Moonshot Rockets To The Top At The Pennsylvania National

Oct 15, 2019 - 4:51 PM

Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 14

Moonshot was never supposed to be Sandy Ferrell’s top 3’9″ green hunter—she already has a superstar in Hemingway who also shows at that level. But with Hemingway sitting out the fall indoor season Moonshot took the opportunity to shine, winning three over fences classes and earning second in the under saddle to claim the 3’9″ green hunter championship and the grand green championship for owner Stephanie Bulger.

Amanda Steege and Cheryl Olsten’s Lafitte De Muze claimed the reserve 3’9″ title.

WEB Moonshot Sandy Ferrell second years DAD_5734
Moonshot earned the highest score of the show yet: a 92. Mollie Bailey Photos

Ferrell spotted Moonshot under Courtney Lenkhart’s saddle during the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida) last year.

“I wasn’t showing Hemingway one week, and I went down to watch [the 3’6″ green hunters],” she said. “I saw this gray horse and thought, ‘Well shoot if Hemingway doesn’t win this horse is the winner.’ So I went to Team Meadowview, which is Stephanie [Bulger], the owner, Karen [Caristo] the trainer and Pieter [Luyckx] who gets him ready for me. I was like ‘You guys, I think you need to buy this horse because if Hemingway makes this much of a mistake this horse is going to beat us.’ So in all fairness to him, he gives Hemingway a run for his money. He’s stepped up and was champion last week at Capital Challenge [Maryland] and champion here. So he really stepped up and went beyond my expectations.”

WEB Moonshot Sandy Ferrell second years DAD_5739
Moonshot and Sandy Ferrell won all three 3’9″ green hunter over fences classes.

Moonshot, a 10-year-old Holsteiner (Calido—Valeria VA), lives at Meadowview Farms in the Hamptons, New York, and he meets up with Ferrell, Bernville, Pennsylvania, at horse shows.

WEB Lafitte de Muze DAD_5745
Great rounds by Lafitte De Muze and Amanda Steege earned them the reserve 3’9″ green hunter title.

“When he’s on it and we’re going around the ring there’s never a miscommunication that takes place,” she said. “I know him so well now, and he knows me so well now. That’s not to say that we don’t have an off day; they all have an off day and so do we as riders. But last week and this week these three rounds were just crazy. The bigger the jumps get he’s going to be better and better because it’s giving him something to do. The 3’6″ is so easy for him. And 3’9″ is a little harder; the 4′ is going to be a piece of cake for him. It’s so cool because he’s just a little guy, but he’s got all the power in the world.

“It’s been exciting,” she continued. “The fellow professionals have been very complimentary and supportive these past two weeks. He really has come to indoors and like knocked everybody’s socks off. It’s nice when your competitors come up to you and say ‘nice;’ ‘You’ve done a beautiful job;’ ‘Amazing;’ ‘Well deserved.’ It always makes you feel like you really did do a good job, you really did go beautifully.”

Stewart Snags Two Titles

Betsee Parker loves all her horses, but you can tell she’s extra proud of Cameo’s high performance championship at the Pennsylvania National.

“That one it’s like a Forrest Gump saying: With a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get,” she said. “He’s a very complicated horse. I think he comes in installments; he’s very hard to keep together.”

WEB Cameo DAD_7053
Betsee Parker joined Scott Stewart to accept Cameo’s high performance hunter championship.

In the ring Cameo, a 12-year-old warmblood by Coriano, was a total star, winning today’s over fences and under saddle and taking fifth and second over fences yesterday. Madeline Schaefer’s In The Know and Samantha Schaefer took the reserve title.

WEB cameo DAD_5921
Cameo jumped to the top of the high performance hunter division with Scott Stewart up.

Despite his quirks Stewart says while they show he’s a reliable fellow.

“When he’s in the ring I enjoy showing him because you can count on him,” said Stewart. “He’ll always jump; he doesn’t spook. He’s a little bit funny to get going, but once he’s in the groove he’s great. Especially jumping the 4′ he gives you a lot of confidence.”

This is Cameo’s second high performance title at Pennsylvania National, having won here in 2017 as well.

WEB 4' In The Know Samantha Schaefer DAD_6945
Great rounds propelled In The Know and Samantha Schaefer to the reserve high performance hunter title.

“[When I first got him] he did the first years a little, but then he went right to the high performance because it was so easy for him,” said Stewart.

Stewart’s other champion, Critic’s Choice, wasn’t even supposed to show in his division. He came here intending to do the green conformation division, with just one 3’6″ green hunter class to get him acclimated. But when he jumped to second in his first class Stewart decided to swap divisions.

WEB 1 first years Critics Choice Scott Stewart DAD_5550
Critic’s Choice showed off lovely form on his way to the 3’6″ green hunter title with Scott Stewart.

Ella Bikoff’s Westphalian (Al La Carte—Larissa) won another blue in yesterday’s handy and picked up third over fences today and under saddle today to win the title over Maria Rasmussen and Sunset View Farm’s Worthy.

WEB Worthy 3'6%22 DAD_6977
Worthy and Maria Rasmussen earned the reserve 3’6″ green hunter title.

“He’s got a great brain; the environment doesn’t affect him,” said Stewart.

“He’s only a 6-year-old,” he continued. “He does the junior hunters; Ella did him in the 3’3″ juniors. She’ll do more with him next year.”

Click here for results.

Want more from the Pennsylvania National? We have reporters on site throughout the competition, so check coth.com and be sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram @chronofhorse.

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