Mil Spring, NC – October 8, 2020 – Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura left out a few strides to top Tryon International Equestrian Center’s largest class held to date at the venue, winning the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* on a time of 32.3 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen, the 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Utopie x Indoctro) owned by Bull Run Jumpers, Inc., earned second place on a time of 33.64 seconds, while Alberto Michan (ISR) rounded out the podium aboard Cosa Nostra, the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Conthargos x Quintender) owned by Alberto Michan and Daniel Michan Halbinger, in a time of 34.06 seconds over the jump-off course.
The Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) course design tested a record 106 horse-and-rider pairs, with 27 pairs qualifying for the jump-off and 16 pairs ultimately challenging the short course. Previously, the largest class hosted at TIEC to date featured 102 entries. Not only did Shulman guide the 2009 Selle Francais mare (Diamant de Semilly x Unknown) owned by Jill Shulman to a win, but she also qualified J. Boston S.E., the 2009 Belgian Warmblood (Boris van het Kluisebos x Guido) owned by Jill and Sydney Shulman, and was the only rider to return for the second round with two mounts.
Amanda Derbyshire and Oasis Spirit Dominate $37,000 EquiSafe Global Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*
October 7, 2020 – Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Oasis Spirit dominated Wednesday’s $37,000 EquiSafe Global Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*, stopping the speed phase timers in 26.25 seconds. Just behind, David O’Brien (IRL) and Maldonado SCF, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Landino) owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, cleared the speed phase in 26.538 seconds for second, while Karen Polle (JPN) and Jet Run, her own 2010 Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Robin Z), collected third on a time of 26.928 seconds.
Derbyshire and her own 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cobra x Lux Z) were one of 50 trips to challenge the power phase of the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) course, with 32 horse-and-rider pairs proceeding to the speed portion.
Daniel Geitner and Fazous Fly to $1,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* Win
October 7, 2020 – Daniel Geitner (USA) and Fazous, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Up To Date x Purioso) owned by Oak Ledge Farm, sped to a win in Wednesday’s $1,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*, stopping the speed phase timers in 33.138 seconds. Holly Shepherd (USA) guided CHS Krooze to second on a time of 33.467 seconds with the 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare (Kroongraaf x Cruising) owned by Loretta Patterson, while Mavis Spencer (USA) and Con Calle, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Contendro II x Cassini II) owned by Georgy Sarah Maskrey-Segesman, rounded out the podium on a speed phase time of 34.064 seconds.
Mill Spring, NC – July 16, 2020 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef sped through the timers in 34.857 seconds to best the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Sharn Wordley (NZL) and his own Casper, the 2006 Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet Du Rouet), cleared the short course in 35.191 seconds to take second, while Lillie Keenan (USA) and Fasther, a 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vigo D’Arsouilles x Farmer) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, produced a 35.2 second jump-off round to claim third.
Sweetnam and his own 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare (Casantos x Action-Breaker) were one of 60 entries to test the first-round track set by Ken Krome (USA), and one of 12 pairs to qualify for the jump-off round. “It was a tricky course. Ken did a good job. There were a lot of good riders and partnerships out there today. It was quite strong for a ranking class,” he shared. “I’m sure it set the horses up well for Saturday night. It was a bit more of a test than yesterday [$37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3*],” where Sweetnam and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef claimed second.
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura Speed to $37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3* Win
July 15, 2020 – Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura sped around the short course in 36.536 seconds, winning the $37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with Shane Sweetnam (IRL) taking second in a time of 37.522 seconds aboard his own Indra Van De Oude Heihoef, the 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare (Casantos x Action-Breaker). Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Baloppi, the Seabrook LLC 2007 Danish Warmblood mare (Balou du Rouet x Unknown), stopped the timers at 38.39 seconds to earn third.
