May 28, 2024

Spokane Sport Horse Farms 9th Annual Spring Horse Trials Recap

By Spokane Sport Horse Farm - Edited Press Release
Jim Moyer, USEA 2023 Volunteer of the year, watching Dressage with Lou Leslie current USEA President. Photos courtesy of Spokane Sport Horse Farm.

Spokane, Wash.—May 23— First of all, thank you to everyone who put in effort and time to make the Spokane Sport Horse Spring H.T. held May 16-19 one of the best events yet! Thank you for choosing Spokane Sport Horse Farm (SSHF) as a venue to event. As a SSHF team, we truly feel that this was one of the smoothest, most enjoyable, and fun events to date. We had incredible volunteers, officials, competitors, and enjoyable weather on Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday kickstarted our event with the USEA Young Event Horse divisions riding their dressage and completing a derby-style course out on cross-country involving show jumping and cross-country fences. As the only Area VII site to host Young Event Horse classes, we are proud to provide the opportunity for the four horses in the Young Event Horse 4-year-old and 5-year-old divisions. Throughout the day, two arenas of schooling dressage tests and show jumping rounds allowed riders to prepare their horses for the weekend.

The wind proved to be the most complicating factor for dressage on Friday, as it affected Arena 3, which had to remain flat on the ground to avoid any potential overturning during subsequent rides. Despite this, we successfully ran four dressage arenas throughout the day with many scores under the 30.0 mark showcasing the exceptional talent here in Area VII. Addisyn Parahoniak and Michelle Stewarts' 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding ADR’s Fausto (Florianus II x Windsong) took home the award for Best Junior Dressage score with a 27.7.

A team of great volunteers, Sarah Airhart managing the warm-up arena and others rotating throughout the day on the in-gates, were able to keep all 293 dressage tests on time. At the end of the day, we had a helpful crew of volunteers hustling to pack up the dressage arenas in record time—a mere 30 minutes. A separate volunteer crew came in to set up the show jumping course, many of them SSHF boarders!

Saturday’s weather turned the corner and provided exceptional conditions. Preliminary cross-country started off the day, followed by a competitive Intermediate division and a successful Advanced/Intermediate division. FEI course designer Adri Doyal’s courses rode well all day for a full Saturday of cross-country, with an afternoon of shifting scoreboards in the Modified, Training, and Starter divisions.

Sunday showed an incredible turnout for show jumping with a course designed by William Robertson. During the second day of cross-country, Beginner Novice and Novice made their rounds. A slight change in the posted optimum times for the Beginner Novice and Novice cross-country gave a good chance for show management to remind and encourage riders to follow the event’s “What’s App” group for important updates and time-sensitive notices. Sunday tested the perseverance of the final Beginner Novice Riders on cross-country when a 10-minute deluge of rain soaked everyone unable to find quick cover. Thankfully, the remaining show jumping divisions of the day benefited from naturally watered arenas and warming sunshine. Perfectly concluding the weekend was the completion of the Open Starter Division in show jumping.

To the proud excitement of the SSHF team, Spokane Sport Horse’s own bred and born 6-year-old Westphalian mare Pillow Talk SSH (Gatsby x Pillow), aka ‘Spicy’, ridden by Catie Cejka, completed on her dressage score to take home second place.

Proud moment: SSHF’s own Pillow Talk SSH

Results Standouts

The lowest combined score over the weekend, 24.3, was put up by Chris Gianini riding her own 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare Breezie McDuff. This pair also won the SSHF Vintage Combo Award with a combined age of 88 years.

Sophie Click and her 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Tarantino 54 (Quattro B x Los Argentina) took home the blue in the Advanced/Intermediate Division, adding only time penalties to their dressage score, ending on a 31.3.

Sarah Sullivan won in a very competitive twenty-four horse Modified Division with a 26.5, adding only 1.2-time penalties on cross-country during her weekend aboard her 7-year-old Hanoverian mare La Copine (Londontime x Hauptstutbuch Giselle).

Sarah Buehler, riding Roxanne Moore's 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Orion's Shining Star, won the Junior Novice Division, completing on her dressage score of 28.1.

There was a familiar name across three divisions, Marc Grandia won Open Intermediate, Open Training, and Open Novice A.

Team winners were Mojo and the Boyz, consisting of Sarah LeGear, Addison Parahoniak, Dakota McGill, and Chanelle Dahl. Their final team score of 122.1 narrowly beat the 2nd place team Girls Just Want To Have Fun, who scored 126.9.

Show Connect made its debut here at SSHF. View full results here.

Special Thanks

We are extremely thankful for our dedicated and loyal volunteers who have made these show weekends part of their calendar for many years. Although each and every volunteer deserves high praise and recognition, here are a couple of big shoutouts for volunteers this weekend.

Melia Langdon, a loyal XC jump judge volunteer is now a fantastic cross-country jump judge volunteer coordinator.

Melia Langdon for serving as cross-country jump judge coordinator, organizing the cross-country jump judges, and managing score sheets, we can’t imagine doing it without her!

Jim Moyer, for arriving early to set up, volunteering throughout the whole show, and leaving late after takedown. Jim was awarded USEA’s Volunteer of the Year award last year in 2023, and we are thankful for his continued support!

Sarah Airhart for her enthusiasm, strong voice, and positivity while covering critical positions all weekend.

The Flying B Farm, or the Tomson family who volunteered all weekend.

Caley Thomas and her crew of SSHF boarders who jumped into the world of eventing to volunteer all weekend long!

Susan Zenier, who can do almost anything, stayed all weekend and really did it all!

Greg Haff, who for the 9th year in a row started every horse on cross-country (that’s a lot of horses!) while his wife Sarah volunteered and took home a ribbon this weekend.

To ALL of our volunteers: Your commitment and hard work is truly appreciated! This sport would not be possible without you.

Feedback and Future Events

As the years go by, we continue to use your feedback to improve each and every event. We are glad to hear that riders appreciate the larger warm-up area for cross-country, the water tanks at the barns, two bags of shavings per stall, porta-potties next to every barn, and the ability to choose where to warm up for your dressage tests. We are proud to support the desire for Thursday Schooling opportunities and are glad to provide set arenas for ring familiarization.

We really would like to hear your feedback on the event! Please tell us what you would like to see again and what we can improve for the next event. Competitors, volunteers, and spectators can submit evaluations here. We also have a quick survey on prizes/party favors and how we can improve those, please include ideas of what you would like to see for future prizes here.

Looking forward to our September 26th-29th, 2024 Fall Horse Trials, Classic Three Day, and FEI Event now! Don't forget that we will serve as the Area VII Championships site for the Starter and Modified levels.

Jun 19, 2024 Volunteers

The VIP Volunteer: Diane Bird Brought Her Fun Flair to the USEA Intercollegiate Championship

You might not know her name, but chances are, if you’ve competed at an event in South Carolina, Virginia, or other venues across the eastern United States, you’ve met Diane Bird.

Jun 18, 2024 Emerging Athletes U21

Small Circles, Big Impact: Bec Braitling Focuses on Flatwork on Day 1 of EA21 Central Clinic

Each of the twelve riders selected to participate in the 2024 USEA Emerging Athlete U21 (EA21) Central Regional Clinic comes from different backgrounds. Some have begun their FEI careers, while others are gearing up for a Modified move up, some are on experienced schoolmasters, while others are on catch rides or greener horses. EA21 Coach Bec Braitling took that into account when brainstorming what the lesson plan for flatwork day at the Central Clinic might look like.

Jun 18, 2024 Young Event Horse

USEA Announces 2024 YEH Championships Venues, Judges, and Entry Process

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the return of The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse Championships to both the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill and Twin Rivers Ranch. Each venue has renewed their contracts for two-year terms with an option for a third automatic renewal as mutually agreed upon.

Jun 17, 2024 Eventing News

O'Neal and Clooney 14 Capture the Win at Inaugural Aspen Farms CCI4*-S

At the end of an exciting weekend at Aspen Farms Horse Trials, Karen O'Neal and Clooney 14, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Annika Asling, sealed the win in the inaugural CCI4*-S. They started the division in the lead with a dressage score of 35.0, but then dropped to second after show jumping on Saturday due to one rail.

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