Tag Archives: equitation

Ava Stearns Wins ASPCA Maclay National Championship at National Horse Show

Ava Stearns on Acer K.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2019 – On the final day of its 136th anniversary, the National Horse Show welcomed junior equitation riders to the Alltech Arena for the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, the last of the four major equitation finals held each fall season. 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, one of which is the prestigious championship that is regarded as one of the most coveted equitation distinctions in the sport. Since 1933, an elite junior rider’s name has been etched into history as the annual champion, and this year the deserving victor was 18-year-old Ava Stearns, who topped the scorecard during her final junior year ahead of 175 athletes to capture the tricolor honors as the 2019 ASPCA Maclay National Champion and winner of the esteemed ASPCA Horsemanship Trophy.

Throughout the majority of the day, entries contested designer Bobby Murphy’s course one-by-one in attempts to showcase their abilities over the expertly created 14-effort pattern. The efficient course featured a diverse collection of fence types ranging from sturdy to airy, with the majority of the jumps not implementing standards, and was a nod to popular obstacles of the past as Murphy incorporated a series of fences that were reminiscent of those seen in previous generations. Exhibitors were offered fair opportunities to shine or fall short, with a forward 5-stride line, a collected 6-stride line, two in-and-outs, and an obstacle jumped twice both directions all integrated into the course.

Faced with the task of whittling down the initial start list of 176 pairs to only the top 25 performers, judges Jimmy Torano and Tamara Provost ranked the collection of participants who had earned a callback into the next rounds of competition. As the 92nd to ride in the original order-of-go, Stearns, riding Acer K, proved to answer Murphy’s questions the best as they exemplified the pinnacle of equitation, completing a textbook trip to jump to the head of the standby list following the first phase of competition. Headed into the under saddle and second over fences portions of riding, Stearns, Isabelle Song, Breanna Bunevacz, Emma Fletcher, Alexa Aureliano, Juliette Joseph, Catalina Peralta, Jordan Toering, and Savannah Hemby were pegged as the frontrunners, all riding head-to-head in the same flat section.

During the under saddle phase, riders’ balance and strength, as well as their horses’ adjustability, were put to the test through a series of directives from the judges, which included lengthening of stride, flying changes, and changes of gait, most of which was done without stirrups. Thanks to impeccable showings, both Bunevacz and Fletcher managed to usurp the early leader to claim the first and second positions, respectively, ahead of the final over fences phase. Hemby, Casas, Pielet, and Griffiths also performed well and leapfrogged up the ranks to inch that much closer to the top spot.

Returning in reverse order of the standings for their last chance to display their skills, all of the top 25 contenders navigated the Alltech Arena once more in an effort to either win the competition or force a work-off. With the points too close to make a championship decision yet following the second jumping phase, the judges requested a final test for six riders, which included highest-placed Stearns, Fletcher, Casas, Hannah Hoch, Sophie Gochman, and Elli Yeager. Originally outside of the top six, Hoch, Gochman, and Yeager were each able to maneuver their way up the leaderboard to keep them in contention.

For their final ride-off, competitors were asked to canter directly to fence one, counter-canter fence 11, canter fences 12a and 12b, canter to fence 13 in six strides, halt, canter fence eight, hand gallop fence five, and exit at the walk. The first five partnerships each turned in solid performances with no major errors, keeping the competition tight as the final entry walked through the arch for the last over fences trip of more than 200 throughout the day. As the ultimate challenger to ride, and with the lead to lose, Stearns jockeyed Acer K to an exemplary and seemingly effortless round, concluding the day’s activities on a high note with her precision, correct form, and aid effectiveness. After waiting through the nerve-wracking announcement of results, Stearns was rewarded for her superior efforts with Acer K as the 2019 ASPCA Maclay National Champion.

