Tag Archives: Kelli Cruciotti

Burlington et al. Triumph in $25k Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Team Event

Brett Burlington and Bluf. Photos © Sportfot.

Samuel Parot Wins $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Speed; Kelli Cruciotti Tops Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search

Wellington, FL – February 3, 2017 – Young U.S. riders Brett Burlington, Lacey Gilbertson, Kaely Tomeu, and Teddy Vlock emerged victorious in the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Team Event, presented by Equiline, on Friday night during week four of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Also competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, Chile’s Samuel Parot won the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class riding Dazzle White.

Friday’s team competition was the third event of the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series for the 2017 WEF circuit. The class was held in the Global Arena at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival show grounds at PBIEC, with 14 teams showing over the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed course in round one. The best seven teams returned to jump a second round, but only six teams completed round two. When two teams finished with four faults overall, a tie-breaking jump-off was held, where one rider was chosen to represent each team.

Team Sweet Oak/Vlock came out victorious, as Brett Burlington jumped a clear round over the short course, representing her team aboard Alden Burlington’s Bluf. Team USA/Ireland finished second after Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco knocked a rail at the second fence in the jump-off and elected to retire.

Also riding for the winning team, Kaely Tomeu and Siboney Ranch’s Contenance 15 jumped double clear. Lacey Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi jumped clear in round one and earned the drop score of four in round two. Teddy Vlock and Vlock Show Stables’ Cristobar incurred four faults in round one and jumped clear in round two, while Burlington and Bluf scored four and zero, followed by their clear jump-off round to secure team victory.

Making up the second place team for USA/Ireland in addition to jump-off contenders Lucas Porter and Diamonte Darco, were Oliver McCarthy and Kevin Babington’s Double Deuce Retto, Ailish Cunniffe and Whipstick Farm’s Casper, and Wilton Porter aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Patriot.

Burlington (17, Miami, FL) has ridden Bluf, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ukato x Placido), for almost two years and was selected as the jump-off participant due to her experience with her horse.

“Coming into tonight, I was definitely pretty confident because I have done this with him before,” Burlington stated. “I have jumped him under the lights a bunch, and he has always been really good. I was definitely happy with the way he went. The first round was a bummer at the last jump, but he still jumped really well. Then obviously in the second round and the jump-off he was really good.”

Tomeu (21, Wellington, FL) was aboard a new mount since December in Contenance 15, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare (Cornet Obolensky x Darco).

“I am still figuring her out, but I think tonight proved that we are a pretty good match,” Tomeu noted. “I was pretty excited for tonight. We won this event two years ago, and last year we ended up third. Lacey, Brett, and I are normally on the same team with one extra person, which Teddy was lucky enough to be this year. We are always really excited for this. It is just neat that it is a team, and we are all in the same barn. We are all friends, which makes it fun.”

Gilbertson (23, Lake Forest, IL) was riding an even newer horse in the 10-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, Baloppi, which she just purchased two weeks ago.

“I wanted to go in tonight and have some pretty confident rounds; I’m still figuring her out,” Gilbertson stated. “She was amazing. She saved me in places where she needed to, so I am very grateful to her, and I am very excited for what is to come with her.”

Vlock (19, Branford, CT) was aboard Cristobar for Friday’s competition, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cristallo x Lancer III) that he has ridden for almost two years. While Burlington, Tomeu, and Gilbertson have experience competing in the U25 team event, Vlock was showing in the class for the first time, and only his second U25 competition.

“This week was my first time showing him at WEF, so I was really happy with it,” Vlock detailed. “He jumped super. He is good at everything he does. He is kind of everything you could want in a horse, which I love.”

Vlock added, “Most of the time I don’t get very nervous, but I wanted to do well for my team tonight. This was the first time I ever had other people counting on me to do well, so I was really happy that I could contribute and jump a clear round.”

The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has been expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money for the 2017 season. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. The series concludes with a $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.

Samuel Parot Shows His Speed in 1.45m

Week four course designer Steve Stephens (USA) set the speed track for 34 entries in Friday’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m competition, with 15 clear rounds and a win for Chile’s Samuel Parot aboard Dazzle White.

Samuel Parot and Dazzle White

Parot and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Calvino Z x Narcos II) edged out Kent Farrington (USA) and Sherkan d’Amaury to take the win in 53.65 seconds. Farrington and his mount, owned by the Olympic team silver medalist in partnership with Haity McNerney and Daniel Crown, stopped the clock in 56.28 seconds. Wednesday’s $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m winners, Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, finished third in a time of 56.49 seconds.

Parot purchased Dazzle White in early 2016 and quickly earned two grand prix victories, topping May’s $130,000 Split Rock Grand Prix CSI 3* in Lexington, KY, as well as July’s $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* in Tryon, NC. The gelding then injured his knee in September and was out of work for four months. He jumped again for the first time in December and showed in week two at WEF.

“This is his second show back, and he is perfect now,” Parot stated. “I think he is a top horse. He has a lot of scope, and for these speed courses where you need to turn very short, for him it is no problem.

“I think I won the class in the turn from one to two, and also from the skinny to the oxer,” Parot added. “I made those turns very close. He can make very short turns easily.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC’s Chesney won the $6,000 Illustrated Properties FEI 1.40m. Hilary McNerney and Contact won the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed, sponsored by Engel & Völkers. Sophia Studd and M&M Show Stables’ Corlanda topped the $1,500 High Junior Jumper Power and Speed, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. The $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge concluded the day with a win for David Blake (IRL) riding Pine Hollow Farm’s Bella Donna.

Kelli Cruciotti Tops Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search

Kelli Cruciotti of Elizabeth, CO won the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search riding Monterrey on Friday morning. Cruciotti trains with her mother, Cindy Cruciotti, and purchased Monterrey, a 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Calvados, from Lillie Keenan five years ago. Together, Cruciotti and Monterrey won the 2015 Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals.

“I was lucky enough to be able to keep him after I was no longer a junior,” Kelli Cruciotti said. “He just comes out sporadically, but he really likes to horse show and loves every minute of it. I did a 1.10m schooling class yesterday and then went in and did this. We’ll play it week by week going forward, but he’ll probably have a couple weeks off. He loves to do the [hunter] derbies too so we mix it up. He does it all and is fantastic.”

“He’s a creature of habit,” Cindy Cruciotti added. “He likes his morning rides and gallops. He comes out, knows the job and the routine, and is happy.”

After an over fences phase and a flat phase, Yasmin Rizi earned second place with Canny Windsor Z, while Maya Nayyar earned the third-place ribbon.

“I thought the course was very nice,” said Kelli Cruciotti of Anderson Lima’s design. “It was very even on both leads and challenging. The related distance from the oxer to the water to the vertical was the most challenging test. You had to ride the water a little bit and then come back for the vertical. The rest was just making it smooth and even off the left and right. I thought the course was really well designed.”

The fourth week of WEF continues on Saturday with the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic featured in the International Arena during the day. The fourth “Saturday Night Lights” event of the season, the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, will be the highlight in the evening with competition starting at 6:30 p.m. The Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal will decide a winner in Ring 6. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Towell Tops RBC Capital Markets Cup at Spruce Meadows ‘National’

Jack Hardin Towell Jr. and Lucifer V. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – Jack Hardin Towell Jr. of the United States and Lucifer V won the RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m on Friday at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’, presented by Rolex. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid finished second, while Ben Asselin (CAN) was third on Plume de la Roque. Winning for the first time in the International Ring in her first trip to Spruce Meadows, Kelli Cruciotti (USA) rode Chamonix H to victory in the Encana Under 25 Cup, a brand-new addition to the schedule for the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. The CSI 5* tournament continues through Sunday, June 12.

