Tag Archives: Capital Challenge

Catch All of Capital Challenge with Live Stream Beginning Saturday

Photo by Michelle Bloch.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The Capital Challenge Horse Show kicks off on Saturday, October 1, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center, and for those unable to be in attendance, the show will be live streamed in its entirety online at tv.coth.com.

The live stream, hosted by the Chronicle of the Horse, will include full coverage of both the indoor and outdoor arenas at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and will be available all day through the conclusion of competition on Sunday, October 9.

Competition opens Saturday with Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com, including the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships, the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals, the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships, and more.

As the popular year-end horse show continues throughout the week, don’t miss a beat and tune in for the complete live stream coverage, including all hunter divisions and featured classes such as:

  • Wednesday, October 5: World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, WCHR Developing Professional Challenge, Future Hunter North American Championship
  • Thursday, October 6: WCHR Amateur Owner 3’3” Challenge, WCHR Amateur Owner 3’6” Challenge, Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge
  • Friday, October 7: WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge, Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, $15,000 North American Junior/Amateur Owner Challenge Cup Round 1, WCHR Professional Finals
  • Saturday, October 8: WCHR Pony Challenge, $15,000 North American Junior/Amateur Owner Challenge Cup Final
  • Sunday, October 9: WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge, WCHR Junior 3’3” Challenge, WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge

Horse Network is the Official Media Partner of the Capital Challenge Live Stream. Visit www.horsenetwork.com during the show to see unique content, interviews, and behind the scenes at CCHS!

Access the live stream online at tv.coth.com or at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 23rd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2016 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place October 1-9. The nine days of competition will include prestigious equitation events and the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Sharon Lynn Campbell Named Official Artist of 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show

Sharon Lynn Campbell’s portrait ‘Beautiful Bay.’

Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The artwork of Sharon Lynn Campbell has appeared at many of the country’s most prestigious horse shows, including the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show. As the newly named official artist of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Campbell is masterfully creating two paintings for the 2016 edition of the horse show, to be held October 1-9 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

The Rochelle, VA based artist’s work will appear on the cover of the horse show prize list and on the annual Capital Challenge commemorative poster. Both paintings will be unveiled in August alongside the release of the official prize list.

“I painted the prize list cover art for Capital Challenge for the last two years, and this year, I have created a very artsy composition for the prize list cover art of the same horse that will be used as the jumping portrait for the poster and the horse show program,” Campbell explained.

As the winner of the $25,000 World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge and the 2015 $5,000 WCHR Professional Finals at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, Scott Stewart was selected as the rider to grace both the prize list and poster painting on the horse of his choosing.

“I met with Scott to see which horse he would like to put on the cover, and he choose the Gochmans’ beautiful grey gelding Catch Me,” Campbell said, referencing the mount on which Stewart earned the 2015 $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge victory. Campbell has now beautifully recreated a photo of the gelding, captured by James Parker, for the prize list cover.

For Campbell, the opportunity to paint horses like Catch Me for the Capital Challenge Horse Show is an incredible honor.

“I just really love this horse show,” Campbell said of Capital Challenge. “It’s the perfect transition from the outdoors to the indoors, and I have the opportunity to catch up with my West Coast clients and meet new people from all over the country. It’s always a great group of people that come to show. The management for the show are wonderful people, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.”

Campbell is a lifelong horsewoman, having grown up riding, showing, training, and even shoeing horses at her family’s horse farm in Indiana. Her equestrian knowledge and great understanding of the horse’s conformation and expression is evident in each piece of artwork that she creates. To learn more about Sharon Campbell, visit www.sharoncampbell.com.

For more information on the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show, please visit www.CapitalChallenge.org.

Emily Riden
Jump Media
emily@jumpmediallc.com

Yowan and McCloskey Collect Grand Champion Junior Hunter Honors

Vivian Yowan and Ransom. ©JumpMedia.

Karp Earns Grand Champion Children’s Hunter Award; Ward, Smith, and Iwasaki Victorious in Final WCHR Challenge Classes

Upper Marlboro, MD – On the final day of the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, junior hunter riders stole the show and concluded an elite week of competition at Prince George’s Equestrian Center, highlighting the prestigious World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) yearly finals. Hosting three WCHR Challenge classes throughout the day, the WCHR Junior Challenge 3’6”, WCHR Junior Challenge 3’3”, and the WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge, Sunday proved to be a competitive day for many of the country’s top junior combinations. The final Grand Champion awards of the week were also presented in the Junior Hunter and Children’s Hunter divisions.

Vivian Yowan of Lexington, KY was crowned Grand Champion Junior Hunter 3’6” presented by Shadow Ridge Farm aboard Ransom owned by Saddle Ridge LLC. Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH, aboard Prologue owned by Rendezvous Farm, captured top honors as the High Point Junior 15 & Under combination for their performances in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, in which they also earned champion. Sara McCloskey of Pound Ridge, NY and her own Austin picked up Grand Junior Hunter 3’3” honors as the final Grand Champion combination awarded at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show. Samantha Karp of Wellington, FL piloted her own Central Park to the Grand Champion Children’s Hunter title presented by Mary Jane King.

Yowan Rises to Top of Small Junior Hunter 3’6” Division aboard Ransom

Vivian Yowan completed a successful week at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, picking up several top-place finishes throughout the week in all three disciplines offered at the competition with hunter, jumper, and equitation mounts under her guidance. Yowan continued with her success today in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, which she championed, and would ultimately go on to collect Grand Champion Junior Hunter 3’6” accolades aboard Ransom owned by Saddle Ridge LLC.

Yowan and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding nearly achieved a clean sweep, earning only first and second place finishes throughout the four divisional classes in the Small Junior Hunters. Ransom’s talent and consistency over fences lifted the pair to Yowan’s first Grand Champion recognition of the week, alongside earning the High Point Junior Hunter 16-17 presented by The Clothes Horse and receiving the Best Junior Rider Award 3’6” sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables.

“For the past two days in the Small Juniors he just jumped unbelievable. He’s really a powerhouse. He comes out every day and we say he has springs on his feet because it’s kind of freaky how well he consistently jumps day in and day out. I’ve never had a horse that has really tried as hard as he does for me,” she remarked.

The duo received a score of 89.00 from the judges for their handy round to receive the EMO Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency for all Junior Hunters rounds, as the score was unmatched by the rest of the competition.

“My handy with him was definitely the highlight of the week. He just jumped the first jump on course better than anything I’ve ever felt and I knew that if we kept it throughout we’d be able to get a good score,” she remembered.

Morgan Ward of Milton, NJ and Flirt picked up reserve champion in the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” division behind Yowan.

Gabriella Cinquini of Pana Point, CA aboard Coffeetalk earned the championship award in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under while Lara McHale of Chagrin Falls, MI and Mine collected reserve honors in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under.

Bailey Smith of Portland, OR and Papyrus earned top honors in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’6” division capturing the champion title, while Kimmie Gottwald of Richmond, VA aboard Casallo took the reserve champion award for the division.

Ward, Smith, and Iwasaki Take WCHR Challenge Honors in Respective Divisions

Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ was elated with her first place finish aboard Broadway in the WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge presented by Elena and David Graves, which hosted 33 entries. The duo bested the class with a score of 86.50 to narrowly edge out Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH and Prologue who followed in second with a score of 86.41, as Rachel McMullen of Chagrin Falls, OH and Clear Sailing rounded out the top three receiving an 86.33 from the judging panel.

Morgan Ward and Broadway. ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography
Morgan Ward and Broadway. ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography

Ward and Broadway won their second trip over fences two days ago in the Junior Hunter 3’6” division but Ward was quick to admit that she didn’t ride her best on the second day of competition and felt the need to redeem herself in the WCHR Challenge class.

“I didn’t have the best rounds yesterday and I felt like I owed it to my horse to have a good ride. I went in and he sure helped me out a lot but the round went really well and he just jumped awesome,” she commented. “It means a lot to win this class. I didn’t think that I was qualified coming here because I had only done two WCHR weekends, but coming in when I saw that I was qualified I thought, ‘Oh I’ve got to pull this off,’ and it was really fun. A great way to end.”

Ward, who comes from a family of equestrians, felt the pressure in the WCHR class, as she and Broadway headed down the final line after a very solid trip. “Going to the last line I was like, ‘OK Morgan, please don’t mess anything up now. Please see the correct distance to the last jump,’” she laughed. “One day this week my trainer whistled before I was finished and then I did something wrong so I was like please don’t whistle yet, please don’t whistle yet.”

The bubbly blonde commented on the talent of Broadway, who she says is one of the greatest horses she’s ridden. The Wards bought him in January during the winter circuit, but Ward admittedly understands that as her last time in the Junior divisions comes to a close with the conclusion of indoors this fall, Broadway will most likely find a new young rider to show the ropes.

“I just bought him in January and ever since then we’ve been a great team. He’s been champion or reserve every time in Ocala and all of that. We qualified for Devon and then we still have indoors left, but I know that it might be my last time owning him because I’m aging out and it’s sad, but I understand that it is part of the sport.”

Enjoying not only her WCHR win, Ward stated that Capital Challenge has a way of making the riders feel so special for their achievements. “Not only does this show get you prepared for indoors, but they give you great prizes, which I think is a big deal. They make everything so special and it’s not just ‘Oh, here’s your ribbon’; it’s more important than that. I just love this show.”

Alexandra Smith of Wellington, FL aboard Perfekionist, owned by Tracey Topping of Wellington, FL, rose to the occasion in the WCHR Children’s Challenge presented by Stephanie Bulger and MeadowView, which saw 21 entries. The duo scored an 87.75 to finish atop the only WCHR Challenge class held in the outdoor this week. Hensley Humphries of New York, NY and Pomodoro finished in second with a score of 86.75 and Lauren Katz of Potomac, MD aboard Highland’s Right Royal earned third place with a score of 86.50.

