Tag Archives: Emma Kurtz

Sydney Shulman Sweeps Second Straight Grand Prix Win in Kentucky

Sydney Shulman and Wamira.

Lexington, KY – July 30, 2015 – Sydney Shulman is on a roll, and she is not showing signs of slowing down. In the past month and a half the young rider has won four grand prix – first at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, then at the Fairfield County Hunt Club and just four days ago in the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix. On Thursday night she returned to the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park to capture the win in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.

Shulman and Wamira, owned by BCF Group, dominated the class at the Kentucky Summer Classic from beginning to end. They were the very first to enter the ring and contest the Florencio Hernandez designed course, finishing clear and advancing to the jump-off. From the 51 total entries, six other combinations would also qualify to give Shulman and Wamira a run for their money in the jump-off, but none would catch the pair’s double clear effort completed in a time of 35.547 seconds.

In addition to Wamira, Shulman also qualified Jill Shulman’s Quidam 13 for the jump-off, and she was joined by Lorcan Gallagher and Sweet Oak Farm’s Casper, Scott Lenkart and Fleur De Lis Farm’s Ziezo, Wilton Porter and Sleepy P Ranch’s Paloubet, Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s Eregest Van’t Kiezelhof and David Beisel and Equine Holdings’ Ammeretto.

At the end of the night, the rider results bore a striking resemblance to Saturday night’s $50,000 Rood and Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix, with Shulman and Sweetnam taking the top two spots for the second time in a row in Kentucky grand prix competition, but this time on different mounts.

Sweetnam was one of only three to go double clear, finishing in second on Spy Coast Farm’s Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof with a jump-off time of 36.109 seconds. Finishing in third with their own double clear effort were Beisel and Ammeretto.

“He jumped well,” Sweetnam said of Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof. “The first round went according to plan; I thought he jumped around quite well. I was just worried about the time allowed. I did a couple of turns, and he was fine. The jump off was a little bit like Saturday night; different horses this time, but [Wamira]’s a very fast horse, and Sydney did it again. I think I did fewer strides everywhere, but [Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof]’s a scopey horse, but a little bit slower. I was very happy with him; he jumped well.”

For Wamira, speed is a specialty, which the mare proved on Thursday. While Shulman did not get to watch Sweetnam’s ride, she agrees that while others may have left more strides out, Wamira makes up for it with her big stride and limited time in the air.

“She doesn’t feel like she’s going so fast,” Shulman said of the 12-year-old mare. “Even Brianne [Goutal] said to me, ‘you’re like molasses; you need to go faster.’ But I think she covers so much ground, and she has barely any air time. She really skims the jumps, so I think I was just using her stride to my advantage. To the last fence I took a good shot to it. She sucked back a little bit for a second; I wasn’t sure if I was going to get there, but she tried really hard.”

Just as Wamira is fast, so was the decision to buy her. Shulman’s trainer, Brianne Goutal, had her eyes on the horse for herself, so when she found out she was for sale jumped at the chance to try her.

“I’d tried the mare and, in fact, I was trying it for another student of mine. Immediately when I got on the horse, I just knew it was for [Sydney],” Goutal said. “Just judging by her other horses, and the way she rides her other horses, to me the horse was a perfect match. I actually wanted the horse for myself the year before. She wasn’t for sale at the time, and then a friend told me the horse was for sale. I don’t think anybody could have gotten to her faster to try. Before I hung up the phone I was on the horse. She’s just lovely, and it’s a good match. Sydney rides her great.”

Shulman added, “Brianne said, ‘you have to come try her.’ It was literally the last day of WEF, so [Wamira] was leaving on a flight to Brazil on Monday, and it was Sunday. So I tried her Sunday; we vetted her Sunday, and I got her Monday. It was the fastest turn around. I think I jumped four jumps on her when I tried her, but I loved her type. I really trust Brianne when she says this is going to be a great fit for you. We watched a ton of videos, and we knew that once we connected, it would be good. So I kind of just went with it, and ever since then, it’s been great.”

Shulman plans to compete Wamira primarily as a speed horse through the end of the year, including at the American Gold Cup and the Hampton Classic.

At the Kentucky Summer Classic, competition continues on Friday with the 1.40m Open Jumpers beginning at 8 a.m. Grand prix action resumes Saturday night with the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footing, beginning at 7 p.m.

Emma Kurtz Claims Top Ribbons in Junior Hunter Divisions at Kentucky Summer Classic

Junior rider Emma Kurtz is a familiar face in the winner’s circle at horse shows across the country, and on Thursday the young talent added a few more blues to her collection in the Junior 15 and Under Hunter divisions at the Kentucky Summer Classic.

As the day began with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters, Kurtz piloted Molly Hay’s Kahlua to double second-place finishes over fences, proving to be the most solid combination of the division so far. First place went once Hayley Fleming’s Wesley, ridden by Anna Beth Athey, and once to Hilary Gerhardt’s Count Down and Emma Wujek.

Emma Kurtz and Kahlua
Emma Kurtz and Kahlua

“Kahlua used to be a jumper; this is probably either her sixth or seventh show as a hunter,” Kurtz said. “She’s awesome. She has the best canter in the world. I just have to hold her straight; she knows what she’s doing.”

The blue ribbon in the flat portion went to Abigail Dubose and her own Rose Gold, with second place going to Julia Tait and Falcon Ridge Stables’ Legacy, leaving both the division’s championship and reserve championship highly in contention at the end of the day.

The Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters kicked off next in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park, with Kurtz returning in the field of 16 with two entries: Prologue and Fredrick.

Kurtz and David Gochman’s Fredrick impressed the judges over the Bobby Murphy-designed courses, riding away with the blue ribbon in both over-fences classes and on the flat.

“He was really great today,” Kurtz said of the chestnut gelding. “We had a light rub in the first round, then the second was really good. He’s lazy so you just have to keep a feel of him and keep your leg on.”

Following closely behind with second and third place finishes over fences were Rachel McMullen and her mare, Clear Sailing. McMullen partnered up with the Thoroughbred-cross in January during the Winter Equestrian Festival, and the duo has been experiencing success ever since.

“She’s great to ride,” McMullen said. “She’s super smooth and gives you a great feeling in the air. She’s pretty much your typical bay mare; she has a little bit of an attitude, but we’ve gotten along pretty well and figured each other out.

You just have to watch a little bit with the paying attention, but other than that she’s a dream. I love her.”

Kurtz other ride, Prologue, delivered smooth rounds as well, earning third and fourth over fences to round out the day.

“I’ve been riding Prologue for a little over a year now,” Kurtz said. “He’s really cool. He has the best jump.”

Brett Burlington, who had the ride on Sweet Oak Farm’s Caraway, claimed the remaining blue ribbon in the division’s second over-fences class.

Keep an eye out for both young riders during the Bluegrass Festival and KHJA horse shows as they continue to compete at the Kentucky Horse Park this summer.

The junior hunter divisions will wrap up Friday, and the amateur owner hunter divisions are scheduled to show Saturday and Sunday. The grand champion award, sponsored by Visse Wedell of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, will be awarded to the junior or amateur rider with the highest number of points on Sunday. The highlight hunter event of the week, the $5,000 USHJA Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby, will take place on Saturday.

To learn more about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals and the Pre Green Incentive Championship.

The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2015 series includes five weeks of top competition throughout the summer. These premier hunter/jumper competitions host the Hagyard Challenge Series with seven grand prix competitions that culminate with a Leading Rider Award, as well as the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series.

Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.



$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 28 – August 2, 2015
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2015 USEF PONY FINALS – August 4-9, 2015

USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 19-23, 2015
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Series: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, GGT Footing, Rood and Riddle, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program, and the Official Hotel The Clarion

8am – 5pm daily

Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 281-7979, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Pat Duncan (503) 510-8797
Stable office – Before Show: (503) 510-8797, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

CLARION HOTEL (http://www.clarionhotellex.com) (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – Located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Ryan McGaughey at Ryan.mcgaughey@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and checkout is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Emma Kurtz and Valor Win Grand Pony Hunter Championship at Capital Challenge Horse Show

Emma Kurtz and Valor. Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Kelli Cruciotti Victorious in $10,000 Junior/A-O Jumper Challenge; Gochman, Passarelli, Yowan, Petersen, and Humphries Earn Tricolors

Upper Marlboro, MD – October 4, 2014 – Ponies ruled today at The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by The Gochman Family. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, concludes on Sunday, October 5. Emma Kurtz piloted David Gochman’s Valor to the Grand Pony Hunter Championship and Best Pony Rider honors. Six pony and junior hunter divisions awarded championships. In the evening session, Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante won the $10,000 North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup Final Round.

