Winter Equestrian Festival Week 7 Wrap-up, March 8-12, 2006,
CN Wellington Finale, CSIO-5*

Kent Farrington and Madison Capture $150,000 U.S. Open Jumper Championship on Final Sunday at WEF in Wellington

A crowd of 8,476 spectators turned out on the final Sunday of the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington. The hit or miss rain showers of the morning gave way to a splendid afternoon, and the wall to wall crowd was treated to a memorable and dazzling display of show jumping excellence from equestrian superstars from sixteen different countries. When the dust had settled though, it was the United States emerging victorious over Bulgaria as Greenwich, Connecticut’s Kent Farrington and 2005 AGA Horse of the Year Madison topped Samantha McIntosh and Loxley for the hard fought win in the $150,000 U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO-5*, presented by CN.

Forty-seven starters lined up for the final event of the Wellington portion of the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival. Steve Stephens of the United States designed today’s U.S Open Jumper Championship course. Scoring was under FEI Art. 238.2.2, Time First Jump-Off.  The course featured fourteen numbered obstacles with seventeen jumping efforts, including an early double combination (3a-b) and a late triple combination (11a-b-c).  The water jump and nine verticals, combined with a snug time allowed added to today’s test.  As tough as the test was, thirteen competitors from six countries mastered the first round course to qualify for the speed round. Another four riders jumped fault free, but failed to get home in time, while eleven horse and rider combinations tallied four faults for their single knockdown. Six riders had two rails, eight duos had more than eight faults, and five were eliminated or retired.

The stage was set and the dazzling all-star jump-off that followed round one was a brilliant display of show jumping skills by one top rider after another.

Kent Farrington and Madison Take US Open Jumper Championship
Photo: Peter Llewellyn - HorseSourceLtd & PhelpsSports.com

Today’s winner Kent Farrington was the eighth rider back for tiebreaker. He and his partner Madison, owned by Alexa Weeks, laid down an incredible trip, knocking a full second off of McIntosh’s time. Farrington put a time of 33.15 seconds at the top of the leader board for the remaining five to chase.

“I knew they’d have to chase to catch me,” said Farrington, noting that his turn for home was where he won the class. “I didn’t think it was uncatchable, but I had one less stride on the turn to the wall, and if someone had got that really good and not get as parked as I did, they could have nipped me by a second. I rolled back really short,” he detailed. “I was going to try and leave one out, but I got a little ratty in the turn, and I had to add it in at the last moment. That wall is sort of an awkward fence and it made the eight strides get really long to the last jump. But she’s a fighter, and I’m a fighter so we just kicked on and went for it.”

Farrington talked about his partner Madison, who leads again for AGA Horse of the Year. “She’s a really special horse. She’s been a career horse for me. I don’t really know how good she can be, that’s yet to be determined. We’ll take her to the World Cup and see how she does there.

Bulgaria’s McIntosh, who returns to Europe tomorrow, was thrilled with her second top finish in as many weeks. “It was pretty tough with thirteen in the jump-off, especially after having only three last week,” she said. “A lot of really good horses, really fast horses. I gave my best, and I think my horse did the same. I’m pretty happy with second place.”

“It was fun,” said third place finisher Kursinski. “Because of the selection trials in two weeks, I started Roxana a little late on purpose. And, we’ve had a little bad luck in each grand prix leading up to this one. You know, one down, one mistake. Today she felt great so I thought, let’s go for it,” she said with a smile. “The footing was much better than I expected. This morning I was nervous about the footing. In fact, I was thinking I might not go with her because of the trials coming up. But it turned out great. She loves to go fast. Today was the perfect preparation for those trials after all,” admitted Kursinski. “I love to represent this country. There is nothing like competing against the best in the world, if you have the horse to do it. And I think I have a great horse to do it. We know each other so much better than we did a year ago.”

Farrington talked about the legendary show jumping stars he beat in today’s main event. “It’s just an honor to be in that class. To have the opportunity to compete against the riders I read about when I was growing up and to win against horses of that caliber is just a real thrill for me.”

