Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 11, 2018 – Freddie and Jodi Vazquez and the Messenger Hill Farm team celebrated great performances and success during the first four weeks of Equestrian Sport Production’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Returning to their Wellington base of operations in Grand Prix Village, the Vazquezes and their clients were well-prepared to launch their Wellington competition season after a very successful summer and fall.
Freddie Vazquez Qualifies for the Central American and Caribbean Games
During the first week in January, a qualifier was held on the WEF showgrounds for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in Barranquilla, Colombia July 19-Aug. 3. In the five-round event, Freddie Vazquez and Bachelor 4 (Baloubet du Rouet x Grosso Z) won the first speed round, then laid down a pair of clear rounds in the team event. They repeated their clear rounds in the individual event, which they won. Vazquez and Bachelor 4 were the only horse and rider combination to have five flawless rounds in the qualifier.
Team Puerto Rico punched their ticket to compete in Barranquilla. The team is comprised of Tatiana Andujar Iglesias, Vasco Flores, Maria Victoria Perez and Vazquez.
“This is a great moment for Puerto Rico and a very exciting time in my career,” said Vazquez. "I feel so blessed to have great clients, the opportunity to compete on an international stage and to have my wife Jodi by my side to share every moment. I am so grateful.”
During WEF Week II, Freddie Vazquez and Bachelor 4 were fast and clean and nabbed the fourth spot out of 37 in the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m. He also piloted Meg Gehron’s Gastone to second place honors in the 1.30m out of 119 entries.
Jodi Vazquez Racks up Hunter Wins
Jodi Vazquez notched top results in the hunter rings to kick off her winter circuit. With Casual, owned by Norgan Inc., they were champions of the 3’3” Performance Working Hunter, winning the under saddle and the stake class in a California split nearly 50 horse and rider combinations.
During week one she rode Siboney Ranch’s Take Note to the championship of the USHJA 2’3” Hunters, winning three over fences classes. They were also reserve champions of the 2’ division during WEF Week I and II. Jodi also had great prizes and wonderful rounds with her own Quiloo, Chloe Watrous’ Cambiaso and Hula Hoop, owned by Elizabeth Corey.
Messenger Hill Farm Jumper Riders Consistently Clean
Chloe Jhin and Karyn Armstead had incredible summer and fall with multiple championships at Tryon and Split Rock Brave Horse, Jhin, who hails from Lake Forest, Illinois, just turned 11 in August, has become a force to contend with in the Low Children’s/Adult Jumpers with her partner of two years, Liberty and her new mount Elmo V.D. Bremdhoeve and the latest edition Dersey.
Vazquez explained that when they were shopping for another jumper for Jhin, they had envisioned a more experienced campaigner. Elmo, a Dutch Warmblood by the great show jumping sire Baloubet Du Rouet, was only 7 when they found him. A wise, old soul for such a young horse, he formed a connection quickly with Jhin and Vazquez saw his potential. They hit the ground running earning three significant wins at Tryon Summer and two blue ribbons at Split Rock.
During WEF Week I and IV, Jhin and Liberty were champions of their division, winning two classes Week I and was first and second one out of out of almost 50 Week IV in the Low Children’s Jumper Classic and were reserve champions Week I with another win and a second-place prize with new mount, Dersey, owned by Prix Ventures. She earned a second and a third with Elmo out the huge division of 60 entries. Week II Jhin and Dersey won the $1,500 Low Children’s Classic in a California split of 67 entries.
Karyn Armstead and her own Twinkie, have been in the spotlight with wins and tricolors at Tryon and during the Holiday series in Wellington. The pair were champions of the WEF Week I Low Children’s Training Jumpers, clinching a first and two fifth-place prizes. Then they came back during Week II, had a first and a second to earn back-to-back spots in the WEF Parade of Champions.
The Watrous Sisters Wow
Chloe Watrous has been a successful pony rider, and in the summer of 2017, she moved to an all-horse string. She is campaigning two hunters, her own Cambiaso, named after the famed 10-goal polo player, and Casual, owned by Norgan Inc., under the tutelage of the Vazquezes. Watrous and Casual clicked during WEF pre-circuit. The pair had scores in the upper 80s. During Week I, Watrous and Casual shined in the younger division of the Children’s Hunters. The judges rewarded the pair with a first, two seconds, a third and the reserve championship. During Week IV Watrous repeated their top performances with another reserve championship with two blue and a red ribbon over fences and another red ribbon in the hack.
Watrous has distinguished herself in the equitation divisions with ponies and now horses. She began a partnership with Quintus Rubin this summer, owned by North Run, and the match has been very successful. She was champion of the 2’9” 12-14 Equitation division during Week II and reserve champion Week IV. During Week I earned a blue ribbon in the division out of 18 riders. She also took a second-place prize Week IV and fourth Week I in the 14 and under section of the THIS Children’s Medal during Week I out of 30 competitors.
Her younger sister Elodie Watrous, started WEF with impressive ribbons in competitive divisions with her medium ponies Crystal Acres Chocolatier and Beaverwood’s Foxberry, and her large pony Love and Laughter. She and Crystal Acres Chocolatier earned the championship of the Small/Medium Pony Hunters Week IV. She had her debut in the Low Children’s Hunter division with Take Note and won the under saddle and an over fences class during Week II and was champion Week IV.
Accomplished Amateur Hunter Riders
Freddie Vazquez warmed up Kira Telford’s stallion, in the 3-3’6” Young Hunter division and had two second-place finishes. Telford showed him in an enormous Low Adult Hunter division and had two fourths over fences Week I and they were fourth in the under saddle and had a fourth and a fifth over fences. Cloud Gate, a bay Holsteiner (Clarimo x Lavaletto) was bred by Desiree Johnson. With her own Calistoga Gold in the Younger Adult Amateur division, she won an over-fences class out of 22 Week IV and had a third-place finish out of 23 Week I and was fifth out of 25 Week II.
Dana Senn showed her own Baricello in the Adult Amateurs Week II and had a blue ribbon and a sixth over fences. A longtime client of the Vazquezes, Senn lives in Peru and travels to compete with Messenger Hill Farm.
Future Stars and Up-and-Coming Riders
Dani Gascoigne and her twin sister Alex had a terrific start to the season. Week I, Dani was champion of the Cross Rail Hunter division with Garrison Forest, owned by Taje Warrick, winning the hack and an over fences class. Alex Gascoigne and Dana Waters’ Seriously had two red and one yellow ribbon in the Short Stirrup Hunters Week I and a second and a fourth Week II.
Alexandra Lynn Willner had the ride on Garrison Forest Week II and were champions of the USHJA 2’ Hunters and the Large Children’s Hunters with an impressive six blue ribbons.
Ava Scharbo and Who’s the Man, owned by Jai Smith-Rezac, won the championship of a huge Short Stirrup Hunter division during Week I, with a first, second, third and fifth. The pair nabbed a fourth and a fifth Week II
Her brother Matthew Scharbo came to show Week II with Shimmer, owned by Lanes End, and sewed up the championship of the Cross Rails Hunter division, earning two firsts and a fourth.
“Everyone has had a great start at WEF this season,” Jodi Vazquez said. “We are so proud to see how consistently our riders and horses are performing. Everyone on the team is doing their part and putting in the work – and it shows!”
About Messenger Hill Farm
Messenger Hill Farm is a full-service hunter/jumper business owned and led by Freddie and Jodi Vazquez. Located just north of Chicago in Mettawa, Illinois, Messenger Hill Farm offers training, lessons, competition and sales.
Freddie Vazquez represented Puerto Rico at the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games. He has qualified to compete at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games and has set his sights on the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Jodi Vazquez is a top hunter competitor with countless AA championships to her credit. The Vazquezes teach the American style of riding as advocated by George Morris. They are known for their goal-driven approach and attention to detail.
Messenger Hill Farm offers a show schedule at all levels including local, national and international. The Messenger Hill Farm team competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Tryon International Equestrian Center, Lamplight Equestrian Center, Split Rock Jumper Tour and more. For those new to the sport, Messenger Hill Farm offers a lesson program with quality, well-cared-for school horses.
Click here to learn more about Messenger Hill Farm or call 847-573-1100.