Show Reports
October 2020 - Congratulations to the 2020 LEGIS League Dressage Finalists!
Written by photos: Tamara with the Camera
Thursday, 01 October 2020 05:05
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The Starr Vaughn Summer Dressage Finale, Aug. 21-23, at Starr Vaughn Equestrian Center in Elk Grove, CA, was proud to host the 2020 LEGIS League Dressage Finals. The LEGIS League is a popular awards program sponsored by LEGISequine.com, Horsemen Insuring Horsemen. Since 2018, LEGIS League Dressage has expanded to include 12 categories – encompassing all levels from Training Level through Prix St. Georges for juniors, amateurs, and professionals. Finalists enjoy special recognition and prizes, including embroidered saddle pads, jackets, and hats.

 


Mark your calendars for an upcoming opportunity to qualify for the 2021 LEGIS League Finals! You can start earning points at the Starr Vaughn Fall Dressage (Nov. 7-8, 2020). For more information or to join online, visit www.legisleague.com.

 

Look for additional qualifying shows coming soon as the LEGIS League expands its dressage program. You can join now and start earning points to qualify for the Finals. If you have suggestions for shows that you would like to see LEGIS League classes at, please reach out to our LEGIS League Coordinator, Danielle Skaar, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Julia Mineikis & Fragipani - Champion, Intermediate I & II/Grand Prix FEI Open.

Katrina Ragsdale & Wrigley - Champion, Second/Third Level Junior.

Josh Albrecht & Indea KS - Champion, Training/First Level Junior.

Alexandra Duarte & Q Sieben - Champion, Training/First Level Adult Amateur.

 
October 2020 - Medal Finals Round-Up
Written by CRM
Thursday, 01 October 2020 04:54
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Skylar Wireman dominates the beginning of the hunter/jumper medal season.

Skylar Wireman’s unstoppable streak continued with her win of the USET Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search finals West, held at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano from Sept. 18-20. With Mandy Porter and Julie Winkel in the judge’s booth through the event’s flat, gymnastic and show jumping phases, Skylar emerged the champion after the fourth phase in which each of the four finalists rode their own horse, then each other’s, over a shortened 1.15m jumping style course on the venue’s beautiful Grand Prix field.

 


“For me, it is pretty unreal,” Skylar said of winning the title. “Last year I was fourth, so I made it to the final four, which was really exciting. Then, this year it was kind of surprising that I made it [into the final four] because I started in 18th after the first phase and I moved my way up to third after the gymnastics phase, and then I moved up to second after the jumping phase. It was really unreal for me. It still hasn’t fully set in.”

Skylar Wireman & Hot Pants. Photo: McCool Photography

 Skylar felt comfortable in Phase IV thanks to her past experiences. “I had ridden Parker Cliff’s horse last year in the final four, then I have done so much catch-riding for Nick [Haness] and several other trainers, so I am pretty used to getting on a strange horse and jumping a few jumps and going in. Also, I had watched a lot of those horses go for the past couple weeks, so I was pretty confident going into the final four.”

Skylar rode Hot Pants, owned by Lisa Halterman.

Kaitlyn Lovingfoss finished in reserve aboard James Hagman’s Hearty Hercules; Parker Cliff was third on Fandawest Rebel, owned by trainers Jill and Jan Humphrey; and Amber Ayyad was fourth on Common Sense, owned by Alicia Saxton.

Lanie Walkenbach & Let’s Go. Photo: McCool Photography

A week prior, at the same venue, Skylar topped the field at the NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Region 8 Championships. Her partner was, again, Hot Pants, who earned the Vigo Best Equitation Horse Award, a perpetual trophy in honor of Robyn and Demi Stiegler’s retired equitation horse. The win positions Skylar to head to Lexington, KY, in November for the national finals. Reserve went to Sydney Young, a student of Jill Humphrey, and Stella Buckingham finished third.

Stella trains at her family’s Q of E Farm in the Los Angeles area.

Before the Regionals got underway at the Blenheim Fall Tournament, Skylar was presented with the Shelby Drazan Memorial Award in recognition of sportsmanship, integrity and passion. These qualities were made clear in an excerpt of Skylar’s application essay: “Work hard, pay it forward, dream big and go for it,” she wrote of her life motto.

Lauren Morlock & Mighty Quen.

Foxfield Medal Finals

The Oaks International Grand Prix Field also hosted the 49th Annual Foxfield Medal Finals on Sept. 13. Lanie Walkenbach finished first among 21 amateur contenders, riding Let’s Go. Emily Williams and Carlo were third, with Haylee Hall and Clearing in third.

Walkenbach, who attends college at Texas Christian University, expressed her excitement at having the opportunity to compete on the grass Grand Prix field. “I am currently on Texas Christian University’s Equestrian team, so I just come to show when I get the opportunity. I am so thankful that I had the chance to compete in such a prestigious final.”

She was also elated to compete in the finals with her teammate, Let›s Go, known as “Pedro” around the barn. “He is one of the smartest and coolest horses I’ve ever been on. I’ve had the opportunity to ride him off and on since January and I share him with my sister Paige.”

Grace Belmont & Quirin, pictured with barn-mates, mother/trainer Cassie Belmont, and assistant trainer Allison Sherred. Photo: GrandPix

Avery Glynn. & Sazerac Photo: GrandPix

Season Finale In Sonoma

In Northern California, the Sonoma Horse Park closed out its summer season with two medal finals and the Les Talents Hermés two-phase equitation classic Sept. 18-20.

Lauren Morlock fulfilled a longtime goal in winning the JRW Medal Finals presented by CWD, formerly called the Hudson & Co Medal. Avery Glenn was reserve champion and Kiera Hennigan was third.

Grace Belmont had her first equitation final win in the Pickwick Medal Finals presented by Equifit. The daughter of trainer Cassie Belmont, Grace rode Quirin to the win. Avery Glynn was reserve in this final, too, followed again by Kiera Hennigan.

Avery finished first in the large field contending the 3’3” Les Talents Hermés, earning herself a second trip to Paris. Bella Primavera finished second and Darby Bonomi, (our performance psychology columnist!) was third.

Kyle Cline & Cazz C. Photo: McCool Photography

USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Finals West

Over four rounds in two days, Kyle Cline topped the field in the EMO Insurance/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Finals West, which concluded on Sept. 22 in San Juan Capistrano. Formatted similarly to the USET Talent Search, the competition is part of the jumper rider development pipeline.

“Over the course of the two days I felt that my rounds stayed fairly consistent with no large gap between the scores,” said Kyle. “I enjoyed competing in the Final since it’s such a competitive and well-organized class. The three phases are definitely one of the best aspects, pushing the riders at the top to stay consistent or giving others who didn’t do as well in one phase the chance to make it up in the next,” said Cline, of Laguna Hills. “Usually I don’t really feel pressure, but going into the final phase, there was definitely some inner tension to have a nice, smooth round.”

“I feel incredibly privileged to have been this year’s winner and am eternally grateful for Cazz C, who always tries his heart out, and the whole team at Bridgeport Farms for their constant hard work to better us,” he continued.

Elvenstar rider Charley Stowell finished second, followed by Quinn Ferreira, a student of Tina Yates.

 
March 2020 - Gold Star Clinic
Written by photos: Tori Bilas/USHJA
Monday, 02 March 2020 20:14
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Kirstin Coe coaches emerging jumper riders on “building a winning team.”

photos: Tori Bilas/USHJA

The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Gold Star Clinics wrapped up after two weeks of bi-coastal educational sessions and mounted instruction with top clinicians, athletes and horsemen. The West Coast Clinic, held January 15-19 at the Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, was led by Kirsten Coe, while the East Coast Clinic, led by Todd Minikus, was held January 22-26 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. A total of 42 athletes participated in the clinics, learning from the best throughout the four-day clinics that focused on this year’s theme, “Building a Winning Team.”

 


Leading the mounted instruction on the West Coast, Coe’s approach to the clinic was to provide the participants with knowledge they could take home and use effectively, regardless of the equipment or facilities they have at their disposal. “I think it was very clear, cohesive message from all the clinicians this year, not just myself,” said Coe about the week of educational opportunities. “It was all about discipline, how to correct the horse, the shape of the lines and the track, and ultimately this was one of the best first-round Nations Cups (modified format) we’ve had with the fewest amount of faults. They all applied what they learned all week and they did it really well.”

 

After three days of mounted instruction, the West Coast and East Coast clinics culminated on day four with teams competing in a Nations Cup-style competition over courses set by FEI Course Designers Michel Vaillancourt and Steve Stephens, respectively. The modified, two-phase format featured the first round as a Table II and the second as a Table II 2.d. On the West Coast, Chef d’Equipe Mandy Porter led the winning team of Leah Lively (1.10m), Alyce Bittar (1.20m) and Courtney Youell (1.30m), named Gone With the Wind, on a total score of 8 faults after the two rounds.

Though they all enjoyed the competition aspect, Lively remarked on how important the team feel throughout the week was: “We had a great team but it wasn’t just this team—I got to work with people that I usually wouldn’t get to meet. Everyone was pitching in to help one another—it didn’t matter if [they were on the same team.]”
    

Heavy On Horsemanship

Both coasts featured similar schedules, which included additional education from industry experts discussing horse health and nutrition, course building, media training, and different aspects of a competitive jumping team. Colleen Reed, who was the Stable Management clinician for both clinics and oversaw the care for the participants’ horses on-site, led a session that covered how to take your horse’s vitals, proper grooming and jogging for FEI classes.

USEF Youth Chef d’Equipe DiAnn Langer, USEF High Performance Team Veterinarian Dr. Geoff Vernon and the clinics’ respective lead clinicians discussed what, and who, goes into creating the winning team of a top rider, including veterinarians, grooms, trainers, and other essential personnel. In addition, Dr. Vernon talked about sport horse lameness, demonstrating what a veterinarian looks for during an exam and how to identify a lame horse, and Langer led a conversation about the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway, highlighting how a rider can utilize the program to progress in the sport.

