Artisan Farms’ Brighton Retires from the Sport

Langley, BC — On Saturday, Tiffany Foster (CAN) announced the retirement of her longtime partner Brighton from international sport.

“There will never be another horse like Brighty for me. Anyone who knows him knows how special he is,” Foster shared in a heartfelt Instagram post. “He is the smartest horse I’ver ever ridden and the most fierce competitor. He taught me how to win, and I will be forever grateful that Andy and Carlene Ziegler decided to buy him when he was 7 years old to allow me the privilege to develop and ride him for so many years.”

Artisan Farms’ accomplished 18-year-old gelding was honoured with an official retirement ceremony before the CSI4* Odlum Brown Grand Prix Sunday afternoon, recognizing the many accomplishments that Foster and Brighton shared in their 11 years together in the sport.

Among the highlights are 30 international victories and 59 international podiums, including five international Grand Prix wins up to the four-star level. The big-hearted bay was known for his prowess in speed competitions, but he also represented Canada on two occasions in Nations Cup competition, jumping clear in the CSIO4* Nations Cup at tbird in 2017. His final win came in a CSI2* Grand Prix at Terranova (USA) in March of this year.

Brighton’s consistent excellence over his career is supported by remarkable numbers. From 242 international starts recorded by Jumpr App, Brighton jumped clear 57% of the time, averaging just 1.4 faults. At 1.45m and 1.50m, he was at his best, averaging just 1.2 faults and jumping clear rounds at a 61% clip from 194 starts.

Happy retirement, Brighton!

Career Win for Jacobs in CSI4* Odlum Brown Grand Prix 1.50m

Langley, BC — When Charlotte Jacobs (USA) first sat on Rincoola Milsean as an 8-year-old, she wasn’t at all sure what heights the tiny, 15.2-hand Irish Sport Horse gelding would be able to reach in the sport.

But she knew she liked him, and she recalls her first ride on the spirited chestnut as the best trial she’d ever had with a horse. “We really clicked straightaway,” she recalled.

Over the course of the last three years, small-but-mighty “Roy” has repaid his rider repeatedly for her belief in him. Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park, he gave Jacobs the biggest win yet of her career in the CSI4* Odlum Brown Grand Prix 1.50m.

The pair bested an eight-horse jump-off, held through rainy conditions—reminiscent of Roy’s Irish roots—in the Thunderbird Arena. The winning time was 36.21 seconds. Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Castlefield Cornelious finished second (37.05s), with Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Donvier third (39.53s).

“This is definitely the biggest win I’ve had in my career so far. I’m over the moon. My horse felt fantastic today,” Jacobs gushed. “I was just pipped and was second in the [FOBI Qualifier], so I really wanted the win today, and my horse came through and jumped amazing.”

It was an eventful class, not without a bit of trademark Conor Swail-induced excitement. Swail and his five star-champion Count Me In impressed over Colm Quinn’s (IRL) first round track, as “Crosby” jumped his rider partially out of his tack; Swail jumped through the triple combination with a single stirrup, his leg position unchanged.

In the jump-off, Jacobs was well aware of the speed that proceeded her in the starting order, with both Swail and Nayel Nassar (EGY) following her. But she tried to not let that information affect her plan.

Her horse was with her every step of the way, as she committed to getting eight strides up the first line and sharpening her turn back to the penultimate oxer. Executing her plan as she hoped, the rest of the class became a waiting game. Last to jump, Swail set out with clear intentions and sped around the short track at a blazing pace, but he took too much risk to the oxer two fences from home. While he crossed the timers with the time in hand, 4 faults would relegate him to fifth.

“I just wanted to ride my round and hope for the best,” Jacobs said.

Roy has been a winner from the start. Jacobs first identified him as a “really, really careful” 7-year-old that didn’t particularly enjoy changing leads and quite frankly, appeared rather wild. But after trying the gelding a year later, she bought him—through her trainer Greg Broderick (IRL)—from Jason Higgins in Ireland. After jumping two 1.30m classes, Jacobs and Roy won a 1.35m Grand Prix event and then almost immediately placed in a ranking class in Spain.

