Tag Archives: Katherine Strauss

Zone 2 Defends Title to Take Team Gold in USEF National Junior Jumper Championships

Katherine Strauss and All In (©Al Cook – alcookphoto.com)

Harrisburg, Pa. – The team from Zone 2 took home the Team Gold for the second consecutive year with the best possible score to win the Prix des States Team Championship of the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. Zone 4 won the Silver and the Bronze went to Zone 5.

The Zone 2 team consisted of Madison Goetzmann (Skaneateles, N.Y.) riding Wrigley, Katherine Strauss (Southampton, N.Y.) aboard All In, Lauren Fischer (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) on Tosca du Feugre, and Eliza Month (Scarsdale, N.Y.) with Calumpi. The formidable foursome captured the title with three out of the four going double-clear over the Steve Stephens-designed course to finish with a zero fault score.

Ralph Caristo served as the Zone 2 Chef d’Equipe and was especially pleased with the victory. Caristo has held the position for many years, but he was unable to make the trip in 2015.

“I had to judge last year so Krista Freundlich substituted for me and she did a fantastic job,” said Caristo. “This is what we strive for. The girls really rose to the occasion. I told them to just go in there and have fun. They had enough experience so they knew what to do, and they did it.”

In a modified Nations Cup format, the seven teams and individual riders jumped the same course twice with one drop score permitted from each round. Although the top six teams moved on to the second round, the battle for Gold was really between Zone 2 and Zone 4. At the conclusion of the first round, Zone 2 held a slight lead with a zero score and Zone 4 was second with four faults.

Brett Burlington (Coral Gables, Fla.) led the way for Zone 4 going double-clear on Bluf. Cooper Dean (Fayette, Ala.) on WEC Quidam-Quidam had a total score of four faults, Sophie Simpson (Jupiter, Fla.) ended up with a total score of 12 faults on Why Not, and Helen Graves (Franklin, Tenn.) was the drop score on Armani to give the team a final score of 16 faults.

Strauss and Fischer had already piloted double-clear rounds for Zone 2, but Month was eliminated in round two, so the team needed anchor rider Goetzmann to do well in order to use Month as the drop score. Goetzmann also rode to a double-clear, clinching the Gold for the team.

“I had so much confidence in my horse and Ralph Caristo gives all of us so much confidence, so I didn’t feel too much pressure,” said Goetzmann on riding last. “I felt like I had a great team behind me and my horse was absolutely amazing. I thought it was an excellent course. There was a tight time allowed and a few wide oxers coming out of short turns. You really had to understand how to ride the track and be able to ride efficiently and smooth in the indoor ring because we are used to riding in a big outdoor ring throughout the season.”

Goetzmann and Strauss were also members of the 2015 Gold-medal winning team, which Strauss believes may have helped them win the title.

“It’s a huge adjustment riding indoors,” said Strauss. “Things come up quicker; you have to adjust to the way the lines ride. Maddie and I have been in this class many times before on the same horses so we were expecting those turns and the way this ring rides. It felt great coming here with such a great team.”

It was the first time Fischer and her mare had competed in the Championship and she was thrilled with their inaugural run. “I am really proud of my mare. It was her first time doing anything like this. She really came out on top and gave me two nice clear rounds. I thought the course was challenging, the time allowed was definitely a factor. You really had to know your horse for this course.”

Month, who had a less successful night than her teammates, also thought the course was challenging. “The oxers were pretty wide,” said Month. “It was crucial for you to keep pace but keep a connection to your horse. I think it tested a lot of us. I feel so lucky to be part of such an awesome team.”

The team of Zone 5, with Caelinn Leahy (Maple Park, Ill.), Alexandra Pielet (Highland Park, Ill.), Giavanna Rinaldi (Wayne, Ill.), and Dana Wille (Dexter, Mich.), snagged the Bronze with a score of 37 faults.

The Championship culminated on Saturday with the top 60% from Phases I and II for the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championship. In a nail biting fight to the finish, Strauss took top honors riding All In, owned by Katherine Strauss, LLC. The win was all the more special as she was competing in her final year as a junior rider.

