UPPER MARLBORO, Md., Oct. 25, 2022 – The 2022 Washington International Horse Show, presented by MARS Equestrian™ continued on Tuesday, October 25, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with the start of the amateur hunter divisions as well as championships awarded in the professional hunter divisions. The day concluded with the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper and $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championships.
Jumpers stormed the Show Place Arena for the first time of the 2022 WIHS to close out an exciting day of competition. Lindsey Tomeu and Gold Lux shone in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship, while Emma Brody and Nicarmargue ran away with the win in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship. For their victories, Tomeu was presented with the Dorothy Foote “Goodie” Taylor Memorial Perpetual Trophy and Brody was awarded the H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy.
From 16 starters in the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship, seven moved on to jump off for the top prize. As the penultimate duo, Lindsey Tomeu, of Wellington, Florida, and Gold Lux put it all on the line to claim the win in 32.922 seconds.
Tomeu first imported “Goldie,” a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Lux Z, in 2014 and sold her quickly thereafter. When the buyer stopped riding, they sent Goldie back to Tomeu’s trainers at Sweet Oak Farm in Wellington, Florida, to sell. At that point, Tomeu started riding and showing her again and that was all it took.
“I was like, ‘I can’t let her go,’” recalled Tomeu. “She’s been leased out a few times in the barn and taught a lot of people the jumper ropes. I finally got her back, and she’s not going anywhere now. She’s mine to stay.”
Paul Jewell designed a course with ample opportunity to take chances with short gallops and inside turns, so it only makes sense that a long-lasting partnership would come out on top.
“The first line was definitely really tight, and I hit my leg on the standard making the turn after,” detailed Tomeu of the jump-off. “Goldie just brushed it, but she knew exactly where her body was and finagled it out of the way. The way she jumped the jump after that and the rollback to the double was incredible. She saw it and knew exactly where she was going.”
Though she knows her job better than most, Tomeu affectionately describes Goldie as “one of the most unconventional animals you’ll ever ride.” It’s easy to ignore idiosyncrasies like not staying on the lead or being perpetually fiery when she gets the job done as consistently as she has in her career.
“She does everything with your safety as a priority number one,” said Tomeu. “Honestly, the more she runs away, the better I ride her. You kind of just hold on and hope. My sister says she has ‘magnetic bones,’ and she magnetizes you to her. It’s kind of our joke. You can’t fall off of her because she always makes sure that she’s underneath you, even when she goes side to side.”
Tomeu is no stranger to the winner’s circle and neither is Goldie, but there was one milestone that seemed just out of reach.
“She just did what I couldn’t do on my other horse, which is win both adult jumper finals during Indoors,” noted Tomeu, who has won numerous adult jumper championships at top shows across the country. “It was always a goal of mine, and I choked every other time! I was really nervous today, and I was really rusty. I rode pretty poorly in the first round on Goldie, but she took care of me. Goldie is the queen, she’s the best.”
So, what’s next for this championship duo?
“Now I just want to enjoy her and have fun,” concluded Tomeu. “We will take it day by day. I love my horses, and every day is fun with them.”
Kimberly Corts rode Dartani to second place in 34.579 seconds, and Kendall Casaccio completed the top three with Indigo ES in 35.676 seconds.
In the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, Emma Brody and Nicarmargue were the fastest of the night to don the winner’s cooler and take home the coveted Georgetown Cupcakes.
Twenty-four horse-and-rider combinations contested the first-round track designed by Paul Jewell with 13 advancing to the jump-off. Cooper Beisel of Goshen, Ohio, was the first to produce a double-clear performance with David Beisel’s Azealia, putting pressure on the rest of the field to beat his time of 36.501 seconds. It looked like an impossible feat until Brody and Nicarmargue managed to leave all the jumps in the cups in a blazing time of 32.751 seconds. Beisel would have to settle for second.
“I wanted to be on the gas the entire time and turn as tight as I could and make sure to go clear,” explained Brody who trains with Eleanor Kunsman at Glen Eden in Chester, New Jersey. “I really went for every single inside turn there was, and my horse jumped fantastic.”
Brody has had the ride on “Nico,” a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Carmargue x Leendert, for two years. Though their partnership is now very strong, it wasn’t always the case.
“He was my first horse after ponies, and I was horrified of him,” admitted Brody with a laugh. “I thought he was so fast. I started in the .60m jumpers. I’ve grown with him, and he’s grown with me.”
Even though it is their first Indoors season together, it is also their last, as Brody will graduate from Nico at the conclusion of the year, and he will go on to give another child a winning learning experience. In what has already been a successful Indoors season for the pair in their last hurrah, they can add another impressive victory to their list of accomplishments together.
“He definitely has given me confidence,” said Brody of her rangey horse. “He’s amazing. He has been doing all this for me. He’s so kind and very sweet and never wants to do anything wrong. He’ll jump from any mistake. He can be a little dodgy at stuff, but if you point him at a jump, he’s going to jump it.”
It was a banner day for Team Glen Eden with Callia Bergad of Chester, New Jersey, and her own Nelson Van Het Scheefkasteel galloping into third in a time of 38.687 seconds.
Scott Stewart Is Unbeatable for 2022 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship Title
Along the way to winning the Grand Hunter Champion title for the 12th time at WIHS, Stewart swept the professional division championships, the second time that has occurred. For the Grand Champion Hunter honor, he was presented with the Rave Review Challenge award tray. He also was named the Leading Hunter Rider, presented by Betsee Parker, and was awarded the Scott Stewart Leading Hunter Rider Perpetual Trophy.
“All the horses were really great,” stated Stewart who rode seven horses in this year’s professional divisions. “I really couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m really excited. I’m really fortunate for every horse in my string, and they’re all really top.”
Stewart, of Wellington, Florida, piloted Betsee Parker’s Nottingham to three blue ribbons and a second-place finish in the High Performance Hunters with notable scores of 88 in the handy class and 92 in the stake class for the division championship
“Nottingham is a great horse,” said Stewart of the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Verdi. “He has such a good rhythm and is just so smooth between the jumps. He’s one of the best horses to ride.”
In the Green Hunter 3’6” division, Stewart was able to replicate the near sweep with Stephanie Danhakl’s Casanova Royal. He guided the 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Cassus to equally impressive scores of a 90 in the handy class and a 92 in the stake class. In addition to the Grand Hunter title, Stewart and Casanova Royal were also Grand Green Hunter Champions and were presented with the Claire Lang Miller Challenge award tray.
“He was an experienced jumper in Europe, so he has quite a bit of mileage in the jumper ring,” explained Stewart of the flashy bay that arrived in the U.S. in April 2022. “I thought he was going to take a little more time to get the hang of the hunters, but he’s really straightforward. Stephanie is a really good rider, so she can also handle him even though he’s not quite used to doing this job. They’re a great combination too.”
Stewart’s extensive history at WIHS and his track record is an accomplishment that is meaningful.
“It really means a lot to be named Leading Rider and Grand Champion at Washington,” expressed Stewart. “I’ve competed here a lot of years, and it’s always been one of my favorite horse shows. It’s all the best horses and riders here, and it was super conditions with great footing, so it was pretty high level competition.”
He continued, “I’ve been so fortunate with great owners through all the years helping me come along with all of these great horses. I think it’s great that we had two horses that went so well that we could tie exactly for Grand Champion! It’s nice that we didn’t have to choose.”
Professional hunter champions included:
Green Hunter 3’6” Champion: Casanova Royal, Scott Stewart, Stephanie Danhakl
Reserve champion: Small Love, Nick Haness, Iwasaki & Reilly
Green Hunter 3’9” Champion: For Always, Scott Stewart, Betsee Parker
Reserve champion: Nottingham, Scott Stewart, Betsee Parker
Green Conformation Hunter Champion: Jordan, Scott Stewart, Sophie Gochman
Reserve champion: Augustine, Jennifer Bauersachs, Lee Kellogg Sadrian
High Performance Hunter Champion: Nottingham, Scott Stewart, Betsee Parker
Reserve champion: Diplomat, Christa Endicott, Grace Russo
High Performance Conformation Hunter Champion: For Always, Scott Stewart, Betsee Parker
Reserve champion: Superlative, Chris Wynne, Grace Owens
The Delta Trip of the Day went to Emma Brody and Nicarmargue, who competed in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship.
Competition continues at the 2022 WIHS on Wednesday, October 26, with the conclusion of the Amateur-Owner Hunters and the start of the Low, Medium, and High Junior/Amateur Jumpers.