Hunter Kay and Lucca Earn Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter Championship
The Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division came to a close on Thursday, March 12 with Hunter Kay riding Lucca to the top honors in Ring 11. Kay and the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Fit To Fight earned two firsts, a second, and a third-place ribbon.
Hunter Kay on Lucca. Photo by Sportfot.
Kay and Lucca, owned by Pauline Lampshire, have a longtime partnership of six years. The pair first began showing together in the Adult Hunter divisions when Kay was still an amateur. Now that Kay is a professional, the duo dominates the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division and won the finals last year at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“It’s so nice that they still have this division to help promote and support the thoroughbreds,” Kay said of the Thoroughbred Hunter division.
Winning two over fences class and earning 34 points, Kay and Lucca were able to make a good impression on the judge. Kay, of Charlotte, NC, was pleased with how reliable and consistent Lucca was throughout both days of competition.
“He went really smooth yesterday; I try to just stay out of his way and keep him happy,” Kay described. “I would say it can be a good thing and a bad thing but he always likes to tell me how he feels. I always know when he’s happy.”
Hunter Kay and Lucca in their winning presentation. Photo by Sportfot.
The pair already has the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter Finals on their mind again and they are hoping to continue to earn points towards that competition. In addition, Kay would like to begin showing Lucca in some National Hunter Derbies during the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
The reserve champion title of the division went to Katie Haley aboard Isabel Kurek’s Talk To Me. Haley, of Colts Neck, NJ, and Talk To Me received a first, three seconds, and a third place.
Cece Williamson and Hideaway Claim Restylane Adult Amateur Hunter Older Section A Championship
The Grand Hunter Ring began on Friday morning, March 13 with Cece Williamson riding Hideaway to the Adult Amateur Hunter Old Section A champion title, sponsored by Restylane. Williamson and Hideaway were one of the 16 horse-and-rider combinations that competed for the top spot in the division. The pair took home first, second, third, and fifth-place ribbons.
Hideaway is a newer ride for Williamson, who recently purchased and imported the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Tornesch. This new pairing has only shown together twice, but they are already becoming a combination to watch.
Cece Williamson on Hideaway. Photo by Sportfot.
“I’m very excited. He’s been everything I hoped for and more!” Williamson explained. “Havens Schatt helps me, and we went to Europe this summer and found him there.”
Although Williamson is still getting to know her new mount in the show ring, she was able to give him smooth, confident rides throughout both days of competition. Williamson, of Gordonsville, VA, describes Hideaway as a sweet and quiet partner who wants to please.
“He’s a very attractive horse and very consistent. I try to keep things the same and find the jumps all the same, which is a lot harder than you think!” Williamson commented.
As Williamson and Hideaway continue to get to know each other, the duo also plans to step into the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3” division during their next show together. Williamson is excited for her future with Hideaway and the pair’s main goal is to successfully show in the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’6” division next year.
“I have to pinch myself to think this is my new horse because he’s wonderful!” Williamson said of Hideaway.
Mimi Moulton aboard Trip To Paris secured the reserve champion title in the Adult Amateur Hunter Older Section A division. Moulton, of Greenwich, CT, rode Privet Farm, LLC’s Trip To Paris to a first, second, and eighth-place finishes.
Sofia Maskowitz and Samantha Takacs Ride to Top Honors in THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under
Equitation riders took on Ring 6 on Saturday morning, March 14 to compete for the blue ribbon in the THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under class. Due to the large number of entries, the medal was held in a California Split format with Sofia Maskowitz and Samantha Takacs riding to the top of the class. Maskowitz rode Quantum Chanel to a first-round high score of 84 and remained in the lead during the test. Takacs and her mount Cooper moved up one spot during the test, after a first-round score of 82.
Sofia Maskowitz on Quantum Chanel. Photo by Sportfot.
Maskowitz, of Freehold, NH, has been partnered with her equitation mount, Quantum Chanel, for only a couple months. The pair, trained by Laura Bowery, stayed on top of the class through the first round of 44 entries and the test. Maskowitz described that she is still working on figuring out the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Quality, so she was extremely pleased with her first round.
