Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)
The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.
Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch
With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:
Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.
One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.
Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.
Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.
Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.
Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.
Wellington, FL – January 20, 2018 – In the circuit’s first nighttime grand prix, three-time Olympian Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Calle 67 won the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix CSI 2* at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The “Saturday Night Lights” series continues throughout the 12-week WEF circuit, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Out of a starting field of 45 entries, nine found the way to a clear round to advance to the jump-off over a course set by Oscar Soberon (MEX). Coming back sixth in the jump-off, it was Michaels-Beerbaum and Calle 67, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding by Carell x Capitalist, who had the fastest clear round in a time of 36.85 seconds to take the win.
Second place went to 21-year-old Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm’s Skyhorse in a time of 37.01 seconds, while Emily Mason (GBR) placed third in a time of 37.58 seconds with Explosion W, owned by Poden Farms.
Fourth place went to World Number One Kent Farrington and Baltic Star 2, owned by Farrington and Tanma Corp., in 37.63 seconds, while Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze picked up fifth place on Artisan Farms LLC’s Coco Bongo with a time of 39.02 seconds.
While Michaels-Beerbaum and Calle 67 competed in the young horse classes under the lights at Aachen CHIO, she did say that Saturday night’s grand prix was “a major step up for that horse.”
Becky Gochman and Catch Me Receive Champion Honors in Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6” Division
The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring featured an exciting championship win for Becky Gochman of Wellington, FL and her mount of three years, Catch Me. Gochman piloted the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding to a first, first, and seventh over fences with a win in the under saddle in the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6” Division. The pair scored an impressive 87 and 88 to claim the blue in both jumping classes.
Keenan Goes Two for Two in Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series
Wellington, FL – January 22, 2017 – Week two of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 22, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Competition featured the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, which saw victory for 2016 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) riding Daisy. The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix was also held with a win for young rider Lillie Keenan (USA) and Be Gentle.
Course designer Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) concluded week two with 64 entries in the 1.50m competition and 12 in the jump-off. The times were fast, but only three were able to complete the short course without fault. Michaels-Beerbaum took the win with Artemis Equestrian Farm’s Daisy in 41.98 seconds.
Marie Hecart (FRA) jumped Normandie Connection’s Cenwood Delle Lame to second place in 42.57 seconds, and Kimberly Prince (USA) rode Rushy Marsh Farm’s RMF Fatum to third place in 44.08 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) had the fastest round in 40.44 seconds, but finished fourth with one rail down on Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S.
A nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Excenel V x Timeless), Daisy jumped the young horse classes throughout Europe with Michaels-Beerbaum in 2016, and is just stepping up to the 1.50m level.
“She is absolutely fantastic. She has a heart as big as this horse show,” the rider described. “She wants to do it. She has a wonderful character, a wonderful attitude, and it makes riding fun. This was her first 1.50m jump-off class, and it was just amazing how well and how easily she jumped it. Then to go and win it like she did was really the icing on the cake.”
With five riders ahead of her in the jump-off that all had rails down, Michaels-Beerbaum was the first to jump a double clear round and keep up the pace.
“I knew everybody was going a little bit too fast, that’s why the rails were coming, so I tried to not overdo it,” she explained. “There were a lot of fast horses in the jump-off, and fast riders, so I think some riders were trying to win it before it was even over. I just tried to give her the best ride I could. She is a fast little horse, so the time was good enough. She is kind of like a little motorcycle. She is adorable and you know she is on your side.”
Michaels-Beerbaum plans to keep Daisy at the 1.50m height this winter to give the mare more experience. “We will just take it as it comes, and try to manage her well and not overdo it, but I think she has a big future,” she concluded.
Keenan Goes Two for Two in Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Series
The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted its second event of the circuit with back-to-back wins for 20-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York, NY aboard Chansonette Farm LLC’s Be Gentle. Keenan and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ticallux Verte x Gentleman) topped Saturday’s $10,000 Welcome speed class and returned to take victory in Sunday’s $25,000 Grand Prix jump-off.
The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix saw 65 entries Sunday morning in the International Arena at PBIEC. Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) set a challenging test for the young competitors, which saw five clear rounds advance to the jump-off.
