A Spectacular Week in San Juan Capistrano - $25,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular Crowns a New Champion as Small Gesture Takes Top Call
San Juan Capistrano, CA
- In the $25,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular at the Blenheim June Classic I, Small Gesture dominated the first round scoring with an impressive 92 from not just one panel, but both panels of judges. Competing fifth out of 30 entries, and holding the lead in Round Two, the refined dark bay, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, finished with an overall score of 180.5.
Iwasaki & Reilly's Small Gesture, ridden by John French, is awarded $7,500 in prize money, FITS Riding breeches, a WCHR jacket and silver platter, as well as the Horseplay Encouraged trophy, presented by Valencia Saddlery
French remarked on the ride. "He is nice. Because he did the jumpers, you can sit on him and put leg on and not have to sit chilly. I can gallop up to a single oxer knowing that he will back himself off and jump it great. I couldn't be happier with his first round."
Originally purchased to do the equitation division, owners Chris Iwasaki and Liz Reilly recognized the hidden hunter in the horse who has been winning in the Second Year and Junior divisions as well as on the Derby field. Known as 'Nemo' in the barn, he will go on to compete at the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships later this summer in Lexington, KY, as well as hit the Indoor Circuit in the fall.
Galloping in the Reserve Champion spot was the flashy pair from Northern California, Corriendo Tau and Hope Glynn (pictured right)
. With ears pricked forward and knees wrapped around his nose, the pure white talent is reminiscent of an adorable large pony hunter. With a final score of 175.5, they also scored well in round one, earning a 90 and 88.
The appropriately named Cy Young, ready to 'pitch' the perfect jump each time he leaves the ground, rounded out the top three in the class. Piloted by Tara Metzner, the big-strided bay, owned by Davlyn Farms, finished with a total score of 173.
Glynn's second gray mount, Lake of Stars, a striking dapple gray owned by Sabrina Hellman, earned the prestigious Shapley's Best Turned Out Award and ninth overall. Well-deserving groom Leo Lopez was presented with a cash award and a bucket of Shapley's products by Liv Gude of Shapley's. For more details, see the full USHJA Press Release here.
Pleased to present the third WCHR week of their 2016 season, Blenheim EquiSports welcomed SmartPak
to award the High Score and Grand Champion awards to ponies and horses, plus Equitex
and Balmoral Farm
recognized the trainer and owner of the Overall Grand Champion in ten WCHR divisions.
No Illusion - Makoto Farm Sees Tri-Colors and Willow Flies High
It was a banner week for Augusta Iwasaki and Illusion, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly of Makoto Farms (pictured right)
. After accumulating 44 points in the Younger Small Junior Hunters and a score of 89 in the first class over fences, this talented team won the Younger Small Junior Hunter Championship
; the SmartPak Grand 3'6" Junior Hunter Championship
; the SmartPak High Score 3'6" Junior Hunter Award
and ultimately earned the SmartPak Overall Grand Hunter Championship
Liz Reilly also earned the Equitex Grand Champion Leading Trainer Award
. Congratulations to the entire Makoto team!
"A great start to the summer season," said Reilly, smiling. "We appreciate the opportunity to showcase the hunters on the grass with a gala and fundraising, and also the chance to win special awards. It was a nice week for the hunters."
Julie Hancock and her own Willow CBF (pictured right)
scored a 92 in the third over fences round of the 3'6" Amateur Owners to take home the SmartPak High Score 3'6" Amateur Owner Hunter Award
, the SmartPak Overall High Score Hunter Award
and the Balmoral Farm, Inc. High Score Hunter Owner Award
Her trainer Philip Cillis earned the Equitex Stable Accessories High Score Hunter Leading Trainer Award
Bragg, Silvernale and French Earn Accolades
Seaside and John Bragg, owned by Laura Strasburg, claimed the SmartPak Grand Conformation Hunter
title after accumulating 46 points in the Green Conformation Hunter division. And after laying down a score of 88 in the handy round of the Green Working Hunter Division, Bragg & Early August not only won the tri-color but also the SmartPak Working Hunter High Score Award
Alexis Taylor Silvernale and Skyhawk traveled from Washington state to compete in San Juan Capistrano for three weeks.
Off to a great start, with 36 points they claimed not only the tri-color in the High Performance division but the SmartPak Grand Champion Working Hunter
Alexis Taylor Silvernale and Skyhawk
"All of this has exceeded my expectations," said an elated Silvernale. "He is only 7 years old and he hadn't been doing the High Performance prior to me buying him at Thermal. So all of this has just been overwhelming. This is one of my favorite places to show, and will definitely be a regular stop on our show schedule. It's such a beautiful venue."
Montana Coady's The Answer, ridden by John French, earned the SmartPak High Score Conformation Hunter Award
with not one but TWO scores of 88 from the first day of competition.
Brookway's Team Wasserman
Kudos to Brookway Stables and Team Wasserman. After a hotly contested 3'6" Amateur Owner Hunter division, Verdana, owned and ridden by Laura Wasserman, earned the SmartPak Grand 3'6" Amateur Owner Champion
title by accumulating the most points in the California-split section. In the Older Small Junior Hunter Division, Katherine Dash rode Laura Wasserman's Boss to the championship.
Tri-color looks great on Verdana pictured with Laura and Stella Wasserman,
trainer Archie Cox and Courtney Bruso of SmartPak
And to top it off on the final day of competition, Stella Wasserman and her own Blueberry Hill claimed the SmartPak Grand Pony Hunter Champion
honors by earning 31 points in the Small Pony Hunters - the most out of the three WCHR recognized pony divisions.
