Tag Archives: Lauren Hough

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Wins Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping at CSIO4* Ocala

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS (ESI Photography)

Ocala, Fla. – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team rode to victory today at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona hosted at CSIO4* Ocala at HITS. The team of Lauren Hough, Beezie Madden, Todd Minikus, and McLain Ward put in a stellar first round, entered round two on zero faults, and were able to hold off a tough field of eight teams for the win. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the U.S. earned valuable qualifying points for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in September in Barcelona, Spain.

“We knew coming in the competition was going to be tough,” said Ridland. “We had to bring our best team to be able to have a chance to win and it was stressful – we did it a little differently than we have in the past few [Nations Cups] where we have eased off unintentionally in the first round and came back in the second round. We came with our best hand and we were fortunate enough to come away with the win.”

Starting off strong over the Alan Wade-designed course for the U.S. was pathfinder Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) aboard longtime partner Rothchild, Sagamore Farm’s 2001 Warmblood gelding. The Team Bronze and Individual Gold medal winners from the 2015 Pan American Games set the tone with a clear round. Following Ward in for the U.S. was Hough (Wellington, Fla.) with Paris Sellon’s 2004 Oldenburg gelding, Cornet 39. The pair had the only rail of the round for the U.S. at the second element of the triple combination. Both Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.), with Jack Snyder’s 2005 Oldenburg mare, Babalou 41, and Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.), with Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, produced brilliant clear rounds, sending the U.S. into round two on zero faults.

Round two proved to be a challenge for many of the combinations as clear rounds were much harder to come by. The first three U.S. representatives collected faults and with Mexico and Columbia trailing within striking distance the pressure was on Madden who entered the ring with two rails in hand. The steely veteran delivered a clear round that added only one time penalty aboard rising star Breitling LS, in the horse’s first Nations Cup appearance.

“I had a nice position because I could afford to have two rails down and still win; as an anchor rider that’s the best position you can be in. Thanks to [my teammates] we were in that position. My horse jumped great the first round so I had confidence that he could come back and do the same or at least come through so I wasn’t too worried,” said Madden.

The U.S. riders will all compete on Sunday in the $100,000 Grand Prix of Ocala, taking place at 2:00 p.m. ET.

From the USEF Communications Department

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Qualifies for Final Round of Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final

Laura Kraut and Nouvelle (Nacho Olano Photography)

Barcelona, Spain – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team was in top form today as it secured a spot in the final round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final for the first time in the season-closer’s three year history. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the team of Lucy Davis, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, and Beezie Madden finished the first round of the prestigious competition on nine faults, tying for fourth place with Great Britain. As part of the top eight teams from the first round, the U.S. team will compete in Saturday’s final round.

Setting the U.S. off to a strong start was Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and the Evita Group’s Nouvelle, a 2004 KWPN mare. Kraut and Nouvelle were one of only 13 combinations in the 76-horse field to leave all the rails up, but added one time penalty to their total. Next to go was Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.), who piloted Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Old Oak Farm, to a 12-fault total. The pair had rails down at fences two, five, and 12B, but was in the elite group to finish within the time allowed of 81 seconds. Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, were next for the U.S. to take on the Santiago Varela-designed course. Displaying their signature speed, the pair finished well inside the time, but had the top rail down at fence five. Anchoring the U.S. team was Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgium Warmblood gelding. With just a rail down at fence eight, the pair ensured the team’s berth to the final round.

Belgium won the first round on five faults, followed by Germany and Sweden, who tied for second on eight faults. Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland also secured spots in the final round.

Competition for the Nations Cup title gets underway on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. ET and can be viewed live on FEITV.org.

From the USEF Communications Department

Gold for Ward, Bronze for Hough at 2015 Pan American Games

McLain Ward and Rothchild (StockImageServices.com)

Caledon, Ont. – The final medals in equestrian competition at the 2015 Pan American Games were decided in thrilling fashion this afternoon at the Caledon Equestrian Park. Both Individual Jumping Gold and Bronze were decided by jump-offs after two rounds of intense competition over the big and impressive Michel Vaillancourt-designed tracks. McLain Ward jumped three clear rounds, including in the jump-off against Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez to win Individual Gold. Lauren Hough captured Individual Bronze as the only clear round in the field of five in the jump-off for Bronze.

Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild looked determined from the start, putting in one of only three clear rounds in Round A and one of only two clear rounds in Round B. Going first in the jump-off for Gold, Rodriguez had a rail down at 4B meaning that Ward needed to go clear inside the time allowed to secure Gold – he did just that. This is the first Individual medal for Ward, who has earned multiple Team medals at Olympic, Pan American, and World Equestrian Games.

“I waited a long time [for this medal]. I have had great team experiences and this is certainly something I have dreamed about and worked towards,” said Ward. Rothchild was purchased by Ward’s late father, Barney Ward, and has proved a terrific partner for Ward. The pair was part of the Team Bronze effort at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the Team Bronze effort here at the Pan American Games earlier in the week. “It is a very special thing. I rode this horse last year at the [World Equestrian Games] and he is the last horse that I am riding that my father picked out. A bit like my father, [Rothchild] defies the odds. He doesn’t really look or go like he should be a show jumper, and yet he’s won a couple million dollars, a couple big Grand Prix, and now at the Pan American Games. He’s a really competitive horse, his heart is as big as they come, and he gives you everything he has.”

Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala had the first element of the double-combination down in Round A, a fence that proved troubling for many combinations. The young mare jumped flawlessly in Round B and headed to the jump-off as the fourth to go. With the three combinations ahead of the pair having at least one rail down, the door was left open for Hough and Ohlala who entered the arena and displayed their signature speed and agility to cross the timers clear and inside the time. The final combination in the jump-off also pulled a rail, leaving Hough and Ohlala as the only pair to post a clear round and thus securing Bronze.

“I am thrilled – we worked really hard for this medal. It was a great week and my horse performed beautifully. I am really happy to be going home with [an individual] medal,” said Hough. “I went as quickly as I felt comfortable [in the jump-off] without taking too much risk and it worked out my way. She was a true champion.”

Also competing for the U.S. in the Individual Final, Georgina Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) and Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Lilli had the very last rail down on course in Round A to head into Round B as one of eight combinations on four faults. An unfortunate rider error heading into the triple combination resulted in downed rails at both the A and B elements, giving the combination an eleventh-place finish, a placing that tied with four other combinations.

“Lilli went so well in the first round today. I think she really left it all out there. I was hoping for a better finish in the second round, but she was a bit tired and I was a little bit nervous. I couldn’t have asked her for more,” said an enthused Bloomberg. Riding on her first championship team, Bloomberg was ecstatic about her experience, having earned a Team Bronze earlier in the week. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and am just really happy to be a part of this team. It was so cool; it made me so happy to be here and experience this with these people. The whole U.S. Equestrian Team has been incredible and I am so proud of both McLain and Lauren.”

Complete Results

Behind the Scenes with the U.S. Teams: USEF Sport Director Will Connell’s Blog

From the USEF Communications Department

US Jumping Team Earns Bronze at 2015 Pan American Games

McLain Ward and Rothchild (StockImageServices.com)

Caledon, Ont. – The final team medals in equestrian competition at the 2015 Pan American Games were decided this afternoon with the U.S. team taking the Team Bronze medal. The Nations Cup proved extremely competitive over both rounds of competition with clear rounds coming at a premium. The team comprised of Georgina Bloomberg, Kent Farrington, Lauren Hough, and McLain Ward finished on a total of 12 faults. The home nation of Canada won Team Gold on seven faults and Argentina took home their first team Pan American Medal in decades – a Team Silver on eight faults.

The U.S. Team got off to an unlucky start in round one, with each combination having one rail down on-course to go into round two sitting in sixth on 12 faults. The team entered the arena for round two determined and performed an impressive four clears, a feat not matched in either round.

“Coming back and having four clears in the second round was a great testament to all four of them, we are all proud of the effort, and it has been a great event,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “Each [U.S.] round of round one had one extremely minor error, not one single major error. It was pretty simple what the team needed to do [in round two]: duplicate everything from the first round and fix that one problem, and that’s exactly what happened. They were brilliant in the second round.”

Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild served once again as pathfinders for the U.S. Coming into the first double combination on course at 4A, Rothchild had a light touch behind to knock the rail, resulting in four faults. The veteran pair jumped an otherwise excellent round and adjusted in the second round to turn into the first of four clear rounds for the U.S. in round two.

“I actually thought he jumped as well in the first round, if not better, than the second round,” said Ward. Speaking to the rail down in round one, Ward said, “[Rothchild] lightly touched it behind; he didn’t make a big mistake. I could have set it up slightly better, but again, it was not a big mistake. Unfortunately, the rest of the day went like that: all four horses and riders went well with just a little thing here or there, but in Nations Cup format, four faults can be deadly. You have to have perspective though; all the horses went well, all the riders rode well, and there weren’t any big mistakes or problems.”

Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli (StockImageServices.com)
Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli (StockImageServices.com)

Competing in her first championship, Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) handled the pressure and proved her mettle. With a block down off the wall at fence six in round one, Bloomberg and Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Lilli, jumped an otherwise perfect two rounds. The Michel Vaillancourt-designed course had a tight time of 83 seconds allowed, leaving no room for error. Bloomberg and Lilli came through the finish times in a neat 83 seconds, to post zero faults in round two.

“The first round I was really concerned about the time allowed; she’s usually a bit of a slow horse so I am always concerned with the time allowed, even when it’s not incredibly short like it is today,” said Bloomberg. “I think that watching a lot of people have time faults, I really had that in mind and think that’s why I had the wall down; I was really moving, came around the turn, and went.” Going into round two Bloomberg explained her mindset. “In the second round I was thinking: I still have to be somewhat quick, but I really wanted her to take a deep breath in every corner. If I had a time fault, I had a time fault, but at least I don’t make the same mistake as I did in round one. I had 83 seconds to do it, and I used every bit of it.”

A veteran of Olympic and Pan American Games, Hough (Wellington, Fla.) piloted The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala in the mare’s first championship competition. Picking up four faults at the entry to the triple-combination at fence 9A, the combination returned in round two to turn in one of the fastest clear rounds of the day.

“We were all a bit disappointed with the first round, little margins of error,” said Hough “[Ohlala] put in two fabulous efforts and I corrected my mistake in the second round; she couldn’t have jumped any better.” Hough’s clear marked three clear rounds in round two, assuring the U.S. of a 12-fault finish. “We all really dug in; it was a good experience for all of [the horses] and hopefully we will come back strong for the individual round. We are all quite experienced riders and knew we had to come back and be just that much better and we did it.”

Farrington, currently ranked third in the world, brought his and Robin Parsky’s young, talented mare Gazelle to gain valuable experience in the mare’s first Nations Cup. The pair had the same rail down as Hough at 9A and also added one time penalty to their total in round one. The mare built on her experience and produced a confident, faultless effort in round two.

Speaking to the success for the U.S. team at the Games, Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) noted, “[Gazelle] is nine years old and this is the biggest course she’s ever seen in this kind of setting. Additionally, Georgina is here doing her first championship, so I think it was great experience for an inexperienced horse and for a rider moving up to compete in her first championship. Obviously we came here to be competitive and have a very strong team. We all had an unlucky rail in the first round, but all came back and jumped clear in the second round. A little bit of bad luck today, but overall a good experience.”

