Finally Farm's September Achievements Are Many

Maggie Hill and Eclipse

Maggie Hill and Eclipse

From Florida to the Carolinas the Finally Farm team performed with talent and tenacity in September, achieving goals and bringing home lots of ribbons.

Maggie Hill journeyed to Tampa, Florida, for the ASPCA Maclay South East Regionals, September 20-22, where she placed eighth aboard Eclipse and qualified for Maclay Finals at the National Horse Show this fall.

Maggie Hill at the South East ASPCA Maclay Regionals

Maggie Hill at the South East ASPCA Maclay Regionals

“Maggie was quite good,” said trainer Liza Boyd. “We checked off that goal—she’d never done the Regionals before. At the Regionals, the goal isn’t necessarily to make the cut. She went early in the order and she stayed in there. Then, she flatted really nicely.

“She had shown For Side VDL the day before in the USEF Medal and ASPCA Maclay and won both of them, so that was awesome,” Liza added. “He’s been a good back-up horse and is ready to step in. Maggie Gampfer, one of Missy Clark’s assistants, came in and helped, so we’re excited to team up with North Run for indoors.”

Finally Farm also made their presence known at the Aiken Fall Festival at Bruce’s Field for two weeks in September.

“We welcomed the Nolans from Georgia, Grace Ann and Mary Caroline, to our team at Aiken,” said Liza. “Mary Caroline did great and did the USHJA Zone Children’s/Adult Hunter championships, and that was fun. She won the team gold medal winners during and ended up silver in the individual. That was fun for the kids to learn the team format.”

Mary Caroline guided Timeteo to the medals in the Children’s Hunters, while Grace Ann piloted her Junior Hunters, Kumano and Sonoma, to ribbons in the 3’3” section. Grace Ann also won a Low Children’s/Adult Jumper class aboard Malbay Dreamer as a highlight to her week.

Mary Caroline Nolan and Timoteo

Mary Caroline Nolan and Timoteo

“I did Kumano in the USHJA International Derby and was third overall,” said Liza. “He was great, and I was really impressed with his bravery and talent.” Liza also placed second aboard Gigi Manigault’s Bastille, while Maggie placed sixth aboard Cassanto and Gigi was eighth riding Major Key.

Liza also won the USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Ravello. “He’s a Pre-Green horse, so this was a great class for him with tough competition. So, he’ll be ready to be a 3’6” Green horse next year,” she said.

Elle Gibbs also added 3’3” Junior Hunters ribbons to Finally Farm’s banner aboard Game Plan, with two seconds over fences and a fifth in the classic. “She’s riding well, and I’m excited for her to go to Capital Challenge with him,” said Liza.

Gigi is wrapping up her junior career and prepared for the fall indoors with Major Key and Bastille. “Both Gigi and Maggie did the International Hunter Derby instead of the Junior Hunters in preparation for indoors. The courses were more technical, with broken lines, so it was good for them.”

Elle Boyd and Sugarbrook Pink-N-Blue

Elle Boyd and Sugarbrook Pink-N-Blue

Elle Boyd also shined in Aiken, showing multiple ponies and practicing her skills.

“It was fun to see her putting it all together, and she was champion and reserve on Sugarbrook Pink-N-Blue and reserve on Baby Blue in the Small Ponies,” said Liza of her 9-year-old daughter. “I think at that age to have time in the tack and just keep learning and practicing is so important. She’s starting to get a good feel and riding different types. I’m really proud of her. She qualified Baby Blue for Harrisburg, so I’m so excited to have her there.”

Amateurs Alison Thorp and Amy Nolan collected top ribbons throughout the shows, as did Mackensie Bowles. “It’s really fun to have them. They practice a lot and are so dedicated,” said Liza. “We don’t see Amy as often, but she always does her homework and comes prepared.”

Finally Farm also welcomed Alex Dastjerdi to the team. She showed Made For Me to excellent performances in the Pre-Children’s Hunters. “We’re very excited to have her and enjoyed helping her at the show,” noted Liza.

Paige and Mckenzie Miller could only show on Friday because a of other commitments, but they did make their time at the show pay dividends. Paige won a class in the Aiken Hunters on Shamrock and Mckenzie collected top honors with Hakuna Matata in the Schooling Ponies.

Erin McGuire has been splitting her time between showing and owning and operating her new business, so her goal was to compete her longtime partner Kasarr at a charity grand prix in Blowing Rock run by Vick Russell.

“It was a $50,000 Grand Prix, and she had one rail and was super good,” said Liza. “Her post on Facebook (below) was so well said.”

Erin McGuire’s Kasarr

Erin McGuire’s Kasarr

Erin McGuire in her words:

It’s been an anti-climatic year. I pulled the amateur card and didn’t show until the weather was acceptable, won my first Open class back in six months, felt on top of the world and ready for the show season.

Shortly after, Benny and I found ourselves with 4 fault-itis, and I was not a happy camper. Convinced it was an attitude thing on his end, I doubled down but even that couldn’t stop him from slamming on the brakes and throwing me into an oxer late spring.

As I came out of the ring Jack asked, “Are you okay, honey?” To which I responded, “My ego is a little bruised, but I’ll be fine.” We bumped him down for an easy show, and just as we were gearing up for the summer and fall (my absolute favorite shows of the year), something was off. Cue an old splint that had another agenda.

I was frustrated with the world, telling myself I do everything right, show my horse sparingly, treat him like the athlete he is, why did this have to happen to me? Then I realized I had the real attitude issue and people pay me to better their mindset'; this was unacceptable behavior on my behalf. So, I got off my high horse and onto my 15.2 reality, and we had an easy summer of flat work with one goal in mind – James H Fisher Memorial GP.

$50,000 up for grabs, a few strikes against us, and a team that was ready to beat the odds. I am forever amazed by the heart of this horse and humbled by the lessons he’s taught me. Special thanks to Dr. Magda for her unwavering support and expertise and to Jeff for his expert shoeing. Both kept this minor setback from escalating. Today resulted in a rider 4 faults and a horse back on top of his game. Some of the best advice I’ve received from Liza in our 10-year partnership is to treat every victory like it’s your first and last. After a spectacular year last year and a year packed full of frustration this year – that advice rings true more than ever. Today wasn’t a win of ribbons or flowers, but it was a personal win reminding me to listen my horse and trust in our partnership.

Posted on September 28, 2019 .

Hardin Towell Jockeys Carlo to Victory in $10,000 Douglas Elliman 1.40m Jumper CSI4*

Hardin Towell and Carlo

Hardin Towell and Carlo

The 2019 American Gold Cup, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, made its triumphant return at Old Salem Farm to commence the event’s 49th installment Wednesday, with FEI competition attracting some of the world’s best horse-and-athlete teams to the pristine grass Grand Prix Ring.

Beginning the week on a high note, Hardin Towell (USA) and Carlo topped the leaderboard in the $10,000 Douglas Elliman 1.40m Jumper CSI4*, while Cormac Hanley (IRL) piloted Cortani FBH to the blue ribbon in the $8,000 Porsche Danbury & Audi Danbury 1.40m Jumper. In the $2,000 Eastern Hay 1.30m Jumper, Captain Future Z carried Erynn Ballard (CAN) to victory ahead of a lofty field.

The feature event of the first day of competition, the $10,000 Douglas Elliman 1.40m Jumper CSI4* brought a large pack of 70 exhibitors to center stage for a chance at some early prize money. As the first to contest designer Alan Wade’s (IRL) 13-effort track in the speed class, pathfinders Hanley and Heathman Farm LLC’s Alma Z set a quick precedent with a blazing trip in 60.83 seconds, leaving all the rails in their cups to jump to the early lead.

Hardin Towell and Carlo

Hardin Towell and Carlo

Throughout the class, subsequent challengers chased down Hanley and the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare, but it would take nearly 50 trips for new leaders to emerge. Slicing across the grass more efficiently than the rest, Towell and Ann Thompson’s Carlo eclipsed Hanley and his ride thanks to their successful navigation of the pattern in 59.19 seconds to secure the lead spot in the lap of honor. Hanley and Alma Z retained second position, while Sweden’s Mariano Maggi and Uma O’Neill’s Quintago VA clinched third place penalty-free in 61.12 seconds.

Towell and Carlo have been gaining momentum recently in the show ring, most recently coming off of a first-place finish in the $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in July. In 2018, they claimed victory in the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show $50,000 Grand Prix and added to their achievements that same month in Lexington, Kentucky, where the pair won the $60,000 Kentucky National Betsy Grand Prix.

Hardin Towell and Carlo in their winning presentation.

Hardin Towell and Carlo in their winning presentation.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Hardin Towell’s thoughts on his winning ride:

“I did one horse before so I knew the track. Carlo is a very quick horse and I actually added from fence one to two. I didn’t mean to, but I did seven strides instead of six, and that helped me get back to the third jump a lot quicker and then everywhere else I just stayed on my track. He is just so naturally quick and it makes my job a lot easier.”