Shulman and the 2009 Selle Francais mare (Diamant de Semilly x Unknown) owned by Jill Shulman were one of 21 pairs to qualify for the jump-off out of 54 entries challenging the Ken Krome (USA) course design, and Shulman shared that Villamoura is a top mount in her string: “She really stepped up this winter, and is one of my top horses. She jumped the Nations Cup for Israel and had a clear round there, and she won a five-star class at Deeridge. She’s on a roll! She jumped two national classes here last week and felt great. She was just all over this class today! It was so much fun.”
Wellington, FL – February 28, 2020 – Sydney Shulman (ISR) held onto her spot at the top of the Hermès Under 25 leaderboard by winning the $37,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final CSIO4* aboard Azilis du Mesnil under the lights in the International Arena during week eight on Friday, February 28, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Fifty-five horses challenged courses set by USA’s Ken Krome with less than a half a second separating the top four in a 12-horse jump-off. Israel’s Shulman and Azilis du Mesnil did just enough to top the standings in the end with a time of 31.59 seconds for owner Jill Shulman.
“I love this series because it’s a great steppingstone for horses and riders,” said Shulman, 25, who is making the most of her final year in the Under 25 ranks. “I did it for my first year when I was 16. You get to jump on the grass, under the lights, and as a team, so it’s a great system that they have set up.”
Shulman celebrated a reunion with Azilis du Mesnil after jumping the 10-year-old Selle Français mare (Tinka’s boy x Jarnac) in her first-ever night class in the same event just one year ago. “She has progressed nicely, so it’s nice to see her come back now and win,” said Shulman of the mare she calls “Ginger” in the barn. “She’s super game. She definitely has a mind of her own, but if you go with her and let her do her thing, she usually fights with you, not against you.”
Shulman’s good luck charm for the night was the Lebourgeois family, who bred Azilis du Mesnil and made the trip from France to watch their horse compete.
Brian Moggre Clinches Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic
It came down to a minute to win it in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic to highlight daytime competition in the International Arena on Friday. Well on his way to making his in-ring debut on the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team this weekend, Brian Moggre, 18, was the only rider to break the one-minute mark over the speed track.
Moggre, hailing from Flower Mound, TX, bested a field of 47 riders to win aboard new mount Nikita Jolie, the horse he owns together with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms. Their time of 58.61 seconds bumped Canada’s Sam Walker to second place in 60.37 seconds aboard Coralissa for owner Marbill Hill Farm.
Nikita Jolie, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare (Numero Uno x Ladalco) came to be with Moggre after a catch ride gone right during week six.
“I borrowed her for the ranking class that week, and quickly decided to purchase her together with Major Wager LLC and Ashland Farms,” said Moggre of how the mare came to join his string. “She went in there today really game, and it’s promising to have a new horse go in and be so successful from the start.”
Hannah Isop and Believe Are Victorious in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Hunter competition began on Friday with more than 55 horse-and-rider combinations competing for the top spot in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. It was Hannah Isop aboard Believe who took top honors with high scores in both the classic and handy round of the class.
The class was held in the combination of Rings 11 and 12 on “Pony Island”. Hunter riders first competed in a classic hunter round and then the top-12 combinations returned for the handy round. Isop and Believe went into the lead in the first round after receiving a high score of 183 points. The pair was able to maintain their top spot in the handy round with another high score of 199, resulting in a total score of 382.
Isop, of Pawling, NY, and Believe have been partnered for several years. Believe, the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Stolzenberg x Lesley), was originally a jumper in Europe and began his hunter career when Isop took over the reins for owners, the Hart family. “Without the owners this wouldn’t all be possible, so I would like to thank the Hart Family. He’s got terrific people behind him. Also everyone at Harkaway Farm – it really does take a village,” Isop commented.
After receiving champion in the High Performance Hunters during week eight, Isop and Believe were confident going into round one.
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
The 61st Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 25, with thrilling displays of speed and power. Israeli rider Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final on Villamoura, while Aaron Vale and Schuyler Riley of the United States shared victory in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance. The classes were part of a full schedule of exciting competition and entertaining exhibitions during Military Night, presented by Caterpillar, Inc.
