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Pletcher, Feller, Stewart and Schatt Victorious in Highlight Hunter Classes at Capital Challenge

Wednesday was a full day of competition at the Capital Challenge Horse Show with two highlight classes held in the evening session. Peter Pletcher rode Becky Gochman's Sambalino to victory in the $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge, while Melissa Feller and Serafino won the $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge.

Havens Schatt took the top place in the $20,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship with Bacardi and won the Grand Future Hunter Championship with Sans Souci. Scott Stewart dominated the hunter divisions, leading the way with Grand Hunter Champion Garfield.

Peter Pletcher and Sambalino (Shawn McMillen photo)
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Quatrain and Elizabeth Boyd (Shawn McMillen photo)
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Kelley Farmer and Taken (Shawn McMillen photo)

In the $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge, it was Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX, who came away with the win. It was a great win for Pletcher, who won this class with the famous January’s Best in 2000. Pletcher was happy to have his mother here to see him win, and it was a triumphant return to the winner’s circle for Pletcher, who experienced a life-changing injury little more than a year ago.

Pletcher and Sambalino, a 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba Hit, scored an 89.66 in the first round and sat in second place just behind Scott Stewart on Alexandra Crown’s Garfield. They returned for the second round and scored an 85.91 for a total of 175.57, which would hold onto the win when Stewart scored an 84 in the second round for a total of 173.91 and fourth place.

Elizabeth Boyd and Quatrain, owned by Finally Farm and Janet Peterson, finished second with a total of 174.24. Kelley Farmer and Jessica Stitt’s Taken scored a total of 174.08 for third place. Fifth place went to Akinda, owned by Victoria Press and ridden by Patricia Griffith, who had a score of 173.16.

Pletcher said of Sambalino “When we got to the first round, I thought, ‘It’s always nice to have a little bit of a lead in case you have a little rub or something,’ and when I had a little rub, I thought, ‘Wow, sometimes you think that will open a door,’ but as it went, Scott had one little thing and I did too.”

He added with a smile, “He would probably jump over that brick wall if there was a mint on the other side of it. He’s pretty much about grass and mints―food! He loves it. He looks to everybody; everybody’s there to give him some kind of treat.”

Pletcher and Sambalino were presented with the “Little Brook” Perpetual Trophy donated by Gary Duffy.

Up-and-Coming Pros Get The Spotlight

Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Feller of Lincoln Park, NJ, rode Serafino for owner Elisabeth McFadden to the win in the $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge. Feller rides for trainer Robert Beck and has been training with him since she was 10 years old. This is her second year as a professional and she stated that Capital Challenge is her favorite horse show. Feller won the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals in 2010.

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Melissa Feller and Serafino (Shawn McMillen photo)

Feller and Serafino, a six-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Sir Donnerhall, showed in the Future Hunter 6 & Over division this week, and a high score there qualified Feller for tonight’s Challenge class. Feller was unsure if she would ride Serafino in the Challenge, but after a solid showing in the North American Future Hunter Championship earlier in the day, she felt confident that she could do well in the Challenge.

Feller and Serafino made a big jump up the leaderboard when they sat in fifth place after a first round score of 84.5. A fantastic second round score of 90 gave them a 174.5 total for the win.

Tom Brennan and Purple Heart, owned by Lynn Ellen Rice, finished second with a total score of 172.24. Caroline Willard and Emma Gerber’s Stay-Tuned were third with a 171.16 score. Fourth place went to Arly Golombek on Kindle, owned by Caroline Donnally, with a 170.5, while Hayley Barnhill and Reid Patton’s Lennon were fifth with a total of 169.33.

“I think it’s awesome because obviously in the class before us, all those guys are perfect and unbelievable. (The Emerging Pro Challenge) is a nice class where no one’s been super successful at a national horse show to compete against each other,” said Feller.

Future Champions Take Top Prize Money and Honors

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Havens Schatt and Bacardi (Shawn McMillen photo)

Bacardi and Havens Schatt, who rode for Caroline Moran, led through both rounds of the $20,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler, Makoto Farms, Inc., and Kocher Tack. In the first round, they scored an average of 88.7 and increased their second round score to 90.5 for a victorious total of 179.2. Second place went to Scott Stewart and Concept, who scored a total of 177.10. Jennifer Bauersachs and Avignion,  owned by Francesca Migliore, were third with a total of 175. Havens Schatt rode Ainsley Sadlo’s Balin to fourth place with a score of 171. Elizabeth Boyd and Sarah Orberson’s First Dance were fifth with 170.35.

For their win, Schatt and Bacardi were presented with the Beverly Brooks Solter Memorial Trophy donated by Hilary Scheer Gerhardt and Zan Martin Dillon.

Schatt also took home the Grand Future Hunter Championship with Sans Souci, owned by CH Farm, LLC. The championship was sponsored by David Belford and Christopher Payne/New Hope LLC. They were presented with “A Rare Diamond” Perpetual Trophy donated by “The Friends of Mickey.”

Scott Stewart Dominates Hunter Divisions and Awards

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Scott Stewart and Enjoy (Shawn McMillen photo)
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Scott Stewart and Garfield (Shawn McMillen photo)

Scott Stewart started out his day by winning in his first division with Enjoy, owned by Rose Hill Farm. Enjoy, a six-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassiano, won three classes and was second in the under saddle to win the championship in the First Year Green Working Hunter Section A, sponsored by PJP Farm. The reserve champion was Lapis, ridden by Holly Orlando for Missy Luczak Smith. They placed first, second, and third over fences and third in the under saddle.

