Tag Archives: Tim Gredley

Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos Steal the Show in $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5*

Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos. Photos © Sportfot.

Ben Maher Wins $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge; Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 Top $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final; Tim Gredley Scores 1.50m Series Bonus

Wellington, FL – March 30, 2014 – The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival concluded on Sunday with an exciting line-up of world-class show jumping and the presentation of special awards to round out a very successful winter circuit at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Although inclement weather caused Saturday night’s classes to be postponed, the final afternoon of FTI WEF competition was blessed with beautiful clear skies and sunshine for Sunday’s feature events.

Concluding the 2014 competition, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5* saw an exciting win for the world’s number one ranked rider and 2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalist, Scott Brash (GBR), with his talented mount Hello Sanctos. British teammate and world #2 ranked rider Ben Maher took home the top bonus in the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge for his incredible success throughout the circuit. Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41 won the $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final, and Tim Gredley (GBR) and Unex Omega Star topped the 1.50m series overall to earn a $25,000 bonus.

Watch an interview with Scott Brash.

Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed the courses for Sunday’s competition and set a challenging track for the finale grand prix featuring 38 of the best competitors from the circuit. Riders from 14 different countries were represented, including 17 Olympic veterans.

Seven entries from the first round advanced to the jump-off, where four jumped double clear. Nineteen-year-old Ben Asselin (CAN) and Attache Stables’ Makavoy began the jump-off with a clear round in 46.01 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W upped the ante in 44.87 seconds to earn third place honors. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra were faster in 44.64 seconds to take home second place honors. The final clear round belonged to Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos, who blazed through the course in 43.44 seconds to secure their victory. Last to go, Kent Farrington (USA) had the fast time of the jump-off in 42.72 seconds with Amalaya Investment’s Voyeur, but had a rail at the final oxer to finish fifth.

Along with the winner’s share of $165,000, Brash was presented with the Dennis D. Dammerman Perpetual Trophy. The trophy was created to honor the contributions to equestrian sport of Dennis D. Dammerman, a longtime owner of horses and founding member of the Wellington Equestrian Partners. Brash had a lot of top finishes throughout the circuit and was happy to get his win in the end with Hello Sanctos, a twelve-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Quasimodo Vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve) that has given the rider many great moments in his career.

“I have been coming second a lot to this man,” Brash said, pointing to Maher. “So to win a class at the end is very rewarding and good for my team that has worked so hard for the circuit, because it is hard work. Sanctos was fantastic today. I gave him a rest when I first came here and then I started him back, and he felt just a little bit rusty and not quite jumping fit. I jumped two weeks and then I gave him last week off. This week he has just felt great and feels like he is jumping back to how he was, and I’m very happy going home looking forward towards Europe. There are a lot of big shows coming up with the championships and everything, so it is good to feel him in such good form early on in the year.”

Brash and Sanctos were a new partnership when they were last in Wellington in 2012. That was before they won an Olympic team gold medal in London that year and went on to many other victories that led Brash to his current position as the number one ranked rider in the world.

Looking back on the progression of their partnership, Brash recalled, “It’s a bit different now. Back in 2012 I had just gotten the horse. My owners bought the horse with the Olympic Games in mind, so we chose to come to Wellington because there is no better place to get as many rounds in as you can and get to know a horse like you can here. That is why we chose to bring him here then, but we were quite inconsistent. We had a win in the World Cup one week, but we had some bad rounds also. We were just getting to know each other, but since then we have just gone from strength to strength as a partnership. I must say, he is a fantastic horse and he is just an absolute privilege to ride.”

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra
Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra

Sunday’s second place finish was a fantastic conclusion to the circuit for Richie Moloney as well with Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra. The twelve-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) jumped a great round and was very fast through the course. Moloney got the ride on Slieveanorra a few years ago after his sponsors, Equinimity LLC, bought the horse from his brother as a nine-year-old. The horse had won the nine-year-old national championships in Ireland and has gone on to great things.

“It is a very good finish,” Moloney smiled after the class. “Slieveanorra is very good. It is nice for the horse to get his result here in the end. He was double clear week nine in the World Cup and finished seventh, so it is nice to end up second today. My plan was to go as fast as I could and try to leave the jumps up. Maybe I could have been a little bit quicker, but I am very happy with second.”

There was long gallop down to the last oxer that caused rails for Beezie Madden and Farrington in the jump-off, but Moloney said he was not worried about that. “Maybe there was one less stride there, but it was a bit risky I thought. I just held steady and kept going on the stride that I knew he could jump from. I would just like to say well done to Scott, and I would also like to thank my owners and all of the staff who work very hard at the farm. It is nice to get this result for them. It is for everybody that works there.”

Jessica Springsteen has been very consistent with top finishes throughout the circuit aboard Vindicat W, her twelve-year-old KWPN gelding (Guidam x Libero H) that Peter Charles rode to team gold alongside Brash and Maher in the London Olympic Games. Commenting on her circuit and another top placing, Springsteen smiled, “He has been jumping amazing. I had a week off last week, so he felt really fresh and ready to go. Every time I go out there he always tries his hardest. He never puts a foot wrong, and I could not be happier with him.”

Springsteen explained where she thought she lost time in the jump-off, stating, “I was maybe planning on doing five strides to that black vertical so that I could swing back tighter to the oxer, but then the four just kind of showed itself, and I did end up getting a little bit stuck in that turn. I think that’s where I could have been quicker, but everywhere else he was really good, so I was happy.”

Brash commented on the day’s course from Anthony D’Ambrosio and praised the success of this year’s circuit. “I thought the course builder did a fantastic job actually. It was big, it was hard, and to get seven clears was a good number,” he acknowledged. “The jump-off I thought was very good and entertaining for the public. It is a really spectacular class. It’s a shame it didn’t run last night, but no one can help the weather. It is all credit to Mark Bellissimo, who puts on a fantastic tour here, and now with Rolex sponsoring it really brings the prestige of the show up to a top standard of high level sport. I think that is what everyone is looking for, and I think it’s great.”

Bellissimo was also thrilled with the circuit and the successful finale grand prix, and thanked title sponsor, FTI Consulting, for their longtime support.

“FTI has been an amazing sponsor for the last six years,” Bellissimo stated. “In the genesis of the transition we have, this festival started at about $2 million in prize money and we have brought it to over $8 million, which is a spectacular amount of money. We are very excited about their commitment to the sport and that partnership that we have had over the years.”

“We have really appreciated all of the great competition,” Bellissimo added. “I don’t think I have ever seen such an amazing number of jump-offs. Scott has been in a lot of them. I think in general it has been a great year. We are very excited about it and very excited about the future. There are a lot of things that we are going to be doing next year to make it even that much more significant, so thank you to everyone for all of their participation and all of their great work throughout the circuit. Also a special call to Rolex, who has been a great addition to the circuit this year and allowed us to take this to a different level in the context of prize money and a huge investment. We have some exciting new initiatives that we will be announcing shortly that I think will be another level, even beyond where we are today.”

In addition to the day’s grand prix, the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge concluded on Sunday after 12 weeks of jumper competition at the 2014 FTI WEF. Ben Maher led the standings and earned a $50,000 cut of the bonus money for his record-breaking number of grand prix wins and top finishes throughout the circuit. Beezie Madden finished in second place to earn $25,000, Kent Farrington was third and received a $15,000 check, and Scott Brash finished fourth for a $10,000 bonus.

Several other awards were presented on Sunday for the final week of competition in Wellington as well. For the second year in a row, Maher’s mount Cella earned Jane Clark the Simba Run Perpetual Trophy as the owner of the open jumper who has earned the most prize money in classes held at 1.45m or more during the 2014 FTI WEF. Clark was also presented with The Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the owner whose horses won the most jumper money in all of the open jumper classes held throughout the circuit. In addition, Cella’s groom Joy Montgomerie was presented with the Oliver O’Toole Perpetual Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the groom of the horse who has earned the most money in the grand prix jumper classes.

Maher had an unfortunate rail in Sunday’s grand prix, but had an incredible circuit and thanked everyone who made his success possible.

“First I would like to say thank you to FTI Consulting,” Maher stated. “It is a hard earned bonus, but it is a nice challenge to have from the beginning of the circuit. I didn’t get a piece of it today, but again thank you to Rolex. It was a great competition. A lot of people came and it was fun to watch the jump-off and not have the stress of being in it this time. I would have preferred to be in it of course, but it was a fun jump-off to watch.”

“I have had a great circuit,” Maher continued. “It was unfortunate today that I had a jump down, but I can’t complain. All of my horses have been great and consistent. If somebody was to say at the start of the circuit that it was going to come together like it had, I would not have believed it. I am grateful for everything and looking forward to a short rest now.”

Other awards included the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for the circuit, which was presented to Lauren Hough (USA) on behalf of Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farm LLC’s Zigali P S were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for the overall circuit, which is awarded to the jumper whose style best exemplifies a show jumper based on scope, rideability, technique and competitive spirit. Lamaze and Zigali P S also won the overall WEF Challenge Cup Series Award. Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman earned the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award as the young jumper rider between the ages of 16-25 that has earned the most points in all FTI WEF FEI rated jumper competition.

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 Top $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final; Tim Gredley Scores 1.50m Series Bonus

The $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final concluded on Sunday with a win for Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I.

The competition saw 84 entries in the first round on Saturday and the top 25% returned to compete in round two on Sunday, where their cumulative scores from both rounds were combined to determine the winner. Three riders chose not to return for the second round, leaving 18 entries to show on Sunday.

Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41, Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Caballito, and Daniel Deusser (GER) and Fyloe v/h Claeyssenhof were the only three to complete double clear rounds, and their times in round two served as the tiebreaker.

Todd Minikus and Babalou 41
Todd Minikus and Babalou 41

Minikus and Bob Haefner’s Babalou 41 jumped double clear through both rounds and completed the fastest time of the competition in 48.78 seconds to earn top honors. Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises Caballito cleared the second round course in 49.97 seconds to finish second. Deusser and Fyloe v/h Claeyssenhof, owned by Stephex Stables and Double H Farm, finished third in 50.59 seconds.

Although the schedule was changed due to weather, Todd Minikus did not mind the overnight break between rounds for his young horse and was happy with her performance in the final round on Sunday.

“Unfortunately the rain put a damper on things last night, but I was a little concerned even with the gap that we would have had yesterday,” Minikus noted. “That mare is very green and she has never done something like that where she went once and then had to come back hours later, so maybe the entire night’s rest worked out for me. She went like a professional show horse today, so it was all good.”

“She is a mare that I have been showing for three years now,” Minikus explained. “We did schooling jumpers basically for two years. She was always an exceptional mare. Everybody that saw her for the first time always came up and asked about her. She was always extremely extravagant with her jump. We often wondered if that was going to hold her back, where she was maybe too exuberant with her jump, but she kind of leveled out here this past year and she has done some good things. Stewart Moran is her trainer; basically I just catch ride her. She lives with Stewart and his team, and I just ride her at the ring. They have done a great job with her. Santa, who flats her, has done a fantastic job. I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Haefner for the opportunity to ride her. It has been a good team so far.”

Speaking about his blazing fast jump-off round, Minikus detailed, “I know that mare can go fast, and I was one of the first clears to come back. We kind of saved her for this class. She did one WEF (Challenge Cup) and we have kind of nursed her along, so they gave me the green light to press on the gas pedal. She is extremely careful, so if you can get her into the middle of the jump, chances are she is going to leave it up.”

Minikus hopes to continue showing the talented mare and looks forward to seeing her future success. “Hopefully I can take her a little bit more with me this summer,” he noted. “She is ready to go now. We have babied her along enough. She is ready to be a show horse now, so hopefully they will let me take her with me and do a little bit more.”

As the conclusion to the twelve-week Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series, Sunday’s class served as the final allocation of points for the overall standings for the $25,000 Leading Horse and Rider Award. The bonus money was presented to Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Omega Star as the horse and rider combination who gained the most points throughout all twelve classes of the circuit. Unex Omega Star is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Quick Star x Quatoubet du Rouet, owned by Unex Competition Yard Ltd.

Speaking about the bonus, Gredley stated, “It is really nice, because although I haven’t won one of the 1.50m classes, he has been consistently in the top three or five all the way through. It is nice for the horse to be rewarded for doing that. Over the last couple of weeks I noticed that I was up there in the standings for the bonus and Nick Skelton, my trainer, basically said that we should aim to just try to get a result in that. We jumped a double clear last week and got sixth. Then getting a time fault yesterday actually, in a funny way, kind of helped me today because I knew I couldn’t really win the class. These guys were all clear, so the plan was just to jump another clear and try to get a few more points, and luckily it went to plan.”

Gredley has had Unex Omega Star for a year now and explained that he has made a lot of progress with the horse since he started training with Skelton this winter.

“I struggled with him a little bit because he is by Quick Star and he is a bit sharp in his head, but the last three or four months especially, we have changed a lot with him in the way that I ride him,” Gredley said. “The whole program that we have with him at home now is very different and it seems to be working. I changed a lot with all of the horses in the last few months with the feed and the stuff that we do at home. We tend not to ride him as much at home now. Just little things that I really didn’t think would make much of a difference have made a big difference for him. I have been training with Nick now for the last four months, and he has made a big difference for all of them, but especially that horse.”

Gredley first came to Wellington in 2006 when he was 20 years old and then took a couple of years off from riding to learn the family real estate business. He now splits his time between riding and real estate and travels between Wellington and his home in England.

“The weather is always a good start, especially when you speak to everyone at home,” he said of the perks of competing in Florida. “It is really nice, especially because I have a really great team of people at home, and it is nice for them not to have to change shows every single week. The horses can basically jump from home. I especially find when we go home that it is hard for them to have to keep changing and going on the road every single week, so that is probably one of the biggest plusses to be here.”

Sunday’s competition concluded a fantastic 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for a wonderful circuit and looks forward to 2015. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

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

Tim Gredley and Unex Valentine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria Colvin and Don Juan
Victoria Colvin and Don Juan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Win $25,000 Puissance

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente clear 2.10m. Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography.

McLain Ward and Wings Top $50,000 Open Jumper Speed Final; Hymowitz and Strauss Victorious in Junior/Amateur-Owners Jumpers; Sommers, Hymowitz and MacPherson Tie for Grand Junior Hunter Championship

Washington, D.C – October 25, 2013 – The 55th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 25, with an exciting day of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The $25,000 Open Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, was the highlight class of the evening with a win for Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Competition Yard’s Unex Valente, clearing the imposing wall in five rounds up to a height of 2.10m.

McLain Ward (USA) topped the $50,000 Open Jumper Speed Final, Cloe Hymowitz and Katherine Strauss triumphed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and Meredith Darst took the early lead in the Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals Hunter Phase. Samantha Sommers, Lili Hymowitz, and Megan MacPherson all finished in a three-way tie for the Grand Junior Hunter Championship. Sommers was also named Best Child Rider on a Horse for 2013.

WIHS continues through Sunday, October 27. The $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will be the highlight class on Saturday, October 26.

Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this week. Palacios set the wall for the evening’s $25,000 Puissance at 1.70m in height and continued through five rounds up to 2.10m (6’11”). The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company, was awarded to Gredley and Unex Valente for clearing the 2.10m wall in the final round. Gredley also accepted The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C.B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, on behalf of Unex Competition Yard Ltd. as the owner of the winning horse.

The class began with four fences to clear, including a vertical, oxer, and triple-bar leading up to the wall set at a starting height of 1.70m. McLain Ward and his brand new mount, Kroner Z, had an unfortunate stop at the triple-bar that immediately took them out of the running. The four other competitors, including Aaron Vale (USA) and DaSilva Equine LLC’s Smartie, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Walstib Stables LLC’s Aragon Rouet, Charlie Jayne (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Uraya, and Tim Gredley aboard Unex Valente all cleared the first round to advance.

Those four competitors also cleared the wall in round two at 1.80m and round three at 1.90m in height to continue to a fourth round. Darragh Kenny and Aragon Rouet knocked the blocks off the wall at 2.00m to conclude their evening, while the other three attempted another increase. In the fifth and final round, Vale and Jayne were not able to clear the obstacle, and that left Tim Gredley and Unex Valente to jump 2.10m to win top prize.

Gredley and Unex Valente have jumped in a few Puissance classes together and won them at the Alltech National Horse Show in 2012 and the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in 2013. Valente is an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Sit This One Out that Gredley has owned since the horse was four years old. They have a trusting partnership that helps with jumping the big wall.

“A lot depends on the horse,” Gredley said after his win. “He gives you the confidence to ride it the right way. He just has brilliant technique for it. He is very good in the front and learning to be really good behind. He’s very versatile, and I think in order to jump a very big wall they have to have a bit of quality and be very brave, as well.”

Gredley and Valente have attempted the 2.38m record twice now and had the wall down both times. He made some changes today and will try for two in a row at the Alltech National Horse Show in Kentucky next week. “I changed a few things around today, including the bridle, and he felt like he was jumping really well behind today, so it would be nice to try it with this kind of arrangement,” Gredley noted. “With this horse, it isn’t me being arrogant, he just makes it easy. He loves it, and I trust the horse so much.”

Talking strategy, Gredley explained, “To be honest, the first round is the most difficult. You want to get into a rhythm. Everyone has a different way of doing it. Some people like to wait and pull, I like to just keep coming at the wall and set him up a couple of strides out. The first round is always more worrying for me than any of the others. Once I feel that I have a rhythm on him and everything feels good, it is not a problem after that.”

McLain Ward and Wings
McLain Ward and Wings

McLain Ward and the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Wings (Lexicon x Jersey) were the winners in the $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed Final, a faults converted class sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Twenty-five entries jumped the course and five cleared the obstacles without fault. Ward and Wings jumped with ease in a blazing fast time of 51.35 seconds for the win.

Wings is an experienced jumper that Ward originally purchased for his wife to ride, but ended up showing himself. “Someone called me in January about him because he was getting a bit older,” he explained. “I bought him for Lauren, and he actually ended up being a little too careful for her, so I confiscated the ride. He was good for me this summer. He won a couple Grand Prix at Saugerties and won one class and was second in another at Harrisburg. He is actually an easy horse to ride, but electric-careful.”

“He needs a solid ride; he’s not one to take a joke,” Ward described. “He is a fifteen-year-old horse and has shown very successfully with a Dutch rider for many years, so he has jumped a lot of indoor shows. This is his first time here with me, but he certainly has a lot of miles.”

Talking about Palacios’ track for the night, Ward remarked, “The course was very difficult. It was quite twisty and turny. There was a lot of misdirection. The horses didn’t really know where they were going. It helped to have a nice old horse. He has a big stride, and he is a quick horse by nature. There was that big question at the end, the inside turn to the pink vertical, and I felt where I went in the order that was very risky. I felt that if I was fast up and to the Hermes vertical, that I would go around and take my chances and it would put enough pressure on them. I think you had to do the inside turn to catch my time and I don’t know how doable it was.”

Twenty-year-old Katie Dinan (USA), to a second place finish in 53.14 seconds riding Grant Road Partners’ Glory Days. Another up-and-coming young rider, Meagan Nusz (USA), finished third in 53.31 seconds with Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius. Callan Solem (USA) and Horseshoe Trail Farms’ VDL Wizard were fourth with a time of 55.56 seconds.

Sommers, Hymowitz and MacPherson Earn Top Junior Hunter Awards

The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship, sponsored by Roseknoll Sporthorse and Victoria Holstein-Childress, ended in a three-way tie between Samantha Sommers and Oscany, Inc.’s Small Celebration, Lili Hymowitz riding Danielle Staci’s Tiffani, and Megan MacPherson aboard Meridian Partners’ Good Humor. The three young ladies and their horses shared the winner’s circle and were presented with The Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds.

Samantha Sommers and Small Celebration
Samantha Sommers and Small Celebration

Eighteen-year-old Samantha Sommers of Malibu, CA, had a fantastic two days of competition with her top mounts, Small Celebration and Small Affair, in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division sponsored by Chansonette Farm. Sommers and Small Celebration earned the individual division championship on their way to the grand honors with first, second and fourth place ribbons over fences and a second under saddle. They were awarded The Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan.

Sommers also earned the division’s reserve championship riding Iwasaki and Reilly’s Small Affair to two first place ribbons and a fifth over fences. The pair’s stake score of 95 was the best Junior Hunter stake round of the day, the highest score of the week so far and Sommer’s best score ever. For that, they were presented with the The Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy. Sommers was then named the 2013 Best Child Rider on a Horse and earned the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy. The award was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Crown; the trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.

Sommers, a cinema student at the University of Southern California, bought Small Celebration from trainer John French two years ago. The eight-year-old Hanoverian mare by Embassy I has shown mainly with French and rider Olivia Esse. When Esse went off to college, Sommers started showing Small Celebration and the partnership has worked out very well.

“She was awesome and brilliant in the handy and she was great in the under saddle,” Sommers noted. “I knew she’d get a top ribbon there. Overall you can tell she wasn’t too tired or wired. She walks in the ring and she wants to win. I just had a lot of fun on her.”

Sommers also has a great relationship with reserve champion, Small Affair. Small Affair is a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Elf d’Or owned by Chris Iwasaki and Elizabeth Reilly of Calabasas, CA. Small Affair gave Sommers the ride of a lifetime this week with their high score of 95 in the stake round.

“That’s the highest score I’ve ever gotten,” Sommers beamed. “Yesterday when I got the 93 on Small Affair, I thought, ‘That’s my highest score at indoors.’ Then I got the 95 today, and it was my highest score ever! I was really happy with how Small Celebration went in the stake too. I didn’t put pressure on myself to win the highest score in the stake but I was like, ‘That’d be fun!’ I just went in and thought I already did well on her, and thought I had nothing to lose.”

On the honor of being Best Child Rider, she smiled, “I’m very excited. We were just taking the championship picture and we heard it over the intercom. John got all excited. He’s very serious when working with him, but when I got the 95 and got off, he ran and gave me a hug. I think that was the best moment of the day! It means a lot when they’re so proud and happy for you.”

“I’m so happy and I’m happy to share the Grand title,” she continued. “It was like you won it, but you didn’t. It was nice that we could all share it. This is my last year as a junior, so it’s a little emotional. I’ll probably be on the airplane home thinking, ‘I want to do it again!’ At the same time, it’s good to end on a good note.”

On their way to the tie for grand champion, Megan MacPherson of Boulder, CO, and Good Humor won the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division championship. They placed first, second and second over fences and fourth under saddle. O’Ryan and Meghan Flanagan finished in reserve with a third place under saddle and first, third and sixth place ribbons over fences.

MacPherson has had Good Humor, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding by Vigaro 2, for two years. She bought him in Kentucky after watching the horse compete with professional rider Hunt Tosh.

“He’s so easy. He’s like a Children’s Hunter. I’ve never ridden an easier horse,” MacPherson described. “We were sitting in the stands at Harrisburg with my trainer Stacia (Madden) and she said, ‘What do you think about that horse Good Humor?’ and I said ‘I love it. It’s young and Hunt does a really good job with it.’ At that point he had been champion at Harrisburg, Devon, here, all in the First and Second Years. We were all over it.”

This is MacPherson’s second year showing at WIHS. “I like the energy. It’s so unique,” she stated. “There’s no other show like it. I like this show a lot.”

Tiffani and Lili Hymowitz of New York, NY, got their names into the grand championship as well with a win in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division sponsored by Entrust. The pair placed first, second and third over fences and were also third under saddle. Bergen Sanderford and Happenstance repeated their reserve performance from 2012 with a win in the under saddle and first and sixth place ribbons over fences.

Fourteen-year-old Lili Hymowitz has been riding Tiffani, a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare by Chello I, since this past winter and this was a big win for the duo. The mare originally competed in the High Junior Jumpers but has shown her top form as a hunter with trainer Scott Stewart. This was Tiffani’s first time showing in the Junior Hunters at WIHS as well as the first Junior Hunter championship at any final for the young rider.

“Even though she’s new to this, I did feel confident going in there,” Hymowitz stated. “Ever since she’s started doing the hunters, I’ve never been scared to go in. She feels comfortable, so I trust her a lot. It’s obviously a lot cooler to win this here than anywhere else.”

