Tag Archives: Beth Underhill

Winners of the Summer Season Rolex Grands Prix

With European summertime drawing to a close, so too does the Rolex Grands Prix summer season, which begins in May and ends on the final weekend in August. Over the course of this four-month period, Rolex is the title partner of six prestigious shows’ Grands Prix, each one sitting outside of the revered Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

CSIO Jumping International de la Baule hosted the first Rolex Grand Prix of the summer season, also marking the first time Rolex has sponsored the show, a firm favourite with riders. Delighted crowds witnessed 59-year-old Canadian Beth Underhill and Dieu Merci Van T&L lift the inaugural trophy. The mare was previously ridden by Eric Lamaze, who has now retired from the sport due to health issues. Lamaze is now providing his expert knowledge to the Canadian team in his new role as Chef d’Equipe and was with Underhill at the show. Second place went to Yuri Mansur of Brazil with his gelding Vitiki, with Frenchman Pierre Marie Friant claiming third with Urdy d’Astrée.

Just a week later, the world’s best horse and rider combinations made the short journey across the English Channel to the spectacular CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show in the grounds of Windsor Castle, which this year hosted a spectacular equestrian and musical performance to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign. Equestrian royalty gathered to contest the Rolex Grand Prix, which, in typical English style, was held under grey clouds and rainy skies. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s course caused issues throughout, with only three combinations eventually progressing to the jump-off. First to go was Belgian Gregory Wathelet with his trusted partner Nevados S who laid down a gauntlet that neither Max Kühner of Austria nor Daniel Bluman from Israel could match. Wathelet and his stallion now target the FEI World Championships, both hoping to carry forward their winning form.

Next up was CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, which is often referred to as the most picturesque show jumping event in the world. On the pristine oval arena where 49 of the world’s best partnerships competed, 13 proceeded to the jump-off. Much to his delight, Irishman Denis Lynch claimed his second Rolex Grand Prix in Roma, his first coming in 2008 with the great Lantinus. Lynch had only recently taken over the reins of his ride Brooklyn Heights, but the duo was in harmony and produced the quickest round to take the title. Germany’s Jana Wargers and her bay stallion Limbridge followed up in second place and home favourite Piergiorgio Bucci took third.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Beth Underhill Wins €500,000 Rolex Grand Prix of La Baule

Beth Underhill riding Dieu Merci van T&L. Photo by Pierre Costabadie/Scoopdyga.com.

La Baule, France – Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Mulmer, ON won the €500,000 Rolex Grand Prix of La Baule on Sunday, May 8, to close out the CSIO5* International Jumping La Baule in France.

On Friday, Underhill delivered double clear rounds to lead Canada to a third-place finish in the €250,000 Nations’ Cup riding Dieu Merci van T&L. The pair carried their form into Sunday’s €500,000 Rolex Grand Prix where they again jumped clear in the opening round of competition to join 11 other riders who qualified for the second round.

Underhill and Dieu Merci van T&L tackled the second-round course set in the François André Stadium by French course designer Gregory Bodo and delivered yet another clear round in a time of 43.77 seconds to put the pressure on those who followed. None were able to catch her time and leave all the rails up, giving the win to Underhill and the 13-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion (Toulon x Corrado I) owned by the Rein Family LLC and Torrey Pines Stable Inc. Yuri Mansur of Brazil riding Vitiki was the only other rider to produce two clear rounds, but his slower time of 45 seconds left him in second. There was a tie for third place when both Pierre Marie Friant of France riding Urdy d’Astree and Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet riding Nevados S counted four faults in the exact same time of 41.66 seconds.

“He was spectacular all week and didn’t put a foot wrong,” said Underhill of her winning mount. “He gave me everything he had without question and felt better every round.”

Underhill, who operates her own Beth Underhill Stables training business in King City, ON, began riding horses for Eric Lamaze at the beginning of this season when health issues forced the 2008 Olympic champion to take a step back. Lamaze has since formally announced his retirement from the sport but has taken up his new role as chef d’equipe of the Canadian Show Jumping Team with gusto.

Underhill, 59, recounted, “When I went in the ring for the second round, Eric said, ‘It’s yours to take.’ It galvanized me. I thought about all that Eric has done for us and has given me a renewed opportunity at this stage in my career. All the Canadian riders wanted to make this week count. I wanted to hold my own and put into practice all the things that we had been working on. I wanted to do it for Eric. To have a result like this is thrilling.”

Dieu Merci van T&L was acquired in the summer of 2020 and is owned in partnership between Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable and Mark Rein and Tara Dow-Rein’s Rein Family LLC. Prior to La Baule, Underhill had only competed the horse during two weeks of competition in March at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

“Mark has been texting after every round encouraging us; we couldn’t ask for better owners,” said Underhill of the 2021 Equestrian Canada Jumping Committee’s ‘Owner of the Year.’ “I grew up riding with Mark years ago as a junior. He is a Canadian and someone who loves the sport. We are so appreciative that he and Tara have brought their support to this level, and all that they’ve done to get us to this point. I’m very thankful to have a horse at this level.

“To watch the Canadian flag being raised and hear the anthem being played was an emotional moment, with the whole team there supporting us,” continued Underhill who represented Canada at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona with Monopoly. “To be part of a competition like La Baule is a dream come true for me. The crowd was electric and so supportive of the Canadians. Because of Eric’s history with the show, I think they have a soft spot for Canadians. It was an incredible week. We did what we came to do.”

Lamaze has won the Grand Prix of La Baule on three occasions, in 2007 and 2011 riding his Beijing Olympic individual gold and team silver partner, Hickstead, and again in 2014 aboard Powerplay.

“As Canadians, we couldn’t be happier; Beth continued the form she had in the Nations’ Cup,” said Lamaze. “It was an excellent course. It was a big grand prix track that was built with a lot of thought behind it. Beth was fast enough in the second round but not fast enough to do something stupid. She did what she needed to do at that stage of the class, and it worked out for her. Beth looks strong on that horse and winning the Grand Prix of La Baule is a major achievement in your career.

“I proud not only of Beth for the win, but for the entire Canadian team and their attitude, the way that they handled everything and supported each other this week,” continued Lamaze. “Competing in Europe is something I’ve done by myself for so many years; we eventually managed to get some teams over here, but it was never properly organized. This week shows that good things are to come for Canada.”

“This morning I was walking through the vendor area and I came across the place where they have all the plaques of the past winners,” concluded Underhill. “I saw that Canada had won the Nations’ Cup in 1970, and that Eric had won the Grand Prix twice with Hickstead and again with Powerplay. I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be magical to be part of that hallowed group?’”

During the event’s 61st edition, Underhill and Dieu Merci van T&L have indeed written their names in the history books of La Baule.

For more information on CSIO5* La Baule and full results, including video footage of Underhill’s winning round, visit www.labaule-cheval.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | www.startinggate.ca

2016 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix Topped by Brianne Goutal and Onira

Brianne Goutal and Onira (Photos courtesy of The Ridge at Wellington/Equinium)

Beth Underhill Named Leading Rider

Wellington, Florida (April 11, 2016) – As the final horse soared over the final oxer under the spectacular covered arena of Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, the 2016 turf Tour came to a close following 13 weeks of high caliber show jumping and hunter competition. Finale week at the Turf Tour included some of the most technical courses, exceptional amenities, and world-class competitors that have set the series apart on the Wellington show circuit.

The $24,995 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix was topped by Brianne Goutal aboard Onira, one of a group of early double clears that bested the field of riders including Olympic champions and some of the top names in international show jumping. Hardin Towell and Flip clocked in at 35.286 in the jump off to place second, and Goutal and her other ride, Barlon van Groenhove, finished third with a double clear and 36.588. Subsequent double clear efforts were achieved by Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and Jane Clark’s Tic Tac, top ranked Asian show jumper Taizo Sugitani and Hyperion Stud’s Imhotep, New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley with Hickstead’s Axel and Zabel D, and Chilean Olympian Samuel Parot with Cortina 186 and Cous Cous Van Orti.

Because of the threat of inclement weather, Wednesday’s competition was rescheduled for Thursday at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. The two 1.30-1.35m divisions were topped by New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Ireland’s Denis Coakley. Wordley, who finished second in the CSI 5* at WEF and only began showing on the Turf Tour later in the season, has been riding the 11-year-old gelding Hickstead’s Axel for 5 years and aimed to boost his position on the FEI rankings. “The horse is a solid competitor, and I’ve also brought some young horses to get the experience,” said Wordley. “The Turf Tour is a great opportunity for both the horses and riders and I’m a huge supporter of it. It’s also a great chance to win great prize money.”

