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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Competitions

Ben Maher on Jane Clark's Tic Tac won the $137,000 Grand Prix at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.-- Olympic team gold medalist Ben Maher of Great Britain and the 18-year-old stallion Tic Tac, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, came out on top by just one one-hundredth of a second to win the $137,000  Grand Prix CSI3* at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Ben Maher on Tic Tac SportfotBen Maher on Tic Tac (Photo by Sportfot)On the derby field at Equestrian Village, 42 entries tackled the course designed by Oscar Soberon with 12 qualifying to return for the jump-off.

Maher was clean in 43.56 seconds, just one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Canada’s Eric Lamaze.

“It was my lucky day, and sometimes it just happens like that,” Maher said. “Eric is one of the fastest riders in the world, and he was on a great horse, so I think I had the luck of the draw. I was also on an experienced horse. Tic Tac is 18 and doesn’t come out very often, but he gives me great confidence, and he did everything right for me today.”

It certainly came down to the wire with some of the world’s best riders giving the shortened course their best shot.

Olympic gold medalist Lamaze also had a veteran partner for the test, finishing a close second on 18-year-old Fine Lady 5 in 43.57 seconds.

“Fine Lady is naturally very fast,” said Lamaze. “I’ve had a few classes where we went too fast and paid for it, and I asked myself, ‘Why did I go so fast?’ I was trying to keep a good rhythm. I knew who was coming behind me; Ben is one of the best riders in the world. I knew I rode a fast course.”

Rounding out the top three was another rider known to be quite speedy, Conor Swail of Ireland with 13-year-old Holsteiner mare GK Coco Chanel, going clean in 44.04 seconds.

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McLain Ward wins 1.50m on the Derby Field at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--McLain Ward rode Contagious to win the $37,000, 1.50m Classic CSI3* on Saturday, Jan. 23.

McLain Ward on Contagous SportfotMcLain Ward on Contagous (Photo by Sportfot)Over a course designed by Oscar Soberon, 12 returned for the jump-off, but it was Ward who had a clean and fast performance to win in a time of 36.83 seconds.

“My plan got a little screwed up this week," said Ward. "It was this horse’s first time back in FEI competition, and I didn’t want to jump two big classes, so I tried to use a younger horse in the qualifier. Unfortunately, that horse got a little bug-eyed and made some mistakes, so there was no grand prix for us this week.”

“For Contagious, that wasn’t the worst thing in the world, coming back to work with an important year ahead," Ward said. "It was a softer round for him today. I thought he was prepared well for the grand prix, which he proved today. He jumped a beautiful, easy first round, and I thought it was a nice jump-off for him. He’s a careful horse, and I’m just trying to be as efficient as possible, and that worked out well today.”

"He gets a week off now, and then we’ll do the four-star in two weeks." said Ward. "I won’t make the same mistake. He’ll be the one doing the qualifier and hopefully the grand prix, and then we’ll do the second big five-star. After that we’ll see where we are at and go from there.”

Second place in the 1.50m Classic CSI3* went to Shane Sweetnam, eho rides for Ireland,, on  Ideal, whowas clean in 37.26 seconds, and third also went to Sweetnam on Indra van de Oude Heihoef, clean in 37.84 seconds.

Todd Minikus beats Laura Chapot in the 1.40m Jumpers at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Todd Minikus of Wellington on Napolean Of Picobello beat Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, N.J., on Thornhill Kate by eight/tenths of a second in section A of the $6,000 1.40m Jumpers on Jan. 20 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Todd Minikus on Napoleon Of Picobello SportfotTodd Minikus on Napoleon Of Picobello (Photo by Sportfot)Minikus finished in 23.950  to beat Chapot's 24.769, while Laura Kraut on Didem du Thot finished clean in 25.729 to place third.

Alberto Michan of Isreal on Cosa Nostra, clean in 24.221, won section B over Sarah Hubbard on Latino van de Looise Heide, clean in 25.352, with Lauren Hough on Viva placing third in 26.139

The class drew a field of 105 entries, divided into the two sections, as the second week of the WEF got underway at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Minikus has ridden the 9-year-old Zangersheide stallion Napoleon Of Picobello for the past nine months, and he is starting to find a rhythm.

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Ireland's Bertram Allen, Sydney Shulman and Scott Stewart win at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Ireland’s Bertram Allen rode the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Pacino Amiro to win the $37,000 Challenge Cup Round 2 CSI3* on the Derby Field at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Friday, Jan. 22.

Bertram Allenon Pacino Amiro SportfotBertram Allen on Pacino Amiro (Photo by Sportfot)The Challenge Cup had a starting field of 78 entries with 12 electing to return for the jump-off.

In the second round, many combinations opted to do nine strides to the final fence on course, but Allen did it in eight strides to fly over the final oxer and finish in 39.72 seconds.

“I thought it was a good, tough class, and it was quite a long track in the jump-off,” he said. “My guy is a little bit inexperienced; you could see that at the start of the jump-off, but the more he went, the better he got. I could use his big stride in the big arena, so it worked well for me. He’s only 9, so he’s only stepping up to this level but he’s a very genuine, kind horse that’s always trying do the right thing.”

Paris Sellon was clean on Anna Jo, finishing just over a second off the lead in a time of 40.77 seconds to place second, and Enrique Gonzalez of Mexico on Chacna was third in 42.40 seconds.

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Kent Farrington and Tracy Fenney awarded International and National Equestrian of the Year titles

LEXINGTON, Ky.--Kent Farrington of Wellington, Fla., was awarded the 2020 International Equestrian of the Year and Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, the 2020 National Equestrian of the Year at the U.S> Equestrian Federation's virtual annual meeting.

farringtonkentgazelleusa aa19brinkman7 21j2 8783 largeKent Farrington (Shannon Brinkman Photo)They were both voted the award by the USEF membership, while Farrington was the only option due to the Covid shortened 2020 horse show schedule.

Farrington and Fenney, along with many more outstanding equestrians, were recognized for their achievements during the virtual USEF Horse of the Year Awards Celebration.

And, while Farrington won the equestrian award, his mount Gazelle, Robin Parsky and Kent Farrington’s 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, was voted the 2020 International Horse of the Year .

Pritchard Hill, Balmoral’s 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding, was voted the 2020 National Horse of the Year by the USEF membership.

Gazelle and Pritchard Hill were also honored during the virtual USEF Horse of the Year Awards Celebration.

Kent Farrington is one of top jumping athletes in the world, consistently producing dominant results in the United States and abroad year after year.

Farrington’s roots in equestrian sport started in Chicago, Ill., where he began riding at the age of 8.

He quickly made his mark, ascending through the junior ranks before turning professional in 2000.

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Lyle and LaGoy-Weltz win again at the Dressage Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Adrienne Lyle and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz both scored their second victories at the Global Dressage Festival on Jan. 16 and 17.

Adrienne Lyle on Harmonys Duval Susan Stickle 2Adrienne Lyle on Harmony's Duval (Photo by Susan Stickle)Lyle rode Harmony’s Duval to their second win, this time in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, scoring 74.830 percent on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Lyle was three percentage points above second-place finisher Jennifer Williams, who earned a personal best score of 72.192 percent on Millione, and third went to Susan Pape of Great Britain on Harmony's Eclectisch, who received a 71.724 percent from judges.

“He felt much more comfortable in his own skin today,” said Lyle of the gelding. “I was really happy with him. He felt much softer in his back, and the connection through the ride was a lot better than in our test on Thursday. He was really able to show off some of his highlights today, and I’m thrilled with the overall performance.”

“He’s always had a lot of talent for the collected work, the piaffe, passage, pirouettes," said Lyle. "When he’s nice and supple and happy like he was today, he really shows it off nicely. With him, we’re always trying to find ways to keep him relaxed mentally in his work. He tries very hard, and we always work to keep a very clear understanding between us about what I’m asking of him.”

After two successful competition weeks  at the Festival and competition at the Festival venue in December, Lyle does not have a definitive plan as to when the pair will compete next, but intends to give Duval a chance to have a bit of fun.

“He has done so well, and we won’t train super hard in between shows,” she said. “He gets to go home and have a little bit of fun!”

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Beezie Madden on Breitling LS won $137 WEF Grand Prix

WELLINGTON, Fla.--U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Beezie Madden on Breitling LS won the $137,000 Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday, Jan. 16, in the first international grand prix of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival circuit at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Beezie Madden on Breitling SportfotBeezie Madden on Breitling (Photo by Sportfot)There were 44 entries in the grand prix, competing over a course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio and Andy Christiansen Jr. of Ecuador consisting of 13 numbered obstacles, and only three were clean to move on to the jump-off in the first of four grand prix events under the lights for the 2021 circuit.

Sydney Shulman of Isreal on J-Boston S.E. was the first to go in the jump-off, but with a rail in the double combination, her four faults in 48.86 seconds landed her in third place.

“Tonight was actually his second night class ever," said Shulman. "I’d only gotten to do him one time in Tryon this summer, and we went at 6:30 in the first 10 in the class, so it wasn’t really under the lights. This was his first class here under the lights."

“We’re just building up,” she said. “I was thrilled with the way he jumped the first round. He made it really easy for me. He’s had a long break and is just getting back into the groove. I wanted to make it a confident experience this time so it can carry us through the rest of the circuit. I was really happy with that result.”

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Adrienne Lyle and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz win during first two days of the Global Dressage Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Adrienne Lyle on Harmony's Duval won the FEI Grand Prix CDI3* with a score of 71.304 percent as the Global Dressage Festival began its10th season at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington on Thursday, Jan. 14.

Adrienne Lyle onHarmonys Duval SusanStickleAdrienne Lyle on Harmonys Duval (Photo by Susan Stickle)The Festival hosts 10 weeks of international and national dressage competition until April 4, and free live streaming and on-demand of select classes are available to view at GlobalDressageFestival.com.

“I was quite happy with him,” said Lyle. “He’s a little more nervous than I was anticipating. I don’t know if it’s the cooler weather or what, but he was a little on edge, which is interesting because we’ve shown here plenty of times before. There was a bit of a different horse in there today. We lost a few points in our piaffe and passage, which were lacking a bit of harmony and elastic energy, and that can be such a highlight for him. Now we take this, and we move on to the Grand Prix Special. That’s a test that really counts for us, but this was a good starting place.”

The gelding has now marked six wins in his last 13 starts, and Lyle hopes to continue on and refine their work this season.

“With him, this is his second year at the Grand Prix," said Lyle. "He knows his stuff now, but we’ve been trying to polish it all up. We’ve done a lot of halt rein-back, a lot of cantering and halting, and just a lot of work with halts because he’s not a huge fan of them, so we’ve worked on those moments where he could possibly get distracted and lose points.”

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Lillie Keenan, Molly Ashe Cawley aand Eric Lamaze win at WEF

 WELLINGTON, Fla.--Lillie Keenan won the $37,000 WEF Challenge on Jan. 14 during the first week of international competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival, while Molly Ashe Cawley won the 1.50m class and Canadian Eric Lamaze opened the week with a win in the 1.45m class.

Lillie Keenan on Agana Van Het Gerendal Z. SportfotLillie Keenan on Agana Van Het Gerendal Z (Photo by Sportfot)There was fierce competition in the Challenge Cup Round 1 CSI3* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, with Keenan riding Agana Van Het Gerendal Z to win over a field of 73 competitors.

Riders from seven different nations made the jump-off, with Keenan, last to go, going clean in 39.95 seconds.

“I had a different plan if no one had been clear,” she said. “I knew I could do six down to the combination where a lot of people opted to do seven. In the first round I did seven; my horse is ridiculously talented so really my job is to stay out of his way. So, in that kind of situation with the speed I would be going in a jump-off, the six was simpler, because I was going to do less. Obviously, Shane Sweetnam was not only fast but also clear, so what changed was that I not only had to go fast, I had to try to be faster than him and clear.”

Sweetnam of Ireland on Indra Van De Oude Heihoef had been the first to finish the jump-off clean, and he finished second in 40.51 seconds.

Cassio Rivetti of Brazil on Genesis was third in 43.15 seconds.

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McLain Ward wins the first Grand Prix of the WEF 13 week season

WELLINGTON, Fla.--McLain Ward began his winter season in a familiar way by winning the $75,000 Grand Prix at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Jan. 10

McLain Ward on Catoki SportfotMcLain Ward on Catoki (Photo by Sportfot)Ward and Catoki topped four speedy entries with the only double clear effort of the day to claim the victory.

Ward was one of four from a field of 30 entries, and then he set the pace in the jump-off with a clean round in 36.846 seconds.

Last to go in the jump-off was Canada’s Erynn Ballard, with two big wins under her belt over the past week, but a rail at the second to last fence landing her in second in 36.994 seconds on Kamilla D.

Grace Debney, 16 of Hampden, Mass., was the first clean on Zarina de Vidau in just her third career Grand Prix.

Debney was the first to return in the jump-off as well, finishing with just one knockdown in 37.126 seconds to place third.

Nick Dello Joio on Gelvera had four faults in the jump-off, and with a time of 37.652 seconds, finished fourth.

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WEF opened for 13 weeks of competition with Ramiro Quintana and Erynn Ballard posting victories

WELLINGTON, Fla.--The 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) opened its first day of 112 weeks of competition on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, a welcome return after an early cancellation of the final two weeks of competition in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erynn Ballard and Harvester 588 0575 SportfotErynn Ballard on Harvester (Photo bySportfot)Ramiro Quintana of Argentina scored the first major victory while Canadian Erynn Ballard scored twice in the first four days,

Quintana on Hemerald-Balia started the season off with a victory on the first day in the $8,000, 1.45m Jumpers with a clear ride in 31.67 seconds, a five second lead over the second placed Johan Kachelhoffer of Germany on Gabrovo, who finished in 36.85 seconds, with Victoria Colvin on Bipper Du Libaire third in 40.54 seconds.

On the second day of competition, Ballard on Walter White won the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Premiere Round.

Of the 37 competitors, 14 were clean to advance to the jump-off.

Riding out of the third spot in the jump-off, Ballard was chasing fast times set by the first two in the ring.

Shane Sweetnam of Ireland, riding Ideal, posted a time of 36.901 seconds for second and U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward on Kasper van het Hellehof was clean in 37.062 seconds for third place.

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Darragh Kenny wins again in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Irishman Darragh Kenny on Scarlett Du Sart Z on Dec. 20 continued his winning streak at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center as the fastest in the $25,000 New Year’s Grand Prix class of 41 entries from 12 nations.

Darragh Kenny on Scarlett Du Set Z Anne GittinsDarragh Kenny on Scarlett Du Seth Z (Photo by Anne Gittins)There will be one more show before the New Year, and then the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival will take place from Jan. 6  to April 4.

“I’ve had Scarlett Du Sart Z since she was 6-turning-7." said Kenny of the 13-year-old Zangersheide mare. "Teddy Vlock owns her; he bought her as a 6-year-old, and we’ve been producing her and bringing her along the whole time. I think a lot of her. She’s a very, very good grand prix horse. She didn’t do much this summer, and I wanted to get her fit and ready in the fall for the bigger shows after Christmas.”

“I know she has a massive stride, and she’s very, very careful," said Kenny. "I knew I could take a lot of risks with her, so I took one less stride in the first line, and I knew the last line would be easy for me to do the eight strides. She’s just such a good horse that it’s easy to go fast with her. I think that she has such a big stride and she’s so quick across the ground, so I think that’s where I got the advantage today.”

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Erynn Ballard wins the $25,000 Grand Prix in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.-–Canadian Erynn Ballard on Classic Penny won the $25,000 National Grand Prix over 38 contestants on Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Holiday III Show at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Erynn Ballard on Classic Anne GittinsErynn Ballard on Classic (Photo by Anne Gittins)“Classic Penny was amazing," said Ballard. "These classes in between the big ones are so nice to make a young one up. It was a nice opportunity for her to be in a big ring in a big class, and it’s a super nice win for her resume. I thought the course was really fair. There were plenty clear, but you had a huge group of horses in it, and some really big names. Our horse is only 8 and moving up, so for her it was a step up and she handled it beautifully. She’s very fast.”

Sixteen riders from five different nations  were clean to move on to the jump-off.

As the fifth-to-last to go, Ballard knew that the leading time of 37.87 seconds was from Jessica Mendoza on Casanova 499,  but slicing more than a full second off the leading pair’s time, Ballard finished in 36.74 seconds to win.

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Laura Kraut on Confu wins the $214,000 Holiday II Grand Prix CSI4*

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Laura Kraut rode Confu to win the $214,000 Holiday II Grand Prix CSI4* on Dec. 13 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Laura Kraut on Confu Carly NasznicLaura Kraut on Confu (Photo by Carly Nasznic)“I have to say, I don’t know what year I’m on with him, maybe my fifth or sixth, but he has just been such a great partner for me,” said Kraut of Confu, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Contact Me x Cambridge. “He’s like my security blanket. Whenever I need one to come out and do something well, it’s him. I appreciate him every time I get to jump him and when he performs like this it just makes everything wonderful. Now I can rest easy for a few weeks and be happy with that! It was great. Anytime you win a class like this, it’s why we do it.”

The international field of 45 entries in the Grand Prix represented 10 nations, including the United States, Israel, Ireland, Great Britain, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, and Colombia.

Eleven qualified for the jump-off course, Bliss Heers on Antidote De Mars, Schuyler Riley on Robin De Ponthual, Lucy Deslauriers and Hester, Todd Minikus on Amex Z, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson with Akuna Mattata, Jessica Springsteen on Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve, Daniel Bluman on Colestina H, Kraut aboard Confu, Shane Sweetnam of Ireland on Alejandro, Harrie Smolders of Switzerland on Monaco and Margie Engle on Royce.

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Darragh Kenny wins $37,000 1.45m class in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Darragh Kenny of Ireland on Belo Horizonte won the $37,000 1.45m CSI4* class over 56 competitors on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Darragh Kenny on Belo Horizonte present Anne GittinsDarragh Kenny on Belo Horizonte (Photo by Anne Gittins)Kenny also rode Belo Horizonte to win the $25,000 Year End National Grand Prix last week.

“I think in all of the classes I’ve jumped him in, he’s had one jump down,” said Kenny of Belo Horizonte, a 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Baloubet du Rouet out of Clearway. “He’s extremely careful. I was just happy I rode well today and the horse went great so it was a nice result.”

The course of 12 fences up to 1.45m in height and a time-allowed of 85 seconds produced 19 clear rounds, with McLain Ward on Catoki leading for the majority of the class.

Ward also rode Catoki to win the $37,000 Holiday II Opener CSI4* on Thursday and was looking to add another win to their list for the week.

Ward ultimately finished third in 64.60 seconds.

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Lucy Deslauriers wins the $73,000 1.50m Holiday Show Qualifier in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Lisa Deslauriers rode Hester to add another FEI win to her resume with the victory in the $73,000 Sweet Oak Farm 1.50m Qualifier CSI4* at the ESP Holiday II CSI4* on Friday, Dec. 11 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Lucy Deslauriers on Hester Dec. 11 Anne GittinsLucy Deslauriers on Hester (Photo by Anne Gittins)Show jumpers came out in high numbers for the prize money classes, with a field of 66 in the Qualifier.

Deslauriers'  win was a welcome addition to her growing list of international successes after topping the $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4* on Nov. 29.

“It feels great to be back!” said Deslauriers on competing at the Center. “Obviously, it’s an interesting time for everyone. I had a little bit of a break at school. I was at school the past two months and came down two weeks ago, so I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things. Because of the strong people behind me that kept my horses going, it made this transition back into the grind of showing so much easier. It feels good. We’re lucky to be able to show and to get back into what we love doing while so many people are unable to do so. It’s definitely a fortunate situation we’re in.”

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McLain Ward wins Holiday show opener in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.--McLain Ward rode Catoki to win the $37,000 Holiday II Opener CSI4*, a class that drew 69 competitors to the International Arena to vie for the top prize and FEI ranking points.

McLaiin Ward on Catoki Anne GittinsMcLaiin Ward on Catoki (Photo by Anne Gittins)“He is so fast, so it’s kind of his job to try to win these classes and to pay for the others to show,” said Ward of the 2009 Westphalian gelding. “Kent had a great round on a very fast horse, and I was a little concerned the course didn’t actually suit Catoki because they were doing a leave-out in one line in the speed phase, and I really didn’t think I could do that. But, he’s a quick enough horse even without that, and he really jumped great.”

Run under a modified power and speed format, the class featured a course set by Héctor Loyola of Paraguay and challenged exhibitors to jump clear over the first nine fences and then immediately continue on to the final six obstacles, regardless of whether or not faults had been incurred in the initial phase.

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Darragh Kenny on Belo Horizonte wins the $25,000 Year End National Grand Prix

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Darragh Kenny 0f Ireland on Belo Horizonte won the $25,000 Year End National Grand Prix on Sunday, Dec. 6, their second prize money win of the show

Darragh Kenny on Belo Horizonte Anne GittinsDarragh Kenny on Belo Horizonte (Photo by Anne Gittins)The competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center drew 50 competitors.

“This is a horse I got from Ashlee Bond at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival earlier this year,” said Kenny of Belo Horizonte, a 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Baloubet Du Rouetout of Clearway. “It's been a super horse for me, very careful and fast. I really like it and it’s a really good horse. He doesn’t have a massive stride, but he is very quick across the ground, so I just used that to my advantage today.”

Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio built 16 efforts up to 1.50m in height, and of the 50 entries in the first round, a field of seven, Juan Manuel Gallego of Colombia, Nicholas Dello Joio, Kent Farrington, Kenny, Jessica Springsteen, Margie Engle and Spencer Smith, returned for the jump-off.

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Deslauriers place first and third in Wellington Grand Prix, with Lucy winning over father Mario

WELLINGTON, Fla.--The $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4* on Nov. 27 was a family affair, with Lucy Deslauriers, 21, who rides for the U.S., on Hester, placing first and her father, Mario, who represents Canada, riding Bardolina 2 to place third.

Lucy Deslauriers on Hester Anne GittinsLucy Deslauriers on Hester (Photo by Anne Gittins)And to make it even more of a family affair, Hester is owned by Lucy's mother, so the whole family was represented in the top standings.

Sunday’s challenging class resulted in only four competitors going clean to make it to the  jump-off.

The Grand Prix drew 45 competitors from 11 nations, including the United States, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Egypt.

It's a bit unusual for these early shows in Wellington to draw such large and competitive fields, but Covid-19 has canceled so many shows that all the riders are anxious to compete.

