News & Results

Lauren Hough and Valinski S Victorious in $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI2* at Winter Equestrian Festival

Photo by Callie Clement/Phelps Sports

Photo by Callie Clement/Phelps Sports

Lauren Hough rode Valinski S to the win in the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI2* on Thursday, January 17, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. The 12-week WEF circuit features hunter, jumper, and equitation competition and continues through March 31, 2019, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

A starting field of 100 entries faced off in Thursday’s featured event, the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI2*, with 15 advancing to jump off over the Oscar Soberon (MEX) designed short course.

As the sixth pair to return for the jump-off, Hough (USA) and Valinski S tripped the timers in an unbeatable clear round time of 38.812 seconds. In clinching the win, Hough edged out fellow U.S. Olympic veteran McLain Ward who finished in second place with a time of 39.449 seconds aboard Queen Jane, owned by Walstib Stables LLC. Rounding out the top three with a time of 39.550 seconds were Alex Granato and Carlchen W, owned by Page Tredennick.

While Valinski S, a 17-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Wyndmont, is a WEF veteran – having most recently been shown at the venue by Todd Minikus and Shawn Casady –  the partnership with Hough is new.

“I rode him many years ago for just a couple months, but this is just my second week showing him,” said Hough. “Ronnie Beard and Michael Dorman, the owners, are very good friends, and they asked me back in the fall if I had time to ride some horses for them. I knew Valinski, and I’ve always loved him. He’s a veteran, and he knows his job.  I was thrilled to be able to have the ride.”

“He’s a small horse, but I like small horses,” continued Hough, who has ridden to great success aboard other notable small mounts including the 15.2-hand Ohlala. “He’s very careful and very fast. It makes my job quite easy.”

Photo by Sportfot

Photo by Sportfot

While Hough elected to forego an inside turn in the jump-off, Valinski S’s natural foot speed more than made up for it and secured them the win over the course that Hough cited as an “unbelievable job” from course designer Soberon.

“This is one of the most difficult weeks in my opinion because there’s a maximum height [that the course designer can build] but very, very good riders,” said Hough. “To end up with 15 clear is pretty much a perfect course. The time was a bit of a factor; I think for the first week FEI here, it was really a nice welcome for the young horses, for the older horses, for new riders.”

Hough will now set her sights on Saturday night’s featured grand prix with Valinski S before taking the remainder of the season week by week.

“He’s 17 now, and we always want to do what’s best for him,” concluded Hough. “So I’ll jump him Saturday night and then we’ll plan from there.”

To watch the winning round, please see here.

Absolhut Races to the Win in the Christmas Speed Jumping at CSI4* Sweden International Horse Show


Absolhut (Quick Star x Ramiro) jumped a beautiful and quick clear round to win first place in Sunday’s Christmas Speed Jumping class at CSI4* Sweden International Horse Show. The 8-year-old, bay, Selle Francais mare jumped fantastic all week at the show, finishing well in the two classes she jumped prior to the finale. Full results of the 1.40m speed class can be found here.

Videos of “Abbie” from the show are here:

Lauren Hough Stars in Barn Talk and Masterclass USA on Horse & Country TV


Olympic showjumper Lauren Hough is the latest star of our popular Barn Talk and Masterclass USA series.

Equestrian family

Lauren is a three-time Pan American medallist and currently ranked in the top 50 showjumpers in the world. She has represented the USA at the Olympics and World Equestrian Games, and ridden in seven FEI World Cup Finals.

Born into a family of equestrians in northern California, Lauren was destined for great things. Her father, Charles ‘Champ’ Hough, won an eventing bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and her mother, Linda, was a successful Hunter rider.

Lauren now divides her time between the USA and the UK.

Masterclass USA

In Barn Talk Lauren talks about her life, her horses and her hopes for the future, and shows us around her home and yard in Gloucestershire.

In her Masterclass USA, Lauren takes us through a number of simple, but effective, exercises that help with the rideability of your horse. Lauren starts with a more experienced horse, and then jumps an up-and-coming youngster in part two.

Lauren works both horses over cavalettis before moving onto a serpentine with larger fences.

“I try to really pay attention to the small details, so that when you go in the ring it’s a lot easier to execute,” explains Lauren. “If you let them get away with bad habits at home it will carry on in the ring.”

Both these shows premiere on Wednesday 14 November. Barn Talk: Lauren Hough is on at 7pm which is followed by H&C Masterclass USA: Lauren Hough at 7.30pm in the U.K. You can find Horse & Country on Sky 184, Virgin TV 298, Horse & Country TVAmazon Video and Roku.

Watching it in the U.S? You can find Horse & Country on Horse & Country TV and Roku.

via Horse & Country TV

Waterford Jumps to Podium Finish in €300,000 Rolex Grand Prix at Stephex Masters

Photo © Pierre Costabadie/Scoopdyga

Photo © Pierre Costabadie/Scoopdyga

Waterford delivered two clear rounds to finish third in the €300,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* presented by Audi at the Stephex Brussels Masters.

The CSI5* 1.60m Rolex Grand Prix presented by Audi could not have been scripted much better. Held on September 2, it was exceptionally warm for early autumn, and people flocked to watch world-class sport at Stephex Stables in Belgium.

It was no easy course that Uliano Vezzani had built for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Big and wide, the first-round track claimed its fair share of victims and in the end, only six entries out of the initial 47 in the competition advanced to the jump-off.

USA’s Lauren Hough gave it a good go, and was clear on her 15-year-old Waterford (Coolcorron Cool Diamond x Julio Mariner xx) in 44.52 seconds, which held for a top-three finish.

“He is not the quickest horse in the world,” Hough said of her partner Waterford. “I thought I had a good shot to the second last—perhaps I didn’t take every risk to the last fence—but I’m thrilled with my result and to be sitting here today. I have been coming here to the Brussels Stephex Masters since the first year, and I think this is one of the best shows there is—it is a real highlight. I think every year, Stephan improves the small details, and I am really honoured I get to come to this show.”

—text via edited press release

Absolhut Wins Old Lodge International 7 & 8 Year Old Championship CSIYH1* Class At Hickstead

The BHS Royal International Horse Show is off to a strong start for Team Hough with a win in the Old Lodge International 7 & 8 Year Old Championship CSIYH1* class. Absolhut (Quick Star x Ramiro) jumped a fast clear in the 8-year-old section to take top honors with Lauren Hough in the irons.

Competition continues through the weekend at the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead. Hough's string at the show includes Waterford, Papa Roach, and Kassiodam, in addition to Thursday's winner, Absolhut.