Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – Hunters were the highlight on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano took the top spot in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*.
After securing the second spot in round one with a score of 182 out of 26 entries, Jimmy Torano piloted Laskano around a twisty second round with bold and precise execution to finish top of the field with a second-round score of 211 and a total of 393.
McLain Ward Notches First 2022 WEF Win
Four-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward (USA) notched his first win of the 2022 WEF circuit on Friday in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Speed Challenge on Bonnie M Z over 44 other entries. The pair sped to victory in 60.780 seconds over the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course. Finishing just off the pace in second place were Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland, owned by Chapot and The Edge, who stopped the timers in 61.304 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof were third in 65.324 seconds.
Ward and Bonnie M Z showed on Wednesday and improved to a winning performance in Friday’s 1.40m class. Ward got the ride on Bonnie M Z two weeks ago through the Holtgers family of Gut Einhaus LLC. Ward has started a new partnership with them and will train Ansgar Holtgers Jr. Gut Einhaus entered into ownership of the horse in 2018, and he has been ridden by Olympic champions Eric Lamaze of Canada and Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).
“They asked me to ride the horse and see what I thought he could be,” said Ward of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Bentley Van De Heffinck x Berlin. “He’s done up to three-star grand prix. The Holtgers have owned him for a few years, and now we’re getting started with him.”
Mill Spring, NC – July 9, 2021 – Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) hosted its second $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby of the season during the Tryon Summer 4/Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity II Horse Show, with top honors earned by Harold Chopping (CAN) and Catchphrase, who combined for a two-round total score of 384. Havens Schatt (USA) and Cascartini, the Holsteiner gelding owned by Ken and Amy Wexler LLC, were named to reserve after their two-round score of 378. Finishing on a score of 374, Dorothy Douglas (USA) and MTM Lolah LOL, the 2013 Westphalian mare (Los Angeles x Palma) owned by Abigail Davenport, took home third-place honors.
Chopping and the 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Marome NW x Prelude) owned by Barbara Scott were leading on a score of 181 after the classic round, and navigated the Andres Christiansen (USA) course design with a past loss in mind to maintain their lead, Chopping revealed.
“Years ago, I remember I was leading by quite a bit going into the handy round on a horse that I really trusted – he was really a winner – and I was a bit conservative and I ended up second. I cannot forget riding around in the ring that night because it drives me crazy that I didn’t just walk in there and try and win both rounds,” he explained. “So, my strategy this time was to just be aggressive and try and put in a good score.”
Mill Spring, NC – June 6, 2020 – Friday’s $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the marquis Hunter class of the Tryon Spring 6/92nd Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Horse Show at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), saw Kelley Farmer (USA) and In Writing top the first round on a score of 186. Due to weather forcing competition to halt, their first-round score would be enough to take the win. In second, Aaron Vale (USA) and Iwan, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quasimodo VD Molendreef) owned by Madison Rauschenbach, received a total score of 182, while Jennifer Alfano (USA) rode Channing, a 2010 German Sporthorse gelding (Crossfire x Korg) owned by Olivia Woods, to their place on the podium on a score of 169. Josh Dolan (USA) and Menelik, Signe Ostby’s 2010 Hanoverian stallion (Monte Bellini x Statella P), also scored 169, receiving a base score of 83 from the tie-breaker judge to collect fourth place.
Farmer and the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Quirado x Pandora VLL) owned by David Glefke and Wendy Hofmeister navigated the Lewis Pack (USA) course alongside 21 other horse-and-rider pairs, and added four points for high options. “The course was lovely, and I have to say, I’ve got to brag on my horse a little bit. I have an incredible animal, which makes my life really easy,” Farmer detailed. “The first three jumps were nice, and kind of got you into the course, and for the fourth to fifth bending line you had to have a horse with a bit of scope to jump the high option. But, I know my horse has all the ability in the world, so I never really worry with him – it’s a nice problem to have – when I walk a course, I know that pretty much anything they can build, he can do it.”
Brian Moggre and Nikita Jolie Claim $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake
Brian Moggre (Flower Mound, TX) and Nikita Jolie cleared the short-course in 28.582 seconds to take top honors in Thursday’s $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake in the International Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). In second, Shane Sweetnam (Lexington, KY) piloted Viti de Longa, a 2009 Selle Francais mare (Contendro I x Babeth Desmulottes) owned by Seabrook LLC, to a jump-off time of 28.807 seconds, while Andrea Torres Guerreiro (Waterford, VA) collected third aboard her own mount Fifty Shades, stopping the timers at 29.125 seconds aboard the 2008 Westphalian gelding (Call Me Number One x Sheltana).
In addition to besting a competitive field, with 53 entries testing the Lewis Pack (Mill Spring, NC) course design, Moggre also claimed fourth aboard the Major Wager LLC owned MTM Vivre le Reve, a 2009 Westphalian gelding (Ustinov x Chellana). Nineteen horse-and-rider pairs challenged the jump-off track, with eight double-clears on the day. For both of Moggre’s mounts, it was their first class after COVID-19 related pauses in horse showing, he explained:
“It was actually the first class back showing for those two horses of mine. I thought it was very welcoming, but at the same time a nice track for the competition. I was very happy with how my horses performed,” he shared. “After having such a long break due to the current circumstances, it is very exciting to be showing again.”
Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2019 – Julie Curtin (USA) and Cassico repeated their 2018 victory in Friday’s $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, earning a first-round score of 182 and receiving a handy score of 212 for a grand total of 394 to top the field. Harold Chopping (CAN) and Barbara Scott’s Catchphrase, a 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Marome NW x Prelude), collected scores of 160 and 193 to land in second place on a total of 353, while Kelley Farmer (USA) and As Quoted, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zambesi TN x Bybalia SMH) owned by David Glefke, produced rounds garnering scores of 178 and 172.5 to claim third with a total of 350.5.
Curtin and the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Carrico x Trevigiana) owned by Rebekah Warren were able to earn a repeat victory from last year’s USHJA International Hunter Derby during Tryon Summer 4, besting a competitive field of 21 entries over the Dean Rheinheimer (USA) course design. “The course rode really nicely,” Curtin reported. “There were a lot of long lines out there, which is nice, but it’s sometimes kind of easy to get lost. This is the first time I’ve ridden in this arena – Cassico actually won this same Derby last year here on the grass! It was nice – the footing is great, and the course rode really great.
“We were eight points behind [going into the handy], so I had to just go for it all,” Curtin explained of her winning strategy. “We took every tight turn, high option, and just tried to lay it down, because I knew I had some ground to catch up. We’re getting ready for Derby Finals, so I knew I had to practice. I knew it would either work or it would not, and today it worked! He’s such a scopey horse. The jumps were big, and it was hard, but he was good.”
They made up the difference – and earned their 41-point lead – in two areas, Curtin believes: in their first jump, choosing the high option, and in overall handiness. “Jump one was hard – that was a blind turn for a high option, but he handled it so well. But otherwise, I just tried to keep it tidy everywhere. And he’s so scopey that on all the tight turns it just kept coming up nicely. The two-stride came out a little long, but he just got right up there and handled everything beautifully.”
While Derby Finals is the next goal in focus, Cassico will be Curtin’s ride in National and International Derbies for a long time to come, she hopes. “He’s still young and has a big future, so we’re really excited. Hopefully, Derby Finals will go well, but then his mother is going to start showing him; I will just do Derbies with him and let him be an amateur horse. Right now, I’m doing Derbies and High Performance with him, but we’ll back down a little bit and let her ride him in the Amateurs. Hopefully, I’ll have him for the next eight years to do Derbies on!”
Curtin, who also earned second in Friday morning’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, concluded, “It was a very good day! Tough competition – it’s always a tough competition when Kelly [Farmer] and Evan [Coluccio] have as many horses as they had each! I’m very happy about the win.”
For full results from the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, click here.
Tryon, NC – June 7, 2019 – Daniel Geitner (USA) and Elizabeth Tarumianz’s One Request were awarded top honors in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with an overall score of 371. Holly Shepherd (USA) with Tybee, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Black Tie owned by Helen Brown, finished in second place on a total score of 349. Erin Floyd (USA) claimed third place aboard Any Given Sunday, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Indoctro x Victoria owned by Hays Investment Corp., with a score of 347.
Out of 21 pairs to take part in the highlight Hunter class of the Tryon Spring 6 Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Show, Geitner and the 2010 Selle Francais gelding impressed the judges over the course set by Dean Rheinheimer (USA) and secured first place after their handy performance. Last to go in the second round, Geitner was able to observe competitors ahead of him and adjusted his strategy accordingly, he explained.
“It was a beautiful course. It rode a little trickier than it walked. It walked relatively simple and it just rode a little bit trickier than I think we first thought,” Geitner said. “My original plan [in the handy] was to go to the inside to the two stride, but once I realized I probably didn’t have to, it made it relatively easy. Honestly, his [One Request] jumping style is just spectacular, so I just tried to stay out of his way.
“The jumps were beautiful and my horse obviously jumped amazing,” Geitner continued. “This is only his third Derby, and he’s won two of them now. Last year he did the first years, green conformation, and the amateurs with his owner. This year we’ve done just a couple shows.”
Despite his horse’s newness to the International Derby ring, Geitner reported that One Request took to the atmosphere of Tryon Stadium well: “He was great [in the atmosphere]. Not much phases him, and actually it really had him jumping. He was not close to any jump, and really rose to the occasion,” he said. “I thought the first round was great, and I thought he was even better in the handy. He just jumped higher and higher the more we went.”
Geitner will keep competing One Request in more Derbies, hoping to continue their success thus far, and plans to aim for Derby Finals ahead of the indoor season, he explained. “We just got back from Devon. We sent some ponies here a couple weeks ago with our assistant, but this is our first week. We are happy to be back.
“Unfortunately, we go back home next week, but we come back in July for a couple weeks and for sure a few weeks in the fall,” concluded Geitner. “I personally won’t come back here for Pony Spectacular [Tryon Summer 3] but I hope my wife and some of the pony kids are!”
For full results from the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, click here.
Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2018 – Julie Curtin of Woodstock, GA and Cassico, owned by Rebekah Warren, jumped to victory in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the Derby Field at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) during the fourth week of Tryon Summer Series competition. The duo rose to the occasion after a first round score of 184 and kept an ironclad grip on the blue rosette. Curtin piloted the gelding through the handy round earning a 196 to land on a final score of 380. Second place honors were awarded to Dorothy Douglas of West Bridgwater, M, riding MTM Farm’s MTM One Time to a collective score of 373.5. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX and MTM Outbid rounded out the top three, placing a second MTM Farm entry into the top three with a final score of 370.
The win was a memorable one for Curtin, as it was her first time atop the leaderboard in an USHJA International Hunter Derby, as well as her mount’s first year competing in major derbies of this size. “It feels awesome,” Curtin commented. “He handled everything great. He’s by nature a very good-brained horse and he handles everything really well.”
Despite only being seven years old this year, Curtin has big plans for the Holsteiner gelding, whose even temperament has landed him the reputation of being a ham back at the barn. “He’s going to Derby Finals this year,” she explained. “He’s young, but it doesn’t make me nervous because I’m so confident with him. He just gives you the best feeling in the world. I did the high performance with him this week and he was champion, so I’m starting to prep him for all of that.”
The pair navigated the Andy Christiansen designed course with ease, besting the field of 23 other horse-and-rider combinations in the process. “We were all worried that with the grass and the rain it was going to be too slick,” stated Curtin, “but the footing is so nice and they’ve done such a good job with the field that it was great out there.”
The gelding, sired by fellow competitor Callie Seaman’s veteran Derby horse, Carrico, was originally purchased to be an adult amateur ride for his owner. After a quick assessment of his talents, it was clear to Curtin that he also deserved a chance to prove himself on the Derby field. She noted, “His owner does him in the amateurs, so he was bought to be an amateur horse, but he’s just so great at the derbies. That’s just his calling.”
Curtin continued, “Last year it was hard because we did the Pre-Greens with him because he was a baby, but the jumps were just so easy for him. It was hard keeping his attention because the jumps were so little and we were thinking about how we couldn’t wait to step him up. Last year we did a National Derby out on the grass and it was like he was made for this. He loves it.”
Earlier in the afternoon, the $5,000 Tryon Resort 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 3* welcomed another first-place finish for Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 2008 Oldenburg Sandetto (Sandro Boy x Chellano Z), after piloting the stallion around the Alan Wade (IRL) designed course in 62.9 seconds. Second place went to Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Casall x Romino) Abracadabra WKT, owned by Monica Hanks, after the two rode to a time of 65.76 seconds. Sydney Shulman (USA) claimed third in 67.42 seconds aboard Jill Shulman’s 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare Hilgarie (Calvaro x Kashmir van Schuttershof).
Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.
Kelley Farmer and Baltimore (Photo: Shawn McMillen)
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 19, 2016 – Out of 66 entries in the first classic round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Kelley Farmer had four of the rides. Not only did the hunter derby veteran qualify two of her mounts, Baltimore and Kodachrome, for Saturday’s handy round, but she also took first and second place honors for Lane Change Farm.
Baltimore, owned by Jane Gaston, was the first ride of the day for Farmer. She took the 11-year-old Oldenburg around the course, designed by Danny Moore and Bobby Murphy, to earn scores of 92, 95, and 92 for a total of 291 points going into Saturday’s handy round. Farmer also chose to jump all four high-options. Contrary to the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, where the top 30 qualified horses go into the final round with a clean slate, the classic points will carry over to merge with Saturday’s handy round score.
Although Farmer had three other rides left, she was able to maintain her first place position with Baltimore throughout the entire class. As much as the other riders tried, Farmer’s near-perfect scores could not be beat as the class continued. Since she got the ride on the bay gelding by Balou du Rouet, Kelley has also earned many titles and championships in the Regular Conformation Hunters and High Performance Working Hunters.
Kelley did not let the thought of going early on in the class take away from her concentration.
“He was amazing. He was unbelievable. He went first last week in Saugerties and I sort of was glad to get it over with,” Farmer said. “It was a little nerve wracking that I had to do him first, but he was unbelievable. I mean, he tried so hard and he’s so brave. He can jump so much, so I never worry about what they build.”
Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm added, “I never say this, but it was flawless. Because usually, I have a lot to say when she comes out of the ring. Flawless.”
Friday was bittersweet for Farmer, because her usual winning derby mount, Mindful, is currently out of commission. However, Farmer was happy as he is set to get back to work at the beginning of next week.
“It is what it is, but he’ll be back for Florida,” Farmer said about her longtime partner. “He’s been a great horse for me and I’ll be excited to have him back.”
Coming in second place during Friday’s classic round was Farmer and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Moore. Although Farmer has not had the ride on him for very long, the pair still laid down a beautiful trip to earn the red ribbon and a grand total of 280 points.
Trainer Larry Glefke was also extremely pleased with Kodachrome’s performance, saying, “He fits in with Mindful and Baltimore. He has that kind of ability to pop at the jumps. He has a freaky jump, and it gets bigger every week because he’s getting stronger. Both of those horses have quality; [Miss] Lucy has the same quality.”
