The Monday Brief: WEF Week 2

Equestrian, General

Hello beautiful people.

It’s Monday again! Let’s take a look back at what was happening in Welly World this weekend, but first…well, but first coffee. Then let me just say, RIP Super Bowl 18′. The Vikings loss yesterday was a sad outcome. It was painful to watch. I think the Vikings exceeded our expectations on so many levels this season that we just hoped to see the momentum continue. C’est la vie.  We’re also going on the third day of government shutdown. For now, let us escape all of that and step aside to talk about ponies and palm trees.

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Horse of the year (HOTY) awards for 2017 were celebrated. The international title went to HH Azur “Annie” ridden by McLain Ward and owned by the Double H Farm and Francois Mathy. Annie is a 12 year old Belgian Warmblood – McLain originally passed on her as a 5 year old, but they were reunited a few years later and what an incredible partnership it has been. They had an amazing start to 2017 with a big win right here at WEF in the $380K Suncast 5* Grand Prix. From there they went on to win the Longines World Cup Final in Omaha Nebraska. Other stops on their tour of 2017 included Spruce Meadows, Aachen, the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona Spain, Dublin, and Toronto.

The National HOTY went to “Cuba” owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC. Cuba was the overall champion of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Final. Making just over $55k in the span of 5 competitions, it was the 10 year olds first year as a derby horse. His rider, Victoria Colvin, started showing him in January of 2017. Cuba is also ridden by owner, John Ingram, in the AO 3’6 Hunters.

3* FEI Para-equestrian Dressage competition took place this weekend over at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 2. There was individual, team, and free style competition. If you have an interest in learning more about para-equestrian Dressage, a former fellow Minnesotan, Ellie Brimmer, was highlighted in this profile.

WEF SNL was certainly thrilling! My very favorite rider to watch won the 2* Grand Prix!! I am a huge Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum fan and she did not disappoint. It was a tough course and many horse and rider combinations fell victim to a really difficult  combination at the end of the course. Of the original 45, 9 returned for the jump off. Meredith and Calle 67 won the class with a jump off time of 36.85. I was personally awestruck by Sky Horse, Lillie Keenan’s mount. So much power taking off and then he appears to suspend and float over the jumps. Definitely one that I will be watching! They finished second with a jump off time of 37.01 seconds. Lillie is just 21 and a full time student at Harvard University. She trains with Cian O’ Connor. She described Sky Horse as “An Equitation horse that can jump 1.60”. Exactly what it made me think watching them! 26 year old Emily Mason was third aboard her partner of only 6 months, Explosion W, owned by Poden Farms. The rest of the top ten included Kent Farrington (Baltic Star 2), Eric Lamaze (Coco Bongo), Adrienne Sternlicht (Toulago), Keven Mealiff (Audi’s Dimple), McLain Ward (Hija Van Strokapelleken), Jessica Springsteen (RMF Zecilie), & Kaely Tomeu (Gentille).

It was a fun night shared with friends. It felt great to be back watching the Grand Prix action, hearing the chatter, cheer, and atmosphere buzzing with horsey delight.

Sunday morning it was back to the show. My Copilot, Frannie, and I shuttling Davante over to compete in the Adult Amateur hunters under saddle at 7:45am. After returning home and waking my little pony rider, we went back over to cheer on Sara at the Grand Hunter ring for her rounds.

Side note: Riding in the hunters is hard! Can we just talk about that for a moment? The precision that needs to be achieved is so challenging. You can have what feels like the perfect round…except then there is that one little mistake you made – aaaaannnd your cooked! Done! Out of the lineup! Hunters and jumpers each question us as riders with different challenges. I love hunters, but it is certainly not a piece of cake. I guess it is the really great rounds where you nail EVERY SINGLE JUMP and TRAVEL PERFECTLY around the entire course that keep us coming back for more. Nothing quite compares, am I right?

The $10K U25 Grand Prix, sponsored by Hermes, took place on Sunday in the International ring. Lacey Gilbertson won the class aboard Baloppi. The other double clear competitors were Hunter Holloway in 2nd (Eastern Jam), Emily Moffitt in 3rd (Zagahorn), and Ailish Cunniffe in 4th (Baloucento 2). See the rest of the results here.

Another Sunday highlight: Isla & Roxy made their WEF debut for 2018. A trail ride to Pony Island made for a nice wrap to the day. She aspires to do the walk class as soon as she turns 5. No no this is not a rule thing, it’s just the time stamp she’s put on this goal. Ha! March is fast approaching, which reminds me that I have a FABULOUS 5 year old Birthday party to plan!!

I hope you enjoyed the recap. Stay fabulous.

XOXO,

Nicole

PS – How many of you have gotten Cozi?

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