Raleigh, N.C.–July 1, 2019–Once again, the North Carolina Hunter Jumper Association played host to the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Green Hunter Incentive South Regional Championship at the NCHJA Annual Show on June 26-30 at the Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. Horse Complex. After two rounds of competition in both the 3’/3’3” and 3’6”/3’9” sections, Peg Seals and Chris Wynne finished on top.
The $10,000 3’/3’3” section saw 19 horse and rider combinations contest Paul Jewell’s first-round course, but Peg Seals came out in first aboard Jennifer Morris’ Staros.
“I had two horses to be able to ride in it and they were both owned by [Jennifer Morris]–one was a 3’ green horse and the other a 3’3”. The 3’ one actually won the first round, but he spooked [in the second round],” said Peg, of Carrollton, Virginia. “[Staros] had been second in the first round and had a beautiful trip the second go around, so I was very fortunate to be able to win.”
“It’s a great program,” Peg said of the Green Hunter Incentive. “Most of my customers are average working people, so getting extra expense to enter something like that is a big deal to them! It was a lot of fun.”
In the 3’6”/3’9”, it was Chris Wynne on Correlation, owned by MaryEllen Kroll, as well as Grace Owen’s Superlative who edged out the 10 other pairs for the top two spots and a portion of the $5,000 prize. “Obviously it went well–my horses were first and second, so that part of it was great…I just got lucky enough that both of mine had two good trips back to back, which was nice, so that allowed them to be the winners,” said Wynne, of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Having also topped the Championship last year, Wynne noted the difference in the Championship’s competition. “Last year was smaller–this year was bigger and much more competitive with really nice horses. I think there was a horse that had been champion at Devon and other horses that had gotten good ribbons at major horse shows, so the competition was quite good.”
“I think the [Green Hunter Incentive] Program brought in new professionals who don’t usually show in [the NCHJA Annual Show,]” he continued. “We had a couple new professionals who don’t usually come to the venue because they’re somewhere else showing and they showed up just because [the Regional Championships] were at the venue. It was nice to see that the Program brought more competition and quality to the horse show.”
As for the whether or not Wynne will be at the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships next month, he said, “I’ll be there!”
This was the first of five regional championships available to USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants. Remaining regional championships include the East Championship at Brandywine Valley Summer Series II, July 3, 2019, in Devon, Pennsylvania; the Northwest Championship at the Oregon High Desert Classic 2, July 25, 2019, in Bend, Oregon; the Southwest Championship at the International Jumping Festival, September 19, 2019, in San Juan Capistrano, California; and the Central Championship at the Harvest Horse Show, October 30-November 3, 2019, in Katy, Texas.
The USHJA extends a special thank you to the North Carolina Hunter Jumper Association, the NCHJA Annual Horse Show, Southbound Show Management, and Patrick Rodes and his team for hosting the Championship.
USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants can choose from one of five regional championships held across the country. Exhibitors may choose whichever regional championship they want but horses may only compete in one regional championship per year. Each regional championship is two rounds, and the combined total score for both rounds will determine the winner. Prize money is awarded through 12th place, and each championship will offer a minimum of $10,000 in prize money spread across all the sections offered. Horses must be enrolled in the program to be eligible to participate.
Learn more about the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program at ushja.org/GreenIncentive.