A BIG congratulations to all EquiFit riders who had a tremendous of weekend of showing:
* Kent Farrington took top honors in the $50,000 Hermes Classic aboard Willow, at the American Gold Cup. Darragh Kenny placed 2nd aboard Prof de la Roque.
Darragh Kenny & Prof de la Roque. Photo Credit: Mavis Spencer
* The day before, Darragh Kenny won the Speed Derby at Gold Cup aboard his partner Top Gun.
* Michael Hughes won the ASPCA Zone 2 Maclay Regionals. Victoria Colvin placed 3rd, and two other North Run riders, Ali Haupt (8th) and Ailish Cunniffee (9th) rounded out the top 10. Congrats Team North Run!
North Run dominating ASPCA Zone 2 Regionals
* On the west coast, Joie Gatlin won the $25,000 Cashcall Mortgage Futurity Championship Finals aboard Miss Cashcall.
Joie Gatlin is on a roll!
* Enrique Gonzalez jumped above and beyond the competition, winning the $40,000 Fall Tournament at Blenheim. Susie Hutchison placed 2nd aboard SIG Zulieka. Go team EF!
The morning of the World Cup Qualifier, Sandro started the day off on a good note by jumping a clear round and placing in the High A/O Classic. Jessie Springsteen won the Classic for the second week in a row aboard Vindicat, and Sandro’s friend Suvi (Vesuvius) was second with Megan Nusz.
That night was the $125,000 World Cup Qualifier. The course looked like the biggest one we’ve jumped so far this circuit. NuNu and I went late in the order so I was able to watch several at the beginning. The time allowed was tight, but the course seemed to ride smoothly. I knew I needed to think about the time allowed at the beginning, make sure to ride the triple properly, and that the G&C oxer by the in-gate was riding quite big. I watched Todd Minikus ride an amazing clear on Maecomba and Margie Engle go clear on Royce, who was jumping over the standards, and then I went to get myself organized. NuNu seemed a little more relaxed than he had his first few outings here and jumped really well in the warm-up, so I knew it was just up to me to pull it together. I was so happy to go clear in the first round and was very excited to be in the jump-off. There were 9 horses in the jump-off, and I was able to watch part of Ben Maher’s ride on Cella from the screen in the schooling area. Shane Sweetnam on Amaretto D’Arco went right before me in the jump-off. The crowd erupted after Shane’s fast, clear round, and I needed to keep NuNu’s attention as we walked into the ring. The plan was to do seven strides from fence 1-2, gallop the next oxar, have a tight roll-back to the double, and then gallop the last 3 jumps. I went direct from fence 1 to 2 but ended up doing eight strides and then realized I needed to pick up my pace. We galloped the next oxer, roll-backed to the double, and then heard the crowd screaming as we galloped to the last oxer. I went into the lead, but with Beezie Madden on Cortes, Nick Skelton on Big Star, and Kent Farrington on Uceko still to go, I knew I had some of the world’s fastest pairs behind me. Beezie went right after me, and she took advantage of Cortes’ huge stride and did 6 strides from fence 1 to 2, starting off faster than I had. She took the lead, but only by .34 seconds. Beezie has been a long-time idol of mine, as she is to every aspiring Grand Prix rider, and sitting next to her in the press conference was a huge honor. Thank you to Spy Coast for a great class!
NuNu is always trying to make friends. Cortes made him look like a pony! Photo credit: Phelps Sports
NuNu in the WC Qualifier:
After the Grand Prix, we went back to the barn and gave NuNu a bag of carrots. He looked very happy with himself!
Ready for bed after a fun Saturday night!
That Sunday was a nice wrap-up to the weekend. In the morning, I watched my friend Leah Demartini win the Low A/O Classic out of 80 horses on True Love in their first outing of the year. My last class of the weekend was the 1.50m Classic. It was a “move up” class for me and Glory, and he jumped really well. We had four faults, but I was pleased with our first time at 1.50! James also jumped a good round. McLain won the class on Bongo (Rothchild) for a nice finish to the weekend!
After a busy weekend of showing, I enjoyed catching up with friends at the Washington International Horse Show reception hosted by Juliet Reid (Chloe’s mom) and my parents. After that, Sunday night meant back to Boston and lots of homework!
This past week Katie was the recipient of the Kate Nash Boone Style Award! Presented to the international equestrian who exemplifies best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure while competing in the CSIO at WEF during Nations Cup Week. Go Team Staysail!
Check out these interviews with EquiFit riders prepping for the $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational! This is the 40th year of the Invitational and we were so excited to see some incredible performances!
Big congratulations to Mario Deslauriers and Cella, the big winners! And to EquiFit rider Molly Ashe-Cawley, who came in 2nd! 3rd to Beezie Madden, 4th to Kent Farrington.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to hang out with Alex Warriner, Manager at Kent Farrington LLC, and Uceko, Farrington’s superstar mount, as they prepare for the Olympic Trials beginning Wednesday.
Uceko and his mom, Alex. Photo courtesy of Siri Dupont-Hurley.
EquiFit: How long have you worked for Kent?
Alex: Just about nine years now.
EquiFit: What’s a day in your life like?
Alex: Very busy! A basic day is starting in the morning, I’m responsible for the feeding of all the horses, making sure the horses get on the walker, making sure there’s an organized plan for the day, checking the schedule for the rings…I oversee everything that goes on in the barn. My job is very much about being aware of what’s happening right now, as well as tomorrow, and 2 days out, and next week, etc.
EquiFit: How often do you yourself get to ride these days?
Alex: When we’re not showing I ride a lot more, but when we’re showing I go to the ring with Kent, so I don’t have a lot of time to ride then.
EquiFit: And a day in the life of Uceko, here in FEI, leading up to the Trials?
Alex: Well he gets ridden twice a day, a light flatwork and then Kent flats or jumps him, then he goes on the walker or the treadmill. He definitely takes naps throughout the day, that’s very important. And when he sleeps it’s always flat out on the ground.
EquiFit: Yes, he clearly needs his beauty rest.
Alex: Besides that, lots of grooming and getting him out of his stall as often as we can. Trying to get him as fit as possible so he can peak at his ultimate performance for this week.
EquiFit: What gear does Uceko wear to flat in, and to show in?
Alex: To flat he wears a Segunda D bit, draw reins, EquiFit T-Sport Wraps and EXP2 Boots behind. To show he sports his show bridle, a hackabit that has copper rollers in the mouthpiece, running martingale, bellyguard, and EquiFit T-Boots.
A segunda D bit.
EquiFit: What are Little Gray’s favorite treats?
Alex: Bananas. Definitely. He’s not picky and will eat carrots, apples, mints…but he loves his bananas. Even eats the peel.
EquiFit: Who are his friends at the barn?
Alex: That’s a tough one. He’ll pick a mare in the barn and that will be his woman for a while. Cheeky (Up Chiqui) and him definitely don’t get along. They’re stabled next to each other, and ever since Uceko started doing bigger classes Cheeky wasn’t happy about it. There’s always been one top horse in our barn, first Madison, then Cheeky…he doesn’t like sharing the spotlight!
EquiFit: Perfect segway to my next question. What are the other horses up to?
Alex: Well now it’s Uceko and Voyeur who are the most exciting two in our barn. Up Chiqui is just doing the speeds and lower classes because he’s kind of old; he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to. As long as he’s happy with what he’s doing, we’re happy. Kent loves that horse and he doesn’t owe us anything. Valhalla is touch and go, she can be amazing and then not so much. We also have some young ones so it’s definitely a transition year.
EquiFit: What are Uceko’s plans for after the Trials? Results dependent, obviously.
Alex: Well, hopefully it all goes well and we’re on the Long List. But Kent will plan on doing the Invitational with him. It’s an important venue to Kent. Then I think we’ll do the Kentucky Observation Event, and then go to Spruce. I don’t know if Devon will be a part of it because it’s hard with the Spruce scheduling. From there it just depends on what happens.
Game face on. Photo courtesy of Siri Dupont-Hurley.
EquiFit: Our fingers are triple crossed for you. Lastly, can you tell everyone a little about the organizational system at KPF LLC? I think it’s the coolest thing.
Alex: I have to say, Kent is amazing with things like that. In our barn we have a wall of bits that he designed, the whole concept was his. Each horse has their own boot & bit box, and a separate cubby for blankets and shipping gear. Bridles all have their names on them and each has a show & schooling bridle.
For Kent I do a schedule every night for the next day of all the orders and times and places he has to be, ride, and teach. All of this goes onto our iPhones, so as soon as I post it it goes to everyones phone, including the girls who work for us and customers, as most everyone has an iPhone these days. Then I also print it out and post it in the barn, so those who don’t have it can see it. It’s nice because you really get to see your day mapped out, and ends up saving us a lot of time.
EquiFit: Thank you Alex!! Best of luck this week.
The Olympic Selection Trials begin this Wednesday. The schedule is as follows, and all the action can be followed live on the EquiFit, inc. Facebook page:
Wednesday, 1pm: Selection Trial #1
Thursday, 1pm & 7pm: Selection Trial #2 & #3
Saturday, 7pm: Selection Trial #4
The views, opinions, or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or strategies of EquiFit, inc.
Official Performance Horse Boot and Leg Wear of the USEF