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Tokaruk Show Stables Takes Top Honors at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Michael Tokaruk earned the Leading Jumper Rider Bonus at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, pictured aboard My Lord Castanoo. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

Michael Tokaruk and his Tokaruk Show Stables of Collierville, TN, clinched numerous top honors at the historic Pin Oak Charity Horse Show during the past three weeks, including the Leading Open Jumper Rider along with the $5,000 bonus!

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is known for its rich history, time-honored traditions, equestrian excellence, and extraordinary giving. As one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the country, Pin Oak is also one of Houston’s unique social and fundraising events. Pin Oak has donated nearly $7 million dollars to support the healing of sick children and is committed to supporting the growth of Texas Children’s Hospital. Tokaruk Show Stables is honored to support the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

“This is our third time now at Pin Oak. We love coming here! They do such a good job and it goes to a great cause, it’s wonderful. There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance to the show and it just feels so much more special to show there,” said Tokaruk. “It was definitely a goal to win the Rider Bonus in coming here to Pin Oak. It’s a strong group of horses and riders in Texas. Everybody goes fast – I mean the speed limit in Texas is like 80 miles an hour so they all go fast! It’s a good group of riders so to come out on top after the three weeks is really meaningful. I owe it all to the horses first off, and then to everyone who supports me, the owners, the clients, the sponsors, the staff at the barn. Everybody does such a great job and makes my life as easy as it can be so it’s a real team effort.”

Tokaruk piloted his own My Lord Castanoo,a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood by Nabab De Reve, to the 1.40m Open Jumper Championship during Week II and the reserve championship during Week I. The pair also earned a victory in the Venice Equestrian Tour $25,000 Grand Prix earlier in the season. Tokaruk is pleased with progress this green horse is making and enjoys bringing the horse up the ranks.

Michael Tokaruk and Diams De La Pomme scored the reserve championship in the 1.35m Open Jumpers. 

Diams De La Pomme, owned by Jean-Maurice Brahier, helped Tokaruk earn the Leading Jumper Rider title by winning the 1.35m jumper class and flying into second place in the $5,000 1.35m Speed Stake. The mare also took home the reserve championship in the division during Week II.

“Such a fun, sporty little mare,” said Tokaruk. “I’m so happy with her in our first show together! Thanks so much to owner Lauren Hough for sending such a nice horse to show and sell!”

Tokaruk racked up jumper points on Cameron Tokaruk’s D’Almgravin winning the 1.25m out of 40 horses and the Championship in both Week I and Week II.

Tokaruk is known for his ability to build confidence in horses and riders and takes time to bring them up to the next levels. His resume is filled with winning stories of horses he shows and sells to new owners, creating matches for success in the show ring. Clients love Tokaruk’s attention to detail and his ability to prepare them for the show ring. His program is consistent and clearly works.

Team Tokaruk

Brittany Kasprack and Gaesbekers Gabbertje added a reserve championship in the Low Amateur Jumpers to their resume. 

Team Tokaruk riders added plenty of ribbons to the tackroom banner as well. Brittany Kasprack, Olive Branch, MS, and Gaesbekers Gabbertje won the Low Amateur Jumpers and added the reserve championship tricolor to the Tokaruk Show Stables banner for Week II. Kasprack also rode Gambit to a victory in both the Ariat and THIS Adult Medal classes.

“[Gaesbekers Gabbertje] is relatively new to me. I got him in October,” explained Kasprack, who runs four chiropractic clinics. “He is kind of an expert and I am very much an amateur so he’s teaching me the ropes. I can’t even say his show name! He’s teaching me a lot, trying to make me brave. He’s only nine but he has done the 1.50m and I was doing the meter tens when I bought him. So we’ve now made it to the 1.20m so taking it slow.

Brittany Kasprack and Gambit winning the THIS Adult Medal. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

“I’ve been riding with Michael for a little over a year now. When we go to the shows, the nice thing is it’s easy. With Michael, you’re doing so much more at home that when you go to the show, it’s literally, I’m not going to say it’s a joke by any means, but it’s a much lower difficulty level because we’ve already seen every single challenge they’re asking of us, and that’s a big thing. When you go out to the barn to ride your horse, even if it’s not a lesson day, it’s a working day. It’s not just oh, I’m gonna hack on a loose rein, I’m gonna be an amateur, like I’m just gonna drop my reins and ride around and have a good day! No, he’s not going to stand for that, so he’s going to make sure that you’re working all the time.“One of the nicest things about Michael’s barn is that he’s not so big that you’re just a number and he’s very personalized. I mean, they know everything about the animals, and I think that some of these barns – I see them with 30-40 horses at the show and that’s amazing, but you may not get that same one on one experience that you get in that smaller setting like Michael’s. I definitely feel very, very privileged to be a part of it.

