Tag Archives: Geoffrey Hesslink

Hesslink Continues Winning Ways; Stovel Takes USHJA National Hunter Derby

Photo: Geoffrey Hesslink and Cadoretto.

West Palm Beach, FL (January 30, 2018) – It was a day for the chromey chestnuts during the second week of Hunter Derbies on the Palm Beach Series, as Geoffrey Hesslink and Cadoretto once again topped The Ridge’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, and Patricia Stovel and Pancaspe rode to victory in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. With both classes held on Friday, January 26 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, a healthy group of spectators and trainers gathered to watch both the afternoon National class and evening International class, while full divisions of hunters, jumpers, and equitation classes ran from Wednesday – Sunday at Jim Brandon.

Hesslink continued to build on his already impressive hunter resume with a second win in The Ridge’s International Hunter Derby. Under the guidance of trainer Andre Dignelli of Heritage farm, he and Cadoretto, known around the barn as Cad, topped both rounds of the night class, successfully tackling all of the questions asked by course designer Archer Bailey. “He is just so honest,” said Hesslink. “Anything I ask of him, he does it; any mistake I make, he covers for me. Going into the handy I began to doubt my plan, which was to take an ambitious line to one of the larger options. But that is his better lead and as usual he did it without hesitation and was absolutely perfect. Surprisingly, I think he was even better this time than the last time [at The Ridge].”

As for the next steps, Hesslink says he has no intention of stopping now. “We will probably do the Derby next week in the International arena at WEF, and the one at Deerridge as well,” he stated. “I really love The Ridge and their shows because of the facility and the quality of the courses and atmosphere. It feels really special to show under the lights, and I think Cad definitely enjoys and jumps better in this atmosphere. Of course, we will plan to come back for the last of The Ridge’s Hunter Derbies in mid-March.”

Earlier in the day, a mare that could be Cadoretto’s stunt double worked the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, coming out on top with Patty Stovel in the irons. The 10-year-old American-bred Hanoverian is fresh off her first shows with Stovel in the 3’3″ Pre Green Hunters in November, where she also won a Derby in Ohio and was champion in Ocala. Owned by Virginia Bartholomew, Pancaspe’s somewhat green status didn’t slow her down a bit over the National course.

“She hasn’t done too many horse shows,” said Stovel of the chestnut mare, “but she has always been just so straightforward and easy, even as a pre green horse. After our good results in Ohio and Ocala, we decided to venture down to Wellington for a few shows and these are a perfect match, both for her and so her owner could be on hand to see her progress. I didn’t want to be super handy with her, as she is still pre green, but we just focused on turning and always looking towards the next jump.”

As a veteran of the hunter jumper ring, Stovel’s history with The Ridge stretches back to founder Nona Garson’s days with Olympic mount Rhythmical, and she also frequents their spring, summer, and fall shows in New Jersey. “I’ve been coming to The Ridge for years, and they’re always so friendly and great to work with,” Stovel said. “The course was beautiful, and the warm ups and covered were lovely to ride in. I couldn’t be happier with our choice to come or Pancaspe’s performance, and we are looking forward to attending more of The Ridge’s shows!”

For a full schedule of events hosted by The Ridge at Wellington, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Hesslink Takes Home Series Win in Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Program

Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco.

Lexington, KY – Sept. 1, 2016 – After five weeks of premier hunter derby competition in the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, it was young professional Goeffrey Hesslink who topped the leaderboard to take home the 2016 series win and the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Professional Rider Award.

The Hallway Feeds Series consists of five national hunter derby events held throughout the 2016 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. After winning the final event at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Hesslink earned enough points to claim the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Professional Rider Award, which went to the professional rider who accumulated the most points in the series.

Aaron Vale finished the series in second place, while Molly Sewell ended up in third. The leading amateur rider, who took home the $2,500 Leading Amateur Rider Award, was Leyland Gleeson, who sat in sixth in the overall standings. Earning the $2,500 Leading Junior Rider Award was Hunter Holloway, who sat in seventh place at the series finale.

Hesslink said he enjoys participating in the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series so much that he has not missed a single one this year. “I love the derbies because I feel like it’s a great place to show off your horse and your handiness as well as how smooth and soft you can be,” Hesslink said. “Esco really excels at it because he doesn’t care about any of the jumps. He never spooks at anything.”

“I think the Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby Series is amazing,” Hesslink said. “I think that it really helps to advertise and get the name out there for the derbies, and I think it drives people to want to do them more and participate. I know Taylor [Kain], Aaron [Vale] and Sydney [Shulman] all came back and wanted to do them again and I did the same. I think it’s a great program and it’s a good thing for people who are here.”

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. 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.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Tori Colvin and Cafino Capture $40k Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show

Tori Colvin and Cafino.

Hesslink Takes Blue in $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby to Earn Series Title

Lexington, KY – Aug. 21, 2016 – Before she heads to the Hampton Classic on Monday, Tori Colvin snuck in one more victory aboard Take The High Road LLC’s Cafino in the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, on the final day of Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

“This is my favorite week because the course designers bring the cool jumps out,” Colvin said. “It’s amazing to win on Cafino. I knew he was ready today, so I was really going for it out there. I’m really happy to have him going so well. Karen [Long Dwight] has been the one who helped us with him, and she’s the sponsor and the owner. She’s wonderful, and Cafino is just perfect.”

Bobby Murphy’s course still contained many elements from last night’s USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, including the obstacle that certainly stuck in most riders’ minds: the 1.57m wall, which was set at 1.54m for the grand prix.

“The only thing I thought was just stay on at the wall, and I’m good,” Colvin laughed. “That’s it; just hang on. I loved having the wall out there. I loved this course because it was like half hunter derby and half grand prix.”

Murphy’s hunter-esque course saw 37 entries in the first round, with six entries eventually advancing to compete over the short course.

Among the jump-off-qualified horse-and-rider combinations was Shane Sweetnam and Main Road, who is owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC. After a second place finish in another grand prix during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show series, Sweetnam said he was looking for a win aboard the gelding.

The duo came close, turning in the first clear round of the afternoon and setting the early time to beat at 41.775 seconds in the jump-off.

“Main Road is a very good horse,” Sweetnam said. “He’s only 8; he’s had a good summer. It was a difficult course, but I think he jumped really good in both rounds.”

It was not long until Colvin and Cafino overtook their lead, however, turning in a fast round and tripping the timers in 41.23 seconds. Colvin’s lead would hold out for the win, while Sweetnam settled for second.

“I could’ve been maybe a bit quicker turning after the double,” Sweetnam said. “I think it would’ve been harder for them to beat me if I had turned quicker. I think that’s what cost me the win. He’s still learning.”

Colvin said she began riding Cafino about a year ago, and she loves the soft, easy ride the gelding gives her.

“Cafino is the easiest thing to ride,” Colvin explained. “You literally just loop the reins. When he lands, it’s like you’re on a cloud. He’s perfect. He doesn’t land hard, he’s just soft. He has a little quirk, because he will buck when he gets a little excited, but I just have to hold on.”

A final challenger, Sloane Coles, piloted the Spring Ledge Group’s Esprit to the third place spot with a clear round completed in 43.573 seconds. Clocking a faster time, but unfortunately picking up 4 faults in the jump-off, was Sweetnam and another entry, Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Chaqui Z. Fifth place went home with Blythe Marano and Virginia Ingram’s Figeac De Reve with 4 faults and a time of 44.007 seconds. Aaron Vale and Sarah Turner’s Acolina R turned in another very fast round in 43.267 seconds, but unfortunately lowered two heights to finish on 8 faults and in sixth place.

Hesslink Takes Blue in $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby to Earn Series Title

It was the 20-year-old, newly-turned professional rider, Geoffrey Hesslink, who took home not only the blue ribbon and championship cooler for Sunday afternoon’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, but also for the entire Hallway Feeds Hunter Derby Series. Saturday’s derby marked the last leg of the popular series, held during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco
Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco

Hesslink piloted Garland Alban’s Esco to victory, after receiving an 89 in the classic round and an 83 in the handy, collecting a lead score of 172 points to seal the win. He successfully tackled three high-option fences. While Hesslink has competed in the Alltech Arena more times than he can count due to his illustrious equitation career as a junior, it was Esco’s first time in the intimidating indoor arena.

Hesslink, of Shelburne, Vermont, said, “I started riding Esco post-circuit at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. He’s been great. He does the Performance Hunters and the derbies. He’s been perfect.”

Hesslink enjoys participating in the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series so much that he has not missed one this year. “I love the derbies because I feel like it’s a great place to show off your horse and your handiness as well as how smooth and soft you can be,” Hesslink said. “Esco really excels at it because he doesn’t care about any of the jumps. He never spooks at anything.”

Although it was Esco’s first time in the large indoor venue, and their partnership is fairly new, Hesslink was not concerned about the 8-year-old Rhinelander.

“I know he’s always a steady eddie and he doesn’t care about those things. For sure, it’s more spooky. There’s more pressure on the horses with this atmosphere,” Hesslink acknowledged.

Hesslink has made a smooth transition into his budding career as a young professional under the guidance of Tim and Kelly Goguen of Boggs Hill Farm, as well as the generosity on behalf of Dina Testa and Garland Alban.

As the winner of the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, Hesslink took home the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus. “I think it’s amazing,” said Hesslink. “I think that it really helps to advertise and get the name out there for the derbies and I think it drives people to want to do them more and participate. I know Taylor [Kain], Aaron [Vale] and Sydney [Shulman] all came back and wanted to do them again and I did the same. I think it’s a great program and it’s a good thing for people who are here.”

Earning second place honors in this weekend’s derby was Courtney Baggett’s Highmark, ridden by Amanda Dougherty. She took on three high options and judges awarded the pair with an 82 in the classic and 85 in the handy. Tori Colvin rode Rivercross Onyx, owned by Rivercross Farm, to third-place honors with a total score of 167.5 points.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. 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, Fenwick Equestrian Products, EquiVision, Inc., Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Bauer Hay & Straw, Alfagreen Supreme, Trouw Nutrition, The Andersons, Mark Fischer Inc., Double S Liquid Feed Services, Inc., Agri-Business Insurance Services and Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher.

The $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, marked the conclusion of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. The action will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park during the KHJA Horse Show, which begins on Wednesday.

To learn more about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Vale Widens Hagyard Challenge Series Leads, Hesslink Tops Hallway Feeds Standings

Aaron Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck.

Lexington, Ky. – May 23, 2016 – Aaron Vale has widened his early lead in the 2016 Hagyard Challenge Series by claiming the second place prize for the second week in a row during Thursday’s $34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*. Vale, who has been competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows for 28 years, piloted Quidam’s Good Luck to a double-clear round, finishing just shy of the winner, Todd Minikus and Quality Girl. The Kentucky Spring Classic also featured the second event for the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series, where Geoffrey Hesslink earned the second place prize to further his lead in the standings.

During the first event of the Hagyard Challenge Series Vale placed second and third to claim the early lead. Pablo Barrios of Venezuela continues to hold the second place position in the standings after claiming the victory in the first leg of the Series aboard ASD Farfala. Todd Minikus and Quality Girl are just 30 points behind Barrios after winning Thursday’s highlight event.

The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 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 as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.

The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse.

The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology.

For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.

Several generous sponsors have helped m

Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco
Geoffrey Hesslink and Esco

ake this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include title sponsor MWI Animal Health and presenting sponsor Zoetis as well as Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, Pike & Preston, Sallee Horse Vans and Hagyard Pharmacy. Additional sponsors include Equine Therapy and FooteWorks.

The Kentucky Spring Classic also featured the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the second event in the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. Hesslink took home the second place honors with Esco, which was combined with his first and third place ribbons during the first week to take over the lead in the standings. Aaron Vale earned the victory during the Kentucky Spring Classic with Madewell to move into the second place position, while Hunter Holloway rounds out the top three and is the leading junior competitor.

The five-part series will feature a $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby throughout the spring and summer, and at the conclusion of the series the Leading Rider Bonus will be presented.  The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus will award a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. The series-leading amateur and junior riders 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 Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 21.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. 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, Fenwick Equestrian Products, EquiVision, Inc., Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Bauer Hay & Straw, Alfagreen Supreme, Trouw Nutrition, The Andersons, Mark Fischer Inc., Double S Liquid Feed Services, Inc., Agri-Business Insurance Services and Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Vale Leads Hagyard Challenge Series, Hesslink Tops Hallway Feeds Standings

Aaron Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck.

Lexington, Ky. – May 16, 2016 – Aaron Vale has taken the early lead in the 2016 Hagyard Challenge Series by claiming the second and third place positions during Thursday’s $34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*. Vale, who has been competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows for 28 years, rode Quidam’s Good Luck and Finou 4 to double-clear rounds, finishing just shy of the winner, Pablo Barrios on ASD Farfala. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show also featured the lead-off event for the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series, where Geoffrey Hesslink and Rookie led the victory gallop, giving him the lead in the standings.

In the Hagyard Challenge Series, Pablo Barrios of Venezuela is holding the second place position in the standings after claiming the victory on Thursday aboard ASD Farfala, and is just 10 points behind Vale. Victoria Colvin is currently ranked third in the standings after she went double-clear with Austria 2 to earn fourth place honors.

The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 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 as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.

The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse.

The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology.

For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.

Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include title sponsor MWI Animal Health and presenting sponsor Zoetis as well as Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, Pike & Preston, Sallee Horse Vans and Hagyard Pharmacy. Additional sponsors include Equine Therapy and FooteWorks.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded on Sunday, May 15, and one of the highlight events was the kick-off of the 2016 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series. Hesslink currently holds the lead in the standings with his winning effort aboard Rookie as well as the third place spot on Esco. Douglas Boyd, who placed second with Calido’s Son, and Aaron Vale, who picked up the third place award with Madewell, follow Hesslink closely in the rankings.

The five-part series will feature a $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby throughout the spring and summer, and at the conclusion of the series the Leading Rider Bonus will be presented.  The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus will award a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. The series-leading amateur and junior riders 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 Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 21.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. 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, Fenwick Equestrian Products, EquiVision, Inc., Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Bauer Hay & Straw, Alfagreen Supreme, Trouw Nutrition, The Andersons, Mark Fischer Inc., Double S Liquid Feed Services, Inc., Agri-Business Insurance Services and Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher.

The Kentucky Spring Classic held May 18-22 will also feature a FEI CSI3* rating. The $35,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 21, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Once again all three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. In addition, the featured national classes will be the $50,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 22, in the Rolex Stadium. The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby will be held in the Stonelea Ring on Saturday, May 21.

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.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Hesslink Claims 2014 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals East Title

Geoffrey Hesslink and Canny Windsor Z (The Book LLC)

Gladstone, N.J. – The 2014 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals East came to an exciting conclusion Sunday at the USET Foundation Headquarters as Geoffrey Hesslink was crowned champion. Following the completion of Phase III, Andre Dignelli-trainees, Hesslink with Peacock Ridge LLC’s Canny Windsor Z, Lillie Keenan with Isabelle Caccamise’s Catwalk 19, and Caitlin Boyle with Chansonette Farm LLC’s Zentina B, joined Stacia Madden-trained Megan MacPhearson with Meridian Partners LLC’s Class Action atop the leaderboard. The four were called back for the final Phase where each rider completed an eight-obstacle course on their own horse, and then the three other riders’ horses.

