Photo: Holly Smith pushes to the finish to claim victory in the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup.
The top class international competition continued on day three of Royal Windsor Horse Show, with the world’s best show jumpers and carriage drivers in action. Other action included the Inter Schools Show Jumping Competition supported by Mochara, which was won by Seaford College. There was also a presentation to the Best Turned Out Trooper, which was awarded to Prince Ainuson riding Northumberland.
NO CONFUSION FOR FTS KILLOSSERY KONFUSION
The opening CSI5* class of the day, the Falcon Stakes, took the top 10 riders from the first round into a jump-off against the clock. It was left to third to go, Jos Verlooy riding Fts Killossery Konfusion, to set the target with the first double clear in an impressive 39.64 seconds. The Belgian rider pulled off some impressive turns with the 11-year-old grey gelding to put the pressure on those to follow. David Will showed that the time could be beaten; however, his four faults meant he was only able to finish fifth. Wilm Vermeir gave it his best shot as last to go, but he was not able to catch his Belgian teammate, posting a time of 39.83 seconds with Linguine de La Pomme to finish in second and make it a Belgian one-two. Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme took third, with Lorenzo de Luca in fourth.
Speaking after the class, Verlooy said: “It is fantastic to win here – it is such an amazing Show, probably one of the best in the world. Fts Killossery Konfusion was great today; he is a naturally fast horse and wants to leave the jumps up, so I feel very lucky to ride him. I am very excited for the Rolex Grand Prix tomorrow – I will ride Luciano van het Geinsteinde who was second in the CSI5* Pearl Stakes yesterday, so I am feeling very confident.”
Later in the day, attention turned to the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup. The 1.55m course set by Bernardo Costa Cabral proved challenging, with just three combinations progressing through to the jump-off. First into the arena for the second round, Lorenzo de Luca, set the standard with a clear round in the time of 33.63 seconds. Holly Smith, a former winner of this class in 2019, made up time with tight turns throughout and galloping down to the last to take over the pole position aboard Fruselli. Abdel Saïd put in a strong performance to threaten Holly’s lead, but in the end could only manage enough for second place.
A delighted Smith said: “I am elated with Fruselli today – he was incredible, and I am so pleased for his owners Sue and Gordon Hall. I won this class in 2019, on the Hall’s Hearts Destiny, who sadly passed away two years ago, so to win here today on this horse feels extra special. The course rode really well, so I was surprised there were so few clears. In the jump-off, I took risks and really went for it, as the worst I could be was third, but those risks played off! I love it here and the crowd has been amazing – it is such an honour to win on home soil.”
LAND ROVER SERVICES JUMPING
In a stellar year of competition, a fantastic morning of action in Her Majesty The Queen’s Challenge Cup for Services Team Jumping Competition supported by Land Rover set the scene in the Castle Arena.
The Challenge Cup presented by Her Majesty The Queen, awarded to the first placed service team riding United Kingdom Service horses was awarded this year to the Defence Animal Training Regiment A team. The team, consisting of Captain Harry Grantham and Willow Clover Promise, CoH Andrew Mancey with Paardeburg, and WO2 Michael McGrath riding Middleham finished on a team score of 4 penalties after the latter posted a careful clear round in the second phase. The team won clear ahead of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery A Team on 12 penalties.
Of the non-horsed units competing for The Queen’s Plate, the Army 3 team of Captain Amy Lambert and Pirate’s Puzzle, Trooper Dylan Hinton and Ultimate II, and Major Daniel Gregory with Neighbourhood Watch Archie finished on a score of 0 to take the title. Lambert – nominated to ride the second phase – completed the jump-off clear with a time of 57.53 in front of cheering crowds.
The new section introduced for 2022, The Jorrocks Challenge Trophy for international teams, was lifted on its inaugural occasion by the Bahrain Defence Force team of Ahmed Mansoor Ali Maki and Zamzam, Mohamed Saif Alnairi and Consuela Van Verst, and Basel Mohamed Aldoseri on Amalfi. With a time of 43.22, the latter was also presented the prize from The Worshipful Company of saddlers to the highest placed rider in phase two.
MAJESTIC DAY OF SHOWING
Although missing out on a win, Her Majesty The Queen still had plenty to celebrate when Sunbeam, her home-bred In-Hand Coloured Reserve Champion from Thursday, returned under saddle to stand third in a very strong CHAPS UK ridden class. The delightful five-year-old gelding was ridden by producer Katie Jerram-Hunnable, whose husband Chris led him to Thursday’s win.
Her Majesty collected another rosette when young rider Libby Grota partnered the prolific-winning Highland stallion Balmoral Mandarin to stand third in an extremely strong BSPS Ridden Large Breeds Native class supported by Smart Grooming.
