Tag Archives: Victoria Colvin

Alexander Zetterman Wins $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Final

Alexander Zetterman and Flecu. Photos © Sportfot.

Victoria Colvin Takes Overall Series Victory; Ben Maher and Diva II Top $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Rachael Barnes and Tye Donaldson Triumph in ASPCA Maclay

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2014 – Week eleven of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Artisan Farms LLC, concluded on Sunday with jumper action on the grass derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman and Flecu topped the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final. Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, was the winner of the series overall. Great Britain’s Ben Maher won the $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic with Diva II. The ASPCA Maclay sponsored by Sidelines Magazine was held in two sections at the main showgrounds, with wins for Rachael Barnes and Tye Donaldson.

Watch an interview with Victoria Colvin and Alexander Zetterman.

Starting off Sunday’s competition on the derby field, Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman and Flecu jumped to victory in the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final, presented by the Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte.

Twenty-eight entries showed in the final, with eight entries qualifying for the jump-off and three double clear rounds over the short course. Zetterman and Flecu were the winners with the fastest round in 40.21 seconds. Sarah Hubbard and Chamcara finished second in 42.36 seconds, and Hayley Barnhill and Cara Cheska’s Zephire placed third in 43.91 seconds.

Flecu is a ten-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Hip Hop x Flamingo. Zetterman has been showing the horse in bigger classes such as the 1.50m and the WEF Challenge Cup this winter and decided to use the young rider classes to help build the horse’s confidence.

“I got him when he was six,” Zetterman detailed. “I wasn’t overly sure about how far he could go because he has a little bit his own style, but we started off and we won the big seven-year-old young horse final in Falsterbo. He did that very good, and he has been developing along the way. He was just a horse who needed a lot of time to get to the solid 1.50m level, to do it week in and week out. That took an extra year. Last year here, we went up, we went down. We did one 1.50m and then we went down to the 1.40m. We gave him one more year and now he is 10 this year and he has just responded so well. We have never had to play around too much. We have basically been able to go in and do the big stuff, and he has been very good.”

“He has been doing quite a lot of tough classes, so it was actually a little bit of a step down for him to do a nice class,” the rider noted. “He likes the big grass ring as well, so that was good for him. He is always good in a big field with a lot of galloping. It definitely helps him in the jump-off because he is good at covering the ground.”

Building Flecu’s confidence definitely paid off in Sunday’s jump-off when Zetterman took a big risk to the last fence that worked out in their favor. “I was a little bit nervous I wasn’t going to get there,” he admitted. “I kind of felt from the turn that I could get there, but then he was kind of backing off too much, so I started kicking and eventually we got there and he was good.”

Although he shows in many big grand prix classes against some of the best riders in the world, Zetterman values the opportunity to show amongst his peers and gain valuable experience under a little less pressure.

“It helps you in so many different ways,” he noted. “We all know how difficult the step is from being a young rider and then getting into the seniors. To have a class like this every now and then is nice. When you are going into the jump-off for example, if you are in against some of the best riders in the world, you sometimes do a little bit more than what you or your horse is capable to do. You go a little bit over your head sometimes. When you feel that you are in an equal league, then you have a good feeling and you make better decisions. In that way, it is very good; you have a chance at least. Wilton has been amazing in the big classes and Lillie Keenan and all of those riders, but still, getting in against Ben Maher and those riders is not so easy for anyone in the world to do, especially not when you’re young.”

Zetterman showed in one young rider grand prix last year and decided to get more involved in the series this year when he realized the opportunity that the classes provided.

“Many years ago they had a similar series in Europe, but I think for sure this series is a lot better setup,” he noted. “It is a little bit like a championship because you have the speed round, a team competition. The team competition was very good out here because you got a bit of atmosphere to it. The semi-final I didn’t jump, but the final today was super. It is a fantastic idea, and I think they should do it more in Europe.”

Sarah Hubbard, who finished second in Sunday’s class with Chamcara, just recently stepped up to the bigger classes and also valued the experience of the series. She is 20 years old and from Cornwall, CT.

“I actually just used her for today. I used my other horse for the speed and the semi-final,” Hubbard noted. “I usually use her for the 1.50m and some of the WEF (Challenge Cup) classes. She is really special to me because she has let me move up and do some bigger classes where I have never done anything like that before. It is nice to come in here and jump around on the grass and she was really good. She was really good to me in the jump-off. I kind of got down between jumps nine and ten, and she just tried really hard for me. I am very happy.”

Hayley Barnhill (20) of Colliersville, TN, got several new experiences with her mount Zephire in the series and had a great round on Sunday to finish third.

“She is 10 this year, and she has never done anything like this before,” Barnhill stated. “She jumped 1.35m in Europe. The Cheskas got her this time last year and showed her a little in the 1.35m and 1.40m stuff. I got her in September and did a few 1.40m classes before I came down here, so this has all been a new experience for her and it has been great to test her through everything. She had never jumped under the lights before and she did that great. We haven’t ever jumped on a grass field before and she was great out there, so this was a good experience.”

“My plan for the jump-off was to go for it a little bit,” Barnhill noted. “I know where I could have been faster; I could have done one less after the wall, but I actually haven’t done a jump-off on her all circuit. We were a little rusty on some of the turns, but I thought she jumped great and I was really happy with her.”

Victoria Colvin and Don Juan
Victoria Colvin and Don Juan

Sunday’s class was the final event in the 2014 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series, which also awarded top prizes on Sunday for its overall standings. Sixteen-year-old Victoria Colvin was the series winner for her performance in all four of the series’ events. Jordan Macpherson finished second and Wilton Porter placed third. Jennifer Goddard, Hayley Barnhill, and Sarah Hubbard were fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

As the winning rider of the series, Colvin was awarded free entry to the Chantilly CSI 2* horse show on the Global Champions Tour in France in July, with tickets to the VIP lounge, and transportation provided by the Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte. She was also awarded a custom Bruno delGrange saddle.

“It feels amazing to win,” Colvin smiled. “I didn’t think I was going to win it. I thought Jordan was going to win it, but I guess my four faults today counted, so that was good. I feel like I have gotten a lot of experience this year. Me and Don Juan are not perfect all of the time, but I think doing all of these classes, and to keep doing them, I think it has gotten a little better.”

“We change bits all of the time,” she noted of Don Juan. “He is delicate. He is careful, so that’s good, but sometimes he is too quiet and sometimes he is too fresh, so we just have to go in and see how he feels that day.”

Colvin is excited for the opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time to compete and plans to keep doing what she is doing to get ready. “We will go to the Devon Horse Show and then just keep going until I get there, and we will see what happens. I have never shown in Europe before, so that will be my first time and I am very excited.”

Second place finisher Jordan Macpherson (24) is from Toronto, Ontario, and has had great success in this young rider series with her horse Piccobello du Val de Geer.

“Pico is amazing,” the rider smiled. “I have had her for four years, and since the first time I stepped in the ring in the young rider series, it has been amazing. I have learned and grown from her. She came out here like a pro and was amazing today. I over-achieved the nine-stride a little bit and had a rail, but it happens unfortunately. [My trainers] the Millars are always talking about consistency and if you ride consistent, eventually you will win and start doing well, so I think I have learned that lesson this year.”

Wilton Porter (20) of Dallas, TX also performed consistently with his horse Radio City this year and has earned valuable experience and knowledge throughout the series. “It was a great series,” Porter acknowledged. “Radio City was the only horse that I used throughout the series, and she was fantastic. I think the series had a lot more structure to it this year. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good in the past, but it was really solid on other fronts as well as the jumping this year, with the interview training and the sponsorship opportunity, and I am really thankful to the Zieglers and Dutta Corporation for sponsoring it. This last competition was really special. I think they had a great jump-off. There were just the right number of clears and it ended well.”

The winner of the Equiline Young Rider Sponsorship was Chloe Reid of Washington, D.C. Reid was part of a group of riders who wrote an essay, completed interviews, did sponsorship networking, and was observed for attitude, spirit, and performance during the AFYRGP Series. Reid will represent Equiline America by wearing their products, participating in advertising and outreach events, and provide feedback on the functionality of products. Also participating for the sponsorship were riders that were recognized for the following awards: Best Essay – Caitlin Ziegler, Most Creative Essay – Lucas Porter, and Best Interview – Nicole Bellissimo. The Equiline Amateur Sportsmanship Award went to Wilton Porter of Dallas, TX. All of the winners will be presented with their awards next weekend at FTI WEF 12.

Artisan Farms owner Carlene Ziegler commented on the event, stating, “I’m really pleased with the progression of the series. We had some new things this year; we made it more of a true championship. We went through four classes and this was a $50,000 FEI class and that was really exciting. It’s been nice to see the riders progressing and we saw a new crop of riders this year. It’s really gratifying to see their progress. That’s been one of the most gratifying parts. The first year we knew we had a group of strong riders – Reed (Kessler) that won, the group that went to Leipzig, the Coulters, (Caitlin) Ziegler, (Katie) Dinan. They have truly made the next step. Nayel Nassar winning the World Cup West Coast standings. It’s really exciting. We hope that happens to the more recent winners as well; we think it could. The trip to Chantilly – one of the exciting things this year is that the winner gets the opportunity to go to Global Champions Tour in Chantilly. It’s one of the things that these young riders wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. I think that it’s a big incentive to the participants in the series. Additionally this year, they had the ability to vie for a sponsorship from Equiline; that’s something that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise.”

Sunday’s competition on the derby field also featured the $10,000 Horseware Ireland Don Little Masters Classic with a win for Deborah Ball and Cypriano.

Ben Maher and Diva II
Ben Maher and Diva II

Ben Maher and Diva II Top $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Ben Maher has been unstoppable lately and added another victory to his tally with a win in Sunday afternoon’s $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at the FTI WEF. The class was held on the grass derby field at The Stadium at the PBIEC with 53 entries over the Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) designed course. Petersen saw ten clear rounds to advance to the jump-off with six double clear rounds. Maher was once again the winner, this time with a new mount in Tatiana Korsakova’s Diva II. The pair jumped the fastest track without fault in 43.20 seconds for the win.

Ian Millar (CAN) and Team Works’ Star Power finished second in 43.70 seconds. Daniel Bluman (COL) and Alberto & Ricardo Simhon’s Apardi placed third in 44.25 seconds.

Diva II is a nine-year-old Anglo European mare by Kannan x Berlioz that Maher got at the beginning of December. Tatiana Korsakova had previously owned a horse for Maher that got injured and decided to buy him, “a horse to have some fun with,” as the rider explained. “I chose Diva and I said that she could be a fun horse, and she seems like she’s working out well right now. I had already tried the horse beforehand for somebody else and that didn’t come of anything. I always thought the horse was talented. She was with Liz and Ted Edgar in England. They bred her and they had her whole life, so she has been very well brought up and looked after.”

