Martinoff Makes It a Winning Weekend With Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix 1.40m

Langley, BC — It was a winning weekend at the Western Family for Ayla Martinoff (CAN). Hot off a win in Friday’s Highland Farms Ltd Welcome and a pair of second place finishes in the YETI Welcome and the Langley Grand Prix the week prior at tbird, the 34-year old is riding a streak.

And it showed on Sunday.

Aboard Calloway, her winning partner from Friday, Martinoff topped a nine-horse jump-off in the 1.40m Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix—and definitively. The pair shaved more than two seconds off the time to beat to stop the clock in 40.81 seconds and take over the lead. Last week’s double winner Kassidy Keith and veteran partner Havana finished second in 43.17 seconds and Georgia Knight and Ecolano vs Romano third in 43.88.

The lead changed hands with nearly every combination over Peter Holmes’s winding jump off track. Locklyn Williamson was first to post a double clear, crossing the timers in 48.87. Sloane Betker and Kristalstar shaved three seconds off, finishing in 45.78. Jamie Ackerman and Driek, winners of last week’s Jr/Am Jumper Classic 1.30m, took it down to 45.04 only for Knight and Ecolano vs Romano to drop it to 43.88 one round later and Keith to 43.17 one more after that.

But none came close to Martinoff and Calloway.

The pair set a speedy standard from the start, galloping to the first and using Calloway’s natural foot speed and cat-like agility to blaze through the timers two and half seconds fastest.

“Everyone had gone clear and reasonably fast. So I thought, well, you either have to go clear really fast or you have four faults and be [the equivalent] of a slow clear anyways [on the leaderboard],” said Martinoff.

Homebred and developed by Martinoff, the 10-year-old grey has only grown in competitiveness over the years.

“He’s gotten so good. I’ve known him his whole life, so we’ve grown up together in the ring. Since he was seven, I’ve been able to go fast as long as I know he’s comfortable. But lately, he knows my every move before I do. He’s so smart.

“He really locks onto the jumps and wants to give me his all.

Martinoff, a 2023 George & Dianne Tidball Scholarship winner, credits her time in the ring at tbird last season for the success she’s currently experiencing with Calloway and his full sister, A Crown Royale.

“It was really great to get to compete in these classes last year without having to worry about winning the prize money back. I had two down almost every time,” she laughed, “but I got to practice a lot and it’s paying off now.”

Calloway is himself a payoff of sorts and one that’s less a product of careful pairing than he is a happy fluke, said Martinoff—albeit one from two very well-bred horses. Ten years ago, Martinoff was riding for Fairway Farms and was given his dam, A Little Bit, in exchange for construction work by her father. When the Martinoff decided to breed her, another client stepped up.

“I was also working for the owner of [the stallion] Capone and she sent me home with measuring cups full of semen,” shared Martinoff.

The result: two national Grand Prix horses that Martinoff will step up to international ring next month at tbird’s Summer Fort Welcome and Summer Fort Classic.

In the meantime, however, Calloway will enjoy a well-earned week off.

“I’m driving home and I’m going to go put him out in the field with his brother for a week. I won’t really ride him other than maybe bareback to the pub for lunch or something,” said Martinoff, noting that the local restaurant has a paddock for horses.

“I’ll start flatting him next week and then start amping up for Thunderbird in August.”

Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Calloway / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 0/0 40.81
2. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/0 43.17
3. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Kinght / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 43.88
4. Driek / Jaimie Ackermann / CAN / Jaimie Ackerman / 0/0 45.04
5. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Betker Horse Park / 0/0 45.78
6. Cassandro / Locklyn Williamson / CAN /  Graham Williamson / 0/0 48.87
7. Canberre 59 / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 0/4 44.27
8. Hatari / Sierra Geisler / USA / Sierra Geisler / 0/4 46.05
9. Almquist / Locklyn Williamson / CAN / Locklyn Williamson / 0/4 52.65
10. Ero Del Pierire / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 2 92.27

Bohlin Saves Best for Last in Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy 2’6″/2’9″

Langley, BC — Elizabeth Bohlin (USA) was the final rider to enter the ring for the Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy 2’6″/2’9″ Friday evening at Thunderbird Show Park.

It was a long wait through the class of 34 combinations through the multi-phase, single round competition. But Bohlin hadn’t paid much attention to how the class was trending. She determined to stay in the moment and focus on her own plan.

That plan would prove best on the day. Bohlin and her 11-year-old mare Idea-K were commanding winners with a 178 total score. Erin Baldry (CAN) and November Rain—who held the lead for almost the entirety of the class—finished second (169), with Calisto and Kaia Hanna (CAN) third (167). Bohlin and Idea-K received base scores of 86 and 84 from the two judging panels, with 8 high option points added.

“I try to stay really present, so I can just do what I need to do. That’s why I don’t like to really follow the class. I just stick to my plan,” Bohlin said. “My trainer told me to make sure that I stayed kind of to the left of an oxer so I could make this one inside turn that the person before me hadn’t made. My horse got a little wild at that point, but it worked!”

In the Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy, the first half of the course is meant to be ridden as a Classic round, with the second half ridden as a handy test. Both phases are jumped consecutively, with both a 2’9″ and 2’6″ height option. Creating more derby opportunities for riders competing at smaller heights, the competition is open to junior and amateur riders who do not compete at heights above 2’9″ at the show; riders must jump the highest height at which they’ve been competing.

“It’s a super great program,” Bohlin expressed. “My horse is 19 and I moved her down [in fence height], so this gives us something to do that’s still challenging.”

Bohlin felt her partner rise to the occasion, as the special class raised the atmosphere at the Dina Happy Hunter Arena. She and Idea-K have been paired for five years.

“She came from the Czech Republic. She used to do the 1.20m and 1.30m jumpers, and now she’s doing the Adult Eq and hunters with me,” Bohlin said.

The pair has now won their last two derby outings. They plan to return to tbird in August to attempt a three-peat.

“We’re [also] going to do the PCA 2’9″ Jr/Amateur Medal Finals at the Oaks. It’s another stretch-thing to challenge us as we’re getting old,” Bohlin chuckled. “Fingers crossed!”

Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy 2’6″/2’9″
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Idea-K / Elizabeth Bohlin / USA / Elizabeth Bohlin / 178
2. November Rain / Erin Baldry / CAN / Erin Baldry / 169
3. Calisto / Kaia Hanna / CAN / Megan Dalton / 167
4. Stonecountry’s Rolls Royce / Isabella van der Werf / CAN / Isabella van der Werf / 164
5. Almost Famous / Samantha McFadyen / CAN / Lily Grynspan / 162
6. Delight / Trinity Hall / CAN / Meghan Rawlins / 160
7. Kilkenny Winston / Emily Bongers / CAN / Yuli Arad / 154
8. Hermes van’t Goovahof / Elliette Kirby / CAN / Elliette Kirby / 153
9. In Your Dreams / Eloise Clark / CAN / Stephanie Clark / 150
10. Erek / Hannah Cossey / CAN / Summer Cossey / 149

Martinoff Flies to First in Highland Farms Ltd Welcome 1.40m

Langley, BC — A week ago at Thunderbird Show Park’s West Coast Classic, Ayla Martinoff (CAN) brought home a lot of blue rosettes, finishing second in both the YETI Welcome and the Langley Grand Prix.

So when she felt the win within her grasp in the Highland Farms Ltd Welcome Friday at the Western Family, she left nothing to chance.

Aboard her homebred Calloway, she bested a 10-horse jump-off in positively flying form. The pair crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) shortened 1.40m track in 36.93 seconds. Last to go, they relegated Sarah Lottis (CAN) and Rhapsody to second (38.09s). Martinoff also finished third with A Crown Royale (39.64s).

“I was second constantly last week. It’s really nice to finally win one!” Martinoff exclaimed.

Martinoff had strength in numbers, executing a clear first round aboard both of her mounts. And after Lottis bettered her time aboard A Crown Royale, Martinoff was determined to use the knowledge gained from her first ride to her advantage.

“[Fellow competitor Kassidy Keith] said, ‘It’s got [to be won] from [fences] one to two,” Martinoff shared. “So, I really sliced No.1 and really pushed it to the second [jump]. I was really fast to the orange Kubota [Canada] oxer, and then I found a really nice one to the last jump.”

Martinoff did not shy away from risk-taking, jumping nearly every jump at an angle and taking a bold canter to the ATCO oxer midway through the course. She tossed her reins away to the last fence, trusting her partner at a full gallop.

“He’s starting to be so confident,” she shared. “I can take those risks now, whereas usually I’d get a little closer [to the base of the jump] than that.”

Martinoff bred both Calloway and A Crown Royale, and the two horses are full siblings, by Capone and out of the mare A Little Bit, by Lloyds. Calloway is 10, while A Crown Royale is two years younger.

“I bred him, and I broke him and his sister,” she said. “I have a co-owner with his sister, but he’s all mine. He’s my second homebred.

“He’s the kindest, cuddliest horse,” added Martinoff, who runs her training business alongside her sister Kaylie out of Langley. “My lesson kids call him, ‘Snuggly Horse.'”

As Martinoff continues to trend upward with her horses, she aims to compete internationally later this summer.

“We’re going to be here in August,” she said. “I would love to do a couple FEI classes with both of them.”

Highland Farms Ltd Welcome 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Calloway / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 0/0 36.93
2. Rhapsody / Sarah Lottis / CAN / Kevin Lottis / 0/0 38.09
3. A Crown Royale / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / / 0/0 39.64
4. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Betker Horse Park / 0/0 39.86
5. Alouette / Christina Marlin / CAN / Jeanie Marlin / 0/0 39.87
6. Ero del Pierre / Georgia Kinght / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 47.27
7. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/4 37.93
8. Coeur de Riccerole VG Z / Kennedy Ellingson / CAN / Kennedy Ellingson / 0/8 44.57
9. Jillz / Natalie Popham / CAN / Natalie Popham / 0/12 41.93
10. Lestat OLD / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 0/20 44.85

Garner Unveils a Star in Team Obsidian Hunt & Go Derby 3’6″/3’3″

Langley, BC — Each time Lindsay Garner enters the ring with Kate Churchfield’s Coralina, she is left with fewer questions and more answers.

The 10-year-old mare only began her career in the hunter ring this summer after being imported from Germany. Thursday’s Team Obsidian Hunt & Go Derby was the mare’s third ever derby start.

Inexperience was not a factor. Garner and Coralina topped the class, which combined competitors at both the 3’6″ and 3’3″ heights, with a total score of 183. Laina Summers (USA) finished second with Timeless Romance (177.5), and Rodney Tulloch (CAN) was third with Fleetwood (176).

Coralina, who competed at the 3’3″ height, was the only horse to receive marks above 90 in both the classic and handy portions of the class, which brought some new natural jump elements to the Grand Hunter Arena.

“It was fun to have some different natural jumps. I think the hay bales at the beginning of the course presented a challenge, but where they were set off a nice, wide turn was really fair to the horses,” Garner explained. “My horse is new at doing this, so when she came around the corner and jumped that well, I knew we were kind of set.”

Garner felt her mount relax more and more as the course went on, and as she began the handy portion of the test, she felt confident enough to try some tighter turns.

“This is the third derby she’s done, and every time she goes in, she gets a little bit more relaxed,” Garner said. “She’s also starting to get very smart about looking through the turn, so I really felt like I could be handier with her.”

Coralina was put on Garner’s radar through agent Jett Martin, but initially—at least on paper—she wasn’t what Garner was seeking for Churchfield, who was looking for a young horse to bring along as she got back into the show ring. Churchfield specifically wanted a gelding, but Martin insisted.

“We’d already found the gelding we wanted, and [Coralina] was the last [horse] we went to see, four hours away,” Garner recalled. “She was a mare. We were like, ‘Why are we doing this trip?’ And we saw her and we said, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s perfect.'”

Coralina has taken immediately to her new job. In addition to showing an early mastery of derby competition, the mare is also already winning in the Adult Amateur Hunters with Churchfield.

“She is such a natural hunter. She always jumps beautifully. She’s very quiet. She’s very brave. She loves the hunter ring,” Garner gushed. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a horse that I’ve imported take to its job so quickly here. She just settled right in. And she’s a very, very, very, very stoic mare.”

Derbies will remain a focus for Coralina, but Garner also expects the mare and her owner to move up quickly into the Amateur-Owner divisions.

Team Obsidian Hunt & Go Derby 3’6″/3’3″
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Classic Score / Handy Score / Total Score

1. Coralina / Lindsey Garner / USA / Kate Churchfield / 92 / 91 / 183
2. Timeless Romance / Laina Summers / USA / Katherine Martell / 88 / 89.5 / 177.5
3. Fleetwood / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Christine Maclean / 86 / 90 / 176
4. Maestro / Stephany Powers / CAN / Guiliana Bregliano / 87 / 87 / 174
5. Velocity / Ruby Wall / CAN / Ruby Wall / 88 / 85 / 173
6. Cynergy Z / Donna Wnuk / CAN / Megan Hoodspith / 82.5 / 86.5 / 169
7. Freida M / Lindsay Linford / CAN / Julia Norman / 81.5 / 87 / 168.5
8. Carnet / Emily Cake / CAN / Emily Cake / 85 / 82 / 167
9. Cornet de Prinz / Ellie Kurtz / USA / Lauren Brummett / 90 / 76 / 166
10. Cavendish / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / 82 / 83 / 165