Enjoy was presented with the Grand First Year Green Hunter Championship and the Magda and George Z. Lefton Memorial Trophy donated by Stacey Lefton Glick. The grey gelding also won the Grand Green Hunter Championship sponsored by Balmoral Farm Inc./Uphill Farm, Inc. and won a cooler sponsored by Carleton Brooks.

Beholden, a six-year-old Westphalian stallion by Continus Grannus, was a shoo-in to win the model class. He added two firsts, a fourth, and a fifth over fences. He capped off the top tricolor with a win under saddle for the Green Conformation Hunter, sponsored by Lisa A.H. Cudahy championship. The reserve championship went to Lugano, ridden by Chris Payne and owned by Susan Moriconi, was first and fourth over fences, second in the model, and second in the under saddle.

The Regular Conformation Hunters, sponsored by Hidden Hollow and Ginny Edwards, awarded the championship ribbon to Showman. Showman, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding by Showstar, won the Regular Conformation model class. He went on to place first, first, second, and sixth over fences and was first in the under saddle. Peter Pletcher rode Becky Gochman’s Touchdown to the reserve champion ribbon after they placed first, second, and fifth in the division and second in the model.

Showman won the Grand Conformation Hunter Championship and was presented with the Kenneth M. Wheeler Perpetual Trophy donated by BJ Meeks and Pablo Perez.

Alexandra Crown’s Garfield won the Tribute Perpetual Trophy donated by Scott Stewart as the horse who earned the highest cumulative numerical point total in a single professional division. He was also named the Grand Hunter Champion, an award sponsored by RSB Farms, Inc. and Rob Bielefeld, and presented with the Janet Polk Read and Margaret Hough Sabbatini Memorial Trophy, donated by the Goguen Family. Stewart was named Leading Hunter Rider, sponsored by the Gibson Family and Shadyside Farm and Hobby Family Foundation. He was presented with the BJ’s Hunt Room Trophy, donated by BJ Meeks and Pablo Perez.

The EMO Professional Trip of the Show was a tie between Garfield and Balou, ridden by Amanda Steege for Lisa Arena. They both received scores of 90 in their respective divisions.

Patricia Griffith piloted Victoria Press’s Akinda to the championship in the First Year Green Working Hunter Section B sponsored the Sadrian and Kellogg Family. Akinda, seven-year-old Warmblood mare, won three over fences classes and was fifth in the under saddle. Reserve champion Winfield, ridden by Katie Taylor for Hannah Stabler, was second, third, fourth, and sixth in the division.

The Grey Slipper Award and Perpetual Trophy, donated by Bridget Hallman, was awarded to Megan McGuire’s Candlelight for excellence in the professional and amateur hunter divisions.

For full results, please visit http://www.capitalchallenge.org and for live scoring please visit http://www.equestrianlive.com

If you can’t attend the Capital Challenge Horse Show, remember you can log on to http://www.equestriansport.tv to see all the action live.

Final Results: $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge

1  SAMBALINO, PETER PLETCHER    

2  QUATRAIN, ELIZABETH BOYD    

3  TAKEN, KELLEY FARMER    

4  GARFIELD, SCOTT STEWART    

5  AKINDA, PATRICIA GRIFFITH

6  GRAMERCY PARK, TOM BRENNAN      

7  GELATO, NICK HANESS      

8  BROADWAY, JENNIFER KARAZISSIS

9  EMELIO, LOUISE SERIO     

10 STERLING, JENNIFER BAUERSACHS

11 TOGETHER, JACK HAMMOND     

12 MINION, ELIZABETH SOLTER 

Final Results: $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge

1  SERAFINO, MELISSA FELLER   

2  PURPLE HEART, TOM BRENNAN      

3  STAY-TUNED, CAROLINE WILLARD 

4  KINDLE, ARLY GOLOMBEK    

5  LENNON, HAYLEY BARNHILL  

6  PADDINGTON, KATIE TAYLOR     

7  CORVINE, CHRISTINA SERIO  

8  TUNDRA, HILLARY JOHNSON  

9  EXTRAORDINARY, JENNIFER BLISS   

10 SHADOW BOX, MEGAN GHERE      

11 CHARISMO, DAVID WILBUR     

12 ME IN COLOUR, MIRANDA SCOTT    

Final Results: $20,000 Added North American Future Hunter Championship

1  BACARDI, HAVENS SCHATT    

2  CONCEPT, SCOTT STEWART    

3  AVIGNION, JENNIFER BAUERSACHS

4  BALIN, HAVENS SCHATT    

5  FIRST DANCE, ELIZABETH BOYD   

6  JOYFUL, SCOTT STEWART    

7  BY THE WAY, JEFF GOGUL       

8  PARAMOUR, SCOTT STEWART    

9  MARIANO, SANDY FERRELL    

10 MTM U CALL IT, TRACY FENNEY     

11 SERAFINO, MELISSA FELLER   

12 WEXLER, PETER PLETCHER   

For more information, please visit http://www.capitalchallenge.org or visit the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook!