July 2019 - Show Report - USHJA WCHR Hunter Spectacular
Written by CRM
Saturday, 29 June 2019 03:06
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Jenny Karazissis gets a second win of special class, this time aboard Really.

After two rounds of exceptional hunter performances Jenny Karazissis and Michelle Cobb’s Really were crowned the 2019 champions of the $25,000 USHJA WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular. Their high score of 91.5 in the second round and 180.12 total combined score secured their victory over Katie Taylor and Bravado Farms LLC’s L’Con Reyes with a score of 176.12, and Leslie Steele aboard Glen Haven Farm LLC’s Park City with a score of 175.25.

Forty-one talented hunters competed on the Oaks International Grand Prix Field at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, California. The horse and rider pairs galloped over fences of comparable height to the division in which they typically compete, either 3’6”, 3’9”, or 4’. The top 12 scores across all heights were brought back for a second round to determine the final placings.

Jenny Karazissis & Really. Photo: Kim F. Miller

“What a beautiful day, beautiful course, beautifully judged,” said Steele. “It’s just so nice to be out here on the grass, and such beautiful jumps and so well decorated and attended today. The crowd was great.”

In the early morning fog, spectators watched with anticipation as Avery Glynn, daughter of previous WCHR Spectacular Champion Hope Glynn, stepped onto the field to start the class. Her elegant ride on King of Hearts, who was Champion in the Large Junior Hunters earlier in the week, earned a score of 80.5 and set the tone for the first round. During the press conference, the professionals congratulated this high-scoring junior on her ability to navigate the bending combination line, which winner Karazissis described as “definitely tricky and scopey.”

For their victory, Karazissis and Really earned a $7,500 check along with a custom engraved commemorative frame, embroidered jackets for the rider, owner, trainer and groom, an embroidered cooler, FITS Gift Certificate, and a CWD halter. Valencia Sport Saddlery also presented the winner with the “Horseplay Encouraged” Perpetual Trophy.

The top three riders were eager to express their gratitude for the owners and trainers of their top 12 mounts. They also praised Blenheim Equisports for sparing no effort to make the West Coast Hunter Spectacular a special and well-attended event.

The World Championship Hunter Rider Program was founded in 1992 to recognize and celebrate the hunter rider. Since the inaugural WCHR Professional Finals in 1992, the WCHR program has expanded to include coveted year-end awards for Professionals, Developing Professionals, Amateur Owners, Adult Amateurs, Juniors, Children’s and Pony riders. Each year the top 10 nationally ranked riders in each WCHR category, as well as the top six riders from each region are invited to compete in their respective WCHR Challenge, except the Handy category, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show. For more information about the WCHR Program, visit ushja.org/wchr.

Steele stated, “I think the WCHR is an unbelievable, great addition to our sport. For the people that don’t do a million horse shows to be able to do the WCHR shows and get a year-end award but not have to chase points, I think that’s really a great way to do it.”

Press release provided by the USHJA.