Articles: Press Release
2008 Washington International Horse Show Wrap-Up: October 21-26, 2008
Jenny Underwood and
Jennifer Wood of
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
D.C., October 26, 2008 - The 2008
Washington International Horse Show was an exiting and fun event for riders and
spectators alike. The six day competition offered more than $400,000 in prize
money, held exciting night time sessions full of exhibitions and
demonstrations, and hosted some of the best hunter and jumper competition in
The highlight event of the week was the $100,000 President's
Cup Grand Prix, which was won by two-time Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward
and Sapphire. Angel Karolyi (VEN) and Ron Krise's Sun God finished second as
the only other double clear, while Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, and
Pavarotti were third.
Ward and seven other riders were clear in the first rou
advance to the jump-off over the Richard Jeffrey-designed course. In the
jump-off, Karolyi and Sun God were the first to attempt the shortened course.
They went for the clear round with a little speed to put pressure on the other
riders following. With the exception of a slip in one turn, Karolyi executed
his plan beautifully. They finished with no faults in 39.47 seconds.
ngle and Hidden Creek's Pamina L gave a huge bid in
the jump-off when they sped around the turns, had a long effort at jump 9, and
galloped down to the final oxer. Pamina just barely tipped the back rail on the
final jump, and it fell to the dismay of the crowd for four faults. Engle
finished in 34.94 seconds and took fourth place.
Next in, Todd Minikus and Pa
varotti, were another duo that
could offer a big chance for speed in the jump-off. They ended up with the
fastest time of the night, 34.80 seconds, but it came at the expense of a rail
at jump 7c. They took home third place.
Ward and Sapphire were next to attemp
t the jump-off. They
approached the first jump, a vertical straight on the rail, to an easy distance
and Sapphire took a stutter at take-off. They cleared the jump and then made it
down the forward four-stride line. Ward then opened up the mare's stride, and
they cruised through the rest of the course. He galloped hard down the last
line, and Sapphire sailed over the final oxer with room to spare. They finished
clear in a winning time of 35.79 seconds.
Ward and Sapphire's record speaks f
or itself and the
33-year-old rider has amassed many of his biggest achievements with the
13-year-old mare. "She's obviously incredible, and our sights are on the World
Cup in Las Vegas
and the World Championships after that. I've been so blessed; all of us have,
to have this horse in our lives. She keeps doing and doing for us. There's
nothing I can do to thank her enough. We have a lot of goals still that we want
to accomplish; there's a lot left on the plate," he said. "I'm so lucky to have
the team of people around her; Lee, Erica, Carrie, Jenny, Thomas Grossman, and
my father. They make my life very easy."
While Ward has two Olympic gold
medals and over 100 grand
prix wins, his victory tonight at Washington<
still holds significance. "It means a lot. This is one of the most coveted
grand prix in America.
I actually came here this year with a strong desire to win. I like to win every
day, but sometimes a little more than others. I really came up with a plan for
Wednesday through Saturday
The 2008 Washington International Horse
Show (WIHS) opened
up jumper competition on Wednesday. In the $10,000 WIHS Children's Jumper
Championship, O'Mara and Raya de la Cour were one of 15 pairs to advance with a
first round clear to the jump-off. O'Mara went seventh in the jump-off and
lowered the leading time to 23.900 seconds with a second clean round. The last
to go in the jump-off was Zoe Glassman on Nobilis. They were clear in 24.078
seconds to finish in second place.
O'Mara has owned the 13-year-old mare only
since this past
January and calls Raya her "perfect match." O'Mara trains with Mary Babick and
Mary Donner and was excited to compete again at the WIHS.
Kenzie Donovan, a 1
9-year-old adult jumper rider, piloted
Max to the win in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship. Donovan and Max
were the fastest clear round in a jump-off of 12 competitors. They crossed the
finish line in a blazing fast time of 22.656 seconds to take the lead over
Olivia Fry Weeks and Atman, who were quick in 23.407 seconds.
Max, an 11-year-old gelding, her "great
little horse." Standing just over 15 hands high, Max is fast with a deceptively
long stride, she said. "He is a really fast turner. He can go from nothing to a
huge stride in no time and turn in the air. We say that he has a little jet
pack because he can just gallop right up there," she laughed.
The Open J
umpers began on Thursday with the $25,000
International Open Jumper class. Mario Deslauriers of Canada rode Paradigm to the win in
the first class, which was a qualifier for Saturday night's $100,000 President's
Cup Grand Prix. Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, and Marengo put
together the highest score to win the $20,000 Gambler's Choice class in the
The course designer for all of the jumper courses this week
is Richard Jeffrey of Bournemouth,
$25,000 International Open Jumper class was a Time First Round format, and
there were 26 entries in the class. Deslauriers went tenth in the order and was
chasing the fast time of 53.76 seconds set by Darragh Kerins on Night Train,
owned by Double H Farm. Kerins finished in second place, while Carolyn Kelly
and Rulanda were third in 53.46 seconds.
Deslauriers and Paradigm, a 14-year-
old gelding, sped easily
through the course with neat turns to bring the winning time down to 52.16
seconds with no faults. Although there were eight clear rounds in the class,
nobody was able to catch his time.
Hillary Dobbs, last year's Leading Open Ju
mper Rider, kept
her winning form in Washington
by taking the blue ribbon in the $20,000 Gambler's Choice. She rode Marengo,
her horse that won two classes here last year.
McLain Ward just missed winnin
g the Gambler's Choice class
two years in a row. He and Goldika 559 finished in second with 1200 points,
just behind Dobbs' 1270 accumulation. Christine McCrea and Twisther finished
third with 990 points.
It was a very exciting night at <
st1:placename w:st="on">Verizon Center
when five horses and riders took center stage to tackle one of the most
difficult classes in show jumping on Friday. 23-year-old Michael Morrissey of
on Scaraberas, owned by Eugene R. Mische, topped seven feet and a half inch to
win the $25,000 Puissance class. Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL, and Thomas Edison
tied for second place with Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, with Sleepy P
Although only five riders attempted the puissance wall, t
big crowds were on the edge of their seats through five rounds of high-action
jumping. In the first round, all five riders cleared five feet, seven inches
over the solid wall with the green rolltop.
The second round progressed to si
x feet, one inch, and again
all five riders were clear, to the thrill of the crowd. The wall was raised
again to six feet, seven inches for the riders to attempt. This is where two
horses were unable to go clear: Aaron Vale on Claudia Billups' Aristide 7
knocked the rolltop off. Angel Karolyi and Curioso Z, owned by Ron Krise, also
had blocks fall off the wall during their attempt. However, it was a fantastic
effort by both riders. This was Vale's horse's first puissance class, and it
was 21-year-old Karolyi's first puissance as well. They ended up tied for
fourth place, having cleared 6'1".
Minikus, Jayne, and Morrissey sailed
over 6'7" to advance to
a fourth round, where they built the imposing wall up to seven feet and a half
inch. Minikus and Presidente were the first to go, and the big grey horse
refused the wall. Minikus took a practice jump and stopped, not wanting to risk
his horse's confidence by trying to jump the wall again.
Jayne and Thomas Edi
son made it to the wall and over the
top, but blocks rained down when the bay American Thoroughbred could not quite
clear the height, leaving the door open for a win for Morrissey.
d Scaraberas, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding
that he has ridden for five years, were the final pair in the ring. The crowd
fell silent as Morrissey approached the practice jump. He rounded the corner
and came down to the trot, where he switched to the outside lead- the horse's
more comfortable way of going. He then cantered easily down to the wall and
slipped over the top, clearing over seven feet for the win.
As soon as Morris
sey cleared the wall, every rider at the
in-gate blocked his exit with their thumbs up, calling for an attempt at the
North American record, which was set in 1983. The record was set at the WIHS by
Anthony d'Ambrosio and Sweet N' Low at seven feet, seven and a half inches.
Morrissey talked it over with his team at the in-gate and decided he would go
for the record.
The wall was raised to a staggering height of seven feet,
eight inches for Morrissey's record attempt. Hopes were dashed, however, when
Scaraberas was unable to clear the top and came down awkwardly. He fell to one
knee upon landing and Morrissey was unseated, but both horse and rider walked
out of the ring unharmed. Although he did not set a new record, Morrissey was
applauded for his efforts and still took home the blue ribbon and top prize
When asked why Morrissey went for the record, he said with a
smile, "I wanted to get my name in the books. There was a lot of encouragement
in the in-gate with the other riders, and I wanted to give it a try."
ige Johnson of The Plains, VA, took victory in the $10,000
Ambassador's Cup Classic for amateur-owner jumpers this afternoon. She piloted
La Martinee to the win over Whitney Weeks and Subliem. Subliem was named the
Amateur Jumper Champion while La Martinee was the reserve champion.
ay afternoon, there were two jumper classes on the
schedule. Kaitlin Campbell of Pipersville,
PA, rode Rocky W, owned by
Krestwood LLC, to victory in the $10,000 Senator's Cup Junior Jumper class. She
had two time faults in the jump-off to beat the fastest four-faulter, Laura
Pfeiffer on Thorstin. The junior jumper division champion was Jamison, ridden
by Kimberly McCormack for Athlone Partners. The reserve champions were Saphira
and Alexandra Arute. The Shalanno Style of Riding Award also went to McCormack,
while the Best Child Rider on a Horse honors went to Jessica Springsteen of
Colts Neck, NJ.
