Category Archives: Hunter/Equitation

Sweet Victory for Conor Swail in MARS Equestrian CSI4* Grand Prix

Conor Swail & Count Me In. Photo © Sportfot.

Victory was sweet for Count Me In and Ireland’s Conor Swail in the CHF216,000 MARS Equestrian™ CSI4* Grand Prix, the featured event on the expansive grass derby field at Equestrian Village during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week 4 on Saturday in Wellington, FL.

The pressure was on for Swail riding Count Me In, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes) owned by Sandy Lupton & Mannon Farm. The first to crack the code on the opening round track designed by Anderson Lima (BRA), Swail was the trailblazer again in a five-horse jump-off.

“I’m lucky to have Crosby,” said Swail, currently ranked fifth in the world on the FEI rankings. “He’s a very fast horse. I was trying to give it a good go and put the other riders under enough pressure and hope that they would make mistakes. It was a tough track but fair I thought. I have an amazing horse and I hope his good form continues. This was our first time out this year and I must say I thought he felt fabulous.”

Ruyle, Langmeier Score Wins in Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2*

WEF 4 has welcomed the return of Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* competition on the derby field at Equestrian Village. The CHF37,000 Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix Qualifier highlighted the action on Friday with a win for Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) riding Cyramo. She piloted the 2011 Zangersheide mare (Clarimo x Vigo D Arsouilles Stx) to victory from a competitive 15-horse jump-off.

Ruyle was thrilled with her mare’s massive efforts, saying, “Everything was very spread out: a gallop to two, the combination off a tight turn which we are pretty good at, and a long gallop to three and four. It rode great and she tried so hard. I’ve had her a while – since she was seven and she’s thirteen now – so we’ve had a long time to build a strong partnership.” They bumped Ireland’s Francis Derwin, riding Intuitive for owner Eve Jobs, to second.

After a third-place finish on Friday with Chadina for Rafferty Farm, Mckayla Langmeier (USA) came back on top in Saturday’s CHF10,000 Helgstrand Jewellery CIS2* 1.40m Speed. In another jump-off that mandated impressive speed from seventeen qualifiers, Langmeier and Jiselle NS, a 2014 Dutch Warmblood mare (Balou du Rouet x Voltaire) flew to the win for owner Linda Langmeier.

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John French and Milagro Master $25k USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt-N-Go

John French & Milagro. Photo © Sportfot.

Competition in the International Ring at Wellington International drew to a close Friday afternoon with a total of 47 top hunter combinations taking to the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Perfect Products. Over a course designed by Andy Christiansen as an efficient hunt-and-go format, the lead changed hands several times throughout the one-round challenge, but ultimately the top honors were awarded to John French and eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding Milagro.

“He stands out in the hunter derbies because he has a lot of scope; he is slow in the air so I can make the tight turns on landing easily; he is very brave, and I never have to worry he’s going to look at anything,” French gushed of the gelding.

As no stranger to the victory gallop, once French got through the first half of the course, which he expressed had a few tests for himself, he knew that Milagro’s exceptional form and athleticism would take care of the rest.

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First Hunter Derby of ‘23 and Irish Grand Prix Victory at The Ridge at Wellington Groves Week 4

Jordan Coyle and Picador (Photo by Romeo Ghete)

Loxahatchee Groves, FL (February 1, 2023) – The Ridge at Wellington Groves wrapped up its third week of competition with an Irish victory in the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, their first $1,000 2’6″ National Hunter Derby, and two extra days of classes for hunters, jumpers, and equitation riders, both recognized and unrecognized. On Friday Ireland’s Jordan Coyle and Picador fought their way to victory in The Ridge’s Week 3 $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix, besting a field of 30 over a course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Second went to Week 3’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic winner, Israel’s Daniel Bluman riding Corbie V.V.Z Et, while third went to Coyle as well, this time aboard Ariso. The competition included some of the world’s top riders, including Adrienne Sternlicht, Beat Mandli, and Cian O’Connor, mixed in with freshly minted Grand Prix riders and horses over a dynamic course intended to challenge while allowing for growth and development.

