Tag Archives: Holiday & Horses

Todd Minikus Warms Up for WEF with Stellar Performances at Holiday & Horses

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (December 6, 2016) — Todd Minikus commanded the attention of audiences this past week in the Holiday & Horses show series, held November 30 through December 4, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. Minikus, who was named to the Short List for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping squad, highlighted the week with a top three placing on Babalou 41, owned by Two Swans Farm, in the $216,000 CSI 4* sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Minikus didn’t stop there, placing at the top of his classes aboard a varied group of horses throughout the week.

In addition to competing with the seasoned Babalou 41, Minikus competed Vita 24 and I Am Nala, both also owned by Two Swans Farm. Minikus also took the reins on several new rides, including Coverboy, Eldorado VDL, and VDL Excel, whom are all owned by The Coverboy Group, as well as Zephyr and Valinski S, both owned by Wyndmont Inc.

Minikus piloted Zephyr to a first place finish – ahead of 50 competitors – in a 1.40m Jumper class, and also placed in the top ten in the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix. The aptly named ‘Coverboy’ took first and second places in two different 1.40m classes. Eldorado VDL also showed his promise by placing third in a 1.35m class. Minikus commented, “I was really pleased with my horses’ performances in the show ring, and I’m really looking forward to taking these horses to their next level this season.”

The Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center begins on January 11, 2017, and is the largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit in the world. Last year, Minikus started his winter competition season with back-to-back victories in consecutive Saturday Night Lights Grand Prixs. Aboard Quality Girl, owned by the Quality Group, Minikus won the opening $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI 2* and then won the $130,000 Adequan CSI 3* with Babalou 41.

Minikus keeps his Grand Prix horses at the top of their game with the support of his generous sponsors. Most recently, sponsor Schneiders Tack restocked Team Minikus on all essential barn supplies and products to keep his horses’ coats gleaming and competition ready. When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services just minutes from Wellington, Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds. Follow the action from Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.

Contact: Amanda Minikus
amandajl16@aol.com
562-762-3762
www.toddminikus.com

Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti Wins $25k Omega Alpha Grand Prix at Holiday & Horses

Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti. Photo ©ManciniPhotos.

Wellington, FL – December 4, 2016 – Samuel Parot of Wellington, FL piloted his own Couscous Van Orti to a win in the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to conclude the 2016 Holiday & Horses competition. Parot and Couscous Van Orti dashed through the short course to finish with a time of 40.043 seconds. Eduardo Menezes of Carlsbad, CA and Chacgrano rode to second place with a time of 42.237 seconds. Alvaro Tejada who rides internationally for Guatemala and Voltaral Palo Blanco took third place after dropping a rail to add four faults to their time of 41.052 seconds.

Parot has had a phenomenal week at PBIEC taking an FEI victory on Friday, as well as securing top honors in the grand prix aboard experienced mount Couscous Van Orti, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nabab De Reve x Cash).

“It was a very good class with almost 45 riders. I think that with only seven clear out of that it shows how difficult the course was. For the money, I thought that it was a great and competitive class,” said Parot. “It was a very strong class and only two riders went clear in the jump-off round.”

“This horse jumped the first day of FEI and I made a mistake at one jump and the second day I decided to retire. I won with the other horse I had in the class on Friday, but I thought that Couscous went well too,” added Parot. “Normally I don’t jump more than two classes with a horse per week, but I felt that he was ready to do this class today.”

Parot noted that the course rode well and was a good test for his mount. The pair, who started the week contesting the FEI classes, chose to compete in the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix to conclude their successful week.

“I was really happy with the way that the class went today for us,” he elaborated. “All of the horses went very well this week and they will all get a vacation until January so that they are ready for the next circuit.”

All three of Parot’s horses are quick by nature and incredibly efficient. Parot discussed the similarities between each of his three top mounts in Atlantis, Quick Du Pottier, and Couscous Van Orti.

“I like to ride horses that have a similar style. I try to ride all of the horses the same. I like the horses a little bit hot who are naturally fast,” he explained.

After their return from a well-deserved break, Parot is looking forward to making his mark on the FEI competition to be hosted at PBIEC during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit.

“They won’t show at all but will stay in work every day in our program. When they come back I hope that we will be able to have top results in the ranking classes and big grand prixs.”

Jumper Highlights

Viggo Bjorklund of Wellington, FL guided Artiflex R, owned by Gyllebo Farm LLC, to top honors in the $2,500 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic presented by Equiline with a jump-off time of 36.781 seconds. Abigail Ron of Wellington, FL and her own Tuja 6 took second place after crossing through the timers in 37.785 seconds, while Joyce Green of Melbourne, FL and her own Cassidy finished in third.

The $2,500 NAL Low Junior Jumper Classic saw Katherine Benard of Cumberland Foreside, ME and Alaika, owned by Sagamore Farm Inc., take top honors in the division with a jump-off time of 37.289 seconds. Abbie Sweetnam of Wellington, FL and Mr. Lopez, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, took second place after completing the short course in 37.314 seconds ahead of Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT and Cohbanta, owned by Coco Fath & Hillside Farm, who secured third place with a time of 38.168 seconds.

