Susan Grange’s Ridley Crowned National Five-Year-Old Champion

Palgrave, Ontario – Ridley, owned and bred by Susan Grange, was crowned the Five-Year-Old National Champion in the $51,000 Jump Canada Young Horse Series National Finals held September 21 to 25 at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  Held over three days of competition, horses accumulated points throughout all three phases of the Five-Year-Old Division of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series National Finals, which featured a total of $17,000 in prize money.  Canadian-bred horses dominated the division, with eight of the top 12 horses being bred in Canada.

In the first phase of Five-Year-Old competition, Johan Letimonier guided the selle francais mare Selma de la Batia to victory for owner DK Masterson Holdings while Hugh Graham placed second with King’s Ransome 3E, owned and bred by KingRidge Stables of King City, ON.  In the second phase, it was another KingRidge entry, Knock Out 3E, that won over Darragh Kenny and India Blue ZF, owned and bred by Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd. of De Winton, AB.

For the third and final phase of competition, the Five-Year-Old Young Horse Finalists were showcased in the grand prix ring at the Caledon Equestrian Park.  Two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela set the final test to determine the national champion.

A total of 10 horses jumped off for the $10,000 in prize money on the line in Saturday’s Final.  In the end, Candele and Ridley posted a time of 38.79 seconds to edge out Kenny, this time aboard Lavender ZF, another Canadian Sport Horse owned and bred by Zeidler Farms.  With the win, Ridley earned a total of 41 points to take the National Five-Year-Old Championship title.

“We’ve been developing him all season,” explained Candele, who was a member of the fifth placed Canadian Team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.  “He’s had a few little mistakes here and there, but he is young.  He’s been jumping beautifully.  He’s pretty laid back, has good confidence, and a good back-end.”

Ridley is a product of Susan Grange’s breeding program at Lothlorien Farm in Cheltenham, ON.  The Canadian Sport Horse gelding is by the Dutch Warmblood sire Ustinov and out of an Adlantus dam.  “It’s great that Sue’s breeding program has produced a national champion,” said Candele, who has been riding for Grange since 2007.  “It’s encouraging, and the program is a great incentive for the breeders.”

There was a three-way tie for the Reserve Championship, but the horse with the strongest performance in Saturday’s final phase, Lavender ZF, earned the title over India Blue ZF and Selma de la Batia.  “It was worth the trip,” laughed Lori Green, Manager of Zeidler Farm, who brought three horses from De Winton, AB, to compete in the National Finals.  In addition to having Lavender ZF and India Blue ZF place second and third in the Five-Year-Old Division, Zeidler Farm’s Incognito was named the Six-Year-Old National Reserve Champion.

“They’ve never done jump-off’s before, and they were both really good; I am very pleased with them,” said Green of two five-year-olds.  Of Lavender ZF, Green noted, “She’s very brave and she has a lot of blood.  It is hard for the five-year-olds to compete over three days in the mud.  They get tired, but she has a lot of blood and a lot of go.  In these conditions, if you had a horse with a lot of blood, you were golden.”

Lavender ZF is by Sandstone Laurin out of Illusion, a Dutch Warmblood mare by Calvados that Tani Zeidler rode at the Grand Prix level.  India Blue ZF is also out of Illusion, while her dam is Mr. Blue.  Both Canadian Sport Horse mares were bred using embryo transfers and are the product of Zeidler Farm’s breeding program.

Throughout the season, young horses competed in three regions across the country - Eastern, Central, and Western.  The top horses in each age division from each region were invited to contest the National Finals of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series.

The purpose of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series is to encourage the development of young show jumping talent and to give Canadian breeders additional incentives to breed superior show jumping prospects.  Competing on a level playing field, the horses are divided according to age and jump at a level suited to their development.  This careful development allows the horses to gain valuable experience and advance to the higher levels of show jumping competition with confidence.  The Jump Canada Young Horse Series also gives prospective buyers for the hunter and jumper markets an opportunity to view a large group of prospects in a competition setting.

Five-Year-Old National Young Horse Finals – Final Standings
Horse    Owner    Rider
Champion   Ridley*    Susan Grange     Yann Candele
Reserve     Lavender ZF*     Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd.    Darragh Kenny
3. (tie)  India Blue ZF*    Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd.    Darragh Kenny
3. (tie)  Selma de la Batia    DK Masterson Holdings    Johan Letimonier
5.  King’s Ransome 3E*   KingRidge Stables    Hugh Graham
6.  SLF Cornetto   Southlane Farm     Tatiana Dzavik
7.  Wildcat*   Southshore Farm    Bianca Lafontaine
8.  Fine Time M*     Matthews and Millar Brooke   Amy Millar
9.  Beam P*    Susan Perreault-Park    Natasha Smith-Avery
10. (tie)  Briljant    North Point    Lauren Hayes
10. (tie)  Knock Out 3E*   KingRidge Stables     Hugh Graham
12.  Giacomo di Cantero   Bea Jarzynska    Thijs Clauwers

NOTE – The star * beside a horse’s name denotes that it is Canadian-bred.

Photos: Ridley, owned and bred by Susan Grange and ridden by Yann Candele, was named the Five-Year-Old National Champion at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  Presenting is Alan Chesler, Jump Canada Young Horse Chairman;  Lavender ZF, ridden by Darragh Kenny for owner and breeder Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd., was named the Five-Year-old National Reserve Champion at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  Photo Credits – Cealy Tetley,