Mill Spring, NC – November 20, 2020 – Matthias Hollberg (Ocala, FL) and D.A. Duras sped to double victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) last week, topping the podium in both the $15,000 Tryon Resort Jumper Classic on Sunday and the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday. In the Jumper Classic, Hollberg piloted D.A. Duras to a winning time of 37.438. Second place was awarded to Lynsey Whitacre (Saint Joseph, MO) aboard her own Barillo W, the 2003 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Unknown x Unknown), with a time of 37.817. John Michael Durr (Shelby, NC) and Marissa Nielsen’s Vinetta M, the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Valentino x Parodie M), rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 38.251.
Hollberg and D.A. Duras, 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Quattro) owned by Debbie J. Adams & Jacqueline Badger Mars, challenged 14 entries on the course designed by Joe Carnicom (Toledo, OH). An ex-Event horse, Hollberg has been training his new mount to be a top-level show jumper and is consistently pleased with his performance.
“Duras [D.A. Duras] is a 12-year-old ex-Event horse that I just got the ride on three months ago. I’m planning to make him into a high-level jumper and then sell him. I’m lucky to have him. He wins pretty much every class he goes in! For the first month or two, we were just getting to know each other. Now, he’s on the job every time he goes in the ring,” shared Hollberg.
Merideth Bryans and Jaguar Win $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
November 14, 2020 – Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) and Jaguar topped the podium at the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby earning 79 points in round one and 89 in the handy round to end with a score of 168. Second place went to Alexandra Dow (Matthews, NC) and Sally Watkins’ Maxumus, the 2012 Rheinlander gelding (Magnum x Octavia), with 158 points. Genevieve Edwards (Guyton, GA) guided JoJo Howland’s Star Jewel, the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Amazing x Quinta) to a third-place score of 155.
Seven entries tested TIEC’s final hunter derby course of 2020 designed by Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN) and Bryans praised her and Jaguar’s experience.
“The course was great. I loved the first round. [Jaguar] always lands on his right lead, so I knew landing left on the two bending lines was going to be challenging for us, but we worked it out. The first round was nice. In the handy round, I knew going from one to two was going to be a gamble with the right turn, but again, he lands better [on the right lead], so I opted to take the chance. It paid off!” explained Bryans.
Lexington, KY – August 2, 2017 – Matthias Hollberg and Lauren Hester both had blazing fast rounds in the Rolex Stadium, helping them to win the 1.35m and 1.30m classes, respectively. Both professionals were showcasing the strong talents of the sales horses that they currently have in their programs.
Matthias Hollberg, who owns and operates Hollberg Equestrian with his wife Thaisa Erwin in Middleburg, Virginia, came to the United States from Germany. Since that time, he has competed successfully in shows up and down the East Coast. Hollberg showcased his unique ability to successfully navigate a competitive course with a horse that he does not have much experience riding. The Kentucky Summer Classic marks the first horse show that he has competed Mr. Sydney Rocks. Although it was only their third class together, the pair has yet to knock a rail out of the cups. Hollberg attributes the 13-year-old Westphalian’s talent to his training as an eventing horse. Previously shown by Allison Springer, the bay gelding is fast and fearless, allowing Hollberg to leave out strides that other riders could not in the 1.35m speed class. The pair topped a field of 31 competitors in a time of 72.492 seconds, a whole three seconds faster than the next fastest rider, Daniel Bedoya, who was aboard Abracadabra.
Kentucky native Lauren Hester was also using the classes in the Rolex Stadium to help prove the talent of the sales horses that she currently has at her business, Hester Equestrian. Clueless P, whom Hester showed to double clear rounds in the 1.30m class, was previously a grand prix mount for Hester and is now hoping to find a new career as a successful junior jumper. Hester shows at the Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC frequently, as the Kentucky Horse Park is right around the corner from her farm. It is not uncommon for crowds who gather to watch Saturday night Grand Prix competition to cheer a little more enthusiastically for Hester as she is widely recognized as their hometown girl. Last week, Hester piloted her mare Warinda B to a seventh place finish in the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix.
