Performance Hunters Start Off Summer in the Rockies with a Bang

Jun 5, 2014 - 5:13 AM
Mickie Sage and Harlu

Parker, CO – June 4, 2014- A strong group of competitors came out for the Performance Hunters on day one of Summer in the Rockies I at the Colorado Horse Park. Both the 3’3″ and 3’6″ divisions ran an over fences class, a handy class, and an under saddle. Course designer Scott Starnes created a positive atmosphere in the main hunter ring which tested the consistency, fluidity, responsiveness and overall form of the hunters.

Leading the 3’6″ division after today are Mickie Sage and her mount Harlu. They rode to the blue in both over fences classes and took second on the flat. Sage also had success with the gelding in the Colorado Horse Park Spring Warm-Up II, where they won the USHJA National Hunter Derby. According to Sage, her goal is to eventually move Harlu up to the Working Hunters and compete in the USHJA International Derby by the end of this summer.  


“We have really worked hard on him,” said Sage. “He is talented and cute as a button, and getting better and better in the show ring. He is also so scopey and very capable.”  


The Belgian Warmblood gelding is owned by adult amateur Laurie Brants. Even more exciting for Sage than her success today was that this week will be Brants’ second time ever showing Harlu.  


“This will be my third year showing him,” explained Sage. “She has been waiting very patiently, and it is finally her time to show.” 


Harlu and Brants’ horse show debut was at Desert Circuit II, and their success was proven by their reserve champion title in the Low Hunter division.


Sarah Rice and Dutch Warmblood gelding McGraw, owned by Kimberly Quinn, were also sporting top ribbons by the end of the day. They were second place finishers over fences, as well as the hack winners. Rice is coached by and assistant trainer to Will Roberts of Pine Hollow Farm.  


McGraw has yet to let down Rice, as he has helped lead her to her first place (tied with Colleen Acosta) in the 2014 World Champion Hunter Rider Developing Professionals Program rankings for the South Central Region. She is also ranked second nationally in the developing professional program and eighth in the ranking for professionals.  


“He is really straightforward,” said Rice. “He has a really slow rhythmic canter, which is easy to ride off of. He’s awesome!”   


On top in the 3’3″ Performance Hunters today was Chaika ridden by Colleen Acosta. Chaika is a Canadian bred Holsteiner mare owned by Juliet Lapietra. She is a jack of all trades, having mileage in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings throughout her show career. She has been competed up to 3’6″ in the hunter ring, to level 5 in the jumpers, and in the big eq. This is an impressive feat that is accomplished by few.  


“She is very fun, easy and consistent,” described Acosta. “Her biggest strength is her forgivingness and willingness.”  


It is these traits that have made Chaika a trusted horse in the children’s divisions. According to Acosta, who was preparing the horse today, the mare was first purchased with the intentions of showing in the jumper ring. Lapietra showed her in the Low Children’s Jumpers but since recovering from an injury, she has chosen to show in the hunters for some time.  


“She really belongs as a children’s horse. She is so sweet and great at her job,” admitted Acosta.     

Kay Beard won the 3’3″ handy and placed second in the hack with All Tuckered Out. The Oldenburg gelding is owned by Mackenzie Kline who shows him in the children’s hunter and equitation rings. A trot fence at the end of the handy round gave many exhibitors difficulty. The fence could either be trotted directly from the preceding in-and-out or approached from the opposite side, giving rider and horse more time to rebalance. This pair trotted beautifully directly from the two stride, showing Beard’s control and finesse. 

The Performance Hunter divisions conclude Thursday as riders return for two over fences classes to determine the championships. Click here for full results from Wednesday. Visit the Colorado Horse Park’s website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout Summer in the Rockies.


Results: Summer in the Rockies I – Wednesday, June 4



Performance 3’6″ Hunter O/F

  1. 247/Harlu/Laurie Brants/Mickie Sage
  2. 243/McGraw/Kimberly Quinn/Sarah Rice
  3. 324/Baloubet K/Roderick Kyle Dewar/Emmelia Forbes
  4. 312/Premonition/Lindsay Gersoff/Lindsay Gersoff
  5. 123/Sir Rio/Chelsea Magness/Stacey Swink
  6. 329/Arco D’Argente/Annelise Baumgartner/Emmelia Forbes
  7. 244/Viceroy/ Bethany Bolen/Bethany Bolen

Performance 3’6″ Hunter Handy

  1. 247/Harlu/Laurie Brants/Mickie Sage
  2. 324/Baloubet K/Roderick Kyle Dewar/Emmelia Forbes
  3. 123/Sir Rio/Chelsea Magness/Stacey Swink
  4. 253/Lago W/Steve Lockton/Mickie Sage
  5. 329/Arco D’Argente/Annelise Baumgartner/Emmelia Forbes
  6. 243/McGraw/Kimberly Quinn/Sarah Rice
  7. 244/Viceroy/Bethany Bolen/Bethany Bolen 

Performance 3’6″ Hunter U/S

  1. 243/McGraw/Kimberly Quinn/Sarah Rice
  2. 247/Harlu/Laurie Brants/Mickie Sage
  3. 324/Baloubet K/Roderick Kyle Dewar/Emmelia Forbes
  4. 329/Arco D’Argente/Annelise Baumgartner/Emmelia Forbes
  5. 253/Lago W/Steve Lockton/Mickie Sage 

Performance 3’3″ Hunter O/F

  1. 104/Chaika/Juliet La Pietra/Colleen Acosta
  2. 382/Quintessence/Mackenzie Shuman/Mackenzie Shuman
  3. 246/Chicago/TeriAnn Miller/Will Roberts
  4. 245/Storyline/Lindsey Roberts/Will Roberts
  5. 137/All Tuckered Out/Mackenzie Kline/Kay Beard 
  6. 383/Estes Park/Arden Mc Reynolds/Arden Mc Reynolds 

Performance 3’3″ Hunter Handy

  1. 137/All Tuckered Out/Mackenzie Kline/Kay Beard 
  2. 104/Chaika/Juliet La Pietra/Colleen Acosta
  3. 246/Chicago/TeriAnn Miller/Will Roberts
  4. 382/Quintessence/Mackenzie Shuman/Mackenzie Shuman
  5. 383/Estes Park/Arden Mc Reynolds/Arden Mc Reynolds
  6. 245/Storyline/Lindsey Roberts/Will Roberts 

Performance 3’3″ Hunter U/S

  1. 104/Chaika/Juliet La Pietra/Colleen Acosta
  2. 137/All Tuckered Out/Mackenzie Kline/Kay Beard 
  3. 383/Estes Park/Arden Mc Reynolds/Arden Mc Reynolds
  4. 382/Quintessence/Mackenzie Shuman/Mackenzie Shuman
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