Show Reports
September 2021 - U.S. Squad Earns Silver at 2021 FEI Vaulting World Championships For Juniors
Written by courtesy of U.S. Equestrian • photos: Les Garennes
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:56
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courtesy of U.S. Equestrian • photos: Les Garennes

A talented group of U.S. youth athletes had strong performances at the 2021 FEI Vaulting World Championships for Juniors in Le Mans, France from July 29-August 1. The contingent of U.S. competitors in the individual female, pas de deux, and squad divisions delivered on the world stage under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Emma Seely. The U.S. Squad took home the silver medal against a talented field, while their U.S. teammates put forth solid efforts in the individual female and pas de deux divisions.


“The U.S. vaulters did an awesome job. They did what they needed to do,” said Seely. “The squad got the silver medal, which was super exciting. The pas de deux pairs were good, and the individual women were awesome. It was a huge playing field, a lot of people in the competition, so I’m quite proud of what we were able to do coming out of a pandemic into this big event.”

The U.S. Squad was made up of Melanie Ford (Fort Collins, Colo.), Emma Milito (Brighton, Colo.), Augusta Rose Lewis (Longmont, Colo.), Rhianon Hampton (Greeley, Colo.), Giana Massaro (Costa Mesa, Calif.), and Bryleigh Thornton (Thornton, Colo.), and they showed poise beyond their years at the world championship. They partnered with longeur Jacqueline Lux and Goldjunge, Lux’s 2008 gelding, and began the competition with a compulsory test score of 6.697 and a free test score of 8.077 in round one. The squad finished on a high note with an excellent free test in round two to score 8.234. The overall score of 7.669 clinched the silver medal for the U.S. Squad.

In the pas de deux division, Persephone Brown (Brighton, Colo.) and Danica Rinard (Fort Lupton, Colo.) were the top U.S. pair in sixth place. Brown and Rinard teamed up with longeur Thordis Thoroe and Lightning Jack 12, Thoroe’s 2007 Holsteiner gelding. They scored 7.250 in the round one free test and 7.118 in the round two free test for an overall score of 7.184.

Peyton Daley (San Mateo, Calif.) and Aria Deshpande (San Francisco, Calif.) finished in 13th place in the pas de deux division. They partnered with longeur Carolyn Bland and Icarus, Nienke De Wolff’s 2013 KWPN gelding. They had some bobbles in the round one free test, scoring 4.567. They made a comeback with their round two free test to score 6.042, finishing on an overall score of 5.305.

The individual female division was massive with 56 competitors. Three U.S. athletes competed in the division: Hallie Dudley (Elizabeth, Colo.), Melanie Ford (Fort Collins, Colo.), and Kylynn Ghafouri (Murrieta, Calif.). Round one consisted of a compulsory test and a free test, and only the top 15 vaulters moved on to round two. Ghafouri with longeur Nienke De Wolff and Christmas PS Z, De Wolff’s 2013 Zangersheide gelding, finished round one in 22nd place on a score of 7.219, while Dudley with longeur De Wolff and Icarus finished in 24th place on a score of 7.151. Ford was the sole U.S. representative to move on to round two, sitting in 12th place on a score of 7.422.

In round two, Ford with longeur Andrea Boe and Ronaldo 200, Marie Struwe’s 2007 Westphalian gelding, scored 7.569 in the compulsory test and 7.216 in the free test. They finished on an overall score of 7.408 for 13th place.

 

 
September 2021 - Let’s Show News Its Countdown Time for the Big 3
Written by courtesy of Let’s Show
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:52
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courtesy of Let’s Show

Fall Festival
Sept 16-19
 
Fall Festival prize list is available on the Brookside Show Park website (https://brooksideshowpark.com) and Let’s Show website (www.letsshow.net). It’s a new date and a new feel with lots of exciting classes and giveaways including hosting the SAHJA Grebitus Cup.
 


Fall Festival is an NSBA approved show. The NSBA has so much to offer and give back to the exhibitors. Just one of the programs to highlight is for the Junior members. A junior will pay a one time $25.00 enrollment fee to join the “Smart Points” program which enables them to start a “savings plan.” The program credits money (in 2021 to date the amount is $27.67 per point) for each ribbon won in an NSBA approved class. The point-money is deposited into the Junior account and is paid out to them directly when they turn 18. The NSBA has many other programs available and for more information. We encourage you to please take a moment to look at the website (https://www.nsba.com). East Coast shows are already transitioning to NSBA and this year, along with Almaden, the 2 Fall Shows (Fall Festival & Fall Finale) are NSBA approved. The goal is next year to have ALL Let’s Show & Brookside shows NSBA approved and look forward to the benefits for exhibitors.

UPCOMING EVENTS
 
Fall Finale: October 13-17
Halloween Championship Show: October 27-31

 

 
September 2021 - West Palms Events Continues to Raise the Bar with Riders Cup
Written by by Brooke Goddard • photos: Image by Katie
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:43
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by Brooke Goddard • photos: Image by Katie

West Palms Events welcomes top-level show jumping competition back to Los Angeles this fall with Riders Cup (Oct. 21-24, 2021) at LA Equestrian Center. The competition will feature $306,000 in prize money paid same-day, an all-inclusive entry system, and courses built by Marina Azevedo of Brazil and Kevin Holowack of Canada.

At Riders Cup in May 2021 at the LA Equestrian Center, Gold Medalist Will Simpson and Chacco P were victorious in the $100,000 Riders Cup Grand Prix. “Riders Cup is all the right things for a great show and a great competition, done by people who know how to put on a show,” said Simpson.


This fall’s edition of Riders Cup will feature the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA) $55,000 Jumper Championships.  PCHA has expanded its Child/Adult Jumper Championships to include both Low Child/Adult riders at 1.0m and Junior/Amateur riders at 1.20m and West Palms is sponsoring the $55,000 of prize money up for grabs.

“It’s something new, different, and really great,” said Archie Cox, PCHA President. “I am very excited that West Palms is hosting the PCHA Jumper Championships. We are getting a lot of interest and I have no doubt that West Palms Events will do a first-class job with it.”

Entries for Riders Cup are due by Oct. 1, 2021, and can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or submitted through Equestrian Connect. Spectators are welcome, and a limited number of VIP Tables and Cabanas are available for purchase. For more information, contact Adrienne Karazissis at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

West Palms is excited to implement feedback from Riders Cup in May to continue to raise the bar. “We learned so much from hosting Riders Cup in May at LA Equestrian Center and can’t wait to improve on it,” said West Palms CEO Dale Harvey.

Riders Cup Classes Include:

 

  • $100,000 Riders Cup Grand Prix
  • $55,000 PCHA Jumper Championship
  • $25,000 1.40m Jumper Classic with U25 presented by Neil Jones Equestrian
  • $25,000 1.45m Jumper Classic with U25 presented by Neil Jones Equestrian
  • $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
  • $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
 
September 2021 - Skylar Wireman and Emily Williams Win CPHA Hunt Seat Medal Finals
Written by provided by Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:33
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provided by Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography

Junior rider Skylar Wireman and amateur Emily Williams emerged victorious following two days of competition in the California Professional Horseman’s Association (CPHA) Junior and Amateur Hunt Seat Medal Finals at the Blenheim Summer Classic.

The Finals, held August 20-21, welcomed 57 juniors and 16 amateur riders for their respective opening rounds of competition, held on Friday afternoon in the Olympic Sand Arena at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.


From there, all riders returned for a second round on Saturday, which featured a slightly more challenging track set by course designer Scott Starnes. In each round, riders received scores from each of the three judges, Rusty Stewart, Virginia Edwards and Rita Timpanaro, with the top 10 amateurs and top 10 juniors each ultimately returning for a third and final round on Saturday afternoon.

Heading into the finale of the CPHA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final, Wireman sat in fourth place aboard Hot Pants – which was just where Wireman wanted to be.

“Being on top is a lot of pressure going into the final round,” said Wireman, who trains with her mother, Shayne Wireman. “I was third yesterday and fourth today. That’s kind of perfect and where you want to be. It leaves room to move up and room to improve and really wow them in the last round. Being on top is a lot of pressure because you know you’re on top and you have to align everything. Then you debate whether you take the risk or not. I took some risks today because I was in fourth, and it paid off!”

Wireman took advantage of an inside turn option to help her earn scores of 88, 88 and 91 for a third-round total of 267 and the winning score of 791. Second place with a final score of 785.50 went to Bella Primavera riding Carrico Sun, and Zoe Brown rounded out the top three with a score of 781.75 aboard The Original. While Madison Nadolenco held the lead going into the final round, she would ultimately finish in fourth aboard Couer de Lion.

“Today they gave us a little bit harder test and trickier jumps, with Swedish oxers, and it was easier to have a rail down; they were a little bit spookier jumps,” said Wireman, 16. “I think the third round definitely asked good questions, and there were lots of options for different types of horses. Blenheim’s done such a great job. They did a great job in the Olympic Sand Arena, and it was really fun!”

Skylar Wireman was crowned the 2021 CPHA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final Champion

2021 CPHA Hunt Seat Medal Finals Champion Skylar Wireman

Reserve Champion Bella Primavera

Skylar Wireman is all smiles leading the victory gallop in the junior section of 2021 CPHA Hunt Seat Medal Finals

For the win, Wireman was presented with an impressive array of awards, including a CWD gift certificate, a Valencia Saddlery leather halter, a cooler, a Kastel CPHA riding shirt, a CPHA belt buckle, DeNiro Salentos boots, Harlow Horse Cookies, a SmartPak gift certificate and more.

While Wireman may have preferred not to hold the lead heading into the final round of the CPHA Amateur Hunt Seat Medal, for Emily Williams, the top of the leaderboard is where she thrives.

In 2018, Williams and Carlo won the CPHA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals, and this year, the pair returned to lead the CPHA Amateur Hunt Seat Medal Finals from beginning to end.

“I never thought that Carlo would still be the horse that I won the CPHA Amateur Hunt Seat Medal Finals on!” said Williams, who trains with Archie Cox. “He’s a really special horse. I think I said in 2018 that he was my dream horse. He still is my dream horse. He’s one of the most amazing horses that I’ve ever ridden.”