Hillary Dobbs rounded out the week with her third win in the
open jumpers aboard Marengo in the $20,000 Hit and Hurry class. Her incredible
success gave her the Leading Open Jumper Rider title for the second year in a
row. Angel Karolyi was named the Leading International Rider.
Katherine Newman of Upperville, VA, rode Class Action, a
nine-year-old gelding owned by Bar X Ranch, for the first time three days ago.
This evening, she rode through two beautiful rounds to win the 2008 WIHS
Equitation Classic Finals. Samantha Schaefer of Westminster,
MD, placed second, while Matt Metell of North Falmouth, MA,
The top 30 junior riders in the nation qualified for the 2008 WIHS Equitation
Classic Finals by placing well throughout the year. They started the
competition yesterday with a hunter phase. Newman scored a respect
The jumper phase comm
enced this afternoon. All 30 riders returned for the
second round and tackled a 12 jump course set by Richard Jeffrey. Two imposing
bending lines in a row with a Swedish oxer proved to be the most difficult part
of the course.
Newman won the jumper phase with a fantastic score of 92.67, an average from
six judges at three positions in the ring. Schaefer and Aston scored an 85.83
to continue their consistency.
After the two rounds of scores were added up, the top ten riders were asked to
return for the third phase, a final work-off where riders switch horses. At
this point in the class, Newman sat in third place behind Emma Lipman and
In the final round, Samantha Schaefer rode Logan, a horse owned and ridden by Chelsea
Moss. She put in a smooth round and received an average score of 91.666, which
gave her a total of 266.165. This moved Schaefer up from fifth place to second
in the final standings.
Matt Metell and Rodin, Carolyn Curcio's horse, put in
solid round as well for an 89 and a total of 263.750. They would end up in
Newman was next and she piloted Papillon 136, Jessica Springsteen's mount. They
flowed easily around the course, hiding the fact that it was their first course
together. The judges rewarded them with an average score of 91.333 for a total
of 269.415. This vaulted them to the lead.
Tuesday through Sunday
Tuesday evening showcased the $10,000 WIHS
Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Amateur Hunter Championship. A
culmination of the top 30 qualified riders were invited to compete. The
children's class went first with 29 riders. Competitors received one high score
after another. At the end of the first round, there was only one elimination.
The top 12 riders were invited back to jump a revised second round course.
Coming out on
top was Kristen Mohr and her horse Marvel. The 12-year-old grey
Holsteiner was just recently passed down from older sister Lindsey Mohr to
younger sister. Eleven-year-old Mohr trains with Beacon
Hill. Mohr's older sister Lindsey also trains with them. Mohr
looks up to her sister for confidence and advice.
Taking home the $10,000 WIHS Adult Amateur Hunter championship award was
19-year-old Lindsey Mohr and her Dutch Warmblood Lion King. She has owned him
for five years. "I love my horse; he is my favorite to ride," said Mohr. "He is
so consistent and I don't have to worry about him going into the ring and
spooking or taking off. He is just a very quiet horse and he is so sweet."
ewart of Flemington,
NJ, spent much of Wednesday
morning accepting championship awards. Stewart was named Second Year Green
Working Hunter Champion, Green Conformation Hunter Champion and tied for Grand
Hunter Champion on his horse Ovation, a horse he owns himself. Aboard another
one of his mounts World Time, Stewart was First Year Green Working Hunter
Champion. To top everything off, he was also Leading Hunter Rider for the
fourth time at WIHS. The reserve champion in the Second Year Green Hunters was Sting,
ridden by Jennifer Alfano for Helen Lenahan. The Green Conformation Hunter
reserve champion was Sambalino, ridden by Ken Berkley and owned by Gina Day.
Rosalynn and Hunt Tosh, who rode for Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare, were reserve
champions in the First Year Green Hunters.
David Wright and Renaissance, owne
d by South Point Farms,
came away with the championship award in the Regular Working Hunters. Wright
only rides the horse at horse shows when he is shipped in from South Point Farm
in Kansas City, Missouri
st1:state>, and they keep him on a light
training program. The reserve champion in the division was Jersey Boy, ridden
by Jennifer Alfano for SBS Farms.
In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Leslie
Steele and mount Smitten,
owned by Stephanie Danhakl, came away with the championship. Steele also tied
with Stewart for Grand Hunter Champion. White Oak, ridden by Archie Cox for
Delanie Stone, was the reserve champion. Smitten is still on the green side and
stands at a height of 15.2, but that does not damper his athletic abilities.
The pair picked up two firsts, a second and third place ribbons.
Later in the day the Amateur-Owner Hunters competed. The
Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter Championship tricolor was awarded to Tracy Sheriff
with Lavari. The reserve championship prize went to Zach Parks and Castleton.
In the Amateur-Owner 35 and Over Hunter division, Player, with Penelope Ayers
in the irons, took home the championship honors. Larkspur and Ashley Kennedy
Whitner received the reserve championship trophy. Tracy Sheriff and Lavari won
both the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title and the Leading
Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider title.
The competition on Friday started off with
classes for the Junior Hunter divisions. Taking home the Grand Junior Hunter
Championship was 15-year-old Jessica Springsteen and her horse, eight-year-old
Tiziano. She was also the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter Champion. The
reserve champion in the Large Junior 15 & Under division was Perfectionist,
ridden by Samantha Schaefer for Scott Stewart.
In the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters,
taking home the
championship was Katie Dinan and her horse Angelo. Dinan piloted her
nine-year-old horse to first, second, third, and fifth-place ribbons in the
division. Victoria Birdsall rode Cool Blue for Paris Sellon to the reserve
championship in the division.
Caitie Hope and Lyle were champions of the Smal
16-17 Hunters with first, second and third-place ribbons. Owned by Stephanie
Keen, Lyle and Hope make a great pair. They have been champions at Capital
Challenge, the PNHS, and now Washington this fall. In addition to indoors, they
have also been champion at almost every major national horse show they attended
this spring and summer. Jennifer Waxman and Seduced, owned by Erin Tormondsen,
were reserve champions.
Next to compete was the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. W
first, second, third and sixth-place ribbons, Nicoletta Von Heidegger and her
Town were champions. In the reserve
champion spot was Alise Oken and mount
Take Away. They came away
with two firsts. Oken was also awarded the Best Stake Round trophy and award.
She received the highest score out of the four junior hunter stake classes
The WIHS Pony Equitation Classic was held following the pony
hunters. A class of 26 riders competed in the first round jumping phase, and
the top twelve riders were invited back for a second round flat phase. Coming
home with the blue ribbon was 13-year-old Shawn Casady and pony Liseter Clever
Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. Helping to present the award was last year's
winner, Taylor Ann Adams.
In the $15,000 WIHS Hunter Classic, Scott Stewart p
World Time to the win. The class was by invitation only; extended to those
horse and riders who won championship honors in this week's hunter divisions.
unter Classic course included tight rollbacks, as well as an intricate
snake fence. During his first round, Stewart received a score of 90.333 with
World Time, which put him in the lead going into the second round. Jessica
Springsteen and Tiziano returned to the second round in the fourth place
position. Their second round was impeccable, taking a very tight inside option
after a two-stride. The performance would earn them a score of 95.333 and total
of 176.333, as well as resounding cheers from the audience. Stewart would not
be outdone though, and returned to the ring to produce another terrific round.
He received a score of 91.666, resulting in total of 181.999 and today's
World Time and Stewart qualified for the $15,000 WIHS Hunter Derby Classic by
winning the championship in the First Year Green Working Hunters. Springsteen
and Tiziano's incredible second round earned them the reserve honors in the
Hunter Classic. Katie Dinan and Angelo also produced two solid efforts, for a total
score of 167.333 and the third place ribbon.
Taking home the Grand Pony Hunte
r Championship was Meredith
Darst and pony All About Me, who is owned by Megan Davis. Darst also won the
Medium Pony Hunter Championship with two firsts, a second and fourth-place
ribbons. Katie Dinan's Light Up the Year and rider Lillie Keenan came away with
reserve champion honors. Darst has been champion at this horse show three years
in a row; the past two years have been with this particular pony.
"She has not show
n him since Devon, so we came
with absolutely no expectations," said Mindy Darst, Meredith's mother. "He got
to come because of winning a championship last year. He literally came out of
the field and had shoes put on. It was beyond our wildest expectations to win.
He and Maddy have been a match from day one, and it has been a great success
story. The venue doesn't matter; there is just a very special bond that those
two have. They have just picked up right where they left off."
In the La
rge Pony Hunter division, Shawn Casady and A Day at
the Beach, owned by Katie Dawson, were champions. Casady rode to first, second,
and sixth-place ribbons. Taking home reserve champion honors were Lillie Keenan
and Beau Rivage, owned by Casey Green.
Rolling Stone and Sophie Michaels came
away with the
championship award in the Small Pony Hunters. Ten-year-old Michaels, who
resides in New York, NY, piloted her pony Rolling Stone to first,
second and seventh-place ribbons. Reserve champion was Aleece Jarman and her
pony Rico Suave.
The local horse and pony hunters competed today as well.
Taking home championship top honors in the Local Pony Hunters was 15-year-old
Lindsay Wolf and Otteridge Black Hawk, owned by Amanda Groher. Behind Wolf in
the reserve champion position was Silver Rain and Madeline Schaefer, who won
today's final class.
In the Local Hunter Horse division, Keri Guanciale and <
st1:city w:st="on">Westport were named
champions. Taking home reserve championship was Jessica Chappell and Gran Cru.
For more information and full results from the Washington
International Horse Show, please visit www.wihs.org.
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