Tag Archives: equitation

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Hosts Special Olympics and Dressage Event

Jacksonville, FL (February 14, 2019) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has a busy weekend planned as it welcomes 3 events to the facility. The Area 5 Special Olympics and First Coast Classical Dressage Showposium return for their 3rd and 5th years, respectively, with this weekend being the Heartland Farms Obstacle Course Competition’s first event at the Equestrian Center.

The 2019 Special Olympics Florida Area 5 Equestrian Championships will bring over 20 athletes to compete on Saturday. The event, which will begin at 2:00 pm and conclude around 5:00 pm, is part of the Special Olympics program, which provides an opportunity for children and adults with disabilities to compete in a wide variety of sports including figure skating, swimming, Judo, and equestrian. Area 5 consists of 7 FL counties, with the largest participating counties being Duval and Clay. The athletes, who rise above their disabilities to display skill, determination, and passion for their sports, compete in English and Western Equitation, Working Trail, and Showmanship. The top 5-6 placing equestrians will be eligible to compete at the Special Olympics State Equestrian Championships in Weirsdale, Florida in March of this year. This event welcomes and encourages spectators to come watch the competition and cheer on their enthusiastic participants. The Special Olympics has a wide array of volunteer opportunities available. Please contact Kate Breese for additional information on how you can get involved: 352.255.8275, katebreese@sofl.org.

The First Coast Classical Dressage Society hosts its first of 5 annual “Showposiums” at the JEC on Saturday and Sunday. This unique schooling show format has been recognized for its focus on education, engagement, and progression of horse and rider. Each Showposium weekend features lessons on Friday with the weekend’s Judge and test rides with verbal instruction and feedback on Saturday and Sunday.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Heartland Farms Obstacle Course Competition. This event, which was previously held at the Clay County Fairgrounds, is in its 10th year of competition. Nearly 100 horses will compete over a wide variety of challenging scenarios ranging from natural water obstacles to manmade situations like curtains, blow ups, and gates, which are potentially spooky or scary situations to horses. The horses are judged on a scale of 0-10 on how they maneuver the obstacles and a perfect score is awarded when they proceed without hesitation.

All three of these events welcome spectators free of charge and leashed dogs are permitted.

For up to date event information, follow the JEC on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook and visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4225
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili Win $36k Bainbridge 1.45m Classic

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 8, 2019 – The fifth week at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) features CSI 5* competition, and on Friday, February 8, the highlight class was the $36,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili took the top prize in the speed class.

In the $36,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI 5*, there were 55 entries competing over a speed format course designed by Kelvin Bywater (GBR). There were 17 clear rounds, and the fastest of them all was Vanderveen on her partner of four years, Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC. They made short work of the course, coming home in a time of 57.73 seconds.

USHJA Jumping Seat Medal Goes to Samantha Weinerman

Weekend equitation competition debuted in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Ring 6 on Friday morning as 46 juniors displayed their best form and skill in the USHJA Jumping Seat Medal, presented by Griffis Residential. With a solid plan of action and confidence in her new mount, Samantha Weinerman of Chester, NJ piloted Charmeur to a returning spot for the test where she would ride to the win.

North Run Inc.’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Veron x Tavanta SHB) has only been paired with Weinerman for two weeks but is no stranger to the equitation ring. He has competed at various equitation finals with top junior riders such as Sam Walker and Maggie Hill.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Yasmin Rizvi and Lumiere Win $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic at Week 4 of WEF

Yasmin Rizvi and Lumiere. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 3, 2019 – The fourth week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, February 3, with a win for 18-year-old Yasmin Rizvi of Wellington, FL and Lumiere in the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Griffis Residential.

Rizvi and Lumiere, a 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Clay x Feodora) owned by Peacock Ridge, LLC, jumped clear in the first round with a time of 69.008 seconds, and clinched their win with a clear trip in the jump-off with a time of 40.333 seconds. “I loved doing the jump-off. I love my horse and I feel comfortable with him so it’s always fun,” commented Rizvi about the class.

