Thousand Oaks, CA – September 13, 2010 – In every equestrian calendar as the summer starts to disappear many national championship competitions begin to occur. This year included the 2010 USEF Pony Finals, the $100,000 2009-2010 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals Presented by Dietrich Insurance, the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships Presented by Gotham North, and each discipline’s national championship. Kai Handt owner and trainer of the North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) made his way around the country because of this year’s success. In every discipline that Handt rides and teaches there was a NTEC rider and horse winning. In Para-Dressage Handt led his rider Jonathan Wentz to qualify for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. I had the opportunity to speak with Handt about his experience internationally and his accomplishments in and out of the show ring are astounding.
Lindsay McCall: Thank you Kai for taking the time to speak with me today. Let’s start from the beginning. How did your equestrian career begin?
Sunday, September 12th – Aiken, SC – The first week of the third annual Aiken Fall Festival Horse Show series wrapped up today. The show, a USEF A rated event and Jumper 3, took place September 9-12 at Highfields in Aiken, SC. Equus Event’s Inc. and JP Godard handled the managing duties for the event.
The show started on Thursday with the professional hunter divisions kicking off in the hunter rings. Action in the jumper ring also began with classes taking place out on the grass field. The day ended with the $5,000 Welcome Stake at 5 pm as well as an Exhibitors Welcome Party sponsored by DFG Stables and Daniel and Cathy Geitner under the tent. Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Kendra Bullington’s Patent Pending were the first of 21 competitors to navigate the course and ended up being the best to take home the blue ribbon. Daniel Geitner and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bostwick’s Sympa were second and Daniel also picked up third place honors on Ann Ritter’s Jumbo Jet. Rounding out the top 4 was another local Aiken professional, Michael Tokaruk and his Roger Rabbit.
Green Cove Springs, FL – September 7, 2010 – Seventeen-year-old Molly Braswell, of Ocala, FL, celebrated her birthday this weekend with an exciting victory in the ASPCA Maclay Southeast Regional Championship. Competing at the 2010 North Florida Hunter Jumper Association’s Labor Day Horse Show in Green Cove Springs, FL, Braswell topped 44 competitors to earn the Region 3 title for the 2010 season. Region 3 includes riders from the Southeastern states of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.
The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. From each Regional Final a percentage of all winners will advance to the year-end National Championships. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden in 1987, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2008 ASPCA Maclay National Championship winner was Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, and in 2009 Zazou Hoffman, of Santa Monica, CA, was named the winner.
Green Cove Springs, FL — September 5, 2010 — Molly Braswell celebrated her 17th Birthday weekend by besting 44 top competitors to capture the ASPCA Maclay Regional Championship (Region 3, the Southeast), held during 2010 North Florida Hunter Jumper Association’s Labor Day Horse Show at the Agricultural Center in Green Cove Springs, Fl.
Touted as the ultimate junior hunter accomplishment, the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Trophy is the top award presented to one rider age 18 or under who has competed in a series of qualifying classes and earned enough points to participate in a regional contest. From each Regional Final a percentage of all winners will advance to the year-end National Championships at the Syracuse Invitational Horse Show, with the deciding final held on November 7th. Region 3-Southeast includes athletes from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. 2010 marks the fourth year the Southeast Regional Final has taken place in Florida.
This year’s 12-fence course was designed by Michael Rheinheimer who said his was a test of the intellect, gracefulness and poise of riders. One missed or added stride or forgotten lead change could end the dream of advancing. “The horse I rode tonight, Danish, this is really our first big event together and overall I think it went great,” a smiling Molly said. Great indeed as birthday presents go!
CULPEPER, VA (August 30, 2010) — It was the same old story for Second Hand News and Jessica Van Brocklin as they secured the top prize for the consecutive second week in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby at the Constitution Classic at HITS Commonwealth Park, in Culpeper, Virginia.
Van Brocklin shows in the Amateur-Owner Hunters under the tutelage of trainer Pam Baker and got the best of the 17 horse-and-rider combinations in Saturday’s feature class for hunter riders. “It was a difficult course. It allowed for inside turns that were doable and was also wide enough with plenty of options,” said Van Brocklin.
