Tag Archives: Shane Sweetnam

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 Take $35,000 Tryon 1.50m Challenge CSI 4*

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – June 11, 2017 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 secured the final FEI win of the week, taking the $35,000 Tryon 1.50m Challenge CSI 4* at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as the pair stopped the timers in a blazing time of 35.583 seconds. David Beisel (USA) and Ammeretto made an impressive effort to catch the lead, ultimately earning the second place honors with a time of 36.553 seconds, while Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou 24 took home the third place position with a time of 37.736 seconds.

Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083, a 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Cortus), owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, frequent the winner’s circle at TIEC, and proved yet again to be unbeatable, taking their second win of the week. The duo won the $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 4* on Friday, before earning another blue ribbon in the conclusion of FEI CSI 4* competition.

Sweetnam spoke highly of the extraordinary stallion and his ability to remain consistent in the ring, which has brought the duo countless wins from around the world at the international level.

“He is an older horse and he has won everywhere. He is an unbelievable winner. The goal is always to try and win. When Cyklon comes out to show he always ends up at the top and he has a great success rate. He felt especially great today and he really is just a brilliant jumper.”

The track set by Alan Wade (IRL), who has built impressive courses throughout the week at the TIEC, tested combination’s scope and ability to perform tight rollback turns, ultimately setting the class up for an exciting finish.

Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 were the first pair to attempt the short course, proving to set the pace at an unbeatable speed, which helped to solidify their win. Sweetnam detailed his jump-off plan saying, “With Cyklon, who is a naturally fast horse, I pick up a rhythm and I have a plan. I execute it the way I wanted to do it and if someone beats me after that, it is what it is.

“I did seven in the first line as opposed to six because I thought the seven set you up well for the tight turn that followed,” he detailed. “For me and my horse, adding a stride in was the best option. After I went in the jump-off I thought my time would be hard to beat. David Beisel gave it a good run, but my round was enough in the end.”

Sweetnam and his team will head back to Lexington, KY for a few weeks before heading to Europe with several horses currently in his string. Sweetnam has his sights set on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, which will be held at TIEC in September of 2018, and is competing at the venue in preparation for the event.

“We are planning for the games right now. I have a couple of good horses and fingers crossed I will have something when the time comes,” Sweetnam concluded.

Jumper Highlights

The $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic was topped by Elisa Uribe Gutierrez of Madellin, FL and her own Havana De La Lande with a jump-off time of 40.505 seconds. Daniela Stransky of Wellington, FL and Wauw, owned by the Stransky’s Mission Farm Inc., earned the second place position with a time of 43.691 seconds, while Nicole Bellissimo of Wellington, FL and VDL Bellefleur, owned by Bellissimo LLC, rounded out the top three with a time of 42.667.

The $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Classic was won by Daniel Rihan Jr. of Mexico City, Mexico aboard his own Deperado after stopping the jump-off timers in 38.626 seconds. Jamie Buis of Wellington, FL and Bull Run’s Revelation, owned by Bull Run Jumpers, Inc., received the red rosette, following behind with a close time of 38.669 seconds. Lacey Gilbertson of Lake Forest, IL and Echo D, owned by Seabrook LLC, earned the third place with a time of 38.851 seconds.

The $3,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic was dominated by Katherine Benard of Cumberland Foreside, ME aboard her own entry Dominicus B with a jump-off time of 38.504 seconds. Victoria Zelch of Novelty, OH, aboard Sniper, owned by Musical Woods, LLC, earned themselves the red rosette with a time of 35.450 seconds and adding four faults to their efforts. Daniel Rihan Jr of Mexico City, Mexico and his own Chousa Shoz finished in third with a time of 37.037 seconds, also adding four faults to their final score.

The $3,000 Low Amateur Owner Jumper Classic was won by Catherine Wachtell of Long Valley, NJ aboard Elarina, owned by The Coverboy Group, with a jump-off time of 39.901 seconds. Mackenzie McGehee of Jacksonville, FL and her own Pegasus took home second place honors with a time of 40.577 second, while Sarah Kerins of Wellington, FL and Conero, owned by Darragh Kerins, were presented with third place after finishing the short course with a time of 42.109 seconds.

Hunter Highlights

Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Eleventh Hour, owned by Brenda Mackay, rode to victory in the $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive with a score of 87. Geitner also took second place aboard Willow, owned by Andrea Guzinski, after receiving an 82. David Beisel of Goshen, OH guided The Girl from Ipanema, owned by Caron Stucky, to third place with a score of 78.

The Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″ Combined Divisions saw Suzanna Treske of Waxhaw, NC and her own Cabalina take championship honors in the division ahead of Emily Jones of Jacksonville, FL and her own Game Boy, who collected reserve champion.

Sally Kay of Charlotte, NC and her own Autonomous earned divisional champion honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter 36+ Division, while Page Tredennick of Wellington, FL and her own Hidden Lane finished with reserve.

Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Ocean Mist, owned by Jennifer Smith, earned top honors in the Performance Hunter 3’3″ Division, while Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Three Olives, owned by Anna Sharp, secured the division’s reserve champion accolades.

The Medium Pony Hunter Division saw Savannah Welch of Elon, NC and her own Mapleside Magic Wish finish atop the division after a week of top performances, while Sally Ives of Durham, NC and her own Sequin finished with the reserve champion title.

Elly Ficca of Charlotte, NC and her own Quatrain finished atop the leaderboard in the Junior Hunter 3’3″ Division, while Caroline Holland, also from Charlotte, NC, and Toulouse, owned by Coleman Holland, followed behind in reserve.

The Green Hunter 3’3″ Division saw Tommy Serio of Aberdeen, NC and Christoph take champion honors, while Meagan Bennett of Apex, NC and Bender, owned by Rebecca Ives, secured reserve champion.

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Schuyler Riley and Cleopatra’s Smile Earn Victory in $25k USHJA International Hunter Derby

Schuyler Riley and Cleopatra’s Smile. Photos ©Sportfot.

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 Race to Win $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 4*

Mill Spring, NC – June 9, 2017 – Schuyler Riley of Wellington, FL and Cleopatra’s Smile, owned by Wolfstone Stables and Sales Inc., was the winning pair in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo paved the way after the first round with a combined score of 181.5 and turned in another strong performance in the handy round, earning a score of 187 for a total score of 368.5. Liza Boyd of Camden, SC and O’Ryan, owned by Stella Styslinger, secured the second place honors with a two round total of 367, while Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Olympic Fire, owned by Roger Smith, rounded out the top three with a two round total of 365.

Riley and Cleopatra’s Smile were sitting in first place after the first round, returning last to test their abilities in the handy. Navigating the handy round with precision and beauty, the duo ended the day with a blue ribbon. Having only been partnered as a team since this past March, Riley was thrilled with the mare’s performance on the large derby field.

“She is new at this, so I tried to take as much time as possible to get to the first jump to allow her to take a breath by the time I was there. Everything rode exactly like I planned it,” Riley detailed.

Cleopatra’s Smile, a 9-year-old-mare, was competing in the jumpers when Riley imported her from Europe and knew the horse was destined to be a derby horse. “Whenever I go to Europe to try a horse to be a hunter, I let them loose to see what they do. A lot of them don’t understand, but she got it by the second jump. She is really smart and really easy,” she explained.

