Edited Press Release
Junior hunter divisions wrapped up on Friday with Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, California, capturing the Grand Junior Hunter Championship with Shadowfax Equestrian LLC’s Bond. For the victory, they were presented with the Ides of March Trophy, sponsored by the Maryland Horse Industry Board. The pair was awarded the title after receiving champion in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division.
Iwasaki and Bond notched a clean sweep of the over fences classes, receiving scores of 90, 92 in the handy class, and another 90 in the stake from judges Linda Andrisani and Peter Lombardo.
“He felt amazing,” said Iwasaki of the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding by Clarimo. “He perked up a little bit for the stake today, so I thought he was really in the groove and had his game face on. His canter and his jump are both amazing. His canter is super rangy. I feel like I have a million miles of stride, which is so cool.”
From their lights-out performance, one would guess Iwasaki and Bond would have been partnered together for quite some time, but that’s not the case. Iwasaki showed Bond in just one class over the summer before showing him last week at the Pennsylvania National, where they were also champions of the same division.
“I’ve always wanted to ride him,” shared Iwasaki of her mount who has also had success with owners Isha and Raina Swani. “I watched him and competed against him for years. I’ve always been a big fan, so it was so fun to get to ride him. I think he rides a lot like he looks going around, so that was an advantage for me. I just love him. I think we get along so well.”
With her win, Iwasaki was very appreciative of the opportunity.
“I just want to say thank you to the Swanis and [trainers] Brendan Williams and Geoffrey Hesslink for letting me ride Bond. It’s been amazing,” she said.
Iwasaki was also named the Best Child Rider on a Horse and was presented with the DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy.
The reserve championship in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division went to Blue Mountain LLC’s Axel and Henry Healey.
In the younger Small Junior division, Ariana Marnell rode her own Babylon to the championship title. As the high score junior hunter owner-rider, she was presented with the Georgetown Trophy. The reserve champion was Clara Propp and Inquisitive, owned by Aquitaine Equine.
In the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, the champion was Blythe Goguen aboard Belhaven Stables LLC’s Style. She was presented with The Chance Step Memorial Trophy for her victory. Joey Roman rode his own Cascatero to the reserve championship.
Jordan Gibbs and Five Star, owned by Dana Vollbracht, were Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under champions. Kat Fuqua rode her own Grand Remo to the reserve honors.