Beezie Madden topped Mario Deslauriers of Canada to win the top prize in the FTI Rider Challenge, a new series this year that rewarded consistency.  “We don’t have that kind of bonus ($100,000) in show jumping very often, so I’m thrilled to win it,” said Beezie Madden following her victory in the FTI Rider Challenge. “We’re building a house right now, and that amount is about the same amount as we went over budget on, so it’s perfect,” she laughed. Madden was thrilled too with the performance of Authentic, after the trouble on Friday night’s Nations Cup course. “I was very happy. The other night I took a shot with him and he slipped, so I might have been a little conservative today. Luckily, not much bothers him, and he seemed to be right back on form today.”

With the official tally still to come, it was apparent that Sunday’s near capacity crowd pushed the seven week total attendance for this year’s festival to well over 110,000 spectators for the seven week run.

Jumper Highlights- Wednesday through Saturday

CSIO Wellington, CN 1.45m Speed Class winner McLain Ward (USA) riding Quick Star II Z Photo by ©Peter Llewellyn HorseSourceLtd & PhelpsImages.com

Show jumping fans from around the world gathered for opening day of the final week of action at the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington and were greeted with beautiful sunny skies and mild temperatures.  The CN Wellington Finale, CSIO-5*, the last week of show jumping before the festival moves on to Tampa for the final two weeks of competition, got underway on Wednesday at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club.

Wednesday’s mid-morning featured event was the 1.45m Time First Round class, scored under FEI Art. 238.2.1. The Course Designer for this week’s Internationale Arena action is Steve Stephens of the United States.

Seventy-seven competitors took the field for the main event on Wednesday. Of those that started, twenty went fault free over the speed course. Another eight competitors had no jumping faults but registered time faults, while twenty-seven riders had a single knockdown.

Wednesday’s winner, 2004 Olympic Team Gold Medalist McLain Ward of the United States, and the Double H Farm’s Quick Star II Z, blew the field away with a dazzling speed ride over the Stephens’ designed track. Ward’s memorable non-stop dash for the cash netted him a clean round and an incredible finish time of 59.37 seconds. He outdistanced Kraut by an incredible 3.91 seconds.

“I haven’t ridden her in such a long time, I think I forgot how naturally fast she can be,” admitted Ward following the raising of the United States flag. “Maybe I was a little faster than I meant it to be, but it worked out.”

Olympic Team Gold Medalist Beezie Madden and her 2004 Athens Olympic partner Authentic set a feverish pace early on that had the rest of the starting field chasing her without success for the entire afternoon on Thursday.  It was another gorgeous, albeit windy day for the crowd that gathered for Round Seven of the WEF Challenge Cup series, the final leg in Wellington.

Beezie Madden and Authentic win Round Seven of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup series.
Photo: ©Peter Llewellyn HorseSourceLtd & PhelpsImages.com

Today’s class saw forty-eight starters go to the post for the 2 p.m. start. Scoring was under FEI Table A, One Round Against the Clock, Art. 238.2.1. Today’s course, a pleasant, galloping track, accounted for eighteen fault free rides, one rider with two time faults, and twelve riders with a single knockdown. Eleven riders had eight faults and only four had more than eight.

“He’s a naturally fast horse,” said Madden following her second WEF win with Authentic. “I think covering the ground between the fences is where he makes up so much time with a lot of speed. He was very fast from two to three, and I was able to leave a stride out to the CN jump. Some people tried that, but for most it was difficult because the distance after that was so short. He’s so adjustable that I don’t have to worry about that,” she said. “And then there was the final sweep around the water jump to the triple bar, and he was very quick across the ground there.”

“He has a lot of blood. He’s more like a thoroughbred than he is like a warmblood,” Madden said. “I like that about him. While he has a lot of blood, he’s also very adjustable and easy to rate. For me, he’s very easy to ride. He’s careful, he’s fast, he’s smart, he’s scopey, he’s everything you’re looking for.”

