Holly Orlando Sweeps Two Tricolors with One Week of WEF in Wellington Remaining
Wellington, FL – March 8, 2007 – With only one week of hunter competition remaining in Wellington at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival, professionals upped the ante in earning championship points.
Holly Orlando staked her claim in the Regular Working Hunter and the Second Year Green Hunter divisions, taking the tricolor in both, with Rio Renoir and Castle Rock, respectively.
Orlando has been partnered with “Rio,” who is owned by Brad Wolf, for about four years, and together, they have climbed the divisions. In addition, Wolf shows Rio in the Adult Amateur Hunters. Orlando has piloted the horse to numerous championships at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Hampton Classic, Devon and Horse Shows by the Bay. Riding-wise, Orlando said that Rio is one of smoothest rides around.
“He’s very comfortable and has a very nice canter – there aren’t too many canters that are like his. He goes forward when you ask, he’s not too lazy, he’s not too strong. He’s pretty much perfect,” she explained. “However, at the four-foot height, I have to think about his balance more, but he has an amazing jump. He jumps even the smallest fences well, even in the warm-up. He tries really, really hard.”
As far as her plans are concerned with Rio, she said that his main job is that of an amateur horse, although she will continue to show him to qualify him for Devon and indoors. The 8-year-old gelding is by Rio Grande out of Dunja. Taking the reserve championship in the Regular Working Hunters was Jimmy Torano and Highland Park, riding for owned Laura Lee Montross.
With Castle Rock, Orlando won first place over both fences classes today to seal the championship, in addition to her second and sixth places yesterday. The pair was also second in the under saddle class. Now owned by Danielle Giorgio, “Rocko” is a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood whom Orlando originally purchased from Geoff Teall.
“He had a late start last year in the First Year (Green Hunters) and he does the Children’s Hunters with Danielle. He’s so flashy and great to look at that he always does well in the hack. He’s been really great so far and was great last summer,” Orlando commented.
She continued, “The first impression that judges get when they see him is that he’s so nice to look at. He’s also very consistent. He’s comfortable to ride, and while he doesn’t have the biggest jump in the world like Rio, he’s so pretty between the jumps that the judges like him.” Orlando added that while Rio is rather easygoing, Rocko can be quite full of himself and can have a bit of a “cocky” attitude.
Similar to Rio, Orlando’s plan for Castle Rock’s season includes qualifying for Devon and indoors but without showing too much.
“I think he’ll keep doing the Second Years and the Children’s,” she said. “He got kind of a late start again this season, but it’s the same idea: Enough to qualify, but not to use them up down here – we show a lot throughout the year. And, while he’s good, he’s still green and I think he needs a professional ride to be good in the Children’s.”
Reserve champion in the Second Year Green division was Rainmaker and Caroline Weeden. In the Regular Conformation Hunter division, which was combined with the Green Conformation Hunter group, Chris Cawley emerged victorious, partnered with De-Lovely, who is owned by Caroline Lasersohn. The reserve championship went to Tim Goguen and Boulevard Deir, owned by Janet Read.
In Section “A” of the 3’ Pre-Green division, Scott Stewart nabbed the championship with his own Way Cool. Amanda Lyerly and Ultra Violet earned the reserve championship for owner Victoria Calantoni.
The championship in Section “B” of the 3’ Pre-Green division again went to Scott Stewart and Sambalino, who is owned by Gina Day. Ken Smith took the reserve tricolor with Portofino, who is owned by Far Niente Equine.
Hunter competition will resume tomorrow morning and will continue through the afternoon in the Grand Hunter and Rost arenas. Championships will be pinned in the First Year Green Hunters and the Adult Amateur 3’3” Hunters.
PHOTO CREDIT: Holly Orlando and Rio Renoir. Photo ©2007 Randi Muster