More Than 425 Entries to Vie for Titles During BIGEQ.com Equitation Weekend at Capital Challenge Horse Show
Upper Marlboro, MD – The Capital Challenge Horse Show will kick off in a big way on September 27 with three days of equitation competition during BIGEQ.com Equitation Weekend at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
This year, more than 425 entries have registered to compete in the popular equitation classes to be held from Friday, September 27, through Sunday, September 29, including the:
- Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals
- EMO Insurance/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final – East
- Palm Beach International Academy (PBIA) North American Junior Equitation Championship
- North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championship
- Age-group equitation divisions
“Equitation provides a wonderful foundation for riders of all ages to develop horsemanship skills through years of training and hard work,” said Caraneen Smith of BIGEQ.com. “Many young riders who compete in equitation go on to support the industry as professional trainers, barn managers and grooms, and breeders, or as amateur competitors at all levels."
Upper Marlboro, MD – Before Declaration, Dream Date, Gray Slipper, and Popeye K were winning grand hunter championships at major horse shows across the country and before their names were well-known in the hunter rings, the famous hunters were earning victories in the Green Hunter 3' and 3'3" division at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Created in 2001, the Green Hunter 3' and 3'3" division (previously known as the Future Hunters) at the Capital Challenge Horse Show included some of the first classes of their kind, spotlighting the future stars of the sport and providing an avenue for many of the best young horses in the nation to compete against their peers.
This year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will again welcome many of the nation’s top, up-and-coming hunters for the $45,000 Green Hunter 3' and 3'3" division, to be held Monday, September 30, through Wednesday, October 2, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Green Hunter competition will culminate on Wednesday afternoon as the top six entries in each of the six Green Hunter 3' and 3'3" sections return to contest the $25,000 Green Hunter 3' and 3'3" North American Championship, sponsored by the Wheeler Family.
“It’s an awesome showcase for the young horses,” said Laena Romond, who topped the 2018 championship aboard Traveller, owned by Catherine Cowie. “It’s a great chance to let the young horses shine in a nice ring and against the best competition.”
Upper Marlboro, MD – Renowned equestrian artist Sharon Lynn Campbell has created three paintings for the 2019 Capital Challenge Horse Show, including original artwork for the 26th annual show poster, the prize list cover, and the newly unveiled program cover.
The program painting for the 2019 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, to be held September 27 to October 6 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, features the 2018 winners of the $50,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, Amanda Steege and Lafitte de Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten.
Typically, the horse show uses the poster image for the program. Thanks to Campbell, this year's program cover is able to feature the winner of last year's anniversary edition of the $50,000 Professional Challenge. Finding the right image for the painting was left to Campbell who searches for the right combination of mood, emotion, and lighting.
“As soon as I know which horse is going to be on the cover, I start going through photos taken by photographers and going through my own pictures,” said Campbell of the first stage in the process of creating each Capital Challenge Horse Show oil painting. “I research and find photos, and I let the owner of the horse send me photos. I will look at what photos would work as far as lighting, expression, and form. Because I’m a horse person before I’m an artist, I’m not going to paint something that has bad form.”
Upper Marlboro, MD – When the 26th annual Capital Challenge Horse Show kicks off on September 27, the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, becomes the place to be for the nation’s top hunter and equitation horses and riders.
Here are 10 reasons not to miss this year’s show, to be held September 27 through October 6.
1. There’s an entire weekend dedicated to the country’s best equitation riders.
As host to prestigious finals such as the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals and the Ariat National Adult Medal Final, the Capital Challenge Horse Show offers more major equitation finals than any other horse show on the “indoors” circuit.
From September 27 through 29, the action centers around BIGEQ.COM Equitation Weekend, featuring classes that riders of all ages have set as year-end goals, including the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, the EMO Insurance Agency/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final – East, the Palm Beach International Academy North American Junior Equitation Championship, and the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships.
The Capital Challenge Horse Show will return to the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, for the show’s 26th year on September 27 through October 6, 2019.
The popular, year-end horse show, presented by the World Equestrian Center and recognized in 2018 as a U.S. Equestrian Heritage Competition, will again host the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals, the $25,000 3’ and 3’3” Green Hunter North American Championships, three days of equitation competition during “Equitation Weekend,” and much more.
“It’s really unlike any other competition in the country," said Capital Challenge Horse Show manager and co-founder, Oliver Kennedy. “Thanks to an incredible group of sponsors and supporters, we're able to continue to attract the nation's top horses and riders year after year. This is now growing into the most important hunter show in the country.”
The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to welcome EMO Insurance as the multi-year title sponsor of the USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal. The EMO Insurance/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Series and Finals provides Junior competitors with a competitive Jumping Seat equitation opportunity at the 3’3” fence height, culminating with East and West coast finals.
"We are delighted to welcome EMO Insurance as the title sponsor of the EMO Insurance/USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal," said Kevin Price, executive director of the USHJA. "The series and finals for this program have grown in popularity since they started just a few years ago, and we look forward to another great year of competition for equitation riders nationwide."
In 2019, EMO Insurance/USHJA Jumping Seat Medal classes will include two phases: an over fences and a flat for three to 12 riders.
Riders who earn 10 or more points in any EMO Insurance/USHJA Jumping Seat Medal classes between August 2 and August 1 of the current competition year are eligible to compete in the USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Finals. Finals will be hosted on both the East and West coasts, and qualified riders may choose either location. These 3’3” equitation finals aim to help riders gain experience in a format similar to that of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Program.
The 25th anniversary Capital Challenge Horse Show concluded on Sunday, October 7, with the awarding of the final Junior and Children’s Hunter championships at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The Overall Grand Junior Hunter Championship was presented to Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH, riding A Million Reasons, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
Kurtz, 17, and the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (by Coriano) swept every class of the
Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division on Saturday, making them the far and away frontrunners for the Grand Junior Hunter Championship title, sponsored by Shadow Ridge and presented on Sunday.
“It’s always good to do well here because you then kind of know how they’re going to be going in to the rest of indoors,” said Kurtz, who is no stranger to success at Capital Challenge, having won numerous classes and championships over the years. “It’s such a great horse show, so it feels amazing.”
The 25th anniversary Capital Challenge Horse Show spotlighted the show’s youngest and smallest competitors on Saturday, October 6, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The top honor of the day, the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, went to Gabrielle Sokolow of Westlake Village, CA, and Benetton.
On their way to earning the grand championship title, 13-year-old Sokolow and Benetton, a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Pretty Penny Farm, swept all three of the Large Pony Hunter division over fences classes to also take the Large Pony Hunter Championship, presented by the World Equestrian Center.
“I’m so happy about it,” said Sokolow, who trains with Elizabeth Reilly and only started leasing Benetton in May. “I love this pony. It was such a big accomplishment for me. I’ve only been riding him since Devon, so it wasn’t for very long. He goes back soon, but I’m just so happy with it.
“He’s such a good pony,” continued Sokolow. “He always tries his best to be amazing. He never really cares about anything; he’s always so focused and listens so well. And he’s so cute!”
Professional hunter competition at the 25th anniversary Capital Challenge Horse Show concluded on Friday, October 5, with the highlight $10,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals, sponsored by Radwanski Enterprises.
The top six professional hunter riders in the country went head-to-head at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center, with Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, ultimately emerging victorious for the second year in a row following three phases of competition.
“It’s a great feeling; it’s exciting,” said Boyd. “I’m glad my husband, Blake, and my daughter, Elle, are here to experience it with me.”
In a format new for 2018, the first round of the $50,000 WCHR Professional Challenge, held on Wednesday, October 3, also counted as the first round of the $10,000 WCHR Professional Finals, with the top six riders in the national WCHR professional standings bringing forward their scores from Wednesday night into Friday’s class. While John French was in the top six, he opted not to compete, opening up a spot for Boyd in the top six.
Tracy Scheriff-Muser and Lindsay Maxwell Take Grand Amateur-Owner Championships
Tracy Scheriff-Muser of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, riding Aristocrat, and Lindsay Maxwell of Beverly Hills, CA, aboard Belgravia, claimed the Grand Amateur Owner Hunter Championship titles on Thursday, October 5, at the 25th anniversary Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Earning the Adult Amateur Hunter Championship at the show, which continues through Sunday, October 7, at the Prince George’s County Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, was Garland Alban of Luthersville, MD, on Remix.
For Maxwell, winning the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship with Belgravia was déjà vu, as she and the 10-year-old warmblood gelding claimed the same honor in 2017.
“It’s such an honor to win here,” said Maxwell. “I love this horse show; I was excited to be back with [Belgravia] again, and to do this twice in a row is really incredible. I’m really proud of him.
“It’s so nice to be able to compare the same show at the same facility,” she continued. “Last year, he was still relatively new to me. I’d only had him for a few months, so we’ve really grown a lot together and gotten much more consistent. I was a lot less nervous this year, because I’ve now known him so much longer; I knew exactly what to expect. He’s an incredible horse, and he’s the same every time that we go in the ring.”
Capital Challenge News
There are a few ways to find the latest news from the Capital Challenge Horse Show.