Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2012 – Eighteen-year-old U.S. Olympian Reed Kessler added yet another accolade to her impressive year with a win in the $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, presented by Events DC, at the 54th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). A FEI World Cup Qualifier, Kessler topped an impressive list of international competitors aboard her phenomenal mare Cylana to win in her first time competing in the class. Brazil’s Paulo Santana and Taloubet finished second, while Australia’s Matt Williams and Watch Me VD Mangelaar were third.
Earlier in the day, Katherine Strauss triumphed in the $10,000 SJHOF Ambassador's Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, and Michael Hughes was victorious in the $5,000 Senator's Cup Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
Tonight's grand prix was the highlight of the week at WIHS, which finishes tomorrow with competition for the pony hunters, the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, and the WIHS Regional Finals.
Anthony D’Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, set the course for this week’s show jumping competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. D’Ambrosio set a great course for Saturday night's grand prix, which featured 28 international horses and riders. Nine entries were able to clear the first-round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and only four of those were faultless through the short course.
Margie Engle (USA) and Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek and Gladwinds, cleared the jump-off course in 36.42 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Matt Williams (AUS) and Samantha Tuerk’s Watch Me VD Mangelaar improved on that time in 36.15 seconds to secure the third place honors. Brazil’s Paulo Santana and Taloubet were a full two seconds faster than Williams in 34.15 seconds to take the lead, but would have to settle for second. USA’s young show jumping sensation Reed Kessler was last to go in the jump-off and shaved another two seconds off of Santana’s time aboard Cylana to win the class in 32.62 seconds.
For their victory, Kessler and Cylana were presented with the President of the United States Perpetual Cup. As Leading Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Robin Parsky, Kessler was also presented with the Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy and awarded a Rolex luxury timepiece from Tiny Jewel Box. Kessler’s parents, Teri and Murray Kessler, received a special award as the Leading Jumper Owner, sponsored by The Reid Family. Paulo Santana was named the Leading International Rider.
The Kessler Family was presented with the Leading Jumper Owner Award.
Pictured (L to R): Ringmaster John Franzreb, Harry Reid, Chloe Reid,
Zola Thompson, Murray Kessler, Reed Kessler and Cylana,
Teri Kessler, Sam Reid, and Juliet Reid, WIHS President.
© Shawn McMillen Photography
Reed Kessler has had an incredible year, competing as the youngest member in history for the U.S. Show Jumping Team at this summer’s Olympic Games in London. She can now add one of the nation’s most prestigious grand prix honors to her resume. Kessler was elated with the win, and praised Cylana on another great effort. The ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (by Skippy II x Darco) has become a superstar in her own right this year.
“This is one of the most historical classes in our country and it is my first year being old enough to do the grand prix,” Kessler noted. “Last year I was actually leading rider going into it and I wasn’t old enough to do it, so I really wanted to come back this year and seal the deal. I am thrilled; I brought the red coat for it and everything.”
© Shawn McMillen Photography
Kessler had the advantage of going last in the jump-off and knowing what she had to do. “I definitely felt lucky that I went last,” she acknowledged. “I didn’t actually watch the entire jump-off because I was warming up, but it is always great to go last and know what you need to beat.”
“I did seven strides back on the third jump,” Kessler explained. “I think that besides even the way Cylana looks, she is just like Sapphire in a lot of ways. I think how I have to learn to go fast with her is that way, doing so few strides around the turns and to the jumps, and keeping it slick. I think that my turns were really good, but she can do anything.”
Kessler has been competing at WIHS since she was a child on ponies and has had many wins throughout the years. “I can’t even count (how many years I've been coming to WIHS),” she laughed. “I think I was champion here in the small ponies when I was little, I did the equitation final, then junior jumpers for a bunch of years and then to be all the way to the President’s Cup now. It is one of my favorite shows. I have been coming here my whole life and I love being in the middle of the city.”
“There is a great interaction with the audience here,” Kessler said further. “Everyone gets really into it. Barn night is genius; they always get a huge turnout. There was quite literally a mile-long line of children asking for autographs after the Gambler’s Choice. It is a great show and the crowd gets really into it. I think it is probably one of the biggest turnouts at a show jumping event in America.”