“I’ve never done a challenge class in the children’s division, but I did it last year for in the pony division. We got him about two months ago when we decided to lease him from Tracey Topping and this is our third show together,” she explained. “He’s really sweet and I like him a lot already.”

At only 12 years old, Smith, who rides with parents Ken and Emily of Ashland Farms, comes from a long line of successful equestrians as older brother Spencer is making his way through the upper level jumper ranks. The course, which was set at two different heights for ponies and horses, rode nicely for Smith and long-strided Perfektionist, who is known around the barn as Fred.

“I think it was a very good course and it was fun. Fred can be a little bit lazy but I still have fun. You have to get him going but after that he’s really good,” she explained. The duo will take the next few months to fine tune their skills before entering the show ring again at the Winter Equestrian Festival in just a few short months.

“We aren’t going to do indoors this year so our next show will probably be at WEF. He’s really nice and I feel comfortable on him already so it hasn’t been that hard getting to know him,” she remarked.

Continuing on with her fantastic season, Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA was victorious in the WCHR Junior Challenge 3’3” presented by Canterbury Farm and the Durpetti Family, aboard Illusion with a score of 86.66. Kirsten Ostling and Given followed in second with a score of 85.66 while Caroline Dance and Aate earned third place with a score of 84.16.

Illusion, a 1999 Hanoverian gelding owned by Dogwood Hill LLC, is a veteran in the show ring and helped Iwasaki to another major victory in her young career, winning her first WCHR Challenge class.

“It’s really exciting and I love riding him so it was really fun. I’ve been riding since him since maybe March or April. He used to do the 3’6” juniors before I started riding him,” said Iwasaki. “The first time that I showed him there were these brick roll-tops and he jumped them really, really high. It was fun and felt good. I like riding him.”

Even though Illusion may be considered older on the spectrum of competition horses, Iwasaki loves his personality and the attitude he brings to show ring for her. Competing with numerous upper level riders throughout his career, Iwasaki said she could tell that he knew the class was special.

“I really like his personality because he’s really outgoing and always is asking for treats. It’s really exciting to win this class because I’ve never done well in a Challenge class before. I was eleventh in the pony class this week and he was perfect today,” she continued. “I’m so happy that I get to ride him because he’s 16 and he’s been around a long time. He knew that it was something important for me.”

Iwasaki will next head to Harrisburg where she will show Bit of Laughter, Kingston and True Colors in the pony divisions then heading home to California for a week of rest before returning to the east coast for the Washington International Horse Show.

McCloskey Takes Final Grand Champion Honors at 2015 in Junior Hunter 3’3”

Sara McCloskey was the final Grand Champion to be recognized at the 2015 CCHS, as the Junior Hunter 3’3” division was the second to last division of the day. Earning two first place finishes while also collecting a second place in the three over fences classes, McCloskey and Austin made themselves difficult to beat for Grand Champion honors, as their consistent riding propelled them through the large division in McCloskey’s first appearance at CCHS.

“I am so excited. This is the first time that I’ve ever competed at Capital Challenge and the courses were set so perfectly. Austin was great throughout the week and I couldn’t have asked for a better show,” she remarked. “We’ve had him for about two and half years now and we bought him as my Children’s Hunter horse. He’s taken me all the way through the Junior Hunters. He’s taught me so much and he was just great this week.”

Capping her first CCHS with success, McCloskey commented on the show and how much she is looking forward to returning next year. “I thought overall it was a great week and even with the weather the rings held up amazingly and they weren’t sticky or muddy. I think the courses rode beautifully all week and overall it was just a great show for us. We’re looking forward to coming back!”

Kirsten Ostling of New Canaan, CT and Given earned reserve champion accolades in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 14 & Over division while Briana Sukert of Newport Coast, CA aboard Nonchalant took home the champion tricolor in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 13 & Under. Sophie Gochman of New York, NY and World Time received reserve awards for the division.

Emma Kurtz Wins Grand Champion Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH dominated the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division to receive the Grand Champion Junior Hunter 15 & Under presented by Sherri Geddes and Geddaway Farm.

“I started riding him two winters ago in Florida but he hasn’t lived with us for most of the time so I would just meet him at the shows. After Devon this year though he came home with us and has been living with us and I’ve gotten to know him better,” she said. “He jumps amazing and he has a huge stride which makes him really fun to ride. I’m really excited to have been named Grand Champion and I think it is a big honor.”

In the duo’s handy round, Kurtz was pleased with the boldness of the 2005 Warmblood gelding who tried his hand at the jumpers before switching disciplines, as he can be green to certain obstacles, but didn’t bat an eye today in the ring. She explained, “He can be pretty green to trot jumps and I was really excited that he did that well today in the handy. He didn’t even react to it, which was really good.”

“We’ll head to Harrisburg, Washington, and the National over the next two months but we really like coming to Capital Challenge. I really like that you are outside one day and inside the next day because I feel like it balances you out and gives you experience in both atmospheres, especially if a horse doesn’t like being indoors,” she noted.

Hunter Siebel of Woodside, CA was honored with reserve champion awards aboard As Always in the Large Junior Under 15 & Under division.

Samantha Karp and Central Park Earn Top Spot in Children’s Hunter Division

Samantha Karp was thrilled with her performances aboard 2005 Hanoverian gelding Central Park in the Children’s Hunter division as the duo collected two first place finishes alongside a fifth. Karp noted that after the conclusion of the upcoming indoor circuit, she will have aged out of the Children’s Hunter division and will continue to show as an amateur. Karp was also honored with both champion and reserve champion honors in the division, as she piloted McGraw owned by Kimberly Quinn to reserve champion behind Central Park.

“This win feels amazing. This is really my first year going to any of these bigger shows, so to come out here and do these bigger classes I was really nervous, but all of my horses were incredible and they each brought their A-game this week,” commented Karp. “This is my last division in the Children’s. I’ll do the Children’s Hunter Finals at Harrisburg and Washington International and then I’ll be done with the division, which is bittersweet.”

Karp, who trains with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm, piloted three horses through the Children’s Hunter 15-17 division, also picking up a blue ribbon aboard McGraw in an over fences class. Her point-awarded performances on all three horses helped her to capture champion awards for the Children’s Hunter 15-17 division, also leading to the her presentation as Grand Champion Children’s Hunter for the 2015 competition. Karp also collected Best Children’s Hunter Rider awards presented by Wild Sky Farm and the Nelson Family, which is awarded to the Grand Champion Children’s Hunter rider.

Ellia Giuliani of Middleburg, VA and Quillaja earned champion honors in the Children’s Hunter 14 & Under division, while Zoe Ganek of New York, NY and Bellagio captured reserve champion. Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and Q-2 were crowned champions in the Children’s Hunter Pony division while Laura Katz of Potomac, MD and Highland’s Right Royal finished with reserve champion.

Capital Challenge Horse Show would like to thank all staff, sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, and volunteers who helped to make the 2015 competition possible. Please visit www.capitalchallenge.org to see a full list of results.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Sophie Gochman Awarded Grand Pony Hunter Championship aboard Love Me Tender

Sophie Gochman and Love Me Tender. ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography.

Rizvi Captures $2,500 WCHR Pony Challenge; Danielle Torano and Herault Rise to the Occasion in Final Round of $10,000 North American Jr./AO Jumper Challenge

Upper Marlboro, MD – Talented ponies ruled the roost today at Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, with Small, Medium, and Large pony divisions honoring their respective champion and reserve combinations for top performances. Sophie Gochman of New York, NY captured the prestigious Grand Champion Pony Hunter aboard Love Me Tender, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, while Farah Rizvi of Greenwich, CT and Trillville, owned by Peacock Ridge LLC, were victorious in the $2,500 WCHR Pony Challenge. Danielle Torano of Wellington, FL and Herault topped the final round of the $10,000 North American Jr./AO Jumper Challenge presented by Johnson Horse Transportation.

Competing in the Small Pony Hunter division aboard Love Me Tender, Sophie Gochman earned the division’s championship title, going on to collect the highest award of the day, the Grand Champion Pony Hunter for her collective rides aboard the 2004 Welsh Pony mare. Gochman, who is 12 years old, earned two first places and a second place finish, alongside a fourth and sixth place to earn overall Grand Champion Pony honors at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show. She also followed herself as reserve champion in the division aboard another Dr. Betsee Parker owned mount, Bit of Love.

Gochman was awarded with the Harper Taskier Wright Memorial Trophy presented to the rider of the Small Pony Hunter Champion, as well as the VanderMoore Designs Trophy donated by VanderMoore Designs. Adding to her memorable day, Gochman also collected the Best Pony Rider Award sponsored by Archie Cox and Brookway Stables. Gochman, alongside sister Mimi Gochman, and Clare Campbell were simultaneously awarded with the EMO Trip of the Show for the Pony division presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency for their tied high score of 89.00. Campbell was recognized for her style throughout the week, earning the Stewart Warner Cup presented by Donald Stewart and Louise Serio.

“It’s so exciting. I never expected to win Grand Champion at Capital Challenge. It’s such a competitive show and all of the riders are so good. It feels like such an accomplishment,” Gochman remarked.

Love Me Tender, known in the barn as Princess, is quite the diva and continually lives up to her name, but according to Gochman, she will do anything you ask of her in the ring. The duo proved their talent with incredible consistency throughout the two days of pony competition, which was filled with many of the best young competitors in the country.

“She’s a little princess and can be sassy sometimes. She has a really nice long stride though and she has very solid lead changes. She’s just perfect,” smiled Gochman. “Yesterday when we got the 89 outdoors in the rain was a good moment for me because it was a little bit harder to ride in the rain but she does really well outdoors.”

