Jamee was delighted with her young horse’s performance; she imported Entourage as a 4-year-old and brought him through the Pre-Greens and now the Adult Amateurs training with Bridgeport Farms’ John Bragg.
“I thought Entourage was wonderful. He is turning six this year, he’s a little bit younger, and he went in confident and he is really starting to come into his own, he is starting to become an extremely reliable horse, for as young as he is I am very proud of him.” What’s next? Jamee heads off to Blenheim and then on to Capital Challenge.
The $1,000 Adult Amateur Hunter Classic was sponsored Peninsula Equine Medical Center. Russ Peterson, MS Animal Nutrition, DVM, President and CEO, Peninsula Equine, Inc. was in attendance to present the prizes.
“Menlo is a classic show, and PenEq has been here since 1979. Its been a great evolution….it has grown and gotten bigger and bigger, a lot of our clients are here, so its great to be able to participate on the competitor side and help them with awards opposed to just the veterinary side.” explained Russ, “Its exciting to see the Adult Amateur clients ride, generally this is the older group and they have been riding for a long time and they have a wonderful time with their horses. Menlo is different from a lot of the other horse shows, that attend as the Official Veterinarians, in that it is a charity show in a beautiful environment and the horses are all part of the ambiance of the horse show.”
“We have been the Official Veterinarian at Menlo since 1979, its been a long and very enjoyable relationship and we are happy to do what we can for the safety of the horses and the riders so that it is a wonderful event every year.” said Russ.
As the morning moved on, the Grass Ring was well underway. The $2,500 Kristen Kendall, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Amateur Owner 3’3 Hunter Classic took center stage.
Hannah Goodson-Cutt trained by Kate Considine at Willowbrook Stables on her beautiful Hunter Iron Man led the field to win the class. Kristen Buckingham and Chrush came n 2nd place and Emily Goldberg on Sinatra were 3rd.
The Olympics, in a sense, featured at Menlo today as Hannah explained, “I rode as best as I could today, on all three rounds I rode my other horse, but we had a little mistake at the last jump. I came in this morning from watching the Olympics and that gets you motivated. I went in today with a lot of adrenaline wanting to win the class” said Hannah. “ I thought that we really delivered and I rode well.”
Hannah came to Menlo for the first time in 2003 with her ponies and has been competing here ever since. “It is nice to be in sunny weather in a beautiful location, I love Palo Alto, I love riding on the grass. Iron Man is one of my favorite horses, we got him from Germany in November of last year and I fell in love with him the minute I rode him. He was only 5 years old, but he had an amazing jump. Any horse can win me over with a great jump. He is very athletic and he is definitely my favorite horse.”
Kristen Kendall the class sponsor, rides with Diane Yeager at West Haven Farm, visited MCHS ten years ago to compete in the Jumpers and fell in love with the event, the charity (Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired) and the volunteers who work so hard to make the iconic event happen. Kristen has also spent time as a committee member, on the Vendor Row team, until work commitments took over.
Today Kristen still rides at the show on her horse Happy Ending (aka Pickles) and even provides a Leadline horse Roman (Creme Puff) so the kids can have some fun in the show ring.
“It is a fantastic show, I wanted to give back, and all the volunteer’s are great. What better way than to sponsor an event that gives so much to a wonderful charity?” explained Kristen.
As MCHS comes to an end for 2016 all eyes turn to the $7,500 Rhys Vineyard Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.
Alessandra Volpi and Felippa N raced home for the win. Caroline Spogli and Zeppelien followed in 2nd and 3rd with her other mount Nakano Rb.
“My ride in the practice ring it was a little bit bumpy here and there, I was really nervous walking into the ring, which is why in some places I wasn’t quite measuring down my lines right, but she is a great horse so she really helped me out in those places. In the jump off I calmed down bit and took a deep breath and then it was great as she is always really fast.”
Alessandra loved her first visit to Menlo. She had been very excited to attend as she had heard of the super awards and couldn’t wait to ride on the grass field.
Jeff Fields of Sandhaven Farm, Alessandra’s trainer remarked, “It is great to be back at Menlo. The footing is getting better and better. You don’t realize how much you miss it until you return….its been 3 years, and we’re already looking forward to coming back next year.”
Alessandra’s mother Toni Cupal, was extremely proud of her daughters achievements.
“Its been a challenging year for her, she started out with some difficulties going for the Young Riders and we ended up with some very tough shows. To be able to come back with Pip, who is an incredible horse, and build back her confidence has been really special. This win today has been very meaningful to her. To be here in Atherton is incredible, everyday I’ve walked in and thought “I can’t believe there is a horse show here, it’s been so incredible. I am grateful to the hosts of the event, and the fact that it is a charity show is beautiful. We are so fortunate to be able to do this sport, so to be able to give back is inspiring.”
Rhys Vineyards, the sponsor the classic is in its 19th year of supporting Menlo. Catherine Harvey (of Rhys Vineyards) is also a Co-Chair for MCHS and came into the role due to her friendship with Betsy Glikbarg’s (Co-Founder of the event) daughter and began her early support, pushing her baby stroller, while putting up sponsor banners around the arena.
Charitable support is a private endeavor for Catherine, thus the event in sponsored under her business banner Rhys Vineyards. As an animal lover, horse lover and Jumper rider the Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic was the perfect fit and great recognition for the brand.
Catherine also praised Co-Chair Perri Guthrie, and the entire sponsorship team, including Betsy Glikbarg, “Betsy Glikbarg is an amazing, amazing woman and what she has dedicated and given to this show is a remarkable, finishing our 46th year, is nothing short of extraordinary.”
“ There is truly is nothing like it (Menlo) the venue (a private club in the middle of a residential neighborhood), the sponsors, the committee…..what show do you go to where your prizes are from ELLA, Stephen Silver, Tiffany & Co, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Shreve & Co? If you want an intimate, boutique show, with fabulous food, fabulous vendors and amenities, this is it. It is really the whole package.”