Second place finisher Paulo Santana had great results with Taloubet this week and spoke about his round and the pressure of having Kessler, a known speedster, following him in the order. “I would try to beat her. I saw the beginning of the class and I knew she was behind me and she would run in the minutes a couple more,” Santana stated. “It was a good mix in the jump-off; Margie, Matt. I had to play a little with the risk. I was afraid to try and then have a rail really early. I had to chase my points one by one and do a safe course, but that doesn’t mean that I would beat her. To win by two seconds in an indoor competition is a lot.”
Taloubet and Paulo Santana. © Shawn McMillen Photography
Santana was very excited to qualify for WIHS this year and have the opportunity to compete for World Cup points. He praised the show as well. “For me it is one of the best, if not the best show in the United States,” he declared. “The best restaurants, hotels, the crowd, the footing; it makes everybody feel good.”
Paulo Santana was awarded the Leading International Rider Award
from Celene Oken. © Shawn McMillen Photography
“I was on the waiting list, like lighting candles to get in,” Santana laughed. “Brazilian black magic! I hope next year I don’t have to do that. I found out that I got in between three and four weeks ago. It was really kind of the organizers, who called right away; we were first on the waiting list.”
Santana also acknowledged the great crew at WIHS. “We have to always appreciate what the crew does here; they work literally 24 hours,” he added. “We show up here at 3 o’clock in the morning and somebody is already dragging the arena. We know that probably this horse show costs much more than what it gets to be done, so we really appreciate the effort that the organizers put to keep doing this tradition in the capital, inside of the city. It makes a better display for our sport. It is very nice and I hope they never quit doing this show because it would be a very big loss for the sport here in the United States.”
Third place finisher, Matt Williams, spoke about his mount Watch Me VD Mangelaar and their success this year. “I got him last year in the middle of the summer as an eight-year-old,” Williams detailed. “He jumped the HITS $1 million grand prix last year and placed sixth in that. I decided to aim him for London, then went to Florida and then went over to Europe for the summer. Since that he did three shows where he was second in every grand prix and he has had seven weeks off now, so he’s a little fresh, but he felt fantastic. I choked going to the double. I got halfway there and changed my mind. Other than that he was really on his job and I’m really happy with him.”
Watch Me VD Mangelaar and Matt Williams. © Shawn McMillen Photography
“This show is amazing,” Williams said of WIHS. “You are so close to everything; you walk outside and the restaurants are right there. It is well-publicized, so people are coming in who know nothing about horses and learning about the sport. They have other things happening other than jumping to keep people entertained, which is nice for the riders as well, to watch some of the events that are happening here. It is nice to see something different. If you can cope with the warm-up ring, it is such a fantastic place to be in the center of the city. The arena is great, the grounds are great, the courses have been super all week and it is a privilege to be here.”
Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio also spoke about the class and his take on the results. D’Ambrosio explained, “The confines of the ring are a challenge for me as well as it is for the riders. Having had some experience now in the indoors, I have developed a system. It was very gratifying for me to see the horses jump so well, flow a little bit and act like they were in a much larger space.”
Paulo Santana, Reed Kessler, Matt Williams, and Anthony D'Ambrosio.
© Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
“I thought the class developed beautifully; I was not surprised to see riders on fast horses figure out a way to be a bit faster than the horse before them,” D’Ambrosio expressed. “It’s what they do and they take calculated risks, but certainly know what they have to do to win. Having a good animal that can make the adjustments necessary to be faster, they often times come through. I think it just unfolded in a very nice way this evening where it had a chance to develop to be very nice for the crowd. You didn’t have to have ever seen horses jump before to appreciate a competition like that I think, and those who know show jumping could also appreciate it very much.”
Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers Compete in Classics
The $10,000 Ambassador's Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Oasis Petroleum, saw a win for 13-year-old Katherine Strauss, of Southampton, NY, riding Chellando Z.
Chellando Z and Katherine Strauss. © Shawn McMillen Photography
Twenty entries showed in the class with seven advancing to the jump-off. Three entries completed the short course without fault, and Katherine Strauss and Chellando Z set the pace at 33.344 seconds to win the Ambassador's Cup Perpetual Trophy, donated by Ambassador and Mrs. Marion H. Smoak.
