Tag Archives: hunter/jumper

Super Chilled Keeps His Cool to Win $35k Commonwealth Grand Prix with Kevin Babington

Photo: Kevin Babington and Super Chilled.

Lexington, Ky. – May 13, 2018 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show highlighted national jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium with the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by AUDI of Lexington, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek, to conclude the first week of competition in the spring series. Sunday’s featured victories were awarded to Kevin Babington (IRL) and Eugenio Garza (MEX) in their respective classes.

In the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, the first round saw 32 starters over Robert Murphy III’s 17-effort course, resulting in a 10 horse jump-off. With two mounts in the class, Babington increased his odds when he piloted both Super Chilled and Shorapur to clear rounds and into the jump-off. Babington and the first of his two rides, Debra Wycoff’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Super Chilled, scored a double-clear round in a time of 38.761 seconds to capture the gelding’s first grand prix win. An unfortunate rail with Shorapur LLC’s Hanoverian mare ended with the pair in seventh place.

Ramiro Quintana (ARG) rode Corento VH Dingenshof, the 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Smith Hogan LLC, to a double-clear finish in 40.217 seconds for the second place ribbon. Third place was awarded to Alex Granato (USA) aboard Moyer Farm LLC’s Beorn. Granato and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding finished just behind Quintana with a time of 40.449 seconds.

Prior to the National Grand Prix, 25 riders challenged a very difficult 1.50m track in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek. Many of the athletes found trouble at the final combination, consisting of a triple combination to a liverpool oxer, and only the final two riders of the class cleared all 17 efforts fault-free with room to spare under the altered 88 second time allowed.

The head-to-head jump-off saw Sloan Hopson and her own Costa Rica VH Waterschoot Z put the pressure on as they flew to a clear second round in a time of 46.081 seconds. Eugenio Garza followed as the final rider in both the first and second rounds, knowing he had nothing to lose with longtime partner Bariano. Garza and the 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, flew to the finish in 41.127 seconds to earn the victory. Garza concluded a successful first week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, hot off his third place finish in Saturday night’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3* with Armani SL Z. Hopson and her 10-year-old Zangersheide mare settled for the second place finish.

Lacey Gilbertson and Teddy Vlock ended the first round with just one time fault, but as the faster of the two, only 10 milliseconds over the time allowed, Gilbertson earned the third place ribbon, finishing in 88.018 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Cobolt. Vlock received the fourth place prize.

Darragh Kenny also concluded a successful week, capturing the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Envisian Products, with a total of 28 points based on wins in Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and Saturday’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*.

Kelley Farmer and Jeff Gogul Claim Top Prizes in USHJA Hunter Derbies

Hunter competition continued in the Stonelea Ring with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, which concluded competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. At the end of the handy round of competition, it was Jeff Gogul and Just Ruffy that put in the best effort to take home top honors in the National Hunter Derby. Directly after, it was veteran rider Kelley Farmer and Aizlynn Radwanski’s Because who claimed the blue ribbon in the International Hunter Derby.

During the USHJA International Hunter Derby, 24 competitors tried for the champion ribbon, but no horse-and-rider combination could catch Farmer, who took home the top prize with a cumulative score of 392 after both rounds of competition. Farmer sat in a good position to claim the lead in some fashion, as she had entered with four different horses. Farmer and Because tackled the first round of competition with ease, despite some technical elements to the course including a wall fence that was placed in challenging location. During the handy round the pair secured the highest score of the day by utilizing all four of the high option fences in addition to accumulating 15 handy bonus points from the judges.

In second was another veteran hunter rider, Jennifer Alfano aboard her own Candid, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The pair rode to second place with a cumulative score of 382. Alfano also claimed third place with Sharon O’Neill’s Miss Lucy with a score of 380.50. The pair recently placed second in the $50,000 USHJA Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

Earlier in the day, the USHJA National Hunter Derby took place in the Stonelea Ring as well. Athletes navigated over a 10-fence course that offered four high option fences. The top twelve riders were asked to return to complete a handy round where they demonstrated their capabilities over a trot fence and multiple options for tight turns.

Despite being a relatively new combination, Jeff Gogul and Just Ruffy dominated the first round of competition with a score of 91. They were the only competitors of the day to achieve a score in the nineties, which put them in a good position entering the handy round. After the handy round, the pair had a cumulative score of 180. Just Ruffy has been a reliable derby mount for Gogul, having won six derbies during the winter season at the World Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina.

Second place was captured by Jordan Allen and Eclypse, a 10-year-old Hanoverian owned by Holly Orlando. The pair narrowly missed tying for first place with Gogul, acquiring a final cumulative score of 179. In a similar fashion, Alyssa Mansfield and Candor placed in a third with a score of 178 after two rounds of competition.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
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Darragh Kenny Does It Again to Claim $131k Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*

Photo: Darragh Kenny and Babalou 41.

