In her first major finals win, Emma Blumenkrantz, 16, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, took home all of the spoils after topping a field of 29 entries in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Finals, presented by HorseFlight on her own Collin W.
Eight were clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off over a course set by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. Blumenkrantz was fast and clear to take the win in 36.818 seconds. Gabriella Curry and Ciemusic Z, owned by GA Stables LLC, finished second as the only other double clear in 37.879 seconds. Third place went to Sydney Myers riding Myers Equestrian LLC’s Skara Glen’s Signature. They had four faults in the jump-off in 34.989 seconds.
“My horse jumped incredible,” said Blumenkrantz. “Going around the course it was really a great opportunity to let him go in some places, like from jumps two to three in the jump-off. I got to watch the first and second ones go. I stood at the gate and got an idea of how it rode and where you could make up time and where you have to check yourself. The hardest part was going to be the turn back to the double [combination], keeping him with me but not letting him cut off the rail, which sometimes he likes to do.”
Blumenkrantz has been riding Collin W, “the barn favorite,” for nearly two years.
“He’s been great bringing me from the Children’s Jumpers to here,” said Blumenkrantz of the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Vincenzo x Placido. “His hind end is powerful when you’re going around there. He helps you out everywhere, and he is a great horse.”
This is Blumenkrantz’s first big win and said it was a “great feeling” to stand in the winner’s circle.
“It was an incredible opportunity to even be able to show here,” she said. “It’s just such a great feeling, walking down the ramp and into the ring. Your horse is ready, and you’re ready, and you’ve worked all year to get here. Winning here gives me confidence going into the next one and knowing he’s going to be there for me and right there with me, ready to game on.”
Blumenkrantz was also named the Best Low Junior Jumper Rider, sponsored by Bunker Show Stables. The Best Low Amateur Jumper Rider was Caroline Michele Dugas.
North American League Finals are the culmination of the NAL’s year-long Series that includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. The NAL offers year-long series in five divisions: Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper, presented by EquiFit; Adult Jumper, presented by SmartPak; and Low Junior/Amateur Jumper, presented by HorseFlight. The NAL series conclude with year-end finals for those who accumulated the most points in their divisions over the course of the season.
Stella Propp and Zernike K Secure the Win in the $10,000 1.30-1.35m Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Classic
Capital Challenge Horse Show hosted the $10,000 1.30-1.35m Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Classic on Saturday evening. Stella Propp of New York, New York, and Aquitaine Equine’s Zernike K bested the field to earn the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Classic. Propp was also awarded The Congressional Cup, as well as the Best Medium Junior Jumper Rider, sponsored by Rosemont Farm.
Propp was the first rider in the class to successfully complete the first round fault-free. An additional three riders advanced to the jump-off to join Propp and Zernike K. Propp then led the way in the jump-off with a fast time of 37.460 seconds that could not be beat.
“For the first round I was honestly really nervous,” commented Propp. “I was watching the Low Junior/Amateur Jumper class before, and people were having some trouble. Although I was kind of freaking out internally, I was trying to hold it together, and my goal was to just go around and hopefully jump clear. I wanted to be consistent and have all my distances make sense so I wasn’t getting my horse into any trouble.”
She continued, “My plan that I discussed with my trainers for the jump-off was that I wanted to go fast and be neat around the turns but the main goal was to go clear. I tried my best to stay cool, calm, and collected, and get around those turns as fast as I could, but also focus on keeping the jumps up.”
Propp is in her final junior year, and she was excited to have her first win at Capital Challenge. The rider was thankful for trusted mount, Zernike K, to help her earn this victory.
“I got him about two winters ago in Wellington, and he has been unbelievable,” said Propp of the 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “I was definitely very nervous coming into the jumpers, and he was my first real jumper. I trust him so much and in classes like this. I feel like I can do anything with him, and I don’t have to be scared if I get into trouble because I know he’s going to be there to help in whatever way he possibly can. I am so thankful for him.”
Second-place honors went to Alexa Elle Lignelli aboard Hampton Green Farm LLC’s Darc Kiss Z with a jump-off time of 38.516. Kathryn Hall and her own All In 9 finished in third place after stopping the timers at 42.046 seconds.
Kathryn Hall was awarded the Best Medium Amateur Jumper Rider honors.
Final Results: $10,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Finals
1 Collin W, Emma Blumenkrantz: 0/0/36.818
2 Ciemusic Z, Gabriella Curry: 0/0/37.879
3 Skara Glen’s Signature, Sydney Myers: 0/4/34.989
4 Girl Scout, Alexa Elle Lignelli: 0/4/35.252
5 Huck, Lilly Goldstein: 0/4/36.249
6 Iselle van Orshof, Caia Watridge: 0/8/34.395
7 Skywalker, Lauren Rachuba: 0/10/46.778
8 Virginia ODF, Gabriella Curry: 0/EL
9 Kaprice DV, Nicole Rodriguez: 4/64.731
10 Eleanor 3, Taylor Landstrom: 4/65.045
11 Dutchess, Francesca Guidi: 4/65.066
12 Korino von Bueren, Anna Koenig: 4/65.444
Final Results: $10,000 Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
1 Zernike K, Stella Propp: 0/0/37.460
2 Darc Kiss Z, Alexa Elle Lignelli: 0/0/38.516
3 All In 9, Kathryn Hall: 0/0/42.046
4 RMF Retro, Alexandria Beneson: 0/4/38.038
5 Freedom, Augusta Iwasaki: 4/66.004
6 Diamaria, Grace Thames: 8/61.834
7 Gatsby, Laurel Walker: 12/66.186
8 Edison, Haleigh Landrigan: 27/83.697