Everyone’s a winner! It was a fantastic show week at the Menlo Charity Horse Show. We had such a great time meeting up with old friends and making new ones. This show is laden with tradition and pomp that truly takes you on board for a luxury driven show experience that benefits a charity. The show takes place at the historic private membership grounds of the Menlo Park Circus Club in the Silcon Valley + Bay Area of Northern California. The Club, started in 1920s by a group a children, yes you read correctly, was originally the location for a ‘circus’ event put on for their parents and friends. As the story goes…..
In 1920, a group of young girls gathered on an Atherton estate to play and ride their ponies.
As young children will, these girls formed a “club” and decided to give a circus for the enjoyment of their parents, friends and neighbors. Mrs. W. B. Weir, the mother of one of the girls, suggested that the proceeds of this circus be given to the Stanford Convalescent Home (now called Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital). The first circus was held in the summer of 1920 on the W. B. Weir property at Middlefield Road and Glenwood Avenue. Youngsters performed on their ponies and horses while others brought pet cats, goats and dogs which they had taught to do stunts. The first circus raised $500 for the Stanford Convalescent Home.
The following year, the circus grew. Adults promoted the circus into a social event, drawing people from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Jose. The third year, the circus became even larger, as did the social event, and it became obvious to parents the circus had outgrown the two fields. In the fall of 1922, land was purchased for the development of Menlo Circus Club, which was incorporated the following year.
Now every year, the club opens it’s grounds to top equestrians and horse enthusiasts for the Menlo Charity Horse Show which over the last four decades has raised millions of dollars for numerous charities including Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Harley Brown and Mylord CornetTake a Leap of Faith to Win the $40,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix
2019 marks the third year that Chairman and CEO of Stephen Silver, the leading Silicon Valley jewelry and watch retailer, based in the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, has sponsored the $40,000 Grand Prix. Silver grew up in the local area and first met Betsy Glikbarg, founder of the Menlo Charity Horse Showwhen he was only a teenager. Silver and his family have attended the Menlo Charity Horse Show since the very beginning. “We are committed to philanthropy in our area and have built our business according to the guiding principles of both empathy and community. We have been a sponsor for 9 years now and are delighted to once again have the opportunity to be the Grand Prix Sponsor” said Stephen Silver.
A Grand Prix Course by Design
Course Designer Bernado Costa Cabral set a beautiful course on the Grass Jumper Field, challenging the riders and their horses with difficult turns and distances.
“I wanted to make it a difficult test this evening, but I also want to make it fair for the up and coming riders and the younger horses, it was such a mixed group, so I was happy with fourteen clear, better fourteen than two, Cabral laughed. I thought that the younger group had a good experience and did well. When I have a larger jump off group, I make sure that the jump off is not too quick on purpose, this allows the good horses to have a chance, not only the fast horses that were lucky to go clear today. I make sure that the fences are big enough that it is jumping first and speed second.”
Brown pushed the limits and managed to set a time that was hard to beat. Many were bitten by a rail as they attempted to knock Brown off the top spot. In fact, those trying to set a faster time were students under Brown’s tutelage.
“That was fun. Mylord Cornet is a strong horse and he was great this evening. I had a bunch of kids riding in the Grand Prix too, so it has all been a bit of a blur. For me the whole evening went very quickly, I gave them all a plan to beat me, this time they didn’t, normally they do. I really did not get the time to watch the other riders go, I was busy watching my kids. I rode my rounds and then I had to warm up another horse and rider. I had no idea what was going on other than hearing a loud roar from the spectators as an indicator of someone success in the arena.
Results $40,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix
1stHarley Brown and Mylord Cornet
2ndJamie Sailor and Cucky 3
3rdNicole Haunert and Calgary IV
4th Patrick Seaton and Veronica
5thDaniel Zilla and Venice BF
6thLindsay Archer and Eta Beta Di San Patrignano
7thGuy Thomas and Jonkheer Z
8thEmma Catherine Reichow and Apex
9thZume Gallaher and Edita
10thAlessandra Volpi and Absolute Du Mio
11thBrooke Morin and Cassito Del Diablo
12thJohn Bragg and Nikh Quanto
Rose Hill Stables Wins the 2019 Tack Room Award
Hilary Johnson has wanted to win the Tack Room Award at Menlo for years, so it was a very special win for Hilary. It was a group effort on Sunday assistants Harrison and Sierra started the set up, then all their clients got involved on Monday and Tuesday. “All the kids learned to use hammers, which the parents loved. It was so much fun working as a team. We made sure that the set up was functional, the grooming stalls were properly organized stocked, safe and clean. And this year we added another private area to our dressing room for the younger kids to feel comfortable while they changed, and they loved that. We like to make the seating area pretty but also comfortable, the biggest danger we have a comfortable couch in which everyone wants to take naps. We really have had a great time.”
The Menlo Charity Horse Show, a 501(C)(3) organization recognized as a USEF Heritage Competition, benefits Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired by producing a premiere equestrian event while educating the community on the issues of the visually impaired.
$40,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix s ©Alden Corrigan Media
BUILT FOR SPEED
Cassio Rivetti And Dakota Of The Lowlands Take The High Road To Win The $10,000 Rhys Vineyards 1.30m Ryman Memorial Speed Class
ATHERTON, CA – August 9, 2019
The tradition of gathering in the VIP tent to cheer on the horses and riders in the $10,000 Rhys Vineyards 1.30m Gary Ryman Memorial Speed Class continued as Rhys Vineyards served a selection of their spectacular estate grown appellation wines.
Rhys Vineyard’s Catherine Harvey, a Menlo Co-Chair and her husband Kevin have been dedicated to supporting the horse show for many years. 2019 marks the third consecutive year as host and Sponsor of the Friday evening event and speed class.
“Although we have been preparing for this year’s event, much of our time has been spent gearing up for 2020 and Menlo Charity Horse Show 50th Anniversary celebrations explained Catherine. We have some things ironed out, but knowing who our partners and Sponsors are going to be and how we can best collaborate together is still in the works. That said, we did manage introduce our new jump to the Grass Jumper Field this year. I can assure all of those who have been concerned, the giant wine bottles formerly used as jump standards, have been preserved, and are safe and sound in my garage at home.”
We have a new Italian project called Aeris, which is not under the Rhys Vineyard name, and that has been extremely well received. Under the Rhys Vineyard label we have just started a sparkling wine project, which is my new favorite thing. I almost had asked my husband if we could show a little tonight, but it had completely sold out immediately on release. The winemaker’s wife and I have begged for years and years to do sparkling, but it is a really long process, and can take five years to produce. We have done our first release, so it is an exciting new change for Rhys.”
Fast Forward to the Field of Play
Cassio Rivetti and Dakota Of The Lowlands owned by Jamine Talley made the challenging Bernardo Costa Cabral designed course look easy, turning in a fault free round to secure the win the $10,000 Rhys Vineyards Ryman Memorial Speed Class. Not to be outdone for second place, secured the red ribbon as well for trainer, Neil Jones’ horse Isoline Van Doperheide.
“The horses both jumped great today” Rivetti said. “My first horse (Dakota Of The Lowlands) was second in the order of go. I had a plan, and it went well. My horse has a huge stride, so I could go forward a little. The second horse (Isoline Van Doperheide) is a really fast and careful mare, which really makes her excel in this type of speed class. I am grateful to the owners and to Neil Jones who is supporting everything. All of his horses are for sale, so it is great that we do well. I also want to thank my sponsors; I could not do this without everyone in our team.”
Cassio Rivetti will return tomorrow with both horses to compete in the $40,000 Stephen Silver Grand Prix.
Results: $10,000 Rhys Vineyards 1.30m Ryman Memorial Speed Class
1st Dakota Of The Lowlands and Cassio Rivetti – 61.2 seconds
2nd Isoline Van Doperheide and Cassio Rivetti – 64.568 seconds
3rd Zario and and Tara Ardalan – 66.611 seconds
4th Karo and Leslie Wright – 67.868 seconds
5th Baccus and Rowen Willis – 68.69 seconds
6th Djin Djin and Lauren Whitlock – 69.164 seconds
7th Thumb’s Up and John French – 69.477 seconds
8th Janis Joplin and Vanessa Hood – 70.263 seconds
9th Lana Capri and Ruben Acre – 75.618 seconds
10th Celine B and Daniel Zilla – 76.473 seconds
HUNTER DERBY TIME
John French returned to the Grass Hunter Field after sitting out the 2018 event due to injury. John had the ride on friend and client Kristen Hiller’s Center Court. It is clear that strong relationship built between horse and rider remains firmly in tact, as the two have been separated geographically for nearly a year.
“I am very happy. This is home for us” explained Kristen, “My parents were able to be here, and they have not seen Center Court (Billy) go in a while so it was really nice. I could not be prouder of the team.
We have a huge support team. Pomponio Ranch has been instrumental in bringing him back, along with veterinarian Dr. Philippe Benoit and Crystal Glasser. The horse was really happy which is the main thing for us. Billy will now have two weeks rest before heading to Canada to compete. He will then return for another two weeks of rest before finishing the year in the desert. Billy will return to California where we can keep him on a regime of preventive treatment with the team. Something I learned from my fiancé who plays Polo professionally……to be preventative and not reactive.”
John French was happy to return to Menlo with one of his favorite horses, “This is a hometown show for me, I trained here for twenty-five years before moving south. I think this is my 32nd year coming here, Monterey was my first show then Menlo was my second before I even moved here. So, it is special, I see a lot of people that I have helped and trained twenty, thirty years ago, I just love the venue and they do a great job decorating the jumps for the class. It is really pretty, and it was nice for the owners as they are from Atherton and they don’t get to see their horse show that often. Their entire family, grandparents, everyone came to see him. I am really pleased that they came to watch, and we were able to win. To win again this week is really great.”
Results: $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
1st Center Court and John French
2nd Romeo and Erin Duffy
3rd Hopeful and Jamie Sailor
4th Frosted Blue and Lexi Wedemeyer
5th When In Rome and Nick Haness
6th Cavito 2 and Emma Borders
7th Quarter Note and Jamie Sailor
8th Cool Casscord and Liz Hutchinson
9th Shameless and Ilana Halpern
10th Jury Duty and Lexi Wedemeyer
11th Fancyful and Kylee Arbuckle
12th Hendrix and Hugh Mutch
Photos ©Alden Corrigan Media