Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 27, 2021 –  Adult equitation riders were eager to kick off competition in the Alltech Arena Wednesday, October 27, at the highly anticipated 2021 National Horse Show (NHS). A total of 49 of the nation's top adult equitation riders took center ring to vie for the Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over division championship honors in two separate sections. After maneuvering through two challenging over fences classes and an under saddle class, Claire Stevenson and Audi 2000 Z took championship honors in Section A of the Pérez & Bennett 25 and Over Adult Amateur Equitation, while Kiera Phlipot aboard Red Roc were awarded reserve champion. Sydney Smith and Antidote emerged victorious in Section B to take home the championship tricolor, while Dominique Mungin and Rockingham took home reserve champion. 

Claire Stevenson started the division out strong taking home the blue ribbon in the first over fences class aboard Audi 2000 Z, an 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Kadley Farms LLC and North Run. After a beautiful first round, the dynamic pair came into round two with the confidence they needed to secure a top-three placing, putting them into a good position heading into the flat phase. Stevenson once again wowed the judges with her beautiful form and precision to maneuver herself fluidly throughout both phases of the flat test, helping them secure the blue ribbon in the under saddle and pushing them into the overall lead of the division. 

Taking home the reserve champion honors was Kiera Phlipot aboard Red Roc, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Phlipot. The strong partnership between horse and rider was showcased as they were awarded second place in the first over fences, and a top-four finish in the second class, catching the judges' attention with the accuracy and fluidness they showcased throughout the division. In the under saddle, the pair demonstrated beautiful form throughout to earn them the red ribbon and cap off their points for the overall championship title. 

Section B adult equitation riders took to the ring Wednesday evening to compete for the championship honors. In the end, Smith and her new mount, Antidote, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Smith, took home the top honors with 22 points overall. The pair held a solid and consistent lead throughout the class earning second in both over fences classes after showcasing their ability to maneuver each course with ease and beautiful form. The strong lead in the over fences portion of the division put them on top of the division going into the under saddle, where they once again proved to be a force to reckon with by earning the blue ribbon. 

Reserve champion of Section B was Mungin and Rockingham, a 20-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Dominique Damico. The horse-and-rider combination laid down two beautiful rounds in both over fences classes, earning them fourth in the first round and a first in the second, putting them in the top three of the division going into the under saddle portion. Mungin continued to impress the judges on the flat with her great position and pose, earning third place with an overall score of 14 points to claim the reserve championship honors. 

Equitation competition will continue Thursday at 7:00 a.m. in the Alltech Arena with the highly anticipated Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) NHS Adult Equitation Championship 18-24 and the day will conclude with the THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship 25 & Over. 

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Claire Stevenson – Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Section A champion

On Audi 2000 Z: 
“Audi is owned by North Run and Kadley Farms LLC. They were super generous to allow me to ride him. I got him for Ariat Finals and Capital Challenge, it was the first time I had ever ridden him. Last minute we asked if I could ride him again for the National Horse Show and they were nice enough to allow me to do so. We kind of had to remember each other quickly but he is fantastic and I do not have enough good words to say about him.” 

On courses: 
“I thought that the lines were nice and forward. It was a very traditional hunter course, so I am very curious to see what they will do tomorrow for the final. I have never competed at the Kentucky Horse Park, so I just wanted to have a great experience, one that was positive for me and Audi. It was fun to be able to gallop up the lines and enjoy it. It is such a beautiful ring to ride in."

On heading into THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship: 
“I am very excited. Honestly, I didn't even expect to get champion today so tomorrow will be the icing on the cake. I am super thrilled with how it has gone already.” 

On National Horse Show: 
“I am like a pony kid in awe. Armando, who helps me, made him walk me around the whole park and show me everything. I am like a kid who is at the Pony Finals for the first time. I think Kentucky Horse Park is stunning and they do an amazing job here. The barns are very nice and I hope to come back in the future.” 

Sydney Smith – Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Section B champion

On her horse, Antidote:
“We actually just got him at the end of August of this year and we have not had him for very long. He was doing the low jumpers before and he is a fast learner and very smart. He picks up on things really quickly. You tell him something once and he immediately knows what to do next time.” 

On the Courses: 
“I really liked the courses today. Each one started going away from the gate, on a forward line, so you had to make sure that you set the pace properly. I like the five-stride to one-stride because one part was short and one part was long. It really challenged you to ride in [to the line] nicely, and then steady, and go forward again.”

On her preparation for the THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship: 
“I think today was a perfect warm-up for me. He is a pretty easy prep, so we do not have to do a lot with him. Normally we just put him on the lunge line for five or ten minutes and let him shake his head, that’s about it!”

On showing at the National Horse Show:
“I have not been here since I competed in the Amateur-Owner Hunters four or five years ago. I have never done the equitation here so I am excited to be back and able to compete in this class. The horse show always does such a beautiful job, and the set up and stabling is great.”

RESULTS

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Over Fences - Section A
1. Audi 2000 Z / Claire Stevenson / Kadley Farms LLC & North Run
2. Red Roc / Kiera Phlipot / Kiera Phlipot 
3. Vaillero / Nicole Lyvere / Nicole Lyvere 

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Over Fences - Section A
1. Photoshop / Alexis Apostol / Donald Stewart 
2. Vaillero / Nicole Lyvere / Donald Stewart 
3. Audi 2000 Z / Claire Stevenson / Kadley Farms LLC & North Run

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Flat - Section A
1. Audi 2000 Z / Claire Stevenson / Kadley Farms LLC & North Run
2. Red Roc / Kiera Phlipot / Kiera Phlipot 
3. Gambit / Brittany Kasprack / Brittany Kasprack 

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Over Fences - Section B
1. Mr. Wonderful / Caitlin Buckley / Caitlin Buckley 
2. Antidote / Sydney Smith / Kristi Smith 
3. Check It Out 5 / Casey Zuraitis / Troy Glaus 

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Over Fences - Section B
1. Rockingham / Dominique Mungin / Dominique Damico 
2. Antidote / Sydney Smith / Kristi Smith 
3. CF Cosmic / Shannon Davidson / Sofia Cady 

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett, Flat - Section B
1. Antidote / Sydney Smith / Kristi Smith 
2. Check It Out 5 / Casey Zuraitis / Troy Glaus 
3. Rockingham / Dominique Mungin / Dominique Damico 

CHAMPION AND RESERVE RESULTS

Horse / Rider

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett - Section A
Champion: Audi 2000 Z / Claire Stevenson / Kadley Farms LLC & North Run 
Reserve: Red Roc / Kiera Phlipot / Kiera Phlipot 

Pérez & Bennett Adult Amateur Equitation 25 & Over, Presented by Cindi Pérez & Anne Bennett - Section B
Champion: Antidote / Sydney Smith / Kirsti Smith 
Reserve: Rockingham / Dominique Mungin / Dominique Damico

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