Tag Archives: Jessica Springsteen

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S Win $34k Spy Coast Farm 1.45m Speed at 2015 WEF

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S. Photos © Sportfot.

Reilly Gogul and Neon Star Victorious in USEF Pony Medal

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2015 – Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S jumped to victory in the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class on Friday afternoon at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Jumping in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), Springsteen jumped the fastest clear round out of 73 entries to beat out Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Welfare (2nd) and Lillie Keenan (USA) with Balance (3rd).

Suncast® is the title sponsor of week seven at WEF. Competition runs February 18-22 featuring the $372,000 Suncast® CSI 5* Grand Prix on Saturday, February 21, which will be live streamed at http://bit.ly/1vLyjbV. The $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be the highlight on Sunday morning and livestreamed at http://bit.ly/181N0m0. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through March 29, 2015, awarding over $8.2 million in prize money.

Steve Stephens (USA) set the speed track for Friday’s 1.45m competition with 23 clear rounds out of the 73 starters. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Cyklon 1083 set an early lead in 60.17 seconds, but eventually finished fifth. Springsteen and Davendy S pushed them out of the top spot with their time of 57.50 seconds. Ramsay and Shalanno Farms LLC’s Welfare jumped into second place in 58.84 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and Nokia de Brekka took fourth in 60.16 seconds, and Lillie Keenan completed the class in third with a time of 60.10 seconds aboard Chansonette Farm LLC’s Balance.

Springsteen has jumped some of the fastest rounds in WEF’s international competition lately, but has had some mistakes that kept her out of the winner’s circle. She was happy to get the win on Friday with Davendy S or ‘Annie,’ her 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II).

“It is definitely nice to win. I am so happy,” Springsteen smiled. “A few weeks ago we would have won the WEF (Challenge Cup), and then I had the last rail yesterday and we would have won, so I am happy to finally get it right. I was going in the ring today and Nick (Skelton) was like, ‘Do not knock the last jump down.'”

“She is so fast and competitive and consistent,” Springsteen detailed. “I know exactly how she is going to be every time I go in the ring, which is really nice. She makes it easy for you. If you tell her to go, she wants to go, and she wants to win.”

“I had a pretty clear plan today,” the rider explained. “I was able to watch most of the class go, so I knew what I needed to do and that is always helpful. She is just such a fast horse across the ground and in the air. Even the other day, I added strides in a bunch of places and I still had the leading time. She is so quick on her own, so that is obviously a very helpful advantage.”

The unusually cold weather this week has had a lot of the horses feeling fresh, and Springsteen used that to her advantage as well.

“I don’t have to do anything with her in the morning, she is always so quiet and so good, but I think the weather definitely gives them a little extra energy. She felt really good today,” Springsteen noted. “She is really sweet, and she is very calm. She is perfect always, all around.”

Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s South Street won Section A of the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge in a California Split, with Laura Chapot (USA) and Mary Chapot’s Shooting Star on top in Section B.

Reilly Gogul and Neon Star Victorious in USEF Pony Medal

On Friday afternoon, Reilly Gogul, riding Shaun Clark’s pony, Neon Star, topped the USEF Pony Medal. Gogul gave Neon Star lots of her favorite treats, mints, after her winning round.

Second place honors went to Natalie Jayne riding Cleverist, owned by Daisy Farish. Tessa Brown and Land’s End Lady Slipper finished in the third spot, and Gwyneth Babington and Maranatha Poet rounded out the top four.

Gogul, the nine-year-old equestrian from Chagrin Falls, OH, won first place her first time doing the pony equitation. Last year Gogul did the Short Stirrup once during WEF, but was ready to move up this year with Neon Star. “She’s [Neon Star] perfect!” exclaimed Gogul.

Despite the cold weather today, Neon Star performed like a star. “We are from the cold, so she [Neon Star] was good with the cooler weather,” Gogul explained.

When Neon Star is not in the show ring, Gogul likes to spend lots of time with her pony. “I like to ride her [Neon Star] bareback after lessons,” Gogul stated. “And in the summer I like to graze her.”

Along with competing in the pony equitation, Neon Star shows in the Small Pony Hunter division. While Gogul has had success in the equitation, she prefers the hunters.

Riding for Gogul is a family affair. Gogul trains with her parents, Jeff and Keeley Gogul, who operate Flagship, LTD, out of Maypine Farm. “Riding with my mom is the best!” Gogul smiled.

Looking ahead to the future, Gogul is planning on sticking with riding and moving up in the junior ranks during future years.

Competition continues on Saturday with the $372,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* featured in the International Arena in the evening. Equitation competition continues with the Taylor Harris Insurance Children’s Medal 14 and Under in Ring 8 during the day. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Springsteen Jumps Great Heights in $25,000 Puissance

Jessica Springsteen and Lisona. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Olivier Philippaerts and Carlito C Top $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final; Firestone and Holloway Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owners Jumpers; Inclusive Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship; Abbygale Funk Named Best Child Rider on a Horse

Washington, D.C – October 24, 2014 – The 56th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday with an exciting day of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, was the highlight class of the evening with a win for 21-year-old Jessica Springsteen (USA) aboard Stone Hill Farm’s Lisona after clearing the wall up to 6’10” (2.08m).

In other competition, Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, Christina Firestone and Hunter Holloway triumphed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and T. J. O’Mara led the WIHS Equitation Finals Hunter Phase. Inclusive and Victoria Colvin also earned the Grand Junior Hunter Championship, and Abbygale Funk was named Best Child Rider on a Horse. WIHS continues through Sunday, October 26. The $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will be the highlight class on Saturday

Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this week and fittingly holds the 31-year indoor Puissance record for his win at 7′ 7 1/2” aboard Sweet ‘N Low in 1983. He set the wall for the evening’s $25,000 Puissance presented by The Boeing Company, starting at 5’6” (1.70m) in height, and continuing up to 6’10” (2.08m) in four rounds of competition.

For the win after clearing all four heights, Lisona became the first recipient of a brand new trophy named in Sweet ‘N Low’s honor, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober. Springsteen was presented with The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. She also accepted The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, as the owner of the winning horse.

The Puissance course began with four fences to clear, including an oxer, vertical and triple-bar leading up to the wall set at a starting height of 5’6” (1.70m). Five combinations, including Kevin Babington (IRL) and Goodwins Loyalty, Kama Godek (USA) and Sandra Zimmerli’s Apollo Mission, Todd Minikus (USA) aboard Coverboy Group’s Vougeot de Septon, Springsteen and Lisona, and Leslie Howard with The Utah Group’s Utah all jumped clear in round one and continued on. The second round had a triple bar set before the wall at 5’11” (1.80m), and all five horses and riders once again jumped clear. In round three, the imposing 6’5” (1.96m) wall came down for Babington, Godek and Minikus, leaving all three tied for third place. Springsteen and Howard each cleared the 6’5” height, but Howard took second place honors after choosing not to return. Springsteen and Lisona secured their victory with a fourth and final round as the only pair to jump the wall set at 6’10”, and they cleared it with ease.

Watch Jessica Springsteen and Lisona clear the 6’10” Puissance wall.

Friday marked Springsteen’s third win in as many days at WIHS after topping the $10,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake aboard Davendy S on Wednesday and also taking top prize in Thursday’s $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice with Lisona.

An added incentive for the international riders this year includes new cash bonuses that will be awarded to riders accumulating the most points in the division. A $15,000 bonus will go to the overall leading international rider, sponsored by The Boeing Company, and a $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the overall leading rider 25 years of age or younger, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Although Springsteen had originally not planned on jumping the Puissance, her trainers Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton encouraged her to do the class when they found out it counted toward the bonus. She took their advice and was obviously happy with the outcome.

“I had a feeling that Nick would convince me because he is also the one that made me do it two years ago,” she stated. “I knew that once he found out that it counted towards the leading rider points he would make me do it, but it was really fun. Lisona jumped it so easily, so it gave me a lot of confidence and I am happy I did it.”

Watch an interview with Jessica Springsteen.

In 2012, Springsteen jumped the WIHS Puissance with her horse Temmie and cleared 6’3” (1.90m), but was eliminated in the third round after failing her attempt at 6’9” (2.01m). Her success at 6’10” with Lisona is an exciting feat accomplished with great confidence in her mount.

“I doubt she has done a Puissance before, but she has so much scope and she is actually better the higher the fences, so we had a feeling that this would be a good class for her,” Springsteen said of the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (OBOS Quality x Porsch). “She gets impressed by it, and she felt like she was just flying over the wall.”

“I felt confident,” the rider stated. “She is such a scopey and brave horse that I knew nothing disastrous would happen. Classes like this, you kind of have to have fun with it, so we were all just having a good time. It is important to have a brave horse that wants to do it and she did. I think she enjoyed it actually.”

Springsteen also had added confidence in her own ability after many big wins this year and let that momentum take her into the challenge of jumping the biggest height of her career.

“Winning definitely gives you confidence. Your spirits are high, but you can’t get overly confident. That is one thing I have learned in this sport,” she remarked.

Another thing Springsteen learned is that riding to a Puissance wall is much different than cantering to your standard jump. “I didn’t know you had to ride a wall that size differently,” she admitted. “It is so big that you just want to gallop down to it, but you are supposed to go really slow and get close to it so that they kind of climb over it. That is kind of the opposite of what your instinct is telling you to do, so it takes a couple of times to really learn how to ride it correctly.”

The high jump competition is a fan favorite at WIHS as spectators watch the incredible power and athletic ability of horse and rider attempting to clear a wall set at record heights, and the fans were in full force on Friday night as they took in the competition.

“It is so fun. It is not normal in the States when you have so many people that come to watch, and they really know what’s going on,” Springsteen stated. “You have all of the younger kids that are really excited about it, like the pony riders, so it is really fun. It makes it an exciting event for the riders, and I think the horses feel it too.”

“I have been coming to this show since I was maybe ten years old on ponies almost every year. Last year was one of the first years I didn’t come, so I have spent a lot of time here and it is nice when the crowd knows you,” she added. “The experience has changed a lot over the years. I think I was actually more nervous when I was coming for the pony hunters and the equitation finals. There is a lot of pressure in those classes. I think it is actually much more relaxing doing the open division.”

Belgium Is Best in International Speed Final

Prior to the Puissance, a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format with 22 entries and a victory for Olivier Philippaerts (21) of Belgium riding Franz Lens’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Carlito C (by Kannan). The pair was one of five entries to clear the course without fault and finished with a time of 54.79 seconds.

Beezie Madden (USA) and Coral Reef Via Volo also jumped clear and finished second in 55.68 seconds. Daniel Bluman had the fastest time of 54.15 seconds, but four faults were added to place third in 58.15 seconds. Reed Kessler (USA) and Kessler Show Stables LLC’s Ligist also had one rail down, adding four seconds to their time, to place fourth in 59.24 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) and Moondoggie were clear in 59.49 seconds to earn the fifth place prize.

Philippaerts started showing Carlito C in June after his brother, Nicola, showed the horse for several months. With the new partnership, he has had a great season with several top finishes competing throughout Europe and Canada, and looks forward to continued success. “He is a very particular horse and he is a very big horse, and in the beginning I thought in this ring it would be quite hard for him. It’s a big horse in a small ring, but in the end, he did really well,” Philippaerts stated. “He has been great the whole year, so if he keeps continuing, then hopefully we can keep it up for a while.”

Detailing his plan for the night’s course, Philippaerts noted, “I was looking a bit and walking the course, and I didn’t really know what to expect since it’s the first indoor show for him. I didn’t really know how he was going to react, but he did very well. I made my plan and it worked out and I was quick enough.”

“I’m here for three shows: Washington, Kentucky, and Toronto. He’s a very quick horse, and he has won a lot of classes, so I thought maybe I would take him,” Philippaerts said of the decision to bring the horse abroad. “It looks like I made the right decision and hopefully I’ll do well the other two weeks as well.”

This is Philippaerts’ third year competing at WIHS and he has enjoyed the fantastic crowd and great event. “I think first of all, it’s a great show. I really like coming to these three shows, and also for the World Cup points,” he remarked. “It counts in Europe as well, but that’s what we are here for. They do a very good job here in Washington to make the show. It’s a very small place for the horses, but they make it fit. I’m very happy they keep organizing this show.”

“Tonight was very good,” he continued. “It was more people than I expected to come. They really were motivating the riders to go quicker, and it’s very nice. I’m very happy to ride for such a crowd.”

Junior Hunters Award Championships

The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship was awarded to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Inclusive ridden by Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL. They were presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds.

On their way to earning the grand championship, Colvin and Inclusive won the tricolor in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Chansonette Farm, after topping all three classes over fences. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. The division’s reserve champion was Kerry Anne LLC’s Imagine ridden by Kerry McCahill. The pair won under saddle and placed second, third and sixth over fences.

“Inclusive has gone amazing this week,” Colvin stated after their win. “He has an amazing jump. His stride is not the biggest, so you have to go a little forward, but he is really fun. You know he is never going to spook. He would jump anything and leave from anywhere, and he is an amazing ride.”

