Equitation Weekend, presented by BIGEQ.com, at the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, continued on Saturday, October 1, where seven more championships were awarded. Lily Epstein of Coral Gables, Florida, led the final victory gallop in the Show Place Arena at Prince George’s Equestrian Center after winning the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals with a score of 172.16. Emma Brody of New York, New York, piloted Lolita to the reserve championship honors, and Violet Tatum of Pacific Palisades, California, rounded out the top three.
Lily Epstein was joined in her winning presentation of the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) Medal Finals by Abigail Gordon, Michael Taylor, Luke Taylor, Hanae Leeman, Ali Sweetnam, Jenna Vannerstrom, Danny Arendt, Edwin Martinez, Patricia Epstein, and Jennifer Hinman. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Riders spend the year earning points towards qualification of the finals with only the top 40 invited to compete at Capital Challenge. Three panels each composed of two judges oversaw the class, where riders contested the Ken Krome-designed course in reverse order of qualification. Shane George and Dale Pederson made up the first panel, while Gavin Moylan and Bobbi Reber sat on the second panel, and Robin Rost Brown and Sissy Wickes represented the third panel. Each panel provided one score, and the average of the three resulted in the rider’s overall mark. The top 10 then returned for a second round in reverse order of their first-round scores. Epstein came back second to last, carrying an 86.16 with the lead only .42 points away.
“I walked the first course, and it looked pretty manageable,” said Epstein, who trains with the team at Sweet Oak Farm in Wellington, Florida. “I liked how there were bending lines, and you had to pay attention to the tracks. I just wanted to have a confident round and make it to the second round.”
Epstein and her mount Cumano Boy Z, Ainsley Wade’s 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Cumano, paired up during the 2022 winter show season and quickly formed a strong partnership through the challenging qualification process. Because of the difficulty to get into the top 40 and compete at Capital Challenge, Epstein noted she did feel a little extra pressure.
“I was a little nervous for this because I’ve been preparing all year,” she conceded. “For the second round, I didn’t want to do anything crazy, but I knew I had a chance to move up. Right before I went in, my trainer said, ‘Ride on the rhythm, have fun, and trust your eye.’”
While Epstein will be busy in the coming days showing in the Children’s Hunter Horse and Pony Hunter divisions, for now she can savor being a Capital Challenge Horse Show Champion.
“This win is a really big one,” she reflected. “I’ve been working so hard to qualify for this, doing all these classes to get here, so it’s just amazing that I even got here and then was able to win. I’m super grateful. It was so fun.”
In the outdoor arena, Annalise Manoog of Centerville, Massachusetts, bested a field of 26 for the title of North American Junior Flat Equitation Champion. Manoog, who trains with the team at Grazing Fields Farm in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, rode her longtime partner and “heart horse,” Carollo.
“I really enjoy doing the flat on him,” commented Manoog of the 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding. “He goes into a really nice shape, and he’s super comfortable. He really does put his whole heart into every round.”
She continued, “When the judges were calling the final riders, I was trying not to freak out and just focus on my basics. I’m so grateful for my trainers who have instilled in me the importance of good flat work.”
Earlier in the day, five Section B age group equitation division champions and reserve champions were named as follows:
Equitation Weekend, presented by BIGEQ.com, concludes Sunday, October 2, and competition at the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through October 9.
THIS National Children’s Medal Finals Results
Place / Rider / Horse / Overall
1 / Lily Epstein / Cumano Boy Z / 172.16
2 / Emma Brody / Lolita / 168.66
3 / Violet Tatum / Cento Chico / 167.99
4 / Camilla Jerng / Hurricane / 167.74
5 / Talia Kirson / Dundee / 167.49
6 / Kennedy Teasdale / Tahoka / 164.66
7 / Jordyn Scelsa / Any Given Sunday / 159.32
8 / Erin Morera / Chagall / 157.16
9 / Faith Schuttemeyer / Blackjack / 156.33
10 / Anna Markcrow / The Diplomat / 145.99
Maddie Tosh Dazzles in Final Phase to Win EMO Insurance/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East at Capital Challenge
Six new champions were crowned on the second day of Equitation Weekend, presented by BIGEQ.com, on Friday, September 30, at the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The day in the Show Place Arena at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center culminated with the final phase of the sixth-annual EMO Insurance/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East, where Maddie Tosh of Milton, Georgia, piloted Daktari 38 to the high score of 87 to secure the overall lead and don the winning ribbon sash.
Tosh was in seventh after scoring 85.1 in the flat phase and moved up to second place with an 85.5 in the gymnastics phase, in which scores are multiplied by a coefficient of 1.5. Her 213.35 total was just .325 points off of the lead, and with scores in the final phase multiplied by a coefficient of 2, it was still anyone’s game.
“My horse was really great all the way through,” said Tosh, who trains with her father, professional hunter rider Hunt Tosh. “I thought the flat was good, and in the gymnastics phase he couldn’t have been any better, so I felt like we had a strong start coming into today. I’d honestly rather come back in second than on top–it gives me a little wiggle room.”
She continued, “I thought the jumping phase was a forward course, which was good for my horse because he has a big stride. I was able to pick up a gallop and keep it the whole time. It’s always nice in an indoor like this, because I feel like the horses know it’s a little bit different and special.”
Daktari 38, a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Diacontinus, is owned by Missy Clark of North Run and Betsee Parker leases him for Tosh to compete with. The 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show marked the pair’s second show together, competing only in the age group equitation classes that year.
“He’s just so fun. He’s so sweet and has such a great personality,” expressed Tosh of the striking grey who was awarded Best Equitation Horse. “This has been a lot for him this week, being his first final. He just handles it like a champ. He’s so young, but he’s so brave. I just couldn’t ask for more from him. He’s such a great partner, and he tries so hard for me every time.”
While Daktari 38 might still be relatively new to Capital Challenge, Tosh, at just 16 years old, is already a veteran.
“I’ve always loved Capital Challenge. I’ve been coming here since I was a tiny little pony kid on small ponies, and there’s something about winning here that’s just extra special,” she concluded.
Vivian Golden of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, who was champion of the Section A 12 and Under Equitation earlier in the day, was last to contest the Ken Krome-designed final jumping phase aboard her own Cap Ferrat, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quasimodo VD Molendreef. Golden, who trains with her mother, Olivia Golden, at their Double G Stables and with Amanda Lyerly at Madison Hills Farm, scored 84.3 from judges Robin Rost Brown and Tammy Provost for a 382.275 total score and the overall reserve championship title.
Third place went to Isa Jensen of Albany, New York, riding her own Happy Boy, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Spartacus TN with a final score of 376.75.
