Tag Archives: Dominic Gibbs

Dominic Gibbs Hoists Winning Title at 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Dominic Gibbs and Cent 15.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2020 – Capping off the 137th anniversary of the historic Heritage competition, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, highlighted the efforts of hopeful equitation riders from around the country Sunday at the National Horse Show. The last major equitation final for the year, the prestigious class featured record numbers, with 255 horse-and-rider partnerships taking their turns around the technical course designed by Bobby Murphy set within the Alltech Arena. As one of the United States’ most storied competitions thanks to its rich history, the National Horse Show has been the longtime host of the Maclay National Championship, which since 1933 has crowned a junior rider as the champion, a distinction regarded as one of the highest in the equitation discipline, especially considering how many advance to successful professional careers. In the irons aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, Dominic Gibbs reigned supreme to earn the tricolor honors as the most consistent junior rider throughout four arduous rounds of competition that tested exhibitors’ precision and efficiency to add a fourth top finish to his repertoire of growing equitation accolades.

Beginning early in the morning and throughout the first portion of the afternoon, exhibitors performed one-by-one over Murphy’s smartly-designed pattern, which was composed of 15 obstacles reminiscent of those riders would have seen in decades past. The hunt-inspired fences appeared in forms such as gaits, hedges, stacked logs and rolltops, plus a one-stride combination created out of racetrack fencing that proved to be one of the bogey tests of the day and plenty of wingless jumps. Murphy’s track was an apt test for the distinguished class as it called attention to the performances of those riders who mastered the course, separating that elite group from the pack as they successfully completed forward and tight lines, a precarious vertical and an obstacle jumped both directions, among other questions.

Faced with the tough job of ranking the multitude of riders seen throughout the day, judges Mark Jungherr and Emil Spadone ultimately settled on a final standby list of 24 juniors ahead of the second phase of the competition, the flat round. Thanks to her exemplary performance over fences that demonstrated correct, precise riding, Gigi Moynihan sat superior to her peers as the frontrunner following the challenging first fences round, leading ever since she tackled the pattern as the 36th in the start list. Behind Moynihan, the remainder of the top of the callback list included Dominic Gibbs, Taylor Griffiths-Madden, Mimi Gochman, Alexia Rule, Sophee Steckbeck, Ellie Ferrigno, Skylar Wireman, Chase Finizio, Hannah Dodd, Hannah Hoch, and Zayna Rizvi. Headed into the hack, those top 12 high-scoring riders were sectioned off to compete against each other under saddle, while the latter half of the standby list rode in another segment.

Excited to have made the top of the standings but with more tests to master, both sets of riders took to the Alltech Arena to compete in the flat phase of competition, during which they were challenged to show off their balance and strength via a series of directions from the judges that included all three gaits; working, extended, and collected sitting trot; simple change of lead to the counter-canter in front of the judges and walking to the line on a long rein. The leaderboard did not remain unchanged, as Gibbs leapfrogged up to the first spot, followed by Gochman, Griffiths-Madden, Steckbeck, Moynihan, and Ferrigno, in that order. Kierstin Antoniadis and Natalie Jayne moved their way up the list the most, advancing to 10th and 11th, respectively, after previously holding the 13th and 16th spots.

Returning in reverse order of the judges’ preference, the top 25 contenders each displayed their skills over Murphy’s second course, which asked for a long approach to fence one at a hand gallop, two counter-canter fences, a triple combination, and a forward 6-stride bending line. Not cutting any breaks for the qualified horse-and-rider challengers, the second jumping portion of the event served to further trim down Jungherr and Spadone’s ticket of premier performers. Wanting one last look at four entries, the judges requested that Steckbeck, Moynihan, Griffiths-Madden, and Gibbs, in that order, complete a final work-off. The test consisted of cantering fences 4 and 5, trotting fence 6, cantering the original fence 8C and 9, trotting fence 10, and hand galloping fence 12 before leaving the ring.

