There were three competitive equitation finals held today during the Capital Challenge Equitation Championship Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. Victoria Colvin was victorious in the North American Junior Equitation Championships on VIP Z. The win in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals went to John Porter on Kennebec, while Conor Perrin and Gelato won the blue ribbon in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships. The Capital Challenge Horse Show runs through Sunday, October 6, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

All three of today’s finals were held in the Show Place Arena. Starting out, there were 78 entries in the North American Junior Equitation Championships, and the top 20 from the first round returned for the second round. It was a lead from start to finish for Colvin, who was the only rider in the class to score in the 90s in both rounds. She took the first round win with a 92.20, and topped that with a 93 for a total of 185.20 for victory.

 


Victoria Colvin and VIP Z. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Second place went to Megan McPherson on Great Expectations. She scored 91.20 and 84.53 for a total of 175.73 for second place. Alison Cooney and Wittewa were third with a total of 174.21 after scores of 88.29 and 85.92.

Due to Colvin’s large margin of victory, no test was needed. Colvin was relieved that she didn’t have to return for a test, but didn’t know how many points she had won by. “That was nice that it was over after the second round. I like having two rounds and done!” she agreed. “I didn’t really see the points. (The announcer) just said it was enough to not have to test. I think it’s awesome and better than to win by .25 or something!”

Today’s courses were designed by Ken Krome, who took the opportunity to test the young riders with a turning track that featured a bounce with no standards and testing related distances. Colvin noted, “I think they both rode nice. They were turn-y, but they were nice for VIP. The bending lines were something I had to watch. That middle line was the most complicated, the four (strides) to five (strides). And the three-stride on the end (by the in-gate) – if you went too far out, you could do a four, and if you went too far in, you could do two and a half. I thought the bounce was awesome. The courses get boring sometimes because they don’t have anything new. I think the bounce brought something new to the course.”

Colvin had a strong partner in VIP Z, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hemmingway. She described him as having a “very big stride” and while he’s comfortable, he doesn’t have a flat jump. “It’s easy enough, but he has a pop to it,” she said.

 


Photo © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Colvin finished second in this class last year and has won the George Morris Excellence in Equitation class at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, but she said that this victory meant a lot to her. She remarked, “I’d say this is probably my biggest equitation win. It’s indoors and it’s a challenging course. It’s not a little (competition) and it’s an important class to do well in. Doing well in this makes me more confident going into the other finals. Not too confident, but it gives me an extra push.”

For her big win, Colvin was awarded the George H. Morris Equitation Championship Trophy, donated by Frank and Stacia Madden and Beacon Hill Show Stables. VIP Z’s groom, Limberg Cholac, won the North American Equitation Champion Groom’s Award sponsored by Holly Hill Farm. Colvin won the Best Equitation Rider Award sponsored by Karen Healey and Karen Healey Stables. Colvin’s trainer, Scott Stewart, won the Leading Equitation Trainer Award. The EMO Equitation Trip of the Show sponsored by EMO Insurance Services went to Colvin, as well.

First Time Competitor Wins THIS National Children’s Medal Finals

Thirty-five qualifiers contested this year’s THIS National Children’s Medal Finals. After the initial round, the top 10 returned for a second round. With another start-to-finish win, it was 15-year-old John Porter of Summers, CT, who took home the win riding Rebecca Clawson’s Kennebec. Porter trains with Shachine Belle.

 


John Porter and Kennebec. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Porter went last in both rounds, and he was the national points leader going into the Finals. He and Kennebec had an 86.97 in the first round and an 87.60 in the second round (including a score of 90 from judge’s position 3) for a total of 174.57. Second place went to Rhian Murphy on Phantom, who scored 83.87 and 85.90 for a total of 169.77. Brett Burlington and Sunman had scores of 82.53 and 85.00 for a total of 167.53 and third place.

Belle related a story for advice before Porter went in the ring. “She told me a story about when she was here at Capital Challenge showing and how she got excited going down her last line. She ended up missing going into the line; it was really long. She told me that no matter how nervous I am, or how excited I am, to keep it all together,” Porter explained. “She said she promised herself that she’d never do something like that again, so it made me want to work even harder so that she wouldn’t have an experience similar if I messed up. She always says I can be nervous out here and in the chute, but the second I pick up my canter, I have to breathe and just think about my course step by step, so that I’m not too ahead of myself or do something silly because of my nerves.”

Porter has leased Kennebec since January and said he has learned a lot from the 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Goodlord. “I’ve learned how to make my courses smooth because he has such an adjustable stride that I never have to run at anything or pull too much. I’ve learned how to have a better release. On him, you need to release more so that he doesn’t have the jump down. Also, a lot of confidence. He’ll just take me right up to the fence. If I want him to leave long, then he’ll leave for where I want. If I’m going to chip, he’ll still jump it anyway!” Porter said.

 


Photo © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Regarding his win, Porter expressed, “It’s so exciting because I’ve been trying to win something big for a long time. This is my first year at indoors and my first year doing the Taylor Harris. I’ve been doing the THIS (classes) all year to qualify for the Finals. I was like, ‘I really gotta bring it for Finals.’ I wanted to make Shachine proud.”

Another Large Margin of Victory

The North American Adult Amateur Equitation Finals saw 31 entries, and the top 10 from the first round were back for a second round to find the winner. Yesterday’s division champion, Conor Perrin of Orange, CA, and Gelato were yet another in today’s competition to win from the beginning, and they posted another almost 10-point lead thanks to scores of 89 and 88.8 for a total of 177.80. Rachel Boggus finished second on Prosecco 24. They scored 82.22 and moved up with an 86.40 in the second round for a total of 168.62. Laura Owens and L. Alta Vida were third. Their total of 167.40 came from scores of 84.40 and 83.

 


Conor Perrin and Gelato. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Perrin, who trains with Nick Haness, couldn’t rest easy heading the top of the list before the second round. He said, “Coming back on top is always kind of scary because you have the pressure of not only beating everyone else, but also making sure that you did as well as your first round because you don’t want to do worse. Waiting around, watching everyone go and get good scores, it just makes you a little bit nervous. But I think it worked out very well. He was going to the bathroom in the first four stride so I had to kick to get him up there. I was nervous that I might not make it, but it ended up working out. The rest pretty much flowed from there.”

Perrin described his partner of five years, Gelato, “He’s very floaty. He’s very fun, very comfortable. He jumps somewhat round and it feels like you’re kind of flying.”

While yesterday’s victory in the Adult Equitation division was great, he still wanted to remain focused on today’s championships. “I wanted to remain confident in how I did, but not let yesterday get to me thinking that it would be easy today,” he confirmed.

He added, “It feels really good, just being able to come back here after I showed two years ago and do well as an adult.”

 


Photo © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

The Groom’s Award sponsored by Holly Hill Farm went to Gelato’s groom, David Bustillos.

Tomorrow’s schedule will see the start of professional hunter competition at Capital Challenge with the rated divisions along with six sections of the Future Hunters.

Highlights of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will include the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Developing Pro Challenge (Oct. 2), Future Hunter North American Championship (Oct. 2), the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup (two rounds held on Oct. 4-5), the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals (Oct. 4), and the WCHR Professional Finals (Oct. 4).

Final Results: North American Junior Equitation Championship

1 VICTORIA COLVIN 94.00 92.00 91.00 90.00 94.00 92.20

93.00 92.00 95.00 94.00 91.00 93.00 185.20

2 MEGAN MACPHERSON 89.00 90.00 92.00 92.00 93.00 91.20

83.25 84.50 86.25 86.50 82.15 84.53 175.73

3 ALISON COONEY 90.00 89.00 90.50 86.75 85.20 88.29

84.50 83.75 87.50 87.00 86.85 85.92 174.21

4 SYDNEY HUTCHINS 88.00 88.00 86.50 85.00 86.50 86.80

85.50 85.00 88.00 88.00 87.50 86.80 173.60

5 HALIE ROBINSON 82.00 84.00 87.00 88.00 88.00 85.80

86.00 83.50 89.00 84.50 89.00 86.40 172.20

6 VIVIAN YOWAN 83.50 85.00 86.00 86.00 85.50 85.20

87.00 87.00 87.00 85.00 86.00 86.40 171.60

7 MICHAEL JANSON 87.00 86.00 85.50 84.50 87.75 86.15

83.50 82.00 86.50 82.00 87.00 84.20 170.35

8 DESTRY SPIELBERG 85.00 83.75 88.50 88.50 86.35 86.42

82.00 81.50 84.50 81.00 86.00 83.00 169.42

9 MELANIE SELLECK 87.50 87.00 88.00 86.50 84.10 86.62

81.00 80.00 83.00 82.75 83.75 82.10 168.72

10 NORA JODREY 84.00 80.00 84.00 82.00 87.00 83.40

84.00 83.00 84.00 80.00 86.25 83.45 166.85

Final Results: THIS National Children’s Medal Finals

1 JOHN PORTER 86.00 86.50 86.85 86.50 89.00 86.97

87.50 86.50 88.00 90.00 86.00 87.60 174.57

2 RHIAN MURPHY 85.00 86.00 82.10 83.25 83.00 83.87

88.00 87.00 86.00 85.00 83.50 85.90 169.77

3 BRETT BURLINGTON 82.00 82.50 82.15 78.00 88.00 82.53

87.00 85.00 85.00 83.00 85.00 85.00 167.53

4 SARAH JANE HASKIN 83.50 84.50 83.85 84.50 85.25 84.32

82.00 82.00 82.00 82.50 84.25 82.55 166.87

5 SAMANTHA COHEN 81.50 82.75 84.45 86.00 82.50 83.44

81.00 81.00 84.50 84.00 84.00 82.90 166.34

6 HALEY DAVIS 79.50 83.00 83.25 80.00 84.75 82.10

84.00 84.00 84.00 86.00 83.00 84.20 166.30

7 KATIE EPPINGER 80.25 83.75 82.65 82.50 84.75 82.78

78.00 78.00 78.00 82.00 78.00 78.80 161.58

8 BILLI ROSE BRANDNER 87.00 87.00 84.00 83.00 86.00 85.40

74.00 77.00 76.00 74.00 75.00 75.20 160.60

9 GRADY LYMAN 88.00 88.00 87.00 87.00 82.00 86.40

73.00 74.00 72.00 75.00 66.00 72.00 158.40

10 HELEN VOSS 80.50 85.00 85.00 85.00 84.50 84.00

65.00 65.00 68.00 66.00 64.00 65.60 149.60

Final Results: North American Adult Amateur Equitation Finals

1 CONOR PERRIN 90.00 90.00 90.00 88.00 87.00 89.00

87.00 88.00 90.00 90.00 89.00 88.80 177.80

2 RACHEL BOGGUS 80.00 84.35 79.50 83.50 83.75 82.22

86.00 87.00 86.00 87.00 86.00 86.40 168.62

3 LAURA OWENS 85.00 83.00 84.00 86.00 84.00 84.40

83.00 84.50 81.50 84.00 82.00 83.00 167.40

4 NICOLE LYVERE 86.00 86.00 84.75 85.75 86.00 85.70

80.00 83.50 80.50 82.50 81.00 81.50 167.20

5 SARA BALLINGER 81.00 79.50 82.00 81.00 81.00 80.90

83.50 83.00 83.00 82.00 80.00 82.30 163.20

6 REBECCA CLAWSON 83.00 80.00 77.00 79.00 83.00 80.40

85.00 85.00 80.00 79.00 83.00 82.40 162.80

7 KRISTEN RUSSOMANN 78.00 77.35 77.25 76.25 82.00 78.17

82.00 80.00 81.00 76.00 78.00 79.40 157.57

8 ASHLEY CEDILLOS 79.00 83.85 84.50 82.00 83.50 82.57

76.00 77.00 70.00 72.00 72.00 73.40 155.97

9 JULIA GILDEA 84.00 86.00 85.00 89.00 85.00 85.80

68.00 68.00 71.00 66.00 75.00 69.60 155.40

10 SHEILA HART 77.00 78.00 78.00 77.00 77.00 77.40

74.00 75.00 73.00 72.00 68.00 72.40 149.80

For full results, more information, or to watch the SmartPak live webcast, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.

About Capital Challenge
In its 20th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year’s show will take place on September 28-October 6.

Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country’s best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.

For more information, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org or visit the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook!