Katy, TX – The 76th-annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show opened on Wednesday, March 23, attracting top hunter and jumper riders from across the country to the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, for three weeks of competition, running March 23 – April 10, 2022.
Among the first-day winners were Daniel Bedoya and Caylee PCH in the 1.25m Open Jumpers, Nicolas Gamboa and Dreamgirl 22 in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, and Shawn Casady and Ekstra MF in the 1.35m Open Jumpers.
On their way to the win, Casady and Ekstra MF, owned by Rabbit Root Stables, LLC, were one of 16 entries to contest the Manuel Esparza-designed track. Of the 16 horses, 12 advanced to the jump-off for a race against the clock, with Casady turning in the winning time of 31.276 seconds.
Second place with a time of 32.251 seconds went to Frank Owens and Just Jeremy ES, owned by DS Holdings LLC. Rounding the top three after stopping the clock in 32.663 seconds were Nicolas Gamboa and Contan, owned by October Hill Farm.
For Casady, the victory marks a great return to the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, after having been away from the horse show for nearly a decade.
“It’s great here; it’s a good change of scenery,” said Casady, 27, who is currently based in California. “I’ve always been friends with a lot of these people down here because they travel quite a bit as well. I see Christian [Heineking] a lot out in California. I grew up seeing Martien [van der Hoeven] and Matt [Cyphert] and all those guys in Kentucky and all of that. So, it’s nice to be here and see everybody on their home turf! The footing’s great in the ring, and it’s a horse-focused venue, so it’s pretty user-friendly. The horses seem to like it; they’re comfortable here.”
Casady is also getting comfortable with Ekstra MF after just partnering with the 8-year-old Selle Français stallion in January of this year.
“I’m really, really looking forward to continuing to work with him,” said Casady. “He is probably one of the most athletic horses that I’ve ever ridden just all around. He’s scopey, light on his feet, has the stride; he just has all of those pieces. It’s a cool feeling. He felt super confident and rideable today – exactly how I wanted him to ride.”
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper, and American Saddlebred competition to benefit the Texas Children’s Hospital. Highlight events of Week I include a $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby on Friday, March 25, and the $30,000 Third Coast Bank Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix on Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
General spectator admission is free for all events. Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visitingwww.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook and Instagram for the most recent updates. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.
Katy, Texas – April 8, 2019 – Saturday night marked the 2019 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s final Grand Prix, and fun was had by all. As with every Pin Oak Grand Prix, the Catalena Cowgirls started off the night with their iconic performance.
With only four clear in the first round from a field of 20 horses, Monica Hanks’ Abracadabra WKT, ridden by Faces of Pin Oak rider Daniel Bedoya, bested the competition to take the blue ribbon in Saturday night’s Wells Fargo $30,000 Grand Prix. This is the first grand prix win for Abracadabra WKT, known in the barn as ‘Abby.’ Monica and her husband, Steve, were glowing over the win and when they were awarded the High Point Grand Prix Owner Circuit Award. For his rides on Quattro and on Abracadabra WKT, Daniel Bedoya was also awarded the Antares Leading Grand Prix Rider Circuit Award.
Clock-Wise CSH, owned by Comly Sport Horses and ridden by Happy Comly, took a close second in Saturday night’s prix.
The prix and the Abbot Downing Ringside Gala also included the presentation of a number of awards. The top three jumper riders of all three weeks of the competition were presented with the $10,000 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Jumper Rider Bonus. This year’s Leading Jumper Rider Bonus was awarded to Trapp O’Neal while Martien Van Der Hoeven and Scott Lenkart took second and third, respectively.
Both the Grand Prix Style Award and the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Circuit Award went to Jill Gaffney and Freestyling Farms, LLC’s Jordan.
Sunday marked the end of the 2019 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, and it was an appropriately gloomy day, with thunderstorms and flash flooding causing many of the final day’s outdoor classes to be cancelled.
In the pony ring, So Enchanted, owned by Ticket to Ride, LLC and ridden by Carolyn Colter, was crowned Champion in the Small Pony Hunter division while Paris, owned and ridden by Lola Head, was the Champion Medium Pony Hunter.
Despite the rain cancelling the end of the show for the Large Ponies and Green Ponies, the Championship in the Large Pony Hunter division and the Pony Hunter Circuit Award went to Poplar Place Pied Piper, owned by Isabella Mullan and ridden by Brooke Brombach.
Cool Spot, owned by Jennifer Wheeler-Winborne and ridden by Megan Winborne, was this weeks’ Champion in the Green Pony Hunter division while the Reserve Championship and the Green Pony Hunter Circuit Award went to James Waldman’s Waltzing Matilda, ridden by McKayla Brombach.
McKayla Brombach also received the Best Child Rider On A Pony award for her tremendous efforts on her many rides over the three weeks of competition. “This weekend was a little rough, but it ended on a good note. I’m so honored to have received the Best Child Rider award,” said McKayla of her show. “It was really cool for my sister and I to go head to head for the circuit award. It was really close, and even though Brooke beat me for the regular pony circuit award, our green pony turned around and was circuit champion in the greens,” she continued.
When asked about her green pony ride, Waltzing Matilda, McKayla said, “I’m really proud of her because she only went to one show before coming to Pin Oak, so this is her first series. I’m just so happy with her.”
In the Junior Hunter ring, Symbolic and Bella Kay received the 3’6” Junior Hunter Circuit Award as well as the Championship in this week’s 3’6” Junior Hunter 16-17 division, winning all four over fences rounds. Bella Kay and Symbolic also received the Antares Leading International Derby Rider Circuit Award on Friday evening following a third place finish in this week’s International Derby. “I was so excited just to be able to earn the International Derby Rider award since that is usually won by a professional. Then Symbolic won all four of our junior hunter trips this week, giving us champion for the weekend, circuit champion for the juniors, and the high point hunter award. He is just the best and always comes out wanting to win!” said Bella.
“This is my 5th year coming to Pin Oak and definitely my best one yet. It’s for sure my favorite horse show in Texas and one of my favorite shows of the whole year. I love the atmosphere, the competition, and the cause!” she continued.
Classico, owned by Erica Moe and ridden by Brooke Brombach, was Champion of this week’s 3’6” Junior Hunter 15 and Under. “Classico is just such an amazing horse,” said his owner, Erica Moe, “after being Reserve Champion in the 3’6” Performance and Champion with Brooke in the Junior Hunters, he packed me around the Medium/Long Stirrup division, and we were Champion there too!”
After a great day in the equitation ring on Saturday, Eleanor Rudnicki continued her winning ways with Donald Stewart’s Bertolucci. The pair was crowned Champion of the 3’3” Junior Hunter and received the 3’3” Junior Hunter Circuit Award.
“I was so proud with how consistent Bert and I were all 3 weeks. He was riding really well and jumping great, so it was amazing when it all came together. This was also one of my last shows on Bert, so it was pretty special to win the circuit championship,” said Eleanor of her big wins.
Despite the thunderstorms and flash flooding causing the second day of the Children’s Hunter division to be cancelled, South Haven Farm’s Snickers and Lilly Goldstein received the Children’s Hunter Circuit Award as well as the Reserve Championship in this week’s Children’s Hunter 14 and Under division. The Champion in the Children’s Hunter 14 and Under division went to Paloma, owned and ridden by Avery Hansen.
This week’s Champion in the Children’s Hunter 15-17 went to Penelope OPL while Who Dat, ridden by Rachael Harrower and owned by Maura Harrower, was Reserve Champion following a tremendously successful week in the combined High Performance and 3’9” Green Hunter division.
Olive, owned and ridden by Ryan Grissom, was Reserve Champion in the Modified Children’s Hunter received the Modified Children’s Hunter Circuit Award.
For the equitation riders, Pin Oak ended with several medals, mostly in the jumper ring, on Sunday. Savannah Hemby took the prize in the Platinum Performance Talent Search aboard Sterling Equestrian’s Kasarco O.H.
Catherine Shurtleff won the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal aboard her own Cayden A. Tessa Downey and Double H Farm’s HH Moonshine took second. Tessa and HH Moonshine also took second in the Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal to Peyton Rathbun aboard Abigail Albrecht’s MTM Flashdance.
Gerico, owned and ridden by Portya Muenke, took the win in the WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase. The WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase was won by Katia Cannon aboard Donald Stewart’s Canal Street. Hallie Grimes took the overall blue ribbon in the WIHS Equitation aboard Brookside Pine Farms, LLC’s Thrift Shop receiving second in both phases. The pair also took second in the Platinum Performance Talent Search.
Bella Kay, after an incredible three weeks in both the hunter ring and the equitation ring, took the 3’6” Equitation Circuit Award with her SWS Questionnaire. When asked about her continued success in the equitation ring, Bella said, “I was really proud of my horse for his consistency in the equitation as he just started doing it a little over a year ago. He has come so far and matured so much even since Pin Oak last year, so I was extremely proud of him for being so good and claiming the circuit champion award!”
In the jumper ring, the Championship in the High Amateur Owner Jumper division went to Fine Fleur and Bethany Glenn for the second week running. Quicksilver and owner Katherine Huffstutler were crowned Champion in the High Junior Jumper division.
Billyboy, owned by by McKenzie Mills, earned the Championship in the Low Amateur Owner Jumper division while Mozart’s Symphony, owned by Jacqueline Wilson and ridden by Owen McWilliams, claimed the Championship in the Low Junior Jumper division.
Portya Muenke aboard her Eurohill’s Alcatraz took both the Championship in this week’s High Children’s Jumper division and first in the $10,000 High Child/Adult Jumper Invitational. The High Adult Amateur Jumper Championship went to Ramiro Cruise, owned and ridden by Isabel Harbour.
H&M Cisco owned by Katlynn Butler and ridden by Katie McDonnell claimed the Championship in this week’s Low Adult Amateur Jumper division. Tyler Mayer’s Windelinde and Tessa Downey rode to the Championship in the Low Children’s Jumper division.
Riders, spectators, officials, and volunteers are all feeling a special sense of accomplishment as they make their way home from this iconic horse show knowing that both their fun and hard work has helped contribute to a great Texas tradition and to a wonderful cause.
Katy, Texas – April 7, 2019 – The Booth Show Jumpers $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and Houston Modern Luxury “Bourbon, Bow Ties, and Big Hats” Derby Party on Friday night at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Week III in the Irish Day Farm Main Indoor Arena brought fun, excitement, and many big hats.
After winning the National Derby earlier that afternoon and earning the Antares Leading National Derby Rider Circuit Award, Jennifer Alfano conquered again in the International Derby ring. After coming into the handy round in third place, she secured the win aboard her own Candid.
Faces of Pin Oak rider, Natalee Haggan, rode to a second place finish in Friday evening’s International Derby aboard MTM Here’s 2 You, owned by Candu Farm. Natalee and MTM Here’s 2 You were awarded the Emerging Professional Rider award as well as the Grand 3’6” Professional Hunter Championship award last year at Pin Oak Week III.