Lexington, Ky. – May 12, 2018 – The evening awards ceremony of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show closed in a familiar fashion as the sun set on a victorious Darragh Kenny (IRL) who led the victory gallop around the Rolex Stadium aboard Babalou 41. On Saturday night, the pair claimed an exciting win in the $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*, just after capturing Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* at the Kentucky Horse Park.

With a starting list of 36 horse-and-rider combinations, Alan Wade’s (IRL) technical 17-effort track only produced four clear rounds for a thrilling and competitive jump-off. Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl also returned to Saturday night competition in top form, delivering the long-awaited first clear round to the delight of the audience. Minikus and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, owned by the Quality Group, returned first in the jump-off to set the pace with a blazing time of 36.050 seconds, but were just overtaken by Kenny in the end. However, Minikus and Quality Girl still managed another top award, finishing in second place and adding to Wednesday’s $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3* victory.

Eugenio Garza (MEX) and El Milagro’s Armani SL Z were the ones to guarantee a jump-off in round one as they produced the second clear effort of the evening. Garza and the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding returned for a clean and careful jump-off in 40.160 seconds to earn the third place award. The team is no stranger to the winner’s circle at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show series upon claiming last year’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* at the 2017 Kentucky Spring Classic.

Once again though, it was Kenny and Jack Snyder’s Babalou 41 who claimed the fastest double-clear finish of the night, flying to a time of 35.500 seconds for the victory. Kenny and the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare are already on the fast track to success with notable FEI wins in this week’s Kentucky Spring Horse Show as well as top placings at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival.

Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said Steal the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion

The Amateur-Owner divisions wrapped up in the Stonelea Ring on Saturday with the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion being awarded to the rider who acquired the most points over the course of competition on Friday and Saturday. The divisions saw a high number of entries, but despite the tough competition, it was Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said who captured the top award at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Danhakl and Enough Said have been a team for five years and their experience showed during Friday and Saturday’s competition. The pair accumulated scores in the high eighties during Friday’s Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter division and they remained consistent in Saturday’s competition as well. During the first round of the division the pair were the only competitors to receive a score in the nineties, which put them in a good position to claim the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion title.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
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Javier Fernandez Stays on Top to Claim $5,000 Open Jumpers with Diamond Dream

Photo: Javier Fernandez and Diamond Dream.

Lexington, Ky. – May 11, 2018 – Friday morning at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show welcomed the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumpers to kick off jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium, where athletes were tested over Alan Wade’s (IRL) 15-effort track.

First to enter the ring, Javier Fernandez (MEX) and Diamond Dream, owned by Patricio Miguel Madero, laid down a clear round, designating the duo as the first to advance to the immediate jump-off. Fernandez and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare galloped through the timers in a speedy 33.073 seconds, which the following 34 athletes attempted to catch, but were unable to outdo, awarding Fernandez the victory.

Out of the remaining start list, only four additional horse-and-athlete combinations produced a clear round, allowing the opportunity to continue onto the second round, with one electing to withdraw.

Savannah Talcott (USA) followed just after Fernandez with Sea Investments LLC’s 12-year-old Westphalian mare, Espatako’s Electra R, generating another double-clear round in a time of 34.113 seconds, slating her into the second place position which she managed to hold until near the end of the class. However, Anselmo Alvarado (VEN) came close to the top time aboard his own Inesse Van De Zijpe D’15 with a clear round and jump-off time of 33.437 seconds. Alvarado and the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare finished just behind Fernandez for the second place ribbon, while Talcott ended in third place.

Immediately following, 21 riders entered the stadium for the High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumpers speed-style class resulting in six clear rounds where Francesca Bolfo (USA) bested the competition aboard her own Jadalco in 66.101 seconds.

Sloan Hopson finished in a close second place in a time of 66.330 seconds aboard her own Dalida, while Marion Head and Carjo Z, owned by Scott Head, rode to a time of 68.690 seconds for third place.

Jennifer Speisman and Big Star Ace Ariat Adult Medal

Hunter competition commenced at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show on Friday in the Claiborne Ring with the Ariat National Adult Medal. Eight amateur athletes and their mounts vied for the top prize of the morning, but it was Jennifer Speisman and HC Sport Horses’ Big Star who put in a solid test that would give them the blue ribbon.

Riders in the Ariat National Adult Medal were first asked to compete over a course of eight fences, where they then received a numerical score that would dictate which four athletes would return to perform a specific test requested by the judge. Riders who scored 79 or higher during the first round of competition were asked to return to complete a test that involved three fences, a halt and a counter-canter.

Speisman and Big Star, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Verdi, expertly tackled both rounds of the medal class. In the first round, the team put in a score of 80, which put them in second place heading into the second round of competition. When asked to return to perform the test, they continued to work together to execute all elements of the work-off perfectly.

Second place was claimed by Lily Walton and her own Callahan, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding. Walton put in the highest first round score of the day with an 84. In third place was Emma Witham and Check It Out 5.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
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Darragh Kenny Conquers $35,000 Hagyard Classic CSI3* with Babalou 41

Photo: Darragh Kenny and Babalou 41.

Lexington, Ky. – May 10, 2018 – The Rolex Stadium welcomed its first evening event of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows with the opener of the seven-part Hagyard Challenge Series, the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Out of a substantial starting list of 53 horse-and-rider combinations, it was Darragh Kenny (IRL) who emerged triumphant, riding Jack Snyder’s Babalou 41 to the fastest double-clear finish in 44.22 seconds.

Designer Alan Wade (IRL) challenged contenders over 16 efforts with a tight time-allowed of 79 seconds and spectators were not given a clear round until one fourth of the way in when Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) entered the ring aboard the 11-year-old Selle Français mare, Tosca De L’esques, owned by Bonne Chance Farm LLC.

Hardin Towell, Darragh Kenny, Kevin Babington, Charlie Jayne, Lorcan Gallagher and Leslie Howard followed respectively with additional clear rounds to yield a thrilling 7-horse jump-off. Returning first in the second round, Leivas Da Costa set the pace with a swift, clear round in 44.44 seconds, but it was just two-tenths of a second shy of the winning time and the pair took home the second place award.

Gallagher and the Dacantos Group’s Hunters Conlypso II also put in two clear jumping rounds, but Kenny could not be caught as the duo ended on a time of 45.81 seconds. The Irish still added another name to the leaderboard as Gallagher was quick enough to capture third place aboard the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

Kenny and the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare share a new partnership as they have only been a team for less than three months, but already show promise following tonight’s success building off of a win in their first 1.50m class together, the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in March.

The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven show-jumping events held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington throughout the 2018 show season with the second leg of the series, the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, to occur next week during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Thursday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium. The following four shows to host a Hagyard Lexington Classic event include the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The series will culminate during the Kentucky National Horse Show at the end of September, where the rider who accumulates the most points in the series will receive a $50,000 Leading Rider Award, presented upon completion of the seventh event, the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.

Scott Stewart and Harvard Hall Claim Grand Hunter Champion Award

Hunter competition resumed in the Stonelea ring earlier in the day with the Grand Hunter Champion title being presented to the rider who accumulated the highest scores throughout competition on Wednesday and Thursday at the Kentucky Horse Park. Despite numerous veteran hunter riders putting in their best efforts, it was Scott Stewart and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Harvard Hall who claimed the Grand Hunter Champion prize.

Stewart and Harvard Hall captured the award by acquiring the most points from competing, and earning champion, in the Green Conformation Hunters. On Wednesday, the pair claimed first place in both over fences classes with scores of 87 and 81 in addition to first place in the under saddle portion of competition. They continued to dominate Thursday’s Green Conformation Hunters with scores in the 80s. Stewart and the 7-year-old KWPN gelding, Harvard Hall, have proven themselves to be a great team, having won numerous champion titles during the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Harvard Hall was purchased by Dr. Betsee Parker in the beginning of the 2018 WEF circuit.

The Grand Hunter Champion award is presented each year by Visse Wedell. Wedell has been a continuous great supporter of the Kentucky Horse Shows by sponsoring grand championship prizes in multiple divisions every year.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
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Todd Minikus and Quality Girl Return in Winning Form at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Photo: Todd Minikus and Quality Girl.

Lexington, Ky. – May 9, 2018 – The first day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show kicked off in exciting fashion at the Kentucky Horse Park where the Rolex Stadium highlighted the $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3* with 27 entries contesting Alan Wade’s (IRL) 15-effort track resulting in 11 clear rounds. Racing to an impressive and unbeatable clear round, Todd Minikus (USA) and the Quality Group’s Quality Girl claimed the lead by over three seconds with a time of 65.24 seconds to earn the victory.

With an extensive list of accolades to her name including the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties in 2014, the Elm Rock Farm Trophy at the inaugural Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach in 2015 and a clean sweep with three FEI victories at the Kentucky Spring Classic in 2016, Quality Girl is a proven winner. After nearly a year off, Minikus took his time bringing the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare back to the show ring and it paid off.

Second place was awarded to Samuel Parot (CHI) and his own 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Couscous Van Orti, with a clear round and a time of 68.85 seconds. Hot on Parot’s heels in 69.22 seconds was Kevin Babington (IRL) and his own Mark Q, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.

Scott Stewart Shines with Playbook in the Green Hunter Incentive Program

Earlier in the day, the Green Hunter Incentive Program took place in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park. Twenty-one horse and rider combinations competed in the 3’6” and 3’9” sections of the Green Hunters for top honors and it was Scott Stewart and Fashion Farm’s Playbook that executed a flawless round at the 3’6” fence height. Second place was claimed by another veteran hunter rider, Kelley Farmer and Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus. Havens Schatt and Diatendro captured third place in the class.

Stewart is coming off of a successful season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Fla. with consistent champion titles in the High Performance Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters. Stewart has also had great success in the Green Incentive Program, having won the championship title three times, most recently in 2017 with Playbook.

