Kicking off Saturday competition in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Field, Sophie Gochman and Garfield secured the champion title for the Week 11 Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under division. After parting ways when Garfield was purchased by Bikoff Equestrian LLC, the pair reunited in the hunters this circuit and landed the championship after winning both of the day’s over fences classes.
Garfield and Sophie Gochman. Photo © Sportfot
Gochman owned the 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Coriano x Love Touch), whom she affectionately calls ‘Kitty’, for a period of time before he was sold a year and a half ago. With his current owner, Ella Bikoff, competing several other horses in the Junior Hunter 3’3” divisions, Gochman was given the opportunity to take the ride on Garfield again and the pair have picked up right where they left off.
“I’m just showing him right now to keep him in the groove, but I am having so much fun riding him again,” Gochman said. “I haven’t been doing very much in the hunters and it’s so fun to be with him again because he is such a special horse; anyone that rides him is so lucky.”
Gochman and Garfield held the highest scores in three out of the four over fences classes with two rounds earning 87.00 points and a third earning 88.00 points.
“For the end of circuit, it was still a decent-sized division with some pretty high scoring rounds, but at WEF you always know you’re going to have good competition,” she explained of her win. “He is really straight-forward; you mostly sit back and let Garfield do his thing. He’s the boss, and he lets you know it!
Garfield with owner Ella Bikoff and Sergio Andre of Palm Beach International Academy. Photo © Sportfot
“He’s just a really incredible jumper. He always has his knees tucked to his nose, and he is so elegant as he goes around the ring which I think makes him stand out quite a bit,” Gochman added.
Gigi Moynihan and Christy Johnson’s Corrico ended their week as the division’s reserve champions. She and the seven-year-old Warmblood gelding were the winners of the handy round with a score of 86.00 points and also picked up two seconds, a third, and a fourth.