As the 2019 victor, Stearns’ name now sits amongst some of the sport’s greatest athletes and icons, including past winners such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, Lillie Keenan, Victoria Colvin, and 2018 winner Sam Walker. Even more impressive is the fact that the junior rider claimed the championship aboard 8-year-old Acer K, North Run’s gelding who has just completed his first indoor season competing in the equitation finals. Though their partnership is relatively new, Stearns and Acer K have already achieved an incredible amount of success together, earning the reserve champion honors in both the 2019 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – East as well as 2019 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final, in addition to topping the inaugural Dudley B. Smith Equitation Championship at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival during the summer. As the trainers of the winning rider, Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run were also awarded a one-year lease of an Audi, courtesy of Audi of Lexington.

Hot off third place honors in Saturday’s Hollow Brook Wealth Management $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix CSI4*, 18-year-old Casas continued her successful weekend with the reserve champion honors. The 2018 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final winner, 17-year-old Yeager added to her equitation reputation by earning the overall third place status. The 2019 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final winner just weeks ago, Fletcher clinched fourth place, while Gochman earned fifth place and Hoch rounded out the top six.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2019 National Horse Show, but the equestrian event will return in 2020 to once again host the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

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

Eleanor Rudnicki Victorious in Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship

Eleanor Rudnicki on Quinten F.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 27, 2019 – The final day of the 2019 National Horse Show’s Opening Weekend, which showcased equitation classes for all ages, offered two final championship opportunities for exhibitors. Up against a lofty field of 161 athletes in the start list, Eleanor Rudnicki proved her prowess in the equitation ring riding Quinten F throughout multiple rounds of competition to emerge victorious as the 2019 winner of the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship, the class which featured the most entries all weekend. In the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship, Emily White topped the scorecard aboard Scandeek thanks to two strong showings over fences and on the flat.

Designed by Bobby Murphy, the 12-effort track presented exhibitors with a number of opportunities to highlight their abilities in front of the judges’ panel, which was comprised of Emil Spadone and Mary Lisa Leffler. Following the first round of riding, 161 hopeful entries were whittled down to only 24 of the top performers, each of whom were invited back to the Alltech Arena to battle it out with their peers at least twice more, once under saddle and another time over fences, plus additional testing if required. Turning in the strongest showings during the first two rounds, Rudnicki, Ainsley Wade, Lilly Goldstein, Jordan Gibbs, and Vanessa McCaughley led the standings headed into the final jumping phase.

Once again, Murphy’s track provided a handful of route options in order for exhibitors to distinguish themselves from their peers, and many competitors took advantage of the opportunities with a series of inside turns. Sitting as the frontrunner after the first over fences and under saddle portions of the contest, Rudnicki had the advantage of jumping Murphy’s second pattern last since the qualified individuals returned in reverse order of the standings.

At the conclusion of the second jumping portion, only two riders, 14-year-old Rudnicki and 16-year-old Wade, were asked back for a final work-off in order for the judges to determine who would receive the 2019 class honors. Coincidentally, Rudnicki and Wade rode back-to-back in the initial order of go, with Rudnicki riding 45th in the start list aboard Jessie Rechs’ Quinten F and Wade as the 46th of the day with the reins on her own Cumano Boy Z. Returning for one final test, the two ladies switched horses for a competitive flat work-off. After a nail-biting ride-off, the results were in: Rudnicki had captured the championship after leading from start to finish in the 2019 Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3″ Equitation Championship. Wade was awarded the reserve honors, and Lola Head moved up from eighth place to capture the final podium spot.

Impressively, Sunday’s victory came during Rudnicki’s first year competing in the equitation ranks as well as her first indoors season. Adding another level of prestige to her win is the fact that she only rode Quinten F for the first time one week ago, but the young rider quickly learned to adapt to the horse and rode as if on a familiar mount. Rudnicki is coming off an already successful week at the National Horse Show, having earned the championship tricolor in the Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett Under 14 Equitation, presented by Palm Beach International Academy, on Saturday. Moving forward, Rudnicki will continue to ride in the junior hunters and equitation, with her sights set on the major medal classes next year.