Kurtz (14) of Hudson, OH rode to the top of the Pony Hunters today on David Gochman’s Valor. They were the Large Pony Hunter champions, and with two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth under saddle, and received the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, sponsored by Ali Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm. They were awarded the VanderMoore Designs Trophy, donated by VanderMoore Designs. Kurtz was named the Best Pony Rider, an award sponsored by Archibald Cox and Brookway Stables. They were presented with the Kitty Borisoff Memorial Trophy donated by her many friends. The reserve champions were All My Love and Kirklen Petersen, who rode for Dr. Betsee Park. They placed first and second over fences and were first under saddle. Petersen won the EMO Trip of the Show with a score of 91.5 on All My Love.

This was only the second time that Kurtz has shown Valor after their initial outing this summer in Kentucky. Valor shows in the Green Pony Hunters as well. “He’s a little bit green, but he always jumps a good jump. He’s really smooth, and he has a huge stride. For the first class trotting in, he was a little nervous, but then he was fine after that. He’s green, but he’s not really green. I didn’t really have any expectations because he was kind of new to me,” Kurtz admitted. But after placed first and second in the opening day of competition, she added, “After the first day, I had expectations!”

This is the third time Kurtz has shown at CCHS, and she was champion in the same division two years ago with Aladdin. This is her first Grand Championship at CCHS. She said of showing at Capital Challenge, “I like how they have one day outdoors so if your pony doesn’t like it inside, you get another day.”

Kurtz acknowledged the great opportunity to ride Valor for the Gochman family. “I’m really grateful. They were so nice to let me ride him. He’s an amazing pony,” she expressed.

Kurtz trains with Amanda Lyerly and Mike Rheinheimer and often catch-rides. “It’s never boring. You’re always on your toes,” she said. Lyerly said that she tells Kurtz to trust her instincts. “She’s pretty good at what she does, if she believes in herself. She is a pleasure to teach. Every time she walks in the ring, she tries her hardest and she’s super focused. She can pretty much ride anything you put her on. She has a lot to ride, but whether it’s good or bad, she tries to get the best out of it.”

Winning stayed in the Gochman family in the Medium Pony Hunter division with the championship going to Sophie Gochman on Truly Noble. They won two classes and were second and sixth in the division over fences. The reserve championship went to Show Me Love, ridden by Natalie Jayne for Scott Stewart. They placed first over fences and first under saddle.

Gochman has ridden “Noble” for two years. “I know him pretty well,” she said. “He’s kind of a quirky pony. He talks a lot and flaps his lips. He loves giving kisses and love. You have to leg him a bit around the ring. He has a good canter to him; he feels a little bit like a small horse. He’s easy to see the distances on.”

For the 11-year-old from New York, NY, winning a championship at Capital Challenge is “a big deal.” “It really feels good because this is the first indoor show that I’ve been champion at. It’s a good accomplishment,” she said with a smile.

Thirteen-year-old Caroline Passarelli of High Falls, NY won the Small Pony Hunter championship, sponsored by Spring Mill Farm/Jenny Yandell, riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Bit Of Love. The Harper Taskier Wright Memorial Trophy, given in memory of Harper by her loving parents Michael and Alexandra Borissoff Wright, friends, and family whose lives she touched, was given to Passarelli for winning the Small Pony Hunter championship. Passarelli and Bit of Love were first, first, and second over fences and fourth under saddle. The reserve champion was Rollingwood’s Knee Deep, ridden by Zayna Rizvi for Peacock Ridge LLC. They placed first and third over fences.

