Wellington, FL – February 25, 2022 – Week 7 of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, featured top hunter and jumper competition at two facilities on Thursday, February 25. Hunter riders took their turn on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, which awarded prizes to the top 12 in sections for Open, Junior, and Amateur out of 110 entries. Victories went to Tiffany Morrissey riding Dr. Kathryn Withers’s Copernicus K, Clara Propp on Aquitaine Equine’s Inquisitive, and Angela Calicchio with City Walk, owned by Cali Horse Sales LLC.
In the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, all three winners would equal or better their first-round scores with their second handy round. Morrissey and Copernicus K entered the handy round in fifth place with a plan, after a first-round score of 93, which included high option points. They moved up to the win with a second-round score of 95, giving them a total of 188.
Along with their derby win, Morrissey and Copernicus K were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Hunter Style Award by Laura Fetterman. Kelsey Epperson and Didgereedoo VDL, owned by Lashier Properties LLC, finished in second with an overall score of 187.25 points. Colin Syquia and Cynthia Sulzberger’s Front Page were third with 186 points.
In the Junior section, Clara Propp and Inquisitive also came into the second round looking to improve their rank after a first-round score of 85. The two sat in sixth place, but with only a fairly recent return to the ring.
The plan led to a second-round score of 92, giving them 177 for the win. Neither Propp nor Inquisitive are new to derbies, and they both thoroughly enjoy them. Propp finished fourth in last year’s derby with Arabesque and won a pony derby at WEF as well.
Second place in the Junior section went to Sydney Raidy and Dominik, owned by Joe Currais. They finished with a score of 176. Just behind with a score of 173 in third place were Elizabeth Lowham-Ruzzo and her own Secret’s Out.
Unlike Morrissey and Propp, Calicchio started her handy round in the top position with a score of 84.
The pair equaled their first-round score with another 84 to win on 168. City Walk is a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding and had a career change once Calicchio acquired him.
Lindsay Mutschler and her own Concord finished second with a total score of 153, while third place with a score of 152 went to Leah Patipa and her own Regard.
Wellington, FL – November 29, 2019 – Daniel Bluman of Israel raced to a first-place finish aboard Colestina H, owned by Blue Star Investments & Kim Douglas, in the $72,000 Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center 1.50m Qualifier. The pair stopped the jump-off timers in 34.779 seconds, putting in a double-clear effort. Taking home second place was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson of Wellington, FL and Carol Rosenstein’s Akuna Mattata after their 34.958-second jump-off. Michael Morrissey of Wellington, FL rode Chance Ste Hermelle, owned by Qbs Equestrian LLC, through the timers in 35.132 seconds to claim the yellow ribbon.
The 1.50m track, set by FEI designer Anthony D’Ambrosia, challenged a total of fifty-three competitors. Fourteen pairs returned for the jump-off, while six completed the tracks double-clear. “It was a nice round. I thought it was a good number of people in the jump-off,” commented Daniel Bluman after his win. “Honestly, the most important thing is that the footing is amazing. We’re so happy to have nice footing, it’s pleasurable for the horses, safe for us, and honestly, we’re just very grateful. It makes a huge difference. It makes the show a different quality and you can feel the excitement of everyone around.” Bluman revealed that he will be riding his 16-year-old mare Sancha LS in the Saturday night Grand Prix.
Tiffany Morrissey Claims Top Honors with Sebastian in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Tiffany Morrissey of Wellington, FL claimed top honors with Stacey Shore Werner’s Sebastian in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by #1 Education Place, achieving a total score of 177.5 after two impressive rounds. Jennifer Bliss of Loxahatchee, FL was close behind, putting in a final score of 177 with Harris Hill Farm, LLC’s Face the Music. The early class leader, Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT, took home third place after a beautiful performance aboard No Doubt, owned by Elizabeth Phillips, and receiving a final score of 176.5. Shulman and No Doubt also received the “Best Turned Out Award” presented by Enviro Pet.
“In the first round, I always try to do what’s best for him and hope for a good score,” stated Morrissey after her win. “Then Jen Bliss went in for the Handy round and got a very high score, so I knew I had to go in and pull out all the stops and jump all the bigger options. It was kind of a ‘go big or go home’ move!”
