Grace Knox and Rapidash helping Team Illinois to the team win.  photo courtesy of ESI Photography

Grace Knox and Rapidash helping Team Illinois to the team win. photo courtesy of ESI Photography

The great hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”  Long ago, Voltaire exhorted fellow Frenchmen to “Stand upright, speak thy thoughts.”  The basic lesson is that if you want something, you need to stand up, take the chance, and ask for it.

Well, adult amateur and children’s  jumper members of the USHJA who were looking for a championship to call their own spoke up, and the organization listened.  The USHJA created a task force that ultimately devised the idea that would become the Children’s and Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championships.  Current US Chef d’equipe Robert Ridland was one of the team members who initialized the program, which was refined into a series of four regional competitions in the hopes that regional championships would be more affordable and thus encourage greater participation.

Southern and Central regional competitions have already been held in Atlanta and Oklahoma.  The North regional championship was contested at HITS in Saugerties, NY, and the Western teams will duke it out in Rancho Murieta at the end of September. The regions are broken out as follows:

North Region – Zones 1, 2 and 5
South Region – Zones 3 and 4
Central Region – Zones 6 and 7
West Region – Zones 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

This past week at HITS Saugerties the Children’s team from Illinois came out on top as the victors.  Caelinn Leahy, Louisa Brackett, Sarah Scarnechia, and Grace Knox were led by Chef  Mary Goldman of Red Coat Farm in Hawthorn Woods, IL.   The team from Indiana, coached by Sandra Dahlman and consisting of Margaux Danby, Sarah Fisher,  and Kreigh Elzey, came in second.  Chef Aster Pieters’ team from Massachusetts, Louisa Behnke, Marina Callahan, Sara Sprague and Ava Stearns, joined the others on the podium in the third spot.  In terms of Individual standings, Mackenzie Kane of Durham, Connecticut lead the Children as a result of the Individual Qualifier.

Happy faces!  Children's tems from Illiinois, Indiana and Massachusetts enjoy the view from the podium. ©ESI Photography

Happy faces! Children’s teams from Illinois, Indiana and Massachusetts enjoy the view from the podium. ©ESI Photography

Kudos to the Adult team from New Jersey, which includes Tammy Kelly, Katherine Pontone, Elizabeth Kirby and Wendy Chapot Nunn.  Chef Robin Fairclough led her team of ladies to the victory. Pontone, of Red Bank, New Jersey, piloted Kali Jerman’s Belladonna to the top of the standings, and went into Saturday’s Individual Championships as the leader.

The Flying Nunn. Wendy Chapot Nunn and Face Value clear an obstacle on their way to the Adult team win. ©ESI Photography

The Flying Nunn. Wendy Chapot Nunn and Face Value clear an obstacle on their way to the Adult team win. ©ESI Photography

The Winners! Top placed Adult teams from New Jersey, New York I and New York II, joined by Meghan Carney and Candice King of USHJA. ©ESI Photography

The Winners! Top placed Adult teams from New Jersey, New York I and New York II, joined by Meghan Carney and Candice King of USHJA. ©ESI Photography

Team I  from New York  came in second in the Adults.  Team members Anne Heyman, Ahmed Alali, Lucy Mitchell Innes, and Nicole Crighton were guided by James Benedetto.  Rounding out the top three placings was New York  II, led by Joseph Sorce, and included Devon Degen, Valerie Primavera, Kristin Zimmerman, and Danielle Flavin.

Individual Champions were crowned on the Saturday of Championship Weekend at HITS Saugerties. Ava Stearns, representing Massachusetts, took top honors for the children while riding Missy Clark’s Denmark, and Lexi Maounis of Connecticut won  the Adult Championship piloting  her own Whisper.

Ava Stearns riding Denmark wins USHJA Child/Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championship at HITS Saugerties. ©ESI Photography

Ava Stearns riding Denmark wins USHJA Child/Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championship at HITS Saugerties. ©ESI Photography

Children’s Individual Championships
 

Place

Rider                              

Owner                  

Horse

1 Ava Stearns Missy Clark Denmark
2 Olivia Greenwood Hiddin Hills Group Big Boy
2 Grace Knox Sarah Scarnechia Rapidash
2 Kreigh Elzey Grace Knox Soprano
5 Alanna Fischer Margaux Danby Fiery
6 Mackenzie Kane Linda Radigan Realist
7 Amanda Shaffer Amanda Shaffer Antonio
8 Alexis Rappaport Alexis Rappaport Valkenier

 

Lexi Maounis and Whisper accepting accolades after topping the Adult Individual Championship as part of the USHJA Child/Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championship at HITS Saugerties. ©ESI Photography

Lexi Maounis and Whisper accepting accolades after topping the Adult Individual Championship as part of the USHJA Child/Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championship at HITS Saugerties. ©ESI Photography

 

Adult Individual Championships
 

Place

Rider                                  

Owner                

Horse

1 Lexi Maounis Lexi Maounis Whisper
2 Wendy Chapot Nunn Chado Farms, Inc. Face Value
3 Nicole Crighton Nicole Crighton Zipp
4 Tammy Eyerman Kelly Tammy Eyerman Kelly Belvedere
5 Elizabeth Kirby Elizabeth Kirby Winter White
6 Phoenix Cooke Phoenix Cooke Skys Burnin’ Blue
7 Katherine Pontone Kali Jerman Belladonna
8 Elizabeth Lamotte Elizabeth Lamotte Spitfire

 

For more about the program, click here.

Amy
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