Earlier in the day, five Section A age group equitation division champions and reserve champions were named as follows:
Champion Vivian Golden of Wyomissing, PA, and Reserve Champion Emi Richard of Middlefield, CT, in the 12 & Under Equitation
Champion Anna Markcrow of Manchester Center, VT, and Reserve Champion Emily Jernovoy of Woodstock Valley, CT, in the 13 & 14-Year-Old Equitation
Champion McKayla Brombach of Wimberley, TX, and Reserve Champion Maddie Tosh of Milton, GA in the 15-Year-Old Equitation
Champion Grace Shipman of Ridgefield, CT, and Reserve Champion Joe Craver of Shelby, NC, in the 16-Year-Old Equitation
Champion Victoria Zahorik of Bartonville, TX, and Reserve Champion Ruby Ransco of Paradise Valley, AZ, in the 17-Year-Old Equitation
Equitation Weekend, presented by BIGEQ.com, continues Saturday, October 1, with the Section B age group equitation divisions followed by the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals. The Capital Challenge Horse Show features top hunter, jumper, and equitation competition through October 9.
EMO Insurance/USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final - East Results
Place / Rider / Horse / Overall
1 / Maddie Tosh / Daktari 38 / 387.35
2 / Vivian Golden / Cap Ferrat / 382.275
3 / Isa Jensen / Happy Boy / 376.75
4 / Cecelia Perry / Surely / 374.35
5 / Abigail Gordon / Breckenridge / 373.5
6 / Maxine Boeding / Jalabert / 371.75
7 / Lily Epstein / Cumano Boy Z / 371.5
8 / Eva Mackenzie / Demonia GS Z / 369.4
9 / Annabelle Brown / Nemesis 11 / 368.4
10 / Grace O’Connell / Calavino / 368.4
11 / Cassidy Exner / S&L Cellestino / 376.625
12 / Isabella Mullan / Coltino / 366.55
Tracey Gorin-Byrne Catch Rides to Victory in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Finals at Capital Challenge
September 29, 2022 – Upper Marlboro, MD – Tracey Gorin-Byrne claimed the championship title in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Finals on Thursday, September 29, at the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. This major finals kicks off Equitation Weekend, presented by BIGEQ.com.
A field of 35 competitors contested the Joseph Carnicom-designed course, featuring several lines where riders could choose the striding that best suited their horse. Judges Bobbi Reber and Sissy Wickes scored each round individually with the average of their scores counting as the rider’s overall mark. The top 10 were then called back in reverse order for a second round judged in the same format, with the average from each round yielding the deciding two-round total. After earning the leading score of 86.5 in the first round, Gorin-Byrne was the last to return for the second round aboard Checker 69. Their stylish trip scored an 89 for a 175.5 total, making them the clear overall winner, and no further testing was needed.
“This is my favorite horse show of the year,” said Gorin-Byrne. “I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid, and even though I’ve enjoyed a lot of success and had a lot of fun, I’ve never actually won. Obviously, it means a lot to win anywhere, but to win here is particularly special.”
Gorin-Byrne trains with the team at Sweet Oak Farm in Wellington, Florida, but competes on catch -rides throughout the year to qualify for the finals at Capital Challenge. As an added difficulty, Gorin-Byrne balances her riding with work and being a mom, so she hadn’t ridden for a couple of months before swinging a leg over “Checker” for the first time. Originally, the plan was to arrive on Wednesday morning, but Hurricane Ian caused a change of plans, so Gorin-Byrne and Checker got to know each other in the Adult Equitation division classes ahead of the championship.
Checker also has limited experience in the equitation ring after transitioning from the junior jumpers with owner Reid Arani. Olivia Sweetnam took over the ride during the summer, and evidently Checker is now excelling in his new career.
Gorin-Byrne will get a chance to build on her success in the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals on Friday, October 7, 2022, but the opportunity to compete in itself makes her emotional.
She expressed, “I’m just really thankful to all the people from all the barns who have helped me to be able to do the adult equitation. Over the years there have been so many people–Ali Sweetnam, of course, but also other barns like Beacon Hill and Ashland Farms have helped me too. It’s just really nice that everyone is so supportive and kind, and I really appreciate all the help from everybody.”
Second place went to last year’s third-place finisher, Anna Koenig of Hollywood, Florida, aboard her own Constantin, with a two-round total score of 170.25. Catherine Kramer of Indianapolis, Indiana, scored 169.75 to round out the top three, riding last year’s winner, Audi 2000 Z, owned by Kadley Farms LLC.
Golden Leads the Way in the EMO Insurance Agency/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East
The first day of competition at the Capital Challenge Horse Show also featured the flat and gymnastics phases of the sixth-annual EMO Insurance Agency/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final - East. Following the first two phases, Vivian Golden of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, leads the 164-rider field.
Golden sat in second-place after scoring 85.8 in the flat phase, and then earned fourth-place in the Ken Krome-designed gymnastics phase with a score of 85.25 from judges Robin Rost Brown and Tammy Provost. The gymnastics phase scores are multiplied by a coefficient of 1.5, so Golden’s overall total of 213.675 puts her at the top of the leaderboard.
“I don’t usually add up the scores or anything like that. I actually try not to think about the scores and the results and just focus on doing the plan and what my trainers tell me,” stated Golden.
Golden trains with her mother, Olivia Golden, at their Double G Stables, and with Amanda Lyerly at Madison Hills Farm. Her horse, Cap Ferrat, is a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quasimodo VD Molendreef, who is a former breeding stallion from Holland that Golden is piloting in his first finals.
“I have a lot of pressure normally, so I am kind of used to it now, and I know how to manage it,” explained Golden. “I am not too stressed out about coming back last, because whatever happens, happens. Since my horse can be a little green here and there, we don’t really know how it’s going to go. He’s been so good, so I’m excited.”
Maxine Boeding, of Sag Harbor, New York, went 57th in the order after scoring 72.25 in the flat phase. She kept her composure, earning an 87 for the win in the gymnastics phase on Jalabert, an eight-year-old KWPN gelding by Arezzo VDL, owned by Nicole Adams.
“After my round, I sat in the stadium and watched every single rider that went until the end of the class,” said Boeding, who trains with Heritage Farm in Katonah, New York. “Typically, as the class progresses, you’re seeing more competitive rounds. Those are the rounds you aspire to have, and the more you watch the more you learn.
“There’s no pressure ever,” she added. “I don’t ever feel pressure from my team, or my parents, or anyone, and that’s a nice way to go into it, because I’m doing this for myself and not for anyone else.”
The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues on Friday with the age group equitation divisions starting at 7:30 a.m. followed by the final phase and culmination of the EMO Insurance Agency/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final - East.
Upper Marlboro, MD – Entries will open for the 29th edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show on August 3, 2022, at 10 a.m, EDT. The prize list for the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show, which will take place September 29 through October 9, will be available online at capitalchallenge.org on August 2.
The Capital Challenge Horse Show will be held at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, and will include an extra day of competition. Equitation Weekend, presented by BIGEQ.COM, will take place Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2. On Monday, October 3, through Sunday, October 9, the country’s top professional, junior, amateur, and pony hunter riders will compete for coveted titles. Jumper riders will also compete during the week with the Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic as well as the North American League (NAL) Finals for the Adult Jumpers, Children’s Jumpers, and Low Junior/Amateur Jumpers.
About the Cover Artist Sharon Lynn Campbell
America’s premier equestrian portrait artist, Sharon Lynn Campbell, is best known for her beautiful, life-like oil paintings of the world's top hunters, jumpers, and ponies. Campbell’s sought-after work has graced the covers of the country’s most renowned hunter/jumper prize lists and programs and appeared on the covers of many top equine publications. Her ability to capture the personality of the horse or pony in great detail on the canvas comes from a lifetime of her being a true horsewoman, riding, training, teaching, and showing.
The 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show prize list cover art is a captivating painting of Geoffrey Hesslink and the stunning mare Small Occasion, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC.
Campbell explained the origin of the painting saying, “Throughout the 2021 show, I kept hearing Small Occasion’s name as she was winning with Geoffrey (Hesslink) and Raina (Swani). The management at Capital Challenge gives me the freedom to paint something artsy for the prize list. I knew I wanted to paint the mare for the cover art. I looked at over a thousand photos then came across one taken by Shawn McMillen Photography and knew it was perfect for the composition I had envisioned. Small Occasion’s form, expression, and soft eye are just so sweet and stunning.”
Campbell’s subjects range from Olympic horses to family pets. She said, “After all these years of painting I still look forward to each painting. I paint year-round and there is never a slow time, so I always have several paintings in the works.” Campbell’s exquisite artwork hangs in hundreds of private collections domestically and abroad.
To contact the artist, please call (mobile) 434-825-6800, (studio) 540-948-6800, visit her website www.sharoncampbell.com, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the artist on Facebook and Instagram at “Sharon Lynn Campbell Equestrian Portrait Artist.”
Augusta Iwasaki and Commentary Claim Grand Junior Hunter Championship at 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show
October 10, 2021 – Upper Marlboro, MD – Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, California, rode Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Commentary to the Grand Junior Hunter 3’6” Championship on Sunday, October 10, to conclude the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Iwasaki and Commentary first earned the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 championship, sponsored by Three Ships LLC, before being crowned Grand Champion. The pair earned two blue ribbons over fences, a second place in the stake class, and an additional first place in the under saddle.
“I thought my rides were really solid and consistent,” explained Iwasaki. “I think it’s important in these types of competitions because you only have three jumping classes, so I just really wanted to be consistent.”
This week was Iwasaki’s first time showing Commentary, and the pair proved to be a beautiful match. Iwasaki piloted Commentary to scores of 86.5, 88.5, and 90.5 over fences.
“He was so fun to ride,” said Iwasaki of the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding. “He put his best foot forward every time we went into the ring. I actually just rode him for the first time earlier this week. I’ve seen him show a few times with his owner, Ella Bikoff, and I’ve always really liked him.
“It’s challenging to get on a new horse and try to do the best that you can,” she continued. “I think that only makes you a better rider, to be able to get on different horses and ride them the way they need to be ridden.”
Iwasaki is no stranger to Capital Challenge and the winner’s circle. The rider has successfully been competing at this event since she was riding ponies.
“I think it’s super special to win here,” commented Iwasaki. “To be the overall grand champion is an amazing award. I’ve seen a lot of people that I really look up to get that award, so I’m really excited.”
For the Grand Junior Hunter 3’6” Championship, sponsored by Shadow Ridge, Iwasaki was presented with the Spontaneous Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Listrani Family. Iwasaki was also given the Best Junior Rider Award, sponsored by Karen Healey.
Finishing as the reserve champion in Small Junior Hunter 16-17 was Libbie Gordon aboard her own High Society.
The champion of the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under division, sponsored by New England Farm, was Sterling Malnik on her own Coronation. Ariana Marnell piloted Ocean Road, owned by Marnell Sport Horses, to the reserve champion title.
Brooke Morin rode Troy Christiansen’s For Fun to champion in the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 division, sponsored by Beacon Hill Show Stables. Iwasaki and Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Cabrio received the reserve champion honors in the division.
Raina Swani and Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Small Occasion earned the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under championship title. Maddie Tosh rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s Cameo to reserve champion.
The EMO Best Trip of the Show for the Junior Hunter 3’6” went to Sterling Malnik and her own In Writing with an impressive score of 92.
Later in the day, Iwasaki also topped the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge on Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Cabrio. The pair won with a high score of 87.33.
Clara Propp Rides Arabesque to the Grand Junior Hunter 3’3” Championship
Clara Propp of New York, New York, and Aquitaine Equine’s Arabesque earned the Grand Junior Hunter 3’3” Championship, sponsored by Aubrey Hill Equestrian.
On their way to the overall Grand Junior Hunter 3’3” Championship, Propp and Arabesque received the Junior Hunter 3’3” 14 and Under division championship, sponsored by Hesslink*Williams. Propp was also presented with the Best Junior 3’3” Rider Award, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Tarumianz.
The pair earned two blue ribbons and one second place in the division. Propp piloted Arabesque to a high score of 87.25 to win the handy stake on the second day of competition.
“We won the under saddle on the first day which was really positive,” explained Propp. “I felt a little pressure the second day, but I wanted to go easy on myself and she ended up being really awesome. Her attitude when she gets to the ring is great. She never has a bad attitude about anything. She is always excited to work and do her job, which I think are really special qualities to have in a horse.”
Although Propp has competed at Capital Challenge for several years, her mount Arabesque is new to the show. This championship is also Propp’s first big victory at Capital Challenge.
“This is such a prestigious show, so it means a lot to win,” said Propp. “This is Arabesque’s first indoors, and she really rose to the occasion and jumped super. I stuck to my plan, and it all went better than I could have expected. Arabesque is only eight years old, so I was really proud of her. Earlier in the year we also won at Junior Hunter Finals, and that was her first Junior Hunter Finals. There were a lot of firsts this year!”
Reserve champion in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 14 and Under division went to Olivia Sweetnam aboard Sunset View Farm LLC’s Hobbs Lane.
Lauren Little captured the champion and reserve champion titles in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 15-17 division. Little piloted Little Brook LLC’s Surf’s Up to championship honors and Little Brook LLC’s Belgravia to reserve. The Best EMO 3’3” Junior Hunter Trip of the Show was also presented to Little after the rider scored an 89 with Belgravia.
Little’s success continued with Belgravia when they earned the top prize in the $2,500 WCHR Junior 3’3” Challenge. The duo earned a score of 88 to win the class.
The Stewart-Warner Cup, given in memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart and Mary Warner-Brown by Donald E. Stewart, Jr. and Louise W. Serio, was awarded to Djuna Lauder.
Grand Champions Run in the Family for Alexa Karet
After watching her mother Laura Karet win the Grand Adult Hunter Champion award with Per Se on Thursday, Alexa Karet of Pittsburgh, PA, took home the top prize of her own when she and Catbird, owned by Glade Run Farm LLC, finished as Grand Children’s Hunter Champions, sponsored by Mary Jane King, on the final day of the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Alexa Karet, 14, and Catbird won an over fences class and the under saddle to finish as Children’s Hunter 14 & Under champions, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Gary Duffy and Little Brook Farms, Inc. as well as Grand Champions. Karet was presented with the Laura Pickett Memorial Trophy donated by Julie Karpan, and she also won the Best Children’s Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by Wild Sky Farm & The Nelson Family. Payton Flanders rode her own Conlaro to the reserve championship, as well as the win in the WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Stephanie Bulger and MeadowView.
