Kent Farrington and Blue Angel are Divine in $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. - October 26, 2013 – Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky's Blue Angel beat out Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms' Nice de Prissey in an exciting one-on-one jump-off for victory in Saturday night's $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix CSI 3*-W presented by Events DC at the 55th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). The FEI World Cup qualifying grand prix was a highlight event of the week at WIHS, which concludes competition on Sunday with the Pony Hunters, WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, and WIHS Regional Finals.

Earlier on Saturday, Meredith Darst won the 2013 Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals. Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20 triumphed in the $15,000 SJHOF Ambassador's Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, and Heather Hooker and Perle were victorious in the $7,500 Senator's Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

Venezuela's Leopoldo Palacios set the course for this week’s show jumping competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Palacios set a challenging course for Saturday night's grand prix, which featured 25 international horses and riders. Just two entries were able to clear the first round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and both cleared the short course in a race against the clock.

 Brianne Goutal and Nice de Prissey. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Brianne Goutal and Nice de Prissey. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Brianne Goutal and Nice de Prissey were first to jump off and stopped the timers in 32.23 seconds to finish second overall. Kent Farrington and Blue Angel followed and shaved off almost two seconds for the win in 30.81 seconds.

For their victory, Farrington and Blue Angel were presented with the President of the United States Perpetual Cup. As Leading Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Robin Parsky, Farrington was also presented with the Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy and awarded a Rolex luxury timepiece from Tiny Jewel Box. Parsky then received a special award as the Leading Jumper Owner, sponsored by The Reid Family.

In the jump-off, Farrington and Blue Angel had the benefit of going second, and the 11-year-old Anglo European mare (Luidam x Ascendant) put in a great effort on course.

“When you only have two horses going in the jump-off, going second is obviously a huge advantage, and what you want to do is just watch the first rider go and match their round or pick a spot where you can be a little bit quicker,” Farrington noted. “I thought I was a little faster to the double and to the orange jump. I tried to play it safe coming home. I had a hard rub at the liverpool, but you need a little luck in these things.”

“Blue Angel is going great right now, and I am very happy with the horse,” Farrington acknowledged. “The horse is a winner. It is a winner all by itself. I don’t think that is anything I am doing special. When you have nice horses to ride, it is more about managing the horses, choosing the right venues that are the best for them to succeed, and minimizing your mistakes.”

Second place finisher Brianne Goutal explained her strategy over the short course with the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion Nice de Prissey (Rosire x Amarpour). “It is hard going first in the jump-off,” she stated. “My horse is fast, but not super fast. My goal was really to be clear, and fast enough. I was hoping Kent would make a mistake or get a little unlucky, but it was his day, not mine.”

“He is a fantastic horse,” Goutal described. “He is very careful, he has all the scope and tries very hard. There is not so much more that you can really ask from them. He has had a great last two years. It is about managing them, keeping them happy and making sure they are sound. It’s about playing your cards well and benefiting from the good qualities your horse has.”

Nice de Prissey also finished second in this class in 2011 and Goutal explained that he jumps well in the venue. “I am very surprised actually how well he jumps here,” she said. “He really likes the nation’s capital I guess.”

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Third place honors went to Beezie Madden (USA) and Coral Reef Via Volo for the fastest four-fault round in 62.39 seconds in round one. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms' La Centa placed fourth with four faults in 62.50 seconds.

Course designer Leopoldo Palacios explained that he would have preferred to see at least four riders make it to the jump-off, but was okay with just the two. Farrington knew that the course would be difficult and it worked out well for his mare.

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel in their winning presentation. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel in their winning presentation. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

“I think we have all been doing these shows long enough, you sort of know what to expect,” he stated. “If you have a horse that is better at adding strides, or is very rideable, that is a huge advantage. That is what I tried to do. Blue Angel is a very fast horse, (and) she is very good at adding strides. A venue like this really plays to her strengths.”

Other awards were also presented following the grand prix. Ireland's Darragh Kenny was named the Leading International Rider for the week. Conor Swail (IRL) accepted a special award for his mount Ariana, owned by Susan Grange. She earned a $5,000 SHF Enterprises, Inc. Young Jumper Championship Incentive Bonus, which is awarded to WIHS rated jumper division champions who were also graduates of the Young Jumper Championship Series.


