Big money goes bicoastal: HITS announces all-new high-performance show jumping league and Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix

by Lindsay Yandon

Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood takes one of two mounts to the top in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Thermal this winter. © Flying Horse Photography

After its announcement in 2009, the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York soon became a stop on the road to equestrian stardom. For HITS, the buck didn’t stop there. Based on the success of the Pfizer Million on the East Coast, HITS Horse Shows looked west and joined forces with West Coast show organizers Dale Harvey, Larry Langer and Robert Ridland to form the Thermal Million Grand Prix League, which will culminate with a $1 million Grand Prix at the conclusion of the 2013 HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California.

Fifteen West Coast competitions will comprise the all-new high-performance show jumping league and welcome the best of the best on the West Coast to vie for a piece of $1 million. The League will include the entire 2013 HITS Desert Circuit, as well as select weeks of the Blenheim Summer and Fall shows, Sacramento International Horse Show, Del Mar Fall Festival, Los Angeles International Jumping Festival and Los Angeles National Horse Show.

“This is something we’ve been looking to do for a while and the timing is perfect for the West Coast to have a signature show jumping event to call its own,” said Tom Struzzieri, HITS President & CEO. “This past season in Thermal was a true tipping point. The atmosphere was phenomenal and the contribution from the West Coast in our sport is as strong as it’s ever been.”

Crowds gather to watch the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach – the richest grand prix of the 2012 HITS Desert Circuit. © Flying Horse Photography

Specific qualifying, including nine World Cup weeks will be available at the following participating West Coast horse shows from August to March:
Blenheim Summer Classic II: August 14-19
Showpark Summer Classic: August 22-26
Showpark Summer Tournament: August 29 – September 2
Blenheim Fall Tournament: September 12-16
LA International Jumping Fest: September 19-23
Sacramento International World Cup Week: October 2-7
Del Mar Fall Festival II: October 24-28
National Preview: October 31 – November 4
LA National: November 6-11
The Las Vegas National: November 13-18
2013 HITS Desert Circuit: January – March

Rich Fellers rides to victory in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Thermal this winter. © Flying Horse Photography

With Rich Fellers recent World Cup victory as evidence, West Coast competition is preparing horses and riders alike to excel in global arenas. “Thermal has really become a great platform to push from,” said Canadian Olympian and HITS Thermal regular Jill Henselwood. “Many riders like Rich Fellers are using those shows to propel them to the World Cup and more.”

Modeled after the qualifying procedures of the Pfizer Million, money won in League grand prix will be calculated by individual rider/horse combination with the rider’s top money winning horse determining the rider’s final ranking. Each rider must also compete in at least one grand prix at four HITS Desert Circuit shows prior to the week of the Thermal Million. The top 40 riders in the Thermal Million Grand Prix Rider Rankings will qualify. In addition, five additional riders may be chosen as Manager Picks. Two Wild Card slots will be awarded – one to the winner of a Wild Card Grand Prix during the 2013 Desert Circuit and one to the top performing grand prix rider at the six-week HITS Arizona Winter Circuit.

“There is an electricity of excitement happening west of the Mississippi,” added Struzzieri. “This League and second $1 million Grand Prix will present yet another product that should ignite a spark in American show jumping.”

Ridland’s recent appointment to U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe gave equestrians in West Coast circles yet another reason to celebrate. Seeing the potential for growth in the sport both on the West Coast and beyond, Ridland sees nothing but positives in this new collaboration.

“No question, this should be a big boost for the sport on the West Coast and nationwide as well,” said Ridland.

As Spring and Summer show jumping gets underway, the Thermal Million Grand Prix League should soon climb to the top of “to-do” lists for high-performance riders across North America. A breath of fresh air for show jumping, the League hopes to add another claim to fame for the sport’s top athletes.