Inclusive made a big comeback this year after a year-long break due to problems with sciatica in 2013. He came back to win at the Devon Horse Show in May and most recently the PA National Horse Show in Harrisburg just last week.

“It is important to remember this this is a comeback for him because last year he was not here,” owner Dr. Betsee Parker stated. “The year prior to that he had what is known as the ‘triple crown of indoors’ when he was champion at all three indoor shows. As of today he is poised to possibly do that a second time and that has never happened before in the history of indoors, but who knows, anything can happen.”

Inclusive now has a lighter training schedule in between competitions, but he knows his job and goes to work when he gets to the show ring.

“He flats for 20 minutes every day, and he rarely jumps,” Colvin detailed. “He maybe jumps once before coming to the show, but he is better that way. Less is more with him.”

A benefit to Colvin’s riding is her focus on the equitation this year and the additional help of top trainers including the legendary George Morris. “I have a better position, and I know how to flat more for equitation,” she acknowledged. “I have gotten a couple lessons from George Morris, so basically all of my hunters are flatted like that and I know my position is better around the course.”

Colvin also earned a championship tricolor in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Dogwood Hill, riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Canadian Blue. The pair placed first, first and fourth over fences and fifth under saddle. Meridian Partners LLC’s Good Humor and Megan MacPherson earned reserve honors, placing first, second and third over fences.

“Canadian Blue felt good,” Colvin said. “He is still a little green. His first round yesterday it was his first time jumping around here since last year and he was a little looky and quick, but he got better each round he did. His handy he felt unbelievable. He is so special because he jumps so high. Anything you put him at, he will jump very, very high. He was on this week.”

In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Entrust, Abbygale Funk guided West Coast Equine Partners LLC’s Neander to championship honors after placing first, first and second over fences and fourth under saddle. The pair also had the best Junior Hunter stake round of the day with a high score of 88 to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy. Lili Hymowitz and Rose Hill Farm’s Tiffani placed first and fourth over fences to earn the division’s reserve championship. They were also awarded the Georgetown Trophy, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, as the high score Junior Hunter riding his or her own horse.

For her success aboard Neander, 13-year-old Abbygale Funk of St. George, KS was named Best Child Rider on a Horse and earned the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy. The award was sponsored by Gotham North; the trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.

Trained by her mother, Funk showed at WIHS in the pony hunters five years ago and this is her first time back and a memorable first WIHS win. “Winning is just amazing. I never thought I would be able to do it,” Funk smiled. “He is the most amazing horse I have ever ridden.”

Funk has ridden Neander, a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding by Nimray B, for just a few months. His owner was kind enough to let her keep riding him to get to indoors, and it ended in wonderful success.

“Last year I qualified, but the horse sold to somebody else to do indoors with,” Funk explained. “We took Neander and he got better and better, and we got qualified. We didn’t expect it, but we did. He has been amazing this whole time. He doesn’t spook at anything, and he never misbehaves.”

“This is very different with riding all night long and no sleeping, but it’s amazing to do the show in the middle of the city and do this with him,” Funk noted. “He has proven over and over that he doesn’t care about anything. He came here and went in the ring and was totally perfect. I have never won a Best Child Rider before and it is amazing. I just wanted to go around and be good. I didn’t expect to win and be champion or any of it.”

Concluding the hunter division’s for the day, the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under awarded championship honors to Autumn Lane, owned by Eugenie Kilb and ridden by Grady Lyman, with two wins over fences. Reserve honors went to Melissa Wight’s Chromeo with Samantha Wight in the irons, placing second and fourth over fences and third under saddle.

Firestone and Holloway Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers competed in the afternoon in their first jump-off classes of the week with wins for Christina Firestone and Hunter Holloway. The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown, saw the second win of the week for Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, riding Hays Investment Corp.’s I Love Lucy. Twenty entries showed in round one with eight advancing to the jump-off. Four were able to clear the short course without fault and Holloway blazed to victory in 32.85 seconds to earn The Cover Story Perpetual Trophy donated by Rolling Acres Farm.

Victoria Colvin and Karen Long Dwight’s Chanel B finished second in 33.85 seconds. Virginia Ingram and Riverview Farm’s Urban placed third in 34.11 seconds, and Chloe Reid stopped the clock in 34.91 seconds aboard Chloe D Reid LLC’s Athena to earn the fourth place prize.

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family with a win for Christina Firestone aboard M/M Bertram Firestone’s Zodiac. The competition saw 22 entries with eight clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Only two were able to go double clear over the short course, and Firestone and Zodiac completed the fastest time of 31.13 seconds for the win. They were presented with The Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Nikki Prokopchak and her horse Sofia Car finished second in 37.18 seconds. The fastest four-fault round in the jump-off belonged to Katie Tyler and Seattle 6 in 30.49 seconds to place third.

Equitation Begins with Hunter Phase

In addition to Junior Hunter championships during Friday’s day session, WIHS hosted the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals with an early lead for T. J. O’Mara riding Walstib Stables LLC’s Kaskade to the high score of 90.

Hunter Holloway finished second after riding Hays Investment Corp.’s Any Given Sunday to a score of 89.125. Michael Hughes and Jordyn Rose Freedman’s Finnick scored the third prize with an 88.500. Victoria Colvin scored an 88.250 aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Clearway, and Caitlin Boyle finished with an 87.500 riding Micaela Kennedy’s Loredo.

The WIHS Equitation Finals will continue on Saturday with all riders returning for the jumper phase. The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.

The competition will also continue on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals will close out the afternoon session.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will conclude the night.

For those who cannot make it to the show, it will be live streamed in its entirety, sponsored in part by The Nutro Company, at www.wihs.org, and is also available on USEF Network at www.usefnetwork.com.

About the Washington International Horse Show
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s premier metropolitan indoor horse show. Each October, more than 500 world-class horses and riders, including Olympic medalists, arrive in Washington for six days of exciting show jumping and hunter competition. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and the WIHS Equitation Finals, an important goal for top American junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group.

Since its debut, the Washington International has been a Washington, DC, institution attended by presidents, first ladies, celebrities, business and military leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
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Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S Win WIHS International Jumper Speed

Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S. Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Taegen Long and Katherine Pontone Victorious in WIHS Children’s and Adult Jumper Championships

Washington, D.C. – October 22, 2014 – Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ kicked off the first day of international jumper competition at the 2014 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) with a win riding Davendy S at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The day also saw victories for Taegen Long riding Pocohontas and Katherine Pontone aboard Belladonna in the WIHS Children’s and Adult Jumper Championships. With six days of world-class competition, WIHS continues through Sunday, October 26, featuring hunter, jumper, and equitation highlights.