“I couldn’t have been happier with the way my horse jumped this week, I am so proud of him. This is my third year competing with him here and it feels great to finally come back and have this finish,” said Strauss. “This has been a class that I have watched for many years and to represent Zone 2 and compete with riders that have worked so hard to get here all year is so special. I’m even more thrilled to have this win with my teammates and my barn mate. It’s a true testament to how strong the Zone 2 riders are.”

In the final phase of the Championship, scores are carried over from the previous two phases. The top three, Strauss, Goetzmann and Fischer, all entered the final phase of the competition without having knocked down a single rail. The margin between them was one and one half faults, meaning there was no room for error in order to capture Gold.

Riding in reverse order of merit, Fischer was the first of the three to ride. Fischer and her mare, Tosca du Feugre, were easily negotiating the Steve Stephens-designed course until the final fence, where they came in at an awkward distance and the mare made a herculean effort to leave the rails intact.

“I didn’t see anything,” said Fischer about the distance at the final fence. “I was like, it’s the last jump, I can’t have it down and I panicked, but I knew she had my back. I said, ‘Come on Tessa!’ And she cleared it. She’s a good girl. She had my back. In the beginning she really didn’t like me very much. It took me actually 12 months to figure out how to ride her so it makes this moment more special.”

Goetzmann followed Fischer riding on Wrigley. Fischer had already gone clear and Strauss was waiting in the wings, so the pressure was on. The young rider had no problem going clear and clinched silver.

“It’s such an amazing accomplishment,” said Goetzmann. “My horse, Wrigley and I continue to grow and grow. I’ve had her for about two years now and each show our partnership gets better and better. It’s an amazing feeling having both of my teammates finish well. No matter what the end result was, I was going to be happy.”

As the final rider of the 18 who competed in the final phase, Strauss had a long wait before entering the arena. Her teammates had already gone clear, so she and All In needed to be flawless to win gold.

“These two definitely put the pressure on, they are so hardworking, so talented and so accomplished,” said Strauss. “I was definitely nervous, but I had total confidence in my horse. He’s such a special horse.”

Strauss also won the William C. Steinkraus Style of Riding Award, sponsored by Karen Healey Stables. The award is presented to the Prix des States Junior Jumper Rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation and the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.

Classic Communications for the USEF

Katherine Strauss Wins Private Tutoring Services North American Jr. Equitation Championship

Katherine Strauss aboard San Remo VDL. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Alexa Aureliano Wins THIS National Children’s Medal Finals; Allison Fithian Victorious in North American Adult Equitation Championships

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The Capital Challenge Horse Show hosted three major equitation finals at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center on Sunday as part of Equitation Weekend, presented by BigEq.com. In the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships, the win went to Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY riding San Remo VDL. Alexa Aureliano of Old Brookville, NY was victorious in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals on Qualitat. Allison Fithian of Monterey, CA captured the win in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships riding Lucky D’ Etenclin. The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through Sunday, October 9, with hunter competition beginning on Monday, October 3. Every class of the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show is live streamed. Watch at tv.coth.com or www.capitalchallenge.org.

A field of 103 entries in the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships contested the course set by Kenneth Krome with assistance from Joe Carnicom. Riders were scored by a panel of six judges including: Jeff Ayers, Jim Clapperton, Shane George, Scott Hofstetter, Tony Sgarlata, and Scott Williamson.

At the end of the first round of competition, Strauss and San Remo VDL sat in third place with a score of 89.08 while Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH and Clearway held the lead with a score of 91.33.

The top 20 returned in reverse order of their standings for a second round, and Strauss’s second round score of 91.33 quickly shot her to the top of the leaderboard with an overall score of 180.41.

Sophie Simpson on You Wish, owned by Ashland Farms, and Kurtz and Clearway, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, were the final two to return, and while both would execute strong rounds, neither would match Strauss’s performance. A second round score of 88.33, coupled with her first round score of 90.00, would give Simpson a 178.33 total to keep her in the second-place position. With a score of 84.33 in the second round, Kurtz would finish in third with a 175.66 total.

While the judges had the option for additional testing of the top four, a greater than two-point difference between Strauss and Simpson meant that the courses set by Krome had done a well enough a job of differentiating the top riders and no additional testing was necessary.

“It is a really fun equitation final to do the courses for,” Krome said. “The format is the best, where every rider is scored. Having two rounds and having the top twenty to come back really allows me to vary the tests and to do interesting things in the second round. My goal is to help the riders improve this week. This is leading up to [the Pennsylvania National Horse Show], so you’re trying to prepare them for that and present them with enough good challenges so that they learn some things that they can brush up on before the next finals.”

Strauss finished second in last year’s Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships riding Canterbury, so being able to come back and earn the win this year on a new mount, San Remo VDL, was particularly exciting for Strauss.

“I’m so happy,” said Strauss, who trains for the equitation with Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables. “I was so fortunate to ride San Remo in this class. He is just so perfect. This was actually only my third show on him. Stacia of course knows him really well, so she has been able to help expedite forming a relationship process. He does everything I ask of him, literally; I couldn’t have asked more of him today.”

San Remo VDL was ridden to great success, including the win in the 2012 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final, by owner Elizabeth Benson, and the horse has had a special place in the hearts of the Benson family and Madden since.

“He’s kind of a part of [the Benson family],” Madden explained. “We decided after the Devon Horse Show last year that we were really going to try to teach him how to turnout properly and give him some appropriate time off, which he had never had because he was a little bit of a social misfit.”

After enjoying a year of turnout and relaxation at John and Beezie Madden’s farm in New York, San Remo VDL returned to Beacon Hill this summer, but Madden did not have a particular rider in mind for the 16-year-old Warmblood gelding.

“I was hoping for a good rider for him to come down the pike,” Madden said. “Katherine had three top equitation horses; she wasn’t really on my radar at that point. Then one of her equitation horses is actually going to get the San Remo treatment and is going to be out in John and Beezie’s field, so I talked to her and her parents about seeing if they would be open minded to leasing her San Remo. They’re so great and want Katherine to be in this sport and want her to be in it as well as she can be. So they said absolutely.”

The Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships presented the pair with the perfect opportunity to come together for a major equitation final and to further prepare for the remainder of the indoor season.

“It’s great preparation for the rest of the finals,” Strauss said. “You sort of have the outdoor classes to warm you up and then transition you for the indoor classes. It’s great to just practice riding under pressure with this championship format.”

Strauss continued, “Obviously this is our first show indoors, so you have to start thinking a little bit more quickly. All of the jumps were sort of right off the edges of the ring and everything came up a little bit quickly. One thing that Stacia’s really helped me with, and that I started working on with her last year, is thinking more quickly when you start riding inside and being ready for everything to come up quickly. Stacia sets up extremely difficult courses at home at Beacon Hill. I think that really prepared me well. Taking everything that I learned with Stacia at indoors last year and applying them to today has helped.”

As part of the big win, Katherine Strauss and Stacia Madden were presented with the George H. Morris Equitation Championship Trophy, donated by Frank Madden and Stacia Madden. The North American Equitation Champion Groom’s Award, sponsored by Holly Hill Farm, was awarded to San Remo VDL’s groom, Oscar Aguillara. Strauss also received the best Equitation Rider Award, sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables, and Stacia Madden was awarded the Leading Equitation Trainer Award. The EMO Equitation Trip of the Show award, sponsored by EMO Insurance Services and presented to the rider with the highest scoring round on Saturday, went to Madison Goetzmann who scored a 90.5 while competing in the 15-Year-Old Equitation.

Alexa Aureliano Tops THIS National Children’s Medal Finals

Alexa Aureliano of Old Brookville, NY earned her first major equitation victory on Saturday in the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals riding Qualitat, a seven-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Heritage Farm.

Alexa Aureliano aboard Qualitat
Alexa Aureliano aboard Qualitat

Aureliano, who trains with Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm, scored an opening average score of 86.50 to put her in fourth place heading into the second round, which welcomed back the top ten riders.

“The first round, I loved the course,” Aureliano said. “There weren’t any mishaps or anything. It was just a nice smooth round. I was happy about it because I knew that I was in the top ten, so I was glad that I had a nice first round.”

After scoring a 90 in the second round, Aureliano climbed up the leaderboard into second place with a cumulative score of 176.50. That put her just behind Camryn Halley of Oviedo, FL on Renoir, who held the lead in both the first and second round with scores of 88.25, 89.66, and a cumulative 177.91.

“The second round, I was a little nervous going in, because I knew that if I wanted to accomplish my goal to win the THIS, I needed to step up my game a little bit,” Aureliano said. “It was a little bit of a challenge for me, but I really liked it.”

With less than two points separating them, Aureliano and Halley were called back for additional testing. The test required riders to canter directly to a triple bar, then take a trot fence off a bending line before rolling back to a two-stride line, halting, and finally demonstrating a counter canter over a last vertical. With a seamlessly executed test it was Aureliano who rose to the top of the list and clinched the win.

“I can’t even explain my feelings right now,” Aureliano said immediately following her victory. “I’ve been working so hard to accomplish this goal, and it was just accomplished!”

Third place went to Grace Pearson of Seattle, WA on Beau Van Het Keyershof. They scored an 85.33 and an 85.66 for a 170.99 total.

Aureliano has been training with Heritage Farm for the last five years, but she is somewhat unique in that her horses are kept at home a little more than an hour away from the Katonah, NY based farm.

“She and her mother are a good team, and they’re real workers,” said Patricia Griffith.

“They work hard, and Alexa’s very thankful to have the supportive mother driving the truck and trailer up for every lesson and taking care of the horse and grooming at most horse shows. It always seems to be the harder you work, the luckier you get. That’s definitely a motto that I like to live by. With her that proves to be true.”

Qualitat’s groom, Hector Arias, also won a special groom’s award.

Allison Fithian Victorious in Adult Equitation Championships

In the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships, it was Allison Fithian of Monterey, CA who was victorious riding her longtime mount Lucky D’ Etenclin.

Fithian led through both rounds and won by an impressive margin of more than 11 points after earning scores of 88.83 in the first round and 91.00 in the second for a 179.83 total.

For the New York University (NYU) graduate, competing Lucky D’ Etenclin at Capital Challenge is a happy reunion and, as trainer Stacia Madden explained, like taking care of “unfinished business.”

“She has a chemistry with this horse that is just second to none,” Madden said. “I felt a little bit bad for her in her last junior year because he got a little bit injured. She was third at Medal Finals that year which was unbelievable. Then she had to use a different horse for Maclay Finals.”

Following her last junior year, Fithian pursued her degree in hospitality management and Lucky D’ Etenclin, a seven-year-old Selle Francais gelding, was leased out to junior riders.

“I got him back this year to ride him, so it’s really just so special to come back and bring it all together!” Fithian said.

Fithian has her sights set next on the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals on Friday, October 7, at Capital Challenge.

Finishing in second was Helen Voss of Versailles, KY on Prosecco 24. Voss earned scores of 84.00 and 84.66 for a 168.66 total. Finishing just half a point behind Voss for third were Tracey Gorin-Byrne and Sunman with a first round score of 84.33 and a second round score of 83.83.

The North American Adult Equitation Champion Groom’s Award, sponsored by Holly Hill Farm, went to Lucky D’ Etenclin’s groom, Oscar Aguillara.

For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media

Katherine Strauss and Chellando Z Capture High Junior Jumper Win at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Katherine Strauss and Chellando Z.

Lexington, KY – July 26, 2013 – It was another picturesque day at the Kentucky Horse Park as the Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumpers took center stage in the Rolex Stadium. Only two riders produced perfect rounds in the High Junior Jumpers, and it was Katherine Strauss and Chellando Z who had the time in the jump-off to capture the win. In the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers Haley Schaufeld aboard Harley 86 won a foot race between five riders.

Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England presented the same test for the High Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumpers, which included an open water option, an oxer-vertical double combination, and an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination. For the jump-off, riders began with bending line, followed by a tight rollback to a second bending line before showing over the double combination and finishing over a tall vertical.

The first rider to advance to the short course in the High Junior Jumpers was Sydney Shulman and HH Narcos Du Marais, owned by Back Country Farm of Greenwich, CT. In an attempt to lay down a quick time they had a rail coming into the combination. Their four-fault effort in 37.492 seconds would be good enough for third place.