On Carlo:

“Carlo is 13 years old and owned by Ann Thompson. I’ve had him for about a year. He is a great horse. He will come and win 1.40m classes and 1.50m classes. I am very lucky to have him. Since the start of our business [Oakland Stables], with Darragh [Kenny] and myself, he was one of the first horses that I had. Last year he was my top horse, and I’m lucky enough to have a great group of horses now. He can step up and be the top horse, but this week he is my second horse. It’s nice to be able to not always have to ask him to do the biggest classes all the time. His turns are really good, especially on the landings. His turns are so quick sometimes you almost get a little bit loose because he is always looking for the turn. That’s where he is naturally so quick. He is a small horse but typically I like smaller horses. I’ve always ridden a bit of a smaller horse. Today he was great.”

On competing at the American Gold Cup:

“I love the American Gold Cup. I’ve only shown here once two years ago. I was third in the [$216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W] and I had a very good show, so it is nice coming back. Last time I had some nice rounds out in the grass field and it seems to be going the same so far so let’s hope this week continues like that.”

RESULTS

$10,000 Douglas Elliman 1.40m Jumper CSI4*

Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Faults | Time

1. Carlo / Hardin Towell / USA / Ann Thompson / 0 | 59.19

2. Alma Z / Cormac Hanley / IRL / Heathman Farm, LLC / 0 | 60.83

3. Quintago VA / Mariano Maggi / SWE / Uma O’Neill / 0 | 61.12

4. Gletscher Eis E / Alberto Michan / ISR / A D M Equestrian / 0 | 61.75

5. HH Qualido / Quentin Judge / USA / Double H Farm / 0 | 61.96

6. Dingeman / Santiago Lambre / MEX / Aurora Rangel de Alba / 0 | 62.35

7. Clearville / Hardin Towell / USA / Rock Ridge Farms / 0 | 65.08

8. Akuna Mattata / Nicole Shahinian-Simpson / USA / Carol Rosenstein & Silver Raven Farms / 0 | 67.00

9. Judge Hof ter Zeedycke / Erynn Ballard / CAN / Skymaster LLC / 0 | 68.81

10. Alejandro / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Seabrook LLC, Spy Coast Farm, LLC and Sweet Oak Farm / 0 | 69.28

11. Jeleena de Muze / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms, LLC / 0 | 69.85

12. Casco / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms LLC / 0 | 70.39

Special thanks to Phelps Sports for the press release.

Posted on September 11, 2019 .

Hardin Towell and Darragh Kenny: What Takes Them to the Top

Darragh Kenny and Hardin Towell own and operate Oakland Stables. Photo: Callie Clement/Phelps Media

Darragh Kenny and Hardin Towell own and operate Oakland Stables. Photo: Callie Clement/Phelps Media

Wednesday August 14, 2019

Special thanks to the World of ShowJumping for a wonderful article. To view it on their website, please click here.

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Darragh Kenny and Jack Snyder’s Babalou 41. Photo: Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

Darragh Kenny and Jack Snyder’s Babalou 41. Photo: Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

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Hardin Towell and Joli Jumper in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows, where they finished second. “The only person more excited for me than me on that day of the Queen’s Cup was Darragh,” Hardin said. Photo: Ryley Ingram/Phelps Media Group

Hardin Towell and Joli Jumper in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows, where they finished second. “The only person more excited for me than me on that day of the Queen’s Cup was Darragh,” Hardin said. Photo: Ryley Ingram/Phelps Media Group

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“I am very lucky that Hardin is a part of this business because it’s made a huge difference to me,” Darragh said. Photo: Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

“I am very lucky that Hardin is a part of this business because it’s made a huge difference to me,” Darragh said. Photo: Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

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Hardin Towell and Carlo. “He’s a horse that is easy but can be a bit quirky,” said Hardin. Photo: Callie Clement/Phelps Media Group

Hardin Towell and Carlo. “He’s a horse that is easy but can be a bit quirky,” said Hardin. Photo: Callie Clement/Phelps Media Group

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Darragh Kenny and Ann Thomson’s Balou Du Reventon. “He always wants to fight for you in the ring and do really well,” said Darragh. Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

Darragh Kenny and Ann Thomson’s Balou Du Reventon. “He always wants to fight for you in the ring and do really well,” said Darragh. Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

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Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream. “I do think he can do the Olympics next year, and I think that he’s an incredible horse,” said Darragh. Photo: Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream. “I do think he can do the Olympics next year, and I think that he’s an incredible horse,” said Darragh. Photo: Barre Dukes/Phelps Media Group

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Posted on August 14, 2019 .

Finally Farm Makes an Impressive Impression at Blowing Rock

Jack Towell with daughter Liza Boyd and granddaughters Adeline and Elle.

Jack Towell with daughter Liza Boyd and granddaughters Adeline and Elle.

One of the show season’s favorite competitions proved one of the most successful for the entire Finally Farm team during the 96th annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, held July 23-August 4 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Jack Towell earned the Sallie Busch Wheeler Leading Hunter Trainer Award, and Liza Boyd won the Ronnie W. Mutch Leading Hunter Rider Trophy.

Gigi Manigault, of Charleston, South Carolina, had a fairytale horse show. During what’s her final junior year, Gigi finished as Grand Junior Hunter Champion aboard Major Key, winning the Lyrik Trophy, and Gigi was named Best Child Rider during Week 2, winning the Bill Daily Perpetual Memorial Trophy. They were also circuit champions in the 3’6’ Large Junior Hunters.

Gigi Manigault and Major Key receive the Cassalo Trophy from Erin McGuire

Gigi Manigault and Major Key receive the Cassalo Trophy from Erin McGuire

“She’s come such a long way,” said trainer Liza Boyd. “Gigi’s really worked hard this year and developed into such a consistent rider. Major Key is a great horse for her, too. They won the Cassalo Trophy for the Grand Champion Large Junior Hunter, which was cool because Cassalo and Erin McGuire trained with us during their heyday.”

Gigi also guided Bastille great ribbons, and in between Liza rode the elegant bay to place second in The Challenge of Champions during Week 1 and won the USHJA International's Hunter Derby during Week 2 and the Diane Ward Memorial Trophy.

“We did the derby with Bastille at the last minute,” said Liza. “Gigi said to me, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if you did the derby? He’s never done one before.’ It was a great first derby for him.”

Liza Boyd and Gigi Manigault’s Bastille topped the USHJA International Hunter Derby

Liza Boyd and Gigi Manigault’s Bastille topped the USHJA International Hunter Derby

The derby was held Saturday evening, with a party going on ringside, but Bastille didn’t bat an eye at the electric atmosphere. The pair won the Classic Round and then placed second in the Handy behind O’Ryan and Maggie Hill for the Overall victory.

Maggie Hill and For Side VDL

Maggie Hill and For Side VDL

“The ring there is a bit challenging for a derby,” said Liza, “because it’s oval. It’s almost like indoors. The courses were technical, with bending lines, and more equitation-like in some ways. Then, in the Handy Round the trot jump was quite big. It wasn’t really a log but more like a tree! Surprisingly, the horses all jumped it well. The inside turns were quite challenging, but going last I didn’t have to do them all (because of her substantial lead). There were three high option fences, and we did two of them. I took it conservatively since it was his first derby and I wanted a good experience for him.”

Maggie also starred in the Junior Hunters and was Best Child Rider during Week 1, earning the Joan Ellis Goodwin Memorial Trophy. She and Cassanto were Large Junior Hunter, 16-17, champions Week 2, and Maggie was reserve champion with O’Ryan Week 1.

Maggie was also the Overall WIHS winner both weeks in the equitation. “It’s nice she keeps chipping away all year in the WIHS and keeps those points up,” said Liza. “For Side VDL has stepped up to the plate and given Maggie’s other horse, Eclipse, a break. That’s been our strategy throughout the year, and it’s paying off. They don’t have to show every weekend, which keeps them fresh and happy. I was also thrilled with Maggie’s derby ride with O’Ryan. She ended up sixth overall and beat me in the Handy! She went in and had nothing to lose and went for it. She was fantastic!”

Elle Gibbs’ Game Plan

Elle Gibbs’ Game Plan

Maggie showed her prowess in the Jumpers, riding Oakmont Farms LLC’s Concept, trained by Hardin Towell, to second in the NAL Junior/ Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic the first week.

Elle Gibbs also shined in the Juniors, earning a reserve championship in the 3’3” Junior, 15 and under, section, aboard Game Plan in a very competitive group of horses and riders. Elle also jumped to ribbons aboard Oakland Ventures LLC’s Kasiopeja, trained by Hardin Towell, in the Low Children’s Jumpers during their debut together.

Elle Boyd followed in her mother’s footsteps with two great weeks at Blowing Rock. During Week 2, she guided Baby Blue to the Small Pony Hunter reserve championship and won the Pony Hunter Classic. She was also reserve champion on Sugarbrook Pink-N-Blue, a new ride from Jill Hamilton of California.

“Elle had never done a Medium pony, and in the first week she was second in the Classic and then reserve champion in the Mediums,” said Liza. “I’m so proud of her! The pony will be at Pony Finals and is available for lease or sale. What a super pony!.”

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue

Younger sister Adeline debuted in the Walk-Trot, picking up her own blue ribbon aboard the saintly Otis Spunkmeyer. “She had fun! She needs to come home and get serious,” said Liza laughing. “It was fun to dress her up and for her to be there.”

In the Adult Jumpers, Finally Farm riders starred.

Sarah Isgett and Killarney, Kelly Maloney and Condero 3, Audrey Muscari and Cartograna and Madison Sellman aboard MTM Chaccon all vied for ribbons in the 1.0/1.10 Adult Amateur Jumpers and returned home with armloads. Audrey and Cartograna topped the NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic during Week 1 as a highlight.

Sarah Isgett and Killarney

Sarah Isgett and Killarney

“Sarah, who goes to USC and rides for the equestrian team, likes to keep riding during the off season to keep fit and tuned up,” said Liza. “She and Killarney were great and placed third in the Low Adult Jumper Classic. She brought Maddie Sellman with her from USC, who will be the team captain this year. It was really fun to have them both this summer.”

In the Adult Hunters, it was Amy Nolan and Extra Credit who were extra consistent. “Amy rode great and received the Toltec Memorial Trophy Sportsmanship Award in honor of a horse that passed away. It was a well received award. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. so we don’t see her often because she keeps her horse at home and meets us at the shows. Her friend Paige Miller, who purchased Shamrock from us, moved up to the 3’ Adults for the first time and got nice ribbons, with an 84 and 85. They both had a great show,” noted Liza.

Alison Thorp and Justified also earned consistent ribbons the Adult Hunters, including scores in the mid-80s in the older section. “Alison is a great friend and long-time client. She leases Kelly Maloney’s Justified and got good ribbons,” said Liza. “She started riding with us back in the day when we had that Charlotte, North Carolina annex barn. It’s fun to have her in the barn! We have such a nice group of competitive adults who all are good riders and practice a lot and put the time into it.”

Mckenzie Miller and Hakuna Matata

Mckenzie Miller and Hakuna Matata

Pagie’s daughter Mckenzie Miller earned reserve championship honors both weeks aboard the Medium Pony Hakuna Matata. “The Short Stirrup was a California split! It was huge! I was so impressed with Mckenzie,” said Liza. “She had never done Short Stirrup and walked right in there and did so well, winning an over fences class, too.”

Liza was also proud of her Green Hunter Ravello, who captured the daily high-score award three times for a $500 bonus as well as the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Stake during Week 1. “He won the Kathryn G. Clark Memorial Challenge of Champions the first week, and for a 7- year-old that was great. We’re really excited about him and will be taking him to the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship in Kentucky, along with our other Green Hunter, Chatham Hall.”

Bridget Hallman’s two Green Hunters are also well prepared for Kentucky after earning tricolors at Blowing Rock. Who’s It was champion in the 3’6” Greens the second week and earned the 3’6” Green Hunter Circuit Championship, and Halston was champion the first week in the 3’6” Green Conformation. Bridget then went on to earn top ribbons in the 3’3” Amateur-Owners on Halston for a tricolor as well. “It’s great to see Bridget do so well, and she won a class with an 87! Her horses have come a long way—she got one quite green and the other was a jumper. She brought them both along. Her priority was to have them get experience with me first, and then eventually show them in the Amateurs, and it’s all working out.”

Please enjoy our photo gallery from Blowing Rock, with special thanks to the Blowing Rock Horse Show for their wonderful social media coverage!









Posted on August 8, 2019 .

Hardin Towell and Carlo Jump to Win $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Hardin Towell and Ann Thompson’s Carlo

Hardin Towell and Ann Thompson’s Carlo

Traverse City, Mich. – July 19, 2019 – The third week of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, welcomed the first week of FEI competition at the Flintfields Horse Park, with international challengers taking to the Grand Prix Ring on Friday to compete for the top spot in the $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2*. After a hard-fought class, Hardin Towell (USA) and Carlo emerged victorious, claiming the first CSI2* win of the series and the greatest share of the prize money.

For the first FEI-rated welcome stake of the season, veteran course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) presented exhibitors with a technical track that eight pairs, out of the original start list of 24 entries, mastered to qualify for a spot in the jump-off. Following the first round of riding, Andrew Welles (USA), Lauren Tisbo (USA), Gavin Moylan (CAN), Ailish Cunniffe (USA), Michael Morrissey (USA) and Towell each were still in contention for the first place prize after clear initial trips aboard their respective mounts. Statistically, Towell and Tisbo posed the greatest chances of claiming the class win, each with two horses apiece returning for the tiebreaking round.

The first to tackle the abridged jump-off pattern, Welles set a high bar with his ride on Itasca Group LLC’s Serpico, crossing the finish line fault-free in 40.340 seconds to serve as the early pathfinders. Their reign would not last long however, as Tisbo and Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Jeleena De Muze usurped the early leaders by leaving all of the fences intact with a slightly faster time of 39.040 seconds to take the lead with the majority of the returning pack still yet to ride.

As the field chased them down, none were able to better the leading pair’s efforts until Towell and Ann Thompson’s Carlo, the final contenders of the afternoon. They took to the Grand Prix Ring and efficiently sliced across the track to finish fault-free in 39.000 seconds, less than one-tenth of a second ahead of Tisbo and Jeleena De Muze, to capture the win in the $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2*. Tisbo and Jeleena De Muze settled for second place, while Welles and Serpico rounded out the podium in third place overall.

Now with a series of upper-level classes complete, riders have been able to accumulate points towards the new $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which will be awarded at the conclusion of the circuit in August. Points are calculated based on prize money earned throughout the six-week festival in Open Jumper classes 1.45m and above, and fans and athletes can follow along and check the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard, posted on www.greatlakesequestrianfestival.com, to track their favorite riders and see who is leading in the standings. Though Towell’s win on Friday earned him valuable points towards the season-ending prize, Wilhelm Genn (GER) maintained the top spot in the rankings thanks to multiple victories in earlier welcome stake and grand prix competitions during Weeks I and II.

Hardin Towell and Carlo

Hardin Towell and Carlo

From the Winner's Circle

About his horse:
“Carlo is owned by Ann Thompson, and we have had him for about a year. I competed with him at Spruce Meadows in the 1.45m and 1.50m and he got some really nice ribbons there. He did the ‘Reach for the Sun’ Derby last week and he was quite good. I ran out of gas a little bit so he had a couple [rails] down there, but he is just a lovely horse. He is very versatile and it was hot today so I had to kick a lot — I am sweating! He was so great. He was great on the turns. I didn’t meet everything like I like in the jump-off, but he tried as hard as he could, so I am very proud of him.”

On his strategy:
“I had two in the jump-off. My first one, [Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z], is naturally very fast but he is not the greatest at turns because he is still very green but he is getting much better. Overall, my plan was to be quite quick and a little bit wide, but we unfortunately had one down. Carlo is not as naturally quick across the ground but he turns really well, so early in the course I was a bit conservative, but then for the last two verticals I really turned him back very sharp. I know he tried as hard as he could to jump them and he did it.”

On the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus:
“I have heard of the CaptiveOne rider bonus. I was here last week riding some horses, but I am just getting to know the horses so I wasn’t very competitive in the grand prix. This week I am here, but unfortunately I have to leave as I have other commitments to train at [the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships]. If I have a good Sunday, I might come back for the last 3* class. Honestly, I think it really comes down to the last two weeks. Wilhelm [Genn] has won two $50,000 [classes] and a $35,000 [class] in the last two weeks, so he is already around the $130,000 mark. The winner of [the last two grand prix] is going to be right up next to him. If a rider comes and wins both of them, then I think they could run away with it. I think it really comes down to the end. He is off to a great start for sure, so we will have to see who comes into town to take the big money.”

On Traverse City:
“I love it. Last week was great. I had a long Spruce Meadows and all of my horses went well in addition to my big result in the [$500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup], so it was sort of a vacation week here last week. I could take a deep breath and just catch-ride some horses, which was fantastic. Last week I got to golf a lot and take a mini vacation. Now it is back to work so hopefully we can keep it going!”

RESULTS
$35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults |Time / R2 Faults | Time

1. Carlo / Hardin Towell / USA / Ann Thompson / 0 | 72.640 / 0 | 39.000
2. Jeleena De Muze / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms LLC / 0 | 72.120 / 0 | 39.040
3. Serpico / Andrew Welles / USA / Itasca Group LLC / 0 | 70.870 / 0 | 40.340
4. Balous Diamond / Gavin Moylan / CAN / Radiant Equine LLC / 0 | 72.110 / 0 | 42.470
5. Baloucento 2 / Ailish Cunniffe / USA / Whipstick Farm Ltd. / 0 | 69.830 / 0 | 43.720
6. Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z / Hardin Towell / USA / Oakmont Stables LLC / 0 | 70.370 / 4 | 38.830
7. Sam 1091 / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 0 | 70.690 / 4 | 39.410
8. Casco 11 / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms LLC / 0 / 73.580 / WD
9. Hollywood Be Good / Kirsten Ostling / USA / Kirsten Ostling / 1 | 74.410
10. Fancy Girl / Willie Tynan / IRL / Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach / 4 | 71.240
11. Primo Troy / Andrew Welles / USA / Itasca Group LLC / 4 | 72.920
12. Gabbistar / Gavin Moylan / CAN / Crescent Farms / 5 | 75.580

Posted on July 20, 2019 .

Maggie Hill and Cassanto Capture USEF Junior Hunter Finals-East Title

Maggie Hill and Cassanto

Maggie Hill and Cassanto

Congratulations to Maggie Hill and Cassanto for their impressive victory in the USEF Junior Hunter Finals - East, held July 8-9 at the Brandywine Horse Shows in Devon, Pennsylvania.

A win in the classic round set Maggie and Cassanto up for championship honors in the 3’6” Large Junior Hunters 16-17.

Excellent performances from Gigi Manigault and her Major Key, Elle Gibbs on mounts Ferrari and Game Plan, and Maggie on O’Ryan made for a successful and fun Finals!

In addition, Finally Farm enjoyed top honors at the Brandywine Horse Shows, including Elle Gibbs and Game Plan who earned the 3’3” Large Junior, 15 and under, championship during Week 2.

Elle Gibbs and Game Plan

Elle Gibbs and Game Plan

Gigi Manigault kept up her consistent ways, winning classes on both mounts at Brandywine. She earned the reserve championship in one section of the 3’6” Junior Hunters on Bastille and took a primary ribbon in the classic on Major Key.

Gigi Manigault and Bastille

Gigi Manigault and Bastille

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue scored an 88 to win the Small Pony handy and take reserve championship honors in the Small Pony Hunter section during Brandywine I.

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue

Posted on July 9, 2019 .

Hardin Towell Captures Second in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Hardin Towell and Joli Jumper

Hardin Towell and Joli Jumper

Calgary, Alberta - July 7, 2019 - The ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1.60m) is the Grand Prix of the Spruce Meadows North American CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Forty horse/rider combinations qualified to compete in the prestigious event earlier in the week. The field of competition was full of top international athletes looking to have their names added to the historic trophy.

The competition is run over two rounds, the top 12 placed horses after round one advance to round two. If there is a tie for faults after the two rounds, there is a jump off. The tracks for the competition were designed by FEI Course Designer Santiago Varela (ESP), who was looking to test the riders in multiple ways.

Round one was a 570m track consisting of 13 obstacles (16 efforts) that riders attempted to jump clear under the time allowed of 86 seconds. Only four riders were able to deliver clear rounds and carry no penalties into round two.

Hardin Towell and Joli Jumper

Hardin Towell and Joli Jumper

The round two track tested riders over 490m of track and 11 obstacles (14 efforts), including the challenging double liver pools. Prior to Hardin Towell (USA), the first of the round one clears, John Perez (COL) sat atop the leader board sitting on a combined two faults. Perez’s lead did not last long with Towell finishing on only one time fault picked up in the second round. Andrew Kocher (USA) quickly followed, also finishing on one time fault sending both riders to a jump-off.

Towell was first in for the jump off with Joli Jumper and would finish with four faults and a time of 47.09s. All Kocher had to do was leave all the fences up. Aboard the bay gelding Carollo, Kocher did just that. The pair crossed the finish line with a time of 45.11s winning the 2019 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

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Edited press release courtesy of Spruce Meadows Media Services




Posted on July 9, 2019 .

Finally Farm Conquers Aiken Summer Classic I

Erin McGuire and Kassar - photo by Elle Boyd

Erin McGuire and Kassar - photo by Elle Boyd

The Aiken Summer Classic I, held June 12-16 at Bruce’s Field in Aiken, South Carolina, featured many memorable moments for the Finally Farm team, which earned top accolades in the hunters, jumpers, equitation and pony classes.

The highlights included Erin McGuire and her own Kasarr winning the $5,000 Fabbri Boots Dash for the Cash Non Pro 1.15 m Jumper Classic.

Maggie Hill and Cassanto

Maggie Hill and Cassanto

Maggie Hill and Cassanto captured the 3’6” Junior Hunter championship with beautiful rounds, and Maggie rode For Side VDL to the top calls in the WIHS Equitation Hunter and Jumper phases.

A bevy of reserve championship ribbons decorated the tack room banner as well, including El Tindo (Liza Boyd) in the 3’3” Performance Working Hunters, Bastille and Major Key (Gigi Manigault) in the 3’6” Junior Hunters (California split), Baby Blue (Elle Boyd) in the Small Pony Hunters and Concept (Maggie Hill) in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

Gigi Manigault with Major Key and Bastille

Gigi Manigault with Major Key and Bastille

Elle Gibbs and her mounts Game Plan and Ferrari captured excellent ribbons in the 3’3” Junior Hunters, and she captured second in the Classic aboard Ferrari.

Liza also piloted Ravello to victory in the USHJA 3’/3’3” Green Hunter Incentive class and placed third aboard Absolu De Bloye.

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue

Elle Boyd and Baby Blue

Special thanks to the Classic Company and Bob Bell for hosting such great shows!

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Posted on June 17, 2019 .

Pleasant Oaks Plantation Unveiled

Lakeside at Pleasant Oaks Plantation

Lakeside at Pleasant Oaks Plantation

Lisa and Jack Towell unveiled their newest project, Pleasant Oaks Plantation, a premier boutique event venue in Liberty Hill, South Carolina. The beautiful farm is centrally located to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Camden, South Carolina and offers a one-of-a-kind experience for weddings, corporate events and milestone parties.

Set on 10 rolling acres, Pleasant Oaks is a place where the Towell family escaped from their life owning and operating a busy show stable for peace and quiet. Then, as Lisa and Jack renovated and filled the home with antiques and personal touches, it became a place they wanted to share with family and friends.

Now, in collaboration with event planner Gillian Valentine, Pleasant Oaks has become a full-service event venue that offers two different locations on the property for your event, based on your number of guests. Pleasant Oaks hosts events March-May and September–November each year.

Lakeside — Picture your ceremony backing up to a lake with beautiful forests surrounding you. The lakeside of the property is a perfect setting for a smaller gathering or ceremony and short walk from the house. Guest Capacity: 100-150

The Lawn at Pleasant Oaks Plantation

The Lawn at Pleasant Oaks Plantation

The Lawn — The lawn is the perfect setting for any event, with the wide space beautifully laced with large oak trees. With close proximity to the house and parking, it provides easy access for guests and caterers. This area also features an antique wagon and long table for built-in stations for catering. Guest Capacity: 200

Bridal and Groom Suites — On the day of your wedding, pamper yourself with the luxury of being onsite! The suites are situated on opposite sides of the house to provide privacy and are filled with beautiful antiques to make the day picture perfect They offer beautiful views of the venue, bathrooms and room to beautify for your big day! Guest Capacity: 20-30.

The community of Liberty Hill has a rich history. Perched atop a high plateau among the countryside, the town was settled by migrators after the Revolutionary War. By 1858, the community was flourishing, with large plantations and land owners, making it one the richest communities in South Carolina. With the plateau enjoying a view of the neighboring counties, it became a sought-after location, and several of the original families still reside in Liberty Hill. Little has changed since its moment of prosperity, and it was recognized as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Liberty Hill, please click here.

For more information about Pleasant Oaks Plantation, services and more photographs of this beautiful property, please visit the website: www.pleasantoaksplantation.com.




Posted on June 13, 2019 .

Tryon Course Walk

Jack Towell and Liza Towell Boyd gave a course walk prior to the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Tryon on June 7 and was well received.

“It was fun to show people the strategy involved in walking the hunter derby courses, especially the handy,” said Liza. “I think getting out there in the arena and seeing the course from that perspective really allowed people to better understand the challenges we face when navigating the courses. The idea of riding a hunter is to make everything smooth and look effortless, so knowing how hard we work to make that happen was something that I think people really took away from the course walk.”

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Posted on June 7, 2019 .