Wayne, Ill. – July 28, 2018 – The final day of Equifest I got underway on Sunday with primarily hunter competition taking place in the Main Hunter Arena at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Breaking up the hunter judging, however, was the Junior 15-17 Equitation division set at the 3’6’’ height, where Brynn Kuhnell rode Simply Ponies LLC’s Cris Van de Helle to the championship title.
Starting with the flat class, Kuhnell showed great control of her horse through their transitions and demonstrated an excellent sitting trot to come out with the third place ribbon. Kuhnell went on to execute both jump courses with correct position and style. The tracks were filled with rollback turns and bending lines, challenging riders to appear effortless throughout. Handling the tracks with confidence, Kuhnell and the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding came out on top of both over fences classes.
Kuhnell began her partnership only a few short months ago with Cris Van de Helle. Cris Van de Helle is an experienced equitation horse that has attended many of the largest equitation finals in the country. As they progress together, Kuhnell is learning how to ride Cris Van de Helle through the challenging equitation courses to get the best results possible. Their performances on Sunday are a sure sign that they are growing as a team. With plans to compete at ASPCA Maclay Regionals, Kuhnell is looking forward to continuing her progression with Cris Van de Helle.
The reserve champion title of the division went to Kaitlyn Reynolds and Sara Kemper’s Belvue Ben. Reynolds and Belvue Ben have been consistent in the equitation divisions since February and had a strong start to the division on Sunday, receiving the first place ribbon on the flat. In the second over fences, the pair earned a fourth to secure the reserve champion title aboard the 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.
Equifest I will conclude on Sunday, July 28. Equifest II competition at the Lamplight Equestrian Center will begin on Tuesday, July 30, at 8:00 a.m.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Brynn Kuhnel – Junior Equitation 15-17 Champion
On her horse:
“I got Cris Van de Helle mid-circuit in Florida. We have grown a lot together and really got to know one another. We have definitely started to get more successful as we have shown together. He is a great horse. He has done equitation finals so it has really been about me learning how to ride him. We have finally figured eachother out!”
On her rides:
“My rides were great today. I went in just wanting consistent and smooth rides while giving him a confident ride, as always. He, of course, always works with me and helps me out where he can if I find a distance a little short or a little long, he is always very helpful. I ended up having very consistent rides and they gave me a lot of confidence.”
On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“This is our first year here at Lamplight and I like it a lot. There is a lot of shade and the horses all seem really comfortable here. We hope to come back next year!”
On her plans moving forward:
“We are here for two weeks and then we move on to Bluegrass in Kentucky before heading to Maclay Regionals.”