Mill Spring, N.C. – October 29, 2021 – 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.
Watch How They Won: Click to Watch
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.”
Watch How They Won x 3 – Click to Watch
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.
Watch How They Won – Click to Watch
Kiely and Ephraimson Win WIHS Jumper Championships
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.
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.”
Watch How They Won: The Winning Round for Kiely and Sekhmet de Keralys
Watch How They Won: Ephraimson and Vindicator in their winning round
Read the 2021 WIHS Program
The WIHS Silent Auction is Still Open!
WIHS is excited to offer a wide variety of items and unique experiences in our Silent Auction. Train with a top rider, catch a game with friends and family, enjoy a unique getaway – or all of the above! Check out our selection of equestrian items, pro sporting tickets and so much more HERE and start bidding.
The auction closes Saturday, Oct. 30, at 9:00 p.m. ET
Photo of the Day
In Front of The Lens
Photos by Alden Corrigan
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