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Archive for April, 2013

HITS, Inc. Unveils 2014 Ocala $1 Million Grand Prix, Introduces Triple Crown Challenge

April 09, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

OCALA, FL (April 8, 2013) – With two $1 million grand prix scheduled for 2013, HITS, Inc. upped the ante for 2014 by announcing the addition of a third ground-breaking class.


The Ocala $1 Million Grand Prix, to be held next March and will join the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York and the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal, California next year to form the Triple Crown Challenge of Show Jumping.


The Ocala $1 Million Grand Prix will take place at the conclusion of the now 10-week 2014 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit on Sunday, March 23 and is the latest addition to an already impressive list of events for high-performance riders next year. Growing in size and popularity, the Ocala Winter Circuit will wrap with the Ocala Million and ground will soon break at HITS Post Time Farm for a new state-of-the-art jumping field to host the historic event.


The brainchild of HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri, the first leg of the new trifecta event will take place in Southern California with the second-annual AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix Sunday, March 16 at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California. International and Olympic-level talent converged on HITS Thermal this past winter for the first-ever $1 million class on the West Coast and Struzzieri gave an immediate thumbs up to a repeat in 2014.


Just one week later, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will host the second $1 million grand prix, the premiere of the Ocala Million – giving some of the world’s equestrian stars a chance to win the prestigious Triple Crown Challenge. The third and final leg will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson when the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix, the class that started it all, takes the stage September 7 for the fourth consecutive year in Saugerties.


©Flying Horse Photography Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, aboard Bella Donna, jumps her way to a win in the AIG Thermal Million, which will be the 2014 kick-off event to the Triple Crown Challenge of Show Jumping.

©Flying Horse Photography
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, aboard Bella Donna, jumps her way to a win in the AIG Thermal Million, which will be the 2014 kick-off event to the Triple Crown Challenge of Show Jumping.


“There is no better way to reward our customers than to continue offering big-money classes,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “I can’t imagine how electric Saugerties will be if someone has a chance for the Triple Crown going into Championship Weekend at HITS-on-the-Hudson.”


If one horse-and-rider combination does indeed conquer the Triple Crown Challenge and win all three $1 million grand prix next year, Struzzieri plans to offer a sizable rider bonus modeled after the Triple Crown Bonus offered in the Thoroughbred racing industry.


When the news hit the ears of eager grand prix riders from all corners of the world, excitement led them to admit that they don’t plan to let mileage keep them from missing any of the million-dollar action. “I had to pinch myself,” said grand prix rider and HITS Ocala regular Tracey Fenney of her reaction to the news. “For HITS to offer three $1 million classes in one year is extraordinary. I would say there is a great chance that I compete in all three of them.”


With more top-notch events being offered on American soil, riders are not only seeing dollar signs, but are enjoying an increase in the level of sport in the United States. “These classes are very comparable to the Olympics – to jump a clear round is no easy task,” said McLain Ward, a two-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist and twice the winner of the Saugerties Million and competitor in the first Thermal Million. “As a country, we are only as good as our horses and riders and these classes are raising that bar.”


Riders can qualify for the each of the grand prix based on money won on their leading horse at HITS events throughout the season. For additional information on how to qualify, please check for complete specifications and updates.


About HITS, Inc.

HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix – now the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix. In 2011, HITS hosted the richest weekend in show jumping with the return of the Pfizer Million and the introduction of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. In 2012, the historic weekend got even sweeter with the addition of the HITS $250,000 HITS Hunter Prix Final. This year, HITS will host a second $1 million class with the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Thermal.


For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!


Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail


Scott Stewart to Defend Devon Leading Hunter Rider Title

April 09, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

DEVON, Pa.— Scott Stewart will defend his Leading Hunter Rider title at the 117th annual Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, which runs May 23 to June 2.


Devon benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, with proceeds to the Hospital approaching $15 million, over $50 million when adjusted for inflation.


Stewart of Flemington, N.J., has won the leading rider title 12 times before, and, to make sure he makes it a baker’s dozen for the honor, he is bringing nine or 10 horses to compete in the five open hunter sections.


Not only is that more horses than other hunter riders will have to Devon, but all of them are also proven winners at top shows.


Stewart was recently the Leading Hunter Trainer at the Winter Equestrian Festival, with most of the horses he’s competing at Devon in the top five in the circuit standings.


Dedication was WEF circuit champion in High Performance Hunters, and Stewart will show him in that section at Devon.


Stewart has three horses entered in the Regular Conformation section, two in Green Conformation, two in First Year Green and one in Second Year Green.


Devon is one of my favorite shows,” said Stewart. “There’s only one main ring, so you get to see everybody go.”


“It’s one of the few times all year that you get to see all the top horses together,” Stewart said.


Victoria Colvin, 15, who trains with Stewart, rewrote the record books last year at Devon when, for the first time ever done, she won both the Best Child Rider on a Horse and Leading Junior Jumper Rider titles.


She, too, is taking top horses to Devon again this year.


Dr. Betsee Parker’s Ovation, last year’s Devon Grand Junior Hunter Championship, will return to defend his title in Small Junior Hunter, 15 and under.


Colvin will also show Canadian Blue in the Small section and has Way Cool and Inclusive in the Large Junior Hunters, 15 and under section.

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Way Cool and Inclusive were champion and reserve, respectively, in the Large section at Devon last year.


Colvin will show three in Junior Jumpers this year, last year’s champion and reserve, Waminka and Monsieur de Reverdy plus Don Juan.


Colvin will also compete in equitation, where the riders are judged on their position and control of their mounts.


She won the Hunter Seat Medal at Devon last year.


Juniors compete Thursday in equitation and Friday and Saturday in pony hunters, hunters and jumpers.


The Carriage Pleasure Drive opens eight days of adult competition, with hunters competing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then returning the final Sunday, June 2, for the $25,000 International Hunter Derby.


Jumpers compete in afternoon and evening classes throughout the week, with the featured $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 30.


The Country Fair offers shopping for many unique items in boutiques scattered throughout the Fair area.


From dressy and sporting clothes to fine gold and silver jewelry, painting and prints, collectibles and souvenirs to every type of riding equipment, there’s shops that will appeal to every taste.


There’s something for every palate in the Fair, too, from dainty tea sandwiches to hot dogs, hamburgers, gourmet dining in the Garden Café and the famous Devon fudge.


Rides and games for tots to teens, including the Ferris wheel, complete the experience that is the Country Fair.


The ticket office opens Monday, April 8 and will be open Monday through Friday from 10 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.


General admission is $10, with $5 for children and seniors. Reserved seating tickets range from $10 to $55, depending on the day and session.


Entries close April 22. Visit the website for additional information.

Lars Petersen and Mariett Amaze in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle at Wellington CDI 5* Presented by Diamante Farms

April 08, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – April 6, 2013 – Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett emerged victorious from Saturday night’s FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 5*. The class was showcased under the lights of The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) Wellington 5*, presented by Diamante Farms. Second place went to Steffen Peters and Legolas 92, and Tina Konyot rode Calecto V to third place.


Judges for the class were: Lilo Fore at E, Axel Steiner at H, Stephen Clarke at C, Raphael Saleh at M, and Peter Holler at B.


A whopping $84,000 in prize money was awarded for the evening’s class. The high-stakes competition attracted a substantial amount of very enthusiastic spectators.


Watch an interview with Lars Petersen!


Devon Kane, of Diamante Farms, was on hand to express her gratitude to the evening’s exhibitors and their supporters. “You put on a fantastic show and the spectators and turnout for tonight really spoke for the quality of the competition. Thank you all very much, to your sponsors and your owners and to the horses. We all know that this facility is going to flourish and get better and better, and you all coming and supporting it means everything to us,” Kane expressed.


Allyn Mann, representing GDF title sponsor Adequan, described the spectacular evening as everything he could have envisioned. “I think [tonight] lived up to everything we hoped it would be and I really want to thank each of the riders for making the effort to be here and for putting on a world-class event tonight,” Mann remarked.


CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions Mark Bellissimo thanked Adequan for their phenomenal support for the AGDF and was thrilled to be able to offer top competition and prize money to competitors. “We’re proud to have Adequan here and they deserve a lot of the credit for stepping up and supporting the sport,” Bellissomo stated.


As final scores were verified for the night, a thrilling reining versus dressage exhibition was performed by Rick Steed and Susan Dutta. Steed and his Quarter Horse gelding High Dollar put on a high-speed demonstration of their best reining slides and spins, followed by Dutta and her Oldenburg gelding Currency DC performing high-level dressage movements.


Lars Petersen and Marietta. Photo ©

Lars Petersen and Marietta. Photo ©


Petersen and Mariett topped the class with an astounding score of 78.450%, a personal best for the pair. Steffen Peters (USA) and Legolas weren’t far behind with a 78.100% that put them in second place. The top three was rounded out by Tina Konyot and Calecto V with a score of 77.050%.


Petersen was elated with Mariett’s continued progress as she wrapped up a winning weekend at the AGDF. “I was very happy with Mariett tonight. The overall rideability of the mare is just getting better and better and that’s why I’m getting all the difficult movements, so I’m very happy about all of that,” Petersen described.


“What I’m actually most happy about is through my tests there are a lot of transitions,” Petersen continued. “We go half pass-passage-piaffe-extensions-half pass and for a trainer, you like when all those transitions are smooth. This is one of the best tests I’ve had on her.”


Lars Petersen and Marietta with Michael Stone of ESP, Terri and Devon Kane of Diamante Farms, Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of ESP, and judge Stephen Clarke. Photo ©

Lars Petersen and Marietta with Michael Stone of ESP, Terri and Devon Kane of Diamante Farms, Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of ESP, and judge Stephen Clarke. Photo ©


Petersen was especially happy to have a 5* victory under his belt with the fifteen-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, who is owned by Marcia Pepper. “It means a lot because this is her first year in the Grand Prix. She has been getting better and better every show,” he said.


Peters described his second place finish with Legolas as their best freestyle yet despite some early missteps. “It took him just ten seconds to sink in. The first five seconds were a bit tricky and then he really settled down smoothly,” Peters described.


“The connection has never been better in a freestyle and that really tells me everything about him. When he’s soft and loose, then I can ride him a bit more and this is exactly the feeling I wanted to take to Europe. Tehnically, it wasn’t our best freestyle, but for suppleness and relaxation it certainly was our best freestyle,” Peters continued.


Lars Petersen and Marietta with Michael Stone of ESP, Terri and Devon Kane of Diamante Farms, Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of ESP, and judge Stephen Clarke. Photo ©

Steffen Peters and Legolas. Photo ©


While the atmosphere of The Stadium at night had Legolas a little on edge, Peters had nothing but praise for the venue. “It’s not just the arena, it’s everything. The warm-up is great. The horses get used to the atmosphere that’s actually in the ring. The footing is phenomenal, the stalls are great. This is one of my favorite places in the world to show, there’s no doubt. This is my first time here and you can count on me coming back,” Peters remarked.


Third place finisher Konyot echoed Peters’ sentiments. “The atmosphere is spectacular here. It’s something we’ve all hoped for and wished for – to have an actual show facility that’s like an international venue. It is a spectacular place for the spectators, for the riders, for the horses. The people that organize it, the people that support us and are behind it, give it a positive, wonderful feeling,” Konyot commented.


Konyot acknowledged Calecto V started to tire towards the end of their performance, but was overall very pleased with how he did. “I was very happy with my horse. He had very good feeling and very good power. At the beginning of my test, I felt very, very solid. At the ending, he was a little bit tired, but overall I had a very good feeling about my ride and my horse is always there for me,” Konyot explained.


Tina Konyot and Calecto V. Photo ©

Tina Konyot and Calecto V. Photo ©


The evening’s competition concluded with Heather Blitz (USA) and Paragon, the last pair to perform. Blitz and Paragon rode out technical difficulties with their music, which Blitz good-naturedly acknowledged did not make a difference in their ride. Blitz and Paragon went on to finish in fourth place with a score 75.100%.


Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 5* presented by Diamante Farms

Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%

1 Lars Petersen, DEN, Mariett: 81.125%, 79.000%, 78.000%, 75.000%, 79.125%, 78.450%

2 Steffen Peters, USA, Legolas 92: 80.375%, 76.750%, 77.125%, 77.500%, 78.750%, 78.100%

3 Tina Konyot, USA, Calecto V: 78.125%, 75.625%, 79.125%, 76.000%, 76.375%, 77.050%,

4 Heather Blitz, USA, Paragon: 75.500%, 74.625%, 77.125%, 72.250%, 76.000%, 75.100%

5 Shelly Francis, USA, Doktor: 73.500%, 73.625%, 74.375%, 73.250%, 73.00%, 73.550%

6 Ashley Holzer, CAN, Breaking Dawn: 71.250%, 70.125%, 75.500%, 73.625%, 72.265%, 72.265%

7 Jacqueline M. Brooks, CAN, D Niro: 72.375%, 69.250%, 71.750%, 69.625%, 71.125%, 70.825%

8 David Marcus, CAN, Don Kontes: 71.875%, 68.750%, 72.250%, 70.625%, 69.375%, 70.575%


Shelly Francis and Danilo Continue Win Streak in FEI Intermediare-I Presented by Peacock Ridge


Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo had another successful day at the Wellington CDI 5* presented by Diamante Farm. The pair finished in first place in the FEI Intermediare-I, presented by Peacock Ridge, with a score of 71.368%. Francis and Danilo were the only pair to break 70% in another highly competitive class. Brittany Fraser (CAN) and All In had another second place finish with an overall score of 68.816%. Spain’s Carlos Munoz and Klouseau finished just behind Fraser with a 68.316%.