Saturday’s individual final will see the 35 best-placed combinations according to the cumulative penalties over the first and second competition. Nations with four combinations in the top 35 will send forward their three best-placed combinations. For the U.S., Bloomberg, Hough, and Ward will compete. Competition gets underway at 11:00 a.m. ET and will be broadcast and streamed live on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

Complete Results

Behind the Scenes with the U.S. Teams: USEF Sport Director Will Connell’s Blog

From the USEF Communications Department

Stellar US Jumping Team Set to Shine in Pan American Games

All U.S. horses passed inspection Sunday (StockImageServices.com)

Caledon, Ont. – The United States will be represented by some of the best in U.S. jumping in the final week of competition at the 2015 Pan American Games. The U.S. team of Georgina Bloomberg, Kent Farrington, Lauren Hough, and McLain Ward will take on 16 nations, including 10 teams, over three days of team and individual competition. The first individual qualifier will take place Tuesday, the results of which will be used to establish the starting order of the team competition, taking place Thursday. The U.S. has drawn last in the order-of-go and will ride in the following order on Tuesday:

  1. McLain Ward
  2. Georgina Bloomberg
  3. Lauren Hough
  4. Kent Farrington

“The Pan American Games is one of the key events for the U.S. as we look toward the Olympic Games in Rio next year,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We are steadfast in our goal of providing experience to a host of combinations while continuing to send teams that are in contention to medal at each Nations Cup event. We are coming off a win at CSIO5* Mannheim last week and have a completely different, very capable team here at the games. This is a true testament to the depth we have in the U.S. and is a part of the overall, long-range process of preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games.”

Farrington, of Wellington, Fla., will ride Robin Parsky and his own Gazelle, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. This pair has competed successfully since 2014, with top placings in major classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival, CSI5* Rome, and CSI5* Spruce Meadows. Farrington has been a significant contributor to U.S. team success, including as a member of the Bronze medal-winning team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the Gold medal-winning team at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Hough will compete on the Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, with which she has had much success both at home and abroad. The pair has garnered top placings in Nations Cup competition, including as members of the winning U.S. team in the 2014 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final Challenge Cup and Silver medal-winning U.S. team at CSIO4* Ocala in February. Hough represented the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games, the 2003 and 2007 Pan American Games, and at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Bloomberg, of New York, N.Y., and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s 2004 Deutsches Sportpfred mare, Lilli, will also represent the United States in the Games. Bloomberg is a seasoned competitor, both nationally and internationally, with successful outings in top level competition. In 2015, Bloomberg and Lilli have had top-ten finishes this year at CSI5* Wellington and CSI5* Spruce Meadows.

Ward brings a wealth of experience to the U.S. Pan American Jumping Team. Ward has represented his country in three Olympic Games, including as a member of the Gold medal-winning teams in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008 aboard the legendary Sapphire. Ward has also been a part of three FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. teams: 2006, 2010, and 2014. No stranger to Pan American competition, Ward helped to secure a Team Gold medal win in the 2011 Games. At the 2015 Pan American Games, Ward will pilot Sagamore Farm’s 14-year-old gelding Rothchild. The pair has forged their successful partnership since 2009, garnering top prizes at elite shows at home and abroad. Ward and Rothchild combined to win a Team Bronze medal and a fifth place finish individually at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. In 2015, Ward and Rothchild achieved top placings in CSI5* Grand Prix classes in Wellington, Fla. and at Spruce Meadows in Alberta, Canada.

The athletes and their horses will be supported by veterinarian Dr. Tim Ober, physiotherapist Janus Marquis, and farrier Ken Bark.

Complete order-of-go and results

Behind the Scenes with the U.S. Teams: USEF Sport Director Will Connell’s Blog

From the USEF Communications Department

Lauren Hough and Böckmanns Lazio Lead the Way in $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4*

Lauren Hough and Böckmanns Lazio. Photos © Sportfot.

Hannah Patten and Charlie Clinch Equitation 15-17 Championship

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2014 – Lauren Hough led the victory gallop in an exciting top four finish for the women of USA in Saturday night’s $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Hough and Böckmanns Lazio topped a six-horse jump-off over Laura Kraut and Nouvelle (2nd), Lucy Davis and Barron (3rd), Lillie Keenan and Pumped Up Kicks (4th), Ben Maher and Urico (5th), and Kent Farrington and Blue Angel (6th).

Watch an interview with Lauren Hough.

FTI WEF week eleven, sponsored by Artisan Farms LLC, concludes on Sunday with the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final (9 a.m.) and the $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic (2 p.m.), to be held on the grass derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The FTI WEF features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

A special ceremony was held before the start of the grand prix to honor Anne Heyman, who passed away from a fall at the FTI WEF this season. Friends and family gathered to honor Anne, who was known for her incredible philanthropy and love for her family and horses. Save the Date for a benefit and concert for Anne’s ‘village,’ the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, which will be held on September 13 at Double H Farm in Ridgefield, CT, during the American Gold Cup. For more information, email annesnight@gmail.com.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the track for 45 competitors that qualified to compete in Saturday night’s $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* with seven entries jumping clear to advance to the jump-off. Seven others finished the course with just one time fault in a very tight time allowed. The jump-off saw four double clear rounds.

Ramiro Quintana (ARG) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Whitney were the first pair to jump clear in round one, but withdrew from the jump-off, leaving 17-year-old Lillie Keenan (USA) to blaze the trail over the short course. Riding Chansonette Farm LLC’s Pumped Up Kicks, Keenan set the time to beat at 49.27 seconds, and eventually finished fourth. Twenty-one-year-old Lucy Davis (USA) jumped next and upped the ante with Old Oak Farm’s Barron in 47.13 seconds to earn third place honors.

Hot off of a win with Aristo Z in the $50,000 Live Oak Grand Prix CSI-W 2* earlier in the day, Ben Maher (GBR) took to the course next with Jane Clark’s Urico. Looking for his sixth grand prix win of the FTI WEF circuit, Maher did have the fastest time of 44.46 seconds, but had a rail down at the second to last fence and would have to settle for the fifth place prize.

Seeing that Maher had a rail encouraged Lauren Hough to go for broke in her round, next to go with Karina Rotenberg’s Böckmanns Lazio. Hough knew that two very fast competitors were still to follow and did her best to ensure a top time, blazing through the course in 45.64 seconds for the winning round.

Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel were fast, but also had a rail to finish sixth with a time of 46.44 seconds. Last to go, Laura Kraut (USA) and the Evita Group’s Nouvelle jumped into second place with a clear round in 46.66 seconds.

This was Hough’s second win of the circuit with Böckmanns Lazio, a 14-year-old Westphalian stallion by Lancer II x Cor de la Bryere. Hough started riding the horse in the fall and kicked off the circuit with a win in week one’s $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Since then the pair has had several top finishes in a quickly developing partnership. Hough explained that the horse had a lot of experience showing under several international riders before her, most recently Cassio Rivetti of Ukraine and Gilles de Balanda of France.

“He is a wonderful animal, and I am really lucky to have the ride on him,” Hough praised. “He is 14 now, so he has been around for a while, and he has had quite a lot of success from other riders. I acquired him in October and did a couple of shows in the fall and then started straight away having success down here. He has just been very, very consistent. It was a very good jump-off for him tonight; I could sort of just keep galloping him all the way around. He has a very big stride.”

“When it’s over nine strides I don’t actually like to count,” Hough detailed. “Missy Clark, who has been really helpful to me this winter, said, ‘You can do nine to the last.’ I think Ben did it slowing down, but it looked really far away, so I thought, ‘I better keep kicking and not pull.’ I think last week I went one too many to the last jump.”

Hough breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Maher have a rail right before she went in the ring. “I’ve been getting a lot of red ribbons lately, which I am very grateful for,” she said. “I am very happy to be second with these kinds of riders and this caliber, but it was a little bit of a relief when he had that one down tonight. I still had a lot of fast riders coming after me though, so I knew I had to hit the gas and not let up.”

Hough plans to show Böckmanns Lazio in next week’s $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5* and looks forward to a great final week of competition at this year’s FTI WEF. With plenty of mileage and success under the lights, the horse will rest up and then jump one class during the week in preparation for the circuit’s finale event.

Laura Kraut and Nouvelle
Laura Kraut and Nouvelle

Finishing a close second to Hough on Saturday night, Laura Kraut has had great results with her mount Nouvelle this year after the mare came back from an injury last season. The pair also finished second in week eight’s $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, and had a fantastic finish Saturday despite the fact that Kraut was briefly not quite sure where she was going in the jump-off.

“I’m so happy with her,” Kraut smiled. “This was her second time under the lights. Last week I had a couple down, but they were green mistakes, and tonight she came out and seemed to have it figured out. I’m really pleased with her.”

“I rode a little bit slow to the vertical, the last one, because to be fair, I kind of wasn’t sure that was the right fence,” Kraut laughed. “I didn’t get a chance to watch any go because she was a little upset with the music and having just come out of the ring, so I had to stay on her and circle. I was looking at the jump and thought, ‘It just doesn’t look right,’ but then I looked at the number, and said, ‘Yeah, it’s #6.’ I don’t think I could have beaten a horse with so much experience though, and Lauren was fast. I think I still would have been second, so I’m very thrilled.”

California’s Lucy Davis proved that she is a force to be reckoned with when the young rider earned the biggest victory of her career this past September in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Lausanne. Davis and Barron also finished third during FTI WEF week five in the $370,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Rolex, just behind the number one and two ranked riders in the world.

“I was really pleased with the performance tonight,” Davis said after the class. “My horse jumped incredible, again, and I am really lucky to have him. In the jump-off, we were just focused on being smooth. Sometimes I get a little excited and things get hectic, but my trainer Markus (Beerbaum) told me to have a nice, smooth round and I think that is what we did.”

All of the riders agreed that the time allowed caused problems for a lot of riders in the night’s course.

“I thought it was a good course, but the time was very tight,” Hough noted. “I don’t know how many were clear with time faults, but obviously that was the biggest factor tonight. We have shown a lot, and we have a big class coming up next week. Some younger horses are coming out, some are preparing for next week, so I think he did a good job. Yes the time was tight, but I think it was doable.”

“The course took a lot of concentration,” Kraut added. “If you wanted to be under the time, you didn’t have three strides to spare. You had to be on it. Every step of the way, to the end and through the timers, there was no letting up. There was no taking a breather. Everyone was pretty tense about how tight the time was. It definitely added an element of difficulty that sometimes is annoying, but I think for tonight it was a good test for the horses that went, and I think it was good.”

On behalf of the class sponsor, Engel & Völkers, Carol Sollak and Amy Carr were on hand for the competition, and congratulated the riders on a job well done.

“I loved it,” Sollak smiled. “We love everything about the horse show. We love everything about the sport, and we will continue to support it.”

“We just started our company in January 2013, so we did up our sponsorship of the horse show this year because we got just a bit of the feeling last year and were quite happy with it,” Carr added. “We will continue to support the show. We love this sport, and for sure we will continue.”

Two other special awards were also presented during the night’s class. Davis was named the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider of week eleven after her success throughout the week’s competition. The award is presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.

A special award was also presented to young rider Sophie Simpson before the class. Simpson was awarded the Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsmanship Trophy in memory of Candida C. Fortsmann. The trophy is awarded at the end of the FTI WEF circuit to the junior rider that consistently demonstrates outstanding conduct, horsemanship, attitude, and courtesy appropriate for a competitor at the highest levels of our sport.

Hannah Patten and Charlie
Hannah Patten and Charlie

Hannah Patten and Charlie Clinch Equitation 15-17 Championship

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Patten of Williamstown, MA and Boca Raton, FL earned the division championship title aboard Charlie in the Equitation 15-17 division on Saturday afternoon at the FTI WEF. Patten and Charlie, a six-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Patten’s trainer Monty Kelly, won the flat class and placed third over fences to secure the championship title over 29 horse and rider pairs.

The reserve champion for the division was Lilly Higgins aboard Centerfold K, owned by Henge Hill Investments. Higgins and Centerfold K were fifth on the flat and first and fourth over fences, coming up just short of Patten by only one point.

Nearly all 29 riders contested the flat class of the division. After watching riders go around the ring in the first direction, eight were called out by the judge as the top eight competitors. After excusing the remaining riders, the top eight were asked to continue in the second direction before being awarded ribbons. Although she managed to out-ride 28 other riders, Patten modestly insisted that the only stand out part of her ride was her attire from the jumper ring.