Beth Underhill and Count Me In
Beth Underhill and Count Me In

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill, a frequent face on the Turf Tour, was also frequently in the ribbons aboard her string of horses, so much so that she topped the overall standings. Her achievements earned her the Leading Rider and Leading Lady Rider awards, which were inaugurated on the Turf Tour this year in memory of Sophie Walker and Andres Rodriquez, to equestrians lost tragically just before the start of the 2016 season. Underhill, who recently rode Count Me In to victory in the Week 10 Grand Prix at the International Polo Club was thrilled with the honor and her horses’ performance over the past three months. “It was wonderful to have the horses be so consistent throughout the circuit,” said Underhill. “And it wasn’t just one horse that stood out, but all of my horses jumped great. Count Me In really found is stride and I’m so thrilled for him and his owner Sandy Lupton. I’m expecting him to develop into a national Grand Prix horse in Canada, and I’m looking forward to build on the experience he has gained here for the winter. It’s an honor to be awarded the leading rider awards, and am looking forward to 2017.”

With the goal of developing young horses and advancing riders, the Turf Tour 13-week is a unique addition to Wellington’s growing winter circuit, offering riders top-tier competition, over $400,000 in prize money, and an unparalleled atmosphere. The ‘show when you like,’ open-ended schedule offers convenience and a more distilled competitive environment, without sacrificing the challenge and competition found at nationally recognized shows. Organized by Olympic show jumper Nona Garson, George D’Ambrosio, and Craig Bergman, the vision that inspired the tour’s conception was bringing back the old world flair to jumper classes by staging competitions on springy, natural turf surfaces away from the chaotic intensity of other show grounds.

Due to popular demand, The Ridge also hosted a final schooling show, an addition to the schedule, on April 2-3, 2016 at The Ridge at Wellington. Featuring the same prizelist and schedule as previous shows, the series featured hunters and equitation on Saturday and Jumpers on Sunday.

For more information, visit www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow The Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
954 205 7992

Beth Underhill Leaps to Victory in The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour $15,000 Grand Prix

Beth Underhill and Count Me In (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)

Wellington, Florida (March 14, 2016) – Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill brought her in-saddle savvy to The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour Week 10 Grand Prix field, holding off ten other first round clears to top the $15,000 Grand Prix class. Held on the iconic polo fields of Palm Beach’s International Polo Club, this week’s Turf Tour Grand Prix and 1.30-1.35m classes featured show jumping’s top names, as well as High, Medium, and Low Schooling Jumpers, Child/Adult, and Junior/Amateur Owner divisions. The Turf Tour’s unique combination of atmosphere, competition, amenities, stunning venues, and open in-gate policy creates a utopian show experience that is redefining the paradigms of Wellington’s horse sport industry.

Underhill, riding for owner Sandy Lupton, rode strategically and efficiently, putting in a double clear on Friday aboard Count Me In to finish on a super-fast jump off time of 34.888. Her planning and excellent execution paid off, as less than a second separated the pair’s ride from second place. Angel Karolyi and Hollow Creek Farm’s Indiana 27 finished their jump off (35.066) in an exceptional and exciting attempt to catch Underhill and Count Me In. New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and his own Zabel galloped through the timers to finish in third at 36.225, and Wordley and Hickstead Axel raced to fourth in 36.361, just a tenth of a second slower than Zabel. Wellington’s Tina Yates and Cicomein VDL rode to fifth with a double clear and final jump off time of 36.905, with Lauren Fischer aboard Tosca Du Feugre securing sixth with a time of 38.152.

A frequent face on the Turf Tour, Underhill cited the convenience for her and the experience for her young horses as the reason she repeatedly rides in the series. “I think what Nona and George are offering to the sport is fantastic,” she said, referring to the Tour’s organizers and founders, US Olympian Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio. “We have the ability to develop our young horses at a variety of fabulous venues, and it’s so convenient to walk the course when you want and have more latitude in your day to get things done. The jumps are lovely, the venues are fabulous, and it’s a change of pace for some of the more experienced horses.”

