Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 2, 2017 – The amateur owner hunter athletes took center stage on Thursday morning as the 2017 CP National Horse Show continued to award championship titles.
Eight years after her performance in the Maclay finals at the National Horse Show, Kelly Tropin returned aboard Libertas Farm LLC’s Chablis to top the Amateur Owner Under 35 Hunter division, claiming the championship and ultimately earning the title of Grand Champion Amateur Owner Hunter and the “Ruxton and Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. Tropin and the 9-year-old Warmblood gelding captured wins in the stake class and the under saddle with a second place ribbon in the handy round to earn the “In Dutch” Memorial Perpetual Trophy and the “Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. Lindsay Maxwell rode her own Baranus to the win in the handy round and take home the reserve championship award.
Catch Me and owner Becky Gochman continued their domination of the Amateur Owner Over 35 hunter division with wins in the over fences class, the under saddle class and the handy round to ultimately claim the championship tricolor. Gochman could not dream of a better partner than “Snoopy,” the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding who has guided her to a year full of championships and first place ribbons in their amateur season debut. The pair earned the same title after sweeping the division at the Capital Challenge Horse Show. Staying true to form, Catch Me also claimed the Judith Murch High Performance Hunter division championship, presented by the Corrigan family and Winners Circle Trailer Sales Wednesday with Scott Stewart. The Amateur Owner Over 35 Hunter Reserve Championship and William and Margaret Marquard Memorial Trophy was awarded to stake class winners Virginia Fout and her own Cristiano.
Following the completion of the amateur owner divisions, junior hunter competition began where Elly Ficca and her own Quatrain captured back-to-back wins in the Junior 3’3” Hunter over fences and handy round. Ficca and the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding secured maximum points ahead of tomorrow’s stake class and under saddle to determine the champion.
Junior hunter competition will continue through Friday beginning with the Small Junior 15 and under Hunter over fences at 9:05 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kelly Tropin – Grand Champion Amateur Owner Hunter
“I’m really proud of my horse and I’m really grateful to ride such an amazing animal. He’s the horse of a lifetime for me. He’s only 9, so I hope we have many more years together, but I’m really proud of him because he’s been champion now at Washington, Harrisburg and the National. This horse show is actually hard for me to get to because I was missing a lot of important things at work to be here but I really wanted him to have the opportunity to do well at this show. He’s such a careful, spectacular jumper but he’s not spooky at all, so he can walk in this ring. We like him a little fresh and explosive over the jumps, so yesterday he was actually fresh. We don’t like him to get too tired for the second day. That speaks to what a wonderful horse he is that he’s 9 and can be fresh and just walks in the ring and does his job. He’s wonderful.”
On training with Peter Lutz and Mary Manfredi:
“Not only is he my only hunter, he’s the only hunter we have in the barn with my trainers Peter Lutz and Mary Manfredi. They’re amazing horse people. They’ve trained a lot of young horses for me and we had a lot of good raw material with Chablis, but they do everything to make him the spectacular horse he is. He’s our only hunter, so he gets the same treatment. He does the same gymnastics as the grand prix horses and my amateur jumpers that I have.”
On the National Horse Show:
“I haven’t been to this horse show since I did the Maclay finals and I remember walking into the ring in 2009 and I started crying on the way to the ring because I was like, ‘This is my last horse show ever, I’m so sad.’ Almost ten years later I wish I could say to myself then, ‘You’ll be here and you’ll be fine. It’ll be better than you ever thought it would be.’ I’m back and it’s been really nice. It’s an amazing show. I love all of the indoor shows, but this one is really special.”
Becky Gochman – Amateur Owner Over 35 Hunter Champion
On Catch Me:
“It was a great way to end the season. Snoopy of course is the ultimate horse and he is just a blast to ride. He’s just a wonderboy and knows his job. He wants to please. He’s the cutest thing at the barn. When he lies down he brings a little extra hay over to his corner. He’s just a really smart horse. He’s an all-around fun guy to hang out with. Sometimes I just feel like he’s not real because he just feels like I made him up in my imagination and he came true – he’s really one of a kind. For our first go of our amateur season he’s surpassed all my dreams.”
On Catch Me’s schedule:
“I’m just enjoying him and I hope that we continue to do that along the way so he lasts a really long time. He just has a good time in life. I think he does spread the joy. I think when people look at him they get a kick out of him.”
Amateur Owner Over 35 Hunter Champion:
Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC
Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Under 35 Hunter Champion:
Chablis, ridden by Kelly Tropin and owned by Libertas Farm LLC