Commencing the day’s activities earlier in the morning, the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship brought a contingent of talented horses and riders to the forefront to compete for the tricolors over two rounds of riding. Athletes had the opportunity to jump at either the 2’6” height or the 3’ height, with the pack splitting in half to tackle their preferred fences. Up first, the 2’6” exhibitors took their turns around the Bobby Murphy-designed track, followed by the 3’ challengers, who ultimately proved to shine the brightest as the top three finishers each opted for the higher obstacles.

Headed into the flat phase, White, Melodie Robitaille, and Lilli Power each had garnered top scores to keep them in contention for the title with their respective mounts, but White’s faultless performance under saddle pushed her to the top of the scorecard, clinching the top spot on the podium as the 2019 Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation champion. Power and her own Wingman ultimately earned second position overall, followed by Robitaille and Coveted, owned by S&R Investment Group LLC.

A veteran equitation competitor and previously a coach, White took advantage of the opportunity provided by the National Horse Show to continue competing as an adult, which helped to allow her to remain partners with her own Scandeek, who she began riding in the equitation as a junior. Thanks to their longtime relationship, White and Scandeek have continued to accrue accolades in the adult classes, and earlier this year won the Ariat National Adult Medal during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

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

Samantha Takacs and Brighton Take Top Pony Hunter Honors at WIHS

Samantha Takacs and Brighton. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

The final winners of the 61st annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) were named on Sunday, October 27, at Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C., marking the conclusion of the six-day horse show.

Among those claiming victories on Sunday was Samantha Takacs, who rode Brighton to the Grand Pony Hunter Championship title, and claimed The Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick and Rustic Woods. Hallie Moss topped the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals aboard Birtley’s Crowned Jewel to take home The Jane Marshall Dillon Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Friends and Students of Mrs. Jane Marshall Dillon.

Takacs, 14, of Oldwick, NJ, and Brighton, owned by Ellie Sadrian, won the under saddle and earned a first and second over fences in the Large Pony Hunter division to clinch the division championship and the Pegasus Stable Perpetual Trophy, donated by Ms. Fenwick Kollock, on their way to the grand championship title.

“It feels so good!” said Takacs of her major victory. “I can’t even describe how happy I am feeling right now. It’s such an honor at this amazing horse show.”

Takacs topped the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals last year riding Storyteller, and this year, she got the ride on Brighton from her good friend and fellow rider, Sadrian.

Hallie Moss Wins WIHS Pony Equitation Finals on Her First Try

Hallie Moss watched Sam Walker win the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals on Saturday evening at WIHS and carried her inspiration from that into her performance in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals to take the blue.

Moss, 11, scored an 84.5 in the over fences phase of the class to stand in third before the flat phase, after which the judges, Sue Ashe and Timmy Kees, put her on top as the winner with Birtley’s Crowned Jewel. It was Moss’s first time showing in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, though she showed in the pony hunter divisions last year.

“It’s my last show on ‘Teddy,’ so it’s pretty incredible,” Moss said. “I wasn’t slow, which I’ve been working on, and I was able to find the jumps out of stride.” Teddy is a 12-year-old Welsh Pony by Eyarth Tayma and owned by Three Ships LLC.

For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.

Elizabeth Chenelle Wins THIS National Horse Show 3’ Adult Equitation Championship

Elizabeth Chenelle on Dimacho.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 26, 2019 – Back for the second day of competition during Opening Weekend, the 2019 National Horse Show honored its first set of champions Saturday, highlighted by Elizabeth Chenelle’s impressive victory in the second annual Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show 3’ Adult Equitation Championship ahead of a field of 41 other entries. A unique contest, the class allowed adult riders to showcase their equitation talents, a skill that is often celebrated only for junior equestrians. Held in the Alltech Arena, the final was open to riders over the age of 18 who have qualified by gaining points throughout the year. The popular class offered exhibitors a chance to compete in a national final amidst an atmosphere filled with history and tradition, for which the National Horse Show is synonymous.

