Tag Archives: Nick Haness

Daniel Bluman Saves Gemma W for WEF Finale

Daniel Bluman & Gemma W. Photo © Sportfot

Israel’s Daniel Bluman made careful plans for Gemma W this season, plans that paid off on Thursday with a victory in the $146,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 12, a qualifier for the $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix on Saturday.

Gemma W, owned by Blue Star Investments and Over the Top Stables, picked up a top-five finish in her only other appearance at WEF this season – a CSI4* grand prix during Week 8. Since then, Bluman has had her fully focused on making a big impact during WEF 12.

“Gemma had a very successful 2022 and I’ve been taking it easy with her and not jumping a bunch; the plan was to have her fit and ready for this week to come and attack this grand prix qualifier,” said the 33-year-old two-time Olympian. “She was fresh, and the plan was to do the leave outs everywhere and use her ground speed to put in a competitive time with enough pressure on the couple riders after me.”

Bluman is no stranger to success during Rolex Week at WEF after finishing second in the Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix in 2022 on Ladriano Z and 2019 with Gemma W.

“The Rolex Grand Prix in Wellington has been my favorite class,” he said. “I haven’t decided the plan for Saturday yet, but I can say for sure that it will be a very exciting class with great horse-and-rider combinations and a packed house with great atmosphere here in Wellington.”

Pavlova Delights in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″

California’s Nick Haness and Pavlova rose to the occasion on Thursday of WEF 12 to steal the champion spot in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6” division in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena.

Winning two of the three classes over fences, Haness and Pavlova, an eight-year-old Oldenburg mare by Diatendro, posted a high score of 90 in the stake for owners John and Stephanie Ingram. The pair also received scores of 88 and 87 the previous day, combined with a second-place finish under saddle to earn the top tricolor.

“I rode Pavlova for the first time last week but she’s an amazing horse to ride,” said Haness, who has made a return to WEF for the final week of competition after spending time commuting between California and Florida to show this season. “She won both rounds yesterday and we were up for champion today, so I wanted to put in some good rounds. In the incentive class, she scored a 90 and was beautiful throughout the course.”

Wellington International

Haness and Stewart Dominate Rein Family 3’6″ Performance Hunter Division at WEF

Nick Haness & Queen Celeste. Photo © Sportfot.

From across North America, the top horses and riders in the hunter discipline flocked to Wellington, FL this week for World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week at the Winter Equestrian Festival. The sixth week of competition shines a spotlight on all divisions of the discipline and gives amateurs, juniors, and professionals alike the chance to qualify for Saturday night’s $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular.

Over one hundred of the country’s best performance hunter horses took center stage in Wellington International’s International Ring. Two champions were crowned in the California Split Rein Family 3’6” Performance Hunter division. The two tricolor awards were presented to Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL and Nick Haness of Temecula, CA for their top placings.

Mitchell and Stewart Claim Tricolors in Equine Tack & Nutritionals 3’6” Green Hunter Division

Canada’s Brady Mitchell riding Epic Style and Scott Stewart aboard Spirit D’Intro Z shared the Equine Tack & Nutritionals 3’6” Green Hunter title in the International Ring. Thirty-six entries stepped into the ring, but it was Mitchell and Epic Style, a Warmblood gelding by Cloney owned by Rein Family LLC, as well as Stewart and Spirit D’Intro Z, a Zangersheide gelding by Stakkato owned by Gochman Sporthorses, who were crowned champions of the division.

Mitchell was thrilled after his winning round and said, “My horse was very good yesterday; he was Section A winner of the jumping class yesterday and he won the hack. In one way the pressure was off because I knew I would probably have the tricolor, but of course you want him to keep winning. He’s a horse that really seems to rise to the occasion, so I feel really lucky to be able to ride him.”

With consistent top ribbons, Stewart was similarly pleased after taking home the tricolor with Spirit D’Intro Z. “Spirit is actually a new ride for me. He’s a really talented jumper, and before circuit we decided to play with him in the hunters because he’s a lovely mover,” said Stewart. “We are all very pleased. It’s always great riding in the International Arena here at WEF. He was brave and it rode great out there today.”

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Jessica Mendoza and Play Top $50k Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*

Jessica Mendoza and Play.

Devon, Pa. – May 31, 2022 – International show jumping competition kicked off at the 2022 Devon Horse Show Tuesday, May 31, welcoming a field of talented athletes and their mounts to the iconic Dixon Oval for the $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*. Out of the 22 starters representing six different nations, just nine navigated clear efforts to advance to the jump off. At the conclusion of the class, it was Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and her very own mount Play who emerged victorious to take home the Devon blue.

