Tag Archives: Jonathan McCrea

Jonathan McCrea & Aristoteles V Fly to Victory in the Final Grand Prix at Bromont

Jonathan McCrea & Aristoteles V. Credit Tom von Kap-herr.

Bromont, April 5, 2018 – American Jonathan McCrea stepped on top of the podium winning the final Grand Prix at the 2018 International Bromont, with Aristoteles V.

McCrea is unbeatable
Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt’s course comprised 13 obstacles for 16 efforts, including a triple combination coming out of a broken line. Therefore, 11 horse-rider pairs qualified for the jump-off round.

With the fastest time in the first round, Christine McCrea & Dali de Vy are first out in the jump-off, but a pole down at the seventh obstacle keeps the door open for the pairs still to come, allowing them to take the lead. The next two pairs, Nicholas Dello Joio & Columbcille de Reve, as well as Mario Deslauriers & Jamaica van Paemel, execute a clear jump-off round, taking the first two places in the standings at that point.

The arrival of Jonathan McCrea & Aristoteles V on the course changes things. The pair takes advantage with a double clear round in a time of 42.54 seconds. Only Susan Horn & Lilly Fee (40.83) and Leslie Howard & Quadam (41.98) will be able to surpass their time, but poles down at the seventh and first obstacles, respectively, will prevent them from winning.

About International Bromont
International Bromont presents its 43rd edition in the picturesque setting of the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, at the heart of the beautiful region of the Eastern Townships. For more information on the schedule, visit our Web site at www.internationalbromont.org.

Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux Top $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* at WEF

Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux. Photos © Sportfot.

Tiffany Foster and Victor Win Suncast® 1.50m; Augusta Iwasaki and Caleche Crowned Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter Champions

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2017 – Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Special Lux concluded week nine competition of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Sunday, March 5, with a win in the $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Also showing on Sunday, two-time Olympian Tiffany Foster of Canada won the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic riding Victor.

Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) concluded his week challenging the international competitors at WEF with 45 entries in the two-star grand prix and 11 in the jump-off. McCrea and Candy Tribble’s Special Lux completed the fastest of six double clear rounds in 36.74 seconds. Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s Presence stopped the clock in 38.75 seconds to place second. Jonathon Millar (CAN) and Millar Brooke Farm’s Daveau finished third with a time of 40.89 seconds.

McCrea and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lux x Coille Mor Hill) have been partnered for almost four years and won the FEI World Cup™ qualifier in Bromont, Quebec, in July 2016, but the rider felt like his horse lost some form after that. He was happy to have the two-star division to compete in this week, and the pair also won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman CSI 2* 1.45m speed class on Thursday.

“It’s always a struggle when that happens – when you go from everything to nothing overnight,” McCrea stated. “Literally, I just backed right off him. Two weeks or three weeks ago was his first time showing in Ocala. He was second in the two-star there in the grand prix. Then I gave him a week off and came here, again just with the idea of showing in the two-star to get him confident and happy.”

Detailing his winning round, McCrea noted, “I was in the position today to go last, which is always in his favor. I had seen Paul go. I knew maybe I had a little bit more ground speed with my horse, and he maybe has a bit more experience than Paul’s on the rollback turns. He is super careful, so I am never afraid to gallop with him.

“His ride is a little different; he is very Irish,” McCrea said of Special Lux. “He loves to gallop. I think even if you look back at his first round, he was almost ten seconds under the time allowed. That is how he his. He wants to be able to gallop; that is his strength. He is very careful. I just have to let him alone, and let him jump.”

O’Shea was aboard a young mount in Skara Glen’s Presence, a nine-year-old Holsteiner stallion (Contendro x Nekton) that he owns in partnership with Skara Glen Stables and Michael Haydon, and was happy with both of his rounds.

“I was just delighted with my horse,” O’Shea stated. “He is just a nine-year-old. I have done four grand prix with him, and he has won two of them, and second now today, so I could not be happier. I just love him; he has been really consistent.”

O’Shea found the horse when it was six and showed him in Europe as a seven-year-old. He detailed, “I think he jumped in 24 rounds, and he was clear 19 times. He is just a fantastic horse. He does not really have a weakness. He is very scopey and very careful. He is a real fighter. He is a horse for the future. I think he is a horse that is going to do championships if I don’t get in his way, so I am delighted. When they have his kind of quality, it makes everything much easier. He has the raw materials.”

