upperville horse show

Up Chiqui Added to the Upperville Wall of Honor 

Written by Kaitlin Hill 

“The horse deserved it. It won a whole lot. It won at Upperville, and it was a nice horse who deserves to be on a lot of walls of honor,” shares Joe Fargis of Up Chiqui, a Belgian warmblood chestnut gelding and 2022 inductee to the Upperville Colt & Horse Show Wall of Honor. The award was presented and accepted by Fargis on Up Chiqui’s behalf to tremendous applause on Saturday, June 11, during the 169th annual show. 

Owned by Haity and Jim McNerney of McLean, Virginia, Alex Boone of Lexington, Kentucky, and Craig Dobbs of Indianapolis, Indiana, Up Chiqui not only has an impressive resume, but also a personality that made him a favorite of owners, trainers, and his longtime rider, Kent Farrington. 

At Upperville alone, Farrington and Up Chiqui won the Welcome Stakes and the Upperville Jumper Classic in 2007 and returned in 2008 to be awarded top honors in the Welcome Stakes again. Up Chiqui placed in the top 10 in 28 of the 36 classes he started. In 2008, the pair competed in the FEI World Cup™ CSI-W Final in Göteborg, Sweden, one of many international and national competitions Up Chiqui at which excelled at over the course of his long career. 

“If you want to be a winner, you have to have some quirks,” shares Haity McNerney, speaking of Up Chiqui’s undeniably unique personality. Up Chiqui’s longtime groom, Alex Warriner, adds, “He was a little naughty, a little fresh…he was just so expressive. He had so much life in him, and he enjoyed every minute of it.” She concludes, “He is hard to sum up in one word, but he was truly special.” And Farrington once described Up Chiqui as “…a prankster. Everything is a little bit on his own terms, and he wants to do things his way.” 

A taste for Twizzlers, nipping at scarves, and chewing on the chain of his lead rope are among Up Chiqui’s loveable traits. Warriner says, “If he was chewing on the chain, you knew you were going to have a good result that day.” 

More than quirkiness, Up Chiqui’s huge heart is what set him apart as an “exceptional, rare breed” as Haity McNerney describes him. She says, “The horse gave 180 percent on every jump. The horse just had a heart that was huge.” Warriner adds, “He gave everything that he had in his heart to Kent, to the team, and enjoyed it.” Haity McNerney finishes, “The horse distinguished itself above and beyond other horses. He was exceptional. The horse was so brave.” 

Given all his successes and all his spunk, Up Chiqui is certainly deserving of his well-earned retirement and this most recent accolade.

As the latest inductee to the Wall of Honor, Up Chiqui’s plaque will hang among notable equestrian honorees such as Paul Mellon and Rose Marie Bogley, and equine inductees including Super Flash and Way Cool. 

“He owed us nothing but he gave us his heart and soul. It is nice [to recognize] this horse that is well deserving of it,” Warriner says.

Up Chiqui is now enjoying retirement at the Boone’s Farm in Kentucky. Warriner says, “He is the master of teaching the young babies how to act and who is boss. He’s a good babysitter.” She concludes, “He looks fantastic, he’s in a great place, [and] he could not be getting any better care than where he is.” ML

This article first appeared in the July 2022 Issue.

Ali Wolff Comes Full Circle for Upperville Colt & Horse Show with $25,000 Platinum Championship Grand Prix Win at Palm Beach Masters

Feb. 7, 2019 | Wellington, Fla. –

As America’s longest running horse show, the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) has helped launch the careers of many young equestrian athletes across the nation since its inception in 1853.

In June 2018, Ali Wolff captured the biggest win of her career in the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds and Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Smith, aboard Casall. Coming full circle, Wolff took home first place on Saturday afternoon in the $25,000 Platinum Championship Grand Prix, presented by UCHS, at the CP Palm Beach Masters Winter Classic CSI4-W.

Ali Wolff and HH Venice Beach accepting their awards on Saturday with Joe Fargis (left) on behalf of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show and Lou Jacobs (right), co-founder of the Palm Beach Masters Series.

“This class was sponsored by Upperville so I’d like to think there’s some relation!” said Wolff after her win. “It’s phenomenal when horse shows can support other horse shows. [The Palm Beach Masters Series and UCHS] are two outstanding horse shows, and the fact that Upperville is still going as strong as ever is really an indication of the management and the work that they do there.”

Coincidentally, Cormac Hanley finished in second place on Saturday behind Wolff riding Copain Z, and was also the third place finisher at the 2018 UCHS in the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*.

Wolff has competed at UCHS for the past two years, making it a regular stop on her summer competition calendar, and she looks forward to once again returning in 2019.

Ali Wolff and HH Venice Beach.

“I love [Upperville] and that facility,” said Wolff. “It’s a great horse show and I can’t say enough about it!”

To learn more about the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, please click here.

Upperville Colt & Horse Show

Photos by Chelsea Moore

Congratulations to Aaron Vale and Quidamns Good Luck owned by Troy Glaus on winning the 2016 Upperville $35,000 FEI 4* Speed Stakes tonight, and is looking forward to Sunday’s FEI 4* 216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic Grand Prix!

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