“I decided to bring her to Tryon because I just love her character. I think she has just blossomed because her character is so good. Her personality is just like a Labrador Retriever and as you watch her expression going around the course she zones in on the jump and her ears go forward. She really enjoys it,” she said.

Well-known in the jumper ring, Riley is loving her time participating in the hunters and is excited to continue contesting opportunities with Cleopatra’s Smile.

“For me, there is a lot more riding that has to go on. It is a lot more technical and you really have to be able to feel the horse because you are out there for a long time. You have to know what is happening underneath you and ride each jump separately. You also have to have a good sense of communication with the horse and they have to trust you. For me, I have as much fun in the derby field as I do in the jumper ring.”

“I am not used to looking at the jumps so far away. I saw the distance fifteen strides out and I was thinking to myself, ‘You can’t see a distance that far away,’ but it all worked out and was a lot of fun,” Riley added.

Standing out in the Team USA red show jumping jacket, Riley touched on her choice of outfit, saying, “I don’t own a shad belly and never have. Even as a junior I didn’t own one. I was reading the derby rules for proper attire and it says that if you have ridden for a U.S. team and have a red coat, you are allowed to wear it, so I thought why not? It goes with my grey mare and a blue ribbon!”

Riley looks forward to the future with Cleopatra’s Smile and she was very thankful of the opportunity to ride on the Grass Complex at TIEC, saying, “I just really appreciate that Tryon has made such a big effort to make the jumper venue special, but also with hunter events too. The footing rode fantastic and we appreciate all of the effort that the management and organization has made into putting these types of classes on.”

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 Race to Win $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 4*

Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 secured the win in the $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 4*, stopping the timers in a blazing 60.230 seconds. Eric Navet (FR) and Basimodo finished in the second place position with a time of 62.080 seconds, while Kyle Timm (CAN) and Javas Georgie B earned third place honors with a time of 62.730 seconds.

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083

Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083, a 2001 Swedish Warmblood (Cardento x Cortus), owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, have been frequent visitors to the winner’s circle at the TIEC. The track set by Alan Wade (IRL), who has built impressive courses throughout the week at the TIEC, tested the horses’ speed and agility.

“Alan [Wade] set a really nice track today. The way the course was set made everyone do the same route and there was not a big gap in any of the times. I was early in the order so I went as fast as I thought I needed to, to win the class and my time held up.” Sweetnam described.

Giving credit to his longtime partner Cyklon 1083, Sweetnam commented, “Cyklon is naturally a quick horse and I made a tidy roll back to fence four and fence eight. I think that made the difference and how I won the class.”

Sweetnam spoke highly of the impressive stallion, Cyklon 1083, and his ability to win all of the world, as well as here in North Carolina at TIEC. “He has won everywhere. He is sixteen years old now and I have had him for six years. When he comes out to compete he always has a chance to be at the top. He is one of my favorites. He can do everything. He is a great horse and his record speaks for himself.

“This is a great facility, and the atmosphere is always fantastic. There is a great competition here this week and Alan [Wade] will for sure build tough enough tomorrow night. It will be a great class for the spectators,” Sweetnam concluded.

For more information, please visit www.tryon.com.

Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z Take $216,000 Grand Prix CSIO 4* at WEF

Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z. Photos © Sportfot.

Victoria Herran and Con-Grande Top Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter 15-17

Wellington, FL – March 5, 2017 – Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam concluded an exceptional week of CSIO 4* competition at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, with a win aboard Chaqui Z in Sunday’s $216,000 Grand Prix CSIO 4*, presented by Lugano Diamonds.

After winning Thursday’s $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 aboard Cobolt, and Friday’s $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup riding Chaqui Z for team Ireland, Sweetnam led the round of honor ahead of teammates Conor Swail and Rubens LS La Silla in Sunday’s feature event. Ali Wolff and Casall placed third after also helping team USA to a silver medal in Friday’s Nations’ Cup.

Course designer Ken Krome (USA) concluded the week with 43 entries in Sunday’s grand prix and a 17-horse jump-off. The large number over the short course set an interesting challenge, as riders raced against the clock, and only seven cleared the tiebreaking course without fault. Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s Chaqui Z took the win in 41.79 seconds. Swail and Vanessa Mannix’s Rubens LS La Silla were close behind in 41.82 seconds. Wolff and Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall clocked in at 43.02 seconds.

USA’s Beezie Madden jumped Abigail Wexner’s Coach to a fourth place finish in 43.11 seconds. Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and Toy Boy placed fifth in 43.23 seconds.

Sweetnam swept international competition during WEF 8 to be awarded the Niall Grimes “Cheers” Perpetual Trophy as the top Irish rider during CSIO week, an honor he also received in 2011. His winning mount for Nations’ Cup and grand prix competition was Chaqui Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Chacco-Blue x Quinar Z)

“It was brilliant. Honestly, this is a dream week for me,” Sweetnam acknowledged. “Any week of WEF, if you can win the WEF (Challenge Cup) and the grand prix, it nearly can make a WEF [circuit]. So to win the WEF, the Nations’ Cup, and then the grand prix – it is amazing.”

Remarking on his win on Sunday, Sweetnam stated, “It was a fantastic first round, but then there were 17 in the jump-off, and I was thinking that I had no hope. Chaqui is very good at turns, which he proved, but he is not always the fastest. I was quick, and Chaqui did the turns super. Lucky enough, my time lasted.”

Sweetnam is a fan of Ken Krome’s courses after the success he had throughout the week. The rider noted, “I think all week he did a great job. I was impressed with the WEF starting off, because it was not just a speed class. It was a lot of jumping, but you did not have to run your horse off its feet. Friday night, he only had three double clears, which was a great course. Today, okay there were probably more clears than you would want, but then it was a very good jump-off. That is the way the sport seems to be going. It makes it more exciting, and it makes people want to come watch. It just gets faster and faster. There were a lot of good horses, and it made for a very good class.”

For his second place finish, Swail was also aboard his winning Nations’ Cup mount with the 11-year-old Mexican Sport Horse stallion (Rebozo LS La Silla x Cash) Rubens LS La Silla. Remarking on his round, Swail stated, “I think I felt a little bit the same as Shane when there were 17 clear. My horse is not the fastest horse. He is a big, rangy, slower type. I was thinking, ‘Okay, if we can get into the top four, I am building on what is becoming a very consistent and promising horse.’ I was lucky with a good draw; I was second to last to go. When I was going into the ring, I felt I could beat Shane. The big key for me was I needed six strides from one to two. Unfortunately, I got a slow shot to number one, and I was not able to get it. I was a little bit chasing after that, but how the horse jumped and how he did, I was so pleased with him.”

Wolff’s mount for CSIO week was Casall, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall ASK x Capitol I) that she has been partnered with for five years.

“We have just kind of been bringing him up the ranks,” Wolff detailed. “I bought him as a sales horse to maybe do the Junior/Amateurs on, but he ended up just jumping higher and higher. He still has a bright future ahead of him. He is pretty seasoned now, but he has just been phenomenal for me and my career.”

Describing her jump-off round, Wolff added, “Going early on, it is a little hard because I knew I had about 12 other people behind me, including Shane and Conor. But then I saw Kent go, and he made an error and was a little rushed. I just had to go in knowing that I had to go my own speed. I started off with my pace that I wanted. I was able to finish on the same pace, and everything kind of came up naturally. I got a little bit of a lucky rub on the last fence, but he was really good for me.”

