In the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships, it was Eleanor Hellman of Kentfield, CA, who was victorious riding Nigel in a class of 25 riders. Hellman won in two rounds with scores of 83.40 and 87.35 for a total of 170.75. She led through both rounds, returning last to go in round two, where the top 10 were called back.
Hellman thought the courses on both days of competition at Equitation Weekend were excellent, and noted that while yesterday's rounds “gave you a little more room to take a breath,” today's championships courses “pushed a lot of riders to be on point.”
Close behind, but not within the two point margin for a test, was second place finisher Rachel Boggus of Indianapolis, IN, on Papillon 136. They scored 83.60 and 84.10 for a total of 167.70. Rebecca Clawson of Plympton, MA, rode Kennebec to third place on scores of 76.70 and 85.50 for a total of 162.20.
This is Hellman's first time competing at Capital Challenge; the 23-year-old has focused on school until recently and attended the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, VA. She has ridden Nigel, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Coriano, for two years. Originally purchased to be a hunter derby horse, Hellman and trainers Hope and Ned Glynn have found he also excels at equitation. Hellman shares the horse with her mother, who also competes him in the 2'6” divisions.
Hellman was excited to get her first finals win at Capital Challenge. “It isn’t about winning, it is about having fun (for me),” she noted.
The Adult Amateur Equitation Groom's Award sponsored by Holly Hill Farm went to Nigel's groom, Moises Hernandez.
Tomorrow's schedule will see the start of professional hunter competition at Capital Challenge with the rated divisions along with five sections of the Future Hunters.
Highlights of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will include the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Developing Pro Challenge (Oct. 1), Future Hunter North American Championship (Oct. 1), the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup (two rounds held on Oct. 3-4), the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals (Oct. 3), and the WCHR Professional Finals (Oct. 3).