In a city known for high-stakes gambles and a lot of fun, the AON/USHJA National Championships kicked off its inaugural year in equal fashion with big wins for USHJA members from across the country. From November 13 to 19, during The Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W, qualified competitors took to the South Point Casino, Hotel & Spa’s Equestrian Center to earn year-end accolades.
With qualifying based largely on Zone HOTY standings and Zone events, the Championships brought together top competitors from across the country with most of the 12 USHJA Zones represented and a number of USHJA Affiliate Member Organizations participating in the first-of-its-kind USHJA Affiliate Championship at fence heights of 2’ and 2’6”.
“We couldn’t be happier,” said competition manager Pat Boyle about the event. “Everyone loved it—the way it’s different from other horse shows. We had people from Arkansas, Tennessee, New York, Chicago, Texas; we had such a wide group of people come to this event. And, it’s going to be bigger and better for next year.”
The Championships offered tremendous recognition and a fun and rewarding way for Hunter, Jumper and Equitation competitors, from pony riders to professionals, to end the competition year. A total of 36 championship titles were handed out at the event, along with various leading, high-point and high-score rider titles throughout the week.
“To have the USHJA Championship here is very special,” said Angel Karolyi, 31, of Wellington, Florida, who earned both the USEF/USHJA 1.20m and 1.30m Open Jumper Championship titles, as well as the USEF/USHJA Leading Open Jumper Rider Award. “Rather than just any horse show that you can enter, you have to qualify your horses. So, it’s a very nice thing to be able to create a goal for yourself for the end of the year.”
The USHJA is working toward plans for the 2019 Championships in November. For full results and to learn more about the AON/USHJA National Championships, visit ushja.org/NationalChampionships.
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