Tag Archives: Ronan McGuigan

Ronan McGuigan and Elvis Are Kings with Win in $25,000 Ford’s Garage Grand Prix

Ronan McGuigan and Elvis. ©ESP.

Wellington, FL – June 6, 2021 – The first week of the ESP Summer Series took place June 3-6, 2021 at Equestrian Village, with the ESP Equitation Day #1 kicking the week off on June 2. In the week’s highlight event, the $25,000 Ford’s Garage Grand Prix, Ireland’s Ronan McGuigan piloted Blythe Masters’ Elvis to their second major win for the week after topping a field of talented competitors and mastering course designer Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) track.

“It feels great to cap off this week with a victory. Elvis has been super all week. We won the first day, then got second the second day, and I was very happy to win today. I didn’t even get to walk the course since I had to go to another ring, so I relied on some of the other competitors to let me know,” McGuigan admitted. “Rebecca Conway told me to take a stride out between fence one and two, so I just trusted what she told me. I guess I did what all the amateurs do and trusted someone else! I jumped in with a little pace and gave him a little kick at the beginning, so the rest of it worked out nicely.”

The Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake on Friday saw Colombia’s Juan Manuel Gallego and Adalberto Audi Scappino, owned by Eduardo Sanchez Navarro, ride to a commanding lead of the class early in the order. With a fault-free jump-off time of 39.23 seconds, the partnership ultimately won the class by more than three seconds as the swiftest of eight jump-off contenders. Second place went to McGuigan and Elvis.

On the first day of competition earlier in the week, the results of the Omega Alpha 1.35m Stake were very similar to the leaderboard in the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. McGuigan claimed top honors on the Derby Field with Elvis after overtaking the early frontrunners, Gallego and Adalberto Audi Scappino. McGuigan and Elvis finished in first with a jump-off time of 36.69 seconds, followed by Gallego and his mount in second with a double-clear time of 37.77 seconds.

Selcuk Koksalan kicked off Sunday’s competition on the Derby Field with a win in the Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Stake after clearing the jump-off in 38.28 seconds with Leyla Stables LLC’s entry, Carla.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane Win $34,000 1.45m Speed at WEF

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 4, 2015 – The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off its fifth week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Wednesday with a win for Ireland’s Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane in the $34,000 1.45m FEI speed class. McGuigan topped his trainer and fellow Irishman, Conor Swail, who finished second aboard Ariana. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Vesuvius finished third.

Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is pleased to welcome Ariat® International, Inc. as the title sponsor of week five CSI 3* competition on February 4-8, 2015. The week will feature the $127,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* on the grass jumping field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday, February 8. The weekend also highlights the 6th Annual Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments®, which will be the main event on Saturday, February 7, under the lights of the International Arena at PBIEC.

The course designer in the International Arena for week five is Robert Ellis of Great Britain. Ellis began the week with 57 to show in Wednesday’s 1.45m speed competition with 19 clear rounds.

Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm LLC’s Balance were first to go and set the pace at 65.71 seconds to hold the lead through 25 rounds, but were eventually pushed to fifth place. Meagan Nusz and Amalaya Investment’s Vesuvius upped the pace in 63.79 seconds and ended in third. Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane soon came along to take the lead in 63.54 seconds. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Shalanno Farms LLC’s Welfare jumped into fourth with their time of 64.64 seconds. In the end, Conor Swail and Susan Grange’s Ariana were just of the mark in 63.67 seconds to finish in second.

McGuigan and Capall Zidane had a great 2014 season, including most recent wins in ESP’s Holiday Series in November and December. After a little time off, Capall Zidane was back in action in week two of WEF and jumped to his first win of 2015 in week three’s $8,000 1.45m jump-off class. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet) had last week off and came back fresh and ready to go to kick off week five with a win.

“He felt good today. He was very fresh, and he was going forward,” McGuigan noted. “The course ideally did not suit me. There were a lot of turn backs and stuff. He prefers more of a gallop, but I’ll take it. Usually I give him quite a bit of room on the turn backs, but he is very fast over the ground, so once I get over the jump I am able to get away fast.”

The win feels greater for McGuigan after winning over his friend and trainer, Conor Swail.

“I got to beat my trainer, which is even better,” McGuigan smiled. “He helps me a lot. We are best buddies, but that made the win even sweeter. I’ll have lots of bragging rights now!”

With great prize money and FEI world ranking points on the line, the classes are very competitive, and riders have to do everything they can to finish on top.

“When you go in there you have to go for it from start to finish,” McGuigan professed. “There is no steadying up at all or you’re further down the line.”

Meagan Nusz held the lead before McGuigan entered the ring, and he detailed the difference between their rounds.

“Meagan went inside to number five, the in and out. I went around. She had also done five strides after the double and I had actually done six, but that helped me better in the next turn back. I think the five maybe threw you too far away.”

“I didn’t see Conor go, but he said he lost it on the second to last jump,” McGuigan added. “He came around the corner and got a bad stride and he had to get a little deep to that jump, so he lost a bit of speed on her. It was close.”

McGuigan and Capall Zidane will show again in Thursday’s $34,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 and hope to qualify for Sunday’s $127,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* on the grass derby field. They were third in that class last year.

Also showing on Wednesday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class was held in a California Split with wins for Laura Chapot (USA) with Mary Chapot’s Zealous as well as Ramiro Quintana (ARG) with St. Bride’s Farm’s Bialda. The $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class concluded the day with a win for Conor Swail (IRL) and Blue Hill Farm LLC’s Tahiti Island.

Competition continues on Thursday with the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 featured in the International Arena and the presentation of championship honors to the Equine Tack Second Year Green Hunters in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane Win $25,000 Nutrena Holiday III Grand Prix

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane. Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – December 22, 2014 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) hosted its Holiday Festival III this week on December 19-21, 2014, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Friday featured the $10,000 Equiline Open Stake with a win for Nina Fagerstrom and Flower. Sunday highlighted the $25,000 Nutrena Holiday III Grand Prix with victory for Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane.

Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL was the course designer in the International Ring for Holiday III competition. In Sunday’s Grand Prix, he saw 34 competitors with six clear rounds to jump-off. Only three were able to clear the short course, where Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane went first and set a blazing pace at 39.88 seconds that would hold on for the win.

Kira Kerkorian guided Lisa Kerkorian’s Cassiopeia to second place honors in 40.87 seconds, and Juan Ortiz jumped Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc.’s Phenix Royal to third place in 42.75 seconds. Two entries were able to surpass McGuigan’s time, but incurred faults along the way. Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Eternal had four faults in 39.27 seconds to place fourth. Darragh Kenny and Spruce Meadows’ Quiz had eight faults in 39.36 seconds and finished fifth.

Capall Zidane, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet, has had an incredible season with many grand prix wins. The pair also won the $10,000 Equiline Open Stake the week before in ESP’s Holiday II competition.

Commenting on his ride on Sunday, McGuigan noted, “He was very good. He felt nice and fresh. I didn’t jump him since Thursday, so he was well rested for Sunday. He won the stake and had a rail down in Thursday’s grand prix and then he did nothing until today, so he was pretty fresh with himself today.”

First to go in the jump-off with six in it, McGuigan knew he had to set a fast time to make the other riders chase him.

“I knew Darragh Kenny was coming behind me with that Quiz horse, who is very fast and has beaten me previous times, so I knew my horse can go just as fast as his,” McGuigan stated. “I just tried to put as fast a clear round up as I could without taking too many chances and hopefully push Darragh a little harder so that he might make a mistake. It’s not often that he makes one, but he was my main worry. A few other people got very close to the time though.”

Describing the first round course, McGuigan detailed, “It was a little smaller than it was on Thursday here or there, but the later half of the course was quite technical. Most people were able to jump around the first seven or eight jumps okay and then the last five or six jumps were tough. There was a plank at the gate with a short five stride that took a lot of people out. The very last fence, the in-and-out, was short and that also took a lot of people out. It was a nice course. He started nicely and then built you up and got a little more technical at the end.”

On Sunday, McGuigan also had the added bonus of having his parents there to see his win.

