Harrisburg, Pa. – Oct. 13, 2018 – You could hear a pin drop in the main arena as Sophie Gochman and Carola BH, rode towards victory in the 2018 Neue Schule/USEF Jr. Jumper Champion title. The pair posted a combined total, over three days of competition, of six faults to win the title at the 73rd Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
Gochman will take home a little extra hardware this week, a gold medal in the Neue Schule/USEF Jr. Jumper Individual Championship, the AHSA National Show Jumping Individual Championship Perpetual trophy, and a bronze medal in the Neue Schule/USEF Jr. Jumper Championship Team competition.
Until Gochman entered the ring, Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious, Goetzmann’s 11-year-old bay Westphalian gelding, lead the field with a total of 8 combined faults. However, it was not enough to hold the lead resulting in a silver medal finish by a slim two faults. On the heels of Goetzmann, and earning the bronze medal, was Lily Gottwald with her own Gaston Van T Steentje. The 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, added a time penalty in the final phase resulting in a combined total of 8.5 faults for the three days of competition.
Still riding high after earning the bronze in the team challenge, Sophie Gochman and Carola BH, the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Gochman Sport Horse Llc., was ecstatic to be crowed the 2018 Neue Schule/USEF Jr. Jumper Individual Champion.
“I haven’t really processed it yet,” said Gochman. “I came in here thinking a top 10 finish would be great because it’s such a challenging competition. It’s a nations cup format which I think is great for junior riders to experience. It’s an honor to win it. I never thought it would really happen – it’s crazy!”
Looking back on a successful week, Gochman reflected on her first team experience. “This was my first time not competing as an individual (at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show) and I was the anchor,” said Gochman. “I was so excited as there are not a lot of team competitions for horseback riding. It’s such a great opportunity to bond with other people, you’re rooting for a team and that’s a really fun aspect.”
While Gochman is no stranger to the winners circle, her presence in the hunters this year was scarce as she turns her focus to the jumpers and equitation.
“I’ve slowly stopped doing the hunters to focus on jumpers and equitation,” said Gochman. “You can jump higher, faster, and pursue more international opportunities and I felt that’s what I connected with more. Bunny (Carola BH) is kind of sassy when you get on, she’s so eager and excited to be out there and jumping.”
The 2018 recipient of the William C. Steinkraus Stytle Award, donated in 2005 by Karen Healey, was awarded to Madison Goetzmann. The award is given to a recipient competing in Prix des States Junior Jumper competition who exemplifies the American style of equitation and sportsmanship.