August 28, 2017 – Del Mar, CA – The weekend after the California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) Medal Finals, Blenheim EquiSports moves the equitation action down south to Del Mar to host the CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Finals. Divided into 22 & Over, 14 & Under, and 21 & Under age groups, riders compete over two days, taking on challenging courses with work-off tests built in.
After two rounds, the riders with the top four scores and those within three points of the leader, or those with scores of 80 or better, all perform a final series of tests at the judges’ discretion. The acclaimed Scott Hofstetter and Tony Sgarlata judged the competitive equitation finals.
David Scapa, who was competing in his first medal final, rode like a veteran to earn the championship title in the 22 & Over section. Brooke Morin, who earned a close second in the first CPHA final, finished on top in the 14 & Under section. And last week’s CPHA Junior Medal Final Champion, Kaitlyn Lovingfoss, not only won this week’s 21 & Under Foundation Championship, but accomplished this feat on a different horse than the week before.
David Scapa Catches the Impossible Dream in the 22 & Over
Round One on Saturday had its share of questions to be answered on course, including bending lines as well as a trot fence and a hand gallop to fence 11 as the built-in tests. Going fifth in the posted order, Kaitlin Perry scored 86 and held the lead until the final rider. Entering in the arena for his first medal final, David Scapa was last to go.
Executing a beautiful round, Scapa rode his aunt Holly Scapa’s horse Dream Catcher to a dazzling score of 90 and jumped into the top spot. Lauren Morlock, Carly Sereni, and Theresa Boucher were third, fourth, and fifth in Round One with scores of 84, 82.5, and 82 respectively.
The first class of Sunday morning, Round Two of the 22 & Over Championship Final, asked riders to demonstrate three built-in tests: trot fence 11, walk after fence 12, and then execute a half turn on the haunches and exit the ring. Going in reverse of day one’s order of go, Scapa was the first to compete in the second round of competition. He laid down the gauntlet again, scoring an 86, and lead the class going into the work-off.
With tests including a counter canter to a fence as well as a halt, five riders returned for the final work-off. Several switched positions, Jaime Krupnick moved up from sixth to fourth place overall, Boucher to third, and Sereni moved up to second place. But it was Scapa who held the lead throughout all three phases of the final.
From Calabasas, California, Scapa trained with Archie Cox of Brookway Stables at this year’s Showpark Summer Classic. As the 22 & Over champion, he will travel home with the Victor Hugo-Vidal Perpetual Trophy.
After taking lessons once a week in his childhood, three years ago, Scapa decided to dedicate himself to riding six days a week to improve and then to compete. After getting his ‘boots’ wet showing at HITS Coachella, Scapa didn’t return to the show ring until last week and on a horse he’d only ridden for a few months.
Dream Catcher, known as “Dreamer,” is also new to the show circuit. “We just got Dreamer from Holland about three months ago. He is an eight-year-old gelding and he is very well named,” explained Scapa. “Last week at the Blenheim Summer Classic was his first time competing. We won the CPHA Foundation class last week, and that is how we qualified for the final this week. We also were second in the National Hunter Derby.”
Quite a feat, in two shows, Scapa and Dreamer have certainly made an impression. Scapa was humble as he accepted his victory. “What an incredible experience! I was not expecting any results like this.”
Brooke Morin was Boss in the 14 & Under
Riding the same track as the 22 & Over amateurs, the 52 competitors in the two rounds of the CPHA Foundation Championship Finals 14 & Under experienced some ups and downs. Eight riders scored 80 or higher in Round One. Jessie Rechs who piloted Oboras Split, earned the top score of 86. Sophia Sanders aboard Natalie Rae Medlock’s Cipriani finished second with a score of 84. Breanna Bunevacz, Brooke Morin, and Alexandra Sinclair rode to third, fourth, and fifth with scores of 83, 82, and 81, respectively.
In Round Two, of the eight who scored 80 or better, four kept that average to make the work-off. Sanders remained consistent at 84 and held the lead by half a point over Morin, who won Round Two with an 85, and went into the work-off wth an average of 83.5.
Payton Potter and Clea Caddell were sitting third and fourth going into the work-off with averages just above 81. In a similar test to the adults, Sanders rode well but Morin rode flawlessly and slipped into the top spot, earning the Hap Hansen Perpetual Trophy along with the championship.
After earning a reserve champion spot in the CPHA Junior Medal Final and champion in the CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, Morin commented that she liked the challenges of the equitation final courses. She noted that the two weeks highlighted adjustability, where some of the lines need a forward ride and others demand a shortening of stride, which require attention and focus.
Both Morin and her mount are made for the eq ring. “Boss has been my teammate for about a year now. We started in the jumpers. Then at one show we tried him in an equitation class and he was a natural. So we decided to continue showing him in the equitation,” she said.
