Showpark Ranch & Coast welcomed some of California’s finest hunters to compete for World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) points and a host of special awards. With glistening coats, graceful gaits, and breathtaking jumps, they took to the rings for a chance to win Awards for high scores and high points.
Olivia Welsh and Taxi Boy had a standout week with a clean sweep of the 3’3″ 16-17 Junior Hunter division that landed them the Overall SmartPak Grand Champion Hunter Award, presented by Jamie Amezquita of SmartPak.
Three spectacular horses tied for the Overall SmartPak High Score Award, each emerging with an impressive score of 90. Brooke Morin and Strasburg Morin, Inc.’s Seaside scored theirs in the 3’6″ 15 & Under Large Junior Hunter division. Morin split her overall honors with John French, who piloted Greg Schmandt’s Captain and Mountain View Farm West’s Farao to the three-way tie. Both of French’s rides earned their high scores in the 3’3″ Green Hunter division.
The SmartPak Grand Green Hunter Champion Award went to two successful pairs who each earned 40 points in their respective Green Hunter divisions. Jenny Karazissis and Michelle Cobb’s Really won their title for their success in the 3’9″ Green Hunters, and John French and Alexander Miller’s Wow The Crowd won theirs in the 3′ Green Hunters. For his excellence in the 3’3″ Green Hunter division, French also took home the SmartPak High Score Green Hunter Award for 90s with Captain and Farao, his two overall award-winning mounts.
It was also French who earned the SmartPak Grand Performance Hunter Champion Award with 42 points riding Hiller Farms LLC’s Center Court. This unstoppable duo were champions in the High Performance Hunter division and won the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday in addition to taking home the SmartPak Award. The SmartPak High Score Performance Hunter Award went to two horses: Karazissis rode Hope Town Farms’ Undeniable to a score of 88 in the 3’6″ Performance Hunters and French piloted Lynn Pederson’s Small Affair to a matching 88 in a different round of the same division.
Lexi Wedemeyer and Balmoral Farm’s Virtue earned numerous titles for their top honors in the Green/High Performance Conformation Hunter division. The duo won the SmartPak Grand Conformation Hunter Champion Award and the SmartPak High Score Conformation Hunter Award with an 88.
Montana Coady and Ranger sported tri-colored ribbons as they took champion in their division with 36 points and received the SmartPak Grand 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunter Champion Award. For an outstanding score of 87, Kaitlyn Van Konynenburg and Parlay won the SmartPak High Score 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunter Award.
Of the two age sections in the 3’3″ Amateur Owner Hunters, Chelsea Samuels and Adele earned the most points, landing them the SmartPak Grand 3’3″ Amateur Owner Hunter Champion Award. Virginia Fout rode Carma to a score of 88 in the 3’3″ 36+ Amateur Owner Handy Hunter, and along with the blue ribbon for the round, they earned the SmartPak High Score 3’3″ Amateur Owner Hunter Award.
In the Adult Hunters, it was Margarite Errico and Million Dollar Baby who won the SmartPak Grand Adult Hunter Champion Awards with 32 points. The SmartPak High Score Adult Hunter Award went to Milissa Summers and Top Shelf, who scored an 88 in the second over fences class of the A/A 36-50 section.