“She’s amazing,” Hymowitz noted. “She always brings her best out at big shows. I got her in the middle of WEF (the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival) this year. When I tried her she was really ‘jumpery,’ but Scott does that. He finds the great ones.”

The final championship of the day was for the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division with a double tricolor presentation for Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL. Colvin earned the championship with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Ovation and finished in reserve with Parker’s Canadian Blue. Ovation won under saddle and placed second, third and fourth over fences. Canadian Blue won both classes over fences on Thursday.

The final Junior Hunter award of the day was another three-way tie for the high score Junior Hunter riding his or her own horse. The Georgetown Trophy, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, was awarded to Megan MacPherson and Good Humor, Cloe Hymowitz and Rose Hill Farm’s Joyful, and Hunter Holloway and Hays Investment Corporation’s Cascina for their scores of 90 in their respective divisions.

Junior/Amateur-Owners Go for Speed

The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown, went earlier in the day and saw a win for Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, riding her 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding Chellando Z (by Chellano Z). The pair earned the Cover Story Perpetual Trophy donated by Rolling Acres Farm for the fastest clear round in 44.25 seconds. Out of 23 entries, eight cleared the course without fault.

Yesterday’s winners, Charlotte Jacobs and Deeridge Farms’ Kachina, finished second in 44.75 seconds. Kalvin Dobbs and Treesdale Farms’ Winde were third in 46.10 seconds, and Haley Schaufeld finished fourth in 46.15 seconds riding Harley 86.

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by North Star, saw a victory for Cloe Hymowitz of New York, NY, with Rose Hill Farm’s Bon Vivant, who were also the winners of yesterday’s jump-off class in the division. Twenty-two entries showed in the class with seven clear rounds. Hymowitz and Bon Vivant had the fastest time of 43.97 seconds to earn The Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Michael Hughes and Drumnacross Farm’s stopped the clock in 45.76 seconds to finish second. Alexandra Crown and Starnato placed third in 48.04 seconds, and Charlotte Jacobs and North Star’s Cyrina Z were fourth in 48.13 seconds.

Equitation Begins with Hunter Phase

In addition to Junior Hunter championships on Friday’s day session, Verizon Center hosted the hunter phase of the Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals with an early lead for Meredith Darst of Lebanon, OH, with a score of 88.75 riding Elizabeth Gabler’s Soldier. Close behind, Kelli Cruciotti scored an 87 with Nicole Lyvere’s Cincinatti. Caitlin Boyle finished the day in third with a score of 86.75 riding Micaela Kennedy’s Loredo. Michael Hughes and Whipstick Farm Ltd.’s Joey stand fourth with a score of 86.25, and Victoria Colvin placed fifth with her score of 86 riding Monsieur du Reverdy.

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

The competition will also continue on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $5,000 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by North Star, and the $10,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown. The jumper phase for the Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals will close out the afternoon session.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top 10 riders. The $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Events DC, will conclude the night.

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

The Washington International Horse Show Silent Auction is now available online with an easy-to-use bidding website. Don’t miss your chance to win special items that range from a private riding lesson with Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden to a Private Decorating Party at Georgetown Cupcake Lab. Other incredible items include two tickets to Saturday Night Live’s live show, a diamond horseshoe pin from Tiny Jewel Box, full show attire from The Saddlery, and much, much more. Bid from your computer or smart phone at home, at the barn, at work, or anywhere you have Internet – just go to http://wihs.maestroweb.com.

The Acela Club on the Sky Box level of Verizon Center is the perfect place to socialize with friends and a wonderful vantage point for watching the action in the ring. WIHS is hosting three special social events and we hope you’ll join us! Have fun, watch great sport and support worthy local organizations. Party tickets include dinner and an open bar. $150/per person. Order by phone at 202-525-3679 or visit http://www.wihs.org/social-events/.

Along with six days of world-class competition, WIHS features a unique boutique shopping experience for exhibitors and spectators alike. The main concourse at Verizon Center brings together a diverse group of vendors for everyone’s shopping enjoyment. Shoppers can find everything from equestrian tack and apparel to fine art and jewelry. This year’s show features over 50 vendor stands and boutiques for all of your shopping needs throughout the week.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the Washington International Horse Show
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with leading riders, including Olympic medalists, and fabulous horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, the Puissance high-jump competition; and WIHS Equitation Classic Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Special exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities will round out this family-friendly event.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 Take Top Prize in $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Speed

Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4. Photo © Sportfot.

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Win $10,000 Puissance; Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy Triumph in Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2013 – Week ten of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 in the highlight $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class. In an exciting finish, Maher just edged out Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S for the win with Japan’s Eiken Sato and Viva finishing in third.

On Friday evening at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at The Stadium at PBIEC, a fantastic $10,000 Puissance high jump competition was also featured along with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Horseware Ireland. Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Valente and Germany’s Johannes Ehining and Salvador V went head to head over the ever-increasing wall with Gredley winning in four rounds at a final height of 6’11” (2.10m). Gredley then went on to attempt 7’6″ (2.31m).

Week ten’s FTI WEF competition runs March 13-17 featuring CSI 3* competition. Highlights include the $82,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 3* Grand Prix on Saturday and the $33,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the speed track for Friday’s $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class in the International Arena at PBIEC with 43 entries competing. Fifteen were able to clear the course without fault and the times got faster and faster as the list went on. In the end, Ben Maher and Mrs. Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4 won it with their time of 60.69 seconds. Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S, owned by Morningside Stud and Torrey Pines Stables, were just behind in 60.92 seconds. Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables’ Viva finished third in 62.06 seconds. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius were fourth in 62.62 seconds.

When Maher originally finished his round, the clock on the scoreboard showed that his time was slower than Lamaze, but a review by the judges determined that he was in fact faster.

“I landed after the last fence and I saw it was around 59 seconds and you obviously need to run a little bit to get to the timers, but then the clock said I was 61 seconds and I was sure it had run on a little,” Maher explained. “When I came out the judges were already discussing it. They said that it did run late and they went to the backup time, which was noticeably different, so luckily it worked out.”

With a busy schedule showing in other rings, Maher did not get to watch the beginning of the class, but showed up just in time to see Lamaze’s round.

“These classes you just do what you can and know what you can’t do it,” he noted. “I had some other horses going in another ring, but luckily I watched Eric just before I went, so I knew I had to kind of do the same as him and take time off where I knew I could. He was quick places that I knew I couldn’t be, so I just did my own thing and Quiet Easy jumped fantastic today. He was great from the first fence. He warmed up well, so I thought we had a good chance.”

“It was a good course,” Maher stated. “It had a lot more turns today and a little bit more options of how tight you wanted to go and to turn, so that suited my horse. I think I was pretty quick one, two, three, but it was all within less than a second, so I don’t think we really got it any place in particular. He was just quick the whole way.”

Quiet Easy’s barn name, Roary, is quite fitting. Owner Emma Phillips was in Wellington today to watch his winning round and explained that he is named after the British cartoon, Roary the Racing Car, about a young, energetic red race car. Phillips was pleased to be in town to see her horse earn a great win.

“It was special for us because we just flew in this weekend,” she smiled. “We have been here before over the years, but not for this season, so it was really nice to be able to see him win. It was nice for my husband too because he never sees him win.”

Maher laughed, “Every time Mr. Phillips comes, they always knock a jump down, so finally they won a class.”

I haven’t seen them for such a long time and then they arrive and the horse wins, so it could not have worked out any better,” Maher acknowledged. “He has been great. He loves Florida and he has had some great results. We’ll save him for the last two 1.50m classes now.”

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Jump Great Heights in $10,000 Puissance

The $10,000 Puissance high jump competition was held on Friday evening at The Stadium at PBIEC prior to the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Horseware Ireland for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Valente and Germany’s Johannes Ehning and Salvador V went head to head over the wall in four rounds of competition with Gredley winning at a final height of 6’11” (2.10m).

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente jump 7'6". Photo © Sportfot
Tim Gredley and Unex Valente jump 7’6″. Photo © Sportfot

The competition was held as a fun exhibition with slightly modified rules. The two competitors were allotted up to five rounds (first round and four jump-offs) with two attempts at the wall in each round if necessary. The wall began at 5’4″ (1.65m) in round one with both horses and riders jumping clear in one attempt. It then went up to 5’11” (1.85m) with two more clear rounds. In round three, Gredley and Valente cleared the 6’5″ (1.95m) wall on the first try and Ehning and Salvador took two attempts to jump the obstacle. Once the wall went up to 6’11” (2.10m) in round four, Gredley jumped clear, and Ehning opted to withdraw. Gredley earned the winning $7,000 for his effort and then, in an exciting twist, decided to jump higher.

Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo offered up $10,000 more if Gredley could clear the wall at 7’6″ (2.31m) or $5,000 just for attempting it. Gredley and Valente made two valiant efforts but rubbed the blocks off the top in both tries. They still came out of the day with $12,000 and a great experience.

Unex Valente, owned by Unex Competition Yard, is an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Sit This One Out that Gredley has had since the horse was four. The pair has a lot of grand prix experience together, but has only shown in one other Puissance, winning over 7′ and also attempting 7’6″ in Kentucky this past fall.

“I did the indoors in Washington and Harrisburg and Kentucky and I just thought I would try it once in Kentucky and straight away, the first round, he felt like he was going to be a good one,” Gredley stated. “This is only the second one that he has done, but both times he has just been unlucky at 7’6″. I know the horse; I have had him a long time and it makes a big difference when you can trust them a little bit.”

“He is really easy actually,” Gredley added. “Other horses that I have done in Puissance classes before, they normally start backing off, but he just keeps the same stride all the way down and he actually starts to take you, which makes it a lot easier. In hindsight, maybe I was a little bit off the first time. I was a little bit unlucky the second time, but he is just a really nice horse.”

Johannes Ehining’s mount Salvador V is a fourteen-year-old KWPN stallion by Calvados x Voltaire, owned by Nybor Pferde GmbH & Co. KG. The pair has had great grand prix success and this was their first time attempting the Puissance wall.

“For my horse, I rode him also once in a derby qualification in Hamburg and he is super brave, so I thought that maybe he could do it,” Ehning stated. “This was the first time, but I wanted to try it once with him. He is fourteen years old now; he has enough experience for that, so there was reason to try it once.”

“This is my best horse,” Ehning said. “In the last few years he has had a lot of good results in the grand prix. He has won four and five-star grand prix. I rode a few six-bars with him and he won a lot of those, so it was a good thing to try it here. That is also the reason that I didn’t go more rounds though, because he is my best horse and I didn’t want to over-ride him. Tim’s horse looked really comfortable with the wall and mine was really getting a little bit hot. I didn’t want to do too much with him.”

Both riders enjoyed coming to the dressage facility at The Stadium at PBIEC for a change of scenery for their horses and a new experience.

“It was really well organized, it was no problem at all,” Ehning noted. “We talked about getting to ride in the really nice indoor and this ring is also nice, so it is something different.”

Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy Triumph in Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division

Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Whitecap and Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Mary-Katherine Shaughnessy and her sixteen-year-old Trakehner gelding, Whitecap, jumped to tricolor honors in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51+ Division during week ten of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). With the points widely spread across the division, Whitecap and Shaughnessy emerged as champions after consistent over fences performances. The pair was second and eighth over fences on day one of competition and first and eighth over fences on day two. Reserve champion was Sandra Epstein aboard her own Pembroke. Epstein piloted Pembroke to fourth and third places over fences on day one of competition.

At age 16, Whitecap is a seasoned veteran of the FTI WEF, where he has also competed in Junior and First and Second Year Hunter divisions before being purchased by Shaughnessy two years ago. “I think his age is an advantage. For me, I like the older ones. Before him, I had a hunter that was very spooky and unreliable and it took away from my ability to progress,” Shaughnessy commented.

Throughout the course of their partnership, Whitecap has yet to put a foot wrong for Shaughnessy in the ring. “He’s never stopped, knock on wood! He will find a way to get over it. We don’t have many bad jumps anymore, but the first year I had him there were a few more bumps. He always found a way to get over it. He’s just a very honest horse,” Shaughnessy explained.

Shaughnessy admits Whitecap can be bored by routine work at his age, but only because he revels being in the spotlight of competition. “He’s very sweet, but he has an ego. When we come to the show, there’s a 20% increase in his energy level! The show ring is where he wants to be,” she smiled.

“He’s a very talented horse. He excels being at a show. He perks up in the ring. When you see him at home he’s just a big chestnut with floppy ears. But when he’s all braided up, he looks very elegant in the show ring. He puffs up a bit,” Shaughnessy continued.

Shaughnessy believes Whitecap’s love for the show ring combined with a naturally correct way of going is what keeps them in the ribbons at a show as competitive as the FTI WEF. “He has a very nice rhythm and is naturally a beautiful mover. He has a very even and correct jump and he makes it easy for me to just guide him around and let him do his job,” Shaughnessy stated.

Shaughnessy also enjoys the camaraderie of Adult Amateur division. “We’re all still very competitive, otherwise we’d just be out trail riding somewhere instead of showing,” Shaughnessy laughed. “It adds something and a lot of us become good friends. It makes a nice difference. Maybe it’s just because we’re older and we realize we’re lucky to be here.”

Week ten of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, will continue Saturday with the Antarés Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, hosted in the Rost Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The $82,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 3* Grand Prix will be featured in the International Arena at 7:30 p.m. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Soar to Top of $50,000 Puissance at Alltech National Horse Show

Tim Gredley and Unex Valente. Photos By: Rebecca Walton

Lexington, KY – November 2, 2012 – Great Britain’s Tim Gredley proved to be one of the world’s bravest riders this evening when he galloped up to a 7’6″ wall aboard his talented mount Unex Valente. The pair was already champions of the $50,000 Puissance at Alltech National Horse Show, 129th edition after being the only horse and rider combination to clear the 7″ wall. Although they were unsuccessful during their final attempt, the crowd was on their feet to cheer on the brave rider at the Alltech Arena in Lexington, KY.

Eight entries gathered for tonight’s class to jump the wall built by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, the first time this show had hosted the event in 11 years. For the first round the jump was set at 5’9″, but as the height rose the number of riders left continued to dwindle. First it went up to 6’3″, then 6’6″ and finally for a brave final three, 7′.

Having successfully completed all three of the first heights, Gredley was the first to make the daunting gallop towards the in-gate with Unex Valente, owned by Unex Competition Yard. The pair made it look easy, clearing the wall with all the pieces intact.

Continue reading Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Soar to Top of $50,000 Puissance at Alltech National Horse Show