Category Archives: USHJA

Jennifer Bliss and Flight Soar to Top of Standings in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Jennifer Bliss and Flight ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – May 14, 2022 – The fifth and final week of the ESP Spring Series held its featured class for hunter competitors on the grass Derby Annex at Equestrian Village on Friday. Jennifer Bliss and Flight captured their second consecutive win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, after jumping to a two-round score of 179.

Deywi Rodriguez was the recipient of the Schneiders Groom Award following the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby as the groom of the winning derby horse. As part of the recognition, Rodriguez was presented with a bag of high-quality grooming supplies courtesy of Schneiders Tack.

Derby action continued on Saturday with the $1,000 2’6”- 2’9” Hunter Derby presented by Score at the Top, which offered less-experienced horses a chance to test derby-styled courses. Topping a field of 12 competitors, Katie Giddings and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang captured the win.

In the USHJA Hunter 2’/2’6″ division, presented by 100X Equine, Ki-Juan Minors of Wellington, FL received top honors with Wiser Now, owned by Laura Ojemann. The pair championed the division after placing consistent performances in all five of the division’s classes, earning a first and a second-place ribbon, two third-place ribbons, and a fourth-place ribbon.

Keri Kampsen captured the tricolor ribbon in the 3’ Green Hunter division with Randee Cherner’s Eliot Du Banney. The partnership was awarded three first-place ribbons which included two over-fences classes and the under saddle, to accrue the most points towards the overall championship honors.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Jennifer Bliss and Flight Land the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Jennifer Bliss and Flight ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – May 7, 2022 – The Spring IV week of the ESP Spring Series saw hunters compete on the grass Derby Annex field of Equestrian Village throughout the week. The week’s feature class for hunter competitors took place on Friday, with Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL and Dandelion Farm LLC’s Flight topping a field of 16 competitors to capture their first derby win together thanks to two high-scoring rounds in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline.

As the groom of the winning derby horse, Deywi Rodriguez was the recipient of the Schneiders Groom Award following the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. As part of the recognition, Rodriguez was presented with a bag of high-quality grooming supplies courtesy of Schneiders Tack.

On Saturday afternoon, competitors jumped for the blue ribbon in the $1,000 2’6″-2’9″ Hunter Derby, presented by Score At The Top. Nabbing the win by more than ten points, Samantha Senft of Wellington, FL and her own La Roux 11 led the victory gallop with a total score of 177 points.

Ava Scharbo of Winnetka, IL and her own Logan impressed in the USHJA 3’ Hunter division, presented by Perfect Products. Though the pair only competed in three of the division’s five classes, they earned first place in all of their showings, which included two over-fences classes and the under saddle, to accrue the most points towards the overall championship honors.

In the 15-17 Equitation, Natalie Groulx of Bloomfield Hills, MI piloted Kate Abajian’s Lambada to a dominating victory in the divisional standings. The partnership was awarded three first-place finishes in three classes to earn the championship tricolors by a wide margin.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Paul O’Shea and Chancelloress Win $140k CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Series Final

Paul O’Shea and Chancelloress. © Sportfot.

Competition for “Saturday Night Lights” during week 11, sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was packed with action during the circuit’s penultimate week. While hunter riders had the opportunity to take center stage on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village over the weekend in both international and national derby events, show jumpers took to the Wellington International Arena to compete for the top prize in the $140,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final. In a mad dash across the finish line, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Chancelloress claimed the leading spot.

The night culminated with both an overall series champion as well as the final class winner. Spectators in the night’s crowd were treated to extra excitement as the new name of the venue, Wellington International, was revealed prior to the first horse on course. Course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) raised an impressive challenge to the field of 48 starters representing 17 nations, and only five of the original entries managed to earn a slot for the short track. The jump-off came down to a battle between the U.S. and Ireland as Spencer Smith (USA), Laura Kraut (USA), and Alex Matz (USA) took on countrymen Mark McAuley (IRL) and O’Shea.

With three to follow, McAuley was the first to produce a double-clear effort in a tidy time of 36.97 seconds aboard LT Competition’s 10-year-old CH mare O’Hara ELS (Ogano Sitte x Liandero). However, the taste of victory didn’t last quite as long as hoped when O’Shea immediately followed and shaved over a second off of McAuley’s effort in 35.51 seconds.

“I knew Alex would be fast, and that Laura was after me too,” explained O’Shea. “I didn’t get to see Mark go but he is always fast, so I just tried to do the best round that I could.”

