LA International Jumping Festival Photo Essay

September 30th, 2013 1:03 PM | Comments Off on LA International Jumping Festival Photo Essay

press release

9/26/2013-Many riders enjoyed the LA International Jumping Festival’s last year at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, adding to the 31 years of memories at LAEC. Here are a few memories from exhibitors enjoying the show this year. We look forward to many new memories at the International Jumping Festival’s new location with Blenheim EquiSports in San Juan Capistrano.

Caroline Bersch and Lexington


Caroline Bersch and Lexington
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Caroline Bersch (Joe Thorpe, trainer) was thrilled when she accepted the blue ribbon in the $500 Children’s Hunter Classic. “It was so much fun,” she remarked. “We’ve been working really hard. Joe always says to focus on being a rider first, not on winning. He says that if you do everything you’re supposed to do, the ribbons will come. So I focused on setting the perfect pace and riding to every jump, and I’m really happy with how we did. I think the best moment of the whole show was when I finished the second round of the classic and knew we’d done everything we set out to. I was really proud.” Caroline also won one of her Children’s Hunter classes, was second in the Onondarka Medal Class, and third in the LEGIS Child-Adult Medal Class.

This is Caroline’s second season with her horse, Lexington. “He’s great. He’s better than I could have ever hoped for. He’s really honest and doesn’t hold a grudge if you do something wrong.”

The fall season is just getting started for Caroline, who will be showing every weekend until the end of the year. “We’re leading in the Children’s Hunters for year-end awards at several organizations, so I’m going to try to win those.”


Danielle Lean and Lucy in the Sky
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Danielle Lean on Lucy in the Sky

Fourteen-year-old Danielle Lean (Devon Gibson, trainer) had a great show on her Lucy in the Sky. The pair earned the championship in the Low Child-Adult/Amateur Jumpers 1.00M and won the $250 Low Children’s-Adult Amateur Classic. “I’ve had Lucy for about a year and she’s a great jumper,” Danielle shared. “She doesn’t like to touch the jumps and she’s very fast.” Her win in the classic was particularly meaningful as it was only her second blue ribbon with Lucy. Despite that fact, the two have still had a successful year and are currently leading the USHJA Zone 10 Children’s Jumper-Low division. “We’re planning to keep the points going and try to finish off the year in first,” Danielle mentioned.

Judy Esau and Laressa

Judy Esau (Carolyn Biava, trainer) was lucky enough to gain a new perspective during the International Jumping Festival. “I train with Carolyn Biava at First Field Farm in Cerritos and came up to school with Susie Artes and her team for LA International and Sacramento International,” Judy shared. “I’ve only been with Susie for about a week, but she and her team are so great and very positive. It’s been a good experience.”

Judy and her Laressa were champions in the 1.05M Jumpers. “Laressa is twelve years old and she came from the Netherlands, where she had quite a diverse history. She showed in some pony classes since ponies can be much larger there, jumped as high as 1.30M, and did quite a bit of dressage,” Judy enumerated. “We imported her in January and so far the shows have been going well.”

The pair will take on the Sacramento International next and Judy is excited for the opportunity to show. “Next week we’re doing something really fun,” Judy shared. “We qualified for the USHJA Adult Amateur Jumper West Regional Championships, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Emily Maclean and The Ladies Love Lamar


Emily Maclean and The Ladies Love Lamar
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Emily Maclean (Alanna Snowden, trainer) had a fun show on a large pony she’s only ridden at a few shows, The Ladies Love Lamar (Lori Johnston, owner). Together, the pair won Children’s Pony Hunters Champion. “He just turned six and he’s still green, so my goal for this show was just to give him a good experience,” Emily explained. “Getting champion was really nice. I was happy with how he went.”

Emily normally competes in the equitation and medals on her own horse, but she decided to give him the week off from a busy show season. After the International Jumping Festival, she will head off to the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Final.

Perhaps what helps Emily in the medals is the fact that she does a lot of catch riding for other owners. “Catch riding definitely helps my riding a lot,” she said, “and riding ponies is a nice change. It’s fun to do something a little different from what I normally do with my horse.”

Alyssa Palmquist and Too Much Bling


Alyssa Palmquist and Too Much Bling
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Alyssa Palmquist (Bennett Kurtze and Stephan Gerpheide, trainer) was thrilled to win the $1,000 Children’s-Adult Amateur Jumper Classic on her Too Much Bling, AKA Montana. “It felt really good to win, especially since we have the USHJA Adult Amateur Jumper West Regional Championships at the Sacramento International next week,” Alyssa explained. “I was starting to get really nervous and we had a tough day yesterday, so it definitely gave me some confidence back.”

Alyssa has had a long partnership with Montana, which came to California from Montana several years ago. “I’ve been riding him since he was three and he’s eleven this year. He is a Quarter Horse and has had some western training,” Alyssa recalled. “I just sort of started hopping him over a couple of fences and did some county level shows. Then I started training with Ronnie Freeman and doing the ‘A’ shows with him. I think my first 3’6” show was here at the LA Opener in 2009. We just kept building from there, and we’ve come a long way.”

Montana lives in Alyssa’s backyard, and they trailer in from Chino for horse shows. “I always love coming to LAEC because I love the footing here and so does Montana. I really like the arena so it’s always fun.” Alyssa recently graduated from Chapman University and now balances riding with a full time job. Alyssa and Montana will tackle Sacramento International and plan to return to LAEC in November.

Anne Marie Mueller and Calypso, Athabasca, Amuse Me, and Past Midnight

Anne Marie Mueller (Patrick Spanton, trainer) had her work cut out for her as she brought four horses to the show and rode three of them in the Adult Amateur Hunters, 36 thru 50 and was champion on her Calypso.

“Calypso is a six-year-old that I bred and actually delivered at my horse farm in Malibu, Dragonfly Creek Farm,” Anne recounted. “His dam is Promises To Keep, a mare I used to show at LAEC. She even won the Pre-green Hunter Championship with Patrick years ago. Since Calypso grew up on my farm, I know him really well. He is super sweet and easy going and a perfect ride for amateurs. This was my first time doing the Adult Amateur Hunters with him, and I was so pleased with how he went. My goal was just to get around, so winning reserve champion was a bonus.”

Anne also brought Calypso’s half brother Past Midnight so he could experience his first show. “I thought we were just going to let him see the show and get some experience off the farm,” Anne said. “He was so good though that Patrick decided to show him and he was Baby Green Hunter Champion! Patrick does an amazing job with the young horses, and he has a unique talent for bringing them along.”

Anne is grateful to be able to fulfill her childhood dream of riding. “I began riding in my 30s and started on a longe line. I’ve been riding a little over twelve years now. I have learned so much and plan to keep learning, working hard, and giving my horses the best care. Starting later in life and fulfilling a childhood dream gives me such an appreciation for the horses. I am grateful for every day in the saddle.”

Jane Fraze and Academy Award


Jane Fraze and Academy Award
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Jane Fraze (Peter Lombardo, trainer) also began her riding career later in life, when she was 39. Jane has been riding ever since—for the past 33 years—and won’t let anything, including distance, stop her. “Every week, I travel from Tuscon to California and take lessons in Moorpark. I show with Peter and keep my retired horses in Tuscon,” Jane explained.

In addition to traveling for riding, Jane keeps an even busier travel schedule. “I like to travel and scuba dive and I hike Mount Kilamanjaro,” Jane shared. “I have a very supportive husband and see my grandsons whenever I go back to Arizona.”

Jane and Academy Award were reserve champion the Adult Amateur Hunters, 51 & Over. Jane bought Academy Award in March at Thermal. Ever ambitious, Jane has several goals she still wants to achieve. “I want to qualify for indoors at Devon because it’s my favorite horse show. I also want to get to know my horse, continue to improve my riding, and hopefully move up to the 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunters.”

Kera McCandless and Callistus 4

Kera McCandless (Cara Anthony, trainer) traveled down from Washington to enjoy some new competition at LA International. “We’re getting ready for finals and we needed some new competition. We know many of the riders in Oregon and Florida, but we don’t know many riders here,” Kera explained. “I love the grounds here, and it’s one of my favorite shows.”

Kera and her Callistus 4 earned the blue in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services Children’s Medal Class, and she and her other horse Socerer also placed third in the PCHA Horsemanship Class and were reserve champion in the Equtiation, 12 thru 13. Kera is returning to the show ring after an injury last year and is grateful to her trainer for getting her back in shape. “Cara is an excellent trainer. I tore my ACL last year and I’ve come back to be successful in the show ring thanks to her,” Kera commented. “This year, I’m mainly focusing on being consistent with my horses and doing well in the medal finals. Next year, I want to do well at ASPCA Maclay Regionals and hopefully qualify for the national finals.”

Melissa Sklenar and Viva’s Las Vegas


Melissa Sklenar and Viva’s Las Vegas
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Melissa Sklenar (Mark Purcell, trainer) had a fantastic show on her Viva’s Las Vegas, AKA Elvis. The pair was champion in the Modified Amateur Hunters and placed fourth in the $3,000 LA International USHJA National Hunter Derby. Melissa was the highest scoring amateur in the class. “I thought the hunter derby course was really nice,” Melissa commented. “It had a good flow to it and offered some good options in the handy round.”

Melissa has had Elvis since he was four, and the now eight-year-old is coming along nicely. “We’ve been competing in the Amateur Owner Hunters and doing some of the derbies since 2010,” Melissa said. “I do the Modified Amateur Hunters every once in awhile as a warm-up. In the short-term, I would like to move Elvis up to the 3’6” Amateur Owners and get a derby win or two under our belt. In the long-term, I would like the opportunity to own and bring along more young horses. I love the challenge and reward of seeing these horses move along in their careers and become successful.”

After working hard at the show, Elvis will get to relax this week. “Usually after each show, Elvis gets a week or two of time to relax with turn-outs and long, loose ‘happy flats’ as I like to call them,” Melissa shared. Melissa will hopefully get a chance to relax as well after the show. “Just like most barns, we enjoy going to the shows, encouraging and cheering each other on, and then maybe at the end of the day, the adults can relax with a glass of wine together.”

Ashley Taylor and Miramar


Ashley Taylor and Miramar
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Ashley Taylor (Joe Thorpe, trainer) and her Miramar had a very successful show. They won the Onondarka Medal Class, placed third in the $500 Children’s Hunter Classic, and earned the championship in Children’s Hunters, 17 & Under. “Miramar is the first horse I’ve owned, and I’ve had her for about a year,” Ashley said. “She’s a really good hunter, but when it’s time to do equitation, she can do that, too.”

Ashley won the Onondarka after an intense flat work off without stirrups. “She doesn’t have that nice, flat canter for equitation, but we practice a lot without stirrups at the barn so I felt pretty prepared,” Ashley commented. “I haven’t qualified for Onondarka finals yet so I’m doing my best to try to qualify.”

For her relative inexperience, Ashley has had amazing success this year. “My grandmother used to ride, so she was the one who got me into it. I started leasing a horse, but I wasn’t really taking lessons. I’ve only been riding seriously for about a year and a half, and this year is my first full show season,” Ashley elaborated. “I’m just having fun, and if I win along the way that makes it even better.” Miramar is also currently standing second in the nation in the USEF Small Hunter division.

Alicyn Roy and Stolen Thunder


Alicyn Roy and Stolen Thunder
Photo: Flying Horse Photography

For their first show together, Alicyn Roy (Mary Gatti, trainer) and Stolen Thunder (Con Caletto Enterprise, owner), AKA Thor, worked well in the ring. They were reserve champions in the Equitation, 18 thru 35, and were third in the Modified Amateur Hunters. Alicyn leased Thor for the USEF Zones 8, 9, 10 Adult Equitation Regional Finals and possibly for more medal finals through the end of the year. “I’d only ridden Thor twice before showing him, so I was pleased with how it turned out,” Alicyn noted. “He has a great, kind mind. It’s amazing that he’s a stallion and still so level headed and rideable.”

As this chapter of the LA International Jumping Festival closes, we look forward to a new one in our new location starting next year. Meanwhile, Gold Coast Series Horse Show 7 (Oct 17-20) is up next at LAEC. In Northern California, LEG celebrates Nor Cal Hunter Jumper Association’s flagship show, Nor Cal Medal Finals (Oct 9-13).

For more information on LA International Jumping Festival, including schedules, prize list, and results, visit the LEG website.

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