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Daisy Ford Dashes to Victory in $25,000 Heroes For Children Grand Prix

Daisy Ford and Gatsby. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – March 31, 2021 – Daisy Ford earned her first grand prix win only a month ago, and on Wednesday, March 31, she returned to the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, to do it again. This time the 19-year-old and her own Gatsby topped the $25,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix, sponsored by Heroes for Children, during Week II of the 75th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

With the $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, sponsored by Leaving One Out, LLC, held concurrently, Ford was also automatically named the winner of the featured U25 class.

“I’m so excited! Gatsby’s really come through this year in a big way, and I’m really, really proud of him,” said Ford of the horse that she first began competing in the children’s jumpers seven years ago. “It pays off when you’ve had a partner for seven years, for sure! You know exactly what they’re thinking.”

The solidity of the pair’s longtime partnership was particularly evident over Wednesday’s jump-off track. Nine entries from the 28-horse field qualified to come back and contest the short course set by course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral, with Ford returning in the penultimate position.

Daisy Ford and Gatsby topped the $25,000 Heroes For Children Grand Prix on Wednesday, March 31. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

When Ford and Gatsby entered the ring, the time to beat had been set at 33.183 seconds by Carlee McCutcheon, the winner of the $30,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix held just four days prior. With fast foot speed from Gatsby, slick turns and strides left out throughout the course, Ford quickly toppled that time to stop the clock in 32.470 seconds.

Martien van der Hoeven and Morris Horta, owned by Luccirelli International, LLC, were the final pair to return. As they crossed the final fence, it looked as though they may have the win. However, the clock stopped just tenths of a second shy of Ford’s time, giving van der Hoeven the second-place honor with a time of 32.793 seconds. McCutcheon and her own MTM Fortunate finished third.

“I have a super quick, careful horse, and I knew I could leave out strides in a few places because I have such a big step with him,” said Ford of the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding. “I got lucky, and everything came up the way that I was hoping it would.”

While Ford and Gatsby make it look easy today, their partnership was not always that way.

Daisy Ford and Gatsby. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“It didn’t start off easy for me with him,” explained Ford, who trains with Alexandra Ansteth at Augusta Pines Farm. “He’s a very powerful horse, and he’s got a really hard jump. That was my hardest thing to get used to with him. Probably my first big win with him was at Pin Oak two years ago when I won the Under 25. That was my first grand prix that I jumped clean, and to come back and win the actual grand prix just two years later feels pretty amazing!”

Running through April 11, the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features three weeks of top hunter, jumper and American Saddlebred competition while benefiting the Texas Children’s Hospital. Week II continues through Saturday, April 3, with remaining feature events including a $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Derby on Thursday and the Hildebrand Fund $50,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix on Friday night.

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.

A Winning Welcome for Avery Erickson at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Avery Erickson and Chacco Lait by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – March 30, 2021 – Avery Erickson, 19, and Chacco Lait won the $15,000 Open Jumper Welcome Stake to mark the start of Week II of the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show on Tuesday, March 30, in Katy, TX.

With the $5,000 Under 25 Welcome held concurrently with the Open Jumper Welcome Stake, Erickson also automatically claimed victory in the U25, marking her second consecutive U25 Welcome win. During Week I of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, Erickson and Chacco Lait took the top spot in the U25 Welcome and finished in second in the Open Jumper Welcome Stake.

“[Chacco Lait] feels like he’s on a roll!” said Erickson, of her 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding. “He’s really giving me all he’s got, and he feels great, so I’m really happy with him.”

Avery Erickson and Chacco Lait. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Erickson and Chacco Lait were one of five entries to produce a fault-free first round and one of four to jump double clear, but none would come close to catching their jump-off time of 34.805 seconds. Second place with a time of 37.583 seconds went to Jordan Gilchrist and her own Happyboy van de Doornakkers. Finishing in third with a time of 40.626 seconds were JJ Atkinson and Golden Cassini.

“I just wanted to have a nice, smooth pace through the jump-off,” said Erickson, who trains with Britt McCormick of Elmstead Farm. “He just was on it all the way. He’s got a big step even though he’s a little guy. So, I did six in the last where most everyone was doing seven.

Michael Tokaruk and D’Almgravin. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“He’s very quick across the ground,” continued Erickson. “In the jump-off, I can kind of let him go and get a good canter, and I know he’s going to be fast. He’s very careful, so as long as I get him there, I know he’s going to try his best.”

Erickson and Chacco Lait will next contest Wednesday’s $25,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix, held concurrently with the $10,000 U25 Grand Prix.

Until then, Chacco Lait can likely be found napping in his stall.

Jordan Gilchrist and SerpicoPhoto by Andrew Ryback Photography

“His favorite thing to do is to go take naps,” said Erickson, who also makes sure that the gelding gets out for lots of trail rides around the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. “He’s always laying all the way down in his stall just napping and relaxing.”

Also earning jumper victories in the Kirkland & Ellis Main Ring on Tuesday were Michael Tokaruk, Jordan Gilchrist and Craig Starr. Tokaruk and D’Almgravin topped the 1.25 m Open Jumpers, while Gilchrist and Serpico won in the 1.40 m, and Starr and Christian Dior were best in the 1.35 m. 

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, April 3, with feature events including the $25,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix on Wednesday, a $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Derby on Thursday and the Hildebrand Fund $50,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix on Friday night.

Craig Starr and Christian Dior. 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.

15-Year-Old Carlee McCutcheon Reins in First Grand Prix Win with MTM Unexpected at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Carlee McCutcheon and MTM Unexpected. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – March 27, 2021 – Carlee McCutcheon won the $30,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix on Saturday night, March 27, at the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, marking the 15-year-old’s first grand prix victory.

“I’m so excited!” said a smiling and tearful McCutcheon, who won the class aboard MTM Unexpected. “I’m lucky to have these horses and a great team behind me.”

A field of 32 entries contested the first-round track set by course designer Manuel Esparza, with six advancing to jump-off in front of the socially distanced crowd.

Carlee McCutcheon and MTM Unexpected. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

When McCutcheon and MTM Unexpected enter the ring as the penultimate pair to return, the time to beat had been set at 43.302 seconds by Martien van der Hoeven and Morris Horta. With the track well-suiting MTM Unexpected, McCutcheon made catching van der Hoeven’s time look easy, and she stopped the clock nearly two and a half seconds faster to finish on 40.831 seconds.

The final combination to return, Trapp O’Neal and Baltazar D Z, had one rail down in a time of 41.053 seconds to finish in third, giving McCutcheon the win and Martien van der Hoeven the second-place honor.

“When we walked the course, I knew it was a good jump-off for my horse,” said McCutcheon, who trains with her grandmother, Colleen McQuay. “He got to gallop around. He was just great, and everything worked out great.”

McCutcheon has been partnered with MTM Unexpected for three years, and she made her grand prix debut with the 10-year-old warmblood gelding in 2020, most recently earning several top 10 placings in grand prix competition at the Desert Circuit in California this winter.

 “We really had time to get to know each other, and I’m just so grateful for him,” said McCutcheon.

Hailing from Aubrey, Texas, McCutcheon has been competing at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show and the show’s venue, the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, for as long as she can remember. However, her visits to the show grounds aren’t always for hunter/jumper competition. 

The daughter of renowned reiners, Mandy and Tom McCutcheon, Carlee McCutcheon is also an accomplished reiner in her own right, and she continues to compete in both disciplines. For the next two weeks though, McCutcheon will be solely focused on the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, including the two remaining grand prix classes.

Running March 24 – 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.

Jordan Gilchrist Gets Win in $30,000 USHJA International Derby at Pin Oak

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH/RANDOLPHPR

Katy, Texas – March 26, 2021 – Friday was double derby day at the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, where Jordan Gilchrist won the $30,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby and Jennifer Alfano topped the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. 

For Gilchrist, the derby victory came aboard Carige, her own 17-year-old grey Holsteiner.

The pair sat in third place following the first round of the USHJA International Derby, but high scores from the two judging panels of 82 and 83 in the handy round would shoot them straight to the top of the leaderboard. Coupled with high option and handy bonus points, Gilchrist and Carige earned a total handy round score of 183 and an overall winning score of 361.

Jordan Gilchrist and Carige. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Second place went to Ilana Halpern and Prosecco, owned by Devin Lanzone. After leading the first round with a round total score of 176, Halpern and Prosecco earned handy round scores of 76 and 79. With handy and high option bonus points included, the duo ultimately finished on an overall total score of 343.

Finishing in third behind Halpern with an overall score of 335 was again Gilchrist, this time aboard Charismatic, owned by Galen Hoaglund. Gilchrist rounded out her successful evening by also finishing ninth with Shy Boy, owned by Laura Hightower.

“I’m really excited; it was a fun night, and the horses were fabulous!” said Gilchrist, of Flower Mound, TX. “Carige actually belongs to my husband, [David Gilchrist]. He’s just been a hunter for not even quite a year. I adore him.”

While Carige was previously competing in the jumper ring, the Gilchrists felt that the horse may be better suited for the hunter ring, and thus far, they continue to be proved correct.

“He was super in the jumpers, but we were going as fast as we could double clear, and we kept being fourth!” said Jordan Gilchrist of the decision to transition Carige to the hunters. “He’s awesome, and he seems to really love his job now. He still gets a little jump-off minded in the handy. So, I was a little bit more conservative, but it paid off and he jumped in really good form.”

Jordan Gilchrist is a frequent top contender at Pin Oak and the show’s venue at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, and she and her Summer Hill Farms team will contest all three weeks of this year’s Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

Jennifer Alfano and Enzo W. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“I love the tradition of Pin Oak,” concluded Jordan Gilchrist. “They put a lot of thought into how everything’s done, and I really appreciate that as an exhibitor, trainer and rider.”

In the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Alfano took the top call with Enzo W, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Vandervail, Ltd.

While a field of 32 entries contested the class, none would come closer to catching Alfano and Enzo W than Alfano herself. She also finished second aboard Early Times, owned by Marigot Bay Farm, LLC. Third place went to Natalee Haggan and Rhett, owned by Steve Weder.

Running March 24 – 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.

Jennifer Alfano finished first and second in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby with Enzo W and Early Times, respectively. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Remaining highlight events of Week 1 include Saturday evening’s $30,000 Pin Oak Charity Grand Prix, beginning at 7 p.m.  

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.

Jacqueline Ward Gets Hometown Victory in $10,000 Pin Oak Welcome Stake

Jacqueline Ward, pictured with trainer Daniel Bedoya, was presented as the winner of the $10,000 Pin Oak Welcome Stake.

RINGSIDE WITH THE PLAID HORSE

BY EMILY RANDOLPH

Katy, Texas – March 25, 2021 – Texas may be the Lone Star State, but there were two stars in the $10,000 Pin Oak Welcome Stake and Under 25 Welcome on Thursday, March 25 at the 75th annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX. Jacqueline Ward clinched the Welcome Stake win while Avery Erickson earned victory in the U25 Welcome class held concurrently with the Welcome Stake.

Ward and her own San Chano were one of 10 entries to navigate the first-round Manuel Esparza-designed course to advance to the jump-off, where they tripped timers in a winning 33.385 seconds.

Jacqueline Ward and San Chano. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“This is my first really big win ever outside of amateur classes, so it’s really exciting,” said Ward, a 27-year-old Houston, TX, native who has been showing at Pin Oak since her early teen years. “The fact that the win is at Pin Oak is pretty big because I remember, as a kid, always watching the Pin Oak grand prix and welcome classes and thinking that they were impossible. The best of the best riders rode in them. To win that finally is huge for me.”

Ward continued, “We just got back from Wellington [Florida] where I did some 1.40 m and 1.45 m classes, and he was awesome. I think that prepared us for this. He’s really special. He has so many quirks; he’s so sensitive, but he’s also really awesome. We’ve developed such a good partnership where he’s built a lot of trust in me, and I think that helps us a lot.”

As the second-fastest jump-off pair with a time of 34.134 seconds, Erickson and her longtime partner, Chacco Lait, would finish in second in the Welcome Stake in addition earning the win in the U25 Welcome.

Avery Erickson and Chacco Lait. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“It feels good to get it done! It’s a great start to the show here,” said 19-year-old Erickson. “Chacco Blue’s taken me from the low juniors to the grand prix ring, so it’s really fun. He’s a good boy, and I love him so much. He’s super special, and he tries really hard.”

Erickson has been coming to Pin Oak from her hometown of Dallas, TX, since she was competing in the Children’s Pony Hunters roughly six years ago.

“Katy [Texas] is always awesome as it is, but this is just such a special show,” said Erickson, who is currently on her gap year before joining the Southern Methodist University equestrian team in the fall. “The atmosphere and everything are amazing; they make it so pretty. It’s really good competition, and it’s fun.”

Finishing in third place in the $10,000 Welcome Stake were Trapp O’Neal and Baltazar D Z, while fourth place went to junior rider Brooke Peterson and Ennebel van het Posthuijs. For full results from Thursday’s competition, visit www.horseshowsonline.com.

75th Pin Oak cancelled due to COVID-19

March 13, 2020
The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show
For Immediate Release

 


The 75th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show scheduled to begin March 18, 2020 has been cancelled.

A determination will be made if Pin Oak will be scheduled at a later date.

As a result of ongoing community efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 and a recommendation by the United States Equestrian Federation that all USEF licensed competitions be suspended through April 15, 2020, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show scheduled for March 18 through April 5, 2020 has been cancelled.  We will continue to monitor impact of containment efforts and determine if the show can be rescheduled for a later date.  We have great respect for the Pin Oak tradition and the resiliency of the equine community, but we echo the sentiments of USEF that the health, safety and well-being of our Pin Oak supporters and that of their horses is paramount.

More details will follow as available on sponsorships and other matters related to cancellation of the show.  We want to thank everyone involved with Pin Oak and appreciate your understanding. 

If you have questions please email:

  • Amy Uniss Coleman, General Manager, Great Southwest Equestrian Center (auniss@gswec.com)
  • Valerie Garza, Operations Manager, Great Southwest Equestrian Center (valgarza@gswec.com)
  • Lauryn Sanford, Director of Sponsorship, Pin Oak Charity Horse Show (lauryn@pinaok.org)

     

Excerpts from USEF notice

March 13, 2020

Dear USEF Competition Organizers (Licensees and Managers),

The health, safety and well-being of our members and that of their horses is paramount to USEF. We are continuing to closely monitor communications on the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI).

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics, and activities will be suspended for the next 30 days. Additionally, USEF strongly recommends that competition organizers suspend all USEF licensed competitions across the country for the next 30 days. For those competitions that do run, there will be no accumulation of points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF awards programs, USEF owned event, or selection to a US team during this 30-day time period. This includes USEF National Championships.

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