Upperville, Va. – June 13, 2021 – On the final day of the 2021 Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), Junior Hunter competition concluded as riders vied for their division’s top prizes. Mimi Gochman and her two mounts, Catch Me and Commentary, were ultimately crowned Co-Grand Champion Junior Hunter, receiving the Marianna Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Payne. Gochman also claimed the title of Best Child Rider on a Junior Horse.
Gochman and Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s 10-year-old gelding, Commentary, showcased beautiful style in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division. Winning three over fence classes and the under saddle, the pair earned the division championship with 30 points. Following that was the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division, where Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 14-year-old gelding, Catch Me, garnered the division championship. Winning three over fence classes and the under saddle, the pair finished with 30 points as well.
Catch Me and Commentary are no strangers to the winner’s circle. Winning numerous championships with Scott Stewart and Becky Gochman, Catch Me has become a top Junior Hunter for Mimi. Gochman and her new mount Commentary have started off their first week of partnership well and she gives the horse lots of credit for keeping his cool in this very unique environment.
The award for the Best Child Rider on a Junior Horse went to Gochman for the third year in a row for her outstanding performances throughout the Junior Hunter divisions. She also showed Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Critic’s Choice in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division and Sara Hogan’s Hamilton in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division.
Alexander Alston was awarded the Best Junior Hunter Rider Award Sunday. Alston was reserve champion with his 13-year-old mount, *Cash* owned by Alston Alliance LLC, in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division. He impressed the judges with his smooth and classic style, which earned him Best Junior Hunter Rider honors.
Sunday marked the conclusion of the 2021 Upperville Colt & Horse Show, with hunter riders being recognized throughout the week for their efforts under the oaks. The entire team will be working hard as they prepare to continue to host both international and local athletes at the prestigious and historic event in 2022.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Mimi Gochman – 2021 Grand Champion Junior Hunter/Leading Junior Hunter Rider
On Catch Me:
“He is the nicest horse to ride. He is perfect, of course. He is the smoothest, has the best mouth, he always gives it his all, his jump feels so good and you always know that he is ready to perform, even if there is no one in the stands. He wants to show everyone that he is the best. I really just have to sit there and lead him in the right direction, he knows his job and he is one of the smartest horses that I have ever ridden. He really knows his job and wants to win.”
On the Handy Round with Catch Me:
“He is one of the easiest horses to turn. He is always always looking for the next jump. I did not do very well in the handy round today, but that was because of me, not him! He also always jumps the trot jump like it’s a 3’6” vertical. Doing all of the tight turns makes it more interesting for him too, so those rounds are always fun.”
“His barn name is Venti. He is really awesome and is owned by my friend, Elle Bikoff. They got him at the beginning of WEF this year and they clicked right away. Unfortunately she was injured recently, so they let me have the ride on him. I just got on him for the first time last week and it is my first time showing him here! He is smooth with a good mouth and quite handy. I think we got along quite well. It can sometimes be hard to figure out a new horse but I think that we figured each other out and it ended up working out really well.”
On Commentary’s Performance:
“I think that he was awesome this week. [The Parker Ring] can be kind of tricky with everything going on in the middle but he kept his cool and jumped great.”
On showing at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show:
“I love this show. It really features the best of both worlds. [The Parker Ring] is so interesting and keeps the horses alert and jumping well. The jumper side is so competitive. The rings are beautiful here – it makes it hard not to have a great week.”