Thursday, Jul. 25, 2024

Loring Leads The Way As 6 Beginner Novice Champions Wrap Up 2023 AEC



Amie Loring almost didn’t make the trek from Oxford, Connecticut, to Lexington, Kentucky, to contest the USEA Beginner Novice Horse Championship with Excel Star Cast Away. The last time Loring competed at the USEA American Eventing Championships, she crashed and didn’t complete.

“I honestly wasn’t going to come [this time] because I always thought you shouldn’t make a trip that is this long if you didn’t think you could win it, and I didn’t think I could win it,” Loring said. “Someone said to me, ‘You don’t know where you are going to be this time next year. You don’t know if you are going to qualify. You don’t know if your horse is going to be sound. Go.’ Thank God she did. This whole weekend was very exciting.”

Loring led from start to finish with the 6-year-old Thoroughbred-Holsteiner cross gelding (Ulysses—Lost In Glann). Coming into the final phase, Loring said, “I have never been so nervous. He was very, very, very spooky. He was spooky about walking down the ramp. He was spooky in there. That didn’t help the prettiness of the round, but I do think it helped the cleanliness of the round.”

Amie Loring and Excel Star Cast Away. USEA/Lindsay Berreth Photo

Loring balances motherhood and a successful business with her own personal eventing goals. Just before packing up the truck and trailer to head to Kentucky for this year’s championship, she dropped off her oldest son at college.

USEA Beginner Novice Rider Championship

Sue Goepfert, Circle Pines, Minnesota, took an unusual approach to her preparation for the USEA Beginner Novice Rider Championship. She went on a two-week cruise to Greenland with her husband. Fortunately, her mount, Susan Coleman’s Isabeau VT, is a barn favorite. “I had no trouble having friends offer to ride her while I was gone,” said Goepfert. “We had five sea days in Greenland, so I worked out every day in the gym to try to at least stay in some short of shape, because at my age you lose it really quickly!”

The pair held the lead throughout the competition to take the win on a score of 27.5. “Izzy” is an 11-year-old Oldenburg-Hanoverian cross (Ideal—Flambeau) and was bred by Virginia Tech. She showed at Dressage At Devon (Pennsylvania) as a foal. Goepfert’s leased her for two years.


Sue Goepfert and Isabeau VT. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo

“I don’t know that I’ve ever ridden in an arena this big before,” said Goepfert. “Even though there’s nobody in the stands, the atmosphere is crazy. It was a little overwhelming, but my friends were really supportive and gave me a lot of great advice. ‘It’s only another horse show, and you’ve been doing this your whole life.’ ”

Amateur Championships

Ryan Ballou, Lewisburg, Ohio, took the dressage lead in the USEA Beginner Novice Amateur Championship with his 7-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Astaire (Egescovs Habibi—Karet) and never looked back.

Ballou, who trains with Julie Richards, said “Fred” was rideable throughout the whole show jumping course. “I really felt comfortable,” he said. “I felt like I knew my job. I was proud of him and all that we have done this weekend, and I’m proud of the team of people who have come out to support me, so [I thought], ‘Let’s just go out and have some fun.’ I thought, ‘It’s a great day to ride your horse.’ I got to ride him in one of the best venues ever.”

Ryan Ballou and Astaire. USEA/Lindsay Berreth Photo

As rails fell left and right in the USEA Beginner Novice Master Championship, Anna Wallace of Knoxville, Tennessee, and her 8-year-old Trakehner mare Kalaska (Ivanhoe—Koko K) moved up the leaderboard to claim the title.

“Our goal was to just go in and go clear,” said Wallace. “She did her job and got it done.”

Wallace, who also competes in dressage, took 11 years off from eventing after high school. Since returning to the sport, show jumping has been her most difficult phase due to what she attributes as her “own limited education there.” Wallace and Kalaska will head to their regional dressage championships in a month for a chance at another title.


Junior Championships

Kelsie Goodare and Carli 13 took down a single rail in the beginner novice junior division, but they could afford it and still keep their lead.

“It was super cool walking down [into the Rolex Arena] because that’s where all the big names go,” Goodare said. “Going into it, I knew with my horse he’s kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s everything happening.’ I wasn’t expecting this great of an outcome. He was super good the whole time. I was definitely very surprised, but we worked very hard.”

Goodare, Rockford, Michigan, and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Crunch—Herri) have been paired for 11 months. “We’ve been doing a ton together and focusing on working together and building more of a trust,” she said. “He’s super spooky and careful, so having that trust with him helps. He’s definitely been one of the most challenging horses I’ve ridden because he has so many buttons. He’s a super cool horse.”

In the beginner novice junior, 14 & under, division, Georgia Gobos (Larkspur, California) rode Barb Crabo’s 20-year-old German Sport Pony Black Gold to the championship title on a score of 24.1.

“It was really exciting and all I ever wanted because our lease is up with him,” Gobos said. “I got to do my first victory lap on him, and it just made it even better that it was in the Rolex Stadium.

Georgia Gobos and Black Gold. USEA/Meagan DeLisle Photo

Gobos trains with Maddie and Beth Temkin and rides at a show jumping barn at home. She’s hoping to find her next horse to move up to novice. She also received the Captain Mark Phillips Pony Rider Award.

See complete results here.




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