“He was out for a little bit. I never thought he would actually come back and especially to the 3’6”, so the fact that he was able to do that, it means more to me than anything,” continued Williams in speaking of the 15-year-old Warmblood gelding. “I’m just so grateful to this horse for everything that he’s done.”

With scores of 263.50 and 260 in the first two rounds, Williams was a far-and-away front runner heading into the final round, and she only further cemented her lead with scores of 90, 88 and 85 for an overall total score of 786.50. Second place with a score of 751.50 went to Stacey Bacheller riding Alalux, and a score of 731 earned the third-place honor for Catherine Westling and Rigoletto.

“I felt a decent amount of pressure across the whole class,” said Williams. “My horse is 15 this year, so I would really like this to be his last year doing the 3’6”. I really just wanted to do the best that I could for him and have consistent rounds. When I went into round three, I really just wanted to be the most consistent that I could over anything else. I just went out there and did what I know how to do. I didn’t try anything risky. I just rode my horse. I rode the horse that I have.”

For the win, Williams was also presented with a CWD gift certificate, a Valencia Saddlery leather halter, a cooler, a Kastel CPHA riding shirt, a CPHA belt buckle, DeNiro Salentos boots, Harlow Horse Cookies and a SmartPak gift certificate. Williams name will also be added to a perpetual trophy, sponsored by DiAnn Langer.

“I’m super grateful to CPHA for putting this on,” concluded Williams. “I love the ring that they used this year. All of the jumps looked great, and the courses were super fun. I loved all the bending lines that they incorporated. I just love how special they made it.”

In addition to Williams being honored as the winner, Westling was recognized with a special cooler, ribbon, sash and necklace as the top 36 and over rider.

The second and third place finishers in each division also received coolers, leather halters from Valencia Sport Saddlery, medals and CPHA belt buckles. All of the top ten finishers took home great prizes, including CPHA belt buckles, ribbons, medals and bouquets of flowers.

Equitation competition continues next week at Blenheim EquiSports with the Showpark Summer Classic, to be held August 25-29, featuring the CPHA Foundation Medal Finals. To learn more about Blenheim EquiSports, the #PlaceToJump all season long, visit www.ThePlaceToJump.com.

 

Emily Williams was crowned the 2021 CPHA Amateur Hunt Seat Medal Final Champion

2021 CPHA Hunt Seat Medal Finals Champion Emily Williams

Reserve Champion Stacey Bacheller

Emily Williams leading the victory gallop in the amateur section of the 2021 CPHA Hunt Seat Medal Finals

 
August 2021 - Prize List Now Available for the LA Labor Day Classic, Flintridge Autumn Classic, LA Fall Festival, and LA National
Written by provided by West Palms Events
Friday, 30 July 2021 03:52
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provided by West Palms Events

West Palms Events is gearing up for a fantastic fall season with a full calendar of competitions in Southern California for riders of all levels. The prize list is now available for the LA Labor Day Classic (Sept. 1-5) at Los Angeles Equestrian Center, the Flintridge Autumn Classic (Sept. 30-Oct. 3) at Flintridge Riding Club, the LA Fall Festival (Oct. 6-10) at Los Angeles Equestrian Center, and the LA National (Oct. 13-17) at Los Angeles Equestrian Center.


All weeks will highlight grand prix classes, USHJA National Hunt and Go Hunter Derbies, and 2’6’’ Plaid Horse Carousel Derbies. Plus, all four weeks will include USHJA Outreach classes.

“We are looking forward to offering many special classes this fall,”  commented Dale Harvey, CEO of West Palms Events. “We are especially honored to host the prestigious Onondarka Medal Final, $10,000 PCHA Child/Adult Hunter Championship, and the $50,000 Grand Prix of the Pacific presented by EQ Consults at LA National.”

 

LA Labor Day Classic (Sept. 1-5) at LA Equestrian Center
USEF ‘National’ | Jumper Level 3 | PCHA ‘A’ | LAHJA ‘A’ & B’ | LEGIS League
•    LAHJA Rosewood Medal Final presented by Smartpak
•    LAHJA Betsy Woods Horsemanship Medal Final presented by Smartpak
•    LAHJA Stirrup Cup Medal Final
•    LAHJA Mary Jane Watson Medal Final
•    USHJA National Hunt & Go Hunter Derby
•    $30,000 Labor Day Grand Prix

Flintridge Autumn Classic (Sept. 30-Oct. 3) at Flintridge Riding Club
USEF ‘National’ | Jumper Level 3 | PCHA ‘A’ | LAHJA ‘A & B’ | SCHSA ‘A’ | LEGIS League
•    CPHA Horsemanship Medal Final
•    CPHA Child/Adult Medal Final
•    Equine Insurance SCHSA Challenge Medal Final
•    Flintridge Riding Club Open Equitation Challenge
•    USHJA National Hunt & Go Hunter Derby presented by LEGISequine.com
•    $25,000 Grand Prix of Flintridge presented by The Flying Spur Ranch
 
LA Fall Festival (Oct. 6-10) at LA Equestrian Center
USEF ‘National’ | Jumper Level 3 | PCHA ‘A’ | LAHJA ‘A & B’ | LEGIS League
•    LAHJA Junior Medal Final presented by LEGISequine.com
•    LAHJA Senior Medal Final presented by Hansen Dam Horse Park
•    Camelot Hunter Challenge Derby
•    USHJA National Hunt & Go Derby
•    Fall Festival Grand Prix

LA National (Oct. 13-17) at LA Equestrian Center
USEF ‘National’ | Jumper Level 4 | PCHA ‘A’ | LAHJA ‘A & B’ | LEGIS League
•    Onondarka Medal Final
•    $10,000 PCHA Child/Adult Hunter Championship
•    $50,000 Grand Prix of the Pacific presented by EQ Consults
•    $5,000 Open Equitation Challenge
•    $5,000 USHJA National Hunt & Go Derby presented by Fleeceworks
•    $5,000 GGT Footing 1.20m Classic
•    $5,000 1.40m Welcome Classic

The prize list and entry forms are available online: www.westpalmsevents.com. Entries can be submitted through www.EquestrianConnect.com or emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Stalls are limited and expected to sell out. Please contact Adrienne as soon as possible to reserve your place. Entries for the LA Labor Day Classic and are due by Aug. 9. Entries for the Flintridge Autumn Classic are due by Sept. 6 and entries for the LA Fall Festival and LA National are due by Sept. 13. Then, save the date Sacramento International – NorCal Medal Finals and Longines CSI W-4* (Sept. 29-Oct. 10) at Murieta Equestrian Center. The fall edition of Riders Cup comes to LA Equestrian Center (Oct. 21-24), featuring the all-new $55,000 PCHA Jumper Championships.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!

 
May 2021 - A Golden Finish For The Gold Tour At Blenheim Spring Classic II
Written by courtesy of Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography
Friday, 30 April 2021 05:15
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courtesy of Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography

The highlight events of Blenheim Spring Classic II was the highly anticipated West Coast Gold Tour. Renowned Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela built a 1.45m track and two 1.50m courses for the Gold Tour exhibitors in the grass Derby Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Keri Potter and Toscana set the pace winning the $7,500 1.45m Gold Tour Two-Phase. Thursday’s feature class was won by Will Simpson and Chacco P who raced to the blue in the $40,000 1.50m Gold Tour Welcome Speed Stake, sponsored by Competitive Equestrian. Finishing out the week on a high note was Luis Sabino claiming first and second aboard Camino Imperio Egipcio and Argan de Beliard respectively in the $100,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix, sponsored by the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano.


The feature class of the West Coast Jumping tour was the $100,000 1.50m Gold Tour Grand Prix, sponsored by the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, held on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Thirteen competitors navigated the first-round track, which featured thirteen numbered obstacles offering sixteen total jumping efforts, technical turns, a liverpool, and a water jump with a rail on top.

“This is a very beautiful ring and different than all the others and I believe the variety is most important in this sport today,” commented Palacios. “Here we break all the standards and are going with different – I have different fences – I have a fixed water jump that is different; I have a fixed low liverpool set under the shadow of the trees. I think it is very important to give the sport another dimension and this gives it.”

Luis Sabino and Camino Imperio Egipcio win the $100,000 Gold Tour Grand Prix

Luis Sabino and Camino Imperio Egipcio win the $100,000 Gold Tour Grand Prix

In an interview prior to the class, Palacios commented on his building process and reasoning behind his decisions claiming nothing to be over done but each fence having a question attached to it.

He predicted about four horses going clear and five ended up making it to the jump off. In the end, Luis Sabino took home first place aboard Camino Imperio Egipcio with a clean go in 43.122 seconds. Sabino claimed second place aboard his other mount Argan de Beliard with another clear effort in 43.525 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Hanna Mauritzson and Parkmore Lux who also jumped without faults in 43.797 seconds.

“Normally Camino is not faster than Argan,” said Sabino. “I figured if I did a clear round, I could put more pressure on them (the other riders) and I could be relaxed with the second horse.”

Hailing from Portugal, Sabino just added to the already amazing success he is having during his inaugural stent in California. His first and only other outing in the US was back in 2019 while representing Portugal at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. This season, Sabino has had multiple top three finishes in the grand prix classes at the Desert International Horse Park with his biggest accomplishment placing first in the $137,000 FEI 1.55m CSI3* and winning the $36,600 FEI 1.50m, both aboard Argan de Beliard.

Sixteen competitors navigated the $40,000 1.50m Gold Tour Welcome Speed Stake, sponsored by Competitive Equestrian. Consisting of fourteen total jumping efforts and designed by top FEI course designer Leopoldo Palacios, the track was set on the impressive Derby Field at the 1.50m height.

The top three podium winners all jumped clean. Speeding to a decisive victory was Will Simpson aboard his own Chacco P in 67.149 seconds. With a time of 70.597 seconds, Chandler Meadows with Christy JNR placed second, and rounding out the top three was Luis Sabino and Argan de Beliard who finished on a time of 72.033 seconds.

“My horse was on fire today,” exclaimed Simpson. “First time on the grass but it was fantastic footing. My horse left out a stride in the first line but still made the inside turn, really felt good right off the bat.” About the course, Simpson went on to say, “It was fantastic. We had a lot of turns, we had the wall, the grass footing was perfect and just a lot of questions that Leopoldo asked out there. It really felt good to have a horse with confidence.”