Canada Beats United States in $75,000 CN Nations Cup Jump-off at Winter Equestrian Festival

Show jumping teams from ten countries took the field for two rounds of show jumping in the 2006 $75,000 CN Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival, but in the end the title was decided in a jump-off off between two riders from the two top teams.

A record Friday night crowd of 12,101 fans filled every nook and cranny at the Internationale Arena to witness the fifth edition of the Nations Cup, under the lights at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. 

Canada’s winning Nations Cup team at Wellington.
Photo by ©Peter Llewellyn HorseSourceLtd & PhelpsSports.com

The Course Designer for the event was Steve Stephens of the United States.  Stephens’ stout test was a track with twelve numbered obstacles and fifteen jumping efforts that included a rugged triple combination (5a-b-c) and a problematic double combination (12 a-b) placed as the final two fences on the course. A very tight time allowed, adjusted for the second round) only added to the already difficult challenge.

The first round course did its job separating the teams and saw only three teams emerge with a legitimate shot at the Friday night Nations Cup title. With only the top six teams eligible for the second round, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and the Netherlands failed to advance.

Great Britain, with only three riders competing, moved into the second round with 26 faults in the first, and withdrew before the second round got underway. Brazil collected 18 faults over the first course, and then in the second round, when Rodrigo Pessoa notched his second eight fault total score and Sergio Campos was eliminated, the Brazilians elected to call it a night and settle for the fifth place prize.

Team Ireland picked up 21 faults in round one and then improved to 12 in the second. Their two round total of 33 faults would net the 2005 Nations Cup champs a fourth place ribbon this year.

France returned with only 10 faults from the first round, using scores of one time fault from Yann Candele on Tyra, four faults from Herve Godignon on Obelix and five faults from teammate Philippe Rozier on Heritier D’Adriers. But for the French, they would have to count on some misfortunes from the two top teams to have any shot at the title, because the United States and Canada each entered round two with only four total faults.

In round one for the United States, Margie Engle and Hidden Creek’s Perin and McLain Ward on Sapphire were clear, and Beeezie Madden with Authentic had four faults.  For Canada, clear rounds came from Chris Pratt on Mustique and from Ian Millar on In Style. Mario Deslauriers’ four fault score on Paradigm rounded out the Canadian’s first round effort.

France’s second round of 21 faults earned them a 31 fault two round total and the eventual third place finish.

For the United States and Canada, the battle would continue, as both teams emerged with identical scores of zero following the second round.

Engle, Ward and this time Madden, were all fault free for the home team, but were matched by clear rounds again from Millar and Pratt, with Eric Lamaze producing the third clear for Canada to keep the class tied after two complete rounds.

Each team designated a single rider for the shortened jump-off course against the clock, with Madden and Authentic getting the call from Chef D’ Equipe George Morris of the United States, and Eric Lamaze and Hickstead being summoned up by Terrance Millar of Canada.

The neck and neck battle between neighboring nations that had lasted for two long rounds of show jumping would be decided by two of the fastest riders in the world, over the shortened speed course. What promised to be a tremendous finale to an epic battle ended quickly however, when Authentic slipped on loose footing going into jump two in the tiebreaker, and couldn’t do what Madden had asked him to do. The stop and subsequent rail down cost Madden eight faults. Her finish time was 41.11 seconds.

Eric Lamaze and Hickstead of Canada
Photo: ©Peter Llewellyn HorseSourceLtd & PhelpsSports.com

Madden’s misfortunes meant that all Lamaze of Canada had to do was get home with less than eight faults. He did it easily, crossing the finish line with no faults at all,  in 39.65 seconds to seal the win for Canada.

“Beezie had some bad luck at that fence, so with eight faults in hand I was basically very careful. I was just doing my best to leave the jumps up and be as cautious as I could be,” said Lamaze following the win. “You’re nervous because anything can go wrong, but with eight faults in hand it was a pretty good feeling.”

