Wellington, FL – March 3, 2021 – As the week eight CSIO4* gets underway at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), it was Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Lafayette Van Overis, owned by Starlight Farms 1, LLC, who scored a victory in the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake CSIO4* daytime class on Wednesday, March 3, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
A total of 65 combinations challenged the 1.40m track set by Steve Stephens (USA) and Nick Granat (USA), which featured 13 jumping efforts in a speed format. Sternlicht and the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Tauber van het Kapelhof, made swift work of the course, with a double-clear effort in 58.54 seconds. The pair has only been together for five months, but the partnership is progressing well.
“Lafyette is a very competitive horse,” said Sternlicht. “Bertram Allen won a ton on him before, so I think immediately when you have a horse like that, you feel a bit of pressure for it to go well right off the bat. It has been a little bit up and down; he’s quite a different ride. Bertram has quite a different riding style than I do but I have to give credit to him; he has helped me within the past week, and everything seemed very easy today, so I was happy.”
Amy Millar and Christiano Top $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake CSIO4* Night Class
A field of 30 top horse-and-rider combinations contested the track set in the International Arena on Wednesday evening in preparation for the upcoming $150,000 Nations Cup. Riders slated to compete in the upcoming event on Friday were given the opportunity to use the $5,000 FEI Premier Equestrian CSIO Welcome stake as an opportunity to guide their mounts around the stadium in a night-class setting. The course designed by Steve Stephens (USA) and Nick Granat (USA) played out as a single round speed class with just less than half of the original entries making it through fault-free.
A number of competitors were seen raising their hand to signal an early retirement as a way of testing their mounts’ comfort level under the lights without over-using them. A handful of others used it as an opportunity to school difficult or unique fences that would likely once again be used in the Nations’ Cup. Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza held the leading time of 57.89 seconds for a long period of the class until Canada’s Amy Millar and Christiano, owned by Future Adventures, took over the lead.
Millar, the daughter of veteran show jumper Ian Millar, expertly guided the 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Canoso x Compliment) to the top of the podium with an efficient time of 56.78 seconds.
Wellington, FL – February 26, 2020 – Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) won the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake CSIO4* riding Cadans Z to open week eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL on Wednesday, February 26.
A member of the U.S. Nations Cup team, Sternlicht had the accuracy and speed to top a field of 65 over tracks set by course designer Ken Krome (USA). She and Cadans Z, owned by Starlight Farms 1, LLC, stopped the clock at 62.59 seconds over second-place finisher Todd Minikus (USA) and his own Calvalou in a time of 64.02 seconds. Great Britain’s Ben Maher rounded out the podium finishes with Ginger-Blue, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, stopping the clock in 67.78 seconds.
“It’s always nice to start the week off with a win,” said Sternlicht, who piloted the 11-year-old Zangersheide mare (Corosso VDL x Navarone), Cadans Z. “I knew many riders would be using this class to train, so I tried to take advantage of that with this horse. She has a very big stride, so I was able to cover a lot of ground. There were places to really gallop and do leave-outs in the lines, and she performed beautifully.”
Sternlicht was a member of the U.S. Nations Cup team during the 2019 WEF season after helping to guide the U.S. to a gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Wellington, FL – January 11, 2020 – The first “Saturday Night Lights” of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the crowd-favorite $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, which saw the Men’s team return to the top of the podium.
After unseating the women, who were the 2019 victors, the men’s team is picking up momentum in the Battle of the Sexes with their second win in the class in three years. The men pocketed their first-ever victory in 2018, and on Saturday night, in the second-to-last match race, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle sealed a win for his team with a final score of 29 to the women’s 23.
“The one thing that you get in these classes that you don’t always get in other classes is the crowd really enjoys it because it’s very easy for them to understand: the girl beats the guy, and that’s who wins it,” said Coyle of what he enjoys about the Battle of the Sexes.
