French and Coyle Receive Top Awards at Saratoga Classic I

June 13, 2024 -

John French won the Green Hunter 3’6” championship with Kalvador, owned by Montana Coady, and shown here with groom Cristian Flores Meza.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Kaiden GPH and John French.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Emi Richards (shown) and Laena Romond rode Clintex J owned by Heritage Farm Inc. to the championship in the High Performance Hunters.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Hyacinth, ridden by Christina Serio and owned by Clementina Brown, won the High Performance Conformation Hunter championship.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Kaiden GPH won all five classes in the Green Hunter 3’3” division to take the Grand Hunter Championship, shown here in the presentation with owner Lauren Little, rider John French, and groom Cristian Flores Meza.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
John French won the Saratoga Award, presented by Adele Einhorn of Saratoga Horse Shows.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Christian Coyle and Ma Pomme de Tamerville in their winning presentation with Sophia Long of Saratoga Horse Shows (middle) along with wife Chelsea Dwinell and daughters Daisy and Grace.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Coyle and Ma Pomme de Tamerville continued their Saratoga winning streak in the $5,000 1.35m Welcome.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
Laena Romond rode Forsini to the Performance Hunter 3-3 championship for owner Lexi Maounis.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography
John French and Cygnet in their winning presentation for the Green Hunter 3 championship with Remy McDonough of Saratoga Horse Shows.
Photo by Jess Windhurst Photography

The professional hunter divisions wrapped up competition on Thursday, June 13, 2024, with John French making multiple trips to the winner’s circle for awards presentations during the Saratoga Classic I Horse Show at White Hollow Farm. In the Dammerman International Ring, Christian Coyle and Ma Pomme de Tamerville were the fastest double clear to win the $5,000 1.35m Welcome. The Saratoga Classic I continues through Sunday, June 16, with World Championship Hunter Rider competition, while the Saratoga Classic II Horse Show will run the following week on June 19-23.

French, who is based in Wellington, FL, took the championship ribbon in three divisions, including the Green Hunter 3’3” with Kaiden GPH, owned by Little Brook LLC. Kaiden swept all five classes, which earned them the Grand Hunter Championship sponsored by Ride Every Stride. French was presented with the Saratoga Award sponsored by Glenwood Farm and Chris Brown Design Group as the rider of the Grand Champion horse. Reserve champion in the Green Hunter 3’3” division was Provincetown, ridden and owned by Trevor Hawthorne.

French and Kaiden’s owner, Lauren Little, have only been riding the nine-year-old KWPN stallion by Chaman x Crawford for six weeks, and this was the horse’s first show in the hunter ring. Little, who joined the amateur ranks in 2024 after a successful junior career, noted that Kaiden is a “really special horse.”

“We really trust John,” said Little. “When he said, ‘It’s never done the hunters before, it’s nine years old, and it’s a stallion,’ even though it sounds like a bit of a weird combination, it’s such a great fit. He’s so kind and is the first stallion I’ve ever ridden. When he arrived I opened the stall door, and he was leaning into me and snuggling. It really felt like an instant click, which doesn’t happen typically. I always feel comfortable and safe on him. Usually it takes a while to get to know new horses, but he’s really honest.”

Little is originally from San Francisco, CA, but enjoys coming to the Saratoga Horse Shows due to her family connection to the area. “I’ve loved it every year,” she affirmed. “My grandma lives 30 minutes away and my dad grew up around here, so there is a lot of family time and nostalgia for me at this horse show.”

French also took home the champion and reserve champion ribbons in the Green Hunter 3’6” division with Kalvador, owned by Montana Coady, and Incognito, owned by Ellie Sadrian, respectively. The two horses traded top ribbons both days; Kalvador was first, second, and second over fences, won the handy hunter, and topped the under saddle. Incognito had two firsts and two seconds over fences and was second under saddle.

“It was good that Kalvador ended up champion,” said French. “He’s always been the bridesmaid this year with several reserve championships to other horses of mine. The fact that he was the champion is nice for him this week.”

Kalvador competed in the smaller green division in 2023, taking home a championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. In 2024 they moved up and the plan is for Coady to compete in the Amateur-Owner Hunters.

“He’s a lot bigger than most of the horses I ride because Montana is tall, so she needed a tall horse,” said French of the nine-year-old KWPN gelding. “Because of that, I need to keep him contained a bit. It’s nice when the jumps can make him look a bit so that he backs up a little. He’s not spooky at all; nothing fazes him. He’s a sweet horse.”

French also won the Green Hunter 3’ championship with Cygnet, owned by Kent Farrington LLC. The striking grey gelding won both over fences classes on Wednesday, then placed second and third over fences on Thursday. A second-place ribbon in the under saddle handed them the top tricolor. French and Checkpoint, owned by Dana Vollbracht, were reserve champions.

Over in the Dammerman International Ring, jumper riders competed over courses designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX). In the $5,000 1.35m Welcome, Christian Coyle (IRL) and his own Ma Pomme de Tamerville were the fastest double clear for the win.

Coyle and “Pomme” are regular winners at the Saratoga Horse Shows, having secured victory in the $25,000 grand prix during the Saratoga Spring II Horse Show in 2023 and 2024. “It’s a beautiful show with a lovely setting,” said Coyle. “The footing is good with lovely jumps and a nice atmosphere. It’s really laidback, which I like.”

Coyle was first in the ring and then proceeded immediately to the jump-off, where they recorded a time of 38.689 seconds that couldn’t be beat. Coming closest was Tori Corts and her own Semi Automatic, who were clear in 40.058 seconds. The third double clear came from Kyla Makhloghi and Jardin, owned by Twin Island LLC, who crossed the timers in 41.213 seconds for third place.

“My main aim is the grand prix on Saturday. Today I was using it more so that she could have a look around and keep her happy and quiet,” said Coyle of the 12-year-old BWP mare by Deauville van TL x Contendro II. “She loves it here. She has been going well and was second in the $75,000 grand prix two weeks ago in Saugerties.”

For Thursday’s Welcome, Coyle remarked, “The course was tough enough, big, square, and enough width in the oxers. It took loads of jumping. I honestly didn’t think I was going to win. I just jumped a middling clear round, and I was happy with that wherever I finished. I was lucky enough to finish on top today.”

Saratoga Classic I Horse Show Highlights

Friday, June 14
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Saturday, June 15
$25,000 Saratoga Grand Prix
$10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Sunday, June 16
$1,000 Non-Pro Hunter Derby and Grand Hunter Champion awards

Looking for horse show photos? Visit official photographer Jess Windhurst Photography at to view all of your show proofs!

For more information on the Saratoga Horse Shows, visit

About Saratoga Horse Shows

Now in its 26th year, Saratoga Horse Shows will offer nine USEF-rated competitions on the 2024 show calendar, along with an additional seven schooling show dates. Managed by Southbound Saratoga Management Group and held at White Hollow Farm in Stillwater, New York, Saratoga Horse Shows is situated on more than 100 acres and located eight miles from downtown Saratoga Springs. With eight large arenas featuring state-of-the-art drainage and all-weather performance footing, permanent and tented stabling, and turnout paddocks, it is the ideal place to show during the spring and summer months. Visit to learn more.