December 2016 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Friday, 02 December 2016 00:17

Gracie Marlowe Is Golden at EAP

After impressing the clinicians and judges throughout the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, presented by Dover Saddlery, Gracie Marlowe finished the event wearing the individual and team gold medals and a big smile on her face.

Gracie Marlowe. Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA Archives

On Sunday, Marlowe contributed to the winning Nations Cup effort for Team Rood & Riddle aboard the golden palomino Pavel, owned by Erika Sergent, and then she performed a beautiful work-off ride aboard a horse named Rolling Stone to clinch the title.

“Her position is classic, her base is very strong, and she has soft and light hands,” said lead clinician and EAP Committee Vice Chair Peter Wylde of Marlowe’s riding talents. “She also has a great working attitude and outlook.

She was up at the top of our list the entire weekend and the whole time through, and she impressed us even more today in the competition.”

The Nations Cup culminated the National Training Session, held Nov. 10-13 at the George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center at Lake Erie College. The event included four days of riding instruction, stable management evaluation, a practicum, written test, the Nations Cup and work-off, as well as a variety of educational opportunities.

EAP Committee Member and Stable Manager Anne Thornbury added, “Gracie is very proficient in the barn. I taught her at the EAP Regional Clinic in California at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center as well. She’s a self-starter and very detail oriented; she leaves nothing to chance.”

Following the Nations Cup, the clinicians and judges asked Marlowe and Caroline Dance to return to the ring aboard new horses for a work-off over a shortened course. Each was switched to a new horse from the pool of mounts, so the EAP clinicians could see them display a different skill set. Dance was given Marlowe’s horse Pavel, while Marlowe received Rolling Stone, the mount ridden by her teammate Lara Shelokov. Marlowe clinched the title with her smooth and accurate performance.

Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA Archives

Despite the pressure of riding on a team and contesting the individual work-off, Marlowe, 20, of the Los Angeles area’s Lake Balboa, added that she had more on her mind than the stress of winning or losing as she went into the arena.

“When you’re just going on course, you sometimes don’t realize what you’re doing as much as having fun, and I think that those moments when you’re on course, you forget kind of about everything,” she reflected. “You just kind of ride and have fun. I think on both of those horses, I did experience that feeling. ‘Oh, am I done yet? Oh that was my last fence? Oh bummer.’”

For her accomplishment, Marlowe earned a coveted place at the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session in Wellington, Florida, this winter Jan. 3-7, 2017. She also received a $3,000 training grant for future instruction, a $1,500 gift certificate from Dover Saddlery and a Charles Owen helmet. Each of the 16 riders received Professional’s Choice boots, a $100 gift certificate from Dover Saddlery, as well other products and gifts from USHJA sponsors.

“Winning this event means the world to me because I’ve never had the opportunity to compete on the East Coast and travel the East Coast for horses-or to travel that much to show,” said Marlowe. “And this program just shows that all of your hard work and dedication that you have throughout your life, that you put into the horse industry, can pay off. I’m so grateful that I’ve found out about it because it’s changed my life already-regardless of moving forward, the fact that I’ve met these people and have ridden under these people.”

The clinicians and EAP Committee members present - Wylde, Thornbury, Mary Babick, Sally Ike and Kip Rosenthal - also chose Dance, 17, of West Chester, PA, to receive the second spot in the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session. Dance, like Marlowe, will also receive a helmet from USHJA sponsor Charles Owen for her achievements.

The 21 EAP finalists, 16 riders and five stable managers, traveled to Lake Erie College George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center in Painesville, Ohio, where the staff and students also concurrently hosted the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, presented by The Plaid Horse.

Press release provided by the USHJA.

Mandy Porter and Coral Reef Follow Me II win the CWD Wine Country Grand Prix. Photo: Alden Corrigan

Missy Froley and Gail Morey's Double Play win the USHJA National Hunter Derby Presented by Asuncion Valley Farms. Photo: Alden Corrigan

Fall Classic in Paso Robles Highlights

Mandy Porter and Coral Reef Follow Me II bested a field of 17 in the CWD Wine Country Grand Prix, held during the Central California Fall Classic the first weekend of November.

Brazilian course designer Marina Azevedo created the track on the Paso Robles Horse Park’s beautiful Fairway Field Grand Prix arena. “The course was fair for the group, but I am surprised with the results,” said Azevedo.

“There was not one spot in particular that was difficult in the course, each rider had their own difficulties.”

The teams all had a tough time through the course, and it wasn’t until Guy Thomas aboard Jonkheer Z, who came in 10th in the order, produced a four-fault score, which maintained the lead going into the second half of the class. Mandy Porter and Coral Reef Follow Me II came in two horses after Thomas and Jonkheer Z to secure the win with the only clean round!

The riders also were surprised with the results, having walked the beautiful course in the large grass arena with more confidence than what was produced.

“Walking the course, I thought that there would be more clean rounds,” said Porter. “It probably rode how it walked, but I didn’t think it was tricky or difficult when we walked.”

Both finishers are excelling on relatively new mounts. Coral Reef Follow Me had been ridden by Vinton Karrasch before he and his wife Ann moved to the Northwest. And, Jonkheer Z had been ridden by Karl Cook and his coach Eric Navet.

Another highlight of the popular show was the USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by Asuncion Valley Farms. As the 40 pairs strutted their elegant stuff, a complementary wine reception was underway in the West Palms Lounge. The course was created by designer Mike Gallaway and took the riders and their mounts on a nice track around the big grass field.

It was an impressive two rounds, with top Derby riders facing off for the top placings. Missy Froley and Gail Morey’s Double Play topped the field with a score of 186, just one point ahead of hard-to-beat John French and Meadow Farm’s Soldier, who came in second. Nancy Free and Catherine Antonelli’s Heir Apparent rounded out the top three with a score of 175.5. Just behind them in fourth with 175 points sat John French, again, this time on Meadow Farm’s Maritime and, in fifth, with 174 points was Nicole Dicorti Bush and Misa Kokka’s Ucello.

The United States’ Jenni McAllister pilots Legis Touch The Sun to the top in the $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Royal West. Photo: FEI/Aimee Makris

Jenni McAllister & LEGIS Touch The Sun Log Big Win in Calgary

Popular Los Angeles-based Grand Prix rider Jenni McAllister vaulted herself up the FEI Longines World Cup rankings with a win at the Royal West Horse Show in Calgary, Canada on Oct. 29. She started the season determined that Touch The Sun had World Cup potential and the 20 points she earned after a double clear in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Calgary bumped her up to second in the Western League, going into the Nov. 19 Las Vegas qualifier.

“It was a galloping course, but it had some good turns,” McAllister said of the final round. “I had originally planned to do the inside slice—he’s quite good at that. But knowing that only one other rider had gone clean before me, and because he jumped so high in the first part of the course, I decided to get galloping and go around rather than take the slice [from my original plan].

“I think he’s probably the easiest horse I’ve ever ridden. He can package his stride to 10 feet and open it to 16, or 18, feet. He can do it all within 10 strides. He’s really special. And he’s also very careful. It’s a really great combination for a big horse. I tell the kids, if there were a 1.60-meter equitation division, I’d easily win it on him.”

And even with the deviation from her original jump-off track—which meant covering more ground—McAllister’s decision didn’t sacrifice the win, as she crossed the timers with just over .80 seconds to spare. “I’m definitely aiming for Omaha [for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final],” said the 2014 FEI World Cup™ Finalist. “That’s my dream, my goal.”

Jenni and her husband Steve McAllister operate Team McAllister, a multi-tiered hunter/jumper program at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center.

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