Three years later, it’s déjà vu for this Virginia-based professional.
Sulu Rose-Reed knew she would be tackling a challenging course in the $30,000 Duke Children’s
Benefit Grand Prix, Nov. 11, in Raleigh, N.C.; three years ago she won the same class with the only clean round.
“I love this horse show because I do well here, but it’s [also] because Linda Allen is a brilliant course designer, and I ride better when I’m thinking,” Rose-Reed said.
Beginning with a course that included multiple bending lines and a difficult triple combination, Allen kept the competitors on their toes. Reed had the advantage of riding the course twice, taking 4 faults in her first attempt aboard The Galloping Fields’ Leondor.
“I tried to do six strides in the combination line because my horse is small, but I didn’t do it too well and I took the back plank,” she noted.
Returning with her 13-year-old, Holsteiner stallion, Ganon, Rose-Reed concentrated on riding her track.
“He’s a bit wiggly, so I focused to keep him straight,” she said. “I’m lucky to have a good triple-combination horse.”
Rose-Reed credited Ganon for helping her to a clear first round; jumping the 10th fence of the course, a skinny vertical, she thought she pulled the rail after taking a hard rub.
“I got him straight, but I felt like I needed to help him off the ground, so I leaned back a little and pulled the reins,” she explained. “He hit it really hard because he doesn’t like it when I do that!”
“I looked up after the last line and saw that it was still up, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh I just jumped a clear round,’ ” she said.
After clearing the final two fences, Rose-Reed joined Harold Chopping, Marilyn Little and Laurie Jakubauskas for the jump-off.
Going third in the jump-off, Rose-Reed watched Chopping and Jakubauskas pull rails at the same oxer that came after a tight rollback. Even though Rose-Reed planned to take the inside turn like those before her, her deep spot to the outside vertical before the turn back to the oxer made her reconsider.
“When I turned tight to the outside fence, I ended up so deep; I thought he would stop if I tried to turn back like that again,” she said. “So I just raced around the outside turn to the oxer and then he ended through the combination beautifully.”
Rose-Reed once again had the only clean round in 32.85 seconds, ahead of four-fault finisher Chopping on Performance Colorado, who finished in a speedy 30.93 seconds.
When Rose-Reed won the class in 2004, it was one of her first big wins after the birth of her daughter, Addison Reed. Now as a 3-year-old, Addison showed in the leadline class and proudly joined her mother when she received the blue ribbon.
Returning to show in Raleigh for the Duke Children’s Benefit Horse Show, Nov. 11, was bittersweet for Lynley Reilly, who rode with the late Gail Knieriem of Chapel Hill, N.C.
Aboard Damascus, whom she owns with Randy Johnson of Greener Pastures (Md.), Reilly won the ACL/NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Classic in addition to the reserve tricolor in the adult amateur hunter, 18-35, division.
“This was my first time to come back to Raleigh without Gail,” Reilly said. “We were here together this summer for the NCHJA Annual Horse Show; I was the adult amateur and grand adult amateur champion and won the classic.”
Receiving a 90 as her first-round score, Reilly entered the ring for her second round with enormous pressure.
“I was thinking of Gail and asking for her help when I was riding around,” she said. “There were a couple of times I wanted to pull, but I know she would’ve wanted me to push him forward.”
|Fast Turns Equal Fast Times
Alexa Lowe dazzled the crowd and sped to the top two spots in the low junior/amateur-owner jumper classic at Duke, earning the only fault-free performances of the top four.
Lowe guided Confusion to the blue ribbon in 27.39 seconds and returned with Canezaro, posting a slightly slower 27.91 seconds for second.
With a jump-off that included a blind turn to a liverpool and a hard turn away from the in-gate to a combination, Lowe knew she had numerous challenges facing her green horses, both 6-year-old stallions.
“They’re maturing and just started going fast, so it’s good for me to do these classes and get them used to going faster,” Lowe said. “Both of them are breeding stallions from Windsor Farms, so it’s important they look good for me!”
Lowe trains with Thomas Voss, Upperville, Va. Windsor Farms bought both stallions as 2-year-olds from the Holsteiner Verband in Germany. “Both of them are great, and they have serious grand prix potential,” she said.
Lowe plans to move both horses up to the high division when she relocates to the Winter Equestrian Festival
Lowe kept up the speed in the high junior/amateur-owner classic but couldn’t keep the rails in the cups. The victory went to junior rider Aley Russell, Spartanburg, S.C., aboard Querreque.
Russell sped around the jump-off course and turned in a time of 27.45 seconds.
Russell returned to the ring after the first round with a plan to go forward but was anxious about the course.
“I’ve shown over Linda Allen’s courses before, and I haven’t done too well,” she said. “He’s still a little green, but in the past year he’s become more confident and I’ve gotten more confident. And he definitely helps me out with my distances.”
While it appeared the win would go to Michelle Spadone, who set a time of 28.09 seconds, Russell went last of the four competitors and finished almost a full second faster.
Russell has owned Querreque, a 7-year-old, Holsteiner gelding, since February when she purchased him from Andrea King. She trains with Katie Maxwell, Spartanburg, S.C., and enjoys taking Querreque hacking in fields or on trail rides.
