Reed Kessler and Cylana Capture Victory in $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W

Elizabeth Benson Tops WIHS Equitation Finals;

Hughes and Strauss Win in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.Cylana and Reed Kessler. © Shawn McMillen Photography

Washington, D.C. (Jennifer Wood) – Eighteen-year-old U.S. Olympian Reed Kessler added yet another accolade to her impressive year with a win in the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, presented by Events DC, at the 54th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). A FEI World Cup Qualifier, Kessler topped an impressive list of international competitors aboard her phenomenal mare Cylana to win in her first time competing in the class. Brazil’s Paulo Santana and Taloubet finished second, while Australia’s Matt Williams and Watch Me VD Mangelaar were third.

Earlier in the day, Elizabeth Benson earned the win in the 2012 WIHS Equitation Finals, while Katherine Strauss triumphed in the $10,000 SJHOF Ambassador’s Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, and Michael Hughes was victorious in the $5,000 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

Tonight’s grand prix was the highlight of the week at WIHS, which finishes tomorrow with competition for the pony hunters, the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, and the WIHS Regional Finals.

Anthony D’Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, set the course for this week’s show jumping competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. D’Ambrosio set a great course for Saturday night’s grand prix, which featured 28 international horses and riders. Nine entries were able to clear the first-round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and only four of those were faultless through the short course.

Margie Engle (USA) and Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek and Gladwinds, cleared the jump-off course in 36.42 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Matt Williams (AUS) and Samantha Tuerk’s Watch Me VD Mangelaar improved on that time in 36.15 seconds to secure the third place honors. Brazil’s Paulo Santana and Taloubet were a full two seconds faster than Williams in 34.15 seconds to take the lead, but would have to settle for second. USA’s young show jumping sensation Reed Kessler was last to go in the jump-off and shaved another two seconds off of Santana’s time aboard Cylana to win the class in 32.62 seconds.

For their victory, Kessler and Cylana were presented with the President of the United States Perpetual Cup. As Leading Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Robin Parsky, Kessler was also presented with the Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy and awarded a Rolex luxury timepiece from Tiny Jewel Box. Kessler’s parents, Teri and Murray Kessler, received a special award as the Leading Jumper Owner, sponsored by The Reid Family. Paulo Santana was named the Leading International Rider.

The Kessler Family was presented with the Leading Jumper Owner Award.
Pictured (L to R): Ringmaster John Franzreb, Harry Reid, Chloe Reid,
Zola Thompson, Murray Kessler, Reed Kessler and Cylana,
Teri Kessler, Sam Reid, and Juliet Reid, WIHS President.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

Reed Kessler has had an incredible year, competing as the youngest member in history for the U.S. Show Jumping Team at this summer’s Olympic Games in London. She can now add one of the nation’s most prestigious grand prix honors to her resume. Kessler was elated with the win, and praised Cylana on another great effort. The ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (by Skippy II x Darco) has become a superstar in her own right this year.

“This is one of the most historical classes in our country and it is my first year being old enough to do the grand prix,” Kessler noted. “Last year I was actually leading rider going into it and I wasn’t old enough to do it, so I really wanted to come back this year and seal the deal. I am thrilled; I brought the red coat for it and everything.”

Kessler had the advantage of going last in the jump-off and knowing what she had to do. “I definitely felt lucky that I went last,” she acknowledged. “I didn’t actually watch the entire jump-off because I was warming up, but it is always great to go last and know what you need to beat.”

“I did seven strides back on the third jump,” Kessler explained. “I think that besides even the way Cylana looks, she is just like Sapphire in a lot of ways. I think how I have to learn to go fast with her is that way, doing so few strides around the turns and to the jumps, and keeping it slick. I think that my turns were really good, but she can do anything.”

Kessler has been competing at WIHS since she was a child on ponies and has had many wins throughout the years. “I can’t even count (how many years I’ve been coming to WIHS),” she laughed. “I think I was champion here in the small ponies when I was little, I did the equitation final, then junior jumpers for a bunch of years and then to be all the way to the President’s Cup now. It is one of my favorite shows. I have been coming here my whole life and I love being in the middle of the city.”

