Tag Archives: Puissance

It’s Sunshine All the Way in Alltech Puissance at Olympia

Two riders fought all the way to share a thrilling Alltech Puissance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, after both their horses jumped superbly over five rounds.

Jos Verlooy from Belgium and Germany’s Hilmar Meyer were the only two to make it through to the fifth round and shared the spoils – which were presented by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, paying her annual visit to Olympia – after soaring over the famous wall at 2.15m (7ft 1in).

Meyer first came to Olympia a couple of years ago as a groom; now, on his first visit as a competitor, he is celebrating winning one of the most prestigious classes. His horse, the 13-year-old Continuo by Contendro, is a puissance specialist and has taken many classes in Europe.

“I’m very proud of my horse,” said Meyer. “It’s an unbelievable feeling jumping that high, but only with the right horse. It’s been great to ride here at Olympia; it’s such a great atmosphere.”
Unusually, Verlooy, 20, was using the class as a warm-up for the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier on Sunshine, a nine-year-old chestnut gelding. “I think that jumping a puissance can work well as a warm-up before a really big class,” he explained. “It was really exciting. I couldn’t believe how easily my horse jumped.”

Swiss rider Pius Schwizer riding Leonard de la Ferme CH, Victoria Gulliksen (Grand Balou), daughter of Norwegian Olympian and perennial Olympia visitor Geir Gulliksen, Ireland’s Trevor Breen on the dual Hickstead Derby winner Loughnatousa WB and last year’s runner-up, Karline De Branander from Belgium on her gallant mare Fantomas de Muze, all crashed out in the fourth round when the wall was 2.10m (6ft 11in).

ROBERT WHITAKER TURNS UP THE HEAT

Earlier in the evening there was a British one-two-three in the Porsche Cayenne Challenge, a speed class. The third last rider, Robert Whitaker, made an audacious turn to the water tray on Usa Today to grab the spoils by 0.15sec from William Funnell (Billy Angelo) and Laura Renwick (Heliodor Hybris).

“I’ve been coming to Olympia since I was a kid, watching my father [John], so it’s always fantastic to win,” said Robert. “Usa is not actually that fast, but he definitely likes the atmosphere.”

Drawn near the end of the starting order, Whitaker had spotted an opportunity earlier during the round of another of the challengers.

“Jos Verlooy (BEL) almost made it but it didn’t quite come off,” said Robert. “When I jumped the fence before the turn, USA Today landed in a way that gave me enough space to get the tight right-handed turn in.”

Robert pointed out that winning at Olympia, The London International Horse Show is particularly special for the world’s top riders.

“Everyone wants to win here, regardless of whether they are British or foreign riders,” he said.

Italian rider Emanuele Gaudiano was the first rider to chalk up an Olympia winner when taking the opening Santa Stakes on Caspar.

EXELL SETS THE BAR HIGH IN OLYMPIA’S EXTREME

In the Dodson & Horrell Top Score Extreme Carriage Driving competition, Australia’s Boyd Exell showed, yet again, why he is the current world horse four-in-hand champion, both indoors and out. His thundering round, in which he gave a dazzling performance of rein handling, through the course that featured two obstacles and a bridge, recorded a time some seven seconds faster than his fellow contestants.

Speaking after the competition, Exell remarked that his horses felt like ‘magic’ in his hands. “I had to constantly slow them down rather than urge them on,” he remarked. He was disappointed, though, to incur a five-second penalty when a ball fell. “It had felt like a clear round,” he said.

Today’s contest was a forerunner to the two qualifying legs of the FEI World Cup Driving, the first of which features tomorrow with the Final on Saturday evening. The Olympia crowd was treated to the thrilling spectacle of this competition – the finale of the afternoon performance – as each driver pushed their horses to their limits round the tight course. Exell’s closest challenger, Ijsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands – himself a previous World champion indoors and out, was the only competitor to drive clear. Seven seconds slower than Exell, however, meant the Australian claimed the crown by a less than two second margin. Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary, driving at Olympia for the first time, was third.

To view the full results, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44(0)778 757 6490 or +44(0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Tune in Monday, Nov. 9 at 9 PM ET to See WIHS Jump to New Heights

Harrie Smolders and Emerald won the highlight event of the week, the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. – November 7, 2015 – For one week each October, the Penn Quarter neighborhood around Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. transforms into a festival of horses. Streets close for stabling and community events, and pedestrians and vehicles make way for hundreds of horses to compete at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the most prestigious and engaging equestrian events in the United States, and a D.C. tradition since 1958.

WIHS wrapped its 57th year with one of the most successful events in its history, welcoming business, military and diplomatic leaders, local and military charities, and community events, and more than 26,000 fans of all ages, making it the largest indoor equestrian event in the United States.

The excitement will continue and reach directly into living rooms across North America this Monday, November 9, at 9 PM EST when CBS Sports Network will air WIHS’s top event of the week, the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup. See the CBS Sports Network Channel Guide at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder for local listings.

“This year we welcomed new partners to the show and embarked on several exciting new opportunities that were very popular with our fans,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. “Washington was selected as one of only 14 events comprising the all-new Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, so international riders at Washington competed for valuable points to qualify for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden.”

Dressage returned to WIHS on Saturday night. Allison Brock and the beautiful Hanoverian stallion, Rosevelt, owned by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, performed an elegant and crowd-pleasing dressage grand prix freestyle to Tanghetto Kur, presented by Deloitte. Photo: Alden Corrigan Media
Dressage returned to WIHS on Saturday night. Allison Brock and the beautiful Hanoverian stallion, Rosevelt, owned by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, performed an elegant and crowd-pleasing dressage grand prix freestyle to Tanghetto Kur, presented by Deloitte. Photo: Alden Corrigan Media

Lowell continued, “We also opened the door to greater audience engagement through innovations in technology. Working with SAP, we developed an app allowing the audience to judge the WIHS Equitation Finals along with the official judges. This was a first for our sport and was very well received. Our new partnership with Deloitte brought a world-class dressage freestyle performance by Alison Brock to the capital city that captivated the crowd!”

“We’re thrilled the show continues to grow each year,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director since 2011. “The atmosphere all week was buzzing with fantastic competition, entertaining exhibitions and a huge array of other on-site activities. We’re proud of our growing list of sponsors from around the world and partnerships with local businesses and the community, which all promise an exciting future for the show. And we’re so appreciative of the city for its ongoing assistance in managing the complex logistics of our event with minimal disruption to residents.”

President’s Cup Night: Celebrating Equestrian Stars

Saturday night’s $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, brought out a star-studded lineup of top international show jumpers from five countries to jump for the famed President’s Cup trophy. Spectators filled the arena and the elegant ringside Lugano Club and Longines Club to watch riders and horses jump up to 1.60m in height. Six riders cleared the challenging first round set by course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio to advance to round two. Following a thrilling jump-off, Dutch rider Harrie Smolders and Emerald won by 0.11 seconds, just beating Callan Solem of the U.S. and VDL Wizard. Finishing third was Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium and H&M Forever D Arco Ter Linden.

Click to watch the side-by-side jump-off now!

Smolders was presented with the show’s most coveted prize, The President of the United States Perpetual Cup, for the second time, having won it previously in 2006. The trophy was commissioned for the show by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961.

The evening kicked off with Victoria Colvin, 18, of Loxahatchee, Fla., winning the final work-off of the three-phase WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP. This prestigious year-end championship for junior riders is a touchstone for future international equestrian stars, as evidenced by many of today’s top American riders including two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, who won the finals in 1993. On Wednesday, Colvin won the $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by Amalaya Investments, riding Cafino. Colvin also continued her tradition of success in the hunter ring by piloting Small Affair to the Grand Junior Hunter Championship and receiving the Best Child Rider on a Horse award, presented by Gotham North.

Looking ahead to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, WIHS invited all the riders competing at the show, who have represented the United States in official international competition to gather in the ring wearing their official pinque coats. The night’s President’s Cup Party, hosted by the Young Nelson Society, WIHS’s new young professionals philanthropic group, benefited the USET Foundation and the Ride to Rio initiative. A special video celebrated Team USA’s success this year.

In a moving moment, another former U.S. Team rider joined the group at center ring. No longer an active show competitor, he entered wearing a sport coat and a big smile. Into the ring walked Rodney Jenkins, the winningest rider in U.S. show jumping history, to be welcomed as the 12th inductee into the WIHS Hall of Fame. The special induction ceremony was presented by The Boeing Company.

It was fitting Jenkins was inducted on President’s Cup Night, as his first major international success was at Washington in 1970 when he won the President’s Cup Grand Prix riding the incomparable Idle Dice, a prize he went on to win multiple times. He was equally prolific in the hunter ring with countless wins in all divisions. Jenkins joins George Morris, William Steinkraus, Betty Oare, and other WIHS Hall of Fame inductees who have made important contributions to equestrian sport. Since 1987, Jenkins has been a successful race horse trainer based at Laurel Park in Maryland. The presentation also featured a dynamic tribute video, which has since received more than 60,000 views on Facebook.

Click to watch the video tribute to Rodney Jenkins!

Fittingly, Jenkins stayed in the ring to drop the flag for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship, presented by Charles Owen, and presented the awards to the young pony jockeys from U.S Pony Racing.

Military Night: Honor, Power, and Speed

Friday’s Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company, is all about power and speed. It’s an exciting evening of competition, military-themed exhibitions, a trophy in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces, recognition and support for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), WIHS’s longstanding Official Military Charity Partner, and the Armed Forces Reception benefiting local therapeutic riding centers serving the military community.

The Boeing Company $25,000 Puissance high jump competition is a WIHS fan favorite as horses and riders take on the great wall in an extraordinary display of power and courage. The current North American record of 7′ 7-1/2″ was set at WIHS in 1983 by Anthony D’Ambrosio aboard Sweet ‘N Low. D’Ambrosio, serving as course designer for this year’s show, set the wall at an initial height of 1.73m (5’8″) and continued up to 2.13m (6’11”) in four rounds of electrifying competition.

In his first trip to WIHS and competing in his first Puissance ever, Belgium’s Jos Verlooy, 19, cleared the wall up to 2.13m (6’11”) with his top mount, Sunshine, to win the class.

Click to watch! Competing in his first-ever Puissance, Jos Verlooy of Belgium cleared the great wall at a height of 6’11” to win The Boeing Company $25,000 International Jumper Puissance (high jump).

