Saugerties, N.Y.- July 30, 2018 -The 14th annual USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Classic – East Coast, presented by Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, brought together 98 riders to compete for top honors in Saugerties, N.Y., July 30, 2018. Daisy Farish stood out amongst the group, earning the top score in each round and ultimately leading the victory gallop.
The Hunterdon Cup, named after George Morris’ farm, Hunterdon, tests each rider’s ability to adjust to a hunter course on an equitation mount. Round one was a classic hunter round and the top 20 riders returned to navigate a handy round. The Rian Beals’ designed courses were technical and asked riders to pilot their mounts skillfully. Judges Ken Smith and Robert Braswell noted how the courses distinguished the competitors.
Held in the large Grand Prix ring at HITS Saugerties, the classic round used the full arena and tested the precision of horse and rider. Among the challenges was a line of three jumps, requiring a long, flowing five-stride followed by a shorter five-stride. Riders were also required to navigate tight turns, a trot jump and finished with a hand gallop to the final fence in the handy round.
The final test of seven jumping efforts, ridden by the top four on another rider’s mount, gave the riders who stood out over the first two rounds the chance to demonstrate their prowess with no outside coaching and only a few warm-up circles and two jumps.
Those top four of the day, Daisy Farish, Savannah Hemby, Hannah Hoch and Alexandra Pielet, commented that the courses were challenging but allowed a rider to execute a solid round.
“Each course was technical but straight forward in the way that you could carry one pace and everything flowed,” stated Pielet.
Farish agreed stating, “I thought the courses were great today. The first course asked the question of if you can extend and collect your horse’s stride. The second course was looking for slick, tight turns to be neat. And the test gave you a few places to show off without being too hard, not knowing the horse.”
Farish aboard her own Capital Hamilton distinguished herself from the group by earning the top scores in the first two rounds, a 90 and 89 respectively. She then piloted Hannah Hoch’s E.V. Comander to an 80 for the win.
Trained by Andre Dignelli and Heritage Farm, Farish’s horse is still learning the equitation ropes. “Capital Hamilton is a little new to the equitation; he’s been doing it for a little while now, but he isn’t ‘been there, done that’ yet,” said the 17-year-old Versailles, Kentucky, native. “But I think he will be a really great horse for finals this year.”
Second place winner, Savannah Hemby, 16, of Bartonville, Texas, and trained by Jenna Vanerstrom, is new to the equitation ring and very new to her mount, Howie Doin’. “I’ve only had him since the middle of May, around Devon, since I’m fairly new to the equitation. But he’s the most perfect first equitation horse; he can do everything.”
Also new to the equitation ring is third place winner, Hannah Hoch, 14, from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, who trains with Caitlyn Shiels and Andre Dignelli. “I’ve only had E.V. Comander for about six months since I’m new to the equitation, and he’s been such a great teacher for me. He’s teaching me the ropes of all the rings. He’s great.”
The judges agreed with Hoch and awarded E.V. Comander the honor of the Best Equitation Horse.
Alexandra Pielet, a 16-year-old Illinois native and another Andre Dignelli student, piloted her horse Common Sense to earn fourth place. “I’ve had him for about two years. My first show on him was at USET Finals, and I’ve loved him ever since. He’s been a great horse, and he does his job perfectly,” praised Pielet.
The top two finishers were recognized with prizes from the class’s extraordinary sponsors, and riders were pinned through 10th place. As the champion, Farish walked away with a pair of Parlanti tall boots, an Essex Classics riding shirt, a Charles Owen helmet, sets of Professional’s Choice VenTECH Leather Open Front Jumping Boots and VenTECH Leather Open Front Ankle Boots, a CWD leather halter, a cooler, and a keeper trophy donated by Diane Carney and Lynn Jayne.
As reserve champion, Hemby earned an Essex Classics riding shirt, a Charles Owen helmet, and a set of Professional’s Choice VenTECH Leather Open Front Jumping Boots. All top 10 riders sported colorful sashes.
USHJA congratulates all the competitors on a safe and successful event. USHJA extends special thanks to Tom Struzzieri and the entire HITS Saugerties team.
Thank you to all our sponsors: Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, Essex Classics, Charles Owen, Inc., CWD, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Pharmacy, Parlanti and Professional’s Choice.
Rider/ Horse/ Rider Hometown/ R1/ R2/Work Off/ Total Score
1/Daisy Farish/ Capital Hamilton/ Versailles, Ky./ 90/ 89/ 80/ 259
2/Savannah Hemby/ Howie Doin/ Bartonville, Texas/ 82.5/ 85/ 75/ 242.5
3/Hannah Hoch/ E.V. Comander/ Whitefish Bay, Wisc./ 84/84/ 67/ 235
4/Alexandra Pielet/ Common Sense/ Highland Park, Ill./ 86/ 81/ 65/ 232
5/Kierstin Antoniadis/ Vagrant Z/ Middletown, N.Y./ 80.75/ 83/ N/A/ 163.75
6/Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell/ Braavos/ New York, N.Y./ 84.5/ 78/ N/A/ 162.5
7/Ellie Ferrigno/ RF Remarkable/ Newtown, Conn./ 82/ 80/ N/A/ 162
8/Ava Stearns/ Apollo/ Chilmark, Mass./ 88/ 73/ N/A/ 161
9/Sophee Steckbeck/ Curt Z/ Clarksburg, N.J./ 81.5/ 79/ N/A/ 160.5
10/Kaitlyn Williams/ Coco/ Wayne, Penn./ 83/ 77/ N/A/ 160