ardin Towell & S.F. Ariantha compete in the WEF 9 Grand Prix on Saturday, March 12th.
The newest addition to American rider Hardin Towell’s international string of show jumpers holds special significance. In mid-February, the 11-year-old KWPN mare S.F. Ariantha (Corland x Emilion) moved to the stables of Towell and owner Jennifer Gates from Andres Rodriguez’s Golden Point Farm in Wellington, Florida.
Towell began competing with S.F. Ariantha at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, picking up a 4th place on February 25th in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m. He continued to jump clear rounds during Week 9 of WEF, and qualified for the jumpoff in the $380,000 Douglas Elliman CSI5* Grand Prix over a tough Round 1 track. With just one light rub in the jumpoff, Towell and S.F. Ariantha placed 6th in the highly competitive class.
Venezuela’s Rodriguez previously rode S.F. Ariantha to significant 2015 finishes, including victory in the $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI3* in Tryon, North America in October 2015, best presented horse honors at the American Gold Cup CSI4*, and a top international win at the 2015 Spruce Meadows Summer Series in Calgary, Canada.
S.F. Ariantha was one of the horses among Rodriguez’s highly talented, international caliber string. When Rodriguez passed away following a car accident on January 4th, 2016, the sudden loss was felt deeply by many in the equestrian community, especially by Towell, who was a close friend and business partner of Rodriguez. Rodriguez and Towell worked together in the sourcing, development, and sales of top show jumpers.
After earning the Pan American Games individual silver medal aboard the 13-year-old Belgian gelding Darlon Van Groenhove (Clinton x Heartbreaker) last summer, Rodriguez was all but qualified to appear at this summer’s 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics aboard one of his top mounts. In addition to S.F. Ariantha and Darlon, Rodriguez also had close, successful partnerships with Fifty Fifty III, a 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Action Breaker x Major De La Cour), and the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding Caballito (Contendro I x Argentinus).
Rodriguez’ widow Clementine Goutal, is currently competing Caballito in the 1.35-meter, regional grand prix classes at The Ridge in Wellington. Goutal’s sister, Brianne Goutal, has the ride on Darlon, while Fifty Fifty has gone to friend and amateur rider, Maria Costa.
We wish Hardin, Clementine, Brianne and Maria the very best for the 2016 show season and look forward to seeing all new combinations in the ring.