November 2017 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Monday, 30 October 2017 19:57

Tamie Smith & Sunsprite Syrius. Photo: Shannon Brinkman

Tamie’s Trip Pays Off

After making the cross-country trek from Southern California’s Murrietta, Tamie Smith’s show jumping trip proved successful on Sunday, Oct. 22 as she completed a wire-to-wire win in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship in Maryland with Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Sunsprite Syrius. The 9-year-old Trakehner gelding ended the weekend on his dressage score of 40.9. “I’m thrilled. He was perfect in every phase, and I couldn’t have asked him to be better. He show jumped today like a million bucks,” Smith said proudly.

For Smith, a win like this means all the more for the horse’s owners, Pamela Duffy and Donald Trotter of Sunsprite Warmbloods. “The owners have a fairly small to medium breeding farm in Southern California, and Pam [Duffy] is very diligent about breeding horses and what horses she acquires for the sport,” explained Smith.  “I’m just really happy for them. It’s been kind of a long road to get here, so I’m thrilled for them.”

Excerpted from a USEF press release.

Carlos Hank, Jr.& Quantador. Photo: McCool Photography

Carlos Hank, Jr., Has Warm Welcome in Del Mar

Del Mar International Welcome Week came to a thrilling close on Sunday, Oct. 15 with the $35,000 LA Saddlery Grand Prix of the Pacific. The week’s finale event drew 34 entries to Del Mar Horsepark’s grand prix field to tackle Bernardo Costa Cabral’s first round course, which required 15 jumping efforts including one triple combination and one double combination.

The course flowed nicely with only a few time faults and refusals, but a tight rollback to the liverpool at fence nine caused many horses to have a rail down, and the two combinations proved tricky as well.

Eight horse and rider combinations successfully went clear in the first round and advanced to the jump off. First to ride was Enrique Gonzalez aboard his Chacna. They were quick but knocked fence 13 to end with four faults. Next up was Eric Navet and Signe Ostby’s Basimodo, followed by Michelle Parker and Cross Creek West’s Vancouver 45. Both pairs were quick but each had a rail to finish on four faults.

Karl Cook took to the field with a different approach from the previous riders. He piloted Signe Ostby’s Caillou 24 to a slower, more deliberate trip around the tough track and was rewarded with a clear round on the 10 year-old grey Holsteiner gelding. Next, Ali Nilforushan rode his Clarinius to a respectable four fault finish, and then both Chris Pratt aboard Carnutelebryere and Josephina Nor Lantzman aboard Chello Z went clear but were unable to catch Karl Cook’s time.

Last to ride the short course was Carlos Hank Jr. and his own Quantador. “I had an advantage, as I was last to go,” said Hank. “I had seen quite a few rounds before me and I knew there were a few clear, but they had left some space. So I decided to go for it.”

Going for it paid off, as Carlos Hank Jr. piloted the grey Westphalian gelding to a fault-free round and crossed the buzzers almost a full second ahead of Karl Cook, earning the blue ribbon and the lion›s share of the $35,000 purse.

Excerpted from a WPEM press release.


Sonoma Horse Park Season Finale Recap

On Sept. 20-24, the Sonoma Horse Park held their final show of the season. Having already taken first place in the $7,500 Equine Insurance Welcome Prix the week before, Hugh Mutch and Eminent added a win in the $25,000 Noel Asmar Equestrian Grand Prix to their impressive resume.

“Eminent has won four out of the last five classes we have competed in. It is fun to have a horse that is that competitive and careful. She is quirky but so smart,” Mutch explained. In sharing his jump-off strategy, he said, “Mariano [Alario] was fast in the jump off. He has a big horse with a big stride, and he was able to leave strides out, but Eminent makes up for that in her handiness. Mario did one less stride than I did in the first line, but we had about the same to the double combination. Eminent turns like a reining horse. She can sit down and spin, so that gave us the edge to head on home to the finish line and beat Mariano’s time.”

Sami Milo and Lulavani. Photo: Grand Pix Photography

Before Mutch began riding Eminent, he spoke to Mandy Porter and asked her how she was so successful with the horse. “Mandy told me she goes her own way; don’t try to change it. The days that I have had poles down with her, which have been, knock on wood, few and far between, were when I rode her too soft, to equated, more my style. Eminent wants to go at a clip, that Susie Hutchinson-Mandy Porter forward ride. She likes to get close to the jump, and owner, David Murdoch, helped me with that in San Juan Capistrano, providing guidance after I took a rail in the warm-up class. We went on to win the Grand Prix. I had only had around eight classes under my belt with her. I knew she was good and fast, I just had to figure it out.”

Hugh Mutch & Edgewood’s Wonder. Photo: Alden Corrigan Media

Eminent is not the only horse Mutch has figured it out on. That same week, he also rode for the win in the USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Edgewood’s Wonder (aka “Stevie”). This was the 7-year-old’s first derby appearance and had only competed in six previous shows. The beautiful bay, owned by Edgewood Equestrian Enterprises, produced a flawless Classic Round, which the judges rewarded with a score of 98 and the lead going into the Handy Round.

“In April, at the Woodside Show Series, I was invited to ride him on warm-up day, and I took him into the jumper ring in the 1.0M. We then continued into the Grand Prix ring and tried a few jumps, up on the bank, down off the bank. He did all that, and I thought ‘You know what? I am going to take him in the hunter ring.’ He really felt like a hunter to me, not a jumper. I could see his knees every time he jumped a jump, so I took him into the hunter ring, and he just cruised around like he had been doing this all his life. I said to the owners, ‘Guys, I really think we should try to show this horse in the hunters.’ Since that point he’s been champion or reserve every time out. He just gets better and better. Stevie stepped up with me; and he was Circuit Champion in the 3’3” Performance, and he gets to go in the Parade of Champions on Sunday. He is making a quite a little name for himself.”

Another duo making a name for themselves is Sami Milo and Lulavani (aka Lula). They impressed the judges to secure their first win in a USHJA International Hunter Derby. The 7-year-old mare came into Sami’s life two years ago as a Grand Prix prospect with only six months under saddle. However, Lula soon proved to be a natural in the hunter ring, and so their exciting Hunter Derby journey began.

“Lula is a wonderful horse who really enjoys the derby ring. This year we have competed in the International Hunter Derby Finals in Kentucky and then continued on to Saugerties where we placed eighth in the $500,000 Hunter Derby at HITS,” explained Sami.

The winner of the $7,500 Equine Omega Complete Welcome Prix for the finale week was Ray Texel who rode two textbook rounds on the nine-year-old, Lintina. Ray’s student and owner of this lovely mare, Ashley Bewick, has been very competitive in the 1.40m Amateurs, winning classes at Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird.

“Ashley is very busy, so I have taken over the ride for two weeks, moving her up a bit and doing the Grand Prix,” explained Ray. “She is a very straight forward and capable mare that we got from Paul Schockemöhle in Germany two years ago. We have brought her along ourselves, which is something we really like doing.”

Excerpted from a Sonoma Horse Park press release.

Style of Riding Awards at the Flintridge Autumn Classic

At the Flintridge Autumn Classic, held September 28-October 1, the Style of Riding Awards were handed out to these deserving winners:
•    The Junior Style Award was presented to Julia Stone and included the Lydia F. Theurkauf Memorial Perpetual Trophy.
•    The Amateur Style Award winner, Renee Rodda, was presented with the Alan and Jean Williams Memorial Perpetual Trophy.
•    The Pony Style Award was presented to Sienna Gustafson.

The Winner’s Circle welcomes submissions and photos. E-mail them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .