National Horse Show Wraps Up Wellington In Winning Style
FL December 2, 2003 The 120th National Horse Show
was held for the second consecutive year in Wellington, Florida,
over Thanksgiving Weekend, November 26-30, featuring top riders
in the US qualified to compete. Produced by Stadium Jumping, Inc.
for the National Horse Show of America, Ltd., at the Palm Beach
Polo Equestrian Club show grounds, home of the Winter Equestrian
Festival, the National hosted 600 horses vying for national championships
and more than $380,000 in prize money. The equestrian disciplines
of show jumping, hunters, equitation, and sidesaddle were featured,
as well as dressage at the 2nd Annual Zada Enterprises LLC Dressage
at the National, which ran from November 28-30. Record-setting crowds
overflowed the 7500-capacity arena for Jumping Under The Stars and
the AGA Championship Grand Prix.
opening day on Wednesday, Debbie Stephens riding Cosequins
CEO owned by her Centennial Farm of Palmetto, FL, won the $25,000
Palm Beach Post National Welcome Qualifying Stake, besting a field
of 34 entries. It was a nice opening course, said Stephens.
The top riders are here, so with only four clean obviously
it was a little more difficult than we had anticipated. Stephens
bred and raised her mount, so the win was not only sweet for her
as a breeder, but also because it was her first experience back
in the Internationale Arena since last February when a bad fall
at the water jump during the Winter Equestrian Festival put her
out of the show ring for three months. She credits the Miami Project
for Paralysis for putting her back in competition form. Its
been a different kind of road, but I have a wonderful staff and
horse, said Stephens. Hes Olympic caliber, no
Stewart of Flemington, NJ, and Wellington, FL, rode Chopard to victory
in the Regular Conformation Hunter Round 1. My horse went
great. Its a beautiful day and the field is perfect. I think
they all jumped great. It was a nice course. It wasnt
too technical, it was a nice galloping use of the field and it let
them jump their best. Stewart has been riding the nine-year-old
Bavarian gelding owned by Krista Weisman of Sherbourne, MA, for
Smith of Wellington, FL, and Miracle owned by Christy Russo won
the first round of the Regular Working Hunter Class and placed second
in Round 2. She went incredible in the first round,
said Smith. She was real relaxed. She jumped real high in
the first round and didnt touch a jump. Real smooth. She loves
it out there on the grass. Smith has had the ride on the eight-year-old
Oldenburg mare for a year. He said Miracle impressed the judges
because, She had a lot of expression to her jump, nice style,
and really gave it a big effort.
was a Happy Thanksgiving Day for Shachine Belle, 30, of North Salem,
NY. She claimed two championships in the Internationale Arena. Belle
rode Attaché owned by Ellen Toon to First Year Green Working
Hunter Champion. He went like a very nice smooth hunter, very
pleasant to look at, said Attachés trainer James
Toon. He made crisp jumps and showed relaxed motion at the
ends of the ring. The judges liked the fact that he made special
efforts over every jump. Attaché is a seven-year-old
Oldenburg warmblood gelding that the Toons imported as a three-year-old.
Belle started riding Attaché as a Pre Green hunter two years
ago. Hes a very big horse, and he has a huge stride,
said Belle, noting that the grand prix field suited him. It
allowed him to canter and show how big and scopey and powerful that
he really is.
claimed her second championship of the day aboard In Disguise, riding
him to Second Year Green Working Hunter Champion. The seven-year-old
Dutch Warmblood gelding is also owned by Ellen Toon and trained
by James Toon. Hes an amazing horse, stated Belle.
Hes won everywhere weve brought him. Weve
been working up to this. Yesterday in our first class he was a little
cautious and after that he was spectacular the way he normally is.
MacDonald, 24, of Upperville, VA, and Mistress Connie owned by Mary
Laura Cramer won the Ladies Hunter Side Saddle Under Saddle class.
Seventy-five percent of their score was determined by performance,
manners, style and way of going. Appointments accounted
for the remaining 25%, which includes proper tack and the stylish
habit, top hat and veil along with a sandwich case. I have
turkey on white, of course, said MacDonald in the Thanksgiving
holiday spirit. MacDonald and Mistress Connie, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred
mare, have been partnered for three years. Shes got
lots of style, said MacDonald. She has a beautiful way
of going and shes always picture perfect.
Friday were the evening classes held as part of Jumping Under The
Stars. Norman Dello Joio of Wellington, FL, riding Glasgow owned
by The Glasgow Group won the $100,000 National Horse Show Jumper
Championship CSI-W presented by Lexus. Twenty-five riders attempted
the first round track built by Jose Gamarra, with three going clean
for the jump-off. Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, aboard Hidden
Creeks Perin was first to go and posted a clear round in 37.85
seconds, but ended up in second place. Molly Ashe, also of Wellington,
went next riding Lutopia for owner Jane Clark, but had a rail down
and crossed the timers in 38.03 for third place. Dello Joio aboard
Glasgow, an 11-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding, was third to go
and crossed the timers fault-free in 36.48 for the win. Show jumping
fans filled the sold-out Diamond Horse Shoe Club and box seats,
and general admission seating was standing room only in the 7500-capacity
arena. A night class is fun, said Dello Joio. It
seems to be fun for the public to come and watch at night.
He added that the local crowds have become well educated about horses
and riding. When they see a good round, they know it.
were also showcased at Jumping Under the Stars. Ken Smith, 36, of
Wellington, riding Carmen for Millridge LLC, won the National Horse
Show Hunter Championship. Smith qualified seven of the 12 horses
competing in the final. Carmen, a 10-year-old, 16-hand, chestnut
German-bred mare, is a Second Year Green horse. She was never
under an 85 average throughout the whole five rounds, which was
pretty spectacular, said Smith. One of her good qualities
is shes a beautiful mover between the jumps. She goes across
the ground real nice. She has a real spectacular jump when she gets
there, so it all kind of flows together nicely. Smith placed
second with Storyline owned by Henrietta Armstrong; third with Miracle
owned by Christy Russo; fifth with Cavalier owned by Elizabeth Russo;
and sixth with Eminence owned by Sue Stanley. It was probably
the highlight of my career, for sure, said Smith.
in the Internationale Arena featured a win by Jeffery Welles, 41,
of Pound Ridge, NY, riding Equinox for owner Elizabeth Saunders.
The duo claimed victory in the $10,000 Chesapeake Petroleum National
Speed Stake besting a class of 20 entries. The time allowed was
76 seconds, and Equinox blazed around the course clean in the unbeatable
time of 51.290. It was a very fast class, said Welles.
The other entries that really tried to go fast ended up with
some mistakes at the end. The horses got a little flat and had rails.
My horse really kept his focus all the way through and jumped a
really nice round. The horse went great and Im very happy
with him. The competition was a faults converted class, which
meant that jumping faults were converted into seconds. In
that way you really had to go for broke knowing that everybody was
really going to be taking a shot, Welles explained. Equinox
is a nine-year-old Dutch gelding.
Sunday morning in the Internationale Arena, Charlie Jayne, 17, of
Elgin, IL, riding Ivy clinched the win in the Victor Hugo-Vidal
Equitation Championship. The three-phase championship was contested
over three days and included testing on the flat, over a hunter
course, and a jumper course. Charlie bested the reigning champion,
his sister Maggie Jayne, 19, aboard Cedar owned by Sarah Willeman,
by two points, edging her out when the two were asked to work-off
following the jumper phase. Riding off against his sister didnt
faze Charlie. That was just fun, he said. If I
won or she won, it was in the family, so I felt pretty good about
that. Its not as much pressure. Ivy is a nine-year-old
Dutch warmblood gelding owned by Charlies trainer Missy Clark.
Charlie assessed why Ivy did well in the championship, The
fact that hes so smooth and that he can go from a 14-foot
stride to an eight-foot stride really helps in the lines. And hes
easy, so easy.
resounding finale to the 120th National Horse Show was a packed
house for the $100,000 Budweiser AGA National Championship Presented
By Chesapeake Petroleum. Margie Engle of Wellington, riding Hidden
Creeks Perin took the win, besting a field of 20. It was Engles
third time to claim victory in the Championship, and the second
time aboard Perin. The other times that Ive won it,
I havent had to go fast, said Engle, who topped the
eight-horse jump-off. Alison Firestone of Upperville, VA, aboard
Casanova owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, was the only other
double clear, posting 39.50 in the jump-off for second place. Todd
Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, aboard Gardenio owned by YZ Partners,
posted the fastest time in the jump-off, crossing the timers in
36.75, but a four-fault knockdown cost him the win and he placed
third. Last to go in the jump-off, Engle aboard her Sydney Olympic
mount posted a clean trip in 37.52 to the cheers of an appreciative
crowd. The victory marked eight-time AGA Champion Engles 125th
career grand prix win. My horse is really good at galloping.
Hes a big horse and he actually jumps well out of the gallop,
said Engle, who said she rode the first five jumps like a steeplechaser.
Hes a fantastic horse. Hes been in the money in
every class hes been in this year. Ive never had a horse
thats been that consistent.
addition to world-class competition, spectators at the 120th National
Horse Show also enjoyed shopping at more than 35 vendor booths,
and were entertained by a variety of exhibitions and events. Costumed
riders on Friesians, Andalusians, Lusitanos, and Romany horses performed
daily in the Rost arena, demonstrating tricks and synchronized rides
to music including an eight-stallion quadrille produced by Frieze
Frame Friesians. Mexican charro Gerardo Diaz thrilled audiences
with his roping maneuvers and horsemanship skills. The Taste of
Wellington on Friday offered samplings of cuisine gratis from participating
restaurants. The Childrens Fair on Saturday delighted hundreds
of youngsters on the Great Lawn with a carnival of entertainers
Mische, president of Stadium Jumping, Inc. and a director of the
National Horse Show Association of America, Ltd., was enthusiastic
about the event, Two of the best Grand Prixes that Ive
seen all year were Friday night when Norman won the National Grand
Prix it was the last horse in the ring and had a spectacular
round and then Margie duplicated that on Sunday with the
AGA Championship. >From the standpoint of the horse show, we
couldnt have choreographed two better classes than what came
out of the competition here and thats because we did have
the top riders in the country participating. Were looking
forward to next year.
121st National Horse Show will be held in Wellington, FL, from November
30 through December 5, 2004, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club
complete results visit www.nhs.org or www.stadiumjumping.com