Montserrat OS Breaks Through With MarBill Hill U25 1.40m Win

Langley, BC — Over the last two weeks at Thunderbird Show Park, Charlie Jones (GBR) and 8-year-old Montserrat OS have been mightily close to victory.

The pair finished second in the U25 division at last week’s Summer Fort Welcome, and at the Summer Fort Classic, they were runner-up in the Diamond Valley Ranch U10 Young Horse competition.

In their last class of August, the pair broke through with a victory in the MarBill Hill U25 1.40m, besting a seven-horse jump-off. Jones praised his horse as he exited the ring, referencing the fact that his mount hadn’t touched a pole at the entire show.

Their winning time was 39.18 seconds. Jones’ student Olivia Stephenson (CAN) finished second with Deister Z (41.95s), while George Knight and Ecolano vs Romano finished third (4/38.63s).

“I absolutely love him,” Jones said of his mount. “He’s all class. He’s so careful, and he just jumps whatever’s in front of him.”

Jones and his partner Bretton Chad acquired Montserrat OS at the beginning of the gelding’s 7-year-old year. While shorter than 16.2h, the striking black horse has displayed a heart far larger than the height of his withers.

“He’s absolutely tiny, but he’s like a lion. He goes in [the ring] and he just pulls himself up, and he’s actually very strong sometimes,” Jones described. “So he really makes up all the lines. For me, he is one of the most fun horses to ride.”

With an impressive two weeks under their belts, Jones will now look to step Montserrat OS up to more international classes.

“I’d like to find a good two-star schedule for him. He’s about ready for a ranking class or a CSI2* Grand Prix, so I want to do that next,” he said. “But I think in the near future, we’ll come back here in September and go from there.”

MarBill Hill U25 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Montserrat OS / Charlie Jones / GBR / Bretton Chad / 0/0 39.18
2. Deister Z / Olivia Stephenson / CAN / Olivia Stephenson / 0/0  41.95
3. Ecolano vs Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/4 38.63
4. Gutascha / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 0/4 39.11
5. Onyx / Georgia Knight / CAN / Joelle Froese / 0/4 40.98
6. Naxos 27 / Dylan Jordan / CAN / Miriam Ameli / 0/4 41.1
7. Gernice van de Postbaan / Danielle Vahdat / USA / Danielle Vahdat / 0/4 45.02
8. Ielinea JTL / Jaydan Stettner / CAN / Jaydan Stettner / 4 80.07
9. Laviata / Cashelle Levasseur / CAN / Gerard Developments / 4 84.99
10. Diamantina vh Scheefkasteel Z / Samantha Smith / Y & R Sporthorses LLC / 8 84.13

Rhapsody Meets Potential in Domino High Voltage Grand Prix 1.40m

Langley, BC — When Sarah Lottis (CAN) traveled to Europe and saw a 4-year-old named Rhapsody, she didn’t need to be convinced that the young horse had talent.

“The way that he was and the way that he free jumped at only four years old really made us think that he was going to be really, really special and potentially going to be one of my top horses. He’s really becoming that very quickly,” Lottis said.

Now 10, Rhapsody jumped Lottis to victory in the Domino High Voltage Grand Prix 1.40m Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park. The pair bested a competitive three-horse jump-off, crossing the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) short course in 41.24 seconds. Justin Prather (CAN) and Grazie finished second (42.13s), with Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Kadans third (4/44.75s).

“That was a really fun jump off. When you only have three in it, that’s a really awesome way to have it, because, you’re first, second or third already,” Lottis said. “But [I was] going behind Tiffany Foster, who we all know can go really fast, and Justin Prather—he’s actually one of my long-term best friends—who I know can put everything on the line.”

Last to jump-off, Lottis was able to watch her competitors. She deduced she could pull ahead by utilizing her horse’s stride.

“I watched [Prather] go and I was like, ‘My horse has a huge stride. I think I can actually probably leave out and be a little bit quicker.’ So I wasn’t sure I could catch him, but I thought I had a pretty good shot. And so we went for it and tried to get it done.”

Lottis is based in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, where she also works as a Registered Nurse. Juggling multiple hats, she has been a regular competitor at Thunderbird Show Park for more than a decade. She has her sights set firmly on tbird’s September shows, where she hopes to step Rhapsody up to the international level. It would be a first for both horse and rider.

“The plan is to jog in September and do his first FEI week and hopefully jump the 1.50m class for the first time in the second week,” she said. “He’s turned into such a competitor that really wants to do it and really wants to jump clear.”

Domino High Voltage Grand Prix 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Rhapsody / Sarah Lottis / CAN / Kevin Lottis / 0/0 41.24
2. Grazie / Justin Prather / CAN / Bradon Equestrian Ltd / 0/0 42.13
3. Kadans / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms LLC / 0/4 44.75
4. Casirado 3 / Mandy Porter / USA / Risen Eq Holdings LLC / 4 79.42
5. G-Star / Kara Chad / CAN / Kara Chad / 4 82.4
6. Filoucha / Philippa Melski / USA / Buffy Hanschka / 4 84.51
7. Aztlan / John Perez / COL / John Perez / 8 79.89
8. Livius P / Lilah Nakatani / USA / Lilah Nakatani / 8 81.22
9. Correct Blue SZ / Kyle King / USA / Mykaela Palleschi / 8 81.48
10. Dorado / Darrin Dlin / CAN / Timberlea Farms Ltd / 8 83.56

Sampson Shines in CSI3* ATCO Cup Grand Prix 1.50m

Langley, BC — Following the awards presentation for the CSI3* ATCO Cup Grand Prix 1.50m Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park, you might not have recognized the class winner.

Equine America Ivanhoe GPH could be found standing still as a statue as a young child reached up tentatively to stroke his muzzle.

“He’s very sweet. He won’t bite you,” his rider, Matthew Sampson (GBR) told the child.

Just a few minutes prior, Sampson and the “gentle giant” were tearing around Peter Holmes’ (CAN) 1.50m jump-off track. Utilizing an enormous stride, the pair bested a 10-horse jump-off and recorded the first international win of their short partnership, having just teamed up in June.

The winning time was 36.24 seconds. In the closest of finishes, John Perez (COL) finished second with Gigi Carmen (36.25s), followed Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Battlecry (36.59s).

“Parts of the jump-off suited me and parts of it didn’t. One to two for me was a really short five, and it wasn’t a four, especially at the start. Then it looked like I could get nine to the double and then I could get eight across the middle. That suited him really well,” Sampson detailed. “I gave him a little bit of extra time to the last fence and, and luckily that paid off. John was very fast. I think that’s where he caught up to me. Luckily it was my day.”

It was by chance that Sampson got the ride on “Ivan” this summer from the horse’s owner, Ellen Whitaker, who is Sampson’s neighbor in England. Sampson and Ivan are now jumping clear at a 56 percent clip across all heights, according to Jumpr App.

“He’s owned by a friend, Ellen Whitaker, whom I live very close to at home. I got him in Spruce,” Sampson said. “Originally I had him just to look after him for a week, and then he was meant to travel back to Europe, but he couldn’t go. So I started riding him. It worked out amazing.”

Sampson will now return to Spruce with the grey gelding for the CSI5* Masters Tournament—but Ivan is also for sale.

“We’re really just developing him,” he said. “He’ll make anybody a lovely horse. He’s the type of horse that he’s got no bad [bone] in his body.”

CSI3* ATCO Cup 1.50m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Equine America Ivanhoe / Matthew Sampson / GBR / Ellen Whitaker / 0/0 36.24
2. Gigi Carmen / John Perez / COL / John Perez / 0/0 36.25
3. Battlecry / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms LLC / 0/0 36.59
4. Odysseus / Kyle King / USA / Patricia Vasey / 37.53
5. Cunningham 4 / Christopher Lowe / CAN / Christopher Lowe / 0/0 41.5
6. NKH Carrido / Brooke Morin / USA / Strasburg Morin Inc. / 0/4 36.86
7. Quidamo F / Kara Chad / CAN / Kara Chad / 0/4 37.75
8. Luikan Q / Brian Morton / CAN / Attache Stables / 0/4 38.86
9. Igor GPH / Kara Chad / CAN / Fordville Farm Inc. / 0/8 40.17
10. California Sunshine / Susan Artes / USA / Alix Fargo / 0/23 62.93

Stephenson Gets Confident Win in MarBill Hill U25 1.40m

Langley, BC — Olivia Stephenson had two mounts in Saturday’s MarBill Hill U25 1.40m. She felt all the confidence aboard Chaccalanda, an experienced mare with results up to the five-star level with her former rider. With Deister Z, she was experiencing more of a “learning curve.”

But things came together for Stephenson and Deister Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding, in the speed competition. They took the win in the class, crossing the timers of Peter Holmes’ course in 70.87 seconds.

Danielle Vahdat (USA) and Gernice van de Postbaan finished second (72.82s), with Oliva Combs (USA) and Oriana third (74.12s).

“I was pretty nervous going into the day, I wasn’t as confident on [Deister Z], and I haven’t been as confident with [him] recently,” Stephenson confessed. “But he was just amazing. He was really on it today. And I don’t know, I think he went with me and my competitiveness today, and I think he fed off of it.”

Stephenson had an earlier draw aboard Deister Z than she did aboard Chaccalanda, but a good warm-up put her in the right mindset. A tack change also left her with more ride-ability. .

“We just recently changed our bit [to an eggbutt snaffle], and I think it helps me. It helped me a lot today, just with the turning. He really backed off the jumps,” Stephenson said.

It was a year ago that Stephenson first spotted Deister Z at tbird, and after a short lease, the gelding officially joined her string. A week later, they were winners in the U25 division. But after a break from winter competition while Stephenson focused on school, the pair needed to rebuild their partnership. On course Saturday, they reconnected, with their round growing increasingly confident.

“Definitely the last two weeks have been a learning curve,” Stephenson said. “I think we really have figured him out since we bought him. So I’m really happy with that.”

MarBill Hill U25 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Deister Z / Olivia Stephenson / CAN / Olivia Stephenson / 0 70.87
2. Gernice van de Postbaan / Danielle Vahdat / USA / Danielle Vahdat / 0 72.82
3. Oriana / Olivia Combs / USA / Olivia Combs / 0 74.12
4. First Focus Z / Clara McDanniel / USA / Clara McDanniel / 0 76.22
5. Cool Quarz / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses LLC / 0 80.46
6. Gutascha / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 4 67.85
7. Ecolano vs Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 4 69.8
8. Laviata / Cashelle Levasseur / CAN / Gerard Developments / 4 71.41
9. Ielinea JTL / Jaydan Stettner / CAN / Jaydan Stettner / 4 71.58
10. Sonny Brigade / Jennifer Clark / CAN / Jennifer Clark / 4 79.89

Foster Makes Her Target in CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m 

Langley, BC – With a large string of international mounts, Tiffany Foster (CAN) arrived at Thunderbird Show Park in August with a strategic plan to maximize results for a group of young, up-and-coming horses.

The Summer Fort Classic CSI3* was made the target for 9-year-old Jetouelle-S, as Foster stepped the elegant bay mare up to 1.45m for just the second time. She executed her plan to perfect Saturday at tbird, putting forth the only double-clear performance to take the win in the CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m.

The pair would have been the fastest even if one of the seven four-faulters had matched their faultless effort, as they crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ short track in 51.23 seconds. Kara Chad (CAN) and Easy Boy d’Aubey Z finished second (4/51.39s), with Shauna Cook (CAN) and Glacier ZF third (4/52.21s).

“She’s a super fast horse—really quick across the ground and really quick in the air. And her jumping technique in front is 10 out of 10, so that makes it a lot easier!” Foster said, praising her mount. “But she also tries really hard. I took a pretty good slice on that fourth jump in the jump-off, and for a horse to clear that, jump off of that distance, at that speed [and] on that angle, they have to want to do it.”

It was the fourth fence of the jump-off—a vertical set across the center of the arena, coming off a tight right rollback and preceding a careful oxer-vertical combination—that caught many competitors on course. Holmes’ course was characterized by jump placement and airy fences that drew horses’ eyes down, throwing off their focus. But “Jet” was determined to keep the jumps up, despite the circumstances.

“She didn’t make an overly beautiful jump, but she jumped a clear jump, and that’s what you care about, right? She does moves like that, where you just say, ‘What a great heart she’s got!'” Foster exclaimed. “She’s a real trier and she wants to do well, and her steering’s getting better. I’m really happy with this, because I actually was aiming her for this week. When they come out and do what you ask them to do, what more can you ask for?”

Jetouelle-S is the primary mount of Foster’s student, Isabel Coxe, whose family’s 5 Roosters group purchased the mare at the beginning of the year. Coxe showed the mare throughout the winter season before Foster took the reins for the summer to further the mare’s development. According to Jumpr App, the pair is jumping clear at a 62% clip across all heights.

“I worked with her a lot at Spruce [Meadows] and actually realized she was a little greener than I thought. I was kind of sending Izzy in the ring, and then I was like, Oh, [Jetouelle-S] actually doesn’t know a few kind of important things,'” Foster shared. “So [this summer has] been awesome. I’ve had a lot of time to ride her myself over these last couple of months, and she’s just growing and growing and she’s a wonderful horse.”

As Foster continues working with the mare, Thunderbird will continue to play a developmental role.

“I’m going to try to jump her first 1.50m [at tbird in September]. I feel like if I keep going in the way I’m going, she’ll be ready,” she said. “It’s easy for her. She’s very scopey, and she has a really good read where the back pole is, and she’s clever in the combinations. She’s a cool horse, so I’m looking forward to that.

CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Jetouelle-S / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 5 Roosters / 0/0 51.23
2. Easy Boy d’Aubey Z / Kara Chad / CAN / Alexandre Zambaux / 0/4 51.39
3. Glacier ZF / Shauna Cook / CAN / Zeidler Farm Canada 2017 Ltd / 4/4 52.21
4. Jericho / Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / Thunderbird Show Park / 8/4 55.03
5. Fair Play d’Esquelmes / Nyah Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 0/4 55.2
6. Connador / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 0/4 55.2
7. Cyber Lady Z / Stephanie Valdes / CAN / Wendy Valdes / 0/4 57.45
8. Castros / Meredith Ellis / CAN / Meredith Ellis / 4/4 58.19
9. Goodwill VB / Katie Kruger / CAN / Caledonia Stables / 4/8 50.47
10. Heartvit ZH / Tracey Epp / CAN / Tracey Epp / 12/12 58.21

Duff Delivers in CSI3* Paladin Cup

Langley, BC — Jaclyn Duff (CAN) always knew she had a special horse in Eblesse, but she’s had to be patient with the now 14-year-old KWPN gelding.

Friday evening at Thunderbird Show Park, her fortitude was rewarded, as the pair came together to win the CSI3* Paladin Cup 1.50m.

Besting a nine-horse jump-off, the duo crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) short track in 42.46 seconds. Charlie Jones (GBR) and Capitale 6 finished second (43s), while Christopher Lowe (CAN) was third with Cunningham 4 (43.55s).

“I didn’t think I was very fast,” Duff said. “I actually lost one of my reins on the way [to the last jump] and [Eblesse] pulled a shoe, but he was amazing and turned himself inside out to jump it clear.”

Jones was the first to take on the jump-off, and for a while, it appeared as if he might hold all the way through with his slick track. And while Duff was slightly behind her opponent in the middle of the course—adding a stride to the liverpool oxer and fanning slightly wider to the combination—she was flying early and late.

“I landed after the double, and I was like, ‘Here we go.’ And he was great. He just was phenomenal,” Duff said.

It’s been a long road back to the international level for the pair. Shortly after Duff added the dark bay to her string in the fall of 2021, Eblesse injured himself. He’d miss a year of competition.

Duff has spent her 2023 season building back up, and she returned to FEI competition with her mount at tbird in June, jumping the CSI2* division at the Odlum Brown BC Open. Then, she rerouted herself. Instead of traveling to Spruce Meadows in July, she brought Eblesse to Chicago to jump some national classes.

“I went to Chicago to go jump some bigger Grand Prixs, to get some mileage and just get him a little fitter—with the idea of hoping that he would peak at these two shows and then the [Spruce Meadows Masters in September],” she said.

Duff’s plan came to fruition, and now she’s set her focus forward. According to Jumpr App, the pair is averaging just 2.00 faults at 1.50m.

“I bought him to get me back in this ring and jumping some bigger classes,” she said. “He’s an amazing horse, and I’m really excited about the future with him.”

CSI3* Paladin Cup 1.50m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Eblesse / Jaclyn Duff / CAN / Windermere Stables / 0/0 42.46
2. Capitale 6 / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morningstar Sporthorses LLC / 0/0 43
3. Cunningham 4 / Christopher Lowe / CAN / Christopher Lowe / 0/0 43.55
4. Flinton M / Kendall Bourgeois / USA / Cameron Brown / 0/0 47.33
5. Chicago CM / Eric Krawitt / CAN / Eric Krawitt / 0/4 47.4
6. Com Es Ta / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 5 Roosters / 0/8 46.48
7. Kadans van de Mispelaere / Jaehee Jeon / KOR / Brother Fortune Equestrian Ltd / 0/8 46.86
8. Igor GPH / Kara Chad / CAN / Fordville Farm Inc. / 0 RT
9. Equine America Ivanhoe GPH / Matthew Sampson / GBR / Ellen Whitaker / 0 EL
10. Battlecry / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms LLC / 0 WD

Chernoff is Champion of MarBill Hill U25 1.35m

Langley, BC — Stella Chernoff has been partnered with Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co’s Fay for more than five years.

But they don’t get to spend much time together.

Chernoff, 19, studies at Queen’s University in Ontario, and for eight months of the year, she steps away from the saddle to focus entirely on school. But she’s making the most of her summer. She topped the MarBill Hill U25 1.35m at her final show before returning to campus.

Besting a seven horse jump-off, Chernoff and Fay crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) short track in 35.52 seconds. Georgia Knight (CAN) and Ecolano vs Robano finished close behind in second (35.71s), with Kassidy Keith (CAN) and Fenelon WF third (35.84s).

“I was like, ‘I’m just going to give it my all,'” Chernoff said, “and she gave it right back to me, and she was so good. Down to the last jump, I was like, ‘You know what? We’re clear so far, I’m just going to gallop up.’ And then I sat her down two strides out, and she jumped it so good.”

Chernoff admits, getting to know the now 13-year-old KWPN mare has been a process. The particular grey doesn’t like a bit in her mouth and prefers to be ridden with a long rein—that is, when she is ridden. It turns out, the fact that Chernoff doesn’t have much time to ride suits Fay just fine.

“She doesn’t get ridden at home at all unless we’re jump schooling, so she just lunges. I don’t ride her at the show at all unless we’re warming up for the class or trail riding,” Chernoff said. “After we put those things together, everything came together.”

Chernoff has been repeatedly rewarded for tailoring her program around her mare’s needs. The pair has averaged just 3.08 faults at 1.35m, according to Jumpr App.

“We figured it out now, and honestly, there’s nothing better than like going in the ring with her. It’s just so amazing,” she said. “I trust her 100 percent, and I can tell she trusts me, and there’s just no better feeling than that.”

MarBill Hill U25 1.35m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Fay / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd. / 0/0 35.52
2. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 35.71
3. Fenelon WF / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/0 35.84
4. Connecticut / Makenna Lemstra / CAN / Makenna Lemstra / 0/0 38.77
5. Ielinea JTL / Jaydan Stettner / CAN / Jaydan Stettner / 0/4 34.16
6. Sonny Brigade / Jennifer Clark / CAN / Jennifer Clark / 0/8 38.02
7. Chaccalanda / Olivia Stepheson / CAN / Luis Alejandro Plascencia / 0/8 39.81
8. First Focus Z / Clara McDanniel / USA / Clara McDanniel / 4 69.56
9. Diamantina VH Scheefkasteel Z / Samantha Smith / USA / Y&R Sporthorses LLC / 4 71.47
10. Laviata / Cashelle Levasseur / CAN / Gerard Developments / 5 79.15

Victorious Reunion for Sampson and Curraghgraigue Obos Flight in CSI3* tbird Challenge

Langley, BC — Matt Sampson (GBR) couldn’t quite call his partner in the CSI3* tbird Challenge a “catch ride.”

But it had been a while since he’d shown the 11-year-old Curraghgraigue Obos Flight. Flying in from Europe for the Summer Fort Classic CSI3*, Sampson reunited with the gelding for a win in Thursday’s CSI3* tbird Challenge.

The pair crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) short track in 40.53 seconds. Bretton Chad (CAN) and CSF Princess Blue finished second (40.86s), with Katie Kruger (CAN) and Goodwill VB third (43.43s).

It’s been a busy year since Sampson first visited Thunderbird Show Park last August, winning three international classes. This year, he’s spent more time in Europe, while Kara Chad (CAN)—his partner in both business and life—took the reins on “Jack.” But while Chad had three horses of her own in FEI this week at tbird, Sampson had just one, so she lent back the ride.

“I’ve had him since he was seven. So I know him inside out. I rode him completely until April this year, and then Kara took him over,” Sampson explained. “She was great [on him]. He won a few really good classes in Spruce at the summer series. Kara has got three horses already in the three star this week, so we [said], ‘Well, while I’m here, I’ll jump him again.’ She’s going to ride him again after this week.”

Sampson showed off the confidence he has in the gelding, getting out of the tack and hunting across ring to the second fence, where he did two fewer strides than the runners-up. He shaved more seconds off his time to the penultimate fence, a lengthy gallop lane to a vertical.

“He’s so fast, just naturally,” Sampson said, “and he kind of knows. He knows his job. Kara has been riding him for a few months, so she’s done the hard work. I just jumped on him and enjoyed it.”

A year ago, Sampson was hoping to gain entry into more five-star shows. Now, he’s won three five-star Grand Prix events. According to Jumpr App, he’s jumping clear 61 percent of the time when jumping 1.40m in 2023, across all horses.

“Coming [to North America] last year was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Obviously for me from coming from England, it’s a massive financial risk and an output to bring all the horses here. But luckily it really paid off,” Sampson said. “I had a great bunch of horses and owners and all the horses went from strength to strength. Luckily that made it possible to be able to get into more shows this year.”

CSI3* tbird Challenge 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Curraghgraigue Obos Light / Matthew Sampson / GBR / Matthew Sampson / 0/0 40.53
2. CSF Princess Blue / Bretton Chad / CAN / Stone Ridge Farms LLC / 0/0 40.86
3. Goodwill VB / Katie Kruger / CAN / Caledonia Stables / 0/0 43.43
4. Castros / Meredith Ellis / CAN / Meredith Ellis / 0/4 44.66
5. Luikan Q / Brian Morton / CAN / Attache Stables / 0 74.3
6. Chicago CM / Eric Krawitt / CAN / Eric Krawitt / 0 75.83
7. Glacier ZF / Shauna Cook / CAN / Zeidler Farm Canada 2017 Ltd / 4 77.3
8. Fair Play D’Esquelmes / Nyah Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 4 77.94
9. Zamira Z / Isauro Flores / CAN / Isauro Flores / 6 82.4
10. Pasquinelle / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 8 82.97

Betker Bests Pros in Foxstone Stables USHJA International Hunter Derby

Langley, BC — Sixteen-year-old Sloane Betker (CAN) recorded the biggest win of her young career Thursday at Thunderbird Show Park, besting the Foxstone Stables USHJA International Hunter Derby.

The teenager—fresh off representing her country in the North American Youth Championships (USA)—rode her own Crack to victory with a final score of 343. Nicole Bourgeois (USA) finished second with Wayfinder (343), with Travis Root (USA) and Kadalora third (317).

Betker set herself apart with a tremendous Handy Round, impressing with a bold hand gallop that shot her to the top of the leaderboard. She sat second after the Classic Round.

“I just went for it. I knew that I wasn’t winning, so I had to put the pressure on the rest of them and go for it,” she said.

Betker has been paired with Crack for a year and a half. Originally leasing the gelding, her family purchased the chestnut by the end of the lease. The pair specializes in the equitation divisions and hunter derbies.

“I was looking for an eq horse, and I ended up leasing him at the start of last year. And then we bought him at the end of the year,” Betker said. “When he’s in the ring, he’s perfect. But outside the ring, he’s definitely special.”

Foxstone Stables USHJA International Hunter Derby
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Crack / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 347
2. Wayfinder / Nicole Bourgeois / USA / Hilary Sosne / 343
3. Kadalora / Travis Root / USA / Tanya Hardy / 317
4. Old Times LS / Samantha Smith / USA / Red Gate Farm LLC / 316
5. The Great Gatsby / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Paige Brusatore / 305
6. Talaro PS / Philippa Melski / USA / Mila Anderson / 293
7. Momma Citta / Ruby Wall / CAN / Ruby Wall / 287
8. Big Ticket / Colby Winther Konig / CAN / Sorine Winther / 285
9. No Limit B / Connor Dennis / CAN / Jada Chapleo / 279
10. Tic Tac Toe / Nicole Bourgeois / USA / Amy Bean / 267

Chad Can’t Be Caught in CSI3* George & Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m

Langley, BC – Kara Chad (CAN) and Easy Boy d’Aubey Z positively laid down the gauntlet in Wednesday’s CSI3* George and Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m.

Second to jump Peter Holmes’ (CAN) 1.45m speed track, the pair blazed a trail, leaving out strides in four places on course. No one could match their performance, and they held the lead through the remaining 26 competitors.

The winning time was 62.89 seconds. John Perez (COL) came closest with Gigi-Carmen (63.71s), and Robert Blanchette (IRL) gave great chase while last to go to finish third with Chardonnay (63.94s).

“I think [the first three fences were] really important—to get the correct numbers there, to do the leave-out. And then once he was on that tempo, he was kind of set for the rest of the course,” Chad said. “When you open up his stride, he just goes. By the end [of the course], I was having to slow him down.”

Chad has only been paired with the talented chestnut 9-year-old for about three months, but the gelding has wasted no time in establishing himself as a bright talent for both present and future. Easy Boy d’Aubey Z has won each of his last two international classes, and according to Jumpr App, he and Chad are averaging just 3 faults across all heights.

“I think every round, he just amazes me. Any position he’s in—any speed class, jump-off class, 1.50m, 1.45m, whatever it is—he seems to rise to the occasion. That’s probably one of the biggest classes he’s jumped and he wins, so he knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure,” Chad expressed. “I think he’s a horse for the top sport, and he’s already proving that.

Identifying and producing young talent has become a strength of Maplepark Farms, the global business Chad runs alongside her partner, Matthew Sampson (GBR).

“We’re doing it all and trying to involve everything. Obviously we’re still a new-ish business, with two or three years now [under our belts],” Chad said. “But we’re trying to see what works best for us, and so far [our strength has been] the buying of the raw and young horses and pulling out their potential and their talent and trying to showcase that—and then hopefully selling them on to an owner who’s appreciative of them. A good match is our our main goal at the minute.”

With Easy Boy d’Aubey Z, Chad has found a good match of her own.

“I think [the owners] know that they have an excellent horse on their hands,” she said. “They’re really excited to see him doing so well.”

CSI3* George & Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Easy Boy D’Aubey Z / Kara Chad / CAN / Alexandre Zambaux / 0 62.89
2. Gigi-Carmen / John Perez / COL / John Perez / 0 63.71
3. Chardonnay / Robert Blanchette / IRL / RTS LLC / 0 63.94
4. Cadeau Z / Mandy Porter / USA / Risen Eq Holdings LLC / 0 65.94
5. California Sunshine / Susan Artes / USA / Alix Fargo / 0 65.99
6. Igali LN / Braden James / CAN / Braden James / 0 69.97
7. Comme Tu Veux Z / Ashley Papalia / CAN / Ashley Papalia / 0 71.18
8. Comme Es Ta / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 5 Roosters / 78.21
9. Messenger VF / Ellicia Edgar / CAN / Ellicia Edgar / 0 78.86
10. Iowa B / Travis Root / USA / Lindsay Wendt / 0 78.89