A three-phase contest, the class first challenged the original start list of 42 horse-and-rider partnerships over course designer Bobby Murphy’s 11-effort pattern, which offered exhibitors opportunities to display their abilities via a series of lines and long approaches. Following the first round of riding, 15 contenders earned callbacks to qualify for the final two phases of competition, which consisted of a flat class in addition to another trip over fences. Whittled down to the best performers, the latter half of the class included Chenelle, Kayla Jacobs, Jaime L. Krupnick, Anna Rossi, Andrea Robbins, Madison Myro, Anna Koenig, Tyler Petrie, Claudia Millstone, Sabrina Hall, Jennifer Morton, Jeanine Cash, Olivia Jacob, Kiera Phlipot, and Allison Pelzel. Following the under saddle showing, riders Myro, Cash, Phlipot, and Morton impressed the judges with their excellent form and were moved up the standings to inch closer to the lead headed into the final phase.

Returning in reverse order of the standings, challengers showcased their abilities one final time over Murphy’s second track, each hoping to either leapfrog up the rankings or retain their top positions. As the class progressed, combinations turned in a series of exemplary performances in an effort to catch the early front runner, Chenelle, after her standout rides over fences and on the flat aboard A. Brooke Farr’s Dimacho, the chestnut gelding who was coincidentally the reigning champion after winning the inaugural chapter of the class in 2018 with Hannah Brown in the irons. Ultimately, Chenelle could not be caught as she consistently demonstrated textbook equitation over three rounds of riding on Dimacho, solidifying her victory as the 2019 Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show 3’ Adult Equitation champion thanks to her final performance that earned top marks from the judges’ panel.

Moving up the ranks from fourth place after the first phase into the reserve position was Rossi, who piloted her own Cakebread, and third place was claimed by California-based Jaime Krupnick and her own Conux. True to the mission of the class, the three podium finishers represented a variety of backgrounds that include motherhood and diverse careers, a testament to the ideals of the class as a competition that allows adults to continue in their pursuit of equestrian excellence in the show ring after their junior days have concluded.

As the trainer of the winning rider, Armand Chenelle was honored for his role in the championship, and Kayla Jacobs and Rebecca Patterson’s Dia Caspar were awarded the distinction of the Best Turned Out Pair by the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation.

Earlier in the day, champions were crowned in their respective age group divisions, with nine athletes leaving the Alltech Arena with new tricolors in tow. In the two sections of the Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett Under 14 Equitation, presented by Palm Beach International Academy, Vanessa McCaughley and Eleanor Rudnicki rode to victory, while Ainsley Wade and Isabel Rudaz claimed the rosettes in the Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett 14-15 Equitation. The older junior riders in the Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett 16-17 Equitation performed strongly over two days of competition, and ultimately Caroline Kelly and Sloane McGuire outshone the pack to claim the championship honors ahead of their individual sections. Chenelle earned double victories Saturday with a division championship in Section A of the Adult Equitation and Madison Myro topped the leaderboard in the second section of the Adult Equitation, while Blythe Goguen was awarded the championship in the KHJA Equitation.

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

WIHS Regional Horse Show and USHJA Zone 3 Championship Leads the Way to WIHS

Charleez Simcik and Angelique. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Upper Marlboro, MD – The 2019 WIHS Regional Horse Show and USHJA Zone 3 Championship, presented by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, returned to Prince George’s Equestrian Center (PGEC) in Upper Marlboro, MD from Friday, October 18 through Sunday, October 20. The annual event showcased local and regional riders, giving them a final chance to qualify for the coveted Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN, which kicks off on Tuesday, October 22 at Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C.

Charleez Simcik, 18, of Taneytown, MD, won the MHSA Gittings Horsemanship Finals, which was the featured event on Friday at the WIHS Regional Horse Show. Simcik was second in the Gittings Horsemanship Finals in 2018 and returned this year hungry for a win.

Simcik, trained by her mother Stacey and Kim Williams, piloted her own Angelique to the top spot, and has had the ride on the 11-year-old German-bred mare for more than two years. Formerly piloted by Taegan Long in the equitation, Angelique officially joined Charleez’s string by accident.

“We ran into her last rider’s mom at a show and she was hoping to focus more on the jumpers, so we took the horse originally to campaign and sell,” said Charleez, who is a senior at Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, MD. “I obviously fell in love with her right away and convinced my mom to buy her.”

Angelique and Charleez took a chance to catch the judges’ eye in the Gittings Horsemanship Final. She utilized the immense size and stride of the mare she calls a “big princess” to eat up a bending line at the end of the course in six strides where others were doing seven and sometimes eight.

“I think that line is what the judges really liked about our round,” said Charleez. “We were very concise with our round because there weren’t a lot of opportunities to do rollbacks, so I had to something to catch the judges’ eye.”

This year marks Charleez’s third year competing in the Gittings Horsemanship Final before passing the torch and the ride on Angelique to her sister Jianna. Of her experience at the WIHS Regional Horse Show, Charleez noted, “Having the Regionals at [Prince George’s Equestrian Center] makes the show feel really special. For me, it feels like a hometown show because I grew up riding around all those same people, and I know everyone. But what makes it even more special is that the local divisions have the opportunity to then compete at WIHS.”

Behind Charleez, Alexis Seiden took second riding Contasia for owner Wynnwood Farm, LLC, while Clare O’Brien rounded out the top three aboard her own Bronziet. Ryleigh Crisafulli and her Camelot finished in fourth, with Mahalia T. Alascio capping the top five riding Blueberryhill’s Blue Dream, owned by Castlewood Farm, Inc.

Additional equitation champions were also crowned, including Emily Longest, who topped the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) 3’3″ Junior Hunt Seat Medal riding Hoorah for owner Drew Tibbetts. In the pony ranks, Eliza Laviolette won the MHSA Children’s Pony Medal riding her own Romeo.

Highlighting USHJA Zone 3 Championships jumper competition, Hugh Turner and Acadia Park, owned by Samantha Hawrysko, were named champion, and Adison Rice took reserve with Zantura. For adult riders, top honors in the USHJA Zone 3 Adult Amateur Jumper Final were presented to Jessica Leonard aboard Amalee for owner Jessica Matelis. Wendy Libert and Papillion Peanut were reserve champions.

In the USHJA Zone 3 Championships hunter divisions, Grace Walker and her own Zealand collected the championship in the Children’s Hunter Horse 14 & Under Final, while Lauren Satola took reserve on Santinos. For 15-17 riders, Margaret A. Stell and her own Clever topped the list, while Kendall Cashion and Verano earned reserve.

Emily Longest was also named champion in the USHJA Zone 3 3’3″ Junior Hunter Final riding Hoorah for Drew Tibbetts. Jessie Spade took the reserve title with Nightfall.

The USHJA Zone 3 Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Final was topped by Brittani Director riding her own Rococo. Layne Woodward took reserve riding Montblanc. The tricolor in the USHJA Zone 3 Adult Amateur Hunter 35 and Over Final went to Betty Oare and EMO Stables’ Sidenote, while Rachel Howell piloted Flirtation Walk to reserve honors.

Leading the charge for the Small and Medium Ponies were Ashley Garrido and Color Me Happy before a tie shared the reserve between Audrey Quinn on Jems Tucker and Mary Reeves Hopkins riding My Little Golden Girl. The Large Pony tricolor went to Abigale Olmsted on Highland’s Right Royal, owned by Alexandra Panetta. Alicia Wang and Irish Rambler were reserve.

Competition at the WIHS Regional Horse Show concluded on Sunday, just two days before the Washington International Horse Show – featuring top horses and riders from across the U.S. and around the world – kicks off on Tuesday, October 22. Qualified riders from the WIHS Regional Horse Show will compete at WIHS in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, October 27.

WIHS will continue a longstanding tradition as one of the world’s most celebrated indoor horse shows in 2019 and again host the $136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup, with coveted qualifying points on offer for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final taking place in Las Vegas, NV in April. Additionally, WIHS will welcome qualified hunter, jumper, equitation, and pony riders from across the nation and celebrate year-end titles, including the coveted Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals.