Complete specifications and qualifying criteria for the Thermal Million Grand Prix League have been released and are available at

Highlights From The Capital Challenge Horse Show October 2011

It’s a long trip east for those who set their sights on competing indoors in the fall. Each season the riders from the left coast have a chance to shine in this competitive setting. Of course many top horses and riders share the glory, but the west coast is not second to the east and often steps into the limelight as illustrated below.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show: October 1-9, 2011

On the opening Equitation Weekend presented by, Morgan Geller and Fabricio topped the North American Flat Equitation Championship, were champions in the 16-year-old Equitation, and second in the North American Equitation Championship. Geller trains with Katie Gardner and Jim Hagman of Elvenstar. Conor Perrin was fourth, Alicia Gasser fifth, Olivia Esse sixth and Demi Stiegler ninth in the North American Equitation Championships. Alison Fithian and Julia Nagler both earned wins in their respective equitation divisions.

Pilar Flournoy, 14, from Topanga, CA, made her first trip east a worthwhile one, as she laid down two solid rounds to win the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals. Flournoy, who trains with Huntover, has that keen ability to stay focused under pressure. She also won the CPHA Foundation Eq Championships earlier this year. Destry Spielberg finished fourth and Alexandra Ladove seventh.

Kristi Siam

Yet another Californian to dominate the Show Place Arena was Adrienne Dixon. Dixon, of Hillsborough, California, piloted Conor Perrin’s Nat King Cole to top honors in the North American Amateur Equitation Championships. Solid in the irons for many years, Dixon now rides with Hunterbrook.

Third time at Capital Challenge was a charm for Kristi Siam of Chatsworth, CA and her horse Krosus. She was third in the North American Amateur Equitation Championships. And after a three-round battle with Mahala Rummel, Siam came away with the win in the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals. She trains with Karen Healey Stables.

On the Hunt to Win
Heidi Kane of Newport Beach, CA, rode Sin City to the championship in the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunter 3’3” division. She trains with her daughter Nicole Kane. Jenny Karazissis competed on Sin City in the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge earning eighth. With the hopes of just simply having a good round, Chelsea Samuels traveled from her home in La Canada, CA with trainer Archie Cox to compete in the 18-35 Adult Amateur Hunter division. She had several ‘good’ rounds on her 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding Brooklyn, taking the championship.

In her final junior year, Olivia Esse of Pasadena, CA, swept the championships in the Junior Hunter 16-17 divisions. Training with Makoto Farm, she rode Clooney, a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Carpaccio, for Oscany Inc. to the championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters. On Small Affair, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, she was champion in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters and earned the EMO Junior Trip of the Show. They were also named the High Point Junior Hunter 16-17 sponsored by The Clothes Horse.

Heidi Kane and Sin City (left); Olivia Esse and Small Affair

Proficient Pros 
Canadian-born now Rancho Santa Fe, CA resident Christa Endicott rode Come Monday, an eight-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Davlyn Farms, to the tri-color in the First Year Green Hunters Section B. The pair was also fifth in the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge class.

Another Canadian-born California resident Tara Metzner won the $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge. She had the enviable task of competing on Destry Spielberg’s Rumba, the winner of the inaugural USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals. Also champion in the 3’6” Performance Hunter Division, this was Metzner’s inaugural year competing at the Capital Challenge. Actually west coast emerging pros picked up second through fourth as well as sixth in the WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge. Jamie Taylor rode Erin Bland’s Weatherly to second, Hope Glynn picked up fourth on Helen McEvoy’s Chance of Flurries and Teddi Jo Mellancamp was sixth on Woodvale Inc’s Brooklyn.

Patricia Griffith and Tara Metzner (left); John French

No stranger to winning on either coast, John French picked up the championship in the Future Hunter 6 & over division on Gail Morey’s new hunter, Safe Haven and on Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Celebration in the Future Hunter, Mare Division. He went on to claim the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge class for the second year in a row on Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Affair. The win was bittersweet for French who choked up when he admitted that the ride might be his last on this talented hunter. Continuing his winning rides, French was the picture of consistency in the WCHR Professional Finals and again took the top prize. Jenny Karazissis was sixth in this prestigious class.

