Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 5, 2021 – Junior Hunter riders were the highlight of competition Friday morning in the Alltech Arena as each respective age group division vied for the division champion title and the coveted Overall Junior Hunter Grand Champion and Junior 3’3” Hunter Grand Champion honors. Awarded to the horse-and-rider combination with the most points accumulated in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under, Small Junior Hunter 16-17, Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under and Large Junior Hunter 16-17 divisions, Heaven’s Dream and Stella Propp were awarded the Junior Hunter Grand Champion title. Fearless and Bridget Hickton took home the Junior 3’3” Grand Hunter Champion honors to round out the Junior Hunter competition at the 2021 National Horse Show (NHS).

Junior Hunter riders tried their hand over an 8-obstacle stake round set by Kentucky's very own Bobby Murphy (USA), which would ultimately decide who would be crowned division champions and Junior Hunter Grand Champion. The course offered each horse-and-rider combination the chance to showcase their horses' strides and beautiful form over a classic hunter round that included several long lines going away from the gate, encouraging riders to gallop their mounts to meet the fences in perfect stride. In the end, Propp and Heaven’s Dream came out on top to be awarded Junior Hunter Grand Champion.

Stella Propp

With an almost clean sweep of the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, Propp and Heaven’s Dream, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Isabella Griffin, were awarded the prestigious title of Junior Hunter Grand Champion. The dynamic pair started the division out strong Thursday, scoring a 90 in the handy round and taking home the blue ribbon, helping secure them a substantial lead going into Friday’s competition. They once again impressed the judges Friday morning in the under saddle, taking home the win and sitting them on top of the leaderboard for the division. After an impressive stake round, Propp and Heaven’s Dream were awarded a score of 90, earning them the win and the “Custom Made” Perpetual Trophy, and also securing them the division championship in addition to the “Huntland” Perpetual Cup for their Overall Junior Hunter Grand Championship.

Alex Alston

Hickton and Fearless, her own 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding, nearly made a clean sweep of the Junior 3’3” Hunter 16-17 division. Day one of the division, the dynamic duo won the first over fences class with a high score of 89, impressing the judges with their form and fluidity. The pair continued to be a force to reckon with during day two of competition, earning second in the under saddle class, winning the handy round with an 88 and earning an impressive score in the stake of a 90, helping them to secure the division champion title and Junior 3’3” Hunter Grand Champion honors.

Clara Propp

The competition will continue in the Alltech Arena Saturday, November 6 at 6:30 a.m. with the ASPCA Maclay National Championship Training warm-up, and the day will conclude with the highly anticipated $213,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup CSI4*-W qualifier.


FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Stella Propp - Junior Hunter Grand Champion

On Heaven’s Dream:
“I have had Heaven’s Dream for almost a year now. It was just a lease and we got him as my last Junior Hunter because I will be an Amateur next year. I just wanted to end this year with a bang with my two Junior Hunters. He is just so wonderful. He came to us with almost no personality and just really knew his job. It took him some time to get used to us and get used to our program. Once he did, he has just become so loveable and loves to cuddle with me. He has truly grown into an awesome horse with an even better personality. He is definitely one of the most different horses I have ever ridden. He is always very alert, which helps him to jump so well. I just had to learn to focus on having enough pace and keeping him focused on the job at hand. He walks in the ring and just knows what he has to do. He really rose to the occasion today.”

On 2021 season:
“It has been amazing. We definitely had a rocky start. It took a while to get used to him and at one point a few months ago, it just clicked. Ever since then it has been amazing and I could not have asked for him to be any better. He has been so great throughout all of indoors and I, unfortunately, have not. So, this has been an amazing end to the indoor season.”

On National Horse Show:
“This has been my favorite show forever. I love the ring, the ambiance and how traditional the show is. I have had really great shows here. I have won several Junior Hunter champions over the years and this year has been my third year in a row. I am so unbelievably honored and it could not have ended better for me.”

On future plans:
“I will be starting my Amateur career in 2022, which I am excited and nervous about. I heard that it is more fun and light-hearted. It will be different and something to adjust to. I hope to continue on through the hunters and moving up in the jumpers.”

Bridget Hickton - Junior 3’3” Hunter Grand Champion

On Fearless:
“His name is Fearless, but in the barn, we call him Russell. I started riding him almost a year ago now. I came to Ron and Danny’s about a year ago, and that is when I first started leasing him. At the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival [WEF] we bought him, and he was officially mine. We have had a great year. He was circuit champion at [WEF] in the Junior 3’3” Hunters. He was also champion at Blowing Rock. He is so sweet, and I can always count on him. We came to the National Horse Show just hoping for consistent rounds, and he truly stepped up to the plate.”

On courses:
“Going into the handy, I was confident we would have a good round. He always perks up in the handy rounds and helps me see through all of the turns. I wanted to have a nice and fun round, and we ended up winning. The stake I wanted just to put in a good trip, and it was just perfect. The courses were all set very nice.”

On National Horse Show:
“This is my first time at the National Horse Show, and it feels so amazing to be Grand Junior 3’3” Hunter Champion. It has been so amazing. The ring is beautiful, the footing is so nice, and the atmosphere is fantastic.”

On future plans:
“I plan to move up to the Junior 3’6” Hunters on both of my horses. We will be going to [WEF]. It is my last Junior year, and I just want to have a nice and successful year.”

RESULTS

Horse / Rider / Owner

Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under U/S
1. Reston / Henry Healy / Blue Mountain, LLC
2. Coronation / Sterling Malnik / Sterling Malnik
3. Deja Blue / Djuna Lauder / Roaring Fork Farms LLC

Small Junior Hunter 16-17 U/S
1. Heaven’s Dream / Stella Propp / Isabella Griffin
2. Commentary / Mimi Gochman / Bikoff Equestrian LLC
3. True Story / Chase Finizo / Vantage Point Equine Corp

Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under U/S
1. Grand Remo / Kat Fuqua / Kat Fuqua
2. Small Occasion / Raina Swani / Shadowfax Equestrian LLC
3. Princeton / Stella Wasserman / Walkenbach Equestrian LLC

Gochman Family Large Junior 16-17 U/S
1. Unlimited / Isabella Fabrizi / Isabella Fabrizi
2. Cash / Alexander Alston / Alston Alliance, LLC
3. Golden Glock WS / Cassidy Rein / Rein Family LLC

Junior 3’3” Hunter 15 & Under U/S
1. Arabesque / Clara Propp / Aquitaine Equine
2. Five Star / Jordan Gibbs / Dana Vollbracht
3. Custom Made / Mary Caroline Nolan / Mary Caroline Nolan

Junior 3’3” Hunter 16-17 U/S
1. Speak Up / Caroline Maude Hedges / Caroline Maude Hedges
2. Fearless / Bridget Hickton / Bridget Hickton
3. Spritely / Ava Svatos / Andrea Guzinski

Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under Stake
1. Coronation / Sterling Malnik / Sterling Malnik
2. Reston / Henry Healy / Blue Mountain, LLC
3. Consent / Kat Fuqua / Kat Fuqua

Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Stake
1. Heaven’s Dream / Stella Propp / Isabella Griffin
2. High Society / Libbie Gordon / Libbie Gordon
3. E Di Luca / Reynolds Cole / Reynolds Cole

Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Stake
1. Rockaway / Savonna Adell / Savonna Adell
2. Grand Remo / Kat Fuqua / Kat Fuqua
3. Small Occasion / Raina Swani / Shadowfax Equestrian LLC

Gochman Family Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Stake
1. Cash / Alexander Alston / Alston Alliance LLC
2. Monday Balous / Claire Campbell / Maher Family LLC
3. Unlimited / Isabella Fabrizi / Isabella Fabrizi

Junior 3’3” Hunter 15 & Under Handy
1. Arabesque / Clara Propp / Aquitaine Equine
2. Inquisitive / Clara Propp / Aquitaine Equine
3. Perseus YC / Rylynn Conway / Rylynn Conway

Junior 3’3” Hunter 15 & Under Stake
1. Inquisitive / Clara Propp / Aquitaine Equine
2. Arabesque / Clara Propp / Aquitaine Equine
3. Five Star / Jordan Gibbs / Dana Vollbracht

Junior 3’3” Hunter 16-17 Handy
1. Fearless / Bridget Hickton / Bridget Hickton
2. Speak Up / Caroline Maude Hedges / Caroline Maude Hedges
3. Balito / Mia Chimenti / Chase Hollow Equestrian Partners, LLC


Junior 3’3” Hunter 16-17 Stake
1. Fearless / Bridget Hickton / Bridget Hickton
2. Subtil / Alexa Bing / Alexa Bing
3. Speak Up / Caroline Maude Hedges / Caroline Maude Hedges

CHAMPION RESULTS

Horse / Rider

Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under
Champion: Consent / Kat Fuqua
Reserve: Coronation / Sterling Malnik

Small Junior Hunter 16-17
Champion: Heaven’s Dream / Stella Propp
Reserve: Commentary / Mimi Gochman

Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under
Champion: Grand Remo / Kat Fuqua
Reserve: Princeton / Stella Wasserman

Gochman Family Large Junior Hunter 16-17
Champion: Cash / Alex Alston
Reserve: Montauk / Libbie Gordon

Junior 3’3” Hunter 15 & Under
Champion: Arabesque / Clara Propp
Reserve: Inquisitive / Clara Propp

Junior 3’3” Hunter 16-17
Champion: Fearless / Bridget Hickton
Reserve: Speak Up / Caroline Maude Hedges

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