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Vernon Turns Up the Heat with First Grand Prix Victory

Amelia Vernon and Udolente take home her first Grand Prix win at the Bow Valley Classic I in the $25,000 TD Equine Veterinarian Services Grand Prix.

Calgary, Alberta – The $25,000 TD Equine Veterinarian Services Grand Prix was the stage for a Saturday afternoon full of fun, excitement and great competition at the Bow Valley Classic I Tournament. Any time of year is spectacular in the Canadian Rockies, but Springtime is especially remarkable with new beginnings, including what should prove to be the start to a fantastic Grand Prix career.

The afternoon at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping (RMSJ) began with a field of 27 horse and rider combinations set to tackle an exacting course designed by International course designer Manuel Esparza from Mexico. With the riders up to the challenge asked by Manuel, an impressive 9 combinations jumped clear in the first round to set up a spectacular race for the crown.

The first person to qualify and come back for the jump-off round was the very skilled Tamie Phillips of Strathmore, AB, starting with a clear round and a blazing time that looked like it couldn’t be caught. A fantastic foot race ensued with three riders beating the time, and in the end, and a new champion was sitting on top of the leader board with her first Grand Prix victory ever.

Amelia Vernon, the daughter of hockey legend Mike Vernon (two time Stanley cup champion), showed fierce determination in bettering a jump-off field that just kept getting faster and faster with every turn. “My horse is very, very scopey and very careful, but she is not very fast, so that I was worried about and I have never really had to the chance to test to see how fast she can go,” said Amelia.

Amelia’s mount Udolente (known as Lentil in the barn) is a 12 year old mare who actually was a children’s hunter prior to her purchase in December 2011. “She can be a little stiff to turn, so I was a little worried about the inside turns that I wouldn’t be able to make it, but I galloped up to the first fence and really galloped up to the second one and there was a really tight turn after a vertical. I looked and opened my rein and she spun so fast; I was very impressed with her,” beamed Amelia, “as usually we don’t do that very well.”

Nothing makes Springtime at Anderson Ranch better than seeing a new young face at the Grand Prix level. Rocky Mountain Show Jumping provides riders with the opportunities to hone their skills at any level, from beginner through to seasoned Grand Prix riders, and supplies them with the opportunities to advance throughout the levels of the sport. Just a few years back, Amelia Vernon won her first 1.30m competition ever here at RMSJ, aboard her brilliant mount Ruby in another big jump-off featuring 13 challengers.

On hand to watch the exhilarating events were Dr. Dan French and Dr. Candice Crosby, two of the three principal founders of TD Veterinarian Services Group. “We had a wonderful time watching the Grand Prix tonight, and Amelia put in such a beautiful ride,” said Dr. Candice Crosby. “We didn’t think that anyone was going to go faster than Tamie at the beginning, so it was a really exciting finish for Amelia and we are very happy for her.”

Dr. Dan French reflected upon Amelia’s Victory: “It was a great class; I have known the Vernons for a long time. Amelia is the same age as my daughter and they started riding about the same time. It was a great win for her. They are just a wonderful family and great supporters of the sport, so it is nice for them to have that red ribbon.”

More new beginnings are happening in Southern Alberta with the new TD Equine Veterinarian Group started, after the closure of the Okotoks Animal Clinic. The three founding principals are extremely respected sport horse veterinarians Dr. Dan French and Dr. Candice Crosby on the English side and Dr. Suzon Schaal on the Western side. “We all have established clientele in the sport horse community,” noted Dr. Dan French. “Candice Crosby and I deal primarily with the English performance sport horse and Suzon Schaal is very well established in the Western performance. Our goal is to maintain a service to our clientele and focus on the performance horse clients. We are just regrouping; we have not set up a permanent home yet, but we are working out of a couple of facilities.”

With such a talented group both in TD Veterinarian Services Group and young Amelia Vernon, Springtime and great beginnings have come to Southern Alberta and Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, a fabulous start to the exciting 2013 tournament season.

John Anderson, president of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, had the chance to reflect on the Grand Prix after having competed himself incurring just one time fault with his faithful steed Terrific: “I’m just so happy for Amelia; she is exactly what Rocky Mountain Show Jumping is all about. She, along with so many others here in Alberta, is the future of our sport, and it pleases our team to see the model we have built work for so many competitors striving to be Canada’s next superstars. You will see many more victories from this talented young rider in the years to come.”

Rocky Mountain Show Jumping hosts its tournaments at Anderson Ranch in Calgary’s south end, a world-class facility featuring permanent stabling for 300 horses and a grass grand prix field complete with natural obstacles.  For more information on Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, please visit www.rmshowjumping.com.

Competition continues next week with the Bow Valley Classic II, featuring the $25,000 1.40 Grand Prix (Talent Squad Qualifier).

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Sylvan Farm’s Retirement Dispersal Auction Gives Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Purchase from Historic Program

Photo: Agincourt SF.

Arlington, WA – After more than three decades of breeding top sport horses, Sylvan Farm’s Judy Hedreen announced her retirement. Hedreen has been a fixture in the industry since becoming the first Executive Director of the American Hanoverian Society in the late 1980s. During her tenure as head of that organization, and for many years thereafter, Hedreen worked tirelessly to develop an exceptional herd. “Retirement comes with mixed emotions,” explains Hedreen. “I have enjoyed the journey, relished the successes, made many friends along the way and most of all lived a life-long dream.”

As part of Hedreen’s retirement, Sylvan Farm will offer the majority of their herd to bidders around the world. This is the first and only time for this type of offering. On Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. PDT, they will sell nearly twenty homebreds, via auction, at their North Star Farm in Arlington, Washington. Bidders will be able to celebrate Hedreen’s retirement with cocktails and light fare while they shop. For those unable to attend in person at the farm, bids will also be accepted by phone and via the Internet. In addition to the horses that will be auctioned, a collection of frozen semen will be offered for low, per dose minimum bid.

Rarely does an opportunity like this come along for those looking for a well-bred individual. “My program has focused on producing outstanding athletes, but my goals have always included breeding horses with good work ethics, manners and temperaments,” states Hedreen. Not only do the pedigrees of her horses reflect that mantra, the environment where she is based is ideal for that undertaking. The mild climate, lush fields and abundant rain create an environment nearly identical to that of northern Germany and Holland. Their horses are able to spend the entire year outdoors in fields with large loafing sheds. This quiet, serene setting is perfect for raising strong, athletic and rideable sport horses.

Possibilities SF
Possibilities SF

“I knew from the age of six that I wanted to breed horses. When I started breeding, I wrote that I wanted to breed international caliber horses – I am not sure I even knew what that meant at the time,” explains Hedreen. In the mid-eighties, she met Dr. Walter Hartwig, then President of the Hannoveraner Verband, and Dr. Ludwig Christmann; both men would mentor Hedreen and develop a lifelong bond. “They taught me the importance of bloodlines, but not to the exclusion of the horse standing in front of you, and about great mare lines,” asserts Hedreen.

Sylvan Farm-bred horses have competed successfully at the regional, national and international level in dressage, hunters and jumpers. Over the years they refined their broodmare band, establishing two prepotent mare lines that are now producing their fourth generation. Each of these mare lines produced a licensed stallion and competition horses. A third stallion was licensed in Germany.

The many winners of the Sylvan Farm program include Grand Prix jumper, hunter and FEI dressage stallion Agincourt SF. Veteran Hap Hansen rode this grey son of Olympic Gold medalist Abdullah to many wins. Far Star SF represented the United States at the 2003 World Championships for Young Jumpers in Europe under Olympian Laura Kraut. His full sister EM Fair Lily is offered for sale during the auction.

Ramzes SF
Ramzes SF

Ramzes SF, a young Hanoverian stallion, is producing wonderful babies and is ready to show dressage in the FEI small tour classes. This well-mannered sire is approved for breeding with both the GOV and Belgian registries. All of his offspring have been awarded either Premium foal status or earned the Foal of Distinction award from the GOV. He is proudly offered at auction on June 1, 2013.

The collection includes a variety of hunters, jumpers and dressage horses. Show horses, young prospects and breeding stock are all on offer. They represent some of the finest Hanoverian, Oldenburg, Holsteiner and Dutch bloodlines available anywhere in the world, including those of Donnerhall, Landgraf, Cor de la Bryere and Pik Bube.

Judith Hedreen has proven her extensive knowledge and enjoys mentoring others. She is a former member of the USDF Sport Horse Committee, current member of the USHJA Jumper Breeder’s Task Force, contributor to multiple equine publications, and organizer of numerous educational seminars. With an avid interest in Hanoverian jumping horses, Hedreen helped initiate the NA Jumper Breeding Program. In 2007, she was appointed as a judge to the Hanoverian Mare and Stallion Committee.

Flashpoint Bloodstock, LLC, known worldwide for its exceptional sales in several breeds and disciplines presents Saturday’s auction. Tim Jennings and his team will by on-site taking your bids in person, by phone or via the Internet.

The event begins on Monday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. with horse trials and inspections continuing through Friday, May 31. A horse sales preview takes place on Friday, May 31 at 4:00 p.m. PDT and is available via live webcast for potential offsite buyers. On Saturday, June 1, gates will open at noon and the auction and broadcast will begin at 3:00 p.m. PDT.

Ebony
Ebony

As if acquiring a well-bred sport horse wasn’t enough to motivate you to visit the area, Seattle is a mecca for travel and outdoor enthusiasts. Early summer is delightful and visitors will find something for the whole family. If you are a wildlife lover, to advantage of a day trip to the nearby San Juan Islands to see the orca whales, seals and bald eagles. If you are a foodie, the fresh seafood and produce at Pike Place Market will bring you bliss. The list of destinations to explore in the area is varied and extensive.

In addition to details on each horse, you will find photos, videos, pedigrees and the online auction catalog on their website. It also includes complete bidder registration information, travel details and frequently asked questions to make your experience seamless.

For more information, please call Sylvan Farm at 360-435-0235 or 206-550-4010 or visit www.sylvanfarmauction.com.

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Shawn Casady Leads Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby Series

Shawn Casady leads the 2013 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series. Photo By: Emily Riden/PMG.

Lexington, KY – May 14, 2013 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows began on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, and one of the highlight events was the kick-off of the 2013 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series. The Hallway Feeds Series consists of seven national hunter derby events to be held during the 2013 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, cash prizes totaling $15,000 will be awarded to the series’ leading riders.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Show featured the lead off event on Saturday evening with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. The top riders from across the nation gathered to compete over a challenging course and vie for the winning title and valuable points towards the $15,000 Leading Rider Awards. At the end of the night it was Shawn Casady and Stars Go Blue who took led the victory gallop, giving Casady the lead in the standings. Jennifer Hannan who placed second with As Always, and Havens Schatt, who picked up the third place award with Kindle, follows Casady closely in the rankings. The Kentucky Spring Classic, May 15-19, 2013, will host the second event in the series on Saturday, May 18, in the Stonelea Arena.

The USHJA National Hunter Derby program will be in its fourth year in 2013 and is growing in prestige and popularity. Amateurs, Juniors and Professional riders are eligible to compete, giving it a broad base of support and interest. The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards will present a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the seven classes that make up the Series. The amateur rider and junior rider accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Kentucky National Horse Show on September 21, 2013.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides the opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advances. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the Formula for Success.

For more information on Hallway Feeds, please visit www.hallwayfeeds.com.

The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Central Equipment, Alfagreen Supreme, Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, Caddel Equine Therapy Center, KER Sport Horse Nutrition, The Tack Shop of Lexington, Turf Town Properties, Trouw Nutrition and PNC Bank.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Emanuel Andrade Shines at Kentucky Spring Show

Emanuel Andrade of Venezuela guided Walter 61 to a top three finish in the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic. Photo by Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group.

Lexington, Kentucky – Sixteen-year-old show jumping sensation Emanuel Andrade of Venezuela earned impressive results competing against some of the top riders in the world at the 2013 Kentucky Spring Show held May 8 to 12 in Lexington, KY.

Andrade was crowned the Low Junior Jumper Champion with Quebec Star, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding.  The pair won two out of the three classes comprising the Low Junior Jumper division, including the $2,500 Low Junior Jumper Classic, to take the Championship title, as well as the accompanying cooler and impressive trophy.  He won the third class with Carboni, and also posted top three finishes in the division with Luky des Rocquelines and Casanova Junior.

Proving his talent extends far beyond the junior ranks, Andrade scored an exciting third-place finish in the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic on Saturday, May 11.  In a competitive field of 42 entries which included numerous Olympians, Andrade and Walter 61, a 12-year-old Sachsen-Anhaltiner gelding owned by Hollow Creek Farm, put in a double-clear performance.  Their jump-off time of 39.01 seconds was just over the winning time of 38.87 seconds set by United States Equestrian Team veteran Kent Farrington riding Zidane.  Argentina’s Ramiro Quintana finished second riding Largo with a time of 38.88 seconds.

Andrade also earned a number of impressive results in the Open Jumpers, winning two 1.30m classes aboard Boccaccio and Wilkina Lithya, respectively.  With Wilkina Lithya, Andrade also finished fifth in the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic on Sunday, May 12.  He also placed second in a $5,000 1.40m competition with Costa and ninth in a $5,000 1.45m with Crossfire 10.

Proving that no challenge is too great, Andrade also demonstrated that he has what it takes to develop up-and-coming horses.  Riding Reve du Paradis, an eight-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Andrade placed second in two of the 7 and 8-Year-Old Jumper classes offered.

Andrade was not the only Venezuelan achieving success at the Kentucky Spring Show.  His coach, Angel Karolyi, guided Indiana 127, owned by Hollow Creek Farm, to a fourth place finish in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, May 9.  From the starting field of 43 horses, Karolyi and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding were one of six horse/rider combinations to jump double-clear, stopping the clock in 42.78 seconds.  The class was won by another Venezuelan Team veteran, Pablo Barrios.  The three-time World Equestrian Games competitor guided the nine-year-old Zara Leandra, who he has been riding for exactly one year, to the winning time of 38.25 seconds.

A competitive show jumper in his native Venezuela, Andrade has made a name for himself since bursting onto the North American jumper scene a little over a year ago.  In 2012, he was named the Future Champions Leading Junior Jumper Rider during the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL, and, in 2013, earned the prestigious title of Leading Jumper Rider at the same competition.  Hollow Creek Farm of Aiken, SC, where Andrade trains with Karolyi and renowned horsewoman Andrea King, was named WEF’s Leading Jumper Owner for 2013, and King was named WEF’s Leading Jumper Trainer.

For more information on Hollow Creek Farm, a large training business focusing on both horses and riders, please visit www.hollowcreekfarms.com.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Pilot Season for FEI Nations Cup Dressage Series Begins This Week at Vidauban

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven heads the Swedish team for the opening leg of the FEI Nations Cup Dressage in Vidauban (FRA) next Friday. (Roland Thunholm/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 13 May 2013 – The Domain Equestre de Grands Pins, at Vidauban in the south-east of France, plays host to the opening leg of the much-anticipated pilot season for FEI Nations Cup Dressage next Friday, 17 May.

A total of five countries will field teams for this CDIO3* competition which will be followed by three further events over the coming months. The CDIO5* fixtures at Rotterdam (NED) and Aachen (GER) will stage legs on 20 and 27 June respectively, and the series will draw to a close at Hickstead CDIO3* (GBR) on Sunday 4 August.

The pilot project has been initiated in an effort to assess the attractiveness of this type of event to organisers, athletes, National Federations, spectators, the media and potential sponsors. If there is a positive evaluation at the conclusion of the 2013 season, then an official long-term series may be created.

Points

For this trial season, each FEI Nations Cup Dressage fixture must host either a Grand Prix or Grand Prix Freestyle competition in which the athletes can earn points towards the FEI Nations Cup Dressage Ranking. It has been left to the show organisers to decide which competition they would prefer to run, and while Vidauban, Rotterdam and Aachen have chosen to use the Grand Prix to decide the team result, Hickstead has opted for the phenomenally popular Freestyle to Music which continues to draw increasing numbers of new fans to the sport.

Each event is of equal standing, and the best two results for each nation over the four events will decide the overall result.

FEI World Rankings

A minimum of four teams will take part in each event, and National Federations must have at least four athletes on the FEI World Rankings list at time of entry. There is no maximum limit to the number of FEI Nations Cup Dressage events in which athletes and horses can take part, and organisers have the right to invite a limited number of additional home or foreign individual competitors.

Prize money for each event must be not less than €20,000 for the team classification (in addition to the standard prize money for individual classification) for CDIO 5*, €15,000 for CDIO 4* and €10,000 for CDIO 3*. If a team is eliminated it is not entitled to either prize money nor FEI Nations Cup points.

Buoyed Up

A team consists of a minimum of three and maximum of four athlete/horse combinations, and although the British come to Vidauban with just three in their side, this is a country that has been buoyed up by superb results over the past few seasons, including the spectacular performances of their team and individual gold-medal-winning partnership of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at the London 2012 Olympic Games last summer.

As elsewhere, the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the sport of Dressage in Britain has never been greater, and with only the top three scores counting towards the final team total, Kay Maxted (Privaldi), Sarah Milis (HP Frontier) and Daniel Watson (Fideramber) will be determined to make every move count.

The French side consists of Jacques Albeck (Collin 73), Claire Gosselin (Karamel de Lauture), Catherine Henriquet (Paradieszauber) and Karen Tebar (Florentino 47), while The Netherlands will be represented by Katja Gevers (Thriller), Danielle Heijkoop (Kingsley Siro), Stephanie Peters (Unlimited) and Laurens van Lieren (Hexagon’s Welnetta). Elizabeth Eversfield-Koch (Rokoko N) will fly the Swiss flag alongside Melanie Hofmann (GB Cazzago C), Gilles Ngovan (Solid Brown) and Hans Staub (Warbeau).

But the Swedish team looks particularly strong, with star performers Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven, third in the Grand Prix and fourth in the Freestyle at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final 2013 on home turf last month and triumphant in both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at Munich last weekend, and Minna Telde, who finished seventh and 10th in Gothenburg, heading up the side. Vilhelmson-Silfven brings Divertimento to Vidauban, while Telde rides Don Charly on a team that also includes Caroline Darcourt (Paridon Magi) and Jeanna Hogberg (Liza Minelli).

Fantastic Opportunity

Trond Asmyr, FEI Director Dressage and Para-Dressage, says: “This new FEI Nations Cup Dressage series will provide National Federations with a fantastic opportunity to train up new athletes for teams, and offers many more riders a chance to develop their experience and skills. It is very exciting, and a whole new concept, to have team Dressage running throughout the summer season, and Hickstead will present the first official team competition in Freestyle, so will be breaking new ground.”

“We are testing different models to find the way forward for our sport and to capitalise on the enormous popularity of the Freestyle in particular. We will learn a great deal over the coming months about the future of Dressage as a Nations Cup sport.”

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
Email: grania.willis@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 142

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

Pony Express Wins USPA Sun Cup at Grand Champions Polo Club; Pancho Eddy Named MVP

Pony Express’ Tomas Goti fights for the ball against defenders Brandon Phillips and Lucas Lalor with MVP Pancho Eddy coming in to help out. Photos by Scott Fisher.

WELLINGTON, FL – May 12, 2013 — Looking to finish strong the final three weeks of the spring season, Pony Express won its first tournament Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.

Pony Express jumped out to a three-goal advantage in the opening chukker, never relinquished its lead and went on to defeat Longfield, 13-9, in the championship final of the USPA Sun Cup.

Pancho Eddy, making his Grand Champions debut this season, played well on both ends of the field and was named Most Valuable Player.

It was Pony Express teammate Tomas Goti who convinced the Argentine 4-goaler to join the Pony Express lineup. Eddy and Goti have played together for several years and that on-field chemistry was evident against Longfield.

“We were very comfortable with each other in the game,” Eddy said. “Playing with Tomas makes getting the ball easy to go forward.

“The plan was to get in the lead early and hold on to it until the end,” Eddy said. “This is a good team and we are all friends so it’s always fun to play with them. Usually, I go back to Argentina to play but Tomas offered me this chance and it was nice. I have been playing all my life and I love it.”

Pony Express' Tomas Goti (4) tries to keep ball possession despite pressure from Longfield's Grant Ganzi
Pony Express’ Tomas Goti (4) tries to keep ball possession despite pressure from Longfield’s Grant Ganzi

Joining Eddy and Goti on the winning team was ageless team captain Bob Daniels and 17-year-old Wesley Finlayson filling in for Justin Daniels, who was spending Mother’s Day with his mother.

“I am very happy with the win,” Daniels said. “It was really nice to get the early lead. It gets your confidence up. When you are playing with a little bit of margin it always helps.

“Everyone played well, all three of them: Pancho, Tomas and Wes,” Daniels said. “I am very happy with my team and how they played today. Everybody was on today. The chemistry was good. I think our horses were good today.”

Longfield featured Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips, teenager Grant Ganzi and Hannah Buchan, presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers as the tournament’s Most Valuable Mom on Mother’s Day.

The one-two punch of Eddy and Goti frustrated Longfield, making its finals debut, for most of the game.

“There were parts of the game that got really competitive,” Eddy said. “We got a cushion lead and were able to play our game.”

Goti led scoring with five goals, Finlayson had four goals, Eddy added three and one goal was awarded on handicap.

Ganzi led Longfield’s scoring with four goals and Roldan had three. Buchan and Lucas Lalor each had one goal.

The 12-goal rated Pony Express team, buoyed by its horsepower, had a five-goal lead four different times (7-2, 9-4, 10-5, 11-6) during the game. Pony Express led 9-5 at the half.

“We are very happy to win,” Goti said. “I always play with Bob; Pancho is a good friend and very good pro player. Wesley played well today with us.

“We started quite strong and maintained the lead,” Goti said. “At the end they played better but we still controlled the game.”

Longfield lost Roldan, its 8-goaler, for the final two chukkers when he was forced to leave the game with an injured rib. Lalor went in for Roldan in the final two chukkers.

Longfield's Grant Ganzi takes possession of the ball
Longfield’s Grant Ganzi takes possession of the ball

Roldan aggravated the rib injury while playing with Phillips in Saturday’s Mexico vs. The Rest of the World game in Mexico City, which Mexico won 12-11 in overtime. Roldan, who returned on an early morning flight with Phillips, was still bothered by the injury during Sunday’s game.

Xbox, ridden by Grant Ganzi, was named Best Playing Pony.

In round robin action earlier in the day, ELG defeated Palm House, 5-3, in a hotly-contested final round robin game, that featured two technical fouls, to win the subsidiary title.

Teenager Juancito Bollini and Carlucho Arellano each had two goals, Lucas Lalor added one and Avery Chapman played well defensively for ELG. Glenn Straub led Palm House with two goals.

In the other two round robin games, KIG and Palm House tied, 3-3 and ELG defeated KIG, 3-2.

The 2013 spring circuit at Grand Champions continues to be one of the most competitive in tournament history with four different team champions.

The other three tournament winners were ELG/Psycho Bunny (Palm City Open), Power Horse (Polo Gear Invitational) and Audi (USPA Spring Challenge).

The remaining two Grand Champions spring tournaments are the May 17-19 USPA Eastern Challenge and May 24-27 Memorial by Piaget.

GRAND CHAMPIONS SPRING SCHEDULE

May 17-19: USPA Eastern Challenge

May 24-27: The Memorial by Piaget

GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB

WHERE: On the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington.

INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget. Everyone is welcome to watch polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.

Sharon Robb for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Meagan Nusz and Dynamo Master $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Meagan Nusz and Dynamo.

Lexington, KY – May 12, 2013 – It took precise riding and a talented mount to be at the top of the standings during today’s $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. Richard Jeffery’s challenging track yielded only two clear rounds, but set the stage for a speedy jump-off between Meagan Nusz and Reed Kessler. Nusz had all the answers aboard Dynamo to capture the top honors. The duo clocked in just fractions ahead of Kessler, who was also double clear over the short course with Mika to place second.

The first round course for this week’s highlight event bested all but two of the 40 competitors that gathered at the Rolex Stadium. Two of the most challenging areas proved to be a vertical-oxer double combination bending line to an open water, that was followed by another oxer, as well as a triple bar-vertical-oxer triple combination to a steady vertical. Meagan Nusz was the second rider on course and the first to advance to the jump-off with Dynamo, owned by Amalaya Investments of Houston, TX.

“The course was just really technical,” stated Nusz. “The triple combination got a lot of people. I think that was more of mental game than anything else because you had to come in steady, when normally you want to ride at the triple bar, which was A, but you had to come in a little bit slow because the two was really short. Then you also had to ride out because the one stride was normal, but you had to ride the back rail. In your mind, you just had to stay calm and ride each fence individually.”

The only other clear effort came from Reed Kessler of Lexington, KY, riding her own gelding Mika. “I thought it was a great course,” she expressed. “It’s a $75,000 grand prix, so it should be difficult enough. It was the course designer’s job to set an appropriate course, and the fact that only two of us rode well enough to clear it is our fault, not his. I was a fan of today’s course; I did not think it was too hard.”

Both Kessler and Nusz managed to produce a second clear effort during the tiebreaker, separated by only fractions of a second. Nusz was the first to return to the ring and she pulled out all the stops with Dynamo. After finding the perfect distance to the first fence they tried to leave a stride out in the rollback to the next oxer, but when Dynamo backed off they chipped at the large fence. Dynamo still managed to clear the back rail, and Nusz sped to the remaining obstacles, leaving a stride out at the last oxer and breaking the beam at 35.97 seconds.

“Kent Farrington and I walked the rollback to have a reference number so I didn’t turn in too tight or too wide,” explained Nusz. “When we walked it, we did an eight, and that’s probably what we should have done, but I thought if I caught a good vertical I could get a seven. When I caught the vertical my eye picked up on the seven, but he kind of backed off the brush, and then I was just wrong. I thought he was going to leave long and he ended up adding. But he left it up and jumped it without a problem. After that jump, I really made sure I was on it. I tried to be smooth in the middle because that was the tricky part, but I trusted him and let him go a little bit at the last couple fences. In the jump-off you have to do whatever you can to get the win.”

Reed Kessler and Mika
Reed Kessler and Mika

Kessler was prepared to answer the challenge Nusz presented when she returned riding Mika. They were right on the pace, but added a stride before the skinny vertical. The pair did leave all the rails intact though, and crossed the finish line at 36.30 seconds, just fractions off of Nusz time to settle for second place.

“I saw the seven in the first roll back, and I could have done it, but I ended up doing the eight after watching Meagan,” noted Kessler. ” Then Mika kicked up a little bit in my leg as I was turning to the skinny oxer, and I ended up doing one more, but for him that was a very fast round. For him to really put the speed on like that and still keep his form was fantastic for him. I’m really happy with him.”

Blythe Marano and Urban, owned by Riverview Farm of Franklin, TN, were the only other horse and rider combination that were able to leave all the fences in place, but they were unable to do so in the time allowed, finishing with one time fault for third. The fastest of the four faulters was Ramiro Quintana of Argentina on St. Bride’s Farm’s Whitney, stopping the clock at 74.46 seconds after lowering the height of the vertical in the middle of the triple combination.

Quitana was followed closely by Canada’s Ian Millar riding Star Power, owned by Team Works of Perth, Ontario. The pair also had an error in the triple combination. Nusz’ trainer Kent Farrington rounded out the top six aboard Zafira, owned by Haity McNerney of Lake Forest, IL, having a rail after the triple combination line before heading home to the gate.

Tonight’s victory marks the biggest win in Nusz’ young career. “I am super excited,” she smiled.  “To only have two clean and go against Reed who is one of the top riders in the world, it was great to go clean and then pull off the win.”

Meagan Nusz and Dynamo
Meagan Nusz and Dynamo

Dynamo and Nusz have been together for three years, and she began riding him in the young jumper classes, before eventually showing in the Amateur-Owner divisions and now the Open Jumpers. “We’ve done everything,” she said. “He’s taught me a lot and I’ve taught him a lot and we have a really good bond. I am an amateur moving up, and it’s nice to have a horse that gives you confidence. He is a jumper and can get you out of sticky situations, but I never go in the ring feeling overwhelmed or over faced because I know that I have him.”

Now, Nusz and her trainer Kent Farrington will aim for Spruce Meadows before traveling to Europe for the summer. “Right now I am focusing 100% on riding. We’re going to Spruce and Europe this summer. It will be my first time in Europe and we will be going to Spain and The Netherlands. I am really looking forward to it. I try to set goals that are achievable, so the World Cup Qualifiers and maybe a Nations Cup in the next two years would be great. This year I want to just start jumping some bigger classes and get the feel for it.”

The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows were the perfect stop for Nusz before heading north. “I love it here; it’s so peaceful and open,” she expressed. “They have classes for everyone from the young jumpers to grand prixs. You can’t pick a better venue. It’s a fun horse show to come to and the management puts a lot of effort into it.”

The jumper action at the Kentucky Horse Park will continue next week with the Kentucky Spring Classic, scheduled for May 15-19, 2013. Highlight events include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington on Saturday, and Sunday’s $20,000 Bluegrass Classic.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Todd Minikus and Uraguay Speed to Victory in $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix

Todd Minikus and Uraguay. Photos – © The Book LLC.

North Salem, NY – May 12, 2013 – Todd Minikus and Legacy Stables’ Uraguay won the highlight event of the first week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix presented by Suncast. They were fastest in the jump-off to beat Darragh Kerins (IRL) on E-Muze Yek and Christine McCrea (USA) with Romantovich Take One. Along with top show jumping, there were Grand Hunter Champions awarded, as well as Classics for the Medium and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. This concluded the first week of competition at Old Salem Farm. Week two runs May 14-19.

There were 47 entries in today’s grand prix and they jumped a course designed by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge. Nine found the way to a clear round to advance to the jump-off.

Minikus said of the course, “The way it was playing out, it was jumping plenty difficult. The triple bar to vertical-vertical combination was tricky. Green horses didn’t jump that that well. There were some unfortunate (rounds for) horses that I expected to go well, an odd four faults here and there. It ended up being enough clear, and ended up being an almost perfect course for the course designer.”

The early pacesetter in the jump-off was Christine McCrea of East Windsor, CT, on Romantovich Take One, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables. They won Friday’s Welcome Stake and set a very fast pace of 39.06 seconds that would hold up for third place in today’s class.

Three horses later it was Minikus and Uraguay, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Nairobi x Colino, who were speedy through the first part of the jump-off, but it was a long run across the field to the Suncast oxer that had the crowd holding their breath. Uraguay gave a great effort, made two more rollbacks, and galloped to the final oxer to stop the timers in 37.36 seconds for the win.

“Boy, he sure gave some good efforts today,” Minikus said with a smile. “That was lightning fast in the jump-off. He was really fast.”

Minikus said he watched McCrea in the jump-off. “For sure with that horse, she’s always very fast,” he acknowledged. “She blistered the course the other day. I legitimately thought that maybe we were all going for the red ribbon and Chris might have closed the door on us. But I took a pretty good chance and long run to the Suncast jump, and I think that’s where the difference was.”

Following Minikus, Leslie Howard and Tic Tac, owned by Jane Clark, were clear in 40.33 seconds for fourth place.

Darragh Kerins and E-Muze Yek, owned by Kerins and Maarten Huygens, were the only others to contest Minikus’ time. Another big grey gelding like Uraguay, E-Muze Yek thundered around the course but couldn’t quite catch the time. Their time of 38.87 seconds was fast enough for second place, the same red ribbon that they received in Friday’s Welcome Stake.

Kerins said afterward, “I just didn’t know how he would handle it after going so quick on Friday, if he was just going to be a little bit rushed today. I thought he handled it very good. The jump-off today was just crazy fast. I saw Chrissy go on the screen and I thought she was unbeatable. It was just so, so, so quick. I didn’t get to see Todd’s round; I just saw his time. After that I didn’t know what to think. But I thought the horse was going good and I was going to give it a shot. That’s probably about as fast as I could go, at this stage in his career. But I’m delighted with him.”

Kerins has ridden the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by For Pleasure x Carthago off and on since he was imported as a six-year-old by Norman Dello Joio from Belgium. He and Maarten Huygens bought him in the middle of the winter circuit.

“He’s progressed really quickly. We’ve thrown him in there,” he smiled. “In Florida he was good; he placed in a couple 1.50m (classes). My other good mare Lisona got sold, so he really had to step up.”

Kerins added, “Well done to Todd. He had a great round. The numbers are huge and the courses were tough courses. He’ll jump again here next week, have a break, and then go to Spruce Meadows. Actually this was good to see how he’ll handle grass before he goes up there, and he seems to handle it pretty good.”

Minikus started riding Uraguay toward the end of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival after the horse showed successfully in Europe with Dutch rider Albert Zoer and in the United States with Mario Deslauriers.

This was a great win for Minikus, who gave credit to the people around Uraguay. “I’d like to thank everybody at Legacy and Sarah Middleton, who really does all the work. She even flats him before the class. I just get on and ride him in the class, so most of the credit goes to Sarah. And I thank the rest of my sponsors, Purina, Charles Owen, and VitaFlex. Without all of the support and one big team, you can’t do it.”

Minikus was presented with a pewter cheese plate for his win today. Before the grand prix, the smallest riders at the show gathered on the grand prix field for the Dyer Equestrian Leadline class. All of the kids participating were congratulated with blue ribbons and prizes.

Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics

After a week of final exams at Harvard University, Katie Dinan came to Old Salem Farm ready to get back on her horse and in the ring. She and her trusty partner of five years, Vancouver, galloped to victory on the grass Grand Prix Field in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. She and Vancouver, a 15-year-old gelding by Voltaire II, beat a list of 33 competitors and five in the jump-off after they finished in the fastest time of 41.24 seconds. Second place went to Michael Hughes on Luxina as the only other double clear in 42.76 seconds. Finishing in 39.55 seconds, but with four faults, Lillie Keenan and Vanhattan were third.

Katie Dinan and Vancouver
Katie Dinan and Vancouver

Dinan came in just for today’s class. She explained, “I love this horse show; it’s one of my favorites of all year. When I realized I had exams these two weeks, I was really upset because I always look forward to coming here. My horse felt like he’s jumping the best he has in a while. I think that really speaks about the venue. He’s impressed with this place. To be able to gallop around the big field is really great.”

Dinan showed indoors at the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in Sweden in April, so it took a bit of an adjustment to the big grass field. “I think when the ring is this big, you have to make sure to keep your pace everywhere. When you’re in an indoor, everything comes up much quicker. Here, especially in the first round, you can have time faults without even feeling slow. In the jump-off today, I planned on being very prompt to the first few jumps. There was a little bit of an inside angle that I took to the third oxer. One of the nice things about a big grass field, you have more range of stride. They can really get on a big stride.”

Since he is 15 years old, Dinan is keeping Vancouver’s show schedule light. “It’s nice though that for when he does show, he steps up to the plate like this and to bring home a big win is really fun,” she acknowledged. “This is a great venue for him. I won my first grand prix ever, on him two years ago here. This horse show has always been very special for me.”

She added with a smile, “I didn’t have a Mother’s Day gift, so I was hoping one of my horses could bring one home! Vancouver did that.”

The winner of today’s $7,500 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by The Manocherian Family was 15-year-old Kira Kerkorian of East Hampton, NY. She rode Leopold 221, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding by Lordanos, to the top of the 48-entry class. There were 13 that made it through to the jump-off, and the best pair of Kerkorian and Leopold stopped the timers in 40.703 seconds. Second place went to Taylor Burns on Cordero Zaffiro in 40.840 seconds, while Wesley Newlands and Vertigo were third in 41.198 seconds.

For her win today, Kerkorian was also presented with a $500 Der Dau gift certificate.

It was an auspicious start for Kerkorian and Leopold (right) as it’s their first show together, having only been together for a month. “I’ve been learning him. I just wanted to go clear and have a nice, solid round so I could maybe move up to the Highs later on,” Kerkorian said. “I want to take it slow with him because I want to build a good partnership. I think today was great.”

She said of Leopold, “He’s very fast actually. He pulls me to the jump, which is great, because I like something in my hand. He’s super brave; he just wants to go and win. He has his own motor.”

“It feels amazing,” Kerkorian said of her victory. “I really wasn’t expecting it, but I’m so happy.”

In this morning’s 7/8 Year Old Young Jumper Qualifier sponsored by Watershed Agricultural Council, Jeffery Welles rode Bilion to victory for owner Triton Ventures Farms Inc. Darragh Kenny and Oakland Ventures LLC’s Cequila was second, and Penny Brennan on Class Act, owned by Jacquelyn Ventorino, was third.

Grand Champions Reign in Hunter Divisions

Lillie Keenan and Parkland
Lillie Keenan and Parkland

The Grand Junior Hunter Champion was Parkland, owned by Jennifer Gates and ridden by Lillie Keenan. The pair was champion in the Small Junior Hunters and placed fifth, second, and second over fences and won the under saddle. The reserve champion in the Small Junior Hunter division was Wonderland, ridden by Morgan Ward for John Skinner. Keenan was also named Best Junior Rider on a Horse.

Keenan has been paired with Parkland since the beginning of January and they had incredible success at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Keenan said, “After WEF, where he was really successful consistently, we gave him a little break. He went to South Carolina and had a nice vacation for a few weeks, just to get time away from a show. I think it’s good for them to get away and relax. This was his first show starting up again in the spring. He was fantastic. We did what we always do. He’s not a difficult horse to prepare, and he wants to win.”

One of their wins this week was in the Handy class. Keenen called Parkland “really game” and said that he has learned to be more handy and adjusted to her style. “I like to do tight turns and really gallop at the long approaches, to really test the boundaries,” she explained. “He’s gotten used to me and the way that I like to ride him. He’s really learned to go with it. He’s happy to do whatever I ask him. He’s really good at trot fences too, so it’s nice to have a horse that you can really spin back to that. He’s gotten really handy.”

Keenan plans to show Parkland at the Devon Horse Show. “He is really the kind of horse that you can count on for special events, so hopefully that works out for us. He’s fancy, and everything you’d want in your ride to go to Devon,” she remarked.

The Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division awarded the championship to Catwoman, ridden by Ailish Cunniffe for Missy Clark, and Sophie Michaels and Further Lane Farm’s Mahalo picked up the reserve championship.

Bishonen, ridden by David Oberkircher for Southlands Farms LLC was named champion in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, while Cameo, ridden by Mallory Edens for Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo, was the reserve champion.

The Grand Pony Hunter Championship went to Isport, ridden by Morgan Ward for Redfield Farm. They won all four over fences classes and were third in the under saddle to win the championship in the Green Pony Hunters. The reserve champion in the division was Pride, ridden and owned by Francesca Dildabanian.

Fifteen-year-old Ward is from Milford, NJ, and started riding Isport this winter when they started the 11-year-old mare in Ocala. Competing in both the Green and Large Pony Hunters, Ward described, “She goes like one of my junior hunters. She’s very scopey and has a big stride. She’s always honest, with whatever you put her at.”

Imported from Europe by Emil Spadone, Isport had not competed in hunter classes before coming to the U.S., but she learned immediately. “She started out like this and she’s never changed. It’s really weird. We never get (horses like) these!” Ward said with a laugh.

Of the grand championship, Ward said, “It’s nice to have. It means a lot to me, especially on a green pony. It’s nice to have that from schooling her all week and it’s proven in the ring.”

The Small Pony Hunter division, sponsored by Gotham North, awarded the championship to Rolling Stone, owned by Further Lane Farm and ridden by Madeline Schaefer, while the reserve champion was Coco Fath and Blueberry Hill, owned by Jordyn Rose Freedman.

Mimi Gochman swept the Medium Pony Hunters with David Gochman’s True Love as champion and Truly Noble, owned by Pegasus Show Stable Inc., as reserve champion. For her great success this weekend, Gochman was named as the Best Junior Rider on a Pony.

In the Large Pony Hunter division, Pride and Francesca Dildabanian picked up their second championship of the week. Daisy Farish and her pony Beau Rivage were reserve champions.

The Grand Children’s Hunter Champion was They Say, ridden and owned by 16-year-old Page Soper of Southport, CT. They were awarded the Hunter Horse Challenge Trophy. The pair was the Children’s Hunter 15-17 champion. The reserve championship went to Qrocus Landais, ridden and owned by Sabrina Kalimian.

Soper and They Say won all three classes in their division along with the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Hunter Classic. Coming into the second round, they were leading the class. “I was a little nervous, but I knew I could trust him,” Soper said.

They have been together for a year and have competed at shows like Fairfield, Vermont Summer Festival, and Old Salem. This was their first Grand Champion award. “I’m really happy. He was so good. My trainer, Jenni Martin-Rudaz, was so helpful. He’s smooth and listens well,” she noted. Soper hopes to go to the Marshall & Sterling Finals later this year.

The Children’s Hunter 14 & Under championship went to Allura, ridden and owned by Samantha Cohen. For her top riding, Cohen was named Best Child Rider on a Horse. Reserve champion was Troubador, ridden and owned by Daisy Farish.

The Best Children’s Rider on a Pony Award went to Eliza Altman, who was champion in the Children’s Hunter Pony Large division. They were given a plate donated by Pegasus Therapeutic Riding. The reserve champion was Celtics Creek Irish Belle, ridden by Siena Vasan for Peacock Ridge LLC. In the Children’s Hunter Pony Small/Medium division, Beaucatcher, ridden by Sienna Pilla for owner Abigail Blankenship, won the championship and Canterbrook Prince Charming, ridden by Kathryn McCarthy and owned by Joe Currais, was reserve champion.

For full results, please visit www.horseshowsonline.com. The second week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show continues on May 14-19.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows celebrate its 31st year in 2013 and offer two weeks of exceptional equestrian sport on May 7-12 and May 14-19 at one of the nation’s premier and newly renovated equestrian facilities, Old Salem Farm, in North Salem, New York. Old Salem’s beautifully manicured grounds, list of elite horses and riders, and fantastic social gatherings draw spectators from Westchester County and beyond to watch horses and ponies of every size compete for almost $500,000 in prize money. The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows feature over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, bringing together top competitors, including Olympic show jumpers, from across the country. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net/mayhome.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Lillie Keenan Rides to Top of $5,000 Equitation Classic

Lillie Keenan and Clearway. Photos – © The Book LLC.

