The hunters descended on the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Week II of the Jacksonville Spring Classics.
The featured hunter competition, the $25,000 USHJA International Grand Prix, sponsored by Glen Kernan Golf and Country Club, saw thirty-five horse and rider teams compete on the grass derby field over a course designed by Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey.
Well-known professional rider, Kelley Farmer of Wellington, Florida, had four mounts in the International Hunter Derby and rode away with the win in the irons of David Glefke & Oakmont Stables, LLC’s Namely. The pair earned an overall score of 370, just beating out second place finisher, The Full Monty, owned by Woodrun and ridden by David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee, who scored an overall 369.50.
“I knew David [Jennings] had won this class before and he rides beautifully. His horse is really seasoned and I knew he was going to try to be handy and go nicely. So on Namely I knew I had to be quite handy. Namely is really rideable and I was able to be nice and tidy and jump the high options and fortunately he went nicely and got great scores. I made a mistake in the handy round on my other horse Consent who was on top after the Classic round, so it was nice to be able to come back with Namely,” she said.
“We own Namely with Darrah Kenney and his first horse show in the States was Week XII at WEF. He was champion in the High Performance competition and I rode him in the $15,000 Derby on the field there last Friday and he was great. It did him good to have a week to get more acclimated here. Namely tries very hard and he’ll do whatever you want,” said Farmer.
“Paul [Jewell] did a great job designing the course. The course was inviting and not overwhelming for a young horse. While we’re big fans of grass fields, it can be spooky for a young horse. While the course was tough enough, it wasn’t overwhelming and rode nice and smooth – it was very inviting. He didn’t build anything that was too much for them,” Farmer commented. “There aren’t too many classes on grass fields anymore and the horses aren’t acclimated to it. We personally jump on them all the time at home and in Kentucky and our horses are pretty comfortable in that situation. But so many other shows just keep using rings and so a lot of horses aren’t used to it,” she added.
Third place was awarded to MTM Outbid, owned by MTM Farm and ridden by Flower Mound, Texas’ Tracey Fenney. The pair earned an overall 369.
Jennings returned for a fourth place ribbon, this time in the irons of Woodrun’s Attention Please after earning an overall score of 361.50. Farmer returned for a fifth place ribbon for her performance with David Glefke & Kent Farrington, LLC’s Consent after earning a combined score of 359.
Barbara Risius’ Longsteet, piloted by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, picked up a sixth place ribbon for their overall score of 356.50 and Farmer, in the irons of David Glefke’s Worthy, earned a seventh place for their overall score of 352.
Cora, owned by Debbie Smith and ridden by Jaime Gibson of Ocala, Florida, earned an overall score of 347 and placed eighth, while As Quoted, also owned by David Glefke and ridden by Jennifer Jones of Ocala, Florida, placed ninth for their score of 328.
Charismo, owned by Wilbur Show Stables and ridden by David Wilbur of Ocala, Florida, placed tenth for their score of 326 and Cupidon, owned by Mark Hayes and ridden by Brian Moggre of Flower Mound, Texas, placed eleventh with their score of 319.50. S & L Lion King, owned by S & L Farms and ridden by Dorothy Douglas of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, placed twelfth with their overall score of 307.50.
Farmer commented, “The course was nice. That field is really nice and Bob puts on a great show here every year. It’s always lovely and it’s nice that he keeps having this class. We really appreciate people like him who do this for the hunters,” she said.
Lexington, Ky. – May 13, 2018 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show highlighted national jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium with the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by AUDI of Lexington, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek, to conclude the first week of competition in the spring series. Sunday’s featured victories were awarded to Kevin Babington (IRL) and Eugenio Garza (MEX) in their respective classes.
In the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, the first round saw 32 starters over Robert Murphy III’s 17-effort course, resulting in a 10 horse jump-off. With two mounts in the class, Babington increased his odds when he piloted both Super Chilled and Shorapur to clear rounds and into the jump-off. Babington and the first of his two rides, Debra Wycoff’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Super Chilled, scored a double-clear round in a time of 38.761 seconds to capture the gelding’s first grand prix win. An unfortunate rail with Shorapur LLC’s Hanoverian mare ended with the pair in seventh place.
Ramiro Quintana (ARG) rode Corento VH Dingenshof, the 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Smith Hogan LLC, to a double-clear finish in 40.217 seconds for the second place ribbon. Third place was awarded to Alex Granato (USA) aboard Moyer Farm LLC’s Beorn. Granato and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding finished just behind Quintana with a time of 40.449 seconds.
Prior to the National Grand Prix, 25 riders challenged a very difficult 1.50m track in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek. Many of the athletes found trouble at the final combination, consisting of a triple combination to a liverpool oxer, and only the final two riders of the class cleared all 17 efforts fault-free with room to spare under the altered 88 second time allowed.
The head-to-head jump-off saw Sloan Hopson and her own Costa Rica VH Waterschoot Z put the pressure on as they flew to a clear second round in a time of 46.081 seconds. Eugenio Garza followed as the final rider in both the first and second rounds, knowing he had nothing to lose with longtime partner Bariano. Garza and the 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, flew to the finish in 41.127 seconds to earn the victory. Garza concluded a successful first week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, hot off his third place finish in Saturday night’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3* with Armani SL Z. Hopson and her 10-year-old Zangersheide mare settled for the second place finish.
Lacey Gilbertson and Teddy Vlock ended the first round with just one time fault, but as the faster of the two, only 10 milliseconds over the time allowed, Gilbertson earned the third place ribbon, finishing in 88.018 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Cobolt. Vlock received the fourth place prize.
Darragh Kenny also concluded a successful week, capturing the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Envisian Products, with a total of 28 points based on wins in Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and Saturday’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*.
Kelley Farmer and Jeff Gogul Claim Top Prizes in USHJA Hunter Derbies
Hunter competition continued in the Stonelea Ring with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, which concluded competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. At the end of the handy round of competition, it was Jeff Gogul and Just Ruffy that put in the best effort to take home top honors in the National Hunter Derby. Directly after, it was veteran rider Kelley Farmer and Aizlynn Radwanski’s Because who claimed the blue ribbon in the International Hunter Derby.
During the USHJA International Hunter Derby, 24 competitors tried for the champion ribbon, but no horse-and-rider combination could catch Farmer, who took home the top prize with a cumulative score of 392 after both rounds of competition. Farmer sat in a good position to claim the lead in some fashion, as she had entered with four different horses. Farmer and Because tackled the first round of competition with ease, despite some technical elements to the course including a wall fence that was placed in challenging location. During the handy round the pair secured the highest score of the day by utilizing all four of the high option fences in addition to accumulating 15 handy bonus points from the judges.
In second was another veteran hunter rider, Jennifer Alfano aboard her own Candid, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The pair rode to second place with a cumulative score of 382. Alfano also claimed third place with Sharon O’Neill’s Miss Lucy with a score of 380.50. The pair recently placed second in the $50,000 USHJA Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.
Earlier in the day, the USHJA National Hunter Derby took place in the Stonelea Ring as well. Athletes navigated over a 10-fence course that offered four high option fences. The top twelve riders were asked to return to complete a handy round where they demonstrated their capabilities over a trot fence and multiple options for tight turns.
Despite being a relatively new combination, Jeff Gogul and Just Ruffy dominated the first round of competition with a score of 91. They were the only competitors of the day to achieve a score in the nineties, which put them in a good position entering the handy round. After the handy round, the pair had a cumulative score of 180. Just Ruffy has been a reliable derby mount for Gogul, having won six derbies during the winter season at the World Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina.
Second place was captured by Jordan Allen and Eclypse, a 10-year-old Hanoverian owned by Holly Orlando. The pair narrowly missed tying for first place with Gogul, acquiring a final cumulative score of 179. In a similar fashion, Alyssa Mansfield and Candor placed in a third with a score of 178 after two rounds of competition.
Wellington, FL – February 2, 2018 – Sweden’s Petronella Andersson scored the Friday victory on the grass derby field at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), home of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Andersson and Eclatant, owned by Stephex Stables, took the top prize in the $70,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic.
Team Ireland/Norway Rises to the Top in $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Team Event
It was a team made up of riders from Ireland and Norway (plus an American and a Swede) who rose to the top of the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Team Event, held in the AGDF International Arena on Friday evening. The team consisting of Victoria Colvin (USA), Johan Sebastian Gulliksen (NOR), Viggo Björklund (SWE), and William Hickey (IRL) were victorious by finishing on just nine faults.
Kelley Farmer and Shameless Capture Victory in $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby “Hunt and Go”
Kelley Farmer and her mount, Shameless, owned by Autumn View Farm, bested a field of 35 exhibitors in Friday’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby “Hunt and Go” and prevailed with top scores from both judges of a 90 and an 86 and an impressive total of 184, including a point each for all four high option jumps. Farmer’s win concluded an exciting Friday of WEF 4 and marked the week as a success for the pair’s first show together.
Emotional Win for Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Wellington, FL – April 2, 2017 – The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted its $50,000 final event at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit on Sunday, April 2, with a win for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque. With consistent results in classes throughout the 2017 circuit riding Diamonte Darco, Lucas Porter (USA) was the winner of the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series overall. Coyle also went on to take top honors aboard Dillinger in the afternoon’s $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix.
Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the final track for the Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, featuring the top 22 competitors from the series overall, and eight clear rounds to jump-off for the final prize. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque cleared the short course in 39.94 seconds for the win.
Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and Horst van de Mispelaere finished second in 41.19 seconds. Shawn Casady (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla placed third in 43.71 seconds. Ailish Cunniffe (USA) also cleared the jump-off track in 44.66 seconds to finish fourth riding Whipstick Farm’s Casper. The final double clear round belonged to Wilton Porter (USA) in 44.71 seconds, guiding Sleepy P Ranch’s Delinquent JX to fifth place.
Simba de la Roque was one of many new horses that Coyle got the ride on for Ariel and Susan Grange at the start of the WEF season. He has used the Under 25 Series to gain valuable experience and get to know the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Allegreto) better.
“I have been aiming Simba for this series throughout the circuit, mainly the $35,000 classes and the grand prix today,” Coyle (22) stated. “I did get a little lucky today; Jessica had a very good round. Just turning back there to the second to last fence, I lost my stirrup and the last two jumps got a little risky, but Simba is a fantastic horse. He has been great here all year.”
Coyle continued, “This is a great division to either get to know a horse, or to bring a horse to the next level. That class today was a real competitive class. It was really hard to win. Under 25 classes are really strong now; it is a really strong division. For me to get Simba going at that level is a big step and now I do not feel like I’m that far away from the next level. I think that horse eventually will be jumping the big grand prixs. I am very happy. I had a great last week winning two classes with the young horses, and a great second place finish in the grand prix last night, and today has been brilliant for me.”
In addition to his win on Sunday, Coyle was presented with the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award for the 2017 WEF circuit. The award is given to the top young rider between the ages of 16-25 who receives the most points in FEI competition during the circuit.
Mendoza (20) was also riding a new mount this winter in her ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Horst van de Mispelaere (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Polydor).
“This horse is new for me since December, so I kind of used this Under 25 series to get used to him and get him jumping,” Mendoza stated. “My plan all along was to do the $35,000 classes, and this final was my main goal at the end of the season. It really worked out well.”
Commenting on the series further, Mendoza added, “I thought it was great because we got a few different types of classes. We got to jump under the lights at the other venue; we had the Nations’ Cup format, which was a great experience for that horse. Also, the opportunity to jump on the grass was really great. My horse had great experiences in different rings and different formats. I think he is going to be a very versatile horse, and I think this has really helped that.”
Competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival for the first time, Mendoza had great experiences with all of her horses, from the Under 25 Series up to the grand prix level.
“I loved it,” Mendoza acknowledged. “It is nice to get away from Europe for three months and be based in one place. My horses have completely changed and turned into super horses now, so it was a great experience.”
Casady (22), who works for John and Beezie Madden, got the ride on Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla this year for the Under 25 Series and had solid results with the experienced mare throughout the circuit.
“I started riding her at the beginning of circuit, and our relationship has developed through these classes,” Casady said of the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Nabab de Reve x Clinton).
“She has her own personality. She is an old mare, so she has her way, and I have to respect that. Throughout the series we had a lot of four-fault rounds, so it is really nice to come have a double clear today.”
Remarking on his jump-off, Casady stated, “I just wanted to be smooth and not too risky. Like I said, we have had a lot of four-fault rounds, so I just wanted to be consistent and quick. That is a little bit how you have to ride her – just smooth and nice. She does not want you chasing after her.”
For his success throughout the circuit and an overall win in the series, Lucas Porter jumped Diamonte Darco, Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse mare (by Unbelievable Darco).
As the overall Series winner, Porter (19) will be invited to compete in the CSI2* division of the Chantilly Horse Show, a Global Champions Tour event, from July 13-16, 2017, in France. In addition to his entry, Porter will also receive two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge and transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte.
“I definitely achieved my goal, and it feels great,” Porter stated. “Coming back from Europe last November, I really pointed Diamonte Darco at the Under 25 Series this WEF. The past few years, I have been fourth or sixth in the overall. It has been really one of my goals since I started the series to win the overall, so I am very happy to do it this year.
“I have been to Chantilly before, but I was really young the last time I went,” Porter added. “I will be over in Europe beginning April 28. I will do a few shows before then, but I will definitely be going to Chantilly, especially now that I get free entry. It is a super show. I am really looking forward to it.”
Porter thanked Hollow Creek Farm for sponsoring the series and putting up the impressive increase in prize money for the FEI sanctioning this year. In its seventh season, the 2017 Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money. New for 2017, all classes were sanctioned as CSI-U25 events by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), with the exception of the Team event, and were held under FEI rules.
“On behalf of the Andrade family and Hollow Creek Farm, we would like to congratulate all of these promising athletes on fantastic competition throughout the series,” said Hollow Creek Farm representative Jennifer Ward. “It has been great watching these riders come into their own, and we would like to give special recognition to Lucas Porter, who has enjoyed fantastic results throughout the years and is now standing on the podium as the overall winner of the 2017 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series.”
Coyle Tops Second Class of the Day in $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m
Following his win in the Under 25 Grand Prix, Coyle went on to his second win of the day in the $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix. Thirty-six entries jumped the final class of the circuit, with five clear rounds to jump-off. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dillinger were the fastest double clear in 39.89 seconds.
Jessica Mendoza (GBR) finished second to Coyle again, this time in 41.86 seconds riding Milena Pappas’s Constance. Liubov Kochetova (RUS) and Urus 2 placed third in 43.87 seconds.
Dillinger is another of the many talented mounts that Coyle took over riding for Susan and Ariel Grange this winter. The rider explained that it has taken him some time to gel with the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Contender x Capitol I), but he is thrilled with how they ended the circuit.
“Dillinger has been a hard one to figure out. He is probably the hardest one of them all,” Coyle admitted. “He has loads of scope and he tries to be very careful; his mind just sometimes gets in the way.
