Tag Archives: equitation

Palm Beach Series Announced for 2017 Florida Winter Season

The 2016 Turf Tour Leading Rider and Leading Lady Rider, Beth Underhill on course in Jim Brandon’s covered arena. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)

Wellington, FL (November 27, 2016) – Florida’s winter show season just got a bit more exciting, as The Ridge Farm has officially announced their new hunter, jumper, and equitation circuit: The 2017 Palm Beach Series.

The 2017 Palm Beach Series is a 13-week circuit of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition, including a diverse offering of divisions and classes, National, International, and Pony USHJA Hunter Derbies, weekly 1.40-1.45m Grand Prix classes, USEF Equitation Tuesdays hosted at The Ridge at Wellington, and the exceptional venues and all natural surfaces on the Turf Tour. Hosted at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, just two miles from Wellington’s center, the Palm Beach Series will also offer seasonal stabling packages on the show grounds. The world class facility includes a slew of amenities for both horses and humans, including an oversized, lighted covered arena, multiple all weather outdoor warm up and show arenas, 2 large barns of permanent stabling, a lunging area, and a full range of amenities and vendor space.

Founded and organized by Olympic show jumper Nona Garson and her partner George D’Ambrosio, the Palm Beach Series, Turf Tour, and other shows hosted by The Ridge Farm are designed to give riders of all levels a world-class competitive experience in an intimate, laid back atmosphere. Essential for the development of riders, young horses, and the growth of the sport, The Ridge’s show series consistently attracts some of the industry’s top names, including internationally competitive hunters and Olympic Gold Medalists as well as young riders and amateurs.

Discounted Stabling Packages Available through December.

The Ridge is offering a limited time discount on stabling packages for the 2017 Palm Beach Series. The two permanent barns at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center offer a full range of amenities and close proximity to the covered, all weather arenas, show office, and vendor row. Just a few minutes’ drive from PBIEC, the world class equestrian facility offers a laid back, competitive atmosphere and exceptional winter base for seasonal riders.

Contact The Ridge Farm at info@theridgefarm.com or call 908 500 0996 for more information.

Sponsor The Ridge Farm’s Elite Shows.

The Ridge is also accepting proposals for sponsorship and vendor opportunities at the Palm Beach Series. This diverse show circuit offers a variety of options, from jumps, division & class sponsorships, special awards such as Leading Rider and Leading Lady Rider, which were won in 2016 by Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill, gorgeous, accessible vendor space, prizelist and advertising, and ring sponsors.

Reach this passionate equestrian demographic on their own ‘turf,’ as a part of their competitive success and at an intimate, world-class venue.

For more information on sponsoring The Ridge Farm, contact info@theridgefarm.com, call 973 975 9472, or visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com to download the sponsor packet.

Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
954 205 7992

Florida’s 2017 Winter Season, Palm Beach Series

McLain Ward at the 2016 Turf Tour (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)

Wellington, FL (November 27, 2016) – Florida’s winter show season just got a bit more exciting, as The Ridge Farm has officially announced their new hunter, jumper, and equitation circuit: The 2017 Palm Beach Series.

The 2017 Palm Beach Series is a 13-week circuit of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition, including a diverse offering of divisions and classes, National, International, and Pony USHJA Hunter Derbies, weekly 1.40-1.45m Grand Prix classes, USEF Equitation Tuesdays hosted at The Ridge at Wellington, and the exceptional venues and all natural surfaces on the Turf Tour. Hosted at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, just two miles from Wellington’s center, the Palm Beach Series will also offer seasonal stabling packages on the show grounds. The world class facility includes a slew of amenities for both horses and humans, including an oversized, lighted covered arena, multiple all weather outdoor warm up and show arenas, 2 large barns of permanent stabling, a lunging area, and a full range of amenities and vendor space.

Founded and organized by Olympic show jumper Nona Garson and her partner George D’Ambrosio, the Palm Beach Series, Turf Tour, and other shows hosted by The Ridge Farm are designed to give riders of all levels a world-class competitive experience in an intimate, laid back atmosphere. Essential for the development of riders, young horses, and the growth of the sport, The Ridge’s show series consistently attracts some of the industry’s top names, including internationally competitive hunters and Olympic Gold Medalists as well as young riders and amateurs.

For more information on sponsoring The Ridge Farm, contact info@theridgefarm.com, call 973 975 9472, or visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.

Macey Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful Earn Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation

Macey Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful (Howard Schatzberg Photography)

Kansas City, Mo. – Few have won the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation. Now, Macey Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful join the coveted list of Triple Crown winners. They earned this feat after taking the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final presented by Elisabeth M. Goth at the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) American Royal National Championship Horse Show on Saturday. The Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation includes winning the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup, the Good Hands National Championship, and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. As the winner of USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final, Miles will have her name engraved on the Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy, alongside a prestigious list of prior winners dating back to 1937. She also earned the Helen K. Crabtree Perpetual Bronze.

“I had to work really hard; you only get one shot at the Triple Crown. This has been something I wanted since I was five years old and knew what equitation was about,” said Miles after winning the last leg of the Triple Crown. “I looked up to so many riders above me, including those who won it before me. I worked as hard as I could, and Sarah Barclay, my riding instructor, helped me get through it all.”

Coming into the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final was not easy for Miles (Rockport, Ind.). She faced immense pressure and stiff competition, joining young women who have been a part of Gold medal-winning Saddle Seat World Cup and Young Rider Teams. She also brought an inexperienced horse, her own six-year-old American Saddlebred, Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful. For this being the gelding’s first year in equitation competition, he fooled a lot of people.

“I don’t think it would have been earthly possible for this horse to come this far in such a short time. My dad has worked night and day with this horse and has brought him to his full potential,” said Miles.

A group of 23 combinations began the USEF Saddle Seat Final with preliminary ride-offs on Saturday morning. Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful stood out to the judges of Michael Craighead (Fresno, Calif.), Gary Garone (Richmond, N.H.), and Cindy Mugnier (Belchertown, Mass.) early.

“I thought it was a really great [preliminary] pattern, and it was one everybody could do. There was a lot of transitioning, and I thought riding without stirrups would set me apart from everyone else. I was praying we would get through it, and we did; he did absolutely awesome,” said an excited Miles.

The combination advanced to the afternoon session for additional rail and pattern work, along with 11 other combinations. As the nerves crept up on Miles, she settled down after the first cantering figure eight and trusted her partner to get them through.

“I have been practicing these movements ever since I can remember, and I liked all the elements. He was absolutely great, and he did not let me down,” said Miles.

Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) claimed back-to-back Reserve Champion honors with Cedarledge Farm’s CH EG Chanti’s Prayer. With solid performances in front of the judges, Codeanne was awarded the USEF Silver medal. The Bronze medal was awarded to Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) riding her own CH Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered.

