Louisburg Farm’s summer season kicked off at Old Salem Horse Show in May. Our rider Molly Ashe had solid rounds that placed in the top 10 in multiple divisions, including the $50,000 Old Salem National Grand Prix, with our string of horses: Whistler, Kastriogui Z, Picobello Choppin PC, Astakkato, Balous Day Date and Cat Ballou. Molly and Whistler finished in 3rd in the $35,000 Grand Prix of North Salem during the second week of Old Salem
“We got him [Whistler] at the beginning of the Florida circuit and he had some time off for an injury before that,” Molly said of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “I started him in the schooling jumpers in Florida and did a few 1.45-meter classes and one 1.50-meter at the end of the season. Last week was his first time back since WEF. He has all the ability in the world, we just have to keep getting him fit.
In June, Molly and Balous Day Date rode to victory in the $34,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup at Spruce Meadows. They were fast and double clear in an 11-horse jump off out of an original start list of 67 entries.
“She is feisty,” Molly said of her mount following the win. “She is a great horse. She is a trier and she is a fighter. She is very sure of who she is, and she is just one of those point and shoot, super fun horses to ride. She does not want to touch the jumps, and she naturally knows how to get out of the way, so you just have to not get in her way. Her technique is incredible. I have to thank Louisburg Farm and Beth Johnson for the opportunity to ride her.”
“We sort of made a mistake the first week and put her in the big 1.55-meter competition. Then we backed off a little bit to make sure she did not lose her confidence,” Molly added. “I think we got everything back to where it should be. She feels solid as a rock now, so back we go in the big ring next week.
“I think the 1.45-meter is very comfortable for her now. She still does not have a lot of experience with the big guns, but she is getting there. She is learning to go faster. Today she was right there and I think she got it because she was so smooth. She jumped great.”
Also at Spruce, Cocq a Doodle finished 3rd in the $1,000 Direct Energy Welcome 1.35-meter, and Kastriogui Z finished 4th in the $1,000 Friends of the Meadows Welcome. The 7-year-old Picobello Choppin PC won the Direct Energy 1.35-meter Open Class, and Cat Ballou had a top 10 finish in the PwC Cup.
From Spruce, the Louisburg team continued on to Angelstone Tournaments in Ontario, Canada. Picobello Choppin and Astakkato finished 3rd and 6th, respectively, in a 1.35-meter class. Molly and Balous Day Date were 5th in the $84,000 Grand Prix.
At the CSI4* Hampton Classic, Molly and Balous Day Date placed 3rd in the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.45-meter class. Molly and Cat Ballou finished 9th in the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier. Molly and her Nutmeg Group's Cocq a Doodle earned 3rd place in the $40,000 Longines Cup.
The American Gold Cup saw the successful return to competition by Diamond of Picobello Z. She hadn’t shown much since February after a minor injury and won 1st place in a 1.30-meter class. Cat Ballou earned a place on the start list for the $215,000 Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier with an 11th place finish in the $85,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier.
Balous Day Date competed in the $125,000 New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix CSI2* and jumped great in the first round, but with just one fence down, she was just out of the jump off.
Cat Ballou spent a couple days in New York City at the Central Park Horse Show, and under the light, he placed 11th place in the $40,000 opening speed class and finished 6th in the CSI3* $212,000 Rolex U.S. Open Grand Prix.
The final show for Louisburg Farm’s summer was the CSI3* Bourbon International at Split Rock, where Cat Ballou and Molly took 3rd place in the $35,000 Amalaya Speed Cup. Molly and Balous Day Date were 5th in the $100,000 Grand Prix at Split Rock.
And as the cherry on top of a spectacular 2015 show season, Molly and Balous Day Date were awarded with the “Best Presented at the FEI Jog” award at Split Rock.
Balous Day Date is meticulously cared for by Louisburg Farm groom Ezequiel Remigio. “You could see how proud he was to earn the award – she [Balous Day Date] can do no wrong in his eyes,” said Molly.