Ava Hernandez and Cupid Shuffle won the $2,500 NAL Low Junior Jumper Classic. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Ava Hernandez,Overland Park, KS, and Cupid Shuffle, a 15-yer-old Dutch Warmblood, won the $2,500 NAL Low Junior Jumper Classic and ended up reserve champion for Week II!  Tokaruk won the 1.25m Open Jumper class on the veteran jumper on the opening day of the show. Cupid Shuffle is a horse Tokaruk is familiar with and says the horse is always game and fun to ride. Tokaruk is happy to work with the horse again and especially with the talented Hernandez in the irons.

Evie Jaeckle and TJC’s Taio Cruz took home top ribbons in the Amateur Owner Hunter division. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Evie Jaeckle and Clochard. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Evie Jaeckle from The Jaeckle Center won some top ribbons in the 1.20m Jumpers on Clochard and a second place finish in the $2,000 Amateur Adult Jumper Stake aboard TJC’s Lil Jon during Week II. Jaeckle, of Thompsons Station, TN, also rode TJC’s Taio Cruz in the 3’3” Amateur Owner Hunters 18-35 taking home first and second in the over fences, a third place in the Amateur Owner Hunter Classic and fourth in the Stake during Week I.  

Anna Marie Mayes and Balou Bailando won the Low Amateur Jumper Classic. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography
Anna Marie Mayes and Gambit took the top spot in the Platinum Performance Talent Search.

Anna Marie Mayes and Balou Bailando won the Low Amateur Jumper Classic and earned the championship honors as well. Mayes, 18, from Memphis, TN, also collected a blue ribbon in the Platinum Performance Talent Search on Gambit.

Mayes signed with Auburn University. 

Mayes recently signed with Auburn Equestrian for her college commitment. She will participate in the NCEA Equestrian program while completing her studies.

“All of her hard work and dedication to the sport is paying off!” said Tokaruk. “She is a great student, rider, and young lady. Everyone at Tokaruk Show Stables is excited to see her take her talents to this great Division 1 NCAA program.”

Avery DeYoung and Anna Mayes Among Equitation Winners at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Avery DeYoung and Landlysts Coquett, pictured in the Junior 15-17 Equitation. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – April 11, 2021 – Three weeks of top competition at the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show concluded on Sunday, April 11, with a full line-up of junior, children’s and pony classes at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas.

Among Sunday’s equitation winners were Avery DeYoung of Houston, and Anna Marie Mayes of Memphis, Tennessee.

DeYoung, 16, earned her Sunday victory in the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal aboard Landlysts Coquett, owned by AS Texas.

“This is the first week that I’ve ever ridden him,” DeYoung said of the grey 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding. “He was really, really good. He was such a cool horse and so fun to ride. For the course today, it started off with an oxer, so I knew that I needed to get a pretty good canter to start. Once I did that, all the jumps rode up perfectly; the lines were just right out of stride.”

DeYoung has spent the past four to five years training with Peter Pletcher at PJP Farm in Magnolia, Texas. She also consistently catch rides horses – including Landlysts Coquett – for Samantha Buncher of Sky High Equestrian Center, also in Magnolia.

“I really like it because it grows my riding a lot,” said DeYoung of catch riding. “Whenever I get on a new horse, I have a little bit of a feel of what it could be like because I’ve ridden so many horses. I also have the opportunity to go in a lot of different classes, so that’s a lot of fun to get to do new and different stuff.”

Anna Marie Mayes and Gambit. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

As a nearby Houston-native, one thing that is not new to DeYoung is the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. The high school sophomore first competed in the show roughly 10 years ago, and it’s been a favorite of hers every year since.

“I like Pin Oak because I have a lot of great memories,” said DeYoung. “I won my first championship on my pony, Bella, in short stirrup at Pin Oak when I was maybe 7, so it brings back a lot of great memories and a lot of good, fun times with all of my friends.”

For Mayes, this year marked her first visit to Katy, and to Pin Oak, but following a successful two weeks and a win in Sunday’s Platinum Performance/U.S. Equestrian (USEF) Show Jumping Talent Search, she plans to be back.

“What a great, great show!” said Mayes, who trains with Michael Tokaruk of Tokaruk Show Stables in Collierville, Tennessee. “They make it a great exhibitor and spectator show. For people who haven’t been, it’s a show you have to go to at least once. It was on my bucket list, so I can gladly say that I’ve checked it off, but it will definitely not be my last.”

Part of what made the show a standout for Mayes was her level of success with new horse, Gambit, her mount for Sunday’s Talent Search class.

“This has been his first show in the States,” said Mayes of the 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding that was recently imported by owner Brittany Kasprack. “We’re very much still getting to know each other.”

With no prior experiences to call on or expectations set with Gambit, Mayes went in with the sole goal of having a positive, enjoyable round, and it was mission accomplished.

Carlee McCutcheon and MTM Personal Assistant. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“I haven’t done equitation in a little over a year, so we’re both kind of doing it together, which is fun,” said Mayes. “It was a great course this morning. There was a triple, and one of the great things about Gambit is that he stays so straight through the triple. It really allows me to focus on myself and my equitation, almost kind of, ‘sit still and look pretty.’ That’s definitely one of my favorite qualities about him – how straight he can stay in the in-and-outs and combinations.”

From Texas, Mayes will return home to Tennessee and will compete throughout the summer before heading to Auburn University in Alabama, where she will begin her freshman year and ride as a member of the school’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association team.

Sunday’s equitation schedule also included the WIHS Equitation Hunter and Jumper Phases and the Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal, with wins going to Carlee McCutcheon, Brooke Brombach and Peyton Addington, respectively.

To learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here.

To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

For additional coverage throughout the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, follow The Plaid Horse on Facebook and Instagram.

Rowan Willis and Ashton Dakota Win Big in $100,000 Wells Fargo Pin Oak Grand Prix

Rowan Willis and Ashton Dakota won the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix on Saturday, April 10. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY KRISTIN PITZER

Katy, Texas – April 10, 2021 – The stakes were high in the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix, held April 10 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. Thirty-one horses were slated to compete, and from the start, it was a battle against the clock, with Rowan Willis ultimately emerging victorious.

The third horse in the order, Ashton Dakota, ridden by Willis, was the first to jump a clear round within the time allowed. From that point on, it took another 20 horses before another team managed to jump around the course without knocking a rail down or taking a time penalty. That pair, Abracadabra WKT and Daniel Bedoya, who won Thursday night’s $25,000 Walter Oil and Gas Pin Oak Grand Prix, were the sole other duo to make it back for the jump-off round.

As Willis, of Ocala, Florida, went in for round two, he knew Bedoya would be riding behind him to give it his all. Despite the added pressure, Willis navigated Ashton Dakota to a clear second round in 34.539 seconds, and as he left the arena, he felt like he and the gelding had put forth their best effort. Bedoya started off well, but after two rails down, Willis secured the win.

“I’m feeling great,” Willis said. “My horse was fabulous tonight. He really tried for me, and he covered the ground well. It’s my first time jumping in Texas, so what a great way to start. I’ll have to come back!”

Rowan Willis and Ashton Dakota. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Willis knew from walking the course that it was going to be difficult, as some of the distances were a little bit shorter and there was a tight time limit. He tried to just jump a clear round and make it a good experience for his horses.

“It wasn’t easy, but I thought it was a really good course,” Willis said of the track set by renowned course designer Michel Vaillancourt. “It’s $100,000, so we need to work for it.”

Willis and Ashton Dakota collected $30,000 for the win. The 2008 grey gelding has been owned in partnership by Willis and several of his owners since January.

“He’s relatively new, and he’s been getting better and better,” Willis said. “I’m really excited about him for the future. He just wants to jump, and he tries so hard. I really have some high hopes for him.”

In addition to Ashton Dakota, Willis had three other horses on the order of go. He landed in 16th with Ekita Eindeken Z with two rails down and took 24th with Wellington Grey Goose. The fourth horse was scratched.

With a time of 38.780 seconds, Bedoya and Abrakadabra WKT finished in second place, winning $22,000. The 2008 Holsteiner mare is owned by Monica Hanks. Taking third were Dollar Cash and Trapp O’Neal, whose one time fault kept them out of the jump-off. Placing fourth were Gatsby and Daisy Ford with two time penalties.

Daniel Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

After his successful evening in Katy, Willis hopes to make the trip to Texas again in the future.

“It’s lovely to come to a show like this,” Willis said. “They put it on really well and looked after us. It was a great atmosphere, with a lovely, big arena. Thanks to the sponsors for putting it on. It was fun jumping tonight.”

The 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show wraps up on April 11. The event features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition, benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital.

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

Jef Lauwers and Calipso Claim Commanding Win in Pin Oak $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Jef Lauwers rode Calipso to the win in the $30,000 La Primera Hacienda USHJA International Hunter Derby. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – April 9, 2021 – Jef Lauwers and Calipso earned a commanding victory in the $30,000 La Primera Hacienda United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby on Friday, April 9, at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX.

From a field of 23 entries, Lauwers and Calipso led from beginning to end of the two-round class, marking both a winning debut for Calipso in the horse’s first USHJA International Hunter Derby and Lauwers’ first International Derby win.

“It’s amazing. Pin Oak is one of the most special shows that we go to, so it’s always exciting to be here,” said Lauwers, who is based out of PJP Farm in Magnolia, TX. “It’s such a gratification to do well at this horse show.”

With scores in the first round of 85 and 88 from the two judging panels, coupled with four high option points added to each score, Lauwers and Calipso concluded the first round on a total score of 181. Going into the second round, Nada Wise and Vendetta Semilly sat in second place with scores of 86 and 82 plus two high option bonus points for a 172 total.

Jef Lauwers and Calipso. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

While Wise and Vendetta Semilly, owned by Royal Sport Horses, attempted to give Lauwers a run for his money in the handy round, the results would remain the same through to the end

“I saw Nada going into the ring, and she sliced a jump so well. It was unreal how she did it,” said Lauwers. “I don’t know how she did it! But then I was thinking, ‘Okay, she did the low options. I just have to get the high options done and make it smooth and make it great so it would all work out. I tried to just keep a smooth ride and make him jump the best that he can over those high jumps.”   

While Wise’s handiness would be rewarded, earning her a total second-round score of 185.5 for a 357.5 overall total, it wouldn’t be enough to catch Lauwers and Calipso.

With scores of 88 and 87, coupled with three high option bonus points and six handy bonus points from each judging panel, Lauwers and Calipso finished with a second-round score of 193 and an overall total of 374 for the win.

Finishing in third place with a total score of 356 were Frank Owens and Carrida, owned by DS Holdings LLC.

“[Calipso]’s just been amazing!” said Lauwers of the 7-year-old Holsteiner owned by Johnnie Martin-Carey. “We got him from Europe when he was six years old, and he was a stallion. We went through a lot, but we got better every day. He’s a really sweet boy. He loves his mom.

“Whenever he sees his mom [Johnnie Martin-Carey], he pulls up, and he’s like, ‘where are my bananas?’ said Lauwers. “Johnnie’s such a support and to have her as the owner for this horse is unbelievable.”

Nada Wise and Moonlight Mile. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

While Lauwers may have topped the USHJA International Hunter Derby, Wise did get her own derby win earlier in the day.

From a field of 35 entries, Wise rode Moonlight Mile, owned by Stacey Thompson, to the win in the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Finishing in second place were Carlee McCutcheon and her own Explanation. Third place went to Lauwers and She’s All That, owned by Linda Yarborough.

Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital. The third and final week continues through Sunday, with the featured $100,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix beginning at 7 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday.

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com. For additional coverage throughout the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, follow The Plaid Horse on Facebook and Instagram

Daniel Bedoya Works Magic in $25,000 Walter Oil and Gas Pin Oak Grand Prix

Daniel Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT won the $25,000 Walter Oil and Gas Pin Oak Grand Prix on Thursday, April 8. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY KRISTIN PITZER

Katy, Texas – April 8, 2021 –  Going into the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s $25,000 Walter Oil and Gas Grand Prix, held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center on April 8, Daniel Bedoya’s plan with Abracadabra WKT was to take it easy and save the mare for the $100,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix, to be held April 10. Abracadabra WKT, or “Abby,” had spent time the prior winter recovering from an injury, and he didn’t want to push the mare too much.

In a starting field of 28 riders, the pair, along with seven others, jumped a clean first round. They were second-to-last in the jump-off, and by that point, only one other horse-and-rider had jumped a clear round without a time penalty.

“Sometimes going at the end is an advantage,” Bedoya said. “I saw that I didn’t have to go flying, and it worked. I slowed down a little to the last jump. That almost cost me the class, but it was OK. The aim is still Saturday. If we won today, great; if we didn’t, it was fine.”

Daniel Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Bedoya and Abby jumped a clear round in 42.182 seconds, winning the class and a check worth $7,500. Bedoya said the mare feels great, and he has a good feeling about her going into the big grand prix at the end of the week.

Bedoya has been riding Abby for nine years. She was originally purchased by her owner, Monica Hanks, to be a hunter, but over the years, the mare made the switch to the jumpers.

“She was a very special hunter at the beginning, and then as she matured, she got hotter and hotter, and she didn’t like the job,” Bedoya said. “We decided one day to put her in the jumpers, and we never looked back. She started winning, and she’s won quite a few grand prix classes now.”

He added that the 13-year-old Holsteiner can be a bit temperamental and difficult to ride, but with such a long relationship together, he knows her well. He’s planning to take her to Tryon, NC, and to do a few more shows this year, and Bedoya then hopes to take her to the South American Games in 2022.

Bedoya thanked Hanks and her husband for being great friends, clients and partners, and added he is excited to start competing with their new horse, Quimi Del Maset. The Hanks purchased the 7-year-old Warmblood, who is a half-brother to Bedoya’s old grand prix horse, Quattro, to follow in Abby’s footsteps.

Daniel Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

From Magnolia, Texas, Bedoya has been attending Pin Oak for more than 20 years. He enjoys having the prestigious show so close to where he lives.

“It’s always special to win at home in front of your friends and your family,” Bedoya said. “It’s been a great horse show. Pin Oak always does a great job.”

Colleen Acosta and Lancome took reserve after jumping a clean round in 44.060 seconds. The 2011 Belgian Warmblood mare collected $5,500 for owner L.O.O. LLC. Coming in third were Untouchable 32 and Joshua Tabor, who jumped a clear round in 47.792 seconds, and rounding out the top four with zero jumping faults and three time faults were Carvelo Z and Bree Garey with a time of 50.580.

The 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, which continues through April 11, features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition, benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital.

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

Klas Kudlinski Claims Top Two Spots in $20,000 Pin Oak Welcome Stake

Klas Kudlinski, pictured aboard NKH Darco Son, finished both first and second in the $20,000 Welcome Stake. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photograph

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – April 7, 2021 – After only one day of competition, Klas Kudlinski has already made his inaugural trip to Texas a winning one. In Kudlinski’s Pin Oak Charity Horse Show debut on Wednesday, April 7, the 26-year-old German rider claimed both first and second place in the $20,000 Welcome Stake, sponsored by Bedoya Training Stables.

Kudlinski earned the top call aboard NKH Cento Blue and finished in a close second with NKH Darco Son, both owned by NKH LLC. Both horses are regularly ridden by Christian Heineking, but when the accomplished, fellow German rider broke his foot this winter, he called upon Kudlinski.

“He offered for me to come to his barn in Texas to show his horses a little bit as long as he’s out,” explained Kudlinski, who arrived in Texas last week, just in time to prepare for the third and final week of the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. “I’ve ridden both of the horses since just eight or nine days ago now. Our plan with both horses was actually just to do a nice round to get to know each other, so it makes me even happier that it turned out this way!”

Klas Kudlinski and NKH Cento Blue. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

The 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, NKH Cento Blue, and 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, NKH Darco Son, were two of six combinations from the 17-horse starting field to advance to the jump-off. NKH Cento Blue’s winning time registered at 38.972 seconds, while a finish time of 39.581 seconds gave NKH Darco Son the second-place honor.

Third place with one rail down in the jump-off and a time of 32.147 seconds went to Brooke Peterson and Fast Flo. Rounding out the top four with four faults and a time of 32.352 seconds were Trapp O’Neal and Dollar Cash.

“Both [NKH Darco Son and NKH Cento Blue] are pretty experienced over this height with Christian,” said Kudlinski, who first came to the U.S. to compete with his own horses in 2020. “[NKH Darco Son] is a stallion, but I must say that his comfort and his rideability is just amazing. He feels like sitting on a couch. He does everything pretty easily. There’s not much that you need to take care of as a rider; you just basically show him where the fences are, and he does the rest. That’s my first show impression of him.”  

Klas Kudlinski and NKH Darco Son. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Kudlinski continued, “I’m just really thankful and grateful that Christian and Neil [Knox], the horses’ owner, gave me the opportunity to ride such great, experienced horses. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that they gave me, and one that’s not always so easy to find.”

