Parker, CO - June 22, 2014 - Shannan Gossman pulled off an impressive double in the Amateur Owner 3'3" Hunters at Summer in the Rockies III, earning both championships in the division, which was pinned according to a California split. She accumulated the most points of the division aboard Chelios, claiming the section A championship, and collected the second highest point total with Ever So Clever to add the section B championship to her winnings.
When Gossman returned after the division to inquire about championship results, she was astounded to be presented with not one but two tricolors. She teared up as she reflected on the journey with her two horses to reach this point.
"With Ever So Clever, it's been a long road," she said. "This is one of our handful of shows this year. He just stepped up to the (Olson Family) Main Hunter Ring. It is our first time ever in the 3'3" and he just really stepped up to the plate. He was unbelievable."
She's owned the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding for nearly three years and started out competing him in the Adult Amateurs two years ago at the Colorado Horse Park. He was sidelined for some time with quarter cracks and has been a challenge to bring along, but the effort has been worth it for Gossman, who trains with Randy Henry of Winsome Farms in Castle Rock, CO.
"Two years ago when I was here with him, he was very scared," she recalled. "I got him not knowing a lot about him. I took him on as a project. He has just really grown, especially in the last four months. He now trusts me and knows everything's OK."
"He is a blast to ride, but he is difficult and he makes you work for it all," she added. "I have to support and sit back. He likes the trusting, supporting, secure ride."
Chelios, Gossman's other mount, showed maturity that belied his youth. The 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding collected two wins and two second places in the Amateur Owner 3'3" Hunters this week and moved up from his section A reserve at Summer in the Rockies II to take the section A championship.
Gossman prepped him to show in the hunters by taking him in a 1.0m class in the Derby Field on Wednesday. She has found that competing him in the jumpers helps keep his mind occupied and improves his performance in the hunters.
"He came out for the second week in a row and was as consistent as ever," Gossman said. "He is fun to ride and fun to be around. I would never guess he is 6. All of a sudden, he has grown up too."
Taking the section A reserve was Storyline, ridden by Lindsey Roberts of Pine Hollow Farm in New Caney, TX. Storyline came to Pine Hollow in February and is quickly establishing himself as one to watch for the future.
"He is improving week by week," Roberts said. "For whatever reason on the weekend, he wasn't as settled for me as he was last week. We just attribute that to his greenness, but overall we are thrilled and are definitely going the right direction. We are very, very lucky and very happy to have him."
She noted Storyline is a quick study and is rapidly learning the ropes from her as well as from her husband, trainer Will Roberts.
"He seems to be really open to learning," she said. "My husband and I were talking about how much he has allowed us to do in the last three weeks. That doesn't always happen with a lot of horses. We are fortunate with that."
Hillary Jean rode D'Amour to the section B reserve championship in the Amateur Owner 3'3" Hunters. The pair captured a win and two second places in the division.
Amateur Owner 3'6" Hunters
Nicole Lyvere was dominant for the second week in a row in the Amateur Owner 3'6" Hunters, riding All In and Wink to champion and reserve honors while sweeping all five classes of the division. She and Wink also won the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic.
Lyvere has been riding with Cindy Cruciotti of Serenity Farm in Elizabeth, CO, for around five years, and it's been a great match for her. She owns and rides a variety of different horses and said Cruciotti stresses treating each as an individual.
"Every single one of my horses goes differently, and she's able to teach me how to ride each one," Lyvere said. "They can't all fit into one box. When you learn to ride, you learn to ride for you, and now she's helping me ride for what they need. They all need to learn and develop differently to their best."
That customized approach carries over into Cruciotti's coaching strategy for her riders, and Lyvere appreciates getting instruction that works with her own personality and learning style.
"She definitely learns what each person needs and teaches them in a certain way," Lyvere explained. "I have to have visuals and you have to tell me how to do something. She spends the whole lesson explaining everything - she's never not talking in the whole hour. She's always telling why we do everything."
Junior 3'6" and 3'3" Hunters
Kelli Cruciotti added to the Serenity Farm hot streak by claiming top honors in the Junior 3'6" Hunters. She finished out a great weekend with Falcon Ridge Stables' La Roxx, showing she can adapt quickly to a new challenge by piloting the catch ride to the championship. La Roxx, who is trained by Will Roberts of Pine Hollow Farm, collected a win and two seconds over the two days of the division.
Junior 3'6" and 3'3" Hunters
La Roxx' closest competitor was Verbatim, owned by Serenity Farm and also ridden by Cruciotti. Verbatim and Cruciotti followed up Friday's $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby victory by earning the reserve championship in the Junior 3'6" Hunters.
