Articles: Press Release
Orlando and Rio Renoir Stay the Course for Victory in the $60,000
National Horse Show Open Hunter Championship
Photo Credit: Rio Renoir and Holly Orlando, winners of the National
Horse Show Open Hunter Championship at the 122nd National Horse Show and
Family Festival. Photo by Randi Muster.
Jennifer Wood and Jenny Ross of Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Towell and Miracle Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Championship
Wellington, FL- December 3, 2005- Consistency was key to be one of the
top twelve hunters at the 122nd National Horse Show and Family Festival,
but it also took a brilliant last round to pull off the win. Luckily,
Rio Renoir and rider Holly Orlando had both. They were smooth throughout
five rounds of competition spread over three days to win the National
Horse Show Open Hunter Championship. The 122nd National Horse Show and
Family Festival finishes competition tomorrow with the highlight, the
Budweiser AGA Championships, presented by Chesapeake Petroleum, at 2
Today, the focus of the horse show was on the hunters. The first phase
of the competition took place on Wednesday and Thursday during the
horses' respective divisions. Their scores from the three over fences
rounds were averaged together for the "Phase One" score. The twelve
horses throughout all five divisions- First Year, Second Year, Green
Conformation, Regular Conformation, and W.B. Redfern Regular Working-
with the highest Phase One averages were asked to return today for their
fourth and fifth rounds. The fourth and fifth round scores were then
averaged for a "Phase Two" score. The two phase scores were added for a
total that determined the winner.
"Rio", owned by Why Wait Farm and Cynthia and Thomas Deibert of
Wellington, Florida, is a 6 year old Canadian Sporthorse by Rio Grande.
He and fellow Wellington resident Orlando came into today's competition
with a Phase One score of 83.5. In the first round today, they had a
high score of 89.5. Scott Stewart, who rode six horses in the class,
led the first round today with an impressive score of 90.916 on
Alexandra Stathis' Truly.
In the second round, horses competed again over a long, flowing course
on the grass field of the Internationale Arena. Last to show, Rio and
Orlando set a metronome pace and stayed with it for the entire course.
They were chasing Stewart and Fellini, owned by Molly Ohrstrom, who had
a second round score of 87.16, a Phase Two score of 87.08, and a total
of 171.638. Rio rose to the challenge, and the judges rewarded him with
a score of 88.75 in the second round. This gave them the Phase Two
average score of 89.13 and a total of 172.624.
The win was sweet for Orlando, who won this same class twice with the
famous horse Overdressed when the National Horse Show was in New York.
"It's Overdressed's class, so it means a lot," she said. Orlando knew
that she would not be able to keep track of the complicated scoring
system for the class, so she figured she "wouldn't worry about it." "My
horse is very trustworthy, so I knew he would pull through for us," she
explained, adding with a laugh, "It was past my mathematical abilities!"
The plan with Rio has worked out very well for Orlando and trainer Joe
Guzman, who does all of the riding chores outside of the show ring. "Joe
does everything, from start to finish. I get on and go in the ring,"
Orlando mentioned. Guzman added, "And that's been working fine! We're
afraid to change it. I get on and do the discipline, and Holly gets on
and pats him, so he loves her more than me!"
When asked what they like most about Rio, both answered with a firm,
"Everything." Guzman described, "He's happy and he's comfortable and he
totally enjoys going to the shows and doing his job. He tries really
hard for us, and I totally believe in him. I know when he walks in that
he's going to give it his all." Orlando explained, "He's so scopey and
athletic. He's exciting to watch. There's so much appeal there."
Coming into the show ring today, Orlando said, "When he walked out
there, he was like, 'Oh, another round...' But then he saw all of the
people and perked up and got a little more into it. I think he rises to
the occasion when he goes in the ring. It's the same no matter where he
is, no matter what horse show it is. I don't think I can say that we had
a bad horse show this year. Rio is the most amazing horse."
