Competition for “Saturday Night Lights” during week 11, sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was packed with action during the circuit’s penultimate week. While hunter riders had the opportunity to take center stage on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village over the weekend in both international and national derby events, show jumpers took to the Wellington International Arena to compete for the top prize in the $140,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final. In a mad dash across the finish line, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Chancelloress claimed the leading spot.
The night culminated with both an overall series champion as well as the final class winner. Spectators in the night’s crowd were treated to extra excitement as the new name of the venue, Wellington International, was revealed prior to the first horse on course. Course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) raised an impressive challenge to the field of 48 starters representing 17 nations, and only five of the original entries managed to earn a slot for the short track. The jump-off came down to a battle between the U.S. and Ireland as Spencer Smith (USA), Laura Kraut (USA), and Alex Matz (USA) took on countrymen Mark McAuley (IRL) and O’Shea.
With three to follow, McAuley was the first to produce a double-clear effort in a tidy time of 36.97 seconds aboard LT Competition’s 10-year-old CH mare O’Hara ELS (Ogano Sitte x Liandero). However, the taste of victory didn’t last quite as long as hoped when O’Shea immediately followed and shaved over a second off of McAuley’s effort in 35.51 seconds.
“I knew Alex would be fast, and that Laura was after me too,” explained O’Shea. “I didn’t get to see Mark go but he is always fast, so I just tried to do the best round that I could.”
O’Shea credited his mount with rising to the occasion for the class and has high hopes for the end of season with the Trelawny Farms’ 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Chacco-Blue x Balou Du Rouet).
The Irish also took the overall victory of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series as Shane Sweetnam was named the leading rider through the entirety of the circuit. Despite never having worn the winning cooler, Sweetnam’s consistency and six top-five placings throughout the season with four different mounts was enough to earn the honors.
Jimmy Torano and Laskano Can’t Be Beat in $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
As top hunter riders took their final turn on the turf at Equestrian Village, Jimmy Torano once again led the lap of honor across the grass as he claimed yet another victory aboard Isalou Inc.’s Laskano. Thirty of the country’s best hunter riders donned their shadbellies astride perfectly manicured athletes for the $50,000 USHJA International Derby. The competition was down to the wire but ultimately, as the pair have done repeatedly throughout the WEF season, Jimmy Torano and Laskano emerged at the top of the elite field. Torano and his talented mount held one of the top 12 coveted spots from the start and returned as one of the final few pairings to contest Ken Krome’s handy course.
Looking on to determine the class winner were Bob Crandall and Ken Krome from the Panel One judges box and Rob Bielefeld with Melissa Bark for Panel Two. Krome designed a handy phase worthy of its opponents that included multiple rollbacks, a trot fence, and a two-stride combination in a bending line to a bounce. Competitors could earn four additional points for high options and were rewarded with extra points for handiness.
The top 12 returned in reverse order and after returning in the tenth-place position, Hannah Isop put the pressure on the remaining riders when she and Red Ryder, an 18-year-old Selle Francais gelding, scored a total of 210 for their efforts in the handy. The massive score catapulted Isop into the lead and put the pressure on Torano to display another flawless effort.
Kelley Farmer took the yellow ribbon honors aboard a horse that is competing for the first time in the U.S.
Torano was not going down without a fight, however, and he gave it his all with the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding to earn another incredible score over the 200-mark with a total of 206 points from the respective judges. The round once again led the field, and Torano piloted Laskano to an overall score of 393 points.
Wellington, FL – June 8, 2020 – The long-awaited ESP June Spring Series officially kicked off last week. It started with the ESP June Equitation Day on Wednesday, June 3, followed by four full days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The weekend culminated with the $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix (plus $3,800 in add back money) on the Derby Field during which 59 competitors contested the track, and Paul O’Shea aboard Squirt Gun came out on top. O’Shea of Wellington, FL piloted Eye Candy Jumpers, LLC’s mount around the jump-off course to victory in just 44.726 seconds. “The field was fantastic. After all those rounds, the footing was still perfect,” commented O’Shea after the class. “It’s actually incredibly to get to jump out here. The horses always learn a lot out here because there’s just so much to look at. So, it’s a great opportunity.”
O’Shea and his team will continue competing in Wellington next week for the ESP June II show and then travel north: “After next week we’ll go up to Kentucky for Split Rock and then Tryon for the summer. That’s the plan at the moment. We’re certainly glad to be back competing again.”
Claiming second place was Wellington, FL’s Alberto Michan and his entry Cosa Nostra after crossing through the timers in 45.677 seconds. Emily Ward of the United Kingdom rounded out the top three once she completed the jump-off in 45.695 seconds aboard Millioninmind, owned by Stephen Barnes. The track was designed by Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola and proved tough for many, as only 13 competitors made it to the second round.
(L to R) Paul O’Shea, Peter Moloney, Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa, Darragh Kenny, and Cian O’Connor. (FEI/Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2019 came to thrilling climax, and it was Irish eyes that were smiling when Rodrigo Pessoa’s team of Peter Moloney, Paul O’Shea, Darragh Kenny, and Cian O’Connor clinched victory in fine style. Completing with just a single time fault, they pinned the defending champions from Belgium into runner-up spot while Sweden lined up in third. And to put the icing on the Irish cake, they also collected the Olympic qualifying spot they have been craving for a very long time.
Brilliant course-building by Spain’s Santiago Varela, who will also be presenting the tracks in Tokyo next summer, ensured another nail-biting afternoon during which it was impossible to predict the destiny of the coveted series trophy until the very last moment. But the Irish had already booked their Tokyo tickets before anchorman O’Connor went into the ring.
A single mistake from pathfinder Moloney and Chianti’s Champion at the massive triple combination three from home was followed by a superb clear from O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu. So when Kenny and Balou du Reventon collected just that single time fault then the road to Tokyo was already closed to their rivals from Colombia and Italy.
And then O’Connor turned a great day into an amazing one with a foot-perfect run from PSG Final because that put pressure on the Belgians for the Longines series title. The newly crowned European champions posted clears from Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Extra) and Jerome Guery (Quel Homme de Hus) and were looking good for their second victory in a row. One more clean run from anchorman Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados would clinch it because they could drop the unlucky four picked up by Niels Bruynseels and Jenson van’t Meulenhof at the very last fence. But, to gasps of disbelief from the crowd, Wathelet’s stallion uncharacteristically ducked out at the penultimate vertical, so Bruynseels’ four had to be counted and that would only be good enough for second place.
“We had a very clear objective coming here; the riders were super-focused and the horses were in great shape. Today we expected a very tough fight from Italy and Colombia who were our direct opponents (for Tokyo qualification), but as it happened, we were also holding strong against the big countries like Belgium and others. People sometimes don’t realise the pressure the riders are under to bring this qualification home. The weight of their country was on their shoulders; it was a big ask from them and to do it in the style they did it – hats off to them!”– Rodrigo Pessoa (Chef d’Equipe Team Ireland)
O’Connor, a member of the last Olympic team fielded by Ireland in Athens (GRE) in 2004, pointed out that the Longines title was always in their sights this week. “Our aim was to win this trophy all along; obviously the Olympic qualification was also our goal, but you don’t come here just to qualify – we came here to win, and by doing so we got the bonus of qualification!” he said. And the team honoured one of the members of that 2004 Irish side, Kevin Babington, who finished individually fourth with the great Carling King that year and who experienced a life-changing accident four weeks ago, by wearing armbands bearing his name this week.
Pessoa was delighted with the spirit shown by his riders. “With teams there are good days and bad days… there’s a lot of chemistry, but the most important thing is that on the day it really counts, everyone sticks together and pulls the same way. People can leave their personal issues on the side and really pull for the country and that’s what happened here. I’m really proud of what they did today!”
Kenny said he realised how important his ride was. “I was a bit nervous going in the ring but I’m very lucky. I’ve an incredible horse; he’s absolutely amazing and he tried so hard. On Thursday he jumped an incredible clear and today I was just trying to make sure I left all the jumps up. Unfortunately, Santi [Santiago Varela, course designer] told me that I was the only person to get a time fault! My goal coming here was to try and do a double-clear, to try and get Ireland to Tokyo – that was the most important thing, and I’m glad I could be part of this great team. We were all fighting together; that was the most important thing,” he added.
That one time fault cost him a share of the €100,000 bonus for double-clear rounds that instead was divided between Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts and Germany’s Daniel Deusser.
There was a great sense of satisfaction for Pessoa. “We already had two disciplines qualified (Dressage and Eventing) but it’s been a long time since Ireland, a great equestrian nation, has been at the Olympics Games in showjumping and it was this team’s responsibility to bring it home. That for me was the most stressful thing today, to feel what they felt and how hard it must have been for them to ride in those conditions. They had such a great mental attitude – nothing could have stopped them from achieving what they did. I was called in a few years ago to do a job (achieve Olympic Jumping qualification) so now it’s mission accomplished!” he said.
Mill Spring, NC – October 27, 2018 – Paul O’Shea (IRL) flew straight to the top in the $132,000 Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* in a time of 36.532 seconds on the short course aboard Skara Glen’s Presence, a 2008 Holsteiner gelding (Contendro x Nekton) owned by Skara Glen Stables. O’Shea also landed in second place aboard Imerald Van’t Voorhof, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Bacardi-Orange De Muze) owned by Tequestrian Farms, LLC, with a time of 37.094 seconds. Todd Minikus (USA) piloted Amex Z, a 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris) owned by Bit by Bit Group, to third after a 37.312 second performance in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).
Mexico’s Manuel Esparza set the stage for a competitive jump-off on a track that tested both long gallops and tight turns, which O’Shea complimented. “The course rode well. Obviously, I’m happy with how it went. It was a very nice track and a very nice result with eight clear in the first round. I think it was a really good course,” he continued. “They’re both very good horses and they’ve been going really well. They’re used to this level now, too – even though they’re both ten, they’re both still a little inexperienced.”
After achieving a string of second place finishes in FEI classes for the past few weeks at Tryon, O’Shea was thrilled to step to the top of the podium and finish his season strong, especially against stiff competition.
“Going into the jump-off, Todd was in the lead, and he’s one of the fastest riders in the world without a doubt. Kent was last, who is one of the fastest in the world without a doubt, too, and so there was no point not to go as fast as we could,” he explained.
O’Shea praised both his mounts for being brave, scopey and willing partners. “Presence has a very big stride and he’s very uphill, which is helpful of course, and he’s very brave. He never hesitates and you can turn him back. He’ll always try. Imerald has a massive stride as well, and is quite similar. He’s very uphill and light to ride and very scopey.”
“Maybe to the second fence I saved some time and I think I did eight strides to number three. I think Todd did nine, so I think that’s where I got him. Otherwise we were quite even,” elaborated O’Shea.
After a successful fall season at Tryon, O’Shea plans to give both his mounts some well-earned time off before heading to Florida for the winter. “They’ll start back in WEF again and do some smaller classes and build back up. When I start them back I’ll see how they feel, rather than say they’ll jump week two at the Grand Prix; if they need smaller classes to build back up we’ll take it week by week.”
