April 2018 - IEHJA Championship Awards Banquet
Written by by Patti Schooley
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 17:49
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Red Carpet awards event includes a day at the races at Santa Anita.

by Patti Schooley

The majestic San Gabriel Mountains provided the backdrop to the 2017 IEHJA Championship Awards Banquet held at Santa Anita Racetrack. This event, held Sunday, Feb. 18, included a spectacular awards presentation, a catered brunch and a day at the races. The banquet’s setting, located adjacent to the track’s finish line, offered up close race viewing. A dozen banquet tables accommodated IEHJA members, their families and friends. The awards tables ran the length of the banquet area and were layered with ribbons, jackets, trophies, silver cups, bridles, pads, picture frames and other prizes and forms of rider recognition.

Winners circle group.

Hannah Rohr wins Champion Jacket from fellow competitor Devynn Sibley.

IEHJA President Gretchen Clark kicked off the event by welcoming the attendees to the championship awards banquet. She encouraged everyone to enjoy the day, especially the races, and noted that IEHJA sponsored the second race of the day. Names were drawn to represent IEHJA in the winner’s circle and four excited members were selected to help crown the winner. Gretchen highlighted IEHJA’s successes for 2017 including the growing number of members, sanctioned shows and the bigger and better “Fall Festival” Year End Horse Show. Gretchen recognized the sponsors, volunteers, parents and IEHJA Board members who made 2017 such a successful year and noted 2018 was looking even more positive. The IEHJA annual general meeting was then called to order (as required by IEHJA by-laws) and the agenda was quickly completed. Everyone was anticipating the start of the awards portion of the day’s events!

The first award was not even listed in the banquet program: It recognized Romesh Sinclair, the banquet’s master of ceremonies, as a founding member of IEHJA. Romesh, along with small group of trainers and parents, organized IEHJA in 2006 to improve the horse show experience for its members, increase professionalism and provide a stepping stone to higher level horse shows. The founding members established by-laws and rules, show sanctioning requirements, decided to hold a year end horse show and annual awards banquet. It was an ambitious agenda and Romesh was instrumental in getting it accomplished. He was presented an official IEHJA jacket in recognition of his service.

Romesh receiving his IEHJA founding members jacket.

On To The Awards

The first rider award, The Perpetual Showdown Trophy sponsored by Pat and Joan Romo of Mountain View Farms, was presented to Haley Paterson with Liz Lopez reserve. Haley was one of the day’s big winners: she was champion and reserve champion in both hunter and jumper divisions and the IEHJA 2’9” Equitation Medal Final.  Sam Tate and Carolyn Wickstrand, both of Willowbrook Riding Club, were two more big winners winning either champion or reserve in the Short Stirrup, Green Rider and Low Schooling Jumper Divisions as well as the 2’3” IEHJA Equitation Medal Finals and the 2’3” Equitation Medal Year End High Point. IEHJA Flat Equitation Medal champion was Hunter Franklin riding Raphael and Reserve Was Devynn Sibley. Hunter and Raphael also won the Flat Equitation Medal Year End High point with Carolyn Wickstrand reserve. Devynn was also reserve in the IEHJA 2’9” Equitation Medal Final, champion in the Training and Modified Jumper Divisions and reserve in the Children’s/AA Jumper Division. The IEHJA 2’6” Equitation Medal Final champion was Hazel Lenoir and Campbell Lear reserve. Their positions were reversed in the 2’6” Equitation Medal Year End High Point with Campbell winning champion and Hazel tied for reserve with Forrest Franklin. Their battle continued in the Low Children’s/AA Hunter Division with Hazel winning champion and Campbell reserve. Carolyn Wickstrand was further recognized in the USHJA Outreach Equitation Medal Award, Bronze 2’3”, 8th in Zone 10.

Short Stirrup Champion Sam Tate.

Hannah Rohr, another multi champion/reserve winner, rode her own Jaeger Meister in the Low Children’s/AA Jumper, Children’s/AA Jumper and Pre-training Jumper Divisions. Other division champions include: Lauren Cordova (Walk/Trot) Kiera Kuy reserve; Isabella Aldas (Cross-Rail/Junior Amateur) Jocelyne Reiche and Brinley Wehrli tied for reserve;  Brinley Wehrli (Cross-rail Open) Isabel Aldas reserve; Kaitlyn Lee ( Long Stirrup) Jenna Myers reserve; Christina Brady (Rusty Stirrup) Anne Lorkowshi reserve; Christina Brady riding Blackjack N Beers (Baby Green Hunter) Kim Gerrard and Check Me Out reserve; Sandy Olsen, owner (Low Hunter) Berlin ridden by Jessica Abbott, Jasmine Wheatley, owner/rider Gentleman’s Agreement reserve; Devynn Sibley (Modified Junior/AA Hunter) Gabby Franklin reserve; Sandy Olsen/Jessica Abbott on Berlin (Modified Hunter ) Jasmine Wheatley on Gentleman’s Agreement reserve; Devynn Sibley (Training Jumper) Jasmine Wheatley reserve and Devynn Sibley (Modified Jumper) Hunter Franklin reserve.

IEHJA thanks its sponsors whose support was instrumental to the success of 2017 horse show year including the Fall Festival Year End Horse Show and the Red-Carpet Championship Awards Banquet: Amy Ericson from Whitefish Equestrian Center, Montana; Infused Edibles; The Hay Connection; Caston Inc.; Dover Saddlery; Sports Life Magazine; Vamp Inc. and Cruise Holidays.
Congratulations to all our winners and good luck in the 2018 show year.