Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 4, 2021 – Saturday afternoon in the Polk Family Hunter Ring, equitation riders took center stage to compete for the top prize in the Albion College Equestrian Combined Equitation Divisions. Showcasing some of the nations top young equitation athletes, the competition was tough as each horse-and-rider combination navigated their way over two eight-obstacle courses set forth to challenge them on their skills. In the end, Caroline Muth and her new partner Halouet laid down two perfect rounds to take home the blue ribbon in both over fences classes, ultimately claiming champion. Riley Hogan and Wengen were not far behind Muth as they collected the red ribbon in both over fences and won the under saddle class, putting them just a few points shy of the leading horse and rider pair to take home the reserve honors.
Course designer Tom Carlson set an 8-obstacle track that utilized various fences, testing the young riders’ ability to execute a smooth and consistent round while maintaining correct position and form. As more riders took their turn at the course, fellow competitors watched on in anticipation in hopes of claiming victory.
One at a time, riders made their way into the Polk Family Hunter Ring Saturday morning for the first class of the Albion College Equestrian Combined Equitation Divisions. Demonstrating correct position throughout each round, Muth and Halouet, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Amelia Bergeron, were able to earn two wins in both over fences rounds to claim victory in the division. Although the duo is newly paired, Halouet’s background in equitation helped the two rise above for their first horse show together.
Reserve champion for the Albion College Equestrian Combined Equitation Divisions went to Hogan aboard Wengen, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Kate Preston. Hogan is a seasoned equitation rider, having qualified for nearly all the major equitation finals several years in a row. She once again continued to impress the judges throughout the division, especially when securing first place in her flat. She secured second place in both over fences rounds to ultimately be rewarded with the reserve championship. This dynamic pair looks forward to racking up top results in the equitation divisions as their time together goes on.
The USEF Hunter Seat Medal 3’6” will kick off the Polk Family Hunter Ring competition Sunday morning at 8:30 am, and the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay 3’6 will take place at 8:50 am. The highly anticipated $10,000 Traverse City Derby will conclude competition for the day to wrap up Week I of the Traverse City Tournament of Champions.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Caroline Muth – Albion College Equestrian Combined Equitation Divisions champion
“This is actually my first weekend showing him and he’s great. He’s a bit new to us, but he’s been doing the equitation for a while, so I feel our partnership will start out strong. I planned just to have nice smooth rounds. Since he is new to me, I just wanted to have nice and respectable rounds.”
On the course:
“I think I overall had two good courses. They were solid, and I felt that I improved on what I needed to and overall, they were good.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“It feels amazing to be back at Traverse City Horse Shows. It’s awesome. Last year was my first year here, and I could not wait to get back here. I’ll be here for the first two and a half weeks, and then we have to go to Maclay Regionals. We’ve been here since the [Traverse City Spring Horse Shows] circuit.”
On future plans:
“This year, I plan on going to all of the indoor finals, Capital Challenge, and everything, so hopefully we get some good ribbons there. I’d also like to thank Don Stewart, Megan Ghere and all of the team at Don Stewart Stables.”