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

For more information on event schedule and special ticket offers and discounts, visit WIHS.org/tickets.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Legends and Future Stars of Horse Sport Converge at WIHS

Eliza Kimball and Available Ohio at WIHS 2018. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington D.C. – Household names in the show jumping industry will come together with tomorrow’s talent at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), presented by MARS EQUESTRIANTM, running from October 22 through 27, 2019 at Capital One Arena in the U.S. capital city of Washington, D.C.

Marking the culmination of a year’s worth of qualifying, hunter, jumper, and equitation riders will take center stage in the heart of the U.S. capital to chase WIHS glory. Sitting at the top of the qualified list, Sam Walker leads the charge for the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals, and top hunter riders including Scott Stewart, Liza Boyd, and John French will also make their way to Washington. The U.S. rider list is stacked with the likes of Olympians Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, and McLain Ward turning up for international competition.

Opening WIHS, High Performance Hunters and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championships highlight Tuesday’s Hunt Night evening, while the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championships take center stage on Wednesday evening. Special action kicks off on Thursday night, October 24, which is also Barn Night, with highlights that include the $50,000 International Jumper Welcome Class and one of the most popular classes, the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.

Friday night, October 25, is Military Night presented by Caterpillar, Inc., and celebrates the athleticism of the horse. The night starts with the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, where it’s all about the fastest time, before the $25,000 Land Rover International Jumper Puissance tests just how high the horses can jump. Aaron Vale (USA) will look to win his fourth consecutive high-jump title, while all riders will have in mind to chase the indoor puissance record of 7 feet, 7 ½ inches, set by Anthony d’Ambrosio and Sweet ‘N Low at WIHS in 1983.

On Saturday, October 26, two of the most prestigious events of WIHS take place. First, the country’s best junior riders will vie for one of the most coveted year-end titles – the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. Won by notable champions like McLain Ward (1993), Kent Farrington (1999), and Christine McCrea (1996), the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals will feature the next generation of show jumping stars.

As the evening continues on Saturday, the $136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup, offers sought-after qualifying points for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals, held in April in Las Vegas, NV. Confirmed riders from all corners of the world include Olympic gold medalists, former President’s Cup winners, and eager challengers.

In addition, US Equestrian Chef d’Équipe Robert Ridland will be inducted into the WIHS Hall of Fame on Saturday night at WIHS. Ridland is a popular show manager and course designer, and has dedicated decades worth of time to the promotion of American horse sport.

WIHS concludes on Sunday, October 27, with the smallest and cutest stars of the show. Pony riders and their pint-sized mounts will compete for top honors in the WIHS pony hunter ranks, the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, presented by Huntland, in addition to highlighting special local qualifiers for the WIHS Regional Championships.

WIHS Tickets

  • Opening Day Special: Tues., October 22 only: All tickets are $2, day or evening
  • Best Deal: Anytime ticket Package, all 11 sessions of the show with deep discount, adult, and children’s pricing
  • Where to Buy: Ticketmaster.com, Capital One Arena box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
  • Daytime Tickets (general admission) Wednesday through Sunday, $15 (plus applicable service charge). Children 12 and under admitted free. Discounts for Military, Seniors, and Students.
  • Evening Tickets: Preferred and Standard seating. Tickets start at $25 for selected nights. Discounts for Military, Seniors, and Students.
  • Group Sales: Capital One Arena Group Sales at 202-661-5061 (min. group size 10)
  • Complimentary Tickets: Community and service members, go to org/FreeTickets

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

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Extends Dates and Adds Prize Money

Madison Nirenstein and No Doubt Im Trouble, 2018 Amateur Showmanship at Halter circuit champions. Photo: Cody Parmenter.

