Phelps Media Group is pleased to announce the addition of their most recent client, New Hope LLC. Top professionals Christopher Payne and David Belford have trained some of the country’s top show hunters, adding numerous accolades to their already impressive record. Payne and Belford have become an unstoppable force in the equestrian sport, earning top honors at the nations most prestigious horse shows. Their impressive record extended into this year’s Indoor circuit, capturing wins across the board.
Chris Payne guided Susan Moriconi’s Lugano to top ribbons throughout the Green Conformation Hunter division at all three of the prestigious Indoor shows-Capital Challenge, Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Alltech National Horse Show-eventually earning a trifecta of reserve championships.
This was Payne’s first year showing Lugano. The grey gelding took the Kentucky Summer Series by storm, and although this was his first time at Indoors, he truly blossomed and approached each show with a true professionalism.
“Lugano is a wonderful horse, he is so straightforward,” Payne described. “This year he was just starting out, he never experienced the Pre-Greens, and he has continued to progressively get better and better. I was so happy with how he has handled the year, and then winning throughout Indoors-he is just a constant professional.”
Payne also captured the First Year Green Reserve Championship with Revealed, owned by Julie Holzberger of Fairfield, OH, at the Alltech National Horse Show. The bay gelding rode to three second place ribbons over fences, securing the coveted title.
Revealed, this time with Julie Holzberger in the irons showcased their talent during the $10,000 North American League Adult Hunter Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. This was the first year Holzberger competed in the Final, and her first time at Harrisburg. The pair stole the show during their first round with the high score of 87 points out of a field of 28 entrants. Their second round was scored at 81.5, and they continued to hold the lead with an overall score of 168.500. They led the victory gallop, emerging as the champions.
“The trick at Indoors and NAL Finals is to keep your composure and rely on the structure and riding that you know, and let that produce the course,” Payne stated. “I think you need to have some nerves out there, but the trick is balancing your nerves so that it helps versus hinders your ride. Julie is an amazing rider, and has a very talented horse. It was a fantastic win for the two of them.”
College student Sarah Sturges and her own talented One Shot, rode to the top of the pinnings in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3″ Hunter division at the Capital Challenge, capturing reserve championship. Sturges piloted her ‘Steady Eddy’ to the championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, as well as taking the championship at the Alltech National Horse Show.
“It’s funny, One Shot was originally brought to the barn by David, and he was not intended for me. I rode him and it was an instant click, he trusted me right away,” Sturges smiled. “In the ring, he is all about business. I have gone so far with him, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to continue to show him and move up with him to the 3’6″ division. I couldn’t have asked for a better horse, or a better program to help us grow.”
“I have had a great year, the customers have been amazing-buying wonderful horses, allowing me to show them-and it means a lot to me to have the great customers behind me,” Payne explained. “It is also amazing to see the talent in each one of my customers, and I look forward to seeing them continue to progress during the Winter Equestrian Festival.”
The team at New Hope LLC will take some time to recuperate before traveling to Wellington for the Winter Equestrian Festival. Christopher Payne and David Belford work out of New Hope LLC in Cincinnati, OH. The pair has consistently earned championships at the nations top horse shows. Their inspiring program has helped transform horses, as well as develop some of the sports top riders and trainers.
Photos Courtesy of Kendall Bierer and Al Cook Photography. These photographs may only be used in relation to this Phelps Media Group press release.