Upperville, Va. – June 11, 2021 – International show jumping competition continued Friday at the 168th Upperville Colt & Horse Show where 42 athletes aimed for the top prize in the $73,000 Upperville Welcome Stake CSI4*, presented by Rivers Edge Farm and Bikoff Equestrian. In a wire-to-wire victory during a 13-horse jump-off, Ireland’s Jordan Coyle reigned supreme with Ariso. The luck of the Irish was in the air as fellow Irishman Nicky Galligan scored the second-place award with Javas Miss Jordan. Alex Matz (USA) and Cashew CR rounded out the top three, while Coyle also claimed the fourth-place honors with his second mount Centriko Volo.
Stephanie Danhakl Earns Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter with Bright Side
The Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions concluded Friday in the Parker Main Hunter Ring at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, crowning division champions in each respective division. Stephanie Danhakl and her own Bright Side bested a strong field of amateur competitors to earn the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship after being named champion of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division, sponsored by Ms. Kim Stewart and Glenwillow Inc. Danhakl was also awarded the title of Leading Amateur-Owner and High Point rider.
Devon Horse Show Open Jumper champions: Amanda Derbyshire (aboard Roulette BH) and McLain Ward.
Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2019 – Since Tuesday, international horses and athletes have been competing for valuable points towards the week’s coveted Open Jumper championship, sponsored by Hermès. Following their top performances throughout the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Roulette BH, ridden by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, and Double H Farm’s HH Azur, ridden by the USA’s McLain Ward, were crowned the 2019 Open Jumper champions and winners of the Little Big Man Challenge Trophy. Both horses tied with 15 points at the conclusion of Saturday’s $72,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4*, which was won by Derbyshire and Roulette BH.
Becky Gochman and Stephanie Danhakl Shine in Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships
The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up on Saturday with each section awarding the grand champion title to the athletes who accumulated the most points throughout two days of competition. The Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter championship was awarded to Becky Gochman and Catch Me, while the Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter championship, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, was presented to Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said.
Smith Lilly Rides Off in Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake with Extreme Ways
Saturday evening in the Dixon Oval closed out with several championships in the breed divisions. In the exciting Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake, Smith Lilly and Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Extreme Ways took the top spot after impressing the judges with his performance, manners, presence, quality, and conformation against six other competitors. They were awarded the championship cooler, sponsored by Misdee Wrigley Miller, as well as the Betsy Van Duren Memorial Perpetual Trophy.
Wellington, FL — January 20, 2019 — The final day of week 2 on Sunday, January 20, at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic. The winner was 19-year-old Shota Ogomori (JPN) riding SIG Captain America.
Out of 77 entries in the first round of the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic, nine found the path to a clear round. In the jump-off, there were five double clears, led by the fastest time of 37.26 seconds set by Ogomori on SIG Captain America, owned by SIG International Inc. Ogomori went seventh out of nine in the jump-off and was able to keep a blazing pace throughout the shortened course.
Eugenio Garza Perez and Caracas Speed to the U25 Win
The first Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix of the season was held as the first class in the International Arena and had 44 entries competing over a course designed by Oscar Soberon of Mexico. Six were clear to advance to the jump-off.
Taking the top prize in the $25,000 class was Eugenio Garza Perez and Caracas, who flew through the timers in the jump-off with no faults in a time of 38.08 seconds. They were chasing the time of 38.41 seconds set by second place finishers Ailish Cunniffe (USA) and Whipstick Farm Ltd’s Baloucento 2. Third place went to Manuel Fernandez Hache (DOM), who rode Divin du Haras des Barrages, owned by Aristides Fernandez Zucco, who was also clear in 41.97 seconds.
Stephanie Danhakl Takes Back to Back Victories in Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 Division
The Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 riders wrapped their competition in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Field with a clean sweep for Stephanie Danhakl. Danhakl piloted both her new mount, Bright Side, and her veteran hunter, Golden Rule, to division champion and reserve respectively.
Danhakl has been in winning form since the start of circuit as she took home the division champion and reserve during Week 1 as well, but with Golden Rule taking the top title and Bright Side following. She and Bright Side, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ultimo x Tiara), swept the competition as they earned the first-place ribbon in all but two of the division classes. The gelding has not only consistently earned champion or reserve in the Amateur-Owner division, but was also champion during Week 1 and reserve in week 2 of the Green Hunter 3’6” division with Danhakl’s trainer, Scott Stewart.
She and her 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Golden Rule, held a top-five position in all but two of the division classes which was enough to secure the pair the reserve champion.
Lexington, Ky. – May 12, 2018 – The evening awards ceremony of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show closed in a familiar fashion as the sun set on a victorious Darragh Kenny (IRL) who led the victory gallop around the Rolex Stadium aboard Babalou 41. On Saturday night, the pair claimed an exciting win in the $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*, just after capturing Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* at the Kentucky Horse Park.
With a starting list of 36 horse-and-rider combinations, Alan Wade’s (IRL) technical 17-effort track only produced four clear rounds for a thrilling and competitive jump-off. Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl also returned to Saturday night competition in top form, delivering the long-awaited first clear round to the delight of the audience. Minikus and the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, owned by the Quality Group, returned first in the jump-off to set the pace with a blazing time of 36.050 seconds, but were just overtaken by Kenny in the end. However, Minikus and Quality Girl still managed another top award, finishing in second place and adding to Wednesday’s $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3* victory.
Eugenio Garza (MEX) and El Milagro’s Armani SL Z were the ones to guarantee a jump-off in round one as they produced the second clear effort of the evening. Garza and the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding returned for a clean and careful jump-off in 40.160 seconds to earn the third place award. The team is no stranger to the winner’s circle at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show series upon claiming last year’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* at the 2017 Kentucky Spring Classic.
Once again though, it was Kenny and Jack Snyder’s Babalou 41 who claimed the fastest double-clear finish of the night, flying to a time of 35.500 seconds for the victory. Kenny and the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare are already on the fast track to success with notable FEI wins in this week’s Kentucky Spring Horse Show as well as top placings at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival.
Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said Steal the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion
The Amateur-Owner divisions wrapped up in the Stonelea Ring on Saturday with the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion being awarded to the rider who acquired the most points over the course of competition on Friday and Saturday. The divisions saw a high number of entries, but despite the tough competition, it was Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said who captured the top award at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Danhakl and Enough Said have been a team for five years and their experience showed during Friday and Saturday’s competition. The pair accumulated scores in the high eighties during Friday’s Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter division and they remained consistent in Saturday’s competition as well. During the first round of the division the pair were the only competitors to receive a score in the nineties, which put them in a good position to claim the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion title.
Stephanie Danhakl and Quest. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Dawn Fogel and Spotlight Named Grand Adult Hunter Champions; Lindsey Tomeu Wins Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge
Upper Marlboro, Maryland – Adult and Amateur-Owner riders had the spotlight on Thursday at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by the World Equestrian Center. Four divisions of amateur-owner hunters and three divisions of adult amateur hunters competed throughout the day at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center.
Stephanie Danhakl, of Pacific Palisades, CA, swept the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship and all four of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter championships and reserve championships. Dawn Fogel and Spotlight won the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship. During the evening session, Lindsey Tomeu and Bonapart were the fastest in a large jump-off field to win the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge. The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through Sunday, October 9. Every class of the show is live streamed and available to watch online at tv.coth.com or www.capitalchallenge.org.
Danhakl’s impressive domination of the day’s Amateur-Owner Hunter championships began with the division win in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3” Hunter division, sponsored by Serenity Farm and Endeavor Farm. Danhakl rode her nine-year-old Warmblood gelding, Quest (by Verdi), to two firsts and a second over fences before taking the championship. Danhakl earned the reserve championship aboard Enough Said with two seconds and a first over fences and a fourth under saddle.
Quest’s performance also earned him and Danhakl the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter championship, the EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Trip of the Show (90), and the Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Rider award, sponsored by Spring Mill Farm.
“Quest loves this horse show,” Danhakl said of the gelding that she purchased from Scott Stewart three years ago. “He was great all week. He loves it here, so it’s great to be here. I really love riding in this indoor ring. I think it suits my horses. I was really happy with every round, and my horses were great here.”
In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’6” Hunters, sponsored by the Hallman Family and MerryLegs South LLC, Danhakl rode veteran champion Golden Rule to the division win. The 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding finished first, third, and third over fences and third in the under saddle. Golden Rule was then presented with the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter award, sponsored by Troy Hendricks and Kimber-View Stables, and Danhakl again received the Best Amateur-Owner Rider award, this time for the 3’6” divisions, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare.
“Golden Rule has a special place in my heart,” Danhakl said. “I really feel like he takes care of me. Anything could go wrong, and he has my back. He would do anything for me. That’s why I really love him.”
The reserve championship in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’6” Hunters went to Danhakl and her seven-year-old Hanoverian stallion First Light (by Monte Bellini).
“First Light is one of my newer ones,” Danhakl said. “I just started showing him in the 3’6″ this year, and he’s beaten Golden Rule a couple of times. It was nice to see Golden Rule win today. All of my horses are always neck and neck. It depends on the judges and how I ride, but I’m very lucky to have all of them.”
While Danhakl’s performance on Thursday was particularly impressive, she is no stranger to great success at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, as she similarly swept both of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships in 2014, and the show continues to be a favorite for the accomplished rider.
“It’s really nice to show in such competitive divisions with so many people,” Danhakl said. “This show attracts riders from all over the country. It really feels special to be here and have a division of 35 people. They really make a big deal of the hunters here so it’s also fun to watch and fun to see the hunters in the spotlight.”
The championship in the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over 3’6” Hunters, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Oare, went to Jane Gaston of The Plains, VA and Because, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. The pair claimed two blue ribbons over fences on their way to the championship. The reserve champion award went to John Ingram and Airport 48.
“It’s exciting,” Gaston said. “It’s been a few years since I’ve had a horse in the 3’6” that was competitive to do this. Because was never a hunter before this year. He obviously likes this hunter job. I think for a horse to come out of the jumpers and to do what he’s done in his first year of being a hunter is awesome.”
Gaston also earned the EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Trip of the Show with an 88.5.
The win in the $2,500 World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge went to Lindsay Maxwell and Kingston, and Grace Stuntz and Fitzhugh earned the victory in the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge.
Dawn Fogel and Spotlight Capture Adult Amateur Hunter Grand Championship
The Adult Amateur Hunter Grand Championship, sponsored by Steve Martines, went to Dawn Fogel of Louisville, KY and Spotlight, a six-year-old Hanoverian gelding. The duo topped both of the over fences classes and finished fourth in the under saddle of the Adult Amateur 36-50 Hunter division. The reserve champions were Paddington and Tonia Cook Looker, who rode for Lexie Looker.
For the championship, Fogel was presented with the Equus Entries Challenge Trophy, donated by Equus Entries and Sue and Ralph Caggiano, and the Best Adult Amateur Rider Award, sponsored by Phoebe Weseley and River Run Farm, LLC. Fogel and Spotlight also received the Best EMO Adult Amateur Trip of the Show, presented by the EMO Agency, when they scored an 89.
“I was really excited,” Fogel said. “He’s never shown here, and he’s a young horse. I was thrilled with the way that he coped with the surroundings. Some horses can get undone when they walk in this ring. There’s a lot going on. The jumps here are more impressive than what we see throughout the year. He dealt with all of that really well.”
