Edited Press Release
A combined 3’3”/3’6” Amateur-Owner Hunter division concluded with a California split victory for Los Angeles, CA’s Samantha Sommers riding Seaside and Libbie Gordon, of Statesville, NC, aboard Montauk. Sommers and Seaside delivered top trips across the board with three firsts, one second, and one fourth to take the first champion title.
“We’ve had a great time up here in Michigan so far,” said Sommers. “This is my first summer here and I’m so glad I listened to my friends who were telling me about it and decided to come. The courses in our class were especially fun today, and I really enjoyed showing in the main hunter ring.”
Sommers and Seaside have been paired together for over a year, and she has been learning plenty from the experienced 15-year-old Warmblood gelding (Argentinus x Lindsay 10).
“I have been riding him since last year, and he helped me step up to this division where we’ve been learning a lot together,” Sommers added. “Both he and Montauk were very consistent across the entire division this weekend with their placings and their way of going, and I think that came across in their wins.”
Gordon and her long-time partner Montauk, a 13-year-old Warmblood captured the second of the tricolor ribbons after also earning themselves three first place ribbons along with a second and a third place to round out their scores.
“I previously competed with Montauk in the junior hunters, and once I aged out we moved into the amateur-owners,” Gordon detailed. “We have definitely grown together quite a bit. When I got him he was a jumper but he had a nice hunter style, and so we put in the work to transfer him to the hunters.”
Gordon also commented on the uniqueness of the courses, which she felt attributed to her horse’s success.
“The courses today rode beautifully, and it is so nice to have different aspects added into the track,” she stated. “I think it helps keep the horses awake and engaged instead of simply cantering over the same course over-and-over.”