For her success this week, Wolff was also presented the Leading Lady Rider Award for week eight, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Tracy Williams and Bendoctro won the $10,000 Horseware Ireland Don Little Masters Classic. Lucy Deslauriers and Mario Deslauriers’ Curo won the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch.

Victoria Herran and Con-Grande Top Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter 15-17

Victoria Herran and Con-Grande were named champions of the Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter 15-17 division on Sunday morning. Herran piloted her mount to a win over fences, third, fourth, and sixth place finishes over fences, as well as a third place finish under saddle. Herran lives in Miami, FL and commutes to WEF to show on the weekends.

Victoria Herran and Con-Grande

Speaking of her over fences rounds, Herran said, “He felt great. My first round went very well. We had a consistent pace and didn’t chip anywhere. My horse was right on the game. The second round wasn’t our best, but we still did okay. Overall, I’m very happy.”

Con-Grande, an entry owned by CPS Equest, LLC, is a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Conterno Grande.

“I’ve had him for about a year now,” Herran continued. “I love him. He’s a very serious horse; he knows what he has to do, likes to work, and isn’t really the fun and play kind of dude. We’ve been showing in the Children’s Hunters, and next year we’re planning on moving up to the 3’6″ Juniors.”

The division had a three-way-tie for reserve champion with Sophia Soja, Sarah Ekola, and Abigail Tinsley each earning a tricolor ribbon. Soja of Chappaqua, NY piloted Casco De La Vie Z, an entry owned by Jimmy Torano, to a win and a fourth place finish over fences. Abigail Tinsley of Sudbury, MA rode her own Zonder Z Quattro to two second place finishes over fences. Sarah Ekola of Blythewood, SC guided Zanzibar to a win and a fourth place finish over fences.

The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its ninth week of competition on March 8-12, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt Capture $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt. Photos © Sportfot.

McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z Top $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic; Scott Stewart Wins Tricolor Ribbon in CaptiveOne Green Hunter 3’3″

Wellington, FL – March 2, 2017 – It was an Irish victory on day two of CSIO 4* competition at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt captured the win in round eight of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Also competing earlier in the day, McLain Ward (USA) returned to the winner’s circle for week eight with a win aboard HH Carlos Z in the $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic.

This week’s edition of WEF Challenge Cup competition was held as a one-round speed class with 59 entries starting over Ken Krome’s (USA) course with ten clear rounds. Sweetnam, aboard his own and The Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt, clocked the winning time of 69.13 seconds. The pair edged out Todd Minikus (USA) and Wyndmont’s Valinski S, who settled for second place in 69.91 seconds. Reigning World Champions Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) and SFN Zenith, owned by Springpaarden Fonds Nederland and W. van der Ham, placed third in 71.43 seconds.

“He jumped great today,” Sweetnam said of Cobolt. “Obviously these classes are never easy, so it was great to win it. I was thinking I would get caught because we went in the first half of the class. Normally the second half, towards the end of the class, can get really hot. Leslie (Howard) was pretty quick at the end there, but luckily she knocked a fence.”

Describing his round, Sweetnam stated, “I think the course builder did a good job. There were a lot of numbers, and a couple of rollback turns that you could make up time. In the last line there was a leave-out, which I did take a chance there. That could really help you win or lose a class. I felt the course suited my horse beforehand, and then it did work out well.”

Eleven-year-old Cobolt is a Swedish Warmblood gelding sired by Sweetnam’s winning mount Cyklon 1083 (x Camaro M). Sweetnam admitted that although the gelding has many similarities to Cyklon, it took some time for the partnership to develop.

“He is similar to Cyklon. He looks similar and they have the same sort of attitude,” Sweetnam detailed. “He likes to go fast, and he is naturally quick. Cyklon is still going and I have a very special place for him. He has won everywhere, and I do not think there are many horses as good as Cyklon at what he does, so it is hard to compare them. We judge Cobolt as a different character.

“He is improving. He is getting better and better all the time,” Sweetnam said of the horse that he has only been riding for a year. “Sometimes it is easier to get a younger horse and develop them through because you get to know their buttons earlier. When you get an older horse that has done a bit with another rider, it can be hard to get them into your program. It honestly took me six months to really click with him, but since the start of the summer he has won a lot. Between Kentucky, Toronto, Tryon, and now here, he has had a great year.”

Ward Wins with HH Carlos Z

2016 Olympic team silver medalist McLain Ward (USA) returned to the winner’s circle during week eight at the Winter Equestrian Festival with a victory aboard veteran mount HH Carlos Z in Thursday’s $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic. Despite some time off due to an injury sustained in October, the speedy 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Z x Voltaire) was in fine form to top a field of 78 competitors.

Ken Krome (USA) set the course, which yielded 17 starters for the jump-off, and another ten clear entries over the short track. Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and G&C Durania K were first to go in the jump-off, setting the pace with a clear round in 40.66 seconds to eventually finish third. Ward and Double H Farm’s pint-sized gelding soon took over the lead in 39.50 seconds. Later, Ireland’s Darragh Kenny jumped into second place with a time of 40.32 seconds riding Kerry Anne LLC’s Bolero III.

McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z

Following some recuperation for his injury, ‘Carlos’ started out in a few small classes this winter and came out ready to play on Thursday.

“We have just been giving him some time to heal and slowly getting him back,” Ward detailed. “This is the first time I have actually moved him up to a 1.45m event, so it was good.

“Carlos is a funny horse,” Ward continued. “He always feels a little bit like a pony, and then he steps up and does the job. He is just so fast everywhere. He felt like he got a bit stronger through the class today, and that is always a good sign.”

Commenting on his focus while getting Carlos back in top form, Ward added, “Funny enough, he is not a hot horse. He is actually a cold horse, and you have to really energize him. He is so careful, so I just try to keep him confident. He has been such a great speed horse over the years, and he anticipates everything, so you just have to monitor that a little bit.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Katherine Strauss and All In won the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Welcome, and Christina Firestone (USA) and Arwen were victorious in the $1,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 1.40m.

Scott Stewart Wins Tricolor Ribbon in CaptiveOne Green Hunter 3’3″

Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL and Status, an entry owned by Rivers Edge, earned an impressive total of 40 points in the CaptiveOne Green Hunter 3’3″ division to win the championship title. Stewart piloted the gelding to two wins, as well as second and third place finishes over fences. The pair also won the under saddle.

“He’s really easy and laid back,” Stewart said of the coming six-year-old Oldenburg by Straviaty. “We bought him as a three-year-old. He did well in both the Pre-Green Incentive and Future Hunters class at Capital Challenge last year.”

Week eight is Status’ third show of the 2017 season. The gelding was reserve champion during weeks five and six in the same division.

Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL guided Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court, Inc., to the reserve tricolor ribbon. The duo won an over fences, placed second in the other three jumping classes, and sixth under saddle. Dandelion is a 2006 Dutch Warmblood Mare by Heartbreaker.

“We imported her as a nine-year-old and took our time getting her in the ring,” Newman explained. “We started showing her in July of last summer in the Baby Greens. She moved up here at the start of circuit. She’s really laid back and is actually a huge tomboy, not mareish at all. She’s very easy and is really fun to ride.”

Newman was a successful junior rider in the equitation and jumper rings. As an aspiring professional, she runs Allwyn Court with her parents, Kathy and Gerry Newman.

