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Great Times at Great Charity Challenge

Team Israel, from left, Leslie Kopp, Emma Pell and Andy Kocher

Skyland Farm made an impact during the Great Charity Challenge, held as one of the featured events of Week 4 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, January 30-February 3.

In total, 26 pro-am combinations were paired with randomly selected Palm Beach County charities. Each team consisted of junior and amateur riders competing side-by-side with top professionals.

“We Are The World” was the theme of the night, with riders, charities, local families and horse sport fans dressed in support of their favorite nation. In total, the evening’s contributions brought the overall Great Charity Challenge tally to $13.5 million distributed to more than 230 well-deserving Palm Beach County charities over the past 10 years.

Roy Perry photographs Leslie Kopp and El Cano during the Great Charity Challenge

The Skyland team of Junior rider Emma Pell (aboard Santos), Amateur rider Leslie Kopp (riding El Cano) and Professional Andy Kocher (with Colton Playtime) represented Israel for team sponsor Dani Goldstein and Starwyn Farm and corporate sponsor Salamander Farm.

“Andy wore a globe for ‘We Are The World,’ Leslie was the Star of David and Emma dressed as an Israeli military girl. They had so much fun and won $17,000 for their charity, Our Sister’s Place!” said trainer Denice Perry.

Skyland’s support team of Roy Perry, Kristi Pell, Alex Tippett, Elias Castro and Carlos Gomez helped to prepare the horses and riders, who competed under the lights in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday night.

In addition to their performance in the Great Charity Challenge, Emma and Santos placed second out of 63 in a Low Junior Jumper jump-off class and sixth of 78 competitors in a Low Junior Jumper speed class. Emma also piloted Ari 55 to third place in a Modified Children’s Jumper class at 1.15m and will move up to the Low Juniors this week.

Fenwick also earned ribbons throughout the week in the Hunters, with owner Leslie Kopp in the Adult Amateurs and with Denice in the USHJA 3′ Hunters.

Emma Pell and Santos

Emma posted about the weekend on her Instagram account:
“What a week! Thank you so much to everyone who made this week so memorable for me! I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to participate in the Great Charity Challenge. Thank you to my wonderful teammates, Leslie and Andy. Plus, our wonderful sponsors! Last night my team got to represent Israel- Leslie was the flag, I was an IDA officer, and Andy was the world to showcase the event’s theme of “We are the World”. There are so many wonderful and deserving charities to support! I’m so glad our team was able to help Our Sisters Place, Inc. by raising awareness, and with $17,000 so they can help more abused women and children. This event and organization will forever hold a special place in my heart! Thank you again to my parents, trainer, grooms, Leslie (and Cano), Andy (and Joki), and especially Santos :)”

Emma Pell and McLain Ward at the Palm Beach Masters

Skyland also congratulates Danielle DeRisio for earning a win in the UCONN IHSA Western Zone One competition!

Danielle DeRisio, right, and her teammate from Sacred Heart University
Danielle DeRisio and TC

“This is TC. He’s a famous Reiner that went to all the World Championships. Today, TC taught me how to do spins–the fast ones! I think we all may need to buy Reiners and go full cowboy!”


Mosie Pennington and Dreamscape
Mosie Pennington with her USEF Pony Medal blue ribbon

Congratulations to Skyland student Mosie Pennington and Dreamscape for their success at the Stonewall County Horse Show in Lexington, Virginia. Mosie won the USEF Pony Medal and earned two seconds and other great ribbons in the Pony Hunters. Mosie is now qualified for the USEF Pony Medal Final and the USEF Pony Finals this summer! Way to go, Mosie!

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