Adrienne Sternlicht Storms to Victory in $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic
Adrienne Sternlicht is kicking off her WEF season with a bang by earning a 1.45m win earlier in the week and again leading the victory gallop in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on Saturday riding Cadans Z, owned by her own Starlight Farms 1 LLC.
From a field of 31, 10 horses advanced to an Eric Hasbrouck-designed jump-off track where Sternlicht stopped the clock in an uncatchable 36.769 seconds over her trainer and two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward. He and Heavenly W, owned by Portfolio Horses LLC, stopped the clock double clear in 38.026 seconds.
“At the end of last year, McLain was riding [Cadans Z], and this is my first week back on her. She’s a great mare, has a lot of quality, and today I was able to get out of her way,” said Sternlicht of her one-year history with the 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (Carosso VDL x Navarone). “She has not been the easiest horse for me to figure out. Having the experience of watching McLain ride any horse, especially one that you’ve been working with, is always incredibly educational.”
Stella Propp and Ellie Ferrigno Ride Inquisitive to Championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters
Saturday morning in the Rost Arena began with Stella Propp riding Inquisitive to the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter championship. Ellie Ferrigno, from Newtown, CT, had the ride for the first day of the division, earning two first places. On the second day, Propp, of New York, NY, took over and earned a fourth and fifth. Together, the two riders were able to pilot Inquisitive, owned by Aquitaine Equine, to the tri-color ribbon.
While Propp had to attend school on the first day of the Small Junior Hunter division, she was lucky enough to have Ferrigno step in.
“I have Ellie to thank for this weekend,” said Propp. “She is amazing and always there when we need her!”
Wellington, FL – December 1, 2019 – Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwich, CT galloped to victory aboard Starlight Farms 1 LLC’s Just a Gamble in the $209,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The pair raced through the timers in 44 seconds flat to take home the champion ribbon. Kristen Vanderveen of Wellington, FL piloted her Bull Run’s Risen to a close second, stopping the clock at 45.91 seconds in the second round. Conor Swail of Ireland claimed third place with Koss Van Heiste, owned by Eadaoin Collins, after a 46.39-second jump-off round.
The first night class of the ESP Holiday Series saw a total of forty-six entries contest the track, built by FEI designer Anthony D’Ambrosio. The course challenged many riders in round one, with only four total combinations finishing with double-clear efforts at the end of the evening. Sternlicht explained, “For the first round, there were a few elements that I had to be disciplined about as a rider. My horse is extremely hot, and I knew I had to add [strides] in several places. With her, I worry about managing her anxiety a bit, so I wanted to be smart and take my time in necessary spots, while also getting myself a good position for the second-round.”
The top twelve riders returned for a second round. Sternlicht and Just a Gamble were the penultimate pair, and had a lot to prove in this class: “It’s my horse’s last class of the year and we’ve had some serious ‘four-fault-itis,’” commented Sternlicht. “We’ve had four faults in the past seven Grand Prixs that we’ve jumped, so I wanted to end the year on a different note and I knew I had nothing to lose! She is incredibly fast naturally and has great foot speed, and she’s so willing and brave, so I tried to take advantage of all those attributes as well as her big stride. I sort of believed in that double leave out to the last jump, and it worked out so I’m very thankful!”
To learn more about the ESP Holiday Series and PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Adrienne Sternlicht and Bennys Legacy. (FEI/Andrew Ryback)
Despite recording a World Cup victory just a week prior in Thermal (USA), Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Bennys Legacy came to Las Vegas’ South Point Arena (USA) with some unanswered questions. The duo had never before competed indoors, but the smaller venue proved no problem for them, as they recorded a second straight World Cup victory.
They topped the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas via a two-horse jump-off and were the only double-clear performers on the evening, crossing the timers of Leopoldo Palacios’ (VEN) shortened course in 37.68 seconds. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Stranger were faster, but a rail put them in second; they finished on 4 faults in 35.90 seconds. In a unique result, Sarah Segal (USA) and Uma O’Neill (NZL) finished in adjoint third, as both riders recorded a single time fault in the first round with identical times of 73.39 seconds.
“Tonight, I mainly learned that he was super indoors,” Sternlicht said of her still-new mount, having only debuted with the 11-year-old gelding in September. “I really had no idea how he would be! In some ways, I found him easier to ride inside.”
“He’s a horse that goes exactly the way I like to ride: strong and aggressive. I like to help and support the horse, and he leans on me as a rider in that capacity.” — Adrienne Sternlicht (USA)
Knowing there were just two clear rounds and having to return first in the jump-off, Sternlicht approached the shortened course with a nothing-to-lose mentality while being wary of the quick challenge that followed her.
“I think Andrew has the fastest horse in the class, probably the fastest horse in FEI this week,” Sternlicht said. “I knew that if I didn’t stick to my plan, it might be costly. I think my jump-off round showed the quality of my horse. I think, personally, there are a few things I want to work on, but I couldn’t be happier with the way he jumped, and I’m happy that I stuck to my plan.”
The win moved Sternlicht into third in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 46 points. Brian Moggre (USA) leads those standings with 56 points, while Beezie Madden (USA) is second with 49 points. The top seven from these standings at the end of the 2019/2020 season will advance to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which will also take place in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center in April.
“World Cup Finals are 100 percent on my radar,” Sternlicht said. “I am planning already. [My trainer McLain Ward] is a big planner, and we had a meeting and planned out my schedule for the next five months. I plan on being here and look forward to coming back!”
On the west coast, Karl Cook (USA) maintains his lead in the standings with 49 points, followed by Ashlee Bond (ISR) with 39 points and Will Simpson (USA) with 34 points.
The North American League continues in Guadalajara (MEX) on 25 January 2020.
Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) had only jumped Bennys Legacy at three events before heading to the west coast for World Cup competition, but the pair proved their partnership is already strong with a statement-making victory in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Thermal (USA).
Last to go in a five-horse jump-off, Sternlicht and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding jumped right to the top of the podium, crossing the timers of Alan Wade’s (IRL) shortened course in 39.56 seconds. Keri Potter (USA) and Ariell la Sirene finished second with a 40.89-second time, while Adam Prudent (USA) and Baloutine, the only other double-clear performers on the day, finished third. Their time was 41.83 seconds.
“It’s my third show with him and my third jump-off. I thought that this jump-off played to his strengths. He’s not a horse that’s particularly used to going fast, as he’s incredibly careful. I just tried to ride a smooth round and take advantage of his stride, take time where I needed, and challenge him in a few places.” — Adrienne Sternlicht (USA)
Bennys Legacy has been in Sternlicht’s string since the summer, and the gelding’s victory held special meaning given its timing.
“He’s named after an Irish boy that bought him as a foal. He passed and they named the horse after him,” she explained. “It’s a really special story. My groom and manager Emma Chapman was there with him the night before he died. For her, when I got the horse, it was a bit emotional. Thursday was the anniversary of his death. Those that knew Benny say the horse reminds them a lot of him. The horse knows that he has something special.”
Sternlicht was making her first trip to Thermal, traveling with Chapman while her trainer, McLain Ward (USA), was competing in Toronto (CAN) on a double-header weekend of North American League action. She sealed her win by leaving out strides in the first and final lines of the jump-off.
“It gives me a lot of confidence to prepare on my own,” Sternlicht said. “The two grooms I have here know me and my horses inside and out, and I know I can always call on them. As a rider, I’ve learned a lot from these experiences of being on my own. [Ward] called me after the first few went and asked if I had any questions. He tries to watch as much as he can, and I watch him. It’s a real team effort the way we do the sport.”
Following her win, Sternlicht moved into third place in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 26 points. She trails only Beezie Madden (USA) with 48 points and Brian Moggre (USA), who has 41 points. On the west coast, Karl Cook (USA) remains atop the standings with 49 points, while Ashlee Bond (ISR) is second with 39 points. Potter (USA) moved into third with 32 points.
Wellington, FL – March 2, 2019 – In the 18-year history of the Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), there had only been one jump-off to determine the gold medal. On Saturday, March 2, 2019, another jump-off took place and garnered the United States of America their seventh victory in the history of the class. The team, consisting of Wilton Porter, Beezie Madden, Adrienne Sternlicht, McLain Ward, and Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, took the gold medal in the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4*, one of the highlight events of week 8 of WEF.
The winning nation was represented by Porter on Caletto Cabana, owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC, Madden on Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, Sternlicht riding Toulago for Starlight Farms 1 LLC, and Ward on the Beechwood Stables LLC-owned mount, Contagious.
Martin Fuchs and Faberlys Find Victory in $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix
Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and his mount, Faberlys, owned by SPCS, topped a 39-horse field to win the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon in the International Ring.
Of those 39 entries, six navigated the first round, Steve Stephens-designed track without fault to advance to the jump-off, where Fuchs had what he considered the advantage of returning second to last. With the time to beat set at 44.14 seconds by Canada’s Tiffany Foster and Caipiranja, owned by Artisan Farms, LLC, Fuchs elected to go for it, shaving nearly two seconds off of Foster’s time to finish in 42.22 seconds for the win. Foster’s time held up for second place, while third place with a time of 44.77 seconds went to David Blake of Ireland riding Keoki for owner Pine Hollow Farm.
Rindy Dominguez and MTM Casablanca Emerge Victorious in Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36 & Over
Competitors in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36+ division returned to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Field on Saturday to contest the final three classes of the division for a chance at the champion and reserve titles. With two first place ribbons, Rindy Dominguez of Barrington, RI took the champion title aboard her own MTM Casablanca.
Dominguez and the 11-year-old bay mare earned two firsts, a fourth, fifth, and eighth over the two days of competition which left them 2.5 points ahead of the reserve winner. The mare has been paired with Dominguez for approximately a year and a half but is just making her first Winter Equestrian Festival debut this season.
“She was imported as a jumper, but I bought her about three weeks after she was imported. We’ve spent the fall learning how to be a hunter,” Dominguez explained. “She’s been so lovely. This is her first experience at WEF and her first time at the 3’6” height, which is also something I haven’t done in about two years so it’s very exciting.”
Wellington, FL – January 12, 2019 – After suffering their first loss in 10 years in 2018, the women’s team stormed back to dominate the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center in 2019 by winning 29 points to the men’s team’s 11 total points. The competition ended after just five of the 10 match races completed when it was clear the men couldn’t garner enough points to take victory.
In the opening speed round, the women and men tied with five points each. The fastest speed round of the night went to Jessica Mendoza (GBR), who recorded a time of 51.258 seconds to win her round over Daniel Coyle (IRL).
The women took over in the second phase, the relay. They won all three relays, picking up 15 points to increase their total to 20 points, while the men remained on five points. While the men showed an early glimmer by winning the first two match races with David Blake (IRL) and Andrew Bourns (IRL), three subsequent victories by Carly Anthony (USA), KC Van Aarem (USA), and Sydney Shulman (USA) sealed the overall win for the women.
Adrienne Sternlicht Takes Top Prize in $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic
Out of a field of 29 entries, Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) stood at the top after a fast jump-off round in 37.178 seconds riding Just A Gamble. Eleven advanced to the jump-off over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Coming in second place was Mario Deslauriers (CAN) on Amsterdam 27 in 37.202 seconds, while Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Aristoteles V took third place with a time of 37.748 seconds.
This was the first week of competition for Sternlicht and her new horse, Just A Gamble, who arrived in Florida in December, and they have since spent time getting to know each other.
“[It] was really not doing too much flatwork because she’s super hot,” said Sternlicht of the 10-year-old BWP mare by Toulon x Corofino. “We’ve put her on what we call the ‘Rothchild Program,’ which is a lot of walk/trot work, a lot of trail riding, trying to get her to settle a bit. It’s almost better if she’s more unfit than fit. Even with her build and technique, she’s a powerhouse behind; she has all the scope in the world. It’s about keeping her mentally calm.”