Buckingham and Hanson Represent Team Elvenstar with Wins
Trained by Jim Hagman and Katie Gardner of Elvenstar, congratulations to Kristen Buckingham and Chrush for earning the SmartPak Grand 3'3" Amateur Owner Championship
. And kudos to Stella Buckingham and Luisant (pictured right)
, co-winners of the SmartPak Grand Champion 3'3" Junior Hunter Award
Emma Hanson and Easy Time cleaned up in the 3'3" Junior Hunters at Blenheim June Classic I - not only did they tie for the SmartPak Grand Champion
honors, with their score of 86 in the Handy Hunter round they also claimed the SmartPak High Score 3'3" Junior Hunter Award
Victory for Amateurs Fern, Mellencamp and Medlock
Touch of Dutch with Rachel Fern in the irons made the trip from Arizona complete by co-winning the SmartPak High Score Adult Hunter Award
by earning an 86 in the first round over fences in the 18-35 division.
Balmoral Farm's Sundae was ridden to numerous accolades during Blenheim June Classic 1 by Teddi Mellencamp-Arroyave in the Adult Hunter Division. Not only did they win the 18-35 Championship and the NAL Adult Hunter Classic, they also tied for the SmartPak Adult Hunter High Score Award
with an 86 from the second over fences round. Plus they won the SmartPak Grand Champion Adult Hunter
honors by earning 40 total points.
On the final day of competition at Blenheim June Classic I, Natalie Medlock rode her own Quinley (pictured right)
in the 3'3" Amateur Owner Hunter 18-35 Handy to a score of 88 which not only earned them the blue but the SmartPak High Score 3'3" Amateur Owner Hunter Award
Pony Prowess - Rickard, Batalden & Roseboom
In the Medium Pony Hunters at Blenheim June Classic I, Katalina Rickard rode Elite Hollywood Smoke (pictured right)
for owner Micaela Kennedy to a score of 86.5 points and to the title of SmartPak High Score Pony Hunter
Shiloh Roseboom and Raggedy Ann continued their winning ways in the Children's Pony Hunters and after earning a score of 85 in the first class they won the SmartPak High Score Children's Pony Hunter Award
And congratulations to Small Wonder and Elsa Batalden, winners of the SmartPak Grand Children's Pony Hunter Championship
In Four Way Tie, Rohrbach Rules Children's Division
In a very competitive Children's Hunter Division at Blenheim June Classic I there was a four way tie for the SmartPak High Score Children's Hunter Award
Congratulations to these winners:
*Aya Clear with Sambuca and Anna Moellenhoff aboard Santos, both in the 13 & Under section.
*Anna Jacoby and Cedric Croft
*Hannah Rohrbach and Kingston Lane (pictured)
in the 14-17 section.
In addition, Rohrbach claimed the SmartPak Grand Children's Hunter Championship
A full gallery of all the award winners can be found on the Blenheim EquiSports Facebook page
SmartPak Clinic - #HAVEAGREATRIDE
Thank you to Team SmartPak for an absolutely fantastic clinic! Over 35 equestrian enthusiasts spent an hour with WCHR Hunter Spectacular Champion John French and Reserve Champion Hope Glynn as they spoke to the audience how to prepare horses for the Hunter Derby ring.
Demonstration riders included Katie Hauss on Classical, Kylee Arbuckle on Lake of Stars and Rose Carver on Norman.
(l-r) Courtney Bruso, SmartPak Marketing Coordinator, Katie Hauss, Hope Glynn, Kylee Arbuckle, John French and Rose Carver
One of the many topics discussed during the complimentary Team SmartPak Hunter Clinic was how to ride the hand gallop jump in a Hunter Derby. French's tip included picking up the gallop early and keeping the pace consistent all the way to the jump. Glynn also made note that if there is a hand gallop fence on course, there needs to be a definitive change of pace.
Blenheim EquiSport's June Classic I wraps up the third and final WCHR week of the season and concludes the new awards program for top hunters. A big thank you to sponsors SmartPak, Equitex and Balmoral Farm, who honored hunters in ten divisions for three big weeks: one in April, one in May and the final one in June. The hunters will have the limelight once again this week in the USHJA International Hunter Derby during June Classic II.
Blenheim EquiSports is The Place To Be in 2016
From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence Platinum award as well as an "Excellent" rating from STELLAService. A nine-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree, SmartPak is the only equine company ever named to the Inc. 500 list. More at smartpakequine.com
Equitex Custom Stable Products are handmade by a highly skilled sewing team in Napa, CA. Committed to a tradition of superior craftsmanship, unparalleled functionality, and style, Equitex started in 1985 when then owner Cynthia Bradshaw Krantz saw a niche market that suited her background in horse showing, graphic arts and design.
In 2010 with an eye towards growth Equitex was acquired by Lixit Corporation, a forty-year-old institution in Napa specializing in pet care.
Equitex strives to meet the challenge of providing expert guidance and design advice to clients, dealers, and skilled sales reps. This gives your barn a unique opportunity to personalize a look that is a reflection of your own taste and style while offering your clients a comfortable place to relax at the shows. Equitex is proud to continue to innovate and design new products and make use of cutting edge fabrics and technology both in custom stable accessories and a handmade line of horse clothing. More at equitex.com
With two southern California locations, one in Malibu and the other in Los Angeles, Balmoral offers a full-service equestrian program created to fit an individual's goals from short stirrup to high performance, Onondarka to the Big Eq. Partners Carleton Brooks and Traci Barmen Brooks truly enjoy sharing their combined knowledge and experience with their clients. More at balmoralfarm.com
, an equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, produces events in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas, NV. The events include USEF "Premier" rated hunter-jumper shows featuring multiple grand prix events, a Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League event, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more.