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Coverage of Week One of the Legacy Cup

Diana De Rosa

In the first week of the two-week Legacy Cup, while Jennifer Waxman and Tuscany took the lead in the Pony Hunter division and Lauren Bass on Jivago dominated in the Restricted Pro 3’6” division, it was a Take Away victory for Havens Schatt in the Pro 3’6” division. Schatt also dominated in the Pro 3’ division, winning the Finals on Nassau, who also won the Pre-Green Incentive. Additionally, she won the Walter J. Lee Perpetual Trophy and the Leading Trainer Award for Week One. Michael Tokaruk and Polaroid were the big winners in the Restricted Pro 3’ division. The Legacy Cup took place for the second year in a row at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows in Lexington, KY. The first week ran May 11-15 and the show runs through May 22.


On May 13, Nassau dominated the field in the Pro 3’ Finals and claimed prize money of $1,862. The nine-year-old gelding was purchased by owner Gina Marie Mondel just before Christmas and Schatt, who took him to his winning ride, said, “He’s great to ride. He’s pretty consistent and he knows his job.”

Mondel, who shows him in the adult divisions, added that Nassau is “really lazy but he’s a very kind horse and very generous.” She looked at her dad (Jack) and her grandfather (Duke) while talking about the horse she loves and added, “My dad’s very supportive.”

Nassau had shown in the Pro 3’ Go Round on May 12th and after competing all day in other classes that laziness came into play. “Yesterday he had a light rub. He wasn’t as sparky as he was tonight (in the Pro 3’ Finals). He jumps better when he is fresh,” said Schatt.

Tokaruk rode Polaroid to eighth place and a check for $392 in the Pro 3’ Finals. As the highest placed Restricted Pro rider that put Tokaruk in the lead of the Restricted Pro 3’ Finals (for an additional $150) and they also won the Restricted Pro 3’ Champion and claimed another $450. The 16.3 hand, 7-year-old, bay gelding was purchased in Holland and the Legacy Cup was only his third horse show with Tokaruk aboard.

“He is very slow and almost goes around like an equitation horse,” explained Tokaruk (TN). “He’s got an amazingly slow and rhythmic canter. He’s a long horse, so you have to keep him together. He’s still learning and this is the first time he’s ever shown indoors. He’s really a great horse and he’s only going to get better,” he said.

The May 12th Pro 3’ First Go Round was won by Morgan Thomas and Nairobi ($450), owned by Kimberly Wang Limited, while Chad Watridge rode Rhinestone Cowboy, owned by Kimberly Koloff, and Remington, owned by Ashley Deflin, to win first and second in the $500 Restricted Pro 3’ First Go Round. Rhinestone Cowboy finished just behind Polaroid in the Restricted Pro 3’ Championship, while Nairobi finished 25th.

Both Schatt and Tokaruk gave the Legacy Cup high marks. “It’s a great idea,” commented Schatt. “It really showcases the hunters and gives up and coming professionals a chance to be recognized.”

Tokaruk added, “I am inspired by what the AHJF has done especially as a young professional trying to work my way up the ranks. To be able to come to a show that rewards me as a young professional is very gratifying. To know that even within the professional division there are different levels of riders has definitely inspired me.”

Tokaruk concluded saying, “One day I want to be standing here as the Overall Pro Champion!”


On Saturday evening, May 14th Schatt and Cortie Wetherill’s Take Away won the Pro 3’6” Finals and she was thrilled. “He’s amazing,” said Schatt about Take Away. “He’s slow, he’s scopey and you never question anything you have to jump.”

Take Away only started competing in hunters at the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival. He mostly competed in jumpers before that, but he’s taken to this new discipline with ease. “He’s a little sensitive because of his jumper career,” added Schatt. “He doesn’t want to make a mistake and when he does he tries extra hard the next time.”

Schatt felt comfortable going into the final phase of the Pro 3’6” division but still knew that anything can happen. In the First Go Round, Take Away changed his lead and that put them ninth in the order but this time without that mistake, his skill shone through and his score of 278 dominated the field and earned them $1,672. Schatt also won the Walter J. Lee Perpetual Trophy as the Pro rider who totaled the most money throughout the 3’/3’6” divisions ($9,839).

Second place honors went to the winner of the $1500 Pro 3’6” First Go Round, Paladijn, owned by Bryan Baldwin and ridden by Louise Serio with a score of 259.5 and $1,232. A third place ribbon and $1,056 went to the first Restricted Pro 3’6” rider whose score of 259 put Bass and Jivago in the lead of their division. They also won the Restricted Pro 3’6” Go Round on May 12. They earned $150 for being the leading Restricted Pro Rider. Bass also added an additional $450 after also winning the Restricted Pro Championship. Her total was $1,656.

Bass was excited about her wins and thrilled with Jivago. “He is brilliant to ride. You just squeeze to the base of the oxers and he powers over them and gives you the most amazing feeling. He also learns from his mistakes.”

Jivago does have his quirks and if you watch closely as he goes around the ring, you’ll see a little tongue hanging out. “He licks and chews,” added Bass, “and he always tries to grab the plants.”

However this time there was no grabbing for Jivago as he took the course by force. “I felt really good,” explained Bass. “He was giving me a confident feeling. He was on the job. He wanted to win. This was a reward for all we’ve been doing.” Earlier in the day there was a torrential downpour and since Bass shares the ride on Jivago with his owner Candace Lubar who competes in the Children’s Hunters, he was also supposed to compete outside. However, Lubar opted to scratch so that Jivago would stay “fresh and excited” for the Pro Finals. “It was a very generous thing for her to do,” explained Bass. Both Bass and Lubar hail from Ohio.

Bass has just recently returned to the hunter ring as an outgrowth of her own business, since most of her clients compete on hunters. Now she divides herself between the hunters and jumpers. “It’s becoming more and more fun,” she admits. “Both are very difficult in their own way. I am very competitive and I like the thrill of the jumpers. Both disciplines are technical but the hunters require an accurate, smooth and invisible ride which has helped me in the jumper ring.”

While Bass was delighted with her victories, she also focused her comments on the importance of the Legacy Cup. “I consider it the Grand Prix of the Hunters. It’s really important to give amateurs, juniors and professionals a goal and it is fun to have a big class.”


On Sunday, May 15th, 2005 the Pony Hunter Final Go Round concluded the first week of the two-week Legacy. When it was all over Jennifer Waxman and Tuscany, owned by Caroline Spogli, went to the head of the Pony division, sponsored by Shadyside Farm and Kate Gibson, winning both the Finals and the Leading Pony Rider award for having won the most money in that division ($1,607). The entire Pony Hunter division offered $8,300 in prize money, with $6,800 divided among the top 20 in the May 15 Finals, when 25 of the starting field of 34 in the First Go Round returned for their last chance to claim a ribbon, prizes and money. Leading Trainer of the Week, sponsored by EP Bishop Company, honors went to Havens Schatt, whose students accumulated the most money ($8,034).

The 13-year-old Waxman, Cleveland, OH, was really pleased with Tuscany. “He is so awesome. No matter what distance he gets he always jumps perfect,” she said, referring to the eight-year-old medium pony she’s only been riding for a year now. “He is really sweet on the ground but a little bit playful.”

Waxman took the lead as the 13th rider to go in the field of 25 small, medium and large ponies and she maintained that lead right to the end. In between she was out at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show competing on other ponies, so she didn’t have time to chew her nails and hope that no one else would take over her lead. Finally, when the last rider had gone and no one could match her score, Waxman knew that for the second year in a row she was the winner of the Pony Hunter division. Last year Strike a Pose helped her earn that title.

Tuscany’s score of 262 earned them $1,292. Second place honors went to Schaeffer Raposa riding Shine, owned by Lanes End Pony Stables, to a score of 255.5 and $952 in prize money.

When Waxman realized she had won again she “was very excited and I was really happy he was a good boy.” Waxman paid special attention to maintaining Tuscany’s leads to the first and last jump. In the first Go Round he swapped leads and she ended up third. She knew she couldn’t let that happen this time if she wanted a chance to win the class.

The winner of the Pony Hunter First Go Round, Megan Davis and Far From Home, could not match their first performance but their score of 206 placed them 14th and they too got a piece of the pie ($136). That is the beauty of the Legacy Cup; the money is paid out through the 20th place.

After their win on Saturday, May 14th, Davis was in her glory. Just one year earlier the pair competed in the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows as their very first competition and this year they decided to also compete in the Legacy Cup. The eight-year-old, 12.2 hand, Belgian Warmblood gelding “is really fun and pretty easy to ride. He has a nice canter and he likes his job,” said Davis after her winning ride. A smile from ear to ear and with her mom Kim by her side, Davis was happy. “I was really nervous. When I got off, I knew I was first but I didn’t think I would hold onto it. I was really excited when I won … I thought he’d do well but I didn’t have any expectation to win. He was really on today”

While the ponies were jumping the all new “Legacy Club” allowed spectators to watch the class while enjoying a homemade lunch. And while they were dining on soup, salad and pasta, the pony kids enjoyed a pizza party (sponsored by Lochmoor Stables, Inc,) and ice cream social (sponsored by Lanes End Pony Stables).

So, the Legacy Cup continues to get high marks and attendance this year is up 20% from last year. It’s still got a ways to go, “I think it is ahead of its time and more people need to participate in order to grow the purse,” commented Vice President and competitor Louise Serio. “Some people are big supporters and others need to be if they want to see the hunter sport continue to grow,” added Serio. Megan’s mom agrees and plans to be one of those supporters. “It’s a great organization,” noted Kim.

Megan also likes the concept of the Legacy Cup saying, “I particularly like classes where they give scores.”

Waxman agrees saying. “It’s so nice and so well done. The course is always great and the ribbons are beautiful. This event is cool because it’s different, which makes it special. Anyone can compete in the first round. You don’t have to qualify or earn points.”

Getting to do both and spending time in the winner’s circle does have its perks and Waxman certainly earned her way to the top on the final day of week one. Over the three days the weather went from hot to torrential downpours to Sunday’s brisk weather but through it all Waxman and the many other Legacy Cup competitors showcased their talents in the indoor arena protected from the elements. Not even the weather could tarnish the 2005 Legacy Cup as it continues to grow and flourish.


The Legacy Cup takes place over two weeks and is paired with the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, one of the nation’s top AA rated hunter events. Over the four years of its existence, the Legacy Cup has been fine-tuned but always remains focused on its original goal, which is to present an innovative, high paying, exhibitor-friendly event.

The 2005 Legacy Cup offers five divisions. There are two professional divisions; one at 3’ (sponsored by Montoga Inc./Geoff Teall) and one at 3’6” (sponsored by Meralex Farm/Bryan Baldwin). Within the pro division new or developing Restricted Riders are also recognized. The Restricted Division was sponsored by Texas Supporters. A Restricted Pro Rider is a new professional or one who has not consistently won at upper levels of show hunter riding. Additionally, the status is based on Legacy Cup money earnings. Riders who have won more than $5,000 or who have placed first or second in Legacy Cup Pro 3’ or 3’6” Finals are ineligible. There are also two Non Pro divisions; one at 3’ (Finals sponsored by Derbydown, Inc. and Louise Serio) and 3’6”, and the Legacy Cup Pony Hunter Division (sponsored by Shadyside Farm and Kate Gibson).

Each division offers one go-round to rank the top 25 horses, based on their composite scores, for a clean slate final. All rounds are judged numerically by multiple sets of two judges positioned around the ring. In case of a tie, the Team 1 pair of judge’s score breaks that tie.


The 2005 Legacy Cup entry fee is $400—50% going directly to the division purse and 50% to The American Hunter-Jumper Foundation for the expenses associated with the event. This allows for substantial prize money with less expense to the exhibitor.

Changes for the 2005 event include a continued emphasis on the add-back concept. There is a guaranteed purse of $1,500 for each go-round. However, all final round purses pay 50% of the division entry fee. This builds money awards which grow with each horse entered.

For the Pro classes that took place on March 12 the breakdown was as follows. A total of 49 horses entered the Pro 3’ division and the $1500 purse for the first round was distributed through tenth place. The purse for the Finals was $9,800 based on the add-back system and the division total for Pro 3’ was $11,300. In the 3’6” division again the first round purse was $1500 and with 44 horses entered, the Finals purse was $8,800, with a division total of $10,300. All the Finals purses pay out through the 20th place.

Also in the professional division is a Pre-Green Incentive (sponsored by Janet Read), a Leading Trainer Award (sponsored by EP Bishop Company - this award goes to the trainer whose students and horses accumulate the most money), the Belcort Farm Perpetual Trophy (for the owner of the horse that produces the highest single round score), and the Walter J. Lee Perpetual Trophy (for the Pro rider who accumulates the most money throughout the 3’ and 3’6” Pro competition).

In the Non Pro divisions, overall ribbons and separate ribbons are awarded for both juniors and amateurs in all classes. There are leading Non Pro rider awards in each division and a Legacy Cup Non Pro Team Award (to the barn whose students accumulate the most money in the Non Pro and Pony divisions).


While the competition is the nucleus of the event, the social aspects have become something that the exhibitors look forward to. This year there are even more chances for spectators and exhibitors to have the opportunity to mingle with their family, friends and fellow horsemen. One request by exhibitors was to provide a better selection of food on the showgrounds. As a result, the AHJF introduced the “Legacy Club,” a private members-only area for sponsors and table holders, which has been organized by Kim Tudor. The “Club” overlooks the arena on one side and the rolling hills of the Kentucky Horse Park on the opposite side. The décor includes flowers, a chandelier, white picket fencing and more. A buffet lunch is served daily as well as dinner for each of the evening performances. The grand finale will be a thank you “Champagne Brunch,” which will take place on the final Sunday, May 22. All the meals are home made by J.C.’s Catering. The meals are a connoisseur’s delight and have received high marks by everyone – especially those who are used to the typical horse show fare. All the tables were sold out before the show began. The AHJF also includes a general exhibitor tent where anyone can pick up cold drinks, snacks and fruit.

For Tudor, this is her first time at the Legacy Cup and she is impressed. “The fact that the Legacy Cup is paired with a topnotch horse show and on one of the most impressive equestrian facilities (The Kentucky Horse Park) makes it extra special.”

Executive Director Michele Perla adds, “Our second year with the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows continues to prove that this is a perfect match for the Legacy Cup. This venue has allowed for growth in the number of competitors and in the sponsor support. Hugh Kincannon, Show Manager of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, sees and appreciates the value that the Legacy Cup brings to his horse show and has supported our efforts 100%.”

Legacy Cup action continues through May 22. By the time this year’s event has concluded over $50,000 in purses will be distributed. For more information about the Legacy Cup contact the AHJF (335 Lancaster Street, West Boylston, MA 01583-0369), Phone: 508-835-8813,, E-mail:

Photo: Havens Schatt won the Walter J. Lee Perpetual Trophy as the Pro rider who totaled the most money throughout the 3’/3’6” divisions ($9,839) at the Legacy Cup, May 11-15 in Lexington, VA. ©Diana De Rosa Photography.