Tag Archives: Laura Linback

Laura Linback and HH Dauphin Win the $15,000 Horseflight Open Welcome

Laura Linback and Woodrun’s HH Dauphin.

Friday’s feature jumper competition, the $15,000 Horseflight Open Welcome, saw twenty-two horse and rider teams compete on the world class grass grand prix field at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit in Gulfport, Mississippi over a course designed by international course designer Michel Vaillancort of Tryon, North Carolina.

Vaillancort is the Course Designer for this year’s Pan American games in Canada and a “regular” on the Gulf Coast Classic and Classic Company’s Course Designer Roster. Vaillancort, originally from Montreal, Canada, made history by becoming the first Canadian equestrian athlete to win an Individual Olympic medal during the 1976 Olympic Games. Vaillancort became the head of the Canadian Olympic team as their Chief d’Equipe and is considered one of the top course designers in North America.

Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, New Mexico was first to go in the irons of Showcase 81, LLC’s Mullentine Imperial and turned in a clean first round effort in a time of 70.264 seconds, well within the 74 seconds time allowed. Her second round effort with no faults in a time of 42.837 seconds would set the time to beat.

Tiffany Cambria of Middleburg, Virginia and The GT Syndicate’s Collin W turned in the next clear first round effort in a time of 69.298 seconds. However, eight faults in their second round in a time of 40.131 seconds would see the pair finish in eighth place overall.

Kristen Blomstrom of Southlake, Texas followed Cambria in the irons of Farfetched Farm’s Zeros and went clean in a time of 66.711 seconds. Four jump faults in their second round in a time of 39.573 seconds would see the pair finish in seventh overall.

Kyle Timm of Apex, North Carolina who had placed second and third in last week’s $35,000 CWD Grand Prix, presented by Nutrena, rode Apex Equestrian Center’s Calida 5 to a clear first round effort in a time of 67.736 seconds. Their second round was also clean and the pair finished in a fast 39.521 seconds, setting the new time to beat.

Laura Linback of Long Grove, Illinois and Woodrun’s HH Dauphin was next to turn in a clean first round effort in a time of 69.377 seconds. The pair turned in a lightning fast second round clean in a time of 37.214 seconds, taking the lead.

Although Linback’s time would be hard to beat, with six skilled riders and horses left to go, it was still anyone’s win.

Sadler and Showcase 81 LLC’s Bon Giorno were the next to go clean in a first round time of 68.022. Although their second round effort was clean in a time of 41.551 seconds, it was not fast enough to beat Linback’s time and the pair would finish in fourth place overall.

Penny Brennan of Ocala, Florida and her own Sun Tzu followed Sadler. Brennan and Sun Tzu are a seasoned grand prix team and a force to contend with on the grand prix field. The pair turned in clean first round in a time of 69.871 seconds, but their second fault free effort in a time of 40.556 would see them finish in third place overall, putting Linback in the winner’s circle and Timm in second place with Calida 55.

“Today was my first day in Gulfport,” said Linback. “The jumps are beautiful; there is just a lovely atmosphere here and it was great to run and jump on grass!” she said. “When you’re riding out there, the horses just really love it and it’s much more natural for them,” she added. “This is fantastic!” she said.

“Michel is an excellent course designer. He really creates the perfect courses and has just the right balance and nothing heavy handed,” she commented. “I loved the bending lines to the double. Some of the jumps had a spook factor and some had a careful factor. The triple bar really encouraged you to gallop at it and then he [Michel] had the triple combination directly toward the in gate which created an issue for some people. It really was the perfect balance,” she said.

HH Dauphin’s barn name is ‘Heff’. “We bought him from Hunter Harrison and he asked that we leave the HH in the name. I was wondering what else HH could stand for and my then ten-year-old son said, ‘Hugh Heffner’. I wondered how he could know that, but anyway we kept it and we call him Heff in the barn,” she laughed.

“My horse is amazing… he makes me look like a genius and I’m just trying to get out of his way,” she said.

“We have seven horses here and we brought a whole group,” she added. “We have a young horse that has never been on grass and what a great opportunity this show presents for him to jump on the grass,” she said.

The Classic and Gulf Coast Classic Companies are USHJA’s Members Choice Award winners, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. Together, they offer the best exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events each winter. Please visit them on the web at www.ClassicCompany.com or call them at 843.768.5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director, at lisa@classiccompany.com.

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX: (843) 768-5503
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Callan Solem on VDL Wizard Wins $50,000 Hits Grand Prix over Challenging Course

(c) ESI Photography. Callan Solem and Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard jump their way to a $50,000 HITS Grand Prix victory.

Ocala, Florida (February 1, 2015): Course designer Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario gave the entries in Sundays $50,000 Hits Grand Prix a daunting course of 17 efforts and a time allowed that took no mercy. Only two riders jumped clear within the allotted time to advance to the jump-off: winner Callan Solem on Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard and Tracy Fenney on MTM Farm’s MTM Centano.

Solem, of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, had two rides in the class, and, as the seventh to attempt the course, she and VDL Wizard, were the first to finish without a fault. It took 17 more entries before a jump-off was assured, when Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, aboard MTM Centano also went clean. In the jump-off, Solem and VDL Wizard rode beautifully and finished with a clear round in a time of 49.739 to put the pressure on Fenney. Fenney planned to leave out a stride between fence 6 and 7a, but her horse’s huge stride got her there too early and he had a rail. Fenney chose to retire after the rail, and Solem claimed the victory with VDL Wizard while her other horse, VDL Torlando, finished fifth.

Solem said of VDL Wizard, “I’m just so lucky to have this horse to ride. He’s such a special horse. It’s so nice on these winter circuits to have the opportunity to jump courses by different course designers and they all ask different questions and you come out with a really produced horse. I’ve had this horse since he was a 7-year-old but he’s really just gotten into top form in the last nine months or so. I knew he was ready for a win.”

Fenney said she had planned to leave out a stride between fence 6 and 7a and commented after the class, “I did the seven in the first round and planned the six in the jump-off. I put a little curve in it but not enough and got there too early and had the rail. He just covers so much ground.”

MTM Centano owner Mike McCormick, of MTM Farm in Flower Mound, Texas, said, “It was a big hard class. A lot of lines you had to come back in. Some were long and flat; a couple were really tight. It provided a lot of questions and the questions always had to be answered by a really, really careful horse that had to be scopey. The slowdown five after the triple to the giant oxer really called on your horse’s scope.”

Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee, riding Westwind Equine Training Center’s Quite Dark 2, finished with just one time fault but in a time of 91.244 in the first round to earn third place.

Sulu Rose Reed from Mechanicsville, Virginia, riding her own Envy, went first in the class with no jumping faults but was also just over the time allowed for one time fault in 91.559 seconds and fourth place. “I started out over the first three jumps a little slow. I was a little cautious on the turn from one to two,” she said.

Laura Linback Wins $7,500 U-Dump Jr/Am Classic Again

Laura Linback scored back-to-back wins on Whitaker MVNZ in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit $7,500 U-Dump Jr/Am Classic Sunday, finishing first in the class two weeks in a row.

Five horses out of 13 jumped clean around the first round track designed by Danny Foster, of Milton, Ontario, Canada. Linback was in the catbird seat, going last in the jump-off. No one had been clean yet, and Linback rode slow and steady with Whitaker MVNZ to finish with no faults and clinch the win in 47.915 seconds.

(c) ESI Photography. Laura Linback and Woodrun's Whittaker MVNZ win the $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O Jumper Classic High.
(c) ESI Photography. Laura Linback and Woodrun’s Whittaker MVNZ win the $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O Jumper Classic High.

“It was just the luck of the draw,” Linback said. “With no one else clear I could nurse my way around. It’s been a great week here at HITS. I won the Medium Amateur Jumper Classic, too, for the second week in a row. My hunter was champion and I was fifth in the SmartPak Grand Prix on Thursday with HH Dauphin.”

Whitaker MVNZ (which stands for Mountain View, New Zealand) is a Dutch Warmblood, bred by Wendy Kedell who imported his dam from Europe. She keeps in close touch on his career with the Linbacks, she said.

Second place in the class went to Unique, owned and ridden by MacKenzie McGehee, of Jacksonville, Florida, with the fastest four-fault trip in 43.421. Third was Valentina 156 and Alex Parrish of Midway, Kentucky, also with four faults but just a touch slower in 46.660. Rounding out the top five was Via Dolorosa owned by Derek Petersen and ridden by Jared Petersen of Archer, Florida, with eight faults and a fast time of 45.734 for fourth, and Quirant with Hayley Waters from Sparr, Florida with16 faults and a time of 57.379 for fifth.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
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Elizabeth Gingras and Floreen SFN Capture First $40,000 HITS Grand Prix of the HITS Culpeper Season

©ESI Photography. After spending the winter at HITS Thermal, Elizabeth Gingras and Floreen SFN hinted at a promising spring and summer season with a win in the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (April 23, 2013) – Fresh off a fantastic tour at the HITS Desert Circuit, Canadian high-performance rider Elizabeth Gingras scored an impressive triumph aboard B Gingras Equestrian’s Floreen SFN in the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, to cap a solid week for the maple-leaf nation during the Commonwealth National.

“Lizzie has a tremendous work ethic,” said trainer Jill Henselwood. “She is always trying to improve and get better. I believe that she is on the verge of becoming a force to be reckoned with wherever she competes.”

