Maggie Hill & Cassanto Continue Winning Streak with Overall Junior Hunter Grand Championship at National Horse Show

The penultimate day of hunter competition at the 2019 National Horse Show kicked off Friday, November 1 with small and large Junior Hunters returning to the Alltech arena promptly at 7:00 a.m. Following the under saddle classes, horse-and-rider combinations were seen one last time for their respective stake rounds, serving as a final chance to garner precious points toward the Overall Junior Hunter Grand Championship. Stealing the show with spectacular performances was Maggie Hill and Stella Styslinger’s Cassanto, who accumulated a whopping 32 points to claim the coveted overall title and the “Huntland” Perpetual Cup.

Maggie Hill and Cassanto. Photo by Phelps Media Group

Acquiring their points in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, Hill and Cassanto topped the ranks of every over fences class in the division, also earning third on the flat. Following the presentation of her championship in the division, Hill and Cassanto were called back to the winner’s circle to receive the Inclusive Perpetual Cup, an award given by the judges for the best performance in the stake round. The awards did not stop there for Hill and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, as the ringmaster bestowed a third medal around her neck for the highest of Junior Hunter honors, the Overall Junior Hunter Grand Championship of the 136th National Horse Show.

Hill and Cassanto have already had a record year together. Although their partnership took some time to develop, they have taken the hunter world by storm ever since. In 2019 alone, Hill and Cassanto have ridden to championship honors at the Devon Horse Show, Junior Hunter Finals, Capital Challenge Horse show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Washington International Horse Show.

Maggie Hill and Cassanto. Photo by Phelps Media Group

“I have been with him for about two years,” she shared of her mount. “I started doing the 3’6” Junior Hunters on him and last year was a bit touch and go, just because it was my first year in the 3’6”. Over the course of the Winter Equestrian Festival we were able to build our relationship and this year at indoors and Devon it has just been solidified. At Devon this year and last year he has been amazing. He is a horse of a lifetime and I really honestly cannot say enough good things about him. He has been amazing. I have no words, he has given me more in this junior year than I could have ever asked for. He was champion at Devon, Junior Hunter Finals, Capital Challenge, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show and now champion here! I cannot believe it and I couldn’t have asked for more from an animal.”

Hill was thrilled to wrap up her stellar season with Cassanto by claiming the overall championship title at the 136th National Horse Show before preparing for the ASPCA Maclay Finals on Sunday, November 3.

Maggie Hill and Cassanto. Photo by Phelps Media Group

“It means everything,” she shared on her win. “I think I have seen over the years people like Devon Seek and Brian Moggre win this and I have really looked up to those people. It is an honor to have that in my resume as well now because I love this sport and I would really love to use it as a career. To accomplish another milestone is an important thing.”