Taylor Land (USA) was first to return over the short course, with a clear track in 43.56 seconds that eventually placed fourth riding Jay Land’s For Edition. Lucas Porter (USA) went next, jumping the second place time of 40.74 seconds aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco. Kerry McCahill (USA) and Cadensky followed with the third place time of 43.43 seconds. Keenan then jumped the winning round in 39.85 seconds aboard Be Gentle. Last to go, Jennifer Gates (USA) incurred eight faults in 42.74 seconds to finish fifth.
“I have a lot of confidence in my horse,” Keenan said following her win. “I have had her for over a year now and I have jumped her in some bigger classes, so we have experience together. She is lightning fast against the clock. I would say out of all my horses, she is the most straightforward and trustworthy. The feeling that she gives you is that you could really point her to the eye of a needle. Some of the angles that you can point her at for a jump are really remarkable.”
Keenan detailed her jump-off, explaining that her position to go fourth out of five was an advantage.
“I got to see Lucas go and I think really where I made up time was on the turns,” Keenan said. “I have experience going very fast on my horse. That was something that I tried to fine tune throughout the year, and I feel like now it’s really coming together.”
Lucas Porter (19), of Wellington, FL, took the reins on Diamonte Darco in 2016 after the mare showed with his older brother Wilton for two seasons. The 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse (by Unbelievable Darco) has jumped bigger tracks and is an experienced mount for her young rider.
“She’s a super competitive horse,” Porter stated. “Even though she has jumped bigger, our team feels that she jumps the best at this height. These classes are usually really quick, and she has now learned how to go fast against the clock, so she is super useful. It is the perfect fit for these U25 classes.”
McCahill (20), of Windermere, FL, just began showing Cadensky two weeks ago. She bought the 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Cornet Obolensky x Carthago Z) late in November and is getting to know the mount through the Under 25 classes.
“I was just trying to be smooth and give him a good ride,” she noted. “I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but he’s incredible. I am very lucky to have him.”
McCahill first showed in the Under 25 Series in 2016 and has made it her goal to qualify for this year’s $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.
The series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has been expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money for the 2017 season. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress.
Keenan, who has been competing and training in Europe with Olympian Cian O’Connor of Ireland, enjoys the experience that the Series offers.
“I am very grateful that they offer this division because it is a great stepping-stone,” she noted. “I haven’t been in the show ring since November, so it is a big confidence boost to start the circuit with two events like this.
“I am very fortunate to have had the experience of competing in America throughout my junior divisions, going to Young Riders and making the transition to competing in Europe and showing against the pros,” Keenan continued. “Having the experience of myself jumping on a Nations’ Cup team, you need to learn how to deal with pressure and how to work in different environments, so I think we are very lucky that Hollow Creek Farm offers that for us here.”
A Family Affair for Martha Ingram
On the final day of competition at WEF 2, Martha Ingram, of Nashville, TN, rode Lyons Creek Bellini to the championship title and Ice Time to reserve honors in the Adequan® Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’3″ division. Both horses are owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC.
Ingram and Lyons Creek Bellini placed first in the handy, second, third, and eighth over fences, and third under saddle to secure the championship. Aboard Ice Time, Ingram won two over fences classes and placed eighth under saddle. Ingram is a 20-year-old student at Furman University who competes at WEF with her parents, Stephanie and John Ingram.
Lyons Creek Bellini is a 2006 Polish gelding. Ingram purchased Lyons Creek Bellini two years ago from Hunter Holloway, who had successfully showed the gelding in the Junior Hunters.
“He’s really fun and an incredible handy horse,” applauded Ingram. “He’s my favorite to compete in the handy classes on. He likes to whinny when he walks in the ring. He’s sassy and has an attitude, but he’s very spoiled. He loves his treats. He’s a very sweet boy.”
Ingram’s other mount, Ice Time, is a coming ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
“I nicknamed him Sunny Bunny; I don’t know why,” confessed Ingram. “He’s just the cutest thing ever. He has a huge stride, no spook, and is very comfortable. He likes to hangout and loves his group of people.”
Ingram will return next weekend to compete and then is looking forward to week six, World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week. She cherishes being able to spend time with her family doing a sport she loves.
“My mom was supposed to come show this weekend. My dad is here obviously. He helped hack, jog, and was in the photo with me. It’s a family affair, and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Ingram.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its third week of competition, sponsored by Adequan®, on January 25-29, 2017. Week highlights include the $35,000 Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday, January 22, the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on Saturday, January 28, and the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Classic on Sunday, January 29. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Unbelievable 5. Photos copyright Sportfot.