Official Results: NHS Open Hunter Championship, Internationale Arena
1. Rio Renoir, Holly Orlando, Why Wait Farm/Thomas and Cynthia Deibert:
2. Fellini, Scott Stewart, Molly Ohrstrom: 171.638
3. Truly, Scott Stewart, Alexandra Stathis: 170.624
4. Up To Date, Scott Stewart, Richard Prant: 169.916
5. Independence, Sandy Ferrell, Kimberly Dunn: 169.707
6. Music Street, Scott Stewart, Alexa Weisman: 168.637
7. C.C. Bloom, Rob Bielefeld, Samantha Hallman: 165.721
8. Pharrell, Aaron Vale, Euri Uchiyama: 164.068
9. Eldridge T, Kelley Farmer, Larry Glefke: 160.596
10. Dynamic, Scott Stewart, Fashion Farm: 150.444
11. Espresso, Sandy Ferrell, Alexa Weisman: 149.485
12. Cool Blue, Scott Stewart, Alexandra Stathis: 145.930
The NHS Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship was scored under the
same rules as the Open Hunter Championship. The leader going into Phase
Two was the Grand Junior Hunter Champion, Miracle. Owned by Christy
Russo of Miami, Florida and ridden by Jack Hardin Towell Jr. of Camden,
South Carolina, Miracle had a Phase One score of 88.89.
Towell never rode Miracle before Thursday, but the partnership was fully
cemented by the time the Championship rolled around. "She was very easy
to ride right away," he noted. In today's class, he mentioned, "She
tried hard today, but was a little tired, so she wasn't as crisp as
yesterday." Miracle scored 85 in the first round.
In the second round, the ones to beat were Tribute and Krista Weisman.
One judge gave them a high score of 98, and their last round average was
92.6. When averaged with the first round and added to the Phase One
score, they finished with a 170.52. Towell and Miracle needed a very
good round to win, and luckily Miracle provided it.
She finished with a last round score of 87.5, and her eventual total
came to 175.13, which gave her the victory. "She goes in there to
please," said Towell. The win was a great finish to a successful year
for Towell. "It was nice to show different hunters than the ones I have,
and to win on them is a big bonus," he concluded. "Hopefully I can do
this well next year, my last junior year."
Official Results: NHS Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship,
1. Miracle, Jack Hardin Towell Jr., Christy Russo: 175.138
2. Tribute, Krista Weisman: 170.526
3. Saloon, Jennifer Waxman, Whitney Roper: 168.499
4. Davis Cup, Alexandra Stathis: 165.193
5. Roundabout, Morgan Trexler, Windswept, Inc.: 161.666
6. Quidam, Tatiana Dzavik, Sarah B. Willeman: 160.054
7. High Cotton, Jack Hardin Towell Jr., Christy Russo: 159.748
8. Lyle, Jane Ehrhart, Mrs. Randolph Rinehart: 155.860
9. Chopard, Krista Weisman: 150.916
10. Fancy That, Maggie McAlary, Whitney Roper: 150.527
11. Damiro, Sara Benach: 140.193
12. Private Ryan, Tracy Scheriff: 131.499
Bainbridge Farm Adult Amateur Hunter Champions Honored at the 122nd
National Horse Show and Family Festival
The Bainbridge Farm Adult Amateur Hunters concluded today in the Rost
Arena with an under saddle and an over fences stake. Richard Schechter
of Bainbridge Farm, located in Wellington, Fla., is president of The
Bainbridge Companies LLC. As sponsor of the class, Schechter joined
other members of the National Horse Show Gentlemen's Committee in the
awards ceremony that followed the final round.
After a stellar win in yesterday's class, Holly Caristo piloted Indian
Summer to the lead in today's Adult Amateur 36 and Over Hunter Stake
with a score of 90.670. Caristo's double blue performance earned the
division championship and the 'Seymour Cohn' Perpetual Memorial Trophy.
This honor is awarded to the horse and rider who receive the highest
scores in the Adult Amateur Hunters.
