Wellington, FL – February 7, 2019 – Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Darko’s Promise topped the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 CSI 5* on Thursday, February 7, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
On her way to the win in Thursday’s Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 5, Ballard was one of seven entries from a 50-horse starting field to advance to jump-off over the Kelvin Bywater (GBR) designed short course. As the final rider to return, Ballard’s time to beat had been set at 39.40 seconds by Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and H5 Chaganus, but she and Darko’s Promise would prove to be just a touch faster, tripping the timers in a winning 39.28 seconds.
Victoria Colvin and Cake Walk Breeze to Champion in the 3- & 4-Year-Old Pre-Green Hunters
The 3- & 4-Year-Old Pre-Green Hunters returned to the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Ring 6 in an effort to take home the tricolor ribbon for Week 5 of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival. Seven horse-and-rider combinations entered the ring for the division’s under saddle and final over fences class. Returning in top standing, Wellington native Victoria Colvin piloted Melissa Burns’ Cake Walk to the champion title with a total of 31 points across the division.
The win was a “cake walk” for the four-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding (Hero’s Tribute x Inka W) and Colvin as the pair captured the win in two of three over fences classes. They placed fifth in the remaining jumping class and also won the under saddle. With all classes completed, the duo took the top spot by more than 10 points above the reserve champion. Steve Gregorio and the Bill Schaub/Aster Hill-owned four-year-old Warmblood gelding, Dominik, received the reserve champion title after rounding out the division with two seconds and a third over fences and second under saddle.
Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 11, 2019 – Victoria Colvin capped off an outstanding 2018 competitive season and will be heading into the 2019 winter horse shows with a new accolade to her name as the newest recipient of the Emerson Burr Trophy, which was awarded to her at the US Equestrian Pegasus Awards on Jan. 10, 2019. As the distinguished winner, Colvin was also one of the 2018 USEF Equestrians of Honor, a title she shares with the incredible company of eight of other esteemed horsemen and horsewomen, including international athletes Laura Graves and McLain Ward.
“I am so honored to be recognized as the winner of the Emerson Burr Trophy and to be in the company of all of the other amazing award recipients this year,” said Colvin. “I couldn’t have had such a successful year without my team behind me, and I am forever appreciative of all the hard work they put in on my behalf. To receive this award is truly an honor and I’m excited to hopefully continue with this momentum headed into the 2019 horse show season.”
The Emerson Burr Trophy recognizes horsemen or horsewomen who have excelled above all others in equestrian competition for the current year, while demonstrating superior sportsmanship and dedication to the principles, vision, and mission of the United States Equestrian Federation, specifically within the hunter ring. Colvin shares the distinction with notable past winners such as Liza Boyd, Peter Pletcher, Scott Stewart, Danny Robertshaw, and Jenny Karazissis.
Throughout 2018, Colvin accumulated wins in hunter divisions and derbies across the nation, most impressively defending her title as the reigning champion at the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships aboard Brad Wolf’s Private Practice, solidifying herself as only the second athlete to win the finals more than once. Earlier in the year, Colvin earned the Winter Equestrian Festival Overall Hunter Rider circuit championship thanks to consistent top placings atop numerous mounts, and she also navigated Private Practice to victory in the Welcome Class and both rounds of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Deeridge Derby.
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 20, 2018 – Known for her prowess in the hunter ring, Victoria Colvin capped off a winning week in Kentucky at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show with her exceptional victory in the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, making her one of only two riders in the program’s history to capture the tricolor more than once. The 2017 champion solidified her reign as one of the country’s elite hunter riders by besting more than 80 entries in the most premiere hunter competition of the year. This time, Colvin piloted Brad Wolf’s Private Practice to two days of standout scores in the classic and handy round to finish more than 16 points ahead of the rest of the pack, claiming the championship honors in impressive fashion.
“I am so thrilled to be on the top of the podium again this year! Private Practice is an outstanding horse with so much natural ability, and I have loved riding him this year. He certainly deserves this win, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him,” commented Colvin. “I couldn’t have gotten here without the support of my sponsors, and I have to also congratulate owner Brad Wolf and trainer Tom Wright for producing such an incredible horse. Hopefully we can do it again next year!”
After the first day of competition, Colvin and Private Practice sat in second position just a handful of points behind the early leaders. During the final handy round of riding, the partners improved upon their performance, riding to a nearly perfect score of 327 comprised of individual marks of 95, 96 and 96 plus 12 bonus points and 28 handy points to jump to the top of the leaderboard with the highest score for the evening and overall.
