Tag Archives: equitation

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

Catch All of Capital Challenge with Live Stream Beginning Saturday

Photo by Michelle Bloch.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The Capital Challenge Horse Show kicks off on Saturday, October 1, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center, and for those unable to be in attendance, the show will be live streamed in its entirety online at tv.coth.com.

The live stream, hosted by the Chronicle of the Horse, will include full coverage of both the indoor and outdoor arenas at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and will be available all day through the conclusion of competition on Sunday, October 9.

Competition opens Saturday with Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com, including the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships, the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals, the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships, and more.

As the popular year-end horse show continues throughout the week, don’t miss a beat and tune in for the complete live stream coverage, including all hunter divisions and featured classes such as:

  • Wednesday, October 5: World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, WCHR Developing Professional Challenge, Future Hunter North American Championship
  • Thursday, October 6: WCHR Amateur Owner 3’3” Challenge, WCHR Amateur Owner 3’6” Challenge, Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge
  • Friday, October 7: WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge, Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, $15,000 North American Junior/Amateur Owner Challenge Cup Round 1, WCHR Professional Finals
  • Saturday, October 8: WCHR Pony Challenge, $15,000 North American Junior/Amateur Owner Challenge Cup Final
  • Sunday, October 9: WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge, WCHR Junior 3’3” Challenge, WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge

Horse Network is the Official Media Partner of the Capital Challenge Live Stream. Visit www.horsenetwork.com during the show to see unique content, interviews, and behind the scenes at CCHS!

Access the live stream online at tv.coth.com or at 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

The Atlanta Fall Classics Are on Deck

Welcome Fall! The Indoors are coming up and the Atlanta Fall Classics will be here before you know it.

The Classic Company kicks off its 21st anniversary at the Georgia International Horse Park, home of the 1996 Olympics, on November 9th through the 20th. Be sure to visit horseshowsonline.com and enter for free!

Big Money for the Jumpers

The $25,000 Barry Lane Jumper Classic takes place Week I starting Thursday with the $5,000 Barry Lane Classic, then Saturday with the $10,000 Barry Lane Classic, and wraps up Saturday with the second installment of the $10,000 Classic.

Saturday Week II offers the $10,000 Child Adult Jumper Classic. The Jr. Amateur 1.40 Classics are offered both weeks as well as the $7,500 Horseflight Open Welcome Thursday nights as a prelude to the Saturday night $35,000 Grand Prix, presented by EMO, both Weeks I and II.


The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, presented by Legend, take place both Weeks I and II and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby takes place Friday evening, Week II. The $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Challenge takes place each week as well as the Take II Thoroughbred Hunter Division.

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. The Hunter Breeding class will be held Friday mornings Week I and II. This class is double judged so be sure to enter now.

National Classic Equitation Finals

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. Did you qualify? Click here to see if your name is on the list. Each trainer on record in our database 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 call the office if you have any questions.

National Classic Equitation qualifiers take place Friday week II 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.

EMO Equitation Classics

The EMO Equitation Classics take place Week I and the EMO National Classic Equitation Championship Finals take center stage Week II.

Celebrate in the Winner’s Circle Week II

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

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

Competitors Enjoy Another Year of Southeast Medal Finals at Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Dominique Gonzalez (Photo courtesy of Nicole Schultz)

Jacksonville, FL (September 26, 2016)  – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was proud to once again host the Southeast Medal Finals – three exciting days of competition for equitation riders, hunters, and jumpers of all ages and levels – on September 16-18, 2016. Now in its fifth year, this special end-of-summer horse show implemented several well-received changes for 2016, including new classes and the return of the Jumper Finals to the World Cup Format.

Known for its combination of traditional and unique classes (such as the Equitation Team Challenge of the States, a team competition open to junior and adult amateur riders representing their home states), the Southeast Medal Finals drew a number of competitors and spectators from all over the Southeastern U.S. Those who could not attend tuned into the action through live streaming of the event by National Sports Broadcasting.

Phoebe Alwine, winner of the 2016 Southeast Junior Medal Finals at the show, has competed at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center before and always looks forward to her rides there. “I really like to show in the indoor coliseum,” she said, referring to the venue’s massive indoor arena, which can seat a couple thousand spectators. “I don’t normally get to show in an indoor arena, so it’s a nice change. I will likely return next year with my jumpers and my equitation horse.”

