Lexington, Ky. – May 18, 2017 – The atmosphere at the Kentucky Horse Park was electric on Friday night as fans came out to watch the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* as part of the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show. Sixty-four riders competed their horses for a chance to not only win the 1.45m class, but also earn valuable points towards winning the Hagyard Challenge Series. Eugenio Garza, of Mexico, was victorious aboard Armani SL Z even though Roberto Teran of Colombia and Il Rubacuori held a seemly unbeatable lead until the very end. Santiago Lambre and Dingeman finished in a close third place.
Armani SL Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding, has been a part of Garza’s program for three years. Garza, who is trained by the famed Irish rider and coach, Eddie Macken, has been careful to bring the striking grey gelding along thoughtfully, in hopes of achieving the moment that came in the ring tonight. The class saw very few clear rounds in the first half of competition, but by the time Garza had entered the ring, eleven other riders were waiting to come back in the jump-off. Aaron Vale, of Ocala, Fla., had even qualified all three of his rides for the short course.
Teran was the first rider to produce a clear first round on Il Rubacuori and he came back for the short course, ready to win. Internationally recognized as a fast rider, he clocked in a time of 40.29. Santiago Lambre, also of Mexico, came the closest by producing a clear round in 40.570. While Garza was schooling for the jump off, he could hear the cheers and gasps from the crowd in the Rolex Stadium and knew that he would have to put in an incredibly fast round to overcome Teran’s early lead. Armani SL Z performed like a Grand Prix veteran and crossed the times in 39.330, giving Garza the definitive win.
Not only did Garza go home with the commemorative cooler and blue ribbon, but he also earned valuable points towards the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series consists of seven grand prix classes that are held during the 2017 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series. Garza is now tied with Eve Jobs, who won the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Tim Goguen Earns Grand Open Hunter Championship aboard Expression Z
After two days of competition in the Stonelea Ring to kick off the Kentucky Spring Classic, Tim Goguen beat out close competitor Kelley Farmer for the coveted title of Grand Open Hunter Champion on Thursday afternoon. Scoring four out of five blue ribbons in the High Performance Hunter Division, Goguen sealed two division championships, the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6, and ultimately the Grand Championship aboard 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Expression Z.
Sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate, the Grand Open Hunter Championship is awarded to the combination that receives the highest number of points in their respective division. Posing the greatest competition for Goguen’s chance at the title was Kelley Farmer who had top placings with Discretion in the Conformation Hunter and It’s Me in the Green Hunter 3’9.
Goguen and Belhaven Stables, LLC’s Expression Z both stood out and received praise from respected hunter judges Rob Bielefeild and Shane George for their consistency in the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6 during the Kentucky Spring Classic. The pair produced memorable and beautiful performances in each round, capturing top honors throughout both divisions.
Goguen of Lexington, Kentucky has earned continual success in the hunter ring, particularly excelling in the High Performance Working Hunter division. Professional hunter riders will take to the Stonelea ring once again this Saturday for the greatly anticipated USHJA National Hunter Derby, the highlight of the week.
Eugenio Garza and Lawfull Z Take $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
Mill Spring, NC – October 23, 2016 – Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Reve Du Paradis bested a large and competitive class in the $86,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic CSI 5* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), concluding competition of Tryon Fall V. Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis dashed through the track set in George H. Morris Arena to complete their jump-off round in 43.011 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton captured second place with a time of 43.565 seconds, while Ali Wolff (USA) and Quirie 2 were presented with third place honors after crossing through the timers in 44.163 seconds.
Fenney guided MTM Reve Du Paradis, a 2005 Selle Francais gelding (Crown Z x Adelfos) owned by MTM Farm, around the track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) to capture top honors in the final class of the CSI 5* week at TIEC. Hosting 41 original entries, only ten combinations advanced to contest the short course on a beautiful fall day in the Carolina Foothills.
“I felt like it was good that I got to watch a few people go before me today. I went early in the class last night and I wished I had the chance to go a bit later to see how the rest of the course was playing out. I think the whole week was built great and very fair,” elaborated Fenney. “There was always a good turnout for the jump-off rounds and it’s always fun for the crowd to watch a good jump-off.”
The win highlighted the duo’s first victory together at TIEC and Fenney felt the course suited MTM Reve Du Paradis, providing an element of added confidence heading into FEI CSI 3* competition next week.
“He has a lot of blood and doing two to three classes a week is not so difficult for him,” she elaborated, as she discussed her competition routine with MTM Reve Du Paradis. “I felt like I could enter him in the class today and he would still jump well, which he did.”
Fenney is motivated by good competition and always sets her sights on success in the ring. Entering the final day of competition this week, Fenney noted that MTM Reve Du Paradis has continued to progress throughout the week and felt the pair had the opportunity to place well in the class.
“I always try to go for it. I think that this is probably the most prestigious win that I’ve had on him. I’ve had him for maybe a year and a half. He’s a funny horse that has a lot of personality. He is always ready to go and has never had a dull day. He’s always exuberant and is a great horse to have around the barn. We’re already looking forward to next week and hopefully can continue with this success,” she added.
Eugenio Garza and Lawfull Z Take $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix on The Grass Complex
Eugenio Garza of Wellington, FL and Lawfull Z, owned by El Milagro, claimed top honors in the $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix hosted on The Grass Complex at TIEC, as the pair narrowly edged reigning champions Taylor Alexander of Castle Rock, CO and Gipsy King, who finished in second place. Garza and Lawfull Z rode a quick and efficient jump-off round, tripping the timers in 39.054 seconds to secure the win. Alexander and Gipsy King collected second place honors with a time of 39.46 seconds, while Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL guided Bon Jovi to third place after completing the jump-off track in 39.57 seconds.
Garza and Lawfull Z have steadily gained experience together this season, as the talented young rider who represents the nation of Mexico in international competition, obtained the ride on the 2007 Zangersheide gelding (Lawito x Carefull) this past year. Garza also competed aboard Armani SL Z in the class and the pair took home fifth place.
“We had our two up-and-coming horses entered in the class today with Lawfull and Armani. Lawfull is nine and they’re both very talented horses,” commented Garza. “Basically, we loved the fact that this class was out here on the grass today. This is an amazing facility and we wanted to give them both some experience on the grass. They both jumped very well and Lawfull is a bit more experienced, so my trainer, Eddie Macken, told me to have a go for it. He’s an amazing horse and just continues to get better.”
It was a tight race between Garza and Taylor Alexander, who has dominated the series to this point. Garza was aware of Alexander’s leading time and found an approach that he felt could shave valuable time off of the clock to take the win.
“I think my turn from jump two to three was very tight and everything came up very nicely after that. Taylor was very fast and the difference between the two of us wasn’t very much,” he explained.
Garza has been very successful in the Under 25 classes across the country, always finishing well with numerous mounts and it was no different on The Grass Complex at TIEC. He explained his appreciation for the classes, stating, “The U25 classes here are amazing. It’s a great opportunity for the horses who are a bit younger, maybe eight or nine, who aren’t quite ready to do the larger FEI classes and be competitive. They give you the ability to jump a strong 1.45m class and it’s one of the best divisions out there. It gives us a lot of flexibility with the horses and we love it.”
With mounts in both the Under 25 classes, as well as in international FEI competition, Garza continues to fine-tune his own riding skills and is enthusiastic about the variety of opportunities TIEC offers to exhibitors.
“I love the stadium here too. Under the lights or during the day, it’s always one of my favorite places to compete, but this complex gives you a completely different feeling. It’s almost like you’re at a different show and it is pretty much brand new. It’s unbelievable how well done the field is. It feels amazing. It’s safe to ride on and the horses are jumping off of it very well.”
At the conclusion of his win, Garza is expecting to maintain the same consistency heading into the last week of the 2016 Tryon Fall Series, which features another week of Under 25 competition, as well as the final FEI CSI 3*.
“We’re going to stay next week to do the FEI CSI 3* and then may go to Kentucky to do the Under 25 Championships. We’ll head to Florida to do the Holiday & Horses CSI 4* after Thanksgiving as the final show of the year for us.”
