Traverse City, Michigan –  July 23, 2016 – It is no secret that top equitation riders often go on to become some of the nation’s foremost show jumping riders. Equitation rounds are about finding great riders, and the technicality and skill that are required for the equitation ring give riders excellent preparation and a pipeline. That is certainly the goal of Daisy Farish who took first place in the Pessoa/U.S. Hunter Seat Medal on Saturday morning at The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival aboard Calimero 628 a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Heritage Farm.

Farish is already seeing how her equitation training can carry over into the jumper ring. “I competed in the Welcome Stake this week with Great White,” Farish said. “The course was definitely technical. I think that doing the equitation and having all of these courses with bending lines, and finessing all that is what really carries over into those lines in the jumpers—being able to get there correctly, and being able to give your horse the right jump. I think that is what makes the difference for a smooth jumper round versus running around out there.”

Farish, who trains with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm, has already seen her share of success in the equitation classes. She is preliminarily qualified for the Pessoa/U.S. Hunter Seat Medal and took first place in the medal class at the Devon Horse Show aboard Cassio, beating out 46 contenders.

Sophie Michaels and Carlo (1280x853)Sophie Michaels and Carlo. 

In Saturday’s class it was a field of 24, with four riders were called back for a test over five fences that included hand galloping to the second fence and a lead change to take the last fence in a counter canter.

Second place went to barnmate Sophie Michaels and Carlo, a 14-year-old Wurttemberg gelding. Rounding out the top three was Mimi Gochman aboard Clifford, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Blue Hill Farm LLC. Gochman and Clifford also took second place in the ASPCA Maclay.Mimi Gochman and Clifford 2 (1280x853)Mimi Gochman and Clifford. 

Calimero 628 is a new mount for Farish. “This is actually the first time I have shown him,” Farish said. “He is only 7, and this is one of his first shows in America. Andre [Dignelli] owns him. We did some classes earlier in the week, and he is getting better and better. He is really showing potential. He has a huge stride, and his adjustability is incredible. There were a few lines where there were a few tests where you had to go forward and back, a few lines off the right and left lead and there were also some turns. He shows so much potential as an equitation horse.”

Farish planned her test round well for the fact that she was riding a new and relatively young horse. Many riders attempted a flying change in order to prepare for the final counter canter fence. Farish chose to play it safe and perform a simple change, a strategy that clearly worked.

“He has definitely never been in a test like that with the counter canter,” Farish explained. “I was very impressed with him. The hand gallop and the counter canter, he did it all perfectly. Looking back, I could have trusted him a little more and done one less in the hand gallop, but I wanted to play it safe, because I was in the lead. I didn’t want to take too many chances, but he didn’t show any reasons for me not to. I now know that in the future I can take those risks.”

Farish’s ultimate goal this year is to compete in the Pessoa/U.S. Hunter Seat Medal Finals held during the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and join the ranks of such winning riders as George Morris, Kent Farrington and most recently Kelly Cruciotti.

“I hope to compete in the finals,” Farish said. “I have had one ribbon in a final, and I would like to continue that trend to get another ribbon, and maybe even a few more. I am very lucky this year. The cards are lined up. I have the right horse, my trainer is incredible and I am hoping I can be up there in the top.”

ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Class Highlights

Next into the ring on Saturday were riders in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Class hoping to earn qualifying points to take them to regionals and ultimately on to the finals held at the CP National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky.Kathleen Harrigan and Columbina Z Photo by Diana Hadsall Photography (1280x853)Kathleen Harrigan and Columbina Z. 

Out of the original 16 entries, 11 horse and rider combinations were asked to return to the ring for the flat phase. The top spot went to Kathleen Harrigan and Columbina Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide mare owned by Kimberly Janson. In second place was Mimi Gochman and Clifford, who collected their second equitation ribbon of the morning. Rounding out the top three was Hannah Coleman and Charming Charly 5, an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Fox Meadow Farm.Hannah Coleman and Charming Charly 5 Sarah Harper (1280x853)Hannah Coleman and Charming Charly 5.

Harrigan was thrilled with her ride which earned her a qualification for regionals on a new mount. “She was phenomenal today,” Harrigan beamed. “I rode probably the best I have since I got her a few months ago. We’ve been trying to qualify, and this win qualified us for regionals. She’s been phenomenal. She needs you to be really accurate so that she can jump well because she’s huge. You have to be really accurate and you have to ride forward.”

Harrigan was happy not only about her win but about the fun that she has been having on her first trip to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. “This is my first show here,” Harrigan said. “I love Traverse City, it’s been amazing. It’s been great we’ve been able to go out on the lake a lot. It’s been really really fun.”

The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival is set on 88 beautiful acres and showcases five world-class competition rings in addition to spacious schooling rings. The property features don’t stop there as the park offers convenient on-site campgrounds and weekly nights of entertainment for a truly unique attendee experience.

To view the competition schedule, please click here.

For travel and housing information, please click here.

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