Highlights of the week’s competition include the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 11, and the $175,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby on Sunday, June 12. 2016 Olympic Games course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil is setting the tracks in the International Ring during the ‘National’, presented by Rolex.

The RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m had 21 entries, and eight were clear to move on to the jump-off. Setting the opening pace with a clear round was Tiffany Foster (CAN) on Cadalora, who stopped the timers in 45.02 seconds. They would eventually finish in fourth place.

Calgary’s own Ben Asselin and Plume de la Roque lowered the winning time down to 44.00 seconds to hold onto third place. Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Candela slipped into fifth place with a time of 45.69 seconds.

Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid made a bid for the win with a speedy time of 42.61 seconds, but it was last to go who proved to be the best. Jack Hardin Towell Jr. and Lucifer V, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Lord Pezi x Grandeur) owned by Jennifer Gates, put the pedal down to win in 40.96 seconds.

“I was lucky enough to go last and see him go,” Towell said of Lamaze. “My horse is naturally quick, so I went quite fast. I knew what I had to do, and I thought I did enough. Luckily the last two jumps I caught right out of stride. My horse is very naturally quick. I gave it a shot, and it worked out.”

This was the pair’s second win of the week, having previously topped the Back on Track Cup 1.50m. Towell has stepped Lucifer V, his top horse, down to the 1.50m competitions this week and focused on his other horse, New York, for the grand prix.

Towell noted, “After World Cup Finals, it didn’t go the way I would have liked, so maybe I lost a little confidence in myself and Lucifer. It’s nice to go back down and gain confidence again. My plan is to do him in the grand prix next week. I entered him in the right classes. Now I have a lot of confidence in him going into next week.”

Lamaze may have a new star in Chacco Kid, but he did not go all out in this jump-off.

“Hardin is a very fast rider, and I knew that perhaps I left the door open,” he conceded. “In my case, I felt like I asked as much out of my horse tonight [as I could]. If I went after Hardin tonight, I don’t think much would have changed for me. It’s a new horse for me that I’m really happy with, that I love, so I’m a bit cautious. But I thought I put enough pressure to make him run, and at that point anything can happen.”

Lamaze termed Chacco Kid as a “great one,” and added, “He has everything to me that great horses do. After that, he has to prove me right, but I’m really excited about this horse. Winning or not, I was very excited about his jump-off.”

Asselin also felt that he could be caught when he came out of the ring after his jump-off ride. He said, “My horse jumped fantastic. I was fast enough, but I knew there was quite a bit left on the table. I was slow to the Chinese oxer and then also to the double. I was thrilled with the way my horse jumped.”

He has been riding Plume de la Roque for just over a year, and their partnership has taken time to develop.

“It took me quite a long time to get in tune with her,” he revealed. “This coming year we’ve really started to click together. It’s quite exciting. She had some great results, like earlier this year in Mexico, and she feels on form for the rest of the circuit.”

Cruciotti Tops Encana U25 Cup

There were 30 entries in the Encana U25 Cup 1.45m, a new competition added to the schedule for the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. Showcasing the best young riders in the sport of show jumping, the competition had 10 go clear to contest the jump-off with seven double clears.

Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H
Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H

The fastest in that second round was 18-year-old Kelli Cruciotti (USA) on Chamonix H, a 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Equest Carnute x Caletto II) owned by Serenity Equestrian Venture. They sped through the shortened course in 34.80 seconds for a decisive win.

“I am typically a very slow rider, and we’ve been working on really going for it, not trying to set up so early,” Cruciotti explained. “My trainer Peter Lutz told me the plan. When you have ten in the jump-off, you just kind of have to go for it. Originally my plan was to go inside the open water to the vertical, and it really wasn’t there, so I kind of called an audible and zipped around. Luckily [then] it was right there. To the last jump as well, it was my plan to go as fast as I could with leaving all of them up.”

Juan Jose Zendejas (MEX) and Hector van de Papendijk finished second on 35.64 seconds, while Nayel Nassar (EGY) were third in 36.07 seconds. Andres Azcarraga Rivera Torres (MEX) rode Contendros II to fourth place in 36.14 seconds, while Alexandra Crown (USA) and Von Cim were fifth with a time of 36.58 seconds.

Cruciotti and Chamonix H have plenty of experience in U25 competition, having won the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival. Cruciotti was the youngest rider in the Encana U25 Cup, and this was her first time competing at Spruce Meadows.

“It was a feeling like no other,” she expressed. “I was fortunate enough to have a very seasoned horse, but you’re still nervous when you go into a ring like that. It’s very intimidating walking through the clock tower. She jumped incredible in both rounds.”

The Under 25 competitions have become popular at major events in North America, and Cruciotti felt it was a special addition to Spruce Meadows.

“It’s such a fantastic idea for Spruce Meadows to do this. It’s such a good opportunity for riders to gain this valuable experience and yet not be put in with riders of such high experience,” she said. “The classes are equally as hard; there are lots of fantastic horses with fantastic riders. It’s definitely still a challenge. When you go into the ring and you’re in with everyone else, it’s a bit intimidating, but this lowers it just a little bit. It’s such high standard of sport and top show jumping [here].”

Cruciotti has been riding Chamonix H for four years and called her a “real horse of a lifetime.” While her horse is only three years younger than her, the experience has helped her grow as a rider. “She loves this just as much as I do,” she said. “Even though she’s 15, I feel like she’s found her second wind, if you will. I believe in her, and we feed off each other. She gives you that extra oomph that you want to win and be competitive. It really helps when you have a horse like that.”

Cruciotti will continue competing at Spruce Meadows for the remainder of the Summer Series and plans to compete in each of the U25 competitions held at the four tournaments.

“It’s an incredible venue. It’s fantastic that the sponsors, Encana, put this on, and everyone at Spruce Meadows. I’ve never been at a horse show like this in my life,” she said.

Five different countries were represented in the inaugural U25 competition at Spruce Meadows. The decision to add it for up-and-coming grand prix riders was an easy one, said Spruce Meadows Senior Vice-President Ian Allison.

“It seemed natural, particularly on our tournament schedules, with the big horses having Friday night off,” he said. “It allows the young riders a chance to come in and feel a little bit more at ease, but also step up to a level with one less element of pressure. They’re not taking on Farrington, Lamaze, Millar. We thought we would try it. We were delighted that we had 30 entries, it was very international, and it was a good competition. We like all of those things that represent what we’re trying to be. It’s something that we think will allow the young stars to gain valuable experience. It was a legitimate FEI competition.”

For full results and schedule, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.weilinger@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232
sprucemeadows.com

Jennifer Wood
Jump Media
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Lauren Hough and Cornet 39 Victorious in $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4*

Lauren Hough and Cornet 39. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Kaely Tomeu and Gentille Win $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final; Kelli Cruciotti Tops 2016 Series Overall

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2016 – Competition on Saturday during week eleven of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured international show jumping on both sides of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* was featured in the International Ring on the main show grounds in the evening with a win for Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Paris Sellon’s Cornet 39. Laura Chapot (USA) and ISHD Dual Star finished second, and Carly Anthony (USA) riding Dublin placed third.

The $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, presented by Equiline, was held in the International Ring at The Stadium at PBIEC earlier in the day with a win for Kaely Tomeu and Gentille. The series also awarded its top competitors over all seven events with Kelli Cruciotti finishing on top of the standings.

WEF 11 concludes on Sunday, March 27, with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to be held on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC beginning at 11:30 a.m. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.

