland and now based out of Wellington, Florida, was one of 21 horse-and-rider combinations on a course designed by Kenny Krome of Westminster, Maryland. The first round featured plenty of action, as only five riders returned for the jump-off.

First to show in the jump-off was Kenny and his winning mount, Wannahave who wasted no time as they set the Great American Time to Beat at 40.15 seconds.

Continue reading Darragh Kenny Scores Both First and Second Place in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix

Darragh Kenny Leads the Fun & Games at Fete Cheval for The EQUUS Foundation

Fete Cheval winner Darragh Kenny riding Leia, with Visse Wedell, Clea Newman Soderlund, Jenny Belknap Kees, and Elizabeth Press. Photo By: Phelps Media Group.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2011 – This year’s Fete Cheval was a huge hit that featured fantastic riders performing games on rescue horses on Friday, March 11, 2011. The beautiful night, presented by Foundation Farm, benefitted The EQUUS Foundation, which helps equestrian and horse related charities across the United States. There was a beautiful dinner for guests, catered by White Horse Tavern Catering on the grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center at their Special Events Tent.

The evening’s events got underway at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction, which were followed by a dinner buffet. The main event, the Gymkhana Games, got underway at 8:00 p.m., with horses provided by Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue and a group of world class riders. This year’s riders included Max Amaya, Derek Braun, Nick Dello Joio, Sandy Ferrell, Patricia Griffith, Charlie Jayne, Darragh Kenny, Kate Oliver, Kim Prince, Havens Schatt, Louise Serio, Shane Sweetnam, Jimmy Torano, and McLain Ward. As part of the silent auction, guests could bid to become a guest rider, which went to junior rider Alex Crown. The judges for the night were Ralph Caristo and Leo Conroy, along with special guest judge Kim Jacobs, with emcee David Distler.

Continue reading Darragh Kenny Leads the Fun & Games at Fete Cheval for The EQUUS Foundation

Darragh Kenny and Gael Force Gallop to Victory in $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 3

Darragh Kenny and Gael Force won the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photos © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – January 27, 2011 – Irish rider Darragh Kenny and Gael Force, owned by Missy Clark and North Run, earned top honors in round three of the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday afternoon at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Sponsored by Nespresso, the WEF is in its third of 12 weeks of competition at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The circuit will continue through April 3, 2011.

Olaf Petersen, Sr. of Germany is designing the courses in the International Arena for week three and set a great course for the afternoon’s competition. Eight of the original 42 horse and rider combinations jumped clear to advance to the jump-off round.

Competitors were then asked to navigate a short course that displayed dynamic speed and power. Four were able to jump double clear, and it was the fastest round of Darragh Kenny and Gael Force in 43.31 seconds that earned top honors. The pair left out a stride in the last line that made the difference.

Continue reading Darragh Kenny and Gael Force Gallop to Victory in $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 3