Kelley Farmer Wins 2013 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Hunter Rider Award Gochman and Portela Are Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champions; Knox and Duarte Victorious in Children’s and Adult Jumper Championships
Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2013 – Day two of the 2013 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured the presentation of championship honors in the professional and amateur-owner hunter divisions at Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. on Wednesday. Kelley Farmer was named Leading Hunter Rider after earning the overall Grand Hunter Championship with Quotable. Romance won the Grand Green Hunter Championship with Peter Pletcher in the irons, and Becky Gochman and Sambalino and Daryl Portela and Winner each earned Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships. The $10,000 Children’s and Adult Jumper Championships and the first $10,000 Open Jumper speed class were featured during the evening session. The show will continue through Sunday, October 27.
Wednesday’s competition saw tricolor wins for four of the nation’s very best hunter riders from coast to coast with professionals Kelley Farmer (Keswick, VA), Scott Stewart (Wellington, FL), Peter Pletcher (Magnolia, TX), and John French (Woodside, CA) all taking trips to the winner’s circle.
In the Green Conformation Hunter championship, Kelley Farmer and Quotable shined with a clean sweep of the model, under saddle, and all three classes over fences. They were awarded The Valiant Hark Memorial Challenge Trophy, donated by Mrs. Stephen J. Clark. Farmer also rode her mount Skorekeeper, owned by D. Larry Glefke and Quail Run Partnerships, to the division’s reserve honors. Skorekeeper was second in all three classes over fences and placed third under saddle and fourth in the model.
Following an exceptional two days of competition, Quotable was awarded The Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill, as the overall Grand Hunter Champion, and Farmer earned the Leading Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker. For the win, Farmer was presented with The Robert Coluccio Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy as well as a beautiful Rolex Luxury Timepiece, courtesy of Tiny Jewel Box. In addition to the grand championship, Quotable’s owners, D. Larry Glefke and Dr. Kenneth Garber, were presented with the Leading Hunter Owner Award sponsored by The Reid Family. Farmer was WIHS Leading Hunter Rider in 2010 as well and was happy to receive the honor once again with the ride on a fantastic young horse.
“It’s very special,” she stated. “My horses are the most important thing. It’s an honor, and I have to say it was an absolutely beautiful trophy that Betsee got. It’s special that it is in Robbie’s name. He is a good friend, and I’m honored to have won that.”
Quotable, an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding, has been no stranger to the spotlight this year. In fact, this was his third grand hunter championship in a row this month after also taking top honors at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and the PA National Horse Show.
“Every indoors he has just gotten better and better,” Farmer stated. “For these kinds of horse shows, especially this one, they have to be quiet horses, not hard to prepare. That played a lot into my decision of which ones we wanted to bring. They have to ride well, they have to be perfect lead changers, they have to brave, and they have to be easy to get to the ring for this horse show. Good horses know when it matters and step up. Good horses know how to win, I believe.”
Describing Quotable’s style and the special quality that keeps placing him in the winner’s circle, Farmer described, “He’s so smooth. He’s such a beautiful picture and he has such a beautiful canter. It all matches. He walks in the ring and it looks right. You never have to pick up the reins. There’s mistakes, he has a rail or something, but in general he tries to win.He knows when you take him in the ring for the conformation; he kind of has this air about him. He knows he’s the real deal and he’s not wrong!”
In addition to her success with Quotable, Farmer also topped the first championship of the day with her mount Mythical, owned by D. Larry Glefke and Dr. Kenneth Garber, in the High Performance Working Hunters sponsored by The Wasserman Foundation. Farmer and Mythical placed first, second and third over fences and second under saddle to earn The “NOT ALWAYS” Challenge Trophy, donated by Miss Peggy Steinman. The High Performance reserve championship was presented to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Everly, ridden by Scott Stewart, with a win under saddle and second, second and third place ribbons over fences.
Kelley Farmer and Mythical
Mythical and Farmer were also presented with the very special Protocol Trophy, sponsored by Platinum Performance, as the overall High Point High Performance Working Hunter from the Devon Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show.