Interview: John French after the WCHR Pro Challenge
Interview: John French after the WCHR Professional Finals win

Jenny Karazissis, Scott Stewart, John French, Liza Boyd, Kelley Farmer and Hunt Tosh

Amateur Spotlight: Lorri Quiett

By Lorri Quiett

CPHA Foundation Medal Finals 2009: The Journey, not the Destination
So post-event as I was once again contemplating (okay, obsessing) about my less-than-stellar performance in the CPHA Foundation Medal Finals, I decided to pull the book of quotes off my “self help” shelf. I wanted to see what struck me.

“You are exactly where you should be; your challenges are what they should be; your rewards are what they should be; and the best is yet to come.”
– Unknown

“Life is much too important to be taken seriously.”
– Oscar Wilde

The two quotes above were the first I read. My “challenges are what they should be.” Interesting. “The best is yet to come.” Okay, that would be good to focus on instead of the fact that I seem to make the same mistakes over and over again. Don’t “take life too seriously.” Yes, that would be nice, too. Not really my MO though. I am a pretty serious, try to control everything around me type of person, which is great for organizing complex projects; not so great for flowing around a course.

And then I read this one: “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” Peaceful words to live by, but I keep waiting to get there. To arrive at that apparently elusive place that if I just was a good enough rider I would reach. As if somehow you practice and practice then finally, you arrive and there you stay. The skill level I’ve always wanted. The perfect position. To stop pulling and legging at the same time, or clamping my arms to my side when I am nervous. Placing in all the Medal Finals would be nice. That’s my destination.

As long as I can remember in my riding career, my greatest desire has been to be competitive in the equitation ring. Growing up, that was not in the cards. Now as an adult, I have been placing my focus there again, the goal being to ride well, to be competitive and place in the plethora of 3’3” Medal Finals we are lucky enough to have here on the West Coast

After an 18 year break from riding, getting back into the saddle and jumping as an adult is very different from when I was a kid. I have a fabulous equitation horse, Legend, who always takes care of me. Even with a death grip on his face, if I halfway steer to it, he will jump it. I have two fabulous trainers, Carolyn Biava and Janet McDonald. I am lucky enough to be tall and long-legged. All sounds good, right?

I moved up to 3’3” two and a half years ago, and I have injured myself each show year, rendering me unable to compete in more than one Final due to the timing of my rehab. The first year was a dislocated shoulder from rollerblading; last year it was a broken collarbone from a jumping fall at home. So you can see HOW important it is that I do well this year. And, of course, a Medal Final, with all the pressure, can bring right back to the surface those faults you’ve diligently worked on.

And so apparently I fell right into the trap of – this is what I’ve been preparing for ALL year and I really want to do well. So Day One at the first Medal Final of the year for me, and my first thought looking at the course is that the jumps look big. Breathe. I mention this to one of my fellow competitors, a far more experienced medal final rider, and she says they look small! Okay, maybe I am over-reacting (no surprise there). The course does look like fun. The course walk changed my mind again. Not only are the jumps substantial but the course challenging with lots of options and riding questions.

I was third to go in the ring, and the first two girls did a different track and striding than what my trainer and I talked about. I mention this and was told not to worry (fat chance), to keep to the plan. Breathe. My starting pace is good, great first jump. Then I look late to the second jump on a slight bend. Legend jumps in the six strides we wanted, but is a bit long and he doesn’t know where we are going. Then it happens. Lost the flow. I worry at jump three, stop riding and start throwing my body at him instead. Jump four, same thing. Mistake at jump four that bends to the combination at five means more mistakes. It gets better after that, but needless to say I am not happy with my ride. My warm up was good. My lessons at home have been good. Why can’t I do this better? I KNOW better. I watched the rest of rounds. So much to admire, so many good riders. The winner of both rounds and the Final, Karrie Rufer, made it look easy. She was so smooth and beautiful going over the jumps. She’s at the destination. Did I miss the bus?

Day Two brings another challenging course. In my warm-up we work on not losing pace around the corner. Carolyn would say, “Did you feel that? You just lost pace,” and I’m thinking, “Well, no, not really.” I was thinking, “There is a jump there and I HAVE TO FIND THE PERFECT SPOT! Wait, I am supposed to forget about the spot. It is rhythm and feel, keep the pace, wait with leg. Wait?!? I HAVE TO SEE THE SPOT!!”

This time I go at the end of the order, as we are in reverse from yesterday. I have a chance to watch a lot of people go. I see something with each ride that I respect. That’s reassuring. I begin my course with a great pace. Turn the corner. Lose the pace. Panic. By the third jump, I think “LET GO” and finally give Legend a chance to go forward.

The next line is a trot jump flowing up in eight in a bending line to an oxer then left to a snake fence in five or six. Most of the experienced riders do eight to five. My plan was to do eight to six, but I have the horse, so I change my mind at the last minute to do the five. I overshoot the turn and end up in five and a half. Then two jumps across the middle in a serpentine, with one inside turn. Those jumps are fine, one deep, but it is an improvement. Then a line – and a fun one, too – a forward two to a normal three to a short one. I ride that fine. Then another line in a forward five, which also rides smoothly. I CAN do this! We are required to hand gallop to the final fence. Our pace is good as we head to the jump and I SEE THE SPOT. Even though our hand gallop slowed a bit, we still jump it reasonably well. Trainer is happier. I am happier. Earned a tenth place in the round. Not bad.

So not stellar, but marked improvement from day one to day two. I decide that I will continue to try and embrace the journey, while not take it too seriously. My challenges continue and with luck I will be competing for many years, including this one. After all, the best is always yet to come and that elusive place awaits my arrival.

Thank you Lorri and good luck on the journey!

Showcasing Young Talent: Laura Teodori

By Jackie McFarland

Increasingly becoming more consistent, twenty-year-old Laura Teodori is yet another West Coast rider showing potential at the grand prix level. We’ve watched her gallop in the arena on her big chestnut jumper, Kasoar D’Uxelles, since 2008. She competed in Europe this summer on the USEF Developing Riders Tour and upon her return we sat down for an interview. Laura is one of many young riders along with an extensive list of veterans vying for a chance to go to Geneva and compete in the FEI World Cup Finals in April 2010.

EqSol: Where you are from, how did you start riding, the early years…
LT: I grew up in Scottsdale, AZ and started taking riding lessons with my mom when I was four. She always had a passion for horses, but wasn’t allowed to ride growing up. I showed ponies and Junior Hunters with Sherry Templin, Kathy Johnson, and Lucy Alabaster. When I was 12 my dad was badly injured in a car accident, forcing me to take a couple years off of riding. When I came back I rode with Betty Beran. I continued to show in the hunters and bought my first jumper when I was 15. When I was ready to do some bigger jumper classes, Betty found ‘Luc’ (Kasoar D’Uxelles) from Barney & McLain Ward. We bought him sight unseen as an 8 year old. He had jumped 1.35m but didn’t have many miles. We got very lucky.

EqSol: You were competing as a junior in AZ in 2007, in medals and hunters. When did your grand prix aspirations begin?
LT: Like most kids, I had big goals. I’ve always wanted to represent the USA in international competition. I competed in my first grand prix in Arizona when I was 16 (2006) at 1.40m. Luc was still new to me, I’d only had him for two months and it was my fourth show with him. In 2007 we went to the first week of the HITS Desert Circuit and ended up Champion in the High Juniors and 3rd in the Jr/Am Jumper Classic. We went back and competed on the HITS Arizona Circuit, did the grand prix classes and I qualified to ride for Zone 8 at NAYRC (Young Riders). He gives me a lot of confidence, I feel like I can jump anything when I am riding him. We get along perfectly, he’s so brave – he’ll do anything I ask him to. For as big he is – he’s very special. He’s scopey and careful.

EqSol: The NAYJRC is always an interesting event. Tell us about Young Riders in 2007.
LT: Anthony D’Ambrosio did the courses. Guy McElvain was our Chef. He was great – very supportive. By far the toughest courses I’d ever ridden. The first day I had two rails and thought I had no chance. Then Friday I was the only one who managed to go double clear. That helped with my confidence. And on Sunday I was double clean again. I ended up winning a Silver Medal in the Individuals. It was a great experience.

