Tag Archives: Victoria Colvin

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.

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

Victoria Colvin Secures USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular Title

Cian O’Connor and Walk Tall II Win $25,000 Suncast Championship Jumper Classic

Wellington, FL – February 23, 2013 – Week seven of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Hermès , continued on Saturday with the $50,000 USHJA World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular. Fifteen-year-old Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, took home her second win in a row in the prestigious class, this year riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Ovation to victory. Previous winners filled the second place spots; Liza Boyd and Brunello placed second, while Louise Serio and Castle Rock were third.

Hunter horses and riders have been showcased throughout week seven of the FTI WEF during WCHR competition, featured in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Saturday night’s Hunter Spectacular competition saw the best of the FTI WEF’s Professional, Amateur and Junior riders, who qualified for the class during competition for their respective divisions throughout the week.

Four panels of two judges each were on hand for the class, each stationed at different points around the arena. The judges for the class included: Panel 1 – Danny Robertshaw and Mary Lisa Leffler, Panel 2 – Scott Williamson and Bill Moroney, Panel 3 – Rachel Kennedy and Scott Hofstetter, Panel 4 – Julie Winkel and Patrick Rodes.

The competitors with the top twelve scores from round one advanced to the second round of the class; among them was the 2012 Hunter Spectacular winner, Victoria Colvin (who won last year with Way Cool). Colvin returned this year on another of Dr. Betsee Parker’s mounts, Ovation, and set the bar high for the night’s competition with a score of 91.5 early on. The duo finished with a second round score of 90.37 for a top score of 181.87.

Colvin was elated to win the Hunter Spectacular two years in a row, especially in such good company as Boyd and Serio.

“Winning two years in a row is amazing. It feels really great. There’s amazing riders in this class, including lots of professionals. It’s great to compete against them,” Colvin stated.

“This year, I was on a different horse. I think this was Ovation’s first or second time under the lights, so I didn’t know how he was going to be, but I felt strong going into the second round and was confident that he was going to be good,” Colvin continued.

Colvin did not put any extra pressure on herself or Ovation to repeat last year’s win. “I don’t really get nervous,” the fifteen-year-old phenom simply explained.

“Ovation is pretty straight-forward and very smooth across the ground,” Colvin described of her winning mount, a thirteen-year-old Warmblood gelding.

Brunello, a fifteen-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Janet Peterson and Boyd, was the only horse to compete at the four-foot height and was first on course for round two. The pair made their presence known in no uncertain terms, galloping to an impressive 91.5 right off the bat.  While no one caught their score, combined with their first round score of 86.5, their total score of 178 put them in second place.

“It was a little hard to go back to back,” Boyd admitted. “He actually went better the second round. He’s older now and he likes the pressure. I just went in I said, ‘We’re going for it, buddy.’ We were sitting in eighth and both of us just weren’t quite as pumped up the first round, and you have to get that way with him. You kind of have to give him blood and get him excited.”

Boyd was incredibly impressed by course designer Steve Stephens’ ingenious approach to the night’s courses. “You had to be a rider. It wasn’t just your typical outside, diagonal hunter course and I like to see that these days. I think that the hunters are going that direction and it makes them jump crisper and higher and it’s fun. It makes us better riders in the long run. I think Steve has helped that in a very good way,” Boyd stated.

Boyd likened tonight’s competition to the World Cup Finals of the hunter world, emphasizing the importance of showcasing hunter competition. “It’s a really big deal for us to have this show. It’s nice for us to get highlighted,” Boyd explained.

“All three of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our owners. We have great owners that believe in our program and we wouldn’t be here without them. They’re horses of a lifetime and we’re just really lucky to have them in our lives,” Boyd emphasized.

The only pair to beat Colvin and Ovation in round one was veteran competitors Louise Serio and Castle Rock, a fourteen-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Bryan Baldwin. Castle Rock and Serio also received a score of 91.5, but had a higher score from the tie-breaker judge’s panel. Serio and Castle Rock couldn’t catch Colvin and Ovation during round two, scoring an 86.18 for a total score of 177.6.

“Castle Rock was more relaxed the second round. I was a lot more nervous,” Serio admitted. “It’s hard [going last] when you’re in that hot seat. He’s just a wonderful horse and he just gives you confidence and always tries so hard.”

Serio had equally high praise as Boyd did for Stephens’ course design. “I think what’s really fantastic is that he’s done the Olympics and put as much time and thought into this for us as he did for that, or at least it feels like it,” Serio stated.

“I think that course made the class. I think our horses rose to the occasion. They weren’t taxed too much, but they were taxed enough to jump really well. The lines rode beautifully and he’s just an amazing course designer,” Serio continued.

Serio was equally complimentary of the WCHR showcase throughout week seven of the FTI WEF. “I think it’s really amazing how important it is as a rider to get into this class. I’ve been doing this a long time and I stress every year about getting into this class,” Serio emphasized. “You see everybody gearing up and working for it and trying to get in it. It’s really fun to see that and I think it’s really great to see the class go so well.”

The WCHR Calcutta, hosted in the International Club immediately prior to the class’s start, raised $28,500. Proceeds will benefit the USHJA Foundation.

The Peter Wetherill Cup was awarded to Lynn Rice, owner of Gramercy Park. The Peter Wetherill Cup was established in October of 2011 to honor the life and legacy of well-known equestrian, Peter Wetherill, and to recognize the WCHR “Hunter of the Year.” Rice was joined for the presentation by Gramercy Park’s professional rider and trainer, Tom Brennan and Tony Workman.

Several other special awards recognized the night’s top competitors following round one of competition. The Charlie Weaver Memorial award, which recognizes the conformation horse with the highest average score during round one, was awarded to Taken, ridden by Kelley Farmer and owned by Jessica Stitt.

Empire, ridden by Peter Pletcher and owned by David Gochman, was recognized as the Best Conditioned Horse of round one with the Mark Gregory Memorial Award. Empire is groomed by Gustavo Hernandez.

Amateur-Owner and Junior Hunter Division Champions

Amateur-Owner and Junior riders had qualified for the evening’s class only a few hours prior, with divisions awarding championship honors earlier on Saturday.  The Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division saw championship honors go to Lexi Maounis and her eleven-year-old Hanoverian mare Sienna. Sienna and Maounis were first and sixth over fences during day one and secured the championship title with a first place finish in Saturday’s stake round. Reserve champion was Humor Me and Stephanie Danhakl, who were fifth and first over fences.

Lexi Maounis and Sienna. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography
Lexi Maounis and Sienna. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Maounis was thrilled to secure a spot in Saturday night’s prestigious Hunter Spectacular class. “It’s so special to win during Hunter Week. She’s been champion the past few weeks here [at WEF] and I’m just so happy we could do it again.”

Maounis’s always dependable mare was unfazed by the wide open spaces of the International Arena. “She was perfect in the International Ring. The handy was just really fun, especially getting to do the tight turns with her,” Maounis commented.

Rock Steady and Katie Robinson triumphed in the Hunt Limited Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division. Robinson and her thirteen-year-old Warmblood gelding were first and second over fences during day one of competition and finished second over fences and third under saddle on day two. Reserve champion was Gia, ridden by Katie Gibson.

The pair was first and third over fences and seventh under saddle.

Robinson described Rock Steady as her perfect match, and credited their success to his love of the show ring. “He’s got just the right amount of sass. He gets to the jumps and has fun with it. He just enjoys showing,” stated Robinson.

This week is the highlight for many hunter competitors at the FTI WEF, and Robinson welcomes the extra attention it brings to hunter riders and horses. “Hunter Week really is a special week. It’s so nice to be showcased and to get out in the big ring.  It’s nice to feel special and it’s so much fun,” Robinson described.

Junior rider divisions also competed throughout the day on Saturday for a spot in the night class, beginning with the Antares Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division. Tori Colvin and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Inclusive were champions of the division after placing fifth under saddle and sweeping the over fences classes. Reserve champion was Kyle Owens’ Cinema, ridden by Kirklen Peterson. The pair was fourth and second over fences.

Colvin also emerged victorious with Ovation in the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division. Ovation won the under saddle class and placed second, first and third over fences. Reserve champion of the division was Whatever, owned and ridden by Vivian Yowan. Yowan and Whatever were fifth under saddle and third, second and first over fences.

Colvin is already a veteran competitor in the Hunter Spectacular despite only being fifteen, and was especially pleased to have two of her mounts qualify. “Every win is significant to me, but it’s really special to win during Hunter Week. WCHR is the biggest show of WEF, and it’s an honor to win at WEF in general,” Colvin stated.

Colvin described her mounts – Inclusive, a ten-year-old Warmblood gelding, and Ovation, a thirteen-year-old Warmblood gelding – as an exceptionally talented pair.

“[Ovation] is an amazing mover, and he just sweeps across the ground. He may not jump as well as Inclusive, but he creates such a pretty picture that the judges always love him,” Colvin described.

“Inclusive just has an unreal jump,” Colvin continued. “He was great today and is an amazing horse. He’s very easy to ride; you can just let go and let him do his job. He gets up to the jump and just snaps his legs up perfectly.”

The older Junior divisions wrapped up the qualifying rounds for the Hunter Spectacular. Garfield and Alexandra Crown triumphed in the Antarés Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division after the pair jumped to first, second, and second place finishes over fences and fourth place under saddle.  Reserve champion was Chansonette Farm, LLC’s Madison, ridden by Lillie Keenan. Keenan and Madison were second, second and third over fences and third under saddle.

Crown and Garfield have accumulated an array of championship titles at the FTI WEF, but edging out the competition at Hunter Week was especially meaningful for Crown.

“A lot of people wait to come [to the FTI WEF] this week just to show during Hunter Week. The judging is a little harder, the courses are harder, but Garfield was on it today. He’s always perfect though,” Crown grinned.

Keenan and Jennifer Gates’ Parkland, another duo intimately familiar with the FTI WEF championship circle, unsurprisingly won the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division. Parkland, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding, and Keenan clinched this week’s title with three blue ribbon finishes and one third place round over fences in addition to another first place prize under saddle. Reserve champion of the Small Junior 16-17 division was Good Humor, owned and ridden by Madeleine Thatcher.

“This horse makes me feel pretty confident all the time,” Keenan admitted. “He was a lot of fun in the International Ring today. He has a huge stride, so to be able to go in a big ring like this and gallop around is a lot of fun for both of us.”

Cian O’Connor and Walk Tall II Win $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Week seven of the 2013 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continued on Saturday afternoon with the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic featured on the grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC. Richard Jeffery, of Bournemouth, England, is the course designer on the derby field for the week. On Saturday afternoon, Jeffery set the track for 31 entries in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Only three entries cleared the first round course to advance to the jump-off, and two cleared the short course. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and Darragh Kenny finished first and second.

Cian O'Connor and Walk Tall II. Photo © Sportfot
Cian O’Connor and Walk Tall II. Photo © Sportfot

Young American rider Blythe Marano was the first rider to jump-off aboard Riverview Farm, LLC’s Urban and finished with eight faults in 48.83 seconds to place third. Darragh Kenny and Cavallo Farms, LLC’s Twister jumped next and cleared the jump-off course in 45.22 seconds to finish second. Last to go, Cian O’Connor and Ronnoco Jump Ltd.’s Walk Tall II took the win with their time of 43.53 seconds.

Both of the top horse and rider combinations in Saturday’s class came in strong with wins earlier in the week. Kenny and Twister won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class on Wednesday and O’Connor and Walk Tall II topped Friday’s $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. Saturday’s course on the grass tested many of the competitors on the roster, but they both mastered the track.

A new horse for Olympian Cian O’Connor, Walk Tall II is an eleven-year-old Anglo European gelding by Kannan x Farhaan. Walk Tall previously showed with Irish rider Keith Doyle and won last year’s Queen’s Cup in Hickstead. O’Connor got the horse just before Christmas but did a lot of traveling before coming to Florida, so this was their first show together.

“He is a really talented horse,” O’Connor stated after the class. “He has had good results before. He won a big class in Hickstead last year, so he likes the big open space and I think the field suited him well today.”

“He has been ridden by the same rider since he was four, so I am a different rider and it takes time to adjust,” O’Connor noted. “I just feel that we are getting to know each other a little bit better today after just a few classes. In our second week jumping he won a 1.40m yesterday and a 1.50m today, so I can’t really ask for much better than that. If I can train him to listen to me and understand me and really get all of the gears, I think I can jump any course. He is so careful and so brave.”

The rider described Walk Tall further, explaining the details that they are working out as they get to know each other. “He has a very big stride,” O’Connor said. “Ideally, you’d want a horse to have a big stride and a short stride, but he has not learned the short bit yet, so that can present problems sometimes if you are not extremely on the ball yourself when riding. You have to adjust quite quickly when landing if the distance is quiet, but he is very willing and honest and he is super careful. He is by Kannan, which is French, out of an Irish mother. He has a lot of blood. When you warm up outside he is not that impressive, and then when you go into the ring he is really careful, so it is a good attribute. He saves energy for the class.”

Last to go in the jump-off, O’Connor was warming up when the other two riders jumped, but he asked U.S. rider Kent Farrington to watch their rounds and report.

“It was a great advantage going last,” O’Connor acknowledged. “I had asked Kent to keep an eye on proceedings for me. Sometimes it is quite hard to concentrate when you are warming up. I watched Darragh Kenny go out of the corner of my eye. I thought he was neat because he did an inside turn inside the water to the double of verticals. I said to Kent, ‘I won’t beat him because I don’t want to take that turn yet’, and Kent said that I could be quicker if I kept the rhythm up and went around, so it was great to have Kent there for that bit of advice.”

O’Connor is done showing now for week seven and will be gearing up for week eight’s CSIO competition and $75,000 FEI Furusiyya Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm. He hopes to help the Irish team to victory.

“We are happy with our week and we have a big week next week for the Nations Cup,” O’Connor stated. “I hope to be jumping Splendor on the team and hopefully we have a good result there. The Nations Cup is important here. We have so many Irish riders based here in Wellington and they have great sponsors and supporters, so it would be really nice to give them all something to cheer about.”

The Irish team will be named next week.

Week seven of the FTI WEF will conclude on Sunday with the highlight $50,000 Hermès Jumper Derby featured on the grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC at 3 p.m. WCHR competition will conclude in the International Arena featuring the Peggy Cone Adult Amateur Hunter Classic. The Children’s and Pony Hunter divisions will also complete their competition for the week. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

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

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

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

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

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

Spencer Smith and Skara Glen’s Voltan H Top Griffis Residential High Junior Jumpers at WEF 4

Victoria Colvin Triumphs in Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search

Spencer Smith and Skara Glen's Voltan H. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2013 -Week four of the2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Friday with the junior and amateur-owner riders beginning their jumper competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). In the first class of the morning, 16-year-old Wellington resident Spencer Smith jumped to victory in the $1,500 Griffis Residential High Junior Jumper Power and Speed class aboard Skara Glen’s Voltan H.

Week four of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, will continue through February 3. The week will feature the $100,000 Fidelity Investments CSI 2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening and the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Continue reading Spencer Smith and Skara Glen’s Voltan H Top Griffis Residential High Junior Jumpers at WEF 4

Victoria Colvin and Inclusive Crowned Junior Hunter Grand Champions

Victoria Colvin and Inclusive captured the Overall Grand Junior Hunter Championship. Photo By: Shawn McMillen

Lexington, KY – November 3, 2012 – The Alltech Arena was filled with top junior talent as riders showcased their mounts during the handy and stake classes this afternoon at the Alltech National Horse Show, 129th Edition. Victoria Colvin and Inclusive were awarded the Large Junior 15 and Under Championship for their efforts throughout the division. They were also presented with the Overall Junior Hunter Grand Championship for their first-rate placings over the last two days.

Inclusive with Victoria Colvin in the irons earned the top call in the $7,500 Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter Stake this afternoon. Coupled with their sweep of the over fences yesterday, they scored the division’s championship tricolor. Hannah Showell and Just Dessert, owned by Rolling Acres Farm of Brookeville, MD, rode to the reserve championship honors with their consistent ribbons.

“He is jumping higher and higher, to the in and out today he really surprised me with his jump,” Colvin laughed. “It can be a little surprising. He gets there and just explodes of the ground. He is getting more comfortable with showing.”

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Hunters Claim Center Stage during Opening Day of Alltech National Horse Show

Elizabeth Boyd and Casallo go double blue for first day of the Regular Conformation Hunter division. Photos by: Rebecca Walton and Kendall Bierer/PMG

Lexington, KY – October 30, 2012 – The historic Alltech National Horse Show got underway today at the Alltech Arena, part of the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Today, the professional hunter divisions took center stage as they began competing for top honors during their over fences and handy classes. Elizabeth Boyd had winning rounds aboard Casallo in the Regular Conformation Hunters, while Scott Stewart and Enjoy led the First Year Green Working Hunter division. Chris Payne and Jennifer Alfano also took home winning honors as the horse show began its week-long series of events, while 14-year-old Victoria Colvin captured two blue ribbons in the Second Year Green Working Hunters with Inclusive.

The Regular Conformation Hunters presented by Dr. Betsee Parker and Huntland kicked things off this morning, where Elizabeth Boyd and Casallo, owned by Erin McGuire of Cornelius, NC, proved to be a dominating force. They scored the blue ribbon in both over fences classes and placed second in the model for an early lead in the division.

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Esse and Colvin Capture 2012 US Junior Hunter Championship Titles

Overall Grand Champion Small Affair and Overall Reserve Grand Champion Illusion, both ridden by Olivia Esse, at the 2012 US Junior Hunter Championship West (Captured Moment Photography)

Lexington, KY – For the eleventh consecutive year, champions were crowned at the US Junior Hunter Championship, utilizing a three round format. On July 23-24, competitors contested the West Coast portion of the championship at the Del Mar Horsepark in Del Mar, CA. With competition for the East Coast held in Lexington, KY July 24-25 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Olivia Esse rode Small Affair to champion honors in Del Mar, while Victoria Colvin and Inclusive were the winners in Lexington.

West Coast

Esse put forth a dominating effort in the West Coast portion of the US Junior Hunter Championship by collecting Overall Grand Champion and Overall Reserve Grand Champion honors. A total of 47 competitors rode before the judging panel of Rob Gage, Chrystine Tauber, and Geoff Teall but none would be able to catch the Calabasas, CA native.

Continue reading Esse and Colvin Capture 2012 US Junior Hunter Championship Titles