John French and Small Affair Repeat Victory in $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge
Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
Thu Oct 06, 2011
Tara Metzner Wins Emerging Pro Challenge, She's Cool and Stewart Take Added Future Hunter Championship, Bacardi and Schatt Are Grand Future Hunter Champions
In a day full of exciting classes, John French and Small Affair, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, repeated their victory in the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge. Victory in the $5,000 WCHR Emerging Professional Challenge sponsored by Seashore Acres Products went to Tara Metzner of Los Angeles, CA, riding Dogwood Hill LLC's Rumba.
To watch an interview with John French about his second straight win, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pljcS4UNZXU.
To hear Tara Metzner discuss her victory, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-nhedlqOCU.
Scott Stewart and She's Cool jumped to the win in the $25,000 Added Future Hunter North American Championship, while Havens Schatt and Bacardi captured the Grand Future Hunter Championship. The Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Hunter Rider awards were shared between Hunt Tosh and Sandy Ferrell on Cold Harbor and Moshi.
The remaining highlight class of the week for the professional hunter riders is the $7,500 WCHR Professional Finals, presented by the John R. Ingram Fund, for the top six hunter riders in the country on Friday, October 7. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George's Equestrian Center, will run through Sunday, October 9.
Defending champion John French was the final rider to return for the second round in the WCHR Professional Challenge. He knew Scott Stewart and Declaration, owned by Fashion Farm, had a great trip and led the class with a two-round total of 179.32 that would finish in second place. But French didn’t let the pressure get to him. Instead he and Small Affair posted a 90.33 for a total of 182.66 to win the class for a second consecutive year. Third place went to Parkland and Patricia Griffith riding for Catherine Cowie.
“I love this class because you can show off a great horse,” said French who admitted one of the toughest things about the class is the time between rounds. He said, “You have to wait around two hours thinking ‘Oh my god, I’m on top. I hope I don’t blow it.’ Normally you get on and it’s over with. You don’t have two hours to think about it.”
French said the gelding “felt fresh but good.” He added, “Normally he’s done a division and he’s a little bit cranky, but in the first round he had his own motor. I’m glad we saved him for this class.”
The win was bittersweet for French who choked up when he admitted that the ride might be his last on Small Affair.
The partnership between French and Small Affair, an eight-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Elf D'Or, goes back a number of years. “I’ve always loved the horse since he was a Pre-Green horse,” said French. “I thought that he was going to be a great horse. Scott Wilson was the trainer at the time and I told Scott, 'That’s going to be the best horse one day.' And a couple of shows later he asked if I wanted to ride him.”
Small Affair went on to be first in the country in the First Years and last year he was second in the country in the Second Years. This year he has been doing the 3’6” Performance Hunters. Small Affair will do the junior hunters later in the week at Capital Challenge and will go on to show at Harrisburg and Washington.
Tara Metzner made her first year actively competing in the hunters count as she won the $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge. She had the enviable task of competing with Rumba, the winner of the inaugural USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals. Metzner rode the 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Carano to a satisfying win. Second place went to Jamie Taylor on Weatherly, owned by Erin Bland. Christa Endicott and All That, owned by Don Stewart, finished in third.
The 34-year-old rider from Los Angeles, CA, is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She currently works for Dick Carvin and Susie Schroer, and it has offered her many opportunities to show horses. However, Rumba and a Pre-Green horse are the only two hunters in the barn.
Metzner doesn't take it lightly. “I’ve had the honor and the privilege to ride Rumba all year and it’s been fantastic. It’s a dream come true for anyone,” she expressed. “He’s been amazing. There’s nothing better. Imagine the best thing possible and that’s it. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Metzner just joined the WCHR this year. “I never thought this could become a reality,” she acknowledged. After winning at the Menlo Charity Horse Show, Metzner qualified for Capital Challenge.
She came into the Emerging Pro Challenge and posted solid scores of 88, 89, and 86.5 for a first round score of 87.83. They led the first round, but when Metzner came back for the second round, she didn't feel the nerves that she expected. “I was actually much calmer coming back on top. I was pretty nervous coming in for the first round. When that went well, I calmed down,” she said with a smile. The calmness led to a second round score of 88.66 for a winning total of 176.49.
Metzner was on her own this week with both Schroer and Carvin out of town. She had help from her friend Patricia Griffith. “She’s been such a huge help. She’s been amazing,” Metzner said.
For their win in the WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge, Metzner and Rumba were presented with the Bittersweet Perpetual Trophy donated by Rachel B. Kennedy.
The Future Hunters Reign
The Grand Champion Future Working Hunter, sponsored by Lochmoor Stables Inc./Greg and Mindy Darst, was Bacardi, ridden and owned by Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY. Bacardi and Havens Schatt won all three over fences classes and placed second in the under saddle class for the championship in the 5 & Under division. For their win, they were awarded the “A Rare Diamond” Perpetual Trophy donated by “The Friends of Mickey.”
Schatt purchased Bacardi after riding him at the Winter Equestrian Festival this past winter. She remarked, “He’s just the best horse ever. He’s fun. He comes to the horse show and he wants to win and that’s makes my job so easy.”
Schatt said she doesn’t really have favorites, but admitted that there was a connection with the young horse that compelled her to buy him. She revealed, “In my whole life I’ve never wanted to buy a horse for myself. He just suits me to a tee. Even when stuff goes bad in the morning, I’m happy when I know I get to ride him later. It’s like being twelve years old again.”
Schatt was thrilled with Bacardi's performance this week and their success. “It’s pretty special because he’s so young. That’s pretty amazing to go in five classes and not get below an 85 with a five year old,” she said.
The winner of the $25,000 Added Future Hunter North American Championship, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler/Cismont Manor Farm & Kocher Tack, was She's Cool, ridden and owned by Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL. Stewart and She's Cool took the top prize over Bacardi and Havens Schatt by .55 of a point. They qualified for the class by winning the championship in the Mares division. Stewart rode six of the final 12 in the class. For their win, Stewart and She's Cool won The Beverly Brooks Solter Memorial Trophy donated by Hilary Scheer Gerhardt and Zan Martin Dillon.
The six-year-old Hanoverian mare by Embassy is a half sister to another well-known Stewart mount, Way Cool. “She’s very similar to Way Cool. She’s a really good jumper, very careful, really sweet for a mare,” he expressed. “I thought she felt better in the second round than in the first, but I don’t think the judges agreed with me. She felt more relaxed and was easier and nicer to ride, but both rounds were pretty equal.”
Stewart, who registered his fourth win in this class today, feels that Capital Challenge is special for the fact that it offers these types of classes for young horses. “I love this horse show so much because they place such an emphasis on the young horses and it is a good money class for the young ones,” he said. “Ken and I bring a lot of young ones along so it is important for us to support the show. It is the best show to bring a young horse to because they get the best of the best.”
Professional Champions Are Crowned
Cold Harbor started off a banner day when he and Hunt Tosh, who rode for Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler, won the championship in the First Year Green Working Hunters Section A. They won three over fences classes and was fourth in the remaining class. With a second place in the under saddle, they captured the championship. The reserve champion was Parkland, ridden by Patricia Griffith for Catherine Cowie. They placed second, third, and sixth over fences and won the under saddle. Cold Harbor also won the reserve championship in the Green Conformation Hunters. They won two over fences classes and was third in another. He also won the under saddle class to win the reserve championship.
Tosh and Cold Harbor were also awarded the Grand First Year Green Hunter Championship, sponsored by Hap Hansen Stables. They were presented with the Magda and George Z. Lefton Memorial Trophy, donated by Stacey Lefton Glick. Their top points gave them the Grand Green Hunter Championship, sponsored by Kennedy Farm, as well. By earning the highest cumulative numerical point total in a single professional division, Cold Harbor and Hunt Tosh were awarded the Tribute Perpetual Trophy, donated by Scott Stewart.
Champion in the First Year Green Hunters Section B was Come Monday, an eight-year-old Holsteiner mare by Cassini I. Ridden by Christa Endicott of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and owned by Davlyn Farms, the mare won two over fences classes and was second in another, as well as third under saddle. The reserve champion was Triton Z, ridden by Hunt Tosh for owners Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler. They were first, second, and fifth over fences.
Called “Gracie” in the barn, Come Monday has won at horse shows around the country, including the HITS Thermal circuit, the Oaks, and the Devon Horse Show. Her talent extends to the hunter derbies, where she has already won. Come Monday is also leading the country in the USEF Horse of the Year standings for the First Year Green Working Hunters (excluding hunter derby points).
“She's just a really cool mare,” Endicott said with a smile. “She's kind of bossy and a little opinionated, a typical mare. You can suggest things to her; you can't really tell her what to do. She's scopey, she always gives you 150% at the jumps. She has a huge stride and is brave. She's just a really cool cat, really solid. There's nothing she can't jump, in her mind.”
The Regular Conformation Hunter champion was Sambalino, ridden by Ken Berkley and owned by Becky Gochman. They placed first and second over fences, second in the under saddle, and third in the model. The reserve champion was Ostentacious, ridden by Kelley Farmer for Sheila Motley. They were first and sixth over fences, fourth in the under saddle, and second in the model.
Berkley and the nine-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba were the Grand Hunter Champions here at Capital Challenge two years ago. “He clocked around as a First Year horse,” Berkley said. “Nothing has changed. He's a treat to ride. He's pretty special.”
“He's got range and stride and he does it easy,” Berkley described. “He's getting easier with the handy courses being that he's stronger. He's developing and has gotten better. It feels nice to win here again! It's nice to have that ride for sure.”
Sandy Ferrell picked up her second championship of the week in the Green Conformation Hunters with Moshi, owned by Stephanie Riggio. They won two over fences classes and were second in the remaining two classes. They added a second place under saddle to complete the tricolor.
Moshi, a six-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Quintus, has “that classic hunter look,” Ferrell said, which she believes is what makes him such a successful conformation hunter. “He's absolutely beautiful. He's got a beautiful head and neck,” she added. “He's just a baby, and Hunt's horse is six years old too, so kudos to the young horses!”
Although Moshi is “on the smaller side, he's beautifully proportioned,” Ferrell described. “I love the feel of him. I'm on the short side and he's little. For me, our size is a perfect match. We can curl around each other and it's very easy for us to stay in contact and communicate with each other right on the money.”
Moshi was the Grand Conformation Hunter Champion and was awarded the Kenneth M. Wheeler Perpetual Trophy, donated by B.J. Meeks and Pablo Perez.
With 38 points, Cold Harbor and Moshi tied for the Grand Hunter Championship and were awarded the Janet Polk Read and Margaret Hough Sabbatini Memorial Trophy donated by The Goguen Family. Tosh and Ferrell will also share Leading Hunter Rider honors for the BJ's Hunt Room Trophy donated by B.J. Meeks and Pablo Perez.
The winner of the Senior World Champion Hunter Under Saddle Class and awarded the Hollywood Challenge Trophy donated by Paula Polk Lillard was Mamba and Jenny Karazissis, who rode for Haven Farms LLC
The special awards given today were:
Best EMO Future Hunter Trip of the Show, sponsored by EMO Agency, Inc.: As Always and Jennifer Hannan for Jennifer Smith (89.25)
Best EMO Professional Trip of the Show, sponsored by EMO Agency, Inc.: Rosalynn and Hunt Tosh for Dr. Betsee Parker (92)
Grey Slipper Perpetual Trophy, donated by Bridget Hallman, is awarded to a horse that has shown excellence in the amateur and professional divisions: In Disguise and Ellen Toon
Special WCHR awards presented today were:
Derby Down Trophy, donated by Louise Serio, awarded to the highest scoring hunter round by a professional rider in the professional hunter divisions: Rosalynn and Hunt Tosh for Dr. Betsee Parker
Jeffery Katz Memorial Trophy, donated by Lisa Cudahy in memory of Jeffery Katz to the horse and rider combination that accumulates the most points in First Year, Second Year, or Green Conformation Hunter sections from their top four WCHR member event shows, plus sections at Capital Challenge: Cold Harbor and Hunt Tosh for Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler
Rox Dene Perpetual Trophy, donated by Elaine and Chanda Boylen to the owner of the WCHR high score horse ridden by a professional which has accumulated the most points in the High Performance, First Year, Second Year, Green Conformation, and Regular Conformation sections from their top four WCHR member event shows plus their sections at Capital Challenge: Small Affair and John French for Elizabeth Reilly
Alabama Clay Conformation Hunter Award, donated by The Weisman Family in honor of their two horses, Alabama Clay and Tribute, to the horse and owner of the WCHR high score horse that has accumulated the most points in the Green Conformation or Regular Conformation sections from their top four WCHR member event shows plus their sections at Capital Challenge: Empire and Scott Stewart for Becky Gochman
USHJA/WCHR Course Designer Perpetual Trophy: Steve Stephens
Winter's Run Sportsmanship Award, donated by Patricia Bosley in memory of her mother Sylvia Hechter: Elizabeth “Liza” Boyd
The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues tomorrow with championships for the Amateur-Owner 3'3” and 3'6” Hunters and three sections of Adult Amateur Hunters. The WCHR Amateur-Owner Challenge 3'3” and 3'6” will be held in the afternoon, and the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge will wrap up the evening festivities.
For full results, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org and for live scoring please visit www.equestrianlive.com. If you can’t attend the Capital Challenge Horse Show, remember you can log on to www.equestriansport.tv to see all the action live.
Final Results: $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge
1 SMALL AFFAIR JOHN FRENCH IWASAKI & REILLY
93 92 92 92.33
91 89 91 90.33
2 DECLARATION SCOTT STEWART FASHION FARM
90 89 91.5 90.16
87.5 90 90 89.16
3 PARKLAND PATRICIA GRIFFITH CATHERINE COWIE
88 85.5 84.5 86.00
88 86.5 88 87.50
4 BRUNELLO ELIZABETH BOYD JANET PETERSON AND LIZA BOYD
87 85.25 87 86.41
85.75 85.75 86.5 86.00
5 COME MONDAY CHRISTA ENDICOTT DAVLYN FARMS
81 86 91 86.00
85.5 85.25 83 84.58
6 SALINE SANDY FERRELL STEPHANIE RIGGIO
85 83 88 85.33
87 84 82 84.33
7 TRUE QUINTENDER MARY LISA LEFFLER JILLIAN CLAY
83 84 82 83.00
86 87 87 86.66
8 SIN CITY JENNY KARAZISSIS HEIDI KANE
85.5 82.5 83 83.66
85 86 85 85.33
9 RED SKY KELLEY FARMER LARRY GLEFKE & AM FREE INC.
86.5 88 87.5 87.33
79 83 78 80.00
10 VALENCIA HAVENS SCHATT CH FARM, LLC
80 85 84 83.00
83 85 84 84.00
11 PHILLIPA LOUISE SERIO JENNIFER BURGER
84 84.5 89 85.83
66 74 74 71.33
12 TRENDY MEGAN EDRICK DON STEWART
86 87 85 86.00
55 55 55 55.00
Final Results: $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge
1 RUMBA TARA METZNER DOGWOOD HILL LLC
88 89 86.5 87.83
87 90 89 88.66
2 WEATHERLY JAMIE TAYLOR ERIN BLAND
86 86 88 86.66
88 87 88 87.66
3 ALL THAT CHRISTA ENDICOTT DON STEWART
84 87 83 84.66
83 86 83 84.00
4 CHANCE OF FLURRIES HOPE GLYNN HELEN MCEVOY
78.75 78 86 80.91
86 88 88 87.33
5 MANGO MEGAN YOUNG RODNEY BROSS AND SPRING HILL FARM
82.5 85 84 83.83
82 85 81.5 82.83
6 BROOKLYN TEDDI JO MELLENCAMP WOODVALE INC
84.5 86.5 84.5 85.16
79 81.5 81 80.50
7 YES INDEED! SARAH MECHLIN OLIVIA WEAVER
83.75 88 80.5 84.08
81 81 82 81.33
8 CASTLETON MARIA SHANNON THE BARRACKS
83 84 81 82.66
73 83 81 79.00
9 ALL IN CINDY CRUCIOTTI NICOLE LYVERE
83.5 80.5 81.5 81.83
80 82 74 78.66
10 PERRY MEG GRAHAM ALLY THOMAS
82 81 82 81.66
77 75 79 77.00
11 NAIROBI NIGHTS ADERIENNE IVERSON LAURA LEE MONTROSS
81 85.5 74 80.16
78 76 80 78.00
12 TUNDRA HILLARY JOHNSON KENDALL MEIJER
85 82.5 80 82.50
64 62 65 63.66
Final Results: $25,000 Added Future Hunter North American Championship
1 SHE'S COOL SCOTT STEWART SCOTT STEWART
87 87 90 90 92 89.20
89.5 87.5 88.5 87.5 88.35
2 BACARDI HAVENS SCHATT HAVENS SCHATT
93 91 85.5 84.5 90 88.80
90 90 85.5 87.5 88 88.20
3 TRISTAN SCOTT STEWART SCOTT STEWART
90 90 89 86 87 88.40
85 87.5 88 90 86.5 87.40
4 STARMONT SCOTT STEWART BECKY GOCHMAN
83 85 85 88 89 86.00
87 89 87 88 87 87.60
5 AS ALWAYS JENNIFER HANNAN JENNIFER SMITH
86 84.5 88 78.5 85.5 84.50
88 87 90 89 91 89.00
6 BY THE WAY JEFF GOGUL ANNE KANNER-MITCHELL
87.5 86.25 86 91 87.5 87.65
82 83 85 84.5 85 83.90
7 ENJOY SCOTT STEWART SCOTT STEWART
81.75 83.75 84 83.5 86.75 83.95
83 84 86 87 86 85.20
8 CERRANO SCOTT STEWART SCOTT STEWART
92 89 82.5 87 88 87.70
75 76 81 86.5 85.5 80.80
9 BEHOLDEN SCOTT STEWART FASHION FARM
79 79.5 86.5 83.25 82.5 82.15
84 85 84 86 84 84.60
10 SAFE HAVEN JOHN FRENCH GAIL MOREY
82.5 83 83 80.5 85 82.80
78 81 78 82 82 80.20
11 BEKARLA KATE CONOVER JAIME AULETTO
82 84 82 82.5 81.5 82.40
68 71 75 68 74 71.20
12 SMALL CELEBRATION JOHN FRENCH IWASAKI & REILLY
84.25 86.5 87 85 87.5 86.05
45 45 45 45 47 45.40
In its 18th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show takes place on October 1-9.
Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.
For more information, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org or visit the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook!
Photo Credit: Photos © James Leslie Parker/The Book LLC and Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.