Highlights From The Aug 20-21 2010 Blenheim EquiSports show

By Katie Kotarak

During the two days of tough competition, 54 junior and 18 amateur finalists saddled up to take on the first medal final challenge of the season in Blenheim Farm’s covered arena. Beginning on Friday afternoon riders earned scores from three judges over a hunter type course. Competitors returned on Saturday for phases two and three of the event, first negotiating a jumper type track and wrapping up by riding an advanced equitation course.

The Amateur Section:
Leading after rounds one and two and solidifying the win with a beautiful third round performance, was Adrienne Dixon aboard her entry, Vincezo (Julia Nagler, owner). Out of the nine scores possible, Dixon earned six in the nineties to win the amateur portion of the CPHA final, bringing her final score to 819. Congratulations to Adrienne and trainer Benson Carroll.

Earning scores in the eighties over the two days of competition, Shannon Davidson who rides with Jeni Brown, proved outstanding and took home second place honors. Caroline Ingalls piloted her trainer Hap Hansen’s Y2K to a third place finish. Elsa Horrigan, trained by Jim Hagman, rode Star Lane Farms’ Crimson Z and their third round scores moved up from fifth place to fourth.

The Junior Section:
Soon after the awards, the top ten junior competitors returned to the arena for their third round. With only two riders left to negotiate the advanced equitation course, spectators, parents, trainers and friends, watched anxiously as Morgan Geller trotted in. Aboard Katie Kelso’s Fabricio, Geller, who trains with Peter Lombardo, laid down an outstanding trip that earned her a high score of 90 and a pair of 89s, bringing the young rider’s two-day total to an impressive 779. But Geller didn’t have the competition in the bag quite yet. As the leader going into the third round, Julia Nagler, trained by Benson Carroll, was the last to negotiate the final course. In the tack of Utric (Hedge Hill Investments, owner), Nagler received 92, 87 and 83.75 from the judges, elevating her overall total to 781.75, just 2.75 ahead of Geller.

According to the CPHA rulebook, when final scores are within 3 points of one another, just as Nagler and Geller’s were, they are required work-off for the win. Both of the top scoring riders were required to drop their stirrups and re-ride the 3’6″ third round course. Geller was up first and effortlessly piloted her mount over the track of obstacles delivering a flawless performance. Nagler returned to a silent arena and also laid down a great trip. Adding to the suspense, the final decision of the work-off wasn’t announced until the end of the awards ceremony. The judges deemed Geller the winner with second place honors and a job well done going to Nagler.

Earning fabulous third round scores Killian McGrath, trained by Leslie Steele, rode Lucas (Rolling Oaks Ranch Inc., owner) to secure the third place ribbon. With consistent high scores from all three judges throughout the competition, both Gabbi Langston (Archie Cox, trainer) and Jocelyn Neff’s (Karen Healey, trainer) overall score totaled 761; therefore, the girls shared the honor of fourth place and demonstrated great sportsmanship. Hannah Goodson-Cutt and Chilara (Westar Farms LLC, owner) were awarded sixth place. She and trainer Kate Considine had a great week, kicking it off as Grand Champion of the USEF Junior Hunter Championships.

Highlights From The Aug 17-18 2010 Blenheim EquiSports Show

USEF National Junior Hunter Championships – West Coast:
On a bit of a hot Tuesday afternoon, forty-eight Small and Large Junior Hunter riders in the 15 & under and 16-17-year-old sections gathered to compete on the west grass field in the 2010 USEF National Junior Hunter Championships – West Coast. The first of a two-day event began with the handy round, followed by the under saddle section.

The beautifully-decorated but technical track, designed by California’s Scott Starnes, had plenty of flowers and brush, as well as a hay bale bounce that caused elimination for some, a natural trot fence that lost its top rail a few times, and a hand gallop to the final obstacle. Taking top prize in the older Small handy was Wesley with Taylor Ann Adams in the irons for owner Ashley Pryde. The pair’s workmanlike ride earned scores of 84, 85 and 84 from the three judges – Sue Ashe, Leo Conroy and Mindy Darst.

When the group returned for the under saddle phase of the competition, it was Ashley Pryde’s other chestnut horse Pringle, this time with Amber Henter riding, who earned the blue ribbon.

As the first to show among the younger Small section, Cruise and Hasbrouck Donovan riding for Jessica Singer, laid down a handy trip that could not be topped. The duo earned first place and then third when Cruise pointed his toes under saddle. Also showing well in this group was the team of Illusion (Oscany Inc., owner) and Olivia Esse who earned second place ribbons in the handy and hack.

In the older Large section, the couple of Superman and Hannah Goodson-Cutt were super indeed, winning both the handy and under saddle phases. The well-matched pair were the only team to win both of their Tuesday classes and as a result carried over the highest first day total to Wednesday morning’s competition. In the younger age group of the Larges, Donovan rode her second mount, Laura Wasserman’s Overseas, to a blue ribbon in the handy and third in the under saddle. Ashlyn Matheus aboard her brilliant Einstein was second in the handy and fifth under saddle.

Bright and early Wednesday morning riders were invited back onto the grass to turn in their classic trip, which counted for 40% of their overall score and would determine the champions. The Large older section started the day. The twelfth to go in the order, Henter aboard Victory Road (Ashley Pryde, owner), won the class. Second place, as well as Reserve Champion in the division, was awarded to Stephanie Danhakl’s After Five with Cayla Richards in the irons. With a fifth place finish in the classic plus the two blue ribbons from Tuesday, the tri-color in the older Large section was awarded to a stellar Superman and Goodson-Cutt.

The younger group of the Larges rode next. Fabricio (Katie Kelso, owner) and Morgan Geller turned in a fabulous ride for the win. The team’s final total also proved good enough for Reserve Champion honors in the division. Matheus and Einstein placed second in the class and combined with Tuesday’s winnings earned them the section championship.

Topping the classic round for the older Small section was again Goodson-Cutt, this time on her other mount, Caretano. The duo effortlessly maneuvered the track to earn some of the highest scores of the day – 88, 90 and 88 – therefore clinching first prize as well as securing Reserve Champion in the section. Second to Caretano in the classic round, Wesley and Adams exited the ring with great scores in the mid-eighties; keeping the team’s overall adjusted total in contention for a grand prize.

In the younger Small section it was the dappled grey Cruise and his partner Donovan, who coasted to the top prize as well as the division Championship. Just barely scoring below Cruise in both the classic round and division, Illusion and Esse left the grass with a second place ribbon and an overall total that proved high enough for the Reserve Championship.

Once the scores and percentages from the two days were calculated, the title of overall Grand Champion was awarded to Superman and his aviatrix, Goodson-Cutt with a total of 251. Outdone by only the narrowest of margins, Grand Reserve Champion honors went to Wesley and Adams whose two-day score totaled 250.8.

Congratulations to the best in the west, Superman and Hannah Goodson-Cutt, as well as to all riders, horses, trainers and parents for a successful 2010 season.


Overall Grand Champion Hunter
Superman and Hannah Goodson-Cutt
Huntover Farm Perpetual Trophy
Overall Champion Small Jr Hunter 15 & Under
Cruise and Hasbrouck Donovan
Escort Me In Perpetual Trophy
Overall Champion Large Jr Hunter 15 & Under
Einstein and Ashlyn Matheus
River Edge Farm Perpetual Trophy
Overall Champion Small Jr Hunter 16-17
Wesley and Taylor Ann Adams
Magic Word Perpetual Trophy
Overall Champion Large Jr Hunter 16-17
Superman and Hannah Goodson-Cutt