WASHINGTON, Oct. 27–The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) came to a peak on Saturday, October 27, with a victory for reigning FEI Jumping World Cup™ champions Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC. Earlier in the evening, 16-year-old Elli Yeager claimed the coveted Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals riding Copperfield 39.
A four-time U.S. Olympian, Madden topped a 24-horse field by more than two seconds in 30.74 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner over courses built by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. From a four-horse jump-off, she edged out Katherine Dinan (USA) riding Dougie Douglas, owned by Grant Road Partners, LLC, who sat on a leading time of 32.93 seconds. Madden’s silver medal teammate from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lucy Davis (USA), rounded out an all-female podium in 33.44 seconds riding Caracho 14, owned by Old Oak Farm.
Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam rounded out the jump-off with a four-fault performance for fourth place riding Don’t Touch Du Bois, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy. A 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medalist, Laura Kraut (USA) finished fifth with the fastest four-fault ride from the opening round aboard Confu, owned by St. Bride’s Farm.
“This was his first indoor event of the year, so it’s nice to see that he’s in form,” said Madden of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Quitero x Acord II). “It shows why he was good at the World Cup [Final]; he walked right in here and was clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.”
A quick horse by nature, Madden relied on Breitling’s foot speed to shave significant time off the clock, saying, “I thought one to two was a little bit of a tough turn to a big jump, so I didn’t think that was really the place to win it. I feel like I was a touch slow there, but then I knew my horse has some speed, and he’s quite good at turning, so I think I made it up at the turns on both ends, particularly the last turn.”
Madden has set her sights on the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Göteborg (SWE) with a solid string of horses to choose from.
“Last year I didn’t really know which horse I was taking until probably the middle of the Wellington season when [Breitling] showed that he was on great form, so I’ll probably plan on the same thing. I’m trying to make them all eligible. I already have done a class with Darry Lou and with Breitling, and I’m going to take my new horse Chic Hin d’Hyrencourt to Lexington so that hopefully he completes in that grand prix, and then I just have Coach left. We will see which one’s on the best form!”
Taking a proud runner-up position to Madden, Dinan watched her trainer Beat Mändli win the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington in 2017 and was on the hunt for her own top finish this year.
“I would have loved to have a repeat victory for our team, but beside Beat I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world I’d rather be second to besides Beezie,” she said. “She’s been a longtime idol of mine and Lucy is one of my oldest and best friends in the sport, so to have the three of us here is a great night.
“I had no choice but to go for it,” continued Dinan. “Last year, I had the fastest time and one down in this grand prix. This year, I said, ‘You know what, there’s only four.’ I was thrilled with him.”
Since helping the U.S. team win a silver medal in Brazil, Davis took some time to develop some young mounts including Caracho 14.
“I’ve been patiently waiting since he was seven, so we know each other well,” said Davis, who is based out of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. “Lucky for me, he has an amazing brain, so I can keep kind of challenging him at each show. He’s been delivering each time, so I’m super excited. I am working on going faster each time and getting our turning. It was a nice opportunity to give it a go without really risking anything. I knew that three good riders were behind me so I had nothing to lose.”
In reaction to the week, course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. was impressed during his first appearance at WIHS and his first trip to the nation’s capital, saying, “It’s unique what has been done here and amazing. This atmosphere is really, really good. I think the class was fair. It was delicate, but we saw good sport.
“For me, it’s important that I put a course [together] that they can come into the ring with a rhythm,” continued Petersen. “So I tried to make it a little easier to come into the rhythm, and then the tests started.”
As WIHS celebrates its 60th anniversary with top sport, unmatched community engagement, and a setting like no other in the heart of Washington, D.C., the show’s president, Vicki Lowell, commented on a terrific week.
“The riders were amazing, Olaf did an incredible job, and the crowd was fantastic,” she said. “It was a great 60th celebration. I love Breitling and I adore all three of these American riders. I think it’s fantastic that they were able to come to our nation’s capital and put it down tonight. To be able to celebrate here with all these fans – people that don’t get to see this kind of experience, it’s just great. It’s top sport and top fun. Here’s to 60 more!”
For her victory, Madden was presented with The President of the United States Perpetual Cup, donated by Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Additionally, she collected The Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy as winner of the $10,000 Leading International Rider Award, sponsored by Robin Parsky, and the Leading Lady Rider Award, sponsored by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley. Breitling’s owner, Abigail Wexner, was presented with Leading Jumper Owner Award, sponsored by The Reid Family.
For a consistent week, Catherine Tyree (USA) was presented with the Juliet Weber Reid Trophy as winner of the $10,000 Leading Under 25 Award, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, and Canadian rider Erynn Ballard took home the Leading Foreign Rider Award
$135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington Results
1. BREITLING LS: 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Quintero x Accord II
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/30.74
2. DOUGIE DOUGLAS: 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding by VDL Douglas x High Roller
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/32.93
3. CARACHO 14: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Dobel’s Cento x Acodetto
LUCY DAVIS (USA), Old Oak Farm: 0/0/33.44
4. DON’T TOUCH DU BOIS: 2009 Belgian Warmblood by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, Sweet Oak Farm, and Paul Tracy: 0/4/30.90
5. CONFU: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Contact Me x Cambridge
LAURA KRAUT (USA), St. Bride’s Farm: 4/64.74
6. CATOKI’S SON Z: 2009 Zangersheide gelding by Catoki x Aldo du Reverdy
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein: 4/65.04
7. HH GIGI’S GIRL: 2008 KWPN mare by Vingino x Celano
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm: 4/65.71
8. EDDIE BLUE: 2009 KWPN gelding by VDL Zirocco Blue x Marlon
DEVIN RYAN (USA), LL Show Jumpers LLC: 4/65.87
9. CHAMONIX H: 2001 SWB mare by Equest Carnute x Caletto II
KELLI CRUCIOTTI (USA), Serenity Farm: 4/66.62
10. ALMA Z: 2007 Oldenburg mare by Chacco-Blue x Pablo
CORMAC HANLEY (IRL), Heathman Farm, LLC: 4/66.65
11. BOKAI: 2006 KWPN gelding by Up To Date x Ferro
CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Mary & Joe Tyree: 4/67.06
12. QUINTA 106: 2007 Holsteiner mare by Quidam de Revel x Cento
MATTIAS TROMP (USA), Swede Ventures LLC: 4/67.31
Elli Yeager Earns 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals Victory
Elli Yeager, 16, of Wellington, FL, bested a field of 40 of the nation’s top junior riders to win the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals on Saturday.
In order to win the competitive, year-end equitation final, Yeager had to earn the highest cumulative score over three phases of competition: a hunter phase held on Friday, a jumper phase held on Saturday afternoon, and a final work-off held during Saturday night’s featured session. Riders’ average scores from the first two rounds were combined, with the 10 top-ranked competitors then swapping horses in the work-off.
Yeager and her longtime partner, Copperfield 39, topped the hunter phase with a score of 92.50 and finished fourth in the jumper phase with a score of 91.25 for a 183.75 total going into the final round.
The win in the jumper phase went to Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT, on a score of 94.50. With a fourth-place finish and a score of 89.25 in the hunter phase, Fath’s cumulative total also sat on 183.75, putting she and her Beacon Hill Show Stables barn mate, Yeager, in a tie going into the final round.
For the work-off, the two front-runners swapped mounts, with Fath taking over the ride aboard Copperfield 39, and Yeager taking the reins on Fath’s mount, equitation championship veteran Class Action, who won the Finals in 2008 with Katherine Newman.
While both delivered seamless rounds, a well-executed inside turn by Yeager, which Fath elected to forego, would give Yeager the slight, tie-breaking advantage and ultimately the 2018 WIHS Equitation Finals victory. For the win, Yeager was presented with the WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy, donated by Mr. & Mrs. G. Ralph Ours, III, and, as the winning horse, Copperfield 39 was awarded the Lugano Memorial Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill.
“This is my favorite horse show, and it went better than I ever could have imagined!” said Yeager, who trains with Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables. “I didn’t think this was ever going to happen to be honest – especially just being 16. But it happened, and I’m just elated that it happened here at my favorite horse show with my favorite horse who is the best partner that I could ask for.”
Yeager has been riding her winning mount, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for nearly six years.
“Over the years, I’ve grown about 10 inches, but he’s always been the same,” said Yeager. “He always has his game face on. He’s never let me down. He’s been the best horse I could have ever asked for.”
Fath, 18, voiced similar sentiments toward both Class Action, a 19-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Hillside Farm LLC, and her second place finish in the class.
“I couldn’t be happier to be here – a top two finish,” said Fath, who trains with Madden, as well as Molly Ashe Cawley and Chris Cawley at Norfield Stables. “I was so happy with my horse all week. He’s always great so I can always count on him. This is a great horse show. I love the fact that they have the hunter round and the jumper round; I think it really displays what you’re aiming for post-junior years. I think it’s a great competition. I was so happy to have some great rounds today and yesterday.”
“I think both of them just have an unbelievable appreciation for their horse; I think the partnership really shows,” said Madden. “That’s where these kids really shine: when they have good partnerships with their horse. With the tight time allowed in the jumper phase, you could really see the trust and the showmanship that these girls had and the partnership that they had with their horses.”
Finishing in third behind Yeager and Fath was Brian Moggre of Flower Mound, TX, who trains with Mike McCormick and Tracey Fenney of MTM Farm, Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms, and Don Stewart.
Presiding over the competition were judges Anne Kursinski, Brian Lenehan, Mike Rosser, and Steve Wall.
“I think it’s the most interesting of the equitation finals because of all the different phases that there are,” said Kursinski. “It’s fun to judge it because of the quality of the American young riders coming up, which is outstanding. I think our young riders coming up are really exciting. It was really splitting hairs tonight judging them because they all rode so well.
“Good for Washington for putting on a wonderful event,” concluded Kursinski. “I thought the course was super. It was fun to watch and fun to judge. I’m excited about the future of U.S. show jumping.”
Competition at the 2018 WIHS concludes on Sunday, October 28, with the the Pony Hunter division championships, the WIHS Pony Equitation Classic, and the Regional Hunter Finals.