He continued, “They walk to the jumps every day and they don’t want to knock them down. I mean, things go wrong, things can happen, but they make an effort to jump the jumps every day. You never have to ask them to do too much. Their sincerity is to jump this high over everything.”
Farmer agreed, “It’s a nice feeling when you know that no matter what you aim at, they not only can jump over it, but they can jump over it high, clean and well.”
Kristy Herrera had the ride on Helen Lenahan’s Miss Lucy, who is normally Jennifer Alfano’s mount, and took third place in the classic round. Alfano is currently injured from a fall that occurred at the Devon Horse Show, so she entrusted her longtime friend, Herrera, to take the reins for her. Herrera only had one other show under her belt with Miss Lucy, so she was a little nervous going into Friday’s classic round on the “quirky” mare.
According to Alfano, “She has a little bit of a funny canter, and she doesn’t really like you to touch the reins.”
“It’s Lucy’s way or no way. I was the one that needed to adjust to her,” Herrera said with a laugh. “She has her own way of going and it is different from a lot of other horses I’ve ridden, but she’s so incredibly athletic and smart that once you get it, you don’t have to do anything else.”
She continued, “I was nervous about it, but she walks in that ring and puts her ears forward and gives you the confidence that you can jump anything. It was awesome.”
While Alfano was a little sad that it was not her in the irons aboard Miss Lucy, she was very proud of Kristy and Miss Lucy’s trip that received a combined total of 276.5 points.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled. I was so nervous, I thought I might have a heart attack. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I woke up this morning and I was a little sad and feeling sorry for myself. Watching her go around, it made me teary eyed. That was a hard thing she did today,” Alfano said.
“And I don’t think if anyone else was standing on the ground, I could have walked in there on a horse like that,” Herrera said.
Alfano said that her efforts were a result of trust and friendship built over many years. Alfano had faith in Herrera to take the ride on Miss Lucy, and Herrera trusted Alfano to instruct her as to how best ride the mare.
“I think what made it easier was that we have such a long-standing relationship. We’ve been together since she was 9 years old,” Alfano said. “She may not know the horse, but she and I are so in sync. Lucy is a little different. Kristy has the faith in me to say, ‘Okay, if that’s what you say to do, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll take your word for it and do it.’ I could not be any more proud of either one of them.”
Thirty horses and riders have qualified to compete in Saturday’s handy round, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium. Keep your eyes out for Kelley Farmer and her two horses, as well as Kristy Herrera and Miss Lucy.
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
After winning the 1.40m Open Jumpers on Thursday, Aaron Vale was looking to continue his winning streak under the lights on Friday night. The Ocala-based professional and Finou 4 did just that, stealing the win from Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“This was a great class,” Vale said. “It was good fun, and I’m glad I came out on the long end of the stick. It ended up being an entertaining class. You get a little flavor this week with the jumps for [USHJA International Hunter] Derby Finals. The horses are so used to jumping stripes, so tonight we got more of a natural tone to some of the obstacles, so that was a fun thing.”
Bobby Murphy’s first-round course produced a 16-horse lineup for the jump-off, with Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt going double clear and setting the early lead with a time of 36.909 seconds.
Vale re-entered the ring aboard Thinkslikeahorse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and used his horse’s massive stride to his advantage, cutting his turns and tripping the timers in a blazing fast 33.035 seconds.
“Each horse you have to ride to their strengths, you know,” Vale said. “Finou has a big enough stride that I can leave a stride out, even in a forward line. It’s a strength of his, covering ground.”
Two more challengers came close to Vale’s time. Sharn Wordley and the Sky Group’s Famoso D Ive Z were the first to come within seconds of the lead, clocking a time of 35.84 seconds to eventually finish in third, bumping Sweetnam down to finish in fourth.
Going second-to-last in the order was Benjamin Meredith and Shader Sporthorses LLC’s Anabelle 28. Meredith and Anabelle finished strongly in second place after stopping the clock in 34.022 seconds – just fractions of a second behind Vale, whose time proved unbeatable.
“I didn’t see Aaron go, but for sure I was going to try to beat him,” Meredith said. “The only place I could have gotten ahead of him was the first line. I jumped the first jump, and I landed and said there’s no way I can leave a stride out. But the rest of the course Anabelle kept up with him. We tried to win again, but we just couldn’t get there.”
Vale said he began riding Finou 4 about a year ago. Surprisingly, the gelding is blind in his left eye. Vale said that Finou 4 is instinctively very protective of his body, and will swing himself around worriedly to be able to see.
“He’s a little difficult to train because he’s working against his instinct and he’s worried,” Vale explained. “When he has a good day he usually wins. He’s got enough stride, he has a lot of ability, and he can be really fast in the jump-off. When I have his brain right, he gives me a great class. There were a few things I was worried about for him tonight, but he handled it all.”
Making his victory even sweeter, Vale has reclaimed the top spot from Pablo Barrios in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings, moving one step closer to earning the leading rider bonus.
“We’re all chasing the $50,000 bonus,” Vale laughed. “I’ve got a wedding next week, so I’m missing that class. I know Pablo was at the Olympics this week, so he missed this one. You’re not supposed to count points. You’re supposed focus on riding your horse in the class, so it’s just an added pressure. For people like me it makes a difference, so thankfully we got it done tonight. Hopefully we can come out on the right end of the bonus, because it’s a great thing for Hagyard to do and Kentucky to put it on. We love coming here.”