“The end of last year, Sue decided to cut him because he was a stallion up until then,” Coyle continued. “We did not really notice a change to start with, but now I think his attitude has changed, and he is so much more focused. You do not have to work him half as much, so he feels better in his body. I knew he was going to be an uphill battle, but the last several rounds that he has jumped, he has felt like a different horse. I am leaving the circuit feeling really good about him. I think that was probably the best round I have ridden the whole circuit.”
Taking on so many new horses was a big challenge for Coyle this winter, but he took his time to get to know each horse and figure out what they need.
“The start of the circuit was brilliant with Cita,” Coyle recapped. “Then she started to go up and down a little bit, and we changed tactics for her. Then I changed everything with all of the horses. I tried to start from scratch basically and work with them the best that I could. That is where Sue and Ariel are incredible. They really let me take my time.
“The older horses are just starting to progress through now, as we can see in the last week,” continued Coyle. “It is an amazing feeling to leave a big show like this with some great wins. It feels incredible.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD Smis won the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch.
Following his unprecedented success this circuit, Chile’s Samuel Parot was presented the Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy as the horse owner whose horses won the most jumping money in all of the open jumper classes held at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Emotional Win for Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Koloseike Moore, topped the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the grass derby field to conclude the final week of WEF. Kodachrome won the class last year with Russell Frey, who Moore had purchased the nine-year-old gelding Warmblood gelding for and worked with Farmer up until he passed away in May of 2016.
The class was held over two days with 41 competitors tackling the first round course. The top 25 horse and rider combinations returned on Sunday for a handy round designed by Ken Krome that consisted of ten jumps with four high options and a trot fence. The combinations were scored by two panels of judges: panel one consisted of James Clapperton and Rob Bielefeld, while panel two was made up of Ken Krome and Danny Robertshaw. During both rounds, riders could jump the high option of several fences in order to receive bonus points, and during the second round, riders received a handy bonus from the judges.
Entering the second round, Farmer and Kodachrome were sitting in fourth place with a score of 179.25, but their handy round score of 199.5 brought their total score up to 378.75 to take the win. Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, FL and MTM Hands Down, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC, captured the reserve honors. The pair earned a first round score of 173.5, and after winning the hand round with a score of 203.5, they moved up to second place with a combined score of 377. Amy Momrow of Wellington, FL finished in third aboard Melissa Wight’s Aeroplane. Momrow piloted the new mount to first and second round scores of 181.5 and 193 for an overall score of 174.5.
Commenting on her win, Farmer said, “It was an emotional win. I am thrilled for Nina [Moore]. I just called her, and she was very emotional and excited. We are both thrilled for the horse. I am really honored that Nina let me continue where Russell [Frey] left off and keep going with what Russell had planned for that horse. Russell had big plans for Kodachrome, and the horse has done nothing but try to succeed and fill them.”
Moore originally purchased the horse for Frey with hopes that he had Derby Finals potential. Farmer and Kodachrome have been competitive ever since she picked up the ride and piloted the talented gelding to a second place finish at the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
The riders praised the decision to hold both rounds of the derby on the grass field.
“The horses are so used to being in the ring,” said Farmer. “I think horses and riders can get a little stage fright until they get out there and get comfortable competing on the grass. I think having both rounds out here lent itself to more horses going well and being comfortable. I would love to show on the grass more and more.”
While Wylde’s mount, MTM Hands Down, is a well-known and successful junior hunter, the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding is new to the derby scene, competing in his first derby just a few weeks ago.
“MTM Hands Down is my student’s, Annabel Revers’, Large Junior Hunter,” detailed Wylde. “She has had great results with him and won Junior Hunter Finals with him. We thought it would be fun to introduce him to derbies. So the first derby I did with him was a few weeks ago, and he was sixth. I thought he was brilliant this weekend. Riding on this grass field is fantastic. The horses jump so well on it, and it is a thrill to ride on.”
Wylde rode MTM Hands Down to win the handy round and move up from ninth place to finish in second place.
Speaking of his strategy going into the handy round, Wylde said, “I knew I had nothing to lose because I was ninth coming in and I needed to really go for it in the handy. He turned really well, and I tried to make the shortest turns. I was happy to get tens from both judges for the handy score. I think that really helped me.”
Momrow and Aeroplane are another pair new to the international derby scene, but their consistency over the two-day class garnered them a third place finish. Aeroplane was purchased as a junior hunter, but Momrow recently took over the reins to compete in the derbies with the 2006 Hanoverian gelding by Embassy.
“This is our first year really stepping up in the international derbies,” Momrow stated. “Aeroplane has been a really solid and consistent horse. He is very brave and really enjoys being on the grass. The grass field is a great environment, and the horses jump beautifully on it.”
Entering the second round, Momrow sat in third place. She was the only rider who finished in the top three on the first day that maintained a top three final placing. Both Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, who were sitting in first and second going into the handy round, finished outside the top six.
“I changed my strategy,” she continued. “At first going into the handy round, we thought I would just take some of the lower options and be conservative. Then, we decided that since this is our breakout year and we do have the goal of going to derby finals, that we should test ourselves and do all the high options and try to tidy up the turns. I definitely think I could have been handier, but I thought my horse put in a great effort.”
Kelley Farmer and Derby Lane, LLC’s Point Being finished in fourth with scores of 173 and 196.5 for a 369.5-point total. David Oliynyk and Lori Gaudet’s Generous placed fifth, with an overall total score of 364.75, carrying over a 174 from round one and a 190.75 in round two. Havens Schatt and Mostly Sunny, owned by CH Farm, LLC, rounded out the top six with scores of 165 and 196 for a 361-point total.
Sunday’s competition concluded the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for another spectacular season. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Mindful and Kelley Farmer Crowned Champions of Antares High Performance Working Hunter
Wellington, FL – March 23, 2017 – El Salvador’s Paulo Santana and Taloubet were the winners of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 during CSI 5* competition on Thursday, March 23, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) saw 55 starters over his first round course for the WEF Challenge Cup and 16 clear rounds. Just ten of the16 clear entries chose to return for the jump-off, where Paulo Santana and his veteran mount Taloubet stopped the clock in 37.47 seconds.
Lucy Deslauriers (USA) guided Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to second place in 37.60 seconds. Jose Roberto Reynoso (BRA) placed third in 38.39 seconds riding Azrael W.
Santana and the 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Baloubet Du Rouet x Quidam De Revel) earned their first five-star win representing El Savador on Thursday after switching nationalities from Brazil four years ago.
“He feels better than ever,” Santana said of the horse that he has ridden for ten years. “He felt very good in the first round, and I always know that if he leaves the ring trotting or walking, we will get a good jump-off.
“In the jump-off, when there are fewer jumps in front of him, he really chases the jumps,” Santana continued. “The quieter I get, the rounder he goes, and I just need to show him where he is going and he catches every jump. It is way easier to run with him than keep him calm.”
A last minute scratch from this week’s five-star event gave Santana and Taloubet a late opportunity to jog and compete. The rider plans to jump in Saturday night’s $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, and detailed Taloubet’s fitness regime and preparation as a senior horse.
“He is the kind of horse that is not going to learn anything else,” Santana noted. “We have a protocol for his final career and what he will jump. We just keep him sound and safe. When we come to the show, I do not jump him a lot in the warm-up.
“We keep him in a very high cardio and physical resistance workout,” Santana added. “I actually try to do the same things with him as I do for my workouts. We really try to keep his stamina high. He is a hot horse, so he works himself just going to the wash rack. He is always tight. We just do what we can to push his edge to be a little bit further. He is a rock; he feels great.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Lucy Davis (USA) and Boucherom won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 2* speed class. The afternoon concluded with the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge and a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) riding Kerry Anne LLC’s Important de Muze.