Wednesday’s $2,400 1.30-1.35m competition saw the fast and accurate combinations of Alexander Zetterman with Contessa V and Jack H. Towell with Flip topping the rosters, kicking off Week 10’s competition. Friday’s Junior Amateur Classic was skillfully won by Michelle Kamine with her own Loreana and the Child Adult Jumper Classic was dominated by Madeleine Mallon aboard Amanda Scaffer’s Antonio. Winners of both classes, in addition to their prize money, were awarded a three-day stay at the beautiful Bright’s Creek Resort in Tryon, North Carolina. Winners of the Junior/Amateur and Child/Adult Jumper classics in upcoming Turf Tour competitions will receive this exciting award from Bright’s Creek. For more information visit the Bright’s Creek website.

The beautiful and technical courses in both fields, designed by Nick Granat, focused on the application of strong basics and options to challenge both horses and riders, allowing for green competitors to build confidence and skills while seasoned competitors sharpened and fine-tuned their talent. “Our goal is giving competitors a chance to experience everything, from riding on the turf polo fields at the spectacular International Polo Club, to competing under the lights in a spectacular covered arena,” said George D’Ambrosio.

This dedication to variety continues next week, as The Ridge at Wellington welcomes riders to its second and final Hunter Derby Days event, held in the expansive covered arena at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, less than two miles from Wellington. The Turf Tour’s competition at IPC continues Wednesday and Saturday, March 16 and 19, with the Hunter Derby classes being held on Friday, March 18. Featuring a $5,000 Dietrich Equine Insurance USHJA National Hunter Derby at 1:30pm and a fabulous evening class, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at 7pm, this celebration of the grace and elegance of performance hunters also serves as an exclusive way to qualify for international titles and the National Hunter Derby Championships.

For more information, visit www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow The Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
954 205 7992

Beth Underhill and Viggo Seal The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour Week 10 Victory

Beth Underhill and Viggo.

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2015 – For nine weeks, Canada’s Beth Underhill consistently placed at the top of The Ridge Turf Tour series, yet victory seemed to evade both her and her veteran mount Viggo. During Week 10 of the Turf Tour Series, Underhill left nothing to chance, racing to the top of the leader board with Viggo in 33.003 seconds. They closed out the competition only five-hundredths of a second ahead of Sharn Wordley and Popstar Lozonais.

The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour series saw one of its largest competition days, with over 50 horse and rider combinations traversing Nick Granat’s technical track. Brianne Goutal was the first entry of the day, riding to a double clear effort in 34.411 seconds with Ballade Van Het Indihof to set the pace for the consecutive competitors. Sharn Wordley (NZL) was the first of the 21 jump-off contenders to surpass Goutal, riding Popstar Lozonais to the impressive time of 33.056 seconds.

Quentin Judge nearly caught Wordley, landing from the final fence in 33.122 seconds with HH Dark de la Hart. The 12-year-old stallion has a plethora of experience, and Judge uses The Ridge Turf Tour to freshen up his mount.

“He is a very good turner, you can really trust him to turn back as tight as you want, and he knows where his legs are,” Judge said. “He has so much experience that he finds the way for you, so he doesn’t have to go that fast across the ground. I thought the course was fair, and I think the courses have gotten more technical as the winters have progressed, as they should. Today was a good test, and we are looking forward to the finale in a couple of weeks.”

Nina Fagerstrom and Hot Topic put in a super effort in the jump-off, following immediately after Judge; however, their time of 33.198 seconds put them as third in the standings, pending when Underhill and Viggo took their turn at the track three rounds later.

Until today, Underhill was always the bridesmaid, but never the bride. She took the top placings consistently throughout the 12-week series, as one of The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour’s most competitive exhibitors. Today, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC), the winds changed, as Underhill left no stone unturned, shaving the seconds with Viggo on the turf.

“I knew I had to be right on it to be competitive in the jump-off,” Underhill explained. “I walked from one to two knew that if I believe the six strides is there we could do it. It was a bit of a blind turn, but we pulled it off. I feel I did the most efficient track I was capable to do with Viggo. He has a big canter and sometimes spends a little bit of time galloping. He was very smooth and efficient today, and honestly, I think it was his best jump-off of The Ridge so far.”

Underhill continued, “I am so pleased with how consistent he has become. He has been so competitive and consistent each time out that it makes me really pleased to see how well he has responded to being down here. This is helping to prepare him to move up to the bigger classes.”