Chris Hunnable partnered another of The Queen’s homebred stars, the ex-racehorse First Receiver to be third in the Tattersalls RoR In-Hand Show Series Qualifier, following his second place in the ridden equivalent on Thursday.
The prestigious Royal Windsor Show Pony Championship went to Harpenden-based Poppy Baxter-Davies who delivered a great performance on the 128cm winner, Roxair’s Aphrodite.
The Show’s Chief Showing Steward, Sebastian Garner, was able to witness his niece, India Till, repeat last year’s Novice Show Pony victory with the lovely 148cm winner, Rotherwood Fancy That, who is only five years old and relatively inexperienced, but performed like a seasoned campaigner.
EXCITEMENT BUILDS IN THE INTERNATIONAL DRIVING
The top 15 four-in-hand drivers in the world drove true to form over Jeroen Houterman’s open and flowing, yet questioning, marathon course. All the drivers chose to follow different routes and show their skills to the large and appreciative crowd which had gathered round the eight beautifully designed obstacles.
Germany’s marathon specialist Michael Brauchle put in a brilliant and consistent performance to lead the Marathon and go up one place overnight to sixth. Dressage leader, Boyd Exell, had a few costly knock-down balls and although he only finished fifth on the Marathon, retains his lead after the dressage. Chester Weber drove his up-and-coming team of horses smoothly to go from fourth to second place, having flown them in from the USA on Wednesday. The heat suited the team who are used to the Florida temperatures, and they performed to their best.
The two Belgian drivers Glen Geerts and Dries Degrieck are neck and neck after the two phases, and lying in third and fourth place, respectively, with less than a point separating them. Top lady driver Mareike Harm drove an elegant round and, although not quite as fast on the clock, sits in fifth. Speaking after her round, the German driver said: “We really enjoy being here at Windsor. It was fantastic yesterday in the dressage and I was so happy to be third. The marathon was brilliant and I’m very happy.”
The three British drivers accrued penalty points for corrected errors of course. British driver Karen Basset said: “I’ve had a great time and it was a great learning curve, but I felt I let them down today as I went sailing past Gate A in the last obstacle before I corrected my course! My horses gave me everything.”
Andrew Counsell, Director of Driving, said: “A lot of work was put into the eight obstacles and we felt that they really flowed. They didn’t cause the horses difficulty and there were both tight turns and flowing routes. There was some really good driving which is what Jeroen and I planned ahead of the event. We really appreciate having the world’s top drivers here in this wonderful setting.”
To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show, or to book tickets, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.
Wellington, FL – March 3, 2022 – The eighth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Premier Equestrian, wasted no time delving straight into international competition on Thursday. Riders from across the globe will attend throughout the week in preparation for the $150,000 Nations Cup CSI04* on Saturday night, followed by the $216,000 JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSIO4* on Sunday. The morning kicked off with a win for Belgium’s Jos Verlooy in the $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round VIII CSIO4*.
A large field of 71 horse-and-rider combinations representing 24 nations during the nations cup-centered week made their bid to win the single round speed class. Nick Granat (USA) and Steve Stephens (USA) created a challenging task for the entries and only 13 managed to produce fault-free efforts. Carlos Hank Guerriero of Mexico led the charge for the majority of the class with H5 Sunshine but slipped from the lead when Verlooy shaved off two whole seconds from his time and finished in 71.28 seconds with Luciano Van Het Geinsteinde.
Guerriero’s efforts with the H5 Sport Horses LLC’s 14-year-old BWP gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Hardi) couldn’t quite hold the lead, but were solid enough to earn the pair the second place finish with the time of 73.03 seconds. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and her own I-Cap CL Z rounded out the top three placings with their time of 74.91 seconds. She and the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (I’m Special De Muze x Air Jordan) have already had a top week having placed second in the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome CSIO4* on Wednesday evening.
The afternoon brought forth wins for the up-and-coming generation with the running of the $10,000 Hermès Under 25 Welcome and the $1,000 Hermès Under 25 1.40m class. It was victory for the Irish in the $10,000 Hermès Under 25 Welcome as Max Wachman bested a 66-horse field with Coolmore Show Jumping’s 13-year-old OS gelding Quintini (Quintender 2 x Cassini II). Out of the 13 pairs in the final class of the day, Summer Hill (USA) and her own solid partner La Belle SCF put forth the best effort in the $1,000 Hermès Under 25 1.40m class. She and the 11-year-old BWP mare (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Baldini) crossed the timers in 63.04 seconds to secure the top honors.
Tyler Petrie and Galileo Shine Bright in ESP Open Hunter 3’3” Division
Pairings in the ESP Open Hunter 3’3” division made their way to Ring 12 on Thursday to finish out their performances and designate a champion. Recent college graduate Tyler Petrie piloted Ann E. Rice Ervin’s Galileo under the guidance of Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw to add a third and sixth place to their previous days’ results of two firsts and a sixth.
The young pro only acquired the ride on the 11-year-old mount in June after she graduated USC and began working for Robertshaw and Danta’s Beaver River Farm.
Reserve champion was also earned by Petrie with Ervin’s other mount, Alright. For only their second competition as a team, the duo had great results worthy of a first, second, and third.
Jos Verlooy and Varoune. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
The international show jumpers took center stage on Thursday, October 24, at the 61st annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) for their first two competitions of the week during Barn Night. In the $50,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, Jos Verlooy of Belgium rode Varoune to victory, while Israel’s Sydney Shulman topped the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.
Verlooy, who has competed at WIHS in years past and won the Puissance class in 2015, made a daring turn between fences 3 and 4 in the second round to slice seconds off his time. “In a jump-off you have to take a few risks, and the risk paid off for me tonight,” he said. He finished with a time of 41.62 seconds, relegating U.S. rider Alex Granato and Carlchen W to second.
Sydney Shulman Goes Like Lightning to Win $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class
Sydney Shulman, who rides for Israel, just couldn’t stop grinning after picking up the blue ribbon in the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class in her first year of competing in the international open jumper division at WIHS. She topped the class riding Villamoura as the fastest round of the nine riders who picked up 65 points over the jumps, finishing in 41.04 seconds.
“I looked at the list of riders and I had dreamed to be in a class with these people, let alone to beat them,” Shulman, 24, said. “So I’m going to really remember this! It’s special to be here.”
The first through ninth place riders all collected 65 points, which meant they cleared all 10 jumps on course, including the final “joker” fence worth 20 points. There was also a special Washington Nationals World Series-themed fence on course, and Irish rider Shane Sweetnam dressed up as Nationals shortstop Trea Turner in honor of the baseball team’s World Series appearance the same week as WIHS.
With nine riders out of the 24 starters on the same score, the class results came down to speed. “I watched some horses go, and after Adrienne [Sternlicht] went, I thought, ‘There’s no way I can be faster,’ but I had to try!” Shulman said. “My horse doesn’t have nearly the size of stride that she does. I had to think about being faster in the turns and across the ground. I added [strides] in two places that she left a stride out, but for my horse that’s what works.”
For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.
This week, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has been catching up with the new generation in professional show jumping. Almost 40 years younger than some of their senior competitors, we took a look at how initiatives such as the Young Riders Academy and the introduction of U25 competitions at the Majors gives young riders the opportunity to break into the senior world.
Words from Harry Charles, young rising star of show jumping:
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely competing in the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen; that has always been the dream of mine since I was small and to be able to do it was incredible. I still have to pinch myself that I have done it, to be honest with you. Sometimes when I am hacking with ABC Quantum Cruise at home, I look down and say to him, ‘can you believe that we jumped the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen?’
Who are your idols / which riders do you look up to?
For me it has always been Scott (Brash). As well as great rider, he’s a really nice guy too so he is definitely my idol. We talk about everything actually and he is always willing to help me out and lend a hand. Especially when I started doing the big shows, he was always the first one who would come and sit with me at breakfast in the morning at the big shows when I didn’t know anyone, which I really appreciated.
The Rolex Grand Slam Majors are promoting youth by organizing more and more U25 competitions; what is your point of view on this?
I think it is great; any chance for a young rider to jump in a top-level event like any of these shows is massively important and influential. Being among the top riders with a big crowd is just amazing, not only to inspire and motivate young riders, but also for their exposure. For example, when I was in Aachen, so many people contacted me, and I think I gained about 400 followers on my social media platforms each day I was there. Taking part in these events really does give you drive, and although you may only be able to jump two classes, it makes you even more motivated at the idea of jumping more later down the line.
Words from Jos Verlooy, European Championship Bronze Medallist:
What do you think are the three most important attributes for being a professional show jumper?
Work ethic is number one for me and I think it is the same in all sports. You have to work hard in order to achieve your goals and you have to be willing to learn. It is also very important to have good people behind you who you trust. Finally, a good relationship with your owners is so important because the role of the owners has evolved so much.
What impact has your owner had on your career?
I have a very good owner and I am very lucky that I could keep riding Igor because a lot of people wanted to buy him. Our sport is not just about riding; it’s about finding the right horses and the right partnerships and that is where the importance of the owners come in; it really is a team effort.
You are almost 40 years younger than some of top riders who are still competing – what are the tools you need to have such a long career?
It’s hard to say, but definitely the most important thing is to have the right horse. Even if you’re 50 you can always learn and keep improving and I think if you have a good horse you can perform at the highest level whatever your age. I have a lot of respect for Ludger Beerbaum who has had an incredible year and always kept the right people behind him. It’s only until you’re in the sport that you realise how difficult it is to have the right horse, the right management, and the right team; you need all pieces in the puzzle, really.
Words from Karen Polle, Japanese rider:
Do you feel a responsibility to help grow the sport of show jumping in Asia?
I am really glad to see that the sport is growing in Asia. As a Japanese and Asian rider, I definitely feel a responsibility and want to play whatever part I can in expanding the sport. I think at least in Japan there is a big interest in horse racing, but not so much show jumping. I think the reason it’s not as popular yet is because it’s not quite as well-known, but I think once people learn how great show jumping is and how great the horses are, I do think it will become very popular. It is all about building awareness around the sport and I think with the Olympic Games coming up this is starting to happen, which is great. The Japanese eventing team is very strong, both individually and as a team. Also, they are hosting an Asian Championship in Thailand in December for the first time and that involves a lot of investment and infrastructure, so there definitely is a growing interest in the sport.
When did you decide you wanted to be a show jumper?
Probably when I was a junior. I competed in the US national jumper championships, and I went into it being a real under-dog. I had an amazing week and my horse was incredible and we ended up winning which was very special. After that I understood what it felt like to win and that’s when I knew I wanted to do show jumping. I thought to myself, if I work really hard, I could maybe achieve more. After that moment I just absolutely loved show jumping and it catapulted from there.
Mill Spring, NC – October 17, 2019 – Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor came off a five-week break to claim the $132,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 5* win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the short-course timers in 36.997 seconds. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Babalou 41, Jack Snyder’s 2005 Oldenburg mare (Balou du Rouet x Silvio I), received second after their 37.217 second jump-off performance, while third went to Rowan Willis (AUS) aboard Diablo VII, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas x Cavalier) owned by Lucinda Huddy and Rowan Willis, after their clear short course in a time of 37.274 seconds.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) tested 90 entrants over his course design in the first round, with 21 pairs going clear and under the time to make it to the jump-off challenge. The class was the largest FEI Welcome Stake ever hosted at the venue to date, and the second largest class behind Wednesday’s $36,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 5* showcasing 102 entries. Verlooy, the top-ranked FEI Jumping U25 rider in the world, recently won the FEI European Championships at Rotterdam, and explained that Igor has been on a break for five weeks before competing at TIEC:
“The course rode super today. Igor jumped very well in the first round, and in the jump-off he actually jumped even better,” Verlooy detailed. “He’s had a bit of a break: I did the Europeans with him, and then St. Tropez, and then he had five weeks off, so he’s getting back into rhythm. But I must say, he felt much better in the jump-off.”
Verlooy’s jump-off performance couldn’t be beat, and his strategy to best a strong field was to be as efficient as he could where others had gone wide, he shared. “I really wanted to give it a try in the jump-off. He’s naturally very fast, and everything went to plan in the jump-off. So, it worked out.” Verlooy continued, “After the double to the skinny, I think there I got the advantage. Everyone was going a bit wide, and there I took a very big risk and came very [straight], and I think there I made up the time.”
Placing in the top 30 as an individual at the venue for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, Verlooy noted that he’s excited to give his mount a new experience after competing abroad. “I think it’s great here. Right now in Europe there are not many shows, and it’s cold, so after I did this tour, and I must say my horse still felt very fresh because I didn’t do so much this year, I saw the schedules here and it looked very interesting. I really like it here, with different people and different jumps. You always see the same people and it’s nice sometimes to come to a different place.”
Verlooy will contest Saturday evening’s $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5* with Igor, and will do his best to keep his mount fresh until then, he said. “Next, I’ll do a few World Cups,” he concluded.
Andy Kocher and Abelone O.T. Lowlands Z Land the $36,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 5* Win
Andy Kocher (USA) and Abelone O.T. Lowlands Z sped to win Wednesday’s $36,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 5* during Tryon Fall 5 at TIEC with a double clear and a speed phase time of 23.608 seconds. Second place was awarded to Daniel Coyle (IRL) aboard his own CHS Krooze, a 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare (Kroongraaf x Unknown), with a double-clear effort and a speed phase time of 23.619 seconds, while Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) piloted Donna Speciale, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde) owned by Laure Sudreau-Rippe & Peter Howard, to third-place honors with a speed phase time of 23.675 seconds.
“Abelone [Abelone O.T. Lowlands Z] is an eight-year-old mare that I’ve had for four years, and we actually have a foal from her,” Kocher explained of the 2011 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Diamant de Semilly). He continued, “We just started jumping her again last year, so she’s kind of amazing. She started competing in FEI classes during WEF and she’s had a couple good results throughout the year, but this is her first win in a FEI ranking class.”
Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the course for the largest class held at TIEC to date, with 102 entries to test the Power phase. “The course was good. Honestly, I wish it had more jumps in the speed phase,” Kocher admitted. “I feel like it was hard to make up ground, but it worked in my favor. There were 110 horses, so you had to make the time work.
“While some riders had two or three horses, I only entered her in this class; that was my strategy. I’m saving my other horses for later and I aimed her to win this class. I was at it for sure, but it didn’t go the way I thought it was gonna go. I left out a stride in the first line, then I left out a stride in the next line, and then I added in one line. It was an amazing class to win,” concluded Kocher.
Two riders fought all the way to share a thrilling Alltech Puissance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, after both their horses jumped superbly over five rounds.
Jos Verlooy from Belgium and Germany’s Hilmar Meyer were the only two to make it through to the fifth round and shared the spoils – which were presented by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, paying her annual visit to Olympia – after soaring over the famous wall at 2.15m (7ft 1in).
Meyer first came to Olympia a couple of years ago as a groom; now, on his first visit as a competitor, he is celebrating winning one of the most prestigious classes. His horse, the 13-year-old Continuo by Contendro, is a puissance specialist and has taken many classes in Europe.
“I’m very proud of my horse,” said Meyer. “It’s an unbelievable feeling jumping that high, but only with the right horse. It’s been great to ride here at Olympia; it’s such a great atmosphere.”
Unusually, Verlooy, 20, was using the class as a warm-up for the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier on Sunshine, a nine-year-old chestnut gelding. “I think that jumping a puissance can work well as a warm-up before a really big class,” he explained. “It was really exciting. I couldn’t believe how easily my horse jumped.”
Swiss rider Pius Schwizer riding Leonard de la Ferme CH, Victoria Gulliksen (Grand Balou), daughter of Norwegian Olympian and perennial Olympia visitor Geir Gulliksen, Ireland’s Trevor Breen on the dual Hickstead Derby winner Loughnatousa WB and last year’s runner-up, Karline De Branander from Belgium on her gallant mare Fantomas de Muze, all crashed out in the fourth round when the wall was 2.10m (6ft 11in).
ROBERT WHITAKER TURNS UP THE HEAT
Earlier in the evening there was a British one-two-three in the Porsche Cayenne Challenge, a speed class. The third last rider, Robert Whitaker, made an audacious turn to the water tray on Usa Today to grab the spoils by 0.15sec from William Funnell (Billy Angelo) and Laura Renwick (Heliodor Hybris).
“I’ve been coming to Olympia since I was a kid, watching my father [John], so it’s always fantastic to win,” said Robert. “Usa is not actually that fast, but he definitely likes the atmosphere.”
Drawn near the end of the starting order, Whitaker had spotted an opportunity earlier during the round of another of the challengers.
“Jos Verlooy (BEL) almost made it but it didn’t quite come off,” said Robert. “When I jumped the fence before the turn, USA Today landed in a way that gave me enough space to get the tight right-handed turn in.”
Robert pointed out that winning at Olympia, The London International Horse Show is particularly special for the world’s top riders.
“Everyone wants to win here, regardless of whether they are British or foreign riders,” he said.
Italian rider Emanuele Gaudiano was the first rider to chalk up an Olympia winner when taking the opening Santa Stakes on Caspar.
EXELL SETS THE BAR HIGH IN OLYMPIA’S EXTREME
In the Dodson & Horrell Top Score Extreme Carriage Driving competition, Australia’s Boyd Exell showed, yet again, why he is the current world horse four-in-hand champion, both indoors and out. His thundering round, in which he gave a dazzling performance of rein handling, through the course that featured two obstacles and a bridge, recorded a time some seven seconds faster than his fellow contestants.
Speaking after the competition, Exell remarked that his horses felt like ‘magic’ in his hands. “I had to constantly slow them down rather than urge them on,” he remarked. He was disappointed, though, to incur a five-second penalty when a ball fell. “It had felt like a clear round,” he said.
Today’s contest was a forerunner to the two qualifying legs of the FEI World Cup Driving, the first of which features tomorrow with the Final on Saturday evening. The Olympia crowd was treated to the thrilling spectacle of this competition – the finale of the afternoon performance – as each driver pushed their horses to their limits round the tight course. Exell’s closest challenger, Ijsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands – himself a previous World champion indoors and out, was the only competitor to drive clear. Seven seconds slower than Exell, however, meant the Australian claimed the crown by a less than two second margin. Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary, driving at Olympia for the first time, was third.
For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: email@example.com T: +44(0)778 757 6490 or +44(0)207 592 1207
Olympia, The London International Horse Show The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.
Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley van de Bisschop Win $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final; Caelinn Leahy and Lacey Gilbertson Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
Small Affair Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship; Colvin Wins Best Child Rider on a Horse and Leads WIHS Equitation Finals Hunter Phase
Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2015 – The 2015 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured a variety of fantastic competition on Friday, concluding in the evening with its annual $25,000 The Boeing Company International Jumper Puissance at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. In his first trip to WIHS and competing in his first Puissance ever, Belgium’s Jos Verlooy cleared the wall up to 2.13m (6’11”) to earn the winning prize with his top mount, Sunshine.
In other jumper competition, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Harley van de Bisschop topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, sponsored by Rushy Marsh Farm and AAA Equestrian. Caelinn Leahy and Esquilino Bay and Lacey Gilbertson aboard Easy Money triumphed in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.
Victoria Colvin dominated the hunter and equitation competition. The young rider guided Small Affair to the Grand Junior Hunter Championship and was named Best Child Rider on a Horse in her last year as a junior competitor. She also led the way in the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP.
Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this week and fittingly holds the 32-year indoor Puissance record for his win at 7′ 7 1/2 ” aboard Sweet ‘N Low in 1983. He set the wall for the evening’s $25,000 The Boeing Company Puissance, starting at 1.73m (5’8”) in height, and continuing up to 2.13m (6’11”) in four rounds of competition.
The Puissance course began with four fences to clear, including an oxer, vertical and triple-bar leading up to the wall set at a starting height of 1.73m (5’8”). Seven combinations started in round one and all cleared the first height. In round two, the first two obstacles were removed, leaving just the triple bar and the imposing wall, which moved up to 1.89m (6’2”). Charlie Jayne (USA) and Bassandra were the first pair out of the competition, clearing the wall, but dropping an unfortunate rail over the triple-bar on the way. Kama Godek (USA) on Apollo Mission and Kaitlin Campbell (USA) aboard Artani 2 each had the wall down in round two to complete their nights.
Continuing into round 3, the wall moved up to 1.97m (6’5 1.2”), over which Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Venturo 9 dropped the blocks to finish their first Puissance together. The fourth and final round brought the wall up to 2.13m (6’11) with only three competitors remaining. Jos Verlooy and Sunshine were first to go and cleared the height easily. Verlooy then watched as Aaron Vale (USA) and Zippo II, as well as McLain Ward (USA) and Bueno, each faulted over the final summit. Nineteen-year-old Verlooy and Sunshine, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x O’Diamand), proudly celebrated their first Puissance win to the applause of a great crowd at Verizon Center.
They were awarded The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober, as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. Verlooy also accepted The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, on behalf of Axel Verlooy and Euro Horse Bvba as the owner of the winning horse.
Verlooy has ridden Sunshine for almost one year and plans to compete the gelding in Saturday night’s World Cup qualifying grand prix. This was the first Puissance for both horse and rider.
“He is a very talented horse,” Verlooy stated. “I thought it could be good to jump a few nice rounds in the Puissance, and in the end I won, so it is even better. I really liked it. It is really fun if you have the right horse. Today, I had the right horse.”
“It was scary, yeah. I was looking this morning for a few videos and I saw a few falls,” Verlooy admitted. “I did not want to do that. I was a little bit stressed, but I should not have been because my horse is really relaxed. He jumped it very safely. He made the jump easy for me.”
In his first trip to WIHS, Verlooy enjoyed the Friday night crowd and great atmosphere at one of the top show jumping competitions on the calendar in North America.
“It’s a very good experience. It is a real American show and I really like the American shows,” he stated. “I come often to America to show and I really like it over here.”
Nicola Philippaerts Takes International Speed Final
Prior to the Puissance, a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format, sponsored by Rushy Marsh Farm and AAA Equestrian. Last year, Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts won the competition, and this year it was his twin brother, Nicola, who took top honors.
Twenty-one entries jumped the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed course, and Philippaerts earned the winning prize with a clear round in 53.48 seconds aboard Ludo Philippaerts and Ben Beevers’ H&M Harley vd Bisschop. Colombia’s Daniel Bluman was close behind with a clear round in 53.86 seconds aboard Blue Star Investments’ Conconcreto Believe to finish second. Ireland’s Conor Swail had the best time of 52.81 seconds riding Susan & Ariel Grange’s Cita, but one rail came down to add four seconds to his time and put the pair in third place.
Commenting on his plan, Philippaerts detailed, “I was not sure about some of the lines, but I saw a few doing six (strides) to the last one and then five strides from #8 to 9. My horse has quite a big stride, so I was sure I had to do that. It was a good decision. I came quite short to jump #2, so I had to follow (through). Then at the combination I had seven strides normal, and the wall came quite fast. It was difficult. You needed to be quite careful.”
“My horse is only eight years old, so he does not have much experience yet, but I know it is a fast horse,” Philippaerts continued. “It looked fast enough today, so I was happy. I do not want to do too much with him. I think he is for sure a very promising horse for next year. I wanted to take him as a second horse here and have him grow a little bit at the higher level. He does it well for the moment.”
“He is very scopey, very careful,” the rider added. “He has a lot of blood, but he always seems to stay quite quiet. It is really good because as they get older they will get quieter themselves. He is just a super horse.”
WIHS has been a great show for the Philippaerts family in recent years and Nicola enjoys the great competition and atmosphere each year.
“It is a fantastic show. I’m always happy to come back here every year,” he acknowledged. “It is always nice when the crowd is cheering you on. It is very motivating. It’s nice to ride here with this crowd.”
Colvin Leads Junior Hunters
The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship was awarded to Small Affair, ridden by Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL. They were presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds. Colvin then earned the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse and earned the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy. That award was sponsored by Gotham North; the trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.
On the way to earning the grand championship, Colvin and Small Affair won the top tricolor in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Chansonette Farm. The pair won two classes over fences, placed second in the handy, and also finished second under saddle. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. Parker’s Inclusive earned reserve honors in the division with Colvin in the irons for first and second place ribbons over fences and Emma Kurtz aboard for a fourth place finish under saddle.
Colvin began riding Small Affair this winter and had consistent results with the gelding all season. The 12-year-old Selle Francais (by Elf d’Or) is owned by Lyn Pedersen and currently leased by Dr. Betsee Parker. The pair also completed the best Junior Hunter stake round with a high score of 90 to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy.
“I think I was champion the first show I rode him in. He is my most solid ride I would say. We always know that he is probably going to do well,” Colvin noted. “Now we are getting hack ribbons too, so it has gotten better and better. We started out not getting hack ribbons. He hunches in a little. He is a little crooked sometimes and he tries to cut in around the turns, so he needs more jumper type flatwork, not just a loose hunter ride. You have to do half passes and lateral work to make him straight and more supple. He is a little one-sided.”
Detailing her rounds with Small Affair this week, Colvin noted, “Our first round he was very good; he won that class. He felt like he was holding himself a little in the first round. He was a little low and trailing behind, but he went in and won that. His handy, he was amazing and jumped much better. I just hit one jump and Inclusive won that one. Today he went the best. He just went in there and jumped amazing.”
“You have to kind of hold him before the jump,” Colvin said of figuring out the ride. “He gets a little nervous. He kind of holds his breath, but by his third round he just canters right around. In the beginning you just have to hold his hand and leg him a little bit so he knows you’re there.”
This is Colvin’s final year competing in the Junior Hunter divisions, and she has already moved up to show her talent in the international jumper classes with a win in Thursday’s $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake. She also finished second in Thursday night’s $20,000 Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, presented by the Winter Equestrian Festival. Along with a full schedule of hunters and jumpers, she has her sights set on winning this year’s WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP, and took the first step towards making that dream come true with a fantastic round in the hunter phase on Friday. She took the early lead riding Dr. Betsee Parker’s Patrick to scores of 93 and 90 from the two judging panels for an overall high score of 91.50 in the first round of competition.
The WIHS Equitation Finals will continue on Saturday with all riders returning for the jumper phase. The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.
After the hunter phase, Hunter Holloway sits in second place with a score of 89, Mckayla Langmeier scored an 88.25, Morgan Ward finished fourth with an 87.50, and Kelli Cruciotti stands fifth with a score of 86.875.
“Patrick was perfect. He jumped the first jump phenomenal and he landed left thankfully. I had one hard rub, but other than that he felt fantastic,” Colvin detailed. “We tried to save him all year and I think it worked. He was fantastic at Medal Finals, so let’s hope it goes well tomorrow.”
Concluding the Junior Hunter divisions on Friday, the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under, sponsored by Riverview Farm, awarded championship honors to Isabelle Aldridge’s Kahlua. Emma Kurtz rode the mare to two wins over fences and a fifth place finish under saddle. Laura Wasserman’s Fine Design jumped to second, third and fourth place ribbons and a sixth place finish under saddle to take reserve honors with Katherine Dash aboard.
In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Entrust, Hunter Siebel jumped Mountain Home Stables’ Pure Abundance to championship honors with first, second and fourth place ribbons over fences. Leah Toscano led her own Estandar to the reserve championship, placing first and third over fences and third under saddle.
The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, also presented championship honors on Friday. That division saw a win for Kaitlyn van Konynenburg’s Triton Z, ridden by Morgan Ward, with two wins over fences and a second place finish under saddle. Donald Stewart, Jr.’s Cold Case earned reserve honors with Ashton Alexander, earning first, third and fourth place ribbons over fences and a fifth place under saddle.
The final award of the morning was the presentation of the Georgetown Trophy, which went to Vivian Yowan for her high score of 88 riding her own horse, Ransom.
Caelinn Leahy and Lacey Gilbertson Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
WIHS hosted the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers in their first jump-off classes of the week on Friday afternoon with wins for Caelinn Leahy aboard Equilino Bay, and Lacey Gilbertson riding Easy Money.
The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, saw 21 starters and nine in the jump-off. Kelli Cruciotti was first to clear the short course in 32.23 seconds and eventually finished third aboard Serenity Equestrian Ventures’ Wallenberg. Lucy Deslauriers cleared the track next with a jump-off time of 32.63 seconds to place fourth riding Lisa Deslauriers’s Hamlet. Lacey Gilbertson followed with the winning time of 29.77 seconds riding Seabrook LLC’s Easy Money. Last to jump-off, Anna Dryden jumped into second place with her own Petrushka III in a time of 31.46 seconds. For the win, Gilbertson and Easy Money were presented the Cover Story Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Farm.
The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family, with 23 entries and 16 advancing to the jump-off. Seven entries also cleared the short course, with Caelinn Leahy clocking the fastest time of 29.72 seconds aboard Bellis Ltd.’s Esquilino Bay. The pair was awarded the Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.
Sima Morgello and Double S Farm LLC’s Zopala finished second with a time of 31.10 seconds. Sheer Levitin and her own Nabuco placed third in 31.76 seconds. Francesca Dildabanian and her own Catika van de Helle and Samantha Schaefer aboard her own Sugar Ray both tied for the fourth place prize with a time of 32.33 seconds.
Competition continues on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Staysail Farm. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals, presentation by SAP, will close out the afternoon session.
The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, will conclude the night.
CORRECTION: Aaron Vale and Quidams Good Luck Win $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, sponsored by the Winter Equestrian Festival
The $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, sponsored by the Winter Equestrian Festival, was held on Thursday evening during the show’s always-popular Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery. WIHS apologizes for a miscalculation in scores and would like to congratulate Aaron Vale and Troy Glaus’s Quidams Good Luck on the win. Upon further review of their rounds, it was confirmed that Vale earned the victory with 1110 points.
Laura Kraut (USA) finished second aboard Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S with a score of 1090. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Chaqui Z placed third with a score of 1080. McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Ashley were declared the fourth place finishers with a total of 1070 points. Charlie Jayne (USA) placed fifth with Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher’s Bassandra with a score of 1050.
For the win, Vale earned the Crown Royal Trophy, donated by Crown Royal, as the winning rider, and Quidams Good Luck earned the Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy, donated by the Washington International Horse Show, as the winning horse.
For the costume competition, Vale was dressed as Quidams Good Luck’s owner, Troy Glaus, a former Major League Baseball player. Vale carried a baseball bat as he cantered into the ring and threw baseballs personally autographed by Glaus into the Barn Night crowd. Vale later explained that Glaus’s wife, Ann, is an amateur rider and originally imported the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Quidam’s Rubin x Grannus) from England and rode him herself. She originally did eventing and trained with Buck Davidson, who Vale is good friends with. When Glaus decided to make the switch to show jumping, she began training with Vale since they live in the same town.
“She was riding him, but it got to a point where she thought he was a little better than where she was at the moment, so she let me take him on as an eight-year-old,” Vale detailed. “He won a couple grand prix last year and he has won three or four this year, including two FEI classes in Kentucky in the spring. He has had a super record. He is a really competitive horse; he is really fast. I am lucky to have the ride on him right now.”
Speaking of his winning Gambler’s Choice track, Vale explained, “I had a plan, which was pretty similar to what I ended up doing. I went to the top of the stairs to watch the first couple go to see how everything flowed together and what turns looked smooth from above – you can get a better viewpoint from up there. I modified my plan to be just a little bit simpler than it originally was. I thought my course was pretty much a simple figure eight. I could not really get the 70-point fence into my course, but on average I think I was jumping a fence every 3.3 seconds or something, so I felt like I should just ignore those fences. Places I was picking up the 30 and the 40-point fences within three strides were just like jumping the 70 and having to canter around a fence to get to it. I thought it was a smooth course, it was simple for my brain, it was something that fit in my horse’s comfort zone, something that he could do pretty easily I thought, and it worked. He ended up jumping really well. I felt like it was a pretty solid trip, and it would be pretty hard to beat, and luckily it actually ended up that way. It was good fun.”
About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.