(C) ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Cambridge Inn.
Culpeper, VA (April 25, 2016): The first qualifying opportunities of the season for hunter exhibitors debuted with the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. The classes qualify riders for the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final and the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final, respectfully, at the HITS Championship in September in Saugerties, New York.
$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina has been on fire in the jumper ring in Week I of HITS Culpeper Show Series, scoring two grand prix wins. This time, Chopping returned to the hunter ring to snag a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, adding another blue ribbon victory under his belt.
“It was a lot of fun to have a really successful week and weekend,” said Chopping. “I think that all of the horses were happy to have a few weeks at home, and that might have contributed to why they all came out so bright and interested, and ultimately did well.”
Chopping garnered the highest score in both rounds of the two-round classic aboard Cambridge Inn, owned by Elizabeth Cozart. The Dutch Warmblood gelding made his first-ever $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix debut this weekend, winning his first time competing in the class. They earned an 86 in the first round, followed by a score of 85 in the second for a winning total of 171.
“[Cambridge Inn] showed in Ocala this winter and got some good results, and he showed in the junior hunters a few times, where he was successful as well,” said Chopping. “This was his first show out since Ocala. I thought he went great; he’s just moved up to 3’6” and we’re starting to get it all organized with him.”
Second place went to Falkland, North Carolina equestrian Loren Hazard-Daniel with Corleone, owned by Bethany Garrison. Hazard-Daniel piloted Corleone to a total of 165 for the second place spot with a first-round score of 83, and a second-round score of 82.
Tess Lee of Potomac, Maryland took home third place with her own Tinka’s Lad. They earned an 80 in the first round, combined with a second-round score of 81 for a total of 161 for their efforts.
Fourth in the ribbons was Culpeper, Virginia’s own Brooke Kemper riding Chestertown, owned by Meghan Karanik. Rounding out the top five was California, owned and ridden by Megan McDonald of Georgetown, Ontario.
$1,500 Platinum Performance
The $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix returned to Culpeper, Virginia, offering junior and amateur riders a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final.
The team to beat was Shannan Gossman of Mitchells, Virginia and Castanio, owned by Turning Pointe Ventures, LLC. Gossman claimed the top spot with a first-round score of 83, improving to an 85 for the winning total of 168.
Coming in behind Gossman was Amy Lloyd Thompson of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania aboard her own Paramount, a team that placed in the top five several times during the Ocala Winter Circuit. Claiming the highest score of the first round with an 84, combined with a second-round score of 81, they totaled 165 for their efforts.
Third in the ribbons was Medford, New Jersey equestrian Paige Trzaskawka aboard her own Belvedera. They earned a 79 in the first round and a 78 in the second for a total of 157.
Peyton Kanstoroom of Potomac, Maryland and Centrico were awarded the fourth place prize. Fifth place went to Valiant, owned and ridden by Melissa Marshall of State College, Pennsylvania.