“It was very nice course, and I really love the log fences that they include in these types of events,” she continued.
Van Brocklin (Alexandria, Virginia) had the top score of 87 in the first round on a course set by Rian Beals. In the handy round, the duo scored an 82.5 (169.5) to propel them to the blue ribbon. “The handy round was great! That’s really our specialty,” said Van Brocklin.
Upper Marlboro, MD – August 25, 2010 – The Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again welcome the top 40 qualified riders for the 2010 Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals. The THIS Finals will be part of the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com, held on October 2-3, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The horse show will continue on October 4-10 with competition in the outdoor ring and indoors in the Show Place Arena.
The THIS National Children’s Medal Series is the perfect stepping stone for young riders and offer a great opportunity to compete in an indoor arena with the pressure of a finals competition. Riders must compete throughout the year to qualify for the Finals, which is a great goal for aspiring equitation riders.
The Finals themselves also provide riders a chance to learn with an opening round and a test for the top riders in the class. The National Children’s Medal is a proven leg-up for riders planning to advance to the 3’6” equitation division. Many of the riders who placed well in the Finals in past years have gone on to win numerous equitation finals.
August 21, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Hunt Tosh waited in anticipation after his final round. He’d dominated the first round and after a powerful second round he thought there was a chance this night could be his. It wasn’t until the scores went up that he knew he’d become the winner of the second annual 2010 $100,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals.
It was August 21, the night everyone had been anxiously waiting for, and there were only two more rounds to go before Tosh’s victory was secured. Being held in the lovely venue of the indoor arena at the Kentucky Horse Park only added to the thrill and for a touch of class and tradition, black tie dress was asked.
Those who placed in the top 25 after the qualifying round, held August 20, battled it out in a Classic Hunter round to determine the top 12. Winner of the qualifier Scott Stewart, 2nd place Jennifer Alfano, and 3rd place Liza Boyd were among the few showing. The high scores these riders obtained in the previous round would not help them here. At the start of the second round all points were erased. Everyone started with a clean slate.
Chicago, Illinois – August 20, 2010 – Two years ago, Chicago Equestrians for a Cause embarked on a mission that would prove to not only play an integral role in betterment of the sport of show hunters, but also in the movement to have hunter derbies that are structured so as to benefit one or more charitable organizations. In August of 2009, their vision became a reality as Annali Farm in Antioch, IL, welcomed this nation’s top exhibitors for the premiere $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby (Chicago Hunter Derby) Presented by CN.
Offering a trifecta of benefits, the 2010 Chicago Hunter Derby will contribute to (1) the progression of the sport, (2) the assistance of horsemen in need, and (3) the support of children with illnesses, as it is a member event of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Series as well as a generous donor to both the USHJA Foundation and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.
New York, NY – August 17, 2010 – The National Horse Show Association of America is pleased to announce the dates and locations for this year’s ASPCA Maclay Regional competitions. The horse shows’ qualifying classes determine which riders will compete in this year’s ASPCA Maclay National Championship, which will be held at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament featuring the 127th National Horse Show on November 3-7, 2010.
The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden in 1987, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2008 ASPCA Maclay National Championship winner was Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, and in 2009 Zazou Hoffman, of Santa Monica, CA, was named the winner.
Separate entry blanks for the ASPCA Maclay Regionals must be mailed to the National Horse Show. All other classes and stall requests should go directly to the host horse show.
Lexington, KY – August 15, 2010 – The last day of the 2010 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals National Championships was marked by a mix of sun and rain, but that did not slow down the exciting competition in the Covered Arena. The EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Finals was the last phase of the week, and after a two-horse hack-off it was Isabelle Caccamise and Better Than Good earning the Gold Medal and a $500 gift certificate from Oakcroft.
Over 180 ponies jumped the first course and the top 21 total ponies returned for the second round. The technical courses both consisted of short lines, bending lines, a hedge jump and an optional fence. Caccamise was at the top of the order for today’s second round and rode the tight turn to the stone line with ease and but chose the easier option to showcase her riding abilities. Victoria Colvin was ranked second and took the more difficult option. Both riders impressed the judges with their incredible skill and were invited back for the final test on the flat.