As the second round started, an uptick in the wind gave riders in the $10,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Northwest Championships on July 27, a little more to negotiate with their green mounts, but Shelley Campf and Sara Petersen prevailed in the 3’/3’3″ and 3’6″/3’9″ sections respectively.
Campf rode longtime client Korina Winkler’s aptly named Podium to the top spot in the 3’/3’3″ championships. Campf who had three horses in the 3’/3’3″ championships was pleased with all her rides.
“It was a great day,” she said. “My horses were first, second and fourth; they were all lovely and any one of them could have won. With green horses you never know what can happen, and it just turned out that my youngest one stepped up today. It was really special because his owner Korina can’t always be here when I show, and she was today, so I was really happy she got to see him go.”
Campf has been showing “King,” as he is known in the barn, for about a 1 ½ years. The 6-year-old chestnut Warmblood usually goes in the young hunter classes, but Campf decided to pursue the championships with him at the 3′ fence height. King is no stranger to winning, having won the national horse of the year for the 3′ Young Hunters (for 5 year olds) last year.
“He was very focused in the first round, and in the afternoon, the class got a little more difficult because the wind had picked up, and some of the horses weren’t as good in the second round as in the first round,” said Campf. “He still ended up third in that round though.”
Campf also earned second place aboard Purview, owned by Helen Lind, and Campf noted that his second round brought him from fifth to second place overall in the field of 16 entries.
“On the horse I scored lowest on in the first round, I took some chances and ended up second overall,” she said.”I was really happy with that. He’s a great horse.”
Campf also picked up fourth riding SAS LLC’s Per Se. Her success continued into the 3’6/3’9″ Championship, where Campf earned second place with scores in the 80s on Dicaprio, owned by Mindy Mayer, just behind Sara Petersen who took the top honors in that Championship aboard Chaplin.
Chaplin (Casall—Patricia) is ridden by both Petersen of Kingston, Washington, and owner Jan O’Brien of Bainbridge Island, Washington. Petersen was pleased with the 8t-year-old dapple grey Holsteiner gelding’s performance after winning both rounds to take the win.
“It was so fun,” Peterson said. “We’ve had Chaplin since April, and today was definitely the day he felt the most confident the whole time I have had him. It was really great. He’s just a wonderful horse. I am so happy for Jan and super thankful to be a part of it today.”
The championships were held in the Capstone Equestrian Hunter Ring 1 on the grass fields during the Oregon High Desert Classic II, over courses designed by Paul Jewell. Both Petersen and Campf were pleased with the courses and venue.
“The footing in that grass field, and the way they have it set, it’s so natural, and the horses love going on it,” said Petersen.
“The courses were good. What I liked was there were no gimmicks,” said Campf. “This venue is classic; it’s very beautiful with the grass, and the courses were exactly right for the horses.”
The riders enjoyed the format of the Championships overall. While both qualified for the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships in Kentucky, they don’t plan to make the trip this year, due to existing commitments in the area. Both riders were hopeful the regional championships would return next year to the Pacific Northwest.
“Next year, I hope we get to have it again here in the Northwest,” said Campf. “I think it’s really nice for our region to host these, and I’m really thankful to Dianne [Johnson] for getting these. We have good hunters in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m really happy for our owners and our sport here. It’s good for us to have these championships to have something that’s highlighted and special.”
“[The USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program] has been really fun,” said Petersen who enrolled horses for the first time this year. “It offers great opportunities to get these horses in longer, harder classes and more experience overall, and the money is good too!”