Competition on Saturday, October 30, 2021, came to an exciting finish at the Washington International Horse Show, presented by MARS Equestrian™ as Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Figor, owned by Artisan Farms LLC and Tiffany Foster, won the $215,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington CSI4*-W for the President’s Cup, presented by Mars Equestrian™.
Out of 33 first-round entries and four in the jump-off, it was the last combination to go, Foster and Figor, who would stand in the winner’s circle.
First in the jump-off was Alex Granato (USA) on Carlchen W, owned by The Bright Lights Group. They had the fastest jump-off time in 35.01 seconds, but a heartbreaking rail at the final jump left them with four faults in third place.
“I had a bit of a setback with Carlchen in September,” said Granato of the 13-year-old Mecklenburg gelding by Chacco-Blue x Continue. “We had some trouble with his foot at the [Spruce Meadows] Masters. I've been spending the last few weeks since then building him back and making sure he felt confident, and luckily, I know him well enough to step back up tonight. I tried to let his natural speed carry me. Typically, I probably would have kept going and done one less and had a little more room at the last jump but just with building him back up I took a little bit of caution. It worked against me which was unfortunate. These girls jumped beautiful rounds, and I certainly wasn't trying to be third, but they definitely deserve where they are at.”
Next in, Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Casall x San Patrignano Corrado owned by Signe Ostby, had an unfortunate refusal at the first jump. They regrouped to finish with four faults in 45.86 seconds for fourth place.
Alessandra Volpi and her own Berlinda were the first to record a double clear, finishing in 36.52 seconds that would end up in second place.
“It's incredible to be competing with people like this that I've watched growing up and never thought I'd be sitting next to being interviewed,” said the 21-year-old Stanford University student. “I'm really excited. It was one of my first big jump-off classes. I got this horse recently and she's been absolutely incredible for me so I'm looking forward to keep going with that.”
Volpi has been riding Berlinda, a 13-year-old German-bred Warmblood mare by Berlin x Gento, only since April of 2021. They finished fourth in the American Gold Cup, but then Volpi returned to school for five weeks.
“I was a bit nervous to come back and go straight into these big classes, but I think we work really well together,” related Volpi. “We have similar attitudes, I think, and similar sizes. I'm lucky to have her.”
The final pair to go, Foster opened up Figor’s giant stride and left a stride out of the final line. They crossed the timers in 35.73 seconds for the win.
“I know he has a huge stride, and it would probably be a risk for most to do nine [strides] to that last jump, but I knew my horse would just eat that up and that would really suit him, so that was really in my favor tonight,” explained Foster.
It was a gratifying win for Foster with Figor, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by VDL Groep Zagreb x Indoctro that she has been riding for four years. She and her team, including groom Caroline Holmberg and veterinarian Dr. Eduardo Felix, brought back Figor from an injury at the end of March earlier this year.
“He feels in awesome form,” said Foster. “I was really aiming for this horse show as his first time back out in the 1.60m, and I think he's ready! I'm thrilled to have him back, and I'm really, really excited about the next few years with him.”
Course designer Bernardo Cabral (POR) commented on the class, “They had a lot to jump. It wasn't super big, but it was careful in many places. I'm very happy with the result.”
This was the second year for WIHS at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, but the 2021 edition included the full schedule of classes. “We are thrilled,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell on this year’s event. “The Tryon team has been incredibly welcoming and accommodating, and we have so enjoyed working with them. It was great to have the support of the riders and Longines and MARS Equestrian™. We are just grateful that we could carry on outside of the city in North Carolina.”
For her victory, Foster was presented with The President of the United States Perpetual Cup donated by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
The “Doc Steele” Spirit Award presented by M. Michael Meller was awarded to Gladewinds Partners LLC’s Royce. McLain Ward was given the $5,000 Leading International Rider Award for accumulating the highest number of points in the International Jumper section. Alessandra Volpi was honored with the $10,000 Under 25 Rider Award presented by The Treacy Family. The Leading Foreign Rider Award was given to Tiffany Foster, along with the Leading Lady Rider Award presented by The Mackenzie Family with gift compliments of Fab Finds by Sarah. The International Jumper Champion was Catoki and the reserve champion was Figor. The Leading Jumper Owner Award was awarded to the owners of Catoki, Marilla van Beuren, Bob Russell and McLain Ward.