Junior rider Bella Kay and her Symbolic rode to third place in Friday night’s derby after winning the Week II ‘Hunt and Go’ USHJA International Derby and coming in second place in the Week I USHJA International Derby, earning them the Antares Leading International Hunter Derby Rider Circuit Award. Having just celebrated her three year anniversary with Symbolic, Bella was on cloud nine after her incredible three weeks in the Pin Oak International Derbies.
MTM Do Right, one of Didi Mackenzie’s two entries and the first horse on course in Friday night’s International Derby, and his groom, Manuel Tamayo, were presented with the award for the Best Turned Out International Derby Horse. Didi Mackenzie’s second entry, MTM Inside Scoop, earned a sixth place finish in Friday’s Derby following an incredible day in the Amateur Owner ring.
Just as a champagne toast commemorated Pin Oak 2019’s first International Derby during Week I, the Week III International Derby was completed with a champagne toast to celebrate the final derby of Pin Oak 2019.
Junior riders buckled down on Saturday with hopes of securing big wins and circuit championships during Pin Oak 2019’s final weekend.
In the equitation ring, Luke Jensen rode Stephanie Tropia’s CR True Color to the win in the ASPCA Maclay medal first thing Saturday morning, while last weeks’ Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal winner, Grace McReynolds of Colorado Springs, took second place aboard her own Kabaltic. Tessa Downey, last week’s Maclay winner, took third aboard HH Moonshine.
Following the ASPCA Maclay, Eleanor Rudnicki and Brookside Pine Farms, LLC’s Kendrick took home the blue ribbon in the Dover/USEF Hunter Seat Medal on Saturday morning. Eleanor and Kendrick also took the blue in this week’s 14 and Under THIS National Children’s Medal.
When asked about her equitation rounds, Eleanor said, “I felt pretty confident going into the equitation ring today. The horse that I rode, Kendrick, was feeling really good. I went into the USEF medal test sitting in 3rd, so I just wanted to put in a solid round that could help me to move up. It was an interesting test, and I was really happy that we ended up winning the USEF Medal and later the THIS too.”
After earning a fourth place finish in Friday night’s International Derby and a fourth place finish in the ASPCA Maclay, Canago and owner Miranda Seade took second to Eleanor in the Dover/USEF Hunter Seat Medal.
The win in the 15-17 THIS National Children’s Medal again went to Hannah Buskin and Ava Williams’ Fedor, winners of a class of 31 riders in the Week II THIS National Children’s Medal.
Equitation riders are excited to see who will be crowned the 3’6” Equitation Circuit Champion following the remaining Pin Oak Week III medals to be held on Sunday.
While sponsors and spectators are looking forward to Saturday night’s circuit award presentations and the Wells Fargo $30,000 Grand Prix and Abbot Downing Ringside Gala, riders are looking forward to Sunday’s division championships and circuit championship awards to wrap up the final week of Pin Oak 2019.
Katy, Texas – April 6, 2019 – As divisions wrapped up during the final week of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, Grand Champion Circuit Awards began rolling in. In addition to the Pin Oak Grand Champion Circuit Awards, Antares Sellier France sponsored awards for High Point Riders, many of which were also crowned as the week came to a close.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rachelle Goebel’s Will Emblazon defended his undefeated status in the Hunter Breeding ring, earning the Best Young Horse Circuit Award. Will Emblazon (Willemoes x Anastasia / Zarr), known at the barn as ‘Oakley,’ has blazed his trail through the Hunter Breeding 3 Year Old division this year. This big bay with a unique blaze remains undefeated in the Hunter Breeding 3 Year Old classes at all four weeks of the 2019 Great Southwest Winter Series and all three weeks of the 2019 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. He was also awarded Best Young Horse at six of those shows and Reserve Best Young Horse at the remaining one.
Will Emblazon was bred by Hil Cat Farm in Folsom, Louisiana. Emily Belin helped Goebel find this horse as a four month old. He showed some as a yearling and ended the 2017 show year as 5th in the USEF Yearling Hunter Breeding division and Champion in the USHJA Zone 7 and THJA Yearling Hunter Breeding divisions. He has shown at Pin Oak every year since he began showing, and he was last year’s Pin Oak III Hunter Breeding 2 Year Old winner and Best Young Horse.
“Oakley has matured into a beautiful young hunter prospect,” said owner, Rachelle Goebel. Between the two horse show series, Will Emblazon was also started under saddle and seems to enjoy his new job. “He is extremely laid back and has an amazing trot and canter. The hunter breeding divisions prepared him to be started under saddle such that all of his rides have been delightful,” Rachelle explained.
Will Emblazon is shown by the sister team of Rachelle Goebel and Felicia Carroll. Rachelle tries to show him around her work schedule, and Felicia fills in when Rachelle is travelling. Felicia showed him this week, pulling out big wins; in addition to again winning the Hunter Breeding 3 Year Old and the Best Young Horse Championship, Will Emblazon was also awarded the 2019 Jane Queener Memorial Hunter Breeding Award presented by Kim Queener. The Jane Queener Memorial Hunter Breeding Award was created 11 years ago to commemorate Jane S. Queener. Jane bred and owned the Thoroughbred stallion Jones Hall, and she was an avid supporter of the Hunter Breeding divisions.
Didi Mackenzie and her MTM Inside Scoop defended their title as last year’s 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunter Circuit Champion, earning the award again this year as well as the Championship in the California Split 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunter division this week. Mackenzie’s MTM Do Right was also Champion in the California Split 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunter this week.
The 3’3” Amateur Owner Hunter Circuit Award went to Caitlin Burns’ Querida, who was also Reserve Champion in the 3’3” Amateur Owner 18-35 division this week to Champion, Ashley Kyle’s Suits You. Meanwhile this week’s Championship in the 3’3” Amateur Owner 36 And Over went to Shaw Johnson Price’s River.
Lightful, owned by La Primera Hacienda, LP, had a stellar turn out at all three weeks of Pin Oak, earning the blue ribbon in all but one of this week’s Adult Amateur 50 And Over classes with Angela Dominguez, the win in the Adult Hunter Classic, the Championship in the Adult Amateur 50 And Over division all three weeks, and the Adult Amateur Hunter Circuit Award. Lightful was also Champion of the 3’3” Performance Hunter division and received the Antares High Point 3’3” Performance Circuit Award with Courtney Lenkart in the irons. Lightful is no stranger to success at Pin Oak as last year’s High Point 3’0” Green Hunter Circuit Award winner.
Good friends Eva Bisso and Hollis Hughes Grace had a blast and were Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively, in this week’s Adult Amateur 36-49 division aboard their Valobra and Hoopla while this week’s Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Championship went to SWS Presley, owned and ridden by Kimerly Guthrie-Fiveash.
The Modified Adult Hunter Circuit Award went to Redding Ridge owned and ridden by Teriann Miller.
The High Scoring Professional round was earned by Who Dat, owned by Maura Harrower and ridden by Will Roberts. Who Dat was also Champion of this week’s combined High Performance and 3’9” Green Hunter division.
Boardwalk, owned by Carly Lazzari and ridden by Will Roberts, was this week’s Champion in the Conformation Hunter as well as the Conformation Hunter Circuit Champion.
The Antares High Point 3’6” Performance Hunter Circuit Award went to Cascalo owned by Emma Flett and ridden by both Scott and Courtney Lenkart over the three weeks.
Kersten Levine was crowned the High Point Emerging Professional Rider with Melissa Morey’s MTM All Smiles, shown in the 3’3” Green Hunter.
The 3’3” Green Hunter Championship was awarded to Hoopla, owned by Hollis Hughes Grace and ridden by Peter Pletcher.
The High Point 3’0” Green Circuit Award and the Week III 3’0” Green Hunter Championship went to Captain America, owned by Lori Mathews and ridden by Courtney Lenkart. Another of Lori Mathews’ horses, Alisto, was awarded Grand Champion 3’6” Professional Horse and the Week III Championship in the 3’6” Green Hunter division with Courntey Lenkart riding.
The Antares Leading Texas Super Stake Circuit Award for the most money won in the Texas Green Hunter Super Stake went to Van Morrison, owned by Shadyside Farm and ridden by Peter Pletcher. Van Morrison also earned the Reserve Championship in this week’s 3’0” Green Hunter division.
In the jumper ring, Hachianda Musterd owned by Freestyling Farms, LLC and ridden by Jill Gafney, earned the Young Jumper Circuit Award.
Wednesday evening featured the $10,000 1.45M Welcome Stake, won by Islay Jumpers, LLC’s Corina with Martien Van Der Hoeven aboard. Fleur De Lis Farms’ Ziezo took a close second with Scott Lenkart riding.
Thursday night’s big event was the Irish Day Farm $25,000 Grand Prix and Crooked Willow Farms Ringside Reception. Cragganmore 3, owned by Petschenig Showjumping, LLC and ridden by Peter Petschenig, took the blue ribbon in Thursday’s Prix. Faces of Pin Oak rider, Daniel Bedoya, took the red ribbon aboard his Quattro. Daniel and Quattro are a local favorite and winners of last year’s circuit Leading Grand Prix Rider Award. Bedoya also took 4th in Thursday night’s Grand Prix aboard Monica Hanks’ Abracadabra WKT, swapping places from last week’s $25,000 Grand Prix where he earned 2nd on Abracadabra WKT and 4th on Quattro. Daniel also recently received news that he will attend the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru this August riding for Bolivia.
Friday at Pin Oak III was again ‘Derby Day,’ and the afternoon featured the Baggett Family $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby won by Kathy Chiaf’s Kindred with Jennifer Alfano in the irons. Kindred was also Reserve Champion in this week’s 3’6” Green Hunter division. RVF Titus, owned by Rio Vista Farm and ridden by Bill McMorris, took second in Friday afternoon’s National Derby. Hallie Grimes was the highest placing junior rider, earning third place on Brookside Pine Farms, LLC’s Thrift Shop.
The completion of the third and final National Derby of Pin Oak also meant awarding the Antares Leading National Hunter Derby Rider Circuit Award. Jennifer Alfano dominated once again, receiving the $1,000 bonus prize and an Antares hunter bridle.
Prior to the big event, Pin Oak Charity Horse Show welcomed four year old Arely, a brave young patient with a rare form of cancer who is now in hospice care. Arely came to Pin Oak with the hope of meeting a horse. In an overwhelming display of generosity and support, over 50 horses came to welcome Arely and help make her wish come true.
Exhibitors and spectators are anticipating the final International Derby of Pin Oak 2019, Friday evening’s Booth Show Jumpers $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as Houston Modern Luxury “Bourbon, Bow Ties, and Big Hats” Derby Party. The final Pin Oak 2019 Grand Prix will also take place Saturday night with the Wells Fargo $30,000 Grand Prix and Abbot Downing Ringside Gala.
Matt Cyphert didn’t grow up in a horse family. His family didn’t push him into riding. He hasn’t been riding since he was a toddler. But he found his gift.
Matt’s aunt owned horses, and when his family visited they would go on trail rides. “I fell in love with it. We rode western then,” he said. One day they came across a log, and he watched the other riders and their horses hop over it. He was more hesitant. “After a lot of encouragement from them, I jumped it. The next day I took my first English riding lesson and never rode western again. I was hooked.”
Once bitten by the bug, Matt set his sight on the grand prix ring. He idolized Michael Matz. “He was so smooth on a horse. Just a class act and a great competitor,” he said.
Now Matt is a professional at Woodhill Farm in Argyle, Texas, where he’s making his grand prix dreams a reality. “I have been fortunate to win some big classes and each one is truly special, because that kind of success seemed very unobtainable being from a non-horsey family and starting later with my riding than most,” he said. “I always say riding in grand prixs is one of the few things in life that is ‘as advertised.’ It is truly as cool as you hoped it would be growing up.”
Matt is focused on finding the job each horse loves and letting them be themselves. “Even if they are unconventional,” he said, “all horses have a job. It just might not always be the one you want it to be. Find horses that love the sport, and let them shine.”
He also enjoys coaching riders, particularly from the psychological standpoint. “Finding what brings out the best performance in a rider changes from day to day. Some days you have to push them and other days you need pump them up,” he said. He himself rarely gets nervous about competing anymore, but if he gets amped up for a big class, he uses the same mental exercises he teaches his students to help him focus.
Matt draws his inspiration from the other professionals around him and his own horses, like Lochivar. “He is a true competitor, like me, and we bring out the best in each other because of it,” he said about his equine partner. “Here in Texas, there are no shortage of great riders to inspire me. We take a lot of pride in the quality of our hunters and jumpers. If you can win here, you can take your game anywhere.”
Matt and his fiancé, Kelley Buringa, are now in the process of building a farm in Argyle and are excited to begin training there soon. “We have a great group of horses and clients and we love to watch them grow as riders and achieve their goals,” he said.
Pin Oak has always been special to Matt. “I showed here as a junior and even then I realized it was not your typical horse show. It brings out the best horses and riders from all over the country. Winning a class at Pin Oak is an accomplishment to be proud of,” he said. His program works to have horses and riders peaking for the three week show, which he describes as a barometer on one’s riding and training.
He also appreciates Pin Oak’s charitable donations. “It reaches beyond the sport and into the community with its influences. Its educational programs bring new interest to the sport every year,” he said.
The 74th Annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show wrapped up Week II, March 27-31, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas, with Hunters and Jumpers taking center stage during this prestigious USEF Heritage horse show.
With the second and third weeks being USEF Premier shows and USHJA World Championship Hunter Rider events, the Hunter competition was formidable.
Junior rider Bella Kay showed everyone how it was done in the $30,000 Walsh & Albert USHJA International Hunter Derby, which was run in the Hunt & Go Format. In this class, the riders contested the Classic Hunter phase in the Memorial Park Hunters Mega Ring I before trotting directly over to Mega Ring II for the Handy phase.
Thomas Hern’s formidable Hunt & Go course included 14 fences, with eight in the Classic round and six in the Handy, and it was the juniors and amateurs who rose to the top on this beautiful Friday evening.
Kay, 16, and her Symbolic jumped to the victory, with amateur Didi Mackenzie taking second aboard MTM Do Right. Fellow amateur Isabella Littlejohn piloted Miramar to third place.
Kay purchased Symbolic, a black Hanoverian nicknamed Andy, three years ago. The pair began in the Children’s Hunters and have worked their way up steadily under the direction of trainers Becky, Jenna and Kylie Vanerstrom of Talisman Stables. This was their first USHJA International Hunter Derby victory together.
“I did a Hunt & Go for the first time in (Wellington) Florida, I think Week 4, in the International Ring, and it was interesting,” said Kay. “It’s definitely much harder, because it’s a much longer course. My horse got a little tired, but he gave 100 percent today. He loves to play and knows when he’s done a good job, and he was very proud of himself.”
Kay, who finished second in last week’s $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby using the standard format, went late in the order this week for the Hunt & Go, so she was able to fine-tune her plan after watching some competitors have rails down.
“This week, with the Hunt & Go, it really worked out,” she said. “The options were really big, and I knew he was capable of doing them, but there were so many rails that I didn’t really need to do them. I just wanted to go around and have a solid round, because it’s what I needed to do to be in the ribbons. And that was my goal. I wasn’t thinking I’d do anything better than last week, when I was second!”
For Kay, winning her first International Derby at Pin Oak means a lot. “This is my favorite show in Texas,” she said. “I started out showing here in the ponies, then the 3’3” and last year was my first year in the 3’6”. Last year, I was sixth in the derby this week, and that was the only derby ribbon I’d had before. It’s just so much fun. The show is managed so well, and the ribbons and prizes are so beautiful. It’s really good money for Hunters, and the derby doesn’t get pushed to the side—it’s a big deal, which I like.”
Bella, of Argyle, Texas, also thanked and credited her mother, Gina Kay. “She makes everything possible, and without her, I wouldn’t have my horses, and my horses complete my life,” said Bella. “So, she makes that happen.”
Amateur rider Didi Mackenzie had a week many riders only dream of happening. In addition to having her best USHJA International Hunter Derby placing to date, she also finished first and second in the Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic, and both of her horses, MTM Inside Scoop and MTM Do Right, earned 3’6” Amateur-Owner Hunter championships in the section that was California split.
“As many years as I’ve been doing this, you very rarely have a day like this,” said Mackenzie. “And that’s why it’s so special. Especially to be second in one of these International Derby classes—I’m beside myself.”
Mackenzie said during Pin Oak Week I that she didn’t believe it could get much better, as her Inside Scoop, nicknamed Coop, earned the section championship and won the classic, and Do Right, nicknamed Dude, placed ninth in the USHJA International Hunter Derby. But it did.
“Today was a very special day. I’m a little bit in shock,” she said following the derby victory gallop. “My horses were so good to me. The horses and the people who support me—I’m just so fortunate. I can’t even begin to express how fortunate I am. I just love them.”
Mackenzie, of Flower Mound, Texas, has brought both horses up the ranks from the start, doing most of the work herself with her husband, Kenny Mackenzie, who owns and operates Quail Hollow Tack. She also credited trainer Colleen McQuay for always being there for her, as well as long-time barn manager Manuel Tamayo. “Normally, I have words for everything, but I don’t have words for this,” she added.
Kelley Buringa was all smiles after her own derby victory gallop on Friday. She guided Bottom Line Equestrian, LLC’s Valentine to the win in the Baggett Family $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Valentine and Buringa won the Classic Round with a score of 91 and then returned last, earning a 94 in the Handy to cement the overall win.
“He just moved to us a little over a month ago. He’s a very special horse, and this was our first derby together. We just had our very first class together last Thursday,” she said. “He was just spot on today. There was, of course, some pressure coming back on top, and I knew I had to make the inside turn to the trot fence since everyone else had done it. But he was right there with me every step of the way. It was a really fun class.”
In the first round, Buringa said she was a little nervous, but knowing she was on a talented horse that could win she had the confidence to go for it. Returning for the Handy Round, Buringa said Valentine gave her a great feeling, was bold and gave her the confidence to make exacting rollbacks and the inside turn to the trot jump.
“This is my second derby win. I’m usually the bridesmaid,” she said laughing. “My first derby victory was in Scottsdale, Arizona. So, this was my first Texas win and my first Pin Oak win, so it was a great way to start the year. They do a great job here, and it was a fun class and nice one to win.”
Hollis Hughes Grace’s Hoopla, ridden by Peter Pletcher, placed second in the USHJA National Derby and also earned the championship in the 3’3” Green Hunters.
For Grace, this week at Pin Oak ended a long drought when she guided the flashy chestnut Royal Danish Warmblood to the Adult Amateur Hunter, 36-49, section tricolor
“The last time I was champion at Pin Oak was in 1995, in the Welsh Pony Adult English Pleasure division,” she said laughing. “The show was held at the Sam Houston Racetrack tht year. I have been blessed with some reserve championships over the years, but the championship has eluded me for a long time! It feels good that I can check that box again and not feel cursed.”
Two For Two
During Saturday night’s featured $30,000 Hildebrand Fund Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix, Mathis Schwentker and NKH Caruso continued their winning streak that began on Thursday when they captured the $25,000 Walter Oil & Gas Corporation Pin Oak Grand Prix.
Schwentker, who rides for Christian Heineking, topped both classes with room to spare. He finished Saturday night’s class 1.2 seconds ahead of Jordan, ridden by Jill Gaffney (who won the $10,000 1.45m Welcome Stake), and 2 seconds ahead of Daniel Bedoya aboard Quattro on Thursday.
“I’ve been riding this horse for about six months. I came over from Germany to help Christian when he was off because of his broken leg,” said Schwentker. But, now he’s getting better and is in better shape. He was third in the Welcome yesterday! Now he’s back in business, and that’s good.”
Schwentker’s previous victories with Caruso include two $30,000 Smartpak Grand Prix classes on the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit in California, as well as the $70,000 Back on Track Grand Prix, also held there.
“He’s a fighter,” said Schwentker of the 15-year-old Caruso. “He’s a very experienced horse and gives everything. He’s a great horse to ride. And the whole team was standing behind me, and it was great.”
Schwentker, 26, will return to Germany after the Omaha International. “I worked before in a private stable, and when I go back I’ll start my own business,” he said. “My parents have a small farm there. I’m excited to see my family and friends, but I really like it over here and the shows are great. Also, with Christian and his family, it’s really fun. I also like the lifestyle here.”
Barbara Bailey’s Rhyme Time is just beginning his show career, but handler Rob Moyar has high hopes that the 2-year-old Best Young Horse winner will become a star in the performance ring later in life.
“He’s out of a futurity winner, Sands Of Time, and has the Jones Hall Thoroughbred line. The stallion is C. Quito, who showed in the amateurs,” said Moyar.
Bailey, who owns the mare and bred Rhyme Time, chose C. Quito for his talent and tractability, which Moyar already admires.
“It’s his attitude. He comes out, and he tries and is very attentive,” said Moyar of the Belgian Warmblood. “He knows his job and is sweet. We’ve been really impressed with his coming of age. He’s really starting to blossom, and we think he’s going to be a nice-sized colt to go on and be a performance horse, which Is what we’re ultimately breeding for.”
Pin Oak II was Rhyme Time’s debut in the show this year after he earned the reserve championship in Zone 7 as a yearling. “Best Young Horse isn’t bad,” said Moyar with a smile.
Bailey also noted that Rhyme Time is following in the footsteps of his half-sister, West End Girl, who as 3-year-old won the 2018 Pin Oak Best Young Horse Circuit Award. “It’s really neat now that her younger brother is coming out and doing so well,” said Bailey. “We’re thrilled.”
Katy, Texas – April 1, 2019 – Week II of the 2019 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has come to a close with many exciting wins and a new rounds of Champions crowned.
NKH LLC’s NKH Caruso and Mathis Schwentker once again topped Saturday night’s Grand Prix following their win on Thursday night in the $25,000 Walter Oil & Gas Corp. Grand Prix.