Mindful and Kelley Farmer Crowned Champions of Antares High Performance Working Hunter
Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA and Mindful dominated the Antares High Performance Working Hunter division and captured the championship ribbon. The pair won four out of five classes and placed second in the stake round. Mindful received scores of 87 and 85 over fences, and 89 and 88 in the handy and stake rounds.
Mindful, a coming 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Graf Grannus, is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Owned by Selma and Ken Garber’s Kensel, LLC, the gelding, who previously competed as a jumper, has several USEF Horse of the Year awards and a long list of USHJA International Hunter Derby wins to his credit.
“We have owned Mindful for four years, and we purchased him when he was a jumper,” said Selma Garber. “The transition to the hunters was very easy for him. He started out on top and has pretty much stayed there. He is extremely amenable; whatever you want to do he agrees, especially when it concerns food.”
Speaking of Farmer’s trips on the gelding, Garber continued, “Kelley had great rounds on him this week. She is such a steady performer. I love how consistent and smooth Mindful is. Plus, he has an incredible mind. Mindful and Kelley don’t disappoint!”
MTM Hands Down, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC, and Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, FL secured the reserve title, placing second and fifth over fences, as well as winning the stake round with a score of 89. MTM Hands Down is a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding that has had a strong showing at the 2017 winter circuit in Wellington, earning championship honors in the Antares High Performance Working Hunter and the CWD Saddlery Performance Hunter 3’6″ divisions.
Competition continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* speed class in the International Arena. The George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship will determine a winner in the Van Kampen Covered Arena at the Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds). For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation Hearing Committee has granted a request for a rehearing in the case against Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke for the presence of GABA in the horse unexpected during competition. In November, a hearing was held in accordance with Federation rules and the Hearing Committee found these parties violated the Federation Equine Drugs & Medications rules. As a result, the Hearing Committee utilized the newly Board-approved penalty guidelines and assessed a penalty of 12-months suspension and fine of $12,000 against Kelley Farmer and a penalty of 24-months suspension and a fine of $24,000 against Larry Glefke. Farmer and Glefke petitioned USEF for a rehearing claiming they had not been properly notified of the violation and subsequent hearing.
The Federation strongly believes that the initial hearing was conducted in accordance with Federation rules and supports the penalties imposed by the Hearing Committee during that first hearing. USEF President Murray Kessler stated, “Despite the fact that a fair hearing was conducted with proper notification to the respective parties, as noted by the Hearing Committee in its ruling, given that this was the first case in which the new Board of Directors approved penalty guidelines were utilized, the extremely serious nature of the violations, and the substantial penalties imposed, the Federation did not object to a rehearing and, therefore, supports the Hearing Committee’s decision.” Kessler continued, “This case is too important in the USEF’s steadfast goal to enforce the Drugs & Medications rules intended to prevent cheating in our sport. There can be no remote shadow of doubt that all of our cases are handled in a transparent manner.”
The Hearing Committee ruled that any arguments about the scientific basis or analytical methodology underlying the Federation’s testing for GABA positives has already been conclusively determined in prior hearings and will not be a subject of the rehearing. They further ruled that the rehearing shall be concluded in time for new Findings & Decisions to be issued prior to July 1, 2017. Any suspensions levied as a result of the rehearing decision shall commence on July 1, 2017, which is the commencement date of the suspensions under the original Hearing Committee decision.
Kelley Farmer and Because (Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing)
Andrade Secures Second Consecutive Win in Grand Prix
West Palm Beach, FL (February 18, 2017) – The sixth week of The Ridge Palm Beach Series welcomed back the popular monthly hunter showcase, Hunter Derby Days, as well as the circuit’s standard $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix and full hunter and jumper divisions at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. With the winter equestrian season now in full swing, the Palm Beach Series full hunter and jumper divisions run each week from Wednesday to Sunday, with unique show offerings each week including USEF Equitation Tuesdays, the unique and spectacular venues of the Turf Tour, the elegance and performance of Hunter Derby Days, and, newly launched in 2017, Schooling Dressage Shows. Week 6, which ran from February 8-12, featured the February 10th Hunter Derby Day and Saturday’s $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, presented by RV Sales of Broward.
Hunters Take Center Stage during February’s Hunter Derby Day
The second of The Ridge Palm Beach Series’ Hunter Derby Days commenced February 10th, featuring a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, and a $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby. Held under the spectacular covered arena at Jim Brandon, the three classes featured a challenging and beautifully designed course, as well as some of the top horse and rider combinations showcasing the athleticism of the performance hunter. Friday’s events kicked off with the USHJA National Derby, continued to the International Derby in the afternoon and concluded with the Pony Derby under the lights in the evening.
Julie Oliver and Bossa Nova Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Bossa Nova, piloted by Julie Oliver, danced over the beautiful hunter course set for the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, besting a class of 26 horses to finish on a score of 186. Kim Barone rode Easy Street HU to reserve honors, and her other mount, Dolce Vita, to third place. Dolce Vita, with Barone in the saddle, was the USHJA National Hunter Derby Champion at January’s Hunter Derby Day.
Kelly Farmer and Because Top $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
With the jumps and prize money raised, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby began with Kelly Farmer and Scripted took an early lead with 182, but eventually was bested by her own effort with Because to secure victory. Scripted’s early effort was bumped to fifth by Amy Momrow and Aeroplane, Jennifer Hannan and Flamingo-K, and taking reserve honors, last month’s USHJA International Hunter Derby champions, Louise Serio and Rock Harbor.
The Dutch-bred gelding Because, who was purchased in Ocala barely a year ago with Jane Gaston, had only the highest accolades to his name from Farmer, who rode him to his first Derby victory, and from Gaston, who has ridden him to numerous championships and Horse of the Year Honors in the Amateur Owner divisions. “He is an extraordinary animal, with potential to be one of the best Derby horses I’ve ever ridden,” stated Farmer. “He usually pulls double duty with me and his owner, and has won in everything, now from the Derbies to the greens, 4-foot, and Amateurs.”
Owner Jane Gaston had equally rave reviews, stating, “He has huge range & scope, and is a total gentleman. Originally started as a jumper, he has made great progress with Kelley and I in the hunter ring, and we are thrilled with his first Derby win.”
As one of the top hunter riders in the world, Farmer is a regular on The Ridge at Wellington’s Hunter Derby Days series, taking top honors in the International Derbies in 2016 and now a win with Because in 2017. “Nona and George do a great job, they’re very accommodating, and this is a great venue and show for a young horse to learn what horse shows are without getting thrown into a very intense environment. This, for a derby horse, is a bit like starting a Grand Prix horse: they get to jump at a real horse show on nice footing, real jumps, nice course designers, and are still doing the real thing without the pressure. Nona and George have done a beautiful job creating the perfect conditions for effectively bringing along horses.”
Kat Fuqua and Somekindawonderful Sweep $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby
From the big leagues to the ponies, the covered arena transformed once again into a miniaturized version of the International Derby course and welcomed a group of talented ponies and riders. An exceptional round by Kat Fuqua and Somekindawonderful led the field for the evening’s $5,000 USHJA Pony Derby from beginning to end. Fuqua and her Captain America, who were the champions of January’s USHJA Pony derby, finished third, with Augusta Iwasaki and Small Suggestion taking reserve honors.
Consistently attracting top names in the sport, including Olympians, medal finalists, and international champions, the Hunter Derby Day competitions offer an exclusive way to gain national and international experience, as well as qualifying scores, in a utopian show atmosphere.
Emanuel Andrade and Belita Secure Second Consecutive Victory in Saturday’s $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix Presented by RV Sales of Broward
For the second week in a row, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade and Belita ruled the Grand Prix, putting in impressive double clear rounds that proved to be uncatchable. The first double clear round went to Ilan Bluman and Eax Run Run LS, who finished on a final jump off time of 34.385. Soon after, Lauren Crooks and Columbeille de Reve stole the lead from Bluman, only to have it stolen almost immediately by Andrade and Benita. The athletic bay mare and the Venezuelan young rider put in a blazingly fast jump off round, taking a commanding lead over the rest of the field with a 29.431. A late effort by Kelly Cruciotti and My Flores bumped Crooks into third, but no horse & rider combinations were able to challenge Andrade’s lead, despite a field full of accomplished international Grand Prix competitors including Daniel Bluman, Darragh Kenny, Pablo Barrios, and Peter Jordan.
The Ridge at Wellington’s Palm Beach series continues with full hunter and jumper divisions each week, Wednesday – Sunday, as well as February 24th’s Turf Tour at Polo West, USEF Equitation Tuesdays, and each week a $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix on Friday and a $5,000 1.30m Open Stake on Saturday.
Kelley Farmer and Because Nearly Perfect in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9″
Wellington, FL – January 26, 2017 – Canada’s 2008 Olympic Champion and 2016 Olympic Individual Bronze Medalist Eric Lamaze took top prize in Thursday’s $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 riding Houston at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Belgium’s Luc Musette set the course for 79 starters at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Thursday, with 15 entries qualifying for the jump-off, and 13 moving on to the short course.
The jump-off had three clear rounds, the first of which was set by Molly Ashe (USA) and Maarten Huygen’s Audi’s Dimple in 42.60 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) and GJ Stable’s Gentille van Spieveld followed, crossing the timers in 41.38 seconds. Lamaze with Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Houston then took the lead in 40.55 seconds.
Houston, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion (Heartbreaker x Corofino), is an up-and-coming mount for Lamaze that was purchased by Artisan Farms at the start of 2015. The young horse has steadily progressed and ended the 2016 season with clear rounds at both the La Coruña CSI 4* and Stephex Masters CSI 5* events.
“It is a horse that really came off strong towards the end of last year,” Lamaze detailed. “He is an upcoming horse, and he is a stallion, so you have to ask things nicely. He has all the talent in the world, but with my string of horses, he never truly had a chance to show off last year other than to get some great mileage at a lot of competitions. This is his time to step up, and we could not be happier with how it is coming along.”
Lauren Hough (USA) and Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) were each faster than Lamaze in the jump-off, but incurred four faults. Hough’s time of 39.49 seconds placed fourth with Laura and Meredith Mateo’s Waterford. Moya took fifth place with his time of 40.11 seconds riding G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone.
Commenting on his winning round, Lamaze detailed, “I was very surprised with how big of a stride Houston got. I thought eight strides from fence two to three in the jump-off would be very forward, but it was normal for me. I almost asked myself if I did nine. I knew I had to slow down a little bit for the double, and I just let him come home. He put a brilliant effort in at the last fence. A lot of the time we invest years, and the owners invest money and time, into bringing these horses along, so it is nice when you finally get there.”
Lamaze will jump Saturday night’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* with Fine Lady 5, which he rode to an individual bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as the win in the Rolex Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva (SUI) in December. He looks forward to jumping the track set by Luc Musette, noting, “He is a top-class course designer, having just finished building the Rolex competition in Geneva. He gets asked to do the biggest competitions in the world, so it is no surprise that he can come here and make this a good competition for everyone.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vlock Show Stables’ Cream Caramel won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m jump-off class.
Kelley Farmer and Because Nearly Perfect in Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9″
Kelley Farmer, of Keswick, VA, and Because, owned by Jane Gaston, were almost flawless in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9″ division. The pair won all four over fences classes and placed fourth under saddle for the championship title. Farmer and Because earned an impressive 96 in the stake and a pair of 90s in the over fences classes.
Because is a coming ten-year-old KWPN stallion by Verdi that Gaston purchased almost a year ago from Daniel Geitner. Both Gaston and Farmer earned coveted tri-color ribbons with Because during the 2016 indoor finals circuit. Most recently, during WEF 2, Farmer and Because were also named champions of the Green Hunter 3’9″ division with notable scores of 94, 92, and 90.
“He’s an amazing, amazing animal,” Farmer said. “I can’t say enough about him. He’s a complete ham, a total sweetheart, and he wants you to spoil him. He shows with Jane in the Amateurs and he goes absolutely beautifully.”
Gaston and Because were also named reserve champion of the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 division during week two.
“He’ll show a little bit with me and more with Jane,” Farmer said. “We’ll do week six, World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week, where he’ll go with both me and Jane. Now that he’s gotten into circuit and into the groove a little bit, he’ll probably show a little less with me, except for the derbies.”
Scott Stewart, of Wellington, FL, guided Fashion Farm’s Captivate to the reserve championship. The pair placed first under saddle, second in the handy, third in the stake, and third and fourth over fences. Captivate is a 2009 Westphalian gelding by Captain Fire that Stewart has ridden since April of 2015.
The third week of WEF continues on Friday featuring the FEI $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m in the International Arena. Also on Friday, the Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Section A championship will be decided. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K. Photos copyright Sportfot.
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro Wow the Crowd with a Thrilling Performance; Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome Top $50,000 Duchossois Cup
September 24, 2016 – New York, NY – Saturday night at the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) featured a fantastic display of world-class dressage with a win for Ireland’s Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K in the $75,000 U.S. Open FEI Dressage Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by Axel Johnson, as well as a special freestyle demonstration from three-time Olympic gold medalists Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Valegro.
Seven entries performed their grand prix freestyles set to music in the impressive atmosphere under the lights of Wollman Rink in New York City on Saturday evening for the $75,000 U.S. Open FEI Dressage Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by Axel Johnson. It was a packed house to watch the beauty and grace of dressage at its very finest in an incredibly unique setting.
With a high score of 77.051%, the win went to Ireland’s Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K, who were also the winners of the U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix CDI 4*, presented by Axel Johnson, on Friday.
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE) and Lovsta Stuteri’s Paridon Magi took the second place finish for the second day in a row, as well as the second year in a row, earning a score of 76.650% for their Saturday night freestyle performance. Third place honors were awarded to Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen aboard Janne Rumbough’s My Lady with a score of 72.400%.
Freestyle winners Vancouver K and Judy Reynolds represented Ireland in this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and then had a short break before making the journey to New York City for the opportunity to compete at this one-of-a-kind event. The 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Jazz, and owned by the rider’s parents Joe and Kathleen Reynolds, performed consistently to win back-to-back classes this week.
“It is kind of surreal really,” Reynolds remarked on the achievement. “I was probably a little bit more nervous tonight because I wanted to win again. I knew we had the capability of doing it, so I wanted to produce the performance of the night and I put more pressure on myself. I think it is fantastic. I certainly didn’t think this was going to happen when I came over here. For Ireland it is quite historic. I don’t think anybody has ever won two classes in one weekend at a CDI, so it’s nice to have done that.”
Reynolds got her start riding in Ireland and moved to Germany after college to continue training at a higher level.
“You essentially never stop learning; every day you still learn something new with these horses,” Reynolds detailed. “I am a believer that you need to compete against people who are better than you to be better, so when I was finished with college I made the decision to move to Germany. I had been quite successful in Ireland, and went to Germany and started at the bottom again, and I had to work my way back up. You were just against the best of the best, and it forced you to be better, so I kept going and it has gotten us where we are.”
