Jacqueline Steffens Drives Away a Winner at CSI2* Orangeville International

Jacqueline Steffens drove away a winner at the CSI2* Orangeville International Show Jumping Tournament held August 14 to 18 in Orangeville, ON. The 19–year-old won both the NationWide Auto Warranty ‘Win a Car’ Series as well as the Martha W. Jolicoeur Illustrated Properties Leading Lady Rider Award.

Steffens of Harriston, ON, was awarded a brand new 2013 Kia Rio, hers to keep, after winning the final event in the NationWide Auto Warranty 1.20/1.30m ‘Win a Car’ Series on Sunday, August 18. Steffens competed in all four qualifying events before claiming the car in Sunday’s ‘Winner Take All’ Final aboard Wupicor Warwick. She and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by her family’s Double C Farm, put in the only double-clear performance over the tracks set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela to take the top prize.

“It was so exciting competing in the Final,” said Steffens, who was the top-placed Canadian at the recent 2013 North American Young Riders’ Championship in Lexington, KY. “Wupicor is just coming back from an injury he suffered last season, and we specifically went to the qualifying events with the purpose of getting into the Final. I didn’t expect to win the car, but I’m sure glad I did!”

She continued, “It’s an amazing Series that allows amateurs to ride for some fantastic prizes, which is really rare.”

Steffens also captured the Martha W. Jolicoeur Illustrated Properties Leading Lady Rider Award after several impressive performances, including a third place finish in the $50,000 CSI2* Zucarlos Grand Prix, presented by Kubota Canada and Stewart’s Equipment, on Sunday, August 18, against a field of top professionals and Olympic veterans. The Leading Lady Rider title was presented to the female rider who earned the most prize money in the Open Jumper divisions at the Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments, comprised of the Summer Tournament in July and the CSI2* Orangeville International in August.

“It’s a huge honour to be named the Leading Lady Rider,” said Steffens. “I was really shocked that I won against so many top riders. I knew about the award, but hadn’t really considered that I was a contender for it. It didn’t click that I had won until they were presenting me with the award! I had so much success this season in Orangeville. It was such a fantastic series.”

Realtor Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties, based in Wellington, FL, and specializing in equestrian properties, generously sponsored the award.

“It’s an added bonus for the competitors,” said Jolicoeur, a former top amateur rider whose competitive and hard-working attributes now serve her customers well in the real estate market. “I like sponsoring the Leading Lady Award because it was one of my favourite awards to win when I was competing. It is a fun award, and it gives recognition to the women in our sport.”

While 19-year-old Steffens rode away with two major titles to her credit, 64-year-old Hugh Graham won the week’s highlight event, the $50,000 CSI2* Zucarlos Grand Prix, presented by Kubota Canada & Stewart’s Equipment. The Canadian Olympian battled it out in a seven-horse jump-off, emerging victorious with Distant Star 3E, owned and bred by KingRidge Stables. Rogers Television offers show jumping fans an opportunity to relive the excitement with a two and a half hour broadcast on Sunday, August 25, beginning at 8 p.m.

Colombia’s Roberto Teran took the top two spots in Friday’s $25,000 Hayes Co. Open Welcome riding Woklahoma to victory for the ARK Partners LLC and also finishing second with ADC Chef Z. Karina Aziz of Hamilton, ON, topped a three-horse jump-off riding Iron Horse Farm’s Fleur Rooster van Betz to win Saturday’s $10,000 1.40m Highland Meadows Modified Grand Prix, edging out Ryan Roy of King City, ON, and Jay Hayes of Orangeville, ON.

The champions across all divisions comprising the CSI2* Orangeville International were recognized before the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix in the Iron Horse Farm Parade of Champions. Each champion was presented with a cooler by Equitex, the official cooler of the Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments.

The Antares Leading Junior/Amateur Rider Awards recognized the top four competitors, whether in jumper or hunter competition, with a $500 Antares gift certificate for the winning rider and $200 each to the second, third and fourth placed competitors. Margaret ‘Muffie’ Guthrie of Guelph, ON, was awarded a $500 gift certificate from Antares as the leading amateur rider while Megan Donati, Ashley McInnis and Karley Hopwood received gift certificates in the amount of $200 each.

Building on the success of its inaugural event at the Orangeville location in 2012, the CSI2* Orangeville International attracted top competitors, including numerous Olympians, to the 84-acre Orangeville Agricultural Society (OAS) Event Center. More than $200,000 in total prize money was awarded over the five-day show jumping tournament, which earned rave reviews for its grass grand prix field, which is not only the largest competition arena in eastern Canada measuring 400’ x 300’, but is also the only grass grand prix field currently in use.

Orangeville resident Terrance Millar, former chef d’equipe of the Canadian Show Jumping Team, noted, “I think it is a great ring with excellent footing. It’s a good size, well-proportioned, has a nice slope, and is deep-rooted grass on a sandy base that drains well. It’s one of the nicest rings in Ontario to hold a show jumping tournament. It’s nice to be able to show your jumpers on grass, and it’s also wonderful to see the hunters showing on grass again; we don’t see that very often. Let’s face it, hunters are supposed to be able to jump on grass!”

The Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments are produced by Hayes Co., the family run business headed by two-time Olympian Jay Hayes and his wife, Shawn, who Co-Chair the show jumping events. Their three daughters Lauren, Ainsley and Regan all play vital roles in the organization, as does son-in-law Johan Letimonier. After mounting competitions in Sutton, Collingwood, and Ottawa, the Hayes family was proud to celebrate its 29th anniversary at home in Orangeville.

“We had a great week of competition, culminating with a gorgeous weekend featuring top sport,” said Ainsley Hayes, Event Coordinator of Hayes Co. “The OAS is a great facility, perfect for showcasing both hunter and jumper competition. Our staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to make this event possible, from set-up to tear-down, and we are very grateful for their contributions. And we can’t thank our exhibitors enough for their continued support of our events.

“I would also like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to each and every one of our sponsors,” continued Ainsley Hayes. “We’re very fortunate to have such loyal and generous support from a wide variety of diverse businesses and individuals. Our family of sponsors is ever expanding, and that truly means a lot to our family, our event, and our sport.”

Hayes Co. would like to thank all of the sponsors who make the Orangeville International possible through their generous support: Antarés, Best Western Inn & Suites Orangeville, Blackbird, Casillero del Diablo, Cavalier Transportation Services, Champion Shavings, Dutch Masters, Equestrian Factory Outlet, Equitex, Friends of the Tournaments, Glen Echo Nurseries, Greenhawk, Hearn Veterinary Services, Henry Equestrian Insurance, Highland Meadows, Highlands National Leasing, Horse Sport, Iron Horse Farm, Kubota Canada, Luke Proulx Farrier Services, Martha W. Jolicoeur/Illustrated Properties, McKee-Pownall, Mill Street, NationWide Auto Warranty, Nobleton Feed Mill, Olive Media, Omega Alpha, Orangeville Citizen, Patrón XO Café, Pommies Dry Cider, Premier Marine, Rock Garden Farms, Rogers TV, Sarkis Equine Design, St. Remy, Stewart’s Equipment, Stonewood Construction Management, the Mitton/Lewtas Family, Thompson, Tooze, McLean & Elkin, and Wentworth Stables.

As Jay Hayes said, “Without our sponsors, we couldn’t have sport!”

Hayes Co. was proud to donate a portion of proceeds from the CSI2* Orangeville International to this year’s charity partner, the Headwaters Hospital in Orangeville, ON.