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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Competitions

Aaron Vale won three classes in three days, including two $100,000 Grand Prix

OCALA, Fla.--Aaron Vale won three classes in three days at three different venues, including two $100,000 Grand Prix, one at the World Equestrian Center in an FEI sanctioned event, and one at HITS.

Aaron Vale on Prescott Andrew RybackAaron Vale on Prescott winning at WEC(Photo by Andrew Ryback)Vale's first win was in the CSI4*$55,000 Grand Prix Qualifier 1.55m speed class on I.Adermie R at Live Oak International on March 17.

Vale won in a 14 horse jump-off, clean in 64.20, over a course set by Olaf Petersen.

“It was a great win for me here at Live Oak International," said Vale. "I’ve had I.Adermie R for a year and a half and this is her third win in a row. She’s a winning machine. It is just a beautiful place here and the footing was just perfect. It felt great out there. I’m really looking forward to competing out there tomorrow and Sunday.”

Will Simpson on Chacco P finished second in 65.51 seconds, and Ireland’s Daniel Coyle on Gisborne VDL was third in 67.01 seconds.

Simpson won the CSI4* $5,000 Welcome 1.40m Power & Speed on Whoop de Doo, with a time of 27.13 seconds.

“I’ve been looking forward to Live Oak International for quite a while and today Whoop de Doo was in rare form," said Simpson. "I enjoyed every stride of it out there today. Whoop de Doo is a fighter, and she wants to go clear. It’s fun to take her up against the clock as she’s going to always give her best effort. She is bred to do this, and I love riding her.”

Finishing a close second place with a time of 27.46 was McLain Ward on First Lady, and Coco Fath on Harley D was third in 28.67.

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Augusta Iwasaki won the Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Augusta iwasak of Calabasas, Calif., on Fresca won the $50,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, but Summer Hill on Belle SCF won the series title after four weeks of competition at the World Equestrian Festival on March 19.

Augusta Iwasaki on Fresca SportfotAugusta Iwasaki on Fresca (Photo by Sportfot) Andy Christiansen Jr.’s course had five clean to go on to the jump-off.

The series standings experienced a shake-up as series leader Ashley Vogel had to retire from the competition after trouble in the combination.

Hill, who had held second place in the series rankings, was last in the jump-off on La Belle SCF.

Iwasaki, a Southern Methodist University freshman, had one of only two clear rounds in the jump-off.

Daniel Geaney of Ireland had the only other clean round, but his time of 40.26 seconds on Nixon Van D’Abelendreef was four seconds too slow to beat Iwasaki’s finish of 36.98 seconds.

Geaney placed second while Zayna Rizvi was third as the fastest four-falter on Exquise Du Pachis.

Iwasaki is new to the Under 25 series, making her debut in this 2023 season as she balances competition and attending school as part of the SMU Equestrian Team.

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Chester Weber and Andre Thieme win at Live Oak in driving and jumping

OCALA, Fla.--Chester C. Weber won his 20th USEF Four-in-Hand Horse National Championship title at Live Oak International while Andre Thieme on DSP Chakaria won the CSI 4*-W $222,600 FEI Jumping World Cup on March 19.

Chester Weberhazard 1 Kim MacMillanChester Weber on the Marathon phase (Photo by Kim MacMillan)Weber won the cones phase with his team of horses Amadeus, First Edition, Julius V, and Kadora, having come in focused on the details and with a plan.

 Thieme won over a field of 38 top riders from around the world with a jump off winning time of 38.28 seconds over 11 that made the jump-off over the course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr.

The class was the final qualifier before the FEI World Cup Final in Omaha.

“My plan today was to try to win, my friend watched the first five riders go in the jump off, and then he came out to me in the schooling area and recommend that I do nine strides in the first line and six strides in the second line, then turn as short as you can to the next jump, be careful through the combination, then turn as short as you can to the plank jump, and then put the foot on the gas to the last jump. That was the plan and it worked exactly the way he told me it would.” said Thieme. “I am extremely happy that the plan worked out perfectly, and its thanks to my friend. I am truly in love with my horse because she is the horse of my lifetime, there is no question about it. She is so different and is better than every other horse I have had. She has given me so much joy and success. I cannot say enough about her.”

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Kent Farrington on Toulayna won the $226,000 Grand Prix at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington has an up-and-coming mare in Toulayna, who won the $226,000 CSI4* Grand Prix on ‘Saturday Night Lights’, March 18.

Kent Farrington on Toulayna SportfotKent Farrington on Toulayna (Photo by Sportfot)In the biggest test of her career to date, the 9-year-old Zangersheide mare was the fastest in the jump-off over Andy Christiansen Jr.'s course for her first grand prix win.

Nine horses advanced to the jump-off where the lead changed five times.

“This is definitely the biggest track she’s jumped,” said Farrington of the mare that was also third in the CSI4* Grand Prix during WEF 3. “I have high hopes for this horse. She’s fast, careful and everything I like in a show jumper.”

Farrington’s Tokyo teammate Jessica Springsteen set the pace as the first clear round aboard her Olympic mount Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, finishing in 39.58 seconds , but she was soon beaten by Lillie Keenan on Agana van het Gerendal Z in 39.10 seconds.

