Victoria Colvin and Private Practice (Photo: Taylor Rains)
The country’s top hunter horses and riders arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the highly anticipated 2018 National Horse Show and kicked off the professional hunter divisions in the Alltech Arena on Tuesday. Green Hunter competition saw Victoria Colvin and Holly Orlando take home blue ribbons in the 3’9” and 3’6” divisions, respectively, ahead of Wednesday’s championships.
Liza Boyd and Tradition, owned by Maggie Hill, earned the win in the first over fences round of the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, with Colvin finishing close behind in second place with Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf.
Returning for the handy round, Colvin claimed the win with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who she won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with in August at the Kentucky Horse Park. Boyd and Colvin are currently tied heading into Wednesday’s final phases of the division after Boyd also took home second place in the handy round.
Holly Orlando and Whisper (Photo: Taylor Rains)
Prior to the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten, rode to the top of the leaderboard in the initial over fences round of the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, while the handy round went to Holly Orlando and the 7-year-old Hanoverian mare Whisper, owned by Privet Farm, LLC. Back-to-back second place finishes went to Chris Payne and Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci.
The Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division also got underway on Tuesday with Dudley MacFarlane and Roland Park, owned by Mount Fair Equine, LLC, claiming the win and the “Automation-Model Cadet” Memorial Perpetual Trophy for her performance in the first over fences round.
Becky Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, impressed the judges and scored the win in the handy round as well as the under saddle class, while Clementina Brown and her own Eagle took home second place in both over fences classes.
Becky Gochman and Catch Me (Photo: Taylor Rains)
The first hunter champions of the 2018 National Horse Show will be crowned Wednesday in addition to the coveted Grand Champion Professional Hunter and the Leading Hunter Rider Award titles. Jumper competition will also commence Wednesday with the $35,000 Free x Rein International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* for the Cavcote Welcome Trophy at 6:30 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE Victoria Colvin – Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter handy round winner
On Private Practice:
“He actually feels really good. He was a little spooky and a little fresh, but I think that helped him out today. He went around perfectly.”
On the National Horse Show:
“It’s a really nice show. It is nice to come back and have a good start like this.”
Holly Orlando – Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter handy round winner
On Whisper’s performances on Tuesday:
“Whisper was amazing. In the first class, she held her breath a little bit. She has gotten better [in the handy] at every horse show we’ve gone to. I can start making the turns and really take a shot at it. We are so proud of her.”
“She is one of the sweetest mares ever. She is just awesome. [Jenny Dunion] imported her one year ago and she did a couple of Pre-Green shows and then went right into the First Years. We are so excited about her. Her owner will start showing her some in Florida. She is a trier. She never wants to let us down. She just is a little bit green and makes green mistakes here and there, but we’re very proud of her. She is so much fun to ride.”
On returning to compete at the National Horse Show:
“It’s been a while. We needed a little morale boost. It is such a nice horse show. It is an honor to be here and show here. The ring is a blast to ride in and everything about [the National Horse Show] is great.”
On her rounds on Tuesday with Catch Me:
“I thought he was great for both rounds. He was maybe a little bit spooky in the warm-up ring even though Scott [Stewart] had ridden him already. I was slightly nervous but I relaxed in the handy. The hand gallop to the final oxer was my favorite jump with him of all time because he just really wanted to go. I was so ready and relieved. I saw my distance maybe five strides away and just let him go for it. I am so proud that we could do that together. Scott did it earlier so I knew it could be done, but I never thought I could do that with him. It was really fun for me. He’s so cute. He just got a ton of treats for that and he’s a happy boy.”
On the National Horse Show:
“The National Horse Show always has a special place in everybody’s heart. It is one of the original, big-time indoor shows and having it in Kentucky is fitting because Kentucky is such a horse-loving community. I think that it’s really been great. It’s a great show to come to, the hospitality is wonderful and the town is the coolest. I love it.”
Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran:
1. Amanda Steege / Lafitte De Muze / Cheryl Olsten
2. Chris Payne / Fibonacci / Still Water Farms LLC
3. Jeff Gogul / Just Ask / Roberts Stables LLC
Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran – handy round:
1. Holly Orlando / Whisper / Privet Farms LLC
2. Chris Payne / Fibonacci / Still Water Farms LLC
3. Scott Stewart / Sports Page / Krista and Alexa Weisman
Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter:
1. Tradition / Liza Boyd / Maggie Hill
2. Private Practice / Victoria Colvin / Brad Wolf
3. Luster / Scott Stewart / Dr. Betsee Parker
Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter – handy round:
1. Private Practice / Victoria Colvin / Brad Wolf
2. Tradition / Liza Boyd / Maggie Hill
3. Geoffrey Hesslink / Baranus / Lindsay Maxwell
Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter:
1. Dudley MacFarlane / Roland Park / Mount Fair Equine, LLC
2. Clementina Brown / Eagle / Clementina Brown
3. Katie Robinson / Rocklyn / Robinson Ridge, LLC
Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter – handy round:
1. Becky Gochman / Catch Me / Gochman Sport Horse LLC
2. Clementina Brown / Eagle / Clementina Brown
3. Lynn Seithel / Walk The Moon / Lynn Seithel
Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter – under saddle
1. Becky Gochman / Catch Me / Gochman Sport Horse LLC
2. Ellen Toon / Mirror Image / Ellen Toon
3. Katie Robinson / Rocklyn / Robinson Ridge, LLC
Sue Minton-Edison and Zo’dan showing their true form in the competition ring. (Photo: Mary Cornelius)
In 2013, Sue Minton-Edison heard news that horse owners everywhere dread the most. She learned that her gorgeous Dutch Warmblood, Zo’dan, whom she had just imported a few months before, had broken his knee, and therefore should be put down. At that time, nobody could ever have imagined that this horse could be brought back from the brink of disaster. Nobody, that is, except his owner who, against all odds refused to give up on her beloved new friend. Now, five years later, Zo’dan is ranked #4 in the nation in Intermediate I AA Musical Freestyles, ranked #1 Dutch Warmblood in Adult Amateur I-1 Musical Freestyle and capped off the regional season by winning Intermediate I AA Championship and placing 3rd in the Intermediate Open Freestyle Championship at the USDF Region 6 Championships. They are now preparing to do the same at the USDF Nationals next week in Kentucky.
In spite of all the excitement of being in the winner’s circle and preparing for Nationals, Minton-Edison never loses sight of how far she and Zo’dan have come. She often reflects back to the awful time of the injury. Zo’dan had undergone a CT scan at a major equine hospital and he panicked when he came out from under anesthesia. “He had fractured the intermediate carpal bone,” she recalls, “He must have hyper extended his knee trying to get up.” Minton-Edison didn’t realize that he was injured until her first rider after bringing him home. “He simply could not trot. He was throwing himself from side to side in the effort,” she remembers. She immediately called the vet who determined the the full extent of the injury.
The week following this dismal news was agonizing for Minton-Edison. “During that week, I had to make a decision whether or not to put him down,” she remembers. She consulted with experts and vets from around the county, and they all said the same thing, “There’s no way,” she continued, “Two of the top vets said, “Even if it does heal, he will never, ever be stable. That leg will never be safe.” There was also the practical, financial issue to consider. At the time, Zo’dan was covered by an insurance policy that Minton-Edison purchased to cover his cost and that of the trip when she imported him. Everybody said, “You have to put him down. You will never recover your money otherwise,” she adds. “The pressure to do it was intense.”
However, with the odds stacked against her, and against everyone’s advice, Minton-Edison made the decision nobody expected. “I can remember sitting by his stall and he gave me a little shove,” she describes, “I looked up at his face and thought, ‘I have a relationship with this horse!’ I mean, he was playing with me. He trusts me. I looked in his eye and said, “I’m going to try. I’ve got to try!”
Sue Minton-Edison and Zo’dan posing after their winning Region 6 Intermediate I AA Championship. (Photo: Carolyn Bunch Photography)
Throughout the next several months, Minton-Edison devoted herself to Zo’dan’s healing. She and Laura Fredriksen-Park of Silver Tail Farm stayed at his stall night and day, to ensure that he didn’t lie down, because bending the knee would cause the (hopefully) healing bone to re-fracture. She provided nearly every therapy imaginable – from electrical stimulation to experimental stem cell treatments, from massages to psychic consultations, along with the obvious special feedings, and “hoof” holding required to keep Zo’dan happy and sane. Then, after 4 ½ months of stall rest, he was ready to come out and be evaluated. “We X-rayed him and when we all looked at the x-rays, we started crying,” she remembers. The leg was healing perfectly. “At 6 months, I began hand walking him, and after weeks of that we began trotting in hand.” Eventually, she received the go-ahead to get on him. Everything was going beautifully, until the pair suffered another setback. Zo’dan developed head-shaking syndrome and a UV light sensitivity. “I think his system was so overloaded,” Minton-Edison describes, “It was clearly allergy based. He was so weak from his injury and recovery that he didn’t have the ability to fight anything off.” Fortunately, this was just a temporary condition, and there has not been a recurrence since. Although, to this day, Zo’dan is not turned out during peak UV hours in order to stay on the safe side.