Athletes in both clinics received media training from Brenda Mueller, Marketing4Equestrians and Chicago Equestrian Founder and Editor, where they participated in mock interviews, learning how to properly answer questions and how to manage their social media professionally. Platinum Performance hosted an equine nutrition session led by Dr. Darci Agin at West and Dr. Torri Maxwell at East, where both talked about the microbiome, the importance of proper gut health to help a horse perform at its best and how to read a feed tag. A hands-on session with farrier Leah Clarke delivered more knowledge and experience.

Each clinic also included a round table discussion with top competitors, which included answering questions created by clinic participants. On the West Coast, Coe, Dr. Vernon, Clarke, Porter and Rich Fellers led to conversation, while the East Coast featured Minikus, Granato, Margie Engle and Anne Kursinski.

Both clinics are now featured on-demand via Horse & Country TV through livestream provider EQSportsNet. Current subscribers to EQSportsNet can use their same login credentials to receive access through Horse & Country TV. New subscribers can join for just $10 to watch all on-demand coverage from both events.

The Gold Star Clinics are the pinnacle of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which identifies Jumper riders who have the skill and desire to excel in the sport, while educating riders to become well-rounded horsemen on their path to excellence. Individual medalists from the 2019 USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships received the designation of Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders, regardless of age, and were invited, along with their coaches and parents, to attend one of these clinics. The top two riders from the 2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session were also invited to attend the Gold Star Clinic of their choice, as were a select number of Wild Card applicants.

The USHJA extends special thanks to Jenny Booth, The Otis Booth Foundation and the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association for supporting the Emerging Jumper Rider Program, as well as the entire Desert International Horse Park and Jim Brandon Equestrian Center teams for hosting the Gold Star Clinics. The USHJA also extends its gratitude to our official sponsors Charles Owen, CWD, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital for making these programs possible.

Team Competition - West

1. Gone With The Wind
• Alyce Bittar, Los Angeles, CA
• Leah Lively, Tualatin, OR
• Courtney Youell, Snohomish, WA
2. The Unicorns
• Riley Heath, Lake Oswego, OR
• Lauren Pleasance, Bend, OR
• Skyler Wireman, Bonsall, CA
3. Grey Gang
• Elisa Broz, Watsonville, CA
• Hannah Cowdrey, Camarillo, CA
• Kiley McCullough, San Tan Valley, AZ
4. Turn-N-Burn
• Betsy Checchia, Tucson, AZ
• Amanda Gomez, Norco, CA
• Alexis Mierzwa, Winchester, VA
5. Pro Stars
• Emmeline Adamick, San Francisco, CA
• Rachel Long, Horseshoe Bend, ID
• Erin Nichols, Yorba Linda, CA
6. Triple Threats
• Hanna Morris, Issaquah, WA
• Sydney Shelby, Santa Cruz, CA
• Carly Sweeney, Scottsdale, AZ
7. Solar Flares
• Grace Gallagher, Scottsdale, AZ
• Kayla Long, Horseshoe Bend, ID
• Lily Hackbarth, Scottsdale, AZ

Press release provided by the USHJA.

 
March 2020 - Memorable Moments with CDS
Written by photos: Power in Motion Media
Monday, 02 March 2020 18:43
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photos: Power in Motion Media

From Sacramento, the capital city of California, the California Dressage Society Annual Meeting & Symposium brought meetings and music to its members during the weekend of January 10-12. From the executive board meeting and welcome party on Friday; to the annual meeting, freestyle judging program lecture, and gala dinner and awards presentation on Saturday; to the musical freestyle symposium on Sunday, activity was nonstop. These photos capture a few memorable moments.

 


 

CDS Director Karen Nocket presented a replica of the $500 award check for the best chapter educational event to Kathy Ramirez of the Sacramento Valley Chapter, whose adult dressage camp was filled with great education, fun, friends, and horses.

Chapter “baskets” are a CDS tradition that has evolved over time from simple baskets filled with items that represented the locations of each chapter into creative collections that tempt the palates, the eyes, and the tack rooms of silent auction bidders. 60% of auction proceeds help fund CDS scholarships.

San Juan Capistrano Chapter 'basket' combined the themes of their local mission, the swallows that return to San Juan Capistrano every year, wine, and art. If you find that hard to swallow, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Posters highlighting CDS programs and donors – here, the Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competitions and the generous “Patrons of Dressage” – stood shoulder to shoulder with chapter baskets and silent auction donations from sponsors including Horse and Rider Books.

CDS Foothills Chapter Co-Chair Ana Gilmour and Nicole Wertz’s Grand Prix Friesian/Arabian cross mare Ellexus Knight demonstrated the first steps of starting an upper level freestyle described as ’light and cute with power.’ After their demo, they paused for a moment with CDS Director Michele Ng.

Christian Hartung rode Christiane Noelting’s Oldenburg gelding Desario to demonstrate an Intermediaire 1 Freestyle. FEI 5* and USEF ’S’ Dressage Judge Janet Foy commented ’elastic, powerful, and well ridden’ while freestyle choreographer Terri Ciotti Gallo added ’this is as good as it gets.’ Bravo!

Barbi Breen-Gurley and Vindicator, one of nine horses which Barbi has trained to Grand Prix level, demonstrated the Grand Prix Freestyle for which they were 2019 Reserve Champion for USDF Region 7. They rode to instrumental Michael Jackson music which the crowd clearly enjoyed.

Anne Howard and her late mother Sandy Howard’s Grand Prix horse Rondo rode to the rescue when a Second Level Freestyle demonstration was needed. While Anne knew why they were riding a second level floor plan, what did Rondo think about it? So far, he hasn’t revealed his thoughts.

 
February 2020 - Galway Downs Fundraising Clinic
Written by CRM
Saturday, 01 February 2020 19:31
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Eventing riders jumped on the chance to ride with Ian Stark and about 20 regional professionals Jan. 18-19 during Galway Downs’ 21st annual fundraising clinic in Temecula. Throughout the weekend, small groups of students and coaches roamed the cross-country track to refine their skills over segments of the track. Private dressage coaching was also available, and plenty of unmounted auditors picked up tips, too.

 


 

Junior rider Meg Pellegrini enjoys private dressage work with Ian Stark.

Galway Downs-based professional and popular teacher Nick Cwick.

Arizona-based young rider Jordan Crabo brings a young horse along under the direction of her mom, Barb Crabo.

Boldly going into one of Galway Downs' many interesting jump complexes.

Air to spare over the coffin jump.

Barb Crabo teaches by example with lovely form.

 
February 2020 - 2nd Annual Benefit Tack Sale for the Lakeside Equestrian Park
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 15 January 2020 05:42
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On March 14th Windsor Equestrian Center in Lakeside, CA will host the second annual East County Equestrian Foundation Benefit Sale 8am-2pm. The event last year raised over $3,000 with over 20 vendors in attendance with horse tack and many other treasures for shoppers to buy for bargain prices. Attendees and vendors alike gave the event rave reviews and encouraged ECEF to do another one this year.


This year’s event is bound to sell out of booth space and the board members encourage all to book their spots quickly. Booth space is 10x10 and they are available for a $35 donation to ECEF. Book right away and ECEF will help promote the vendor’s items on their website, FB and Instagram platforms. All vendors must be approved prior to booking space.

On hand to help with the fundraising for the Lakeside Equestrian Park that breaks ground this year, are board member Don Bright and members of the Lakeside Optimist to cook up a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day lunch for a $10 donation.

Great bargains were on hand like this beautiful saddle this lucky shopper scored.

The Lakeside Rodeo Queens were on hand to help out the East County Equestrian Foundation at their 2019 Tack Sale.


ECEF was formed in 2012 and the non-profit organization has been working with the San Diego County Parks to come up with a nicely designed facility to host horse events and more. The covered arena on the 14-acre parcel at Willow and Morena will be the jewel of the park. A large community building will also be a feature that will benefit San Diego’s East County for many types of events.  Not only horse shows, dog shows, farmer’s markets and many other community activities can be held at this new venue that will promote equestrian and agricultural events that represents the rural nature the area is known for.

Windsor Equestrian Center is generously hosting the Mar. 14th Benefit Sale located at Highway 67 and Willow in Lakeside.

Still time to get a brick in the Lakeside Equestrian Park that breaks ground this year and projected to open in 2021.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors funded the $4.5m park and they have approved to have the project sent out for bid.  Ground breaking is planned for 2020 and opening is projected for 2021. The East County Equestrian Foundation 501c3 has been fundraising to raise money and awareness to help promote and operate the park and has so far raised nearly $88,000. They encourage everyone to visit their website to get the details about the Benefit Tack Sale, join the East County Equestrian Foundation for only $10 year, and or learn more about the coming Lakeside Equestrian Park.

ECEF hopes equestrians come out and support our fundraising event. Great bargains, free to attend and a yummy St. Patrick’s Day midday feast for only $10 will make for a fun event for all. www.LakesideEquestrianPark.com or call Cheryl: 858-967-5765.

 

 
December 2019 - So You’re A Horse Owner in Fire Country
Written by by Alice Chan
Sunday, 01 December 2019 09:16
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If fires are the “new normal,” horse savvy preparation must be part of that new reality.

by Alice Chan

Living in California—especially in the north or south—it’s hard to deny that we have an established pattern of wildfires that make it scary to own a horse in the late Fall. Many of us have now experienced two or three years in a row, faced with the prospect of evacuation, or worse: having to open gates to give your horse the best chance of survival, and run, with fire at your heels.
So, what’s a responsible equestrian to do? How can you best prepare yourself and your horse for this seemingly annual occurrence? Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way both from owning horses in fire danger areas, and also from helping to care for evacuated horses at Petaluma and Santa Rosa Fairgrounds in Sonoma County.


