Katie Dinan and Dougie Douglas. Photos copyright Sportfot.
Madison Goetzmann and Wrigley Win $25,000 Artisan Farms U25 Grand Prix; Hunter Kay Pilots Temptation to the Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic Win; Danhakl and Hartman Victorious in 3’3″ Classics
Wellington, FL – February 21, 2016 – Week six of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL with hunter and jumper action across the show grounds. The $25,000 Artisan Farms U25 Grand Prix, sponsored by EnTrust Capital, as well as the $50,000 WEF 6 National Grand Prix, were both held on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC. The win in the U25 class went to Madison Goetzmann aboard Wrigley. Katie Dinan jumped to victory in the national grand prix with Dougie Douglas.
Hunter competition concluded in the International Ring for the week featuring the $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic, the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Classic, and the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’3″ Hunter Classic. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the final course on the derby field for Sunday’s $50,000 National Grand Prix, with 20 competitors and three clear rounds. Harrie Smolders was first to go over the short course and set the pace with a clear round in 41.77 seconds to eventually finish second aboard Copernicus Stables’ Aiyetoro. Katie Dinan was next to go aboard Grant Road Partners’ Dougie Douglas and crossed the finish line in the winning time of 39.59 seconds. Last to go, Wilton Porter placed third with his four-fault round in 40.09 seconds aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Patriot.
Class winner Dougie Douglas is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (ARD VDL Douglas x High Roller) that Dinan just began competing at the beginning of January. She purchased the gelding from English rider Holly Gillott, who had been riding the horse for most of his career from the age of four onwards.
“I must say that she did an unbelievable job producing him because he is a joy to ride, and he seems to love show jumping as much as I do,” Dinan said of her mount. “He has had a lot of experience on big grass fields, so it was always my plan to jump him in the grand prix here on the grass field this week. I am very happy with how it went. I could not have hoped for it to go better and he loved being out there.”
Commenting on the jump-off, Dinan stated, “There were only three in it, so I knew I was going to get a good ribbon no matter what, and it seemed like a good moment to try to be competitive. I saw Harrie go before me, and I knew that he is always a very fast rider, and he looked quite fast. That, in a way, took the pressure off a little bit because I had to go fast and see what happened. It was my first time trying to go fast with this horse and he got really excited and very into it. We were having fun out there, so it was really a nice feeling. Also, Wilton is fast too, so it was not over until it was over.”
Dougie Douglas has a lot of experience jumping on grass fields, which Dinan explained made her job a little easier.
“He is very brave,” she noted. “This class used to be a derby, and originally I was hoping it still was a derby, but it was nice that they included the hedge jump, and the water jump, and the planks. It was something a little bit different for the horses and to diversify our winter for the horses is great.”
Dinan is completing her final semester at Harvard University and looks forward to getting back to riding full-time in May. She has been training with Swiss equestrian and Olympic team silver medalist Beat Mändli for two years now.
Clocking in a close second to Dinan, Harrie Smolders was happy with his finish aboard Aiyetoro, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Concorde x Colino) owned by Copernicus Stables. Smolders got the ride on the gelding a little over a year ago.
“Originally he is from England, and I think you could see that today, just like Katie’s horse,” Smolders detailed. “They used to have more of those natural fences when they were young over there. I never did a course with him like this, but I felt that he was also quite comfortable with it. I think you could see the horses that did well knowing those fences. I must say, Katie did a very good job today. Her horse jumped very well, and she rode fantastic, so she really deserved to win.”
“I was pleased with my horse,” Smolders continued. “I know he is not the fastest, but he was jumping very well and I was pleased any way with where I ended up. Maybe I could have done one less to the last fence, but the rest was quite smooth everywhere on the inside track.”
Wilton Porter continued a consistent day of competition with his third place finish in the grand aboard Patriot after also placing third in the morning’s Under 25 Grand Prix with another mount, Delinquent JX.
Porter’s mount for the national grand prix was his longtime partner, Patriot, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Colman x Sir Shostakov) that he has been riding for five years.
“We have had a great career together,” Porter stated. “This is the perfect class for him because these jumps impress him a little bit and he is really fit right now, so the length was not too big of a deal. I let him shift a little over those planks (in the jump-off) and I think that is why we had it down. We were obviously trying to catch Katie’s fast time, but overall I had a great day. I cannot really complain.”
In addition to help from longtime coach, John Roche, Wilton Porter and his brother, Lucas, will be training with renowned World, European, and Olympic champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) throughout the 2016 season.
The Porter brothers began training with Dubbeldam at the beginning of WEF in January, but this was only their third week of training together since the Dutch rider is traveling back and forth from Europe.
“It is going great,” Porter said of the new venture. “He is an incredible horseman, and he is teaching us so much. It is really just the beginning. We will be going to Europe after this, and we will keep learning there. We have been working a lot on the connection with the horse and getting them to jump in a great shape and learning to be competitive in these bigger classes.”
Patriot also has a great background competing on the grass and Porter has jumped him in derbies at Spruce Meadows and the Hampton Classic as well, so the horse is a veteran in those kinds of classes. In addition to his horse’s experience, Porter had the advantage of coming off a great finish in the previous class of the day.
“I was in a little bit of a groove from the first class this morning. I had a lot of confidence going in and that definitely played a role,” Porter acknowledged.
Goetzmann Guides Wrigley to U25 Victory
Competition on the derby field at The Stadium kicked off Sunday morning with the $25,000 Artisan Farms U25 Grand Prix, sponsored by EnTrust Capital, at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Course designer Richard Jeffery (GBR) whittled down the contestants from 64 starters, to 16 in the jump-off, and six clear entries in round two. Stephen Moore (IRL) and Teddy Vlock’s Team de Coquerie were first to clear the short course in 40.60 seconds to eventually finish fifth. Madison Goetzmann (USA) and Wrigley were next to go and blazed the winning time of 37.63 seconds that held on to the end.
Two rounds later, Eve Jobs (USA) and Sandor de la Pomme clocked the second place time of 37.93 seconds. Wilton Porter (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Delinquent JX then jumped into third place with their round in 39.40 seconds. Emily Short and Coco II crossed the timers in 40.40 seconds to finish fourth, and last to go, Jennifer Gates and Pumped Up Kicks jumped into sixth place with a time of 41.03.
Goetzmann (15), of Skaneateles, NY, was thrilled to get first win in the U25 aboard her experienced mount, Wrigley, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Padinus x Burggraaf).
“I am beyond excited. I am so happy with my horse,” Goetzmann stated. “This is my first year being eligible to do the U25, so since week two I have been eager to come and win a class, but I have definitely been taking my time and being careful with the bigger courses and the more difficult tracks. I am very happy with my horse and how she jumped today.”
Goetzmann and Wrigley also finished second in Saturday’s Welcome and third in the Sunday grand prix during week two. This class on the derby field gave the pair a new challenge and they stepped up to the plate.
“I thought it was a very good course. I think Richard did not make the time as tight as you would normally see, but there were definitely lots of places where you could have time faults, so it was important to keep an efficient round throughout the course,” Goetzmann detailed. “The course really suited me and my horse. My horse loves jumping on the field, and she did the course perfectly.”
“Every time I sit on this horse I feel so confident and comfortable to go in and win or have top results,” Goetzmann praised. “She has never let me down, and each time we go in the ring, I feel like we get better and better as a team. I have a very strong relationship with her.”
Speaking of her first year competing in the series, Goetzmann stated, “This is such an amazing experience. I have already learned so much about competing at the higher levels with the more experienced riders. Each week I continue to get more insight on how to do things better. I think all of the riders have aspirations to compete at higher levels with international riders, and it really bridges the gap between the junior and professional divisions.”
Wrigley was also awarded the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award, presented by Laura Fetterman.