“This horse is a testament to his sire, the stallion, Olivi,” Minton-Edison proudly states, “He’s got such a good mind. He’s strong-willed and he’s stoic and he’s solid. I absolutely feel honored that he came into my life,” she adds, “This horse has changed me at very basic levels and made me a better person. He just made me dig deep. He is what this is supposed to be about – if we just pay attention.”
In his continued soundness, Zo’dan has been working on Silver Tail Farm’s Premier Equestrian brand footing which is another way Minton-Edison has provided only the best for her miracle horse. Premier Equestrian honors equestrian athletes whose culture demonstrates kindness, support, and exceptional sportsmanship and believes Minton-Edison transcended these qualities for her equine partner. Minton-Edison and Zo’dan added the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award to their many wins which included their success at Regionals and FEI AA High Point win at the Dressage at Devonwood.
Minton-Edison is grateful to the “village” of equestrian practitioners, friends and trainers who helped Zo’dan make the amazing journey to not only full recovery but to the enviable show record that has qualified the team to compete in USDF National Finals. “It is a dream come true that I hope inspires other horse owners facing these same challenges. I am especially grateful to my trainer Debbie Evans of Riverside Farm who has been with me every step of the way, Veterinarian, Dr. Chris Camp, and to Heidi Zorn of Premier Equestrian whose faith, friendship and footing contributed to the journey. Both Evans and Zorn will accompany Minton-Edison and Zo’dan to the USDF Finals.
Premier Equestrian a sponsor of the USDF National Finals is known for its advanced arena footing solutions that can improve horses’ performance while always keeping their wellbeing first in mind. To learn more about Premier Equestrian, please visit www.PremierEquestrian.com or call (800) 611-6109.
Earlier this month, USHJA World Championship Hunter Rider competitors came together for the WCHR Finals that were held during the 25th Anniversary Capital Challenge Horse Show, Oct. 3-7. The WCHR program offered 10 Challenge classes, the WCHR Professional Finals, and numerous awards and recognition for outstanding trainers, owners, riders, and others in the Hunter discipline, during the competition.
USHJA is pleased to recognize the WCHR National Champions for 2018 whose points were finalized during the event:
• Adult Amateur Champion: Garland Alban, of Lutherville, Md., trained by Tim and Kelly Goguen
• Amateur Owner 3'3" Champion: Martha Ingram, of Nashville, Tenn., trained by Tom Wright
• Amateur Owner 3'6" Champion: Becky Gochman, of Wellington, Fla., trained by Scott Stewart
• Children's Champion: Abby Parker, of San Diego, Calif., trained by Alicia Saxton
• Developing Pro Champion: Karli Postel, of N. Hollywood, Calif.
• Developing Pro Owner Champion: Laura Wasserman, of Los Angeles, Calif., owner of Casallo, Fine Design and Bocelli
• Handy Champion: Martha Ingram, of Nashville, Tenn., trained by Tom Wright
• Junior 3'3" Champion: Ainslee Gregg, of Frisco, Texas, trained by Jim and Joan Henson
• Junior 3'6" Champion: Emma Kurtz, of Hudson, Ohio, trained by Amanda Lyerly
• Pony Champion: Maddie Tosh, of Milton, Ga., trained by Hunt Tosh
• Pro Champion: Amanda Steege, of Ocala, Fla.
• Pro Owner Champion: Laura Wasserman, of Los Angeles, Calif., owner of Boss, Skyhawk, and Bocelli
Beyond the National Champions, Regional Champions and WCHR Challenge class winners, USHJA congratulates the following winners of special WCHR Awards that were presented during the WCHR Finals:
• Scott Stewart and Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sporthorse LLC, earned the Derbydown Trophy with a score of 92.5 (Donated by Louise Serio of Derbydown; awarded to the highest scoring hunter round by a professional)
• Hunt Tosh and Bastogne, owned by Douglas Wheeler, earned the Jeffrey Katz Trophy (Donated by Lisa Cudahy in memory of Jeffrey Katz; awarded to the horse-and-rider combination accumulating the most points in Green Hunter 3'6" and 3'9", as well as Green Conformation at their top four WCHR competitions and WCHR Challenge classes held during Capital Challenge)
• Douglas Wheeler, owner of Bastogne, earned the Rox Dene Trophy (donated by Elaine and Chanda Boylen; awarded to the owner of the high-score horse ridden by a professional from High Performance Hunter, Green Hunter 3'6" and 3'9", Green Conformation 3'6", High Performance Conformation, and Performance Working Hunter 3'6" sections from their top four WCHR competitions and WCHR Challenge classes held during Capital Challenge)
• Lucador and owner Betsee Parker earned the Alabama Clay Award (donated by the Weisman Family in honor of their two horses, Alabama Clay and Tribute; awarded to the horse-and-owner combination that accumulates the most points in the Green Hunter or Regular Conformation Hunter at their top four WCHR competitions and WCHR Challenge classes held during the Capital Challenge Horse Show)
• JP Godard, of Aiken, S.C., was awarded the USHJA/WCHR Course Designer Perpetual Trophy for his innovative and ground-breaking hunter course designing
• Caroline Moran, of Wellington, Fla., was presented the Winter's Run Sportsmanship Award, donated by Patricia Bosley in memory of her mother Sylvia Hechter, for best exemplifying the ideals of sportsmanship
• Tom Wright, of Wellington, Fla., was presented the Old Springhouse Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Old Springhouse Corporation, for his great support and lifetime commitment to our sport
• Danny Robertshaw, of Camden, S.C., was presented the Daniel P. Lenehan Perpetual Trophy, donated by Geoff Teall in memory of Daniel P. Lenehan, for his dedication and lifetime commitment to the judging of show hunters
• Dr. Christopher "Kit" Miller, of Brewster, N.Y., was awarded the David Peterson Perpetual Trophy, which is donated by Kavar Kerr and Jim Anderson, for his dedication and lifetime commitment to the care and well-being of horses
• Stewart-Warner Award Winners (Donated by Donald E. Stewart and Louise W. Serio in the memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart & Mary Warner Brown; awarded to the Pony, Children's and Junior riders who exhibit the best riding style on a hunter throughout the competition):
• Pony - Allison Coleman, of Wellington, Fla.
• Children's - Maddie Tosh, of Milton, Ga.
• Junior - Grace Debney, of Hampden, Mass.
The USHJA sincerely thanks all the donors, sponsors, volunteers and supporters who make the WCHR Program possible. The USHJA also thanks the WCHR Task Force (Caroline Weeden, chair, Hope Glynn, vice chair, Rachel Howell, Susan Moriconi, Elizabeth Reilly, Corene Smith, Amanda Steege, Linda Valetic, Stephanie Wheeler, and Jeff Wirthman), which leads the program each year.
"This recognition of top Hunter riders across the country wouldn't be possible without our WCHR supporters," said Carl Weeden. "From the generous donors throughout the year, including those supporting the Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular gala, to the many Regional Awards donors, this program depends on the support of the Hunter community nationwide, and we are so appreciative to everyone for their contributions."
A special thank you to the 2018 USHJA WCHR Program sponsors: Charles Owen, Inc., Official Helmet of the USHJA; CWD Sellier, Official Saddle of the USHJA; Parlanti, Official Riding Boot of the USHJA; Professional's Choice, Official Horse Boot of USHJA, and Rood & Riddle, Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy of the USHJA; Shapley's, Best Turned Out Award Sponsor; and FITS, Awards Sponsor.
The WCHR Program was founded in 1992 to recognize and celebrate the hunter rider. Since the inaugural WCHR Professional Finals in 1992, the WCHR program has expanded to include coveted National and Regional year-end awards for Professionals, Developing Professionals, Amateur-Owners, Amateur Adults, Juniors, Children's and Pony riders. Become a member of the WCHR Program for 2019. Learn more at ushja.org/WCHR.
The Rhinelander bred Belissimo M has been named the Hanoverian Stallion of the Year 2018. The 19-year old liver chestnut was celebrated in a special ceremony at the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing on Saturday 27 October 2018.
Through the fusion of the Hanoverian Verband with the Rhineland society (which was previously collaborating with the Westfalian society), this honour was given to a horse from the Rhineland for the first time.
Belissimo's breeder Dieter Niesar from Kranenburg received the prestigious award during the show program of the stallion licensing.
Belissimo M (by Beltain x Romadour II) is one of the most sought-after dressage sires. The expressive chestnut presents himself from the crown to the sole as an athlete. His sire Beltain also demonstrated his extraordinary talent with his rider Leonie Bramall at various competitions. He is a representative of the dam line of Alferate, which makes him a direct relative of the legends Brentano I and II as well as Wolkenstein I, II and III. His dam is the full sister of the important State Stud stallions Garibaldi I and II.
Endel Ots and Agastrophos II during their winning ride. (Photo: Joanna Jodko Photography)
In his signature style of bringing young horses along and moving them up when the time is right, Endel Ots rode 5-year-old Agastrophos II to a high score win in 1st Level, Test 3 during the 2018 Wellington Classic Dressage Autumn Challenge. Riding on both days of the show, which was held on Oct 20-21st, the pair scored a 71.912 on each ride, which was enough to clinch the high score ribbon on Saturday.
The big 17.1 hh gelding, whose barn name is A.J., was a sight to see in the ring under Ots’ guidance. Owned and bred by Taunia and Dave Reed of Virginia Beach, VA, this horse is quickly winning his way into Ots’ heart. “I’ve been training with him for about a year – taking it slow and getting him used to everything,” he describes. “His temperament is super. He has a really great canter and a very good trot.”
Ots goes on to say that he doesn’t want to rush anything with the big chestnut. “We might do 6 year olds next year. We’ll see how he progresses over this winter season, and maybe show him later season in the summertime. It will be a lot of fun to see how he progresses!” he adds.
Ots admits that he has a soft spot for A.J. because he rode his sire, Agastrophos (by Briar x Nocturne) to become the Reserve Champion in the 2012 USDF Developing Horse Grand Prix Championships. In fact, Ots comments that the young horse has much better gaits than his sire.
Ots is also busy preparing 9-year-old mare, Rosenschon, for Developing Grand Prix this season. He’s planning to get her into the show ring, and she promises to be one to keep an eye out for. And, of course, Ots continues to showcase his superstar, Lucky Strike. The pair has set their sights on trying out for the upcoming Pan American Games. Ots explains that his recent success with all his horses is possible because of his loyal sponsors. He says he is very thankful to Custom Saddlery, DSB Boots and Choice of Champions for being a part of the team.
Originally from De Pere, Wisconsin, Ots, who now calls Wellington, Florida home, has been competing since a young age and has been enjoying international victories for the past several years. Known for his talent and ability to give a leg-up to younger riders, and bringing along impressive sales horses.
Samantha Takacs of Oldwick, NJ, won the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals riding Storyteller. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
Samantha Takacs of Oldwick, NJ, scored an 88 in the Washington International Horse Show Pony Equitation Finals to take home top honors riding Storyteller. The win was a redeeming effort for Takacs after going off course from the first in the order in the very same class during the 2017 WIHS.
“Last year was my first time at WIHS and this year I was really hoping I did the course correctly,” said Takacs, who trains with Dave Belford and Chris Payne of New Hope Farm based out of Batavia, OH. “I was a little bit nervous because I hadn’t shown in the hunters at this show this year because I didn’t have a horse to ride so today was my first trip.
Thirteen-year-old Takacs borrowed the ride on Storyteller, owned by Temple Equestrian, LLC and leaded by Caroline Signorino. Despite qualifying for the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, Takacs didn’t have a mount available to compete and jumped her first fence with Storyteller the morning of the final.
“I am so thankful that my friend Caroline and Temple Equestrian were both kind enough to let me borrow him,” said Takacs of the 15-year-old German Sport Pony gelding. “I rode him this morning and I felt like he was such a good boy and we were a good match. Then in the schooling area, I got a little self-conscious and wasn’t sure how it was going to. But, once I got in the ring I knew he would do it for me.”
After the jumping phase of the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, the top ten riders were tested on the flat. Takacs pocketed the top score to best second-place finisher Kat Fuqua, who finished one point off the lead with an 87. Tessa Downey finished third with a score of 85, while Mae Mannis of Woodbury, CT, posted an 83 for fourth. Claire Campbell of Cochranville, PA, rounded out the top five on an 81.
“It was really nerve-wracking [to wait for my score to be announced],” said Takacs. “I didn’t know if it was going to be me, Kat or anyone in the top. They were all really good.”
The final events of the 2018 WIHS were the Regional Hunter Finals, which kicked off last week at the WIHS Regional Horse Show at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Samantha Takacs and Storyteller. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
With a win in the WIHS Regional Pony Hunter Finals McKenna Gregorio of Ashland, VA, was named grand champion of the division riding her own Autumn Frost. Reserve went to Maddy Wilson of Bryantown, MD, aboard Shenandoah Jasmine for owner Molly McLaughlin.
Brittani Director of Potomac, MD, topped the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals in the horse section riding her own Rococo. For the division title, Jessica Van Brocklin Smith of Alexandria, VA, was named grand champion and accepted The Black, Starr & Frost Perpetual Trophy, donated by Black, Starr & Frost. She rode her own Romulus. Director and Rococo claimed the reserve champion title.
The Washington International Horse Show wrapped its 60th anniversary celebration, year-end championships, and horse show-inspired entertainment on Sunday, and will return to Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C. for a 61st season from October 22 through 27, 2019. For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.
Downey, 13, and the 12-year-old black Welsh Pony Cross mare topped two of the Medium Pony Hunter over fences classes and finished second in the handy to earn the Medium Pony Hunter Championship, for which they were presented the Shenandoah Sundowner Perpetual Trophy, donated by Evan Coluccio and Ashmont Farms, Ltd.
The pair’s consistent rounds proved to be enough to then clinch the Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick & Rustic Woods, as the Grand Pony Hunter Champions. Downey and Anisette also received the Potomac Trophy for the High Score Junior Hunter Rider on a Pony, and Downey was named the Best Child Rider on a Pony, sponsored by Gotham North. For the Best Child Rider award, Downey received the Captain V.S. Littauer Perpetual Trophy.
“I grew up watching Maddie Schaefer and everyone who is now in the big eq win this trophy, and I’m just super excited,” said Downey, who was competing at WIHS for the third time. “We came here just with our goal being to jog in every class. That was our goal at Harrisburg too; we just wanted to be consistent. Then we go and this happens, and we’re over the moon!”
Downey started riding Anisette this past year, after purchasing the mare from the Hoch family, and she has seen great success with her since, including winning the Medium Pony Hunter Championship at the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Pony Finals in August.
“She’s spunky. She wants to be the best. You don’t have to tell her. She wants to be,” said Downey.
Tessa Downey and Anisette. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
Finishing as the reserve champions in the Medium Pony Hunters were Alexa Lignelli of New York, NY, and Fox Creeks Curious George, owned by the Lignelli Family.
In the Small Pony Hunters, the championship honor was presented to Maddie Tosh of Milton, GA, riding Bit of Love for owner Dr. Betsee Parker. Tosh and the 12-year-old Welsh Pony Cross finished first, second, and third over fences for the win. The Small Pony Hunter reserve championship went to Clara Propp of New York, NY, riding Benlea Mizzou, owned by Aquitaine Equine.
The Large Pony Hunter Championship went to Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA, and her own Brighton, who finished first and second over fences and fifth under saddle for the tricolor victory. The reserve championship was awarded to Caleche, owned and ridden by Lola Head.
Beezie Madden claimed her third Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington win on Saturday, October 27. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) came to a peak on Saturday, October 27, with a victory for reigning FEI Jumping World Cup™ champions Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC. Earlier in the evening, 16-year-old Elli Yeager claimed the coveted Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals riding Copperfield 39.
A four-time U.S. Olympian, Madden topped a 24-horse field by more than two seconds in 30.74 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner over courses built by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. From a four-horse jump-off, she edged out Katherine Dinan (USA) riding Dougie Douglas, owned by Grant Road Partners, LLC, who sat on a leading time of 32.93 seconds.
Madden’s silver medal teammate from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lucy Davis (USA), rounded out an all-female podium in 33.44 seconds riding Caracho 14, owned by Old Oak Farm.
Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam rounded out the jump-off with a four-fault performance for fourth place riding Don’t Touch Du Bois, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy. A 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medalist, Laura Kraut (USA) finished fifth with the fastest four-fault ride from the opening round aboard Confu, owned by St. Bride’s Farm.
“This was his first indoor event of the year, so it’s nice to see that he’s in form. It shows why he was good at the World Cup [Final]; he walked right in here and was clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.” - Beezie Madden
A quick horse by nature, Madden relied on Breitling’s foot speed to shave significant time off the clock, saying, “I thought one to two was a little bit of a tough turn to a big jump, so I didn’t think that was really the place to win it. I feel like I was a touch slow there, but then I knew my horse has some speed, and he’s quite good at turning, so I think I made it up at the turns on both ends, particularly the last turn.”
Madden has set her sights on the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Göteborg (SWE) with a solid string of horses to choose from.
“Last year I didn’t really know which horse I was taking until probably the middle of the Wellington season when [Breitling] showed that he was on great form, so I’ll probably plan on the same thing. I’m trying to make them all eligible. I already have done a class with Darry Lou and with Breitling, and I’m going to take my new horse Chic Hin d’Hyrencourt to Lexington so that hopefully he completes in that grand prix, and then I just have Coach left. We will see which one’s on the best form!”
Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. (Photo: by Shawn McMillen Photography)
Taking a proud runner-up position to Madden, Dinan watched her trainer Beat Mändli win the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington in 2017 and was on the hunt for her own top finish this year.
“I would have loved to have a repeat victory for our team, but beside Beat I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world I’d rather be second to besides Beezie,” she said. “She’s been a longtime idol of mine and Lucy is one of my oldest and best friends in the sport, so to have the three of us here is a great night.
“I had no choice but to go for it,” continued Dinan. “Last year, I had the fastest time and one down in this grand prix. This year, I said, ‘You know what, there’s only four.’ I was thrilled with him.”
Since helping the U.S. team win a silver medal in Brazil, Davis took some time to develop some young mounts including Caracho 14.
“I’ve been patiently waiting since he was seven, so we know each other well,” said Davis, who is based out of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. “Lucky for me, he has an amazing brain, so I can keep kind of challenging him at each show. He’s been delivering each time, so I’m super excited. I am working on going faster each time and getting our turning. It was a nice opportunity to give it a go without really risking anything. I knew that three good riders were behind me so I had nothing to lose.”
Emily Kowalchik on Fernleigh with the Goguen Family and the President of the KHJA, Ms. Joyce Brinsfield. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
The highly-anticipated National Horse Show returned Saturday to its home in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for its 2018 installment, the culmination of the east coast summer equestrian season. This year, the National Horse Show offers new equitation championships throughout its opening weekend, with the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship, presented by the Goguen Family, serving as the first to crown a winner and the feature event of day one’s competition. The inaugural champion, Emily Kowalchik, masterfully directed Kelsey Taylor’s Fernleigh to top marks across two phases to earn the top slot on the leaderboard, while nine different junior and adult combinations each rode to victory in their respective age-group classes.
In its debut year, the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship saw its first crop of qualified contenders take their turns around course designer Bobby Murphy’s track for a shot at the blue ribbon. Entries into the inaugural class were determined by the year-end standings of the KHJA based upon showings throughout the year, so only the top performers were eligible to compete in the grand finale, consisting of a preliminary over fences round and a flat phase. Over the course of the class, Kowalchik and her mount consistently displayed their equitation talent to pull away from the group and distinguish themselves as the class leaders, ultimately claiming the championship title.
Emily Kowalchik on Fernleigh. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
The 27-year-old Kowalchik reigns from Loveland, Ohio, and has been training with David Beisel for 13 years. Though she has a long relationship with her trainer, the tenure with her horse is newer, having only just picked up the ride this past July. Fernleigh has experience in the equitation and showed up at Beisel’s stables as a sale horse at the time that Kowalchik learned she had qualified for year-end classes, and the fit seemed perfect. Kowalchik will return to the show ring Sunday hoping for another championship title, this time in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship.
Larissa Hufnagel of Lexington, Kentucky earned the reserve championship just behind Kowalchik, a positive start to her first appearance at the National Horse Show. Hufnagel piloted her own Devout, the horse she has been paired with for the last three years, and used her knowledge of the horse’s normal way of going to ensure they set themselves up for success. Owner-rider Adeline Pavlin of Cincinnati, Ohio rounded out the top three podium spots with her horse, Ragazzo Carino.
Earlier in the day, age group equitation classes for juniors and adults offered exhibitors opportunities to display their precision and correct form in the show ring, both over fences and under saddle. In the Under 14 Equitation, Emma Borders aboard her own Chapot Z claimed the top honors under saddle, while the duo of Madison Nadolenco and her own Quieri finished in first place over fences. Owner-rider Hensley Humphries and Ixion Van Het Netehof similarly proved their prowess in the ring to earn the highest distinction in the 14 - 15 Equitation Section A on the flat, and Sheridan Johnson maneuvered Palmyra Partners’ Brad Pitt to the blue ribbon over fences. In Section B, Maggie Hill and Charmeur, owned by North Run, earned first prize under saddle, while Dominic Gibbs amd Limitless, owned by Erin R Gibbs, scored the highest in the over fences class.
Larissa Hufnagel on Devout. (Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography)
In the slightly older age bracket, Marcus Cmola Au and Barn Rat LLC’s Nobel Laureate were double winners, laying down the best showing of the division to earn the top position in the 16 - 17 Equitation under saddle and over fences. Elizabeth Chenelle, in the irons aboard Armand Chenelle’s Li Bond, claimed first place in the Adult Equitation on the flat, and Hannah Brown and Dimacho, owned by A. Brooke Farr, rounded out the series of winners in the Adult Equitation over fences.
Throughout the National Horse Show’s opening weekend, the hospitality in the Taylor Harris Club and Maxwell Place is courtesy of the World Equestrian Center, one of the largest indoor-outdoor equestrian venues in the world located in Wilmington, Ohio. The exclusive and stylish Taylor Harris Club features an unbeatable view overlooking the Alltech Arena – perfect for equestrians, families and business professionals to enjoy the exciting competition in VIP fashion. Maxwell Place, presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Foundation, offers Riders' Lounge hospitality with exciting food options, as well as a select number of premier boutique vendors. It is open to the public for shopping and dining throughout the horse show, with the Riders' Lounge hospitality open during show hours.
The 2018 National Horse Show will return to the Alltech Arena on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 8 a.m., with equitation riders highlighted in the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3'3" Equitation Championship and Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
On her plan for the class:
“I was really using this as a class to get my feet wet before the Taylor Harris Equitation Championship tomorrow. That probably worked in my favor because I was more relaxed because I knew it was a practice. Earlier in the warm-up, my horse was pretty good but a little fresh so I wanted to go back in and have another confident ride. I actually changed my plan in the middle of the course and did seven strides instead of eight strides in the bending line. My horse was really good, even though he was a little fussy at the end.”
On her relationship with Fernleigh:
“He has been really fun. I have only had him since July. I leased him just to do Indoors this year, and sadly this is my last show with him. It was nice to get the win with him. He came through our barn as a sale horse about the time I learned I had qualified for a few end of year classes. He had done the equitation before and it seemed to be a good fit. I didn’t go looking for him, he found me. It was really perfect timing and I have had fun getting to know him the past couple of months. He is a real ham in the barn and has a big personality, so he has been a real joy.”
On competing at the National Horse Show:
“I was excited to hear that there were more opportunities for the adults to show here. Usually we only get to do Capital Challenge with the NAL and the Ariat. I also never got to show here as a junior, so it is very special for me to be able show here now. Plus, the atmosphere is great.”
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship presented by the Goguen Family
14 & Under Equitation Flat
1. Emma Borders / Chapot Z / Emma Borders
2. Aliva Kohus / Cristallo’s Carlchen P / Aliva Kohus
3. Blythe Goguen / Romulous / Colette Cacciatore
14 & Under Equitation Over Fences
1. Madison Nadolenco / Quieri / Morgan Dickerson
2. Chloe Watrous / Quintius Rubin / North Run
3. Katherine Lebaron / Cocktail 51 / Katherine Lebaron
14 - 15 Equitation Flat Section A
1. Hensley Humphries / Ixion Van Het Netehof / Hensley Humphries
2. Haley Anderson / Loredo / Micaela Kennedy
3. Alexandra Kozel / Stallone / Eclipse Equestrian
14 - 15 Equitation Over Fences Section A
1. Sheridan Johnson / Brad Pitt / Palmyra Partners
2. Madison Weaver / Cyrus / Madison Weaver
3. Emily Aitken / Wayfarer / Sophie Lenihan
14 - 15 Equitation Flat Section B
1. Maggie Hill / Charmeur / North Run
2. Dominic Gibbs / Limitless / Erin R Gibbs
3. Leah Jasky / Conrad / Leah Jasky
14 - 15 Equitation Over Fences Section B
1. Dominic Gibbs / Limitless / Erin R Gibbs
2. Jada Fuleky / Say What / Fox Meadow Farm
3. Alexandra Sinclair / Capitino / Nina Columbia
16-17 Equitation Flat
1. Marcus Cmola Au / Nobel Laureate / Barn Rat LLC
2. Katherine Delagarza / K.T.S. No Doubt / Katherine Delagarza
3. Justice Meyer / Andante / Lalla Lee Farm, LLC
16-17 Equitation Over Fences
1. Marcus Cmola Au / Nobel Laureate / Barn Rat LLC
2. Morgan Colby / Quinto / Elizabeth Becker
3. Lily Toensing / Consanto / Adelaide Toensing
Adult Equitation Flat Class presented by Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett
1. Elizabeth Chenelle / Li Bond / Armand Chenelle
2. Hannah Brown / Dimacho / A. Brooke Farr
3. Sara Ballinger / WanderPrinz / Sara Ballinger
Adult Equitation Over Fences presented by Cindi Perez and Anne Bennett
1. Hannah Brown / Dimacho / A. Brooke Farr
2. Darby Mazzarisi / Resonate / West Hill
3. Jeanne Cash / MTM Magnum / Olivia Rubin