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MCHS 2019 TUESDAY 080619

The opening day of the 49th Menlo Charity Horse
Show Grass Hunter Field began in earnest with a day
of classes in which Professional riders held the reins.
It was clear in talking to seasoned trainers husband
and wife team Harley and Olivia Brown of Harley
Brown Equestrian, and Philip Cillis of Westwood
Showjumping Stables that a win at MCHS is a special
Harley Brown competed in the 1.30m Jumper class
with the goal of preparing Absolute Du Mio (aka
Vodka) for owner Alessandra Volpi to ride in classes
later in the week. Of the ve horses that Brown showed
in this event, Vodka was the horse of the moment and
took home the blue ribbon.
“We bought this horse for Alessandra (Alex) Volpi
who rides with us. Alex has just competed in the Young
Riders and gained a Silver Medal. We purchased this
horse a month ago for her. Vodka is only 9 years old
and has competed in a couple of bigger classes in
Europe….a very special horse. Alex will probably do
her rst Grand Prix here later this week, that is the plan
at this moment.” Brown explained.
18 year-old Alex has been in training with Harley
Brown Equestrian for two years and is an experienced
Grand Prix rider, but this team has more than one
horse competing in Saturday’s $40,000 Stephen Silver
Grand Prix. This jet set barn of young equestrian talent
Happen At
Menlo Charity
Horse Show
Links and Information:
Photo Credit ©Alden Corrigan Media
Winner of the 1.30m Jumper class Harley Brown & Absolute Du Mio
©Alden Corrigan Media
also has a group of riders ying in from New York
Their horses will not compete at MCHS, but we have
fresh horses on the grounds ready to compete. So in
total three or four riders will compete in the Grand Prix
and others will enter Hunters and Equitation Classes”.
“We really have a great bunch of kids, supported by a
great bunch of parents, it makes it very rewarding. We
have been here for over seven years and I am lucky to
have grown a large equestrian program. We are very
blessed” said Brown.
Olivia Brown, Harley’s wife and business partner had
the ride on Chacco D’accord, and was over the moon
with her rst blue ribbon in a Hunter class at Menlo
winning one of the 3’6” Performance Hunter classes.
“Chacco D’accord is a 6 year-old that we bought as a 4
year-old in Europe, so we have produced him. He was
purchased for Emma Riechow who rides him in the
3’6” Juniors, so it is pretty special to win on a horse
that we have made. Last year he did the 5 year-olds
here at MCHS and he was very green and spooky, so
to come back here and have him march right around
was wonderful.”
Harley and Olivia Brown work as a great team and
when asked about the family dynamics Olivia Brown
said with a laugh “It really works well. He is very loud
and vocal and I am very stubborn. I put him back in
his place every once in a while and we carry on. We
Olivia Brown & Chacco D’accord ©Alden Corrigan Media
really do work well together. We have two children,
Zoe who is 14 years old is a rider and our son Dexter
is eight. Dexter enjoys martial arts and likes computers
and has not found his true passion yet. He understands
our work and comes to the barn on occasion and
causes havoc. Zoe enjoys both Hunters and j\Jumpers,
and is doing 1.40m Jumpers and 3’6” Junior Hunters
and Equitation, she really likes it all and is pretty on a
horse so could really go anywhere.”
The nal of the three winners that shared their story
was Philip Cillis of Westwood Showjumping Stables.
Cillis had the ride on Bayou owned by Michelle Filanc
in the 3’6” Performance Hunter and was winner of the
rst class “Bayou (aka Cricket) was purchased from
Meridith Herman last spring, she had started him in
the 7 year-old Young Hunters and he ended up being
Horse of the Year. I bought him for Michelle Filanc
who is an Amateur Owner rider and she does a great
Philip Cillis & Bayou ©Alden Corrigan Media
job on him. She has had great success with him and
he is just fun and nice to ride, a great horse to have
in the barn.
I have ten here this week…. mostly Amateur
ladies, but I do have one Junior with me. I am very
much focused on my clients, so there are very few
rides for me. Today the horses I rode in the 3’6”
Performance were all being prepared for their real
job, which is to be good for their ladies. I am now
done for the rest of the week.
We really have a great team at Westwood; Jenn
Marun is my assistant and I could not do it without
her, Jesus Chewy López is my head groom and I
have two of his brothers that work with me Manuel
López and Lioba López. Between them and the
clients I have I am a pretty lucky guy.
I look forward to coming to Menlo every year. It is
really special, and one of my favorite shows. Winning
here is so wonderful, I remember being Champion in
1988 and I came the show long before that with Hap
Hansen. Today I hoped that I had a score to win and I
The Menlo Charity Horse Show, a 501(C)(3) organization
recognized as a USEF Heritage Competition, benets
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired by
producing a premiere equestrian event while educating
the community on the issues of the visually impaired.
Links and Information:
Winners of the 1st & 2nd 3’6” Performance Hunter classes Philip Cillis with Bayou & Olivia Brown with Chacco D’accord ©Alden Corrigan Media