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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.”

On Whisper:
“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.”

Becky Gochman – Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter handy round winner

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.”

RESULTS

Place / Rider / Horse / Owner

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

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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.

To learn more about Endel Ots or to inquire about becoming part of the Ots team, please call (920) 562-5714, email endelots@gmail.com or visit www.EndelOtsDressage.com.

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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.”

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