Jaime Gibson Claims Grand Open Hunter Championship Two Weeks in a Row
Jaime Gibson made the long trip up from Ocala, Florida to the Kentucky Horse Park worth it with Debbie Smith’s 9-year-old mare Cora. After claiming the Grand Open Hunter Championship last week at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, Gibson and Cora returned to Stonelea Ring to sweep the professional divisions during the Kentucky Summer Classic to win a back-to-back grand title. In the Conformation Hunter division, the pair dominated and won blue ribbons for all the over fences, the handy and the under saddle.
The owner, Debbie Smith, purchased the jumper mare from Wendy Peralta of Seabreeze Farm, and since she is an exceptional mover decided to transition her into the hunter ring. Gibson started riding the talented mare during the winter season and the pair competed in the Ocala circuit and at Devon before heading to the summer series at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Next up, Gibson plans on showing Cora throughout the indoor circuit and has her eyes set on moving up to the 3’9″ and derbies next season.
(C) ESI Photography. Matthias Hollberg and Czechmate.
Culpeper, VA (July 9, 2016): Show jumping returned to HITS Commonwealth Park during the Showday National, the first of the two-week July series at HITS Culpeper. The weekend kicked off with Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge and riders lined up to take their shot at the title.
Seven advanced to the jump-off over the course set by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida, but the team to beat proved to be Matthias Hollberg of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Czechmate, owned by Courtney Ramsey.
“I want to say thank you to Brook Ledge for sponsoring this class and thanks to Courtney Ramsey, for letting me ride this great horse,” said Hollberg.
The first of seven to contest the shortened course was the victor, Hollberg, this time aboard Aletta, owned by Olympic Dreams, LLC.
“The first-round course was a nice track and all of the horses seemed to jump great; the jump-off had a very difficult turn back to a combination that proved to be a challenge for many – [Aletta and I] were first to try the combination in the jump-off, and it was difficult.”
That challenging mid-course combination resulted in an eventual eight-fault score for Hollberg and Aletta as they crossed the timers in 47.489, enough to land them the fifth place prize.
Following Hollberg was Ocala, Florida equestrian Ian Silitch piloting Cordovo, owned by Gaston Family Investments. They took to the course at a slower pace hoping for a clean round, but had an unfortunate rail at the second fence, followed by a rail at the A element of the combination. They crossed the finish in 62.908, earning time faults in addition to eight jumping faults, ultimately placing them seventh.
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina returned for the jump-off next with Contefino 6, owned by Caroline Russell Howe and Lisa Tolnitch. Having won both Grand Prix at Culpeper Week I in April, Chopping was hoping to continue his streak. While their four-fault trip in 50.102 would give them the temporary lead, their score would ultimately place them second.
Next to test the jump-off was Maryann Charles of Southern Pines, North Carolina and FVF Sailor Man, owned by Fox View Farm. They too made it through the course with four faults, a result of a rail at the second fence, crossing the finish in 50.943, just fractions behind Chopping. The round would ultimately earn them the third place prize.
A clear round had yet to be seen, until Hollberg and his winning mount Czechmate challenged the shortened course.
“The tough turn before the combination was trouble with my first horse, so my goal was to make sure to get straight into the combination and go at a medium speed through the course.”
Hollberg piloted Czechmate through the course, conquering the combination according to his plan, to finish fault-free in 51.631, just within the time allowed to rise to the top of the leaderboard.
Also of Middleburg, Virginia, Gavin Moylan took a chance at capturing the title with Pernod, owned by Alpha Omega Farm. A fast pace, but with trouble at the outset of the course, as well as rails at both elements of the combination, ultimately earned them sixth place with a time of 47.933.
The last rider to advance to the jump-off was Kevin McCarthy of North Salem, New York aboard Analyze This, owned by Kimberly Jakubowski. It looked as though a clear round was on the horizon as they took each fence without fault, but their time of 55.156 earned them four time faults, eventually landing them the fourth place prize.
Wellington, FL – February 22, 2013 – Matthias Hollberg and Orphan Car set a speedy pace early in the order and held on to the first spot during today’s class at The Ridge at Wellington’s $175,000 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix Series. Hollberg and Orphan Car completed the jump-off in 38.448 seconds, taking a sharp inside turn between the first two fences and leaving all the rails up to secure the win.
The $15,000 Grand Prix class, held under sunny skies at the beautiful Mida Farm in Wellington, drew a sizable field of top riders. Those who reached the jump-off had to choose whether to cut inside of a stand of palm trees after the first fence, with riders who successfully navigated the turn shaving valuable seconds off their time. As course designer David Ballard intended, the option shaped up to be the major question of the jump-off.
“If you make the inside turn and you go clean, you should be one of the winners,” Ballard said. “It really is a quality decision.”
Hollberg chose the riskier route and was rewarded with the fastest time of the day on Fernando Cardenas’ Orphan Car. He praised the horse’s effort in the class. “The horse is a real trier and tries to jump clear and go fast,” Hollberg explained. “Just staying with him is all you need to do.”
This was Hollberg’s first ride in The Ridge at Wellington’s Grand Prix Series, and he is already looking forward to making a return. “I only have one horse at this level right now, and he’s a sale horse,” he said. “Provided I get to keep him for a little while longer, I will keep coming, for sure.”
“It’s quiet, and you can take your time,” Hollberg added. “The course is fair without being too easy. I think it’s a good place for inexperienced riders or inexperienced grand prix horses to go out and jump at a beautiful venue. It’s a super addition to the season. I wish the whole horse show would be like this.”
Andres Rodriguez, winner of two previous classes in The Ridge at Wellington’s Grand Prix series, finished just a tick behind Hollberg in second aboard Aberdeen 33. Rodriguez noted that fence two of the first round, the Global Champions Tour wall, provided a challenge early in the course. “It was kind of the biggest question of the course, and I’m really happy my first two horses just came and didn’t hesitate and jumped really well this week,” Rodriguez said. “Aberdeen 33 is probably one of my favorite horses. He did his job, and he was just a little bit behind the winner.”
Rodriguez explained that he enjoys the series because it gives his young horses a change of pace and keeps them more alert. “Once you bring them to the 1.40m level, all the classes are in the same ring during season,” he said. “When they jump so much in the same ring, they get a little bit too comfortable, and it becomes a little bit like home. I don’t want my horses to think of that place as home. That’s where I want them to be as clever as they can be. I just want them to know that when they cross the bridge, it’s for a big competition.”
“So when the Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix series came out, I thought it was a good idea,” Rodriguez continued. “It is good just to change a little bit; a little bit of a different atmosphere. It all started really well. I was really happy at the Ridge, Nona’s place. And then we came here. Here, there is nothing more to ask. Here is just a perfect venue for a young horse.”
Jeffrey Welles rode Merlin to a third place finish in 39.085 seconds. Welles said his horse can be high strung, but went nicely for him in the class. “The field is beautiful, and the jumps are nice,” he said. “It’s a very relaxed atmosphere here. Everyone’s making a big effort to make it super nice. I’m very happy, very pleased that I came over.”
Agatha D’Ambra and Airbus closed out the top four with the only other double clear round of the day. “He was very good,” D’Ambra, who was making her debut in the series, said. “I think overall the relaxed feeling here just helps all around. It helps the horses, the riders, and the trainers. It’s nice to go at your own pace.”
“It’s a change of scenery and a change of pace from the main showgrounds,” she went on. “My parents can come over and have breakfast and watch me. I had heard great things about the facility, and it’s nice to get a chance to ride on a grass field. It’s really beautiful out here.”
The $175,000 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix series will return to Mida Farm next Friday, March 1, for the seventh week of competition. Inclement weather forced the cancellation of last week’s class. The 10-week series will culminate with the $24,750 Ridge at Wellington Invitational Grand Prix Finale on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
$15,000 The Ridge at Wellington 1.4m Invitational Grand Prix – Mida Farm
Orphan Car – Matthias Hollberg – 0/0, 38.448
Aberdeen 33 – Andres Rodriguez – 0/0, 38.698
Merlin – Jeffery Welles – 0/0, 39.085
Airbus – Agatha D’Ambra – 0/0, 45.458
Tilghman – Sarah Segal – 0/4, 38.296
Sil – Geoff Case – 0/4, 40.256
Imothep – Nicole Simpson – 0/4, 41.618
Oh La La – Lauren Hough – 0/4, 45.590
HH Sandor – Anna McKnight – 0/8, 37.836
Rolex – Joseph Sorce – 0/8, 45.551
Caspar T – Cara Anthony – 0/12, 46.964
Via Veneto – Paul Halpern – 0/elim.
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International