Equitation Weekend at Capital Challenge Crowns First Champions of 2015 Competition

By Carly Weilminster, Jump Media LLC

Upper Marlboro, MD – Equitation competition commenced at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) presented by Well Placed Smile, with several divisions showcasing their talents in front of a respected judging panel in The Show Place Arena at Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The first day of “Equitation Weekend” presented by Biqeq.com, offered several age division championships for equitation riders, including the North American Junior Flat Equitation Championship and the THIS National Children’s Medal Warm Up. Competition at CCHS continues through Sunday, October 4.


Victoria Colvin and Clearway on their way to winning the 17-Year-Old Equitation Championship. (Photo: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography)

Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, collected her first top honors of the week today aboard ten-year-old Warmblood gelding Clearway, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, in the 17-Year-Old Equitation Championship sponsored by Frank Madden and Old Salem Farm. Colvin previously piloted Clearway to the 16-Year-Old Equitation Championships at CCHS in 2014 and also earned the coveted top spot in the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships in the same year.

Colvin and Clearway scored a 89.50 in their over fences round in The Show Place Arena to securely grasp first place position going into the flat portion of the division. The duo then received fourth place to ultimately take championship honors. Kelli Cruciotti of Elizabeth, CO, picked up reserve champion awards aboard Darius, owned by Serenity Farm.

In the 16-Year-Old Equitation Championship presented by Frank Madden and Old Salem Farm, Summer Hill of San Diego, CA, took the tricolor aboard Efendi, owned by Charles Schneider. A relatively new mount for Hill, the big bay gelding only crossed over to the equitation discipline this past summer after previously competing in large jumper classes for majority of his career. Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, followed in reserve with HNM Investments’ Canterbury.


Summer Hill and Efendi on course during the 16-Year-Old Equitation Championship. (Photo: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography)

“I am so thrilled with how we did today. I haven’t had him for very long and really haven’t ridden him that much. We did a couple of classes together at Jacksonville but that was our first real time out together,” said Hill. Hill and her family recently relocated from San Diego, CA, to Lexington, KY, where they purchased a farm. She has been focusing on preparation for medal finals this year while getting to know Efendi better before the indoor season. The duo collected a second place in one over fences round and won the competitive flat class.

“He’s really new to this and he just started doing the equitation classes this year. I’m really proud of how well he has been able to adjust. He’s so nice to ride. His first equitation class was the last week of HITS Saugerties, so he’s really taken it in stride,” she continued. “He’s picking up on it really fast and I think his experience with the bigger jumpers has helped him transition easily.”

Carly Hoft of Rolesville, NC, captured the 15-Year-Old Equitation Championships aboard 2008 Warmblood gelding Cashman owned by SCCA Ventures. Emily Maclean of Rolling Hills, CA, collected reserve champion honors aboard Madison Crader’s Cambridge. Hoft topped a division of 30 with entries from around the United States. Hoft and Cashman had two consistent over fences rounds, earning a first and second place finish.


Carly Hoft and Cashman on course during the 15-Year-Old Equitation Championship. (Photo: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography)

Completing a nearly picture perfect round, Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH, and 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding VIP Z owned by Scott Stewart, topped the 13/14 Year-Old Equitation Championship division today in preparation for the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships to be held tomorrow morning.

“It feels so amazing to have won this division. We put him in the ring this morning to see how he would do in the atmosphere and what he would be like for indoors and he was just amazing. He was a little impressed but he held it together and was great for me,” commented Kurtz. “I’ve had him for almost two years now, so I feel like I know him pretty well and he has a lot of personality, which I love.”

Kurtz scored an 84.00 in the over fences class hosted in The Show Place Arena and with a lovely presentation on the flat she was able to clinch the division. Madison Goetzmann of Skaneatles, NY, finished just behind Kurtz in the reserve champion position.

“He loves people and he loves getting attention. He always has his head out in the aisle in the barn, which makes me happy to see him,” she smiled. As for her competition schedule at CCHS, Kurtz will return with a few junior hunters throughout the week, but will aim VIP Z for USEF Medal Finals in Harrisburg and WIHS Equitation Finals as well.

In the youngest of the equitation divisions offered today at CCHS, Ellie Ferrigno and her mount Wizz made their mark in the 12 & Under Equitation division. Ferrigno and Wizz, owned by Caitlin Creel, had a successful day, as it served as the duo’s first experience in a coliseum ring setting. They picked up a first place finish in the their second over fences round and collected third on the flat.

Catalina Peralta hailing from Geneva, FL, aboard Cornello received reserve champion honors in the division. “I was really happy and he felt amazing today. We’ve never shown in a ring like this before and I’m glad we did because I think it is good preparation for the other finals that are coming up this season,” said Ferrigno. “I really like this show so I was really excited to come and I feel really ready for the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships tomorrow.”

Emma Marlowe of Lake Balboa, CA, aboard Citadel, a 2006 Deutsches Sportpferd gelding owned by Pam Stewart, had a wonderful start to their weekend winning the North American Junior Flat Equitation Championship as well as topping the THIS National Children’s Medal Warm Up.

“I’ve been riding Citadel for a year now. He’s Pam Stewart’s horse and I can’t thank her enough for giving me the opportunity to compete him. He’s just super and I think our partnership has really grown in the past year,” said Marlowe. “I’ve never been to indoors before so this was a great experience on the first day, especially winning the flat championship and it was so fun.”


Nikki Diamantis and Falcor on their way to winning the Adult Amateur Equitation 18-29 division. (Photo: ©ShawnMcMillenPhotography)

In the Adult Amateur Equitation 18-29 division, Nikki Diamanits of Tallahassee, FL, aboard her own 2005 Warmblood gelding Falcor took the championship ribbon with third and first place finishes, while Rachel Boggus and her own Papillon 136 were crowned victors in the Adult Amateur Equitation 30 & Over with a first and second place finsh. Boggus and Papillon 136 were the most recent winners of the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals at CCHS in 2014.

For more information on Capital Challenge Horse Show and to view a full show schedule, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org
The entire show will be live streamed via EquestrianCounsel.com CCHS Live Webcast, which can be found at www.capitalchallenge.org.