For full results from the $132,000 Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Grand Prix CSI 3*, click here.
Wellington, FL – February 11, 2018 – Wrapping up Sunday’s competition, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Imerald van’t Voorhof won the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix CSI 2*.
There were 43 entries in the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix CSI 2*, and 11 of those went clear to the jump-off. The fastest in the second round was the last to go, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Imerald van’t Voorhof, owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC. They left out strides across the course to finish in 36.84 seconds.
Second place went to fellow Irishman Conor Swail on GK Coco Chanel, owned by Vanessa Mannix, in 38.24 seconds. Rebecca Conway (USA) and Salitos 8, owned by HBC Sport Horses, were third in 38.55 seconds.
McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z Win Second Class of the Week
In their second victory of the week, McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z won the $70,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic CSI 5* over a field of 55 entries. There were 17 that advanced to the jump-off, and it was race for the nine double-clear rides. With the fastest time in the class of 35.93 seconds, Ward and Bellefleur PS Z graced the winner’s circle. The pair also won Friday’s $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic.
Second place went to Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa (BRA) on Catch Me Imperio Egipicio, owned by Daniel Aguiar Morelli, who stopped the timers in 37.09 seconds. Eve Jobs (USA) and her own Charleville were third in 38.19 seconds.
Week five came to a close on Sunday with a fantastic championship win by Erin Floyd from Austin, TX and Cymplify, owned by Don Stewart, in the UHealth Junior Hunter 3’3” 16-17 division. The duo, having only been paired together for a few short weeks, gathered enough points to best the class with a first, first, second, and third over fences.
“He basically feels like a rocking horse going around the ring,” said Floyd of the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “I have only been showing him in the [Junior Hunter] 3’3”s for the past couple weeks, so I’m still getting used to him. He has been great throughout it all, even without getting in a perfect work routine.”
Holly Orlando and William Hill. Photos by The Book LLC.
Paul O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Presence Win $10,000 Open Jumper 1.40m
North Salem, New York – Holly Orlando won every class in the Green Conformation Hunter Division aboard catch ride, William Hill, to earn the Grand Hunter Championship at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running through May 22 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. Highlighting jumper action on the Grand Prix Field on Wednesday, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s Presence won the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.40m.
Orlando, who hails from Wellington, FL, had not sat on William Hill before Monday, but got the ride for his owners, the Hymowitz Family of Rose Hill Farm. The six-year-old Warmblood gelding is regularly piloted by Scott Stewart in the Green Conformation division, as well as owner Lilli Hymowitz in the Small Junior Hunter division.
“I was really lucky to get to ride him, without knowing much about him. All I know for sure is what a nice horse he is,” said Orlando. “He is a blast to ride, tries hard, and was perfectly prepared. He’s one of those horses that, as soon as you get on, you know you’re going to like.”
After only one school earlier in the week, Orlando kicked off the division by winning the model and under saddle on Tuesday before earning the top spot in all four classes over fences, including Wednesday’s handy round.
“Winning the model is always a nice place to start,” smiled Orlando. “Over fences, I loved that I could gallop along on him. I didn’t know that much about him for the handy, but I took a little bit of a shot at it and he sliced the trot jump and was scopey and game.”
Stewart imported William Hill during the summer of 2014 before the Hymowitz Family purchased him in Florida this February under the direction of trainer Jane Ehrhart.
“Scott brought him up and developed him before we purchased him, and he’s always been a calm cucumber,” said Ehrhart. “He’s a little bit of a shy horse, but he’s never scared of the ring and has always been really consistent for us. We are excited about him, and we were very lucky to have Holly take over the reins for the week.”
After leaving Old Salem Farm, Ehrhart plans for William Hill to head to Devon and then focus on qualifying for indoors this fall with both Scott and Lilli in the irons.
Patricia Griffith and Fetching, owned by Lexi Maounis, were reserve champions in the Green Conformation division. They picked up second place finishes behind Orlando in every class.
Wednesday’s hunter competition wrapped the divisions counting towards the $5,000 Leading Hunter Rider Award, which was presented to Louise Serio after her consistent performances throughout the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. This week alone, she collected 13 blue ribbons, all contributing to the 235 points that crowned her leading rider.
Paul O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Presence Take a Chance on $10,000 Open Jumper 1.40m
Paul O’Shea (IRL) had not taken the opportunity to test the speed of Skara Glen’s Presence before Wednesday’s 1.40m, but the stallion was quick to prove he has what it takes to win in the jumper ring. O’Shea and the eight-year-old Holsteiner he owns with Skara Glen bested 49 horses in the immediate jump-off class over courses by Alan Wade (IRL).
“I normally don’t go fast on him, but today he felt good, so we went for it,” said O’Shea. “There is no harm for them to go fast sometimes to learn how to do it, and he really responded well. He listened and did it like it was easy.”
O’Shea has plans for Skara Glen’s Presence to be a top contender for ribbons at the grand prix level and is off to a great start.
“He’s got such a huge stride and is always thinking about where the fences are,” said O’Shea. “He has everything that’s needed; he’s very brave, very scopey, and very careful. That all makes my job a little easier.”
While Skara Glen’s Presence’s big stride gave O’Shea a significant advantage, they were also fast, stopping the clock double clear in 35.999 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) and Gentille van Spieveld, owned by GJ Stables & Peter Howard, claimed second in 37.441 seconds, while Jeffery Welles (USA) and Calais took third in 37.441 seconds for owners Sharon Gunthel and Triton Ventures. Lauren Tisbo (USA) was fourth in the irons of Coriandolo di Ribano for Tequestrian Farms, LLC in 38.896 seconds, and Maggie McAlary (USA) capped the top five for Double H Farm aboard HH Ciske van Overis with a time of 40.376 seconds.
O’Shea, who is based out of Whipstick Farm in South Salem, NY, brought Skara Glen’s Presence to the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows to gain valuable experience on the grass Grand Prix Field. But, this venue also serves as an anniversary of sorts for O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Presence. The stallion first caught O’Shea’s eye as a six-year-old while competing at the American Gold Cup with previous owner, Derek Braun.
“This is a great place to show for any horse, but the young ones really do well here,” said O’Shea. “The ground is really good, and the horses are able to learn a lot.”
The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows continue through Sunday, May 22, highlighted by the $130,000 Empire State CSI 3* Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group, $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by The Gochman Family, the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by T & R Development, and the $35,000 Speed Derby of North Salem, presented by TownVibe. Thursday’s competition will see a $10,000 Open Jumper 1.45m and $5,000 Under 25 Jump 1.45m for jumpers, and the crowning of Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Champion.
About the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows Old Salem Farm, located just one hour north of New York City, is one of the best equestrian competition venues in North America, as rated by the North American Riders Group. Host of the FEI 2* and 3* Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, the prestigious American Gold Cup CSI-W 4*, and year-round competitions, the facility offers a state-of-the-art turf grand prix field, indoor riding arena, and two all-weather footing rings. As a boarding and training facility, Old Salem Farm is second to none and home to top trainer Frank Madden. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net or call 914-669-5610.
Wellington, FL – April 11, 2016 – Paul O’Shea of Wellington, FL and longtime mount Primo de Revel earned top honors in the $25,000 Nutrena Spring I Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a time of 38.402 seconds, besting a class of 34 entries, while Kelsey Thatcher of Bluffdale, UT and Everything finished in second place, crossing the timers in 38.971 seconds. Diego Vivero of Wellington, FL and Bijoux collected third place with a time of 39.097 seconds. Competition at PBIEC resumes Wednesday, April 13, with the start of ESP Spring II.
O’Shea, who competes for Ireland internationally, and Primo de Revel were the second pair to qualify for the jump-off following the first round of competition, tackling the course set by Richard Jeffery (GBR) with ease. O’Shea has maintained the ride on the 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Quinault x Orfa van de Elshoeve) for nearly nine years and has built a solid relationship with the talented gelding owned by Michael Hayden.
“He’s just a great horse. We got him when he was six and he’s nearly fifteen now. We have a good relationship. I know him and he knows me. He’s one of the easiest horses in the world,” he elaborated. “He knows his job and knows what to do. He was like that from the very beginning too. I didn’t teach him that. He’s just always been very easy.”
Particularly impressed with the course design by Jeffery this week, O’Shea felt the track was a great test for the pair and Primo de Revel handled the first grand prix of the ESP Spring Series with confidence.
“I thought it was a lovely course today. I thought that in the other classes this week, Richard [Jeffery] built some great courses,” said O’Shea. “On Saturday, in the 1.35m class, there was a triple combination and the course really rode like a grand prix, except at a smaller height and I thought it was very educational for the horses and great for the riders to keep us thinking.
“Sometimes in the smaller classes the courses can get very basic and I think it’s important for the horses to learn a lot during their time in the ring and his courses yesterday worked out really well. I had a young horse in the class and while we didn’t go clear, he learned a lot,” continued O’Shea regarding the course design throughout the week.
O’Shea made quick work of the short course, besting the twelve combinations that moved forward to the second round of competition. O’Shea and Primo de Revel were nearly beaten by Thatcher, who finished just five-tenths of a second off the winning pace. O’Shea also piloted Primo Calypso to a sixth place finish in the class.
“There were a lot of fast riders after me and my idea was to just be as neat as I could in the lines. He’s naturally quick, but I didn’t try to do anything special. I think we all did the same numbers but it came down to who could be the most efficient,” noted O’Shea.
“He’s going to jump ESP Spring III here and then I’m going to take him to Devon in May. He won the class there two years ago and that’s a big thing for us. I’d like to do Lake Placid and we’ve won there a few times too,” commented O’Shea when discussing the pair’s future plans this year.
Kelsey Thatcher of Bluffdale, UT and Beja, owned by Pony Lane Farm, won the $5,000 1.35m Classic, finishing the short course with a time of 37.122 seconds. Pablo Mejia of Frenchtown, NJ and Reglissetop earned second place with a time of 37.433 seconds, while Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, PA and Super Chilled, rounded out the top three, crossing through the timers in 37.639 seconds.
The $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic presented by The Tackeria was won by Kelly Bauenschmidt of Bratenahl, OH and her own Belle Bleu S, finishing with a time of 29.877 seconds in the jump-off. Ava Sterns of Chilmark, MA and Summer, owned by Whish LLC, earned second place with a time of 30.919 seconds, while Danielle Stacy of Ipswich, MA and Tlaloca Z, owned by Frederico de Michelis, collected third place, crossing the timers in 31.063 seconds.
Hunter & Equitation Highlights
Geoffrey Hesslink of Shelbourne, VT piloted Rookie, owned by Belhaven Stables LLC, to the win in the $5,000 USHJA Hunter Classic with a total score of 175.5. The pair had a spectacular first round, earning a 87 from the judging panel, leading the class through both rounds of competition.
Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and With Me, owned by Victoria Colvin & Partners LLC, collected second place with a total score of 175, finishing behind Hesslink and Rookie. Michael Zukerman of Huntington, NY and Denmark, owned by Patricia Adikes-Hill, earned third place honors with a total score of 173.
Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT piloted Akinda, owned by Hillside Farm LLC, to a win in the $1,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Hunter Classic 3’3″/3’6″ presented by Sweet Oak Farm, with a total score of 167. Martha Ingram of Nashville, TN and Lyons Creek Bellini, owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, earned second place honors with a total score of 161.5. Laura Sexton, of Greenwich, CT and her own Set to Music finished in third place with a score of 160.
Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Patricia Fulchino’s Best Regards took home top honors in the $1,000 Pre-Green Incentive, while Rachel Kennedy of Brookeville, MD and Gala, owned by Bridget Hallman & Merrylegs South, finished in second place. Holly Orlando of Wellington, FL and Salt, also owned by Bridget Hallman & Merrylegs South, earned third place.
Adding another top finish to her results at ESP Spring I, Coco Fath and Big Star, owned by HC Sport Horses, collected first place in the ASPCA Maclay, while Emma Wujek of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI and Isle of Wight, owned by Castlewood Farm Inc., earned second place. Ashley Hartman of Pipersville, PA and Upside, owned by Kennedy McCaulley, finished in third.
Competition will resume at PBIEC on Wednesday, April 13, with the start of ESP Spring II, which will conclude on Sunday, April 17, and feature the $10,000 Open Stakes Class presented by Equiline and the $25,000 Noble Outfitters Grand Prix. For more information on the ESP Spring Series and to see a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Zoe Ganek and Bellagio Capture Championship Prize in the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under to Conclude WEF 10
Wellington, FL – March 15, 2015 – Week ten of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, concluded on Sunday with a win for Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Sienna in the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, O’Shea guided the mare, owned by Skara Glen Stables, to victory in a five-horse jump-off with Laura Kraut (USA) and Deauville S in second and Lillie Keenan (USA) aboard Super Sox third.
Sixty-four entries showed over Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) 1.50m track on Sunday with five clear to advance to the jump-off. Laura Kraut and Julius Peter Sinnack’s Deauville S were first to jump-off, clearing the short course in 38.42 seconds. Lillie Keenan jumped next with Chansonette Farm LLC’s Super Sox with a clear round in 38.59 seconds. Ben Maher (GBR) followed with the fourth place round on Jane Clark’s Sarena in 39.11 seconds. Paris Sellon (USA) and Adare had one rail down in 46.15 seconds to place fifth. Last to go, O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Sienna cleared the course in the winning time of 37.63 seconds.
Skara Glen’s Sienna is a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Chacco Blue x Gran Corrado) that O’Shea has ridden since she was five years old. Last summer, the mare scored the biggest win of her career in the $75,000 Jumper Classic at the Upperville Horse Show, and continues to excel.
“She has always been really special,” O’Shea stated. “When she first came here, she was nice to ride and very confident. You can feel straight away that she just wants to do the right thing.”
Sunday’s course was challenging for most of the class. It was not until halfway through that Laura Kraut produced the first clear round and a few more followed. O’Shea was second to last in the order, and was able to watch and figure out a plan.
“I probably had an advantage that I was towards the end because the last line was tricky,” he admitted. “It was either an extremely short four-stride or a very long three. It was nice to have a bit of time to make up my mind on that. I decided to do the three and she did it really well, so it was an advantage. If you were earlier in (the class), it was tougher today.”
“In the jump-off, my plan was not to go wild. She is still quite young,” O’Shea explained. “I just wanted to go as quick as she could, comfortably, but naturally she is a very quick horse. Luckily it was enough today.”
“She is only nine,” O’Shea pointed out. “She did qualify for the night class last night, but we thought next year would be time enough. We definitely do not want to overdo it. She will not do any night classes this year. We just want to produce her slowly so that as a ten-year-old she is ready for most things. She has not done bigger than 1.50m yet, but she has done everything we have asked her to do very well.”
Ira Gumberg owns Sienna through his Skara Glen Stables, which O’Shea has been riding with for three and a half years.
“He has been a fantastic owner to me. He has really taken care of me,” O’Shea acknowledged. “It is a pleasure to have such a great horse and a great owner.”
O’Shea also rides a young horse named Bachelor for the Tisbo Family, the owners of Suncast®. They bred the horse themselves and have watched O’Shea bring him along for their Tequestrian Farms LLC. “It is very nice of them to sponsor this class every week,” O’Shea added.
The Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series, always an exciting and competitive division throughout the 12-week WEF circuit, has a fantastic prize for the leading rider of the series this year. Suncast® will provide a pre-paid two-year lease on a beautiful new 2015 Range Rover Evoque.
During WEF 12, the Range Rover Evoque will be on display at the Spectator Entrance of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and will be on course in the International Arena during the $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Jumper Championship Series Final (Round 2) to be held on Saturday evening, March 28, 2015, which is when the Evoque will be awarded to the series’ leading rider.
Series specifications and rankings can be found in the WEF Horse Show office. The top riders in the series will be recognized on the Suncast® 1.50m Jumper Championship Series leaderboard by the PBIEC Exhibitor Entrance and will also be included in the WEF Weekly Wire, the printed newsletter available on the show grounds and online at www.pbiec.com.
Also showing in the International Arena on Sunday, the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic began the day with a win for Brianne Link and her horse E Bay. The $10,000 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was held in a California Split with a win for Danielle Torano aboard her own and Jimmy Torano’s Herault in Section A and Vanessa Mannix with her own HHS Cheiro in Section B.
