[of HIPICO] is just ‘WOW.’ I wasn’t expecting this beautiful of a venue. The people here are so welcoming—they are so happy and excited to be here that it makes the whole atmosphere fun to be a part of. I’ve also made new friends which is exciting, because there are people from all over!” –Sadie Edwards, Ashbrook Farm, AZ
“This place feels like home. I grew up in a ranching community in Montana—the hills here are similar. It’s like a Grand Prix in my backyard. I love this place, I think it’s really unique. The opportunity to show on the grass. It’s great competition but not so big where you’d have to wait at the ring for hours. It’s the perfect size. There are really good course designers, good gate people, and I love John McQueen’s shows. And the VIP Lounge setup is fantastic. Whenever we come, I tell the customers ‘we have to chip in and get a table because it’s so nice that you must be a part of it if you’re coming here.” –Charlie Carrel, Colts Unlimited, WY
“I appreciate the shade—thank you very much! I don’t always have shady areas to sit, like in the HIPI-Hangout.” Robynn Smith-Eckel, grandmother of a rider, AZ
“All the gate-keepers! They’re all so sweet!” –Lillian Rogers, CO
“I like the [HIPI] chip idea when you get prizes. It’s such a fun and cute idea! –Tyler Hardin, Kristin Hardin Stables, CA
“The staff at most shows don’t make you feel welcome—I don’t find that here. Also, I like the food trucks. It’s nice to have so many different choices. Usually there’s just one choice—here’s there’s lots of variety with four different truck. It makes you want to eat here everyday!” –Patty Arnett, CA
“My clients love this show. They all like the city of Santa Fe and we always go to at least one cute dinner, the Santa Fe Plaza, and Canyon Road. We do fun things on the weekend like white water rafting and last year we went to a winery. People come here from all different areas that don’t always show together. It’s fun to see new faces that we don’t always see. Everyone here is very genuine and supportive. It’s a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.” –Ashley Stannard, Ashbrook Farm, AZ
“It’s one of the best VIP Lounges! –Alexandra Lee, NM
“Everything! Beautiful grounds, excellent staff, the VIP Lounge is amazing. There’s something for everyone, which is great. Here, everybody’s welcome!” –Scott Alder, hunter course designer, MI
THEY PREACH IT AND TEACH IT, BUT CAN THEY STILL “EQUITATE – IT”?
The Santa Fe Summer Series $1,000 Professional Equitation Class on Wednesday proved to be a raving success. The day’s warm temperature was no match for the heat the professional trainers brought to the ring in their bid for bragging rights, prize money and awards. Held during the weekly Competitors’ Welcome Party, generously sponsored by Queenie Productions, the cool breeze and cocktails refreshed the crowd as they gathered for the inaugural class. Eight professionals took on the challenge and proved to not miss a beat since graduating from their junior equitation backgrounds. Cobwebs were not in need of dusting, because these professionals competitively marched in the BMW/MINI Hunter Arena for this two-phase class with confidence – shoulders back and posture prim.
Michael Dennehy, head trainer at Bridlewood Farms, took the top pinning aboard Rylee Shufelt’s Spar Colt, recently purchased from Kayla Savard, and Ashley Stannard of Ashbrook Farm took second place. Dennehy’s win proves that he can preach what he teaches, “You know the old adage ‘do as I say, not as I do?’ It’s good to be able to go out there and still be able to do it.” His bold ride reflects what he encourages his equitation students to do, “You gotta walk in, be one of the first ones in the ring—if not the first—because the judges’ first impression will be lasting. You want to be the first one to be in there and be like ‘hey you seeing this?”. Earning the blue ribbon, a $250 gift certificate for dinner at the Anasazi Restaurant at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, along with the prize money, Michael laughed, “I had a great time!”
Trainers were challenged with Scott Alder’s course design, which included small islands at the edge of the arena to encourage inside turns. “Michael saw the inside turns the way I designed it,” said Alder, “I expected that of him!” The flat phase demanded perfection with direct counter-canters into the arena, shoulder-in’s, and bold sitting trots that the professionals attacked.
Ashley Stannard finished in second place, riding Faraon owned by Christian Del Bosque. Stannard appreciates when horse shows come up with new initiatives, “I think it’s a fun idea to have a professional equitation division. It is something different that you don’t see everywhere else, so I wanted to support it. I loved doing the equitation when I was younger and thought it would be fun to do again”.
The best party on the A circuit is just getting started – more fun specialty classes ahead!
Are you joining us?!?
AROUND THE CORNER
Look forward to results from the National Hunter Derby Friday morning, followed by the Santa Fe Welcome Stake – with 23 entries! Saturday will be jam-packed with excitement between the All-in-One Grand Prix and the Chorizo Wiener Races. Who’s going to win the opening Grand Prix on Sunday? Get the latest updates on Facebook and Instagram!