Passarelli has ridden Bit Of Love for a year. While she acknowledged that when she first started riding him, she was “a little inexperienced” for him and he was still a bit green, things got better with every show. “Soon it finally clicked. He really wanted to win and so did I, and it was a really good match,” she said. “He wants to win just as badly as you do. You can tell he’s sad when you let him down, which I’ve done before. He’s so amazing and so smooth. He’s not spooky. He’ll jump whatever from wherever; he doesn’t mind. The best thing is that he wants to win too.”

Moving into the indoor Show Place Arena today for the handy hunter class, Passarelli said she had to remember some adjustments with “Chester.” She explained, “With Chester, in the handies you try not to look where you are going so much and lay on the leads so much; he’ll get a little bit confused. You have to ride it almost more like it’s a regular hunter course and then work your turns in, yet you still have to be handy so that if you’re really going for it, you can win.”

She added, “I just can’t thank Betsee Parker enough for letting me show him and Elation and the other ponies I show for her, and Scott and Ken for training me.”

The Children’s/Pony Hunter championship went to Simply Magical, ridden by Hensley Humphries and owned by First Blue LLC. This was the first time that Humphries, an 11-year-old from New York, NY, has competed at Capital Challenge. Having started riding at camp from a pony ride, she has progressed through riding to her first indoor championship. “I’m really excited, and it’s amazing to be champion,” she said.

She has ridden Simply Magical for 10 months. “I tried him, and I really liked him. He’s really fun to jump, and he has a really comfortable canter,” Humphries described. “He can be sweet, and he really likes peppermints. We give him one every time we go to the ring.

Humphries and Simply Magical won an over fences class, as did reserve champions, Ellia Giuliani and Bill Schaub’s Tuxedo Park. It came down to a hack-off for the championship. Since Humphries had ridden her other pony in the under saddle, rider Arabella McFarland stayed on Simply Magical to ride him to the top tricolor in the hack-off. “I was really nervous because I’ve never seen a hack-off before,” Humphries said. “I didn’t really know what it was, but it was really exciting.”

Adam Edgar of Leesburg, VA was awarded the Stewart Warner Cup for pony riders, given in memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart & Mary Warner Brown by Donald E. Stewart, Jr. and Louise W. Serio. It is awarded to up-and-coming junior riders, who, in the opinion of the panel of judges, exhibit the best hunter style and show potential as a young hunter rider.

First Junior Hunter Championships Awarded

The older age sections of the Small and Large Junior Hunters finished their divisions outside today, with the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter championship going to Taken, ridden by Kirklen Petersen for Jessica Stitt. They also won the High Point Junior Hunter 16-17, sponsored by The Clothes Horse, by winning two over fences and placing third in another jumping class. Vivian Yowan and Saddle Ridge LLC’s Ransom were the reserve champions with two seconds and a third over fences and a second under saddle.

Petersen is 17 years old and from Great Falls, VA, just 45 minutes away from CCHS. Riding since the age of six, Petersen has shown for six years at Capital Challenge, since she was on small ponies. Her ride on Taken has been “on and off” for three years; they have only shown together approximately six times. “I don’t really show him regularly. He just comes out for the big shows, and he never lets me down,” she explained. “He is definitely my favorite. It was a lot of pressure the first time, especially to not let him down because he’s such an amazing horse. There’s nothing that horse hasn’t won. He’s so much fun, and he makes it so easy. He’s always really fun to ride.”

Taken and Petersen are a good combination, as she lets him pick up the gallop and hunt around to the jumps, suiting his classic style. “There’s nothing he can’t do. You can be right next to it; you can leave from five feet away. He has a huge stride and jumps amazing,” she said.

Petersen acknowledged that Taken is a favorite in the barn too. “He’s probably one of our most personable horses in the barn. He loves his carrots. He definitely has an attitude; he knows he’s good, which is what makes him so special I think. Debbie Buchanan is his groom, but he’s such a special horse that everyone helps out. We have Julio, Marcos, Pancho, and Gus. He has a whole crew. They were all up here to watch him this morning.”

Yowan moved up to the championship presentation in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, sponsored by Beacon Hill Show Stables – her first championship at Capital Challenge. She accomplished this feat on Alliy Moyer’s Libretto in only their second show together. “I showed him last year here, and I was lucky enough for the Moyers to ask me to show him again this year. Last year was good. It was my first time riding him. This year I understood his ride a little more. He’s got a huge stride, and he’s really slow off the floor.”

Yowan and Libretto were first and fourth over fences – winning the handy hunter class – and placed second under saddle for the top tricolor ribbon. The reserve champion was Cayero, ridden by Martha Ingram for John and Stephanie Ingram LLC. They placed first, second, and sixth over fences.

“I’ve never been champion. It’s finally nice!” she remarked. “I’ve been so close so many times, so to finally get it is really exciting.”

The 16-year-old rider from Lexington, KY had the added bonus of watching Libretto compete in the handy round in last night’s WCHR Professional Finals with Hunt Tosh. “He got him all ready for me today!” Yowan laughed. “I’ve watched Libretto a lot because I’ve watched Alliy show him all the time. I’ve known the horse for a long time. Last night, he was really handy. Hunt did all the inside turns. I felt pretty comfortable today with a handy that wasn’t as intense!”

For her handy round, Yowan was happy that the class was outside. “There is a lot more space outdoors, so for him, he’s a big horse and he’s got a lot of stride, so it’s nice. In the bigger ring, you can show it off more. He’s really handy, so it was awesome.”

The winner of the Junior World Champion Hunter Under Saddle class, sponsored by Cynthia Williams and New England Farm, was Anna Claire Smith and Celebration.

Cruciotti Fast for Jumper Challenge Victory

In the $10,000 North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Challenge Cup Final Round, 23 entries competed in the final round, which was held in jump-off format. Four riders advanced to the jump-off, and while all of them had faults, it was a race to the finish to see who could be fastest.

As the last to go, Kelli Cruciotti (16) of Elizabeth, CO rode her own Zidante, a 10-year-old mare, as the last in the jump-off. She knew that the three before her had faults and a clear round would seal the win. But with an early rail, Cruciotti had to put the speed on for victory. Landing from the final jump and finishing in 33.314 seconds, that’s exactly what she did.

Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante
Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante

Cruciotti said of her jump-off plan, “I had in my head that I wanted to go fast and even if I had one down, I still wanted to be fast. I was lucky that it happened so early in the course so I could stick with my plan and go really neat everywhere. She really came through for me. I knew it would be fast. I didn’t know if it would between four faulters or clear, but I knew it would be fast.”

In second place was Kristen Blomstrom on Zeros, who had four faults in 33.539 seconds. Vivian Yowan and Vornado van den Hoendrik were third with four faults in 39.887 seconds.

Cruciotti trains with her mother Cindy and has worked with Olympic gold medalist Peter Wylde for the past nine months as well. “It is a really great balance. My mom and I work at home and practice. We get to the shows and he has amazing tips about riding the course and the jump-off strategies. That experience really helps when you’re riding a course that I haven’t ridden that much and he obviously has.”

She has ridden Zidante for a year and a half, and Cruciotti was very happy with her mare’s performance over the past two days. “I was a little worried that she’d be too tired because I don’t usually do two days in a row with her. I thought yesterday she jumped really, really well and fast, and today she tried her heart out. She was a little tired, but she jumped great. Tonight she really proved herself that she can be reliable. I feel like the partnership is coming along very nicely,” she said.

Cruciotti has been coming to Capital Challenge since her mother started showing here 14 years ago. “Ever since I can remember I would come along. This is my favorite horse show,” she expressed. “They really make a big deal with the ribbons and sponsors and presentations. The course was great tonight, and it is such a pleasure to show here. It’s really special to win here.”

For their win in the final round, Patton was presented with the Remy Martin Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres and Melanie Wright. Cruciotti was the overall winner of the North American Junior/Amateur Jumper Challenge and was awarded the Ariat Congressional Cup. The Best Junior Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Courtney Calcagnini/CSC/Fleur Di Lis Farm, was given to Cruciotti, while Darby Toben won the Best Amateur Jumper Rider Award sponsored by Lyman T. Whitehead and Eight Fences, LLC.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show concludes tomorrow with championships for the 15 & Under sections of the junior hunters, the new Junior Hunter 3’3” division, both sections of the Children’s Hunter Horses, WCHR Junior Challenge, and the WCHR Children’s Hunter Finals.