Farmer has a special connection with Mythical, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding, and was very happy to receive the significant award. “That, to me, is really special,” she smiled. “Rosalynn won that with me a couple years ago, and I think that’s really special, especially because it goes over the three horse shows. I love a conformation horse, but in my heart and soul, my favorite is still a real four-foot horse, and especially when my First Year horse won it. I love Quotable, and I love all my horses, but Mythical, he’s my horse. He is appropriately named. I think it defines him.”
In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Scott Stewart guided Krista & Alexa Weisman’s Showman to championship honorsand was presented with The Mary Farren Perpetual Trophy. Stewart and Showman placed sixth in both jumping classes on Tuesday and won the stake and under saddle classes on Wednesday to top the division. They also won in the model. Farmer and Quotable finished in reserve, placing second in the model, first and third over fences, and fourth under saddle.
Also competing on Wednesday, the First Year Green Working Hunter division concluded with a championship win for Scott Stewart, this time aboard Fashion Farm’s Loyalty. Stewart and Loyalty placed third, second and third over fences and finished second under saddle. Farmer and Skorekeeper earned another reserve tricolor after placing first and second over fences and sixth under saddle.
The Second Year Green Working Hunter championship was presented as well with an exciting win for Peter Pletcher aboard David Gochman’s Romance. Pletcher and Romance placed third, third and first over fences and second under saddle. John French and Oscany, Inc.’s Small Celebration finished in reserve with a win under saddle and second, second and fourth place ribbons in the three classes over fences.
The Windy Acres Challenge Trophy was presented earlier in the morning. The trophy, donated by Mr. James O. Pease, is awarded to the overall winner of classes 24 and 34 for the best Green Working Hunter stake round. Pletcher’s high score of 87 in the Second Year Green Working Hunter Stake with Romance was best.
After a very successful morning, Pletcher and the nine-year-old gelding, Romance, were honored with The Claire Lang Miller Challenge Trophy as the show’s Grand Green Working Hunter Champions. This was Romance’s first time competing at WIHS and an exciting victory for owners and rider.
Gochman and Portela Named Leading Riders and Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Champions
The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition on Wednesday and awarded championship honors as well. The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” championship was awarded to Becky Gochman of New York, NY, riding David Gochman’s Sambalino. The pair earned the Frank Counselman Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Frank Counselman. Gochman was also presented with the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider Award for the 3’6” level for her success in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Over 35 division.
Winning the division championship, Gochman and Sambalino placed sixth over fences and second under saddle on Tuesday and then dominated the competition on Wednesday with back to back wins and scores of 90 and 92 in the handy and stake classes. Ace of Spades and Emily Morin finished in reserve after placing second, second, and fourth over fences and first under saddle.
Gochman was also presented with The Shari Hollis Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Late Col. J.B. Hollis and Ms. Jeannie Hollis, which is presented to the overall winner of classes 54 and 64 in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” stake rounds for Sambalino’s high score of 92. This was the third year in a row that the pair earned the award.
After her winning presentation, Gochman explained that Sambalino, an 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba Hit, tends to excel on the second day of competition at WIHS each year.
“The first day has always been kind of so-so, but he seems to pick it up in the handy class,” she noted. “He’s a horse who likes to pay attention, so I think he especially enjoys the handy classes because he just waits for your direction, and he can really show off then. His stride is so adjustable that he really can make anything work. All I have to do is look where I’m going and make sure he knows where he’s going, and he will do his job for sure.”
“I love this show so much, being the last city show left,” Gochman detailed. “I have such a good time here with my husband. This is the show we go to without the girls in the beginning of the week and we have a fun time. We enjoy the town a lot.”
After four years together, Gochman and ‘Samba’ have formed a great partnership, and they stay in top form thanks to help from trainers Peter Pletcher and Steve Weiss. Gochman is very careful to keep Samba in good shape and hopes that someday her daughters will be able to show him as well.
“We know he is a very special, one of a kind guy,” Gochman stated. “We take the best care of him, and he gives us everything back. God willing, my kids will be able to ride him in a few years if we take good care of him, and I would love to see that.”
“He is just so pretty and sweet and easy on the eyes,” Gochman described. “He’s like a stuffed animal, and he just goes out there and poses. He is kind of crabby in the warm-up areas, but once he gets out under saddle, he couldn’t put his ears more forward than he does. He’s a ham. When he wants to win, he does it by himself. All I have to do is look and let him know where he is, and he is into it. He is a real show horse.”
In the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 division, the championship was awarded to Darwin and Kelly Tropin for their three second place finishes over fences. Winnetoe and owner/rider Montana Coady finished in reserve with first and fourth place ribbons over fences and a second under saddle.
In the Amateur-Owner Working Hunter 3’3” 18-35 championship, Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA, guided Lifetime to victory with a win under saddle and second, third, and third place ribbons over fences. Melissa Jacobs and Deeridge Farms’ So You Say finished in reserve after placing first, second and fourth over fences.
As the day continued, it was a clean sweep for Daryl Portela and Isalou, Inc.’s Winner in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Over 35 division for the second year in a row at WIHS. In the championship, sponsored by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, the pair won all three jumping classes and the under saddle. They were then awarded the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Championship, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Earnest M. Oare, and Portela was named the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider for the 3’3” division overall.
On the way to their championship win, the pair also earned the Best Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Stake Round, an award presented to the overall winner of class 74 and 84 with their high score of 88. The Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Over 35 reserve champion was Fashion Farms’ Declaration, ridden by Glen Senk, with second and third place ribbons over fences and a fifth in the under saddle.
Portela, of Southwest Ranches, FL, won all four classes in the division with Winner last year as well. That was just the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding’s second time competing at the venue, and she noted that he seems to like it. “I told (my trainer) Jimmy (Torano), ‘He loves Washington,’” Portela smiled.
“I think I put more pressure on myself than Jimmy or anybody does,” Portela said of the desire to win. “Yesterday, I went and got the 92. He was incredible yesterday and then I wanted to go in and win the first class today, the handy, so I knew it could be done. Then Jimmy said for the stake round, ‘Go in there, canter down to the first jump, (and) I don’t care if you miss. I can’t stand when people go in there and pick, pick, pick and they’re slow. It’s a stake round and that’s what it’s supposed to be about.’ He said, ‘Get a lick,’ and that’s what I did and it was great.”
After riding as a junior, Portela showed on and off as an adult between work and kids and then took almost ten years off before she got back into the show ring with Winner. Her husband saw the horse with Torano and after sitting on Winner one time, Portela knew she had to have him. She is now having the ride of a lifetime with wins at some of the nation’s top competitions.
Jumpers Complete Their First Day at WIHS
The jumpers took to the arena for the first time on Wednesday with children’s, adult and open jumper classes. Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela is the course designer this week. The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship was the first class to be held with an exciting win for 14-year-old Grace Knox of North Barrington, IL, riding Rapidash. For the win, the pair was presented with The H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Fen.
Twenty-nine entries showed over the first round course with 13 competitors jumping clear to advance to the jump-off. Only four were able to clear the second round course in a race against the clock, and Knox and Rapidash had the fastest time in 28.93 seconds, last to go for the win. Wimberly Debono and Tusker finished second in 30.97 seconds. Adeline Rohrbach was third with Snow White in 31.38 seconds, and Lili Hymowitz placed fourth aboard Siboney Ranch’s Belle Bleu S in 31.64 seconds.
Grace Knox and Rapidash
Class winner, Rapidash, is an 11-year-old Appendix gelding that Knox has had for two years. This was Knox’s first time showing at WIHS and a great night for the rider, who is trained by Mary and Lisa Goldman in Illinois.
“I didn’t really know what it was going to be like, but I really like showing in the stadium,” Knox stated after her win. “He was great. I’m not sure if he has ever been here before, but before this he was at Harrisburg. He takes big rings really well and never really looks at the jumps. I always expect him to spook at jumps, but he just puts his ears forward and goes to the jump even more.”
The pair blazed through the jump-off course over two seconds faster than the second place finishers. Commenting on her strategy, Knox explained, “What I think before I go in there is, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ I didn’t want to go as fast as I could because with him, I can go really fast, but that is when I get rails. I just wanted to make sure to hold on to him and not drop him to any of the jumps and turn him in the air. I have to make sure he doesn’t fall in during any of the turns.”
