Tag Archives: Manuel Torres

Manuel Torres Conquers the $30,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Christofolini H.

Culpeper, VA (August 23, 2016): Riders and horses descended on the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Commonwealth Park for the main event of the Winston National, the $30,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix.

Only one horse and rider could go home with the win, but in this case, one deserving equestrian took home both the first and second prize. There was no slowing down Manuel Torres during the fourth week of competition at HITS Culpeper. Riding out of Waterford, Virginia, Torres garnered the blue and red ribbon in Sunday’s $30,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix after also snagging the victory in Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix.

Sunday’s first-place payday came aboard Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, and second came with Cruising Altitude, owned by Santa Catalina Farm.

Faults were spread evenly throughout the first-round course, with two trips earning one time fault each. Three went clear to advance to the second round jump-off course set by Oscar Soberon of Mexico.

Torres had two to contest the shortened course, entering first with winning mount Christofolini H. They powered through the course, laying down a 45.530 roundtrip that would hold up the victory with a colossal five-second lead.

Debbie McCarthy-Connor of Patterson, New York followed with Zim, owned by Connor and Ebetino Jumpers, LLC. McCarthy-Connor and Zim took home third place in Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix and were hunting for the lead over Torres. They clocked in at 53.918 to ultimately secure the yellow ribbon for the weekend once again.

The blue ribbon was already set for Torres, but the winning horse had yet to be determined. He put in a solid, careful round with second-place horse Cruising Altitude, stopping the clock in at 50.557 for the second place prize.

Both fourth and fifth place went back-to-back in the first round, and left all of the rails up to only suffer one penalty on the clock. Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, Virginia brought home fourth place piloting Air Force One. Godek moved up the ranks from a twelfth-place ride on Friday, to yield a spot in the top five on Sunday to close out the week.

Rounding out the top five was Alexa Lowe-Wiseman of Upperville Virginia, and Synapse de Blondel, owned by Paillot Equine Consulting, LLC. The equestrian and her mount earned seventh place in Friday’s Grand Prix and also moved up the placings to secure fifth on Sunday.

Elite show jumping competition continues at HITS Culpeper this week with the Constitution Classic, August 24-28, featuring the USHJA Child & Adult Amateur Jumper Championship, the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix and Sunday’s $30,000 HITS Grand Prix.

Cindy McGrath Takes Home the Blue in the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic

Riders gathered to compete for the top prize in the $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic during the fourth week of competition, the Winston National, at HITS Culpeper.

Several put their best foot forward in hopes of bringing home the blue, but the team to beat was Cindy McGrath of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania and Caruso, owned by Wynnwood Farm. McGrath would also garner the final spot in the top five with Quinaro, owned by Mapledale Associates.

Five advanced to the jump-off with two going clear over in contingency for the win. First to re-enter the ring to challenge the shortened course was Sandra Zimmerli of Fairfax Station, Virginia and Calido’s Treasure, owned by Zimmerli Show Jumping, LLC. They clocked in at 44.410, but an unfortunate rail at the third fence of the course would ultimately earn them fourth place.

Next to contend was Toano, Virginia equestrian Malachi Hinton piloting F15. They followed Zimmerli’s round with a valiant effort, leaving all of the rails up, but the unforgiving clock earned them one time fault as they crossed the finish. They would make it out with the third place spot when the class was done.

(C) ESI Photography. Cindy McGrath and Caruso
(C) ESI Photography. Cindy McGrath and Caruso

McGrath and Quinaro followed suit. They galloped through the course, conquering the first two fences, but a rail at the third fence on course, as well as the penultimate fence, earned them eight faults as they passed the timers in 43.340.

Only two remained in the jump-off before the final placings would be set, and the battle would be won by only mere fractions of a second.

Myrto Iliadis of Brooklyn, New York entered next with her own Voila HE. They took each fence by storm, stopping the clock in a cool, clear 43.850 to take the temporary lead.

McGrath entered with her second mount of the jump-off, Caruso, with the final chance at stealing the top spot on the leaderboard. Saving the best for last, McGrath and her mount flew through the course, turning and burning at every chance they had to shave precious time of the clock. They crossed the finish in 43.500, less than three-tenths of a second quicker than Iliadis for the win.

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Manuel Torres and Christofolini H Take the Blue in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Christofolini H.

Culpeper, VA (August 20, 2016): Horses and riders turned out for the fourth week of competition at HITS Culpeper this season for a shot at victory in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix.

Manuel Torres, riding out of Waterford, Virginia, claimed the blue ribbon aboard Christofilini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro. Torres has consistently been in the top five in the Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper this season, most recently claiming third in the Week III $30,000 HITS Grand Prix and fifth in that week’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix.

Three advanced over the first round course set by Oscar Soberon of Mexico City to contest the jump-off, and all challengers would go clear over the shortened course in a race against the clock. First to return to the ring for the jump-off was Glenmoore, Pennsylvania equestrian Callan Solem aboard VDL Wizard, owned by Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC.

Solem and her fiery, chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding took to the course no holds barred to lay down a cool, clear trip in 36.223, setting the tone for her competitors.

Following Solem was Debbie McCarthy Connor of Patterson, New York and Zim, owned by Connor and Ebetino Jumpers. Connor and Zim placed fourth in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix during the first week at HITS Culpeper back in April.

Connor and Zim stopped the clock with all of the rails up, but their time of 41.395 would not be quick enough to edge out Solem or compete with Torres’ round. They ultimately took home the third place prize for their efforts.

The final trip to return to the ring for the jump-off was Torres aboard Christofilini H. They powered through the course and laid down a lightning-fast trip. They clocked in with another fault-free trip in 35.368, pushing Solem’s round to second place and grabbing the blue-ribbon victory.

Although she would settle for second, Solem also took home fourth and fifth place, with the fastest of the four-fault rounds. She finished fourth with VDL Torlando, owned by the Torlando Group, and fifth with Davidson, owned by Five Star Partners.

Show jumping continues at HITS Commonwealth Park this Sunday with the $30,000 Purina Grand Prix. HITS will also offer an additional back-to-back week of top-notch competition and prize money August 24-28 featuring two Grand Prix.

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Manuel Torres and Jason Berry Capture Wins at Lexington Spring Encore

Manuel Torres and Christofolini H. Photos by: Teresa Ramsay Photography.

Lexington, Va. – May 12, 2016 – The Lexington Spring Encore at the Virginia Horse Center always draws the country’s leading competitors for its premiere hunter/jumper event. This weekend, Colombia’s Manuel Torres and Christofolini H took home the top spot in the $30,000 George L. Ohrstrom Grand Prix on Saturday, besting a field of sixteen.

The win came after a second place finish in the Open Jumper Welcome Stake held earlier in the week for Torres and the 9-year-old Rheinlander gelding. The Welcome Stake gave a nice preview for riders of the speed of the course. “We had the Welcome Stake in the beginning of the week,” said Torres. “That ended up being a really fast jump-off, so I had to be prepared for a fast jump-off in the Grand Prix.”

Torres, a five time Olympian, rode to the top of a tightly contested class with speedy clear round. An early spot in the class did not deter Torres. “Christofolini H loves speed so even though I was very early in the class it ended up working out fine for me,” said Torres. Rounding out the top three were last week’s winner, Mary Lisa Leffler, this time aboard Carlot, for second place, while Brooke Kemper and Classified placed third with just one rail down in the jump-off.

Torres praised the facility and the course designer. “For us, it is one of our favorite shows of the year. We love the crowd, the facilities, and the stabling – the horses are very relaxed here,” he noted. “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 here.”

Christofolini H is a relatively new ride for Torres. “I began to jump the grand prix in Ocala in the beginning of the year, so it’s a new mount for me.” He says. “I’m just getting used to him. He’s a very talented horse. Hopefully I keep getting to know him better and have a good season.”