Tryon Fall V Hunter Highlights
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Curuba, owned by Amy Nolan, took top honors in the $1,000 Pre-Green Classic, earning a total score of 169 for the win. Caroline Weeden of Lake Forest, IL and In Time, owned by Glory Days Farm, LLC, were presented with the red rosette after securing a total two round score of 168. Taylor Ann Adams of Ocala, FL and Lusso, owned by Lee Cesery, earned third place with a final score of 162.
Alexandra Maracic of Syosset, NY piloted her own Lucky Times to the win in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic 3’3″/3’6″ receiving a 164 from the judging panel. Madeline Thatcher of West Bluffdale, UT guided Sterling, owned by Pony Lane Farm, to second place with a final score of 155. Thatcher returned to collect third place aboard Summer Place, also owned by Pony Lane Farm, as the pair earned a 153.
The $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic 3’3″/3’6″ was championed by Elly Ficca of Charlotte, NC and her own Quatrain, as the duo picked up a two round score of 163. Matilda von Guttenberg of Greenwich, CT guided Photo Shoot, owned by Laurie Elsass, to second place with a final score of 155, while C. Blair Spencer of Pinehurst, NC captured third place aboard her own Crowd Pleazarr after securing a score of 154.
Chloe Watrous of Evanston, IL dominated the $500 Pony Hunter Classic taking home the top two placings in the class. First, Watrous guided her own Page 6 to first place after receiving a 161 for the pair’s efforts before earning second place aboard Crystal Acres Chocolatier, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, with a two round score of 159. Isabella Cheers of Shallotte, NC and her own Prince Harry took home third place on a 155.
The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.
Premier AA Hunter Competition Showcases Top Performances throughout the Week
Mill Spring, NC – July 3, 2016 – Eugenio Garza of Wellington, FL and Armani SL Z finished a beautiful double clear effort in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Summer I competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Sunday, July 3. The pair secured the win with a time of 37.577 seconds in the jump-off round, while Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT piloted both of her mounts to second and third place, respectively. Toscane De L’Isle captured second place, finishing two seconds behind Garza in 39.728 seconds, while Lakvels picked up third place, crossing through the timers in 42.415 seconds. Competition at TIEC resumes on Wednesday, July 6, with the start of Tryon Summer II.
Garza, a rising star who competes internationally for the nation of Mexico, and Armani SL Z are gaining experience together and have earned multiple top place finishes during their spring travels together. As one of two talented eight-year-old mounts in Garza’s string, Armani SL Z is one of the nicest horses in the barn, according to Garza.
“Armani is the oldest son of the Asca Z and we’ve been building him up with my trainer Eddie Macken for a year and a half now,” he explained. “We’ve been waiting a year to do this type of class with this horse. He’s easily the most special we have right now and is one of the nicest horses I’ve ever sat on in my life.”
Armani SL Z, a flashy grey 2008 Zangersheide stallion by Asca Z, is an eye-catching ride, who Garza competes with a confidence and poise well beyond his years. The pair is just solidifying their relationship at the top levels of the sport, but has immense potential. Garza explained their progress with Armani over the course of the past year and also noted that the raw talent of the stallion is something he’s never seen before.
“I really don’t think he has any weaknesses. He’s an unbelievable horse. It’s so fun to improve and learn on a horse like this and I’m hopeful that our streak continues,” he added.
The course, which was set big and took a forward ride, suited Armani SL Z and Garza, who found the technical questions beneficial to their growing competition experience together.
“I’ve known Oscar Soberon since I started riding in Mexico eight or nine years ago. He always builds amazing,” he detailed. “The course had a lot of challenges and he’s been right on the time all week so I knew that it would be tough. It was big enough and had a couple of interesting questions around the course.”
Careful and attentive to not push the stallion too far so early in his career, Garza tactfully rode with the goal of gaining valuable competition experience, but also begin testing their ability to secure a quick and efficient jump-off round.
“I wanted to give him a good rhythm, especially with regard to the time. It was a very fun course to ride and I thought he did very well,” he noted.
Entering the ring after Sydney Shulman, who finished in second and third place in the class, Garza found areas around the course where he felt he could make up the time and ultimately secure the win. He explained, “I saw Syd go on her first horse and she rode a beautiful trip that was smooth and efficient. I thought it was a really fast time and when I went in, I really honestly gave it all that I had with Armani as much as I felt comfortable with.”
“I’m really looking to building up our horses here for the next four weeks. It’s nice to be consistent with a venue and give each horse the time they need,” he detailed. “With my two experienced mounts, Empire and Bariano, we want to do well in the grand prix classes here. We’ve had a great summer so far and we hope to continue that looking forward.”
The $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic presented by Asheville Regional Airport saw Emanuel Andrade and his own Contenders XC take top honors, finishing the jump-off in 36.651 seconds for first place. The pair edged Nicole Loochtan and her own Carla de Kalvarie Z, who dashed through the timers in 34.384 seconds, but finished with four faults to place second. Victoria Karam, who owns and competes New Life HM, collected third place, dropping a rail in the jump-off and finishing with a time of 38.171 seconds.
Alexandra Duval of Wellington, FL and her own XM earned victory in the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic presented by Ariat with a time of 34.015 seconds. Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, OH and Icebreaker, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian LLC, finished in second, securing a time of 34.24 seconds, while Sabischy Hassler of Wellington, FL and her own Good Boy HM rounded out the top three, stopping the clock in 34.521 seconds.
Premier AA Hunter Competition Showcases Top Performances throughout the Week
Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Lionsgate, owned by Roy Wilten, earned the victory in the $10,000 Pre-Green Classic, finishing with a final score of 164, while Morgane Qualls of Murphreesboro, TN and Lookalike, owned by Sandalwood Farms, took second place with a final score of 162. Sophie Simpson of Wellington, FL and Haiku, owned by Sorensen Stables, collected a third place in the class, which saw 13 total entries.
Soon to Be, owned by Jennifer Smith and ridden by Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI, sat atop the class in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, receiving a two round score of 176 for the win. Blythe Marano of Franklin, TN and Fondant, owned by Virginia Ingram, earned a 172 to finish in second place, while Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL piloted her own Commodore to a respectable third place finish with a score of 168.
The $1,000 Junior Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Combined Classic saw Summer Hill and Eclypse, owned by Holly Orlando, lead the class with a two round score of 169. Cecilia D’Amore of Gastonia, NC guided her own Vintage to a second place finish, receiving a 169, while Marion Scott Head of Brownsboro, AL and her own Khan collected a total score of 160 from the judges to take third place.
Lynn Seithel of Johns Island, SC and her own Walk the Moon championed the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Combined Classic with a score of 170. Missy Yoder of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and her own Too Much Fun collected second place with a score of 167, while Seithel also earned third place aboard her own Walk the Line with a two round score of 164.
For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.
Danhakl and Gochman Claim Championships in Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions
Lexington, Ky. – May 14, 2016 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded on Saturday with the day’s highlight event: the $130,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and Bariano bested a field of 41 competitors to claim the top prize with a blazing jump-off round in 39.160 seconds.
“I’ve had [Bariano] for almost four years,” said Garza. “He’s been my horse for everything. He’s taken me from Children’s Jumpers to the grand prix, so I owe him pretty much everything. He feels better than ever. He really gave it his all tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Nine horse and rider combinations were able to master the Bernardo Costa Cabral opening course, moving into a jump-off that six would go on to produce double-clear efforts from.
“The course was really nice, [Bernado] did an extremely good job,” said Garza. “It was definitely a challenge – something to think about while going around the course, but it was not crazy. I think it was overall a really nice track. His tracks have been amazing all week and I think it was perfect for tonight.”
Aaron Vale (USA) and Quidam’s Good Luck, owned by Troy Gaus, were hoping to claim their second consecutive Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix after winning the event in 2015. They were the early clear pathfinders in the first round and set the pace for the jump-off as the first to take on the shortened track in a speedy 39.920 seconds.
“[Bernardo] does a great job every time,” said Vale. “He gives a tight time allowed, but gives you different ways to get it. You can leave some strides out; you can make a short turn to the left or a short turn to the right. You kind of ride your horse and figure out a way to make the time allowed. Tight times allowed with these big fields are popular these days, but he does it fairly. If your horse has a weakness or a strength you can kind of pick and choose and still make the time.
“Quidam’s Good Luck wins a lot all year long, but he especially goes well in this ring,” continued Vale. “He won both FEI grand prix last spring, and he’s won some other grand prix here as well. This horse just loves this ring. He goes super here. Kentucky is a great place; it’s one of the premier facilities in the country, if not the premier facility.”
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Chaqui Z, owned by Spy Coast Farm, entered the Rolex Stadium one round later and attempted to catch Vale’s time, but felt short by one second in 40.540 seconds. The pair would go on to take third place honors.
It was looking like Vale would take the title once again until Garza, who placed second behind Vale last year, and the 15-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, returned to the ring to challenge Vale’s time as seventh in the jump-off order-of-go.
The two horse and rider combinations battled it out for the second year in a row, but this year it was Garza who was able push ahead Vale’s time by 8/10th’s of a second to take the lead in the victory gallop.
“Leading off the jump-off, you never want to go first, but better to go first in the jump-off than not at all,” laughed Vale. “I was quite fast to the fourth jump. I did check up a little to the combination and again to the last, and that was the difference. If I could have found one of those strides to leave out I don’t think Eugenio would have got me.”
“I saw Aaron go first – and you know Aaron, he’s very fast – and I honestly didn’t think anyone could catch him, including me,” admitted Garza. “My trainer, Eddie Macken, just told me to feel how it goes, and just give it my all and that’s what we did. Bariano just helped me out and was amazing and everything just came up really nice in the jump-off. I think I was able to gain a little bit more time to the last one. I took one stride less than Aaron, but it was really close and I don’t think I could asked anything more from Bariano.”
The young rider from Mexico enjoys returning to the Kentucky Horse Shows each spring and competing at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park.
“Kentucky always treats us well,” said Garza. “I love it here. It’s an amazing facility, the footing is perfect, the organization is amazing – we just love it here. Fortunately, we’ve been doing well and it’s just an amazing show to come to. It’s really relaxed and it’s great for the horses. The weather has been great all weekend and the horses love it here.
“A big thank you to all of my team,” continued Garza. “They have been amazing and I’m just so happy to have such a great team behind me.”
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will come to an end on Sunday with the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, which will count toward valuable points earned in the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List.
Danhakl and Gochman Claim Championships in Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions
It was all about the stallions on a cold and blustery day Saturday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in the Stonelea Ring. Championships in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 and Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunter divisions both went to stallions. In the younger division, Stephanie Danhakl took home the top prize on her 7-year-old Hanoverian stallion First Light. The reserve championship went to Alliy Moyer and Carlson. In the older division that followed, Becky Gochman won the championship aboard the 14-year-old Warmblood stallion Empire with the reserve going to John Ingram and Airport 48.
First Light was back in the tricolors today having won the Regular Conformation Hunter championship on day two with trainer Scott Stewart.
“First Light is definitely my greenest horse,” Danhakl explained. “He’s only 7 years old this year and he’s a stallion, so he’s a little bit trickier for me. I feel like I started to get the hang of him this year. He’s a little different ride than what I’m used to. He really requires you to direct him and be very accurate in your turns and balanced. He keeps me on my toes.”
The drastic change in the weather was certainly a factor for riders on Saturday.
“When I got on him today he was very fresh because of all the wind,” Danhakl said. “He was still a little fresh in the ring, but he gives you such a great feeling and is very well mannered. He whinnied a few times going around, but I’m sort of used to that so he really was great.”
Gochman also commented on the cooler weather Saturday.
“It was a very brisk day in Lexington, Kentucky, so I had a little bit of a different horse in Empire today,” Gochman said. “He was feeling a little frisky. Yesterday we really clicked. I feel like he’s in a really great frame of mind and he’s just such a special horse.”
Another generation of winning hunters may be on the way for Gochman as well.
“We’re excited because we recently purchased his son Evermore,” Gochman explained. “We hope he can take after his dad in his ways too.”
Danhakl and Gochman were both full of praise for the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the city of Lexington.
“It’s a great tradition for us to come here,” Gochman said. “It breaks up the ride back home for the horses and it gives us a chance to compete somewhere where the fences are really put together in a lovely manner.”
Gochman was also enthusiastic about all that Lexington has to offer.
“We have always enjoyed the town of Lexington,” Gochman continued. “The whole Gochman family can’t get enough of it. We really enjoy the restaurants and the horse themed artwork throughout the town. It always holds a special place in our hearts so we are always excited to come back to Kentucky.”
Danhakl was also appreciative of the environment at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
“It’s such a beautiful place,” said Danhakl. “I love all of the greenery, the grass, the rolling hills and the trees everywhere. I like to be able to escape the heat at this time of year in Florida. All of the horses just left and came straight here so they’ve had a nice time getting to enjoy the cooler weather.”
Sunday is “Derby Day” with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby taking place.
EQSportsNet will be streaming live webcasts of the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Saturday, May 21. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can also watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at www.eqsports.net.
Team of Porter, Pasmore, Garza and Reid Wins $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event; Lucador and Peter Pletcher Victorious in Fumero Law Pre-Green Level 2 Hunters
Wellington, FL, March 7, 2013 – Christine McCrea (USA) and Candy Tribble’s Zerly beat an all-star international field in Thursday’s $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 during the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s (FTI WEF) CSI-W 5* week sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies. McCrea and Zerly won the largest portion of prize money in the richest purse ever offered in the 24-year history of the WEF Challenge Cup series over Olympic Gold Medalists Nick Skelton (GBR) and Big Star. Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour finished third.
Week nine runs March 6-10, 2013. The week will feature the $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m on Friday, the $300,000 FEI World Cup CSI-W 5* presented by The Bainbridge Companies on Saturday evening, and the $82,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.
Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week nine. In Thursday’s Challenge Cup competition, Stephens saw 84 entries jump his first round course and 31 competitors make it through to the jump-off. Twenty-eight riders representing six different countries returned for the tiebreaker after three entries opted out of the final round.
The USA’s Christine McCrea and Zerly raced to the win in 31.10 seconds, the fastest of 14 double clear rounds. The top five places were all separated by hundredths of a second.
Placing second, Nick Skelton and Beverly Widdowson’s Big Star finished in 31.25 seconds. Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour, owned by Stephex Stables and Pedro Veniss, clocked in at 31.43 seconds to place third. Daniel Bluman (COL) and Sancha LS completed the course in 31.44 seconds for fourth place honors and Laura Kraut (USA) and Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.’s Cedric were right behind them in 31.46 seconds to finish fifth.
Class winner, Zerly, is a nine-year-old KPWN mare by Querlybet Hero x Carthago. McCrea got Zerly last August and explained that she had watched the mare show a lot in Europe with her previous rider, American Andrew Ramsay. When Zerly came up for sale, McCrea jumped at the chance to buy her.
“Honestly, she is like a dreamboat,” McCrea praised. “She has a big stride, but she can make it very small. She can jump a really careful jump and she can jump the hugest jump. For me, she is everything.”
Commenting on this afternoon’s class, McCrea noted, “I never thought there would be 31 clear, but I think this is a big week and people have geared up for it. Everybody knows that this is the biggest money of the circuit this week, so I think everybody is coming here with their ‘A’ game. There are so many good horses and riders; you can’t underestimate anybody.”
“The course didn’t ride easy,” McCrea added. “I didn’t think it was small. I think the horses just jumped really well and the footing is good and there are really good horse and rider combinations here.”
Nick Skelton and Big Star were holding on to the lead in the jump-off when McCrea and Zerly entered the ring and just edged out their time. “I saw Nick go in the jump-off and I thought there was no way I could beat him, but she is very fast,” McCrea acknowledged. “I have no idea how I made the time. I flew from one to two. That is the only thing. The rest I am not really sure.”
McCrea was excited to get her first big win with Zerly, especially in Thursday’s big money class. “It is fantastic that they had this much prize money, especially when you have so many in the class,” she stated. “It is inspiring and we appreciate it.”
“I am thrilled,” she concluded. “She is only nine and this was my first big win with her. I just started in the grand prixs (with her) down here, so I am really excited.”
In addition to the winning check for $37,500 for the class, McCrea was also presented with $6,000 for the SSG “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. A $3,000 bonus is offered each week if the winning rider of the Challenge Cup class is wearing the SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible. The bonus went unclaimed during week eight, so McCrea won two weeks’ worth of bonus money. Zerly was also honored with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award.
Team of Porter, Pasmore, Garza and Reid Wins $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event
Thursday’s competition concluded in the International Arena at PBIEC with the $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, held in a Nations Cup format shown over two rounds of competition. With five teams of four competing, Team 5 was the winner. The team, made up of Wilton Porter riding Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Paloubet, Catherine Pasmore riding Freddy Star, Eugenio Garza riding El Milagro’s Bariano, and Chloe Reid riding Damascus, was coached by Kim Prince.
After the first round, each team dropped their highest score. In the second round, all five teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team’s top three riders from each round.
For the winning team, Wilton Porter and Paloubet had the drop score of 19 faults in round one, but redeemed themselves with the only clear trip of the competition in the second round. Catherine Pasmore and Freddy Star had eight faults in round one and four faults in round two. Eugenio Garza and Bariano had four faults in round one and the drop score of 12 in round two, and Chloe Reid and Damascus had 15 faults in round one and eight faults in round two. The team finished on 39 faults total for the win.
From the winning team, Catherine Pasmore has the most team experience with senior Nations Cup performances. Pasmore rode her horse Freddy Star, an eleven-year-old Westphalian gelding by Lancer III x Polydor. Commenting on her rounds, Pasmore noted, “I went in fairly early and I had a foot in the water and four time faults, so a total of eight. I was a little disappointed, but as the class went on, the course definitely got the better of all of us today, so I was actually pleased with my round at the end.”
“For the second round they did make a few things slightly easier and they lengthened the time allowed, but I still wanted to make sure that I did not have time fault; that’s one of the worst things you can have in a Nations Cup, so I really jumped one, got right over to two, got right over to three. I really tried to make the time up a little bit early so that by the end when they got a little bit careful, I could take my time.”
“Freddy Star is a fairly new ride for me,” Pasmore said. “I jumped him a little bit early on and he did really well and I brought him out today basically to see what he would do with two rounds. He was really good, so I am pleased with that. I hope that he’ll come along and be a nice second horse for me to some of my other horses.”
Although Pasmore has had top Nations Cup experience, she counts all team experience equally. “Any Nations Cup to me is important,” she declared. “It doesn’t matter if its young riders or a senior team, you just really have to go in and give it 100%. Even if you have one down, you just can’t let your guard down and you can’t have another one.”
Although Wilton Porter had a little trouble in round one, he came back to jump a clear round even with an equipment malfunction.
“After the first round we decided to change the bridle to a hackamore so that he had less interference with his mouth jumping and then the hackamore actually ended up breaking in the second round about six jumps in,” Porter explained. “I did the second half of the course with a broken bridle. He is already pretty strong as it is, and I pretty much had no brakes, but I almost never have brakes anyway, so I just sort of steered him and he jumped great in the second round. It all worked out in the end.”
His horse Paloubet is a 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Voltaire. “I’ve had him for a little over a year now. Katie and Henri Prudent helped find him for me,” Porter detailed. “He is a great horse and we have done some big classes. I have a great team helping me with him. John Roche is training me and I am extremely grateful to my parents and the sponsors of this class for helping me and providing us with the opportunity to do this.”
“It is a great experience,” Porter said of the series. “The team event helps get us ready for the young rider championships in Kentucky and the individual competition really tries to enforce consistency so that you can be right up there at the top at the end. It is a big class and an important class, so anytime you get the chance to do a class that is more important than a normal class, it helps you practice and gives you experience. I try to use those opportunities for my horses and then there is good prize money too. It is a lot of fun.”
Eugenio Garza rides for Mexico and was aboard his twelve-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Bariano (Jetset-D x Skippy).
“He is a great horse,” Garza expressed. “This is maybe my fifth month riding him. He has all the scope in the world and he is really careful. He has personality, everything. I just love him.”
Garza commented on the course, stating, “When we walked the course I thought it was good, but as people started going it was obvious that it was hard and we were going to have to work to get a good score. It was a hard course actually.”
Chloe Reid and her horse Damascus, an eleven-year-old KWPN mare by Cardento x Corland, have been working on their partnership since joining up last spring. Reid noted, “Right from the beginning we had a really strong connection and I really learned how to ride her well. Recently she has been really learning to become my horse and really listening. Today in the first round, the time was really tight and my trainer told me to go in and just try as best as I could. By the second round I already knew that we were going to win, but I still wanted to go in for the individual. I am happy with my round. I am disappointed that I had a few down, but I am happy.”
Reid also appreciated the team experience. “Being on a team is a lot of fun,” she smiled. “It is mostly an individual sport where you don’t have a lot of opportunities to compete on a team. This is my second week now; I did the junior Nations Cup last week and every time it is just a lot of fun rooting with other people and just the excitement of it all.”
Team 3 from Zone 2 finished second on a 47 fault total. The team included Charlotte Jacobs and Candy Tribble’s Promised Land, Gabrielle Bausano and Ubico H, Mattias Tromp and Beyaert Farm, Inc.’s Casey, and Lillie Keenan riding Chansonette Farm LLC’s Londinium.
Team 1 with riders from Colombia and Venezuela had 50 faults to place third. The team included Mario Gamboa and Stransky’s Mission Farms’ Unico, Emanuel Andrade riding Hollow Creek Farm’s ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z, Nicolas Herrera and Concorde, and Luis Fernando Larrazabal riding Anabel Simon’s G&C Sacramento.
Lucador and Peter Pletcher Victorious in Fumero Law Pre-Green Level 2 Hunters
Peter Pletcher and Lucador claimed victory for the second week in a row in the Fumero Law Pre-Green Level 2 Hunter division during week nine of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The five-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Brian and Sophie Baldwin of Sagamore Farm, dominated day one of competition, winning the under saddle and both over fences classes. Pletcher and Lucador wrapped up the division on day two with a second place finish over fences. Reserve champion honors went to 21-Gun Salute, ridden by Christina Serio and owned by Kendall Sharkey. Serio and 21-Gun Salute were fourth under saddle and sixth and second over fences on day one before finishing day two with first and fifth place ribbons over fences.
Lucador began his show career at the 2013 FTI WEF with Pletcher and has proven his potential as a top competitor. “He’s come into his own these last few weeks. He’s been champion the last two weeks he’s shown in the Pre-Greens,” Pletcher commented. “He’s a super horse and a talented athlete with a beautiful jump.”
Pletcher has helped the gelding settle in to life at the showgrounds, which is no small feat when starting out at the massive grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). “At first, he was a little ADD and looked around a bit. Now that he’s been here a few weeks, he’s really gotten it. He can be looking around but then focus in on the jump and give you an amazing jump, seemingly out of nowhere,” Pletcher described.
Lucador’s inexperience showed briefly when he jumped a shadow on day two of competition for the division, but overall Pletcher couldn’t be happier with the young horse’s performance. “He was really good today. The second round he went around really nicely so we were happy,” Pletcher smiled.
Pletcher looks forward to continuing to ride Lucador this year.
“He’s amazing. He’s such a good horse and very, very talented. He jumps as well as any horse at [the FTI WEF]. He has a wonderful jump and is lovely across the ground. He’s a gorgeous mover and is beautiful to look at too,” he remarked.
Sophie Baldwin was also thrilled with Lucador’s early success and is happy to have Pletcher in the irons. “They’re two peas in a pod! Peter does such a good job with him. Peter is very smooth and just lets [Lucador] do his thing. He’s so fancy and special; he just shines. Peter is the perfect match for him, so we’re really happy with the both of them!” Baldwin stated.
The Fumero Law Pre-Green Level 2 Hunter division kicked off week nine of competition of the FTI WEF, sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies. Week nine will continue Friday with Section A of the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-50 division, hosted in the Rost Arenaof the PBIEC. The $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m will be featured in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
About FTI Consulting FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.