Tampa, Fla. – Oct. 4, 2019 – Save the date! Back for its next chapter, the popular Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit will return to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds better than ever thanks to the growing popularity of the event. Due to an increase in exhibitor interest, the horse show has added an extra day of competition, with the 2019 installment beginning Friday, December 27 and concluding Tuesday, Dec. 31, and the prize money pot has increased to $50,000 shared between both the Gold Coast and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuits. Over the course of five days of competition in five rings, Quarter Horses and Paints of multiple disciplines will demonstrate their skills to celebrate the excellence and versatility of the breeds.

In 2018, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit was again named one of the top 10 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows in the country, this time successfully operating as the sixth largest AQHA show in the nation. Approved by the AQHA, American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA), the competition is consistently one of the highest-ranked events of its caliber, and attracts exhibitors from coast to coast. The 2018 installment saw competitors from as far away as New Hampshire, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, and Colorado.

Under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production, the 2018 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit showcased more than 11,000 total entries in 2018, up from the 2017 event. Of that incredible total, 8,450 horses represented AQHA entries, while the remainder consisted of non-AQHA exhibitors. In 2019, the show is excited to feature leveled HUS and WP to enhance its new schedule, plus new jackpots paid on circuit points. No additional entry fee is required, and each class will be paid after the Circuit and Reserve Circuit award winners are determined.

In addition to serving as the ideal setting to welcome in the new year, exhibitors can expect a number of much-anticipated improvements highlighted by some of the best all-weather footing in the country, as well as extensive and well-planned drainage systems installed in all of the outdoor rings at the Florida State Fairgrounds to ensure perfect footing regardless of the conditions. The state-of-the-art facility further offers ample riding and lunging spaces.

With five days of competition under numerous judges, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit presents exhibitors with opportunities to earn valuable year-end points and exciting prizes in the beautiful Florida weather. There is also a multitude of activities outside of the show as the Florida State Fairgrounds sits in close proximity to all of the major theme parks and provides easy access to various beach and fishing sites.

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

Media Contact: Elaine Wessel
(561) 753-3389 | ew@phelpsmediagroup.com

2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Scholarship Recipients Named

Avery Glynn. Photo by McCool Photography.

Washington, D.C. – The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund will honor Avery Glynn, 17, of Chilmark, CA; Emma Fletcher, 17, of Buzzards Bay, MA; and Taylor Griffiths, 17, of Wellington, FL with the prestigious 2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Washington International Horse Show Equitation Scholarship. The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) runs October 22-27, 2019, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund (LMCF) is returning for its third year as the title sponsor of the WIHS Equitation Finals. In 2017 LMCF developed the WIHS Equitation Scholarship to recognize the talent, dedication, and hard work of junior riders who compete throughout the year in the hopes of qualifying to participate in the WIHS Equitation Finals.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the incredible riders who have both applied for and received the WIHS Equitation Scholarship. Last year, we expanded the number of scholarship recipients and this year we will continue that growth by honoring three recipients,” said Lindsay Maxwell, founder of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. “The selection committee was impressed by the caliber of applicants this year, and we are thrilled to honor these three young women at the WIHS Equitation Finals.”

Maxwell continued, “The future of our sport depends on young riders like Avery, Emma, and Taylor, who have continually displayed their dedication to our sport, animal welfare, and their local communities.”

“In the third year of the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals Scholarship program, the WIHS team is beyond impressed by the quality of the applications and the remarkable talent and commitment of these three young competitors,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. “We are ever grateful for the increasing generosity and expanded commitment of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund to this special, one-of-a-kind program.”

In addition to the honors attendant to this accolade, the scholarship will cover expenses such as travel and lodging for the rider and parent, the show’s entry and application fees, equine transportation and stall fees, and special VIP hospitality access. Now in its 28th year, the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals is a rigorous three-phase competition held over two days. A panel of three judges test and evaluate the riders in hunter, jumper, and work-off rounds to determine the best of the best.

Former Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals champions include former world No. 1 ranked rider Kent Farrington and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward.

Invitations to compete in the annual Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals are sent to the top 40 junior riders based on points earned during the year-long qualifying period.

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

For more information on event schedule and special ticket offers and discounts, visit WIHS.org/tickets.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

IHSA Founder Bob Cacchione to Retire from Executive Director Position

Bob Cacchione shakes Lizzy Traband’s hand during Nationals at Harrisburg in 2018. Photo by Madison Dempster.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sept. 3, 2019 – Robert E. “Bob” Cacchione, the charismatic leader of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA), will retire from the executive director position of the organization he founded. Cacchione announced his decision in a letter to the IHSA board of directors, effective Sept. 1. He will continue to promote and support the IHSA and will assume the role of founder emeritus. Peter Cashman, IHSA second vice president and co-coach of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s equestrian team, will assume the role of interim executive director until a formal board election will take place June 2020.

“It’s been a great ride,” Cacchione said. “It’s been my passion and my life’s work. Never did I dream that it would be what it is today. I want to thank all the dedicated coaches and past and current board members for working to build this great organization. It has been an honor. The IHSA is in capable hands and will continue to grow and thrive. I’ll still be around to advise and help in any way I can.”

Cacchione has made a profound impact on the equestrian world. As many as 250,000 men and women have participated in the IHSA since 1967 when he founded the organization as an 18-year-old student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. Cacchione’s brainchild was born out of his determination to find a way to ride while in college without the financial support of his parents. He and mentor and adviser Jack Fritz, a renowned horseman active in the governance of several equestrian disciplines, developed the prototype of IHSA competition, which included catch-riding appropriate horses, drawn out of a hat, that were supplied by host schools.

Launched with just two colleges competing in hunter seat equitation, the IHSA was praised for its innovative format and quickly caught on. In 1979 the Western divisions premiered at the IHSA National Championship Horse Show. In 1999, IHSA Inc. was established as a nonprofit organization.

The organization now has over 400 participating colleges and universities and 10,000 members. IHSA is comprised of 39 regions in 8 eight zones in 47 states and Canada. Because the IHSA offers all levels of competition, from beginner through advanced, and offers college students a way to learn to how to ride, it makes a significant impact on the grassroots development of the equestrian sports.

IHSA members make up 10 percent of the membership of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and the IHSA is credited for being the single greatest source of new members to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

Some of the most notable riders in show jumping and the Western disciplines competed in the IHSA during their college years. Four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden competed for Southern Seminary and won the Cacchione Cup in 1984. Olympic gold medalist Peter Wylde won the Cacchione Cup in 1986 while he attended Tufts University.

As executive director for 52 years, Cacchione has proudly led the IHSA, shaking the hands of every competitor at the IHSA National Championship Horse Show and working tirelessly alongside board members who have become lifelong friends. With his devotion to the IHSA and the number of lives it has impacted, Cacchione is regularly recognized and acknowledged during his travels by people from all walks of life who once participated in the IHSA.

“From September to May, I traveled to a show every weekend,” he said. “I’ve loved it, but I look forward to less travel and more time with family.”

Cacchione has been recognized for his commitment to college riding with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award, the USHJA Presidents Distinguished Service Award, US Equestrian/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary College, and the American Horse Publications Equine Industry Vision Award. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Gentlemen’s Committee of the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.

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

2019 Southeast Medal Finals Adds NEW Poles Medal Final

Tampa, Fla. – August 16, 2019 – Entries are filling fast for the 2019 Southeast Medal Finals, held in just a few weeks from August 30 to September 1. This year’s exciting competition will return to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida. Classes are available for all levels and ages, and entries can be mailed in or submitted online through HorseShowsOnline.

New to this year, competition will feature a Poles Medal Final, presented by MCF Equestrian, held Sunday, September 1. The Poles Medal Final is open to qualified beginner junior and non-professional adult riders who have not shown over anything higher than cross rails. Be sure to submit your entries for this exciting addition.

The Southeast Medal Finals will offer hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for all levels and ages. USEF-rated and sanctioned by the CFHJA, this regional competition is the perfect season culmination for riders seeking an affordable and attainable horse show experience.

For questions regarding this year’s Southeast Medal Finals or to submit stall counts, call (352) 397-9315 or email semedalfinals@gmail.com.

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