For full results, more information, or to watch the live webcast, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. Like the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook and on Twitter @capchallenge and Instagram @capitalchallengehorseshow.

In its 21st year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 27 – October 5.

Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Northwind Marin, Show Me Love, and Yes It’s True Receive Green Pony Hunter Championship Titles

Emma Kurtz and Yes It’s True (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Lexington, KY – The first championship titles of the US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans were claimed Wednesday as the Green Hunter ponies completed their final phase of competition in the 2013 US Pony Finals. The judging panel of Chance Arakelian, William Sparks, and Jeff Wirthman assessed the hunter ponies in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Walnut Arena until weather caused the Under Saddle phase of the Medium Regular Pony Hunters to be moved to the Covered Arena.

Emma Kurtz’s success continued as she claimed the Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship, Small Green Pony Hunter Championship, and finally the Overall Green Pony Hunter Championship. Daisy Farish gave her mount a seasoned ride to earn the Large Green Pony Hunter Championship title.

The US Hunter Pony Championship presented by Sallee Horse Vans are determined by calculating the scores from the three phases of competition, the highest scoring pony of each height section will be declared champion of its section. Additionally, the highest scoring pony overall will be declared the week’s Grand Champion. The Model and Under Saddle phases will each count towards 25% of the overall score with the remaining 50% to be determined by the Over Fences Phase.

Large Green Pony Hunter

Farish (Versailles, KY) and Prue Richardson’s Northwind Marin took top honors in the Large Green Pony Hunter Championship. After a smooth round in the Over Fences phase to score 248.75 and finish in third place, she and the seven-year-old cross-bred gelding completed the competition with a total score of 1005.50.

“It feels really good,” Farish said of her win. “I have never won the Greens before.”

“When we were schooling, he was good but we got to the ring and he wasn’t so sure,” explained Farish. “Once he started going he was really good.”

The Reserve Champion title went to Aleece Jarman (Pace, FL) and Britney Jarman’s Casanova with a total score of 990.00. Jarman and the five-year-old German Riding Pony gelding scored 246.50 in the Over Fences phase to receive the fourth place ribbon.

Morgan Ward (Milford, NJ) and Redfield Farm’s Isport finished in third place in the Large Green Pony Hunter Championship with a total score of 980.00. She and the 11-year-old German Riding Pony mare won the Over Fences phase with a score of 250.50.

Medium Green Pony Hunter

After finishing with a total score of 1007.00, Kurtz (Hudson, OH) and Scott Stewart’s Show Me Love claimed the winning title in the Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship. Kurtz had notable performances with the six-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding, including a second-place finish in Wednesday’s Over Fences phase with a score of 247.50.

“He was really quiet and liked the jumps,” Kurtz said of her ride. The pair’s flowing round made an impression on the judges, helping them clinch the championship title.

Kirklen Petersen (Great Valls, VA) and David Glefke’s Foot Steps were named the Reserve Champions with a total score of 994.50. She and the flashy eight-year-old palomino German Riding Pony mare scored a 245.50 to finish in fourth place in the Over Fences phase.

Only 0.5 points behind Petersen was Coco Fath (Fairfield, CT) and Katherine Arliss’ seven-year-old Welsh Pony mare Rosmel’s Fairy Steps, to finish in third in the championship with an overall score of 994.00. The pair also received the third place ribbon in the Over Fences phase.

Small Green Pony Hunter

Kurtz continued her dominance by winning the Small Green Pony Hunter Championship with Sofia Roberts, LLC’s Yes It’s True, completing the competition with a phenomenal overall score of 1018.00. She and the eight-year-old cross-bred mare produced a near perfect round in the Over Fences phase to win with a score of 256.00.

“It feels great,” Kurtz said of her Small Green Pony Hunter Championship win. With the highest score of the Green Pony Hunters, beating herself on her Medium Green Pony Hunter mount by 11 points, Kurtz and Yes It’s True were crowned with the Overall Green Pony Hunter Champion title. “It feels really awesome,” she said of the title, all in her first year of being a champion at the US Pony Finals. When asked if she expected to have the results that she has had so far, Kurtz replied, “No, I didn’t expect it at all.”

