BY JESS CLAWSON
Briley Koerner believes in the importance of connection—both with horses and people. She started riding at six years old, and still thinks of her first trainer, Kim Cox of Tally Ho Farm, as one of the most influential people in her life. “Mrs. Kim taught me the ropes,” she says.
Her horses, too, have taught her a great deal. “Every horse I’ve ever owned or ridden has definitely helped make me the rider I am today,” Briley says with gratitude. Her family, including older brother Barrett who shares all of her successes on Facebook, and grandparents who have supported her in this challenging sport, have helped foster that sense of connection as well.
Briley’s career as a young rider includes many great many successes in the past two years. In 2017, she won the NAJYRC Zone 7 team gold and individual bronze; the Prix Des Stats zone 7 team gold; and was in the top 25 at the Maclay Finals. In 2018, she won the Prix Des States Zone 7 team gold and the $25,000 1.45m Welcome Stake at the Hampton Classic Horse Show on her own For Jef Vd Wezesle.
For Jef Vd Wezesle or Seth, as he’s known around the barn, holds a special place in Briley’s heart. “If there’s one horse who has impacted my riding the most, it would be Seth,” she says. The horse is undeniably talented, and they make a great team, earning three gold medals during her junior career. But he’s special to Briley for other reasons, too.
Briley suffered tremendous loss when her brother Brody died on July 28, 2017. Upon hearing this, Seth’s previous owner, Natalie, called Briley to express her condolences and also tell her the story behind the horse’s name: Natalie’s brother, Jef, also passed away unexpectedly. She named the promising young horse after him. “That made me feel closer to my brother,” Briley says.
“I will forever and always be grateful to have Seth. I consider him my horse of a lifetime for sure. Without him, I wouldn’t be the rider I am today. I can’t thank my trainer Martien and Maarten enough for finding this special horse.”
Her trainer, Martien, has taught Briley about connection, figuratively and literally. He encourages her to make connections between flat work and jumping. “There has to be a purpose behind what I’m asking my horse to do,” she emphasizes.
She also thinks fostering that genuine connection in the leg-to-hand sense is important. “I think we all as riders get caught up depending on draw reins and martingales for our flat work,” Briley says. Flat work and pole work are important, because they’re the foundation of the big jumper classes. Working to develop a good canter with the right balance is critical.
Briley admires connected, quiet riders like Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut. “I admire Beezie’s consistency and horsemanship. When I watch her ride, she stays in one position which allows her to stay connected with the horse.”
“Laura Kraut is another rider I really aspire to be like,” she says. “You can tell she has natural talent. Laura clicks well with all her horses, and I think that is important.”
Briley has big goals for the future: she wants to represent the US at the Nations Cup and the Olympics. “In the meantime,” she says, “I want to train clients and bring them up to the highest level of show jumping that I can.”
Competition is in her bones, and Briley is one of the rare people who doesn’t get nervous competing. “I tend to do a bit better under pressure and when competing in front of a big crowd. As a junior my trainer Martien was sure to expose me to different venues like grass rings and small indoors and I think that definitely helped,” she says.
Briley loves competing at Pin Oak in particular. “The one thing I love most about Pin Oak are the people. After competing in WEF for the past 8 weeks, it sure is nice to come home to some familiar faces! Pin Oak does a fantastic job of having a special atmosphere. There is nothing like competing at a show that gets its hometown people to come and watch the show. I can’t begin to thank Pin oak enough for all there amazing sponsors and kind hospitality,” she says. “It is an honor to get to compete at such an amazing show!”
Briley’s dreams are big, but her talent, work ethic, and support system are too. Watch for this gifted young rider this year.
Katy, Texas – March 23, 2019 – Thursday and Friday at the 2019 Pin Oak Charity Horse show were jam-packed with fun and excitement as the show’s top competitors showcased their skills in both the jumper ring and the hunter ring.
Thursday afternoon, sponsors enjoyed the Bedoya Training Ringside Reception hosted in the Yellow Rose Whiskey Sponsor’s Club during the $10,000 1.45M Welcome Stake. Lancelot, owned by Anastasia Stewart and shown by Julie Cleveland Beam, took home the top honors while Kierland Farm’s Fourtina and Trapp O’Neal came in a close second finishing less than a second behind Lancelot in the jump off.
BKS Horse Farms, LLC’s For Jef Vd Wezelse and Faces of Pin Oak rider Briley Koerner finished fourth in the Welcome Stake and bested the under 25 competition taking home the 1.45M Under 25 Welcome Stake win.
Meanwhile in the hunter ring, Wesley Clingman’s Deluxe, shown by Courtney Lenkart, took home all the blue ribbons and was Champion with a clean sweep in the 3’3” Green Working Hunters as they continued Wednesday’s winning streak. The pair was also the winner of both the $1,000 USHJA Green Incentive Stake and the $2,500 Texas Green Hunter Super Stake.
The amateur hunter competition wrapped up on Friday afternoon. Who Dat owned by Maura Harrower and piloted by Rachel Campbell was Champion in the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35. The day prior, Who Dat was also crowned Champion of the combined High Performance/3’9” Green Working Hunter with Sarah Rice.
The Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 Championship was earned by L&W Equine Investments, LLC’s Echo Park ridden by Mercedes Flett, and Lightful, owned by La Primera Hacienda, LP and shown by Angela Dominguez, took home the Championship in the Adult Amateur Hunters 50 and over.
MTM Inside Scoop, owned and ridden by Didi Mackenzie, was Champion of the 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunters also taking home the blue ribbon in the $1,000 3’6” Amateur Owner Classic while Kathy Chiaf’s Sweetwater earned the tricolor in the 3’3” Amateur Owner Hunters.
Friday was ‘Derby Day’ at Pin Oak 2019 with the Brookside Pine Farms $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby in the afternoon. The $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby ran in the evening, accompanied by a ringside Churrasco International Derby Welcome Party and dinner.
Under Friday afternoon’s blue skies and perfect springtime weather, Jessica Law rode Krunch, owned by Jana Arnoldy, to win the Brookside Pine Farms $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Memorial Park Hunters combined Mega Ring I and II. Jessica, Jana, and her adorable fleet of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were ecstatic over the win. Jennifer Alfano and All Ferraris, LLC’s Enzo W took second in the National Derby as well as the Championship in the 3’3” Performance Hunters.
Capriati, owned by Jennifer Alfano and John Jamieson and ridden by Jennifer Alfano, jumped to the top prize amidst fierce competition in Friday evening’s $30,000 USHJA International Derby, winning both the classic and handy round. Symbolic, owned and shown by junior rider Bella Kay, was placed seventh after the classic round and excelled in the handy round, bumping the pair up to second place. DS Holdings, LLC’s Carrida, the 2018 Pin Oak Week III $50,000 USHJA International Derby winner, earned a fifth-place finish in tonight’s event with 2019 Faces of Pin Oak rider Frank Owens.
Following the victory gallop, all riders participated in a champagne toast to commemorate Pin Oak 2019’s first International Derby.
Junior riders are looking forward to the perfect springtime horse show weekend while spectators, sponsors, and exhibitors anticipate tomorrow night’s main event – the Oasis Petroleum $30,000 Grand Prix and Amalaya Investments Ringside Gala.
Katy, Texas – March 21, 2019 – The 74th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is underway, and what a great way to start off the spring season! A USEF Heritage Competition and NARG top 25 Horse Show, Pin Oak offers daily hospitality, hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, bonus awards, and trophies over three action-packed weeks of competition for the benefit of the Texas Children’s Hospital. With all it has to offer, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is the place to be this spring for many of the country’s top riders.
The first Championship of Pin Oak 2019 was secured by Jennifer Alfano and Rhapsody, owned by Sharon O’Neill, yesterday morning in the Baby Green division.
Later that afternoon, Will Emblazon, owned and shown by Rachelle Goebel of Montgomery, Texas won the Hunter Breeding 3 Year Old and earned the Best Young Horse Championship. The Oldenburg (Willemoes–Anastazia) was bred by His Cat Farm and has been brought along by Rachelle and her sister, Felicia Carroll, since Rachelle bought him as a 5-month-old. Will Emblazon has competed at Pin Oak every year since he began showing as a yearling. He remains undefeated in 2019, winning both the Hunter Breeding 3 Year Old and Best Young Horse at all four weeks of the 2019 Great Southwest Winter Series.
Liza Richardson showed Olde Oak Farm’s Infinite Shine to the Best Young Horse Reserve Championship.
Courtney Lenkart of South Haven Farm had a tremendously successful start to Pin Oak 2019 winning all of the first day’s 3’3” Green Working Hunter classes on Wesley Clingman’s Deluxe. She then continued her winning ways earning blue ribbons on South Haven Farm’s Snickers in the 3’0” Green Working Hunters, Lori Mathews’ Alisto in the 3’6” Green Working Hunters, and Emma Flett’s Cascalo in the 3’6” Performance Hunters.
In the jumper ring, we caught up with Briley Koerner, one of the 2019 Faces of Pin Oak and winner of Pin Oak’s 2018 Booth Show Jumpers Under 25 Grand Prix. “My horses were great after having a few weeks off from WEF. I did a 1.25M jumper class today to get my horses in the ring before tomorrow’s 1.45M Welcome Stake,” she told us about her first day at Pin Oak 2019. “I’m so excited for the next three weeks at Pin Oak! Pin Oak did an amazing job with its set up as always, and it’s great to see this show striving for improvement year after year,” Koerner added.
In addition to Thursday’s 1.45M Welcome Stake, exhibitors and spectators can look forward to ‘Derby Day’ on Friday, featuring both a USHJA International Hunter Derby and a USHJA National Hunter Derby, as well as the American Saddlebred competition Championships and the Oasis Petroleum $30,000 Grand Prix and Amalaya Investments Ringside Gala on Saturday.
Sports Psychologist Mario Soto is hosting highly anticipated seminars on Friday night and Saturday morning. Pin Oak also offers daily hospitality, including numerous evening ringside receptions, and fabulous shopping – The Marketplace and The Shops at Pin Oak have everything a rider needs to complete their favorite equestrian ensembles from popular vendors such as Fab Finds by Sarah, Saddle Shoppe, Luxe Eq, Equiventure Tack, Quail Hollow Tack, and more.
Pin Oak 2019’s American Saddlebred competition sponsored by Bluebonnet Farm also commenced Wednesday evening with the Open Division classes. Exhibitors, spectators, and sponsors enjoyed watching the evening events with food and refreshments at the Saltgrass Steakhouse Saddlebred Exhibitors Ringside Party.
BY JESS CLAWSON
Frankie Owens was almost born in the saddle. His parents, Candie and Frank, were established professionals in the industry by the time he and his sister, Whitney, were born. Frankie was legged up onto horses from a very young age, and credits his parents for teaching him so much. “I don’t take for granted growing up the way I did,” he says. “The benefits of being raised in an established stable aren’t lost on me.”
Frankie’s father, Frank Owens, was also raised around horses. His mother, Christine, was a breeder of Welsh/thoroughbred crosses in Virginia and got Frank into riding ponies. Then, as an adult in the 1970s, Frank became a pentathlete–a sport funded by the US government at the time. This brought him to Texas, where he met his wife, Candie. They had two children, Frankie and Whitney, both now professionals at their family farm.
Frankie’s showing career began in earnest when he was 14. He competed in all three rings. He spent just one year of his adulthood as an amateur, competing in the amateur owner jumpers, before making the leap to becoming a professional at age 19.
Frankie now competes in both hunters and jumpers. Some of his proudest achievements have been in the hunter ring on Diana Stumberg’s mare, Carrida, who won the $50,000 International Hunter Derby at Pin Oak in 2018 and was the national champion in the 3’9” green over fences in 2017. “She’s definitely the hunter I’ve won the most on,” he says.
Winning the hunter derby at Pin Oak in 2018 was an important event for him. Earlier that same evening, he stood in the center ring awarding trophies in memory of his mother, Candie Owens, who passed away in 2014. “It means a lot,” he says. “I’ve been showing at Pin Oak since I started riding.”
Teaching and training is important to Frankie. He and sister Whitney continue to operate out of his family’s Oakwell Farm where they coach riders of all ages and experiences. Frankie is serious about ensuring they make it to the top of their ambitions. His approach to training is simple, if not easy: “It’s about replicating what you want in the show ring, and knowing how much repetition each horse needs,” he says.
Frankie also loves to bring along young horses, and rides them with empathy. He believes in taking time to instill confidence in them, and it shows. He took an unbroke broodmare all the way to the Grand Prix ring, where she was a winner her first time out.
Frankie has had a great deal of success in the show ring, including winning the Walter Oil & Gas $25,000 Grand Prix in 2017 and the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in 2018 at Pin Oak. He’s also been champion at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Texas Winter Series many times, and has won in Grand Prix classes all over the south.
Pin Oak is special for Frankie, and not just because he’s had competitive success there. “It’s one of the finest shows in Texas, but it’s across the board a great show,” he says. He enjoys the return of the competitors who went to Wellington and other winter circuits. “Pretty much all your barns in Texas are there, hunter/jumper wise.”
The quality is what draws the crowd. “They can sell out 1100 stalls because it’s a great show,” he says. “They make it a big deal and put on a really nice presentation. I can’t think of a year I haven’t shown there since I was 14.”
Frankie has taken full advantage of his fortunate start in life with horses. Say hello to him at Pin Oak this year!
KATY, Texas (FOX 26) — Not only is March 20 the first day of the spring season but it is also the first day of the 2019 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, which ends on April 7.
FOX 26 serves as the media partner for the three-week-long multi-breed Pin Oak Charity Horse Show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy.
The competition runs from Wednesdays until Sundays over the three-week period and generally starts at 8 a.m. and ends at dusk with admission free to the public.
Funds are raised through sponsorships, entry fees and social events.
The show offers financial donations, outreach and volunteer support for Texas Children’s Hospital.
JS Abercrombie’s vision for the show became a reality on May 26, 1945 and it benefited the pediatric hospital starting in 1947 by donating the money to begin the planning and construction of the medical facility.
The show has donated more than $6 million and has also supported the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Texas Children’s Hospital and Candlelighters Houston for its work in the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
Pin Oak Charity Horse Show was honored to be the first show in the nation designated as a Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation. The North American Riders Group selected Pin Oak Charity Horse Show as a Top 25 horse show in North America for three consecutive years.