Tag Archives: equitation

Amateur Riders Make Time to Shine at Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit

Jeanie Presler and Lovies Lil Rey, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 29, 2021 – Unlike professional horsemen, amateur riders need to make a plan in order to take time away from their careers and attend the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit. Throughout the week they come to Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds to enjoy what matters the most to them, spending time with their families and riding their horses in one of the most prestigious Quarter Horse shows in the country.

Kaleena Weakly of Shelbyville, Illinois is a part-time graphic designer and a stay-at-home mom. Weakly has a lengthy and successful show record at the Gold Coast. She took a four-year break to care for matters at home, and now she and her family use the five-day event as a holiday vacation. Weakly won the Amateur Hunter Seat Equitation class with her horse Definitely a First, making the family vacation a memorable one.

Jeanie Presler of Nokomis, Florida is a Mixed-Animal General Practitioner. She returns to the Gold Coast after a 20-year hiatus due to a demanding school and career schedule. The VRH Amateur Ranch Horse divisions were new to Presler and her Reined Cow Horse Lovies Lil Rey. It worked out well as she and her eight-year-old birthday present finished on top in the VRH Amateur Ranch Horse Reining class.

Leah Roehl of Ruther Glen, Virginia is busy as a government worker and a mother of five children. It took a great deal of planning for Roehl to make it to the Gold Coast. The support she receives from her family and friends makes the herculean effort to compete all worthwhile. Roehl and her gelding AlDoWhatYouLove won the Senior Pleasure Driving and L1 Novice Amateur Working Hunter classes.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Ellie Aronson and It’s Easy Time Land the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Region 3 Championship

Ellie Aronson and It’s Easy Time ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Sept. 26, 2021 – It was a busy weekend of equitation competition during the ESP Florida State Fall, which hosted the Region 3 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship as the highlight event at Equestrian Village. The class saw young riders from across the southeast region compete for the chance to compete at the finals later this year. Thanks to consistent performances over the fences and on the flat, plus a test, Ellie Aronson of Atlanta, GA and Eva Fisherman’s It’s Easy Time emerged as the victors.

“My horse was perfect! Even though this is just our second show together, I felt like everything just came together really well,” Aronson shared. She continued to elaborate on the rounds, saying, “In the first round, I just tried to stay on a nice canter. He holds himself in a really nice frame naturally, so in the flat phase I was able to just focus on myself and hold my position. Then in the test I just wanted to go out there and have fun with it.”

Forty-three riders contested the first round course, set by Andy Christiansen (ECU), in the covered ring at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Following the first round of competition, 32 riders were invited back for the flat phase, which was broken up into three groups, and ultimately just four riders were asked to return for the final test. After three technical rounds of competition, Aronson and It’s Easy Time were crowned the champions. Earning second place was Hailey Royce of Wellington, FL and Elios, owned by Michael Dietrich. Third-place honors were awarded to Schuyler Dayner of Odessa, FL and her own Gambino.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Competition at 2021 Southeast Medal Finals Concludes with Day of Championship Crownings

Mckenzie Clayton and Bea Ready.

Tampa, Fla. – Sept. 5, 2021 – Competition at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals (SEMF) came to a close on Sunday, Sept. 5 featuring a packed schedule. With riders of all levels and ages vying for championship titles, Mckenzie Clayton and Bea Ready were the first duo to claim top honors in the Junior Medal Finals presented by The Clothes Horse, while Lexie Kate Crumbaker and My Way topped the field in the Pony Medal Finals. Top Show Jumping competition also came to a head featuring the largest purse of the weekend in the $25,000 Dr. Eli Farri Memorial Day Grand Prix presented by The Adams Group eXperience of eXp Realty, where Callan Solem and Essenar Crixus emerged victorious, wrapping up competition at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals for the 5th anniversary at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.

Top junior riders were eager to show off their textbook skills and effortless style in the Junior Medal Finals presented by The Clothes Horse. Following a tight first round, 12 of the riders were invited back for an over-fences work-off. Riders contested over the shortened course and were asked to display the counter canter and a posting trot without stirrup irons. The second round could lend any of the top three riders the leading title, but ultimately it was North Carolina junior rider, Clayton, that impressed the judges the most to move up and earn first place aboard brand new mount, Bea Ready. Madison Ramsey and Maguro would finish the class in second place, with Kate Neily and First Verdi rounding out the top three.

Clayton, who showed Bea Ready for the first time just this week at the 2021 SEMF, walked away with the unexpected win aboard Kristen Bond’s 9-year-old KWPN mare. Having only ever ridden the mare three times prior to entering the Teco Indoor Arena for the Junior Medal Finals, Clayton was just hoping to get a better feel for the mare heading into indoor finals season where she will compete in the ASPCA Maclay and USEF Medal Finals. With the help of her good luck charm necklace, in addition to her cool and composed demeanor, Clayton not only produced two smooth trips but also nailed the counter canter, having never practiced the movement on her newest mount.

The youngest equitation riders took to the Gene Mische Ring for the Pony Medal Finals where Crumbaker impressed the judges with her style and finesse aboard her own 18-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding, My Way, taking home the first-place ribbon. Second place was ultimately awarded to Elizabeth Dorward riding Show And Tell. Rebecca Holcomb and Mi’Amore rounded out the top three.

34 top horse-and-rider combinations took the Grand Prix Ring for one last class at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals for the feature event of the week, the $25,000 Dr. Eli Farri Memorial Day Grand Prix presented by The Adams Group eXperience of eXp Realty. The large field of competitors provided an exciting display of show jumping as 9 riders moved into the jump-off. In a nail-biting finish, it was ultimately Solem who was last to take to the ring who bested Catalina Peralta’s 39.999 by a half of a second with a time of 39.428 seconds. Sarah Gordon and Castella closed out the podium with a third-place finish.

Solem and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elan Farm secured their first grand prix win together Sunday afternoon out of a competitive field of 34 athletes. The newly partnered duo plans to compete on the winter circuit at The World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida later this year.

For more information, please visit www.southeastmedalfinals.com.

Southeast Medal Finals Penultimate Day of Competition Focuses on Fun

Stephanie Cook and Vulco Monaco.

Tampa, Fla. – Sep. 4, 2021 – The penultimate day of competition at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals focused on fun as horse-and-rider combinations took to their respective rings for unique feature classes prior to the highly anticipated Finals Sunday, September 5. Show jumping riders dashed for the cash hoping to pocket the largest portion of the prize in the $2,000 Gambler’s Choice, presented by The Adams Group eXperience of eXp Realty. Stephanie Cook and Lord Arthur 1916 turned and burned in the Grand Prix Ring claiming the top prize, while Gretchen Swanson, Macie Sousa, and Mina Godden put forth their best collective efforts to win the Equitation Team Challenge, presented by Tenney’s Custom Saddlery.

Eager horse-and-rider pairs lined up at the Grand Prix Ring in hopes of gathering the most points to win the $2,000 purse. Open to riders of all ages and levels, competitors were allotted 50 seconds to forge their own path around the course with the goal of racking up the most points. With each fence assigned a point value based on the degree of difficulty, riders were able to jump a fence no more than twice and in either direction. It was ultimately Cook who took home the grand prize aboard one of her three mounts entered in the class, Lord Arthur 1916, Lionsway Farm’s 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion.

With the advantage of planning and executing multiple courses, Cook’s first trip aboard Vulco Monaco briefly held the lead with a score of 990. The Tennessee native laid down her winning round as the middle of the three trips with Lord Arthur 1916, scoring a whopping 1260. Her final round aboard Augusto produced a score of 1110, which would be good enough to take fourth place. The highly competitive amateur is a frequent competitor on the East Coast circuit and has racked up countless wins. Cook most recently pocketed two blue ribbons at Camp Encour in the $1,000 .95 Mini Prix and the $1,000 .95 Back To The Beach Welcome.

The race for second and third place came down to just a 20-point difference as Juliet Johansson and her own 16-year-old Warmblood gelding, TH Magic, rocketed into second place with a score of 1190. Sitting closely behind was Amy Foster who piloted Abigail Princz’s 11-year-old North American KWPN mare, Florentina HF, to a score of 1170.

In light of the 2021 3’6’’ Equitation Medal Finals Sunday, September 5, the competition took a light-hearted break Saturday evening as teams of four junior and amateur riders teamed up in hopes of turning in the highest combined score. The randomly assigned teams were given 30 minutes to strategize their course prior to the start of the class. A total of seven teams consisting of three junior or amateur riders registered with SEMF contested over either a 2’6” or 3’0” course.

Of the seven teams, it was Gretchen Swanson aboard Dominica V, Macie Sousa with Mojito Z, and Mina Godden with Calino 60 who topped the leaderboard with a whopping score of 234. Godden, the 16-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida was the first of the three to take to the ring. The experienced ‘big eq’ competitor who qualified for The National Horse Show last year pioneered the track with her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding for her two fellow teammates. Laying down a base score of 73, Godden made the wise decision of pushing for a forward seven in one of the bending lines as opposed to the tight eight strides many of her fellow competitors were riding.

Sousa, who just recently aged out of the junior division, was the second of the three to try her hand at the track posting the team’s leading score of 86 aboard her own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Mojito Z. The 19-year-old amateur rider from Orlando, Florida, who used to compete on the junior equitation circuit, plans to continue her equitation career as an adult amateur hoping to qualify for the Ariat Adult National Medal Finals.

Sorento, Florida native Swanson was the third and final ride of the three. The 21-year-old amateur rider piloted one of Oakmore Equestrian Center’s lesson horses, Dominica V, around the course earning a score of 75. As the ringer for the team, Swanson’s solid effort aboard Emily Patterson’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare solidified the team’s top podium position with their combined efforts, a full 27 points ahead of the second place team.

For more information, please visit www.southeastmedalfinals.com.

Eleanor Rudnicki Sets the Pace for USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*

Eleanor Rudnicki and Flugel. Photo Courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 21, 2021 – The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* was the lead Equitation event in the Walnut Arena on Saturday morning at the Kentucky Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Texan Eleanor Rudnicki topped a field of 12 young athletes in the competitive division. Augusta Iwasaki was awarded second place with Lion King Van’T Eigenlo and Natalie Jayne rounded out the top three on Charisma.

The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* track, designed by Jasen Shelley, consisted of 14 efforts and included a one-stride, a triple combination, and several technical bending lines around the ring. Riders had the option to jump an open-water jump or an oxer for the fifth obstacle on the course. Following the jumping phase, all 12 riders were invited back for the flat portion of the class, bidding them one final chance to make a positive impression on the judges. Rudnicki and Linda Langmeir’s Flugel continued to impress the judges, ultimately capturing the win at the conclusion of the two phases.

Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek Cap Off Successful Week as Champion of USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

The grand finale of the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship took center stage on Saturday night in the Rolex Arena. The best hunter athletes from all corners of the United States came prepared to showcase their talents in front of the fixated spectators vying for a share of the prize money totaling more than $300,000. After 38 total trips between the Section A and Section B rounds, Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek emerged victorious after dominating the competition from the get-go. Samantha Schaefer and Caristo were awarded Reserve Champion honors, while Elizabeth Boyd and Cassico ended up third. Laena Romond had the unique distinction of being fifth in Section A while also being named the Champion of Tier II with Uptown. Evan Coluccio and Radio City were the Reserve Champion of Section B class.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Kathryn Hall and Lorcan Gallagher Snag Jumper Wins at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Lexington, KY – July 30, 2021 – Junior/Amateur-Owner and professional show jumping competitors took their turn in the spotlight of the Rolex Stadium first thing Friday morning. The High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers competed under overcast skies in hopes of snagging the division’s first big win of the week. It was ultimately Kathryn Hall and All In 9 who rose above the rest to claim the blue ribbon. Immediately following Hall’s win, the 1.40m Open Jumpers took over the arena to see Lorcan Gallagher and Ariana steal the victory as the final pair to compete.

Eleanor Rudnicki Earns Top Honors in ASPCA Maclay

Equitation riders dominated the Stonelea ring at the Kentucky Horse Park Friday afternoon for the 2021 Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Some of the country’s top junior competitors took to the stage to showcase their extensive skill sets in hopes of acquiring precious points towards the 2021 indoor season finals. In the end, Eleanor Rudnicki rode Jackpot to top honors in the ASPCA Maclay, while Jake Endicott stole the show, sweeping both the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Medal and the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal aboard Major OHF.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Dominic Gibbs and Delia B Dominate High Jr/A-O 1.40m Jumper at Kentucky Spring Classic

Lexington, KY – May 21, 2021 – The famed Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park was buzzing with excitement Friday, May 21, as junior and amateur-owner competitors took center stage to vie for top honors in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper. In a one-round competition against the clock, 37 hopeful athletes sought victory aboard their mounts, but it was ultimately junior athlete Dominic Gibbs who rose to the occasion riding Mount King Ranch LLC’s Delia B to take first place honors.

Alivia Kohus, Taylor Cawley, and Campbell Brown Emerge Victorious in Equitation

Friday afternoon in the StoneLea Ring, equitation riders took center stage to compete for the top prize in the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Medal, ASPCA Maclay, and the USHJA 3’3” Hunter Seat Medal. Showcasing some of the nation’s top junior athletes, the competition was tough in the ASPCA Maclay as 20 horse-and-rider combinations tried their hand at the eight-obstacle course, hoping to acquire points towards the 2021 indoor season. In the end, Alivia Kohus laid down a jaw-dropping course aboard her mount, Cristallo’s Carlchen P, which helped earn her the blue ribbon. Taylor Cawley dominated the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Medal aboard Quax for the second week in a row, while Campbell Brown claimed victory in the USHJA 3’3” Hunter Seat Medal aboard SWS Questionnaire.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Eric Krawitt and Vani Khosla Earn Top Titles in High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper

Lexington, KY – May 14, 2021 – Show jumping focus shifted to junior and amateur-owner competitors in the Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show (KSHS) Friday morning. A total of 11 hopeful junior competitors and 30 amateur-owner competitors vied for top honors in their respective High 1.40m Jumper division. In the end, it was Eric Krawitt and Godfather B to claim the High Junior 1.40m Jumper title, while Vani Khosla and Billy Mexico nabbed first place honors in the High Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper.

Mimi Gochman and Taylor Cawley Claim Equitation Wins

Equitation riders took to the Kentucky Horse Park Friday afternoon in the StoneLea Ring for the 2021 Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Showcasing some of the top young junior athletes, the competition was stiff as several horse-and-rider combinations competed in several medal classes to acquire points towards 2021 indoors season finals. In the end, Mimi Gochman rode Heroy Von De Hei to top honors in the ASPCA Maclay, while Taylor Cawley dominated the 3’3’’ Medal classes aboard Quax, riding to the top of the class in both the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Medal and the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Natalie Jayne and Charisma Shine in the WEF Equitation Championship

Natalie Jayne and Charisma © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2021 – Equitation riders took their turn in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, March 26, in the WEF Equitation Championship during the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). After three technical rounds of competition, Natalie Jayne and Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Charisma took home the blue ribbon.

Zayna Rizvi and Jordyn Rose Freedman’s Finnick earned second place. Third place honors went to Dominic Gibbs aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, and fourth place went to Alexander Alston riding Waldo, owned by Missy Clark and North Run.

Shane Sweetnam and Indra van de Oude Heihoef Are Swift in $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5*

Galloping swiftly across the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Indra van de Oude Heihoef, owned by The Blue Buckle Group, won the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5* on Friday.

Out of 46 entries in the class, 19 were clear over the speed course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA). Starting the class off with a bang, Olympic individual gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid, a 15-year-old Oldenburg by Chacco Blue x Come On owned by Chacco Kid Group, raced to set the leading time of 62.24 seconds, which would hold up for second place after the remaining 45 entries.

Riding early in the class as well in the fifth spot in the order, Sweetnam and Indra van de Oude Heihoef shaved almost a full second off the winning time, taking it down to 61.26 seconds.

No one else was able to catch Sweetnam’s time, but Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Hungry Heart, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Baltimore 1178 x Loucaibo owned by Stone Hill Farm, came closest in 63.10 seconds for third place.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kent Farrington and Austria 2 Win the $37k Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 3

Kent Farrington and Austria 2. © Sportfot.

January 29, 2021 – Wellington, FL – Kent Farrington (USA) and Austria 2, owned by Take the High Road, LLC, set the tone as the first pair to return for the jump-off and could not be caught, making light work of the shortened track to take home top honors in the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 on Friday, January 29, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) during the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Taylor Landstrom and Francesca Guidi Top the EMO Insurance USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal

Friday morning began with 55 equitation riders competing for the blue ribbon in the EMO Insurance USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal at Ring 6. The class was held in a California split format with Taylor Landstrom riding Inferno to the Section A first place ribbon and Francesca Guidi piloting Come Monday to the Section B win.

The equitation medal consisted of two rounds, an over-fences phase and a flat test, for the top 10 riders of both Section A and Section B. Landstrom, of Excelsior, MN, and her own Inferno tackled the over-fences phase with ease and earned a score of 87 to put them at the top of the class.

“I picked up my canter and once we found the first jump, the rest of the course fell into place,” described Landstrom. “He knew what his job was, and I did my job, so I couldn’t have been happier.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.