Alwine, who is based out of Boca Raton, Florida and trains with Jane Fennessy and Vinissa Blann of Carriage Hill Farms in Delray Beach, captured the blue ribbon with Fennessy’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood Quasa Grande, a catch ride for the competition. “Riding Quasa Grande, a different horse, was such a fun opportunity,” she said. “The most difficult part of the competition was adapting quickly to a new horse, but I love doing that, and I learn more when I do so.”

Sabrina Schmidt from Barrett Farm in Oviedo, Florida also faced the challenge of competing on a new horse at the Southeast Medal Finals. Schmidt teamed up with a friend’s horse, The Only Exception (known as “Gatsby”), not long before the competition, when her original mount was unable to compete. Despite Schmidt and Gatsby’s short time together, they won the Silver Medal in the Ovation Low Adult Medal Final, and the Bronze Medal in the Southeast Low Adult Hunter Final. “I could not be happier! This was my second time competing at the Southeast Medal Finals. I love these finals and can’t wait to come back next year,” Schmidt said.

Dominique Gonzalez of Ocala, Florida, who trains with her father Terry Gonzalez of TM Hills International and Don Stewart of Don Stewart Stables, also brought home a handful of gorgeous ribbons to display in her barn. Like Alwine, Gonzalez is a return competitor to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and the Southeast Medal Finals, and she brought three horses to the show this year. While many competitors consider the Southeast Medal Finals to be an end-of-summer season culmination, Gonzalez sees it as the perfect warm-up for the winter season. “Competing at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center gives me the opportunity to prepare for all of the indoor series later in the year,” she explained.

Gonzalez captured a double victory in the Junior Hunter Finals, placing first with her own horse, eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood Ingo de Kalvarie, and second with six-year-old Belgian Warmblood Euro D’hyrencourt, owned by a client of TM Hills International. She also placed third in the Equitation Challenge with Ingo de Kalvarie, second in the Southeast Junior Medal Finals with Euro D’hyrencourt, and first in the Junior Jumper Finals with 13-year-old Coca II, a new horse that she recently began to lease. Gonzalez was thrilled with the performance of all three horses, especially considering that two of the horses had never shown indoors before this weekend.

“I just got Coca two or three weeks ago, and this was only my second show with her. It was also Euro’s and Ingo’s first time in that indoor arena,” said Gonzalez. “That was a bit nerve-wracking for me. I had to learn how to help them through the turns and to settle into that ring well, but it went great and I was super happy with them after that weekend. I think I learned a lot about my horses.”

Gonzalez is eager to return to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center to take advantage of its indoor arena and stabling, which includes over 400 permanent 10’ by 10’ stalls designed for horses’ comfort and safety, each with electric and hot water. “I love the show grounds, and I love the barns. We will definitely be attending several shows in Jacksonville next year,” she said.

Penny Gorton, head of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Business Development and Board Director for the Northeast Florida Equestrian Society, was glad to hear it. “We loved having the Southeast Medal Finals back at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for another year,” she said. “All the riders and horses should be so proud of a job well done. We hope to see you all back here again next year!”

After the successful completion of another year’s Southeast Medals Finals, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is turning its attention to a variety of upcoming equestrian and non-equestrian events, including the Jacksonville BUBBLE RUN™ on October 1, Community Night Schooling on October 18, and the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair Association 4-H Horse Show on October 21-22. For more information on upcoming events and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s facility and amenities, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call Penny Gorton at (904) 255-4227.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221

Peyton Warren Secures 2016 USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West Title

Peyton Warren and Casmir Z (McCool)

San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – Always a test of mindfulness and skill, the four phases of the 2016 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – West illustrate the demands on a show jumper. Nineteen qualified riders began the finals on Friday, which after three phases were narrowed down to a final four who then demonstrated their abilities to ride a course on four different horses. Sitting on top going into the final phase, Peyton Warren (Rancho Murieta, Calif.) emerged as the 2016 champion. Riding Casmir Z, Warren’s style and experience gave her the edge to secure the win.

“It means the world to me to win a Final like this because I’m passionate about the jumpers, and that’s what I ultimately want to do for a career,” Warren stated. “I have a lot of respect for this Final because I knew the goal was to have my horse prepared to jump the final round to the best of his ability. And I could feel him accomplishing that.”

The challenges commenced on Friday morning with Phase I, when riders entered the ring in small groups showing their skill with the required flat questions asked by judges Cynthia Hankins and Schuyler Riley. Riders worked their horses at all gaits, showing collection and extension, and movements such as haunches-in, shoulder-out, half-pass, and counter canter on a circle. Warren led that phase with a score of 97, with Megan Hilton (Seattle, Wash.) and Michael Williamson (Loomis, Calif.) a very close second and third, with scores of 96.5 and 96, respectively.

With a new format this year, Riley, in the role of Finals judge, developed the Phase II course, which included three of eleven gymnastic exercises developed by Beezie Madden and Anthony D’Ambrosio, as well as some of her own exercises. D’Ambrosio was present as Technical Delegate, and helped set the courses to the correct specifications.

Riders were given an option from fences 1 to 3 that were set equidistantly in a ‘U-shape’ off the left-lead. They could ride four strides between 1 and 2, and six strides between 2 and 3, or the reverse, six strides initially and then four strides from 2-3. Notably all of the top four chose to ride the four to six option. Other questions on course included a vertical-vertical combination in a line with an oxer-oxer combination, jumped in both directions. Going away from home, judges asked for an opening five strides and coming towards home to collect the horse for six strides. Hilton topped this phase with a 91; and with a 90 for Warren, she was still quite close to the lead. This phase had a 1.5 multiplier, which meant the two riders at the top were just one point apart, with 233 and 232. And with no other scores in the nineties, next best was Serena Anand (Coto de Caza, Calif.) with 214.5, followed by Williamson with 213.

Phase III asked a number of questions of the riders over a 16-effort track, designed by Cynthia Hankins, with D’Ambrosio building the course. Featuring a multiplier of two, this phase often changes the standings. Returning first, and sitting 19th at the time, Samantha Gastelum (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) executed an impressive round, scoring 89, which ultimately moved her up to 10th place overall. Halie Robinson (Santa Barbara, Calif.) also rode well, earning an 85, which moved her from 13th to fifth overall.

Once again, Warren commanded the track, riding Casmir Z beautifully for a 92 score, the only ninety score of the round. Anand, Williamson, and Hilton scored 84, 80, and 79, to finalize the top four going into the Final Phase.

The nine effort Phase IV for the final four tested the riders’ abilities to not only catch ride three different horses but to try to bring out the best in each mount. Warren, who has a plethora of catch riding miles, executed solid tracks on each mount, and once again earned impressive scores in the nineties. Peyton’s final score of 374 was unbeatable. Second to Warren was Anand, with an overall total of 340, followed by Hilton at 326 and Williamson in fourth with 319.

Not new to this challenge, Warren had competed at these Finals before. “This was my third year doing the Finals. Last year, I finished in the top 10 with a horse I had done Young Riders on the same year.”

All of the top four competitors agreed that the format of the final evolved from one phase to the next, and tested horsemanship as well as technique. The mission of the Final to “test a rider’s ability to ride a jumper-style course effectively while maintaining the classic American forward style of riding… and build on preparing the next generation of international jumping riders” was truly in alignment.

Warren was focused and not fearful of this multi-phase test of her skills. “Shockingly, I wasn’t nervous going into this particular Final. I was lucky enough to have my horse a month or so before the Final so I could work with him at home on the flat and create a strong bond, so when I got to the show there was no further work I needed to accomplish,” the champion explained. “I was very confident in my ability and my horse’s rideability. This was most important to me because I usually have to get used to a horse the week I show it, since I do mostly catch riding. I saw the Final as challenging, but the tracks were so much fun to ride on my horse.”

Warren was awarded the Denali Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Maya Hamburger. She also received an iPad from Platinum Performance, engraved with the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals logo. Jill Humphrey of JH SportHorses, who trains Warren, took home the Leading Trainer Award, donated by the late Mr. Hugh J. B. Cassidy, III. The Gulliver Trophy, donated by Karen Healey, was awarded to Megan Hilton’s Cantoblanco, whom the judges chose as the best horse of the competition.

