October 10, 2021 – Upper Marlboro, MD – Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, California, rode Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Commentary to the Grand Junior Hunter 3’6” Championship on Sunday, October 10, to conclude the 2021 Capital Challenge Horse Show, held at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Iwasaki and Commentary first earned the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 championship, sponsored by Three Ships LLC, before being crowned Grand Champion. The pair earned two blue ribbons over fences, a second place in the stake class, and an additional first place in the under saddle.
“I thought my rides were really solid and consistent,” explained Iwasaki. “I think it’s important in these types of competitions because you only have three jumping classes, so I just really wanted to be consistent.”
This week was Iwasaki’s first time showing Commentary, and the pair proved to be a beautiful match. Iwasaki piloted Commentary to scores of 86.5, 88.5, and 90.5 over fences.
“He was so fun to ride,” said Iwasaki of the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding. “He put his best foot forward every time we went into the ring. I actually just rode him for the first time earlier this week. I’ve seen him show a few times with his owner, Ella Bikoff, and I’ve always really liked him.
“It’s challenging to get on a new horse and try to do the best that you can,” she continued. “I think that only makes you a better rider, to be able to get on different horses and ride them the way they need to be ridden.”
Iwasaki is no stranger to Capital Challenge and the winner’s circle. The rider has successfully been competing at this event since she was riding ponies.
“I think it’s super special to win here,” commented Iwasaki. “To be the overall grand champion is an amazing award. I’ve seen a lot of people that I really look up to get that award, so I’m really excited.”
For the Grand Junior Hunter 3’6” Championship, sponsored by Shadow Ridge, Iwasaki was presented with the Spontaneous Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Listrani Family. Iwasaki was also given the Best Junior Rider Award, sponsored by Karen Healey.
Finishing as the reserve champion in Small Junior Hunter 16-17 was Libbie Gordon aboard her own High Society.
The champion of the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under division, sponsored by New England Farm, was Sterling Malnik on her own Coronation. Ariana Marnell piloted Ocean Road, owned by Marnell Sport Horses, to the reserve champion title.
Brooke Morin rode Troy Christiansen’s For Fun to champion in the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 division, sponsored by Beacon Hill Show Stables. Iwasaki and Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Cabrio received the reserve champion honors in the division.
Raina Swani and Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Small Occasion earned the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under championship title. Maddie Tosh rode Dr. Betsee Parker’s Cameo to reserve champion.
The EMO Best Trip of the Show for the Junior Hunter 3’6” went to Sterling Malnik and her own In Writing with an impressive score of 92.
Later in the day, Iwasaki also topped the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’6” Challenge on Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s Cabrio. The pair won with a high score of 87.33.