The $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship was held next in the evening session and the win went to Kristyn Duarte of South Russell, OH, riding Victoria Jolie V, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Manhattan. Thirty-one entries jumped in the class and ten qualified for the jump-off. Again, only four went double clear over the short course and it was Duarte’s time of 31.443 seconds that took top honors. For the win, Duarte was presented with The Dorothy Foote “Goodie” Taylor Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.
Second place went to Hope Batchelor and Orlando with a time of 31.823 seconds. Tammy Kelly and Belvedere finished third in 32.008 seconds, and Jessica Matelis and Chador were fourth in 33.311 seconds.
Duarte purchased Victoria Jolie V about a year ago from Colombian rider Daniel Bluman and the pair clicked quickly. “She’s opposite of anything you would hear about a chestnut mare,” the rider noted. “She’s extremely heavy on the flat and she may look hot, but she is only 15.2 hands, so she has to go for the striding. She is not hot at all. She is really a push ride.”
“I think once I got a partnership with her, she trusted me and she never says no to me, which is really special,” Duarte stated. “The course tonight rode very smoothly. I was worried about some of the jumps coming up a little bit quick because it’s a more narrow ring, but she handled it really well. I always have a problem with over thinking and I don’t go fast enough, so I just kind of turned my brain off and kicked.”
It was a goal for Duarte all season to qualify for these championships and she was excited to see the progress that she has made this year. Although she has ridden for nine years, she just started doing the jumpers two years ago.
“My goal was to qualify. I’ve never been here or to Pennsylvania (Harrisburg),” she stated. “To win, I didn’t even imagine. I just wanted to get here, and I was very proud just to make that goal. Harrisburg was good, we finished fourth. This time, I went in knowing I had already made the jump-off. My goal was not to win it, but I’ll take it!
The day’s competition concluded with a $10,000 Open Jumper 1.45m speed class, sponsored by Oasis Petroleum, with 39 competitors and eight clear rounds. The win went to Ireland’s Conor Swail aboard Susan Grange’s Ariana with the fastest clear round in 46.21 seconds. Fellow Irishman Darragh Kenny cleared the course in 46.54 seconds with Oakland Ventures’ Top Gun IV to finish second. Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and Carlito C, owned by Franz Lens, placed third with their time of 47.55 seconds. USA’s Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm LLC’s Pumped Up Kicks finished fourth in 48.57 seconds.
The Washington International Horse Show continues on Thursday with the beginning of Junior Hunter competition in the morning and Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner and Open Jumper competition in the afternoon. A new $33,0000 Welcome Stake will complete the day session. The evening session will welcome local horse lovers, riders, trainers, and their families for Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery, beginning at 6 p.m. The $20,000 Open Jumper Gambler’s Choice costume class will be the highlight event of the evening.
The Washington International Horse Show Silent Auction is now available online with an easy-to-use bidding website. Don’t miss your chance to win special items that range from a private riding lesson with Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden to a Private Decorating Party at Georgetown Cupcake Lab. Other incredible items include two tickets to SaturdayNight Live’s live show, a diamond horseshoe pin from Tiny Jewel Box, full show attire from The Saddlery, and much, much more. Bid from your computer or smart phone at home, at the barn, at work, or anywhere you have Internet – just go to http://wihs.maestroweb.com.
The Acela Club on the Sky Box level of Verizon Center is the perfect place to socialize with friends and a wonderful vantage point for watching the action in the ring. WIHS is hosting three special social events and we hope you’ll join us! Have fun, watch great sport and support worthy local organizations. Party tickets include dinner and an open bar. $150/per person. Order by phone at 202-525-3679 or visit http://www.wihs.org/social-events/.
The Buck Breast Cancer event will be held from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday evening. Show your pink to benefit the Capital Breast Care Center and honor Laura Pickett, a well-loved local equestrian and trainer, who touched the lives of many in the horse world, and who lost her battle with breast cancer last year.
The Armed Forces Cup Reception will be featured from 7-10 p.m. on Friday featuring the launch of “Healthy Stables by Design” by John Blackburn to benefit five local therapeutic riding centers assisting military veterans: Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Therapeutic Riding and Recreation Center, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding and Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Therapy Program.
The President’s Cup Party, presented by Washington Life, will run from 6:30-10 p.m. on Saturday night. Wear your best equestrian chic and honor Washington’s diplomatic community with presenting partner, Washington Life.