Maggie Hill and O’Ryan Sweep the Small Junior Hunters 3’6 16-17 to Win First Championship of WEF
The Small Junior Hunters 3’6 16-17 riders returned to Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday to contend for the championship title of Week 1. After two firsts, a second, and a fifth over fences along with another second under saddle, Maggie Hill of Jackson, WY took home the tricolor ribbon. Hill piloted Stella Styslinger’s O’Ryan, a 17-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding, to consistent top placings with two firsts, two seconds, and a fifth.
She and O’Ryan have been successful partners for the past two years under the careful tutelage of three-time USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship winner Liza Boyd. The pair has been successful with their junior hunter endeavors, but Hill hopes to compete the veteran hunter in several derbies throughout the rest of the season.
Lexington, KY – Oct. 24, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show promises to be thrilling with top notch international competition! Adding to the excitement will be the participation of 2018 World Equestrian Games Gold Medal athletes, McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Beezie Madden. Team USA performed in top fashion during the World Equestrian Games, which was held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in September. Athletes who participated in the games are ones that are well-known throughout the equestrian community, especially now as they bring home the first ever WEG team gold medal for the United States. However, they have also been familiar faces at the National Horse Show for many years.
Last year’s Leading Lady Rider title, as well as Leading Open Jumper Rider, was claimed by Laura Kraut after she successfully won the $35,000 Welcome Speed class aboard St. Bride’s Farm’s chestnut mare, Whitney. In 2017, Kraut also had a top 10 finish in the $250,000 Longines Grand Prix, where Devin Ryan finished fifth, and Adrienne Sternlicht sixth. Kraut was integral in assuring team USA’s gold medal success as she delivered multiple clear rounds throughout the week and finished 10th overall individually.
Reserve athlete, Beezie Madden, piloted HHS Hercules to the victory in the $35,000 Salamander Resorts & Hotels Accumulator class in 2017, while Kraut was close on her heels in second place, and Devin Ryan secured third. Madden was also third in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix in 2017. Madden is known for her terrific display of athleticism with Cortes C in the 2014 $250,000 Canadian Pacific Grand Prix. She secured her place as part of the 2018 WEG team at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final earlier this year, as she emerged victorious all three days of competition.
Fan favorite McLain Ward has also been successful in the Alltech Arena during recent years. In 2012, he captured the victory in the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix. He was then featured as a judge for the 2014 ASPCA Maclay Finals. Ward rode to fifth place in the 2016 $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington and continued to move up the ranks to become the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion. In the lead up to the World Equestrian Games he has embarked on a journey that has included grand prix victories, including the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon for the tenth year in a row as well as capturing the $382,000 Longines Grand Prix of New York during the Longines Masters of New York. Ward finished fourth behind teammates Beezie Madden and Devin Ryan at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. At this year’s WEG in one of the most nail-biting finals, Ward pulled off a spectacular jump-off with Clinta to secure the team gold for USA over Sweden. His performance throughout the week delivered him a top five individual medal as well.
Young star Adrienne Sternlicht has competed at the National Horse Show as both a junior and professional and captured her first victory at the National Horse Show in 2015 when she won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series Final. As Ward’s student, she has always been hot on his heels and finished only two spots below him in the 2016 $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington. As the youngest on the team, Sternlicht acquired her first WEG medal and held an impressive 11th place in the overall standings out of the 124 competitors.
2018 was unquestionably a break out year for Devin Ryan. His string of success included a one-two punch to emerge victorious in the $35,000 CSI3* Longines World Ranking Class at Live Oak International and secured the U.S. to both first and second place by winning the reserve at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. Last year, Ryan had multiple top ten finishes the National Horse Show including a 3rd place finish in the $35,000 Salamander Accumulator Class, 5th place in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington, and an 8th place in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix.
Kent Farrington and Waomi Capture $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; Sophie Gochman and Elation Finish Week 11 as the Visse Wedell, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Small Pony Hunter Champions
Wellington, FL – March 22, 2015 – The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its eleventh week of competition, sponsored by Artisan Farms LLC, with jumper competition featured on the grass derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday. The $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Final, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, saw a win for Adrienne Sternlicht aboard Quidam MB and crowned Lucy Deslauriers the overall winner of the 2015 Series. The $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held later in the day with a win for Kent Farrington (USA) and Waomi.
Starting off Sunday’s competition on the derby field, 33 entries jumped in the $50,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, with nine clear over Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s course. In the jump-off, Sternlicht and Starlight Farms LLC’s Quidam MB were the winners with the only double clear round in 48.49 seconds. Catherine Tyree and Don’t Go had the fastest four-fault round in 44.49 seconds to finish in second place, and Kelli Cruciotti and Serenity Equestrian Ventures LLC’s Chamonix H placed third with four faults in 44.71 seconds.
Sternlicht (21), a sophomore at Brown University, trains with U.S. show jumper Laura Kraut. Her mount, Quidam MB, is a ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Quidam’s Rubin x Argentinus).
“He is a horse that is incredibly special to me,” Sternlicht stated. “I bought him as a seven-year-old and started him at the 1.20m level and have moved him up. I think we have really grown together, and I think that is part of what makes our partnership so strong. He is definitely a little bit spunky, but I really know him like the back of my hand. I said to him, ‘Come on, we have to do this,’ and he really pulled through for me today, so I am incredibly happy with him.”
Second place finisher Catherine Tyree (21) is a sophomore at Northwestern University, and trains with North Run’s Missy Clark and John Brennan. Tyree was aboard her 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion Don’t Go (Come On x Raphel).
“I have aimed Don’t Go at these classes all circuit. He loves different venues,” Tyree noted. “He is amazing on the field, and he was great under the lights. He is one I can always count on; he always gives me 110%. I gave it a good shot in the jump-off today. He did everything I asked. I got a little bit unlucky. It was my fault, but I am thrilled with how he has been all circuit and could not have asked for any more.”
Kelli Cruciotti (17) has done well in the series all winter with her 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare Chamonix H, including a win in the speed class during week two. She was happy with her round to earn third place in Sunday’s Final.
“She (Chamonix H) has been unbelievable this whole circuit. I could not have asked her to jump any better for me,” Cruciotti praised. “Every class I have asked her to do, she has really tried her heart out. This is more her venue. She loves big, open fields and big jumps, so this class and this course really suited her style of jumping. I was a little unlucky to the last jump. I kind of took a chance. Unfortunately it did not work out for me today, but congratulations to Adrienne.”
Sunday’s class was the final event in the 2015 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, which also awarded top prizes for its overall standings after the competition. New York’s Lucy Deslauriers was the series winner for her performance throughout the winter. Nicole Bellissimo finished second overall and Catherine Tyree was third. Mavis Spencer placed fourth in the standings, and Eugenio Garza and Sophie Simpson completed the top six.
As the overall winning rider, Deslauriers received a Bruno Delgrange saddle valued at $6,000, and are invited to compete at the CSI2* Chantilly Horse Show, to be held from July 16-19, 2015, in France. In addition to their entry, the winner also receives two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge, transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, and layover at Artisan Farms in Vrasene, Belgium.
Fifteen-year-old Deslauriers has had a fantastic week, including a win in Friday night’s George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship, presented by Alessandro Albanese. On Saturday night, she was then presented The Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsmanship Trophy.
Deslauriers rode Hester on Sunday, a mount that she has had for two years. She was thrilled to win the series and looks forward to her first time competing in Europe as her prize.
“It is really amazing. He has been super consistent, so I am really just excited to win,” Deslauriers smiled. “I have had him since the beginning of his eight-year-old year, so we have really developed a strong partnership. I knew going into today he would give me everything I asked and more, and he really did. He really jumped incredible, so I am really excited.”
Nicole Bellissimo (21), a Sophomore at Harvard University, was leading the series coming into Sunday’s competition with her mare VDL Bellefleur, and finished out the winter in second place overall. She was happy to see her young mare’s progression and consistency throughout the circuit.
“She is nine this year and I have had her since the end of her six-year-old year, so we have definitely developed a nice partnership,” Bellissimo stated. “Last year I showed her as an eight-year-old in these classes. Last year it was not so much to go in and win the classes. She did win the semi-final, but that was because she was the only double clear, we were not really trying to go fast. This year our plan was to try to go in and be competitive and she was absolutely fantastic the entire series. Today I could have helped her a little more, but she could not have done any more. We got a little unlucky, but Lucy rode fantastic the entire series.”
Now in its fifth year, the popular Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series was expanded to feature more classes, increased prize money, and new ‘Under 25’ sanctioning by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in 2015. Open to competitors of all nationalities aged 25 and under, the Series gives up and coming riders the opportunity to compete under FEI rules while also gaining valuable grand prix experience against their peers. With varying conditions offered for each class, riders have the opportunity to compete at a height of 1.45m on grass, all-weather footing, under the lights at night, and in team competition, all of which are important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. This year’s series, comprised of seven events, attracted riders from around the world competing for $170,000 in prize money.
Sponsor Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms was pleased to see the development of all the riders in the series this year and congratulated the top competitors on their success.
“It is really great. Every year has been bigger and bigger. We had a lot of prize money this year and a lot of opportunity for different classes, and it has been exciting to see the consistency and see so many good rounds put in by all these riders,” Ziegler stated. “I just want to congratulate all of them. I am so impressed with what they have been able to do, and I wish them all the best of luck as they move up to the senior grand prix ranks. I am excited to have Lucy come to Europe for the summer. We will put her up at Artisan if she wants to. It is really fun to (ride at) Chantilly, and it is a really special opportunity, so congratulations.”
All of the top riders spoke to the experiences that the series has given them, including the chance to compete in different venues with different horses as well as the opportunity to get to know their fellow competitors.
“I could not be more grateful for the opportunity that the Ziegler family and Artisan Farms has given the young riders,” Tyree stated. “It is great to have a series where you can experiment with different types of classes and different venues. It has been a great stepping-stone from the junior and amateur ranks, bridging into the international open jumper level, so I could not be more thankful for being able to participate in these classes.”
“It is also a fantastic opportunity to give the horses experience,” Bellissimo remarked. “You can take one horse to go in the smaller ring, or the main international ring, or jump on the field. If you want to get to know one horse more, it gives you the opportunity to test them out in every single venue during one circuit, or you can show a couple different horses if you know one is better in one situation. It is fantastic for anything that you really want to do. As a young rider also, as you head to different venues for the summer, it is great to see what you need to improve or where you are going to excel.”
For Sternlicht, the opportunity to get to know the other riders has been a great experience, and she has felt camaraderie with the other competitors in the series this year.
“I think what is really amazing that this series has done, is it has started to create a sort of niche community (in America) among the under 25 riders that I don’t think was present until now. Last summer I had the opportunity to compete on the U.S. Young Rider Team at Hagen, and you felt a sort of kinship among all of the different competitors,” Sternlicht noted. “They see each other all the time, and they know each other and it is very competitive. For that I am incredibly grateful.”
Deslauriers agreed, adding, “I think it really creates a separate group that was not really in place before. It is amazing that the Zieglers have stepped up and been so generous to provide such an amazing series for us.”
Farrington and Waomi Win $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
Competing on the grass field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday, USA’s Kent Farrington won the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic aboard Amalaya Investment’s Waomi. To conclude the eleventh week of WEF competition, 36 entries showed over Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s course, with five clear rounds to jump-off. Farrington qualified two horses, first and last to go on the short course.