Full class results:

Champion: Macey Miles (Rockport, Ind.) with Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful
Reserve Champion: Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) with CH EQ Chanti’s Prayer
3. Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) with CH Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered
4. Faith Robbins (Carmel, Ind.) with Heir’s Encore
5. Madison Stringer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with My Kind of Lover
6. Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.) with CH EQ Madeira’s Fame
7. Lora Becker (Sioux City, Iowa) with Royal Tryst
8. Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wis.) with CH EQ Final Act
9. Kaeley Arterburn (Carlsbad, Calif.) with CH EQ La Zingara
10. Gabriella Snyder (St. Louis, Mo.) with Nuttin’ Doing

The USEF is appreciative of its class donors for helping make the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final possible: Elisabeth M. Goth (Lexington, Ky.), Mary Anne Cronan (Louisville, Ky.) Cynthia Knight (New Orleans, La.), Dr. Catherine McNeese (Austin, Texas), and Carol Reams (Frankfort, Ky.).

From the USEF Communications Department

National Classic Equitation Champions Crowned

Victoria Willetts and Sirachi.

The top ribbon winners in the Classic Company Equitation classes competed Friday and looked to earn an invite to compete in the evening’s National Classic Equitation Championship Finals under the lights of the covered arena.  Only the top six were called back for the evening’s Finals.

Agents Steve Way and Rachel Gonter of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers sponsored the National Classic Equitation Championships Reception last night and everyone enjoyed a dinner of delicious shrimp, chicken, vegetable and beef kabobs, refreshments and deserts.

Children’s 3′ Equitation
Champion: Victoria Willetts in the irons of her own Sirachi
Res. Champion: Halle Brandt riding her own Absalon

Amateur Owner Equitation 3’/Adult Equitation 3′
Champion: Michelle Newman riding UK Equestrian Team’s Royal Blue
Res. Champion:  Libby Greene riding Edie Caldwell’s Petra

Short Stirrup/Pre-Children’s/Pony
Champion:  Isabelle Aldridge and Woodlands Misty Rain, owned by Aldridge Equestrian
Res. Champion:  Isabella Griffin riding her own Happily Ever After

Junior Champion
Champion: Isabel Harbour riding Greer Hindle’s Freedom
Res. Champion:  Abigail Poss riding her own Upset de Talma

“We were happy to offer this no class fee Finals Competition to our loyal competitors and we were thrilled to have the support of Steve Way and Rachel Gonter of Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Metro Brokers,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Classic Company. “The event went really well and we congratulate all of our NCEC Champions!” he added.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Countdown to the National Classic Equitation Finals

The Atlanta Fall Classics will host the annual National Classic Equitation Finals take place Friday, November 11 at 6 pm in the covered arena at the Georgia International Horse Park, home of the 1996 Olympics.

The top ribbon winners in the Classic Company Equitation classes are invited to compete in this prestigious Finals competition that highlights the up and coming talent in the sport of show jumping. Besides winning top honors in the National Classic Equitation Championship Finals, the winning rider and his or her trainer will receive the coveted letterman jackets. The first round of the National Classic Equitation Finals takes place Friday afternoon, Week I and the top six are invited to return for the Finals that evening under the covered, spacious arena. There is no entry fee for those riders who qualified.

Did you qualify? Click here to see if your name is on the list. Each trainer on record in our data base was sent a list of competitors that qualified. If you think you qualified and did not see your name on the list, please contact our office at info@classiccompany.com. Time is of the essence, so be sure to email the office if you have any questions.

“The National Classic Equitation Finals recognize the top, up and coming riders in our sport,” commented Bob Bell, President of Classic Company. “We look forward to the Finals as it recognizes those high scoring Classic Company exhibitors who have shown with us throughout the year,” he added.

The Classic Company kicks off its 21st anniversary at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia on November 9th through the 20th.

With so much happening at the Atlanta Fall Classics, from Zone 4 Finals to the USHJA 3’3″ Jumping Seat Medal Championship Class, from the hundreds of thousands of prize money offered and National and International Derbies, it’s time to reserve your stall and submit your entries. “This is one of our largest shows of the year and wraps up our 2016 Classic Company calendar,” said Bell. “With the indoors wrapping up and the equestrian migration south, it’s always a big event for us and we want to make sure no one is left without a stall,” he added. And reserving your stall couldn’t be made any easier with Classic Company’s new online reservation form. It’s easy – just click here.

BIG MONEY

The highly popular $25,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Barry Lane Classics takes place Week I over three days: Thursday, the $5,000 Barry Lane Classic, Saturday the $10,000 Barry Lane Classic and Sunday culminates with the final $10,000 Barry Lane Classic. Awesome prize money for the Children’s/Adult Jumpers.

The $35,000 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by EMO, takes place Weeks I and II as well as the $7,500 Horseflight Open Welcomes.

The Atlanta Fall Classics offer a lot for the hunters including weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, presented by Legend and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby held Friday night, Week II in the majestic Olympic Stadium.

How about entering in the Hunter Breeding Classes held Friday both Weeks I and II? The class will be double judged – enter today.

The Atlanta Fall Classic is offering the $7,500 Pony Hunter Division, the $7,500 Junior Hunter Division, $2,000 Amateur Owner Section, $2,500 High Performance Working Hunters and the list goes on. That Atlanta Fall Classics will also offer the $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Challenge both Weeks I and II as well as the Take II Thoroughbred Hunter Division.

CELEBRATE IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE WEEK II

The USHJA 3’3″ Jumping Seat Medal Championship, the Zone 4 Finals, the National Classic Equitation Championship and the Classic Company Circuit Awards, presented by Practical Horseman, round out the two weeks of the Atlanta Fall Classic.

OLYMPIC VENUE PROVIDES BACKDROP TO UNBRIDLED EXCITEMENT

Held at the Georgia International Horse Park, home to the 1996 Olympics, riders have the opportunity to compete in the Olympic arena and ride for some of the top prize money offered this fall. New footing has been installed in all of the arenas and with more than 300,000 in prize money offered, world-class stabling and arenas, top show management staff and a division for everyone in your barn, there is no better place to be in November. From the jumper ring to the short stirrup arena, each competition ring is highly decorated and staffed with top-notch, friendly professional show staff. “This is going to be a fantastic two weeks of showing and we’re looking forward to seeing our horse show family!” said Bob Bell, President of Classic Company.

ClassicCompany.com
GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

Storyteller and Mimi Gochman Earn Grand Pony Hunter Championship to Conclude WIHS

Storyteller and Mimi Gochman. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Sophie Gochman Tops WIHS Pony Equitation Finals; Sage Wolf and Grace Glover Win Regional Finals

Washington, D.C. – The 58th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) came to a close on Sunday, October 30, after an unforgettable week of equestrian sport in the nation’s capital. The final day of competition featured pony and regional hunter champions at Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. WIHS ran October 25-30, welcoming over 500 horses to compete for more than $500,000 in prize money. With top sport, exciting exhibitions, fabulous shopping, and more, the 2016 WIHS had something for everyone and celebrated another successful equestrian event in the nation’s capital.