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.
The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.
The 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. Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being 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.
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Saturday with the finale of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
It may be hot in Atlanta, but Daniel Geitner is on fire! After securing back to back Week I and Week II wins in the $15,000 Horseflight Open Welcomes, he went on to win the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with Kelly Sims’ True Story last night under the lights in the Olympic Stadium.
Geitner, of Aiken, South Carolina, held the highest score after the Classic Round with a score of 184 and topped the scores of the second round with his own 193 for an overall score of 377. Kelly Farmer with Bibby Hill’s It’s Me held the second highest score behind Geitner and True Story after the first round with their score of 178, but their Handy Round score of 119 for an overall score of 297 would drop them into ninth place overall.
Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, Florida and Harris Hill Farm, LLC’s Poker Face finished their Classic Round with a score of 176. Their Handy score of 186 for an overall 362 secured them second place in the featured hunter event.
Georgia’s own Julie Curtin of Woodstock, in the irons of Helen Brown’s Tybee, secured a first round score of 176. Their Handy round of 186 for a combined 360 took third place honors.
Ava, owned and ridden by Kathryn Jarriel of Collins, Georgia, sat in fifth place after the Handy round after earning a score of 174. Their Handy score of 173 and overall 347 would have them finish in fourth place.
Maida Clifton’s More Optimistic, ridden by Ashley Hotz of Eads, Tennessee, earned a first round score of 172 and a Handy score of 167 for an overall 339, which would see them finish in fifth place overall.
Upcountry Cuba, owned by Jamie Stryker and ridden by Megan Wexler of Reddick, Florida, finished in sixth place overall after earning a first round score of 152 and Handy round score of 170 for an overall 322.
Leslie Terry’s Pet Rock, ridden by Emily Terry Peterson of Naples, Florida, took seventh place honors after earning a Classic round score of 148 and Handy score of 157 for an overall score of 305.
Geitner and Geddaway Farm’s Bella Vida earned a Classic round score of 168 and a Handy score of 133 for an overall 301 which would see them finish in eighth place. Farmer and It’s Me earned ninth place and Jordan Carlson of Roswell, Georgia, in the irons of her own Avignon, placed tenth with an overall score of 293. Eleventh and twelfth placings were awarded to Lisa Chaney’s Cristal, ridden by Brandon Gibson of Greenback, Tennessee, and La Roxx, owned and ridden by Isabel Harbour of Alpharetta, Georgia.
True Story was also awarded the Jack Geitner Memorial trophy, awarded to the winner of the Atlanta Summer Classics International Hunter Derby winner. Especially touching is that the award is named in honor of Daniel Geitner’s brother Jacques “Jack”. An accomplished child rider, he competed in the hunters under the tutelage of trainers such as Pat Dodson and Sue Ashe. As a teen, Jack turned his attention to the jumper ring, and rode his horses Elan and The Energizer to numerous wins, including the Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic at the Charleston Summer Classic Horse Show, with the help of trainer Aaron Vale. He passed away suddenly as a result of a car accident at the age of 19 during his freshman year at Appalachian State University. He will always be remembered for his spirit, laughter and wit and his love for animals and his loyalty to his friends.
Double Header Derbies!
The hunter action continued with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Legend. Fairfax, owned by Liz Hudspeth and ridden by Julie Curtin, took the win after earning a combined score of 185. Geitner followed Curtin for the second place ribbon in the irons of Hilary Baylor’s Naddel with their combined score of 184. Aberdeen Ventures, LLC’s Madewell, ridden by Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida, secured third place with an overall score of 181. Fourth place honors was awarded to Relax Jack, owned by Frances Robinson and ridden by Megan Wexler; the pair earned an overall score of 172.5.
Breaking News, owned and ridden by Isabel Harbour, took fifth place honors with their total score of 172. Sixth was awarded to Hanover on the Rocks, owned and ridden by Morgan Connely. Virginia Stearns’ THS Pia-Lena was ridden to the seventh place honors by Sarah Milliren after earning a combined first and second round score of 167.5. Charlotte Warren’s Enticement, ridden by Julie Curtin, finished in eighth place with their total score of 167. For further results, click here.
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Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 in $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*
Mill Spring, NC – June 10, 2016 – Erica Quinn of Mainesville, OH and Need I Say captured their first career derby win together, topping the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Mirimichi Green at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Quinn and Need I Say received a final two round score of 369 to take the win. Kelley Farmer of Wellington, FL guided Point Being and Baltimore to second and third place, respectively, earning total scores of 368 and 359 from the judging panel. Competition at TIEC continues Saturday with the highly anticipated $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* for the Governor’s Cup beginning at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with free admission and free parking for all attendees.
Quinn, who recently took over the ride on the 2008 Warmblood gelding owned by Kelley Farmer, was elated with the performance of Need I Say under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena. The pair completed an effortless and athletic handy round, which ultimately pushed them to the top of the leaderboard. Andy Christison built the course, which showcased a number of airy oxers and difficult combinations, proving to be a tough test for riders throughout the evening.
“He’s just an amazing animal. I can’t say enough nice things about that horse. In the first round, I bobbled going into the two stride, which I was mad at myself for, but then I came back in the second round and was confident. He’s just such a good handy horse. I feel like I can do anything on him,” she explained.
Need I Say has an attitude and athleticism that allows him to excel in the handy round, which is one of his most notable strengths. The pair received 10 handy points from each of the judging panels to boost their score after performing an effortless, but bold second round.
“When I turn, it doesn’t matter if it’s one stride or three strides, he’s always going to leave the ground. He gives you such a nice feeling over the fences,” she added. “I’m new to doing the derbies and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I also think that I just need to keep doing them and get used to the atmosphere.”
Originally, Friday’s class was not on Quinn’s planned competition schedule, as she had arranged to stay in Kentucky, but at the last minute decided to bring Need I Say with the other group of horses traveling to the TIEC venue with Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke.
“Kelley told me to come down here to do the $50,000 instead of staying in Kentucky and now I’m sure glad I did,” she smiled. “It really worked out for us and I can’t say enough nice things about Larry and Kelley. This is an amazing opportunity for me and I couldn’t thank them enough.”
Farmer had the initial ride on the gelding after he arrived stateside and collected two derby wins right off the bat in Pensacola, FL, establishing Need I Say as a strong derby contender. Quinn took over the ride this spring, and has been competing the gelding since, learning from Farmer and her winning ways.
“Kelley has quite a few horses in her derby string and was nice enough to let me ride this horse. He finished very well here a few weeks ago too. This is our second derby together and the other was a few weeks ago here where we finished in third,” explained Quinn. “I’m just so thankful that she gave me the ride.”
Quinn has worked at Lane Change Farm with Glefke and Farmer for nearly two years and focuses on many of the Pre-Green horses in the barn, but is beginning to turn more of her attention to Need I Say.
“Erica has worked with us for a while and has done a very good job. She’s worked for this chance and she’s definitely paid her dues. Everyone needs a chance and she’s earned this,” said Farmer. “I have plenty of horses in my string and I wanted her to have a horse that had no tricks and that was capable of competing with mine. In the handy rounds, when we tell her, you know, you have to go inside, she has a horse that can do it.”
Farmer found Need I Say on a trip to Europe and his talent and scope drove her to cancel an original flight home and travel across Germany to try the horse for herself. She explained, “One of our agents over there showed him to me and I bought him on the same trip that I bought It’s Me. It turned out to be very worthwhile,” she laughed.
“He had done quite a bit in Europe and had won as a young horse. He was cut late and I got on him not too long after he was gelded. I watched him jump some pretty big courses and when I sat on him I thought that there is no way they can build anything on a Saturday night at Derby Finals that will phase this horse.”
“There is no horse that can do things like he does in the handy. It’s really unbelievable. He is the most beautiful and rideable horse. Anywhere you put him he’s going to go. I knew that he would walk into any derby ring and win,” she added.
Farmer also commented on her second and third place rides, noting that both horses performed well, while Baltimore’s third place finish makes him the fastest earning hunter to reach $100,000 in prize money.
“Baltimore was a really good boy and I made a little bit of a mistake, which pushed down our score and it was my fault, but Point Being was great. He still can get a little bit green, especially at night,” she elaborated. “He wants to try so hard and he’s such a careful horse. He’s an overachiever and he gets a little overwhelmed at night, but that’s just him and that’s what I love. He just has an intensity that you don’t typically feel and is what makes him so special.”
Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 to Secure a Win in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*
Karl Cook (USA) quickly crossed through the timers to secure victory in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5* aboard Caillou 24 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Cook rose to the top of the leaderboard with an efficient time of 65.10 seconds to secure the win. Richie Moloney (IRL) trailed closely behind with a time of 65.80 seconds with his mount Slieveanorra, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 rounded out the top three with a time of 67.31 seconds.
Cook and Caillou 24 tackled Alan Wade’s (IRL) track with a smooth and quick effort, as the pair used the opportunity to gain valuable experience at the 1.45m height. Wade has built competitive and educational courses throughout the week and Cook noted that the design was very suitable for the strengths of his horse.
He elaborated, “The way Alan [Wade] set the course made for the riders to take exciting turns instead of having to protect the front rails. It allowed us to flow down the lines and it was very nice to ride.”
Caillou 24 is a talented and young mount for Cook, as the pair has just started to regularly compete at the FEI level together. Caillou 24, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Corrado I), previously campaigned to the FEI CSI 3* level in Europe before Cook took over the ride early in 2014. Taking his time training the gelding at home, the pair have built confidence and a stronger relationship over the past year. After concluding a successful winter campaign, Cook felt it was time to gain more experience in a major FEI competition atmosphere.
“We have been protecting him a little bit and trying to teach him how to jump the way we want. But, at the same time, they also need to learn how to go fast and the only way to do that is by competing,” he explained. “He’s very good because he turns extraordinarily tight yet has a huge stride to leave out in a lot of the lines too. Normally you never get those two together in a single horse, so it’s a great feeling to have in the ring.”
Cook is based year-round out of Woodside, CA and spoke about what motivated his team to travel to TIEC for the venue’s first ever FEI CSI 5* week. Eric Navet (FRA), who Cook trains with year-round, also made the trip east with several horses.
“I had heard rumors about the place and wanted to see it for myself. My first impression of the venue was just wow, to be honest,” said Cook. “It has taken an incredible and obvious amount of foresight and investment to bring this facility to where it is. The thing is, this area is closer than people on the back home would think. You’re only five hours from Kentucky and it’s in a really great location for travel.”
“You also have to acknowledge the huge amount of prize money available at this venue. It is modern jumping. You are jumping on consistently good footing and the jumps are great,” he added. “Everything is really convenient for everyone and that’s what is important. It’s not just rings and barns; it’s so much more. Nothing about this venue is bad for our sport; it’s only going to do great things for it.”
Cook and his team will head back to California once the week concludes on Sunday, but will make arrangements to return to the venue in 2017 for next season’s competitive spring series. Once his string is back and settled, the team will look to finish a very strong summer and fall season, which will include several FEI World Cup Qualifiers, which will now be hosted on the West Coast.
“We are going to head home and work with the horses because you can’t really train them at the show the best you would like to.” Cook commented. “We might come back to do Central Park and possibly loop that in with the Million in Saugerties. I felt like we needed to come out here and feel it out. We will be back for the Spring Series here next season for sure,” he added.
For more information on the events and activities at TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.
Kelley Farmer Wins $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Lexington, Ky. – May 15, 2016 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show wrapped up on Sunday in the Rolex Stadium with the featured national classes: the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix followed by the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Eternal outpaced a 15-horse jump-off to grab the win in the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by Audi of Lexington, which also counted towards valuable points earned in the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List.
After consistently producing clear rounds all week, Vanderveen and Bull Run Jumpers’ Bull Run’s Eternal proved to be a force to be reckoned with after beating Aaron Vale and Carlo’s early jump-off lead of 42.001 seconds by three full seconds.
“It was so nice to finally get it all together,” said Vanderveen. “He’s actually the horse I’ve owned the longest. I’ve had him for three years so we really know each other quite well, and that really helped today in the jump-off because it was pretty fast.”
47 exhibitors navigated the Bernardo Costa Cabral-designed first round course, consisting of 13 obstacles, which challenged riders with a double and triple combination, a triple bar fence and multiple tight rollbacks in a time allowed of 81 seconds. The jump-off revealed a seven-fence serpentine with many large oxers that resulted in faults for five of the 15 second round challengers.
Vanderveen and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were third in the jump-off order-of-go and broke the beam in 39.091 seconds, which set the pace for the rest of the 12 horse and rider combinations that would prove to be unbeatable.
“My strategy was to basically start with a gallop and be able to hold it the whole way,” said Vanderveen. “There were a lot of hard left turns right at the beginning in the jump-off, and he’s really handy to the left, so I was able to not worry too much about making the turn because he’ll cut left fast anyways. So I tried to start before jump one with a really good gallop and never take away from him. He did quite well with that.”
It did not look like anyone would come close to Vanderveen’s time until five rounds later when Andrew Ramsay and Cocq A Doodle, owned by The Doodle Group, entered the ring. They raced around the shortened track to catch Vanderveen’s time but only made it within 9/10th of a second, after laying down a solid double-clear effort, finishing in 39.942 seconds and taking second place honors.
Even as the second to last jump-off contenders were unable to catch Vanderveen’s time, she had already secured her win for the class by returning to the ring as the last entry to go in the jump-off round on her second mount, Bull Run’s Holy Smokes.
“Bull Run’s Holy Smokes is actually a little bit greener than [Bull Run’s Eternal] is,” said Vanderveen. “It was a really nice feeling to be able to come in and know that she doesn’t need to really run like crazy so I was going to go for a nice slow, clean round and then she hit the last jump down, but I’m still really pleased with her. She hasn’t done nearly as much as he’s done.”
Rounding out the top three in the Sunday finale of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show was Ramiro Quintana and Whitney, owned by St. Bride’s Farm. They tripped the timers in 40.215 seconds.
After a successful finish to the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Vanderveen will be returning to Tryon next week to train clients, but always enjoys visiting and competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows.
“After this week, I think I should never leave Kentucky,” laughed Vanderveen. “I jumped clean in every single FEI class – it just hasn’t come to a win until today. I’m going back to Tryon next week. I have all of my clients in Tryon and they got this week off, so I’ll be back to help train them.
“I love the area here,” continued Vanderveen. “I love that the horses can graze and can go out on the trail rides. I think it’s so great for their minds. The stadium’s great as well. I love riding in a big ring. I have a lot of big horses with big steps so to be able to just open up and gallop around the course is how my horses jump best and go best, and I like to ride that.”
Earlier in the day, the Under 25 Grand Prix was held in the Rolex Stadium and the blue ribbon went to Noel Fauntleroy and her own Cabras, who bested a starting field of 26 and a jump-off field of 13.
“I started riding [Cabras] a little over a year ago in Florida last year,” said Fauntleroy. “She was part of the gold medal team and won an individual bronze medal at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships last year. She is very comfortable. She might look a little hot, but she’s actually kind of cold. I have to get her going, but once I do she’s all game and will jump anything. She’s really brave.”
Fauntleroy and the 12-year-old Holsteiner mare were among six to produce double-clear rounds, finishing the fastest by one second in 30.003 seconds.
“My plan today was to just stick with the numbers,” said Fauntleroy. “The jump-off I thought was a really good test for the riders. From one to two there was an option for seven or eight strides, and I trust her a lot so I went with seven and knew that she would jump that. I made sure to go inside the gazebo after the two because I didn’t think anyone else had done that, and I think that might have been where I made up a little bit of time.”
Eve Jobs and her own Sandor De La Pomme were close behind Fauntleroy stopping the timers in 31.242 seconds to take second place, while Hunter Holloway and VDL Bravo S, owned by Hays Investment Corp., took the third place spot finishing in 32.489 seconds.
Having shown in the U25 series multiple times, Fauntleroy really appreciates the bridge the series provides for young riders to develop experience at competing their horses on an international level.
“I think it’s an awesome stepping-stone for young riders,” said Fauntleroy. “If you feel like you’re over-qualified for the highs but aren’t ready to go into the Saturday night classes yet, the U25 series is a perfect stepping-stone for that.”
In addition, Fauntleroy shared similar sentiments as Vanderveen in regards to competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows.
“Kentucky always has a really good atmosphere,” said Fauntleroy. “There’s lots of open space for the horses. The footing is always amazing. It’s been pouring rain and you can’t even tell. It’s really an awesome place to come!”
The Kentucky Spring Classic held May 18-22 will also feature a FEI CSI3* rating. The $35,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 21, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Once again all three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. In addition, the featured national classes will be the $50,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 22, in the Rolex Stadium.
Kelley Farmer Wins $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Sunday was ‘Derby Day’ in the Claiborne Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. The International Hunter Derby was dominated by Kelley Farmer who took the top two spots on Baltimore and Point Being and had a total of five horses in the class. The third spot went to Peter Wylde and Quax.
Farmer took the lead in the first round on Baltimore, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding with a score of 189, taking all four high options on the Bobby Murphy-designed course. “When you jump the high options, he can jump careful and it doesn’t matter what you get,” said Farmer. “Long or deep, he doesn’t really care. He is that dependable, that careful, that brave – that’s him. No matter what I ask him he tries.”
With five horses in the class, Farmer was able to use each round to improve her plan for the next. “When we walked the handy and we saw the inside turns I thought they were ugly to be totally honest,” Farmer explained. “I did them on Need I Say because he is handy. I thought if he can do them then at least I know how hard or not hard they are. I kind of knew what I was going to do on Need I Say and was a little bit play-it-by-ear on the rest depending on what everyone else did and how it was going.”
Farmer and Baltimore excelled in the handy, pulling in scores of 89 and 90 from the judges. Adding on four points for taking the high options, and seven and five handy points, respectively, bringing their total score to 388. She was full of praise for Baltimore’s performance in the handy round.
“Baltimore can get so high and so careful,” said Farmer. “He can land and turn. He is so catty and his front end is so automatic. He’s a fantastic horse.”
Farmer also impressed the judges on Point Being bringing in a score of 369 and taking all of the high options in both rounds. Peter Wylde and Quax were right behind her in third place with a score of 368.5.
Earlier in the day, Geoffery Hesslink excelled in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby winning aboard Rookie, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding, and taking third place with Esco. Douglas Boyd took second place with Calido’s Son.
The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is part of the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series which is returning for the fifth year in a row at the Kentucky Horse Park. The five-part series awards a $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus presented at the conclusion of the series.
Hesslink started off the first round with a score of 90, taking all four high options. “My first round was a little conservative,” Hesslink said. “I was a little nervous with how the class was going, but I decided to do all the high options and I think that really paid off because not many other people did.”
Hesslink returned in the handy round taking three of the high options to a score of 89 and a total score of 179. “I liked my handy round a lot better,” Hesslink admitted. “I went all out and tried to do all the inside turns. I tend to be better at those and I thought both horses were amazing.”
Hesslink praised the course design for its ability to play to each horse’s strengths. “I thought the course was great. It was a lot of singles and long approaches,” Hesslink explained. “You were able to show your horse’s stride and ride the course out of a rhythm.”
Douglas Boyd and Calido’s Son were right behind Hesslink in second place with a score of 178. Hesslink rounded out the top three with a score of 176 aboard his second mount Esco.
Hesslink was enthusiastic about his experience here in Kentucky. “I came here last summer for the first time,” Hesslink said. “I really liked it and that’s why I’m back this year. I think the Kentucky Horse Park is an amazing facility and they do a great job here with everything from the jumps to the events and the prestige – they make it really nice for the spectators and riders.”
The Kentucky Spring Classic will continue May 18-22 with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Stonelea Ring on Saturday, May 21. The Kentucky Spring Classic will also offer WIHS and NAL qualifiers plus $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classics.
EQSportsNet will be streaming live webcasts of the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Saturday, May 21. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can also watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at www.eqsports.net.