California Riding Magazine • December, 2009

Winner's Circle

Zazou Hoffman & Ivy were victorious in the
2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championships.
Photo: Jennifer Wood/PMG

Zazou Earns Treat of a Lifetime

At 17, Zazou Hoffman is a little too old for trick or treating, but she earned herself the treat of a lifetime on Oct. 31 by winning the ASPCA Maclay National Championships. The super prestigious hunter/jumper event took place during the 126th National Horse Show portion of the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament in upstate New York.

It was her last competition as a junior rider and the win, over 150 contenders, puts her in a league of riders who went on to attain the international jumping success Hoffman hopes for.

Hoffman was called back second to fellow Los Angelino Samantha Harrison after round one. For the second round, judges Bill Moroney and Jack Towell instructed the top 24 to create a course that would show off their mounts over nine of 12 available fences, including a mandatory trot jump. Fittingly, it was a tactic once used by Ronnie Mutch, the late horseman who is the inspiration for a working student scholarship that Hoffman won early in her junior career and which set her on a remarkable path toward national recognition.

Hoffman emerged from the second round as the leader of four charged with navigating another course without stirrups.

“I’m so thrilled for Zazou,” said her East Coast trainer Missy Clark when Hoffman was named the winner during the award ceremonies. “She’s worked so hard. She’s such a great worker and really devoted to the whole part of horsemanship. It isn’t just about riding for her. It’s the whole picture, which is really refreshing and unusual. She’s in the barn working all day. She really deserves it, and I’m very proud of her.”

Don’t miss Zazou’s column about her win!

Larry Langer & Joe Fargis Receive More Honors

On Dec. 8, Larry Langer and Joe Fargis will be honored with the USHJA Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Evening of Equestrians Dinner during the USHJA Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL. This award was created to recognize members whose involvement in the sport, as well as in the USHJA, has benefited
the industry.

A well-known California-based show manager, Larry Langer is also a respected FEI official and has long served the industry in various volunteer capacities. Currently he is a member of the USHJA Board of Directors, Jumper Council, Zone 10 Jumper Committee, Show Managers Committee, Planning Committee and Western Region Jumper Committee. Langer has been a strong supporter of the USHJA and its mission since its inception and has made incredible contributions to the advancement of our sport and our organization, says USHJA President Bill Moroney.

As president and CEO of Langer Equestrian Group, Langer runs one of the top horse show management companies in the country. Larry also developed the Colorado Summer Circuit at the Colorado Horse Park. He and his management team have served as the Competition Management for the North American Junior Young Rider Championships three different times, most recently in 2008, at the Colorado venue.

Highlights of Langer’s career include managing the 1992 Show Jumping World Cup Finals in Del Mar and serving as the Show Jumping Competition Manager for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. Earlier this year, he received the same honor from the California Professional Horsemen’s Assn., and he is also an inductee in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.

The USHJA’s second recipient, Olympian Joe Fargis, has represented the United States for over 40 years and continues to compete today. Fargis is perhaps most famous for his double gold medal wins at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games aboard Touch of Class. At the Seoul, Korea, Olympics in 1988, he and Mill Pearl helped the U.S. win team silver. In addition to his contributions to the sport in the ring, Joe gives back by serving on the USHJA Horse Welfare Committee and teaching clinics around the country.

Chelsea Curtis & Tadine

West View Champs

Two students at Nancy Prosser’s West View Farms had an especially terrific time at the Gold Coast Series Championships Oct. 15-18. Chelsea Curtis and Tadine won the Adult Amateur Jumpers Series Championship and Jasmine Hainer and Koda won the Childrens Jumper Series Championship. Curtis has been with Prosser for seven years and Hainer for two.

“I am so proud of their accomplishments and they have wonderful horses too,” says Prosser, whose business is based at Bell Canyon Equestrian Center in the San Fernando Valley. As of late October, both were leading in LAHJA, USEF, PCHA region and Zone 10 points for their divisions.

Jasmine Hainer & Koda

Aurora Shines Bright

The purebred Arabian mare Aurora MR++// is making her family at Mystic Ranch Arabians very proud these days. The mare progressed beautifully in Open dressage under the hand of Granite Bay trainer Jennifer Scanlon through much of the year. Aurora continued her winning ways after junior rider, Samantha Bailey, took over the ride when Scanlon became pregnant.

Mystic Ranch owner Karen Ernst reports that the pair won their first Open show Third Level class after just two schools together. “She is a perfect little lady and did everything that was asked of her,” says Ernst. With great wins at their next two shows, both Open competitions, Aurora and Bailey qualified for the CDS Junior Championships, where they won reserve champion at Third Level.

The successes continued at the Arabian Horse Assn.’s Region 3 Championship, where they earned top five placings in the Open and Amateur To Ride categories at Third and Fourth Level.

Top USDF All Breed Purebred Arabian honors followed, plus very nice finishes in various USDF Horse of the Year rankings. “I am honored to be the breeder and owner of this Arabian Ambassador who not only stood her own against these horses and riders, but she did so with a Junior/Young rider who rode and showed her for less than three months,” says Ernst, whose farm is in Northern California’s Herald. The breeder is doubly proud because Aurora is the daughter of Mystic Ranch Arabian’s foundation sire JS Padronov.

Maui Bound

As the show season draws to a close, five professionals who regularly attend Langer Equestrian Group shows are making plans to head off to Maui for some much needed rest and recreation, courtesy of LEG. The company sponsors the Maui Trainer Incentive as a way to encourage participation at the shows and reward professionals for their efforts, support and success. “Trainers are not recognized enough in our highly labor intensive sport,” notes Larry Langer, president and CEO of LEG.
Maui trips are awarded to the professionals whose students earn the most points at the Woodside, Colorado, Hansen Dam and Woodside Dressage series, as well as a fifth prize for the professional member of the Memorial Day Classic Equitation Challenge winning team.

The Memorial Day Classic Equitation Challenge Winner is Kasey Ament, a junior member of the Challenge’s winning team only a few years ago.

The Colorado winner is Tracye Ferguson, who finished the season with a comfortable lead over her competitors. “It’s really a great honor after a long show season’s worth of hard work,” said Ferguson. “It was fun because my students really started getting into it - wanting to win it for me!”

Bridgeport Farms took the top honor as the Woodside victor, with trips offered to trainer John Bragg and assistant Jenny Davis.

Mark Purcell is making plans for the Maui trip he won by his students showing and earning points at each of the shows in the Verdugo Hills series at Hansen Dam. He will be taking his assistant trainer, Carrie Nass, along for the ride. “It’s a great free vacation!” Purcell exclaimed.
Plus, the top five trainers of the series all received $500 bonuses.
The Trainer Incentive is new this year at the Woodside Cornerstone Dressage shows. This year’s winner was Christine Rivlin Henke. “I think the trip is a wonderful prize and I am very thankful to have won it, both to my students and to Langer Equestrian Group and all of Glenda’s (McElroy) people at Cornerstone!”

In 2010 professional horsemen will once again have an opportunity to win one of five trips to Maui at the Marriott Ocean Club on Ka’anapali Beach. For more information visit