McLain Ward and ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH Take $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final; Eve Jobs and Beth Von Brecht Victorious in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers; Annabel Revers Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship and Best Child Rider Title
Washington, D.C – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured a wide range of equestrian sport on Friday showcasing the grace, power, and speed of some of the world’s finest horses and riders. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire was victorious with Luibanta BH in the $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final. Eve Jobs riding Calizz and Beth Von Brecht aboard Melody earned wins in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The Junior Hunters concluded their competition for the week, presenting their Grand Junior Hunter Championship to MTM Hands Down and the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse to Annabel Revers.
A fantastic day of competition concluded with the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, where six horses and riders attempted the impressive wall, and USA’s McLain Ward and Aaron Vale tied for first place with clear rounds jumping seven feet.
Reaching Great Heights in the Puissance
The Puissance began with the wall set at 1.72m (5’8”) in height and moved all the way up to 2.13m (7’) through five rounds of competition. All six horse and rider combinations cleared the first round at 5’8”. Danielle Torano (USA) jumped the Puissance for the first time riding her own and Jimmy Torano’s Cash and faulted in round two to finish sixth. Kama Godek (USA) and her own De Grande, and Andrew Kocher (USA) riding Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia, each cleared 1.85m (6’1”) and knocked the wall down in round three to finish in a tie for fourth place. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms’ Mr. Visto cleared three rounds up to 1.97m (6’6”) and dropped a block in round four to place third.
Aaron Vale riding Thinks Like a Horse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and McLain Ward aboard his own ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z, cleared round four at 2.00m (6’9”) and continued on to a fifth and final round at 2.13m (7’). Two veterans of Puissance competition, with Ward having won this class seven times and Vale twice. Each rider guided their mount easily over the imposing height, ending in a tie.
Remarking on the excitement and great competition of the night, Vale stated, “Puissance at Washington on Friday night is always a big night. There are lots of people in the stands, and they always cheer a lot. It is good to have a class where two horses went pretty far. It was a good class.”
Ward agreed, “This has always been a special night at Washington. Both Aaron and I have a good history in this class and we enjoy it and the crowd enjoys it. It is nice when it works out well.”
Ward and ZZ Top, a 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Zandor Z x Latus), also tied for a win in the Puissance in Central Park in September, clearing 6’9”.
Commenting on his horse’s effort Friday night, Ward noted, “This is only the second time I’ve shown him, so as far as I know this is the biggest he has jumped. He is a wonderful horse. I have bought and sold him a couple of times now. He has been a great horse for many people and after this he will probably go and be a great teacher for somebody else next year.”
Vale plans to jump Finou 4, a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding (For Pleasure x Concetto), in Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, and used the Puissance as preparation to jump the big fences.
He explained, “He is a very fresh, energetic horse, so my plan was to jump him tonight to hopefully take the edge off him and give him some focus for tomorrow. He has a lot of power and he is pretty limber, so I had an idea he could maybe jump a big fence pretty well. The class was great fun and hopefully it sets me up pretty well for tomorrow night.”
Ward and Vale were awarded The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober, as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. They were also presented The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, for the owners of the winning horses.
Derbyshire Dashes to Victory in International Speed Final
Prior to the Puissance, the $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format with a win for Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire riding David Gochman’s Luibanta BH. The pair was first to go, and cleared Alan Wade’s (IRL) speed course in a time of 54.72 seconds that held on through 21 rounds for the win.
McLain Ward (USA) and his own Malou were faster, but added two seconds to their time with one rail down, finishing close behind in 54.87 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S also dropped one rail, but with a very fast time, to place third on 55.19 seconds.
Derbyshire has been to WIHS six times helping with the Gochman Family’s Baxter Hill horses and riders, but this is the first time that she has competed herself. She just started showing Luibanta BH, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Luidam x Abantos), at the end of August and this is their fourth show together.
“I am very proud of her. She is eight years old, and she has never been to a venue like this before,” Derbyshire detailed. “She is fazed by nothing so far that we have ever put her to, so I am thrilled. She just tries her heart out every time. She really is so special.”
Commenting on her round and going first to set the challenge, Derbyshire explained, “I saw the order online this afternoon, and I said, ‘Well, I just have to give it all I’ve got.’ So I did. I did the right strides everywhere and then I did leave one stride out in the last line. I was trying to go as fast as I could. I thought at the end they were all going to beat me, but thankfully they didn’t. Last time McLain and I were in a speed class together, he was first and I was second, so it was kind of nice for it to be the other way around for once. For sure it won’t happen very often, but it was nice tonight.”
Remarking on her first experience competing at WIHS, and one of the biggest wins of her career, Derbyshire stated, “This is pretty special. It has been so much fun. It has been tiring; we haven’t had much sleep, but it has been better than I ever expected.
“We have a show like this in England called the Horse of the Year Show, and I would say this is comparable to that,” Derbyshire added. “The ring is small, the crowds are big, and it is really special. I have watched the competition here for the last few years, the international classes at night, and this year I thought that I would like to do it. This year I got two horses good enough to do it, so I am lucky for that.”
Luibanta BH will now have a few weeks off before picking up again at the Holiday & Horses competition in Wellington, FL at the end of November. Derbyshire then plans to show the mare in Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival.
In the “Jump for TAPS” Challenge, 21 riders were clear over the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) jump in the speed class, raising $21,000 for the WIHS Official Military Charity.
Revers Leads Junior Hunters
The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship, sponsored by Shamrock Ventures, was awarded to Beechwood Stables’ MTM Hands Down ridden by Annabel Revers of Weston, MA. The pair was presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds. Revers then earned the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse, sponsored by Gotham North, and received the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.
