Sydney Shulman and Villamoura Earn Repeat Victory in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final at 2021 WIHS

October 29, 2021 - Mill Spring, N.C.

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, WIHS President Vicki Lowell, Amanda and Reddick Young, Lilah and Logan Cope, and TAPS Vice President, Sports and Entertainment Diana Hosford.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
McLain Ward and Catoki.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Karl Cook and Kalinka van't Zorgvliet.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
McLain Ward and Catoki, Daniel Coyle and Imar, and Santiago Lambre and The Diamont Rose Z in their winning presentation for the Puissance, which included a presentation of the Sweet 'N Low Trophy given by Barbara Tober in honor of Donald Tober.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Santiago Lambre and The Diamant Rose Z.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
McLain Ward and Catoki.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Daniel Coyle and Imar.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Commentary and Mimi Gochman are presented the Ides of March Trophy from ringmaster Steve Rector, Lee Heelan, and Linda Lee Reynolds.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Mimi Gochman and Commentary.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Grace Debney and Quimby won the WIHS Equitation Final Hunter Phase.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Kaitlyn Kiely and Sekhmet de Keralys.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Kaitlyn Kiely and Sekhmet de Keralys in their winning presentation with Dr. Bridgett McIntosh, Director of MARS Equestrian and ringmaster Steve Rector.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Vindicator and Dylann Ephraimson.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Dylann Ephraimson and Vindicator in their winning presentation.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Riders in the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase supported by Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Competition at the 2021 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 29, with the highlight event of the night being the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina. For the second time, Israeli rider Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT, and Jill Shulman’s Villamoura took home the top honors.

Forty-four horse-and-rider combinations competed in a faults converted format over the track designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) in the hopes of producing the winning time. Shulman and Villamoura were 17th to go in the order and could not be caught after stopping the timers at 53.25 seconds.

Long-time partners Shulman and Villamoura, a 12-year-old Selle Français mare by Diamant de Semilly, are always a pair to watch out for in speed classes and they proved their consistency tonight. The duo topped this class in 2019 as well as the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.

“I definitely planned on aiming for this class tonight for her to try to win,” explained Shulman. “I’ve had her a little over six years now. She’s unbelievable. She’s as fast, brave, and careful as any horse in the world really.”

Shulman knew she would have to go all out after McLain Ward and Catoki set the pace early on with a quick time of 53.92 seconds.

“After McLain went on Catoki, he came out and started to fire me up,” said Shulman. “Little did he know he actually gave me more of a fire inside me to try to beat him. Catoki and Villamoura are probably the two fastest horses that show consistently against each other. It’s a little bit of a fun game at this point, and we joke around about it.

“Although they both have similar strides and we often do the same numbers, Villamoura’s right lead is actually really big, and I was able to leave out [a stride] after the Longines double to the MARS Equestrian™ oxer,” continued Shulman. “I did seven strides there, and [Ward] did eight, which then let me do one less than him to the liverpool as well. She definitely made up the time there. She’s just like lightning.”

Shulman and Back Country Farm, the business she runs with her mother Jill Shulman, enjoy coming to the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Although the young rider always enjoyed showing in the Capital One Arena, she was pleased that TIEC is the venue for 2021.

“I personally love showing in Tryon,” commented Shulman. “The footing is amazing, and the atmosphere at night is great. I think putting this show here really gives it a nice and extra-important feel. We are glad to support Washington International Horse Show. I’ve been going to WIHS since 2007. Winning here was just the icing on the cake.”

Shulman was also awarded The General Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by the late Arthur J. Morris.

Third place honors in the class went to Karl Cook of Rancho Sante Fe, CA, and Kalinka van’t Zorgvliet. Cook rode his mount to a time of 54.73 seconds.

A special program in the Speed Final is the “Jump for TAPS,” where money is donated for every clear round over the TAPS jump. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), an official charity of WIHS, is the leading national organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes.