“My mom and dad came in as a surprise. I didn’t know they were coming, so they were there today to be able to watch that,” the rider smiled. “I think that is the first time they have ever seen me win a class, so that was nice for them.”

Capall Zidane will now have a short break through the holidays and then come back to compete in the FEI classes during week two of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in January. He finished out the season with a lot of great wins and McGuigan feels good going into the winter circuit.

“I feel confident now. I came down here during Holiday & Horses and he won a class there and he just had an unlucky rail in the World Cup qualifier,” McGuigan noted. “I think I have jumped him in five classes and he has won three of them, so we are heading into circuit feeling pretty confident.”

Earlier in the week, the $10,000 Equiline Open Stake was held on Friday with victory for Nina Fagerstrom and Finca Horse’s Flower. Out of 32 entries, seven made it to the jump-off, and Fagerstrom completed the only double clear round for the win. David Blake and Pine Hollow Farm’s Cassinjo had three time faults and finished second. Darragh Kenny and Spruce Meadows’ Quiz had the fastest time, but incurred four faults to finish third.

The 2014 ESP Holiday Series concludes with its Holiday Finale on December 31 – January 4. The week will feature the $10,000 Open Stake on Thursday, January 1, and the $25,000 Holiday Finale Grand Prix on Saturday, January 3.For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane Top $34,000 1.45m at Holiday & Horses Show

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane. Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2014 – Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) Holiday & Horses competition saw another win for Ireland this week in the $34,000 1.45m FEI World Ranking class held on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Catsy Cruz of Mexico set the speed track for the class, which had 47 rounds with 15 clear. Ronan McGuigan and his 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Capall Zidane (Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet) won the class with the fastest time of 63.96 seconds.

The second place prize went to Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Paris Sellon’s Heracross in 64.74 seconds. Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms LP’s Wirma finished third in 65.20 seconds. Nina Fagerstrom (FIN) and Finca Horses’ Notaris jumped clear in 65.72 seconds to place fourth.

Hough held the leading time with Heracross when McGuigan and Capall Zidane stepped into the ring, but the winning horse and rider were able to shave off the time.

“I watched all the horses go early, and I wasn’t until after the drag,” McGuigan detailed. “A lot of the numbers were the same. My horse is just really fast across the ground. I didn’t think Lauren left any room, but we got it somewhere.”

McGuigan and Capall Zidane (known as Elliott in the barn) had several grand prix wins in the 2014 season and came back strong this week.

“We did Harrisburg, but we had rails every day,” McGuigan stated. “This is his first show back really. He had a rail down on Wednesday, but he was good and today suited him. It wasn’t that big today, so he was able to run. You are able to run him fast and he is careful that way.”

Capall Zidane will show again in Saturday night’s $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix and will then have a few weeks off before the start of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in January.

“I will try to do well there and then take a little break and maybe go mid-circuit again on weeks eight or nine,” McGuigan said. “My plan is definitely to gear him up early in the season. He had a great year last year, and I hope to follow that. If I have the same year as last year I will be very happy. It couldn’t have been any better last year.”

“He is 10 now, and he is going to be 11 in January,” the rider continued. “He has definitely matured. I started doing these classes two years ago and he used to hold his breath a little bit, but now he has taken it all in stride. The good thing about him is that I can run him like that today and he will come out tomorrow and it will not blow his head.”

Always fast, Capall Zidane thrives on speed, and McGuigan explained that he likes to let the horse stretch out before bigger classes. “My plan with him is that I usually run him in a class earlier in the week if it is a speed class,” he said. “I don’t hold back, because once he is going forward, then I can relax later on in the week. He is always careful enough, so the main thing is to go forward with him.”

“It’s funny, he will go so fast in the ring, but if you are riding him at home it is really hard to get him going,” McGuigan added. “You are kicking. He is very laid back around the barn. He is completely the opposite of what he is in the ring. He just sort of switches on when he gets to the warm-up ring, so it’s nice.”

The Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* competition continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center through Sunday, November 30, 2014. Saturday night will feature the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ronan McGuigan Dominates the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium, Topping $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

©ESI Photography. Ronan McGuigan jumps to a win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix.