EqSol: And how have things evolved since summer 2007?
LT: I briefly rode with Rudy Leone and had my first grand prix win with him at the 2008 Del Mar National. That was such a thrill! That show has an incredible atmosphere. But I wanted to be in southern California. Joie Gatlin has always been one of my role models as a rider, so I was very excited to move to Morley and Joie’s barn a year ago (July 2008). They are so professional and organized – the picture of how a show barn should be run. From the ground up – the vet, farrier – my horses couldn’t be better cared for. They work so hard – Joie wants the win as much for her clients as she does for herself. When she walks a course with me she is just as intense as if she walking for herself. I love that.

EqSol: Specifically what was your plan for 2009?
LT: They are very goal oriented at Joie and Morley’s – which I love – everything has a purpose. The first thing we did this year was to have a 2009 goal meeting. My biggest goal was to go to the Vegas Grand Prix. So I had to be competitive and consistently in the ribbons in World Cup qualifiers to achieve that goal. It was a lot of hard work – Joie and Morley boot camp early in the year – but it all paid off because we did it! The indoor at Thermal was ideal for preparing us for Vegas – the crowds, challenging courses, small space. Once you finished there the Thomas & Mack Arena looked like a Grand Prix field!

EqSol: The Saturday Grand Prix in Vegas – another Anthony D’Ambrosio adventure. You were the first to go clean!
LT: My favorite thing about Vegas was when I was walking the course – it was like a mix of all the courses at Thermal (again I have to say a good prep). Every mistake I had made during the qualifiers was in the course in Vegas, so I was able to correct those mistakes. It was very rewarding for the whole team to have everything come together. The coolest thing was being in the warm-up ring with all those international riders. Not only could I watch them warm-up, I jumped alongside them! Hearing all their names and my name announced together was amazing. To get to the ring you ride through a dark tunneland enter into lights, music, and a packed audience, it’s such incredible energy. It was just how is should be, a horse “show.”

EqSol: Almost directly after Vegas in April was Europe in May. How did that come about?
 You apply and are chosen off the computer list rankings. The experience was completely surreal. We laid over in Barcelona at the Polo Club where the ’92 Olympics were held. We competed at a CSI2* and a CSIO4* in Linz, Austria and finished at a CSIO4* in Lisbon, Portugal. Of course some of the biggest and most challenging courses I had ever jumped. I didn’t go with any expectations, so even though it would’ve been great to come home with wins, it was invaluable. From the team camaraderie, working with Michelle Grubb and Eric Hasbrook, wearing the pink jacket with the stars & stripes, watching all the great riders – it was all amazing.

EqSol: And your future?
 What’s next – hmmm. My life is very day-by-day. It’s been a fantastic year and I look forward what the future has in store! I’m so lucky in so many ways – great support from my family, a horse of a lifetime, and working on developing another, and most of all Joie and Morley’s guidance and expertise – I learn from them every day.

Thank you Laura and best of luck! To read more about her time in Europe go to – she wrote the 2009 Developing Riders Tour Blog.

Highlights From The $40,000 Summer Grand Prix On August 22nd, 2009

The weekend of August 22nd, 2009 will be remembered for many years to come in the equestrian world. On Saturday we watched 56 horses start and fourteen jump-off in the last outdoor grand prix of the 2009 season. Plus we simultaneously witnessed the final rounds of the inaugural ASG Software Solutions/USHJA Hunter Derby Finals live from the Kentucky Horse Park online at On Sunday not only did the CPHA Foundation Medal Finals come to an exciting close but the EquSport and Coapexpan Horse Shows along with a handful of fantastic sponsors hosted a fabulous cocktail party that evening. More on all the above and other outstanding stories below, so read on.

Designing a course for a large field requires the track be challenging enough to narrow the jump-off to a handful of horses and riders. Among the 56 entries were competitors at the International level, horses returning from a summer in Europe with this as their first comeback to the show ring as well as riders on young horses and new mounts. Quite a mix for course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. to contend with and successfully so with exactly one quarter of the first round attempts making it to the jump-off.

Sixteen-year-old Paris Sellon on her Orlando LA went fourth and were the first clean. Familiar with Olaf Jr.’s courses after competing at the 2009 NAYJRC in late July, she set the pace with one rail in the jump-off in a time of 49.25. Up against some top West Coast and Mexican riders, she held her lead for several rounds when rails dropped as riders attempted to beat the clock. Sixth to ride in the second round was another young rider who has made her mark several times in the grand prix arena, Laura Teodori on her fabulous Kasoar D’Uxelles. She also had four faults but in 47.70 to take over the lead for a brief moment.

Next in Mexican rider Eduardo Menezes on his Renoir Mercedes Benz were the first double clean setting, the time to beat at 45.38. Another top contender, Susie Hutchison and El Dorado 29’s Cantano, nipped at Menezes heels, double clean in 47.70, which would end up third best. The amazing (and young) Ashlee Bond was clean on all three of her Little Valley Farm entries, her first time back in on Chivas Z garnered her lowest prize, seventh with a rail in 49.10. Her next attempt on GZS Cassira Z ended up fastest of the four-faulters in 45.37 for fourth overall. Menezes returned on his Let’s Go Mercedes Benz, racing around in 46.80 with four for fifth place. And Ashlee Bond finished the class on her outstanding Cadett 7. The pair blazed around in their now internationally known style and stopped the clock clean in 44.73 for the win.

August 29th, 2009 – The $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark Indoor World Cup Qualifier

Fitting that the end of our summer season and the start of the new Indoor season would include a retirement ceremony for a horse known worldwide – Wild Turkey Farm’s Summer. Discovered, trained and taken to the highest levels by Mandy Porter, this gorgeous gray mare cleared many World Cup level courses and competed in the FEI World Cup Finals. She also sailed effortlessly around many outdoor venues, including wins at Spruce Meadows and the Del Mar National. When trying the mare as a mount for Barb Ellison, both Mandy and owner Barb saw international potential. Barb purchased Summer and allowed Mandy to bring out the best in the horse. After a very successful five-year reign in the show arena, Mandy will hand the reins back to Barb, who will breed the mare to some of her fabulous Wild Turkey Farm stallions in Summer’s second career as a broodmare. Can’t wait to see those babies jump!

Of forty starters in the first World Cup qualifier of the West Coast season, six horses piloted by four riders jumped off. Last to go, Tiwistar and Francie Steinwedell Carvin were two time faults away from making it seven clean. Four faulters rounded out the top eleven and similarly to seventh, twelfth went to a team with one rail and one time fault.

“I built a legitimate course,” explained course designer Leopoldo Palacios. “What the West Coast has done having all the qualifiers indoors is the best for the sport, you can see the improvement in the riders.”

A beautiful course that started with the black and white EquiFit, inc. plank oxer, to a bending six, around a tight right turn to a liverpool vertical, blind corner to the red planks, left turn to a diagonal line down the middle of the arena with a triple combination – one stride to a two stride to three forward strides to the brick wall, another bending line that ended with a square wide oxer, to a triple bar in a tight five to a vertical – oxer combination and finishing in a bend over an airy gate. Suffice to say the most of the jumps came down at one point or another, but the middle line and the tight five were the biggest culprits.

First to go clean was none other than rock star duo Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7, seventh in the ring. She did it again on Little Valley Farm’s GZS Cassira Z later in the class. Ashlee’s coach, Richard Spooner followed suit, clean on Cristallo (Show Jumping Syndications Intl, owner) and on his wife Kaylen’s horse Pako. The other two to join the jump off included Santiago Rickard on his own Jet Star and Keri Potter on her Rockford I. Of course Bond set a blazing pace in the jump off, clean in 33.95. No other rider could catch that time. Two more went clean – Spooner and Pako in 34.30 for second place and Potter with Rockford I in 36.08. Cristallo with one rail in 34.20 ended up fourth. Cassira fifth with a rail in 38.38 and rounding out the top six was Jet Star and Rickard with four in 41.17.

Young Horses

The Showpark All Seasons Classic also crowns a good number of young horses with their first big victories. On Wednesday and Thursday, the Wheeler family sponsored the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF Hunter Breeding Championships for yearlings, two-year-olds and three-year-olds in hand, while two-year-old, three-year-old and four-year-old hunters competed in the International Hunter Futurity classes.

