Becky Gochman & Last Man Darling Capture Championship in Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over at WEF
The Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over division came to an end on Saturday with Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling earning the title of champion. Gochman piloted Last Man Darling, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to two firsts, a third, a fifth, and a sixth-place ribbon.
Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling. Photo © Sportfot
This championship was an extra-special one for Gochman, of Wellington, FL. This season is the mare’s return to the show ring after an injury sidelined them for two years. This was the pair’s second week showing again. “Last week she was a little excited, and I was a little nervous; this week we both calmed down and took a breath,” Gochman described.
Last Man Darling has been in the Gochman family for close to five years. “She started off with my girls, Sophie and Mimi, in the junior hunters, and then I began to show her successfully in the 3’3” amateur-owners,” Gochman explained.
Gochman, who trains with Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley, is excited to have her partner back in the show ring and knows that she can always count on her mare to impress the judges. “She is a beautiful mover, and she jumps up high and round. When she does, it’s a fantastic feeling,” Gochman said of Last Man Darling. “When all of her good qualities add up, it comes out to be a magical horse!”
Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling in their winner presentation with Mackenzie MacLean of Equiline. Photo © Sportfot
This season Gochman hopes to continue to learn from Last Man Darling and also have fun showing her. “She’s a mare, so I’m learning to be still and leave her alone to do her thing, because when she does it is amazing,” Gochman commented. The pair also hopes to qualify for indoors with a successful spring and summer show season.
Earning the reserve champion title in the Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over division was Carol Hoffman, from Frenchtown, NJ, and Good Thing. Hoffman and Good Thing, owned by Market Street, Inc., received a second, third, and fourth to secure the reserve champion spot.
Tracy Scheriff-Muser Catch Rides Bode Well to Adult Amateur Middle Hunter (Section A) Champion
Friday morning in the Rost Ring began with Tracy Scheriff-Muser and Bode Well taking the championship title of the Adult Amateur Middle Hunter (Sec. A). Scheriff-Muser, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, rode Bode Well to two firsts, a second, and two third-place ribbons.
Tracy Scheriff-Muser and Bode Well. Photo © Sportfot
The partnership between Florida resident Scheriff-Muser and Bode Well, owned by Melissa Burns, only began last summer. “I live down here full time so I really look for any rides to keep in shape,” Scheriff-Muser explained. She felt very fortunate that owner Burns allowed the pair to compete together.
Although Scheriff-Muser and Bode Well are still new to each other, she knows that she can trust him. “You can always count on him! It’s so nice to have one that you can go in on and not have to worry about anything,” she said. The gelding’s beautiful rhythm is one of Scheriff-Muser’s favorite qualities about him.
Trained by Devon De Phillips, Scheriff-Muser and Bode Well hope to continue their winning streak this season and are aiming for circuit champion in the division.
Right behind Scheriff-Muser in points was Stephanie Bulger, of New York, NY, and Mariano. Bulger, the owner and rider of Mariano, received two firsts and two fifth places to earn reserve champion in the division.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 Championship Goes to Stephanie Danhakl and Tufton Avenue
Week two for hunters ended on Sunday with Stephanie Danhakl riding her new mount, Tufton Avenue, to the Palm Beach Equine Clinic Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 championship. The pair earned three firsts, a fourth, and a fifth-place ribbon to claim their title.
Stephanie Danhakl and Tufton Avenue. Photo © Sportfot
After riding Tufton Avenue only one time, Danhakl walked right into one of her favorite arenas, the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, with her new mount. “Yesterday I was still trying to figure him out but we still had two good trips and then today he won every class. I couldn’t ask for him to be more perfect!” commented Danhakl, who hails from Pacific Palisades, CA, but is pursuing her PhD in Art History at Boston Universtiy.
On the second day of the division the pair, trained by Scott Stewart, Ken Berkley and Nancy Ciesluk, won the hack and received scores of 91 and 93 to put them on top. “Even when I make a few mistakes he just jumps higher and better,” said Danhakl. The gelding’s beautiful pace and round jump is what Danhakl believes helps him stand out to the judges.
Tufton Avenue is a first year green horse that was ridden and brought along by Katie Cooper of Owings Mills, MD. “She has done an incredible job with him, he doesn’t feel like a green horse at all,” described Danhakl.
Stephanie Danhakl and Tufton Avenue in their champion presentation with Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s Dr. Hilary Clayton and marketing director Bethany Lawler. Photo © Sportfot
Although Danhakl was not looking for a new horse at the time, she rode Tufton Avenue once and realized that he was impossible to turn down. “I jumped one course and he was perfect so we said let’s vet him!” she said.
Reserve champion of the Palm Beach Equine Clinic Amateur-Owner Hunters 3’6” 18-35 went to Britta Stoeckel, of Chicago, IL, and William Hill. Stoeckel and her horse William Hill received a first, two seconds, a third, and a fourth-place ribbon to earn reserve champion.