Forty-four entries contested Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) course on Saturday night, with ten clear rounds and seven double clear in the jump-off as times got faster and faster. Juan Ortiz (VEN) and Synchronicity Group’s d’Ulien van de Smeets set the pace with a clear round in 42.01 seconds to eventually finish seventh. Nick Dello Joio (USA) upped the pace with the Corlida Group’s Corlida in 39.56 seconds to finish sixth. Carly Anthony (USA) and Artisan Farms’ Dublin were next to go in a faster time of 37.67 seconds that ended in third place. Amy Millar (CAN) and AMMO Investments’ Heros jumped into fourth place with their time of 38.57.

Laura Chapot (USA) and Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star briefly took the lead with their time of 36.29 seconds, but were soon bested by Lauren Hough and Cornet 39, who stole the show with a blazing round in a time of 35.98 seconds. Last to go, Laura Kraut (USA) and Old Willow Farms’ Zeremonie jumped into fifth place, crossing the timers in 39.49 seconds.

Cornet 39 is a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Cornet Obolensky x Caletto I) that Hough rides for owner Paris Sellon. Sellon rode him herself and then Hough took over the ride at the end of the winter last year. They have since been progressing slowly.

“He was part of the winning Nations’ Cup team in Ocala a few weeks ago, and then he had a little break and really felt fantastic tonight,” Hough detailed. “He was also very good in the WEF (Challenge Cup) the other day. He has sort of been knocking on the door, and I am very proud of him.”

Speaking of the tiebreaker, Hough stated, “There were ten in the jump-off with some of the best horses and riders, and they kept setting the bar higher and higher. Laura (Chapot) is always very fast, and my horse was fantastic tonight. He was really on my side. Sometimes he can go a little against me, and he was really trying hard for me. I think I was very fast back to the double and very fast to the second-to-last (jump), which actually put me out, and at the last minute I had to do one more stride to the last jump. I had a little bit of luck on my side, but I was really pleased with the horse’s performance tonight.”

Commenting on the course, Hough remarked, “I thought it was excellent. I thought Olaf Petersen did a fantastic job. He had a little bit of a mixed field tonight with some younger horses, but it was excellent. There were rails everywhere and the time was just tight enough. Ten in the jump-off was just fine for this week, and I really hope we get to see more of Olaf because he does a great job.”

Hough will continue to develop Cornet 39 this year and plans to compete him again in week twelve CSI 5* competition.

“I think he has a really bright future,” she stated. “I am going week by week, as I had a setback myself, and had knee surgery this winter. My original plans got a little off-kilter, but he will go next week and we will go from there. We head back to Europe the 15th of April and start back over there.

“I did come back very quickly,” Hough said of her surgery. “I have an amazing team of doctors and physios. I have been really lucky to have great people around me in this village of Wellington, so I am very grateful to all of them. Thank you to Engel & Völkers for their sponsorship tonight. This is the second time I have won their class, and I am really thankful for their support.”

Laura Chapot settled for second place with her round aboard ISHD Dual Star, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Quick Star x Concorde), but was pleased with her Saturday night.

“I could not be happier with my horse tonight. I think she jumped fantastic, and I think she had a fantastic jump-off,” Chapot stated. “I think Lauren was a little bit faster back to the combination. Even with my horse’s big stride leaving out, it got a little bit steady, so it did not allow her to run the whole way around. I have no regrets; I would not take back any strides. She was super. Lauren was just a little faster, and she deserved the win today.”

Carly Anthony had her best finish ever riding Dublin for Artisan Farms. Anthony brings along young horses for Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN), and has been slowly developing the nine-year-old German Warmblood gelding (Cobra x Calido).

“I am really excited,” Anthony said after the class. “Artisan has owned Dublin for the last two years, and it has been my job to bring him along for Eric. I am very fortunate that they have let me take that on and bring him along to this level. He is special. He is a little difficult to ride sometimes. I got eight strides in the first line in the jump-off, which I think is where I lost a bit of time. But the more you push him and the more competitive you feel, he comes right back with it and wants to win just as badly as you do.”

Anthony continued, “This is the biggest thing he has done ever. We did the WEF (Challenge Cup) this week, which was also a step up, and until then we had done three 1.50m classes. In two out of the three he was clear, so I felt like we had enough of a good chance to go today and see what we got, and I think he exceeded expectations. This is a top finish. I am very happy with it and happy with how he went today. It makes me proud, and I am glad I can represent Artisan Farms.”

Carol Sollak and Amy Carr of Engel & Völkers presented prizes to the top riders Saturday evening and were thrilled with the fantastic evening of competition.

“We are so excited to have this grand prix,” Sollak stated. “It is our third grand prix that we have sponsored, and it seems like it has been ladies day every one that we have done. We are very happy with the girls, and we love being a sponsor here. We think this show is the most amazing horse show in the world.”

Carr added, “I think a lot of our clientele are here and competing, and we feel it is something we can do to give back because we support the sport and we think so highly of all the competitors. Congratulations to all of them on the whole circuit and doing so well. Certainly we thank the Bellissimo family and the Wellington Equestrian Partners for everything they do for this sport. We are very happy and proud to be a part of the sport that we all love.”

Cornet 39’s groom, Sinead Anglin, received the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, to reward her dedication and hard work as an integral member of the winning team.

Amy Millar (CAN) earned the Leading Lady Rider Award for week eleven, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman in memory of Dale Lawler.

The Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsmanship Trophy was awarded to McKayla Langmeier as the junior rider that consistently demonstrates outstanding conduct, horsemanship, attitude, and courtesy appropriate for a competitor at the highest levels of our sport. The trophy is presented in memory of Candida C. Fortsmann by Cara Anthony.

Also competing in the International Ring on Saturday, Emily Moffitt kicked off the morning with a win in the $10,000 Sleepy P Ranch SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic aboard Hilfiger van de Olmenhoeve. Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s B Once Z won the $15,000 MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, and Olivia Chowdry and Cosma 20 topped the $1,500 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class.

Kaely Tomeu and Gentille Win $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, presented by Equiline; Kelli Cruciotti Tops 2016 Series Overall

Starting off Saturday’s competition in the International Ring at The Stadium at PBIEC, 30 entries jumped in the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, presented by Equiline, with eight clear rounds over Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s course. In the jump-off, Kaely Tomeu (USA) and Siboney Ranch’s Gentille jumped to the fastest of four double clear rounds in the winning time of 36.34 seconds.

Victoria Colvin (USA) and Take the High Road LLC’s Echo van’t Spieveld finished second in 38.28 seconds. Stephen Moore (IRL) and Vlock Show Stables’ Team de Coquerie placed third in 39.20 seconds, and Rachel Reid (USA) and her own Huckleberry earned the fourth place honors with a time of 41.17.

Kaely Tomeu and Gentille
Kaely Tomeu and Gentille

Tomeu (20), of Wellington, FL, trains with Shane Sweetnam, Ali Sweetnam, and Michael Delfiandra at Sweet Oak Farm and just purchased Gentille in January. She and the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Heartbreaker x Kannan) also won the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Semi-Final, presented by Seabrook LLC, during week nine.

“After winning the semi-final I was really excited, so I came in today with high hopes for this one,” Tomeu stated. “I never imagined I would win, especially two in a row, and especially the final. I just got this horse in January and she has been nothing but absolutely amazing. I did the team event and she was double clear, and then I won the semi-final and now this one, and those are the only Under 25 classes I have done this year with her. We did not make it overall in the series to get anything, but she was so perfect and I was happy enough with doing this. It was a dream come true.”

Commenting on her winning jump-off round, Tomeu detailed, “She is really fast naturally, so I do not have to try at all. You just sit there and it is her pace that she wants to go. I just sit there, try to hold on, and she is honestly so easy. She knows what she is doing, and she just looks for the next jump. I knew she was going to go fast no matter what, so as long as I participated and helped her out, I knew she was going to do her best.”

Tomeu has been competing in the U25 Series for the last few years and has learned a lot from riding in the different classes.

“I think this series is a great experience,” she noted. “I have done it a few years before, but always on a different horse. With her, I think great things are to come. I hope I get to have her for a long time and go to finals and everything. You never know, but she is a horse of a lifetime for me.”

Second place finisher, Victoria Colvin, was aboard Echo van’t Spieveld, a horse that she got six months ago and has not shown much. She explained that the horse bucking in her jump-off round lost the pair a little time.

“He is a little quirky in that he will try and buck you off,” Colvin explained. “In the jump-off, I landed off fence one and I was hoping he was not going to buck, but then he bucked twice and it takes a very long time for him because he is a big boy. He is really easy though, and he is like a big pony.”

Colvin previously won the U25 Series in 2014 and explained what a great thing the series has been for her career.

“I think it is really important,” she noted. “It is a middle step to the real grand prix level. It is great for us to be able to show in a series that is super important with classes at a very high level before moving all the way up to showing with the top Europeans and international riders. It is such a pleasure to be able to compete in this, and thank you to all of the sponsors for helping the series come true.”

Irish rider Stephen Moore finished third in the final aboard Vlock Show Stables’ Team de Coquerie in his second year competing in the U25 Series.

“I had two horses last year, and they were both really good, and I was placed in the final as well,” Moore explained. “This year I got a new horse in Team de Coquerie. I was a little late getting him, so I only got to do the last three classes, but he was brilliant in all of them. He was double clear on the grass, and then he had one down in the semi-final, and now he was double clear here again today. Thank you to the Vlock family – they own him, they got him for me. He is going really well, so we are delighted.”

Going first in the jump-off, Moore detailed, “I knew I had all of the very fast riders coming after me, so I did the best I could, but I could have been faster. I ended up doing one extra stride in a couple of places, but I do not know the horse that well, so I was not really sure. I could have been faster, but Kaely and Tori are always really fast, so I am not surprised that they beat me anyway.”

Kelli Cruciotti (18), of Elizabeth, CO, placed eighth in Saturday’s final with two rails down in the jump-off, but she and her 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare Chamonix H were the most consistent pair in the seven classes of the series overall. Saturday’s class was the final event in the 2016 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, which also awarded top prizes for its overall standings after the competition.

Cruciotti was the series winner for her exceptional performance throughout the winter. Madison Goetzmann finished second, and Tina Yates placed third. Lucas Porter (4th), Lucy Deslauriers (5th), and Brett Burlington (6th) rounded out the top six in the 2016 Series.

As the overall winning rider, Cruciotti will be invited to compete at the CSI 2* Chantilly Horse Show, part of the Global Champions Tour, from May 26-29, 2016, in France. In addition to her entry, Cruciotti receives two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge, transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, and layover at Artisan Farms in Vrasene, Belgium. She also received an Equiline saddle.

“I am so excited. I cannot even believe it. It feels unreal,” Cruciotti said of her win. “I have to thank the Ziegler family and everybody that put this series together. For us to be able to compete in so many different venues, it is invaluable experience for us as young riders. I also have to thank my team, my mom Cindy Cruciotti, Peter Lutz, and all of the horses that helped me.”

Speaking of her top mount, Chamonix H, Cruciotti acknowledged, “She is fantastic. She was actually my first high junior jumper. I have had her now for four years, and she has been nothing but the best teacher for me to move up and learn how to do things correctly. Today was not our day; we gave it a shot and sometimes it happens that way, but I could not be happier with her. She has jumped some incredible rounds this circuit, and I am excited for the rest of the year.”

Cruciotti has never competed in Europe before and is excited for her first trip to show abroad. After this circuit the horses will go home to Colorado in April for some rest and relaxation. At the end of April, Cruciotti will go to Europe for a couple of shows, and she is now lucky enough to qualify to go to the Global Champions Tour in Chantilly.

Colvin traveled to Europe for her first time two years ago through her win in the U25 series and told Cruciotti of the experience, stating, “It was so much fun. It was my first time ever in Europe or anywhere out of the country, so to be able to go and compete in Europe was completely different for me. Everything was different – the ribbon presentations, the courses, the people, the surroundings – it was all different, but it was a really fun experience. You are going to have a great time.”

Now in its sixth year at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has proven to be a launching pad for young show jumping talent. Offering a total of $170,000 in prize money, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series is open to competitors of all nationalities aged 25 and under. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series offers all of the components of international competition without the pressure of going head-to-head against seasoned professionals and Olympic athletes.

Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms spoke of the development of the series over the last six years, stating, “It has been so wonderful to watch the progression. When we started this, this division did not exist. It was not a USEF division; it was only something that we knew was being done in Europe. There was no series or group of classes during the year for these riders who had just graduated from the junior or even high amateur ranks, but were trying to make that bridge to the big grand prixs, to do that. It has been incredible to watch what has happened.

“This is the sixth year, and I still remember the first year there was a U25 championship that was going to happen in conjunction with the World Cup Finals, and the top six riders got invited to participate in that,” Ziegler continued. “It was names that you all know now. It was Reed Kessler, and the Coulters, and Lucy Davis, and my daughter Caitlin. It was an incredible first year, and since then it has just gotten better and better in the quality of riders. There are so many riders that are qualified to do this now that are riding at this very high level, so it has been very gratifying. Congratulations to everybody.”

Ziegler added, “I also want to say thank you to Kelli (Cruciotti) for competing today. The way the scoring works for the series, it rewards consistency, and Kelli had been very consistent throughout the whole series. She already had the points to win the series overall before today, but she chose to be here and participate in the final, and in the spirit of competition, it was really great to have her here.”

Part of the Ziegler family’s goal was to encourage other sponsors to come forward and augment support for the seven events comprising the Series. To that end, several sponsors stepped forward to strengthen the efforts of title sponsor Artisan Farms and presenting sponsor, The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte. Equine Couture/Tuff Rider, EnTrust Capital, Equiline, the McNerney family, and Seabrook, LLC all sponsored classes within the 2016 Series.

Kelli Molinari of Equiline was on hand for Saturday’s final and spoke of the wonderful experience that the series gives these young riders.

“Thank you to the Ziegler family for allowing us to sponsor the final,” Molinari stated. “It is a great opportunity for Equiline to be able to reward and encourage the young riders to take advantage of this opportunity to bridge the middle gap between the juniors and the grand prix. It is a tremendous learning experience for them, and for us it is rewarding to be able to help. We are really happy to support the future of our sport.”

Equiline awarded a custom show coat to Sarah Bagworth (CAN) for their Amateur Appreciation Award for the Series.

Tim Dutta of the Dutta Corp. was also present for Saturday’s final event and thanked the Ziegler family for putting on such an important series.

“Thank you to the Ziegler family. It is world-class what they do for the sport of show jumping,” Dutta stated. “We are very delighted to be part of this series. We think these riders are our next superstars and Olympians. Dutta Corp. gives horses wings, so we are looking forward to their journey and showing them how it is done in Europe. Of course we support these riders, and I hope this is one of many times that they will go to Europe and I hope they do us proud. We have had Olympians come out of this series and some of our superstar young riders started out here. It is a huge growth, and truly I think it is the finest U25 series that I know of anywhere in the world. To have it over a period of weeks, to have this kind of competition, to have this kind of venue, to have this much pressure, to deal with sponsors, media, veterinarians, stewards, rules, to be a lady and a gentleman, and after all of that to see the sport grow, it is just very gratifying for The Dutta Corp.”

