January 2020 - IEHJA Update
Written by by Patti Schooley
Tuesday, 31 December 2019 20:00
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association news

Championship year-end show is enjoyed by all.

Galway Downs hosted The Inland Empire Hunter Jumper Association’s Championship Year End Horse Show November 7th-10th.  Eighty-three horses and their riders engaged in fierce competition to win a blue, red, yellow or any color ribbon with the goal to accumulate enough points to win a division championship. Twenty-six championships were at stake in the Jumper, Hunter and Equitation Divisions.


Rose Carver, riding three different horses, won a division champion on each. Emma Bryson, riding her own horse Chicago, was also a multiple winner. Landing in other champion or reserve positions were Makenna Hall, Mikayla Tidball, Jasmine Wheatley, Noelle Roberts, Joyce Noelle, Niki Zarcades, Jhonique Baez, Mary Slouka, Christina Brady, Kristie Kurtze, Jessica Abbott, Briannah Mcgee, Lynn Lacaze, Christina Columbe, Chanel Rhodes, Lori Marquardt, Makenna Hamner, Miranda Castorena, Gabby Franklin, Sam Tate and Briniry Werhli. Special recognition goes to Amanda Sorling and Eden Choi both beginning riders winning reserve champions and competing in their first Championship show.


Grand Prize award of a Paradise Electric Scooter presented by Sue Gysin to the winning Willowbrok team. Photo: Tina Fitch Photography

Emma Bryson rocked the equitation ring winning two division champions with Hunter Franklin and Jennifer Hallett in reserve positions. Jhonique Baez riding Zymon and Olivia Lee on Sydney round out the equitation winners.

Brianna Mcgee and Masha Tafoya were multiple winners with Brianna taking division champion in the Low Children’s/Adult Amateur and Schooling Jumpers with Masha taking the reserve. Masha, riding her horse Strawberry Wine, also took reserve in Pre -Training Jumpers while Jessica Abbott aboard her own Dream Catcher took champion. Stepping up her game, Masha took the champion ribbon in the Children’s/Adult Amateur with Carolyn Wickstrand on Solstice in reserve. Athina Zarcades won a three-peat on her horse Come Cie in the Modified Jumpers with Jasmine Wheatley on Gentleman’s Agreement twice in reserve and tied for a third reserve placing with Jessica Abbott. Also taking home the distinctive champion and reserve ribbons were Kayla De St Jean  on Kortesyde and Safa Elzein on Lady in Lace in the .90m Jr/Am Jumpers. Rounding out the Jumper champions was Skylar Hayford and Sam Tate, champion and reserve respectively in the Low Schooling Jumpers. A 1.0m $500 Mini Prix class challenged the competitors with Jessica Abbott, Safa Eizein and Campbell Lear placing first through third respectively.

IEHJA Board members Gretchen Clark and Susan Smithe awarding the Something So Right trophy to Lindsay Snyder. Photo: Tina Fitch Photography

In addition to the Mini Prix, IEHJA held a $500 Fall Festival Hunter Derby that fielded the largest number of competitors. Twenty-four riders coveted the Derby win with Kristie Kurtse, riding Miranda Castorena’s Cromatic, topping the field. The Derby course offered riders a choice of jumping heights from 2’6”, 2’9” and 3’.0” and a two-round format.

The Showdown Perpetual Medal pitted the seven entries over a 2’6”-2’9” jumper style course. The riders, both junior and adult amateurs allowed, were judged on equitation, guidance and control of their horse. A work off of the top two was required. The Medal is sponsored by Joan and Patrick Romo of Mountain view Farms North and South and Jhonique Baez on Zymon won the showdown. Two $100 Hunter Classics were also hotly contested. The Green Rider 2’3” Hunter Classic drew twelve entries with Lori Marquardt riding her own Gamilla Grey taking top honors. Green rider restrictions applied as riders cannot cross enter in any classes with fences exceeding 2’6”. Open to junior and adult amateurs, riders under the age of forty can only enter if they were in their first two years of showing at the 2’6” height. Riders over forty can only enter if they no longer compete over the 2’6” fence height.

The $100 Stirrup Hunter Classic allowed all Short, Long and Rusty Stirrup riders to compete. Miranda Castorena riding her own Cromatic took the first with Briniry Werhli on Zippy Ziggy second and Lauren Cordova on Beckett third.

Jessica Abbott and Justin Clark in the winners circle.

Jennifer Hallett was this year’s IEHJA Horsemanship Scholarship winner. The $250 award was an essay competition open to all junior and adult amateur IEHJA members. This year’s topic, “What is Your Definition of Horsemanship”, was judged on content, how specifically the essay answered the question, spelling and grammar. Congratulations to Jennifer. Lindsay Snyder was awarded the “Something So Right Trophy”. This competition was open to all horse owners that had persevered through personal or horse related difficulties and never gave up no matter what the odds.

Perhaps the most exciting class of the show was Jump, Scoot and Bounce which was held Saturday evening after the Hunter Derby. This team event has become a hallmark of the  IEHJA Championship Show with teams comprised of competitors, family and friends. Essentially a relay, the first team member rides a designated course. In this instance it was a gallop around the arena with the rider dismounting and tagging the scooter driver. The driver had to complete an obstacle course and was penalized for time faults and knocking tennis balls off course delineators. The third team member, usually the youngest and most supple, then mounted a bouncy ball and made a mad dash to the finish line. If you have never experience riding a bouncy ball let’s just say they’re hard to propel forward and kill your legs. The team from Willowbrook Riding Academy had the fastest time and won the grand prize mobility scooter donated by Paradise Electric Scooters. Sue Hilton Gysin presented the scooter to the Willowbrook team comprised of Gabby Franklin, mom Lorilea and Sam Tate.

Kristie Kurtze jumping Cromatic. Photo: Tina Fitch Photography

IEHJA thanks all its winners and all the competitors that participated in the Year End Championship Horse Show. A big nod of gratitude goes to the trainers and family and friends that support every competitor. This show could not have happened without the support of its sponsors; Paradise Electric Scooters, The Hay Connection, Cavalor, Finish Line, The Sporting Life Magazine and of course Riding Magazine. IEHJA also recognizes the great photography provided by Tina Finch Photography. Follow IEHJA on its website, iehja.com or on Instagram. View next year’s show calendar and up and coming events such as the Annual Red-Carpet Awards Banquet at Santa Anita Racetrack on February 16, 2020. Hope to see all of you competitors and more and next years Championship Show which will again be held at Galway Downs.

Article provided by Patti Schooley for IEHJA.