The Green Hunter Incentive Program was created by the USHJA in the hopes of increasing participation at the Green level. This year, the program introduced the option for athletes to compete at the 3’6” and 3’9” height in order to attract even more entries. At the end of the year, the top placing horse and rider combinations will be invited to return to the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the Green Hunter Incentive Championships in August at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, which will include four fence height options upon adding the 3’6″ and 3’9″ to the existing 3′ and 3’3″ fence heights.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
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WEQx Games Competition List Announced

Athlete Inquiries Now Open and Must Be Received by Tuesday, May 15

Tryon, NC – May 8, 2018 – Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) announced that athlete inquiries are now open for the first annual 2018 WEQx Games™. In the inaugural year, the competition intends to have nine spectator-friendly equine competitions that highlight the accessibility, diversity, athleticism, and passion for horses and horse sport for athletes of all ages. The goal over time is to expand the WEQx Games™ to include a broad range of diverse competitions each year. The 2018 WEQx Games™ will be held alongside the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) this September 11-23, which is also being hosted by TIEC. Athletes are invited to compete to become the inaugural 2018 WEQx Games™ and/or U.S. Open champion.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has approved the WEQx Games™ concept as a further enhancement for spectators attending the WEG and to generally promote interest in equestrian sport. The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) is working with the organizer to ensure that all aspects of the WEQx Games™ meet the FEI and USEF requirements and following the response to this expression of interest, the organizer will submit the full details of the WEQX Games™ to the USEF Board of Directors for approval.

A total of nine competitions are planned for the inaugural WEQx Games™. Equestrian athletes interested in competing in any of the events must register their interest in participating by May 15, 2018. Details of the competition and qualifying information will be available shortly at the following link: www.Tryon2018.com/WEQxGames.

Organizer will assess the final competition schedule and qualifying information based on interest from exhibitors. All Jumping competitions are national classes and as such, entries are restricted by the provisions of FEI General Regulations Article 101 (maximum of four National Federations and/or a maximum of 15 foreign athletes). Entry fees will vary based on prize money of competitions and will not exceed all inclusive $1,250.

Proposed competitions and prize money are as follows:

U-25 U.S. Open Championship™ – The two class competition over two days during the 2018 WEG and will highlight the Show Jumping world’s up and coming riders under 25 years of age. Total prize money over the two days will be $50,000. The U-25 U.S. Open Champion™ will be crowned.

U.S. Open Speed Horse™ – A 1.40m, two-team relay featuring 32 two-person teams will navigate an Alan Wade course to compete for $100,000. Riders can create their own 2-person teams. Qualifying course and the final course will be the same and will be available for practice.

DERBYx™ – A derivative Hunter competition will be open to 24 competitors that will compete for a $100,000 prize. The optimum time competition will have 15 jumps and be objectively scored based on set criteria.

Battle of the Sexes – A three-event jumping competition featuring a 1.30m match race, speed class and relay with 10 men versus 10 women from the U.S. Ranking List among non-WEG participants or non-WEG reserves. The competition will highlight the only Olympic sport where men compete with women as equals. The teams will compete for $75,000 in prize money.

Match Race – A 1.30m competition where two riders face off in the ring over a mirrored course. Standard FEI rules to apply – two second faults converted, open to 24 competitors. Riders compete for a $50,000 prize.

Puissance – A horse and rider’s ability to clear a single fence that increases in height after each round – to as much as seven feet and is limited to four rounds. Riders compete for a $50,000 prize.

Six Bar – A challenge where the horse and rider jump a series of six vertical fences placed in a straight line with two strides between each fence. The six fences are progressively higher from fence one through six and are all raised after each round. Riders will compete for a $50,000 prize.

Pony Jumpers –  A competition where the top children of the sport compete for a $10,000 prize.

Gladiator Polo™ – A professional three-on-three arena polo match with modified rules that keep the play fast. The event is played in a ring with all-weather footing that is approximately 310 feet x 250 feet, which is one-tenth the size of a typical grass polo field. Four international teams will compete for $100,000 in prize money.

The WEQx Games™ concept and competitions have been approved by the FEI and the USEF Board of Directors with the intent to grow interest in horse sport.

To register an interest to participate, riders or trainers must send an email to WEQXGAMES@tryonweg.com by May 15, 2018.

To learn more about the 2018 WEQx Games™, please visit www.Tryon2018.com/WEGxGames.

Minikus and Babington Claim Top Finishes during ESP Spring III

Todd Minikus and Amex Z. ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – April 25, 2018 – The third installment of the ESP Spring Series concluded on Sunday, April 22, after a successful week of wins for Todd Minikus and Kevin Babington at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

The week boasted yet another win for Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Amex Z, owned by Chris Brems, in the $25,000 Spring Welcome Grand Prix on Friday, April 22. This victory was Minikus’ fourth Grand Prix win of the series, and the second for this specific mount. The pair topped the class of 39 entries, blazing through fast track timers in 39.592 seconds. Second place was captured by Fabio Levias da Costa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tosca de L’esques after contesting the eleven-horse jump-off in 39.592 seconds. Third place was rounded out by Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL and Dali T, owned by Rodrigo Padilla and Ricardo Romero, who completed the jump-off in 41.893 seconds.

A total of 31 entries contested the $40,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Grand Prix on Sunday, April 23, but none could catch Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, PA and Shorapur, owned by Shorapur LLC, who stopped the clock in a winning time of 39.258 seconds.

Second place went to Margie Engle of Wellington, FL and Gladewinds Farm Inc.’s Bockmanns Lazio, who rode through the Richard Jeffery designed jump-off course in 40.409 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL took third with his own Hardrock Z, jumping off in 40.867 seconds.

Jumper Highlights

Avery-Anna Hogan of Wellington, FL and her own Eurocommerce Tampa rode to victory in the $1,500 NAL Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic after completing their jump-off trip in 38.268 seconds ahead of Emerson Lane of Miami, FL and Diddlina D’Ive Z, owned by Lane, who took second with a time of 39.756 seconds. Katie Sansone of Coconut Creek, FL and Tropobella 3K, owned by Sansone, earned third place after riding to a jump-off time of 39.925 seconds.

The $10,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Open Welcome Stake awarded the win to Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL and Gut Einhaus, LLC’s Le Vio with a jump-off time of 29.246 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own Jenni’s Chance were presented with second place after completing the track in 29.753 seconds. Joaquim Malta de Abreu of Wellington, FL placed third with Two Swans Farm’s Arino du Rouet with a jump-off time of 30.207 seconds.

The $5,000 Omega Alpha® 1.35m Stake saw Alexis Trosch of Wellington, FL and her own Cortex Z, owned by Trosch, take first place, stopping the jump-off timers in a quick 33.929 seconds. Fabio Leivas da Costa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Luziada Jmen, owned by Bonne Chance Farm LLC, took home second place after finishing the track in 34.601 seconds. Leslie Howard of Darien, CT scooped up third place aboard Flo, owned by GJ Stable, finishing with a time of 35.412 seconds.

Hunter Highlights

The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw Kaitlin Porath of Charlotte, NC and her own Breaux take the championship title, after earning a total of 182 points after round two of competition. Lisa Rex of Westbury, NY and Over the Top Stables LLC’s Overjoyed secured reserve champion honors on 178.5 points. The yellow ribbon was snatched by Kelsey Duff of PBTD Ruffian, FL aboard Renee Eddy’s Playin’ for Keeps after riding to 175 points.

Nancy Hooker of Wellington, FL and Coolidge, owned by Richard Prant, took top honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter Older Division during ESP Spring. Marcie Marcus of Villanova, PA and Caliber Z, owned by Marcus Equestrian Enterprises, LLC, rode to reserve.

Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL aboard Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court, secured champion honors in the Triple Crown Nutrition Green Hunter 3’6″ Division, ahead of Maria Rasmussen of Oak Creek, WI aboard Sidarta, owned by Over Fences Farm, LLC.

Alexa Elle Lignelli of New York, NY and Fox Creeks Curious George, owned by The Lignelli Family, finished atop the Score at the Top Medium Pony Hunter Division ahead of Georgia Schmidt of Lutherville, MD, who collected reserve champion with Cleverist, owned by Emily Aitken.

Maggie Gould of Wellington, FL was awarded champion of the USHJA 2′ & 2’3″ Hunter Division aboard winning mount Masterpiece, owned by Alexandra Raffy. Reserve champion was presented to Alliyah Antoniadis of Middletown, NY and True Colors, owned by Joe White.

Margaret O’Meara of Kirkland, WA captured a tricolor ribbon aboard Just Nick, owned by Woodland Way, Inc., in the USHJA Hunter 3′ Division. Denise Monopoli of Loxahatchee, FL and Poetry in Motion, owned by McKenzie Wade, finished as reserve champions.

The Gold Coast Feed Performance Hunter 3’3″ & 3’6″ Division saw Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY riding Aristocrat, owned by Tracy Scheriff-Muser, collect the division’s champion honors. Reserve champion also went to Schatt and Use the Ring LLC’s Noble Blue.

Amelia Ruth of New York, NY and Broadway, owned by Carol Ruth & Sumner Hill Farms LLC, finished atop the #1 Education Place Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division. Reid Arani of Lexington, KY and Margot Bay Farm, LLC’s Soldier captured reserve placement.

Dagny Mactaggart of Millbrook, NY and Ziezo captured the Equiline High Junior Amateur Owner Division, earning champion, while reserve champion was awarded to Mireya Godoy of Wellington, FL and Paddy’s Dream Z, owned by Godoy.

Molly Sewell of Winter Park, FL and Inverness, owned by Leslie Campbell, took champion accolades in the Triple Crown Nutrition Green Hunter 3’3″ Division. Reserve champion was awarded to Havens Schatt and Totality, owned by Jennifer Speisman.

Competition will resume at PBIEC on Friday, May 4, with the fourth week of the ESP Spring Series continuing through Sunday, May 6. For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Wraps Up Another Successful Spring Classic Series

Derek Peterson and Diamant’s Legacy. (Allison Hartwell Photography)

Jacksonville, FL (April 24, 2018) – For the third year in a row, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center wowed riders and spectators alike during the Jacksonville Spring Classic, held April 4 through April 15, 2018.

The facility, which boasts an impressive set-up including a larger-than-life indoor stadium, several outdoor rings and a derby field, attracted 500 hunter and jumper pairs from as far as Dallas, Texas.

The highly anticipated two-week series featured a myriad of hunter and jumper classes, with favorites including the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Glen Kernan Gold and Country Club, and the $35,000 Regional Grand Prix sponsored by Sidelines. Prize money totaled more than $260,000, adding to the allure of the springtime show.

The show also offered Opportunity Classes for those riders who are not USEF members and wanted to compete at a USEF-rated competition – cementing the series’ ideal environment for all types of riders, including junior, amateur and professional competitors ranging from unknown, local amateurs to household names, like Kelley Farmer.

Farmer, known by the hunter community as a derby queen, captured the coveted the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard her new partner, David Glefke’s Verdict. The impressive pair blew the competition out of the water with 20 points above the runner-up in a field of 23.

This year, many competitors were return customers, after enjoying the simultaneous comfort and excitement of previous years’ events. Derek Petersen, of Archer, Florida, for example, commented about how thrilled he was to return to the show. After taking second in last year’s grand prix, much to his pleasure, this year he took the blue in the $35,000 grand prix.

Equally happy to participate in the show, first-time Jacksonville Equestrian Center rider and winner of the $7,500 Welcome Jumper, Amanda ‘Happy’ Comly, also expressed her enjoyment.

“It’s so nice to be here with the Classic Company,” she said. “It’s a lot more personal than other shows I’ve been to — it feels like the organizers care about what I think and how I’m doing. I’m grateful to be a part of this community.”

Of course, the show is just as thrilling for spectators as it is for riders. Conveniently located near lodging and attractions, like the Jacksonville Zoo and the Riverside historic district, spectators, who enjoy free admission and parking to the series can, find lots of entertainment.

To learn more about this year’s Jacksonville Spring Classic series, go to www.classiccompany.com. For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and the myriad of equestrian events that call it home, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4215
tjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Minikus Sees Second Consecutive Week of Grand Prix Success during ESP Spring II

Todd Minikus and Amex Z. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – April 18, 2018 – Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL welcomed another successful week of competition during the second installment of the ESP Spring Series at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL after taking a first-place finish in the $35,000 ProElite® Grand Prix last week. Minikus once again piloted the Quality Group owned Quality Girl to the blue ribbon in the $25,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix, after a speedy run around the fast track, designed by Anna Catalina Cruz of Mexico in 35.281 seconds, before taking the $35,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix aboard Amex Z.

Minikus brought his A-game once again, capturing his third Grand Prix win of the ESP Spring Series. The duo bested the class of 36 horse-and-rider combinations, finishing out ahead with a final jump-off time of 32.929 seconds.

“It’s taken me a little while to get her [Amex Z] going my way,” commented Minikus, “and now we’ve really got it. I decided to take the winter in slow motion with her because to come out and do those 1.40m classes during WEF with hundreds in it, it just didn’t make sense. We spent the winter training up and it’s really paying off. She’s a great mare and I expect some big things from her. We’re looking at potentially the WEG with her. I’m maybe a few weeks behind, but now we’ll come out and start jumping the bigger classes. She’s already gotten a few nice ribbons here and hopefully we’ll be seeing more Grand Prix wins together.”

Of the ESP Spring Series, Minikus concluded, “These shows are great. I love them. It’s fantastic to be able to come out and get some of the younger and up and coming horses mileage in the big ring, with the same course designers that we had during the main circuit. Quality Girl had most of the winter off and Amex Z too, so, to be able to come out and jump in the big ring again over nice courses is great.”

Margie Engle trailed just behind after crossing through the timers in 36.23 seconds on her seasoned mount Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm Inc., Griese, Garber, and Hidden Creek. Third place went to Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL and Ukulman de la Nutria, owned by Ricardo Romero, after stopping the jump-off clock in 37.619 seconds.

It was a “girls’ day” no doubt in the $25,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix on Friday, April 13. After Minikus secured first aboard Quality Girl, Michelle Guardino’s Fancy Girl was ridden to the second-place position with Willie Tynan of Wellington, FL after finishing the jump-track in 38.86 seconds. Margie Engle of Wellington, FL rode Bockmanns Lazio, owned by Gladewinds Farm Inc., to third place in a swift 36.239 seconds, but ended the second round with four jump faults.

Jumper Highlights:

The $10,000 Open Welcome Stake was another successful ride for Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own Jenni’s Chance, who raced to the win in 33.219 seconds. Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Chris Brem’s Amex Z kicked off their week with the second-place finish, crossing through jump-off timers in 34.174 seconds. Alexis Trosch of Wellington, FL and her own Cantara Z rounded out the top three in 34.865 seconds.

The $5,000 Omega Alpha 1.35m Open Stake saw Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Lord Calador, owned by Melissa Bilodeau, take top honors after stopping the jump-off timers in 32.779 seconds. Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL and Chuck Berry 8, owned by Plain Bay Sales, captured second place with a time of 33.483, ahead of Peter Lutz of Waccabuc, NY aboard Camillo VDL, owned by E2 Show Jumpers, with a time of 34.224 seconds.

The $1,500 NAL Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic awarded the win to Jorge Gomez of Loxahatchee, FL and his own Dallas de la Bonnett, with a jump-off time of 26.586 seconds. Avery-Anna Hogan of Wellington, FL and Eurocommerce Tampa, owned by Hogan, were presented with second place after completing the track in 27.406 seconds. Hogan also placed third with her own Zenith Z collected third place in the class with a jump-off time of 28.91 seconds.

Stephanie Nell of New Fairfield, CT was the winner of the $1,5000 Low Adult Jumper Classic riding Cash Advance, owned by Julian Cournane, who completed their jump-off time in 42.446 seconds. The red ribbon was awarded to Lauren Bardy of West Bloomfield, MI and Epic, owned by Leslie Howard and Uri Burstein, after completing their round in 47.093 seconds. Cynthia Screnci of Boca Raton, FL and Vichy, owned by Volado Farms, rounded out the top three, achieving a jump-off time of 39.39 seconds but with four added faults.

Charlotte Matthews of Bayville, NY and Sagamore Farms-owned Tinto des Contes topped the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic after securing the win with a jump-off time of 40.824 seconds. Kayla Walker of Jamaica Plain, MA and River Run Farm LLC’s Middlemarch finished in second place with a jump-off time of 42.132 seconds, ahead of Stephanie Garrett of New York, NY and Westwind Equestrian’s Dusty S Z, who completed the track in 42.143 seconds.

Victory in the $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic was awarded to Allyson Blais of Boynton Beach, FL riding LandaniMA, owned by Blais, after completing the jump-off in 37.24 seconds. Second place was awarded to Stacey Mahoney of New York, NY and Charisma Blue, owned by Mahoney, riding to a time of 38.75 seconds. Third place honors were presented to Kyle Olson of Pawling, NY and Wilhelmina who passed through timers in 38.769 seconds.

Hunter Highlights:

Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Sarah Cressy’s Delft Blue championed Friday’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, landing on a final score of 175. Samantha Senft of Wellington, FL and Carson Cavalline’s Blueberryhill’s Blue Dream rode to second place honors, while Sara Ballinger of Marion, OH and her own Wanderprinz rounded out third place with a 158.5.

Ellen Toon of South Salem, NY rode Mirror Image to champion honors in the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’6″ division, while reserve honors were awarded to Laura Sexton of Greenwich, CT and Set To Music, owned by Sexton.

Debi Maloney of Honeoye Falls, NY aboard Fortitude, owned by Maloney and Sarah Cressy, secured champion honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter Division, ahead of Christina Plichta of Wellington, FL aboard her Rightfully So, owned by Purple Lane Farm, LLC.

Sam Walker of Nobleton, ON and Broadway, owned by Carol Ruth and Sumner Hill Farms LLC, took champion accolades in the #1 Education Place Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division. Reserve champion was awarded to Jordan Allen of West Bloomfield, MI and Eclypse, owned by Holly Orlando.

The Modified Hunter Division saw Anabella Cottone of Davie, FL and her own Aurora take champion honors for their performances throughout the week, while reserve champion was presented to Alliyah Antoniadis of Middletown, NY and True Colors, owned by Joe White.

The Walk/Trot Division saw Caitlin Sweeney of Oyster Bay, NY and Golden Ticket, owned by Cheryl Amaral-McKee, ride to the division’s top honors ahead of Madison Chouinard and Persnickety, owned by Hannah Randolph, who finished with reserve champion honors.

Lainie Wimberly of Ridgefield, CT captured a tricolor ribbon, aboard For Freedom, owned by Laurie Stevens, in the USHJA Hunter 3′ Division. Wimberly and Santiago, owned by Stevens, finished as reserve champions.

The USHJA Hunter 2′-2’3″ Division saw Maggie Gould of Wellington, FL riding Masterpiece, owned by Alexandra Raffy, collect the division’s champion honors. Reserve champion went to Stacey Shore Werner of Jupiter, FL and her own Sebastian.

Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Soffia Cady’s Royal Classic finished atop the Score at the Top Large Pony Hunter Division, earning champion, while reserve champion was awarded to Kierstin Antoniadis of Middletown, NY and California Dreamin’, owned by Millennium Farm, INC.