Alex Parrish of Midway, KY piloted Divace, owned by Alexander Farm, to victory in the $2,500 NAL Low Amateur Owner Jumper Classic with an efficient jump-off time of 31.187 seconds. Danielle Stacy of Ipswich, MA and Hot Topic, owned by Michelle Stacy, collected second place with a time of 32.532 seconds, while Taylor Burns of Blairstown, NJ and her own Ice Lord, rounded out the top three finishers with a time of 33.82 seconds.

Taje Warrick of Wellington, FL and her own Mufasa rose to the top of the leaderboard in the $1,500 Children’s Jumper Classic after stopping the short course timers in 32.485 seconds ahead of Hailey Berger of Parkland, FL and her own Shannondale Gino who finished in second place with a time of 34.036 seconds. Katie Sansone of Coconut Creek, FL and Tropobella 3K, owned by Golden Creek Farm LLC, earned a third place finish with a time of 34.667 seconds.

The $1,500 Adult Amateur Jumper Classic was championed by Jorge Gomez of Wellington, FL and his own Dallas De La Bonnet, as they finished a speedy jump-off round to take the win in 31.872 seconds. Avery-Anna Hogan of Wellington, FL and her own Eurocommerce Tampa captured second place after stopping the clock in 34.419 seconds. Sara Ballinger of Marion, OH and Memory Lane, owned by Nicole Loochtan, cleared the track in 35.954 seconds for third.

Taje Warrick of Wellington, FL also championed the $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic aboard her own Dersey, as the pair finished three seconds ahead of second place finishers Olivia Parr of Houston, TX and Uccella, owned by Oakland Ventures LLC, who secured a time of 36.361 seconds. Sara Ballinger of Marion, OH and Memory Lane, owned by Nicole Loochtan rounded out the top three after finished the track in 37.226 seconds.

Ty Simpson of Wellington, FL piloted Mister Cash Van Der Veldmden owned by Thiele Schroeder, took home the blue rosette in the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic presented by Equine Couture & Tuff Rider. Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT and Forget Me Knot, owned by Peacock Ridge, LLC, were presented with second place honors after completing their jump-off track in 36.117 seconds. Ava Hoffman of North Palm Beach, FL and Kalle, owned by Siboney Ranch, captured third place with a time of 37.819 seconds.

Hunter Highlights

Tracy Scheriff-Muser of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and her own Quincy finished atop the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″ Division while Tina Allen of New Canaan, CT and her own Galaxy were presented with reserve champion honors.

Kelley Corrigan of Lexington, KY and her own Game Day found themselves atop the leaderboard in the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’6″ Division, while Krista Weisman of Sherborn, MA and Reality, owned by herself and Alexa Wiseman, collected the reserve title.

The Children’s Pony Hunter Division presented by The Wanderers Club saw Elodie Watrous of Wilmette, IL take both the champion and reserve champion honors aboard Beaverwood’s Foxberry and Crystal Acres Chocolatier, respectively.

Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Best Regards, owned by Patricia Fulchino took top honors in the Green & High Performance Hunter Division, while Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL and Face Time, owned by Harris Hill Farm, LLC, rode to reserve.

The High Performance Hunter 4′-4’6″ Division saw Erica Quinn of Cincinnati, OH and Smoke, owned by Jane Gaston, split top divisional accolades with Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Pandora, owned by Teton Farms, LLC. Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Onyx RCF, owned by Rivercross Farm, secured reserve champion awards in the division.

The Green Pony Hunter Division saw Alexandra Lynn Willner of Boca Raton, FL and Pursue the Blue, owned by Kim Wolf, presented with champion awards, while Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Dolce Via, owned by Christine Bostwick, earned reserve champion.

The Performance Hunter 3’6″ Division witnessed Jennifer Hannan rise to the top of the class once again to earn champion awards aboard Flamingo-K, owned by Equinimity, LLC. Marisa Metzger of Modesto, CA and Continental, owned by Use the Ring, LLC, rode to reserve champion.

For more information on Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S Take $35k Holiday & Horses Opener CSI 4*

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S. Photo Credit ©ManciniPhotos.

Wellington, FL – November 30, 2016 – Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Davendy S rose to the top of the class in the $35,000 Noble Outfitters Holiday & Horses Opener CSI 4* at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), taking the class with a time of 58.95 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Alsvid took second place in the class after crossing through the timers in 59.05 seconds. Eugenio Garza (MEX) piloted Bariano to third after the pair completed the track in 59.28 seconds.

Springsteen and Davendy S, owned by Stone Hill Farm, made a quick move to the top of the leaderboard and held their winning position for most of the class, which welcomed the first day of FEI competition of the 2016 Holiday & Horses competition. The pair made easy work of the track designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), which saw 64 entries.

Davendy S, a 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II), is one of the quicker mounts in Springsteen’s growing string and excels in speed format classes. The pair amassed an impressive record during their time on the indoor circuit this year, taking four top five finishes in FEI competition, including a win at the CSI 4* in Lexington, KY at the beginning of November.

Garza set a blazing pace as the eighth rider to go in the class, which was not overcome until ten rounds later when Springsteen catapulted ahead. A total of sixteen combinations finished inside of the time allowed with no faults, as the class served as good experience for the days of competition ahead.

Springsteen is back in Wellington, FL after a strong campaign throughout the summer and fall seasons, which took her throughout Europe and the United States. The talented rider will look to continue her success during the winter in Wellington and the competitive Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season set to begin in January 2017.

With three horses entered in FEI competition this week, the rising star will guide Davendy S, Tiger Lily, and Cynar VA in the first week of FEI competition back at PBIEC since the conclusion of WEF last April, with high hopes for a top finish in the $216,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Competition at PBIEC continues throughout the week and will be highlighted by the $216,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission on Saturday, December 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening will also host the first round of charity drawings for the 2017 Great Charity Challenge (GCC) presented by Fidelity Investments® to be hosted on February 4, 2017.

To learn more about Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), please visit www.pbiec.com.

Swail Adds Another Win in $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic at PBIEC

Conor Swail and Cita. Photo: ©ManciniPhotos.

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2015 – In another brilliant effort, Conor Swail (IRL) concluded his season with back-to-back wins at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) as he rode Cita to victory in the $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic on the final day of the Holiday & Horses CSI 4* competition. Competition at PBIEC will resume Saturday, December 5, with the Equestrian Sport Productions Year-End Awards show.

Repeating a nearly flawless performance, Swail and Cita crossed the timers in 36.726 seconds to edge Ali Wolff (USA) and Brianda, who set a fast pace late in the jump-off order with a time of 36.868 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and Nokia de Brekka finished the class in third place with a time of 37.707 seconds.

Making good on his word, Swail added yet another ranking class win to his record, celebrating his 24th FEI victory this season. With each of his three FEI horses performing consistently throughout the week, Swail tackled the day’s course, set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), with the same ease and efficiency he displayed last night aboard Viva Colombia in the $212,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4*. An original 40 entries contested the first round of the $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic, with 13 combinations moving forward to the second round and seven pairs finishing the day with a double clear effort.

“It feels truly great to win two big FEI classes in a row. I have three great horses here this week. This one is still a bit new for us. She’s just nine and is by Casall. I think this is only her sixth or seventh show with me so far this year,” explained Swail. “She has a lot of quality, and I think she has really a lot to offer. I’m hoping that by the end of circuit this year, near April, she’ll be doing some of the bigger grand prix classes.”

There are high hopes for the 2006 Holsteiner mare (Casall x Vorr.) owned by Susan & Ariel Grange, who made her FEI debut with Swail in early September. Her raw athleticism and speed set her apart, adding another competitive edge to Swail’s string, which is based at Lothlorien Farm.

“I think she’s going to be really special. She’s unbelievably careful, and is just a feather off the ground. She really has a lot of blood, but just needs a bit more experience. It was really nice for her to run around and do a great job today,” he continued.

With a competitive line-up set for the jump-off, Swail knew that a win would not come easy, and a carefully planned but quick effort around the course would be needed to top the class. He commented, “It was a course where there was a lot more running than turning, and she actually felt a bit green to fence one and two. We did one more step than I had wanted, but she’s still very quick across the fences so I thought it would be okay if I kept a good rhythm and a nice high pace. Thankfully again, it was my day and I felt I did just enough for the win because Ali had a great round,” he remarked.

Piloting his second mount, Martha Louise, also owned by Susan & Ariel Grange, to a top ten finish, Swail concluded his final competition of the year on an incredibly positive note, as he believes the pieces are finally falling into place with the beginning of a new year approaching quickly.

“Martha had a lovely round today also. I felt like she was just a tad unlucky this week but jumped beautifully in all of the classes. It’s a great way to end as this is our last show of the year, and I’m so pleased that it went as well as it could have gone for us,” noted Swail. “I’m quite lucky that I have such a good group of horses around me now, and you know, Lothlorien is incredible. We have a few nice new ones coming up and are always looking for carefulness, blood, and quality. We try to find the good athletes, as that’s what you need in the sport today. I have great owners behind me and have a lot to look forward to as we move into another year. I think over the next few years, we’re going to create something really positive.”

For a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Swail and Viva Colombia Impress in $212,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4*

Conor Swail and Viva Colombia. Photos: ©ManciniPhotos.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2014 – In an exciting jump-off finale, Conor Swail (IRL) and Viva Colombia finished with top honors in the $212,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by Palm Beach Sports Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Swail and Viva Colombia bested the talented jump-off of eight competitors with a time of 37.922 seconds. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and Bariano finished just off the pace for second place, crossing the timers in 38.25 seconds while Hardin Towell (USA) and New York posted the remaining double clear effort of the night with a time of 39.072 seconds. Competition will conclude at PBIEC tomorrow with the $34,000 Consolation Classic beginning at 1pm.

The class of 32 competitors in the grand prix faced a difficult track set by course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), which had eight competitors move forward to the second round, while nine pairs dropped a rail on course, incurring four faults. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Victor were the only duo to finish with a single time-fault in the first round and would finish in ninth place.

Swail rode late in the order aboard Viva Colombia, a 2005 Oldenburg mare (Couleur-Rubin x Lando Lady) owned by Ilan Ferder, and made the most of his trip around the track, which called for scope and adjustability.

“We had planned to leave Viva for tonight. A good friend of mine, Ilan Ferder, owns her and I’ve had a really good year with her. She’s just getting better and better,” said Swail. “I thought tonight she was just wonderful and jumped great in the first round. Things worked out for me in the second round with Samuel [Parot] and Kent [Farrington] being a bit unlucky, but for me it felt like we were going to be close and I wanted to go for it.”

Eugenio Garza and Bariano
Eugenio Garza and Bariano

Garza would finish with the first double clear effort of the night, which seemed tough to beat, as Towell followed but couldn’t reach the 38 second mark. A single rail burdened Parot and Farrington, who blazed around the course, both finishing in less than 37 seconds. Farrington, piloting longtime partner Uceko, seemed to have all but added another win to their record after dashing through the course in a nail-biting effort, but a rub at the final vertical kept Farrington from his second win this week, as the duo added four faults for fourth place.

Towell was proud of his third place finish aboard New York, stating, “Tonight was a great class and I was really happy with New York’s performance. We got him a couple of months ago and he’s been out of the spotlight a bit compared to my other horses Emilie and Lucifer. I was really proud of how he handled everything tonight.

“I think he’s really stepping it up and I’m looking forward to what he has in store for the future. I am so thankful to have the support of Jennifer Gates behind me with all of the horses and it feels great to have finished so well in a very competitive class,” he continued. “Conor is a close friend and it’s never fun to lose but I’m so happy for him that he won. Eugenio rode great and is really stepping up to the plate in the bigger classes. I think it was a great show of talent tonight.”

Motivated to finish with a respectable result, Swail felt the course was well-suited for his mare, even though the track proved difficult for many of the night’s competitors. He elaborated, “I thought the course looked quite nice when we walked it and it wasn’t so big, but it was extremely careful and there was a bit of width on the oxers. In that respect, you needed a really good horse to jump around it.”

In a careful but quick effort, Swail nudged out Garza for the fastest double clear effort in the jump-off, pushing for the final finish and earning his 23rd FEI victory of the year. Viva Colombia, both talented and scopey, has proven her consistency in many of the large FEI classes the duo has contested together this year.

“For me, when I got her in the beginning, I felt like it was really important for her to gain confidence in our program and our system. I worked on her balance a lot this year. The carefulness and scope was always there with her. I wanted to focus on making her stride a bit more adaptable and adjustable. I think now she’s really learned that throughout the year and has been very successful,” he continued. “Viva has been quite fast and has won several speed classes too, which has helped her be a little bit quicker in her mind. The balance has gotten a lot better, and she’s much more adjustable.”

Swail had a tremendous fall season and collected numerous wins during the indoor circuit season. He will now give his string a rest before looking towards the commencement of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in just a few short weeks at PBIEC.

“She’ll get a nice break. She deserves it. We probably won’t bring her out again until week four or five during circuit. It’s been great to finish the way we have with her, and she’s just fantastic,” he noted. “Her consistency has been extremely solid, and I’m delighted for Ilan and myself that things are going well. We have a real quality horse on our hands.”

Steadily shifting up the world ranking leaderboard this year and currently sitting in 37th, Swail has set his sights on reaching the top ten in 2016.

“I’d really like to get into the top ten in the world. It’s a pretty big goal, but I’m 37 now and feel like that’s where I need to be. I know that what I need to do is get a few bigger grand prix wins this year. I think I have enough ranking class wins, and it’s time to focus on getting good results in those bigger classes. I don’t think I could have had a better start than tonight,” he said. “I want to focus on improving those results so that’s kind of what the main goal is right now. We have some very nice horses, and we’re looking forward to another great go at it this season.”

The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* will conclude tomorrow with the $34,000 Consolation Classic beginning at 1pm in the International Ring. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Moloney and Alsvid Race to Victory in $34,000 Equiline 1.45m Speed Classic

Richie Moloney and Alsvid. Photos: ©ManciniPhotos.

Victoria Colvin and Pepie Lu Take $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – November 27, 2015 – Richie Moloney (IRL) and Alsvid made a dash up the leaderboard in the $34,000 Equiline 1.45m Speed Classic at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) today, as FEI competition resumed at the venue for the Holiday & Horses CSI 4*. Moloney and Alsvid rose to the occasion, crossing through the timers in 62.28 seconds to capture the win. Ali Wolff (USA) and Artemis followed in second with a time of 62.90 seconds while Kent Farrington (USA) and Blue Angel, winners of the $34,000 Equiline Holiday & Horses Opener Grand Prix held this past Wednesday, finished in 63.51 seconds for third place.

Competition continues at PBIEC tomorrow with the highly anticipated $212,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix presented by Palm Beach Sports Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches beginning at 6:30pm. The night will also host the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s Winterfest and showcase the first round of drawings for the 2016 Great Charity Challenge (GCC), presented by Fidelity Investments®.

Moloney and Alsvid entered the International Ring in the middle of the 40-horse order of go, several rounds after reigning class leader Farrington posted the quickest double clean trip aboard Blue Angel. Maintaining a bold pace throughout the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed course, Moloney made the most of his round aboard the 2001 Hanoverian gelding (Escudo I x Adonca) owned by Equinimity LLC.

“It was a full 1.45m class, and the first four jumps really made you open up. That’s where you could make up some of the time, which is where I think we did,” said Moloney. “I took a bit of a chance to the last two fences on course and did probably one less than most people, and I think that is what earned us the win.”