The Talent Search Program plays an important role in the rider pipeline as it addresses the principal that form follows function and that it is important for a rider to have equitation basics and a solid jumper seat position in order to become an effective jumper rider. The Talent Search classes test a rider’s ability to ride a jumper style course effectively while maintaining the classic American forward style of riding. The Talent Search program fosters this tradition in U.S. Show Jumping and builds on preparing the next generation of international jumping riders. Learn more at usef.org/talentsearch.

From the USEF Communications Department
Courtesy of Blenheim EquiSports

Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals: Part II

(C) ESI Photography. Britta Lippert and Archie.

Saugerties, NY (September 20, 2016): Show jumping competition at HITS Saugerties continued throughout the weekend with the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals. Featuring specialty classes in Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation, these unique finals gave a deserving group of riders their moment in the spotlight.

Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final
Britta Lippert of Sea Girt, New Jersey took home the coveted blue ribbon in Saturday’s Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final. She topped a field of thirty with the highest first-round score of an 86, and then moved into the final round on top to score an 85 among the top 12 that returned. Her combined scores led her to a victorious total of 171.

Second place went to Marmora, New Jersey rider Kendall Casaccio. She finished the first round with a score of 81, putting her in fourth heading into the second round. Climbing her way up the leaderboard with the highest score in the second round, an 86, sealed her spot in the placings with a total of 167. Casaccio and her mount Wilhelm also earned the second place prize in the $1,250 Adult Working Hunter.

Cady MacPherson of Pembroke, Massachusetts went on to a third place finish with scores of 83 in the first round, and a 82.5 in the second round to finish just behind Casaccio with a total of 165.5.

Fourth place was awarded to Tracy Glicker. The equestrian also rounded out the M&S Finals with a fifth place ribbon in the $2,000 Adult Working Hunter Stake aboard Redford. The top five closed out with Matthew Lowe.

M&S Child Pony Medal Final – Small/Medium
Hailey Pendl of Westtown, New York gave a stellar performance worthy of the top prize in the Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Child Medal Finals. Boasting scores of 84 in both rounds, for a total of 168, she shined among her peers for the title win.

Thirty-two riders took their chance over the round one course designed by Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York. Testing the riders on their horsemanship skills, many competitors received scores in the mid-to-high seventies and low eighties – proving the field to be a competitive one.

The top twelve returned for round two and competition started on a high note with scores in the eighties for the first few entries. The rider to take home second place behind Pendl would ultimately be Maria Sabers of Stockton, New Jersey. She came into the second round in sixth place with a 79.5, making a tremendous comeback with the highest score of the final, an 85, to seal her place with a 164.5.

Alexa Lignelli brought in the third place prize just on the heels of second place, Sabers. Lignelli went into the second round with the leading score of 85, and her final round score of 79 gave her a total of 164, just behind Sabers by a half of a point.

Olivia Corwin took home fourth place, and the final five topped out with Hope Verschleiser.

Marshall & Sterling Junior Medal Final
MacKenzie Suffy of West Milford, New Jersey rocked the M&S Junior Medal Final with a fifteen point lead over the competition. She claimed the highest scores in both rounds, an 86 and 73, respectively, for the triumphant total of 159.

Coming into second place was Ashley Delise of Pittstown, New Jersey. She came into the final round in fourth place with a score of 75, and then she pushed her way up the rankings with a 69 in the second round for a 144-point total.

Hannah Matts claimed third place with scores of 77 and 65 for a total 142. Fourth place was awarded to Sarah Kessler and fifth place was Katy Merchant.

Marshall & Sterling Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final
Neshanic Station, New Jersey rider, Katy Merchant, bested a field of her peers aboard Caracas for the top prize in the M&S Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final. After a fifth place finish in the M&S Junior Medal Final, the duo rose to the top in the class immediately following on Sunday with a solid score of 87.

Katherine Driscoll earned second place with Fiorano Z with a total of 81. Driscoll moved up the rankings after a flat phase that proved him worthy of a higher spot in the ribbons. Third place went to Anabel Barnett riding Rockafella with an 84-point round. Barnett moved down behind Driscoll in the flat phase.

Fourth place went to Danielle Markey riding Anabel Barnett’s Gineon. They scored behind Barnett with a 78. The curtain closed on the top five with Eileen O’Leary riding Baham Boy, owned by Bre Pickens. O’Leary and Bahama Boy scored the Adult Individual Gold Medal at the USHJA Child/Adult-Amateur Individual Jumper Championships at HITS Saugerties earlier this season.

