Beezie Madden and Prima Rise to the Challenge in $50,000 G&C Farm Jumper Derby

Wellington, FL - The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival closed out week 6 competition today with action at two parts of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. At The Stadium, Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, rode Neapolitan Holding Co., LLC's Prima over the challenging course to win the $50,000 G&C Farm Jumper Derby for the second year in a row.

In the International Arena, Glen Senk of Philadelphia, PA, and Declaration won the Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic and Lyn Pedersen piloted Tivoli to the WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Classic victory.

Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, set the track on the derby field today that featured 20 numbered obstacles, including the new derby bank, table bank, open water, devil’s dyke, hedges, and more. There were no clear rounds in the class, but with the faults converted format, it was all about speed.

“The bank was great,” said Mario Deslauriers. “Richard set up the water at a nice place. The whole course was pretty good! It’s a bit of a change from the last one; they lost a bit of space on the other side, but I liked the course. I thought it was nice.”

Beezie Madden added, “I think it was an excellent class and an excellent course.”

Beezie-Madden-Prima-Derby-SportfotThe fastest of the day was Madden on Prima, a 13-year-old KWPN mare by Kigali x Nimmerdor. They had four faults, which added to their time and gave them a total of 143.057 seconds for the win. They rode out of the 17th position in the class.

Madden wasn’t sure that her time would hold up. “No, actually I thought somebody would beat it,” she acknowledged. “I thought I had a nice, smooth and efficient round, which is what you want, but having the rail down, which was my fault, I thought somebody would be able to match that round and go clear.”

The early leader was Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm’s Little Emir, who also had four faults and finished with a total of 145.230 seconds, which would hold up for third place. Second place went to Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Jane Clark’s Whistler, who recorded eight faults, but were speedy enough to finish on 144.955 seconds for second place.

For Deslauriers, a combination of practice over natural obstacles and having Whistler fit was key. “We know these horses go in and they’re ready. They’ll focus and do most of the things right,” he pointed out. “Then you have to be a little lucky. With a speed class, the whole trick is to keep it smooth. When you’re jumping 20 fences at that speed, you have to keep it smooth. It’s not like a short jump-off; it’s a lot longer. You have to keep the energy with the horse and keep the sanity. You have to pay attention and it usually works out if you keep it smooth.”

This is the third year that Deslauriers has ridden Whistler, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Pacific x Andiamo. They competed in the jumper derby last year and placed sixth. “He went good today. One less down would have been okay,” Deslauriers said with a smile. “It’s great to come out here and jump. The horses love it. It’s a great class to change the rhythm of things. This horse showed last summer at Spruce Meadows and did all this type of deal, as Prima does all the time.”

Fourth place went to Leslie Howard (USA) on Lennox Lewis 2, owned by Peter Howard, who added four faults for a total of 145.384, and Darragh Kerins (IRL) rode Hot Wheels to fifth place in 152.292 seconds after eight faults were added.

Madden has found that Prima is in her niche in specialized classes like the derby, and it is her forte to go for speed. “She especially likes grass and huge fields because she has a huge stride. She’s very good at natural fences. She’s one of your classic speed horses,” Madden described. “I’m lucky to have a horse like her. I have a lot of respect for my grand prix horses, obviously, but a great speed horse like Prima doesn’t get a lot of respect. It’s an important horse to have in your string. I thank Jenny Sutton for supporting me and keeping her. Really, she’s a specialty horse. Jenny’s been excellent about having her peak for events she’s going to do really well in, and it’s been successful that way.”

Madden and Prima have had successful at top venues around the world, including Spruce Meadows, Aachen, Hickstead, and Dublin. This winter, she aimed Prima primarily for the G&C Farm Jumper Derby. “She came here basically for this class,” Madden agreed. “She showed two weeks just in some lower classes just to get fit enough and back in the ring after having a break from last year. We’lll see what else we want to do with her here, but this was her main reason for being here. She came through for us. She’s been a fantastic horse to have.”

Speaking about competing at The Stadium and on the grass footing, Madden commented, “I think it’s refreshing; a, to come out on the field; and b, to have a fun speed class. It’s worth a lot of money. It’s what this horse came down here for, so it’s some pressure. But at the same time, it’s what she’s good at and it’s fun to just gallop out in the field and not have everything so critical.”

