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Wellington, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida


Hoft, Cohen, Ellis and Kurtz Conclude Week Nine with Equitation Wins



Morgan McClelland

Reporting from Wellington, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida
Sunday, March 12, 2017 :: Posted 10:58:13 AM EDT


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© Jewel Connelly: Cashman Winner MAClay section A
Carly Hoft and Cashman receiving the blue ribbon in Section A of the ASPCA Maclay on Sunday during Week Nine of WEF

Wellington, Fla. – March 12, 2017 – The Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal and the ASPCA Maclay marked the end of equitation competition during Week Nine of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Each class was divided in two with a blue ribbon awarded to the winner of each section.

Starting off the competition at 8 a.m was the ASPCA Maclay with 33 competitors in Section A and 31 riders in Section B.

© Jewel Connelly: Emma Kurtz
Carly Hoft and Cashman

The 1.05m Steve Stephens course proved to be a test of skill for the junior riders, with multiple bending lines and numerous roll back turns.

After completing a precise round over fences and demonstrating textbook equitation on the flat, Carly Hoft and her own 10-year-old Warmblood gelding Cashman took home the blue in Section A of the ASPCA Maclay on Sunday morning.


Carly Hoft and Cashman's winning round.

"Cashman is really good, he was quiet, perfect, and he didn’t seem to care about any distractions,” remarked Carly Hoft. “We just came down last week so I was hoping that I would be able to win a class to qualify for the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship.

“I was fourth in the ring so I was just trying to have a smooth round,” continued Hoft. “I just wanted everything to go well and for him to be good, and luckily he came into the ring with confidence today.”

The Rolesville, NC, native won the 15-year-old Equitation Championships with Cashman at the first Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend in 2015. The Pair plans to continue showing in the equitation and look forward to competing in the George Morris Equitation Championship held in the international arena during Week Eleven of WEF.

Taking second place in Section A was Caroline Dance and Braavos, an 11-year old Warmblood gelding owned by Bryan Baldwin.

Judge Ken Smith was impressed with the two top riders of Section A.

“The top two were very close in the class,” explained Ken Smith. “I thought Carly was a little smoother between the fences and she stayed very light in the saddle remaining in a half seat for most of the course.

“Caroline also had a really nice round and they were both pretty comparable on the flat so there wasn’t any changing of the top group,” continued Smith. “Those top two were the highest scoring in the class. It was just a fraction of riding the course a little bit smoother, a little bit more with the motion.”

Winning Section B of the ASPCA Maclay was Samantha Cohen and Clover, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Sail Horse Investments.

Directly following the conclusion of the ASPCA Maclay Section B was the Pessoa USEF Hunter Seat Medal. The Medal class was also divided into two sections, with 31 horse-and-rider combinations in both sections.

the top eight returning riders were asked to line up in the ring to perform a judges test, the challenging test included counter cantering a fence and a halt directly after a jump. Of the eight competitors, Ava Elis made the biggest impression on Judge Ken Smith. 

© Jewel Connelly: Ava Ellis
Ava Ellis and Romulus

"With Ava being the last to complete the test since she was the leader of the class, she chose to demonstrate a simple change when it came time to counter canter a fence," said Smith. "She had a nice and conservative round but it was very well executed, she had a nice solid round she did have a rail but that was not her mistake, I felt that it was a horse error."

At only fourteen-years-old Ava Ellis is younger than the majority of the competition. Ellis and Clear Ride LLC's 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Romulus took home the blue ribbon after two solid rounds.


Ava Ellis and Romulus in the first round.

"I thought the test was challenging, last week was also a challenging one," explained Ava Ellis. "I usually go left so I take my horses left and this horse goes right, so I knew I had to get the simple change."

Samantha Cohen and Clover, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Sail Horse Investments LLC, had the second place ride In Section A.

Winning section B of the Hunt Seat Medal was Emma Kurtz riding her new mount Carl, a 12-year-old Warmblood gedling owned by Redfield Farm.

ASPCA Maclay Section A

1.     Carly Hoft

2.     Caroline Dance

3.     Emma Callanan

4.     Lolly Mclellan

5.     Chloe Wilkenfeld

6.     Maverick Helmer

7.     Sara Mccloskey

8.     Caroline Passarelli

ASPCA Maclay Section B

1.     Samantha Cohen

2.     Emma Kurtz

3.     Louisa Brackett

4.     Haley Redifer

5.     Jaden Olson

6.     Yasmin Rizvi

7.     Ava Stearns

8.     Giavanna Rinaldi

Pessoa USEF Hunt Seat Medal Section A

1.     Ava Ellis

2.     Samantha Cohen

3.     Ava Stearns

4.     Maverick Helmer

5.     Alexandra Pielet

6.     Emma Fletcher

7.     Ellyn Friz

8.     Jaden Olson

Pessoa USEF Hunt Seat Medal Section B

1.     Emma Kurtz

2.     Louisa Brackett

3.     Coco Faith

4.     Hailey Redifer

5.     Ella Bostwick

6.     Sophie Gochman

7.     Caroline Dance

8.     Tessa Brown

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