Since its inception 25 years ago, the Capital Challenge Horse Show has been home to prestigious year-end finals showcasing the best in the sport. For the past decade, Capital Challenge has also shined a spotlight on the up-and-coming professionals in the hunter industry. This year’s event will be no different, as the Capital Challenge Horse Show returns to Prince George’s Equestrian Center on September 28-October 7, 2018, in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Each year, the top developing professionals who meet certain criteria are invited to contest the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Developing Pro Challenge, to be held this year on Wednesday, October 3, and offering $5,000 in prize money, presented by The John R. Ingram Fund.
The class gives less experienced professional riders a chance to compete against their peers on center stage for a coveted title. For many of the past WCHR Developing Pro Challenge winners, the class has served as a valuable springboard for their professional careers.
“It put me onto the hunter stage a little bit; it got my name out there,” said Tara Metzner, of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, who won the class in 2011 and went on to win the WCHR Professional Challenge in 2014.
“Capital Challenge is one of the biggest stages for the hunters,” continued Metzner. “For a young, developing rider to go in the ring there following a Scott Stewart or a Liza [Boyd] can be super intimidating. To be able to have a class where you’re still on a national stage, but that is specifically for developing pro riders where you’re competing against your peers instead of those really seasoned riders, gives a nice opportunity for developing pros to really shine on that bigger stage.”
On September 28, 2018, the 25th anniversary edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) will kick off at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center located in Upper Marlboro, MD.
In the last two and a half decades, Capital Challenge has grown exponentially, largely due to the generous and continued support of its esteemed roster of sponsors. Since its inception in 1994, CCHS has established itself as a premier year-end horse show destination for competitors throughout North America.
“It’s quite incredible to look back on the first year of the Capital Challenge Horse Show in 1994, and then witness the magnitude and relevance of the show today,” said CCHS Manager, Oliver Kennedy. “Thanks to all of our sponsors and loyal exhibitors, we’ve been able to really expand what we offer in terms of classes, prize money, and hospitality.”
Atop the list of Capital Challenge’s 25th anniversary sponsors is the World Equestrian Center (WEC), which returns in support of the show for its third consecutive year. This year, in addition to the organization’s generous sponsorship support, WEC will offer on-site shopping through the World Equestrian Center/Chagrin Saddlery Mobile Boutique.
The Capital Challenge Horse Show has become known as a showcase for top hunter horses and riders. This year, in honor of celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Capital Challenge Horse Show, to be held September 28 – October 7 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, has doubled the prize money for the World Championship Hunter Rider Pro Challenge.
In a nod to the show’s 25th anniversary, Capital Challenge is adding $1,000 for each of the show’s 25 years to the prize money for the WCHR Pro Challenge class to bring the total from $25,000 to $50,000. The Gochman Family and Radwanski Enterprises are generously helping to make the increase possible.
“We’re thrilled that the Gochman Family and Radwanski Enterprises are helping us recognize not only the achievements of competitors in the WCHR Pro Challenge, but also the legacy of 25 years of the Capital Challenge Horse Show,” said Capital Challenge Horse Show manager Oliver Kennedy. “The Capital Challenge Horse Show makes it a priority to put the spotlight on hunters and this increase in prize money will help reward the stars of the sport for their excellent performances.”
The Capital Challenge Horse Show management team is proud to announce World Equestrian Center as the returning, presenting sponsor of the Capital Challenge Horse Show at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The 2018 show, to be held September 28 – October 7, marks the 25th anniversary of Capital Challenge and the World Equestrian Center’s third year as the presenting sponsor of the event.
“We’re very excited to welcome World Equestrian Center back as our presenting sponsor for the third consecutive year,” said Capital Challenge Horse Show manager Oliver Kennedy.
“We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, and none of those 25 years would have been possible without the support of sponsors like the World Equestrian Center. They’ve been a great partner in helping to make the Capital Challenge Horse Show the best that it can be.”
The prize list for the 25th anniversary edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by World Equestrian Center, will be available here beginning at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, August 1.
Entries for the 2018 horse show, to be held September 28 – October 7 at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, will open simultaneously, and will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis until September 1. To submit entries or to learn more about the electronic entry process, please visit https://entries.showmanagementsystem.com.
“It’s hard to believe it’s already been 25 years since we first started Capital Challenge,” said Oliver Kennedy, the show manager and co-founder. “It’s really grown into something special, and we’re proud to now host so many year-end finals and championships along with what have become highly competitive hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions.”