“He is a very talented horse,” said Verlooy of Sunshine, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. “I thought it could be good to jump a few nice rounds in the Puissance, and in the end I won, so it is even better. I really liked it. It is really fun if you have the right horse. Today, I had the right horse.”

He admitted it was scary after watching a few videos and seeing some falls. “I was a little bit stressed, but I should not have been because my horse is really relaxed. He jumped it very safely. He made the jump easy for me,” he said.

For the win, Verlooy’s mount, Sunshine, was awarded The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy, donated last year by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober, owner of the record-holding horse, Sweet ‘N Low. Verlooy also accepted The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company, and The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, on behalf of Axel Verlooy and Euro Horse Bvba, owners of the winning horse.

In addition to his win in the Puissance, Verlooy had strong finishes all week including fourth in the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, earning him the International Jumper Championship, the $15,000 Leading International Rider Bonus, presented by Robin Parsky, the $10,000 International U25 Rider Bonus and Juliet Weber Reid Award, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, and the Leading Foreign Rider Award.

In his first trip to WIHS, Verlooy enjoyed the large evening crowds and great atmosphere at one of the top show jumping competitions on the calendar in North America.

“It’s a very good experience. It is a real American show, and I really like the American shows,” he said. “I come often to America to show, and I really like it over here.”

Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley vd Bisschop, winners of the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final on Military Night. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography
Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley vd Bisschop, winners of the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final on Military Night. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography

During the speed portion of the evening, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley van de Bisschop won the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, presented by Rushy Marsh Farm and AAA Equestrian. Last year, his twin brother, Olivier, earned top honors in the same class.

Twenty-one riders took on the course, and Philippaerts, 22, earned top prize with a clear round in 53.48 seconds, with Colombia’s Daniel Bluman finishing a close second with a clear round in 53.86 seconds aboard Blue Star Investments’ Conconcreto Believe.

WIHS has been a great show for the Philippaerts family in recent years, and Nicola enjoys the competition and atmosphere each year.

“It is a fantastic show. I’m always happy to come back here every year,” he said. “It’s always nice when the crowd is cheering you on. It is very motivating.”

Friday night was dedicated to honoring the U.S. Armed Forces. For the special patriotic evening, WIHS joined forces with organizations that give back to our service men and women including Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and five local therapeutic riding centers providing equine-assisted therapy programs for wounded warriors and their families.

WIHS has enjoyed a close relationship with the U.S. military since its earliest days when former U.S. Army horses and riders represented the country in national and international competition. That connection continues today with Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company, and the popular WIHS Military Ticket Program, presented by Fidelity Investments®. Thanks to program supporters Fidelity Investments®, The Boeing Company, The Travelers Companies, Inc., Waldron Wealth Management, Glen Senk and Fashion Farm, Cherry Knoll Farm, and Rothwell Figg, Ernst and Manbeck, thousands of local military families received complimentary tickets to experience an exciting evening of international show jumping and equestrian entertainment at WIHS.

WIHS was pleased to welcome back the popular “Jump for TAPS” program. The TAPS-themed jump held center stage in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final. For each horse/rider combination to clear the star-spangled jump, $2,000 was donated to further TAPS’s mission to benefit families of America’s fallen heroes. Generous donors Alexandra Clancy, surviving spouse of Tom Clancy, WIHS Board Member Elizabeth Pickens Cordia and her husband, Lou Cordia, and Chris West donated $26,000, with additional donations from spectators and WIHS/TAPS supporters, bringing the evening’s total to $34,000.

A special video shared the story of TAPS through Salamander Resort & Spa’s unique equestrian program of self-awareness, communication, and the special healing power horses can provide to all of us, including those who are grieving the loss of a family member.

Proceeds from the WIHS Armed Forces Reception held in the Acela Club at Verizon Center benefited Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center, and Therapeutic Recreational and Riding Center.

Back by popular demand, the Army vs. Navy Celebrity Barrel Racing exhibition, sponsored by Washington Area Chevy Dealers, revved up the crowd with a high-test race around a course of barrels. This year, Army edged out Navy for the win in an exciting display of determination and all-out speed urged on by cheering spectators. Teams were comprised of professional barrel racers affiliated with National Barrel Horse Association, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, or American Professional Rodeo Association, top international show jumpers Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts, Alison Robitaille, and Aaron Vale, and members of the military, Frankie Gale, a midshipman from the U.S. Naval Academy, and Specialist Wilcox, U.S. Army Caisson Platoon at Fort Myer.

The third annual Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service was presented to Andy from Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Center in Leesburg, Va. Andy, a 20-year-old Haflinger gelding, is the embodiment of service and honor when in the presence of adults and children with emotional, physical, or cognitive challenges. He does not put a hoof wrong in a lesson or healing session with a participant, especially veterans.

The Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service, presented by Ariat International and EQUUS Foundation, recognizes a horse, individual or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger, the beloved U.S. Army horse and TAPS Ambassador, who has touched the lives of many during his life of service with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon. Klinger was on hand for the ceremony.

A special presentation by the U.S. Naval Academy Silent Drill Team and a Mounted Color Guard, organized by the Maryland National Capital Park Police, rounded out the popular evening.

Barn Night: Costumes, Contests and Camaraderie

Held on Thursday, WIHS Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery and the Peterson Family Foundation, is a favorite with young riders and horse lovers of all ages who attend in groups and have a chance to enter contests, win big prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening. Almost 2,500 children representing 56 regional barns and groups were among the thousands watching the $20,000 Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, presented by the Winter Equestrian Festival, with riders and horses decked out in Halloween attire, and the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen. Additional activities included Stablemate horse painting, courtesy of Breyer Animal Creations, autograph signings with top riders, a scavenger hunt, a tee-shirt toss, plus a visit from Major, the WIHS mascot.

Top contest prize winners included NFF Stables, of Poolesville, Md., winner of the Best Spirit prize, a riding clinic with top international show jumper Brianne Goutal; Summerfield Farm of Lothian, Md., winner of a custom barn jump, courtesy of Swan Lake Horse Shows, for creating the Best Banner; Clover Grove Farm, of Staunton, Va., won a refurbished custom golf cart, courtesy of United Metro Golf Cart, for the Best Video; and Meadowbrook Stables of Chevy Chase, Md. won a custom drape set, courtesy of Dover Saddlery, for the Largest Group. Prizes were also awarded for second place and honorable mention.

Bringing down the house once again was the wildly popular WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, which debuted at Washington in 2013. This year, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase had stops at the historic Devon Horse Show (Devon, Pa.) in May, the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals in Upper Marlboro, Md., in October, and culminated at Washington with races on Barn Night and President’s Cup Night.

The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series has all the trappings of professional races with riders in colorful silks, a bugler, race caller and even a photo finish, but in miniature. The jockeys are youngsters from seven to 14 mounted on traditional fluffy Shetland Ponies racing over a course of tiny hurdles. Well-established in England, pony racing is growing in popularity in the U.S. thanks in part to Maryland-based U.S. Pony Racing, organizer of the WIHS series.

In the final event of the evening, Aaron Vale and Quidams Good Luck won the $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, presented by the Winter Equestrian Festival, with a score of 1110 points. Vale was dressed as Quidams Good Luck’s owner, former Major League Baseball player Troy Glaus. Vale carried a baseball bat as he cantered into the ring and threw baseballs personally autographed by Glaus to the enthusiastic Barn Night crowd.

“I went to the top of the stairs to watch the first couple go to see how everything flowed together and what turns looked smooth from above – you can get a better viewpoint from up there,” explained Vale. “I thought it was a smooth course. It was simple for my brain and it was something that fit in my horse’s comfort zone, something that he could do pretty easily, and it worked. He ended up jumping really well. I felt like it was a solid trip, and it would be pretty hard to beat, and luckily it actually ended up that way. It was good fun.”

Also on Thursday, the fourth annual Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship was presented to Bailey Austin Doloff by Vicki Lowell, WIHS President and sponsor of the award. The trophy honors the memory of a respected local trainer, her contributions to the sport she loved and the legacy she left behind. She inspired enthusiasm for life in addition to good horsemanship, and the award is presented to an up-and-coming rider and trainer from the WIHS Regional Horse Show who best exhibit the same qualities. The winner also received a pair of riding boots, courtesy of Italian boot maker Fabbri Boots. Doloff is trained by Dorna Tainter.

Hints of pink colored Thursday night’s festivities as WIHS joined forces with Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) for the fourth year. Funds for CBCC were raised through the “Buck Breast Cancer Benefit,” a reception honoring the lives of women who have lost their fight against breast cancer and those who continue to fight. WIHS was also pleased to welcome a very caring sponsor, Tryon International Equestrian Center, to support the second annual “Clear for the Cure” program where a donation of $250 was made every time the pink Breast Cancer Awareness jump was cleared during the Gambler’s Choice Costume Class. More than $6,000 was raised for CBCC’s mission to provide culturally sensitive breast cancer screening services and health and wellness education to women in the Washington, D.C. area, regardless of their ability to pay.

Barn Night is a longstanding WIHS tradition made possible through the generous support of The Peterson Family Foundation, Dover Saddlery, Charles Owen, The Equiery, Breyer Animal Creations, Swan Lake Horse Shows, and United Metro Golf Cart.

The WIHS Experience

The WIHS experience starts outside the arena. Approach Verizon Center in any way, exiting the Metro, walking, or driving in Penn Quarter, and it’s all about horses. Oversized jumping horses leap across Verizon Center’s outdoor video boards. Grooms brush, wrap and bathe their charges in stabling tents on nearby city streets. Riders dressed in boots and breeches wait in line at local eateries. Horses and pedestrians share the sidewalk. And, equine handlers pause on their way to compete so passers-by can pat their horse and take a selfie.

Onlookers also watch with interest as horses step down the ramp of huge shipping trucks manned by Johnson Horse Transportation, Official Carrier of WIHS, and are guided to their temporary homes, including the FEI Stabling Area, sponsored by The Dutta Corporation.

Inside, the main attraction was the jumping competition, but the thousands of attendees also enjoyed a wide array of specialty boutique shopping. More than 50 pop-up shops lined the concourse during show week with equine-related items, jewelry, fashion, and the show’s famous home-made fudge. Among the favorites were the Jack Wills, Etc., Callidae, Phoebe Darlington Portraits in Pencil, Slater Zorn, Kaiser Construction, Camp Friendship, plus top line boot makers Der Dau and Fabbri Boots.

The WIHS Silent Auction, presented by Valencia Saddlery, was open for bidding all week online and onsite with more than 130 items on display. Unique items included an heirloom mahogany rocking horse, tickets to Elton John’s Oscar party, Lugano Diamonds jewelry, Equitrekking Travel’s Ireland Riding Experience, plus exciting experiences, great getaways, high-end fashion items, tack, concert tickets, fine wine, and riding clinics from top pros.

Sponsors entertained clients and friends and enjoyed elegant food and drinks in the beautifully appointed Longines Club and Lugano Club, featuring décor provided by Syzygy Events International and Bash DC. Table guests on Saturday received a lovely tote courtesy of Maria Mendelsohn. One level above, Acela Club guests arrived on the new CityCenterDC red carpet and enjoyed socializing with sponsors and others while watching the action in the ring. Breckenridge Brewery added a new craft beer touch to the VIP hospitality offerings.

WIHS exhibitors enjoyed hospitality of all kinds, including The Sterling Club Exhibitors Lounge, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling, which provided riders and trainers a place to enjoy a meal, relax and follow the show on video monitors. Breakfasts and lunches were sponsored by Charles Cohn Foundation, Ravens Wood Farm, Karen Long Dwight, Montana Coady, and the Hilton family. The annual Parents’ Breakfast in the Lugano Club was sponsored by the Gochman family, the Welcome Breakfast was sponsored by ALTEC/Styslinger Foundation, and the Pony Party was presented by the Acox family. Riders, trainers, and owners enjoyed the local neighborhood exhibitor parties hosted by the Irish Channel Pub and ThinkFood Group’s celebrated restaurants, Zaytinya and Oyamel.

In-arena entertainment was expanded this year to include Lucky Program Prizes sponsored by Fleeceworks, Buckeye Nutrition, and Fuel Pizza, Parachute Drops sponsored by Travelers, Salutes to Parents sponsored by Upper Echelon Academy, and T-shirt Tosses courtesy of C&A Sportswear.

WIHS in the Neighborhood

As a non-profit charitable organization, WIHS believes in mirroring the support it receives from the community and its dedicated supporters by giving back in meaningful ways. Each year WIHS partners with several worthy charities and stages a number of popular community-focused events.

The WIHS Charity Alliance Program champions the community by helping our sponsors provide promotion, branding exposure, and premium hospitality to designated charities. This year WIHS welcomed Teach for America, Washington Humane Society, and Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program as Charity Alliance partners, thanks to generous donations from supporters including Greg Gingery and Rita Norton.

Wednesday morning began bright and early with a visit to WIHS from representatives of the local Mounted Police Units for the annual Breakfast with the Mounted Police, hosted in partnership with Hotel Monaco. Commuters on foot stop on their way to work surprised to see so many of these gentle giants close up. WIHS is proud to recognize these first responders and their equine partners. The festivities usually gain local media attention and everyone enjoys delicious breakfast treats, both human and equine.

On Saturday, almost 800 children and their families came out for WIHS Kids’ Day, which was created in 2010 to share the joy of horses with the local community. Sponsored in part by Animal Planet and EQUUS Foundation, the free festival is held both inside Verizon Center and on F Street in front of Hotel Monaco. Organized with the help of WIHS’s Junior Committee, Kids’ Day offered more than a dozen hands-on activities, including Animal Planet’s Horseless Horse Show, pony rides, horseshoe crafts, face painting, pony brushing lessons courtesy of Meadowbrook Stables, build your own mini-jump with Model Horse Jumps, plus giveaways from Paisley Pony magazine and Georgetown Cupcake. Klinger, the famous U. S. Army Caisson Platoon horse, was a special guest, and the adorable mini-pony, Leo the Magnificent, was receiving kisses in the Pony Kissing Booth. The EQUUS Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame featured new, interactive “Learn More about Horses” activities.

Hunter Competition

John French, originally from Maryland and now based in San Jose, Calif., had unprecedented success in this year’s hunter competition. He capped off his time in the nation’s capital with three championships, three reserve championships, two grand hunter championships, the $5,000 2015 WIHS Leading Hunter Rider Bonus and The Robert Coluccio Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy, presented by Dr. Betsee Parker.

French guided Laura Wasserman’s Boss to the overall WIHS Grand Hunter Championship, and also won the WIHS Grand Green Working Hunter Championship riding Lee Kellogg Sadrian’s Sochi. Laura Wasserman earned the Leading Hunter Owner Award.

On the way to his leading rider title, French began the day with a championship win in the High Performance Working Hunter division, presented by Jacqueline B. Mars, with Hiller Farms LLC’s Center Court, with Kelley Farmer and Kensel LLC’s Mindful finishing in reserve. Mindful and Farmer were also presented with the Protocol Trophy, sponsored by Platinum Performance, for the second year in a row. The prestigious trophy is awarded to the overall High Point High Performance Working Hunter from the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.

In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Scott Stewart and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador earned championship honors with French and Laura Wasserman’s Fine Design taking the reserve.

Always a popular division at WIHS, the Pony Hunters helped wrap up the weekend with great competition, including a challenging test over fences in this year’s WIHS Pony Equitation Finals. Mimi Gochman and Storyteller came out on top.

WIHS Children’s and Adult Championships

Riders earning the most points in WIHS Championship classes held throughout the country earned a place in the WIHS Finals at Verizon Center where the ultimate champions were determined. The winner of the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship, presented by the Heisley Family Foundation, was Zentina B, owned and ridden by Samantha Karp. The $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championship, presented by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, was won by Jessica Lohman riding Dani Di Pietro’s Davenport. Top honors in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, presented by Shamrock Ventures, was Katy Hamilton riding Old Barrington LLC’s Sacha 12. Tegan Elizabeth Treacy riding Starlight Farm LLC’s Catalyst won the blue ribbon in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship. Top qualifiers for each WIHS Championship were awarded gifts courtesy of EquiFit and champions received custom chaps from Journeymen Saddlers.

The Winner’s Circle

When all the numbers were tallied, WIHS presented 20 division championships, 70 trophies, 1,200 ribbons, 53 embroidered championship coolers from The Clothes Horse sponsored by The Wasserman Foundation, and more than half a million dollars in prize money and rider bonuses. Winners enjoyed Georgetown Cupcakes, presented by Peacock Ridge, and champion grooms received custom vests presented by WALSTIB Stables. In the spotlight for award presentations was Washington Area Chevrolet Dealers, title sponsor of the WIHS Winner’s Circle.

As we turn the page and bid farewell to WIHS 2015, we thank our dedicated sponsors, supporters, and fans for making our 57th year come to life in the heart of the nation’s capital.

“There are many opportunities and challenges unique to hosting an international equestrian event in a major city like Washington, D.C., and the growing support and enthusiasm we receive from equestrians and enthusiasts alike continue to inspire us as we turn our energy toward making WIHS 2016 another one-of-a-kind horse show in the city,” said Meehan.

Erik A. Moses, Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Sports and Entertainment at Events DC, said it best: “This is our seventh year supporting this fantastic sports and cultural institution in Washington D.C., and we are excited to continue this partnership so people can come downtown, be close to horses, and see a different kind of sporting event, one that most of us are not so accustomed to in the city. There’s a lot of history and culture here, and we want people to come out and experience WIHS for themselves.”

Join us next year for the 58th Annual Washington International Horse Show on October 25-30, 2016, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.!

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

Jos Verlooy and Sunshine Victorious in $25,000 The Boeing Company Puissance at WIHS

Jos Verlooy and Sunshine clear the Puissance wall at 2.13 meters (6’11”). Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley van de Bisschop Win $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final; Caelinn Leahy and Lacey Gilbertson Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

Small Affair Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship; Colvin Wins Best Child Rider on a Horse and Leads WIHS Equitation Finals Hunter Phase

Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2015 – The 2015 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured a variety of fantastic competition on Friday, concluding in the evening with its annual $25,000 The Boeing Company International Jumper Puissance at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. In his first trip to WIHS and competing in his first Puissance ever, Belgium’s Jos Verlooy cleared the wall up to 2.13m (6’11”) to earn the winning prize with his top mount, Sunshine.

In other jumper competition, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley van de Bisschop topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, sponsored by Rushy Marsh Farm and AAA Equestrian. Caelinn Leahy and Esquilino Bay and Lacey Gilbertson aboard Easy Money triumphed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

Victoria Colvin dominated the hunter and equitation competition. The young rider guided Small Affair to the Grand Junior Hunter Championship and was named Best Child Rider on a Horse in her last year as a junior competitor. She also led the way in the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP.

Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this week and fittingly holds the 32-year indoor Puissance record for his win at 7′ 7 1/2 ” aboard Sweet ‘N Low in 1983. He set the wall for the evening’s $25,000 The Boeing Company Puissance, starting at 1.73m (5’8”) in height, and continuing up to 2.13m (6’11”) in four rounds of competition.

The Puissance course began with four fences to clear, including an oxer, vertical and triple-bar leading up to the wall set at a starting height of 1.73m (5’8”). Seven combinations started in round one and all cleared the first height. In round two, the first two obstacles were removed, leaving just the triple bar and the imposing wall, which moved up to 1.89m (6’2”). Charlie Jayne (USA) and Bassandra were the first pair out of the competition, clearing the wall, but dropping an unfortunate rail over the triple-bar on the way. Kama Godek (USA) on Apollo Mission and Kaitlin Campbell (USA) aboard Artani 2 each had the wall down in round two to complete their nights.

Continuing into round 3, the wall moved up to 1.97m (6’5 1.2”), over which Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Venturo 9 dropped the blocks to finish their first Puissance together. The fourth and final round brought the wall up to 2.13m (6’11) with only three competitors remaining. Jos Verlooy and Sunshine were first to go and cleared the height easily. Verlooy then watched as Aaron Vale (USA) and Zippo II, as well as McLain Ward (USA) and Bueno, each faulted over the final summit. Nineteen-year-old Verlooy and Sunshine, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x O’Diamand), proudly celebrated their first Puissance win to the applause of a great crowd at Verizon Center.

They were awarded The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober, as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. Verlooy also accepted The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, on behalf of Axel Verlooy and Euro Horse Bvba as the owner of the winning horse.

Verlooy has ridden Sunshine for almost one year and plans to compete the gelding in Saturday night’s World Cup qualifying grand prix. This was the first Puissance for both horse and rider.

“He is a very talented horse,” Verlooy stated. “I thought it could be good to jump a few nice rounds in the Puissance, and in the end I won, so it is even better. I really liked it. It is really fun if you have the right horse. Today, I had the right horse.”

“It was scary, yeah. I was looking this morning for a few videos and I saw a few falls,” Verlooy admitted. “I did not want to do that. I was a little bit stressed, but I should not have been because my horse is really relaxed. He jumped it very safely. He made the jump easy for me.”

In his first trip to WIHS, Verlooy enjoyed the Friday night crowd and great atmosphere at one of the top show jumping competitions on the calendar in North America.

“It’s a very good experience. It is a real American show and I really like the American shows,” he stated. “I come often to America to show and I really like it over here.”

Nicola Philippaerts Takes International Speed Final

Prior to the Puissance, a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format, sponsored by Rushy Marsh Farm and AAA Equestrian. Last year, Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts won the competition, and this year it was his twin brother, Nicola, who took top honors.

Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley vd Bisschop
Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley vd Bisschop

Twenty-one entries jumped the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed course, and Philippaerts earned the winning prize with a clear round in 53.48 seconds aboard Ludo Philippaerts and Ben Beevers’ H&M Harley vd Bisschop. Colombia’s Daniel Bluman was close behind with a clear round in 53.86 seconds aboard Blue Star Investments’ Conconcreto Believe to finish second. Ireland’s Conor Swail had the best time of 52.81 seconds riding Susan & Ariel Grange’s Cita, but one rail came down to add four seconds to his time and put the pair in third place.

Commenting on his plan, Philippaerts detailed, “I was not sure about some of the lines, but I saw a few doing six (strides) to the last one and then five strides from #8 to 9. My horse has quite a big stride, so I was sure I had to do that. It was a good decision. I came quite short to jump #2, so I had to follow (through). Then at the combination I had seven strides normal, and the wall came quite fast. It was difficult. You needed to be quite careful.”

“My horse is only eight years old, so he does not have much experience yet, but I know it is a fast horse,” Philippaerts continued. “It looked fast enough today, so I was happy. I do not want to do too much with him. I think he is for sure a very promising horse for next year. I wanted to take him as a second horse here and have him grow a little bit at the higher level. He does it well for the moment.”

“He is very scopey, very careful,” the rider added. “He has a lot of blood, but he always seems to stay quite quiet. It is really good because as they get older they will get quieter themselves. He is just a super horse.”

WIHS has been a great show for the Philippaerts family in recent years and Nicola enjoys the great competition and atmosphere each year.

“It is a fantastic show. I’m always happy to come back here every year,” he acknowledged. “It is always nice when the crowd is cheering you on. It is very motivating. It’s nice to ride here with this crowd.”

Colvin Leads Junior Hunters

The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship was awarded to Small Affair, ridden by Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL. They were presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds. Colvin then earned the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse and earned the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy. That award was sponsored by Gotham North; the trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.

Victoria Colvin and Small Affair
Victoria Colvin and Small Affair

On the way to earning the grand championship, Colvin and Small Affair won the top tricolor in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Chansonette Farm. The pair won two classes over fences, placed second in the handy, and also finished second under saddle. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. Parker’s Inclusive earned reserve honors in the division with Colvin in the irons for first and second place ribbons over fences and Emma Kurtz aboard for a fourth place finish under saddle.

Colvin began riding Small Affair this winter and had consistent results with the gelding all season. The 12-year-old Selle Francais (by Elf d’Or) is owned by Lyn Pedersen and currently leased by Dr. Betsee Parker. The pair also completed the best Junior Hunter stake round with a high score of 90 to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy.

“I think I was champion the first show I rode him in. He is my most solid ride I would say. We always know that he is probably going to do well,” Colvin noted. “Now we are getting hack ribbons too, so it has gotten better and better. We started out not getting hack ribbons. He hunches in a little. He is a little crooked sometimes and he tries to cut in around the turns, so he needs more jumper type flatwork, not just a loose hunter ride. You have to do half passes and lateral work to make him straight and more supple. He is a little one-sided.”

Detailing her rounds with Small Affair this week, Colvin noted, “Our first round he was very good; he won that class. He felt like he was holding himself a little in the first round. He was a little low and trailing behind, but he went in and won that. His handy, he was amazing and jumped much better. I just hit one jump and Inclusive won that one. Today he went the best. He just went in there and jumped amazing.”

“You have to kind of hold him before the jump,” Colvin said of figuring out the ride. “He gets a little nervous. He kind of holds his breath, but by his third round he just canters right around. In the beginning you just have to hold his hand and leg him a little bit so he knows you’re there.”

This is Colvin’s final year competing in the Junior Hunter divisions, and she has already moved up to show her talent in the international jumper classes with a win in Thursday’s $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake. She also finished second in Thursday night’s $20,000 Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, presented by the Winter Equestrian Festival. Along with a full schedule of hunters and jumpers, she has her sights set on winning this year’s WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP, and took the first step towards making that dream come true with a fantastic round in the hunter phase on Friday. She took the early lead riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Patrick to scores of 93 and 90 from the two judging panels for an overall high score of 91.50 in the first round of competition.

The WIHS Equitation Finals will continue on Saturday with all riders returning for the jumper phase. The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.

After the hunter phase, Hunter Holloway sits in second place with a score of 89, Mckayla Langmeier scored an 88.25, Morgan Ward finished fourth with an 87.50, and Kelli Cruciotti stands fifth with a score of 86.875.

“Patrick was perfect. He jumped the first jump phenomenal and he landed left thankfully. I had one hard rub, but other than that he felt fantastic,” Colvin detailed. “We tried to save him all year and I think it worked. He was fantastic at Medal Finals, so let’s hope it goes well tomorrow.”

Concluding the Junior Hunter divisions on Friday, the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under, sponsored by Riverview Farm, awarded championship honors to Isabelle Aldridge’s Kahlua. Emma Kurtz rode the mare to two wins over fences and a fifth place finish under saddle. Laura Wasserman’s Fine Design jumped to second, third and fourth place ribbons and a sixth place finish under saddle to take reserve honors with Katherine Dash aboard.

In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Entrust, Hunter Siebel jumped Mountain Home Stables’ Pure Abundance to championship honors with first, second and fourth place ribbons over fences. Leah Toscano led her own Estandar to the reserve championship, placing first and third over fences and third under saddle.

The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, also presented championship honors on Friday. That division saw a win for Kaitlyn van Konynenburg’s Triton Z, ridden by Morgan Ward, with two wins over fences and a second place finish under saddle. Donald Stewart, Jr.’s Cold Case earned reserve honors with Ashton Alexander, earning first, third and fourth place ribbons over fences and a fifth place under saddle.

The final award of the morning was the presentation of the Georgetown Trophy, which went to Vivian Yowan for her high score of 88 riding her own horse, Ransom.

Caelinn Leahy and Lacey Gilbertson Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

WIHS hosted the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers in their first jump-off classes of the week on Friday afternoon with wins for Caelinn Leahy aboard Equilino Bay, and Lacey Gilbertson riding Easy Money.

The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, saw 21 starters and nine in the jump-off. Kelli Cruciotti was first to clear the short course in 32.23 seconds and eventually finished third aboard Serenity Equestrian Ventures’ Wallenberg. Lucy Deslauriers cleared the track next with a jump-off time of 32.63 seconds to place fourth riding Lisa Deslauriers’s Hamlet. Lacey Gilbertson followed with the winning time of 29.77 seconds riding Seabrook LLC’s Easy Money. Last to jump-off, Anna Dryden jumped into second place with her own Petrushka III in a time of 31.46 seconds. For the win, Gilbertson and Easy Money were presented the Cover Story Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Farm.

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family, with 23 entries and 16 advancing to the jump-off. Seven entries also cleared the short course, with Caelinn Leahy clocking the fastest time of 29.72 seconds aboard Bellis Ltd.’s Esquilino Bay. The pair was awarded the Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Sima Morgello and Double S Farm LLC’s Zopala finished second with a time of 31.10 seconds. Sheer Levitin and her own Nabuco placed third in 31.76 seconds. Francesca Dildabanian and her own Catika van de Helle and Samantha Schaefer aboard her own Sugar Ray both tied for the fourth place prize with a time of 32.33 seconds.

Competition continues on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Staysail Farm. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals, presentation by SAP, will close out the afternoon session.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, will conclude the night.

CORRECTION: Aaron Vale and Quidams Good Luck Win $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, sponsored by the Winter Equestrian Festival

The $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, sponsored by the Winter Equestrian Festival, was held on Thursday evening during the show’s always-popular Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery. WIHS apologizes for a miscalculation in scores and would like to congratulate Aaron Vale and Troy Glaus’s Quidams Good Luck on the win. Upon further review of their rounds, it was confirmed that Vale earned the victory with 1110 points.

Laura Kraut (USA) finished second aboard Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S with a score of 1090. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Chaqui Z placed third with a score of 1080. McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Ashley were declared the fourth place finishers with a total of 1070 points. Charlie Jayne (USA) placed fifth with Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher’s Bassandra with a score of 1050.

For the win, Vale earned the Crown Royal Trophy, donated by Crown Royal, as the winning rider, and Quidams Good Luck earned the Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy, donated by the Washington International Horse Show, as the winning horse.

For the costume competition, Vale was dressed as Quidams Good Luck’s owner, Troy Glaus, a former Major League Baseball player. Vale carried a baseball bat as he cantered into the ring and threw baseballs personally autographed by Glaus into the Barn Night crowd. Vale later explained that Glaus’s wife, Ann, is an amateur rider and originally imported the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Quidam’s Rubin x Grannus) from England and rode him herself. She originally did eventing and trained with Buck Davidson, who Vale is good friends with. When Glaus decided to make the switch to show jumping, she began training with Vale since they live in the same town.

“She was riding him, but it got to a point where she thought he was a little better than where she was at the moment, so she let me take him on as an eight-year-old,” Vale detailed. “He won a couple grand prix last year and he has won three or four this year, including two FEI classes in Kentucky in the spring. He has had a super record. He is a really competitive horse; he is really fast. I am lucky to have the ride on him right now.”

