Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 9, 2021 – The second day of the USHJA Young Jumper Championships, hosted during the Traverse City Tournament of Champions, saw the final day of the Four-Year-Old Style and Jumping Championships, as well as the continuation of the other age group classes for the 5, 6, 7, and 8 year old horses. The day proved to be another positive experience for the young horses and their riders, providing an opportunity for owners and breeders to showcase the up-and-coming talent that is taking hold in North American equestrian sport.
Taking to the Jumper Annex of the Flintfields Horse Park, the Four-Year-Old Young Style and Jumping Championships came to a pinnacle Thursday morning with the crowning of champions. Based on their performances Wednesday, a field of seven horses returned to the ring in reverse order to vie for the title of National Champion. In the end, there was a tie for the top honors between John Porter’s TikTok Z and Aliboo Farm Inc.’s Cool Running VDV Z. TikTok Z (Toulon X Mendini van de Hunters), a Zangersheide gelding bred by Hunters Stud Farm LVS NV, earned an overall 132.5 style and jumping points with Brooke Kemper in the irons. Matching their points exactly on a total of 132.5 points was the Zangersheide stallion bred by EFF Van de Verdonk, Cool Running VDV Z (Cicero Z X Zianne), who was piloted by Taylor Flury.
Both Kemper and Flurry are well known for their commitment to producing top quality young horses that go on to have meaningful careers in the hunter and jumper classes. The horses were not only judged on whether or not they could complete a clear round over course designer Nick Garant’s (USA) 11-obstacle track, but were also judged by a panel of judges on their jumping style and overall rideability. Lauren Ditallo was awarded the distinction of riding the best U.S. bred horse, High Finance Farm’s HHF Minted Munny (Thunder Van de Zuuthoeve X Elize Van de Broekkant), bred by Muny Sunk Stables, Inc..
Following the Four-Year-Old Young Style and Jumping Championships, the USHJA Five-Year-Old Young Jumper horses took to the Jumper Annex ring to best their performances from Wednesday and work to complete yet another clear round in the Second Qualifier event. Five-Year-Old horses are encouraged to complete two blue ribbon rounds before they are judged in their National Championship final, which is scheduled to take place Sunday, September 12.
In the Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship Second Qualifier, Soehnke Theymann piloted Platinum Capital Management USA LLC’s Henrietta (Contefino X O Black Cherry) to the winning spot out of 14 entries in the speed format class. The Holsteiner mare bred by Platinum Management USA LLC stopped the clock in a time of 64.33 seconds without accruing additional faults. Theymann and Henrietta currently lead the Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship standings on 2 cumulative points, while Catherine Tyree and QBS Equestrian’s Cantalupe V/D Holstenhoeve share second place on 7 points with another QBS Equestrian entry, Doonaveeragh Balou, ridden by Matthew Williams.
Quentin Judge of Double H Farm proved to be unbeatable in both the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Second Qualifier events Thursday, topping both aboard HH Janneke B (Floris x Golden Girl B) and HH Filounus (Filou de Muze x Agronda), respectively. Judge and HH Janneke B, bred by G. F. Brinkman, currently lead the 7-Year-Old standings on a total of 2 cumulative points. Though not at the top of the leaderboard Thursday, Kemper and Caroline Blum’s MTM Kappa Kappa Gamma (Casiro x Sue) still hold the top position in the 8-Year-Old standings with a cumulative total of 4 points. Kemper has one final shot at the championship Sunday aboard the Markus Franz-bred gelding as she tries to hold off Judge, who currently sits in the second position with HH Filounus on a total of 8 points.
The USHJA Young Jumper Championship will continue Saturday, September 11, with the Consolation Classic for the 5, 6, 7, and 8-year-old horses. The Championship will come to a pinnacle Sunday, September 12, as the remaining age groups compete in their respective Final for their shot at top honors.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Brooke Kemper – USHJA Young Jumper Championship 4-Year-Old Final Champion
On her plan for her round in the final:
“Today I wanted to go in and have another smooth trip with my four-year-old. I want him to have good experience and let his natural qualities shine through.”
On the USHJA Young Jumper Championships:
“I think that this program is fabulous. I think it is wonderful to have a national championship for young horses. It gives us a chance to showcase these horses in an appropriate environment with appropriate courses and it gives us a chance to thank our owners for supporting us and believing in these young horses. It is a great opportunity for them to be in the spotlight. We have a year end goal now to work towards with the horses. Some of them will be ready, others will need to skip a year but it is nice to have that goal for them and know that it will be at a facility that has beautiful jumps, beautiful footing, and is well run. We really appreciate it.”
Taylor Flurry – USHJA Young Jumper Championship 4-Year-Old Final Champion
On Cool Running VDV Z:
“He is actually owned by myself and my brother and we have developed him since he was young.”
On her plan for the round:
“Mine was much the same as Brooke’s. My horse does not have as much experience. This is only his third horse show. I wanted him to have a positive round and get used to the environment and work on our ridability and just take in all of the horse show elements.”
On the USHJA Young Horse Championship:
“This is an awesome element or championship for young horses and it is really needed in the states. A lot of people have their own championships but before there was nothing that was national. I believe that it is very important to give the owners something to work for and make people want to have young horses. In the states, people are so used to just buying slightly more made horses because that is easier to have the ‘right now horse,’ but we need to have young horses coming up. It is getting harder and harder to find good horses, so you have to start them young. You also need to have a good place to give them solid miles, so I think this championship is really needed.”
On Showing at Flinfields Horse Park:
“I think that it is beautiful and we have been lucky that the weather this year has been great show days so far. I really appreciate how many places there are to ride and how much the management thought that out. It is amazing that they build another ring to just flat in, which for those of us with young horses is a blessing. Sometimes young horses can get to the show and be a little fresh or spooky and sometimes going in the schooling ring with my four year old can be a little harry so I am happy to have the extra space and a quiter ring to go in. They are continuously improving the facility and that is so key.”