Ingram, Bulger and McDonnell Take Home Grand Amateur Championships at Capital Challenge

Julie McDonell and Moore Park. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Edited Press Release

As they cantered their first course together this week, Martha Ingram of Nashville, Tennessee, knew that she could depend on Romeo. The pair swept the blue ribbons in the three over fences classes and added another third place under saddle to win the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’6” division championship, sponsored by The Hallman Family & MerryLegs South LLC, as well as the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter honors, sponsored by Finally Farm. 

They were presented with the Dr. Harold M.S. Smith Trophy, donated by Dr. Suzanne Smith & Dr. Peter Craig. The reserve championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’6” division went to Casanova Royal and Stephanie Danhakl. Ingram was named the Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Rider, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Ernest M. Oare and awarded The So Many Ways Challenge Trophy, donated by Karen Kramer. 

“Until yesterday I had never jumped a line or a course on him,” related Ingram. “It was surprising, because I am quite a chicken. But Tom [Wright] just knew how special that horse was and knew that he was going to be amazing in there. He’s super brave, super attentive, and really my ride.”

Martha Ingram and Romeo. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Ingram picked up the ride on Romeo after her father, John Ingram, had an unfortunate recent fall and he is unable to ride. “I’m very grateful that he and my mom allowed me to show him here,” she expressed. “This is my first time doing the 3’6” at Capital Challenge, I believe, since I was a junior. This is one of my favorite horse shows. The best of the best come here. Everybody wants to do well here, and it’s not easy; that’s why it’s called Capital Challenge. Winning doesn’t ever get old. I just feel so honored and lucky.”
 
The Amateur-Owner Hunter 36 & Over 3’6” championship, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Ernest M. Oare, went to Wayland Square, ridden by Tara Dow-Rein and owned by Rein Family LLC. Irene Neuwirth and her own Guess Who finished as reserve champions. 
 
They were presented with the Dr. Harold M.S. Smith Trophy, donated by Dr. Suzanne Smith & Dr. Peter Craig. The reserve championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 3’6” division went to Casanova Royal and Stephanie Danhakl. Ingram was named the Best Amateur-Owner 3’6” Rider, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Ernest M. Oare and awarded The So Many Ways Challenge Trophy, donated by Karen Kramer. 

A FEAST OF AWARDS FOR BULGER AND HEMINGWAY

The first grand championship awarded on Thursday went to Stephanie Bulger of New York, New York, on Hemingway. The pair won the division championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 36 & Over 3’3” division. Their ribbons of first, first, and third also garnered the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Champion award, sponsored by Missy Luczak-Smith. Bulger won the Best Amateur-Owner 3’3” Rider Award, sponsored by Spring Mill Farm.
 
“It means the world to me to be grand champion here,” expressed Bulger. “I’ve been champion here once before, and I’ve won classes here before, but never to win back-to-back classes and then be champion and then be grand champion. It’s kind of boggling my mind right now. I’m a little overwhelmed!”

Bulger has had Hemingway for seven years and watched him grow up. “Hemingway felt extraordinary today,” she said of the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “He was really on his game. I felt him jumping so well. He’s a performer, and he loves to go in the indoor and really show off his scope and athleticism. I’m just glad I could stay calm, stay with him, and ride that extravagant jump.”
 
The reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner Hunters 36 & Over 3’3” was Belgravia, ridden and owned by Tracy Treace. The champion of the Amateur-Owner Hunters 18-35 3’3” was Churchill, ridden by Jamee Crawford and owned by Legado Farms LLC, while Stephanie Danhakl and her own First Light were reserve champions.

Stephanie Bulger and Hemingway. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

MOORE PARK SWEEPS IN GRAND ADULT HUNTERS

With a sweep of the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 division, sponsored by LifeVac, Julie McDonell of Caledon, Ontario, Canada, picked up the championship; the Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter award, sponsored by Steve Martines; was presented with The Equus Entries Challenge Trophy, donated by Equus Entries & Sue and Ralph Caggiano; and the Best Adult Amateur Rider Award, sponsored by Phoebe Weseley & River Run Farm LLC. Trainer Brady Mitchell was presented with The Gail Knieriem Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Evermore. The reserve championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 went to Hundred Acre, ridden and owned by Laurie Barna.
 
“He’s a dream,” said McDonell of Moore Park, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, owned by Rein Family LLC. “He’s like a rocking horse. You just have to get him within in range, and he tries his heart out.”

McDonell received a call from Mitchell, her friend of 20 years, that Moore Park needed a rider at Capital Challenge, and McDonell was able to make her first trip to the horse show. 
 
“I don’t think it could have gone better,” said McDonell. “I think I just needed to keep all of Brady’s instructions in my head and execute the plan as instructed, and that’s what happened today. It was incredible to have the opportunity to come to such a fantastic national horse show here, and to come out on top and win all three was pretty amazing. It was absolutely a dream come true.”
 
Two other adult hunter divisions awarded championships. In the Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35, sponsored by Lainie Wimberley & Brigadoon Show Stables, Inc., Ashton Alexander rode Dinner At 8 for John and Stephanie Ingram LLC to the championship, while Michael Baum and Park City, owned by Privet Farm LLC, were reserve champions. Laura Karet rode Glade Run Farm LLC’s Queen Celeste to the championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 50 & Over, sponsored by Ocean Echo, and the reserve champion ribbon went to Bonaparte, ridden and owned by Louisa Attenborough.


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Whitethorne LLC

Whitethorne LLC always carries a number of high-quality Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation horses for sale or lease in Southern California. All of these horses are personally chosen by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman and her partner in Germany, and represent some of the best competition horses available in Europe for every level of competition in Hunters, Equitation, and Jumpers. Georgy travels to Europe several times per year and together with her partner in Germany, selects the best of the horses available in Germany and Holland and several other countries in Europe, and imports them to Whitethorne Ranch where they are available for sale or lease.

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