The Gochman family has continued to support and sponsor Capital Challenge Horse Show throughout the years and the competition holds a special place in their hearts. Sophie related saying, “It’s a great facility here and I always think it is a challenge to go from outdoors to indoors and there are so many competitors that you always have to be on your toes.”

Gochman wished to thank her team and trainers for helping to prepare her throughout the week as they continue to make her a better rider. She said, “I’d really like to thank Scott Stewart, Ken Berkley, and Amanda Derbyshire for all of their help this week and to Betsee for letting me ride Princess. I also have to thank my parents for supporting me and Princess’ groom Luis for taking such good care of her.”

Mimi Gochman, the younger sister of Sophie at eleven years old, also collected top honors today as she was crowned champion of the Large Pony Hunter division aboard Storyteller owned by Fair Play Farm. The beautiful chestnut gelding went wonderfully for Gochman throughout the week and she was excited to earn the tricolor for the division.

“It was really fun today and I’m so excited. It’s a great honor to champion a division here because it’s really competitive and it’s one of the top indoor shows, which makes it really special,” she explained. “Story is a very calm pony and he has a great stride and a fun jump. He’s very easy to turn so I think handy rounds are his forte and he loves all of the classes we do.”

The grounds at Capital Challenge have seen immense rainfall this week, but as competition continued on, so did the riding and Gochman was one of only few who may have been happy to be riding in the rain this week. She recalled, “Yesterday he got an 89 outside and I was really proud of him because he is what my dad calls a ‘mudder’ and he just loves the mud! He jumped great and he always tries his best for me.”

Both of the Gochman girls commented on the importance of the show on their schedule each year and described how it helps them to prepare for the other indoors that are approaching in the fall season.

“Capital Challenge is just challenging,” said Mimi Gochman. “There are so many great ponies here and it’s seems to be a little bit cold every time so they always seem a little fresh. It’s good to ride in the indoor ring though because there are so many lights and banners and you have to get used to that with all of the other shows too.”

Paralleling her sister, Mimi quickly thanked her team, parents, and Fair Play Farm for their support throughout the week. “I would like to thank Scott Stewart, Ken Berkley, Amanda Derbyshire, Kate and Terrance for being my trainers and helping me to ride this week. I also want to thank Fair Play Farm for giving me the ride on Story for this week and Gustavo Hernandez my groom who takes care of him.”

Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH and All My Love, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, followed Mimi Gochman with reserve honors in the Large Pony Hunter division.

The day of sisterly success continued at Capital Challenge as Zayna Rizvi took top honors in the Medium Pony Hunter aboard Swingtown, owned by Peacock Ridge LLC before her older sister Farah would ultimately be crowned in the WCHR Pony Challenge only a few classes later. Sophie Gochman collected reserve champion honors for the division aboard Truly Noble owned by Pegasus Show Stable Inc.

Rizvi Captures $2,500 WCHR Pony Challenge

Farah Rizvi rode a beautiful round in the $2,500 WCHR Pony Challenge, piloting Trillville to top honors in the class, which boasted 26 entries. Rizvi finished on a score of 87.66, while Kathryn McCarthy of New Canaan, CT and Canterbrook Prince Charming placed second with a score of 84.33, while Adam Edgar of Leesburg, VA and One More Time completed the top three with a score of 83.58.

Farah Rizvi and Trillville
Farah Rizvi and Trillville

“It feels really good to win this class and I’m really happy with it. I think it was fun to come down the last line and be like ‘Yay I had a good round!’” she exclaimed.

Piloting Trillville to a solid trip in her first WCHR Challenge win, Rizvi made the most of her ride on the 2004 New Forest Pony gelding, who’s lovingly known around the barn as Trill. The duo mastered the tough course and Rizvi left the ring with an ear-to-ear smile.

“He’s a really good boy and he really likes jumping. He’s usually pretty good but in the jog he always tries to bite me but I know that he doesn’t mean to,” she said as she explained the personality of the silky bay Trill. “We’ve had him for two years but we leased him last year so this is my first year riding him.”

Rizvi was another young rider who recognized the importance and competitiveness of Capital Challenge, as she pointed out that the show is an important step on the road to Harrisburg and Washington International Horse Show. “I like having the indoor and the outdoor rings and it’s a very hard show because of all of the riders. I really like the Hamptons and Washington, Harrisburg, and here. They are my favorites.”

Working throughout the year with goal of competing in the WCHR class, Rizvi commented that she set the goal early in the season. “I did want to do this class and I really like classic kind of things, you know they’re really fun, and you get to wear your shadbelly.”

Dabbling in several equestrian disciplines, Rizvi chose to forgo competing in the pony divisions last year and focused on showing her Children’s Hunter mount and her Children’s Jumper horse. She also began to follow in her mother’s footsteps and tried her hand at dressage, which she truly enjoyed.

“I did do some dressage last spring in Florida,” she confirmed. “My pony is off this week and he’s back next week so we’ll start to do more and I’m actually going to try and do the FEI Pony divisions this year in Wellington.”

Danielle Torano and Herault Rise to the Occasion in Final Round of $10,000 North American Jr./AO Jumper Challenge

Danielle Torano and Herault
Danielle Torano and Herault

Danielle Torano of Wellington, FL and Herault sped to the finish of the $10,000 North American Jr./AO Jumper Challenge presented by Johnson Horse Transportation, which attracted 26 entries, as the duo stopped the jump-off timers in 36.902 seconds for the win. Cloe Hymowitz of Bridgehampton, NY and Romance De Kerliven finished in second with a time of 37.803 seconds while Torano piloted her second mount into the top three as Callas 2 was just a few milliseconds slower than Hymowitz with a time of 37.895 seconds for third. The class saw nine entries move forward to the jump-off round.

Torano, who hadn’t initially planned to compete at Capital Challenge this year, found herself in the award ceremony with two young horses primed for the top levels of the sport. Herault, a 2007 Warmblood gelding, just recently stepped up to the big leagues, contesting a few grand prixs at the Vermont Summer Festival, while Callas 2, a 2007 Warmblood mare, has the scope and steadiness to excel in the larger classes.

“I’ve had Herault for a little over a year. We bought him as a seven-year-old and we started to move him up this year. Callas 2 is also eight but I feel like I can go faster with her because she’s so careful and scopey so I wasn’t sure how I was going to beat my own time on him, but when I talked to Jimmy [Torano] he gave me a few areas that I could possibly shave off time,” she said explaining her strategy for the jump-off. “When I looked back at the scoreboard once I finished I couldn’t believe that I had gone faster than my first ride!”

Torano has had a number of successful upper level talents throughout the years and these two young horses seem to be ready for a successful grand prix debut during the winter circuit.

“I’m really proud of him today because he proved to me that when I ask for more he’s willing to go there. I decided to do both of them here because they’re young and haven’t had much experience showing indoors with us so it was a good prep run for both of them before Harrisburg next week,” Torano said.

Riding in less than favorable weather before the class, Torano admitted that riding in the rain is her absolute least favorite thing to do and she was proud that she was able to pilot both horses to respectable finishes aside from the outdoor conditions.

“I’m soaking wet and I absolutely hate riding in the rain but it was completely worth it and paid off,” she laughed. In terms of her mental preparation for riding two very different horses so close together in the order, Torano detailed the uniqueness of each ride. “Herault is a full-brother to a horse that I used to have, Vancouver, who I did in the really big grand prix classes and he rides very similarly so I’m comfortable with him. It’s like putting on an old glove. Callas 2 is a little bit more difficult for me though because she’s so careful. In my mind I get a little ahead of myself and feel like I have to make sure we get there perfectly every time because she is so scopey and careful.”

JET Stables will head to Harrisburg next, where Torano will finish her fall campaign and give the horses a rest before the winter season. She explained, “After Harrisburg we’ll call it a day in terms of the fall schedule. I am very conservative with my horses and want to make sure that I know them as best as possible before we do any of the bigger classes, but I know Jimmy already has some plans for WEF with these two, so we’ll probably see them doing some of the bigger grand prix classes during the circuit.”

Regularly traveling to compete at Capital Challenge Horse Show, JET Stables continues to bring students and clients to The Show Place Arena, as it has been an important stop on the seasonal schedule for both Jimmy, as head trainer, and Danielle, a rider, every year. Torano noted, “It was a super week and even though the weather was a downer, it was completely worth it, especially when you do well in the ring. We had a really fun week and a lot of Jimmy’s students did very well so it was great.”

Tomorrow concludes the final day of the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, showcasing Junior Hunter riders and Children’s Hunter competition. For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Scott Stewart Collects Sixth WCHR Professional Finals Title aboard Reality

Scott Stewart and Reality. Photos: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography.

Allison Joyce Earns First Major Finals Win in ARIAT Adult Medal; Maloomian and Invincible Collect $2,500 WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge; Cloe Hymowitz Takes First Round of $10,000 North American Jr./AO Challenge Cup

Upper Marlboro, MD – As a highlight of the Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) each year, the WCHR Professional Finals crowned a veteran champion in 2015, as Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL took the top prize in the $5,000 WCHR Pro Finals presented by the show’s title sponsor, Well Placed Smile, for the sixth time in his career. Stewart earned the prestigious top prize in the final round aboard Reality, owned by Alexa Weisman, with a final score of 271.99. The Capital Challenge Horse Show will continue with hunter and jumper competition through Sunday, October 4, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center.

Allison Joyce and Herrold were victorious in the ARIAT Adult Medal Finals presented by Ariat International, the most prestigious Adult Medal finals offered in the United States. Kimberly Maloomian and Invincible, owned by Ellen Toon, captured the $2,500 WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge presented by Kate Considine and Willowbrook Farm with a final score of 88.00. Cloe Hymowitz and Fidalgo van het Leliehof, owned by Rose Hill Farm, won the first round of the $10,000 North American Jr./AO Challenge Cup presented by Johnson Horse Transportation.