Another junior rider raking in the ribbons was Rylee Shufelt, who rode her own Rock Star to two wins over fences today in the Junior 3'3" Hunters. Shufelt is in the midst of what promises to be a very successful transition up from the ponies, and while she said she is still getting to know Rock Star, the pair is already building a strong partnership. Their efforts secured them the championship in that division, while Haley Fleming rode her own Wesley to the reserve.
Both Cruciotti and Shufelt started the day off on a high note with top finishes in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal. They were both called back after the first round and caught the judge's eye in the work-off with strong performances. Cruciotti claimed the top spot aboard Abigail Graham's French Kiss, while Shufelt finished second on her own Capiche.
Sunday marked the conclusion of Summer in the Rockies III, a World Championship Hunter Rider Member Event. The second half of the Colorado Horse Park's summer circuit kicks off with Summer in the Rockies IV July 2-6. Click here for full results from Sunday. Visit the Colorado Horse Park's website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout Summer in the Rockies.
The Colorado Horse Park is now set up to accept online entries for all three remaining weeks of Summer in the Rockies! Visit entries.showmanagementsystem.com to set up your account and follow the tutorial to enter. If you need stalls for Weeks IV or V, please contact Pat Boyle at (847) 274-6834 or Geoff Combs at (720) 318-5968 for availability, as those weeks are nearly sold out.
Results: Summer in the Rockies III - Sunday, June 22
Amateur Owner 3'6" Hunters
Champion: 166/All In/Nicole Lyvere/Nicole Lyvere
Reserve: 170/Wink/Nicole Lyvere/Nicole Lyvere
Amateur Owner 3'3" Hunters
Section A Champion: 259/Chelios/Shannan Gossman/Shannan Gossman
Section A Reserve: 420/Storyline/Lindsey Roberts/Lindsey Roberts
Section B Champion: 258/Ever So Clever/Shannan Gossman/Shannan Gossman
Section B Reserve: 390/D'Amour/Hillary Jean/Hillary Jean
Junior 3'6" Hunters
Champion: 556/La Roxx/Falcon Ridge Stables/Kelli Cruciotti
Reserve: 180/Verbatim/Serenity Farm/Kelli Cruciotti
Junior 3'3" Hunters
Champion: 458/Rock Star/Rylee Shufelt/Rylee Shufelt
Reserve: 193/Wesley/Haley Fleming/Haley Fleming
$1,000 Junior Hunter Classic
1. 106/Limbo/Sophia Depumpo/Sophia Depumpo
2. 351/Wagner/Annabelle Regan/Annabelle Regan
3. 458/Rock Star/Rylee Shufelt/Rylee Shufelt
4. 254/Shenanigans/Lexi Mulkey/Lexi Mulkey
5. 418/McGraw/Kimberley Quinn/Katie McDonnell
6. 487/MTM Retro/MTM Farm/Kaitlyn Arnold
7. 193/Wesley/Haley Fleming/Haley Fleming
8. 139/Elementary/Fleur De Lis Farms/Camille Trimble
9. 334/Levitation/Marnina Seller/Marnina Seller
10. 355/Hemingway/Hannah Wiggins/Hannah Wiggins
11. 565/Lucky Jack/Grace Albritton/Colleen Acosta
12. 180/Verbatim/Serenity Farm/Kelli Cruciotti
$1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic
1. 170/Wink/Nicole Lyvere/Nicole Lyvere
2. 258/Ever So Clever/Shannan Gossman/Shannan Gossman
3. 188/Ddominicc/Anna Corley/Anna Corley
4. 392/On The Money/Caitlin Burns/Caitlin Burns
5. 518/Argonaut/Elizabeth Hund/Elizabeth Hund
6. 489/Stealin' Cinderella/Madeline Skrak/Madeline Skrak
Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal
1. 590/French Kiss/Abigail Graham/Kelli Cruciotti
2. 459/Capiche/Rylee Shufelt/Rylee Shufelt
3. 172/Papparazzi/Serenity Farm/Abigail Grace Kelley
4. 334/Levitation/Marnina Seller/Marnina Seller
5. 478/Bootlegger Lane/Ashley Sprinkle/Ashley Sprinkle
6. 191/Commander In Chief/Jan Beavers/Alessandra Sozzi
7. 424/Dragon/Redfield Farm/Abigail Weiland
8. 107/Pacifico/Deprix LLC./Sophia Depumpo