By Kate Pettersen and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Sunday was the final day of competition for the fourth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival, and Julia Weiss and her own Catena 5 ended the week on a high note. The pair earned the championship title in the Adequan® Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division after receiving three first place ribbons.
Weiss, of Amagansett, NY, and Catena 5 have successfully showed in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation. Originally, Weiss rode Catena 5 in the Low and Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers but recently discovered that the mare also excels in the hunter and equitation rings. The pair won the Bruno Delgrange Palm Beach Adult Medal during Week 3 of WEF and are now rising to the top of the hunter divisions.
“One day I wasn’t able to make it to my jumper class because of work, so I showed her in the hunters instead and she won two classes, so now she’s my hunter!” said Weiss of the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare by Calido I. “Last summer in Kentucky we did both the hunters and jumpers, but then we made the official switch to the hunters last year at WEF.”
The duo proved to be a competitive hunter match and won three out of the four over fences classes in the division. Weiss is going into her fifteenth year riding with Valerie Renihan at Findlay’s Ridge LLC.
“Since she is just coming back from an injury, we were just kind of feeling it out yesterday and then today she felt a lot smoother,” explained Weiss. “I think every time we go in the show ring it’s about making sure that she’s taking her time and not thinking that it’s a jumper class. She really was so good both days.”
Weiss is looking forward to the pair’s first full year doing the hunters together and hopes to stay consistent with Catena 5 this season.
“We started this week in the 3’3” hunters because she is just coming back, but we will hopefully move up to the 3’6” division,” commented Weiss. “I would love to qualify for the night class on her, go to Devon, and maybe enter some derbies.”
Margaret Oberkircher and Southfields Farm LLC’s Patriot took home the reserve champion title. Oberkircher, of Collegeville, PA, and Patriot received two firsts as well as second and sixth place ribbons.
Hunter, jumper, and equitation competition will start again for the fifth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival on Wednesday, February 10, and continue through Sunday, February 14.