To prepare for Saturday night’s freestyle, Reynolds actually watched video of her performance at the Olympic Games with Vancouver K.
“I watched back the freestyle from Rio so I could get a feel for the most recent version that we have ridden,” she noted. “I noticed that I could improve on a couple of timings. Tonight he wasn’t being quite forward enough for me, so I had to make up some time in a couple of corners to stay on music, but I didn’t really change anything as such.”
The pair’s next stop is the Dressage at Devon CDI-W in Pennsylvania since they are already in the U.S.
“We keep going next week at Devon. We are here, so we are going to make the most of it,” Reynolds detailed. “To be honest, I felt a touch rusty this week, so I think next week will be better. I will be looking forward to that and then we will continue our World Cup campaign. Then, depending on how it goes, we might be back in America for the Finals.”
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven had a great night with Paridon Magi and also spoke of her freestyle performance on Saturday.
“I was actually very proud of him today. I thought he was really working with me and right on the aids,” Vilhelmson-Silfven remarked. “I was spot on the music where I wanted to be, so I had a great feeling and a great ride. I have been riding him in competition for a year, and I get to know him more and more. I am learning how to warm him up and how to make myself ready with him. Today was the first time I felt like I had a really good feeling.”
Third place finisher Mikala Gundersen had a fun first experience competing in Central Park with her mount My Lady this week and was happy with her result on Saturday night as well.
“I was just so excited to be here,” Gundersen stated. “I really enjoyed the whole thing, and the venue, and I am so excited to be in this horse show. My goal was to go in there and have fun. My Lady was a little rusty – we haven’t shown for a while. She was a little sucked back, but other than that I am proud of her for going in there and doing so well.”
Judge Katrina Wuest shared her comments on the event and great competition as well. She expressed, “I would like to mention the show itself, and the fact that these top riders come here shows that this event is worth coming to. New York I think for all of us is a magic city and this was a magic night. I think this is very important. We want to sell our sport and we have to sell our sport to help it grow and make it more and more popular. It is a sport that is difficult to understand, and we only can sell it with these magic moments. The rides here and the public showed that this was top sport.”
International Equestrian Group and RCPHS founder Mark Bellissimo added his remarks on the evening, stating, “I want to thank the riders and the competitors who came here this year. The riders were fantastic tonight and it was very competitive, so I have to thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules. It was an enchanted evening. To see the crowd stick around and the cheers for every ride I think was fantastic. We are committed to making dressage special in this country, and I want to thank Antonia Johnson. She has been the big sponsor of this event. Without her this event doesn’t happen, so we thank her for that commitment to the sport, along with Fritz and Claudine Kundrun.”
Following freestyle competition, three-time Olympic champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro did a momentous freestyle exhibition to the thrill of fans. Dujardin then let spectators come down to the arena to meet her world-famous mount in person. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many dressage enthusiasts and a memorable and incomparable moment at the RCPHS.
Valegro will have his official retirement from a record-breaking career in a ceremony at the Olympia Horse Show in London, England, in December, and finished out his competition career on a high note at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Valegro will still make public appearances, and after the very first of those non-competition performances on Saturday, Dujardin commented, “I think it is nice for me to be able to come into an arena now and not worry if I make a mistake. I can just go in there and enjoy it even more than when I was competing. Valegro is such a special horse and the consistency he has had is incredible. Now I don’t have to worry about that, and I can just have fun. It is nice for him to come and do these things as well. He loves meeting the crowd, and he loves the people. He was bombarded with people tonight, and he loves it. They were patting him, and hugging him, and kissing him, so what a nice end for him.”
Detailing her choice to retire Valegro this year, Dujardin remarked, “He is only 14 and he could do a couple more years, but to me I don’t feel that I have any reason to keep going with him. He has won absolutely everything. He holds every world record. He has been a horse of a lifetime for me. I would love everybody to remember him as the best horse he is, and after Rio I could not have asked for a better ride. It was just one of the most emotional and magical rides of my life, and I would hate for him to finish his career down. He owes me nothing, so why not finish at his best? It is not the end of Valegro. He is not going to compete, but he is still going to be around and people will see him, and I think that is very nice for him.”
After a fantastic experience for both horse and rider in New York City, Dujardin and Valegro will now return home to England. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show thanks them and all of the horses and riders that helped make this year’s dressage edition so special.
Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome Win $50,000 Duchossois Cup, Presented by The Gochman Family
While dressage took center stage on Saturday evening at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, hunter competition was the highlight throughout the day, featuring classes for pony, junior/amateur, and professional hunter riders in Wollman Rink. Jumping courses set by Kentucky-based designer Bobby Murphy, the three classes featured beautiful, hand painted fences and specially added decor for the unique afternoon of competition.
The $50,000 Duchossois Cup, presented by The Gochman Family, was the highlight event of the day session with a win for top hunter rider Kelley Farmer aboard Nine Moore’s Kodachrome. Fifteen entries jumped in round one, and the top ten then returned for a second hunter round to determine overall scores.
For Farmer and the eight-year-old Warmblood gelding Kodachrome, the judges awarded 88 points in each round for the winning 176-point total. Liza Boyd and Stella Styslinger’s O’Ryan finished second with scores of 87 and 88 for a total of 175. John Bragg guided Ann Thornton’s Early August to third place honors with a score of 173, earning 86 and 87 in their respective rounds.
Representing class sponsor The Gochman Family, Becky Gochman spoke about the second annual U.S. Open Hunter competition in Central Park and the great classes on Saturday.
“You never know when you start a new idea how it is going to end up and I think our second year was even more successful,” Gochman stated. “I think in the hunters, it is really important to be somewhat innovative, and I think this setting allows us to do that. I think this year’s addition of Caroline Passarelli, a 15-year-old announcer along with the usual announcer was a wonderful addition and something different. The great group of younger riders, amateurs, and young professionals, along with our great top professionals, gives validation to this horse show, and I hope it continues for many years because horses do belong in the city. They have a long history (here), and when we see a lot of people looking in and enjoying the horses as they are being led down to the ring, that is very meaningful, and that is what it should be all about.”
Gochman continued, “We wanted the riders starting at a young age to be able to do this too. Not everybody that came this year was qualified for the other national shows, so I think it is very cool that people came from all over the country and got to experience something like this. I was very proud of that fact. For me, this is about the innovation, and to have the music, and the artistic jumps, and Bobby Murphy course designing – New York City is about innovative things and art, and the hunters are an artistic form, so I think it really goes together.”
Farmer also competed in Central Park in the inaugural year of hunter competition in 2015 and was proud to come back and get the win this year. She was aboard a great horse that has earned many top results throughout the season.
“I want to say thank you to Becky and David Gochman and all the other sponsors that put this on,” Farmer remarked. “This is amazing to be in the middle of Central Park in this venue. It is pretty unbelievable. What a beautiful class.
“As far as my horse goes, I have to thank his mom (Nina Moore), and I have to thank the horse,” Farmer continued. “He is a lovely animal and he has done nothing but try to be amazing since I have gotten him. I am very lucky to be able to have a horse like that to ride and an owner like this who likes to come see this and wants to support it. For them to put on this event is amazing, so I am very lucky.”
Speaking further about Kodachrome, Farmer stated, “I think that horse speaks for himself when he goes in the ring. He tries to go his best every time. He is such a good jumper. I don’t ever have to worry. All I have to think about in the ring is being smooth. He is so rideable; there are not a lot of concerns except staying out of his way and letting him do the job.”
Owner Nina Moore also remarked on the event and watching her horse win in one of the world’s most famous venues.