If won three times by the same horse with the same ownership or four
times by the same owner, this division championship trophy is retired by
the winner for permanent possession. Last year's winner, Samantha J.
Hallman, donated this year's trophy after retiring the Lisa A.H. Cudahy
Caristo was all smiles after her round today. "We're friends of the
Hallman's, and it was really special to win this award," related
Caristo. "I was champion here last year, but I wasn't grand champion. So
it's always nice to add a little from the year before. It's exciting."
"I think the course rode great today and was a lot of fun. It was really
nicely set up, and the striding was good," she added. Caristo and her
husband Ralph reside in Wellington, Fla. during the winter and
Saugerties, NY in the summer. "My wife rode beautifully, as usual,"
reported Ralph Caristo. "The horse was just outstanding. I knew it right
from the schooling area that he was going to have a nice trip."
Ellen Toon of South Salem, NY and My Disguise earned the tricolor
reserve champion award after her second place finish today and
In the Adult Amateur 18-35 division, Alexandra Cherubini and Sapphire
succeeded to win the championship after yesterday's win and her placings
today. "My horse felt great today," said Cherubini. "It's an honor to be
champion here at this show; it's been a great ending to a great year."
Cherubini, who owns Equifit, Inc., resides in Boston, Mass. and trains
with Jimmy Toon. Her company sells a line of jumping boots that conform
and mold to all contours and bone structures of the horse's legs.
Equifit, Inc. also markets the riding posture correction garment,
A tie for reserve champion in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters pinned an
even finish for Stephanie Riggio and her mount Aspen and Jennifer Reid
aboard Bonafide. Reid's mount is owned by Richard Schechter and
McKay Saddles Up Sideways for the Championship
The National Horse Show continued the tradition of Ladies Side Saddle as
riders mounted up for competition under the Friday night lights. The
under saddle class started off the division prior to last night's
"Jumping Under the Stars" $100,000 Lexus National Horse Show Jumper
Championship, presented by Chesapeake Petroleum.
The NHS Ladies Side Saddle was sponsored by The Hunter Experience
(T.H.E.), a stable owned by Davera Ackenbom. Ackenbom specializes in
side saddle training and coached all of the riders who participated in
this weekend's side saddle classes.
The competition is composed of three classes: the under saddle, the over
fences, and the hunter hack. The under saddle class is scored 75 % on
performance and 25% on formal hunt appointments. The over fences and
hunter hack are judged upon the horse's performance, suitability,
manners, jumping form, and consistency. They were held today in the Rost
Top honors in the under saddle class were awarded to Bye Day and Chelsie
Liming of Fredericksburg, Va., with Just One More and Courtney McKay
finishing in second. Both mounts are owned by Sally Lamb of
Today's top finisher over fences was professional Jocelyn Dayus of
Spotsylvania, Va. Dayus, who rode her own horse Devon, rides and trains
at Ackenbom's farm in Keswick, Va. Just One More and McKay finished in
Courtney McKay, who has not ridden side saddle since she was four,
triumphed in the hunter hack class and trotted her way to first place.
This win sealed McKay and Just One More's division championship.
McKay participated in the discipline because she was recruited by her
mother, a side saddle rider herself. McKay is the professional hunter
and jumper rider for Jay Golding at Laureling Farm in Keswick, Va.
"It's really hard!" giggled McKay. "I have to say that riding around
here was harder than showing some of my young pre-green horses! The
horse was so good...to put up with me. I'm sure it's used to people who
are a lot more balanced than I am."
McKay noted how different the ride felt compared to hunters, "You have
to keep your hands lower and lean farther back. It's a lot of
overcompensating on the right side, so you have to keep reminding
yourself to pull your right shoulder back and keep your weight in your
Jocelyn Dayus and Devon took home the reserve champion silver medal.
Hunter competition finishes tomorrow with the Pony and Children's
Hunters; Championships will be decided after they complete their final