Judges for the class were: Cesar Torrente at E, Raphael Saleh at H, Peter Holler at C, Bo Ahman at M, and Axel Steiner at B.


Francis, of Loxahatchee, FL, was thrilled to have another winning round with Danilo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Patricia Stempel. “I was overall really happy with him. I felt like I had him a little bit steadier than yesterday, but I didn’t have as much expression as I did yesterday. But it’s better to have it a little more fluid, I think. Sometimes if they have so much expression and they lose the rhythm somewhere, it shows up more. He was really good. He’s a sweet horse,” Francis commented.


Shelly Francis and Danilo. Photo ©

Shelly Francis and Danilo. Photo ©


Although Danilo’s show career only began in earnest in March, he’s shown remarkable talent that Francis is eager to harness. Owner Stempel originally picked him out for her to show, but as Francis rode him more, his potential for greatness revealed itself.


“She’s enjoying watching him compete very much. She likes watching him show and wants him to go to his full potential. She’s a really good owner that way,” Francis acknowledged.


“It was a little unexpected for me that he turned out to be such a nice horse to show. I guess there would really be no reason why not. I just didn’t know he had that little extra spark in there,” Francis continued.


Danilo’s ability to adapt to the showing environment is yet another of the gelding’s winning qualities. “When he went in for the Prix St. Georges [on Friday], he had not been in the [International Arena] at all and he handled it beautifully. There are lots of things to look at and he’d look a little bit, but he didn’t do anything crazy. He would wait for me to tell him where to go, which is a very good quality,” Francis described.


“He’s got really good potential for the Grand Prix and I’ll believe he’ll move up next year. If he’s anything like he is now, which I’m sure he will, he’ll be just as solid with it. Right away, he gives you that feeling,” Francis continued. “He’ll do really well. He does his ones, his piaffe, passage. He’s nine years old, so next year when he’ll be turning ten, he’ll be ready. It’s very exciting to have two Grand Prix horses.”


The other Grand Prix mount Francis was referring to was Doktor, who made his Grand Prix debut this winter to much success. “It wasn’t done deliberately to have this string, but it just stepped into place with these horses. All of a sudden they’re so good to show and they’re good international prospects, so I feel very lucky,” Francis remarked.


Francis reveled in having such excellent horses at this point in her career. “I’ll just go out gangbusters!” Francis laughed. “I’m not getting any younger so I’m going to keep going until I can’t do it anymore!”


Shelly Francis and Danilo with owner Patricia Stempel, PJ and Yasmin Rizvi of Peacock Ridge, and judge Peter Holler. Photo ©

Shelly Francis and Danilo with owner Patricia Stempel, PJ and Yasmin Rizvi of Peacock Ridge, and judge Peter Holler. Photo ©


Competition for the Wellington CDI 5* of the AGDF concludes Sunday at The Stadium with the FEI Grand Prix Special 5* at 9:00 am. The FEI Intermediare-I Freestyle will follow at 11:15 am.


Final Results: FEI Intermediare-I presented by Peacock Ridge

Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%

1 Shelly Francis, USA, Danilo: 71.184%, 69.737%, 74.342%, 68.026%, 73.553%, 71.368%

2 Brittany Fraser, CAN, All In: 70.132%, 68.158%, 67.368%, 70.921%, 67.500%, 68.816%

3 Carlos Munoz, ESP, Klouseau: 68.553%, 68.864%, 69.342%, 67.500%, 67.500%, 68.316%

4 Kevin Kohmann, GER, Zephyr: 66.842%, 67.368%, 69.737%, 67.237%, 67.105%, 67.658%

5 George Williams, USA, Cleopatra: 67.105%, 67.105%, 68.816%, 65.921%, 68.289%, 67.447%

6 Marco Bernal, COL, Farewell IV: 66.447%, 66.579%, 66.368%, 65.263%, 65.658%, 66.063%


Small Tour Competitors Showcased in a Big Way on Saturday


Canadian and American riders dominated the rest of the classes hosted at The Stadium at PBIEC on Saturday afternoon. Canada’s Evi Strasser collected the first place prize aboard Renaissance Tyme with a score of 65.521% in the FEI Grand Prix Special first thing Friday morning.

Junior and Young Rider classes were also well contested, with the FEI Junior Individual class seeing six entries. Lindsay Holleger (USA) and Friedensfurst earned a score of 66.579% to propel them into first place.


The top prize for the FEI Young Rider Individual was awarded to Madison Lawson (CAN) and McGuire with a score of 63.184%.


Melanie Doughty (USA) and Command Performance took home the blue ribbon in the FEI Pony Individual class. The pair scored a 55.634%.


Katharina Stumpf was victorious in Friday’s Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday afternoon. She scored a 61.875% aboard For My Love.


For full results and more information, please visit


Photo Credit: Photos © These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.


About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (GDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring five CDIs, including a 5*, the first non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and nine U.S. national events.The Adequan GDF is offering more than $275,000 in prize money for the five international competitions making it one of the richest circuits in the world. In addition to the CDIs with national competitions, the Adequan GDF will feature six separate national shows to be held at the Stadium section of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) show grounds. The Adequan GDF encompasses almost 60 acres of the former Palm Beach Polo Grounds. The facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area for the International Arena fully catered for relaxing and having an enjoyable experience.


First Founding Sponsors: Matt Varney, Chris and Rob Desino, Wellington Equestrian Realty; William Pearson and Janet Richardson-Pearson, Chesapeake Dressage Institute of Annapolis, MD; Devon and Terri Kane, Diamante Farm; Joe and Gaye Scarpa, Magnolia Farm; Tuny Page and Family, Stillpoint Farm; and Kimberly and Frederic Boyer, United States P.R.E. Association


Founding Sponsors: Ashley Holzer and Diane Fellows, Today’s Equestrian; Bethany Peslar, Everglades Dressage; Betsy Juliano, Havensafe Farm; Carol and Rebecca Cohen, Two Swans Farm LLC; Janne Rumbough, MTICA Farm; Mike & Roz Collins; Suhail and PJ Rizvi, Peacock Ridge; and Tim and Susie Dutta, The Dutta Corp.


Corporate Sponsors

Brown Distributing, Champion Equine Insurance, Charles Owen, Chronicle of the Horse, Custom Saddlery, Der Dau, Dever Golf Carts, Equestrian Services International (ESI), Elite Equestrian Magazine, European Dressage Connection, Everglades Farm Equipment, Gold Coast Feed & Supply, Horse Of Course, Horseware Ireland, Interagro Lusitanos, Moet Hennessy USA, Nespresso USA, Paddock Cakes, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Pennfield, Piaffe Performance, Premier Equestrian, Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, Rolex, Sanctuary at PBIEC, Show Chic, Sidelines Magazine, World Equestrian Brands


Please visit

or call 561-793-5867 for more information.



Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at

13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Ticket Office to Open April 8

April 04, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

DEVON, Pa.—One of the first welcome signs of spring is the opening of the ticket office of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, which will open this year on April 8.


The 117th edition of the Devon show runs from May 23 through June 2 and benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, with proceeds to the Hospital approaching $15 million, over $50 million when adjusted for inflation.


Exhibitors and spectators will see many improvements when the show opens, including more seating for the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix on Thursday evening, which is always sold out well in advance.


For the Grand Prix, additional seating will be available in the form of tables in the Devon Club tent, located adjacent to the Gold Ring.


Closed circuit screens will carry the entire competition from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Devon Club, while patrons, at tables for six or 10, enjoy cocktails and dinner catered by The Capital Grille King of Prussia.


For bench seating in front of the main grandstand for the Grand Prix, special wristbands will go on sale at 8 a.m., Thursday morning for exhibitors and those with proof of a general admission ticket on a first come, first served basis, free of charge.


New ringside tables are available at certain times for the entire 11 day show.


Junior weekend opens the 11 day run with three days of, first, equitation and pony breeding classes on Thursday, and then pony hunters in the Gold Ring and junior hunters and jumpers in the Dixon Oval on Friday and Saturday.


Tables for eight will be available in the Devon Club overlooking the Gold Ring from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 with catered breakfast and buffet lunch, beverage service and VIP parking.


The Carriage Pleasure Drive, which arrives at the Dixon Oval at 2 p.m. on Sunday, opens eight days of adult competition for jumpers, hunters, carriages and gaited horses.


Pony jumpers follow the conclusion of the Carriage Drive and compete again Sunday evening, with adult jumpers competing on Sunday evening and on Monday, Memorial Day, in the evening.


Four-in-hand coaching runs Monday through Friday evenings, with various exhibitions scheduled at different times throughout the week.


Tables of four, with an optional fifth seat, are available in the Committee Stand from Thursday, May 24 through Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., also with catered breakfasts and buffet lunch plus beverage service.

 Champion small pony - Hi-Lite and Maddie Schaefer

Hunters are featured during the day on Monday through Wednesday, with the first open jumper class at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, followed by single horse driving classes.


Young jumpers compete in the Gold Ring on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Hackneys, fine harness, roadster and gaited classes begin Wednesday evening, with their championships scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening.


Breeding classes take over the Dixon Oval on Thursday, with Devon at Sunset, featuring driving and gaited classes at 4:15 p.m., followed by the piece de resistance, the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon at 8 p.m.


Amateur owner hunters and jumpers plus local hunters compete Friday and Saturday, with the Open Jumper Stake and Championship the final events on Saturday’s afternoon schedule.


The $25,000 International Hunter Derby is featured on Sunday, June 2, while tables for four or five for a Champagne Brunch are available in the Committee Stand from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


To reserve any of the tables, either in the Devon Club or Committee Stand, call Meg at 610-688-2554 or e-mail


Sunday is Family Day, with pony rides and lots of family entertainment.


A new, large and comfortable exhibitors’ lounge is located under the East grandstand between the schooling area and the Dixon Oval, and will offer closed-circuit coverage of the Dixon Oval, wi-fi, and light food and drinks with comfortable chairs and couches in air conditioning.


The Country Fair is open days and evenings throughout the 11 days, with a wide variety of foods, boutique shopping and rides and games.


From hot dogs, hamburgers and pizzas to gourmet dining complete with a selection of red and white wines, there is food for every palette, including the famous Devon fudge, tea sandwiches and lemon sticks.


Boutiques carry men’s and women’s clothing, paintings and prints, gold and silver jewelry, dog toys, salad bowls, souvenirs and collectibles.


The Ferris wheel towers over the area of games and rides and offers a compelling view of the Devon show grounds.


After the ticket office opens Monday, April 8, it will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.


General admission is $10, with $5 for children and seniors. Reserved seating tickets range from $10 to $55, depending on the day and session.


Entries close April 1 for qualifying divisions and April 22 for Saddlebred, Hackney, Harness, Roadster, Coaching, Driving, Pleasure Drive and Friesians. Visit the website for additional information.

International Show Jumping to Return to the Heart of Calgary

April 04, 2013 By: janwest Category: General



Calgary, Alberta – After 30 years and a explosion in popularity, Show Jumping is set to return to the heart of Calgary with the launch of The Royal West at the Calgary Stampede.


The brainchild of John Anderson of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, the event, the Royal West, will be a 10-day multi-breed show. It will feature a division for international show jumpers, national hunter/jumper classes, hackney and heavy horse classes, and a multitude of other events including indoor eventing, terrier racing, barrel racing and even mutton-busting – “evenings full of entertainment built around the horse,” according to Anderson. He explains the inspiration behind this project. “I grew up here and made my open jumper debut in 1984 at the Calgary International Spring Horse Show in the Stampede Corral. It was part of an Alberta circuit, and they were really fun events right in downtown Calgary. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this,” he continued, explaining that riders in the West cannot always travel east to the Royal Winter Fair because of the expense involved. “I would guess that in the last 10 years the competitors from BC and Alberta would number not more than 30 per year.”



Anderson travelled to numerous venues in Western Canada in recent years searching for the perfect venue. After it was all said and done ended up back in his home town of Calgary. “I became aware a few years ago of a potential project that may take shape after the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede in 2012, and the rest is history” said Anderson.


The Agrium Western Event Centre complex, which is currently under construction with a projected completion date of June, 2014, encompasses 150,000 sq. ft. of agriculture showcase and competition venue. The 250’ x 125’ arena floor is the “largest of its kind in Canada,” said Anderson, and with seating for 2,500, “we can pack the house every night.” Housing for horses includes 400 box stalls immediately adjacent to the arena, plus an additional 1,200 stalls on site, wash bays, a large outdoor covered area, and a 20,000 sq. ft. multipurpose space for warm up, a trade show or exhibition hall.



Max Fritz, director of Agriculture for the Calgary Stampede, told Horse Sport, in a recent interview, “The new Agrium Western Event Centre will solidify Stampede Park as one of the most unique agricultural showcases in the world. It will be a centerpiece for agricultural education, exhibition, and industry in southern Alberta…truly a lasting connection between urban and rural.” “The design of the new Agrium Western Event Centre is attracting the interest of a variety of equine disciplines ” added Fritz.



Anderson said there is a lot of buzz among potential sponsors already, and he expects to be able to offer a minimum of $200,000 in prize money the first year. “Participants will have to qualify, and the show will be “a show jumping tournament with the true standards of the sport – hunters starting at 3’ and jumpers at one-metre-ten – no lower,” insisted Anderson. He concluded, “We’re building the sport from the ground up, encouraging participation from across the country, and we will host it in true Western fashion!”



The inaugural Royal West is scheduled to take place in October, 2014; more details will be released as they become available.

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Rocky Mountain Show Jumping is one of Canada’s premiere show jumping destinations. Its tournaments are held at Anderson Ranch in Calgary’s south end, a world-class facility featuring permanent stabling for 300 horses and a grass grand prix field complete with natural obstacles. For more information on Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, please visit


Equestrian Renaissance Man John McGinty Hits His Stride by Winning the Adult Amateur Prix St. Georges at the WEF Dressage Classic CDI-3*

April 02, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington FL (April 1, 2013) – For passionate equestrians, the words “transition” and “balance” carry very special and important meanings. These two words are often heard throughout riding careers, over and over again during lessons, training and even casual conversations about horses. After much repetition, practice and focus on these words, many riders are able to get their horse to easily transition into different gaits while remaining in complete balance while doing so. However, with so much focus on the horse, very few riders ever think about the importance of applying these same concepts to their own, personal journeys through life. John McGinty is one of those few people who have. As a highly successful hunter-jumper trainer and FEI judge who has transitioned to an FEI level amateur dressage competitor and who has also balanced his professional role as a senior financial planner, McGinty provides a wonderful example and inspiration to show how by following one’s passion, it can lead to easy transitions and balance in life.


John McGinty won his Adult Amateur Prix St. George class at the WEF Dressage Classic CDI-3*, where his score of 65.132% brought him the win and found out that dressage is just one passion of multifaceted man. “I love life!” McGinty smiles, “I’m an avid runner, and I like to swim, especially in the ocean. I’m a big ocean guy, and a beach guy,” he adds. McGinty is truly a unique individual. Throughout the past 40 years of being fully immersed in the competitive horse world, he has also successfully pursued other passions that many people only dream of including on their bucket lists one day. He is a long distance runner, currently building up for the Broadstreet Run in Philadelphia, which is one of the largest 10 mile runs in the country. He is also a dancer. “I do a lot of different types of dance,” McGinty describes. “I do a little bit of ballroom, and I did a lot of teaching of country and western, square dancing and round dancing. And I just love disco dancing.” McGinty also discloses that he is a bass-baritone singer who is quick to sing the National Anthem for anyone who’d like to hear it. As for the horses, McGinty is most well known in equestrian circles for his success in training regional and national champion jumpers such as Harvard Yard, Hampton Court and the pony, Farnley High Road throughout the 70’s. Today, he is still involved in the hunter-jumper circuit as an FEI judge for jumpers, hunter equitation and hunter breeder divisions. In addition to this, McGinty is quickly moving up the dressage levels of competition as a rider in the FEI Amateur Division by working with trainer, Dr. Cesar Parra as a member of his Piaffe Performance Team. “I’ve learned a lot about horses from judging and a lot about riding,” he explains about making the transition from the hunter-jumper world, “but dressage is for my pleasure and my learning. I’m not going to pursue judging with dressage.”


John McGinty riding Playboy during the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. (Photo courtesy of

John McGinty riding Playboy during the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. (Photo courtesy of


This season, McGinty’s goals in dressage include moving up from the Prix St Georges level and into the Intermediare 1 with the help of Dr. Cesar Parra of Piaffe Performance. Riding the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Playboy by Jet Set D, McGinty is currently working on a very nice freestyle, which will give McGinty an opportunity to “dance“ with a four-legged partner. Parra is impressed by McGinty’s personal dedication to pursuing dressage, and his ability to balance it so well into his very full life. So much so, in fact that he was inspired to create the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur High Performance Award to be given to other riders who display the same level of devotion. Designed to recognize exceptional performances by adult amateurs, this award is given out at each CDI of during the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. “Adult amateurs are the backbone of our sport,” comments Parra. “My team is made up of a number of young riders and adult amateurs, and their dedication to the sport and their horses is undeniable. I am proud to be able to recognize adult amateurs and their achievements in this way.”


McGinty hopes to also inspire and encourage other adults in their passionate pursuit of equestrian sport, and he certainly knows many people who would like to do so. In his professional role as a Senior Financial Advisor for AXA Equitable for 30 years, McGinty has observed that approximately 65% of his clients are equestrians. In fact, since most of his clients now live in the Wellington area, he has opened offices in Florida in addition to his original office in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and commutes between the two in order to best serve all of them. “I understand what it is to be both a horseman and a professional,” McGinty explains, “and I also understand market conditions.” This balance and understanding has proven to be an important asset to McGinty’s business, because he can speak the language of most of his clients, regardless of their level of wealth, to help them better understand their money. “There’s a big misconception about financial planning,” he describes, “Most people think they have to have a lot of money to talk to a financial advisor, and that’s not true. The most important thing is the attitude of the client. Just like in riding, if the attitude of the client is of one who wants to listen and get ahead, then we will work with them. We will work for people who have ten thousand dollars, and we will work for people who have millions of dollars.” He continues, “When working with horse people, I always say take some of your money and put it into horses because you know the business, but, also have a fund that is growing elsewhere,” and then he adds, “Balance the portfolio!”


Balance and transition certainly have been two important words for John McGinty. From successfully transitioning into dressage while balancing professional and personal passions, he truly stands as an inspiring example of how to learn to live a better life by simply applying a little horsepower.

Miss Lucy and Jennifer Alfano Victorious in $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

April 01, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Wellington, FL – March 31, 2013 – Jennifer Alfano rode Miss Lucy, an eleven-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Helen Lenahan, to the top of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the final day of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The final round of competition was held on the grass derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Alfano and Miss Lucy were fourth going into the second round of competition for the derby with a first round score of 186. The pair galloped into first place with a round two score of 198.5 for an overall score of 348.5.


Watch an interview with Hunter Derby winner Jennifer Alfano!


Inclusive and Victoria Colvin finished second with a combined score of 382. The pair was in fifth place after scoring a 182 in round one. Colvin and Inclusive’s spectacular second round performance earned the pair a 200, which helped them take over the lead late in round two before being succeeded by Alfano and Miss Lucy.


Temptation and Kristy McCormack rounded out the top three finishers with an overall score of 380. Temptation, owned by Autumn Janesky, earned a first round score of 166 before finishing with a second round high score of 203.


Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy.  Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy.
Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


The first round of competition for the derby was held Saturday afternoon at the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter arena of the PBIEC. Forty-one attempted the course, but only the top twenty-five competitors would advance to the handy round held Sunday at The Stadium. Horses and riders faced a sprawling spread of several major tests of their horses’ bravery, including a derby bank, hand gallop, and four high option fences.