WEF 11 concludes on Sunday with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to be held on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC beginning at 11:30 a.m. The FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Sec. B will award championship honors in Ring 8. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Cruciotti Victorious at 2015 Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final

Kelli Cruciotti (Al Cook)

Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final was center stage at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show today as a field of 287 competitors looked to earn the prestigious national championship title. Kelli Cruciotti rose to the occasion to win the Adrian Van Sinderen Memorial Trophy as the 2015 National Champion. Taking reserve champion honors was Hunter Holloway; McKayla Langmeier finished in third.

Following a preliminary round that featured natural obstacles and a variety of options for the riders, 25 riders were called back for the second round work-off. Cruciotti (Elizabeth, Colo.) and her own Monterrey impressed with a confident and stylish round that was highlighted by fluid turns, earning her the last to-go position in the work-off. Again producing a flawless round in the work-off, Cruciotti remained last in the order as judges Julie Winkel and Scott Hofstetter called back six riders for a final test.

“I was definitely nervous being in the lead; I am usually ranked lower going in so it’s less pressure. This was a new position for me and it added more pressure to stay on top in the second round and in the test,” said Cruciotti.

The final test required riders to complete a course of seven jumps including a roll back from the first fence to the second fence at the counter canter, a demonstration of two simple or flying changes, and a hand gallop to the final fence.

“I thought it was a great test to show off. My horse is very good on the counter canter, so I was very happy about that. The option to do simple or flying changes required that you played to your horse’s strength; my horse does better simple changes so that’s what we did. I stuck with the options that we had taken in the preliminary rounds and it paid off,” explained Cruciotti of her winning test.

The judges complimented Cruciotti, who is trained by her mother Cindy Cruciotti, Don Stewart Jr., and Peter Wylde, on her confidence and comradery with her horse, noting that although she went early in the first-round order, she was very memorable.

Monterrey was awarded the Doris H. Clark Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Missy Clark, for Best Equitation Horse, as determined by judges Winkel and Hofstetter.

Holloway (Topeka, Kan.), who placed third in last weekend’s Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals East, again piloted Hays Investment Corp.’s Any Given Sunday to a top placing on the national stage. Going fourth in the order of 25 in the work-off, Holloway showcased her horse’s handiness and rode determined rounds to earn the Reserve Champion honors.

Also coming off a top placing as the Reserve Champion at the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals East, Langmeier (East Granby, Conn.) and Missy Clark’s Eclipse excelled under pressure as they came from behind as the 10th to go in the second round order, and second of six to go in the final test to secure a third-place finish overall.

This event marked the 20th year that Pessoa has generously sponsored this historical championship.

Complete Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final Results

The complete competition will be available to watch on demand at USEFNetwork.com.

From the USEF Communications Department

Andres Rodriguez Retains Narrow Hagyard Challenge Lead

Andres Rodriguez and Fifty Fifty 111.

Kelli Cruciotti Tops Hallway Feeds Standings

Lexington, KY – July 28, 2015 – This spring, Andres Rodriguez took over the lead in the 2015 Hagyard Challenge Series with combined second and fourth place finishes in May, but three riders sit tied for second and are hot on his heels in a close second. In the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, junior rider Kelli Cruciotti continues to top of the standings after earning two second place ribbons during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows.

In the Hagyard Challenge Series, Bedoya picked up the most recent victory during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show on Quattro, and is tied for second with the winners from the Kentucky Spring Series, Emanuel Andrade of Venezuela and Argentina’s Ramiro Quintana. Rodriguez is in the lead by just 20 points. The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2015 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 during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider will be announced and presented with the prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year, Brook Ledge Horse Transport will be awarding a $1,000 shipping voucher to the Leading Rider and a $500 shipping voucher to the Reserve Champion Leading Rider.

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, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and wellbeing 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 surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine since 1876 and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology. For more information about the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit hagyard.com.

Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole
Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole

Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include: title sponsor MWI Veterinary Supply, and presenting sponsor Zoetis, as well as Audi of Lexington, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, Hagyard Pharmacy, Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, Hallway Feeds, Pike and Preston, and Stoll Keenon Ogden.

The Kentucky Summer Horse Show also hosted the second event in the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series. After earning second place during both of the spring horse shows with Totem Pole, Kelli Cruicotti holds the lead. There are four junior riders at the top of the standings, with Lily French ranked second over Helen Voss in third and Emma Kurtz in fourth. Professional riders Molly Sewell, David Beisel, Steve Heinecke and Sarah Sturges are tied with Amateur-Owner rider Missy Luczak-Smith for fifth place.

The five-part series will feature a $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby throughout the spring and summer, and at the conclusion of the series the Leading Rider Awards for the Series will be presented. The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards will present a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the Series. The amateur rider and junior rider accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 16, 2015. Returning for the second year, the winning professional rider will win a free flight for a horse in the continental U.S., thanks to Tex Sutton.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides the opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advances. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the Formula for Success.

For more information on Hallway Feeds, please visit www.hallwayfeeds.com.

The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Alfagreen Supreme, Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Trouw Nutrition, EquiVision, Fenwick Equestrian Products , Tack Shop of Lexington, Tex Sutton, Turf Town Properties and PNC Bank.

To learn more about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Events:
Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals and the Pre Green Incentive Championship.

What:
The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2015 series includes five weeks of top competition throughout the summer. These premier hunter/jumper competitions host the Hagyard Challenge Series with seven grand prix competitions that culminate with a Leading Rider Award, as well as the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series.

Where:
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When:

NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR & YOUNG RIDER CHAMPIONSHIPS – July 14-19, 2015

KENTUCKY SUMMER HORSE SHOW – July 22-26, 2015
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 28 – August 2, 2015
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2015 USEF PONY FINALS – August 4-9, 2015

BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL HORSE SHOW – August 11-16, 2015
USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 19-23, 2015
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Series: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, GGT Footing, Rood and Riddle, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program, and the Official Hotel The Clarion

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions:
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 281-7979, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Pat Duncan (503) 510-8797
Stable office – Before Show: (503) 510-8797, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Shopping:
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels:
CLARION HOTEL (http://www.clarionhotellex.com) (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – Located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Ryan McGaughey at Ryan.mcgaughey@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and checkout is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Management:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

Kelli Cruciotti Captures First Grand Prix Win in $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon

Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H.

Beginners luck or youthful indiscretion can be used when a young person takes home a major victory, but none of those correctly describe Kelli Cruciotti. Hard working, determined – those are the best adjectives to describe the 17-year-old athlete who won her first grand prix with Chamonix H during Thursday night’s prestigious $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon.

“I can’t believe it. This is actually my second grand prix with her,” expressed Cruciotti at the end of the night. “She’s unbelievable. She’s the best horse I could learn to do this on. It hasn’t sunk in at all.”

In front of a packed house, Cruciotti navigated a seven-horse jump-off to claim the first major win of her budding career and to be the youngest rider to ever win the historic event. Course designer Michel Vaillancourt narrowed down a field of 28 entries, which included Olympians such as McLain Ward, Peter Leone and Beat Mandli, to just seven riders for the tiebreaker. A triple combination caused problems for a number of competitors in the first round, but for two of the youngest riders in the class, as well as one of the youngest horses, it never caused an issue.

The first rider to return for the short course was hometown hero Callan Solem of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania with Horseshoe Trail Farm’s VDL Wizard. The pair set the pace to beat with a clear round in 41.534 seconds. Aaron Vale soon one-upped them with Equi-Sport LLC’s E.S. Finou 4 with a faultless round in 40.606 seconds.

Devin Ryan entered the Dixon Oval next with one of the youngest horses of the night: the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Cooper. They took over the top spot when they made it around the course in 40.058 seconds. The duo did not top the leader board for long though when Cruciotti and Chamonix H galloped into the ring. With tight turns to each obstacle, the pair became the ones to beat with a blazing time of 38.678 seconds.

