Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 15
Sam Schaefer made may have ridden Garfield to his second consecutive Pennsylvania National championship, but according to her, his success has nothing to do with her.
“He really does it all on his own,” said Schaefer, of Westminster, Md. “He’s just amazing.”
The chestnut topped two large junior hunter, 16-17, over fences classes and took third in the handy to score the division championship. The K&S Show Stables mount leads the race for the grand junior hunter championship, which will be announced tomorrow.
“He really likes to show, he was really good her last year,” said Schaefer, who trains with Kim Stewart. “He’s my only hunter, so I had all my eggs in one basket. He really had to step up to the plate. It was really nice to be able to focus on him.”
In his second year showing in the junior divisions, Schaefer campaigned him only lightly through the year. This championship comes on the heels on a Capital Challenge (Md.) regular conformation tricolor with Schaefer up.
Schaefer’s next challenge will come this weekend with the USEF Medal Finals this Sunday. With a win at last year’s Washington International Equitation Classic (D.C.) and a fourth-placed finish at USET Talent Search Finals (East) (N.J) this weekend, she’s looking for a strong showing this weekend.
Goodson-Cutt finshed as runner-up to Schaefer with Le Roy Brown, but she won’t leave Pennsylvania without a championship ribbon. After loading up all the blues at Capital Challenge last weekend, the California hunter sensation continued her rampage up the East Coast with Caretano. The pair clinched the small junior hunter, 16-17, championship with a blue ribbon trip today.
Margaret Oberkircher and Jukebox Hero took home the reserve ribbon after hacking off against Felicci and Alexandra Vespicco.
According to trainer Kate Considine, Goodson-Cutt’s natural talent and solid partnership with her horses led her to the winner’s circle. The 17-year-old made her first trip to Harrisburg this year and plans to continue on to the Washington International (D.C.). As an ex-grand prix jumper, Caretano was used to FEI World Cup classes rather than sedate hunter classes in an indoor like the Farm Show Complex’s, but he didn’t bat an eye at any of the spectacle.
“He’s just so good all the time,” she said.
In the small junior hunter, 15 and under, division, Hasbrouck Donovan made headlines with Falcao. She confirmed the tricolor for Don Stewart with a second placed ribbon today. Huntington, owned by Stratford Stables, and ridden by Kristen Lutz took home the reserve ribbon.
What started this January as a one-time catch ride turned into a season of dominating the junior ring, according to Donovan.
“He’s really light and has a nice mouth. Hes been pretty consistent, he’s been awesome,” said the Gainesville, Fla., rider.
Donovan continued her dominance in the junior hunter winners’ stakes, riding Quality Time to first and Falcao to second.
The yellow ribbon in that class went on the bridle of Betsee Parker’s Way Cool, who topped the large junior hunter, 15 and under, division with Victoria Colvin up. That pair’s been in the winners’ circle all season as well—including the grand championship at Devon (Pa.)—and they made their Harrisburg debut this year.
“He was actually better here than Capital Challenge,” said Colvin, 13. “He was awesome.”
We have full results and more news from Harrisburg. Junior hunters continue tomorrow, and tomorrow night’s competition will decide the USEF National Individual Junior Jumper championship. If you’re an equitation fan, don’t miss this year’s live, interactive USEF Medal Finals blog on Sunday, Oct. 17.
Molly Sorge will be ringside from the first rider in the ring to the end of the final work-off, bringing you a play-by-play of all the equitation action. If you’re here at the show, you can join in the conversation on your lap top, iPad or iPhone. If you’re at home you can chime in as well, all brought to you by Wendy Soloman’s Private Tutoring Service.