Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2017 – Following the unjudged ASPCA Maclay warm up Friday morning, competition began with small and large junior hunters at the CP National Horse Show.
Only one hunter horse stepped into the Alltech Arena decorated with the champion tricolor award and that was Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Park Place guided by Isha Swani. The 14-year-old junior rider made her first trip to the National Horse Show to earn the title of Junior 3’3” Hunter Champion after claiming top ribbons at HITS Saugerties, the Capital Challenge Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show with “Parker.” Swani rode the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding to first place in the stake class and the under saddle class, second place in the handy round and third place in the over fences class before ultimately capturing the division. Upon consecutive wins in Thursday’s over fences class and handy round, Elly Ficca and her own Quatrain were awarded the reserve championship.
Saturday will name champions in the final four hunter divisions, which started with over fences classes and handy rounds Friday. Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Evermore claimed the blue ribbon in the Small Junior Hunter 15 and under over fences, while Brian Moggre and MTM Farm’s MTM Fashion captured the handy round of the division. In the Small Junior Hunter 16-17, sponsored and presented by the Danhakl Family, Giavanna Rinaldi rode Alex Jayne’s Bugsy Malone to the over fences win. Calou, owned by Diana J. Firestone, jumped Taylor St. Jacques to first place in the handy round, acquiring the Ovation Perpetual Trophy for the best performance of the Small Junior Hunter’s handy rounds. The Large Junior Hunter 15 and under over fences win was awarded to Sophie Gochman aboard Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Garfield. Alexandra Pielet rode Emma Farber’s Giovanni to win the division’s handy round, earning the “Blue by You” Memorial Challenge Trophy for the best Large Junior Hunter handy round overall. The Large Junior Hunter 16-17, sponsored and presented by the Gochman Family, saw a win from Annabel Revers and MTM Hands Down, owned by Beechwood Stables LLC, in the over fences and Rachel McMullen with her own Clear Sailing in the handy round.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Isha Swani – Junior 3’3” Hunter Champion
On her win:
“It feel awesome. I’ve been working really hard with my trainers Chris Payne and David Belford. We worked really hard for this. The main time we travel a lot is for the indoor shows. During the winter, I go back and forth on the weekends [from Ponte Vedra, FL] at WEF. This is our first indoor championship and it feels great.”
On Park Place:
“I’ve had him for about a year now. I got him last September and we really connected the moment I got on him and it’s been like a dream come true. We found him at the Hampton Classic last year and then he came back to my barn and I tried him. He really is a snuggle bug once you get to know him, and I love him.”