Scott Stewart and Nick Haness Take Home Green Hunter Championships

Tuesday morning at the Devon Horse Show welcomed back top professional hunter athletes to the Dixon Oval to vie for championship honors in their respective green hunter divisions. In the Green 3’6” Hunter, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker and Huntland Farms, it was Scott Stewart and Bikoff Equestrian’s Ever After who took home the first tri-color of the day. The pair accumulated a total of 22 points over the two days to secure The James J. Piehler Memorial Challenge Trophy.

Gail Aumiller Claims Single Horse Driving Championship Victory

Monday marked the start of Senior Week at the 2022 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair where professional hunter athletes kicked off competition in the Dixon Oval with the Green Hunter divisions. Leading the way in the Green 3’9” Hunter at the conclusion of the first two over fences classes with a total of 16 entries was Scott Stewart and Nottingham who swept over fences taking home two blue ribbons.

For more information and results, visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Phoenix Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue Bring Home Adult Jumper Championship at Devon

Phoenix Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue.

Devon, Pa. – May 30, 2016 – After a long road together, Phoenix Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue will bring home the best thing of all: a Devon blue ribbon. The pair produced the only double-clear effort in the $7,500 North American League Adult Amateur Jumper Classic at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Their impressive performance was also good enough to earn the Adult Amateur Jumper Championship after two days of competition.

“This is a big one for us,” said Cooke. “We have been working really hard all year. Devon has been the big goal. It’s always exciting just to qualify. It’s an honor just to be here.”

Nine entries advanced to the final tiebreaker during Monday night’s highlight event, but in an effort to set a fast pace the rails fell throughout the course. Barbara Rochford and Chili Pepper were the first to incur four faults, but their slower time of 41.296 seconds would only hold up for fourth place.

Sheila Ann Sadighi and Ulano bested Rochford, despite lowering the height of a vertical on their way to a time of 39.488 seconds. That time would eventually earn Sadighi second place. The third place ribbon went to Maureen Blackstone and CL Debutante, whose four-fault time of 40.073 seconds slipped between Rochford and Sadighi.

Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue entered the Dixon Oval midway through the tiebreaker for their chance at the blue ribbon. Despite seeing the competition struggle for a speedy and clear round, they still went for the time and secured it. The duo clocked the fastest round of the night in 39.311 seconds and left all the rails intact, galloping away with the win.

Skys Burnin Blue is a 10-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse that Cooke’s trainer Stefanie Portman rescued six years ago. Together, Portman and Cooke worked to slowly bring the talented young mare up through the ranks.

“It was tough for me,” admitted Cooke. “I did hunters for 12 years and I had never been on a speedy horse. We worked from the bottom, and we did the 2’6″ jumpers for a while. I’ve always liked the projects and I’ve always liked to work hard for things in life.”

Cooke graduated from college in 2015 and currently works at J. P. Morgan, while also trying to balance her competitive equestrian dreams. “I just started a new position and there is a lot to learn,” said Cooke. “I go from work to the barn and luckily, Stephanie is willing to wait for me. She’s hard on me, but it pays off and that’s what makes good horsemanship. She always makes horsemanship the number one priority.”

Skys Burnin Blue has been the perfect partner for the young adult, who tries to ride four-to-five days a week. “She is very brave and very honest,” said Portman. “For a working adult it’s a nice thing to go in the ring and not have to worry. Skys Burnin Blue is way more than we ever thought she would be.  We started her off as a hunter for a year just to get the basics. She was just too sparky to do the hunters, so we tried the jumpers. We had goals and we thought it would be great if she did the 3′ and she has just been so much more. She never lets you down. She’s so much fun!”

Monday night marked the conclusion of the Adult Jumper division, but on Tuesday the Open Jumpers will get underway with the $50,000 Devon Welcome Stake, the first of the FEI CSI4* events at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Highlight events during the week include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

Strong Start for Nick Haness and Chris Payne in Professional Hunter Divisions

On Memorial Monday at the Devon Horse Show, amidst a sea of red, white and blue spectators, the professional hunter divisions took center stage in the Dixon Oval.

The First Year Green Hunter division kicked off the morning, with California-based rider Nick Haness stealing the show on Technicolor. The duo’s back-to-back scores of 91 and 92 secured them the blue ribbon in both over fences classes.

Nick Haness and Technicolor
Nick Haness and Technicolor

“When I got on him today to show, I knew he was on his game,” Haness said. “I know him pretty well, and today he for sure came out feeling like it was going to be a good day. Today was extra special for me because I’ve never won a class at Devon before. Winning one gave me goosebumps all morning, so winning two, I’m still in shock. It’s very exciting. I’m just happy that it went well and he was good.”

Haness said he imported Technicolor in 2015 and sold him to Lindsay Maxwell, who trains with Archie Cox and shows in the Amateur Owner Hunters. Haness described the 6-year-old gelding as a natural athlete.

