July 15, 2019 – The Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic (CHJC) closed Sunday amid cheers and rave reviews. The 10-day horse show celebrated 70 years of equestrian competition with various events and beautiful weather conditions at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in Moreland Hills.
The grand finale of the competition was the $50,000 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Cleveland Grand Prix, which has been running since 1965. An estimated 4,000 spectators turned out to cheer on a field of 14 horses, and they weren’t disappointed. Designed by Eric Mayberry, the course consisting of 15 jumping efforts eliminated all but four competitors from the original starting field. Two of those four were Ohioans Ali Wolff (New Albany) and Megan Bash (Hunting Valley).
First in the jump-off was Elyria Sitte, a 9-year-old Swedish mare, ridden by Filip de Wandel of Mechanicsburg, Pa. The pair had been together for about eight weeks, and this was Elyria Sitte’s first grand prix. They set a speedy time to beat with a clear score of 38.989 seconds. Originally from Belgium, this was de Wandel’s first time at the CHJC.
Next in the jump-off was Willie Tynan of Wellington, Fla., aboard Freya, the only of his four entries to clear the first round. De Wandel’s lead held as Tynan and Freya knocked a rail at the second-to-last jump, fashioned after the Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland.
Ali Wolff of New Albany, Ohio, was third in the order, riding her 14-year-old Holsteiner Casall. With similar speed and tight turns, Wolff jumped clean in 38.943 seconds, beating de Wandel’s time by just hundredths of a second.
Closing out the round was Megan Bash of Hunting Valley, Ohio, aboard 20-year-old Silver Spring, the most seasoned horse in the class. They also went fault-free in the jump-off but couldn’t out-speed the other competitors, earning a time of 42.904.
“I didn’t even know,” Wolff said about the difference between the times. She added that if she watched too many riders before her round, she would get too competitive. “I have to focus on just riding my round, not worrying about someone else’s.”
Earlier in the week, Wolff and Casall won the $10,000 Welcome Stake, and de Wandel and Elyria Sitte topped the field in the $5,000 Open Speed Stake. Both said they were very happy with their horses throughout the show.
“They do such an amazing job here and run such a great show that I want to keep supporting that,” Wolff said. “This is also a great horse show to use for getting clients into the ring in bigger classes to gain experience, while at the same time competing against a lot of big-name people.”
$50,000 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Cleveland Grand Prix Results
|1||Casall||Ali Wolff||New Albany, OH||0/0/38.943||$15,000|
|2||Elyria Sitte||Filip de Wandel||Mechanicsburg, PA||0/0/38.989||$11,000|
|3||Silver Spring||Megan Bash||Hunting Valley, OH||0/0/42.904||$6,500|
|4||Freya||Willie Tynan||Wellington, FL||0/4||$4,000|
|5||Fancy Girl||Willie Tynan||Wellington, FL||4/77.643||$3,000|
|6||Dominique||Willie Tynan||Wellington, FL||4/80.474||$2,500|
|7||Halibo van Texelhof||Hayley Barnhill||Collierville, TN||4/81.968||$2,000|
|8||Quirie 2||Ali Wolff||New Albany, OH||4/83.438||$1,500|
|9||Gregory ES||Hayley Barnhill||Collierville, TN||4/83.758||$1,500|
|10||Carlton Cafe||Jill Gaffney||Batavia, OH||4/84.092||$1,000|
|11||VDL Giardo||Alexa Lowe Wiseman||Upperville, VA||4/86.644||$1,000|
|12||Corneel||Virginia Bonnie||Upperville, VA||4/86.787||$1,000|
In Hunter Action
In the hunter ring, professional Kelley Farmer of Wellington, Fla. won the top hunter prize in the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Saturday night. She was the busiest rider of the night with four entries and won aboard Consent, a 7-year-old Westphalian owned by David Glefke in partnership with Olympian Kent Farrington.
“All four of my horses were first-year horses this year,” Farmer said. “This horse (Consent) is so amazing. I was a little afraid coming in because we kept taking second in other shows, but he tries so hard. I’m so excited for him because he deserves those kinds of scores.” Consent earned a combined score of 401 points between his classic and handy rounds, beating second-place Nandino, ridden by Samantha Cooper of Hudson, Ohio, by nearly 20 points.
In the $5,000 National Hunter Derby on Sunday, Jennifer Alfano of Ocala, Fla., took top honors aboard the 12-year-old Silver Lining, owned by Kathy Chiaf of Edmond, Okla.
“We always love coming here,” Alfano said. “It’s a nice show in a nice area, and they always do a really nice job. This is probably one of our favorite shows of the season.”