1. Have a disaster plan
Does your barn have an evacuation plan? If so, ask for a copy and if not, ask the barn owners to create one and share it widely. Do you have all your horse’s papers in one place, readily on hand? Do you have good, clear photos of your horse and any distinguishing markings? Consider creating a laminated card with your contact information, a photo of your horse and your vet’s phone number, to hang on a stall at an evacuation center.

2. Make sure your horse will load in a trailer easily
Trailer loading is a basic but crucial skill for you and your horse to have. When crunch-time comes, you may not have 30-40 minutes to load a scared horse, so use the rainy season to practice loading until it’s second nature for both of you.

Author Alice Chan at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds in 2017

3. Make sure your horse is microchipped
You’ve no doubt seen harrowing Facebook posts from owners looking for their horses in the aftermath of a fire, or rescuers trying to find owners. Ensuring your horse is microchipped and the registered owner and address on file is up-to-date, will give you some peace of mind and make it easier to reunite you with your horse should the worst case scenario occur.

4. Weave an I.C.E. tag into the mane
As disasters become more prevalent, there are some neat gadgets that have come onto the market to help ensure your horse is readily identifiable In Case of Emergency (ICE). I particularly like the I.C.E. ManeStay Equine Emergency ID tag which can be clipped into a braid in the horse’s mane. I bought mine from ValleyVet.com. For me, this is preferable to leaving on a halter which can easily get caught on something and cause an accident.

Benjamin Heckman volunteering at Santa Rosa Fairgrounds in 2017

5. Keep your vaccinations up-to-date
During my time volunteering at the fairgrounds, I’ve seen a lot of horses that are usually kept at home and don’t go out and about. Keeping up-to-date on vaccinations will protect your horse in the event that it does have to be housed at an evacuation center in close quarters with other equines.

6. In the worst case scenario
If you find yourself in the awful position of not having the time to haul your horse to a safe place, and you can do this without endangering yourself, make sure you open your horse’s stall door or paddock gate to give him or her the best chance of survival. They will, amazingly often, find the one spot the fire doesn’t burn if they are free to run. Never ever padlock the door or gate. There have been tragic outcomes for horses that were locked in their living quarters and no one on site had the key.
We are all fervently hoping these crazy fires are not the new normal, but either way, being prepared for the worst is definitely a good idea.

Author Alice Chan is based in Northern California. When she’s not riding or being a show mom to her son Benjamin, an accomplished young eventer, she continues her work as the founder of the Flock Marketing Collective.

 

 
December 2019 - Double Time
Written by CRM
Sunday, 01 December 2019 09:06
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Back-To-Back World Cup Jumping wins for Adrienne Sternlicht.

Despite recording a World Cup victory just a week prior in Thermal, Adrienne Sternlicht and Bennys Legacy came to Las Vegas’ South Point Arena with some unanswered questions. The duo had never before competed indoors, but the smaller venue proved no problem for them, as they recorded a second straight World Cup™ victory.

 


They topped the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas via a two-horse jump-off and were the only double-clear performers on the evening, crossing the timers of Leopoldo Palacios’ shortened course in 37.68 seconds. Andrew Ramsay and Stranger were faster, but a rail put them in second; they finished on 4 faults in 35.90 seconds. In a unique result, Sarah Segal and Uma O’Neill finished in adjoint third, as both riders recorded a single time fault in the first round with identical times of 73.39 seconds.

The class took place Nov. 16 as the marquee event of the Las Vegas National Horse Show, organized by Blenheim EquiSports.

“Tonight, I mainly learned that he was super indoors,” Sternlicht said of her still-new mount, having only debuted with the 11-year-old gelding in September. “I really had no idea how he would be! In some ways, I found him easier to ride inside. He’s a horse that goes exactly the way I like to ride: strong and aggressive. I like to help and support the horse, and he leans on me as a rider in that capacity.”

Knowing there were just two clear rounds and having to return first in the jump-off, Sternlicht approached the shortened course with a nothing-to-lose mentality while being wary of the quick challenge that followed her.

“I think Andrew has the fastest horse in the class, probably the fastest horse in FEI this week,” Sternlicht said. “I knew that if I didn’t stick to my plan, it might be costly. I think my jump-off round showed the quality of my horse. I think, personally, there are a few things I want to work on, but I couldn’t be happier with the way he jumped, and I’m happy that I stuck to my plan.”

The win moved Sternlicht into third in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 46 points. Brian Moggre leads those standings with 56 points, while Beezie Madden is second with 49 points. The top six from these standings at the end of the 2019/2020 season will advance to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which will also take place in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center in April.

“World Cup Finals are 100 percent on my radar,” Sternlicht said. “I am planning already. [My trainer McLain Ward] is a big planner, and we had a meeting and planned out my schedule for the next five months. I plan on being here and look forward to coming back!”

On the West Coast, Karl Cook maintains his lead in the standings with 49 points, followed by Ashlee Bond, who represents Israel, with 39 points and Will Simpson with 34 points.

The North American League continues in Guadalajara, Mexico, on January 25 of 2020.

Article provided by Blenheim EquiSports, organizer of the Las Vegas National Horse Show.

 
December 2019 - Adrienne Sternlicht Tops Thermal World Cup
Written by text and photos by Kim F. Miller
Sunday, 01 December 2019 08:26
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Nice touches from new owners at National Sunshine Series II in the desert.

text and photos by Kim F. Miller

After a two-hour drive out to the Desert International Horse Park, I was greeted with a complimentary water bottle at the spectator in-gate, then by a completely re-done women’s restroom, clean and thoughtful down to a sink-side tray with ponytail elastics and bobby pins.

 


Although the new Steve Hankin-led ownership and management group had only owned the venue formerly known as HITS Thermal for three months, it was instantly clear they meant business. Throughout my one Saturday, Nov. 9, at the National Sunshine Series II, compliments arose about the all-important footing and other amenities. As a fan and reporter, I was impressed by what is now a venue and series of shows owned and managed by local horse people and exhibitors.

 

East Coast-based Adrienne Sternlicht and Benny’s Legacy topped the 40-horse field in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ class. A student of McLain Ward’s and a member of the U.S.’ gold-winning World Equestrian Games team in 2018, 26-year-old Adrienne went last in a five-horse jump-off over Alan Wade’s track. Overcoming a case of “four-fault-itis,” she was clean and trusted the horse’s big stride to leave one out in two lines for the fastest time among three who were also clear in that round.

San Diego-based Keri Potter added another impressive finish to Ariell La Sirene’s resume for second. Hailing from Virginia, Adam Prudent and Baloutinue were fault-free, but, riding first in the jump-off, about two seconds slower than the winners for third place.

Longtime California-based favorite Jenni McAllister now lives in Santa Fe. She enjoyed a successful “homecoming” with Escada VS for fourth place. Canada’s Ben Asselin and Veyron were fifth.

With the 2020 World Cup Finals returning to Las Vegas, the quest to qualify is more intense than usual. Adrienne’s finish vaulted her to #3 in the East sub-league, and Keri’s finish put her into the #3 spot in the West.

Many of the Thermal contenders were headed to the following weekend’s Las Vegas National, where the Nov. 16 qualifier would likely mix up those standings.

The schedule was jam-packed with special classes and finals, but I focused on one I hadn’t seen before: the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals. After two jumping and one flat round, the field of 28 was whittled to four pairs for a “bracket” style work-off modeled on the collegiate format: #1 and #4 and #2 and #3-ranked riders rode a shortened course on the same unfamiliar horse, then the top two of that round faced off on the same, again unfamiliar, horse.

Elisa Broz topped the standings going into and out of the work-off, followed by Devyn Stringfellow, Hannah Rohrback and Ireland Fravel in this interesting introduction to varsity collegiate competition. It was a super weekend for 16-year-old Elisa: She also won the USHJA’s 1.2-1.25M Junior Jumper Championships, one of several divisions of Zone Jumper Championships held during the Sunshine Series.

For complete results, visit www.deserthorsepark.com.

 

Winners Adrienne Sternlicht & Benny’s Legacy.

Elisa Broz won the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals.

Devyn Stringfellow was 2nd in the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals.

Adam Prudent & Baloutinue were third.

Jenni McAllister & Escada VS were fourth.

Canadians Ben Asselin & Veyron were fifth.

Ashlee Bond & Boheme De Fleyres were 9th, helping Ashlee into the #2 spot in the FEI Longines World Cup West sub-league and following her win in Del Mar in October.

Ringside misters were a nice touch on a 90-degree November day.

Pre-Grand Prix leadline cuteness.

 
November 2019 - Show Report: Woodside International Horse Trials
Written by article & photos by Kim F. Miller
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:07
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Bouscaren, Smith-Cook and Braitling top International divisions.

article & photos by Kim F. Miller

Ebay had a nice pre-wedding gift for his owner Helen Bouscaren. It took the form of what the bride-to-be described as a “very brave” run over Ian Stark’s CCI4*-S course at the Woodside International Horse Trials, held Oct. 4-6 at The Horse Park at Woodside.


They led the small but strong 4* field by a slim margin after Saturday’s dressage and show jumping, then stayed atop after 8.40 time penalties on cross-country. A partner with her fiancée James Alliston in Alliston Eventing, Helen did her part, too. “I was very determined to ride him aggressively, and to ride him to the base of the jumps, which is how he feels confident.”

Helen and James have their wedding set for Nov. 3, at Galway Downs in Temecula, right after they finish their show jumping rounds in the Galway Downs International Horse Trials.
Helen and the big-looking, but only 15.3hh white Oldenburg gelding were second after dressage with a 31.70. Even with a heartbreaker final fence rail and a few time faults in stadium, they stayed there going into cross-country. “My main goal was to jump clean and have him confident,” she said, so she wasn’t pressing the gas pedal too hard.

Alliston Eventing crew.

Helen and James base their business about 45 minutes from Woodside, but they felt a bit of a home field advantage with a crew of students and Woodside Pony Club members assisting through the weekend. The Alliston posse hauls over to school at the South San Francisco Bay Horse Park at Woodside regularly, which Helen says can be a mixed blessing come show time. “It’s great for cross-country, but it can be tough for dressage because when the horses unload here, they think they’re going out on cross-country so it can be a little hard to settle them here.”

“Ebay loves to perform,” Helen continued of the 10-year-old she’s had for three years. “He has so much energy, he could go around 20 times and be fine. He loves the atmosphere here and always jumps really well.”

The time penalties that resulted from Helen prioritizing a clean, confident round put the win on pins and needles as Amber Levine on her second ride, Cinzano, a Holsteiner, headed out last after two others retired on course. The 8-year-old’s run-out at the coffin fence put paid to their victory hopes, but Amber and her veteran Carry On, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood, wound up a close second on a 45.20. Canada’s Leah Breakey and Master Class were third.

The Alliston Eventing students and Woodside Pony Club helpers came in handy on Saturday night as Helen was loaded with trophies. She received the Founder’s Cup, given in honor of Robert E. Smith, whose ideas were instrumental in the Combined Training Equestrian Team Alliance from which The Horse Park at Woodside was born. Helen also took home the Fric Frac Berence Heart Trophy, donated by 5* rider Frankie Thieriot-Stutes in honor of her retired eventer.

Helen Bouscaren & Ebay.

Kaylawna Smith-Cook & Passepartout Win the CCI3*-S

Pan Am Team gold medalist Tamie Smith was full of advice as her daughter Kaylawna Smith-Cook warmed up for the 3*-S cross-country, in which she and her mount of seven months sat second. “My mom asked me, ‘What do you need from me?’,” Kaylawna relayed. “I said, ‘I need you to go to the airport and not miss your plane for Boekelo!’” So, off went Tamie to represent the United States Equestrian Team in the Nations Cup there, leaving her daughter to fend for herself.

Kaylawna, a young professional, did so rather nicely.

Passepartout came Kaylawna’s way in March, as a sale prospect, but mother and daughter fell in love with the 10-year-old German Sporthorse and he never made it out of the Temecula, California stable where both base their training businesses. “I didn’t come to this event thinking we would win,” Kaylawna noted. “He gave me his all in every phase.” They earned a 32 in dressage from international judges Richard Baldwin and Gretchen Butts to sit fourth; were one of very few to jump double clear in stadium, and only added four penalties on cross-country.

Amateur Asia Vedder and Isi had a big lead going into cross-country, but a pilot error: jumping the 4* hanging log instead of the 3* duck coming out of the North Water Complex led to technical elimination. “He was so good out there and really deserved the win,” Asia said of her German Thoroughbred. She’d lost a little time earlier on course, along with focus on the right water complex exit, while trying to make it up. They were able to complete the course and Asia was otherwise thrilled with the 9-year-old’s performance. Their next outing is the Galway Downs International 3*-L.

Typical of the 3* level, most finishers had cross-country time faults, but Erin Kellerhouse and her Irish Sporthorse Woodford Reserve nabbed a #2 finish by having the fewest at 3.20. Woodside veteran James Alliston and the handsome Paint Trakehner stallion, Cassio’s Picasso KD, finished third on a 39.80.

Kaylawna Smith & Passerpartout.

Bec Braitling & Dassett Ricochet Stick Their 2* Standing

Riding for Arnell Sporthorses, Bec Braitling had a busy weekend highlighted by a fault-free trip over the 2* cross-country designed by Stark and Bert Wood. Her partner is the fast-rising star, 7-year-old Dassett Ricochet. Since splashing on the scene a year ago as winner of the Galway Downs Training Three Day, the Swedish Warmblood has steadily ascended with confidence and scope to spare.

“When I first tried him, I thought he would be a good amateur horse because he’s very relaxed: very chill,” Bec recalled. “There’s actually more in there than we thought. He’s chill but he uses the excitement to be really good.” The careful youngster is a reliable stadium jumper equally at ease out of the ring. “He looks carefully at everything, whether it’s scary or not. Then he lands and wants to run on. He can be pretty quick.”

Arnell partner, amateur rider Lauren Burnell, was fourth in the 2* with Freedom Hill, and Bec rode Arnell’s Penhill Celtic to a solid middle-of-the-pack finish in the same division. The native Australian rode the sporthorse sourcing company’s Caravaggio II to fifth in the the 3*. He’s just 8 and is another quickly moving up the levels. Being based at Central California eventing venue, Twin Rivers Ranch, Bec is able to “do the right homework” to enable all horses “to really come out and compete.”

Fifteen-year-old rider Meg Pellegrini continued a remarkable two years with her reserve finish aboard the Thoroughbred RF Eloquence, and a fifth aboard her Connemara/TB pony Ganymede. Lauren Billys and her rising youngster Can Be Sweet, a 7-year-old German sporthorse, held their third-place position after stadium with a fault-free cross-country.

Bec Braitling & Dassett Ricochet.

Stephanie Goodman & Caroline Morning Top Intermediate

Professional Stephanie Goodman regularly treks from Idaho to Woodside and other California venues, but today’s Open Intermediate victory with her own Carolina Morning made the long haul especially worthwhile. She and the 8-year-old Thoroughbred finished on their 33.60 dressage score from judge Gretchen Butts.

The Boise, Idaho-based trainer wasn’t sure of the horse’s jumping potential when he came from the track as a 4-year-old. As a 5-year-old, he eschewed anything resembling a ditch or bank and, as the trainer’s personal horse, “he spends a lot of time not being ridden.” Nonetheless, he keeps rising to each upward challenge, including this weekend in his third Intermediate outing.

Dressage has been a particular challenge. “He’s a very confident horse and he doesn’t like being told what to do,” Stephanie said. “And there’s really a lot in the Intermediate B test.” Yet, he’s also obedient and has a huge heart that’s helped him tackle each new challenge and Stephanie’s patient, one-step-at-a-time has served the pair well. “I just hope he keeps getting stronger and better,” she noted.

The overnight standings after Saturday’s cross-country held in this division. Marissa Nielsen and Vinetta M incurred only 2.40 time penalties over Marc Donovan’s stadium jumping track to stay in second. She and the 10-year-old Hanoverian were clear over Bert Wood’s cross-country on Saturday. Right behind them in third were Kelly Pugh and Ringwood Trendsetter, an 8-year-old Irish Sporthorse.

David Adamo & Solaguayre California.

Adamo & Lilley Win the Preliminaries

With over 40 Preliminary entries, the division was split in two, with familiar faces –horses and riders – emerging the winners. Bay Area professional David Adamo had three horses entered and rode each to top five finishes. The best among those was A group winner Solaguayre California, the 8-year-old Argentinian sporthorse with whom Adamo won the inaugural Modified Training Horse Challenge at the same venue, The Horse Park at Woodside, in August.

“When I heard about that new division, I thought it would be great preparation for Preliminary,” Adamo explained. Apparently Solaguayre California agreed, finishing on her 24.60 dressage score earned Friday from judge Vicki Matisi. They cruised on to make the time over Bert Wood’s cross-country route without pushing the pace. This being the young mare’s first try at the level, Adamo was pleasantly surprised to breeze across the finish line under the time. Show jumping has been the horse’s strength from the get-go, so Adamo was happy but not surprised to get the clear needed to maintain the top spot.

Adamo was fifth in the A group with another Modified Training Challenge star, Dos Lunas Filipo, the Argentinian gelding with whom he finished third in the August competition. The Modified Training Challenge was developed by veteran event organizer Robert Kellerhouse to be a suitable stepping stone for the big move from Training to Preliminary. Adamo’s results with both horses validate its value in a young horse’s development.

Argentina has become a favorite sporthorse source for Adamo. Solaguayre California and Dos Lunas Filipo epitomize the country’s bold and talented bloodlines, and the trainer loves the range of experiences to which these horses have typically been exposed when they come up for sale.

In the Preliminary B group, Adamo finished third aboard Fred. The 10-year-old is a Holsteiner, not Argentine-bred, but the trainer loves his potential, too. Fred was purchased for an amateur client a few years back and Adamo is enjoying bringing out his potential.

Rounding out the A group top three, Josh Barnacle and Happiness Is were second as the 11-year-old Hosteiner finished fault free on their 27.20 dressage score. Shannon Lilley and Carrigdhoun Cool Lad held their overnight third spot to finish on a 31.10 for the 7-year-old Irish Sporthorse.

Organizer Robert Kellerhouse, with wife & competitor Erin Kellerhouse, with Ian Stark on their horse Eli.

Lilley Looks Ahead

Shannon Lilley has only had Ideal HX for one month but her high hopes for the 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood are already being realized with their victory in the Preliminary B group. Shannon owns the horse with her father, Alex Lilley. The last horse they partnered in was Ballingowan Pizzaz, Shannon’s partner in a 2011 Pan Am gold medal. Like Pizzaz, Ideal also got the nod from coach Dayna Lynd-Pugh. “So, we hope this guy might be just as good!” Lilley said of the horse sourced through Caroline Martin Eventing.

“He’s still learning connection for dressage,” she said, which was not evident in the 25.20 score from judge Vicki Matisi on Friday. That and a clear cross-country effort had them in third coming into Sunday stadium, when a double clear trip elevated them two first after the two pairs above had a rail.

“He has a big rangy canter and he’s game on cross-country,” explained Shannon, who is also president of the Eventing Riders Association of North America. And, he’s fun to campaign and to be in the barn with. “He has the most personality of any horse I’ve ever owned. He is totally in your pocket all the time and very sweet.”

The overnight leaders were junior rider Jordan Crabo and the 17-year-old German Riding Pony, Black Gold. The bold pair had a show jumping rail to bring their dressage score to a 28.60 for second. Adamo and Fred’s rail took them from second to third.

Kelly and Shannon James, designers of the center court graveyard in the Grand Prix arena.

