Samantha Schaefer and In The Know Kick off Brandywine Horse Shows With Top Professional Hunter Honors

Samantha Schaefer and In The Know. Photo: Anne Gittins Photography

Devon, Pa. – June 29, 2018 – The professional hunter divisions wrapped up during Week I of the Brandywine Horse Shows, and it was Samantha Schaefer and In The Know that added another tricolor to their collection. Schaefer and In The Know, owned by Madeline Schaefer, were champions of the High Performance Hunter division after almost clean-sweeping the division.

Schaefer and In The Know also received the Grand Open Hunter Championship award for the points the pair accumulated in the High Performance division, as well as the Gray Slipper Perpetual Trophy, donated by Bridget Hallman. Schaefer also earned the Leading Professional Rider award for her efforts in the ring.

In The Know, more affectionately known as ‘Spyder,’ initially began his career as an equitation horse, and Schaefer would occasionally compete with him in hunter derbies. She did not start seriously competing with him in the hunter ring until last year when she entered him in the High Performance Hunter division at Upperville. It was there she realized his potential as serious hunter competitor, which he has continued to prove over the last year with top placings at horse shows across the country.

Samantha Schaefer wins Leading Professional Rider. Photo: Anne Gittins Photography

Scott Stewart earned both the championship and reserve in the Green/High Performance Conformation Hunter division. Stewart rode Betsee Parker’s Private Life to the championship and Alexa and Krista Weisman’s Status to the reserve championship.

In the Green Hunter 3’6” division, Sandra Ferrell and Hemingway, owned by Stephanie Bulger, earned the championship. The pair received the Head Over Heels Memorial Trophy donated by Lisa C. Scott and the Scott Family for their championship finish. Scott Stewart and Playbrook, owned by CH Farm, LLC, received the reserve champion ribbon in the division.

Sandy Ferrel and Hemingway. Photo: Anne Gittins Photography

The Children’s Hunter division also concluded Thursday with Dylan Bentley earning the Children’s Hunter Grand Champion award. Aboard his own mount, Focto, Bentley finished with three first place ribbons and a third in the division, as well as first place in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services Children Medal and second place in the NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic.

Dylan Bentley and Focto. Photo: Anne Gittins Photography

This week’s featured event, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by the Janesky Family will take place this Sunday, July 1. The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust, will take place Saturday, June 30. For more information on the Brandywine Horse Shows, please visit


Samantha Schaefer – Grand Open Hunter Champion

On her success with In The Know
“He was super this week. I thought every round he went really well. I showed him at Upperville and then here and then he’ll have another break until Saugerties. I’ll do the Derby Sunday morning on him, and after that I think he’ll do one more derby and then he’ll go to Kentucky for Derby Finals in August. From there he’ll probably do something in the fall and then Indoors hopefully.”

On In The Know’s progress
“Spyder – he’s such a cool horse, I can definitely count on him. I can’t say enough good things about him. When we bought him he was supposed to be for my sister for the equitation, and he spent about a year doing that. I would do the derbies on him, but we weren’t as serious about it. Last year at Upperville I took him into the High Performance and we were like, ‘Wow he does this really well!’ In the last year he’s really proved to us that this is what he belongs doing, and to see his transformation from last year to this year and how much he’s liking his job now. He’s an awesome horse, I’m lucky to have him.”

On showing at Brandywine
“I think it’s always fun. Brandywine is the setting of Devon. It’s great. Not only for [In The Know], but a chance for my young horses to get to show in the Dixon Oval is pretty awesome. I think the horses really go well here and they do a really nice job. The jumps were great and I thought the courses were very efficient.. I think they do a really nice job. It’s our second year showing here and we were very happy with it last year. I think the horses go well and it’s always good for the kids to be able to compete at Devon without the pressure of it being Devon. It’s a nice way for them to feel like they get to show here and get comfortable with the rings.”