“I thought it was one of my best rounds I’ve ever had with him. He was just great and everything was the same. It couldn’t have been better!” Maskowitz commented. “He’s the sweetest horse and tries his hardest for me every time, no matter what the situation is.”
Maskowitz and Quantum Chanel, owned by Elizabeth Deupree, were the last of eight riders to test in the medal. After watching several riders successfully complete the test, Maskowitz knew that she would have to put in a solid, consistent ride to win the class.
“I judged it based on how everyone else did. I tried to stay on the same route as everyone else but also make it my own,” Maskowitz explained.
By the end of the year Maskowitz hopes to move up to the 3’6” equitation classes with Quantum Chanel. Next year, Maskowitz’s plan is to attend indoors and all of the equitation finals.
Takacs, of Oldwick, NJ, and her horse Cooper also put in two consistent rounds in the medal to earn the blue ribbon in their section. The duo has been working together since last spring, with the help of New Hope, LLC, as well as Findlay’s Ridge, LLC. Takacs loves the eight-year-old KWPN gelding’s big stride and sweet personality.
Samantha Takacs on Cooper. Photo by Sportfot.
“I was really happy with my ride because this circuit has kind of been like a building circuit with him since he is green. It was really awesome to end it with such a good round,” Takacs described.
After the first round, Takacs and Cooper were sitting in second place, but put in a beautiful, smooth test to move up one spot.
“I was trying to have a consistent, strong ride. Obviously, I wanted to keep my place or move up,” Takacs said of her test.
Takacs has four junior years left and she plans to make the most of them with Cooper. The pair hopes to continue successfully showing in the equitation and hopefully move up to the 3’6” equitation classes soon.
“I want to keep him through the rest of my junior years so we can grow up together and do the equitation together since we are both kind of new to it!” Takacs commented.
Second place in Section A went to Hannah Famulak aboard Emily Sukert’s Liv. Famulak, of New York, NY, and Liv received a first round score of 79. Section B second-place honors went to Emma Hechtman, of Tampa, FL, and her horse To the Point. The duo earned a first-round score of 78.
Meghan Knapic and Best in Blue Earn the Tri-Color in Animo Adult Amateur Hunters Younger Section B
On the final day of hunter competition on Sunday, March 15, Meghan Knapic rode Best in Blue to the Adult Amateur Hunters Younger Section B championship, sponsored by Animo. Knapic and Best in Blue took on the Rost Ring to win two firsts, as well as second, fourth, and eighth-place ribbons.
Meghan Knapic on Best in Blue. Photo by Sportfot.
Knapic is currently in Wellington for her spring break and was given the opportunity to show Best in Blue, also known as “Elton” around the barn. The rider, from Smithtown, NY, is a sophomore studying at Auburn University and training with Jenna Weinfurt. Elton, owned by First Blue LLC, is a very new mount for Knapic, and also a new horse to Weinfurt.
“Jenna, my trainer, got him five days ago and I was coming down from school and I wanted something to show this weekend. We decided to bring him out and he was amazing!” Knapic explained.
Knapic and Elton quickly formed a relationship in the show ring and proved to be tough competition after winning two over-fences classes on the first day of the division.
“We clicked better today. Yesterday I was still figuring him out, but he was great every single day,” Knapic commented. “He has a great jump and he’s super consistent cantering around.”
Meghan Knapic and Best in Blue. Photo by Sportfot.
Knapic hopes to continue riding Elton and developing their partnership together. Although Knapic has known the Dutch Warmblood gelding for less than a week, she described him as a very reliable and honest partner, that she was thankful to have the ride on.
“The last few days I’ve ridden him he has always come out the same. He’s quiet, easy, and very comfortable to ride,” Knapic said of Elton. “I know that when I go into the ring, wherever I put him he’s going to trust me.”
Taylor St. Jacques, of Glen Allen, VA, and Carriage Hill Farm’s Czar Du Mesnil received the reserve champion title in the Animo Adult Amateur Hunter Younger Section B division. The pair received a first, two thirds and a fourth place.