As the jumps got bigger, so did Roy’s personality. While relaxed on the ground at his home stable, Roy maintains a bit of animation in all that he does, which has led Jacobs to describe him as a “cartoon character.” The chestnut prefers a simple routine before competing, enjoying a roll and a light exercise on the longe line, and when he’s at home, he spends as much time as he likes outside in a paddock.

In the ring, Roy has become a 1.50m specialist. According to Jumpr App, the horse averages just 1.3 faults at 1.50m, jumping clear at an eye-opening rate of 72%.

“He has so much heart, so much jump. His feet might have springs in them, I’m not sure,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t expect him to do what he’s done, and he just keeps surpassing expectations, which is amazing.”

CSI4* Odlum Brown Grand Prix 1.50m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Rincoola Milsean / Charlotte Jacobs / USA / North Star / 0/0 36.21
2. Castlefield Cornelious / Kaitlin Campbell / USA / 3P Equine Partners / 0/0 37.05
3. Donvier / Nayel Nassar / EGY / Evergate Stables / 0/0 39.53
4. Carmela Z / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / Vanessa Mannix / 0/0 41.28
5. Count Me In / Conor Swail / IRL / Mannon Farm / 0/4 35.52
6. Odysseus / Kyle King / USA / Patricia Vasey / 0/4 38.18
6. Chic D Emma Z / Samantha Buirs-Darville / CAN / Samantha Buirs-Darville / 0/4 38.18
8. Jagger HX / Amy Millar / CAN / Team Eye Candy and Millar Brooke Farm / 0/4 38.56
9. Electrique / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 5 Roosters / 1 77.04
10. Elka de la Pomme / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond / 4 71.83

Chawke Best Again in tbird Winning Round 1.40m

Langley, BC — James Chawke (IRL) admits, he doesn’t know so much about Liaraldra.

He learned Sunday that the 8-year-old KWPN mare can most definitely win.

One of the last to jump in the tbird Winning Round 1.40m, the pair swept to the top of the class and couldn’t be caught, clocking in with a winning time of 26.96 seconds. Sarah Lottis (CAN) and Rhapsody finished second (28.86s), narrowly edging out Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Tangassini (28.87s).

“[Liaraldra] is very quick. I don’t really know her that well. I’ve only jumped her a couple of weeks,” Chawke said. “I would say, I did one less [stride] down the last line than most people, and I was quite quick to the double.”

Make that three feature class wins for Chawke, on three different horses. This horse, however is one that the Irish rider owns himself. He purchased Liaralda at the end of November, but the mare developed an illness after traveling to North America from Holland, which set her competition schedule back most of the winter season.

“She only showed at the very end of the Desert Circuit—maybe the last week or two—and this is our first show back since then, because I was traveling,” Chawke shared.

The Winning Round competition is among the more unique formats in show jumping sport and is a competition of opportunity. The top 10 first round performers, regardless of score, return for a jump-off-type track on a clean slate, with the best first round result returning last. On Sunday, seven of the top 10 combinations jumped clear in the first round, and all seven of those combinations would jump double-clear.

As the class winded down, it appeared as though Lottis was going to pull out a victory, but Chawke felt confident enough in his equine partner to test some buttons and allow her to showcase her speed. In a class where second and third were separated by one-hundredth of a second, Chawke managed to cross the timers of Colm Quinn’s (IRL) course nearly two full seconds fastest.

From here, Chawke plans to keep Liaralda at the national level as he continues to get to know her and build up her strength. With a strong group of horses in his string at the moment, he is afforded more competitive options—and can truly enjoy the ride.

“It’s been great,” Chawke said. “I have some really good horses, so it’s fun.”

tbird Winning Round 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Liaraldra / James Chawke/ IRL / James Chawke / 0/0 26.95
2. Rhapsody / Sarah Lottis / CAN / Kevin Lottis / 0/0 28.86
3. Tangassini / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Lily Lee / 0/0 28.87
4. Montserrat OS / Charlie Jones / GBR / Stone Ridge Farms LLC / 0/0 28.88
5. Adare Ya To / Sutton Fresisen / CAN / Sutton Fresisen / Baystreet Equestrian / 0/0 29.43
6. Grandeur WP / Bretton Chad / CAN / Stone Ridge Farms LLC / 0/0 29.55
7. Nico 1427 / Kylie Martens / CAN / Kylie Martens / 4/0 31.3
8. A Crown Royale / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 0/0 33.33
9. ESI Jet Set / Carly Stevens / CAN / Susan Stevens / 1/4 30.63
10. Maria 111 / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Bryonry Reid / 4/4 30.98

Horse Spotlight: Tornado’s Whirlwind World Cup Journey Brings Wireman to Top of Sport

Langley, BC — When Skylar Wireman (USA) brought Tornado to the 2023 Sacramento International Horse Show, jumping the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier was not in her plans.

