Inside Indoors

By Whitney Campbell and Jackie McFarland

Capital Challenge, Harrisburg, Washington, and Syracuse
The excitement of the World Equestrian Games surrounding Lexington, Kentucky was nothing short of overpowering during the months of September and October. However many other year round competitors and enthusiasts of the sport instead found themselves at the most recognized and notorious end of the year championship shows. Many of the sport’s elite as well as up and coming hunters, equitation and jumper riders and their mounts traveled to the 17th annual Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, Maryland held October 2-10 for the beginning of a well-known and traditional fall series of competitive shows, the Indoor Circuit. A few days later, 1,200 top ranked horses and riders from all over the nation traveled to Harrisburg. The dates of October 14-23, 2010 marked the 65th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

The Equitation weekend at Capital Challenge kicked off the season. West Coast highlights included 17-year-old division Equitation Champion, Samantha Harrison of La Canada, CA, who trains with Karen Healey. An interesting twist came out of the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals when riders were not asked to return as the judges had their final decision. Moving up from second in the second round was Molly Peddicord of Malibu, CA to take home the top prize. She rides with Far West Farms.

The Professional Hunter Division saw defending champion John French reclaim the Second Year Green Hunter Division, this year aboard Small Affair, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly. Small Affair dominated by winning three over fences classes. French returned for the Future Hunter 3’3″ North American Championships and walked away with another blue on Small Collection and the second to Small Kiss, both Iwasaki & Reilly horses. On a hot streak, John French aboard Small Affair earned top honors in the $15,000 WCHR Professional Challenge.

The California invasion continued when Meredith Darst and Wild Sky Farm’s Macy Grey earned Reserve Champion in the Medium Pony Hunter Division. Having a great year in the hunters, seventeen-year-old Hannah Goodson-Cutt, from Los Angeles, was both the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter Champion and the overall Grand Junior Hunter Champion aboard her horse Caretano. Goodson-Cutt, who trains with Willow Brook Stables, was awarded the Spontaneous Perpetual Trophy and later named the Best Junior Rider.

Further Capital Challenge champion level competitions at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center included the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals, for all the press and details visit

West Coast standouts included Hannah Goodson-Cutt, coming off a great showing at Capital Challenge, to claim the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter Championship aboard her horse Caretano. Goodson-Cutt returned in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter Championships to claim the Reserve Championship honors on Leroy Brown.

With a score of total score of nine faults, the Zone 10 Junior Jumper Team of Jocelyn Neff/Gaja 20, Audrey Coulter/Roderburghs California, Lindsay Douglas/Pernot and Alec Lawler/Live Fire, were second in the $15,000 Prix de States. Jocelyn Neff was awarded the William C. Steinkraus Style Award. The award is presented to the Prix de States Junior Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation, and the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman. Aforementioned Hannah Goodson-Cutt was named the Best Junior Rider, Horse Award.

Out of 208 riders, Lucy Davis, who trains with Archie Cox, finished in the top four of the prestigious Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals. Judges Julie Winkel and George H. Morris asked back the top twenty for the second round over fences and then the top seven returned for flat work. After top two riders Hayley Barnhill of Collierville, TN and Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, MD switched horses, Barnhill ended with the top honors.

The final event of the PNHS was highlighted with a win from defending champion Rodrigo Pessoa. Coming straight from a Final Four appearance at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, Pessoa of Brazil reclaimed his title aboard HH Ashley in the FEI World Cup Qualifier $75,000 Grand Prix de Penn National. For more results, stories and highlights, visit

Members of the North American League (NAL) have the benefit of earning points in six hunter-jumper divisions – Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper – that up through 2010 had qualified horses and riders for the Finals at the PNHS. However in 2011 there will also an annual North American League West Coast Final occurring at the Las Vegas National Horse Show. This event will represent an even bigger and more nationwide opportunity amongst competitors. The 2011 qualifying year began on September 1st and continues through August 21st at qualifying horse show across the Unites States and Canada. Membership and more information at

Next in the Indoor Circuit lineup is the world renowned Washington International Horse Show. Classes started on October 26th and continued through today. Jennifer Woods Media was there and gave us the daily scoop.

California junior riders Olivia Esse, Hannah Goodson-Cutt and Ashley Pryde rocked the Junior Hunter Divisions. Esse was Grand Junior Hunter Champion aboard Illusion. Goodson-Cutt earned the best Junior Hunter Stake round and was Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Champion on Caretano. Plus was Champion in the 16-17 Large Division on Superman, with Ashley Pryde taking home the Reserve Championship on Truly. Laura Wasserman and Overseas also won the Stake in the In the Amateur Owner Hunter 36 & over Division. Interviewed in an earlier issue this year, young hotshot Reed Kessler grabbed 1st and 3rd in the $10,000 Junior Jumper Stake. Pablo Barrios and G&C Farm’s Quick Star 11 topped the Puissance and McLain Ward aboard the priceless Sapphire rode to the blue in the $100,000 President’s Cup, a World Cup Qualifier. More at

The final Indoor extravaganza will be in upstate New York when the prestigious Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament commences on November 2 and continues through the 7th. Champions will be crowned in several divisions, grand prix events as well as in the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals. Details at

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:

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:


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:

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