Tag Archives: Lexington Spring Festival

Jason Berry and Belle Glos Win Virginia Horse Center Hunter Classic

Jason Berry and Belle Glos.

Lexington, VA – May 15, 2017 – The second week of the Lexington Spring Festival, the Lexington Spring Encore, concluded Sunday, May 7. Jason Berry piloted EMO Stables’ Belle Glos to win the Virginia Horse Center Hunter Classic, receiving a total score of 177 to earn the blue.

“She’s a phenomenal ride,” Berry said of the mare. “There’s not much to do because she knows all the tricks. She’s a good-hearted mare and she tries hard. She’s definitely one you can count on.”

The pair navigated the course set in the Wiley ring to a first round score of 86 and a second round score of 91. Berry said, “It was a really nice course to ride – a lot of open canters, there was an eight and a ten stride line, and there was even a two stride in there. The footing in the Wiley ring at the Horse Center is really good; you have the option of setting whatever and it would be accomplishable. It was a super course to ride.”
Berry has been competing at the Virginia Horse Center for years, and is pleased with all of the updates that have taken place at the facility. He commented, “They’ve been working with Allen Reinheimer on the footing and that’s been super. I think this year was the best year. Every year the footing has gotten better and better.”

Top honors in the $30,000 George L. Ohrstrom Jr. Grand Prix went to Gavin Moylan riding his own Coldplay. Moylan and Coldplay navigated a difficult course designed by Alan Wade to best the field of 17 riders.

Moylan and Coldplay were only one of two pairs to return to the jump-off, among them Katie Swindler riding Alice. Moylan and Coldplay were too fast the catch and ultimately took home the blue, while Swindler and Alice finished in second. Rounding out the top three was Andrea Torres Guerreiro riding Emilia.

Moylan said, “I just wanted to go quick enough and put some pressure on Katie, but I generally wanted to go clean. My horse handled it great! Standing around watching the rest of the class, I almost had the impression I was going to win without having to go in the jump off. When Katie went clean the first round I had to kind of get my mind back together a little bit and make sure I was prepared to go and do it.”

Moylan is no stranger to the Virginia Horse Center, and has been competing for the past ten years. Moylan said, “I just loved it this last two weeks; everything about the show is great. They’ve worked on the footing a lot, the jumps were nice, the course designer was fabulous, the management team is great. I just had a really wonderful experience there. The Grand Prix win was the cherry on top!”

For information on the upcoming events of the Lexington Spring Encore, please visit www.horsecenter.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Maria Shannon and Alexa Lowe Wiseman Dominate First Week of Lexington Spring Festival

Maria Shannon aboard Buble’. Photo by Teresa Ramsay.

Lexington, VA – May 5, 2017 – Virginian riders ruled the ring during the first week of the Lexington Spring Festival. On Friday, Maria Shannon won the $3,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, claiming victory aboard Buble’, a Danish Warmblood owned by Mohammad Attar. The pair rose to the challenge with a score of 169 to claim the blue and Laura Pickett Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Show Stable.

Twenty entries competed over the Paul Jewell designed course in the Wiley Arena. Buble’ in addition to the reserve champion, Cavallino, were trained by Shannon’s well known mother, Claiborne Bishop of The Barracks Farm in Charlottesville, VA. Shannon has worked for the farm since 2000 where she competes in the professional divisions.

“My plan was to give both horses a nice, confident ride and have fun. It was very exciting that they both went so beautifully,” noted Shannon. Cavallino, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, scored a total of 160 with Shannon while Carly Ziegler aboard Vanessa Massaro’s Fashion Forward placed in third with an overall 157.

Show jumping took center stage on Saturday night. Alexa Lowe-Wiseman and Windsor Farm’s Synapse De Blondel were the only combination to produce a double clear effort, winning the $30,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix and Dubliner Trophy. Out of 14 entries, only 5 returned for the jump-off, with Wiseman qualifying with two mounts.

Synapse De Blondel, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare, had previously shown with Wiseman in her first grand prix as a sale horse a year earlier. “My mother negotiated a trade deal with Nicholas Pio to get Blondie (Synapse De Blondel) to stay in the family after the great year we had, so it was my first grand prix with her as ours. It was very special and very exciting for Synapse De Blondel to win.”

Wiseman had the first and last attempt at the jump-off, her first aboard Udstrum Du Lys, a green horse who was competing in his first grand prix. As the round continued every combination had at least one rail down before Wiseman reentered the ring and expertly piloted her chestnut mare to victory.

“Normally the strategy if everyone has had a rail you still have to go fast because if you also have a rail you don’t want to be the slowest 4-faulter. Knowing that I was the last one on course on my chestnut mare that is so careful I actually played it safe and executed a slower, but safe, clear round. It’s nice when you know that you can count on your horse to leave the jump when you are sitting in that position.”

As a native Virginian, Lowe-Wiseman looks forward to continually supporting the shows at the Virginia Horse Center. “Everyone is friendly, the horse show staff, the ladies in the office, and the stable manager. They do everything they can, including having people to run you up and down the hill in golf carts so you don’t have to walk. The grand prix is special because the crowd shows up at night and cheer you on and it’s all because of the management of the show.”

Shannon echoed these sentiments of the Virginia Horse Center from the hunter ring. “Leslie Brown and Andrew Ellis do a really good job of trying to make everything as perfect as possible. The staff was wonderful, the courses rode beautifully, the decorating was gorgeous, and it’s really run very well.”

Although completing the fastest round in the jump-off, Colombian rider Andrea Torres Guerreiro took second place aboard her own Fifty Shades, an 8-year-old Westphalian gelding. Torres Guerreiro also owned the third place finisher for Colombia, Christofolini H, a 9-year-old Rheinlander gelding ridden by Manuel Torres.

For information on the upcoming events of the Lexington Spring Encore, please visit www.horsecenter.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

$30,000 Grand Prix Events Take Center Stage at Lexington Spring Festival

Mary Lisa Leffler and Bling Bling. Photos courtesy of Teresa Ramsay Photography.

Lexington, VA – April 13, 2017 – The Virginia Horse Center is pleased to once again host two premiere grand prix events to capstone the Lexington Spring Festival. The $30,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix on Saturday, April 29th and the $30,000 George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Grand Prix on Saturday, May 6th will both cap off the exciting hunter/jumper action as athletes race to victory.

During the Lexington Spring Premiere on Saturday, April 29th, the $30,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix will be held in the Coliseum at 6:30 p.m., where riders will vie for the coveted Dubliner Trophy donated by Margaret Price. Declarations to the show office are due no later than 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 28th and the entry fee is $500. Both Grand Prix classes held during the Lexington Spring Festival are eligible for inclusion on the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List.

In 2016 it was Mary Lisa Leffler aboard Bling Bling, who produced a double clear in the featured event and took home top honors. “It’s just one of my favorite events,” she expressed. “The hospitality of the Virginia Horse Center is second to none. They try so hard during the evening grand prix and they really put on a good horse show. The best part of the whole thing last year was that my sister drove my parents down, so they finally got to see their horse compete. Having them there and winning was great!”

The pinnacle of the Lexington Spring Encore will be the $30,000 George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Grand Prix, also in the Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 6th. Declarations are due no later than 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5th, the day before the class.

Manuel Torres aboard Christofolini H

Last year Colombia’s Manuel Torres piloted Christofolini H, a Rheinlander gelding owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, to victory with a speedy, clear round. “For us, it is one of our favorite shows of the year,” noted Torres. “We love the crowd, the facilities, and the stabling – the horses are very relaxed here. We come every year and we really like it. They always pick really good course designers to come and do these two weeks of competition, so it is very exciting for us to come to the Virginia Horse Center.”

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which owns and operates the Virginia Horse Center. The Foundation is proud to be a part of the Rockbridge community, an asset to the state’s equine economy, and a resource to the East-Atlantic competition circuit. The Virginia Horse Center stands at the forefront of Virginia’s $1.2B equine economy. Founded to promote all disciplines of equestrian sport, its 600 acres of picturesque grounds hold a 4,000 seat coliseum, eight barns to accommodate 1,200 horses, 19 show rings including two large indoor arenas, cross-country and combined carriage driving courses, campgrounds, and full catering and cafĂ© services.

To view the prize list or learn more about the Lexington Spring Festival at the Virginia Horse Center, please visit www.horsecenter.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386