Temecula, Calif. – May 22, 2021 – Following an exciting first round of unique equitation competition on Friday, eager teams returned to the Grand Prix Arena at Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National I, presented by Interactive Mortgage, for the second and final round of the $20,000 Professional/Amateur Equitation Challenge Cup. The cup was anyone’s for the taking as professionals, juniors, and amateurs alike showcased their best horsemanship skills. Adding incentive for the riders to vie for a top score, the top 12 riders returned to the ring for where the overall high point rider of the weekend would be decided. After two days of fierce competition, it was ultimately Jenny Karazissis, Skylar Wireman, and Shiloh Roseboom, of Team 1 who prevailed taking home the inaugural championship title. Wireman added a cherry on top besting the field of 12 and laying claim to the coveted title of top equitation rider.
Following a hunter-type equitation course in Round 1, Round 2 featured an advanced jumper-type equitation course with a time allowed measured at 350 meters/minute. Guilherme Jorge’s 13-effort course was judged on riding style, technique, and accuracy as the riders were asked to execute an efficient and prompt track. Of the 31 riders, Kaitlin Campbell and SWS Training & Sales’, 19-year-old Warmblood gelding, Interline H pioneered the technical track which featured an in-and-out, a triple combination, and a swedish oxer. The duo laid down a score of 74.00 setting a baseline for the rest of the pack.
Thanks to Jenny Karazissis’ homerun score of 92.00 earned aboard Lisa Hankin’s 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Picnic Friday’s leading team was once again strategically positioned for a favorable outcome in the final. In addition to Karazissis’ impressive score, Skylar Wireman also aimed for the stars with her style and efficiency earning a whopping score of 90.00 in her second round on Haven Farms’ 23-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood, Hot Pants pushing the trio even further into the lead with her total score of 176.00. To complete the top-scoring team, Shiloh Roseboom and Enchantment Farms LLC’s 16-year-old Warmblood gelding, Venice earned a score of 85.5 in their second round to give them a total of 165.50. Clinching some of the highest-scoring rides of the evening on top of their lead on Friday, Team 1 took home the Professional/Amateur Equitation Challenge Cup honors with a total score of 515.50.
Team 6, composed of Savannah Jenkins on fellow teammate, Madison Sanders’, 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Nostalgic, Madison Sanders on her own 11-year-old Zangersheide, Calvandani Z, and Lauren Kolbe on Valerie Downing’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, Fritske, returned to the arena with their sights set on earning the highest podium position possible. Sitting in third place after Friday’s first round, the team was on their game for the final phase of team competition, earning a combined total score of 477.00 to edge themselves past Team 5 on the leaderboard. Kolbe lead the team in Round 2 scoring an 84.00, while Jenkins was awarded a 70.00, and Sanders earned a 75.00.
Taylor Loew and her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Cassini JR. came into Saturday’s competition as the highest-scoring individual rider in Friday’s first round with a score of 90.00. Eager to score well for her team and vie for a chance at the individual blue ribbon, Loew showcased her effortless and effective riding style earning a score of 76.00. Megan Buscema and her own 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Elco were awarded a 72.00 by the judges, while Allison Kroff and Congham Club, the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Redfield Farm received finished out their two days of competition with an overall score of 170.00. Though the team put forth a solid and consistent effort, their day two scores were not high enough to hang into second place and the team finished the competition with a third place podium.
To close out the equitation competition for the day, the top 12 riders returned to the arena after the Team competition prize-giving for another chance at a blue ribbon: the Individual Equitation Championship. Bringing their A-game once again, the highest-scoring riders navigated Jorge’s third course with as much finesse and ease as possible, aiming to showcase their technical know-how around the track. Once again, Wireman showed her skills turning in a third and final score of 89.00, bringing her three-round total to 265.00.
Competition will resume at the Temecula Valley National I Sunday, May 23, featuring the $2,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Voltaire Designs to close out the first week.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Jenny Karazissis – $20,000 Professional/Amateur Equitation Challenge Cup 1st Place Team and 2nd Place Individual
On how they formed their team:
“I will take credit for that! Way in advance, as soon as I found out they were having this class, I reached out to Skylar, my first choice, and Shiloh also and they both were available. I am so glad I thought ahead because I am sure they would have been snapped up and I would have been sorry!”
On the team’s plan for the second day of competition:
“Yesterday I had a lower score and Skylar [Wireman] had a higher score than me, but she had a rail so they deducted. My teammates really pulled it off and coming in leading was very exciting. I think we all knew that we couldn’t just cruise around and try and hold that lead, we really had to go for it. I feel like we all did and it really paid off.”
On her second place finish in the individual competition:
“The individual competition was really important to me as well and also bringing this young horse along, he was just so good. Yesterday, I had a little bit of a bobble in my last bending line but today he just nailed it in the second round. In the jump-off, I knew that I could really do whatever I wanted and he was going to be there for me. So I met fence one the way I wanted to, so I went up in seven and he gave it to me and he was just an absolute dreamboat to ride.”
On competing during the Temecula Valley National Horse Show Week I:
“I am thrilled to be here! It has been a very exciting week so far. We are here next week and then also for the Memorial Day standalone derby. The footing is fantastic, the social aspect is beautiful, the VIP and the friendly vibe, it is all really great. I am happy to be here! And this class too, I am so thankful they had it and it was a lot of fun!”
“He is actually kind of a green horse, today is his sixth birthday. He is very special, he does the hunters, equitation, derbies, everything. His owner Lisa Hankin is such a lovely owner and understands that the horses need the experience of a professional bringing him along. She is over the top excited that I chose him to do this class, so I am thrilled.”
Skylar Wireman – $20,000 Professional/Amateur Equitation Challenge Cup 1st Place Team and 1st Place Individual
On how she chose her mount for the evening:
“I have Hot Pants here. I’ve done lots of medal finals with him. Lisa Halterman is gracious enough to lend him to me, so I was very thankful she let me ride him for this special class. He is truly a special horse.”
On her strategy for the second phase of competition:
“For me, I went late in the class today, so I got to watch my other teammate, Jenny [Karazissis] go first and she laid it down with a 92, so my plan was to have just a good, solid round.”
On her strategy as both an individual and a team member:
“For me, it’s mostly just about having fun. It is a big team event, so I was just having fun and doing my best as well for the team. When it came to the third round, there was the first line which could be seven or eight strides and I decided to take the risk and do the seven. I knew that Jenny had just gone and she had done really, really good, so the pressure was on to do just as good as Jenny.”
On competing at the Nilforushan Equisport Events shows:
“I absolutely love showing here. This class was so fun and I was so excited when I saw it! When Jenny [Karazissis] called me about it, I was like, ‘yay!’ The footing is great, I love the courses. I absolutely love this course designer, he is one of my favorites. Ali [Nilforushan] has done an amazing job with this facility and it is really beautiful. The social aspects and the happy hour every night, it really is just a fun place you want to stay late, hang out and just be here!”
Shiloh Roseboom – $20,000 Professional/Amateur Equitation Challenge Cup 1st Place Team
On her mount, Venice:
“My horse’s name is Venice and I chose him for this class because he knows his job and he knows what he is supposed to do. He just takes me around even when I don’t know what I am doing.”
On her strategy today:
“My strategy was just to have a good round. I was really nervous going in because both of my teammates got 90’s, but I just wanted to have a smooth, nice round.”
On showing at Galway Downs:
“This is one of my favorite venues in California. I love the footing and it is just a fun place to be!”
$20,000 Professional/Amateur Equitation Challenge Cup
Team 1 – 515.50 points
Jenny Karazissis and Picnic
Skylar Wireman and Hot Pants
Shiloh Roseboom and Venice
Team 6 – 477.00 points
Savannah Jenkins and Nostalgic
Madison Sanders and Calvandani Z
Lauren Kolbe and Fritske
Megan Buscema and Elco
Taylor Loew and Cassini JR.
Allison Kroff and Congham Club