Alsvid is Moloney’s top FEI Speed horse, and the pair has produced several major international victories this season. The win this afternoon marked the duo’s fifth FEI win this year and third FEI Speed class victory. Moloney will return to FEI competition on Sunday for the $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic before beginning a period of rest for Alsvid with the remainder of Moloney’s string before the beginning of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit in mid-January.

“He’s very good in these types of classes and has proven to be very consistent this season placing in the top three at least five times since the beginning of the summer. It was a strong class today, and I felt very good about his performance,” he noted.

The seasoned gelding has proven throughout his career with Moloney that he excels and enjoys difficult speed classes, which allows Moloney to take major risks that are rewarded when faced against some of the world’s best combinations. He explained, “He really enjoys these speed classes because he naturally wants to go forward so you just let him go and steady him a bit at the jumps, but try not get in the way,” Moloney remarked. “It’s nice to start off the season here with a win. We’ll look for another good result in the 1.45m class on Sunday and then bring him back in February for some of the big FEI classes during circuit.”

Victoria Colvin and Pepie Lu Take $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Pepie Lu, a 2007 Warmblood gelding (Sergeant Pepper x Mecklenburger) owned by Nathalie Mathers of Wellington, FL, stole the show in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at PBIEC, receiving a combined score of 180. The total must be correct for the win, but if you don’t know the correct individual scores just stay with the total. Kathryn Haefner of Hamburg, NY, and Bentley finished in second with an overall score of 176, while Tracy Scheriff-Muser of Palm Beach Gardens, FL piloted Shoreline to third place honors with a combined score of 168.5.

Victoria Colvin and Pepie Lu
Victoria Colvin and Pepie Lu

Colvin and Pepie Lu impressed the judging panel in the first round of competition, scoring the highest mark of the class with a score of 87. Haefner and Bentley received the highest score of the second handy round of competition with an 86, which helped them secure the second place finish.

“This is the first class I’ve ever done on him. He used to show in the jumpers, but was a bit too quiet so he switched to the hunters,” said Colvin. “He’s super fun and incredibly easy to ride. I thought today was a great start for the both of us.”

The duo performed a lovely handy round, which Colvin remarked was a highlight of the class for her, as she thought it was the better of their two rounds. She explained, “The handy round was great because he’s really experienced with tight turns from his past life as a jumper so I was able to go for it, which I think was reflected in our score. It was a great way to start off the winter season, and it was a very competitive class.”

Competition at PBIEC continues tomorrow with the $212,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by Palm Beach Sports Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches beginning at 6:30pm. Admission is free to the public. FEI competition will conclude on Sunday, November 29, with the $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic beginning at 1pm.

For more information on Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and to see a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel Take $34,000 Equiline Holiday & Horses Opener Grand Prix

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photo Credit: ©ManciniPhotos.

Wellington, FL – November 25, 2015 – Kent Farrington (USA) captured a win in the first FEI class of the 2015 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), piloting Blue Angel to victory in the $34,000 Equiline Holiday & Horses Opener Grand Prix. Farrington, who is currently ranked second in the world, dashed through the jump-off timers in 34.871 seconds to beat fellow American Laura Kraut and Andretti S, who finished in 36.516 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) and Atlantis jumped to third place with a time of 36.716 seconds. The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* will resume with FEI competition on Friday, November 27, and will continue through Sunday, November 29.

Farrington and Blue Angel proved too quick to catch on a competitive first day of the Holiday & Horses CSI 4*, which saw a large class of 60 entries test the Hector Loyola (PRI)-set track. The large class would ultimately return 23 combinations for an incredibly fast jump-off round.

Blue Angel, a 2002 Anglo European Sporthorse mare (Luidam x Astrid) owned by Robin Parsky, is known for her speed in the ring and continuously excels when faced with a fast-paced track. Her agility and carefulness have made the mare an incredible asset within Farrington’s talented and elite string of top mounts.

“A lot of horses were out here competing today, more than 60 entries, and with that came a lot of clear rounds so I expected a very fast jump-off, which it was. I thought Hardin Towell put in a really competitive round and then Laura Kraut left out a stride to the last fence that looked incredibly fast from the warm-up (ring),” said Farrington. “My horse is really quick across the ground. I think that I probably did more strides than anyone else, but she can roll into the jumps really short and I made up some time there.”

In an effort to edge the rest of the class, Farrington included a previously untried route on the jump-off course and elaborated on his decision to include the chancy turn. He explained, “In a class like this you have to pick your risks and know what your horse can handle. At a skinny fence like that, she’s really good at getting close to the jump, so I knew that I could roll in short on an angle which really suits her and her striding.”

The course proved to be a welcomed preparation for numerous combinations as many will test the $212,000 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission & Discover the Palm Beaches on Saturday, November 28. Farrington agreed that the nicely set track offered an opportunity for competitors to start the week off successfully, as most riders entered two mounts. He noted, “I thought it was pretty straightforward today. It was nice for the number of horses here, and you wanted to set a really inviting course. It was a good track for everyone to jump around.”

Cementing a phenomenal year as a representative for Team USA in numerous international competitions including the 2015 Pan American Games hosted in Toronto, Canada, Farrington has made his mark on the equestrian world around the globe over the course of the past twelve months and will continue building upon that success in 2016.

“We’ve had a great year, and I have an amazing team behind me. There is a great group of owners and horses, and my support staff is some of the best in the world. I think one of our strengths is that we’ve surrounded ourselves with a great team,” he remarked. “Next year, I’m looking forward to earning a lot of the same results and improving on what we accomplished this year. We have some very nice young horses coming up, and I’m always continuing to build my string from the bottom up for the future.”

The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* competition will resume with FEI classes on Friday, November 27, with the $34,000 Equiline 1.45m Speed Classic. The highlight of the week, the $212,000 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches, will begin at 6:30pm on Saturday, November 28. The night will also entertain guests of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s Winterfest and showcase the first round of drawings for the 2016 Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®. FEI competition will conclude on Sunday, November 29, with the $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic beginning at 1pm.

For more information on PBIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Holiday & Horses CSI 4* Show Highlights 2015 ESP Holiday Series at PBIEC

Wellington, FL – November 18, 2015 – The 2015 ESP Holiday Series hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) will conclude competition in 2015, and will be highlighted by several major events before the commencement of the highly anticipated 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) beginning January 13. The ESP Holiday Series is set to begin Wednesday, November 25, with the Holiday & Horses CSI 4* competition and will continue through Sunday, January 10, offering seven separate competitions.

The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* is an internationally sanctioned competition and FEI Ranking classes begin with the $34,000 Holiday & Horses FEI Opener presented by Equiline on Wednesday, November 25, in the International Ring at PBIEC. FEI competition will return to PBIEC on Friday, November 27, with the $34,000 1.45m FEI class sponsored by Palm Beach Sports Commission. The $212,000 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix presented by Palm Beach Sport Commission & Visit Florida will highlight the week as Wellington Winterfest and the 2016 Great Charity Challenge Charity Drawing will also take place throughout the evening on Saturday, November 28. General admission to PBIEC is free to the public. The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* will conclude on Sunday, November 29, with a $34,000 FEI 1.45m class.

The Holiday & Horses Show will also host USEF 5* rated jumper classes throughout the week in conjunction with Premier “AA” hunter competition, showcasing the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday, November 27. The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, which will host two rounds of competition, is set to begin at 1 pm in Ring 7/8.

The Equestrian Sport Productions Year End Awards Banquet will be held on Friday, December 4, in the International Club at PBIEC beginning at 6pm. The evening will recognize the hard work and dedication of competitors who have participated on the ESP show circuit throughout the year.

The ESP Year End Awards Show (December 5-6) will host the $10,000 Open Stake presented by #1 Education Place on Saturday, December 5, while the $25,000 Noble Outfitters Year End Awards Grand Prix will provide excitement on Sunday, December 6, in the International Ring. A $5,000 3′ USHJA Hunter Classic is set to take place on Sunday, December 6, in Ring 7/8.

The Holiday Festival I (December 11-13), Holiday Festival II (December 15-17), and Holiday Festival III (December 18-20) shows will run in consecutive order offering the $10,000 Open Stake Holiday I presented by Vita Flex (Dec. 11), the $10,000 Holiday II Open Stake presented by PonyUp Horse Treats (Dec. 15) and the $10,000 Holiday III Open Stake presented by AcuLife (Dec. 18). These three successive competitions will each host a Grand Prix class including the $25,000 Grand Prix Holiday I presented by Equiline (Dec. 13), the $25,000 Grand Prix Holiday II presented by PonyUp Horse Treats (Dec. 17), and the $25,000 Grand Prix Holiday III sponsored by The Brazilian Court (Dec. 20).

Competition at PBIEC will take a week-long break before resuming with the ESP New Year’s competition on Wednesday, December 30. Offering the $10,000 Open Stake 1.40m presented by UHealth Ear Institute on Thursday, December 31, the ESP New Year’s competition will ring in the 2016 year hosting the $30,000 Nutrena Grand Prix on Saturday, January 2.

The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby is set to highlight elite hunter talent on Friday, January 1, in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, welcoming the first day of equestrian competition of the New Year.

Concluding the 2015 ESP Holiday Series at PBIEC will be the Holiday Finale (Jan. 6-10) before the venue begins preparations for the start of the 12-week WEF circuit. The $10,000 Open Stake 1.40m presented by Hedrick Brothers Construction will held on Thursday, January 7, before the $50,000 UHealth Ear Institute Grand Prix on Sunday, January 10.

To learn more about the 2015 ESP Holiday Series at PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Sharn Wordley & Popstar Lozonais Top $10k Equiline Open Stake at Holiday & Horses

Sharn Wordley and Popstar Lozonais. Photos copyright Mancini Photos.

Tiffany Morrissey and Belucci Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – November 30, 2014 – Equestrian Sport Productions’ Holiday & Horses competition concluded on Sunday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with a win for Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Popstar Lozonais in the $10,000 Equiline Open Stake class. A $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby was also held with a victory for Tiffany Morrissey and Belucci.

Catsy Cruz of Mexico has been the course designer for international jumper competition all week and concluded with a challenging track for Sunday’s exhibitors. Fifty entries showed in round one with 17 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. The riders were given an option to jump immediately following their first round or wait until the end of the first round to jump-off, and although several chose the immediate option, there were no double clear rounds until the end.