Speaking of his winning Gambler’s Choice track, Vale explained, “I had a plan, which was pretty similar to what I ended up doing. I went to the top of the stairs to watch the first couple go to see how everything flowed together and what turns looked smooth from above – you can get a better viewpoint from up there. I modified my plan to be just a little bit simpler than it originally was. I thought my course was pretty much a simple figure eight. I could not really get the 70-point fence into my course, but on average I think I was jumping a fence every 3.3 seconds or something, so I felt like I should just ignore those fences. Places I was picking up the 30 and the 40-point fences within three strides were just like jumping the 70 and having to canter around a fence to get to it. I thought it was a smooth course, it was simple for my brain, it was something that fit in my horse’s comfort zone, something that he could do pretty easily I thought, and it worked. He ended up jumping really well. I felt like it was a pretty solid trip, and it would be pretty hard to beat, and luckily it actually ended up that way. It was good fun.”

For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

The 5th Annual Military Night Returns to the Washington International Horse Show

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo clearing the “Jump for TAPS” Challenge fence at the 2014 WIHS. Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) will welcome and honor current and former members of the United States Armed Forces to Verizon Center on Friday, October 23, for the fifth annual WIHS Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company. The night will highlight Boeing’s $25,000 International Jumper Puissance High Jump class alongside the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, presented by Rushy Marsh Farm and AAA Equestrian. Competition at WIHS will begin Tuesday, October 20, and continue through Sunday, October 25.

“Thanks in part to the generous support of corporate and individual donors, WIHS has been able to foster a strong and lasting connection between the equestrian community and the United States Armed Forces,” said WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan. “We are proud of our efforts to support the men, women, and their families that serve our country.

The $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final will host the “Jump for TAPS” Challenge to raise funds for The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the WIHS Official Military Charity. Each time the jump is cleared, a monetary donation will be made to TAPS, an organization devoted to caring for the families of fallen soldiers with immediate and long-term support.

In 2014, Jessica Springsteen of Colt’s Neck, NJ, an up-and-coming U.S. show jumping star, captured top honors in The Boeing Company $25,000 Puissance aboard Stone Hill Farm’s Lisona, clearing the famed brick wall obstacle set at 6’10” in the final ride of four rounds. The North American Indoor Puissance record of 7’7 ½” was set at WIHS in 1983 by Anthony D’Ambrosio and Sweet ‘N Low. The puissance high jump at WIHS continues to be a crowd favorite each year, showcasing the versatility and athleticism of the horse while simultaneously featuring some of the best riders in the world in an entertaining and electric atmosphere.

Jessica Springsteen and Lisona won the 2014 The Boeing Company Puissance
Jessica Springsteen and Lisona won the 2014 The Boeing Company Puissance

The Army v. Navy Celebrity Barrel Racing Competition, presented by Washington Area Chevy Dealers, will pair representatives from the U.S. Navy Equestrian Team and U.S. Army Caisson Platoon with top international show jumping riders and some of the nation’s fastest professional cowgirls affiliated with the National Barrel Horse Association, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and American Professional Rodeo Association. The teams will represent the rival branches of the U.S. military in a fun and entertaining barrel racing competition.

The third annual Klinger Award will be presented during Military Night. Named for the beloved U.S. Army horse and TAPS Ambassador, the Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service, presented by Ariat International and EQUUS Foundation, recognizes a horse, individual or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger, a special horse who has touched the lives of many in his life of service with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon. Klinger will be on hand for the ceremony.

The Armed Forces Reception will begin at 7 pm in the Acela Club and funds raised at the charity event will benefit local therapeutic riding programs serving the military community, including the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Therapeutic & Recreational Riding Center, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, and Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center. Tickets are $150 and include dinner and open bar. Tables are also available. Both can be purchased by calling 202.525.3679 or visiting www.wihs.org/social-events/.

For more information on Washington International Horse Show, please visit www.wihs.org or to see a full schedule for WIHS Military Night on Friday, October 23, visit www.wihs.org/military-night/. To purchase general admission tickets for WIHS Military Night, please visit www.Ticketmaster.com.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

David Simpson Strikes It Rich

David Simpson. Photo: Kit Houghton/Hpower.

Young Irishman David Simpson took the Alltech Christmas Puissance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, by storm, wowing a packed house with a bravado display of riding.

The contest, an annual favourite, went all the way to five rounds, with Simpson, riding puissance specialist Ricci Rich, clearing 7ft 3in (2.20m) in superlative style. He took over the ride on the 13-year-old grey gelding from Britain’s Guy Williams, who the Olympia puissance on him in 2011.

Simpson was matched all the way by Karline De Brabander on her home-bred Fantomas de Muze, a compact bay gelding by Marcus Ehning’s top ride Sandro Boy. The enthralled crowd took the Belgian rider, the only girl in the class, to their hearts, and her horse tried his heart out with a massive leap, just catching the top bricks with his hind legs on landing.

This was Simpson’s first outright win in a puissance and he received his prize from the Duchess of Cornwall, who was paying her annual visit to the festive family show.

“It gives you the tingles when you land,” he said. “You don’t get a better wall jumper than my horse and, for atmosphere and intensity, this win is right up there as one of my best moments in show jumping. I really wanted my first proper win to be here at Olympia.”

De Brabander, 27, who works for her father, leading stud owner Joris De Brabander, was also elated. “I kept saying to my horse that we were just going to have fun,” she said. “I’m really happy to have got so far. It’s only my third time in a puissance and this is the highest I’ve jumped. My parents thought I was mad to come over to England with just one horse, but I told them Olympia was my dream.”

Four riders got through to the fourth round, at 7ft 1in (2.15m): Britain’s Joe Clayton on Rockim, Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer (Armani the Gun CH), Norway’s Geir Gullikson (Grand Balou) and Austria’s Markus Saurugg (What Ever).

Earlier, 59-year-old John Whitaker, the senior rider of the show, showed he had lost none of his magic when winning the inaugural class of the show, the Levy Restaurant Snowman Stakes, on the stallion Argento, and the charismatic young Dutchman Maikel Van der Vleuten set the arena alight when winning the first evening class, the Kingsland Christmas Pudding Stakes, a speed contest, on VDL Groep Eureka.

Maikel won last year’s Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier on VDL Groep Sapphire and has brought the horse back for another crack at the competition on Sunday. “I really like this show,” he said. “Everyone’s happy and the audience really lifts the riders.”

The Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving top score competition kicked off the FEI World Cup Driving Leg qualifier with a promise of considerable excitement to come. It also produced a surprise winner. All drivers collected penalties on the complex course but it was the youngest and least experienced of them, 25-year-old Glenn Geerts from Belgium, who galloped home with the best score.

In only his second year of World Cup competition, he has been driving horse four-in-hands for just four years. He beat the most experienced driver in the competition, the much-medalled IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands, who was the winner of the qualifier here last year. Frederick Persson from Sweden took third place.

Later in the evening, show director Simon Brooks-Ward and his brothers James and Nick gathered in the main arena to present the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy, for the most promising British rider under 25, in memory of their father. The recipient was Spencer Roe, 21, who has made a brilliant debut on senior show jumping teams this year.

To view the full results, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Hannah Rawdon-Mogg, hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk, +44(0)7786 052926 or +44(0)207 592 1207.

Olympia will broadcast live on BBC2 on Sunday 21 December and is available to view on Eurosport, the BBC Red Button, online and connected TV on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Monday 22 December. In addition a special highlights program will be aired on BBC2 on Tuesday 23 December at 13:45.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 16-22 December 2014 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Kennel Club Dog Agility. The show’s official charity for 2014 is The Injured Jockeys Fund.

Springsteen Jumps Great Heights in $25,000 Puissance

Jessica Springsteen and Lisona. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Olivier Philippaerts and Carlito C Top $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final; Firestone and Holloway Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owners Jumpers; Inclusive Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship; Abbygale Funk Named Best Child Rider on a Horse

Washington, D.C – October 24, 2014 – The 56th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday with an exciting day of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, was the highlight class of the evening with a win for 21-year-old Jessica Springsteen (USA) aboard Stone Hill Farm’s Lisona after clearing the wall up to 6’10” (2.08m).

In other competition, Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, Christina Firestone and Hunter Holloway triumphed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and T. J. O’Mara led the WIHS Equitation Finals Hunter Phase. Inclusive and Victoria Colvin also earned the Grand Junior Hunter Championship, and Abbygale Funk was named Best Child Rider on a Horse. WIHS continues through Sunday, October 26. The $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will be the highlight class on Saturday

Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this week and fittingly holds the 31-year indoor Puissance record for his win at 7′ 7 1/2” aboard Sweet ‘N Low in 1983. He set the wall for the evening’s $25,000 Puissance presented by The Boeing Company, starting at 5’6” (1.70m) in height, and continuing up to 6’10” (2.08m) in four rounds of competition.

For the win after clearing all four heights, Lisona became the first recipient of a brand new trophy named in Sweet ‘N Low’s honor, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober. Springsteen was presented with The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. She also accepted The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, as the owner of the winning horse.

The Puissance course began with four fences to clear, including an oxer, vertical and triple-bar leading up to the wall set at a starting height of 5’6” (1.70m). Five combinations, including Kevin Babington (IRL) and Goodwins Loyalty, Kama Godek (USA) and Sandra Zimmerli’s Apollo Mission, Todd Minikus (USA) aboard Coverboy Group’s Vougeot de Septon, Springsteen and Lisona, and Leslie Howard with The Utah Group’s Utah all jumped clear in round one and continued on. The second round had a triple bar set before the wall at 5’11” (1.80m), and all five horses and riders once again jumped clear. In round three, the imposing 6’5” (1.96m) wall came down for Babington, Godek and Minikus, leaving all three tied for third place. Springsteen and Howard each cleared the 6’5” height, but Howard took second place honors after choosing not to return. Springsteen and Lisona secured their victory with a fourth and final round as the only pair to jump the wall set at 6’10”, and they cleared it with ease.

Watch Jessica Springsteen and Lisona clear the 6’10” Puissance wall.

Friday marked Springsteen’s third win in as many days at WIHS after topping the $10,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake aboard Davendy S on Wednesday and also taking top prize in Thursday’s $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice with Lisona.

An added incentive for the international riders this year includes new cash bonuses that will be awarded to riders accumulating the most points in the division. A $15,000 bonus will go to the overall leading international rider, sponsored by The Boeing Company, and a $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the overall leading rider 25 years of age or younger, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Although Springsteen had originally not planned on jumping the Puissance, her trainers Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton encouraged her to do the class when they found out it counted toward the bonus. She took their advice and was obviously happy with the outcome.

“I had a feeling that Nick would convince me because he is also the one that made me do it two years ago,” she stated. “I knew that once he found out that it counted towards the leading rider points he would make me do it, but it was really fun. Lisona jumped it so easily, so it gave me a lot of confidence and I am happy I did it.”

Watch an interview with Jessica Springsteen.

In 2012, Springsteen jumped the WIHS Puissance with her horse Temmie and cleared 6’3” (1.90m), but was eliminated in the third round after failing her attempt at 6’9” (2.01m). Her success at 6’10” with Lisona is an exciting feat accomplished with great confidence in her mount.

“I doubt she has done a Puissance before, but she has so much scope and she is actually better the higher the fences, so we had a feeling that this would be a good class for her,” Springsteen said of the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (OBOS Quality x Porsch). “She gets impressed by it, and she felt like she was just flying over the wall.”

“I felt confident,” the rider stated. “She is such a scopey and brave horse that I knew nothing disastrous would happen. Classes like this, you kind of have to have fun with it, so we were all just having a good time. It is important to have a brave horse that wants to do it and she did. I think she enjoyed it actually.”

Springsteen also had added confidence in her own ability after many big wins this year and let that momentum take her into the challenge of jumping the biggest height of her career.

“Winning definitely gives you confidence. Your spirits are high, but you can’t get overly confident. That is one thing I have learned in this sport,” she remarked.

Another thing Springsteen learned is that riding to a Puissance wall is much different than cantering to your standard jump. “I didn’t know you had to ride a wall that size differently,” she admitted. “It is so big that you just want to gallop down to it, but you are supposed to go really slow and get close to it so that they kind of climb over it. That is kind of the opposite of what your instinct is telling you to do, so it takes a couple of times to really learn how to ride it correctly.”

The high jump competition is a fan favorite at WIHS as spectators watch the incredible power and athletic ability of horse and rider attempting to clear a wall set at record heights, and the fans were in full force on Friday night as they took in the competition.

“It is so fun. It is not normal in the States when you have so many people that come to watch, and they really know what’s going on,” Springsteen stated. “You have all of the younger kids that are really excited about it, like the pony riders, so it is really fun. It makes it an exciting event for the riders, and I think the horses feel it too.”

“I have been coming to this show since I was maybe ten years old on ponies almost every year. Last year was one of the first years I didn’t come, so I have spent a lot of time here and it is nice when the crowd knows you,” she added. “The experience has changed a lot over the years. I think I was actually more nervous when I was coming for the pony hunters and the equitation finals. There is a lot of pressure in those classes. I think it is actually much more relaxing doing the open division.”

Belgium Is Best in International Speed Final

Prior to the Puissance, a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format with 22 entries and a victory for Olivier Philippaerts (21) of Belgium riding Franz Lens’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Carlito C (by Kannan). The pair was one of five entries to clear the course without fault and finished with a time of 54.79 seconds.

Beezie Madden (USA) and Coral Reef Via Volo also jumped clear and finished second in 55.68 seconds. Daniel Bluman had the fastest time of 54.15 seconds, but four faults were added to place third in 58.15 seconds. Reed Kessler (USA) and Kessler Show Stables LLC’s Ligist also had one rail down, adding four seconds to their time, to place fourth in 59.24 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) and Moondoggie were clear in 59.49 seconds to earn the fifth place prize.

Philippaerts started showing Carlito C in June after his brother, Nicola, showed the horse for several months. With the new partnership, he has had a great season with several top finishes competing throughout Europe and Canada, and looks forward to continued success. “He is a very particular horse and he is a very big horse, and in the beginning I thought in this ring it would be quite hard for him. It’s a big horse in a small ring, but in the end, he did really well,” Philippaerts stated. “He has been great the whole year, so if he keeps continuing, then hopefully we can keep it up for a while.”

Detailing his plan for the night’s course, Philippaerts noted, “I was looking a bit and walking the course, and I didn’t really know what to expect since it’s the first indoor show for him. I didn’t really know how he was going to react, but he did very well. I made my plan and it worked out and I was quick enough.”

“I’m here for three shows: Washington, Kentucky, and Toronto. He’s a very quick horse, and he has won a lot of classes, so I thought maybe I would take him,” Philippaerts said of the decision to bring the horse abroad. “It looks like I made the right decision and hopefully I’ll do well the other two weeks as well.”

This is Philippaerts’ third year competing at WIHS and he has enjoyed the fantastic crowd and great event. “I think first of all, it’s a great show. I really like coming to these three shows, and also for the World Cup points,” he remarked. “It counts in Europe as well, but that’s what we are here for. They do a very good job here in Washington to make the show. It’s a very small place for the horses, but they make it fit. I’m very happy they keep organizing this show.”

“Tonight was very good,” he continued. “It was more people than I expected to come. They really were motivating the riders to go quicker, and it’s very nice. I’m very happy to ride for such a crowd.”

Junior Hunters Award Championships

The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship was awarded to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Inclusive ridden by Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL. They were presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds.

On their way to earning the grand championship, Colvin and Inclusive won the tricolor in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Chansonette Farm, after topping all three classes over fences. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. The division’s reserve champion was Kerry Anne LLC’s Imagine ridden by Kerry McCahill. The pair won under saddle and placed second, third and sixth over fences.

“Inclusive has gone amazing this week,” Colvin stated after their win. “He has an amazing jump. His stride is not the biggest, so you have to go a little forward, but he is really fun. You know he is never going to spook. He would jump anything and leave from anywhere, and he is an amazing ride.”

Inclusive made a big comeback this year after a year-long break due to problems with sciatica in 2013. He came back to win at the Devon Horse Show in May and most recently the PA National Horse Show in Harrisburg just last week.

“It is important to remember this this is a comeback for him because last year he was not here,” owner Dr. Betsee Parker stated. “The year prior to that he had what is known as the ‘triple crown of indoors’ when he was champion at all three indoor shows. As of today he is poised to possibly do that a second time and that has never happened before in the history of indoors, but who knows, anything can happen.”

Inclusive now has a lighter training schedule in between competitions, but he knows his job and goes to work when he gets to the show ring.

“He flats for 20 minutes every day, and he rarely jumps,” Colvin detailed. “He maybe jumps once before coming to the show, but he is better that way. Less is more with him.”

A benefit to Colvin’s riding is her focus on the equitation this year and the additional help of top trainers including the legendary George Morris. “I have a better position, and I know how to flat more for equitation,” she acknowledged. “I have gotten a couple lessons from George Morris, so basically all of my hunters are flatted like that and I know my position is better around the course.”

Colvin also earned a championship tricolor in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Dogwood Hill, riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Canadian Blue. The pair placed first, first and fourth over fences and fifth under saddle. Meridian Partners LLC’s Good Humor and Megan MacPherson earned reserve honors, placing first, second and third over fences.

“Canadian Blue felt good,” Colvin said. “He is still a little green. His first round yesterday it was his first time jumping around here since last year and he was a little looky and quick, but he got better each round he did. His handy he felt unbelievable. He is so special because he jumps so high. Anything you put him at, he will jump very, very high. He was on this week.”

In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Entrust, Abbygale Funk guided West Coast Equine Partners LLC’s Neander to championship honors after placing first, first and second over fences and fourth under saddle. The pair also had the best Junior Hunter stake round of the day with a high score of 88 to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy. Lili Hymowitz and Rose Hill Farm’s Tiffani placed first and fourth over fences to earn the division’s reserve championship. They were also awarded the Georgetown Trophy, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, as the high score Junior Hunter riding his or her own horse.

For her success aboard Neander, 13-year-old Abbygale Funk of St. George, KS was named Best Child Rider on a Horse and earned the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy. The award was sponsored by Gotham North; the trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.

Trained by her mother, Funk showed at WIHS in the pony hunters five years ago and this is her first time back and a memorable first WIHS win. “Winning is just amazing. I never thought I would be able to do it,” Funk smiled. “He is the most amazing horse I have ever ridden.”

Funk has ridden Neander, a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding by Nimray B, for just a few months. His owner was kind enough to let her keep riding him to get to indoors, and it ended in wonderful success.

“Last year I qualified, but the horse sold to somebody else to do indoors with,” Funk explained. “We took Neander and he got better and better, and we got qualified. We didn’t expect it, but we did. He has been amazing this whole time. He doesn’t spook at anything, and he never misbehaves.”

“This is very different with riding all night long and no sleeping, but it’s amazing to do the show in the middle of the city and do this with him,” Funk noted. “He has proven over and over that he doesn’t care about anything. He came here and went in the ring and was totally perfect. I have never won a Best Child Rider before and it is amazing. I just wanted to go around and be good. I didn’t expect to win and be champion or any of it.”

Concluding the hunter division’s for the day, the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under awarded championship honors to Autumn Lane, owned by Eugenie Kilb and ridden by Grady Lyman, with two wins over fences. Reserve honors went to Melissa Wight’s Chromeo with Samantha Wight in the irons, placing second and fourth over fences and third under saddle.

Firestone and Holloway Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers competed in the afternoon in their first jump-off classes of the week with wins for Christina Firestone and Hunter Holloway. The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown, saw the second win of the week for Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, riding Hays Investment Corp.’s I Love Lucy. Twenty entries showed in round one with eight advancing to the jump-off. Four were able to clear the short course without fault and Holloway blazed to victory in 32.85 seconds to earn The Cover Story Perpetual Trophy donated by Rolling Acres Farm.

Victoria Colvin and Karen Long Dwight’s Chanel B finished second in 33.85 seconds. Virginia Ingram and Riverview Farm’s Urban placed third in 34.11 seconds, and Chloe Reid stopped the clock in 34.91 seconds aboard Chloe D Reid LLC’s Athena to earn the fourth place prize.

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family with a win for Christina Firestone aboard M/M Bertram Firestone’s Zodiac. The competition saw 22 entries with eight clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Only two were able to go double clear over the short course, and Firestone and Zodiac completed the fastest time of 31.13 seconds for the win. They were presented with The Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Nikki Prokopchak and her horse Sofia Car finished second in 37.18 seconds. The fastest four-fault round in the jump-off belonged to Katie Tyler and Seattle 6 in 30.49 seconds to place third.