Remarking on his jump-off, O’Shea added, “It was for sure the fastest jump-off I have done with him. I went very quick; Jon was just faster than me today. If I was to do it again, I do not think I could have done anything different. Maybe to the last two, I could have been a little bit quicker, but I would not have been quicker than Jon.”

For his third place finish, Millar was aboard Daveau, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Glennridge) that he has been bringing along for two years. The pair was also second in week seven’s two-star grand prix, and Millar has been pleased with his horse’s consistency.

“The last three two-star grand prixs, he was fifth, second, and now third, so double clean in all three,” Millar pointed out. “The addition of these two-star classes has been fantastic for a wide variety of horses and riders. It just gives everybody a little bit of a different option. It is fantastic to be able to take this opportunity and develop my horse.

“I could not be more pleased with him,” Millar continued. “I am just trying to teach him about turning and galloping, and things like that, without running his legs off here. He has always been a very consistent horse. I think he has a bright future, and I am just trying to develop him and give him the exposure here.”

Detailing his jump-off, Millar stated, “He does cover the ground really well. He is efficient, and quick, and turns really well. I think [the times were] pretty close, and that is what these classes end up being. It is where you can take your risks and what your horse’s sort of risk/reward situation is. Fractions of a second is what it comes down to, so overall I could not be more pleased.”

Tiffany Foster and Victor Win Suncast® 1.50m

Fifty entries started in round one of Sunday’s $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, with ten advancing to the jump-off and five double clear rounds. Two-time Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster took top honors with her veteran partner Victor, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Elmshorn x Grandeur) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable.

Jimmy Torano (USA) set the pace in the jump-off in 40.23 seconds to eventually finish fifth aboard Day Dream, owned by Jimmy and Danielle Torano. Laura Kraut (USA) and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Constable II upped the pace in 38.75 seconds to earn the third place prize. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm’s Skyhorse followed with the fourth place time of 40.21 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) briefly jumped into the lead with a time of 37.56 seconds riding his own and Susan Heller’s Tina la Boheme, but was bested in the end. Third to last, Foster and Victor raced through the timers in 36.82 seconds.

Tiffany Foster and Victor

“I think that I had an advantage, going later in the jump-off, and knowing how fast that everybody was going,” Foster said following her round. “It was one of those jump-offs where you just needed foot speed and you needed to take a little bit of an extra risk at some point. I know my horse obviously really well, since I have had him forever, and I knew that if I landed on stride one in that last line, I could probably get there in seven. I kind of opted for seven very fast strides instead of eight formal strides, but I have huge trust and confidence in my horse, and I knew he would get there. It turned out well, because if not, I do not think we could have won it.”

Even in the first round, Foster knew that she had the longtime partnership with Victor on her side.

“He is such an experienced and great horse that to jump one of these courses, even though they are difficult, you feel like it is easy for him,” Foster noted of the horse she has ridden for eight years. “That makes a big difference. There is a big margin of error I think, when you go into a class like that on a horse with that much scope and experience. That obviously is a huge advantage, and you feel a lot of confidence with that.”

Now that Victor is 15 years old, Foster and the team at Artisan Farms pick his classes carefully and try to keep the gelding’s schedule light.

“I was not even planning to do this class,” Foster laughed. “Victor’s owner, Andy Ziegler, has full credit for me even being in this class today. I had a time-fault in the WEF (Challenge Cup), and I was so mad at myself because my plan was for that to be Victor’s only class. If it were not for Andy, I never would have entered, so he has full credit for this win.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious were victorious in the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic.

Augusta Iwasaki and Caleche Crowned Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter Champions

The Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Large Pony Hunter division finished Sunday morning on ‘Pony Island.’ Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA guided Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ Caleche to win two over fences classes, place fourth in the other over fences round, and fifth in the conformation. The pair earned the championship honors with a total of 23 points.

Caleche, a ten-year-old Oldenburg Pony mare by Constantin, was imported late in 2011 and started her U.S. show career at WEF in 2012. The mare is currently stabled at Stefanie Mazer’s Forget Me Not Farm in Wellington, FL.

“She’s an awesome large pony,” Mazer complimented. “She’s beautiful, easy to take care of, and so sweet. It is a real pleasure to have her in the barn. She always jumps in great form and is a really classy mare.”

Mazer introduced Caleche to her current owners two years ago when they first purchased the mare.

