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WEF 1 Was Wonderful


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.


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.”


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


Skyland Concludes a Successful Show Season at RMI Raleigh Benefit



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!”

Middleburg Classic Champion


Leslie Kopp and Gone Country collecting their championship from Caroline Moran. (Photo by Teresa Ramsay)

Although Leslie Kopp and Gone Country have just started their show ring career together, their performances at the Middleburg Classic, held September 21-15, were rock solid. The pair won two blue ribbons in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owner Hunter, 36 and over, section and added more top ribbons to earn the show championship.

“We are so happy for Leslie and her new mount Gone Country!” said trainer Denice Perry. “We all wish her the best of luck in the future. They are a great partnership, and it’s wonderful that they started out their time together with such great results at this special show.”

Gone Country also earned impressive ribbons in the First Year Green Hunter section with Skyland resident professional Chiara Carney, and Chiara also piloted Leslie’s Fenwick to seventh place in the $5,000 Middleburg Hunter Classic as well as ribbons in the Performance Working Hunter 3’6″ section.

“It was a great way for Leslie and Gone Country to begin, and I couldn’t be happier for her,” added Denice. “Leslie works so hard and is dedicated to the sport, and I’m thrilled that she’s found a great new partner.”

A Grand Time at Warrenton Pony Show


The Warrenton Pony Show in Virginia, the oldest Pony Show in the United States, is a favorite stop on the summer show circuit for Skyland Farm, and this year’s event, June 29-July 3, was especially successful for the entire team.

Emma Pell won the prestigious VHSA Pony Medal Finals held Friday evening aboard her Checkmate. “She’s ridden with me for more than two years, and this was one of her goals,” said trainer Denice Perry. “She rode beautifully, and I think she won by quite a margin, in my opinion.”

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Emma Pell receives her awards for winning the VHSA Pony Medal Final!

Additionally, Skyland student Virginia Bonnie and her mare Blue A Kiss earned the Large Pony Hunter championship, sweeping the division, and also earned the Grand Pony Championship, won the Pony Hunter Classic  and finished the show as Overall Grand Hunter Champion.

“Virginia is an amazing horsewoman. She’s the great-granddaughter of Mrs. A.C. Randolph, granddaughter of Nina Bonnie and daughter of Shelby and Carol Bonnie, of Upperville, Virginia and San Francisco. Great horsemanship is obviously in her blood!” said Denice.

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Virginia Bonnie and Blue A Kiss receiving the Grand Championship titles!

Skyland’s riders picked up quite a collection of tricolor ribbons during the show. Leslie Kopp and her Fenwick earned the Amateur-Owner Hunter Reserve Championship, while Emma Pell and Checkmate were Reserve Champions in the Medium Pony Hunters and Emma guided her Small Pony Hunter Forget Me Not to the Reserve in that section as well. It was a great week to enjoy many successes and celebrate the Fourth of July!

Bountiful Ribbons at Loudoun Benefit


After a super successful week during the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, Skyland Farm clients and horses continued their excellent performances during the Loudoun Benefit Horse Show, held on the same show grounds in Upperville, Virginia, from June 15-19.

Championship ribbons began accumulating from the start of the week, with Leslie Kopp’s Fenwick earning the 3’3″ Performance Hunter Championship with Chiara Carney aboard. Leslie also earned excellent ribbons later in the week aboard Fenwick in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owner, 36 and over, section.

Virginia Bonnie and Wishful Thinking

Virginia Bonnie and Wishful Thinking

Amelie and Alexandra Tippett jumped to the Low Adult Amateur Jumper Championship after top placings in the section as well as victory in the Classic. Similarly, Virginia Bonnie and her Wishful Thinking captured the Low Children’s Jumper Classic blue ribbon on their way to the section championship. Virginia continued her winning ways in the hunter ring as well, guiding Blue A Kiss to the Large Pony Hunter reserve championship in this hotly contested pony section. The pair also won the Pony Hunter Classic, topping a field of 19 entries.


