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Tokaruk ‘Steels’ Grand Prix Double Header at Brownland


By Nancy Brannon; photos courtesy of Lili Weik Photography

Brownland Farm, Franklin, TN, was back in show business with two fall shows: Fall I, September 2-6 and Fall II, September 9-12. Sunday’s classes at the Fall II show were rained out.

Steel The Love showed his stealth speed and maneuverability in both Fall shows to take top honors in two $30,000 Grands Prix, with Michael Tokaruk of Collierville, TN aboard. The grey 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood, owned by Shelby Beard of Midland, Texas, bested a class of over 30 horses to take the winning tri-colors in the Fall I show. In the Fall II show, Steel topped a field of 17 horses for the win. Each class paid $9,000 to the winner. Here’s how Tokaruk described this Fall II Grand Prix round:

“His first round was clear, and so was my other mount, My Lord Castanoo, whom I just bought in partnership with the Kime family. Eight horses went clear, and I had two of the eight.

“I went early (second) in the Jump off on Steel and wanted to be fast, but more importantly, clear! I wanted to make everyone else chase us. And so I was smart at the beginning of the Jump Off with my turns and then took a shot at the In and Out because I knew he could be fast into that. After the In and Out, I made some very short turns back to the last few jumps. And that really suited his strengths! Everyone else after us was not able to catch our time (40.812) or, if they did, they had a rail.

“Steel is a deceptively fast horse. He doesn’t look like he’s running as quickly as some other horses. He’s got a big strides so he can cover a lot of ground quickly, which really suits the big Grand Prix ring at Brownland.  And I’ve been able to work on short turns with him. He’s getting better and better at answering all of the technical questions of the Grand Prix courses.”

Tokaruk described Steel as “very brave and reliable. I have 1,000 percent confidence in him! He rides a little like an equitation horse and he’s very straightforward. We’ve established a good partnership over the long term.”

“It’s really been wonderful to have this horse and have the support of the owner, Shelby Beard, for the last couple of years so I could develop a strong relationship with him. I think that it’s really paying off because in the last four Grands Prix, he’s been first, first, second, and fourth! 

“At this point the plan is to keep showing in the Grands Prix, but I do think he could also make an Equitation horse at some point in the future, or a nice Junior/Amateur Jumper because he has a wonderfully forgiving personality and a very good brain that will suit an amateur. And he gives you a lot of confidence because he is very brave about the jumps!” 

In this class, Lauren Hester was second with Lorstakov and Hanna Toering was third with Balou Moon BHF. Tokaruk’s other horse, My Lord Castnoo, finished seventh.

Tokaruk brought other jumpers to the Fall II show. He won the $7,500 1.35m Welcome Stake on Celine Burme, and placed second in the $5,000 130m Stake on Cristiano, behind David Jennings on Dalton De La Fresniere.

Tokaruk was pleased that “we had a lot of champions and classic winners the first week of Brownland. We did not show as much the second week, and the show was canceled due to rain on Sunday. But it has been fun showing at Brownland. We are staying closer to home this year because of Covid.” 

More Fall I show highlights:
In the $30,000 Fall I Grand Prix, David Jennings rode Mattie Hatcher’s Sebastian to the Reserve Tri-colors; and Hana Toering piloted her Balou Moon BHF, with trainer Terry Brown, to third place.

Top finisher in the Fall I $7,500 Brownland Hunter Derby, with a huge class of 41 entries, was Frank Owens on the beautiful chestnut, Carrida, who earned the win with two beautiful courses. Private I, piloted by Michael Britt-Leon for Kelly Sims received the second place Tri-colors; and Riverside, owned by Holly Labry, LLC, Kelly Mullens up, took home third.

The $7,500 Welcome Stake 1.35m attracted 24 entries, with Haley Gassel and her Iliano Van D’Abelendreef securing the win. Lauren Hester her Warinde B were second and Lauren was third with her other horse Happy Feet.

Christoph Schroeder and Atlanta took first place in the $5,000 1.30m Stake.

There were 12 entries in THIS Children’s Medal equitation class, with the top prize going to Kate Marie Davis on Danyi Deats’ Quite Capitol 3. Anna Kate Ryan and her Compelling, coached by Beanie Cone, were reserve.

The WASH/NAL Childrens Hunter Classic attracted 23 entries, with Hannah Banks earning the blue ribbon on her Corrado. Jennifer Antonacci on her Danieli were second.

Calder Trotz and Fate brought home the Championship in the 3’6” Jr. Hunter division.

Karen Kogon and her horses put in great performances this week. Pepita was Champion in the Low Working Hunter; Amar was Champion in the Adult Amateur 50 & Over division.

Maria Anello and Veni Vidi Vici were Reserve Champion in the 36-49 Adult Amateurs.

Abigail Arnold brought home a blue ribbon in the USEF/Dover Hunt Seat Medal and second place in the ASPCA Maclay.  She was Reserve Champion on Quinito in Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 at the Fall II show.

Fall II show
Highlights of the Fall II show also included the $7,500 Brownland Farm Hunter Derby, which attracted 33 entries. Jordan Gilchrist and Carige took the top prize and $2,250. Kelly Mullen was second on Holly Labry’s Riverside and Third on Cheryl Rubenstein’s Capisce.

Winner of the $1,000 Brownland Pony Hunter Derby was Queen Bea, owned and ridden by Khloe McSwain. Amy Krebs placed second with Hopscotch and Luke Rinehart was third on Rosewood.

Champion in the Performance Working Hunter 3’6” was Capisce, ridden by Kelly Mullen; reserve champion was Carige, ridden by Jordan Gilchrist. In Performance working Hunter 3’3”, Joy-Elizabeth Elliott’s Golden, ridden by Kelly Mullen was Champion, with Calder Trotz and Fate Reserve Champion.

Brownland Farm implemented strict distancing measures, especially in the show office with the stabling office closed to everyone but staff. Their shows are closed to the public for the rest of the year, with the only people allowed on the property are participants in the shows. Brownland also required everyone to comply with the USEF face covering mandate.

Find full results of both shows at Brownland finishes the 2020 show season with three shows in October. Many thanks to Lili Weik for providing photos from both shows.

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