Victoria Colvin Claims Victory in $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix; Langmeier Tops Equestrian Sotheby’s Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters
Wellington, FL – January 24, 2016 – The second week of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday with young riders taking the spotlight in the International Arena, followed by the $35,000 Suncast® Championship Classic. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Unbelievable 5, owned by Windward Farm and Jessica Siuda, renewed their winning partnership. Victoria Colvin, 18, jumped to victory in the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Equine Couture/TuffRider, aboard Zidane for Springfield Showjumpers. In the hunter ring, McKayla Langmeier rode Quatrain for Laura Critz.
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues on January 27 with a week of CSI 3* competition sponsored by Adequan® and highlighted by the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 30.
There were 10 clear rounds out of 54 entries in the $35,000 Suncast® Championship Classic, and they traveled a course designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX). Michaels-Beerbaum and Unbelievable 5, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Manhattan x Democraat, posted the fastest time of 34 seconds flat. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Check Picobello Z, owned by Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines, were just behind in the standings when they set the pace in 34.64 seconds. Third place went to Chloe Reid (USA) on Codarco in a time of 34.81 seconds. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and Sam du Challois, owned by Ronnocco Jump, Ltd. And Jean-Claude Jobin, were fourth in 35.03 seconds, while Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) rode David Gochman’s Cannavaro BH to fifth place in 35.08 seconds.
Michaels-Beerbaum watched Lamaze in the jump-off and saw him leave a stride out from jumps one to two. “I didn’t even try for that; that was too extreme,” she revealed. “I just tried to ride the track how I knew he could do it. I really cut to number three and then I was really short everywhere else. I slowed down a little bit to the last (jump). There was possibly one less stride there that I might have tried had we been in better form together, but it wasn’t necessary in the end.”
Getting back into form was the goal for Michaels-Beerbaum, who explained the Unbelievable 5 is just back into the main ring after a two-year absence due to injury. The pair was successful at top shows in Europe in 2013 before he was sidelined. Last summer, Unbelievable 5 returned to showing locally with another rider, and Michaels-Beerbaum started back with him in the fall.
“This is his first big win, but also (his first) big track again. It took a long time after an almost two year break to get him going again. This is really nice for him that he showed his form again and was as good as ever. It was nice for the owners because they spent a lot of time and had a lot of patience,” she shared. “A lot of people would have given up on the horse and would have thought he wouldn’t make it back, but they really gave it the time and proper veterinary care to bring him back in the sport. This is really quite a nice win for him.”
While it was the first time that Michaels-Beerbaum could push for speed in a jump-off, she felt very comfortable doing so due to her previous relationship with him. “I know the horse very, very well. He had some outstanding results at 1.60m grand prix. I know he’s very, very fast. Until now I’ve only gone slow with him, so this was the first fast round, but I did feel very comfortable knowing him. He’s like an old partner of mine. The speed part wasn’t an issue. But it is the first time he’s gone fast in over two years! It all came together really nicely. He likes going fast. He’s at his most comfortable going fast.”
Michaels-Beerbaum was happy to start out the 2016 WEF circuit with a win. She remarked, “It’s very difficult to win here. If you win anything here, it’s extraordinary. It’s a great way to start. My greatest pleasure is that this great horse that has had a rough go is back in form and back in the sport. It’s really quite nice.”
Victoria Colvin Claims Victory in $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Equine Couture/TuffRider
Victoria Colvin (USA) topped a starting field of 63 to produce the fastest double-clear effort in 43.06 seconds over seven jump-off contenders. Katherine Strauss (USA), 17, who won Saturday’s Artisan Farms U25 Welcome Stake took second aboard her own All In and posted a time of 43.42 seconds. Madison Goetzmann (USA), 15, rode her own Wrigley to round out the top five with a four-fault jump-off round in 41.24 seconds.
Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) took fourth with Tino La Chapelle for Alejandro Zendejas on four faults in 42.50 seconds, while Nicole Bellissimo (USA) and Harley David capped the top five on four in 42.50 seconds for Bellissimo, LLC.
Colvin (left), who has competed in the U25 Grand Prix Series twice in previous years, got the ride on Zidane only a few weeks ago and produced a win in the third class together.
“He’s a joy to ride,” she said. “He jumped fantastic today – he’s like a hunter, which I love. You just let go, squeeze and float around the course. He has a huge stride, so if you ever have a short line, you just leave out.”
Zidane’s stride played to Colvin’s advantage as she approached the last fence of the jump-off, an oxer approaching the in-gate. She was the final rider on course after Strauss produced a quick, clear round right before her.
“I knew Tori was going after me and she’s a very fast rider, but I saw a lot of people have the last one down, so I took my time and Tori didn’t,” said Strauss.
Colvin produced just the right amount of speed from Zidane and stole the win from Strauss with only fractions of a second to spare.
“Yesterday’s win was a confidence boost, but this is a very humbling sport and anything can happen,” continued Strauss. “I just wanted to put myself in a good position for the rest of the Series, and I couldn’t have asked for more from my horse day.”
Top finishers agreed that the tracks set by Course Designer Catsy Cruz of Mexico were a good challenge.
“She really tested the rider’s ability to be within the time allowed, but do the correct number of strides,” said third-place rider Goetzmann. “I think maybe I was a little too eager today and that’s why I had a rail. It’s my first year being eligible for this division, and I was very excited to compete. It’s a great way to develop us younger riders to make the transition into the bigger classes.”
Class sponsors Carlene Ziegler, owner of Artisan Farms, Missy Sage from The Dutta Corp, and Timmy and Laurie Sharma, owners of Equine Couture and TuffRider, were on hand to present winner’s prizes to the top three riders and were honored to watch the future of show jumping compete.
“We are honored to be a part of this transition period for them and it’s a perfect market for us – these are the riders we design and manufacture for,” said Laurie Sharma.
“This is our second year sponsoring this series and while it’s exciting to see returning faces, there are a lot of new riders, which makes it a very dynamic division that’s always changing,” continued Timmy Sharma.
Colvin hopes to continue riding Zidane in U25 competition, which continues with the Team Event during WEF Week 4 in the Global International Ring at The Stadium at PBIEC.
“I want to thank everyone who contributes to this division,” said Colvin. “It’s a great opportunity for young riders, and I’m excited that I have this horse to show in it.”
Presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series (AFU25GPS) returns to the Winter Equestrian Festival for its sixth season this year. Throughout the circuit, the series offers a total of $170,000 in prize money while showcasing top young talent in show jumping sport. Open to competitors of all nationalities aged 25 and under, the AFU25GPS is sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), giving many riders their first experience competing at the 1.45m level under FEI rules.
McKayla Langmeier and Quatrain Win the Equestrian Sotheby’s Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under Division Championship
The Equestrian Sotheby’s Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division wrapped up on Sunday morning in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring with championship honors awarded to McKayla Langmeier, of East Granby, CT, and Quatrain. The pair earned first, second, and two third place ribbons over fences on their way to the division championship. Daisy Farish rode Casares, who is owned by James Lala and Virginia Confer, to the reserve champion honors. Farish and Casares were the victors of Sunday’s stake class. The pair also placed sixth, third, and fourth over fences.
Quatrain is a Westphalian gelding owned by Laura Critz and trained by Jack Towell. Winning the tricolor honors this week was especially exciting for Langmeier because it was her inaugural show with the 12-year-old gelding. While Langmeier had never shown Quatrain before this weekend, she hopes this win secures her the opportunity to show him again in the future. Langmeier has piloted other horses trained by Towell to success in the past, including championships aboard Khaki Run LLC’s horse, Castelli.
“He is really awesome and easy to ride,” Langmeier explained about riding Quatrain. “I had a blast riding him.”
Langmeier especially enjoyed the courses set in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Sunday. “I liked the courses,” Langmeier stated. “They were suited to my horse. He has a big, easy stride and that made the lines easy.”
Langmeier hopes to continue showing Quatrain over the next 10 weeks of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival. She also aims to secure a spot in the $100,000 WCHR/USHJA Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, which will be held in the International Arena during WEF 6.