Shulman, 24, came to WIHS to jump in the international jumper division for the first time with a pretty specific goal. “I came here with the plan to do just these two speed classes and hopefully be in the top five, with all these elite riders in the classes,” she said.
She ended up winning both of them. Shulman rode Villamoura, a 10-year-old Selle Français mare by Diamant de Semilly and owned by Jill Shulman, to the blue in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, adding her name to the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by the late Arthur J. Morris. The night before, she and Villamoura won the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.
“I’m definitely in shock!” Shulman said.
Aaron Vale and Schuyler Riley Share the Win in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance
The win in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance came down to a battle between a three-time WIHS puissance-winning horse and a horse contesting the class for the first time. In the end, they tied for the win, with both Aaron Vale and Finou 4 and Schuyler Riley on Very Chic Du Tillard clearing the 6’9″ height.
Vale and Finou 4, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by For Pleasure owned by Thinks Like A Horse, had won the class the last three consecutive years and were hot favorites. Five other horse/rider combinations joined them on the starting list. “There was a good group of horses and riders tonight, so it was a little tougher class than maybe the last few years,” Vale said. “You never go in thinking you’re going to win.”
Riley described E2 Show Jumpers’ Very Chic Du Tillard, a 10-year-old Selle Francais by Diamant de Semilly, as a horse with the experience level of younger horse. He was jumping in his first Puissance class and has spent the majority of his show experience at the 1.45m level. “I knew he has the scope and the talent, but I knew he’d never done one before, so I sort of expected to go in there and jump one or maybe two and then come out, but he jumped it so easily,” Riley said.
All six riders started over the wall set at 5’9″, and it was subsequently raised to 6’3″, 6’5″, and 6’9″. Only Riley and Vale cleared the 6’9″ height, and both returned to attempt 6’11”. When they both knocked blocks off at that height, the class ended in a tie between them.
The Puissance is a favorite event for Vale, of Williston, FL, who has now won the class six times. His first win came in 1996 with Big Joe. “In America, we don’t have great crowds too often, and this night is one of the best crowds of the year for the Puissance here,” he said.
For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.
Jos Verlooy and Varoune. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
The international show jumpers took center stage on Thursday, October 24, at the 61st annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) for their first two competitions of the week during Barn Night. In the $50,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, Jos Verlooy of Belgium rode Varoune to victory, while Israel’s Sydney Shulman topped the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.
Verlooy, who has competed at WIHS in years past and won the Puissance class in 2015, made a daring turn between fences 3 and 4 in the second round to slice seconds off his time. “In a jump-off you have to take a few risks, and the risk paid off for me tonight,” he said. He finished with a time of 41.62 seconds, relegating U.S. rider Alex Granato and Carlchen W to second.
Sydney Shulman Goes Like Lightning to Win $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class
Sydney Shulman, who rides for Israel, just couldn’t stop grinning after picking up the blue ribbon in the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class in her first year of competing in the international open jumper division at WIHS. She topped the class riding Villamoura as the fastest round of the nine riders who picked up 65 points over the jumps, finishing in 41.04 seconds.
“I looked at the list of riders and I had dreamed to be in a class with these people, let alone to beat them,” Shulman, 24, said. “So I’m going to really remember this! It’s special to be here.”
The first through ninth place riders all collected 65 points, which meant they cleared all 10 jumps on course, including the final “joker” fence worth 20 points. There was also a special Washington Nationals World Series-themed fence on course, and Irish rider Shane Sweetnam dressed up as Nationals shortstop Trea Turner in honor of the baseball team’s World Series appearance the same week as WIHS.
With nine riders out of the 24 starters on the same score, the class results came down to speed. “I watched some horses go, and after Adrienne [Sternlicht] went, I thought, ‘There’s no way I can be faster,’ but I had to try!” Shulman said. “My horse doesn’t have nearly the size of stride that she does. I had to think about being faster in the turns and across the ground. I added [strides] in two places that she left a stride out, but for my horse that’s what works.”
