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:

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

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

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

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 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

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