Suzy Stafford Wins her Fourth National Championship Title with Isobel Ypkje Van Het Kasteel

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
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 Champion Driver Suzy Stafford and Isobel Ypkje van het Kasteel a five year old Friesian mare owned by Gail Aumiller winning the Carriage Driving Division classes at the 2015 IFSHA Region 1 Championships.

Champion Driver Suzy Stafford and Isobel Ypkje van het Kasteel a five year old Friesian mare owned by Gail Aumiller winning the Carriage Driving Division classes at the 2015 IFSHA Region 1 Championships. (Photo: Tracy Kelsey)

West Springfield, Massachusetts- Gold Medalist Suzy Stafford continues her season winning Four out of Five National Title Championships with Isobel Ypkje van het Kasteel (Sipke X Feitse) a five year old Friesian mare owned by Gail Aumiller of Dream’s Come True farm.

The Big E hosts an array of open and all breed shows throughout the year. This weekend was a joint venture between the C.R.A.A. Arabian Region 1 Championships and the International Friesian Show Horse Association Region 1 National Championships. The coliseum was filled with horses and competitors looking to take home the Region 1 tri-color ribbons. The show atmosphere was competitive yet friendly. All the volunteers, exhibitors and trainers were brought together during the evening competitor’s party’s donated by a variety of gracious sponsors.

Stafford showed “Isobel” to her first win of the Weekend crowning the mare as The Region 1 Sport Horse in Hand of all mares. “This mare is an outstanding example of athletic ability, powerful gaits and superb conformation. I true testament to the ultimate ideal in breed type. I am delighted to have the opportunity to train such a talented equine” says Stafford.

The pair dominated the Carriage Pleasure Driving division throughout the weekend with the elegant and stylish mare. Suzy and “Isobel’s” maiden voyage in the Coliseum brought the duo their first Region 1 Championship title in the Turn-out class. A true picture of grace, elegance and obedience was evident as the pair trotted home with the Championship.

“This was the first time “Isobel” experienced showing in a coliseum setting with other carriages. I was thrilled with the way she handled herself and was able to stay focused at the job at hand”. Stafford said This was “Isobel’s” first time in the Coliseum but Stafford is no stranger to the venue. She recently competed there with her Morgan mare PVF Peace Of Mind to the First Level Dressage overall Championship at the Mass Morgan Show in early August.

“This was my third visit to the The Big E this year, on this go around it was as successful and delightful as the last. “Isobel” has never competed in an indoor Coliseum setting. I was pleased with the way the footing drove with the larger Pleasure driving carriages. I am glad I took the opportunity to experience the show with her this year. The outing was fun and beneficial for the young mare. She is an extremely athletic mare with powerhouse gaits. Not only a delight for the spectators but a thrill for me to drive such a talented mare. The show was a wonderful addition to my calendar” Stafford says.

The first day of showing set the tone for Stafford and Isobel with another victory pass on day two for the pair in the IFSHA Region 1 Carriage Driving Working class on Friday. The time, effort and meticulous care that goes into each and every exhibitors turn-out is impressive and inspiring to ringside spectators. The competition continued its blue ribbon trend for Stafford and Isobel on Saturday and Sunday. The unstoppable pair finished off the show winning The Region 1 Champion Open Friesian Sport Pleasure Driving as well as Region 1 Champion Carriage Pleasure Driving Reinsmanship and the Region 1 Champion Carriage Pleasure Driving Obstacle class.

“Isobel stayed fresh and enthusiastic throughout the weekend, she was all business in the ring and a joy to drive. I am lucky to have an owner that will do what it takes to insure success for her equines. From ringside help, moral and financial support to helping putting the finishing touches on the equipment and flowers on my jacket. I am a lucky lady to have such a supportive owner with exceptional equines. “Team Isobel” is just that, thank you to Gail, Thomas and Emily for all their hard work and dedication to the success of “Team Isobel” Stafford says with a smile.

The crowd at the event enjoyed cheering on their favorite competitor under the lights during Friday and Saturday’s evening sessions. The night was topped off by an exciting Isle party for exhibitors, volunteers and sponsors. The next stop for Stafford and “Isobel” is the FHANA Keuring held at Iron Spring Farm where Suzy will perform the Driven IBOP test.

Suzy is known around the globe for her ability to harvest talent and develop horses and ponies for National and International competition. Stafford has been long list with the United States Equestrian Federation with many different equines.

Stafford, who operates Stafford Carriage Driving out of Chester County, Pennsylvania, and Ocala, Florida was the youngest and first American driver to win an Individual Gold Medal with Cefnoakpark Bouncer at the 2005 World Pony Driving Championships in England. Since then she has continued to drive to success, being named the 2005 Driver of the Year by Chronicle of the Horse, winning the 2008 and 2009 National Single Pony Championship with Courage to Lead and an Individual Bronze medal in Greven, Germany.

Stafford was also awarded the Becky Hart Trophy in 2009. In 2011, Stafford’s own Miss Josephine put in a brilliant performance at the 2011 FEI World Pony Driving Championships in Slovenia where they were awarded with the Individual Silver Medal, Stafford’s second consecutive Individual medal.

For more information on Stafford, visit her website at www.staffordcarriagedriving.com.