Catherine Kramer Wraps Up Week 4 with Champion Title in Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 & Under Division

Week 4 of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to a close on Sunday with one final day of top hunter, jumper, and equitation competition. The Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 & Under competitors returned to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Field to contest in an under saddle and two over fences rounds to determine who the week’s division champion would be. After a brief “hack-off” between her and a fellow competitor tied for champion points, Catherine Kramer of Carmel, IN ultimately took the lead with her own Casares.

Following the jog, Kramer and Sienna Pilla closed out the final rounds of competition on the same amount of points and the two riders were asked to re-mount their horses for a short “hack-off”. The two pairs would once again display the three under-saddle gaits to the judge in order to determine which horse appeared to be the more correct mover. After several laps in each direction, both riders were directed to turn back to the line-up where Kramer and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Casares, were named champion. The pair earned placings of first, two thirds, and eleventh over fences as well as first in the “hack-off”.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

2019 Turf Tour Begins with 1.30m Rising Star, 1.40m Grand Prix Sweep & WPTV/ESPN Sports Feature

Carly Anthony and Cornetiero. Photo credit to Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington.

Wellington, FL (January 5, 2019) – The 2019 Turf Tour is officially underway, and has already seen some spectacular horses and riders galloping out over its springy grass courses. Organized and hosted by US Olympian Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the first week of the 2019 Turf Tour was featured on WPTV/ESPN Sports’ Friday evening broadcast, where its hosts discussed their vision for equine-centered horse shows offered on all-natural jumping surfaces.

The first 1.30m Rising Star Classic and first 1.40m Turf Tour Welcome Grand Prix were won by Washington state wunderkind Carly Anthony, who took both first and second in both classes aboard Neil Jones Equestrian’s Cornetiero and Jana Van D’abdijhoeve. Anthony has been a frequent sight on the Turf Tour since 2018, and began her riding career under the tutelage of her mother, Redmond, Washington hunter jumper trainer Cara Anthony, and later Canadian Olympian Eric Lamaze. Anthony waltzed over both Wednesday’s and Friday’s courses with double clears, and noted that her twice 2019 Turf Tour champion mount, Cornetiero, prefers to jump higher.

Anthony was joined by a selection of riders in both the 1.30m Rising Star and 1.40m Welcome Grand Prix, in addition to groups of .80m, .90m, and 1.10m riders who took advantage of the Turf Tour’s relaxed atmosphere, open in gate, and complimentary hospitality tent. Turf Tour Week 2 continues with USEF Equitation Tuesday January 8, Turf Tour classes January 9-11 at Mida Farm, and Hunter Derby Days January 12 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, featuring a $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

The 2019 Wellington Turf Tour features 13 weeks of jumper equitation competition, including all heights and prize money classes including weekly $10,000 1.40-1.45m Grand Prix and $3,000 1.30m Rising Star Classics, all held at beautiful and unique venues. This year’s destinations include The Ridge’s home farm, Santa Rita Polo Farm, Mida Farm, Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, and final locations to be announced for March.

Hunter Derby Days will be held January 12, January 26, and March 9 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center (about 10 minutes from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center). Each day will feature a $5,000 USHJA National Derby and a $10,000 USHJA International Derby, and the facility features top notch permanent stabling, spacious warm ups, ample parking, a large covered arena, and full amenities.

USEF Equitation Tuesday runs each Tuesday afternoon at The Ridge’s home farm (14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd). The Ridge will also host a Schooling Show February 2 & 3, catering to all levels.

The Turf Tour and its hunter/jumper/equitation events are a unique addition to Wellington’s winter circuit, offering riders top-tier competition, generous prize money, and an unparalleled atmosphere. Young horses and advancing riders are able to test their mettle in classes ranging from junior and amateur jumpers to the Grand Prix, and at a variety of venues reminiscent of the large European tours. Organized by US Olympic show jumper Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the vision that inspired the tour’s conception was bringing back old world flair to over fences classes, staging competitions on springy, natural turf surfaces away from the intensity of other show grounds. But the laid-back atmosphere, which includes open ended show times and concurrently running divisions, doesn’t fail to attract some of the sport’s biggest names, keeping the competition up to par.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

US Equestrian to Recognize Georgie Green and Isabela De Sousa at Pegasus Awards

Isabela De Sousa (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Lexington, Ky. –US Equestrian is pleased to announce the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award to be acknowledged at the 2019 US Equestrian Annual Meeting at the Hilton West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. Georgie Green is the winner of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, while Isabela De Sousa is the 2018 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Both Green and De Sousa will be recognized at the Pegasus Awards on Thursday, January 10, 2019, along with other prestigious award winners.

Green (Morgan Mill, Texas) has been a dedicated leader for the Morgan breed. For more than 40 years, Green and her husband, John, have owned and operated Roadshow Morgans, the largest Morgan breeding operation in Texas and one of the largest amateur operations in the country. They purchased their first Morgan horse, Funquest Paddy, in 1972 and their first breeding stallion, Showcase, in 1973, which has led to more than 100 horses with the Roadshow prefix. These top-quality horses have become world and national champions, local winners, and beloved family pets. Green’s dedication to this American horse is exemplified by her work to foster interest for pedigreed livestock in younger generations.

Green joined the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Board of Directors in 1980. Five years later, she was named AMHA’s Woman of the Year, as well as the organization’s first female president. She served as AMHA president from 1985 to 1988 and again from 1993 to 1996. For nearly 30 years, Green served on its Board of Directors and chaired several committees, including the all-important Registry Committee. Outside of AMHA, Green served on the show committee for the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® for many years, serving as show chair three times. She also served on the USEF Board of Directors as the Morgan breed representative and currently sits on the USEF Morgan Sport Committee.

Green was honored with the National Pedigreed Livestock Council’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award for those whose dedication to their chosen breed is exhibited through extensive altruistic endeavors. Now, Green is the recipient of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award for her undying commitment to the Morgan breed, which has elevated the sport’s excellence.

As Junior Equestrian of the Year, De Sousa (Lexington, Ky.) will be presented with the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy. At the age of 17, De Sousa is already an exemplary ambassador for equestrian sport, in particular for the Thoroughbred horse. She has been riding all her life and has been retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds for the last few years. De Sousa has found much success in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, winning the show jumping division from 2015 to 2017. She displays her maturity as a consummate horsewoman by treating the Makeover as icing on the cake versus a hard-fought goal for the Thoroughbreds she retrains. Her ultimate goal is to provide the horses with a solid foundation and start them on a second career path that they can enjoy in their new homes.

In 2018, she retrained Cozmic One, the first foal of famed racehorse Zenyatta, and finished fifth in the Makeover show jumping division. In addition to her strong placing, De Sousa used her social media influence on the de Sousa Stables Facebook page throughout Cozmic One’s retraining process to educate fans about how Thoroughbreds can be retrained after their careers on the racetrack and the positive side of racing and the Thoroughbred industry.

De Sousa also secured top results in the show ring throughout 2018, including competing in her first equitation finals in the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final, the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Washington International Horse Show Celebrates in the City

Horses on the streets of Washington D.C. Photo by Alden Corrigan Media.

The Washington International Horse Show left its mark on downtown Washington D.C. yet again in 2018 by hosting a 60th anniversary celebration like no other in the heart of the capital city. Cementing its place in the framework of North American show jumping competition and culture, the 60th anniversary of WIHS was one for the record books.

“This was a 60th celebration better than we could have imagined,” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “To be able to showcase top sport year after year for the fans of this event and show jumping in general is fantastic. It was quite an event, and an even better celebration. I can’t wait for the next 60!”