Speaking of her winter circuit, Newman said, “I’ve had a great winter circuit here at WEF this year. I’m not as busy as a lot of the other people, but it’s been a really fun year so far!”

Competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival continues in the International Arena on Friday featuring the $10,000 Griffis Residential CSIO Speed Stake during the day and the $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup CSIO 4* in the evening. The Young Hunter 3’6″ division will award championship honors in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Urban Youth Impact Wins Great Charity Challenge at WEF

Shane Sweetnam. Photos © Sportfot.

Farrington Tops Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Staszak Takes Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal

Wellington, FL – February 4, 2017 – The team of riders Shane Sweetnam, Lindsey Tomeu, and Sedona Chamblee, team sponsors Spy Coast & Preston, and corporate sponsor Equine Tack & Nutritionals earned the top prize of $150,000 for their charity, Urban Youth Impact, on Saturday night in the 8th annual Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Also competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL on Saturday, Olympic silver medalist Kent Farrington won the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic riding Sherkan d’Amaury.

The 2017 GCC donated a record $1.5 million to 35 local Palm Beach County charities, bringing the eight-year total up to $10.7 million distributed through the event to date. The winning charity received the top prize of $150,000, with a sliding scale for the balance of the proceeds down to 35th place, which wins $15,000.

The competition is held as a pro-am team relay with each team made up of junior and amateur riders competing side by side with top professionals. The event also featured a fun theme, as riders (and their horses) dressed up as characters from their favorite animated movies.

Representing Urban Youth Impact, Sweetnam, Tomeu, and Chamblee rode for team sponsor Spy Coast & Preston, and corporate sponsor Equine Tack and Nutritionals dressed as characters from The Flintstones. All three riders cleared the course without fault and clocked the fastest combined time of 85.27 seconds for the win. Sweetnam and Tomeu were also part of the winning team in 2016, while Chamblee was competing in the event for the first time.

“It is a fantastic cause, not just for our team, but for a lot of different foundations in the area,” said Sweetnam, who anchored the team as professional rider. “I do not know if there is anything else like it in the country or anywhere really. Every year we try to do our best for whatever cause we are given. Obviously the girls did a great job, and I just finished it off. They were really motoring, so it was great.”

Tomeu (23), who has been competing in the event for the past four years, stated, “Every year we really try hard to win. We put together a good team, and last year we had a great team. We really wanted to step it up and do it again, and we did, which is amazing. We were even faster this year than we were last year, which I did not think was possible. Sedona was fantastic with her switch-off. It was really amazing.”

Chamblee (15) added, “This was my first year doing the Great Charity Challenge, and it was really fun. It was a great experience, and you get to ride for an amazing charity, which is really cool. Like Lindsey said, it was just amazing.”

Representing team sponsor Spy Coast Farm, Lisa Lourie commented on her team’s win for the second year in a row.

“I think it is a great way to involve the community here with our sport, as well as for us to give back to the community,” Lourie stated. “It is a win-win for both the community and for us. When we get to be involved with either educational or urban youth organizations, we are especially happy. We are very happy to be involved with Urban Youth Impact.”

Team sponsor Monica Preston added, “I am so proud to be a part of this group, and it is really wonderful that a small charity can benefit so greatly. I am so proud of the riders, and thank you to Lisa for getting me involved in this event.”

Charity winner Urban Youth Impact’s mission is to love, equip, and empower inner-city youth and their parents to fulfill their God-given purpose. Representing the organization, volunteer Sarah Armada detailed, “It is an organization that provides a safe place for kids to go after school. They get reading support; they get the arts. There is African drumming and ballet. There are things that these children would not be otherwise exposed to. They do so much for the community, and I think this is a great way to get their name out there and just provide them with all of the resources that those kids so desperately need. This is going to make a huge difference.”

Armada continued, “It is all about building their capacity and letting the kids feel empowered and equipped so that they can go out and be successful in their community.”

Adopt a Family was the second wildcard draw of the night, and ended up in second place overall, with riders Sydney Shulman, Lilli Hymowitz, and Hannah Patten representing the charity. Team sponsor the Patten family and corporate sponsor H5 Stables supported the riders, dressed as characters from Lilo & Stitch, with a combined time of 94.02 seconds.

Representing the charity Hepzibah House, Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster, and amateur riders Alexandra Crown and Alexandra Welles, placed third. Dressed as My Little Ponies and riding for team sponsor the Crown family and corporate sponsor Stone Hill Farm, all three ladies jumped their courses without fault and clocked a combined time of 97.47 seconds.

GCC co-founder Paige Bellissimo was thrilled with the success of the eighth annual event and praised everyone involved on a fantastic evening of sport and charitable giving.

“It is really special year after year to have so many great riders participating in the event,” Bellissimo stated. “It is amazing that people donate their time to give back. The executive directors of all of the charity organizations are the lifeblood of these communities, and it is just really amazing that we can all come together to support the community and see it grow. I want to thank the riders and the sponsors. Thank you Lisa and Monica for supporting year after year. It is so cool to see the charities and everyone’s unique way of helping. Urban Youth Impact is empowering our youth, and the youth are our future, so thanks go to them for everything they do.”

Farrington Tops Suncast® 1.50m

2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington was the winner of week four’s $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Saturday at the Winter Equestrian Festival riding Sherkan d’Amaury. Jumping a track set by course designer Steve Stephens (USA), Farrington topped a class of 29 entries and an eight-horse jump-off.

Kent Farrington and Sherkan d’Amaury

Sherkan d’Amaury, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Quick Star) owned by Farrington, Haity McNerney, and Daniel Crown, carried his rider to victory in a time of 39.54 seconds over the short course. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) took second and third place honors, riding the Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt through the timers in 39.92 seconds, and stopping the clock in 40.56 seconds aboard Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC’s Main Road. Canada’s Beth Underhill finished fourth, riding Sandy Lupton’s Count Me In to a clear round over the jump-off track in 40.59 seconds.

Remarking on his winning round with Sherkan d’Amaury, Farrington stated, “For him, I just did what I thought his strengths were. I think what won the class today was the leave-out to the last fence. He has a very big stride and big scope, and he is so careful that he is actually better if I am catching every jump accelerating, or out of rhythm. I think that is where we got it today.

“I think a lot of this horse,” Farrington continued. “I had him last year, and then he had a terrible colic surgery, and he just started showing this winter two weeks ago. The first class in the week he was third, and then yesterday he was second, and today he won, so he is really on the mend and I’m happy to have him back.”

Sherkan d’Amaury has a fast pace and a unique way of going that suits Farrington’s strengths as a rider.

“He is my style. He is super careful, which I try to find in all of the horses I buy,” Farrington stated. “I try to get extreme quality, and sometimes that works against me, but in the end I think that is the way you get the best horses. They tend to be a little bit the weirdos. They are spooky and not always the easiest to ride, but that often goes hand-in-hand with an extreme horse that has that kind of blood and that kind of carefulness. It is a double-edged sword, but that is what I like to ride.”

Sherkan d’Amaury is just getting back in top form and Farrington will continue developing him throughout the winter circuit.

“I think he can jump anything,” the rider noted. “It is just a matter of building him the right way, and seeing where his confidence is, and what his body is ready for. He came off of a long gap there not doing anything all last year, so we’ll see where he goes. It is a long winter and we have lots of time to build him up, so I am looking forward to it.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Sarah Bagworth and Goldfinder vd Hengstenpoel won the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers.

Staszak Captures Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal Victory

The Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal concluded Saturday morning with Catie Staszak of Boynton Beach, FL emerging as the winner. Staszak shows in the Adult Amateur Medals while also focusing on her career as a multimedia sports journalist. All 11 competitors participated in a jumping and a flat phase.

“Flatwork has typically been my weakness,” Staszak detailed. “The jumping phase felt phenomenal. Everything worked out well and was smooth, which is key. It wasn’t the most technical course, so it was really about position and keeping on a nice rhythm.”

Staszak was aboard Agnes Augusta, a 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare owned by East Wind Farm, LLC. The pair has been partnered together for about four years.

“We just click,” Staszak explained. “She’s really sensitive, and I’m a very soft rider so we get along well. She’s come so far, especially in the past year. I couldn’t be prouder of her. She’s really special, and I love her to death.”

Staszak rode in the equitation classes as a junior, but took a break from showing to get her degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Miami. She does grand prix commentary for live streaming events, which combines for a career of two of her passions – horses and journalism.

Rounding out the top three competitors were Sara Ballinger taking second place and Elissa Davis being awarded third place.

The fourth week of WEF concludes on Sunday with the $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 4* on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village. The Bruno DelGrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division will award championship and reserve honors in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Shane Sweetnam Concludes Tryon Fall IV with Win in $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Shane Sweetnam and Cornwall. Photos ©Sportfot.

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ Fly through Timers to Capture $25,000 U25 Grand Prix; Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series Concludes

Mill Spring, NC – October 16, 2016 – Shane Sweetnam of Wellington, FL and Cornwall earned top honors in the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix on the Grass Complex at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to conclude competition at Tryon Fall IV. Sweetnam and Cornwall completed the jump-off track in 37.838 seconds ahead of Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Boy IV who crossed through the timers in 40.399 seconds. Darragh Kerins of Wellington, FL and Rebeca LS completed the final double clear effort of the class, completing the track with a time of 48.176 seconds.

Sweetnam and Cornwall, a 2008 Holsteiner stallion (Con Air x Cambridge) owned by Siboney Ranch, bested the class of 31 entries, riding to a smooth first round on the track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). The jump-off featured nine combinations and only the top three finishers completed both rounds of the class without faults.

“Michel did a great job today and I thought that it was a very nice course. It was big enough and not too technical I thought,” explained Sweetnam. “It was nice that the horses who were going to do this class had the opportunity to compete on the grass on Friday as well. The class had the right number of clears with nine and that always makes for an exciting jump-off.”

Cornwall is typically ridden by Sweetnam’s client, Kaley Tomeu, who sustained and injury and turned over the reins to her trainer while she recovers. The talented young stallion gained competition experience on both the turf and in the George H. Morris Arena this week, as Sweetnam contested the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Opener CSI 3* and placed second, as well as the $8,000 1.40m Open Jumper Classic presented by Nutrena®.

“He’s only eight and belongs to Kaley Tomeu. She typically rides him but broke her collar bone so I’ll have the ride on him for the next few months. I’m just starting to get the hang of him now and we’re getting together a bit more,” he commented. “We’re aiming him for the last indoor competition in Kentucky. He’s very talented so I’m looking forward to seeing him progress over the next few months.”

Sweetnam finished a strong week of competition at TIEC after collecting first and second place finishes aboard Cornwall, and a top finish with second mount, Main Road, in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night. Sweetnam continues to produce and compete a strong string of horses, which will play a major role in his success over the next few weeks.

“I have other horse Chaqui Z competing next week in the CSI 5*, as well as Cornwall and Main Road, who finished second in the class last night. I’ll then have to rotate the horses a bit as we’re going to go to indoors after,” commented Sweetnam. “I’m really lucky that I have such a strong string and they’re all getting mileage. Cornwall is a nice addition.”

The Grass Complex at TIEC is the newest addition to the expanding facility, allowing horse and rider combinations to experience unique competition opportunities on different footing surfaces. Sweetnam is looking forward to the potential of the complex and was pleased with the performance of Cornwall in both outings on the turf.

“Today the footing already feels like it’s opening up a bit since Friday and I think that as we continue to compete over the next few weeks it will continue to get better. The horses are all jumping well on it. I think it’s going to be a very exciting venue for competition in the future and is a great addition to this facility.”

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ Fly through Timers to Capture $25,000 U25 Grand Prix

Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL and his mount Atlodetto FZ dominated the $25,000 U25 Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with an incredible jump-off time of 36.934 seconds. Taylor Alexander of Castle Rock, CO and Gipsy King trailed closely behind, securing second place with a time of 36.948 seconds, while Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwhich, CT and Helios earned third place honors with a time of 39.00 seconds.

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ
Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ, owned by San Francisco Stables LLC, have been partners for almost two years and are building their confidence together as they gain more competition experience. The pair has been based at TIEC all summer, competing in multiple 1.30m and 1.40m classes.

Larrazabal chuckled as he described his strategy going into the jump-off track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), saying, “My plan was just to go for a conservative round. Taylor Alexander had a crazy fast time and I didn’t think my horse was ready for that speed. I jumped the first oxer and was good to fence two and three, so I got excited.”

“After the double I knew I was coming close to winning,” he continued, detailing his ride. “After the liverpool, I did a short roll back, galloped down to the last oxer, and as soon as I landed I knew I had the time.”

The victory came as a bit of a shock to Larrazabal, which made the victory that much sweeter. The pair have had success moving through the levels and today was a highlight for Larrazabal, as clinching victory in a competitive U25 class is always thrilling.

“I really swear that was not my plan,” he laughed. “Of course I wanted to be clear and fast, but I was not out to beat that time. It was my lucky day for sure.”

Larrazabal and his team are looking forward to heading to the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as he plans to show Atlodetto FZ in ranking classes and possibly in the Nations’ Cup representing his home nation of Venezuela.

“We’re taking it slow and step by step. He is very confident right now, so when he’s ready for the bigger classes he will show me,” he continued.

Larrazabal nearly took another win today, also jumping clear in the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix aboard Quintus Fabius. Larrazabal commented on the new Grass Complex at TIEC, stating, “Jumping on the grass is like dreaming. The footing is immaculate. I showed Friday on the grass and today as well. I actually retired one of my horses from the U25 Grand Prix after two unfortunate rails and decided to enter him in the class out on the turf and we ended up ninth. I just wanted to jump on the grass field!”

Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series Concludes at Tryon International Equestrian Center Showcasing Five Divisions of Top Hunter Competition

The Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center, hosting the best of hunter competition in the region. The week featured five divisions allowing riders of all ages and experience levels the opportunity to compete for top prizes in the George H. Morris Arena.

Kara Jones of Cornelius, NC secured first and second place in the $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Junior Hunter class, piloting her own Joyful to first place with a two round score of 160 and Cristallo, owned by Long’s Stable LLC, to second after receiving a 146. Kendall Edwards of Charlotte, NC and her own Quarterback took third place honors in the class after earning a 144 from the judging panel.

The $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Amateur-Owner Hunter was championed by Alexandra Maracic of Syosset, NY guided her own Lucky Times to victory after accumulating a two round score of 169. Ashley Hodges of Greensboro, NC and Jet Stream K, owned by Sloan Hodges, rode to second place with a final score of 163, while Lynn Seithel of John’s Island, SC took home third place aboard her own Versace.

