January 14, 2021 – Wellington, FL – Fierce competition was on display in the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 1 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), with Lillie Keenan (USA) and Agana Van Het Gerendal Z besting a field of 73 combinations on Thursday, January 14.
Victoria Colvin and Acclaim Earn the Tricolor Ribbon in the Green Conformation Hunters
The Green Conformation Hunter division wrapped up on Thursday in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring with the crowning of the champion. Victoria Colvin rode Parker Peacock’s Acclaim to top honors in the division, with three firsts, a second, a third, and a fourth-place finish.
Colvin has only partnered with Acclaim for a month, which is also how long the gelding has been a hunter. This week marked Acclaim’s first time showing in a hunter division, which did not stop the pair from rising to the top of the class.
Wellington, FL — March 31, 2019 — On the final day of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Sunday, March 31, the top 25 hunter combinations returned to the Derby Field at Equestrian Village to contest for the winning honors in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Victoria Colvin led the all-female podium followed by Kelley Farmer in second and Liza Boyd in third as the trio once again demonstrated why they are household names in the hunter industry. The second round of the derby is the pinnacle event for hunter riders to close out the winter circuit and only invited the top-scoring competitors from round one of the event.
Ken Krome once again designed a beautiful track on the turf that included three high options and a rollback to a trot fence following fence two. The two panels of judges, consisting of Danny Robertshaw and Robert Crandall for panel one and Scott Williamson and Rob Bielefeld for panel two, had the ability to award extra points for handiness ranging from zero to 10.
Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue Conclude WEF 2019 with Fourth Major Win within Five Weeks
Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue topped the $50,000 Puissance America Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday, March 31, to claim the final Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) grand prix victory of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival season, marking the pair’s fourth win within the past five weeks at PBIEC.
Forty-five entries contested the final FEI-sanctioned class of the 12-week circuit, with 11 entries navigating the Guilherme Jorge-designed track without fault to advance to the jump-off.
When Chapot entered the ring as the eighth rider to return, the time to beat had been set at 38.05 seconds by Carly Anthony (USA) and Chacco. However, Chapot and Chandon Blue again showcased the speed and accuracy that have become their signature, tripping the timers in a clear 36.30 seconds to take over the top of the leaderboard.
Lillie Keenan Caps WEF 2019 with $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix Victory
USA’s Lillie Keenan capitalized on only three months of experience with her mount Fasther, owned by Chansonette Farm, LLC, to top the final class of the 2019 WEF in the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors National Grand Prix in the International Arena.
Guilherme Jorge built a track for 48 starters and welcomed six through to the jump-off. Keenan qualified two mounts and returned first and last over the short course. She set an early pace with a clear trip in 39.649 seconds riding Chaccolette for owner Chansonette Farm, LLC. She was sitting second when she re-entered the ring aboard Fasther and the gelding lived up to his namesake by stopping the clock at 36.688 seconds for the win.
Keenan settled for third on Chaccolette behind Brazil’s Fabio Leivas ds Costa riding Tosca de l’Esque, who posted a time of 38.580 seconds. Spanish rider Diego Perez Bilboa took fourth riding Orso del Terriccio in 39.649 seconds for owner Victoria Vargas d’Agostino. Kent Farrington (USA) rounded out the top five aboard Kaprice, a horse he owns together with Tanma Corp., on a time of 46.954 seconds.
Laura Kraut, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough and Beezie Madden with Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (FEI/Christophe Taniere)
Team USA secured a definitive victory in the eighth and last leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League in Dublin (IRL) when producing the only zero score in a hard-fought competition. On level pegging with the Irish at the halfway stage they stood firm while their hosts lost their grip to drop to fifth behind Spain.
In the closing stages the Netherlands and France threw down a challenge, and American anchor Laura Kraut (51) was under pressure when last to go with Confu. But the double-Olympian didn’t crumble, posting the second US double-clear of the competition to seal it ahead of the runners-up from France, while the Dutch slotted into third place.
This was the first all-female team triumph in the 91-year history of Nations Cup Jumping for the world-famous Aga Khan Cup in Dublin.
