Capital Challenge 2012 Horse Show Wraps Up with Tied Champions

The Capital Challenge Horse Show wrapped up another year of fantastic competition today and finished with younger junior and children's hunters.

Victoria Colvin and Ovation (Shawn McMillen photo)
Victoria Colvin and Way Cool (Shawn McMillen photo)

Victoria Colvin rode two horses owned by Dr. Betsee Parker – Way Cool and Ovation – to the Grand Junior Hunter Championship sponsored by Lochmoor Stables/Mindy and Greg Darst, while the Grand Children’s Hunter Championship was also a tie between Lily Blavin on Pringle and Daisy Farish with Northwind Marin. The Capital Challenge Horse Show is held at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

Colvin and Ovation, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, won through their championship performance in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Cynthia Williams/New England Farm. They also tied with Way Cool for the High Point Junior Hunter 15 & Under, sponsored by Geddaway Farm. Ovation and Colvin won two classes and picked up a third place.

With the same ribbons, Colvin and Way Cool, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Embassy, took the Large Junior 15 & Under championship.

For her Grand Junior Hunter win, Colvin was presented with The Spontaneous Perpetual Trophy donated by the Listrani Family. Colvin was named the Best Junior Rider, an award sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables. The EMO Junior Trip of the show went to Colvin and Way Cool, who had a 91.

The reserve champion in the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters was Whatever, ridden by Vivian Yowan and owned by Saddle Ridge LLC. They placed first, second, second, and fifth in the division. Lightning Z, ridden by Meredith Darst and owned by Lochmoor Stables, was reserve champion in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters after they placed first and third.

Colvin, who rides as a 14-year-old, was able to rebound from an uncharacteristic bad day yesterday to win all of the junior hunter awards today. When asked about her mindset coming into today, she said, “You just try to do better. I don’t think I could have done worse than yesterday, so it’s only up from there!”

Even today, Colvin won the first class on Way Cool with a 91, then returned for the second class where Way Cool decided he didn’t like the scoreboard at the end of the ring. Laughing and knowing the daily life with horses, Colvin kept a positive attitude.

“Both of them are quirky,” she revealed, “but that’s what makes them good, I think. Like Way Cool, he went good in the first trip and it was the exact same thing in the second trip, and he wouldn’t go down to the end of the ring. But I think that’s what makes their personality. I like it. If you have a perfect horse, it gets boring. You’ve got to have some action, right?”

Of winning the grand championship for the second year in a row, she stated, “It’s pretty awesome. Just being grand with one would be great, but with both is even better. I like winning, and it doesn’t get old. But anything can happen, so it’s great to win here again. I could easily have not done well. If Way Cool didn’t jump well in the first class today, then it would have been over. Ovation’s last trip was stressful. If he didn’t win, I wouldn’t have been champion. Vivian was really good the whole week and I wasn’t. If I was second, she would have been champion.”

Colvin ended her day by winning the $2,500 WCHR Junior Challenge, sponsored by The Caldwell and Graves Families, on Inclusive owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.

Children’s Hunter Champions Awarded

The Grand Children’s Hunter Championship, sponsored by Mary Jane King, was another tie between the Children’s Hunter Pony winner from yesterday, Northwind Marin and Daisy Farish, and today’s Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Section B champions, Pringle and Lily Blavin. They were presented with the Laura Pickett Memorial Trophy, donated by Julie Karpan. Farish and Blavin also tied for the Best Children’s Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by Wild Sky Farm and The Nelson Family.

Lily Blavin, who is 14 years old and from Scottsdale, AZ, and Pringle finished first in the under saddle and won an over fences class in their division. The reserve champion was Color Up, ridden by Jacqueline Watts, who won an over fences class.

Blavin and Pringle, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Radiator, have been paired for sixth months. She described her relationship with the experienced campaigner, “He’s so smooth and so sweet. He jumps well and is such a good horse. It’s great to ride an experienced horse. He knows his way around. It’s fun and I love him.”

This is Blavin’s first time at Capital Challenge and she noted that she appreciated the good footing, pretty jumps, and size of the arena. Coming to the East Coast was another bonus. “I like seeing my old friends here and it’s competitive,” she said. Of winning here, she added, “I’m so happy. I’m dreamed of this, and it’s just incredible.”

Yesterday’s champions, Daisy Farish and Northwind Marin, were able to also win an over fences class and under saddle. Farish rode for owner Prue Richardson and trainer Bill Schaub. Schaub has been working with the talented green pony for a year and a half. This was the pony’s fifth horse show. Schaub said, “I didn’t expect he would be ready to do this. It’s only his fifth horse show; he had no right to win. But then he walks in and gets an 89.5. He got a 65 in second round though, his greenness came out. Then he won the under saddle! We put him the division for good mileage, never thinking that he would win!”

Schaub said that Northwind Marin is a homebred for Prue Richardson. “Prue has bred a lot of beautiful ponies. It’s a nice feather in that pony’s cap. He just paid attention and put it all together at the right time. Molly Sewell has worked really hard on that pony and they are taking their time with him. He’s going to be an awesome pony. He’s just six, and he has all the quality in the world.”

Farish and Northwind Marin won the EMO Trip of the Show in the Children’s divisions when they scored an 89.62. Victoria Colvin won the Overall EMO Performance of the Show when she scored a 92.5 with Way Cool in the Performance Hunter 3’6” division.

Lili Hymowitz and Statement (Parker/Russell-The Book photo)
Julian Curry and Golden Opportunity trot to victory in the championship hack-off (Parker/Russell-The Book photo)

The Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Section A championship went to Statement, ridden by 13-year-old Lili Hymowitz of New York, NY, for owners Rose Hill Farm and Carolyn Dishuck. They placed second, second, and fifth. The reserve champion was Sirius Black, ridden by Madison Goetzmann for Christina Gellos. They received second, third, and fourth place ribbons.

Hymowitz has been riding Statement, a six-year-old Westphalian gelding by Christiano, for only two months. “He’s pretty much like the perfect horse,” she said with a smile. “He moves amazing and jumps amazing, and he’s super brave and the most fun horse.”

This is Hymowitz’s first year riding horses, but she still also rides ponies. It’s her second time at Capital Challenge. Of her win, she said, “I think it means a lot. It’s nice to have a boost and know you can do it. It’s a lot of hard competition here, so it’s nice to be able to win.”

The Children’s Hunter 15-17 championship went to Golden Opportunity, a seven-year-old Mecklenburg gelding ridden by Julian Curry for Taylor Curry. They placed first and second in the division. With the same ribbons, Ashley Cross and Arabella tied with Curry, and there was a hack-off to determine the champion. Arabella was named reserve champion in the division.

At 18 years old, this is Curry’s final junior year. The local rider from Upper Marlboro, MD, trains with Rachel Kennedy of ESP Farm, and he was excited to win a championship at Capital Challenge.

Curry won last year’s WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge on a different horse. He started on Golden Opportunity after his sister Taylor took a break from riding. They have had success and tricolors at other horse shows, including Upperville and Maryland Horse and Pony. Curry said that the horse is “the best and most fun horse to ride.” He added, “He’s easygoing and light in the mouth. He can get a little low, but you just need to sit up and ride him to the base of the jump and let him jump up. Then you should be successful with him.”

He said of his win, “It feels good, especially since we had the work-off. It was a little tense. I’m really excited because he’s a good horse and he deserves it.”

The freshman at Georgetown University plans to move up to the 3’6” Amateur-Owner Hunters next year or may take a venture into the jumper ring. At this year’s Capital Challenge, he was named the recipient of the Stewart-Warner Cup for Children’s Riders. Lili Hymowitz won the award for pony riders, while Vivian Yowan won the award for junior riders.

The winner of the $1,500 WCHR Children’s Challenge, sponsored by Stephanie Riggio and MeadowView, was Noble Blue, ridden and owned by Kristen Bowman. The winner of the $2,500 WCHR Pony Challenge was Sassafras Creek, ridden by Daisy Farish for Bibby Farmer-Hill.  Novelette and Caroline Dance won the $1,000 Junior World Champion Hunter Under Saddle.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show would like to thank all of its exhibitors, sponsors, and staff for a wonderful and successful show, and they look forward to another in 2013. For full results and more information, please visit http://www.capitalchallenge.org