Amateur-Owner riders took to the StoneLea Ring Saturday morning at the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for the title of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion. Awarded to the competitor with the most points accumulated in the Amateur-Owner 3’6”, Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35, and the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36+ Hunter divisions, Becky Gochman and Mythical were the pair to come out on top to be crowned Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Gochman’s longtime mount, Mythical, a 17-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, first impressed the judges Friday morning with his eager expression, terrific jump and even pace throughout the course, which would help them to win both of the over fences classes with two high scores of an 85 and 83. These two scores in addition to a second place finish on the flat helped set the pace for the remainder of the Amateur-Owner hunter division Saturday and placed Gochman and Mythical in contention for the Grand Champion honors.
The Amateur-Owner competitors concluded Saturday morning, each hopeful to claim the coveted title. Gochman and Mythical proved to be a force to be reckoned with as the dynamic duo started the Amateur-Owner 3’3’’ Hunter division with a high score of 86 to secure a first place over fences. Judges continued to be impressed with the pair as they earned a score of 84 to claim a second place finish in the handy round, clinching the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion tricolor. Gochman and Mythical are no strangers to the winners circle, as they have claimed several Grand Champion awards throughout their time competing together. Gochman spoke highly of her longtime partner, Mythical, and is grateful to have such a special horse in their barn.
Hunter competition will return to the StoneLea Ring Sunday at 8 a.m. with the highly anticipated USHJA National Hunter Derby followed by the USHJA International Hunter Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Becky Gochman – Grand Amateur Owner Hunter Champion
“Mythical is not only my longtime partner at 16 years of age, he has carried both my girls [Sophie and Mimi Gochman] and extended members of our family like my kid’s friends like when they come and want to ride a horse for the first time. He is the love of our barn. When he lies down you can give him a big kiss, he’s like a big puppy dog.”
On earning Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion:
“I was a little nervous coming into this show because I hadn’t shown for quite a long time. I only did a couple of shows at WEF. Truthfully, I felt like I was getting a little burned out with showing, I have done it for so long but I feel like I had a new spirit when I came into Kentucky. The springtime has been beautiful. I just felt like it was the icing on the cake and Mythical and I had a blast. He jumped up, he put on wings a few times. He knows what he is doing and I think he had a blast as well. I am very thankful for Kentucky showgrounds and their beautiful couress and jumps. It was a real thrill to be here. It was a great day.”
On her future plans:
“We had planned to go to the [Devon Horse Show] so we were only doing this one week here, and then the horses will go back to their New Jersey home to Rivers Edge, and then we will head to Upperville in about three weeks. We are going to [Traverse City Horse Shows] and the girls [Sophie and Mimi Gochman] are going to Europe and we are looking forward to a nice summer show season. We are very thankful that things are looking in the right direction all the way around.”
On the Kentucky Spring Horse Show:
“This is always a favorite show of mine. To me it represents true spring with all of the flowers and you see the foals in the field. When I am flying into the Lexington airport it is one of my favorite views to see all of the stables. It’s such horse country here that I feel like that vibe just extends into everybody that loves horses. It’s just always held a special place in my heart and I love being a part of this show. The horses are thrilled with the grass here, you see so many people grazing their horses and loving on their horses. It’s just a happy place. Kentucky means a lot to myself and my family. We’ve been coming here for such a long time so it’s really sweet to be back here.”