Equitation Begins with Hunter Phase

In addition to Junior Hunter championships during Friday’s day session, WIHS hosted the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals with an early lead for T. J. O’Mara riding Walstib Stables LLC’s Kaskade to the high score of 90.

Hunter Holloway finished second after riding Hays Investment Corp.’s Any Given Sunday to a score of 89.125. Michael Hughes and Jordyn Rose Freedman’s Finnick scored the third prize with an 88.500. Victoria Colvin scored an 88.250 aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Clearway, and Caitlin Boyle finished with an 87.500 riding Micaela Kennedy’s Loredo.

The WIHS Equitation Finals will continue on Saturday with all riders returning for the jumper phase. The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.

The competition will also continue on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals will close out the afternoon session.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will conclude the night.

For those who cannot make it to the show, it will be live streamed in its entirety, sponsored in part by The Nutro Company, at www.wihs.org, and is also available on USEF Network at www.usefnetwork.com.

About the Washington International Horse Show
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s premier metropolitan indoor horse show. Each October, more than 500 world-class horses and riders, including Olympic medalists, arrive in Washington for six days of exciting show jumping and hunter competition. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and the WIHS Equitation Finals, an important goal for top American junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group.

Since its debut, the Washington International has been a Washington, DC, institution attended by presidents, first ladies, celebrities, business and military leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

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Tickets Go on Sale for Olympia, the London International Horse Show 2014

Photo credit Kit Houghton/HPower.

Tickets for Olympia, The London International Horse Show 2014 go on sale on Thursday 8 May at 9am. The week long equine extravaganza will take place in the iconic West London venue from Tuesday 16 to Monday 22 December 2014.

While the mention of Christmas in May might draw groans from folk still picking pine needles out of their carpets and finding cracker toys down the back of the sofa, among equestrian fans it means just one thing: tickets for Olympia must be going on sale!

Last year, London’s premier horse show saw a record breaking number of visitors when over 95,000 flocked through the doors to watch the elite competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage and Driving and unique entertainment that always makes Olympia so magical. With 2013 ticket sales up 6% on the previous year, organisers are urging those planning to attend Olympia in 2014 to book early to avoid disappointment.

Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s premier indoor equestrian events, Olympia 2014 will once again host three FEI World Cups™ in Driving, Dressage and Show Jumping. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage leg takes place on 16 and 17 December, the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg on 19 and 20 December and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping leg presented by H&M on 21 December.

In addition to the FEI World Cups™, Olympia will feature a mix of top class equestrian competition – including the famous Altech Christmas Puissance on the Thursday evening performance – international equestrian displays (to be announced), an outstanding shopping village, the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility and an amazing selection of bars and restaurants.

A special addition to this year’s line-up will be a competition ‘Jockeys v. Jumpers’ which pitches professional Jockeys against professional Show Jumpers in association with this year’s Show Charity, The Injured Jockeys Fund.

And when spectators aren’t watching the horses, there’s plenty of celebrities and Royalty to be spotted. Last year HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Denise Lewis, England Rugby legends Ben Cohen and Phil Vickery, Deborah Meaden, Martin Clunes and Rory Bremner were among the record crowds attending the event.

Tickets start at £24.50 each with discounts for groups, children and concessions applying for certain performances. For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact Jo Peck jopeck@hpower.co.uk, (0)1753 847900, or Hannah Grissell hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk, (0)207 592 1207.

Olympia, London International Horse Show takes place on 16-22 December 2014 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, West Kensington London. The show will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts over 95,000 visitors. It is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital as well as the Kennel Club Dog Agility. The show’s official charity for 2014 is The Injured Jockeys Fund.

Record Breaking Year at Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro do a lap of honour after breaking the world record in the freestyle.

9 January 2014 – A record number of visitors attended the world’s best equine Christmas party last month, Olympia, the London International Horse Show, which took place from 16 to 22 December 2013.

A total of 95,276 spectators flocked to London’s premier horse show in the famous West London venue to watch the equine extravaganza. Ticket sales were up 6% from 2012 and the additional Gala night on Monday 16 December bought an extra 6,000 people. Well known faces in attendance included HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Denise Lewis, England Rugby legends Ben Cohen and Phil Vickery, Deborah Meaden, Martin Clunes and Rory Bremner.

Highlights included FEI World Cups in three different disciplines, Dressage, Show Jumping and Driving, the thrilling Alltech Christmas Puissance won by Italian rider Luca Moneta, and a breath-taking world record breaking Dressage performance by British superstars Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.

The unique entertainment that always makes Olympia so magical, such as the Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility, the Services Jumping Championship, the vast shopping village and not forgetting the Christmas Finale, were all back again. However, the icing on the cake undoubtedly came from Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art whose outstanding displays of horsemanship mesmerised spectators.  It was the first time that the stunning pure bred Andalusian horses from Jerez de la Frontera, south-west Spain have performed in the UK for over 40 years.

Dujardin breaks world record

The show started with a bang as sensational Dressage duo Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Valegro smashed the world record score in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle supported by Horse & Hound on the Tuesday evening performance. Spectators can claim to have experienced one of those spine tingling ‘I was there’ moments when the Olympic gold medallists performed to their famous ‘Great Escape’ music for the last time and accumulated a staggering score of 93.975%. The score beat the former world record of 92.3% set by Edward Gal and Totilas, also at Olympia, in 2009.

Charlotte, who now holds the world record for all three Grand Prix tests, said: “I can’t believe it – I am over the moon and just ecstatic. I really wanted to come here and see if I could break the record to this music and at Olympia. It has been such an incredible journey with Valegro – I have achieved so much more than I ever imagined.”

Winners Luca Moneta & Quovo de Vains clear the 7 ft. 2 in. Puissance wall
Winners Luca Moneta & Quovo de Vains clear the 7 ft. 2 in. Puissance wall

Christmas Puissance

Italian rider Luca Moneta won the hearts of a packed house on Thursday evening when he cleared 7ft 2in to win the thrilling Alltech Christmas Puissance. The competition went to five rounds with only Guy Williams (GBR), on Richi Rich lll, and Luca on the gallant nine-year-old mare Quovo de Vains making it through to the final round. Guy’s grey mare just brushed a brick with his knee, leaving Luca to take the gamble. Unbelievably, it was Luca’s first ever Puissance win.

The evergreen John Whitaker, 58, who has won this epic class more times than any other rider, was cheered to the rafters for finishing third on Zantos. Laura Renwick was fourth on the appropriately named Roller Coaster.

Crowds thrilled by Extreme Carriage Driving

IJsbrand Chardon steers to victory in the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup
IJsbrand Chardon steers to victory in the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup

The Extreme Driving FEI World Cup Leg on Friday evening was won by long-standing champion driver IJsbrand Chardon from The Netherlands. In a tense final round, Chardon beat compatriot Koos de Ronde in an outstanding display of speed, accuracy and boldness. The shock result came from World No. 1 Boyd Exell (AUS) who left an impossible margin to catch up after collecting two knock downs. Britain’s Georgina Hunt, the first ever woman to be granted a wild card at a qualifier, put in a terrific show to finish seventh.

President of the ground jury, Klaus Peppersack, said: “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I have been to all the qualifying events and would have to say that I have never experienced an atmosphere like it. It is quite the best audience in the world.”

Longines FEI World Cup

A packed house on the Saturday afternoon was treated to a thrilling 11-horse jump-off in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier presented by H & M, which built to the dream finish from Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) – the very last rider into the arena pulling off victory. Riding VDL Groep Sapphire B, Maikel beat Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr on Polinska des Isles by the tiny margin of 5/100th of a second. The 25-year-old also made history at Olympia, The London International Horse Show when he matched his father Eric’s achievement of winning this prestigious competition in 2009.

Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) clears the London 2012 Bus to claim victory in the Longines FEI World Cup Leg
Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) clears the London 2012 Bus to claim victory in the Longines FEI World Cup Leg

Scott Brash (Hello Ursula Xll, 6th), Michael Whitaker (Viking, 7th) and Peter Charles (Murka’s Odie de Frevent, 10th) kept home hopes alive by making it into the jump-off but they all faulted.

Young riders celebrated

It was a fairy tale win in the Under 23 British Championship sponsored by Dodson & Horrell and The World Class Programme for young promising rider Jess Dimmock. Jess missed last year’s Olympia because her horse Capello II had to undergo colic surgery. However, he made a full recovery and came back to Olympia this year to help Jess land what is regarded as the most prestigious competition for young riders in the world.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, again enjoying her annual visit to Olympia on Thursday evening, presented the prestigious Raymond Brooks-Ward trophy, which is given in memory of the late commentator and show director by his three sons, Simon, James and Nick, to the most promising young rider of the year. This year’s recipient was show jumper Louise Saywell, 23, a member of the Lottery-funded World Class Development squad, who was a last-minute call-up to the British team at the FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in September.

Brits save the best until last

It was a one-two for Great Britain in the final big class of the week, the Olympia Grand Prix, when Ben Maher narrowly beat his 58-year-old compatriot John Whitaker.

Riding his London 2012 hero, Tripple X III, Ben rattled the second fence in the nail biting jump off, but the World No. 2 kept his cool. John then produced his gallant effort, but a tiny check in front of the penultimate fence cost him a fraction of a second and first place in one of the few competitions he has yet to win.

After winning the class, Maher said: “I heard the crowd gasp but, if anything, that helped me. There’s huge prize money all over the world but you can’t beat history and all the people cheering. I’d rather win the Grand Prix at Olympia than anywhere else in the world.”

The H & M Leading Rider of Show accolade went to another popular Brit, Laura Renwick, whose consistency meant she beat Peder Fredricson (SWE) by four points to the award. Jur Vrieling (NED) was third, William Funnell (GBR) fourth, Italy’s Luca Moneta fifth and the talented young Dutchman, Maikel Van der Vleuten, winner of the Christmas Masters as well as the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping, was sixth.

Renwick, Britain’s leading lady rider, summed up the week: “This is right up there with anything else I’ve done. This is the showcase for the year for British riders and so to win this leading rider prize is a great thing for my CV!”

Results:
For a full list of all the results from Olympia 2013, please click here.

Media Enquiries:
For more information please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

It’s an Italian Job as Luca Leaps Puissance Wall at Olympia

Olympia, London 19 December 2013 – Italian rider Luca Moneta won the hearts of a packed house at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, when he cleared 7ft 2in in a thrilling Alltech Christmas Puissance.