Marshall & Sterling Children’s Pony Medal Final – Large
Forty-three riders and large ponies turned out to compete in the M&S Children’s Large Pony Medal Final in the hopes of claiming first-place honors.

Julia Bonvino of Manhasset, New York was the rider to beat, claiming the top spot by nearly seven points. She came into the final round with an 82, which had her in second place; her score of 85 pulled her up for the win with a total of 167.

Second place honors belonged to Tempe Saltiello of Lebanon, New Jersey. She scored an 80.5 in the first round, followed by a solid 80 in the second round for a total of 160.5.

Madyson Diaz was next in the ribbons for third. She came in just behind Saltiello with a total of 160, with scores of 84 and 76, respectively.

Fourth place went to Annika Srivastava and Mae Gordon took fifth place.

Sore No-More Children’s Medal Final – Horses
Ella Holowesko stole the show in this special Sunday class among a talented and competitive field of 60. The top five all scored in the mid to high eighties, highlighting the challenge of scoring the leading round, which made the victory all the more sweet for Holowesko.

Holowesko earned a first round score of 86, bringing her into the second round in second place. Her final round score of 85 combined with their first round score gave her the winning total of 171.

Second place went to Annie Walsh. The equestrian also won the Child Hunter 14/U Reserve Championship. With scores of 87 and 80, she rode to a total of 167 for her spot on the leaderboard.

Devon Thomas took home third place honors. She scored an 85 in the first round, followed by an 81 in the final round for a total of 166.

Fourth place went to Raegan Landrum and the top five rounded out with Abigail Lefkowitz.

Grand Hunter Champion
The Grand Hunter Champion was Serafino, owned by Elisabeth McFadden and ridden by Melissa Feller. Reserve Champion was Rio Cirque du Soleil owned by Anne Boyd, and ridden by Jessica Connor.

Children’s Working Hunter – Pony Small
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Pony Hunter Small division were awarded to Jordyn Goldsmith aboard Crystal Acres Twinkle Toes. Reserve champion was Aerin Genatt riding Joe Currais’ Party Crasher.

Children’s Working Hunter – Pony Medium
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Hunter Medium Pony division were awarded to Clara Propp aboard Saltwood Tuscany.  Reserve Champion was, once again, Aerin Genatt riding Look at Me.

Children’s Working Hunter – Pony Large
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Hunter Large Pony division were awarded to Ella DiFazio aboard Pamina. Reserve Champion was Stella Propp riding News Day.

Children’s Working Hunter – Horse
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Hunter Horse division were awarded to Lorelei Knadler aboard Huehuetenango. Reserve Champion was Hayden Wilkes riding Gatsby.

Best Junior Rider – Horse
The Best Junior Rider on a Horse was Annie Walsh.

Best Adult Rider
The Best Adult Rider was Samantha Karp.

Best Junior Rider – Pony
The Best Junior Rider on a Pony was Maria Sabers.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Old Salem Farm Welcomes Top Equitation Riders at ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships

Katherine Bundy aboard Co Co Pop. Photo by Jump Media Photography.

North Salem, NY – Old Salem Farm was host to both the Region 1 and 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships on Saturday, September 17, during the American Gold Cup CSI 4*-W. Elite local equitation riders competed with hopes to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championship at the CP National Horse Show on November 1-6 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Old Salem Farm gives equitation riders an early opportunity for indoor competition at a top-quality venue before all of the indoor finals each fall. Seizing that opportunity, both Katherine Bundy of Westport, CT and Maya Nayyar of New York, NY are making the most of their final year as junior riders and clinched Regional Championship wins at Old Salem Farm after an over fences phase and a flat phase. Bundy and her mount Co Co Pop, owned by her trainer Missy Clark and North Run, topped Region 1 competition, while Maya Nayyar and her own Fox Z won for Region 2 under the direction of trainer Stacia Madden.

The American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm offers equitation riders a chance to shine among some of the best riders in the world as top athletes converge for a stop on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League tour. For Bundy, who also won the Regional Maclay Championship at Old Salem Farm in 2015, it is a learning moment.

