Today is your final day to vote for the 2016 Horse of the Year, and there are two Hunter/Jumper legends contending in the national and international divisions. If you’ve got a fierce allegiance for the stick jumpers, now is your chance to raise your voice and speak up for the sport! Here are your H/J horses in the running:
(Casiro x Wonnie/Chagallo)
2007 Holsteiner gelding
Owners: David and Becky Gochman
Catch Me, or “Snoopy,” owned by Becky and David Gochman, was purchased from Lisa Cudahy, where he was trained by Cookie Beck and Chrystal Knight, in 2015. That summer, he was diagnosed with botulism, which almost ended his life.
After making a full recovery, Snoopy went on to end the 2015 show season with multiple champion and reserve champion wins at the major indoor championships. In 2016, he continued his winning ways with Scott Stewart aboard in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division. He also won the WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, which was a first for Stewart, as well.
Snoopy concluded his show season in a dominating fashion when he was Champion at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, and CP National Horse Show.
Non H/J Candidates: Sjaantje (Friesian, Driving) and Top of the Mark (Saddlebred, English Pleasure)
(Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sion van de Zuuthoeve/Sir Lui)
2006 Belgian Warmblood mare
Owners: Double H Farm & Francois Mathy
HH Azur, or “Annie” in the barn, is a tall, lovely mare that exudes talent. McLain Ward began competing Annie in 2015, and they have racked up numerous wins. With her calm, friendly, and confident demeanor, Annie is an invaluable partner in the electric atmosphere of the show ring.
In 2016, Annie won the $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI5* during week seven of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and took home second in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* during week 12 of the WEF. The pair then traveled to Europe and won the Loro Piana Grand Prix City of Rome and came in third in the Longines Grand Prix Port of Rotterdam.
Ward and Annie’s biggest accomplishment of the year came in August, when they were part of the U.S. Show Jumping Team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games that brought home the Team Silver medal. The pair closed out the competition season with a win in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Vote by visiting the USEF.org website by midnight tonight (1/4). The USEF Horses of the Year will be named on January 14 at the Horse of the Year Awards Gala.