Kim Kolloff Claims Emotional WEF Championship for Castlewood Farm
Margot Hirsch Wins Three Children’s Hunter Reserve Championships
Wellington, FL – February 10, 2015 – For Kim Kolloff, winning her first Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) championship was not just about beating some of the best horses and riders in the country. It was about winning over her health, winning over her psyche and proving to herself that it was and is possible.
Thirty years ago, Kolloff was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and riding became extremely difficult and painful. Now, thanks to the help of new experimental stem cell injections and her own tenacity and incredibly positive outlook, this year marks the first year since her diagnosis that Kolloff is able to compete consistently.
“In the past I would go in to show and maybe jump two jumps and feel so bad that I would have to leave, or I was always scratching,” Kolloff said. “This is the first time I’ve been able to complete the courses.”
Kolloff not only completed the courses during Week 5 of WEF, she turned in beautiful trips aboard her own Indiana, finishing first and second in the Low Adult 2’6” Hunter Section A over fences classes.
“When I got champion I couldn’t stop crying because it didn’t just mean the win and the champion ribbon, it meant my health,” Kolloff said. “It was all about my health and feeling good, the appreciation and loving the day and the sport. For anybody, you can’t give up, and you have to keep smiling and going forward and doing the best you can.”
Throughout her daily battle with MS, Kolloff has been incredibly appreciative of her friendships within the equestrian community and at Castlewood Farm, where she started riding five years ago with trainers Alan Korotkin and Susan Tuccinardi.
“[Susan and Alan] have been through it with me all along,” Kolloff said. “They have been there for me when I go up to Susan crying saying, ‘Susan, I am really sick. I have to scratch,’ and going off in my car and going home feeling really depressed and lonely. If I was really sick, they would have other people get on my horse so I could watch. They’ve been through it all with me.”
“Susan’s so loving and caring. She has been incredible,” Kolloff continued. “I really feel like if I didn’t have her by my side I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I have a lot of friends at Castlewood and a lot of friends that go way back when I was in Massachusetts. I have just met so many friends down here, but the Castlewood support is amazing. It is a big family at Castlewood.”
Margot Hirsch and Don Perignon, Children’s Hunter Reserve Champions
Another member of that Castlewood Farm family is 17-year-old Margot Hirsch. The Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, native started leasing Castlewood Farm and Alan Korotkin’s Don Perignon in October 2014 after she started training with Korotkin and Tuccinardi around the same time.
“I love everyone at Castlewood,” Hirsch said. “A lot of the girls are my age, so it’s a good fit, and everyone is really just so welcoming.”
Already this season, under the tutelage of Castlewood Farm and after four weeks of showing, Hirsch and Don Perignon have claimed three reserve championship honors in the Children’s 15-17 Hunters, earning the third tricolor this past week during WEF 5.
“I wasn’t extremely happy with my rounds on Saturday, but Sunday was great,” Hirsch said. “I was really happy with how I did. I felt good walking away knowing that I did a better job on the second day. The under saddle was just an awesome added happy win for first place.”
The win in the under saddle marks Hirsch and Don Perignon’s second hack blue ribbon this season. “He’s really pretty fancy, and I’m so appreciative to have the opportunity to ride him,” Hirsch said. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I dabbled last year with a large children’s pony. This is my first horse I’ve ever competed on, and everything’s pretty new to me. I’m so happy with how everything’s going.”
Conveniently based in Wellington, Florida, Castlewood Farm will continue competing at WEF throughout the duration of the circuit. Find Castlewood Farm online at www.castlewoodfarmsales.com.
About Castlewood Farm, Inc.
Castlewood Farm, Inc. is a full service riding, training and sales facility located on ten acres in the heart of Wellington, Florida. Alan Korotkin and his team, including exceptional trainers Susan Tuccinardi, Samantha Senft and Katie Brown, cater to the serious equestrian, offering instruction for the beginner, the medal finals veteran, the grand prix specialist and everything in between.
Castlewood Farm, Inc. presents a vast selection of horses for sale or lease, suitable for all divisions and in every price range. The farm also offers leasing packages, including a WEF lease specifically catered to the winter circuit competitor.
Images from top to bottom: Kim Kolloff and Indiana; Kim Kolloff and Susan Tuccinardi; Margot Hirsch and Don Perignon. All Photo Credits: Sport Fot