Wellington, FL — February 21, 2016 — The Adult hunters took their turn competing in the International Arena on Sunday morning. Fifty-six horse and rider combinations competed in the first round of the Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic, with the top 12 coming back to compete in a second round. Hunter Kay earned an impressive 85.75 in the first round aboard Jill Knowles’s Euro Sport Warmblood mare Temptation. He then rode beautifully in the second round, earning a high score of 87, which placed him securely in the lead with a total of 172.75.
Lynn Rogers and her own Sedgewick were close behind Kay, earning an overall score of 168.75 to come in second. Rounding out the top three was Kaile Rudy aboard her horse Coltrane, who earned an overall score of 168.
Hunter Kay and Temptation. Photo: Sportfot
Hunter Kay, a 22-year-old recent graduate of the University of South Carolina, has been riding with Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw for three years. A native of Charlotte, NC, Kay plans to continue riding before pursuing a master’s degree.
Kay has had a long partnership with Temptation. He began riding the 16-year-old mare three years ago when he started training with Danta and Robertshaw. “Danny and Ron have had her in the barn for a few years,” Kay said. “She’s older now so we don’t show her a whole lot, but we bring her out for special occasions like WCHR week.”
Kay has not been able to show the mare very often, but Kay still feels comfortable on her. “This is our first week showing her this year,” Kay stated. “We actually haven’t shown her since last year, but I know her pretty well because I’ve been riding her for three years. We don’t need to do a lot with her.”
Kay and Temptation have developed a strong bond over the years. “She’s definitely a little opinionated; she’s definitely a mare,” Kay laughed. “But, she’s really sweet and she wants to win, and she never lets me down.”
Hunter Kay and Temptation in their winning presentation with Marla Holt of USHJA and Carol Cone. Photo: Sportfot
The riders were only permitted to compete with one horse in today’s classic, which left Kay with a decision to make between Temptation and his other mount. “I thought that I might have the best chance with her in the class today so we switched to me riding her,” Kay remarked. “It really paid off. I went in there just to have a good time and hopefully make the top twelve. Coming back, I was thankful that I wasn’t on the top, but just in the middle of the pack, because then I could just ride. It really paid off.”
Kay was especially excited to win a class during WCHR week. “It’s extra exciting to win this week. This is the big week for the hunters, so everybody wants to come out and do their best,” Kay commented.
Winning this year was a comeback of sorts for Kay, who has previously placed seventh with the same horse. “I did the class two years ago and made the top 12 with Temptation, but I finished in seventh. It was great to come back and win this year with her,” he said.
Kay hopes to continue riding the mare through the WEF circuit. “She does really well here. She’s the happiest in Florida,” Kay explained. “If she’s going well we will definitely try to show her. She loves to horse show and she loves to do well. At the same time, she owes me nothing, so I was so thankful just to get to do this class with her. Whatever she wants to do is good with me.”
Stephanie Danhakl and Quest. Photo: Sportfot
Stephanie Danhakl concluded her incredible WCHR week with a win in the $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Classic. She and Quest, a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding by Verdi, scored a high of 90 in the first round and kept their lead with a second round score of 84 for a total of 174 for the win.
Becky Gochman and Touchdown placed second with scores of 83.5 and 88 for 171.50. Scoring 83 and 85 for a total of 168, Lynn Walsh and Outta The Park placed third.
Quest, who picked up the championship in the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter division earlier in the week, is back to his winning ways after a year off due to a rare hoof disorder.
“I’m still kind of getting used to riding him again,” Danhakl said. “I was going out there to have fun and put in a nice round on him. In the second round I think I rode a little more defensively because I was nervous, but we still ended up getting an 84, enough for the win.”
Stephanie Danhakl and Quest in their winning presentation with Marla Holt of USHJA. Photo: Sportfot
The classic was held in the International Arena, and Danhakl enjoyed getting to compete again in the big ring. “He went in there today and had his ears up. He was taking me around the course, and he felt like he was happy to be there,” she said. “Just being able to show in this ring is so exciting. It’s so fun to have a different venue and let the horses gallop around, to ride and not worry what the next turn in.”
Danhakl described of her horse, “He’s so easy, he has a great rhythm, and he never bats an eye at a jump. He’s a very brave, old soul. He has a lot of spirit and energy.”
Ashley Hartman and Vogue. Photo: Sportfot
It was the first time showing together this week for the winners of the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’3″ Hunter Classic. Ashley Hartman (18) of Doylestown, PA, rode Vogue, an eight-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, to the win for owner Georgia Saad.
Vogue scored an 83 and an 82 for a total of 165 for victory. Mimi Gochman had a 78 in the first round and jumped up to an 85 in the second round for a total of 163 for second place. Aizlynn Radwanski and Picture This had a total of 162 for third place after scoring 79 and 83.
Vogue’s trainer, Leslie Emerson of Marigot Bay Farm, said, “She’s a sale horse at Marigot Bay Farm. Ashley catch rode her for us this weekend. We could not be more proud of both of them.”
Ashley Hartman and Vogue in their winning presentation with ringmaster Christian Craig and Marla Holt of USHJA. Photo: Sportfot
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its seventh week on February 24-28, 2016. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial Adult Hunter Classic
1 3557 TEMPTATION HUNTER KAY 85.75 87.00 172.75
2 4977 SEDGEWICK LYNN ROGERS 83.75 85.00 168.75
3 2170 COLTRANE KAILE RUDY 84.00 84.00 168.00
4 3828 SUGAR RAY BRIGITTE LEROUX 85.00 82.25 167.25
5 2108 GRAYON MIMI MOULTON 84.50 82.50 167.00
6 2279 SHOEMAKER SAMANTHA KARP 83.50 83.00 166.50
7 2584 RED CARPET CYNTHIA SULZBERGER 85.50 80.00 165.50
8 5123 GEDDAWAY SHERRI GEDDES 86.00 76.00 162.00
9 5885 QUINN CATHARINE COX 84.75 74.00 158.75
10 1492 LITTLE PRINTZ SAMANTHA KRAMIG 89.00 65.00 154.00
11 4016 MCKINLEY MARK BADGLEY 88.00 64.00 152.00
12 7124 POETIC JUSTIS BROOKE COLE 83.00 66.00 149.00
Final Results: $5,000 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3 Hunter Classic
1 2961 QUEST STEPHANIE DANHAKL 90.00 84.00 174.00
2 2999 TOUCHDOWN BECKY GOCHMAN 83.50 88.00 171.50
3 4113 OUTTA THE PARK LYNN WALSH 83.00 85.00 168.00
4 2964 LOYALTY GLEN SENK 80.00 87.00 167.00
5 6314 O.C. KAITLIN PORATH 84.00 82.50 166.50
6 3175 JACKMAN BRITTAN BAILEY 79.50 82.00 161.50
7 2983 CASTLEWALK NANCY HOOKER 82.50 75.00 157.50
8 4105 COOPERSTOWN CREE SAUER 78.00 76.00 154.00
9 4688 WITH GRATITUDE HILLARY JEAN 79.00 74.00 153.00
10 4123 COLUMBIA BLANCHE STRUNK 81.00 68.00 149.00
11 5292 SEA WALKER NICOLE OLIYNYK 82.00 66.00 148.00
12 2691 CARAWAY KRISTAN LASSITER 76.00 58.00 134.00
Final Results: $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’3 Hunter Classic
1 2860 VOGUE ASHLEY HARTMAN 83.00 82.00 165.00
2 3022 PAPYRUS MIMI GOCHMAN 78.00 85.00 163.00
3 2845 PICTURE THIS AIZLYNN RADWANSKI 79.00 83.00 162.00
4 2274 FIRST & GOAL AUBRIENNE KRYSIEWICZ-BELL 82.50 79.00 161.50
5 3002 MYTHICAL SOPHIE GOCHMAN 75.00 86.00 161.00
6 6323 LAST MAN DARLING SOPHIE GOCHMAN 84.00 75.00 159.00
7 225 CASCO DE LA VIE Z OLIVIA EASTON 74.50 80.00 154.50
8 4108 ZEUS VICTORIA WALTON 77.00 76.00 153.00
9 2648 UPCOUNTRY COCO SOFIA ANTICO 77.50 74.00 151.50
10 2160 KINGSBURY ZOE GANEK 82.00 63.00 145.00
11 3871 VANQUISH GIGI MOYNIHAN 76.00 64.00 140.00
12 3521 FITZROY CROSSING JOSSELYN MERSEREAU 75.50 60.00 135.50