Abigail McArdle (USA) set the pace in 37.19 seconds aboard David McArdle’s Cade to eventually finish in third place. A few rounds later, Lucas Porter (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Mill’s Georgia stole the lead in 36.14 seconds. They eventually settled for second place when Sharn Wordley and Ashland Stables’ Popstar Lozonais took over the top spot, last to go and almost two seconds faster in 34.39 seconds.

Wordley has ridden Popstar Lozonais, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Quick Star x Muguet du Manoir), for one year and has had great results.

“He is a speed machine,” the rider smiled after his win. “He is by Quick Star, and he actually won the seven-year-old championships in Fontainebleau. He is 11 now, so he has always been a good horse. At the 1.45m level he is really fast. He is a little tricky to ride, but always wins a class at most shows that I go to.”

“He is just a typical Quick Star,” Wordley described. “He is mouthy and he hops up and down and bucks halfway through a line. It took me a while to get a partnership with him, but now it has been good. He has won a couple of the $10,000 classes here, and he won in Kentucky and Tryon. He is winning all over the place, so I am really happy to have him as a part of the team.”

Speaking of Sunday’s course, Wordley noted, “I thought it was tricky enough. There were quite a lot in it and there weren’t that many double clean, so it was obviously tricky enough even though it was only 1.40m. I think the triple combination away from the gate caught a few people, and it just took some jumping with all the other jumps.”

“I got to see Abigail and she was really fast, and then Lucas came out and beat her,” Wordley detailed on the jump-off. “I was planning to do one more extra stride to the last jump, so I had to make up a bit of time at the beginning, but he is so fast. It is hard to judge how fast you are actually going. I didn’t plan on being two seconds faster because it was already a fast class, but it just happened that way. He is so fast at turning, and he is so quick. He is an amazing horse.”

Wordley looks forward to the winter season in Wellington and will continue aiming Popstar Lovonais at the 1.45m world ranking classes throughout the circuit.

Tiffany Morrissey and Belucci
Tiffany Morrissey and Belucci

Also showing on Sunday afternoon, Tiffany Morrissey jumped to victory in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Eastwind Farms LLC’s Belucci. In the two round competition over a course set by Danny Moore, Morrissey and Belucci finished with a 168-point total with scores of 81 and 87. Molly Ashe-Cawley and Greer Hindle’s Freedom finished second with scores of 88 and 77 for a total of 165. Hellen Voss guided Mark Bone’s Cashmere to third place honors with scores of 80 and 83 to total 163.

Belucci is a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Tenerife VDL) that Morrissey first started as a pre-green horse this year.

“We showed all summer and now he is going to do the First Years,” Morrissey detailed. “He has done derby classes before. He won in Lake Placid. He was first and second in Lake Placid and now he won another one.”

“He is a good jumper,” Morrissey described. “He is scopey, which is nice because you can always jump the high options. He is big-strided, so he is really good in the handy normally. He is a good boy.”

The rider spoke about each of her rounds with Belucci, stating, “Round one he was good. He rubbed one, so my first round score wasn’t quite as good as I would have hoped, but in the handy he was super. He was great in the second round.”

Morrissey and Belucci will now take a couple weeks off before returning to compete this winter, where Belucci will move up to prove himself in the First Year Green Working Hunters as he continues to develop.

ESP’s Holiday Show Series continues through January 4 featuring top hunter/jumper competition at the world-class Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The competition serves as a precursor to the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, which begins January 7 and runs through March 29, featuring 12 weeks of competition and awarding over $8 million in prize money.

For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488

Laura Kraut and Cedric Win $50,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI-W 2*

Laura Kraut and Cedric. Photos copyright Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2014 – The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) hosted its $50,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI-W 2* on Saturday night with an electrifying winning performance from show jumping stars Laura Kraut (USA) and Cedric. A FEI World Cup qualifying event, the competition saw 55 starters with ten clear rounds to advance over the Catsy Cruz (MEX) designed course. Kraut and Cedric topped Hardin Towell (USA) and Silence and Leslie Howard (USA) aboard Utah in a very fast jump-off with eight double clear rounds.

Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Jan Van Tricht’s D Elia van het Molenhof put the pressure on, beginning the jump-off with a very fast clear round in 38.68 seconds, but eventually finished fourth. Hardin Towell and Jennifer Gates’ Silence upped the ante with their blazing fast round in 38 seconds flat that many thought would be unbeatable, but the longtime partnership of Laura Kraut and Cedric found a way to go even faster. Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric raced through the course in 36.48 seconds for the win. Leslie Howard and The Utah Group’s Utah finished out the night to take third place honors with a clear round in 38.11 seconds.

Cedric, the 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Chambertin x Carolus Z, had six months off this season and has slowly been coming back to competition in the last two months. Saturday night’s class was his first grand prix back and an exciting win for both horse and rider. In addition to the top prize, Kraut was also presented with the Leading Lady Rider Award for the week’s competition, an award presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.

