Photo provided by Phelps Media Group
Lexington, KY – Oct. 29, 2015 – When 15 horses qualified for the jump-off during the $130,000 CP Grand Prix, presented by Copernicus Stables, at the CP National Horse Show, it was clear that it would require more than just scope to win the day. For Kent Farrington, the need for speed paid off because his mount Willow is always ready to race. The duo’s faultless and fast jump-off round topped the leaderboard, with Japan’s Karen Polle taking home third on With Wings, while Laura Kraut and Deauville S rounded out the top three.
“The National Horse Show has always been a big deal in the U.S.,” smiled Farrington. “It’s always great to win here. It was a fast jump off tonight. Laura Kraut put down an early winning time that I thought was going to be difficult to beat. Karen and her horse have really been on form lately. It’s a fast horse; I thought she put in a great round. I had to work today to win some money. Willow was fantastic in the ring, and I couldn’t have asked him to go better.”
As the second rider to return, Kraut set the pace to beat at 41.22 seconds on Deauville S, owned by Old Willow Farm. “I’m pleased with my horse,” said Kraut. “He jumped really well. This is the first time I’ve ever shown him indoors so I wasn’t really sure how he would be. He seems to be fine with it. I went early, and I was slow I felt from one back to two. I knew I was going to be caught. I was just happy to end up third and not sixth.”
Although the first round course for Thursday night’s event featured a few technical aspects with an oxer-vertical double combination and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination, the star studded field made light work of it, with 15 entries clearing Guilherme Jorge’s track. Two of those opted not to return for the final tiebreaker, but speed was not in short supply for the 13 remaining athletes.
“I have to say, when I looked at the course list there were really, really good horses jumping tonight, and I did think that it looked soft when I walked it,” commented Kraut. “There wasn’t anything that was terribly scopey. The verticals weren’t so big. I was a little bit surprised actually because it was a lot of money tonight. With the great group of horses and riders that are here, I thought [Jorge] could have been a little bit harder, but I’m certain Sunday will be difficult.”
Farrington added, “I thought the time allowed was a bit generous. That was also something that could have been adjusted. You end up with 15 clear in a class like that – that’s a big jump-off for a class of that money. I don’t think that that was probably [Jorge’s] ideal plan in mind when he built it.”
Athletes who were clear but over the 42 second mark would be nudged out of the top spots as Ali Wolff on Brianda, Georgina Bloomberg on Caleno and Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam on Chauqui Z finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Two entries from Belgium managed to tie for the fourth place award with matching faultless rounds. Jos Verlooy on Sunshine and Olivier Philippaerts on H&M Challenge VD Begijakker each broke the beam 41.47 seconds.
Karen Polle and With Wings managed to best Kraut’s time by just 1/10th of second, breaking the beam at 41.12 seconds to take over the lead. “Kent is so fast,” admitted Polle. “To be second to him is almost like winning. I’ve had With Wings for five years now. The first time I sat on him I just knew that he was a special horse, and I knew that he was the horse for me. Obviously you never quite know, but I had a really good feeling when I bought him.”
The best was yet to come though, and Farrington proved why Willow consistently tops speed and grand prix events alike. The duos quick gallop across the course never let up, and turning back easily over each obstacle the dashed across the finish line in 40.24 seconds to lead the victory gallop at the end of the night, while Polle and Kraut finished second and third, respectively.
“Willow’s got a great gallop, and he has a massive stride,” noted Farrington. “You can kind of see once he gets going, he really opens up. He’s attacking the ground all the way around the course. He can turn very short back on fences.”
All three athletes are now focused on Sunday’s main event, the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington, presented by CP. Earlier in the day, the open jumper athletes had the opportunity to showcase their skills in the $35,000 International Open Jumper Faults Converted class, presented by The Dobbs Family. After finishing second in Wednesday’s $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed, Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, continued to prove herself at the top level of the sport. She and her quick mount Morocco bested Olympian McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, who was riding one of his top mounts, HH Carlos Z, owned by Double H Farm.
Ward was the first rider to beat Ireland’s Conor Swail, who had gone second in the class on Susan and Ariel Grange’s Martha Louise. They had a clear round in 54.92 seconds, which looked almost unbeatable throughout most of the class. Ward just narrowly edged them out of the lead when HH Carols Z cleared the course in 54.68 seconds near the end of the event, but it would not be good enough for the win. Goldman and Morocco galloped without holding back, and the careful gelding took over the top spot by 3/10ths of second when he stopped the clock at 54.37 seconds.
“I watched Conor go early in the class, and he was so smooth and so beautiful. I thought he had it,” said Goldman. “I don’t worry about the speed too much with Morocco because he is so fast. If I’m on, I generally have the time. I wasn’t sure if I had it, but I knew it was going to be right there.”
Beating world-class riders like Ward and Swail marks a major moment in Goldman’s budding professional career. “It’s a feeling you can’t even explain,” she expressed. “It’s something you watch every week when you’re a kid. I can’t believe that I’m here with my little Morocco. My horse is fast as McLain Ward’s. I can’t believe it. It’s such an honor to be here with the best in the world and for Morocco to be right up there with them.”
The first event of the day was the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, presented by Amalaya Investments and The Nusz Family, where Madison Goetzmann was competing in the jumpers for the first time at the CP National Horse Show. The junior rider proved that experience is not everything when she laid down the winning round in the speed class with Wrigley. The pair was faultless in 53.362, toping Catherine Tyree’s 53.745 second effort aboard Free Style VD Polderhof, owned by Joseph and Mary Tyree. Kelli Cruciotti scored the third and fourth place awards riding Zidante and Wallenberg, respectively, both owned by Serenity Equestrian Ventures.
“This is my first time competing in the jumpers here,” noted Goetzmann. “I’m very excited to have just won that class. It’s definitely a hype. I’m very excited to have this win and look forward to the rest of the week!”
Goetzmann continued, “My plan was to go in and have a smooth efficient round. I really feel like I made up time in the turns. She’s a super fast horse, and she’s always looking through the turns. I felt we were very efficient around the whole course.”
The second round of the USEF U25 National Championship was up next with a $20,000 jump-off event presented by The Porter Family, The Jacobs Family, The Jobs Family and The Keenan Family. Lucy Deslauriers of New York, New York, winner of the 2015 Prix des States Individual Gold medal and the 2015 Show Jumping Young Rider Individual Gold medal, once again showcased her winning partnership with Hester.
Hunter Holloway of Topeka, Kansas, produced the first clear jump-off effort with VDL Bravo S, owned by Hays Investments, setting the pace at 33.44 seconds. Catherine Tyree of Chicago, Illinois, was up next with Joseph and Mary Tyree’s Enjoy Louis, and she took over the lead with a clear round in 31.41 seconds, but with Deslauriers up next Tyree knew her lead would not last long. Deslauriers and Hester picked up a quick gallop to the first fence and never held back, dashing across the finish line in a faultless 30.74 seconds to claim the victory.
“I knew Catherine definitely was on it and didn’t leave much on the table, so I knew I would really have to go for it and not be safe anywhere,” explained Deslauriers. “All year Hester has been really incredible and done everything I’ve asked of him. Yesterday, I didn’t ride my best so I was definitely looking to put in as good a round today as I could. I’m very happy.”
Jumper action will continue on Friday with the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, presented by Amalaya Investments and The Nusz Family and the $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class, presented by Salamander Hotels and Resort. The main highlight of the week will be Sunday afternoon, when the best athletes in the world will compete in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington, presented by CP.
RESULTS: $130,000 CP Grand Prix 1. 288 Willow Farrington, Kent USA 0 penalties 40.24 sec
2. 480 With Wings Polle, Karen JPN 0 penalties 41.12 sec
3. 259 Deauville S Kraut, Laura USA 0 penalties 41.22 sec
4. 573 Sunshine Verlooy, Jos BEL 0 penalties 41.47 sec
4. 577 H&M Challenge vd Begijnakker Philippaerts, Olivier BEL 0 penalties 41.47 sec
6. 305 Brianda Wolff, Ali USA 0 penalties 42.58 sec
7. 281 Caleno Bloomberg, Georgina USA 0 penalties 43.04 sec
8. 261 Chaqui Z Sweetnam, Shane IRL 0 penalties 44.17 sec
9. 308 Cafino Colvin, Victoria USA 4 penalties 40.43 sec
10. 478 Woklahoma Teran Tafur, Roberto COL 4 penalties 43.24 sec
11. 285 Centurion B Goldman, Lisa USA 4 penalties 44.51 sec
12. 283 HH Azur Ward, McLain USA 4 penalties 45.83 sec
$35,000 International Open Jumper Faults Converted 1. 286 Morocco Goldman, Lisa USA 54.37 seconds
2. 284 HH Carlos Z Ward, McLain USA 54.68 seconds
3. 474 Martha Louise Swail, Conor IRL 54.92 seconds
4. 481 Alsvid Moloney, Richie IRL 55.54 seconds
5. 291 Platinum Timm, Kyle CAN 55.81 seconds
6. 578 H&M Harley vd Bisschop Philippaerts, Nicola BEL 56.20 seconds
7. 572 Caddie R Verlooy, Jos BEL 57.25 seconds
8. 258 Constable II Kraut, Laura USA 57.55 seconds
9. 484 Hickstead’s Axel Wordley, Sharn NZL 57.98 seconds
10. 266 Indigo Goldstein-Engle, Margie USA 59.34 seconds
11. 262 Easy Contact Humlan Sweetnam, Shane IRL 59.45 seconds (55.45)
12. 294 Quidams Good Luck Vale, Aaron USA 60.10 seconds (56.10)
$20,000 USEF U25 National Championship Round II 1. 550 Hester Deslauriers, Lucy 0 penalties 30.74 sec
2. 563 Enjoy Louis Tyree, Catherine 0 penalties 31.41 sec
3. 589 VDL Bravo S Holloway, Hunter 0 penalties 33.44 sec
4. 583 Echo D Gilbertson, Lacey 4 penalties 32.32 sec
5. 564 Chamonix H Cruciotti, Kelli 4 penalties 33.42 sec
6. 556 Cadence Gates, Jennifer 4 penalties 36.89 sec
7. 582 Beezie Barnhill, Hayley 1 penalty 73.47 sec
8. 594 Fantasy Tritschler, Ali 4 penalties 66.91 sec
9. 569 Orientales Morgello, Sima 4 penalties 68.91 sec
10. 562 Goldfinger Vd Hengstenpoel Bagworth, Sarah 4 penalties 69.02 sec
11. 565 Qurint Waters, Hayley 4 penalties 69.80 sec
12. 552 All In Strauss, Katherine 4 penalties 70.10 sec
