January 2016 - IEHJA Fall Festival
Written by Patti Schooley
Saturday, 02 January 2016 05:28
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Inland Empire H/J Association introduces new format to the delight of competitors.

by Patti Schooley • photos by: Cami Jo Contreras; Allie Sibley; Jessica Abbott; Patti Schooley

The Inland Empire Hunter Jumper Association (IEHJA) kicked off its 2015 Fall Festival at the City of Industry Expo Center by adding a third show day, Fri., Nov. 13, for a “jumpers only extravaganza.” This new format proved “lucky” for many competitors and trainers alike as they could concentrate on their jumper rides. Many competitors commented that this was a less stressful approach to showing as their jumper and hunter horse was often one in the same. Alternatively, riders who only wanted to compete in jumper classes could trailer in for the day and not incur overnight boarding costs.

Rebel Without a Cause jumping the .70m low schooling fences with Devon Sibley aboard.

Trainer and IEHJA president and show manager Gretchen Clark with 2’6 IEHJA medal winner Jessica Abbott and Berlin.

According to IEHJA president and show manager Gretchen Clark, this was a win-win for everyone. Scheduling and gate issues were minimal, with jumper classes concluding in time for competitors to participate in the Friday night “Meet and Greet Dinner” put on by IEHJA.

The main aisleway between barns was the festive setting for Friday night dining activities. The barn decorating competition, highlighting “the first Thanksgiving,” brought a multitude of flowers in fall colors, pumpkins, gourds, straw, chandeliers, candy and other goodies and a place for competitors and their supporters to relax between classes. Sharing an Italian feast of spaghetti, lasagna and antipasto salad, people mingled, renewing or making new acquaintances and sizing up the competition!

The IEHJA Fall Festival attracts riders from a large geographic area including Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside counties, thus the importance of the show’s social activities.

In addition to its social component, IEHJA also focuses on educational aspects  sponsoring three $250 Horsemanship scholarships available to junior and amateur riders. Participants were required to write a 200-500 word essay on the following topic: “How do you define horsemanship and how does it apply to you.” Junior riders (and their parents) particularly appreciated the chance to offset some horse show costs!

Jasmine Wheatley winner of Low Schooling Jumpers on Jis Des Commander.

Kiera Kuy riding City Silhouette.

Jump Start

Jumper classes started at 11 a.m. Friday morning allowing competitors plenty of time for warm-ups. Course designer Kelly James did not make it easy for the jumper riders testing their skills with bending lines, lots of turns and rollbacks and various combinations. As IEHJA’s “end of year” show, the Fall Festival challenged riders and horses to demonstrate their cumulative skills garnered in past competitions. The .70 low schooling jumpers and the .75 schooling jumper classes were hotly contested with seven to 10 riders per round. Class ribbons were awarded to 8th place and division champion and reserve champion awarded to the horse and rider combo accumulating the most points.

Division champions were Jis Des Commander/Jasmine Wheatley and Moonstruck/Trenna Pannier, and reserve champions were Beckett/Olivia Kraft and Paladine/Aurora Remis respectively. Both of these divisions were also sanctioned by the Jockey Club for their Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) high point award.

Trading division champions and reserve champion at the .90 and 1.0 meter height  were Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani on Jacob’s Dream and Kara Stauder on Noby’s Rose. Other reserve champions included The Big Lebowski/Trenna Pannier, Enjoy/Ireland  Bloom and Moonstruck/Trenna Pannier. Hunter Franklin riding the Chase is On won the low junior/adult amateur jumpers while his sister Gabby Franklin won the Showdown Perpetual Medal. The Showdown is open to juniors and amateurs competing at .75m or higher and is judged on equitation, guidance and control of their horse over jumper type fences. The perpetual trophy is sponsored by Joan and Patrick Romo of Mountain View Farms.

Joyce Noel with High Society after her Open Cross Rail round.

Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani riding multiple jumper division champion Jacob’s Dream.

Saturday’s and Sunday’s competition brought the usual mix of hunter classes (low, children’s/adult amatuer and modified rounds) baby greens, green riders, the stirrup classes, schooling cross rails and walk trot. The United States Hunter Jumper (USHJA) Outreach 2’3” Bronze, 2’6” Silver and 2’9” Gold Affiliate Medal classes, the $250 Fall Festival hunter derby 2”3’ and 2’6”, Pleasure horse and the hunt team pairs class were part of weekend’s  class schedule.    
USHJA Affiliate Program Medal

IEHJA is a big proponent of the USHJA Affiliate Program Medal classes and for the past few years have had both state and nationally rated riders. Medal classes judge the riders’ equitation and their ability to guide their horses around a more difficult course than in a normal hunter class. The top scoring riders are called back to jump over a shortened course and can have trot jumps and stops within the course.

The USHJA 2’3’ Bronze medal was won by Olivia Kraft/Beckett, the 2’6”Silver medal was won by Jessica Abbott/Berlin and the 2’9”Gold medal was won by Kara Stauder/Noby’s Rose. (See feature on Kara, page 30.)

Other weekend winners included triple champion rider Hunter Franklin on Dually Invested winning the green rider and low children’s/adult amateur divisions and the pleasure horse/17 and under. He was also the reserve champion in the low children’s hunters. Amanda Reynolds was also a double winner, winning champion in the baby greens and pleasure horse/18 and over on Jetson. The short stirrup division was won by Shelby Monteleone/Far Rockaway with Hazel Lenior/ Wasmi Spring reserve, the long stirrup Celeste Kenny/Captain Jax champion and Olivia Kraft/Beckett reserve and the rusty stirrup was won by Angelique Smith-Sadati/Dapper Don with Delia Christen/Baron reserve. Another youth focused class was  walk/trot with Sam Tate/ Summer Vacation taking division honors and Megan Scruggs/Case Manhattan the reserve. Crossrail champion was Stotler Bailey/Avianna and reserve champion Lauren Dryer on Gaslight.The open schooling Crossrail division provided for double success for rider Jessica Abbott with champion aboard Kindred Spirit and reserve with Blackjack N Beers.

The $250 Fall Festival and $250 Pumpkin Patch Derbies were held on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The Fall Festival competitors were challenged by a course set at the 2’6” level with their first round judged on “performance, hunter pace, jumping style, quality and substance and movement. The second round is also judged on the brilliance of pace and handiness. Optional fences in each round allow for additional points added to a riders’ base scores. Hunter Derbies use a variety of jumps with a more natural look and can include post and rail coops, stone walls , brush, logs and natural foliage. The IEHJA Derby course incorporated all of these elements testing the mettle of both horse and rider. Other options may include tight turns, clever options for jump approaches, hand galloping and trot fences.

Olivia Kraft riding Patti Schooley’s Beckett in the 2’3 jumper class.

Trenna and Patty Pannier enjoying a mother-daughter moment.

The Pumpkin Patch Derby riders faced the same the type of challenges but at the 2’3” height. The latter was won by Jasmine Wheatley riding Gentleman’s Agreement while the 2’6” Derby was won by Ireland Bloom riding Enjoy.
Unique to Sunday’s class schedule was the crowd favorite leadline with 5 riders getting their taste of high level competition. Kylie Schwing riding Captain Jax won the class but all riders were “winners” just by their participation.

The IEHJA Medal Finals were also ridden on Sunday. This medal series required riders to  have won a previous IEHJA medal class or accumulate a specific number of points in order to qualify. The medal  jumping classes, structured after the USHJA format, were won as follows: 2’9” Kara Stauder/Noby’s Rose; 2’6” Jessica Abbott/Berlin and Olivia Kraft/ Beckett won the 2’3” height. IEHJA also offered a flat medal class won by Trenna Pannier riding her mother’s horse High Society. Rounding out the divisional winners not already mentioned were Josie Walters/Classic Touch champion low hunters and Ireland Bloom/Enjoy champion and Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani/Jacobs Dream reserve of the modified hunter division.

Banquet This Month

The IEHJA Fall Festival End of Year show ended as stress free as it started with competition and barn breakdown completed before dark (tired riders had to face school and work the following day).

Show Manager Susan Smith felt positive that IEHJA’s show planning efforts and change in format enhanced the competitors experience. Terrific prizes were awarded with coolers,halters, crystal, pads and sweatshirts along with ribbons, medals and cash presented to winning riders. The Fall Festival End of Year Show was also a “double points show” for IEHJA members with points accumulating towards the organization’s high point awards to be presented at their annual banquet, held January 17 at Santa Anita Race Track.

Information regarding the banquet and the Inland Empire Hunter Jumper Assn. can be found at www.IEHJA.com or www.IEHJA.info. Complete Fall Festival horse show results may be found at horseshowtime.com.


Author Patti Schooley is an IEHJA board member and an active rider. She gave herself Beckett as a 60th birthday present and began jumping at age 62. Patti rides with Joan Romo’s Mountain View Farms at Rancho Del Rio in Anaheim.