Going last in the jump-off worked well for Rebecca Forbes as well, who won the ACL Children’s/Adult Jumper Finals on Kick The Clouds.
Even though the pair had a hard stumble after the combination in the jump-off, Forbes sped through the last two turns and turned in a blazing time of 24.26 seconds, barely ahead of Jackson Shurtz who finished second aboard Herriot in 24.14 seconds.
Forbes has competed with Kick The Clouds for the past two years and consistently pins in the adult amateur jumpers.
“He enjoys his job, and he really gets excited,” she said. “Whenever I pull the trailer out he knows it’s time to go.”
“It’s all about being able to show whenever you can,” she said.
Remembering Knieriem’s words helped Reilly score an 89 in her second round, taking a five-point lead over Katie Meagher and Keep The Faith. Reilly’s reserve championship came after winning the two over fences classes the first day and taking a fifth over fences the second day.
Success isn’t new for Reilly and Damascus, whom she refers to as “Pedro.” She’s ridden the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood for four years after purchasing him in the Netherlands with Johnson.
“I jumped two jumps on him and almost fell off when I tried him,” she said, laughing.
The pair has claimed numerous championships at top venues, including the adult amateur championships at the Wellington Finale (Fla.), the Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular and the Washington International Local Day (Va.). They were also second in the $10,000 Washington International Horse Show Adult Amateur Hunter Championship this past fall.
“Of all my wins, the [one] with Gail was my most memorable,” she said.
Reilly, Wilmington, N.C., works with Knieriem’s long-time friend and former business partner, Tony Albertson of Equiventure Farms in Rougemont, N.C., in addition to Rachel Kennedy and Bob Crandall.
Winning the ACL/NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic was a complete surprise for Kelsey Jeffries, who returned to showing after a three-month break due to an injury her horse sustained in August. “I’m just thrilled to be back!” she said.
Riding her Westphalian gelding, Protocol, Jeffries nailed every jump in both rounds of the classic, scoring an 84 and 84.5 for the blue ribbon. They also took first, second and third places over fences for the children’s hunter, 15-17, tricolor.
She cites Protocol’s “smooth stride” as a reason for their success. “We just click; I wasn’t nervous at all today,” she said.
Jeffries, 16, rides Protocol, nicknamed “Colin,” at her home in Catlett, Va., four to five days a week and
trailers regularly for lessons with Sandra Ruiz. Even though she’s owned the gelding for less than a year and competed him only 10 times, Jeffries has won championships at shows such as Loudoun Benefit (Va.), Upperville (Va.), and the Warrenton Pony Show (Va.).
Ahead Of The Class
Nobody could touch Zach Parks’ first-round score of an 86 in the ACL Junior Hunter Finals, which topped 14 other competitors. Riding Castleton to the blue ribbon with 165 points, Parks also took third in the class with his other mount, Cadeaux.
Due to a light rub, Parks and Castleton received a 79 for their second round but still managed to pull off the win, which added to Parks’ success as he also took the reserve tricolor in the large junior hunter, 16-17, division.
Castleton, or “Castle,” has been partnered with Parks for more than a year, and the two have accumulated many wins. “It’s always a pleasure to go around on him,” he said of the striking 8-year-old Hanoverian.
Even though Castleton and Cadeaux are different rides for Parks, he considers them both straightforward. In addition to a third-placed finish in the finals, Parks also added to his winning streak on Cadeaux
with the small junior hunter, 16-17, championship.
“Cadeaux is very nice to ride as well. He really carries himself,” Parks said of the 8-year-old, Holsteiner gelding. “He was really tired in this class since it was the last of his six trips.”
Parks credited much of his success to Claiborne Bishop of The Barracks, with whom he trains. Since he began his first year of college at Virginia Tech this fall, Parks relies on riders Maria Shannon, Bugsy Gray and Kirkland Brown to keep his horses in shape while he attends school.
As he ends his junior year, Parks will focus on the amateur-owners with Castleton and Cadeaux, fitting in showing with his busy school schedule.
The ACL Amateur-Owner Hunter Finals went down to the wire, but Laura Schroff Scaletti pulled ahead after a long day of showing to take the win over Grace Stuntz.
Both riders were separated by 1 point after the first round; Scaletti, aboard Heritage, received an 85 while Stuntz with Saving Grace scored an 84.
“Grace is always hard to compete against,” Scaletti said. “But she’s a great competitor because she’s always smiling and congratulating you; if you’re second to Grace you don’t feel bad at all!”
In the second round, the win was up for grabs, but Stuntz couldn’t beat her first-round score and settled with an 82. Going last in the order, Scaletti fought her nerves and rode a beautiful trip to receive an 84.
“It’s always hard to go back on top,” she said.
Scaletti considers this past show season to be her most successful year with Heritage, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood whom she bought four years ago.
“I started him in the baby greens and then we moved up to the pre-greens,” she said. “He’ll always give you his best. He’s straightforward, probably because he doesn’t know any better.”
Scaletti trains with Winn Alden, Bristow, Va., and balances riding in addition to her job with the federal government.
“This year was even more interesting because I got married in August and was trying to qualify for indoors,” she said with a laugh. “Every weekend it seemed like I was either competing or planning a