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its third week on January 27-31. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Chloe Doherty and Canada Start Off Saturday Winning the Taylor Harris Insurance Services Children’s Medal 14 and Under
Wellington, FL – February 21, 2015 – Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Fibonacci 17 were the winners in Saturday night’s $372,000 Suncast® CSI 5* Grand Prix in week seven of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Jumping under the lights of the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), Michaels-Beerbaum and the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (For Feeling x Corland) won a six-horse jump-off, with Danielle Goldstein (ISR) and Carisma in second, and Jessica Springsteen (USA) with Vindicat W third.
Forty-four entries showed over Steve Stephens’ (USA) course Saturday night with six advancing to the jump-off and only two double clear rounds. First to go in the jump-off were Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and Hard Rock Z. Going for the slower clear round, they finished in 41.84 seconds, but had an unfortunate four faults for sixth place. Goldstein and Israeli Equestrian Partners’ Carisma were the first pair to clear the short course in 37.86 seconds and eventually took second place honors. Michaels-Beerbaum went next with Fibonacci 17 and completed the only other double clear round in a faster time of 36.96 seconds, but had to wait three more rounds to settle the victory.
Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Lilli took down the final fence to place fifth with four faults in 37.27 seconds. Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W followed, and although they completed the fastest round of the night in 35.40 seconds, the pair finished third with one rail down. Last to go, Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ were poised to win with their time of 35.65 seconds, but the pair also had a late rail at the final fence to place fourth.
A three-time FEI World Cup Finals champion and one of the best female riders in the world, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has had many wins at the Winter Equestrian Festival throughout the years, but Saturday night marked one of her biggest. The rider has had great results with Fibonacci 17 all circuit and was thrilled to get a major victory with the talented gelding.
“He has been jumping brilliantly since he got here to Florida, but I have had the unlucky rail down in the two grand prixs that I have ridden him in,” Michaels-Beerbaum stated. “I knew he was in great form, but he is a new horse for me. I have had him less than a year. At this time last year he was jumping 1.40m classes, so he has made a big step up into the big league. I was fine-tuning some small details with him and changed the bridle a little bit for tonight and that seemed to be perfection.”
“The course itself was very difficult, so I was very pleased with how he handled everything today,” Michaels-Beerbaum noted. “I have done very few jump-offs with him in fact, so I was also pleased with how he handled the speed and turns. In general he was a dream tonight.”
Fibonacci has quickly risen to stardom for his incredible jumping ability and he showed that off under the lights with some impressive jumps.
“He is actually a Swedish-bred horse, although he has a German father and a Dutch mother,” Michaels-Beerbaum detailed. “He was born in Sweden, so the Swedish take great pride in that fact. I got him in May last year. He has a different style than most horses. He jumps with his head up and a little bit straight in his back. That is something I have decided I cannot change and that is why I was trying to finesse the bridle a little so I could help him without interrupting his jump. I felt like I did that in the last grand prix, so I was very pleased with tonight.”
“He is an amazing jumper,” she continued. “I think he won the high jump award over most of the fences in the course tonight. It can often be difficult to sit on as a rider, but I have been practicing that as well. He is different, but he is wonderful.”
Michaels-Beerbaum was at the in-gate watching as the final round of Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ solidified her victory. She commented, “I have to say, I expected Beezie to beat me, particularly with Cortes. He is her best horse, and I was really surprised when he hit the last fence. Sometimes the luck goes your way, and it was with me tonight.”
The rider was also very happy to get a win for Fibonacci’s owners, Jim and Kristy Clark, at Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC. “They are absolutely delighted because they supported me,” she acknowledged. “We had a discussion last year at this time and they said, ‘Listen, we’ll support you and go find some good horses.’ Fibonacci was the first horse we purchased and to have him win here tonight is just phenomenal. It is a really exciting and emotional win tonight.”
Danielle Goldstein was also very happy with her second place finish in the class aboard Carisma, a 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Cardento 933 x Maraton 600). Saturday night gave Goldstein the biggest finish of her career and a memorable moment in her partnership with the mare.
“I was thrilled actually,” Goldstein stated. “To be honest, I have been watching a lot of video of Meredith recently. To be second was amazing. The horse really felt spectacular today. I have been working on going a bit faster, so to be able to be second was amazing.”
“This is for sure my best finish,” Goldstein added. “I have been riding here since I was a little kid and always wanted to be in the grand prixs and do well, and I think this was a huge second for me. I really could not be happier.”
Although one rail came down for Jessica Springsteen in the jump-off, she was happy with a great night with Vindicat W.
“I was a little worried,” Springsteen admitted after the class. “The last two grand prixs, we struggled a bit. He had a bit of time off and I feel like he is starting to get back into the groove of things, so I was really happy.”
Detailing her jump-off round, Springsteen explained, “I was pretty neat back to fence two and then I thought I was quick over the double, but then I kind of hooked him right in anticipation of that turn. I should have given him a little more of a chance there. We were pretty quick to the last fence, and he was really good there. I was lucky.”
Chloe Doherty and Canada Start Off Saturday Winning the Taylor Harris Insurance Services Children’s Medal 14 and Under
Ring 8 competition started Saturday morning with the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) Children’s Medal 14 and under. The class consists of a first round where each trip receives a score, followed by a test of the riders with the four highest scores. After 26 horse and rider combinations completed the first round, Chloe Doherty, Kathryn Hall, Sloan Hopson, and Catalina Peralta were called back to test.
Doherty, from Chester, NJ, and her own horse, Canada, returned to test with a score of 81, but after a smooth test emerged victorious. Finishing in second place, with a first round score of 84, was Hall riding Prosecco 24. Hopson ended the day in third, and Peralta rounded out the top four.
In the first round there was a bending line where most riders were doing nine strides, but Doherty took a risk that paid off in the end. Doherty explained, “I was planning on doing nine, but I went in and had a good feeling, so I decided to do eight strides and it worked out.”
After having a few subtle mistakes in the first round, Doherty focused on remaining consistent during the test. “I rode the test how it came up. I focused on being as smooth as possible and fixing my mistakes from my first round and last week,” Doherty commented.
Canada and Doherty have been a partnership for the past three years. Originally the pair started out in 3′ classes, but has recently stepped up to bigger classes. “I started doing the 3’6″ equitation over the summer,” Doherty started, “but I still hope to go to THIS (National) Children’s Medal Finals in the fall.”
When Doherty is not competing with Canada in the Equitation ring, she competes with her other horse, Limoncello Z, in the Children’s Jumpers. Doherty hopes to move up to the Low Junior Jumpers with Limoncello Z during the 2015 show season.
In order to keep up with a busy show schedule, Doherty lives in Wellington full-time during WEF. Currently in the eighth grade, Doherty looks forward to continuing her riding career throughout high school and into college.
Sponsored by Suncast®, WEF 7 concludes on Sunday with the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the morning. The class will be livestreamed at http://bit.ly/181N0m0. The Medium Pony Hunters will conclude hunter competition for WEF 7 in ring 11. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
THERMAL, CA (February 4, 2013) – It was a triumphant return to Southern California for Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Cantano, owned by Octavia Farms, LLC, with a win in Sunday’s $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. The pair topped a field of 42 entries and produced the fastest of two clears among eight jump-off contenders.
Indeed the trophy ceremony wound up a Team Beerbaum affair, as student Saer Coulter of Stanford, California, and Don VHP Z placed second with the afternoon’s only other double-clear. Meredith’s husband Markus Beerbaum finished third on Lancero. Both Coulter and Markus Beerbaum’s horses are owned by the Coulter family’s Copernicus Stables.
Fourth place went to San Marcos, California’s, Michelle Parker riding Cross Creek Farms’ Socrates de Midos, and fifth to Lane Clarke of Laguna Niguel, California, and Granville Equine’s Casseur de Prix.
Johannes Ehning and Cayenne 162 Win $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic; Darrin Dlin and Janou Top $10,000 Adequan 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Final; Hayley Barnhill and Surf’s Up Lead Performance Working Hunter 3’3″ Division
Wellington, FL – March 29, 2012 – Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum rode to an exciting one-two finish on Thursday afternoon in the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Michaels-Beerbaum topped the class aboard Cantano and finished second riding Checkmate 4, both owned by Octavia Farms LLC. Other wins for the day went to Johannes Ehning and Cayenne 162 in the $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic and Darrin Dlin and Janou in the $10,000 Adequan 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Final. In the hunters, Hayley Barnhill and Surfs Up were presented championship honors in the Performance Working Hunter 3’3″ division.
Sponsored by FTI Consulting, Inc., the final week of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will feature the highlight grand prix of the season, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*, on Saturday, March 31. The USHJA International Hunter Derby will host the top 25 on the grass field at The Stadium on Sunday, April 1.
Shawn Casady Sweeps Antares Large Junior 16-17 Hunter Division
Wellington, FL – March 17, 2012 – The $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held under the lights on Saturday night at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with a win for Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Cantano. Twenty-six entries showed over a challenging course set by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC, and the pair completed the only clear round for the win.
With just one faultless round, no jump-off was necessary. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Cantano were the winners, and nine four-fault entries ranked in order of their times to follow.
Fellow German rider David Will and Giovanni 151, owned by Paul Schockemohle, had the fastest four fault round in 69.84 seconds to place second. Great Britain’s Ben Maher took third place honors riding Mrs. Emma Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4 to four faults in 69.91 seconds and also placed fourth with Miss Louise Flower’s Rowan with four faults in 71.71 seconds. David McPherson put Great Britain in fifth place as well, earning four faults in 72.27 seconds with his own and Mr. & Mrs. Holtger’s Chamberlain Z.
Jordan MacPherson and Piccobello Du Val De Geer Top $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix, Erica Felder Guides Thumbs Up to Pine Hollow Short Stirrup Hunter Championship
Wellington, FL – February 12, 2012 – A large field came to compete on Sunday in the $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, and it was Olympian Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) on Octavia Farms LLC’s Checkmate 4 who came away with the win. Cian O’Connor (IRL) and Everything, owned by Abdulla Humaid Al Muhairi, were second, while Kirsten Coe (USA) rode Ilan Ferder’s Baronez to third.
In the morning, Canada’s Jordan MacPherson rode to the top of the standings in the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series (presented by Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte), when she and Piccobello Du Val De Geer won the first $15,000 class. Little competitors also took to the ring, and Erica Felder rode Thumbs Up to the tricolor in the Pine Hollow Short Stirrup Hunters.
News from 2010/2011 FEI World Cup Finals by Louise Parkes
Lausanne (SUI), 26 April 2011 – Three-time Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping champion, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, has decided to compete her great gelding, Shutterfly, at the 2010/2011 final which opens at Leipzig, Germany tomorrow, 27 April. Originally entered with Checkmate and Kismet, Meredith has substituted the latter for the 18 year old veteran who helped her secure the prestigious title at Las Vegas (USA) in 2005 and 2009 and at Gothenburg (SWE) in 2008. This means that not only is the German rider vying for a record-breaking fourth series victory, but Shutterfly may also go into the record books as the first horse to claim the honours on four occasions. The only other horse to win three titles was Rodrigo Pessoa’s legendary stallion Baloubet du Rouet who scored a spectacular back-to-back hat-trick for his Brazilian rider between 1998 and 2000.
Some facts and figures about the 2010/2011 FEI World Cup Finals at Leipzig:
For the first time in the history of international equestrian sport, four finals will take place under one roof between 27 April and 1 May – Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping, Reem Acra FEI World Cup dressage, FEI World Cup Driving and FEI World Cup Vaulting.
Leipzig staged its first national event in 1998 and in 2002 held its first international show – the FEI World Cup Jumping final – Germany’s Otto Becker reigned supreme on that occasion with Dobel’s Cento.
Leipzig, the trade and cultural capital of eastern Germany, is closely associated with world-famous literary figure Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who studied law at Leipzig University.
A total of 50 competitions will take place at the Leipziger Messe exhibition centre between 27 April and 1 May.
The total prizemoney for the Finals is €1.6 million.
A total of 31 nations will compete in all four FEI World Cup events.
21 nations will be represented in the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping final.
There are 11 lady riders amongst the 43 starters in the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping final.
Course designer for the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping final is Frank Rothenberger.
German footing expert, Oliver Hoberg, will ensure excellent ground conditions for horses and riders.
Stable Management has been allocated to Team Australia.
100,000 visitors are expected to attend the event – at the 2010 Leipzig fixture a total of 70,000 spectators turned up over the four-day fixture.
Three halls – each sized 21,000 square metres, will be in use during the final.
Hall 1 – 9,500 seats, arena size 40/80 metres, Hall 2 – 3,000 seats, Hall 3 – stabling for 900 horses, 750 of these are allocated for competition horses.
President of the Organising Committee is Volker Wulff.