Farrington began the jump-off with what would prove to be the winning round aboard Waomi, clear in 38.18 seconds. Ben Asselin (CAN) and Attache Stables Doremi retuned with four faults in 42.20 seconds to place fifth. Darragh Kenny (IRL) jumped next with Caroline Lloyd’s Sans Soucis Z, clear in 40.15 seconds, to finish third. Harrie Smolders (NED) followed in 38.99 seconds aboard Axel Verlooy’s Enjoy Louis to move into second place. Last to go, Farrington returned aboard Amalaya Investment’s Willow with a clear round in 40.42 seconds to also earn fourth place honors.
“Today was a nice change of pace coming out to the field,” Farrington stated after his win. “I personally love riding on the grass. It is a more natural footing, and I think the horses like it. It was a great change of scenery, and I thought the footing here was excellent today. You could not have asked for a better setting than this.”
Farrington has had success with both Waomi and Willow in the 1.50m series this winter, among other top finishes throughout the circuit. Waomi won the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic during week seven, and two weeks later, Willow won the class in week nine. Farrington described the two horses, as well as his plan for each of their jump-off rounds. Waomi is a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Lupicor x Boreas), and Willow is a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Guidam x Little Rock).
“Willow is really a hot horse. He is on the attack all the time, and I kind of have to throttle him down and try to keep his brain calm so that he does not get ahead of himself,” Farrington noted. “That is sort of where his rail will come, when he does not slow down to jump the fence. He just gets too much in a hurry.”
“Waomi is a very careful mare that sort of has her own style,” he continued. “She is an opinionated lady, and she wants to go the way she wants to go.”
“To start with Waomi, I thought there were fast riders coming after me, and I would have to lay down a pretty good trip to be in contention to win today,” Farrington said of the jump-off. “I thought she went great. She did everything I asked her to do and luckily that was enough for today.”
“Having the fortune of going last on my second horse, I actually thought it was nice training for him to do a jump-off not at full speed,” Farrington explained. “I have run him in a lot of classes here and gone very fast, so today I could kind of glide around the course and set him up for the next class I am going to do with him.”
Farrington plans to rest Willow next week to show in Miami at the conclusion of the WEF circuit. Waomi will return to compete in week 12.
Sophie Gochman and Elation Finish Week 11 as the Visse Wedell, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Small Pony Hunter Champions
On the final day of hunter competition for WEF 11, Sophie Gochman rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s pony, Elation, to the tricolor ribbon in the Visse Wedell, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Small Pony Hunters. Elation and Gochman won two of the over fences classes on their way to the winner’s circle. “I’m thankful that Betsee [Parker] lets me ride her wonderful pony,” Gochman smiled after the championship presentation.
With Applause and Zayna Rizvi ended Sunday as reserve champions in the division. Rizvi piloted With Applause to a first and fifth over fences, paired with a win in the under saddle.
Gochman started riding Elation six months ago and started showing Elation at the beginning of WEF. “We have gotten to know each other over the past six months,” Gochman stated. “She [Elation] acts like a diva at the barn and is always looking for carrots, but around the ring she is always game, which makes her very fun to ride.”
Despite being a little fresh in the first class, Elation came back for the Handy round and turned in the top performance of the day. Gochman explained, “In the handy she was on it and overall she was great both days.”
“I’m lucky to have such great trainers, Scott [Stewart], Ken [Berkley], and Amanda [Derbyshire], to help coach me at the ring,” Gochman said.
Only 12 years old, Gochman enjoys the competitive environment at WEF. “I feel like I have a challenge going into the ring because the competition is so good,” Gochman commented.
Gochman lives in New York City and flies down to Wellington on weekends to compete, along with her mother and sister. While Gochman has competed in the pony hunters past years, she has recently started showing in the 3’3″ Junior Hunters and the Children’s Jumpers.
The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its twelfth and final week of competition, sponsored by Rolex, on March 25-29. The week features the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, March 28. Other highlights include $34,000 1.45m FEI world ranking classes on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 on Thursday. The $10,000 Holtgers 5-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic, $15,000 Adequan® 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic, and $20,000 Adequan® 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic will be featured on Friday. The $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final will be held on Saturday, and the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will host its first round on Saturday and its second round on the derby field Sunday. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.