Morrissey has been riding the 8-year-old for several years now: “His owner Stacey rides him in the Low Adults and I get to do him once in a while. He was good last week, really in the groove, and then great again this week. Before that, he actually hadn’t shown with me since last year’s WCHR week when he was champion in his 3’3″ Performance Hunter division. So he’s doing really good and we’re excited to compete at WEF, maybe chase some derbies!”
To learn more about the ESP Holiday Series and PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Sharn Wordley and Popstar Lozonais. Photos copyright Mancini Photos.
Tiffany Morrissey and Belucci Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Wellington, FL – November 30, 2014 – Equestrian Sport Productions’ Holiday & Horses competition concluded on Sunday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with a win for Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Popstar Lozonais in the $10,000 Equiline Open Stake class. A $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby was also held with a victory for Tiffany Morrissey and Belucci.
Catsy Cruz of Mexico has been the course designer for international jumper competition all week and concluded with a challenging track for Sunday’s exhibitors. Fifty entries showed in round one with 17 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. The riders were given an option to jump immediately following their first round or wait until the end of the first round to jump-off, and although several chose the immediate option, there were no double clear rounds until the end.
Abigail McArdle (USA) set the pace in 37.19 seconds aboard David McArdle’s Cade to eventually finish in third place. A few rounds later, Lucas Porter (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Mill’s Georgia stole the lead in 36.14 seconds. They eventually settled for second place when Sharn Wordley and Ashland Stables’ Popstar Lozonais took over the top spot, last to go and almost two seconds faster in 34.39 seconds.
Wordley has ridden Popstar Lozonais, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Quick Star x Muguet du Manoir), for one year and has had great results.
“He is a speed machine,” the rider smiled after his win. “He is by Quick Star, and he actually won the seven-year-old championships in Fontainebleau. He is 11 now, so he has always been a good horse. At the 1.45m level he is really fast. He is a little tricky to ride, but always wins a class at most shows that I go to.”
“He is just a typical Quick Star,” Wordley described. “He is mouthy and he hops up and down and bucks halfway through a line. It took me a while to get a partnership with him, but now it has been good. He has won a couple of the $10,000 classes here, and he won in Kentucky and Tryon. He is winning all over the place, so I am really happy to have him as a part of the team.”
Speaking of Sunday’s course, Wordley noted, “I thought it was tricky enough. There were quite a lot in it and there weren’t that many double clean, so it was obviously tricky enough even though it was only 1.40m. I think the triple combination away from the gate caught a few people, and it just took some jumping with all the other jumps.”
“I got to see Abigail and she was really fast, and then Lucas came out and beat her,” Wordley detailed on the jump-off. “I was planning to do one more extra stride to the last jump, so I had to make up a bit of time at the beginning, but he is so fast. It is hard to judge how fast you are actually going. I didn’t plan on being two seconds faster because it was already a fast class, but it just happened that way. He is so fast at turning, and he is so quick. He is an amazing horse.”
Wordley looks forward to the winter season in Wellington and will continue aiming Popstar Lovonais at the 1.45m world ranking classes throughout the circuit.
Also showing on Sunday afternoon, Tiffany Morrissey jumped to victory in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Eastwind Farms LLC’s Belucci. In the two round competition over a course set by Danny Moore, Morrissey and Belucci finished with a 168-point total with scores of 81 and 87. Molly Ashe-Cawley and Greer Hindle’s Freedom finished second with scores of 88 and 77 for a total of 165. Hellen Voss guided Mark Bone’s Cashmere to third place honors with scores of 80 and 83 to total 163.
Belucci is a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Tenerife VDL) that Morrissey first started as a pre-green horse this year.
“We showed all summer and now he is going to do the First Years,” Morrissey detailed. “He has done derby classes before. He won in Lake Placid. He was first and second in Lake Placid and now he won another one.”
“He is a good jumper,” Morrissey described. “He is scopey, which is nice because you can always jump the high options. He is big-strided, so he is really good in the handy normally. He is a good boy.”
The rider spoke about each of her rounds with Belucci, stating, “Round one he was good. He rubbed one, so my first round score wasn’t quite as good as I would have hoped, but in the handy he was super. He was great in the second round.”
Morrissey and Belucci will now take a couple weeks off before returning to compete this winter, where Belucci will move up to prove himself in the First Year Green Working Hunters as he continues to develop.
ESP’s Holiday Show Series continues through January 4 featuring top hunter/jumper competition at the world-class Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The competition serves as a precursor to the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival, which begins January 7 and runs through March 29, featuring 12 weeks of competition and awarding over $8 million in prize money.