The 25th Anniversary of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit wrapped up after a week of fun filled competition at the beautiful Harrison County Fairgrounds.
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, in the irons of Loretta Patterson’s Hercules, kicked off the Gulf Coast Winter Classic with a win in the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix and also picked up a second place with Patterson’s Warmachine.
With a first-round time allowed of 84 seconds, only three advanced to the jump off round. Shepherd commented, “The combinations got a little bit tight, and you needed to be able to adjust. It really depended on what size horse and what size step you had to figure out how you’d ride the course and I had to package my horses for the combinations,” she said.
The first round saw Kelly Arvidson of Nashville, Tennessee, aboard Ark Partners LLC’s Oak Groves Celebrity, turn in a clear first round in a time of 74.891 seconds. Shepherd and Warmachine followed with a clear round in a time of 77.540 seconds and she also had the final clear first round with Hercules in a time of 76.891 seconds.
Arvidson and Oak Groves Celebrity were first to go in the jump off round. Their fault-free time in 37.135 seconds beat the 40 seconds time allowed and set the new time to beat.
Shepherd and Warmachine followed and their fault free round in 35.481 seconds took the lead. “I knew I had it in the bag after Warmachine,” commented Shepherd. “I just put the pressure on Hercules to see if he could outrun his ‘big brother’ and he did!” Shepherd and Hercules passed through the timers in 34.104 seconds and won the first Grand Prix of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic’s 2023 season and a second with Warmachine. “He [Hercules] has really come into his own this past year and is really growing up. He’s been a rock star in the Grand Prix lately,” Shepherd commented.
Arvidson and Oak Groves Celebrity placed third and Gianna Aycock of Argyle, Texas placed fourth with Dalman Show Jumping’s Con Sorpresa H as the fastest four fault first round with a time of 72.320 seconds.
Fifth was awarded to Colby Coltrain of Argyle, Texas and Gianna Aycock’s Conquer after earning four faults in the first round with a time of 736.36 seconds.
Katherine Le Blanc of Folsom, Louisiana and David O’Donnell’s MTM Turbojack earned a sixth-place finish after posting a four fault first round in a time of 77.512 seconds, and Shepherd picked up a seventh with Brenda Peurifoy’s Gladjas for their four fault first round in 78.384 seconds.
Le Blanc returned for an eighth-place ribbon with David O’Donnell’s MTM Vinze for their eight fault first round in 71.753 seconds and Trina Green of Corinth, Texas placed ninth with Madison Ann Skarzenski’s Tinito Paulowna Z.
“We had a great day. The grass grand prix field felt great, the weather was beautiful, and the horses jumped well,” said Shepherd.
The Week V installment of the No Entry Fee Grand Prix welcomed twenty-three horse and rider teams to the world-class grass grand prix field to compete for the win in the $25,000 Harrah’s Gulf Coast Grand Prix over a course designed by Paul Jewell of Windsor, New Jersey.
With the first round time allowed set at 83 seconds, only four horse and rider teams would advance to a jump off round.
Brian Murphy of Ocala, Florida in the irons of Light Speed Equestrian, LLC’s Hyperios HS was the first to tackle the jump off round with a time allowed of 50 seconds. The pair earned four jump faults and then opted to retire which would place them in fourth place overall.
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama aboard Loretta Patterson’s CHS Krooze followed in the jump off order and turned in a fault free round in 38.466 seconds and set the new time to beat.
Shannon Hicks of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D followed Shepherd and Krooze in the order of go, but four jump faults in a time of 42.140 seconds wouldn’t beat the class leader.
Murphy returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of Edith Rameika’s Semi-Automatic C. After earning eight jump faults, the pair opted to retire and earned a third place ribbon and insured a second place finish for Hicks and Emir D.
Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas rode her own Quite Funny to a fifth place finish after earning one time fault in their first round, which they finished in 83.308 seconds.
Kara Jones of Cornelius, North Carolina and her own End Game won sixth place for their two time faults first round of 84.801 seconds.
Elizabeth Schumann of Ocala, Florida and Light Speed Equestrian, LLC’s Princeton placed seventh overall as the fastest of the four-fault first rounds with their time of 77.205 seconds. Schumann also rode Edith Rameika’s Mimmo T.Z to an eleventh place finish.
Gianna Aycock of Argyle, Texas piloted her own La Belle Sauvage to an eighth place finish for their four-fault first round in a time of 77.316 seconds. Aycock also earned a twelfth place ribbon with her own Flex A Tia.
