Temecula, Calif. – May 30, 2019 – Hunter competition continued Thursday at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show III, where horse-and-rider partnerships took to their respective arenas at Galway Downs to complete divisions started Wednesday. The Young Hunter 7 and Under division wrapped up with Kaitlin Campbell and Playmaker taking the tricolor after adding three more top results to their list, and in the Performance 3’6” Hunters it was Wednesday’s top team Tammy Chipko and Santanita LS who walked away the ultimate champions.
As the second day of riding began in the Young Hunter 7 and Under division in Temecula, Ariya Nathu’s First Look held the lead after carrying rider Amanda Pitton to back-to-back victories over fences during Wednesday’s first half of competition. Campbell and SWS Training & Sales’ Playmaker sat in second position overall following double second place results, but the pair stepped up their game even further Thursday and were rewarded by the judge with a series of ideal results. Commencing the day on a high note, Campbell and Playmaker earned the blue ribbon under saddle thanks to the horse’s smooth gaits, and returned to the ring twice to ride over fences, earning commendable second and fourth place results. With the points calculated, Campbell and Playmaker ultimately edged out the early frontrunners to emerge as the division victors, with Pitton and First Look earning the reserve title.
A second-year initiative for Nilforushan Equisport Events, tattooed off-the-track Thoroughbreds and horses that are six years old and younger are eligible to have their class fees waived up to 10 classes per week. The partnership program with Oakmont Ranch is intended to allow for more rookie exhibitors and horses to gain valuable experience in the ring at a reduced cost. As a 6-year-old, Playmaker was qualified to participate, and Campbell made good use of the cost-efficient opportunity multiple times throughout the circuit, competing young horses in their respective age-group divisions up to the derbies.
Over on the grass in the Aon Grand Hunter Arena, the Performance 3’6” Hunters wrapped up after two days of close competition. Wednesday’s leading pair, Chipko with her mount Santanita LS, began the day narrowly ahead of their challengers thanks to placings of first, second and third during the first half of riding. With the lead spot secured, the duo simply needed to put in two more high-scoring over fences performances to solidify their status as the overall division champions. During day two, Chipko and Santanita LS were awarded first prize over fences and third place in the handy round, which would clinch them the tricolor ribbon and their place in the winner’s circle as the Performance 3’6” Hunter champions.
Hunter competition at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show III continues Friday with the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, where professionals, juniors, and amateurs will all compete for the lion’s share of the prize money and the coveted blue ribbon.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kaitlin Campbell – Young Hunter 7 and Under champion
“Playmaker is a horse owned by SWS Training & Sales, which is Alex Wilson and I. This is our third show with him – we got him right after Thermal. He is 6 years old this year. I don’t really show too many hunters, this is really the only hunter I do show right now, and he has really just stepped up to the plate.”
On the free classes for young horses at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“It’s nice because these past few weeks, the [young horses] get ten classes for free, which has really helped us to produce [Playmaker] a lot over the last three weeks and the week back in April. He has been able to do the derbies and that is covered by the ten classes for free, so he has really gotten a lot of experience in the circuit here. We showed a 5-year-old last week and we let one of our working students show it just for the experience for both of them. It’s great. The bill was two or three hundred dollars, which is nothing compared to what it is if you go to another show for a young horse and you are looking at 1,100 dollars.”
On her success at Galway Downs:
“It’s great, we are right down the road so we are able to bring a lot of different horses here. They can stay at home and just come over and show then go home. It’s really great that this has come to the Temecula area. It is really helping the whole horse community here. They’ve done a great job with all the prizes and making people want to horse show.”
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