“We said at the beginning of the year this was one of the shows we are bringing our ‘A’ team to… it’s our view that the Aga Khan is the greatest trophy in our sport. And more than that there are many ways to win a Nations Cup; sometimes you get lucky, but today in my view there was no luck. These four riders did an unbelievable job!” — Robert Ridland (Chef d’Equipe Team USA)
The time-allowed of 80 seconds proved difficult for many over Irish course-builder Tom Holden’s track, and a speedy turn to the final oxer was often costly. Beezie Madden’s (53) mistake here with her new ride Darry Lou was the American drop score in round one, but the pair got it absolutely right in round two after pathfinders Lauren Hough (40) and the brilliant mare Ohlala produced their second clear of the day and rising talent Lillie Keenan (20) made her only mistake at the first element of the penultimate double with Super Sox.
Kraut clinched it with a crisp, clear run to leave a five-fault margin between the winning US side and the French in second while the points earned by the third-placed Dutch, whose final tally was just seven faults, saw them overtake Italy at the top of the Europe Division 1 leaderboard at the end of the eight-leg series.
Beezie Madden – Team USA (winners), talking about her horse Darry Lou: “He’s a new horse. He came from Mexico and the highest he jumped there was 1.55m or so. I got him in May and this was only his third 1.60m course today. It was my mistake in the first round. He’s like a Cadillac to ride!”
Laura Kraut – Team USA, talking about the similarities between her winning ride, Confu, and her legendary 2008 Olympic team gold medal winning horse Cedric, who is now retired: “Oddly enough I found out when we were in Aachen that they share the same grandmother or something. I had no idea that they were remotely related so that’s very exciting. He (Confu) is as much of a cheeky monkey as Cedric, so for me he’s wonderful. I love him, he’s a trier, he’s a pet and he’s fun to ride and be around. But Cedric can’t be replaced.”
Wellington, FL – March 10, 2017 – Lillie Keenan (USA) and Be Gentle clocked a blazing fast time to win the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* on Friday, March 10, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) saw 18 clear rounds out of 47 entries to contest his 1.45m speed track, and the times got faster and faster until the very end.
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm’s Cyklon 1083 raced in at 60.50 seconds for a brief lead, but eventually finished fourth. Ali Wolff (USA) and John C. Wolff’s Caya stole the lead in 60.34 seconds, but settled for second in the end. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) came close to the time, but placed third with his round in 60.40 seconds riding E2 Stables’ Caruschka 2. With three left to go, Keenan and Chansonette Farm’s Be Gentle raced to the win in 59.83 seconds.
“That was really exciting!” Keenan stated. “That horse gives you a great feeling because pretty much any class you enter, you have a shot at winning as long as you stay out of her way. I think there are very few horses that you can say that about.”
Keenan had the advantage of jumping the track first on her horse Super Sox, and then going at the end with ‘Jenny,’ an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ticallux Verte x Gentleman).
“After I jumped my first horse, the one that I really wanted to watch to get a sense of what the winning track would need to be was Shane Sweetnam,” Keenan detailed. “I think everyone would agree that he is a master of these classes, especially on Cyklon. I watched him go, and I thought that I would be happy if I was second to that. Then they started going faster and faster.
“The great thing about Jenny is that we walked a plan, and I knew what I had to do. She lets you make decisions in advance because she is so dependable,” Keenan continued. “I was able to do a lot of the leave-outs. Where she makes up so much time is in the turns. I count the strides between the jumps that are on the corners. I think that is what made the difference, but the class got really fast at the end.”
The 20-year-old rider is in school at Harvard University and splits her time between Boston and Wellington each week. The busy schedule is a bit different from most professionals, but trainer Cian O’Connor and his team at Karlswood Stables keep Keenan’s horses ready to go.
“It is fun to be able to participate in classes like that and actually have a shot,” she noted. “Unlike most professionals, I go to school for half the week. I don’t sit on a horse, and then I show up on Thursday morning and try to jump the main class that day. When I first started the circuit, it was a little bit of a reality check. I am much shorter on experience than a lot of the riders in these classes, and I am tough on myself about that, but at the same time I have to be realistic.
“It is amazing to have a horse like Jenny that knows her job,” Keenan added. “She is funny because at home on the flat, or in the schooling area, she does not want to do traditional work. She does not need to be drilled on anything; she just wants to go her own way. When you watch her walk into the ring, I just have her on a loose rein, and then as soon as she hears the buzzer, she knows. As soon as you pick up a canter and point her at a jump, it is like she zeroes in. She is an amazing horse.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 2* class saw 62 entries and 18 qualified for the jump-off. Sixteen entries continued on for the tiebreaker, where eight jumped double clear.