Gabrielle Bausano and Ubico H finished in 33.573 seconds to place second. Ashley Foster and RAF LLC’s Indy placed third in 33.586 seconds.
Ubico H and Gabrielle Bausano. © Shawn McMillen Photography
Katherine Strauss has had great success at WIHS at a young age. She won the $10,000 Children’s Jumper Championship in 2010 and finished second in the same class last year. She has since moved up to compete as a junior and was able to beat out many top junior and amateur riders today.
Trained by Frank Madden and Jennifer Griffiths, Strauss described their plan for today’s course, “first round I did not ride my best, so I was really trying to come back with a smooth round. Our plan was to go for it, but not to the point where we would beat ourselves and try to go too crazy and have a rail, and it ended up paying off.”
Strauss’s horse, Chellando Z, is a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z. She has owned him for over a year. “He is amazing,” Strauss smiled. “Every opportunity he had to help me out there today, he did. He wants to win just as badly as we do. He is really playful and I love him.”
© Shawn McMillen Photography
Strauss is 13 years old and in eighth grade, but she is winning over many older, more experienced riders. Commenting on her win today, she stated, “It was really fun. I just tried to ride my best, but it’s really exciting. There was a lot of great competition. Everybody who is here obviously rides well and deserves to be here. A lot of the shows I have been to over the summer they have also been at, so I just tried to stay calm and ride my best.”
“Washington has always been one of my favorite shows since I came here to do children’s jumpers and ponies,” Strauss added. “Washington is a great show. I think it is really great that they can keep the tradition of having a show in the city.”
© Shawn McMillen Photography
The High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper champion, sponsored by Oasis Petroleum, was Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius and Meagan Nusz. They were awarded the Greenberg Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hermen Greenberg. Strauss and Chellando Z were reserve champions. The Shalanno Style of Riding Award was given to Charlotte Jacobs, of East Aurora, NY.
Charlotte Jacobs was presented with the Shalanno Style of Riding Award.
© Shawn McMillen Photography
In the $5,000 Senator's Cup Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, sponsored by North Star, sixteen-year-old Michael Hughes, of Allendale, NJ, had a repeat victory from last year riding Drumnacross Farm Ltd.’s Red Hot.
Red Hot and Michael Hughes. © Shawn McMillen Photography
Twenty-two entries showed in the class, with nine advancing to the jump-off. Hughes and Red Hot had the fastest of five double clear rounds through the short course in 30.658 seconds. For their win, the pair was presented with the Swan Lake Perpetual Trophy donated by Beagle Brook Farm in honor of the 1992 winner Swan Lake, ridden by Jennifer F. Miller.
Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade finished second in 31.072 seconds aboard Hollow Creek Farm’s Casanova Junior. Reed Patton had two horses in the jump-off and finished third aboard Tissem in 32.745 seconds and fourth aboard Von Dutch in 35.204 seconds. Lillie Keenan also had two rides in the jump-off and took a fall from her first mount, but returned to earn the fifth place honors aboard Abigail Wexner’s Zycarla Z with a clear jump-off round in 35.204 seconds.
Red Hot is a year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Indoctro. Hughes has had a lot of great success with the gelding and knows his ride well. On winning their second Classic in a row at WIHS, Hughes smiled, “It’s great. Red Hot is such a great horse to come into this environment. He is so active always and he loves coming here.”
Hughes described his plan on course, taking into account Red Hot’s particular style. “In the first round there were a lot of different options because Red Hot doesn’t have the biggest stride in the world, so you always have the option of adding another stride,” he noted. “I tried to take the slower options actually in the first round because he tends to get a little bit crazy towards the end. Then in the jump-off, I just tried to keep a consistent, forward pace the whole time and it ended up working out. I think from one to two I really never slowed down at all.”
The Washington International Horse Show always makes an effort to provide meaningful award presentations and special acknowledgement for its winners. Hughes spoke about the honor of winning at one of the most prestigious shows in the country.
© Shawn McMillen Photography
“There is such a great atmosphere here; it is always so exciting,” he smiled. “You are jumping any jump on course and the crowd is screaming if you jump it clear. It makes it fun.”
The Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship, sponsored by North Star, went to Hughes and Red Hot. They won the Foxbrook Perpetual Trophy in honor of Space Citation, donated by Joy Slater. Andrade and Casanova Junior were the reserve champions.
Casanova Junior and Emanual Andrade.
© Shawn McMillen Photography
The Washington International Horse Show concludes tomorrow with a day full of pony competition as well as the WIHS Regional Finals.
The WIHS is excited to announce that the $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W will be aired on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, October 28, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. EST.
The final day of competition will be live streamed in its entirety at www.wihs.org.
For full results, more information, or to watch the free live feed of the show, please visit www.wihs.org.
Final Results: $100,00 President's Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W, presented by Events DC
1 48 CYLANA REED KESSLER USA: 0/0/32.62
2 27 TALOUBET PAULO SANTANA BRA: 0/0/34.15
3 97WATCH ME VD MANGELAAR MATT WILLIAMS AUS: 0/0/36.15
4 9 INDIGO MARGIE ENGLE USA: 0/0/36.42
5 26WALDMAN Z CHARLIE JAYNE USA: 0/4/34.05
PONY LANE FARM
6 62MYSELF DE BREVE MARIE HECART FRA: 0/8/35.03
7 95WANNICK WH CHRISTINE McCREA USA: 0/8/35.46
WINDSOR SHOW STBL/TRIBBLE
8 21 ARMEGEDON SEAN CROOKS USA: 0/16/38.41
CROOKS SHOW JUMPING
9 65 ONIRA BRIANNE GOUTAL USA: 0/ret.
REMARKABLE FARMS LP
10 29 VINDICAT W JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN USA: 4/68.30
STONE HILL FARM
11 33 AIR FORCE ONE KAMA GODEK USA: 4/70.06
12 32 TEIRRA LAURA KRAUT USA: 4/71.12
HI HOPES FARM LLC
Final Results: $10,000 SJHOF Ambassador's Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner
Jumper Classic sponsored by Oasis Petroleum
1 104 CHELLANDO Z KATHERINE STRAUSS: 0/0/33.344
2 142 UBICO H GABRIELLE BAUSANO: 0/0/33.573
3 120 INDY ASHLEY FOSTER: 0/0/33.586
4 746 VESUVIUS MEAGAN NUSZ: 0/4/32.062
5 582 KACHINA CHARLOTTE JACOBS: 0/4/32.193
6 658 DELILAH HASBROUCK DONOVAN: 0/4/36.548
DERBY PIE LLC
7 698 TWILIGHT KATIE COX: 0/12/37.866
8 238 VICKY TAYLOR ALEXANDER: 4/55.914
9 444MONSIEUR DU REVERDY VICTORIA COLVIN: 4/57.108
10 647 SINATRA IV MEG O'MARA: 4/58.444
WALSTIB STABLES LLC
Final Results: $5,000 Senator's Cup Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic sponsored by North Star
1 243 RED HOT MICHAEL HUGHES: 0/0/30.658
DRUMNACROSS FARM LTD
2 632 CASANOVA JUNIOR EMANUEL ANDRADE: 0/0/31.072
HOLLOW CREEK FARM
3 213 TISSEM REID PATTON: 0/0/32.745
4 212 VON DUTCH REID PATTON: 0/0/33.158
5 345 ZYCARLA Z LILLIE KEENAN: 0/0/35.204
6 587 CLIVE DIEDERIQUE VAN DER KNAPP: 0/4/29.588
DIEDERIQUE VAN DER KNAAP
7 173 S & L PYLOS ANNABELLE GUNDLACH: 0/4/32.516
POSTAGE STAMP FARM
8 626 COUNT ON ME 5 HARRISON SHURE: 0/8/33.230
9 346 ZENTINA B LILLIE KEENAN 0/elim.
CHANSONETTE FARM LLC
10 459 STARNATO ALEXANDRA CROWN: 4/54.172
Photo Credit: Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography, www.shawnmcmillen.com. These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.
About the Washington International Horse Show (www.wihs.org)
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with top riders, including Olympic medalists and their world-class horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show, with many competing all year just to qualify. Highlights include the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a FEI World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and WIHS Equitation Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids' Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event.
Since its debut, the WIHS has been a Washington, D.C. institution attended by celebrities, business, military, and diplomatic leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.