“I had the [junior jumper] classic today, so I had white pants on. I kind of stuck out like a sore thumb!” Patten laughed. “My horse was perfect, though.”

Patten admitted that her horse was upset by a pestering insect that wouldn’t leave him alone, but was thankful the judge let the minor head-tossing slide. Charlie was actually a last-minute substitute for Patten’s original mount in the class, Agostino. Agostino had pulled a shoe earlier, so despite having a late night in Friday night’s evening class, Charlie stepped up to the plate.

“My horse went last night in the George Morris [Excellence in Equitation], so he was kind of tired. He was really good. I was really happy with him,” Patten explained.

At only six years old, Charlie has already helped Patten to the winner’s circle on multiple occasions. She was champion of this same division during the 2013 FTI WEF, which she achieved when the horse was only five.

“He’s a freak of nature. I was second at [ASPCA Maclay Medal] Regionals on him as a five-year-old, and he’s only been in training for two years. He’s gone out and done more than we could have possibly imagined,” Patten smiled.

Patten described Charlie as a horse that acts much older than his age; he’s been a relatively straight-forward ride for her from the get-go. “He’s just so simple. You look one way, he’ll land on that lead. You look the other way, he’ll land it. You press him for a line, he’ll go. You pull him back and he slows down and balances up. You say ‘trot,’ he trots. He’s pretty right on,” Patten explained.

That doesn’t mean Charlie doesn’t have his green moments every now and again, but Patten and her trainers at Stepping Stone Farm happily work through them since the horse is so often on his game. His irresistible personality doesn’t hurt his case, either.

“He is a lover. He just wants to snuggle. I’ll be standing at the in-gate and he’ll turn around waiting for me to pet him,” Patten said.

She continued, “He does this thing with his lips – he makes his lips really loose and then he shakes his head so they flop around. I’ll be standing in the line-up [at the end of a class] and he’ll start doing it. I’m just like ‘Really Charlie? Right now? Of all times?’ And then he’s covered in spit. He’s so cute though.”

While Charlie enjoys a day off on Sunday, equitation competition at the FTI WEF marches on. The ASPCA Maclay Medal, presented by Sidelines, starts off the final day of competition for the week in Ring 9 on the Main Grounds of PBIEC. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Speed to Victory in $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. Photos © Sportfot.

Darragh Kenny and Quiz Triumph in $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Team of Dobbs, Mershad, Barnhill and McArdle Wins $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event; Spencer Smith and Beau Van Het Keysershof Take Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search

Wellington, FL – January 31, 2014 – The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued with a full schedule of competition on Friday, January 31, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 began the day’s competition with a win for Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala. The $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held in the afternoon with a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Quiz.

The day also featured the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, which was held at The Stadium at PBIEC in the evening with a top finish for the team of Kalvin Dobbs, Gabriela Mershad, Hayley Barnhill, and Abigail McArdle.

FTI WEF four, sponsored by Ariat, runs January 29 to February 2. The week will feature the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments featuring a concert by four-time Grammy Nominee Hunter Hayes on Saturday night, and the $50,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI 2* on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday afternoon. The FTI WEF features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week four competition. For the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4, which was held as a speed class, Palacios saw 63 entries with 22 clear rounds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Solerina, owned by Sweet Oak and Spy Coast Farms, held the lead through most of the class with their time of 62.58 seconds, but eventually settled for second when Lauren Hough and Ohlala raced through the timers in 61.46 seconds.

Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Arao Enterprises LLC’s Caballito finished third in 62.98 seconds. Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Capall Zidane placed fourth in 63.36 seconds, and Ben Maher (GBR) and Jane Clark’s Aristo Z took fifth place honors with their time of 63.82 seconds.

Ohlala, owned by The Ohlala Group, is a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento. The mare has had success around the world with Hough in the irons and continued her winning ways with a speedy top finish in Friday’s class.

“It was a nice course,” Hough stated. “Obviously not many of the horses got worked yesterday with the torrential downpour, and I sort of geared her towards this class this week knowing it was a one round. She is obviously a very quick horse. It wasn’t terribly big, but it was quite careful. There were rails throughout the course, and I think he did a good job considering that for most of these horses it was probably their first class this week. I wouldn’t say it was super technical today, but you needed a really careful horse.”

Hough saw Sweetnam’s round and knew she had a fast time to beat, but looking back, she was not sure where she made up the time.

“I put more steps in than he did, but she is just so quick across the ground,” Hough said. “I always have to stick with my plan and hope that I end up faster than the one in front of me. I don’t know where I made it up. She just was sort of on it everywhere. I was quite quick back to the last double. I didn’t waste a lot of time there, but I did eight strides to the last where most did seven.”

“She is a winner,” Hough noted. “I had a little bit of bad luck last week and not great riding in the grand prix and had two down, which is very uncharacteristic of her. I was a little disappointed in myself, and I thought I would give it a go this week. She is great. First class out, you can go fast and she knows her job.”

In addition to the prize money in Thursday’s class, Hough earned a special $3,000 bonus as part of the SSG ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion for wearing her SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves. Each week of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series, a $3,000 bonus will be awarded to the winning rider if they are wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.

She was also awarded a special trophy for her win, earning the Barry Louise Lane Perpetual Memorial Trophy, presented by Debbie Lane.

Darragh Kenny and Quiz
Darragh Kenny and Quiz

Darragh Kenny and Quiz Triumph in $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

The $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held on Friday with a win for Darragh Kenny and Spruce Meadow’s Quiz. The class saw 23 entries with 5 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off and three double clears. Kenny and Quiz earned top honors in 41.05 seconds.

McLain Ward (USA) and Kantunaro, owned by Ellen Holtgers and David Paige, finished second, clearing the course in 41.17 seconds. Alexa Pessoa (USA) and Rodrigo Pessoa’s Levade 35 were the first pair to jump clear and stopped the clock in 42.41 seconds to finish third.

Alex Granato (USA) and Wood Run Farms’ Mullaghdrin Rado had the fastest time of 39.80 seconds, but had one rail down to place fourth. Sydney Shulman (USA) and Marcus Hagglund’s Quirado had four faults in the jump-off in 42.37 seconds to place fifth.

Quiz is a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding by For Pleasure x Laudanum, owned by Spruce Meadows and the Southern Family. Kenny got the horse last year and has brought him along nicely.

“He’s ten, but he hadn’t done so much. He had only been doing 1.30m,” Kenny noted. “He won a good grand prix with me last year in Saugerties the week of the $1 million class. He has kind of just grown. He is unbelievably careful, he has loads of scope. I really think he is a top horse. I think he is a super, super horse. I am so lucky that Spruce Meadows owns him and that I get to ride him.”

Describing his strategy in the jump-off, Kenny explained, “I just thought, ‘Start going a little bit and then just keep building as the course went on.’ He is still green, so you can’t just go crazy from the start, but he has a big stride and he really wants to be careful, so you have to just keep going at the jumps. Then as it went I just got gradually faster.”

Kenny plans to keep Quiz competing at the 1.50m level this winter and is very happy with the horse’s progress. “He seems to be doing great. He was second last week and he won this week,” Kenny smiled. “He is going to have a week off next week. I really think a lot of the horse, so I am going to take my time with him.”

In addition to Quiz, Kenny has a lot of great young horses this year and is having a nice start to the FTI WEF circuit. “It has been going great,” he said. “I am very busy. I have a lot of good clients and a lot of good owners and some really nice horses. I haven’t yet jumped a Saturday night grand prix, but I’m taking my time. There is no rush. One horse will show next week in the big classes. These horses are all a little bit younger, and I am trying to produce them for the future.”

Team of Dobbs, Mershad, Barnhill and McArdle Wins $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte

Friday’s competition concluded with the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, held in the International Arena at The Stadium at PBIEC (home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival) in the evening. The class was held in a Nations Cup format over two rounds of competition. With nine teams competing, labeled Team A through Team I, Team F was the winner.

Team F, made up of Kalvin Dobbs and Treesdale Farms’ Winde, Gabriela Mershad and Mershad Stables LLC’s Udonna, Hayley Barnhill and Cara Cheska’s Zephire, and Abigail McArdle aboard David McArdle’s Cosma 20, finished on a total of four faults after the two rounds of competition. The team Chef d’Equipe was Abigail Blankenship.

After the first round, each team dropped their highest score. In the second round, all nine teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults with three riders each. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team’s top three riders from each round.

Dobbs and Winde jumped clear in round one and finished with four faults in round two. Mershad had four jumping faults and one time fault in round one to be the drop score in round one and did not return for round two. Barnhill and McArdle both jumped double clear rounds to help their team to victory.

Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20
Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20

McArdle (19), of Wellington, FL, was the anchor rider for her team and had the pressure of putting in a second clear round to clinch the victory for her team as the last to go. McArdle definitely felt the weight on her shoulders, but was confident in her experience.

“Obviously I had to be clean, but we have done this before,” McArdle stated. “We have been team members before where I have been anchor and I have been in this position. It was a great feeling to go in and be able to lay it down and be clean to win.”

McArdle has had great success with her mount Cosma 20, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (Couleur Rubin x Stakkato), and really wanted to go clean for her team.

“Even though I know her back and forth and obviously she is an incredible, once in a lifetime sort of horse, I still get nervous and want to do well,” McArdle admitted. “It’s the same pressure every round, whether it’s this or a speed class, or anything. I feel the same pressure and I want to jump clean and do well. I never assume that I know her, and she’s going to jump clean. We go in and ride to jump clean.”

Barnhill (20), from Collierville, TN, had a different experience with her mount, Zephire, an 11-year-old KWPN mare. Although they have not known each other quite as long, the pair also put in two great clear rounds.

“This is a new horse for me,” Barnhill noted. “I got her at the end of the year last year. She has never shown under the lights or done anything like this before, so we didn’t really know how she was going to be and she was fantastic. She could not have jumped any better, so I was really excited.”

Dobbs (18), from Carmel, IN, has a more experienced horse in Winde, his 11-year-old KWPN mare by Numero Uno x No Limit. The pair has done plenty of night classes, and this is their third year competing in the Artisan Farms young rider series.

“She usually picks up under the lights and it is definitely a lot different because it is more uncommon for us to show under the lights, but she is fun and it’s no big deal for her,” Dobbs said. “I was a bit nervous just because everything was cancelled yesterday, and I haven’t been here for a week and a half. Winde just jumped for the first time this morning since the last young rider grand prix, but we knew how to properly prepare her. It was nice that the course was fair. I thought it was a good course and set us up for a successful class. It ended up being a really fun, good young riders grand prix.”

Mershad (18), from New Albany, OH, showed in the first round with Udonna, her 13-year-old KPWN mare by Madison x Cavalier. Although she did not get to return for the second round, Mershad enjoyed the team experience and appreciated the camaraderie with her teammates.

“I think it is awesome. It teaches you how Nations Cup works, which is a big part of it when you go to senior riding,” Mershad detailed. “It really teaches young riders how it is going to be – how to work with a team and the pressure to be on a team and the support that you need to give each other.”

Showing in the beautiful arena at The Stadium at PBIEC also gave the riders a chance to compete in a different environment from the rings at the main show grounds. Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms noted that the main goal of the series is to give riders different experiences, and the night’s class did exactly that.

“Part of what we’re trying to do is give them exposure to different things,” Ziegler stated. “This particular ring feels like Europe to me. It feels like Vienna, it feels like Cannes, it feels like a stop on the Global Champions Tour. This is magnificent. If they’re looking for that exposure, this is it.”

The riders agreed, also saying that they felt like they were riding in a European arena.

“I loved showing here,” McArdle stated. “I thought this was really cool with the stadium on one side and the tent on the other side. It gave a very arena, international sort of feel. There were so many people here tonight, so I thought it was a great experience. It was really fun. You feel better going in the ring when you have more people supporting you.”

Barnhill added, “I have never shown over here before, so this was a new experience for me and I thought it was great. It was a good experience for all of us, and the horses to get to do something different.”

Behind the winning team, Team H finished second on a six fault total under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe John Roche. The team was made of up of Lorcan Gallagher and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s O’Splendido, Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Patriot, Chloe Reid and Chloe D. Reid LLC’s Athena, and Wilton Porter aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Radio City. Chloe Reid and Athena were the only other pair to jump double clear in the competition with Barnhill and McArdle. Team H also earned the Best Team Spirit Award.

Team A, coached by Chef d’Equipe Michelle Grubb, placed third with 15 faults in total. The team was made up of Hayley Waters and Dana Waters’ No Doubt, Ali Wolff and John C. Wolff’s Caya, Adrienne Sternlicht and Hathaway, and Alexander Zetterman aboard Springfield Showjumpers’ Zidane.

Spencer Smith and Beau Van Het Keysershof Take Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at FTI WEF

Spencer Smith and Ashland Farm’s Beau Van Het Keysershof, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood, topped the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search on Friday morning at the FTI WEF. This was the second week in a row the pair collected the top prize for the class.

Second place went to Victoria Colvin with Stallone VDL and the top three was rounded out by Lilly Ulrich and Vocus. The top ten riders over fences were called back to test on the flat, when riders were asked to demonstrate lengthening of stride and the counter canter in both directions, including a simple change in front of the judge’s box.

Smith, a 17-year-old Wellington, FL resident, admitted he was a little thrown by the judge’s request for a simple change.

“I was like ‘Oh, no!'” Smith laughed. “But it worked out nicely. My horse did it really well.”

Beau Van Het Keysershof is a new ride for Smith. The pair have only been together for the last two months, but Smith described the pair as a perfect match.

“We’re a good fit. He’s really my ride, which is nice. He takes you to the jumps, but he’s also really soft and he can melt really quickly,” Smith described.

He continued, “He really wants to do well. He doesn’t want to make mistakes. He can do this course really smoothly.”

While there was lingering evidence of the downpour that drenched Wellington on Thursday, Smith didn’t think it had any effect on his ride.

“It was a nice course. Nothing too tricky and it all worked out nicely for my horse. The footing held pretty nicely in my opinion,” Smith detailed.

The heavy rainfall put a hold on competition for the FTI WEF, with competition being cancelled Thursday. Smith still decided to spend his rain day getting wet, heading to the beach to surf and taking a day off from riding.

Hunter divisions that were to finish on Thursday were pinned based on results from Wednesday’s classes. The Loddon Stalls Pre-Green Level 1 division was split due to a high number of entries, with two division champions ultimately crowned.

Champion of Section A was Cy Young, ridden by Tim Goguen and owned by Belhaven Stables, LLC. Cy Young, a six-year-old Warmblood gelding, swept the section, winning the under saddle class and both over fences rounds. In Section B, CC Cool and Lainie Wimberly were crowned champion. Wimberly and CC Cool, a four-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Piccolino Farm, LLC, placed eighth under saddle and first and second over fences.

Hunter and equitation competition continue Saturday morning with the Ariat National Adult Medal in Ring 6 of the PBIEC. The “Saturday Night Lights” event will highlight the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge (FTI GCC), presented by Fidelity Investments, featuring a concert by multi-platinum recording artist and four-time Grammy nominee, Hunter Hayes. The FTI GCC has raised $1.75 million for the 35 charities chosen to participate in this year’s event. For full horse show results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Win $33,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 20, 2013 – Week eleven of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Artisan Farms, featured the $33,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class on Wednesday with a win for Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala. Earning points on the Longines FEI world ranking list, the pair beat Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Solerina, Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Wang Chung M2S, and McLain Ward (USA) and Zhum CW, all within nine one-hundredths of a second separating them.

Week eleven, featuring “AA” hunter and CSI 4* jumper competition, runs March 20-24. Highlights include the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 on Thursday, the $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m and George Morris Equitation Championship presented by Alessandro Albanese on Friday, the $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final on Saturday, and the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix, Don Little Masters Classic and $101,000 Pennfield Feeds CSI 4* Grand Prix all held on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday.

Saturday night’s 1.50m final will be held at 7 p.m., not 8 p.m. as previously stated, due to entries. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, is the course designer in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for week eleven. In Wednesday’s $33,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m, 37 entries contested Jeffery’s speed track with 14 clear rounds. Lauren Hough and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala were the winners in 61.88 seconds. Just behind, Shane Sweetnam and Sweet Oak and Spy Coast Farm’s Solerina finished second in 61.91 seconds. Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S, owned by Morningside Stud and Torrey Pines Stable, finished third in 61.94 seconds. McLain Ward and Zhum CW, owned by Ilan Ferder and Missy Clark, were right there in fourth with their time of 61.97 seconds.

“She is obviously naturally very fast,” Hough said of the winning Ohlala, a ten-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento. “Leaving strides out isn’t normally the way I win; she is just quick across the ground. I made a few last minute adjustments. I wouldn’t say I gave her the best ride today, but she certainly helped me out. She doesn’t like to hit the fences and she enjoys winning, so she makes my job pretty easy.”

“I thought it was a good course today,” Hough stated. “There were a few good turns and I thought he did a nice job. It was a solid 1.45m.”

Commenting on her round, Hough explained, “I really have to stick with my plan. You don’t really end up doing the same number of strides as everybody else, but I did see Eric go. The top three or four were all very close, so I think it was just my lucky day.”

“She is good at everything to be honest,” Hough praised. “She is good indoors; she is good outdoors. I wouldn’t say that there is a particular track that suits her best. She just likes to win.”

Also showing on Wednesday, Wilton Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Radio City won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m jump-off class. In the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off, Manuel Espinosa riding Luis Garcia’s Zippo CG and Laura Chapot aboard Mary Chapot’s Umberto were both winners in a split class.

Week eleven of the FTI WEF will continue on Thursday with the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 in the International Arena at 1 p.m. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Are Best in $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m at FTI WEF

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. Photo © Sportfot.