Rounding out competition for the week, the Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick & Rustic Woods, was presented to Fair Play Farm’s Storyteller, ridden by Mimi Gochman, for Grand Champion Pony honors. The WIHS Pony Equitation Finals were held in the afternoon with a win for Sohpie Gochman, and the WIHS Regional Finals, sponsored by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, capped the day with blue ribbons presented to Sage Wolf and Grace Glover.

Set your DVRs now to catch the broadcast of the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, on NBC Sports Network coming up on Sunday, November 6, at 1:30 p.m. EST.

On their way to the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, Mimi Gochman and Storyteller earned the Large Pony Hunter division championship, sponsored by Further Lane Farm, with two wins and a second place finish over fences. They were presented with The Pegasus Stable Perpetual Trophy, donated by Ms. Fenwick Kollock. Reid Arani and Victoria Press’s Love and Laughter took the reserve champion title with a win over fences and a third place ribbon under saddle.

Gochman (12), of Palm Beach, FL, has ridden Storyteller for almost two years and also won last year’s WIHS Pony Equitation Finals with the 13-year-old German Sport Pony gelding. Gochman trains with Scott Stewart, Ken Berkley, and Amanda Derbyshire. This was her final show in the pony divisions and her final time competing with Storyteller, going out on a high note in her first grand championship at WIHS.

“He has always been a reliable pony. I can always trust him and know that I can succeed on him,” Gochman said of “Story,” as the pony is known in the barn. “He is really nice around the barn. He tries his best at all times. It feels good to go out on top in the ponies at WIHS. I have never been Grand here, which is a really big thing for me. This is one of the toughest shows. The rings are small, and you really have to maneuver around the schooling area, but it is definitely one of the best experiences I have had in the past few years. Doing it with Story was such an amazing end since it is my last day on him and other ponies. I’m going to be sad that he is leaving, but he’s moving on to another child, which is good.”

Speaking of the ride on Storyteller, Gochman detailed, “He has a comfy canter, so you have to get your pace established and kind of let him canter on his own. You can’t use too much hand because he likes to stick his head up, and it doesn’t always look great on him because he has such a big neck. The further down it goes, the more he uses it, and it looks better. He has to have a soft hand, but he knows that when you pull he needs to back off, so that makes him an easier pony for me to ride. He has the stride of a horse. I wish he were a horse so I could keep going on him, but he will make some other kid very happy.”

Storyteller was also grand champion at WIHS in 2013 with Ashton Alexander and will continue on to teach a new young rider the ropes. Gochman will continue on to compete in Kentucky with her horses next week and then goes back to Florida for the winter. Concluding her 2016 experience at WIHS, Gochman stated, “This is one of the best cities to have a show in because it has the show component, and then the fun sightseeing, and all the fun activities in the city. This is one of my favorite shows for sure.”

Mimi Gochman’s sister, Sophie Gochman, rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s Bit of Love to earn the Small Pony Hunter Championship, sponsored by Further Lane Farm, and was awarded The Stombock Saddlery Challenge Trophy, donated by Stombock Saddlery in Memory of E. P. (Bud) Stombock. The pair placed first, fourth, and fourth over fences, and finished third under saddle. Alexa Lignelli and her own Rollingwoods Knee Deep earned the reserve championship with two second-place ribbons over fences.

Hannah Bernstein’s Woodlands Stevie Ray and Emily Aitken took championship honors in the Medium Pony Hunter division and earned The Shenandoah Sundowner Perpetual Trophy, donated by Evan Coluccio and Ashmont Farms, Ltd. The pair won two classes over fences and placed second under saddle. Bill Schaub’s Highlands Heaven Sent and Luke Jensen won one class over fences to earn the reserve championship.

Aitken (13), of Westchester, NY, was then presented with the award for Best Child Rider on a Pony, sponsored by Gotham North, and put her name on the Captain V. S. Littauer Perpetual Trophy, donated by Hugh J. B. Cassidy, III, Mrs. William Dillon, and Miss Marion Lee.

Aitken trains with Kristen Carollo and Kristen Lutz. Commenting on her special honor, the rider stated, “It feels really good. This is my first year here, so it is really exciting to be Best Child Rider on a Pony. I have Woodlands Stevie Ray, who was champion. He was really good. I got an 89 in the handy, so I was really happy with how I was riding him. Then I also had Cleverist. He was really good too, and he is really fun to ride.”

Aitken works on staying tall and keeping everything still when she is riding. The middle school eighth grader also heads on to show in Kentucky next week, but had a great experience showing at Verizon Center.

“It was a lot of fun riding here, just knowing that this is where all the sports teams play and stuff, so that was really cool,” Aitken concluded.

Other awards on Sunday included the Best Pony Hunter Stake Award, which went to Claire Campbell and Natalie Jayne’s Blueberry Hill, for their score of 90 in the Small Pony Hunter division. Tessa Downey and Bringing Home the Blue won the 2016 Potomac Trophy for the high score junior hunter rider on a pony.

Sophie Gochman Wins 2016 WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

Pony competition at WIHS 2016 continued on Sunday afternoon with the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals and crowned Sophie Gochman the winner. Just one year after her sister Mimi secured the title in 2015, Sophie Gochman kept the honor in the family by winning her last class as a pony rider aboard Storyteller, owned by Fair Play Farm.

Storyteller and Sophie Gochman
Storyteller and Sophie Gochman

Gochman scored an 86 over fences to sit in second place before the judges called the top ten riders back to be tested on the flat. After the final lineup, she was called forward as the winner and was presented with the Jane Marshall Dillon Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the friends and students of Mrs. Jane Marshall Dillon.

“It is really special to have two Gochmans on that trophy,” said 13-year-old Sophie. “I was really hoping to make this day memorable because it is my last day on ponies. For the Washington [Pony Equitation Finals], I just wanted to have fun and have a good time for my last round.”

Mimi, Sophie, and their mother Becky shared an emotional farewell with Storyteller on Sunday as the sisters end their careers on ponies. When asked about Storyteller’s career with the Gochman family, Sophie said, “He is a really special pony to us. My mom rides him at home, Mimi usually competes him, and I have shown him a couple times. He is an equitation pony, and I wish I could take him in the big eq. It was a really great win, and I was confident that he could do it because he is such a special pony.”

Isabelle Aldridge led the jumping phase of the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals with a score of 87 riding Woodland’s Misty Rain, owned by Aldridge Equestrian, LLC and finished in second place overall after the flat phase. After pocketing a score of 84 over fences, Grace Debney and Denmark, owned by John Skinner, took third, and Saylor Shea claimed fourth with an 82.5 riding Magical Diamond, owned by Strawberry Hill, LLC. Luke Jensen rounded out the top five with a score of 82 aboard Fox Creek’s Curious George, owned by Dianna Orona.

Gochman had a successful week at WIHS competing in jumper, hunter, and pony classes, and enjoys showing amidst the atmosphere of downtown Washington D.C., saying, “It is really great how the general public can come in and the stands are packed every night to watch the jumpers. It introduces them to this sport because it is not always known to everyone. [It] spreads awareness about how important it is and what a great tradition this sport is. I think it is really great for people to see this aspect of horse showing.”

Regional Winners Crowned at WIHS

Sunday concluded with the culmination of WIHS Regional Hunter Finals, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, which kicked off last week at the WIHS Regional Horse Show at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

The win in the WIHS Regional Pony Hunter Finals went to 11-year-old Sage Wolf, a hometown girl from Washington, D.C. riding her 14-year-old gelding Dun Paintin’. The pair earned the high score of 90 for their round in the final. Nicole Marquie and CKE Horse Enterprises’ Pendermere Legacy finished second with a score of 85. Kate Howlin rode Lillie Honiberg’s Stoneledge Coralea to third place with a score of 78.

Wolf trains with Leigh Stitzer in Great Falls, MD and got her pony Dun Paintin’ in January 2016. She was second in her class at the WIHS Regional Horse Show at Prince George’s Equestrian Center last week to qualify to compete at Verizon Center on Sunday. This was her first time competing on the main stage at WIHS and an exciting win for the young equestrian, who started riding when she was seven.

“This is my first time ever at the Washington International Horse Show. It is amazing to ride here. It is a really cool place,” Wolf acknowledged.

“Dun Paintin’ is normally a very slow ride,” Wolf said of her pony. “He is very smooth, but he is not normally very peppy. It is a pokier ride, but he is a lot of fun. He was a bit faster than he normally is in this ring today. It is a cool new place, so he got a little excited and it gave him a little more energy. It was really cool to be riding in that ring, and I felt amazing about my round. I was really happy with the way it went. He was a really good boy, and I am really proud of how good he was.”

Nicole Marquis and Pendermere Legacy finished out the season as grand champions of the WIHS Regional Pony Hunter division overall. Shannon Maguire and her own Brownie Points, and Sarah Entzian aboard Suzanne Chambers’ Check Me Out, tied for the reserve championship.

The WIHS Regional Hunter Finals, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, were held next with a win for Grace Glover, another Washington, D.C. resident, riding Michael Perez’s Pura Vida. The pair earned the high score of 88 for their round over fences. Fallyn Belcastro rode her own Chapter Three Z to the second place prize with a score of 85. Nicole Bailin and Pembroke Pointe’s Zachary finished third with a score of 84.

Originally from Lexington, VA, Glover moved to the nation’s capital three years ago after attending college at the University of Virginia and riding on their intercollegiate equestrian team. After graduating, Glover took a year off from riding to adjust to professional life in her job as a healthcare consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2015, Glover took up the reins again and started training with Melanie Wright, Patty Foster, and Mary Lisa Leffler at Rolling Acres. She half leased her mount Pura Vida, a seven-year-old gelding, this year from his owner Michael Perez.

“Today was really exciting because it is just hard to manage showing and professional life,” Glover stated. “I only did one other show before local day, and it was very exciting to qualify, and then to do so well here. It was a really great situation that I got to do a half-lease with Michael this year. It was really generous of him to share Vida with me so that I could make it affordable and get to do some of these bigger shows as well.”

Glover competed twice in the WIHS Children’s Hunter Finals before and had a great experience both times.

“It is great to be back, and I know this horse show is just a blast, so any way that I could get here I wanted to make it happen,” Glover detailed. “My round was really fun. I felt like I picked up the right pace, and it was one of those rare rides where you just see the distances. Vida was so perfect and soft and just felt like he was listening perfectly, which made it really fun.”

Nicole Bailin and Zachary were then awarded the grand championship for the WIHS Regional Hunter Horse division for the conclusion of 2016. They were presented with the Black, Starr & Frost Perpetual Trophy, donated by Black, Starr & Frost. Fallyn Belcastro and Chapter Three Z finished in reserve.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2016 Washington International Horse Show. For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com
www.jumpmediallc.com

Alexandra Maracic and Lucky Times Capture the $10,000 A-O Hunter Challenge Cup at Tryon

Alexandra Maracic and Lucky Times. Photo by SportFot.

Tryon, NC – Oct. 20, 2016 – Messenger Hill Farm, the Chicago-area hunter/jumper operation led by Jodi and Freddie Vazquez, had a winning week at Tryon International Equestrian Center Fall Week IV earning championships and top prizes. Freddie Vazquez rode Alexandra Maracic’s Lucky Times to the championship of the Bruno Del Grange 3’3” Performance Hunter division with two firsts, a second and a fourth over fences. The Vazquezes and Maracic agreed that the gray Oldenburg gelding was going so well they made the decision to compete in the $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Challenge Cup.

“I wasn’t even planning on doing the class this week but he went so well Wednesday and Thursday that we thought we might as well give it a shot,” Maracic said.

It was a good week for Maracic, who hails from Syosset, New York and was top equitation competitor during her junior years. She piloted Lucky Times to her first significant prize-money win in the $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Challenge Cup. They also earned top prizes in the Amateur-Owner 3’6” division, with a second, third and fourth and a second place in the handy round against formidable competition. Sunday the pair took third place in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic.

The two-round $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Challenge Cup combined both the 3’3” and 3’6” heights and was held in the George H. Morris stadium. Maracic and Lucky Times earned 83 points in the first round and 86 in the second to seal the win.

“I thought I was a bit conservative in the first round,” she said. I ended up in second place going into the final round, so I had room to improve. The second round was not considered a handy round but it had some roll-backs and long gallops.”

Maracic describes Lucky Times as straightforward with a long stride and a great jump. She was very pleased with his performance and said he did everything she asked.

“It was so exciting,” she said about win. “It was even more special because my mom, dad and younger sister traveled all the way from New York to visit me. It was awesome.”

Maracic competes in both the hunters and jumpers and describes the hunters as challenging. “I really enjoy the handy rounds because it allows me to draw upon my equitation background,” she said. Maracic also turned in a top 10 performance on her jumper, Bente P, in the Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

Maracic sent out her congratulations to T. J. O’Mara, who just won back-to-back equitation finals at the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals East and Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final at the at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. “The wins are so well-deserved,” she said. “He’s such an incredible rider.”

She knew both T. J. O’Mara from competing and his older sister Meg O’Mara from the University of Georgia where they rode on the NCEA team together. Maracic recently transferred to Penn State World Campus, a highly-regarded online program of Penn State University. The change allows her to focus on both studies and equestrian pursuits.

In the Messenger Hill Farm pony ranks, the Watrous sisters had a very strong outing. Chloe Watrous dominated the Medium Pony Hunter division earning the championship with Beaverwood’s Foxberry and the reserve championship with Crystal Acres Chocolatier. She also piloted her own Page 6 to the reserve championship of the Small Pony Hunter division.

