Daisy Farish and Sassafras Creek win Grand Pony Hunter Championship; 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.


Sassafras Creek and Daisy Farish. © Shawn McMillen Photography

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.”


© Shawn McMillen Photography

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.


Hillcrest Blue Halo and Emma Kurtz.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

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.


Emma Kurtz received the Best Child Rider on a Pony Award.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

“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.


Keep Dreamin and Bergen Sanderford. © Shawn McMillen Photography

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

Lucy Deslauriers wins WIHS Pony Equitation Finals

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.


Lucy Deslauriers and Center Field. © Shawn McMillen Photography

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.


© Shawn McMillen Photography

“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.”

WIHS 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.


Devin Vega and Loafer’s Lodge Darling Edwin,
presented their trophy by Dr. Betsee Parker.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

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 with WIHS Youth Ambassador Hanna Powers.
© Shawn McMillen Photography

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.”


Welcome and Mary Elizabeth Cordia. © Shawn McMillen Photography

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 www.wihs.org.

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, www.shawnmcmillen.com. These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.

About the Washington International Horse Show (www.wihs.org)

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.

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WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and holds the highest rating,  CSI5*-W, awarded by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, as well as a US Equestrian 6* Jumpers and  Premier Hunters. It is recognized by the US Hunter Jumper Association, Maryland Horse Show Association, and Virginia Horse Show Association. WIHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.