While continuing to get to know both horses, Kudlinski will set his sights next on Thursday’s $25,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix.

Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital.

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

For additional coverage throughout the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, follow The Plaid Horse on Facebook and Instagram.

Mackenzie Hudson Headlines Amateur-Owner Jumpers at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Mackenzie Hudson and Ekyra Fortuna won the $5,000 1.30 m/1.40 m AO/Am. Jumper Classic on Saturday, April 3. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – April 3, 2021 – Mackenzie Hudson rode her own Ekyra Fortuna to victory in the $5,000 1.30 m/ 1.40 m Amateur-Owner (AO)/Amateur (Am.) Jumper Classic on Saturday, April 3, to conclude Week II of the 75th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

Hudson was one of 19 entries to contest the first-round track set by course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX. Of the 19 entries, four produced clear efforts to advance to the jump-off and three jumped double clear. The fastest of those three, Hudson stopped the jump-off timers in 26.519 seconds.

With a time of 27.309 seconds, second place went to Jacqueline Ruyle and her own Lucille, and a close third place with a time of 27.330 seconds went to Mikayla Linder aboard Chine van’t Schanshof.

“I have so much confidence with [Ekyra Fortuna], I was able to really let her go in the jump-off. She’ll do anything that I ask her to,” said Hudson of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare that she has now been partnered with for six years. “I was 15 when we got her, and she was six, so we’ve really come up together.”

Mackenzie Hudson and Ekyra Fortuna. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

While Hudson and “Ekyra” were previously jumping at the grand prix level, the pair took some time off during the COVID-19 pandemic and are now working their way back up the levels.

“This was our second time back in the 1.30 m,” explained Hudson, 21. “She was awesome. She definitely wants to go. In the first round, you really have to hold her back so that you can then in the jump-off, let her go and really go with it. She’ll leave strides out; she’ll add strides. She’ll do whatever you ask her to.”

Anna Marie Mayes and Balou Bailando. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Hudson, who currently trains with her mother Lacy Hudson at Manor Equestrian in Austin, TX, has been attending the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show since she was six years old and looks forward to it each year.

“I showed my first large pony in the short stirrup here and have been coming ever since!” concluded Hudson. “I like that this show has everyone from Texas but then more. It really feels like a family community here. Everyone’s so inviting and so welcoming.”

Genevieve Munson and Charlene. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

In addition to the $5,000 1.30 m/ 1.40 m AO/Am. Jumper Classic, Saturday’s schedule featured a full line-up of both jumper and hunter classics. In the $5,000 1.30 m/1.40 m Junior Jumper Classic, the win went to Genevieve Munson and Charlene, and the $2,500 1.20 m Junior Jumper Classic victory went to John Gilpin and Arobase des Champs. Earning the win in the $2,500 1.20 m AO/Am. Jumper Classic was Anna Marie Mayes riding Balou Bailando. For full results, visit www.horseshowsonline.com.

While Saturday marked the conclusion of Week II of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, competition resumes on Wednesday, April 7. Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital.

John Gilpin and Arobase des Champs. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com. For additional coverage throughout the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, follow The Plaid Horse on Facebook and Instagram.

Peter Petschenig and It’s the Senator 111 are Number One in $50,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix

Peter Petschenig and It’s the Senator 111 won the $50,000 Hildebrand Fund Pin Oak Grand Prix. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – April 2, 2021 – Peter Petschenig and It’s the Senator 111 claimed victory in the $50,000 Hildebrand Fund Pin Oak Grand Prix on Friday, April 2, at the 75th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX.

A field of 22 horses contested the Week II featured event, with 10 entries advancing to jump-off over the Bernardo Costa Cabral-designed short course.

The second pair to return, Martien van der Hoeven and Morris Horta, set the early time to beat at 36.316 seconds, which would ultimately hold up for second place. Only Petschenig and It’s the Senator 111 delivered a faster clear round, stopping the clock at 35.925 seconds as the penultimate pair to return. Third place with a time of 37.304 seconds went to Matt Cyphert and his own Lochinvar.

“[Getting this win] is actually kind of surprising!” said Petschenig, who has had the ride on It’s the Senator 111 for the past eight months. “Usually, he can’t go fast because he’s a little bananas! He jumped fantastic. He can jump anything there is. He’s just super difficult. He needs way more work than anyone else. He’s just different, but he’s fun too.”

While Petschening is continuing to get to know the 13-year-old grey Belgian Warmblood gelding, everything came together on Friday night.

Peter Petschenig and It’s the Senator 111. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

 “This is the first time that everything worked the way that I wanted it to work. Since he’s so lunatic, I thought, ‘I can’t go fast anyway.’ I actually didn’t mean to go really fast at all in the jump-off,” continued Petschening. “I landed after the triple bar, and the six [stride option] was right there. Other than that, I just turned a little tighter than the other ones I assume.”

Since moving to Texas from California in 2017, Petschening has been a consistent top competitor at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, and he looks forward to attending the three-week horse show each year.

“They do a super job in presenting the show,” said Petschening. “They put a lot of thoughts into small details, and the people are very nice here. It’s very a good cause too, and that’s the most important thing!”

Petschening will next aim It’s the Senator 111 toward the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s featured culminating event, the $100,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix, to be held Saturday, April 10.  

Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital. While Saturday, April 3 concludes Week II, competition resumes with Week III beginning on Wednesday, April 7.

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

For additional coverage throughout the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, follow The Plaid Horse on Facebook and Instagram.

Ilana Halpern and Prosecco Pick Up Win in Pin Oak $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Ilana Halpern piloted Prosecco to victory in the $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Thursday, April 1. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – April 1, 2021 – Ilana Halpern of Lafayette, CA, rode Prosecco to victory in the $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Hunt & Go Format International Hunter Derby on Thursday, April 1, during Week II of the 75th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX.

Halpern and Prosecco were one of 24 entries that first completed an eight-fence Classic Hunter Round set in one ring before immediately clearing a trot fence set between two connecting rings and continuing on to an additional six-fence Handy Hunter Round in the second ring.

In the Classic Hunter Round, Halpern and Prosecco earned dual scores of 83 from both of the two judging panels, and their performance only improved as they continued on. With scores in the high 80s from both judging panels in the Handy Hunter Round, coupled with three high option bonus points added to each judging panels’ scores in both rounds, the pair finished on an overall 349 total.

Second place with an overall score of 331.5 went to Caitlin Burns and her own Fila. Third place went to Frank Owens who rode Carrida, owned by DS Holdings, LLC, to an overall score of 326.

Ilana Halpern and Prosecco. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“I’m so thrilled!” said Halpern, 34, who is competing at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show for the first time. “I have been working with this horse for a little over three years now, and I love him and believe in him. I thought he was so excellent tonight. Not only was he great, but he finished stronger than he started. As the trainer and caretaker of the horse, that makes me feel especially good.”

Halpern rode Prosecco, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Devin Lanzone, to second place in the $30,000 USHJA International Hunter during Week I of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, and she has spent the past week working on the gelding’s fitness.

“One of the things that we talked about strategy wise last week was that maybe he was a little bit lacking in fitness for the handy,” explained Halpern. “So, I’ve been really flatting him and taking advantage of the bit of warmer weather to build him up a little bit. I felt like it cooled off today, and as a result, his fitness showed.”

In addition to spending time working on Prosecco’s fitness this past week, Halpern has also been the horse’s primary caregiver, something she says plays to her advantage in the saddle.

“When Craig [Starr] and I travel to shows with primarily our own horses, as long as the number of clients isn’t too large, we do like to groom our own horses from an economic standpoint,” explained Halpern. “And, to be very honest, it’s a joy! [Prosecco]’s a very careful, cautious horse. For him to jump at this level, it takes a bit of encouragement and nurturing, I think grooming him myself has been wonderful for that. I feel like I know everything that’s happened in his day, and I know where he is mentally and emotionally. With a sensitive horse, that’s so incredibly important. I’m just really proud of him, not just for this class, but for the entire time we’ve been here.”

For Halpern, who originally hails from Buffalo, NY, the major victory at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is the realization of a lifelong dream.

Ilana Halpern and Prosecco. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“Since I was a little girl, I would see that Jennifer Alfano always came here, and she always won the Derby,” said Halpern. “I always wanted to be exactly like her. I still do! I just really, really wanted to make it happen….For this to turn into an opportunity for this horse and for his confidence, it couldn’t have been better!”

Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital. Week II continues through Saturday, with competition highlights including Friday night’s $50,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix, sponsored by the Hildebrand Fund.

Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook here. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

For additional coverage throughout the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, follow The Plaid Horse on Facebook and Instagram.