“As an owner, a lot of times you go with a trainer and have to have a little bit of faith,” Moore noted. “This particular horse has done everything I was told he could do. I know the trainers always want them to be that, but how many times does lightning strike? He has just been everything.
“To be lucky enough to get invited to something like this and have sponsors like the Gochmans who do this – you go to horse show after horse show, but you don’t see these fences, and the support that they are giving this industry is incredible. To bring it out to the public like this and to see your own horse under such circumstances with skyscrapers in the back and such beautiful fences, it is kind of a fairytale. It is a very neat thing to have happen.”
Second place finisher Liza Boyd spoke about her mount O’Ryan and her experience competing in Central Park as well. Boyd also praised the addition of young announcer Caroline Passarelli this year.
“I think that the addition of Caroline was amazing, that was really spectacular,” Boyd stated. “Thank you to the Gochman Family, and everybody involved. Bruce Duchossois was a part of this too, and we love him and miss him, and I think he would have loved it.
“As a rider, I felt like I rode better this year because I knew the ring and I had a better feel for it,” Boyd noted. “I just knew to change my ride a little bit, and it paid off. The horses amaze me that these hunters come in here with this atmosphere and go as well as they do. I think these hunters are just getting better and better because of classes like this. The Bellissimos having all of these big hunter events is just great for the hunter industry and only helps us riders, so thank you all. My favorite part is the walk from the schooling area to the ring. It is very surreal when you are just bonding with your horse walking through Central Park. It is something I have never experienced. You feel very special as riders, and the hunter riders appreciate this very much.”
Speaking of her mount, Boyd detailed, “I love O’Ryan. He is a good guy. He is a 14-year-old that is very seasoned. He went with his owner in the junior/amateur class earlier and was third, and then he came back and tried his heart out for me. The horse is a real trier and I can’t say enough good things about him.”
John Bragg came all the way from California to compete in Central Park and made his trip worthwhile with a third place finish aboard Early August. Explaining his decision to make the journey, Bragg stated, “They called me and asked if I was interested in coming, and I was already coming for the indoor circuit and other horse shows back East, so I thought it would be a nice way to start. My clients were thrilled to come here, and we really love New York. The next four weeks we have horse shows on the East Coast, so it was unbelievable to be invited to come and participate here.”
Bragg was aboard a young horse in eight-year-old Early August, a Belgian Warmblood gelding that he imported just over one year ago.
“He shows in the First Year Greens, so he is probably less experienced than a lot of the horses in the class, but he is pretty brave and willing. That is why I chose him,” Bragg detailed. “It’s a nice horse.”
Remarking on his preparation to compete in Central Park, Bragg noted, “I didn’t really know what to expect since I had not been here. We prepared like a normal horse show. Warming up this morning was pretty good, and then the light changed and I was a little worried, but I think it is really good experience for us and our horses to be put in different situations to learn and get better. There is a lot of pressure to jump those jumps at that height, and to do well with the different types of jumps that they use, so I think it is really great.”
While the competition welcomed young riders on ponies in the arena, young equestrian Caroline Passarelli also enjoyed the opportunity to commentate on the fantastic classes and hopes to do more in the commentating business and horse industry in the future.
“It was such an amazing experience to be in the presence of such greatness all the way from the ponies to the professionals,” Passarelli stated. “Every person you watched go in was another riding lesson. I don’t think it’s possible for me to be any more fortunate. It is a great experience, and I have learned so much just in today alone. Being able to watch these professionals go in and lay down trip after trip on such beautiful animals is really something I am so thankful for.”
Mindy Coretz and Zola Thompson Earn Hunter Classic Wins
The $2,500 Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic was held earlier in the afternoon on Saturday at the RCPHS and saw a win for Mindy Coretz, of Tulsa, OK, riding Eighteen Acres Farm’s Happy Hour to a high score of 80. Teddy Vlock and Century Performance Horses’ At Last placed second with a score of 78. Stella Styslinger guided her own O’Ryan to a third place finish with a 77-point total.
Coretz trains at home with Libby Barrow at Farewell Farms and had the help of hunter trainer Hope Glynn in New York on Saturday. She is currently in her final semester of college at the University of Tulsa, studying Business Management.
Coretz had just finished showing for the summer and decided she could not make it to this year’s fall indoor competitions because it would cause her to miss too much school, but when a couple of other opportunities came up, including a chance to compete the RCPHS, they were too great to pass up.
“I got my horse home from Kentucky and was going to give him some time off, and about 24 hours later I saw something promoting the Chicago Hunter Derby, and I thought that if I could not do indoors I could find another fun little outing,” Coretz explained. “As it turned out, I made going to Chicago Hunter Derby happen and then tied it into coming here. I heard so many good things about this show last year, and my horse has really matured so much and done some amazing things for me, so I thought it was a good time to give it a try.”
Winning horse Happy Hour is a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Argentinus) that Coretz purchased last summer.
Coretz said of Happy Hour, “He is really special, and he has done some really cool things for me. I have had the opportunity to do some things this year that I never thought I would be able to do, and I jumped some classes that I never thought myself capable of jumping. It has been a really fun ride, and I definitely owe it all to him.”
Though Coretz has three exams and a paper due on Monday and will head straight home to study, the memory of winning a class in Central Park is something the rider will remember forever.
“There is nothing like it,” Coretz said of the experience. “Forget riding, before you ever even get on a horse, just being here, walking behind the green barricades and people taking pictures. When you are in the schooling ring, there are all these onlookers crowding around the barricades trying to get a glimpse of these horses and reaching across trying to say hi. The same thing walking to the ring; there are cameras and tourists, and it is really cool. There is nothing else I have ever seen that is anything like it. Then you finally walk down here into this ring, and you have the New York City skyline, and it is unbelievable. I was so adrenalized out there just because of the atmosphere.”
The $1,000 Pony Hunter Classic also gave some younger riders the experience of competing in Wollman Rink in front of the New York City skyline and saw a win for 12-year-old Zola Thompson of Birmingham, AL. Zola trains with Jack Towell and Liza Boyd at Finally Farm and guided Robin Greenwood’s Elegance to victory with the high score of 85. Baylee McKeever rode Lee McKeever’s Greystone’s Star Bright to second place with a score of 75. Lucy Thornhill and her own Sneaky Fox placed third with a score of 74.
“This is my first time at the Central Park Horse Show,” Thompson stated after her victory. “At first I was really nervous, but I talked to my sports psychologist, Margie, a few days before we came and she told me to keep calm and to take one thing at a time. I was scared because it was only one trip and I didn’t want to mess it up, but she told me that everyone else only gets one trip too and to not be nervous. I just kept calm and I have a breathing exercise that I do that keeps me calm before I go in.”
Thompson has ridden Elegance (aka Ellie) for almost one year and was very happy with the mare on Saturday.
“She has been really great. She is really calm and smooth,” Thompson described. “She is a really fun pony to ride and she has a really great jump, so I am thankful to be riding her.
“When I heard that I got an 85 I was really excited,” Thompson continued. “It was just so unreal. It was a really great experience to show here, and we hope to come back next year.”
The 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) concludes on Sunday, September 25, with Family Day at Wollman Rink and Free General Admission. The day’s activities include pony rides, face painting, a Show Hunter presentation, and more! Gates are open 12:00-3:00 p.m.
The $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, and Friday night ceremonies will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, September 25, from 9-10:30 p.m. EST. For more information and full results, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.
About Rolex Central Park Horse Show Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.
Kelley Farmer and Baltimore (Photo: Shawn McMillen)
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 19, 2016 – Out of 66 entries in the first classic round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Kelley Farmer had four of the rides. Not only did the hunter derby veteran qualify two of her mounts, Baltimore and Kodachrome, for Saturday’s handy round, but she also took first and second place honors for Lane Change Farm.