Will Simpson and his own Chacco P win the $40,000 1.50m Gold Tour Welcome Speed Stake

Will Simpson and his own Chacco P win the $40,000 1.50m Gold Tour Welcome Speed Stake

Simpson and Chacco P, a twelve-year-old Mecklenburg gelding, are longtime partners in the show arena. The duo competes on both the national and international level with a recent third place finish in the $250,000 FEI 1.55m CSI4* at the Desert International Horse Park.

In a pre-event interview Palacios explained that this specific track was designed to “improve the horses for the future jump off class” and that “this is not a normal speed class at a lower height that they are able to go super-fast…..I think it is very important to have these types of classes….since speed is not the only factor.”

Palacios also expounded on the grass footing, mentioning its importance in developing a horse and showcasing the best of the sport. “Grass is better; at the really big shows, like Aachen and Calgary, that are the grand slam of this sport, they are on grass. Today, more natural is more important, and this Derby field is fantastic in my opinion. It is one of the best fields that I have built on.”

Twelve horse and rider pairings battled it out in the $7,500 1.45m Gold Tour Two-Phase. The fastest of the double clear and the winner of the class was Keri Potter and Toscana. Claiming second was Matt Archer and Luigi VD Bisschop; third place was awarded to Kyle King and Enzo.

The Bronze level of the West Coast Jumping Tour returns to Blenheim EquiSports during the third week of the Blenheim Spring Classic Series. Additionally, week three features a $75,000 1.50m Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” Grand Prix and a USHJA International Hunter Derby.

Keri Potter and Toscana claim victory in the $7,500 1.45m Gold Tour Two-Phase

 

 
April 2021 - Kellerhouse, Turner and Billys Lead Galway Downs International
Written by by Kim F Miller
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:58
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by Kim F Miller

Mid-50s temperatures, wind, a little rain and new arenas for dressage gave an early season opportunity to test equine energy management and focus during Galway Downs International dressage and show jumping today.

At the CCI4*-S, Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve had just the right balance of rarin’-to-go and relaxation. A quarter-point show jumping time penalty during the day’s ending light rain put them on a 30.1 to lead the field of 12 pairs.


“That was one of the best tests we’ve had,” said Erin. “He is definitely getting stronger and happy with the work, and I am learning the little things I need to do to keep him that way. He wants to try so hard, sometimes he gets away from me. And there’s still a lot to improve on, which is exciting.”

The weather and new dressage court didn’t faze “Woody.” One of many things Erin has learned in her six years with the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse is that “too much dressage is too much confinement on show day.” Instead, she gave him an early morning gallop in her jumping saddle. “I let him be free.” The knowledge is a luxury of their longtime partnership. Erin has always brought young horses along to the lower FEI levels, but Woody is the first horse she’s had a chance to get to know and learn with through to their first CCI4*-L, accomplished very successfully here last fall.

Erin Kellerhouse & Woodford Reserve. Photo: TheWestEquestrian.com

Marc Donovan’s show jumping track offered another opportunity to advance their learning curve. With time faults often an issue, Erin “made myself take every inside turn.” Though they had a niggling .4 fault, Woody’s habitually clean jumping habits got even better. “I think it kept him on his toes. He was jumping out of his skin!”

It’s hard to imagine tomorrow’s cross-country -- though challenging -- will throw them anything they can’t handle, but Erin isn’t taking anything about Clayton Fredericks’ design for granted.

Helen Alliston and Ebay are close behind. The elegant pair earned a 30.7 from dressage judges Peter Gray and Helen Brettel to stand second. They held that position after going fault free in the Grand Prix arena except for .8 time faults for a 31.5. In retrospect, Helen said she wished she’d taken some inside options, but the plan of going fast on the outside lanes still led to a clear jumping effort. “He felt great,” she said of her 12-year-old Oldenburg. “I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Emilee Libby was thrilled with the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood Jakobi’s day. Show jumping in a snaffle bit was especially exciting, and with the sense that “I could ride him more forward and still trust that he would come back.” Their 33.7 dressage performance stayed as is thanks to double clear show jumping, moving them from 4th to 3rd going into cross-country.

Erin and Helen gave their thumbs-up to the new dressage courts, outfitted with all-weather footing and located where a grass jumping ring and grazing area was in the recent past. “It’s less buzzy,” noted Erin of the atmosphere compared to the Grand Prix Arena where international dressage had been held previously. Set amid trees and a short walk from the jumping rings, the arena setting was appreciated by both riders for its calming vibe and especially so on an otherwise animated morning, weather-wise.

Exhibitors on breaks loved the Grand Prix Arena, which has a literally brand new permanent VIP pavilion with a lovely seating and viewing area.

Young Riders Rule 3* Roost

Between a horse injury and a human injury, 18-year-old Haley Turner and her 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Shadow Inspector, had half their first four years together stymied. COVID waylaid show results for much of their third, but a strong second half to 2020 is rolling into a stellar 2021. Double clear jumping kept them ahead of the 13-pair pack on a 27.1 dressage score for this pleasing-to-watch pair.  

Downtime for the East Bay Area team was well spent. They are students of Bea and Derek DiGrazia’s Stillwater Farm, and work additionally with dressage coach Volker Brommann and jumping coach Alexis Hellfrich. “It’s all a big help and keeps us in consistent work even when we can’t get over to Bea and Derek in Carmel,” Haley explained.

The normally laid-back “Chief” showed extra energy this morning in dressage, perhaps due to the frisky weather. More likely, “I think he knows when he’s doing well!” The extra amperage continued in the Grand Prix ring and Haley harnessed it for a double clear effort to maintain their lead. Haley is 18 and in the midst of a gap year after graduating high school early.

Fellow young rider Alina Patterson moved into second after a flawless stadium round held her 29.3 dressage test in front of Peter Gray and Michelle Henry.

Professional Sabrina Glaser is thrilled with the effort so far of Cooley Mr. Murphy, who’s new at the level.  They had one rail and no time issues to stand on a 33.2.

Can Be Sweet in the 2*

Lauren Billys and her 9-year-old German Sporthorse Can Be Sweet got their groove back today. Their 25.8 dressage test in front of Helen Bretell and Carolyn Lindhom ranks high in their history. “It was one of his best,” said Lauren, who also has her 2016 and 2021 Olympic partner Castle Larchfield Purdy in the 4* division. “He (Can Be Sweet) was very uphill and showed what his movements can be. It felt like a very harmonious test.”

Time-faults-only show jumping was a reassuring round after a disappointing outing in the 2*-L last fall. “I was a little nervous to come in and rewrite history, but he is back on his form.” She expects cross-country to be challenging with an appropriate mix of galloping stretches and spots where a carefully measured approach will be critical.

Miranda Olagaray and the 8-year-old Trakehner Tangueray’s double clear jumping bounced them from the #7 spot to #2, on their 34.7 dressage score. They are followed by fellow clear jumpers Madison Temkin and MVP Madbum.

Schedule & Sponsors

The international divisions conclude Friday, March 26. The CCI4*-S begins at 1 p.m.; the 3* at 2:10 pm, Open Intermediate at 3:10, then 2* at 4:10 pm, all Pacific Standard Time. All will be live-streamed on www.RideOnVideo.com. Competition through Beginner Novice starts Friday and continues through Sunday.

Exhibitors from throughout the Western United States and generous sponsors make the Galway Downs International Horse Trials the perfect international season opener.

Thank you to these supporters:
•    Presenting Sponsors: Equine Insurance, CWD & Devoucoux  
•    Silver Sponsors: UVEX, Kerrits, Temecula Creek Inn
    Bronze: EquiFit, Shires, Home2 Suites, Mary’s Tack & Feed, Tina Fitch Photography, American Horse Trials Foundation, Auburn Laboratories, Inc., California Riding Magazine, California Horsetrader, Ride On Video, Stotz Equipment and Symons Ambulance
 
Visit www.galwaydowns.net for more information.

 

 
April 2021 - LEGIS League Finals
Written by by Brooke Goddard & Augie Miller • photos: GrandPix
Thursday, 01 April 2021 20:09
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LEGIS League Hosts its Hunter/Jumper Finals at Desert International Horse Park

by Brooke Goddard & Augie Miller • photos: GrandPix

LEGIS League riders traveled from all over the West Coast to compete in the LEGIS League Finals at the Coachella Valley Classic (Feb. 19-21, 2021), co-produced by LEG Shows & Events and Desert International Horse Park. LEGIS League Finals welcomed hunter, jumper, equitation, and medal riders.


The LEGIS League, proudly sponsored by LEGISequine.com, awards ribbons and special prizes such as embroidered saddle pads and riding vests to the champion, reserve champion, and top ten riders in each category. Medal final champions also earned special winner packages, featuring either a rafting trip or a Marriott vacation getaway.

Amateur rider Susan Kruse sealed the LEGIS League 1.00m Child/Adult Jumper Final Championship and was thrilled about her experience at the Finals. “It’s the highlight of my life,” she expressed.“It was so much fun getting to qualify to get here. Then we got here, and I had one of the best rounds of my life. The horse before me was so fast and clean and so I knew I had to go for it completely.”

LEGIS League prizes were also a highlight among the finalists. Anne Sherwood, an adult amateur who topped the LEGIS League 3’ Child/Adult Equitation Final, has competed in previous LEGIS League Finals and was very excited about the prizes. “I cannot say enough about the prizes,” she shared. “They’re really fun and creative.”

The LEGIS League is already gearing up for the 2021 LEGIS League Finals. Look for additional qualifying opportunities coming soon. Join online and start earning points to qualify for the Finals!

Congratulations to the LEGIS League Champions!