Alfano, no stranger to derby victories, ultimately clinched victory with Miss Lucy after beating both Colvin and McCormack’s top scores. Alfano’s name is most synonymous with 2012 USEF National Horse of the Year Jersey Boy.


Despite being the lesser known of Alfano’s derby mounts, she acknowledged the mare was actually the more dependable of the two. “You can always count on Lucy to give 110%. She’s actually a little more reliable than Jersey Boy. You never wonder [with her]. With him, he has his moments, as everybody knows. She’s one of those horses that just tries to do everything right all the time,” Alfano, of Buffalo, NY, commented.


Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


Lucy’s consistency and remarkable suitability for the tests of a derby class are undeniable, given she has been on vacation for the past two weeks. “I did show her in the High Performance here [at the FTI WEF] this week, but that’s it. She doesn’t really take any special preparation.”


“She doesn’t have to practice,” Alfano continued. “She was here last year and did this and was great out here [on the derby field]. You don’t have to worry about anything on her. When you’re looking between her ears, you can aim at anything.”


Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy in their victory gallop. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Jennifer Alfano and Miss Lucy in their victory gallop. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, bested McCormack’s leading score late in the second round, determined to take over the lead from her fifth place finish in round one. Colvin took an exceptionally technical track aboard Inclusive as she attempted to climb the rankings and was overall pleased with their performance.


“I had a light rub, but I thought the rest [of our course] was really good. My plan today was to go as handy as I could and jump the big ones. If I had a rail, I had a rail. I had to move up,” Colvin acknowledged.


Despite not having a comparable course at home, Colvin had no doubt Inclusive would handle the demands of the derby field like a professional. “We just got a field [at home], but it’s not anything like this. I was confident he would be fine. I think he’s actually better out in the field than in a ring,” Colvin described.


Victoria Colvin and Inclusive.  Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Victoria Colvin and Inclusive.
Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


McCormack, of Boston, MA, finished third with Temptation with the highest round two score, but was ultimately exceeded by Colvin and than Alfano. McCormack gave it her all knowing Temptation would be happy to step up to the plate.


“My strategy on that horse is always just to give as much as we’ve got. If we take a risk here or there, I’m okay with that. He’s the kind of horse that is so game, especially for this type of course. I got to show him here last year and I was just trying to go for it and move up as much as I could and he brought it,” McCormack expressed.


McCormack had plenty of ground to make up for after finishing seventh in the first round of competition, but knew the grass field would give Temptation the chance to shine. “He loves pace. He loves getting out there and galloping. He’s never as strong in the first round, when I’m going a bit slower and taking my time. Once we get out in the field, all we do is gallop,” McCormack explained.


Kristy McCormack and Temptation.  Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Kristy McCormack and Temptation.
Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


Final Results: $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby


R1/J1 88.00 4.00

R1/J2 90.00 4.00 186.00

R2/J1 88.50 6.00 4.00

R2/J2 89.00 7.00 4.00 198.50 384.50



R1/J1 84.50 3.00

R1/J2 91.50 3.00 182.00

R2/J1 92.00 9.00 4.00

R2/J2 83.00 8.00 4.00 200.00 382.00



R1/J1 85.00 4.00

R1/J2 84.00 4.00 177.00

R2/J1 89.00 8.00 4.00

R2/J2 90.00 8.00 4.00 203.00 380.00



R1/J1 86.00 4.00

R1/J2 83.00 4.00 177.00

R2/J1 87.50 9.00 4.00

R2/J2 86.00 7.00 4.00 197.50 374.50



R1/J1 89.00 4.00

R1/J2 91.00 4.00 188.00

R2/J1 77.00 7.00 4.00

R2/J2 75.00 8.00 4.00 175.00 363.00



R1/J1 74.00 3.00

R1/J2 82.00 3.00 162.00

R2/J1 88.00 7.00 4.00

R2/J2 87.00 6.00 4.00 196.00 358.00



R1/J1 82.00 4.00

R1/J2 80.00 4.00 170.00

R2/J1 86.00 5.00 4.00

R2/J2 84.00 5.00 4.00 188.00 358.00



R1/J1 80.50 4.00

R1/J2 80.25 4.00 168.75

R2/J1 87.00 5.00 4.00

R2/J2 80.00 5.00 4.00 185.00 353.75



R1/J1 86.75 4.00

R1/J2 79.75 4.00 174.50

R2/J1 82.00 4.00 4.00

R2/J2 70.00 5.00 4.00 169.00 343.50



R1/J1 81.75 2.00

R1/J2 81.00 2.00 166.75

R2/J1 85.00 3.00 4.00

R2/J2 78.00 2.00 4.00 176.00 342.75



R1/J1 87.00 4.00

R1/J2 92.00 4.00 187.00

R2/J1 71.00 3.00 4.00

R2/J2 69.00 3.00 4.00 154.00 341.00



R1/J1 87.50 4.00

R1/J2 91.50 4.00 187.00

R2/J1 73.00 3.00 4.00

R2/J2 67.00 1.00 4.00 152.00 339.00


Rachel Boggus Claims Another Equitation Victory with SS Whisper in Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal Final; Kathryn Haefner Awarded Top Honors for Series


Rachel Boggus, of Fort Wayne, IN, catch rode her way to another first place finish, this time with SS Whisper, in the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal Final during the final day of competition for the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). SS Whisper, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding is owned by Wee Enterprises. Boggus was awarded a Beval bridle and gift certificate for her blue ribbon finish in the final class of the series.


Brett Burlington and Cassidy, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, finished second and won an Essex show shirt from Beval for their performance. Third place was awarded a Beval Saddlery logo saddle pad, which went to Sara Ballinger and her own Wanderprinz.


Overall high point finisher for the 2013 FTI WEF was Kathryn Haefner, who rode her own Bentley in Sunday’s class. Haefner was awarded the ultimate prize of a new Butet saddle, also courtesy of class sponsor Beval Saddlery.


Boggus recently brought home a blue ribbon in the Ariat National Adult Medal class aboard a completely unfamiliar horse and was equally successful on new mount SS Whisper, an experienced junior equitation mount. “When I sat on it yesterday, I loved it immediately,” Boggus smiled. “It was so trained, just light and ready to go. It framed up really easily. It was my type of ride, didn’t take too much leg.”


Boggus considers the Beval Palm Beach Medal course an integral part of her annual campaign for Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, held at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in September. She enjoyed the challenging course of Sunday’s class that allowed riders to show off their skills.


Rachel Boggus and SS Whisper.  Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Rachel Boggus and SS Whisper.
Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


“We started with a rollback and there were some inside turn options, which I always like when they put those in. Abby and I always try to think about what I’m going to do at the National Medal Finals, so we try to make it as hard as we can and practice more difficult options. I liked that there was an inside turn option and some tighter rollbacks so you could tighten up and make it fancy if you wanted to,” Boggus described.