All four final contestants turned in valiant showings over the work-off track, leaving the judges the final job of separating the top contenders. The top ten returned to the ring for the awards presentation and as the reserve champion was announced as Griffiths-Madden, who just weeks previously won the 2020 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, it became clear that Gibbs had clinched the coveted title following four rounds of textbook riding. The champion rider piloted Cent 15, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding he worked with Beacon Hill trainer Stacia Klein-Madden, a former Maclay National Championship winner herself, to transition from a jumper to a successful equitation horse.

Based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 17-year-old Gibbs has had an astounding year with top-five finishes in all four equitation finals, now culminating in his victory in the 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm. Gibbs kicked off his equitation reign with fourth place in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, followed by fifth position overall in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – East just one week later and another fourth-place result in the WIHS Equitation Finals. With his victory Sunday in Kentucky, Gibbs has added his name to an esteemed list of Maclay National Championship victors that include sport legends such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and Bernie Traurig, as well as new age stars like Jessica Springsteen, Lillie Keenan, and Victoria Colvin.

Though she hoped for the blue ribbon, Griffiths-Madden put in a superb performance that captured the runner-up honors following her efforts on her own Mac One III, and Moynihan was awarded the final podium spot with Christy Johnson’s Quantico. Stechbecl rounded out the top four riding Itteville, owned by Donald Stewart.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 137th National Horse Show, which featured nine days of equestrian action in the equitation, hunter, and jumper disciplines in 2020.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

Dominic Gibbs and Hannah Brown Reign Supreme in Equitation Championships at NHS

Dominic Gibbs on Limitless with the Hamel Family, Jennifer Burger, and Mason Phelps.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 28, 2018 – The second day of the 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, with exhibitors in the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship and Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship taking center stage. Adding his name as only the second champion of the prestigious class in as many years, Dominic Gibbs piloted Limitless to the top honors in the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship, while Hannah Brown outshone the pack aboard Dimacho in the Taylor Harris NHS Adult Equitation Championships.

A familiar face in Kentucky, course designer Bobby Murphy challenged the original crop of 104 horse-and-rider combinations over his winding track that served to distinguish the frontrunners from the rest of the field. Whittled down to the highest-scoring 25 pairs, eligible competitors returned for a flat phase and a second trip over fences in front of the watchful eyes of the judges to determine the elite four that would test for the title.

Separated from their peers as the top performers, Blythe Goguen, Sophie Bluhm, Dominic Gibbs, and Layla Kurbanov were each given one final opportunity to exhibit their skills. The abridged testing course challenged the four contenders to walk, canter fences one and two, then counter-canter fence three before transitioning to a trot for fence four, after which they were asked to halt and exit at a walk.

Proving his consistency and performing masterfully for the fourth time Sunday, Gibbs directed 8-year-old Limitless to a textbook trip that earned him the high marks of the day to secure the championship rosette. Gibbs, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, joins inaugural winner Jaden Porter as the newest name to be inscribed on the commemorative trophy, which is proudly displayed throughout the year at the Kentucky Horse Park Museum.

Bluhm and her own Quadro D’ Ag claimed the reserve honors, followed by Kurbanov and Olga Kurbanov’s Calberon B in third place. Goguen and Z Jappoo Sow, owned by Colette Cacciatore, rounded out the top four in the standings.

In its inaugural year as a National Horse Show class, the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship attracted a talented field of contenders each vying for the top prize. Like their junior counterparts, the adult entries in the equitation class aimed to showcase their talents over Murphy’s course during the preliminary round of competition in order to earn the advantage headed into the subsequent under saddle phase and final jumping round.

Maneuvering their way to the lead thanks to a series of strong performances, Brown and A. Brooke Farr’s Dimacho ultimately clinched the coveted rosette and the lead spot in the victory gallop. Brown hails from Manchester, Connecticut and is already on a hot streak at the National Horse Show, having won the blue ribbon Saturday in the Adult Equitation over fences class in addition to the second place finish under saddle, also with Dimacho.

Jeanine Cash of Winthrop, Massachusetts earned the reserve honors with MTM Magnum, owned by Olivia Rubin, followed by Darby Mazzarisi of Chesterfield, New Jersey in third position aboard West Hill’s Resonate. Coincidentally, the three podium finishers in Sunday’s championship were also the top three in Saturday’s Adult Equitation over fences class, with Cash and Mazzarisi swapping spots.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.