Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023

Brixton And Golden Go Out With A Bang



Upper Marlboro, Md.—Oct. 29

When you’ve won a grand pony hunter championship at a major horse show, there’s only one thing to do the next year: win it again.

That’s just what Brixton and Vivian Golden did, repeating last year’s large pony hunter championship and the grand title at the Washington International for Betsee Parker for the second year running. J.J. Torano rode Redfield Farms’ Sports Illustrated to the reserve, and was also named Best Child Rider on a pony.

Brixton and Vivian Golden. Mollie Bailey Photos

Yesterday Golden and Brixton finished second in the large pony conformation hunter class but didn’t take a ribbon in the under saddle.

“It was a little nerve-wracking coming into today,” said Golden, 14. “I was really good in the handy, and Brixton was unbelievable. We got a 91, which was good for second. In the stake, the pressure was on because I really needed to win to be champion and grand. He was so good; we scored a 92 and won the stake.”

J.J. Torano and Sports Illustrated.

Golden, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, has been riding the 13-year-old German Sport Pony (Charivari—Clara) for two years.

“I think I’m going to miss him definitely, but I’ve had him for a long time and he’s done more than enough for me,” she said. “We have a good bond, but I think he’s ready [for a new partner].”

Golden’s head trainer is Amanda Lyerly, and Scott Stewart trains her on Brixton. She gets help from Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith for the equitation. At home she keeps her legs strong by riding ponies for her mother Olivia Golden.

“I definitely am going to have to do some green ponies, but I think I’m done with regular ponies,” said Vivian. “I’ll go to [USEF Pony Finals (Kentucky)] and do the green ones. Scott has so many, so I’ll help him do those. I like doing the greens. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and also my mom has some young ones.”

Golden has already started stepping up onto full-sized mounts in all three rings.

“The equitation has definitely helped me,” she said. “It’s taught me the tracks and stuff I need to follow. I did WIHS Equitation Finals here this year. It wasn’t the best, but it was my first year. I did the jumpers here as well. That was a lot of fun. I have the best jumper; he’s amazing. I feel like the ponies have helped me. All of the ponies have helped my eye throughout the years and taught me a lot.”

Tarumianz Puts In A Polished Round To Win The WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

Last year at the Washington International Ella Tarumianz rode Cherrybrook Blue Jersey for the first time, and this time around she rode “Jersey” to the top of the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals.

“It’s just been really special to go full circle with him,” said Tarumianz, 14. “He’s such a great pony and he always has my back.”


Ella Tarumianz and Cherrybrook Blue Jersey.

Tarumianz started out by laying down a class-leading score of 90 over the track.

“When I was walking the course I was really thinking about which turns I was going to do and how that was going to help my round, and also the possibilities of those turns not working out,” she said. “So just kind of thinking of the pros and cons of my track and thinking how I’m going to get the best result.”

Before the flat phase trainer Samantha Schaefer reminded her to pay attention to her position.

“Usually I’m really bad about keeping my elbows bent and my hands a little spread apart so I wanted to definitely keep my elbows bent because I knew that could get me in trouble, and also keeping my leg still because that’s definitely one of my other flaws,” said Tarumianz.

Lily Epstein and Fox Creeks Curious George.

In that phase, where judges Daniel Geitner and Rick Fancher put the top 10 riders through their paces, Tarumianz held onto her first place spot, with Lily Epstein, Coral Gables, Florida, taking second, while 12-year-old Reilly Robertson took third.

Tarumianz lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and she keeps her leg strong riding at her family’s farm and gets help from home trainer Valentina Timpone. She meets up with Schaefer and the Shadow Ridge team at shows and before major events to check up on her homework.

Schaefer praised Tarumianz’s motivation and ability to think on her feet.

“She’s a very good student,” said Schaefer. “She’s very competitive. You can get her to do just about anything if she thinks it’s going to make her better. I think she’s a good competitor in the ring. She has a good feel of things, like you go in the ring and we talk about a plan and sometimes things don’t go as planned. She has a really good natural instinct of picking up when she needs to make an adjustment.

“This week I was most proud of her with her flat phase because that was something that we were struggling with a little bit with with Jersey, and I think she’s been working really hard at home to get a little stronger and work on the position and try to clean all that up,” she continued. “I was really proud of her today. Obviously her jumping round was great but I was a little stressed going into the flat, there were a lot of talented riders also in there and I think she really held her own all the way through. It felt like a really solid win and a nice way to wrap up indoors for her.”

Reilly Robertson and Clovermeade Heartthrob.

Next up for Tarumianz? Maybe bigger mounts. She already has a junior hunter that she’s started competing.

“It’s been super fun [to do the horses],” she said. “It’s definitely been a different experience than I’ve had before but my junior hunter is just the most perfect boy ever and he really takes care of me.”

A Splendid Anniversary

At Washington International last year Grace Stenbeck-Werner first threw a leg over Smitten, and she was just that. She ended up pairing up with the pony this year, culminating in winning the small pony hunter championship at this year’s Washington International. Down To A T and Adele Dewar claimed the reserve title.

“He’s pretty perfect,” she said of the 15-year-old Welsh pony cross (Rosmel’s Dressed In Scarlet—Covenant Tikvah). “He loves attention and sometimes he gets mad when you don’t give him attention. He’s the best.”


Smitten and Grace Stenbeck-Werner.

Heading into the small pony hunter stake the points were tight for the championship.

“As I was getting on [trainer Michael DelFiandra] said I should go get a 90,” recalled Stenbeck-Werner, 10. “I said, ‘I can’t get a 90, there’s already a 90’ and he said, ‘Then get a 91,’  and I did.”

That win in the stake class coupled with two yellow ribbons from the under saddle and the handy hunter class boosted her to the division championship.

Down To A T and Adele Dewar.

At home in North Salem, New York, Stenbeck-Werner’s ponies live at home, and home coach Maddie Flocks helps her. Her show trainer DelFiandra lives a few miles away so they lesson together regularly.

“Their farm is about eight minutes from ours so it’s really convenient,” he said. “It’s quite simple to get over there, and we do after school lessons and weekends and we’re horse showing a lot so we try not to jump too much at home. Grace is good about coming out. She rides then she goes back in for homework or tutoring or whatever she has after riding.

“Grace is great,” he added. “She’s a worker. We do no stirrups every day. She’s a soldier about it. She has a lot of natural talent. She only shows as 9, so we’re just happy it’s all going the way it’s going and we’re having a great time doing it.”

Paris Charms Her Way To Blue

Last year Paris Charm left with the medium pony championship ribbon on her bridle, and this year she did it again, this time with Currie Cooper aboard.

Twin Island LLC’s Super Sport and Luca Endzweig scored the medium pony reserve title.

Paris Charm and Currie Cooper.

“This is my first year coming to indoors,” said Cooper, 12, who has only shown “Paris” a handful of times before this show.

“She’s really fun and helpful and sweet,” she continued. “She loves treats. German Horse Muffins are her favorite.”

Super Sport and Luca Endzweig.

Cooper lives in Point Claire, Alabama, and meets up with Paris, owned by J.J. Torano, when she goes to Wellington, Florida, to meet trainer Richard Cunkle. She keeps her leg strong at home with a few horses she has to ride, but Cunkle pointed out she doesn’t have lessons there.

“Currie’s been fantastic from the get-go,” said Cunkle. “She’s probably the sweetest child and loves her animals. She’s an extremely hard worker. She’ll ride 10 a day if I had 10 for her to ride. She’s a fantastic child, and she’s come so far so quickly.

“This is her first year of showing consistently, and it’s hard because she doesn’t live in Wellington with me,” he added. “Every now and then she’ll come down for a week and she’ll practice lessons, but usually she comes down two days before and we get it in.”

Find full results here. Catch up with all the news from the Washington International here. Get full analysis from the competition in the Nov. 27 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.



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