Beth Underhill and Cavendish Claim National Six-Year-Old Championship

Saturday, October 8, 2011
Posted by Jennifer Ward for Jump Canada

Palgrave, Ontario – Cavendish was crowned the Six-Year-Old National Champion when the $51,000 Jump Canada Young Horse Series National Finals were held September 21 to 25 at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  Comprised of three phases held over three days, the Six-Year-Old Division of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series National Finals featured a total of $17,000 in prize money.  
In the first phase of Six-Year-Old competition, Underhill guided Cavendish to victory over the Canadian-bred Rayley, ridden by Brady Hayes for owner Susan Grange.  In the second phase, it was Incognito, ridden by Darragh Kenny for owner Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd., who took the win over Underhill and Cavendish.  For the third and final phase of competition held Saturday, September 24, the Six-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.

With $10,000 in prize money on the line, it took a fast jump-off to determine the winner.  In the end, Roberto Teran guided Los Pehuenes Tornado to victory for owner Bob Suriwka with a jump-off time of 40.69 seconds to stay ahead of the 40.71 posted by Elliott Stone riding Stanley Stone.  Kenny and Incognito placed third with a jump-off time of 41.11 seconds.

When the points were totalled after all three phases of competition, it was Cavendish who earned 33 points to take the Six-Year-Old Championship title over Incognito, who earned 32 points for the Reserve Championship title.  Los Pehuenes Tornado and Stanley Stone tied for third with 29 points.   Despite his young age, it is not the first national title for Cavendish.  The Dutch Warmblood gelding by Cantos out of an Ulster dam also earned the Five-Year-Old National Young Horse Championship at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament for owners Underhill and Teri Erickson.

Underhill had spotted Cavendish at Paul and Emile Hendrix’s stable in the Netherlands over Christmas of 2009.  She immediately called Erickson, who had expressed an interest in investing in a young horse while Underhill was conducting a clinic at her Maplebook Farm in Duncan, BC.  That phone call has now resulted in two National Young Horse titles.  “He’s been two for two,” smiled Underhill, who represented Canada at the 1992 Olympic Games.  “He had the opportunity to compete in Wellington this year where he did the young horse classes, as well as here and in Quebec.  He also did some 1.30m classes and gained a lot of experience.  We’ve been very pleased with his progression this year, and I am very appreciative of Teri and her support.”

As for Cavendish’s character, Underhill noted, “He has a great work ethic, but he’s a bit special in that he looks at what is around the jumps instead of at the jumps themselves.  We’ve been working on his focus, and my sense is that as he gets older, he will focus more on the job at hand.  I think at this point in his career, we have a good sense of his character and his power.  He’s ultra careful, his scope feels good, and he’s a fast horse.”

The Six-Year-Old Reserve Championship title went to Incognito, an Oldenburg gelding by Continue.  Imported from Germany, Markus Beerbaum recommended the purchase of Incognito to Canadian Show Jumping Team short list member, Tani Zeidler of Zeidler Farms Canada Ltd.  “Markus said he had a lovely young horse that was well-bred, and that has certainly proven true,” said Lori Green, Manager of Zeidler Farm for the past two years.  “He is a really spectacular horse and has performed amazingly well for us.”

The National Finals marked only the second time that Darragh Kenny had ridden the chestnut gelding in competition.  The first was in August during the Summer Fort Classic at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC, when the pair topped the Six-Year-Old Division in the Jump Canada Young Horse Series.  “It’s a very special horse,” said Kenny, who represented his native Ireland at the 2010 World Cup Final.  “He has so much quality.  He’s brave, scopey and careful.  He jumped fantastic, and tried really hard.  In the Final, he was jumping too high in the jump-off, but that is a nice complaint.  It’s very nice of Tani to give me the opportunity to ride such a special horse.”

Of the three phase championship format, Kenny noted, “I love the fact that it’s done over three days and rewards consistency.  The courses are very appropriate to the age, and Leopoldo Palacios built super tracks at the right height that asked the right technical questions.”

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.

Six-Year-Old National Young Horse Finals – Final Standings
Horse     Owner      Rider

Champion    Cavendish    Erickson and Underhill    Beth Underhill
Reserve    Incognito    Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd.     Darragh Kenny
3.   Stanley Stone    Elliott Stone     Elliott Stone
3.   Los Pehuenes Tornado     Bob Suriwka      Roberto Teran
5.   ADC Chef Z    Bob Suriwka     Miguel Elicagaray
6.   Rayley*   Susan Grange    Brady Hayes
7.   Galatee de Roset    Cathleen Mathers      Bianca Lafontaine
8.   EWSZ’s Jerevel*    European Warmblood Stallion     Stephanie Dubois-Emond
9.   Anton      Betty Robertson    Scott McKay
10.   Morrison     Burmonds and Wetmore    Hyde Moffatt
11.   Colour Guard    Katriina Ruotsalo   Hyde Moffatt
12.   Judgement Day 3E    KingRidge Stables     Hugh Graham

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

Photos: Cavendish, owned by Teri Erickson and Beth Underhill and ridden by Underhill, was named the Six-Year-Old National Champion at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  Incognito, ridden by Darragh Kenny for owner Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd., was named the Six-Year-old National Reserve Champion at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.  Photo Credits – Cealy Tetley,