On the way to earning the grand championship, Revers took championship honors in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, with MTM Hands Down. The pair placed first, first, and second over fences. David Gochman’s Papyrus ridden earned the reserve championship with a win under saddle ridden by Taylor St. Jacques and third, third, and sixth place ribbons over fences with Mimi Gochman in the irons.
Revers also took home the reserve championship in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by the Wasserman Foundation, with Beechwood Stables’ Kingpin. The pair won two classes and placed fourth in one class over fences. Emma Kurtz guided David Gochman’s Wisdom to that championship with a win under saddle and over fences, as well as two fourth-place ribbons over fences.
Grand champion, MTM Hands Down, is a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding that Revers has had for almost three years. “Cody,” as he is known in the barn, lives at Revers’ farm in Massachusetts and has a special bond with his young rider since she gets to see and ride him almost every day.
“He doesn’t live with my trainer, so I know him really well and I have a really strong bond with him since he does live at home,” Revers stated. “I think that is a really special thing for me since I have had him for so long. I feel like he has been knocking on the door and coming really close to having a major championship a couple of times, but this is the first really big thing that he has won in a while, so it is really exciting.
“He might not be your traditional hunter,” Revers detailed. “He goes in a little bit more of a frame than my horse Kingpin, but he is a really soft ride and I was happy that he was so brave with the atmosphere here today. He just has a great jump and a really comfortable canter, so he is a really fun ride for me.”
Revers and Kingpin had a fantastic year that included a Grand Championship at the Hampton Classic Horse Show and Best Child Rider titles at the Hampton Classic and Upperville Horse Shows.
“Kingpin is more of your traditional hunter,” the rider explained. “I can really get a good gallop with him and just find the distances. They come out of stride really nicely with his pace. I try to keep a very consistent pace around, which he is really good at, and I think his jump is just awesome. He is really fun and soft, and it is so fun to have confidence in him and be able to gallop and show off a good pace.”
For their winning stake round with a high score of 93 on Friday, Revers and Kingpin earned the award for best Junior Hunter stake to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy. Revers was also presented with the Georgetown Trophy as the high score Junior Hunter Rider on a Horse.
“That was probably my favorite round that I have ever had with him,” said Revers, who has owned Kingpin for almost two years. “I think that it was so good because I was able to keep the same pace all the way around and all of the distances just came up right out of stride. He jumped amazing, so I was really happy with it.”
Commenting on winning the Best Child Rider on a Horse award, Revers added, “It is really exciting. I was just excited to show that I could consistently ride well over the course of the show, which is something that I have really been working on over the last couple of years.”
Revers has trained with Olympian Peter Wylde for two years and had her trainer by her side throughout the week’s competition. Commenting on her success, Wylde stated, “Annabel is incredibly talented. She has a great eye. She rides forward to the jumps, which a lot of kids don’t, and she has a beautiful position. Horses jump well for her. She is harmonious with the horse, which promotes good jumping. She rode absolutely beautifully this week in every jumping round. Through her riding, these horses have gotten better and better. Cody (MTM Hands Down), I think went the best he has ever jumped for us this week.”
Revers’ next stop is the CP National Horse Show in Kentucky next week. She then plans to work on moving up to the High Junior Jumpers in the coming year.
The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Rose Hill Farm, also presented championship honors on Friday. The championship tricolor went to Laura Wasserman’s Boss, ridden by Katherine Dash, with a win over fences and under saddle. Hunter Holloway showed Vlock Show Stables’ Boris to reserve honors, with first, fourth, and sixth place ribbons over fences and a third place finish under saddle.
Mountain Home Stables’ As Always and Hunter Siebel earned the championship in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by the ALTEC/Styslinger Foundation, to conclude hunter competition for the day. The pair earned a win and two second-place finishes over fences and capped their week off with a third place ribbon under saddle. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. Hunter Holloway and Hays Investment Corp.’s The Governor won two classes over fences to take reserve honors.
Also competing earlier on Friday, the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals saw matching scores of 96 at the top for Hunter Holloway riding Any Given Sunday and Lucy Deslauriers with Class Action. Kendra Gierkink, Taylor St. Jacques, Madison Goetzmann, and Maya Nayyar round out the top six riders heading into Saturday’s jumper phase. Holloway placed first in the WIHS Equitation Final Hunter Phase based on her higher score from the Judge 1 panel.
The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.
Jobs and Von Brecht Top Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
WIHS hosted the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers in their first jump-off classes of the week on Friday afternoon with wins for Eve Jobs and Beth Von Brecht.
The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, saw 21 entries, with seven clear rounds to advance to the jump-off and three double clears. Eve Jobs of Palo Alto, CA, won for the second day in a row. She topped Thursday’s speed class with Sandor de le Pomme and won Friday’s jump-off with another mount named Calizz. The pair clocked the winning time of 28.66 seconds and was presented with the Cover Story Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Farm.
Katherine Strauss and All In were the runners up for the second day in a row with their time of 29.30 seconds. Brian Moggre and Major Wager LLC’s MTM Flutterby stopped the clock in 29.75 seconds to place third. Madison Goetzmann and her own Wrigley were fastest in the jump-off in 27.46 seconds, but dropped one rail to finish fourth.
The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family, with 23 entries and six advancing to the jump-off. Only one combination was able to clear the short course without fault. Beth Von Brecht and her own Melody jumped double clear in 34.41 seconds for the win. The pair was awarded the Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.
Madison Dehaven and her own Chanel finished second with four faults in 32.61 seconds. Louisa Brackett and her own Memphis Belle placed third with four faults in 33.41 seconds.
Competition continues on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Staysail Farm. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals will close out the afternoon session.
The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, will conclude the night. For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.