Karet only got the ride on Catbird in March 2021, but she fell in love with the striking 11-year-old Warmblood gelding by Hochadel immediately. The pair also started winning right away, taking championships in Aiken, Traverse City, and Middleburg.
“He is one of the most amazing horses to ride. He is so smooth, and his jump is really soft, so it feels like you’re floating,” she described. “What I like most about him is his personality. His barn name is ‘Cookie,’ which is perfect for him because he is so sweet. He is also really smart, and you can tell that he studies and thinks through things.”
Karet last showed at Capital Challenge Horse Show in 2019, when she won the Medium Pony Hunter championship with Astro Boy, but this is her first grand championship.
“To be grand champion here feels almost unreal, like a dream!” she exclaimed. “That’s especially because I get to share the experience with my mom, who was also grand champion in her division. I am beyond grateful to her, and the amazing team that pushes me to be my best and made this all possible: Tom Wright, Mitchell Robinson, David Laks, and our grooms Gus, Pica, and Omar. I also want to say thank you to the Ingram family for connecting me with Cookie. And of course, I am so grateful for Cookie who has taught me so much, and always brightens my day.”
The Children’s Hunter 15-17 champion was Take Heart, ridden and owned by Emma Shove. They also won the Best EMO Children’s Hunter Trip of the Show with an 87. Exceptional, ridden by Caroline Hoover for Kristie Parciak, was the reserve champion. Hoover was presented with the Stewart-Warner Cup for Children’s rider. It is given in memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart and Mary Warner Brown by Donald E. Stewart, Jr. and Louise W. Serio.
Francesca Roman and Hobby Creek’s Grey Goose, owned by Carolex Stables LLC, won the championship in the Children’s Hunter Pony division, while Isabelle Castellanos and Finders-Keepers, owned by R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc. were reserve champions.
The Leading Hunter Trainer Award, sponsored by South Haven Farm, went to Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley.
October 9, 2021 – Upper Marlboro, MD – Out of a field of more than 100 ponies, Lauren Padilla and Highland Farm, LLC’s So Enchanted received the Grand Pony Hunter Champion title on Saturday, October 9, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The Grand Champion title, sponsored by Enchantment Farms, was awarded to the Pony Hunter who accumulated the most points over all three divisions. Padilla, of Palos Verdes Estates, California, and So Enchanted earned the championship in the Small Pony Hunter division, sponsored by Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club. The duo won the handy stake, earned a second place in an over-fences class, and took home the blue ribbon in the under saddle.
“My rides on her were great this week,” said Padilla. “She was really happy being here because the rings are so spacious and open. She felt happy and loose here.”
Padilla earned The Harper Taskier Wright Memorial Trophy, given in memory of Harper by her loving parents Michael and Alexandra Borisoff Wright, friends, and family whose lives she touched, for her championship in the Small Pony Hunters. The Best Pony Rider Award, sponsored by Archibald Cox and Brookway Stables was also awarded to Padilla for her Grand Pony Hunter Championship. For this honor Padilla received The Kitty Borissoff Memorial Trophy, donated by her many friends.
This year was Padilla’s first appearance at Capital Challenge, and the rider made it one to remember.
“It means a lot to be champion here,” commented the 12-year-old rider. “I was really excited to just be here and qualify, and it was even more exciting to earn grand champion! My handy round was my favorite. It felt great, and we got a 90.”
Padilla and So Enchanted, or “Lex” as he is known in the barn, began their partnership earlier this year. Although the duo took time to adjust to each other, they are now a pair to watch out for in the show ring.
“Lex is a really nice, fun, and incredible pony,” said Padilla of the 12-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare. “At home she loves to play in turnout. When I first got her, we didn’t really connect right away but as I got to know her after a few weeks, we started to understand each other.”
Reserve champion in the Small Pony Hunter division went to J.J. Torano aboard H.G. Mud Puddles, owned by JET Show Stables and J.J. Torano.
The Medium Pony Hunter division championship, sponsored by Cheryl Olsten, was presented to Olivia Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm’s On Your Mark. Sweetnam was also awarded The Lafitte de Muze Trophy, sponsored by Cheryl Olsten, for her championship. Reserve champion in the Medium Pony Hunter division was received by Ava Barnes aboard Robin Greenwood’s By4Now.
Sweetnam earned her second championship of the day, this time riding Take 3 LLC’s Goldmark, in the Large Pony Hunter division, sponsored by Laurel Crown Farms. Sweetnam was presented with the Tampa H.S. Trophy, donated by Dr. Suzanne Smith. Ava Barnes piloted her own Prestige to reserve champion honors in the Large Pony Hunter division.
Barnes also won the WCHR $2,500 Pony Challenge, sponsored by Sweet Oak Farm, with Rico Suave, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables LLC, and was presented with the Stewart-Warner Cup for pony riders, which is given in memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart and Mary Warner Brown by Donald E. Stewart, Jr. and Louise W. Serio.
Emma Blumenkrantz and Collin W Are Clear to Win NAL Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Finals
In her first major finals win, Emma Blumenkrantz, 16, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, took home all of the spoils after topping a field of 29 entries in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Finals, presented by HorseFlight on her own Collin W.
Eight were clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off over a course set by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. Blumenkrantz was fast and clear to take the win in 36.818 seconds. Gabriella Curry and Ciemusic Z, owned by GA Stables LLC, finished second as the only other double clear in 37.879 seconds. Third place went to Sydney Myers riding Myers Equestrian LLC’s Skara Glen’s Signature. They had four faults in the jump-off in 34.989 seconds.
“My horse jumped incredible,” said Blumenkrantz. “Going around the course it was really a great opportunity to let him go in some places, like from jumps two to three in the jump-off. I got to watch the first and second ones go. I stood at the gate and got an idea of how it rode and where you could make up time and where you have to check yourself. The hardest part was going to be the turn back to the double [combination], keeping him with me but not letting him cut off the rail, which sometimes he likes to do.”
Blumenkrantz has been riding Collin W, “the barn favorite,” for nearly two years.
“He’s been great bringing me from the Children’s Jumpers to here,” said Blumenkrantz of the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Vincenzo x Placido. “His hind end is powerful when you’re going around there. He helps you out everywhere, and he is a great horse.”
This is Blumenkrantz’s first big win and said it was a “great feeling” to stand in the winner’s circle.
“It was an incredible opportunity to even be able to show here,” she said. “It’s just such a great feeling, walking down the ramp and into the ring. Your horse is ready, and you’re ready, and you’ve worked all year to get here. Winning here gives me confidence going into the next one and knowing he’s going to be there for me and right there with me, ready to game on.”
