Wilmington, OH – Sophia Mitchell of Wrightsville Beach, NC, rode Chevito to the Overall Grand Junior Hunter Championship on Sunday, October 4, to conclude the 2020 Capital Challenge Horse Show, held this year at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH.
On their way to the overall championship win, Mitchell and her own Chevito first clinched the Large Junior Hunter 3’6”, 16-17 division championship, sponsored by Beacon Hill Show Stables. The duo picked up two wins and a third-place finish over fences, as well a second place under saddle to earn the most points of any Junior Hunter 3’6” competitor at this year’s show.
“I’m so excited! This horse has never let me down ever,” said Mitchell of Chevito, the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding that she has had since early 2019. “He really performed. He gave me his all this week, and I’m so happy with how it went.
Wilmington, OH – Out of a field of more than 75 ponies, Vivian Golden aboard her own Goldhills As You Like It took home the title of Grand Pony Hunter Champion on Saturday, October 3, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
The Grand Champion title, sponsored by Enchantment Farms was awarded to the Pony Hunter who accumulated the most points over all three divisions. Golden, of Wyomissing, PA, took champion honors in the Medium Pony Hunters with 32 points, winning today’s over fences class and placing second in the Medium Pony Stake, second in the remaining over fences, and third under saddle.
“It feels amazing,” the 11-year-old said of her achievement. “We got her last year, and it was a little but of a bumpy road. She was hard to get used to. We weren’t a perfect match together at first, but we have gotten to know each other, and it feels amazing to have accomplished this much.”
Wilmington, OH – Michael Britt-Leon of Alpharetta, GA, capped off his first trip to the Capital Challenge Horse Show with the victory in the $10,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals on Friday, October 2.
Six of the country’s top professional hunter riders went head to head at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH, with Britt-Leon claiming the title for the first time with an overall score of 186.16 aboard Private I.
“It is a dream come true to win the WCHR Professional Finals,” Britt-Leon said of his win. “I have watched this class for a while. Being here in 2020 when it’s been so crazy, just being at a horse show of this caliber, is incredible. It’s been a memorable and wonderful experience. This just put it over the top.”
This was Britt-Leon’s very first appearance in the class, and he joined Evan Coluccio, Greg Crolick, Kelley Farmer, Courtney Lenkart, and Geoffrey Hesslink in the line-up to ride for the title.
Wilmington, OH – Madeline Schaefer of Westminster, MD, claimed both the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship title with Sutton Place and the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship win with Checkmate on Thursday, October 1, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
The horse show, which continues through Sunday, October 4, at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH, also recognized the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Champion on Thursday, with the award going to Barbara Brungess and Levianto.
For Schaefer, the road to the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship, sponsored by Missy Luczak-Smith, began with the Amateur-Owner 3’3”, 18-35 division championship with Checkmate. Schaefer and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Samantha Schaefer, won two of the over fences classes and the under saddle class to take the tricolor.
“I had a really great last two days!” said Schaefer, who aged up into the amateur-owner hunter divisions this year following a highly successful junior career. “It’s a big deal to win a grand championship at Capital Challenge. They always make it feel important. The presentations are always amazing. It’s one of the best shows.
Wilmington, OH – Courtney Lenkart of Bartonville, TX, rode Glorieus to capture the top prize in the $25,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, sponsored by The Gochman Family, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show on Wednesday, September 30.
In the $5,000 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge, sponsored by the John R. Ingram Fund, Julia Rose Rossow piloted Chantilly to the win, while Daniel Geitner and Mr. Manhattan topped the $25,000 North American Green Hunter 3' and 3'3" Championship, sponsored by The Wheeler Family. The three classes marked a highlight day of Capital Challenge, which runs through Sunday, October 4, at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH.
Riders in the $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge competed over two rounds, after having qualified from the professional hunter divisions at the show.
At the conclusion of the first round, Lenkart and Chantilly took the lead with an 87.16. Her second-round score of 89.00, resulting in a 176.16 total, sealed the deal for the championship.
The Capital Challenge Horse Show for the first time welcomed the North American League (NAL) jumper year-end finals, and on Tuesday, September 29, three new NAL national jumper champions were named.
In the NAL Children’s Jumper Finals, presented by EquiFit, Leigh Nanda dominated the competition with her horse El Casper, accomplishing a perfect show after also taking the win in the Welcome the day prior.
The 15-year-old from Wilmette, IL, bested a 21-horse jump-off, crossing the timers in 31.488 seconds. Nanda was making her first Capital Challenge appearance and emerged victorious in every class, also earning the Leading Children’s Jumper Rider award.
“I took a stride out in the first line and the last line, so I think that really did it for me,” said Nanda of her winning round. “Casper takes a lot of leg; he looks and feels deceptively slow, but he’s got a really big stride. He’s really smooth if you meet all the jumps in stride. My trainer, Lance Williamson, always says, ‘Smooth is fast!’”
Wilmington, OH – Kendall Meijer of Grand Rapids, MI, rode Elliot to the win in the North American League (NAL) Adult Hunter Final, on Tuesday, September 29, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH.
A field of 28 pre-qualified entries contested the NAL Adult Hunter Final, sponsored by the Famulak Family and Monkey Business LLC, and the top 12 returned in reverse order of their standings to jump a second round, designed by Ken Krome.
A score of 87 in the first round put Meijer and Elliot at the top of the leaderboard, and a second-round score of 84.75 for a 171.75 total cemented the pair’s victory. Second place with scores of 85.00, 83.75, and a 169.25 total went to Kelly Bauernschmidt of Bratenahl, OH, and her own Mojito. Rachel Boggus of Indianapolis, IN, and Subject to Change rounded out the top three with an overall score of 168.00.
Wilmington, OH – Ten professional hunter champions were named on Tuesday, September 29, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Wilmington, OH, which continues through Sunday, October 4, at the World Equestrian Center.
Earning the first championship of the day, and his very first Capital Challenge professional championship title, was Evan Coluccio of Marshall, VA, riding Miller’s Cove.
Coluccio and the 11-year-old German Sporthorse gelding, owned by Balmoral, finished first, second, and third over fences and third under saddle to clinch the Green Conformation Hunter division championship, sponsored by Joie Gatlin – Morley Abey Show Jumping Inc.
Immediately after securing his first Capital Challenge professional hunter championship, Coluccio went on to repeat the feat. He secured his second tricolor of the day in the Green Hunter 3’9” aboard Philadelphia Story, also owned by Balmoral.
Wilmington, Ohio – Luke Rinehart of Westfield, IN, rode Cavalli to the win in the North American League (NAL) Children’s Hunter Final, on Monday, September 28, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH.
Rinehart was one of 29 young riders to contest the class after qualifying for the year-end final by accumulating points in NAL Children’s Hunter competition throughout the year. The 13-year-old led the class from beginning to end after earning a score of 86.50 in the first round and an 86.00 in the second round, for a 172.50 total.
Second place with scores of 80.00 and 82.50 for a 162.50 total went to Ava Tzioufas of Inverness, IL, riding Expecto Patronum. Olivia Galley of Barrington, IL, finished in third with scores of 80.50, 81.50, and a 162.00 total.
Madison Rauschenbach Rides to Win in Palm Beach International Academy North American Junior Equitation Championships at Capital Challenge
Wilmington, Ohio – Madison Rauschenbach of Newburgh, NY, and Schuyler Dayner of Odessa, FL, claimed national championship titles on Sunday, September 27, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, held this year at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH.
Rauschenbach earned her victory in the Palm Beach International Academy (PBIA) North American Junior Equitation Championship, while Dayner topped the THIS National Children’s Medal Final.
The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through October 4, but Sunday’s championship finals marked the conclusion of the show’s Equitation Weekend, presented by BigEq.com. Throughout the three days of equitation competition, more than 250 riders contested the featured year-end finals and equitation divisions, including 100 entries in the PBIA North American Junior Equitation Championship.
Following the opening round of the PBIA Equitation Championship, that field of 100 junior riders was narrowed to the top 20 competitors, who then returned in reverse order of their standings for a second round, designed by Ken Krome.
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