Prizes & Praise

Along with beautiful ribbons and prize money, top finishers received generous prizes from Professional’s Choice, Marcus Greene Outdoor Photography, Auburn Labs and Ride On Video. Woodside organizers and competitors are grateful to long time sponsors Devoucoux, Parker Equine Insurance and Auburn Labs.

International division course designer Ian Stark, of Great Britain, enjoyed his latest visit to California. “Over the many years I’ve been coming to America, I’ve really seen the quality of horses and riding improve. Noting the relatively small 4* field, he stressed that lower entry numbers don’t equal lower course demands. “We’ve got standards to adhere to and, if we soften them, those horses and riders qualify for the next level and have troubles. Instead, they have to come up and meet the level.”

Organizers including Woodside’s Robert Kellerhouse, Rebecca Farm’ Broussard family and others on the West Coast have been instrumental in improving the level of the sport, he added.

Stark looks forward to his next California visit, serving as the star attraction for the Galway Downs fundraising clinic in January of 2020, a long-standing West Coast eventing tradition.

 
November 2019 - Rising To The Challenge
Written by by Emily Randolph/Jump Media • photos by Jump Media and Shawn McMillen Photography
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:56
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Californians make their presence known at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.

by Emily Randolph/Jump Media • photos by Jump Media and Shawn McMillen Photography

At this year’s Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD, three of the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Challenge class winners, the Adult Amateur Equitation Championships winner, and the Grand Pony, Grand Junior, and Large Junior Hunter 3’6” Champions, as well as other top finishers, all had at least one thing in common: they all call California home.


It’s a frequent connecting theme among many years’ winners at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, with dozens of Californians making the cross-country trip each year to stake their claim to wins among the top hunter and equitation horses and riders in the country. This year, of the 736 riders competing at Capital Challenge, held September 27 through October 6, 74 of them hailed from California, making California the second-most represented state behind only New York with 85 riders competing.

Here’s a look at a few of this year’s California-based winners.

Jacqueline Attwood-Dupont of Los Angeles, CA, and Shannon Davidson of Rancho Mission Viejo, CA, high five after finishing first and second, respectively, in the North American Adult Equitation Championships. Photo: Jump Media

Emily Williams of Newhall, CA, rode Beach Boy to the Overall Grand Junior Hunter Championship. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography

The Grand Champion Pony Hunter title went home to Corona, CA, with Shiloh Roseboom and Heavenly Patch of Blue. Photo: Jump Media

The Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division championship went to Brooke Morin of Calabasas, CA, and For Fun. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography

In addition to winning the North American Adult Equitation Championships aboard Black Label, Jacqueline Attwood-Dupont topped the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Challenge riding Spotlight. Photo: Jump Media

Juliette Joseph of Del Mar, CA, and San Marco, owned by Ann Russo, won the $5,000 WCHR Junior Hunter 3’6” Challenge. Photo: Shawn McMillen Photography

The top honor in the $1,500 WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge went to Peyten Seltzer of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and her own Que Crème. Photo: Jump Media

 
May 2020 - Thieriot Stutes and Billys Top Twin Rivers’ Winter Horse Trials
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 23:58
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Hill, McEvoy and Burnell win Preliminary divisions in Central California.

It was almost 20 years ago that the Baxter family purchased 500 acres in the sleepy Central California Coast town of Paso Robles. Where others saw fallow farmland, they saw the potential for international equestrian competition. And it was international competitors, Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Tamra Smith, who led the Advanced division at the Feb. 28-March 1 Winter Horse Trials, staged by the Baxters and their Twin Rivers Ranch team.

 


The team has grown and the venue has transformed in those nearly 20 years, but the mission remains the same: providing a West Coast stage for the pursuit of equestrian dreams at all levels -- and doing so with a distinctly California accent of warm, welcome-to-the-family hospitality. When they’re not out doing the myriad tasks that make Twin Rivers a favorite West Coast eventing destination, owners Connie and Jeff Baxter can often be found behind the central gathering spot’s outdoor bar, serving friends new and old with a smile. Their daughter Andrea Baxter contributes in many ways while pursuing her 5* eventing career. At the Winter Horse Trials, she finished fourth on her feisty Thoroughbred mare, Indy 500, in the Advanced division.

 

Lauren Billys & Castle Larchfield Purdy. Photo: Sherry Stewart

Frankie Thieriot Stutes & Chatwin. Photo: Sherry Stewart

Three hundred-plus pairs, from throughout the region, filled five dressage courts on Friday. Over the weekend, they tackled Hugh Lochore and Marc Grandia’s upper and lower level cross-country courses and the challenging Jose Nava-designed show jumping routes. With show secretary Christina Gray of Gray Area Events at the logistical helm, the schedule ran smoothly and all horses and riders made it back to their barns or beds safely every day.

The overall outcome would have boded well for the Twin Rivers Spring International, which was set for April 10-12 and would have included an inaugural CCI4*-Long division. Unfortunately, that was one of many events to be affected by the coronavirus. At presstime, it was hoped the competition could be held in June.

Lauren Burnell & Freedom Hill. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Bruce Hill & Bossinova. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Tamra Smith and Ruth Bley’s En Vogue had two rails to maintain their second-place standing in the Advanced Division. Downing one rail and staying in their overnight position were Helen Bouscaren and Ebay. The original field of 13 was led by Smith and Mai Baum, whose 18.4 dressage test would have been tough to surmount. However, they’d withdrawn after dressage by prior plan in preparing for the Land Rover Kentucky, which was later cancelled.

US Equestrian Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander now spends a quarter of his time on the West Coast, coaching and monitoring team riders and those who may be contenders for it in the future. “It’s good to see how well they came out of last year and they are both stronger,” he said of Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin and Smith and Mai Baum.

Tamie Smith & En Vogue. Photo: Sherry Stewart

India McEvoy & Redbull. Photo: Kim F. Miller

It was an especially encouraging outing for Chatwin. After finishing an impressive fourth at the Luhmühlen 5* in Germany last June, Chatwin was sidelined most of the rest of 2019 with severe health issues stemming from a case of enteritis. For a long stretch, his survival was all the rider and the Chatwin Group cared about. “Just being here is spectacular,” said Thieriot-Stutes and winning is icing on the cake. The pair is on the US Developing Rider Training List.
Duvander also worked with West Coast members of US Equestrian’s Eventing 25 list, for their coach Leslie Law. These include Madison Temkin, Megan Sykes and Kaylawna Smith-Cook, all of whom held their own at Advanced: it was the first completion at the level for Sykes and Smith-Cook.

“It’s not just coaching,” Duvander said of his USET role when discussing the caliber of competition in the West. “Every time I come to Twin Rivers, I’m noticing the amount of work. They are constantly upping the game here.” The USET’s commitment to riders in the West coincides and to some extent has helped prompt coordinated efforts among riders, owners and organizers to raise the bar in all facets of competition. “In the past it was often said that you need to go East to make it, but it’s really important that riders be able to make it out here. Then, they can go back East and win. That should be the mindset.”
Intermediate

Megan Sykes & Classic’s Mojah. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Lauren Billys and her Rio Olympics partner Castle Larchfield Purdy planned to stay in the West in their prep for the 2020 Olympics, which now appear to be postponed until 2021. Phase one of Billys’ plan went perfectly with a wire-to-wire win at Intermediate. Nava’s roll-back and turning show jumping course enabled Billys to stay on plan with prioritizing efficient turns and accurate tracks to stay within the time. On Saturday’s cross-country, by new Twin Rivers upper level designer, Hugh Lochore, the pair picked up only .4 time penalty. They sealed the victory with double clear show jumping to finish on a 28.2.

Derek di Grazia and Ringwood Justice were also double clear with elegantly executed angles throughout the track. They moved up from fourth to second for a 33.5 finish. Eneya Jenkins and Lawtown Boy had two rails, to finish third with a 36.4.

Super hosts, Twin Rivers owners Connie and Jeff Baxter. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Preliminary

Fifteen-year-old Bruce Hill wasn’t pleased with himself, but had nothing but praise for his partner, Bossinova, in maintaining the lead in the Preliminary Jr/YR division with a clean show jumping effort: “He saved my butt!” There was no room for rails or time faults, and the Trinity Eventing student acknowledged he was a little nervous in the warm-up. “But my horse is awesome!” The pair assumed the lead after cross-country and finished on their dressage score of 28.5.
Haley Turner and Shadow Inspector were second on a 29.9 and Kathryn Canario and Kiltubrid Rhapsody finished on their dressage score, 30.9, to maintain third place.

In the Preliminary Rider division, Alliston Eventing student India McEvoy held the one and two spots with E’Zara and Redbull, respectively. The small animal veterinarian was thrilled with both horses’ performance. The 7 -year-old Red Bull had held the lead thanks to his lovely dressage test and 22 score, but show jumping is still a nerve-wracking venue for the Redwine youngster. Two rails Sunday forced him to hand the top spot to his more seasoned stablemate. E’Zara had a tougher time with dressage but was error free jumping, in and out of the ring, to take the win.

Madeleine Moore and Rogadina moved up steadily to finish third on a 41.6.

In the Open Preliminary, Lauren Burnell and Freedom Hill were unbeatable from their Friday 24.1 dressage score on through the weekend. Double-clear showjumping was easy, breezy, beautiful to the point that even their coach, Bec Braitling, couldn’t catch them. Braitling and Sunsprite Warmbloods’ Kirschblute 3, had a tiny time penalty, .4, in show jumping, dropping them to third, while James Alliston and Calaro went clean to finish second on a 26.7.

Volunteer Leslie van der Wal with the sponsor-donated prize pack. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Next Up

Riders weren’t the weekend’s only winners. Among the many volunteers needed to make the competition successful, Leslie van der Wal drew the winning raffle ticket for a generous prize pack donated by Twin Rivers sponsors. The Twin Rivers Ranch season is presented by Professional’s Choice and Auburn Labs. The Riding Warehouse and Best Western PLUS Black Oak are supporting sponsors. The volunteer grand prizes included a bottle of Auburn Labs’ APF, a Professional’s Choice tote bag, and a $50 Riding Warehouse certificate. The prize pack raffle represents phase-one of an incentive program to reward this important role in the sport.
    
For complete results, the latest schedule and other information visit www.twinrivershorsepark.com.

 
March 2020 - Collegiate Competition
Written by photos by Kim F. Miller
Monday, 02 March 2020 19:52
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IHSA competition showcases good horsemanship and good fun.

photos by Kim F. Miller

UC Berkeley’s Cal Equestrian hosted an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition for Zone 8, Region 1, the weekend of Feb. 1-2 at Iron Horse Equestrian Center in the East Bay Area’s Pleasanton.

The IHSA was formed by Bob Cacchione in 1967 to enable college students to continue or begin an equestrian experience in an affordable manner and to compete on a level playing field with other universities. Team members do not have to own their own horse: instead, participating schools provide the horses. Teams hosting competitions provide horses for all competitors and riders draw names from a hat to determine what horse they will ride.

 


IHSA now counts 40 regions with eight zones, with 400 member colleges in 45 states and Canada. Its approximately 10,000 members compete in Hunt Seat and Western divisions. The IHSA has more schools and riders on the East Coast where it started, but the West is rising in both regular season participation numbers and in performances by the teams and individuals who qualify for the Nationals in the spring.

 

In addition to Cal, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, Sonoma State, Santa Clara and Cal Poly fielded teams for the early February weekend. At a Stanford-hosted show the following weekend, Stanford secured its 15th consecutive regional championships and the 100th regular season victory for longtime coach Vanessa Bartsch.

Camaraderie within and between teams was evident when we visited the Cal Berkeley show. Good riding, good horsemanship and good fun were all in abundant evidence.

 

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Friendly competitors.

Isabel DeLano of UC SC

Sonoma State team.

Cal Poly teammates discuss a round.

The Horse Draw.

Stanford Equestrian coach Vanessa Bartsch confers with riders.

Cal Poly Equestrian team.

 
February 2020 - Bring On The Honors
Written by photos by Mike Keener & Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 01 February 2020 19:41
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California Professional Horsemen’s Association celebrates accomplishments and contributions.

photos by Mike Keener & Kim F. Miller

The California Professional Horsemen’s Association’s annual awards banquet was even more special than usual this year. Held in San Diego on Jan. 3, the evening drew one of the largest attendances in recent memory, thanks in part to 37 friends coming out to honor Mike Nielsen, the night’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Super slide shows, personalized presentations and acceptances speeches that were emotional and entertaining highlighted the evening. CPHA’s beautiful awards and a silent fundraising auction full of unique items and opportunities complimented the festivities.

 


The CPHA is a non-profit organization comprised of professional horsemen and other individuals who make at least 50 percent of their income from equestrian related activities.  The CPHA is committed to providing educational, developmental and other beneficial programs supporting its professional members. It strives to foster amateur equestrian sports and improve show participation and the show horse’s well-being.

 

The CPHA Foundation is a benevolent association serving professional horsemen in need. The Foundation also provides scholarships and educational opportunities.

The 2020 awards gathering was held concurrent with the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association’s annual meeting and awards banquet, which took place Saturday, Jan. 4. During his acceptance speech, Mike Nielsen described the CPHA and PCHA as the strongest and most successful regional horsemens’ associations he’s come across in travel throughout the U.S. as a USEF judge and course designer. Similarly, Hall of Fame inductee DiAnn Langer expressed confidence in members’ ability to rise to the many challenges faced by equestrian sport today.

 

CPHA president Jeni Brown and her husband, Mike Keener, the association’s much-appreciated photographer.

Elvenstar amateur rider Abby Steller receives the Dan Abbey Sportsmanship Award, with her father Tully Friedman and wife Elise by her side.

Avery Glynn accepts a Special Achievement Award, presented by her father Ned Glynn of Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma.

Beverly Jovais brought her family to celebrate her Horseman of the Year honor. She is head trainer of Chestnut Hill, LLC, in Petaluma.

DiAnn Langer was inducted into the CPHA Hall of Fame. She’s pictured here with presenter, her daughter and international rider Kirstin Coe, and the CPHA’s executive director Ruth Frazier. The nomination criteria states the nominee must be “retired or less active” as a professional. That’s a bit of a stretch for DiAnn, the long-time Californian who is the USEF Youth Chef d’equipe and maintains a horse farm in South Carolina.

Emma Pacyna receives the Junior Horsemanship Award, with her trainer and sponsor Georgy Maskrey-Segesman of Whitethorne Ranch.

Emma Reichow receives the Junior Achievement Award from presenter Kathy Hobstetter. The top young jumper rider trains with Harley and Olivia Brown.

The CPHA Foundation Equitation Hi Point Award Winners: From left, Skylar Wireman and her mom and trainer, Shayne Wireman; Naomi Wegner and her coach Nancy Frost; and Kassy Perry and trainer Kelly Van Vleck.

Kaitlyn Lovingfoss received one of two Junior Achievement Awards. She’s pictured here with her Elvenstar family, from left, Becky Abeita, Jim Hagman, Javi Abad and Kay Altheuser.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mike Nielsen had trouble fitting all his Windsong Farm friends onto the stage. Along with his wife of 36 years, Sherrie, four tables of students from Tracy Burroughs’ Huntington Beach program came out to celebrate.

Nick Haness accepts a Special Achievement honor, presented by his mom Shawna Dakides.

 
February 2020 - EquestFest
Written by photos & text by Kim F Miller
Saturday, 01 February 2020 18:48
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Horse power revs up The Power Of Hope theme.

photos & text by Kim F Miller

The 30th Annual EquestFest drew another sold out crowd to see the horses and riders set to ride in the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade. Held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and presented by Wells Fargo, EquestFest featured an exhibition of equestrian parade groups, highlighting their backgrounds and missions, plus time to interact with the horses and their people afterwards.


This year’s theme was The Power Of Hope and there was plenty of that on display Sunday, Dec. 29. Horse and human paraders came from near and far to share their stories and celebrate the equestrian lifestyle, many taking several days out of their normal life to be part of EquestFest and the Rose Parade. As always, it was a super fun day that made watching the parade even more fun and interesting for us horse-crazy fans.

The Arabian Horse Association demonstrated the breed’s famous versatility, with horses and riders outfitted for hunt seat, western, costume and mounted patrol work.

The demo also showcased their suitability as 'Warrior Horses,' an organization that uses Arabians to help kids cope with cancer, as it did for its founder Ryan Melendez.(www.warriorhorses.org)

The Blue Shadows Drill Team wowed the crowd with fast-paced, intricate maneuvers. Based at the Hansen Dam Horse Park, this group emphasizes responsibility and leadership and enables all to be involved with horses because riders don’t need to own their own horse.

The beloved Budweiser Clydesdales from St. Louis demonstrate a docking maneuver.

The Express Clydesdales from Oklahoma

The Los Hermaños Banuelos charro team are long-time Rose Parade participants.

The Mid American Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team traveled from Michigan to perform and parade.

Victoria Nodiff-Netanel’s Mini Therapy Horse program in Calabasas is well-known for bringing The Power Of Hope to those most in need of it.

The Painted Ladies Rodeo Performers hail from Roseville, California.

The Scripps Miramar Ranch Saddlebreds are always a spectacular sight and it was exciting to learn that the Ranch’s guiding light, Michele Macfarlane, is nominated for yet another award: this time the United States Equestrian Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Longtime Saddlebred advocate and TV star Carson Kressley served as a fun special guest throughout the EquestFest exhibition, especially as part of the Scripps Miramar demonstration. He, too, was nominated for a major USEF Award: The Pegasus Medal of Honor.

Spirit of the West Riders demonstrated saber handling, six-gun shooting and other Rough Rider skills.

U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard on Bureau Of Land Management Mustangs opened up the EquestFest exhibition.

US Army 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment.

The Power of Hope was the theme of EquestFest presented by Wells Fargo.

 

 

 
January 2020 - Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association Awards Banquet
Written by photos: Liz Corkett/Equine Clicks Photography
Tuesday, 31 December 2019 23:29
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photos: Liz Corkett/Equine Clicks Photography

LAHJA members wrapped up the season with their annual awards banquet at the Pickwick Gardens on Sunday, December 15. Congratulations to everyone! Here are a few photo highlights from the banquet. Visit www.lahja.org for complete year-end standings and to learn more about LAHJA.

 


 

 

Toni Anderson – Overall Winner, 2019 LAHJA Horsemastership Scholarship

Cordelia Edwards – 2019 Dorothy Groth Sportsmanship  Award

Georgia Rose Bass – Overall Champion, Pony Rider, Champion, Small & Medium Pony Hunters, Champion, Children’s Pony Hunters, Champion, Pony Equitation sponsored by Foxfield and Pony Medal Class High Score Award

Lisa Winn –2019 President’s Award

Victoria Simonds–Overall Champion, A 17 and Under, Champion, A Equitation, 14 and Under – Sponsored by Shadowbrook Stables, Champion, A Junior Hunters-3 foot 3 inches

Claire Sears –  Overall Champion, A 18 and Over, Champion, A Adult Amateur Hunters, 18 and Over

Rosemary Bilson–Overall Champion, B 11 and Under, Champion Mary Jane Watson Medal Final, Champion B Equitation, 11 & Under, Champion B Children’s Hunters, 11 & Under

 
December 2019 - Show Report: AON/USHJA National Championships Highlights
Written by CRM
Sunday, 01 December 2019 09:10
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Augusta Iwasaki, Elise Broz, Skylar Wireman & Ashley Young among many Californians to clean up at Las Vegas National Championships. 

Featuring competition from 14 USHJA Affiliate Organizations across nine different states, the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’ and 2’6” Championships wrapped up Friday, Nov. 15 at the AON/USHJA National Championships in Las Vegas. The USEF/USHJA National Jumper Championships also concluded with the 1.10m Children’s and Adult Amateur, 1.20m Junior and Amateur, and 1.30m Junior/Amateur Divisions. Juniors and Amateurs capped off an exciting day of competition with the $25,000 Junior/Amateur National Hunter Derby.


USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’ Championship
Ashley Young, 15, of Clovis, California, captured the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’ Championship aboard Racketeer, owned by Katie Flannigan. Young, riding for USHJA Affiliate the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, had top finishes in all four of the Affiliate Hunter 2’ classes including a win over fences. Taking home the Reserve Championship aboard Stanley Cup was Ellen Brown, of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, riding for USHJA Affiliate organization the Oregon Hunter Jumper Association.

USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’6” Championship
Winning three of the four USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’6” classes and the title of Champion was Joann Niffenegger, of Corona, California, representing USHJA Affiliate the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association. Niffenegger, riding her own Notorious, also received the USHJA 2’6” Affiliate Championship Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by the USHJA Executive Director.
After earning Champion in the 2’ division, Flannigan’s Racketeer returned to the 2’6” division with rider Rachel Lancaster, of Reedly, California, to capture the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’6” Reserve Championship. Lancaster represents USHJA Affiliate organization the Orange County Hunter Jumper Association.

Capping off a stellar two weeks, Skylar Wireman captured the USEF/USHJA 1.30m Junior/Amateur Jumper National Championship. Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA

USEF/USHJA 1.10m Children’s Jumper Championship
Portya Muenke, of Boulder, Colorado, and her own Eurohill’s Alcatraz claimed the USEF/USHJA 1.10m Children’s Jumper Championship title, as well as the division’s Leading Owner title and placed first in the $10,000 division Grand Prix. As such, her trainer, Mark Mead, earned the Leading Trainer title. The Reserve Championship went to Annabella Harold, of Mundelein, Illinois, riding her own Upsilos Vida.

USEF/USHJA 1.10m Adult Amateur Jumper Championship
Riding to the top of the 1.10m Adult Amateur Jumper Championship was Catherine Brock, of Innsbrook, Missouri, on her own Bullit. Brock, trained by Kris Cheyne, also took home the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Grand Prix and the Leading Owner title, while Cheyne as her trainer earned the Leading Trainer title. Brenna McGovern, of San Luis Obispo, California, claimed the Reserve on her own Grey Goose.

USEF/USHJA 1.20m Junior Jumper Championship
After much success in hunter, jumper and equitation divisions in last year’s inaugural Championship, Elisa Broz, of Freedom, California, returned to Las Vegas and claimed the 1.20m Junior Jumper Championship aboard Constance Broz’s Colorado. Ava K. Myers, of San Antonio, Texas, rode to the Reserve Championship title and the win in the $10,000 Grand Prix.
Constance Broz was awarded the Leading Owner title, as owner of Colorado, and Cassie Belmont earned the Leading Trainer title as Broz’s trainer.

USEF/USHJA 1.20m Amateur Jumper Championship
Traveling from Arlington, Washington, Olivia Hernandez and her own Parees Horsenaes earned top honors in the 1.20m Junior division, earning the division Championship and first place in the $10,000 Grand Prix. She also earned the Leading Owner title and her trainer, Vinton Karrasch, earned the Leading Trainer title. Jayme Omand, of Sacramento, California, rode her own Zador to a Reserve Championship finish.

Augusta Iwasaki & Iwasaki & Reilly’s Illusion. Photo: Tricia Booker/USHJA

USEF/USHJA 1.30m Junior/Amateur Jumper Championship
Fresh off a second-place finish at the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session at the University of Findlay (Ohio) last week, Skylar Wireman, of Bonsall, California, continued her success on the West Coast earning the Champion title of the 1.30m Junior/Amateur Jumper division. Her trainer, Lisa Halterman, earned the Leading Trainer title while Shayne Wireman earned the Leading Owner title as owner of Wireman’s mount, Avalon.
After a first-place finish in the $10,000 Grand Prix, Trent McGee, of Granada Hills, California, piloted his own Boucherom to the Reserve Championship title.

$25,000 Junior/Amateur USHJA National Hunter Derby
Juniors and Amateurs took the spotlight Friday evening in the $25,000 Junior/Amateur USHJA National Hunter Derby in the South Point Arena. Taking home top honors was Augusta Iwasaki, of Calabasas, California, whose consistent scores of 89 in the Classic Hunter round and 89 in the Handy round secured her win aboard Iwasaki & Reilly’s Illusion. Hot on her heels heels was Ariana Marnell, of Las Vegas, Nevada, aboard Marnell Sport Horses’ aptly named Casino Cash. Marnell’s impressive score of 91 in the Classic round shot her to the lead, and she secured her Reserve-place finish with an 83 in the Handy.

Free Educational Opportunities
In addition to competitive opportunities, free educational sessions hosted by the USHJA took place Thursday and Friday, including an interactive and engaging session with renowned sports psychologist Mario Soto, and a course walk of Friday’s $25,000 Junior/Amateur USHJA National Hunter Derby. A Judge with the Judge clinic, led by R Hunter and Equitation Judge Mark Bone, took place during Round 2 of the WCE Finals on Saturday. Competitors who placed in the top three in an AON/USHJA National Championship class were invited to attend a course walk of the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Las Vegas Grand Prix, Saturday night.

The USHJA extends special thanks to presenting sponsor AON with Great American Insurance Group; USHJA official sponsors Charles Owen, CWD, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; award sponsors Essex Classics, FITS, Prize Possessions, Schneider’s, Shapley’s, SmartPak and State Line Tack; Championship competition manager Pat Boyle, and Stephanie Lightner and the entire Las Vegas National and Blenheim EquiSports team.

Report provided by the USHJA.

 

 
December 2019 - Show Report: Galway Downs
Written by photos by Sherry Stewart & Kim F. Miller
Sunday, 01 December 2019 08:42
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Mittleider, Smith & Koss top international divisions.

photos by Sherry Stewart & Kim F. Miller

The Galway Downs International wrapped up the West Coast eventing season on a high note, with competition up to the CCI4*-L level. It started on Halloween Thursday, Oct. 31, and ended on time-change Sunday, Nov. 3, with high spirits, high jumping and lots of fun in between at the ever-improving Galway Downs Equestrian Center in Riverside County’s Temecula.

 


Sara Mittleider and La Paz, of Idaho, logged their first major international win in the CCI4*-L; Temecula-based Tamie Smith’s awesome week of accomplishments was highlighted by a CCI3*-L victory aboard Ruth Bley’s Danito; and David Koss enabled Stunner to live up to his appropriate name with a win in the CCI2*-L. Another local favorite, Whitney Tucker-Billeter had a great show, winning the Hylofit USEA Classic Series Training Three Day with Bill’s Midnight Magic.

 

Here’s highlights from the weekend and some of its big winners, plus several whose “victories” took the form of great moments with their horses – ribbon or no.  

Kudos to Robert Kellerhouse’s organizing crew and to sponsors Devoucoux, Equine Insurance, CWD and California Horsetrader. Next up at Galway Downs is a One Day event Dec. 8, then the big annual fundraising clinic Jan. 18-19, headlined by Ian Stark.

For more info, visit www.galwaydowns.net.

 

Sara Mittleider & La Paz: winners of the CCI4*-L.

Jolie Wentworth & Goodnight, 3rd in Open Intermediate.

Meg Pellegrini & Connemara powerhouse, Ganymede, 3rd in the CCI2*-L.

Britt Sabbah & Rickamore Rafferty, Training Three Day contenders.

David Koss & Stunner: wire-to-wire winners of the 46-horse CCI2*-L division.

Too bad Gina Economou & friends don’t know how to have a good time. Gina and Exclusive finished third in the CCI4*-L. She’s pictured here with, from left, Sara Berry Rajoy & Springvale, Karen Bristing and Moonlites Ranger, and Kristin Terris & Rathcash Olympia, all T3D contenders.

A certain USEA Area VI leader shows off her Horse With No Name costume at the Halloween party. Hint: while she covered up the name on the front of her jacket, the back says Sabo Eventing.

Young professional in ascent mode, Kaylawna Smith, tied with her mom Tamie Smith for the 3rd standing in the CCI3*-L. Tamie and No App For That’s cross-country time was closer to optimum, so they got the yellow rosette, while Kaylawna and Passepartout got fourth.

Organizer Robert Kellerhouse and his wife, professional trainer Erin Kellerhouse, join friends in a Halloween night mariachi band.

Professional Olivia Loiacono-Putrino rode Under The Spotlight to 2nd in the CCI2*-L, but wouldn’t take any credit. That all goes to her student, 16-year-old Lauren Gillis, who produced the mare all the way up to this point.

Whitney Tucker-Billeter & John Herich’s Bill’s Midnight Magic enjoy their T3D victory.

Sophie Click & Quidproquo were 8th in the CCI3*-L. As the highest placed young rider, she received the Mia Ericksson award.

Junior rider Taylor McFall & High Times head home on CCI2*-L cross-country toward an eventual 10th finish in the big division.

 
November 2019 - LEGIS League Finalists Celebrate
Written by photos: Kristin Lee Photography
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:30
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LEGIS League Hosts its Hunter/Jumper Finals at Hansen Dam Horse Park.

photos: Kristin Lee Photography

LEGIS League members came from all over California to compete at the 2019 LEGIS League Finals at the Verdugo Hills Fall Festival,(Oct. 3-6) hosted at Hansen Dam Horse Park. The LEGIS League, proudly sponsored by LEGISequine.com, awards ribbons and special prizes to the champion, reserve champion, and top ten riders in each category.

LEGIS League Finals welcomed hunter, jumper, equitation, and medal riders. Medal Final champions earned special winner packages, including vacation getaways, a white-water rafting trip, and a grant to ride in a clinic.


Sarah Schemers and her trainer Colin Daly made the trip down from the Bay Area. Colin, who operates Oasis Farm in Woodside, was pleased with his first experience at Hansen Dam Horse Park. Sarah and her My Cup of Tea topped the LEGIS League Low Child/Adult Equitation Finals.

