Schaefer and In the Know Steal the Traverse City Spotlight in $50,000 Performance Horse Final

Samantha Schaefer and In The Know. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

Securing big wins in hunter championships was not initially on In The Know’s agenda when he came into Samantha Schaefer’s barn. Six years ago he was purchased to do the equitation, but he has stepped into the hunter ring in dramatic fashion since then, taking the win in Friday’s $50,000 Performance Horse Final during the second-annual running of the Traverse City Hunter & Derby Finals.

“‘Spyder’ was actually purchased to be my sister’s equitation horse,” Schaefer said of Madeline Schaefer’s 13-year-old Warmblood gelding by Arkansas. “He actually did that job for about a year and a half and along the way we started to work in some international hunter derbies and high performance. He did it all really well. She bonded with another horse in the barn and Spyder became my derby and high-performance horse. I’ve been able to create a great partnership with him and he loves his job.”

Samantha Schaefer and In The Know. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Leading through the entire Final, held at 3’3”, 3’6”, 3’9”, and 4’ fence heights, Schaefer and her reliable partner recorded a high score of 91 in the first round, then returned and replicated that score for an overall 182 and the win.

“He’s truly a show horse and I’ve said that since he was seven years old,” Shaefer continued. “He really gets it. He wants to win. I think he gets better when it’s more important or I add a little extra pressure. He thrives on that. We have mutual respect for each other. He’s a special horse all around. He’s great and he knows it. He’s the cocky quarterback, and we go with it.

“He just has this softness,” Schaefer continued about how In The Know truly stood out among top hunter competitors Friday afternoon. “Everything looks the same when he goes around. Our partnership plays into that because I trust him completely. Overall the fluidity and smoothness of the rounds helped us win.”

Like many hunter riders, Schaefer and her team have spent a bit of time in Traverse City and were overjoyed to come back and compete in the Traverse City Hunter & Derby Finals. “I love Traverse City,” she concluded. “It’s one of my favorite shows of the year. We came back with 13 horses. We have the incentive to jump the Hunter Finals but we also love the show. We focused on the ones that could really be competitive in the Junior and Amateur Finals as well as the Performance and Open Derby.”

Nick Haness claimed second place aboard Reese’s, owned by West Coast Equine Partners LLC on a two-round total of 179, while Jacob Pope captured third with Forget Me Not Farm’s Unbelievable with a 178.25 total score.

Final Results: $50,000 Performance Horse Final

1. In The Know / Samantha Schaefer / Madeline Schaefer / 91 + 91 = 182
2. Reese’s / Nick Haness / West Coast Equine Partners LLC / 90 + 89 = 179
3. Unbelievable / Jacob Pope / Forget Me Not Farm / 88.25 + 90 = 178.25
4. Counselor / Jacob Pope / Judgment Farms LLC / 88 + 87.5 = 175.5
5. San Pedro 15 / Jacob Pope / Donald Stewart / 88.5 + 86.5 = 175
6. G. Eleven / Jacob Pope / Donald Stewart / 86.5 + 88= 174.5
7. Testify / Greg Crolick / Jon Cotton / 88.75 + 85 = 173.75
8. Philadelphia Story / Samantha Schaefer / The Lignelli Family / 87.5 + 83 = 170.5
9. Catwalk / Greg Crolick / Renaud Farm LLC / 86.25 + 84 = 170.25
10. Virgo DC / Nick Haness / Evergreen Stables LLC / 89 + 80 = 169
11. Sweet Romance / Nick Haness / Romance Sport Horses / 86 + 82.5 = 168.5
12. Skyhawk / Stella Wasserman / Laura Wasserman / 87 + 78 = 165

This Post Brought to You by: 

The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA)

The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria. 

Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.