Tag Archives: Holiday & Horses

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.

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.

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane Top $34,000 1.45m at Holiday & Horses Show

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane. Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2014 – Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) Holiday & Horses competition saw another win for Ireland this week in the $34,000 1.45m FEI World Ranking class held on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Catsy Cruz of Mexico set the speed track for the class, which had 47 rounds with 15 clear. Ronan McGuigan and his 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Capall Zidane (Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet) won the class with the fastest time of 63.96 seconds.

The second place prize went to Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Paris Sellon’s Heracross in 64.74 seconds. Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms LP’s Wirma finished third in 65.20 seconds. Nina Fagerstrom (FIN) and Finca Horses’ Notaris jumped clear in 65.72 seconds to place fourth.

Hough held the leading time with Heracross when McGuigan and Capall Zidane stepped into the ring, but the winning horse and rider were able to shave off the time.

“I watched all the horses go early, and I wasn’t until after the drag,” McGuigan detailed. “A lot of the numbers were the same. My horse is just really fast across the ground. I didn’t think Lauren left any room, but we got it somewhere.”

McGuigan and Capall Zidane (known as Elliott in the barn) had several grand prix wins in the 2014 season and came back strong this week.

“We did Harrisburg, but we had rails every day,” McGuigan stated. “This is his first show back really. He had a rail down on Wednesday, but he was good and today suited him. It wasn’t that big today, so he was able to run. You are able to run him fast and he is careful that way.”

Capall Zidane will show again in Saturday night’s $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix and will then have a few weeks off before the start of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in January.

“I will try to do well there and then take a little break and maybe go mid-circuit again on weeks eight or nine,” McGuigan said. “My plan is definitely to gear him up early in the season. He had a great year last year, and I hope to follow that. If I have the same year as last year I will be very happy. It couldn’t have been any better last year.”

“He is 10 now, and he is going to be 11 in January,” the rider continued. “He has definitely matured. I started doing these classes two years ago and he used to hold his breath a little bit, but now he has taken it all in stride. The good thing about him is that I can run him like that today and he will come out tomorrow and it will not blow his head.”

Always fast, Capall Zidane thrives on speed, and McGuigan explained that he likes to let the horse stretch out before bigger classes. “My plan with him is that I usually run him in a class earlier in the week if it is a speed class,” he said. “I don’t hold back, because once he is going forward, then I can relax later on in the week. He is always careful enough, so the main thing is to go forward with him.”

“It’s funny, he will go so fast in the ring, but if you are riding him at home it is really hard to get him going,” McGuigan added. “You are kicking. He is very laid back around the barn. He is completely the opposite of what he is in the ring. He just sort of switches on when he gets to the warm-up ring, so it’s nice.”

The Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* competition continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center through Sunday, November 30, 2014. Saturday night will feature the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Kevin Babington and Shorapur Win $34,000 Holiday & Horses Opener at PBIEC

Kevin Babington and Shorapur. Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – November 26, 2014 – Ireland’s Kevin Babington and Shorapur jumped to victory out of a competitive 74-horse field on Wednesday afternoon in the $34,000 opening FEI class at Equestrian Sport Productions’ Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2*. Competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, Babington and Shorapur topped a 17-horse jump-off over Andrew Welles (USA) and Boo van het Kastanjehof to take top honors.

Catsy Cruz of Mexico set the course for Wednesday’s class in the International Arena at PBIEC with a total of 19 competitors jumping clear over the first round course. Two entries opted out of the jump-off where ten went double clear. Babington and the nine-year-old Hanoverian mare Shorapur (Stakkato Gold x Drosselklang II) raced through the course in 40.73. Welles and Boo van het Kastanjehof finished second in 41.53 seconds. Finland’s Nina Fagerstrom and Notaris placed third with a time of 41.76 seconds.

Babington and Shorapur have had a fantastic season, including four major grand prix victories. The mare began the season with two second place finishes in WEF Challenge Cup classes during the 2014 Winter Equestrian Festival and has stepped up throughout the year.

“She was always a good horse. All the other riders will tell you that; everybody liked her,” Babington stated. “She just had to get experience. She is only nine, so she shouldn’t have been doing it before this anyway.”

Commenting on his incredibly fast round in the jump-off, Babington noted, “She is almost better when I don’t get in her way because she is so careful. Today’s first round she was a little fussy, and in the jump-off, she is almost a little more rideable when I don’t try to interfere with her too much.”

Welles held the lead before Babington took over and knew that Shorapur could be faster. “She has always been one of my favorite horses,” Welles remarked. “I was scared with him following me for sure. These two have been on fire all season.”

“Laura (Kraut) went right before me, and that is what I was watching going in the ring,” Welles added of his round. “I thought, ‘Okay, this is the round to beat.’ For sure there were a lot of fast riders coming behind me, but in my mind I was trying to see if I could slip by Laura by a margin, and I think she ended up sixth. I guess that is a testament to what the class turned out to be.”

“This was a fast class,” Babington agreed. “I didn’t actually get to see Andrew’s round, but I saw some others go. I saw the times, and he must have had an amazing round. Other than really trying to do one less stride from one to two, and I think Andrew and Ramiro (Quintana) were the only ones that actually pulled that off, everything else was just sort of an open gallop. Somebody had said walking up to the ring that there was a six to the last fence and thank God I saw the horse before me go because I said, ‘There is no way there is a six there.’ The way I met the triple bar, I would have attempted it, and I don’t think it would have been a good result.”

Speaking of Shorapur’s confident attitude, Babington smiled, “She is cocky. I think she knows when she has been good. She is very proud of herself.”

Babington and Shorapur will compete again under the lights in Saturday night’s $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix. The Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* competition continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center through Sunday, November 30, 2014. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Dressage at Holiday & Horses Wrap-Up, November 30 – December 1, 2013

Anne Cizadlo and Talent. Photos (c) Susan J. Stickle.

Wellington, FL – December 3, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) hosted its Dressage at Holiday and Horses competition this weekend at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Home to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), the beautiful facility featured two days of national competition on Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1, 2013.

Dressage at Holiday and Horses featured a full line-up of classes to appeal to horses and riders of all levels. The competition was level two USEF/USDF rated, a Great American/USDF Regional Championship Qualifier, and a Dover Medal Adult Amateur program event. William Solyntjes ‘S’ served as the judge at (C) and Angela Goodwin-Volpert was the TD.

Anne Cizadlo, of Wellington, FL, and Oldwick, NJ, had a fantastic show at Holiday & Horses with her two mounts, Talent and Unique, both owned by Paula Runnells. Showing in the USEF First Level Test 2, Cizadlo and Unique scored a 71.081%. They then went on to compete in the USEF First Level Test 3 to earn a 75.484%. Cizadlo also showed in the USEF Second Level Test 2 with Talent to earn a score of 69.605%. Talent and Unique’s Owner, Paula Runnells, showed her horse Rubilat in the USEF Second Level Test 1 and earned a score of 60.143%.

Cizadlo has spent her winters in Wellington for the last 14 years and loves the dressage facility at PBIEC. She had a great weekend with her two mounts, who she has been riding for two years. Talent (13) and Unique (14) are both Dutch Harness horses that Runnell imported from Holland. Cizadlo explained that both horses originally started out as carriage driving horses for several years and then had a change of careers when Runnell took up dressage. Cizadlo was happy with both of their performances this weekend.

“When I first started with Talent, he was really tense when he would go in the ring,” Cizadlo detailed. “This was probably the first horse show where I was really able to ride him almost the same in the ring as I can ride him either at home or in the warm-up ring. He really relaxed and let me bend him when I needed to bend him and let me half-halt him when I needed to half-halt him without getting stiff and tense on me. I was really thrilled with how he performed this weekend. He did a really nice job. I showed in Second Level, and I am going to continue to show him Second Level for the rest of the season. I am excited to move him up when he gets a little stronger.”

Anne Cizadlo and Unique
Anne Cizadlo and Unique

“Unique has a little bit of the same story,” Cizadlo said. “When I started with him two years ago he would really get rigid when he was in the show ring and again this weekend, I don’t know if it was just the facility or the environment, but he finally also really relaxed. He let me ride him, not only pushing him forward, so he had a lot of power. I could feel his power, but also letting me bend him, and he was very flexible and pliable during the test as well. His best test was the second one. He really put it all together and gave me a lot of power and a lot of flexibility at the same time. I was really proud of him for that.”

Cizadlo loves showing at PBIEC, which is just down the road from Runnell’s farm in Wellington, and praised this weekend’s show and the great facility.

“The show was fantastic,” she smiled. “The footing is great, the staff is great, the shows run really smoothly. It is a really friendly atmosphere. I love the landscaping. It is just a really wonderful place to show horses. It’s really quiet around there, and the horses are very calm. It is a nice location. It’s so convenient to get there. It is the easiest place to show in the whole world. I love it.”

In addition to Cizadlo’s success this weekend, the Holiday & Horses event featured some great rides from Jennifer Marchand and many others. The FEI Grand Prix saw a top score from Marchand riding Today to a 62.553%. Kelly Layne and Von Primaire scored a 59.255%.

In the Prix St. Georges Open division, Marchand had great scores with her three mounts. Don Romeo scored a 67.368%, Beshardt earned a 63.684%, and Atreyu II scored a 62.368%. Showing as an amateur, Lily C. Zilo and Windsor’s Aron scored a 64.079%.

Lisa Hyslop showed in the USEF Third Level Test 1 to earn a 64.737% aboard Delauren. Hyslop also showed Devon to a 63.333% in the USEF Training Level 1.

In the USEF Third Level Test 1 Junior/Young Rider division, Ashley Walker earned the best score of 62.105% riding Vermeer HF. Aless Hall and Unze Funds received a 65.000% for their ride in the USEF Third Level Test 3.

Dressage at Holiday & Horses leads up to the start of the winter season in Wellington and this year’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The 2014 AGDF begins January 9 and will feature 12 weeks of competition with five national and eight international shows running through March 30, 2014. For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Molly Ashe Cawley Claims First and Third in $15,000 Holiday & Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby

Molly Ashe Cawley and Kennzo. Photos by Emily Riden.

Wellington, FL – December 2, 2013 – For the last two years, Molly Ashe Cawley and Kennzo have kicked off the holiday season by earning a bit of an early Christmas present. On Sunday afternoon, that holiday gift came in the form of their second consecutive victory in the $15,000 Holiday & Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Ashe not only won the derby aboard Kennzo, but she also finished third in the class with Original Du Rietz, earned ribbons in the open jumpers aboard Carissimo and helped coach Norfield Stables LLC rider Francesca Dildabanian to the Large Pony Hunter Championship.

Thanks to their numerous wins, the Holiday & Horses Show marked a fantastic start to the holiday season for the Newtown, CT based Norfield Stables LLC, at which Ashe trains alongside Timmy Kees and her husband Chris Cawley.

The $15,000 Holiday & Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby also marked Kennzo’s first time in the show ring since the Hampton Classic Horse Show in August.

“He hasn’t done anything since then – well, clearly he’s done a lot of eating. He’s fat as a house. He should be the poster child for Jenny Craig,” joked Ashe. “But he’s really cool that way. You’re able to just sort of pull him out of the field and go right out there, and he’s so on it.”

Kennzo, owned by Kristen Abbatiello-Neff, and Ashe were undoubtedly both on it from the get-go on Sunday. Their efforts over the first round classic hunter course, designed by Jason Shelley, shot them straight to the top of the leaderboard. Scores of 88 from the first judging panel and 87 from the second panel, plus four high option bonus points added to each score, gave them a total first round score of 183.

That score put Ashe and Kennzo in the top spot to return for the second round. Ashe also returned in the third place position aboard Elisee Browchuck’s Original Du Rietz, affectionately known as “Ritzy.”

Molly Ashe Cawley and Original du Rietz
Molly Ashe Cawley and Original du Rietz

“Ritzy, my boy! I have to say, I’m very proud of him,” Ashe said of Original Du Rietz. “He marched right out there. He hasn’t done anything since [The Hampton Classic Horse Show] either, and he laid it down right from round one. He handled it better than people might have thought at the beginning. As the class went on, you started to say ‘oh, he’s darn good.'”

Ritzy cemented the third place finish with judges’ scores of 80 and 85 in the second round for a total second round score of 184, including handy bonus and high option points.

With riders returning in reverse order of their first round standings, it came down to Ashe on Kennzo and Kelley Farmer on Skorekeeper, owned by Larry Glefke.

Farmer and Skorekeeper earned impressive scores of 87 and 87.5 for a second round total of 200.5 and an overall grand total of 374, leaving it all up to Ashe and Kennzo.

“I felt like I had to just not mess it up, instead of trying to scratch and claw my way ahead of somebody,” Ashe explained.

Far from messing it up, Ashe and Kennzo turned in a beautiful trip, earning them a grand total, two-round score of 382 and ensuring them the win.

“I was very happy with both of them (Kennzo and Original du Rietz),” Ashe concluded. “Kennzo goes in the ring, and he knows what to do. He is so much fun. He’s so scopey, and he has a great jump. He’s really turned into such a great show horse. He really knows his job now, and he’s all business every time.”

While Ashe earned her win in the Mogavero Ring, nearby in Ring 7, young Norfield Stables LLC rider Francesca Dildabanian was doing some winning of her own. The young competitor from New York, NY, and her own large pony, Pride, earned three blue ribbons over fences and the top call in the Large Pony Hunter Model before being named the Large Pony Hunter division champions.

“Pride was a green this past year, and he’s come a really long way,” Dildabanian explained. “He’s just naturally a really sweet pony.  He’s really cooperative and pretty laid back.”

Dildabanian continued: “I’ve been riding with Molly for about a year now, and I love it. It’s nice to have such a good relationship with your trainer. It’s almost as if she’s a second mom to me. She’s really inspirational in how she rides. It makes you want to ride that way.”

Dildabanian plans to continue showing Pride in the Large Pony Hunters throughout the winter season, as well as competing in the Children’s Jumpers and equitation divisions. She and much of the Norfield Stables team will look to continue their successful 2013 show year at the upcoming Equestrian Sport Productions Holiday Horse Show Series.

About Norfield Stables LLC

Norfield Stables LLC is a full service hunter/jumper facility run by Molly Ashe Cawley, Chris Cawley and Timmy Kees. Ashe is an accomplished show hunter rider who joined the grand prix tour in the late ’90s. In 1999, Ashe captured her first major grand prix victory during the $50,000 Grand Prix of Lake Placid aboard Rosewood Glen Ltd. Resolute. Since then, Ashe has won awards throughout Europe and the United States. With over 25 years’ experience on the “A” horse show circuit, Kees is one of the country’s most prominent hunter/equitation trainers. His riders have won the ASPCA Maclay, AHSA Medal and USET Equitation Finals a total of seven times. Kees has also trained hunters such as Holy Smoke, Watership Down, So No Wonder, Castaway and Double Cinco to championships at Devon, Harrisburg, Washington and New York. He is an USEF “R” judge and conducts clinics throughout the country. For more information, please email fjbmcb@gmail.com, and find Norfield Stables LLC on Facebook here.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Molly Ashe and Kennzo Triumph in $15,000 Holiday & Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby

Molly Ashe and Kennzo. Photos (c) Mancini Photos.

Laura Kraut and Bonito R Capture $10,000 Open Jumper Stake

Wellington, FL – December 1, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions’ Holiday & Horses competition concluded at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday afternoon with a win for Molly Ashe and Kennzo in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Laura Kraut and Bonito R ended the week with a victory in the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.40m Stake class.

The $15,000 Holiday & Horses USHJA International Hunter Derby was held in the Mogavero Ring at PBIEC featuring two rounds of competition over a course set by Jasen Shelley. The judges included Danny Robertshaw, Kitty Barker, John Barker, and Jim Zulia.

Molly Ashe jumped Kristen Abbatiello-Neff’s Kennzo, an eleven-year-old Finnish Warmblood gelding by Coriano, to victory with two beautiful rounds of competition. Ashe and Kennzo earned the high score of 183 in the classic round and then received the second highest score of 199 in the handy course to finish with 382 points overall.

Kelley Farmer and David Glefke’s Skorekeeper had the high score in the handy round with 200.5 points, which combined with their classic score of 173.5 to give the pair a 374-point total and second place honors.

Kennzo mainly shows in the hunter derby classes with Ashe and has proven himself with several wins in the last couple of years, including top honors at Horse Shows by the Bay this summer.  He was also third in the derby at the Hampton Classic in August and has not shown since then. Despite the time off, Kennzo came out like a pro on Sunday.

“Clearly he has done a lot of eating,” Ashe joked after the class. “He is really cool that way. You can pull him out and go right out there and he is on it. He is like a pony. You turn him out, and you can’t catch him. Riding him is like pulling teeth. He is a firm believer in me working as hard as he does. In the schooling area he won’t go. You canter the jump, and he will land trotting and stopping. But then he goes in the ring, and he knows his job. He is perfect in the ring.”

“He is so much fun,” she affirmed. “He is so scopey, and he has a great jump. He has really turned into such a great show horse. I have had him since he was seven, and he started out as a jumper and then we started doing the hunters. He really knows his job now, and he is all business every time. He takes no preparation. He literally walks to the ring and off he goes.”

Ashe also placed third in Sunday’s class riding Elisee Browchuck’s Original du Rietz. The pair earned scores of 171 and 184 for an overall score of 355.

“I was very proud of him,” the rider smiled. “He was doing jumpers with his owner and got a little scared and unhappy about it, so we made him a hunter. He marched right out there. He had not done anything since Southampton either, and he laid it down right from round one.”

Havens Schatt and Bruce Duchossois’s Just Fred finished fourth with scores of 163 and 190.5 for a score of 353.5 overall. Jennifer Bliss earned fifth and sixth place honors riding Harris Hill Farm LLC’s Poker Face and Extraordinary. Poker Face earned scores of 156 and 186 for a total of 342 to place fifth. Extraordinary received a 145 and a 183 for a 328-point total and the sixth place prize.

Laura Kraut and Bonito R
Laura Kraut and Bonito R

A $10,000 Open Jumper 1.40m Stake class concluded the competition on Sunday with a course set in the International Arena by Anthony D’Ambrosio. Twenty-eight entries showed in round one with five clear rounds to advance to the jump-off and five double clears over the short course. The fastest time of 37.946 seconds earned top prize for U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut riding Stars and Stripes’ Bonito R, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding by El Bonito x Rhytmo.

New Zealand’s Grant Wilson finished second riding Octavia de Beaufour, owned by Emmanuelle Mille and Grant Wilson. The pair cleared the short course in 38.411 seconds. Denmark’s Henrik Gundersen finished third riding Adlanteur through the timers in 39.609 seconds. Young U.S. rider, Sydney Shulman, took home both the fourth and fifth place honors. Shulman and Marcus Hagglund’s Quirado finished fourth with a time of 39.932 seconds. Riding Back Country Farm’s HH Narcos du Marais, Shulman placed fifth in 40.661 seconds.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2013 Holiday & Horses event. Equestrian Sport Productions will host its Year End Awards Show next at PBIEC. The competition will run December 7-8, 2013, featuring a $10,000 Open Stake on Saturday, December 7, and the $25,000 Year End Grand Prix (2 p.m.) and $5,000 USHJA 3′ Hunter Classic on Sunday, December 8. The ESP Year End Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, December 7, at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the PBIEC Special Events Tent. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star Win $50,000 Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* Grand Prix

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star. Photos (c) Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – November 30, 2013 – The $50,000 Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* Grand Prix was held on Saturday night at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with a win for Charlie Jacobs (USA) and CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Flaming Star. In an exciting four-horse jump-off with over 4,000 fans cheering them on, Jacobs and Flaming Star topped Tim Gredley (GBR) and Unex Chamberlain Z, Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Vindicat W, and Catherine Pasmore (USA) and Bonanza Van Paemel for the win.

Holiday & Horses competition concludes on Sunday with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby (12 p.m.) in the Mogavero Ring and $10,000 Open Stake 1.40m at 1 p.m. in the International Arena.

Anthony D’Ambrosio set a challenging course for Saturday night’s grand prix. Forty-four entries showed in round one and just four were able to advance to the jump-off. All of the jump-off competitors then had faults through the short course. Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star finished on top with one rail down in the fastest time of 48.62 seconds.

Tim Gredley and Unex Competition Yard’s Unex Chamberlain Z also had one rail and finished second with their time of 51.43 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W had eight faults in 49.59 seconds to earn third place honors. Catherine Pasmore and Pasmore Stables LLC’s Bonanza Van Paemel had three rails down in the short course to finish fourth with 12 faults in 52.78 seconds.

“I felt like Anthony did a great job with the course,” Jacobs said following his win. “It was a delicate track, to say the least, and also quite technical in my opinion. The time allowed was quite tight, and I think it got some people that were maybe rushing a little in their heads. With the number of competitors that entered, to have four clean obviously was a reflection of the difficulty of the course. You don’t necessarily have to build an entire 1.60m track to make it difficult, and he accomplished that with the technicality of the course.”

Jacobs has had a lot of success this year with Flaming Star, a 14-year-old Anglo-European gelding by Fairman.

“My horse likes the arena,” Jacobs acknowledged. “I think we have had some really good success here in 2013. Under the lights I wasn’t sure what we were going to get tonight. I had a few moments in the schooling area when I was going sideways and I wasn’t counting on it, but he was quite good in the ring. He loves it. I wish it were the rider, but I have to tell you, it’s the horse. He is doing a great job out there.”

Tim Gredley has had his mount, Unex Chamberlain Z, for about a year and a half, but the gelding is coming back from an injury, so the rider was pleased with his performance. “He has been out for about a year, and he just started four or five months ago,” Gredley explained. “He has just been getting better and better. I think he just needed to get fitter, and I needed to get fitter, and it is all just starting to come together with him a bit now.”

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W
Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W

Finishing third, Jessica Springsteen was happy with her round aboard Vindicat W. Springsteen has been busy in her senior year at Duke University and has not ridden in almost four months.  She was also presented with a special Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.

“He has been amazing,” she smiled. “My last show with him was in July, so it has been awhile, but Laura (Kraut) and Mary Elizabeth (Kent) have been riding him and he is in amazing shape. He jumped incredibly tonight, so I was really happy.”

Equestrian Sport Productions’ Holiday & Horses competition will conclude on Sunday. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations