3-Year-Old Hunter Breeding
This is Masquerade’s Cove’s third consecutive national hunter breeding title, and “it was definitely something we wanted this year,” said owner Kimberly Maloomian, Needham, Mass.
In July 2005, Maloomian was in the midst of a multi-year search for a horse. While at a show in Connecticut, she and her mother, Evelyn Cunningham Maloomian, happened to spot Masquerade’s Cove. The flashy chestnut filly had been the 2004 USEF yearling hunter breeding horse of the year with former owner Barbara Kennedy. Masquerade’s Cove–a full Thoroughbred–is another product of John W. Kelly’s breeding program.
“We saw her and found a way to get in contact with [handler Oliver Brown] because we pretty much just fell in love with her,” Maloomian said. “I think for me it was her face, but my mom loved her trot. We just thought she was really beautiful. We were looking for a young horse, but originally one that was ready to ride. But when we saw her, we decided we really liked her and wanted to give her a try.
“Mom and I had never been involved in the hunter breeding before, so it was really nice to go to the different shows and learn all about it,” she added. ” ‘Lucy’ was pretty much reminiscent of horses from the ’60s and ’70s, which my mom loved.”
Maloomian kept Lucy in training with Brown, Reva, Va., and the program worked. “I know that Oliver and his boys–Charlie and Billy–do most of the work showing and in the ring, so they’re usually credited with her success. But Laura Hitchcock, who works for Oliver, is the key to Lucy’s success, I think. She’s done such a phenomenal job of taking care of her and making sure she looked good,” Maloomian said.
Masquerade’s Cove has been broken, and Maloomian has shown her in International Hunter Futurity under saddle classes, but she didn’t compete in the IHF over fences division last year. “We thought that she needed one more year to mature physically and mentally,” said Maloomian.
Lucy is now in training with Rick Fancher for the baby green division and possibly the IHF 4-year-old competitions. Ideally she’ll end up in the amateur-owner division with Maloomian. “It may be a long road, but hopefully we’ll get there!” she said.
Maloomian, who is currently in graduate school for nutrition, rides with Mitch and Amanda Steege.
Amy Brubaker had a pretty classy mount for most of her campaign for her second consecutive national adult equitation title–her USEF regular conformation Horse of the Year, Fenwick.
Brubaker spent the first half of the year showing leased and borrowed horses in the adult equitation while trainer Archie Cox got Fenwick settled in the hunter ring. But once summer rolled around, Fenwick did the regular conformation, amateur-owner hunter and adult equitation divisions.
“Archie found Fenwick for me and told me, ‘This is going to be a good match for you.’ And he was right,” Brubaker said. “I even did him in the four-foot division a little bit, which is amazing because I’m pretty chicken! He’s a super star.”
Brubaker enjoys showing in the adult equitation as a diversion from the hunters. “It’s a little more technical than the hunters. I don’t get to practice enough to do the jumpers, so it’s sort of a halfway in between. Ever since I was junior, I liked the equitation,” she said.
And while Fenwick turned out to be an ideal mount, she also enjoyed campaigning on other horses. “When you talk to Archie and you figure out what your goals are for the year, he’s a strategist. He knows how to get you where you want to go,” she said.
And while she’s leased Fenwick to a junior rider and has bought a new prospect, he will always be a favorite. “He’s got the biggest heart in the world. I always felt super safe on him.
I did the four-foot division on him at the [Las Vegas National (Nev.) in November], in a big indoor ring, and it was so exciting. I wouldn’t have done that on any other horse. But you feel like whatever might happen, he’ll take care of you,” she said.
It was good old-fashioned sibling rivalry that led to Wilhelmina Horzepa’s stockpile of pony jumper points in 2006. “We chased points because of my sister,” said Horzepa of her younger sister Mary Elizabeth. The two girls train jumpers and barrel racing ponies at their family farm in Englishtown, N.J.
“They’re sort of like the Venus and Serena of the show jumping world,” remarked the girls’ father Bob Horzepa, proudly.
But 2006 was Wilhelmina’s year, as she was unstoppable with her longtime partner, the 19-year-old gelding Exhilaration. She earned the USEF’s leading pony jumper owner title by a margin of almost twice as many points as the second-placed owner.
Exhilaration, a sturdy Morgan-Thoroughbred, leaped to a win in the North American League Pony Jumper Finals at the Pennsylvania National in October.
Having placed sixth and ninth in 2004 and 2005, respectively, this was the pair’s first victory at the final, and it was captured rather decisively. Wilhelmina and “Alex” had the only clear jump-off round in the field and finished substantially faster than any of her competitors.
The Horzepas were given the large liver chestnut eight years ago on the condition that they would never sell him. He was a difficult ride and had a definite fear of men, but Wilhelmina said she clicked with the gelding. “I just got along with him very well. He’d take care of me, and I was gutsy. All he wants to do is jump. When he hears the buzzer ring, he’s all business,” she said.
This year, Wilhelmina, 16, plans to cut back on her aged partner’s busy schedule. Her goal is to qualify again for the NAL finals, but she won’t chase points. “He’s calmed down a little bit now that he’s 19,” she said. “I’ll use him in the children’s jumpers and maybe try to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling Finals. I want to keep him going as long as I can.”
5-Year-Old Young Jumper
Cynthia Johnson, of Summitville, Ohio, purchased Fardela, a chestnut, Argentinean-bred mare, in the fall of 2005, and the young horse’s first show was at the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.). Professional rider Ramiro Quintana showed Fardela for the first three weeks of the circuit before Johnson took over the ride for the rest of the year. Her consistent ribbons in Wellington and Lexington, Ky., led to the national award.
