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Press Release


Madeleine Swem Rides to Top Honors in the WIHS Equitation

Michael Janson Wins the Jumper Phase of the WIHS Equitation

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Madeleine Swem Rides to Top Honors in the WIHS Equitation at the Fieldstone Spring Festival

Written by: AnLi Kelly-Durham
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2013-05-18

Halifax, MA – May 18, 2013 – Equitation riders had the opportunity to showcase their talents today at the Fieldstone Spring Festival. Winning the WIHS Equitation overall title with solid scores in both rounds was Madeleine Swem. Tegan Treacey also stood out as a rising equitation competitor, claiming the blue in the THIS National Children’s Medal.

The morning started off with the Hunter Phase of the WIHS Equitation, where horses and riders competed over a flowing hunter course in the Main Hunter Ring. The course asked riders to combine the smoothness desired in the hunter ring with the technical aspects of equitation. Riders were met with a bending line to be ridden off the eye, a two-stride combination, and many inside turn options. Claiming the win with a score of 85 was Madeleine Swem. Finishing in second with a score of 84, just a point shy of the win, was Samantha Valone. Rounding out the top four were Jillian Schelzi and Addison Gierkink in third and fourth, respectively.

“My horse was being perfect in the morning, we’ve been riding him around in that ring all week, so he did really well and was a very good boy,” smiled Swem. “My course went well in the Hunter Phase. We were a little deep to one jump but he is really good at covering things up and bouncing back. He is such a great horse, and he is good at making things look smooth; I think that really helps.”

Later in the afternoon, horses and riders returned to the Jumper Ring to compete in the Jumper Phase of the WIHS Equitation. The course posed many challenges for the riders, especially a triple combination going away from the in-gate. The time allowed of 65 seconds required riders to ride with a bit more pace than they would in a typical equitation class. Tackling these challenges with ease and great equitation was Michael Janson, who received a score of 86 for his efforts.

“I was riding my 13-year-old equitation horse, Fortune Cookie, and it was our second round of the day,” expressed Janson. “We had done the WIHS Equitation throughout the winter on the Florida circuit, but this was our first show back. We gave him a six-week break to recuperate, and this was our breakout show for the summer. I am glad he jumped well, because next week we are off to the Devon Horse Show. I think a good ride here is key to doing well next week.”

Janson continued, “It was a very competitive field and my horse went smoothly, so I was happy it was a nice round. If Fortune Cookie is in a good place in the fall, we are planning on competing at the WIHS Equitation Finals. He is very straightforward. I have been riding Cookie for about three years, so I feel like we have just really clicked as a team.”

Only a point separated Swem from the win in the Jumper Phase, but her consistency throughout the two phases did not go unnoticed. With an overall score of 168 points, she was awarded the first place overall in the WIHS Equitation.

“Being on top is kind of nerve-wracking some times, but my plan for the Jumper Phase was to kind of ride him like I do every day in my lessons,” commented Swem. “I made sure to keep calm and stay focused. He was good, he was looking around a little bit, but he stayed focused and kept it together. He is pretty straightforward; he can be dull sometimes, so I have to ride with spurs. I am qualified for the Medal and the Maclay, and I am working on my Washington points so hopefully I make the top 30 so I compete at the Final.”

Rounding out the top three in the WIHS Jumper Phase with a score of 80 was Abby Bertelson. She also ended in second in the overall standing of the WIHS Equitation with a combined score of 159. Third place overall ended in a tie between Jillian Schelzi and Katie Eppinger, both receiving a combined score of 153.

Rising equitation stars were also out in force today for the THIS National Children’s Medal. After besting a competitive field of 29, Tegan Treacey sat on top going into the test with a score of 86. Not far behind her was Billi Rost Brandnetz with an 84 for her first round efforts. Kendra Gierkink rode to an 83, good for third on the standby, while Elizabeth Ekberg completed the field of four to return for the test with her 82.

The judge called the top four into the ring at a trot, directing them to line up in the far corner, away from their trainers, parents, and grooms. From there, riders were told to canter fence seven, two, and three, trot fence four, halt on a straight line, and return to the line at the canter.

Riders stepped up to the challenge, completing the course with few errors and no help from their trainers. Returning on top, Treacey followed up with a well thought out test, ultimately securing her the win.

“The first couple jumps, the first and third jump especially, I was fairly conservative to, so I decided to do the 10 in the bending line off my eye instead of the nine,” explained Treacey of her trip. “Once I got on a better rhythm, I was able to just loosen up, and the rest flowed pretty nicely. I was definitely in luck by the fact that I tested last and got to see the three other riders before me do the test. Usually I try to take an inside option, but in this case the test did not really allow for one that I was fully confident in my ability to execute correctly. I just got this horse three weeks ago, but he is pretty soft and easy. He stays in a nice rhythm and he is a reliable and trusty boy. ”

Treacey just moved up to the big equitation this year, noting, “We are going to continue to do the THIS Medal in hopes of attending the finals at Capital Challenge as a pre-indoor practice. I still have the Medal and Maclay to qualify for, but I plan on competing at those finals as well.”

Receiving the second place honors was Brandnetz, taking the third award was Ekberg, and rounding out the top four was Kendra Gierkink.

The Fieldstone Spring Festival will come to a close tomorrow, with a focus on the Children’s and Adult Hunter Classics to be held on the grass field. Competition at the Fieldstone Show Park will resume again in June with the Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic. For more information on Stadium Jumping and the approaching Plymouth Rock Hunter Jumper Classic, please visit You can also follow the Fieldstone Horse Shows on Facebook at


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