Wellington, FL - February 13, 2011 - Today's competition was the wrap-up of week 5 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 3. Numbers were soaring today as competitors and spectators alike came to enjoy the sunshine and the horses. Among those competitors were the older section of Large Junior Hunters.
Casallo was awarded the championship honor in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Hayley Barnhill was aboard the John Jedakis and Robert Crandall entry, Casallo, who is a seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding.
Casallo also shows in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division with owner Robert Crandall. "He is a Second Year horse, so he is still a little green, but he jumps amazing and has a huge stride," explained Barnhill when asked about Casallo.
The duo secured the championship by winning two classes, placing second in a class, fourth in another class, and sixth under saddle.
The pair has had much success so far this winter at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. "This is the third week I've shown him, and we were also champion two weeks ago," said Barnhill.
Barnhill and Casallo's championship honors this week have earned them a spot in next Sunday's Junior and Amateur WCHR Hunter Classic Spectacular. Barnhill stated that as of now, she and Casallo plan on competing together in Sunday's class.
Another pair that secured a spot in next week's Junior and Amateur WCHR Hunter Classic Spectacular is Olivia Esse and Small Affair. Esse rode Iwasaki and Reilly's entry, Small Affair, to the reserve championship honors. Small Affair is an eight-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Elf D'or. The duo won two of the division's five classes.
Stay tuned next week for more coverage of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Week 6 will begin next Wednesday and run through Sunday, April 20.
Photo Credit: Hayley Barnhill and Casallo were the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter Champions during the fifth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.