Sizzle and Lissa Brazeal Scorch the Competition in Adult Amateur 36-50 Section A Hunters

Wellington, FL, March 8, 2013 – Week nine’s CSI-W 5* competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Friday with a win for Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala in the $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class, a Longines FEI world ranking event.

Week nine, sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies, runs March 6-10, 2013. The week will feature the $300,000 FEI World Cup CSI-W 5* presented by The Bainbridge Companies on Saturday evening, and the $82,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

In the feature G&C Farm 1.45m class on Friday, 63 entries showed over course designer Steve Stephens’ speed track with just nine clear rounds. The fastest time of 68.03 seconds for Lauren Hough and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala was the winner. The pair edged out McLain Ward (USA) and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild with their time of 68.51 seconds. Eiken Sato (JPN) and Stephex Stables’ Cita B finished third in 69.60 seconds.

Lauren Hough first began showing Ohlala, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento, in the young jumpers during last year’s FTI WEF. The pair went on to an astounding year and amassed wins all over the world.

“She is amazing,” Hough smiled. “I think last year I counted that she won over 15 ranking classes and she was best young horse at Aachen and best young horse in Hamburg. I gave her a long break after Holiday and Horses and this is her second show back and she feels great.”

Commenting on her lightning-fast round, Hough detailed, “With her, you don’t really count strides to be honest. She has her own rhythm. You’re not going to win by leaving strides out. Once you just set her on her pace, she is allergic to wood and she makes my job really easy. She is just naturally a fast horse and she doesn’t spend a lot of time in the air. I am very privileged to have a horse that I think has a really bright future.”

“She enjoys winning,” Hough added. “She absolutely knows now what it’s about. She is a winner. She likes competing.”

Ohlala will have next week off and then Hough plans to show her in the grand prix during week eleven. On future plans, Hough explained, “I am not going to put any pressure on her. I believe she can jump the biggest classes, but I am going to let her tell me when she’s ready for that. She can sort of win at any level at this point. I am lucky to have such a great horse.”

Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, Christine McCrea added another victory to her week with a win in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class aboard Candy Tribble’s Ronaldo de la Pomme. In the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class, the win went to Alexandra Paillot and her horse Regina de Chamant.

Sizzle and Lissa Brazeal Scorch the Competition in Adult Amateur 36-50 Section A Hunters

Lissa Brazeal and her eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding Sizzle took home championship honors in the Adult Amateur 36-50 Section A Hunter division during week nine of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Brazeal, of Delray Beach, FL, and Sizzle were leading the division after day one of competition when the pair placed third under saddle and second and first over fences. Day two, the pair secured victory with a second place finish in the final over fences round. Reserve champion was Quintas, owned and ridden by Dawn Kelly.

Sizzle and Lissa Brazeal. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Sizzle and Lissa Brazeal. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Brazeal had a bumpy start to the second day of the division before making an incredible turn around in round two over fences. “Because we did well [Thursday], I walked into the ring thinking, ‘Oh, we could win this and be champion!’ Most of this is mental. You can’t psych yourself out like that and I did,” Brazeal stated matter-of-factly.

Brazeal’s well-grounded attitude made it easy for her to shrug off the minor setback before putting in a stellar second round performance with Sizzle. Brazeal credits the positive atmosphere her trainer, Amber Harte, maintains at the ring.

“I came out of the ring and Amber just said, ‘Let it go. I’m still proud of you. Just let it go and go do your next trip.’ With her, there’s nothing negative. She has a ‘this is how you fix it’ approach and is very positive,” Brazeal commented.

“It’s such a treat working with Amber and everyone at the barn because it’s such a team effort. I just recently started riding with her and I’ve never had anything like that before. Everything is so positive and happy. They set you up to be successful,” Brazeal continued.

Even more remarkable than Brazeal’s second round turn-around is her trusted mount, Sizzle. “He’s a seeing eye dog, literally. I’m legally blind. I see out of the ride side of my right eye a little bit, so he really is my eyes in the ring,” Brazeal revealed.

“He wants to do everything right and he wants to make you happy. He’s a very rare horse that truly aims to please. He always tries his best and wants to be perfect,” Brazeal described.

Sizzle’s intuition and forgiving nature make it easy for Brazeal to put her complete trust in him. “He knows what I’m going to do before I ask him to do it. He knows exactly what to do and he’s just really good. If I change my mind or make a mistake, he doesn’t punish me for it,” Brazeal explained.

Correction: Thursday’s hunter coverage of the Fumero Law Pre-Green Level 2 Hunters mistakenly identified Sophie and Brian Baldwin as the owners of division champion Lucador. Lucador is owned by Sophie Walker and Susan Gordon’s Sagamore Farm, Inc., and is trained by Brian Walker.

Week nine of the FTI WEF, sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies, continues Saturday with the FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Over 35 Hunter division, hosted in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena of the PBIEC. The Sam Edelman Equitation Classic will be featured at The Stadium at PBIEC at 2 p.m. The International Arena will feature the $300,000 FEI World Cup CSI-W 5* presented by The Bainbridge Companies at 7 p.m. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Win $33,000 Holiday and Horses Opener Grand Prix

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. © ManciniPhotos

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2012 – The Holiday and Horses CSI 2*-W show continued today with another big class for show jumpers, the $33,000 Holiday and Horses Opener Grand Prix presented by Horse Gym USA. The grand prix is a FEI ROLEX ranking class, and the winning amount of points today went to Lauren Hough and Ohlala. They were the only double clear round to capture victory.

The Holiday and Horses show continues through December 2 and is rated CSI 2*-W, Jumper 5*, and “AA”. The $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class is featured on Friday, and the $50,000 Holiday and Horses Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier, will be held on Saturday evening. Thursday’s, Friday’s, and Saturday’s highlight classes count toward ROLEX FEI World Ranking points. The feature class on Sunday is the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

There were 49 entries in today’s grand prix, and five of them were able to find the clear path over Anthony D’Ambrosio’s course to continue on to the jump-off.

Continue reading Lauren Hough and Ohlala Win $33,000 Holiday and Horses Opener Grand Prix