By Kate Pettersen and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Libbie Gordon, of Statesville, NC, rode her own Montauk to the championship title in the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 Division on Saturday in the Rost Arena. The pair received 23.5 points in the division with two firsts, a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth place finish.
Gordon and Montauk, trained by Ashland Farms, secured another tricolor ribbon after also receiving the championship honors during week five of WEF. Although the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding is still fairly new to the hunter discipline, he and Gordon are always a pair to watch when they enter the show ring.
“I got him during indoors of 2019 after he had just been imported by Ashland Farms,” explained Gordon. “He had been doing the jumpers in Europe for a while and when he came over, my trainers, Ken and Emily Smith, thought he would make a great hunter so I tried him. I ended up falling in love with him, and we’ve been working on ‘junior hunter-ing’ ever since!”
The pair caught the judge’s eye and dominated the second day of the division. Gordon’s smooth, confident ride and Montauk’s impressive jump resulted in the duo claiming two blue ribbons in both over fences classes.
“He went amazing today,” described Gordon. “He was so relaxed, and that really allowed him to jump up to me. He was nice and smooth across the ground so when he got to the base of the jump, he just fired off. I love his jump. It just gives you the best feeling in the air.”
After WEF, Gordon is looking forward to continuing her mount’s successful hunter career.
“I want to keep being consistent and putting in good rounds,” commented Gordon. “He hasn’t done the junior hunters, or even the hunters at all, for very long so hopefully by being consistent we’ll end up at indoors and Devon.”
Reserve champion was earned by Isha Swani and Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Snippet. Swani, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, rode Snippet to two seconds, two thirds, and a fourth place ribbon.