Friday evening at Menlo Charity Horse Show buzzed with excitement as show spectators were joined by the “Jazz Night!” Gala attendees (dressed to the nines) to watch the $10,000 Rhys Vineyards 1.30m Gary Ryman Memorial Speed Take Your Own Line Jumper Class.
Catherine Harvey provided insight into the vineyard and her husband Kevin’s hobby turned business. “This is our first year sponsoring this particular class. I personally have been a sponsor for over 20 years, and Rhys Vineyards has been a sponsor for about 12. When Rhys Farms came along we sponsored under Rhys Vineyards and Rhys Farms.”
Catherine on Rhys Vineyards “This is our 15th year of commercial production. Pinot Noir is my husbands’ passion, but we do Chardonnay, Syrah and a number of others. We have a brand new Italian project that we are currently working on (with Italian varietals) under a different name that will roll up under Rhys Vineyards.”
Catherine continued to explain how she became involved in Menlo Charity Horse Show. “Betsy Glikbarg… All roads lead to Betsy. I was always a horseperson and I went to school with her daughter. A mutual friend of ours decided that I should start doing some volunteer work and told Betsy, Betsy does not take no for and answer, so here I am helping with sponsorships. Frankly there is nothing like Menlo Charity Horse Show. It’s such a special show. I always describe Menlo a ‘boutique show’ and not a mass production. It is truly a labor of love.”
Betsy Glikbarg, MCHS Founder reminded us of the very special equestrian that the class honors, Gary Ryman. “Gary Ryman was the trainer at Menlo Circus Club for several years and everybody loved him, and he met a very unfortunate and sudden death, all his followers were greatly saddened at the loss. Gary was an exceptional Hunter and Jumper rider with Olympic aspirations.
After Gary’s death his father Dale came on to the MCHS Committee and tried to carry on the memory of his son, they had been very close. Gary’s mother Beverly (Bev) also came on to the Committee for some time too. In 2000 Dale passed away and Bev carried on the memory for both of them until her passing in 2014.
Betsy wanted to share her appreciation to every involved in producing Menlo Charity Horse Show. “Without the committee we would not have a show, without the sponsors and the support of the equestrian community and the media” thanked Betsy.
The Scott Starnes designed course required a smart strategy and a gift for controlled speed. The ten obstacles presented on course were to be jumped from either direction on a course of the rider’s choosing.
Carol Wright and Risk It, owned by Alan Pymont, AP Equine found the fastest pathway to win the $10,000 Rhys Vineyards Ryman Memorial Speed Class by 4 seconds. Second last to go in the class, Kristin Hardin on Tennesse Rouge followed Carol into the ring. Kristin took home the second place and third on Bert.
Risk It is a new ride for Carol, “He is the most amazing little horse that I have ever ridden, this is our fourth show but I only started riding him four weeks ago. Alan Pymont brought him over from England two months ago and I was lucky enough to get the ride.” Carol said.
Carol had planned 3 different courses with her two horses in the class. “When walking the course we planned our options and I kept going over them in my head until I picked the one that I felt would be the fastest. I had a second course picked for Risk It, as he is so fast on his turns, and my first horse had such a big gallop. But by time the class got to Risk It I felt that the same course would be best. Amber Czajkowski one of our clients picked out the the course for us.”
Alan Pymont, Risk It’s owner was delighted with his horse, as he had waited a long time to bring him over from England, while building his AP Equine business. Alan rides and exercises stallions and mares while in quarantine as they enter the US. “I have had Risk It from a 3 year old and he is now 11. He went to Sonoma Horse Park with Carol and was the 1.30m Champion winning all 3 classes and now winning a big class at Menlo, I am delighted.”