Emma Pell added blue ribbons to her collection with wins with Checkmate in the Medium Pony Hunters and Ari 55 in the jumpers. Leslie Kopp also placed well in the Adult Jumpers with Carduzo and El Cano as did Kaylin Dines and Why Not, while Virginia Bonnie soared to top placings on Captiva, her newest mount. Michele Trufant guided her Prime Time and Dancing Ollie to excellent performances, with Dancing Ollie earning the reserve championship in the Open Hunters, and Danielle DeRisio rode Skyland Farm’s veteran Placido to ribbons in the Children’s Hunter, 15-17, section.

“Skyland horses and riders were awesome throughout the week,” said trainer Denice Perry. “Many new combinations made successful debuts, and we are all really excited about the summer. I’d like to thank all of the Skyland team for making the past two weeks quite memorable. The team of Orlando, Ruben, Samuel, Jamie, Manuel and Chiara deserve a huge thank you!”

We hope you enjoy this collection of fun photos from the week–so many great memories made!

Top Performances at Upperville



Alex Tippett and Amelie

The Skyland Farm team enjoyed one of the best Upperville Colt & Horse Shows in recent memory, with nearly perfect weather that rivaled any the show has experienced in its 163-year history. Highlights were many, on the Hunter and Jumper sides of Route 50, from June 6-12 in Upperville, Virginia.

On the Hunter side, Virginia Bonnie and Blue A Kiss earned the Large Pony Hunter championship with beautiful performances over fences and under saddle, including an impressive win in the handy class.


Virginia Bonnie and Blue A Kiss

Alex Tippett and Bertram Firestone’s Amelie earned the Low Adult Amateur Jumper championship with a first and third in the section as well a third in the hotly contested Low Adult Amateur Jumper Classic.

Virginia Fout, a Skyland visitor and friend from California, earned the Amateur-Owner, 36 and Over, championship, the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship and was named the Best
Amateur Rider. Nick Haness trained Virginia and her horse Cristiano, but Skyland expert staff did a perfect job with his preparation and presentation. Kudos to the entire team!

Other highlights included super ribbons for Emma Pell and her ponies Checkmate and Forget Me Not in the Medium and Small section classes as well as the Pony Classics.

Leslie Kopp’s Fenwick earned excellent ribbons in the 3’3″ Performance Hunter division under the guidance of professional Chiara Carney as well as ribbons in the competitive older Amateur-Owner, 3’3″
Hunter section with Leslie aboard. Leslie also earned ribbons in the High Adult Amateur Jumpers with El Cano.

Michele Trufant and Prime Time as well as Danielle DeRisio on Skyland Farm’s veteran Placido both had excellent placings in their respective divisions.

On the jumper side, Virginia Bonnie and her two relatively new jumpers Wishful Thinking and Captiva had good ribbons in the Low and High Children’s jumper divisions, respectively, and Kaylin Dines and her High Adult Jumper earned ribbons as well. Colleen Hahn and HJ Vasco made a super appearance in the Low Adult Jumpers after a year-long hiatus, and they were great considering such a long break!

“All in all, the Skyland group had a super show,” said trainer Denice Perry. “The horses jumped beautifully, and the riders were great. I’d like to thank the entire Skyland team for making this show so successful for everyone. We have one more big week to go, and best of luck to our team competing at this week’s Loudoun Benefit Horse Show!”

In Style at Lexington Encore


Leslie Kopp and El Cano

Skyland Farm horses and riders enjoyed a successful and fun week at the Lexington Spring Encore Horse Show, held May 4-8 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington.

A major highlight was when Leslie Kopp received the Adult Jumper Style Award following her sixth-placed performance aboard El Cano in the NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic. “I’m super happy for Leslie winning this prestigious award,” said trainer Denice Perry. “She has worked hard and rode El Cano beautifully. Her style is beautiful, and she rides him around looking like she’s competing in an equitation class. The award is well deserved.”


Emma Pell also continued her winning ways aboard her ponies Forget Me Not and Checkmate. She guided Forget Me Not to the Small Pony Hunter championship and earned the reserve tricolor in the Medium section with Checkmate.

Emma also topped the WIHS Pony Equitation Classic and earned ribbons on both ponies in the Pony Hunter Classic. In addition, Emma also earned the Dover Saddlery Best Child Rider on a Pony Award for the second consecutive week for a wonderful conclusion to the Lexington Spring show series.


Emma Pell and Forget Me Not


Emma Pell and Checkmate


Lots of Ribbons at Lexington


Emma Pell with Forget Me Not and Checkmate

Skyland Farm riders and horses celebrated the tradition of the Lexington Spring Horse Shows with lots of ribbons and memorable moments. The Lexington Spring Premiere, April 27-May 1 in Lexington, Virginia, kicked off the two-week series, and although there were some rainy days, they didn’t dampen the success.

Emma Pell collected a vast array of impressive wins, earning the Best Child Rider on a Pony Award after earning the Small/Medium Pony Hunter championship and reserve championship ribbons with Forget Me Not and Checkmate, respectively. The trio also collected first and second in the Pony Hunter Classic, and Emma won the VHSA/EMO Pony Medal and placed second in the WIHS Pony Medal.

“Emma rode amazingly!” said trainer Denice Perry. “Her performances were probably the best and most consistent I’ve ever seen her ride. All of that time in Florida and the practice and ring time really showed dividends here last weekend. And riding her new jumper is a super asset.”


Kaylin Dines with Why Not, right, and Leslie Kopp with El Cano

Emma recently acquired the veteran horse Ari 55 to show her the ropes in the jumpers, and they competed in several Training and Schooling jumper classes as well as the VHSA Equitation on the Flat, earning a variety of ribbons. “This is a very exciting combination, and I look forward to watching Ari develop Emma into quite the jumper rider,” added Denice.

Leslie Kopp returned from a successful Florida circuit and continued collecting top ribbons at Lexington. She showed Carduzo in the Low Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumpers and El Cano in the Highs, taking impressive placings aboard both horses, including seventh place in the NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic. “Leslie and El Cano had ribbons in every class in the Highs, which was a great accomplishment,” said Denice.

Leslie Kopp and El Cano

Leslie Kopp and El Cano

Additionally, Skyland welcomes new student Kaylin Dines and her amazing horse Why Not. They were second in the Low Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper stake, third in the NAL/WIHS High Adult Amateur Classic and Kaylin ale received the Adult Amateur Jumper Style Award.

Congratulations to all of the Skyland Farm riders and owners, and best of luck during this week’s Lexington Spring Encore!

Top Honors and New Partnerships at WEF 10


Elizabeth Wiley and Crescendo

Skyland Farm horses and riders enjoyed a great week during WEF 10, March 16-20 in Wellington, Florida, as the 12-week winter circuit draws to a closer to its conclusion. “All of the horses went beautifully, and everyone rode quite well,” said trainer Denice Perry.

LCTJ0-374-16WEF copy

Emma Pell and Ari 55

A highlight of the week included Elizabeth Wiley’s rides aboard Crescendo in the Adult Amateur Hunter, 36-49, section, where the pair earned two blue ribbons on the way to the reserve championship in section A. Fellow amateur rider Leslie Kopp also had impressive performances, taking ribbons in the Adult Jumpers aboard El Cano and Training Jumper clear-round blue ribbons aboard Carduzo.

El Cano WEF

Leslie Kopp riding El Cano

“Additionally, it was very exciting to have Emma Pell show her new jumper Ari 55 for the first time,” said Denice. “She went in the Training Jumper and Training Children’s/Adult Jumpers and received a blue ribbon also. Everyone had a positive show week, and we were thrilled.”

Emma also earned ribbons on her Forget Me Not in the Small Pony Hunters and received a ribbon in the highly contested Pony Hunter Classic.



Leslie Kopp and Carduzo


Congratulations to Emma Pell and Amelie for their wonderful performances on the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival circuit!