Wednesday’s feature event was the opening $10,000 International Jumper speed class, sponsored by Amalaya Investments, with a win for Springsteen and Stone Hill Farms Davendy S. The class saw 37 entries with six clear rounds over an Anthony D’Ambrosio designed course. Last to go, Springsteen and Davendy S blazed through the course in 50.80 seconds for the win. She edged out her own horse, Zero, who finished in second with a time of 55.31 seconds ridden by Laura Kraut (USA). Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and J’Espere Dream placed third in 56.81 seconds.

Winning mount, Davendy S, is an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II). Although she just got the mare in August, Springsteen and Davendy bonded quickly and had their first victories together in Valkenswaard and Dublin soon after.

“She is an amazing horse. She is so much fun, and she likes to go fast,” Springsteen described. “She doesn’t like when you pull her and try to school her, so she is very competitive and this is her kind of class. I brought her to L.A. and she was really good, and I took her to Central Park and she was second in the speed class there. We haven’t done too much together, but it was sort of an instant click with her, which is nice. The indoor rings suit her because she can cut really hard.”

Springsteen knew she had a fast time to beat from Zero and Kraut, but she was able to trust in her horse and go almost five seconds faster. “She is really careful, so I like to give her a strong ride our first time in,” Springsteen noted. “I went around everywhere, but she is so fast. Laura told me that I could go around and still have the winning time.”

Since riders can only show two horses each with limited space at WIHS, Springsteen thought it would be a good idea for Kraut to show Zero indoors before he heads to Toronto in November, and she was also very happy with his great finish tonight.

“I love when Laura shows my horses because I get back on them after and they are amazing, like completely different horses,” she laughed. “He is funny. He is very quirky. Sometimes he will go in, and he will be really focused and you will really nail it. Other times he is a little bit distracted and kind of all over the place, but he was really good tonight. He tried really hard. He is a careful horse and he loves to jump, you can tell.”

This was Springsteen’s first international win at WIHS, and it is a competition that she has always enjoyed. “It is always a special show. I have come here since I was on ponies, so it is definitely nice to be back,” she stated. “I have a lot of memories here.”

An added incentive for the international riders this year includes new cash bonuses that will be awarded to riders accumulating the most points in the division. A $15,000 bonus will go to the overall leading international rider, sponsored by The Boeing Company, and a $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the overall leading rider 25 years of age or younger, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Springsteen now stands in the lead with her opening day win and looks forward to seeing how the standings play out.

“I think it is really great to have those bonuses, and it is good for classes like this where a lot of people would just go in to school,” she acknowledged. “It makes it more exciting for the crowd because you are trying to win, and you are trying to accumulate the points. It really makes the riders go in and try to win every class, and it is nice when they do stuff for the younger riders too. The (United) States are good about building their young riders up, so that is always really appreciated.”

Taegen Long Wins $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship

Earlier this season, Taegen Long didn’t believe qualifying for the Washington International Horse Show was in the cards, and her October plans didn’t come together until just a few months ago. However, she surprised even herself tonight with the fastest of three double-clear efforts in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship aboard her own 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Pocohontas.

Five pairs from a 30-horse order qualified for the jump-off, two belonging to Long. Returning first with Pollux Du Shalimar, owned by Maria Long, she was on her way to the lead before a rail bounced from the cups at the second-to-last fence. Her second chance came two trips later when she made good use of her mare’s natural speed. They crossed the timers clear in 35.282 seconds for the win and were awarded the H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Fen.

Taegen Long and Pocohontas
Taegen Long and Pocohontas

“Pocohontas is really fast around the jumps, so I knew all I had to do was not knock a rail, and she would do the rest,” said Long. “I had already seen the track and knew we had the speed without too many tight turns as long as I got to the right spots.”

Behind Long, Madison Charlton and Ellen Mitchell’s Petit Flipper were second in 36.307, while a clear time of 37.330 seconds put Nicolas Horgan and Kelly Horgan’s Zico T third. Long’s second mount settled for fourth on four faults, and Gabriella Hurtado rounded out the top five on Rainbow Brite for Wonderland Farm, LLC after two rails down.

Partners for a year, Pocohontas introduced Long to the jumper ring at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. “She just kept getting better and better during WEF, and we realized we were going to make it here,” said Long of her first WIHS appearance.

Long basked in victory tonight, but the win didn’t come without a full serving of hard work and a time-nurtured bond between horse and 15-year-old rider. “I do my own work – I feed twice a day, I tack up, I bathe – all without grooms,” admitted Long who trains with Carolyn Desfor and attends high school online, affording her more time in the saddle. “Creating that bond with my horses helps them to respect me. They would do anything for me in the ring.”

When Pocohontas arrived at Long View Farm, owned and operated by Long’s parents in Medford, NJ, the mare became part of the family. Their bond, however, wasn’t an immediate sure thing. “Pocohontas is the first mare I have gotten along with. I didn’t want to ride her at all when she first came because she wasn’t a gelding,” she said. “Now I can’t wait to keep moving up with her.”

After a successful debut at WIHS, Long and the mare she nicknamed “YoYo” after her occasional mood swings, will leave Children’s Jumpers behind and step up to the Low Juniors this winter.

Katherine Pontone Speeds to Victory in $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship

The $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship was held next in the evening session with 24 entries and 11 advancing to the jump-off, where five riders jumped double clear. Twenty-year-old Katherine Pontone of Red Bank, NJ took the top prize with the fastest clear round in 27.241 seconds aboard her horse Belladonna. The pair earned The Dorothy Foote “Goodie” Taylor Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Phoenix Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue finished second in 28.513 seconds. Aleesha Melwani and Thunder-Ball were third in 29.142 seconds. Alexandra Cherubini and Equifit Cayenne 178 stopped the clock in 29.806 seconds for fourth, and Nicole Lyvere and Arizona VDL finished in 35.717 seconds to place fifth.

Katherine Pontone and Belladonna
Katherine Pontone and Belladonna

Pontone trains with Kali Jerman and has owned Belladonna, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Unbelievable, for two years.

“We have come a long way thanks to my trainer,” Pontone acknowledged after her win. “We showed here last year and ended up twelfth. We have been working on getting her fitter, and we have just connected a lot more. We went bitless a few months ago, and we have come a long way. When we started last year we could barely get over a liverpool.”

Speaking about her strategy on course, Pontone explained, “She is a smaller horse, so we planned on doing all of the strides except that tricky bending line across the diagonal. We added in the first line. She falls right, so we added one there to keep her straight and then went direct the second time. She is careful and quick with her legs, so everywhere else just worked out for us. In the jump-off, she was fast in the turns and in the air. To be fast on the ground is one thing, but to get stuck in the air loses time. She is quick across the ground and in the air, and she spins like it’s nothing.”

Pontone hopes to move up to bigger jumps this year and maybe return to WIHS next year in the amateurs. She had a great experience in the ring at Verizon Center and was very happy with her horse’s performance.

“She’s very different no matter where she is. In the schooling ring we can hunt her around and I’m kicking her, and she won’t go anywhere. The second she steps in the show ring, she turns on and just is ready to win,” the rider stated. “The atmosphere in there definitely helps because it keeps their attention, and it is just a fun ring to show in. It is amazing.”

The Washington International Horse Show continues on Thursday with the beginning of Junior Hunter competition in the morning and Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner competition followed by a $34,0000 International Jumper Welcome Stake in the afternoon. The evening session will welcome local horse lovers, riders, trainers, and their families for Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery, beginning at 6 p.m. The $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice costume class, sponsored by Equestrian Sport Productions, will be the highlight event of the evening.

For those who cannot make it to the show, it will be live streamed in its entirety, sponsored in part by The Nutro Company, at www.wihs.org, and is also available on USEF Network at www.usefnetwork.com.

About the Washington International Horse Show
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s premier metropolitan indoor horse show. Each October, more than 500 world-class horses and riders, including Olympic medalists, arrive in Washington for six days of exciting show jumping and hunter competition. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and the WIHS Equitation Finals, an important goal for top American junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group.

Since its debut, the Washington International has been a Washington, DC, institution attended by presidents, first ladies, celebrities, business and military leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W Victorious in $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W.

North Salem, NY – September 14, 2014 – The sold-out crowd of nearly 6,000 fans cheered following the conclusion of Sunday afternoon’s $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W held at the idyllic Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York. Jessica Springsteen flashed a huge smile as she raised the prestigious American Gold Cup trophy high above her head.

Springsteen and Vindicat W bested a field of 32 other qualified international entries to add their names to the list of accomplished riders and horses who have won the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W before them. Springsteen’s parents Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa and family friend, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, were all on hand to cheer her on.

This year, as Springsteen stood atop the podium, her trainer, Olympian Laura Kraut, stood to her left and fellow young rider, Katie Dinan, joined her to her right. The three American women had swept the medal positions in an exciting and fitting end to the 2014 American Gold Cup.

“It’s absolutely incredible,” Springsteen said. “To win such a prestigious class is really amazing. My horse jumped super so I’m so thrilled.”

Video Courtesy of ShowNet, USEF Network and NBC Sports Network

Springsteen was fourth to jump over the first round of the Alan Wade designed course, and she set the pace for how her day would go, turning in a clear round that would lead the class from beginning to end.

“The fences, especially at the end, were pretty big,” Springsteen said. “It was definitely tough enough, but after walking the course I knew exactly what my plan was going to be. That was kind of a relief since I went so early; I was just able to go in and execute the plan and hope for the best.”

Springsteen and Vindicat W, owned by Stone Hill Farm of Colts Neck, New Jersey, were joined in the jump-off by five other top contenders: Candice King and Kismet 50, Todd Minikus and Babalou 41, Wilton Porter and Diamonte Darco, Dinan and Nougat Du Vallet and Kraut and Andretti S.

As the first to go clear in the first round, Springsteen was also the first to return to jump-off, and she and Vindicat W laid down a speedy time to beat in 35.360 seconds.

One rail each fell for Candice King and Wilton Porter, relegating them to fifth and sixth place respectively, and for Minikus and Babalou 41 a clear round in a time of 37.920 seconds would put them into the eventual fourth place position.

With Springsteen’s time still the pace to catch, it all came down to Dinan and Kraut.

Dinan and her veteran mount Nougat Du Vallet, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC of New York, New York, turned in an impressive ride over the seven-obstacle jump-off course, but their time of 37.920 seconds would come up short of the top spot.

So it was left to a race between trainer and student, as Kraut entered the ring to try to best Springsteen’s time on Andretti S, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Stars and Stripes of Middleburg, Virginia.

Kraut left out a risky stride into the double combination and sailed over the course with room to spare, but she elected to add a stride to the final fence, which would just narrowly cost her the class as she finished in a time of 36.660 seconds.

Laura Kraut and Andretti S
Laura Kraut and Andretti S

“I knew when I cleared the second to last fence and I turned him, I had a choice to just go really flat out down to it, but he’s still a young horse,” Kraut said. “I thought rather than taking the chance of crashing or doing something that would scare him, I’d just sort of stay conservative. Yeah, it cost me, but I’m happy with second.”

Kraut has every reason to be thrilled with the outcome today. At the beginning of the year, she was competing the young Andretti S in the 1.40m jumpers, but today the up-and-comer stepped up to the plate and answered every question that was asked of him at 1.60m.

“I’m just so happy with him,” Kraut said. “Just all of a sudden it’s really started to come to him. It was a difficult test for him today, and he handled it great.”

Kraut continued, “And I’m so thrilled for [Jessica]! She’s been so close so many times. She’s been amazing all summer. She deserved it today. She rode great. Her first round was textbook perfect and so was her jump-off. I said to her: “If you lose, if you get beaten it would be unlucky.” She really did everything just right. I didn’t even think I could get that close to her, so I’m pleased that I was as close as I was.”

Springsteen has been riding and training with Kraut for over three years and was thrilled to have the opportunity to stand atop the podium with her today.

“She’s just taught me so much at this level like how to be competitive in big classes like this,” Springsteen said. “She taught me how to really fight for it and fight for the win.”

Kraut added, “She’s such an incredible rider, and she has such a great feeling. When she makes a mistake it’s normally so small and so random. [She and Vindicat W] know each other inside and out right now. They’ve been on such a good roll this whole summer and winter. I just leave it to her.”

Next, Springsteen and Kraut will travel to the Longines Los Angeles Masters with hopes of matching their huge success at American Gold Cup.

“It’s a beautiful facility. The grass field footing was absolutely fantastic,” Kraut said. “It’s really nice to come back to such a special horse show devoted only to jumpers which is really unique in America. We do it all summer in Europe, so this is like going to a European horse show in America. It’s great. I’m just so happy we came back [from Europe] for it.”

Now in its 44th year, the 2014 American Gold Cup was considered a huge success by all, including the event organizers, Stadium Jumping and Old Salem Farm.

“In a word it was perfect – the weather, the great crowd. It rained just enough last night to make the grand prix field footing perfect. It was a great class,” said Michael Morrissey, president of Stadium Jumping. “We are grateful to all our sponsors and to Westchester County for helping us get the word out there to help us get such a wonderful audience.”

For further information on the 2014 American Gold Cup visit www.theamericangoldcup.com. To watch a broadcast of today’s competition tune in to NBC on Sun., Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. EST.

45th Annual American Gold Cup Fast Facts

What:
The $200,000 American Gold Cup, an FEI World Cup Qualifying Competition CSI4*-W

When:
September 10-14, 2014

Where:
Old Salem Farm, 190 June Road, North Salem, NY

Hours:
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday with the ASPCA Regional Championships on Saturday afternoon.

Facility: Old Salem Farm is New York State’s Westchester County’s premier equestrian facility, offering 26 annual competitions, boarding, top-level training and sales. It offers state-of-the-art facilities surrounded by 120 gorgeous acres.

Stabling:
Stalls are 10 x 10 and housed under canvas. The FEI stalls are 10 x 12 and stabling area will be secured by fencing with 24/7 security. FEI horses will be scheduled to school separately from non-FEI horses. Schedules will be posted and riders will be given notification of times during the horse inspection.

Parking:
Available on the grounds

Directions:
From Interstate 84 or Interstate 287: Take interstate 684 to exit 8 (Hardscrabble Road), turn right. Old Salem Farm is on the right.

Information:
Before Show – before 9/6/14: 941-744-5465/800-237-8924
During Show – 914-669-5610 ext 201
Stable office – 941-744-5465
Prize List Advertising – 941-744-5465
Vendors – Matt Morrissey 941-915-3457

Website – www.theamericangoldcup.com

Televised Broadcast:
The 2014 American Gold Cup Grand Prix will be broadcast on NBC Sports Sunday, September 21 at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Tickets:

Weekdays: Admission is free to the public.
Saturday and Sunday: Admission is $20 per person, $15 per child 4-12 years and seniors 65+, children 3 and under are free.

Gates open at:
Wednesday – Saturday: 8 a.m.
Sunday: 12 noon

Tickets are on sale now and are available online at www.theamericangoldcup.com and at the gate. (Online ticket sales will be available June 1 – Sept. 1.)

Charity Partners:

JustWorld International
http://www.justworldinternational.org/

ASPCA
http://aspca.org/

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Matt Morrissey
941.915.3457
matt.morrissey@stadiumjumping.com

Connie Sawyer
518.461.6288
sawyer.equestrianevents@gmail.com

Advertising Opportunities:

Mary Silcox 800-237-8924
mary.silcox@stadiumjumping.com

Ring dimensions and footing:
Grand Prix Field 350′x450′, footing bluegrass mix turf. Grand Prix Annex 200′x250′, Schooling 130′x170′. Jumper Annex 146′x307′, Schooling 155′x173′. Indoor 115′x195′, Schooling 74′x135′. Hunter 138′x243′, Schooling 108′x158′. Footing in all arenas is all-weather German-designed fiber and sand.

Hotels:
Official Hotel of the American Gold Cup
Danbury Crown Plaza
(877) 270 1393
Ridgefield, CT

West Lane Inn (203) 438-7323
Brewster, NY 5 – 10 min
Heidi’s Motel (845) 279-8011
Mt. Kisco, NY 5 – 10 min
Holiday Inn (914) 241-2600
Danbury, CT 10-20 min from grounds
Hilton Gardens (203) 205-2000
Comfort Inn (203) 205-0800
Danbury Plaza (203) 795-0600
Ethan Allen (203) 774-1776
Spring Hill Suites (203) 744-7333
Residence Inn (203) 797-1256

Management:
Stadium Jumping, Inc.
1301 Sixth Ave. West, Suite 406
Bradenton, FL 34205
Tel: (941) 744-5465 Fax: (941) 744-0874

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Boulevard, Suite 105 Wellington, FL 33414
Tel: 561.753.3389 Fax: 561.753.3386
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

USET Foundation Presents 2014 Maxine Beard Award to Jessica Springsteen

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W. Photo by Kenneth Kraus.

Miami, FL – April 7, 2014 – The American Invitational made its debut at SunLife Stadium in Miami, FL, on April 5, 2014. Before the main event got underway, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation made a special presentation to one of this country’s most talented young show jumping riders. This year, 22-year-old Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ was honored for her achievements in the sport with the 2014 Maxine Beard Award. Springsteen’s selection for the prestigious award was based on her competitive record and potential to represent the United States in international competition.

Springsteen’s success in the show ring began at a very young age, and she took top honors at the country’s most prestigious events throughout her junior years. In 2008, she won the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, and in 2009 she won the George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship.

“She was one of the most decisive winners of the ASPCA Maclay Championship,” noted Morris. “She had a great career as a junior, and she has a very promising career as a Grand Prix rider. She’s very competitive and always does great under pressure. I think she is a very deserving winner.”

In 2010, Springsteen claimed the North American Junior and Young Rider Championship Show Jumping Young Rider Bronze medal aboard Vornado Van Den Hoendrik. In 2013, Springsteen paired up with Vindicat W to win the $15,000 RCG Farm Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Classic during Week VI and the $82,000 Suncast 1.50m Jumper Classic during Weeks IX and XII of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Her success on the circuit continued this year with a second place finish in the $280,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI-W 4*, and a third place finish in the Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round XII, as well as the as the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI5*. Springsteen and Vindicat W have competed as part of the Global Champions Tour for the past two years, and Springsteen has represented the United States during Nations Cup competitions.

U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland commented, “I am very excited that Jessica has won the Maxine Beard Award. The whole emphasis that we have been trying to place over the last year is keeping the pipeline in order between our veterans at the top and the next generation of riders, and Jessica is a part of that. She has tremendous talent. I know that her priorities are divided since she is a full-time college student, but I fully endorse her priorities, and she’s a rider that has potential to be involved in the sport at the highest level.”

Currently attending Duke University where she is a psychology major, Springsteen must split her time riding and showing with studying and attending classes. It is difficult to manage school without the pressure of being an international rider, but Springsteen manages to successfully balance both tasks with grace and ease.

“I am very excited to be the recipient of the Maxine Beard award; it is a great honor,” concluded Springsteen. “I am thrilled to have been chosen by the USET Foundation and to be added to a list of such talented riders. Watching the top riders in the world compete is an invaluable learning experience and is incredibly inspirational.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Jessica Springsteen and Emanuel Andrade Grab SSG Gloves Bonus Money

Jessica Springsteen is presented with a $2,000 bonus for wearing SSG ‘Digitals’ on her way to victory in the $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. James Leslie Parker, The Book LLC.

Wellington, Florida – Two familiar faces were in the winner’s circle for the final SSG Riding Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” presentations of the season.  Jessica Springsteen became a three-time winner of the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic while Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade picked up his second bonus of the season with a win in the $10,000 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper Classic at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

Held Saturday, March 30, the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic attracted a large starting field of 57 entries.  Seven were clear over the first round track to qualify for the jump-off.  There was no doubt that the $2,000 in bonus money, having doubled as it was not won during week 11, would be awarded; all seven jump-off contenders were wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves to be eligible.

