November 2015 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 October 2015 05:43

NorCal-ers Off to EAP Finals

Ransome Rombauer and Michael Williamson are among 16 candidates selected for the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s Emerging Athletes National Training Session. And, Cecily Hayes has been selected as one of four to participate in the stable management portion of the event.

The National Training Session is set for Nov. 12-15 at Otterbein University in Ohio.

The three riders earned their spot by impressing the leaders of the Regional EAP session, held this summer at Sonoma Valley Stables. They were chosen among 150 riders participating at regional sessions throughout the year and around the country.

All three hail from Northern California. Ransome rides with Susan and Daniel Ighani at Ighani Sporthorses in Napa and Michael rides with Patty Ball at Hunterville in Penryn. Cecily rides with her mom, trainer Reagan Hayes, in Walnut Creek.


Tamie Smith & Mai Baum. Photo: Shannon Brinkman, www.shannonbrinkman.net

Tamie Smith & Mai Baum win Fair Hill

As a Facebook poster pointed out, when it comes to “girl on fire,” pop star Alicia Keys has nothing on our own Tamie Smith of Murrieta. The eventer’s latest coup was winning the Fair Hill CCI3* in Maryland, Oct. 15-18.

She led the competition from the first day to the last, taking the CCI3* championship title on Mai Baum, owned by Alexandra Ahearn, at The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International Eventing Championships on Sunday.

Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Penn. and Mighty Nice were the Reserve Champions and Olympic silver medalist Kim Severson of Charlottesville, VA and Cooley Cross Border were third.

“I was really proud of the ride and he jumped fantastic, he jumped his guts out,” said Smith of the 9-year-old German Sport Horse gelding. “He’s got everything, he’s got the whole package and it’s just an unbelievable feeling to be sitting on him. It’s unreal and I’m blown away every time I ride him.”

Smith came a long way for the victory, but she believes it was worth it.

“It seems like the East Coast is a little bit not so friendly sometimes and it’s definitely not the case at all. Everybody was phenomenal and they’re just competitive. I have really enjoyed my stay and everybody’s been absolutely gracious and wonderful to me.”

Less than 10 penalties separated the top four competitors. Riding in reverse order of merit, fourth place Severson and Cooley Cross Border, owned by the Cross Syndicate, were the first to go out of the four. They jumped a flawless round, finishing with a final score of 46.6.

“He seems to like Fair Hill. He’s stepped up to the plate every time he’s been here,” said Severson. “Today he was pretty spectacular. He’s just a lovely, lovely horse.”

Normally, the final rider would feel immense pressure with the championship title on the line, but not Smith. She and Mai Baum had a rail in hand, but they did not need the cushion as they jumped clear and picked up only two time penalties for an overall score of 40.5 penalties.

“I didn’t really feel pressure about going last today,” said Smith. “I’ve gotten a lot of experience going last on him and I’m really confident in his ability to jump clean. I just wanted to go in there and have a good round.”

Smith and Mai Baum will be taking a host of awards back to California. As the overall winner, they receive the Fair Hill Bronze and The Dutta Corp presented Mai Baum with free plane travel to a European CCI*** event. As the winner of the USEF National CCI3* Championship, they were presented with the Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy. Smith also received the Beale Wright Morris Memorial trophy awarded to the leading lady rider.

Edited press release provided by USEF.


Natalie Templeton and Prophecy win the 2015 Onondarka Medal Finals at the Del Mar International Horse Show. Photo: David Buchan

Natalie Templeton tops Onondarka Finals

Natalie Templeton emerged atop California’s top young equitation riders, aged 12-and-under, in the 53rd Annual Onondarka Medal Final. The three rounds of competition took place during the Del Mar International Horse Show, Oct. 15-18.

Natalie Templeton wins the Onondarka Medal Finals at the Del Mar International Horse Show. Shown with her family and trainer, Robyn Stiegler, Don Simington of Onondarka, Elli Yaeger, the 2014 Onondarka Medal Finals Champion and Lindsay McKinnon of CWD, presenting Natalie with a brand new CWD Saddle. Photo: David Buchan

These young riders have been working toward this final all year, and it really showed: in their poise, their confidence and their riding ability. In the past, this prestigious medal final has been won by Susie Hutchinson, Francie Steinwedell and Lise Quintero.

Riding Prophecy, Natalie received a custom CWD saddle, donated by CWD, as well as a $10,000 Michael Nyuis Show Scholarship courtesy of West Palms Events. Natalie is trained by Robyn Stiegler of Citrus Hill Farms.

Second place in this final went to Bianca Jenkins, riding her own Queen’s Darling and trained by Devon Gibson. Amber Ayyad, third place winner aboard Xanthos, won both Round 1 and Round 2, and is trained by Alicia Saxton. Fourth award went to Sydnie Young, aboard Erin Wine’s Ameko Corvette Cabrio. Syndie is trained by Sami Milo.

Edited press release provided by West Palms Events.


Hiller Farms alumni, Triumph, and Leslie Steele in the 2015 WCHR Professional Challenge. The pair finished 2nd overall  at the Capital Challenge competition in Washington, DC. Photo: Shawn McMillen


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