Traverse City, Mich. – The 2020 Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast concluded on Monday, August 25, with Small Occasion and Augusta Iwasaki claiming the Overall Grand Championship in the 3’6’’ section with a total score of 258.90 points. Riley Hogan and Keebler earned the Overall Grand Championship in the 3’3’’ section with a total score of 253.50 points.
Overall Grand Champion 3’6”
With the picturesque Flintfields Horse Park setting the scene, Augusta Iwasaki (Calabasas, Calif.) was in fine form throughout the two days of competition, which included a classic round, a handy round, and an under saddle round. Iwasaki and Small Occasion, the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare she owns with Elizabeth Reilly and Chris M. Iwasaki, expertly navigated Andy Christiansen’s (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) courses with the help of trainer Chris M. Iwasaki. They accumulated weighted scores of 106.40 in the classic, 100.00 in the handy, and 52.50 in the under saddle to earn the title as the Overall Grand Champion 3’6”, receiving the Monarch International Perpetual Trophy.
“[Small Occasion] is seriously the most fun horse to ride. Everyone that rides her tells me how fun she is,” said Iwasaki. “I was a step late on a lead change but she caught it and was really good both days. She’s a very special hunter – she always goes in and wants to do well.”
The combination also earned the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under 3’6”section championship and were awarded a Perpetutal Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Stewart, Jr. for their win. Small Occasion also secured the 2020 Best Mare award as the top-scoring mare of the West Coast competition, receiving the War Dress Memorial Trophy, donated by Cleta S. Turbow and Pamela J. Rush.
Capturing the Overall Reserve Grand Champion honor in the 3’6” section was Grace Debney (Hampden, Mass.) and Quimby, Temple Equestrian LLC’s nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding. They accumulated weighted scores of 99.60 in the classic, 104.00 in the handy, and 54.30 in the under saddle to earn the title with the help of trainer Stacey Weiss. The combination also earned the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under 3’6″ section championship and were presented the Perpetual Trophy donated by Geri and Whitney Rope.
Overall Grand Champion 3’3”
The Overall Grand Champion in the 3’3’’ section was Riley Hogan (Warrenton, Va.) and Keebler, Donald Stewart’s eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding. Over the course of two days, the pair also secured the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’3’’ section championship, earning weighted scores of 102.00 in the classic, 103.20 in the handy round, and 48.30 in the under saddle. The pair rode to a total score of 253.50 to clinch the Overall Grand Champion 3’3” title with the help of trainer Donald Stewart. Keebler and Hogan received the Montserrat Perpetual Trophy donated by the Sonoma Horse Park.
“[Keebler] has only really been doing the hunters for three months or so. He is already a star! He was imported in December 2019 and Don [Stewart] saw how well he jumped and decided to take a shot in the hunter ring with him,” said Hogan. “It certainly paid off. His jumping style is so textbook. He always stays the same and goes in there every day with his game face on.”
Janet Hedges (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Casillas CH, her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, claimed the Overall Reserve Grand Championship in the 3’3’’ section, earning weighted scores of 93.60 in the classic, 100.80 in the handy, and 48.40 in the under saddle. Trained by Kenneth Langmeier, the combination also earned the reserve championship in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’3” section and rode to an overall score of 242.80.
2020 Section Champions at the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast
The Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’6” section champion was Sophia Mitchell (Wrightsville Beach, N.C.) and Chevito, their 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding. Trained by Valerie Renihan, the pair earned a total of 255.90 points and were presented with a Perpetual Trophy donated by Christina Schlusemeyer.
The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 3’6” section champion was Christopher Coberley (Temperance, Mich.) and No Introduction, Fox Meadow Farm’s 12-year-old Warmblood gelding. Trained by Polly Howard, the pair earned a total of 251.30 points and were presented with a Perpetual Trophy donated by Pam and Wayne Baker.
In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under 3’3” section, champion honors were awarded to Sterling Malnik (Ocean Ridge, Fla.) and Rockette, Kaitlyn Williams and Ramble on Farm’s 12-year-old Warmblood mare. Trained by Bill Schaub, the pair earned a total of 251.60 points.
In the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under 3’3” section, champion honors were awarded Raina Swani (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Knightly, Brendan Williams’s 11-year-old Warmblood mare. Trained by Brendan Williams, the pair earned a total of 250.10 points.
The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 3’3” section champion title was awarded to Elizabeth Nestor (St. Louis, Mo.) and Covert, her 11-year-old Warmblood gelding. Trained by Katana Kennedy O’Brien, the pair earned a total of 246.60 points.
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Photos by Elaine Wessel/Phelps Media Group