Del Mar, Calif. - The 2015 US Junior Hunter National Championship West Coast came to a close on Tuesday, following two days of competition at Del Mar Horse Park. More than 50 of the country's top juniors headed to the championship to complete three phases in front of the judging panel of Bucky Reynolds, Scott Williamson, and Chris Wynne over Joe Lombardo-designed Classic Round and Handy Hunter courses, which both counted for 40% of the overall score. The final 20% was earned in Tuesday morning's Under Saddle phase. Kaitlyn Van Konynenburg and Wish List posted the best overall score of the 3'6" competition to earn the 2015 Grand Champion title. In the 3'3" championship, Celine Claessens and Small Kiss earned Grand Champion honors.
Van Konynenburg (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and her own 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Wish List, earned the 2015 National Title after scoring 95.20 in the Classic Round, 48.30 Under Saddle, and 102.00 in the Handy Round, to finish on an overall score of 245.50.
The talented pair also earned the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 crown. Ashton Alexander (Ocala, Fla.) and Mountain Home Stables' Krave scored the Reserve Overall Grand Champion title. She and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding finished on an overall total of 244.80 after posting scores of 96.20, 47.80, and 100.80 in the Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Rounds, respectively. The pair also posted the best score in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division.
In Large Junior Hunter 15-and-Under competition, Hunter Siebel (Woodside, Calif.) and Mountain Home Stables' 10-year-old Brandenbrug gelding, As Always, earned top honors on an overall score of 242.00, with Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Round scores of 104.80, 46.40, and 90.80, respectively. Grady Lyman and Teton Farms LLC's Irasir posted the top score in the Small Junior Hunter 15-and-Under division. Lyman and the 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding earned scores of 95.00, 48.20, 101.60 in the Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Rounds, respectively, and an overall score of 244.80. The Small Collection Perpetual trophy for the highest scoring mare on the West Coast was awarded to Café de Colombia, owned by Mountain Home Stables and ridden by Morgan Dickerson.
Claessens (Rolling Hills, Calif.) and her own Small Kiss topped the 3'3" Junior Hunters Over Fences section A, winning the California Split Section A Overall on their way to earning Overall Grand Champion honors in the 3'3" Championship. She and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding earned scores of 101.40 in the Classic Round, 50 in the Under Saddle, and 98.30 in Handy Round to finish on an overall total of 249.70. Kailin Kerzner (Edwards, Colo.) earned Reserve Overall Grand Champion with Janie Andrew's 15-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Tache Rouge. The pair, which had the highest score in the 3"3" Junior Hunter Section A Handy Round and topped Section B overall, scored 94.10, 49.20, and 100.60 in the Classic, Under Saddle, and Handy Rounds, respectively, to finish on an overall total of 243.90.