“She had not done a lot for her age,” Maher continued. “She was still in the 1.35m division towards the end of last year. Week one or two here, we were in the back ring in the schooling jumpers and she was jumping high and I was having to ride hard because of the shadows and everything, and she has just gradually improved more and more. She has been clear in a couple of ‘WEFs’ and things in the last two weeks with one or two down in the jump-off when I’ve gone quick, just where she’s not ready. Today I took a chance again because the prize money is so big, and some parts didn’t feel so comfortable. In the double we came very hard in on the angle and kind of swerved around a little bit, but luckily it paid off today.”

Maher trained with Liz and Ted Edgar for almost two years as a working student, starting when he was 16 years old, before moving on to work with Beat Mändli. He knew that Diva had a great upbringing and saw the mare’s potential.

“They know a good horse, and they really believed in this horse all along,” he stated. “I think she has a way to go yet; we are only kind of halfway there. She needs to gain a lot of experience, but she’s a real mare, she’s a fighter and she’s always feels like she wants to win as well, which I love in a horse.”

This was the second win in two days showing on the grass for Maher after he topped Saturday’s $50,000 Live Oak Grand Prix CSI-W 2* in Ocala as well. He noted the refreshing atmosphere of the beautiful derby field in Wellington.

“It has been a great change. We took Aristo up to Chester Weber’s Live Oak to support that show yesterday and it was a great arena and grass field, as is this one. It is slightly different here; it’s a lot bigger in Wellington, which suited Diva actually. It is just nice; it’s great to have a change from the sand arena. Diva in particular hasn’t jumped here, but I did jump one class with her on a field, so I knew she was okay on grass. She needed to jump on grass to see if she was comfortable and she certainly felt fine today, so it is nice to know that we have all those options when we go back to Europe now for what shows we will go to. I think everybody loves the atmosphere over here. It is slightly more relaxed, more space for the horses, and the more they can use this arena, the better it will be over here, I think.”

Maher looks forward to progressing with Diva after they head back to Europe in a few weeks after all of the horses take a break in April.

“We have gone slow with her during the circuit; we just kept her behind the others,” he explained. “Obviously I am in a very lucky position that I don’t need to rush her. I think she will probably be done for circuit now. Maybe we were going to do one class next week, but maybe we are better to quit while we’re ahead. All my horses will pretty much take April off and start up again in May. They have worked very hard for the last few months, so they all deserve a rest.”

First, there is one more week of competition still to come at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Maher has Jane Clark’s Cella fresh and ready to go for next Saturday’s $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5*. He has won five of the eleven grand prix classes on the circuit so far and hopes to take home the big pay day in the final week.

Rachael Barnes and Tye Donaldson Triumph in ASPCA Maclay Sections A and B

Barnmates Rachael Barnes, 18, and Tye Donaldson, 15, emerged victorious from Sections A and B, respectively, of the ASPCA Maclay on Sunday afternoon at the FTI WEF. Barnes and Donaldson both train with Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run, who also enjoyed top finishes in Friday evening’s George Morris Excellence in Equitation class, presented by Alessandro Albanese.

North Run continued its winning ways on Sunday morning, first with Barnes, who topped Section A of the ASPCA Maclay aboard Salt Lake, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Joe and Mary Tyree. Barnes, of Buffalo, NY, started leasing Salt Lake at the beginning of the FTI WEF circuit and was thrilled with their early success.

“We just immediately clicked,” Barnes said of Salt Lake. “It all came together today, and I’m just so happy with him. We get along really well, and he’s such a good boy.”

Of their quick bond, Barnes remarked, “I tried him in November, and I got on him and it worked out really well. I just knew I could do well on him. He’s a little horse, but he has a nice big stride and covers the lines well. He’s very adjustable, and I really like that about him.”

Salt Lake has proven to be a versatile mount for Barnes, who also contests the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, WIHS Equitation, and Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal classes with him. While she enjoys the unique challenges posed by all four classes, she appreciates the type of courses typically seen in the ASPCA Maclay. Barnes also finds it easier to take a breath and stay focused without the pressure of a timer.

“I like that there’s no time allowed in the Maclay, so you have time to know what you’re doing. I like that there’s a lot of bending lines in the Maclay, so you have a lot of options in the course,” Barnes described.

Sunday’s course offered several different options for riders, which Barnes believed helped her earn a score high enough to be called back on the flat.

“I definitely think the last three jumps [made the difference in my round]. It was kind of like a half circle at the end of the ring. I saw [other riders do] six [strides], I saw sevens, I saw eights. I ended up doing a seven to an easy eight. I think I just really smoothed that out and that made me get called back,” Barnes explained.

Donaldson was equally happy with her ride with Cortes 7, a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Royal Palm Equine LLC. Donaldson, of Chepachet, RI, admitted the course didn’t ride exactly as it walked, but her horse’s big stride helped her stay steady.

“The last two lines, I walked it an eight [stride] to an eight [stride] and then ended up doing a seven. Most people did eight strides in the second line, but he has such nice big stride and landed left that I just went for seven,” Donaldson noted.

She continued, “I really liked the course. I thought it was great. A lot of it was off the left lead, which is easier to land with him, so that was better for us.”

A stand-alone combination with butterfly wing standards tripped up several riders that tried to cut the turn a little too sharply. Donaldson stuck to her plan, knowing if she rode a wider track to meet the jump head-on, Cortes 7 could take care of the rest. She had good reason to put her complete confidence in the gelding; he helped Adeline Audette and Charlotte Jacobs to multiple equitation wins throughout their highly successful junior years.

“He’s an amazing horse,” Donaldson beamed. “I love him to death. He’s an old pro and a good guy.”

She continued, “I love his huge stride. He’s really nice to get up in a light seat with; he keeps his pace really nicely. He’s got a great jump, and he’s great to flat. He’s pretty much all around an amazing horse.”

Donaldson was happy to share her victory with fellow North Run rider Barnes, especially since Sunday marked the first time Donaldson had ever won a class at the FTI WEF. “We’re really good friends. It’s both of our first time winning this week, and it’s my first time ever winning at WEF. I started doing the equitation here last year,” Donaldson shared.

Donaldson also expressed gratitude for the entire North Run team’s hard work and contributions to her riding. She described Missy Clark’s thorough preparation for the ring as one of her favorite elements of the North Run training program.

“I love how Missy gets you to the ring. When she explains [the course] to you, you can see how she wants you to jump every jump, the line and track you’re supposed to have. She maps out a great plan for you, and if you follow that, you’ll be great,” Donaldson smiled.

Donaldson and Barnes’ wins wrapped up hunter competition for Week 11 of the FTI WEF, presented by Artisan Farms. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

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

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

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

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

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Victoria Colvin Captures Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series

Victoria Colvin riding Don Juan won the 2014 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series. Photo by Sportfot.

Wellington, Florida – Victoria Colvin emerged the winner of the fourth annual Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series (AFYRGPS), presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte.  With four different competitions held throughout the 12-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, the Series attracted more than 50 participants competing for increased prize money under FEI sanctioning.

Following three qualifying events, the top 30 riders in the overall standings were invited to contest the $50,000 CSIU25 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final.  Held Sunday morning, March 23, at The Stadium, riders and horses alike enjoyed competing on the expansive grass field.  Following a seven-horse jump-off, Alexander Zetterman of Sweden emerged victorious riding Flecu in the Series Final.  However, Victoria Colvin was at the top of the leaderboard coming into the final event and, despite having four faults with Don Juan, maintained her lead to emerge as the overall winner of the 2014 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series.

“The Series helps build confidence; you just keep doing more classes and jumping higher and going up against better riders,” said Colvin, who participated in all four qualifying events this year with Don Juan.  “I’m used to doing the High Juniors, which are really high and have good riders, too, but this is another step up.  There are amazing riders in the Series, including people over 18.  It’s a step up from Juniors, but it is between having to compete against someone like Maclain Ward.  It is a lot of fun and it makes you feel more confident that you are going to do well.”

Open to riders aged 16 to 25, regardless of nationality, the AFYRGPS was designed by Carlene and Andy Ziegler of Artisan Farms to provide a bridge between the junior and amateur divisions to the grand prix level, allowing up and coming riders to gain experience at the upper levels of show jumping sport while still competing against their peers.

At only 16 years of age, Colvin was one of the youngest riders in this year’s AFYRGPS.  As the overall champion, Colvin was awarded a Bruno Delgrange saddle valued at $6,000, and was presented with an invitation to compete at the CSI2* Chantilly Horse Show, part of the Global Champions Tour, held from July 25-27 in France.  In addition to their entry, the winner also receives two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge and transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte.

“It is amazing!” exclaimed Colvin, who is based year-round in Wellington, Florida.  “I get to go somewhere other than Florida!”

Canada’s Jordan Macpherson, who has participated in the AFYRGPS since its inception, was crowned the reserve champion in this year’s Series.  The 24-year-old university student from Toronto, ON, trains with 10-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar and his children, Jonathon and Amy.

“This Series is portrayed and modeled as a stepping stone, so the course designers and the riders treat it as such; it’s more challenging and more technical without over-facing either the horse or the rider,” said Macpherson who rode her young mount, Aanwinst, in the first two events and her veteran partner, Piccobello du Val de Geer, in the final two events.  “I think it’s a great structure, and it gives the riders and the horses more experience in different situations.  Having the team event under the lights gives it more pressure, too.  There is nowhere else that you get to compete as a team without it being a nations’ cup which is great, because how else are you supposed to learn how to work as a team without being able to practice it?”

Macpherson continued, “I think it’s wonderful that so many people and companies are sponsoring and supporting the Artisan Farms Series this year.  Thank you to Artisan Farms and everyone involved for giving us such amazing opportunities.”

New for 2014, participants in the AFYRGPS were invited to apply for a one-year sponsorship with equestrian clothing apparel company, Equiline.  Riders submitted essays outlining why they felt they would be ideal candidates, conducted interviews, did sponsorship networking, and were observed for attitude, spirit and performance while competing in the AFYRGPS.  Last year’s winner of the AFYRGPS, Chloe D. Reid of Washington, D.C., was awarded the Equiline sponsorship, while additional awards were presented to Caitlin Ziegler for Best Essay, Lucas Porter for Most Creative Essay, and Nicole Bellissimo for Best Interview.  Wilton Porter earned the Equiline Amateur Sportsmanship Award.

Colvin now joins an elite list of champions in the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series.  Previous winners include Reed Kessler of the United States (2011), Nayel Nassar of Egypt (2012) and Chloe D. Reid of the United States (2013), all of whom are currently enjoying incredible success as their careers advance.

“I am really pleased with the progression of the Series,” said Carlene Ziegler, who is the driving force behind the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series.  “We added some new things this year, we made it more of a true championship in the way that you went through the four different classes and that you had to qualify for the Final, which was a $50,000 FEI class.  We feel it is very important to provide the next generation with a spring board that is both relevant and beneficial as they progress.”

With over 50 entries this year alone, it’s obvious that the Series is not only popular, but also succeeding in its objectives.