$10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers 1. 964 Wrigley Goetzmann, Madison 0 penalties 53.362 sec
2. 815 Free Style Vd Polderhof Tyree, Catherine 0 penalties 53.745 sec
3. 623 Zidante Cruciotti, Kelli 0 penalties 53.982 sec
4. 624 Wallenberg Cruciotti, Kelli 0 penalties 54.991 sec
5. 625 Betty Boop III Cunniffe, Ailish 0 penalties 55.666 sec
6. 626 Perfect De Coquerie Cunniffe, Ailish 0 penalties 55.782 sec
7. 834 Sandor De La Pomme Jobs, Eve 0 penalties 56.604 sec
8. 717 Nightfire 25 Kerkorian, Kira 0 penalties 58.033 sec
9. 724 Werner 61 Gassel, Haley 0 penalties 58.629 sec
10. 827 True Love Demartini, Leah 0 penalties 59.220 sec
11. 794 Faemes Van T Poelzelhof Seaman, Callie 0 penalties 59.778 sec
Stephanie Danhakl and Ellen Toon Top Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunters
Lexington, KY – Oct. 29, 2015 – Ellen Toon captured her first National Horse Show championship in 1994, and now, more than 20 years and many championships later, the thrill of winning at the prestigious year-end show remains.
Toon experienced that thrill again Thursday morning at the CP National Horse Show as she and her own Mirror Image captured the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Over 35 Hunter Championship and the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter Grand Championship.
Ellen Toon and Mirror Image. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
While Toon is no stranger to the National Horse Show, this is her first time traveling to the indoor final since it made the move to the Kentucky Horse Park, and this week marks her first time ever riding in Kentucky – an experience Toon has very much enjoyed.
“As a horse person, it’s just so fabulous,” Toon said. “It’s just so beautiful. This is beyond. The ring is like riding outside; it’s so nice.”
Mirror Image also seemed to appreciate the spacious Alltech Arena, as the mare turned in consistently beautiful trips, winning both the first over fences round and the under saddle Wednesday and finishing second in the stake round Thursday morning.
Ellen Toon and Mirror Image
“In just one year, she’s become such a made horse,” Toon said of the mare she purchased roughly a year and a half ago. “She was an experienced jumper, but she didn’t know how to be a hunter. I think she just keeps getting better and better. It’s amazing how far she’s come in such a short time. She came pretty far quickly to be an acceptable hunter, and now she’s just fabulous.”
Toon continued, “She’s so much fun to ride. It’s indescribable. She’s so scopey. She can walk the lines. She doesn’t like to touch the jumps. She’s not at all spooky, but she’s very careful.”
The CP National Horse Show Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter Grand Championship marked the conclusion to an extremely impressive indoors season for Toon and Mirror Image that included a reserve championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter Grand Championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
Stephanie Danhakl’s indoor season has panned out very similarly to Toon’s, and the results at the CP National Horse Show bore a striking similarity to the results at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, as it was again Danhakl who joined Toon as an Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter champion.
Stephanie Danhakl and Golden Rule
Danhakl and Golden Rule kicked off the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ 18-35 Hunters, sponsored by Suzanne Thoben Marquard, with a third place finish over fences and a fifth place finish under saddle Wednesday, and the rider came into the competition Thursday determined to improve upon her performance.
“Yesterday I didn’t have as good a round as he normally goes, and we didn’t get a great ribbon in the hack,” Danhakl explained. “I knew that today I had to probably win both in order to be champion, so there was a lot of pressure on for today, but I have so much confidence in him. I think he’s the best horse in the world. I knew that if I rode well, he was going to bring me to the blue. I just tried to focus on that today and not be nervous and ride every jump. He went beautifully. I think today was the best he’s gone all indoors. He jumped so high over everything and round. It’s such an incredible feeling over the jumps on him. I’m so happy to end this way, and I’m really proud of him.”
Stephanie Danhakl and Golden Rule. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
The reserve championships in the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunters were awarded to Nicole Hiehle and Lovely Charity in the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters and Darby Toben and Chapman ET in the Amateur-Owner 3’6″ 18-35 Hunters.
The Junior 3’3″ Hunters also kicked off their divisions Thursday morning with over fences wins going to Alex Trolli on Hey Sailor and Sophia Pilla on CC Cool. Hunter competition continues Friday at the CP National Horse Show with the conclusion of the Junior 3’3″ Hunters and the start of the Junior 3’6″ Hunters.