•    Victoria Baeza and her VF Pardon My Dust trained by Linda Cooper
    Champion: LEGIS League Mini and Cornerstone Medal Final Combined
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’ Stirrup Hunter Final

•    Francesca Barbano and her Basil trained by Julie Conner-Daniels
    Champion: LEGIS League Child/Adult Medal Final

•    Angeline Tronset and her South Pacific trained by Paige Wagter
    Champion: LEGIS League .70m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Mari Waltner and her Firehouse trained by Paige Wagter
    Champion: LEGIS League .80m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Bettina Vange and her Something Lovely trained by Susan Locke
    Champion: LEGIS League .90m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Susan Kruse and her Carat trained by Susan Locke
    Champion: LEGIS League 1.00m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Nancy Butano and Burlington (Greg Tomb, Owner) trained by Kyle King
    Champion: LEGIS League 1.10m Jumper Final

•    Isabel Davis and her #cute trained by Linda Cooper
    Champion: LEGIS League Walk-Trot Final

•    Natassha Ledon and her Conteros trained by Jennifer Vancheri-Porter
    Champion: LEGIS League Intro Cross Rail Final

•    Deborah Bray and her Poseidon trained by Laurie Cunningham
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’ Stirrup Equitation Final

•    Ava Park and her Lykke Li-Terma Z trained by Michelle Morris
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’3” Demi Hunter Final

•    Phoebe Levy and Ocean Power (Heatherly Davis, Owner) trained by Heatherly Davis
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’3” Demi Child/Adult Equitation Final
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’6” Equitation Final

•    Mila Slutzky and her After Hours trained by Robert Sean Leckie
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’6” Hunter Final

•    Madeline Luddy and Triple Crown (Copper Lane Farm, Owner)
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’9” Child/Adult Hunter Final

•    Jacob Kemppainen and Hendriks (Hope Glynn, Owner) trained by Elvenstar
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’9” Child/Adult Equitation Final

•    Meghann Murphy and Furstentusch N
    Champion: LEGIS League 3’ Child/Adult Hunter Final

•    Anne Sherwood and her Cassito trained by Michelle Morris
    Champion: LEGIS League 3’ Child/Adult Equitation Final

 

 
December 2020 - Desert Dressage
Written by photos and text by Kim F Miller
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 03:40
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“show

Venue and inaugural competition spark excitement.

photos and text by Kim F Miller

California dressage enthusiasts have big praise for the inaugural Adequan Desert Dressage presented by Buffini & Company. Held over two weeks, starting Nov. 12 at the Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, the CDI and national show attracted all of the West Coast’s top players.

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper danced their way to domination in the Grand Prix divisions. The four-time Olympian summarized first week sentiments after their first win on Thursday with a 77.413% in the FEI Grand Prix CDI3* sponsored by Elizabeth Keadle.

 


Anna Buffini & FRH Davinia La Douce

Steffen & Supperkasper

Ben Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert won the FEI GP Freestyle CDI U25 and dad & Olympian Jan Ebeling, right, won the FEI Intermediate II CDI3* on Bellena.

“We arrived two days ago and I drove around with my mouth open,” Steffen explained. “The last time we were here was about seven or eight years ago and I just couldn’t believe how much was improved and the resources that were put into this place. It is absolutely beautiful. That (Grand Prix) arena, truly, I am not exaggerating, has Olympic quality. When you come in with the big gate and the spectators where they are, that has Olympic quality. I cannot wait and hope that maybe one day something really big will happen here.”

 

(Editor’s Note: Per COVID safety protocols, spectators were not allowed, yet the Grand Prix ring drew other exhibitors when Steffen and his contemporaries went to work.)

Steffen and “Mopsie” returned Sunday to win the FEI GP Special, and he and his wife Shannon Peters rode several horses and coached clients through the two weeks.

Dawn White O’Connor & Bailarino

Jan Ebeling & Bellena

Jennifer Hoffman & Rondoro Noblesse

Hot on their heels in the Week 1 Grand Prix divisions were Anna Buffini and FRH Davinia La Douce. Anna has only had the mare for one month and was thrilled to be back in the big ring on such a spectacular horse. They earned a 70.319%.

The San Diego-based young professional was equally excited about the venue, the show organizers, etc. “This is probably one of my favorite venues I’ve ever ridden in.” She complimented everything from the responsiveness of the show staff to an expansive vibe in which “the horses don’t feel closed in and stressed.”

“This could absolutely help the West Coast dressage world,” she continued. “Thank you to (organizer) Thomas Baur and everybody who helped put this on. It’s really necessary that we have these and for everybody to support them.”

Charlotte Jorst and Jan Ebeling were among others to have stellar CDIs, but it wasn’t just the big names who enjoyed the show. Week 1 was Sandra McNamara’s first dressage show. The amateur and her 17-year-old Connemara, Pioneer, have always evented, but they decided to give dressage a go after moving to the Palm Springs area’s La Quinta earlier in the year.  With the help of their coach Liz Morton, they won the USEF Training Level Test 1 Pony class and had a terrific time.

“All of the people here were really nice,” Sandra reports. “Everybody was rooting and clapping for everybody else. The venue is so pretty and everything was just outstanding.”
    

Guenter Seidel & Equirelle

Shannon Peters & Disco Inferno

Claire Robinson & Glamour Boy

A Flourishing Venue

The Desert International Horse Park is very familiar to hunter/jumper riders over its many years as home to the many-week HITS Thermal circuit. In August of 2019, a group of exhibitor families purchased the venue and the hunter/jumper shows, under the Apex Equisports banner. The improvements they’ve made have been widely praised by people in that discipline and the dressage show debut seems another great indicator of the future.

Earlier in the fall, the DIHP hosted reining competition, on one weekend concurrent with the National Sunshine Preview hunter/jumper show, which was in itself a new mix of high quality experience and lower costs.

Terri Sue Wensinger & Quintessential Hit

Ben Ebeling & Illuster Van De Kampert

Christine Kohler-Ekstrand & Dark Berry

Next up is the three-week Desert Holiday circuit, including 5* rated jumping on Week 2, then Desert Circuit Jan 19 through March 21, with February’s Coachella Valley Classic woven into February.

In our August, 2019 issue, Apex Equisport leader Steve Hankin said there were three components to the venue and the shows’ success: the facility, the competition and the hospitality. The group certainly seems off to a great start on all counts.

Visit www.deserthorsepark.com for more details and complete show results.

 
December 2020 - LAHJA Medal Finals
Written by photos: ESI
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 03:13
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“show

Fun in the sun for Los Angeles hunter/jumper contenders.

photos: ESI

The Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association (LAHJA) was proud to host all seven of its 2020 medal finals at the National Sunshine Preview (Oct. 23-25), co-produced by LEG Shows & Events and Desert International Horse Park. Congratulations to all of the medal finalists who competed at the Medal Finals Extravaganza!

Read on for highlights from the medal finals. Plus, make sure to follow LAHJA @rideLAHJA on Instagram to check out exclusive content and video interviews with our medal finals champions.

 



 

Charley Stowell (Elvenstar, trainer) laid down three consistent rounds and earned the overall championship in the LAHJA Junior Medal Final presented by LEGISequine.com.

After three rounds and a work-off, Anne Sherwood (Michelle Morris, trainer) earned the championship in the LAHJA Senior Medal Final presented by Hansen Dam Horse Park.

After two rounds and a work-off, Georgia Bass (Karen Perlow, trainer) took top honors in the LAHJA Betsy Woods Horsemanship Medal Final presented by SmartPak.

The top four riders worked off after two tough rounds of competition, and it was Lily Grosz, trained by Elvenstar, who earned the championship in the LAHJA Rosewood Medal Final presented by SmartPak.

With two rounds and a work-off for the top four, Nicole McMillion, trained by Elvenstar clinched the win in the LAHJA Pony Medal Final presented by Elvenstar aboard Chynna Walker’s large pony, Oh Wonder 21.

After two rounds of competition, Amalia Goshtigian, trained by Stephanie Haney, topped the LAHJA Stirrup Cup/ Mary Jane Watson Combined Medal Final with her own Nimbus.

 
November 2020 - Way To Go!!
Written by CRM
Friday, 30 October 2020 01:10
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“show

Zone 10 brings team bronze and individual gold home from the Prix des States back East.

With wide eyed thirst for a chance at a win, the four riders from USHJA Zone 10 traveled all the way across the United States to compete, leaving from California and arriving in North Carolina. The goal, to ride well and leave the jumps up for a chance at a Team or Individual Medal standing when all is said and done.

The team, Delaney Batter/Evolinus, Trent McGee/Boucheron, Elisa Broz/Volstrups Cody and Violet Lindemann Barnett/Picobello Choppin PC headed east to a competition none of the riders had been to before.

 


The Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships and Prix des States provides an opportunity for United States Junior riders to compete against their peers over multiple days of competition each fall.  The coveted Championship features both the Prix des States Team Competition, with Teams fielded by Zone, and an Individual Competition.  Fence heights are a maximum of 1.45m.

The 2020 Championships were held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, North Carolina, Oct. 8 - 10, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Riders 17 years of age and under went head to head over three days as the competition narrowed each class leading to the Team and Individual winners. The coveted results of Prix de States Team and the Individual competition were on the line. Zone 10 ended up in the Medals for both!! Zone 10 Team was bronze and Zone 10 Individual was gold!

Team is Full & Fierce

For the second time in many years, Zone 10 fielded a full team for the Championships and that pressure certainly played a part as the days went by. The team riders were all inexperienced at this level and this was their first shot at this level of medal competition.

The best part, according to Cassie Belmont, the Zone 10 trainer for Elisa Broz, “We loved getting to work as part of a team and having an opportunity to understand how important each team member is. Being there and watching other Junior riders from across the country was eye opening and helped our rider to step up their game. It was an incredible experience, and we are so grateful to Zone 10.”

Cassio Rivetti handled the trainer role for the other three riders, two of his own students and one for trainer Archie Cox who was in California showing with his other riders. “These riders were well prepared to get here and ride ready to win,” said Cassio. “It is always a pleasure to work with juniors who know their horses and go in to do their best.”

Michael Endicott was the Zone 10 Chef de Equipe and worked tirelessly with the riders and the team. His main job, which always carries a bit of pressure to make the right call, was strategy in selecting which Zone 10 rider for the jump-off when it came down to two teams being tied for Bronze. “Trent’s horse, Boucheron, is a scrappy little chestnut mare, and when I watched her in the last of the team rounds she still had plenty of ‘go’ about her so I threw the task to Trent. The horse is careful and can be fast and turn quick, that is what we needed at that point. I just told Trent to ‘go get it’ and he did. Never stepped off the pedal, made incredible turns and was careful to the last jump to have the quickest jump-off time and a clear ride…we were bronze!”

Michael continues regarding the Individual Medal competition, “As we came into the Individual day, Violet was sitting second so the Gold was truly within her reach. She had an immense determination but a calmness about her for the final round. The horse, ‘Chop’ as he is known, is smart and quick and I knew they would give the rider coming back in first place a challenge. She needed to be clear, and she was.”

“For Zone 10 to field a complete team for the first time in years is pretty exciting, and they were all incredibly focused all week,” said Michael. “We are building a fantastic group of riders in this Zone, our Juniors and Young Riders can hold their own pretty much anywhere. I am excited to be the Zone Chef de Equipe and have a ground floor perspective as we look ahead.”

Cassio Rivetti, the consummate professional, actually got a bit excited as the days came to an end. “Was a good pleasure to help the California team and be a part of the improvement of the kids. I’m very happy with my two students, Delaney and Violet, for the Bronze Team win and Violet for the Individual Gold. Also, I really enjoyed assisting Trent to be the determining ride in the jump-off for the Team.  It was a fantastic week that we will never forget!”  

Zone Co-Chairs Kathy Hobstetter and Ned Glynn make time to meet with riders, trainers and the parents all year as the qualifying points begin to accumulate. Fresh off the Tryon win, Kathy Hobstetter explained a bit of the process. “Always being aware of how the Zone Juniors are doing throughout the year is part of what we on the Committee do. I watch the standings and watch the riders as the year goes on, want to be sure to get to actually see them compete and in the ring. I meet with them whenever they request time and want to ask questions. Meeting with Cassie Belmont and the Broz family this year at Sacramento was a delight. They are committed to the sport and interested in supporting Elisa in her quest for the top. Sending a note of appreciation for the Zone was well appreciated. ‘Thank you for preparing us for this incredible experience and advising us of options. We are inspired and grateful, what a great opportunity for Zone young riders.’”

“The Zone recognizes the importance of supporting the riders and these amazing programs throughout the year.” Kathy continued, “This year was extremely difficult for everyone, but it is important to sustain these programs to our best ability in the sport. We were honored to send these riders off on a quest for Medals, and it worked.”

Article provided by Zone 10. For more information, visit https://www.ushja.org/zones-affiliates/zone-10. If you’d like to get involved with the Zone 10 team, contact Kathy Hobstetter at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
September 2021 - Woodside Day of the Horse Has Something for Everyone
Written by article & photos by Nan Meek
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:46
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article & photos by Nan Meek

One life lesson that equestrians learned from the pandemic is that our enduring love of horses, and the myriad ways they enrich our lives, is worth preserving and sharing, now more than ever before.

That’s exactly what the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) will be doing with its popular Woodside Day of the Horse celebration during three days of equestrian activities, Friday to Sunday, October 8-10. There’s something for everyone, equestrians and not-yet equestrians alike.


Having fun with horses and sharing it with neighbors in person and online, reflects the mission of WHOA! – to preserve the fundamental role of horses in maintaining the rural character of the Town of Woodside and neighboring foothill communities, to enhance opportunities for equestrian activities, and to promote the enjoyment of horses in all their various roles.

Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) welcomes visitors to its innovative drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair with welcoming banners that show the way to families eager to experience the joy of horses.

Woodside Art of the Horse

Created to celebrate the beauty and nobility of horses in our lives, Woodside Art of the Horse reveals the unique visions of equine artists portraying their favorite subjects.

From its opening reception through the following two days of equine art exhibitions, Woodside Art of the Horse will present a juried art show, a youth art show, an online art exhibition, and a silent auction.

New this year is the selection of works by young artists age 18 and under from their own live (not online) Youth Art Show for the 2022 Young Equine Artists Calendar. Youth artists will also be awarded prizes and raffle items.

Woodside Art of the Horse takes place live on Friday, October 8, 6-8 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, October 9-10, from 11 AM - 6 PM, at the Woodside Village Church. For more information, and information about the online art exhibition, visit https://whoa94062.org/art-of-the-horse/ or email questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

At the Woodside Day of the Horse Family Fun Horse Fair, visitors discover some of the many ways horses are helping people.

Progressive Trail Ride

Woodside Day of the Horse is renowned among recreational trail riders for its annual costume theme and its route along Town of Woodside trails that wind through the Town’s equine estates and landmarks.

Open to the public, all riders must pre-register, sign a liability release, and make a minimum donation per rider. Costumes reflecting the 2021 theme “Oktoberfest” are encouraged, although any costumes are welcome and are optional. Boots and helmets are strongly advised, and no stallions or dogs are permitted.

Costumed riders bring to life each year’s unique theme during Woodside Day of the Horse’s Progressive Trail Ride, riding the Town of Woodside trails and pausing for refreshments at ride stops that comply with safety regulations.

The official route uses only Town of Woodside trails without gates. Trail stop locations are noted on the map, with directions as needed and well-marked signs. Ride stops include both public and private horse-friendly locations, concentrating in the areas near central Woodside.

Registration opens September 1 online, and the ride is on Saturday, October 9, 11 AM to 3 PM, on Town of Woodside Trails. For more information, visit https://whoa94062.org/day-of-the-horse/ .

Youth art was an important part of the original Woodside Art of the Horse exhibition in 2019, and this year selected works by young artists will appear in the 2022 Young Equine Artists Calendar.

Family Fun Horse Fair

Last year at the height of the pandemic, WHOA! created the innovative drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair, inspired by the drive-by birthday and graduation parades that substituted for conventional parties. This year, WHOA! decided to repeat that success: Free admission, free plush ponies for children, and an exciting array of all things equine.

Instead of traditional booths with horses and equine information, the drive-through route in the parking lot at Woodside Town Hall passes by exhibitions of horses from the American Quarter Horse to an imported dressage champion; from a sweet miniature horse to a draft breed giant. An equine therapy horse demonstration, vaulting exhibition, and a farrier shoeing horses also gave visitors a comprehensive introduction to the world of horses.

Woodside Day of the Horse Family Fun Horse Fair is on Sunday, October 10, 11 AM to 1:30 PM, in the parking lot of Woodside Town Hall. Vehicles lined up early last year, from the parking lot entrance down Woodside Road, with two and sometimes three generations of a family eager to experience the horse fair. For more information, visit https://whoa94062.org/day-of-the-horse/ .

From paintings to photographs to sculpture, there’s art to delight the eye of every visitor to the Woodside Art of the Horse exhibition.

Horses for All

In these still-challenging times, the role of the horse in helping humans through the ups and downs of life is as important as ever. This year’s Woodside Day of the Horse celebration has something for everyone. Find out more about WHOA! and Woodside Day of the Horse at https://whoa94062.org/day-of-the-horse.

 

 
September 2021 - Hannah Loly Goes for Gold in the 12th $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix
Written by provided by Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 00:39
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provided by Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography

The 12th qualifying leg of the $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Jumper Series was contested Saturday afternoon on the Oaks International Grand Prix Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Following an exciting eight horse jump-off, it was Hannah Loly leading the victory gallop aboard her own 15-year-old Holsteiner mare Quitana 11. Laura Hite finished in second aboard the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding Calypso VD Zuuthoeve, owned by HF Farms LLC. Rounding out the podium was Trent McGee aboard his 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Boucherom.


Prior to the start of the Grand Prix, Robert Ridland, the Chef d’Equipe for Team USA Show Jumping, addressed the spectators and continued the Olympic celebrations at Blenheim EquiSports by discussing Team USA’s silver medal finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games just two weeks ago. Spectators and fans eagerly awaited the opportunity to have their photo taken with Ridland and see Laura Kraut’s silver medal from the Games. After Ridland’s announcements, Alex Zulia honored long-time equestrian, vendor, and friend Monica Ward with a moment of silence.

Hannah Loly and Quitana 11 win the $25,000 1.45m Markel Insurance Grand Prix during the Blenheim Summer Classic.

Hannah Loly aboard Quitana 11.

Spectators packed the hillside of the grass field to watch as a starting field of 23 horse-and-rider combinations contested the course designed by acclaimed course designer and 1976 individual Olympic Silver Medalist Michel Vaillancourt, which included a triple bar oxer, triple combination, a Liverpool, roll back turns, and several direct lines.

Ultimately, eight competitors managed to negotiate the course fault-free to qualify for the jump off. Nicole Haunert was the first to provide a double-clear effort in the jump off, finishing the course in 44.732s. The next rider, Trent McGee and his long-time partner Boucherom provided a jump-off performance that left the crowd believing it couldn’t be beat, crossing the finish line in a time of 41.15s. Loly was the next to navigate the jump-off fault free, her tidy roll-back turns pushed her into the lead, crossing the timers in just 38.943s. The last rider to attempt the jump-off track was Laura Hite, who finished in second-place in a time of 39.311s.

Loly, who came to Blenheim EquiSports after a very successful two weeks of competing at the Colorado Horsepark, spoke about her experience in the jump off of Grand Prix, “Jump offs with her are something else compared to any other horse I ride. She is incredibly fast and can be as tidy as you want. I cut both of the rollback turns very tight because, while some horses slow and lose their step through the turns, she doesn’t do that at all – she comes through the turns very nicely.”

Loly is home for the summer after completing her first year at Tufts University, but this will be her last competition until she returns home for the summer next May. For her win, Loly was presented with a gift bag from ShadyLady Sun Protection and a gift certificate and frame from Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths.

Hannah Loly and Quitana 11 leading the victory gallop.

Second place finisher Laura Hite and Calypso VD Zuuthoeve.

The Markel Insurance Jumper Series will conclude with the top twenty-five placing individuals invited to take part in the finale event at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in November. To view the series specifications and the full leaderboard to date, click here.

This year’s prizes are the best to date. At the finale, the winner will be awarded with a custom-built Flexi Equine Tack Locker, currently displayed in the Blenheim EquiSports’ Show Office, and a custom Solea Equestrian show coat. Additionally, the Leading Lady and Leading Gentleman riders will each receive a cash bonus based on points accumulated throughout the series.