Many Chagrin Valley riders did well against national competitors, and the list of champions and reserve riders include many children and adult winners. For full results on the show, visit horseshowsonline.com and chagrinhunterjumperclassic.org.
Many awards were given outside the show ring, including the Mike Rheinheimer Equitation Award, which was awarded to Graciela Robert of Concord Twp., Ohio. For the best landscaped stable area, Megan Bash’s Cleveland Equestrian (Novelty, Ohio) won top honors in the Best Tack Room contest.
The grooms and braiders of these horses were also celebrated with the Best Presented Horse award. The winner of this contest was the team behind Dalliance, a 6-year-old French-bred owned by Michaella Gerlacher of Galena, Ohio.
However, out of all the winners, none shared an experience like that of Sam Francetic of Euclid, Ohio. The Francetics, along with Tessa Merrill and her family, were invited to the $50,000 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Cleveland Grand Prix as representatives of Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center. Both girls took home top ribbons in Monday’s (July 8) Riders with Disabilities competition, and Sam helped present the Grand Prix awards.
“It was our first time ever to see the show, and it was just amazing,” said Sam’s mother, Kim Francetic. “You don’t realize they’re jumping that high when you’re watching TV. We felt honored to be invited by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, and we’re so grateful for Fieldstone Farm for these kinds of opportunities.”
Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic AA-Rated Week Championship Results
|Amateur Owner Hunter GRAND Champion||Middleton||Melissa Jacobs LLC||Melissa Jacobs||Buffalo, NY|
|Junior Hunter GRAND Champion||Lucretia||Isabella Fabrizi||Isabella Fabrizi||Strongsville, OH|
|Adult Amateur Hunter GRAND Champion||Sancerre||Lisa Rossi||Lisa Rossi||Washington, DC|
|Pony Hunter GRAND Champion||V.H. Paris Fox||Gianna Siegler||Gianna Siegler||Chagrin Falls, OH|
|Children’s Hunter GRAND Champion||Candescence||Cara Cheska||Annie Soper||West Palm Beach, FL|
|GRAND Hunter Champion||Consent||David Glefke||Kelley Farmer||Wellington, FL|
|Reserve||Truly||Maarten Huygens||Danielle Menker||Wellington, FL|
|Children’s Pony Hunter Champion||Ambition||Mandy Bittner Vergerio||Kelly Paige||Chagrin Falls, OH|
|Reserve||Annings Catwalk||Isabelle Kaufman||Isabelle Kaufman||Beachwood, OH|
|USHJA 2’3” Hunter Champion||Never Ever||David Gersh||David Gersh||Webster, NY|
|Reserve||Velez||Vanessa Jones-Washington||Samantha Cooper||Hudson, OH|
|USHJA 2’6” Hunter Champion||H. Devereux||Lisa Karam||Michaella Gerlacher||Galena, OH|
|Reserve||Turn Key||Kim Carey||Emily Alinen||Chagrin Falls, OH|
|USHJA 2’9” Hunter Champion||Amaze Me||Emily Kowit||Emily Kowit||Hunting Valley, OH|
|Reserve||Phantom||Jori Greene||Jori Greene||Chagrin Falls, OH|
|USHJA 3’ Hunter Champion||Selina||Elizabeth Jacobs||Jaime Bates||Java Center, NY|
|Reserve||Candescence||Cara Cheska||Cara Cheska||Wellington, FL|
|Green Hunter 3’ Champion||Rhapsody||Sharon O’Neill||Jennifer Alfano||Ocala, FL|
|Reserve||Sancerre||Lisa Rossi||Rachel Kennedy||Brookeville, MD|
|High Performance Hunter Champion||Witness||David Glefke||Kelley Farmer||Wellington, FL|
|Reserve||Enchanted||Christel Weller||Jennifer Alfano||Ocala, FL|
|Performance Hunter 3’6” Champion||Charismatic||Alexa Kaas||Linda Radigan||Vermillion, OH|
|Reserve||Nandino||Ellen Malson||Samantha Cooper||Hudson, OH|
|Performance Hunter 3’3” Champion||Aristocrat||Tracy Scheriff-Muser||Havens Schatt||Georgetown, KY|
|Reserve||Noble Blue||Use the Ring LLC||Havens Schatt||Georgetown, KY|
|Green Hunter 3’6” Champion||Kindred||Kathy Chiaf||Jennifer Alfano||Ocala, FL|
|Reserve||Witness||David Glefke||Kelley Farmer||Wellington, FL|
|Green Hunter 3’3” Champion||Truly||Maarten Huygens||Danielle Menker||Wellington, FL|
|Reserve||Cortina||Julia McNerney||Havens Schatt||Georgetown, KY|
|Green Conformation Champion||Consent||David Glefke|