Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 6, 2021 – The final day of show jumping competition at the 2021 National Horse Show kicked off Saturday afternoon in the Alltech Arena with the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix. Serving as the Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) Year-End Championship, the National Horse Show is the final stop on the East Conference for the prestigious program. Capping off their year with a win, Mimi Gochman and Celina BH bested the 30 horse-and-rider field to lead the victory gallop at the conclusion of the class.

The Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series has held its championship final at the National Horse Show for more than 30 years. The series is designed to provide junior and amateur riders with opportunities to compete at the highest level of their divisions. Over the years, it has been won by riders such as Brianne Goutal, Laura Chapot, Reed Kessler and many other outstanding riders. Recognized for their excellence throughout the 2021 series, Zayna Rizvi and her horse Excellent won the 2021 junior division, and Vanessa Hood rode her own Lou Lou VLS to victory for the series’ amateur division.

Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral crafted the 15-effort track fit for the occasion. Equipped with a triple and double combination, and a series of rollback turns between the lines, the 1.45m fence height track set the stage for the horse-and-athlete pairs. As the first horse and rider on course, Maya Aryal and My Girl 52 blazed their way through the course to deliver an exemplary clear round, setting the bar for remaining pairs as they tried their best to replicate their efforts. Next in the order-of-go, Sophia Ahearn and Quick Bob would force a jump-off after crossing the timers with no faults to their name. Twelve others would add their names to the star-studded lineup for the jump-off, including Alex Parrish, Carlee McCutcheon, Natalie Dean, Emma Sargent, Alexander Alston, Kathryn Hall, Audrey Shulze, Hannah Hoch, Elena A. Haas, Hood, Grace Debney and Gochman.

Cabral’s 6-obstacle shortened track offered ample room for contenders to gallop their mounts across the Alltech Arena in hopes of shaving seconds off the clock. First on course was Aryal and My Girl 52. The pair put in a conservative but clear ride, breaking the beam in a fault-free 34.22 seconds. Ahearn would put more pep in her step over the shortened course, immediately overtaking the lead by shaving three seconds off of Aryal’s time in 30.75 seconds. Three others would try to overtake Ahearn’s lead, but faults on course would leave them out of contention for a podium finish. Alston and Prestigious delivered a clear round on course, but could not beat Ahearn’s time, finishing in 31.015 seconds. Schulze and Lord Up would also produce a fault-free effort, but would slide just behind Alston for their time of 32.312 seconds. In a game of leapfrog, Hoch, Haas and Hood would all overtake the lead, respectively. With just one left to be seen, Gochman laid it all on the line for one final round. Riding Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, Celina BH, the junior athlete rode a quick course, besting the field with a clear round in 27.72 seconds to ultimately take the win in the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix. Debney and Temple Equestrian LLC’s Boheme de La Roque, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare, would settle for the second place honors, while Hood and Take Two LLC’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Lou Lou VLS, rounded out the top three.

Show jumping competition at the 2021 National Horse Show culminates with the $213,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W. Sunday, November 6 will feature the finale event of the 138th annual show, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm. To learn more about the 2021 National Horse Show, click here.

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Mimi Gochman - $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix winner

On the jump-off:
“This class is so prestigious and I know all the riders are so good, so I was really trying to come up with a strategic plan. I knew that there were some questions in numbers and turns and which I could do, especially to the last line. I watched Grace [Debney] go inside in six [strides] and Ken [Berkley] looked at me and said ‘Try it!’ I was like ‘Okay, sounds good!’ I knew my horse had a huge stride down the first line and I really wanted to go for it because if I was going to commit, I had to commit to the win! I went for seven [strides] and my horse came up with it and was fantastic and was able to do it with the turns. It was a really fast course that had my blood pumping. It was a lot of pressure and I was slightly nervous, but it was super fun and I can’t be more grateful for my team and horse.”

On being successful at the National Horse Show:
“This is such a prestigious show, so I really have to keep a clear head and focus on the actual rounds, the plan and the track. The environment is super exciting and we are all rushing towards the end of the season, so you have to keep your cool and try to focus on keeping a calm mind and listening to what my trainers are saying. I am super grateful to have been super successful. My team, my horse and I all work together and I’m glad that it worked out this way. The pressure is super high, so I try to keep calm and focus on what my horse needs, keeping my body up and all the other basics you learn to give [my horse] a good, solid ride so that she can do what she does best.”

On Celina BH:
“I have had Celina [BH] in my barn for four years now. She came to us as a baby 7-year-old and my trainer Amanda [Derbyshire] rode her a bunch and we have bonded with her for quite a long time now. She is super friendly and is always giving me hugs. She likes to swing her head around and say hi! She is super snuggly but she’s super game as well. You can tell when she is in it to win it because she starts to breathe hard and she gets super excited. The bond is there. I love her so much and I always think the bond with a mare is so special because they really care.”