For the flat phase of the class, Boggus was thankful to have a mount so well-suited for the demands of the test. “I’m not admittedly the best flatter ever, so we really have to do a lot of work on the flat to get my heels down and I tend to grip too much-I clench my hands,” Boggus explained.


“The flat is really challenging for me, but with this horse it was really nice because it was so supple. I just barely had to put any pressure on the reins and it framed right up. It’s really big and slow and comfortable, so that was really nice,” Boggus commented.


While Boggus has shown at the FTI WEF intermittently in years past, the 2013 season was her first full circuit. “I lived in Denver until this past July, so I would go to [HITS] Thermal. Now that I’m back down in the Midwest and living in Indiana, we come to WEF because we have a barn down here,” Boggus explained.


“I really like it, the weather’s always nice. The competition is the best in the country, and that’s one thing we really wanted to concentrate on-putting myself in these higher pressure situations at bigger shows,” Boggus expressed.


Boggus’ dedication has clearly paid off as she stands on top of the current national standings for the Ariat National Adult Medal. She will take April off to let her horses recuperate before starting back up again in Kentucky next month and setting her sights on the Devon Horse Show on her way to finals.


Kathryn Haefner and Bentley.  Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Kathryn Haefner and Bentley.
Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.


Haefner has also been a force to be reckoned with this season at the FTI WEF, coming in first in circuit standings for the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal class. Haefner swapped between her geldings Columbus and Bentley on the path to first place and finished the series on Sunday aboard Bentley, a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding. The pair finished fourth.


Haefner describes Columbus as more of a typical equitation horse, but is quick to acknowledge Bentley’s ability to be competitive in both hunter and equitation divisions. “Bentley is super comfortable. He’s really easy to flat. Columbus may have more of the equitation look, and Bentley’s a good mover, so he does well in the hunters. But when you put a Pelham on [Bentley], he’s got that smooth, pretty way of moving and going round,” Haefner explained.


Haefner also enjoys the opportunity that the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal class gives adults to show off their equitation skills and compete for a top prize. “I love these classes, they’re really fun. There are not a whole lot of medals for the adults to do, so this is a really nice opportunity to do something like that,” Haefner commented.


“The saddle incentive is great,” she continued. “I ride in a Butet, so that’s always a good incentive because I get the saddle that I like. It’s really fun [to compete in the class] because besides the handy rounds, you never get the opportunity to do a course that’s a little more interesting [in the hunter divisions]. There’s also a flat test, which the other adult medals don’t have. They either don’t have a test or there’s a jumping test, so the flat test makes things a little more interesting, and I like that.”


Haefner, of Buffalo, NY, juggles competing on weekends at the FTI WEF with attending classes full-time at the University of Miami as an aerospace and electrical engineering student. “Sometimes it’s difficult, engineering is challenging. I’m in the top 5% of my class and I try to stay there, so it’s been a challenge, but I like it,” Haefner described.


Haefner’s trainer, Stewart Moran, also of New York, travels south with her each winter and Fort Lauderdale trainer Jimmy Torano also trains the busy young amateur. “It’s a lot of hard work and everybody at the barn works really hard to get the horses ready while I’m not there,” Haefner acknowledged.


The Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal Final was the among the final divisions to award end of circuit honors to the competitors of the FTI WEF, which concluded competition on Sunday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.


Jumper Competition Concludes


Wrapping up the final week of Jumper FTI WEF competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, several of the Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions competed in their classics for week 12. The $10,000 Charles Owen Low AO Jumper Classic was first to go with 73 entries, ten advancing to the jump-off, and just one double clear round over the short course. Cynthia Fuller and Full Stride Farm’s Ingaletta had the winning round without fault and completed the course in 39.857 seconds. Megan Fellows and Belle Nuit had the fastest round of 33.92 seconds, but incurred four faults to finish second.


The $10,000 Maria Mendelsohn Low Junior Jumper Classic was held next with a win for Emanuel Andrade and Stransky’s Mission Farms’ Quebec Star. Seventy-six entries jumped in the class with 12 advancing to the jump-off. Six went clear over the second round course and the winning time of 32.882 seconds belonged to Andrade and Quebec Star. Kady Abrahamson and Basco H2 finished second in 33.429 seconds.


The final win of the circuit also went to Andrade with Hollow Creek Farm’s Crossfire 10 in the $10,000 Griffis Residential High Junior Jumpers. Twenty-two entries showed with only two clear rounds. The winning pair had the only double clear round and stopped the clock in 41.412 seconds to earn top prize. Second place honors were awarded to Eugenio Garza and El Milagro’s Bariano with eight faults in the jump-off in a time of 38.568 seconds.


For full results, please visit


Photo Credit: Photos © Anne Gittins Photography, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.


About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.


About FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at


Please visit or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Aaron Vale and Palm Sunday Ride to Win $25,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake

April 01, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

Tampa, FL – March 29, 2013 – In a speedy fashion, Aaron Vale piloted Palm Sunday to victory under the spotlights during the $25,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. The anticipation was tangible as eight riders moved into the heated jump-off this evening. Riders fought a battle to the top as they tried to qualify for the steadily approaching $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational to be held at the Raymond James Stadium Saturday, April 6. With Vale’s win tonight, he has sealed his spot in the field of entries.

Jordan Coyne and Lazaro

Jordan Coyne and Lazaro

A field of 31 riders showed in the Covered Arena over Michel Vaillancourt’s first round course. It began with a large oxer with twin stone pillars leading to a vertical, where riders then had to make a left turn to move through the diagonal blue-and-white vertical. A right hand turn over the green and purple oxer on the far side of the ring prepared riders for the technical opening fence leading to the triple combination heading toward the out gate. Riders then had to take the outside double combination where they were faced with a vertical-oxer, and then make their way over the vertical set at the far end of the ring. It was fence 11 that saw the most rails fall with ten riders finding fault. After landing from the red-and-white skinny, they moved forward over the large final oxer.


Jordan Coyne and Lazaro were the first to master the track with a fault-free round. She was the tenth in the order of go, but she certainly set the standard with only seven other pairs navigating the course leaving all rails in their place. Eight horses in total continued on to the jump-off, adding pressure as the riders attempted to break the beam, while still navigating the technical course with accuracy.


The jump-off course began with the first round’s opening oxer, and was followed by fence 14, which was fence four from the first round set backwards. With a hard rollback to the right, riders took fence two from the first round in the opposite direction, and made a hard right rollback to 7b of the triple combination. The wide red-and-white oxer forced riders to take a left turn to the double combination, where they then made a hard left to the dreaded skinny vertical. Upon landing, riders raced for home over the final liverpool obstacle.


