Behind The Photo: Eek! A Jump! The Hunter Version

Dec 6, 2016 - 10:35 AM

Hennessy’s extravagant over-jumping style in the baby green classes at the Harvest Horse Show (Texas) on Nov. 2-6 might have surprised spectators, but rider Hannah Evans pretty much expected the extra air time.

Evans is sitting chilly on top of the 4-year-old Dutch Warmblood’s massive efforts over 2’6” jumps with a hint of a smile on her face.


Hennessy putting a lot of effort into that 2’6″ jump with Hannah Evans aboard. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography

“I kind of expected it—he jumps like that at home normally, and I knew it would be even more so at the horse show. That was his very first horse show,” she said. “We decided at the last second to do him in the baby greens, so I didn’t even school him in the ring on the schooling day. So this was his first time in the ring. And of course the photographer was there at just the right moment!”

It’s a photo reminiscent of one of the Chronicle’s most popular articles of 2013, Eek! A Jump!, when we found out the story behind a VERY enthusiastic jumping effort by a gray jumper.

“It’s not a scared thing. He jumps pretty spectacularly over everything. He’s a fun horse; I have pictures of him from schooling at home jumping crossrails like that,” Evans said.

Owner Carolyn Elsey of Cypress, Texas, imported Hennessy (Eldorado Van De Zeshoock—Derna Burgandy) in February. The bay gelding got broke, then sent to trainer Colleen McQuay at McQuay Stables in Tioga, Texas. Evans, who works for McQuay, got the reins to bring Hennessy along.

They actually are aiming Hennessy at the jumper ring at the moment. “I just wanted to put him in the baby greens and do straight lines instead of bending lines and turning tight,” Evans said. “He springs up like no other horse, but he doesn’t crack his back, so he’s not hard to stay with. He just sort of launches into the air.”


Hennessy and Hannah Evans with a little bit more subdued effort, though still impressive. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography

“He’s very aware of his surroundings, and he’s young and green, but he’s smart. He’s not too spooky about jumps, but he’s very careful. It’ll be very interesting to see if he turns into a jumper or a derby horse because I think he could go either way,” Evans continued.

After the Harvest show and another outing at the Final Chase show (Texas) a few weeks later, Hennessy headed to Elsey’s farm for a little winter vacation, and he’ll pick his showing career back up in the spring.

Evans, 23, has been riding for McQuay since May 2015, when she graduated from Clemson University (S.C.). She’s originally from Seattle, and she grew up riding there, but when mutual friends connected her with McQuay for a job, she jumped at the chance. “It’s been great. I’ve had some nice pre-green horses to ride that have done well. It’s a good opportunity to get time in the saddle and in the ring on a lot of nice horses,” Evans said.

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