Devon, Pa. – July 12, 2021 – The 2021 Brandywine Horse Shows, sponsored by Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund and presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services, concluded Sunday, July 11, wrapping up two weeks of top hunter and jumper competition at the iconic Devon Show Grounds in Devon, Pennsylvania. Benefiting the Moorcroft Conservation Foundation and Chester County FoodBank, the 2021 event brought a star-studded field of top athletes and their horses to the Dixon Oval and Wheeler Ring to battle it out for top honors in a variety of classes.
Equitation riders were highlighted Saturday, July 10, for the second and final Classic of the Brandywine Equitation Cup, the Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic – Hunter, presented by Cheryle Francis in honor of Ray Francis. During week one, Maeve O’Donovan and Crackerjack claimed the Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic – Jumper prize. A whopping 65 junior athletes put their names forward for the prestigious Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic – Hunter title, but it was Bennett Kitchens and Clearview who dominated the field throughout the two rounds of competition to take the overall title.
In the $5,000 Open USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Wendy S. Janesky, a total of 24 professional riders and their mounts vied for the first place honors Saturday afternoon in a “Hunt and Go” format competition. Impressing the judges with two consistent rounds that exemplified classic hunter style, Patricia Griffiths and Tradition totaling a two-round score of 180, helping them top the leaderboard. Tradition, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Nancy Banfield, impressed the judges with his eager expression, flowing and consistent pace, and his beautiful form over each fence, which helped them earn the overall top score of 180.
Saturday evening played host to the $5,000 National Junior/Amateur Hunter Derby, which welcomed a large field of 76 horse-and-rider combinations to the Dixon Oval. The class was split with an overwhelming number of entries, leading to two winners, Helena Timpany and Wizz, who won the first section, while Augusta Iwasaki and Seaside took home the blue ribbon in the second group. Timpany and Wizz, an 18-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Timpany, laid down a beautiful round helping them earn a first-round score of 88.5 and a handy score of 87.5, which would allow them to hold their first-place lead through the remainder of the class. Iwasaki and her mount Seaside, a 15-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by the Iwasaki and Reilly family, showcased the true meaning of a hunter derby with their ample pace, consistency and handiness they demonstrated over each obstacle, which would help them earn a first-round score of an 89 and a handy round of 87, leading them to victory in the second group with a two-round total of 176.
The $5,000 Lannie Lipson Rider’s Bonus in Memory of Jared Lipson was awarded to the top three professional riders who accumulated the most points over the two weeks of Brandywine Horse Shows. Atlanta-based trainer and professional rider Michael Britt-Leon was awarded the blue ribbon after claiming the championship title on Private I, a 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Kelly Sims, in the High Performance Hunters. Leon also won the reserve champion title in the USHJA Regional Green Incentive Finals on Power Play, a 10-year-old Westphalian stallion owned by Sims, helping him to ultimately secure the Lannie Lipson Rider Bonus award. While Jimmy Torano was second and Jen Bauersachs rounded out the top three after two fantastic weeks of competition.
Caroline Kellogg and Herodios V once again were crowned Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champions for the second week in a row. Kellogg and Herodios V, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Kellogg, returned during week two of competition at the Brandywine Horse Shows with a champion title already under their belts from week one of the show. They continued to impress the judges with their flowing pace and beautiful form to help them earn top ribbons on Thursday and Friday, helping to ensure them the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter title once more, and taking home the The West Chester Hunt Perpetual Trophy in memory of Caroline “Cookie” Brown.
Sterling Malnik continued her winning ways, claiming the Grand Junior Hunter Champion title aboard Sweet Caroline, a 10-year-old Warmblood Mare owned by Malnik. Judges rewarded Malnik and Sweet Caroline for their consistently smooth rounds throughout the Small Junior 3’6″ Hunter 15+U division, placing at the top of the class on Saturday, helping them hold a top spot coming into Sunday’s competition. The dynamic pair continued to impress the judges Sunday and secured first and second place in both over fences classes, assuring them the Grand Junior Hunter Champion title.
Pennsylvania native Annabelle Brown and El Tigre won the highly anticipated Hamel NHS 3’3″ Medal Saturday evening in the Wheeler Ring. This pair wowed the judges with their rhythmic pace and textbook position over each jump. These two are no strangers to the winner’s circle, having received top honors in the ASPCA Maclay, Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal and were recently awarded the Best Junior Rider at Blue Rock Horse Show, and continued their winning ways during week two of competition at the Brandywine Horse Show in the Hamel NHS 3’3″ Medal.
The 2021 Brandywine Horse Shows is proud to support the efforts of both Moorcroft Conservation Foundation and Chester County FoodBank Beyond Hunger, the two benefiting charities for this year’s event. July 13-15, the USEF Junior Hunter National Championships – East Coast will occur, with each division having a classic, handy, and under saddle class. Divisions are offered at the 3’3,” and 3’6” height and the USHJA Gladstone Cup will take place Monday, July 12.
A big thank you to the SCAD students who have been a tremendous help in making the Brandywine Horse Shows such a success.
For more results from week two, click here.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Bennett Kitchens – Brandywine Equitation Cup winner
On winning the Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic:
“It is pretty cool [to win the Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic]. Last week was the jumper phase and that was pretty fun! I love doing more technical jumper tracks, so that was a lot of fun, Today was a little more huntery, but still had a handy vibe to it. It is pretty cool to win the Brandywine Cup. Emma Curtz also won it and she rode at our barn, so it is cool to follow her path.”
“I have had Clearview for almost a year. The first time I rode him I knew he was my horse of a lifetime.”
On the most challenging part of the class:
“The first jump in the test [was most difficult]. Other than that, it was a lot of the same questions the other equitation classes tend to ask.”
On competing at Brandywine Horse Shows:
“I came to Brandywine last year and it is pretty great. We love this horse show and they do a good job running it.”
Sterling Malnik – Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic – Hunter winner
On winning the Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic – Hunter:
“It feels amazing [to win the Brandywine Equitation Cup Classic- Hunter]. I have been working so hard and I was supposed to do my other equitation horse, who we had all prepared this morning, but he didn’t feel up to it today, so we had Charlie ready as a backup! We went in there and he was just incredible!”
“I got Charlie two years ago and we got him from some people in Washington state. He is a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding. I have been competing with him at all the big shows like [the Winter Equestrian Festival]. We were reserve in the THIS [Children’s Medal Finals] and Capital Challenge and recently he has been doing him in a ton of hunter derbies for fun since I have my other equitation horse. He just really pulled through today!”
On the course:
“My horse likes to warm up to things a lot and get ready for the course in an opening circle, so cantering right in I was a little on the edge wondering how it was going to go, but I just did a nice circle to get him out in front of my leg. A big thing I am working on right now for handy rounds is not looking for my distance too far back and just letting him canter, then start to find the distance. He was just incredible and I think he galloped right up to the first jump perfectly.”
On her future plans:
“I think we are going to go to Michigan for two weeks for the [Great Lakes Equestrian Festival], so we are super excited for that! Then we will have the National Horse Show to get ready for in Kentucky, and the rest of the indoor finals!”
On competing at Brandywine Horse Shows:
“It feels amazing [to be at Brandywine]. I went to Devon in 2019 but I was on ponies, so this is my second time back here and it feels amazing. My horses love this ring and I think they do a great job with the entire horse show.”
Patricia Griffiths – $5,000 Open USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
“This horse was formerly ridden by Liza Towell Boyd. He had some health issues right after the 2019 International Hunter Derby Finals and I know that he was in the clinic for a while; he had some breathing issues and allergies that were not under control. A friend and customer of mine, Nancy Banfield, somehow got the horse to rehab him. It has been about a year and a half since he has shown. He has done International Derbies well and I did not think it was fair to him to start out at that height. I have shown him three times now, the first time I just did the 3’3” because he was heavier than he is now. This is my third show and he has just been super and has been a really fun horse for these classes.”
“I love this ring. There is so much history here. The ring always rides quicker than it walks and it is just a special place and a great place to ride. The feeling in the ring is always so special.”
On competing at the Brandywine Horse Shows:
“With Devon being canceled, we couldn’t wait to be back here. We love it here and the show is run beautifully.”
Kristen Hamel – Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal
On Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal at Brandywine:
“It is very important with Jennifer Burger, Louise and Geoff Teal because they are the big heavy hitters for it at the Brandywine Horse Show. They helped bring it there and made it important. They have always done that and it has been very appreciated.”
On history of Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal:
“The class was created because we all knew that there needed to be a stepping stone into the Maclay and other 3’6” medal classes. Jennifer Berger and Geoff Teal brainstormed and came together and decided to see if there was any interest in a 3’3” medal. They asked me and knew how important the horse world has become to me in a lot of different aspects. Equitation has always been very exciting to me, I love to watch the challenge that it puts the riders through. It was really a no-brainer for me to sponsor this class.”
On future of Hamel NHS 3’3” Medal:
“The interest has just been outstanding, bigger than we ever anticipated. The class is becoming a little more challenging and it is stepping up a little bit. The tests are going to be a little more tricky and it will definitely ask more questions. I am just excited to get back to the National Horse Show and see all of the excitement.”