Elodie Watrous and her Crystal Acres Chocolatier were champions of the Children’s Hunter Ponies and had top prizes in the division with her own Beaverwood’s Foxberry. The sisters teamed up by riding each other’s other second mounts in the under saddle classes to clinch the Watrous-earned championships in the pony ring.

After Jodi Vazquez warmed up Jamie Stryker’s Modigliani with a reserve championship in the Hopeful Hunters, Chloe Watrous produced first and second-place rounds to win the championship of the Pre-Children’s Hunter division. Meg Gehron and her own Talan earned a blue ribbon for their performance over fences in the Modified Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunters at 3’ 3”.

“We are thrilled with the efforts of the team,” said Jodi Vazquez. “From the grooms led by Arturo Novoa and our manager Jen Hauser to our clients and the horses, we are grateful to have enjoyed a great week of competition.”

Contact: info@EQmedia.agency
www.EQmedia.agency

John French Caps Stellar Week at Capital Challenge with WCHR Pro Finals Victory

John French. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Allison Fithian Captures ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals

Upper Marlboro, MD – October 7, 2016 – Hunter and equitation expertise were featured at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by World Equestrian Center, on Friday. In the WCHR Professional Finals, sponsored by Madison Hills Farm, the top six hunter riders in the country went head to head over three rounds, with John French leading the victory gallop. Allison Fithian won the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals, sponsored by ARIAT International.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, runs through Sunday, October 9. Every class of the show is live streamed and available to watch online at tv.coth.com or www.capitalchallenge.org.

The WCHR Pro Finals used the same three-round format as last year. Riders switched on two donated horses for the first two rounds, then brought a horse of their own for the third and final handy round.

French set the tone for the night and started with an unbeatable lead by riding Alant, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Elli Yeager, to a score of 90.66 (90, 93, 89). In the second round, he piloted Everglow, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Quidam de Revel owned by Whish, LLC. French jumped ahead again with judges’ scores of 91, 89, and 92 for an average of 90.66.

In the final handy round, French rode Small Gesture, a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Catoki owned by Chris Iwasaki and Elizabeth Reilly. Yet again he had the best score, this time a 90, for a three round total of 271.32 and the win.

French had a dominating nine-point lead over second place finisher, Scott Stewart, to take his fourth WCHR Professional Finals win in the 23-year history of the class.

French is comfortable with the format of the WCHR Pro Finals, in that he often hops on horses for the first time at a horse show. Catch-riding two horses tonight was nothing new. What was new, however, was his mindset.

“I actually this year just tried to not think so much,” he said with a smile. “That was my new thing, just to go in there and don’t even think. That’s something that I read in sports books about how people like golfers get ready or get in the zone. I always read ones that say you just don’t think when you get nervous or for a big competition like this. I just tried that, and it worked pretty good.”

Stewart placed second with scores of 86.16 on Show Me, 87.83 on Redeemed, and 88.33 on Reality for a total of 262.32.

Stewart was unsure of how his horses would go, but was pleasantly surprised at the results.

He described, “I had a couple of rubs in the first round, but he was really fun to ride. He was really easy. The bay mare I got to see her go first. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d ride her because she seemed a little sensitive. She was nice, but she actually was probably the hardest ride for me. You couldn’t use your leg too much. You had to just let her be. In the end, she went around quite nice. Reality I’ve had forever, so I know him really well. He’s fun. He did a good job.”

Third place went to Katie Gardner, who was riding in her very first WCHR Pro Finals. She scored an 84 on Redeemed, 87.5 on Show Me, and 87.33 on Crush for a total of 258.83.

Gardner admitted she was too quick to the single oxer on her second ride, Show Me, and Redeemed had more of “an equitation feel”, which suited her just fine.

“It was really my comfort zone. I love the equitation, and I wish I could do it all over again. So it was really neat that way,” she said.

“Just to get to do it was such a thrill,” Gardner said. “Honestly being a little bit of an underdog was, I think, an awesome thing for me. My first time in there – just go in there and do the best I could. It was just a blast. I’m really honored.”

Hunt Tosh received fourth place after scoring 86.33 on Dreamliner, 87 on Pure Imagination, and 85.16 on Gotham for a 258.49 total.

Tosh remarked about the camaraderie that the riders have with each other when preparing for the WCHR Pro Finals. “We’re usually talking (and) comparing notes,” he said. “You always try to help each other out. It’s a fun class. It’s special to be in it every year. It’s a very special class, and just to be in this group of riders is always fun.”

Slotting into fifth place was John Bragg. He rode Everglow for an 86, Alant for 86.66, and Early August to an 82.66 for a total of 255.32.

“Unlike John, I don’t ride that many different horses,” Bragg revealed. “I sort of produce my own and show them. I’m sort of spoiled that way. So it for sure was a challenge for me to just sort of get on and go for it, if you will. It was fun and challenging. It makes you a better rider, to go out there and feel the pressure to perform.”

Kelley Farmer placed sixth. She scored 87.66 on Pure Imagination, 80.33 on Dreamliner, and 73.33 on Publicized for a 241.32 total.

“It was a great class as usual,” Farmer said. “Thank you to everyone who loaned us those horses. That was very generous of them.”

She added with a smile, “I screwed up tonight, but that was on me, nothing else. I was excited to be here and be in this group.”

For his win tonight in the WCHR Professional Finals, French was presented with the “All the Way” Perpetual Trophy, donated by Elizabeth Busch Burke and Lysa Burke Horkan. The Far West Farms Perpetual Trophy donated by the Karazissis Family was given to Alant, owned by Elli Yeager, given to the donated horse with the highest cumulative points of the WCHR Professional Finals.

Fithian Tops ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals

Since its inception in 1994, the ARIAT National Adult Medal has given adult riders the opportunity to compete in a competitive equitation class over fences 3′ in height. The classes are held at select shows across the country and riders collect points to qualify for the Finals.

Allison Fithian and Lucky D' Etenclin
Allison Fithian and Lucky D’ Etenclin

One of those riders is 23-year-old Allison Fithian of Monterey, CA. She and Lucky d’Etenclin, a 17-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Narcos II, completed two fantastic rounds to win. In the first round, they scored an 88.33 and led the class of 30 entries.

The top 10 from the first round returned for the second round over a course designed by Ken Krome. Fithian rode to an average score of 88.66 for her second round and a total of 176.99 for victory.

She noted, “I felt pretty confident that if they were going to test, I could at least get in that top four, and I’d be alright. I was more nervous this morning before anything started and before I knew how I was going to ride today. I felt pretty confident going into the second round.”

Second place with a total score of 172.83 (86.83, 86) was Helen Voss. With scores of 86 and 86.33 and a total of 172.33, Tonya Johnston placed third.