Fogel continued, “He goes with a very soft feel, which is the way that I like to ride. He has his head out and down just naturally. You don’t have to ask him for his head. He just has it there. Then it’s just a light feel to the jumps.”
Fogel has seen great success in the Adult Amateur Hunter and Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions throughout the country, including at the Capital Challenge where she’s been competing since 1995.
“It’s a special show,” Fogel said. “It’s always a thrill to be here. I would say it’s my favorite show to come to every year because of the incredible quality of horses and riders. I enjoy just watching here because things are being done at such a high level.”
Taking the championship in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, sponsored by Lainie Wimberly and Brigadoon Show Stables, Inc., were Jamee Crawford and Entourage. Crawford and the six-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Legado Farm LLC, finished first and sixth over fences and sixth on the flat. The reserve championship went to Samantha Sommers and Macallan, owned by Amber Ayyad.
In the Adult Amateur 51 and Over Hunters, the championship went to Lisa Cox and Castleton, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by The Barracks. The pair finished first and third over fences. James Anderson and Houdini, owned by Patricia Raynes, took the reserve championship with a first and seventh over fences.
Lindsey Tomeu of Wellington, FL piloted her 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Bonapart to victory in the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge. From an original starting list of 62 entries and a fast jump-off field of 22 horses, it was Tomeu who set the winning time at 28.690 seconds. Finishing in second place were Sophie Gochman and Wirina with a time of 30.856 seconds. Rounding out the top three in the class were Emma Seving and Easy Money, who finished in 30.868 seconds.
Tomeu was also named the recipient of the Best Adult Amateur Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Meadow Grove Farm, and presented with the Belfield Trophy, donated by Julie Karpan. Similarly, Gochman was named the Best Children’s Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Memorial Park Hunters.
In their three-year partnership, Tomeu and Bonapart have earned major victories at horse shows throughout the country, including the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Devon Horse Show. The pair also currently leads the Washington International Horse Show Adult Jumper standings.
“He is my horse of a lifetime,” Tomeu said. “He is perfect. He has all sorts of funny little quirks, but that’s what makes him amazing. He hates tractors – really hates them. He gets cold very easily. He just has all of these little quirks. I don’t think I could ever replace him. Every single moment I have with him, I feel so lucky.”
Ken Krome set the track for the class that saw a tight time allowed in the first round and a wide range of results from the riders contesting it. Tomeu first navigated the course aboard her other mount, Chandial-Star, but after accumulating three time faults, came back quick and clear with Bonapart.
“I thought it was tricky. The time was definitely a factor,” Tomeu said. “With Bonapart, I just trust him. I zip around. My only concerns really were jump 12 and the double combination on the rail because he shifts right really hard off the rail. Those were my biggest worries, but he was excellent tonight.”
Tomeu has ridden with Sweet Oak Farm and the trainers there, including Ali and Shane Sweetnam and Michael DelFiandra, for her entire riding career, and it was her support team that gave her some final advice as she returned for the jump-off.
“In the jump-off, they said, ‘You have to go for it. If it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t’,” Tomeu said. “I don’t think I could have gone faster. Everything just showed up perfectly. I’m very lucky that that happened.”
For additional information, full results, and live stream coverage from Capital Challenge, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.
About the Capital Challenge Horse Show Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.
Danhakl and Gochman Claim Championships in Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions
Lexington, Ky. – May 14, 2016 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded on Saturday with the day’s highlight event: the $130,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and Bariano bested a field of 41 competitors to claim the top prize with a blazing jump-off round in 39.160 seconds.
“I’ve had [Bariano] for almost four years,” said Garza. “He’s been my horse for everything. He’s taken me from Children’s Jumpers to the grand prix, so I owe him pretty much everything. He feels better than ever. He really gave it his all tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Nine horse and rider combinations were able to master the Bernardo Costa Cabral opening course, moving into a jump-off that six would go on to produce double-clear efforts from.
“The course was really nice, [Bernado] did an extremely good job,” said Garza. “It was definitely a challenge – something to think about while going around the course, but it was not crazy. I think it was overall a really nice track. His tracks have been amazing all week and I think it was perfect for tonight.”
Aaron Vale (USA) and Quidam’s Good Luck, owned by Troy Gaus, were hoping to claim their second consecutive Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix after winning the event in 2015. They were the early clear pathfinders in the first round and set the pace for the jump-off as the first to take on the shortened track in a speedy 39.920 seconds.
“[Bernardo] does a great job every time,” said Vale. “He gives a tight time allowed, but gives you different ways to get it. You can leave some strides out; you can make a short turn to the left or a short turn to the right. You kind of ride your horse and figure out a way to make the time allowed. Tight times allowed with these big fields are popular these days, but he does it fairly. If your horse has a weakness or a strength you can kind of pick and choose and still make the time.
“Quidam’s Good Luck wins a lot all year long, but he especially goes well in this ring,” continued Vale. “He won both FEI grand prix last spring, and he’s won some other grand prix here as well. This horse just loves this ring. He goes super here. Kentucky is a great place; it’s one of the premier facilities in the country, if not the premier facility.”
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Chaqui Z, owned by Spy Coast Farm, entered the Rolex Stadium one round later and attempted to catch Vale’s time, but felt short by one second in 40.540 seconds. The pair would go on to take third place honors.
It was looking like Vale would take the title once again until Garza, who placed second behind Vale last year, and the 15-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, returned to the ring to challenge Vale’s time as seventh in the jump-off order-of-go.
The two horse and rider combinations battled it out for the second year in a row, but this year it was Garza who was able push ahead Vale’s time by 8/10th’s of a second to take the lead in the victory gallop.
“Leading off the jump-off, you never want to go first, but better to go first in the jump-off than not at all,” laughed Vale. “I was quite fast to the fourth jump. I did check up a little to the combination and again to the last, and that was the difference. If I could have found one of those strides to leave out I don’t think Eugenio would have got me.”
