Champion Professional and Future Hunters Honored at 2012 Capital Challenge Horse Show

Eight championships were awarded Tuesday at the 2012 Capital Challenge Horse Show presented by The Gochman Family, honoring the best hunters in the country.

Trendy and Elizabeth Boyd (Shawn McMillen Photo)
Garfield and Scott Stewart (Shawn McMillen Photo)
Sambalino and Peter Pletcher (Shawn McMillen Photo)
By The Way and Jeff Gogul (Parker/Russell-The Book LLC photo)
Quest and Scott Stewart (Parker/Russell-The Book LLC photo)
Concept and Scott Stewart (Parker/Russell-The Book LLC photo)
Bacardi and Havens Schatt (Parker/Russell-The Book LLC photo)

Along with the Second Year Green Working and High Performance Hunter divisions, championships were given in five Future Hunter divisions and the Performance Hunters 3’6”. The Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, runs through Sunday, October 7.

The Second Year Green Hunter championship went to Trendy, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd for Caroline Kellogg. The pair won an over fences class and added two more seconds and a third over fences, plus a fourth place in the under saddle. The reserve championship went to Balou, ridden by Amanda Steege for Lisa Arena. They placed first, second, and fourth over fences and won the under saddle.

Trendy, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini I, also shows with his owner, Caroline Kellogg, in the junior hunters, and only started in the Second Year division this summer. Boyd showed Trendy this year at Blowing Rock, Vermont, and the Buffalo International. Along with Kate Conover, Boyd has shown Trendy to victories, and with help from trainer Sandy Lobel of Ravenswood Farm, the horse has grown beyond his experience.

Sandy is a great rider on the flat, so I said, ‘Here’s a couple of things that I want you to do on the flat for me.’ So off the left turn in the handy, he’s a little more supple. She sure did it. This was a hard handy (course), especially off that left inside turn. His mouth was like butter, due to her,” Boyd explained.

Boyd said of Trendy, “He’s just a super horse. He went in there and didn’t put a foot wrong. He didn’t touch a jump the whole time. He was perfectly prepared.”

Lobel praised Trendy’s “heart, and his eye.” On his performance this week, she noted, “He just stayed consistent. He kept knocking at the door. That’s what you need to do. He’s a brilliant jumper. I can’t tell you how lucky I am; I could almost cry. It gives me chills to think about how lucky I was to get the horse.”

It was a close race in the High Performance Hunters this year between eventual champion Garfield and reserve champion Quatrain. Garfield and Scott Stewart, who rode for Alexandra Crown, won three over fences and picked up another two second places. Quatrain and Elizabeth Boyd, riding for Finally Farm and Janet Peterson, had a win and three second places over fences and were sixth under saddle.

Garfield, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Coriano, is a regular in the winner’s circle, but Stewart has shown him sparingly this year since he has been in the show ring with owner Alexandra Crown in the junior hunters. Stewart noted that Garfield hadn’t jumped since the Hampton Classic Horse Show, but he felt completely on this week.

This is the best show I’ve had on him. He was good at Washington last year but this was even better,” Stewart said. “He’s such a scopey horse. He could probably be a grand prix horse. He’s one of the easiest ones I have and is really straightforward.”

The Performance Hunter 3’6” championship sponsored by Nicole Kane & South Shore Farm went to Sambalino, ridden by Peter Pletcher for Becky Gochman. They placed first and second over fences. The reserve championship went to Way Cool and Victoria Colvin, who rode for Dr. Betsee Parker and won the handy hunter stake class.

Pletcher remarked, “He’s amazing. There are very few horses that come along in your lifetime that are that special and he is for sure one of them. He’s just a horse of a different caliber. He always tries. Every time I’ve ridden him and shown him, which is not that much, he always tries. He’s a dream to ride. He likes being the center of attention and I don’t think you could ask for a more straight-forward horse.”