“I watched Hardin, and I didn’t think I could beat him,” Kraut admitted after the class. “He is so fast and this was Cedric’s first grand prix back since the beginning of May in Madrid. I did want to win tonight with it being a World Cup qualifier, but I thought that I would be happy with second or third when I saw Hardin go. Cedric just was brilliant. It was just one of those jump-offs where every time I turned the corner it all came up. Even the mad dash to the last jump, I was at full throttle, and it just showed itself. Often times when you come at that speed there is just nothing there, but tonight I was about five strides out and I was like, ‘Thank God.'”

“I have no idea where I got the time,” Kraut mused. “He is a quick horse, and I turned really sharp back on the double. I stayed inside everyone’s hoof prints; I know that. I know I was quicker back because I looked down and made sure I was inside everybody, but other than that I don’t know. He is smaller, so he can gallop faster.”

The pair galloped full force down to the last fence, which was a very tall plank jump going towards the in-gate, but Kraut had faith in Cedric as the crowd cheered them on.

“He is careful enough that you can take a chance like that with him. He knows his job, and he doesn’t think he should knock it down,” she stated. “I could definitely hear the people shouting. I am going to go anyway, so they don’t really have any influence, but it does create an excitement to it. I think it’s fun for the crowd. It was a great jump-off. It was faster and faster and faster, so I am thrilled.”

Cedric has been Kraut’s top horse for many years now, and she was careful to bring him back gradually after having time off this year. She knows that he is now back in winning form.

“This was his first grand prix, but I started him in October in Portugal jumping little 1.20/1.30m classes and then he did the National (Horse Show) and Toronto in just small classes,” Kraut explained. “This Friday I did the 1.50m and he was third in that and it was really the first time I felt like he was 95% back. Even on Wednesday I felt he was fantastic and tonight also. I can feel that he is more tired than he would be under normal circumstances, but the only way he is going to get fit is by doing it.”

“It felt great,” Kraut smiled. “I read this thing the other day, years ago when McLain Ward was talking about him in a press conference and he said, ‘Knowing this horse, when he’s 16 years old, he’s still going to be a pain in the ass.’ Now he is 16 years old and he was just a pain in the ass tonight for everybody, so that made me happy. He likes the lights, and he really loves showing. He was pretty depressed all summer when the truck kept driving out without him. He likes being at the show and being paid attention to.”

Cedric will have some time off now while Kraut travels to Paris for the Gucci Masters. He will then jump in the Trump Invitational in Palm Beach in January before the start of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival.

“His next show will be Trump. He jumped there a couple years ago, and he quite liked it,” Kraut stated. “He has had six months off, so I feel like I would like to keep him in the groove now that he is up and running. I just want to sit down and plan out all of WEF and what I want to do. What’s nice now is that he does have age, and I don’t have to jump him as often in little classes. I can just sort of peak him in bigger classes, so that would be the idea.”

Kraut also spoke about the course for Saturday night and praised Catsy Cruz on her efforts all week. “I think she has done a really great job. Her times have been sharp all week, but not impossible,” the rider remarked. “I thought her class on Wednesday was good, and I thought her speed course yesterday was brilliant. I quite liked it tonight. When I walked it tonight I thought she had a variety. Some of the lines suited a big horse, some suited a small one. It was technical, it wasn’t overly big, but it was careful. I don’t know that I have jumped one of her courses before, but I was very impressed.”

Hardin Towell and Silence
Hardin Towell and Silence

Second place finisher Hardin Towell also had a great experience Saturday night with his mount, Silence. The nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding has been showing with owner Jennifer Gates and Towell picked up the ride recently in Los Angeles.

“I showed him in L.A., and he was pretty good. He had one down in each class, and he has just gotten better and better,” Towell detailed. “I took him to Sacramento, and he was double clean in the World Cup qualifier there. I didn’t go so fast because I really didn’t know him. Then I gave him a couple of weeks off and took him back to Thermal. He was third in the World Cup there. He was double clear, and I went faster there. I have quite a lot of World Cup points. I think now I should have about 71, but I needed to get one point in the East (Coast) league because I have shown all out west. I was a little bit stressed, so today was pretty important. I needed to be at least top 15 and then once I was in the jump-off I was like, ‘Okay, now there’s nothing to lose. I’m gonna give it a shot.'”

“He was great,” Towell continued. “In the first round I had kind of a big mistake and he looked after me there, so it’s quite nice. I am lucky that I have quite a good string right now. They are all younger and a bit inexperienced, but they are really all coming along.”

Towell also took a big run to the final plank jump, but his horse was unfazed. “He doesn’t care at all. He is an excellent horse,” the rider stated. “He is a little bit slow going sometimes, but he has just figured out how to get faster. Between that one and another one, if I can qualify for World Cup Finals, I think I will take them. I feel good with the position I am sitting in now.”

Commenting on the jump-off, Towell added, “I was worried about Laura and Darragh (Kenny). Laura because I know Cedric is so fast, and she knows him so well. I was actually really worried about Darragh too because he is really hungry for World Cup points. Darragh and I are quite close, and I know he is never going to go in there just to school around. That is a slower going horse, but Darragh has made him faster in the last couple months. I didn’t see him go, but he must have been flying tonight. I’ve been third a few times. I’ve been right there, so it’s a little disappointing. I would like to win one of these, but my horses are jumping clean and I can’t ask for more than that.”

The Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* competition concludes on Sunday, November 30, 2014. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488