Fithian has owned “Lucky” for nine years, and he was her equitation horse when she competed in the big equitation as a junior rider. They placed third in the USEF Medal Finals together, but a small injury kept Lucky out of the rest of the finals for Fithian’s final junior year. Fithian went to college at New York University, and Lucky was leased out to several top junior riders at Beacon Hill, such as Lucy Deslauriers, Victoria Press, Gabriella Bausano, and Megan MacPherson.

“I finally got him back this year and got to ride him again,” Fithian said. “I’m just really happy to have been nearly as successful on him. He’s a really special horse, and I just get along with him really well. It kind of felt like unfinished business on him, like I could have done a little bit more. I was a little sad at the end of my junior year when I knew I wasn’t going to be able to ride him again and (I wanted to) see if I could do something more on him.”

Fithian got the ride back on Lucky in May, and they competed at three horse shows before Capital Challenge. The Ariat National Adult Medal Finals were always a goal. “We were like, ‘If we’re going to do the equitation on him, we’ll go win Ariat Finals.’ That’s what we’re going to go do,” she confirmed.

Preparing at Beacon Hill with the junior riders for their finals helped, Fithian said. “I felt super prepared because back at the barn all of the juniors are getting ready for indoors, and I get to practice on all of those courses and occasionally get to have lessons with them which is always very enlightening and makes me work a little bit harder. I definitely felt very prepared especially with the win last Sunday,” she recalled.

Fithian was referring to her victory in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships during Equitation Weekend at Capital Challenge. Winning another final in one week was made extra special when her family was here from California to watch her.

While Fithian didn’t ride Lucky for four years, giving him up is something that she says will never happen.

“He is very special. I’m never going to sell him ever; he’s too special,” she said. “When I bought him, we really made him into what he is. He was just some horse that someone imported from Europe. I did his first equitation class on him, and he’s my baby. I’ll never sell him. He’s not going anywhere.”

Fithian felt like her victory was a redemption of sorts. “It feels really, really good. I want to cry. I just have the best horse and a great team behind me. It feels really good to do this well as an adult still. I feel really proud of myself that I’m still able to compete at that level. It’s kind of verification for my riding abilities. It means a lot. I’m so happy that he’s feeling so great still and is doing so well.”

The winner of the $2,500 WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge, sponsored by Kate Considine & Willow Brook Farm, was Mahalo, ridden by Katie Robinson, with a score of 86. Lindsey Evans-Thomas and Valencia placed second, while Dawn Fogel riding Spotlight was third.

Round 1 of the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup kicked off with a $5,000 speed class. Lacey Gilbertson and Bijzonder came away with the win with a clear round in a time of 59.740 seconds. Second place went to Sandra Zimmerli and Zaza, who posted a time of 63.111 seconds. Callie Seaman and Dakota were third in 65.060 seconds.

CORRECTION: Missy Luczak-Smith and Executive won the 3’3” WCHR Amateur-Owner Challenge, held Thursday, Oct. 6. Lindsay Maxwell, who was announced as the winner following the class, was determined to be ineligible due to cross entering in the 3’6” Amateur-Owners.

For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Katherine Strauss Wins Private Tutoring Services North American Jr. Equitation Championship

Katherine Strauss aboard San Remo VDL. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Alexa Aureliano Wins THIS National Children’s Medal Finals; Allison Fithian Victorious in North American Adult Equitation Championships

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The Capital Challenge Horse Show hosted three major equitation finals at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center on Sunday as part of Equitation Weekend, presented by BigEq.com. In the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships, the win went to Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY riding San Remo VDL. Alexa Aureliano of Old Brookville, NY was victorious in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals on Qualitat. Allison Fithian of Monterey, CA captured the win in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships riding Lucky D’ Etenclin. The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through Sunday, October 9, with hunter competition beginning on Monday, October 3. Every class of the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show is live streamed. Watch at tv.coth.com or www.capitalchallenge.org.

A field of 103 entries in the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships contested the course set by Kenneth Krome with assistance from Joe Carnicom. Riders were scored by a panel of six judges including: Jeff Ayers, Jim Clapperton, Shane George, Scott Hofstetter, Tony Sgarlata, and Scott Williamson.

At the end of the first round of competition, Strauss and San Remo VDL sat in third place with a score of 89.08 while Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH and Clearway held the lead with a score of 91.33.

The top 20 returned in reverse order of their standings for a second round, and Strauss’s second round score of 91.33 quickly shot her to the top of the leaderboard with an overall score of 180.41.

Sophie Simpson on You Wish, owned by Ashland Farms, and Kurtz and Clearway, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, were the final two to return, and while both would execute strong rounds, neither would match Strauss’s performance. A second round score of 88.33, coupled with her first round score of 90.00, would give Simpson a 178.33 total to keep her in the second-place position. With a score of 84.33 in the second round, Kurtz would finish in third with a 175.66 total.

While the judges had the option for additional testing of the top four, a greater than two-point difference between Strauss and Simpson meant that the courses set by Krome had done a well enough a job of differentiating the top riders and no additional testing was necessary.

“It is a really fun equitation final to do the courses for,” Krome said. “The format is the best, where every rider is scored. Having two rounds and having the top twenty to come back really allows me to vary the tests and to do interesting things in the second round. My goal is to help the riders improve this week. This is leading up to [the Pennsylvania National Horse Show], so you’re trying to prepare them for that and present them with enough good challenges so that they learn some things that they can brush up on before the next finals.”

Strauss finished second in last year’s Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships riding Canterbury, so being able to come back and earn the win this year on a new mount, San Remo VDL, was particularly exciting for Strauss.

“I’m so happy,” said Strauss, who trains for the equitation with Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables. “I was so fortunate to ride San Remo in this class. He is just so perfect. This was actually only my third show on him. Stacia of course knows him really well, so she has been able to help expedite forming a relationship process. He does everything I ask of him, literally; I couldn’t have asked more of him today.”

San Remo VDL was ridden to great success, including the win in the 2012 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final, by owner Elizabeth Benson, and the horse has had a special place in the hearts of the Benson family and Madden since.

“He’s kind of a part of [the Benson family],” Madden explained. “We decided after the Devon Horse Show last year that we were really going to try to teach him how to turnout properly and give him some appropriate time off, which he had never had because he was a little bit of a social misfit.”

After enjoying a year of turnout and relaxation at John and Beezie Madden’s farm in New York, San Remo VDL returned to Beacon Hill this summer, but Madden did not have a particular rider in mind for the 16-year-old Warmblood gelding.

“I was hoping for a good rider for him to come down the pike,” Madden said. “Katherine had three top equitation horses; she wasn’t really on my radar at that point. Then one of her equitation horses is actually going to get the San Remo treatment and is going to be out in John and Beezie’s field, so I talked to her and her parents about seeing if they would be open minded to leasing her San Remo. They’re so great and want Katherine to be in this sport and want her to be in it as well as she can be. So they said absolutely.”

The Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships presented the pair with the perfect opportunity to come together for a major equitation final and to further prepare for the remainder of the indoor season.

“It’s great preparation for the rest of the finals,” Strauss said. “You sort of have the outdoor classes to warm you up and then transition you for the indoor classes. It’s great to just practice riding under pressure with this championship format.”

Strauss continued, “Obviously this is our first show indoors, so you have to start thinking a little bit more quickly. All of the jumps were sort of right off the edges of the ring and everything came up a little bit quickly. One thing that Stacia’s really helped me with, and that I started working on with her last year, is thinking more quickly when you start riding inside and being ready for everything to come up quickly. Stacia sets up extremely difficult courses at home at Beacon Hill. I think that really prepared me well. Taking everything that I learned with Stacia at indoors last year and applying them to today has helped.”

As part of the big win, Katherine Strauss and Stacia Madden were presented with the George H. Morris Equitation Championship Trophy, donated by Frank Madden and Stacia Madden. The North American Equitation Champion Groom’s Award, sponsored by Holly Hill Farm, was awarded to San Remo VDL’s groom, Oscar Aguillara. Strauss also received the best Equitation Rider Award, sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables, and Stacia Madden was awarded the Leading Equitation Trainer Award. The EMO Equitation Trip of the Show award, sponsored by EMO Insurance Services and presented to the rider with the highest scoring round on Saturday, went to Madison Goetzmann who scored a 90.5 while competing in the 15-Year-Old Equitation.

Alexa Aureliano Tops THIS National Children’s Medal Finals

Alexa Aureliano of Old Brookville, NY earned her first major equitation victory on Saturday in the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals riding Qualitat, a seven-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Heritage Farm.

Alexa Aureliano aboard Qualitat
Alexa Aureliano aboard Qualitat

Aureliano, who trains with Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm, scored an opening average score of 86.50 to put her in fourth place heading into the second round, which welcomed back the top ten riders.

“The first round, I loved the course,” Aureliano said. “There weren’t any mishaps or anything. It was just a nice smooth round. I was happy about it because I knew that I was in the top ten, so I was glad that I had a nice first round.”

After scoring a 90 in the second round, Aureliano climbed up the leaderboard into second place with a cumulative score of 176.50. That put her just behind Camryn Halley of Oviedo, FL on Renoir, who held the lead in both the first and second round with scores of 88.25, 89.66, and a cumulative 177.91.

“The second round, I was a little nervous going in, because I knew that if I wanted to accomplish my goal to win the THIS, I needed to step up my game a little bit,” Aureliano said. “It was a little bit of a challenge for me, but I really liked it.”

With less than two points separating them, Aureliano and Halley were called back for additional testing. The test required riders to canter directly to a triple bar, then take a trot fence off a bending line before rolling back to a two-stride line, halting, and finally demonstrating a counter canter over a last vertical. With a seamlessly executed test it was Aureliano who rose to the top of the list and clinched the win.

“I can’t even explain my feelings right now,” Aureliano said immediately following her victory. “I’ve been working so hard to accomplish this goal, and it was just accomplished!”

Third place went to Grace Pearson of Seattle, WA on Beau Van Het Keyershof. They scored an 85.33 and an 85.66 for a 170.99 total.

Aureliano has been training with Heritage Farm for the last five years, but she is somewhat unique in that her horses are kept at home a little more than an hour away from the Katonah, NY based farm.

“She and her mother are a good team, and they’re real workers,” said Patricia Griffith.

“They work hard, and Alexa’s very thankful to have the supportive mother driving the truck and trailer up for every lesson and taking care of the horse and grooming at most horse shows. It always seems to be the harder you work, the luckier you get. That’s definitely a motto that I like to live by. With her that proves to be true.”

Qualitat’s groom, Hector Arias, also won a special groom’s award.

Allison Fithian Victorious in Adult Equitation Championships

In the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships, it was Allison Fithian of Monterey, CA who was victorious riding her longtime mount Lucky D’ Etenclin.

Fithian led through both rounds and won by an impressive margin of more than 11 points after earning scores of 88.83 in the first round and 91.00 in the second for a 179.83 total.

For the New York University (NYU) graduate, competing Lucky D’ Etenclin at Capital Challenge is a happy reunion and, as trainer Stacia Madden explained, like taking care of “unfinished business.”

“She has a chemistry with this horse that is just second to none,” Madden said. “I felt a little bit bad for her in her last junior year because he got a little bit injured. She was third at Medal Finals that year which was unbelievable. Then she had to use a different horse for Maclay Finals.”

Following her last junior year, Fithian pursued her degree in hospitality management and Lucky D’ Etenclin, a seven-year-old Selle Francais gelding, was leased out to junior riders.

“I got him back this year to ride him, so it’s really just so special to come back and bring it all together!” Fithian said.

Fithian has her sights set next on the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals on Friday, October 7, at Capital Challenge.

Finishing in second was Helen Voss of Versailles, KY on Prosecco 24. Voss earned scores of 84.00 and 84.66 for a 168.66 total. Finishing just half a point behind Voss for third were Tracey Gorin-Byrne and Sunman with a first round score of 84.33 and a second round score of 83.83.

The North American Adult Equitation Champion Groom’s Award, sponsored by Holly Hill Farm, went to Lucky D’ Etenclin’s groom, Oscar Aguillara.

For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Capital Challenge Names First 2016 Champions during Equitation Weekend

Sophie Simpson on You Wish. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show opened Saturday at Prince George’s Equestrian Center with Equitation Weekend, presented by BigEq.com. Championships were awarded in the adult amateur equitation and to junior riders in five age group-based equitation divisions. The equitation championships resume on Sunday, October 2, and competition at the Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through Sunday, October 9.

Riders in each of Saturday’s equitation divisions competed in two over fences classes, one held outdoors and one indoors, as well as an indoor flat class prior to the naming of the division champions.

The 17-Year-Old Equitation division championship, sponsored by Old Salem Farm and Frank Madden, was awarded to Sophie Simpson of Wellington, FL and You Wish, owned by Ashland Farms. The pair finished first and fourth over fences and third on the flat. The reserve champion was Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY riding Canterbury.

Simpson, who trains with her mother, Nicki Simpson, and Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms, just started riding You Wish about two months ago, immediately after the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding was imported from Europe.

“His first show as an equitation horse was the Hampton Classic, and this is his first indoor start,” Simpson said. “He’s so awesome. He’s just got a great brain. He’s just really been so super easy to do. Everywhere that we’ve gone so far, he’s been great.”

Saturday’s competition marked not only You Wish’s indoor debut, but also Simpson’s first visit to the Capital Challenge Horse Show. As she concludes her final junior year, Capital Challenge presented the perfect opportunity for her and You Wish to gain extra mileage together in the equitation ring before the remaining equitation finals.

“It’s been obviously a nice experience so far!” Simpson said. “For the first equitation indoors for this horse, for getting to know him a little bit more, and for tweaking a couple of things, it’s really a great experience.”

Lolly McLellan of Ashland, OR was named the 16-Year-Old Equitation Champion, riding Rockford to a first and fourth over fences and competing Contelido on the flat. The reserve championship in the division was shared by Jordan Stiller of Needham, MA on A Picobello Star Z and Louisa Brackett of Grayslake, IL on Efendi.

“Rockford was great,” McLellan said of the 17-year-old Warmblood gelding that she has owned for three years. “He likes to show. He’s kind of a show pony. He goes in the ring, and he puffs up his chest. He loves to win. He’s always so good to me in the ring.”

With her home base in Oregon, this year marks McLellan’s third time competing on the East Coast and her first time at Capital Challenge. McLellan trains with Wendy Krohn while in Oregon, and she began training with Stacia Madden and Max Amaya on the East Coast following this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival [WEF].

“I can’t say enough about how wonderful my trainers are,” McLellan said. “On both the East Coast and the West Coast, they’ve really been great.”

The championship in the 15-Year-Old Equitation, sponsored by Suave Pony and Limelight Farm, went to veteran Capital Challenge winner Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH aboard Clearway, a mount who has also seen great success at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Kurtz and Clearway, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, finished first and second over fences and second on the flat. The reserve championship ended in a tie between Grady Lyman of San Diego, CA on Titan Des Chenes and Madison Goetzmann of Skaneatles, NY on Stallone.

“[Clearway] was perfect,” said Kurtz, who last year earned the 13 & 14-Year-Old Equitation championship on VIP Z. “I started riding Clearway right at the beginning of Florida. He’s incredible. He has the best canter. He’s just so much fun.”

Kurtz currently trains with Amanda Lyerly and Mike Rheinheimer of Madison Hills Farm, as well as with Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley. This year marks her fourth year competing at Capital Challenge, where, in addition to her equitation success, Kurtz has earned Junior Hunter and Large Pony championship titles.

“We like it here,” Kurtz said. “It’s nice because you get a mix of indoor and outdoor. You don’t just get thrown right into indoor season; you get a nice transition.”

Kurtz and Clearway will return to the ring on Sunday for the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships before setting their sights on the remainder of the indoor circuit.

“I would love to be top ten in a couple of the equitation finals,” Kurtz said. “I haven’t before, so I think it would be really cool.

Samantha Cohen of New York, NY piloted Trump and Cicero to the 13 & 14-Year-Old Equitation championship, sponsored by Citrus Hill Farm. Cohen won both over fences classes and claimed eighth place on the flat. The division reserve championship again came down to a tie, this time between flat class winner Charlotte Novy of Wilmette, IL on Cimberly and Kaitlyn Lovingfoss of Santa Clarita, CA riding Hasta La Vista.

Cohen has spent the past year training with Stacia Madden and the team at Beacon Hill, and she was thrilled with the positive start to the indoor equitation season.

“I’ve never done the age group equitation so winning feels great,” Cohen said. “It’s really boosting my confidence. Capital Challenge is a great show to prepare. I love everything about this show. It’s such a great space. I love how, especially in the age group equitation, we get to do one class outdoors and one class indoors. Today is great preparation for tomorrow’s big class [the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships].”

When Cohen returns to the ring on Sunday, she will again be aboard Trump, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding that she has owned for the last two years.

“He’s very special to me,” Cohen said. “When I got him he hadn’t done any equitation. So I’ve kind of grown with him and really learned the equitation with him. He is amazing. He is such a funny horse. He has such a personality in the barn, but definitely when he goes in the ring he knows when it’s time to step it up.”

Catalina Peralta and Capito
Catalina Peralta and Capito

The champion in the 12 & Under Equitation, sponsored by Caraneen Smith, was Catalina Peralta of Geneva, FL riding Capito, owned by Arnoud Dobber. Peralta finished first on the flat and third and seventh over fences. The reserve championship in the division went to Sophie Gochman of Palm Beach, FL riding VIP Z and Alonso.

This year marks Peralta’s second year competing at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, and her second year earning major Capital Challenge victories. In 2015, Peralta won the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal aboard Cornello.

This time, Peralta’s victory came aboard a relatively new mount for her, as she just started riding Capito this summer.

“This is his first year doing the equitation. He used to be a jumper,” Peralta said of the nine-year-old gelding. “He’s owned by Arnoud Dobber who had the idea that maybe he could become an equitation horse. He sent the horse to my mom [Wendy Ritter Peralta] and dad [Ezequiel Peralta] to learn the ropes of equitation a little bit, and I started working with him because I ride a lot of horses at home.”

Peralta continued, “We always knew from the moment that I got on he was going to be a pretty good equitation horse. He has a great personality. He’s very goofy; he’s not like a lot of other equitation horses who can sometimes have dull personalities.”

Following the conclusion of the age group equitation divisions, the top three ribbon winners in each of the flat classes were invited back for the North American Flat Equitation Championships. After extensive testing both directions of the ring, the flat championship title was presented to Ransome Rombauer of Saint Helena, CA.

“I love flatwork. Gaston and I are flatting queens!” Rombauer said of her 15-year-old Czech Warmblood mount. “This is my first time bringing Gaston east. I wanted to bring him because it is my last junior year, and we have a really special relationship. He was amazing.”

Riders in the North American Flat Equitation Championships all compete on the rail until, one by one, they are ranked and called into the center of the ring in descending order of their placings. On Saturday it came down to Rombauer and last year’s class winner Emma Marlowe of Lake Balboa, CA.

“I love the format. It is so fun when they call the people in,” Rombauer said. “It’s very motivating. I didn’t even know I had made it so far until they called in the third place, and I realized, ‘Oh, it’s just me and Emma!’ We’re friends; we are both from California, and we show together.”

Marlowe road Citadel, owned by Pam Stewart to the reserve championship.

In the Adult Amateur Equitation division, Helen Voss of Versailles, KY took the championship in Section A riding Prosecco 24, and Kathryn Luke of Arlington, VA earned the championship in Section B on Brazos. Claiming the reserve champion titles were Lindsay Maxwell of Beverly Hills, CA on Way Out West in Section A and Jaime Krupnick of Westlake Village, CA and Conux in Section B.

The THIS National Children’s Medal Final also hosted three warm-up classes, with over fences wins going to Kelsey King of Seattle, WA riding I’ll Say JSF and Melissa Deryn Foster of Ocala, FL on Startin’ Monday. The victory in the flat went to Adam Edgar of Leesburg, VA on Dante, who also claimed the THIS National Children’s Medal Equitation Warm-Up championship. Finishing in a three way tie for the reserve championship were Foster, King, and Tess Lenihan of Chester, VT.

Sunday’s schedule concludes the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by BigEq.com. Competition will begin at 8 a.m. with the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships, followed by the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals and the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships.

For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com