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McLain Ward won the $73,000 Qualifier in Wellington while Laura Kraut and Kent Farrington also posted wins

WELLINGTON, Fla,--McLain Ward rode Noche De Ronda to win the $73,000 Holiday & Horses 1.50m Qualifier CSI4* in Wellington in the fastest double-clear time of 3.26 on Friday, Nov. 27 to beat Bliss Heers on Antidote De Mars, 35.10.

McLain Ward Noche De Ronda Anne GittinsMcLain Ward Noche on De Ronda (Photo by Anne Gittins)The field included 73 competitors from 13 countries, including the United States, Ireland, Switzerland, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Egypt, Chile, Japan and Russia.

Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio set a 16-effort track for competitors that produced 16 clear rounds from the starting order.

“The jump-off was fast, and it sometimes comes off the way you want,” said Ward of his jump-off ride. “I think after the double combination[we made up time. Bliss’ horse is an incredible jumper and a very fast horse, but doesn't have the stride that Ronda has, and I was able to do one stride less, maybe two less, across the diagonal after the double combination and for sure one less stride coming home. I think probably those two places most of all helped us. It was one of those jump-offs where the plan just worked.”

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Questions still swirl around the new World Equestrian Center in Ocala

OCALA, Fla.--The World Equestrian Center, which has been running a series of shows at its venue in Ohio, is opening a new facility in Ocala, and it has announced that it will host a Winter Spectacular of horse shows featuring $9 Million in prize money and prizes.

World Eq. Center Ocala 1World Equestrian Center in Ocala But whether the Center will hold the Nations Cup that was at first awarded to it and who will be able to compete at those shows is up in the air.

More questions than answers still swirl around these shows, scheduled to run Jan. 6 through March 28, along with associated prize money, special classes and events and other important information.

A lot of it has to do with the mileage rule, as the Center is just a few miles from the venue of the HITS shows, which still only operate under an agreement with the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Many trainers and riders have spoken out against the mileage rule, saying that it perpetuates second rate shows and that, not only are there plenty of competitors to go around, but that the competition between shows would make for better shows.

Nevertheless, the mileage rule is still in effect.

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Kent Farrington won again in Wellington, this time on Orafina

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Kent Farrington on his own Orafina jwon the $50,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, Nov. 21 at he 70th Annual South Florida Hunter Jumper Association Charity Horse Show.

Kent Farrington on Orafina Anne GittinsKent Farrington on Orafina (Photo by Anne Gittins)The 16-effort course set by Eric Hasbrouck had 53 competitors contest the track, with nine riders going clean to advance to the jump-off.

Canadian Mario Deslauriers led the way, followed by Ilan Bluman of Columia, Santiago Lambre of Mexico, Schuyler Riley, Erynn Ballard of Canada, Willie Tynan of Ireland, Farrington, Ashley Vogel and Ashley Fleischhacker.

Following faults from the first five riders, Tynan on Fancy Girl finally turned in the first clear round in the jump-off in a time of 41.51 seconds.

But Farrington on Orafina was the next to go and and quickly moved into the lead in a time of 40.58 seconds.

Tynan on Fancy Girl placed second spot, with Fleischhacker on Quadros 3, clear in 44.817 seconds, placing third.

"Orafina is a great young talent,"said Farrington of the 8-year-old KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo. "She doesn't have a lot of experience, certainly not like this. Really hats off to the team here that keeps these shows going for us and allows us to keep doing our job and our sport. Early in the season like this, it's great for these young horses to get into the main ring. Tonight they even got a little taste of going under the lights. All in all, even besides the win, this was a great experience for my horse."

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A new USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge Series to begin in 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky.--U.S. Equestrian has announced the development of a new youth team competition format for eventing riders competing at the CCI1* through CCI3* levels, set to be introduced during the 2021 competition season.

Eventing genericEventing riders between the FEI ages of 14 and 25 are invited to apply for the USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge for the upcoming competition season, with competition opportunities spanning from early spring through late fall.

This new concept will serve as an evolution of the North American Youth Championship for eventing and will provide opportunities for more riders to represent their USEA Area in team competition throughout the year, culminating with two bi-coastal championships.

The Challenge will include three levels with the following age requirements:

CCI1* for FEI ages 14-18
CCI2* for FEI ages 14-21
CCI3* for FEI ages 16-25

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Bianca Tota and Susan Dutta won 3* dressage competitions in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Bianca Tota on her own Cadento V and Susan Dutta with her Don Design DC were the winners of CDI3* classes in the Large Tour International dressage competition in Equestrian Village for the Global Dressage Fall Festival I CDI3* from Nov. 12-15.

Bianca Tota on Cadento V Sue SticklyBianca Tota on Cadento V (Photo by Sue Stickly)Tota and Cadento V (Charmonix V x Lobster) had back-to-back victories in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI3* and Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*, while on Sunday Dutta on Don Design DC’s (Der Designer x Sir Donnerhall) won the Grand Prix Special CDI3*.

The Global Fall Festival II will bring dressage exhibitors back to Wellington from Dec. 10-13, 2020, during which time CDIW, CDI3*, and CDI1* classes will be featured ahead of the 2021 Global Dressage Festival that begins in January.

“He is absolutely special; one of the most special horses I have ever sat on,” said Tota of Cadento V. “I remember when I went to try him in Denmark, and he wasn’t fit and was doing Second Level, but I sat on him and thought, ‘Oh my god, I have to have this horse!’ So here he is now!”

In the Grand Prix CDI3*, Tota and Cadento V, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding, scored 68.761 percent from the panel of five judges that earned them the blue ribbon by more than a full percentage point in the first CDI3* class of the horse show.

Returning the next day for the Freestyle, Tota improved on her performance to win with a score of 73.190 percent, once again first by more than a full percentage point.

“I’ve had him since 2014 when he was eight," said Tota. "It’s been a really fun journey to get here. It’s been a lot of hard work, which was always fun, but it’s so nice to see it pay off. He is an amazing horse, and I’m really lucky to have him. We will see how far we can get! We will keep on keeping on.”

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Kent Farrington wins $137,000 Grand Prix in Wellington

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Kent Farrington rode Kaprice to win the $137,000 Grand Prix over 45 international competitors from 12 nations in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Nov. 15.

Kent Farington on Kaprice Anne GittinsKent Farrington on Kaprice (Photo by Anne Gittins)That concluded the ESP Fall Series, but CSI4* competition will resume Wednesday, Nov. 24, for the Holiday & Horses Show, the first week of the ESP Holiday Series.

Farrington was the fastest double-clear in the 16-horse jump-off in the $137,000 Grand Prix, while in the afternoon’s $25,000 National Grand Prix, Santiago Lambre of Wellington rode Mick Jagger to the win.

“I have an exceptionally fast horse,” said Farrington of Kaprice. “If you look at her on the ground she almost looks like a racehorse. She is really light, really lean, and her foot-speed across the ground is incredible. She is an unbelievably careful horse, maybe the most careful horse I have ever ridden. She does not want to touch jumps, so that’s a big advantage. She is stepping up to be a grand prix horse, and I tried to use her in some bigger grand prix classes this summer. My plan now is to keep growing her, and hopefully I can have a real grand prix horse there at the end.”

The 16 eligible for the short course round represented the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Brazil, and Farrington was one of the last to qualify, which would allow him to watch how the short course rode prior to his turn over the jump-off track.

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Heavy equipment clears the cross country course at Tryon

MILL SPRING, N.C.--At the National Eventing Championship held in Tryon, N.C., Nov. 12-15, in which Boyd Martin on Tsetserling just edged Phillip Dutton for the Championship, a number of riders commented on the floods that preceded the Event and all the work that the committee did to ensure that the cross country course was safe.

These photos and comments from Allen Macmillan show the huge effort that was expended to keep the cross country course safe.

"Very heavy rain on Tuesday & Wednesday flooded much of the cross country course, causing many to ponder a cancellation," said Macmillan. "But, the relentless staff and crew at TIEC showed once again that they are not easily bested. A couple of days of intense sun coupled with the preparation of the grounds allowed Saturday cross country to start as planned. Some riders with multiple mounts said the track actually got better with every ride."

Tryon tractor

The heavy equipment noise from bulldozers, steam rollers and dump trucks droned for three minutes, shut down as the next rider came through, and then restarted for another three minutes on the far loop of the 4-star long division course. The grounds crew relentlessly addressed the footing between riders of this rain-soaked path. They added crushed stone, raked it level and then packed it with a small steam roller. Dump, smooth, rake, roll, let-the-rider-through, repeat in three minutes. The effort and the result was lauded by many of the division’s competitors.

Boyd Martin passes heavy equipment

This photo shows one new section of the 4-star long course which was particularly hard hit by the flooding needed extra, and continual work throughout the day on Saturday.

Boyd Martin gallops past the heavy equipment used to repair the course.

1 Boyd Martin Tsetserleg by MacMillan Photography DSC 4648

3 Boyd Martin Tsetserleg by MacMillan Photography DSC 4369

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boyd Martin on the stadium jumping course and the presentation. All photos by Allen Macmillan.

Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton finish first and second in the 4* Eventing National Championship

MILL SPRING, N.C.--Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa., on Tsetserleg was double clear in show jumping to finish on 28.10 and win the CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship on Sunday, Nov. 15, just edging his close friend Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Pa., on Z, who placed second on 28.80.

Boyd Martin on Tsetserleg Shannon BrinkmanBoyd Martin on Tsetserleg on cross country (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)The championship title came down to a single rail in the show jumping phase of the Championship on Sunday.

With the top five combinations finishing cross-country within four points of each other, the pressure was on for overnight leader Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp on Deniro Z.

She almost had the win in the bag until that one costly rail on the final fence that cost her four faults and dropped her to fifth.

Halliday-Sharp’s loss was Boyd Martin’s gain, as he turned in a double clear round to take over the top spot and the National Champion title with a final score of 28.10.

As the top finishing U.S. competitor in the Championship, Martin was awarded the Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy and Martin and Christine Turner, Tsetserleg's owner, were awarded the Gladstone Challenge Trophy.

Martin had three horses in the CCI4*-L, and after disappointing rounds with his first two, Thomas’s honest go around the course was an extra sweet victory.

“I had the old campaigner last, and Thomas went in and jumped like a champion,” said Martin. “The show jumping has been his weak phase over the years, and we’ve worked pretty hard at it. It’s very satisfying to get a good round out of him under pressure. I think that Thomas performs better when there’s pressure. I’m not sure if he knows which events are important, but he seems to do really well in dressage, cross-country, and show jumping when we need him.”

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Great news for Eventers as Plantation Field will hold 13 Events in 2021

UNIONVILLE, Pa.--Thrilling news for eventers of all levels as Plantation Field Equestrian Events, Inc. has announced that 13 Events of varying levels will be competed on its grounds in Unionville next spring, summer and fall.

Plantation Field 2Because those at the blog Eventing Nation decided that the word Plantation was racially offensive, that blog, which should support events not tear them down, decided that it would refer to all events held there as P Field.

Eventing Nation also apparently persuaded the U.S.Eventing Association to go along with that decision, despite the fact that the dictionary describes Plantation first as "formerly, a colony" and second  as "an area growing cultivated crops."

Cuyler Walker, who owns Plantation Field and leases the land to Plantation Field Equestrian Events, rightly felt that calling all events P. Field gave it a racially offensive overtone that cast aspersions on his family, and he terminated the lease.

Plantation Field acquired its name 80 years ago when a Boy Scout troop asked Walker's grandfather. Plunkett Stewart, if it could plant trees there, which would earn it a badge.

So Eventing Nation turned an act of generosity into a racial slur.

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Kent Farrington wins National H.S. Welcome Stakes while Karl Cook wins the Speed class

LEXINGTON, Ky.--Kent Farrington rode Creedance to win the $72,900 International Welcome Stake CSI4 on Oct. 29 at the National Horse Show at the Horse Park in Lexington, which was held without spectators, and the next day Karl Cook won the Speed Stake.

Farrington won in a nine horse jump-off against a starting field of top-ranked international riders from seven nations, including the United States, Israel, Ireland, Great Britain, Brazil, New Zealand and Canada.

kent farrington and creedance award pmgKent Farrington on Creedance The jump-off included riders from Canada, the United States and Ireland,with only four double clears on the night’s highlight event.

First to go clean in the jump-off, Farrington stopped the clock in 33.25 seconds, and none of those following could catch his time.

Riding Carlchen W, Alex Granato jumped to the runner-up spot in a fault-free 33.61 seconds, followed by Lillie Keenan on Fasther in third in 34.75 seconds.

“2020 was a crazy year, so I am definitely happy that I have such great support with great owners and great horses," said Farrington. "I feel very lucky that we are still able to compete in our sport. The National Horse Show has done a great job here making it safe. All that being said, Creedence was fantastic. He was really on form today. I thought his jump off was Creedance at his best. He was careful and quick and that is what it took to win tonight.”

In the US we don’t get to jump a lot indoors," said Farrington. "Luckily, Creedance has a lot of experience competing inside and around the world and I knew that I could count on him to bring him here and have him be reliable. The top three horses here today are competitive at any place with very strong riders and I think that we are all looking forward to the grand prix.”

 

 KARL COOK on Fecybelle won the $36,600 International Speed CSI4* class run under a power-and-speed format.

karl cook and fecybelleKarl Cook on FecybelleAs one of the final challengers, Cook beat a skilled pack of international entries by a margin of only half-of-a-second to win.

Course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil built a course of 15 total efforts for thel Speed CSI4*, which saw seven riders go clean over fences that were set at 1.45m to 1.50m in height.

After completing the first round of nine fences, exhibitors who had not incurred any faults immediately advanced to the speed portion of the class without stopping and navigated six obstacles under the clock, and 12 moved on to the speed phase, with seven of those going clean again.

The first to go, Daniel Bluman riding for Israel rode Colestina to the pace-setting round without any faults in 29.38 seconds, but they were quickly overtaken by Jordan Coyle of Ireland on Ariso in a clear time of 28.43 seconds to claim the early lead.

On Catoki, McLain Ward finished in a blazing 26.65 seconds and retained his lead until almost the very end of the class, when Cook and Fecybelle raced around the track in a lightning-fast fault-free time of 26.15 seconds, just edging ahead.

Hunter Holloway moved into the third on Pepita Con Spita in a clear time of 27.84 seconds.

“It is a great arena," said Cook! "They have really done the footing well so with a class like tonight where you are turning as sharp as we did, it feels good. The ambiance in an indoor is always different than an outdoor, and I think the horses definitely feel that. Because of this year’s events, it is the only indoor show I’ll do this year, so it has been really nice.”

“The approach to the short speed class like today, or even a jump-off, is different than how you approach a normal speed," said Cook. "A normal speed is longer so you have to take more into consideration, you can’t just go all out. For me, it was just getting a nice efficient first round and ride nice and accurate. I knew in the jump-off that I wasn’t going to make up time in the lines because I had to do six strides to the combination and six to the skinny oxer that was second to last. I knew that the turn to the first fence in the jump-off, the approach to the third to last, and the going to the last was where you could do it. They were kind of blind turns with a lot of angle. Fecy is super quick over the jumps, she doesn't over jump or anything like that. She really did so well turning today and understanding what I was asking because the angel was a lot. She very well could have said ‘no!’ ”

“I knew I couldn’t really change my plan because there is not really much else to do," said Cokk of going after Ward. "I actually didn’t see anyone go before I went, like with my own eyes, except Rodrigo [Pessoa], who went right before me. All I had to go off of was the jump-off times I was hearing in the warm-up ring. When I heard 28-something and then 27-something seconds, and then McLain went in and got 26.6. I didn’t see any of those, but in my head I figured ‘I guess I will go for second today!’ It didn’t really change my plan because I had to do the same thing anyway and just hope that that was quick enough.”

“It feels really good because I have stayed pretty local to California for the past many years because I just didn’t feel like I was ready," said Cook. "You can always get experience no matter where you go, so I felt it was more efficient to stay around in California. I went to Florida earlier this year, and I was happy with how it went. I didn’t go as well as this, but I didn’t expect coming out here for it to go as well as it has now. It was definitely a surprise to us! I have trained for it and I can’t be more proud of my horses and my whole team. Whenever you do well it gives you confidence and with the way this tour has gone for me, maybe I need to let it not give me too much confidence.”

Caroline Martin won all three East coast Young Horse titles horses owned by Emil Spadone

LEXINGTON, Va.--Caroline Martin of Reigelsville, Pa., riding three horses owned by Emil Spadone, won all three events in the Young Event Horse East Coast Championships held at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington on Thursday, Oct. 29, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 1.

Caroline Martin on Redfield HSH Conner Jessica DuffyCaroline Martin on Redfield HSH Conner (Photo by Jessica Duffy)Martin won the 4-year-old championship on Spadone’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Redfield HSH Conner and a divided 5-year-old Championships on Spadone's Redfield King and Spadone's Redfield Galway Blake.

