Golden Gate Classic: McFarlane Breaks Ladies’ Hold on Woodside Grands Prix

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Posted by LEG Up News

Glynn Continues Domination of $2,500 USHJA National 3’ Hunter Classic

During the third and final week of the Woodside Summer Circuit, Duncan McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy (Simone Coxe, owner) finally broke the winning streak the ladies had held the first two weeks.
At the Golden Gate Classic (July 7-11), only four horses jumped clear rounds over Hector Loyola’s technical course in the $30,000 Golden Gate Grand Prix. In addition to Duncan, Mandy Porter and Lamarque (Wild Turkey Farm, owner), Lindsay Ramar with her Dance and Jump, and Jenni McAllister aboard Glados (Marnco, owner) contested the top prize.

The jump off rewarded acute turning ability, speed, and scope. Porter blazed the way in an outstanding time of 47.117 but a dropped rail left the door open for the other three riders. Lindsay took a shot, but two rails and a time of 54.601 relegated her to third. McFarlane knew he had to keep the track tidy, but leaving all the rails up was critical.

“I knew Mandy Porter was the one to beat,” Duncan explained. “I watched her go, and when she dropped a rail, I knew I just needed to jump clean.” He managed both with a clear round in a time of 50.135. Jenni was last to go, but luck was not on her side. A light rail early on and a mis-step at the tight rollback to the vertical left the pair in fourth. However, Jenni was the only rider during the three weeks to qualify for the jump-offs in all the Welcome Stakes and the grands prix with the clean jumping Glados.

Duncan was very happy with Mr. Whoopy’s performance. “He’s a feisty little devil. He has a lot of antics, and he’s very boisterous,” Duncan said of Coxe’s eight-year-old stallion. With his victory in the $30,000 Golden Gate Grand Prix, Duncan edged out both Rachel Fields and Jenni McAllister for the CWD Leading Jumper Rider Award.  

Mandy put in, “I went into the jump off on a young horse in his third grand prix. I wanted to be fast, because there were some fast riders behind me, but I didn’t want to be too risky because Lamarque is green. I was so happy with him; he was amazing.”

Mandy chose the Golden Gate Classic because she feels it is a good show and a good grand prix for her young horses. “It’s an introductory level grand prix, but challenging enough for the horses to learn and grow from. Plus, I always like showing in Northern California. It’s a fun group.” Having grown up in Danville, Mandy has spent a lot of time in Woodside.

While Duncan broke the ladies’ winning streak in the grand prix, Hope Glynn revisited her domination of Friday night’s $2,500 USHJA National 3’ Hunter Classic. For the third time this year, Hope smoothly rode to the top spot in a definitive win. Swingtime was her winning mount this week, the same horse she won this class on at the Woodside Spring Preview. Late in the order of go in the first round, Hope showed she meant business when she took all four of the higher option jumps and earned a score of 88 that propelled her to the top of the leader board, where she stayed.  When asked about her secret to winning these classes, Hope responded, “I think my success has been due to a little luck, a little talent and some great horses. There were some really tight inside turns available in the handy round, and Swingtime being a previous jumper made that easier for him to get the 10 bonus points.”

Mariah Brush was fifth going into the handy round, but she maximized her score in the handy round by taking all four of the higher option fences and earning the maximum of 10 bonus handy points. Her overall score of 177 slotted into second.  Jumper rider Allison Kroff assumed riding duties for Gry McFarlane’s Windfall Farms. After finishing the first round in 11th place with Dress Code (Amy Drake, owner), she moved up to third. “She was okay in the first round,” said Gry, “but when she realized she could do inside turns in the second round the judges really rewarded her.”

The $2,500 USHJA National 3’ Hunter Classic brings professionals, amateurs and juniors together in one class. While some riders find that intimidating, second place winner Mariah Brush (Diane Yeager, trainer) feels differently. “I think it takes the pressure off a little, so I can just do my best and have fun.” Mariah’s high-placing performance earned her a bonus prize for the high-placing amateur. “I didn’t even know about that,” she said. “What a nice surprise!” Demonstrating her own style, Mariah also won the CPHA Foundation Equitation Medal.

The Golden Gate Classic, along with the other LEG shows at the Horse Park at Woodside, offers classes for all levels of riders. While Duncan was speeding around the grand prix and Hope clinched the derby-style hunter classic, six year old Jackson Berquist (Bridgeport Farm, trainer) made his horse show debut aboard his pony, Snickerdoodles.  Holding his blue ribbons from the Opportunity Walk/Trot Poles class, Jackson said, "It was really good to win a blue ribbon at my first horse show with Snickers."

Jackson’s mom, Deana, who shows in the Adult Amateur Hunters, was thrilled with her son’s success.  “I was very proud of him for going out there and giving it his best effort, but I’m most proud of the way he takes care of his pony. If I can't find him, I only have to look in Snickers' stall to find him feeding her carrots or cookies or brushing and playing with her.”

Deana also had a great time at the show, piloting her Ragtop to a championship in the Low Adult Hunters. “I had not been riding much leading up to the competition due to an injury, so I was thrilled to be back on my horse. I love riding him and was so happy to get back in the ring and to feel so connected with him.”

While the Bergquists had a fun mother and son show, Sue Sadlier got her husband in on the fun. Although he is primarily a polo player, Claus likes to join his wife at a hunter/jumper show every once in awhile.  Originally Double Eagle was supposed to be Claus’ horse, but Sue turned him into a champion Amateur Owner Hunter.  However, she doesn’t mind sharing him when her husband decides to make a show ring appearance.   

Despite only having a few practice rides to get ready, Claus rode like a veteran and earned a championship in the Adult Amateur Hunters 36-49 after winning several of his classes. Sue explained, “This horse is so scopey and has such a good stride that we decided it would be as easy or easier to do the 3’. He’s glad he did it, and I’m proud of them both! It was fun to have us both showing together and I enjoyed watching him ride, but I definitely rode every jump with him. I think I worked as hard as he did.”

Although there isn’t a direct crossover between polo and hunter/jumper, Claus said, “The hours in the saddle develop a confidence and competence on the horse. I also have a better eye now from galloping toward that little ball.”

While many riders at the Woodside shows come from Northern California, like the Bergquists and the Sadliers, Janet Hischer of Twisted Tree Farm came all the way from Scottsdale. She takes her horses and riders on a tour every year to get away from the Arizona heat. This year, she decided to visit the West Coast and added LEG’s Bay Area Summer Festival and Golden Gate Classic to the itinerary. “Woodside looked like a nice place to be, and it looked like a nice show with a good grand prix and good prize money. The people were very nice, the show was well run, the facility was good and the courses were difficult. There were a lot of nice horses and riders, so the competition was tough. It was a really good experience for my horses and riders, but the best thing about this show was the friendliness of the people. I usually go to Colorado, but I’m considering going to the West Coast and Woodside for a couple of years instead.”

Hischer’s group collected numerous ribbons over the course of the two shows, including a championship in the .90m Jumpers for Sydney Oshinski and Guiseppe (Monica Rahman, owner) and a championship in the 1.30m Jumpers for the same horse with Janet.

Although the Golden Gate Classic concluded the summer circuit at Woodside, there will be more chances to work toward the LEGIS Jumper Rider Bonus and the LEG Maui Trainer Incentive this fall.

For more information on the Golden Gate Classic, including complete results, visit the website at

Horse showing will return to Woodside September 3-6 for the Woodside Labor Day Classic. Meanwhile, the Colorado Summer Circuit continues July 14-18 for the Rocky Mountain Classic, and in California, jumping action returns to the LAEC July 23-25 for Gold Coast 5.

For more information on Langer Equestrian Group and all the shows, visit

Photos: Duncan McFarlane breaks the ladies' hold on the grand prix Photo: Sheri Scott; Hope Glynn maintains her hold on the USHJJA National 3' Hunter Classic  Photo: Sheri Scott; Claus Sadlier takes a break from polo to have fun in the show ring Photo: Sheri Scott