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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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PART-TIME BARN HELP wanted for private horse farm in Limerick area. Mon thru Fri, 8-11:30 am. Clean stalls, turnout, blanket changes, general barn duties. Must have experience with horses. Must be reliable and have own transportation. 610-287-5830, leave message.


ONE 12x12 STALL available on private family farm, full-care, located in West Chester (Pocopson Township). Field with run-in shed, tack room, wash stall with hot water, outdoor ring, hack to BVA or Pocopson Park. $350/mo. 610-793-9704.


THE MARYLAND EQUINE Transition Service is a statewide initiative created to ensure that safe options and resources are available to horses when their owners can no longer keep them.Many horses are currently looking for new homes through METS. For more info, go to www.mdequinetransition.org, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 410-970-6474.


DRY LEASE WANTED wanted (4-6 stalls). Looking in and around Kennett Square to West Chester, PA. Ideal features would include ample pasture, preferably w/option to leave horses out 24/7 when weather is good. Also ideal would be outdoor riding ring and access to hacking. Indoor nice, but not a deal-breaker. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with what you have.


Tom Foley first and second in HITS Grand Prix (2)

OCALA, Fla.--Tom Foley placed first and seond 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.

 

PAUL HALPERN on Esra placed third after going inside the timers during the short course, which caused his elimination in the jump-off.

“The time allowed was a little on the snug side, so you had to think about that all the way around,” said Foley of the first round. “Some of the lines were set up where we could do seven or eight and you had to think about that along with the time allowed, which made it a little bit tricky. For my horses, obviously it suited them both, so for me, it worked out pretty well!”

Foley returned first in the jump-off on Ibalius SMH and finished clean in 44.318 seconds., then on Idalgo had a rail for 4 faults and second place.

“I knew I was going to win either way, and Idalgo was getting a little fast at the jumps for me,” said Foley. “So I jumped him around the second round and let him learn to back up a little bit himself. He just felt a little fresh too, so another round just before Sunday was good for him.”

 

Kate Shoemaker wins in Para-Dressage at the Festival (2)

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.”

 

SHOEMAKER'S para dressage career (she had previously evented internationally) began at this very venue in 2014.

She drove 30 hours from Oklahoma, where she was working in a vet clinic, to attend the show and it was in Wellington that her illustrious para journey was launched.

Soon after, she found Solitaer 40 and, with the help of trainer Andrea Woodard, took the horse to the World Equestrian Games in 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics.

At Festival 9, Shoemaker handed over Solitaer 40’s reins to the Grade II rider Fiona Howard, who has the neuromuscular disease, dystonia.

She posted a 68.908% win on the 16-year-old gelding by Sandro Hit x De Niro and is coached by Shoemaker.

Shoemaker played a huge part in the success of yet another winner, Grade V victor Cynthia Screnci.

The 55-year-old rode Sir Chipoli to 70.427%, with a high score of 71.923% from the judge at C Adrienne Pot, who awarded 10 eights.

Shoemaker found ‘Chip’ for Screnci and they have won their last 15 international starts together over the past two years.

“Kate has an amazing ability of looking at a rider and being able to pair them with a horse,” said Screnci. “This is the second horse she’s helped me with using Facebook ads. Within a day somebody responded, sent videos and she met them for breakfast. The next thing I knew I was on a plane going to Germany to try Chip. I rode him for five days, took him to a show, and said, ‘Find him a flight and get him home’. The credit goes to Kate; she’s such a supporter of the program and the growth of the team.”

In 2015 Screnci was a jumper rider at the Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival and broke her ankle in a fall.

Soon after, she jumped in her swimming pool a little too soon, admitting that she was trying to rehab herself a little too early, and ended up with a bacterial infection.

That led to osteomyelitis, a bone inflammation, that led to 26 surgeries.

After another injury show jumping, this time to her knee on the same leg, she decided to take the para dressage route instead.

“I came into this thinking that it would be a cake walk and then got the hard realization that I don’t know anything,” she said. “I love it every day because it’s such a cognitive sport. Every step you take is thoughtful, and I just love that about it, and the opportunities you get in para to compete internationally and do what we do is exciting.

“Chip is an amazing creature and he knows so much more than I do,"  said Screnci, who recently began training with Andrea Woodard. "It’s taken us a couple of years to start to gel and we just recently started to put it together, so today was a big deal to me. It shows that all the hard work is paying off and coming together,”

The young Adalie Tuman, 17, won the Grade III test with 67.222% on Beste Guess.

This was Tuman and the 13-year-old American warmblood gelding’s second international show together.

She was the 2022 Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund grant recipient and hopes to ride at the Paralympics.

Her disability is a progressive nerve and muscle wasting disease called Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome.

Grade I rider Roxanne Trunnell on Fortunato H20 had a new personal best of 74.93%.

The 37-year-old Tokyo Paralympic gold medalist garnered an eight for general impression from all three judges.

Honorable Mention Candid photo (2)

Maria Celai Mullins of Colere, Md., took this photo.

"This is my husband, Richard. He is 84 years old, on his trusted horse Colt 45 during a trail ride at Fair Hill, Md., at the beginning of the leaf change, last October," said Mullins.

Candid 84 yo on horse

Fiona Howard won two Grade II Para Dressage classes at the Festival (2)

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.”

 

HOWARD only began competing in para dressage in 2022, and this year rode in her first competition out of the country, contesting the CPEDI in Doha in February, where she finished first or second in all three tests on her own horse, Jagger.

“It’s all been a whirlwind,” she said. “Soli has such a big heart and he just wants to do everything right. He’s got a huge personality, he’s super loving but goofy at the same time. I just have a lot of fun on him and I’m really grateful that Kate allows me to ride him, and he’s taught me so much; he’s such a great teacher. Before I competed him, Kate said to go out there and have fun. He’s a blast.”

Shoemaker herself continued to make strides with her new horse, the 12-year-old Ghandi, securing her second Grade IV victory in as many days at the pair’s first international outing.

Shoemaker, 35, logged 71.442% on the gelding in the individual test.

Grade I rider Roxanne Trunnell, 37, a Tokyo Paralympic gold medalist, built on her previous day’s good performance to produce yet another impressive test on Saturday.

She rode the 7-year-old stallion Fortunato H20 to score 72.43%.

“Being that he’s a stallion, we are still working on keeping him more in and with me the whole ride and it seems to be working,” said Trunnell, whose para journey started after she suffered swelling on the brain and a stroke following a suspected infected mosquito bite in 2009.

“I really liked the stretch down in my test,” she said. “I’ve been working hard on getting him to accept that. Looking towards tomorrow’s freestyle, I want to keep working on keeping him steady and calm and the same.”

Trunnell only began competing the Oldenburg gelding less than a year ago, when he was just 6, but the pair have won eight out of their 12 international starts together and helped the US team to bronze at the Para Championships in Herning, Denmark, in August 2022.

On Friday Rebecca Hart won the Grade III team test on Fortune 500, finishing second on El Corona Texel, and on Saturday, in the individual test, she again dominated with Fortune 500, but Elle Woolley moved up a place to place second and relegate El Corona Texel into third.

Hart and Fortune 500,scored an unassailable 70.444% for the win.

Despite an error of course, 55-year-old Cynthia Screnci won the Grade V individual test, adding another blue ribbon to their win in the team test this week.

She rode Sir Donnerhall gelding Sir Chipoli to 68.579%.

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 (2)

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.

 

BLUMAN finished six tenths of a second ahead in 43.24 , while Sweetnam on James Kann Cruz was second with another strong showing in five-star competition at WEF.

After finishing third in the Grand Prix two weeks earlier, Sweetnam compared the courses built by Wade.

“It was very difficult in a different way; not dimensionally but especially the last line for a bigger strided horse was very difficult," said Sweetnam. "He made a point to put the last jump in the corner where it’s normally not, and the horses thought they were a done. This was top sport with four great horses and riders in the second round, and no poles.”

“This time of the year you have some of the greatest riders in the world here for the season so it's very intense," said Bluman. "You have to really plan, and I think part of the reason you see this podium here is because we know how to make a plan. These are big jumps, very technical, high competition and you have to treat it that way. If you know how to manage the season it’s a great tool for you, your clients, owners and your family.”

While it was a good field of top riders, the best riders in the world were in the Netherlands for the Rolex Grand Slam that Ward won over the numbers one, two and three riders on the world ranking list, a list on which Ward stands fourth.

Also clear in the jump-off, Cook finished third on Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet, and Nassar was fourth on Igor van de Wittemoere.

“This jump-off really rewarded how fast you could cover ground more so than turning,” said Cook. “There were three turns, so it was basically about ground coverage and on a horse like her she flies with a bit more turn, whereas these guys’ horses are just faster across the ground. So, the goal was just to cover the ground as fast as I could but after watching I knew I had to go fast. After fence two, I knew I probably wasn’t going to make it."

“This class was really important for us because I haven’t shown her since December and chose to give her a few months off so she could rest and save her legs for later,” said Cook. “It's always a bit of a risk to hold your cards closer to the end because it puts all the pressure on those couple times you decide to show. So, I knew I put a lot of pressure on myself and the last two ‘Saturday Night Lights’ I fell off and stopped out so, we’re doing alright.”

“We live to have moments like this where you're competing against people you really admire and horses you really like," said Bluman. "It was just the right group in the jump-off and I was really motivated to win it and when I crossed the timers I had a feeling I had.”

Bluman and Ladriano Z will next compete at FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

VICTORIA COLVIN on El Primero won the USHJA International Hunter Derby earlier in the day.

Colvin on El Primero scored a staggering 96 over the handy course for a total score of 185.25 after a first round score of 89.25 for the win.

Second place went to Greg Crolick on Chappy, who scored a 91 and 93 for a 184 final score, and third went to Jennifer Hannan on Mindful with 183 after tallying a pair of 91.5s.

“The course was very flowing and beautiful,” said Colvin, 26. “Primo started out great. He jumped the first high option wonderfully, as well the first half of the course. He felt fantastic in the handy portion and was very tidy.”

“I have been riding ‘Primo’ for almost five years now, so we obviously know each other quite well,"said Colvin. "He’s the absolute best horse, never spooks and you know he’ll just go right into the arena, march around and try very hard to win. He always tries so hard and gives it his all. He is a great derby and one of the most fun horses to ride.

 

Honorable Mention Candid photo (2)

Sue Wiseman of Boyertown, Pa. took this photo.

"Sally, a Shire, is in full protective “mom mode” refusing to move for her owner, Barb Pattison of Oley, Pa., as her first foal, Beau, stands by her side," said Wiseman. "Barb’s husband, Joe, watches from afar."

Candid shire

Lebanon's Jad Dana won the 1.50m Classic at WEF (2)

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.

 

DANA WAS almost speechless after his victory.

“I went late in the jump-off, which is definitely an advantage because I got to see how fast they went,"said Dana. "Honestly, when I saw Nayel, who ended up fourth, I didn’t think I could beat him, and I thought it would be impossible to beat Darragh."

“Even though my mare is very fast, the riders today had so much experience and they are incredibly talented,” said Dana. “I truly thought I had no chance. I was happy to just be in the jump-off to start with. This mare tried her heart out for me today.”

Dana has seen success with After Eight, but he said that he had to work to be competitive with her unconventional style.

“The way she goes and the way she jumps is a little different, but you can tell she’s very hot and has a lot of blood,” said Dana. “She does everything because of her huge heart. I love her so much. I have no words.”

Sunday’s CSI5* first win for both Dana and After Eight came after a CSI3* 1.50m victory during opening week of international competition at WEF.

“I was thinking to myself today that I’m a very competitive person and I absolutely love to win but I also recognized that I was in a five-star and I hoped to enjoy it,” said Dana who trains with U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Leslie Howard. “Even if it wasn’t a win today, I am grateful and enjoyed the moment. To win a five-star is absolutely a dream come true. I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I had a chance really, but everything just went really well.”

 

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

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.

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.

 

HENRIK VON ECKERMANN of Sweden on King Edward, the combination that won team gold and placed fourth individually in the Tokyo Olympics, and the number one ranked rider, was first in the jump-off.

Going very fast with tight turns back to huge jumps, von Eckermann finished clean in 38.52.

Next to go was world number three ranked Julien Eppaillard of France on Donatello D’Auge, clean in 38.06 to take over the lead.

World number two Martin Fuchs of Switzerland on Leone Jei was next in and finished clean in 38.79 to stand third at the time.

Next came Ward, world ranked number four, and HH Azur, who cut corners even closer to finish clean in 37.86.

Eighth to go in the jump-off, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland on Dynamix de Belheme was fast, finishing clean in 38.53 to eventually place third behind Ward and Eppaillard.

Seven of the remaining 11 to go had rails down while trying to shave time off Ward's 37.86, and the remaining three were not quite fast enough to make the top six, while the last to go, Niels Kersten of the Netherlands finished clean in 39.01 on Hallilea to place sixth.

The first four in the ring were not only among the fastest, they also rode very smart rounds, and each left just a tiny bit on the table for another rider to slip through for the win.

It was a nail-biting wait after Ward's round while the next 12 went, waiting as each horse went to see if Ward's time could be beaten.

There was a long run to the last fence, and 14th to go in the jump-off, world ranked number 12 Simon Delestre of France on Cayman Jolly Jumper was leading by 100s of a second going to the last fence, but he tried to leave out a stride for the win and had it down in the effort.

So Ward won on 37.86. followed by Eppaillard, 38.06, von Eckermann, 38.52, Guerdat, 38.53, Fuchs, 38.79 and Kersten, 39.01.

When Ward entered  the ring for the victory ceremony, he walked close to the stands, reaching out to touch the hands of the fans closest to the ring in a gesture typical of Ward's appreciation for fans and his thoughtfulness.

HH Azur is a phenomenal mare, and her ability at age 17 to still win major championships show how well and carefully Ward  has campaigned her and maintained her top form.

She was his mount at age 10 to win the team silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and in 2017 Ward and HH Azur won the World Cup Finals.

As U.S. chef d'equipe Robert Ridland said, "She is one of those amazing horses that can win indoors and outdoors in a huge arena."

While HH Azur can still win championships, at her age she can no longer compete at a top level for three of four days in a row, as horses have to do at the Olympics and World Championships.

But as Ward has said many times, "HH Azur doesn't owe anyone anything. Anything she wins now is just icing on the cake."

Honorable Mention Candid photo (2)

MaryAnn Riess took this photo of Master James Paxson of Riverhill Foxhounds in Nottingham Park , Nottingham Pa., calling hounds while one hound echoed the call, that she entitled “A horn and hound in unison.”

Candid Paxson calling hounds

 

Nora Batchelder won twice at the World Equestrian Center's rated dressage shows (2)

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.”

 

SHE ALSO rode two of Carol Glover’s horses, Divo and Mulder RH. Divo was formerly ridden by Glover, but Batchelder has taken over the reins to “see what he could do.”

“We did some small tour stuff at first, then last year moved up to Intermediate II and grand prix,” said Batchelder. “Then we did a handful of shows and he won the Intermediate II and the grand prix at regionals, so this year we’re trying the harder stuff, like the special and freestyle. This was his second special."

“We may try one of the CDIs at WEC in April or May with him, but it’s a big jump to get into the grand prix CDI ring," she said. "Even the jump from the grand prix to the special is big, it’s a hard test. We do an abbreviated warm-up because if I warm up too much he gets tired. The special is eight minutes long, and I was really proud of him. Our last centerline was our best final centerline in any of our grand prix or special tests. He had really good energy.”

Mulder was home-bred by the Batchelder family, and Glover bought him as a 4-year-old.

The gelding is now 6, and this was his first competition. He competed at Third Level and scored 63.25%.

“This was a big environment for him for his first show,” said Batchelder, “but he handled it well, and we have lots of good stuff to build on. It’s always fun to go to WEC. The facility is amazing. It’s got everything you could hope for; the footing is great, and the stabling is fantastic. It’s also really nice in Florida to have climate-controlled arenas.”

Dutch rider Ivo Juhrend, who moved to the U.S. in 2018, had four wins on his two horses Dutch D-Day and Black Diamond as well as placings on Eye Catcher and Bjiray Da Braccio in a two-day period.

His best scores came at grand prix level, scoring over 70% in two tests on Dutch D-Day, and also had two wins on the former jumper Black Diamond at Intermediate II, with 67.941% and 69.706%.

The Florida Youth Dressage Championships were held after a Covid-induced pause of two years.

This was the first time that the Championships, created in 2013, were held at WEC – Ocala.

Entrants in the Junior and Pony divisions competed in two straight tests (the team and individual tests), each one comprising 40% of the final mark, and then a freestyle to music (20%).

For the Young Rider, Children and Under-25 divisions, it was a 50/50 weighting of two straight tests, with no freestyle.

The overall youth champion was 16-year-old Justine Boyer, who won with three solid tests at Junior level on PRE Campanero HG, scoring 70.455%, 69.485% and 68.013%.

Boyer, who is based in Ocala, won the Children’s title at the 2019 edition of the show with a different horse.

“This show is especially fun because I get to compete with other junior riders and get to know them, and maybe in the future we will get to be teammates at North American Youth Championships,” said Boyer, who won over nine in the Junior division.

“Showing here at WEC is definitely amazing. We’ve worked a lot to get Campanero to not be so spooky, and this is the show where he really outdid himself and wasn’t spooky, so it was really nice. We’ve been together for four years working up toward juniors. It’s been interesting to get to ride an advanced horse at a young age,” said Boyer, who has won all six international tests she has entered with Campanero since they began competing at CDIs in September 2022.

Texas-based Alexandra Garvey’s scores in the Pony division on Unsciped climbed as the week went on, and her top score of the week, 69.65%, was enough to seal the Pony championship title.

Bennett McWhorter, 13, finished runner-up to Garvey in the Pony division, but he won the Children’s division, where Garvey had to settle for second place.

McWhorter, of Baton Rouge, La, rode Fortoula and had an average score of 67.345% over the two tests.

Two plus-67% scores sealed the Young Rider title for 20-year-old Celsiana William as riding Prima Ballerina she led from start to finish.

William is originally from Trinidad, Calif., but is now based in Ocala.

She has owned Prima Ballerina since she was 4 and this was her first time in the Florida Youth Dressage Championships.

Nicole Scarpino, 24, who is also based in Ocala, was another to lead her division from the start.

She won the Under-25 Championship title riding Lambada 224 to over 68% in both the Intermediate II and the Under-25 Grand Prix tests.

She plans to compete in the Under-25 CDI divisions next and hopes to step up to some national Grand Prix classes.

Sharn Wordley on Valentine Car won the $100,000 Grand Prix at HITS Ocala (2)

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.

 

WORDLEY was fast to the first oxer and made a very tight turn to the combination before leaving out a stride in the final line to finish in 35.453 seconds, going straight to the top of the leaderboard.

Halpen on Esra was next to compete and was clean in 36.907 seconds to eventually place third, giving Wordley the win.

“Valentine Car is a really quick-moving horse, but he did a fast turn to the combination, which made up quite a bit of time,” said Wordley. “He turned very tight and he was quite fast down the last line, but a lot of the horses were on a similar time, so it was a quick class.”

Wordley is one of the co-founders of Wordley Martin, who resurfaced four of the rings at HITS Ocala for the 2023 show season, and will be heading to HITS Saugerties to resurface three of the rings at that facility.

“I'm happy with all the progress that HITS has made here in a very short period of time,” said Wordley. “At Saugerties, we're going to redo three of the main arenas, so that's the main improvement, but we're going to try to create a softer, more Adirondack feeling to the venue as well. It will be done in stages, but the first stage for the food area, the office and some of those public areas will make it a more inviting, warm place.”

Honorable Mention Candid photo (2)

Elizabeth Yoder of Honey Brook, Pa,. sent this photo,

"This is a picture my niece, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Yoder took on her goodbye visit with her buddy, 30 year old quarter horse gelding, Smiley," said Yoder.

Candid girl w. horse head

Mark Bluman won the 1.40m Grand Prix at The Ridge (2)

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.

Bruton Street's Franco de Port placed third at Cheltenham, while Graham Motion, McLane Hendriks and Bernie Houghton had winners & Brooklyn Strong had an Allowance 3rd place (2)

PRESTBURY PARK, England--Bruton Street V's Franco de Port finished third in the $90,000 Glenfarclas Chase, a cross country chase for 5 year olds and up, on March 15 at the Cheltenham Festival, England's biggest steeplechase meet that features a week of top grade races.

Franco de PortFranco de PortIt's such a renowned race meet that it's always a big deal to hit the board in one of its races.

Gordon Elliot, one of Ireland's top trainers, saddled both the winner, Delta Work, ridden by Keith Donoghue, and the second placed Galvin, ridden by Davey Russell, while Willie Mullins, Ireland's leading trainer, saddled Franco de Port, ridden by P.W. Mullins.

This was Donoghue's fourth win the this race, which had 16 starters this year.

"He gave a good account of himself," said Charlie Fenwick, a partner in Bruton Street along with Mike Hankin and Charlie Noell.

"The two winners were the clear favorites in the race, and Franco de Port was the third favorite, and that's the way they finished," said Fenwick. "We were pleased with him."

Bruton Street, National Steeplechasing's Leading Owner in 2022, has had countless winners in this country, but it's the first time the stable has had a horse hit the board at Cheltenham.

 

GRAHAM MOTION saddled RyZan Sun Racing and Madaket Stable's Mission of Joy to win the $200,000, G3 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/6 miles on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs on March 11.

Mission of Joy settled in the middle of the pack, swung six wide on the last turn. dueled to the wire and won by a neck

McLANE HENDRIKS saddled his mother Elizabeth Merryman's Witty to win a $55,000, six furlong Allowance Optional Claiming race at Parx on March 8.

Witty started a bit slow, raced off the pace, kicked clear in the stretch and won by 3/4 length.

BERNIE HOUGHTON trained Joseph Viviana's Morgans Cove to win an $18,100, 6 furlong Maiden Claiming Race for 3-year-old fillies  at Penn National on March 10.

Going four wide on the turn, Morgans Cove drew away to win by 4 1/2 lengths.

Houghton also claimed Memphis Mafia for $5,000 for Daniel Lunceford  on March 8 at Penn National.

BROOKLYN STRONG, by Wicked Strong who stands at Dr, Solomon's Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom, Pa., finished third in an $87,000 Allowance race at Gulfstream on March 15.

This was Brooklyn Strong's first race this year, and he now has three wins and six thirds from 15 starts and $301,880 in earnings.

Honorable Mention Candid photo (2)

Tammy Hang of Malvern, Pa., took this photo of Mike Wilson with Beau, Mike and Patches, at Book Family Farm in Coatesville.

Candid Mike Wilson w. 3 horses

Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD won the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Festival (2)

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.

 

“HE FELT a little tired in the last test, so I shortened the warmup by 10 minutes and didn’t ride all the energy out in the warmup,” said Wandres. “We tried to find another way to prepare and it worked out very well today. I had a way better feeling tonight even with a small mistake in the one tempis, which is percentage-wise an expensive mistake. I trust him because now he’s experienced enough to do all the tricks in the arena."

“He really loved it out there," he said. "It’s another venue and the atmosphere is incredible. There were a lot of people and I was very happy to see that. This is a five-star, so everyone is excited. I like being in this arena after a season in the stadium. It’s great experience for the horses to go somewhere else.”

In the CDI5* Grand Prix for Special, Pablo Gómez Molina of Spain had a new personal best, riding Ulises De Ymas to 71.239% at his first ever five-star show.

The 28-year-old Gómez Molina knows the horse inside out, having ridden him all the way up from young horse classes.

They began international grand prix two years ago and this was their third consecutive win this season.

Belgium’s Laurence Vanommeslaghe was second with 70.065% on Havalon, and Morgan Barbançon of France was third with 69.391% on Habana Libre A.

“I’m really excited because I was nervous this week,” said Gómez Molina. “Not because I didn’t think we were ready, but because it’s a five-star. I’m just excited and I want to ride. Once I got on, the nerves all went away."

“Ulises was with me tonight and that’s what I really enjoy. I know there are things I can do better next time but the second passage and piaffe was really nice," he said. "In the canter and extended trots too we were very solid. We are working really good at home and we still see things that we can improve. Everything little by little is coming together and we are able to present the horse better and ride better in the test.”

“With Ulises, the collection was always easy, but at some point we were struggling in the collected movements because he wanted to use himself so much it became tension," he said. "But he wants to work with you, he has a huge heart, and always tries hard.”

Honorable Mention Candid photo (2)

Pamela Bastings took this photo of Jennifer Cadwalader and Wilson King with his pair at the Inaugural Mount Harmon Point-to-Point Races.

Candid carriage

Massive entries in two steeplechase meets this weekend predict a great racing season (2)

Steeplechase racing is not only alive and well, but, if the entries at two meets this weekend are any indication, it has more enthusiastic trainers and more horses than ever.

Foxhall Farm CupFoxhall Farm CupThere's a massive total of 182 horses entered between Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point on Saturday, March 18 in Warrenton, Va., and the Foxhall Farm Cup Team Chase in Cockeysville, Md., on Sunday, March 19.

There are 107 horses entered in 10 races at Warrenton, with the biggest number of entries, 27 being in the maiden hurdle.

Last year's Leading Trainer Leslie Young has six entered, but only in the two flat races.

The second and third placed leading trainers last year, Keri Brion and Jack Fisher, have numerous entries.

Brion has nine entered, with most, five, in the maiden hurdle, and Fisher has 10 entered, including four in the open hurdle and three in the maiden hurdle.

Along with the maiden and open hurdle races, there's an amateur/novice rider hurdle.

There are three timber races, an open, a novice and an amateur and novice race, as well as three flat races and a side saddle race.

 

AT THE FOXHALL Farm Cup Team Chase, which features three riders from a hunt in each team, there are 10 teams entered in the fastest time and 15 teams entered in the average time chase.

Green Spring Valley Hounds and Elkridge-Harford Hunt have four each teams in the fastest time chase, while Cheshire Hounds and Blue Ridge Hunt have one each.

Elkridge-Harford and Green Spring again are prominent in the average time chase with five each, but Cheshire also has five teams entered there.

Morgan Barban├žon on Bolero won the Grand Prix CDI3* for Special at the Festival (2)

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.

 

“I’M SUPER happy with my season,” she said. “The horses have improved tons. The horses that I have now are not indoor horses, they are sensitive horses, so I am happy to be competing outside, and we are now going to be ready for the outdoor season; the horses will already be in the mood for the shows. I don’t need to show them so much in Europe to get ready for the Europeans, because they are getting their mileage and experience now.”

Dong Seon Kim of Korea on Galleria’s Bohemian was second with 69.978%, and Susan Dutta on Don Design DC was third on 68.739%.

In the Donato Farms Prix St. Georges CDI1*, Kevin Kohmann  on Five Star won over a class of 31 with a score of 73.284%.

“I think some highlights today were my trot work,” said Kohmann. “There were highlights in the canter, and the extended canter. That’s always a highlight with this horse, I’ve gotten 10’s on that movement before with him. All the extensions he loves, anything really forward. The walk is amazing on the horse, normally his extended walk and extended canter is the highlight with him.

“The horse was simply amazing,” said Kohmann. “He really helps me in the ring all the time, which is so nice.”

Out of 25 international starts together, the pair has had 15 wins, and Kohmann has goals to make a Pan Am team with the horse this year.

“We have not been riding Prix St. Georges/I1 for a long time at this point,” he said. “We have been showing nationally at Grand Prix but it is not quite right in the big ring yet, and in going back to small tour, we might have a chance to qualify for Pan Am Games. After the CDI’s we will just see where he’s at and evaluate, but he’s basically ready for it.”

“We are going to do every CDI that’s left here,” Kohmann said. “There’s one next week and then we will go to both CDIs in Ocala and try to collect the points we need.”

Denmark’s Alexander Yde Helgstrand on Belantis,was second in the Prix St. Georges CDI1* with 72.647%, and Kristina Harrison-Antell on Felix was third with 71.569%.

Richard Vogel won the WEF Challenge Cup over McLain Ward (2)

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.”

 

VOGEL, an up-and-coming rider, has experienced tremendous success in the ring this season at WE with three wins, including winning a CSI4* on Cepano Baloubet earlier in the season.

“Riders like Mclain have tremendous experience and you can learn a lot from them," said Vogel. "I like to watch him a bit in the warm-ups, and then obviously also in the ring and where he makes up time in a jump-off and I think you can learn a lot just watching those kinds of riders. In general, Wellington is a great place for us young riders to watch and learn from the older and more experienced riders.”

“I’ve had a great season and the horses are all jumping very well,” said Vogel. “I have some young horses that have been moving up the levels and have made great progress and then I have the older horses who are jumping very well also.”

Vogel and Cepano Baloubet will next compete in the $226,000 CSI4* Grand Prix during ‘Saturday Night Lights.’

The Horse of Delaware Valley

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