Zoe Ganek and Bellagio Capture Championship Prize in the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under to Conclude WEF 10
To finish hunter competition for WEF 10, Zoe Ganek rode her own horse, Bellagio, to the tricolor ribbon in the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under. Ganek and Bellagio earned a first and two thirds over fences, out of 33 horse and rider combinations, on their way to the winner’s circle. “He [Bellagio] is the best!” Ganek exclaimed after having a great weekend.
Elizabeth Chung and Extraordinary ended the day as reserve champions in the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under. Extraordinary, an entry of Jennifer Bliss, was first and third over fences in the final two classes of the division.
Bellagio is a 10-year-old Warmblood who was bought by Ganek last summer. Primarily an equitation horse, Ganek shows Bellagio in the hunter ring for more practice. “He [Bellagio] is really easy,” Ganek stated. “He just stays on the same rhythm, and he saves me a lot.”
Having only been working together for less than a year, Ganek attributes her success to Bellagio’s attitude and experience. “He [Bellagio] is a really good boy and knows what he’s doing. He knows what his job is when he goes in the ring,” Ganek commented.
Based out of New York, Ganek comes down to Wellington to compete on weekends with her trainers at Heritage Farm. “This was my final week coming to WEF for 2015, so I was happy to end on a good note,” Ganek smiled.
The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its eleventh week of competition, sponsored by Artisan Farms, on March 18-22. The highlight event of week eleven is the $127,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* on Saturday, March 21. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Devon, PA – May 29, 2014 – The Devon Horse Show’s famous Dixon Oval hosted an exciting evening of grand prix show jumping Thursday night as fans watched Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Primo de Revel jump to victory in the $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon, sponsored by Main Line Dental, Land Rover, and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC. In his first time ever competing at Devon, O’Shea took the victory gallop in front of thousands of cheering spectators in the highlight event of the week.
Olaf Petersen, Jr. set the course for thirty-one entries in Thursday’s $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon with nine clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Four riders qualified two horses each, including USA’s McLain Ward and Laura Chapot, and Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Kevin Babington. The short course saw five entries jump clear in the second round.
O’Shea set the pace with the first double clear round aboard Gotham Enterprizes’ River Dance Semilly in 43.63 seconds, which eventually finished fifth. Last year’s winners, McLain Ward and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild, upped the ante in the next round, stopping the clock in a blazing 40.79 seconds to place third. Laura Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince, who she owns in partnership with Ward, put in the fourth place round in 41.95 seconds.
O’Shea went next with his second mount, Primo de Revel, and raced to the winning time of 38.95 seconds. The final clear jump-off round belonged to Todd Minikus and the Quality Group’s Quality Girl, who jumped into second place in 39.63 seconds despite breaking a rein on the third to last jump.
Primo de Revel, owned by Michael Hayden, is a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Quinault x Lys de Darmen. O’Shea has had the horse for seven years and has had a great partnership with him, including 11 grand prix victories. Although they have had many wins, this was one of the biggest, and it was a great moment in the rider’s career.
“What can I say? I loved it,” O’Shea said of his first Devon experience. “The atmosphere is obviously very special here. The crowd really gets into it, and it is just an incredible atmosphere and feeling here. I originally came to America through Harry Gill and Sherry Robertson, so I actually lived 20 minutes from here when I first came to America. I wasn’t at the show, but I know the area, so it is nice to be back here again.”
Commenting on the trust that he had in Primo de Revel to really go for the win in the jump-off, O’Shea detailed, “I have had him seven years now, so we know each other very well, and he is an extremely competitive horse. He is very rideable. He has a very good canter, so you can go quite fast on him and he doesn’t get long and flat. He is experienced against the clock. I watched McLain go, and I thought I just had to go as fast as I could. Everything worked out tonight.”
“He has been great since the start,” the rider further described. “He has a fantastic mind; that is his best trait I think. From one show to the next I never jump him because he is so easy, which is very unusual. He is just so balanced, and he just knows what to do. Obviously I don’t want to do too much with him, so I keep him fit on the flat and maybe jump once or twice for the first show of the year, but after that he just competes. I think that atmosphere here tonight helped him a little bit too. Some horses might get worse, but it actually raised him up.”
Last year’s winner McLain Ward did his best to defend his title with Rothchild this year, but ended up third. “He’s been here a few years. He won here last year when it was a little bit of a slower jump-off,” Ward noted of Rothchild. “Where I went in the order, it was the right round. It was just an amazing jump-off. Todd is one of the fastest riders in the world and Paul kicked his butt. I don’t think it was going to be very easy to beat him tonight. I don’t think there was much room.”
Thursday’s Grand Prix kicked off the 2014 Taylor Harris Insurance Services Triple Crown Challenge. As the night’s winner, O’Shea will have the opportunity to claim a $200,000 rider bonus if he and Primo de Revel can go on to win at the Hampton Classic Grand Prix and then again at the National Horse Show Grand Prix in Kentucky. O’Shea accepted a special award as the winner of the first leg of the challenge. For his grand prix victory, O’Shea was awarded with The Celeste McNeal Harper Perpetual Trophy. He was also presented with the Richard E. McDevitt Style Award, earning The Richard E. McDevitt Style Trophy donated by Mr. Wade L. McDevitt.
Mindful and Kelley Farmer Top $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
A $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby was held on Thursday afternoon, presented in honor of Kenneth and Sally Wheeler, with a win for Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA, riding Glefke & Kensel LLC’s Mindful. Mindful, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Graf Grannus x Bold Indian), won his first derby with Farmer just a few weeks ago in Kentucky after transitioning out of the jumpers this winter. He was also presented with the High Performance Hunter division championship on Wednesday.
“He is an amazing animal,” Farmer stated after their win. “Everything I have asked of him he has not only given it to me, but far beyond. He has a ton of ability. He is so rideable, and the harder you ask him, the harder he tries.”