Courtney Canizares of Elon, NC guided her own Kiera to victory in the $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Adult-Amateur after completing two rounds in the George H. Morris Arena to earn a total score of 167. Vicki Autry of Greensboro, NC and her own Toltec rode to second place honors after receiving a 164. Kimberly Penfold of Lake Bluff, IL and The Spy, owned by Glory Days Farm, LLC, followed closely behind with a two round score of 163.

The $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Children’s Hunter class was topped by Catherine Sharp of Tryon, NC and her own Imperio after receiving an 80 from the judging panel in the first round and a score of 75 in the second round for a total of 155. Ann Gray Stedman of Charlotte, NC and her own Winter Romance took second place after riding to a final score of 138, while Isabel Stedman of Charlotte, NC and Arrow K collected third place honors with a 120.

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Sweetnam Wins Second Saturday Grand Prix in the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt.

Molly Sewell Dominates $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA Hunter Derby

Lexington, KY – Aug. 6, 2016 – After winning the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix last Saturday, Shane Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt returned one week later to pick up another victory under the lights, this time in the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footings.

Forty-seven horse-and-rider combinations attempted Marina Azevedo’s first-round track, with only four eventually advancing to the short course.

Mirroring Thursday’s grand prix, Sweetnam and Cobolt were again the first to go clear, and subsequently the first to return for the jump-off. Their jump-off time of 39.991 seconds would stand for the lead as the remaining three challengers fell short of taking over the top spot.

“Cobolt was brilliant,” Sweetnam said. “It was a difficult course; the designer did a really great job, as she did all week. For the jump-off I knew I had to go quick. The other day I went very quick, but I did get caught. I thought if I did a special turn from fence two to three that I could be the winner of the class. He did that no problem, but we landed and we slipped, which cost a few seconds to get organized. We still could have been beat, but the way it went, my lead stood.”

Sweetnam said he got the ride on Cobolt in January, and said he has been very happy with the horse’s progress. The pair has most recently finished in the top three during all four grand prixs during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show series.

“This summer Cobolt has been getting better and better,” Sweetnam said. “He is very competitive. He really loves his job, but he still has things to learn. We will see what he does when we go to the Hamptons and indoors, but he is really making a lot of progress.”

Finishing in both second and third place was Mavis Spencer on her own Cornetiero and Neil Jones Equestrian Inc.’s Disco Lady, respectively. Spencer returned with Disco Lady first, and an unfortunate refusal and rail down would leave the duo on an 8-fault finish in a time of 61.587 seconds.

“Disco Lady is only 8 years old,” Spencer said. “She jumped Thursday and that was her second night class, and this is her third one, so I’m really happy with her. On Thursday, we had a skinny down. There was a shadow that she looked down at, and I think she got a bit green, to be honest. She is so smart and she never makes the same mistake twice, so in the first round she just knew exactly where the poles were at and she jumped incredibly.”

With Cornetiero, Spencer outpaced Sweetnam with her time of 39.161 seconds, but an unlucky rail dropped at the penultimate fence to earn the duo the second-place spot.

“They are very different types of horses,” Spencer said. “Cornetiero has all the scope, and he’s super brave. He’s a little bit scrappy; he gets the job done. I only started riding Disco last week, and this was my fifth class with her. I rode Coronet last summer until the fall, and this was also my 5th class with him. He is my go-to horse at this level. But, overall, I was really happy with them both.”

Spencer said that just a few hours before the grand prix, a Facebook Timeline Memory reminded her that two years ago she was in Poland grooming for Neil Jones’ horses at a 3* event.

“To see the difference from two years ago to now is incredible,” Spencer said. “Just the fact that I rode three horses in this class is incredible for me. To be second and third, I would never have imagined that this afternoon. It’s an amazing feeling, and I really have a lot to thank Neil Jones for; it is a super support system to have for me.”

The final pair to compete in the jump-off, Juan Andres Rodriguez and his own Bugatti, collected a total of 4 faults and a time of 55.45 seconds to finish in fourth place.

Picking up only 1 time fault in the first round, Max Amaya and Meridian Partners LLC’s Bueno took home the fifth-place ribbon, while the fastest of the 4-fault rounds, Celso Ariani and Ricardo Romero’s Reus De La Nutria rounded out the top six.

Molly Sewell Dominates $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA Hunter Derby

Molly Sewell, a professional based in Orlando, Florida with Bill Schaub, was neck and neck with her two talented mounts, Acado and El Raymond, in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. Less than two points separated the horses, but the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Acado came out on top with an overall score of 181.250.

Molly Sewell and Acado
Molly Sewell and Acado

His owner, Sydney Porter, is competing in her last junior year and earlier this week she was reserve champion in the Junior Hunter 3’3″ division with Acado at the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. Sewell started riding the horse over a month ago, and is helping to prepare Acado to be Porter’s future amateur horse by giving him experience in the derbies.

“He is a lovely horse,” Sewell said. “He’s a pre-green horse, so it’s even better that he can go into the derby and be that amazing. I would not have changed a thing about the first round with Acado; there was there was nothing that needed to be different.

“Acado is really a lovely ride,” she continued. “He is very comfortable, soft in his mouth, has beautiful lead changes, and he is scopey.”

Sewell and Acado placed third in their first derby together in last week’s Kentucky Summer Horse Show, so she was thrilled that he stepped up to win the large class on Saturday. The pair earned a 93.000 in the first round and an 88.250 in the second round after jumping all three high options in each round.

“I think Acado was more confident this week,” Sewell explained. “He walked into the ring and rose to the occasion. He jumped the high options outstandingly. He just had a bit more mileage and confidence this week.”

Though Acado lead the way after the first round, Sewell’s other mount, El Raymond, had the experience to edge him out in the second round score by only 0.250 points. Owned by Leslie and Stuart Campbell, El Raymond is an 18-year-old Warmblood gelding who has quite an impressive derby record. Sewell and the chestnut gelding have won the Kentucky Summer Horse Show derby three years in a row, and they took the blue ribbon in last week’s derby.

“He was amazing as always,” she said. “I feel like my first round on Raymond today was by far one of the best first rounds I’ve ever had on him. Sometimes he can be too casual on the first round and he gears up for the second round and that’s when he shines.”

Though El Raymond came back to score higher in the second round with an 88.500, it was not enough to win the overall total score. Acado won Friday’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby with a total score of 181.50 while El Raymond placed second with a 179.500.

“I felt a little bit bad because I had to send Raymond back to the barn before the awards presentation…he really is not used to that treatment,” Sewell laughed.

Sewell praised the derby course and she felt the solid high options gave her the opportunity to show off her horses’ jumping talents.

“Raymond has a lot more shows under his belt with a lot more experience and wins,” she explained. “They are very different rides. Acado has a bigger stride, and he has a higher and slower jump compared to Raymond. Raymond is so tidy with his knees, so it depends on what you like.”

Sewell rides with Bill Schaub, and they discussed their strategy of the handy round, which helped solidify her win on Saturday. They emphasized the importance of maintaining a smooth round with quality jumping style.

“People can get carried away in the handy and they forget it is still the hunters,” Schaub explained. “It needs to be smooth and the horse must jump in good style. When you get too carried away you lose that.”

“In the handy a lot of people can get a bit too crazy and it can get messy,” Sewell explained. “I chose to ride more conservative and only do a couple of the inside turns in order to be smooth. It worked out for me today.”

