Lindsay Maxwell, Becky Gochman & Hunt Tosh Shine in Hunter Rings at WIHS

Lindsay Maxwell and Belgravia Sweep Amateur-Owner 35 & Under 3’3” Hunters for Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Championship

Lindsay Maxwell of Beverly Hills, CA, and her own Belgravia delivered an impressive sweep of the Amateur-Owner 35 & Under 3’3” Hunter division on Tuesday and Wednesday at WIHS, winning all three of the over fences classes and the under saddle to take the division tricolor. The pair’s perfect score in the division ultimately guaranteed them the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter championship, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Ernest M. Oare.

Lindsay Maxwell and Belgravia won all four classes of the Amateur-Owner 35 & Under 3-Foot-3 Hunter division.Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography 

“This is one of my absolute favorite shows; it means a lot to me to win here,” said Maxwell, a strong supporter of the WIHS through her own Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. “[Belgravia] has just been incredible throughout this indoor season. I had him for indoors last year, but I’d only had him for about a month. We had some great shows, and having a whole other year with him under our belt has really gotten him and us to a place where we know him really well and can rely on him being the same horse every time we come out.”

Maxwell came into the day with over fences and the under saddle wins.

“It was obviously nice coming into today with the two wins yesterday under our belt, but the pressure was still definitely on today,” said Maxwell. “It’s fantastic competition [at WIHS].

“In the handy, we got to go last, which was definitely an advantage because I knew where the scores were and where I needed to be. He’s gotten handier and handier; we sort of have that aspect of his ride down which is really nice,” continued Maxwell in speaking of the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding by Cyrano de Bergerac. “He laid down a beautiful handy trip, and then for the stake it was nice to not have as much of that pressure and just go in and have fun. It was a great course for him. Alan [Lohman]’s done an unbelievable job with the courses this year.”

This year marks Maxwell’s second consecutive year claiming a WIHS grand hunter championship title, as last year she earned the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship aboard Technicolor, a mount that passed away unexpectedly this past year. Following his passing, Maxwell knew that WIHS was where she wanted to honor the gelding.

Lindsay Maxwell and Belgravia won all four classes of the Amateur-Owner 35 & Under 3-Foot-3 Hunter division. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

“It’s incredible to be able to show horses in a venue like this – in a city center, to have people who have never seen or smelled or touched horses, to be able to just pop in here and watch an event like this. There aren’t a lot of shows that can attract such a big crowd and introduce people to the sport in this sort of way,” said Maxwell. “[Winning the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship here] was absolutely one of my favorite moments with Technicolor. To be able to win that was a dream come true and a huge goal of mine. That was one of our biggest accomplishments together, and this is one of my favorite horse shows, so it seemed like the perfect place to have a memorial award for him.”

The award was presented to Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, as the horse that, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the classic hunter in aesthetic, jumping style, and presence.

For her clean sweep of her division, Maxwell was also named the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Rider.

In the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3” Hunter division, the championship went to Carma, owned and ridden by Virginia Fout of Los Angeles, CA. Fout and the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding by Rhodium earned a win in the under saddle and in the stake class, as well a second place over fences to captured the championship.

Becky Gochman and Catch Me Claim Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship

The Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship was awarded to Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman of Palm Beach, FL, and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.

After not pinning in their first class of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’6” Hunter division, Gochman and Catch Me returned to win the under saddle on Tuesday and an over fences class on Wednesday, while also finishing third in the final over fences class to take the division championship, sponsored by Cembell Industries.

Becky Gochman and Catch Me. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

“He was a little spooky yesterday,” said Gochman. “He is a little quirky. He studies the jumps so much, but that’s what makes him such a great horse as well! After Scott [Stewart] won a class this morning on him [in the High Performance Hunters], that gave me more confidence to do him today. I was really thankful that Scott could show him the way today. It really made the difference for me.”

Catch Me, an 11-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding by Casiro I, has seen great success in the professional hunter divisions with Stewart, and now, the gelding is achieving similar success in the amateur hunter divisions with Gochman.

“This is the first year that I rode him,” said Gochman. “We decided early on when I first bought him that we would take our time turning him into an amateur horse. We still do it very carefully because he is not the easiest, but again that’s what makes him so good. He really jumps up and he uses himself well, but he’s also very comfortable actually in the air. It’s just a lot of fun.

“For ‘Snoopy,’ it’s all about treats,” continued Gochman, referring to Catch Me’s barn name. “He just loves carrots and peppermints. The more treats that we give him, the happier he is. If we keep him happy, then we’re all happy. He really responds to that. Even when I jog him in the ring, I have a pocket full of treats, and I probably give him about five treats during the jog. He totally loves that. It’s almost like we’re playing a fun, sweet game together. He just really is responsive to love.”

Becky Gochman rode Catch Me to the Grand Amateur Owner 3-Foot-6 Hunter Championship. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

In addition to the division and grand championship, Gochman was named the Leading Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Rider, and Catch Me was presented with the inaugural Technicolor Award, donated by Lindsay Maxwell.

The championship in the Amateur-Owner 35 & Under 3’6” Hunter division went to Sutherland, ridden by Jef Lauwers and owned by Peter Pletcher. Lauwers of Magnolia, TX, and the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding won the under saddle and the stakes class to take the tricolor victory.

Bastogne Named Best Hunter with Hunt Tosh

The 2018 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship was awarded to Bastogne, ridden by Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA, and owned by Ceil Wheeler.

On their way to the top professional hunter honor, Tosh and the Warmblood gelding claimed two firsts and a second place over fences and the win under saddle in the Green Hunter 3’6” division to secure both the division championship and the Grand Green Hunter Championship, for which Tosh and Bastogne were awarded the Claire Lang Miller Challenge Trophy.

Hunt Tosh and Bastogne. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

“Coming to a venue like this with a first year horse, you never know how they’re going to take it, but he was great,” said Tosh of Bastogne, who, at only six years old, was making his WIHS debut. “We all come hoping for the best. When everything goes your way and turns out well, it’s great. He’s so straight-forward. We just did what we’ve been doing all year and stuck with it!

“Sandy Ferrell [on Hemingway] and I went back and forth all year. She was champion last week [at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show], and then she told me, ‘Good luck! I’m going home!’” said Tosh. “She hoped I could pull it off at Washington.”

For the Grand Hunter Championship, Tosh and Bastogne were presented with The Rave Review Challenge Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill, as well as a box of Georgetown Cupcakes, as awarded to all division champions at WIHS.

“My daughter’s probably in the cupcakes already, but I’m going to try and get my hands on one!” said Tosh.

Tosh may be in luck, as he also acquired an additional cupcake box earlier in the day as the High Performance Hunter Champion with Flamingo-K. For the division championship, sponsored by Jacqueline B. Mars, Tosh was presented with the “Not Always” Challenge Trophy, donated by Miss Peggy Steinman.

Hunt Tosh and Bastogne, the 2018 Grand Hunter Champion. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

“It was a great morning with Flamingo-K,” said Tosh, who rode the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (by Diamant de Semilly) to first, second, and fourth place finishes over fences. “Washington is such a great horse show; it’s so special to be in the city, and it’s always a great time showing here.”

Like Bastogne, Flamingo-K is owned by Ceil Wheeler, whose family has been a great supporter of not only Tosh but hunter sport for many years.

“To have owners like that is unbelievable,” said Tosh. “They’re such a great family to own horses for us, and for those horses to come here at the end of the year and perform so well is amazing.”