Tuesday, May. 28, 2024

Who Won What This Weekend

U.S. rider Beezie Madden had an uncharacteristic blip in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at the Longines Royal International Horse Show—commonly known as Hickstead—on Friday, but she and Cortes ‘C’ rebounded to take their second consecutive win in the King George V Gold Cup grand prix. Todd Minikus was also in the hunt, finishing sixth in the grand prix after two clean rounds in the Nations Cup for the U.S. team. You can read all about it.

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U.S. rider Beezie Madden had an uncharacteristic blip in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at the Longines Royal International Horse Show—commonly known as Hickstead—on Friday, but she and Cortes ‘C’ rebounded to take their second consecutive win in the King George V Gold Cup grand prix. Todd Minikus was also in the hunt, finishing sixth in the grand prix after two clean rounds in the Nations Cup for the U.S. team. You can read all about it.

Bertram Allen on Molly Malone willing at the Dinard CSIO.
Photo by Pixel Events

In France, the Irish phenom Bertram Allen not only left his teenage years behind as he turned 20 on Aug. 1, but he also topped the Grand Prix of Dinard CSIO*****. He and the gray mare Molly Malone defeated Frenchmen Kevin Staut on Rêveur de Hurtebise and Jérôme Hurel on Quartz Rouge. U.S. rider Kent Farrington placed fifth on Ucecko with 12 faults in the jump-off.

Allen said: “It was a difficult decision for me to bring her here and not take her to Dublin next week because it is the most important show of the year for us, but I hope this will be a good preparation for the European Championships.” Allen plans to ride Romanov on the Irish team at the Furisiyya FEI Nations Cup at Dublin.

In eventing, Buck Davidson and Ballynoecastle RM earned their fourth victory in the prestigious advanced division at the Millbrook Horse Trials (N.Y.), with Kim Severson and Lynn Symansky getting their World Games riders—Fernhill Fearless and Donner—out to place second and third. It was an enormous division, with 50 horses completing. Davidson was also first and second in a division of intermediate (Carlevo and Approved Power) while Phillip Dutton won both the open preliminary divisions (Z and Fernhill Singapore).

See full Millbrook Horse Trials results.

Alison Robitaille on Cassinja on their way to winning the
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Grand Prix.
Photo by Phelps Media

In Kentucky, Alison Robitaille won her first grand prix class in years, after she took a few years to slow down and bring along young horses and have two children. She rode Cassinja to the top of the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Grand Prix. “I’m really so excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve won a grand prix,” Robitaille said. “I’m so proud of my horse. I got her at the end of her 7-year-old year and sort of stepped her up into the grand prix. I’m just really proud of her.

“She’s always been very brave and basically rideable. It’s just been a little bit of a process learning how to go fast on her,” Robitaille explained. “In the beginning, when I went to go fast, she thought that she was in trouble. She would be more looking back at me and worried. Now, in the last year, she’s really picked up on it and is so much more with me. I feel like she gets it more in the jump-off now. It’s really fun. It’s a fun part of bringing young horses along – to feel it come together.”

Second to Robitaille was Juan Ortiz of Venezuela on Dulien van de Smeets. “By nature, she’s not the fastest horse,” Ortiz said. “She’s a very scopey, powerful horse. Her advantage is to jump big classes with clean rounds, which is where other horses struggle. Going against a horse like Alison’s, which is a little smaller and lighter on her feet, I had to make too many efforts, and there were not really a lot of places for me to eat strides.”

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Ortiz just acquired the ride on Dulien van de Smeets this summer after getting a call from McLain Ward. “There was a chance to go to Pan Am Games. So, my friend McLain, one of my best friends in the world, calls me on the phone and says, ‘Juan, I have the horse for you to go to Pan Ams,'” Ortiz explained. It was just two months before the Games, however. “My partner believed in me, and McLain thought that it was the right horse for me, so I jogged the mare, jumped the first class, and in the first grand prix I jumped double clear. Since then, we’ve only jumped one grand prix that I haven’t jumped double clear. It’s been an unbelievable experience.”

See full Kentucky Summer Classic results.

Out in Illinois, Tracy Fenney dominated the $50,000 Lamplight Grand Prix, winning aboard Reve du Paradis and

Tracy Fenny and Reve du Paradis on their way to the win
in the $50,000 Lamplight Grand Prix.
Photo by Chicago Equestrian

claiming second with MTM Dumbedorf. They’re both relatively new rides for Fenny. Of Dombedorf, 8, she said: “He’s still adjusting to my ride and we’re working on getting him in shape, and getting him acclimated to our time. Every time he’s just coming out with more and more horse. Today he was a little feisty and we really liked what we saw. When I knew we were winning, I just focused on going clean. The first couple of times we showed him he jumped about eight different ways, he really tires to correct himself. He’s a smart horse,” raved Fenney about her mount.

Also at Equifest II, Kelley Farmer and Taken topped a star-studded field to win the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Farmer had six rides in the class while fellow derby star Jennifer Alfano brought three of her top horses. They’re all getting ready for the derby championships in two weeks.

“I am over the moon thrilled,” said Taken’s owner, Jessica Stitt. “He’s the horse of a lifetime and I’m absolutely thrilled to be here to see it. You’ll never get another horse like this one and he jumped through the roof amazing.” Stitt talked about her hopes for the finals: “I just want him to go around good; blue ribbons are great but I just want him to be the great horse he is.”

“Taken was just like a young horse again here today,” Farmer said. “He’s had it a little easy lately.”

“He was horse of the year as a first year horse, second year horse and high performance horse,” added Farmer’s partner, Larry Glefke. “Then Jess [Stitt] did him in the amateurs for a bit and he did the juniors which is like pony jumps for him. We started him back in the spring and he’s been great coming back.”

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See full results from Equifest II.

Then, in Vermont, former equitation star Julie Welles placed first, second and third in the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix during the Vermont Summer Festival. New ride Virginia W Z took the blue, with Twan and Bazooka de Muze following up with red and yellow ribbons.

Julie Welles and Virginia W Z winning
the $30,000 Manchester & The 
Mountains Grand Prix.
Photo by David Mullinix

Virginia W Z flew to the States from Europe in early July and started competing right away for Welles and owners North Run. “She was doing two-star classes in Europe so she’s a horse that can do courses like this right off the bat,” said Welles. “We did her in the 1.30-meter to start off the week and she just kept moving up.

“I’m still getting to know her a little bit, but she’s straightforward and game to win—you just have to hang on,” said Welles with a smile.

Welles refers to her winning mount as “Spicey” and is already impressed with the mare’s dedication. “She takes no leg and has so much scope,” she said. “I tested her a little bit going into the last line in the first round. I steadied her too much and basically came to a stand still before the end of the line. But, I knew I didn’t have to put any pressure on her at all and she would just sail over it. It’s a really good feeling to have a horse that is going to jump no matter what you do.”

According to Welles, each of her three rides felt capable of pulling off the win on Saturday. “Twan is one of my favorites and he’s always ready to go fast and win. Bazooka only shows in the summer and he felt ready to go this week,“ said Welles. “I was really happy with how all three went today. It just happened that I had to beat Twan just in case the two behind me were faster. My plan with Bazooka was to have a nice clean round.”

See full Manchester & The Mountains results.

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