“I actually sold her to her current owners,” Mazer continued. “She was for [Barrett-Gurtis’] daughter to show in the pony divisions. Her daughter outgrew ponies, and they sent the Caleche back to me at the 2015 Washington International Horse Show to sell. The mare has been doing really well during the winter circuit!”

Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC captured the reserve ribbon aboard Valor. The pair received a second place ribbon under saddle, second in an over fences trip, and third in the conformation class. Valor, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, is a 13-year-old Welsh Pony gelding that Mimi Gochman previously campaigned.

The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its tenth week of competition on March 15-19, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux Earn Victory in Season Opener at International Bromont

Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux. (FEI/Debby Jamroz)

Bromont, Quebec, Canada, 31 July 2016 – Against a backdrop of clear, blue skies and a record-breaking number of spectators, the United States’ Jonathan McCrea piloted Special Lux to the top of the podium in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Bromont at Bromont International CSI3*-W. The picturesque Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park played host to its 41st edition of the competition and to the launch of this season’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.  A starting order of 19 horse-and-rider pairs contested Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge’s track, his final design, before flying to his home country for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 1.60 metre course, with 13 obstacles and 16 jumping attempts, featuring long, galloping lines, wide oxers, and large, sweeping turns that utilized the expansive, outdoor arena, prompted riders to remark that it was certainly “big enough” during the course walk. In particular, a demanding, vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, off a tight, right-hand turn, near the final portion of the track would go on to force multiple rounds to record at least four faults.

“It’s always a big pleasure to be back in Bromont,” Jorge said. “As you may know, it was my first show in North America back in 1998.  For 18 years I have been coming regularly here. It’s always nice to see the improvements on the venue: the new footing this year, the quality is always getting better, and it’s always nice coming here to see the sign from the ’76 Olympic Games. It’s always nice to be in a venue like this.”

“The number of riders was not that big, but we had really good quality and I was able to build a course to the standards of a World Cup Qualifier, and it was a good jump off for the crowd,” he added. “There’s always a good crowd here in Bromont so I think it’s a very good start for the North American League.”

Veteran rider Peter Leone (USA), riding 10 year old gelding Wayfarer (Languster x Angel), was the first to enter the ring and nearly delivered a fault-free round save for a rail at the A element of the triple combination. But a clear round came soon after, when USA’s Alison Robitaille and 11-year-old, Dutch Warmblood gelding Ace (Berlin x Irco Polo) crossed the timers without a single fault as the third pair in the order.

Six additional clear first rounds throughout the class ensured a competitive jump off of seven: Andrew Kocher (USA) and 15-year-old gelding Uppie de Lis (Andiamo x Landsieger I), Keean White (CAN) and 11-year-old gelding For Freedom Z (For Pleasure x Baloubet du Rouet), Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Special Lux, Ljubov Kochetova (RUS) and 10-year-old stallion Balou du Reventon (Cornet Obolensky x Continue), Todd Minikus (USA) and 11-year-old mare Babalou (Balou du Rouet x Silvio I), and Leslie Howard (USA) and 10-year-old gelding Gentille van Spieveld (Heartbreaker x Capital) followed Robitaille with their own clear efforts, respectively.

“First of all, I’d like to thank Longines because without a partner like that, [this competition and League are] impossible,” said Roger Deslauriers, manager of the Bromont Equestrian Park and Bromont International. “It’s not always easy, but we want to do good for the sport. Three weeks ago, we tried to finish the footing in the main ring and we really worked hard to make it happen because we really like to make the effort for the riders, to give the best conditions. We’ve been working hard to make it happen.”

Pressure ride

The seven riders returned for the final, deciding round. The short track of seven obstacles with eight jumping efforts utilized a tight rollback turn from a vertical to another vertical, set at an awkward angle. The top of the jump-off order – Robitaille, Kocher, and White, couldn’t cross the timers without dropping rails. And as McCrea entered the ring, he knew he had to keep the jumps standing, but with a competitive time that would put the pressure on Minikus, who rode late in the order.

“With Special Lux, if you make a jump off, going slow is not an option,” McCrea said. “I knew with Todd and Leslie coming behind me, I had to put the hammer down. Right before I went in, my wife [Christin McCrea], who rides with me and against me, said to me as I came down the hill [into the ring], ‘There’s no clears.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I could go for a clear [but if] I take one off, a slow four is not going to go well.’ She said, ‘You know, the horse you’re on is fast. Try and put the pressure on Todd. He has a lot of experience with that horse, and he’s won a lot.’ So going for a slow, clear round wasn’t an option.

