Wellington, Fla. – May 3, 2017 – The Messenger Hill Farm team celebrated their success for their great results during Equestrian Sport Production’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). For the 2017 season, Messenger Hill Farm moved its base of operations to a Grand Prix Village farm. Trainers Jodi and Freddie Vazquez expertly prepared their horses and riders, and the results were top prizes and championships.
Bachelor 4 (Baloubet du Rouet x Grosso Z) stepped up to the plate during WEF, according to Freddie Vazquez who represents Puerto Rico. The pair were working efficiently during Week IX, when they were second in the FEI 2* 1.40m, fourth in the FEI 2* $35,000 1.45m, and fourth and double clear in the FEI 2* $50,000 Grand Prix. Zippo Z (Zandor Z x Rebel I Z) was back in action and had good results. Zippo Z was named Best Presented Horse for Week IV and X out of nearly 100 horses. It marks the fourth time that Vazquez and his team have claimed the title.
Jodi Vazquez had great results in the hunter rings and ended the season in second place in the circuit standings with Modigliani (owned by Chloe Watrous) in the Open Hunter 3’3” division in the company of some of the best hunters and pros in North America. She was pleased with the progress of the horses, in particular Hula Hoop, owned by Elizabeth Corey, and they had some wonderful results in the Green Hunters at 3’9,” including a first-place prize.
Messenger Hill Farm Junior Riders on the Rise
Chloe Watrous had outstanding outings during the winter season. The Vazquezes see potential and a great future in the sport for the young rider.
“Chloe is very disciplined. She works hard at home and at the shows,” Jodi Vazquez said. “She is a joy to teach because she is driven to progress. It’s so gratifying to see her riding skills develop.”
Watrous distinguished herself in the pony, hunter and equitation rings during WEF. The Vazquezes recently paired her with her first equitation horse, Sunman, a striking Oldenburg Pinto gelding, owned by Sweet Oak Farm. The duo ended the season in second place in the circuit standings in the Equitation 11 and Under. They kicked off the season with the championship of the Equitation 11 and Under during Week I. During WEF Week II, they were reserve champions of the Equitation 14 and Under division and Week VI they were reserve champions of the Equitation 11 and Under. They went on to clinch the championship of the division during Weeks VII and VIII.
Watrous and Crystal Acres Chocolatier were named the reserve champions of the Medium Pony Hunter division for their efforts during WEF I. Aboard Modigliani, they were awarded the reserve championship of the Low Children’s Hunters Week IV and were third overall for the circuit. With her small pony, Page 6, she won the Pony Medal during Week III and the WIHS class during Week IX. The pair excelled in the handy classes and were in top form all season long.
Her younger sister, Elodie Watrous was champion of the USHJA 2’ Hunters during the first week with Beaverwood’s Foxberry. The judges took notice of Elodie in the Small/Medium Children’s Pony Hunters with “Foxy” and "Hershey" (Crystal Acres Chocolatier) and pinned them with great prizes. Elodie returned in Week II to nab the reserve championship of the division and, with Foxy, the team were champions of the USHJA Hunter 2’ during Week WEF IV and finished in the top 10 of the division.
“Elodie loves her ponies and has so much fun with them,” said Jodi Vazquez.
Chloe Jhin had multiple clear rounds and blue ribbons with her jumper Liberty, during WEF 2017. The pair had multiple successful trips. She completed the season fourth in the circuit standings in the Low Children’s Jumpers, and were champions Week IV and Week IX in a consistently competitive division.
Kayrn Armstead and Twinkie, owned by Natalia Gierbolini, joined Messenger Hill Farm for WEF 2017 and had great results, with wins and reserve championship in the Low Children’s Training Jumpers Week V and Week VII and the championship of the Low Children’s Jumpers during Week III.
The newest member of the Messenger Hill Farm team, Ava Scharbo, burst on the scene in the Cross Rail Hunter division with Shimmer, owned by Lanes End Farm, and were champions during Weeks I, III, IX and XI, and reserve champions Weeks VIII and X. Their performances put them in third place in the total circuit standings.
“We’re so happy to have Shimmer back in the barn,” Freddie Vazquez said. “He is a wonderful pony to get started with. He’s probably won more championships than any other horse or pony in the barn.”
Her brother, Matthew Scharbo, also had success and won the championship of the Walk Trot division with Who’s the Man, owned by Jai Smith Rezac, during the final week of WEF.
“It’s such a busy show and there are so many moving pieces, it’s incredible how Jodi and Freddie keep everything organized and on track,” said Carrie Scharbo, Ava and Matthew’s mother.
Telford Takes Second in $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby
The Messenger Hill Farm adults also had success during WEF. Longtime Messenger Hill Farm client Kira Telford and Calistoga Gold were impressive in the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby. The pair scored 82 in both rounds, for an overall total of 164 and were awarded second place in the junior and amateur section.
“That was his first derby and my first time on the grass in the stadium,” she said. Telford also piloted Calistoga Gold and CR Moet to numerous ribbons all season long in the Adult Amateur 18-35 division. “Overall, it’s been a very constructive season,” she said. “I learned a lot, achieved a lot. My horses are feeling great.”
Telford, who is a student at the University of Miami, will spend time studying marine biology in the Solomon Islands this coming year.
Meg Gehron and Talan also had nice prizes in the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35. She also showed Jill Vannatta’s Smitten in the Low Adult Hunters with great results. Dana Senn traveled from Peru to compete her own St. Regis and Baricello, owned by In the Clover Equestrian, in the Low Adult Hunters and had respectable prizes. Cynthia Baffa also competed her own Marneux, taking an eighth out of a huge field of 45 competitors the first week and more awards during Week XII. Elizabeth Corey and S’Adorable earned the blue and other primary-colored ribbons in the Low Adults and the USHJA Hunters during Week X and XII.
“It was a very busy and fun season for all,” Freddie Vazquez said. “We are so pleased with the results. We want to thank our hard-working staff, our wonderful clients, our fantastic sponsors and all our friends and families.”
The Messenger Hill Farm team will enjoy some well-deserved down time and will compete at Tryon International Equestrian Center in the spring on their way back to their home base outside of Chicago.