Congratulations! Lexington Spring Encore Champions!

The Lexington Spring Encore wrapped up Sunday after a full week of competition, special events and southern hospitality.

Congratulations to all riders and owners, and thank you to everyone who supported the shows and the Virginia Horse Center’s Virginia Festival of Champions.

The Lexington Spring Premiere and the Lexington Spring Encore wrap up two of the three weeks of shows, and the final installment will be the Lexington National, August 7-11, 2024.

Grand Adult Hunter Champion

The Mattingly Perpetual Trophy presented by the Virginia Horse Center

Gold Digger, owned and ridden by Kathleen Carofino, Photo © Teresa Ramsay.

Leading Amateur Jumper

Hi Nitro, owned by Margaret Frank and ridden by Gene Frank, Photo © KMK Photos

Congratulations to Gene Frank, Lexington Spring Encore Leading Amateur Jumper Rider. Frank commented, “I’m very excited for my daughter. Hi Nitro is her horse; I’ve just been riding him since she is in school at George Washington University. She will take over again when we head to Upperville.”

“Everything about our operation, and hobby, is based on family,” said Frank. “My wife, daughter and I all do this together. I show, my daughter shows and we all foxhunt.”

Frank also competed in the Lexington Spring Premiere. “I love these horse shows,” he said. “The Virginia Horse Center is a wonderful place. I have been coming here for several years. Joe Fargis helps out my daughter and he loves this place, and so do we. We come as much as we can each year. We are 100% supportive of the Virginia Horse Center and that’s why we’re here.”

Frank continued, “The stall mats are great and it’s so nice to be in a barn that is so close to the rings. The footing is great, the people are great, and the jumps are nice. It’s just an all-around wonderful place.” 

“I mean, I love the big shows like Wellington. There’s a place for Michigan and there’s a place for Tryon, but these shows need to be preserved. Places like this need to survive,” he said.

“The Virginia Horse Center is convenient, close to home, it’s easy to be here, we know all these people and it’s a tight community. It’s the way some horse shows need to be. It’s a big facility, but it’s really compact. To be able to ride on the cross-country course is invaluable. And, after the show, if we have time, my wife and I like to walk our dogs down the trail to the river. It’s really a wonderful place.”

Best Child Rider on a Pony

Centreville, owned by Samantha Preston and ridden by Jessica Gulden, Photo © KMK Photos

Gulden rode three ponies at the Lexington Spring Encore and won on all of them. According to Gulden, “I showed two larges, and a medium green. Ann Hormel owns Veritas and we were Champion in the Large Ponies and Centreville, who is owned by Samantha Preston, was Reserve. Then Centreville was Champion in the Large Greens and Cherrybrook Diana, owned by Leslie Stuber, was champion in the Medium Greens.”

Gulden is trained by Sarah Tyndall and Chris Wynne. While she has ridden for about twelve years, she has been under Tyndall and Wynne’s tutelage for the past three years.

 “The ponies are great. I’ve always loved the ponies,” said Gulden.

According to Gulden, who resides in Williamsburg, she goes to riding lessons in Virginia Beach when she is not showing, maybe once or twice a month. “Two of the ponies are not at Breckenridge, so I don’t ride them much unless it’s at a show.”

“It was a very fun horse show, and I had lots of fun riding all of the ponies and the horses,” she said.

Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion

Final Four, owned and ridden by Caroline Booker, Photo © Teresa Ramsay

Leading Jr. Jumper Rider

Generosa MK and Cierra Case, Photo © Teresa Ramsay

Congratulations to Cierra Case for winning the Leading Jr. Jumper Award.

Cierra Case is a junior at Foxcroft. “I’m very excited,” she said. “Jenny [Generosa MK] is mine and is very special and a great jumper.” More than two years ago, Case leased Jenny, and showed her in Florida before purchasing her. Case commented, “My goal is to go as far as we possibly can. She’s done the 1.35 m and maybe the 1.40 m so we’ll just see how it goes.”

According to Case, “Foxcroft had 12 horses here this week and 11 last week. We’ve had a lot.” Originally an event rider, and from Boulder, Colorado, one of the decisions to attend Foxcroft was the appeal of the beautiful rolling hills and lush, soft, grass. “We keep our horses with us at Foxcroft, and it’s great to be able to go down to the barn and see them or take a lesson. I’ve made such great friendships at school, we go to horseshows together, the team is great, and we are so close.”

Foxcroft’s Kate Worsham is her trainer. “She’s been my coach since freshman year. She’s awesome and I’ve learned so much from her,” she added. “It’s really fun.

Case continued, “I love this facility. I wish they had more shows so we could come here more often.”

Best Rider on a Jr. Hunter & Grand Jr. Hunter Champion

Spectacular, owned and ridden by Sarah Entzian, Photo © KMK Photos

Best Amateur Owner Rider

Melissa Marshall riding M2 Equestrian’s Creative, Photo © Teresa Ramsay

Grand Children’s Hunter

Exceptional, owned by Kristie Parciak, and ridden by Mila Lieberman, Photo © KMK Photos

Leading Hunter Rider – Professional Divisions

My Cloud Nine, owned by Kisma Equestrian, LLC and ridden by Katie Cooper, Photo © Teresa Ramsay

Children’s Pony Grand Champion

Enchanted Knight, owned and ridden by Claire Whitmore, Photo © KMK Photos

Leading Hunter Rider – Lower Height Divisions

Charming Boy, owned and ridden by Brittany Schutt, Photo © KMK Photos

Best Rider on a Children’s Hunter: Alexandra Kosceinik
Best Adult Amateur Rider: Katie Meagher