Upperville, Va. – June 8, 2018 – The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up on Friday at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), presented by St. Bride’s Farm, with Britta Stoeckel’s William Hill claiming the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title after acquiring the most points in their respective Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter division. The pair took home the San Siro Perpetual Trophy, donated by Tracey Weinberg and Weinberg Brokerage Group.
This is Stoeckel’s first time competing at the historic event, and she concluded a stellar two days of competition on Friday winning the Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’6” Hunter division and Griber Cup, donated by Captain and Mrs. Peter A. M. Griber. In addition, the pair also captured the $5,000 Markel Insurance Company Amateur-Owner 3’3”/3’6” Hunter Classic on Friday, riding to the top score out of 27 entries.
The 18-year-old from Chicago, Illinois, recently began competing in the amateur-owner divisions after aging out of the junior divisions, and purchased the 8-year-old Bavarian Warmblood in February. The gelding was previously campaigned by professional hunter rider Scott Stewart, who also trains Stoeckel along with partner Ken Berkley, and won the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over 3’6” Hunter division with previous owner Becky Gochman at the 2017 Upperville Colt & Horse Show.
The Amateur-Owner High-Point Award and the James J. Piehler Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by his friends, went to Virginia Fout, who accumulated the most points in any section of the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. Fout grew up in nearby Middleburg, Virginia, but is now based in California and trains with Archie Cox of Brookway Stables. She rode her own Carma to the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over 3’3” Hunter reserve championship on Friday after just claiming the championship in the same division just one week ago at the Devon Horse Show.
Saturday at UCHS will mark the start of the junior hunter divisions, while the day will highlight the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Salamander Resort and Spa, at 5 p.m. in Jumper Ring I.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Britta Stoeckel – Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter winner with William Hill
On winning the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title with William Hill:
“It felt really good! My cousins come to the show every year and always rave about it so I was really excited to come here this year. To be able to win the championship made me really happy! William Hill is one of those horses that just gives you confidence when you walk in the ring and he listens to everything I tell him to do. He makes it fun and easy and he’s just a blast to ride.”
On competing at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show:
“It’s my first time here at Upperville. I love it, it’s really pretty. I love the trees in the ring — it’s just overall beautiful. I like all of the people here!”
On her plan with William Hill for the rest of the year:
“I’m really looking forward to indoors. I really want to do well with him there and finish the season with a bang. That would be really fun!”
Virginia Fout – Amateur-Owner High-Point Award winner
On winning the high-point award on Friday:
“It’s awesome. It’s wonderful to be in my hometown so that makes it the most fun. I was born and raised here and I think I’ve maybe missed two or three [Upperville Colt & Horse Shows] in my entire life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really good horses the last couple of years so I bring them back after Devon to make a whole trip out of it. I bring them back to my house and we go on trail rides until they go back to California.”
On the Upperville Colt & Horse Show:
“It’s my whole childhood! Even when our parents passed away, we started a class here — my brother and sister and I. It’s called the [Paul & Eve Go As You Please Handy Hunter] class. My mom and dad were not into measuring lines and numbers, they always said, ‘Just ride!’ So that’s the concept behind it.”
“Carma is my angel. I’m really lucky, he’s such a sweet horse. I’ve had him for almost three years. He’s become such a special horse. He’s my partner. I don’t over-show him, I do just enough to be able to come and do fun shows with him. We have quite a partnership. I just love him.”