News, Events & Results
Holly Jacks Equestrian
Action-Packed Year Leads Holly Jacks-Smither to Top-Five Finish in Plantation Field International Horse Trials CCI 4*-S
Holly Jacks-Smither of Hillsburg, ON, has been competing at the FEI level with More Inspiration (“Morris”) since 2012 but in all their time together, there’s never been a season quite like this one. Despite the ups and downs, the veteran partnership secured a top-five finish at the Plantation Field International Horse Trials, held Sept. 17-20, 2020, in Unionville, PA.
Holly Jacks-Smither is Reaping the Benefits of Staying True to Herself
Holly Jacks-Smither says she’s the happiest she’s been in years right now, and she has many reasons to feel that way. She’s fresh off of a gutsy performance in the Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*-L, where she ended her weekend in 12th place among some of the top riders in the world aboard her off-track Thoroughbred, More Inspiration. She has a thriving business and a healthy support system in her friends and family back home in Canada. She has a handful of up-and-coming horses waiting to step up in the coming seasons.
But for Holly, perhaps the biggest harbinger of happiness this year has been her decision to ride for no one else, but herself.
It has been an amazing year for Holly and her horses. They have travelled across North America and left their mark everywhere they go. The following are some of the results that these amazing horses, piloted by Holly, have accomplished in 2018:
1st - Grandview Horse Trials - prelim
2nd - Rocking Horse - prelim
2nd - Bromont CCI *
2nd - Foshay CCI *
5th - Ocala - prelim
3rd - Ocala - prelim
4th - Ontario Championships - intermediate
6th - GMHA - intermediate
20th - Plantation CIC **
28th - Fairhill CIC **
Qualified for Pan American Games
1st - GMHA CIC *
1st - Rocking Horse - training
1st - Grandview - prelim
6th - Red Hills CIC ***
1st - Rocking Horse
More Inspiration lived up to his name at Rolex
More Inspiration lived up to his name at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. Holly Jacks-Smither and Morriss put in a fantastic run at their first ever CCI****, finishing the demanding competition in 26th place of nearly 60 starters. Holly scored a 57.7 in dressage, achieving her goal of coming in under a 60 at her first four star. As far as Morriss knows, he jumped around the cross country; unfortunately, he and Holly crossed their tracks jumping an option in the water which caused them to pick up 20 penalties.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” Holly said. “But Morriss doesn’t know what happened. As far as he knows, he jumped clear around the biggest course of his life. I’m proud of him.”
Despite the exhausting track the day before, Holly and Morriss went on to show jump with all but a rail. Morriss’ trademark jumping style got them around the course in fabulous form.
“It’s a privilege have a horse like Morriss in the barn,” Holly said. “He’s an amazing athlete.”
Anyone interested in purchasing shares of More Inspiration at this exciting time in his career is invited to get in touch with Holly.
That’s only the beginning of the good news for the Holly Jacks Equestrian Team. Holly’s new mount Mini Me recently completed his first event on Canadian soil, earning a second place, since having recently been imported from England. It’s the beginning of what Holly expects to be a successful partnership.
Her students are also proving themselves in Florida, with both Eva and Ella Marquis completing their first Preliminary horse trials in the ribbons, and earning qualifying scores towards the North American Young Rider Championships in Montana. The girls also completed their first FEI events, with Eva fulfilling her Young Riders qualifications. Hope Brown and Steppin’ Out finished in the top three at their last two Novice events, and Katie Recoski earned a third at Beginner Novice aboard her new mount Strawberry Punch. Katie Mansfield, in her first season of Florida showing, also came home from her first two events with ribbons. Liz Hawley and her new ride Flash of Brilliance recently made the move up to Prelim, and Ailsa
Morrison has successful completed her first Intermediate horse trial in fine form.
As always, Holly has a number of talented sales horses in the barn. Be in touch with Holly to find out if she has your next partner ready and waiting. The Marquis’ family recently sold CinderElla, and are looking forward to what she goes on to do.
Stay tuned for more exciting new from Holly Jacks Equestrian.
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration crack top 5 at Plantation Field CIC3* against North America’s best
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration had a monumental weekend at Plantation Field International Horse Trials, completing the CIC3* in fourth place. They broke into the 40s in dressage, which is a personal best for the pair. Sitting in 18th place, they jumped clear within the time allowed to move up to 12th in an extremely challenging show jumping ring that created a number of upsets among the field. They were one of 15 pairs to go double clear.
Cross country day brought more good news. Holly and More Inspiration jumped around the tough course clean, picking up only .8 time penalties. Those 0.8 time penalties were actually the lowest number of faults added to a dressage score by any of the 47 horse-and-rider combinations that ultimately completed the CIC3*. On a weekend when double clean show jumping rounds and clear and fast cross country trips were very hard to come by, Holly and Morris made it look easy.
Holly was the top ranking Canadian in the massive field of 60-plus starters, and was competitive with North America’s top eventing teams. She placed behind big names including veteran US team rider Phillip Dutton and Pan Am Game winner Marilyn Little. On top of placing well, Holly and More Inspiration also earned the title of highest-placed Thoroughbred. “I can’t even begin to say how proud I am of this amazing horse,” Holly said.
This fantastic result brings Holly closer to her goal of riding for Team Canada at the 2016 Olympics. Already qualified with nothing but strong scores behind her, she is well on her way.
Riding for the Red & White
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration will be representing Team Canada at the FEI Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany, August 11 to 14, 2015
On an invitation from Equine Canada, Holly will be tackling the CIC Three-Star course alongside veteran team riders Kathryn Robinson and fellow British Columbia native, Rebecca Howard.
This will be Holly's first time representing Canada at such an elite level. The Orangeville-based rider is thrilled to have been selected to ride at a competition as challenging and prestigious as the Nations Cup.
"I was planning an independent European trip this fall to compete against the best in the world," she said. "Now I will have the chance to represent Canada at the same time. Riding in the Nations Cup is an amazing opportunity to prepare me for riding other venues on the world stage. It's a great stepping stone to ride at the Olympics next year."
More than 400 of the world's best equestrian athletes from the top competitive nations will be competing in various horse sports at the Nations Cup. About 40 of those athletes will be competing in the sport of eventing.
After a tremendously successful season, Holly said More Inspiration is ready for the challenge. "More Inspiration has exceeded every expectation I've had for him," she said. "He's matured a lot and is proving himself in ways I had never dreamed of."
More Inspiration, known as Morriss around the barn, is an Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred. He raced at Woodbine and Fort Erie before Holly purchased him as a show horse prospect.
While she is very much looking forward to the opportunity to ride with the world's best eventers, Holly is responsible for funding the trip herself. Sponsorship opportunities are available and anyone interested in helping Holly on her quest are encouraged to get in touch. For more information, phone Holly at 519-928-2232, email email@example.com or visit www.hollyjacksequestrian.ca.
Holly and her husband, Bruce Smither, operate an equestrian training facility in the Orangeville area.
Click here to read the official Press Release (large file PDF)
One Stride Closer - Olympic dreams become real
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration are officially qualified for Eventing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The two competed at their First CCI*** event at Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event, New Jersey, May 6 to 10. Not only
were they the highest-placed Canadian team, finishing in a respectable 12th place, they became the first Canadian pair be eligible for the 2016 Olympics.
“I was looking forward to having a positive experience around such a demanding course,” Holly said. “I didn't even realize I was
in a position to qualify for the Olympics.”
Holly put in a solid dressage test, before letting More Inspiration do what he does best: jump.
The former racehorse made fast work of the cross country course, boldly conquering each question. He crossed the finish
line in trademark race horse style, still revved up and ready to go. He show jumped well on day three to complete the event in a solid spot.
“I'm thrilled with how far we've come,” Holly said.
More Inspiration is a former race horse, having ran at Woodbine and Fort Erie. Holly purchased him for $2,000 as a show horse prospect.
“More Inspiration has exceeded every expectation I've had for him,” she said. “He's matured a lot, and is proving himself in
ways I had never dreamed of.”
Jacks-Smither and her husband Bruce Smither operate an equestrian training facility in the Orangeville area.
Click here to read the official Press Release (large file PDF)
Red and White Shine at Red Hills
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration recently completed their first CIC*** event in a respectable 12th place. The team also won the Reserve Thoroughbred award.
A competitive group of nearly 30 horses — many of whom have competed in past major games — tackled the challenging course at Red Hills International CIC in Tallahassee, Florida.
“We made it,” Jacks-Smither said. “I can say that we managed to achieve all our goals, so now I have set new ones to improve.”
At the CIC*** level, horses and riders are asked some extremely demanding questions in all three phases. Having successfully competed at this level, Jacks-Smither is in a position to seriously plan to upgrade to the four-star level, which is the highest level of the sport, and is eyeing a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. While they are already qualified for the Pan American games, Jacks-Smither said she feels she would be a stronger asset to the Canadian team at the Olympics.
“Of course I want to be part of the Pan American team,” she said. “But at the same time, I really want to get qualified for next year’s Olympics in Rio.”
At the Pan Am level, there is a much stronger emphasis on the dressage phase of an event, Jacks-Smither explained.
“Being a full Thoroughbred, that has been our weakest phase,” she said. At the Olympic level, Jacks-Smither said there is more opportunity for More Inspiration to do what he does best: jump.
“The jumping phases in Rio are much tougher than the Pan Ams, and I think a horse like More Inspiration, who is a full Thoroughbred, will be able to handle the heat and the length of the cross-country phase.”
While she is anxiously looking ahead, Jacks-Smither said she is “thrilled” with how much she has been able to accomplish already on More Inspiration. At nine years old, More Inspiration is one of the youngest horses competing at this level. What makes his accomplishments even more impressive is that eventing is his second career. The Thoroughbred gelding was originally purchased from Horse Power Racing for $2,000, where he was successful at both Woodbine and Fort Erie for trainer Beverly Chubb. Jacks-Smither has worked hard with fellow trainers in both Canada and the US to develop More Inspiration into the horse he is.
“I couldn’t be happier with More Inspiration,” she said. “He’s matured a lot, and is proving himself in ways I had never dreamed of.”
A Royal Weekend
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration put on a royal performance during the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.
On opening night of the Royal Winter Fair, held at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, Holly and Morrass competed against some of the most talented riders in North America. The team rode in sync to secure a third-place spot going into the second and final night of competition. During the finale, they came together even more to delight the crowd with a spectacular round; clean, fast and full of their signature charm.
In what many deemed the ride of the night, Holly navigated Morrass through the technical course with expert precision and accuracy. The result was a second place finish, only .3 of a second behind Tik Maynard's winning ride.
"This isn't something we usually ask our horses to do, so it really took a strong partnership to communicate the task," she said. "We went in, hit our stride, and both had a lot of fun."
The Royal Winter Fair marks the end of Holly's 2014 season. She said she couldn't be happier to end on such a high note.
"We look forward to coming to the Royal because it's not as much pressure as competing on our regular circuit. It was nice to ride with peers in such a fun format."
View their Royal Ride - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3S3tO8yLm0
View their post-ride Interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-QCaVvEycI
The Big "A"
Holly Jacks-Smither and More Inspiration had a fantastic weekend at Richland Park in August 2014.
Competing against some of the biggest names in Eventing, Holly and Morass finished ninth in the advanced division; the highest level of eventing. Morrass put in a solid dressage test, earning a spot in the middle of the pack. They went on to jump around the big, long, challenging cross country course effortlessly. While they had two unfortunate rails in the show jumping, the challenging course proved troublesome for other riders as well, as Holly and Morrass still managed to move up in placings.
Holly said she couldn't be happier with Morrass. At only nine years old, he proved he has what it takes to be one of the best.
Watch their spectacular cross-country run!
Also, watch Holly & More Inspiration at Ocala CCI** - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhj7X5KL5w0
News from Woodbine
Smither Racing congratulates Ralph and Neil Shepherd on Quiet Country breaking his maiden Ontario Sired allowance on Oct. 8. He dominated the mile-and-three-sixteenth race, winning by an astounding eight lengths under the guidance of Gary Boulanger.
Willy, as he is affectionately known around the barn, has been with us since the fall of last year. It's been a long road to the finish line, but we are thrilled to look forward to the future!
The three-year-old has found his stride, and the team is confident there is more good news to come.
Holly & More Inspiration place 10th at Plantation CIC**, September 20-22, 2013, Unionville, Pennsylvania
For Holly Jacks and More Inspiration, Plantation CIC** turned out to be a great weekend. With a dressage score of 57 putting them 40th out of 73 starters Holly knew that she had some work ahead of her.
More Inspiration lived up to his name and pulled a clear show jumping round out of his bag of tricks which moved them up the leader board to 21st place. This left cross country to be the deciding factor in their competition.
Holly was ready to go and More Inspiration responded with not only a clear trip but also the fastest time of the day.
Holly competed against many US Olympians and large names in the eventing world. There were only 2 competitors of the 73 that started the division to finish on their dressage score, Holly and More Inspiration being one and the other was seasoned international event rider Boyd Martin. This was an important weekend and competition for Holly as a stepping stone in her quest for the PanAm games.
Holly & More Inspiration WIN Intermediate Division at the Richland Park Horse Trials, August 22-25, 2013, Richland, Michigan
It was well worth the drive to Michigan for Holly Jacks and More Inspiration.
After having some time off competing to concentrate on their dressage, Holly and Morris (as he is fondly called at home) headed to their second Intermediate competition of the summer.
Thanks to dressage mentor Tom Dvorak, Holly was sitting 6th after dressage with a score of 41.6 on Thursday. Holly was happy with her score as they were sent back to the barn and had to wait out a thunderstorm, finally able to do their test 2 hrs after the posted time. Usually this rattles riders and horses.
After having Friday off to recuperate Holly and More Inspiration had a good cross country with only 8 time faults which brought the pair to second place on the leaderboard.
Sunday brought More Inspiration’s favourite part of eventing .. the show jumping portion. This is also Holly’s strong suit and the pair proved it by having a 4 fault round that was still fast enough to confirm first place.Holly and Morris are looking forward to repeating their efforts and results at Plantation Horse Trials in September then Fair Hill International CCI** in October.
More Inspiration - Ranked 8th in Horse Junkies United's Top 10 Horses as the entire Red Hills International Horse Trials 2013.
"This is another pair to watch for Canadian Eventing fans."
Red Hills Recap: Our Top 10 Horses & Favorite Riders - http://www.horsejunkiesunited.com/?p=54059
2nd Place at the Red Hills International Horse Trials @ Elinor Klapp Phipps Park, March 8-10, 2013, Tallahasee, Florida
Sunday - Stadium Jumping - With 2 clear rounds, Holly & More Inspiration finished the 3-day event that attracts the top riders from around the world in Second Place for the Intermediate division.
Saturday - Cross Country - More Inspiration proved that he is a force to be reckoned with by carrying Holly through a phenomenal cross country run with the second fastest time of the day.
Friday- Dressage - Holly & More Inspiration sit in 16th place after the Intermediate dressage phase
(Photo to right courtesy of the Chronicle of the Horse)
Eventing Nation's Red Hills Wrap-Up - http://eventingnation.com/home/lisa-barrys-sunday-wrap-up-from-red-hills.html
2nd Place at the Hagyard Mid-South Team Challenge & 3-Day Show Jumping - October 2012 - Lexington, Kentucky
Monday - Holly rode More Inspiration to a clear round in show jumping to take second place
Saturday - Cross Country - Holly & More Inspiration move into 4th place
2015 Student Results
Morgan Gracey & Kyeburn
After being gifted Kyeburn for the traditional $1.00 fee, Morgan brought him up through Entry, Pre-Training levels to restore his confidence. By midsummer they were competing at Jr Training Level, with the following results:
11th - Millbrook Horse Trials in July
2nd - Dreamcrest Horse Trials in August
6th - Willowing Horse Trials in October
More 2012 Results
Horse: More Inspiration
2nd - Red Hills International Horse Trials 2013
1st - Dreamcrest Horse Trials
3rd - Red Hills International, Florida
4th - Glen Oro Horse Trials
5th - Ontario Championships
6th - Rocking Winter I - Florida
2nd - Cornerstone 1.25 Classic
In Top 5 at 5 events in Florida (Winter 2013)
1st - Glen Arden Horse Trials
2nd - Willow Wind Horse Trials
Horse: Tailwind Terry
6th - Equus 3DHorse Trials
5th - Glen Oro Horse Trials
Horse: Silver Dust
2nd - Equus 3DHorse Trials
Student Results 2012:
Rider: Megan Byer on One Tough Customer
2nd - Cornerstone Fall Classic - .90m
3rd - Cornerstone Fall Classic - .90m
8th - Equus 3D Horse Trials
8th - Equus 3d Short Course
Rider: Arielle Park on Dulce De Leche
1st - Cornerstone Fall Classic - 1m
4th - Cornerstone Finals - 1m
1st - Conerstone Final Classic - 1m/1.1m/1.2m
Rider: Robynne Smith on Demon's Daughter
5th - Wits End Horse Trials
Rider: Morgan Gracey on Pride
1st - Will O Wind Horse Trials
2nd - Cedar Run Horse Trials
5th - Myrddin Short Course
5th - Equus 3D Horse Trials
Specializing in bringing along young & problem horses
Teaching young horses how to accept a saddle and rider is not enough... you have to teach him how to respond to your requests; handle unknown circumstances; and be comfortable in his environment.
Holly & Bruce have a knack for taking a young, inexperienced horse and turning it into a safe and confident mount no matter which discipline it will eventually end up in.