Coming back second in the jump-off, Springsteen laid down another clear round in a time of 41.83 seconds riding Wish that would prove to be unbeatable.  The victory marked Springsteen’s third win of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival in the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, having previously won during weeks four and six.  In total, Springsteen won $5,000 in bonus money in the SSG Riding Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion.

“It’s crazy how much you can win!” exclaimed Springsteen, 21, of Colts Neck, NJ.  “I love the gloves, I think they’re great, and I think the promotion is so exciting.  It is a great idea.  I really like how if no one wins it, the bonus money rolls over.  It really adds up!”

Emanuel Andrade is presented with a $1,000 bonus from SSG Gloves after winning the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic. Photo by Sportfot
Emanuel Andrade is presented with a $1,000 bonus from SSG Gloves after winning the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic. Photo by Sportfot

Andrade, meanwhile, brought his final total of bonus money won to $4,000 in this season’s SSG ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion.  With only two riders able to find their way to a clear round in the final $10,000 Junior Jumper Classic of the season, Andrade was first back for the jump-off and set the pace with a clear round riding Crossfire 10.  When the only other jump-off contender, Eugenio Garza, faulted, victory went to the 16-year-old Venezuelan show jumping sensation.

“If you use the gloves, not only do you have the satisfaction of winning the class, you have the satisfaction of winning the bonus money, too!” said Andrade, who trains with Andrea King and Angel Karolyi of Hollow Creek Farm in Aiken, SC.  “I normally do not wear gloves, but I do for these classes because it’s so nice of them to run the promotion.  I want to support it.”

As he did the last time he won, Andrade gave his SSG bonus money to his grooms.  At the end of the 12-week circuit, it is a nice reward for a job well done!

A total of $60,000 in bonus money was on offer from SSG Riding Gloves at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.  A $3,000 bonus was up for grabs in each of the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series events, and a $1,000 bonus was on offer in the Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic and the Junior Jumper High Classic competitions.  If not awarded, the bonus money carried forward to the next event in the series.

SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves are available for purchase at numerous locations, including Beval Saddlery, Hadfield’s Saddlery, Jods, Running Fox and Tackeria.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W Shine in $82,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W. Photo © Sportfot.

Without Question and Madison Arani Leave No Doubt in Pine Hollow Low Children’s Hunter 2’6″ Division

Wellington, FL, March 10, 2013 – Twenty-one-year-old Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, guided Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W to the winning round in Sunday’s $82,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to conclude week nine of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies. Showing on a beautiful afternoon at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, Springsteen topped a field of great riders, including her trainer, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut.

Fifty-two entries jumped Sunday’s 1.50m course set by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, with ten advancing to the jump-off. First to go in the second round, Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W were unbeatable. They cleared the course in 41.36 seconds. Two entries were faster but had rails down. Only two others were clear over the short course.

Kent Farrington (USA) and Haity McNerney’s Zafira cleared the course in 41.53 seconds to finish in second. Third place went to Darragh Kerins (IRL) and E-Muze Yek, owned by Kerins and Maarten Huygens, with a time of 44.80 seconds. The fastest four-fault round belonged to Japan’s Eiken Sato aboard Stephex Stables’ Norlam des Estisses in 41.04 seconds.

Springsteen purchased Vindicat W, an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Guidam x Libero H, just after this summer’s Olympic Games in London where he was the mount for Peter Charles in the British team’s gold medal win. Springsteen tried Vindicat in August and the pair immediately clicked and showed for the first time together at the Washington International Horse Show in October.

“He has been amazing,” Springsteen smiled. “He is the only horse that I have ever gotten and clicked with right away. He is strong; he has a lot of blood and a lot of energy, so I thought we might have a little trouble in the ring keeping under control, but he is so nice to ride and he listens so well. He is so easy to jump a clear round on. You just have to get him to the fence and let him do his thing. He has been unbelievable and I am so happy.”

The pair got their first win together in the $15,000 RCG Farm SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic during week six in Wellington and Sunday’s class, a Longines FEI world ranking event with an $82,000 purse, was their best performance to date.

“It is definitely one of the biggest wins for me,” Springsteen stated. “It is hard because there are always so many people in the class and so many amazing riders that are so fast. Even after I went today I was like, ‘Okay, I was fast, but there is still McLain and Lauren (Hough) and Kent who are like lightning,’ so I thought I definitely would get beaten, but he was amazing and I was lucky today.”

Currently in her junior year at Duke University in North Carolina, Springsteen is juggling school with riding and has not been able to show quite as much, but feels that she is balancing things well.

“I really wanted to go to college and get that experience, so I am happy,” she acknowledged. “I am lucky that I have horses that I can really trust and that are so amazing and so brave, so it’s not really too difficult. I’ll get frustrated with myself if I make a mistake or don’t go clear, but then I have to remember that everyone else is here riding every day and I’m not. I love school, so I wouldn’t have done it any other way.”

Without Question and Madison Arani Leave No Doubt in Pine Hollow Low Children’s Hunter 2’6″ Division

Madison Arani, of Dover, MA, piloted Without Question to tricolor honors during the final day of competition for week nine of the FTI WEF. The pair was champion of the Pine Hollow Low Children’s Hunter 2’6″ Division after placing first over fences on day one followed by second place finishes under saddle and over fences day two. Reserve honors went to Sweet Addiction, owned by Sarah Sturges and ridden by Haylee Jerkins. Jerkins and Sweet Addiction were sixth over fences on day one followed by a third place finish under saddle and a blue ribbon over fences on day two.

Without Question and Madison Arani. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Without Question and Madison Arani. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Without Question, a 17-year-old Bayerisches mare owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables, LLC, has been Arani’s beloved partner for the last three years. “She was a big time show horse [before I leased her] but then she was hurt. We decided it would be worth a shot to try her [for less demanding divisions] and it worked out! It’s our third year leasing her and she’s just the best,” Arani explained.

Without Question happily settled in to her new career path with Arani, who has competed her in 3′ divisions until recently. “As she’s gotten older, it got to be a little too much for her so we stick to the 2’6″ divisions. But she’s always happy to go in the ring,” Arani commented.

Arani appreciates Without Question’s forgiving and constantly happy nature, which is one of many attributes to which she credits their show ring success. “You can go around and chip every jump and she’ll still go around ears forward and happy. She’s so easy to find the jumps on and she always jumps each jump the same,” Arani described.

