Isha Swani Marks Spectacular First National Horse Show with Junior 3'3" Hunter Championship

Isha Swani and Park Place

Following the unjudged ASPCA Maclay National Championship warm-up on Friday morning, competition began with the Small and Large Junior Hunters at the CP National Horse Show.

Only one hunter horse stepped into the Alltech Arena adorned with a champion tricolor on Friday, 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" earlier this year. Swani rode the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding to first place in the stake and under saddle classes, 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.

Isha Swani and Park Place

Saturday will name champions in the final four hunter divisions, which began on Friday. Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC's Evermore claimed the blue ribbon in the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter over fences, while Brian Moggre and MTM Farm's MTM Fashion captured the handy round of the division. In the Small Junior 16–17 Hunter division, sponsored and presented by the Danhakl family, Giavanna Rinaldi rode Alex Jayne's Bugsy Malone to the over fences win. Calou, owned by Diana Firestone, jumped Taylor St. Jacques to first place in the handy round, acquiring the Ovation Perpetual Trophy for the best handy performance overall throughout the Small Junior Hunter divisions.

The Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter 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 16–17 Hunter division, 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 division champion

On her championship win:
"It feels awesome. I've been working really hard with my trainers, Chris Payne and David Belford. We've worked really hard for this. The most we travel is for the indoor shows. During the winter, I go back and forth on the weekends from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and WEF. This is our first indoor championship and it feels great!"

On Park Place:
"I've had [Park Place] for about a year now. I got him last September and we really connected the moment I got on him. It's been 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."

 



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Emily Moffitt Makes Winning Debut at CP National Horse Show in $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W

Emily Moffitt and Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve

Thursday evening at the CP National Horse Show featured the $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W. Competing for the first time at the historic event, Great Britain's Emily Moffitt claimed one of the biggest wins of her career to date, along with the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, aboard Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve.

Course designer Michel Vaillancourt tested 43 international horses and athletes over a 13-fence track in the first round. Out of the 18 combinations who jumped clear, only 14 returned to battle it out in the jump-off, while others elected to save their mounts for Saturday's highly anticipated $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W.

Beezie Madden (USA) was the first to navigate the short course with no faults, piloting Darry Lou, owned by Abigail Wexner, to a time of 37.260 seconds.

Laura Kraut (USA), winner of Wednesday's $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* with Whitney, followed Madden and produced another double-clear performance with Confu in 36.990 seconds to move into the first place position.

Emily Moffitt and Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve

Moffitt was the fourth out of five combinations to complete the jump-off fault-free, riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Poden Farms. It was Kraut and partner Nick Skelton who originally found Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve for Moffitt and the pair have since established a strong, winning partnership, even contributing to Great Britain's gold medal in the young rider team competition at the FEI European Jumping Championship in August.

The 19-year-old, who trains with British Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, crossed the finish line one second ahead of Kraut, her former trainer, in 35.700 seconds for the win, while Kraut claimed second place and Madden rounded out the top three.

Jessica Springsteen and Volage Du Val Henry

Prior to Thursday's highlight event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 25 international horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.

The faults converted speed class saw Devin Ryan of the United States and his own Cooper post one of the fastest times early on in the class as 10th in the order-of-go, despite incurring faults, in 66.310 seconds. However, Jessica Springsteen (USA) and new mount Volage Du Val Henry, a Selle Français mare owned by SCEA Elevage De Voise, blazed around the course, designed by Vaillancourt, fault-free in 65 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable throughout the remainder of the competition.

In the end, Ryan settled for third place honors, while Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group's Cocq A Doodle finished in second place in a time of 65.530 seconds after faults.

Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious

The USEF Under 25 National Championship began Thursday afternoon with the $15,000 faults converted speed competition, where high school senior Madison Goetzmann rode her own Prestigious to the win with a speedy, fault-free round in a time of 61.968 seconds.

Goetzmann and the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding partnered less than a year ago, but have found great success in the jumpers throughout the year. The 17-year-old junior rider from Syracuse, New York, has proved her versatility, winning the Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship with hopes of also capturing the ASPCA Maclay National Championship on Sunday.

Abigail Mcardle and Plain Bay Sale's Chuck Berry 8 were close behind with a time of 62.784 seconds, while Jennifer Gates followed in third aboard Evergate Stables LLC's Alex in 64.473 seconds. Round two of the USEF Under 25 National Championship will be held on Friday with a $20,000 jump-off competition, while the third and final round will be held on Sunday. The competitor with the lowest number of penalties after all three phases will be crowned the overall champion.

Jumper competition kicked off on Thursday at the National Horse Show with the Equithrive Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by Horse Network. Sixteen-year-old Samantha Cohen and her own Carmen bested a field of 29 horse-and-rider combinations to take home the win.

Nine jumped clear over Vaillancourt's first round course to advance to the jump-off, where David Oberkircher and Tyson De Verteveuille, owned by Southfields Farm LLC, were the early clear pathfinders in 39.424 seconds. Cohen and the 10-year-old KWPN mare took over the top spot two rounds later in 38.837 seconds. Their lead held throughout the remaining six rounds to garner them the first place prize and the "Skymaster" Memorial Trophy. Daisy Farish and Stone Ridge Farms, LLC's Alberto II finished in second place in 38.894 seconds, while Oberkircher finished in third place.


FROM THE WINNER'S CIRCLE

Emily Moffitt – $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W winner

On her win on Thursday:
"I was a little skeptical about Ben [Maher's] decision to go for it because there were so many riders in the jump-off. I was thinking maybe we should save him for the big grand prix on Saturday, but Ben said to go for it, don't pull and hope for the best. I did and 'Tommy' was with me the whole way. It just went our way. It's pretty awesome, and it's even better that we're all girls! This is my first big win. I have been competing on the [Longines Global Champions Tour] for quite some time. I've been having to produce clear rounds rather than focus on winning so it's great to come here and worry about winning the class for myself. It's very exciting."

On Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve:
"Tommy is my best horse. I got him through Nick [Skelton] and Laura [Kraut]. I don't think I ever expected him to jump this big, be this consistent or be my best horse. He just steps up to everything you ask of him and he's a really great partner."

Laura Kraut – $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W second place

On her former student's win:
"It happens all the time. I trained Jessica Springsteen and I sit behind her quite often as well. It's nice. It's a good feeling to see them step up and do well. That's the whole goal of why you are helping these young riders. It's very nice to see. I picked [Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve] out for Emily and I would agree with her. We thought he was a lovely horse. You wouldn't have known that he was going to do what he's done for her though. He's been absolutely brilliant."

Beezie Madden – $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W third place

On her performances with Darry Lou on Thursday:
"I was pretty conservative because I don't know the horse very well. It's his first indoor show. I wanted to go enough that I could get a top placing, but not have the wheels fall off the wagon."

On Darry Lou:
"We got him at the end of April. He's gone to this level a lot faster than I thought. He came from Mexico. He was doing the 1.50m. He's just stepped right up. He started in Aachen and Europe after Spruce Meadows and did Dublin and the Spruce Meadows Masters. He's had a pretty heavy dose. This is actually his last show of the year. He's digested a lot in a year and I am really proud of how far he's gotten and how well he has done."

Jessica Springsteen – $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4* winner

On Volage Du Val Henry:
"I just recently got [Volage Du Val Henry]. I was showing her a bit over the summer [in Europe], and since bringing her back to the States she's just been going so well. She's only 8. This is our first indoor together so I'm really happy with her. She's really strong minded but she's always going to go. She loves to jump and she's so brave. It's fun to have a horse that really tries and she really wants to do the right thing. I'm really excited about her. I think she's going to become a really competitive horse and I'm excited for the future."

On her strategy for the class:
"I thought I had a good chance to get a good placing. I did not think that I would end up winning, but I just tried to be smooth and do the turns without going too, too crazy. It ended up working out so I was really happy."

On the National Horse Show:
"I love coming here every year. It's something I always look forward to. It's nice because it's indoors but there is a lot of room to ride and you can ride outside. It's just a really special place so it's nice to be back."

Madison Goetzmann – $15,000 USEF Under 25 National Championship (first round) winner

On her plan for Thursday's first round of competition:
"Being that it's the first day of the championship, our plan was to go into the first phase and be assertive and quick enough, but still at a comfortable pace so you're not risking too much. You want to be able to put a little bit of pressure on other riders, while still being within your comfort level and that worked out perfectly. We had a nice, efficient round. I feel pretty comfortable in [the Alltech Arena]. I've had some success with my High Junior Jumper, Wrigley. We've been champion here and have won a few classes. This is my second time competing in the U25 championship. Last year it started off strong but didn't end as well as I wanted so I hope to do one better this year and keep it together through the championship."

On Prestigious:
"Prestigious is a 10-year-old gelding. He was imported from Europe last year and I've had him for a little under a year. I first started competing with him at WEF and we have just been taking things very slow. I think our partnership has really grown a lot these past few months and I'm really excited for our future. He's a very sweet horse. He's like a little pony — he's very small and his character kind of resembles one. He's very easy going and doesn't spook. He's a very straightforward, loving horse. He's kind of been my main horse throughout the spring and summer. I've just had the best results on him so we decided to bring him to this championship and he's proved himself many times."

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Kelly Tropin Returns to Claim Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter Title

Kelly Tropin and Chablis

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 ASPCA Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show, Kelly Tropin returned to the Alltech Arena aboard Libertas Farm LLC's Chablis to top the Amateur-Owner Under 35 Hunter division, sponsored and presented by Suzanne Thoben Marquard, claiming the championship and the winning cooler, sponsored by Archibald Cox III, 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 as well as in the under saddle class, and claimed 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 to take home the reserve championship award.

Kelly Tropin and Chablis

Catch Me and owner Becky Gochman continued their domination of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division with wins in Wednesday's over fences and under saddle classes in addition to Thursday's handy round to ultimately claim the championship tricolor. Gochman could not dream of a better partner than "Snoopy," a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding who has guided her to a year full of championships and blue ribbons in their amateur season debut. The pair also earned the same championship 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, presented by the Corrigan family and Winners Circle Trailer Sales, on Wednesday with Scott Stewart. The Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division reserve championship and the 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 hunter divisions on Thursday, 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 rounds. Ficca and the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding secured maximum points ahead of Friday's stake and under saddle classes to determine the champion.

Junior hunter competition will continue through Friday beginning with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division at 9:05 a.m.

Becky Gochman and Catch Me


FROM THE WINNER'S CIRCLE

Kelly Tropin – 2017 CP National Horse Show Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter

On Chablis:
"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 [Horse Show]. I really wanted him to have the opportunity to do well at this show. He's such a careful, spectacular jumper and he's not spooky at all. We like him a little fresh and explosive over the jumps. 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, 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 do everything to make Chablis the spectacular horse he is. 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 crying thinking, 'This is my last horse show ever, I'm so sad.' Almost 10 years later, I wish I could've said to myself then, 'You'll be here again 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 division champion

On Catch Me's championship:
"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 a wonderboy and knows his job. He wants to please and is just a really smart horse. Sometimes I 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 of my expectations."

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. I think he does spread joy. When people look at him, they get a kick out of him."



RESULTS

Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division champion:
Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC

Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Under 35 Hunter division champion:
Chablis, ridden by Kelly Tropin and owned by Libertas Farm LLC


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