SAUGERTIES, NY (May 30, 2014) – Ronan McGuigan of Far Hills, New Jersey was quick to give Capall Zidane all the credit after Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix presented by Zoetis, at HITS Saugerties. McGuigan’s self-proclaimed “rider error” kept them out of the ribbons last Friday, but he let his horse do the redeeming this week.

“I gave him a bad ride last Friday and we had two down on Sunday. He was great today – we are moving in the right direction,” McGuigan said, giving praise to his 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood. The gelding also carried him to a win in Wednesday’s $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome for the second week in a row.

Course designer Oscar Soberon of Monterrey, Mexico is making his HITS Saugerties debut during a sold-out week. From a standing-room only Verizon VIP Club to at-capacity stabling, the spring circuit is booming at the halfway mark. Soberon’s 13-obstacle track included three double combinations with 16 jumping efforts. Faults were spread evenly throughout the course, but fence four and the A element of five generated 48 faults during the 26-horse order.

“I knew this course would suit me when I walked it,” said McGuigan. A jump-off among four-faulters was becoming a real possibility until Mario Deslauriers of New York, New York and Lisa Deslauriers’ Scout De La Cense, ninth in the order, left all the rails up. Ljubov Kochetova of Wellington, Florida secured a jump-off the next trip aboard her own URUS. McGuigan was one of seven to eventually go clean in the first round.

Returning first over the short course, Deslauriers set an immediate Great American Time to Beat at 39.61 seconds. The four who followed were unable to best him until McGuigan and Capall Zidane turned and burned, shaving nearly three seconds off the clock and crossing the timers in 36.71 seconds.

“Didn’t know I was fast enough until I looked at the clock,” he said. “I watched Mario and was confident I could be faster over the first two fences.”

McGuigan waited to fit six strides into the double combination of the jump-off, but as soon as he landed it clear he was going for a win. “Capall Zidane is very careful, so he gives me an advantage – I attacked the last two jumps.”

With one still to go, McGuigan was sitting pretty, but not in the clear yet. Julie Welles of Wellington, Florida went last and finished clean just over a second off the lead in 37.22 seconds for second-place in the irons of Stephex Stables & Missy Clark’s Twan. Deslauriers and Scout De La Cense capped the top three.

Jumping to fourth was last week’s victor, Peter Leone of Greenwich, Connecticut, this time in the irons of Wayfarer for Lionshare Farm. They stopped the clock clear in 39.91 seconds. Amy Momrow of Wellington, Florida piloted Monty Kelly’s Baldino Du Rouet to fifth with a double clear effort in 40.94 seconds and Kochetova ended sixth with URUS.

Grand Prix competition continues at HITS-on-the-Hudson on Sunday as the $75,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, takes the stage and the road to the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix continues.

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!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
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Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane Race to Victory in $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2*

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane. Photos © Sportfot.

Becky Gochman and Sambalino Clinch Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 Division

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2014 – Ireland’s Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane were double clear and blazing fast for the win in Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2*, the highlight event of week two at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Riders representing nine different countries showed under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with top finishes for McGuigan, along with Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl and Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) aboard Carlos V.H.P. Z.

FTI WEF week two, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, concludes on Sunday with the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed Class, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, as well as the $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

Luc Musette of Belgium set the course for Saturday night’s competition with 44 entries, nine clear rounds to advance to the jump-off, and seven clear rounds over the short course. The fantastic crowd that braved the unusually cold Florida weather was treated to a thrilling show in the jump-off as the horses and riders raced against the clock.

Fifth to go in the second round, Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane completed the fastest track in 39.92 seconds, edging out Todd Minikus and Quality Girl’s time of 40.15 seconds. A few rounds later, Nicholas Dello Joio and Carlos V.H.P. Z completed the third fastest time in 40.33 seconds. It was a very close race, as Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman and Cafino finished fourth in 40.50 seconds, and Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Rocky W stopped the clock in 40.52 seconds to place fifth.

Ronan McGuigan already has an early lead in the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge standings after a very successful start to the circuit, and he added a few more points to that lead with Saturday night’s win. Capall Zidane, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet, has been incredibly consistent for the rider and continues to prove himself.

