Kicking Off the Year at the Atlanta Winter Classic

Fox Lake Farm just returned from three weeks at the Wills Park Equestrian Center in Alpharetta, Georgia. Our horses and riders braved snow, rain, and wind to come out on top with championship honors and blue ribbons. Though the weather may have been atrocious, we are still thrilled with the results of our first horse shows of 2018. For several of our girls, this was their first outing with their new mounts! 

Michael Allen kicked off Week I with championship honors in the High Performance Hunter division with Cynthia Hallman's Fig Street's Duchess, as well as a second place finish in the USHJA National Hunter Derby. Cynthia piloted Gracie to high placings in the Amateur Owner Hunters later that week. 

 Michael and Gracie with their High Performance division champion ribbon. Note the snow still on the ground in the background!

Michael and Gracie with their High Performance division champion ribbon. Note the snow still on the ground in the background!

Fox Lake's jumper riders also found success at Week I of the show. Anna Kathryn Hymer and Fleetwood had very strong showings in the Low Child/Adult Jumpers, including a win in the Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic. Katie Habeeb and her own Alto Aviador also pinned well in the same division, and they took home 5th in the classic. Clayton Mullis and Cruze also had some good rounds in the Low Child/Adult Jumpers. Abby Beaty and Via Dolorosa, her jumper mount since 2015, ended up reserve champion in the High Child/Adult Jumper division. 

Abby Beaty and her new mount Corrado had an exciting debut together at Wills Park. Abby is in her last junior year of riding, and decided she would like to branch out from the hunter and jumper rings where she has spent her junior career. At the end of 2017, she leased Corrado who has experience in all three rings. With him, she's tackling both the Junior Hunters and the big equitation classes. Abby took 2nd in the WIHS Equitation class, 3rd in the ASPCA Maclay, and was champion in her age equitation division. She also had high placings in the 16-17 Large Junior Hunters, and won the $1000 Junior Hunter Classic. 

Mimi Colette Frei also debuted a new mount this year: Divide's Freedom Spirit. Mimi and "Spirit" spent week I in the Large Children's Pony division before moving up to the Large Pony Hunters for the next two weeks. Mimi and Spirit dominated the Children's Ponies, taking first and second in nearly every class. The pair ended up reserve champion, missing champion honors by just half a point.

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Annie LaRussa and her own Escalido also had a successful week I, pinning highly in the Children's Hunters and taking 2nd in NAL/WIHS Child/Adult Hunter Classic. 

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Several more Fox Lake riders joined us for Week II, so there were even more blue ribbons to be won! Campbell Swanner took champion in the Pre Child/Adult Equitation and reserve champion in the Pre Child/Adult Hunters her first time out with THS Pia-Lena. 

 The rain clearly didn't stop Campbell from bringing her A Game! 

The rain clearly didn't stop Campbell from bringing her A Game! 

Sarah Carson Hill's Benlea Rain Dancer thrived in the weather (we wonder why?) and she took home 1st, 2nd, and 5th her first time out in the Large Children's Pony Hunters. 

Anna Kathryn Hymer's Cinsational made his 3'6 Green Hunter Debut at week II with Michael Allen. The pair nearly had a clean sweep of the division and ended up champion. They also took 3rd in the USHJA National Hunter Derby for the 2nd week in a row. 

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Hagen Blackwell and her two ponies, Footsteps and Hey Scooby, had strong trips in the Medium and Large Pony Hunters. Mimi Colette and Spirit also did well their first time in the Large Ponies together, taking 5th in the $500 Pony Hunter Classic. 

 Mimi and Spirit tackled the Large Pony Hunters together.

Mimi and Spirit tackled the Large Pony Hunters together.

Fig Street's Duchess aka "Gracie" had another strong week of showing with both Michael Allen and Cynthia Hallman. Michael and Gracie took reserve champion honors in the High Performance Hunter division, and Cynthia and Gracie were reserve champion in the Amateur Owner Hunters together. Cynthia also won the $1000 Amateur Owner Classic. 

 Cynthia and Gracie still look good in the freezing cold.

Cynthia and Gracie still look good in the freezing cold.

Several more Fox Lake Farm riders took home tricolors and good ribbons: Abby Beaty and Corrado were reserve champion in the 16-17 Junior Hunters and champion in the 15-17 Equitation; Annie LaRussa and Escalido were champion in the 14 & Under Children's Hunters; and Susan Warner's Commodore was champion in the 2'9 Low Hunters and 9th in the USHJA National Hunter Derby with Michael Allen. Romney Velazquez's A Timely Affair took 8th in the USHJA National Hunter Derby with Michael, along with some good placings in the 3'3 Performance Hunter division. 

By week III, all horses and riders were still going strong. Anna Kathryn Hymer's Cinsational won the USHJA National Hunter Derby with Michael Allen. Then, with Anna in the irons, "Prince" took champion honors in the Amateur Owner Hunter division and 1st in the $1000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic. 

Sarah Carson Hill and Benlea Rain Dancer were reserve champion in both the 2'3 Hunter Division and the Children's Pony Hunter division. Sarah Carson and "Stormy" are proving to be a very competitive pair! Sarah Carson's two weeks at Wills Park are only the 2nd and 3rd time she has competed at USEF recognized shows, and she's already taking home tri-colors. 

 Allison Black still looking stylish in sub-freezing weather.

Allison Black still looking stylish in sub-freezing weather.

Hagen Blackwell had a very strong weekend with Footsteps and Hey Scooby. Hagen and Footsteps took reserve champion in the Medium Pony Hunters.

Abby Beaty kept up her winning ways with both Corrado and Via Dolorosa during week III with reserve championship honors in the 16-17 Junior Hunters and high placings in the High Children's Jumpers, including a 4th in the $1500 High Child/Adult Jumper Classic. Abby also won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunt Seat Medal, the WIHS Jumper Phase, and was second in the ASPCA Maclay aboard Corrado.

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Katie Habeeb had strong trips in both the Children's Hunters aboard Simply Red and the Low Child/Adult Jumpers aboard Alto Aviador. Katie showed strength, drive, and determination throughout the three weeks. Her hard work paid off. 

Michael Allen had another successful derby day during week III taking 5th with Romney Velazquez's A Timely Affair and 3rd with Susan Warner's Commodore. 

In total, from all three weeks, Fox Lake Farm riders accrued 20 tri-color awards and 5 classic wins!

Check out the gallery below for more photos from all three weeks! Photo credits to Madison Massey.

-Carlyle Brown