North Salem, NY – May 11, 2013 – Capturing her third major equitation win of the year, 15-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York, NY, and Heritage Farm’s Clearway stood in the winner’s circle for the $5,000 Equitation Classic presented by AIG/Kaplow Insurance Agency with Heritage Farm. The event was the highlight of the Saturday schedule during the first week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show. The first week of competition concludes tomorrow with the biggest event of the week, the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix presented by Suncast, at 3 pm. The second week of the Spring Shows continues on May 14-19.

Keenan, who is no stranger to winning big equitation classes, moved up in the second round of competition for victory. She and Clearway, an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding by Cheenook, had a first round score of 92, and with a forward and precise ride in the second round, the judges awarded them with a score of 96. Her total of 188 was more than enough for first place.

The top 12 from the first round were asked back for a second round of competition over a course designed by Guilherme Jorge. A tight time allowed asked more from competitors, as did the higher than usual equitation jumps. Michael Hughes and Zagreb set the winning score in the first round of 94, and their score of 90 in the second round gave them a total of 184 for second place.

Mattias Tromp and Vosquinus had an 83 in the first round and improved to an 86 in the second for a third place total of 169. Allison Toffolon rode Class Action to scores of 86 and 82 for a total of 168 and fourth place. The top four riders in the class were awarded jackets from Beval Ltd.

After winning two big equitation classes during the winter, Keenan has added yet another accomplishment to her impressive career. This is the second year in a row that Keenan has won this class. However, this year she had to make an adjustment when the class was moved to the sand Annex Ring due to inclement weather.

She explained, “I changed horses. I was going to ride Levistano, but I used Clearway instead. I rode him in the Medal and Maclay today in the other ring and he won both of those, so he was ready. He probably would have been fine out on the grass, but I’m used to riding him in a sand ring. There wasn’t an open water and it was similar to a Washington jumper phase, so he is the type of horse I would choose for these types of classes. I felt very comfortable. I love being out on the field and unfortunately it was raining, but they still made it a great class and I had a lot of fun.”

Keenan was one of few who were able to make it under the time allowed for the class, and it was something that gave her pause when studying the course. “The time was very tight,” she conceded. “I don’t ride Clearway in many timed events. I wasn’t totally sure if I was going to be able to easily make it under. I knew I was going to have to work for it. His stride is gimongous – it needs its own word! He can really hit a gallop and go. There’s nothing to worry about with him. I knew I could trust him and ask him to extend, even in the turns, because he’s so well trained. With the time, I thought just hit a gallop and keep it.”

Clearway showed beautiful form and soared over the higher than usual equitation jumps. Keenan said that he was impressed by the jumps, but his scope and ability made it easy for him. “The first few big oxers in the schooling area I had to readjust because I wasn’t used to being pitched that much,” she smiled. “They built this course bigger than most of the courses I do on him. It doesn’t matter for him, but it does wake him up a little bit. It’s not in a bad way; he just really uses himself.”

After another win, Keenan said it gives her “a lot of confidence” going into the prestigious Devon Horse Show. “Last year I won this class (and) I had a great Devon in the equitation. Luckily I’ll be able to continue to use Clearway. I know him very well now. Hopefully we continue on this streak,” she said.

Jumper Classics Award Winners

Jennifer Rowland of Hoboken, NJ, found the winning path in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic sponsored by Douglas Elliman Real Estate with Lux Lovely. In their first Adult Jumper Classic together, the pair beat 36 other entries with a speedy time of 32.945 seconds for victory. Lexi Maounis and Whisper placed second in 33.145 seconds, while Laura Sexton and Jessy du Brea had a time of 33.676 seconds for third place.

Jennifer Rowland and Lux Lovely
Jennifer Rowland and Lux Lovely

Rowland, who works full-time in New York City, was able to take time off work yesterday to prepare for today’s classic. She has only ridden Lux Lovely for a month and this was their second show together. “I ride with Chris Kappler and he finds the best horses and has a really great training program. It just all comes together. She’s super honest and she’s a game horse. She is forgiving, which is good for an amateur horse, but at the same time she makes me ride her and doesn’t let me get away with everything,” she described.

She said of her round, “This is the biggest we’ve jumped together. We had our game plan and went in and executed it well. It’s my first adult classic to win, so it’s just gratifying. I took my first vacation day off work this year yesterday to be here, so it was great to have that pay off.”

The $5,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic was an exciting class. Out of 37 entries, it was 14-year-old Brianne Link of East Islip, NY, on Zycarla Z who galloped to victory. They won with a clear round in 37.683 seconds. Kira Kerkorian rode Rashmo Z to second place, double clear in 39.090 seconds. With a time of 40.710 seconds, Lilly Ulrich and Up Stream placed third.

With just a short amount of time under their belt, Link and her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Zandor Z made the best of it with their first classic victory together. Link trains with Jeffrey Welles and noted, “I’ve been riding Zycarla for a month. Jeffrey gives me the best lessons. Everything that you would use in the ring, we practice at home. It all worked out perfectly here in the ring today. The first round, she was amazing. She jumped so high that I got loose over a few jumps. In the jump-off, we just really ate them up. We made some great turns back and she got down the lines perfectly.”

Of her victory, she said, “It means the world. I was in the Children’s Jumpers for three years and I was so scared to move up. She helps me with my confidence a lot. She has done the grand prix with Jeffrey and knowing that she’s capable of doing it and taking care of me makes me feel better. She is like a mommy; she takes care of me!”

The $5,000 Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic had 31 entries. Catherine Tyree of Chicago, IL, rode Wetter to the win in a time of 38.79 seconds. Kenzie Snyder and Arturo held the early lead in the class and finished second in 39.13 seconds. For Beauty, ridden by Hayley Carlson, was third in 40.11 seconds.

Tyree started riding Wetter, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Stetter, just over a year ago. They normally show in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, but after a break following the winter circuit, she wanted to get Wetter show-ready again. “He felt amazing. He’s ready; he could have jumped the Highs this week,” Tyree said.

She said of Wetter and their jump-off round, “He’s a pretty versatile horse; I can do a lot of different courses on him. He’s very rangy. I can leave out, I can add, he’s scopey, he’s careful. I felt very comfortable going into the ring with him today. He’s quick across the ground naturally, but doing the inside turn from the first to second jump and then back to the third, I think I caught a little time off and let him go. I did four down the last line, which some people were doing. I trusted him there and he was great.”

In the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic, Daisy Farish and Ornella R raced through the jump-off with no faults to win the class out of 30 entries with a time of 33.510 seconds. Second place went to Tye Donaldson on Dunja in 34.700 seconds. Alexandra Murphy and Sante were third in 34.809 seconds.

Twelve-year-old Daisy Farish, of Versailles, KY, is known as a top pony rider. She started riding in the Low Children’s Jumpers at the beginning of the year and moved up to the Children’s Jumpers with Ornella R, a 14-year-old Holsteiner mare by Lorentin I. This is their first big classic win together.

“I like doing the jumpers. She is really nice to have in the barn and is actually really friendly. (In the ring), she’s really fast, but she comes back to you. She’s really fun,” Farish said. “She did the Low Amateurs for a while before I got her. It feels good to win. I think I’ll do the Children’s for a while and keep learning. I do a lot of ponies, so it’s a lot different and really exciting. The jumpers are always different.”

Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Is Crowned

Lauren Cechini and Graffiti
Lauren Cechini and Graffiti

Lauren Cechini of Flemington, NJ, and her horse Graffiti, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding, swept awards in the Amateur-Owner Hunters. Their championship in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3” Hunters led to the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship. In their division, they won a class and received three second places over fences, and they were fourth under saddle. The reserve champion was Bozeman, ridden by Kathleen Oberkircher, who placed first, third, and fourth over fences and second under saddle.

Cechini described Graffiti as “kind of like a little scooter.” She continued, “You can maneuver and put him wherever you want him. His jump is incredible. He really cracks his back over the jumps and he gives it his all every single time he goes in the show ring.”

She added with a laugh, “He kind of has a funny personality. He likes to rest his head on my shoulder when we wait for the jog. He gets anxious for treats after he works. He will eat anything; he tries to grab all the bushes at the horse show!”

Cechini and Graffiti paired together in September where they won in their first time out at the Maryland Horse and Pony Show. They continued through December, but a slight injury and recovery time for Graffiti set them back this winter. This week was their first time back in the show ring this year.

“He’s been great at home,” Cechini said. “I set goals for myself and try to hit those goals, like keeping my eyes up and my hands in front of me, and to be consistent. We did that and I was very pleased with that. I didn’t go in expecting (a Grand Championship) to happen, but it was a great thing to happen. I was very happy. Graffiti got an extra carrot, so he liked that!”

She added, “It was really exciting to win here. He’s such an amazing horse, and (my trainers) Jen and Rolf (Bauersachs) are wonderful. I’ve been with them for seven years. I just graduated college and Graffiti (below right) was my first horse since the juniors. I’ve never been grand champion before, so it was really special. I have to thank our vet Haynes Stevens and farrier Chuck Simons, and Jen and Rolf. That’s why we were able to be so good when we came back.”

In the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over 3’3” Hunter division, Sandra Epstein and Catamount finished as champions. They received three second places, a third, and a fourth. Bombay and Lyn Pedersen, who placed first, second, third, and fourth in the division, were reserve champions.

The Amateur-Owner 36 & Over 3’6” Hunter division saw Becky Gochman sweep the championship awards. She and Whatever finished as champions after they captured two firsts and two thirds. Gochman rode Empire to the reserve championship. They won two classes, got two fourths, and a sixth in the division. For her win this week, Gochman received a $500 gift certificate from Hunt Ltd.

Moshi continued his winning ways from earlier this week as he captured the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’6” Hunter championship with owner/rider Stephanie Riggio. They placed first and picked up three second places in the division. Sienna and Lexi Maounis were reserve champions and placed first, first, third, and fifth.

The first week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show concludes tomorrow with many different awards for hunters and jumpers, including the Grand Pony, Grand Junior, and Grand Children’s Hunter Champion awards, the $7,500 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic (Annex Ring), $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic (Grand Prix Field), and the highlight event of the week, the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix presented by Suncast at 3 pm in the Grand Prix Field. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net/mayhome and for full results, please visit www.horseshowsonline.com.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows celebrate its 31st year in 2013 and offer two weeks of exceptional equestrian sport on May 7-12 and May 14-19 at one of the nation’s premier and newly renovated equestrian facilities, Old Salem Farm, in North Salem, New York. Old Salem’s beautifully manicured grounds, list of elite horses and riders, and fantastic social gatherings draw spectators from Westchester County and beyond to watch horses and ponies of every size compete for almost $500,000 in prize money. The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows feature over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, bringing together top competitors, including Olympic show jumpers, from across the country. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net/mayhome.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Shawn Casady and Stars Go Blue Score $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Victory

Shawn Casady and Stars Go Blue – Photo By: Emily Riden.

Lexington, KY – May 11, 2013 – Saturday evening at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show kicked off with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Rolex Stadium. It marked the first event in the seven-part series presented by Hallway Feeds during the spring and summer, and at the conclusion of the series the Leading Rider Awards for the Series will be presented. Last year’s winner of the Junior Rider Award Shawn Casady has taken the early lead in the series after winning this evening’s class aboard Stars Go Blue, owned by Marigot Bay Farm of Dover, MA. The duo earned scores of 87 and 90 during the two round class to lead the victory gallop.

Bobby Murphy built an 11 obstacle course for the first round of tonight’s event set at 3′ with four 3’6″ option fences. There was a two stride line as well as a bending line and multiple rollbacks. One of the options included a large brush and many of the fences were decorated to imitate natural obstacles a rider would experience when hunting. The top 12 scoring horse and rider combinations were invited to return for the handy round, which also had four options as well as a trot fence and multiple inside turns to showcase handiness.

Kelley Farmer claimed an early lead with Grayon, owned by Jay Golding of Gordonsville, VA, after scoring an 89 during the first round. They were the last to return in the handy round, delivering a flawless trip until the very last fence which they met a bit deep, resulting in a score of 78. Their total was good enough for the fourth place award.

Havens Schatt jumped up in the standings aboard Kindle, owned by R. Bruce Duchossois of Aiken, SC. The duo had a smooth first round that received an 80 and was ranked 11th. They really showcased their brilliance during the handy round, taking all the inside options for a score of 88 that eventually picked up the third place award.

Jennifer Hannan and veteran mount As Always, owned by Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL, were in top form for tonight’s event. They also had a solid first round effort, receiving a score of 83 from the judges that had them ranked eighth. With smooth inside turns and very nice trot jump the duo’s efforts was honored with a score of 86 to capture the second place prize.

The best of the best proved to be young rider Shawn Casady with Stars Go Blue. During the first round, Casady piloted the talented gelding to a score of 87 that was ranked third. They returned for the handy round ready to perform and were smooth through all of the turns and jumped crisply over each fence. The judges announced a score of 90 for the excellent performance, vaulting them to the top of the leader board to claim the winning honors.

“I’ve been riding Stars Go Blue for almost two years,” noted Casady. “He’s always been a trusty mount and I’ve always been able to rely on him during these kinds of events. He’s very straight forward and he’s very experienced so he just wants you to trust him and let him do his job.”

Casady continued, “During the handy I just wanted to make sure to find all of the jumps and make sure he had his eye on the tall brush, that was really the only big question, everything else was pretty straight forward. The course was really nice, and I think everyone had a good time.”

The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards will present a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the seven classes that make up the series. The amateur rider and junior rider accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Kentucky National Horse Show on September 21, 2013.

Last year, Casady was the recipient of the Junior Rider Award for his excellent results throughout the series. “I really like the series,” he expressed. “Hopefully things will keep going well, because that’s a great way to end the summer.”

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides the opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advances. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the Formula for Success.

For more information on Hallway Feeds, please visit www.hallwayfeeds.com.

The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Central Equipment, Alfagreen Supreme, Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, Caddel Equine Therapy Center, KER Sport Horse Nutrition, The Tack Shop of Lexington, Turf Town Properties, Trouw Nutrition and PNC Bank.

Tomorrow’s hunter events will include championship and reserve championship awards in the Junior Hunter and Children’s Hunter divisions. Next week, riders will return to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Spring Classic, with the second $5,000 Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby scheduled for Saturday evening.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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