For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.
Mill Spring, NC – June 29, 2019 – Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura sped to win the $72,000 Ingles Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), halting the jump-off timers at 36.291 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper, a 2006 Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet Du Rouet) owned by Sky Group, took second place for their performance of 40.316 seconds, while Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Ibabco, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Nabab de Reve x Darco) owned by Lambre and Stephex Stables, claimed third-place honors with four faults and a time of 36.543 seconds.
The course, designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA), challenged 41 pairs, with five returning to pilot the short course. Jorge was the architect of the show jumping course for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and will design for this summer’s 2019 Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru from July 26 to August 11.
Shulman and the 2009 Selle Francais mare (Diamant de Semilly x Unknown) owned by Jill Shulman conquered a course that “was made for her,” Shulman said. “When I walked the course, I immediately thought, ‘Okay, this course is made for Villamoura.’ Anywhere I needed to add [a stride] it was available to me, because she’s a small horse, so I was super excited to jump her tonight. And I loved the jump-off course.
“She is amazing. She’s everything you could want in a horse: she’s light, hot, careful, and brave. Once she starts, you don’t have much of an option to stop. Her normal pace is very fast, so I always think stay calm and steady for the jump-off, not too fast,” Shulman shared after laying down an early clear round that ended up more than four seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Shulman revealed that the win was especially meaningful because it was her first FEI win as a rider representing Israel: “To hear the Hatikvah play was just super meaningful to me,” said Shulman. “My family has always been super connected to Israel and I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time, and was waiting for the right time. Last fall I went with my dad to Israel and made Aliyah, and it was super exciting. I’ve been waiting for this moment to hear the Hatikvah play.”
Shulman continued, “I’m just working on building my string up to help support the Israeli team, which will continue to thrive. So I think the next few years will be a huge stepping stone for Israel, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”
“I want to thank my mom, Jill Shulman, and John Roche, who is very influential in tonight’s win. He spends a lot of time with Villamoura and he said to me this morning, ‘If you get it right, she could win.’ So I’m glad it turned out that way!” Shulman concluded.
For full results from $72,000 Ingles Grand Prix CSI 2*, click here.
Daniel Bluman riding Sancha LS. Photo by The Book LLC.
North Salem, NY – Two-time Olympian Daniel Bluman (ISR) piloted longtime mount Sancha LS to victory in the $35,700 Old Salem Farm Jumper Classic CSI3* on Saturday, May 18, at the 2019 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running through May 19 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
Bluman and Sancha LS, a 16-year-old SLS mare (Chin Chin x Polydor), have been competing as a team for ten years and their strong partnership paid off at Old Salem Farm. The final pair to tackle Ken Krome’s (USA) jump-off course from an original field of 28, Bluman and Sancha LS were chasing Madison Goetzmann (USA) and her own Prestigious. They sat as the current leaders on a time of 38.10 seconds with only Bluman to return in a seven-horse tie-breaker.
“I knew what I had to do and she has done it for me so many times,” said Bluman of Sancha LS after saving the best for last and posting a winning time of 37.97 seconds. “Madison put up a good target, but I used Sancha’s big stride and gave it a go. I’m happy that it worked out for us. I can only say good things about her. It’s been a blessing to have her and I consider every chance I have to go in the ring with her a blessing. She owes me nothing!”
Patricia Griffith Tops $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
The plan at the start of the week was for Lexi Maounis to pilot her own Sonder in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by The Gochman Family. When a scheduling conflict prevented that from happening, Heritage Farm trainer Patricia Griffith got the call asking her to take on the ride. The last-minute switch proved a positive, and Griffith rode Sonder to scores of 90 and 94 in the two-round derby to take the win over Michael Zukerman and Cue The Blue.
Griffith and Sonder bested a field of 50 over courses set by Nick Granat of Palm Beach, FL. Their total score of 184 took the lead by nearly 10 full points.