Thirty-three entries showed in the first round of Thursday’s hunter derby competition over a natural course set by Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, IN. The exhibitors were scored by two panels of judges, including Jack Towell and Chris Wynne on panel one and William Ellis and Brian Lenehan on panel two. The top twelve scoring entries from round one returned in reverse order over a second-round handy course to determine top honors.
Hayley Barnhill and John and Stephanie Ingram’s Airport 48 earned the high score of 184.5 to finish first in round one and added 204 points in round two to place second overall with a 388.5-point total.
Jennifer Alfano and Billie Steffee’s Maggie May earned the second highest score in round one of 176.5 and scored a 193 in round two to finish third overall with 369.5 points.
Farmer had the third, fourth and fifth place scores in round one and finished first, fourth and ninth overall with her top three mounts. Farmer showed five horses in the class, all owned by Glefke & Kensel LLC. Mindful took the win, earning the third best score of 176 in round one and moving up to earn the top score of 217 in round two for a 393-point total. Scripted finished fourth with 360 points after scores of 176 and 184 in the two rounds of competition.
Barnhill was also aboard a new mount who has transitioned from the jumpers with Airport 48 and competing in his second derby. The pair finished second behind Farmer and Mindful in their Kentucky win as well.
Barnhill noted, “He was so great. I could not have expected him to be better. We got him as an equitation horse for Martha Ingram, but he is seeming to be very ‘huntery.’ He is amazing at this job.”
With Barnhill ahead in round one, Farmer knew she needed an impressive handy round to pull off the win, and Mindful put in a fantastic performance.
“The only way I was going to beat her is if I did what I did,” Farmer detailed. “I didn’t know if it was possible to catch her, but I figured I would try. He is light on his feet, and he is so athletic. Anything I have asked of him that I thought was on the verge of not possible he has done, and he has done easily. Every time I have walked in the ring and there was something hard, he has delivered completely.”
Jennifer Alfano was also very happy with her top finish aboard Maggie May, a young mare that she has brought along since the Pre-Green division. “I could not be happier with her. She just started doing the derbies this year, and she has actually been quite consistent. She really stepped up today, and I was thrilled with her,” Alfano stated. “She’s getting the hang of the derby thing, so I am excited about the future for her. I think she likes it, and it is great to see her progress. She was really quite green when we got her and she was a little slow coming along, but it has been worth it.”
Coaching – Timed Obstacles – Tucker Johnson and Johnson Brewster Road Coach
Sponsored by Main Line Dental – Awarded the Vicmead Coaching and Driving Club Perpetual Trophy donated by George A. Weymouth
Three-Gaited Park Horse Open – Jan Lukens and Completely Caveat
Sponsored by Elisabeth Goth
Single Hackney Horse Open – Jeromy S. Smith and Brickell Robert
Sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Glenn A. Werry, Jr. – Awarded The Devon Victory Perpetual Trophy donated by Jane McElree
Five-Gaited Saddle Horse Amateur – Allyson Ehle and Nancy Ehle’s Ava Gardner
Sponsored by Willisbrook Farm
Five-Year-Old Young Jumper – Clear Rounds:
Devin Ryan and Lori Larrabee’s Eddie Blue
Maggie Jayne and Alex Jayne’s Jolita
Colin Savaria and The Coverboy Group’s VDL Electra
Colin Savaria and Amanda Flint’s VDL White Chocolate
Six-Year-Old Young Jumper – Melissa Ruderhausen and Undelie de Roset
Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper – Devin Ryan and Eagle Valley Partners’ Cooper
Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper – Laura Chapot and Mary Chapot’s Castellana
The 2014 Devon Horse Show will continue on Friday with the start of Amateur-Owner Hunter and Jumper competition. For full results, please visit www.devonhorseshow.org.
For those unable to attend the Devon Horse Show in person, the Dixon Oval is being live streamed live streamed at www.usefnetwork.com.
Shownet will be shooting individual video clips for purchase through the website www.shownet.biz of both the Dixon Oval and Gold Ring. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or ask for Tony in the exhibitor lounge at the side gate.
Paul O’Shea and Primo de Revel. (c) Mancini Photos.
Paul O’Shea and Primo de Revel Win $25,000 Holiday Festival III Grand Prix
Wellington, FL – December 23, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) hosted its Holiday Festival III this weekend on December 20-22, 2013, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The competition featured National ‘A’ rated hunter and 4* jumper competition, including a $10,000 Open Jumper Stake and a $25,000 Holiday III Grand Prix.
The $25,000 Holiday III Grand Prix was the highlight event of the weekend, held on Sunday afternoon in the International Arena at PBIEC. Jumping a track set by Mexico’s Anna Catalina Harris Cruz, 47 entries contested the first round course, and 10 advanced to the jump-off with three double clear rounds. Second to jump-off, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Primo de Revel, owned by Michael Hayden, had the fastest round of the day in 35.029 seconds that could not be beat.
Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Goldrush, owned by Alexander LLC, finished second in 35.943 seconds. Jimmy Torano (USA) and Ben Maher’s Dolores MB placed third with their time of 38.655 seconds. Alex Granato (USA) was fast with Paige Tredennick’s Zenith Dance in 35.173 seconds, but the pair had one rail down in the jump-off to finish fourth.
Paul O’Shea has had a phenomenal year with Primo de Revel, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Quinault x Lys de Darmen. Sunday’s win marked the pair’s fifth grand prix victory of the season, adding to their wins in the $25,000 ESP Spring III Grand Prix in April, the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American Great Prix of Lake Placid in June, the $75,000 Equestrian Estates Planning Group Grand Prix at Silver Oak in August, and the $25,000 ESP Fall III Grand Prix in Wellington in October.