O’Shea credited his mount with rising to the occasion for the class and has high hopes for the end of season with the Trelawny Farms’ 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Chacco-Blue x Balou Du Rouet).

The Irish also took the overall victory of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series as Shane Sweetnam was named the leading rider through the entirety of the circuit. Despite never having worn the winning cooler, Sweetnam’s consistency and six top-five placings throughout the season with four different mounts was enough to earn the honors.

Jimmy Torano and Laskano Can’t Be Beat in $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

As top hunter riders took their final turn on the turf at Equestrian Village, Jimmy Torano once again led the lap of honor across the grass as he claimed yet another victory aboard Isalou Inc.’s Laskano. Thirty of the country’s best hunter riders donned their shadbellies astride perfectly manicured athletes for the $50,000 USHJA International Derby. The competition was down to the wire but ultimately, as the pair have done repeatedly throughout the WEF season, Jimmy Torano and Laskano emerged at the top of the elite field. Torano and his talented mount held one of the top 12 coveted spots from the start and returned as one of the final few pairings to contest Ken Krome’s handy course.

Looking on to determine the class winner were Bob Crandall and Ken Krome from the Panel One judges box and Rob Bielefeld with Melissa Bark for Panel Two. Krome designed a handy phase worthy of its opponents that included multiple rollbacks, a trot fence, and a two-stride combination in a bending line to a bounce. Competitors could earn four additional points for high options and were rewarded with extra points for handiness.

The top 12 returned in reverse order and after returning in the tenth-place position, Hannah Isop put the pressure on the remaining riders when she and Red Ryder, an 18-year-old Selle Francais gelding, scored a total of 210 for their efforts in the handy. The massive score catapulted Isop into the lead and put the pressure on Torano to display another flawless effort.

Kelley Farmer took the yellow ribbon honors aboard a horse that is competing for the first time in the U.S.

Torano was not going down without a fight, however, and he gave it his all with the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding to earn another incredible score over the 200-mark with a total of 206 points from the respective judges. The round once again led the field, and Torano piloted Laskano to an overall score of 393 points.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Laskano Continues Derby Win Streak in $15,000 USHJA International Hunt & Go at WEF

Jimmy Torano and Laskano. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2022 – The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival continued week 11 competition, sponsored by Palm Beach County Sports Commission, on Friday, March 25, 2022, with top hunter competition on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village and international jumpers in CSI4* and CSI2* classes on the main grounds of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Taking home yet another derby win this winter, Jimmy Torano and Laskano captured the title in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go. Victoria Colvin, Macquarie Simon, and Caroline Olsen took the top prizes in the three sections of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Thirty-two riders attempted a course of 13 obstacles in a “Hunt & Go” format, with the first seven fences as their classic round, and the last six fences judged as their handy round.

This “Hunt & Go” format also allowed for a possible extra two points awarded per section for high options taken and handy round bonus points awarded up to a maximum of 10 per judging panel.

Over a course designed by Ken Krome, it was the 30th pair to go, Laskano and Jimmy Torano, that would claim yet another derby victory.

Simon, Olsen, and Colvin Win in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby out on the grass saw junior, amateur, and open sections with 41, 33, and 43 entries, respectively.

Each section would follow the “Hunt & Go” format with riders attempting a course of 13 obstacles with the first seven fences as their classic round, and the last six fences judged as their handy round with extra points being awarded for high options taken.

The junior and amateur sections ran together but were pinned separately, and riders from each section could end up riding back-to-back, as was the case with the amateur and junior winners, Macquarie Simon and Caroline Olsen.

Macquarie Simon and her own Call Me Cool were 43rd in the order of go and posted a pair of 87s (+2 high options each) for her “classic” and “handy” portions of the course giving them a total of 178 and first position in the amateur section.

The Open section of the derby ran separately and was won by Victoria Colvin on Joelle Sedlacek’s My Style.

Victoria Colvin and My Style chose all of the high options with base scores of 86 and 89 to give them a final total of 179 to earn the first-place sash.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Morrissey, Propp, and Calicchio Share the Spotlight in $10k USHJA National Hunter Derby

Tiffany Morrissey with Copernicus K. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 25, 2022 – Week 7 of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, featured top hunter and jumper competition at two facilities on Thursday, February 25. Hunter riders took their turn on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, which awarded prizes to the top 12 in sections for Open, Junior, and Amateur out of 110 entries. Victories went to Tiffany Morrissey riding Dr. Kathryn Withers’s Copernicus K, Clara Propp on Aquitaine Equine’s Inquisitive, and Angela Calicchio with City Walk, owned by Cali Horse Sales LLC.

In the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, all three winners would equal or better their first-round scores with their second handy round. Morrissey and Copernicus K entered the handy round in fifth place with a plan, after a first-round score of 93, which included high option points. They moved up to the win with a second-round score of 95, giving them a total of 188.

Along with their derby win, Morrissey and Copernicus K were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Hunter Style Award by Laura Fetterman. Kelsey Epperson and Didgereedoo VDL, owned by Lashier Properties LLC, finished in second with an overall score of 187.25 points. Colin Syquia and Cynthia Sulzberger’s Front Page were third with 186 points.

In the Junior section, Clara Propp and Inquisitive also came into the second round looking to improve their rank after a first-round score of 85. The two sat in sixth place, but with only a fairly recent return to the ring.

The plan led to a second-round score of 92, giving them 177 for the win. Neither Propp nor Inquisitive are new to derbies, and they both thoroughly enjoy them. Propp finished fourth in last year’s derby with Arabesque and won a pony derby at WEF as well.

Second place in the Junior section went to Sydney Raidy and Dominik, owned by Joe Currais. They finished with a score of 176. Just behind with a score of 173 in third place were Elizabeth Lowham-Ruzzo and her own Secret’s Out.

Unlike Morrissey and Propp, Calicchio started her handy round in the top position with a score of 84.

The pair equaled their first-round score with another 84 to win on 168. City Walk is a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding and had a career change once Calicchio acquired him.

Lindsay Mutschler and her own Concord finished second with a total score of 153, while third place with a score of 152 went to Leah Patipa and her own Regard.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Laskano Takes Top Spot in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*

Jimmy Torano and Laskano © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – Hunters were the highlight on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano took the top spot in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*.

After securing the second spot in round one with a score of 182 out of 26 entries, Jimmy Torano piloted Laskano around a twisty second round with bold and precise execution to finish top of the field with a second-round score of 211 and a total of 393.

McLain Ward Notches First 2022 WEF Win

Four-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward (USA) notched his first win of the 2022 WEF circuit on Friday in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Speed Challenge on Bonnie M Z over 44 other entries. The pair sped to victory in 60.780 seconds over the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course. Finishing just off the pace in second place were Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland, owned by Chapot and The Edge, who stopped the timers in 61.304 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof were third in 65.324 seconds.

Ward and Bonnie M Z showed on Wednesday and improved to a winning performance in Friday’s 1.40m class. Ward got the ride on Bonnie M Z two weeks ago through the Holtgers family of Gut Einhaus LLC. Ward has started a new partnership with them and will train Ansgar Holtgers Jr. Gut Einhaus entered into ownership of the horse in 2018, and he has been ridden by Olympic champions Eric Lamaze of Canada and Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).

“They asked me to ride the horse and see what I thought he could be,” said Ward of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Bentley Van De Heffinck x Berlin. “He’s done up to three-star grand prix. The Holtgers have owned him for a few years, and now we’re getting started with him.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Eleanor Rudnicki Sets the Pace for USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*

Eleanor Rudnicki and Flugel. Photo Courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 21, 2021 – The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* was the lead Equitation event in the Walnut Arena on Saturday morning at the Kentucky Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Texan Eleanor Rudnicki topped a field of 12 young athletes in the competitive division. Augusta Iwasaki was awarded second place with Lion King Van’T Eigenlo and Natalie Jayne rounded out the top three on Charisma.

The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2* track, designed by Jasen Shelley, consisted of 14 efforts and included a one-stride, a triple combination, and several technical bending lines around the ring. Riders had the option to jump an open-water jump or an oxer for the fifth obstacle on the course. Following the jumping phase, all 12 riders were invited back for the flat portion of the class, bidding them one final chance to make a positive impression on the judges. Rudnicki and Linda Langmeir’s Flugel continued to impress the judges, ultimately capturing the win at the conclusion of the two phases.

Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek Cap Off Successful Week as Champion of USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

The grand finale of the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship took center stage on Saturday night in the Rolex Arena. The best hunter athletes from all corners of the United States came prepared to showcase their talents in front of the fixated spectators vying for a share of the prize money totaling more than $300,000. After 38 total trips between the Section A and Section B rounds, Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek emerged victorious after dominating the competition from the get-go. Samantha Schaefer and Caristo were awarded Reserve Champion honors, while Elizabeth Boyd and Cassico ended up third. Laena Romond had the unique distinction of being fifth in Section A while also being named the Champion of Tier II with Uptown. Evan Coluccio and Radio City were the Reserve Champion of Section B class.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Hunt Tosh and Christopher Payne Emerge Victorious in USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship

David O’Brien and Olivia SCF. Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 19, 2021 – The conclusion of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship took place Thursday morning in the Walnut Ring at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Round 1 of the Green Hunter 3’6” and 3’9” Championship was first in the ring to try their hand at the 8-obstacle course that was set forth to challenge the 48-horse and rider combinations by course designer Bobby Murphy. After a competitive first round, 30 athletes were invited back for the final round of the Incentive Championship, with Hunt Tosh taking the lead in round one aboard Chorus.

The Green Hunter 3’0” and 3′ 3” Championship section saw another set of 30 top athletes who had been competing for their seed position over the last two days. Hunt Tosh and Twain once again rode to victory in the Green Hunter 3’0” and 3’3” Incentive Championship after earning an outstanding score of 276 in the Championship Round.

The Green 3’6” and 3’9” Incentive Championship was the feature class for the day, with 30 of the top horse and rider pairs battling for the top position. In the end, Christopher Payne and Reign were crowned the title of Green 3’6” and 3’9” Incentive Champion.

David O’Brien Pilots Olivia SCF to Win $5,000 140m at Kentucky Bluegrass Festival

Elite jumpers converged on the Rolex Stadium Thursday morning during the third day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Fourteen horse and rider pairs contended for the top prize offered in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class. Only four competitors accomplished clear rounds, and of those four, it was David O’Brien (IRL) and Olivia SCF who finished out their day with the blue ribbon. Nicholas Dello Joio and Centuria 7 took second, while Wim Janssen rounded out the podium aboard Durango VDL.

Tosh and Cannon Creek Clinch Round One of USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 20, 2021 – Friday morning in the Rolex Arena saw the start of one of the most famous hunter competitions on the annual calendar, the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. With a list of 86 athletes on the roster, the order of go was a who’s-who of the top hunter riders from all corners of the United States. After successfully navigating an impressive 12-obstacle course designed by Bobby Murphy, Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek topped the field with a score of 291, followed by Victoria Colvin and El Primero, who were awarded a score of 284, and rounding out the top three was Scott Stewart and Hudson who earned a score of 279.5.

Daniel Geitner and Fazous Take Top Honors in $25,000 Bluegrass Classic

Show jumping competition at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show returned to the Rolex Arena Friday, August 20, to welcome athletes for the $25,000 Bluegrass Classic. As the concluding class of the day, 52 horse-and-rider combinations entered hopeful to close out Friday’s competition with a win. Just nine pairs managed clear rounds over the tactful course, and it was ultimately Daniel Geitner and Fazous who managed two double-clear efforts to take home the lion’s share of the prize money. Grace Debney aboard her mount Boheme De La Roque is crowned second, while Camille Maddrix and Jack Straw round out the top three.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Hunt Tosh and Twain Top Leaderboard on Day Two of Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Hunt Tosh and Twain.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2021 – Round two of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship got underway at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on Wednesday at 8:30 am in the Walnut Ring. 123-horse and rider combinations came back in no particular order to vie for their spot in the final championship round. Hunt Tosh and Twain took over the top spot of the leaderboard to secure the overall standing. Holly Orlando also moved up aboard her longtime mount, Waverly, to secure the second overall position. Scott Stewart and Fine Art held onto their third-place standing in the competitive class.

Future Champions Kick Off Jumper Competition

Young jumper competition kicked off the first day of the jumper competition in the Rolex Arena at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on Wednesday. The 5-year-old, 6-year-old, and 7-year-old jumper classes took place back-to-back showcasing the top prospective show horses to compete for the blue ribbons and valuable experience. The first-place finishers were David O’Brien and Qualito SCF in the 5-year-olds, Kelly Arani and Procyon SCF in the 6-year-olds, and Sarah Sturges with Bradley in the 7-year-old class.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Victoria Colvin and Doctor’s Orders Lead Day One of USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Victoria Colvin and Doctor’s Orders.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 17, 2021 – The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show kicked off in the Walnut Ring Tuesday morning with the first round of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship. 126 of the nation’s top hunter equestrians took center stage as they rode to try and take an early and commanding lead during day one of the competition. The Incentive Championship will take place over three days, as the horses are judged on their form and style throughout each round. Victoria Colvin leads day one after placing first on Doctor’s Orders and second on Mastermind, while Hunt Tosh and Twain round out the top three.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.