Blumenkrantz was also named the Best Low Junior Jumper Rider, sponsored by Bunker Show Stables. The Best Low Amateur Jumper Rider was Caroline Michele Dugas.
Final Results: $10,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Finals
1 Collin W, Emma Blumenkrantz: 0/0/36.818
2 Ciemusic Z, Gabriella Curry: 0/0/37.879
3 Skara Glen’s Signature, Sydney Myers: 0/4/34.989
4 Girl Scout, Alexa Elle Lignelli: 0/4/35.252
5 Huck, Lilly Goldstein: 0/4/36.249
6 Iselle van Orshof, Caia Watridge: 0/8/34.395
7 Skywalker, Lauren Rachuba: 0/10/46.778
8 Virginia ODF, Gabriella Curry: 0/EL
9 Kaprice DV, Nicole Rodriguez: 4/64.731
10 Eleanor 3, Taylor Landstrom: 4/65.045
11 Dutchess, Francesca Guidi: 4/65.066
12 Korino von Bueren, Anna Koenig: 4/65.444
North American League Finals are the culmination of the NAL’s year-long Series that includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. The NAL offers year-long series in five divisions: Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper, presented by EquiFit; Adult Jumper, presented by SmartPak; and Low Junior/Amateur Jumper, presented by HorseFlight. The NAL series conclude with year-end finals for those who accumulated the most points in their divisions over the course of the season.
Stella Propp and Zernike K Secure the Win in the $10,000 1.30-1.35m Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Classic
Capital Challenge Horse Show hosted the $10,000 1.30-1.35m Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Classic on Saturday evening. Stella Propp of New York, New York, and Aquitaine Equine’s Zernike K bested the field to earn the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Classic. Propp was also awarded The Congressional Cup, as well as the Best Medium Junior Jumper Rider, sponsored by Rosemont Farm.
Propp was the first rider in the class to successfully complete the first round fault-free. An additional three riders advanced to the jump-off to join Propp and Zernike K. Propp then led the way in the jump-off with a fast time of 37.460 seconds that could not be beat.
“For the first round I was honestly really nervous,” commented Propp. “I was watching the Low Junior/Amateur Jumper class before, and people were having some trouble. Although I was kind of freaking out internally, I was trying to hold it together, and my goal was to just go around and hopefully jump clear. I wanted to be consistent and have all my distances make sense so I wasn’t getting my horse into any trouble.”
She continued, “My plan that I discussed with my trainers for the jump-off was that I wanted to go fast and be neat around the turns but the main goal was to go clear. I tried my best to stay cool, calm, and collected, and get around those turns as fast as I could, but also focus on keeping the jumps up.”
Propp is in her final junior year, and she was excited to have her first win at Capital Challenge. The rider was thankful for trusted mount, Zernike K, to help her earn this victory.
“I got him about two winters ago in Wellington, and he has been unbelievable,” said Propp of the 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “I was definitely very nervous coming into the jumpers, and he was my first real jumper. I trust him so much and in classes like this. I feel like I can do anything with him, and I don’t have to be scared if I get into trouble because I know he’s going to be there to help in whatever way he possibly can. I am so thankful for him.”
Second-place honors went to Alexa Elle Lignelli aboard Hampton Green Farm LLC’s Darc Kiss Z with a jump-off time of 38.516. Kathryn Hall and her own All In 9 finished in third place after stopping the timers at 42.046 seconds.
Kathryn Hall was awarded the Best Medium Amateur Jumper Rider honors.
Competition for the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show will conclude on Sunday with the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge, the $2,500 WCHR Junior 3’3” Challenge, and the $1,500 WCHR Children’s Challenge. The final Junior Hunter and Children’s Hunter champions will also be crowned on Sunday.
Final Results: $10,000 Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
1 Zernike K, Stella Propp: 0/0/37.460
2 Darc Kiss Z, Alexa Elle Lignelli: 0/0/38.516
3 All In 9, Kathryn Hall: 0/0/42.046
4 RMF Retro, Alexandria Beneson: 0/4/38.038
5 Freedom, Augusta Iwasaki: 4/66.004
6 Diamaria, Grace Thames: 8/61.834
7 Gatsby, Laurel Walker: 12/66.186
8 Edison, Haleigh Landrigan: 27/83.697
October 8, 2021 – Upper Marlboro, MD – Scott Stewart claimed his seventh win in the $10,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals, sponsored by The Rein Family, on Friday, October 8, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show held at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Six of the country’s top professional hunter riders went head-to-head, and in the end Stewart, of Wellington, Florida, could not be beat.
“I always get nervous for these types of class,” admitted Stewart. “Excited, but a little bit nervous. So many things can go wrong for any of us. Whoever wins the class is always the luckiest. They are the luckiest draw, the luckiest for not hitting a jump or swapping. Obviously everybody rides great, so it’s just who was luckiest that night.”
The $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge, held on Wednesday, October 6, counted as the first score toward the WCHR Professional Finals. The top six riders in the national WCHR professional standings brought forward their scores from Wednesday into Friday’s class.
The six riders competed in the opening Playoff Round over a handy hunter course on the horse of their choosing. The top four riders from that round then advanced to the Final Four, where they took turns riding unfamiliar horses.
This was Stewart’s 21st time competing in the class, and he was joined by John French, Jimmy Torano, Victoria Colvin, Amanda Steege, and Geoffrey Hesslink in the Playoff Round.
Stewart piloted Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Catch Me to the highest score in the handy Playoff, an impressive 91.33, which was combined with his challenge round score of 87.75 for a total of 179.08 and second place in the Playoff Round.
“[Catch Me] hasn’t really done many of these types of handy rounds before, so I was really pleased the way he went,” said Stewart of the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding. “It was really one of my most fun rounds on him, and he was great. The Gochmans let me use him here because Mimi [Gochman] is at USEF Talent Search Finals, and it was good prep to get him into the ring as well before Harrisburg next week. He is just a phenomenal horse, and I appreciate having him.”
French of Wellington, Florida, piloted Ocean Road, owned by Marnell Sport Horses, to win the Playoff Round with a challenge round score of 85, a handy round score of 87, and a total score of 182. Torano placed third in the Playoff Round on Isalou Inc.’s Laskano with a score of 176.49, and Colvin earned fourth on Libbie Gordon’s Montauk with a score of 169.66. Amanda Steege and Lafitte de Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten, finished fifth on 166.75, and Geoffrey Hesslink was sixth with 130.95 riding Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Small Occasion.
Stewart, French, Torano, and Colvin started on a clean slate as they returned to each jump four courses, rotating turns on horses generously donated by their owners.
French took the lead in the first rotation with a score of 92.66 on Elise Iafrate’s Nabisco and maintained that lead while riding Sarah Entzian’s Spectacular in the second rotation and Brannon Loomis Mooney’s Q King of Hearts Z to a score of 90 as his third horse. He held the lead by just one point going into the final rotation.
Stewart stayed cool under pressure and posted a 93.33 on Nabisco in his final rotation to take over the top of the leaderboard with a total score of 368.99.
In the first three rotations, Stewart earned a 90 with Spectacular, a score of 93 on Q King of Hearts Z, and a 92.66 with Diablue 7. He was the only rider to not score below a 90 in all four rotations.
Stewart earned his highest score in the final rotation on Nabisco. Initially, the instruction of how to best ride Nabisco made Stewart nervous because it was not his usual style.
“He’s very nice with a huge stride,” said Stewart. “You have to give him a little room at the jump and not completely let go of his mouth, which most of the time I’m trying to let go, so it was a different feel for me. I was afraid he was going to be a bit tired, but he actually jumped really well for me over the last round.”
Following Stewart in points was French with a total score of 363.66 to earn a second-place finish. Torano was awarded third with a score of 559.15, and Colvin rode to fourth place with a score of 353.32.
French, who won the $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge on Wednesday and has won the Professional Final four times, was pleased with the format this year.
“I liked that my score from the other day brought me into this round,” explained French. “I was able to not have to do anything crazy in the handy round tonight to make the top four. I rode a horse in the handy, Ocean Road, who is owned by the Marnells, and actually he was really good. I don’t normally ride him; he does the junior hunters. I showed him once or twice in a class before, so it was nice for them to give me the opportunity to ride him tonight.”
Torano enjoyed his first appearance in the class and was very thankful not only for the donated horses in the top four, but also for his mount in the handy round, Laskano.
“Coming in tonight for the handy I thought [Laskano] was great and really neat everywhere,” said Torano, of Wellington, Florida. “He put me into the top four, and it was fun to do.
“It’s nice going head-to-head with these guys,” he continued. “We do this day in and day out. We show against each other every single week, and this is fun because it’s a different format. I think over the years in watching it they seem to tweak it, change it, and always make it a little more interesting, and I think that’s nice. I’d like to do it again if I have the horses.”
Although Colvin paired up with an unfamiliar mount for the handy round, the rider was still able to earn her spot in the final four ride-off.
“I was fortunate to have Libbie Gordon’s Montauk to show in the handy round,” commented Colvin, of Loxahatchee, Florida. “I wasn’t sure I’d have a horse, so I’m grateful she lent me that horse and he was great to get me into the top four. I thought everybody had a great night, and it was a good class.”
As part of Friday night’s presentations, third-place finisher Torano’s mount Laskano, owned by Isalou Inc., was awarded Shapley’s Best Turned Out Groom’s Award. Elise Iafrate’s Nabisco was honored with The Far West Farms Perpetual Trophy as the horse with the highest cumulative point total in the four rounds of the WCHR Professional Finals.
Final Results: $10,000 WCHR Professional Finals
1 SCOTT STEWART
90.00 90.00 90.00 90.00
93.00 94.00 92.00 93.00
91.00 95.00 92.00 92.66
92.00 94.00 94.00 93.33 368.99
2 JOHN FRENCH
91.00 93.00 94.00 92.66
94.00 93.00 95.00 94.00
89.00 90.00 91.00 90.00
86.00 86.00 89.00 87.00 363.66
3 JIMMY TORANO
87.00 87.00 89.00 87.66
91.00 91.00 91.00 91.00
90.00 89.00 91.50 90.16
93.00 87.00 91.00 90.33 359.15
4 VICTORIA COLVIN
88.00 92.00 93.00 91.00
92.00 90.00 90.00 90.66
87.00 78.00 86.00 83.66
88.00 89.00 87.00 88.00 353.32
Olson Tops Ariat National Adult Medal Final
Jaden Olson, 21, of Parker, Colorado, demonstrated her consistency and her nerves of steel as she posted top scores in both rounds of the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, and held the lead to take home the blue.
“My plan going into the first round was just to execute a smooth, flowing course. There were a lot of related lines, so I had to be accurate,” said Olson, admitting she felt the pressure going back in on top for the second round.
“There was a high score right before I went in, so I had to lay it all out there,” said Olson, who went on to explain her strategy. “I went straight to the first jump, and I did a tight inside turn back to the second to last fence. I executed to both of my plans how I wanted them to go. I just tried to keep my nerves in check as much as possible because it is a pressure-filled situation.”
Olson knew she wanted to execute the hardest plan she could but do it “well and smooth.” She added, “That was the hardest thing, just thinking how to stay calm and still execute under the pressure.” Olson posted a first-round score of 89 and solidified her win with a second-round score of 91.3.
Olson rode Conradical, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding that she purchased when it was only five years old. “I’ve had him for a very long time, and we have built a very good partnership,” said Olson, who admits he was wasn’t always easy. “When I first got him, he was a little bit of a troublemaker in the barn and while riding him. Now he is quite perfect, and he’s actually for sale, which I’m sad about, but I am moving to London after I graduate this spring.”
Olson admitted it is time to move on, and Capital Challenge was their “last hurrah.”
The young adult trains with Mary Ann Thomas at Ashwood Farm as well as at Four Seasons Farms in Georgia. This was her first time competing in the Ariat Finals but thanks to the unique situation of the past 18 months, she was able to make it a goal.
“I had more flexibility in my schedule because of COVID-19 so I was able to qualify, and I just thought I might as well do it,” said Olson. “I had the horse to do it on, and he was awesome.”
Earlier in the day, Lindsey Tomeu and Nightfall won the WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge.
Final Results: Ariat National Adult Medal Finals
1 CONRADICAL JADEN OLSON
89.00 91.33 180.33
2 COPPERTONE TRACEY GORIN-BYRNE
87.50 87.33 174.83
3 ANTIDOTE SYDNEY SMITH
88.00 82.16 170.16
4 CONSTANTIN JORDAN ALLEN
87.00 80.33 167.33
5 CHECK IT OUT 5 CASEY ZURAITIS
81.83 84.00 165.83
6 AUDI 2000 Z CLAIRE STEVENSON
85.33 80.00 165.33
7 ROCKINGHAM DOMINIQUE MUNGIN
82.33 81.33 163.66
8 EASTON ELIZABETH CHENELLE
82.00 78.66 160.66
9 APPLEWOOD MADELYN VAN TIEM
84.33 76.33 160.66
10 QUESO GRANDE MADISON BUSEY
82.50 69.33 151.83
October 7, 2021 – Upper Marlboro, MD – The 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, featured the North American League (NAL) jumper year-end finals on Thursday, October 7, 2021, when two new NAL jumper champions were crowned.
In the $12,500 NAL Children’s Jumper Finals, presented by EquiFit, Taylor Landstrom rode her own Colina SN to the victory. Top honors in the $12,500 NAL Adult Jumper Finals, presented by SmartPak, went to Hope Batchelor DVM aboard her own Byolga.
Landstrom, 14, and Colina SN were one of 16 horse-and-rider combinations that returned for the jump-off after producing a fault-free first round. Last to return for the jump-off, Landstrom did not disappoint when she stopped the timers at 33.021 seconds to jump to the top of the leaderboard.
“Going into the jump-off I had to make sure that I kept my mind mentally calm,” explained Landstrom. “There were some fast rounds so I just had to trust my horse. I also had to trust myself and mentally calm myself down through all of it.
“My trainer and I talked about how it was going to be a very speedy jump-off,” continued Landstrom. “Going in I knew I had to trust my plan and not second guess it. I knew I could rely on my horse going into the jump-off, so I just had to believe in my plan and know that I knew what I was doing.”
Landstrom of Excelsior, MN, and the 11-year-old Warmblood mare have been partnered for two years and are going into their final indoors season together. The rider, trained by Abby Blankenship, was thrilled to have this success at one of her favorite horse shows.
“She is a very reliable girl,” said Landstrom. “She’s a lot like me because she’s very competitive and wants to go in and win. We make such a good pair because we want to do well together. I am really hoping to have a successful last indoors season with her. To win at Capital Challenge means a lot to me because it’s something that I’ve worked towards all year.”
Reserve honors in the NAL Children’s Jumper Finals were awarded to Olivia Sweetnam and Siboney Ranch’s Gold Lux with a time of 34.194 seconds. Avery Hansen and Double H Farm’s HH Gypsy stopped the timers at 35.057 seconds to earn third place.
Final Results: $12,500 North American League Children’s Jumper Finals
1 Colina SN, Taylor Landstrom: 0/0/33.021
2 Gold Lux, Olivia Sweetnam: 0/0/34.194
3 HH Gypsy, Avery Hansen: 0/0/35.057
4 Toy Soldier, Abigail Gordon: 0/0/35.571
5 Emy, Emma Covarrubias: 0/0/35.888
6 WT Scorsese, Charlotte Clivio: 0/0/36.658
7 Empty Spaces, Hailey Guidry: 0/0/36.851
8 Jonnas Corint, Jayden Toomy: 0/4/33.099
9 Heer Aldus, Riley Hogan: 0/4/34.032
10 Adoctro, Claire Campbell: 0/4/35.960
11 Just Noble, Olivia Sweetnam: 0/4/38.055
12 Belladonna Z, Madyson Diaz: 0/4/45.556
Batchelor, of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, and Byolga crossed the timers at 36.097 seconds to best a field of 29 competitors in the $12,500 NAL Adult Jumper Finals, presented by SmartPak.
“I thought the first course was challenging right from the start,” explained Batchelor. “There were a lot of connecting lines, and I think if you didn’t ride the track appropriately for the horse you were sitting on it could catch up to you. It was a thoughtful round considering it’s a class you qualify for, so you have a good group in there, and you have to start to sort them out a little bit.”
Batchelor took on the jump-off with nine additional competitors. The rider was happy to have her trusted partner, “Lola,” a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, with her for the short course.
“The jump-off was challenging today because it required some inside turns and speed,” said Batchelor. “I think my inside turn to the one-stride was where I saved some time. Lola is so quick and so professional, so I was really just thinking about riding the track and staying on!”
This victory marks the second time that Batchelor has had success in the NAL Adult Jumper Finals, having won it previously on Orlando. Batchelor is happy to have the finals held at Capital Challenge, making the show even more memorable for her.
“I think Capital Challenge is a wonderful horse show,” commented Batchelor. “They run the schedule well, the jumps are beautiful, the courses are wonderful, and the prizes are better than I think anywhere else. It’s just as special, if not more, to win here compared to any of the other indoor shows.”
Second place was awarded to Megan Jones and her own Trix Rabbit with a jump-off time of 36.146 seconds. Lexi Maounis and Roos finished in third place on a time of 37.045 seconds.
The Best Children’s Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Memorial Park Hunters, went to Landstrom. Batchelor earned the Best Adult Amateur Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Meadow Grove Farm. For this award, Batchelor received the Belfield Trophy, donated by Julie Karpan.
North American League Finals are the culmination of the NAL’s year-long Series that includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. The NAL offers year-long series in five divisions: Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper, presented by EquiFit; Adult Jumper, presented by SmartPak; and Low Junior/Amateur Jumper, presented by HorseFlight. The NAL series conclude with year-end finals for those who accumulated the most points in their divisions over the course of the season.
Competition will continue on Friday at the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show with junior hunter divisions, pony hunter divisions, the NAL Junior/Amateur Owner Welcome, and the Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Welcome. The highlighted classes on Friday will be the WCHR Amateur Challenge, the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, and the Professional World Championship Hunter Rider Final.
Final Results: $12,500 North American League Adult Jumper Finals
1 Byolga, Hope Batchelor DVM: 0/0/36.097
2 Trix Rabbit, Megan Jones: 0/0/36.146
3 Roos, Lexi Maounis: 0/0/37.045
4 Stakkadera, Christina Kourgelis: 0/0/37.306
5 Qualle, Kirsten Pollin: 0/0/37.388
6 Given, Lexi Maounis: 0/0/41.384
7 Chambrinus, Mercy Paine: 0/4/34.813
8 Wender R, Stefani Green: 0/4/35.651
9 Escot 6, Charlotte Powers: 0/8/34.792
10 Volodia d’Argouges, Texie McHenry: 0/EL
11 Larent, Jessica Leonard: 4/58.738
12 KT Bugs Bunny, Casey Zuraitis: 4/60.974
October 7, 2021 – Upper Marlboro, MD – It was another full day of competition at the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show on Thursday, October 7, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Three Grand Champions were crowned as well, with Callie Seaman and Silver Lining winning the Amateur-Owner 3’6” honor, Martha Ingram and Airport 48 taking the Amateur-Owner 3’3” title, and Laura Karet with Per Se capturing the Adult Amateur victory.
Seaman Always Sees Her Silver Lining
With three firsts and a third place in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 division, presented by The Hallman Family & MerryLegs South LLC, Callie Seaman of New York, NY, and her own Silver Lining easily won the division championship and also took home the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Champion honor, presented by Finally Farm. They were presented with the Dr. Harold M.S. Smith Trophy, donated by Dr. Suzanne Smith & Dr. Peter Craig. Kaitlin Porath and her own Breaux were reserve champions in the division.
Seaman has had Silver Lining for three years. She renamed him after purchasing him because he turned out to be the silver lining in a bad situation. Seaman had severely broken her leg, and the talented grey horse was her motivation to heal and be stronger. The pair showed in the 3’3” division in 2020 and made the move up in 2021.
The seven-year-old Westphalian gelding by Los Angeles is “going on 30,” said Seaman. “You rarely ever see any greenness in him. He really loves his job and does it. He is reliable and always going to do his job.”
This is Seaman’s first grand championship at Capital Challenge, and she was proud to have accomplished that feat on a young horse that is newer to her.
“I think everyone sees Capital Challenge as the hunter spotlight show,” she remarked. “It’s the most exciting horse show for me for the hunters every year. It really is like the culmination of the hard work that you have done. To win here is really exciting and shows that you have come a long way and you’re doing something right. Winning here is always really, really special.”
In addition to her division and grand champion titles, Seaman was named the Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Rider, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare, and awarded the So Many Ways Challenge Trophy, donated by Karen Kramer.
The champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’6” 36 & Over division, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare was Galactic, ridden and owned by Tonya Johnston. Dorli Burke and her own Charming were reserve champions. Johnston and Galactic also earned the EMO Amateur Owner 3’6” Trip of the Show with their high score of 87.
Ingram Pilots Airport 48 to Grand Title
Taking the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Champion title, presented by Missy Luczak-Smith was Martha Ingram of Nashville, TN, on Airport 48. They placed first, second, third, and third in the 18-35 division for the championship, while Catherine Cowie and her own Traveller, also winners of the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge, presented by Milestone LLC/Havens Schatt, were reserve champions.
The veteran Airport 48, an 18-year-old Holsteiner gelding, has been with the Ingram family for more than six years, but she only started riding him in 2018, when they competed in and won the North American Adult Equitation Championships.
“He is a really, really special horse for not just me but for my family,” said Ingram. “My dad showed him in the amateur hunters very well and did the derbies when he was a little bit younger. He’s just a superstar. To be able to now do him in the hunters is amazing.”
Ingram said that his looks and his attitude contribute to a winning combination. “He is beautiful, and he has the will to win,” she said. “He is always wanting to please, and he is so pretty going around the ring. He has a great stride on him, a great jump, and a great expression. He is so versatile.”
Ingram isn’t new to the Grand Champion winner’s circle, having captured the same title in 2019 with Fonteyn. “This horse show is so special in the way they do everything, so it’s always fun to be champion here,” she said.
Ingram was named the Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Rider, presented by Spring Mill Farm.
The Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over champions were Lee Kellogg Sadrian and Blink, while Margot Peroni and Jordan ended up as reserve champions. Sadrian and Blink also collected the EMO Amateur Owner 3’3” Trip of the Show award with their high score of 90. Ellen Toon and Gabriel won the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge, presented by Robinson Ridge.
Karet Keeps It In Context With Grand Win on Per Se
Laura Karet of Pittsburgh, PA, rode Per Se, a seven-year-old Brandenburg gelding (Sandro’s Adel) owned by Glade Run Farm LLC, to the championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 50 & Over division, presented by Ocean Echo and their ribbons of first in the stake class, second in the under saddle, and third in the over fences class earned them the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Champion victory, presented by Steve Martines. The reserve champion in the 50 & Over division was Hollywood Park, ridden and owned by Lynn Walsh. Karet and Per Se shared the EMO Adult Hunter Trip of the Show with Meghan Rohrbaugh Bear on Waverly, as both received a score of 90.
For their grand champion win, Karet and Per Se were presented with the Equus Entries Challenge Trophy, donated by Equus Entries & Sue and Ralph Caggiano. Karet was named the Best Adult Amateur Rider, presented by Phoebe Weseley & River Run Farm LLC.
This is Karet’s first time winning a grand hunter championship, and it is also their first year showing together at Capital Challenge.
“He’s come a long way this year,” said Karet. “This is a really nice way to cap off the year. I was so proud of him this weekend because he was so brave and straightforward. This was his first time doing anything like this. He got into this rhythm, went off, and did his thing!”
Karet was excited to return to Capital Challenge in Maryland after taking a year off. “We come here every year and we really missed it last year. It feels so good to be back. I love seeing all my friends here from all across the country. My daughter Alexa also rides so it’s a really special place to be able to show with her. It’s a really wonderful show, they really do it right.”
The championship in the 18-35 division, presented by Lainie Wimberley & Brigadoon Show Stables, Inc. went to Lindsey Tomeu and Nightfall, owned by Popish Farms LLC, while Ashley DeWoolfson and her own Cinderella were the reserve champion. Laurie Barna and her own Cinestar won the championship in the 36-49 division. The reserve champion was Waverly, ridden by Meghan Rohrbaugh Bear and owned by R&R Hunter Horses LLC.
Competition continues on Friday, October 8, with the start of the junior and pony hunters, the WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge, the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, and the WCHR Pro Finals, presented by the Rein Family.
Ackergill Castle, piloted by Scott Stewart, returned to the ring for the second round of the KASK North American Green 3’-3’3” Hunter Championship sitting in the lead with a 90. The Holsteiner gelding (Balous Bellini), owned by Betsee Parker, didn’t reveal his inexperience as he loped around the Show Place Arena and posted a 90.16 from the panel of three judges. His combined two-round score of 180.16 secured the title and gave Stewart his eighth win in the 24-year history of the class.
“It’s always awesome to win here, and there were a lot of good horses and scores in this class,” said Stewart. “I tried not to watch anyone go the second time. I was really pleased with him. As of yesterday, I wasn’t even sure if I should do it and then he went in the first class so relaxed, I was sort of shocked how grown-up he acted, so I was glad I did it.”
Ackergill Castle, just six years old, was purchased during the height of the COVID pause. Stewart said of the talented gelding, “Betsee bought him off of a video a little over a year ago, and because of COVID we were not able to go over and try him. He had just done one horse show, and she wasn’t really looking for a horse but was nice enough to get him for us.”
Stewart only showed Parker’s young horse three or four times in Florida before showing once in July, and then competing in the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship where he was second. The Incentive Championship was the last time he was in the show ring. Stewart was thankful he was home for the two weeks prior to Capital Challenge so he could ride the gelding himself every day.
“He’s really an amazing horse,” said Stewart. “He’s an amazing jumper and mover; he just sometimes will over jump. So, I jumped every other day over pony jumps just so he leveled off. He’s not that experienced, so I just wanted him to get relaxed.”
This year was Stewart’s return to Capital Challenge after staying home last year due to COVID. He said, “It’s great to be back here. I love it. It took me a little getting used to the first day since I haven’t been in an indoor in two years, but it’s always nice to be here.”
For his win, Stewart was presented with the Beverly Brooks Solter Memorial Trophy, donated by Hilary Scheer Gerhardt and Zan Martin Dillon.
R&R Hunter Horses LLC’s Waverly and Holly Orlando stood second going into the second round with an 88.91. They posted a 90 in the second round, not quite high enough to bump Stewart out of the lead. They remained in second place with a 178.91 total. Hunt Tosh and Twain, owned by Ceil Wheeler, were third with a total score of 177.83.
Orlando and Waverly won the Grand Champion Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” award, sponsored by David Belford and Christopher Payne of New Hope LLC. For the award, Orlando was presented with the “A Rare Diamond” Perpetual Trophy donated by “The Friends of Mickey.” Sandy Ferrell and Veritas, owned by Stephanie Bulger, won the EMO Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” Trip of the Show with a 91.5.
Competition will continue on Thursday at the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show with the Amateur-Owner Hunter and Adult Hunter divisions, as well as the NAL Children’s Jumper Finals and the NAL Adult Jumper Finals.
Capital Challenge News
There are a few ways to find the latest news from the Capital Challenge Horse Show.