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

Kat Fuqua Soars to Top National Pony and Hunter Rankings

Kat Fuqua and RS Levitation (Photo courtesy of S. Hellner)

Wellington, FL (April 17, 2018) – Pony power has always been Kat Fuqua’s forte, and 2018 marks a milestone in her show career as she elevates to Junior Hunter success in addition to multiple pony and hunter titles. From her hometown of Atlanta to the sunny hunter rings of Wellington, Fuqua’s consistent top placings aboard her equine partners between January and March of 2018 have set the tone for another successful year of competition. Going into a busy spring and summer show season, her excellence in the arena has earned some of the top USEF, USHJA, and circuit pony and hunter rankings in the nation. But while this 10-year-old’s love for her horses translates to ribbons in the ring, for Fuqua the pleasure is all in just being in the saddle.

Fuqua began her year at the Atlanta Winter Classic, spending three weeks enjoying her hometown competition before heading to jump with the top hunter riders in her divisions during WEF 6’s World Hunter Week. Her small pony, Goldhill’s Arresting Charm, and medium pony, Finesse RF, both swept all three weeks in Georgia, topping out as Champions of their divisions. Fuqua’s large pony, Chic in Time, was champion twice, as was her Junior Hunter RS Levitation in both of the two weeks he was shown in the Under 15 Small Junior Hunters. After a week of traveling and a brief respite from showing, Fuqua and horses hit the ground running during World Hunter Week.

Finesse RF immediately showcased some of the savvy she’s named for right out of the gate, finishing as Reserve Champion during Hunter Week and was also Reserve Champion in the $5,000 USHJA National Pony Derby in March. Goldhill’s Arresting Charm finished third in the first round of the Pony Derby behind Finesse. Thrilled with both of the pony’s performances, Fuqua noted that Finesse, known around the barn as Ladybug, shone in their first ever competition together at WEF.

Fuqua’s final Winter Equestrian Festival placings with her ponies include 5th place in the Overall Circuit rankings with Chic In Time in addition to Champion and Reserve placings, and 4th overall Circuit Pony Rider despite only 7 weeks of competition during WEF 2018. During those seven weeks, Fuqua and her ponies were consistently placed in the ribbons, with the competitive classes consisting of 20-30 of the top pony riders in the nation.

In the USEF’s national rankings, as of April 13, Fuqua and her ponies rank as follows: 5th in the Small Pony Hunter with Goldhill’s Arresting Charm, 2nd in the Medium Pony Hunter with Finesse RF, and 2nd in the Large Pony Hunter with Chic In Time. Fuqua won the USEF 2017 Champion Leading Pony Hunter Owner and is currently ranked second in the USEF’s 2018 Pony Hunter Owner standings as of April 13. She is also ranked as the top Pony Hunter Derby rider in the nation by the USHJA, and stands as the leading rider of the division since its inception in 2017. In the USHJA’s National Pony Hunter Derby Horse rankings, Finesse RF is currently sitting in second and Goldhill’s Arresting Charm is sixth. Finesse and Chic are also ranked second and fifth in the Grand Champion Pony division, which accounts for all pony sizes.

While the ponies have always been a passion in Fuqua’s life, it is her success with her new Junior Hunter mount, RS Levitation, that is setting the foundation and capturing her imagination for future equestrian endeavors. After just three months showing in 3’6″ Junior Hunters, the pair made their Wellington debut during WEF 6. Just a year ago, in February 2017, Fuqua and High Noon 3E were Champion multiple times in the Children’s, and finished as the Circuit Champion 11 & Under at WEF 2017. With barely a year elapsed between her Children’s championships and Junior Hunter debut, Fuqua’s poise and passion in the arena continues to prove exceptional as she climbs the divisions. She and Levitation, known as Jett around the barn, floated elegantly over the spectacular hunter obstacles in Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena. Having competed in her first WEF competition ever four seasons ago at 6 years old, Fuqua noted that much of her 2018 success in the Junior Hunters is based on Jett: “He is one of a kind because he takes care of me and gives me confidence,” said Fuqua. “He jumps big and wants to win.” They currently stand tenth overall in the USEF’s Small Junior Hunter Under 15 ranking as of April 13.

The USHJA also currently ranks Fuqua and all four of her actively competing equines #1 in the Zone 4 Horse of the Year standings for the Junior Hunters, Pony Hunter Small, Pony Hunter Medium, and Pony Hunter Large divisions. In the USHJA Zone 4 Pony Hunter Derby standings, Fuqua is on top with Finesse RF and third with Goldhill’s Arresting Charm.

Kat Fuqua’s passion for horses is reflected not only in her highly decorated Pony Hunter and Junior Hunter rider results, but also in the joy and dedication she shows each time she swings into the saddle. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia and under the guidance of trainer Michael Newman of Aubrey Hill Farm in Pensacola, Florida, every aspect of Fuqua’s riding, training, and show career reflects a unique ardor for equines and horse sport. She balances her equestrian lifestyle with attendance as a full time 4th grade student and takes pride in developing alongside her horses.

For more information on Kat Fuqua (pronounced foo-quay), visit her website at www.KatFuqua.com.

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