“There is a great interaction with the audience here,” Kessler said further. “Everyone gets really into it. Barn night is genius; they always get a huge turnout. There was quite literally a mile-long line of children asking for autographs after the Gambler’s Choice. It is a great show and the crowd gets really into it. I think it is probably one of the biggest turnouts at a show jumping event in America.”

Second place finisher Paulo Santana had great results with Taloubet this week and spoke about his round and the pressure of having Kessler, a known speedster, following him in the order. “I would try to beat her. I saw the beginning of the class and I knew she was behind me and she would run in the minutes a couple more,” Santana stated. “It was a good mix in the jump-off; Margie, Matt. I had to play a little with the risk. I was afraid to try and then have a rail really early. I had to chase my points one by one and do a safe course, but that doesn’t mean that I would beat her. To win by two seconds in an indoor competition is a lot.”

Santana was very excited to qualify for WIHS this year and have the opportunity to compete for World Cup points. He praised the show as well. “For me it is one of the best, if not the best show in the United States,” he declared. “The best restaurants, hotels, the crowd, the footing; it makes everybody feel good.”

“I was on the waiting list, like lighting candles to get in,” Santana laughed. “Brazilian black magic! I hope next year I don’t have to do that. I found out that I got in between three and four weeks ago. It was really kind of the organizers, who called right away; we were first on the waiting list.”

Santana also acknowledged the great crew at WIHS. “We have to always appreciate what the crew does here; they work literally 24 hours,” he added. “We show up here at 3 o’clock in the morning and somebody is already dragging the arena. We know that probably this horse show costs much more than what it gets to be done, so we really appreciate the effort that the organizers put to keep doing this tradition in the capital, inside of the city. It makes a better display for our sport. It is very nice and I hope they never quit doing this show because it would be a very big loss for the sport here in the United States.”

Third place finisher, Matt Williams, spoke about his mount Watch Me VD Mangelaar and their success this year. “I got him last year in the middle of the summer as an eight-year-old,” Williams detailed. “He jumped the HITS $1 million grand prix last year and placed sixth in that. I decided to aim him for London, then went to Florida and then went over to Europe for the summer. Since that he did three shows where he was second in every grand prix and he has had seven weeks off now, so he’s a little fresh, but he felt fantastic. I choked going to the double. I got halfway there and changed my mind. Other than that he was really on his job and I’m really happy with him.”

“This show is amazing,” Williams said of WIHS. “You are so close to everything; you walk outside and the restaurants are right there. It is well-publicized, so people are coming in who know nothing about horses and learning about the sport. They have other things happening other than jumping to keep people entertained, which is nice for the riders as well, to watch some of the events that are happening here. It is nice to see something different. If you can cope with the warm-up ring, it is such a fantastic place to be in the center of the city. The arena is great, the grounds are great, the courses have been super all week and it is a privilege to be here.”

Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio also spoke about the class and his take on the results. D’Ambrosio explained, “The confines of the ring are a challenge for me as well as it is for the riders. Having had some experience now in the indoors, I have developed a system. It was very gratifying for me to see the horses jump so well, flow a little bit and act like they were in a much larger space.”

“I thought the class developed beautifully; I was not surprised to see riders on fast horses figure out a way to be a bit faster than the horse before them,” D’Ambrosio expressed. “It’s what they do and they take calculated risks, but certainly know what they have to do to win. Having a good animal that can make the adjustments necessary to be faster, they often times come through. I think it just unfolded in a very nice way this evening where it had a chance to develop to be very nice for the crowd. You didn’t have to have ever seen horses jump before to appreciate a competition like that I think, and those who know show jumping could also appreciate it very much.”

Elizabeth Benson Wins 2012 WIHS Equitation Finals

The 2012 WIHS Equitation Finals concluded this evening with an exciting win for 18-year-old Elizabeth Benson of Whitehouse Station, NJ. Benson rode San Remo VDL, a twelve-year-old Latvian Warmblood gelding by Sudanas, through the first two phases of competition, finishing with a score of 89.33 in the hunter phase and a 91.17 point total in the jumper phase.

