Wilmington, Ohio – Luke Rinehart of Westfield, IN, rode Cavalli to the win in the North American League (NAL) Children’s Hunter Final, on Monday, September 28, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH.
Rinehart was one of 29 young riders to contest the class after qualifying for the year-end final by accumulating points in NAL Children’s Hunter competition throughout the year. The 13-year-old led the class from beginning to end after earning a score of 86.50 in the first round and an 86.00 in the second round, for a 172.50 total.
Second place with scores of 80.00 and 82.50 for a 162.50 total went to Ava Tzioufas of Inverness, IL, riding Expecto Patronum. Olivia Galley of Barrington, IL, finished in third with scores of 80.50, 81.50, and a 162.00 total.
“I did not think coming in that I would be first!” said Rinehart, who trains with his parents, Richard and Catherine of Rinehart Farm. “I thought I’d get more like the top 12 – maybe sixth or seventh – so I was very excited how it turned out. It feels fantastic.
“I thought my first round was probably the better of the two rounds,” continued Luke Rinehart of his performances over the courses designed by Ken Krome. “It was a good, solid round, and I was a lot more nervous coming into the second round.”
Rinehart earned his victory aboard Cavalli, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Taylor Johnson.
“Cavalli’s a great horse,” said Rinehart of the horse that he’s leased from Johnson for the past few years. “I started him out in the 2’6”. He’s a great horse. He has a lot of professional training and experience, and I’m so lucky to have him. I’m very thankful for him, for my family – who are my trainers – and just everyone who helped out – the Johnson family, Taylor, my horse show friends.”
This year marked the middle school student’s first appearance at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, but Rinehart hopes it’s not his last.
“It’s a perfect show,” said Rinehart. “I spent a lot of my time riding at home practicing for CCHS; I was pretty nervous too, but I was very excited when I came here. I got here, and it turned out great!”
Click here for full results of the NAL Children’s Hunter Final.
In addition to the NAL Children’s Hunter Final, Monday’s competition at the Capital Challenge Horse Show also featured the start of the professional hunter divisions and four jumper welcome classes, with wins going to:
- Leigh Nanda of Wilmette, IL, and El Casper in the NAL Children’s Jumper Welcome.
- Phoenix Hill of Eastlake, OH, and Skys Burnin Blue in the NAL Adult Jumper Welcome.
- Ellie Bruder of Argyle, TX, and Avisee du Moulinet in the NAL Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome.
- Grace Debney of Hampden, MA, and Darc Kiss Z in the Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome.
The NAL offers year-long series in five divisions: Children’s Hunters, Adult Hunters, Children’s Jumpers, presented by EquiFit; Adult Jumpers, presented by SmartPak; and Low Junior/Amateur Jumper, presented by HorseFlight. The NAL series conclude with year-end finals for those who accumulated the most points in their divisions over the course of the season.
The NAL qualifying season runs from September 1 through August 31. NAL qualifying classes are open to all competitors, but only current members are awarded points. By joining the NAL, riders can accumulate the points necessary to qualify for the finals. Annual memberships are only $40 per rider. Further information on the NAL is available by calling 717-867-5643, emailing NAL@Ryegate.com or visiting www.ryegate.com. Follow the NAL on Facebook here.
Competition at the 2020 Capital Challenge Horse Show continues on Tuesday, beginning with the professional hunter divisions at 8 a.m.
About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 27th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by the World Equestrian Center, sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn, the 2020 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show continues through October 4 at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, OH. The 10 days of competition will include prestigious equitation events, jumper divisions, the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals, the $25,000 3’ and 3’3” Green Hunter North American Championships, and more, with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional divisions.