Under a starry California sky Hope Glynn and King's Peak claimed victory in the USHJA World Championship Hunter Rider West Coast Hunter Spectacular at the Flintridge Spring Classic in La Canada Flintridge, CA. This marked the second year for the West Coast Hunter Spectacular and a second win for Glynn who won the inaugural class in 2013 with mount Woodstock. The pair returned ready to defend their champion title, but the night belonged to the King.
The Penngrove, CA based Glynn, partnered with Emma Waldfogel's 12-year-old Warmblood gelding King's Peak added a beautiful second-round performance that pushed her total to 174.12 points to win the $30,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular. Glynn also claimed another top 12 position finishing in third place aboard Woodstock, owned by Sabrina Hellman, with 171.75.
Krave and Nick Haness of San Clemente, CA placed second for owner Mountain Home Stables with a close score of 172.
Glynn isn't known to be a superstitious person, but she isn't opposed to having a lucky charm and on her way to the ring made a stop in the hospitality tent to pick up a USHJA pin, which she used as her stock tie pin - for 'good luck'.
The $30,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular was a featured event of the Flintridge Spring Classic and attracted 27 entries from the amateur, junior and professional hunter ranks. Prior to the start of the event riders were required to declare the height at which they would compete; 3'6", 3'9" or 4'0" and while open to all riders, there was a limit of three horses per rider.
Course designer John Manning of Shelburne, MA set the tracks for the two-round classic in the Jimmy Williams Oval as well as using part of the adjacent hunter ring.
"I wanted to create a course with a lot of unrelated distances so the horses can gallop in-between the jumps. You want to be able to see the horses bending left, right, lengthening and shortening, as well as having the jumps decorated so they jump to the best of their ability. I think it's going to achieve just that and I'm very pleased with the outcome." Manning said.
VIP guests benefited from ringside seating along with the finest hospitality as they savored fine cuisine and enjoyed great competition. A portion of the table sales benefit the WCHR program, the USHJA Foundation and the Horseman's Assistance Fund. Also positioned in strategic locations around the ring were the two panels of judges- Panel 1 Chris Wynne and Bobbie Reber and Panel 2 Katie Frank and Scott Williamson who presided over the class.
Following the final score tally Glynn and King's Peak returned to the arena. The pair were joined by event manager Dale Harvey, Ecole Lathrop of Valencia Sport Saddlery and USHJA Director of Hunter Programs, Kelley Douglas. The royal pair were presented with a bounty of gifts that included a $9,000 cash award, an array of 30 roses, an engraved keeper trophy, a custom embroidered jacket, a custom charcoal portrait and custom embroidered cooler from Blue Ribbon- the Official Cooler of the WCHR Program.
Glynn summed up the evening, "The West Coast Hunter Spectacular offers a great opportunity to show under the lights. It's such a great experience for the horses and riders to jump from one ring to another with long galloping distances. Thank you to all the sponsors and management for bringing these special classes to the west coast."
Included in the presentations were the first of the nine WCHR High Score Awards to riders who achieved the single highest numerical score in any one class, within their respective hunter section and membership category. High Score Awards were presented to Professional John French with Small Affair, owned by Lyn Pedersen, who scored a 92 in the Performance Working Hunter 3'6" and the Developing Professional category had a tie - Alexis Taylor-Silvernale with Carnado, owned by David Taylor, in the High Performance Hunter and Alicia Saxton partnered with Andover, owned by Savanah Stuart, in the Pre-Green 3' each scored an 86. All winners were presented a beautiful custom WCHR jacket. The remaining high score awards are determined throughout Sunday's competition.
Nick Haness' mount Krave, owned by Mountain Home Stables and cared for by Johnny Saucedo, was awarded the Best Turned Out Award, sponsored by Shapley's. Sally Stith-Burdette, Director of Marketing for Shapley's, presented Saucedo with a special bucket of products and a $100 cash prize.
In addition, the USHJA would like to thank its generous sponsors for the 2014 WCHR West Coast Hunter Spectacular, including: Charles Owen-The Official Helmet of the USHJA; Rood & Riddle-The Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy of the USHJA; Nutrena, the Official Feed of the USHJA; Standlee Hay, the Official Forage Company of the USHJA; and Shapley's, sponsor of the Best Turned Out Horse for USHJA Hunter Championships.
Final Results: The $30,000 WCHR West Coast Hunter Classic Spectacular
1 KING'S PEAK HOPE GLYNN 174.12
2 KRAVE NICK HANESS 172
3 WOODSTOCK HOPE GLYNN 171.75
4 Y WONDER Y JENNY KARAZISSIS 170.75
5 SPLENDID JENNY KARAZISSIS 169.75
6 UNDENIABLE JENNY KARAZISSIS 167.50
7 FABRICIO TARA METZNER 165.50