On her goals for the future:
“My goal for the upcoming year is to do some 4* grand prixs and hopefully do a 4* Nations Cup to represent the USA. I love representing the USA and doing team events, so I’d love to step it up and do some of those 3* and 4* grand prixs, Saturday Night Lights and representing the team.”

Zayna Rizvi - SJHOF Junior Series winner

On competing with Excellent throughout the year:
“I got my horse Excellent, or ‘Hef,’ in February and since I got him, he has been amazing for me. Every show I do on him, he always goes into the ring and is jumping his heart out for me. In Michigan at the [North American Youth Championships], he jumped every single round clear, and last week in Tryon he jumped every round clear [at the Washington International Horse Show], and I couldn’t ask for a better horse. I am really lucky to be here this week.”

On the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series:
“This series has given me lots of opportunities to do a lot of cool things with my horse. I got to go to Europe, which was really cool, because of all the other shows I did leading up to that. This has been a great experience to move up with him.”

On Excellent:
“Hef is kind of a new partnership for me. He came to us with a bit more blood than I was used to in my other horses, so that took some time for me to figure out and be able to control him but also let him do his thing and not interfere. Over the last couple of months we have really clicked together and I think we are a really good team. I am really grateful to have him and in the barn he is such a sweet, lovable horse. He is very calm until he goes in the ring and then he turns it on and knows it is time to go.”

On her goals for the future:
“My goals short term are to move up to the 2* and 3* classes. Longterm, I would love to be on more teams and just continue to be consistent in what I do.”

Vanessa Hood - SJHOF Amateur Series winner

On her hopes for the class considering her series win:
“Today was the last class in the season for me and my horse Lou Lou. She has had such a strong season and I really wanted to end on a high note and give her a good ride because she is just a super game, competitive horse. I really just wanted to ride my best round and jump a fast double-clear, and I was really happy with the result.”

On how the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series fits into her schedule:
“It has actually been really critical for me because I rode as a junior at a high level and then took a long break, actually over 10 years off of the sport. So coming back to it, I aspire to do it at a high level again. I love this series and getting to compete in the High Amateur Jumpers because it really simulates grand prix show jumping. The courses are very technical and the venues are the best in the country and it has really given me a chance to get back in the ring and get to know my horses and to compete with the best in the country. For me, it has been an excellent opportunity to grow and build my own show jumping experience.”

On Lou Lou VLS:
“I have had my horse Lou Lou since she was eight years old, so about two years now. We took out time getting to know each other. She was a hotter mare and a little bit more sporty type for me, so it was an adjustment. I joke that she is a straight-A student because she tries so hard and is so smart. When we work together at home she really tries to understand the flat work and understand what you are asking of her. She remembers from one day to the next and then when she gets in the ring, if it is at all possible, she will try to make it happen. Sometimes I even hear her grunting over the jumps because she is putting it all in, so I really respect her as a competitor and try to do a good job for her.”

On her goals for the future:
“For my short term goals are to jump some more 2* and 3* grand prixs. We did some this year and it was a lot of fun, so I’d like to continue growing. When I was 19, I competed in the World Cup finals on the US team, and my goal is to ride on the team again. It’s 20 years later but my goal is to come back to form and do it better than I did before.”

RESULTS

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time

$25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix:
1. Celina BH / Mimi Gochman / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 0 | 66.42 / 0 | 27.720
2. Boheme de La Roque / Grace Debney / Temple Equestrian LLC / 0 | 67.34 / 0 | 28.766
3. Lou Lou VLS / Vanessa Hood / Take Two LLC / 0 | 68.15 / 0 | 29.550
4. Centana / Elena A. Haas / Elena A. Haas / 0 | 68.71 / 0 | 30.170
5. Shariva / Hannah Hoch / Hannah Hoch LLC / 0 | 68.71 / 0 | 30.690
6. Quick Bob / Sophia Ahearn / Esperanza Imports, LLC / 0 | 70.32 / 0 | 30.75
7. Prestigious / Alexander Alston / Alston Alliance LLC / 0 | 68.89 / 0 | 31.015
8. Lord Up / Audrey Schulze / Riverbrook Sport Horses, LLC / 0 | 60.00 / 0 | 32.312
9. My Girl 52 / Maya Aryal / Maya Aryal / 0 | 65.98 / 0 | 34.222
10. Dotcom D’Authuit / Natalie Dean / Marigold Sporthorses, LLC / 0 | 65.18 / 4 | 29.185
11. Giolita / Emma Sargent / Emma Sargent / 0 | 67.12 / 4 | 31.900
12. Castleroche Rebel / Alex Parrish / Lexander Farm, LLC / 0 | 68.12 / 4 | 32.040

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