“It’s been nice to see the riders themselves progress,” said Ziegler.  “We are attracting a new crop of riders each year and it’s really gratifying to see their progress.  One of the most gratifying parts is being able to provide a stepping stone up to the next level for these young riders.  The first year that we did this, we knew that we had a very strong group of riders – we had Reed Kessler for the win and we had a group of riders that went to Leipzig that included Reed Kessler, Charlotte Jacobs, Caitlin Ziegler, and Katie Dinan – these are people who have now truly made the next step, and our Series helped provide that for them.  The second year we had Nayel Nassar, who is now leading the west coast standings for the World Cup Finals.  That’s very exciting!  We hope that the same level of success happens for the more recent winners as well, and we think that it can.”

Ziegler continued, “One of the things that is exciting for this year is that we are giving the winner the opportunity to go to the Chantilly show.  It is a Global Champions Tour show in the most beautiful location in France.  It’s something that these young riders wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do.  I think it’s a big incentive to the participants in the Series.  Additionally, that they had the opportunity to vie for a sponsorship with Equiline is something that they wouldn’t have gotten to do otherwise.”

Riders aged 16 to 25, regardless of nationality, are eligible to participate in the AFYRGPS, which provides a valuable stepping stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level.  Featuring fences set at 1.45m, this year’s AFYRGPS offered four events held in three different venues, exposing developing grand prix riders to everything from competing on grass and in a team format, to jumping under the lights at night.

Leading by example, Artisan Farms is committed to the continued improvement and promotion of competitive show jumping.  Based in Wellington, FL, and Vrasene, Belgium, Artisan Farms is home to rising amateur Andy Ziegler, young professional Caitlin Ziegler, 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, and Olympian Tiffany Foster.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Victoria Colvin and Patrick Are Best in George Morris Excellence in Equitation

Victoria Colvin and Patrick. Photos © Sportfot.

David Will and Black Jack 163 Beat the Odds in $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m

Wellington, FL – March 21, 2014 – Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, added yet another accolade to her long list of accomplishments with a win in the George Morris Excellence in Equitation, presented by Alessandro Albanese, during week eleven of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Colvin, 16, topped the class with Patrick, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding leased by Dr. Betsee Parker and owned by Catherine Tyree. Also showing on Friday, Germany’s David Will and Black Jack 163 won the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.40m speed class.

FTI WEF week eleven, sponsored by Artisan Farms LLC, continues through March 23, 2014. The $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* will be the feature event on Saturday night at 8 p.m. The grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC will host the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final (8 a.m.) and the $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic (2 p.m.) on Sunday.

Live streaming of Saturday night’s $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* will be featured on The Chronicle of the Horse website. The link to view the live streaming is: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/2014-100000-engel-volkers-grand-prix-live.

A special ceremony will be held tomorrow evening before the start of the $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix to honor Anne Heyman, who passed away from a fall at the FTI WEF this season. Friends and family are gathering to honor Anne, who was known for her incredible philanthropy and love for her family and horses. Everyone is invited to watch a video in her honor and remember Anne and her work. Save the Date for a benefit and concert for Anne’s ‘village,’ the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, which will be held on September 13 at Double H Farm in Ridgefield, CT, during the American Gold Cup. For more information, email annesnight@gmail.com.

Equitation competition in the George Morris Excellence in Equitation was held over two rounds and a final test, with the top twelve riders being called back for round two. The top four from round two were then asked to return to test to determine the final standings.

The judges for the class included two panels and a schooling judge. Panel 1 consisted of Cynthia Hankins and Katie Prudent. Panel 2 included Alex Jayne and Anne Kursinski. Karen Golding served as schooling judge.

After round one, Colvin and Patrick were ranked second with a score of 93.5. The top score in round one belonged to eventual third place finisher Megan MacPherson and Class Action. MacPherson and Class Action returned to round two to earn a score of 80 for third place in the standings, where they remained after the test.

Michael Hughes and Curtis
Michael Hughes and Curtis

Colvin earned a second round high score of 92.5 before being chosen as the winner of Friday evening’s class. Second place went to Michael Hughes and Curtis, who earned scores of 91 and 84.5 in the first and second rounds, respectively. Madison Goetzman rounded out the top four with Stallone. Goetzman climbed from tenth in the standings to fourth in round two with a score of 85. The pair scored an 85.75 in the first round.

Prior to the final test, two special awards were presented to the four-legged competitors of the class. Clearway, owned by Heritage Farm and ridden by Caitlin Boyle, was announced as the Best Equitation Horse for the second year in a row. Heritage Farm received a ceramic bowl courtesy of Alessandro Albanese for the award. The Best Turned Out Horse was Charlie Z, ridden by Daisy Farish and also owned by Heritage Farm. Charlie Z’s groom, Umberto Balades, was also recognized for his hard work with an Alessandro Albanese jacket.

Colvin also received a bevy of prizes from class sponsor Alessandro Albanese, taking home a custom show jacket, show shirt, and breeches, as well as a championship jacket from Equestrian Sport Productions. Colvin’s family was also presented with a Nespresso machine for their contributions to their daughter’s win, as was second place finisher Hughes’ family. Trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan received an Alessandro Albanese jacket and tureen bowl for her role in the top rider’s victory.

Colvin, who trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run, only began riding Patrick at the beginning of the year. While their partnership is still developing, Colvin is already completely enamored with the lovable chestnut. “I still don’t know him very well, but he’s just perfect. I love him!” Colvin smiled.

Of the decision to leave her other top equitation mount, Stallone VDL, in the barn and ride Patrick, Colvin said, “[Patrick] is a little easier. They’re both really easy, but he’s just a tad easier and I thought he would be great in this class. I rode [Stallone] on Thursday, and we thought he would be way too quiet to do three tests.”

One of the trademarks of the George Morris Excellence in Equitation class is the restriction for riders to prepare themselves completely unassisted by their trainers. Riders are totally cut off from communication with their trainers, even turning in their cell phones to the in-gate during the riders’ meeting. For Colvin, the rule represents an exciting challenge.

“I love it! Not that I don’t love my trainers. I think it’s a really fun class to be able to see how you do by yourself,” Colvin pointed out.

Colvin admitted to feeling a little bit of pressure going into the test ranked first, but was relieved when she heard what the judges were requesting. Riders were asked to canter fence one, turn right for a bending line to fence four, then turn back to the left over fence ten. Riders then hand galloped fence eleven before returning to a trot over the final fence.

“I felt like the test was much easier than the second round,” Colvin noted. “It had no counter canter or walk jumps, but I was nervous. I don’t know [Patrick] very well, so I don’t know what he does at everything. He’s such a great horse; he went right around for me.”

Second place finisher Hughes, who also trains with North Run, echoed Colvin’s sentiments, especially after a second round that asked several challenging questions. “When they announced the test, we had done the majority of it in the first round, so I knew it was going to be a little bit easier than the second round,” Hughes explained.

Of the second round course, Hughes commented, “I was a little bit worried about the walk jump. I had never walked a jump with Curtis before. He was good about it. I need to be a bit more patient. For me, I was most worried about the trot jump. It was such a short line to come off the forward eight strides, but he was great at it.”

Trainer Missy Clark enjoyed the one-two finish for North Run in the class, and was especially pleased to see her two star pupils do so well. “They were great. They’ve been so solid all year, and they’re both such great riders and amazing competitors. It’s so fun to work with two kids like this. They’re unusual,” Clark said.

Clark never doubted either Colvin or Hughes’s ability to prepare themselves, and enjoyed sitting back and watching them shine. “It was great; I got to sit down and I had my dogs with me and we sat back and watched. They do everything from grand prix to hunters, and they’ve been in the trenches for years, so I had complete confidence in both of them,” Clark smiled.

Class namesake and American show jumping legend George Morris was on hand to offer his commentary on the evening’s competition. The multiple tests of rider ability in round two were reasonable in Morris’s opinion, but he acknowledged that they tripped up many young riders.

“This was an interesting class. I was happy with the second round. The tests are all very doable. Trotting fences, walking fences, counter cantering, flying changes, they’re all doable, but caused quite a distraction. It was very difficult [for riders],” Morris explained.

While Morris wasn’t judging, he still provided input for the course design. The walk jump certainly caught a few riders off guard, but Morris was unsurprisingly full of praise for the old-school element.

“That’s a very, very, old [test]. I don’t know what number test it is, but that’s been in the tests forever,” Morris described. “Victor Hugo-Vidal and Ronnie [Mutch], those old judges, myself, every class they tested [in the past]. Every 14-18 open [equitation class], even under 14, they tested. Tests educate the riders and their horse training.”

Morris was happy to see Hughes and Colvin, graduates of his 2014 Horsemastership Training Session, continue to succeed at the top level of their sport. “It’s not that you’re partial, but you’re pleased to see results. You don’t like, as a teacher, wasting your time. I don’t like wasting my time,” Morris commented. “They’re great students. Great future.”

Competition for week eleven of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Artisan Farms, continues on Saturday afternoon with the Equitation 15-17 division in Ring 8 of the Main Grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

David Will and Black Jack 163
David Will and Black Jack 163

David Will and Black Jack 163 Beat the Odds in $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m

Germany’s David Will got the win in Friday’s $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class with Eveline Kraus’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Black Jack 163 (Escudo I x Drosselklang II). Will had the fastest time to beat out three Olympic gold medalists for the win, with Beezie Madden (USA) in second, Eric Lamaze (CAN) in third, and Laura Kraut (USA) fourth.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the speed track for 47 entries in the 1.45m class with 11 clear rounds. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Amadora were first to go and set a very fast time of 60.31 seconds that eventually finished second. The pair was beat out by David Will and Black Jack 163, who were over three seconds faster in 57.19 seconds. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Check Picobello Z, owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines, finished third in 61.55 seconds, and Laura Kraut (USA) and MH Sporhorse’s Andretti S placed fourth with a time of 62.03 seconds.

David Will and Black Jack 163 finally got their win on Friday after several close finishes this winter. The pair finished second to Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 earlier this week in Wednesday’s $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m. They placed second behind Sweetnam and Cyklon in the same class during week seven too. They were also third in week seven’s $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m and fifth in that same class during week nine as well.

On Friday, Will had the advantage of going before Sweetnam and putting the pressure on, and it was not the Irish rider’s day. “Maybe I was lucky; Shane already had the first fence down, but I knew that it would be very difficult today even for Shane,” Will stated. “Black Jack is a naturally very, very fast horse and I just got the turns that I wanted. I got to leave out the strides in almost every distance, so I was very happy with him today.”

“This was his first win here, but he is always winning a lot,” Will added. “He has been very good in the indoor season. I actually stepped him up a little bit higher and he was doing the 1.50m, 1.55m classes already. Here, it was a little bit difficult in the beginning when we came outside. He is a little bit of a nervous horse and he was not going as good in the beginning, but now he is used to going outside. He is comfortable with it again, so he is going super well.”

