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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

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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.

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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.

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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

Skyland Excels Under the Oaks

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

 

 

A Fantastic Fall Indoors

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Emma Pell and Ari 55 at the Pennsylvania National

The Skyland Farm team enjoyed a successful and fun East Coast Fall Indoor show season in October, with top ribbons from the Capital Challenge in Maryland to the Washington International in downtown D.C.

Emma Pell and Ari 55 made their presence known in the Children’s Jumpers throughout the circuit. A highlight was their fantastic double-clear performance and third-placed finish in the $10,000 NAL Children’s Jumper Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

Because Harrisburg and the USHJA Zone 3/WIHS Regional Horse Show in Maryland ran concurrently, trainer Denice Perry and assistant Chiara Carney had to split up training duties. While Denice was anxiously watching the live stream in Maryland, Chiara helped Emma take to the show ring in Harrisburg, where she and Ari were just one of four competitors to jump two perfect rounds.

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Emma Pell and Ari 55

“Emma is a ‘Rock Star’ for sure,” said Leslie Kopp. “I watched her rounds live with Denice in Upper Marlboro at the WIHS show. Denice was coming out of her seat in excitement! We had a crowd cheering Emma on!! During the jump-off, when it was coming down to the wire and Emma was still in the lead, Denice could hardly watch. So much team work with the Skyland farm family. Congrats to Emma, her fabulous horse Ari and assistant trainer Chiara!”

Emma and Ari then traveled to the Washington International, where they once again jumped a clear first round to place fifth in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship.

Mosie Pennington took two tricolors at the WIHS Regional Horse Show when she guided Yours Truly and Oh Good Night to the championship and reserve championship in the Short Stirrup Hunter section.

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Mosie Pennington at the WIHS Regional Horse Show

Congratulations also to Leslie Kopp for earning great ribbons in the WIHS and Zone Adult Hunters and Jumpers aboard Griffin, Gone Country and Dolce Vita.

Maryland Horse & Pony Show

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Emma Pell’s smile says it all! The Skyland Farm team couldn’t help but celebrate after a wonderful time at the Maryland Horse & Pony Show, held September 13-17 at the Prince Georges Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Emma and Thora Pollak’s Rebel Yell swept the Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter classes, even those held under the lights. They also placed second, third, sixth and eighth in the Medium Pony Hunter section, which was held outdoors as well as indoors, and were second in the Green Pony Hunter Classic.

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Breeder Thora Pollak with Rebel Yell and Emma Pell 

“For a green pony to show that consistently outside, inside and under the lights, is pretty amazing,” said Perry. “He’s a lovely pony.”

Owner and breeder Thora Pollak, of Potomac, Maryland, attended the show to cheer on her homebred 7-year-old Welsh-Thoroughbred cross (Meadowbrook’s Special Edition–Chelsea’s Renaissance).

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Mosie Pennington with Yours Truly and Oh Good Night

Mosie Pennington also enjoyed a banner show on her ponies. Mosie guided Yours Truly  to the championship in the Opportunity Mini Short Stirrup, 8 and under, section and captured the reserve championship in the Opportunity Short Stirrup section with Oh Good Night.

“Way to go Mosie! She rode great, and we are all super proud of her,” said Denice.

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Mosie Pennington and Emma Pell with the “loot” after Mosie won her first Short Stirrup class.

Other highlights included Michele Trufant’s Dancing Ollie and Prime Time both receiving numerous ribbons in the highly contested Thoroughbred Hunter sections with Michele and Chiara Carney in the irons.

“The Thoroughbred divisions were the best I’ve seen all year,” said Denice. “There were 19 entries in the 3′ Thoroughbred Hunters and very competitive classes. Michele and her great Thoroughbreds were spectacular, taking top ribbons in the model, over fences and under saddle.”

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Michele Trufant with 20-year-old Prime Time, fourth in the model!

In the Adult Amateurs, Leslie Kopp continued collecting great ribbons aboard her Hunters and Jumpers, including Dolce Vita, F15, Gone Country and Griffin.

“It was a big show, with many entries, and Leslie and her horses did quite well,” said Denice. “I’m proud of her.”

Additionally, Kaylin Dines and her wonderful mount Why Not were second in the NAL/WIHS High Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic and earned ribbons in all of the jumper classes they contested all weekend! “We’re glad you are back showing. We all missed you!” said Denice.

HITS is a Hit For Skyland Farm

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Emma Pell and Ari 55 with, from left, Orlando Cruz, Zone 3 Chef d’Equipe Sandra Ruiz and Skyland Assistant Trainer Chiara Carney

The Skyland Farm team traveled to HITS-on-the-Hudson IV in Saugerties, New York, July 19-23 for the show, which also included the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

In their first appearance on the tour, Emma Pell and Ari 55 competed on the Zone 3 Children’s Jumper team. They ended with a bang, winning the NAJYRC Children’s Jumper Farewell competition.

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Emma Pell and Ari 55 won the Children’s Farewell Class

“I’m proud of Emma. She had a super finish for her first young riders tour,” said trainer Denice Perry.

“I want to also send a big congratulations to Skyland summer resident Virginia Bonnie and Captiva. They were members of the winning Zone 10 Children’s team and took home the gold medal!” added Denice. “Virginia also finished fourth in the individual competition that finished Sunday. She rode great, finishing with clean rounds over very big and technical courses.”

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Virginia Bonnie and Captiva

Skyland’s Leslie Kopp also traveled to New York, making the long trip worthwhile. She guided Gone Country and Griffin to a sweep of the championship and reserve championship honors in the Adult Amateur, 50 and Over section.

Earlier in the month, Skyland Farm riders and horses captured top honors at HITS Culpeper Showday National and the Warrenton Pony Show in Virginia, respectively.

Highlights included Virginia Bonnie topping the VHSA Hunter Seat Medal flat with Jelti JS, while Mosie Pennington and Oh Good Night earned the reserve championship in the Short Stirrup Equitation section. Michele Trufant’s Itchy Garrett tied for the .90m Jumper championship, while Emma Pell and Amelie tied for championship honors in the 1.0m Jumpers.

 

 

Skyland Farm’s New Arrival

Skyland Farm welcomes a new foal!

Read more

Debuts and Blues at WEF 2

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After a successful first week on the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit, Emma Pell continued her winning ways and also moved up a level in the jumpers, for a gratifying Week 2, held January 18-22 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.

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Emma Pell and Ari 55 with trainer Chiara Carney.

Emma and Ari 55 placed first in the Low Children’s Jumpers (in a class of 61 competitors) and then moved up to the High section, where they earned an impressive fourth at 1.15m in the High Children’s Jumper classic.

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Emma Pell and Ari 55

Emma also jumped to second place aboard Amelie in the Low Children’s Jumper Classic in a field of 55 entries.

“It was a great week for Emma! She even did the High Children’s Jumper speed class on Amelie,” said trainer Denice Perry. “I think she’s really found her niche in the jumpers, and the consistency in her riding has improved tremendously.”

Leslie Kopp joined the Skyland Farm team in the show ring this week, riding her Gone Country in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owner Hunters. She also received blue ribbon clears in the .95 Training Jumpers with Cardine for an excellent start to the circuit.

Skyland Farm also congratulates client Virginia Bonnie for her success on the HITS Desert circuit in California. During Week 1, Virginia won the Marshall & Sterling High Children’s Jumper Classic aboard Captiva, earned great ribbons in her equitation debut aboard Jelti JS and guided Blue A Kiss to top placings in the Large Pony Hunters.

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Leslie Kopp and Cardine relaxing between jumper classes.

WEF 1 Was Wonderful

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Emma Pell and Amelie with trainers Denice Perry and Chiara Carney after winning the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic

Skyland Farm riders and horses enjoyed a great start during Week 1 of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Wellington, Florida, held January 11-15 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Emma Pell and Amelie earned the Low Children’s Jumper championship and won the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic. Most impressively, Emma’s victories came with 65 entries in the jumper section and 60 in the Classic. She also placed fourth in the Classic aboard Ari 55 for two impressive ribbons.

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Emma Pell and Amelie

“Emma rode beautifully,” said trainer Denice Perry. “I think she’s found her calling in the jumper ring. After such a fantastic start, I think Emma may move up to the Children’s Jumpers in few classes next week. It was a tremendous way to start the circuit.”

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Emma Pell and Amelie earned the Low Children’s Jumper Championship

 

Skyland Concludes a Successful Show Season at RMI Raleigh Benefit

 

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The Skyland Farm team traveled to the RMI Raleigh Benefit Horse Show, November 16-20 in North Carolina, and finished the 2016 show season with a combination of amazing results and lots of fun.

A highlight of the week was Friday night’s Rotating Pair Relay, where Emma Pell and Chiara Carney entertained the spectators with not only their costumes but also their exciting performance. Emma was the “robber” on Amelie and Chiara was the “cop” riding Ari 55, and they switched off jumping the course in a relay fashion without faults to finished second to winners Tracy Magness and Wendy Libert who rode as simple pleasures “pizza” and “beer.” It was a great class and so much fun for everyone!

“I’ve never seen Chiara go that fast and leave strides out,” said trainer Denice Perry. “Emma rode so well, too, and they made a formidable team. It was such a great class and everyone enjoyed it so much.”

Emma continued her streak in the Low Children’s/Adult Jumpers where she won two classes and earned the championship aboard Amelie. Emma also took excellent ribbons riding Ari 55.

“Emma and Amelie are a relatively new partnership, but they’ve already clicked,” said Denice. “They’re an amazing team, go so fast and love each other.”

Leslie Kopp concluded her banner show season with more accolades in the jumper and hunter rings. She earned ribbons in the Low Children’s/Adult Jumpers aboard Cardine and also picked up placings with Carduzo as well.

Leslie’s time in the hunter ring was especially memorable at RMI for her victory in the Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic and championship honors in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owner Hunter section with Gone Country. Earlier in the week, Chiara Carney also piloted Gone Country to the tricolor in the Green/High Performance Hunters for an especially rewarding week for the elegant bay.

Leslie also earned excellent prizes in the same section aboard Fenwick, who also took home championship honors in the 3’6″ Performance Hunters with Chiara.

Michele Trufant and her longtime partner Prime Time captured championship honors in the Adult Amateur, 36 and over, section with consistent results in every single class. Michele also brought her up-and-coming Thoroughbred Dancing Ollie for some show experience with Denice in the irons, and he was rewarded with the TIP High-Point Thoroughbred Hunter Award. Ollie also earned the reserve championship in the Training Hunters.

Denice and Clifton Farms LLC’s Jelti Js made their USHJA International Hunter Derby debut at RMI, taking fifth place overall after claiming sixth in the Classic Round and fourth in the Handy Round. “She was really fun,” said Denice. “I think she’ll have a super future with Virginia Bonnie in the Large Juniors and equitation classes this winter in Thermal, California. I wish them the best of luck. She’s a special mare!”