Final Results:$50,000 International Jumper Speed Final

1 VILLAMOURA: 2009 Selle Français mare by Diamant de Semilly
SYDNEY SHULMAN (USA), Jill Shulman: 53.25

2 CATOKI: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Catoki x Cartello B
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Marilla van Beuren, Bob Russell & McLain Ward: 53.92

3 KALINKA VAN’T ZORGVLIET: 2010 BWP mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Flipper d’Elle
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Ostby: 54.73

4 BERDIEN: 2011 Zangersheide mare by Bustique x Querlybet Hero
MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 55.19

5 CASANOVA 499: 2011 Holsteiner gelding by Clarimo x Wencke
JESSICA MENDOZA (GBR), Carly Day: 56.90

6 DIJON TERDOORN Z: 2011 Zangersheide gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Lord Z
BEAT MÄNDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 57.48

7 A TOI DE PRIM’: 2010 Selle Francais mare by Conterno Grande (OLD) x Diamant de Semilly
SYDNEY SHULMAN (ISR), Maggie Hill: 57.61

8 VIC DES CERISIERS: 2009 Selle Français gedling by Olympic d’Anguerny x Desir du Chateau
BEAT MÄNDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 57.84

9 BULL RUN’S FAUSTINO DE TILI: 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Berlin x Darco
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC: 58.01

10 BLOSSOM Z: 2010 Zangersheide mare by Balou Du Rouet x Cleopatra Z
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Wyndmont, Roberto Gomez: 58.39

11 ATHOS D’ELLE: 2010 Selle Français stallion by Apache D’adriers x Papillon Rouge
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 59.05

12 BOKAI: 2006 KWPN gelding by Up To Date x Ferro
CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Catherine Tyree LLC: 59.54

Three Tie for Puissance Win

In a historic turn of events, the $25,000 Puissance class ended up with three winners tied: McLain Ward and Catoki, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Imar, and Santiago Lambre (BRA) and The Diamant Rose Z. While all three had faults in the third jump-off round with the wall at 1.95 meters, they agreed to return for the fourth and final round and all cleared it.

It was the first Puissance for all three horses, and all three riders agreed that they wanted to come back and give it one final try. The riders shared their thought after the class:

Santiago Lambre: “It was the first time she’s jumped a wall I think! The first round she was spooky, but then she started to improve every round. I feel that she finished very solid. I was confident coming back in the final time because she was very good. She had a little touch, but the fault was unlucky. I thought she could do one more round.”

Daniel Coyle: “He actually doesn’t jump walls particularly well. That’s why I decided to put him in the puissance. Usually when you do it once or twice, you get a little more confident. When we had it down, I was very disappointed because I didn’t get the stride I wanted. The first time I didn’t have a great stride in the corner, and he went a little green on me. I ended up too far off. Thankfully they let us go back and make it right. The next time, I made sure that I was riding a little more confident. The last Puissance I did was in Dublin four years ago. I wasn’t nervous, but I felt old going in! The crowd loves it, so it always makes it better for us, no matter what happens.”

McLain Ward: “Who would have thought – Puissance specialist Catoki. He’s 15.1 hands, and he’s a speed horse. We thought we’d maybe jump a couple rounds. Honestly, he was jumping it easy and felt very in hand. I saw a couple had trouble in that third round, and I really overrode it. I was also a bit upset with myself, so when we had the opportunity to go again, he jumped it beautiful. We’re all a bunch of top, competitive riders, and the horses were doing it pretty handily. It was worth a try.”

Mimi Gochman and Commentary Claim the Grand Junior Hunter Championship

Junior hunter divisions wrapped up on Friday with Mimi Gochman of New York, New York, piloting Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Commentary to the Grand Junior Hunter Championship. The pair was awarded the title after receiving champion in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division.

After taking a small break from the hunter ring, Gochman has made a strong return this year. Commentary, a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding by Cooliage, is a catch-ride for Gochman, 16, who has only shown the horse twice before. With the help of trainers Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley, Gochman and Commentary earned the blue ribbon in every class of the division.

“I’ve really enjoyed riding him,” said Gochman. “He is actually my good friend Ella Bikoff’s horse. She got injured unfortunately but she let me show him for indoors, so I’ve been having a good time. I think we actually started to match up pretty fast, and we get along well.”

To top off a successful day, Gochman also received the Best Child Rider on a Horse title, sponsored by Gotham North and was presented with the DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia. Gochman was presented with The Ides of March Perpetual Trophy donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds for her Grand Junior Hunter Championship.

This year marks the first time Gochman has earned the Best Child Rider on a Horse honor as well as the Grand Junior Hunter Champion title at Washington International. The rider was thrilled to be able to earn these awards at one of her favorite shows of the season.

“This show has always been my favorite indoor,” commented Gochman. “You get cupcakes when you win so that’s always a plus. I also think the Washington International is such a prestigious show. All the good junior riders are here, and all the best junior hunters come from all over the country. When you do well at a show like this it’s impressive.”

Reserve champion in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division went to Reynolds Cole of Tuscaloosa, AL, and her own E Di Luca. Gochman earned her second championship of the day on Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Catch Me in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division. For this honor, the rider was also awarded with the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy presented by Chansonette Farms and donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC, and her own Montauk claimed the reserve champion honors.

In the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division, Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, Florida, and her own Coronation received the championship honors. Reserve champion was earned by Maddie Tosh of Milton, Georgia, and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador.

Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, Georgia, and her own Grand Remo topped the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division to earn the champion title. Fuqua and her mount also earned the Georgetown Trophy for High Score Junior Hunter Rider on his or her own horse. Raina Swani, of New York, NY, and Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Small Occasion took home reserve champion in the division.

Kaitlyn Kiely Takes Inside Turns To The Top

Kaitlyn Kiely, 15, of Rumson, New Jersey, and Sekhmet de Keralys, a Warmblood mare owned by Marleen Melchoir, bested a field of 24 horse-and-rider combinations to win the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, presented by MARS Equestrian™.

Kiely has been partnered with the mare for less than two years, progressing from the low children’s jumper division to the high children’s jumper division. Though Kiely says they’ve had some unlucky rails in recent months, they went clear today in part because of advice from her trainers T.J. O’Mara and Max Amaya and his team at Stonehenge Stables. “They tell me to keep my eyes up, sit tall at the jumps, good luck, and have fun,” she said.

Kiely, who placed 10th in the previous day’s $2,500 WIHS Children’s Jumper Welcome class, knew she needed to adjust her plan in to go clear in the first round of Friday’s championship. “I knew I had to flow through the turns and sit up really tall at the jumps,” she remarked. Her plan worked, and she progressed on to the short course with nine others.

With 10 clear in the first round, Kiely said she had a game plan with her mare, known as “Skippy” in the barn. “I was planning to go inside everywhere and leave out in both of the six-stride lines after the double [combination],” she commented.

Luckily, Kiely said her horse is able to leave strides out without much trouble. “Skippy has a really adjustable stride,” she shared. “It can be as big as you want and small as you want; that’s why we could go from the three [stride] to the really extended six [stride].”

The win was all the more special as this marked Skippy’s final show of her career. “It is incredible, and I am so proud of Skippy,” Kiely said of their top result. “She is going for retirement after this, so it was really amazing to win. She is older and experienced, and we did so well at [the Winter Equestrian Festival] and after this win, it’s her time to retire.”

For their win, Kiely and Skippy received The H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Fen.

Second place went to Olivia Sweetnam of Wellington, Florida, and Siboney Ranch’s Gold Lux. Juliette Propp of New York, New York, and Acquitaine Equine’s Naomi were third.

Dylann Ephraimson Pilots Vindicator to the Top Prize in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Championship

Dylann Ephraimson of Short Hills, New Jersey, and Marigot Bay Farm LLC’s Vindicator bested a field of 15 competitors to take home the top prize in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship presented by MARS Equestrian™.

After a technical first round, seven horse-and-rider combinations qualified for the jump-off course. Ephraimson and Vindicator were last to go and produced the fastest time of the class by just one second.

“I had a plan, and I was going to stick to it,” said Ephraimson of her jump-off round. “He was such a good boy and knows his job, so I knew he was going to try to execute the plan with me. No matter what, I was happy that we were in the jump-off. We didn’t jump off last year, so we already made progress.”

Ephraimson balances a busy work schedule with her riding and is thankful to have a great team behind her, especially her trainer Michael Delfiandra. The rider is also grateful for her seasoned mount Vindicator, which she has been partnered with since December 2020.

“I just feel so comfortable on him,” described Ephraimson of riding the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Odermus R. “When you get to the jump, he always wants to work it out. He wants to make the distance that you want work, and he’s pretty smooth and consistent. I knew that he would be ready to go into the ring day one, which was really important to me.”

Ephraimson was given The Dorothy Foote “Goodie” Taylor Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Second-place in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship went to Stefani Green of Bernardsville, New Jersey, and her own Wender R. The pair stopped the timers at 29.24 seconds. Tori Bilas of Charlotte, North Carolina, rode her own Brisbane to a time of 32.91 seconds for the third-place honor.

The Delta Trip of the Day came from Virgina Bonnie and Efodea, who won the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Time First Jump-Off class.

Prestigious classes continue at the 2021 WIHS on Saturday, October 30, with classics for the Low, Medium, and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, the start of pony hunters, the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, the WIHS Equitation Finals, and the $215,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington CSI4*-W for the President’s Cup, presented by Mars Equestrian™.