Mimi Gochman & Grace Debney Capture Top Junior Hunter Honors at Upperville

On the final day of the 2018 Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS), presented by St. Bride’s Farm, the Junior Hunter divisions concluded as riders vied for the division’s top prizes where Mimi Gochman and Remarkable were crowned Grand Champion Junior Hunter, while Grace Debney claimed the title of Best Child Rider on a Junior Horse.

Mimi Gochman and Remarkable. Photo by Phelps Sports

Thirteen-year-old Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Remarkable nearly swept their division in the Large Junior 15 and Under 3’6” Hunters. The pair won all of the over fences classes including the handy round and captured second place in the under saddle class to ultimately claim their respective championship award.

“He’s been with us for awhile,” Gochman said of Remarkable. “Our trainer Scott Stewart rode him in the Pre-Greens a while back and then I started riding him as a First Year in the Junior Hunters. He’s really sweet. He likes to have friends, he doesn’t like being lonely. He always tries his best. When I started riding him he was always a little bit scared and frightened, but he’s getting more assured of the jumps and he’s not as scared anymore, so he has grown up a lot since the beginning of the year.”

Mimi Gochman and Remarkable. Photo by Teresa Ramsay

In addition to Grand Champion Junior Hunter, Gochman and the 11-year-old Warmblood gelding were also awarded the Marianna Challenge Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Payne for winning the most points in their 3’6” division. Previously, Remarkable competed in the Pre-Green division with Gochman’s trainer, Scott Stewart, where they captured the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship in 2014.

The award for the Best Child Rider on a Junior Horse was given to 14-year-old Debney for her outstanding performance throughout the Junior Hunter division. Debney was aboard three different mounts in her respective divisions, Wisdom and Classified, owned by Temple Equestrian LLC, and Cilian, owned by Kathleen Evers.

Grace Debney. Photo courtesy of Grace Debney

Upon capturing the Best Child Rider on a Pony Hunter title and the Grand Champion Pony Hunter with her own Storyteller in 2017, Debney returned to UCHS for her first year of competition in the junior division. She concluded a successful weekend by also taking home the Small Junior 3’6’’ Hunter championship aboard Wisdom and the Large Junior 15 and Under 3’6” Hunter reserve championship with Classified.

“Wisdom is my Small Junior Hunter. He is so sassy and he begs for treats all of the time, but when he gets in the ring he really wants to win – he’s like a completely different horse in the ring. He’s very serious and wants to win. Classified is my Large Junior Hunter. He is much more serious out of the barn. When you ride him he really gets to know you and then becomes more cuddly. Cilian was my other Large Junior and he’s one of the horses in Chad Keenum’s barn and I rode him this weekend and he’s a really sweet horse,” shared Debney.

Grace Debney and Cilian. Photo by Teresa Ramsay