Sterling Finish for M&S Finals

By September 16, 2015

Grace Saad and Amendment 15, owned by Darren Chiacchia, won the Marshall & Sterling Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final in a downpour. (Photo: ESI)

With classes in Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation, the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals at HITS on the Hudson, Sept. 9-13, saw some of the best riders the country finding their way into the spotlight.

Marshall & Sterling Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final

Grace Saad and Amendment 15, owned by Darren Chiacchia, finished first in the Marshall & Sterling Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final, soldiering through a near-flawless couple of rounds despite heavy rain. The two-phase class featured round one over fences with the top twelve returning for a test of the flat. Saad had the round one high score of 86 and held onto the top spot on the flat to take home the blue ribbon. Second place was awarded to Hannah Matts and La Congo, owned by Abby Heffern. They received a round one score of 83. Matt Lowe and Redfield Farm’s Calvino scored a 78 for third place, followed by Taegan Long and Angelique, owned by Andrew Ross who had score of 70. Notably, Long was in seventh place after round one, but her flatwork so work impressed the judges they vaulted her up the leaderboard to fourth. Kylie Harvil and her own Quick Silver had received a score of 75 over fences, but due to Long’s top-notch flatwork, Harvil was bumped up to finish fifth.


Tracie Schoelen and Redford won the Adult Medal Final. (Photo: ESI)

Marshall & Sterling Adult Medal Final

The final class of the weekend, the Marshall & Sterling Adult Medal Final, was the perfect sendoff after a week of memorable competition. Tracie Schoelen and her own Redford rode to an unforgettable win with scores of 85 and 88 for a total of 173 to take home the blue ribbon and until next year, bragging rights.Thirty-one riders took their turn over the 11 fence course designed by Dougherty but only the top twelve would see the light of round two. Competition grew fierce when the sixth entry of round two, Miranda Lekacos and Atlantis, owned by Armand Chenelle, received a score of 84, which totaled 165 when added to their earlier earned 81 for the lead.

Lekacos sat pretty at the top for the next few trips but when Schoelen appeared at the in gate, she meant business. Directing her mount to a round one score of 85 it was no surprise when she received a round two score of 88 for a total of 173 to move into the top spot.

Caroline Becker, who received a solid 86 in round one, was next in the order and she steered Scottsdale, owned by Little Pine Farm LLC, to a score of 85 for a total of 171 and the second place spot for the moment.

Last in the round two order, Britta Lippert guided her own Archie to a score of 85.5. When added to the round one high score of 87, they would finish with a total of 172.5 for second place, pushing Becker to third and Lekacos to fourth. Madison Strony and her own Aye Spy received finished in fifth place.


Teagan Long and Angelique rode to blue in the Junior Medal Finals. (Photo: ESI)

Marshall & Sterling Junior Medal Final

Teagan Long and Angelique, owned by Andrew Ross, emerged victorious in the Marshall & Sterling Junior Medal Final after receiving consecutive top scores of 81 and 85 for a total of 166. Sam Beiter and her own Cool Water finished in second with scores of 79 and 70 for a total of 149. Following in third place was Charlotte Kwon and Donald Stewart’s Skrillex who received scores of 75 and 65, totaling 140. Gabrielle Baker piloted her own Mirror Image to fourth place with scores of 60 and 75 for a total of 135. Julia Liverton and her own He’s All Mine rounded out the top five with scores of 25 and 60 for a total of 85.


Julia Friedman receives her ribbon for the Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Child Medal Finals win, with trainer James Benedetto of Stony Hiill Equestrian Center and M&S Joe Norick.

Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Child Medal Finals

Julia Friedman and Pure Gold, owned by Alexa Friedman, ­­­gave a stellar performance worthy of a blue ribbon in the Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Child Medal Finals. Boasting scores of 84 and 85, for a total of 169, they topped the competition for the title win. Fifty-two riders took their chance over the round one course designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, FL. Testing riders on horsemanship skills, many competitors received scores in the mid-to-high seventies. There were two notable exceptions:  Friedman and Nicole Pietro riding Typhoon (owned by Mary Beth McGee), who received scores of 84 and 83, respectively.

The top 12 returned for round two and competition started on a high note with scores in the eighties for the first three entries. Seventh in the order of go, Sophie Geslao aboard Contiko, owned by Windham Hill, LLC, cruised to the top of the leaderboard with a score of 85, which added to her round one 78.5, totaled 165.5. Things appeared to be in Geslao’s favor as the next three contenders attempted the course but couldn’t top her.  Eleventh to give the round two course a go was Pietro and she navigated her mount to a score of 83.5 for a total of 166.5, just one point higher than Geslao!

Anchoring the order, Friedman did not disappoint. Finishing with a round two score of 85, for a total of 169, she claimed first, bumping Pietro to second and Geslao to third. Fourth place was awarded to Angelina Dielo and Flor Fulton’s As Good As It’s Get, followed by Hanna Clark and her own Out of the Blue in fifth place.

Sore No-More Children’s Medal Final – Horse

Francesca DiGuglielmo and Coolidge, owned by Redfield Farm, took home top honors in the Sore No-More Children’s Medal Final – Horse with scores of 80.5 and 83 for a total of 163.5 after besting a field of 72 competitors from across the North East.A lengthy round one, over a course designed by Dougherty, kept spectators on their edge of their seats wondering which 12 riders would move on to the second round. The best dozen all had round one scores of 79.75 or higher so the next round was anybody’s game.Fifth in the order DiGuglielmo set the tone for the afternoon when she sailed to a crisp 83, the round’s high score, for a total of 163.5 for the lead but there were seven riders waiting for their turn to top that. The next entry, Gigi Moynihan riding Vanquish, owned by Kendra Harnch, navigated her way to double scores of 81, for a total of 162, to sit just behind the leader.The next three in the order had trouble on the course but the tenth entry showed them how it’s done. Lauren Reid and Vincent D, owned by MiraBella’s Gold Corp, finished with a second round score of 80, which added to a first round 82.5 gave her a total of 162.5 for second place and bumping Moynihan to third. Sophee Steckbeck and her own Clooney rode to a fourth place finish and Nina Mazella piloting her own Rey Momo finished in fifth place.

Riders were also awarded in pony categories.

Click here for complete Marshall & Sterling National Finals results.

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