The 2009 Wild Turkey Farm Young Jumper Championships Western League Finals offers competition for three age divisions, five-year-olds, six-year-olds and seven/eight-year-olds over three days. Exhibitors from northern and southern California, Mexico, Colorado and Arizona gathered to show their young prospects. The Simpsons, Nicki and Will, dominated the five year old division riding Holly Go Lightly (Ilan Ferder, owner) and Carpendale (Kimberly Thomas, owner) respectively. Mexican riders garnered the top spots in both the six-year-old and seven/eight-year-old divisions – John Perez won with his six year old Winalaris La Cantera and was second on Carla (Eduardo Leon, owner). He also battled it out with Mandy Porter for the win in the seven/eight-year-olds, with the blue going to Arezzo (Rolling Oaks West LLC, owner) and a close second to LaMarque (Wild Turkey Farm, owner) in an exciting six horse jump off.

Are these horses potential USHJA Hunter Derby winners? Grand Prix contenders? International horses? Time will tell… We wish all the best to these young horses in their future careers.

EquestriSol News: June 16, 2009

We are pleased to announce the launch of – Wendy, Debbi and Missy of Fremont Hills were also featured in this month’s edition of California Riding Magazine.

And we are excited to hear about all of the West Coast coverage planned in upcoming issues of The Chronicle of the Horse. Wishing the best to riders at Spruce, Europe and here at home.

Keep the feedback coming, we love hearing from all of you…

At The Back Gate

Real Time Show Jumping Updates with EquestriSol on Twitter!
By Erna Adelson

For our readers that are not yet familiar with the latest way to get mobile, instantaneous updates from your favorite news sources, celebrity gossip, and your friends, welcome to Twitter.

Twitter is a service that allows a user to answer the question “What are you doing?” by sending 140 character updates from a mobile phone or the web. These messages, called Tweets, are visible to everyone “following” that user and appear the moment that they are posted. This service has quickly revolutionized the way that the media operates and has transformed social interactions globally. While some may have mixed feelings—we know, Twittering does conjure the image of a tech-obsessed teenager—rest assured that there are plenty of practical applications for this tool, especially in the highly mobile, intricately connected show jumping world.

Using Twitter, EquestriSol will now be able to bring results and updates from the West Coast’s most prestigious horse shows (and who knows where else) the minute that they are posted. Followers will also be able to see news updates, receive reports, know when hot sale prospects are on the market – all this from just about anywhere.

If you haven’t already, check out EquestriSol’s Twitter page. Go to This is your source! Now, follow—and join the conversation. Start your own personal soapbox by signing up for an account at, and tweet something about what you’re doing at that moment. We also love feedback! And we will try to respond.

Twetiquette: Twicks of the Twade (sorry, couldn’t resist)
Twitter has quickly formed its own social etiquette, known to Twitter Peeps (Tweeps) as Twetiquette. Twetiquette allows a network of followers to more easily find the information that they want, prevents potentially harmful posts, and assures that the source of information is credible.

Hashtags are part of a system that makes finding information on Twitter easier. By marking keywords with the # symbol, users help people searching Twitter find related tweets in one convenient list. EquestriSol will use hashtags to indicate the event we are presently attending (#WorldCup09 for this year’s World Cup).

For example, a tweet from the upcoming World Cup might look like this:
equestrisol: Bond fast and clean in Round 1, Harley Brown in the ring now! #WorldCup09

If you want to get a list of all tweets about the 2009 World Cup, simply search for the tagged term at To pass the info along to your followers, you can Re-Tweet (RT) by crediting and copying the original source. For example:
HorseShowFan: RT @equestrisol: Bond fast and clean in Round 1, Harley Brown in the ring now! #WorldCup09

In Twetiquette, re-tweeting is a major compliment, so RT @equestrisol anytime.

Some other useful equine enthusiasts and news sources you may want to follow:
@salehorses        @ChronofHorse
@theequinest      @TrotonTV

Finally, once you’ve signed up and add the appropriate app (TwitterBerry or TinyTwitter for the BlackBerry, Tweetie or Twitterfon for iPhones, and Twidroid or TwitterRide for Android mobiles), then tweet and # from wherever you are. See you in the Twittersphere…