Speaking about the course, Will noted, “When I walked it, it didn’t walk like a classic speed class. There were some points, after the first double for example, where you could do a really short turn. Then almost every distance you could leave out a stride if you wanted to. It was actually very nice to ride it fast. It was a good course; I liked it very much.”

Will showed in Wellington two years ago and has noticed the increase in competition coming back in 2014. He brought four horses for this year’s FEI classes.

“It is very hard,” the rider noted. “The level is really, really high. There are a lot of good riders. What makes it very difficult is that you have to qualify on Thursday for the Saturday night grand prix, and there are always like 100 starters. If you want to be in the top 45, to qualify for the grand prix it is actually very tough.”

Will plans to show Black Jack again during week twelve and will then travel home to Europe. He hopes to step the horse up a little more this season after the great experience that Black Jack got competing in Wellington.

Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, Laura Chapot kept her winning streak alive in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. With 102 entries, the class was held in a California Split and awarded two sets of placings, putting Chapot’s leading times in the top of both sections. Chapot and Bradberry won Section A with the fastest time of the class. Chapot and Zealous finished on the top of Section B with the second fastest time. The rider also took fifth place in Section A with Shooting Star and second place in Section B with Castellana.

For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

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

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

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

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

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Victoria Colvin Has a One-Two Finish for Third Victory in $100k WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular

Victoria Colvin and Ovation. Photos © Sportfot.

Alexander Zetterman and Cafino Win $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Wellington, FL – February 15, 2014 – World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition peaked on Saturday evening under the lights of the International Arena at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. The country’s top professional, amateur, and junior hunter riders went head-to-head to earn top call in the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular.

FTI WEF week six, sponsored by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, concludes on Sunday, February 16, with the $50,000 Equestrian Sotheby’s Jumper Derby at 2 p.m. on the beautiful grass derby field at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Hunter horses and riders have been showcased throughout week six of the FTI WEF in WCHR competition. Riders qualified for the class during competition for their respective divisions throughout the week.

Sixteen-year-old Victoria Colvin topped the class for the third year in a row with champion mount Ovation, who she rode to the 2013 title as well. Ovation, a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, won the class with a score of 89.66 with Colvin in the irons. Not only did Colvin clinch her third title in the Hunter Spectacular, she took the top two spots. She rode Way Cool (the 2012 WCHR Hunter Spectacular winner), a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding also owned by Dr. Parker, to second place with a score of 89.16.

Kelley Farmer and Certainty, owned by Glefke & Kensel LLC, were next best, taking third place with an 87.50. Peter Pletcher and Empire, owned by David Gochman, rounded out the top four after also finishing with an 87.50.

Colvin had the disadvantage of going first out of the 29 entries for the class and did her best to lay down a round with a score that would hold up. She was happy with an 89, but she admitted she never thought it would stick. “I thought the first [round], [the judges] wouldn’t give too high of a score. I thought 89 is a good score, but it’s also very beatable,” Colvin acknowledged.

Colvin returned mid-way through the order with her second mount Way Cool, the gelding she rode to victory in the 2012 Hunter Spectacular that can have a penchant for untimely misbehavior. She admitted she was unsure how either mount would act under the lights of the International Arena, but went into the ring determined to best her score with Ovation.

“I picked horses that are unpredictable, and I didn’t really know how they were going to go when they walked in, but I was very happy with how both of them went. Way Cool, I wasn’t sure when I trotted in what he was going to do, but he went right around. He was a little freaked out at the people, but he went right around,” Colvin remarked.

She explained, “They’re both a bit spooky, but they’re old souls in a way. The night, the people, it’s just a big class for both of those horses to do.”

With two “byes” for the class thanks to previous wins, Colvin could have had her pick of horses to take in the ring for the class, but she settled on Ovation and Way Cool based on their good behavior earlier in the day during the Junior Hunter divisions. Dr. Parker admitted that she didn’t want either of the horses to go in the class, but was ultimately happy that Colvin remained the voice of reason.

“I kind of love the way our team works because we have a lot of back and forth between us, (trainer) Scott (Stewart) and I, and Tori and her mother. Nobody seems to have the primary voice. And tonight I really didn’t want Tori to ride either of those horses, and I’m so glad the team didn’t listen to me!” Dr. Parker laughed.

While many successful riders her age are all too eager to leave the hunter divisions behind for the thrills of the jumper ring, Colvin still campaigns multiple hunter mounts. Colvin admitted that with horses like Dr. Parker’s, she’s in no rush to transition out of the hunter divisions. “I do really like the jumpers and the jumpers are really fun, but I have so many nice hunters, and these classes I love, so I think that I will continue to do these classes,” Colvin expressed.

Colvin’s piece of the $100,000 prize will be donated to Danny & Ron’s Rescue, a cause that is near and dear to Dr. Parker’s philanthropist heart. With the prize money doubled this year for the Hunter Spectacular, Parker was especially thrilled to be able to share the wealth, especially after having doubts whether Colvin could pick up a third victory.

“I was really excited tonight to win the Hunter Spectacular for the [third] time because first of all, I told my team members, I don’t believe lightning strikes [three] times in the same spot, so I was wrong. I was thrilled to be wrong tonight!” Dr. Parker smiled. “It’s important to find a good cause to get behind and bring it forward, like Danny and Ron have been brought forward. I was really thrilled for that.”

Kelley Farmer and Certainty
Kelley Farmer and Certainty

Like Colvin, Farmer also had her pick of a barn packed with talent. She ultimately chose one of her greener mounts; Certainty hasn’t even turned six yet. The Oldenburg gelding has been brave and scopey ever since Farmer first swung her leg over him last summer, so she had no doubts he would rise to the occasion on Saturday evening.

“From the first day we got him, he has been just as brave as can be,” Farmer beamed. “I was pretty confident with him. With one that young and that green anything can go wrong, but I knew that he wasn’t going to come in here and have a meltdown. He was great this week both days. He’s got that mentality; he thinks he’s too good. The only thing we did wrong was let Tori show up!”

Pletcher was happy to be mounted on a more experienced horse. Empire, an 11-year-old Warmblood stallion, is regularly seen in the Amateur-Owner Hunters with owner Becky Gochman and Pletcher contested the Hunter Spectacular with him in 2013.

“There’s nothing better to ride than a good amateur horse. You take away a lot of the pressure to know that horse is going to go around like he’s going to go around. He went super; I couldn’t be any happier with the way he went. I thought that was as good as he’s gonna be, so I was very happy,” Pletcher commented.

Pletcher was also pleased with how the course rode, feeling that course designer Steve Stephens produced a very fair course for Saturday night’s field of horses and riders. With junior and amateur riders and horses with a wide range of experience, Stephens had to build a course that everyone could handle, yet was also still a challenge.

“I thought it was a good course. It wasn’t really hard in any aspect one way or the other. Steve is a very good course designer for sure, and he knew the group of horses that were coming into this class, and he did the course perfectly for it,” Pletcher described.

Lilli Hymowitz and Tiffani
Lilli Hymowitz and Tiffani

Junior and Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6″ Divisions Award Top Honors Saturday Morning

The Junior and Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6″ division champions had the shortest turn-around to Saturday night’s competition after only qualifying earlier in the day. First to take on the International Arena on Saturday morning was the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, presented by Greenspoon Marder Law. Tiffani and owner-rider Lilli Hymowitz took home the tricolor honors for the division. The pair won two over fences rounds before finishing third in the final jumping class to clinch the title. Reserve champion went to Imagine, owned and ridden by Jake Wasson. Wasson piloted Imagine to seventh under saddle and fourth, second, and first over fences.

The Equestrian Sotheby’s Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division was topped by Akinda and owner-rider Victoria Press. Akinda was first under saddle and eighth, second, and first over fences with Press in the irons. The reserve champion for the division was Crystal Clear, owned and ridden by Coco Fath. Fath piloted Crystal Clear to sixth under saddle and sixth, first, and second over fences.

Next to award championship honors was the Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division. Lexi Maounis and her own Sienna conquered the division after placing second, first, and first over fences. The reserve champion for the division was Zoom, owned and ridden by Laura Sexton. The pair were first and second over fences and third under saddle.

Lyn Pedersen and Silhouette were champions of the Hunt Ltd Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 division. Silhouette and Pederson were first, fourth, and third over fences and eighth under saddle. Behind Silhouette by only one point was Amarillo, who was ultimately reserve champion with Katie Jacobs-Robinson. Jacobs-Robinson rode Amarillo to fifth under saddle and first and third over fences.

It was a battle of the sport’s top teen superstars for the Antarés Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division. Lillie Keenan edged out Colvin for the division championship. Keenan piloted Grayon to top call for the division after placing fifth, third, and third over fences and second under saddle. The pair were presented with the Toad Hall Perpetual Trophy, donated by Missy Apmann, for their victory. Colvin and long-time partner Way Cool were reserve champions for the division, winning two over fences classes.

Colvin didn’t stay out of the winner’s circle for long; she was champion and reserve champion of the EnTrust Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division. Colvin topped the division with Canadian Blue. The pair won two over fences classes and placed second in another to earn the championship title. Colvin and Canadian Blue were presented with the Awesome Perpetual Trophy, donated by Patricia Tanner, for their winning effort and were also crowned Grand Junior Hunter Champion for the weekend. Colvin piloted Ovation to the blue ribbon under saddle and finished third in two over fences classes.

Alexander Zetterman and Cafino Win $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Saturday’s competition at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) featured a $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, held on the beautiful derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), with a win for 24-year-old Alexander Zetterman (SWE) aboard Cafino. Twenty-eight entries showed over the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed course with five clear rounds to jump-off. Zetterman and Cafino were first to go in the jump-off and set an unbeatable pace with their double clear round in 46.34 seconds.

Kevin Babington (IRL) and Mark Q were the only other pair to clear the short course without fault and finished second in 48.27 seconds. Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) was clear over the course, but incurred two time faults in 51.14 seconds aboard Mike Collins’ Zoe II, to place third. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and S&L Slingback had four faults in 49.65 seconds to finish fourth, while Abigail McArdle guided David McArdle’s Cade de Guldenboom to fifth place honors with four faults in 49.85 seconds.

Cafino, a 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cardento 933 x Roderik 856), is still a relatively new mount for Zetterman since the partnership first formed in September. The duo won the $25,000 Equestrian Sport Productions Holiday I Grand Prix in one of their first classes together in December and has since earned many top placings in the first half of FTI WEF competition.

The pair finished fourth in week two’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2*, placed fifth in week three’s $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 Section B, and also placed fifth in week three’s $125,000 Fidelity investments Grand Prix CSI 3*.

“Obviously the partnership has developed more and more,” Zetterman stated after his win on Saturday. “It has taken a bit of time, but when you really want to get to know them at the top level, you have to work on all of the small details and those parts are falling into place more and more.

“I still have had a lot of success,” Zetterman noted. “He had his first fence down in a very long time last night, but I think my rounds are smoother now. I feel better with him. Even if I have had success, I still feel that I can ride him even smoother, and he has been jumping even better.”

