After seeing a total of 30 horse-and-rider combinations navigate the course in the Rost Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, judges ultimately awarded both over fences first place ribbons to Joan Ehrhart of Wellington, FL, and Coachella. The two victories, along with another second place, was enough to secure the pair the champion ribbon for the Low Adult Amateur Hunter Section A division during Week 8 of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival.
Ehrhart rode the 17-year-old Warmblood gelding for the ownership of Sloan Hopson and trains with her daughter, Jane Ehrhart.
“I had an injury that I was coming back from and Jane leased me a horse and just took me on as a customer,” she explained. “We keep it very professional, but she is the best trainer I’ve ever had because she is a very good teacher.”
According to Ehrhart, she and Coachella have only been partnered since December of 2018, but the gelding has been vital in her transition into the Low Adult Amateur Hunter division. “He’s an amazing jumper and he has such a long stride that the distances come up easily even in the longer lines. Last year I did the 2’6” USHJA [division], but it was time to move up and he has been such an important part of that.”
“I’m so happy to have won in such a large division,” Ehrhart added. “The adrenaline is rushing but maybe by Sunday I’ll calm down!”
Kathryn Haeffner and her own five-year-old Zangersheide mare, Creme De La Crème, completed the division with a first and two seconds for the reserve champion title.
The 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival will resume competition on Saturday, March 2, with the day’s highlights including the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix and the $150,000 Nations Cup.