Katherine Strauss was the next to show over the short course with her veteran partner Chellando Z. The duo had all of the answers, easily galloping through the turns and clearing each obstacle. They broke the beam at 33.125 seconds to post a fault-free time that could not be beat, winning the class.

The top rank became a battle between Strauss, the Individual Silver medal winner at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championship (NAJYRC) in the Junior Jumper division, and Individual Junior Jumper Gold medalist Eugenio Garza of Mexico. Garza tried to catch Strauss aboard Huapango, owned by El Milagro of Dallas, TX. The pair produced a clear round, but their time of 33.911 fell just short of the lead, putting them in second place.

Gabrielle Bausano of New York, NY and Zibon HC also qualified for the short course, but a four-fault round placed them fourth, while Adrian Berganza of Mexico and Corlando Van Koekshop placed fifth after incurring eight faults during the tiebreaker.

Strauss was thrilled with Chellando Z’s performance during the jump-off. “We did eight strides in the first line, even though we planned nine; it just lined up perfectly,” she smiled. “I feel really comfortable spinning him back to the jumps. I also felt comfortable flying into the double because I knew he would pat the ground and clear ‘B’.”

Chellando Z and Strauss have been partnered together for two years and have been successful all over the country. “I know Chellando Z like the back of my hand, and I really trust him,” she explained. “He likes a really connected ride coming up to the bit. Everything we do works together; we’ve always clicked.”

The NAJYRC Individual Silver medalist and Team Gold medalist added, “The courses at Young Riders were all really challenging; there was no place to make a mistake. You have to be riding your best everywhere. It was nice coming back today and being able to take a breather.”

In the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, seven riders made it to the final round and five were double clear, creating a race for the winning prize. Chelsea Moss of Medford, NJ, and Lorena 90 were the first in the ring and had a target on their back as they left all the fences intact and finished in a tidy 35.902 seconds, which held up for third place. Liz Atkins and L’Etoile, owned by Benchmark Stables of Hampshire, IL, followed them with a clear round, but their time of 36.727 seconds was only good enough for fourth. Whitney Lyon and Bugs Bunny V Overis Z, owned by Coniston Farm of Marengo, IL, had the slowest double clear in a close 36.905 seconds for fifth place.

Haley Schaufeld and Harley 86
Haley Schaufeld and Harley 86

Rogelio A Pellerano Heinsen of Miami, FL was the first to best Moss’ time, clearing all of the fences and breaking the beam at 34.642 seconds with Precieuse Platiere. Unfortunately, his leading time was short lived, and he had to take home second place when Haley Schaufeld of Leesburg, VA, entered the ring with Harley 86. The pair was on point and easily galloped over the winding course, leaving each fence in place and dashing through the finish in 33.765 seconds to capture the blue ribbon.

“I made up time in the line down the middle because the other people I saw did seven and my horse has such an open stride that I decided to do six,” explained Schaufeld. “Sometimes we have trouble with the sharp turns, but I feel like Harley was spot on today. We just really tried to go for it.”

Schaufeld has owned Harley 86 for about a year and has great chemistry with the talented mare. “Harley is really spectacular in the ring. She has a lot of blood, but when she sees the fence you feel totally confident because you know she’s going to try her best to go clear. She just loves her job,” said Schaufeld.

On Sunday, Schaufeld and Harley 86 will compete in the High Amateur-Owner Classic. The Kentucky Summer Horse Shows are one of her favorite stops on the circuit each year. “The facility is amazing, the footing is great, and the courses are really good,” she smiled. “This is one of my favorite shows.”

Earlier today, the Open Jumpers divisions were held in the Rolex Stadium. Sayre Happy and HC Woopy 14, owned by HC Sport Horses of Wellington, FL, showcased their talent with a double clear round in 35.107 seconds to win the 1.30m Open Jumpers. Callie Schott of Versailles, KY, and Shaamen posted the first faultless round during the jump-off, tripping the timers in 38.100 seconds for third place. The second place award went to Lucas Porter and Patriot, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, who left all the fences standing in 36.245 seconds.

Jumper action will continue tomorrow with the week’s highlight event, the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix. The class will get underway at 7:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium, and is held in conjunction with the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hat’s Off Day, a celebration of the horse and its impact on the state of Kentucky.

For more information on the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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