The win went to Hilary McNerney (USA) and Z Acodate DDL in the fastest time of 35.17 seconds. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s d’Arnita finished second in 35.52 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) aboard her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince placed third in 35.64 seconds.
McNerney’s Z Acodate DDL was also given the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week eight, presented by Laura Fetterman.
Earlier in the day, Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya earned his second win of the week, topping the $6,000 1.40m Speed Challenge riding Iron Man 111. The $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed concluded the day with a win for Olivia Chowdry and Cosma 20.
Pony Hunters Take Over Derby Field
Pony hunters competed Saturday on the grass derby field at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Equestrian Village. Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA won the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, and Luke Jensen of Benton, TX topped the Small Pony Hunter Classic, sponsored by Visse Wedell and Douglas Elliman. Both classes consisted of first and second rounds, where the top 12 competitors returned for a handy trip.
Sixty-five riders vied for the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby title, but it was Fuqua who rode Somekindawonderful, an entry owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, to win the blue ribbon. The pair earned the high score in the first round, an 89, and an 81 in the second round for a total score of 171.
“It was really fun,” said Fuqua. “I love the grass and all the jumps. I’ve been riding Somekindawonderful for about a year. We call him Ronald. He’s really sweet and loves to cuddle.”
In addition to riding the 16-year-old New Forest Pony by Justice H.R., Fuqua rode three other ponies in the class on Saturday and finished inside the top 15 with each of them. Fuqua trains with Elizabeth Reilly of Makoto Farms and competes in the Pony Hunter and Equitation 11 & Under divisions.
“In the handy round on my other pony I went off course, so I really had to focus on the course,” Fuqua explained. “The last thing Liz [Reilly] said to me before going in the ring was to ‘keep going forward.’ I am really thankful for Liz. Since I started training with her, I have improved a lot.”
Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC earned the second place ribbon. Gordon piloted Elle Gibbs’ Astro Boy to scores of 85 and 83 in the first and second rounds, respectively, for an overall score of 168.
Speaking of the 2006 medium Welsh Pony, Gordon said, “He just has the best personality around the barn, as well as when you’re on him. He’s a lot of fun to jump, and he jumps really well. It was exciting to ride on the grass field.”
Gordon also rode several other ponies in the class.
“My first two rides didn’t go as planned,” she continued. “It is a really spooky venue, so I got on Max [Astro Boy] with the mentality of whatever comes, comes. It ended up going really well so I’m happy!”
The third place ribbon went to Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA and Caleche, owned by Laura Barrett-Gurtis. Iwasaki guided the 2006 large pony mare by Constantin to a first round score of 81 and a second round score of 86, earning a total score of 167.
Jensen rode So Enchanted, an entry owned by Rendezvous Farm, to win the $1,000 Small Pony Hunter Classic, sponsored by Visse Wedell and Douglas Elliman. The pair was sitting in third place after the first round with a score of 83, but consistency was key and a second round score of 84 for an overall total of 167 was enough to warrant the blue ribbon.
After dutifully helping untack the 2008 Welsh Pony Cross mare by Maple Side Mr. Magic, Jensen explained why he enjoyed showing on the grass field.
“I love being able to get away from a regular show ring,” he said. “I got to gallop, and my rounds were very consistent and smooth. I love being able to really gallop up to the jumps and have her jump so well. She really paid attention in the grass field, which I liked. She’s really sassy, but the thing I like most about her is her canter.”
Clara Propp of New York, NY earned both the second and third place ribbons. Propp and her second place mount, Everyday Enzo, owned by Olivia Golden, LLC, received a score of 82 in both rounds for a combined score of 164. Everyday Enzo is a 17-year-old Welsh Pony that Propp started riding at the end of 2016. A total score of 161 for Propp and Quicksilver Butterfly was enough for third place. The 2005 Welsh Pony mare by Mortons Best Man is owned by Aquitaine Equine.
Week nine of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday featuring the $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, in the International Arena during the evening. The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby will decide a winner on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds). For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Keenan Goes Two for Two in Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series
Wellington, FL – January 22, 2017 – Week two of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 22, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Competition featured the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, which saw victory for 2016 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) riding Daisy. The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix was also held with a win for young rider Lillie Keenan (USA) and Be Gentle.