Competition at Capital Challenge will get underway on Friday, September 28, with BigEq.com Equitation Weekend and the return of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East, newly launched in 2017 and held for the second consecutive year at Capital Challenge.
The 2018 Capital Challenge Horse Show will host the second annual United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final – East on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final was created in 2017 based on the popularity of the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal classes held at horse shows throughout the country. Following the great success of the inaugural East Coast final, held at the 2017 Capital Challenge Horse Show, Capital Challenge again won the bid to host the year-end final.
The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by the World Equestrian Center, came to a close on Sunday, October 8, with the awarding of the final Junior and Children’s Hunter championships. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship went to Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA, riding Small Affair, owned by Lyn Pedersen.
Iwasaki, 13, and the 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding claimed two victories and a fourth place finish over fences to take the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter Championship. The pair’s top finishes also secured them the Grand Junior 15 & Under Hunter Championship, sponsored by Sherri Geddess Geddaway, and ultimately, the Overall Grand Champion Junior Hunter Championship, sponsored by Shadow Ridge Farm, and, for Iwasaki, the Best Junior Hunter Rider award, sponsored by Karen Healey and Amanda Hood.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I’ve always wanted to be a champion at a place like this,” said Iwasaki, whose slew of awards on Sunday marked her second consecutive weekend of winning at Capital Challenge, having won the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals just a week ago. “[Small Affair] is amazing; he’s so much fun to ride, and you can just feel how nice of a horse he is when you’re riding him.”
Upper Marlboro, MD – The Capital Challenge Horse Show’s youngest competitors took center stage on Saturday, October 7, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Riding away with the Grand Pony Hunter Championship was Caroline Signorino on Anisette, owned by Hannah Hoch. Presented by the World Equestrian Center, the Capital Challenge Horse Show ends on Sunday, October 8, with the conclusion of the Junior and Children’s Hunter divisions.
On their way to earning the grand championship title, 12-year-old Signorino of Basking Ridge, NJ, and Anisette, an 11-year-old Welsh Pony Cross mare, earned two victories over fences and the Medium Pony Hunter championship, sponsored by Kayla Makhloghi and Rosemont Farm.
As the top pony hunter horse and rider overall, Anisette and Signorino were presented with the Grand Pony Hunter Championship, sponsored by the Aycox Family and Whispering Willow Farm; the VanderMoore Designs Inc. Trophy, sponsored by Chuck and Melva VanderMoore; and the Best Pony Hunter Rider award, sponsored by Archie Cox and Brookway Stables. They were presented with The Kitty Borisoff Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Alexandra Borisoff.
Upper Marlboro, MD – Professional hunter competition concluded on Friday, October 6, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by World Equestrian Center, with the heralded $5,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals. The top six professional hunter riders in the country went head-to-head over three rounds, before Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, emerged victorious. Capital Challenge continues at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, through Sunday, October 8.
Liza Boyd, Victoria Colvin, Tracy Fenney, John French, Scott Stewart, and Hunt Tosh each contested the first two rounds on a borrowed horse donated for the class before bringing a horse of their own into the ring for the third and final handy round.
Boyd earned an average score of 90 in the first round to move into the second place position, and an average score of 90.50 in the second round would move her to the top of the leaderboard where she would remain through the end of the class.
Upper Marlboro, MD – The Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by World Equestrian Center, spotlighted Amateur-Owner and Adult Hunter riders with the naming of the division champions and overall grand champions on Thursday, October 5. Competition at the Capital Challenge Horse Show continues at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center through Sunday, October 9.
Becky Gochman of Palm Beach, FL, and Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, earned the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over 3’6” Hunter Championship before also ultimately claiming the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship. The Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship went to Lindsay Maxwell of Beverly Hills, CA, and Belgravia, who also took home the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3” Hunter Championship.
With scores of 88.50, 89, and 90, Gochman and Catch Me, a ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding, claimed victories in all three of the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over 3’6” Hunter over fences classes, and swept the division with victory in the under saddle to take the championship title, sponsored by Betty and Ernie Oare. Having topped all four classes also meant that Gochman and Catch Me earned the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter title, sponsored by Troy Hendricks and Kimber-View Stables, and the Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Rider award, also sponsored by Betty and Ernie Oare. The duo’s score of 90 earned them the EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Trip of the Show, sponsored by the EMO Agency.
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