Six horses from the field of 28 progressed to the jump off, which allowed for plenty of galloping. NKH Caruso finished 1.2 seconds ahead of Jordan, ridden by Jill Gaffney and owned by Freestyling Farms LLC, who finished second in Saturday night’s Prix after winning Wednesday night’s $10,000 1.45M Welcome Stake.
In April 2018, NKH Caruso (Cash & Carry x Dorina) won the $100,000 RFD-TV InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Championship at the International Omaha with Christian Heineking. Mathis began riding NKH Caruso in October 2018 at the American Royal, where the pair won the $20,000 American Royal Grand Prix. Mathis and NKH Caruso have since had an incredible 2019, winning the $30,000 Smartpak Grand Prix at both HITS Coachella Desert Circuit I and II as well as the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit I $70,000 Back on Track Grand Prix. Prior to returning to NKH’s home state of Texas for the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, the pair competed in the in the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit VIII AIG $1 Million Grand Prix and placed 14th out of 57 horses.
Faces of Pin Oak rider Natalee Haggan and MTM Cravitz, owned by MTM Farm, were awarded the Grand Prix Style Award at Saturday’s event.
Each year, Pin Oak partners with Texas Children’s Hospital to select ‘Honored Heroes,’ children who have overcome great obstacles medically and are on the road to recovery, to honor and host during certain of the many Pin Oak events. Pin Oak Charity Horse Show was proud to host Noah, one of Pin Oak’s Honored Heroes, at Saturday’s Hildebrand Fund $30,000 Grand Prix and Avalon Advisors Ringside Gala. Nine year old Noah is a Texas Children’s Hospital leukemia patient in recovery. He loves nature and animals and was so excited to attend the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show where he received a warm welcome and an up-close glimpse into the world of show jumping.
On Sunday, riders dusted off their white breeches once again for ‘Classic Day’ in both the hunter and jumper rings. Week II of Pin Oak 2019 offered over $30,000 in classic prize money. Amidst increased competition with many new exhibitors arriving this week, several of the riders found in the Week I winner’s circle defended their positions at the top during Week II.
HRS Fortuna and owner Hallie Rush repeated their Week I result earning Champion in the High Junior Jumper division. The pair also took the blue ribbon in the High Junior Jumper Classic. Contador De Bornival Z, owned by Kathy Taylor and ridden by Kathryn Taylor, and Fast Flo, owned by Nicole Peterson and ridden by Brooke Peterson, tied for the division’s Reserve Championship.
Bethany Glenn and her Fine Fleur were crowned Champion in the High Amateur Owner Jumper division. Camaro 122 and owner Caitlyn Epperson took the division Reserve Championship and the blue ribbon in the High Amateur Owner Jumper Classic.
Learning To Fly and owner Frances Barham earned the Championship in the Low Junior Jumper division, also repeating their Week I result, while Carly 10, ridden by Kathryn Taylor and owned by Kathy Taylor, was Reserve Champion and took the win in the Low Junior Jumper Classic.
Athena and owner Hannah Newton were Champion for the second week in a row in the Low Amateur Owner Jumper, also taking the win in the Low Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. Meanwhile, Bart-C and owner Sarah Boyd took Reserve Champion.
Maxim Investments’ Atomic and Samantha Reynoso rode to the Championship in the High Children’s Jumper division and as well as the High Children’s Jumper Classic while Washington, owned and ridden by Emma Flett, took Reserve Champion.
AU Girl and Caitlyn Epperson earned the top prize in the High Adult Amateur Jumper Classic as well as the division Reserve Championship. Caitlin Hudson took the tricolor aboard her own Breeze.
Avery Griffin aboard her Lyons Creek Action won the Low Children’s Jumper Classic and took Reserve Champion in the division. No Sky Too High and Laurel Walker earned the Championship.
Silhouette CF and owner Hannah Colligan rode to the division Championship in the Low Adult Amateur Jumper and the win in the Low Adult Amateur Jumper Classic while Annette Diaz aboard her own Picture This tied with MTM Mrs. Yowza, owned by MTM Farm and ridden by Alexandra Gonzalez, for the Reserve Championship.
The hunter ring saw many familiar faces in the winner’s circle as well. Kirby McCool’s Intrepido topped the field in the 3’6” Junior Hunter 15 and Under for the second week in a row with Khaki McCool in the irons. Candid, owned by Jennifer Alfano and shown by Grace Debney, took the Reserve Championship.
Symbolic and owner Bella Kay, winners of Friday’s $30,000 Walsh and Albert USHJA International Hunter Derby, were crowned Champions in the 3’6” Junior Hunter 16-17 winning three of the four over fences classes. Canal Street, ridden by Katia Cannon and owned by Donald Stewart, took Reserve Champion.
Emma Flett and her Cascalo bested the competition in the combined 3’6” Junior Hunter Classic.
Donald Stewart’s Bertolucci was crowned Champion in the 3’3” Junior Hunter 15 and Under with Eleanor Rudnicki in the irons, swapping positions from Week I with Luke Jensen and Jill Barnett’s Coraggio PF, who took the Week II Reserve Championship.
Gap Crown Horses, LLC’s Cassiopeia Cellestin, ridden by Ellie Peterson, took home the blue ribbon in the combined 3’3” Junior Hunter Classic and was again Champion in the 3’3” Junior Hunter 16-17 following a tricolor Week I. Emily Weimer and her own Cheers earned Reserve Champion.
Quirrell, owned and ridden by Georgia Leb, took both the win in the Children’s Hunter 14 and Under Classic and the tricolor in the division. Week I division Champion Snickers, owned by South Haven Farm and ridden by Lilly Goldstein, was Reserve Champion.