Underhill’s time knocked Wordley into the second place, with Judge finishing the day in third. Fagerstrom closed out the 1.40m Grand Prix in fourth, while Goutal took the fifth place finish. Chicago’s speed demons Lisa Goldman and Aslan rounded out the top six.

“I think it is a fantastic tour,” Underhill concluded. “I have been able to bring some young horses here, as well, giving them their first opportunity to experience the turf. This series is such a benefit for riders and trainers. We are able to bring our young horses along, as well as many of our students. For me, it is an opportunity to get out and do some great show jumping at a different location. The quality of these competitions is top notch, which is why we keep coming back every week, and why there are more and more of us. People are becoming more aware and really seeing the benefit of competing.”

The second ring was alive with action as the 1.40m Grand Prix action unfolded concurrently. The Low Schooling Jumpers kicked off Jumper Ring 2 with double wins from Emily Snack and Jessika, owned by Centennial Farm. In the speed class, Ned Cuniffe and Dollydoo picked up the second place, while Sarah Wayda and Contentus finished third. During the jump-off class, Alessanda D’amour and Diamon Dance captured the second place, while Cuniffe duplicated his clean and speedy effort from the first class to take the third place with Dollydoo.

In the Medium Schooling Jumpers, Diego Vivero and Big Brother raced to the first place in the speed class. In second place was Jonathan McCrea with Brugal VDL, while Matthew Metell and Everton closed out the class in third. The jump-off class saw a 1-2 finish for Marshall Field aboard Click for Quality and Carpathia K, respectively. Third place was awarded to El Casper with Victoria Guilleksen in the irons.

Week 11 of the Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour will return to The International Polo Club Palm Beach, located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington, FL, 33414. The show entrance is off 120th Street between Lake Worth Road and Pierson Road. Week 11 of the series will offer their jumper classes on Wednesday and Saturday, with the second of their annual Hunter Derby Days taking place on Friday at The Ridge Farm.

The Ridge would like to thank Dover Saddlery for their support of the 12-week series as the cooler and banner sponsor, and they would also like to announce their most recent jump sponsor, Panthera, the leaders in wild cat conservation. Panthera joins Hollow Brook Wealth Management and PJ Saddles as the series’ jump sponsors.

Show Net will be onsite for both Wednesday and Saturday events posting live results, as well as videoing rounds in both rings. For results and videos, please visit www.shownet.biz.

Meadowbrook Horse Transport will provide transportation to and from the horse show and other locations throughout Wellington for both the Wednesday and Friday events. The transportation is a nominal fee of $50 per horse, and will be calculated into the final show fees. To make a reservation for one of the three pickup times, 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m., please call Peter Tufano of Meadowbrook Horse Transport at (954) 415-7217, or call Nona Garson at (908) 500-0996.

The Ridge at Wellington Horse Show Series Fast Facts

The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour offers their popular 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix for its third year, with an open in gate format taking place once a week at beautiful venues throughout Wellington. The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale will take place March 27, 2015.

The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 7, 2015 and running until March 18, 2015.

Young Jumper Classes and both Children’s/Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour, running concurrently with the 1.30-1.35m and 1.40m Jumpers.

The Ridge at Wellington offers Equitation Shows every Tuesday of the month from January 6 – March 23, 2015. There will also be a series of schooling shows at the Ridge at Wellington for all experience levels.

Two USHJA International Hunter Derbies will take place February 6, 2015 and March 20, 2015.

The Ridge at Wellington series includes several weeks of competition throughout the Winter Season with USEF Rated Equitation Shows. This winter will also feature five two-day schooling shows. The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour will offer 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers, 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix, Young Jumpers, Children’s/Adult Classics, Masters Jumpers, Junior/Amateur Classics, two hunter derbies and the Pre-Green Incentive Stake.

Before Show – (561) 791-1471, Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
During Show – Telephone: (561) 791-1471, Fax: (561) 791-1543
Text: (908) 500-0996

Website: http://www.theridgefarm.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/359668144211383/

Nona Garson
14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd. East
Wellington, FL, 33414
(561) 791-1471 (show office)
(908) 839-3859 (show cell)
(561) 791-1543 (show fax)
Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
Website: http://www.theridgefarm.com

Media Contact:
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12012 South Shore Blvd.
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Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
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