“For these classes you need that super brave, good jumping, athletic horse and he’s all of that,” said Griffith of Sonder, a six-year-old Westphalian gelding by PR.H. Valeron. “He’s up for the challenge and really gets into the handy. When you challenge him like that it always makes him better.”
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura Reunite for Under 25 Grand Prix Victory
While competing at the 2018 American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm, Sydney Shulman’s mount Villamoura sustained an eye injury and has been sidelined for the past eight months. They returned to the show ring at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows and scored a win right out of the gate in the $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Miller Motorcars.
Shulman, 24, and Villamoura were one pair of seven to jump clear over the first round and advance to the jump-off. They returned and stopped the clock clear again in 35.340 seconds for the win over Jeremy Sweetnam (IRL) aboard Cliff Z for owner Gotham Enterprizes.
“This is a huge deal for me because she’s my best horse, my favorite horse, and this was our goal to be able to show here this year,” said Shulman, whose mother Jill has owned Villamoura for four years. “We brought her back nicely and made sure she was fit enough for this. I’m beyond thrilled and so happy to have her back. I really missed her this winter.”
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 4, 2018 – Sydney Shulman was one of nine horse-and-athlete combinations to re-enter the Rolex Stadium on Saturday night under the lights for the jump-off of the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footings. Jump-off rider extraordinaire Aaron Vale had set a blistering pace in 37.390 seconds, and although Alex Granato and David Oberkircher had beaten his time, they could not complete the short course fault-free. Enter Shulman on Villamoura as the last combination to challenge Vale. She not only beat his time but beat it by over one second to stop the clock in 36.190 seconds, simultaneously winning the week’s feature class and taking home Leading Rider Award, presented by Envisian Products, LLC.
Saturday’s class was the culmination of a week of exciting open jumper competition during the Kentucky Summer Classic. The 13-obstacle track, designed by Brazilian Anderson Lima, saw nine riders return for the jump-off after an original field of 32 starters competed. Jimmy Torano, who was second in the order-of-go on Ilan Feder’s Glasgow de Muze, set the standard with an early fault-free round hoping for a repeat of his win on Saturday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Granto and Scott Keach, who both showed multiple horses, produced two clear rounds each and were followed by equally competitive Vale on Major. Callie Schott and Shulman qualified with one horse each and knew they would have to bring their A game to beat the boys.
Shulman and Villamoura have been partners for almost a year and have racked up multiple important national and FEI top placings. The young professional from Greenwich, Connecticut, recently finished second in the $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI2* at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in June as well as finishing with runner-up honors in the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI2* during the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. The pair was also fourth in the Kentucky Summer Horse Show’s $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix during Hats Off Day. Although the 9-year-old Selle Français mare is small in stature, Shulman has seemingly had no issue channeling her energy to help her keep up with larger horses. The pair stuck to their plan and bested Vale with neat turns and forward lines.
Due to her strong performance during this week’s Kentucky Summer Classic, Shulman was also awarded the Leading Rider Award, presented by Envisian Products, LLC, which recognizes the open jumper rider with the most points at the conclusion of the week’s competition.
Mill Spring, NC – June 30, 2018 – The $70,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* congratulated Sydney Shulman (USA) and Ardente Printaniere for their victory Saturday night after completing the jump-off test in 37.765 seconds at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), highlighting Tryon Summer III CSI 2* competition at the venue. Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Ann Thompson’s 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Landlord), Carlo, claimed second place honors, stopping the jump-off timers in 38.602 seconds, while Luis Pedro Biraben (ARG) and his own 2009 Westfalen gelding (Coronas 2 x Lenardo), Colorado 210, received the yellow rosette for their efforts, finishing on a time of 39.513 seconds.
Thirty-eight horse-and-rider pairs tested the Ken Krome (USA)-designed track, with seven pairs returning to prove themselves over the short course. Shulman and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Joyeux Ardent x Ramiro) owned by Jill Shulman have been partnered for a year and a day.
“I got her from McLain Ward exactly a year ago yesterday, actually,” Shulman said of the mare, whose barn name is “Prima” for her talent. “She’s a fantastic horse. She knows her job. She’s extremely unconventional, but she tries every way to do her job and do it right. And it doesn’t bother me at all,” she continued. “She’s a bit long and low, and of course the other horse I have is really short and high, but again, she uses herself to the best of her ability, and she’s super quick. I love her.”
The course was predicted to be more ideal for her second mount of the night, Jill Shulman’s 2009 Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Kasina) Villamoura, Shulman admitted, due to the mare’s smaller build and quick stride. “The course was really good – it was actually better suited for my smaller horse [Villamoura] rather than her [Prima], because the lines were a bit short, but she jumped beautifully. The jump-off was made for her, really, to leave out the strides and kind of take a chance at the in of the double and the steady line, so she performed perfectly.
“The more you dare her, the better she jumps,” Shulman said of her jump-off strategy with the brave mare. “I had added one more stride to the wall, which was the second jump, and then also one more stride to the Spy Coast vertical than I had planned, so then I thought, ‘Okay, gallop over, and take a shot at the Horseware line, she’ll come back,’ and she did it beautifully. And then the last jump I also took a shot – she’s super brave, and I knew she wouldn’t back off the liverpool.”
Shulman plans to return to Grand Prix competition with Ardente Printaniere in next week’s $132,000 Horseware® Grand Prix CSI 3* following this week’s momentum, and complimented her mount’s effort. “It was as hard as I expected, to be honest, for her. It’s a lot of work to jump a first round clear with her, since she’s really a good speed horse. So it was quite a lot of work, but she responded well,” Shulman concluded.
Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.
Sydney Shulman and Cosmeo Claim Grand Hunter Championship on Day Two of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show
Lexington, KY – July 28, 2016 – With only nine career grand prix wins under her belt, the pressure was on as Lauren Hester took the stage with Warinde B in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The only American rider to advance to the jump-off, hometown favorite Hester gave it her all to earn the win, besting veteran five-star riders Pablo Barrios and Shane Sweetnam.
“I’m on cloud nine, and I’m really happy,” Hester said of her win. “It was so exciting to be the only American and Lexington rider in the jump-off because I really had the crowd behind me.”
Out of a field of 46 entries, Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt were the first to go clear in 79.718 seconds over the Alan Wade-designed track. The course featured a tricky oxer-to-skinny combination that dashed many competitor’s hopes at a clear round.
After several more riders attempted Wade’s course, with many falling victim to the time allowed of 82 seconds, Venezuelan Olympian Barrios and his own A S D Farfala delivered the second clear round of the night with a time of 80.751 seconds, adding their names to the short list.
“The course was pretty tough, and I knew when I walked it that it was a good course,” Barrios said. “It was very delicate and the time allowed was perfect. It really made you ride quicker, which makes you susceptible to mistakes.”
Among the last to go, Hester piloted Hester Equestrian LLC’s Warinde B to the night’s third and final clear round in 78.785 seconds, much to the crowd’s delight.
“I thought I had the third to last rail down, and I thought ‘darn it,'” Hester said. “But then the crowd cheered. When I made it to the jump-off I laughed and thought, ‘This is not fair competing against these top five-star riders. I felt like an underdog with my tiny mare, who is 15.3 hands.”
The three riders returned for the jump-off, with Sweetnam and Cobolt attempting the short course first. Despite laying down a fast round in 44.142 seconds, Sweetnam pulled a rail in the combination coming to the final fence to take home third place.
Barrios and A S D Farfala returned next, and delivered a careful effort to finish clear in 47.234 seconds, unfortunately picking up one time fault along the way to finish in second.
“There were only three of us, and I didn’t want to go too fast,” Barrios said. “After seeing Shane have one down, I knew that if I had a clear round at least I’d be second. Farfala is a super mare, but Lauren really deserved the win tonight and showed really great, quick riding.”
The final pair to return, Hester and Warinde B came ready to win, equipped with a plan that would shave seconds off the previous times. Hester cut strides out of every line, expertly navigating the turns as tightly as possible to blaze through the timers in 43.043 seconds – a full four seconds faster than the second-place time.