Hakini, owned by Ellen Walker and ridden by Adam Sklansky of Skillman, New Jersey, finished in ninth place after earning four jump faults in their first round with a time of 79.880 seconds. Collin Reynolds of Oxford, Pennsylvania rode his own Chicco W to a tenth place finish.
Week II at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic welcomed Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s CHS Krooze back to the winner’s circle in the $25,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Fazzio’s Farm and Home Center. Just one week earlier, Krooze and Shepherd won the $25,000 Domino’s Grand Prix.
Shepherd said, “We got Krooze just before Gulfport last year and since then have shown for a total of five weeks here between last year and this year. She’s won four of the five Grand Prix we’ve entered here so far.”
The first round was set with a time allowed of 84 seconds. Shepherd and Krooze were the eighth to go in the order and the first to turn in a clear round in a time of 79.988 seconds. It wasn’t until Brian Murphy of Berryville, Virginia and Light Speed Equestrian’s Hyperios HS, the last to go in the first round, posted a clear round in a time of 81.569 seconds and insured a jump off.
First to go, Shepherd and CHS Krooze turned in a fault free jump off round in a time of 36.595 seconds. Murphy and Hyperios HS followed but earned four jump faults and finished in second place overall.
Shepherd commented, “It was a hard course today and while there weren’t any big issues, you just had to be very careful out there. There was a great field of riders and horses, but only two went clear. It felt like the course won today,” she said.
“I had to make sure I was clear today, so I played it a little safe,” continued Shepherd. “In the jump off round, I thought Brian might have had me at the third jump, but when he took the rail there, that really decided the class,” she added.
“Krooze and I are still getting to know each other,” commented Shepherd. “We got her just before Gulfport kicked off last year, but when I hurt my shoulder last year, I had to take a break in order to heal and didn’t go anywhere for a couple of months. She’s really quite complex, but is all business when she gets in the ring.
“We are quite the same in temperament, but she’s a little spicier than me,” she laughed. “She really is a horse of a lifetime and I’m so thankful to Loretta Patterson for the opportunity to ride her,” she added.
“Loretta Patterson has been with me for 22 years and is my best friend, next to my parents and my son. Her love for the horses is above and beyond and I am so lucky to have that sort of owner,” she added.
Third place was awarded to Highridge Farm, LLC’s Kaprio, ridden by Danielle Grice of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, for their first round which they finished in 84.159 seconds which earned one time fault.
Collin Reynolds of Oxford, Pennsylvania aboard his own Chicco W finished in fourth place with their first-round time of 84.763 seconds which earned them one time fault.
Even though junior rider Bree Garey of Houston, Texas and her own Carvelo Z had no jump faults in their first round, their time of 85.467 seconds earned them two time faults and a fifth place ribbon.
Junior rider Emma Scott of Conroe, Texas and her own Vidam De Courcel placed sixth overall for their four fault first round in a time of 77.616.
Seventh was awarded to Light Speed Equestrian LLC’s Princeton and Elizabeth Schumann of Ocala, Florida for their four fault first round in a time of 78.169 seconds. Schumann also picked up the eleventh-place ribbon with Edith Rameika’s Mimmo TZ for their four fault first round in a time of 83.822 seconds.
Shannon Hicks of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri earned both the eighth and ninth place ribbons in the irons of Helen Gilbert’s Clearwater 5, for their four fault first round in a time of 79.383, and Emir D, for their four fault first round in 79.503 seconds.
Murphy returned to the winner’s circle for both the tenth and twelfth placings, this time in the irons of Edith Rameika’s Semi-Automatic C, for their four fault first round in a time of 82.787 seconds, and Light Speed Equestrian LLC’s Denison Park Combat, for their eight fault first round in a time of 76.551 seconds.
Week V of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic experienced big numbers for what turned out to be the grand finale of the highly celebrated winter circuit.
Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s CHS Krooze certainly had a grand finale, winning the $25,000 Harrah’s Grand Prix.
Ten of the twenty-four horse and rider teams qualified for the jump off and the time to beat was set at 78 seconds.
Isabel Harbour of Alpharetta, Georgia aboard IMH Equine, LLC’s Reposado were first in the jump off round and had four jump faults with a time of 40.32 seconds. Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Ceralena followed in the order and turned in a clear jump off round in a time of 42.480 seconds. Dylan Daly of Wellington, Florida and Burgundy Farms’ Domino Van Lange Weeren were next and with eight jump faults in a time of 36.836 seconds would finish in ninth place overall.
Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s HG Swing Time followed with a clear round and their time of 42.146 would temporarily take the lead. Reid Ricket of North Port, Alabama and his own Banderas de Bornival followed Shepherd with a clear jump off round in a time of 40.388 seconds and took the lead. Blaze of Glory, owned by Carson Grisham, and Tom Foley of Wellington, Florida were next up and four jump faults in a time of 38,227 would earn them a seventh place ribbon.
Matt Cyphert of Argyle, Texas and Heathman Farm, LLC’s Cortani FBH went clear in their jump off round in a time of 40.921 seconds and finished in fourth place overall.
Shepherd was up next with CHS Krooze. The pair flew across the grass grand prix field in a fault free time of 36.187 seconds taking the lead.
Connaway returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of her own Quite Funny. The pair went clear, but their time of 40.843 seconds saw them finish in third place. Sitting in the enviable last to go position were Tom Foley and Andy Kocher’s Carel Van Don Deren. Eight faults in a time of 41.799 seconds had them finish in tenth place.
Shepherd CHS Krooze took the win and Reid Rickett and Banderas De Bornival took second.
The Gulf Coast Winter Classic is sadly ending its seven-week circuit two weeks early due to the Corona virus in line with the USEF’s announcement that all rated shows are to be cancelled for one month and for everyone’s health and safety. We hope all will join us in 2021 and discover why everyone has more fun on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!
The Classic Company will also not be holding the Jacksonville Spring Classics in 2020 due to the USEF announcement that cancels all Rated shows for one month and for everyone’s health and safety. We hope to be jumping in Jacksonville in 2021, but in the meantime be safe and we hope to see you at the ring soon.
Mill Spring, NC – October 14, 2018 – Eugenio Garza (MEX) celebrated his longtime mount, Bariano, after their 33.01 second jump-off round to win the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Karen Polle (JPN) claimed reserve honors aboard her own Little Lord 90, a 2005 Holsteiner stallion (Lasino x Calato), clearing the short course in 34.835 seconds, while Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Almighty charged to third place on a 35.043 second performance by the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC.
The course set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) saw 29 horse-and-rider pairs attempt the first round, with 12 entries returning for the short-course test. Early in the order of go, Garza and the 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Jetset-D x Skippy) owned by David and Monica Garza put in a blazing clear performance that couldn’t be beaten.
“My horse jumped beautifully, and it was a really, really special class because it was his last class in the U.S.,” Garza revealed. “Bariano gets retired in two weeks in Mexico, so this is a nice way to finish his career in the U.S. It was a fun class, and the course designer did a great job, I thought.”
Garza, who has partnered with the now-17-year-old gelding for many years throughout his development as a rider, emphasized how much he owes Bariano: “My relationship with him has been everything. He took me from children’s jumpers to where I am now, and he’s an amazing horse. I’m not usually emotional, but it’s nice. I owe everything to him, but he owes me nothing.”
Of the many memories Garza has with Bariano, including competing across the globe at the FEI level, Tryon in particular holds a special moment, he explained. “I have to say the 5* last year here in Tryon was pretty special with him,” Garza recounted of his second-place performance in the $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* just over a year ago at TIEC. “For a horse I started with in the children’s jumpers and [to end up on the podium in that class] with him as well – that was really special, and is one of my fondest memories of him.”
As he looks ahead to competing in the Tryon Fall 4 CSI 5* next week before returning to Mexico, Garza will be partnering with another mount, but Bariano’s job well done for Garza over the years will remain front and center.
After a week of ups and downs, Garza was thankful to conclude the Tryon Fall 3 CSI 3* week on such a positive note, he explained. “Well, I fell off yesterday on a green horse, so today is a great improvement from yesterday! That’s just horses for you. One day you lose, and one day you win, and you take it as it comes. Today we celebrate, and I’m thankful I have this special horse with me.”
Holly Shepherd and MTM Making Waves Conquer the $10,000 USHJA National Derby
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL piloted MTM Making Waves for owner Mary Antonini to victory in Friday’s $10,000 USHJA National Derby at TIEC, producing a two-round score of 172. Reserve honors went to Mountain Brook, AL native Timothy Maddrix and Missy Nolen’s Man Up, taking home a score of 171, while Shepherd also collected third place honors aboard Barbara Risius’ Longstreet, scoring 168.5.
“MTM Making Waves is a First Year 3’6″ Green Hunter, as they call them,” Shepherd explained. “I’ve had him with some customers for a couple of years and showed him as a Pre-Green horse. He’s won a few of these derbies, so I’ve got some faith in him by round two. He was really good and he’s a special horse. He has a giant step.”
For a hunter, there are a couple distinguishing factors about her mount, Shepherd noted. “He’s a little strong-willed, and I’m not sure that’s my favorite thing about him,” she joked. “His look in the ring is so beautiful that when I walk in the ring I feel confident and people are like, ‘wow!’ That is probably my favorite thing about him. He wows the judges when he walks in, so I always feel like I’m starting a little ahead on that one, which is nice. I look the part.”
For full results from the $10,000 USHJA National Derby, click here.
For full results from the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3*, click here.
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 17, 2018 – Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship returned Friday to the Kentucky Horse Park for the first of two days of competition, bringing along with it 83 of the country’s top hunter horses and athletes. Since 2012, the program finale has steadily increased in prize money, and this year is no exception, with the overall purse nearing $300,000, a welcome incentive for the collection of skilled entries. With only 40 slots in Saturday evening’s championship handy round up for the taking, competitors needed to showcase themselves well enough to earn a place in the top half of the scorecard to retain a shot at the title. Rising to the challenge in the face of an onslaught of rain, Tybee carried Holly Shepherd to the highest marks of the day to emerge as the early front-runners ahead of a field comprised of both veterans and newcomers.
The 2018 championship, held inside the Rolex Stadium for its ninth year, featured a 12-effort track from designer Alan Lohman, who chose to implement plenty of lofty oxers and the standard four high-option fences for exhibitors to highlight their precision and scope. As the 10th pair in the order-of-go, Jamie Taylor aboard Iwasaki and Reilly’s Small Kingdom set the bar high for subsequent contenders with a total tally of 266 points. The top slot soon changed hands, however, as three-time champion and veteran hunter rider Liza Boyd piloted Maggie Hill’s Tradition just nine trips later to the first 90 score of the day, accompanied by an 86, 89 and 12 bonus points to overthrow the early leaders with a whopping 277 points. Intermittent downpours of rain plagued the morning, and Shepherd and Holly Brown’s Tybee were one of the unlucky pairs to have to face the elements for their classic round. The skilled duo overcame the added difficulty, earning scores of 88, 91 and 92, in addition to 12 bonus points, for cumulative marks of 283 to usurp Boyd and Tradition for the throne with more than 50 partners still left to ride.
As only the 25th to take their turn around the ring, Shepherd and Tybee anxiously waited to see if their place atop the leaderboard would hold. On her second ride of the day, reigning champion Victoria Colvin and Brad Wolf’s Private Practice gave the top contenders reason to worry, electing to jump all four high-options and pulling in a total score of 279, just four points shy of the lead. As 54 more entries continued to come forth throughout the morning and afternoon, many with the benefit of sunny skies, the cut-off score for 12th place continued to rise, ultimately settling on 267.50 as challengers consistently illustrated exceptional rounds that raked in scores in the 80s. However, none were able to catch the leading trio of Shepherd, Colvin, and Boyd, each of whom rode within the first 30 in the line-up and only a few trips from each other.
Heading into the final handy phase of competition, Shepherd and Tybee will face off against a group of top talent, aiming to retain their spot at the head of the class as the last to ride Saturday. Just points off the lead, Colvin undoubtedly hopes to match her 2017 results, jumping from third place after the classic round to the championship tricolor and largest prize money check of the competition thanks to a standout handy portion. No stranger to the winner’s circle and always a threat to the leader, Boyd managed to maneuver her way into both the third and fourth place spots with Tradition and Finally Farm and Westerly Farm’s Clemens, respectively. Tied with Clemens’ score of 276.50 is Tracy Freels’ Red Ryder with Hannah Isop at the helm, while Jenny Karazissis held the reins on the sixth highest-scoring horse, Dulcie Lou Morris’ Big Shot.
Holly Shepherd and Kodachrome [Alison Hartwell Photography]
Seasoned derby riders, Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, battled it out for the top placings in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby over a course designed by Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey.
Twenty-five horse and rider teams took to the oval arena and it was Derby Queen Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Nina Moore’s Kodachrome who took home the blue ribbon for their overall score of 375.
Special, owned by Missy Nolen and ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, earned a second place ribbon with their overall score of 363, and Shepherd returned for a third place ribbon in the irons of Belle Rolfe’s Cesar De Lison Z for their overall score of 362. Maddrix returned to the winner’s circle for the fourth place ribbon, this time aboard Margaret Camp’s Cascaron, for their overall score of 349.
Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California took the fifth, sixth, and seventh placings with Kelly Sims’ True Enough [348.50], his own Nil Du Buffan [347.50], and Sims’ True Story .
Sarah Milliren of Athens, Georgia and Liddy Strickland’s Valentine placed eighth, ninth was awarded to Allison Reichenbach’s High Life, ridden by Danielle Grice of Northfield, Tennessee, and tenth went to Vick Russell of Columbus, North Carolina and his own Tall Paul. Eleventh and twelfth were awarded to West Meadow Farm, LLC’s Fergus, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, and Wimberly Debono’s Indecision, ridden by Maddrix.
“It was great to see so many compete in the International Hunter Derby,” commented Bob Bell, President of Classic Company. “We’ve had a strong showing in the hunter divisions both weeks I and II.”
Julie Curtin and Cheryl Rubinstein’s Capisce Victorious in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia took the top two placings in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Kruse Cushion Ride, besting a field of 23 horse and rider teams over a course designed by Paul Jewell. Curtin and Cheryl Rubinstein’s Capisce took the class with their combined score of 179.5, but beating Curtin’s second ride, Rebekah Warren’s Cassico, by only half a point.
“In the Handy round, Capisce and I had a couple of options. We took the inside turns and he was really smooth and extremely handy which made for a good trip. He just edged out my other horse, so it was really close,” she said.
Final results had Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama taking the third and fourth placings with Belle Rolfe’s Boure and Micaela Kennedy’s Magnus Hermes, respectively, with overall scores of 175 and 174.
Kelly Sims’ Eleventh Hour, ridden by Michael Leon of West Hollywood, California, placed fifth with their overall score of 171.5, and Eleese Shillingford’s Odyssey, ridden by Carolyn Bell of Alpharetta, Georgia, placed sixth with their overall 171.
Sabina Holtzman of Clayton, Missouri and her own Jerez Mail earned a seventh place ribbon and Cassino Royale, owned by Anna Huggins and ridden by Clay Alder of Germantown, Tennessee, placed eighth. Shanna Beyer’s Lacoste, ridden by Mary Mielenz of Collierville, Tennessee, earned a ninth place finish, and Curtin returned for a tenth with Select Sport Horses’ Hudson for a tenth place ribbon. SLF Bellarena, ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina and owned by Helen Byrd, placed eleventh, and Hannahlea, owned by Kelly Sims and ridden by Maggie Diehl of Alpharetta, Georgia, wrapped up the class with a twelfth place.
“I’ve ridden Cheryl’s horse before, but I rode him as a Pre Green. I was excited when Phoebe and Cheryl asked me about a week ago to ride him,” said Curtin. “He’s [Capisce] has really matured and grown up a lot and we just clicked right away. He’s a wonderful horse and I felt so comfortable on him.
“Paul used the same course for us as the International Hunter Derby and it rode really well for both heights,” she added. “It was open, flowing and there were lots of single jumps. Because the arena is very long, but not as wide, he did a great job on making it flow. He put a couple of jumps at the end of the ring because it was so long he had to use some of the width. The very first jump was on the end of the ring and the horses had to pay attention at Jump 1,” she commented. “But Paul let us finish with a nice long run to an oxer for our last jump which was really nice.
“It was so nice to see both the International and National Hunter Derbies with big numbers, especially now at the end of the year,” she added. “I’m looking forward to Gulfport this winter and plan on doing four weeks there.”
Holly Shepherd and Sky High [Photo Credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High galloped away with their first Grand Prix win in the $40,777 Kruse Cushion Ride Grand Prix, presented by the City of Gulfport, on a course designed by former Assistant Olympic Course Designer for the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2016 Games, Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico.
Esparza set the first round time allowed at 83 seconds. “The course was well designed and had a nice flow to it. Early on the course looked pretty good, and there weren’t any big tricks, but it rode a little backwards,” commented Shepherd. “You’d jump in fast but then have to slow it down, hurry up, slow down,” she said. “The jumps were big and the time allowed was really tight,” she added.
Carson Grisham of Southlake, Texas and her own Crack De Muze, winners of the $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome two days earlier, were the first horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round in a time of 49.566 seconds.
Four rides later, Shepherd and Sky High insured there would be a jump off with their clear first round in a time of 82.345 seconds.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia followed Shepherd with the next clear first round in a time of 82.706 seconds and would round out the jump off roster.
Grisham and Crack De Muze were the first to go in the jump off and turned in a fault free round, beating the time allowed of 59 seconds with their own 49.566 seconds. Shepherd and Sky High were next to go.
“My jump off plan was to leave the strides out, rather than slow it down,” she said when asked about her strategy. “He loves the field, and he’s a great galloper,” Shepherd said. “He’s a little slow in the air, but he has such a big stride it’s really beneficial,” she added.
And beneficial it was. Shepherd and Sky High, also known as “Pete”, turned in a fault free second round in a time of 48.745 seconds, setting the new time to beat. When Hicks and Emir D retired from the second round, Shepherd and Sky High were crowned the victors.
“I’ve had him for about nine months. He’s got a great personality, loves to be scratched all over and is a really great horse. We’ve been doing the Grand Prix and he’s ribboned quite a bit, but this is our first win. We did a bit change a couple of weeks ago in order to maintain his step and shape, and I think we maybe found the magic. I feel like we’re on the right path and we’ll be showing here the next two weeks,” said Shepherd.
Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas picked up fourth and fifth place ribbons in the irons of Hannah Donald’s Hector for their one time fault first round in 83.209 seconds and his own Lochnivar who earned three time faults in their first round in a time of 85.314 seconds.
Sixth place went to Frank Owens of Windcrest, Texas and MTM Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl with their four fault first round in a time of 78.874 seconds, and Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Sun Tzu placed seventh with their four fault first round in a time of 79.737 seconds.
Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s C’Havinia placed eighth with their four fault first round in a time of 80.742 seconds and Dominique Damico of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and her own Canoso placed ninth. Tenth was awarded to Jorge Ludwig of Newbury Park, California and his own Lamarique, Colleen Acosta of Roanoke, Texas and Evalyn Grace LLC’s Himini earned eleventh, and Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas and her own Ceralena wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.
The $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place on Friday and sixteen horse and rider teams tackled the course designed by Manuel Esparza.
The first round was set with a time allowed of 89 seconds and eight horse and rider teams advanced to a second round opportunity. Shannon Hicks and Helen Gilbert’s Emir D were the first horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round, and their clear second round in a time of 46.642 seconds, set the new time to beat.
Frank Owens and DS Holdings, LLC’s MTM Twenties Girl followed Hicks with double clear rounds. Their clear second round in a time of 43.967 moved Hicks and Emir D into second position and they took the lead.
The lead was short lived when Jorge Ludwig and his own Lamarique followed suit, turning in double clear round and a second round in a time of 43.365 seconds and set the new time to beat.
Laura Connaway of and her own Ceralena followed Ludwig with a clear first round and advanced to the second round. Four faults in a time of 48.168 would see the pair finish in eighth place overall.
Cerulean Stables, LLC’s HHS Louis, ridden by Penny Brennan, were the next horse and rider team to turn in a clear first round. Their fault free second round in a time of 43.721 seconds would see the pair finish in third place overall.
Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s Sky High followed with the next clear first round effort. Their second round resulted in four jump faults in a time of 44.630 seconds which would find them with a seventh place finish.
Carson Grisham and her own Crack De Muze followed Shepherd and Sky High with double clear rounds and a second round time of 42.222 which took the lead.
Matt Cyphert and Hannah Donald’s Hector, winner of last week’s $25,000 CWD Grand Prix, followed Grisham, but their second round saw four jump faults in a time of 43.126 seconds which would find them finishing in sixth place overall.
Final results had Grisham and Crack De Muze with the win and Ludwig and Lamarique in second. Brennan and HHS Louis picked up third and Owens and MTM Twenties Girl placed fourth. Hicks and Emir D finished in fifth and Cyphert and Hector picked up sixth place.
Holly Shepherd and White Lightening [Photos: Alison Hartwell Photography]
The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby kicked off the hunter action Week II at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit. Helen Gilbert’s White Lightening, ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, galloped away with the blue ribbon after earning the highest Classic and Handy Round scores of 174 and 189.5, respectively, for a combined 363.5.
The second place ribbon was awarded to Fairfax, owned and ridden by Liz Hudspeth of Alpharetta, Georgia, after earning a Classic Round score of 160 and a Handy score of 187 for a combined 347.
Love Game, owned by EMC International and ridden by Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, Virginia, earned a third place ribbon with their first round score of 162 and Handy Round score of 174 for a total of 336 combined points.
Coluccio returned for a fourth place ribbon in the irons of Larry Antonini’s Six Pack after earning a Classic Round score of 159 and a Handy score of 155 for a total of 314.
Estander, owned and ridden by Leah Toscano of Chesterfield, New Jersey, placed fifth after earning 150 points in their Classic Round and a score of 154 for a total of 304.
In the Black B, owned and ridden by Liana Brown of Carmel, Indiana, took home the sixth place ribbon after earning a first round score of 140 and a Handy round score of 163 for a combined 303. Seventh was awarded to Allure, owned and ridden by Gianna Cobb of Marietta, Georgia, for their combined score of 302. Nemesis, owned by Daniel Damen and ridden by Dominique Damica of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, was awarded eighth place. Coluccio returned to the arena for both the ninth and tenth place ribbons with Ellen Addison’s El Tindo and Mary Antonini’s Rocking the Boat. Autograph, owned and ridden by Tim Sweat of Milton, Georgia, placed eleventh.
The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby followed the International Hunter Derby and Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia and Kirsten Martin’s Cammarata took the win, besting sixteen horse and rider teams. Enticement, owned by Rebekah Warren and ridden by Julie Curtin of Woodstock, Georgia, was awarded a second place while Kaitlyn Williams of Wayne, Pennsylvania and her own Balouette placed third. Berry returned with EMO Stables’ Capiche to pick up the fourth place ribbon and Katie Thomas’ Yahtzee, ridden by Kelley Buringa of Northlake, Texas, earned fifth place. Liana Brown of Carmel, Indiana rode her own Marengo to a sixth place finish. Curtin returned to the winner’s circle to pick up the seventh place ribbon this time in the irons of Wesley Wilson’s Whitny and Robin Hood, owned by Jacob Brupbacher and ridden by Mary Antonini of New Orleans, Louisiana, placed eighth. HC Sport Horses’ HC San Patrignano, ridden by Lucy Heaton of Clarksdale, Mississippi, placed ninth and Katrina Seitz’ Notre Montrachet, ridden by Amy Tilson Ochoa of Zionsville, Indiana, finished in tenth place. Lily Gumenick of Richmond, Virginia rode her own Summit to an eleventh place finish and Hil Cat Farm’s Casting Call, ridden by Catherine Castle of Folsom, Louisiana, finished in twelfth place.
The hunter grooms were recognized Friday thanks to Sheila and Shirley Murphy. Tito Aguilar won the class and the cash award. Second place went to Missie Morrissey and third place was awarded to Josette Ward. “The grooms are often the unsung heroes of the horse show world and this class is a great opportunity to thank them for their commitment to the well-being of our horses,” said Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company.
The $2,000 Sidelines 3′ and 3’3″ Green Hunter took place and for an entry fee of $5, Jason Berry and Kirsten Martin’s Cammarata won the 3’3″ Green Hunter Championship and Julie Curtin and her own Honey Badger won the 3′ Sidelines Green Hunter Championship. Twenty-three horse and rider teams competed in Week II’s $2,000 Sidelines Green Hunter Division and it continues to be successful, largely in part of Sidelines Magazine’s sponsorship of the Green Hunter Division offered for only a $5 entry fee. “Sidelines is happy to sponsor this division which is so important to the development of our Hunter horses,” commented Bradley Spragg, Publisher of Sidelines Magazine.
The $50,777 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, closed out the 2016 Gulf Coast Winter Classic and the USHJA Dash for the Cash King, Andy Kocher of Ocala, Florida, galloped away with the win in the irons of Evalyn Grace, LLC’s Cantu 5.
Of the twenty-eight that tackled the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey, only eight turned in clear first rounds advancing to the jump off.
Kocher rode Postage Stamp Farm’s Prof De La Roque as the first to go and posted a clear round in a time of 82.486 seconds, well within the 89 seconds time allowed.
Kocher then piloted his own Leconte to a clear first round in a time of 84.603 seconds. He now had two rides in the jump off!
Hester Equestrian, LLC’s Clueless P, ridden by Lauren Hester of Lexington, Kentucky, followed Kocher and posted a clear first round in a time of 79.972 seconds and added themselves to the jump off roster.
Charlie Jayne’s Cupid Shuffle, ridden by Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee, added themselves to the jump off round after posting a clear first round in a time of 79.117 seconds.
Kocher returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of Cantu 5. The pair posted a clear first round in a time of 82.881 seconds, making it his third horse to qualify for the jump off.
Christopher Schroeder of Wellington, Florida and his own Catungee also turned in a clear first round effort in a time of 87.767 seconds, qualifying for the jump off round. Missy Nolan’s Specialized, ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, joined the jump off roster after posting a clear first round effort in a time of 87.386 seconds.
Schroeder and Marion Head’s Heliante were the last to go and clear they went in a time of 87.532 seconds and sat in the enviable last to go spot in the jump off order.
Paul Jewell set the jump off time allowed at 57 seconds. Kocher and Prof De La Roque were the first to go, but an unintentional dismount would keep the pair out of the winner’s circle and settling for eighth place overall.
Kocher and Leconte were next in the order but four faults in a time of 51.455 seconds would finish them in seventh place overall.
Hester and Clueless P followed Kocher, but four faults in a time of 50.064 seconds would see them finish in fourth place overall. Tokaruk and Cupid Shuffle followed Hester in the order. Four faults in a time of 50.154 seconds would have move them into the lead as the fastest four-faulter, but with four rides left to go, there was still a chance for someone to go clear.
And that’s exactly what happened when Kocher and Cantu 5 followed Tokaruk and turned in the first clear round in a time of 52.745, taking the lead and setting the new time to beat.
Schroeder and Catungee challenged Kocher’s time and although they went clear, their time of 56.569 seconds would put them in second place behind Kocher and Cantu 5.
Maddrix and Specialized followed Schroeder in the jump off order, but four faults in a time of 50.593 seconds would find them finish in sixth place overall. Schroeder and Heliante sat in the enviable last to go position and although they turned in the fastest jump off round in a time of 49.104 seconds, a heartbreak rail at the final fence would have them finish in third place, giving Kocher and Cantu 5 the win.
“This was a great event and congratulations to Andy Kocher and Cantu 5 on their win today,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Gulf and Classic Companies as well as Classic Publications. “This is the first Sidelines Grand Prix since Classic Publications has purchased the magazine and I thank all of those who competed today,” he said. “All of you are part of Sidelines history now,” he added.
Finishing in ninth place with one time fault was GK Performance Horses’ Diamant De Revel, ridden by Christopher Schroeder. Scott Lenkart and Fleur De Lis Farms’ Ziezo earned tenth place after posting the fastest four-fault round, and Sun Tzu, owned and ridden by Penny Brennan, placed eleventh. Brooke Kemper and Classified wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.
Shepherd Takes the $10,777 Legend Jumper Derby
Twenty-three horse and rider teams tackled the highly anticipated $10,777 Legend Jumper Derby on the world class Grand Prix field Saturday afternoon. The 1.30 m jumper classic, open to all horses not competing in the Grand Prix, had a time allowed of 120 seconds which only saw three go clean.
Christopher Schroeder of Wellington, Florida and Elizabeth Win’s Dubai B were the first to go and posted a clear round in a time of 101.824 seconds, setting the new time to beat. Newtown Jumping Jack, owned and ridden by Thomas Welsh of New York, New York, followed Schroeder and while they beat Schroeder’s time with their own 100.219 seconds, four jump faults would finish in eighth place overall.
Alex Turner’s Vanrock, ridden by Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee, posted a clear round and set the new time to beat at 97.926 seconds, taking the lead.
Amanda Forte of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania and Cerulean Stables’ Rincoola Black Adder challenged Tokaruk and Vanrock’s time with their own 89.980 seconds. However, eight jump faults would find them out of the ribbons.
Trapp O’Neal of Magnolia, Texas and Carolyn Elsey’s Quilona Z followed Forte and posted an eight fault jump round in 97.953 seconds, which would see them finish in twelfth place overall.
Margaret Camp’s Charmeur, ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, tackled the course, but their time of 98.555 seconds with four jump faults would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Eagle Valley Partners’ Coconut, ridden by Andy Kocher, followed Shepherd and turned in an eight fault round in a time of 93.638 seconds, which would find them finish in eleventh place overall.
Kocher returned with his own Red Lady, but with eight jump faults in a time of 89.002, the pair would have them finish in tenth place overall.
Rico S, owned and ridden by Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama, followed Kocher and Red Lady and posted a four fault round in a time of 96.931 seconds and would finish in sixth place overall.
O’Neal followed Dees in the order, this time in the irons of TKO Partnershjp’s Camero, and turned in a four fault round in a time of 100.990 seconds. They finished in ninth place overall.
Riptide, owned by Christina Van Patten and ridden by Brooke Kemper of Culpeper, Virginia, followed O’Neal and turned in a four fault round in a time of 93.509 seconds and placed fourth overall.
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Dejan Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS followed Riptide and turned in a lightning fast clear round in 91.474 seconds, taking the lead and moving Tokaruk and Vanrock into second place.
Sitting in the enviable last to go spot was Kocher and Showcase 81, LLC’s Mullentine Imperial. The pair posted a time of 93.751 seconds, but four jump faults would see them finish in fifth place overall.
“The $10,777 Jumper Derby is one of the most popular events at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company. “We are delighted that Merial and its product Legend sponsored this competition and appreciate their support,” he added.