The Reserve Champion title went to Augusta Iwasaki (Calabasas, CA) and Iwasaki and Reilly’s Small Introduction with a total score of 998.00. She and the seven-year-old Welsh Pony mare were boosted into the Reserve Champion position on the strength of a third-place finish in the Over Fences phase with a score of 254.50.

Alexandra Pielet (Highland Park, IL) and Mia Green’s seven-year-old Welsh Pony mare GF Forget Me Not took home the third place ribbon with a total score of 985.50. With a score of 248.25, the pair finished fourth in the Over Fences phase.

Medium Regular Pony Hunter

Competition ended late Wednesday evening with the Medium Regular Pony Hunters performing their Under Saddle phase. Elizabeth Shelbred (Greenwich, CT) and Autumn Farms’ 12-year-old German Riding Pony mare Dream Girl won the Under Saddle phase with a score of 256.00. Farish and Redfield Farm’s 14-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare Sassafras Creek currently lead the Medium Regular Pony Hunter division with a score of 511.00.

Thursday begins with Small Regular Pony Hunter division’s Model phase followed by their Under Saddle phase. In the afternoon, the Medium Regular Pony Hunter division will perform their Over Fences phase to conclude their competition and crown a champion.

By Kathleen Landwehr

To learn more about the 2013 US Pony Finals, visit: http://usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/pony/ponyFinals.aspx.

For Results, Schedules and more, visit: http://usefconnect.com/ponyfinals/.

Emma Kurtz Dominates Green Pony Hunters at 2013 USEF Pony Finals

Emma Kurtz and Yes It’s True.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2013 – The 2013 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals continued today at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park with the conclusion of the Green Pony Hunter divisions. Ponies and riders from each division completed their over fences phases, competing for the top honors as well as the championship and reserve championship titles. At the end of the day, 13-year-old Emma Kurtz sat atop the leader board, claiming the Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship title with Yes It’s True and the Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship aboard Show Me Love.

In the Small Green Pony Hunters, it was Yes It’s True’s stunning performance over fences that helped her win all the top awards with Emma Kurtz in the irons. The duo took home the blue ribbon prize in the over fences class with scores of 86, 85, and 85, which would be good enough to claim the Small Green Pony Hunter Championship for new owner Sofia Roberts of Wilmington, OH. Their overall total came to 1018 after winning the under saddle and placing second in the model, and that helped the pair earn the Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship.

“Yes It’s True is really fun,” smiled Kurtz. “Her jump’s really fun. You have to keep the leg and keep going, but she does carry her own canter. She doesn’t require that much work. She’s not that green; she’s not spooky.”

This year marked the first blue ribbon at Pony Finals for Kurtz, and she topped it with the Grand and Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter titles. “It’s been amazing,” commented the Hudson, OH, native. “It’s been an awesome day with great ponies.”

Robin Greenwood bred and raised Yes It’s True, an eight-year-old mare by Empire’s Power out of Yes I Will. “She’s such a good pony and she’s always been such a trier,” she noted. “The pony gives you goosebumps when she jumps around. She always over jumps, but does it so perfectly. It’s very exciting. She was filly or mare champion as a yearling at Devon. You know she’s a superstar; she’s always been a show pony.”

Kurtz led the Medium Green Pony Hunter division from start to finish, winning the under saddle yesterday and placing second in the model with Show Me Love, owned by Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL. Today, they showcased their skills over fences, earning scores of 78.5, 81, and 88, for third place to bring their grand total to 1007 and capture the Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship. Their impressive performance also helped the pair capture the Reserve Grand Green Pony Hunter Championship.

“Show Me Love was awesome today,” said Kurtz. “He was really quiet and he liked the jumps. He’s really easy; he’s just really lazy so you have to use a lot of leg.  It’s so nice when they’re easy and fancy.”

Owner Scott Stewart noted, “He’s 6 years old and he just showed in the Greens once, at the beginning of Florida, and since then we have been doing the Regular Mediums. He’s really simple. He’s quiet, he’s not spooky – he’s really one of the easiest ones we’ve had.”