WIHS hopes to keep the history of this show alive and bring new competitors and spectators for another 60 years to come. Text the word HORSE to 50155 and follow the prompts to make a donation to keep horses coming to the city. Every little bit helps.

Top Sport at Capital One Arena

After a $41 million renovation that took place at Capital One Arena over the past year, WIHS welcomed some of the world’s best horses and show jumping athletes to the event with four-time U.S. Olympian Beezie Madden and Breitling LS taking home top call in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC. WIHS has hosted this prestigious international event for three years as part of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, which was live streamed worldwide through FEI TV in 2018.

Visiting riders representing Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and Switzerland rounded out an international field all vying for points for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, to be held next April in Göteborg, Sweden. Adding to the international flavor of the event, German course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. set the tracks at WIHS.

Also highlighting the elite multi-disciplinary competition that includes hunters, jumpers, and equitation and has grown to define WIHS, 16-year-old Elli Yeager won the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. The sought-after event featured 40 of the nation’s top young riders with two competitors appearing as Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant recipients. Ava Stearns, 17, of Chilmark, MA and Juliette Joseph, 16, of San Diego, CA were chosen to receive the grants.

“The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is proud to continue its support of the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals,” said Founder Lindsay Maxwell, philanthropist and successful amateur rider. “The Finals are a cherished benchmark for young riders, and it’s an honor to be able to support the development of the next generation of talented equestrians. The incredible quality of the applicants for the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant speaks volumes about the future of our sport.”

Taking home the win in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals was Samantha Takacs of Oldwick, NJ aboard Storyteller.

In the hunter ranks, the 2018 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship was awarded to Bastogne, ridden by Hunt Tosh and owned by Ceil Wheeler, while Scott Stewart claimed the Leading Hunter Rider Award, presented by Dr. Betsee Parker. For amateurs, the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship was awarded to Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman. Catch Me also received the inaugural Technicolor Award, donated by Lindsay Maxwell in memory of her beloved mount Technicolor. Maxwell took home the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship, presented by Ernest and Betty Oare with Belgravia. Legacy and Ashley Vogel were the Grand Junior Hunter champions, while Tessa Downey rode her Anisette to Grand Pony Hunter Champion honors.

Sport, both past and present, was celebrated during WIHS with legendary horseman Joe Fargis being inducted into the WIHS Hall of Fame. A team and individual gold medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, Fargis boasts five decades of involvement with WIHS as a competitor and judge as well as serving on the show’s Board of Directors. He won the President’s Cup Grand Prix at WIHS in 1984 aboard his gold-medal Olympic partner, Touch of Class.

Additionally, members of 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon gold medal-winning U.S. team, including Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, McLain Ward, and alternate Beezie Madden, were on hand to meet the fans of WIHS for an autograph signing at the Land Rover concourse booth.

Stepping into D.C.

The equine stars of the Washington International Horse Show immersed the city of Washington, D.C. in horse show culture. With horses cruising into town in Johnson Horse Transportation tractor trailers, being stabled at 7th Street and F Street NW and quite literally walking the streets of the city, the citizens of Washington, D.C. experienced horses first-hand.

Engaging the D.C. community has always been a pillar of WIHS and 2018 was no different. The return of Kids’ Day, presented and supported by WIHS Junior Committee and its presenting sponsor Signature Academics, as well as Breakfast with the Mounted Police hosted by Hotel Monaco and supported by Ride TV, brought horses to the city.

WIHS also embraced the honor and service of the U.S. military with Military Night, presented by Caterpillar Inc., which featured a win for Aaron Vale and Finou 4 in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance for the third year in a row. Together, they cleared 6’11 ½” to take the victory.

“I’ve always had a love for this class,” said Vale. “It’s about the only one left in the country, so it’s special to come do it, especially in front of such a great crowd.”