In the post-event press conference, judge Carlton Brooks shed his insight on what set Colvin and Private Practice ahead of the rest:
“Tori’s horse jumped every jump exactly the same. She never changed her pace. It really separated her and there was no question. Tori never missed a lick. Tori walked in the ring and it was the Tori Colvin that we all know and love,” reflected Brooks.
The 8-year-old Private Practice is a newfound hunter after recently transitioning from the jumper ring, and this is his first year with Colvin in the irons. The solid partnership was led to victories in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Palm Beach Masters Series’ Deeridge Derby and the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Aiken Charity Horse Show. Additionally, he has carried Colvin to fourth place in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and sixth place in the prestigious $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival, not to mention countless prizes in upper-level hunter divisions at horse shows throughout the year.
With their 2018 win, Private Practice helped Colvin to add her to the history books, as she can now boast her status as the second athlete to champion the event more than once as well as the second athlete to win the rosette back-to-back during the program’s 10-year history. With two championships now under her belt, it is a good bet Colvin will continue to reign in the hunter ring and return to the 2019 finale for another shot at the top honors.
Following a highly successful junior career as one of the winningest young riders in history, Colvin launched her own enterprise in the hunter/jumper industry based just outside of Wellington, Florida. She offers clients the opportunity to train with an acclaimed show rider/trainer and compete in “AA” horse shows across North America during the spring and fall, as well as compete in Wellington at the world-famous Winter Equestrian Festival during the winter season. Outside of training and coaching services, Victoria Colvin, LLC also includes a strong focus on finding, developing, and selling quality young show horses.
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2018 – Living up to her reputation, 2017 champion Victoria Colvin once again reigned supreme in the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, defending her title this time aboard Brad Wolf’s Private Practice. Hunter superstar Colvin and Private Practice were accompanied Saturday evening by 33 of the nation’s top hunter horses and athletes, ultimately jumping into a league all their own with a 16.5-point victory over the next closest competitor to easily secure the lead spot in the victory gallop and the greatest share of the nearly $300,000 purse. No stranger to finishing within the top of the rankings, Liza Boyd stylishly piloted both of her mounts to a podium finish, claiming the runner-up honors with Clemens and the third place slot with Tradition.
Throughout the entirety of the class, the lead consistently changed hands as horse-and-athlete partnerships one-upped each other in the eyes of the judges. Within the last half of the class, the lead changed no less than five times, with Meagan Murray-Tenuta on Becky Price’s Editorial, Jamie Taylor aboard Iwasaki and Reilly’s Small Kingdom and Dorothy Douglas in the saddle on MTM Farm’s MTM One Time each taking a turn commanding the class.
True to handy round standards, veteran course designers Alan Lohman and Danny Moore constructed a winding 11-effort track that incorporated a trot jump, lofty high-option fences and inside turn options in addition to a three-pronged obstacle that allowed exhibitors to elect to jump as a bounce, a one-stride or a two-stride depending upon preference. With only two left to ride, Boyd and Clemens, owned by Finally Farm and Westerly Farm, cantered into the ring with two fresh horseshoes, having pulled a pair in the warm-up ring prior to their turn. The duo proved to be the best performers at that point in the competition with a two-round score of 589.50, thanks to their individual marks of 89, 91 and 92 plus 12 high-option bonus points and 29 handy points out of a possible 30.
Riding second-to-last, Colvin and the chromey chestnut gelding needed 310.5 points to match the cumulative score of the current class leaders. Leaving nothing to chance, the 20-year-old professional navigated Private Practice to all four of the high-option fences, while showcasing the gelding’s handiness and graceful way of moving, finishing a fanciful trip to the tune of a near perfect score. Colvin and Private Practice put the pressure on the classic round winners and the last pair to ride, Holly Shepherd and Helen Brown’s Tybee, with impressive scores of 95, 96 and 96 plus 12 bonus points and 28 handy points, to add 327 points to her day one score for a composite tally of 606 points, more than 16 points ahead of Boyd and Clemens. Colvin and “Peter” did not have to wait long, as Shepherd and Tybee were not able to muster the necessary points to take over the head spot atop the scorecard, securing Colvin and Private Practice the 2018 championship.