Amateurs Set the Tone in International Arena

Stiff competition continued on the final day of WCHR week with the $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Classic. Glen Senk and his mount Declaration surpassed a field of 62 horses in the International Arena to emerge victorious with a high average score of 84.87. The pair topped the first round of competition with an 86.5 and qualified as one of the top twelve horses to return for round two where a score of 83.25 confirmed their victory. Arriana Boardman finished just .37 points shy of the winning score with a two-round average of 84.5 on her mount, Red Carpet, a twelve-year-old chestnut gelding owned by Beatrice Mack.

Declaration is a ten-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Fashion Farms. Senk’s trainer, Scott Stewart, purchased the dark bay gelding three years ago as a Pre-Green horse. Since then, Declaration has been name 2010’s Horse of the Year and has won multiple division championships and hunter derbies. Senk feels grateful to have the opportunity to ride Declaration and appreciates Stewart’s hard work in bringing the hunter along. “I feel like I have an unfair advantage on him,” Senk commented. “You basically just sit there and he does everything. He’s an amazing horse.”

Following their victory gallop, Senk commented on his Classic win. “I love to win, but I really don’t focus on winning anymore. I focus first and foremost on the welfare of my horses, secondly on having a good time, and thirdly on trying to do what Scott and Ken tell me to do. Then, if I win, of course that’s great.”

According to Senk, Declaration is an easy keep. “I never jump him at home,” Senk explained. “He trail rides and I usually jump three fences before the class. Today, I think I jumped four. I love my horses and I want them to last forever so it’s fantastic that he takes no preparation.”

For Senk, today’s win was particularly meaningful due to the number of entries in the Classic. While preparing to become the new CEO of David Yurman, Senk has little time to ride during the week. Describing his strategy for staying in horse show shape, Senk commented, “I’ll do cavalettis at home to keep my eye working, but Ken and Scott do an amazing job keeping my horses fit. I can come down Friday night, get on Saturday morning and go in the ring – it’s our routine and it works.”

In the coming weeks, Senk plans to begin showing one of his additional mounts, Beholden, a six-year-old Westphalian stallion by Continus Grannus. Beholden earned the championship tricolor earlier this week in the Green Conformation Hunter division with Stewart in the irons.

Lyn Pedersen and her mount, Tivoli, also secured a Classic win this afternoon in the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Classic. Pedersen and Tivoli won the class with a two-round average of 85.375. Second place honors went to Becky Gochman and her mount, World Time, who finished with a two-round average of 84.8, just .57 points shy of the win.

Tivoli is a nine-year-old Rheinlander by PRH Abanos; the chestnut gelding was imported by Peter Pletcher and began his show career as a Pre-Green hunter. Since then, Tivoli has been successful in both the Amateur-Owner and First Year Green hunter divisions. “He is the perfect horse,” Pedersen commented. “It took me a while to get used to him, but he’s about as laid back as it gets.”

After spending several weeks in Africa, Pedersen showed for the first time this season last week. “I’m just kind of coming back,” Pedersen explained. “He was really good in the regular 3’3 A-O class in the big ring and I was a little rusty. We were thinking about moving him up, but I needed to start in the 3’3″s. It’s just a matter of me getting confident and consistent.”

Describing her experience in the International Arena, Pedersen commented, “I love it out there. I was worried because it’s the ‘big’ ring, but being able to open up and get a good motor going and just kind of gallop around is really nice. He was so perfect.”

In the coming weeks, Pedersen plans to move up into the 3’6″ Amateur-Owner hunter division while also working with a young mare that she hopes will begin to show after circuit.

In addition to today’s classic, the adult amateurs concluded their divisions this weekend. The Horseware Products Adult Amateur Hunter 3’3″ awarded its championship to On the Hour and Jessica Stitt, with Barbi Norris and Roc Paper Scissors, owned by Melissa Hirt, in reserve.

There was a tie for champion in the Voltaire Design Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 between Kathryn Haefner riding Pirate and Stephanie Riggio riding Compliment.

The Adult Amateur Hunter 36-50 division was split into two, awarding two championships. Surf’s Up, owned and ridden by Missy Luczak, and Picasso, owned and ridden by Jennifer Greenleaf, each earned championships honors. Jeanine Cash received both reserve championship awards with Rapunzel, owned by Karen MacDonald, and Malibu, owned by Richard Schechter. Jennifer Greenleaf and Picasso also received a special award as the highest scoring adult rider for their score of 89 over fences.

The Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Older was also held as a split division. Championships were presented to Glory Road, owned and ridden by Carol Cone, and Andiamo, owned and ridden by Brad Wolf. Reserve championships went to Fashion Farm’s Declaration and Glen Senk as well as Smiles, owned and ridden by R. Bruce Duchossois.

Carol Cone and Glory Road were also presented a special award for the Grand Adult Hunter championship.

Hunters Wrap Up WCHR Week With Classic Victories

Additional classic winners in the Pony Hunter divisions include Vivian Yowan and Lili Hymowitz. Yowan and her mount, Best Case Scenario, a Welsh/Thoroughbred cross owned by Saddle Ridge Farm LLC, took the top spot in the $2,500 Florida Large Pony Hunter Classic with a combined score of 171. The Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Large Pony Hunter division championship this week went to Alexandra Crown on her mount, For The Love, while reserve went to Madison Goetzmann on her mount Chatsworth, owned by Victoria Press.

Lili Hymowitz finished first in both the $2,500 Small Pony Hunter Classic and the $2,500 Medium Pony Hunter Classic this afternoon. Her Small Pony victory was achieved with a combined classic score of 166.5 on her mount, Grand Jete, a seven-year-old Welsh pony owned by David Gochman. The championship tricolor for the Gotham Enterprises Small Pony Hunter division went to Isabel Ryan and her ride, Rolling Stone, owned by Sophie Michael’s while Madeline Schaefer picked up reserve on her pony, Hi Lite.

Hymowitz also rode to victory on her Medium Pony mount, Trademark, owned by Rose Hill Farm, with a combined score of 170 in the Florida Medium Pony Hunter Classic. This week’s Visse Wedell/The Elebash Co. Medium Pony Hunter division was split into two sections. The section A championship went to Daisy Farish on her mount, Laugh Out Loud, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram LLC, and the reserve championship went to Mckayla Langmeier on Happily Ever After, owned by Kristina Muse. In section B, Daisy Farish brought home a second championship on her pony, Cleverist, while Madeline Schaefer was reserve aboard Frosted.

For the $2,500 Florida Large Children’s Pony Classic and the $2500 Small/Medium Children’s Pony Classic, riders Emma Kurtz and Christina Philipson emerged victorious on their mounts, Del Ray and Hands Up. Kurtz won the Large Children’s Pony Classic with a combined score of 174 on her mount, Del Ray, an eleven-year-old Welsh Pony Cross owned by Katherine Strauss LLC. Philipson picked up her Small/Medium Children’s Classic victory with a combined score of 175 on her mount, Hands Up, a fifteen-year-old Welsh Pony Cross owned by Jordyn Rose Freedman.

The Laura Hanson/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Small/Medium Children’s Pony Hunter division championship Sedction A went to Junior Mint and Francesca Dildabanian, while Snow White and Hannah Bernstein were reserve champions. In Section B, Charlotte Currey and Champlain Treasure Me were champions and Butterfly Kisses and Erika Luter were reserve champions. In the Laura Hanson/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Large Children’s Pony Hunters, Del Ray and Emma Kurtz were champions, while Promised Land and Koren Cole were reserve champions.

The Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter divisions also showed in their classics today and presented championship honors to conclude their week six competition. Maxine Whitely and Concord, owned by Karyn Whitely, were the winners of the $2,500 Florida Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Classic. Alexa Effron and Sirius Black, owned by Christina Gellos, finished second. Both Whitely and Effron won the championships in their sections of the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under division prior to the classic.

Whitely and Concord earned the championship tricolor in the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Section A followed by Celtic, owned by Heritage Farm, Inc. and ridden by Daisy Farish, in reserve. Effron and Sirius Black won the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Section B championship with Ala Mode, owned by Plain Bay Farm and ridden by Lucas Porter, in reserve.

The $2,500 Florida Children’s Hunter 15-17 Classic followed in the afternoon with a win for Aljano Jr. and Elizabeth Weiner. Coeur De Lis and Emily Dupont finished second.

In the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 15-17 Section A, Small Talk, owned by Elizabeth Skae and ridden by Caroline Cline, took home the championship prize with Einstein and owner/rider Isabelle Mann in reserve.

The Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 15-17 Section B saw a championship win for Savannah, owned by Patricia Raynes and ridden by Ashley Raynes, followed by Isabelle, owned and ridden by Rosie Powers in reserve.

Week seven of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival begins on Wednesday, February 22, and is sponsored by Fidelity Investments. For full results, please visit

Final Results: $50,000 G&C Farm Jumper Derby













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