Returning for the final work-off sitting in first place overall, Benson’s ride aboard Catherine Tyree’s mount Patrick scored a 90.33, giving her a three round total of 270.832 for the win. 

The judges for the class were Todd Karn, of Fayetteville, NY, Jimmy Clapperton, of Savannah, GA, Alison Robitaille, of Upperville, VA, Ralph Caristo, of Saugerties, NY, Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, and Scott Williamson of Wellington, FL.

Benson earned the victory over Hasbrouck Donovan, of Gainesville, FL, who totaled 267.833 with scores of 87.33, 89.50, and 91.00. Donovan rode Don Stewart and Derbypie LLC’s Drake in the hunter/jumper rounds and then piloted Benson’s mount San Remo VDL in the final work-off.

Third place went to Jacob Pope, of Owings Mills, MD, with a three round total of 263.082. Pope rode Madeline Turner’s Uno to scores of 88 and 84.42 in the first two rounds. His ride in the final work-off aboard Sarah Milliren’s mount Alando, owned by Devney Hoft, scored a 90.67.

This was Elizabeth Benson’s second time competing in the WIHS Equitation Finals after placing third in the competition last year. This year she stepped up to the plate to secure the title.

Benson was presented The WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. G. Ralph Ours, III and a pair of custom chaps provided by Journeymen Saddlers, Ltd. San Remo VDL was awarded The Lugano Memorial Trophy donated by Stoney Hill as the winning horse of the night.  Championship coolers were sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Hamilton Duprey.

Following the victory, Benson spoke about her two mounts, San Remo VDL and Patrick, and the honor of winning. She has owned San Remo VDL for three years.

“Last year I wasn’t able to show him; he was out with an injury off and on for a year,” Benson stated.  “He had a little bit of a break before coming here this year and we wanted to make sure he was set for the end of these finals. For me he is perfect; he can’t do much wrong.”

Speaking about her work-off mount Patrick, she detailed, “He was definitely comfortable from the start. I wasn’t as nervous as I was last year. I came back in the same spot (this year), second in the hunter phase and first in the jumper phase. Going in on him I think he was more my ride. He was easy to open up and get down the first line and get down the tricky parts of the course, so I liked him a lot.”

Benson’s trainer, Stacia Madden, felt confident that her student would come out on top after her top scores in the hunter and jumper phases.

“I do believe that the judges don’t like to lose the winner when they perform well and consistent and haven’t left the door open to make any mistakes,” Madden noted. “I didn’t get to see many others go, but I did not think Elizabeth left the door open; she had a lead going into it. I was just very hopeful that the class was going to pan out her way.”

Benson and second place finisher Hasbrouck Donovan will both be attending Auburn University this year and received scholarships to ride on the school’s NCAA Equestrian Team. Benson will travel to Kentucky to contest the ASPCA National Maclay Finals next week as well, but for now she will take in the magnitude of this great accomplishment.

She was almost speechless trying to describe the winning feeling. “I can’t even put it into words I think,” Benson said with an emotion-filled laugh. “I was thrilled and excited. I didn’t imagine I would be in this spot.”

Hasbrouck Donovan had a fantastic ride on Benson’s San Remo VDL in her work-off round to secure the reserve honors. Donovan described that ride, “Elizabeth told me he was really fun and that you just have to really steer him around. He was awesome.”

Donovan’s trainer, Don Stewart, commented on the level of quality in the top young riders this year.  “I think both these two girls at this point in time are consistent and they ride so well, that I don’t think the pressure is an issue,” Stewart stated. “They are so competitive. They obviously have ice water in their veins. It doesn’t matter what show, what venue.”

Madden agreed and added how impressive it is that both of these top riders are continuing their educations. “There are so many top riders now; it really comes down to the day and whose day it is,” Madden said. “When you look at it on paper there are at least 15 kids that could win these finals on any given day. There are a lot of variables: the course, the weather, the venue. With the girls maintaining school and such a high standard of riding, it is just amazing. You want to think that this sport gets you the whole way, but education is very important. I think it sets a good precedent.”

Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers Compete in Classics

The $10,000 Ambassador’s Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Oasis Petroleum, saw a win for 13-year-old Katherine Strauss, of Southampton, NY, riding Chellando Z.

Twenty entries showed in the class with seven advancing to the jump-off. Three entries completed the short course without fault, and Katherine Strauss and Chellando Z set the pace at 33.344 seconds to win the Ambassador’s Cup Perpetual Trophy, donated by Ambassador and Mrs. Marion H. Smoak.

Gabrielle Bausano and Ubico H finished in 33.573 seconds to place second. Ashley Foster and RAF LLC’s Indy placed third in 33.586 seconds.

Katherine Strauss has had great success at WIHS at a young age. She won the $10,000 Children’s Jumper Championship in 2010 and finished second in the same class last year. She has since moved up to compete as a junior and was able to beat out many top junior and amateur riders today.

Trained by Frank Madden and Jennifer Griffiths, Strauss described their plan for today’s course, “first round I did not ride my best, so I was really trying to come back with a smooth round. Our plan was to go for it, but not to the point where we would beat ourselves and try to go too crazy and have a rail, and it ended up paying off.”

Strauss’s horse, Chellando Z, is a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z. She has owned him for over a year. “He is amazing,” Strauss smiled. “Every opportunity he had to help me out there today, he did. He wants to win just as badly as we do. He is really playful and I love him.”

Strauss is 13 years old and in eighth grade, but she is winning over many older, more experienced riders. Commenting on her win today, she stated, “It was really fun. I just tried to ride my best, but it’s really exciting. There was a lot of great competition. Everybody who is here obviously rides well and deserves to be here. A lot of the shows I have been to over the summer they have also been at, so I just tried to stay calm and ride my best.”

“Washington has always been one of my favorite shows since I came here to do children’s jumpers and ponies,” Strauss added. “Washington is a great show. I think it is really great that they can keep the tradition of having a show in the city.”

The High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper champion, sponsored by Oasis Petroleum, was Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius and Meagan Nusz. They were awarded the Greenberg Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hermen Greenberg. Strauss and Chellando Z were reserve champions. The Shalanno Style of Riding Award was given to Charlotte Jacobs, of East Aurora, NY.
Charlotte Jacobs was presented with the Shalanno Style of Riding Award.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

In the $5,000 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, sponsored by North Star, sixteen-year-old Michael Hughes, of Allendale, NJ, had a repeat victory from last year riding Drumnacross Farm Ltd.’s Red Hot.

Twenty-two entries showed in the class, with nine advancing to the jump-off. Hughes and Red Hot had the fastest of five double clear rounds through the short course in 30.658 seconds. For their win, the pair was presented with the Swan Lake Perpetual Trophy donated by Beagle Brook Farm in honor of the 1992 winner Swan Lake, ridden by Jennifer F. Miller.

Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade finished second in 31.072 seconds aboard Hollow Creek Farm’s Casanova Junior.  Reed Patton had two horses in the jump-off and finished third aboard Tissem in 32.745 seconds and fourth aboard Von Dutch in 35.204 seconds. Lillie Keenan also had two rides in the jump-off and took a fall from her first mount, but returned to earn the fifth place honors aboard Abigail Wexner’s Zycarla Z with a clear jump-off round in 35.204 seconds.

Red Hot is a year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Indoctro. Hughes has had a lot of great success with the gelding and knows his ride well. On winning their second Classic in a row at WIHS, Hughes smiled, “It’s great. Red Hot is such a great horse to come into this environment. He is so active always and he loves coming here.”

Hughes described his plan on course, taking into account Red Hot’s particular style. “In the first round there were a lot of different options because Red Hot doesn’t have the biggest stride in the world, so you always have the option of adding another stride,” he noted. “I tried to take the slower options actually in the first round because he tends to get a little bit crazy towards the end. Then in the jump-off, I just tried to keep a consistent, forward pace the whole time and it ended up working out. I think from one to two I really never slowed down at all.”

The Washington International Horse Show always makes an effort to provide meaningful award presentations and special acknowledgement for its winners. Hughes spoke about the honor of winning at one of the most prestigious shows in the country.

“There is such a great atmosphere here; it is always so exciting,” he smiled. “You are jumping any jump on course and the crowd is screaming if you jump it clear. It makes it fun.”

The Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship, sponsored by North Star, went to Hughes and Red Hot. They won the Foxbrook Perpetual Trophy in honor of Space Citation, donated by Joy Slater. Andrade and Casanova Junior were the reserve champions.

The Washington International Horse Show concludes tomorrow with a day full of pony competition as well as the WIHS Regional Finals.

The WIHS is excited to announce that the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W will be aired on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, October 28, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. EST.

The final day of competition will be live streamed in its entirety at

For full results, more information, or to watch the free live feed of the show, please visit

Final Results: $100,00 President’s Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W, presented by Events DC

Final Results: WIHS Equitation Classic Finals
1 793 Elizabeth Benson WHITEHOUSE STATION NJ 270.832
Scores : 89.33, 91.17, 90.33
2 814 Hasbrouck Donovan GAINESVILLE FL 267.833
Scores : 87.33, 89.50, 91.00
3 818 Jacob Pope OWINGS MILLS MD 263.082
Scores : 88.00, 84.42, 90.67
4 800 Michael Hughes MORRISTON FL 259.332
Scores : 89.83, 84.83, 84.67
5 809 Meg O’Mara RUMSON NJ 257.832
Scores : 87.83, 90.33, 79.67
6 819 Victoria Colvin LOXAHATCHEE FL 257.499
Scores : 86.00, 83.17, 88.33
7 827 Kristen Lutz PURCHASE NY 252.332
Scores : 86.17, 79.83, 86.33
8 859 Sarah Milliren SAPULA OK 250.165
Scores : 84.33, 82.17, 83.67
9 790 Gabrielle Bausano NEW YORK NY 237.499
Scores : 85.00, 82.83, 69.67
10 799 Catherine Tyree CHICAGO IL 212.999
Scores : 84.67, 88.33, 40.00

Final Results: $10,000 SJHOF Ambassador’s Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner
Jumper Classic sponsored by Oasis Petroleum
3 120 INDY ASHLEY FOSTER: 0/0/33.586
4 746 VESUVIUS MEAGAN NUSZ: 0/4/32.062
7 698 TWILIGHT KATIE COX: 0/12/37.866
10 647 SINATRA IV MEG O’MARA: 4/58.444

Final Results: $5,000 Senator’s Cup Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic sponsored by North Star
1 243 RED HOT MICHAEL HUGHES: 0/0/30.658
3 213 TISSEM REID PATTON: 0/0/32.745
4 212 VON DUTCH REID PATTON: 0/0/33.158
5 345 ZYCARLA Z LILLIE KEENAN: 0/0/35.204
7 173 S & L PYLOS ANNABELLE GUNDLACH: 0/4/32.516
8 626 COUNT ON ME 5 HARRISON SHURE: 0/8/33.230

Daisy Farish and Sassafras Creek Garner Grand Pony Hunter Championship at the 54th Washington International Horse Show

Lucy Deslauriers Triumphs in WIHS Pony Equitation Finals;
Vega and Director Win Regional Finals

Washington, D.C. – October 28, 2012 – The 54th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) concluded competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. on Sunday, October 28, with the presentation of championship awards in the pony hunter divisions. Twelve-year-old Daisy Farish, of Versailles, KY, earned the coveted Grand Pony Hunter Championship aboard Bibby Hill’s Sassafras Creek after topping the Medium Pony hunter division. Twelve-year-old Emma Kurtz, of Hudson, OH, was named Best Child Rider on a Pony after winning the Small Pony Hunter division with Bill Schaub’s Hillcrest Blue Halo.

The WIHS Pony Equitation Finals were also held in the afternoon with a win for Lucy Deslauriers. The WIHS Regional Finals concluded the day with a win and champfor Devin Vega and Chelsea Director.

Daisy Farish rode Sassafras Creek, a 13-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare, to championship honors in the Medium Pony Hunters to receive The Shenandoah Sundowner Perpetual Trophy, donated by Evan Coluccio and Ashmont Farms, Ltd.
Farish and Sassafras Creek won all three classes over fences. Francesca Dildabanian and Laugh Out Loud earned the reserve honors with second and third place ribbons over fences and fourth place under saddle.

Farish and ‘Sassy’ were then presented with The Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Novick and Rustic Woods, for the Grand Pony Hunter Championship. They were also awarded a special prize for their high score of 86 in the stake class.

It was a busy day for Daisy Farish at WIHS. The young rider just turned twelve on October 12 and had multiple ponies to show on Sunday. She arrived at 4 a.m. to prepare with trainers Patricia Griffith and Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm, and that preparation paid off. Farish won her first championship ever at WIHS.

“It feels good to win because I have never been champion here before and Sassy was really good,” Farish smiled. “I have done okay here before, but I’ve never done well all the way through, and this year was good.”

Farish told us about Sassafras Creek, who she has been riding since June. “She is awesome to ride. She has a huge stride and she has a really good rhythm and she is easy to find the jumps on,” Farish described. “I was really proud of Sassy because she was so good for me and she is just so fun to ride.”

Farish has been showing in the ponies at WIHS for a few years now and felt confident going into the arena this weekend. That confidence was bolstered by great advice from her trainers, and comfort with her ponies.

“I have been coming to Washington a long time,” Farish recalled. “I like it here. It is a little bit hard with the times you have to wake up, but once you’re in the ring it is fun.”

“I didn’t get nervous this show because Sassy has always been good for me; she makes me confident,” Farish added. “The last thing my trainers told me before I went in the ring for the last class was ‘Ride it like you want it,’ and that’s what I did.”

Emma Kurtz rode Hillcrest Blue Halo to championship honors in the Small Pony Hunter division to be awarded The Stombock Saddlery Challenge Trophy, donated by Stombock Saddlery, in memory of E.P. (Bud) Stombock. Kurtz and Hillcrest Blue Halo won two classes over fences. Sophie Gochman rode David Gochman’s Weebiscuit to reserve with first, second and sixth place ribbons over fences. Gochman also earned the Potomac Trophy High Score Junior Hunter Rider on a Pony award for her 87 point round in the small pony handy class.

Kurtz was presented with the award for Best Child Rider on a Pony, sponsored by The Chungunco Family, and presented with The Captain V.S. Littauer Perpetual Trophy donated by Hugh J.B. Cassidy III, Mrs. William Dillon and Miss Marion Lee.Kurtz does not have a pony of her own, but catch rode three ponies this weekend. Her top mount, Hillcrest Blue Halo, is a pony that Kurtz had never ridden before. She is a nine-year-old Welsh pony mare by From Me to You.

“Daisy usually rides her, but she had too many ponies this weekend, so I rode her,” Kurtz explained. “This was my first time showing her and I had never ridden her before this. I just got on her at the show for the first time.”

“She was pretty easy and slow,” Kurtz described. “She’s lazy. I didn’t have to do anything special; she is a good girl.”

Kurtz trains with Amanda Lyerly and Mike Rheinheimer, and has ridden ponies for many top owners and trainers this year, including the Gochmans, Mindy Darst, and Bill Schaub.
“I like it; I don’t even own a pony, so catching riding is the only thing I do,” she noted. “This has been a big year for me. I have done more and more riding and it is really fun. I have shown more this year than ever before.”

This was Kurtz’s first time showing at WIHS, and she enjoyed the experience. She will continue showing ponies next year and hopes to move up to compete in the juniors as well.

