Traverse City, Mich.—June 30, 2022—Three rounds of competition at the 2022 USHJA Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic – East, presented by Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, saw Sterling Malnik skyrocket to the top of the leaderboard at Flintfields Horse Park, home to Traverse City Horse Shows. Malnik’s barn mate Jordan Gibbs and Equitation veteran Cent 15 picked up the reserve honors.
Ninty-eight horse-and-rider combinations took to the Classic Hunter Round designed by Kevin Holowack, which featured a skinny and multiple combinations that helped sort the placings. Midway through the order, Malnik, of Ocean Ridge, Florida, trained by Bill Schaub and Beacon Hill, expertly executed the technical course aboard her own Charlie to put her in sight of the second round with a score of 92. Her reign over the top score was only edged out by Jordan Gibbs, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who rode veteran Equitation mount Cent 15 to a 94 and into the lead heading into the second round. Sally Ives, of Durham, North Carolina, sat in third with Jinter Van Het Hagehof; followed by Sofia Cady and Konfessions; Ariana Marnell on Criminal Minds; and Schuyler Dayner on 2021 EMO Insurance/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East Best Equitation Horse Wengen.
With a cutoff score of 84 and the top group of riders within 10 points of each other, 20 riders returned for the Handy Hunter-style course, which shuffled the leaderboard. Riding in reverse order, Malnik posted the highest score of the class with a 95 and set the scene for Gibbs, who earned an 88.50 to slide into second. Rising from fifth, Marnell, of Las Vegas, Nevada, added a 91 to her first round of score of 89.50 and moved into third. Dayner, of Odessa, Florida, moved into fourth with Emma Callanan, of Lebanon, New Jersey, in fifth and Kate Hagerty, of Terrebonne, Oregon, in sixth.
“[Charlie] was with me every step of the way and knew exactly what I was asking of him,” said Malnik of her mount. “Especially getting a 95, which is the highest score I’ve gotten, I was very happy coming off that round but wanted to keep our composure because I knew I had the additional testing to do so I didn’t want to get too excited yet.”
Judges Meg Schulman and Bobbie Reber chose to call back the top six riders for testing, including swapping mounts to ride the first eight fences of the Handy Round. Hagerty, aboard Callanan’s Goyard, took to the course first and set the tone, moving up to finish third, while Callanan slid to fifth after a round on Hagerty’s Solitude. Dayner and Marnell then traded mounts, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Barn mates Malnik and Gibbs cheered for each other throughout the competition and had no problems switching horses as the final two pairs to enter the ring. Gibb’s round aboard Charlie impressed, but not enough to top Malnik’s execution of the shortened course with Cent 15.
“We both watched each other’s horses go quite often so I was familiar with Carlie and she was familiar with Cent,” said Gibbs of the swap. “I think we were both just ecstatic to make it to that point in general. It was a great day for Beacon Hill and I was very happy that Sterling won and super how I ended up [in the class].”
As Champion, Malnik was awarded a $5,000 scholarship to Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, a Charles Owen helmet, a gift bag from Exhibitor’s, a cooler, a saddle pad, a keeper trophy, and a rider sash. Gibbs earned an Essex Classics gift certificate, a saddle pad, a gift bag from Exhibitor’s and a rider sash as Reserve. The top 10 riders received sashes and saddle pads from USHJA along with gift bags from Exhibitor’s. Earning the honor of Best Equitation Horse, Charlie, owned and ridden by Malnik, received a CWD gift certificate and a trophy.
The USHJA Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic, presented by Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, is a three-round class that combines the precision of equitation and handiness of hunters over a course set at 3’6″. Held during the East and West Coast Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships, the Gladstone Cup is open to any rider that is an Active USHJA junior member at the time of the competition and has won a USEF Hunter Seat Medal, ASPCA Maclay, USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, either phase of WIHS Equitation Classic at a National or Premier show or Overall WIHS Equitation Classic during the qualifying year. This year’s West Coast competition will take place at Blenheim EquiSports in San Juan Capistrano, California, on July 24.
The USHJA sends special thanks to the entire Traverse City Horse Shows team and Morrissey Management Group for hosting the Classic. The USHJA also thanks Official Sponsors Exhibitor’s, CWD, Nutrena, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; Presenting Sponsor Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College; and Award Sponsors Essex Classics and Charles Owen.
For more information about the USHJA Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic, presented by Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, visit ushja.org/Gladstone.
Photos by Andrew Ryback Photography
USHJA Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic – East, Presented by Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College
Rider | Horse | Trainer | Round 1 | Round 2 | Two-Round Score*
*The Final Round was not scored*
1. Sterling Malnik | Charlie | Bill Schaub & Beacon Hill Show Stables | 92 | 95 | 187
2. Jordan Gibbs | Cent 15 | Stacia Madden | 94 | 88.50 | 182.50
3. Kate Hagerty | Solitude | Valerie Renihan | 87 | 90 | 177
4. Schuyler Dayner | Wengen | Donald Stewart | 89 | 89.10 | 178.10
5. Ariana Marnell | Criminal Minds | Devin Vega | 89.50 | 91 | 180.50
6. Emma Callanan | Goyard | Donald Stewart | 86 | 92 | 178