“I saw Aaron go first – and you know Aaron, he’s very fast – and I honestly didn’t think anyone could catch him, including me,” admitted Garza. “My trainer, Eddie Macken, just told me to feel how it goes, and just give it my all and that’s what we did. Bariano just helped me out and was amazing and everything just came up really nice in the jump-off. I think I was able to gain a little bit more time to the last one. I took one stride less than Aaron, but it was really close and I don’t think I could asked anything more from Bariano.”
The young rider from Mexico enjoys returning to the Kentucky Horse Shows each spring and competing at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park.
“Kentucky always treats us well,” said Garza. “I love it here. It’s an amazing facility, the footing is perfect, the organization is amazing – we just love it here. Fortunately, we’ve been doing well and it’s just an amazing show to come to. It’s really relaxed and it’s great for the horses. The weather has been great all weekend and the horses love it here.
“A big thank you to all of my team,” continued Garza. “They have been amazing and I’m just so happy to have such a great team behind me.”
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will come to an end on Sunday with the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, which will count toward valuable points earned in the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List.
Danhakl and Gochman Claim Championships in Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions
It was all about the stallions on a cold and blustery day Saturday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in the Stonelea Ring. Championships in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 and Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunter divisions both went to stallions. In the younger division, Stephanie Danhakl took home the top prize on her 7-year-old Hanoverian stallion First Light. The reserve championship went to Alliy Moyer and Carlson. In the older division that followed, Becky Gochman won the championship aboard the 14-year-old Warmblood stallion Empire with the reserve going to John Ingram and Airport 48.
First Light was back in the tricolors today having won the Regular Conformation Hunter championship on day two with trainer Scott Stewart.
“First Light is definitely my greenest horse,” Danhakl explained. “He’s only 7 years old this year and he’s a stallion, so he’s a little bit trickier for me. I feel like I started to get the hang of him this year. He’s a little different ride than what I’m used to. He really requires you to direct him and be very accurate in your turns and balanced. He keeps me on my toes.”
The drastic change in the weather was certainly a factor for riders on Saturday.
“When I got on him today he was very fresh because of all the wind,” Danhakl said. “He was still a little fresh in the ring, but he gives you such a great feeling and is very well mannered. He whinnied a few times going around, but I’m sort of used to that so he really was great.”
Gochman also commented on the cooler weather Saturday.
“It was a very brisk day in Lexington, Kentucky, so I had a little bit of a different horse in Empire today,” Gochman said. “He was feeling a little frisky. Yesterday we really clicked. I feel like he’s in a really great frame of mind and he’s just such a special horse.”
Another generation of winning hunters may be on the way for Gochman as well.
“We’re excited because we recently purchased his son Evermore,” Gochman explained. “We hope he can take after his dad in his ways too.”
Danhakl and Gochman were both full of praise for the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the city of Lexington.
“It’s a great tradition for us to come here,” Gochman said. “It breaks up the ride back home for the horses and it gives us a chance to compete somewhere where the fences are really put together in a lovely manner.”
Gochman was also enthusiastic about all that Lexington has to offer.
“We have always enjoyed the town of Lexington,” Gochman continued. “The whole Gochman family can’t get enough of it. We really enjoy the restaurants and the horse themed artwork throughout the town. It always holds a special place in our hearts so we are always excited to come back to Kentucky.”
Danhakl was also appreciative of the environment at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
“It’s such a beautiful place,” said Danhakl. “I love all of the greenery, the grass, the rolling hills and the trees everywhere. I like to be able to escape the heat at this time of year in Florida. All of the horses just left and came straight here so they’ve had a nice time getting to enjoy the cooler weather.”
Sunday is “Derby Day” with the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby taking place.
EQSportsNet will be streaming live webcasts of the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3* during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Saturday, May 21. EQSportsNet Full Access subscribers can also watch all rounds of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows series on demand at www.eqsports.net.
Stephanie Danhakl and her horses have been extremely successful at the Devon Horse Show since her junior hunter days. However, while Danhakl has multiple Devon reserve championships to her name and her horse First Light won the Green Conformation Hunter championship just this week, Danhakl does not yet have a Devon championship title of her very own. That is something that she hopes to change this weekend.
Danhakl got off to a strong start in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3″ Hunters on Friday afternoon with Enough Said, her 9-year-old Warmblood gelding. Danhakl and Enough Said finished second in the first over fences class of the division with a score of 84, and they then picked up the blue ribbon in the under saddle. First place in the over fences class went to Reid Patton and Sincere, who earned a score of 86.
“I got [Enough Said] two [years] ago, and I have been showing him in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owners,” Danhakl said. “He hadn’t shown before I got him, so he was a bit green, but he’s a sweet horse and knows his job. He learned it very quickly. He’s been a great horse for me, and we sort of clicked right from the beginning.”
Originally from California where she trained with Archie Cox, Danhakl made the move to the East Coast to attend the University of Pennsylvania where she received her master’s degree in art history just last week. While pursuing her master’s, Danhakl began training with Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley of Rivers Edge Farm.
“[Scott and Ken] found all of my horses. They have a great eye for a horse,” Danhakl said. “Most of my horses – First Light, Enough Said and Golden Rule – came from Europe and either were doing jumpers. Enough Said might have been a dressage horse before.”
Now Enough Said is performing consistently well in the hunter ring with Danhakl, and she is hopeful that the consistency will continue into Saturday and through the remainder of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3″ Hunter division.
“Devon is a show that I have been for preparing for. It’s always been my dream to really do well here as an amateur and so far, I don’t want to jinx myself, but all of my horses feel great and have been so good. If I can hold it together I hope I have a shot at [a championship], so it’s really exciting,” Danhakl said.
In the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3″ Hunters, Dorli Burke also could also have a real shot at a Devon championship. Like Danhakl, Burke rode her own Charming to a second place finish over fences and the win in the under saddle. The blue ribbon over fences went to Missy Luczak-Smith and CS Online.
For Burke, this year marks her first time back in the Devon show ring for a few years and prior to that the first time since her pony years.
“I came here with ponies, so a very long time ago,” Burke said. “I showed in this same ring with my ponies. I am embarrassed to say how long ago that was, but it was a long time ago.”
Burke, of Salisbury, Maryland, now trains with Louise Serio who initially imported Charming, a 10-year-old gelding who has proven to be the perfect fit for Burke.
“He’s actually really easy to ride. I am small, and he has a motor, so he will take me around the ring,” Burke said. “I don’t have to worry about having a lot of leg. He’s really, really brave. He really wants to go over all the jumps, and he tries really hard. He’s really fun.”
Burke continued, “It’s very exciting to do well here. It’s got so much tradition here, and every horse you look at is amazing. To be able to do well against horses like that is what you are trying for.”
The Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter divisions will conclude Saturday in the Gold Ring beginning at 8:15 a.m. The Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunters also kicked off on Friday and award the division championships on Saturday morning in the Dixon Oval.
Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Lexington, KY — May 9, 2015 — Stephanie Danhakl, Becky Gochman and their talented horses are no strangers to success, and today’s hunter classes at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show awarded the amateur riders plenty of chances to shine atop their entries.
The day began with the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’6 Hunters, as Danhakl piloted her flashy chestnut Golden Rule to two third-place finishes. Despite only being the gelding’s third show this year, the pair from Pacific Palisades, California earned two blue ribbons and a red ribbon on Friday, adding up to enough points for the division championship.
“Golden Rule has just been a phenomenal horse,” Danhakl said. “He has been champion pretty much every time I’ve shown him. He just has a really great rhythm and a nice, slow, sort of even way of going, so he’s pretty easy to see the distances on. He has a big stride and is scopey. He’s my dream horse.”
Kelly Bauernschmidt and her horse Legato placed first over fences and eighth in the handy, and combined with the previous day’s blue ribbon and fifth-place finish, the duo earned the division’s reserve championship.
The next division of the day was the Amateur-Owner 35 plus 3’6 Hunters, in which Becky Gochman, of New York, New York, delivered smooth rides atop Last Call, her stunning seal bay gelding. The pair earned a blue ribbon, two second-place ribbons and a third-place ribbon over the course of two days, boosting them to the top of the pack to claim the division championship. Gochman proclaimed Last Call is a perfect delight, and the barn favorite always gets a ton of carrots.
“Last Call is a great horse; I have had him for not quite a year yet, but he is very sweet and he always wants to do his job,” Gochman said. “He’s so adjustable that it makes it easy for the rider. He is so big, and in the beginning I was a little intimidated, but he feels so comfortable to me now that I don’t think about his size.”
The division’s reserve championship was awarded to Emily Morin and Ace of Spades of McLean, Virginia. The pair combined a first-place finish with two fifths, a fourth and a third to earn the tricolor.
In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3 Hunters, Danhakl captured both the division’s championship and reserve championship aboard her horses Enough Said and First Light, respectively.
“First Light has come such a long way,” Danhakl commented. “Every week, he just gets easier and easier to ride. I’ve only had him for a few months, and I’ve just kind of been getting to know him, figuring him out. He was great yesterday. Now he’s going well for me, which is nice.”
Saturday’s final division, the Amateur-Owner 35 plus 3’3 Hunters, got underway with Becky Gochman back in the irons on Mythical. The duo captured the division’s championship, with the reserve championship going to Dawn Fogel atop Summer Catch, of Louisville, KY.
The action of week one at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue Sunday in The Claiborne for “Derby Day.” The highlight events will include $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts
Events: 2015 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows
The Kentucky Horse Shows 2014 series includes two weeks of top hunter/jumper competitions during the month of May. The Kentucky Horse Show Series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series.
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.
KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOW – May 6-10, 2015
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2*
$85,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI2*
$25,000 Bluegrass Classic
$25,000 U25 Classic
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Recognized Hunter Competition
KENTUCKY SPRING CLASSIC – May 13-17, 2015
$34,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*
$127,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*
$50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix
$20,000 Bluegrass Classic
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program and the Official Hotel The Clarion.
8am – 5pm daily
Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.
The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.
Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.
CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.
Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.
Lexington, KY – October 30, 2014 – Stephanie Danhakl and Golden Rule have racked up quite the list of accomplishments in just the past eight months, and on Friday afternoon at the National Horse Show they added another major one to their resume.
Danhakl, 27, and Golden Rule, won three of the four classes in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters to clinch the division championship, sponsored by Bruce Duchossois and H ‘n D Stables, and, ultimately, the Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship.
“I don’t even know what really to think,” Danhakl, of Pacific Palisades, California, said. “It’s just been a phenomenal Indoors for me. All of my horses have been amazing. This is just an incredible way to end.”
Danhakl also competed her mount Humor Me successfully in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, but it has been Golden Rule, or “Dreamy” as he is appropriately known in the barn, who has repeatedly gone to the top of the ranks with Danhakl, under the coaching of trainer Scott Stewart.
“[Scott] bought him off a video in January or February, and he started showing him in the High Performance and Second Year [Green Hunter] divisions,” Danhakl said of the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding. “At the time, I wasn’t looking for a horse, but I got on him one day and just fell in love with him right away. We were able to convince my parents to buy him. We just clicked from day one. He’s just been such a blessing and has given me so much confidence in my riding and has been such an amazing horse for me.”
Danhakl continued, “He has just the most amazing rhythm. [His canter] is sort of hard to describe. It’s almost like your floating. It’s almost like you’re in the clouds.”