Sewell came to Schaub her first year out of the junior division, and they have been working together for sixteen years.

“I always want Molly to be neat, tight, carry a gallop while having a smooth round,” Schaub continued. “Originally we had some ideas of how to ride the handy but after watching some rides we realized those options made it messy. We did not want to be too risky and lose the style.”

The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is part of the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series which is returning for the fifth year in a row at the Kentucky Horse Park. The five-part series a $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus presented at the conclusion of the series.

The Kentucky Summer Classic will wrap up on Sunday to make way for the 2016 United States Pony Finals. The Kentucky Summer Horse Show Series will resume on August 16 with the start of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, which will feature both the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship and the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.

To learn more about the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Irish Riders Sweetnam, Kelly Sweep $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt.

Emma Kurtz Dominates Junior Hunter Divisions at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Lexington, KY – July 30, 2016 – The luck of the Irish certainly favored the winners of Saturday’s $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Irish riders Shane Sweetnam and Christina Kelly rode away with the top three ribbons, with first and third won by Sweetnam and Kelly earning second.

The first round saw 30 entries over fellow Irishman Alan Wade’s course, with 14 horse-and-rider combinations eventually advancing to the short course. The spectators cheered from the stands, enjoying the top-quality show jumping during the Kentucky Horse Park’s 14th annual Hats Off Day.

Kelly and Andrea O’Brien’s Kingdom were among the first to turn in a clear round, securing their place in the jump-off early on in the class.

“Kingdom has come such a long way,” Kelly said. “He jumped his first grand prix in April in Aiken, and he has moved up slowly. He has been unbelievable, and this is the biggest venue he has competed at, especially with the crowds and the night class. He showed so much potential, and he is getting better and better.”

Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt jumped their clear effort shortly after, and later Sweetnam followed up with another jump-off-qualifying round aboard Main Road, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC.

“Cobolt is a lot of fun to ride,” Sweetnam said. “It’s taken me a little while to figure out the buttons, but we seem to have figured it out in the last couple months. He’s been very consistent, so I’m very happy with him. He’s a really quick horse, and he jumped really well here the other night.”

As the riders returned for the jump off, only five of the 14 qualified would repeat their clear efforts. Kelly returned with Kingdom to lay down a quick round, saving time by taking tight turns and opening up the 17.3-hand horse’s massive stride between the combinations. Kelly and Kingdom stopped the timers in 45.474 seconds, securing her hold on the lead.

“I was very happy with him,” Kelly said. “I was going into this hopeful that he was going to jump well. My strategy was just to go double clear, but he was jumping so well I figured I could push him a bit to go faster. The track rode fantastic; I love Alan Wade’s courses.”

Sweetnam entered the ring on Cobolt shortly after, taking his turns even tighter and using his smaller horse’s agility to its full potential to shave an impressive two seconds off of Kelly’s leading time, finishing the course in a mere 43.882 seconds to take over the top spot.

“Christina was really fast,” Sweetnam said. “I know she was really quick everywhere, but Christina’s horse is a big-strided horse, and I think my fellow may just be a bit niftier and quicker through the corners. He’s definitely more competitive that way; he’s bouncy, you can turn quicker, and he gets his eye on the jumps. I think he was excellent in the jump-off. He likes going fast; he’s a bit like his dad [Cyklon 1083], so it’s great that Cobolt is winning, too.”

During his career with Cyklon 1083, Sweetnam has experienced a lot of success. At 10 years old, Cobolt is one of Cyklon’s oldest sons and is following in his father’s footsteps. Sweetnam got the ride on the gelding in January, and has since won the $130,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI3* at Tryon, among other successes at the 1.50m level.

The final rider to return to the ring, it was clear that Sweetnam would be taking home the blue ribbon, but it was a question of whether he could beat his earlier time on his next mount, Main Road. Despite coming close with their clear effort, Sweetnam and Main Road’s time of 46.444 seconds would earn them the third-place ribbon.

“Main Road is only an 8-year-old,” Sweetnam explained. “He’s had a bit of success already this summer, and he’s coming along all the time. He was pretty quick tonight, and I think if I had to, I could have been quicker, but I would have taken more risks. I was already happy with his round, and he did exactly what I wanted to do. He can be very, very quick, and I think he’ll have other days where he’ll win, too.”

Sweetnam concluded, “I love Kentucky, and we always have success here. It’s our home for the summer, so that makes it nicer. I also want to thank my sponsors, between Lisa Lourie, the Buckle Up Group, the Gilbertsons and Paul Tracey; I’m just lucky to have such great owners. I’ve been very lucky this year to have these horses.”

Also going double clear, Adrienne Sternlicht and Starlight Farms 1 LLC’s Toulago tripped the timers in 49.442 seconds to take home fourth place. Trailing very closely behind, Juan Ortiz and the Synchronicity Group’s D’ulien Van De Smeets ended up in fifth place with their time of 49.842 seconds. Despite having the second-fastest time at 44.372 seconds, Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios and A S D Farfala rounded out the top six after catching an unfortunate four faults for having a rail down.

The final highlights during the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix. The action will resume next week during the Kentucky Summer Classic.

Emma Kurtz Dominates Junior Hunter Divisions

Emma Kurtz dominated the Stonelea Ring on Saturday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show with wins on Dominik in the Small Junior Hunter division, as well as a clean sweep in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division on Frederick.

“My rounds on Frederick went really well today,” Kurtz said. “He was amazing considering it was so late in the day due to the weather delay. He is very flashy with his white socks and blaze, and he has a great rhythm to his canter.”

Emma Kurtz and Frederick
Emma Kurtz and Frederick

Kurtz has had the ride on David Gochman’s chestnut gelding for over a year, and the pair are no strangers to winning blue ribbons and championship titles. In Saturday’s Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, Kurtz and Frederick won both over fences classes and the under saddle class.

“Frederick is a quiet horse. He is so fun to ride and I love him,” she continued. “He may be a bit looky at times, but he is usually on it and he was great today.”

Kurtz of Hudson, Ohio also impressed the judges on David Gochman’s gelding Dominik. This was the third show the duo has competed together and though they are a relatively new pair they were Grand Champions at Brandywine. On Saturday, they earned the blue ribbon in both over fences classes during the Small Junior Hunter division.

“Dominik was feeling great today,” Kurtz explained. “He was a bit frisky which was kind of good because he is usually too quiet, so the rides today were nice. He is very simple and sweet.”

She plans on riding him in next week’s Kentucky Summer Classic and then Sophie and Mimi Gochman will pick up the ride.

“I love Kentucky,” Kurtz explained. “I love to be back here! The show is always run so nicely. The jumps are beautiful and it’s just a really nice show to come to.”

Brett Burlington of Miami, Florida leads the way in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division on Popish Farms LLC’s Due West. The pair won an over fences class as well as placed second in the under saddle class.

“I thought my rounds went really well today,” Burlington said. “He is very easy and straightforward. I float the reins and everything usually works out well.  Basically the less I involve myself the easier it is. If I ride everything smooth and not change much, the distances come up nicely. The more adjustments I try to make, the distances can get a bit iffy.”

Burlington competed the 12-year-old gelding during the winter season at WEF and they were champions in Traverse City earlier in the summer.

“He is owned by a client at Sweet Oaks Farm and she is very nice to let me show him,” she explained. “I have been riding him on and off for a couple of years now. For the rest of the season we will work on having more consistent rounds and try my best.”