“Emma rode him all through Florida and he won quite a bit,” continued Stewart. “Because we’ve been at different shows, she hasn’t ridden him for a month – she just jumped him yesterday for the first time. But he’s that easy. After this he will probably go to the Hampton Classic and then Indoors, where he’ll do the Regular Mediums; this is his last show in the Greens.”

The Medium Green Pony Hunter Reserve Championship went to Kirklen Petersen and Foot Steps, owned by David Glefke of Keswick, VA, for their total of 994.5. They also placed fourth over fences. The winner of the class was Taylor St. Jacques riding Pink Ice for Danielle Boyle of Melville, NY, and receiving scores of 82, 84, and 82.24. Coco Fath and Rosmel’s Fairy Steps, owned by Katherine Arliss of Red Bank, NJ, picked up the second place award in the class after earning an 83, 80.5, and 83.

In the Small Green Pony Hunters, Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA, and Small Introduction took home the reserve championship with total score of 998, placing third over fences with scores of 83, 86, and 85.5. Taylor St. Jacques scored the red ribbon over fences with Hershey’s Kiss, owned by Danielle Roskens of South Lyon, MI. St. Jacques and Hershey’s Kiss earned scores of 85, 83.5, and 86.

The Large Green Pony Hunters were the first to compete over fences in the Walnut Ring today. Morgan Ward and Isport, owned by Refield Farm of Califon, NJ, jumped to the top of the leader board with scores of 83, 83, and 84.5 that earned them the blue ribbon. Lilly Mack of Cincinnati, OH, and Blue A Kiss followed in the second place position after earning an 81, an 84, and an 85. The third place ribbon went to Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin, owned by Prue Richardson of Palgrave, Ontario, who received scores of 80.25, 84.5, and 84.

At the end of the class, the overall points were tabulated and Farish was named the Large Green Pony Hunter Champion aboard Northwind Marin, topping the competition by 15 points with an overall score of 1005.5. The reserve championship honors were presented to Aleece Jarmin and Casanova, owned by Tracy Howe of Frenchtown, NJ, who placed fourth over fences and had a total of 990 points.

Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin
Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin

“I’ve never won the Large Greens before, so this feels really good,” expressed Farish. “We schooled this morning and he was very good, but when we went in for our Over Fences, he wasn’t so sure. Once he started going though, he was really great. He’s very easy. He has a really good rhythm and you just have to sit there and keep him together and the jumps come up.”

Before coming to Pony Finals, Farish and Northwind Marin competed at Capital Challenge, where they were Grand Champion, and also won all of their classes at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series last month.

Trainer Bill Shaub explained, “Prue Richardson bred and raised him and sent him to me as a 5-year-old. We’ve just taken our time with him because we saw his talent and started him this year back as a 7-year-old. The secret is that we took two and a half years making him. When he wasn’t ready, we let him grow. We go to Virginia and we do hillwork and that’s where we spend our summers. We’re a little bit old horsemen that way.

“What’s really exciting is that Prue is fading out of the breeding, so this is really a big moment for her,” added Shaub. “Northwind Marin is just a winner. He wants to be a winner. He’s that kind of pony. He has so much presence that he certainly catches your eye. He and Daisy are a great match.”

The Regular Medium Pony Hunter Under Saddle took place next in the Covered Arena as the day came to a close. The top call went to Elizabeth Shelbred and Dream Girl, owned by Autumn Farms of North Salem, NY, while Daisy Farish and Sassafras Creek, owned by Redfield Farm of Claifon, NJ, followed in second. Bernadette Chungunco and Steal The Crowd, owned by Donald Stewart, Ocala, FL, took home the day’s third place honors. With an overall total of 511 after placing fifth in the model, Farish and Sassafras Creek will lead the division going into tomorrow’s Over Fences phase.

The 2013 USEF Pony Finals will continue tomorrow with the Medium Pony Hunters’ over fences phase as well as the Small Pony Hunters’ model and under saddle phases. In the Alltech Arena, the Pony Jumper competition will be getting underway in the evening as they compete for top prizes.

For more information about the 2013 USEF Pony Finals, please visit www.usef.org.

For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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