Washington, D.C. – The 2015 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted its first day of jumper competition at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Jumper competition got underway early Wednesday evening with a win for Katy Hamilton in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, sponsored by Shamrock Ventures, aboard Sacha 12, owned by Old Barrington, LLC.
Hamilton, 16, trains with Amelia McArdle at Old Barrington Farm and hails from Chicago, IL. The original field included 32 and Hamilton was one of 12 to advance to the jump-off, besting six double-clear efforts in 32.38 seconds for the win.
Mary Elizabeth Cordia and Zodiac, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, crossed the timers just fractions slower to finish second in 32.822 seconds. Grace Boston and Whiskey Rox took third in 33.699 seconds, while Kiana Fiore finished fourth aboard her own Arvakur. Haley Redifer capped the top five on Gerry 79 in 34.689 seconds for Dawson Equine Investments, LLC.
Hamilton’s only goal for 2015 was to qualify and compete at the Washington International Horse Show with Sacha 12, but winning was an accomplishment she never dreamt could happen. For the victory, she was awarded The H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Friends of Fen. “It’s all really unreal; seeing horses in the streets, the schooling area inside [Verizon Center] and traveling as far as we did. I’ve been shaking the last couple days because I was so nervous,” said Hamilton, who made an 11-hour trip for her first-ever WIHS appearance. “I’m confident in Sacha and I know she’s fast, but I figured we were going to be against the fastest in the country, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
After riding hunters for the past ten years, Hamilton sat on Sacha 12 – her first jumper – last August and immediately felt at home. “I always noticed her around the barn and thought she was so cool, but I never thought I’d be riding her,” she said.
When Hamilton began preparing for her transition to the jumper ring, she immediately pitched her trainer on leasing Sacha 12, but McArdle thought the 16-year-old mare had too much blood for a young rider. “I nagged her a bit and I guess the nagging worked,” laughed Hamilton. “I started hacking and taking lessons on Sacha [last summer] and we clicked right off the bat. She carries me through every mistake and every time we go in the ring she jumps her heart out. You can feel that she wants it just as bad as I do – she’s unlike any other horse I’ve ever ridden.”
“She’s definitely a horse show horse,” said Hamilton. “When she gets to the show, she’s in the zone and doesn’t look at anything. She’s perfect. But, at home she likes to push your buttons. She was my first jumper so I didn’t know what I liked and what I didn’t like, but I sat on her and thought she was the coolest mare ever.”
While Hamilton’s win at WIHS was a highlight, the evening was bittersweet. Wednesday marked the end of Sacha 12’s lease and their last time in the ring together. However, thanks to Sacha 12, Hamilton has found her niche in the jumper ring and hopes to return to WIHS in 2016 aboard the junior jumper mare she recently purchased.
For full results and more information please visit www.wihs.org
Final Results: $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, sponsored by Shamrock Ventures
Placing Number Horse Rider Rd. 1 Faults Rd. 2 Faults Time Owner
1 573 SACHA 12 KATY HAMILTON 0.00 0.00 32.380 OLD BARRINGTON LLC
2 684 ZODIAC MARY ELIZABETH CORDIA 0.00 0.00 32.822 M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE
3 269 WHISKEY ROX GRACE BOSTON 0.00 0.00 33.699 DONALD STEWART, JR.
4 648 ARVAKUR KIANA FIORE 0.00 0.00 34.304 KIANA FIORE
5 764 GERRY 79 HALEY REDIFER 0.00 0.00 34.689 DAWSON EQUINE INVESTMENTS, LLC
6 755 DIAMOND DANCE ALESSANDRA M. D’AMOUR 0.00 0.00 34.710 ALESSANDRA M. D’AMOUR
7 274 ZELDA KELSEY TAYLOR 0.00 4.00 32.266 KELSEY TAYLOR
8 208 CAPTIVATE ISABEL HARBOUR 0.00 4.00 35.035 CHARITY DURGIN
9 426 OPERA KATHRYN HALL 0.00 4.00 35.222 MERSHAD STABLES, LLC
10 657 WINGMAN DEVON MONROE 0.00 4.00 36.395 DEVON MONROE
11 288 ONTARIO WILL KENNEDY 0.00 4.00 38.971 WILL KENNEDY
12 347 VAILLANT AVERY P. HINSON 0.00 8.00 31.720 AVERY P. HINSON