Unbelievably, it was Luca’s first puissance win, but he is having a fantastic visit to London as he is currently H & M Leading Rider of Show.

The competition went to five rounds with only Guy Williams, on Richi Rich lll, and Luca on the gallant nine-year-old mare Quovo de Vains making it through to the final round.

Guy’s grey mare just brushed a brick with his knee, leaving Luca to take the gamble. He admitted afterwards that he had been apprehensive, but was encouraged by the audience. “The crowd here are real horsemen; they make you feel as if they are riding with you,” he said.

“I’m really emotional. The mare wasn’t just jumping with her body, but with her heart. What made me really happy is that she led me to the fence. She really wanted to do it.”

The evergreen John Whitaker, 58, who has won this epic class more times than any other rider, was cheered to the rafters for finishing third on Zantos. Laura Renwick was fourth on the appropriately named Roller Coaster.

The Duchess of Cornwall, again enjoying her annual visit to Olympia, presented the prestigious Raymond Brooks-Ward trophy, which is given in memory of the late commentator and show director by his three sons, Simon, James and Nick, to the most promising young rider of the year.

This year’s recipient was showjumper Louise Saywell, 23, a member of the Lottery-funded World Class Development squad, who was a last-minute call-up to the British team at the FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona in September.

Olympia first-timer Jur Vrieling from the Netherlands made the most of his horse VDL Babalu’s fast pace to win the Kingsland Christmas Stakes, a speed class.

“I’d not seen [eventual runner-up] Pius Schwizer’s round, but I did see Harrie Smolders go,” said Jur. “My horse is not as good as making tight turns as Harrie’s, so I made the most of jumping off his good gallop.”

Jur, a team silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games with VDL Bubalu, joked about how this city must be lucky for him.

“I hope I get to come back here again, particularly to this show,” he said. “When you arrive, everything looks beautiful. But when the crowd turns up it is something amazing. They stand right behind you and make you want to win.”

Anticipation of a first British winner is now running high at Olympia. The afternoon jumping class, the Snowman Stakes, sponsored by Shelley Ashman International, was won by Sweden’s Peder Fredericson on H & M Siborn, who beat Luca Moneta on Connery by nearly two seconds.
Audio Link
Luca Maria Moneta (ITA) – http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Moneta.MP3

Final Placings
For details of the final placings in the Alltech Christmas Puissance, please click: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/857/sta_erg/11_ergENG.htm?style=longines.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show will be televised throughout the week on BBC Online, the BBC Red Button and Eurosport. Live coverage of the Longines FEI World Cup presented by H&M will be broadcast on BBC 1 between 13:45 and 16:30 on Saturday 21 December 2013.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

Tim Gredley Soars to 2nd Victory in LIFEFORCE ELITE $50,000 Puissance at Alltech National Horse Show

Tim Gredley and Unex Valentine.

Lexington, KY – November 1, 2013 – Great Britain’s Tim Gredley is proving he is perfect in the Puissance. He began his reign of the specialty class during last year’s Alltech National Horse Show with Unex Valente, and just last week he won the event during the Washington International Horse Show. He kept his winning streak alive tonight, going two-for-two during this year’s LIFEFORCE ELITE $50,000 Puissance. Gredley and Unex Valente soared over a wall set at 7 feet to capture the winning prize.

“This was the first puissance I ever did on him last year, so it’s nice to come back and win again, since it was our first ever win,” said Gredley. “He is such a pleasure to ride and go with to the shows. When you come here, the footing is great, and the atmosphere is good. It is a pleasure to ride in here.”

The night kicked off with five entries and wall set at 5 feet, 9 inches, but as the wall got higher the entries got lower. Although Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL was able to clear the wall with Fly Away, he had a rail at the second fence that knocked him out during the first round. In the second round, when the wall’s height increased to 6 feet, 3 inches, Hillary Simpson of Southern Pines, NC, had a rail at the triple bar as well as a block of the wall with Cantus D, owned by Quiet Hill Farm. Although Catherine Pasmore of Wellington, FL, was faultless in the second round aboard Zaragosa, she opted not to return, leaving two riders to battle it out.

Aaron Vale of Morriston, FL and Smartie were finalists during the Puissance at the Washington International Horse. They made it through the third round set at 6 feet, 9 inches, but as the wall rose to the height of 7 feet, the challenge became too great. The blocks came to the ground, and for the second week in a row and the second year in a row it was Gredley who came out on top with Unex Valente.

“He’s a small horse,” explained Vale. “Last week he went really well until the final round, and then he kind of hesitated off the ground and kind of jumped right through it. I was trying to make sure that I got him off the ground in a positive manner. I think I got a little too much energy and a little too close to it, so he couldn’t elevate quick enough. He gave me a great effort.”

Although Gredley might try to break the record one year with Unex Valente, he felt tonight was not the night. “He has jumped so well,” commented Gredley. “To be honest, last week he felt a bit better. He felt a little tighter today; maybe that’s just from doing two weeks on the truck. For him, it’s just kind of second nature to him now. All I have to do is find a nice stride with a little bit of pace, and he does all the work really. I felt it was better to leave it for the welfare of the horse tonight though. He’s just done two weeks on the truck. He’s a nice horse; I don’t want to ruin him.”

Dr. Pearse Lyons, Founder and President of Alltech, concluded, “The Puissance for horses… last year someone said, ‘Around here, it’s basketball. It’s the only thing that matters. When you do the Puissance, that’s as close to Kentucky basketball as you get!'”

Fast Farrington Pilots Blue Angel to $50,000 International Open Jumper Victory

The Town Branch Bourbon $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed took center stage earlier this evening, where the first section of the class proved to be the best of the day. Candice King, of Wellington, FL, was the first to show over Conrad Homfeld’s winding speed class aboard Quality Stud’s Antigone Quality. Despite the pressure of being the pathfinders, King and Antigone Quality were perfect over each fence and set the time to beat at 60.07 seconds.

Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was next in the Alltech Arena with Frans Lens’ Carlito C, and they made sure King did not hold on to the lead for too long when they also managed to navigate the track with ease, leaving each rail intact and breaking the beam at 58.95 seconds.

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel

Four rounds later Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL, entered the ring with Blue Angel, owned by Robin Parksy. The pair picked up a very quick gallop to the first obstacle and never left off the gas, shaving off seconds through each turn and not wasting a moment in the air. They managed to leave each fence standing while blazing across the finish line in 53.26 seconds. The five second difference would prove unbeatable as Farrington led the victory gallop after the 23 remaining riders tried to catch his time, followed by Philippaerts in second and King in third.

“Conrad is one of the best course designers in the world,” expressed Farrington. “I find his courses really smooth. They are fair to the horses, and all of his options for speed are up to the rider. Instead of a mandatory inside turn he leaves it up to the rider. You can turn as close as you dare to the fences, and I think today that was really an advantage for my horse. I could just go smooth. She’s naturally quick across the ground, and I used a big gallop from the beginning and stayed on the same clip all the way around.”

Farrington added, “I wouldn’t say I left door open, but I came out of the ring thinking if somebody beat me it would be a well-earned win today.”

Just last Saturday, Farrington and Blue Angel won the $100,000 Presidents Cup at the Washington International Horse Show, so tomorrow he will be riding Willow in the Alltech $250,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix. “I thought Blue Angel jumped her heart out last week at Washington, so I didn’t want to ask her to do that again two weeks in a row,” he explained. “Willow is a new ride for me, and I wanted to see if he will be ready to go to Europe. I thought this would be a good test. I thought it would be a great way to jump a bigger class and know where I stand with that horse for the future.”

Land and Colvin Lead the Way in Amateur-Owner & Junior Jumpers

The Chansonette Farm $15,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper class was the first jumper event of the day, where Frances Land of Alpharetta, GA, managed to best a five horse jump-off with Vieanne. Despite adding not one but two strides down the final line, the pair’s quick pace and turns to the other obstacles proved uncatchable with a time of 35.428 seconds.

The 19-year-old sophomore at Emory University commented, “For the jump-off I knew I needed to have a really good base rhythm and make neat turns. I made a really tight turn to the combination, but I made a mistake to the last jump and did 11 instead of nine. Everywhere else I was neat, and I just added a little bit to the last jump, luckily Adrienne didn’t catch me.”

Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwich, CT, followed Land’s effort with Quidam MB, and missed the leading team by just one-tenth of a second when she stopped the clock in a clear 35.778 seconds for second place. Catherine Tyree of Chicago, IL, was the pathfinder aboard Wetter, and with double clear day they captured the third place honors having set the time to beat at 37.359 seconds.

Land concluded, “I have been riding Vienne since January. She’s just been phenomenal – really fast, really careful, and scopey – really my ride. We get along really well.”

Victoria Colvin and Don Juan
Victoria Colvin and Don Juan

The Deeridge Farm $15,000 Junior Jumper class was up next, and yesterday’s winner Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, proved that she is on quite a roll. She was the first to return for the tiebreaker with Monsieur Du Reverdy, and once again she was able to make quick turns without touching a single rail, stopping the clock at 34.263 seconds, a time which she proved only she would be able to beat.

She returned four rounds later with her second mount Don Juan, and without planning to do so she managed to best her own horse. The duo was quick to each fence and never wasted a second in the air as they tripped the timers at 34.033 seconds to win the class and relegated Monsieur Du Reverdy to second place. The only other rider to come close to catching her time was Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, aboard her consistent partner Chellando Z, who broke the beam at 35.052 seconds for the third place award.

“On Don Juan I was trying to go slow; it might not have looked like it, but I was trying to pull. I was trying to have a nice, easy round, but he went fast,” laughed Colvin. “They are completely different. Don Juan is like a dirt bike, and he kind of revs around the corner and shrinks at the jump. Monsieur Du Reverdy is a big easy horse; he’s probably the easiest horse to ride because he’s so smooth and amazing.”

The jumper events will conclude tomorrow with the Alltech $250,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix in the evening. Earlier in the day, the $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship will be held in the Alltech Arena. The show will wrap up on Sunday with the historic ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championships.

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, click here.

For more information or to view the competition live, please visit www.alltechnationalhorseshow.com. Coverage is provided by Shownet.biz, iHigh, HRTV, and USEF Network.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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