Jason Berry was on top of his game this weekend, claiming three of the top four spots in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. He picked up the victory aboard Cobalt Blue R with a score of 185.0. Elizabeth Bailey and Acido 7 scored the second place spot with a score of 173.5, while Berry also placed third and fourth on IAmWhatIAm and Attila, respectively.

Jason Berry and Cobalt Blue R
Jason Berry and Cobalt Blue R

Berry imported Cobalt Blue R, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Oak Ledge Farm, last year. Everything came together for them in the derby class. “For the handy tonight he was just on it.” Berry said, “From the time I picked up the canter it was like they put the jumps where I needed them to be. He was super easy to ride for that.”

A Virginia native, Berry was enthusiastic about his win at the Virginia Horse Center. “It’s definitely our home show,” he expressed. “It’s great to win a class here; it’s great to have this facility in your backyard. They have a great indoor Coliseum where they had the class tonight. To have the weather that we’ve had, pouring down rain for the last few days, the option of having a good class no matter what the weather is the best thing about the Virginia Horse Center!”

For more results from the Lexington Spring Encore, visit www.horseshowsonline.com. To learn more about additional upcoming events at the Virginia Horse Center, visit www.horsecenter.org.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Ocala Winter Circuit II Continues with $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome and $25k SmartPak Grand Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Christofolini H.

Ocala, FL (January 29, 2016): The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit continued with the $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome on Wednesday, January 27, and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Thursday, January 28.

$2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome
Jumpers attacked the 1.40-meter course set by course designer, Oscar Soberon of Dallas, Texas, for the $2500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome in Week II of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Manuel Torres, of Waterford, Virginia, riding Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, was the first of eleven riders to jump the first round clean. He set the course on fire in the jump-off with a time of 35.784 seconds. Matthias Hollberg of Middleburg, Virginia and Aletta, owned by Olympic Dreams LLC, was second-place in 35.921 seconds, and speedster Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, on her own Hindsight, was third in 37.011.

The 13-effort course got the better of the first five to attempt it, with seven different fences collecting faults. As the first to attempt the jump-off, Torres took no prisoners with a furious pace, leaving out a stride in the bending line from the narrow at to the combination, setting the Great American Time to Beat at 35.784 seconds.

Next to achieve a double-clear was Goldman on Hindsight. The grey jumped so high that his time in the air cost him valuable seconds and he completed the shortened course in 37.011 to finish third.

Four more were able to go double-clear, including David Beisel of Goshen, Ohio, riding Redfield Farm’s Alastar, the first of his four rides, finishing in fifth place. Hollberg and Aletta flew to the finish line but were not able to catch Torres, finishing second in 35.921 seconds.

Mattias Tromp of North Salem, New York jumped a tidy double-clear on Bloom Z, owned by Beyaert Farm Inc., to finish fourth in 38.093. Harold Chopping from Southern Pines, North Carolina, riding Kendra Bullington’s chestnut Basje, was the final double-clear, finishing sixth in 38.839 seconds.

$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida and Quidam’s Good Luck, owned by Troy Glaus, had more than just luck in Thursday’s $25,000 Smart Pak Grand Prix held in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. Vale skillfully chose to leave out strides on the shortened course and in doing so, he prevailed over Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois on Morocco by more than a full second, and by more than 3 seconds over third-place finisher Brandie Holloway from Topeka, Kansas and Lucky Strike, owned by Hays Investment Corp.

Twenty-two participants jumped for a chance at the winner’s share of prize money over a course set at 1.50 meters by Mexico native course designer, Oscar Soberon. Six horses had fault-free first rounds, starting off with Goldman and Morocco, the winner of last Sunday’s $50,000 Tuffrider/Equine Couture Grand Prix.

Ten more tried, but failed to negotiate the track which crisscrossed the ring and featured a triple combination across the center. Next to go clear were Holloway and Lucky Strike. Last week’s SmartPak winner Catungee, owned and ridden by Christophe Schroder, from Andersonville, Tennessee, followed with another clear.

Goldman returned on her second mount, Rocs to Riches, to go clean and to make it four for the jump-off. Marilyn Little of Frederick, Maryland, team and individual Gold Medalist in Three Day Eventing at the 2015 Pan Am Games, made it five, riding Raylyn Farms’ Corona 93, and Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck, last to go in the first round, made it six.

First to return to the jump-off was Goldman and Morocco. Goldman chose to do eight strides up the first line so she could turn a dime to fence 3 and took an extra pull on the reins at the last fence to garner a clean round in 37.085 seconds. The Great American Time to Beat held up as Holloway and Lucky Strike followed.

Choosing to leave out a stride in the first line, Holloway looked like she might get it done, but she lost time in the turn after the second fence and stopped the clock in a fault-free 39.327 seconds for third. Schroeder and Goldman both chose to do the seven strides up the first line and each had four faults at the following vertical with Rocs to Riches clocking in at 39.366 seconds to finish fifth, and Catungee in 41.506 seconds to finish sixth. Little and Corona 93 were clear just behind Holloway’s time to finish fourth in 39.551 seconds.

Returning last to the jump-off, Vale knew just what he needed to do.

“This course is really suited to my horse; I went down in seven strides to the first line, and caught a really short turn back to the vertical, which made the seven to the combination a little wide, but it really kept the momentum going,” said Vale. “Of course it was just a gallop to the last – I really liked the course. It had a couple of odd shaped lines in it which made it so that not everyone was clean. My other two horses didn’t make the jump-off but jumped really well. I thought when I walked the course that my horse would have a good chance to win and I stayed out of his way, so he won.”

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 and Instagram.

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Manuel Torres Guides Cinderella to Second Grand Prix Win

©ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Cinderella top the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (August 18, 2014) – The clock didn’t strike midnight on Cinderella and Manuel Torres at HITS Culpeper this weekend. The eight-year-old Westphalian mare carried Torres (Leesburg, Virginia) to top honors in the $40,000 Grand Prix presented by Zoetis.

With only a handful of grand prix in her repertoire, Cinderella picked up her second high-performance blue on Sunday. “She’s peaking really young,” said Torres of the mare his daughter Andrea Torres Guerreiro purchased as a five-year-old. “We started moving her up this year and she won her first grand prix just a few weeks ago. We couldn’t be happier with how quickly she is finding success.”

Torres and Cinderella bested 22 contenders over a course set by Oscar Soberon of Monterrey, Mexico. “I loved the track,” said Torres. “He’s [Soberon] a newcomer and I haven’t seen a lot of his designs, but the size was accurate, technicality suited the field and results were perfect.”

At least for Cinderella and Torres, that is, as rails fell throughout the course – which included 13 obstacles and 16 jumping efforts. “There were no traps, but the best horse and rider combinations rose to the top while the inexperienced ones had a good trip,” added Torres.

Cinderella secured a speed round after answering Tracy Fenney’s first clear aboard MTM Farm’s MTM Centano. They were two of seven horses to advance to the jump-off.

While Cinderella proved raw talent isn’t something she lacks, Torres admits the mare requires a lot of riding. “She’s sensitive and brave, but difficult to control – her first instinct is to attack the fences,” he said. “She’s finally learning to go fast between the jumps and to balance before take-off.”

Despite a recent streak of positive momentum for Cinderella, Fenney (Flower Mound, Texas) and her seasoned gelding MTM Centano didn’t exactly hand the win over. Fenney returned first in the jump-off with quick turns and remarkable speed. She stopped the clock at 38.09 seconds for the Great American Time to Beat.

Torres returned second and Cinderella matched MTM Centano stride for stride. As they approached the last fence of the jump-off it was a close call, but Cinderella broke the beam at 38.07 giving her the surprising win by two hundredths of a second.

Five remained in the jump-off but none could catch Torres or Fenney. Daniel Damen (Ocala, Florida), clear in 38.96 seconds, claimed third aboard Fons Van’t Gey Zever for Chuck & Dana Waters. The fastest of the four-fault rides was Fernando Cardenas (New Hill, North Carolina) and his own Quincy Car, finishing fourth in 39.14 seconds. Damen also claimed fifth on Seth Vallhonrat’s Bahrain 8 with four faults in 39.48 seconds.

After two grand prix victories early in her career, Torres has lofty goals for Cinderella. “As she gains experience, we plan to move her up to bigger grand prix and start preparing her for the Pan American Games,” he said. “We’ve had big plans for her since she was a five-year-old.”

The Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix is quickly approaching and Torres will leave Cinderella, along with his young grand prix string in the barn. He does intend to travel to Saugerties, New York however for the big event, with Guerreiro and her mare Victoria. They are chasing amateur glory in the Bayer’s Legend $250,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix.

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!

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Harold Chopping Dominates in Both Hunter and Grand Prix Rings at HITS Culpeper

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Calando Z jump their way to a win in the $40,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (July 8, 2013) – After piloting Caroline Russell Howe’s Caramo to the blue in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix the previous day, Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina rode to a win in the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday with Paddy Ann Burns’ Calando Z.

Chopping and Calando Z led off in both rounds and topped 14 contenders over a course designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida. The 13-jump track presented 17 jumping efforts, including a double combination at fence six and a triple combination as the second-to-last obstacle.

“Winning against these guys in Virginia is never a given – they are quick,” said Chopping of the competition. “The track was fair, but consistently difficult all the way around. The approaches to the combinations were technical – there was a half stride to the double and a tricky approach to the triple. Honestly, the hardest part was going first in both rounds – I was just lucky that the rounds that were faster than mine ended up with faults.”

After posting the first clear round of the day, Chopping was joined by five others, presenting a six-horse jump-off. Chopping quickly put the Great American Time to Beat on the clock at 45.80 seconds as the first to go in the jump-off.

“He [Calando Z] is very good in the combination, so despite me making a plan and then changing once I was in the ring – he judged those approaches well,” said Chopping.

In pursuit, Dr. Fernando Cardenas of New Hill, North Carolina and his own Quincy Car were second to ride, but picked up four faults in 44.61 seconds. Kyle Timm of Apex, North Carolina and Apex Equestrian Center’s Platinum were third to go and had the speed with a final time of 44.05 seconds, but had two rails for eight faults.

Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania and her own Carigor Z posted a clear round in 47.52 seconds, while Manuel Torres of Leesburg, Virginia followed close behind with the final double-clear effort of the day in 46.13 seconds. Capping the jump-off was Kama Godek of Farifax Station, Virginia and her own Air Force One. They finished in 50.35 seconds with four faults at the final jump of the course.

Behind Chopping, Torres finished second, Stovel third and Cardenas fourth. Godek capped the top five and Timm was sixth.

Chopping’s winning mount, a 13-year-old chestnut gelding, is an enjoyable ride. “He’s a very correct jumper – it is never difficult to get a good jump out of him,” said Chopping. “I always know that he is going to walk into the ring and do his job.” Grand prix competition will continue at HITS Culpeper with the $40,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday July 14 and returns to HITS Saugerties for three weeks, July 17 – August 4.  Throughout the summer circuits in New York and Virginia, jumper riders will continue to ride for qualifying leverage in the preliminary Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Rankings for a chance to compete in the historic class this fall.

©ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Fidelina on their way to a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
©ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Fidelina on their way to a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix

$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Torres got high-performance jumper competition started on Friday with a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix aboard Fidelina. He bested all comers over the 1.45m course before moving on to second-place honors in Sunday’s grand prix.

Ragan Roberts of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania was second in the irons of Weslands Farm’s Vertigo. Third went to Silvio Mazzoni of Leesburg, Virginia and his own Remonta Habano. Rounding out the top five was Kyle Timm of Apex, North Carolina with Apex Equestrian Center’s Platinum in fourth, and Ian Silitch of Ocala, Florida with Vanita, owned by Gaston Family Investments, LLC, in fifth.

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.

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.

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!

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