Tag Archives: Dorli Burke

Michael Britt-Leon, Samantha Schaefer, and Dorli Burke Ride to Early Hunters Leads at NHS

Michael Britt-Leon on Private I.

Lexington, KY – October 27, 2020 – Hunter competition commenced Tuesday at the 2020 National Horse Show, which is celebrating its 137th year, at its home in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. Professionals and amateurs vied for the leading positions in their respective divisions throughout the initial day of the competition, which concluded with the first set of frontrunners that will try to defend their status Wednesday. In the Green 3’9” Hunters, Michael Britt-Leon and Kelly Sims’ Private I jumped to the top of the overall scorecard, while Samantha Schaefer piloted Take 3 LLC’S Trademark to the head of the leaderboard in the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunters. In the amateur-owner ranks, Charming carried owner-rider Dorli Burke to the early lead in the Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters.

Over the lofty 3’9” fences, Geoffrey Hesslink and Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Bond nabbed the first win of the Green 3’9” Hunter division in the classic over fences round, which saw a pack of skilled partnerships tackle the track. Hot on their heels were Britt-Leon and Private I, who earned the red ribbon in the first class and were eager to show off their skills in the handy round in an attempt to overtake the early leaders. One-upping themselves, the duo of Britt-Leon and Private I put in a swift and effortless trip for which they were awarded first place in the second portion of the competition, pushing them to the top of the standings thanks to two top-two finishes. Britt-Leon and Sims’ 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding entered the National Horse Show hot off recent success at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, where they won the $10,000 World Champion Hunter Rider Professional Finals during their debut in the competition, and the pair will try to maintain momentum Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, a talented field that featured the likes of Daisy Farish, Greg Crolick, and Schaefer competed head-to-head over two jumping rounds, one of which was a handy, in the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division. Taking home the first blue ribbon of the division was Schaefer aboard Trademark, a pair that has consistently turned in winning rounds at horse shows around the country. Well known for his striking markings and eye-catching way of going, the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding returned for the handy round to again best the field of 17 horses, earning the lead headed into day two of competition.

Unlike their earlier Green counterparts, the Amateur-Owner competitors had three chances to demonstrate their abilities in front of the judges Tuesday, once over fences and in the handy, as well as under saddle. The first class was won by Burke on her own Charming, and the handy phase saw owner-rider Lynn Seithel at the top of the ranks with Walk The Moon, with Burke and Charming close behind in second position. Returning to the ring for the flat phase, Burke and Charming solidified their ranking as the frontrunners thanks to another top finish, claiming second place behind Michelle Gauchat and her own Le Diplomate.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

Stephanie Danhakl and Dorli Burke Top Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters

Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said.

Stephanie Danhakl and her horses have been extremely successful at the Devon Horse Show since her junior hunter days. However, while Danhakl has multiple Devon reserve championships to her name and her horse First Light won the Green Conformation Hunter championship just this week, Danhakl does not yet have a Devon championship title of her very own. That is something that she hopes to change this weekend.

Danhakl got off to a strong start in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3″ Hunters on Friday afternoon with Enough Said, her 9-year-old Warmblood gelding. Danhakl and Enough Said finished second in the first over fences class of the division with a score of 84, and they then picked up the blue ribbon in the under saddle. First place in the over fences class went to Reid Patton and Sincere, who earned a score of 86.

“I got [Enough Said] two [years] ago, and I have been showing him in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owners,” Danhakl said. “He hadn’t shown before I got him, so he was a bit green, but he’s a sweet horse and knows his job. He learned it very quickly. He’s been a great horse for me, and we sort of clicked right from the beginning.”

Originally from California where she trained with Archie Cox, Danhakl made the move to the East Coast to attend the University of Pennsylvania where she received her master’s degree in art history just last week. While pursuing her master’s, Danhakl began training with Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley of Rivers Edge Farm.

“[Scott and Ken] found all of my horses. They have a great eye for a horse,” Danhakl said. “Most of my horses – First Light, Enough Said and Golden Rule – came from Europe and either were doing jumpers. Enough Said might have been a dressage horse before.”

Now Enough Said is performing consistently well in the hunter ring with Danhakl, and she is hopeful that the consistency will continue into Saturday and through the remainder of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3″ Hunter division.

“Devon is a show that I have been for preparing for. It’s always been my dream to really do well here as an amateur and so far, I don’t want to jinx myself, but all of my horses feel great and have been so good. If I can hold it together I hope I have a shot at [a championship], so it’s really exciting,” Danhakl said.

In the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3″ Hunters, Dorli Burke also could also have a real shot at a Devon championship. Like Danhakl, Burke rode her own Charming to a second place finish over fences and the win in the under saddle. The blue ribbon over fences went to Missy Luczak-Smith and CS Online.

For Burke, this year marks her first time back in the Devon show ring for a few years and prior to that the first time since her pony years.

“I came here with ponies, so a very long time ago,” Burke said. “I showed in this same ring with my ponies. I am embarrassed to say how long ago that was, but it was a long time ago.”

Burke, of Salisbury, Maryland, now trains with Louise Serio who initially imported Charming, a 10-year-old gelding who has proven to be the perfect fit for Burke.

“He’s actually really easy to ride. I am small, and he has a motor, so he will take me around the ring,” Burke said. “I don’t have to worry about having a lot of leg. He’s really, really brave. He really wants to go over all the jumps, and he tries really hard. He’s really fun.”

Burke continued, “It’s very exciting to do well here. It’s got so much tradition here, and every horse you look at is amazing. To be able to do well against horses like that is what you are trying for.”

The Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter divisions will conclude Saturday in the Gold Ring beginning at 8:15 a.m. The Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunters also kicked off on Friday and award the division championships on Saturday morning in the Dixon Oval.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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