“It was a great experience,” Colin shared. “The show was well organized, and the footing was fantastic. One of my horses tends to get sore but he stayed sound and even moved up a division because of the great footing. Hansen Dam is beautiful. The layout is convenient with multiple rings and permanent bathrooms. From the top down, it was a pleasant experience and I’m looking forward to coming again.”

Next up for LEGIS League members is the LEGIS League Mousie Williams 2’9’’ Medal Final. The Mousie Williams Medal Final is open to riders 12 & under and will be held at Desert International Horse Park National Sunshine I (Oct. 30- Nov. 1).

LEGIS League wraps up the season with its all-new CWD Equitation Challenge at the Season Finale at Hansen Dam Horse Park (Nov. 15 -17). CWD will be presenting the winner with a $1,000 CWD gift certificate and the trainer of the winning rider will receive a $300 gift certificate. The second place rider will also receive a $350 CWD gift certificate and third place will take a home a $300 gift certificate from CWD.

The LEGIS League is already gearing up for the 2020 LEGIS League Finals. Look for additional qualifying opportunities coming soon. Join online and start earning points to qualify for next year’s finals!

Anne Sherwood (Far West Farms, trainer) and her Cassito, Champion, LEGIS League Children’s/Amateur Medal Final.

Rosemary Bilson (Stephanie Haney, trainer) and Dealmaker (Chelsea Cowell, owner), Champion, LEGIS League Cornerstone Medal Final, Champion, LEGIS League Demi Hunter Finals.

Linda Bloomenthal (Far West Farms, trainer) and her Bailando, Champion, LEGIS League Mini Medal Final.

Megan Cameron (Shauna Pennell, trainer) and her Conriko, Champion, LEGIS League 1.05m Low Child/Adult Jumper Final.” style=

Jameson Roberts (Anjelica Glosup, trainer) and her Rosie, Champion, LEGIS League .80m Child/Adult Jumper Final, Champion, LEGIS League .90m Child/Adult Jumper Final.

Peyton Dopf (Kendra Bridges, trainer) and her Infinity & Beyond, Champion, LEGIS League Children’s Pony Hunter Finals.

Sarah Schemers (Colin Daly, trainer) and her My Cup of Tea, Champion, LEGIS League Low Child/Adult Equitation Finals.

 
November 2019 - NorCal Stars
Written by by Lindsey Long for West Palm Events • photos: JXB Photography
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:02
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Morgan Geller, Elisa Broz, Eva Nybo & Carmen Gonzalez are champs of the NorCal Hunter Jumper Assn. medal finals.

by Lindsey Long for West Palm Events • photos: JXB Photography

Welcome Week of the Sacramento International hosted the NorCal Senior Medal Final, the NorCal Junior Medal Final, the NorCal 3’ Medal Final, and last but not least, the NorCal Pony Medal Final.

 


“Having medal finals in Northern California is really important because there are many kids who grow up riding here who can’t travel to the East Coast or even to Southern California for medal finals, so having high quality 3’6” finals locally is very important to them,” said NorCal Hunter Jumper Association President Jennifer Lea Lampton. “The 3’ Medal Final is a great introduction to that world, and the Pony Medal Final is equally prestigious for kids who may not be able to travel.”

 

Riders participated in round one on Saturday, Sept. 28 and then round two plus work-offs on Sunday morning at the beautiful Murieta Equestrian Center, Sept. 29.

Champion Morgan Geller and Lincoln, Winners of the NorCal Senior Medal Final.

Morgan Geller: Super Senior

Morgan Geller was named champion of the NorCal Senior Medal Final on Sunday morning. She rode Lincoln owned by Jenny Williams. Jenny Williams is also Geller’s trainer and Lincoln’s breeder.

“He’s amazing and just so smart,” said Geller. “He was awesome this weekend. It is only his fourth equitation class ever, but he cantered right around like a pro. We are really impressed and really proud of him.”

Geller, who is currently in veterinary school, rode in the equitation as a junior. “I’ve been doing jumpers for a while, but this year I came back to the equitation,” she said. “I love the equitation; it’s a great foundation.”

Taking reserve championship honors was Alex Maida aboard Henri HX owned by Sloan Lindemann. Maida trains with Ned Glynn. In third place was Audrey Poole who rode Mighty Quen owned by Lauren Morlock. They are trained by Beverly Jovais.

Champion Elisa Broz and Clooney 62, Winners of the NorCal Junior Medal Final.

Elisa Broz Tops Junior

Champion of the 2019 NorCal Junior Medal Final was Elisa Broz riding Clooney 62, owned by Constance Broz. Broz trains with Cassie Belmont. The 11-year-old gelding Clooney 62 was also named “Best Medal Horse” by the judges, even though it was his first time doing a medal final.

“He did amazing,” said Broz. “He really was the best horse ever, honestly. He’s big and he has a big stride but he learns very quickly and he’s really sweet and willing.”

Broz bought the gelding only a month ago and he previously only did the jumper divisions. Even though the partnership is new, Broz is excited about her future with Clooney 62. She is hoping to do the Maclay and other East Coast equitation classes in the next year.

In second place was Avery Glynn on Cocon 4, who is owned and trained by Ned Glynn. In third place was Jessica Behar on her Cafe’s Deluxe. The pair is trained by Jill Humphrey.
G2 Insurance was the much-appreciated sponsor of the NorCal Junior and Senior Medal Finals.

Eva Nybo and Latte Grande PR, Winners of the NorCal 3’ Medal Finals sponsored by Hey & Hey Attorneys at Law.

Eva Nybo is the 3’ Victor

The NorCal 3’ Medal Final saw the largest number of competitors, and was won by amateur Eva Nybo aboard her own Latte Grande PR. The pair is trained by Jill Humphrey. Nybo has had the ride on Latte Grande PR for only about a year, and he recently crossed over into the equitation.

“He’s a lot of fun, and he’s an overachiever,” said Nybo. “He tries really hard to do everything perfectly. He has a great brain and he’s so sweet with my kids. He’s just part of our family.” Nybo’s children showered Latte Grande PR with hugs as she left the winner’s circle on Sunday afternoon.

The pair’s work-off was not without a dramatic moment: “After the first jump in the work off his curb chain came undone, and I thought well.. this could go all kinds of different ways. But he just took it in stride and never batted an eye,” said Nybo.

Taking the reserve championship was Alison Stern on Grey Goose, owned by Five Fox Farm LLC and trained by Tarrone Seaton. In third place was Ava Pollioni on her own Fortisimo, trained by Toni Venza.

Champion Carmen Gonzalez and Hiccup.

Carmen Gonzalez Tops Among Pony Participants

In what was certainly the most adorable medal final this week, Carmen Gonzalez was named champion after a clean sweep of both rounds and the work-off aboard her large pony Hiccup. The pair is trained by Cassie Belmont.

“I think Hiccup did amazing today,” said Gonzalez. “He gave me every effort he could. He’s just so awesome. He’s really comfortable and really, really sweet. He’s also very sensitive but I just love that about him.”

Gonzalez has been riding for five years and has ridden Hiccup for a year and a half. In that time she has moved up from the short stirrup to the rated large ponies. As for future goals? “I’d like to go to Pony Finals one day; that would be fun,” said Gonzalez.

Coming in second place was Katie Durban on Catch a Wave, owned by Ella Meuse and trained by Nicole Norris. In third place was Camilla Jerng on her own Kung Fu Panda. The pair is trained by Jan Pearce.

NorCal offers thanks to Hey & Hey Attorneys at Law for it support of its Medal Finals.

Press release provided by West Palms Events: www.westpalmsevents.com. For more information on the NorCal Hunter Jumper Association, visit www.norcalhunterjumpers.com.

 
November 2019 - Bond & Donatello Bag a World Cup Win
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:40
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Karl Cook maintains big lead with another top-five finish as the league moves onto Thermal and Las Vegas this month.

photos: Tina Fitch

Heading into a five-horse jump-off, Ashlee Bond (ISR) didn’t get to watch the riders ahead of her before entering the ring aboard 8-year-old Donatello.

“My mentality these days is just to go do what I feel is right for me and my horse in the moment,” she said. “Tonight, I just felt a little bit more confident.”


 

Ashlee Bond & Donatello

Bond executed her plan to perfection, galloping home to a dominant victory in the $100,000 CSI3*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Del Mar (USA). She and her partner of more than two years crossed the timers of Alan Wade’s (IRL) shortened course in 38.82 seconds. Nikolaj Hein Ruus (DEN) and Cadillac claimed second as the only other double-clear performers on the night, finishing in 43.27 seconds. Keri Potter (USA) and Ariell la Sirene finished third in the mare’s World Cup debut; they finished with 4 faults in 44.58 seconds.

Nikolaj Hein & Ruus

“Donnie” was making just his second World Cup appearance in Del Mar after debuting at the level in the North American League’s season opener at Vancouver. The quick win reaffirmed Bond’s belief in the gelding, for whom she has both World Cup and Olympic aspirations.

Keri Potter & Ariell la Sirene

“As a 7-year-old, he really developed quickly,” Bond explained. “Then this year, everything I ask of him—it might take him a round or two to figure it out, but once he does, he logs it into his computer, and then he makes my job easy.”

Andrew Ramsay & the Stranger

Karl Cook (USA), who won in World Cup competition at Sacramento just two weeks ago, notched his third top five finish this season to maintain his strong lead in the west coast sub league standings of the North American League. He boasts 49 points. Bond moved into second place in the standings with 31 points, while Zazou Hoffman sits third with 26 points.

“Today, [Donatello] just proved that we’re on the right trajectory,” Bond said.

Karl Cook & Caillou

The North American League continues the West with the Nov. 9 qualifier during the National Sunshine Series II in Thermal, then the next Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nov. 16, during the Las Vegas National.

Press release provided by the FEI.

 
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