Del Mar, CA – July 24, 2017 – The first round of the 2017 USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – West showcased nearly ninety hunters, both larges and smalls, piloted by junior riders of all ages. Horses and riders from six sections took to the main grass field at the Del Mar Horse Park and accumulated scores from three separate judges that established their standings going into tomorrow’s under saddle phase and Handy round. Points from the jumping rounds will count for 40% each and the under saddle will count for 20% when calculating overall winners upon the conclusion of the Handy.
The Championship judging panel consists of Kim Dorfman, Gary Duffy, and Robin Swinderman Mitchell. Scott Starnes is course designing, and his classic style hunter course today presented the juniors with beautiful fences over a flowing track with long approaches and fluid bending lines. The course featured natural split rails draped with decorative greenery and an oxer-oxer combination of turf-covered rails and matching boxes adorned with pink flowers. It concluded with a hand gallop to a hay bale obstacle. The 3’3″ Junior Hunters jumped first, followed by the 3’6″ sections, and six leaders emerged with high scores and excellent foundations going into tomorrow’s competition.
Leading the 3’3″ Large Junior Hunter section, which was the largest section with 29 entries, is Hailey Link. Link rode Star Lane Farms, LLC’s Maldini to a total of 245 points. Trailing the leaders by just one point are Olivia Welsh and her own Maple Bay. In the 3’3″ Small Junior Hunter section, Logan Tomaselli leads the pack with her own Night in Barbados. The duo advance to the next two phases with 253 points. Katherine Dash and Whish, LLC’s Everglow earned the high-score total of 256 points in the 3’6″ Large Junior Hunters 16-17. Augusta Iwasaki and Lyn Pederson’s Small Affair lead the 3’6″ Large Junior Hunters 15 and Under with 255 points. In the 3’6″ Small Junior Hunters 16-17, it’s Grace Tuton and Nicodemus Farms’ Sorbet who lead with 254 points. Hunter Siebel and Laura Wasserman’s Boss trail them by just two points. Kaitlyn Lovingfoss and Emma Farber’s Triumph topped the field of 3’6″ Small Junior Hunters 15 and Under with 236 points.
Under saddles will commence at 8:30am tomorrow morning, followed by Handy rounds and then overall awards presentations.