Saturday’s Hunter Derby was the inaugural Derby event of the 2023 Ridge season, offering $1,000 in prize money and a course designed by Nona Garson with high options up to 2’6″. Julie Hogan riding Gigi Stetler’s Imagine That bested the three rounds, which included an optional Warm Up, first round, and handy round. Second went to Samantha Carp and Conchita 128, while Sara Kate Long and Delivered by Hand finished in third.

For more, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Sharn Wordley and Mick Jagger Win $50k Voltaire Design Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley set an unbeatable target with Mick Jagger on Sunday during the $50,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. He was the first to return during the jump-off, and with a quick and clear effort that left the remaining riders trying to chase him, he took home the winning title. The only other fault-free effort belonged to Australia’s Scott Keach and Wild Thing for second place. Keach also placed third aboard his second mount, Noble De La Chapelle.

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Comissario and Morgan Ward Cash In to Win $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix

Morgan Ward once again returned to the winner’s circle on Saturday, this time aboard Comissario after garnering the top score during the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix. Turning in impressive scores of 85 and 86, the pair jumped to victory just ahead of Alexa Bayko, who claimed two of the top three spots with All of Me and MTM Dixon, respectively.

“Comissario is my solid citizen that I’ve had for a few years, and we’ve accomplished a lot of big wins,” said Ward. “He is my main man – the spoiled rotten king of the barn! I don’t ever ride him with a bridle at home. He would jump around this derby with no bridle if it were allowed. He’s the sweetest horse in the world!”

Read more.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Luciana Lossio Scores Victory in Beerbaum Stables CSI2* Grand Prix

Luciana Lossio & Lady Louise Jmen. Photo © Sportfot.

Action during the NetJets sponsored Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded at Wellington International on Sunday with the CHF50,000 Beerbaum Stables CSI2* Grand Prix. Peter Grant (CAN) designed a substantial and tricky first round for 46 horses and riders. Brazil’s Luciana Lossio emerged victorious from a five-horse jump-off riding Lady Louise Jmen.

A former Minister of the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil, Lossio was all business out of the courtroom and in the show ring this weekend to take the featured class in the Beerbaum Stables CSI2* division. Lady Louise Jmen, a 2010 Brazilian-bred mare Lossio owns herself, clocked a jump-off time of 35.01 seconds. It was less than a second faster than second-place finisher Hardin Towell (USA), but enough to drop him to the runner-up position on his own Boheme du Moulin. Third place went to Wesley Newlands (CAN) and Maestro van het Binnenveld for owner Wesland Farms.

Lossio was beaming when she came out of the ring on Lady Louise Jmen, and with an ecstatic smile, said, “I very concentrated on my plan in the jump-off, and I went jump by jump in my mind. I took care of each jump and she was fantastic today. I’m so happy that we got it!”

The magic witnessed in the arena didn’t happen overnight for Lossio and her mare. “I’ve been with Lady Louise Jmen for six years now and I know her very well. She’s very calm, and a very intelligent mare. She has a lot of strengths; she can jump whatever you put I front of her. We have a really good relationship. She trusts me and I trust her like no other horse.”

Junior Hunters Shine During Closing Weekend of WEF 3

The T & R Development Large Junior Hunter 3’6″ 15 & Under division kicked off weekend activities in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring with Infinity G taking the champion tricolor under the direction of Clara Propp.

Propp guided the 2013 Warmblood gelding by Carthino Z and owned by Aquitaine Equine to consistent top-three finishes over fences and a second-place ribbon under saddle to seal the high-point title.

“Going into today, I just wanted to stay consistent because he was so good yesterday,” said Propp. “I didn’t want to have any major mistakes and I think we accomplished that.”