“Going in to the jump off Peter [Wylde] said go medium and nice,” noted Cruciotti. “Luckily, everything just kind of showed up off the turn. I turned back really tight to the double, and she really came through for me. I came out and Peter was like, ‘that was a nice medium!'”

Kaitlin Campbell’s effort to beat Cruciotti was thwarted when she tried to catch the time on Rocky W but had a rail in the combination for four faults in 39. 892 seconds. Another young rider, 18-year-old Michael Hughes, was up next with Christina Fried’s MacArthur. They proved that there is no shortage of young talent when they raced through the timers in 39.498 seconds to take over second place. Alison Robitaille was the last to compete with Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone’s Cassinja, and while they took home the Richard E. McDevitt Style Award at the end of the night, a rail in the combination would have them earning sixth place.

When Cruciotti returned to the returned to the center of the Dixon Oval to accept the Celeste McNeal Harper Perpetual Trophy, it was with a mixture of joy and shock. The young rider, who graduated high school last week, is not new to the sport, having earned multiple top placings in the hunters and equitation, but she only competed in her first grand prix two weeks ago during the Kentucky Spring Classic, and she had no expectations of leading Thursday night’s victory gallop.

“I think my goal was just to have a nice round, just a nice maybe four fault round,” smiled Cruciotti. “I didn’t really have any expectations. When I made the jump-off, I didn’t have much to lose. It’s amazing to win at a show like this. It’s just unbelievable. I’m lucky to be here.”

Cruciotti and Chamonix H worked hard this winter developing their partnership and gaining experience during the Winter Equestrian Festival. They took home the top prize in the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix during the second week of the circuit, represented the United States as part of the winning Junior Nations Cup Team, and closed out the circuit with a third place finish in the $50,000 Artisan Farms U25 Grand Prix Finale.

“I think [the U25 classes] are a nice medium step,” said Cruciotti. “It’s higher than the junior jumpers, but it’s not quite as big as the open classes. You get to really do a lot of different things there: the lights, the grass. I think that really helps in this kind of situation.”

Another product of the U25 and junior programs in the United States is second place finisher Michael Hughes, who became a professional just this year after aging out of the junior divisions.

“It’s amazing,” said Hughes. “The last time I had MacArthur here he was a bit spooky. So this time we got him a little bit quieter, and he was so much better. I did him under the lights in Florida. I have to watch; he gets a little bit of bit spooky with the shadows.”

Devin Ryan and Cooper
Devin Ryan and Cooper

It was not just young riders that were successful during the evening’s highlight event though. Devin Ryan’s 8-year-old mount Cooper proved what the Young Jumper Championships do for the development of a horse.

“He won the 7-year-old classes in here last year,” explained Ryan. “I’ve brought him here since he was a 5-year-old. The atmosphere, the ring and the crowd – it’s never bothered him. Any ring he’s stepped into he’s always been really brave and game and wanting to go. I just started moving him up the levels this year into the grand prix. The only reason I planned on doing him tonight and actually not my older horse is because I know his mentality for it and the crowd and everything. It doesn’t faze him. I didn’t feel I was over facing him.”

Earlier in the day, the Young Jumpers competed in the Dixon Oval beginning with the 5 Year Olds, where Taylor Flury and Catanisa Saflo Z took home the blue ribbon for the second day in a row. In the 6-Year-Old Young Jumpers, Jaime Auletto piloted Ecamorka win, and in the 7 & 8-Year-Old Laura Chapot had the fastest clear jump-off effort with BEC Hugo.

The young riders and young horses that highlighted the $100,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon will have two more opportunities to compete this week on Friday and Saturday night. For more information about the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and complete results, visit www.DevonHorseShow.org.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Patience Proves Perfect for Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante in Junior Jumpers

Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante.

Training a horse to compete at the highest levels of show jumping takes time, and Kelli Cruciotti’s patience with Zidante was rewarded in tonight’s highlight event. Taking three years to build up the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare’s confidence in the High Junior Jumpers paid off when they sped to victory in the Wigg’s Bar Challenge Trophy, sponsored by The Capital Grill King of Prussia, at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair.

Nine of the 25 entries cleared Paul Jewell’s first round track and returned for the tiebreaker, which included a sharp slice after the first fence, a double combination, and an inside turn to the final oxer.

Giavanna Rinaldi was the pathfinder with GPS Brilliant Disguise, breaking the beam in 30.548 seconds to set the pace, but her lead did not hold up for long when Daisy Farish pressed the gas aboard Triviant. The pair stopped the clock at 29.645 seconds. One round later, Madison Goetzmann slipped between them, showing Andretti to a clear effort in 30.395 seconds.

After seeing Rinaldi’s round, and knowing Farish beat it, Cruciotti knew that she had to go for it if she wanted to bring home the blue with Zidante. They sliced the second fence and did a quick turn back to the third obstacle before slipping inside after the combination to make their way to the final oxer. The duo galloped through the timers in 28.966 seconds to win the class, while Farish settled for second, followed by Goetzmann and Rinaldi, respectively.

“It was the fastest I have ever gone for sure,” expressed Cruciotti. “She’s a naturally really fast horse, so I was able to use her natural way of going to really benefit me around the whole course. I didn’t get to watch Daisy go, but I know she is crazy fast on that horse, so I just had to try and let Zidante figure it out, and she really came through for me.”

Zidante came through because Cruciotti took her time building the horse up to this level. After purchasing her three years ago, Cruciotti slowly started her in the Junior Jumpers.

“Zidante had not jumped at the High Junior level, so we were slow with her and we built her up,” she explained. “We have been going up and down. We would do it, but she’s really careful, so we would drop her back down, build her confidence, and then do it again. This year is the first year we have consistently been at this level.”

This was the perfect year for Zidante to come into her own, as 17-year-old Cruciotti is enjoying her last junior year. She does not plan to let her career in the sport slow down.

“I am hoping it’s a stepping-stone to the next level,” said Cruciotti. “I am really excited to see what the future holds and I can’t thank my team enough. It’s unbelievable to win a class at such a prestigious show like this – so many other people have won and started here.”

Tomorrow night, Cruciotti and Zidante will return for the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic, and she concluded, “Zidante is here to win!”

Earlier in the day, the Junior Jumpers had their first turn in the ring during The Flight Cup, sponsored by the Courtyard Marriott. Featuring two double combinations and a liverpool vertical, the inviting track saw 14 of the 26 entries finish without error.

Today’s winner of the R. W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship, Hunter Holloway, was the first to break the 53-second mark, clearing the course in 52.612 seconds with I Love Lucy to set the pace to beat. Five rounds later, Madison Goetzmann jumped to the top of the leader board with Andretti, finishing in 52.181.

McKayla Langmeier and Promised Land
McKayla Langmeier and Promised Land

Despite two riders finishing in less than 53 seconds, it was the veteran mount Promised Land that showed the competition how it’s done. At 21 years old, the Holsteiner gelding has made many trips to the Devon Horse Show, and today it was with McKayla Langmeier in the irons. The pair easily jumped over each fence, and without looking rushed, they broke the beam in 51.212 seconds to take a one-second lead in the event.

The only other rider to come close to catching the time of Langmeier and Promised Land was the last in the class. Katherine Strauss also broke the 52-second mark with All In, finishing the course in a clear 51.965 seconds, which would be good enough for second place. Langmeier led the victory gallop, while Goetzmann finished third and Holloway rounded out the top four.

Although Langmeier only began riding Promised Land at the beginning of the year, she was confident with her experienced mount.

“He’s probably been here the most out of any horse, so he probably knew the course and the turns where you could make up the time,” she laughed. “He’s just so awesome. He knew that it was an important event and he went for it! This is the first big event I have done with him, and he was wild.”

