Equitation riders took to the Kentucky Horse Park Friday afternoon in the StoneLea Ring for the 2021 Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Showcasing some of the top young junior athletes, the competition was stiff as several horse-and-rider combinations competed in several medal classes to acquire points towards 2021 indoors season finals. In the end, Mimi Gochman rode Heroy Von De Hei to top honors in the ASPCA Maclay, while Taylor Cawley dominated the 3’3’’ Medal classes aboard Quax, riding to the top of the class in both the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Medal and the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal.
Gochman is a seasoned equitation rider, earning top placings at several of the major equitation finals including the ASPCA Maclay and the WIHS Equitation Finals. She piloted her trusty mount Heroy Von De Hei, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Gochman Sporthorse LLC, to the top of the class in Friday’s ASPCA Maclay. After a few weeks off, Gochman spoke highly of her long-time equitation partner and was thrilled to return to Lexington, Kentucky to secure the first place honors.
Cawley made a splash in Friday’s equitation medal classes, delivering two picture-perfect rounds in the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Medal and the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal aboard Quax, an 18-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Kimberly Griffiths. Over the course of nine fences, Cawley demonstrated fluidity and ease to each distance that would push her to the head of the class in the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Medal. Cawley is an up-and-coming equitation contender and has continually impressed judges in the THIS Medal and the 3’3″ Medal classes throughout the past year.
Returning to the arena with a blue ribbon already under her belt, Cawley once again wowed the judges, this time in the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal. Up against a ring of top junior athletes, Cawley maintained her momentum with another seemingly effortless round which would help secure her second blue ribbon of the day, concluding equitation competition in the StoneLea Ring Friday evening.
Hunter competition will return to the StoneLea Ring Saturday, May 15, beginning at 7:30 a.m. featuring children, junior and amateur competitors.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Mimi Gochman – ASPCA Maclay winner
On the course:
“I think the course was nicely complicated. They added a ton of end jumps and a jump in the middle and I think that adds some excitement to it and makes it a little bit different. [Heroy Von de Hei] was awesome. I haven’t shown in a few weeks so I was off a little bit but he felt great. He helped me through it and kept his calm. I think the course was complicated enough and there were plenty of inside turns and little things to maneuver through.”
On her win:
“I don’t think it was my smoothest course ever but I think with [Hero Von de Hei’s] help and being able to execute the portions of the course well got me the win. My prior experience helped me be able to continue on even if I didn’t think something was perfect. He was insanely good and I was really happy.”
On her plans next:
“I am going to go to the [Upperville Colt & Horse Show] next in Virginia, and then I will do some jumper stuff in Europe this summer. Then I will come back for the Hamptons and Kentucky Summer possibly, and I’m going to Michigan this summer.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“I love it here. I didn’t realize how much I missed it last year. I didn’t come at all last year and it felt weird but now I’m so glad we’re back. The weather is beautiful, the field is always great. We don’t even lunge anymore, we just hack out in the field – it’s something new for the horses and it keeps it interesting. The horses love the space and the rings are beautiful with great footing, the stalls are peaceful with great grazing. Kentucky is one of our favorite shows and the horses love it here. I’m so glad we could come back this year!”
Place / Rider / Horse
1. Mimi Gochman / Heroy Von de Hei
2. Caroline Mawhinney / Maximus TMF
3. Olivia Sweetnam / Copperstone
4. Sofia Cady / Konfessions
5. Bennett Kitchens / Clearview
6. Gabrielle Morin / Worthy
7. Autumn Bradbury / Contefino 6
8. Jaylee Mcaninch / Corvin CWF