“I have always loved Old Salem Farm because I think the indoor is amazing and so well kept, but competing during the [American] Gold Cup is really special,” said Bundy. “So many people who flock to this horse show are important to watch and having that visual experience is so important for me. I love watching a 1.40m speed or a 1.50m and then go do the regionals. Although they are different classes, the discipline is similar. It’s really important to be here and watch those people, and that’s why I love this horse show.”

Bundy admits that Co Co Pop is a seasoned veteran in the equitation ring, having ribboned at the Regional Championships at Old Salem Farm with several past riders of North Run trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan. She, however, is eager for the experience she gains at the Regional Championships leading into the finals season.

“Each year getting competition experience and having that mentality of going into finals and composing yourself gets less and less intimidating,” she said.

When asked about Bundy as a rider, Clark responded, “She is such a great competitor, and she has worked so hard. She has a very calm attitude in these situations, and I felt very confident in her handling the course today. This indoor is a great venue, and these equitation riders are accommodated so well all weekend.”

For Nayyar, Saturday’s Region 2 win was a not an uncomplicated one. While warming up for the over fences phase, both she and Madden noticed that their entered mount, Connaro, was not quite himself.

“Maya gets a tremendous amount of credit,” said Madden. “I’ve learned through experience that anyone who has the ability to have a backup horse should have it here and ready. She jumped one jump and said, ‘I need to be fair to my horse’.”

Madden left the final decision to Nayyar who chose to compete Fox Z.

“She had faith in her horses, preparation, instructor, and herself to make a good judgment that was right for the horse and ultimately right for her,” added Madden.

“Today was a good confidence booster,” said Nayyar. “I am happy we qualified, and my plan was just to get everything done. I came [to Old Salem] just for regionals, and I’m glad it worked out.”

When asked what she likes about bringing riders to Old Salem Farm, Madden said, “I’m a big proponent of having all the regionals indoors because I think that if you’re getting ready for finals indoors, you should be having your regionals indoors. This is a very nice venue to use as preparation.”

Full horse show results can be found at www.theamericangoldcup.com.

Contact: Lindsay Brock

Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals: Part I

(C) ESI Photography. Cora Schiavone and Annabelle.

Saugerties, NY (September 17, 2016): The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals returned to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York on Wednesday, September 14. Competition was underway for the nation’s most decorated up-and-coming Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation riders.

Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Adult Medal Final
Thirty-four tested the ten-fence course designed by Rian Beals in hopes of taking home the Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Adult Medal Final title. The rider to beat was Cora Schiavone of Oldwick, New Jersey, scoring a consistent 81 in both rounds, claiming the highest score in the second round after returning with the top 4 riders. Their triumphant total of 162 earned them the blue ribbon.

Second place went to Nathaniel VanDoren of Cortland, New York, scoring an 82 after a majestic first round, entering the final round at the top of the pack. VanDoren navigated his way to a second round score of 77, which gave him a total of 159.

Next in the ribbons was Harleyville, Pennsylvania equestrian, Lauren Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald entered the second round in third place after earning a first round score of 80. A 55 in the second round gave her a total of 135 when the class was done for the third-place prize.

Grace Bankowski of Nazareth, Pennsylvania took home fourth place honors with Lily Langtree, owned by Kassidy Danley. They rounded out the top four with scores of 77 and 51, respectively, for a total of 128.

$7,500 Adult Jumper Classic
Stacy Mahoney of New York, New York and Charisma Blue bested a field of their peers for the blue ribbon and the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic win. They took the lead by one second, crossing the timers in a cool, clear 41.928 for the victory.

Second place went to East Islip, New York equestrian, Colm McGuckian, riding Rivercat. They stopped the clock fault-free in 42.865, just a second behind Mahoney for the ultimate second-place prize.

Kimberly Beattie of Mahwah, New Jersey returned to HITS-on-the-Hudson after having success as part of the Zone II winning team in the USHJA Children’s/Adult-Amateur Jumper Championships at HITS Saugerties week VII. Piloting the same mount, Charmander, Beattie rode to a clear round in 43.085, which would be good enough for third place.

Next place in the ribbons was earned by Courtney Becher of Chester, Connecticut and I Am What I Am, owned by Frederick Becher. Their time of 43.737 was just fractions of a second shy of Beattie’s, settling them in fourth.

Rounding out the top five was Margaret Cobb from Denellon, Florida piloting G. Padre Pio. They would earn the last clear round over the shortened course with a time of 46.285 for the fifth place prize.

