Edited Press Release
Friday at the 2022 Washington International Horse Show, Ellie Ferrigno and Queen Elizabeth turned on the afterburners for the win in the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic. For their triumph they were presented with the Senator’s Cup and Swan Lake Perpetual Trophy. The result also boosted them to the division championship, for which they earned the Foxbrook Perpetual Trophy.
“I’ve shown at Washington since I was eight years old, and it’s always been incredibly special to me,” stated Ferrigno. “I had actually never won a class here until today. It’s always been something I wanted. I really wanted to get my blue ribbon at Washington, because it’s such an important horse show to me. Of course, I could count on ‘Queenie’ to do that for me. She’s incredible.”
Queenie was jumping grands prix in Europe when she was imported for Ferrigno to try as a High Junior Jumper candidate. Unfortunately, through the final years of Ferrigno’s junior career, Queenie struggled with injury, so they were unable to realize the potential of their partnership. A year and a half ago Molly Ohrstrom called up Ferrigno to let her know the now 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare was ready for one more comeback but at the low amateur level.
“With her record of injuries, I thought she might only stay sound for a summer,” explained Ferrigno. “It was our fairytale that she stayed sound for a year and a half and she’s still perfectly sound to this day. I told Molly all along that after today we would retire and breed her, so this is my last class on her today. I just tried to stay calm and let it happen, but when we came out of the ring, we all cried knowing it was her last class.”
It was a fitting send off for Queenie who bested a 14-horse jump-off and raced through the timers in 25.949 seconds, one second faster than the second-place finisher.
“That’s Queenie’s thing,” smiled Ferrigno. “She is the most incredible horse, and I can always, always count on her to just fly with me. I’m always able to pick up this giant gallop, and I know that if I leave the jumps up no one can beat her.”
In an emotional victory, Ferrigno emphasized her appreciation for her parents, her trainer Val Renihan, and Molly Ohrstrom.
“Molly and I have partnered together on a lot of horses, and her giving this horse to me was just the biggest gift anyone could have ever given me, so I owe her a big ‘thank you,’” she expressed. “Val [Renihan] has been my coach through everything and has always been helping me along with my parents, so it was so great to have them all here for our last hurrah.”
Second place in the classic went to Abigail Gordon and her own Toy Soldier, who won the Best Turned Out Horse of the Day, presented by the Clothes Horse on Thursday with their groom Luis Rodriguez. Their top finish also helped them earn the reserve championship honors. Rounding out the top three was Jaime Auletto with her own Dynamite.