Madden said that something went wrong coming around the corner to fence two. “I think he lost his footing somewhere in the turn. As I was coming around the turn I saw that I had to hold out a little bit for the distance, and then all of a sudden it was very long,” she explained. “Something happened just as I went to commit to the fence. It’s been a long circuit and there’s not a lot of grass left out there and he slipped.

Under the lights it’s a little spooky, and I think he just lost a little heart out there. He’s never done that before.”

“I predicted that Canada would be the team to beat,” said United States Chef George Morris. “Four great riders with four lovely horses. I think they have the top team for the World Equestrian Games, to be perfectly frank,” he said. “We also had a top team tonight, but it just boiled down to a little bad luck. Most of the grass is gone and it’s down to the dirt, and it looked like Beezie’s horse lost his legs a little bit at that fence. He’s never stopped before.”

Jean Maurice Bonneau, the manager of the French team said, “For us, it’s a very good place to be, behind the two best teams from Canada and the United States. I think it’s excellent for us to be the best team from Europe in the standings.”

“This is turning into such a premiere CSIO and Nations Cup competition,” said nine-time Olympic veteran Ian Millar of Canada. “The Nations Cup works for some competitions and for some it doesn’t, but it really seems to works well here in Wellington. Friday night is a spectacular success every year. The crowd grows and grows each year, their knowledge of what’s happening is right on. It’s just a great event to participate in and it’s even better when it ends up with a Canadian victory.”

Aron and Ashe Storm to Victory in 1.50m Classics at 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival

Two 1.50m Classics were the spotlight events on center stage Saturday in the Internationale Arena. The classes featured different winners today, but for each victor, the trip to the winner’s circle was particularly rewarding, albeit for vastly different reasons.

Aimee Aron and Ostara win 1.50m Classic CSIO on Saturday.
©Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com

For 17 year-old Aimee Aron of the United States, winner of the first 1.50m Classic, it is all part of her ongoing training and learning experiences, competing against the best show jumping riders in the world. Today’s second 1.50m Classic winner, Molly Ashe, is already a show jumping superstar and one of the best in world. For her, it’s all about being healthy again, on a healthy horse.

Following three rails down for Kent Farrington (USA) and Up Chiqui and a single knockdown for McLain Ward (USA) and Goldika in the jump-off, Aron produced the round that would hold up for her first big international win. Aboard Ostara from the Kinloch Enterprises, Aron toured the jump-off course successfully and tripped the timers in 37.75 seconds.

“There were seven clear and McLain (Ward) was my biggest concern,” detailed Aron following the victory. “But when he had the rail down with Goldika, Laura (Kraut) told me to just be smooth and easy and leave the jumps up. I guess luck was with me today because everybody else following me had problems. She jumped beautifully.”

In the second class, the $20,000 1.50m Classic, the scoring was under USEF rules, Table II, Section 2(a), Time First Jump-Off.  Forty-nine assembled for the mid-day main event, but only five mastered the Stephens’ designed first track to qualify to jump again in the tiebreaker.

Against the clock, Cody Baird, with a clear go in 31.982 seconds, set the pace with Poleander, owned by the October Farms. Lisa Silverman and Flubber Cocoy challenged with a clean round, but missed Baird’s time as she clocked in at 32.296 seconds.

The stage was thus set for the return of Molly Ashe and her veteran partner Lutopia to the WEF winner’s circle. Both have been sidelined with injuries, Ashe for much of this year’s festival, and Lutopia on and off for almost two years. The duo looked like they hadn’t missed a single beat, as Ashe sliced a full second off of Baird’s time for the victory. Lutopia galloped home in 30.920 seconds.

Georgina Bloomberg of New York City competing at 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival.
Photo: Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com

Ashe was beaming following her win. “You have no idea how good it feels to have her jump as good as she jumped today and be out there competing again. It’s been a long while,” and she added, “for both of us!”

