Fox Lea Farm Venice Equestrian Tour 2018 week I in review

From The Tower

From Atop the Spiral Staircase at Fox Lea Farm:
Week 1 in review

As the announcer here at Fox Lea, I am glad to be a part of a well-oiled machine. It seems from talking to many of the competitors and some of the vendors that are here, that many shows are not this friendly, well-organized or maintained. Hats off to the Aldrich and Farrell families for making it a success. Here’s to many more successful shows and bigger things to come.

Week 1 of 7 at the Third Annual Venice Equestrian Tour is in the history books as they say. There are new names and faces in the barns, both horses and humans…dogs too, as it seems the word has gone out far and wide that Fox Lea is the place to be. It’s always nice to see new faces and make new friends, but there is nothing like seeing people you haven’t seen for a while, so to you I say Welcome Back!  Since horse shows are about the exhibitors, let’s get to the classes.

The first Welcome of the 2018 season was won by return visitor Tracy Magness and Intenz Van HD, the 9-year-old Belgiun warmblood owned by Barbara and John Bartko of Maryland. Right on her tail was Kris Killam riding La Luciole.  Kris also placed 3rd on Gangster CHS who is definitely an up and coming youngster.

The results for the $7,500 Welcome – 1.35M:
1st Intenz Van HD/Tracy Magness C/C 34.747
2nd La Luciole/Kris Killam
3rd Gangster CHS/Kris Killam
4th Cracky Z/Christi Israel
5th Gigolo John/Allen Nabors
6th F Zermie 5/Allen Nabors
7th Thunderstroc USA/Allen Nabors
8th Ebonit/Collin Reynolds

The Welcome class is the warm-up to the main event on Friday and we do it under the lights  at Fox Lea…so as the sun is going down different local talents entertain us during the pre-show and the first Grand Prix night was no different. We were pleased to have back with us the music group Cry’n Shames. They’ve been here before, are a real crowd pleaser and many of the locals often come out to support them.

We always take time to thank our troops and our first responders as we begin the evening’s festivities and look for someone who is willing to put their best foot forward to sing the national anthem. This week Ella Schaefer returned to sing the national anthem and although only 13 years old she has sung here more than anyone else. Ella is also the lead vocalist for the band “Let’s Rock Sarasota”. Ms. Schaeffer’s grandfather, who was a musician, instilled in her own mother a love of music and passion for performing so it seems to run in the family!

When it came time for this week’s jump off, there were 3 that returned to the field. All horse rider combinations have won the Grand Prix at Fox Lea in the recent past. Roberto and Biscayo were the first to go clear in the first round, Christi and Cracky Z would jump off second and G&C Close Up with Luis would be the final pair to compete for the evening.

Taking home the 3rd place ribbon, was the 2017 High Point Award Winner at Fox Lea, Ms. Christi Israel of Birmingham AL. Christi is the owner and rider of Crack Z, who together have placed or won many Grand Prix classes at Fox Lea.

Biscayo who is owned and ridden by Mr. Roberto Daza won the 2nd place ribbon. Daza rides for Bolivia in FEI competition, and Biscayo was the third horse to show in the first round and was the first to go double clear.

Winning the class tonight was G&C Close Up, the 10 year old Warmblood sired by Eurocommerce Washington and owned by San Francisco Stables LLC, Wellington and ridden by Luis Fernando Larrazabal. Sometimes going last does have its advantages as you get to watch what the others did and see if you can cut a little closer or maybe even leave out a stride here and there. We were pleased to welcome Close Up and Luis back to the winner’s circle at Fox Lea Farm for the second time.

Congratulations to everyone who competed tonight in front of a great crowd. In Venice the locals really do enjoy coming out and watching the only Olympic sport where women and men compete in the same event against each other head to head. In the end though, it is our equine partners that make it all possible.

In the Grand Prix the top 5 were:
1st G&C Close Up/Luis Larrazabal C/C 39.282
2nd Biscayo/Roberto Daza C/C 43.070
3rd Cracky Z/Christi Israel C/C 45.028
4th Mimmo T.Z./Brian Murphy 4/80.546
5th Intenz Van HD/Tracy Magness 4/81.981

From the thrill and excitement of the Olympic sport of stadium jumping to the perfect poise and preciseness of the Equitation riders a very big congratulations is in order for Darby Madden as she dominated in the Medal classes. Ms. Madden and Bravour won the A.S.P.C.A. Maclay, Dover Saddlery/USEF Htr Seat Medal, NHS Medal and the THIS National Child Medal.

In this weeks $1,000 Veredus Mini Mini Prix, there were 14 starters in the Mini Mini Prix, and 7 horse and rider combinations made it to the jump off. Winning the blue ribbon this week Melanie Markham also took home the check, the Veredus jumping boots and the saddle pad.

The remainder of the Veredus Mini Mini Prix pinned this way:
1st Diesel/Melanie Markham C/C 33.578        
2nd Calvano VH Harteveld/Audrey Lees C/C 34.095
3rd Adamaz/Brittany Libert C/C 38.446
4th O’ Danny Boy/Laura Shinn C/C 39.680
5th Cherubino/Kelly Ford C/C 41.386
6th Lady Clearway/Amelia Pellecchia C/4 37.586

The $7,500 1.25M Jumper Prix was very competitive this week. “Killer” Kris Killam with La Luciole were the only pair to go double clear and were also 2nd in this week’s Welcome. La Luciole is a very talented 6 year old who, barring injury will certainly be in the ribbons of the Grand Prix’s all along the east coast.

Recognizing the top 5 of the $7,500 Jumper Prix:

1st La Luciole/Kris Killam C/C 34.433   
2nd Gangster CHS/Kris Killam C/4 33.934
3rd Dessi V/Allen Nabors C/4 36.047
4th Gigolo John/Allen Nabors 4/63.155
5th Lamandale Bisou/Kallie Schafers 4/68.554

Hunter ring action in the $5,000 VET Hunter Challenge Clair Kellner would pin one, two. Riding to victory on Remington, the 8-year-old warmblood by Otec, owned by Greta Pogue of Bellaire FL. and placing 2nd place on Snowland owned by Kristen Price of Tampa FL. I was able to speak with Clair via facebook messenger and she said, “How thankful I am to have such supportive owners and great horses!” Congratulations again to Clair and a big “Whoop Whoop” to everyone at Kingsmeade!!

The Challenge was packed with talent this week, and got things started very nicely. Clair Kellner had three in the class, Dr. Jim Hassinger had multiple rides as did Kris Killam. The class was combined 3’, 3’3” and 3’6” and will be offered the remaining 6 weeks of the Tour.
This is a great chance to remind all you hunter riders out there that Sunday, February 17th, week 4 of the Tour at 3:00p.m., we will have the $9,999 VET Hunter Challenge and the class will be held on the grass.

The top 10 of the $5,000 VET Hunter Challenge were officially recorded as:
1st Remington/Clair Kellner    
2nd Snowland/Clair Kellner
3rd Sandro/James Hassinger
4th Mr. Big/Kris Killam
5th Playlist/Kris Killam
6th Gowran Castle/Clair Kellner
7th Cartiano/James Hassinger
8th Fernhill Starboy/Lauren Miller
9th Captivating/Laura Barrett-Gurtis
10th Zico/Laurie Birnbach

Brittany Libert & Adamaz are the winners of this week’s Low Ch/Ad Jumper Classic and Brittany will also take home the One-K helmet!

The 1.25M $1,500 NAL Low A/O jumper was won by Eye Catcher & ridden by Sharon Brown. Coming off of two 2nd place finishes this past December at the CFHJA show, I’m sure it feels great to start 2018 off with the win!!

$1,500 NAL Low A/O Jr Jmp 1.25M  
1st Eye Catcher/Sharon Brown C/C 34.122
2nd Casseur/Lauren Miller
3rd Goodness/Charles Eppley
4th Archer/Molly Wolfe
5th Wanted K/Kali Barnes
6th Belle Nuit/Isabel Ernst


Well Folks, that’s the week in review from the announcer’s booth. If you’d like to be a part of the wrap up, please contact me either via our email, or stop in Atop the Spiral Staircase…just not during the Grand Prix please.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *