Week 3 in the Hunter Ring WEF Recap

Sterling Malnik Rides Rockette to the Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 and Under Championship

Week 3 of WEF came to a close with Sterling Malnik and Rockette claiming the Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 and Under championship in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. The pair earned two firsts, a second, and a fifth-place ribbon.

Sterling Malnik and Rockette. Photo ® Sportfot

Malnik, trained by Bill Schaub, has only had Rockette for about one month. She recently purchased the 10-year-old mare from Ramble On Farm. Malnik is thrilled to have such a kind and talented new mount for this season. “She just blows my mind and always jumps incredible!” described Malnik

Rockette and Malnik just started competing in the Junior Hunter 3’3” division this circuit and are already off to a great start. “She’s a proper lady; if you respect her, she’ll respect you,” said Malnik of Rockette.

The pair had consistent rounds throughout the two days of competition and also won the under saddle. Malnik believes that it was Rockette’s jump and their combined “cuteness factor” that made them stand out to the judges. “She is amazing and I think she jumps better than any other horse out there,” the rider commented.

Sterling Malnik and Rockette in their champion presentation. Photo ® Sportfot

Malnik, of Ocean Ridge, FL, plans to continue to show Rockette in the Junior Hunter 3’3” division for the rest of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival season. She is hoping that they can continue to produce good rounds and earn circuit champion in the division. “Hopefully next year we can move up to the 3’6” Junior Hunters and qualify for Devon and indoors,” Malnik explained.Right behind Malnik in points was Raina Swani and Stately, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC. Swani, of Ponte Verda Beach, FL, and Stately received a second, third, fourth, and eighth place to earn reserve champion.

Gabrielle Sokolow and Kindred Claim Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under Championship

Saturday morning in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring began with Gabrielle Sokolow and Kindred earning champion in the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division. Sokolow and Kindred won the under saddle and received an additional first and second place ribbon to claim the championship title.

Gabrielle Sokolow and Kindred. Photo © Sportfot

Kindred is a new ride for Sokolow, who has had the horse for less than a week. Sokolow went to Ocala last week to try the horse as a prospect for the junior hunter division. It was clear that the pair was right for each other when they won all three classes and were champion in their first show together earlier this season. “We instantly knew that it was the right match!” commented Sokolow.

The eight-year-old gelding was then brought to Wellington, where he showed earlier in the week with Kate Conover. Sokolow, of Westlake Village, CA, then took over the ride on Kindred again and the pair was able to continue their winning streak. “He has such a great personality and the way he goes around the ring is just so pretty,” said Sokolow of her new mount.

Although the first day of the division was a learning experience for Sokolow, the second day was very successful. “Today, we clicked and it was really good. He is amazing, and I’m already in love with him!” she said.

Gabrielle Sokolow and Kindred in their championship presentation. Photo © Sportfot

Sokolow trains with Elizabeth Reilly and Chris Iwasaki out of Makoto Farms in Calabasas, CA, and plans to continue to show Kindred in the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under ranks for the remainder of WEF. This summer, the pair will hopefully begin competing in hunter derbies and the Hunter Prix classes at HITS Saugerties. “Eventually I want to go to derby finals on him!” Sokolow described as one of her long-term goals with Kindred.

Reserve champion of the Large Junior 15 and Under went to Augusta Iwasaki, of Calabasas, CA, and Lion. Iwasaki and Lion, owned by Davlyn Farms Inc., received two firsts and a seventh place to claim the reserve title.

Krista Weisman and Concept Claim the Adult Amateur Hunter Young (Section A) Championship

Hunter competition in the Rost Ring continued on Friday with the crowning of Krista Weisman and Concept as the Adult Amateur Hunter Younger (Section A) champions. Weisman rode Concept to two first and two second-place finishes in the division.

Krista Weisman and Concept. Photo ® Sportfot

Weisman, of Brooklyn, NY, was excited to get back into the show ring with Concept after recently having a baby. “We like to joke that he was on paternity leave over the summer and now this is his second show back in a year,” Weisman explained

The pair had a successful return to the show ring and definitely stood out to the judges. “He has the most comfortable canter and feels like he is just floating along,” Weisman said.

Weisman bought the 13-year-old gelding, who had been a stallion for many years, as a pre-green horse. The pair, trained by Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley, have been together for eight years, creating a great relationship between them. “No matter what happens you just hug him when he comes out of the ring because he’s so lovable,” Weisman commented.

Although Concept is for sale, Weisman still plans to continue to show him until he sells. “I still want to keep being consistent and spend as much time with him as I can,” she described.

Not far behind in points was Lili Halterman and Kingston who received the title of reserve champion in the Adult Amateur Hunter Younger (Section A) division. Halterman, of New York, NY, rode her horse Kingston to two firsts, second, third, and fifth place.

Maria Rasmussen Pilots R & R to Green Hunter 3’3” Championship

The Green Hunter 3’3” division came to a close on Thursday with the crowning of Maria Rasmussen and R & R as the champions. Rasmussen rode R & R to a first, two seconds, a fourth, and a fifth-place ribbon in the Equine Tack and Nutritionals Ring 6.

Maria Rasmussen and R & R battling some weather to come out on top. Photo © Sportfot

R & R is a fairly new ride for Rasmussen, who has only had the horse for one month. Owned by Jill Abrams of Wellington, FL, the eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding has already proven to be a great addition. “He has been fun, easy and talented right off the bat!” Rasmussen commented.

Rasmussen, of Royal Palm Beach, FL, was pleased with how reliable R & R was in the tough competition. “For pre-green horses it’s hard to be so consistent, and he gave it his all every round,” said Rasmussen. The gelding’s beautiful and rhythmic canter also helped the pair stand out to the judges and win the under saddle.

Although Rasmussen is having fun showing R & R, her main goal is to get him ready for Abrams to take over the ride. Abrams plans to show the gelding in the Adult Amateurs during this season of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Rasmussen is happy to be showing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and is looking forward to the remaining weeks of the circuit. “It’s nice to show here where the footing is nice and there is always a good group of horses to show against,” Rasmussen explained.

Owner Jill Abrams and R & R in their champion presentation. Photo ® Sportfot

Reserve champion of the Green Hunter 3’3” division went to John French, of San Juan Bautista, CA, and Lucky Strike. French and Lucky Strike, owned by Kent Farrington LLC, earned two firsts, a fifth and a seventh place.