Another wave of success washed over the Hunter Ring at the National Horse Show on Friday, November 3 as the 2023 junior champions and trophy winners visited the red carpet to receive their accolades.
The first pair to visit the red carpet in the Alltech was the 2014 Belgian Warmblood mare Ever So Often–owned by Walkenbach Equestrian LLC– and rider Paige Walkenbach, taking the Championship in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division.
In the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 classes, we saw exceptional performances, with the 16-17 age group Champion being Knowingly, a KWPN gelding owned by Partridge Hill Equestrian LLC and ridden by Eleanor Rudnicki. The pair also claimed the Small Junior Hunter Grand Champion, earning the highest points among all small junior horses and receiving the “Follow Me” Challenge Trophy.
The Best of Small Junior Hunter Stake Classes received the “Custom Made” Perpetual Trophy and was rightfully awarded to Jagerbomb, a 2013 Oldenburg gelding owned by Donald Stewart and piloted by Isabelle Ehman.
The Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under championship went to Arabesque, a 2013 Oldenburg mare owned by Aquitaine Equine with Clara Propp aboard. Arabesque and Propp also secured the Best of Large Junior Hunter Stake Classes with a score of 90, receiving The “Inclusive” Perpetual Cup.
Spoken, a 2015 Brandenburg gelding owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC, and Raina Swani continued a winning streak, claiming The Gochman Family Large Junior Hunter 16-17 championship, and earning The “Gochman Family” Perpetual Trophy. They were also the Large Junior Hunter Grand Champion, receiving The “Cantitoe Farm” Challenge Trophy. To round out the pair’s accolades, Dr. Betsee Parker presented Swani and Spoken with The “Huntland” Perpetual Trophy as they were the Overall Junior Hunter Grand Champion.
Ending the 3’6” Junior Hunter awards was Carlee McCutcheon who earned the Junior Sportsmanship Award, and accepted the The “Iris McNeil” Perpetual Trophy presented by Susie Schoellkoph, David Distler and Walter J. Lee. The Junior Sportsmanship Award is presented to a junior rider who has made a contribution to the sport.
The Junior Hunter 3’3″ 15 & Under Champion went to Conrido, a 2009 Holsteiner gelding owned and ridden by Addison Slye.
Claiming both the Junior Hunter 3’3” 16-17 Champion and the Overall 3’3” Junior Hunter Grand Championship was Specialist, a 2013 KWPN gelding owned and ridden by Caroline Alexander.
The top honors of the NHS Grand Hunter Champion and winner of the “Lucadore” Perpetual Cup went to Can Can owned by Stephanie Ring, and piloted by Christopher Payne. The pair earned the most points across all of the hunter divisions. On a winning streak, Can Can was also the High Performance Conformation Hunter Champion earlier in the week, the recipient of the Rockstar Grand Champion Professional Hunter Award, and was awarded The “Baroness of Locheil” Perpetual Trophy which was presented by Dr. Betsee Parker, Baroness of Locheil in Scotland.