“I had Eric Lamaze coming behind me, and he’s always a serious threat. Cody (Baird) got a little bunched up at the last fence, so that gave me a little room, but I just let her go. She’s such a fast horse anyway,” she said. “She slipped a little on the turn back to the oxer, and I had to add up a stride, but she really helped me out there.”

“She hasn’t been right since before the last Olympic trials, really,” Ashe explained. “Then following the Super League she still wasn’t right. We never really did figure out exactly what was wrong with her. She had a number of little things that added up to one big ouch. But she seems to be all sorted out now. She went back into full work this past November. I did a couple of 1.40m classes with her the first week,” Ashe said, “and then I got hurt and couldn’t show for two or three weeks. So today’s 1.45m class was her first, and she feels great, and she jumped great.”

For Ashe, it was nice for both she and Lutopia to finally be healthy together. “I had bulging discs, one in my neck and two in my lower back. But I feel good now,” she smiled. “Dr. Farrell made me stop for a while and then ease my way back, first riding just one a day, then a couple a day, and now finally four a day. Finally, I feel great.”

Chris Kappler and Rivell C, the adorable grey stallion with a bushy shock white tail, won their fifth 1.30m class at WEF this week.  In a division that has upwards of 100 entries on any given day, this is no small feat.  Rivell C is by Larino out of a Jasper mare.  He competed with consistent wins in the seven year old division during the 2005 season. 

Rivell C was found by Javier Salvador and purchased for Chris Kappler last year by his friend and client Allyson Hawkes.  “We initially tried Rivell for me,” Hawkes said.  “He was a little green for what I needed at the time, and Chris loved the horse.  He is a very quick and careful jumper.  My parents and I have enjoyed watching the pair’s success. Chris and I have had a long run of super horses together.”  Hawkes shows in the High Amateur Jumper Division on her two mares Tuesday and Crazy Madam. 

Hunter Highlights- Thursday through Sunday

The Green Conformation division was the largest division on Wednesday and Thursday. Tim Goguen and Boulevard Deir came away with their first championship together. Boulevard Deir won four out of six classes, as well as another second place ribbon. Reserve champion in the division was Grandeur, ridden by Penny Lombardo and owned by Jan Agardy.

Tim Goguen recently purchased Boulevard Deir from trainer Robbie Hunt for Janet Read of Wellington, FL. The graceful bay gelding showed previously with Tommy Serio and won a class on the grass field during the Bainbridge Florida Classic week. “We bought him for Janet Read, so she is going to be really ecstatic,” said a grinning Goguen.

Goguen mentioned, “I thought today he was a little tired. Yesterday, he carried me a little more. I think he just needs to keep getting conditioned and fitter. But, even though he was a little tired, he really tried. I can’t get over him! He’s such a cute horse. I couldn’t be happier with him.”

The Regular Working Hunter division champion this week was Beyond, ridden and owned by Scott Stewart. The dark bay gelding captured matching first and fourth place ribbons over fences on Wednesday and Thursday. A second place ribbon under saddle gave them the tricolor over reserve champions Consider It Done and Jenny Fischer, who rode for owner Rachel Broman. “Beyond has really been consistent this winter,” Stewart said. “He always used to be the bridesmaid, winning reserve championships, but he has stepped it up this year.”

Music Street and Scott Stewart, champions in the Second Year Green Hunters
Photo: Randi Muster

Stewart returned for the Second Year Green Working Hunter division for a sweep of the tricolor ribbons. He piloted Alexa and Krista Weisman’s Music Street to the championship and Molly Ohrstrom’s Fellini to the reserve.

For yet another week, the Regular Conformation Hunter champion was Popeye K and Tommy Serio, who rode for owner Elizabeth Spencer. This week, however, Popeye K had a tough challenger in Good Life and Scott Stewart. In the Model, Popeye K won and Good Life was second. Good Life then took control on Wednesday and won both over fences classes and the under saddle, while Popeye K was second in all three. On Thursday, however, Popeye K won both over fences classes and Good Life was second. They tied in points for the championship, and it all came down to a “hack-off” to determine this week’s winner. Popeye K was awarded the championship from the judges after the short under saddle class.

Cosmo, ridden by Ken Smith of Wellington, FL, and owned by Susan Stanley, captured the tricolor. They jumped to second and third place ribbons on Thursday and returned on Friday for a blue ribbon. Reserve champion in the division was Sterling, ridden by Jennifer Bauersachs for Lee Kellogg.

Smith operates Ashland Farms with his wife Emily. He found Cosmo during WEF last year. The dark bay Warmblood gelding is six years old now and is a “super individual,” Smith noted. “He’s such an easygoing and sweet horse. He’s brave, careful, and has all the scope for the Regular Working Hunters.”

“Susan Stanley has let me ride him from the time we bought him until now, which has really been nice,” Smith added. “He has won a class every week, and he just missed the reserve championship during the Bainbridge Florida Classic week. We put it all together this week and he was more consistent.”

After doing well on Thursday, Smith felt that the “pressure was on, because there were several horses with the same amount of points.” He went on to say, “Cosmo went beautifully in the first class. He was ready to win both today, but his rider wasn’t quite ready in the first class. He really came through in the second class for the win. He’s one of the best jumpers I’ve ever had and one of my favorites, for sure.”

Champion in the Adult Amateur 3’3” division for two weeks in a row was Forget Paris and Wendy Lewis. Wendy and her husband Mike have owned “Pierre” for six years, and the pair has had enormous success, including three WEF Circuit Championships and championships at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and in The Legacy Cup.

Forget Paris and Wendy Lewis, champions in Adult Amateur 3'3" Hunters. Photo by Randi Muster

With their success in the past two weeks, Lewis and Forget Paris are now leading the division for an unbelievable fourth circuit championship. “I came into the barn last week and said to our barn manager, Erica, that I have to be champion the next two weeks because my trainer, Jeff Gogul, is coming to Tampa, and I have no reason to go to Tampa unless I’m in the lead,” Lewis recalled. “Jeff has never been at the Parade of Champions in Tampa for a photo. It’s been my goal for him to be in a photo there. So far, so good.” Lewis spent this winter showing with Shachine Belle and Jimmy Toon. “They’ve taught me so much, but now ‘summer camp’ is over,” she added with a smile.

Forget Paris won the under saddle class this week and received two firsts and a third over fences. Reserve champion in the division was Solamar, ridden by Summer Gay and owned by RCG Farm LLC.

“He has just been perfect. He’s all grown up now,” Lewis explained with a laugh, “but he’s still got his funny personality too. He always travels with his ears back, and I always say that it’s aerodynamic. Some judges penalize him for that, and some realize that a horse doesn’t have to be near him and his ears will still be back. It’s just him. He’s a lazy dude.”

“Pierre has been so consistent the whole circuit. Actually, he’s been consistent his whole life. He’s been showing down here since he was five and now he’s eleven. He’s still doing it and enjoying it and winning. This will be his sixth year at WEF and might be his fourth circuit championship. Wouldn’t that be great?”

Hallman and Tait Receive Tricolors in Amateur-Owner Hunters

In Section A of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division, Gray Slipper and Bridget Hallman had consistently good classes, which earned them the championship. The pair were first and second over fences on Friday, second in the under saddle, and won another over fences class. Hallman knew she had a chance at the championship, but acknowledged, “I was just hoping I could keep it all together and ride the best that I could. I try to ride the best I can every day and try to forget about the ribbons and points. It’s hard, but you try to just concentrate on the class at hand.” Reserve champion in the division was Rio Bravo, ridden by Daisy Johnson and owned by WGHR Farm.

In Section B of the division, Manolo and Sarah Tait took home the championship ribbon. Reserve champions were Reagan and Tracy Scheriff.

The WEF Equitation Championship for the RW “Ronnie” Mutch Trophy saw 17 of the top equitation riders in the country competing for prizes and the esteem of winning the first big equitation class of the new year.

Maria Schaub and Nelson, winners of the WEF Equitation Championship.
Photo © Jennifer Wood/PhelpsSports.com

Maria Schaub, who rides with Frank and Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables, entered the class on a horse that she had only ridden twice, but had the self-confidence and knowledge from riding in the class three times before to stay consistent over two rounds for the win.

On Laura King-Kaplan’s bay gelding Nelson, Schaub scored an 87.5 in the first round to sit in second place behind Jack Hardin Towell Jr., who had an 88. She returned in the second round for a score of 89 and a total of 176.5. In the second round, riders were asked to complete the first ten jumps of the first round course in reverse order. Also added were a counter-canter around a tight turn to a one stride and a trot jump. When Towell missed key elements of the course and scored a 57.5 for a total of 145.5, Schaub knew that victory was sealed.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” Schaub laughed in between congratulations from friends. “I’m really fortunate to have a horse to ride at all. Laura King-Kaplan was nice enough to let me use him. I’m lucky that I had a horse this time that had done this sort of stuff before. He’s an amazing animal.”

Moving up an incredible seven places in the second round was 16 year old Addison Phillips of New York, NY. She received the highest score of the day, a 93, to give her a total of 173 and a second place finish at the end of the class. Phillips had a clear-cut plan going into her second round. “I wanted to try and make up as much ground as I could, and go for it,” she said. When asked if it was her plan to land on the counter-canter, she replied, “I hoped to! When it happened, I was so relieved.” Phillips was the only rider of ten in the second round that landed on and kept the counter-canter the entire time.

“I think it’s a really cool class,” Phillips remarked. “You don’t normally get to train yourself or walk the course on your own. It’s really fun, and they do a good job of running it and making it feel really important.”

Schaub rides in a barn full of talented young riders including Brianne Goutal and Sloane Coles that win national championships every year. This may be the year that Schaub is the stand-out, but she takes everything with perspective. “I just said to myself that I’ve been working hard for a long time and that I’m just not going to give up. I’m lucky to have people that give me horses to show. Everyone from Beacon Hill has helped me not only as a rider, but as a person. They’re my family.”

Jenkins and Signature are Letter Perfect for Tricolor in Small Junior Hunters

Rounding out the last week of WEF were the Junior Hunters, among other divisions. The Small Junior 16-17 Hunter Division Championship is going home with Signature and owner/rider Kacy Jenkins. The duo won both over fences classes on Saturday. Reserve champion in the division was Thursday Night, ridden by Alex Paradyzs for Paradyzs Farm.

Signature and Kacy Jenkins, Champions in Small Junior 16-17 Hunters
Photo by Randi Muster

Jenkins pointed out that winning in the last week is a great start for the year. “It was a great way to end and such a good feeling to end on a high note. He was perfect,” she remarked. “It was very exciting. I’ve been working hard this season, so hopefully we’ll go home and this will continue.”

In the Small Junior 15 & Under division, a brand-new relationship was forged with a blue, red, and yellow ribbon. Double Cinco and Paige Allardice won an over fences class on Saturday and returned on Sunday for the win under saddle and second place in the Stake class. Allardice is only 14 years old and this was her first time showing in the Junior Hunters. Reserve Champion in the division was High Cotton, ridden by Jennifer Waxman for Christy Russo.

In the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over division, the championship went to Saline and Kelly Klein, while reserve champion was Acapella and Mary Jane King. Brianne Goutal rode Priceless for the All Seasons Farm to the championship in the Large Junior 16-17 division. Reserve champion was Cala Millar and Nancy Gottwald.

Although competition is finished at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, the Winter Equestrian Festival continues in Tampa, FL, from March 22 to April 1.

 

Jennifer Reid and Jiminy Crickett Win Tricolor Ribbon at Winter Equestrian Festival for Second Week in a Row. Jiminy Crickett in WEF Parade of Champions with Gary Duffy, Jennifer Reid, Richard Schechter, Cesar Hernandez and Emilio Gomez.
Photo by Randi Muster

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