Military Night honored guests like Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard, and hosted the Armed Forces Reception presented by RBC Wealth Management to raise funds for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in the PwC Club. In the ring, the “Jump for Taps” initiative raised $12,000. Other military honors included “Big D” and Sergeant Russell Robar, members of the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit, accepting the 6th Annual WIHS Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service, presented by EQUUS Foundation and The Stephens Family.

The WIHS Military Ticket program, funded by Man O’ War Project in partnership with Columbia University Irving Medical Center, with support from Land Rover, Delta, Caterpillar, Inc., Travelers, and RBC Wealth Management, provided complimentary tickets to members of the military and their families. More than 30,000 tickets have been distributed since the program began in 2009.

Anniversary Fun

What’s a celebration without a little fun? In honor of its 60th anniversary, WIHS invited fans to join them for fierce competition, as well as exhibitions that included famed Australian horseman, entertainer, and bush poet Guy McLean, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, a performance by The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and appearances of the stars of Billy and Blaze, The Movie.

The biggest nod to the WIHS anniversary was historical displays throughout the Capital One Arena concourse and honorary ticket pricing. Matching the ticket price of the inaugural WIHS in 1958, tickets were only $2 on opening day and commemorative show programs were on sale for just $1.

Barn Night, presented by Barn Manager, Charles Owen, The Clothes Horse, The Equiery, The Loft at Meadowbrook, United Metro Golf Cart, Dover Saddlery, and US Equestrian, welcomed young horse enthusiasts to WIHS with contests and prizes. Riders dressed in costume for the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class. Most notably, U.S. Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward honored the Washington Capitals hockey team by dressing as Alex Ovechkin, while The Best Costume Award was given to Andy Kocher, dressed as a pirate.

Taking place during Barn Night in conjunction with the Buck Breast Cancer Benefit, 10 clear rounds over the Buck Breast Cancer jump donated $5,000 to the Capital Breast Care Center thanks to the Tolkan Family. Also presented during Barn Night, the Laura Pickett Award for Excellence presented by Charles Ancona and Vicki Lowell was given to Beatrice VanSant and trainer Ginia Wilbrandt in memory of beloved local trainer Laura Pickett, who lost her battle with breast cancer after a five-year fight.

Whether it was a trip to the Delta Winners Circle after earning a blue ribbon and a box of signature Georgetown Cupcakes in the ring, shopping the WIHS Souvenir Store staffed by the George Washington University Riding Team, placing a bid in the WIHS Silent Auction, meeting a riding idol, or simply soaking in some horses in the city, the 60th Anniversary WIHS was one for the record books for competitors and spectators alike. WIHS will return to Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C. for a 61st season from October 22 through 27, 2019, with the best of show jumping competition, renowned entertainment, and more WIHS champions.

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Skidmore College and SCAD to Be Honored at the Pegasus Awards Ceremony

SCAD won the ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship for the fourth time in 2018. Photo courtesy of SCAD.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Nov. 26, 2019 – US Equestrian, the national governing body of equestrian sport, will hold their annual meeting and Pegasus Awards in Palm Beach, Florida in January. New to the Pegasus Awards celebratory evening, the 2018 Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Equestrian Team Awards will be presented Thursday evening, Jan. 10.  US Equestrian’s Pegasus Awards honor some of the great men and women of equestrian sport. The 2018 Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Equestrian Team award winners demonstrated their excellence in USEF-affiliated collegiate and scholastic organizations in 2018 and will be recognized for their achievements and success during Pegasus night.

Skidmore College, the IHSA Collegiate Cup Hunter Seat Championship Team, led by head coach Cindy Ford and assistant coach Belinda Colgan, will be presented with a 2018 Intercollegiate Award. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), coached by Ashley Henry and assistant Abbie Gibson, the 2018 ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Overall Championship Team, will also be honored.

IDA National Championship Team Intermont Equestrian at Emory and Henry, ISSRA Championship Team University of Louisville, NCEA National Championship Auburn University and USEA Eventing Championship Team Auburn University, and IEA Champion Upper School Hunter Seat Team Lucky Stables will also receive awards.

During the Pegasus Award event, US Equestrian will also present awards to the recipients of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award the Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award, the Pegasus Medals of Honor and other prestigious equestrian industry awards.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Sam Walker Makes History as 2018 ASPCA Maclay National Champion at NHS

Photo: Sam Walker on Waldo.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 4, 2018 – Celebrating its 135th year, the National Horse Show has come to be known as one of America’s premier indoor equestrian events thanks to its rich history and classical traditions, with the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, adding even more prestige as one of the four major equitation finals held each fall season. Since 1933, an elite junior rider’s name has been etched into history as the annual champion, and this year the competition tested 175 horses and riders over a series of challenging phases to determine the deserving victor. The culmination of a week at the Kentucky Horse Park, the 2018 National Horse Show concluded with a dream realized for Sam Walker of Ontario, Canada, now the newest champion of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and winner of the esteemed ASPCA Horsemanship Trophy.

Over the course of the day, the initial field of participants took turns tackling Bobby Murphy’s (USA) expertly designed equitation track, which looked deceptively straightforward at first glance. Incorporating most jumps as part of lines, the efficient course offered competitors multiple opportunities to either spotlight their talents or fall victim to the design’s tests, with distances between fences varying and requiring riders to lengthen or collect quickly within the same series of obstacles. Structurally, the fences presented a different type of challenge, with Murphy’s creative collection of jumps including plenty without standards in addition to a handful of skinny jumps, a gate, and an airy triple bar. As the 39th in the order-of-go, Walker and North Run’s Waldo exemplified the pinnacle of equitation, completing a flawless trip to jump into the first standby list.

Separated from the rest of the pack as the creme of the crop, 25 partnerships were hand-selected by the judges’ booth, which was occupied by esteemed horsemen Walter T. Kees and Chance Arakelian, to return for the second phase of the contest after top-notch performances over fences. Headed into the under saddle and second over fences portions of riding, Walker, Brian Moggre, Ava Ellis, Emma Kurtz, Catalina Peralta, Paige Matthies, Daisy Farish, and Coco Fath were pegged as the frontrunners, all riding head-to-head in the same flat section.

During the under saddle phase, horse-and-rider combinations’ adjustability, balance and connection were put to the test by the judges, who asked for a series of skill demonstrations such as the counter-canter, extended canter, and sitting trot, among others. With one final chance to prove their abilities, the top contenders returned to the Alltech Arena for a second trip over Murphy’s track, this time consisting of almost no fences with standards, a hand gallop, a counter-canter, a trot fence, and an airy fence jumped in both directions.

Returning in reverse order of the standings for the second over fences phase, Moggre had the advantage as the last entry to ride, with Walker, Farish, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, Ellis, and Alexandra Worthington sitting in second through eighth positions, respectively, and all aiming to knock him from the top of the leaderboard. Following the completion of the top 25, the judges needed one last look at the top six, and asked for testing from Walker, Moggre, Fath, Kurtz, Matthies, and Mimi Gochman, who leapfrogged from 12th place into the work-off. Of the remaining contenders, Moggre was the only one to have been victorious in a national equitation final previously, having won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show earlier this fall, but it was Walker who had moved to the top of the standings headed into the last display of riding. Sunday afternoon’s test asked riders to canter fence 7, canter fence 2, counter-canter fence 6a, canter fence 6b, canter fence 4, halt, and return to the line.

As the last to ride in the work-off, Walker capped off the day’s championship with an exclamation point, navigating a textbook trip aboard Waldo seemingly with ease and displaying high levels of precision, correct form, and aid effectiveness to secure the championship tricolor and the prestigious honor of ASPCA Maclay National Champion. As the 2018 victor, Walker’s name now joins the ranks of past winners that include some of the sport’s icons such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and George Morris, as well as recent superstars Lillie Keenan, Victoria Colvin, and Madison Goetzmann.

Sunday’s distinction for Walker is one of the highlights of his competitive equitation career, although he has come close to the top call more than once. This year alone, he has placed within the top 10 in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show as well as the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final. A multi-talented equestrian, Walker also campaigns in the upper level jumpers, having won U25 and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes across the United States and Canada under the tutelage of his trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan from North Run. For training the winning rider, Audi of Lexington donated a one-year lease of an Audi to Walker’s trainers.

The men represented well this year, with Moggre capturing the reserve honors behind his peer, Walker. Moggre rode Efendi, owned by Donald Stewart, over the course of the contest. Jacob Pope was the last male athlete to claim the top honors in 2012, and prior to that was Brian Walker in 2001. Coincidentally, Sam got paired with Waldo partly with the help of the previous winner that shares his namesake. Jumping from sixth place after the second over fences phase, Paige Matthies piloted Barbara Smith’s Blurred Lines to third overall thanks to her standout work-off test to round out the podium finishers.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.org.

Tessa Downey and Anisette Are Grand on Final Day of 60th Anniversary WIHS

Tessa Downey and Anisette. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

October 28, 2018 – Washington, D.C. – The 60th anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) concluded on Sunday, October 28, at Capital One Arena in downtown D.C. with the naming of the 2018 Grand Pony Hunter Champion, as well as WIHS Pony Equitation Finals and WIHS Regional Hunter Finals winners.

Taking the weeklong show’s top pony hunter honor was Tessa Downey of Houston, TX riding her own Anisette.

Downey, 13, and the 12-year-old black Welsh Pony Cross mare topped two of the Medium Pony Hunter over fences classes and finished second in the handy to earn the Medium Pony Hunter Championship, for which they were presented the Shenandoah Sundowner Perpetual Trophy, donated by Evan Coluccio and Ashmont Farms, Lt.

The pair’s consistent rounds proved to be enough to then clinch the Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick & Rustic Woods, as the Grand Pony Hunter Champions. Downey and Anisette also received the Potomac Trophy for the High Score Junior Hunter Rider on a Pony, and Downey was named the Best Child Rider on a Pony, sponsored by Gotham North. For the Best Child Rider award, Downey received the Captain V.S. Littauer Perpetual Trophy.

“I grew up watching Maddie Schaefer and everyone who is now in the big eq win this trophy, and I’m just super excited. We came here just with our goal being to jog in every class. That was our goal at Harrisburg too; we just wanted to be consistent. Then we go and this happens, and we’re over the moon!” – Tessa Downey

Downey started riding Anisette this past year, after purchasing the mare from the Hoch family, and she has seen great success with her since, including winning the Medium Pony Hunter Championship at the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Pony Finals in August.

Samantha Takacs Rides to Redemption in WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

Samantha Takacs of Oldwick, NJ scored an 88 in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals to take home top honors riding Storyteller. The win was a redeeming effort for Takacs after going off course from the first in the order in the very same class during the 2017 WIHS.

“Last year was my first time at WIHS and this year I was really hoping I did the course correctly. I was a little bit nervous because I hadn’t shown in the hunters at this show this year because I didn’t have a horse to ride so today was my first trip.” – Samantha Takacs

Thirteen-year-old Takacs borrowed the ride on Storyteller, owned by Temple Equestrian, LLC and leaded by Caroline Signorino. Despite qualifying for the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, Takacs didn’t have a mount available to compete and jumped her first fence with Storyteller the morning of the final.

“I am so thankful that my friend Caroline and Temple Equestrian were both kind enough to let me borrow him,” said Takacs of the 15-year-old German Sport Pony gelding. “I rode him this morning and I felt like he was such a good boy and we were a good match. Then in the schooling area, I got a little self-conscious and wasn’t sure how it was going to. But, once I got in the ring I knew he would do it for me.”

After the jumping phase of the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, the top ten riders were tested on the flat. Takacs pocketed the top score to best second-place finisher Kat Fuqua, who finished one point off the lead with an 87.

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

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.