“She’s a really fast horse,” Hester said. “She’s sensitive and spooky and can be all over the place, but she is so nice and I love her.”
Hester said she purchased Warinde B 5 years ago, when the mare was only 8 years old. Hester said the two have built a strong partnership over the years, with Thursday marking the duo’s fifth grand prix win together and Hester’s tenth career grand prix win.
“She is my favorite,” Hester concluded. “It took me a long time to get to know her, but now we are finally on it! Last year she got hurt and had a little bone bruise, so she came back in May of this year. She was going well, but now she is really great. I am just on cloud nine.”
The grand prix’s title sponsor, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and wellbeing of the horse.
The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology. For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
Sydney Shulman and Cosmeo Claim Grand Hunter Championship on Day Two of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show
Sydney Shulman and Cosmeo, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by DK-USA Sporthorse, claimed the Visse Wedell Grand Hunter Championship at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show on Thursday. The duo dominated the High Performance Working Hunter division by earning blue ribbons in all the over fences rounds, the handy round and the under saddle class, which culminated in a perfect score of 50 points to win the High Performance Working Hunter Championship.
“It is great to win the Grand Hunter Championship at Kentucky,” Shulman said. “This is my first year having a really solid professional hunter horse to compete, so it’s awesome.
“Cosmeo was ten times better than yesterday, and I thought he was awesome yesterday, but he was in a different category today!” Shulman explained. “He is new at this job, so normally the more he goes the more relaxed he gets. The first day he seemed a bit tense to me, but today he was so soft, fluid and really calm. It made it so nice to ride!”
Shulman was delighted with her round on Cosmeo, who is out of the legendary sport horse stallion Contender. She noted that the handy is the pair’s favorite class because of his former experience has a jumper.
“To me, the handy is my time to really show his skill off because he is so scopey,” Shulman explained. “The height is smaller than what he was doing in Europe so it is easy for him. Today, I was bold with my turns and I was quite neat going into the double combinations.”
Shulman is based in Greenwich, Connecticut and she plans on competing Cosmeo in Week 2 of Kentucky Summer Horse Show and in Derby Finals in mid-August.
“I’d like to thank DK-USA Sporthorse for their continued support and allowing me to show him,” Shulman said. “Also, the offspring Cosmeo has produced as a stallion have been amazing and he has many on the ground here in the U.S and in Europe. He is one of the last Contender babies that is currently breeding!”
Visse Wedell, a real estate agent for Douglas Elliman in Wellington, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky, generously sponsored the grand championship prizes for the multiple hunter divisions for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show.
“My sponsorship is a way to acknowledge the hard work that goes into being the best of your division and reward the top in our sport,” Wedell explained. “I love to promote the hunters, especially since there are not a lot of horse shows that still award grand championships.
“Sidney [Shulman] actually used to ride a horse for me when she was a junior, so I love when someone I know wins it,” Wedell continued. “She is a talented young professional so it is great to see her go from winning with my junior hunter a few years ago to now when she is winning in the big professional classes. It’s fun to watch the progression of riders!”
The Green Hunter Championship also took place in the Stonelea Ring with the tricolored ribbon being awarded to Kelley Farmer and Jane Gaston’s 8-year-old gelding Because. The duo lead their division after day one with two blue ribbons in the over fences classes, and they earned two more blues in the handy and over fences class.
“Because is such a good horse and always tries really hard,” Farmer said. “He is very consistent and smooth in his rounds. I usually compete him in the First Years and his owner will compete him this weekend in the amateur divisions.”
Tim Goguen earned the Conformation Hunter Championship in a competitive division on Belhaven Stables LLC’s Splendid. One Wednesday, they won an over fences round and the under saddle, and also placed third in their first over fences round. On Thursday, they placed second in the over fences round and third in the handy, which helped the pair clinch the division championship.
The highlights of the week include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix.