Stanford Equestrian Fall Update
Written by CRM
Thursday, 15 November 2018 16:45

Fall at the Stanford Red Barn!

What a wonderful Fall at the Red Barn! The Stanford Equestrian Team finished our last season with our second-straight 3rdplace finish at the IHSA National Finals for Hunt Seat, and a 6thplace finish for Dressage at the IDA National Finals, and we crowned four more National Champion or Reserve National Champion riders, bringing Stanford's total to 26! You can read more about the IHSA and IDA Nationals finals below.

We kicked off the season with seven new riders, bringing our ranks to 44 for the season. Although we currently have a record nine athletes studying overseas this semester, all of our riders dug in and started the season strong with Hunt Seat and Dressage going undefeated in Fall, and Western taking Reserve High Point Team two of their first three times in the arena.


Our IEA (High School and Middle School) teams have also gotten off to a strong start, with both our Red Barn and Woodside Teams scoring wins and close to qualifying for Regionals at the halfway point in the season. We are particularly excited to welcome Katie Steiner to our Coaching Staff! Katie take over the coaching of our IEA teams and joins Assistant Coach/Program Director, Tina Davey, and Barn Manager, Cathy D’Arcey.  
We are beyond delighted to have completed the reroofing of our Covered Arena and the historic Red Barn, thanks to gifts and support from almost 50 donors and families! It feels amazing to have the new arena roof—complete with additional skylights for light, and a new overhang to prevent flooding—not to mention gorgeous new GGT footing, and a beautiful (historically accurate color) roof on the Red Barn!
Now, we are turning our attention to building our endowment to allow the Equestrian Program to remain strong in perpetuity. As we receive no funding of any kind from Stanford and/or the Department of Athletics, the Student Equestrian Endowment will allow us to fully fund all members of the Team, subsidize Physical Education classes, provide financial aid as needed to IEA and AEL riders, and support our horses. Currently all Team members pay dues and user fees and $40,000 of annual fundraising is still required to cover the cost of Post-Season travel fees and financial aid. More information on how to support either our annual campaign or endowment is below!
It certainly will be a busy year at the Red Barn -- we hope to see you there!

Vanessa Bartsch
Executive Director/Head Coach Equestrian
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it          

2018 Fall Hunt Seat Results

The Hunt Seat Team finished off their Fall season undefeated: Stanford University 133pts, Cal Poly, SLO 93, UC Berkeley 53, Santa Cruz 39, UC Davis 26, Sonoma 26, Santa Clara 16, Nevada 12, CSUMB 1.

Stanford had our first Hunt Seat Regional Qualifier with sr. Hannah Ankeny in Novice Fences (Ankeny went on to an undefeated run in Int. Flat as well). Our Open riders, jr. Kelsi Okun and sr. Kristen Blomstrom, have each collected wins with Okun taking back-to-back High Point Rider awards at our home show! Tying Okun for High Point Rider at our first home show was so. Lindsay Thornton with her double wins. Additional wins for the season have been racked up by sr. Cate Guyman, so. Peyton Freeman, jr. Emma McLean. The Cardinal also has an  undefeated streak in WTC with jr. Ali Black, sr. Claire Jacobson, and sr. Julia Grace each with blues, not to mention sr. Jenn Parker winning her first WT class!

Next up for Hunt Seat:
Jan 26 & 27 @ Berkeley
Feb 9 & 10 HOME @ Stanford Red Barn
March 2 Regionals & CA Collegiate Finals @ Stanford Red Barn

2018 Fall Dressage Results

Dressage posted two big team wins to kick off their season in the lead. First Level rider, so. Abby Fleischli, won both her classes, taking High Point Rider on the second day. So. Lucy Brewer made her showing debut at Intro and won her first blue on Sunday. There were also Top Five finishes for sr. Holly Francis in her first-ever Dressage show (at Upper), as well as sr. Alexa Corse (Lower), and so. Melda Alaluf (First).

Dressage leads the Region and next shows:
Jan 19 & 20 HOME @ Stanford Red Barn
Feb 16 & 17 @ UC Davis

2018 Fall Western Results

Our Western Team had a super recruitment year and started the year with strong showings. Jr. Ross Ewald moved into Open and won her first Reining class last weekend at Davis. Jr. Ali Black and So. Eden Grown-Haeberli became Stanford's first two 'crossover' athletes in a number of years (competing for both Hunt Seat and Western), both in the ribbons. Fr. Paiton Gleeson, fr. Meagan Matthews, and so. Carson Conley all showed for the first time for Stanford. And, jr. Sam Baird's win at WJ made her the very first Western Regional Qualifier of the season!

More western showing in Winter :
Feb 2 & 3 @ Cal Poly
Feb 23 @ Cal Poly
Feb 24: Regionals & CA Collegiate Finals @ Cal Poly

Horses of the Red Barn

This summer we had some big shoes to fill in the Red Barn after Team legend, Sterling, retired to Lompoc, CA to live with former Team horse, Lux, as well as a zebra!! (We can’t thank Alex Lopez enough for sponsoring this retirement, not to mention all the alums who helped make it happen, especially Wei Ling and Katherine!).
Joining us are some simply amazing horses, such as Bubblegum (seen above), Sophia Siegel’s 2017 NAJYR partner, a seasoned 1.40m horse with equitation and dressage experience. “Bubs” has quickly become a favorite of our top riders for his amazing athleticism and great personality. We were also joined by Sinatra’s Ruhm, a top ‘Big Eq’ horse, with wins at the PCHA Finals, who also excels at Dressage (thanks to Julia Stone).
Additionally, two stars of the barn came to us through owners at Windy Hill, with the delightful Rosy (thanks to Jamie Gates) and Prince Charming, “Charlie," (our thanks to Maeve Phelan), and our thanks to a generous anonymous donor who helped purchase a new red-roan AQHA horse for our Western program named “Nacho!”
Going into 2019 we are looking to retire top team horses, Molly and Cozmoz—both are fantastic, but quirky horses, so we know this will be a challenge. (Molly competed in the 1.45m and Cozmoz did World Cup trials, but both have some arthritis.) Additionally, as we look at building and strengthening our Physical Education (P.E.) offerings, as well as build our Western Team, if you know of any amazing Quarter Horses, or would ever be willing to sponsor the purchase of one (they are generally $5,000 or less), please let us know!

IHSA & IDA National Finals

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Finals were held May 3-6 in Harrisburg, PA, at the historic Harrisburg Farm Show Complex. The IHSA is comprised of over 400 varsity and club collegiate teams, with the top 16 qualifying through the Regional and Zone Finals to compete for the Collegiate Cup. Representing IHSA Zone 8 (USHJA Zone 10), Stanford University won their 13th straight Zone Finals, affording them the chance to be one of the top 16 teams competing for a National title.

Stanford's Dressage Team sent a full team to the IDA National Finals for the first time in a half a dozen years, with three individual riders competing as well. In addition to the Team's historic 6th place finish (the highest in program history), Abby Fleischli took home two Reserve National Championships (in Individual and Team First Level), the highest place of a Stanford Dressage rider in history.

To read the full article about our Hunt Seat Team:

To read the full article about our Dressage Team:

Supporting the Program

The Red Barn and Stanford Equestrian Programs are self-funded, with no monetary support from Stanford University or the Department of Athletics. While the Equestrian Team charges a nominal user fee (the same cost as when I was a student on the team 20 years ago!), participation is 'need blind' so that students on financial aid can get assistance in covering those fees. Last year 60% of the Team was on some form of financial aid or scholarship.

*Building our endowment: We have raised almost $600,000 towards our $5,000,000 goal to fully endow the Equestrian Programs! Gifts small or large, including multi-year pledges, are always appreciated! We also have naming opportunities such as:
$50,000 to name a stall
$250,000 to name a tack room or locker room
$1,000,000 to name the Assistant Coaching position
$3,000,000 to name the Head Coaching position (i.e. the Jane Doe Director of Equestrian)
A single, or multiyear, endowment pledge of $50K provides annual revenue for one athletes on scholarship to participate at no cost, or two horses to get all needed veterinary care each year in perpetuity!
*Equestrian Team Annual Fund: Each year we raise about $40,000 to cover the cost of Post-Season travel, as well as financial aid for dues. Last year we sent eight athletes and two coaches to Harrisburg for a week for the IHSA National Finals, four athletes and one coach to Lake Erie College for the IDA Finals and two riders and a coach to New York for the Semi-Finals! This year travel will take us to Florida, New York and New Jersey! It is a Herculean effort to get us all their without leaving any athletes behind for financial reasons.

*Dressage Arena Campaign: Now that our Covered Arena and Red Barn Roof are completed, we will begin the process of assessing our Dressage Arena (i.e. the feasibility of a roof vs. all new footing). More details to come soon!
And, as always, what we appreciate as much as anything are alumni who come back to help warm-up ride at shows, the families who volunteer to bring food to shows, and the volunteers who help put on everything from our Festival to the Tack Sale! For more info on getting involved, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Gifts can be made online at and choosing:
-Stanford Athletics
-Other Designation
-GARDC: Equestrian

New Team Athletes - Seven new student athletes from three countries

While Stanford's Equestrian Team has remained a Club Sport and we have little to no sway in the admissions process, we are so thrilled that dozens of talented student athletes have managed to be in the 4.65% admitted! This year nearly four dozen potential riders came out to the Barn through our Invitational and Walk-on Tryouts in the Fall. Meet those who were selected below! To see all of our team's riders you can visit our full roster on the website here!

Thank you!!

A big thanks to photographer Damian Marhefka, equine chiropractor Jamie Lucia, the veterinarians at Bayhill Equine, and farrier Steve Wiberg for all they do for us!

In addition, we are so grateful for our longtime sponsors: CWD Sellier, GPA Helmets, Kastel Denmark, EquiFit, Equitex, Ariat, Sterling Essentials, ELLA, and Heritage Gloves!

Press release provided by Stanford Equestrian Team.

Zones 9 & 10 Riders Earn Coveted Medals and Gold Star Emerging Jumper Rider Titles at Zone Jumper Team Championships
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 17:32

November 11, 2018 concluded the final USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships of the year with the last USHJA Gold Star Emerging Jumper Rider titles and invitations to USHJA Gold Star Clinics awarded to Individual medalists of the USHJA Zones 9 and 10 Jumper Team Championships.

Individual Championships

The 1.10/1.15m Children's section kicked off the Individual competition. Allyson Meister rode All Afrika Z to gold, Olivia Williams and Cansas earned silver, and Sydney Mondorf and Levino 18 claimed bronze. After riding the 1.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Team gold clinching jump-off round earlier that morning, Stacey Bacheller and Hyval returned in the afternoon to claim the Individual gold medal for herself as well. Katerina Baney and Calina finished in silver, and Linda Fotsch and Chirico W earned bronze.

111318zone1Children's Individual medalists Olivia Williams (silver), Allyson Meister (gold), and Sydney Mondorf (bronze). Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

111318zone2Adult Amateur Individual medalists Katerina Baney (silver), Stacey Bacheller (gold), and Linda Fotsch (bronze). Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

Ending fault-free over the three days of competition, Lexi Burdon rode Daminka Du Lys to gold in the 1.20/1.25m Junior Individual Championship. Stella Buckingham and Eranka B earned silver, and Amelie Bittar and Star Girl B earned bronze. Hannah Ellerbrock won the 1.20/1.25m Amateur Individual Final aboard Lagos with three days of clear rounds. Jayme Omand and Zador took the silver medal with just 4 faults, and Jasmine Talley and Rammstein rounded out the podium with 8 faults and the bronze medal.

111318zone31.20/1.25m Junior Individual medalists Stella Buckingham (silver), Lexi Burdon (gold), and Amelie Bittar (bronze). Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA
111318zone41.20/1.25m Amateur Individual medalists Jayme Omand (silver), Hannah Ellerbrock (gold), and Jasmine Talley (bronze). Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

In the 1.30/1.35m Junior/Amateur individual Championship, Rachel Freer and C'est Indezz earned gold, Claire Archer and Sweet Chocolate PJ earned silver, and Sara Jorgensen and Top Top claimed bronze.

111318zone51.30/1.35m Individual medalists Claire Archer (silver), Rachel Freer (gold), and Sara Jorgensen (bronze). Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

Team Championships

Saturday marked the majority of the team competition, and it was exciting, fierce and fun for the 1.10/1.15m Children's, 1.20/1.25m Junior, 1.20/1.25m Amateur, and 1.30/1.35m Junior/Amateur sections with multiple jump offs throughout the day.

A three-way jump-off for medal positions made for an exciting first class of team day in the 1.20/1.25m Junior section. A clean jump-off round for rider Caroline Mawhinney earned the Zone 10 team of Mawhinney, Hallie Williams and Sophia Silveira, led by Chef d'Equipe Ned Glynn, the win. The fastest four fault jump-off from Stella Buckingham earned her and her team of Natalie Gerst and Ava Spinale, led by Chef d'Equipe Katie Gardner, a silver medal finish. In bronze was the Zone 10 team of Maud Christal, Brooke Levy, Lexi Burdon and Laila Klinsmann, led by Chef d'Equipe Rebecca Bruce.

111318zone61.20/1.25m gold medal team of Caroline Mahwinney, Hallie Williams and Sophia Silveira of Zone 10, led by Ned Glynn. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

The Zone 10 team of Carrie Wicks, Jerra Mays and Hannah Ellerbrock, led by Chef d'Equipe Mary Beth Molt, earned the gold medal in the 1.20/1.25m Amateur Team Championship. After an exciting jump-off for silver and bronze, the Zone 10 team of Jayme Osmond, Susan Azad and Karoline Sauls, led by Chef d'Equipe Lucie Wharton, earned silver. The Zone 9 team of Kalie Whitcomb, Bob Widmayer, Selah Shepherd and Danielle Bogardus, led by Chef d'Equipe Katherine Wade-Easley claimed bronze.

111318zone7The Zone 10 team of Jerra Mays, Carrie Wicks, Hannah Ellerbrock, and Chef d'Equipe Mary Beth Molt earned gold in the 1.20/1.25m Amateur team championship. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

In the 1.30/1.35m Junior/Amateur section, there was yet another jump-off, this time for gold. The Zone 10 team of Rachel Freer, Sloan Elmassian, Alexandra Murphy, and Sara Jorgenson, led by Chef d'Equipe Kaitlin Campbell, earned the win when Jorgenson jumped off clean. Finishing silver was the Zone 10 team of Sarah Witten, Sydnie Young, Kate Abajian, and Serena Anand, led by Chef d'Equipe Michael Endicott. Endicott also led the bronze team from Zone 10 of Alessandra Volpi, Catherine Tomlinson, Maeve Phelan and Alyce Bittar. They earned the bronze finish after a jump-off with the combined Zones 9 & 10 team of Rachel Long, Alexa Leong, Claire Archer and Tiffany Martin, led by Chef d'Equipe Katherine Wade Easley.

111318zone8Zone 10 team of Sara Jorgensen, Rachel Freer, Sloan Elmassian, Alexandra Murray and Chef d'Equipe Caitlin Campbell earned gold in the 1.30/1.35m competition. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

Zone 10's Claire Williamson, Ella Kaplan and Allyson Meister were perfect to capture the gold medal spot on the podium for the Children's section. After a three-way jump-off between two Zone 10 teams and a Zone 9 team of Mikaela Ji, Emi Hegarty, and Camille Halstead, led by Chef d'Equipe Katherine Wade-Easley, to determine silver and bronze, the Zone 10 team of Olivia Williams, Lisel Anderson, Zacko Hardin, and Charlotte Jones, led by Chef d'Equipe Daniel Ighani, finished in silver with Williams jumping off clear 2 seconds ahead of the bronze medal team. The Zone 10 team of Gabby Kamins, Nell Cunningham, Lauren Flather, and Grace Belmont, led by Chef d'Equipe Meredith Herman, claimed bronze.

111318zone9Zone 10 1.10/1.15m Children's team of Allyson Meister, Ella Kaplan and Claire Williamson earned gold. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

The USHJA Zone 10 team of Diane Doolittle, Kathleen Lord, Lauren Wilson and Stacey Bacheller, led by Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Kilham, thanks to Bacheller's clean, fast finish in the jump-off. Finishing just 1 second behind Bacheller was Katerina Baney. Baney and her Zone 9 team of Andrea Schroeder, Robin Tomb and Leslie Cox, led by Chef d'Equipe Julie Winkel, took silver. Rounding out the podium, the Zone 10 Adult Amateur team of Tara Brown-Stocks, Evette Delong, Nori Burby, and Chelsea Cain earned bronze with Chef d'Equipe Hillary Ridland.

111318zone101.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Team gold medalists Stacey Bacheller, Lauren Wilson, Diane Doolittle, Kathleen Lord of Zone 10 and Chef d'Equipe Elizabeth Kilham. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

USHJA extends special thanks to the many talented Chefs d'Equipe that led riders at the Championships.  For Zone 9, Katherine Wade-Easley, Lindsey Garner and Julie Winkel served as Chefs d'Equipe. For Zone 10 Cassie Belmont, Denize Borges, Rebecca Bruce, Kaitlin Campbell, Michael Endicott, Katie Gardner, Ned Glynn, Everardo Hegewisch, Meredith Herman, Amy Hess, Elizabeth Kilham, Gry McFarlane, Mary Beth Molt, Hillary Ridland, Erin Rorabaugh, Lucie Wharton, and Alex Wilson served as Chefs d'Equipe.

USHJA also thanks AON HITS Desert Horse Park and the entire HITS team for hosting the Zones 9 & 10 Jumper Team Championships.

Individual gold medalists received a pair of Professional's Choice Pro Performance Boots in addition to a medal, a ribbon and a cooler, and the Adult Amateur individual gold medalist received a pair of Parlanti paddock boots.

Championship competitors were recognized as 2018 USHJA Emerging Jumper Riders. During a special orientation session during the riders meeting, riders, trainers and parents received comprehensive information about how riders can advance through the sport to its highest levels. The session specifically discussed the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway, a joint USHJA-US Equestrian effort that identifies and nurtures Jumping athletes as they advance through the sport to enhance future success for Olympic and international teams representing the United States.

USHJA recognized all individual medalists as 2018 Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders by awarding them an exclusive 2018 Gold Star Emerging Jumper Rider pin that can be worn at future competitions to distinguish them. At the same time, trainers of these riders were recognized as 2018 Gold Star Jumper Coaches and received specialized pins that denote their title. Riders and trainers who received the designation were also invited to attend one of the upcoming Gold Star Clinics, which will be held on the East Coast at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, Dec. 26-30, 2018, on the West Coast at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, Calif., Jan. 16-20, 2019, and new this year, a centrally located Gold Star Clinic at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio, April 16-20, 2019.

USHJA extends its gratitude to all of our official sponsors, Charles Owen, CWD, Parlanti, Professional's Choice and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, that make programs like this possible.

For more information about the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships click here. For more information about the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program click here. Press release provided by USHJA.


Try to Catch this Team: Richard Fellers and Steelbi Chase the Blue
Written by CRM
Saturday, 10 November 2018 00:00

The FEI CSI3*-W week at National Sunshine II kicked off Thursday with the $35,000 Desert Welcome Stake, in the Grand Prix Stadium, for the first leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Qualifier. Surrounded by mountainous views, top riders from across the country and around the world challenged the first-round course, designed by Marina Azevedo.

Amongst the field of 77 entries in the hunt for the lion’s share of prize money were Richard Spooner, Charlie Jayne, and Jamie Barge, along with last week’s FEI class winners Nayel Nasser and Ashlee Bond.

The first leg of the FEI CSI3*-W was held as a speed class, with the fastest clear round taking home the blue ribbon.


Richard Fellers, 2012 World Cup Finals Champion, and STEELBI taking home top honors, completing the course in a lightning fast time of 59.94. “I’m just super happy for her and the owner,” Fellers exclaimed. “I’m proud of the horse. She is an up-and-coming mare." Fellers took home a customized cooler, winner’s trophy, and Professional’s Choice Bell Boots for his win today.


Fellers explained that this is STEELBI’s first year doing FEI classes, but he has faith that she will excel. "She had a pole last week in the first class and two poles down in the second class, which was her first 1.50m, and I thought 'Okay, I bet she’ll come back fighting after that,' and she did she didn’t let me down,” said Fellers. They will be competing in the $40,200 Desert Classic tomorrow and are a team to look out for.

Taking home the red ribbon, just four one-hundredths of a second behind, was Kristen VanderVeen and BULL RUN’S PRINCE OF PEACE in a time of 59.98.

In third place was Kevin Babington and SUPER CHILLED, crossing the timers in 61.09.

With an early spot in the order, just the second in the ring, Richard Spooner and QUIRADO RC's time of 62.44 put the pressure on the field early in the class. Their time would hold up for thr fouth place ribbon.

Fifth place was awarded to MAI TAI 2 and Karrie Rufer, soaring across the finish line in a time of 62.59, with Karl Cook and CAILLOU 24 just a tenth behind in 62.73 for sixth.

A time of 62.87 would be good enough for a seventh place finish for the team of Alex Granato and CARLCHEN W, while Nayel Nassar and LORDAN, winners of the $35,000 Coachella Welcome Stake FEI CSI3* at National Sunshine I, would take home eighth place in a time of 63.36.

The ninth place ribbon was won by John Pearce and FIRESTONE S, galloping through the timers in 64.27, and rounding out the top ten was Ashlee Bond, winner of both the $40,200 Coachella Classic and $100,000 Coachella Grand Prix last week at National Sunshine I,  aboard COLOUR YOUR LIFE in a time of 65.42.

The $35,000 Desert Welcome Stake also served as the qualifying class for the $100,000 FEI Longines Jumping World CupTM qualifying class on Saturday, with 40 riders eligible to return.
Don't miss out as the excitement continues at National Sunshine II with the $40,200 Desert Classic FEI CSI3*-W! Stay tuned this week and catch all the action as the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Qualifier takes place this Saturday, November 10. Stay up to date with all of the upcoming HITS events via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and

Press release provided by HITS Horse Shows. All Photography is Courtesy of ESI Photography

Boys Will Be Equestrians
Written by Kim F. Miller
Wednesday, 07 November 2018 19:53

Canadian Sam Walker just became the fourth boy to win the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals since 1991. The 175-contender class was held at the National Horse Show in Kentucky this past weekend.

Earlier this season, Maclay reserve champ Brian Moggre won the USEF Hunt Seat Medal Finals.



110718 boy1Benjamin Heckman & Roger

Although men and women share podium spots equally at the international levels of equestrian competition, guys are still in the minority at the lower levels, often by big ratios. Sixteen-year-old Benjamin Heckman, for example, was one guy among 11 girls on his Interscholastic Equestrian Association team at Strides Riding Academy in Petaluma last season. See our December issue for a fun Q&A with Benjamin on what that’s like and his thoughts on attracting more young men into equestrian sports. He’s an eventer, by the way.

110718 boy2Bruce Hill & Cortina in their first international event.

Along similar lines, we were excited to see Bruce Hill taking on his first international event last weekend at Galway Downs in Temecula. He and Cortina held their own in their first CCI1* outing and it looks like Bruce has grown about six inches since we last saw him! Looking forward to more accomplishments from this pair going forward!!

by Kim F Miller

Show Report: Galway Downs International Wrap-Up
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 20:35

James Alliston, Charlotte Babbitt & Bec Braitling emerge as CCI2*, CCI1* and Training Three Day victors.

photos: Kim F. Miller

Competing at Galway Downs, a venue whose motto is “a legend reborn,” James Alliston is a living legend in no need of rebirth. The Northern California-based Brit logged yet another international win with his victory in the CCI2* aboard the Palomino Swedish Warmblood mare, Pandora. Already dubbed “the little legend,” the diminutive mare with a big jump and a tall rider was one of few to sail clear over Mark Donovan’s show jumping track. In doing so, the pair improved from second-standing they’d maintained since dressage.  


The Galway Downs International took place Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at Galway Downs in Temecula.


Winning on their 34.60 dressage test Friday, James was optimistic about the next phases. “She was really good on cross-country. Even when I didn’t give her the best approach to the big ditch and rails on the hill, she’s so brave that she just shuffled in a little step and popped over it.” He was equally confident for stadium jumping: “She’s naturally very careful, fast and, touch wood, she normally jumps clear rounds.”

dec2018 galway1James Alliston & Pandora

Pandora’s owner, Laura Boyer, was James’ first client when he got settled in California. He rode Pandora’s sire, initially rode the mare when she was 3 and then resumed the ride a few years ago. Today, he also picked up the Best 7-Year-Old honors for her. This was James’ sixth CCI1* victory, which adds to at least “a couple” of 3* victories over the years, he estimated.

Generous prizes awaited the veteran victor: $1,500 in prize money, a Galway Downs plaque, a Professional’s Choice cooler; a Devoucoux saddle, a $500 CWD voucher; a bottle of APF; certificates from Ride On Video and Event Training Online; and a bag of Triple Crown Feed.

dec2018 galway2Mallory Hogan & Clarissa Purisima

The crowd hushed Mallory Hogan and her partner of four years, Clarissa Purisima, to the first clear show jumping round of the division. With two months competing on the East Coast under their belt, they were well prepared to take advantage of what Mallory described as “an atmosphere that really lights her up.” Along with Saturday’s long cross-country track, “I really tried to channel all that into her show jumping.”  She also earned the Mia Erickson Memorial Trophy.

Mallory’s two-time NAYC Area VI teammate Maddy Temkin had the lead going into show jumping. A single rail dropped Maddy and Mr. Hart to third, but still a happy outcome for the two high school seniors who’ve been stars of the West Coast circuit for many years and represent bright hopes for the sport’s future.

dec2018 galway3Maddy Temkin & Mr. Hart    

The ever-smiling 17 year old Charlotte Babbitt had a triple crown weekend with her 6 year old 2 A.M. She was tied for first after dressage and was one of few to master a show jumping track that only eight of 49 managed to clear without faults. Charlotte won the CCI1* on her 25 dressage score. She also earned top Young Rider honors and 2 A.M. earned Best 6-Year-Old designation.

dec2018 galway4Charlotte Babbitt & 2 A.M.

“It’s really special to have this kind of partnership, especially when he’s only 6 and I’m only 17,” said Charlotte, who rode with a big smile from wire to wire. “I can’t help but smile,” she explained.

“He’s very fun to ride, he wants to please and he has the attitude that there’s nothing he’d rather be doing. On Saturday’s cross-country, we were fast but I never once kicked him. He just went along like a hunter.”

With Galway becoming a back-to-back win after her recent Woodside CIC1* victory, Charlotte and 2 A.M. seem on track for next year’s goal: making the Area VI NAYC team.

Charlotte trains with Chocolate Horse Farm and has a lot of loot to haul home to Northern California’s Petaluma: $1,000 in prize money, a Galway Downs Plaque, a Professional’s Choice cooler; a $500 CWD voucher; a bottle of APF; certifications from Ride On Video and Event Training Online; and a bag of Triple Crown Feed.

dec2018 galway9

Professional Shannon Lilley’s partnership with Fernhill Rising is only a few months old. She was thrilled with their red-ribbon finish and has high hopes with the talented horse. Located by her coach Dana Lynd-Pugh, the mare is a “horse for the future,” said Shannon.

The FEI rider rep for the Galway Downs International, Shannon had highest praise for organizer Robert Kellerhouse and his entire team. “The guys did a tremendous job on the cross-country footing and the new warm-up ring and stadium jumping rings, and footing, are great.” Those and other upgrades “really make it a special atmosphere. It’s very good for the West Coast.”

Crammed with colorful fences, the new jumping arena was also a little intimidating, Shannon noted. “It’s busy in there! There was a lot to look at, so many jumps and it was a little distracting to horses and riders. You had to really go forward and keep straight and hold out in the lines to make sure you stayed on the right step.”

Nick Cwick and Get Played were another pair to benefit big time by clearing the show jumping track. They moved from eighth to third by doing so.    

Two stadium jumping rails dropped Asia Vedder and Ici from third to 10th, but they had a terrific consolation prize as top amateur contenders: a Voltaire saddle.

Training 3-Day

Professional Bec Braitling, 15-year-old Jordan Crabo and amateur rider Cecily Bonadio finished where they started after Friday’s dressage: first, second and third.

dec2018 galway5Bec Braitling & Dassett Ricochet

Representing Australia, Bec is delighted to have Dassett Ricochet in her stable, period, blue ribbons or no. “We found him in England last summer while shopping for another client. When they brought him out, he was so pretty I secretly thought, ‘Gee, I hope he turns out to be a bit green for her.’” That’s how it turned out, but not too green for the veteran competitor, for whom client Lauren Burnell purchased the Dutch Warmblood.

Having contested many long formats at the upper levels, Bec advocates it strongly for students and young horses, especially those like Ricochet. “The steeplechase was a really good way for him to get going. He started Phase A puffed up and was quite overwhelmed seeing all the other horses out there, but steeplechase settled him down.”

For junior and amateur riders, Bec said T3D “makes you a better rider. I encourage all my riders to do it because there’s so much to think about. There’s a lot involved. It’s not like you just warm-up and do cross-country. Everyone who has the opportunity to do one should.”

Bec left loaded down with prizes: a Galway Downs plaque; a Professional’s Choice cooler, a $500 CWD voucher; a bottle of APF; certificates from Ride On Video and Event Training Online; and a bag of Triple Crown Feed.

dec2018 galway6Jordan Crabo & Black Gold

Third generation horsewoman Jordan Crabo of Arizona said on Friday that her German Riding Pony Black Gold could be tricky. Second after dressage, she tackled Saturday’s cross-country “as if we’d already had a few stops.” As a result, they had zero penalties to log their first completion in this division. Jordan felt it helped that she’s been riding two horses at CCI1*, including her mom Barb Crabo’s former 3* horse Over Easy. She also spent two months this past summer as a working student for top British eventer Pippa Funnell, so lots of fresh knowledge going into Sunday’s strong finish. And Black Gold did his part. “He was awesome!”

dec2018 galway7Cecily Bonadio & Just Off Broadway

Small animal veterinarian Cecily Bonadio was already over-the-moon after dressage, and even more so to finish on that score for third place with her remarkably savvy 6-year-old, Just Off Broadway. Cecily explained her approach to show jumping as similar to that on Saturday’s fault-free cross-country round: “We’ve been working on rhythm, I just try to stay out of her way, let her know where to go, and let her do what she does so well.”

The amateur rider is another fan of the T3D format. “I loved doing steeplechase on the racetrack. I learned how fast she is: very!” She also loved the technicality of the combinations on Phase D. All in all, a great preparation for the pair’s goal next year: Preliminary.

The fact that Sunday was Cecily’s birthday was icing on the cake: a carrot cake, apparently, as Cecily’s parents waited at the backgate with a full bag of carrots for the mare and big smiles for their daughter.

dec2018 galway8Bruce Hill & Cortina in their first international event.    
Thank You Sponsors!

Galway Downs International takes pride in acknowledging the support of the many sponsors that make the event an annual highlight on the calendar.

Presenting sponsors for the 2017 Galway Downs International are California Horsetrader, CWD, Devoucoux, Professional’s Choice and Equine Insurance.    

Gold level sponsors include Equinox Equestrian Center and Sunsprite Warmbloods.

Temecula Creek Inn, SmartPak Equine and Voltaire Design are Silver level sponsors.

Bronze level sponsors are American Horse Trials Foundation Inc., Auburn Laboratories, Inc. (APF), Geranium Street Floral, California Riding Magazine, Ride On Video, Symons Ambulance, Triple Crown Nutrition Inc., and Stotz Equipment. Friend sponsors include Copper Meadows Eventing and Eventing Training Online.

dec2018 galway10Off go the jump judges

The exciting weekend concludes the year’s international equestrian competition schedule for the Galway Downs venue.  Regional events fill out this year’s calendar: Dec 2 is the Galway Downs One-Day competition; Nov. 30-Dec. 2 is the finale of the Galway Downs Country Hunter/Jumper Series plus the concurrent Intercollegiate Dressage Association league show, hosted by the University of San Diego team.

Mark your calendars for next year: The 2019 schedule features more top level sport. The slate includes the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival; the Galway Downs International Horse Trials; and the Temecula Valley National Horse Show Series starting in May.
Press release provided by Galway Downs. For complete results and news on upcoming events, visit

dec2018 galway11Many modes of transport during a warm early November weekend in Temecula

RTF Files Suit to Stop Unrestricted Sale of Devils Garden Wild Horses
Written by CRM
Saturday, 27 October 2018 17:34
102718 rtf1Return to Freedom on Thursday joined other advocates in filing a lawsuit to halt the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to sell hundreds of California wild horses without restriction, placing them in jeopardy of being sent to slaughter.

We’re proud to join the Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue, Marin Humane, the Humane Society of the Sierra Foothills, and two California humane law enforcement officers, Cindy Machado and Rosemary Frieborn, as plaintiffs in the suit filed in U.S. District Court. 

Together, we’re arguing that the Forest Service’s recently announced plan to sell about 300 older wild horses without restrictions violates federal laws, as well as the agency’s own planning directives and management documents, and ignores the purpose and spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act.

Click here to read the complaint.

The Forest Service is attempting to rid itself of the more than a fourth of the wild horses in California’s last large herd. The agency is conducting a helicopter roundup of 1,000 horses at the Devils Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory at Modoc National Forest near Alturas, Calif. 

Wild horses ages 10 and over are being placed in unsheltered corrals at Modoc National Forest.  The agency says that it will first sell the older horses with some limitations that include prohibiting the purchase of wild horses for human consumption as well as providing adequate transportation and adequate accommodations.  

After that 60-day period, however, the Forest Service plans to sell remaining wild horses -- without restrictions -- for as little as $1 apiece, starting as early as Jan. 10.

Captured wild horses estimated to be ages 9 and under are being transported to Bureau of Land Management corrals in Susanville, Calif., where they will be offered for adoption. Forest Service officials have said that arrangements have been made for BLM to keep captured wild horses there for one year, but no longer, possibly placing them in jeopardy of eventually being sold to slaughter without restrictions where they will easily end up in the slaughter pipeline as well. 

102718 rtf2Studs captured during a 2016 helicopter roundup at Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory were held for an extended period in a dangerously crowded temporary holding pen before pressure from RTF resulted in the U.S. Forest Service providing more space for the horses. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

In addition to our participation in the lawsuit, RTF continues to meet with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., including California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, about the planned sale.

Should the Forest Service go forward with its disastrous plan for unrestricted sale, we’ve been preparing to help as many wild horses as possible.

RTF is working with supporters who can provide homes for the older wild horses that will be put up for sale as well as those interested in adopting those 9-younger. RTF is helping to coordinate transportation with our fellow nonprofit Fleet of Angels and volunteers on-site to assist our supporters with purchasing and adopting horses.

Take Action

Please click here if you can provide a good home to two or more wild horses, especially those ages 10-older, offer transportation for rescued horses, or would like to donate to support the rescue effort.

Please click here to send a message to U.S. Service Officials opposing the unrestricted sale of wild horses.

* Please click here to send a letter to your members of Congress urging them to oppose the Bureau of Land Management sale policy, which allows any buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses with no waiting period, no oversight and no questions asked.

* Please keep calling U. S. Senators on the Conference Committee and urge them to continue standing up for wild horses and burros and opposing slaughter. Click here for suggested talking points and a list of phone numbers.

Press release provided by Return to Freedom.

Making Hay(gain) in the West
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Tuesday, 16 October 2018 19:58

Haygain USA adds California sales consultant.

Oct. 16, 2018: Kaitlyn Zaleski joins the Haygain USA sales team to cover all of California. One-on-one consultations, group, club and barn demos and free two-week trials of the Haygain Hay Steamer are among her priorities in the new position. Comfortstall® therapeutic sealed orthopedic flooring and the Forager Slow Feeder are among the company’s horse health products.



Kaitlyn grew up in New Jersey and has been riding horses since she was 6. She rode primarily on the local hunter/jumper circuit and has always spent as much time at the barn as possible. Today she lives in California’s Central Valley with her fiancé, who is a dairy veterinarian, along with their dog and four horses.


Deciding to turn her passion for horses into a career, Kaitlyn pursued a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Animal Science at the Pennsylvania State University where she studied equine management, nutrition and reproduction. Upon graduation, she interned at a large reining facility in Texas before pursuing her first full time role at SmartPak, the nation’s largest online retailer and a longtime dealer of Haygain products. She was a familiar face with SmartPak’s West Coast mobile unit when it first launched.


Kaitlyn represented Haygain USA at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, where the company provided complementary hay steamers to approximately 35 teams from all over the world. On the home front, she recently hosted an exclusive demo event with Cindy Forrest Performance Horses at Rancho Sierra Vista in San Juan Capistrano. All horse owners at the facility were invited to enjoy pizza and learn about steaming hay and ComfortStall equine flooring. A few of the horses even got to enjoy the experience of standing on ComfortStall.

The Las Vegas National Horse Show is Kaitlyn and Haygain USA’s next tour stop, Nov. 14-18.

For more information or to schedule an interactive demonstration, contact Kaitlyn at 862-703-1150 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Bugatti and Wilhelm Genn Emerge Victorious in $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Sacramento Presented by Lasher's Elk Grove Dodge Ram
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:07

Congratulations to Top Three Finishers Wilhelm Genn, Karrie Rufer, and Karl Cook

The highlight event of Sacramento International World Cup™ Week took place Saturday night amidst a completely sold out house at the indoor arena of Murieta Equestrian Center. The $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento presented by Lasher's Elk Grove Dodge Ram had 29 entries with 10 nations represented: United States, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and France.  

The start of the first round saw solid efforts from many of the world's greatest horses and riders, but no entry was able to clear the Olaf Petersen Jr designed 1.60m course until 14th in the order. Kenneth Vinther of Denmark and Colicchio cleared the 16 jumping efforts including one double and one triple combination, but had 1 time fault.

A few rounds later, Jamie Barge and Luebbo completed the first fault-free round and the arena erupted in applause. In quick succession, eight more pairs completed clear rounds, guaranteeing a competitive jump off. "I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the class," said course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. "I was very happy for the first clear round."

101018bugattiBugatti and Wilhelm Genn, Winners of the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Sacramento. Photo: Amy McCool. 

The exciting jump off had much of the crowd on their feet, as each horse and rider raced the clock around the short course. In the end, six riders turned in clear jump off rounds, the fastest of which was Wilhelm Genn of Germany aboard Bugatti, a 12-year-old chestnut KWPN gelding owned by Eduardo Leon.

"I was hoping I got a chance to run for it today and it worked out," said Genn. "[Bugatti] loves the crowd and he gets excited, which makes him better because he's a very lazy horse and so it all kind of played in my favor."

Genn has had Bugatti since he was five years old and has taken his time to develop the gelding. "Between last year and this year he really turned professional," said Genn of Bugatti. "Last year we could not have done what we did tonight. So it just shows how important it is to let these horses grow up, especially if they are careful and sensitive. He's just a fantastic horse."

Coming in half a second behind Genn was hometown hero Karrie Rufer aboard her 12-year-old bay Belgian warmblood gelding Georgie d'Auvray EC. [Georgie is] so game, and he loves the crowd, that's what was fantastic about tonight," said Rufer. "You could hear the last line of the jump off  people getting excited for the last jump, and that's really a beautiful thing because you don't experience it very often." This result was particularly meaningful to Rufer as her family and close friends were able to attend.

Rounding out the podium in third place was another California native, Karl Cook aboard Caillou, an 11-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding owned by Signe Ostby. "It was my horse's first World Cup™ qualifier class and I couldn't be prouder of how he did," said Cook of Caillou. "I was happy with how I executed the plan that we walked and how it all came together."

The $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento presented by Lasher's Elk Grove Dodge Ram was the highlight event of two weeks of great competition at the Sacramento International Horse Show.

"The show went really well," said Dale Harvey, CEO of West Palms Events. "This class was amazing, and we were excited to have such great riders here, and a great course designer, and amazing results. To have a sold-out class with beyond full stands and to have to turn people away is a nice problem to have."


Thank you to Calipaso, the Official Winery of Sacramento International, for keeping the wine glasses full at the VIP tables during the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento. The incredible wines Calipaso provided made a spectacular evening even more delicious!

Press release provided by West Palms Event Management.

Huge Turnout Expected for This Week’s Great American/USDF Region 7 & California Dressage Society Championship Show
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:16
By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

For hundreds of riders and horses, this week will be filled with anticipation and excitement as a year’s worth of work is about to be put to the test at theGreat American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 7 and California Dressage Society (CDS) Championship Show, being held September 27-30. Once again this annual event will welcome a huge turnout of 330 exhibitors gathering on the grounds of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank for four thrilling days of dressage competition across five arenas, all combined with a festive atmosphere, complimentary hospitality, shopping, activities, entertainment and a camaraderie that can only be found at these championships.

092618 usdf1Adult amateur Jackie Weisbein will be one of 330 entries riding into the Los Angeles Equestrian Center this week for the Great American/USDF Region 7 & CDS Championship Show in Burbank, Cal. Photo: Kelly Kenneally Photography

“Of course last year’s show was particularly special because it was our CDS 50thanniversary celebration, so that can be a bit of a hard act to follow and you never know exactly how much of that enthusiasm will carry over,” said Glenda McElroy, who has managed the CDS Championship Show for more than 25 years. “But I’ve said before that this Championship Show has truly become a destination event here on the West Coast, and to have such an incredible turnout of competitors like this, year after year, proves my point. Every year our team of officials, staff and volunteers work tirelessly to make this the best event it can possibly be, because we realize how special this experience is for CDS members. We continue to make adjustments and improvements and are very proud of how it all comes together every year, and now we’re ready! We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Burbank for another amazing show.”

Among its many competitive and educational programs for members, the California Dressage Society offers one of the largest and most lucrative annual championship events in the nation. A multitude of CDS Horse of the Year championship titles and cherished perpetual trophies will once again be presented at the show at all levels from Training to Grand Prix and for open, adult amateur, and juniors/young riders, as well as thousands of dollars in prize money and awards.

092618 usdf2RAAC competitor Marcella Levatino of Laguna Hills will compete this week in her very first Great American/USDF Region 7 & CDS Championship Show in Burbank, Cal. Photo courtesy of M. Levatino

Even more opportunities await as a full roster of championship honors will also be awarded for Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 7 Championship divisions. In addition, declared horses and riders participating in the Region 7 Championship classes can earn an invitation to the U.S. Dressage Finals in Lexington, Ky. in November, a nationwide showcase for open and adult amateur riders across all levels of competition. Since the event’s inception in 2013, dedicated West Coast riders have made the long journey to the Kentucky Horse Park where they have been rewarded with national titles at a variety of levels. To date, nearly a hundred Region 7 horse/rider combinations have declared for this year’s Finals and will seek their chance to be written into the history books as well.

Qualifying for the CDS Championship Show is an achievement in itself, as competitors spent a full year earning required scores through an expansive network of local CDS and licensed USEF/USDF shows up and down the West Coast, as well as through the CDS Junior/Young Rider Championship shows, like Sophia Kohlmann of Walnut Creek, who punched her ticket at the Northern Region Junior/Young Rider Championship Show earlier this summer and will now travel to Burbank with her horse Florian to compete in the Second Level JR/YR championship divisions.

The wildly-popular Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) program also provided a pathway to Burbank for riders like Marcella Levatino of Laguna Hills, Cal., who says she “can’t wait!” to compete at the CDS Championship Show for the very first time with her Holsteiner gelding Ciminiti in both the USDF and CDS Training Level championship classes. Joining her will be fellow adult amateur Jackie Weisbein of Napa, Cal. who found success at the Northern Region RAAC and is now looking forward to making the long drive to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center where she will compete two horses, Zev and Rosenstolz, at Second Level. “I really thought this year was just going to be a rebuilding year for me,” said Weisbein. “But after gaining a lot of confidence at the RAAC show, I am so excited to show them both, see my friends from all over California, and enjoy the magic of the Championship Show!”

092618 usdf3Junior/young rider Sophia Kohlmann will look to earn even more Second Level championship titles at this week’s Great American/USDF Region 7 & CDS Championship Show in Burbank, Cal. Photo via Facebook

Another perennial highlight of the championship weekend will be the popular CDS Young Horse Futurity and the unique Cal-Bred Futurity, which this year boasts 60 entries across four, five, and six-year-old divisions, has more than $12,300 in prize money, and offers special awards for adult amateur competitors. As the largest regional young horse program in the country, the CDS Young Horse Futurity has proven itself to be a successful launching pad for top dressage horses across the country. Adult amateurs as well as juniors and young riders can also prove they have the best seats in the house and demonstrate their riding skills in Friday afternoon’s CDS Dressage Seat Equitation Challenge classes, as well as the USDF Adult Amateur Equitation Regional Final class and the USDF Dressage Seat Medal Semi-Finals (for riders ages 14-18 and 13 & under) on Saturday.

Be a part of the excitement – for complete information about the California Dressage Society Championship Show, including news, schedules, ride times, and results, visit the CDS website and follow along with behind-the-scenes updates and photos on the CDS Facebook page
Equestrian Blogger Susan Friedland-Smith Releases Memoir Horses Adored and Men Endured
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 01:44
Susan Friedland-Smith, the blogger behind the award-winning equestrian website Saddle Seeks Horse, is pleased to announce the release of her first bookHorses Adored and Men Endured: a Memoir of Falling and Getting Back Up. Both paperback and eBook versions are available on

Horses Adored and Men Enduredshares loves stories of both the horse and human variety spanning Friedland-Smith’s first ride on a sister’s friend’s pinto, to meeting one-too-many Mr. Wrongs around the dawn of Internet dating. “I believe this is the world’s first horse lover’s dating memoir,” Friedland-Smith said.

“When I was 10, I wanted nothing more than to marry a horse. When I was in my mid-30s, I thought I might have to actually marry my horse, a tall, dark and handsome Thoroughbred. There were no suitable human alternatives,” said Friedland-Smith.

Endorsed by Jean Abernethy, creator of Fergus the Horse; Carly Kade, cowboy romance author; and Raquel Lynn founder of the popular equestrian websites Horses and Heels and Stable Style;Horses Adored and Men Enduredis quickly catching the attention of the horse world. It debuted as the number one new release in Equestrian Sports on Amazon.

“Just like the unsuccessful ride that ends in falling off, the unsuccessful date is often not funny until it drifts into the past. . . Susan’s stories will have you smiling, as they collectively establish one unique complication for horsewomen searching out a life partner: the Horse might be more attractive than the Knight,” said Abernethy.

Kade said, “Susan takes readers behind the scenes of her life as she deals with the trials and tribulations of horse ownership and the search for true love. An entertaining read!"

“Like horse shopping, finding Mr. Right is filled with a lot of laughs and some defeat along the way. Unicorns and Mr. Right do exist! . . . get ready to feel like you are catching up with your best friend and her romantic journey,” said Raquel Lynn.

TheHorses Adored and Men Enduredpaperback is 304 pages, and both the print and ebook versions contain photographs and a book club discussion guide. Both versions are available in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. The ebook is also available in Canada, Australia, Mexico and Brazil.

On December 1, 2018, Susan will be at Mary’s Tack and Feed in Del Mar, California from 12-5 for a book signing event.

For more information about the book or author (or advice on how not to date), contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Press release provided by AHP.

Nayel Nassar and Lordan Do It Again!
Written by CRM
Sunday, 11 November 2018 17:51

The scene was set for the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Qualifier in the Grand Prix Stadium at the AON HITS Desert Horse Park. A field of 38, stacked with some of the most elite riders in equestrian sport challenged the first round course, designed by Marina Azevedo of Brazil. “I always keep in mind the class that I am building for, especially as a qualifier for the World Cup,” Azevedo explained. “Even if it is a big ring, I try to put some fences close to the corners and the turns a little bit short to help them prepare for the indoor rings.”

Just five would return for the jump-off, all in the chase for the winner's purse and valuable World Cup qualifying points.

First to return for the jump-off was John Pearce, of Canada, aboard FIRESTONE S. Pearce would finish in fifth place with a four-fault performance in a time of 45.29.


Following Pearce in the jump-off was another rider representing Canada, Lisa Carlsen aboard PARETTE. Carlsen would have the time to take the lead, at 41.50, but a rail at the final fence placed her third in the standings. “I am usually very slow, so I really had nothing to lose,” Carlsen laughed. “I knew Eve [Jobs] and Nayel [Nassar] were after me and they would be fast. I thought that I need to be as fast as I can, and I was the fastest and can’t believe it! I’m still in shock. I’m really proud of my horse and I believe that now I can actually win classes.”

Eve Jobs would produce the first double clean ride in a time of 43.97 aboard her 13 year-old Belgian Warmblood mare VENUE D’FEES DES HAZALLES, representing the United States. “I’m very happy to be back here. It’s nice to be close to home again. I grew up doing these shows,” Jobs said.

Jobs has been partnered with her mount for just over a year now. “She’s really a phenomenal horse and I just started going faster with her this year. Going into the jump-off, I knew nobody had gone clear yet but Lisa [Carlsen] had a really fast time, and I knew I had [Nayel Nassar] coming right behind me, so I tried to go as quickly as I could and make tight turns. I took a bit of a risk to the last fence and it paid off.” 111118 nayel1

Nayel Nassar, representing Egypt, would be the next to return aboard LORDAN and with a clean efficient round, this long-time partnership would take home the top honors in a time of 43.89. “I tried not to focus too much on what the other riders were doing. I know that LORDAN is a very different kind of horse, with a different kind of stride, but I just wanted to know whether my jump-off pace would be fast enough, or if I need to take any extra risks,” said Nassar. “I obviously ended up being a bit closer than I expected, but luckily we were on the right side of that today.”

This is the third World Cup Qualifier title for Nassar and LORDAN at the AON HITS Desert Horse Park, with one being just this past February at the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit. “I have to say it was just a lovely setting, right around sunset, it was a beautiful time of day,” said Nassar. “We had a very difficult and technical course to jump today. It was the World Cup Qualifying standard, so that is always a nice challenge. I just rode my horse and I am thrilled to be sitting here again.” After a bobble in last weeks $100,000 Coachella Grand Prix FEI CSI3*, Nassar explained that he was a bit nervous for today’s class. “I don’t know what’s left to say. He’s such a trier inside and out,” Nassar stated. “It is as if nothing happened [last week]. He has full trust in me and in himself. I just wanted to make up for that and redeem myself. Luckily, we got it done this week.”

Nassar and LORDAN have often found themselves in the Winner’s Circle at the AON HITS Desert Horse Park, taking home not only World Cup Qualifier titles, but also titles in the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, and in featured classes throughout the week at the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit and the National Sunshine Series. Just last week, at National Sunshine I, Nassar and LORDAN took home the blue ribbon in the $35,000 Coachella Welcome Stake.

Last to go in the jump-off was Richard Spooner with his partner QUIRADO S. Known for his speed in jump-offs, Spooner would not disappoint today with a quick time of 41.99, but a rail and four faults would result in a fourth place finish.

Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS, was please with the strong field of riders from near and far who contested for the Champion title. “I think it is a combination of the fact that we had a November World Cup class and what Longines and the group that works so hard with the World Cup have done to make this class really popular," he commented. "Tonight demonstrated that they are doing good things and it’s powerful. To see 38 entered is as strong a number as I have seen in a World Cup in quite a while so good for that group and great thanks to Longines, top horse show sponsor in the world. We are thrilled to have them in the Desert and we are looking forward to next year and how we can keep this fine field of riders.”

There is still more action to come at National Sunshine II tomorrow! Catch all the excitement live on Showhorse TV! Stay up to date with all of the upcoming HITS events via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and

Press release provided by HITS Horse Shows. All Photography is Courtesy of ESI Photography

Hansen Dam Horse Park Happenings
Written by CRM
Thursday, 08 November 2018 17:53
A year of upgrades and program expansion transform once-forgotten facility into a thriving hub of Southern California equestrian activity.
September 15, 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of Langer Equestrian Group’s purchase of controlling interest in Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, LLC. Under the reins of veteran horseman and equestrian entrepreneur Larry Langer, the newly-branded Hansen Dam Horse Park has quietly undergone improvements that have already transformed it into a new hub of Southern California equestrian activity.

110818hansen1Photo: Michael Darter

Nestled in 38 acres on the edge of the Hansen Dam Recreation Area, the facility maintains boarding space for around 175 horses, at least 350 dedicated show stalls, 13 arenas, ample parking, permanent bathrooms and showers, meeting and party facilities, a full-time management office, and security. Between thriving training businesses, an active riding school and a full calendar of equestrian competition and special events, there is always something going on yet it never feels busy or crowded. A sense of peace and space distinguishes the San Fernando Valley facility that is surrounded by many miles of beautiful riding trails.


HDHP is on City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks land in Lake View Terrace. The City envisioned an equestrian center and awarded a concession contract to Eddie Milligan in 1998. Although launched with great fanfare, the facility quickly fell into ignominy and by and large the mainstream equestrian community in Southern California shrugged.
Ten years ago, LEG began gradually developing and moving hunter/jumper horse shows to Hansen Dam, funding a number of projects that benefitted the shows and the facility in the process. Larry Langer, President and CEO of LEG, used his engineering and management experience to look at the facility through a different lens. Having ridden at, managed, or co-owned almost a dozen facilities throughout his highly successful career, Larry saw great potential in the place and the seeds of his vision for the Hansen Dam facility took root.
In addition to gradually developing a footprint of horse shows, Larry noted that HDHP was one of the very few facilities in Southern California that did not have a riding school, a critical gateway for newcomers to the horse world. His hunch that HDHP was ideally suited for a well-run entry level riding program was right. By the summer of 2018, Hansen Dam Riding School was giving over 400 lessons per month.

When Larry took over as HDHP’s majority owner and Managing Director in September 2017, he projected two years for upgrades, repairs, and special projects to bring the facility up to the standards expected of a multifaceted equestrian center. Sterling Champ, the previous Managing Director, remains as a minority owner, and is in full support of the changes and upgrades. Sterling enjoys not having the day-to-day responsibilities of HDHP, but remains very involved and contributes valuable input and perspective.
Stay tuned for stories about upcoming improvements, and meet the many top professionals who call Hansen Dam Horse Park home. As HDHP continues to upgrade boarding barns, rings, landscaping, security, and operations, there is space for trainers and their clients to enjoy this lovely, professionally-run facility.
Call for a tour or visit HDHP online at
Press release provided by LEG Up News. LEG Up News is part of the Langer Equestrian Group family. LEG is a multi-faceted company, covering a wide gamut of equestrian-related operations including LEGIS EquineLEG Up News provides public relations and marketing services to the equestrian sport including news-related feature articles newsletters, press releases and announcements. Although our focus is show jumping, along with eventing and dressage, our many years of experience in different corners of the industry allow us to provide services to a variety of breeds and disciplines. We provide PR services to horse show managers, associations and clubs, facility managers, professional horsemen, and other industry related groups.

South Point Arena and Equestrian Center Welcomes the 12th Annual Las Vegas National Horse Show
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 22:10

The Inaugural AON/USHJA National Championships and the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Las Vegas Return to South Point Arena and Equestrian Center

Tuesday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 18

LAS VEGAS – The 12th annual Las Vegas National Horse Show returns to the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center, Tuesday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 18 offering Olympic-level jumpers and the nation’s top hunters the opportunity to compete for highest honors. As one of 14 qualifying events in North America, The Las Vegas National Horse Show is a part of the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League. The Las Vegas National Horse Show’s feature event, the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas, presented by Walter Oil & Gas, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Riders will not only seek to gain the glory of a win, but to accrue valuable points towards earning an invitation to the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden in April 2019.


The week will feature 40 World Cup class jumpers competing alongside over 600 of the top horses and riders from around the world. Guests will enjoy acclaimed riders such as Richard Spooner, the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Las Vegas champion alongside top riders like Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson, as well as rising equestrian star, Jennifer Gates. The week showcases the devoted connection between horse and rider as they display their elite athleticism working in tandem to jump each obstacle in the time allowed with no penalties. Those who make it to the next round will compete in the jump-off, a test of speed where the fastest horse and rider with the fewest penalties will gallop away with the purse and the win.

Doors to Saturday night’s main event will open at 5 p.m. where guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the arena concourse, brimming with fun for families. The concourse will offer a photo booth, caricature artist, magician, face painter, juggler and opportunities to shop for western themed and equestrian gifts. The main event will begin with beautiful ceremonies including a Parade of Nations, a Presentation of Champions, and conclude with the crown jewel of the evening, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifying competition. Fans will also be able to meet their favorite riders at an autograph signing that will be free and open to the public.

Additionally, for the first time in event history, the AON/USHJA National Championships will be held throughout the weekend featuring classes in hunter, jumper and equitation divisions for all ages and levels. In addition to the competition, the Championships will offer educational opportunities for exhibitors and attendees with industry professionals like Sharon Classen, PT, ATC, CERP, known for having provided both equine and human physical therapy at the World Equestrian Games. Classen will lead an informational session on equine and human sports medicine, other classes will focus on topics like equine vital signs, hoof care, sports psychology, and equestrian judging.

Tickets for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Saturday, Nov.17 are on sale now and can be purchased here for $20 per person, children 10 years old and under are free. Admission is free for classes that run from Tuesday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 18, beginning at 7:30 a.m., including the competition events Wednesday through Friday evening.

For more information about The Las Vegas National Horse Show, visit the competition website. For more information about the South Point Arena and for a full list of upcoming events, visit the South Point website.



The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final.

A total of 14 athletes from the North American league will qualify for next year's prestigious Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which will take place in Göteborg, Sweden, from April 3-7, 2019.

The 2018-2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League competition began in August, and spans seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries; the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Las Vegas National Horse Show is one of only 14 events chosen, and this is the only leg of the prestigious tour that will be hosted in Las Vegas. More at

About Blenheim EquiSports

Blenheim EquiSports, an equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, produces events in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas, NV. The events include USEF "Premier" and "National" rated hunter-jumper shows featuring multiple grand prix events, a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League event, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more. More at

About South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa

Featuring more than 2,100 guestrooms, South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa overlooks the famous Las Vegas Strip and the serenity of the surrounding mountainscape. Each oversized guest room features state-of-the-art LED televisions as well as WiFi with high-speed internet connections. Guests visiting South Point will experience affordable luxury through a casino offering top-of-the-line gaming technology, more than 60 table games and a separate race and sports book area, 11 restaurants, including the award-winning Michael’s Gourmet Room, the world-class Costa Del Sur Spa and Salon, a 400-seat showroom featuring headliner entertainment, a 700-seat Bingo room, a 16-screen Cinemark movie complex, a state-of-the-art 64-lane bowling center, a 52,000-square foot Conference Center and an 80,000-square foot Exhibit Hall. South Point Hotel is also home to the Tournament Bowling Plaza, a multi-million dollar professional bowling tournament facility. In addition, South Point has the finest equestrian event facility in the country. The 240,000 square feet of event space features three climate-controlled arenas, vet clinic, feed store, more than 1,200 climate-controlled stalls and plays host to some of the country’s most unique events.  South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa is at 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89183.

“Official Hotel and Casino of Las Vegas Motor Speedway” and sponsor of the September 2018 Las Vegas NASCAR Monster Energy cup race, South Point 400. In addition, South Point’s Sports Book is home of Vegas Stats & Information Network” (VSiN), where you can listen to the broadcast on SiriusXM 204 and watch the video livestream on

For more information or for room reservations, call (702) 796-7111 or visit the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa website. Connect with South Point on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and foursquare.

For More Information
South Point Hotel, Casino, & Spa

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Kirvin Doak Communications
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Blenheim EquiSports

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Classic Communications
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Back in the Game!
Written by CRM
Monday, 05 November 2018 17:22

Ashlee Bond and CHELA LS take home the Blue Ribbon in the $100,000 Coachella Grand Prix FEI CSI3*!

The final class of the FEI CSI3* Division at National Sunshine I took place Sunday afternoon. The sky was beautifully painted shades of pink and blue as the sun set over the AON HITS Desert Horse Park, and Ashlee Bond won her second featured class of the week.

A field of 35 high performance riders took to the course in the $100,000 Coachella Grand Prix FEI CSI3*, with seven returning for the shortened course.


First to return for the jump-off was Eric Navet and CATYPSO. They looked to put the pressure on the remaining riders with a quick time of 43.95, but a rail at the combination would land them in sixth place.

Zazou Hoffman and SAMSON II were the next pair to return for the jump-off. A rail at the last fence left Hoffman with a four fault time of 43.20 and the fifth place ribbon.

110518 nationalsunshine1The first clear round in the jump-off would be produced by Wilhem Genn aboard BUGATTI in a time of 45.29. Genn's lead was short lived, however, as Mathis Schwentker (pictured to the left) rode next, jumping clean in a time of 43.07 aboard NKH CARUSO.


Nayel Nassar was next to go. With a victory already in the books from Thursday's $35,000 Coachella Welcome Stake, Nassar and LORDAN had their eyes on another victory, galloping to the last fence in attempt to take the lead. Nassar was shaken out of the saddle in the air, but managed to stay on through the timers before performing an emergency dismount.

The dynamic duo would finish with a four fault time of 46.29 for fourth place.

Bond returned for the jump-off next, aboard her 14-year old chestnut mare CHELA LS. After a one-two finish in Saturday's $40,200 Coachella Classic, Bond's confidence was apparent as she entered the ring. A quick clean round in 41.86, more than a second faster than Schwentker, gave Bond a commanding lead with one rider left to show.

"I go out there and do what's right for her [CHELA LS]. We have been partners for a while now and I walk [the course], make a plan, and stick to it," Bond said. "She isn't one to touch the rails so that part of her makes my job easy, but when she is wild, crazy, and strong it works against me. Today, she was perfect."

Last to go in the jump-off was Uma O'Neill aboard CLOCKWISE OF GREENHILL Z, finishing with four faults in a time of 44.20 to claim seventh place.

110518 nationalsunshine2

Bond says her plan with CHELA LS is to continue through National Sunshine II for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Qualifier, then show at [HITS] Thermal and [HITS] Ocala this winter. "I don’t know if I'll go to World Cup Finals if I qualify. It's been an interesting year," Bond said. "I don't ride for anyone else but myself anymore," she exclaimed.

110518 nationalsunshine3
Regardless of their long term plans, this is definitely a team to look out for at this week National Sunshine II during the World Cup Qualifier FEI CSI3*-W, and into the winter season.
Don't miss out as the excitement continues at National Sunshine II! You can catch all the action live on Showhorse TV! National Sunshine II features the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Qualifier. Stay up to date with all of the upcoming HITS events via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and

All Photography is Courtesy of ESI Photography

California Girls Rock The 2018 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International
Written by CRM
Saturday, 20 October 2018 01:25
It was a West Coast invasion Friday at the 2018 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International with Californians sweeping International and young horse divisions. Frankie Thieriot Stutes leads The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship, and Heather Morris took over The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship.

Three-star winners once already this year, Thieriot Stutes and The Chatwin Group's Chatwin, a 10-year-old Oldenburg, topped Friday's leaderboard on a score of 27.3.
"I feel really lucky to ride Chat every day, and this division and the people I'm sitting next to are world-class so it feels amazing for this moment, but after I walk out of here I'm focused on tomorrow. Tomorrow is an entirely different day," said, Thieriot Stutes.

101918classic1Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin. Photo: Shannon Brinkman

After almost a decade since her last Fair Hill International appearance, Thieriot Stutes, who is an amateur rider herself, has her former Advanced horse Fric Frac Berence on her mind as she and Chatwin take on this weekend's challenge.
"I hope to have a little bit of Fric with me when I leave the box tomorrow," she said. "This is a different year, and a different horse, but I hope [Chatwin] takes care of me tomorrow as Fric would."
Canadian Jessica Phoenix piloted Pavarotti, a 16-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Don Good, into second place on a mark of 28.7. A seasoned competitor with multiple Olympic and World Championship appearances, Phoenix anticipates a healthy challenge from course designer Derek di Grazia.
"The course looks awesome tomorrow. I think it starts beautifully, those first six fences, and then it starts really coming at you. It gets you in to a nice rhythm and then the questions start coming and they don't stop until you get to the finish," Phoenix explained.
Caroline Martin and her own Danger Mouse landed in third. Martin and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood earned a 29 -- a personal best for this pair.

101918classic2Heather Morris and Charlie Tango. Photo: Shannon Brinkman

The CCI2* division welcomed a new leader on day two of the competition in Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by The Team Express Group. Their morning result of 22.9 remained untouched throughout the afternoon.
"He [Charlie Tango] was a really good boy today," Morris said. "He's pretty good in the atmosphere. He really excels in the canter work and we had a little bobble in the trot work so I had to make sure the canter work was perfect."
U.S. Olympian Boyd Martin found himself in second place with Christine Turner's On Cue. The 12-year-old Ango European gelding carries 23.7 points into Saturday's cross country phase.
Anna Loschiavo and Melanie Loschiavo's Spartacus Q peaked at precisely the perfect moment for third place in the two-star. The 9-year-old Hanoverian sits on a score of 25.8.
The USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships culminated Friday with the jumping and galloping portion of the competition. MB MaiStein and R River Star were crowned champions of the 5- and 4-year-old divisions, respectively.
Tamra Smith was the third of the west coast contingent to best the competition at Fair Hill Friday as she and the MB Group LLC's MB MaiStein finished first in the 5-year-old division. The Oldenburg gelding by Rocky Lee finished on an 88.29% (out of 100%), impressing the judges with his cross country efforts that earned him 13.5% (Out of 15%).
101918classic3Tamra Smith and MB MaiStein. Photo: Shannon Brinkman

"I think it's super important to support the program. The horses get the exposure without being put under a tremendous amount of pressure," Smith said of the USEA Young Event Horse Program. "The courses have always been fair, and it's interesting to get the judges point of view. I'm really excited he was a West Coast horse that came to the East Coast and won. I'm surprised and really excited that he did."

101918classic4Courtney Cooper and R River Star. Photo: Shannon Brinkman

Courtney Cooper's R River Star proved once again to be the best of the 4-year-old horses Friday, winning on a final score of 83.24% (out of 100%) with Cooper riding. The Irish Sport Horse/Dutch Warmblood gelding, who was bred by the rider, is by Riverman and out of R Star.
"He was great he was light on his feet. He was thoughtful. He looked for the jumps. We started him and did all the work with him. He's really gotten down to business this last part of his four-year-old year. He's come along and really done well," Cooper said.
Competitors take on the thrilling cross country phase Saturday Oct. 20 beginning at 9:15 a.m., and the show jumping finale will take place Sunday Oct. 21.

USEF Network will broadcast the CCI3* cross country live on Saturday, Oct. 20. Live streaming information is available at this link.
The Dutta Corp. is proud to sponsor the U.S. Equestrian Federation and is honored that the USEF has chosen to provide a Dutta Corp. flight to the winner of The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship as the top placing U.S. rider in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International's CCI3* competition.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of The Dutta Corp., the event's title sponsor. The Dutta Corporation is an international and domestic horse shipping company founded by J. Tim Dutta. It has been expanding rapidly since its inception in 1988 and particularly so in the last twenty years. With state-of-the-art jet stalls and an expert team of grooms, The Dutta Corp. provides horse air transport solutions tailored to each individual horse.
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International three-day event truly has something for everyone. Spectators can enjoy numerous demonstrations ranging from a Brendan Wise Horsemanship and pony drill teams, dog agility, face painting in the Kids' Corner, a cross-country course walk, fantastic food options, and shopping in numerous vendor shops.
General Admission: Tickets available at the gate!
Saturday, October 20 - $15
Sunday, October 21 - $15

Children under 12 are admitted free of charge, as are 4-H and FFA members (with ID), Pony Club members (with pin), and military members and their dependents (with ID).
Seniors 65 years and older - just $5 per person.

General Admission does not include admission to Sponsor tent and pre-reserved tailgating spots.
All tickets and packages are sold at the gate. For additional information about hospitality packages please visit
For further information on The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International, please call 410-398-2111 or visit Press release proficed by Classic Communications.

Del Mar International Welcome Week Ends with a Bang
Written by CRM
Monday, 15 October 2018 17:44

The first week of Del Mar International has come to an end after five days of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. See some of Sunday's classic winners below. Congratulations to all riders, owners, and trainers!

101518 delmar1Contefina and Ashlee Bond, Winners of the 6 Year Old Classic. All Photos by McCool Photography.
101518 delmar2Gee Whiz and Trudi Fletcher, Winners of the 7 Year Old Classic
101518 delmar3Merida 8 and Viggo Bjorklund, Winners of the $5,000 iJump Sports High Jr/AO Classic
101518 delmar4Fleury and Savanah Stuart, Winners of the GGT Footing Low Jr/AO Classic
101518 delmar5Zaira LS and Tanna Seltzer, Winners of the CWD Modified Jr/Am Classic
101518 delmar6Uno Mas and Parris Mozart-Collins, Winners of the Junior / Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic
101518 delmar7South Beach GES and Lauren Wilson, Winners of the Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic Presented by Premier Equine Center
101518 delmar8Quite Bellami Z and Caroline Jacobs, Winners of the Pre Child/Adult Jumper Classic and the Hygain Modified Child/Adult Jumper Classic
101518 delmar9Amy Brubaker, Amateur Style of Riding Award Winner.
101518 delmar10Rachel Freer, Junior Style of Riding Award Winners. All photos by McCool Photography.


We are looking forward to this coming week, Del Mar International World Cup Week! It is an action-packed week, featuring the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Del Mar Presented by EQ International Real Estate. But there's more to see including the $25,000 PCHA Child/Adult Jumper Championship, the $25,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix Series Finale, the Onondarka Medal Finals, a USHJA National Hunter Derby, and much, much more.

Press release provided by West Palms Events.

Congress Extends ELD exemption through Dec. 7th
Written by Administrator
Saturday, 29 September 2018 14:34
Congress has sent a spending bill to the White House in an effort to avert an Oct. 1 government shutdown and push the discussion regarding final appropriations until after the November elections. H.R. 6157 includes a continuing resolution that would extend funding for those agencies not covered by completed appropriations bills, including agriculture and transportation. This will extend the ELD protections the horse industry has enjoyed through December 7, 2018.  The President has said he will sign this bill package to avert a shutdown.


By December 7th Congress will either do another extension or pass the 2019 spending package, which includes the ELD delay for livestock haulers, leaving these haulers exempt from ELD use until September 30, 2019.

The AHC is continuing to work with both the FMCSA and Congress to identify a permanent solution to the unintended consequences to new and existing CDL and ELD regulations that have proven to be problematic.

For more information please contact Cliff Williamson at the American Horse Council,

Press release provided by American Horse Council.

North American League West Coast Finals Inspired Intense Competition
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 15:55

Just after the U.S. show jumping team earned gold at the World Equestrian Games, juniors and amateur riders engaged in their own heated competition at the 2018 North American League (NAL) West Coast Finals. The two days of hunter and jumper competition comprise one of the two Finals that culminate the NAL's year-long Series that includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. This year's NAL West Coast Finals were held in beautiful Southern California weather during the Blenheim EquiSports International Jumping Festival, September 22-23 in San Juan Capistrano.

The NAL West Coat Finals featured five divisions, the $5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak, $5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Presented by EquiFit, $5,000 NAL 1.35M Junior/Amateur Jumper Presented by HorseFlight, and $5,000 NAL Adult Hunter and $5,000 NAL Children's Hunter. The winners of each Final were presented with fantastic awards including gift certificates generously donated by EquiFit, SmartPak, and The Clothes Horse, an NAL coolerette, and a trophy from the International Jumping Festival. Popular NAL gift bags given to every Finals participant were filled with an assortment of goodies including a commemorative NAL Finals stall plaque and photo box.

In addition to the West Coast Finals, the NAL also hosts National Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, October 11-20.

Fifteen-year-old Erin Nichols, of Yorba Linda, CA., and Hindee's 29.697-second time was unbeatable among the 12 pairs who advanced to the jump-off in the $5,000 NAL Childrens Jumper Final Presented by EquiFit. "Forward and smooth equals fast" trainer Edgar Pagan told Nichols before she entered the jump-off, and she and her 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood were all three. Nichols splits her time between jumpers and dressage, in which she competes with equal success at Second Level. She's found dressage to be a big help in developing the keen feel needed for pinpoint control on a jumper course and she used that effectively in the win. Nichols aspires to represent the States internationally in either discipline. Having targeted the Finals all season, the victory was a big milestone. "Doing as well as I did, I'm very proud of myself and my horse," she said.

Jake Cheikha, of Trabuco Canyon, CA., and Noteworthy Horses' Cagoldas were less than a half-second behind Nichols with their clean jump-off for the red rosette. The pair trains with David Bustillos. Lola Stern and Woodgrove Farm's Arco Z's 30.61-second jump-off placed the Katie Gardner-coached pair in third.


Evette Delong and Blue Calvados. Photo: (c)

Riding the same Scott Starnes-designed course on the grass Derby Field as the Childrens Final contenders did, Evette Delong and Blue Calvados were the unbeatable pair in the NAL $5,000 Adult Amateur Jumper Finals Presented by SmartPak. "Everything aligned today," said Delong, who lives near the venue in San Juan Capistrano, CA. "Between my trainer Hillary Ridland and my horse, I'm feeling blessed." Delong has ridden much of her life, but took a break during cancer treatments. Blue Calvados was purchased about 18 months ago to help her get back into the game, which they've done with gusto, earning numerous circuit championships along with the NAL title.

"Hillary and I walked a great track and I was able to stick to my plan," Delong explained of the jump-off strategy to best the four contenders who also had clear first-round efforts. "Mentally, Hillary really pre-set me up with where I could cut corners or step on the gas, while keeping my horse balanced and it worked!"

Whitney Coleman and Sarah Sharou's Cavalino 30 finished second with two clear rounds and a 32.145 jump-off time. Coleman lives in Woodland Hills, CA, and is coached by Susan Artes. They were followed by Lauren Wilson of Long Beach, CA, and Constance Farmer's Kessel Run. Trained by Hayden Clarke Show Jumping, this duo was double clear with a 32.860 jump-off time.

Competing on the Oaks International Grand Prix field, contenders in the NAL $5,000 1.35m Junior/Amateur Jumper Finals Presented by HorseFlight faced a very stout track designed by Anthony D'Ambrosio. Katie Murray on Calgot Hero and Brooke Morin on Cassito Del Diablo were the only two to navigate clear rounds. Riding second in the jump-off, Murray knew Morin had downed a rail, so going clear was the main objective. But the student of Grand Prix rider Michelle Parker also wanted to gain experience, so she was happy to have pulled off a mid-course inside turn on top of going clear.

Murray, a 21-year-old from Anaheim, CA, appreciated the big confidence boost of excelling in the class. Describing Calgot Hero as her "best friend," she explained that they'd "made a few mistakes" in higher divisions earlier in their roughly one-year partnership and are in rebuilding mode. "He's such an incredible horse and I don't know what I'd do without him."

Hailing from Calabasas, runner-up Morin rides with Lee Flick. Their stable-mate, Kate Abajian and Curtis 57 were right behind them in third, having only incurred a time fault on the first-round track.

Kristyn Hill and Cortez. Photo: (c)

In the Hunter Ring

Mother of two Kristyn Hill, of Dana Point, CA, set her cap for the NAL $5,000 Adult Amateur Hunter League early in the year. So she was thrilled to lay do

wn two beautiful rounds with Cortez in the Saturday afternoon class held in a sand arena over a course designed by Kerry Kocher. Trained by Lee Flick, Hill led both phases of the Final, with an 80 and an 83 respectively, for a 163 total that topped the next-placed pair by a whopping 10 points.

"He's a good, good boy," said Hill of her 11-year-old Holsteiner, Cortez, whose "Prince" nickname suits her partner of two-and-a-half years. "He loves to show and compete. He's really serious and if there's ever a problem, it's my fault. And, usually, when there is a problem, he covers and takes over for me." As was reflected in the scores from judge Scott Williamson, there were no problems for this pair. The NAL Finals were a key target for Hill this year. "At the beginning, we weren't sure how many shows we were going to do, but we got off to a strong start and decided to keep going. Aside from my family, this is my favorite thing to do!"

Harriet Posner and her own Leonetti almost caught Hill's second-round score with an 82 that vaulted them to a 153 total and into second place overall. Based in Beverly Hills, CA, Posner rides with Kate Considine. Another Considine client, Jennifer Rawlings, of Woodland Hills, CA, and Stage Left Farm LLC's First & Goal, ended on a 152 total score for third.

Thirteen-year-old Victoria Simonds, of Beverly Hills, CA, has only been contesting the Childrens Hunter division since June, but she and Valentino wasted no time becoming winners. With scores of 80 and 79, they edged out tough competition for the top spot in the $5,000 NAL Childrens Hunter Finals that completed the NAL West Coast Finals on Sunday afternoon. Riding on the grass Pacific Field under the eye of judge Lynne Forgione, Victoria's round over the Joe Lombardo-designed course reflected what she loves best about Valentino, a 12-year-old Argentinian Warmblood. "He's super fun to ride," enthused the student of Raine Rose. The fun factor carried into their victory gallop, when they snuck in an extra jump. "I've never done that before, but I thought it was fun!" Simonds said.

Just one point behind were Angela Haring, of San Diego, CA, and El Cid. Trained by the legendary Hap Hansen, their stellar second-round score of 84 bumped up a 74 first-round to a 158 total for second place honors. Mika Clear, of Oakland, CA., and Gabriel earned a total 156 score, bringing the pair trained by Traci Brooks into third.

The NAL qualifying season runs from September 1 through August 31. NAL qualifying classes are open to all competitors but only current members are awarded points. By joining the NAL, riders can accumulate the points necessary to make it to the West Coast Finals, or National Finals being held this year at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, October 11-20. Annual memberships are only $40 per rider.

The NAL would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2018 Finals: Blenheim EquiSports, The Clothes Horse, EquiFit, the International Jumping Festival, SmartPak, and HorseFlight.

For more information regarding the North American League series please call (717) 867-5643, email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit Follow us on Facebook at Press release provided by North American League.

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