Meredith Darst and Soldier in their winning presentation. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Meredith Darst and Soldier in their winning presentation. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Meredith Darst Wins 2013 Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals


The 2013 Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals concluded this evening with an exciting win for 16-year-old Meredith Darst of Lebanon, OH. Darst rode Elizabeth Gabler's Soldier, a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Carolus II, through the first two phases of competition finishing with a score of 88.75 in the hunter phase and a 91 point total in the jumper phase. Returning for the final work-off sitting in first place overall, Darst's ride aboard Charlotte Jacobs’s mount Patrick scored an 87.25, giving her a three round total of 267 for the win.

Darst was presented with The WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. G. Ralph Ours, III as well as a brand new Hermès 'Cavale' saddle. Soldier was awarded The Lugano Memorial Trophy donated by Stoney Hill as the winning horse of the night. Darst was accompanied by the trainers of Beacon Hill Show Stables for her winning presentation, including head trainer Stacia Madden.

Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, finished second with a 263 point total. Colvin rode her horse Monsieur du Reverdy in the first two rounds with a score of 86 in the hunter phase and an 85.5 in the jumper phase. A great ride aboard Caitlin Boyle's mount Loredo in the final work-off gave Colvin a 91.5 to finish in second place overall.

Michael Hughes of Morriston, FL, placed third with scores of 86.25 and 89.5 riding Whipstick Farm Ltd.'s Joey and an 86 in the work-off aboard Meredith Darst's mount Soldier to total 261.75.

Meredith Darst and Soldier. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Meredith Darst and Soldier. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Darst rode Soldier for the first time at the Capital Challenge Horse Show a few weeks ago and then showed him in Harrisburg last week. The gelding competed successfully in USHJA International Hunter Derby classes with professional hunter rider John French in California. Since Darst and Soldier were first paired up, she has worked to get to know him better, and the effort paid off. “I kind of just played around with him a little bit,” she explained. “He learns so fast and has come really far since then.”

Darst's mount in the final round was Patrick, the same horse that topped the final work-off last year with 2012 winner Elizabeth Benson. Darst gave trainer Stacia Madden her third win in a row, and Benson was on hand to pass on the title as 2011 winner Chase Boggio was for her.

“I had seen him a lot,” Darst said of Patrick. “He is very lazy. I had to keep him going. I am not used to riding quiet horses, so it was a bit of a different ride for me. He was super easy, and he had a huge stride.”

Madden noted, “I was really fortunate to work with Patrick last year in the ride-off. Archie Cox had the horse, and I texted him and asked him what I needed to know. He said, 'He will not lose for you.' What I did for Maddy was that Elizabeth was here. She took a moment to sit with Elizabeth, and she looked at the video and Charlotte’s round. I was ecstatic when I found out that was the horse I got. A top horse with a top rider; you just need the chips to fall right.”

Meredith Darst and Patrick. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Meredith Darst and Patrick. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Darst and Colvin have been showing at WIHS and top horse shows around the country since they were kids on ponies and have each won major hunter championships at this horse show. The experience of catch riding many different horses has taught them to be versatile, adjustable riders, which is a great advantage in these equitation finals.

“I think catch riding definitely helps being able to ride so many different horses. I definitely thought about that,” Darst noted. “Confidence in my horse is important; I was very confident. I got to go to the farm and practice a lot. I knew he would try his hardest, and I would try my hardest.”

“What made this win special was that last year was her last year on ponies,” Madden stated. “That is quite the achievement for her. It’s not a fluke. She has worked very hard. She made the effort.”

This was Colvin's third year showing in the finals and her best finish yet at just 16 years old. She was proud of her ride on both of her mounts, including Monsieur du Reverdy and a beautiful round in the work-off riding Laredo.

“I had never really been in the top in the equitation finals. It felt amazing to be top three,” Colvin said after the class. “The horse I rode in the second round was amazing and very easy. Monsieur du Reverdy was supposed to be in the High Junior Jumpers. He has never done a hunter round or an equitation round. For him to go in there and go how he did, he was just amazing.”