For 17-year-old Eve Jobs, of Palo Alto, CA, this is not only her first year competing in the U25 Series, but also her first time competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Jobs finished second in the day’s competition aboard her 14-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding Sandor de la Pomme (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Darco).
“I have had him for just over a year now, and he is absolutely incredible,” Jobs said of her mount. “I have so many great things to say about that horse. He really has helped me step up into these bigger classes, and he gives me such confidence going into the ring. He is a phenomenal horse.”
“This is actually my first time doing the series and this circuit,” Jobs noted. “It is very exciting being here with all of the top riders, and to be doing well is phenomenal. I am so happy to be here.”
Speaking of her jump-off round, Jobs detailed, “I was lucky enough to go eighth, so I was able to watch one go first and get a feel for how the track rode. Going in there, I know my horse has a big stride, and he covered it beautifully. I just tried to go as fast as I can. Madison is so fast with Wrigley. It is a really hard one to beat and she rode it great, so I am really happy with the outcome.”
Jobs has been riding with Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run on and off since she was 13 years old and acknowledged the trainers and the whole team there for helping her grow as a rider and get to where she is today. The next goal is to qualify for the semi-final in week nine.
Wilton Porter (22), of Wellington, FL, has been competing in the U25 Series for the last four years and had a great ride with his mount, Delinquent JX, on Sunday. Porter showed the nine-year-old Warmblood gelding (Darco x I Need You) in young jumper classes this summer in Tryon, NC, but noted that the classes at WEF are much more competitive.
“I would say this is a step up for him, and he has done really well,” Porter stated. “This class was great. I cannot believe how many riders there are (in the series), with over 60 in this class. This is not an easy course. Anything 1.45m and higher is respectable if you can get around that, and to see all of these kids do that including myself, it is really competitive.”
Detailing his jump-off round, Porter stated, “Our plan was probably a little more conservative to start, but then Maddie and then Eve really laid it down going fast. I think they left some strides out where we were planning on doing a few more, so then I basically just tried to copy what they did. I felt like I left it all out there, but we are still learning how to go fast together. I think for today I was happy with that.”
Porter will continue showing Delinquent JX in the young rider classes and hopes that the horse will become a strong FEI competitor in the future. After WEF ends, the rider will travel to Europe to compete while training with Dutch champion Jeroen Dubbeldam. Porter feels that the experience of this series and the opportunity to compete on the grass field is a good lead up to European competition.
“Riding out on this field before going to Europe is great because we are probably going to be doing a lot of grass shows over there in big rings,” Porter noted. “This is almost like going to a European show because it is only one week out here, and you really do not have too much of a warm-up, so that is really good practice for this summer.”
Remarking on the series, Porter added, “I have done all of the under 25 competitions this WEF, and I have done it for the last four years. I love this division. Especially for someone like me who is no longer an amateur, this is a great opportunity to have something to compete in on the weekend. I love the team event, that is always fun, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series. Thank you to the Zieglers, and the Dutta Corporation, and Guido Klatte for sponsoring.”
Presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series will feature two more events showcasing top young talent in show jumping sport this winter. For the final event of the Series, the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest the $50,000 CSI-U25 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Final held on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Saturday, March 26.
Hunter Kay Pilots Temptation to the Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic Win, Danhakl and Hartman Victorious in 3’3″ Classics
The Adult hunters took their turn competing in the International Arena on Sunday morning. Fifty-six horse and rider combinations competed in the first round of the Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic, with the top 12 coming back to compete in a second round. Hunter Kay earned an impressive 85.75 in the first round aboard Jill Knowles’s Euro Sport Warmblood mare Temptation. He then rode beautifully in the second round, earning a high score of 87, which placed him securely in the lead with a total of 172.75.
Lynn Rogers and her own Sedgewick were close behind Kay, earning an overall score of 168.75 to come in second. Rounding out the top three was Kaile Rudy aboard her horse Coltrane, who earned an overall score of 168.
Hunter Kay, a 22-year-old recent graduate of the University of South Carolina, has been riding with Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw for three years. A native of Charlotte, NC, Kay plans to continue riding before pursuing a master’s degree.
Kay has had a long partnership with Temptation. He began riding the 16-year-old mare three years ago when he started training with Danta and Robertshaw. “Danny and Ron have had her in the barn for a few years,” Kay said. “She’s older now so we don’t show her a whole lot, but we bring her out for special occasions like WCHR week.”
Kay has not been able to show the mare very often, but Kay still feels comfortable on her. “This is our first week showing her this year,” Kay stated. “We actually haven’t shown her since last year, but I know her pretty well because I’ve been riding her for three years. We don’t need to do a lot with her.”
Kay and Temptation have developed a strong bond over the years. “She’s definitely a little opinionated; she’s definitely a mare,” Kay laughed. “But she’s really sweet and she wants to win, and she never lets me down.”
The riders were only permitted to compete with one horse in today’s classic, which left Kay with a decision to make between Temptation and his other mount. “I thought that I might have the best chance with her in the class today so we switched to me riding her,” Kay remarked. “It really paid off. I went in there just to have a good time and hopefully make the top twelve. Coming back, I was thankful that I wasn’t on the top, but just in the middle of the pack, because then I could just ride. It really paid off.”
Kay was especially excited to win a class during WCHR week. “It’s extra exciting to win this week. This is the big week for the hunters, so everybody wants to come out and do their best,” Kay commented.
Winning this year was a comeback of sorts for Kay, who has previously placed seventh with the same horse. “I did the class two years ago and made the top 12 with Temptation, but I finished in seventh. It was great to come back and win this year with her,” he said.
Kay hopes to continue riding the mare through the WEF circuit. “She does really well here. She’s the happiest in Florida,” Kay explained. “If she’s going well we will definitely try to show her. She loves to horse show and she loves to do well. At the same time, she owes me nothing, so I was so thankful just to get to do this class with her. Whatever she wants to do is good with me.”
Stephanie Danhakl concluded her incredible WCHR week with a win in the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Classic. She and Quest, a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding by Verdi, scored a high of 90 in the first round and kept their lead with a second round score of 84 for a total of 174 for the win.
Becky Gochman and Touchdown placed second with scores of 83.5 and 88 for 171.50. Scoring 83 and 85 for a total of 168, Lynn Walsh and Outta the Park placed third.
Quest, who picked up the championship in the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter division earlier in the week, is back to his winning ways after a year off due to a rare hoof disorder.
“I’m still kind of getting used to riding him again,” Danhakl said. “I was going out there to have fun and put in a nice round on him. In the second round I think I rode a little more defensively because I was nervous, but we still ended up getting an 84, enough for the win.”
The classic was held in the International Arena, and Danhakl enjoyed getting to compete again in the big ring. “He went in there today and had his ears up. He was taking me around the course, and he felt like he was happy to be there,” she said. “Just being able to show in this ring is so exciting. It’s so fun to have a different venue and let the horses gallop around, to ride and not worry what the next turn in.”
Danhakl described of her horse, “He’s so easy, he has a great rhythm, and he never bats an eye at a jump. He’s a very brave, old soul. He has a lot of spirit and energy.”
It was the first time showing together this week for the winners of the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’3″ Hunter Classic. Ashley Hartman (18) of Doylestown, PA rode Vogue, an eight-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, to the win for owner Georgia Saad.
Vogue scored an 83 and an 82 for a total of 165 for victory. Mimi Gochman had a 78 in the first round and jumped up to an 85 in the second round for a total of 163 for second place. Aizlynn Radwanski and Picture This had a total of 162 for third place after scoring 79 and 83.
Vogue’s trainer, Leslie Emerson of Marigot Bay Farm, said, “She’s a sale horse at Marigot Bay Farm. Ashley catch rode her for us this weekend. We could not be more proud of both of them.”
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its seventh week on February 24-28, 2016. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.
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