“Knowing my horse as well as I know him, you go to win. I’m lucky to have a horse as careful and fast as him.”

And true to form, McCrea masterfully navigated the rollback turn slightly wider than the former competitors in order to set himself up for an angled slice over the vertical to make a direct, eight strides to the following oxer.

“On those kinds of roll backs with him, I like to go a little wider to go back in a little closer to jump it,” McCrea said. “He’s very careful on the vertical.”

Kochetova followed McCrea’s fast, double clear, and although she managed to keep the rails standing, her time of 51.26 seconds was far behind McCrea’s 42.24 seconds. “[Balou du Reventon] is my best horse right now, and he’s getting enough experience and getting better,” Kochetova said. “I hope we can qualify for the World Cup Final. We’ll try.”

All eyes looked to Minikus to better McCrea’s time. In April, the United States Equestrian Federation had named Minikus and Babalou to the short list for the Rio Olympics. But after narrowly missing the US Team, Minikus has shifted his sights toward the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final. Chasing McCrea’s time, Minikus made a tighter rollback turn that then forced the rail. He did have the time at 41.29 seconds, but the four faults kept him off the podium with a 4th-place finish.

The final rider in the jump off, Howard had seen both clear rounds and made the conscious decision to rider for the runner-up position with a clear round at 49.58 seconds.

“I saw both Ljubov and Jonathan go, and I knew if I tried to catch Jon, there’d be a good chance I would have a rail because my horse is not as naturally fast as his,” said the two-time Olympic medalist. “I got to see Ljubov go, and I thought I could shave off a little time off hers. They’re both similar horses [mine and Ljubov’s]: big, scopey, slow moving horses. And I thought maybe a little neater turn here and there, I could shave off her time. So it was really advantageous to be able to see both of them go, and it worked out well for me.”

World Cup quality

McCrea’s mount is no stranger to winning the bigger classes. Originally purchased from Billy Twomey, McCrea’s friend from his original home country of Ireland, about three years ago, the Irish Sport Horse gelding was already competing at the Nations Cup level for Ireland with Twomey’s colleague, Anthony Condon.

“Anthony did a great job with the horse,” McCrea said. “I got lucky when I heard about him – I tried him, liked him, and he’s been great. The first year I had him, he won a bunch after just getting thrown in at the deep end. [In 2013], we placed in the World Cup Qualifiers in Washington and in Kentucky.

“We had a successful Wellington and did his first Nations Cup for America in Mexico, where he was clear and four [faults] on the team and 3rd in the Grand Prix. Then at Spruce Meadows he was 2nd in the $400,000 Grand Prix the first week. He’s not a stranger to winning and jumping these classes.”

But in the middle of the 2014 season, Special Lux incurred a stifle injury that required surgery and an entire year off from competition. The majority of that time, McCrea and his team of veterinarians and grooms carefully rehabilitated the talented horse. When Special Lux returned to the competition ring, he won two back-to-back, grand prix classes at HITS Saugerties and Tryon CSI3* to mark the occasion.

“I am not the most stylish rider in the world, and he jumps a little unorthodox but he thrives off a gallop,” McCrea said. “I wasn’t brought up in the United States with the equitation and I tend to ride what I feel. It’s a real partnership, but we tend to get it done.

“I was surprised when I walked the course that it was big. The course builder did not go soft today. I felt relaxed and my horse was jumping good. He felt good in the jump off, and we stayed relaxed.”

McCrea will next head to Saugerties, New York with other horses in his string before a stint in Europe, gearing up for the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* at the start of September. But with the win today, plans for Special Lux will most likely adjust to maximize World Cup points.

“It’s everybody’s goal [to qualify], but I try to go one day at a time,” he said. “Tomorrow morning, I’ll get up and hope my horse is sound and healthy. Obviously with 20 points in the bag, it’s something I have to take a look at and pay attention to and especially on home soil – to have the World Cup Final in North America is the ultimate advantage. I’ve never been in position to win the first Qualifier [of the year] so now I have to give it more attention and obviously I’d love to go.”

All roads

McCrea’s fellow competitors also voiced their collective hopes to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final to take place in Omaha, Nebraska from March 27 to April 2, 2017. All efforts from the North American League will qualify the top seven US athletes from the East Coast sub league, the top three US riders from the West Coast sub league, and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, alongside the qualified riders from the 13 other leagues from around the world.

