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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!

Top Honors at WEF 2 for Skyland Farm


Leslie Kopp and Cesar VDB Z

The Skyland Farm team continued the impressive momentum established during Week 1 of the Winter Equestrian Festival with more great performances during the second week, held January 16-20 in Wellington, Florida.

Leslie Kopp and her new horse, Cesar VDB Z, won their first Don Little Adult Amateur Masters class together on Saturday for a wonderful start to their partnership. Leslie also went in just one class aboard Dolce Vita, making it count with a second place out of 40 in the Low Adult Amateur Jumper, 36 and over, section.


Emma Pell and Ari 55

Emma Pell and Ari 55 won the competitive $2,500 NAL/WIHS Modified Children’s Jumper Classic and then earned the Modified Children’s Jumper championship for a fantastic week. Emma also guided Santos to ribbons in the Low Junior Jumpers out of more than 70 entries!

In the hunter rings, Leslie guided Griffin and Fenwick to fantastic ribbons in the older Adult Amateur section, with nearly all primary colored ribbons, including a blue aboard Griffin.


Stephanie Vazquez and Creme De La Creme RLF

Stephanie Vazquez and Creme De La Creme RLF earned under saddle ribbons at their first week showing in the USHJA and Low Adult Amateur classes.

“Creme De La Creme is only 5 years old and just starting out, so I’m super pleased with her and Stephanie,” said trainer Denice Perry. “Everyone had a great week!”

Week 2 Photo Gallery

Wonderful WEF 1 For Skyland Farm


Leslie Kopp and El Cano

The Skyland Farm team got off to a great start during Week 1, January 9-13, of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Wellington, Florida.

Leslie Kopp and the veteran El Cano jumped to two blue ribbons in the Don Little Adult Amateur Masters Jumpers and finished as reserve champions without even doing the Classic!

“We decided to save El Cano for the competition in the International Ring in two weeks,” said Denice. “He’s 22 this year and still going strong!”


Emma Pell and Santos

Emma Pell and Santos collected great ribbons in the 1.15m Modified Children’s Jumpers, including a fifth in the $2,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Modified Classic.

The team also picked up many schooling jumper clear round ribbons as a circuit warm up.

In the Hunter ring, Skyland Farm’s homebred C’Superman, a 4-year-old Holsteiner (Copperman–Cirena), made his show ring debut in the 3- and 4-year-old Pre-Green Hunters. The talented bay earned ribbons in every class, with superb jumping efforts. Then, he spent some time soaking up the sun in his paddock!


Skyland Prevails at Piedmont Jumper Classic


Danielle DeRisio and Cirena

The team from Skyland Farm made their presence known at the Piedmont Jumper Classic, held September 20-23 at the Salem Farm Show Grounds in Upperville, Virginia.

Emma Pell captured the High Children’s Jumper championship aboard Ari 55 and then made her debut with her new horse Santos, taking two blue ribbons, one in a High and a Low Children’s Jumper class.


Emma Pell and Santos

Leslie Kopp is also forming a partnership with her newest mount, Cesar VDB Z. The pair clicked right away and won two 1.0m Jumper classes. Leslie also earned ribbons with her veteran El Cano in the High Adult Jumpers. Special thanks to Plain Bay Sales for Cesar and best of luck to Leslie with this wonderful horse in the 2019 season!

Michele Trufant enjoyed a successful show. She and her Thoroughbred gelding Itchy Garret topped three classes in the .80 and .90m Jumpers and earned ribbons in the Low Adults.

Danielle DeRisio took a break from her freshman year in college to ride Cirena to the Low Children’s Jumper reserve championship. The duo earned two blues and third place in the Low Children’s Jumper Stake for a banner weekend.


Kaylin Dines and Why Not

Kaylin Dines rode a picture perfect round aboard Why Not to speed to second place in the NAL/WIHS High Adult Jumper Classic in a very competitive class.


Maryland Horse & Pony Show

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Emma Pell and Judith Hahn’s Twizzler

The Skyland Farm team and trainer Denice Perry had a great time at the Maryland Horse & Pony Show, held September 12-16 at the Prince Georges Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Emma Pell and Judith Hahn’s Twizzler continued their winning streak, capturing the Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter championship with three blue ribbons, including the under saddle. Barnmate Mosie Pennington enjoyed presenting the Small Pony Under Saddle Trophy to her friend Emma!

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Emma Pell and F15 with trainer Denice Perry

Emma and F15 enjoyed a banner show, winning the NHS 3’3” Medal class and making the call back in the MHSA Medal Finals.

Mosie Pennington wasn’t without her own success. She earned excellent ribbons in the competitive Small Pony Hunters with Dreamscape and with Yours Truly in the Small/Medium Children’s Pony Hunters


Mosie Pennington and Yours Truly

It was also a great show back for Leslie Kopp and Fenwick. “They had super trips throughout the week, with ribbons in the USHJA and Local divisions. After a summer break, Leslie returned to the ring with El Cano, and they earned ribbons in the Low and High Adult Jumpers. She rode beautifully,” said Denice.

Skyland also welcomed Stephanie Vazquez to the team! She and Irish Rambler earned top ribbons in the Large Pony Hunters, and Stephanie also brought a Pre-Green horse to Skyland that will show in the near future.

“My friend Carol Eichner has done a great job teaching Stephanie, so I’m really looking forward to helping her with her horse,” added Denice.

Skyland Excels Under the Oaks


Emma Pell and Ari 55

The Skyland Farm team enjoyed two beautiful weeks in early June under the oaks at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show and Loudoun Benefit Horse Show in Upperville, Virginia.

The picturesque show grounds, located just minutes from Skyland’s home base in Middleburg, allowed for lots of fun and socializing as well as ribbon-winning performances.

During Upperville, highlights included Emma Pell’s top results in the High Children’s Jumpers aboard Ari 55. The pair ended the week tied for the reserve championship. They continued the momentum into Loudoun, where they earned top ribbons and placed fifth in the NAL/WIHS High Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic after going first in the class and setting an impressive pace.


Leslie Kopp and Dolce Vita

Leslie Kopp and Fenwick also earned a tricolor, taking a reserve championship in a section of the Local Hunter Owner/Rider division. The pair also returned for ribbons in the Adult Amateur Hunter, 50 and over section, and Leslie also piloted Griffin to excellent ribbons in the same division in a competitive field. Fenwick showed his talents during Loudoun as well, winning the Performance Working Handy Hunter over fences class with Chiara Carney in a class of more than 30 entries.

Leslie enjoyed her time in the jumpers as well, riding El Cano and Dolce Vita to ribbons in the Adult Amateurs


Michele Trufant and Prime Time

Michele Trufant and Prime Time also earned excellent ribbons in the Local Hunter Owner/Rider section and, like Leslie, they accrued ribbons in the Adult Amateur, 50 and over, section. Michele also showed her prowess in the Jumpers, riding Itchy Garrett to multiple ribbons in a variety of classes, including the Take2 Thoroughbred Jumpers.

During Loudoun, Michele and Itchy earned the reserve championship in the Take2 Thoroughbred Jumpers and also placed second in the Take2 Thoroughbred Jumper Classic to round out a wonderful show.

Danielle DeRisio and Cirena jumped to ribbons in the Low Adult Amateurs and Schooling Jumpers, including many clear rounds during both weeks.


Emma Pell, Judith Hahn and Twizzler

It was a clean sweep in the performance classes for Judith Hahn’s Twizzler in the Green Pony Hunter section during Loudoun. Under Emma’s expert guidance, Twizzler won every class and earned the Grand Pony Championship as well as the section championship. Emma also piloted Thora Pollak’s lovely Rebel Yell to wins in the Medium Pony Hunter section, with victories in the model as well as over fences and in the Pony Hunter Classic.

Emma also made her presence known in the big equitation classes. She guided F15 to ribbons in the ASPCA Maclay, WIHS, Platinum Performance Talent Search and the VHSA Medal, to name a few.

Mosie Pennington and her ponies Yours Truly and Dreamscape picked up ribbons both weeks, with Mosie making her regular pony debut in the Smalls with Dreamscape during Loudoun and winning a ribbon in every class.


Mosie Pennington and Dreamscape

“We had a great two weeks of showing,” said trainer Denice Perry. “We had a wonderful group of riders and horses, and everyone enjoyed spending time together and cheering each other on. They do a fantastic job with these two horse shows, and we’re so fortunate to have the opportunity to spend this time in our own backyard enjoying Virginia’s amazing hunt country and showing here.”



Skyland Rocks at Blue Rock


Emma Pell and Ari 55

The Skyland Farm team traveled north of the Mason-Dixon line from May 16-20 to attend the Blue Rock Classic at Swan Lake Stables in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, and returned home with ample rewards.

Emma Pell sped to some impressive placings aboard Ari 55, including second-place honors in the NAL/M&S High Children’s Jumper Classic. Emma took it down a notch aboard F15 for a well-deserved win in the USHJA Jumping Seat Medal class. The pair also earned ribbons in the ASPCA Maclay, the Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal and the THIS Medal for a successful show.

Emma also made her presence known in the ponies, guiding Thora Pollak’s Rebel Yell to the Medium Pony Hunter reserve championship. “The little guy had to wait all day to finally show at 8 p.m., Saturday night,” said Emma’s mother, Kristi. “He deserved that hug!”


Mosie Pennington and Dreamscape

Mosie Pennington added her own tricolor to the Skyland Farm banner with the Pre-Children’s Hunter Pony championship aboard William Barr’s Dreamscape. She also earned top ribbons aboard her own Yours Truly in the same section.

Leslie Kopp rode her Jumpers Dolce Vita and El Cano to nice ribbons in the 1.05 and 1.10 Schooling Jumpers during the week to avoid the poor weather conditions over the weekend.

Chiara Carney guided Leslie’s Fenwick and Griffin to ribbons in the 3’3” Performance Hunters, and she also piloted Michele Trufant’s Dancing Ollie to several blue ribbons in the 2’9” Hunter classes.


Danielle DeRisio and Cirena

Cirena made her post-foal debut a successful one, carrying Danielle DeRisio to fourth place in the Low Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic! Danielle also reminisced with her first pony “Radish,” many years later.


Lexington Spring Success Continues For Skyland


The Lexington Spring Premiere and Encore Horse Shows brought lots of fun and success for Skyland Farm riders and horses.

Week 2 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington featured championship honors for Thora Pollak’s Rebel Yell and Emma Pell for the second consecutive week. They earned two blues over fences, won the under saddle and placed second twice over fences for the tricolor.

Emma and F15 captured excellent ribbons in the equitation division. Emma placed an impressive second in the WIHS Jumper Phase after taking fourth in the Hunter Phase. With her scores combined, she placed third overall in the WIHS. She also earned second in the USHJA 3’3″ Jumper Seat Medal and captured top ribbons in the USEF Dover Hunter Seat Medal and VHSA/EMO Medal classes.

Emma and Ari 55 continued their blue-ribbon streak in the High Children’s Jumpers and also earned the section reserve championship with a win in the speed class and two other top ribbons.


Michele Trufant and her beautiful Thoroughbred Dancing Ollie returned to the show ring after a winter break and didn’t miss a beat. Their consistent performances garnered them ribbons in the Special Adult Hunter and the Low Thoroughbred Hunter sections for a great start to the show season.

Leslie Kopp and her hunters and jumpers continued to make their presence known. Leslie and Dolce Vita earned ribbons in the Low Adult Jumpers, and Leslie’s Fenwick jumped to excellent ribbons with Chiara Carney in the irons in the Low Hunters.



Skyland Springs Into Success at Lexington Spring Premiere


Emma Pell and Twizzler

Despite a few rainy days, the Skyland Farm team shined brightly during the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Lexington Spring Horse Show, held April 25-29 in Lexington, Virginia.

Emma Pell starred in the Pony and Jumper rings, capturing the Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter Championship and the Grand Green Pony title with Judith Hahn’s Twizzler. The pair won four out of the five section classes, and Emma was also named one of the Exhibitors of the Day by the show management!

Emma also guided Thora Pollak’s Rebel Yell to the reserve championship in the Medium Pony Hunters and the Schooling Pony Hunters. Emma and the fancy chestnut also placed second in the competitive Pony Hunter Classic to round out a great show.

Over in the Jumper ring, Emma sped to top honors with Ari 55, winning the High Children’s Jumper speed class and placing in several other classes to earn the reserve championship. Emma also partnered with F15 for ribbons in the Equitation, including second in the VHSA Equitation on the Flat and third in the VHSA/EMO Hunt Seat Medal class.

Leslie Kopp and her Amateur Hunters and Jumpers also earned excellent ribbons at Lexington. Aboard Griffin, Leslie earned second-placed ribbons both days, including an impressive score of 84 in the Adult Amateur, 50 and over, section. She also piloted El Cano to ribbons in the High Adult Amateur Jumper section.

Trainer Denice Perry enjoyed showing her homebred C’Ironman (Copperman–Cirena) to multiple ribbons in the Jumpers, with top placings in the Training Jumpers throughout the show.

Morgan Silverman joined the Skyland team at Lexington, cheering on everyone with her loyal dog Kunu by her side.

“We had a great show, and it was a wonderful way to start the spring circuit in Virginia,” said Denice. “Emma took the picture of the parking lot one morning before we went out to school the ponies. I thought I would share this since it’s so beautiful and shows how lovely horse show mornings are. We are so fortunate to do what we do.”


Twizzler Has Sweet Success at WEF 5

Judy Hahn’s Twizzler continued her consistent performances with yet another tricolor during Week 5 of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit, February 7-11, in Wellington, Florida.

The adorable 9-year-old Welsh mare (Land’s End Posieden–Penny Candy) owned and bred by Judy, collected the reserve championship in the Small/Medium Green pony section with Emma Pell riding over fences and Olivia Sweetnam in the under saddle.

Emma’s mother Kristi found her own mount this week, but she isn’t quite ready for the show ring yet!
Leslie Kopp and trainer Denice Perry took a field trip to the Turf Tour during the week, and Leslie earned excellent ribbons aboard El Cano and Dolce Vita in the Adult Jumpers. “The horses love the change of scenery, and Leslie also had a great time!” noted Denice. Team Skyland even made the Turf Tour website photo gallery, below, as they all worked together!


Skyland’s Florida professional rider Katherine Newman had a flashback this week when she rode Twizzler, a pony reminiscent of her famous partner Pony Dot Com, a USEF National Small Pony Champion.

Another great week in the books, with Skyland looking forward to WEF 6 and WCHR Week!