Highlights From The Capital Challenge Horse Show October 2011

It’s a long trip east for those who set their sights on competing indoors in the fall. Each season the riders from the left coast have a chance to shine in this competitive setting. Of course many top horses and riders share the glory, but the west coast is not second to the east and often steps into the limelight as illustrated below.

The Capital Challenge Horse Show: October 1-9, 2011

On the opening Equitation Weekend presented by Bigeq.com, Morgan Geller and Fabricio topped the North American Flat Equitation Championship, were champions in the 16-year-old Equitation, and second in the North American Equitation Championship. Geller trains with Katie Gardner and Jim Hagman of Elvenstar. Conor Perrin was fourth, Alicia Gasser fifth, Olivia Esse sixth and Demi Stiegler ninth in the North American Equitation Championships. Alison Fithian and Julia Nagler both earned wins in their respective equitation divisions.

Pilar Flournoy, 14, from Topanga, CA, made her first trip east a worthwhile one, as she laid down two solid rounds to win the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals. Flournoy, who trains with Huntover, has that keen ability to stay focused under pressure. She also won the CPHA Foundation Eq Championships earlier this year. Destry Spielberg finished fourth and Alexandra Ladove seventh.

Kristi Siam

Yet another Californian to dominate the Show Place Arena was Adrienne Dixon. Dixon, of Hillsborough, California, piloted Conor Perrin’s Nat King Cole to top honors in the North American Amateur Equitation Championships. Solid in the irons for many years, Dixon now rides with Hunterbrook.

Third time at Capital Challenge was a charm for Kristi Siam of Chatsworth, CA and her horse Krosus. She was third in the North American Amateur Equitation Championships. And after a three-round battle with Mahala Rummel, Siam came away with the win in the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals. She trains with Karen Healey Stables.

On the Hunt to Win
Heidi Kane of Newport Beach, CA, rode Sin City to the championship in the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunter 3’3” division. She trains with her daughter Nicole Kane. Jenny Karazissis competed on Sin City in the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge earning eighth. With the hopes of just simply having a good round, Chelsea Samuels traveled from her home in La Canada, CA with trainer Archie Cox to compete in the 18-35 Adult Amateur Hunter division. She had several ‘good’ rounds on her 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding Brooklyn, taking the championship.

In her final junior year, Olivia Esse of Pasadena, CA, swept the championships in the Junior Hunter 16-17 divisions. Training with Makoto Farm, she rode Clooney, a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Carpaccio, for Oscany Inc. to the championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters. On Small Affair, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, she was champion in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters and earned the EMO Junior Trip of the Show. They were also named the High Point Junior Hunter 16-17 sponsored by The Clothes Horse.

Heidi Kane and Sin City (left); Olivia Esse and Small Affair

Proficient Pros 
Canadian-born now Rancho Santa Fe, CA resident Christa Endicott rode Come Monday, an eight-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Davlyn Farms, to the tri-color in the First Year Green Hunters Section B. The pair was also fifth in the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge class.

Another Canadian-born California resident Tara Metzner won the $5,000 WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge. She had the enviable task of competing on Destry Spielberg’s Rumba, the winner of the inaugural USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals. Also champion in the 3’6” Performance Hunter Division, this was Metzner’s inaugural year competing at the Capital Challenge. Actually west coast emerging pros picked up second through fourth as well as sixth in the WCHR Emerging Pro Challenge. Jamie Taylor rode Erin Bland’s Weatherly to second, Hope Glynn picked up fourth on Helen McEvoy’s Chance of Flurries and Teddi Jo Mellancamp was sixth on Woodvale Inc’s Brooklyn.

Patricia Griffith and Tara Metzner (left); John French

No stranger to winning on either coast, John French picked up the championship in the Future Hunter 6 & over division on Gail Morey’s new hunter, Safe Haven and on Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Celebration in the Future Hunter, Mare Division. He went on to claim the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge class for the second year in a row on Iwasaki & Reilly’s Small Affair. The win was bittersweet for French who choked up when he admitted that the ride might be his last on this talented hunter. Continuing his winning rides, French was the picture of consistency in the WCHR Professional Finals and again took the top prize. Jenny Karazissis was sixth in this prestigious class.

