Hunter Holloway won the 2016 WIHS Equitation Finals. Madison Goetzmann and Wrigley were victorious in the $15,000 SJHOF Ambassador’s Cup High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Staysail Farm, and Sophie Michaels riding Darero topped the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family.
The 2016 WIHS Equitation Finals concluded on Saturday evening with a win for Hunter Holloway (18), of Topeka, KS. Forty of the nation’s top junior riders qualified to compete in this year’s championship, which was held over three phases of competition. Riders began competing over a hunter course on Friday and returned over a jumper course Saturday afternoon. Their scores from the two rounds were then combined, and the top 10 competitors returned for a final work-off Saturday night, in which they switched horses and jumped the same course one more time.
Allen Rheinheimer of Zionsville, IN, set the courses for the equitation rounds. The judges were George Morris, Rob Bielefeld, Kitty Barker, and Danny Robertshaw.
Holloway led the competition through all three rounds of competition to secure her victory. She rode Hay Investment Corp.’s Any Given Sunday in the hunter and jumper phases, and switched onto Lucy Deslauriers’ mount Class Action, owned by Lisa Deslauriers, for the final work-off. Holloway and Any Given Sunday earned a score of 96 in their hunter round, combined with a 96.75 in the jumper round. Those scores were added to her 97 average from the two judging panels for her final work-with with Class Action for the winning score of 289.75.
Holloway was presented with the WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. G. Ralph Ours, III. Any Given Sunday was awarded The Lugano Memorial Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill, as the winning horse of the night.
“I am still a little bit in shock. It is an incredible feeling,” Holloway said after her win. “It is something I have worked very hard towards, and I have an amazing horse and an amazing team of people behind me. There are so many people involved. It is an incredible to be sitting here today with everyone.”
Holloway detailed her rounds, stating, “The hunter phase I was pretty comfortable going into. I had ridden in the ring earlier in the day on a couple of junior hunters, and I felt really confident on that horse. I was really happy with that performance, and then going into the jumper phase I was pretty nervous. Going in on top, you are always a little nervous I feel, but my horse was awesome and he took good care of me.”
Holloway has had Any Given Sunday, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (by Indoctro), since he was five and ridden the horse in the WIHS Equitation Finals several times. Two years ago, she finished second in the final, and last year she placed third. She was determined to come back in her final junior year to get the win and was ready to get the job done. Holloway also had a great work-off riding a very experienced horse in the 17-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Class Action (by Carano).
On switching onto the well-known gelding for her final round, Holloway noted, “I was pretty excited when I heard that I was getting on Class Action. That horse has been around for a while and he is always good, so it was a nice horse to have the privilege of riding. I was in shock a little bit when I came out of the ring. I was really nervous.”
Judge George Morris remarked on the class and Holloway’s winning characteristics.
“It was excellent. I was very honored to be asked to judge,” Morris stated. “The top of these finals, it is always incredible (to see) the position, the use of aids, and the execution. It is very important when you are judging to judge what you see and be as objective as possible.
“Hunter’s basics are so correct,” he continued. “Her angles; then you look for execution, accuracy. What separates the top ones, you can’t see it. It’s what is a dying art called invisible aids. The top ten were wonderful, but she won the class.”
Trainer Don Stewart also commented on Hollway’s win, noting, “She is always knocking at the door. She is a really hard worker and a great student. She is always on time, she doesn’t complain, she is always very gracious. I was real happy for her. It is nice to win one of these.”
Hunter Holloway and Any Given Sunday in their winning presentation with ringmaster John Franzreb, WIHS President Vicki Lowell, Don Stewart, WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan, Bibby Hill, Rozanne Greco Holloway, and Caroline McLeese. PC: Shawn McMillen
Madison Goetzmann, of Skaneateles, NY, rode to a second place finish for the second year in a row. Goetzmann jumped her own horse Contelido to a score of 92.5 in the hunter phase and 96 in their jumper round. Goetzmann rode Taylor St. Jacques’ mount Charisma (owned by Heritage Farm) in the final work-off for a score of 94.5, bringing her three-round total to 283.
Lucy Deslauriers finished third with a 279.25 total. She scored 96 in both her hunter and jumper rounds with Class Action. She then scored an 87.25 in the final work-off aboard Holloway’s mount Any Given Sunday.
Goetzmann (16) won the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic earlier in the day and got right back in the ring for her WIHS Equitation jumper round. She rode the same horse, Contelido, in last year’s final and was happy with her consistent rounds this time around.
“Last year I actually placed second in this final as well, and to be second again, I can’t complain about that,” Goetzmann stated. “It was a very well-deserved win by Hunter. My horse has been so great to me. He gives me so much confidence in the ring. I can go in and really trust him.
“The same thing with the horse I switched on to,” Goetzmann said of Charisma. “I was a little nervous at first. You are always a little nervous switching onto a horse that you are not familiar with, but as soon as I went into the ring and jumped my first jump, I was able to breathe and finish a smooth round.”
Goetzmann’s equitation trainer, Stacia Madden, commented on her student’s finish, stating, “She had an unbelievable show all around. She had a great showing in the Junior Jumpers. She just exuded confidence to me this whole week. I did not see any nerves. Every time she went in the ring she was not only trying to deliver, but actually delivering. She was on the same horse here last year, but it was basically her second show on him last year. I felt coming back to this championship this year that it was really a super horse choice. She had developed a great relationship with the horse during the year, and I think that really showed round after round this week.”
Both Holloway and Goetzmann continue on to the CP National Horse Show in Kentucky next week to compete in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation. Saturday night concluded a fantastic 2016 Washington International Horse Show for both young riders.
Final Results: WIHS Equitation Finals
Three Round Scores
1 883 Hunter Holloway 289.750
Hunter: 97.000, 95.000
Jumper: 97.500, 96.000
Work-Off: 96.000, 98.000
2 894 Madison Goetzmann 283.000
Hunter: 95.000, 90.000
Jumper: 96.500, 95.500
Work-Off: 93.000, 96.000
3 869 Lucy Deslauriers 279.250
Hunter: 96.000, 96.000
Jumper: 97.000, 95.000
Work-Off: 88.500, 86.000
4 108 Maya Nayyar 274.500
Hunter: 89.500, 93.500
Jumper: 94.000, 92.000
Work-Off: 88.000, 92.000
5 890 McKayla Langmeier 274.000
Hunter: 82.500, 86.500
Jumper: 96.000, 97.000
Work-Off: 92.000, 94.000
6 847 Taylor St Jacques 270.750
Hunter: 93.000, 94.000
Jumper: 89.500, 93.000
Work-Off: 89.000, 83.000
7 896 Brian Moggre 269.000
Hunter: 87.000, 87.500
Jumper: 93.000, 94.000
Work-Off: 92.500, 84.000
8 338 Emma Kurtz 268.000
Hunter: 86.000, 93.000
Jumper: 90.000, 89.000
Work-Off: 91.000, 87.000
9 851 Jordyn Rose Freedman 262.250
Hunter: 92.000, 89.000
Jumper: 90.500, 91.000
Work-Off: 80.000, 82.000
10 861 Kendra Gierkink 261.000
Hunter: 95.500, 93.750
Jumper: 86.500, 83.250
Work-Off: 82.000, 81.000