Baltimore, owned by Jane Gaston, was the first ride of the day for Farmer. She took the 11-year-old Oldenburg around the course, designed by Danny Moore and Bobby Murphy, to earn scores of 92, 95, and 92 for a total of 291 points going into Saturday’s handy round. Farmer also chose to jump all four high-options. Contrary to the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, where the top 30 qualified horses go into the final round with a clean slate, the classic points will carry over to merge with Saturday’s handy round score.
Although Farmer had three other rides left, she was able to maintain her first place position with Baltimore throughout the entire class. As much as the other riders tried, Farmer’s near-perfect scores could not be beat as the class continued. Since she got the ride on the bay gelding by Balou du Rouet, Kelley has also earned many titles and championships in the Regular Conformation Hunters and High Performance Working Hunters.
Kelley did not let the thought of going early on in the class take away from her concentration.
“He was amazing. He was unbelievable. He went first last week in Saugerties and I sort of was glad to get it over with,” Farmer said. “It was a little nerve wracking that I had to do him first, but he was unbelievable. I mean, he tried so hard and he’s so brave. He can jump so much, so I never worry about what they build.”
Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm added, “I never say this, but it was flawless. Because usually, I have a lot to say when she comes out of the ring. Flawless.”
Friday was bittersweet for Farmer, because her usual winning derby mount, Mindful, is currently out of commission. However, Farmer was happy as he is set to get back to work at the beginning of next week.
“It is what it is, but he’ll be back for Florida,” Farmer said about her longtime partner. “He’s been a great horse for me and I’ll be excited to have him back.”
Coming in second place during Friday’s classic round was Farmer and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Moore. Although Farmer has not had the ride on him for very long, the pair still laid down a beautiful trip to earn the red ribbon and a grand total of 280 points.
Trainer Larry Glefke was also extremely pleased with Kodachrome’s performance, saying, “He fits in with Mindful and Baltimore. He has that kind of ability to pop at the jumps. He has a freaky jump, and it gets bigger every week because he’s getting stronger. Both of those horses have quality; [Miss] Lucy has the same quality.”
He continued, “They walk to the jumps every day and they don’t want to knock them down. I mean, things go wrong, things can happen, but they make an effort to jump the jumps every day. You never have to ask them to do too much. Their sincerity is to jump this high over everything.”
Farmer agreed, “It’s a nice feeling when you know that no matter what you aim at, they not only can jump over it, but they can jump over it high, clean and well.”
Kristy Herrera had the ride on Helen Lenahan’s Miss Lucy, who is normally Jennifer Alfano’s mount, and took third place in the classic round. Alfano is currently injured from a fall that occurred at the Devon Horse Show, so she entrusted her longtime friend, Herrera, to take the reins for her. Herrera only had one other show under her belt with Miss Lucy, so she was a little nervous going into Friday’s classic round on the “quirky” mare.
According to Alfano, “She has a little bit of a funny canter, and she doesn’t really like you to touch the reins.”
“It’s Lucy’s way or no way. I was the one that needed to adjust to her,” Herrera said with a laugh. “She has her own way of going and it is different from a lot of other horses I’ve ridden, but she’s so incredibly athletic and smart that once you get it, you don’t have to do anything else.”
She continued, “I was nervous about it, but she walks in that ring and puts her ears forward and gives you the confidence that you can jump anything. It was awesome.”
While Alfano was a little sad that it was not her in the irons aboard Miss Lucy, she was very proud of Kristy and Miss Lucy’s trip that received a combined total of 276.5 points.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled. I was so nervous, I thought I might have a heart attack. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I woke up this morning and I was a little sad and feeling sorry for myself. Watching her go around, it made me teary eyed. That was a hard thing she did today,” Alfano said.
“And I don’t think if anyone else was standing on the ground, I could have walked in there on a horse like that,” Herrera said.
Alfano said that her efforts were a result of trust and friendship built over many years. Alfano had faith in Herrera to take the ride on Miss Lucy, and Herrera trusted Alfano to instruct her as to how best ride the mare.
“I think what made it easier was that we have such a long-standing relationship. We’ve been together since she was 9 years old,” Alfano said. “She may not know the horse, but she and I are so in sync. Lucy is a little different. Kristy has the faith in me to say, ‘Okay, if that’s what you say to do, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll take your word for it and do it.’ I could not be any more proud of either one of them.”
Thirty horses and riders have qualified to compete in Saturday’s handy round, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium. Keep your eyes out for Kelley Farmer and her two horses, as well as Kristy Herrera and Miss Lucy.
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
After winning the 1.40m Open Jumpers on Thursday, Aaron Vale was looking to continue his winning streak under the lights on Friday night. The Ocala-based professional and Finou 4 did just that, stealing the win from Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“This was a great class,” Vale said. “It was good fun, and I’m glad I came out on the long end of the stick. It ended up being an entertaining class. You get a little flavor this week with the jumps for [USHJA International Hunter] Derby Finals. The horses are so used to jumping stripes, so tonight we got more of a natural tone to some of the obstacles, so that was a fun thing.”
Bobby Murphy’s first-round course produced a 16-horse lineup for the jump-off, with Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt going double clear and setting the early lead with a time of 36.909 seconds.
Vale re-entered the ring aboard Thinkslikeahorse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and used his horse’s massive stride to his advantage, cutting his turns and tripping the timers in a blazing fast 33.035 seconds.
“Each horse you have to ride to their strengths, you know,” Vale said. “Finou has a big enough stride that I can leave a stride out, even in a forward line. It’s a strength of his, covering ground.”
Two more challengers came close to Vale’s time. Sharn Wordley and the Sky Group’s Famoso D Ive Z were the first to come within seconds of the lead, clocking a time of 35.84 seconds to eventually finish in third, bumping Sweetnam down to finish in fourth.
Going second-to-last in the order was Benjamin Meredith and Shader Sporthorses LLC’s Anabelle 28. Meredith and Anabelle finished strongly in second place after stopping the clock in 34.022 seconds – just fractions of a second behind Vale, whose time proved unbeatable.
“I didn’t see Aaron go, but for sure I was going to try to beat him,” Meredith said. “The only place I could have gotten ahead of him was the first line. I jumped the first jump, and I landed and said there’s no way I can leave a stride out. But the rest of the course Anabelle kept up with him. We tried to win again, but we just couldn’t get there.”
Vale said he began riding Finou 4 about a year ago. Surprisingly, the gelding is blind in his left eye. Vale said that Finou 4 is instinctively very protective of his body, and will swing himself around worriedly to be able to see.
“He’s a little difficult to train because he’s working against his instinct and he’s worried,” Vale explained. “When he has a good day he usually wins. He’s got enough stride, he has a lot of ability, and he can be really fast in the jump-off. When I have his brain right, he gives me a great class. There were a few things I was worried about for him tonight, but he handled it all.”
Making his victory even sweeter, Vale has reclaimed the top spot from Pablo Barrios in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings, moving one step closer to earning the leading rider bonus.
“We’re all chasing the $50,000 bonus,” Vale laughed. “I’ve got a wedding next week, so I’m missing that class. I know Pablo was at the Olympics this week, so he missed this one. You’re not supposed to count points. You’re supposed focus on riding your horse in the class, so it’s just an added pressure. For people like me it makes a difference, so thankfully we got it done tonight. Hopefully we can come out on the right end of the bonus, because it’s a great thing for Hagyard to do and Kentucky to put it on. We love coming here.”
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.
The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.
The title sponsor, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry. Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse.
The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology. For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Saturday with the finale of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.