“I would like to go back to the World Cup Final this year,” said Leslie Howard. “It would be my 22nd or 23rd World Cup Final. I haven’t been there in two years. I have a nice, great, young string of young horses coming along that should be about ready to do some serious stuff by the time the World Cup comes around.”

The top-placing Canadian rider, Keean White, also has his sights set on riding in the championship event.

“[My horse] jumped the first round very well; he tried very hard,” White said. “He’s a horse that I’ve been working with for a few years. At the beginning, maybe he was a bit too careful so we’ve had to work through a few things. But in the last few months, he’s jumped very solid, and we’re hoping to guide him toward the World Cup Final.”

Thirteen events remain in the second year of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, and much is sure to change as the season progresses. But the riders earning points from the start currently hold the advantage. All roads will lead to Omaha, and only time will tell if the top competitors will have the opportunity to jump for the title.

Full results: http://www.longinestiming.com/#!/show-jumping/2016/1207/html/en/longinestiming/resultlist_320.html

About Bromont International

The Bromont Equestrian Park was created to host the equestrian events for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Following the Games, the site managed to keep its initial vocation. To this day, the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park remains one of the rare Olympic venues to maintain its activities.

The International Bromont celebrated its 41st edition from July 20 to 31 by setting new attendance records, in the heart of the beautiful Eastern Townships region.

Live FEI TV Action

For those unable to attend the NAL events, tune in to live action of all fourteen of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League qualifiers on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform: www.feitv.org. The additional FEI classes at these competitions will be available to view via livestream on the FEI’s YouTube channel. Visit www.youtube.com/user/feichannel to view the full details on the livestream.

FEI Social Media

The FEI will post news, images, and videos for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League throughout the season on YouTube www.youtube.com/feichannel, Facebook www.facebook.com/the.fei, Twitter www.twitter.com/FEI_Global, and on Instagram www.instagram.com/fei_global. Be sure to follow along with all the action on the platforms and via the official hashtag, #FEIWorldCupNAL.

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League

A total of 14 athletes from the new North American League will qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico will qualify for the Final, alongside winners of the 13 other leagues from around the world.

The North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Final.

The new league was launched by Beezie Madden, the most decorated US female equestrian athlete of all time, American Gold Cup winner and FEI Solidarity Ambassador Jessica Springsteen, and Hannah Selleck, team and individual gold medalist at young rider level and one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars. Full launch release here: https://goo.gl/kCIsyW

Share images, video, experiences using hashtag #FEIWorldCupNAL

By Esther Hahn

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

USEF Names Hermès US Show Jumping Team for CSIO4* Coapexpan

From left to right: Richard Spooner, Jonathan McCrea, Ali Wolff, and Christine McCrea.

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations who will represent the United States on the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team in Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup competition at CSIO4* Coapexpan, in Coapexpan, Mexico, April 28 through May 1, 2016.

The following athletes and horses will represent the United States (listed alphabetically):

Christine McCrea (East Windsor, Conn.) with Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables’ Dynamo, a 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding

Jonathan McCrea (East Windsor, Conn.) with Candy Tribble’s Special Lux, a 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding

Richard Spooner (Agua Dulce, Calif.) with Gerardo and Alfonso Pasquel’s Big Red, a 2005 Warmblood gelding

Ali Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) with her and John Wolff’s Quirie 2, a 2007 German Warmblood gelding

Robert Ridland will serve as Chef d’Equipe.

AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Jonathan McCrea Sails In for the Win in the 1.45m Speed Stake in Day Two of American Gold Cup

Jonathan McCrea and Twisther take the 1.45m Speed Stake

North Salem, NY − September 13, 2012 — The spectacular Old Salem Farm was the backdrop for sensational show jumping action on the second day of The American Gold Cup in North Salem, NY.

Forty-six riders took to the field in the warm afternoon sun for the Danbury Porsche Audi $10,000 1.45m Speed Stake held in the Grand Prix ring.  Jonathan McCrea edged out the competition on Twisther with a time of 66.156.

“You know, I think I’m lucky with Twisther,” McCrea said. “He’s a specialist in these classes and he’s going to win every time.  I’m lucky.  We work well together.  He won in New Hampshire and he won in Spruce Meadows and I was second in in the $30,000 Saturday Grand Prix in The Hamptons − the fastest time by three and a half seconds. He’s just a winner.”

Continue reading Jonathan McCrea Sails In for the Win in the 1.45m Speed Stake in Day Two of American Gold Cup