As a fun and entertaining twist to the WCHR Professional Finals, the top six professionals who qualify for the class must ride two new mounts for the first two rounds of the division and then may choose a horse from their own string for the final handy round. Stewart was rewarded for his trips aboard his two borrowed partners, earning a 90.33 and 92.00 respectively. Hunt Tosh and Amanda Steege both jumped to a tied high score in the first round with a 93.00, while Havens Schatt took the high score in the second round with a 94.00.

Scott Stewart is no stranger to the WCHR Professional Finals having won the class an incredible six times so far in his career. Riding the 2004 Mecklenburger stallion (D’Olympic x Smilla II) Reality in the final handy round of competition, Stewart collected top honors after receiving a 90.33 in the first round, a 92.00 in the second, and finishing with an 89.66 in the handy.

“For me, a highlight tonight was the handy with Reality because we didn’t chip the trot jump, which I had been doing all week at the same jump,” said Stewart. “I’ve had the ride on him for six or seven years and he’s a stallion. He does the younger amateur classes and he’s just a really steady nice hunter and a blast to ride.”

As to why Stewart chose the seasoned stallion, “He just did the amateur classes yesterday so he was still here on the grounds. I used him last year and he was really good so I wanted to stick with him for this class.”

Havens Schatt, of Georgetown, KY, finished in reserve just behind Stewart piloting three different horses to three lovely rounds. Schatt chose to ride Mostly Sunny, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding owned by CH Farm, LLC in the handy round to help the young horse gain more experience under the lights in a big atmosphere, in which he excelled, receiving an 89.00, 88.00, and 90.00 for a total score of 89.00.

“I hope that next year this horse will be able to do more derby classes and possibly Derby Finals. I’m pretty protective of my horses and I felt like this was a good class to get him out schooling underneath of the lights and change his routine a little bit,” she explained. “It’s luck of the draw when you do this class and you never know what’s going to happen and I hoped that it wouldn’t come down to him winning the class and that we would be in it. It was a great learning experience for him.”

Jenny Karazissis of Calabasas, CA, aboard 2004 Hanoverian gelding Tuscany, owned by Emily Sukert of Newport Coast, CA, also laid down an impressive handy round. The duo made up the gap in Karazissis’ previous two rounds, to earn scores of 93.00, 94.00, and 93.00, leaving them with an average score of 93.33 in the final round. Karazissis finished with a total score of 266.99, good enough for a third place finish.

“He was really on this week when I rode him and I knew that I could rely on him in this class to do well,” said Karazissis. “It was really fun and I had a great time with him this year in this class.”

According to Stewart, who has commented on the competitiveness of the show throughout the week, reiterated the notion tonight that each of the country’s top professional riders bring their best horses to this show and competing together in a fun environment brings a new depth to the sport.

“This horse show I think is the most competitive show of the year. With all of these great riders it is always an honor to be in this group and try to maintain that. I think it is also just a fun class as well. We all are rooting for each other and it’s a fun night.”

The horses used for this year’s $5,000 WCHR Professional Finals class were generously donated by Ally Marrinan (Forester); Emily Cherney (Kinder Scout); Elvenstar Farm (Caracas 89); Gretchen Draper (Czechers); Radi Salim (Jos); and Georgia Saad (Vogue).

Allison Joyce Prevails in Three Rounds of 2015 ARIAT Adult Medal Finals

Allison Joyce of Medway, MA piloted Herrold, owned by Mindy Whitman of Marston Mills, MA, to their first major equitation final championship in the ARIAT Adult Medal Finals at CCHS, as the duo collected a total three round score of 254.30 to narrowly edge Kendall Casaccio of Mamora, NJ and Fortissimo, owned by Pembrook Farm, who finished with a total score of 247.55. Casaccio entered the head-to-head test portion of the class with a score of 171.15 narrowly ahead of Joyce who returned with a 171.10.

Allison Joyce and Herrold
Allison Joyce and Herrold

“This is pretty surreal. I’ve never won a major final before as a junior or an adult so this is really exciting for me. I had an awesome horse beneath me, Herrold, owned by Mindy Whitman; he’s just amazing,” said Joyce. “He’s a go-getter. He knows his job and he’s there for you every stride and you wouldn’t be able to ask for anything more than that.”

Joyce rode first in the test portion, putting in a bold but elegant round, with a only a small rub at fence two, ultimately receiving an 83.20 from the panel, which would carry her on to victory. Casaccio collected second place honors earning a 76.40 in the test.

“I’ve only ridden him a handful of times and jumped once before getting here, but for me, this class was about staying relaxed and not overthinking it, just having a plan and riding the plan,” noted Joyce.

Going into the first round, which boasted 30 entries this year, Joyce planned to make the most of her trip in front of the judges, prepared a bold and forward plan. Herrold settled nicely for Joyce and she knew that if she rode an accurate round, she would find herself placing nicely before the second round of competition.

“I knew I wanted to go get the first jump as soon as I picked up the canter and then the second I landed I knew where I was and he was really just game for anything. It really fell into place for us,” she continued.

A recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and an alumna of their NCAA Division I program, Joyce will ride through the winter circuit in Florida before making any decisions about her future. “My plan right now, is to go to Florida to ride a bit this winter and take some time off before deciding what to do with my life as an adult,” Joyce smiled.

Kimberly Maloomian Victorious in $2,500 WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge

CCHS continues to serve as an impressive destination for the country’s best amateur hunter riders each year and today served as the final day of amateur competition in the hunter ring with the $2,500 WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge presented by Kate Considine and Willow Brook Farm. Kimberly Maloomian of Needham, MA aboard Invincible, the famous mount of Ellen Toon, challenged a class of 32 entries, scoring a class best 88.00 to take the win.

Maloomian, who rode the 2000 Bayerisches Warmblood to reserve champion honors at HITS Saugerties in the Adult Amateur finals division earlier in September, was thrilled to finally capture a victory with one of the country’s most storied hunter mounts, endearingly known as Shaq.

“I’m not very good with pressure situations and I wanted to come in and make it fun, but I also knew that after yesterday it was going to be really close since there were a lot of really good riders within ten points of each other,” she remarked. “The course was a great course for Shaq though because it was landing on the right lead, which made the bending line perfect, but he’s done so many of these high pressure classes that he doesn’t care. It was more on me.”

Maloomian tried to relieve the pressure by reminding herself that her main and only goal was to do the best that she could do and let the rest just happen. Working all year long to qualify for the class, Maloomian made the most of her moment in The Show Place Arena and left the ring with a smile.

“Being able to ride Shaq worked out fabulously for me. I’ve only been riding him for about a month and we went to the Hamptons then Saugerties and we got a lot of red ribbons. It felt great today to finally earn the blue,” she said.

Winning the class meant a lot for Maloomian, who is very involved with the WCHR program and even coordinates awards for the northeast region. “I’m very into this program and it’s something nice to work towards. It definitely means a lot, especially when you’re invested in the program.”

Lisa Cox and Castleton, owned by The Barracks, who captured divisional reserve champion honors yesterday, continued with their success today earning a second place finish with a final score of 85.66. Ingrid Avera and her own Cadbury rounded out the top three of the class with a final score of 84.50.

Cloe Hymowitz Takes First Round of $10,000 North American Jr./AO Challenge Cup

Cloe Hymowitz of Bridgehampton, NY and Fidalgo van het Leliehof, owned by Rose Hill Farm, raced to the win in the first round of the $10,000 North American Junior/Amateur Owner Challenge Cup, which served as a speed class before the final round of competition tomorrow night, stopping the timers in 57.143 seconds to collect the win.

Hymowitz only began riding Fidalgo van het Leliehof a week ago, as the experienced gelding recently just switched hands to Rose Hill Farm as a High Junior Amateur mount for Hymowitz to compete during the winter season. Also finishing in fifth place aboard Romance de Kerliven, Hymowitz is looking forward to having four mounts in tomorrow night’s final class. “I’m really happy with how today went. I’ve only had him for a week and was just trying to get to know him a bit better, but when I looked at the clock we had actually gone pretty fast. I’m excited for our partnership and will try to get to know him better over the next couple of months before the winter circuit.”

Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ and Conquillas finished in second with a time of 59.132 seconds while Kelli Cruciotti of Elizabeth, CO followed in third aboard Wallenburg with a time of 59.146 seconds.

Competition at CCHS continues tomorrow with a day of Junior and Pony hunter classes, including the WCHR Pony Challenge, as well as the final round of the $10,000 North American Junior/Amateur Owner Challenge Cup.

For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Samantha Schaefer Dominates Amateur Division Taking WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge

Samantha Schaefer and Classified. Photos: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography.

Danhakl and Quest Win WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3”Challenge, Maida and Moran Collect Grand Champion Honors, Reisman Finishes on Top in $10,000 Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge

Upper Marlboro, MD – Amateur riders were the highlight on the sixth day of competition at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, as a number of divisions crowned their champions and gifted prestigious awards. Local superstar and homegrown talent Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, MD continued to add to her successful career at CCHS, amassing two more major championship wins as she earned Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter honors and topped the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge aboard Classified. Competition at CCHS will continue through Sunday, October 4.

Caroline Moran of Wellington, FL and Bacardi picked up the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 and Over division and earned Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” presented by Will and Lindsay Roberts. Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA rode Quest, a former mount of Scott Stewart, to victory in the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge presented by Milestone LLC and Havens Schatt. Alexis Maida, traveling from Danville, CA piloted Tolstoy to the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter title presented by Steve Martines, while Micki Reisman dominated the $10,000 Children’s Adult/Amateur Jumper Challenge presented by Equis Boutique.

