Wellington, FL ­- Jan. 22, 2016 – ­ Jodi and Freddie Vazquez’s Messenger Hill Farm kicked off the first week of WEF with a mammoth win by Freddie Vazquez and Meg Gehron’s Gastone in the 1.30m and earned the fifth place position on Messenger Hill’s Bachelor 4 out of a field of 156.

Vazquez was 110 in the order with Bachelor 4. “I got a feel for the course with Bachelor and I knew I could find some corners to cut on Gastone,” he said.

He followed 14 trips later with Gastone. “Gastone is maybe the fastest horse I’ve ever ridden. He’s quick across the ground, quick over the fence and careful. He always shows up on the go. He has such a balanced form at the top of every turn and in the approach. He just makes it happen.”

On social media Gehron lovingly refers to the quick Irish Warmblood gelding as her “Velociraptor,” the iconic dinosaur of the Jurassic Park series. The Velociraptor is considered lightening fast and probably the smartest of the dinosaurs. No other horse and rider pair could out-pace Vazquez and Gastone in the one-round speed class and they emerged the victors.

“He’s just so sassy and happy and pleased with himself after he goes,” said Gehron, who has owned him for three years. “I think he’s the fastest horse alive.”

Gehron will show Gastone during WEF in the Low and Medium Amateur/Owner Jumpers.

“I wanted to get WEF off to a good start and I knew that if I was going to win a class, it was going to be on Gastone,” Vazquez said. “I wanted to win; I went for it and it paid off.”

019906Alexandra Maracic and At Last. Photo: Sportfot

Messenger Hill Farm had success in every ring during Week I despite some inclement weather that shut down the show for portions ofFriday and Sunday. Alexandra Maracic won the championship of the Adult Equitation with her own At Last. The pair clinched the flat phase and nabbed the win and a third place over fences to secure championship honors.

“I just recently moved my horse over to Freddie and Jodi and Messenger Hill Farm,” said Maracic who is a student at the University of Georgia, where she is a member of the equestrian team. “He has responded really well to their program. He feels the best he has felt in a very long time. Their horse care and staff are unbelievable. Freddie takes my horse very seriously and has been doing a great job. I am really excited to be part of the Messenger Hill Farm team.”

Maracic says that she looks forward to her future in the jumper ring working with Messenger Hill Farm and will compete during WEF as her school schedule permits.

“Alex is a super rider,” said Vazquez. “She was second in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search the week before WEF started. We’re really happy to have her.”

019907Elodie Watrous and Sugarbrook Game Plan. Photo: Sportfot

In Ring 8, Elodie Watrous and Sugarbrook Game Plan, owned by Bill Schaub, earned the championship of the Cross Rails division and had top ribbons with Shimmer, owned by Lanes End Farm. Her sister Chloe Watrous had respectable ribbons in the Small Children’s Hunter Pony division with Sugarbrook Game Plan and a fifth out of 23 with Page 6 in the Small Pony Handy Hunters and earned good prizes with her own Just Darlun in the Small Pony Hunter Division.

Chloe Jhin and Serendipity, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, took Ring 10 by storm and were named reserve champions of the Low Child/Adult Training Jumpers, earning a win, a second place finish and a fourth place prize. She was also fifth over fences in the Large Children’s Hunter Pony with her Follow the Laughter, owned by Buckingham Valley Farm.

In the hunter rings, Jodi Vazquez piloted Modigliani, owned by Jamie Stryker, to top prizes in the Open Hunter 3’3.” University of Miami student Kira Telford had a fifth with her beautiful CR Moet in the Amateur-Owner Hunter Stake 18-35. Elizabeth Corey rode her S’Adorable to a second place finish over fences in the Adult Amateur Hunters 50 and over.

Freddie Vazquez was pleased with how all the Messenger Hill horses performed during Week I. Now he looks forward to Week II and getting his Pan Am Games mount, Esprit De Vie (Sperry) out for her first FEI classes of the circuit.

About Messenger Hill Farm

Located in Mettawa, Illinois, just north of Chicago, Messenger Hill Farm is a full-service hunter/jumper facility owned by head trainers Freddie and Jodi Vazquez. Offering training, lessons, showing and sales, every detail of the facility and the care of the horses is well-thought-out. The farm features all-weather turnout, heated barn and attached indoor arena, 200’x 285′ outdoor arena, five-acre grass jump field, excellent footing, treadmill, tack room with lockers and a lounge.

For experienced riders, Messenger Hill Farm offers a show schedule at all levels – local, national and international. The Messenger Hill Farm team competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Kentucky Spring and Summer Horse Shows, Colorado Horse Park, Tryon, the Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse Show, Lamplight, Ledges and more. For those just getting started in the sport, Messenger Hill Farm offers a lesson program with quality, well-cared-for horses to help riders achieve their goals.

Click here to learn more about Messenger Hill Farm or call 847-573-1100.

Source: Carrie Wirth/Phelps Media Group