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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
“[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.
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.
“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.”