Sunday, Apr. 21, 2024

Julia Campbell-Spatt Diversifies To Win At Arapahoe Hunter Trials

The future looks bright with these multi-talented juniors in the hunt field.

Most juniors in high school look forward to spending their summers relaxing. Not Julia Campbell-Spatt.
   
Earning the Pine Cliff Challenge Bowl high-point trophy and the junior hunter championship from the Arapahoe Hunter Trials, Sept. 22 in Elizabeth, Colo., were just a few more feathers in the cap for Campbell-Spatt, 15. She and Surroyalist added those honors to their Pony Club and eventing pursuits.
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The future looks bright with these multi-talented juniors in the hunt field.

Most juniors in high school look forward to spending their summers relaxing. Not Julia Campbell-Spatt.
   
Earning the Pine Cliff Challenge Bowl high-point trophy and the junior hunter championship from the Arapahoe Hunter Trials, Sept. 22 in Elizabeth, Colo., were just a few more feathers in the cap for Campbell-Spatt, 15. She and Surroyalist added those honors to their Pony Club and eventing pursuits.
Campbell-Spatt and Surroyalist represented her Rocky Mountain Pony Club region at the USPC Eventing Championships (Ky.) in July, where their team finished fifth at training level.

And Campbell-Spatt and the Thoroughbred gelding collected many training level ribbons before they moved up to the preliminary level in September and jumped clean around the North Colorado Horse Trials. They then competed at the Wellpride American Eventing Championships (Ill.), finishing on their dressage score in the junior/young rider training division.

But Campbell-Spatt’s roots are in the hunt field, as she showed at the Hunter Trials. She’s had Surroyalist for two years, and the bay gelding has been a well-seasoned hunt horse with the Arapahoe Hunt (Colo.) for many years. 

Surroyalist and Campbell-Spatt won the working hunter and the working hunter appointments classes, placed second in the working hunter handy class, and third in the under saddle class for the Pine Cliff Challenge Bowl honors. They also combined with Grant Carey on Buddy and Tracey Meissel on Defying Gravity to win the hunt teams class.

She had to awake early that morning, as she groomed and braided him herself, with her mother Dr. Kim Campbell in tow. She has hunted Surroyalist three seasons now and is a regular fixture in the Arapahoe field.

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“The funniest thing is that he is really nasty to other horses while hunting. He always pins his ears at the other horses,” Campbell-Spatt, of Centennial, Colo., said.

Campbell-Spatt began riding with Tom Mallard, an honorary whipper-in to the Arapahoe pack and a professional trainer at the Village Club, in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. She recently trained with event rider Jim Moore. 

Bryce Eaton, also a junior, looks to be well on his way to continuing Campbell-Spatt’s diversity and winning ways. He earned the Pine Cliff Championship Trophy and the Junior Foxhunter Perpetual Trophy for being the youngest competitor.

Eaton and Tango topped the junior/adult hunter class, took second in the beginner hunter class, and then placed third in the low hunter section. He and Campbell-Spatt also teamed up for second in the working hunter pair class.

Eaton, 13, recently upgraded to a 12-year-old horse, Tango, from his Welsh pony, Firebolt. He hunted Firebolt for most of last season and also rode him to ribbons last year at these trials. Firebolt was no stranger in the hunting field, as he had hunted him for the last five years, sometimes passing the Field Master, as his name suggests, like a ball of fire.

“We like the chase—especially galloping across the wide open countryside with other people on horses,” Eaton said.

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Eaton, of Castle Rock, Colo., and Tango completed three beginner novice events this summer. Eaton also traveled to the USPC Championships, where he won the intermediate boys division of the tetrathalon.
Jennifer Rogers beat Jerry Burk for the Hunt Member’s Special Perpetual Bowl on Dharma, a horse she has owned since Dharma was 6 months old. Dharma is a PMU foal from Wilf McKay in Manitoba, Canada.
Rogers and Dharma won the special working hunter and special handy hunter classes, then placed third in the special hunter appointments class for the championship.

Rogers said the mare is an enthusiastic hunter. “She jumps up and down waiting for the hounds to go to work!”

A professional trainer, Rogers hunts “to help other members have solid hunt horses. I take great pride and pleasure in turning out safe horses. The benefit for me is the chase. I have been hunting in between pregnancies since 1991.”

Dr. G. Marvin Beeman showed the Arapahoe pack of English foxhounds, to the delight of the crowd. The highlight of the show was their holding up together with their huntsman on top of the 20’x20′ bank jump, bearing testament to the training time that Beeman and the Arapahoe staff spend during their exercising of hounds each morning.

Marc Patoile

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