In 2017, Colvin won the title aboard John and Stephanie Ingram’s Cuba, and with her 2018 win, she is added to the history books as only the second athlete to champion the event more than once as well as the second athlete to win the rosette back-to-back during the program’s 10-year history. In good company, Colvin shares the status with derby poster child Boyd, the three-time winner with Brunello in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Though Boyd did not earn the top call once again in 2018, she still made out with plenty of reasons to celebrate as the reserve champion and third place finisher. While Colvin and Private Practice won nearly $50,000 for their championship performances, Boyd’s two top placings earned her just over $56,000, the largest amount given to one rider during the evening.
Displaying an unmatched level of talent, Private Practice is on his way to being one of the most highly-decorated hunter horses in the sport, accruing numerous victories and standout results in his short tenure as a hunter. Some of his recent high-profile accolades include winning the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Palm Beach Masters Series’ Deeridge Derby and the first place prize in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Aiken Charity Horse Show. He carried Colvin to fourth place in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and sixth place in the prestigious $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Outside of derbies, the flashy gelding has accumulated countless blue ribbons in 3’9” and 4’ divisions at horse shows across the country. Adding to his impressive nature is the fact that 8-year-old Private Practice only recently transitioned to the hunter ranks from the jumper ring, and this year is his first with Colvin in the saddle.
In the final standings, Shepherd and Tybee jumped to fourth place overall with 584.25 points, just fractions of a point behind Boyd and Tradition’s score of 584.75. Samantha Schaefer and Madeline Schaefer’s In the Know maneuvered their way into fifth place, up from ninth place after Friday’s classic round, while Douglas and MTM One Time rounded out the top six in the standings. As the highest-placing of the Tier II pairs based on winnings throughout the qualifying period, Douglas and the Holsteiner gelding added to their prize money as the Section B winners, concluding the championship with nearly $25,000 more to their names.
Earlier in the afternoon, 40 horse-and-athlete combinations that missed the cut-off for the handy round took another shot at earning some prize money, riding in the $10,000 Derby Challenge. Similar to the evening’s handy round, Lohman and Moore’s course included plenty of high-option jumps and opportunities to utilize inside turns, allowing riders to exhibit their mount’s abilities. Ninth in the order, Amanda Steege and Wendy Salomon’s Maitre D’ earned the first standout score of the evening, riding to total marks of 295 from the three panels of judges. Steege and the bay gelding’s lead would not hold long though, as little more than halfway through the class Tracy Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Silver Alert set their sights on the top spot on the leaderboard, improving upon their peers’ performances to capture the lead with 299.50 points.
Subsequent competitors laid down solid performances with scores in the 70s and 80s, but none were able to catch the high score set forth by Fenney and MTM Silver Alert, solidifying them as the Derby Challenge champions and largest prize winners of the class. Other than the champions, Steege and Maitre D’ also remained unsurpassed to claim the runner-up spot, trailed by Havens Schatt and Kelley Corrigan’s black stallion Diatendro, who garnered a final score of 290 to finish in third place.
Wellington, FL — February 15, 2018 — It was the 24-year-old Belgian rider Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) who triumphed over 53 fellow competitors to take the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 in week six of the 12-week 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Aboard the 10-year-old gelding H&M Ikker — who is still owned by his breeder Roger Van Nuffelen — Philippaerts posted a blistering 37.61 seconds to take an unassailable lead. Second-placed Francisco Musa (BRA) and Catch Me Imperio Egipicio were almost two seconds adrift, with the only other clear in the jump-off coming from American rider Callan Solem (Davidson), who finished third. The course designer for CSI competition this week is Ana Catlina Harris of Mexico.
Philippaerts, who is 24 and competing at WEF for the first time, said: “I watched the first [jump-off] round, but decided to just go my own round and see where I ended up; luckily it was fast enough today. He turns very well in the jump-off, which is what makes him quite fast.”
Mitchell, Stewart, and Colvin Win Double Championships in WCHR Week
Brady Mitchell and King of Blue, a six-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Bravour, were second, third, and fourth over fences and second in the under saddle to also claim the championship in one section of the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″.
Mitchell and his mount, Seaside, owned by Eliza Kimball, won the Heathman Farm Performance Hunter 3’6” Section A championship after they placed first in the under saddle and first, second, and third over fences.
Mitchell has placed third, fourth, and fifth in the Hunter Spectacular at WEF, but is still searching for a win, saying, “I am dying to win it; it’s like the Aachen of hunters.”
Scott Stewart took home two championship wins today aboard Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, in the Antares Sellier France High Performance Working Hunter division, and aboard Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division.
Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, was champion last week in the WEF 5 Amateur Owner Hunter Over 35 with Becky Gochman, and continued to impress the judges into week six as Stewart piloted the grey to first place in the High Performance Working Hunter under saddle. The pair was first, first, and second over fences.
Victoria Colvin was named champion in one section of week six’s Marshall & Sterling Insurance Performance Working Hunter 3’3” division. Colvin and her mount, For Ever, owned by Victoria Colvin LLC, were first, first, and second over fences.
Colvin, who has had the six-year-old gelding for a few years now, emerged from her championship presentation in ring seven and hopped on the young Holsteiner bareback with a big smile on her face.
Wellington, FL – February 1, 2018 – The fourth week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival hosts jumpers on the grass derby field at the Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), show grounds of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Luibanta BH were victorious in the $70,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 4.
Sixty-four entries contested the WEF Challenge Cup, and 10 found the key to a clear round over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) course on the grass. It was Derbyshire and Luibanta BH, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Luidam x Abantos, who blazed around the jump-off to win in 47.50 seconds.
Victoria Colvin and Dragonstone Repeat Championship Performance in Pre-Green Hunter 3 & 4 Year Olds
Victoria Colvin and new partner, Dragonstone, owned by Bryan Baldwin, claimed their second championship win in the Pre-Green Hunter 3 & 4 Year Olds division on Thursday morning of WEF 4. The pair was first, second, and third over fences and first in the under saddle.
“This was my second time showing him,” said Colvin. “The first time I showed him he was champion as well. I have only been riding him for a bit, but he really is the sweetest and easiest horse.”
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 19, 2017 – The country’s best hunter horses and riders returned to the Rolex Stadium for the second and final phase of competition in the 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Competitors returned with their classic round scores in tow, and had one last chance to show off their horses and their skills around designers Allan Lohman and Danny Moore’s skillfully-planned course. John French, the 2009 champion, sat in the prime position with the one-two lead after day one, trailed by Victoria Colvin and rookie Geoffrey Hesslink in the next two spots. As the early leaders, these three were targets for their counterparts, with Colvin and Cuba ultimately pulling away from the pack with a standout round to secure the 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship Honors.
Young rider Taylor St. Jacques and Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Charisma separated from the field for the early lead as the seventh of 25 pairs to take their turn in the handy round, pulling in a score of 299.75 for the day and an impressive total score of 559.75. Just a few turns later, sitting in 12th position entering the day, Amanda Steege knew she needed to ride boldly aboard Wendy Salomon’s Maitre D’ if she were to have a chance at the title, and instead of focusing simply on where she could cut strides to promote handiness, the veteran rider honed her efforts on exemplifying a steady and confident pace. Based on the scores of 88.00, 86.75 and 85.25, plus handy scores of 8, 8 and 7 that she received from the judges panel, it was obvious Steege did her job well. She and “Mr. Lucky” earned a nightly score of 295.00 once the high option points were added, bumping her to an overall score of 560.50 and the class lead with 11 pairs still to ride.
Whittled down to only the top three individuals left to go, Steege still sat atop the leaderboard. French and Hiller Farms, LLC’s Center Court, his second-place horse, rode ahead of their place in the reverse order to allow French time to swap mounts, but they were unable to overtake Steege with their two-day composite score of 535.50. Hesslink and his own 6-year-old Cadoretto took the stage sitting in fourth place after the first phase, and though the young Hesslink professed to be nervous in his debut USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship showing, he exuded confidence in the ring and was rewarded by the highest scores of the night to eclipse Steege and take over the lead. Hesslink and his chestnut gelding garnered scores of 90.00, 88.50 and 87.00 from the three panels of judges and, when combined with handy scores of 8 across the board plus 12 option points, broke the 300-point barrier with their nightly tally of 301.50. Combined with Friday’s score, Hesslink earned a lofty 574.50 points over the two phases, and was one of only three pairs to hit the 90 mark.
Unfortunately for Hesslink, his score would not hold, as Colvin, no stranger to the winner’s circle in the hunter ring, out did herself aboard Cuba, the 11-year-old gelding owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC. Colvin navigated the handy round like a seasoned pro and, like Steege, paid attention to not just taking the tightest turns possible, but treated her high position with respect and rode a steady round, which paid off. She and Cuba earned scores of 92.00, 88.75 and 88.25, plus the highest handy scores of the night at 10, 9 and 9. The four high option fences further added to her score for a grand total of 309.00 and a two-day score of 584.25, nearly 10 points ahead of Hesslink. As the day-one leader and last to go in the class, French and Laura Wasserman’s Skyhawk had a high standard to beat with Colvin’s score, and though the pair laid down an efficient round, an unfortunate knockdown at the stone wall, not an uncommon occurrence for the night, knocked them out of contention, solidifying Colvin and Cuba as the 2017 champions.
Colvin rode to a total payout of over $45,000 to go along with her championship winnings, followed by Hesslink in the reserve position. Prior to competition, Hesslink and Cadoretto had accrued only $1,200 together in derby winnings, but the pair, who have only been a team since the spring season, will leave the Rolex Stadium not only with the nearly $30,000 check that goes to the overall reserve champion, but also prize money for the highest-placing Section B pair, an amount that exceeds $10,000. Steege and Maitre D’ retained their third place position to stay on the podium, and St. Jacques, also in her debut showing, and Charisma finished in fourth place by less than a full point. Kelli Cruciotti and her own Monterrey nabbed the next spot with their total score of 553.50 to round out the top five finishers.
Earlier in the afternoon, 38 horses and riders who did not qualify for the handy round took another shot at some prize money, riding in the $10,000 Derby Challenge, sponsored by Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show and PJP Farm. Like the handy round, Lohman and Moore’s course included plenty of option jumps and inside turn options, allowing riders to exhibit their mount’s handiness. As the first to go in the order, Timothy Maddrix and Wimberly Debono’s Indecision did not have the luxury of seeing any competitors ride the track, but as it turned out, they did not need the insight. The pair navigated the course brilliantly and was rewarded with scores of 89.00, 87.00 and 83.00, in addition to 12 option points and 24 handy points from the judges’ panel, for a composite score of 295.00 to set a high standard at the onset of the class. Though they were hunted by all subsequent entrants, only two managed to come within 10 points of the class leaders. David Oliynyk and Generous, owned by Lori Gaudet, laid down a spectacular trip but ended up just shy of the top prize, finishing on a 294.50 score, just one-half point behind Maddrix and Indecision.
Steege, with the ride aboard Loxley, owned by Finale Partners, LLC, was the next-closest competitor, earning a 291.00 with the bay stallion, followed by Evan Coluccio and Lisa Vesterstein’s Anthem with total marks of 281.00. With a score of 279.00, Daniel Geitner and True Story, owned by Kelly Sims, rounded out the top five.
Prior to Saturday’s handy round of the 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, Jersey Boy, famously ridden by Jennifer Alfano and owned by Susie Schoellkopf, was honored and recognized for his incredible athleticism, talent and success as one of the best international hunter derby horses in a special retirement ceremony held during the opening ceremonies. The pair won the 2012 $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, and also claimed the reserve championship in the prestigious competition in 2009 and 2014. In addition, the hunter derby superstar still firmly stands atop the USHJA lifetime money-won leaderboard and has won the George H. Morris Perpetual Trophy four times as the highest money earner. Next, Jersey Boy will enjoy his well-deserved retirement at Stacy Sandbothe’s farm in Prospect, Tennessee.
Fuqua and Colvin Victorious in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Wellington, FL – March 11, 2017 – Karen Polle (JPN) and With Wings made it two-for-two during week nine at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL with a victory in Saturday night’s $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, after also topping Thursday’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup (the grand prix qualifier). U.S. Olympian Margie Engle (USA) riding Royce, and Spanish Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya aboard Charmeur, placed second and third, respectively.
Alan Wade’s (IRL) course got the best of many on Saturday night, as only four out of 39 entries cleared the first round without fault. In the jump-off, Polle and her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x L. Ronald) were the only pair to complete a second clear track, racing through the timers in 42.42 seconds.
Engle and Gladewinds Partners’ Royce had one rail in the double combination and finished in 43.36 seconds. Alvarez Moya and Charmeur dropped one rail at the final fence in the jump-off with a time of 43.81 seconds. Quentin Judge (USA) placed fourth, riding Double H Farm’s HH Conrad to 12 faults over the short course in 45.22 seconds.
Remarking on her win, 24-year-old Polle declared, “I feel disbelief first of all. It has not really sunk in yet. The week could not have gone any better. I won both my classes, and my horse jumped unbelievably all week, every jump. He really helped me out, and he felt great tonight, so I am really, really happy.”
Detailing her strategy for the jump-off, Polle stated, “My plan was just to go as fast as I could. There were only four, so I just wanted to go for it, because I was going to get a good ribbon either way. I just picked up a good gallop and tried to be as neat as I could.”
Saturday was Polle’s first time jumping clear, and her first time jumping off, in a Saturday Night Lights grand prix at WEF. She had the great confidence of a longtime partnership riding With Wings on her side.
“When I first got him, I did not know so much. I was still a junior, but I knew he was special,” Polle said of their seven-year partnership. “I really believed in him, and I did not ever feel like there was a jump that was too big for us, or a course that was too difficult for us. I am just really glad that we were able to win because I have always felt like he is a real winner.”
During their years together, Polle and With Wings have had the guidance of some of the biggest names in show jumping. Olympic team gold medalist and Rolex Grand Slam Champion Scott Brash (GBR), Olympian Mario Deslauriers (USA), ten-time Olympian Ian Millar (CAN), and Olympic silver and bronze medalist Paul Schockemöhle (GER) have all played a role in developing this young talent. On Saturday night, Polle was competing under the tutelage of Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil.
“I have been really lucky to work with quite a few top professionals,” Polle acknowledged. “All of them have really helped me and Wings get to where we are now. I used little things that I have learned from all of them tonight to do the course, and to do the jump-off.
“I hope to win a lot more classes like this,” she added. “It is an unbelievable feeling, and this is why we do this – why we work so hard at home to then come here and be able to win a class like this. I hope I can continue to have many more of these moments and many more Saturday night grand prix wins.”
Engle was aboard her talented mount Royce for a second place finish on Saturday and was happy with her horse’s efforts.
“He has felt great all circuit,” Engle said of the 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Café au Lait x Grandilot). “Karen just was the one to beat this week. She was on fire. I was very happy with Royce. He has been riding very well. He jumped well on Thursday and then again tonight. I just jumped in a little big into the double (in the jump-off). He tried to get out of the way. I just needed to nip inside, but he felt great.”
Commenting on the evening’s course, Engle continued, “I thought it was tough enough. It was appropriate for a five-star event. There were a lot of technical questions. The course was long, and it was up and down. It was kind of nice to have only four in the jump-off. You knew that if you went clean, you were going to get a good piece of the prize money.”
Alvarez Moya was riding a less experienced mount for the night’s competition with his ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Charmeur (Numero Uno x Gelha’s VDL Emilion).
“I am very happy the way he jumped today. It is his first big grand prix,” Alvarez Moya noted. “He is pretty sensitive, and I was doubting actually until last night if I was going to ride him in the grand prix or not, but he is normally very brave. I was very happy when I saw there were only four in the jump-off. I knew they were fast, but I had to be a little careful at the number three. In the first round my horse did a little bit of a funny jump, and I did not want to scare him in the jump-off. I think the rest was good. He tried hard. He was very careful, and I am just very happy with him.
“I have had him since he was six,” Alvarez Moya continued. “Last year he did a few bigger classes, but not like this, and for sure not under the lights and a five-star grand prix. I always believed a lot in him. I think he is a pretty special horse. He is just very sensitive and sharp, so I took it very slow with him. I definitely think he is the one I have to replace Carlo, which is not an easy job.”
Representing Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Don Langdon remarked on the evening’s competition and praised the riders on a great night of sport.
“First of all, congratulations to the top three – Margie, Sergio, and Karen,” Langdon stated. “It is great for me, who does not ride, to participate for the last 30 years and to see the growth of what has happened in this community. Mark (Bellissimo) has built this brand far greater than any sights that we had ever imagined. Douglas Elliman is the fourth largest real estate company in the country. We are a private company, which is great. This plays right into our brand. We like to patronize the people that also patronize our company, and obviously the equestrians have been an amazing role in our success in the Wellington area. We appreciate that.”
Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo wrapped a great night with his comments. He stated, “There were people years ago who said that we would never fill the seats when we built them, and I think the reality is that we are coming consistently every Saturday with pretty much a full house. I think it is a testament to the athletes here. People here are developing a following. I think the sport is really taking hold in this community, and hopefully, that is something that can be replicated in other markets. I want to thank Rolex first and foremost. These five-stars are very important to attract the talent that we have here. Rolex is the brand that has stepped up and really transformed this facility with very heavy investment, and allowed us to get to the four five-star events.
“I am really proud of the riders,” Bellissimo continued. “To see Karen and that smile; it is great when you see someone win something for the first time. This was the first time that a Japanese rider has won a five-star grand prix here. I was very happy to see the excitement of Karen’s win, and hopefully it is the first of many.”
As the grand prix winner, Polle was presented the Herman ‘Kappy’ Kaplan Perpetual Memorial Trophy. She was also given the Leading Lady Rider Award for week nine, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Giavanna Rinaldi and Haylie Rolfe’s Caretina III won the $10,000 SJHOF Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch. The $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers, saw a win for Lacey Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi. Kamille Marcussen and Bull Run’s Pistol Pete were also victorious in the $1,500 Martha Jolicoeur, Douglas Elliman Low Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class.
Fuqua and Colvin Victorious in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Junior, amateur, and professional hunter riders guided their horses around the grass derby field at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Equestrian Village on Saturday morning in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. The class was awarded in two sections, a junior/amateur section and an open section, and consisted of first and second rounds, where the top 12 competitors returned for a handy trip.
Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA won her second big class of the weekend. After winning the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby on Friday, she bested a field of 20 juniors and amateurs aboard High Noon 3E. The pair earned scores of 83 in the first round and 84 in the second round for a combined total of 167.
Speaking of her third experience showing the gelding in a national derby, Fuqua said, “It feels really good to win the derby. This is the first horse derby I’ve placed in with him. I loved doing the victory gallop, and he felt really good on the grass field. I train with Liz Reilly and Keri Kampsen; they’ve helped me improve a lot.”
One of the youngest in the class, Fuqua started riding the 2003 Canadian Sport Horse, owned by Float On Equestrian, LLC, earlier in the winter circuit and also shows him in the Children’s Hunter and Equitation 11 & Under divisions.
“We call him ‘Hippo’ in the barn,” she continued. “He loves attention (and) treats and is really friendly. My favorite thing about him is his smooth stride. I’m really proud of my horse!”
Kira Telford of Chicago, IL claimed the second place ribbon. Telford rode Calistoga Gold to matching scores of 82 in both rounds, for an overall total of 164. The third place ribbon went Lisa Butzer of Boca Raton, FL, and CS Online, owned by Allyson Coluccio. The pair received scores of 81 and 76 in the first and second rounds, respectively, for a total score of 157.
Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL piloted Harper Lee to the win in the open section. Colvin and the six-year-old Polish Warmblood mare earned the highest scores in both trips, an 88 in the first round and a 94 in the second round, for an overall score of 182.
“She’s the easiest horse in the world,” Colvin explained. “She just goes right around the field and doesn’t look at the spooky jumps or anything. In the handy round, the horse before me was really nice so I had to go for it, and she was amazing. I just let go and cantered around.”
Laura Karet has owned the mare for two years and recently started showing her in the Low Adult Hunters.
“We’ve been bringing her along slowly, and this is really exciting,” said Karet. “This is her second derby. She’s really never done anything like this so we didn’t know what to expect. We’re very proud of her!”
Colvin also picked up the third place in ribbon in the open section guiding Caliber, another entry owned by Laura Karet, to a first round score 84 and a handy score of 90, which resulted in a total score of 174. Kim Barone of Watertown, MN received the second place ribbon aboard Easy Street HU, owned by Raven Ridge Farm, with scores of 87.5 and 91 in the first and second round, respectively, to earn a combined score of 178.5.
The ninth week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Arena. The Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter division will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 11. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Victoria Colvin and Regent RCF Earn Top Honors in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Wellington, FL – December 2, 2016 – Samuel Parot (CHI) and Quick Du Pottier rose to the challenge in the $35,000 Dever 1.45m Classic at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The pair raced through the timers to complete their course in 59.22 seconds for the win. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Carushka collected second place with a time of 60.36 seconds, while Richie Moloney (IRL) and Alsvid earned third after securing a time of 61.12 seconds.
Parot and his own Quick Du Pottier, a 2004 Selle Francais gelding (Hurlevent de Breka x Cuba), topped the class of 45 entries with the quickest time of the day, making easy work of the course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA).
“I thought the course rode very fast and on my first horse I had one down so I knew what to do on my second horse. I rode it very fast on my second horse and made some nice turns,” explained Parot. “We turned to the oxer before the skinny very quickly had a good ride to the end combination.”
Parot is an expert at navigating the quickest path around the track as a notoriously fast rider. He noted that he felt he made up the second separating him and Menezes in his approach to the final combination.
“I made the turn to the last combination very close and it rode very well. I believe that is where I made the difference,” he said.
Quick Du Pottier and Parot have traveled across North America this year, competing on the West Coast, as well as in Canada, most recently picking up an FEI win in Calgary this past October.
“This horse also jumped the first day in the speed class and we went fast there too. I think we had a better time, but had one down. This is a very nice horse, who just came back into work this August. He jumped very well yesterday and I think he’s a top horse.”
After the conclusion of this week’s competition, Parot will give Quick Du Pottier a vacation until the middle of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit, where the pair will debut during one of the CSI 5* weeks.
“He will get a good break after this and will come back in the circuit to do the 5* and we will keep doing the ranking classes with him, absolutely,” noted Parot. “All of my horses competing this week, Atlantis, Cous, and Quick, will all have a vacation after this, but I have a few young horses that I will jump in the national classes before WEF.”
Victoria Colvin and Regent RCF Earn Top Honors in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL guided Regent RCF to top honors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, besting a large class of talented entries. The pair earned a two round score of 171 for the win ahead of Skyler Fields of Wellesley Hills, MA and Duplukato, owned by Donald Stewart, who finished in second place with a total score of 164. Grace Boston of Owings Mills, MD and Amazone De La Cense, owned by Plain Bay Farm, collected third place honors.
Colvin, a household name who has garnered many of the most prestigious accolades in the hunter discipline throughout her career, piloted another mount to the winner’s circle after collecting a first round score of 86 and a second round score of 85. Fields, who followed in second, captured the highest score of the day in her handy round aboard Duplukato, receiving an 89 from the judging panel.
The class hosted 18 entries and marked the first USHJA National Hunter Derby of the 2016 ESP Holiday Series, which will continue through the first week of January. Grace Boston, who was presented with third and fourth place honors, piloted three different entries, the most of any rider in the class.
For more information on Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Victoria Colvin and Austria 2 (Photo courtesy of Mancini Photos)
Wellington, Florida (May 2, 2016) – With the spectacular center arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center set to host Grand Prix competition for the final time in the first half of 2016, a field of 43 horses and riders tested their mettle over an elaborate course designed by Mexico’s Catsy Cruz. Headlined by PonyUp Horse Treats, a producer of sustainably farmed, all natural treats, the class marked the concluding premier international competition for Wellington’s prestigious show grounds, running April 20-24, 2016. Victoria Colvin and the elegant dark bay mare Austria 2 combined speed and precision to put in a meticulous ride in both the first round and the jump-off, securing her the top spot in the PonyUp Horse Treats $30,000 Grand Prix.
As one of only four double clears following the 11 horse jump-off, Colvin and the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Casall x U2 I), owned by Take the High Road, LLC, finished with a time of 33.174 seconds, with Angel Karolyi and Indiana 27 nipping at their heels with a 33.429. Margie Engle and Bockmanns Lazio raced to third in 34.288, while Frances Land and For Edition rounded out the double clear rounds in 38.062. Colvin and Austria 2 were the last combination to go, and the decorated hunter jumper rider had developed a feel for the course in earlier rounds aboard Echo Van T Spieveld and Chanel B 2. The typically fast mare benefitted from Colvin’s experience over the fences, and the pair found a winning balance of speed and synergy to top the class. Todd Minikus and Mark Bluman each put in quick rides in the jump off that would have bested Colvin’s, if not for single rails that dropped them out of the double clears.
“This was the biggest course we’ve ridden in the US,” said Colvin. “We took her last year in the 7-year-olds in Europe, and have been slowly moving her up and gaining experience. She’s a firecracker to ride, and we’ve been turning that forward energy into fast times on course. Today I wanted to win, but also wanted to be sure she wasn’t rushing. The course had some challenges for us, and I am really with how she handled them. Our plan for the future is to move her up to the 1.50m and the bigger Grand Prixs gradually so she has the strength and experience to stay clear while preserving her speed.”