November 2017 - SFHJA Updates
Written by by Regina Antonioli
Monday, 30 October 2017 21:20
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Top Competition is showcased at the six San Fernando Hunter Jumper Association Medal Finals.

by Regina Antonioli

Over a hundred junior and amateur riders showed up to compete in the San Fernando Hunter Jumper Association’s six medal finals. Positioning itself as a bridge between the grass roots and premiere levels of equestrian sports, the SFHJA Medals have varying degrees of difficulty and fence heights, with riders ranging in age from under 10 to over 60.

Competition began the first weekend in October, with the Equine Insurance/SFHJA Challenge Medal Finals at the Flintridge Autumn Classic, where Jaime Krupnick took top honors. Set at 3’3” and held over two days, this is SFHJA’s premier medal and Jaime, who trains with Susie Postel at Foxfield, was up to the task. Open to both amateurs and juniors, Jaimie was standing third returning for the work-off after two rounds. The married mother and owner of her own event planning business, she had 23 years on her nearest competitor and all four riders held scores in the 80s. “I knew I had to focus and that I just couldn’t make any mistakes.”

Champion, Jaime Krupnick with L to R: SFHJA President, Kathleen Busfield; Jaime’s mother, Claudia Krupnick; Sponsor Rep. for Equine Insurance, Donna Parker; Trainer from Foxfield, Susie Postel. Photo: Grand Pix Photography

17 & Under Emma Pacyna. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

Winning the Equine Insurance Challenge Medal was a personal goal of Jaime’s since she won the SFHJA 18 and Over Medal in 2016, and other SFHJA medals as a junior. In addition to the perpetual trophy, keeper trophy, championship embroidered cooler and a top-ten saddle pad, Jaime goes home with two weekend getaways, one for herself one for her trainer, all sponsored by Joe and Donna Parker of Equine Insurance. Second place honors went to Emma Pacyna, followed by Sienna Gustafson and Morgan White.

It was a lucky Friday the 13th for amateur rider and attorney, Erin Prutow, of Sherman Oaks, when SFHJA Medal Finals competition continued at the Camelot Classic in Santa Barbara. Riding her trainer, Stephanie Haney’s, Brightside, she captured the SFHJA 18 and Over Medal, sponsored by Da Moor’s Feed & Tack. After the flat phase, which counts 40%, Erin was standing with six other of the 18 starters with scores in the 80s. But the Mike Nielson course in the Earl Warren Dome took its toll on many of the riders. “I rode the first round exactly as we planned,” Erin explained, noting advice from both Stephanie and trainer, Melissa Jones. Erin was standing first going into the work-off and felt it did give her an advantage.  “I was able to make tighter turns and smoother transitions.”  Reserve Champion was Lisa Carman of Los Alamos, followed by Courtney Harrell and Lorri Quiett.

18 & Over Erin Prutow. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

12 & Under Finals Winner Lauren Kolbe, with SFHJA President, Kathy Busfield, a presenter, 2016 Winner, Madison Nadolenco, a presenter, Lisa Winn and Casandra Karazissis, trainers from Far West. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

In the largest Final of the season, 15-year-old Emma Pacyna, of Simi Valley, bested a field of 37 to win the SFHJA 17 and Under Medal Finals, sponsored by No Thrush. After the flat phase, Emma, second in the Equine Insurance Challenge Medal, was one of only six riders here with scores in the 80s heading into the over-fences phase and then one of only four garnering an 80% or better average after the jumping, putting her second heading into the work-off. Under the guidance of her mother and trainer Michelle Pacyna, Emma was the best at minimizing mistakes and maximizing performance to move up into first place after the work-off – a very sweet victory. Second place went to 12-year-old Andie Aviv of Calabasas, who trains at Far West Farm, followed by Makala Lutz and Emma Raith.

Saturday morning’s competition brought the SFHJA Futures Medal Finals sponsored by the Looker Family.  Arte Kosav of Palos Verdes, competing in her first medal finals, was notably excited about her victory. At 2’3” the Futures has the lowest fence height of the SFHJA Medals and consists of two jumping rounds and a work-off. “I thought I would be more nervous,” Arte said about leading in all phases. “Gordon,” as the horse Goodness, owned by her trainer Kay Altheuser at Elvenstar is called in the barn, “has a big stride – he can really save you.” She thought that stride helped when she decided to push for the seven strides in a bending line. Arte is looking forward to the CPHA Medal Finals later this year and then moving up to 2’6” next year. Reserve Champion in the Futures was Valerie Cybul followed by two 10-year-old riders, Lily Chapnick and Gable Gering.

On Sunday morning two trainers coached a second rider to medal championship honors.  Michelle Pacyna, who operates out of her own Fieldstone Farm in Moorpark followed her daughter Emma’s victory in the 17 & Under Finals with a victory in the 13 & Over Finals by Hanna Cowdrey. The 13-Year-Old from Camarillo was only in the middle of the pack following the flat phase, but she really impressed the judges riding her own horse, Alaric, over fences moving her into second position. Small mistakes seemed to plague riders in the work-off, but it was Hanna who finally took the top honors. In second place was Chelsea Pennington followed by Jodie Resnick and Lisa Hankin.

Futures Finals winner Arte Kosav with presenters, Elvenstar trainers Becky Abeita and Caitlin Mallory with 2016 winner Sophia Kivman. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

Thirteen & Over Finals winner Hanna Cowdrey, with, from left, Fieldstone Farms Groom; SFHJA President, Kathy Busfield; Emma Pacyna, but from Fieldstone; 2016 Winner Amber Calvert-Jones; trainer, Michelle Pacyna. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

Far West Farms put a second rider in the winner’s photo when Lauren Kolbe won the SFHJA 12 & Under Medal Finals. The 12-year-old, from Calabasas bested a field of 10, 11, 12-year-olds. Consistency was again a big factor, as Lauren led in all phases. Second place was awarded to Charlotte Holtke, followed by Morgan Yorlano and Chloe Costell.

All SFHJA Medal Finals Champions from the Camelot Classic will have their names engraved on the respective perpetual trophies, receive a keeper trophy of mounted spurs donated by Kathy Busfield/Four Oaks Farm, and an Essex Shirt donated by Outdoor Outfitters. Reserve Champions receive an engraved leather halter donated by Chad Mahaffey Stables, and the top three in each Finals receive embroidered coolers donated by Da Moor’s Feed & Tack.