O’Shea was excited to get another win this week and see his top horse continue to perform consistently. “He just knows his job, and he always does the right thing,” the rider remarked. “He is good everywhere. It doesn’t matter where he goes; he just has a great mind.”
O’Shea and Primo de Revel were second to go in the jump-off out of 10 and stuck to their plan on course. “I saw the first rider go, but I just did what I had decided and everything came up good,” O’Shea explained. “I think we all did the same thing. The main difference was the last fence. The fence was in the corner, very close to the stands, and we were coming at it at a little bit of an angle. It was a little bit difficult, but it actually helped me because we went down there quite fast and it kind of backed him up, so he gave a really good jump over it.”
O’Shea has been riding Primo de Revel for nearly seven years and has a great relationship with the horse in and out of the ring. “We have been friends a long time now,” O’Shea acknowledged. “He is like the stable pet. He is like having a dog around the place. He is very quiet. He is just a real gentleman, and he is very easy to do everything with.”
At home or at the show, Primo de Revel is a class act with a simple training routine. “He is just really straightforward,” O’Shea said. “He really knows his job. Everything kind of came naturally to him, so we don’t do much. Most of the time I don’t even jump him at home. You don’t need to train him because he just goes, and he just does everything. We focus on keeping him fit, keeping him happy, and keeping him interested. He goes in the field every day. Nothing stresses him out. He is very laid back.”
Primo de Revel will conclude a fantastic season with one more night class, competing in two weeks in the $25,000 ESP Holiday Finale Grand Prix on Saturday, January 4, at 7 p.m. O’Shea then plans to give the horse a well-deserved break and only work him lightly throughout the winter, gearing up to show again in the spring.
ESP’s Holiday Festival III began on Friday afternoon with a win for Darragh Kenny in the $10,000 Open Jumper Stake class riding Skara Glen’s Basel, owned by Mershad Stables LLC. The class saw 38 entries with 10 qualifiers for the jump-off. There were six double clear rounds and Darragh Kenny and Skara Glen’s Basel had the fastest time of 34.107 seconds for the win.
Emanuel Andrade finished second riding Hollow Creek Farm’s Carboni through the timers in 34.145 seconds. Jordan Coyne and Lazaro finished in 34.657 seconds to place third. Untouchable and Alma Bjorklund were fourth in 35.736 seconds.
The $1,500 Tackeria NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic was held on Saturday with a win for Maya Kobacker and The Kalahari Group’s Kalahari Mario. Nancy Hooker and Heather Hooker’s Corianos Boy finished second. John Tredennick and Trueman’s Affair, owned by Wood Run Farms, placed third. Tessa Weise and Carzat won the $2,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic on Sunday with Keely McIntosh in second aboard McLain Ward’s Twinkie. Sheer Levitan placed third and fourth with Penelope Z and Nabuco du Theil, respectively.
The $2,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was won by Daniela Stransky aboard Liverpool, owned by Stransky’s Mission Farms Inc. Heather Hooker and Perle finished second, with Jennifer Santana and Santana Stables LLC’s Option d’Auge in third.
The $2,500 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Gold Coast Feed, saw a win for Liza Finsness aboard Shiver. Haley Schaufeld and River Farm Sporthorses’ Ana Sia placed second. Emanuel Andrade and Hollow Creek Farm’s Tiny Tim were third.
Joaquina Barrios and Simply the Best won the $1,500 Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic with Elizabeth Craven and Silverado in second and Tamara Seely riding Legrako finishing in third.
Hunter and Equitation Highlights
A full schedule of hunter competition was also featured throughout the weekend with many top horses and riders. In the combined Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ and 3’6″ division, Chris Brown guided his horse Pillow Talk to championship honors with Paige Tredennick and Apricot Lane finishing in reserve.
Kelley Farmer swept the First Year Green Working Hunters, earning the division championship with Certainty and the reserve honors with High Regard, both horses owned by Glefke and Kensel LLC. Farmer also earned the championship in the combine Second Year/High Performance Working Hunter division with High Regard. There was a tie for the reserve championship between Farmer and her mount Verbatim, owned by Glefke and Kensel LLC, as well as Jennifer Bliss riding Harris Hill Farm LLC’s Poker Face.
In the #1 Education Place Junior Hunters, Ali Tritschler guided Elizabeth D’Loren’s Zapateada to championship honors with Sophie Michaels and Further Lane Farm LLC’s Stellar in reserve.
The Large Pony Hunter champion was Scott Stewart’s Find the Laughter ridden by Emma Kurtz with Back Country Farm’s Love and Logic, ridden by Alexandra Pielet, in reserve. Kurtz also swept the Medium Pony Hunter division, earning the championship aboard Cyprus Taraporevala’s Blackout and finishing in reserve riding Elizabeth Foster’s Qualen’s Commence the Magic. Alexandra Pielet and Back Country Farm’s Secret Love topped the Small Pony Hunter division with Christina Rogalny and Lochmoor Stables’ Firefly in reserve.
In the equitation, Spencer Smith rode Artisan Farms LLC’s Naturel to a clean sweep of the the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal presented by Randolph College as well as the ASPCA Maclay and WIHS Equitation classes. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Equestrian Sport Productions will host its ESP New Year’s horse show next on December 27-29, 2013, featuring National (A) and 4* Jumper Rated competition. Highlights include the $10,000 Open Stake on Friday, December 27, and the $25,000 ESP New Year’s Grand Prix on Sunday, December 29 at 2 p.m. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.