To purchase tickets to these three parties, please visit http://www.wihs.org/social-events/.
Along with six days of world-class competition, WIHS features a unique boutique shopping experience for exhibitors and spectators alike. The main concourse at Verizon Center brings together a diverse group of vendors for everyone’s shopping enjoyment. Shoppers can find everything from equestrian tack and apparel to fine art and jewelry. This year’s show features over 50 vendor stands and boutiques for all of your shopping needs throughout the week.
Final Results: $10,000 Children’s Jumper Championship
Placing/Back Number/Horse/Rider/Rd. 1 Faults/Rd. 2 Faults/Time
1 196 RAPIDASH GRACE KNOX 0/0/28.930
2 203 TUSKER WIMBERLY DEBONO 0/0/30.970
3 267 SNOW WHITE ADELINE ROHRBACH 0/0/31.380
4 574 BELLE BLEU S LILI HYMOWITZ 0/0/31.640
5 534 SHINKANSEN DEVON MONROE 0/4/31.310
6 645 OLYMPIA DANIELLE DURYEA 0/4/31.690
NOELLE VAN PULIS
7 268 CLOUD 9 ADELINE ROHRBACH 0/4/32.380
8 728 BERLYSCA VAN DE VAELENBER SOPHIA GALI 0/4/32.610
KATE WORSHAM/ FOXCROFT SC
9 460 RESPONSE NIKKI PROKOPCHAK 0/4/32.860
10 722 LET’S GO JACQUELINE OLIVA 0/4/32.890
11 190 APOLLO MISSION SANDRA ZIMMERLI 0/4/33.450
12 223 REVELATION MEGHAN FLANAGAN 0/5/40.220
Final Results: $10,000 Adult Jumper Championship
Placing/Back Number/Horse/Rider/Rd. 1 Faults/Rd. 2 Faults/Time
1 749 VICTORIA JOLIE V KRISTYN DUARTE 0/0/31.443
2 115 ORLANDO HOPE BATCHELOR 0/0/31.823
3 411 BELVEDERE TAMMY KELLY 0/0/32.008
4 639 CHADOR JESSICA MATELIS 0/0/33.311
5 483 FOREVER BLUE CATHLEEN DRISCOLL 0/4/28.248
6 406 DURACELL MEG GEHRON 0/4/30.343
7 336 TIPPITOO VICKI LOWELL 0/4/30.915
8 254 CRUSADER AHMED ALALI 0/4/31.123
AAA EQUESTRIAN LLC
9 500 WHISPER LEXI MAOUNIS 0/4/31.548
10 253 TOMMY TUNE SARA PARRISH 0.00/elim.
11 226 MIDORI LYNN SEITHEL 2/61.005
12 246 BELLADONNA KATHERINE PONTONE 4/50.579
Final Results: $10,000 Open Jumper Time First Round
1 98 ARIANA CONOR SWAIL IRL 0/46.21
2 31 TOP GUN IV DARRAGH KENNY IRL 0/46.54
OAKLAND VENTURES LLC
3 1005 CARLITO C NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS BEL 0/47.55
4 81 PUMPED UP KICKS LILLIE KEENAN USA 0/48.57
CHANSONETTE FARM LLC
5 7 ROCKY W KAITLIN CAMPBELL USA 0/48.88
6 48 VANILLA BEEZIE MADDEN USA 0/50.22
7 34 BONITO R LAURA KRAUT USA 0/51.12
8 9 WANNICK WH CHRISTINE McCREA USA 0/54.77
CANDY TRIBBLE & WINDSOR S
9 12 CABRAS MARGIE ENGLE USA 1/55.13
ELM ROCK LLC
10 28 BONANZA VAN PAEMEL CATHERINE PASMORE USA 1/55.74
For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.
Photo Credit: Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography, www.shawnmcmillen.com. These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.
About The Washington International Horse Show:
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with leading riders, including Olympic medalists, and fabulous horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, the Puissance high-jump competition; and WIHS Equitation Classic Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Special exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities will round out this family-friendly event.
Since its debut, the Washington International has been a Washington, DC, institution attended by presidents, first ladies, celebrities, business and military leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.