Due to inclement weather on Friday, the 5-year-old championships were divided into two groups, with 21 horses to finished the jumping portion on Sunday, Nov. 1.

The Thursaddy overnight dressage/conformation leader Redfield King, wo topped the group that jumped Friday, was named 5-year-old champion.

Sunnier skies and clearer weather were seen Sunday, and of the 21 horses that competed that day, Redfield Galway Blake topped the leaderboard earning a final score of 91.47.

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Dominic Gibbs wins the Maclay Championship at the National H.S.

LEXINGTON, Ky. --Dominic Gibbs, 17 of Coloraado Springs, Colo., second after the first round of 255 qualifiers and the flat phase, moved up to first after the first test of 24 and remained there after the final test of the top four to win the ASPCA Maclay National Championship on Nov. 1 at the National Horse Show in Lexington.

dominic GibbsDominic GibbsGibbs, who is trained by Stacia Madden and Max Amaya of Beacon Hill, was the only rider to place in all four major equitation championships, with top-five finishes beginning in fourth place in the Hunter Seat Medal Final, followed by fifth in the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals - East and another fourth-place result in the WIHS Equitation Finals.

With his victory Sunday in Kentucky, Gibbs has added his name to a list of Maclay National Championship victors that include sport legends such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot and Bernie Traurig, as well as new age stars like Jessica Springsteen, Lillie Keenan and Victoria Colvin.

The National Horse Show has been the longtime host of the Maclay National Championship, which since 1933 has crowned a junior rider as the champion, a distinction regarded as one of the highest in the equitation discipline, especially considering how many advance to successful professional careers.

Bobby Murphy set the courses for the Maclay, which was judged by Mark Jungherr and Emil Spadone.

Read more ...

More Articles ...

  1. Devin Ryan wins $213,300 National H.S. Grand Prix
  2. Kent Farrington wins National H.S. Welcome Stakes while Karl Cook wins the Speed class
  3. Rebecca Hart wins the Para-Dressage National Championship
  4. Brits dominate Pau 5*, the only Eventing 5* to be held this year
  5. Todd Minikus rode Amex Z to win the $214,000 President's Cup for the third time in 30 years
  6. Rehabbed horse carried Mattie Worsham to WIHS Adult Hunter title
  7. Elli Yeager wins Talent Search – East with Medal winner Taylor Griffiths-Madden fourth
  8. McLain Ward tops 100 in the $37,000 Welcome Stake at Tryon
  9. Ally Villareale tops Alumni Tournament of Champions
  10. Taylor Griffiths-Madden, trainer Frank Madden's step-daughter, wins the Medal Finals
  11. Zone 1 edged out Zone 2 to win the Prix des States Team Championship while Zone 2's Mimi Gochman won the Individual Silver Medal
  12. Madeline Schaefer sweeps Amateur Owner sections at Capital Challenge H.S.
  13. Ellen Halle of Upperco, Md. wins Adult Jumper Final
  14. Plantation Field to hold one last Event
  15. Phillip Dutton and daughter Olivia each finish second in respective divisions at Plantation Field
  16. Help to raise money for the Babington Benefit Horse Show at Duncraven
  17. Shawan Downs now an unrecognized point-to-point while the Gold Cup continues recognized but runs without spectators
  18. Kent Farrington on Gazelle wins the $213,300 American Gold Cup
  19. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson won the Gold Cup qualifier
  20. The Babington Benefit Classic in Michigan raised money for Kevin as he has been deemed eligible for stem cell research
  21. Kent Farrington wins $75,000 Grand Prix in Traverse City
  22. Pau is a go and will be the only CCI5* to be held this year
  23. Princeton Show Jumping
  24. WEF adds Jan. 6-10 AA rated show to 12 weeks of international competition
  25. Margie Engle and Beezie Madden one-two in Traverse City Grand Prix
  26. McLain Ward begins first international competition since Covid with two wins
  27. Tryon International Equestrian Center adds CCI4*-L and FEI divisions to Fall Eventing
  28. Medal Finals, Rrix des States, Talent Search and WIHS Equitation Championships all to be held in Tryon
  29. Morven Park will continue with its Fall Horse Trials but without FEI levels
  30. Capital Challenge to move to World Equestrian Center in Ohio
  31. Pennsylvania National and Washington International Cancel and Relocate USEF and WIHS Championships
  32. Jr. Hunter National Championships and the Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic relocated to Michigan
  33. Nations Cup Finals, Eventing Championships and more Kentucky Horse Parks competitions join the ever growing parade of cancellations
  34. USHJA Cancels 2020 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive, International Hunter Derby Championships and AON/USHJA National Championships
  35. Kentucky Horse Shows temporarily canceled due to Covid-19
  36. The USEA American Eventing Championships to be held Aug. 25-30
  37. Pa. National and Washington International move shows to Tampa, Fla. for 2020 while The National stays in Kentucky
  38. GreenMount Farm’s Bernardini filly named 2020 Champion at MHBA Yearling Show
  39. Capital Challenge to include NAL Finals
  40. Saratoga H.S. will host the Green Hunter Incentive East Regional Championship
  41. HITS Culpeper has the Green Light to Start July 1
  42. Devon Fall Classic cancelled
  43. Plantation Field successfully opens Event season in the age of Covid-19
  44. Century Ride Takes Place in Landenberg, PA
  45. Kelley Farmer and Brian Moggre win at Tryon International
  46. USDF Announces HITS as Host of the Region 8 Championships
  47. 2020 Hampton Classic Horse Show Canceled for 1st time ever
  48. Michael Matz to judge 2020 MHBA Yearling Show
  49. HITS and Vermont Summer Classics at the Summer Series at HITS-on-the-Hudson
  50. Updating HITS, Lake Placid, Vermont Summer, Eventing Championships, Capital Challenge and 2021WEF

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