Temecula, Calif. – Apr. 24, 2022 – Junior and amateur hunters took to the Grand Hunter Arena Sunday to conclude their respective divisions and contend for championship honors on the final day of competition during Temecula Valley National Premier I. The Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunters comprised the final hunter competition of the day, with top horse-and-rider combinations attempting to put their best efforts forward to impress the judges. Not only would the champion take home bragging rights, but would also earn themselves a golden ticket into the National Equestrian Tournament taking place June 1-5, 2022, at Nilforushan Equisport Events. After a classic hunter round, a handy round and a second round of the Amateur Owner Hunter Classic, Caroline Ingalls and Concerto emerged victorious over the entire division, capturing the championship and the Classic.
Meghan Rawlins set the track for the hunters for the day, presenting several challenges on the handy course including a trot fence, tight rollback turns, a two-stride, and bending lines. Ingalls and the 11-year-old Westphalian gelding, who have been partnered together since 2016, took to the courses with confidence, knowing exactly what they had to do. The pair gracefully navigated the handy round with style, letting the fences show off “Volo’s” natural ability and scope and turning inside elements for added handy points, earning a score of 90 and shooting them to the top of the class.
They then returned for their second Classic round and smoothly navigated from fence to fence, meeting each one flawlessly and expressing hunter style and poise over each. The pair wowed the judges, bringing home a second Classic round score of 92, which, when combined with their first-round score of 85 from Saturday’s competition, propelled them to the winner’s circle for the Amateur Owner Hunter Classic. Ultimately, winning two over fences classes and the under saddle sealed the deal for the pair to earn the Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter division championship and secure themselves a spot in the National Equestrian Tournament in June.
Reserve championship honors went to Irene Neuwirth and Juan Carlos, who also racked up top placings in all the division classes.
Hunter competition resumes Wednesday with the High Performance and Green Conformation Hunters, Green Hunters, and Performance Hunters.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Caroline Ingalls – Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter champion and Amateur Owner Hunter Classic winner
“I have had Volo since 2016. He started as a 5-year-old and did the young hunters, and we moved up to the 3’6” hunters in 2019. We’ve been doing that ever since. He’s just incredible. I have a sixth sense with him. We’ve had an incredible record for the past few years, had a couple tricolors at indoors, and year-end awards. He just rises to the occasion at every show we do.”
On Concerto’s ride:
“He’s really, really smooth. He allows me to focus on myself and do little adjustments and he’s very responsive. He feels a little like a sports car sometimes. He definitely has his tricks you have to look out for but he’s really fun to ride and totally gets whatever you ask and whatever you want him to do.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“This is probably one of my favorite shows in California. I absolutely love what Ali has done and how much effort he has put into it. I know a lot of people feel that way. The amenities and the footing are amazing. Showing out here under the trees makes you feel like a real hunter. It’s just overall fun to be here in wine country.”
On her upcoming plans:
“We’ll go home for a few weeks and come back to Temecula in May. Our goal is to do Devon and Upperville with this guy in the Amateur Owners.”