horse show

Spring Ledge Stars in Kentucky

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Sloane Coles and Esprit

The Spring Ledge Team had an amazing two weeks in Lexington, Kentucky in August attending the Bluegrass Festival and the KHJA horse shows!

Catherine Brentzel came to her second show ever on a horse and won six out of six of her classes in the Children’s Jumpers and Low Children’s jumpers. She finished the KHJA Horse Show with the Low Children’s Jumper championship aboard Zalandra and the reserve championship with Ollywood Des Horts. She also earned the Children’s Jumper reserve championship with Biaggi and won the Children’s Jumper Classic.

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Connor Husain and MTF Saint Simeon

Megan Fitzgerald and Betina won the Adult Jumper Classic at the KHJA show with a very fast jump-off and finished with the Adult Amateur Jumper reserve championship.

Esprit and Sloane Coles were fourth in the $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix. Connor Husain jumped several clear classes in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers and completed his first 1.45m High Amateur-Owner Classic with just 4 faults.

Finally, Whiskey Business won the $5,000 1.40m Jump-off class. Thanks to everyone for a great two weeks!

Sloane Coles and Esprit Race to Win $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan CSI2*

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Traverse City, Michigan – July 16, 2017 – The $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan CSI2* highlighted Week Two of competition at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) on Sunday. Twenty-four international athletes went head-to-head in the Grand Prix Ring, but it was Sloane Coles who took home the first win for the United States during the first week of FEI competition at GLEF with Esprit, owned by The Springledge Group.

 

Course designer Manuel Esparza of Mexico challenged horses and riders over a 13-fence serpentine in the first round, but only seven were invited back to jump-off after going clear.

 

Twenty-one-year-old Kaely Tomeu (USA) and Gentille, owned by Siboney Ranch, produced the first double-clear round of the jump-off, stopping the timers in 40.930 seconds as second to go in the order.

 

It looked as though Tomeu would take the win as the only exhibitor to go clear in the tie-breaking round, as faults were collected throughout the next four rounds, until Coles and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding entered the ring as the final combination to jump-off.

 

The pair galloped around the shortened track, adding no faults to their name, and crossed the finish line in 40.450 seconds to clinch the blue ribbon.

 

David Beisel and Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC’s Call Me Hannes finished in third place as the fastest of the 4 faulters in 39.860 seconds.

 

In addition to her winning title and prize money, Coles took home a bottle of wine, courtesy of Black Star Farms, and a gift certificate for a free custom portrait from Kristi’s Canvas. Coles was also presented with one of Bloomfield Open Hunts’ historic trophies, the Wayne State University Grand Prix Trophy from the historic Motor City Horse Show, by Dean and Wendly Groulx.

 

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Sloane Coles – $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan CSI2*

 

On Esprit:

 

“I’m pretty excited with Esprit. He’s really been on all year. He jumped great all spring after Florida. He came out, jumped well in Kentucky and then jumped with one down in the 4* at Upperville. I kind of came here really wanting a win in the 2*. He was third on Friday and I was lucky enough to go last in the jump-off, but Kaely, who was second, went pretty fast. I had to be right on everywhere. Esprit’s just been jumping amazing. He feels younger and younger so it’s nice.”

 

On the jump-off:
“It was a hard jump-off. There were only two clear but we were both very fast. I think everybody was really trying to win. He jumped easy today so I felt like I could really go a lot faster. He’s really peaking now but I’ve always believed in him. I just feel like I can go fast on him and he’s careful so it’s nice to be able to have these shows where you can compete in a 2*.”

 

On GLEF:
“I really love it here. This is my first year. I think the Morrisseys are doing a really great job. It’s just a beautiful area and you can spend time on the lake. The horse show has great footing and it’s been a nice change. I’ll be back next year!”

 

Sloane Coles and Esprit
RESULTS
 
$50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Esprit / Sloane Coles / USA / The Springledge Group / 0 / 0 / 40.450
2. Gentille / Kaely Tomeu / USA / Siboney Ranch / 0 / 0 / 40.930
3. Call Me Hannes / David Beisel / USA / Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC / 0 / 4 / 39.860
4. Columbcille De Reve / Lauren Crooks / USA / Crooks Show Jumping LLC / 0 / 4 / 41.830
5. Barlando / Conor O’Regan / IRL / Dynomite Ranch LLC / 0 / 4 / 43.390
6. Dino / Capt. Brian Cournane / IRL / Robert Stiller / 0 / 4 / 45.820
7. Hunters Conlypso II / Lorcan Gallagher / IRL / Dacantos Group / 0 / 8 / 48.160
8. La Lopez 3 / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 1 / 79.39
9. Javas Keltic Mist / Capt. Brian Cournane / IRL / Glenbeigh Farm LLC / 4 / 75.19
10. Bugatti / Wilhelm Genn / GER / Eduardo Leon / 4 / 75.81
11. Belize D’Ive Z / Lorcan Gallagher / IRL / Sweet Oak Farm / 4 / 76.940
12. Charlie / Winn Alden / USA / Southern Arches LLC / 4 / 77.35
Special Thanks to Phelps Media Group for the press release.

Ten Things Show Jumper Sloane Coles Has Learned From Riding In the Hunt Field

MASTER CLASS| By Nina Fedrizzi| May 1, 2017

Special thanks to Noelle Floyd Style for writing this feature on Sloane!

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Hunter/jumper rider Sloane Coles has certainly learned from the best. Not only did she grow up with two horse riding parents, she cut her teeth traveling the country and the world to train with some of the top names in the industry—from John and Beezie Madden to Mark Leone and Lauren Hough, and Belgian Olympian, Francois Mathy Sr.

Four years ago, Sloane decided to return to the place where she began: The Plains, Virgina, and the vast, rolling hills of Orange County hunt country where she works for top training facility, Spring Ledge Farm. And while, these days, Sloane is equally successful in the hunter and grand prix jumper rings, she hasn’t forgotten those important, early lessons she learned outside the arena, as a young rider growing up on horseback in Virginia’s bountiful countryside.

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Sloane Coles and her father John Coles

“I [still] try to get out as often as I can,” Sloane says, adding that the picture below was taken just last fall.

Here are 10 riding lessons Sloane Coles has learned from the hunt field:

1. Changing position. 

Learning what to do with your weight and body as the different terrain and uphill/downhill gradient changes the balance of your horse.

2. How to ride at speed. 

What to do with your body, weight, and control at a much faster pace than you would in the show ring.

3. Developing feel. 

I learned to ride by the seat of my pants and worked at developing my natural feel in the field before I had many lessons in a ring.

4. Lean back! 

When leaning back and riding down a hill, it’s more about using the entire body weight behind you. Believe it or not, this is about much more than leaning back—it’s about getting every ounce of your weight behind your heels. Creating this subtle shift is a huge advantage in triple combinations in the show ring as well as when simply protecting a horse’s front end.

5. Letting go of the distance. 

In the field, it’s not a matter of looking for the perfect distance. What’s more important is concentrating on the obstacles behind the fence—ditch, stream or fallen tree—whatever it may be.

6. Gallop 101

Hunt riding has taught me how to truly gallop in all kinds of natural environments.

7. Trust. 

This one is simple, but if you don’t trust your horse, you aren’t going to get very far in this environment.

8. One-handed riding. 

Riding with one hand on the rein (one of my personal favorites!).

9. Love of the Thoroughbred.

The American Thoroughbred’s natural ability to gallop and jump in an open field is unmatched.

10. Enjoying the moment.

There’s nothing like the thrill of being able to experience the beautiful countryside by horseback!

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Sloane Coles out fox hunting last season.

Springledge Starts WEF Strongly

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Connor Husain and MTF Betina

The Springledge team of horses and riders, based in The Plains, Virginia, traveled to the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Wellington, Florida, for the 2017 winter season and has already enjoyed ample success during the first four weeks.

During WEF 1, held January 11-15 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Connor Husain earned Springledge’s first blue ribbon with victory in the Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers aboard MTF Betina. The pair sped to victory in a field of 75 competitors for an impressive win.

“She’s a really cool horse, and I get along with her really well,” said Connor, who purchased the bay mare in Europe where he spent the summer of 2016 training and showing. “I competed her there in the 1.35m speed classes, and she always placed well. She’s naturally quick without trying.”

After beginning his riding career in the eventing world and achieving international-level success at the Junior and Young Rider levels, Connor, 23, has transitioned full-time to show jumping and is working to rise up the levels in the discipline under the tutelage of trainer Sloane Coles.

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Connor Husain and MTF Saint Simeon

“I’m currently showing in the Low and Medium Amateur-Owners and came to Florida to gain more experience,” he said. “In the eventing world I was pretty far along, but in show jumping I’m still facing a learning curve. I’m improving quickly now, but I’m still making small mistakes and hope to stay it this level until I get confirmed with the horses I have. My aspiration is to represent the United States on a senior team one day. I’m still a long way off, but I’m going to work hard to make that happen!”

Connor’s family owns Morningside Training Farm in The Plains, Virginia, a United States Equestrian Federation elite training center, with the mission to produce top three-day eventing students at all levels. When not on the road, Connor is based there with his string of horses, including Betina, Birmingham, MTF Saint Simeon and MTF Madame X.

Sloane enjoyed ribbons of her own during WEF 1, including 10th place in the $8,000 1.45m class aboard Esprit and seventh out of 51 in a 1.35m class riding Binja. Both horses are owned by The Springledge Group.

During WEF Weeks 2, 3 and 4, Springledge continued to achieve major goals and added more ribbons to the banner.

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Sloane Coles and Binja

Highlights included Binja’s two blue ribbons in the 1.40m classes with Sloane aboard. During WEF 3, she outran a field of 33 for the top call,and during week 4 she repeated the victory over 22 challengers. Sloane found the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Colandro—Naomie) in the Netherlands last summer and imported her as a sales horse.

“She’s stepped up and done the 1.45m classes, too,” said Sloane. “I think she’ll be a super Junior Jumper. She’s extremely fast. I actually didn’t set out to win both classes; she just turns so quickly and doesn’t take much time in the air, so she’s naturally fast. She’s a real competitor. I’ll continue to bring her along until a good kid comes along to buy her.”

Connor debuted  with MTF Saint Simeon during Week 1 in the Amateur-Owner Jumpers and moved up to the Medium level during Week 3, where he earned ribbons at the 1.35m level. During Week 4, the pair moved up to the 1.40m level during the Palm Beach Masters CSI3*, where they produced solid results.

“She’s very exciting,” said Sloane of Connor’s newest horse. “She’s going to be the horse he moves up with. They were great in the $25,000 1.40m this week. He had a couple of rails down, but he was solid from start to finish. Connor is riding great, and being able to get in the ring so often has allowed him to improve so quickly.”

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Connor Husain and MTF Saint Simeon making their 1.40m debut.

During Week 4, February 1-5, Sloane and Esprit contested the $216,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI4* out on the expansive grass field. “The jumps were huge!” said Sloane. “There were some 1.60m fences out there. We had a couple down, but I was thrilled. He tried really hard, and it’s so nice to be out there in that company. I’m especially proud to be able to do those kinds of classes on a horse that was bought as a Junior Jumper. I’m so lucky to have him!”

Sloane was also proud of Connor’s MTF Madame X , a 10-year-old mare he purchased to bring up the ranks. With Sloane aboard, the bay Oldenburg (Continio—Walona) placed fifth out of 43 in the $6,000 1.40m Speed Challenge.

 

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Sloane Coles and MTF Madame X

“I’m really excited about her; she gives you an amazing feeling,” said Sloane. “Jumping is so easy for her, and she’s naturally careful. She’ll have a bright future with me or someone else. She’s only 10, and she’s very talented.”

Springledge will remain in Wellington through the 12-week WEF circuit, where Sloane is accepting new clients and horses.

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Springledge South in Wellington, Florida

 

Winter Equestrian Festival 2016 Mid-Circuit

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Spring Ledge riders and horses have enjoyed a wonderful winter so far on the 2106 Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Wellington, Florida, with great ribbons in the Hunter and Jumper sections under the watchful eye of trainer Sloane Coles during weeks 1-6.

Nilani Trent and her hunter Autumn Rhythm garnered top ribbons in the Amateur-Owner, 18-35, sections, with especially impressive showings early in the circuit with wins in the 3’3″ section. The pair moved up to the 3’6″ height, and during the super competitive WCHR Week 6, they collected excellent scores and ribbons.

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Nilani Trent and Autumn Rhythm

Nilani also guided her Casablanca 108 to consistent performances in the Adult Amateur Jumper, 18-35, section, with ribbons throughout the circuit.

Rocky Rochlin’s Fabricio 23 has also made his presence known in the hunters, with nice ribbons in the 3’6″ Performance Working Hunters with Sloane and in the 3’6″ Amateur-Owner, 36 and over, section with his owner.

Over in the jumper rings, Spring Ledge has found success as well. Rose Alba has been doing double duty in the Adult Amateur and Children’s Jumpers, earning ribbons with Alexandra and Madison Christina Warner. Bon Vivant and Helena Le Picart earned good prizes in the Medium Amateur-Owners, and Ilona has carried multiple riders to ribbons, including Gabriela Reutter and Robert Murphy.

Esprit and Sloane have continued on with their grand prix success, taking an impressive eighth place in the $50,000 WEF 6 National Grand Prix during, along with ribbons throughout the circuit in a variety of 1.35m and 1.40m classes.

Please enjoy the gallery of special moments (below) in and around the horse show. Best of luck to everyone at Spring Ledge for the remainder of the 12-week circuit!

 

Awesome Old Salem

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Nilani Trent with MVP, left, and Autumn Rhythm

Spring Ledge riders had a great time at the gorgeous Old Salem Farm I Horse Show, May 5-10 in New York! Sloane was eighth in the $35,000 New York Welcome Stake Grand Prix riding Esprit and second aboard The Windwood Group’s WEC Damokles in the 7-Year-Old Young Jumpers. Sloane was also fourth in the 1.40m on The Windwood Group’s L’Ami Noir and sixth on Janice Aron’s Bailey VI.

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Sloane Coles on L’Ami Noir

 

Nilani Trent also had quite the week, taking both champion and reserve honors in the Adult Amateur, 18-35, Hunter section on her own Autumn Rhythm (in their first time out in the adults together!) and Amelia McArdle’s MVP, respectively. Nilani was also double clear on her new mount, Casablanca 108, in their first Adult Amateur jumper class together! Congrats to all!

Sloane Coles and Autumn Rhythm Claim Devoucoux Win

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Sloane Coles and Autumn Rhythm claimed the first $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Culpeper, April 22, with scores of 85 and 84 to total 169.

“It was a nice class,” said Coles. “Autumn Rhythm, my second-year horse, performed beautifully. He did everything he was asked.”

In the first round, going third-to-last, Coles and the 9-year-old gelding, owned by Nilani Trent, handily earned the top score.

Coles and Autumn Rhythm returned last in the second round, earning a score of 84, which was not the top score of the round—that went to third-placed finisher Winn Alden and Spirit, owned by E.S. Equine Broker LLC, who earned an 85—but Coles and Autumn Rhythm’s combined total was enough to place them first. Alden and Spirit had a score of 80 in the first round, for a two-round total of 165.

Second-placed finisher Jeffrey Ayers and Romantik, owned by Nina Leopold, received scores of 83 and 82.5 to total 165.5.

Coles continued, “There were some nice bending lines. A normal, nice hunter course with some extra fences. It was well presented.”

The Devoucoux Hunter Prix is a qualifier for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship, September 2-6 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

Coles’ goal is to qualify Autumn Rhythm for the Final. “I’m working on my schedule so I can get qualified,” she said.