The Snaks 5th Avenchew Junior Hunter 3’3″ 15 & Under division capped WEF 3 for junior hunters in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Sunday. The pair to shine the brightest was Agatha Lignelli and Pritchard Hill, a 2012 Warmblood gelding owned by Lignelli and her family.

“The course was simple, but the jumps were on the bigger side,” recalled Lignelli. “There were a couple spooks, but I thought he was jumping amazing.”

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Farrington Clinches CHF140,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* Grand Prix

Kent Farrington & Landon. Photo © Sportfot.

The Winter Equestrian Festival’s (WEF) Week 2 finished with a fantastic display of sport on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Sunday afternoon. U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and Landon stormed to a win in the CHF140,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* Grand Prix over runner-up Daniel Coyle (IRL).

A sweeping course designed by Oscar Soberon (USA) welcomed an all-out foot race in the jump-off. The five who advanced were led off by Coyle and Ariel Grange’s Gisborne VDL, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. They set the pace at 40.05 seconds.

Returning immediately after, Farrington and Landon, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Haity McNerney, quickly took over the lead by only fractions in 39.30 seconds. In the end, Landon could not be caught.

“Landon is a big-strided horse, but Daniel’s horse is also a big-strided horse, and I thought he had an incredible round,” said Farrington. “I probably have a little quicker foot speed than him, but it took a lot to beat that round today because he was dropping strides everywhere on a huge gallop the whole way around.”

Landon’s speed across the group proved enough to take top honors, the gelding’s first grand prix win to date. “He’s very careful and a competitive horse,” said Farrington. “I have a great team coming up and he’s one of that group, so it was an exciting day for the horse and our team.”

Audrey Schulze Dominates CHF25,000 Hermes U25 Grand Prix

The final day of international competition during WEF 2 saw a stacked field of 75 up-and-coming show jumping combinations. The CHF25,000 Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix launched a full day of sport on the derby field. Audrey Schulze (USA) eventually emerged victorious aboard Darquito.

Darquito is the former ride of Ireland’s Andrew Bourns, and Bourns was the first to congratulate the pair as they left the ring.

“There were a lot of places without numbers where you just had to get on an open gallop, and luckily my horse has a huge stride where he just eats up the ground,” detailed Schulze. “His stride is definitely an advantage in the jump-off because it’s much bigger than any other horse I’ve ever ridden, so it’s much easier to do one less stride everywhere.”

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Dorothy Douglas and MTM Caepten Sail to $25k SmartPak Grand Prix Victory at HITS Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – January 20, 2023 – Perfect weather and a brand-new arena greeted riders for the first week of the 2023 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit at Post Time Farm. Riders gathered at the redesigned Grand Prix Ring featuring Wordley Martin footing for the first major class of the week on Friday during the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. Again, Dorothy Douglas proved to be the best of the best, topping a 12-horse jump-off aboard the speedy MTM Caepten while also placing third with MTM Cedrick after Vicente Guillen piloted Cornut GP to second place.

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Taylor Morrison Sweeps Green 3’9” Hunters Tricolors

The HITS Ocala 2023 Winter Series is underway, and Taylor Morrison started off the week strong in the Green 3’9” Hunters at Post Time Farm. The talented young professional took home both of the division’s tricolor awards, piloting Greatness VDK to the championship title and showing Ambition to the reserve championship.

Read more.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Kent Farrington and Greya Give It Their All in $50k Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix

Kent Farrington & Greya. Photo © Sportfot.

The third week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) saw national level jumper competition peak on Saturday night during the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix. WEF 2, presented by Florida Coast Equipment, went under the lights at Wellington International for a win that went to Kent Farrington (USA) aboard the rising star, Greya.

“It’s [Greya’s] first time jumping under the lights,” explained Farrington. “So, I tried to just work out of her normal gallop which is already pretty quick. Luckily, it worked out tonight and I thought she was incredible.”

The 2023 WEF season is an exciting one for Farrington’s team as he looks forward to introducing his younger string of mounts to top international competition at the venue.

“The last year has been a rebuilding time for my string as some of my main horses are winding down their international careers,” he continued. “It’s time for the young ones to step up; I have a group of horses – the oldest being ten – that are starting to jump in the international scene and I’m excited to see what happens with each of them.”

Corras and Amira Kettaneh Debut on Top

The Voltaire Design Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 highlighted hunter action in the Rost Arena on Saturday. Tri-color honors went to Amira Kettaneh and Corras, a 2014 Latvian Warmblood gelding by Corrwiko and owned by Robert Ruckh. The reserve champion ribbon was presented to Carlee McCutcheon and Casimir, owned by Anne Glunk.

Kettaneh first sat on Corras the day before earning a championship in their first outing together. Their performances were highlighted by two wins over fences and a high score of 89. “I got this ride yesterday which was very exciting and I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”

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Tic Tac Back to Winning Ways with Ben Maher

Ben Maher & Tic Tac. Photo © Sportfot.

Tic Tac felt right at home on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village to kick off week two of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Thursday. Olympic Champion Ben Maher (GBR) piloted Tic Tac, a 2003 Belgian Sport Horse (Clinton x Panama du Seigneur) owned by Jane Forbes Clark, to win the CHF37,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI3* 1.45m Speed.

Maher and the 20-year-old Tic Tac have a longstanding partnership that has made them an often-unbeatable pair. “Tic Tac knows everything now, so it’s more about just keeping him fit and enjoying everything,” said Maher of Tic Tac, who has taken up permanent residence in Florida. “He stays here year-round; we don’t travel him to Europe. We’re very fortunate with the staff and team at home looking after him. He knows his job and he loves this arena.

“I’ve said this before, but I think this arena is one of the nicest grass arenas in the world,” said Maher of the derby field at Equestrian Village. “It’s really old-school ground here and I think as an older horse, he likes the brighter jumps and loves the ground.”

Amber Broder Claims Ariat National Adult Medal

The Ariat National Adult Medal started Thursday morning in the Rost Arena with Amber Broder and her stunning 2005 warmblood gelding, Tip Jar, sealing the deal for the win.

“It rode really nice,” said Broder of the track. “Last week, I made a mistake in a roll back, so my big goal was to do that, and I didn’t ride it perfectly in the first round, but I got a chance to redeem myself in the test and give him the ride he deserves, because he’s the best horse in the world.”

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Jad Dana Ends WEF 1 on a Win

Jad Dana & After Eight. Photo © Sportfot.

The first FEI week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season ended with the CHF37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic in the international Ring on Sunday, January 15. Jad Dana (LBN) won the day aboard After Eight as the sun set over Wellington International.

Nick Granat (USA) designed a tricky twelve-obstacle course with a time allowed of 72 seconds. Fifty-nine riders vied for a clear round to take them into the jump-off. Only ten pairs managed to make it to the second round. In the end, it was Dana and his super mare, After Eight, a 2010 Swedish Warmblood (Diarado x Cardento) owned by Springhill Farm, with the quickest time of 37.70 seconds.

“She’s amazing and she’s been in top form; she won a grand prix two weeks ago and then she came out, was great in the first round and an even better jump-off,” said Dana of the mount he had a little over a year. “That was so fun to ride, and she makes it fun.”

Julie Hogan Takes Adult Amateur Tri-Color

The Vogel Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 (Sec B) class helped conclude an exciting first week for hunters at WEF. The stars of the day were Julie Hogan and her lovely mare, Latoya, a 2013 mare by Languster Prydsholm, owned by The Ridge Farm LLC. Hogan and Latoya won three over fences classes and the under saddle to collect championship points.

“Everything went really smoothly today,” she said. “We had a really great day yesterday, winning both over fences, and we won the flat today, and I just wanted to go in today and put in a solid performance in the two over fences classes. My mare jumped really well and she’s a star.”

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