Hesslink (Shelburne, Vt.) turned heads throughout the weekend with stylish performances in all phases to capture the attention of the judges and spectators. He earned the coveted Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals title after finishing Phase IV on a total of 371, posting the highest totals of the afternoon on Catwalk 19 and Canny Windsor Z, 95 and 94, respectively, as well as earning a 92 on Class Action and 90 on Zentina B.

“He looked totally at ease; every round he just kept doing it and then with the change of horses he just kept nailing it,” said Jimmy Torano, who judged alongside Laura Kraut.

At 19 years old Hesslink has aged out of the junior division and came to Gladstone feeling he was ready to win his first national title.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” said Hesslink. “I didn’t expect it, and I am very excited and grateful. I was nervous because this is my only final, but I was confident because we were over prepared for this event. I felt like I had a chance.”

Keenan (New York, N.Y.) earned the Reserve Champion title, finishing Phase IV on a score of 366, earning an 87 on Catwalk 19, a 95 on Class Action, a 92 on Canny Windsor Z, and 92 on Zentina B.

Boyle (Hampshire, Ill.), who had the highest score of Phase III a 96, collected third place on a Phase IV score of 364, riding to scores of 86, 97,90, and 91 on Catwalk 19, Class Action, Canny Windsor Z, and Zentina B, respectively. MacPherson (Boulder, Co.) finished fourth on 337 after riding the four horses to scores of 75, 80, 88, and 94.

Daisy Farish (Versailles, Ky.), who led competition after two phases, finished in fifth place. After scoring an 86 in Phase III she stood tied with Keenan on an overall score of 357. However, the tie was broken and the eventual Reserve Champion advanced to Phase IV as she had the higher score in Phase III, an 88.

The Grappa Trophy was awarded to Zentina B as the best horse of the competition.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, visit: https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alljumping/sjTalentSearch.aspx.

Geoffrey Hesslink Rides to Top of Leader Board in Both Phases of WIHS Equitation

Geoffrey Hesslink rode Bumacoemba to blue ribbons in both the hunter and jumper phases of the WIHS Equitation class. Photo By: Emily Riden/PMG.

Tampa, FL – March 30, 2013 – Geoffrey Hesslink kept his heels down and his scores high, earning him the top call in today’s WIHS Equitation class at the Tampa Bay Classic.

Hesslink finished first in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase this morning at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center aboard Bumacoemba. The pair then returned to the ring later in the day to earn another blue ribbon in the WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase and the overall award sponsored by Dyer Equestrian.

The hunter phase tested riders over an eight fence Keith Bollotte designed course that included an in-and-out and a number of long approach oxers. Hesslink and Bumacoemba, owned by Lynnewood Stables, Inc., earned an impressive top score of 82 to win the class and put them in the top spot going in to the evening’s jumper portion of the competition.

Finishing close behind Hesslink in the hunter phase was Lizzie Van Der Walde riding App For That, owned by Dasilva Investments. Van Der Walde delivered an equally fluent ride, to earn a score of 81 and the second place ribbon. Rounding out the top three was Ashton Alexander aboard Meghan Flanagan’s Terrapin Station, finishing with a score of 80.

The field of talented equitation riders faced off again in the jumper phase, but no one was able to overturn Hesslink and Van Der Walde’s standings. Van Der Walde was the first to compete over Michel Vaillancourt’s course in the Covered Arena where she laid down the opening trip in a time of 67.59 seconds, slightly over the time allowed of 67 seconds. Van Der Walde’s equitation and riding ability throughout the course compensated for her faults and earned her a competitive score of 79. Combined with her earlier hunter score, Van Der Walde set the score to beat at 160.

Jessica Castillo was the third to return for the jumper phase aboard her own mount, Winston De Kalvarie. She delivered the fastest round of the night at 60.58 seconds and came close Van Der Walde’s jumper score, clocking in with a score of 78. Combined with a hunter phase score of 72, Castillo would finish with a score of 150, earning the third place award in the jumper phase and the sixth place award over all.

Hesslink followed Castillo in the order of go and turned in scores that would go unmatched the remainder of the evening. Hesslink slipped through the timers in 64.46 seconds while maintaining strong form to earn the high score of 85. Coupled with his previous hunter score of 82, Hesslink’s 167 total was unattainable for any of those who followed him.

“On a day to day basis, you can usually trust him to get the job done,” Hesslink’s trainer Don Stewart explained. “He is very enthusiastic about his performance, so you don’t have to worry about him not doing enough work to get to the ring.”

Stewart continued, “We knew the course, and we knew the horse, and we figured that would go fine. He made mistake at the liverpool and tried to get in there too early and did eight. That was the only thing that was wrong with the round-the rest was textbook. I am very proud of him.”

Along with his WIHS Equitation win, Hesslink rode to the ribbons in the Large Junior Hunters this morning, also aboard Bumacoemba. Finishing in first place in the Large Junior Hunter class was Michael Hughes riding Costes, owned by Anne Symes. The first place honor in the Large Junior Hunter Handy went to Hannah Holik aboard Tache Rouge, owned by Czech Mate, LLC.

In the Small Junior Hunters, Ashton Alexander delivered the perfect sweep, winning both the first course and the handy class aboard O’Ryan. Alexander started showing O’Ryan for fellow junior and owner Meghan Flanagan back in January and has enjoyed riding him whenever presented the opportunity.

“He’s unreal. His jump is just amazing, and no matter where you want to leave from he just does it and takes care of it. It’s so easy for him – that’s what I love,” Alexander exclaimed. “The first round was just so nice and smooth, and he’s so big strided that the lines are just right there. I liked the handy a lot too. The two last jumps were long rides to the oxers. I always like doing those on him because he makes such a beautiful jump out of them.”

Following the junior hunters, the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters concluded the remaining three classes in their division, after which Callie Smith and Peron were named division champions.

“He was just a really good boy. He was champion my last week in Ocala too, so we’re kind of on a roll. He’s just been really good, and I’m so happy with him,” Smith shared.

The junior hunters will return to the Main Hunter Ring tomorrow morning for the final day of the Tampa Bay Classic. Following tomorrow’s competition, the Tampa Equestrian Series will return on Tuesday, April 2nd with the Tournament of Championships and more ‘AA’ hunter competition.

For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Series, please visit www.StadiumJumping.com.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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The Day Belongs to Geoffrey Hesslink at the First Southeast Medal Finals

Geoffrey Hesslink and Afrojack

Jacksonville, FL – September 21, 2012 – The long-awaited first-ever Southeast Medal Finals got underway today with much fanfare. Organizers Bob Bell from Classic Company and James Lala from James Lala’s Wellington Quarantine have attended to every aspect of the show to make it special and memorable.

A field of 27 talented young riders competed to kick off the show bright and early at 8:00 a.m. in the USEF Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal. The first course of the show was a challenging mix of lines and turns. Starting with a very forward outside line in six strides, the track turned to the left to a single brick oxer near the in gate to a roll back to another brick single oxer. Then, the course took a long gallop and a right turn to a two-stride combination of natural wood verticals to a left turn to another natural vertical followed by a right-hand turn to a white oxer at the far end of the ring and a bending line to the last combination, an oxer to a vertical.

“This new venue is superb,” said Course Designer, Alan Rheinheimer. “It’s huge; there’s a lot of opportunity to set the riders up for the Maclay Regionals. All the courses I’ll give them a little in each course of what I might ask of them on Sunday. The judges and I talked it over and discussed what we’d like to see. It was a good test for them.

Continue reading The Day Belongs to Geoffrey Hesslink at the First Southeast Medal Finals