Roberto Teran put his best foot forward to claim victory riding Stiletto in the $10,000 OHJA Ultimate Hunter Challenge at the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament (CSJT). The five-day international show jumping competition runs through September 23 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, recently named the official equestrian venue of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
Broken into two age categories, the $10,000 OHJA Ultimate Hunter Challenge offers one division for horses aged four and five, and another division for horses aged six and seven. Teran and Stiletto topped all phases of the competition to earn an overall score of 84.25 and win the four and five-year-old division. With 80 points, the Reserve Championship title went to Hudson, shown by Ryan Roy of King City, ON, for owner Doug Bannister.
In the six and seven-year-old division, Darcy Hayes of Aurora, ON, piloted Smile to victory for her daughter and owner, Madison Hayes. With a total of 80.40 points, Hayes took the Championship title over Tomas, ridden by Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, who earned a score of 78.9 for owner Debbie Weir.
With the highest overall score of 84.25, Stiletto earned the title of OHJA Ultimate Hunter Champion for owner Kathleen Selke. A native of Colombia, Teran, 35, was introduced to hunter competition when he moved to North America more than a decade ago. Unlike the show jumping division where competitors are judged by the number of rails they knock down, hunters are judged much more subjectively with several factors being taken into consideration including style and form.
“It’s all about the details in the hunter ring,” smiled Teran, who is also a top competitor in the grand prix show jumping ring. “The approach to the hunter fences is a little bit different. It is all about patience and details.”
Stiletto is a five-year-old mare that Teran also shows in the Baby Green division for owner Kathleen Selke. The pair has enjoyed great success this year, including at the highly-competitive Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
“She’s brave, careful, an excellent mover, and she has an excellent attitude,” said Teran of Stiletto, who is trained by his business partner Mark Hayes of Kestrel Farms in Schomberg, ON. “She could go all the way to the top in the hunter ring, or could even be a fantastic jumper. Every time she comes out, she does great.”
Of Stiletto’s personality, Teran said, “She’s a super talent. She’s very sensitive. She’s a mare, so you have to understand her! If you understand what she likes, she will give you everything.”
The OHJA Ultimate Hunter Challenge is a way of recognizing and rewarding superior young talent in the hunter divisions.
“I think it’s a great program, and it gives people an incentive to buy and develop young prospects here in North America,” noted Teran. “It is very helpful. The hunter industry in North America is huge. When we come from South America and Europe, we don’t understand just how big and important the business is here.”
Having enjoyed success in the hunter ring, Teran was also third riding Denver in the $15,000 Caledon Cup Phase 1, presented by Aviva Elite/Peel Maryborough, on Thursday, September 20. The pair will contest Phase 2 of the $100,000 Caledon Cup on Saturday, September 22, at 3 p.m.
While Teran took center stage in the hunter ring, it was Jaclyn Duff of Edmonton, AB, who shone in the show jumping ring. Training with 2008 Olympic team silver medalist Jill Henselwood, Duff, 25, won both the $2,500 1.40m NationWide Auto Warranty Junior/Amateur Grand Prix riding Pater Noster and the $2,500 1.30m NationWide Auto Warranty Grand Prix with Sebastiaan.
In addition to showcasing some of the best horses in the country, the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament is held for the benefit of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. This year, 10-year-old Hannah Smith of Cardston, AB, will have her wish for a horse granted during a special presentation on Saturday during a special Children’s Wish Foundation Celebration luncheon in the Champions Patron Club. Tickets are included with Champions Patron Club membership, or can be purchased for $1,000 for a table of eight, or $125 per person.
Also in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation, the Family Village will be open on Saturday and Sunday and will feature entertaining and educational interactive displays and attractions, including Sciensational SSnakes and Birds of Prey. The Foxbury Farm Horseless Horse Show is also returning this year, allowing children to jump kid-sized obstacles on foot in a competition of their own.
For more information on the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, including full results, please visit www.equiman.com.