All junior hunter divisions will wrap up on Sunday morning at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show.

On Saturday morning, championships were awarded in the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. Jane Gaston won the Visse Wedell Grand Hunter Championship, as well as the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship aboard Because. The KWPN gelding had also earned the Green Hunter Championship with Kelley Farmer earlier in the week.

Lisa Butzer earned the tricolored ribbon for the Amateur-Owner 3’3 18-35 division on Pure Imagination, while Didi Mackenzie and MTM Do Right was crowned champion in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3 Over 35 division.

On Sunday, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby will take place and it will be the third class in the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series. The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus will award a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. The series-leading amateur and junior riders accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 21.

To learn more about the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Sweetnam Secures 2nd Victory during Tryon Spring 7 with Cobolt in $130k Ariat Grand Prix CSI 3*

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt. Photos: ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – June 4, 2016 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) powered to another win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) this week, piloting Cobolt to victory in the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena. Sweetnam and Cobolt saved the best for last, completing the jump-off course in 41.58 seconds to secure their top place finish. Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and Quattro earned second place, finishing in 42.424 seconds, while David Beisel (USA) and Call Me Hannes collected third place with a time of 45.351 seconds.

Competition at Tryon Spring 7 concludes Sunday with the $25,000 The Lodge on Lake Lure Grand Prix at 11:30 a.m. The Tryon Spring Series continues next week, hosting the first ever CSI 5* at the venue, which begins on Wednesday, June 8, and continues through Sunday, June 12, featuring the $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, June 11.

The $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* featured 33 entries and saw only five combinations move forward to contest the jump-off round. Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set both tracks, which proved to test speed and accuracy, as two pairs finished the evening with a single time fault and eight combinations dropped a rail for four faults. Cobolt and Sweetnam were the last pair to secure a clear jumping effort, making them the fifth pair to enter the jump-off round and also the final combination to test the short course.

“I definitely felt pressure. You have to understand the goal, but you can’t be silly about it either. He’s quite a quick horse and I knew that he was feeling good because he was bucking from fence one to two,” explained Sweetnam. “We were a little lucky at fence two because of it, but he responded great and jumped the rest very well.”

Sweetnam also took the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome on Thursday aboard Cyklon 1083, who is the sire of tonight’s winner, Cobolt. Displaying his experience and expertise, Sweetnam piloted Cobolt, a 2008 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cyklon 1083 x Selena) owned by The Blue Buckle Group, to their first major FEI win together.

“He’s a new enough ride for me. He’s ten and his father is actually Cyklon who won the other day, so it’s a father and son kind of thing this week,” chuckled Sweetnam. “We haven’t done so many big classes together yet, so for the jump-off I wasn’t sure how it would pan out but he handled it very well.”

“I thought he jumped great in both the first and second round. It was a great win for him,” he added.

The Blue Buckle Group acquired Cobolt in January and Sweetnam has taken his time getting to know the talented gelding, who joined Sweetnam’s string with a proven FEI record in Europe. The duo competed together for the first time this past February and only contested a handful of 1.50m classes during the winter circuit.

“I did a couple of 1.50m classes with him, but this is obviously our first big result,” commented Sweetnam. “He jumped the 1.50m class the other day and I made a few little mistakes but he jumped great. My plan was always to get a good result tonight and I have to say, I was very pleased with the way he jumped. Now I need to figure out what our next big class will be.”

Daniel Bedoya and Quattro
Daniel Bedoya and Quattro

While Sweetnam has three mounts entered in the Tryon Spring 8 FEI CSI 5* next week, Cobolt will not contest the week’s main event, the $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix, but Sweetnam is looking forward to producing more top results with the gelding throughout the rest of the season.

“I was very impressed with him tonight and I know that he is a quick horse. He has a lot of real talent and I’m hoping that this win is the first of many to come for us,” concluded Sweetnam.

Sweetnam’s groom, Lilly Johnson, was presented with the Groom’s Initiative Award on behalf of Mark Bellissimo and Tryon Equestrian Partners, honoring her for the meticulous care and dedication to Sweetnam’s winning mount, Cobolt.

Kristen Vanderveen (USA) received the Leading Lady Award, presented by realtor Meg Atkinson, in recognition of Vanderveen’s performances in FEI classes during Tryon Spring 7.

The Tryon Spring Series continues next week with Tryon Spring 8, featuring the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Mirimichi Green on Friday, June 10, and the $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, June 11. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of weekly results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 Top $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome at TIEC

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083. Photo Credit: ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – June 2, 2016 – Clinching his first victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) this season, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 secured the win in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome, finishing the track in 35.393 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) finished in second place aboard Bull Run’s Testify, stopping the jump-off timers in 35.944 seconds, and piloted Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili to third place with a time of 36.624 seconds.

Tryon Spring 7 continues at TIEC throughout the week featuring FEI CSI 3* competition and will highlight the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, June 4, with gates opening to the public at 6:00 p.m. and competition beginning at 8:00 p.m. General admission and parking are free.

The course set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) saw 12 pairs move forward to the test the short course, while 28 original entries tackled the first round track. Five combinations finished the class with a double clear effort, while Vanderveen was the only competitor to finish the day with a double clear effort on both of her entries.

“I thought Michel did a good job. It was stout enough and I don’t think that it was overly technical, but it was big enough,” said Sweetnam. “He’s a great course designer and I think he had the right number of clears with 12 in the jump-off and in the ribbons.”

Cyklon 1083, owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC, is an experienced mount for Sweetnam and has accumulated a number of top placings this year, including eight top five finishes in FEI competition throughout the winter circuit in Wellington, FL. The 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Cassandra) has spent ample time in many of the world’s biggest classes with Sweetnam in the irons and that experience is easily noted when the pair enter the ring.

“I thought my horse jumped very well in the first round and he’s fifteen so he has enough experience,” he stated. “Every Classic that I do with him I hope that I have a chance at winning it. He’s been having a great year and has had plenty of results. I feel like if I get into the jump-off with him I always have a chance.”

Sweetnam has established a working relationship with Cyklon 1083 that allows him to understand when to push for more, but also where it is safer to add, which was evident in the duo’s jump-off round. The pair opted to take several inside turns and Sweetnam felt it differentiated their time enough for the win.

He explained, “In the jump-off today I think a lot of people did five strides from fence two to three and I did six. I just felt for him, that I turned tightly back to two and three, so I think that’s where I made that time. Doing five in that line wouldn’t have been the ideal plan for him because he’s a little horse.”

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run's Testify
Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Testify

Vanderveen set a strong pace aboard Bull Run’s Testify early in the jump-off, which seemed too good to beat until Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 dashed through the timers just five-tenths of a second faster. Sweetnam is gearing up for a big week ahead, as he will have three horses entered in the Tryon Spring 8 FEI CSI 5*.

“I’m going to jump him in the class this Saturday night and hopefully we can have the same type of result. Next week is obviously a very big week and he’ll go again. I’ll have Chaqui Z and Buckle Up entered as well. Between the three of them I’m hoping that we can get some good results. There’s plenty of money and during the 5* week Thursday and Saturday will be very big for everyone.”

Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow featuring a $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. The Tryon Spring 7 “Saturday Night Lights” event will welcome the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* with gates opening to the public at 6:00 p.m. and the first horse on course set for 8:00 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of weekly results, please visit www.tryon.com.