Langmeier and Promised Land will also be back in the Dixon Oval tomorrow night to compete in the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic. At the end of the night, the Junior Jumper Champion and Leading Junior Jumper Rider will be named, and the Shalanno Style of Riding Award will also be presented.

For more information about the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, please visit www.devonhorseshow.net.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Andres Rodriquez Takes Over Hagyard Challenge Series

Andres Rodriguez and Fifty Fifty 111.

Kelli Cruciotti Leads Hallway Feeds Standings

Lexington, KY – May 19, 2015 – Andres Rodriquez has taken over the lead in the 2015 Hagyard Challenge Series by placing fourth during Thursday’s $34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, which is combined with a second place finish during the first event. In the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, junior rider Kelli Cruciotti has jumped to the top of the standings after earning two second place ribbons during the Kentucky Spring two-week series.

In the Hagyard Challenge Series, Thursday’s winner Emanuel Andrade of Venezuela is tied for second place with Argentina’s Ramiro Quintana, who claimed the first victory in the Series. The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2015 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 during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider will be announced and presented with the prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year, Brook Ledge Horse Transport will be awarding a $1,000 shipping voucher to the Leading Rider and a $500 shipping voucher to the Reserve Champion Leading Rider.

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, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and wellbeing 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 surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine since 1876 and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology. For more information about the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit http://hagyard.com.

Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include: title sponsor MWI Veterinary Supply, and presenting sponsor Zoetis, as well as Audi of Lexington, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, Hagyard Pharmacy, Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, Hallway Feeds, Pike and Preston, and Stoll Keenon Ogden.

Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole
Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole

The Kentucky Spring Classic also hosted the second event in the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series. After earning second place in both events with Totem Pole, Kelli Cruciotti holds the lead. There are three junior riders at the top of the standings, with Helen Voss ranked second over Emma Kurtz in third. Professional riders David Beisel and Sarah Sturges, who each claimed a blue ribbon, are tied with Amateur-Owner rider Missy Luczak-Smith for fourth place.

The five-part series will feature a $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby throughout the spring and summer, and at the conclusion of the series the Leading Rider Awards for the Series will be presented. The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Awards will present a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the Series. The amateur rider and junior rider accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 16, 2015. Returning for the second year, the winning professional rider will win a free flight for a horse in the continental U.S., thanks to Tex Sutton.

Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides the opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advances. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the Formula for Success.

For more information on Hallway Feeds, please visit www.hallwayfeeds.com.

The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Alfagreen Supreme, Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher, Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Trouw Nutrition, EquiVision, Fenwick Equestrian Products , Tack Shop of Lexington, Tex Sutton, Turf Town Properties and PNC Bank.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Events: 2015 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows

What:
The Kentucky Horse Shows 2014 series includes two weeks of top hunter/jumper competitions during the month of May. The Kentucky Horse Show Series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series.

Where:
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When:
KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOW – May 6-10, 2015
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2*
$85,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI2*
$25,000 Bluegrass Classic
$25,000 U25 Classic
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Recognized Hunter Competition

KENTUCKY SPRING CLASSIC – May 13-17, 2015
$34,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*
$127,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*
$50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix
$20,000 Bluegrass Classic
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program and the Official Hotel The Clarion.

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions:
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at tomblank@bellsouth.net
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Shopping:
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels:

CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at sherryd.logan@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Management:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

Kelli Cruciotti Wins Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search 2* at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Kelli Cruciotti and Monterrey.

Lexington, KY – May 8, 2015 – Kelli Cruciotti is a three-year veteran in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search, and today’s blue-ribbon performance further proved her excellence in the equitation ring.

The Talent Search classes showcase equitation basics over fences and on the flat, reinforcing the principle that form follows function. The class plays an instrumental role in preparing the next generation of professional American riders for the future.

Cruciotti and her horse, Monterrey, were the first on course, and the pair stepped confidently into the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, ready to face designer Scott Starnes’ 15-effort course.

Key technical elements included three double combinations, a liverpool and, Starnes’ personal favorite: an 11-foot water jump. The 2* ranking allowed for a fence height of 1.15m.

“It’ll be tough, but fine,” Starnes said of his course. “If they do qualify, they need to be ready for the Finals. I have the lines across the middle of the arena with four related distances in a row. There are numbers there, and they have to work them out and set up for the turns. They can get lost out there with the time, too. If they go all the way to the end of the ring, they’re going to get time faults.”

Overcoming the potentially tricky elements, Cruciotti smoothly navigated Monterrey around the course, while remaining comfortably under the time allowed of 99 seconds.

“I thought the course was fantastic, I thought it was really symmetrical off of both leads,” Cruciotti commented. “The time allowed was tight, so it really encouraged you to take the leave-out on all the lines and keep coming through the turns; it was nice. I loved the course. I have ridden under this course designer before, and I have always liked his courses; he did a great job today.”

With today’s win, Cruciotti and Monterrey have earned enough points to qualify for the USEF Talent Search Finals East in Gladstone, New Jersey.

“Monterrey is fantastic,” Cruciotti said with admiration. “He is the best horse I will ever ride for sure. He has scope, stride, and he loves to win; I think more than I do sometimes. We’ll give it our best shot at Finals.”

While Cruciotti made it look easy, some of the other young riders struggled with the course’s more technical elements. Second-place finisher Virginia Ingram and her mount Comanche, owned by Hilary Sapanski, had an unlucky rail and two time faults that separated her from the top spot.

Lucas Porter and Punch, owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC out of Bartonville, Texas, had a clear round, but incurred eight time faults, which earned the duo third place.

The competitors’ equitation continued to shine on the flat, where riders were asked to show their horses at the working trot, sitting trot, extended trot, working canter, counter canter and extended canter.

In the end, it was Cruciotti’s well-executed over-fences round that vaulted her to the top of the leader board, ensuring the pair will continue to Finals.

Up next at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, the Claiborne will take center stage on Sunday for “Derby Day.” The highlight events will include $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Events: 2015 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows

What:
The Kentucky Horse Shows 2014 series includes two weeks of top hunter/jumper competitions during the month of May. The Kentucky Horse Show Series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series.

Where:
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

When:
KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOW – May 6-10, 2015
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2*
$85,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI2*
$25,000 Bluegrass Classic
$25,000 U25 Classic
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Recognized Hunter Competition

KENTUCKY SPRING CLASSIC – May 13-17, 2015
$34,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*
$127,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*
$50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix
$20,000 Bluegrass Classic
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program and the Official Hotel The Clarion.

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

Directions:
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at tomblank@bellsouth.net
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Shopping:
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

Hotels:

CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at sherryd.logan@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Management:
Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

Conor Swail and Martha Louise Victorious in $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Conor Swail and Martha Louise. Photos © Sportfot.

Kelli Cruciotti Wins $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix; Boneparte Z and Ellie Ferrigno Finish as Champions of the Echo Junior Hunter 3’3″

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2015 – The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its second week of competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, on Sunday with a win for Ireland’s Conor Swail and Martha Louise in the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Earlier in the day, Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H were victorious in the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Equine Couture/TuffRider. Ellie Ferrigno and Boneparte Z won the championship in the Echo Junior Hunter 3’3″ division.

Course designer Luc Musette finished the week with 34 rounds in the 1.50m competition with six to jump-off. Swail and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Martha Louise cleared the short course in 37.23 seconds for the win over Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms LP’s Wirma in 38.49 seconds. Kelsey Thatcher (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Everything finished third in 39.26 seconds. Eric Lamaze (CAN) was fourth in 39.47 seconds with Artisan Farms LLC’s Coco Bongo.

Following a successful year with several wins at Spruce Meadows, Martha Louise had a long break and came back fresh and in top form last week after not jumping since September. The 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang) is known for her speed and put it to the test with an excellent round on Sunday.

“We started her off last week, and she jumped very well,” Swail said after the class. “She probably should have been second in the grand prix last week, but I made a little mistake on her. Then she jumped a good first half of the WEF (Challenge Cup) on Thursday. It was a little bit disappointing in the second half of it, but then you go away and you think about what could be better. I think I rode her a little better and gave her a little more confidence and today she was totally amazing. I thought she was great.”

Commenting on his jump-of, Swail explained, “There were a few options and I had an early draw and there were a few quick ones behind me, so I think you had to just have a good, tight round. From jumps one to two, I got a good shot. I went wide in the seven-stride. Maybe six was an option there, but I decided to go seven. She was very good back to the liverpool and the vertical, left one out to the next one, and got a very good turn back to the double of verticals. Then I thought she was quite good coming home. I knew it was going to be close. Brianne jumped very well there. I would say if she had gotten a good shot to the last fence there she would have been close to beating me.”

Swail was especially happy to earn the win on Sunday to cap off an excellent week for owners Susan and Ariel Grange. Their horse, Dixson, was second in the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday and stepped up to win Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2* with Canada’s Ian Millar.

“This a great win. My owners, Sue and Ariel Grange, have had a great week,” Swail acknowledged. “They were second in the WEF, they won the grand prix, they have now won the 1.50m, so they could not really ask for much of a better week. We have great horses and we have a good team of people, so it is great that we have started off so well.”

Seventeen-Year-Old Kelli Cruciotti Wins $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, Presented by Equine Couture/TuffRider

Kelli Cruciotti hasn’t graduated from high school yet, but has already asserted herself as one of the most competitive young riders at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival and a contender in the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by the Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte. From an original order capped at 68, Cruciotti and Chamonix H, owned by Serenity Equestrian Ventures, joined an 18-horse jump-off before taking an early-season win in the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Equine Couture/TuffRider. The class is one phase of 2015 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, which kicked off with Saturday’s Welcome and will offer $170,000 in prize money in seven featured events throughout the circuit.

Cruciotti
Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H

Returning 13th in the jump-off, Cruciotti chose an inside turn option to the final two fences that shaved vital seconds off her time and stopped the clock at 38.47. The effort bumped Under 25 Grand Prix Series veteran Nicole Bellissimo and Bellissimo, LLC’s VDL Bellefleur to second with a time of 39 seconds flat. Just fractions slower, Sydney Shulman aboard Jill Shulman’s Venice crossed the timers in 39.70 seconds for third place.

“I wanted to have a nice, forward round and was originally going to do the inside turn,” said Cruciotti. “Then I went back and forth and finally thought I might as well try.” The gamble worked out perfectly for the young rider who is a senior at K12 International Academy and trains with her mother Cindy Cruciotti at Serenity Farm Show Stables in Elizabeth, Colorado.

Cruciotti has been partnered with 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood Chamonix H for two years and is eager to showcase the mare’s talent. “She had a lot of experience before I got her. She has done some 5* classes and I don’t have that much experience, so it’s a nice combination to know my horse has plenty of scope and I can trust her throughout the course,” she said. “I am really looking forward to seeing her do the different classes offered [in the series] from the speed to the team event. It’s a fantastic series, and I have to thank Equine Couture/Tuff Rider, (Dutta Corp.), and Artisan Farms. ”

Riders concurred that Musette’s course was a true test of horse and rider with lines built on the half stride and big, wide oxers. But 21-year-old Bellissimo maintains it was an even bigger test of familiarity. “He set a course where you had to know your horse and whether they could handle the options that were there,” she said. “Walking it I didn’t think 18 would go clear, but there were a lot of exceptionally nice horses and talented riders and you saw that come out over this course.”

Bellissimo also opted for an inside turn and gallop to the final fences of the course, but couldn’t make the win. “I was a little slow from one to two and I got stopped doing the inside turn,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to do it when I went into the ring. My trainer Candice [King] said to see what happened when I landed. VDL Bellefleur is a really brave horse and I thought that I’d do it and luckily it ended up being okay.”

Bellissimo plans to compete in all classes offered in the Series while juggling a course load at Harvard University where she is currently a Sophomore.

While Cruciotti and Bellissimo have found a rhythm with their horses, it was Shulman’s maiden voyage in the irons of Venice. “I bought this horse a week ago and this is my first horse show on her, so this is very exciting for me. It’s a good start with her,” said 19-year-old Shulman about the nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare. “I knew her in Sweden as a seven-year-old, loved her and I got her. She just started at 1.60m this fall, so it’s all new for her.”

Sunday’s Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix sponsors and equestrian apparel brands Equine Couture and TuffRider were represented by the company’s founders who have returned to the horse show scene after previous involvement at WEF several years ago.

“We feel that being part of something at such a high level really catapults our brands into the limelight,” said Laurie Sharma. “We love and enjoy every second, especially being involved in a grand prix with young, talented riders and to be seen by so many people. This is the equestrian capital of the world, so for us it’s a pure honor.”

Besides sponsoring classes in the Series, Equine Couture/TuffRider truly appreciate the input of up-and-coming riders. “We are happy to continue the association with young rising stars,” said Varun “Timmy” Sharma. “We have an ambassador program starting, and we will be electing from winners of the Series. From the ambassadors, we look forward to getting product ideas and input as to how we can improve.”

While the horizon is bright for the top finishers in this week’s Grand Prix, the future is also promising for the series as a whole. “I’m so pleased about the success of the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions. “I want to thank the Ziegler family of Artisan Farms, as well as The Dutta Corp. with Guido Klatte and the other sponsors that have joined us for the Series this year. We created this program four years go to provide a path for talented young riders. With 70 horses jogging for the classes this week. With the level of participation increased this year, the enthusiasm for the Series is outstanding.”

The Series gives young riders a valuable stepping-stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level and culminates with the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final. The Final will take place Sunday, March 22 on the grass derby field at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center during WEF 11.

Boneparte Z and Ellie Ferrigno Finish as Champions of the Echo Junior Hunter 3’3″

Ellie Ferrigno guided Kristi C Siam’s horse, Boneparte Z, to three firsts and a second over fences to finish the final day of hunter competition as the Echo Junior Hunter 3’3″ champion. Only working together for a month, Ferrigno and Boneparte Z looked like seasoned partners. “He’s [Boneparte Z] a really sweet horse. We match really well, and he’s really fun!” Ferrigno exclaimed.

The reserve champion was awarded to Molly Zisook and her horse C’est Si Bon. Over the two days of competition the pair finished first and fourth over fences and second in the under saddle.

Even though Ferrigno is new to Boneparte Z, she is used to being on a horse. Only 12 years old, Ferrigno has been riding almost her whole life and started taking the sport seriously about four years ago. With a home base in Newtown, CT, Ferrigno is able to travel to Florida during the winter to compete at WEF.

After the division champion was announced, Ferrigno was very happy about how Boneparte Z performed over the two days. “I couldn’t believe that I won both trips yesterday and that he [Boneparte Z] was first and second today,” Ferrigno smiled.

Trainer Val Renihan was also excited to see Boneparte Z and Ferrigno top a field of 25 competitors. Renihan commented, “I thought the horse went beautifully for her [Ferrigno], and she found all the jumps so smoothly.”

Along with competing in the Junior Hunters, Ferrigno also competes in the 3’6″ Equitation classes. Despite having five years left as a junior, Ferrigno looks forward to riding as an amateur in the future.

The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with week three CSI 3* competition, sponsored by Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), on January 21-25, 2015. The week will feature the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, January 24. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

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