After all, Wireman had only recently returned to the saddle from an injury that caused her to miss the North American Youth Championships (NAYC), and she had never jumped the Swedish Warmblood gelding above 1.45m. Instead, Wireman’s objective was to test the waters at 1.50m in the CSI4*-W Welcome.

“He jumped amazing and ended up clear in the first round and jumped off. Peter (Wylde, Wireman’s coach) thought that every time he stepped up, he did it so easily,” Wireman said.

With Sacramento being the opening leg of the 2023–24 North American League (NAL) World Cup season, it would be the friendliest of the qualifiers, so Wylde determined, there was no time like the present to give the class a try, with horse and rider feeling confident.

“We did it, and it was upwards and onwards from then,” Wireman said.

Wireman and Tornado had just one rail down in their World Cup debut in Sacramento, and they finished among the top 10 in the class. It’s been a whirlwind season for them ever since. They’d go on to improve their placing at Las Vegas’ World Cup before winning the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Fort Worth and securing their place in the World Cup Finals in Riyadh (KSA). There, they jumped clear in the first round among the world’s elite—jumping just after eventual (back-to-back) winners, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) and King Edward.

“I was going last on the first day and following the No. 1 [show jumper] in the World. A lot of people asked me, ‘Does that make you nervous?'” Wireman recalled. “I said, ‘No.’ I was excited to warm up with [von Eckermann]. I’d get to watch his round and try to do what he did—not quite as fast, as I was just going for a smooth round, but to try to replicate that. I was going for the experience, and to jump clear and get a ribbon [in the first round] was just icing on the cake and unbelievable.”

There’s no question that Wireman and Tornado have returned from their Finals experience stronger. In their first post-Riyadh start, the pair won the national Surf & Turf Grand Prix at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center (USA).

Then they arrived at Thunderbird Show Park and jumped clear in the CSI5* MLSJ Grand Prix, finishing just off the podium in fourth. It wasn’t just the score and the result that made the effort impressive. The pair showed off their maturity by changing up their tack and completing the task in a slow-twist snaffle, normally used only in their training classes.

“He’s learned so much. He’s really using his whole body now,” Wireman said. “It’s like I came home from [Riyadh] with a whole new amazing horse. He’s getting better at every show, and he loves to learn.”

The Heart of a Lion and a Brain Like a Sponge

Tornado joined Wireman’s string almost serendipitously. Imported to the U.S. by professionals Nick Haness (USA) and Jamie Gornall (GBR), the bay was sent to Wireman to campaign for sale after Haness injured his wrist.

Wireman remembers clearly when Tornado arrived, and her close friend (now Tornado’s groom) Alicia Thompson walked the horse up the driveway in early 2023.

“She wasn’t grooming at the time, but she said she knew there was something special about the horse and that we were going to go big places,” Wireman shared. “To have that come full circle…she had a feeling. Now, he’s her pet just as much as he’s my horse. Her being there for every step of the way is pretty incredible.”

In the early days of getting to know Tornado, Wireman realized what a quick learner the gelding was. “All along, he had the mentality of, ‘I want to learn how to do it.’ He was always very willing, and he would soak it all in like a sponge,” she said.

The pair developed their trust in one another up to 1.45m, but in the summer of 2023, Wireman suffered her own injury. Lacerating her liver, she was in the ICU for three days and ultimately out of the saddle for six weeks. Tornado was receiving some interest and needed to continue getting experience in the show ring, but Wireman didn’t want to let the horse go.

“I had a feeling [about him]. We had jumped a fair amount of clear rounds, and he wanted to be a clear round kind of horse. We just hadn’t jumped above 1.45m,” Wireman said.

Haness worked with Wireman so that she could keep the ride through the summer season, and by November, a group of family, friends, and sponsors came together to purchase Tornado outright for her. The bay quickly began repaying the group with his World Cup earnings and has repeatedly reminded them, he has more to give.

“He’s definitely king of the barn and the barn favourite,” Wireman said. “He’s the first stall in the barn, and he gets all the cookies and carrots. He likes to beg, and he’ll nudge you when you walk by; if I stand just close enough, he’ll take his nose and pull me in. He’s an absolute sweetheart and loves his people.”

Wireman plans to follow the Major League Show Jumping circuit for the summer before turning her attention back to World Cup qualifiers this fall, perhaps with a greater presence on the east coast. She hopes to be back in the World Cup Finals lineup at Basel (SUI) in April 2025.

“I think a lot of [what makes him special] is that he has a huge heart. He loves to learn and has a huge heart,” Wireman expressed. “He’ll fight [for me] until the very end.”

Fleetwood Adds to Legacy in Forest Edge Farm USHJA International Hunter Derby

Langley, BC — When Rodney Tulloch (CAN) entered the ring aboard Fleetwood for the USHJA International Hunter Derby—the highlight of World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week at Thunderbird Show Park—he could feel that his mount was dialed in.

When the 13-year-old grey Westphalian gelding known by many as “Mashmallow” is on his game, he’s proven hard to beat. He and Tulloch were commanding winners on this occasion, leading wire-to-wire in the class with a total score of 360.

The podium was well spread out. Tracey Epp (CAN) and her international show jumper turned rising hunter derby star Heartvit ZH finished second (347), with Raymond Texel (USA) and Navigator third (333).

The reigning Canadian Hunter Derby National Champions, Tulloch and Fleetwood did not need to take many risks in the handy to secure a victory, but they still received six points more from the judges than the next-best handy score.

“Our strategy was just to not be too crazy—just be looking for the inside turns that were available, jump the high sides, and make it as smooth as possible,” Tulloch said.

Tulloch has learned to make the most of his opportunities to partner with Marshmallow. Owned by Christine MacLean, the gelding would typically meet up with Tulloch at shows, allowing for little practice time. But this time around, the grey has been stabled with Tulloch since the start of the winter show season.

“Christine MacLean from Kelowna owns him, and she is an amazing owner, [but] I’ve never had him for long periods of time. We’d just show up at a show together, and he’s just such a nice horse that it would come together,” Tulloch shared. “But I’ve had him now since December, so I feel a bit more in sync with him.”

There’s no questioning the gelding’s quality, but what has set Fleetwood apart is his bravery. The gelding is unfazed by spooky fences, his reliability radiating confidence back to his rider.

“He always gets to the other side. Most times, he doesn’t even look where he’s going,” Tulloch gushed. “He just canters forward and will leave the ground. No matter how spooky or big the jump is, he’s going to give it a good shot.”

Tulloch plans to try to defend his Canadian Hunter Derby title with Fleetwood later this year and also hopes to add a start at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to the horse’s show schedule. But there’s another important job to be done.

“His favourite job would be walk-trot and 2’6″, and that is going to be in his future with Christine’s daughter Asia. He will absolutely be doing that,” Tulloch said. “If they were here this weekend, he would probably have done that already today.”

Can Marshmallow pull double-duty in the walk-trot and the derby?  Tulloch showed no hesitation in his response:

“Oh, heck yeah.”

Forest Edge Farm USHJA International Hunter Derby
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Fleetwood / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Christine MacLean / 360
2. Heartvit ZH / Tracey Epp / CAN / Tracey Epp / 347
3. Navigator / Raymond Texel / USA / Philippa Melski / 333
4. Light My Fire / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 332
5. Black Pearl / Katrina Klimach / CAN / Katrina Klimach / 311
6. Diarado Dream / Emma Edwardson / CAN / Imagine Equestrian / 307
7. Closing Time / Kelsey King / USA / Kelsey King / 306.5
9. St Martin’s Lane / Chloe Mache / CAN / Chloe Mache / 303.25
10. Folklore / Oliva Aul / USA / Oliva Aul / 296

Chawke Makes It a Double in CSI4* 1.45m

Langley, BC — Heading into the Odlum Brown BC Open at Thunderbird Show Park, James Chawke (IRL) had never before won an international competition at the four-star level.

He’s now won two—with two different horses.

After capturing Thursday’s CSI4* 1.45m speed competition with Vanessa Mannix’s One Edition, Chawke prevailed again in Saturday’s CSI4* 1.45m jump-off competition, this time aboard Alison Locke’s Nacara van Berkenbroeck Z.

The winning time was 36.61 seconds. Skylar Wireman (USA) finished second with Coolio 23 (38.4s), followed by Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Connecticut.

“It’s great [to have a week like this],” said Chawke, who works alongside Conor Swail (IRL) and with Vanessa Mannix’s (CAN) operation, developing many young and up-and-coming horses. “My horses have been super and really consistent. That’s what’s most important.”

Fourteen of the 33 combinations that came forward managed for Colm Quinn’s (IRL) track to produce a clear first round over Colm Quinn’s (IRL) track, which naturally made for an increasingly quick jump-off. Chawke’s short track got faster as he went, pulling ahead through the last three jumps. Nacara, an 11-year-old gelding, has only been lightly campaigned at the international level, but his record is remarkable. The bay gelding has won three of his four FEI starts at 1.45m and five of his nine FEI starts with Chawke in the irons.

“He’s really fast, and he’s very careful,” Chawke said. “He’d never jumped 1.40m until January of this year, and since then, he’s been really good and really consistent.”

Chawke has been paired with Nacara now for two years, having gained the ride through his wife Jacqueline—a close friend of Locke’s. The gelding has earned a well deserved rest before targeting another international start at Thunderbird later this summer.

“He actually has a really long break [next],” Chawke said. “I’d say he’ll maybe do one small national show before he comes back here in August.”

CSI4* 1.45m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Nacara van Berkenbroeck Z / James Chawke / IRL / Alison Locke / 0/0 36.61
2. Coolio 23 / Skylar Wireman / USA / Shayne Wireman / 0/0 38.4
3. Connecticut / Kaitlin Campbell / USA / Makenna Lemstra / 0/0 39.07
4. Mahrees Rock / Gabriela Reutter / CHI / Lumiere Horses Inc / 0/0 40.8
5. Naja vh Dingenshof / Lauren Myers / USA / Myers Group Investments LLC / 0/0 41.37
6. Castelissimo / Shawn Casady / USA / Tiffany Sullivan / 0/0 43.49
7. Vital Chance de la Roque / Conor Swail / IRL / Mannon Farm / 0/4 36.37
8. Macho-Blue PS / Charlie Jones / GBR / Katie Harris / 0/4 37.55
9. Donatello 141 / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond / 0/4 37.91
10. Com Es Ta / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 5 Roosters / 0/4 39.79

Martin Makes Statement in CSI4* FOBI Qualifier 1.50m

Langley, BC — The jump-off of the CSI4* FOBI Qualifier Friday at Thunderbird Show Park was a who’s who of elite show jumping talent.

Among the 10 athletes to advance to Colm Quinn’s (IRL) shortened track in the Thunderbird Arena were no fewer than five Olympians; two more veterans of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals; and the winner of the previous day’s CSI4* 1.45m in James Chawke (IRL) with One Edition.

That didn’t intimidate 17-year-old William Martin (CAN), who bested them all. Martin recorded his second career international victory and his first four-star win aboard the 10-year-old KWPN mare, Je Happy Lina. It was also the first FEI win for the 10-year old KWPN mare.

The winning time was 35.93 seconds, with time greatly made up in the final line as the winning pair left out two strides. Charlotte Jacobs (USA) and Rincoola Milsean finished second (36.18s), followed by Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Ivory TCS (36.79s).

“This is a new horse to this level, so I wanted to make [the jump-off] pretty smooth,” said the 2023 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) team gold medalist. “The first three jumps came up super well, and then I wasn’t used to how big her stride got. She kind of took me through the rest of the course, but I’m so happy for it. There’s a lot of quality there—maybe even more than we thought.”

Despite being the youngest rider in the field and starting at the four-star level for the first time this week, the Vineland, Ontario native was more focused in diverting praise toward his mount, whom he has been bringing up the grades for about a year. Martin first tried Je Happy Lina as an 8-year-old; then the mare continued her development under Rebekka Gillespie (GBR) at Toro Horses in Lommel, Belgium before being imported to North America for Martin, who trains with Andrew Bourns (IRL).

“She’s been jumping in the back rings for about a year. She was in a very good program before us, so that always helps a lot,” Martin shared. “We’ve only just moved her up, and every single question I’ve asked her, she’s been there and responded well. So, not only are we celebrating a good win in my own country today, but, we also have a very nice horse, and I’m looking at some good rounds in the future.”

Martin described the intelligent mare as a bit of a lion—fitting for the name “Lina”—with a lot of personality and character. She was certainly fighting for Martin Friday evening, as horse and rider rose to the occasion—and the experience level of their competitors.

“I knew Conor Swail and Nayel Nassar were behind me [in the jump-off]. I think it’s great to ride alongside those riders, because you kind of ride to their level—[you’re around them] in the warm-up and everything in FEI, in the flatting. You kind of adapt to the atmosphere a little bit, and it really changes you as a rider.”

Martin traveled north from Bourns’ base in Wellington, FL to compete at tbird and will continue his Canadian tour at Spruce Meadows this summer.

“I think winning in your home country is always better. The crowds are better, and you get a little bit more cheer,” Martin said. “It’s definitely going to be one that we remember.”

CSI4* FOBI Qualifier 1.50m 
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Je Happy Lina / William Martin / CAN / Lesley Martin / 0/0 35.93
2. Rincoola Milsean / Charlotte Jacobs / USA / North Star / 0/0 36.18
3. Ivory Tcs / Nayel Nassar / EGY / Evergate Stables / 0/0 36.79
4. Elka de la Pomme / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond / 0/0 37.33
5. Northern Light / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms / 0/0 40.38
6. Vital Chance de la Roque / Conor Swail / IRL / Mannon Farm / 0/4 36.04
7. Jagger HX / Amy Millar / CAN / Team Eye Candy & Millar Brooke Farm / 0/4 38.47
8. Costa Quick / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / Aram Ampagoumian LLC / 0/4 42.48
9. One Edition / James Chawke / IRL / Vanessa Mannix / 0/4 50.22
10. Tornado / Skylar Wireman / USA / Skylar Wireman / 0/12 40.14

Nassar Wins Numbers Game in CSI4* West Coast Cup 1.45m

Lagnely, BC — The CSI4* West Coast Cup 1.45m Friday morning proved to be quite a numbers game, and Nayel Nassar (EGY) caught on quickly.

Colm Quinn’s (IRL) first round track tested riders with a robust track and a tight time allowed, and after 20 combinations jumped the first round, just two advanced to the jump-off. Nassar and Edgard de Prefontaine outpaced Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Genial de b’Neville to secure the first international victory of their partnership, despite Nassar adding strides in the first two lines of the shortened track.

The winning time was 35.41 seconds, with the runners-up crossing the timers in 36.06 seconds. Shawn Casady (USA) and Castelissimo finished third as the fastest four-faulters from the first round (4/64.5s).

“I think the time allowed probably played a big factor. It was extremely tight, and the course did take some jumping. There was a very delicate triple about halfway through, a delicate skinny toward the end and then two oxers to finish is never easy,” Nassar detailed. “A combination of all those things and not so many in the class plays a numbers game for you.”

Nassar has only been paired with the 14-year-old gelding since the very end of last year. The bay was scouted toward the end of last season, impressing with a strong effort at the Belgian Championships with Virginie Thonon (BEL).

Still experimenting with tack and building experience in jump-off situations, Nassar determined that his best course of action over the short course would be to prioritize quick turns over leaving out strides.

“I’m still kind of figuring him out against the clock,” Nassar said. “I didn’t really want to go on any of the leave-outs because, he does get a little ‘shooty’ at the jumps. I wanted to keep reinforcing him to take his time. So, I actually added up in the first line and the second line, but it helped out, because those lines were followed by tight turns, so I could get some shallow landings in places and then just get away from the jump as quickly as possible.

“With him, it seems like most of the time needs to be made up in the landing and not necessarily to the jumps.”

In Canada for the early part of his summer season, Nassar plans to next test his mount with a trip to Calgary to compete at Spruce Meadows.

“He’s an extremely sensitive guy, so that will be a lot for him to take in there, but I think it’ll be good experience for him,” Nassar said. “Hopefully he’ll leave that circuit better than he starts it.”

CSI4* West Coast Cup 1.45m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Edgard de Prefontaine / Nayel Nassar / EGY / Evergate Stables / 0/0 35.41
2. Genial de b’Neville / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / Luja LLC / 0/0 36.06
3. Castelissimo / Shawn Casady / USA / Tiffany Sullivan / 4 64.5
4. S&L Quattro van de Meerputhoeve / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / S&L Farms / 4 64.82
5. Leicester / Nicole Walker / CAN / Nicole Walker / 5 66.89
6. Tangelina / Ruper Carl Winkelmann / GER / Eickendorf Horses & Gmbh & Co. KG / 6 67.93
7. Ero del Pierre / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 7 68.05
8. Duke of Doel / Ali Ramsay / CAN / Tali Dejong / 8 65.37
9. Billy Lincoln / Gabriela Reutter / CHI / Lumiere Horses Inc / 8 65.46
10. Texas / Justine Cha / CAN / Christine Cha / 8 69.44

Partridge Notches 1-2 Finish in USHJA National Hunter Derby

Langley, BC — Quinn Partridge led wire-to-wire in Thursday evening’s USHJA National Hunter Derby at tbird, securing a 1-2 finish for owners Effortless Equestrian Farm during World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week.

Partridge rode Falkor to the top of the class with a score of 176, followed closely behind by VDL Iglesias (173). Donna Wnuk (CAN) rounded out the podium aboard Casallfina with a score of 167.

The pressure was on Partridge in a day full of waiting. The derby, which didn’t begin until nearly 7pm PT, marked her winning mount’s only class of the day, and after posting the highest first round score, the pair had to wait again through 11 handy rounds to jump again.

“It’s always hard, I think, coming out late in the day. This was [Falkor’s] only class today, so he was just hanging out, waiting for his moment to shine,” Partridge said. “The fact that he could put in two consistent rounds—as it’s dinnertime, the sun’s going down, there’s shadows, there’s lots of commotion—and keep focused and give me brilliant jumps, [that’s] what I was most pleased with.”

Meghan Rawlins’ (CAN) handy track offered plenty of opportunities to show off, and Partridge capitalized on the lanes available for inside turns, opting for greater handiness over high options. The strategy proved fruitful, with Partridge recording the highest marks of the round—and receiving identical marks on her two mounts. Ultimately, it was the classic round that proved the separator, with three points deciding the final placings.

“With the first horse I went in on, VDL Iglesias, I was playing it by ear and seeing what my options were. I don’t do as many high options with him, so I had to kind of vary my track that way and just get a layout of the land,” Partridge expressed. “Then as I came back in on top for with Falkor, watching the person go before me gave me some options. [I decided that I] needed to make those inside turns and just be efficient and give my horses good options for good jumps.”

It was a family affair for the mother-daughter duo that make up Effortless Equestrian Farm. Falkor was acquired for junior rider Keswick Rounds last fall from Imagination Lane, while VDL Iglesias is the ride of Keswick’s mother Brinette Bobb. The “Canadian veteran” gelding formerly competed with Kassidy and Cheryl Keith’s Keepsake Farms.

“There are so many opportunities [to jump derbies at tbird]—not just WCHR Week, which showcases the National Derby as well as the International Derby. But tbird also has the fun Canadian Derbies that are a single round [and] more of a handy format, and they give the 2’6″/2’9″ Child and Adult [Hunters] Hunt and Go options,” Partridge shared.

“Derbies are becoming obviously more prevalent in our sport,” she continued. “The fact that we can do it from the ground up and coach our kids and adults and continue to try and produce top quality derby horses—Thunderbird does an excellent job in showcasing that for the hunters.

The Forest Edge Farm USHJA International Hunter Derby will be the highlight of tbird’s WCHR Week, set for Saturday, June 1.

USHJA National Hunter Derby
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Falkor / Quinn Partridge / USA / Effortless Equestrian Farm / 176
2. VDL Iglesias / Quinn Partridge / USA / Effortless Equestrian Farm / 173
3. Casallfina / Donna Wnuk / CAN / Donna Wnuk / 167
4. Coralina / Lindsey Garner / USA / Kate Churchfield / 166.5
5. Devil’s Advocate / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Jada Chapleo / 163
6. Central Park / Channay Lloyd / CAN / Channay Lloyd / 159
7. Karanca / Nina Vogel / USA / A Patri Gorai / 158
8. Top Quirado / Lindsey Garner / USA / Sienna Karriker / 155
9. Highlight / Travis Root / USA / Tanya Hardy / 138
10. Gabriel IV / Rodney Tullock / CAN / Donna Rooney / 136

Chawke Saves Best for Last in CSI4* 1.45m

Langley, BC — With one horse-and-rider combination remaining in the CSI4* 1.45m at Thunderbird Show Park, it appeared as if Nayel Nassar (EGY) would lead another victory lap aboard Ivory TCS, who won the CSI5* Winning Round 1.50m competition less than a week ago in the Thunderbird Arena.

But James Chawke (IRL) had other ideas.

Last to go in the 43-strong field, Chawke and Vanessa Mannix’s One Edition swept straght to the top of the speed competition, crossing the timers of fellow Irishman Colm Quinn’s (IRL) track in 60.8 seconds.

Nassar settled for second (61.46s), followed by Kyle King (USA) and Odysseus (61.72s), who led for much of the class.

The objective of the round was for Chawke to test out some higher gears with the 9-year-old One Edition as he helps develop the exciting talent for Mannix, his longtime student. Chawke and his colleague Conor Swail scouted the mare a little over a year ago in Europe through a trusted friend and dealer, Deluxe Sport Horses. Over the course of the last season, Mannix and Chawke have taken turns bringing the mare into the show ring.

“Vanessa rode her last summer, and then I jumped her a little bit in the fall and a little bit over the winter in California. Then Vanessa actually took her back for a show, and then I jumped her last week [in CSI2* competition at the Canadian Premier],” Chawke detailed. “Originally, we thought maybe Vanessa would take her back this week, but we just agreed that I’d jump her one more week.”

Chawke had some valuable intel on the track, thanks to a strong effort aboard his first mount, Nacara van Berkenbroeck Z, who ultimately finished fourth. The key to the course, he deduced, was getting down the lines in the most efficient number of strides possible.

“In my first round, I added in three places that I didn’t want to—two of the rollbacks and one of the lines,” Chawke explained. “I figured if I could do the correct steps on [One Edition], that would save me.”

Overall, the plan was both the winning move and a positive training exercise for his mount.

“A class like today was perfect for her, to just try and teach her to go a little bit quicker at this height.”

Chawke plans to jump One Edition in her biggest class yet on Friday, the CSI4* FOBI Qualifier 1.50m. Having been a regular at tbird over the course of the last decade, Chawke has used the venue to develop a long list of accomplished equine talent, in both the expansive grass Fort Grand Prix Arena and the more stadium-style Thunderbird Arena on sand.

“We’ve been coming here for a long time. We’re always here in May, August and September, [and] it’s really useful [for younger horses],” Chawke said. “The courses are nice, and there are great rings.”

CSI4* 1.45m 
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. One Edition/ James Chawke / IRL / Vanessa Mannix / 0 60.8
2. Ivory TCS / Nayel Nassar / EGY / Evergate Stables / 0 61.46
3. Odysseus / Kyle King / USA / Patricia Vasey / 0 61.72
4. Nacara van Berkenbroeck / James Chawke / IRL / Alison Locke / 0 62.22
5. Catinka 25 / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / Vanessa Mannix / 0 62.6
6. Sig Chiari / Kyle King / USA / The Chi Group / 0 62.76
7. Garfield / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Grace Russo / 0 63.32
8. Elka de la Pomme / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond / 0 63.68
9. Capitale 6 / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC / 63.84
10. GCS Athena/ Amy Millar / CAN / Brookstreet Stables Corporation / 0 64