GLADSTONE, N.J. — Aug. 18, 2019 — The $10,000 Mini Prix, sponsored by Horseflight was the featured event of the day at Monmouth at the Team. The popular hunter/jumper boutique competiition is held at Hamilton Farm, headquarters of the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation and former training grounds for the USET. Exhibitors, family and friends gathered in the hospitality tent to enjoy show jumping action accompanied by the music of Alison Kurtz & Company, Sourland Mountain Spirits, Flying Fish Brewery beer and italian fare from Chive & Thyme catering.
Sunday’s feature class consisted of 31 entries contesting Skip Bailey’s 1.30m track. Friday’s Welcome Stake winner, Pablo Mejia, returned with his champion mount, Questionnaire, as did second and third place winners Morgan Ward and Hunter Champey.
The first round allotted for 85.00 seconds and of the 31 combinations, an even 10 of those advanced to the jump-off track. Another nine of those riders saw only one rail separate them from the second round. At the completion of both courses, only two horse-and-rider pairings were double clear. While a tight time-allowed of 39.00 seconds in the jump-off proved to be an issue for many, 14-year-old Hunter Champey breezed through the timers clean in a blazing fast 36.697 seconds.
“This is my first grand prix win and it is a pretty amazing feeling because so many of the people I was up against in the class are very talented professionals,” Champey said. “This was a difficult course so I’m proud of both myself and of my amazing mare Caprice for performing our best, which would not be possible without everything my trainers and parents have done for me.”
Champey piloted both of her rides to the second round but found issue with Backstory after a tight rollback to fence two. She was one of three in the second phase to have a stop at the skinny jump. With one more shot, Champey returned with MDHT Equestrian LLC’s 12-year-old Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Jalisca Houtheem Z) Caprice and left nothing to chance.
“When I had the stop with my first horse, I came out of the turn pulling on the reins to the fence and that was where I made a mistake,” she explained. “So with Caprice, I came out of the turn and just kicked because I knew I would have to leave one out to make it work. Other than that, with a tight time allowed, I just did my best to keep a good flow while staying neat.”
Young professional Morgan Ward advanced all three of her mounts to the shortened course and had the honor of ribboning sixth, fourth, and second.
“I thought the first-round course was really inviting to be honest,” she said. “ I thought the jumps were a nice solid height and, because I’ve put these horses in this ring a few times, I knew what areas I needed to support them a bit.”
Ward and her six-year-old mount were the only other pair to produce a double clear as the duo clocked in at 38.694 seconds.
“This horse is phenomenal, he’s definitely one of the best horses I have in the barn right now,” she said of her sister, Lindsay Ward’s KWPN gelding, Contiki. “We went early in the jump-off so I wasn’t sure how the turn to the second fence would work out and I feel that’s where we lost some time, but he picked up speed and helped me out in several spots through the rest of the course.”
New mother Chelsea Moss made a victorious return to the horse show ring as she and Joseph Scalia’s/ Stormfront Stables LLC’s 10-year-old KWPN mare (Toulon x Anouk), Elpee, were awarded the third place ribbon after clocking only one time fault in 39.124 seconds.
“This is my first show back since the birth of our baby girl who is now seven weeks old,” Moss said.
“I made the choice to take the longer track to fence two but to keep my speed and take it on an angle instead of trying to do the inside turn that most did which is probably where I lost the time,” she continued. “I’m still extremely happy with our result because it is my first time back, and for anyone who has taken some time off riding, I would say to definitely get back into it because it has been so wonderful to be back.”
Final Results of the $10,000 1.30m Mini Prix, Presented by Horseflight:
|Horse / Rider / R1 Time | Faults / JO Time | Faults|
1. Caprice / Dakota Champey / 80.209 | 0 / 36.697 | 0
2. Contiki / Morgan Ward / 79.098 | 0 / 38.694 | 0
3. Elpee / Chelsea Moss / 80.296 | 0 / 39.124 | 1
4. Goteusi / Morgan Ward / 77.193 | 0 / 37.005 | 4
5. Froukjecara / Alexandria Desiderio / 84.570 | 0 / 43.213 | 9
6. Levin / Morgan Ward / 78.098 | 0 / 46.836 | 12
7. Backstory / Hunter Champey / 78.517 | 0 / 51.302 | 17
8. Maine Line Cache / Gillian Beale King / 80.298 | 0 / 67.425 | 37
9. Killbunny Vossilli / Gillian Beale King / 78.447 | 0 / RT
10. Eriana / Ronan McGuigan / 78.566 | 0 / EL
11. ESI VIENNA / Will Baker / 79.332 | 0 / EL
The day started with multiple classics for amateur and junior riders. Talented junior Hunter Champey took yet another victory as she claimed the winning title in the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Andy Kocher’s Hill Top Van Het Gavershof. Michael Mastice dominated the competition as he piloted Lexus to a successful win in both the morning’s $2,400 .90m Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by Zeus Scientific as well as the $1,500 1.0m Jumper Classic, sponsored by Red Oak Farm.
Each year, show co-owners, Michael Dowling and Tucker Ericson make a special presentation and donation to Equestrian Aid Foundation. The Equestrian Aid Foundation provides emergency, lifesaving financial grants to horsemen and women coping with loss of income due to catastrophic injury, illness or other hardship. They invest in the future of its recipients, giving them the resources to recover and thrive in the face of adversity. Marilou Case, member of the leadership team at the Equestrian Aid Foundation, was on hand for the presentation.
“On behalf of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, we are grateful to receive this most generous check,” Case said. “We’ll be putting it to good use. We’ve expanded our horizons now to also assist with disaster recovery and emergency relief to try to help horse people rebuild their lives after catastrophic loss.”
Sunday breakfast was sponsored by Red Oak Farm. Thanks to Autumn Elizabeth Apparel for providing custom hats to all Sunday class winners.
Monday, the final day of the 2019 edition of Monmouth at the Team, features equitation and hunters.