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Charlotte Jacobs won the $25,000 Future Challenge Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Final

WELLINGTON,Fla.--Charlotte Jacobs on Pablo C had two clean rounds to win the $25,000 Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Final in the International Arena on Friday, March 17, taking the final title.

Charlotte Jacobs on Pablo C SportfotCharlotte Jacobs on Pablo C (Photo by Sportfot)“This series is unbelievable for a young horse,” said Jacobs, who stopped the clock with only fractions to spare in 41.963 seconds. “Pablo was a pretty experienced 7-year-old for his age when we got him, and he just keeps getting better and better. I’m incredibly excited for him.”

For Jacobs, young horse development is a family affair and one that the whole Jacobs family and their own North Star Sport Horses dedicates much of its efforts to.

“We plan our whole season around this for the young ones, and they make it a big deal now which is really great,” said Jacobs, who also rode Pablo C to a six-year-old final win at WEF in 2022. “We had eight horses showing this week and were knocking on the door all day, so to get the win in the seven-year-olds was great.”

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Frederic Wandres won for the sixth time at the Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Germany's Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD won for the sixth time, this in the CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle which was held in the International Arena at Wellington International on Friday, March 17.

Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD 318 Susan StickleFrederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD (Photo by Susan Stickle)This show during week 10 marks a change of venue for the five-star classes at the Global Dressage Festival.

Wandres scored 82.31% as the penultimate combination in the class to win, with all five judges having him as the winner.

Sarah Tubman placed second with 77.58% ride on First Apple, and Ashley Holzer was third on Valentine with 76.295%.


Wandres included movements of high degree of difficulty, riding 19 one-time changes on a curving line to a new 80s music compilation. Bluetooth was secure in the piaffe fans and the passage half-passes, which are both optional elements of a freestyle, but add to the degree of difficulty.

“Six out of six is really amazing,” said a delighted Wandres, who rides for Bluetooth’s owner, Hof Kasselmann. “It shows that the horse and I have improved a lot. We started already high, and it’s not so easy over three months to keep the level that high — you have to keep the horses happy and sound — and they’re not used to the heat.”

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Richard Vogel won the WEF Challenge Cup over McLain Ward

WELLINGTON, Fla--Germany’s Richard Vogel on Cepano Baloube won the $78,000 CSI4* WEF Challenge Round 10 on Thursday, March 16 at the winter Equestrian Festival.

Richard Vogel Cepano Baloubet SportfotRichard Vogel on Cepano Baloubet (Photo by Sportfot)Andy Christiansen Jr. designed the course for 58 competitors, with nine making the  jump-off.

Vogel, 25, has ridden Cepano Baloubet, a nine-year-old German-bred gelding, for two years ago.

A recent owner change allowed Cepano Baloubet to remain in Vogel’s string, now under the ownership of Veronica Tracy.

Vogel on Cepano Baloubet finished clean in 36.02 seconds, over two seconds faster than Mclain Ward on Kasper Van Het Hellehof, clean in 38.21.

Thaisa Erwin of Australia on Vanturo was third in 41.13 seconds.

“The plan was to start from the right so I that I would land on the left lead and do nine strides to the next, and I got there well enough thanks to his big stride,” said Vogel. “I slowed down in front of the oxer a little bit to get a good rollback to the next vertical. I got there in eight strides and I saw Mclain, who was just before me, did nine so I knew I’d be a little ahead of him there.”

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Morgan Barban├žon on Bolero won the Grand Prix CDI3* for Special at the Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--French Olympian Morgan Barbançon on Bolero won the Grand Prix CDI3* for Special over a field of 20 on Thursday, March 16 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Morgan Barbacon on Bolero Susan StickleMorgan Barbacon on Bolero (Photo by Susan Stickle)Barbançon and the 17-year-old KWPN gelding scored 71.152%, the only pair to reach 70% in the class, and the last to go.

“Today, the piaffe was really good,” said Barbançon. “The pirouettes, too. Everything was good today, the two tempis could have been straighter, but everything else was solid and he put in a solid test. I’m so proud of him. He carried me through that test today. I was really not mentally on my game based on my other rides I’ve had this week, so I’m super proud of him.”

Barbançon and Bolero have over 50 CDI starts despite an injury that sidelined the gelding for two years.

“Bolero had a long-time injury,” Barbançon said. “But he is back in shape now and feeling great, and he proved that again today. He’s a very solid, consistent horse, I know that he’s not always a high scorer, but he is always there to do his job and is very consistent. He gives me the mileage and show experience which is really important.”

Barbançon, who is based in Switzerland, is having a successful first season in Wellington with several mounts.

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Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD won the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Frederic Wandres of Germany on Bluetooth OLD won the Grand Prix Freestyle by unanimous judge's decision over Ashley Holzer on Valentine on Wednesday, March 15 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD Susan SticklyFrederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD (Photo by Susan Stickle)Two Grand Prix classes, one of which was a qualifier for the Grand Prix Special and the other for the Grand Prix Freestyle, both were held Friday evening under lights of the International Arena at WEF.

It was the last rider to go in the CDI5* Grand Prix qualifier for freestyle who got the unanimous nod from all five judges with a new career high score in this test.

Germany’s Frederic Wandres rode Bluetooth OLD to 75.63%, with two judges rewarding the ride with over 76%.

Ashley Holzer finished second with 70.935% on Valentine, and Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén on Devanto was third with 70.63%.

The 35-year-old Wandres extended his unbeaten streak on Bluetooth, having recorded five straight victories at this year’s Global Festival and are hoping to make it six when they contest the Freestyle, to new music, on Friday evening.

It will be Bluetooth’s final test at AGDF before he returns to Europe.

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Mark Bluman won the 1.40m Grand Prix at The Ridge

LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla.--Mark Bluman on Alme du Buisson Z won the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix at The Ridge on March 14, beating a field of more than 40 competitors.

Mark Bluman on Alme du Buisson ZMark Bluman on Alme du Buisson ZWith Week 10, running March 15-19, comes more show jumping plus two extra days of weekend competition at The Ridge's world-class facility just outside of Wellington.

Combining a unique mix of hospitality, exceptional amenities, world-class designers, judges, footing, and jumps, and with the goal of securing an amazing training and show experience for horses, The Ridge at Wellington Groves gives the feel of spring training for hunters and jumpers!

Bluman on Alme du Buisson Z was the fastest over the Grand Prix course, set by FEI designer Ivan Tagle of Argentina.

The first round track included multiple bending lines, roll backs, and double to oxer combinations that resulted in 12 first round clears.

The jump-off featured a very similar track but with adjacent jumps.

Alme du Buisson Z's fast round under Bluman couldn't be beaten, despite a number of attempts.

Bluman's time of 32.281 was, amazingly, a full six seconds faster than that of Jordan Coyle on Picador, who finished clean in 38.323 to place second.

It's very seldom a class is won by such a large margin as six seconds.

Kaitlyn Williams on Cassio Melloni finished third in 38.347.

Sharn Wordley on Valentine Car won the $100,000 Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

OCALA, Fla.--Sharn Wordley of New Zealand on Valentine Car won the $100,000 Grand Prix onn Sunday, March 12 at HITS Ocala.

Sharn Wordley on Valentine Car ESIPhotographySharn Wordley on Valentine Car (Photo by ESI Photography)Wordley won in a 10-horse jump-off over Australia’s Rowan Willis, who was just a second behind on Primo Troy to place second, while Canada’s Paul Halpern was third on Esra.

“Valentine Car is a fantastic horse,” said Wordley. “He's won a lot of FEI classes and a bunch of good grand prix with me. He's kind of a quirky ride, but he's consistent and he's very fast. When you get him to a jump-off, he's right there.”

“He's cocky and cheeky," said Wordley. "I've fallen off him twice this month already. He spooks and spins and carries on like he's 4 years old, but when he gets in the jump-off, he is all business.”

Germany’s Andre Thieme was the first clean in the jump-off on Candid 14, setting the time to beat at 38.784 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place.

Willis on Primo Troy was soon able beat Thieme, crossing the finish line with two seconds to spare in a clear 36.345 seconds, but Wordley was next in the ring.

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Nora Batchelder won twice at the World Equestrian Center's rated dressage shows

OCALA, Fla.--Nora Batchelder on Improv 402 won the Prix St.George at the World Equestrian Center March rated dressage show.

Nora Batchelder on Improv 402 Q2 PhotographyNora Batchelder on Improv 402 (Photo by Q2 Photography)WEC held back-to-back rated dressage shows, March 8-10 and March 11-12 as well as the 2023 Florida Youth Dressage Championships, that included classes from Training Level to FEI Grand Prix and was an official qualifying competition for the 2023 Great American/USDF Regional Championships.

Batchelder competed on three horses from her base 20 minutes away and had two wins and two second places.

Her top score, 73.529%, was in the Prix St. Georges on Improv 40Z, a 17.3-hand, 10-year-old gelding owned by Sandi Lieb, who bred and raised the horse in Florida.

Batchelder has been training him for almost a year, and he was also second in the Intermediate I with 69.265%.

“In January we did his first Prix St. Georges, and this was our second time out,” said Batchelder, who moved to Ocala permanently when the family sold their farm in New Hampshire in 2013. “I was really happy with our Prix St. Georges, and we had a really good connection. He’s getting more comfortable at the level and stronger in the pirouettes. He’s a very good boy."

“We’ve got him qualified for regionals at Prix St. Georges, so we’ll probably do that,” said Batchelder. “We’ve also started to play around a bit with the grand prix stuff, so over the summer we will dabble with that a bit more to see what he can do.”

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McLain Ward on HH Azur won the 2nd leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of jumping

BRAMANT, Netherlands--In a 16 horse jump-off that included many of grand prix jumping's top internationally ranked riders, McLain Ward on HH Azur won the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam.

McLain Azur Devon GP The BookMcLain Ward on HH Azur winning the Devon Grand Prix in 2019 (Photo by The Book)Ward won the first leg, with a purse of €1 million, in Geneva, and his win in the €1 Million Dutch Masters in Bramant netted him an additional €500,00 for winning the second leg in a row.

The third leg, also with a €1 million purse, is at Aachen, which runs June 23 to July 2 in Germany.

"She is my queen," said Ward of HH Azure. "She never ceases to amaze me."

The jump-off in the Dutch Masters included the first, second, third and fourth ranked riders, and amazingly those four went first through fourth in the 16 horse jump-off.

As U.S. chef d'equipe Robert Ridland pointed out, it's incredibly rare that all four top ranked riders should go so early in a big international class and then end up first through fourth in the jump-off.

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Lebanon's Jad Dana won the 1.50m Classic at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Lebanon’s Jad Dana on After Eight reached a milestone by winning the $78,000 CSI5* 1.50m Classic on Sunday, March 12.

Jad Dana on AfterEight SportfotJad Dana on After Eight (Photo by Sportfot)The penultimate qualifier before the 1.50m Championship during WEF 11 was the first CSI5* win for both Dana and his mount.

Returning second to last in a 15-horse jump-off, Dana crossed the timers one hundredths of a second faster than Darragh Kenny of Ireland, who took over the lead early in the second round.

Alan Wade of Ireland designed the track for 56 entries, with six different nations represented in the jump-off.

Dana on After Eight finished clean in a time of 35.10 seconds, while Kenny was both second and third, with Vancouver Dreams second in  35.15 seconds and Chic Chic third in 36.04 seconds..

Egypt’s Nayel Nassar on Dorado de Riverland was fourth, clean in 36.17 seconds.

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Daniel Bluman won the $425,000 Grand Prix at WEF while McLain Ward won the 1 million Euro second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam in the Netherlands

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Daniel Bluman of Israel on Ladriano Z won the $425,000 5* Grand Prix at WEF on Saturday evening, March11, while McLain Ward on HH Azur beat a field of top international stars to win the 1 million Euro second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam in the Natherlands on March 12.

Daniel Bluman on Ladriano Z SportfotDaniel Bluman on Ladriano Z (Photo by Sportfot)The full story on Ward's win will be posted tomorrow.

Bluman had won the same Grand Prix, also on Ladriano Z, in 2019 and lead the victory gallop once again during ‘Saturday Night Lights’ in front of a packed house at Wellington International.

Bluman was last to make the jump-off after Egypt’s Nayel Nassar, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Karl Cook had also qualified over Alan Wade's course..

“I watched Shane’s round and his horse and mine are both big and scopey, so I tried to do the same as him and edge him in a couple places,” said Bluman of his ride in the jump-off.

“He’s a really big horse so he’s naturally not the fastest one moving his feet, but you do cover a lot of ground, especially in a jump off like this where it had big galloping,” said Bluman.

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Fiona Howard won two Grade II Para Dressage classes at the Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Fiona Howard on Solitaer 40 won two Grade II classes on Saturday, March 11 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Fiona Howard on Soliaer 40 Susan StickleFiona Howard on Soliaer 40 (Photo by Susan Stickle)Riding Kate Shoemaker's 16-year-old gelding, Howard, 24, scored 72.5% in her firsr international show on Solitaer 40

Howard is also coached by Shoemaker, who enjoyed stellar success with the gelding since 2015, including team bronze at the Tokyo Paralympics.

“I went in the ring today wanting to improve on everything from yesterday and today he listened to me so well,” said Howard, who suffers from dystonia, a neuromuscular disease, meaning that her muscles involuntarily contract and twist.

“‘Soli’ belongs to Kate and it’s kind of a funny story,” she said. “I rode ‘Soli’ a little bit last summer while she was at the European Championships and kind of as a joke she said, ‘If you can ride him, you can show him,’ and I thought, ‘OK!’. At the time I needed a horse to ride and of course I said yes.”

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Kate Shoemaker wins in Para-Dressage at the Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Grade IV US Paralympian Kate Shoemaker, 35, riding  her own 12-year-old Ghandi in international competition for the very first time, won the CPEDI3* of para dressage with 71.759% on Friday,March 10 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Kate Shoemaker on Ghanki Susan Stickle Kate Shoemaker on Ghanki (Photo by Susan Stickle )“This weekend has been a little different for me as this is the first time in five years that I haven’t been named to a team while competing,” said Shoemaker. “It took the pressure off having a new horse and just being able to go in there with him and give him the best showing I could. To get the experience in this stadium was wonderful.”

Shoemaker found the horse for a client who decided to pass on him, but she had a good feeling about him and got on.

“It was love at first sight,” said Shoemaker, who has lesions that cause motor control dysfunction, muscle weakness and spasms on the right side of her body. “The goal with this horse was to give me something to ride on a daily basis that gives me the feeling that my mare Quiana does. The competition side of it was an extra opportunity for me. The fact that he went in there this weekend and said, ‘Yeah I’m happy with the people and the stadium’ — it was incredibly fun to ride him and I learned a lot because he truly is a schoolmaster.”

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Tom Foley first and second in HITS Grand Prix

OCALA, Fla.--Tom Foley placed first and second in the $25,000 Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Friday, March 10.

Tom FoleyTom Foley with Ibalius SMH and IdalgoFoley on Ibalius SMH had the only clean round in the jump-off for the win, and also had the only four fault round in the jump-off with Idalgo to also place second and now looks forward to Sunday’s $100,000 Grand Prix.

“Ibalius is pretty new to me,” said Foley. “I've only done a handful of classes on him. I showed him here last week and he was fifth on Sunday. He’s stepping up to this level, to the 1.50m, so it was a great result for him and the owner was here too, so it was great for both horses.”

Only four were clean over the first round course set by Jamie Morillo, and Dominique Damico opted to save Chatinus for another day to place fourth.

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Bertram Allen won the WEF Challenge Cup on Pacino Amiro

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Bertram Allen on Pacino Amiro won the $78,000 CSI5* WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 on Thursday, March 9 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

BertramAllen on Pacino Amiro march SportfotBertram Allen on Pacino Amiro (Photo by Sportfot)In the third of four five star rated competitions at WEF, 44 competed in the Challenge Cup over a course designed by Alan Wade of Ireland, but only three riders advanced to the jump-off.

Darragh Kenny of Ireland, first in the jump-off, was clean in 38.65 seconds, but next to go was Allen, who shaved a second off Kenny’s time to finish in 36.94 seconds. 

The last to go in the jump-off, Schuyler Riley on Robin De Ponthual had two rails down to place third.

“I’ve never seen a WEF Challenge here where only three were clear in the first round, so it was a much more tactical jump-off than normal,” said Allen. “It was a huge advantage going after Darragh because I saw one or two places in his jump-off where I could get the better of him if I left the rails up.”

Allen on Pacino Amiro has already had two wins in five-star competitions at WEF this season.

“Pacino is an experienced horse now whereas he was only 9 when he started jumping the five-stars here,” Allen said. “He has developed and knows his job now, so we just keep him as fit and healthy as possible.”

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Luis Larazabal won three classes at The Ridge

LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla.--Luis Larrazabal is now on a three class streak over two weeks at The Ridge at Wellington Groves, after battling it out with Irishman Jordan Coyle for the top spot over the past 8 weeks.

Luis Larrazabal on KontendraLuis Larrazabal on KontendraOn Wednesday, March 8, he once again blazed to the lead with Kontendra, eventually winning the $5,000 1.30M Classic for the second week in a row.

Larrazabal also won the $15,000 1.40M Grand Prix on March 3.

On Wednesday, Larrazabal and Kontendra was clean in the jump-off in 25.682, beating the leader since the beginning of the class, Lacey Morrone-Cramer on Cincinnati, who eventually placed third behing second placed Abbygale Funk on Alastor, clean in 25.951, just off the lead.

On March 3,Larrazabal scored a triple victory, winning 3 classes in one day with The Ridge's $5,000 1.30M, the $5,000 1.45M 4-star Welcome and 7-year-old Jumpers.

Riders enjoyed complimentary hospitality! In addition to the free lunch, snacks, and breakfast offered all day in the pavilion behind Ring 1 next to the lake.

Larrazabal is having a stand out year at The Ridge.

After his three rides in Wednesday's $5,000 1.30M Rising Star Classic, he sat in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with Billy Spiral (30.247), Kontendra (33.202), and Kadansa B (33.281).

Campbell Brown on Indira's quick, late in the day double clear bumped Kontendra and Kadansa B down a spot, going through the jump-off timers in 31.355 to foil Larrazabal's hat trick in the Rising Star Classic.

 

Aaron Vale won again at the World Equestrian Center

OCALA, Fla.--Aaron Vale on Adermie R won the $40,000 1.45m CSI3* Two Phase Special at the World Equestrian Center on March 3.

Aaron Vale on Adermie R Aaron Vale on Adermie R (Photo by Andrew Ryback)Vale won in a nine horse jump-off from a starting field of 24 over a course set by Alan Wade of Ireland, finishing the jump-off in an uncatchable 31.94 seconds.

“Alan Wade is a world-class course designer, and he has been creating great courses all week,"said Vale. "The first phase let you jump around a bit and then the second phase had some fun elements. There was a hard inside turn from the Wheels Up jump to the fan vertical. It was hard to get inside to that smoothly, a lot of horses stopped or jumped a bit funny because it was a tough angle. I didn’t get there as smoothly as I wanted, but Adermie is quick footed enough that she kept it up. Then I found the rest forward and to my advantage Adermie is the type of horse the faster you go the better she jumps.”

“It’s really nice that World Equestrian Center – Ocala is hosting FEI competition," said Vale. "This facility is incredible and can hold championship events. I am looking forward to more FEI shows here in the future.”

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Santiago Lambre won the $75,000 Grand Prix while Kristen Vanderveen won the $25,000 Grand Prix at HITS

OCALA, Fla.--Santigo Lambre on Chattanooga won the $75,000 Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on March 5, while Kristen Vanderveen had won the $25,000 Grand Prix on March 3.

Santiago Lambre on Chattanooga ESI PhotographySantiago Lambre on Chattanooga (Photo by ESI Photography)It was Lambre's second win on Chattanooga after a victory in Saturday’s $10,000 Classic.

In the Grand Prix on Sunday, Lambre finished fractions ahead of second placed Tracy Fenney on MTM Apple, and Kristen Vanderveen on Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili was just 1/10th of a second behind Fenney to place third.

“I didn't expect to win in the first show, but he's a fast horse, so I'm very happy,” said Lambre. “I rode him yesterday in a 1.40m class and I won the class. I was quite fast, so I knew he could be fast in the jump-off. I tried to go fast everywhere and make tight turns.”

There were eight clean in the jump-off over the course set by Mark McGowan

Fenney on MTM Apple was the first in the jump-off and set the time to beat at 40.263 seconds.

Lambre on Chattanooga went six rounds later to take over the lead, stopping the clock at 39.941 seconds, just 3/10ths ahead of Fenney, while Vanderveen was clean in in 40.365 seconds for third.

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Codi Harrison won the Grand Prix Special while Jorst and Tarjan qualify horses for the Young Horse series

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Codi Harrison on Katholt’s Bossco won the Grand Prix Special CDI3* while Charlotte Jorst and  Alice Tarjan qualified Straight Horse Cosmo and Jane respectively for the Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series at the Global Dressage Festival on March 5.

Codi Harrison on Katholts Bossco. Susan StickleCodi Harrison on Katholts Bossco (Photo by Susan Stickle)Harrison, 26  of Wellington, scored a personal best of 70.66% on Katholt’s Bossco for the win in the Special in Week 8 of the  Festival.

Katie Duerrhammer placed second of the 13 starters with 70.213% on Paxton, and Morgan Barbançon finished with 70.17% on Habana Libre A to place third.

Harrison has brought Katholt’s Bossco up the levels from Young Riders.

“I was a bit nervous because it was really hot and he’s not a horse that thrives in that, but he stayed with me the whole ride and I went in feeling like he was through and he wanted to work," she said..

“We struggled through some Young Riders together and I never expected him to be a grand prix horse, yet here we are," said Harrison. "The piaffe and the passage felt really nice and that’s become his highlight, he’s really confident and rideable and keeps his rhythm. He’s not the most laterally supple horse, so the half-passes are always something we’re working on to make them more fluent and supple but I was thrilled with the overall feel and that he stayed with me in this heat and kept trucking along.”

“He’s the same every day no matter what; he’s unflappable,” she said. “We take him in the field, we go over little jumps, we go on hacks and he goes down the canals. He’s a really good boy with a good heart and a good head — the horse of a lifetime.

“I was just hoping to win something and today we did, so that was very exciting. Now we have three shows left and I’d like to do one more freestyle and then see where that leads us,” she said.

Read more ...

Daniel Coyle won the $226,000 4 star Grand Prix at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Ireland's Daniel Coyle on Ivory TCS won the CSIO4*, $226,000 Grand Prix in a four horse jump-off at the Winter Equestrian Festival on March 5.

Daniel Coyle on Ivory TCS sportfotDaniel Coyle on Ivory TCS (Photo by Sportfot)First to go in the jump-off over a course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio, Beth Underhill  of Canada had two rails down to eventually finish fourth.

Coyle, next to go, knew Lacey Gilbertson and Mclain Ward packing a double punch of speed behind him, and he was clean and quick in 38.06.

“I had to leave very little room, give them something to chase, but not leave very much,” Coyle said. “I think I was beatable but there wasn't much of a gap, which was my plan. Ivory is a very fast horse in every jump-off. She might take two extra strides than a big horse, but that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily slower because she does it so fast. I tried to use that today because there were no related distances; it was single fences then turn back and gallop halfway across the track, so I tried to use the quickness that she naturally has to my advantage.”

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Young U.S. team fifth in the Wellington Nations Cup won by Canada

WELLINGTON, Fla.--The U.S. Jumping Team finished fifth in the first team event of the season in the $150,000 FEI Jumping Nations Cup Wellington CSIO4* 0n March 4.

U.S teamU.S. Nations Cup teamThe Nations Cup was won by Canada with Brazil second and Ireland fourth.

The team of Natalie Dean on Acota M, Mimi Gochman on Celina BH, Mavis Spencer on Carissimo 25, and Adrienne Sternlicht on Faquitol-S, completed the competition on a final team total of 32 faults after two rounds of competition, which featured 11 different nations competing in the first round in the afternoon and the top eight teams in second round under the lights at Wellington International.

The team was led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

“Our plan has been set for months that we were going to use this home Nations Cup, this four-star Nations Cup, for basically our next generation of riders,” Ridland said. “We’ve got a major priority this year in qualifying for [the Paris 2024 Olympics], so the five-stars will have more of the veteran riders. Here it was intentional to have the riders of the future and to give them the experience in the electric environment that exists [at Wellington International]. There’s no question we had the youngest team out there. Those riders all learned something under immense pressure, and I’m very proud of them.”

Read more ...

Alex Matz on Cashew CR won the WEF Challenge Cup

WELLINGTON, Fla--Alex Matz on Cashew CR won the $39,000, CSIO4* Challenge Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Thursday, March 2.

Alex Matz on Cashew CR SportfotAlex Matz on Cashew CR (Photo by Sportfot)“I knew I had a naturally fast horse, and the track was proving to be quite difficult, so I did one to two in eight strides and I thought if I did that I would establish a good rhythm and then just get to take-off spots balanced and let him do the rest,” said Matz  of the horse he has ridden for eight years. “I feel like I know him like the back of my hand. He is a true winner, and he fights like no other horse I’ve ever ridden.”

Matz, 26, posted a blistering time of 67.07 seconds over Anthony D'Ambrosio’s course, beating the rest by more than six full seconds.

Canada’s Amy Millar on Christiano placed second in 73.35 seconds, and  Margie Goldstein-Engle on Dicas was third in 73.37 seconds.

“I told my parents earlier that I could have a 105-degree temperature and really not feel like riding, go in there and he would do it for me,” said Matz, son of 1986 World Champion Michael Matz. “He’s very careful and very competitive, so I know if I give him a chance then I will be very competitive.”

Read more ...

Anna Buffini won the Grand Prix Freestyle to qualify for the World Cup Final

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Anna Buffini’s last-minute decision to bring FRH Davinia La Douce from San Diego, Calif., to Florida for the Global Dressage Festival paid off as she won the FEI World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday evening, March 3 to qualify for the World Cup Final in Omaha, Neb., next month.

Anna Buffinin on FRH Davinia La Douce World Cup Susan StickleAnna Buffinin on FRH Davinia La Douce (Photo by Susan Stickle)There are three starting spots allocated at the FEI World Cup Final to the North American League, and Steffen Peters and Alice Tarjan had already won the top two spots.

Heading into the freestyle, the final North America qualifier before the Final, it was neck and neck between Buffini and Sarah Tubman.

Second to go in the class, Tubman on First Apple scored 77.45%, and held the lead for more than two hours, until Buffini, second-to-last to go, scored 78.28% test on FRH Davinia La Douce for the win.

Morgan Barbançon of France on Bolero was third with 77.41%, just 0.04 percentage points behind Tubman.

“It could have been either of us, it was a battle to the end and she deserves to go just as much as I do," said Buffini. "I’m very grateful to have the outcome that we did. It was a tricky ride, but in the past if we’ve had a tricky ride then the score wouldn’t have turned out so well. Our partnership and the work we’ve put in together the last couple of years has really come together, so now even if the ride is a little tricky we can still come out with a solid test. She’s a chestnut mare and they all come out a little bit different at every single show.”

Read more ...

Jacqueline Steffens Daly won the $50,000 Welcome Prix at WEC FEI

OCALA, Fla.--Canada’s Jacqueline Steffens Daly on Freaky won the FEI sanctioned $50,000 Welcome Prix over 51 competitors at the World Equestrian Center on March 2.

Jacqueline Steffens Daly on Freaky Andrew RybackJacqueline Steffens Daly on Freaky (Photo by Andrew Ryback)Nine riders representing Ireland, Canada, United States and Spain were clean over the first-round course set by Alan Wade of Ireland to qualify for the jump-off.

Conor O’Regan of Ireland on Mendini DR, first to go in the jump-off, was clean, setting the time to beat at 46.18 seconds, finally finishing fourth.

Sean Jobin of Canada on his first mount Coquelicot VH Heuvelland Z was even faster, finishing in a time of 45.08 seconds, to ultimately place third.

“I was lucky enough to have two rides tonight," said Jobin. "Coquelicot was jumping a bit high in the jump-off. He has been doing the three- and five-star competitions this past year and I feel like he’s still finding his footing. Tonight, I wanted to have a good smooth round and I feel like we accomplished that tonight."

Both Angela Covert of Canada and Gonzalo Busca  of Spain each had one rail down.

Next to go was Chloe Reid on Crossover 4, finishing clean in 44.28 seconds which took the lead, but eventually placed second,

Read more ...

France's Morgan Barbancon won the 3* Grand Prix at Dressage Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Morgan Barbançon of France rode Habana Libre A to score 71.630% and win over 15 competitors in the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI3* Grand Prix at the Global Dressage Festival on March 2.

Morgan Barbancon on Habana Libre33 Susan StickleMorgan Barbancon on Habana Libre 33 (Photo by Susan Stickle)As one of the first riders to go, Jan Ebeling took the early lead with a score of 69.109% on Jubi’s Tenacity.

Ebeling held the lead across the majority of the class but ultimately settled for the third place.

Barbançon was the third-to-last to compete and shot straight to the top after breaking the 70% mark.

“He is a truly lovely horse to ride because he is always willing to work,” said Barbançon. “There’s not a day I take him out of the stable and feel like he doesn’t want to work. He is the best horse I’ve ever ridden and has all the makings of a top horse; every time in the ring he gets better and better.”

“I thought our test today was quite good, but I still need to work on the piaffe for it to be more technically correct,” she said. “For me, the most important thing is to present my horses in the best way possible and have a nice, fault-free test. I don’t set goals for percentages, and I think if the score is the only thing you care about then you may not truly love the sport. I always feel that good scores will follow if I can make the horses their best.”

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Aaron Vale won the $40,000 1.45m at WEC's FEI competition

OCALA, Fla.--Aaron Vale on I Adermie R 4 won the 40,000 1.45m CSI3* Speed on March 1, the first day of FEI competition at the World Equestrian Center - Ocala.

Aaron Valeon Adermie R Anrew RybackAaron Vale on I Adermie R 4 (Photo by Andrew Ryback)The WEC is a world class facility, but, because of the USEF mileage rule and due to its location in Ocala next to HITS, it operated without recognition when it opened but has finally been awarded limited USEF and FEI recognition.

 The win was an emotional one as I Adermie R 4 is owned by Lori Osterstock, who died the morning of his win.

"This morning Lori Osterstock passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer," said officials at WEC. "The World Equestrian Center – Ocala sends condolences to family, friends and the Vale family for their loss."

“It’s been an emotional day for everyone at the barn," said Vale. "While I was on course with Adermie R 4 I got jumped loose through the last combination, and I think Lori pushed me back on. She was my guardian angel and flew with us through that course today.”

Read more ...

Hunter Holloway won two grand prix at HITS

OCALA, Fla.--After winning Friday’s $25,000 on Dana De Kerglenn, Hunter Holloway returned on Sunday, Feb. 26 to win the $75,000 Grand Prix on Eastern Jam over 30 competitors at HITS Ocala.

HunterHolloway on Eastern Jam ESI PhotographyHunter Holloway on Eastern Jam (Photo by ESI Photography)She beat New Zealand Olympian Sharn Wordley on Mick Jagger by half a second during the nine-horse jump-off.

The only other clean in the jump-off was by  Australia's Rowan Willis on Cornet's Girlensky to place third.

“Eastern Jam is a seasoned horse of mine, I've had him for a really long time,” said Holloway. “We have a really strong partnership, so I knew I could rely on him to go get it. We have gotten to grow up together and jump some big classes together. He's just the sweetest horse. I put my grandma on him and he will walk around with her. That just perfectly describes him."

Willis was the first to go clean in the jump-off, finishing in 40.336 seconds, which would hold up for third place.

One round later, Wordley on Mick Jagger  was clean in 38.847 to go into the lead.

Two rounds later though, the lead changed hands once again.

Read more ...

More Articles ...

  1. Daniel Deusser won the $78,000 1.50m Classic at WEF
  2. Santiago Lambre of Brazil won the $1000,000 G P at WEC while Alison Gerlt won in dressage
  3. Kent Farrington on Dagny won the TerraNova Grand Prix
  4. Medoza Loor of Ecuador won the 3* Grand Prix Freestyle
  5. Laura Kraut beat McLain Ward in 5* $425,000 Grand Prix at WEF while Laura Chapot wins again to lead in Leading Open Jumper Rider
  6. Alice Tarjan on Candescent won the Grand Prix Special at the Global Festival
  7. Germany won the dressage Nations Cup while the US won the Under 25 Dressage Nations Cup
  8. Ashlee Bond won the WEF Challenge Cup on Donatello 141
  9. Ireland's Dan Geaney won the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix at The Ridge
  10. Bertram Allen won the Grand Prix at WEF while Wachman and Moggre also win
  11. Andre Thieme won HITS Ocala $100,000 Grand Prix
  12. Luis Goncalves won the $100,000 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Center-Ocala
  13. John French on Milagro won the Hunter Spectacular at WEF
  14. Daniel Bluman won at Split Rock while Luis Larrazabal won at The Ridge and Split Rock
  15. Aaron Vale won two at grand prix at HITS Ocala and one at WEC the weekend of Feb. 10
  16. Frederic Wandres won twice while Morgan Barban├žon won once at the Dressage Festival
  17. McLain Ward won two of the first five star competitions at WEF
  18. Aaron Vale won again at the World Equestrian Center in a $100,000 Grand Prix
  19. Conor Swail won the $233,000 Grand Prix at WEF
  20. John French on Milagro won the $25,000 Hunter Derby at WEF
  21. Mexico's Santiago Lambre won the WEF Challenge Cup
  22. Alex Granato, Caelinn Leahy and Aaron Vale won in $100,000 Championships at Split Rock
  23. Portugal's Luis Sabino Goncalves first and third in WEC $100,000 Grand Prix
  24. Sharn Wordley won the $50,000 Grand Prix at HITS and Savannah Unger won the $25,000 Grand Prix
  25. Brazil's Luciana Lossio won the CSI2* Grand Prix at WEF
  26. France's Morgan Barbancon won the Grand Prix Special in Wellington
  27. Ben Maher won the CSI4* Grand Prix at WEF
  28. Frederic Wandres won the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Dressage Festival
  29. Ireland's Bertram Allen won the 1.45m Speed at WEF
  30. Lucy Gilbertson won the WEF Challenge Cup over Lillie Keenan
  31. Jodie Kelly-Baxley wins in WEC dressage while Hunter Holloway wins a$100,000 Grand Prix
  32. Canada's Francois Lamontagne won the $50,000 Grand Prix at HITS Ocala
  33. Kent Farrington won the $151,700 Grand Prix at WEF, and Audrey Schulze won the U25 Grand Prix
  34. Kent Farrington won the $50,000 Grand Prix Saturday evening at WEF
  35. Nicoe Shahinian-Simpson won the WEF Challnge Cup on Akuna Mattata
  36. Ben Maher won the 1.45m Speed on the grass field at WEF
  37. Luis Larrazabal won The Ridge's first Surf Tour Grand Prix
  38. Kristen VanderVeen and Marylisa Leffler win in jumpers at Sarasota
  39. Aaron Vale won the $100,000 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala
  40. Frederic Wandres of Germany won the CDI3* Grand Prix Special
  41. Jad Dana won the 1.50m Classic at WEF
  42. Adrienne Lyle won the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Dressage Festival
  43. Darragh Kenny won the $151,000 GP while Mimi Goghman won the National GP
  44. Tanner Korotkin won a 1.45m Speed and Taylor Madden won the Talent Search
  45. Adrienne Lyle won the FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the Dressage Festival
  46. Sarah Scheiring and Scott Stewart win at WEF
  47. Santiago Lambre won the $100,000 Grand Prix at the WEC
  48. McLain Ward wins WEF G P, Jean Sheptoff wins in A O Hunters
  49. Scott Keach wins the Grand Prix of Sarasota
  50. Men win the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes

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