Capping off a spectacular day of equestrian sport at the 2023 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), presented by MARS Equestrian™ in Upper Marlboro, MD, Katie Dinan (USA) saved the best for last, winning the $450,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington CSI5*-W for the President’s Cup presented by Experience Prince George’s. Junior phenom Maddie Tosh topped the WIHS Equitation Finals, while Tessa Downey won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, and Amy Krebs was victorious in the Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.
It was a full house in The Show Place Arena for the marquee event of the week, the $450,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington CSI5*-W for the President’s Cup presented by Experience Prince George’s. Twenty-four elite combinations contested the first-round track designed by FEI Level 4 Course Designer Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) with assistance from Nick Granat (USA). The first clear came from the second rider in the start list, Alise Oken (USA), with Gelvera. Immediately following, Rene Dittmer (GER) and Corsica X made it a jump-off with the next clear effort. Only two rounds later, Devin Ryan (USA) and Eddie Blue also went fault-free. Darragh Kenny (IRL) with Irwin, Rowan Willis (AUS) with Blue Movie, Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) with Dicas, and Katie Dinan with Brego R’n B all added their names to the jump-off, bringing the total to seven.
Dinan, who trains with Swiss Olympian Beat Mändli who also competed, discussed their plan for the jump-off after watching Dittmer’s ride. They knew Dinan would have to pull out all the stops if she wanted to win. With a little boost of excitement and some extra wings from Brego, it worked out in their favor.
“It’s hard not to love Brego,” said Dinan of the 17-year-old KWPN gelding (Namelus R x Gerlinus) owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, with whom she competed at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final Leipzig 2022. “He’s a super, super horse. I’m super lucky to have him. We’ve been together for a little bit over five years. We have done a few indoor series, but this is our first five-star grand prix win together. He’s 17, and he really, really deserves it. I’m thrilled for him. In the jump-off, he showed all of his amazing qualities. He’s got huge scope, quality, bravery, intelligence, and he tries hard. You can’t really ask for more from a horse as a rider. I think he knew he won.
“Obviously, I really like Washington!” said Dittmer of his triumphant debut. “It’s great to come in here because it’s such a great atmosphere. The spectators really cheer you on. It’s a super good feeling to come into this indoor. I really love it.”
Corsica X stretches over the final jump to finish second with Rene Dittmer (GER). Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Devin Ryan (USA) finished in third place with his veteran campaigner Eddie Blue.Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
“He was jumping great tonight,” commented Ryan, who, with Eddie Blue, was the runner-up in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final Paris 2018 and was part of the gold medal winning team at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, NC. “He jumped the second round and even felt looser and even better. I’m very grateful that I have such a good animal, and he’s still going strong. Hopefully it keeps on going and he has a few more years in him at this level.”
Rene Dittmer, joined by groom Carolin Kagelmann, ringmaster Steve Rector, WIHS President Vicki Lowell, and WIHS Chairman Anne Poulson, took home four major awards from the week. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Katie Dinan in her winning presentation with Urs Schiendorfer of Longines. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Katie Dinan accepted the Leading International Jumper Owner Award presented by Karina Brez on behalf of Grant Road Partners. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Brian Moggre (USA) won the $5,000 Leading Under 25 Rider Award from WIHS Secretary Marley Bunce. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Tosh Tops WIHS Equitation Finals
In the hotly contested WIHS Equitation Finals, it was Maddie Tosh, 17, of Milton, GA, aboard her trusty partner Daktari 38 who came away victoriously.
Tosh has been knocking on the door of a big equitation win, coming close with a secondplace finish in the Palm Beach International Academy (PBIA) North American Junior Equitation Championships at Capital Challenge just a few weeks ago.
He’s been great all year,” said Tosh of Betsee Parker’s seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Diacontinus. “He’s still pretty green, still pretty young, so I feel like every final so far, and every class he’s gone in, he’s just gotten better and better. Coming in here, we know each other really well, and I felt pretty confident with him.”
Maddie Tosh and Daktari 38 jumped into the lead of the WIHS Equitation Finals after a stellar trip in the Jumper Phase. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
Maddie Tosh rode Eleanor Rudnicki’s mount, Kosher, in the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
It was Tosh who took the lead following her expert performance in the jumper phase, earning scores of 92 and 94.5 from the two panels. Close behind her was Eleanor Rudnicki, 18, of Conroe, TX, with Kosher, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Casall owned by Brookside Pine Farms, who scored 93 and 90 in the jumper phase. When it came time for the horse swap, Tosh and Rudnicki were the top two and exchanged mounts.
With Tosh’s slight lead going into the work-off and with both riders scoring in the 90s, they retained their standings. Rudnicki finished as reserve champion, and Tosh was champion.
“It feels great,” expressed Rudnicki, who trains with Berry Porter of Brookside Pine Farms and North Run. “I’ve been looking for some top equitation final ribbons the past couple of years, so it feels great to have this.”
Carlee McCutcheon, 18, of Aubrey, TX, has also had an incredible Indoors season, including a win in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, aboard her aptly named partner Chacco Star, Kennedy McCaulley’s 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Chacco-Blue. McCutcheon didn’t quite get off to the start she wanted in the hunter phase but regrouped to rocket up the leaderboard and enter the work-off in fourth place after earning scores of 93 and 90 in the jumper phase.
“I try not to put too much pressure on myself going into it,” shared McCutcheon, who trains with the team at Stonehenge Stables in Colts Neck, NJ. “I try to just look at it as another Washington, like any weekend at any normal show. My horse is very experienced at this, more than I am for sure. I maybe stayed out of his way a little too much in the hunter phase and I had a couple swaps, so I knew coming into today that I really had to put in my best performance, and he was really there for me today. He showed up for sure. I really couldn’t ask any more from him. He likes to win, so I knew I could trust him and move up into the work-off.”
Keeping It Reel
Tessa Downey and Isabelle Fly to High Jumper Win
The $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic wrapped up junior/amateur jumper competition at the 2023 WIHS, where Tessa Downey, 18, of Houston, TX, produced the only double-clear performance for the win aboard Isabelle. The Classic also serves as the Championship Final of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.
“I have had issues developing a strategy and sticking to it in the past, so I knew going in it was very important for me to make a plan and follow the plan,” explained Downey of her jump-off strategy. “We were planning one less stride in the first line, which didn’t work out. My horse doesn’t have a gigantic stride, but it definitely helped me turn back a little better from the second jump to the third. I think that was where I was really able to set up the next line, where in that line, I did leave a stride out.”
Downey has been leasing the 14-year-old KWPN mare (Chepetto x Joost) from Serena Marron of Orchard Hill LLC for almost two years, but like many others this season, their time together is coming to a close. Even still, Downey and Isabelle have enjoyed a lot of success.
Amy Krebs and Jabantos Jump to $7,500 Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic Victory
Eleven ultra-competitive combinations were poised to tackle the course for the $7,500 Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, but only three found the clear path to move on to the jump-off. Kicking off the short course was Amy Krebs, 15, of Franklin, TN, who set the time to beat at 26.485 seconds aboard Jabantos and could not be caught, running away with the victory.
“Overall, I thought it rode really nicely,” said Krebs of the first round. “There weren’t a whole lot of jumps coming out of the turns, but there were a few blind turns, so I really made sure to help keep him looking and focused on the jumps. The triple bar to the onestride was a little challenging because you don’t want to get them flat to that, but he did really well coming back to me and staying uphill.”
“Elijah,” as he’s known in the barn, has been with Krebs for three years, and together they’ve taken on everything from the 1.10m jumpers all the way up through the 1.45m. Krebs takes care of all of her horses at home alongside her father Ames Krebs, so she knows Elijah inside and out and was confident for the Classic.
The 2023 WIHS concludes Sunday, October 29, with the Pony Hunter championships, the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, presented by Huntland, and the WIHS Halloween hunt teams.
By Alden Corrigan Media
Photo Of The Day
By Shawn McMillen Photography
About Washington International Horse Show