As one of the youngest in the field and on a relatively new horse, Augusta Iwasaki, 13, of Calabasas, California, showed no mercy in the USHJA Hunterdon Equitation Cup Classic at Showpark DelMar in Del Mar, California. Riding Ashland Farms’ Vanderpump, Iwasaki rode each phase of the three-phase final flawlessly.
“For the first round my plan was just to go smooth and jump everything well,” the young rider said. The first phase of the Hunterdon Cup is structured as a classic equitation course, with inside turn options available and a technicality to the course that differentiates it from a hunter course.
“In the second round I just wanted to be as efficient as possible,” Iwasaki said. This second phase takes the top 20 scores from the first round into a shorter, more complex course. This course usually has tests such as a hand gallop or trot fence. The 20 that returned took full advantage of the inside turns and handier tracks over the fences. Iwasaki showed flawless execution as her turns were smooth and her distances nearly perfect.
The third phase of the Hunterdon Cup is very different from the first two. The judges can test anywhere between four and ten riders over a maximum of eight jumps. The riders also must switch horses, which left Iwasaki riding the Brooke Morin’s Boss. After they exchange spurs, saddles, and horses, the riders mount and are allowed to jump only two practice fences, followed immediately by the work off course designated by the judges.
“I ride a lot of horses and ponies at shows, so I took everything I had learned from those experiences into the show ring for the test,” Iwasaki explained. Her warm up on Boss was short but effective, as she then cantered around the test without fault. “I had watched Brooke ride that horse a lot in the equitation, so I just tried to picture what she would do,” Iwasaki said.
For the rest of this year, Iwasaki plans to continue riding in the equitation with Vanderpump, with the Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal Finals, THIS Finals, Maclay Regionals, and WIHS Equitation Finals on her list of competitions.
1st – Augusta Iwasaki – Vanderpump
2nd – Brooke Morin – Boss
3rd – Abigail Grace Kelley – Cayman A.L.
4th – Katherine Dash – Need I Say
5th – Kate Abajian – Lambada
6th – Emma Crosbie – Quadro D’Ag
7th – Rose Kauffman-Skloff – Mac Miller
8th – Tali Dejong – Spero
9th – Grace Tuton – Lautento
10th – Alison Raich – Calvandani Z
11th – Brooke Brombach – Classico
12th – Grace Pearson – Beau van het Keyershof