Beginning to train with Stewart, who found Golden Rule for Danhakl, was a switch that she only made about a year ago, but it is one that has been extremely beneficial as she works to balance her amateur riding career with completing her Master’s Degree in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Scott’s been an incredible trainer for me. I’ve improved 200 percent in the past year, since I’ve been riding with him,” Danhakl said. “I just trust him implicitly both in his ability to find horses that suit me really well and also just in the schooling ring. Each horse is different, and he really just knows each horse really well. He can give me tips on how to ride them best and to each of their abilities and strengths.”
In the Amateur-Owner 35 and Over Hunters, the trainer that Nicole Hiehle looks to is Russell Frey. His guidance is part of what helped Hiehle and her mount Lovely Charity clinch their division championship, sponsored by Suzanne Thoben Marquard, on Friday.
“Russell’s been unbelievable,” Hiehle said. “I’ve been so nervous this whole week, and he can look at the horse and tell what I need to do and tell me to make her to be her best.”
Hiehle’s nerves stemmed largely from the fact that the 2014 National Horse Show marked her first time competing on the indoor circuit since her junior riding days more than 20 years ago.
“I had a mare called Castle Rising in 1989 or ’90,” Hiehle said. “She got ribbons – seconds or thirds. I never have come close to this. This is a great way to come back to an Indoor show.”
Hiehle took a number of years off from the show ring and riding, but when she decided to return to the show ring Frey was her obvious choice as the trainer to get her there – he was the same trainer who coached her through her junior career.
“I was in Chicago a lot this summer [where Frey is based],” Hiehle said. “He did a lot to help me and to help me with her jumping. She’s just a great mare.”
Hiehle purchased Lovely Charity, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, last fall in Kentucky and has been thrilled with her since, particularly with her performances this week.
“She just gets better and better. She gives 100 hundred percent,” Danhakl said. “This ring is so amazing for her because she doesn’t spook, but she gets a little more alert which gives her just that little bit of extra spark to fire her over the jumps.”
Friday marked the conclusion of the Amateur-Owner Hunters, but it also kicked off the start of the Junior Hunter divisions, which will continue Saturday morning.
Founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse Show is America’s oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars. The National Horse Show Association’s primary activity is the annual production of the National Horse Show and all ancillary events. Over the years, the National Horse Show has provided financial aid to many worthwhile charities.
With $755,000 in prize money offered, this year’s National Horse Show offers an International Open Jumpers with $460,000 in prize money, while the top rated hunter sections have a total purse of $195,000. Meanwhile, $100,000 in total is offered to the Amateur-Owner and U 25 Jumper sections.
For the fourth consecutive year, The National Horse Show received a top ranking from NARG, the North American Riders Group and was named the Show Hunter Hall of Fame Horse Show of the Year in four back-to-back years.
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
Howell and Swingtown Win Grand Adult Hunter Championship, Ingram and Moran Receive Top Tricolors, Batchelor Victorious in Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge
Upper Marlboro, MD – October 1, 2014 – Adult and Amateur-Owner riders were center stage today at The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by The Gochman Family. Four divisions of amateur-owner hunters and three of adult amateur hunters competed. Stephanie Danhakl swept the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships with her horses Golden Rule and Enough Said. Rachel Howell and Swingtown won the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship. In the evening session, Hope Batchelor was fastest on Orlando to win the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, runs through Sunday, October 5.
Thursday was Stephanie Danhakl’s day at Capital Challenge. The rider from Pacific Palisades, CA, who is currently in graduate school in Philadelphia, piloted Golden Rule and Enough Said to top honors.
Golden Rule was the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’6” champion, sponsored by The Hallman Family and MerryLegs South LLC, and with their top ribbons of two firsts and a sixth over fences and second under saddle, they also garnered the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Championship and Best Amateur Rider title. Danhakl was presented with the Dr. Harold M.S. Smith Trophy, donated by Dr. Suzanne Smith and Dr. Peter Craig for the grand championship. For the Best Amateur-Owner Rider Award, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare, Danhakl was presented with The So Many Ways Challenge Trophy, donated by Karen Kramer.
Winnetoe, ridden and owned by Montana Coady, was the reserve champion. They placed first and fourth over fences and were sixth under saddle.
Danhakl and Golden Rule, an ex-grand prix horse from Europe, have been paired together for six months. The 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding has a large stride, and Danhakl adjusts her ride to take that into account. “I’m usually having to shorten around the ends of the ring because then I get down the lines too soon,” she acknowledged. “He likes to go really slow and jump slowly. He sort of knows that he has to collect his stride between jumps. He’s sort of an old pro.”
The pair “clicked right away”, and trainer Scott Stewart competes with him in the High Performance Hunter division. They were worried at first that the 3’6” height for the amateur division would not be enough to impress Golden Rule. “But he’s proven us wrong,” Danhakl pointed out. “He tries over every jump, no matter the size. He has a ton of scope. Sometimes Scott makes me jump really big oxers in the schooling ring and it scares me, but he always just flies over them with ease. It’s a great feeling.”
Danhakl rode Enough Said to the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3” Hunter championship, sponsored by Doug and Missy Smith. They won two over fences classes and were second in the under saddle. The reserve champions, Classified and Samantha Schaefer, placed third, third, and fourth over fences and fifth in the under saddle.
For their top ribbons, Danhakl and Enough Said, an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding, were awarded the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship, sponsored by The Oberkircher Family and Southfields Farm LLC, and Danhakl won the Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Rider title.
Going from the diminutive Enough Said to the large Golden Rule takes some adjustment for Danhakl. “I sort of have to change my frame of mind. They’re very different to ride. They both suit my style of riding though, because neither requires a lot of hand or leg. They have their own motors, which is the type of horse I like to ride.”
Although Enough Said is a Pre-Green horse, Danhakl said that he has always been mature with a good brain. “He’s such a blast to ride, so he makes it very easy. He’s sort of just on auto-pilot all the time. He’s like a little wind-up toy,” she described. “You just get him going the right pace, and he does the rest. He has a big stride, he’s very careful, so he doesn’t usually hit the jumps. Even though he’s small, he has a lot of scope and stride.”
Danhakl last won at Capital Challenge as a junior rider in 2004. After a break from riding, she started competing again two years ago. “Over the last year, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten back to how I was riding as a junior. I took a seven year break in between,” she explained. “I have great trainers in Scott and Ken, and they’ve helped me get back on track with my riding and become more consistent. I have a lot more confidence going into the ring than a year or two ago.”
She said it’s “sort of a dream” to win again at Capital Challenge. “It’s been a great year for me. I have some amazing horses, so I’m very lucky,” she remarked. “I had a slight hope that I’d be champion in one division, but I didn’t think that I would be champion in both. I was just trying to be consistent and focus on each round as I went into the ring, and not focus on the points or being champion or not. It was more about trying to ride well. That’s the strategy; to focus on riding and put the rest to the back of my mind.”
Another rider to return to Capital Challenge and win after a hiatus from riding is Caroline Moran of Wellington, FL. She rode Bacardi, her eight-year-old KWPN gelding by Casco, to the championship in the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over 3’3” Hunter division, sponsored by Woodland Way, Inc., Wood Run Farm, and The Tredennick Family. They were fourth yesterday but returned today with a bang, winning both classes. The reserve champion was Summer Catch ridden by Dawn Fogel, who was second, second, and fourth over fences.
Moran last competed at Capital Challenge seven years ago and had success with top horses such as St. Nick, Prince Charming, Glass Castle, and Just Jack. “This is very exciting,” she said. “Not only for being out of the ring for so long, but to do it on him because he loves this horse show. I was a little bit nervous yesterday. I was riding a little bit defensive. In the handy, he really relaxed and I was very happy to end on that note.”
She continued, “It’s nice to be back in the ring. I only do a couple horse shows a year. I’ve allowed myself to do other things outside of horse shows. It’s nice to do well here. There are great horses and riders here. When I saw there were 40 in my division, I thought, ‘Wow!’ They’re really good riders and horses, so I was extremely happy.”
Bacardi lives in Kentucky with trainer Havens Schatt, who competed him in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, so Moran only rides him at horse shows. This year, that has only been at three events: Blowing Rock, Middleburg Classic, and Capital Challenge. “I’m a little out of practice, so I’m thrilled with what he did here,” she said with a smile. “I haven’t been riding him in between, which is difficult. It’s hard to get your rhythm again. But he’s a great horse. Once you get the rhythm with him, there’s no other feeling like it.”
Terming Bacardi as “super comfortable,” Moran said, “When you canter around, it’s like cantering around on a sofa. It’s the most incredible feeling over the jump because he’s so high and lofty, but he doesn’t jump you loose. When he’s relaxed and you can go forward, it’s such an easy ride.”
John Ingram of Nashville, TN, and Airport 48, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, received two firsts and a second over fences to claim the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over 3’6” Hunter championship, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare. Katie Robinson rode Tradewind for Deeridge Farms to the reserve championship after placing first, second, and third over fences.
The Ingram family originally purchased Airport 48, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, to be an equitation horse for their daughter Martha. When she wasn’t ready to ride him, rider Hayley Barnhill tried him in hunter derby classes, where they had great success. Ingram took over the ride recently, and they were champions at Hampton Classic Horse Show.
“He was an ex-grand prix horse. He’s pretty, and he jumped pretty good. Almost on a lark, we decided to let Hayley have a go with him in the derbies and he was fantastic. I just started riding him because he looked like a lot of fun, and he is. I would say he’s the best damn equitation horse I ever bought!” Ingram laughed.
“Airport gives you a very confident ride,” Ingram said. “He’s a little bit uphill. He’s brave. It’s pretty joyful. I think the fact that he could be a really great equitation horse makes him very versatile and able to do lots of things. He can answer anything in the hunter or equitation divisions.”
Ingram thanked trainer Tom Wright as well as Barnhill, Tori Hardison, Mitchell Robinson, and those that help get him and Airport to the ring. “It takes a village, and we have one,” he noted.
Ingram has won a reserve championship at Capital Challenge before with Hush, but this is his first top tricolor ribbon. “I’ve never gotten over the final hurdle to champion, and Katie (Robinson) sure made it difficult. She’s an excellent rider and has great horses. It’s particularly gratifying when you can eke out over good people, and there are a lot of them here. It’s incredibly gratifying to win here.”
The Amateur-Owner 3’3” EMO Trip of the Show was a 91 from Stallone and Samantha Schaefer. Katie Robinson and Tradewind had the 3’6” EMO Trip of the Show with an 89. Becky Gochman’s Sambalino was posthumously honored with the Grey Slipper Award.
From Trail Rides to Grand Championship in the Adult Hunters
Rachel Howell rode Swingtown, a seven-year-old Westphalian gelding by Avec Cover, for Quiet Haven Farm LLC to the Adult Amateur 36-50 Hunter championship. They won an over fences class and the under saddle. The reserve champion with a second over fences and second under saddle was Undergrad, ridden by Alexandra Beaumont for Brook Farm LLC.
Howell’s two blues led to the Grand Adult Hunter Championship, sponsored by Steve Martines, and she and Swingtown were presented with The Equus Entries Challenge Trophy, donated by Equus Entries and Sue and Ralph Caggiano. The Best Adult Amateur Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by Phoebe Weseley and River Run Farm LLC, went to Howell. Ginny Edwards won The Gail Knieriem Memorial Trophy, donated by Lynley Reilly and Randy Johnson, as the trainer of the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Champion.
Howell received Swingtown as a present two years ago, and she keeps him at her mother’s house, where they both take care of him. They trail ride, ford rivers, and he lives outside most of the day. This was Swingtown’s seventh show of the year. Swingtown made the transition from the jumper ring, and Howell said, “I couldn’t ask for a sweeter, more wonderful horse.”
Howell said that she has to work on containing Swingtown’s big stride while jumping. “That’s the effort, sitting down, calming him, and being peaceful,” she explained. “He’s always very eager to jump. It’s a tremendous confidence builder for me because you know when you point him at a jump, you’re getting to the other side. You can get him six inches under the base or pull a Superman. It gives you a lot of breathing room and comfort as somebody who works, has a kid, and does this in stolen hours.”
This is Howell’s fifth time competing at Capital Challenge, but her two blues were her first ribbons here. “It was really nice to pull it together today,” she expressed.
The Adult Amateur 51 & Over Hunter championship went to Pure Giving, ridden and owned by Julie Holzberger of Cincinnati, OH. Holzberger and the 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding were second in both over fences classes and sixth under saddle. The reserve championship went to Saratoga, ridden by Lindsey Evans-Thomas and owned by Patricia Raynes. They were first and fifth over fences and fifth under saddle.
Holzberger has had “Q” for three years and said his best traits are that he’s consistent, sweet, and loves what he does. “At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing. He loves to walk in the ring and do what he does. I just always feel good when I’m on him. He’s a steady Eddie for me,” she said.
Holzberger has won at Harrisburg, and shown at Capital Challenge for six years, but says today’s championship is the pinnacle of her riding career. Having started at the age of five and progressed through the pony and junior hunters, she took a 25-year break from riding before returning to the sport 12 years ago. “I had so much fun today. It’s one of my all-time favorite horse shows,” she said.
Since her return, she has trained with David Belford and Chris Payne of New Hope LLC. “I have to thank David and Chris. I’ve been riding with them for 12 years. They’re incredible, and I wouldn’t be where I am without their support and great direction,” she expressed, also giving thanks to her husband and her groom, Fred Marin.
The Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter champion, sponsored by Bridgadoon Show Stables Inc. and Lainie Wimberly, was Maximus, ridden by Meredith Mateo of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, and owned by Reflections Farm. They were first over fences and second under saddle. Alex Paradysz and Paradysz Farm’s Late Entry were reserve champions with first and sixth places over fences.
Maximus is a seven-year-old Warmblood stallion by Mynos who was bred in the United States. Mateo has not been riding him long, and this was only their third show together. “I can’t take the credit because Archie really helped me out with him,” she said. “He stays with Archie; I’ve only ridden him a few times not at shows. He is actually really easy. You need to add leg, and when you turn the corner and see the distance, you just let go and let him pick the distance. He doesn’t act like a stallion. He acts like a gelding and is well-behaved.”
This is Mateo’s second time competing at Capital Challenge and said her win today was very meaningful. “A lot of really good riders, the best riders of every region, come here and compete. It means the world to me.” Goals for the pair include qualifying for the full indoor season in 2015. She added, “I look forward to getting to know him better.”
Caroline Clark Stoney and Smiles won the EMO Adult Hunter Trip of the Show with an 88.5. The winner of the Amateur World Champion Hunter Under Saddle was Fitzhugh, ridden and owned by Grace Stuntz.
Hope Batchelor Makes the Most of Jumper Challenge
Dr. Hope Batchelor DVM, of Chester Springs, PA, piloted Orlando to victory in the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge. In a jump-off full of fast competitors, it was Batchelor and Orlando who set the winning time with a clear round in 30.998 seconds. Michelle Stacy and Enrique VHV were close behind in second place with a time of 31.367 seconds. Vicki Lowell and Tippitoo placed third when they stopped the timers in 31.521 seconds.
For her win, Batchelor was given the Best Adult Amateur Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Meadow Grove Farm and presented with The Belfield Trophy, donated by Julie Karpan.
Batchelor works for Dr. John Steele and also runs a rehab facility for horses, so she has limited time in the saddle. Orlando, who she purchased three years ago, was her first jumper. “I wasn’t sure if I could even ride the jumpers. Before I wouldn’t go real fast or take chances because I was used to going slow in the hunters. You just have to change your mindset,” she explained.
She found Orlando through trainer Joanne Copeland, who has worked with the horse for eight years. Her groom, Kelsey Ostberg, keeps Orlando fit when Batchelor can’t make it to the barn. “He’s the perfect horse. Normally he’s really quiet at home. When I tell people he can get wild, they don’t believe me,” she said.
After learning the ropes in the jumper ring, Batchelor and Orlando went on to place second at CCHS and Washington International last year before this victory. “It’s amazing, it’s so exciting,” she said.
For tonight’s class, Batchelor said of her plan, “There weren’t a lot of options for inside turns, so it had to be very neat and efficient. He’s totally game and very fast through the turns. He’s very careful, but he doesn’t spend a lot of time in the air, so I can make up time that way too.”
Carolina West and Boulogna, who placed fifth, were the highest Children’s Jumper pair in the class, and West was awarded with the Best Children’s Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Memorial Park Hunters.
The grooms of the winning horses were honored today as well. They include:
The Capital Challenge continues tomorrow with the start of the junior and pony hunters and will host the WCHR Adult Amateur Finals, the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals, and the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup Round 1. The evening session includes one of the highlight classes of the week, the WCHR Professional Finals.
Additional highlights of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will include the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup (two rounds held on Oct. 3-4), the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals (Oct. 3), and the WCHR Professional Finals (Oct. 3).
In its 21st year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 27 – October 5.
Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.