Course designer Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) concluded week two with 64 entries in the 1.50m competition and 12 in the jump-off. The times were fast, but only three were able to complete the short course without fault. Michaels-Beerbaum took the win with Artemis Equestrian Farm’s Daisy in 41.98 seconds.
Marie Hecart (FRA) jumped Normandie Connection’s Cenwood Delle Lame to second place in 42.57 seconds, and Kimberly Prince (USA) rode Rushy Marsh Farm’s RMF Fatum to third place in 44.08 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) had the fastest round in 40.44 seconds, but finished fourth with one rail down on Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S.
A nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Excenel V x Timeless), Daisy jumped the young horse classes throughout Europe with Michaels-Beerbaum in 2016, and is just stepping up to the 1.50m level.
“She is absolutely fantastic. She has a heart as big as this horse show,” the rider described. “She wants to do it. She has a wonderful character, a wonderful attitude, and it makes riding fun. This was her first 1.50m jump-off class, and it was just amazing how well and how easily she jumped it. Then to go and win it like she did was really the icing on the cake.”
With five riders ahead of her in the jump-off that all had rails down, Michaels-Beerbaum was the first to jump a double clear round and keep up the pace.
“I knew everybody was going a little bit too fast, that’s why the rails were coming, so I tried to not overdo it,” she explained. “There were a lot of fast horses in the jump-off, and fast riders, so I think some riders were trying to win it before it was even over. I just tried to give her the best ride I could. She is a fast little horse, so the time was good enough. She is kind of like a little motorcycle. She is adorable and you know she is on your side.”
Michaels-Beerbaum plans to keep Daisy at the 1.50m height this winter to give the mare more experience. “We will just take it as it comes, and try to manage her well and not overdo it, but I think she has a big future,” she concluded.
Keenan Goes Two for Two in Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Series
The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted its second event of the circuit with back-to-back wins for 20-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York, NY aboard Chansonette Farm LLC’s Be Gentle. Keenan and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ticallux Verte x Gentleman) topped Saturday’s $10,000 Welcome speed class and returned to take victory in Sunday’s $25,000 Grand Prix jump-off.
The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix saw 65 entries Sunday morning in the International Arena at PBIEC. Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) set a challenging test for the young competitors, which saw five clear rounds advance to the jump-off.
Taylor Land (USA) was first to return over the short course, with a clear track in 43.56 seconds that eventually placed fourth riding Jay Land’s For Edition. Lucas Porter (USA) went next, jumping the second place time of 40.74 seconds aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco. Kerry McCahill (USA) and Cadensky followed with the third place time of 43.43 seconds. Keenan then jumped the winning round in 39.85 seconds aboard Be Gentle. Last to go, Jennifer Gates (USA) incurred eight faults in 42.74 seconds to finish fifth.
“I have a lot of confidence in my horse,” Keenan said following her win. “I have had her for over a year now and I have jumped her in some bigger classes, so we have experience together. She is lightning fast against the clock. I would say out of all my horses, she is the most straightforward and trustworthy. The feeling that she gives you is that you could really point her to the eye of a needle. Some of the angles that you can point her at for a jump are really remarkable.”
Keenan detailed her jump-off, explaining that her position to go fourth out of five was an advantage.
“I got to see Lucas go and I think really where I made up time was on the turns,” Keenan said. “I have experience going very fast on my horse. That was something that I tried to fine tune throughout the year, and I feel like now it’s really coming together.”
Lucas Porter (19), of Wellington, FL, took the reins on Diamonte Darco in 2016 after the mare showed with his older brother Wilton for two seasons. The 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse (by Unbelievable Darco) has jumped bigger tracks and is an experienced mount for her young rider.
“She’s a super competitive horse,” Porter stated. “Even though she has jumped bigger, our team feels that she jumps the best at this height. These classes are usually really quick, and she has now learned how to go fast against the clock, so she is super useful. It is the perfect fit for these U25 classes.”
McCahill (20), of Windermere, FL, just began showing Cadensky two weeks ago. She bought the 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Cornet Obolensky x Carthago Z) late in November and is getting to know the mount through the Under 25 classes.
“I was just trying to be smooth and give him a good ride,” she noted. “I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but he’s incredible. I am very lucky to have him.”
McCahill first showed in the Under 25 Series in 2016 and has made it her goal to qualify for this year’s $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.
The series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has been expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money for the 2017 season. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress.
Keenan, who has been competing and training in Europe with Olympian Cian O’Connor of Ireland, enjoys the experience that the Series offers.
“I am very grateful that they offer this division because it is a great stepping-stone,” she noted. “I haven’t been in the show ring since November, so it is a big confidence boost to start the circuit with two events like this.
“I am very fortunate to have had the experience of competing in America throughout my junior divisions, going to Young Riders and making the transition to competing in Europe and showing against the pros,” Keenan continued. “Having the experience of myself jumping on a Nations’ Cup team, you need to learn how to deal with pressure and how to work in different environments, so I think we are very lucky that Hollow Creek Farm offers that for us here.”
A Family Affair for Martha Ingram
On the final day of competition at WEF 2, Martha Ingram, of Nashville, TN, rode Lyons Creek Bellini to the championship title and Ice Time to reserve honors in the Adequan® Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’3″ division. Both horses are owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC.
Ingram and Lyons Creek Bellini placed first in the handy, second, third, and eighth over fences, and third under saddle to secure the championship. Aboard Ice Time, Ingram won two over fences classes and placed eighth under saddle. Ingram is a 20-year-old student at Furman University who competes at WEF with her parents, Stephanie and John Ingram.
Lyons Creek Bellini is a 2006 Polish gelding. Ingram purchased Lyons Creek Bellini two years ago from Hunter Holloway, who had successfully showed the gelding in the Junior Hunters.
“He’s really fun and an incredible handy horse,” applauded Ingram. “He’s my favorite to compete in the handy classes on. He likes to whinny when he walks in the ring. He’s sassy and has an attitude, but he’s very spoiled. He loves his treats. He’s a very sweet boy.”
Ingram’s other mount, Ice Time, is a coming ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
“I nicknamed him Sunny Bunny; I don’t know why,” confessed Ingram. “He’s just the cutest thing ever. He has a huge stride, no spook, and is very comfortable. He likes to hangout and loves his group of people.”
Ingram will return next weekend to compete and then is looking forward to week six, World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week. She cherishes being able to spend time with her family doing a sport she loves.
“My mom was supposed to come show this weekend. My dad is here obviously. He helped hack, jog, and was in the photo with me. It’s a family affair, and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Ingram.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its third week of competition, sponsored by Adequan®, on January 25-29, 2017. Week highlights include the $35,000 Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday, January 22, the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on Saturday, January 28, and the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Classic on Sunday, January 29. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Lillie Keenan and Super Sox (Libby Law Photography)
Barcelona, Spain – The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final came to an exciting conclusion at CSIO5* Barcelona Saturday evening. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team of Audrey Coulter, Lauren Hough, Lillie Keenan, and Laura Kraut stood strong against tough competition in the Final’s second round. Building off the momentum from a Silver-medal win at the Rio Olympic Games in August, the U.S. once again stood on the podium, this time earning Bronze. In a sensational evening for the sport, Great Britain and Germany battled it out for top honors in a jump-off. Germany ultimately took Gold, while Great Britain won Silver.
Riding as pathfinders for the U.S. over Santiago Varela’s big and technically demanding course was Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare. The pair had a brilliant round until the last fence, an oxer set a long six strides off the triple combination at 12. Hough rode forward, but ended up long, taking the top rails down for a four-fault total.
Next in the order was Coulter (San Francisco, Calif.) and Copernicus Stables, LLC’s Capital Colnardo, a 2005 Holsteiner stallion. With rails down at fences 3 and 12c, the pair added eight faults to the board.
Prior to the final round, the U.S. replaced Lucy Davis and Barron in the team’s starting order due to minor swelling in Barron’s forelimb. The gelding is expected to make a full recovery. Davis and Barron contributed to the final round qualification with a clear round in the opening competition on Thursday. As the alternate members of the team, Keenan and Super Sox stepped into the order. Keenan and Chansonette Farm LLC and Ronnoco Jump Ltd.’s 2006 Hanoverian gelding delivered a clutch clear round in their Nation Cup Final debut.
Preceding the U.S. in the final rotation was Ireland, Switzerland, and Italy, with each nation adding four faults to put all on a five-fault total. With Great Britain and Germany securing zero-fault round-one totals, the door was open for the U.S. to secure a Bronze medal with a clear round from anchor rider, Kraut. Aboard Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie, a 2007 Holsteiner mare, Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) rode with steel nerve to deliver the necessary clear round to secure a podium finish for the U.S.
“The course was very tricky. There were options for striding in almost every line,” said Kraut. “It was fortunate for me that I went late in the class and had a lot of time to make up my mind on what would be best for my horse. Initially after walking the course, I thought adding strides would be best, but as I watched, leaving strides out seemed to be working better, especially with the tight time allowed. I was very pleased with my round. Zeremonie is young and that was a lot of pressure on her.”
Speaking to the team’s overall performance, Kraut noted, “Obviously we like to win, and we were one fence away from being in the jump-off, but this was a strong finish for us. Lillie pulling through in the 11th hour and going clear was an amazing feat. Audrey was great; it just wasn’t her week, but she rode really well.”
In the jump-off, Great Britain was first in the order and opted to send forward 2016 Individual Olympic Gold medalists, Nick Skelton and Big Star. The pair jumped clear in 41.57 to put the pressure on Germany. With the advantage of knowing exactly what was needed to secure the win, Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout delivered for their nation, going clear in 39.80.
Lillie Keenan and Super Sox at the HITS Great American Million.
Wellington, Fla. – April 4, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Rider Award is Lillie Keenan. Hailing from New York, Keenan will be adding this award to her already impressive list of show jumping accomplishments.
The Maxine Beard award is presented to young riders who are talented in the sport of show jumping and also show great potential to represent this country in Nations Cup competitions and international championships. At just 19 years old, Keenan turned professional in 2015 while also furthering her education as a freshman at the prestigious Harvard University. Under the tutelage of Ireland’s Olympic Bronze medalist Cian O’Connor, Keenan adapted to a new training regime for herself and her horses.
“I really needed to challenge myself, and I always knew that I had a lot to learn, but now I feel like I’ve come a long way,” said Keenan. “I feel much more confident in myself than I did last year at this time, simply because I had new experiences, and I’m excited for continued change and trying new things, and trying to establish myself as a professional.”
One of Keenan’s most exciting opportunities this past year was beginning her training with O’Connor and spending the summer in Europe at O’Connor’s Karlswood Stables. Through her work with the Irish Olympian Keenan achieved top results in 2016, including third place finishes in the $380,000 Douglas Elliman CSI5* Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival and the HITS Great American $1 Million Grand Prix with her Super Sox, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding.
“I’ve taken a lot of time with that horse,” noted Keenan. “He’s a horse that I’ve always believed in. Three months ago, the team at Karlswood said, ‘You’ve put in all this work with this horse and you’re going to place in a night class in Florida.’ The fact that it came together is just a testament to the program, and also to how important it is to invest in the learning process and be patient with it. When you follow the steps and you put in the work to learn and have a special moment like that, it is really exciting.”
Along with the trophy, the award also offers the recipient the opportunity to travel to a Nations Cup competition to shadow the American team. In 2016, the Nations Cup events will have added importance, as the U.S. squad will be preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio later this summer. Keenan will observe the stabling area and veterinary inspection, and she will also be able to walk the courses with Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland and the team.
“Our sport is not always team based, but at the highest level, you’re representing your country as a team, and that’s what I enjoy,” said Keenan. “To have the opportunity to shadow a team and get the experience of working with Robert Ridland and understanding the best American riders and their programs, and just being able to watch them ride and watch the work they do, is fantastic.”
Keenan concluded, “It’s exciting for me to receive this award because it’s an honor but also it’s a nice confidence boost at the end of season and now that I’m going to Europe. I especially want to thank the team behind Karlswood and of course my family.”
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
It came down to a ride-off between Lillie Keenan and Beezie Madden on February 20th, but the seven teams of grand prix riders were not just jumping against the clock in the EQUUS Foundation’s first Best Performance Team Invitational. The top ranked riders were being judged by legends George H. Morris and Katie Prudent on their style under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.
“It was a lot of fun, and it’s nice to be able to participate in a class that gives back to the horses that do so much for us,” Keenan explained. “The EQUUS Foundation is a great organization not only for the horses but also for how horses can help people. We all do this sport because we love the horse.” Madden added, “We all just love to do something to benefit such a great organization like the EQUUS Foundation. It was a great night for us to have a little fun.”
Each rider was awarded a score out of 100 from the judges, and the lowest score from each team was dropped. At the end of the first round, Beezie Madden rose to the top as the individual front-runner, claiming the title of Best Individual Performance with a score of 99.
While Madden was the clear individual winner, the team competition came down to the wire and a showdown between the Ariat/Animal Planet team, composed of Madden, Georgina Bloomberg and Nicole Shahanian-Simpson, and the CallariCars.com team of Rodrigo Pessoa, Lillie Keenan and Ali Wolff.
Sitting tied with each other, each team elected one representative to return for a ride-off, with Madden coming forward for team Ariat/Animal Planet and Keenan stepping up to the plate for team CallariCars.com. With a rail down, Madden’s score of 90 fell short to Keenan’s score of 96, clinching the first Best Performance Team title for the CallariCars.com team.
The climatic ride-off marked the successful end to an evening that celebrated the positive impact that horses have in our lives. Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President, spoke briefly and introduced the new EQUUS Foundation video produced by the Infamous Productions team of James Wooster and Brian Lookabill, who served as Emcee.
Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Foundation Chairman, and Chrystine Tauber, USEF President, announced the ten new inductees into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame and honored the owners who were able to attend.
Guests attending the EQUUS Foundation’s Fete Cheval Etoile were the first to applaud the amazing horses when the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats were revealed at the event and on the Horse Stars Hall of Fame website.
The EQUUS Foundation partnered with the United States Equestrian Foundation (USEF) in 2013 to establish the Horse Stars Hall of Fame to honor the extraordinary talent of horses and the bond between horses and people.
Hosted annually by the EQUUS Foundation, the Fete Cheval Etoile helps raise funds to support equine charities that are improving the lives of horses, promoting the use of horses to enrich lives and educating the public about the horse’s unique abilities to empower, teach and heal.
Since its inception, the EQUUS Foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in grants and over 800 equine organizations across the United States participate on the Foundation’s Equine Welfare Network. The EQUUS Foundation is the only national animal welfare organization that is dedicated solely to horse welfare.
About EQUUS Foundation
The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.
USET Foundation Awards 2015 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to Lillie Keenan
The recipient of the 2015 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy is the talented show jumping rider Lillie Keenan of New York, NY. Each year this award is presented to a young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship. In 2014, Keenan advanced to the highest levels of the sport, competing in her first Nations Cup in Bratislava and winning the Medium Tour 3* and a 1.40m class in Ascona. She has competed in five World Cup Grand Prix events and finished 5th at the National Horse Show against some of the best in the world. Keenan also won the Individual Gold medal at Young Riders in 2013.
USET Foundation Recognizes Its Loyal Gold Medal Club Members
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to recognize the generous support of their Gold Medal Club (GMC) members. The Gold Medal Club is the lifeblood of the USET Foundation, accounting for nearly 80% of individual contributions each year and is comprised of members who contribute a minimum of $1,000 or more annually. On Sunday, January 25, 2015, the USET Foundation hosted the Gold Medal Club Reception where they recognized GMC Members that have made the USET Foundation a priority in their charitable giving for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 35 years.
Chester Weber Honored with 2015 Whitney Stone Cup from USET Foundation
No. 1 Driver in the World, Chester Weber of Ocala, FL, is the recipient of the 2015 Whitney Stone Cup. Winning the Silver Medal at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, and winning at Aachen, Saumur, Windsor, and Live Oak are just a few standouts from Weber’s outstanding list of accomplishments. His win at Live Oak made history by claiming his 11th FEI Four-in-Hand Horse USEF National Championship. The award is presented annually to an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition and high standards of sportsmanlike conduct while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.
Bruce Duchossois Honored with USET Foundation Distinguished Trustee Award
On January 25, 2015, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation announced the creation of the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award in honor and recognition of its distinguished trustee, Bruce Duchossois. The example he set for the equestrian community will live on in others as the award will continue to be presented annually to a USET Foundation trustee who exemplifies exceptional leadership, philanthropy and character. The USET Foundation presented the inaugural R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award to Bruce’s family, who look forward to seeing his legacy live on through the organization that he supported throughout his life.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.
The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigators’ highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.
Lillie Keenan was last year’s ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay winner. Photo by Shawn McMillen.
Lexington, KY – August 12, 2014 – The National Horse Show is pleased to announce that the USEF Network will be providing full live-streaming coverage of the 2014 events, including the Alfred B. Maclay ASPCA National Championship, presented by Dover Saddlery. Live commentators will be Brian Lookabill and Lillie Kennan, who took home the impressive Maclay victory in 2013. The event is scheduled for November 2, 2014 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden in 1987, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2012 ASPCA Maclay National Championship winner was Jacob Pope, and in 2013 Lillie Keenan was named the winner.
Keenan of New York, NY has been at the top of the sport since she was a pony rider, and 2013 was an exceptional year for her career. It began with the 2013 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships Show Jumping Gold Medal, followed by her first grand prix victory at HITS-on-the-Hudson and a win in the USEF Junior Jumper Individual Championship. At the end of the year she took home the victory in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and the ASPCA National Championship. This year, Keenan has been focused on the jumper ring, including representing the United States on the Nations Cup teams in Ascona, Switzerland and Bratsilava, Slovakia.
“I’m very excited because I’ve never done any commentary or live broadcasting so I’m looking forward to a new experience,” expressed Keenan. “Last year, after the Finals, I got to watch the replay of the whole class with Jacob Pope commentating and I think he did a wonderful job. It will be a really interesting experience to be on the other side as a viewer, but one I’m looking forward to.”
Brian Lookabill was the production manager of the National Horse Show in 2013, and is known as the voice of the show ring. Lookabill has been involved with the equestrian industry for over 20 years, and is currently a horse show announcer at the some of the top competitions throughout the country.
“While I’m looking forward to helping with production again this year, I’m also happy to return to the mic for some of our streaming coverage,” noted Lookabill.
“Not everyone can experience a big, championship event first-hand, and we’re lucky to share Maclay day with someone who’s been there. Lillie’s record is pretty unprecedented, winning in the Ponies, Juniors, Young Riders, and even Derby Championships before the Maclay. She’s obviously a dynamic rider who could very well be one of our next Olympians. She is also one of the most composed young ladies I’ve met, and I think she’ll bring some great insight to a historic class that many people only dream of riding in, much less winning.”
With $850,000 in total prize money and an important World Cup Qualifier, the International Open Jumpers will compete for $530,000 in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $205,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 is offered to the Amateur/Owner and Junior Jumpers.
The fifth edition of the National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky, is set for October 28 – November 2, 2014.
The show will once again be held at the Kentucky Horse Park.
For more information about the National Horse Show, please visit www.nhs.org.
2014 National Horse Show Fast Facts
The Alltech National Horse Show is a week-long championship event featuring “AA”-rated hunters, open jumpers, junior/amateur jumpers, and the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Finals. The event will run October 28 – November 2, 2014, indoors in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Kentucky Horse Park has waived the normal parking fee during the Alltech National Horse Show. Parking is free. While dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash, no dogs are allowed in the Alltech Arena during the ANHS.
The Kentucky Horse Park is located at 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. The KHP is 8 miles northeast of Lexington at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.
2245 Stone Garden Lane Lexington, KY 40513
Phone: (859) 608-3709
Fax: (866) 285-9496
HILTON – DOWNTOWN – 859-231-9000 – Approximately 6 miles
CLARION HOTEL (formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859 – 233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles
FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES BY MARRIOTT – 859 -977-5870 – Approximately 4 miles
FOUR POINTS SHERATON – 859-259-1311 – Approximately 4 miles
LA QUINTA – 859-231-7551 – Approximately 4 miles
KNIGHTS INN – 859-231-0232 – Approximately 4 miles
EMBASSY SUITES – 859-455-5000 – Approximately 4 miles
MARRIOT GRIFFIN GATE – 859-231-5100 – Approximately 4 miles
RESIDENCE INN – 859-231-6191 – Approximately 5 miles
COURTYARD BY MARRIOT – 859-253-4646 – Approximately 5 miles
HOLIDAY INN GEORGETOWN – 502-570-0220 – Approximately 6 miles
RAMADA INN – 859-299-1261 – Approximately 6 miles
RED ROOF INN – 859-293-2626 – Approximately 6 miles
HAMPTON INN – 502-867-4888 – Approximately 6 miles
SUPER EIGHT – 502-863-4888 – Approximately 6 miles
MICROTEL INN & SUITES – 502-868-8000 – Approximately 6 miles