The Future of Hunter Sport Compete for Tricolors

The Future Hunter 6 & Over division championship sponsored by New Hope LLC/David Belford and Christopher Payne, went to By The Way, ridden by Jeff Gogul for Ruth Kanner. The eight-year-old Warmblood gelding finished first in both over fences classes today. The reserve champion was Paramour, ridden by Scott Stewart for Rose Hill Farm. They placed first over fences and in the under saddle.

Gogul has worked with By The Way for two years, and despite his older age, they have worked slowly to bring him along. Gogul mentioned, “He hadn’t had a big career jumping in Europe. He had some dressage background. He knew how to jump and the pieces were there. You didn’t have to train the jump, but he didn’t have a lot of lifetime experiences. Everything was new. We’re in no hurry. I’m lucky to have a client that has no agenda other than what the horse is ready to do.”

What stood out to Gogul was By The Way’s “presence and his natural athleticism.” He added, “He’s careful and you don’t have to teach the jump. You don’t have to practice. The jump for him is so natural. You don’t have to do any training to have what you need to be competitive at the horse shows.”

By The Way finished sixth in last year’s $20,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship, and Gogul is looking to improve on that performance this year. Since last year, they have “worked out little kinks about his personality and what makes him tick, getting it that consistent. The year of traveling and horse shows, he knows to stay focused now when he steps in the ring.”

Scott Stewart picked up the first championship of the show in the Future Hunter Colts & Geldings division sponsored by Boggs Hill on Quest, a five-year-old Warmblood gelding by Verdi that he owns. They were first, first, and fourth over fences. The reserve champion, Mariano, was ridden by Sandy Ferrell for owner Stephanie Riggio. They placed first, fourth, and fourth over fences and won the under saddle.

This was Quest’s fourth horse show ever since Stewart purchased him last year. He described, “He’s a beautiful jumper, a beautiful mover, just beautiful and easy. He’s not a big horse, but he’s scopey. I think he’s going to end up being a Regular Working horse. You don’t have to work on his jump at all. It’s pretty perfect on its own. You just don’t have to mess it up.”

Stewart took another championship in the Future Hunter 5 & Under sponsored by Greener Pastures Equine with Concept, a five-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Contendro. He won two over fences classes and was third in the other class. He added a sixth place in the under saddle to take the top tricolor. The reserve champion was First Dance, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd for Sarah Orberson. The pair were first, third, and fourth over fences.

In the Future Hunter Mares sponsored by Ravenswood Farm/Penelope Ayers, Sans Souci took the championship ribbon with rider Havens Schatt for owner CH Farm LLC. They won two over fences classes as well as the under saddle class, plus added another sixth place ribbon. Stewart and Joyful, owned by Rose Hill Farm, finished second in all four classes.

Schatt also took home the championship in the Future Hunter 3’3” division sponsored by Pegasus Show Stables/Christa and Michael Endicott and Hunt Tosh Inc. This time it was with Bacardi, a six-year-old KWPN gelding by Casco owned by Caroline Moran. They were first, second, and second over fences and finished fourth in the under saddle. The reserve champion ribbon went to Exclusive, ridden by Nick Haness for Tracy Sully, who won two over fences classes.

She said with a smile, “He’s the best. He’s a little bit of a character at home. When he walks through those gates, he wants to win. He’s so easy to ride. We know each other so well now. It’s a great partnership.”

Schatt and Bacardi have been together for two years and they won the Grand Future Hunter Championship at last year’s Capital Challenge. Since last year, Havens said that the talented grey has become “stronger and mentally more secure about what he’s doing.”

She resisted moving him up the First Year Green Hunters this year, feeling that he needed one more year at the three-foot height. “I knew if he went to bigger shows like Devon and I needed to call on him, he was going to be a little shy,” she revealed. “It takes him a week to get back and now he’s back to how good he was last year. I think the experience for next year in the 3’6” will be just like it has been this year.”

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