Yasmin Rizvi and Flirt (Catherin Cammett Photo)
Devon, Pa. – The 2014 US Junior Hunter National Championship East Coast came to a close on Tuesday, following two days of competition in the historic Dixon Oval at the Devon Horse Show grounds. More than 100 of the country’s top juniors headed to the championship to complete three phases in front of the judging panel of Leo Conroy, Christina Schlusemeyer, and Bill Ellis over Skip Bailey-designed Classic Round course and Handy Hunter courses, which both counted for 40% of the overall score. The final 20% was earned in Tuesday morning’s Under Saddle phase. Yasmin Rizvi and Flirt posted the best overall score of 3’6″ competition to earn the 2014 Grand Champion title by seven-tenths of a point over Victoria Colvin and Canadian Blue. In the 3’3″ championship, Olivia Easton and Martel earned Grand Champion honors over Emma Ecklin and Forever.
Rizvi (Greenwich, Conn.) and Peacock Ridge LLC’s 13-year-old Warmblood gelding, Flirt, earned the 2014 National Title after scoring 259.00 in the Classic Round, 248.00 Under Saddle, and 264.00 in the Handy Round, to finish on an overall total of 258.80. The talented pair also scored an 11-point victory in the Small Junior Hunter 15-and-Under section. Additionally, the 13-year-old rider earned the Owner/Rider Grand Championship in the 3’6″ section, as well as the Small Junior Hunter 15-and-Under crown.
“Winning Junior Hunter Finals is accomplishing one of my dreams as a rider and a big step in my junior career. This reflects our hard work this year and how far we’ve come as a team,” said Rizvi. “I am so proud of Flirt. He felt the best that he’s ever been and is such an amazing horse. I am so thankful to Flirt, my trainers and my parents for making this possible.”
Two-time and reigning champion Colvin (Loxahatchee, Fla.) brought Dr. Betsee Parker’s Canadian Blue into this year’s competition and scored Reserve Overall Grand Champion and Small Junior Hunter 16-17 titles. The nine-year-old Warmblood gelding finished on an overall total of 258.10 after posting scores of 264.00, 237.00, and 262.75 in the Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Rounds, respectively.
In Large Junior Hunter 15-and-Under competition, Caroline Dance (West Chester, Pa.) and her own 12-year-old German Warmblood gelding, Show Time, earned top honors on an overall score of 252.10, with Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Round scores of 243.50, 252.50, and 260.50, respectively. Morgan Ward (Milford, N.J.) and Catherine Pasmore Sales, LLC’s eight-year-old Westphalian mare, Indorada 3, earned the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 title with Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Round totals of 259.00, 224.00, and 252.00, respectively, to finish on a championship score of 249.20.
Victoria Press’ nine-year-old Warmblood mare, Akinda, was honored as the Best Overall Mare after scoring 247 overall in the Small Junior Hunter 15-and-Under 3’6″ championship.
Easton (Key Biscayne, Fla.) and her own Martel topped the 15-and-Under section on their way to earning Overall Grand Champion honors in the 3’3″ Championship. The 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding earned scores of 261.00 in the Classic Round, 238.00 in the Under Saddle, and 242.50 in Handy Round to finish on an overall total of 249.00. Additionally, Easton was crowned top Owner/Rider in the Grand Championship and 15-and-Under section.
“One of Martel’s greatest attributes is his consistency. This weekend was no exception. He was on his game and that allowed us to do our best,” said Easton. “Winning Junior Hunter Finals has been my goal from an early age; to achieve it means the world to me and to share it with my longtime trainer, Karen Flynn, makes it that much better.”
Finishing just over eight points behind Easton were 2014 Reserve Grand Champion Emma Ecklin (Lancaster, Pa.) and her own eight-year-old Westphalian mare, Forever. The pair, which was also runner-up to Easton in the 15-and-Under division, scored 230.00, 259.00, and 242.00 in the Classic, Under Saddle, and Hand Rounds, respectively, to finish on an overall total of 240.60.
Casey Menna (East Noriton, Pa.) and her own 14-year-old KWPN mare, Ubora, topped 16-17 competition after finishing on an overall score of 236.00. They produced scores of 226.00, 234.00, and 248.00 in the Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Rounds, respectively.
To find results, photos and videos from the 2014 US Junior Hunter National Championship East Coast, visit: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014JrHunterChampsEast/.