Jamie Taylor and L’Con Reyes win with Karli Postel and Banksy a very close second
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.—- June 10, 2018 —- On a gorgeous Southern California morning, the $25,000 World Championship Hunter Rider West Coast Hunter Spectacular showcased 34 fabulous Hunters. With varied heights of 3’6″, 3’9″ and 4’0″, horse and rider pairs showed at a height comparable to the division in which they typically compete.
This year’s spectacular was one for the books, with a number of breathtaking rides from Juniors, Amateurs and Professionals alike; and two horses finishing with a final score of 170.875. The first panel of judges broke the tie and since they had scored the second round for Jamie Taylor and Bravado, LLC’s L’Con Reyes higher than that of Karli Postel and Grace Russo’s Banksy, Taylor took the top call, and Postel finished second. With a score of 170.5, only .3 off the leading scores, Amateur rider Jacqueline Attwood-Dupont rounded out the the top three riding her mount Spotlight.
The crowd watched in wonder from all sides of the Oaks International Grand Prix Field. The VIP Medal Club was full of riders and onlookers enjoying an omelette station, french toast, and most importantly, coffee for the early morning start.
The class was adjudicated by two panels: the gentleman sat on Panel One, Otis Brown, Jr., of Georgetown, Kentucky, and Walter ‘Timmy’ Kees, of Norwalk, Connecticut, and the ladies, Sue Ashe, of Wellington, Florida, and Cathy Robinson, of Encinitas, California, made up Panel Two. The courses were created by Thomas Hern of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The top 12 from Round One were all within a range of 10 points, with Junior rider Emma Borders and Corrato sitting in the 12th position with a score of 78 and Junior rider Stella Wasserman and Boss holding the top spot with a stellar score of 88. Wasserman and Boss were the first to gallop over Thomas Hern’s track in the gorgeous grass field and maintained their lead throughout the entire first round.
As can often happen, the second round saw some change to the order of the top 12. Sitting sixth going in with an 83.5, Taylor and L’Con Reyes earned the first place ribbon after being granted a re-ride of the second round by show management, due to a technicality. Taylor demonstrated her skill and the horse’s rideability in a brilliant second course, earning scores of 85.5 and 89 to tie for the lead.
Taylor is paired with L’Con Reyes at the horse shows to do exactly what she did today, bring out the best in him. The pair have earned top 12 placings in several USHJA International Hunter Derbies. “I occasionally go the farm to ride him, but they do a really good job at home, so when I show him I just try not to mess that up!”
Postel and Banksy, who are quite new to each other, also earned admirable scores in both rounds. Entering Round Two in second place with an 85.87, they maintained their position with scores of 82 and 88. The dapple gray gelding is usually ridden by John French, who was unable to compete this year due to an injury. Postel not only handled the pressure of the prestigious class well, she earned other WCHR accolades this week, including a Grand Championship and a the Developing Pro High Score on Fine Design.
Postel loved having the chance to show Banksy. “This was my first time on him at the 3’9″ height, so that was fun and new for me”, said Postel. “I felt like he tried very hard for me, especially in the last line of Round One.”
Attwood-Dupont expressed her gratitude for the WCHR Hunter Spectacular class. “I was incredibly excited to have the chance to compete against so many great horses and riders in an open class in a large field with a big course.”
A favorite among the riders was a flowing nine-stride line across the diagonal. “You could kind of just let go, and it rode really nicely”, said Wasserman, who ultimately finished fourth on Boss and 12th on Fine Design.
The Shapley’s Best Turned Out Award was presented to Omar Nava, grooming for the sixth place winner Now We’re Talkin’, owned by Bridgeport Farm, LLC and ridden by John Bragg. Nava was awarded a bucket of Shapley’s products and a commemorative hat.
In-between the two rounds, four high-score awards were presented for exceptional Hunter rides earlier in the week: Jenny Karazissis earned the Professional High Score on Michelle Cobb’s Really. Postel picked up the Developing Pro High Score aboard Fine Design. Junior rider Lanie Walkenbach was the High Score Junior 3’6″ rider with Early August, earning an impressive 90. And, Avery Glynn was High Score award in the 3’3″ Junior Hunter section.
USHJA would like to thank all of the donors and participants in the silent auction that took place on the Pacific Field this week.
The USHJA would also like to thank its generous sponsors for the 2018 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular, including: Charles Owen, Inc., The Official Helmet of the USHJA; CWD, The Official Saddle of the USHJA; Parlanti, The Official Riding Boot of the USHJA; Professional’s Choice, The Official Horse Boot of the USHJA; Rood & Riddle, The Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy of the USHJA; Shapley’s, sponsor of the Best Turned Out Horse for USHJA Hunter Championships; as well as Awards Sponsor FITS Riding.