$7,500 Children’s Jumper Classic
It was Carley McInerney’s time to shine in the $7,500 Children’s Jumper Classic and aboard her own Cittorio M. The Randolph, New Jersey equestrian did just that, taking home first place and a $2,250 check for the victory.

One of three competitors to go clear, McInerney stole the show with a lightning-fast round to capture the win by more than seven seconds over the abbreviated course. Carefully and thoughtfully, she and her mount left the course intact and crossed the timers in a time of 41.959.

Second place went to Annelise Silverstein of Boonton, New Jersey, riding her own Phoenix Rising. Conquering each fence and staying cool under pressure, the pair clocked in fault-free, but their time of 48.509 would ultimately not be fast enough to contend with McInerney’s.

Third place was awarded to Bailey Doloff of Sykesville, Maryland aboard Wishlea Star Dasher. They too would advance to the jump-off after a clear first round, but two unfortunate rails in the jump-off would settle them in third place.

Clifford Bell rode Prized Native to fourth place, with Anthony Merolillo aboard his own Perseus finishing in fifth place.

$1,500 Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic
Day two of the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals was a good day for Mary Ann Zeira of Morristown, New Jersey and Take Five, owned by Hope Schwartz-Leeper. Besting a sizeable class of 67 competitors from up and down the East Coast, they steered their way to a $1,500 Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic win with scores of 84 and 83, the highest in both rounds, for a winning total of 167.

Round one competition was challenging and most who found themselves in the top 12 to move on to round two, earned it with preliminary scores in the 80s and upper 70s.

Cora Schiavone rode to another prestigious ribbon, after taking the victory in Wednesday’s M&S 2’6” Adult Medal Final. She and her own Annabelle entered the second round with the second highest score of 82, earning an 81 in the final round for a total of 163, giving them the second-place prize.

Coming in just behind Schiavone was Kristin Dolan, who took home the final spot in the top five in Wednesday’s M&S Adult Medal Final. Dolan rode Nimmerot, owned by Meadow Creek Farm, to a first round score of 80, bringing them into the second round in fourth place. They pushed their way up the leaderboard by improving to an 82 in the final round for a total of 162, earning them third place.

Kimberly Pokstis of Warwick, New York and Hopes N Dreams, owned by Karen Ufret, brought home fourth place honors, and the top five finished with Anne Boyd of South Salem, New York aboard Rio Cirque De Soleil.

HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Professional
Melissa Feller and Serafino, owned by Elisabeth McFadden, were the HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Professional Champions, having received one blue ribbon Over Fences and second in the Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Jennifer Gurney aboard Norwegian Wood.

HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Non-Professional
Jessica Connor piloted Rio Cirque du Soleil, owned by Anne Boyd, to the HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Non-Professional Championship, having earned blue ribbons in both of the Over Fences classes and third in the Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Elspeth Roake and Uptown Girl, owned by Dawn Von Bernuth.

HITS Working Hunter 2’
The HITS Working Hunter 2’ Champion was Cara McFadden riding T. H. Johnny Bravo, owned by Green Hills Farm. They were first and third Over Fences. Reserve Champion was Annika Srivastava aboard Patriot, owned by Leslie Kogos.

Adequan Working Hunter
Leann Kelly and Escapade HS, owned by Jack Shainman, were crowned the Adequan Working Hunter Champions after placing first and second Over Fences and third in the Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Leah Cruciani and her own Gombole.

Adult Working Hunter
Samantha Karp and Zentina B were the Champions of the Adult Working Hunter after placing fourth and first Over Fences and first Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Contina, owned and ridden by Jacquelyn Maggiore.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Aiken Fall Festival I – Wrap Up

Winners of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby: Shamrock, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd.

Week one of the Aiken Fall series came to a close this past Sunday, capping off a full week of hunter/jumper competition at beautiful Bruce’s Field in Aiken, SC.  The event, managed by Equus Events, was one of the biggest to date and featured top riders and horses from all over the country.

The $5,000 Aiken Saddlery Welcome Classic kicked off the featured events of the week along with a Sangria and Pizza Party under the big tent sponsored by Dr. Sarah Thompson, Ziggy Poplin, and Gatewood Sport Horses.  Aiken, SC professional rider Daniel Geitner and Kenwood, owned by the Kenwood Syndicate, galloped home with top honors in the class narrowly beating out Alabama native Holly Shepherd and Belle Clara DKS, who took home second, and Erin McGuire and Kasarr, who took home third.

Friday morning featured the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by Cold Creek Nursery and a Derby breakfast which was sponsored by Silo Road Farm and Lee Cesery.  A strong contingent of 24 horse rider combinations took to the course to test their skills over the track designed by Joseph Carnicom.  Liza Boyd and Finally Farm, Inc.’s Shamrock had two impressive rounds garnering two scores of 91, both in the classic and handy rounds to capture the win with a total score of 182 points.  Lee Cesery’s Whiskey Tango took home second place honors with Taylor Ann Adams in the irons, and Elizabeth Tarumianz’s Dedicated and Daniel Geitner rounded out the top three.

The $15,000 Jumper Classic sponsored by David Stinson took place Saturday evening along with a dinner sponsored by Maneline Art, Liz Tarumianz, Booth Parker, and Allison Mills.  Spectators were also treated to “Family Day” beginning at 4:30pm which included face painting, a balloon artist, pony rides, free snow cones, and cotton candy, as well as a Maneline Art Kids painting area.  Fox View Farm’s FVF Sailor Man and rider Maryann Charles galloped home with the blue ribbon topping a field of 17 original entries.  Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s Skymiles were second and Tall Paul owned and ridden by Vick Russell took home third place honors.

Sunday, the final day of the show, brought the much anticipated South Carolina Hunter Jumper Association’s Governor’s Cup Medal Finals and breakfast sponsored by the SCHJA board and Jordan Burton.  Top Equitation riders earned points in the Governor’s Cup classes throughout the year in several states to garner a spot at the finals at the Aiken Fall Festival. The 2016 Governor’s Cup Medal champion was Miss Wynne Weatherly of Charlotte, NC.  Wynne trains with Andrea Guzinski and Cedarhill Farm in Waxaw, NC.  Kayla Jacobs ended up reserve.

For complete results and more information on the Aiken Fall Festival, please go to www.equusevents.com.

Prize List for 2016 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship Now Available Online

Devan Graham and Sandro Sky, winners of the 2015 MHSA Gittings Horsemanship Finals. © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Top Local Show Offers Chance to Qualify for WIHS at Verizon Center

Washington, D.C. – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the prize list is now available online for the 2016 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, which will be held Oct. 21-23 at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md.

A popular stop on the local horse show circuit, the WIHS Regional competition offers riders an enjoyable showing experience and the opportunity to qualify to compete at Verizon Center in the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, on Oct. 30, as well as qualification for the WIHS Championship Finals for Children’s and Adult Hunters and Jumpers on Oct. 25 and 26.

> Link to WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship Prize List

“I’ve always treasured my time with horses,” said Sue van der Linden of The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, a longtime supporter of the WIHS Regional Horse Show and presenting sponsor of this year’s event. “This is a great opportunity to encourage others to make the most of their rides, too. Best of luck and congratulations to our horses and riders, and a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the parents, spouses, coaches, and friends who support us in our equestrian dreams.”

The WIHS Regional Horse Show is proud to host the USHJA Zone 3 Championship again this year on Sunday, Oct. 23. Approximately the top 18 horses in each division, based on total USHJA points, will be invited, with additional horses to be invited if invitations are not accepted.

“We are excited to welcome The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley as our presenting sponsor and look forward to another terrific weekend of competition and fun for locally based riders and their families,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director.

This year’s highlights include:

  • The MHSA Gittings Horsemanship Finals featured on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
  • New equitation classes: NCEA 3’3” Junior Hunt Seat Medal and USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal
  • The fifth annual Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship, presented by Victoria Lowell
  • Ice Cream Social on Friday night and Pizza Party on Saturday afternoon for all exhibitors
  • Grand Championships awarded for Children’s and Adult Hunter and Children’s Hunter Ponies
  • Watch the qualifying event for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Finals, presented by Charles Owen, on Friday evening.

Entries will be accepted electronically through www.HorseShowing.com.

About WIHS, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events in North America. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington for the President’s Cup, presented by Events DC (Saturday night), the Puissance high jump presented by The Boeing Company on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is currently ranked #7 in the Top 25 Horse Shows by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Contact: Lauren Fisher