“I came down here for the holiday horse show, and he was second in the two 1.45m classes, and then he had a rail in the World Cup and came thirteenth,” McGuigan explained. “Last week was his first week back and he was third in the WEF and fourth in the grand prix, and this week he was third in the WEF again and topped it off tonight, so he can have a rest now.”

Commenting on his jump-off round, McGuigan noted, “I was usually fighting most of the year here with Todd, so I knew I had to try and beat him. The turn back to the third jump I had to give him a little bit of time, it was tricky, but after that everything else you could gallop up to the jumps. He’s very careful, so the jump-off course kind of suited me.”

McGuigan, originally from Ireland, came to America 12 years ago and now has a farm in New Jersey. He is enjoying the opportunity to jump at a higher level and acknowledged that Saturday’s win was the biggest of his career.

“This is the first time I’ve really had a chance to jump at this level,” McGuigan detailed. “Mostly I have been training clients, so I’m just having fun with him. I’ve got a few new, young horses coming up behind him, so hopefully next year they can help me out a little and take the pressure off him.”

“I’ve had him since he was a five-year-old,” he added. “I bought him at the Hendrix auction, and I actually never went to try him. I just bought him off a DVD. When I bought him, all of my Irish pals called him the ‘internet horse,’ but I had the last laugh tonight. He has been very consistent since I’ve had him.”

Of course Todd Minikus would have liked to win on Saturday night, but he was very happy with his rounds on Quality Girl and also celebrated McGuigan’s top finish.

“I’d like to congratulate Ronan; he has really done a great job with that horse,” Minikus stated. “I have watched that horse, his career since Ronan started with him, and Ronan has done a hell of a job with him.”

“Going early in the jump-off, I was mostly worried about Ronan because last year, during the summer, Ronan really started clicking with that horse and it is lightning fast,” Minikus acknowledged. “Going in early you gotta be a little conservative and I kind of got stuck in the corner rolling back to the black vertical. I did one or two extra strides there that I didn’t need to, but going early, that’s what you have to do sometimes. Luck of the Irish was clearly there tonight.”

Todd Minikus and Quality Girl
Todd Minikus and Quality Girl

Minikus explained that this was Quality Girl’s first week back to showing after a well-deserved two months off. The mare won nine grand prix classes in the 2013 season and is back for more.

“She’s right back on track where she left off,” he affirmed. “I was a little bit concerned about how she would come back after that long break because she has proven that she does well when she’s in a continuation of showing, but it was all good. I’m pretty excited for the circuit.”

Nicholas Dello Joio was showing Carlos V.H.P. Z for his previous owner, Emilie Martinsen, during last year’s FTI WEF circuit and is excited to now have control of the talented gelding’s career through his new Carlos Group ownership.

“We’re really excited to do what we want with the horse, pick and choose what’s best for our schedule and what we want to aim at,” Dello Joio stated. “We know the kind of quality he has. He has already previously won a 5* grand prix back in Europe, so he has quite a record. He’s an unbelievably careful horse and when he’s confident, I think there’s nothing he won’t jump. Tonight he was super, so I’m really excited.”

Matt Varney of Wellington Equestrian Realty had a great time watching Saturday night’s class and congratulated the top competitors.

“It’s a great class,” Varney stated. “This is the third time we’ve done this class and the third year it hasn’t felt like Florida, so I’m just happy it turned out and we still had a great crowd out there and a full international tent. I really enjoy that. I am happy with the turnout every year at this time of year, and we are looking forward to our other class in a number of weeks.”

Becky Gochman and Sambalino Clinch Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 Division

Becky Gochman and Sambalino added another division champion title to their already long list of accolades on Saturday afternoon of the FTI WEF. Gochman and Sambalino, an 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba Hit, were crowned champions after winning two over fences rounds and placing second in another in addition to winning the under saddle class.

The reserve champion for the division was Amarillo with Katie Jacobs-Robinson. The pair were third in all six classes.

Gochman, of New York, NY, and Sambalino are no stranger to the winner’s circle, but their high score of 94 in the final over fences round came as a pleasant surprise.

“I just went in and did my best. I knew he did a very good job and I was very pleased with him, but to get a 94 is icing on the cake. I never expect a score like that and when it happens, it’s an amazing feeling,” Gochman expressed.

Gochman, who trains with Peter Pletcher, had an equally enthusiastic fan base; her daughters Mimi and Sophie were at the in-gate and loudly cheered when her score was announced. Gochman hopes someday Sambalino can show them the ropes in the junior hunter divisions, but values every day she can spend in the saddle with her daughters.

“It’s really fun to hack [at home] with my kids and go on trail rides. It’s really fun to do riding as a family sport. What more can you ask for when you see your kids doing something that you believe in so much? To be good to your animals, have fun with animals, to be outside. That’s a real treat for me,” Gochman detailed.

Gochman’s husband has also been known to get in the saddle every once in a while, but is most comfortable with both feet on the ground.

“He enjoys sitting in the golf cart and watching the kids. He’s learned a lot over the years! He can tell a distance and leads, so I’m pretty proud of him. We make him owner to make him part of it. That keeps David the boss! I think he gets a kick out of that. He’s a good sport about everything, and I so appreciate him and Sambalino!” Gochman smiled.

Sambalino is a “once in a lifetime horse” for Gochman, who believes the secret to his success is his love for the show ring.

“I think he has a lot of fun with it. I can tell by his little antics and actions that he enjoys his job. That’s what I think makes a special horse,” Gochman explained.

“He’s a fun guy. He’s got a little bit of a sense of humor and he always wants his peppermints for sure; he’ll dive-bomb any groom that is nearby,” she continued. “He makes me smile every day when I see him, and I just feel so much gratitude for being able to sit on a horse like that.”

Hunter competition for week two of the FTI WEF will continue Sunday morning with the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter 18-35 division in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena. The $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed Class, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, as well as the $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will conclude the week in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About FTI Consulting, Inc.

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Jeffery Welles and Merlin Work Their Magic for a Win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

©ESI Photography. Jeffery Welles piloted two mounts to the jump-off, but it was Merlin who carried him to victory in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

SAUGERTIES, NY (June 1, 2012) – Two of the top-five slots in today’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, were captured by one man. Jeffery Welles of Brewster, New York rode two horses to clean rounds and won the class aboard Noel Love Gross’ Merlin, while finishing fourth on Aries, also owned by Gross.

Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland presented riders with a challenging 13-obstacle course, which included 16 jumping efforts and its fair share of technical turns and bending lines, as well as a tight time-allowed. The track included three double combinations – a two-stride and two one-strides. The jump-off began with the return of fence nine from the first round – an airy vertical – and was followed by six more obstacles, including the first one-stride combination.

The jump-off welcomed five pairs back into the ring and Peter Leone of Greenwich, Connecticut kicked things off with an eight-fault round to finish in fifth. Welles returned second in the order to post the first clear round and set the Great American Time to Beat at 42.92 seconds aboard Aries.

Continue reading Jeffery Welles and Merlin Work Their Magic for a Win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

McGuigan and Capall Zidane, Rodriguez and Aberdeen, Leone and Wayfarer Win Adequan Young Jumper Finals

Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidane. Photos © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – March 30, 2012 – The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival hosted the Adequan Young Jumper Finals today in the International Arena for three age groups. The $20,000 Adequan 8-Year-Old Young Jumper Final victory went to Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Capall Zidane. Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Aberdeen took the top spot in the $20,000 Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Final. Riding Lionshare Farm’s Wayfarer, Peter Leone (USA) won the $15,000 Adequan 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Final. In the Rost Arena, Arriana Boardman of New York City won the Horseware Ireland Adult Amateur 3’3″ Hunter championship with Red Carpet.

Sponsored by FTI Consulting, Inc., the final week of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will feature the highlight grand prix of the season, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*, on Saturday, March 31. The USHJA International Hunter Derby will host the top 25 on the grass field at The Stadium on Sunday, April 1.

Continue reading McGuigan and Capall Zidane, Rodriguez and Aberdeen, Leone and Wayfarer Win Adequan Young Jumper Finals