The final championship of the morning was in the Large Pony Hunter division, sponsored by Rose Hill Farm. Bergen Sanderford, of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, rode Katie Dinan LLC’s Keep Dreamin’ to top honors and The Pegasus Stable Perpetual Trophy, donated by Ms. Fenwick Kollock.  The pair placed first in two classes over fences. Ali Tritschler and Dreamland, owned by Linda Evans, finished in reserve after placing first and second over fences and fifth under saddle.

All of the champions also received a special award presented by Ponybeds.

Deslauriers Tops Second Final in 2012

Later in the afternoon, young riders competed in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals with a win for 13-year-old Lucy Deslauriers, of New York, NY, aboard GC Ponies’ Center Field. Deslauriers was presented The Jane Marshall Dillon Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the friend and students of Mrs. Jane Marshall Dillon. She scored an 87 over fences and came out on top after the work-off under saddle. Charlise Casas finished second with a score of 81, Ericka Koscinski was third with a 77, and Daisy Farish placed fourth with a score of 75.
Deslauriers is good friends with last year’s winner, Ali Tritschler, and was presented the award by her friend. She has been leasing Center Field since just after WIHS last year and explained that this is her last show on him. She is done with the ponies now and will start riding horses.

“He is my favorite and I love him so much,” Deslauriers praised. “He is really good at these rounds, so I knew he would be a good boy coming into this. He is pretty straightforward; he’s good about turning and stuff, so I was happy to ride him.”

Deslauriers and Center Field also won the EquiSport Insurance/U.S. Pony Medal Finals this year. Speaking about her jumping round today, Deslauriers explained the advice that came from trainer Krista Freundlich.

“Krista told me to just go inside as much as I could and make it look smooth, so I just did what she told me and tried to make it look good,” she laughed. “He seems to like showing here. He was really good. I like it too; it was really fun.”

Regional Hunter Finals Conclude Competition

Concluding the week of competition at the 2012 WIHS were the regional hunter championships. The WIHS Regional Pony Hunter champion and Finals winner was 12-year-old Devin Vega, of Middletown, DE, riding Kimi Hochstein’s Loafers Lodge Darling Edwin. Vega and ‘Edwin’ received The Liseter Clever Star Perpetual Trophy, donated by Dr. Betsee Parker, who was also the sponsor of the division. The reserve champion was Pret-a-Porter and Brooke Van Nortwick.

In their final class today, Vega and Edwin earned the winning score of 85 to take the championship. Second place in the final went to Linda Foster’s Swizzlestick and Emma Hess, who scored an 84. Third place went to Dr. Betsee Parker’s Liseter Clever Star, ridden by Lydia Davidson.

Vega has had help from several trainers, including her mom, Amy Vega, Chad Keenum, Kelly Wilson, and Elizabeth Mandarino. Vega has only ridden Edwin a handful of times, including the Capital Challenge Horse Show and local shows at Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The pair has partnered up nicely.

“He went to Pony Finals and he was reserve at local day in the Children’s,” Vega said. “I love him; he is fun. He is very floaty and he just jumps up to you. He is a good boy and he is pretty easy.”

This was Vega’s first time showing at WIHS and she had a very successful day. “It is so much fun here,” she smiled. “It is cool to be in a big arena and win here. I was kind of nervous before I went in, but I just knew that I had to do it. I was happy at the end. I was like ‘I did it!’ It was fun and I was proud of Edwin. He was happy I think; he wasn’t nervous or anything.”

The WIHS Regional Hunter Horse Finals immediately followed with a championship win for 14-year-old Mary Elizabeth Cordia, of Alexandria, VA, and Welcome. Cordia was awarded The Black, Starr and Frost Perpetual Trophy donated by Black, Starr and Frost. Reserve went to Be Eme Diablo, owned by Streett Moore and ridden by Alexis Ancel.

Urban and Chelsea Director, of Potomac, MD, won today’s final class with a high score of 83. Be Eme Diablo and Alexis Ancel scored an 81 for second place, and Mary Elizabeth Cordia finished in third with a score of 77 aboard Welcome.

Cordia trains with Jenny Graham at Cedar Creek in Virginia. She bought her horse Welcome this March and has spent the year getting to know him.

“He’s an equitation horse, but since there are not that many three-foot equitation classes, we have been doing the hunters and so far he has been just marvelous,” Cordia explained. “He is different from anything I have ridden, but he is a cool ride. He has such a good canter and he is always willing to go anywhere you want him to. I’ve owned a pony, but he is the first horse I have owned.”

Cordia showed at WIHS last year in the WIHS Children’s Hunter Championships and was excited to come back this year. “It is just so cool being in the city because you are down here in the arena and it is the horse show world, but then you walk up and you are walking your horse down the streets in the city. It is just so unreal,” she remarked.

“It is cool to have the opportunity to show here because I have only had him since March and we have not really done that much because I was just getting to know him,” Cordia added. “We went to Regionals not really knowing what would happen and just looking to have fun, and it was a great outcome.”

The Regional Hunter and Pony Equitation champions were awarded a pair of custom chaps provided by Journeymen Saddlers, Ltd.

For full results and more information, please visit

Final Results: WIHS Pony Equitation Finals
1 140 Lucy Deslauriers NEW YORK NY 87.000
2 536 Charlise Casas KENILWORTH 81.000
3 551 Ericka Koscinski CENTER MORICHES NY 77.000
4 205 Daisy Farish VERSAILLES KY 75.000
5 641 Bernadette Louise 83.000
6 661 Carly Hoft ROLESVILLE NC 74.000
7 422 Yasmin Rizvi GREENWICH CT 73.000
8 398 Elena Desanti VIENNA VA 72.000
9 427 Lili Hymowitz NEW YORK NY 69.000
10 668 Madeline Berry TUSCALOOSA AL 68.000

Final Results: WIHS Regional Hunter Finals – Ponies
1 840 LOAFERS LODGE DARLING EDWIN Devin Vega Kimi Hochstein 85.000
Scores : 85.00
2 836 SWIZZLESTICK Emma Hess Linda Foster 84.000
Scores : 84.00
3 833 LISETER CLEVER STAR Lydia Davidson Dr. Betsee Parker 72.000
Scores : 72.00
4 842 CHINA BLUE Lauren Ginsberg Stacey Schaefer 70.000
Scores : 70.00
5 841 BLUE ON BLUE Sarah Boston Chloe D Reid Llc 68.000
Scores : 68.00
6 834 PRET-A-PORTER Brooke Van Nortwick Brooke Van Nortwick 65.000
Scores : 65.00
7 856 FARNLEY FANCY Peyton Ruddy Peyton Ruddy 63.000
Scores : 63.00
8 839 FARNLEY CROWN PRINCE Christa Strasel Hetty Abeles 55.000
Scores : 55.00

Final Results: WIHS Regional Hunter Finals – Horses
1 848 URBAN Chelsea Director Chelsea Director 83.000
Scores : 83.00
2 850 BE EME DIABLO Alexis Ancel Streett Moore 81.000
Scores : 81.00
3 506 WELCOME Mary Elizabeth Cordia Mary Elizabeth Cordia 77.000
Scores : 77.00
4 845 SOUVENIR Ashley Chucker Ashley Chucker 72.000
Scores : 72.00
5 847 ROCOCO Brittani Director Brittani Director 70.000
Scores : 70.00
6 846 BLACK MAGIC Marissa Simmons Marissa Simmons 65.000
Scores : 65.00
7 851 LUCCA Kimberly Meighan Kimberly Meighan 63.000
Scores : 63.00
8 849 DENTON Victoria Wymer Sara Parrish 60.000
Scores : 60.0

Photo Credit: Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography, These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.

About the Washington International Horse Show (

An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with top riders, including Olympic medalists and their world-class horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show, with many competing all year just to qualify. Highlights include the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and WIHS Equitation Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event.

Since its debut, the WIHS has been a Washington, D.C. institution attended by celebrities, business, military, and diplomatic leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

© 2012 Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.: Writing. Photography. Equestrian Public Relations and Marketing.

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