When it came time to ride in the Young Jumper Championships at the National Horse Show (Fla.), Johnson made a rider change, putting her trainer, Olympic gold medalist Joe Fargis, in the irons.
“I made Joe do it,” she said with a laugh. “It was supposed to be a little bigger, and I chickened out. That’s the only time Joe has ridden her.”
Of Fardela, Johnson said, “She’s a redhead! She likes to buck and play, but it’s all fun and safe. She’s an easy horse to ride.”
Throughout the year, Johnson affirmed that Fardela’s jump improved and she “matured quite a lot.”
6-Year-Old Young Jumper
Amy Lefferdink bought Eso as a 4-year-old in Argentina, where he’d just won the 4-year-old championships. “I saw him and had to have him,” said his rider, David Jennings.
Since making his home with Lefferdink and Jennings in Wellington, Fla., Eso (Byly Be El Marselles–Gepera Gitane, Mon Fetiche II) has continued to display his talent.
“His jump, and his personality, is unbelievable,” said Jennings. “He’ll eat pizza out of your hand and follow you around without a lead rope. He has a little bit of his own style, but he’s quite scopey.”
He’s competed in 10 grand prix classes, placing in eight of them. “He’s quite special,” said Jennings.
They named him Eso because he’s so explosive over a jump, the crowds in Argentina would yell out “eso,” meaning, “fantastic,” said Jennings, as he went over each fence.
“He’s so eager to go fast and leave the jumps up. He’s the first horse I’ve had so much success with as a young horse, and I look forward to riding and showing him,” said Jennings of the chestnut with a blaze and three socks. “Sometimes he’ll even buck a little because he likes to go fast. He rides like a made horse, he’s so broke on the flat. He’s a dream to ride.”
Winning the national championship with a horse he’s trained his way had special significance to Jennings. “He’s a great horse, and I don’t know what his limit will be, but we’re taking our time with him and hope he will be all that.”
7- & 8-Year-Old Young Jumper
The gray mare has been at Chado Farms in Neshanic Station, N.J., with Laura Chapot since she was 2, and current owner Harold Vogel, who is her “exercise jockey at home” bought her as a 5-year-old. She earned the Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) circuit championship as a 6-year-old jumper in 2005 and again last year as a 7-year-old.
“She’s always been very talented, and I’ve always liked her,” said Chapot. “She’s a lot of fun–very careful and fast and a smart horse. She always learns quickly, and she tends to get better as she goes along.”
In addition to competing in the 8-year-old classes this year, Chapot said she will take Silver Lining (Saluut II–Night Flight, Abdullah) in the 1.35- or 1.40-meter classes and some open speed classes.
“She’s a careful horse and very special,” she said. “We like to go slowly with her. She knows when she’s good, and she’s enthusiastic about going in the ring. She likes to do her job.”
In their first year in the amateur-owner division, Whitney Weeks, of Wellington, Fla., and Subliem led the victory gallop at the Devon (Pa.), the American Gold Cup (Ohio), the Washington (D.C.) International, and the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament (N.Y.).
Regarding her new competition, Weeks noted, “The juniors go fast, but the amateurs are so slick. You don’t even realize they’re going fast, and they’re schooling you by 10 seconds.”
Weeks, a freshman at Boston University (Mass.), gave all of the credit to her fabulous mount. “She’s the most careful horse I’ve ever ridden,” she said of the 11-year-old, Dutch Warmblood mare. “It’s so cool to have a horse that’s trying just as much as you are, that’s so competitive and looking to win.”
Weeks thanked Subliem’s former owner, Javier Salvador, and her trainer Kent Farring-ton. “When Javier sold her to me, it was a huge deal. It was hard for him to let go of her, and I see why now because she’s such a special horse.”
New York City resident and Princeton University (N.J.) freshman Carolyn Kelly made her final year in the high junior jumpers a memorable one. On Omona A.W., Kelly took top honors in competitions such as the Calvin Klein Jumping Derby at the Hampton Classic (N.Y.) and the $40,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic in Saugerties, NY.
“In Saugerties, it was my first multiple day competition with her,” said Kelly. “We were on top the whole time, and it was so nice to remain consistent. It was a real confidence builder for me.”
Kelly was also a member of the gold medal team at the Prix des States in Harrisburg, at the Pennsylvania National. Omona A.W., a 10-year-old, Dutch Warmblood mare by Indoctro, “knows when the stakes are high,” Kelly asserted. “We joke that she’s more competitive than I am. She’s a responsive horse, which makes her a pleasure to ride.”
LITTLE BIG MAN
The little chestnut gelding’s year with Laura Chapot ended better than ever in 2006, with four grand prix wins, including the New Albany Classic (Ohio), and a second consecutive victory at the Pennsylvania National.
“It was a great surprise [to win the year-end title],” said Chapot, of Neshanic Station, N.J. “We were all very excited when he got that recognition. He’s a super talented horse.”
Chapot started off 2007 the same way she finished 2006–by winning the $50,000 Nutrena XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach (Fla.) on Feb. 4.
The Dutch Warmblood gelding (Topas–Hillkenny, Creool) is always a crowd pleaser, said Chapot. “He always garners a crowd when he enters the ring,” she said. “He’s always very conceited and pompous. He thinks he’s a big horse even though he’s small.”
This year her plans may include the trials for the Pan American Games team.