Schaefer, who earned Grand Champion Pony Hunter and Grand Champion Junior Hunter accolades early on in her storied junior career and has risen through the ranks of the WCHR program, felt the toll of taking time away from the saddle. A senior at Baylor University, she will complete her Communications degree this December, which put a hiatus of sorts on her competition schedule this year.

“I went to Saugerties in September and I don’t think I felt very in the groove or in practice, which for me, someone who is used to riding multiple horses every day, was hard,” Schaefer honestly revealed. “He’s absolutely amazing and can make about anything look great though. He’s an easy horse to come in on and have fun and that’s why we have him, you know, to have one nice one that we can always count on.”

Before capturing the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge, Schaefer was also awarded with the CCHS Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” title presented by Troy Hendricks and Kimberview Stables, as well as the Dr. Harold M. S. Smith Trophy awarded by Dr. Suzanne Smith. The duo received top ribbons in each major class in the division including a win in the under saddle. Aboard 2005 Hanoverian gelding Classified (Lordanos x St. Pt. Hauptstutbuch) Schaefer capitalized on her consistency as the first combination to ride in The Show Place Arena for the WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’6” Challenge. Laying down a near perfect round, Schaefer remained unbeaten throughout the class as 21 entries attempted to catch her averaged score of 87.50.

“The first day I felt like he was doing really well but maybe not at our absolute best. We rubbed a rail twice which left us in third both times and then we won the hack, but in the Challenge today he was just incredible and we had a little bit of luck work in our favor,” she continued. “That was the round where it really felt like it all came together and that is what it’s supposed to feel like. It was smooth and I’m really happy with it. He’s done now till Florida and the winter season so he’ll get a really good rest.”

In an effort to preserve her horses for the winter season ahead, Schaefer decided to forgo the heavy indoor season this fall and looked to have a solid outing this week before returning to school to enjoy her last semester of college. “I wanted to have a successful Capital Challenge and then let the horses be done for the year. Now that I’ll be in Florida consistently this winter, I think we’ll be asking a lot more of them than in the past and I want them to hit the ground running and still feel fresh.”

The duo has only been together for a year and Schaefer is excited to see what lies ahead, as Capital Challenge marked the year anniversary of his purchase, which she noted, has brought them truly full circle, as the duo competed in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” division a year ago. After only a single trial ride, Classified switched hands to Schaefer with the help of Kate Conover, who dotes upon the inquisitive chestnut gelding as much as Schaefer. Schaefer said with a smile, “I like to say that we have joint custody. Kate loves him as much as I do and he’s really like her baby.”

The gelding’s expression and consistency continue to earn him top marks from judging panels in the hunter ring and Schaefer will look to extend that success into the competitive winter season, as the gelding checks all of the right boxes in her eyes.

“I would say that one of the biggest things that I love about that horse is that he doesn’t ever look to lose. He’s never going to try to lose and I think that’s a really important quality,” continued Schaefer. “There are a lot of horses with talent but they don’t have that will to win. He always is trying his best and has a great attitude and is just a fun horse with a lot of character.”

Stephanie Danhakl captured reserve honors behind Schaefer in the division, piloting her own Golden Rule.

Krista Weisman of Sherborn, MA and Reality finished just behind Schaefer, receiving an 87.00 to take second place honors in the Challenge class. Elizabeth Faraci of Annapolis, MD rounded out the top three placings, receiving an 85.66 aboard Chamonix.

Schaefer also collected the honors for Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Rider presented by Betty and Ernie Oare.

Becky Gochman and Last Call, owned by David Gochman, earned a tricolor in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36 & Over presented by Betty and Ernie Oare, while Ellen Toon and Mirror Image followed in reserve.

The EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Trip of the Show was presented to Ellen Toon and Mirror Image for their score of 89.25, awarded by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency.

Danhakl and Quest Win WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge

Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA and Quest captured the $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge in fine fashion, as the duo received a total score of87.50 to nudge out Becky Gochman of New York, NY and Touchdown for the top prize, as they followed in second with an 86.50 while Lisa Arena Davis of Penfield, NY and Balou finished in third place with an 84.33.

Stephanie Danhakl and Quest
Stephanie Danhakl and Quest

Danhakl piloted Quest, a 2007 Warmblood gelding, to top honors after concluding a solid week of competition at CCHS. Danhakl purchased Quest from trainer Scott Stewart almost two years ago after he was campaigned through the First Year Green Hunter classes with Stewart. Once she took over the ride, the duo excelled in the Amateur-Owner division before the gelding developed a chronic foot condition that led to nearly a year off.

“I’ve really only shown him six or seven times in total even though I’ve owned him for a while. He’s an amazing horse and he’s a beautiful jumper. I love his rhythm and I’m really happy to have him back,” she explained.

Alongside her other top mounts, Enough Said and Golden Rule, who have both found success at Capital Challenge in past years, Danhakl was excited to bring Quest out this week with the hopes of continuing to develop their partnership for the future.

“Every time he goes into the ring he gives his all and he’s truly a sweet horse. I feel like this is his time to shine because he is an amazing horse and has never really had a chance to prove how good he is,” she continued. “He hasn’t gotten the name he deserves yet.”

The gelding’s swift and steady movement makes him an ideal hunter for Danhakl, as she believes the gelding’s jump is a true highlight and ultimately sets him apart. “He tries so hard over every jump and it’s just a great feeling. He’s so round and he gets a ton of height. I think he excels at everything and he’s really easy to ride. He did everything perfectly.”

With a busy work schedule, Danhakl took a short break from competing this summer, as she prepares to move to Boston, MA to work for the Museum of Fine Arts as a Graduate Research Associate and prepare for the journey to receive her PhD. Even with a strict agenda, Danhakl was excited to make it to Capital Challenge this year as she prepares to balance both of her passions. She will compete through the rest of the indoor series, while adjusting to life in a new city.

“To be with the horses I love and go around the ring and have the trips we did, it’s really just icing on the cake for me to win this class and overall I’m feeling really excited,” she remarked.

The pair also collected champion honors in the Amateur-Owner 3’3’ 18-35 division presented by Cindy Cruciotti, Serenity Farm and Endeavor Farm. Hannah Goodson-Cutt and Prime Time followed with reserve champion honors.

Maida Collects Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter

The Adult Amateur classes at Capital Challenge Horse Show draw a generous number of dedicated competitors each year. Hailing from the west coast, Alexis Maida and Tolstoy, owned by Ashley Weiman, dominated the Adult Amateur 18-35 division presented by Lainie Wimberly and Brigadoon Show Stables, Inc., capturing divisional champion honors before being named as the 2015 Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter presented by Steve Martines. Maida also was awarded with the Best Adult Amateur Hunter Rider sponsored by Phoebe Weseley and River Run Farm and the Best EMO Adult Amateur Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency with a high score of 86.5. Her trainer Nicolas Haness received the Leading Adult Amateur Trainer award.

Alexis Maida and Tolstoy
Alexis Maida and Tolstoy

“I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to ride him and I can’t thank Ashley enough for allowing me to compete him. He’s a great horse all around,” said Maida. “This means everything to me to be Grand Champion here. It’s a dream come true to be honest. I never thought that I would ever have the opportunity to ride a horse like him, let alone be champion or best adult rider.”

With an equestrian-immersed childhood, Maida began riding at the age of 3 and worked with a number of trainers on the west coast, soon becoming a regular of the indoor series, competing in the Maclay and Medal Finals and WIHS Equitation Finals several times. After finishing her junior career in the big equitation divisions, Maida decided to focus on her career before returning to the sport a year ago.

“I’ve competed at Capital Challenge before, but this is the first time back in like ten years for me. Being on the East Coast to compete is on a whole new level. The competition here is unreal and to get a prize here let alone to win just feels amazing,” she smiled. Taylor Willever of Pen Argyl, PA, and Short Stop, owned by Troy Hendricks, earned reserve champion honors behind Maida.

Kimberly Jungherr of Williston, FL and Shock Top owned by Brook Run Farm LLC earned champion honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-50 presented by Gina Badagnani and JOD’s. Lisa Cox of Richmond, VA and Castleton, owned by the Barracks, followed with reserve honors.

Laurie Stevens of Boca Raton, FL and her own Santiago captured a divisional championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over while Gina Day, of Boulder, CO, and Premier, owned by Day, earned reserve champion.

Moran and Bacardi Make Mark at CCHS

Caroline Moran and Bacardi, a veteran of the Future Hunter program at CCHS collecting Grand Future Hunter Champion honors in 2011, Future Hunter Championship awards in 2012, and Grand First Year Green Hunter in 2013, were back in the winner’s presentation again in 2015, as they earned Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” honors presented by Will and Lindsay Roberts, after a phenomenal week, in which they swept the over fences classes in the Adult Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36 & Over division presented by Margaret O’Meara and Paige Tredennick.

Bacardi has continued to build confidence through the years with Moran’s and trainer Havens Schatt’s guidance and a highlight of the pair’s week this year, was their recognition for the EMO Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency, as they averaged a score of 93.00 in one of their over fences classes.

“My horse just loves this horse show. He absolutely does. I think from when he did so well in the Future Hunters a few years ago right on through the First Years, he just loves this horse show, as do I,” commented Moran. “We love the footing and the jumps. He definitely lets you know when you get somewhere if he feels comfortable or not. Havens [Schatt] said when she got on him here that he just felt comfortable right off the get go.”

Blessed with an incredible jump and knack for leaving the judges wanting more, Bacardi continues to impress with scores now consistently reaching the upper 80s and low 90s. Moran, who was even surprised with their consistency this week, commented on the gelding’s skill for the hunter ring, “I’m thrilled but still surprised. When I went the first day outside I was overly critical of myself and then we got an amazing marker of a score, I said maybe I shouldn’t be so critical. He was definitely on his game. I can tell from the moment I pick up his trot if he is.”

The pair has grown together and their bond is obvious and Moran feels the pressure when she knows the 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Casco x Varilla R) has brought his game face to the ring. Moran bought Bacardi as a five-year-old and has worked with Havens Schatt to continue molding his talent and consistency.

“He’s consistent when he wants to be, but if he doesn’t like something he’ll let you know. When he is on and good he’s really good,” she said. “There is a sense of pressure though because when you know you’re on a horse that can score in the 90s it falls more on you, but at this show I feel like I don’t even need to be here. He knows exactly what he’s doing and I’m just here to enjoy the ride.”

The duo captured divisional champion honors in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36 & Over division presented by Margaret O’Meara and Paige Tredennick, while Dawn Fogel of Louisville, KY and Summer Catch earned reserve champion recognition.

Reisman Finishes on Top in $10,000 Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge

At the young age of 16, Micki Reisman of Cleveland, OH captured her first major jumper victory at CCHS, as she and the feisty chestnut mare Za Zou raced to victory, besting a class of more than 70 entries. The duo crossed the timers in 38.558 seconds in the jump-off to seal their win. Will Kennedy of Brookeville, MD and Ontario finished in second with a time of 41.363 seconds, while Phoebe Alwine of Delray Beach, FL and Zenith Dance rounded out the top three with a time of 41.381 seconds.

The immediate jump-off format proved nerve-wracking for competitors slated to compete in the middle of the order such as Reisman, who didn’t think her jump-off time would outlast the vast number of entries in the class.

“I went in the middle of the class, I think about 29th, and tried to think to myself that I wanted to go double clear. I had a rail yesterday and I wasn’t planning on going that fast,” she explained. “When I went double clear and that fast I was just ecstatic. She’s a new mare for me; we only purchased her in August, so this is a huge win for us.”

“I’ve never had a win like this before and I’ve just been waiting for it to happen. We competed her locally after we took her to Kentucky this summer and she really loved this show,” said Reisman. “I’m so excited and ecstatic. There was some really good competition in the class and I’m really proud that we were able to maintain our lead.”

The Best Presented Model Horse sponsored by Equis Boutique was awarded to John French and Laura Wasserman’s Boss, who is cared for by Carlos Soriano and Alex García of Brookway Stables, in the Green Conformation Model, while Scott Stewart with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador was awarded in the Regular Conformation Model and is prepared by the River’s Edge Farm team.

Capital Challenge Horse Show continues tomorrow with the highlight class of the week, the $5,000 WCHR Pro Finals, beginning at 7pm in The Show Place Arena at Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The day will also include the beginning of Junior and Pony competition, which will conclude on Sunday, October 4.

For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Scott Stewart Takes WCHR Pro Challenge aboard Catch Me at Capital Challenge Horse Show

Scott Stewart and Catch Me. Photos: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography.

Hunt Tosh and Largesse Conquer $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championship, Stewart and Catch Me Take Grand Hunter Championship, Alexis Taylor Silvernale Captures WCHR Developing Pro Challenge in Class Fashion

Upper Marlboro, MD – With a full day of outstanding amateur and professional hunter competition, the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS), presented by Well Placed Smile, recognized the first Grand Champion combinations, alongside the preliminary World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Challenge classes. A highlight of the afternoon was the captivating Future Hunter North American Championship presented by the Wheeler Family and Cismont Manor Farm, which crowned the most gifted young hunter combinations in the country. Capital Challenge Horse Show continues with WCHR Challenge classes including the WCHR Pro Finals at 7pm on Friday, October 2, and will conclude on Sunday, October 4.

The $25,000 WCHR Pro Challenge presented by the Gochman Family, was won by Scott Stewart, of Wellington, FL, piloting the Gochman’s own Catch Me, a dashing 2007 dapple grey Holsteiner gelding, to the top prize. Stewart and Catch Me put together an exceptional week at Capital Challenge, making their mark across the board in a number of competitive hunter divisions. The duo ultimately captured the prestigious 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show Grand Hunter Champion presented by Rob Bielefeld, RSB Farms, and Chrystal Knight, alongside Grand Champion First Year Green Hunter presented by Summer Hill Farms alongside Jordan Gilchrist and Laura Hightower, as well as the Grand Green Hunter Champion presented by Carleton and Traci Brooks. The duo also collected the Tribute Award presented by Stewart and Ken Berkley. Adding to his ever-growing list of championship awards, he also earned the Leading Hunter Rider award presented by Tracye Ferguson and Meridian Riding Club.

Catch Me, one of the most consistent and attractive young horses in a field of talented and established competitors, continued to wow the judges with Stewart piloting knowledgably from the irons.

The duo scored a 92.66 in the first round, the highest professional score of the evening, combined with an 88.00 in the second over fences round for a final score of 180.66. Leslie Steele and Triumph were incredibly consistent with scores of 87.66 and 89.66 to find themselves just behind Stewart with a 177.32. Nick Haness and Countdown rounded out the top three finishers, receiving an 88.50 in the first class and an 87.91 in the final class of the evening at The Show Place Arena at Prince George’s Equestrian Center for a final score of 176.41.

The class attracted 28 entries found Stewart and Catch Me as the leaders throughout, but saw dramatic changes in the leaderboard as the top twelve were called back for the final round of competition prior to the $2,500 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge.

“The horses are going just great this week, but Catch Me was exceptional. He won every jump class he was entered in this week. Each round was just as good as the one before on him,” said Stewart. “He’s just been amazing. He was great in Florida and we always expected big things from him.”

The road to victory hasn’t been an easy one for Catch Me though. After a phenomenal winter season in Florida the gelding was admitted to a clinic, battling through a two-month stay due to an illness that halted his career and nearly ended his life. In a slow but sure recovery process, Catch Me began competing again under the watchful eye of Stewart who premiered the gelding in a magnificent return at Blue Grass Festival in Lexington, KY, where he proved his fight, earning top finishes in the First Year Green Hunter division, collecting Reserve Champion.

“We’re very lucky that he came back in the fashion that he did and his first show back was this past August in Kentucky and then he went to the Hampton Classic and did very well there also,” Stewart explained. “This is his third show back and he performed beautifully.”

Considering most professionals look to take an experienced horse into the ring for the WCHR Pro Challenge, Stewart did the opposite and brought a relatively green horse in for one of the highlight classes of the competition. When asked how he made his decision, he stated that it was actually a quite simple decision as the horse continued to prove himself throughout the week, showing that he was capable of handling the class and the atmosphere.

“He’s just been great all week and I figured that he was ready to go,” he said. “He’s perfect in the ring. He can be a bit spooky at home, but he’s fine in the ring. I think if you rode him like he was going to spook he would, but if you just ignore it; he’s absolutely fine.”

Stewart commented on the resurgence of Catch Me to the competition ring and it quickly became clear that the gelding’s natural talent will only grow as he becomes more accustomed to competing on a regular basis. “To be honest, he’s never done a class like this and probably has never seen a one-stride. It was the first time that we’ve jumped him indoors at a show and I don’t think he has that much experience inside, but he was incredible this week and it was an easy choice to use him for this class.”

In terms of Stewart’s stellar performance on a number of mounts this week, including seven entries in the $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championships, it seems that the veteran competitor continues to make his mark at the top levels of the sport, no matter the season.

“I always look forward to this horse show and this class. It’s a great class and there were a lot of really great rounds from everyone this year which is exciting for the sport,” Stewart noted. “This is one of my favorite shows and I certainly feel like I’ve had one of my better weeks here this week. Everyone performed to their best and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Stewart’s groom Omar Galban received a portion of the prize money for his dedication and hard work behind the scenes preparing Catch Me throughout the week. The Groom’s Award, presented by Goshen Hill, Gary Duffy, and Little Brook Farm, was given to Galban during the presentation ceremony following the conclusion of the class.

West Coast Talent Alexis Taylor Silvernale Tops $2,500 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge with Citation

After a more than 2,500-mile trip from the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Atlantic, Alexis Taylor Silvernale of Bellevue, Washington made her journey worthwhile as she and Citation, a 2006 Wurttemberger gelding (Cornet Obolensky x Little Lou) owned by student Camille LeBlond, were crowned champions of the $2,500 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge presented by Stephanie Ingram and Well Placed Smile. Silvernale and Citation received an 84.50 from the panel for their first over fences round and retuned to score an 87.50 in the second over fences class to seal their win with a final score of 172.00.

Alexis Taylor Silvernale and Citation
Alexis Taylor Silvernale and Citation

Entering the division as the leading rider for the WCHR Developing Pro series, Silvernale was ecstatic with the duo’s performance throughout the competitive division and embraced her return to the East Coast with happiness and determination. Riding for a number of talented and prominent names in the industry including Leslie Howard and Timmy Kees during her junior years, Silvernale took a hiatus from the sport for nearly a decade, earning a bachelor’s degree from New York University and continuing on to a successful career on Wall Street before realizing where her true passion was calling her.

“My husband Joe and I met training for an Ironman competition and he really inspired me to get back into the sport which has been the biggest blessing in my life,” continued Silvernale. “I found myself riding again and trained through much of my amateur owner career with Hunt and Mandy Tosh but really felt a pull to move back closer to family and took a professional job in the area and decided to open up our own program in Washington State and something I was a little bit more accustomed to.”

Citation plays dual roles at her own Aleron Farm, serving as a junior hunter mount for owner LeBlond, while testing the bigger tracks with Silvernale. The team will head to Harrisburg next where Silvernale will compete in the High Performance division and LeBlanc will test the prestigious equitation classes on a separate mount. A solid citizen and a true talent, Citation proved his worth with a flawless second round, which ultimately secured the win for the duo, who were in fifth place going into the final round.

“We actually imported him to be an equitation horse but my client decided that she wanted more experience in the hunter ring, so we decided to mold him into a hunter,” she explained. “He’s exceeded all of our expectations and he has an incredible jump. He has an amazing personality in the barn but he’s incredibly athletic and just safe and kind. He will continue to do the Junior Hunters with his owner and I am hoping that I will be lucky enough to keep campaigning him through the High Performance divisions next year and the international derbies.”

Quick to thank her husband, team, and owners, Silvernale also made mention of her longtime groom Luis Jiminez and his wife Maria Jiminez who have been with the Aleron team since its inception.

“I want to thank Luis and Maria for all of their hard work and the dedication they put forth every day to ensure the best care of our horses. They helped to found our business and are exceptional. They truly are family and they’re known around the barn as Papa Luis and Mama Maria.”

Sara Green and Batman followed with reserve honors in the division, narrowly trailing Silvernale and Citation, receiving an 83.00 in the first round and lifting their average with an impressive 88.33 in the second over fences class for a total score of 171.33 and broke a tie with Alexandra Wedemeyer and Wish List who collected third place with the same score.

Hunt Tosh Captures $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championships aboard Largesse presented by The Wheeler Family

Hunt Tosh and Largesse
Hunt Tosh and Largesse

After a strong showing, piloting young hunters through the divisions over the past two days, Hunt Tosh of Alpharetta, GA earned champion honors for the second year in a row in the Future Hunter North American Championships presented by the Wheeler Family, this time aboard 2007 Warmblood gelding Largesse owned by Ceil and Kenny Wheeler. Tosh and Largesse captured divisional championship honors yesterday in the Future Hunter 3’3” division and continued to build, receiving the highest scored round of Future Hunter North American Championships and the entire Future Hunter division, with a 92. The duo finished with a score of 177.30.

Jennifer Alfano and The Exchange, who were divisional winners in the Future Hunter 6 & Over, collected Reserve Champion honors with a total score of 175.15 while Liza Boyd and Gala placed third, after two lovely over fences classes, which received an 86.47 and 86.18 for a total score of 172.65 respectively. Tosh and Largesse also received the Grand Champion Future Working Hunter honors awarded by David Belford, Christopher Payne, Sue Moriconi and New Hope LLC.

“He is just an incredible horse. He’s just fabulous and he was everything that we had talked about yesterday but just even better today. He went beautifully the first round and the second round being 3’ it was a little bit smaller for him, but he held it together and went nice and he’s a really great horse to have the ride on,” Tosh explained.

With their score of 92 and a first round average of 88.90, Tosh and Largesse also received the EMO Future Hunter Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency. “I thought he really tried hard the entire round and its fun when you can go into a class like that and start to pull off scores like a 92 and get good scores. He’s a great horse and I’m really excited about him next year as a First Year horse.”

As for their back-to-back consistent trips seen throughout the week, they followed their 88.90 in the first round with an 88.40 from the panel after their second trip in The Show Place Arena. Tosh commented that he felt the gelding begin to understand and respond to small changes and adjustments throughout the course, but his willingness to try throughout the round is what truly impressed Tosh.

“In the first round he was jumping beautiful and I turned a little wide to stay out for the six and I had to take him a little bit right over the vertical and he really tried. He was with me and put in that extra little bit of effort that made the difference and helped me out the most there in the first round. He was trying as hard as I was,” Tosh remembered.

Three days of consecutive competition for young horses can be draining but Tosh couldn’t have been happier with the performance of Largesse throughout the course of the week. “This ring sometimes lights ‘them up a little bit and I think it’s great to give them a new atmosphere on day three when they can start to get a bit tired. The lines rode very well in the ring and you needed to carry a bit of pace but all of the courses were perfect for this class.”

Scott Stewart and Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, received Grand Champion Conformation Hunter honors awarded by Kitty Barker and Eight Oaks, as well as the Kenneth Wheeler Perpetual Trophy presented by B. J. Meeks, Pablo Perez and Kenneth Wheeler. Stewart also earned the Best Professional Trip of the Show presented by Sue Bopp and EMO Agency for his round in the Performance Hunter aboard A Million Reasons, also owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.

Hayley Barnhill and Ice Time earned distinguished honors in the Professional World Champion Hunter Under Saddle presented by Molly Flaherty and Patty Peckham of Arcadia Farm.

Capital Challenge continues tomorrow with amateur hunter divisions including the WCHR Amateur Owner Challenge and the continuation of the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge presented by Equis Boutique.

For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Capital Challenge Showcases Future and Professional Hunters on Fourth Day of Competition

Scott Stewart and A Million Reasons. Photos: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography.

Scott Stewart and Hunt Tosh Reign with Three Divisional Titles Each

Upper Marlboro, MD – Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS), presented by Well Placed Smile, ushered in talented Future Hunters today alongside a large number of proven professional combinations as divisional champions were honored throughout the day. Competition at CCHS continues through Sunday, October 5, with several highly anticipated World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) classes still to come on the 2015 schedule.

Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL made a strong statement in the ring today, piloting several of his mounts to divisional championships throughout the day. From horses in the Future Hunter 5 & Under Division to mounts competing against the best in the High Performance Hunters, Stewart made the most of his day at CCHS, laying down consistent rounds well received by the judges.

A Million Reasons, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, captured top honors in the High Performance Hunter division presented by Sherre Sims and Rendezvous Farm, collecting scores of 89.25, 91.00, 85.00, and 83.25 in their respective four over fences classes in the division, as well as going on to earn the winning ribbon in the under saddle portion of the division. Stewart and A Million Reasons sealed the High Performance Hunter Championship honors in front of Kelley Farmer and Mindful, who followed with reserve honors.

“She’s really been great all year, and she honestly seems to do better in the indoor atmosphere,” said Stewart. “The first time I ever showed her was last year at Washington [International Horse Show] and she was very good.”

The 2005 Holsteiner mare (Coriano x Inema) has become a major presence in Stewart’s talented and ever-growing string of top hunter mounts since he took over the ride last fall and she continues to add winning trips in many of the largest hunter classes offered in the United States. The duo was rewarded for their nearly perfect round yesterday, receiving a 91.00, which was the division’s overall highest score.

“Yesterday she just went unbelievably. We tried to match that today and didn’t quite get there but it was still very good. She has a very big stride, and it’s easy to ride and stay smooth,” he explained. “When she broke into the 90s yesterday I thought it was just flawless on her part. She’s so pretty in between the jumps and is just the true definition of a hunter.”

A familiar face around the CCHS grounds for a number of years, Stewart returns to the show because of the quality of competition and the opportunity to compete a variety of horses. He will continue the week contesting the WCHR Pro Challenge and Pro Final classes hosted at CCHS on Wednesday, September 30, and Friday, October 2.

“I think everyone always brings their top horses here and always aims to do their best. It is really one of the most competitive shows of the year in my opinion,” he commented. “It’s just everyone’s A-game and the conditions are always great, the jumps are good, and I think the horses are always well-behaved. It’s the start of indoor season and that is always a very important time for everyone. I think this show is a special kick-off.”

Hunt Tosh and Pandora
Hunt Tosh and Pandora

Hunt Tosh of Alpharetta, GA also had a banner day, collecting divisional titles in the Second Year Green Working Hunters, Performance Hunters 3’6” presented by Nicole Kane and South Shore Farms, and the Future Hunter 3’3” division sponsored by Tosh and his wife Mandy. Tosh, who brought a number of talented horses to Capital Challenge this year, rode Pandora, owned by Teton Farms, LLC, to a tricolor in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division, after only taking the ride on the 2007 grey Warmblood mare last week in Lexington, KY.

“I just started riding about a week ago so she’s still pretty new to me. She held it together in the first class yesterday and she was definitely pretty fresh, but today she just went beautifully and I thought she was incredible in the first class today,” said Tosh. “She had a great round in the handy, and it was nice to pull that back together after a small miscommunication yesterday.”

“She just jumped beautifully in the schooling ring and the first trip of today was by far her nicest trip. She’s very scopey and rangey. Just very straightforward and a solid and easy ride,” he continued.

Tosh added to his early success with a solid performance from Cold Harbor, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, who took divisional honors in the Performance Hunter 3’6”. Tosh is eager to return to Capital Challenge each year and believes the show highlights the best of the hunters and the foundation of the sport. “It’s really special here and they do such a great job with presentations and make such a big deal out of the horses and riders, which is incredibly nice,” he noted. “Everyone is geared up here, and we all know that we’ll be seeing a lot of each other through the indoor season. It’s an important show for everyone heading in that direction.”

Future Hunters Take Spotlight at CCHS

The Future Hunter divisions at Capital Challenge have quickly become the most heavily entered classes throughout the competition week. With five separate divisions, professionals and amateurs alike are able to showcase their young hunter talent on a national stage.

Liza Boyd, who competed several horses throughout a number of Future Hunter classes, commented on the success of the program and how she hopes it will progress. “I think the Future Hunter division is amazing, and I’m truly impressed with how it has grown over the past few years. I think it is the best thing that has happened to our industry because it has made people want to go out and buy young horses. I’m incredibly excited to watch the finals tomorrow because horses from this class have always gone on to be famous horses and that is something really amazing for the sport.”

Scott Stewart and Fun
Scott Stewart and Fun

Scott Stewart piloted Fun, a striking 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Chello III VDL x Zusodea-S) owned by David Gochman, to a tricolor ribbon in the Future 5 & Under division presented by Randy Johnson and Greener Pastures Equine, while also riding 2009 Brandenburg gelding (Burberry x Elbana) Wonderly, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, to the divisional title in the Future Hunter Colts & Geldings, presented by Tim and Kelly Goguen and Boggs Hill.

“The Future Hunter division is just great. These are going to be the horses that are here next year doing the big classes and that is always a highlight to see how they progress throughout the year,” commented Stewart.

As for his string of world-class talent, Stewart commented that he feels privileged to compete such a gifted group of young horses. “They’re all just incredible horses and different in their own ways. They’re extremely nice rides and I am lucky to have them,” he said.

Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY was delighted when she and The Exchange, owned by SBS Farms Inc., topped the Future Hunter 6 & Over division presented by David Belford, Christopher Payne and Susan Moriconi, receiving consistent scores from the judges throughout the two-day division, which is part of The Exchange’s charm. According to Alfano, “He is absolutely the sweetest horse and I just love him. He felt great and is just so smooth and consistent to every jump. He jumps them all the same.”

Sourced by Sherre Sims of Houston, TX, The Exchange started his career with Sims before changing hands to Alfano this past May. Full of character and personality, The Exchange captured Alfano’s heart and she decided to purchase the gelding after Sims teetered with the idea of putting him up for sale.

“Sherre started him herself, and she did an absolutely incredible job. I happened to be in Houston this spring and she asked if I would take the ride on him and I was just honored and thrilled,” she explained. “I owe her a very special thank you for a) making a great horse, and b) giving me the opportunity to ride him.”

The Exchange will head to Harrisburg after Capital Challenge to test the Pre-Green Hunter division with Alfano in the irons but the Future Hunter division offered this week has given the duo the last bit of confidence they needed before taking on another big indoor stage. “I love this Future Hunter concept and all of the divisions included within it. It’s really nice place to offer it and having the big class inside tomorrow makes it a great place to have Pre-Green horses,” she pointed out.

After taking an unprecedented third USHJA Derby Finals Championship aboard longtime partner Brunello earlier this summer, Liza Boyd, of Camden, SC, continued to showcase a number of up-and-coming mounts this week at CCHS, who will hopefully, in the near future, aim to one day be as successful as their celebrated barn-mate.

Boyd was eager to take the ride Bridget Hallman and Merrylegs South’s newest addition, Gala, a 2008 Oldenburg mare, in the Future Hunter Mares division sponsored by Penelope Ayres. A striking dark bay mare with draw-dropping movement, Gala flashed her brilliance before the judges, ultimately winning top honors in the competitive division.

“She is just so beautiful in almost a handsome way. She’s just gorgeous and refined, but really sturdy which I think sets her apart,” said Boyd. “I’m just so happy to be on her and to have the Hallmans ask me to ride her for them. They have done all of the hard work, and I was just able to get on and have fun.”

Gala, brave by nature and stature, is uncharacteristically calm for a young mare and Boyd was impressed with her ability to handle the large atmosphere of The Show Place Arena at Prince George’s County Equestrian Center. She recalled, “She just marched into that ring and even though the jumps were bright and there was a lot to look at, she showed me that she has so much scope for the future and will definitely be a true 3’6” horse and shine.

“I remember watching her this summer, and I thought she has all of the scope in the world and is also just really quiet. She has the ability and the attitude and sometimes that’s really hard to find because normally you can find the quality, but you can’t always find the right attitude. But this mare has it all.”

Capturing another divisional title at CCHS this week, Hunt Tosh and Largesse, owned by Ceil Wheeler, were crowned in the Future Hunters 3’3” division. Largesse has steadily improved this season, and Tosh was pleased with his performances so far this week.

“He really only just started this past year in Florida, but he’s gotten so relaxed and easy. He has a beautiful canter and jump and he’s just super careful,” he explained. “He’s come into his own the past few months and just like he did here, continues to ride like a made horse. He’s very simple, and I think he just tries his hardest in every class.”

Capital Challenge continues tomorrow with more top hunters competing for division championships in the Green and Regular Conformation Hunters and First Year Green Working Hunters. The Future Hunters return for their North American Championship, while the Amateur-Owner Hunters begin their competition. Wednesday evening hosts the WCHR Pro Challenge and WCHR Developing Pro Challenge.

For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Capital Challenge Horse Show Moves into Week of Competitive Hunter Divisions

Leading WCHR Rider Scott Stewart pilots Captivate in the Future Working Hunter 3’3″ Division ©LaraMcPherson.

Upper Marlboro, MD – Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS), presented by Well Placed Smile, began the first day of elite hunter competition at The Show Place Arena at Prince George’s Equestrian Center, as the start of a number of divisions were underway including the Future Hunter divisions, which will be highlighted on Wednesday, September 30, in the Future Hunter North American Championship presented by Douglas Wheeler and Cismont Manor Farm. Live stream coverage from CCHS is available all day through the conclusion of competition on Sunday, October 4, covering both the indoor and outdoor arenas, on the EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast presented by Leone Equestrian Law.

Competition at CCHS today included the First and Second Year Working Hunter Divisions as well as the High Performance Hunter division presented by Rendezvous Farm, which attracted many of the best hunter combinations in the country as they prepare for WCHR Pro Challenge on Wednesday and WCHR Pro Finals on Friday. These divisions will crown their champions tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29 and Wednesday, October 30.

Competition at Capital Challenge Horse Show will continue throughout the week. Don’t miss a beat and tune in for complete live stream coverage of many exciting classes still ahead!

EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast presented by Leone Equestrian Law will include classes such as:

  • Wednesday, September 30: Future Hunter North American Championship, WCHR Professional Challenge, WCHR Developing Pro Challenge
  • Thursday, October 1: WCHR Amateur Owner 3’3” Challenge, WCHR Amateur Owner 3’6” Challenge, Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge, World Champion Amateur Hunter U/S
  • Friday, October 2: WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge, ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals, $10,000 North American Junior/AA Challenge Cup Round 1, WCHR Professional Finals
  • Saturday, October 3: WCHR Pony Challenge, $10,000 North American Junior/AO Challenge Cup Final Round, Junior/Pony World Champion Hunter U/S
  • Sunday, October 4: WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge, WCHR Junior 3’3” Challenge, WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge

Tomorrow’s competition will begin with the Regular Conformation Model at 7:30am and will honor divisional champions for select hunter classes.

For more information on the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com

Capital Challenge Horse Show to Host National Hunter and Equitation Finals

Hunt Tosh and Casanova at the 2014 Capital Challenge Horse Show. Photo ©ShawnMcMillan.

Upper Marlboro, MD – The 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS), presented by Well Placed Smile, is proud to offer several of the country’s top indoor hunter and equitation national finals as competition commences at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in two weeks, beginning on Saturday, September 26, and continuing through Sunday, October 4. Each year CCHS plays host to the sport’s top equestrian athletes as they vie for championship titles during this elite week-long competition.

Several dedicated class sponsors have continuously provided their support to CCHS throughout the years, awarding titles in the highly touted finals classes, including World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals as well as the major equitation finals that draw first-class equestrians to the Show Place Arena. In addition to being the title sponsor of the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, Well Placed Smile, based in Nashville, TN, will also present the $5,000 Professional World Championship Hunter Rider Finals as well as the $5,000 World Championship Hunter Rider Developing Pro Challenge.

Another strong supporter of Capital Challenge is the Gochman Family who this year is sponsoring the $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge. The WCHR Finals Series will also offer the Challenge classes for pony and children’s riders as well as adult amateurs, amateur owners, and juniors. New for this year is the WCHR 3’3” Junior Challenge sponsored by Canterbury Farm and the Durpetti Family.

CCHS starts out strong with the first weekend of the competition, showcasing the best equitation riders in the country as Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com, takes the national spotlight. Saturday, September 26th is dominated by a full schedule of divisions for all age groups, while Sunday, September 27th showcases three championship equitation classes.

The day will begin with the highly competitive Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships, drawing the nation’s top junior equitation riders who will begin their indoor season at Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Several awards will be presented at the conclusion of the class, including the Best Equitation Rider Award sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables, Leading Equitation Trainer sponsored by Leslie Steele of Acres West, and the prestigious George H. Morris Equitation Championship Trophy donated by Frank and Stacia Madden and Beacon Hill Show Stables.

Next in the lineup is the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals, a class that CCHS will proudly host for its 21st year. CCHS will welcome forty of the country’s best child riders who have qualified throughout the year to compete for the national title.

“Hosting finals classes at Capital Challenge is an honor and something we will continue offering in the future as the show expands and grows,” said show manager Billy Glass. “The different finals classes provide riders of all ages an opportunity to perform on a national stage against riders from around the country, which is a very unique aspect of the show.”

The final class during Equitation Weekend at Capital Challenge will be the North American Adult Equitation Championships, giving adults the opportunity to compete over a challenging course.

“We feel privileged to host such a large number of finals classes during the week. There is always a sense of a championship atmosphere surrounding the venue during Capital Challenge, which always brings out everyone’s best,” said Oliver Kennedy, who serves as a show manager beside Billy Glass. “The sponsors of these classes help to bring notoriety and attention to the show and we are thankful for their continued support.”

The ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals presented by Ariat International will also highlight equitation talent, as top adult riders take to the Show Place Arena in this prestigious national final on Friday, October 2. Thirty competitors who have accumulated points throughout the season will ride a first-round course in an effort to qualify for the second round of competition where a national champion will be named.

Capital Challenge will open with equitation classes on Saturday, September 26, and continue with hunter and jumper classes, including the highly anticipated WCHR Finals Series throughout the week. Competition will conclude on Sunday, October 4.

A complete time schedule for the 2015 competition and the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show Prize List are available online at www.capitalchallenge.org.

For more information on the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge Horse Show
In its 22nd year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 26 – October 4. In addition to several prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

Contact: Carly Weilminster
Jump Media LLC
Cell: (410)-245-7441
carly@jumpmediallc.com