“He is pretty much the most amazing feeling horse to ride,” Haness said. “It’s nice to be able to ride a horse that is so natural and that you don’t have to create anything. He just goes around the course and does it himself. He’s my ride. I think that’s why we get along. It’s nice to be able to let go and just go to the jumps. He gets there and just fires over them, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Taking second place to Haness in the first over-fences class were Kelley Farmer and Publicized with a score of 89. Third place went to Jennifer Alfano and The Exchange with a score of 88.

In the second round, the results were the same, with the second place ribbon going Farmer and Publicized, who earned a score of 90, while Alfano and The Exchange placed third with an 88.

The Green Conformation Hunters were the next to show, with Kelley Farmer and It’s Me claiming the blue in the first class with a score of 91. The red ribbon was awarded to Scott Steward, who earned a score of 90 aboard William Hill. Hunt Tosh and Patriot claimed the third place ribbon with a score of 88.5.

In the second class, Tosh and Patriot came back and caught the judges’ attention, earning a score of 93 to edge out the pack. Stewart took home both second and third on Denver and Fun, respectively.

In the Green Conformation Model, the judges pinned the blue ribbon on Stewart and Fun, while Larry Glefke and It’s Me took second. Third place went to Farmer and Clever Conversation, while Tosh and Patriot ended up fourth.

The Second Year Green Hunter division rounded out the day’s hunter action, where Christopher Payne and Truman’s high-scoring rounds of 90 and 91 earned them both of the blue ribbons over fences.

“He didn’t show last year here, so I was wondering if he would be intimidated by the crowd,” Payne commented. “In the first round, he held his breath a little bit, but he really let go in the second round and just rode beautifully.”

Payne said the bay gelding seldom has a bad day, and he loves the horse for his personality.

“He’s wonderful to ride,” Payne said. “He tries so hard. It may not always play out in our favor, but he always tries with everything he has. He never has a bad day, even in the stall. He’s a happy, happy horse constantly. I just love him.”

In the first class, Stewart and Dominik took home second with a score of 89. Third place went to Haness and Countdown, who earned an 88.

Returning for the second class, Haness and Countdown moved up to the second place spot with a score of 89. Megan Young and Comanche took home third with their score of 88.

The professional hunter divisions will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the championships being awarded for the First Year Green Hunters, the Green Conformation Hunters and the Second Year Green Hunters on Tuesday.

The Grand Hunter Championship will be awarded on Wednesday, with the highlight $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby following on Thursday.

The final feature event during the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will be the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, which takes place on Saturday evening.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

Richard O’Donnell Drives Away with the Horse Pairs Championship

On Memorial Day Monday, Richard O’Donnell drove away with the Horse Pairs Championship at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. With 19 points accumulated among three classes, O’Donnell held a two-point edge over Reserve Champion, Linda Weinberg, to win the Challenge Trophy and tricolor ribbon.

“It’s an honor to be named Champion, especially here at Devon,” O’Donnell, President of the Board of Directors of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Inc., said. “It’s special. It’s where champions meet. I’ve competed her for over 40 years and to be named champion speaks volumes.”

The O’Donnell team drove to victory in comfort in their 1880 Spider Phaeton. The Philadelphia-native carriage is one of 16 vintage vehicles the O’Donnell’s own and have on display in their home-base museum.

“It makes the horses feel better when they hear the crowd cheering,” O’Donnell added about the Devon Horse Show spectators. “It means the world to me to see the community enjoying the hard work that went on behind the scenes to put this event together.”

The focus shifted to ponies for the evening events. Lisa Koehler’s Koehler Gig, driven by Nicole Cable, received the Joseph M. Pierce Challenge Trophy in the Single/Pair Pony Driving Championship for the third consecutive year. Their consistent record in Sunday and Monday’s classes, including wins in Monday night’s Single/Pair Pony – Pleasure Turnout and Sunday’s Single Harness Two Wheeled Vehicles, placed them ahead of the competition. The reserve championship in the competitive division went to Rebekah McNeil, who drove a McNeil Saylor Wagon and had the fastest time in the Scurry Driving class to earn her the blue ribbon.

The coaching division was also a featured event in the Monday evening session. John White drove away with the first victory in the coaching and appointments division in a Road Coach Excelsior. The coaching classes will continue throughout the week at the Devon Horse Show.

For more information, please visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

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Nick Haness Pilots Edgewood’s Cilantro to Underdog Victory

©Flying Horse Photography. Nick Haness and Edgewood’s Cilantro on their way to a win in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.

THERMAL, CA (February 11, 2014) – Nick Haness characterized seven-year old Edgewood’s Cilantro as the underdog in Sunday’s $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. But, as the prize money climbed higher, Cilantro rose to the occasion and topped a field of 42 for owner Sarah-Maeve Hersh-Boyle.

Edgewood’s Cilantro is a first-year green hunter and just started showing in the amateur-owner division with Hersh-Boyle. She planned to compete the gelding in amateur-owner classes herself this weekend, but a delayed flight kept her from the show altogether and gave Haness the ride in the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final qualifier.

“We figured we would put him in the prix again, get some more mileage and some good experience,” said Haness of Cilantro, who jumped to ninth in last week’s Devoucoux Hunter Prix. “He made some green mistakes last week, but today I felt like I was riding a made derby horse.”

Haness and Edgewood’s Cilantro earned the highest score of the first round with an 89 and returned in the second to post an impressive 91. “The first round was pretty straightforward, but the second round got tricky – going up the hill once on each lead, coming down to a two stride – it left a lot of room for the horses to get spooky or crooked, but Cilantro listened, tried hard and responded really well to everything,” beamed Haness.

The rides for second, third and fourth came down to fractions of a point. Philip Cillis of Encinitas, California piloted Julie Hancock’s Willow CBF to second after a first round score of 86, and lead the second round with a 92. Shelley Campf of Canby, Oregon earned an 88 and an 88.5 aboard Diane Laycoe’s Perseverence for third and Haness jumped into the top placings for a second time in fourth with Edgewood Equestrian’s Edgewood Denver with scores of 87 and 90. After a win last week, John French of Woodside, California and Lee Kellogg Sadrian’s Comex Gold rode to an 87.25 and 87 to cap the top five.

After consistent top finishes at HITS Thermal, Haness is again planning to head east in September for the HITS Championship. The Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final will take place during the HITS Championship September 5-7 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

About Devoucoux
Devoucoux, makers of fine French saddles, is proud to be the title sponsor of each and every qualifying Hunter Prix leading up to the phenomenal Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. Devoucoux offers a wide range of saddles in many colors and sizes and matching accessories. Devoucoux craftsmen are devoted to creating beautiful products that reflect their obsession with quality and lovingly finished work. For more information on Devoucoux, visit devoucoux.com.

$5,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Over the last three weeks, Katie Cook of Newport Beach, California has done nothing short of dominate West Coast Qualifying for the Platinum Performance $250,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place during the HITS Championship in Saugerties, New York. In a last minute catch ride, Cook jumped Pamela Moellenhoff’s Santos to a win on Sunday in the $5,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal.

“He is an amazing horse,” said Cook of the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding that only stands 15.3 hands tall, but moves big. “He is the best little jumper with a huge stride and it was really nice to see the judge reward that today.”

©Flying Horse Photography. Katie Cook and Santos jump to the top of the $5,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
©Flying Horse Photography. Katie Cook and Santos jump to the top of the $5,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

Cook, who trains with John Bragg at Bridgeport Farm in Woodside, California, took the win with scores of 85 and 90, and also rode to fourth on Amy Knox’s Symphony – the mount that carried her to hunter prix wins during the first two weeks at HITS Thermal. They scored an 88 and 78.

Based on her success in the qualifying classes, Cook is looking forward to a possible trip to the HITS Championship in September. “I would love to go east for the Championship,” she said. “I am going to do my best to make it work.”

Stephanie Goodson of Beverly Hills, California jumped to second after earning scores of 86 and 87 aboard her own Poetic. Polly Sweeny of Pasadena, California was third in the irons of her own Duet with scores of 83 and 85, while Jerrie Calandra capped the top five on Moonlite Beach, LLC’s Wonderwall.

About Platinum Performance
Platinum Performance provides more than 10 supplements essential to your horse’s health and conditioning in just one scoop. Platinum Performance Equine addresses a horse’s total body health from joint and hoof care to athletic performance and coat health, and is the 2014 sponsor of the $250,000 Hunter Prix Final and all qualifiers. For more information on Platinum Performance, visit platinumperformance.com.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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Nick Haness Brings Home Three Top Ribbons in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

©Flying Horse Photography. Nick Haness and Carolyn Mittler’s Cristiano cruised to victory in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix during Desert Circuit IV

THERMAL, CA (February 28, 2012) – Nick Haness of San Clemente, California had a tremendous afternoon on Sunday at HITS Thermal when he piloted three horses to ribbons in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, including the blue aboard Carolyn Mittler’s Cristiano to cap an action-packed week for hunter riders during Desert Circuit IV.

Haness was impressive in the popular hunter prix that featured more than 50 horse-and-rider combinations in the first round, over a course set by Rian Beals. The seasoned hunter rider brought home a score of 92 in the first round and set the stage for some tight competition. In the second round, Haness and Cristiano nailed down the victory in the Devoucoux class when they scored an 89 for a total score of 173 and the blue ribbon. More importantly, Haness looks like he will be a “shoo-in” to return for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York this fall. Last year, the rising star finished in second place aboard Jessica Singer’s Cruise and collected $90,000 in prize money.

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