Ashley Vogel of Mequon, WI, rode Legacy to the 2018 Grand Junior Hunter Championship and the Best Child Rider on a Horse title on Friday. Vogel and her 10-year-old bay Warmblood gelding came into the day with two wins over fences in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division, and the pair topped off their successful week with a sixth place under saddle and a second place in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter Stake to take the division championship, and ultimately the grand championship.
Ashley Vogel and Legacy. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
“It’s pretty incredible,” said Vogel, 17, who also competed Legacy at WIHS in 2017. “I wasn’t expecting it at all, so it was a really nice surprise. This is my favorite horse show, and I was hoping for some good rounds – the same as last year. We had some good ribbons last year but not like this. It’s pretty incredible. I’m still in awe.”
With her two wins from Thursday, Vogel knew she had a good shot at the championship title, but she put the thought out of her mind to instead focus on having a solid and enjoyable round on Friday.
“Everyone kept coming up to me like, ‘You have a really good shot at this,’” said Vogel, who trains with Maria Rasmussen and Jeff Wirthman. “But I was really trying hard to not crack under pressure. My trainer said, ‘Just go have fun with it.’ That’s exactly what I did; everything worked out in our favor.”
For the Grand Junior Hunter Championship, Vogel was presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds. For the Best Child Rider on a Horse title, sponsored by Gotham North, she received the DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. & Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia, after being selected by the judges as the rider who demonstrated the highest quality in horsemanship and sportsmanship, combined with good appearance and courtesy.
The reserve championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters went to Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH, and A Million Reasons, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
In the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, the championship and the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan, were presented to Ava Stearns of Chillmark, MA, and Cartello Z. The pair claimed two wins and a fourth place over fences for the top honor. The reserve championship was awarded to Chloe White of Berwyn, PA, riding Tztargazer, owned by Steve Schaefer.
For the second year in a row, the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division championship, sponsored by the Wasserman Foundation, was awarded to Stella Wasserman of Beverly Hills, CA, and Boss, owned by Laura Wasserman. This year, the pair picked up wins in the under saddle and the stake class, as well as a second place in the handy class, to take the championship.
Finishing in reserve were Mimi Gochman of Palm Beach, FL, and Evermore, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.
In the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters, it was Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA, who claimed the championship for the second year in a row. In 2017, Iwasaki rode Small Affair to the championship, and this year it was Small Occasion, owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, who earned the tricolor. The duo picked up a first, second, and third over fences and a third under saddle on their way to the championship win. The reserve championship went to Stella Wasserman of Beverly Hills, CA, and Skyhawk, owned by Laura Wasserman.
Elli Yeager rode Copperfield 3 to the win in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals – Hunter Phase. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals also kicked off on Friday, and with the win in the Hunter Phase, Elli Yeager currently sits atop the leaderboard with a score of 92.50 heading into Saturday’s jumper phase and top 10 work-off.