Final Results: $215,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington CSI4*-W for the President’s Cup, presented by Mars Equestrian™:
1 FIGOR: 2010 KWPN gelding by Querly-Elvis x Indoctro
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC and Tiffany Foster: 0/0/35.73
2 BERLINDA: 2008 ZfDP mare by Berlin x Gento
ALESSANDRA VOLPI (USA), Alessandra Volpi: 0/0/36.52
3 CARLCHEN W: 2008 Mecklenberg gelding by Chacco-Blue x Continue
ALEX GRANATO (USA), The Bright Lights Group: 0/4/35.01
4 CAILLOU: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Corrado 1
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Ostby: 0/4/45.86
5 AMEX Z: 2009 Zangersheide Mare by Andiamo Z x Landaris
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Bit By Bit Group: 4/77.28
6 ROBIN DE PONTHUAL: 2005 Selle Francais gelding by Elf D’or x Calypso D’Herbiers
SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), Katherine Gallagher: 4/78.65
7 DSARIE: 2008 KWPN mare by Vernon x Ahorn
BEAT MÄNDLI (SUI), Grand Road Partners GmbH: 4/78.84
8 SEA TOPBLUE: 2011 ISH gelding by Chacco-blue x Sea Top Lady
ANDREW BOURNS (IRL), Deirdre Bourns: 4/80.65
9 ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au Lait x Grandilot
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 4/80.88
10 ROCKSY MUSIC: 2008 ISH gelding by Ars Vivendi x Diamond Serpent
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 4/80.90
11 BENNYS LEGACY: 2008 Oldenburg gelding by Lupicor x Acordia
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms, LLC: 4/81.14
12 VIVA COLOMBIA: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Couleur-Rubin x Landor S
BRIANNE GOUTAL-MARTEAU (USA), Brianne Goutal LLC: 4/82.05
Dominic Gibbs Ends His Junior Career with a Win in the WIHS Junior Equitation Finals
Dominic Gibbs of Colorado Springs, Colorado, ended his junior career on a high note with victory in the WIHS Equitation Finals aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15.
A field of 40 horse-and-rider combinations competed in the coveted, year-end final. The class spanned two days with the hunter phase taking place on Friday and the jumper phase held on Saturday. Riders’ average scores from the first two rounds were combined, and the 10 highest scoring competitors returned for a final work-off where they swapped horses.
Gibbs and the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Carenzo earned third place in the hunter phase after they scored an 88.75 and then topped the jumper phase with a high score of 90. The rider kept his cool for the final work-off and impressed the judges, Ralph Caristo, Sissy Wickes, Molly Ashe Cawley, and Callan Solem, on Skylar Wireman’s horse, Fix Blue, to claim the top prize.
“I was really just hoping to stay consistent and have the three best rounds that I could,” described Gibbs. “I feel like I know Cent like the back of my hand. I had originally bought him to be my high junior jumper, which obviously did not work out. He shined like a star in the equitation ring ever since day one. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing horse that I’ve had as a consistent partner through my last few junior years.”
Gibbs and Cent 15, trained by Stacia Madden and Beacon Hill Show Stables, are well-known names in the equitation ring and definitely no strangers to the winner’s circle.
“The most gratifying part of Dominic’s career with Cent was that it was a horse he brought along basically himself,” said Madden. “Dominic didn’t start by winning every class on him, but he never gave up. He always realized the strengths that that horse had to offer. He was always looking to better each round and never cared if he made a little bit of a mistake as long as he was learning from it.”
Finishing in second place was Skylar Wireman of Bonsall, California, on Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Fix Blue. Wireman finished fifth in the hunter phase with a score of 86.5 on Friday and earned a score of 89 in the jumper phase to be tied for second. This year was the rider’s second time participating in the equitation final, and unlike most of her competitors, Wireman was on a very new mount.