Gingras and Floreen SFN were the top performers on a course set by fellow Canadian Danny Foster. The 13-obstacle track set in HITS Culpeper’s Grand Prix Arena featured 18 starters. In the opening round, the winning combination was fourth in the order and posted the first fault-free ride. “Today’s winner was very well prepared for this type of course,” said Foster. “I look forward to seeing what they can do down the road.”

Five trips after Gingras set the pace, Callan Solem of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, assured the crowd that a jump-off would take place when she secured a spot on the short course with a clear ride aboard the Torlando Groups’ VDL Torlando.

At the conclusion of round one, seven horse-and-rider combinations advanced to the jump-off. Gingras and Floreen SFN’s wasted no time establishing the Great American Time to Beat when they jumped clear in 36.64 seconds.

“I have a great team supporting me,” said Gingras. “Jill had me ready for today and I am thrilled to walk away with a victory. This was the first time that we had competed at a horse show since HITS Thermal and I hope this is an indication of good things to come this season.”

Solem and her second mount, Horse Trail Farm’s Magic Cruise, were fast and clean in the jump-off, coming home in 40.46 seconds to secure the red ribbon. She and VDL Torlando crossed the timers in 40.66 seconds for third.

Riding under the Australian Flag, Thaisa Erwin jumped Foster’s track in 42.79 seconds with his own Matilda to land them in fourth. Rounding out the top five was Sulu Rose-Reed of Manikin Sabot, Virginia aboard Lisa Striplin’s Envy.  The pair produced a fault-free ride in 43.223 seconds.

HITS grand prix competition will continue at HITS-on-the-Hudson May 22 and will return to Culpeper, Virginia the first week in July for the Showday National. Throughout the spring and summer circuits in New York and Virginia, jumper riders will continue to ride for qualifying leverage in the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Standings for a chance to compete in the historic class this fall.

©ESI Photography. Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ got things started at HITS Culpeper with a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
©ESI Photography. Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ win the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix

$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Laura Linback and Woodrun’s Whittaker MVNZ took top prize in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix on Friday. They were one of 18 to show over the 1.45m course to kick off the Commonwealth National.

Henselwood and the popular IV Ever, owned by B Gingras Equestrian, LTD, were second, while Solem and Horseshow Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard capped the top three. Jaclyn Duff was fourth aboard her own Pater Noster and Linback secured a bookend performance with a fifth-place ribbon on Woodrun’s HH Dauphin.

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation presents weekly jumper classes at HITS Culpeper. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Jumper riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus. The award, given at the conclusion of the circuit, includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the HITS Culpeper circuit.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ Take First in 2012 Evergreen Invitational $75,000 Grand Prix

Bristol, Wisconsin Charity Event Raises $1.175M for Charity

Laura Linback

BRISTOL, WI — September 8th — The 2012 Evergreen Invitational was a huge success on Saturday with a $25,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Classic and $75,000 Grand Prix. The classic, which kicked off the event, was won by Meagan Nusz and Vesuvius. In the Grand Prix the blue ribbon went to Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ, who had the only clear ride of the class.

Hosted by M. K. Pritzker and The Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and presented by Northern Trust, the 4th biennial equestrian charity event attracted over 600 guests, who came to support the equestrian sport and to witness nationally and internationally ranked riders compete. More than $1.175 million was raised from the competition. Proceeds will benefit historically under-funded women’s health programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Continue reading Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ Take First in 2012 Evergreen Invitational $75,000 Grand Prix

Silvio Mazzoni and Remonta Habano Capture the $40,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, Presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper Week III

© ESI Photography. Silvio Mazzoni rides to victory aboard his own Remonta Habano in Sunday's $40,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper.

CULPEPER, VA (July 19, 2011) – Silvio Mazzoni of Leesburg, Virginia and his own Remonta Habano captured their second Grand Prix victory at HITS this year by winning Sunday’s $40,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper. The duo also won the blue in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at the Ocala Winter Classic this winter.

Prior to the start of Sunday’s main event, the Topaz Vaulters, an equine gymnastics spectacle, gave a special performance to kick off an afternoon of show jumping. Course designer Jose “Pepe” Gamarra of Ellenton, Florida made the $40,000 class his debut at HITS Commonwealth Park. His first round saw seven horse-and-rider combinations go clear and then return for the jump-off.

“The course was great,” said Mazzoni, who gained momentum for Sunday’s victory after a fourth-place finish in Friday’s $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix with Remonta Habano. “It was a very technical track, which asked a lot of the right questions.”

First to return in the jump-off was Alexa Lowe of Upperville, Virginia aboard Windsor Farm Sales’ Amicello. The team wasted no time in setting the Great American Time to Beat at 45.306 seconds with a clear effort.

Mazzoni followed and easily took the lead with a blistering time of 39.741 seconds.

Continue reading Silvio Mazzoni and Remonta Habano Capture the $40,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, Presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper Week III