Saturday was Cafino’s first time jumping on the grass field at The Stadium, and Zetterman said that he felt great.

“I think he likes it,” the rider noted. “He is spooky; probably in a good way, but he does look at everything a little bit. He jumps some very funny jumps sometimes when he looks down at the water or something, but he knows exactly what he is doing.”

The extra spook played to Zetterman’s advantage with Cafino in the jump-off, since he knew his horse was being extra careful over the jumps. “You can really trust his carefulness,” Zetterman detailed. “I know I have a really fast horse, so I knew that if I could just keep going on stride and just try not to add too many strides, I would probably have a hard time to catch.”

While working on the smoothness and small details of his ride with Cafino this winter, Zetterman has been working with trainer Michelle Grubb, and explained that her expertise has been very helpful. “She has been a very good complement to our team,” he acknowledged. “She knows the set up here in the USA and we have a great dialogue about not only riding, but about everything from flatting and jumping, to the care of the horses and management. That has been great.”

As the FTI WEF circuit continues to amp up week by week, Zetterman has his sights set on week twelve’s $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5*. With his many top finishes, the rider is in a good position to qualify moving forward, and noted that competing at the different venue this week has been great for the horses and riders heading into the remaining six weeks of competition.

“I think it is good to get this week here to do something different, to jump in the dressage arena, and today on the grass,” Zetterman said. “It was a good, fresh breath before the last few weeks now; it is going to be very tough.”

One more class will be featured at The Stadium this weekend as week six of FTI WEF competition concludes on Sunday. The $50,000 Equestrian Sotheby’s Jumper Derby is set to begin at 2 p.m. on the derby field. For full show results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

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

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

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

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

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Hardin Towell and Man in Black Beat the Field in $50,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI 2*

Hardin Towell and Man in Black. Photos © Sportfot.

Victoria Colvin and Dedication Are Champions in Large Junior 16-17 Hunters at FTI WEF

Wellington, FL – February 2, 2014 – Week four of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) concluded with the exciting $50,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday afternoon held on the grass derby field at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). An exciting eight-horse jump-off finished with a win for Hardin Towell (USA) and Man in Black, with Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Caballito in second and Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Ohlala finishing third.

The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue with its fifth week of competition, sponsored by Rolex, on February 5-9, 2014. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela was the course designer for week four’s finale event. There were 45 competitors on the beautiful grass derby field with eight clear trips in round one to advance to the tie-breaking jump-off. In the second round, four entries cleared the short course without fault.

Lauren Hough set the pace with her clear round in the jump-off aboard The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala in 43.24 seconds to eventually finish third. Andres Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises LLC’s Caballito upped the ante with their time of 42.94 seconds to end up in second place. Roosje Brouwer (NED) and Stal Heijligers and A. Vogels’ SRI Aladdin also completed a clear round over the short course in a slower time of 49.56 seconds to earn fourth place honors. Last to go in the second round, Hardin Towell and Jennifer Gates’ Man in Black got the winning edge, completing the course in 42.47 seconds.

Man in Black is a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Calvados that Towell has been riding for one year. Gates showed the gelding in the Junior Jumpers last year and then handed him over to compete at the higher level with Towell. Sunday’s win was the biggest of Towell’s career – his second grand prix victory, and his first major win at the FTI WEF. The rider is 26 years old and from Camden, South Carolina.

“With him in the past year, probably starting last year in Thunderbird, I was really close in a lot of classes and I would go too fast,” Towell said of his partnership with Man in Black. “On Thursday I was quite close to winning and I knew I should slow down, and I just kept running down the last line. I’m just glad I beat Andres, because in L.A. in November I was winning the World Cup class and was really fast, and everybody was like ‘Congratulations you won!’ and I said, ‘No, Andres still has to go,’ and he beat me by about one-tenth of a second. I think today was really close again, so I’m glad I could repay him the favor!”

“It feels very good (to win), and especially since I just started showing him,” Towell noted. “He’s a little bit strong. I have had a lot of trouble the last six months finding the right bit. I have changed a lot of bits and probably made a lot of mistakes using the wrong bits, but I think we have kind of figured it out. He’s a really sweet horse. He is very brave, very scopey, and this is a great venue out in this grass field. He is always good at places like that. He is so brave that he is a little bit impressed out here sometimes, so today he jumped unbelievably. I could not ask for any more; he was fantastic.”

Commenting on his winning round in the jump-off, Towell detailed, “I thought in the jump-off I was a little bit smarter. I thought about running and being crazy, and then I remembered, ‘You know what, let’s just try to be clean,’ and I thought I was close enough. I landed and I actually saw a leave out to the last jump, which maybe six months ago or Thursday I would have done and knocked it down, but I decided to try to cut it close and win by just a little bit.”

Towell got to compete at some different venues around North America this past year and explained that the experience has helped him grow as a rider.

“It helps a lot,” he stated. “I went to different places and competed against different people. My whole life I have kind of stayed in the Southeast. I have never had that opportunity, so I met a lot of new people, and it was nice showing at Spruce Meadows and everywhere we went. I have had a great last year; it has been very lucky. Jennifer has been great the whole year and I want to thank Chris, my barn manager, and my mom and dad, and my sister. We just have a very good team.”

Andres Rodriguez was happy for Towell’s success this week and had a great round with his horse, Caballito. He acknowledged the beautiful venue at The Stadium at PBIEC, which has hosted classes throughout the week.

“I really enjoy this venue,” Rodriguez stated. “The ring where they had the young riders grand prix the other day and this open field are a great change from the main stage. I think the horses appreciate the change and not jumping the same jumps in the same ring all the time. Leopoldo had a great course out there and I think with the time allowed, we had the right amount of people in the jump-off.”

“When we went to the jump-off there were a lot of really fast horses,” Rodriguez pointed out. “I think five horses in the jump-off have won international classes, so I knew it was going to be fast. It started with the first two having two jumps down, so that started to make me think, but then Lauren went and had a fast round so I went back to the first plan. From Hardin I knew he was going to get back at me at some point. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be today, but it was! I only saw the last line of his round. I thought he was going to take the six strides, which I was kind of hoping he would, and he didn’t. It was his turn to win, and I am happy for him. He’s been too close too many times, and this was his day.”

Third place finisher, Lauren Hough, had a great week with Ohlala, including a win in Friday’s $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4. Hough was very happy with Sunday’s conclusion to the week and in addition to the third place prize, was named the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for week four. The award is sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.

Commenting on her jump-off round with Ohlala, Hough explained, “I have to stick to my plan with that mare. She doesn’t have a huge stride, but she jumped fantastic and I think Leopoldo did a super job today. He had just the right amount of clear, the time was short but not impossible, and I knew the first two had two jumps down, but I went with what I could do. This is a huge field, so I just had to hope that maybe I would get a little lucky today, but unfortunately these two young men with big horses and big canters went just a little bit faster than me.”

“I went as fast as I thought I could go,” Hough acknowledged. “I don’t know if I could have gotten them, to be honest. She is who she is, and she wins a lot of classes, but they got me today. She was fantastic the whole week and one of her owners is here today, so I’m thrilled that she was able to see her.”

Victoria Colvin and Dedication
Victoria Colvin and Dedication

Victoria Colvin and Dedication Are Champions in Large Junior 16-17 Hunters at FTI WEF

Victoria Colvin added yet another accolade to her name when she topped the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, presented by Antarés, during week four of the FTI WEF. Colvin and the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Dr. Betsee Parker were third under saddle and third, second, first, and second over fences before being crowned division champion Sunday morning.

The reserve champion for the division was Vida Blue, ridden by Meredith Darst and owned by Elm Rock, LLC. Darst piloted Vida Blue to two blue ribbons over fences and jumped to second and fifth place on the second day of competition for the division.

Owner-rider championship honors were also awarded for the division. Cloe Hymowitz and her horse Perfectionist were announced as division champion owner-rider. There was a tie for reserve champion owner-rider between Piper Benjamin and Corvine and Vivian Yowan and Gretsky.

Parker was determined to have sixteen-year-old Colvin finish out her junior years on Dedication and is happy to see Colvin gel with the sometimes difficult gelding.

“Dedication is a very complicated horse to ride, and he’s very opinionated and strong. When Tori rides him, he has a very wonderful relaxation that occurs. I think it’s what I’ve spoken of [before] that she does to all the horses [she rides]; you can almost see the stream of confidence going from her into the horse,” Parker described.

She continued, “We saw this at the Hampton Classic. I said to Scott, ‘Let’s let Tori ride him and see what happens,’ because I want her to go out of her junior years on this horse. We tried, and she won with the highest score in history. She had a 98. So we thought we had a real good match.”

Parker went on to explain that like the rest of her horses, Dedication adores Colvin. The gelding transforms into a quieter, more settled animal with Colvin in the saddle. The feeling is mutual, and Colvin actually considers Dedication one of the easiest horses she rides.

“He is difficult,” Colvin admitted. “But [for example], Inclusive is really easy but he has a short stride and he’s like a little pony. But Dedication is so big, and he has the biggest stride. He’ll just lope down [the lines]. He could do like Olympic height, so for [the junior hunters] he just lopes over everything.”

Having the support of an owner like Parker means the world to Colvin, who acknowledged she wouldn’t be where she is today without Parker’s help.

“She’s amazing. If she wasn’t, I’d probably be doing small ponies still! Yeah, I’d still be doing small green [ponies],” Colvin joked.

Colvin’s victory wrapped up another week of competition at the FTI WEF. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

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

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

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

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

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Jordan MacPherson and Piccobello du val de Geer Win $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Jordan MacPherson and Piccobello du val de Geer. Photos © Sportfot.

Victoria Colvin and Don Juan Top$10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed; Classic Contender and Mindy Coretz Conquer FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters 18-35

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2014 – Week two of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) concluded at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday with a win for Jordan MacPherson (CAN) and Piccobello du val de Geer in the $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte, also kicked off with its first class of the circuit and a win for Victoria Colvin and Don Juan.

Sunday’s competition concluded week two of the 2014 FTI WEF, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. Week three CSI 3* competition is sponsored by Fidelity Investments and runs January 22-26. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

Luc Musette of Belgium set a challenging track for Sunday’s 1.50m class that yielded just three clear rounds out of 44 entries. In the jump-off, Jordan MacPherson and JEM Stables Inc.’s Piccobello du val de Geer were first to go and the only pair to jump the short course without fault. They were the winners with a clear round 41.65 seconds.

Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and David Gochman’s Attack II went next and had one rail down for four faults in 41.97 seconds to finish third. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Prof de la Roque had the time in 40.50 seconds, but also had a rail in the short course and finished on four faults to earn second place honors.

Following the class, Jordan MacPherson commented on the difficulty of the day’s course, noting that it rode much differently than it walked. “There were quite a few options and as people started going, it made it clear the plan that you had to follow,” MacPherson noted. “There were not as many options as you thought there would be. I thought it was technical, and it was a very good course that he set up. I know that I had a little bit of trouble, but it was a good course to ride a plan.

“Coming back for the jump-off I knew that there were only three, and going first I knew that I needed to have a clear round to put a little bit of pressure on the other two, which seemed to work out today,” MacPherson added. “She was a very good mare. She was quick and careful.”

Piccobello du val de Geer is a 15-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare (Kannan x Skippy II) that MacPherson has had for almost four years. The pair won a 1.50m class at the PA National Horse Show this fall and finished fourth in the Canadian championships at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto as well.

“She has just been unbelievable,” MacPherson praised. “She has taught me so much and to be able to move up with a horse that you trust is really invaluable.”

Victoria Colvin and Don Juan Top $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed Class, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte

The Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, hosted its first competition of the circuit on Sunday with a $10,000 speed class and a win for 16-year-old Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, riding Brigid Colvin and Karen Long Dwight’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Don Juan (by Flamenco Desemilly x Lagano).

The morning’s class saw 49 entries with 11 clear rounds. Wilton Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Radio City completed the first clear round of the day in 76.25 seconds, sixth in the order of go, and held onto the lead through most of the class until Colvin and Don Juan surpassed their time 40 rounds later. Colvin’s winning time was well ahead in 71.12 seconds. Kalvin Dobbs and Treesdale Farms’ Winde, who won this class last year, placed third in 77.23 seconds.

Victoria Colvin and Don Juan
Victoria Colvin and Don Juan

The series gives young riders under the age of 25 a valuable stepping stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level. Colvin only jumped in one class in the series last year, but started off strong for this year’s circuit.

“I think it is wonderful,” Colvin said of the series. “It is great to have all of the young riders put together in a mini grand prix and it is sort of a big deal instead of just having the High Juniors and Amateurs. It is a bigger grand prix, but for all of the young riders.”

Porter (19) and Dobbs (18) have each shown in the series for the last three years and value the experience that they have gained.

“I think it pushes consistency because it is a cumulative score at the end of the series,” Porter pointed out. “It makes you want to have a solid round each time rather than going crazy the first time and then maybe burning out by the end of it. I think that is really important for championships and stuff in the future.”

“It is something nice to work towards,” Dobbs added. “You have bigger courses: longer, harder courses than the normal High Juniors or High Amateurs. It is nice to have a goal set in mind because sometimes you are just going. It is nice to know what you have each week so that you can learn how to prepare your horse correctly and be consistent throughout the circuit.”

For Colvin, it has been a road of ups and downs getting to Sunday’s win with Don Juan. She has had the gelding for exactly one year, but had a challenging end to 2013 when the horse inexplicably broke his jaw during the Adequan/FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in July.

“We don’t really know how it happened, but he got very sensitive to his mouth and I had to ride him in a hackamore for a while,” Colvin explained. “We just started using a bit now since Young Riders.”

Although it was a bad experience for Don Juan, Colvin explained that the change has probably helped their partnership.

“He is really strong, so not using a bit is not good, but I think it has helped me ride him better because I have not had him for so long, and when I changed to the hackamore he was a completely different horse,” she stated. “He was like a totally different ride. He has been really good and then he has been really bad, but today was a really good day.”

Commenting on her blazing fast round, she noted, “I was gonna start slow. I said I was just going to go slow and nice because he wasn’t perfect yesterday, and then I jumped like three jumps and I just started running,” she laughed. “He was good and he felt confident. He doesn’t have the biggest stride, so we have to go really fast if we want to leave strides out, but he usually flies.”

Wilton Porter set the pace early on in the class with Radio City and had to wait through all of the rounds. “I was hanging on to the lead for the majority of the class and I thought I was getting close, but then Tori went and just laid it down,” Porter stated. “I think it ended up being a good enough time to where a lot of people were chasing it and had rails because of that, but I thought the course was great. It was a really good start to the Young Rider Series.”

Porter started riding Radio City during FTI WEF last year and plans to compete her throughout the Artisan Farms Young Rider Series. “She has sort of been my specific Young Riders horse,” he said. “I will do her in all of the Young Rider classes this circuit and then the Young Rider championships this summer. She is just a solid 1.45m, 1.50m horse.”

After winning this class last year, Kalvin Dobbs was hoping for a repeat victory with Winde, but settled for third place this time. After a tough start to the circuit, Dobbs was determined to have a good round.

“I had a bit of a rough start to the circuit because I fell off earlier and had to go home for physical therapy, and then I fell off again today in the schooling ring,” Dobbs admitted. “I was fine, but then I was angry and I just wanted to get in the ring and do it. Laura Kraut is my trainer and she knows all about that, so she was pumping me up. I kind of went in there with high emotion and just went and did it.”

“She is great,” he said of Winde. “She doesn’t care when something like that happens. She has been an awesome horse to work with, and we just continue to get better and better. She is hot and she can be hard to deal with at home because she does not like to be told what to do. It has been a patience game. I have learned to be very patient with all of my horses through her because you just have to take it slow and make sure she is coming out strong and healthy and doing the right things.”

Following Sunday’s start to the Artisan Farms Young Rider Series, the FTI WEF circuit will host a $10,000 Team Event on Friday, January 31 at The Stadium during week 4, a $25,000 Semi-Final on Friday, March 7, during week 9, and a $50,000 FEI Final on Sunday, March 23, on the derby field at the Stadium during week 11. Along with competition, there is a “Bridging the Gap” learning series for the competitors.

Artisan Farms is committed to the continued improvement and promotion of competitive show jumping. Based in Wellington, FL, and Vrasene, Belgium, Artisan Farms is home to rising amateur Andy Ziegler, young professional Caitlin Ziegler, 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, and Olympian Tiffany Foster.

Classic Contender and Mindy Coretz Conquer FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters 18-35

The trip from Tulsa, OK, was well worth the effort for Mindy Coretz and her 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Classic Contender. The pair was crowned division champions in the FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter 18-35 division Sunday morning at the FTI WEF. Coretz and Classic Contender won two over fences classes, including the handy round, in addition to jumping to second and seventh place finishes.

The reserve champion for the division was Columbus, owned and ridden by Kathryn Haefner. Haefner piloted Columbus to two blue ribbon finishes, one over fences and one in the under saddle class.

Mindy Coretz and Classic Contender
Mindy Coretz and Classic Contender

Coretz is a student at the University of Tulsa, where she majors in Business Management with a minor in Spanish. She commutes back and forth to the FTI WEF each week while juggling a full course load.

“It can definitely be hard. It’s really stressful to try to manage the time when [riding] takes so much time to begin with, and then you throw in things like flight delays and it can get tricky,” Coretz acknowledged.

But Coretz can’t imagine a life without riding, so she is more than willing to pull out all the stops to make school and her equestrian pursuits both work.

“I’ve had good luck with teachers being understanding,” she related “I typically go directly to them at the beginning of the semester and explain that this is what I do with my time. [I’ll tell them,] ‘I’ll work really hard in your class. I’ll turn things in early. Tell me what you want me to do; I’ll do whatever it takes.'”

Coretz trains with Libby Barrow at home in Oklahoma, but since Barrow doesn’t make the trek to Wellington, she set Coretz up with Valerie Renihan for the season.

“I’ve ridden with [Libby] since they day I turned seven years old,” Coretz smiled. “She was so incredibly kind to set me up with Val. I just took my first lesson with her the day that I arrived in Florida, and she’s been absolutely amazing. I don’t have enough good things to say about her.”

Coretz and Classic Contender, known as “Dan” around the barn, started their partnership last summer, and Coretz has enjoyed getting to know the lovable grey gelding.

“Dan likes to pretend to be a little rough around the edges, but I think he is the sweetest, most cuddly horse in the entire world. It may be because he’s never seen me without food for him, but you do what you’ve gotta do!” she laughed.

In the show ring, Classic Contender’s athletic ability has been the biggest adjustment for Coretz, but his powerful jump doesn’t come at the price of rideability.

“He has the coolest feel to the jumps because he’s such an athlete, and he just needs no help whatsoever. You just let him do his thing, and he fires up great. I’ve had a lot of fun with him,” Coretz concluded.

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will host its third week of competition, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, on Wednesday, January 22, through Sunday, January 26. The week will feature the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m on Wednesday, the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 on Thursday, the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m on Friday, the highlight $125,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night, and the $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

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

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

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

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

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Francois Mathy Perfect in Double H Farm $100,000 International Open Jumpers at Alltech National Horse Show

Francois Mathy and Polinska Des Isles. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, KY – October 31, 2013 – Sometimes it is a rail, sometimes it is an inside turn and sometimes it is just one-tenth of a second separating the winner from the losers. That is exactly what happened during the Double H Farm $100,000 International Open Jumpers at the Alltech National Horse Show. Todd Minikus was aiming for his second win in a row with Quality Girl, completing a clear jump-off effort, when Belgium’s Francois Mathy was faultless during the 14-horse jump-off aboard Polinska Des Isles, crossing the finish line a fraction of a second faster to capture the winning honors.

Forty of the world’s top riders gathered at the Alltech Arena to compete during tonight’s feature class. Conrad Homfeld offered challenging questions for the first round, but 14 horse and rider combinations managed to clear the course and advance to the jump-off.

“I think Conrad was probably surprised that he got a couple extra clear, but he truly is a world class course designer,” noted Minikus. “I think he was trying to make it comfortable to get people’s horses going well. A good course designer gets the horses going well during the week and then tests them on the weekend. I think that’s quite a good job.”

Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, was the second to return for the tiebreaker with Abigail Wexner’s Amadora, and she wore a target on her back when she made tidy work of the course and left each rail in place to finish in 44.22 seconds, which would hold up for third place.

After Madden produced a faultless round, Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, left nothing to chance with his winner from last night’s Taylor Harris $50,000 Open Jumper Welcome Speed, Quality Girl, owned by Chris Brems. The pair was quick over the top of each fence, and they shaved off valuable seconds in each turn to best the clock with a time of 41.51 seconds.

Great Britain’s Tim Gredley was up next with Unex Chamberlain Z, but they would have the most conservative of the double clear efforts in 45.06 seconds for fifth place. Kirsten Coe of Royal Palm Beach, FL, was narrowly faster than Gredley aboard Baronez, owned by Ilan Ferder and Lousta Stuteri. While also leaving each fence in place, the pair broke the beam at 45.01 seconds for fourth place.

The final double clear round in the jump-off proved to be the best of the night. Traveling all the way from Belgium, Francois Mathy’s focus is on Saturday night’s World Cup Qualifier, but tonight he proved that he and Polinska Des Isles, owned by Team Harmony, will be ready for the challenge. They stayed right on Minikus’ track and managed to finish just slightly ahead of his time, dashing across the finish line in 41.42 seconds to capture the victory by just 1/10th of a second.

“To be honest, my mare is really fast, but I really came here in order to get some World Cup points,” admitted Mathy. “I went quite neat; I didn’t think I could beat the time from Todd. It was quite a good surprise when I passed the timer. I didn’t see his round, but I saw yesterday he won by three seconds. He was fast so I didn’t really calculate on beating him and watching his round.”

“It’s all good sport, you know,” stated Minikus. “I live by the theory if you’re not the winner, you’re the loser, but it’s all good sport. Francois gave his horse a heck of a ride and second place is second place.”

Mathy had top placings throughout Spruce Meadows with his 10-year-old mare Polinska Des Isles, including a double clear during the Nations Cup, and they also helped the Belgian team place fifth during the 2013 FEI Nations Cup Finals in Barcelona, Spain. After success in North America during the summer and fall, Mathy decided to spend the indoor season in the United States.

“In Europe, it’s quite difficult to get in to the World Cups,” stated Mathy. “I quite enjoyed my tour in North America, and I thought it’d be a good opportunity for me to try and get a few more points. It’s my first time actually doing Indoors in North America so this is quite a nice beginning. I was quite impressed to see the facility here and all of the organization. Everybody’s very welcoming, and I’m really happy I came.”

McLain Ward and Zander Zip to $50,000 International Open Speed Victory

The National Horse Show Association of America $50,000 International Open Speed, presented by Copernicus and the Coulter Family tested the foot speed of the top mounts over a faults converted track designed by Conrad Homfeld. About midway through the field it looked like young rider Catherine Pasmore had the win in her sights with Vandavid after carefully navigating each obstacle and breaking the beam at a speedy 65.73 seconds.

McLain Ward and Zander
McLain Ward and Zander

Unfortunately, Olympian McLain Ward went a few rounds later with his consistent partner Zander. The pair easily left all the rails intact and galloped efficiently through a bending line early in the course, as well as taking the direct route after one of the double combinations. The plan paid off, and they finished in 63.09 seconds to take a commanding lead.

Ward could not breathe a sigh of relief just yet though. The last rider to tackle the course was Meagan Nusz with Vesuvius, and they stayed right on Ward’s tracks. Taking sharp turns and leaving strides out they were on the money and it looked like they could take the win, but Nusz and Vesuvius stopped the clock at 63.95, just tenths of a second away from the lead for the second place prize, while Ward led the victory gallop.

“Meagan gave me a good run, but it went our way tonight,” admitted Ward. “I was lucky to go late. Last night I had to go very early. Tonight I had a better draw. He has a really big stride, so I was able to leave out a couple of places, and he is a pretty quick horse.”

At just 9 years old with multiple wins to his name, Ward is excited about Zander’s future. “This is Zander’s first time Indoors,” he explained. “He jumped the Grand Prix in Washington last week, and he was good, but a little green. We have been kind of moving him up and down in the shows a little bit. This is a unique show because you have two very big speed classes, and one really big one. With the prize money being as good as it is, this probably wouldn’t be his normal class of the show, but the standards are high and it is good for the horse to learn to do that. I think he is going to be a big top, top horse, he’s almost there.”

Victoria Colvin and Adrienne Sternlicht Capture Junior and Amateur-Owner Victories

Earlier in the day, the jumper action kicked off with the Deeridge Farm $10,000 Junior Jumper Welcome Stake. Eight combinations traversed the track without fault, but it was Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, who proved to have the key to winning aboard her own Monsieur Du Reverdy. After competing in last week’s WIHS Equitation Classic, they transitioned back to the jumper ring, and Colvin utilized her mount’s improved rideability to best the track in 61.967 seconds and led the victory gallop.

Victoria Colvin and Monsieur Du Reverdy
Victoria Colvin and Monsieur Du Reverdy

“He was turning and not jumping as high as usual because we needed to make him ride like a hunter for the equitation,” explained Colvin. “I think he made up time by going forward over the jumps and he turned really fast. I’ve never won a jumper class here, so it’s pretty nice to have won the first one. After doing the equitation I wasn’t sure if he would clear the fences, but he did! It was amazing.”

Katherine Strauss was the last to show with her veteran partner Chellando Z, and although they carefully left strides out and left each rail in place, they fell two seconds short of Colvin’s time in 63.465 seconds for the second place honors. Kalvin Dobbs and Winde, owned by Treesdale Farms, were two seconds slower than Strauss, stopping the clock at 65.145 seconds for third place during the speed class. Charlotte Jacobs and Kachina, owned by Deeridge Farms, rounded out the top four with a clear round in 65.600 seconds.

The Chansonette Farm $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome Stake was up next, and the riders showed over the same speed course to determine the winning combination. Adrienne Sternlicht and Quidam MB set the bar very high midway through the class, easily clearing all of the obstacles and tripping the timers at 66.597 seconds to go to the top of the leader board.

Melissa Rundershuasen entered the Alltech Arena next with Gunner, and while it looked like they might take the lead, 1/10th of a second separated them from Sternlicht as they stopped the clock at 66.656 seconds for the second place honors. Katie Dinan was the last to show with the Grant Road Partners’ Vancouver, but they also fell just shy of Stenlicht with a faultless round in 67.211 seconds to round out the top three and seal Sternlicht’s victory.

“Since there weren’t that many options in the course, I tried to shave off my turns and keep a galloping pace through the course and everything came up really nicely,” smiled Sternlicht. “I thought the course was technical for a speed, but it should be because this is a prestigious show. Quidam MB is only 8 years old, and this is his first show inside. I am a bit green to showing inside, as well, and I haven’t been to Kentucky since I did the ponies. Overall it was a really great experience and I am really proud of him.”

Tomorrow’s highlight events at the 2013 Alltech National Horse Show, 130th edition, will include each of the $15,000 Amateur-Owner and Junior Jumper classes, The Triumph Project $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed class, and the LIFEFORCE Elite $50,000 International Open Jumper Puissance. The weekend will wrap up with the Alltech $250,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix presented by Lifeforce on Saturday night, and the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championships on Sunday.

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

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Colvin Earns Overall Grand Champion Title Once Again at US Junior Hunter National Championships – East

Victoria Colvin and Inclusive, the 2013 US Junior Hunter National Championships – East Overall Grand Champions (ESI Photography)

Lexington, KY – The best junior hunter riders on the east coast travelled to HITS on the Hudson in Saugerties, NY to compete in the 2013 US Junior Hunter National Championships – East, July 29-31. The judging panel consisting of Jeff Ayers (Sellersville, PA), Scott Fitton (Royal Palm Beach, FL), and Hap Hansen (Encinitas, CA) assessed the field of talented riders on the flat and over fences, with courses designed by Rian Beals (Saugerties, NY). After winning the $4,000 Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Classic and $4,000 Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Handy, 15-year-old Victoria Colvin (Loxahatchee, FL) and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Inclusive claimed the Overall Grand Champion title. She and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding won the same title at last year’s east coast championship.

“I had so much fun,” said Colvin. “Inclusive is a great horse. I am grateful that Dr. Betsee Parker lets me ride him. The courses were amazing. I loved the handy. It lets me show his qualities.”

Colvin also won the Small Junior 15 & Under division with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Ovation. She and the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding won the $4,000 Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under Classic and the $2,000 Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under U/S and finished second in the $4,000 Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under Handy.

“I was most proud of Ovation,” remarked Colvin. “He in the past has not loved the ring at Saugerties, but this year he did. Ken [Berkley] and Scott [Stewart] told me to have fun, which I did.”

The Overall Reserve Grand Champion title went to 16-year-old Lillie Keenan (New York, NY) and Jennifer Gates’ Parkland. With the nine-year-old KWPN gelding, Keenan won the $2,000 Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Under Saddle and the $4,000 Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Handy and finished second in the $4,000 Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Classic.

The War Dress Memorial Trophy awarded to the highest scoring mare in the competition went to Danielle Stacy’s Tiffani, ridden by 14-year-old Lili Hymowitz (New York, NY). With the 10-year-old Holsteiner mare, Hymowitz came in second in the $4,000 Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Classic.

To find out more information about the US Junior Hunter National Championships, visit http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/allhunter/JuniorChampionships.aspx.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Unstoppable Victoria Colvin Claims Top Two Spots in $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Victoria Colvin and Inclusive. Photos by Emily Riden.

Lexington, KY – May 12, 2013 – Fifteen-year-old phenom Victoria Colvin has a lengthy winning resume that rivals that of riders two to three times her age. Last night, under the lights at the Kentucky Horse Park, Colvin added both the first and second place finishes in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Dietrich Insurance, to her ever growing list of impressive accomplishments.

Colvin took the early first round lead aboard Listen, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, with scores of 87 and 86 from the two judging panels combined with high option points for a total of 181. Kelley Farmer and Taken, owned by Jessica Stitt of Elburn, IL, came close to surpassing Colvin in the first round with scores of 84.5 and 88 for a grand total of 180.5 with high option points included, but the top spot would remain entirely untouched until Colvin returned to better her top score herself, this time on the back of Inclusive, also owned by Parker.

The Bobby Murphy designed first round course included 11 obstacles, most of which were meant to imitate the types of fences horses and riders would encounter on the hunt field. The course also presented four fences with higher jump options. If cleared successfully, the higher options were each worth an additional point added to each of the judges’ scores. Electing to take all four of the high options, it was over this first round course that Colvin and Inclusive turned in a total score of 188, with scores of 90 from both sets of judges, to take over the lead.

That lead would go utterly untouched the rest of the night, as the top 12 scoring horse and riders returned in reverse order of their position for the handy round. The handy round featured a slightly shortened track of nine obstacles, again including the four higher options as well as a brush fence, a trot fence, a hand gallop to an oxer and numerous opportunities to showcase inside turns that could aid riders in earning points for handiness.

Shawn Casady and Ascot, owned by the HJ Group LLC of Sewickley, PA, returned to the handy round in the eighth place position with scores of 68 and 76 following the first round. Taking all of the high options and exhibiting the horse’s handiness, Casady maneuvered Ascot to second round base scores of 82 and 81 and the eventual sixth place ribbon.

Jennifer Alfano finished the first round in fifth place and maintained that spot through the handy round aboard Rose Hill, owned by Sharon O’Neill of Snyder, NY. Finishing in fourth were Farmer and Taken. After claiming the third place position in the first round, the pair slipped one position with second round scores of 73 and 70, plus a total of 12 points for handiness and 8 points for selecting all four of the higher fence choices.

It was junior rider Meredith Darst who came through in the handy round to edge into the third place position with Tilou, owned by Lochmoor Stables of Lebanon, OH. Darst and Tilou came into the second phase with a scores of 84 and 86, behind Farmer, but with a great display of handiness and the utilization of two of the higher fence options Darst and Tilou earned a second round score of 179 – broken down to two scores of 80, plus a total of 15 handiness points and four points for the two higher fence approaches. The duo’s total two-round score of 355 would guarantee their top three finish.

Victoria Colvin and Listen
Victoria Colvin and Listen

Listen was the first mount Colvin returned to the handy round, and while she already held the first round lead by seven points with Inclusive, Colvin knew she needed to be extra handy to ensure that Listen remained in the top ribbons.

“With Listen I knew I had to go all out,” Colvin explained. “The handy course was good for that. There were lots of places to gallop and places to turn inside and show off your horse. It rode really nicely.”

Those inside turns, gallops and high fence options earned Colvin and Listen second phase scores of 84 and 78 added to 16 handy points and eight high option points, giving the horse and rider combination an overall score of 367.

When it came time for Colvin to return with Inclusive, she knew she only needed a second round combined score of 180 to surpass her overall score on Listen and hold the lead on Inclusive. With that score and the lead easily in her grasp, Colvin took a slightly different and less daring approach with Inclusive.

“With Inclusive, I went around smoothly, and I was a little bit more careful since he was already winning,” Colvin shared.

That strategy paid off. Second round scores of 83 and 94 plus 17 handy points and eight high option points added to their leading first round score for a grand total of 390, guaranteeing the victory gallop for the talented pair.

Following her one-two finish under the lights of the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, Colvin, Listen and Inclusive will head to the Devon Horse Show in Devon, PA. From there, Colvin plans to return with both mounts for the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals held at the Kentucky Horse Park in August. The $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby offers riders a prime opportunity to prepare for the derby final, and the class would not be possible without presenting sponsor Dietrich Insurance.

Dietrich Insurance offers the sport horse community numerous comprehensive equine related insurance products. By staying abreast to the latest market trends, Dietrich Insurance is able to provide programs accommodating individual requirements, through qualified companies at competitive premium prices. For more information on Dietrich Insurance visit http://dietrich-insurance.com/.

Hunter competition continues today as the first week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows comes to a close with the naming of champions in the Junior Hunter and Children’s Hunter divisions. Next week, riders will return to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Spring Classic, with the highlight $5,000 Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby scheduled for Saturday evening.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Kent Farrington and Blue Angel Triumph in $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photo © Sportfot.

Mario Deslauriers and Ardeche van de Zelm Win $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; ASPCA Maclay Awards Two Sections

Wellington, FL, March 3, 2013 – Week eight of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by G&C Farm, concluded on Sunday afternoon with an exciting victory for Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel in the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). In an 11-horse jump-off, Farrington and Blue Angel were 1/100th of a second faster than Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ who finished second. Conor Swail (IRL) and Lansdowne, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, placed third.

Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, was the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for the week. In Sunday’s feature class, 53 entries showed and eleven went clear to advance to the jump-off. In the second round, six cleared the short course without fault, and it was a race to the finish as the times got faster and faster.

Charlie Jayne (USA) and Chill RZ, owned by Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher, showed the way to a clear round in the jump-off and eventually placed sixth with their time of 41.02 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) and Grant Road Partners’ Antares F went next and improved on that time in 38.83 seconds to place fourth. Germany’s Janne Friederike Meyer and Cellagon Lambrasco, owned by Meyer, Friedrich and Anne Sophie, were just 2/100ths of a second slower in 38.85 seconds to take the fifth place prize.

Conor Swail and Lansdowne went next and put on quite a show as they stopped the clock in 38.57 seconds to eventually place third. Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ upped the ante once more as they completed their round in 38.25 seconds. Just when it seemed like Madden might not be beat, Kent Farrington and Blue Angel raced through the timers in 38.24 seconds, just 1/100th of a second faster, to grab the top spot.

Watch an interview with winning rider Kent Farrington
Watch an interview with winning rider Kent Farrington

Farrington’s winning mount, Blue Angel, is an eleven-year-old Anglo European mare by Luidam x Ascendant. Farrington just started riding her in Wellington this winter and as he put it, the pair “sort of jumped into the deep end of the pool,” going for the big classes right away.

“We did the 1.30m, 1.40m, and then we were off and running,” Farrington stated. “Winning with her gives me confidence in what I’ve been doing. I want to continue to try to grow with the horse and really get her into my system and get to know her better.”

“She is a special horse that’s actually the type of horse I grew up riding, more Thoroughbred-type,” Farrington described. “We had a lot of horses off the racetrack and I used to race ponies as a kid, so I’m used to riding really hot, small horses like that. That’s sort of right up my alley.”

In their short time together, Farrington and Blue Angel have had several top finishes, including a second place in this week’s $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8.

“I haven’t ridden it that long, but it’s naturally a fast horse,” Farrington point out. “I have actually practiced a few jump-offs in here. We have come close to winning a few classes – the WEF on Thursday was a speed round and she was second. McLain (Ward) won with a spectacular round that was unbeatable. Today was our day and we got a little redemption.”

Commenting on Sunday’s course, Farrington remarked, “I didn’t think there would be as many clear as there were, but I think that shows the strength of the field today.”

Farrington and second place finisher Beezie Madden are fresh off a win for Team USA in Friday night’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm. Madden and her mount Cortes ‘C’ have had a great season, also including a win in the $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W presented by Spy Coast Farm during week six.

Madden agreed with Farrington’s comment on Sunday’s class. “I thought it was a good course,” she stated. “In a class like this I would prefer a few less clean, but I thought it tested carefulness and scope and a little bravery at the end with the [brush] box going into the triple [combination]. I think he had a really good feel for the horses. A lot of the riders had their top horses in today, so it makes for some very good jumping.”

Madden commented on her round in the jump-off, explaining, “I saw Conor go before me, so I knew it was very, very fast. I was just trying to use my horse’s big stride. I could set off right through the timers fast; I could trust him to jump the first fence clean and just gallop to that, and hope to be really fast to the second fence. I think I eased up a bit to the fifth fence, the oxer. I think I pretty much matched Kent everywhere else. It’s hard to say where you lost a hundredth of a second.”

Third place finisher, Conor Swail, had a great round with Lansdowne but knew he had some fast riders still to come.

“I certainly didn’t think I had it, but I was very happy to go into the lead,” he noted. “Lansdowne is a fantastic horse. He’s now 10 years old and he has jumped a few of these bigger classes. He knows what to do with himself now. I was delighted. I think the top four riders, those rounds would win most grand prixs. It was crazy.”

With a world-class line-up, Sunday’s class certainly proved the talent of the horses and riders in the jump-off. Swail was happy to be a part of the action.

“It’s nice to ride with these guys and be competitive with them,” he acknowledged. “You learn a lot by being in this company. By riding with the best, it’s how we get better. We all enjoy the competition. Any one of us could win each particular day. We never think we cannot win. We want to be on the top.”

Mario Deslauriers and Ardeche van de Zelm Win $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Mario Deslauriers and Ardeche van de Zelm. Photo © Sportfot
Mario Deslauriers and Ardeche van de Zelm. Photo © Sportfot

Earlier in the day on Sunday, Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Ardeche van de Zelm, owned by Mario’s wife Lisa Deslauriers, topped the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. In a class of 41 entries, seven cleared the first round course to advance to the jump-off, and Deslauriers and ‘Ardeche’ completed the only double clear round in a time of 34.87 seconds to earn the victory.

Ardeche is a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Gran Corrado x Darco. After his win on Sunday, Deslauriers explained, “Ardeche is a horse that my wife Lisa rides also, that we have had for several years. It is a great horse. We were having some bad luck with his health for a little while, but we always try to bring him back because we know he is so good and he proved it today. He just had a couple of classes for practice and then he can just go in here and do what he does. He is exceptional.”

“He has won the Queen’s Cup; he has won several grand prixs. We just had a lot of bad luck with him, but touch wood, we keep hoping,” Deslauriers added. “With a horse like that it makes it easy for the rider because you just have to be in range. He is so special and he is just a show horse. He gets in the arena and he hears the bell and he has already picked up the canter. He is very smart and it is just a real joy to ride him.”

Laura Kraut (USA) and A. Lebon’s Jubilee d’Ouilly finished second with four faults in 33.43 seconds. Alonso Valdez Prado (PER) and Quick du Pottier were third with four faults in 34.90 seconds. Daniel Deusser (GER) and Stephex Stables’ Evita van de Veldbalie had four faults in 34.93 seconds. Kraut also took fifth place honors with the Evita Group’s Nouvelle with four faults in 35.51 seconds.

Victoria Colvin and Charlotte Jacobs Put In Blue Ribbon Performances in ASPCA Maclay Sections

The ASPCA Maclay class was split into two sections after entries swelled to over sixty riders during week eight of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Victoria Colvin finished first in Section A, presented by Sidelines Magazine, aboard Asparagus, a 19-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Missy Clark. Caitlin Boyle and her horse Loredo were second followed by Jack Morgan’s third place finish aboard Allison Haupt’s Vangoch.

Charlotte Jacobs rode Catherine Tyree’s Patrick to first place in Section B, presented by Alessandro Albanese. Gabrielle Bausano was second to Jacobs with her own Calito 7. The top three was rounded out by Lucille Green and her horse Accord.

Victoria Colvin and Asparagus. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Victoria Colvin and Asparagus. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, barely had time to prepare for her winning round after quickly hopping on Asparagus following her rounds that morning in the jumper ring. “I didn’t even have the chance to walk,” Colvin admitted. “I just got here and went in and rode the course, and it went pretty well,” she smiled.

Not surprisingly, the ever-humble Colvin gave the credit to her experienced mount, Asparagus. “I’ve shown him only a few times at WEF and he’s just perfect!” Colvin described. “He’s done everything so he never sets a foot wrong. He just keeps his head still and has a nice jump that won’t pop you out of the tack.”

A challenging combination that riders were asked to do was a figure-eight through jumps set up with hay bales and it proved too daunting for many riders, however Colvin welcomed the challenge. “I liked the ‘hay bale’ combination because it had so much turning, which I always enjoy,” Colvin commented.

Jacobs, of East Aurora, NY, and Patrick also had no problem navigating the challenging course, designed by Skip Bailey. “The course was fun. I like that there were a lot of natural obstacles included. It’s a different experience,” Jacobs described.

“All of the horses were a little fresh with the weather being a little cold and windy, and Patrick had two weeks off before this,” Jacobs continued. “He was a little bit fresh, but I like that.”

Charlotte Jacobs and Patrick. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Charlotte Jacobs and Patrick. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Jacobs is leasing Patrick from barn mate Catherine Tyree, who aged out of junior divisions last year. “He’s been amazing. He’s a lot like my other equitation horse, Stallone VDL, so we clicked pretty much right away. We work really well together,” Jacobs explained.

“Patrick is just perfect. I love him and he’s so much fun to ride. He has the best canter and is just a very nice horse,” Jacobs concluded.

Both Jacobs and Colvin have their eye on ASPCA Maclay Finals in November. Jacobs and Colvin have already accumulated enough points to qualify and look forward to competing in one of the country’s most prestigious equitation competitions.

Sunday’s class concluded hunter and equitation competition for week eight of the FTI WEF, sponsored by G&C Farm. Week nine of competition will run March 6-10, 2013, and is sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

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

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

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

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

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