At age 12, Arani successfully juggles a full schedule of showing at FTI WEF and going to school. “It’s definitely hard. We come down here on the weekends and sometimes do homework while we show. Then we leave Sunday night to go back to school, so it can be very hard getting up on Monday!” Arani smiled.

Arani’s commute from New England to Wellington doesn’t leave her with much prep time before she heads in the ring. “Since we’re only down here for the weekends, I’m lucky to have such a great horse that I can just get on and she’s perfect,” Arani stated.

Without Question stays in Wellington year-round with Arani’s other horses and her trainer, Leslie Emerson. Arani eagerly awaits the FTI WEF each year to reunite with her horses and fellow competitors. “I love coming to Florida to see my horses and enjoy the weather,” Arani continued. “It’s so nice to be here and exciting to down and see my friends I horse show with and to see my horses. It makes it even more fun!”

Arani’s victory aboard Without Question marked the end of hunter competition for week nine of the FTI WEF, sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies. Week ten, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, runs March 13-17, 2013 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
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Jessica Springsteen Sprints to SSG Riding Gloves Bonus Money

February 17, 2013 – Wellington, Florida – For the second time this year, Jessica Springsteen rode away with the bonus money in the SSG Riding Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

Having already been a winner during week four, Springsteen was again triumphant in week six’s $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.  Wearing her SSG ‘Digitals’, Springsteen picked up a $2,000 bonus from SSG Riding Gloves.

From a starting field of 42 entries, 10 advanced to the jump-off.  Of those, nine were wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Gloves to be eligible for the bonus money.  Springsteen qualified two horses for the jump-off, Vindicat W and Wish, with Vindicat W posting the winning time of 40.29 seconds.

“I’ve used SSG gloves forever,” said Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, who was cheered on to victory by her parents, Bruce and Patti Springsteen.  “These are the gloves that I always wear.  The promotion is such a great idea.  We were just talking last night at dinner about how exciting it is when the bonus money builds.  It’s so fun!”

While Wish was Springsteen’s winning mount during week four, this time it was Vindicat W’s turn to step into the spotlight.  Part of the 2012 Olympic team gold medal effort for Great Britain under Peter Charles, the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding joined Springsteen’s stable last fall.

A junior at Duke University, Springsteen, 21, commutes to Florida each Thursday night, returning to school in Durham, NC, on Sundays.  While she has not yet decided how she will spend her latest $2,000 bonus, she used her SSG bonus money from week four to buy a new puppy, explaining, “For a long time, I’ve wanted a puppy that could travel with me.”  She now has a traveling companion in Bean, a Bichon/Yorkie-cross.

Lauren Tyree is presented with a $1,000 bonus winning the High Junior Jumper Classic at the WEF
Lauren Tyree is presented with a $1,000 bonus winning the High Junior Jumper Classic at the WEF

In the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic, four of the five riders that advanced to the jump-off were wearing SSG ‘Digitals’ to be eligible for the bonus money.  The first challenger proved to be the best, with Lauren Tyree of Chicago, IL, posting a time of 39.54 seconds that no one else could catch.

“I think it’s awesome!” said Tyree, 17, of the SSG Riding Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion.  “It’s a great way for the riders to support SSG.  I bought my gloves as soon as I heard about it.”

Tyree began riding her winning mount, Audi’s Top Secret, at the beginning of the 2013 season when she stepped up to the High Junior Jumper division.  By week six, she picked up the Junior Jumper Championship title, along with a $1,000 bonus from SSG Gloves.

“He’s quirky, but he’s very sweet,” said Tyree of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.  “He comes out the same every day, and he knows where all the rails are!”

While Springsteen and Tyree were both winners during week six, the bonus money has continued to build in the WEF Challenge Series.  For week seven’s $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round V, an $18,000 bonus will be on the line!  The bonus money has not been awarded since the first week of competition when Rodrigo Pessoa took home a $3,000 bonus.

SSG Riding Gloves offers a $3,000 bonus in each of the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series events, as well as a $1,000 bonus in the Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic and the Junior Jumper High Classic competitions.  If the winning rider in any of these three competitions is wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style gloves with the SSG horse head logo clearly visible, they will be presented with a cash bonus during the awards presentation.  If not awarded, the bonus money carries forward to the next event in the series.  A total of $60,000 in bonus money is on offer from SSG Riding Gloves at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.

SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves are available for purchase at numerous Wellington locations, including Tackeria, as well as on-site at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds at various retailers including Beval Saddlery, Hadfield’s Saddlery, Jods and Running Fox.

Please refer to the 2013 WEF Prize List for complete details.  For further information, contact Jennifer Ward, Starting Gate Communications, at cell: 613 292-5439 or jward@startinggate.ca.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Jessica Springsteen Wins SSG Riding Gloves Bonus Money

Jessica Springsteen, mounted on Vindicat W, is presented with a $1,000 bonus from SSG Riding Gloves for wearing SSG ‘Digitals’ on her way to victory in the $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Photo - Sportfot

February 3, 2013 – Wellington, Florida – Jessica Springsteen pocketed a $1,000 bonus for wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves on her way to victory in the $15,000SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic during week four of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

Springsteen qualified two horses for the jump-off after successfully negotiating the marathon first round track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  From the 37 entries, six horses advanced to the tie-breaker with Springsteen posting the fastest clear round effort, stopping the clock in 40.30 seconds riding Wish.  With the only other clear jump-off performance, she also placed second with Vindicat W, the horse Peter Charles rode to a team gold medal for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.  Springsteen, who trains with 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut, was cheered on to victory by her parents, Bruce and Patti Springsteen.

With a $1,000 bonus on the line, Springsteen was wearing her SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves.

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EQUUS Foundation’s Fete Cheval – Fun for All & All for Fun!

McLain Ward and Louise Serio at the 2011 Fete Cheval. Photo courtesy of Phelps Media Group.

WESTPORT, CT – January 30, 2012 – With equestrians representing the dressage, eventing, hunter, jumper, and polo communities, the EQUUS Foundation’s signature event at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Fete Cheval, promises to be the most entertaining event for horse enthusiasts this season in Wellington, Florida.

The Fete Cheval presented by Spy Coast Farm will be held on Friday, March 9, 2012, and feature cocktails, an auction, dinner in the exclusive International Club with a ringside view of the evening’s entertainment in the International Arena.

“What makes the Fete Cheval so unique is that it is all about fun, and lets very serious riders demonstrate their natural competitive spirit in games that they all recall from their youth,” said Elizabeth Press, co-chairing the event with Hillary Dobbs and Patricia Keenan, ” – games like Musical Stalls, Sit a Buck, and others.”

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