Kailyn Lovingfoss Says Hasta La Vista to the Competition in the 21 & Under
With a field of 38 very talented riders, internationally known course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio set the tracks for the 21 & Under division that competed in the Grand Prix Field at Showpark. The built-in tests included trotting fence 4, and a hand gallop to the final fence. The trot fence led into a line with an oxer on the out, which challenged riders to move up in seven strides or steady in eight strides. Proving the difficulty of the test, eight of the 38 competitors had a rail at the oxer. Kate Abajian topped the class, riding Lambada to a score of 88. With a score of 86, Kaitlyn Lovingfoss and Hasta La Vista finished second. Five more competitors finished with an 82 or higher score after Round One, including Julia Stone, Rose Kauffman-Skloff, Katherine Dash, Sophia Davies and Nina Vogel.
Round Two featured a course of fourteen jumping efforts, including three combinations, and long, galloping lines. Riders were also required to complete two tests, a halt and jumping a fence at the counter canter. Lovingfoss, Kauffman-Skloff and Abajian scored well in Round Two, making the top three within less than a point of one another, with average scores of 85.75, 85.25 and 85 respectively.
Along with the aforementioned three riders, three additional competitors were called back for an additional work-off. Cantering directly from the gate to a vertical, they were asked to continue over a short course of seven obstacles, including a difficult trot fence, two changes of lead, and a hand gallop to the last jump.
Lovingfoss and Kaufmann-Skloff maintained their leading positions, earning the champion and reserve champion ribbons and awards. In addition to the Championship title, Lovingfoss will add her name to the Barbara Worth Oakford Perpetual Trophy.
This victory marks two in a row for the Elvenstar student. Lovingfoss piloted Jim Hagman’s Vancouver in the CPHA Junior Medal Final at the Blenheim Farms’ Indoor, but for this Final, she rode her own mount, Hasta La Vista, on the grass of Showpark’s Grand Prix Field.
Partnering with ‘Hasta’ exactly one year ago, the champion felt the “flowing course” in Round Two worked well. “He’s a very good horse, and we’ve prepared him a lot for this competition. It’s an exciting way to start the medal season, and great preparation for indoors. I’d like to thank my trainers, my parents and Hasta La Vista for this exciting win!”
Champions and Reserve Champions in each of the three divisions not only earned CPHA Foundation medals, they were also awarded with embroidered coolers from DaMoor’s Tack & Feed, a crop, stall plaques, ribbons, and rose bouquets.
Prizes including flowers, medals and more were also given to riders placing third through tenth.
The action returns to the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano, CA, for the Blenheim Fall Tournament, September 13-17. In addition to the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix, highlights include the Interactive Mortgage Horses 10&U Futurity Finals, the NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Region 8 Championship, the CPHA Green Hunter 3′ & 3’3″ Incentive Finals, and the BES Young Hunter Championships.
CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 22 & Over
Place – Entry Number – Rider – Horse – Trainer
1. 463 – David Scapa – Dream Catcher – Archie Cox and Kathy Megla
2. 285 – Carly Sereni – Walk This Way – Matthew Sereni
3. 382 – Theresa Boucher – Quadro D’Ag – Emily Esau-Williams
4. 360 – Jaime Krupnick – Conux – Archie Cox
5. 235 – Jessica Smith – Freedom – Nicole Husky
6. 189 – Lauren Morlock – Mighty Quen – Trevor Gaffney and Jill Prieto
7. 261 – Mollie Hartung – Solitaire – Victoria Lacagnina
8. 694 – Stephanie Goodson – Get Rowdy – Kate Considine and Archie Cox
9. 140 – Lauren Michaels – Kairo – Benson Carroll
10. 473 – Nori Burby – Rinaldo – Amy Self
CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 14 & Under
Place – Entry Number – Rider – Horse – Trainer
1. 162 – Brooke Morin – Boss – Nick Haness
2. 315 – Sophia Sanders – Cipriani – Patty Ball
3. 290 – Payton Potter – Pacord – Leslie Steele and Lee Flick
4. 619 – Clea Caddell – Cavaljo – Jill Humphrey
5. 512 – Madison Nadolenco – Chinchurro Z – Tasha Visokay
6. 318 – Alli Christy – Wodan – Patty Ball
7. 125 – Charlotte Murray – Univers Theod – Jenny Brown
8. 626 – Sydnie Young – Alvaro – Jill Humphrey
9. 525 – Skylar Wireman – Captivated – Shayne Wireman and Lisa Halterman
10. 514 – Mackenzie Altheimer – Bolero V – Alex Wilson
CPHA Foundation Equitation Championship Final, 21 & Under
Place – Entry Number – Rider – Horse – Trainer
1. 217 – Kaitlyn Lovingfoss – Hasta La Vista – James Hagman
2. 548 – Rose Kauffman-Skloff – Mac Miller – Ginny Plancke
3. 580 – Natalie Templeton – Casiro – Robyn Stiegler
4. 801 – Katherine Dash – Need I Say – Archie Cox
5. 134 – Nina Vogel – Durango – David Bustillos and Katie Taylor
6. 165 – Kate Abajian – Lambada – Leslie Steele
7. 160 – Libby King – Quentino – Lori DeRosa
8. 842 – Julia Stone – Cosmopolitan – Courtney Cochran
9. 451 – Tali DeJong – Spero – Angel Pitton
10. 191 – Audrey Poole – Rivercross Nobility – Jill Prieto and Trevor Gaffney
Photos by CapturedMomentPhoto.com and Blenheim EquiSports