Competition for the Blenheim Summer Classic concluded Sunday, August 22nd but the fun didn’t stop there. The Showpark Summer Classic began August 25th and features the thirteenth leg of the Markel Insurance Jumper Series, a $5000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, and the CPHA Foundation Medal Finals! Blenheim EquiSports is #ThePlaceToJump all season long. Visit our website to view a full show schedule and to learn more.

 

 
August 2021 - Team USA wins Bronze at CDIO-Y Nations Cup Competition
Written by CRM
Friday, 30 July 2021 03:54
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California Young Riders, Christian Simonson and Katherine Mathews were 2/3rds of Team USA, who won Bronze at the CDIO-Y Nations Cup competition hosted at Future Champions in Hagen, Germany, from June 10-13, 2021.

This result marked the highest finish in program history for the U.S. Young Rider Dressage Team at Future Champions. Ten countries with 25 horse-and-rider combinations competed in the CDIO-Y, which featured talented young athletes from across Europe.


Christian Simonson (Ventura, CA) and Christina Morgan’s nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Zeaball Diawind, had the team’s top score of 72.010%, which was also put the pair in second place individually overall, beating out almost all of the top Young Riders in Europe. Christian and his other mount Hemmingway won Gold in their Young Rider Individual Test with a 71.033% in the CDI-Y at the same show, beating riders from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and more.

Katherine Mathews (San Marcos, CA) contributed to the team’s success when she and Soliëre, her 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Peridot Equestrian LLC, secured a 66.667%. They also secured a second Bronze medal spot on the podium individually for their 70.892 ride in the CDIO-Y Young Rider Freestyle Consolation Final.

Chef d’Equipe George Williams was proud of his team’s efforts in their first overseas outing and the first European competition for the Young Rider program in more than two years. After the Team Test on Day one, he said,

“I have been impressed with how this team has taken all the challenges in stride. Today they all rode well, putting their hearts into their rides, with a focus and determination to do their best,” said Williams. “Christian’s ride on Zeaball was beautiful, harmonious, and mistake-free. It was very moving to see our team on the podium, receiving their bronze medal and to think that today was their first time ever competing in Europe. I couldn’t be more thrilled or more proud of them.”

Christian/Zeaball and Katherine/Soliere are ranked number 1 and number 2 respectively on the Young Rider rankings in Region 7 (as well as number 1 and number 5 in the US, respectively, on the Dressage - FEI Dressage World Youth Ranking - Christian is also ranked 2nd on his mount Hemmingway, but he can only take one horse to NAYC), and as a result now get the chance to represent Region 7 at the FEI North American Youth Championships in Traverse City, Michigan on August 9-15th. Rounding out the Region 7 team are top ranked riders Miki Yang with her gelding Donavan, and Erin Nichols on her gelding Handsome Rob. The team leaves California the first week in August for the competition.

Christian was a part of the Gold Medal winning Region 7 NAYC Junior Team in 2017, and also won a Silver in the Junior Individual Test that year. Katherine and Soliere were 6th over at NAYC in 2019, and won the Young Rider National Reserve Championship at the 2020 Festival of Champions at Lamplight, IL.

Christian is from California, but has spent the last few seasons in Florida with his coach, Olympian Adrienne Lyle. In addition to being a top equestrian athlete, he has his pilot’s license, and loves to mountain bike. He is graduating from Laurel Springs School, an online college preparatory high school, he will be attending University of Texas, Austin this fall and will be working towards the Grand Prix as he prepares for the 2022 show season.

Katherine lives on her family farm, Peridot Equestrian Center, in San Marcos, and is trained by 3x Olympic medalist and California rider/trainer Guenter Seidel. Katherine is a rising senior at The Academy at Laurel Springs School. She is also an entrepreneur, having co-founded the luxury sustainable equestrian apparel company, An Capall Equestrian, with her mom, and is an accomplished artist, writer and plays classical guitar.

Team USA, Young Rider Bronze Medalists, Christian Simonson, Katherine Mathews and Melanie Doughty, Future Champions Nations Cup, HagenGermany 2021. Photo: Lukasz Kowalski

Mhristian Simonson and Zeaball Diawind in the CDIO-Y Young Rider Team Test at Future Champions, Hagen, Germany 2021. Photo: Lukasz Kowalski

Katherine Mathews and Soliere in the CDIO-Y Young Rider Team Test at Future Champions Nations Cup, Hagen, Germany 2021. Photo: Lukasz Kowalski

Christian Simonson and Zeaball Diawind, Katherine Mathews and Soliere, and Melanie Doughty and Fascinata during their honor round as Bronze medalists in the CDIO-Y Young RiderTeam Test at Future Champions Nations Cup, Hagen, Germany 2021. Photo: Lukasz Kowalski

Katherine Mathews on the Bronze medal podium for the CDIO-Y Young Rider Freestyle - Consolation Final at Future Champions Nations Cup, Hagen,Germany 2021. Photo: Lukasz Kowalski

Christian Simonson winning Gold in the CDI-Y Young Rider Individual Test, Future Champions Nations Cup, Hagen, Germany 2021. Photo: Jessica Eaves Mathews

 
August 2021 - Michelle Parker Easily Does It in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic
Written by courtesy of Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography
Friday, 30 July 2021 03:49
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courtesy of Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography

Michelle Parker and Easy Does It led from beginning to end of the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix on Saturday, July 3, during the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA.


As the very first entry in the first grand prix to be held in the Olympic Sand Arena at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, Parker and Easy Does It made easy work of the Manuel Esparza-designed course. The pair set the standard for the remaining 14 entries, with three horses and riders ultimately qualifying to join them for the jump-off.

 

Michelle Parker and Easy Does It win the $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.45m Grand Prix during Blenheim EquiSport’s Red, White, & Blue Classic.

As the first to jump clear, Parker was also the first in the ring for the short course, and she replicated her pathfinding clear round performance in a time of 37.471 seconds.

While all three additional riders finished within a second of Parker’s time, only Parker and Easy Does It delivered a double clear effort. Coming the closest to catching the duo were Hillary Ridland and Wonder Kid, owned by Mary Frances Looke, who finished in second place with only one rail down in a time of 37.508 seconds.

Michelle Parker aboard Easy Does It.

Third place with two rails in the jump-off and a time of 36.484 seconds went to Simon Schroeder and Alie B, and Joie Gatlin and High finished in fourth with eight faults and a time of 37.659 seconds. Rounding out the top five after jumping clear with just three time faults in the first round were Wendy Lee Thompson and Simpatica 33.

“He’s small, but he’s mighty and scopey!” said Parker of her winning mount, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Cross Creek Farms, Inc. “I got him in September. He was our COVID purchase. I actually tried him in March before everything shut down, but then we didn’t buy him until September.”

Second place finisher Hillary Ridland and Wonder Kid.

Since then, Parker and Easy Does It have been consistent performers in the grand prix ring, including in the Markel Insurance Jumper Series. Together the pair has contested three of the eight Markel Insurance events thus far this season and have finished in the top 10 each time out.

While their previous success has come in the Oaks International Grand Prix Field, Saturday’s inaugural grand prix in the Olympic Sand Arena seemed well suited for Easy Does It.

“I quite like the new ring; it makes the atmosphere even a bit more encouraging because the crowd is close to you,” said Parker, who was presented with a Shady Lady face covering and a $50 Topline Design Ribbon Wreaths gift certificate as part of her winnings on Saturday. “It’s a nice size, so the jump-off was quite galloping,” said Parker. “You could really get rolling.”

Michelle Parker and Easy Does It leading the victory gallop

Parker plans to return to Blenheim EquiSports in the fall and has her sights set on continuing to move Easy Does It up the jumper rank to the 1.60m level, as well as likely continuing to contest the Markel Insurance Jumper Series.

The 15-class series culminates this November at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, where the top 25 riders are invited to compete in the finale event. To view the series specifications and the full leaderboard to date, visit https://showpark.com/markel-insurance-jumper-series/.

While Sunday, July 4, marks the conclusion of the Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic, Blenheim EquiSports is the #PlaceToJump all season long. The Blenheim Summer Festival kicks off July 21st at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Visit www.ThePlaceToJump.comto view a full show schedule and to learn more.

 
April 2021 - Jennifer Williams to Represent Team USA in The Dutta Corp. FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ CDIO3*
Written by courtesy of Entrigue Consulting, LLC • photo: Annan Hepner / Phelps Media Group
Thursday, 01 April 2021 22:07
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courtesy of Entrigue Consulting, LLC • photo: Annan Hepner / Phelps Media Group

The United States Equestrian Federation has announced that Jennifer Williams of Roy, WA has been chosen to represent Team USA on the FEI Dressage Nations Cup Team. Jennifer will be riding her Grand Prix mount, Millione, an imported 18-year-old Danish Warmblood by Milan, bred by Jurgen Olson of Denmark and owned by Millione Partners, LLC. Jennifer and Millione are currently on the Pre-Elite list for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.


Jennifer won the Grand Prix Championship at Lamplight in 2020 on Millione, and is now in Wellington, FL for the Global Dressage Festival season with 7 horses. So far this season, she and Millione, affectionately known as “Mickey”, have had personal best scores in the CDI 3* Grand Prix (71%) and Grand Prix Special (72%).

“I’m so grateful to be selected for the Nations Cup team here in Wellington. I feel very honored to be able to participate with my incredible partner Millione, and I’m very thankful for his owners and our very supportive team! Millione has been having a great season so far, we’re all thrilled, and I can’t wait to compete and ride with my teammates!”

 

 
April 2021 - Prize Money of Nearly $200,000 to be Awarded at Great American/USDF Regional Dressage Championships
Written by CRM
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:46
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The United States Dressage Federation™ (USDF) and Great American Insurance Group are pleased to announce that prize money totaling nearly $200,000 will be awarded at the 2021 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships. This prize money will be divided evenly among the nine regions and 35 divisions that are offered, allowing each region to present competitors with over $22,000 in prize money and awards. Prize money will be awarded to champions and reserve champions in each region and division. Champions will also receive an embroidered vest provided by SmartPak, official supplement feeding system of USDF, and an embroidered blanket storage bag provided by USDF. In addition to prize money, reserve champions will receive a saddle pad provided by the Great American Insurance Group, title sponsor of the championships.


“It is with great pleasure that we continue to provide recognition to these outstanding competitors through our sponsorship of the regional championship program,” stated Kathy Sedlak, Great American Insurance Group Vice President of the Equine Division.

“We’re so pleased that through the generous sponsorship support of Great American Insurance Group, SmartPak, and Platinum Performance, that we are able to see this program continue to grow and be so well received by USDF members,” adds Stephan Hienzsch, USDF Executive Director.

The Great American/USDF Regional Championships are presented by SmartPak and supported by Platinum Performance.  For more information about the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championships, please visit the USDF website at www.usdf.org, or contact the USDF office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
March 2021 - Twin Rivers Ranch 2021 Season Preview
Written by by Kim F Miller
Monday, 01 March 2021 21:38
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by Kim F Miller

New show stabling, new cross-country obstacles, and upgraded infrastructure. These are among the ways the Baxter family made the most of the COVID-caused downtime that waylaid some -- but not all -- of last year’s ambitious plans for their Twin Rivers Ranch equestrian venue.

The inaugural Spring International CCI4*-L that was set for last April will now unfurl April 8-11, 2021, at the 500-acre property in central coastal California. Hosting an Adequan/USEF Youth Team Challenge concurrent with the Fall International September 23-26 is a new calendar addition.

 


Following up 2020’s resounding success with the first joint staging of the Dutta Corp USEA Young Event Horse and USEA Future Event Horse West Coast Championships is a major agenda highlight. Last fall, the Baxters wowed the eventing world by hosting these Championships concurrently and showcasing them as a stand-alone competition.

“The West Coast Championships were a great success in 2020, boasting record numbers across the FEH and YEH Championships,” stated the US Eventing Association. On Oct. 29-30 of this year, Twin Rivers hopes to build on that debut by welcoming, challenging and showcasing more young horses from throughout the Western United States.

“They set a real standard for what the Championships should be,” confirmed Debbie Adams, who travelled from her East Coast base to judge the 2020 Championships with Peter Gray. “I was just blown away by what a good job they did.”

Avery Noblitt & Cumani at the 2020 Winter Horse Trials. Photo: TheWestEquestrian.com

Permanent Show Stabling

The first competition of the year is the Winter Horse Trials, Feb. 26-28. Exhibitors will be the first to see the new, fully-covered permanent stabling with 36 12’ x 12’ stalls. Twin Rivers Ranch members get priority treatment for the new stabling. That’s in addition to year-round unlimited access to all open facilities -- for two horses with the same owner. Members are exempt from non-member fees at all schooling shows, and family members and/or additional horses can be added to the Twin Rivers Ranch membership at a modest additional cost.

Membership fees help Twin Rivers with maintenance and upgrades that have helped the facility become one of the favorite venues in the Western United States. Ample space, varied terrain for cross-country and carefully maintained dressage and show jumping arenas are among its assets. After coaching top contenders during the Winter Horse Trials last year, USET Eventing chef d’equipe Erik Duvander praised Twin Rivers’ continual upgrades. He credited the venue as a key destination for horses and riders on the top sport path.

“They are a progressive bunch,” adds Twin Rivers upper-level course designer Hugh Lochore of the Baxter family. Along with 5* eventer Andrea Baxter, organizer Connie Baxter has extensive eventing experience. Whirlwind Excavating owner Jeff Baxter happily applies his expertise and equipment to bringing Lochore’s ideas to life. “The venue has interesting topography and it’s a good canvas to play with,” Lochore explains. “It’s exciting when you put things on paper, then you have a team that is keen to get the bit between their teeth and make it happen.”

Lochore will return to Twin Rivers in March to continue work on the upper-level tracks in advance of the Spring International.

Also new is Ride On Photo by Tayler as Twin Rivers’ show photographer for the year. This is the talented Tayler Callie Walsh, a familiar face in the eventing world and daughter of Ride On Video’s Bob and Debi Ravenscroft.

People accommodations have expanded, too. In addition to discounted rooms from sponsor Best Western Plus Black Oak and on-site RV rentals from Getaway RV Rentals, Twin Rivers has increased its total of full-power/water RV hook-ups to 37.

Having resumed show hosting in July of last year, the Twin Rivers team has mastered COVID protocols to keep all exhibitors safe. Until further notice, spectators are not allowed.

Get Involved: Volunteer & Sponsor!

A generous volunteer incentive program continues through 2021. Full-day helpers receive $60 vouchers toward future competitions, half-day helpers earn $30 vouchers. Each shows’ volunteers are entered into a drawing for prize packs filled with useful goodies from Twin Rivers sponsors. Hours are tracked through the year for entry into a year-end raffle. Prizes include a Twin Rivers entry, stabling, cross-country schooling voucher and more.

Sponsors already on board for the year include Best Western Plus Black Oak, Getaway RV Rentals and Auburn Labs, manufacturers of APF Pro Formula. Sponsorships are still available and more partnerships will be announced soon. (Contact Christina Gray at Gray Area Events for sponsorship opportunities: email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

The Calendar:

 

  • Winter Horse Trials:  Feb. 26-28
  • Fundraiser Combined Test: April 3-4
  • Spring International: April 8-11
  • Schooling One Day Horse Trials: May 23
  • Schooling Show: June 6
  • CDS Dressage: June 12-13
  • Summer Horse Trials: July 1-4
  • Area VI Adult Camp: July 30-31
  • CDS Dressage: Aug. 14-15
  • Fall International: Sept. 23-26 (Including the Adequan/USEF Youth Team Challenge)
  • USEA Future Event Horse & USEA Dutta Corp. Young Event Horse West Coast Championships (and an FEH qualifier), Oct. 29-30.
  • Schooling Halloween Horse Trials: Oct. 31


Fast Facts:

  • Location: 8715 N. River Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Ride Times: Available www.twinrivershorsepark.com a few days before competition begins.
  • Results: www.twinrivershorsepark.com
  • Show Photographer: Ride On Photo by Tayler
  • Video: Ride On Video
  • Volunteer: www.twinrivershorsepark.com/volunteer
 
December 2020 - Galway Downs International
Written by photos & text by Kim F Miller
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 03:34
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“show

Highly-praised season finalé bodes well for West Coast eventing future.

photos & text by Kim F Miller

An unprecedented 420 pairs contested the Galway Downs International eventing competition Oct. 28-Nov. 1 in Temecula. It was quality, however, not quantity, that left the lasting impression of this major finalé of the West Coast eventing season.

At the highest level, CCI4*-L, the International attracted the sport’s best: East Coasters Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton, Liz Halliday Sharp, West Coast standard bearer Tamie Smith, newer 4* rider Rebecca Brown from Texas, and local favorite Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve making their debut, among others.

 


The CCI3*-L served as the USEF National championship, held for the first time out West. And the 3* and 4* featured the first West Coast staging of the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge. Ninety-five riders in the lower levels jumped on the new Challenge division to rave reviews.

 

All told, it was a high note on which to end what’s been a challenging year for all and it bodes well for the future of eventing in the West.
    

Boyd & Luke 140

Tamie Smith & Passepartout

Positive Experience

In finishing first and third in the CCI4*-L, with Luke 140 and Long Island T, Boyd Martin’s experience will likely lead him back to Galway Downs.

Martin said he’s been touting the winner’s international potential to his many-member owner syndicate for two years and “this weekend is the first real moment that proves it.” While Long Island T’s usual strong point, dressage, was off due to excess energy, Martin was thrilled with his cross-country and show jumping.

Martin said both horses’ experience set them up for 5* excursions and the overall experience will likely lead him back to Galway Downs from his East Coast base. “I’d like to come here every year. Especially for the young horses, it’s a great experience to fly out here. I’d prefer a trip like this than going overseas. It’s cheaper and the standard of competition is just as high. Plus, it’s good to support our American events. Sometimes I think it’s a little easy to run off to Europe.”

Martin described California as like “being in another country because I don’t know anybody out here.” Californians knew him, though. Many described the chance to watch Boyd and fellow East Coast-based master Phillip Dutton as a riding lesson unto itself.

He had high praise for the cross-country course newly designed by Australian Olympian Clayton Fredericks. “It was very challenging and both horses learned a lot.” Fredericks had been tasked with making the course tougher, in jumping efforts and pace, and there was consensus that he accomplished that.  Four missed flag penalties at one 4* obstacle, in particular, exemplified new tests of quick responses and control.
     

Elisabeth Halliday Sharp & Cooley Quicksilver

Asia Vedder & Isi

Tamie Smith Time

“You almost won your first 4*,” Tamie Smith told Passepartout after laying down a clean trip with .40 time faults in the final day’s show jumping to finish second. The horse’s next compliment came from USEF Eventing High Performance director Erik Duvander: “You know he is still just a baby, but he comes off like a professional.” Smith “absolutely” agreed with that assessment of her daughter Kaylawna Smith-Cook’s 11-year-old German Sporthorse. “That was the classiest round of all three phases. He did not put a footfall wrong.” They finished on a 32.40.

Tamie briefly has the ride on Passepartout during Kaylawna’s pregnacy.

The California-based 2019 Pan Am Team gold medalist has strutted the West Coast’s special stuff for several years now. She shared some advice with Texas-based Rebecca Brown, who finished 4th in the 12-starter field on Dassett Choice. “You can be based anywhere, you just need the right team,” Smith said. “You need the trainers that can help you develop your system. Erik (Duvander) has helped me understand that.”

Duvander was on hand all week working with several riders. As the head of Team Erik in the Futures Challenge, he suffered his first loss in the series. His team of Liz Halliday-Sharp, 4* rider Emilee Libby and young rider Sophie Click were second to Team Leslie Law (USEF Developing & Emerging Rider Coach), led by Smith, with Brown and young rider Charlotte Babbitt.

Charlotte Babbitt & 2AM

Sophie Click & Quid Pro Quo

More National Titles

In 2015, Smith hauled Mai Baum east, then onto the international radar by winning the CCI3*-L and USEF CCI3*-L National Championships at Fairhill International in Maryland. Mai Baum went on to be Smith’s 2019 Pan Am Games partner and has already earned his qualifying score for Tokyo Olympic consideration.

Does Elliot-V have the same potential? “Absolutely! 100% yes,” said Smith.

The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood’s off-to-college owner Louisa Southworth declared his Thursday dressage test “magnificent” after watching in on the livestream. She drove to Temecula Saturday in time to see Smith don the USET pinque coat and win it all on a 30.20 that reflected just .40 in jumping time penalties.

Time faults on cross-country widened what was a very narrow dressage gap between runner-up Asia Vedder and Isi and Smith and Elliot-V. That grew with one rail at the liverpool, but Vedder remained thrilled with the finish. Outside of a break for hip replacement surgery earlier this year, the USEA Area VI chairman and Isi have been progressing steadily and gaining the notice of several sport leaders. “He’s hard not to like,” she said of the Holsteiner.

James Alliston celebrated his Halloween birthday Saturday with a third place CCI3*-L finish on Paper Jam. The Hanoverian/Thoroughbred had been his wife Helen Bouscaren’s ride until just four shows ago when “she very kindly said I could ride him” to fill a gap in his string.

The CCI3*-L National Championships also determined the National Combined Training Trophy recipient for the highest placed U.S. rider over the age of 16. Smith added that trophy to her crowded mantle, followed by fellow U.S. contenders Asia Vedder, Andrea Baxter, Alessandra Allen-Shinn, Auburn Excell-Brady, young riders Charlotte Babbitt and Sophie Click, and Stephanie Goodman.

The National Young Riders Championship and its John H. Fritz Trophy were at stake, too, for contenders aged 16-21. With eighth and ninth overall 3* finishes, Charlotte Babbitt and Sophie Click were champion and reserve.
Just a few days after the Galway Downs International, Smith loaded Ruth Bley’s En Vogue and Danito into the trailer and started the journey to Tyron, North Carolina, for the CCI4*-L National Championships in mid-November.

Karen O’Neal & Cafe Noir

Burnell, Bouscaren and Sanborn Take the 2*

With 3-year-old dinosaur paying little attention in their ringside family fan club, Lauren Burnell and Freedom Hill finished a flawless weekend to win on a 27.20. The dinosaur was her Halloween-costumed son, who had already offered his coaching before cross-country. “He told ‘Jack’ to go fast and Mommy to hold on,” and the pair ran with that plan. It helped, too, riding her second horse and fifth-placed finisher Counterpoint first in the 34-pair division. “I just went in and tried to replicate that. The amateur in me came out and I got a little frantic in the beginning, but then it was nice to focus on the plan that my coach Bec (Braitling) and I had come up with.”

Burnell has competed at the 3* level prior to having a baby and felt the weekend boded well for possibly moving back up to that level.

Helen Bouscaren and her new Hanoverian Irish Pop stayed on their 4th-ranked 30.50 dressage performance to rise to third, after cross-county, then second. Their jumping round rode like the breeze it appeared to be. “He is fast, sharp and fun. You can put him exactly where you want him,” she said.

Third place was earned by another of Bec Braitling’s riders, Audrey Sanborn and OBOS Quality Time. The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo communications student called it a high point of their finishes and a harbinger for moving up to 3* in the spring. She praised the flowing, curvy course as fun to ride and their double-clear kept them on a 31.30 dressage.

Erin Kellerhouse & Woodford Reserve

95 in the Challenge Divisions

The 95 contenders in three Challenge divisions took center stage Sunday with show jumping in the Grand Prix Arena as the final phase, just as the International contenders had done the previous afternoon. The fences were a tad lower, but the excitement was still high as national riders enjoyed an unusual spotlight.

Hatched 12 years ago at the Preliminary level, the Challenge format is designed as a transition between levels and as a special showcase. It functioned as intended, spotlighting horses under professional development and young riders and amateurs testing their readiness for new levels and/or fulfilling year-long training goals. With all but the liverpool fence in use from the previous day, the arena had plenty of atmosphere and course designer Mark Donovan and assistant Kelly James retained plenty of tests.

Seattle-based professional Karen O’Neal was thrilled with Cafe Noir’s 22 dressage score on Friday and his flawless rest of the weekend. The 7-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred is owned by Leonie Padgett, who was also riding in the division.

Erin Kellerhouse closed out a happy weekend by riding Sonata GWF to first and LukeAtMe to fourth in Novice-Beginner Novice division.

Earl and Jennifer McFall are big fans of the Challenge format, and not just because Jennifer and Hallelujah DF won the Training-Novice Challenge and Earl and Illumanada were reserve in the Novice Beginner-Novice. “(Organizer) Robert Kellerhouse always has great ideas and this one is a fun way to give the lower levels a championship to work toward,” Jennifer commented.

Jennifer predicted it will be even bigger next year as word spreads of its success. Staging at the FEI venue and concurrent with the International competition was ideal, Jennifer added. “Plus, it’s cool that the West Coast has this unique competition out here: something cooler than they have on the East Coast!”

Jennifer McFall & Hallelujah DF

See You Next Year!

Praise flowed in long after the competition closed: for the quality, intensity and presentation of competition at all levels, the footing, the stabling and the viewing experience. With Kellerhouse’s ideas and positive energy as a strong gravitational force, support from Galway Downs property owner Ken Smith, partnerships with hunter/jumper show organizers Nilforushan EquiSports and other entities aligned to create a major milestone in the venue’s steady ascent as a world-class stage for equestrian sport.

Like Martin, most of the far-traveling riders said they planned to return, augmenting an already big base of participation from throughout the West.

Organizers Kellerhouse Presents had big thanks for sponsors: The American Horse Trials Foundation, Auburn Labs, California Riding Magazine, California Horsetrader, CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California, Geranium Street Floral, Ride On Video, SmartPak, Sunsprite Warmbloods, Symons Ambulance, Temecula Creek Inn.

 
November 2020 - It’s How You Finish That Counts!
Written by by Raizy Goffman • photos: Kristin Lee Photography
Friday, 30 October 2020 01:14
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“show

Camelot Events ends the show season on a strong and successful note.

by Raizy Goffman • photos: Kristin Lee Photography

Despite having to cancel most of its show year due to Covid-19 shutdowns, Camelot Events is ending the year with a bang!

The Camelot Classic found its way back to its old home base of Earl Warren Showgrounds. The showgrounds is in the process of an entire facelift, and the results so far have been amazing. (See full report, page 32). All the many exhibitors at this San Fernando Hunter Jumper Association’s Championship Show were delighted with all the new improvements. We had the largest attendance in over a decade with exhibitors that were more than ready to show.


The newly renovated Dome Arena became center stage for the 23 mighty 2’3” finalists. Earning the Championship ribbon and trophy was Ripley Erlich trained by Kathy Megla.  Reserve Champion was awarded to Lucia Koyama trained by Karen Perlow.

Judges, Ellen Gates and Chuck Majer credited the riders with point tallied from a jumping phase, with a built in trot jump test and a work off.

Caden Jacobs trained by McKenna Skelton took home the trophy as this year’s Medal Final Champion.  Marley Leonard, trained by Kim Baxter was Reserve Champion.

The Camelot Hunter Challenge Finals became two split Derbies this year. One Derby for Open Riders sponsored by Stephanie Haney of Open Arms Farm, and one for Junior/Amateur Riders sponsored by Nancy Frost of Sapphire Ridge. The winners bested the field by taking their own course and incorporating jumps and trail obstacles. David Josiah showed how it was done on Sofia Ellis’ Newton’s Law, while the large Jr/Am Derby was won by Jordyn Chafee on Surprise Party trained by Jeni Brown. The $5,000 Jumper Classic was won by Danah Zaman, who also won the Ride and Drive. Lots of ringside excitement was happening when Danah drove off in her very own Golf Cart while her trainer settled for second place and won the trail blazer bicycle!

Camelot Events is now looking forward to our last show of the year, the Camelot Autumn Jubilee, which falls this year on the week before Thanksgiving. On November 19-22 we will once again descend upon the Earl Warren Showgrounds for a happy, friendly, exciting show. This show is hosting the California Professional Horseman’s Association Child/Adult Medal Finals at 3’ and the Horsemanship Medal Finals at 2’6”. Due to Covid-19, CPHA is changing their point protocol for the 2020 medal season. For all CPHA and CPHA Foundation classes if you “participate” in one class you will be eligible to compete in the corresponding medal class. That means you need zero points to qualify. There will be a “last chance to qualify class” at the Autumn Jubilee the day before the Finals. This show is also hosting the USHJA Zone 10 Horse Of The Year Championships in Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation. Be sure to join in the fun at the final show of 2020!

JrAm Cam Hunter Challenge - Surprise Party & Jordyn Chafee, trained by Jeni Brown.

Camelot Hunter Challenge Derby Open - David Josiah & Newton’s Law, owned by Sopia Ellis.

Danah Zaman on Billie Velocity, trained by Laura Kotimaki Hurd.

Danah Zaman, winner of the golf cart. Second place winner of the bike was her trainer Laura Hurd!

SFHJA 12 & Under Finals - Georgia Bass, trained by Karen Perlow, assisted by Stacia Ryan.

SFHJA 13 & Over - Billie Guerin on Bragging Rights, trained by Chad Mahaffey.

SFHJA 17 & Under - Caden Jacobs on Quality Silva, trained by McKenna Skelton.

SFHJA 18 & Over - Noelle Childers on Super Girl, trained by Joe Thorpe.

SFHJA Futures Finals - Ripley Erlich on Catch A Kiss, trained by Kathy Megla.

 
November 2020 - Woodside Day of the Horse, Reinvented
Written by photos: Nan Meek
Friday, 30 October 2020 01:02
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“show

photos: Nan Meek

Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) volunteers worked for months to create a Day of the Horse weekend like no other for their 16th Annual Day of the Horse events, October 9-11. Woodside Art of the Horse went 100% online, the Progressve Trail Ride made social distancing fun, and the Drive-Through Family Fun Horse Fair delighted carloads of happy families. www.whoa94062.org.

 


 

WHOA! Co-Chair Fawni Hill on Progressive Trail Ride

Drive-Through Family Fun Horse Fair

Save A Pal Donated Cuddly Ponies for Kids

Petra Simms Sekerkova & Kladruber Serpa

Becky Witter & Quarter Horse 24 Karat Bling

Farrier Steve Wieberg hot shoes Champ

Safe & Delicious Trail Ride Stops

 
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