Oakhaven Partners, Ltd.’s Penelope OPL was Champion in the Children’s Hunter 15-17 with Riley Delbecq aboard while Zeppelin, owned by Lilah Bass and shown by Natalie Bass, earned the Reserve Championship.
After a rough start to the week following an accident in the 3’3” Performance Hunters, Kelley Cloud’s Clintino won the Children’s Hunter 15-17 Classic scoring an 81.5 and an 86 with Brooke Brombach aboard.
Taylor Landstrom’s Smash, ridden by Xia Tabanou, won three of the four over fences rounds in the Small Pony division, earning the Championship. Clara Keath and her own Peace Keeper rode to the Reserve Championsihp.
Paris, owned and ridden by Lola Head, was Champion Medium Pony while Ticket to Ride LLC’s Smallwood Mystic earned the Reserve Championship with Carolyn Colter aboard.
Lola Head earned top honors in the pony ring once again aboard her own Caleche, earning the blue ribbon in the combined Pony Classic as well as the Championship in the Large Pony division. Poplar Place Pied Piper, owned by Isabella Mullan and ridden by Brooke Brombach, was Large Pony Reserve Champion.
The Large Green Pony Hunter Championship was earned by 14 Karat, owned by RGG Equestrian LLC and ridden by Reagan Gehm, for the second week running while Divide’s Chatterbox, owned by Linda Pryor and ridden by Isabella Fisher, took the Reserve Championship.
The blue ribbon in the Green Pony Classic was earned by Cool Spot, owned by Jennifer Wheeler-Winborne and shown by Megan Winborne. Cool Spot was also Champion of the combined Small/Medium Green Pony division, maintaining the pony’s winning streak earning Champion or Reserve Champion at every show since stepping into the Greens this year. Divide’s Lady Chatterly, ridden by McKayla Brombach and owned by Amy Gangstad, took the Reserve Championship.
Pin Oak’s equitation competition also wrapped up today with the final three medals of the weekend. Macy White and her Viva’s Glory, winners of the Week I Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal, won the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Sunday afternoon. Izabella Millimet won this week’s Hamel NHS 3’3″ medal on her own RVF Carlyle.
Bella Kay continued her winning ways aboard her SWS Questionnaire in the Platinum Performance Talent Search for the second week in a row.
Tessa Downey took the blue ribbon in the ASPCA Maclay aboard HH Moonshine, owned by Double H Farm. Saturday’s win was Tessa’s first 3’3” medal, and Sunday’s win in the Maclay was her first time competing in the Maclay or any 3’6” medal. Tessa said of her win, “It was so exciting to actually win a Maclay. We just got HH Moonshine from Quentin Judge at Double H Farms. I’m so grateful to be able to ride him because he’s so talented and I feel like he will help me get to be a better eq rider.”
As we head into the final week of Pin Oak 2019, riders who have been showing all three weeks are looking forward to Pin Oak Grand Champion Awards, Antares High Point Rider Awards, Jumper Rider Bonuses, and, for the Child and Adult Amateur Jumper riders, the Pin Oak Invitational Classics.
Katy, Texas – March 31, 2019 – Saturday’s daytime schedule at Week II of Pin Oak 2019 was full of equitation medals, giving many of Pin Oak’s top junior riders a chance to shine. To add to the excitement, a cold front brought on by a series of early afternoon showers caused an abrupt change in weather that had many of the horses feeling particularly frisky. Riders cooled down while it was still hot during Saturday’s Ice Cream Social sponsored by Healing with Love and Woodway Equestrian, which wrapped up just as the warm weather began to fade into chilly showers.
Despite pouring rain, Grace McReynolds of Colorado Springs, Colarado and her own Kabaltic were crowned the winners of today’s Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal.
“I felt pretty good going into the medal,” Grace commented. “All of the lines walked pretty straightforward, so that was nice. It was pouring down rain, but my horse was awesome and our course felt super smooth. My horse was great up the first line, stepping right up, and then the rest of the course really just flowed from there,” she continued.
This is Grace’s second time at Pin Oak and her final year showing as a junior. Grace is excited to compete in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show this fall.
Owen McWilliams and Tour Eiffel Du Mesnil, owned by Cold Spring Farm Investments, LLC, topped the WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase while Brooke Brombach and Spygate, owned by Show Hunter Investments, LLC, took the blue ribbon in the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase.
However, it was Bella Kay, winner of Friday afternoon’s $30,000 Walsh and Albert USHJA International Derby, and her SWS Questionnaire who were consistent enough to earn the top prize in the overall WIHS Equitation.
Izabella Millimet won this week’s Hamel NHS 3’3″ medal on her own RVF Carlyle.
Hannah Buskin and Fedor, owned by Ava Williams, came out on top of a fiercely competitive class of 31 riders in the THIS National Children’s Medal. After earning first round scores in the 80s, all four riders proved their position in the challenging work off.
After a long day of fun, lots of riding, and hard work, riders were excited to watch Saturday night’s Hildebrand Fund $30,000 Grand Prix. Pin Oak’s equitation riders are anticipating Sunday’s ASPCA Maclay, USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal, and Platinum Performance Talent Search. Meanwhile, the junior hunter and jumper competitors are looking forward to classic day as well as the chance to earn tricolors as their divisions wrap up on Sunday.
We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, including being able to present Texas Children's Hospital with a check for $162,000 thanks to the incredible support from our 2022 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show sponsors! To all involved with this year's show, we say THANK YOU! 🥰Read more about how the funds will be allocated here: bit.ly/3VjZm0m📸: Courtesy Texas Children's Hospital ... See MoreSee Less