Although the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to an early close, Carriage Hill Farms (CHF) is celebrating the success and continued growth of its students, horses and staff over the 10 weeks of competition. Based in Delray Beach, Florida, the team at Carriage Hill Farms traveled 30 minutes north each week to partake in yet another year of one of the world’s premiere winter equestrian events, earning top ribbons and learning valuable lessons along the way.
Angela Calicchio on City Walk with CHF trainer Meredith Gallagher. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.
“I am so proud of the whole Carriage Hill team for having a successful WEF 2020,” said Jane Fennessy, owner and head trainer of Carriage Hill Farms. “From our trainers and riders at home, to the staff we had at the horse show everyday, everyone really stepped up their game and made this an exceptional season. Lessons were learned, levels were climbed, and most importantly, fun was had by all!”
Twenty of Carriage Hill Farms’ students took to the competition ring over the ten weeks, all producing great rounds in their respective divisions to progress their knowledge and experience while also achieving their goals. In total, the students of CHF claimed over 75 top-five finishes during WEF, in addition to multiple championships in divisions ranging from the Children’s Hunters to the High Amateur Owner Jumpers.
Erika Jakobson on Everton with head trainer Jane Fennessy. Photo by Georgie Hammond/Phelps Media Group.
To highlight a few, Emmanuelle Greenberg piloted her horses Iomare De L’esku, Very Good de La Bonn, Tempo Royal and Eilan Del Maset to many quick and clear rounds in the Medium Junior Jumpers, and she showed in the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search for the first time with Curacao. Annette Friend rode Casual Water in the USHJA National Hunter Derby, her first derby ever. Michelle Whitman and C’Van De Helle claimed a championship ribbon in the Adult Amateur Equitation. Erika Jakobson put in multiple double-clears for top-five finishes with USA Normande and Everton. Angela Calicchio and City Walk clinched first and second places in the Ariat National Adult Medal and Low Adult Amateur Jumpers. Riders Raine Whitman and Madison Staiano finished first and third in the SFHJA Junior Medal 14&Under and a number of other students also capped off their season with great results and even better lessons learned during their time in the ring.
Annette Friend on Casual Water. Photo by Megan Tessaro/Phelps Media Group.
“Our 2020 Season was really about growth and transitions,” shared CHF trainer Meredith Gallagher. “We had a few long term students transitioning to college and the amateur ranks while the majority of our junior riders were moving up to new divisions and/or new horses. I believe each rider handled those transitions well and I was proud of the way they remained focused and competitive throughout all the changes that this season brought!”
CHF’s large selection of high-quality sales horses also shined bright over the course of the season. Czar Du Mesnil placed at the top of a variety of divisions, including the Low Adult Amateur Hunters, Green 3’6″ Hunters and the Adult Amateur Hunters where he was named reserve champion with Taylor St. Jacques in the irons. Rebel de Vizy continued his winning ways to place third and fourth in the High Performance Conformation Hunters with Gallagher during World Championship Hunter Rider week, and picking up the champion tricolor in the division during Week 4. Gallagher also rode Quinta, who is offered for lease, to a win in the very competitive 1.30m Jumpers. Clearano Z bested multiple fields in both the equitation and jumper rings, showing off his ability to excel at both disciplines with consistent top-three finishes. Uderzo de Rance and CHF trainer Hayley Iannotti proved to be unstoppable in the 1.30m Jumpers, crossing the finish line ahead of nearly 70 people a number of times.
Meredith Gallagher on Rebel de Vizy. Photo by Holland Smith/Phelps Media Group.