Interview: John French after the WCHR Pro Challenge
Interview: John French after the WCHR Professional Finals win

Jenny Karazissis, Scott Stewart, John French, Liza Boyd, Kelley Farmer and Hunt Tosh

Inside Indoors

By Jackie McFarland

Back in the day the Indoor Circuit was Harrisburg, Washington, New York. Those days are gone and the fall indoor season on the East Coast is now Upper Marlboro, Harrisburg, Washington, Syracuse. The shows affiliated with those cities are the Capital Challenge, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show and the Syracuse Invitational.

A Little History
In its 16th year, Capital Challenge is a relatively young event, but with all its unique offerings has certainly become the essential first stop of the Indoor season. Harrisburg, hosting the traditional USEF Medal Finals and more, is presenting its 64th annual event in 2009. Washington is in its 51st year. The standing North American indoor Puissance (high jump) record of 7 feet 7 1/2 inches was set at Washington in 1983 by Anthony D’Ambrosio and Sweet N’ Low. The newest addition to the Indoor roster is the Syracuse Invitational. Taking over where The National Horse Show (126th year) left off, this event not only hosts the ASPCA Maclay Finals but presents a fabulous horse show for exhibitors, spectators and sponsors alike.

Not just anyone can enter into these top shows – a certain number of points and/or money won are required to qualify for Harrisburg, Washington and Syracuse in the hunter divisions and jumper divisions.

September 26th – October 4th: CAPITAL CHALLENGE 
Begins with an Equitation weekend

Location: Prince George Equestrian, Upper Marlboro, MD
Managers: Billy Glass & Oliver Kennedy
Special Classes:
$40,000 North American Junior/Amateur Jumper Challenge Cup
$20,000 Added Future Hunter North American Championship
$15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge
$16,000 Green Working Hunter Sections
$5,000 Emerging Pro Challenge Ariat National Adult Medal Finals
THIS National Children’s Medal Finals
Capital Challenge North American Equitation Championships
Numerous Special Awards & Trophies
Web site: www.capitalchallenge.org
Webcast: www.equestriansport.tv

October 8th – 17th: PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL 
Begins with a Junior weekend

Location: PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center, Harrisburg, PA
Managers: Ryegate Show Services
Special Classes:
$75,000 Grand Prix de Penn National, World Cup Qualifier
$25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump
$25,000 NAL Open Jumper Speed Finals
$15,000 Cavalor Show Jumping HOF A/O Jumper Classic
$12,500 Prix de States Team Championship
$10,000 ‘Gem Twist’ Sprint, Gamblers Choice
$10,000 NAL Children’s Jumper Finals
$10,000 NAL Adult Jumper Finals
$10,000 NAL Children’s Hunter Finals / NAL Adult Hunter Finals Pessoa / USEF Hunter Equitation Medal Finals
Numerous Special Awards & Trophies
Web site: www.panational.org


Location: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Managers: David Distler & Robert Ridland
Special Classes:
$100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, World Cup Qualifier 
$30,000 International Open Jumper
$25,000 Puissance High Jump
$20,000 Open Jumper – Gambler’s Choice Custom Class
$15,000 Open Jumper Pair Relay
$15,000 Hunter Classic Derby
$15,000 Junior Jumper / Amateur-Owner Jumper Sections
$10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championships
$10,000 Adult Hunter Championships
$10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championships
$10,000 Adult Jumper Championships
WIHS Equitation Finals / WIHS Pony Equitation Finals
Numerous Special Awards & Trophies
Web site: www.wihs.org

October 28th – November 1st: SYRACUSE INVITATIONAL

Location: Oncenter Complex, Syracuse, NY
Manager: David Distler
Special Classes:
$100,000 Budweiser World Cup Qualifier of Syracuse
$50,000 Animal Planet Sporthorse Cup – a three phase event
$35,000 Syracuse Corporate Team Challenge
$25,000 Pasmore Stables Horsemans’ Cup
$15,000 CN Gambler’s Choice
$15,000 TK99 Speed Derby
$5,000 Empire Tractor Ride & Drive
National Horse Show ASPCA Maclay Championship
Numerous Special Awards & Trophies
Special Events: SI Horseman’s College / Insider’s View / Used Tack Sale