 Victoria Colvin and Monsieur du Reverdy. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Victoria Colvin and Monsieur du Reverdy. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Colvin has trained with Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley for most of her young riding career and has had help from Missy Clark and John Brennan at North Run for her ride in the equitation. Clark also coached third place finisher Michael Hughes and fifth place finisher Charlotte Jacobs tonight. She was very proud of Colvin and noted the qualities that make her an exceptional rider.

“I always say it's like going to the basketball court with Michael Jordan,” Clark stated. “She's amazing. She has an innate feel that nobody can teach and she is a competitor beyond belief and a great human being and a hard worker. She's all of it. She's a unique and special person.”

“Her abilities to smooth it out and make a jumper-type of horse go and have that hunter round really is a testament to her abilities as a horsewoman,” Clark continued. “She can finesse one around and do it as well as anybody. With Loredo, there wasn't any doubt in my mind that she wouldn't get in and nail it.”

The judges for the class tonight were Walter Kees of Norwalk, CT, Sue Ashe of Wellington, FL, Patrick Rodes of Argyle, TX, and McLain Ward of Brewster, NY. The judges weighed in on the class upon its completion and were very happy with the top talent that they saw. “It was a wonderful class, exciting to judge,” said Rodes. “It was extra exciting when they switched horses. You really got an idea of how they ride and the background they have to ride somebody else's horse around.”

“The kids absolutely rose to the occasion,” stated Ashe. “The most fun part of the class is of course tonight where there are ten instead of 40. The pressure these kids are under, and they rose to the top. I am so proud of them, and I am sure the other judges are too.”


Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers Compete in Classics


The $15,000 Ambassador's Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown, saw a win for Abigail McArdle of St. Charles, IL, riding David McArdle's Cosma 20. McArdle and the 10-year-old Hanoverian mare (Couleur Rubin x Stakkato) won the Ambassador's Cup Perpetual Trophy donated by Ambassador and Mrs. Marion H. Smoak.

Twenty-one entries showed in the class with four advancing to the jump-off and two clear rounds over the short course. McArdle and Cosma 20 were first to go in the jump-off and galloped to victory in 30.206 seconds. Kalvin Dobbs and Treesdale Farms' Winde finished second in 30.536 seconds. Charlotte Jacobs and Promised Land, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, had four faults in 31.693 seconds to place third. Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC's Patriot finished in fourth with four faults in 32.980 seconds.

“It was a hard course,” McArdle stated after her win. “It presented a lot of different problems for people because it wasn't just one fence that was coming down. I think today was bigger than previous days, significantly, and my horse went really well.”

“I have a really fast horse, and I know her back and forth,” McArdle said, detailing her jump-off round with Cosma. “She's a really great speed horse. Everywhere we were right on the pace. Going first, we knew there were fast people following. They all had the opportunity to definitely catch that (time). We were going into it with the idea that we had to go all out and we did everything to plan.”

McArdle and Cosma spent most of the summer showing in Europe and Canada with trainers Katie and Henri Prudent and have had some time off since August while the rider studies Business Entrepreneurship as a freshman at the University of Miami. Cosma will now have some time off before traveling to Florida to compete for the winter. They have a great partnership and have been very successful this year.

“She's a really, really special horse and super consistent,” McArdle stated. “I think it just nice knowing a horse really well. Any venue, I feel like we can go in and know what to expect. The main thing is she's so careful. You look for a horse like this and it's a once-in-a-lifetime, careful horse. It's no better feeling than to have that and know your horse can go clean.”

The High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper championship, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown, was awarded to Charlotte Jacobs and Deeridge Farms' Kachina. They were awarded the Greenberg Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hermen Greenberg. McArdle and Cosma 20 were reserve champions.

Jacobs and Kachina were also presented with a special award, the $5,000 SHF Enterprises, Inc. Young Jumper Championship Incentive Bonus, which is awarded to WIHS rated jumper division champions who were also graduates of the Young Jumper Championship Series.

The Shalanno Style of Riding Award was given to Lucy Deslauriers of New York, NY, who showed Lisa Deslauriers' Hester in the Low division. The award is presented each year to the Junior Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation and the respectful, dignified manner of a true sportsman.

Heather Hooker and Perle. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
Heather Hooker and Perle. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

In the $7,500 Senator's Cup Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, sponsored by North Star, Heather Hooker of Wellington, FL, topped the class riding Perle. For their win, the pair was presented with the Swan Lake Perpetual Trophy donated by Beagle Brook Farm in honor of the 1992 winner Swan Lake, ridden by Jennifer F. Miller. Perle is a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare by Chanel.

Twenty-two entries showed over the first round course with seven advancing to the jump-off and four double clear rounds. Cloe Hymowitz and Rose Hill Farm's Bon Vivant were the first pair to jump the short course and finished second with a time of 28.170 seconds. Heather Hooker and Perle edged their time by two-one thousandths of a second in 28.168 seconds to take the lead. Lauren Fischer and Norton de la Sapaie finished third in 29.662 seconds, and Lucy Deslauriers and Hester were fourth in 29.850 seconds.

Last year's winners, Michael Hughes and Drumnacross Farms' Red Hot, did have the fastest time in the jump-off in 28.129 seconds, but had a rail down at the last fence on course with a long gallop to an oxer towards the in gate. Hooker and Perle made up their time by leaving a stride out to that jump, but they managed to keep the rails up. Hooker and second place finisher Cloe Hymowitz train together at Rivers Edge with Ken Berkley and Scott Stewart.

“I went into the ring, and just thought, ‘Cloe was so fast, I don’t know how I am going to do this,'” Hooker stated. “I just had to make it happen down the last line. I knew that I wanted to make it out of that corner from the oxer, flap my arms and run. I knew Perle was game. When I landed from the last jump I saw Ken, and he was laughing so hard. I think he was just as excited as we were.”

“It was a lot of fun,” Hooker said of the friendly competition with her barn mate. “It was great that we were cheering for each other, and our times were so close. It takes a village for sure. We like to see each other do well.”

Hooker and her mount Perle have been together for about four and a half years now, and they know each other very well. While Hooker is away at the University of Virginia for college, she rides on the club polo team at school, but does not get to jump as often. The established relationship was important to their success this week. “I know Perle so well that I can come to a show like this and get on her and anticipate every move,” Hooker acknowledged. “She anticipates when I am going to make a stupid move, and I can anticipate what she is going to do. When in doubt, I just trust her. She is a member of the family.”

The Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship, sponsored by North Star, went to Hymowitz and Bon Vivant, who won the first two classes of the division. They won the Foxbrook Perpetual Trophy in honor of Space Citation, donated by Joy Slater. Hooker and Perle were the reserve champions.

The Washington International Horse Show concludes tomorrow with a day full of pony competition as well as the WIHS Regional Finals. The final day of competition will be live streamed at www.wihs.org.

Final Results: $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W, presented by Events DC
1. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky: 0/0/30.81
2. NICE DE PRISSEY: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Rosire x Amarpour BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/0/32.23
3. CORAL REEF VIA VOLO: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Coral Reef Ranch: 4/62.39
4. LA CENTA: 2002 Oldenburg mare by Cento x Silvio I LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms, LLC: 4/62.50
5. CHILL R Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Chellano Z x A Lucky One CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher: 4/63.33
6. PROF DE LA ROQUE: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Luna DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Postage Stamp Farm LLC: 5/64.16
7. SPECIAL LUX: 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Lux Z x Coille Mor Hill JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables: 5/65.36
8. BONANZA VAN PAEMEL: 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Darco x Sheyenne de Baugy CATHERINE PASMORE (USA), Pasmore Stables: 5/67.36
9. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm: 8/61.59
10. KISMET 50: 2001 BWP mare by Kannan x Furioso II CANDICE KING (USA), Bellissimo, LLC: 9/64.64
11. WOODSTOCK O: 2003 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi x Ferro LAURA KRAUT (USA), Joan Kalman/Freedom Group: 9/65.12
12. ZANDER: 2004 KWPN gelding Cantos x Saygon MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 9/65.56

Final Results: Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals Placing/Back Number/Rider/Horse/Owner/Final Score
1 811 Meredith Darst, Soldier, Elizabeth Gabler 267.000
PH 1 : 90.00 87.50 88.75
PH 2 : 93.00 89.00 91.00
PH 3 : 83.50 91.00 87.25

2 548 Victoria Colvin, Monsieur de Reverdy, Victoria Colvin 263.000
PH 1 : 86.50 85.50 86.00
PH 2 : 86.00 85.00 85.50
PH 3 : 93.00 90.00 91.50

3 821 Michael Hughes, Joey, Whipstick Farm, Ltd. 261.750
PH 1 : 85.50 87.00 86.25
PH 2 : 92.00 87.00 89.50
PH 3 : 83.00 89.00 87.50

4 827 Caitlin Boyle, Loredo, Micaela Kennedy 250.125
PH 1 : 89.00 84.50 86.75
PH 2 : 83.50 84.25 83.875
PH 3 : 85.00 74.00 79.50

5 819 Charlotte Jacobs, Patrick, Catherine Tyree 249.500
PH 1 : 82.00 75.00 78.50
PH 2 : 88.00 90.00 89.00
PH 3 : 82.00 82.00 82.00

6 832 Sydney Shulman, Eli, Back Country Farm 247.375
PH 1 : 87.00 82.00 84.50
PH 2 : 79.00 80.75 79.875
PH 3 : 86.00 80.00 83.00

7 828 Ashton Alexander, Fernway Park, Donald Stewart, Jr. 242.125
PH 1 : 76.50 82.25 79.375
PH 2 : 83.00 83.50 83.25
PH 3 : 76.00 83.00 79.50

8 820 Lauren Tyree, Cocopop, Lauren Tyree 241.875
PH 1 : 83.00 76.00 79.50
PH 2 : 90.00 83.75 86.875
PH 3 : 75.00 76.00 75.50

9 815 Kalvin Dobbs, Relevant, Treesdale Farm 241.625
PH 1 : 85.00 83.00 84.00
PH 2 : 81.00 83.25 82.125
PH 3 : 73.00 78.00 75.50

10 834 Abby Bertelson, Eclypso, Abby Bertelson 198.000
PH 1 : 78.00 74.00 76.00
PH 2 : 87.00 86.00 86.50
PH 3 : 35.00 36.00 35.50

Final Results: $15,000 SJHOF Ambassador's Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by Ellen & Daniel Crown
1 654 COSMA 20 ABIGAIL McARDLE 0/0/30.206 DAVID MCARDLE
2 120 WINDE KALVIN DOBBS 0/0/30.536 TREESDALE FARMS
3 444 PROMISED LAND CHARLOTTE JACOBS 0/4/31.693 CANDY TRIBBLE & WINDSOR SHOW STABLES
4 658 PATRIOT LUCAS PORTER 0/4/32.980 SLEEPY P RANCH LLC
5 549 DON JUAN VICTORIA COLVIN 4/57.810 KAREN LONG DWIGHT
6 443 KACHINA CHARLOTTE JACOBS 4/60.419 DEERIDGE FARMS
7 304 HARLEY 86 HALEY SCHAUFELD 4/60.456 HALEY SCHAUFELD
8 303 VICTOIRE VAN HET DINGENSH BARBARA RUZISKA 4/61.753 STEPHANIE BARNES
9 705 MASTERMIND KC VAN AAREM 8/58.247 KC VAN AAREM
10 745 WETTER CATHERINE TYREE 8/58.431 CATHERINE TYREE

Final Results: $7,500 Senator's Cup Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic sponsored by North Star
1 556 PERLE HEATHER HOOKER 0/0/28.168 HEATHER HOOKER
2 583 BON VIVANT CLOE HYMOWITZ 0/0/28.170 ROSE HILL FARM
3 179 NORTON DE LA SAPAIE LAUREN FISCHER 0/0/29.662 LAUREN FISCHER
4 481 HESTER LUCY DESLAURIERS 0/0/29.850 LISA DESLAURIERS
5 236 RED HOT MICHAEL HUGHES 0/4/28.129 DRUMNACROSS FARM LTD
6 718 CAVALIER KNIGHT EMMA HEISE 0/4/28.734 OLD WILLOW FARMS LLC
7 714 STARNATO ALEXANDRA CROWN 0/14/47.084 ALEXANDRA CROWN
8 663 ZOPALA SIMA MORGELLO 1/57.167 SIMA MORGELLO
9 144 VIP QUALITY ROYALE BOWERS CONE 1/57.442 SIOBHAN FITZGERALD
10 529 CARLOT ASHLEY FOSTER 1/57.684 ROLLING ACRES

For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.




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