“The horse I rode today, Fix Blue, I actually rode for the first time this week,” explained Wireman. “It was a bit of a new mount for me, so I was getting to know him still, but he was really great. I enjoyed getting to switch onto Cent. I love that horse so much, and he is absolutely incredible. The fact that Dominic [produced Cent] himself is amazing.”
Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, California, and Attendu de Lannois Z, owned by Ashland Farms, climbed seven spots to earn the third-place ribbon. Iwasaki earned a score of 85.5 to finish in tenth place on Friday in the hunter phase and then scored an 88 to earn fifth in the jumper phase.
“This is my fifth year doing [the WIHS Equitation Finals],” commented Iwasaki. “This year I was coming in with a horse that I started showing around this time last year. I’ve been working with him all year trying to get him ready for this final. This has been my favorite class to do on him all year. He really delivered, and I’m so grateful to everyone that got us here.”
Sissy Wickes, one of the four judges, was impressed with the smoothness, technique, and softness of each rider in the top three. “I think this class in general is great because it combines the technical and stylistic parts of riding, and especially of equitation riding,” explained Wickes. “These finals bring out the skills in every rider in both of those aspects. These three kids right here were amazing.”
Gibbs felt a little extra pressure coming into this final because it was the rider’s last show for the 2021 season, last class as a junior, and last equitation class of his career. Over the years Gibbs has worked on combatting his nerves in the show ring, especially for these bigger events.
“Mental game has always been a really big thing for me,” said Gibbs. “I used to struggle with nerves a lot. Having done the equitation for a few years now, knowing what the finals season is like, and having that under my belt was a really good thing coming into my last junior season. Knowing my horse, trusting my training, and trying to deliver my best rounds were really big thoughts in my head this week.”
Although this was Gibbs’ last event for the year, he is excited to return in 2022 as a professional rider for Plain Bay Sales.
For his victory, Gibbs was presented with The WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. G. Ralph Ours, III. Gibb’s mount Cent 15 was awarded The Lugano Memorial Trophy donated by Stoney Hill.
Final Results: WIHS Equitation Finals
1 Dominic Gibbs/Cent 15
2 Skylar Wireman/ Fix Blue
3 Augusta Iwasaki/Attendu de Lannois Z
4 Tessa Downey/HH Moonshine
5 Luke Jensen/Conthacco
6 Catalina Peralta/Clover
7 Mimi Gochman/Andretti BH
8 Natalie Jayne/Charisma
9 Alexander Alston/Campreoll
10 Zayna Rizvi/Acer K
Brooke Brombach was awarded the WIHS Equitation Sportsmanship Award presented by Hollow Brook Wealth Management.
Maddie Tosh and Storyteller Take the Lead in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals
Pony competition took center stage in the Grand Hunter Ring and it was Maddie Tosh of Milton, Georgia, piloting Betsee Parker’s Storyteller to the blue ribbon in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals presented by Huntland.
Tosh returned to the final flat phase in second place after scoring an 85 in the first round over fences. The rider’s style and technique stood out to the judges, and Tosh moved up to the top of the leaderboard. This victory was special for Tosh because not only was Betsee Parker there to celebrate, but it but it was also Tosh’s last time showing Storyteller.
“He was so amazing, and I could not have asked any more of him today,” said Tosh of the 18-year-old German Sport Pony gelding. “It’s such an honor, and with Betsee being here this year it’s super special to be able to share this win with her. She is so excited. She almost might be more excited than I am.”
Tosh has competed in this final once before in 2019 and finished in sixth place on Vivian Golden’s Goldhills As You Like It. Storyteller is no stranger to the class and has taken riders to the top prize in 2015, 2016, and 2018.
“I obviously wanted to do well on Story because he is such a good equitation pony, and I know he’s so capable as long as I don’t get in his way,” explained Tosh. “It’s such a prestigious show and so exciting to win here. It’s a little different being at Tryon, but they have done such a great job at still making it feel special. Washington has always been one of my favorites.”
Although Tosh’s pony career has come to an end, the rider is excited to focus on competing in the big equitation and hopes to be just as successful.
For her win, Tosh was presented with The Jane Marshall Dillon Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by the friends and students of Mrs. Jane Marshall Dillon.
Olivia Sweetnam of Wellington, Florida, piloted Sweet Oak Farm’s On Your Mark to a second-place finish in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals with a first round score of 84. Third place was awarded to Elle Boyd of Camden, South Carolina, and Finally Farm, Inc.’s Baby Blue. The pair earned the highest first round score of 86.
Final Results: WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, presented by Huntland
1 Maddie Tosh/Storyteller
2 Olivia Sweetnam/On Your Mark
3 Elle Boyd/Baby Blue
4 Ava Barnes/Rico Suave
5 Eva Mackenzie/Anisette
6 J.J. Torano/Front Row
7 Emi Richard/Celebrity
8 Emma Brody/Silver Wishes
9 Collin Sweetnam/Mr. Magoo
10 Ava Hartman/Celtic Creek’s Golden Nugget
Virginia Bonnie and Efodea Capture the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Division Championship
Competition on Saturday afternoon featured the $15,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, with 24 riders competing for the blue ribbon as well as the division championship title. Virginia Bonnie of San Francisco, California, and Nina Bonnie’s Efodea claimed the championship title with a first and two third place finishes. Vanessa Hood of Wellington, Florida, rode Take Two LLC’s Santauer to the classic win.
Over the past two and a half years, Bonnie and Efordea, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Schuttershof, have been climbing up the junior jumper ranks together. The pair, trained by Kimberly Prince, started their partnership in the Medium Junior Jumpers and quickly moved up the High Junior Jumpers and beyond.
“We have also started showing in FEI classes, the Under 25, and national grands prix,” said Bonnie. “She’s really taken me everywhere and made all of my dreams come true. I had done the U25 and FEI a little bit before having Effie, but she was the one that really taught me how to ride the bigger jumps with confidence and ease.”
Bonnie is currently a senior in high school and manages a busy schedule between school, showing, and foxhunting with her father, who is a master at the Piedmont Hunt. Additionally, the young rider is also a member of the WIHS Junior Committee, which made this championship title even more special.
“This show and the junior committee have taught me so much about how horse shows are run and managed,” commented Bonnie. “I get to see all of the inner workings that you don’t see when you are just coming, riding, and then leaving on Sunday. It’s really been a wonderful experience for me and so much of my learning experience has come from this show. Being able to win champion here with the top junior jumpers in the country is unreal. I am a little bit in disbelief.”
Bonnie was presented The Greenberg Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hermen Greenberg for her championship honor.
The reserve championship in the division went to Hood and Santauer after they earned a victory in the classic. For this win, Hood was awarded The Ambassador’s Cup Perpetual Trophy donated by Ambassador and Mrs. Marion H. Smoak. Hood rode Santauer to the winning time of 35.145 seconds to earn the blue ribbon.
“There were a lot in the jump-off,” said Hood. “There were a couple of long gallops, and he covers the ground very well so I tried to make up the time there and gallop as fast as I could in between the jumps. There was a very short inside turn to the last line, and I decided to do it because I felt I could trust his scope over the oxer. I had to adjust to the last jump, but he was right there with me.”
Finishing right behind Hood was Zayna Rizvi of Wellington, Florida, and Peacock Ridge LLC’s Excellent. The pair took home second place with a time of 35.419 seconds. Bonnie and Efodea claimed third place with a time of 35.555 seconds.
Mimi Gochman Pilots Codi BH to $7,500 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Win and Division Championship
Mimi Gochman continued her success to the jumper ring on Saturday when the rider took home the top prize in the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic as well as the division championship with Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Codi BH.
Gochman, of New York, New York, and Codi BH were one of five horse-and-rider combinations that returned for the jump-off in the classic. The duo navigated the technical course with ease and finished with the winning time of 34.211 seconds.
The pair’s partnership began last year at TIEC when Gochman tried Codi BH for the first time. The nine-year-old Holsteiner mare by Casall was previously shown by one of Gochman’s trainers, Amanda Derbyshire, who thought that the pair would be a good match.
“We did our first few shows together at [the Winter Equestrian Festival],” explained Gochman. “It’s been a building relationship ever since. We’ve been spending some time just building up her confidence and getting quicker and quicker. We finally figured each other out and became a very good partnership. We have been having a lot of fun. She’s super cool. She always wants to win and go clear, and she jumps her heart out.”
Gochman has high hopes for her mount’s future and is looking forward to building a relationship with the mare in the show ring.
“Our goal is to try to do some High Junior Jumper classes this year at WEF,” commented Gochman. “I feel like she can maybe do some Under 25 classes or two-star [grands prix] in her future. She’s super careful, very scopey, and she’s got a big stride.”
Mimi Gochman was awarded with the Shalanno Style of Riding Award, sponsored by SHALANNO Farms, for her performances in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers as well as the Best Junior Jumper Rider Award.
Second place honors in the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic went to Amira Kettaneh of Hollis, New Hampshire, and Leigh Kettaneh’s Campino TH with a time of 34.436 seconds. Mia Albelo of Coral Gables, Florida, rode her own Cedan to a third-place finish after they stopped the timers at 34.813 seconds.
Reserve champion in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division went to Emily Aitken of Bedford, New York, and her own Binja. Aitken and Binja earned second, third, and fifth place ribbons in the division.
Caroline Michele Dugas and Skyfall Earn the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Division Championship
The final class of the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division took place on Saturday with the crowning of the division champion. Caroline Michele Dugas of Birmingham, Alabama, rode her own Skyfall to the championship title. For this achievement, Dugas was presented with The Foxbrook Perpetual Trophy donated by Joy Slater in honor of Space Citation. Sydney Myers of Plantation, Florida, piloted Myers Equestrian LLC’s Skara Glen’s Signature to the win in the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
Dugas and Skyfall won a class earlier in the week and then secured the tricolor ribbon with a second-place finish in the classic with a time of 35.739, which was less than a second behind the winner.
The 20-year-old rider has been developing her relationship with Skyfall for the past six years. Although the gelding was not initially what Dugas was expecting when she was looking for a horse, the match ended up being perfect.
“When I first saw him, I thought he was crazy,” admitted Dugas. “I thought, ‘No way am I going to be riding this horse.’ But he is the kind of crazy that’s not scary. He just is a little bit wild, but that’s what we love about him, that he has that little extra spunk.”
Dugas is currently a student at the University of Alabama and mostly meets Skyfall at competitions. The pair trains with M&M Sporthorses and hopes to move up to the Medium Junior Jumper division.
“He is just the kind of horse that you don’t want to sell,” said Dugas of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Vigaro. “He’s in it with you. He has a big heart, and he never wants to let you down. I never have to doubt if he’s going to do his job. He’s the best. He got hurt a few years ago, but now he’s back and better than ever.”
Myers and Skara Glen’s Signature earned the blue ribbon in the classic as well as the division reserve champion. The pair also earned an eighth-place finish earlier in the week to secure the title. For her Classic win, Myers was awarded with The Swan Lake Perpetual Trophy donated by Beagle Brook Farm in honor of the 1992 winner, Swan Lake, ridden by Jennifer F. Miller.
Myers and the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Andiamo have only been partnered since May. The duo sped to a quick time of 35.218 seconds to climb to the top of the leaderboard.
“I liked the first course,” said Myers. “I thought it was straightforward. The jump-off I really liked because it was our kind of course. We could use a lot of pace since there were not many tight turns we could do, so it was like a foot race. I liked it a lot.”
Third place in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was awarded to Dominic Gibbs of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Douwe after they stopped the timers at 35.825 seconds.
The Delta Trip of the Day was Avery Glynn riding Cocon 4.
The 2021 Washington International Horse Show, presented by MARS Equestrian, concludes on Sunday, October 31, with championships for the pony hunters and the WIHS Halloween Hunt Teams. For more information, visit www.WIHS.org.