“I thought he did a great course,” New Zealand rider Sharn Wordley described. “It was a really good jump-off. Eight clear out of 31 is about the number that you want. It was tough enough, and there were faults coming everywhere. Both combinations were tough, the last fence was tough, the skinny before the last fence was tough. A lot of these horses haven’t jumped indoors in a long time or haven’t jumped indoors at all so to jump that course for their first Grand Prix indoors was tough.”


Coyne and Lazaro were the first to compete over the final test, and with a number of riders coming in behind them, they knew they needed to provide a time and a challenge the other riders would be forced to chase. Coyne picked up a speedy pace to the first fence, and kept the solid pace and tight turns on target. The nerves were high as Coyne sped through the double combination, but all rails stayed in their cups as the horse and rider sliced the outside turn to the skinny, took the oxer with ease, and stopped the timers in 42.936 seconds posting the first of only three double-clear efforts.


“I wanted to go fast, and I planned on making an inside turn after the second jump of the jump-off, but I didn’t look in time so I didn’t get it done, and I think that’s what cost me the class,” eventual second place finisher Coyne explained. “I’m just super happy. I tried to step it up as much as I could after I missed that inside, and I thought I did a pretty good job of making up time. Any top three or even top five finish in a $25,000 is a big deal still. I was really fortunate to have a great season in Ocala, so it’s really nice to come here in a completely different ring and have him go just as well.”


Vaillancourt’s short course soon became the story as faults consistently knocked the teams out of the top rankings. It wasn’t until Wordley and Quick Blue Z took a go, that riders began to see the light of a possible victory. Wordley was the first to pilot his mount through the intertwining obstacles, using a different method to succeed-speed and a slight amount of conservancy. Unlike Coyne, Wordley took a bit of time with the grey gelding, falling nearly four seconds behind Coyne.


“I bought him as a 7-year-old and he’s 11 now. He’s really maturing,” Wordley described. “He won a couple of Grand Prixs last year, and he’s been placing in a couple of big Grand Prix this year. He’s just a little bit quirky, and he’s extremely moody. He’s extremely careful, extremely scopey, but he’s just a moody bugger. He’s maturing into it now, which is good.”


Wordley continued, “The ground was a little slippery in the jump off, so I was a little conservative in a couple places. I didn’t go to fast because I didn’t want him to slip. He’s got some Grand Prix coming up, and I want to do him on Sunday. I’m actually mainly up here so that I qualify for the Invitational on my other horse, but I think we’ve qualified now. I’ve got a really good horse for it, and it will be my first time, so I am quite excited.”


Jordan Coyne and Lazaro

Jordan Coyne and Lazaro

Michael Hughes and Dromma, owned by Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, Alberta, gave the other riders a run for their money. Hughes used speed to his advantage, and as the crowd held its breath, the horse and rider made their way through the track. It was an unlucky rail at 9b that sealed their fate in the eventual fourth place spot. They finished with a four-fault score in 42.149 seconds.


Aaron Vale blasted out of the in gate with his eye on the prize. He spurred on Palm Sunday, owned by Amen Corner Farm of Folsom, LA, taking the tight turns necessary while maintaining accuracy over the impressive obstacles. Vale used the opportunity to open Palm Sunday’s stride after the double combination, clearing the skinny and breaking the beam in 41.122 seconds. Vale posted the fastest time of the night, proving that the race against the clock was no deterrence for the focused pair.


“I was hoping to get a good check so that I can ride again next Saturday night,” Vale stated. “It’s always a treat to get to go jump in Raymond James Stadium. I know these classes count toward qualifying, and I picked up three checks this evening so hopefully that’ll be close enough. Maybe I can get another check or two on Sunday to help get in. Right now Palmer is kind of my longest tenured horse. He’s experienced himself. I mean he’s 14-years-old so he’s had mileage before I got him. I know what he can do and what he can’t do. If we get it right he’s pretty competitive. We kind of got it just right tonight.”


It was Callie Smith and Captain Krutzmann, owned by Smithfield Farms, LLC of Bedminster, NJ, who finished with the fifth place award. Although they took a more conservative route than their competitors, Smith and Captain Krutzmann found fault at the last obstacle of the short course, the liverpool. It was heartbreak for horse and rider alike.


Vale had also shown his other mount Zippo II, owned by 2VR Show Jumpers of Morriston, FL, at the beginning of the jump-off. They had tried to follow in Coyne’s path early in the order to return, but Vale accrued 8 faults with his more recent mount, ending with a time of 45.443 seconds to take the sixth place prize.


“I didn’t ride the first line very well on Zippo-he’s kind of a newer horse for me, He’s got a right drift, so where we wanted to do six, I did seven when he jumped way to the right,” Vale elaborated. I didn’t really get what I wanted on him, but Palm Sunday I’ve had him almost a year now.


Vale continued, “There were a couple things – I figured I could just be quick away from the fences; I made sure to really line up the first line and get down there in the six which he did well, and then boy he ducked in and just kind of cut like a barrel horse off of number two. He was super across there, and then as soon as I hit the ground I ran. I was just fast away from the jumps and tried to make sure I got a good enough approach to clear them. I just played to his strengths in the jump-off their tonight.


Tomorrow will welcome the Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumpers to the Covered Arena for another day of competition, while the Adult and Children’s Jumpers will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in the race against the clock. Sunday afternoon will welcome top riders to compete in the long-awaited Grand Prix of Tampa where riders will compete in the battle of the best.


For more information about the 2012 Tampa Equestrian Series, please visit


Aaron Vale piloted Palm Sunday to the top of the leader board, scoring the quickest of only three double-clear efforts during the $25,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG.

Aaron Vale piloted Palm Sunday to the top of the leader board, scoring the quickest of only three double-clear efforts during the $25,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG.

Photo Credit: Aaron Vale piloted Palm Sunday to the top of the leader board, scoring the quickest of only three double-clear efforts during the $25,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake. Photo By: Kendall Bierer/PMG. Photograph may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.





Order Horse Name Rider Name JF1 TF1 AF1 Time 1 JF2 TF2 AF2 Time 2

1 PALM SUNDAY AARON VALE 0 0 0 67.774 0 0 0 41.122

2 LAZARO JORDAN COYNE 0 0 0 66.576 0 0 0 42.936

3 QUICK BLUE Z SHARN WORDLEY 0 0 0 67.259 0 0 0 46.398

4 DROMMA MICHAEL HUGHES 0 0 0 66.679 4 0 4 42.149

5 CAPTAIN KRUTZMANN CALLIE SMITH 0 0 0 69.892 4 0 4 46.697

6 ZIPPO II AARON VALE 0 0 0 68.025 8 0 8 45.443

7 SWEETHEART ADRIENNE IVERSON 0 0 0 66.114 4 0 4 56.997

8 ZIDOCTRO JENNA FRIEDMAN 0 0 0 67.135 12 6 18 56.118