Halifax, MA - The area's top equitation riders converged on the Fieldstone Equestrian & Show Facility in Halifax, MA, for the 2010 Massachusetts Hunter Jumper (MHJ) Finals.
The MHJ Finals, which concluded the Fieldstone Summer Showcase, saw over 300 riders compete for top honors in the MHJ Short Stirrup Medal Final, MHJ-Mini Medal Final, MHJ Adult Mini-Medal Final, MHJ Children's Pony Medal Final, MHJ Children's Horse Medal Final, MHJ Junior Medal Final, and the MHJ Adult Medal Finals.
The first tri-color ribbon of the day was won by Rachel DeMuth in the MHJ Short Stirrup Medal Final aboard her pony, Skippy Two Socks. DeMuth, who rides with Kellie Monahan of Walnut Hill Farm, prepared for the Finals by, "practicing a lot of courses and doing a lot of work without stirrups." The pair emerged as champions out of a starting field of 43 horse-and-rider combinations.
Taking home top honors out of a starting field of 52 entries in the MHJ Mini Medal Final was Katherine Johnson and Michael Fletcher's Comedy Hour. Johnson, who riders with Kathy Fletcher and Laurel Tinney at Grazing Fields Farm, won the Final following a flawless test round of the top 5 riders. Riders were not allowed to confer with their trainers before the test, forcing them to make crucial decisions about how'd they'd execute the judges requests on their own.
"This was the first time I've ever ridden a test," said Johnson. "I had to image what my trainers would tell me to do, and make a plan. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun."
Sarah Grogan and Kiss N' Tell, owned by Gina Virga, were victorious in the MHJ Adult Mini Medal Final, which had a starting field of 37 entries. Grogan, who trains with Brooke Ferro of Belle Wood Stables, was elated after her win, and said that her horse was "absolutely phenomenal," adding that they have both improved a lot since the last MHJ Final in 2009.
Abigail Hopkins and her pony One Hot Pepper took home top honors in the MHJ Children's Medal Pony Final. Hopkins, who trains with Jill Weinstein of Blue Ride Show Stables, bested a field of 20 entries for the win. This was Hopkins' first MHJ Final win and she said of the class, "my favorite part was hearing my name announced as the winner and then hearing the crowd cheer."
In the MHJ Children's Medal Horse Final, Brittany Rowe and Royal Highland, owned by Sarah Galvin, took top honors out of a starting field of 29 entries. This was the first MHJ Final win for Rowe, who trains with Cyndy van der Meer of Saddle Rowe.
Rowe won her Final following a test of the top 4 riders, which required them to trot and canter fences as well as halt in the middle of a line. "The halt was the hardest part because my horse was so focused on the second jump of the line," said Rowe. "I had a great time, and Fieldstone is such a fun show."
Lexie Loher piloted Upstart, owned by Claybrook Farms, to victory in the MHJ Junior Medal. Loher, who rides with Tricia Moss of Esterbrook Farm, bested a starting field of 82 horse-and-rider combinations for the win.
"There was a lot of great competition this year," said Loher, who finished third in last year's Final. "The Fieldstone shows have really grown over the years, especially this year, and it was a great show."
In the MHJ Adult Medal Final (18-30), Abby Cook and Andrea Alexander's Aristo bested a field of 24 horse-and-rider combinations for the win. Cook, who trains with Carl Catani and Abigail Greer of River Wind Farm, has been competing at Fieldstone for nearly 12 years and this was her first MHJ Final win.
"I was second in the Junior Medal years ago, so it was great to come here today and win as an Adult," said Cook.
In the MHJ Adult Medal Final (+30), Kristin McCuin and Gilligan, owned by Natalie Crane, bested a field of 17 entries to earn the coveted tri-color ribbon. McCuin, who trains with Kathy Fletcher of Grazing Fields Farm, won the MHJ Mini Medal Final in 2006, and was excited to repeat her victory as an adult.
"I grew up competing here as a kid, so it's exciting to experience that again as an adult," said McCuin.
Other winners throughout the 2010 Fieldstone Summer Showcase included Ali Tritschler and Clovercroft Honey Bunny inthe Equisport Insurance/ United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Pony Medal, sponsored by Esterbrook Farm; Alexandra Listrani and Rio's Merlin in the 3'3" Open Hunter Championship; Ava Sterns and Blue On Blue in the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic/Derby; Madeline Stover and Concierge in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic/Derby; Kristen Bumpus and Cupid in the $5,000 EquiFit Welcome Stake; Gregory Price and Mariano in the $10,000 3'3" Open Hunter Derby; Laura Hinsdale and Woodstock in the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic; Nancy Vinal and Orpheus in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, sponsored by Esterbrook Farm; Katie Karlson and Carlingford's Gaffney in the Ariat Adult Medal; Colin Quinlan and High Class in the CWD Junior/Amateur Equitation Challenge; Nikki Ayoub and Touche in theASPCA Medal Maclay, sponsored by Esterbrook Farm; Sara Nicolau and Master Ballinteskin inthe $5,000 SmartPak Child/Adult Jumper Classic; Zoe Mcgee and Major in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Division, sponsored by Stoneymeade Farm, Elizabeth Kenny and Don Juan in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Division, sponsored by Stoneymeade Farm, and Camilla Bennett and Small Change in the $1,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic, sponsored by Woodridge Farm and Jean Sheptoff and Peaches in the $35,000 Fieldstone Summer Showcase Grand Prix.
The 2010 Fieldstone Summer Showcase would like to thank its sponsors: Ariat, Cumberland Farms in Halifax, MA, CWD, Elite Equine Shavings, Empire Wine and Spirits, EquiFit, inc., Equine Journal, Equine Realtors, Esterbrook Farm, Horsemen's Ltd., Leather Therapy, Response Products, SmartPak, Stoneymeade Farm, Tedeschi Food Shops in Halifax, MA, and Woodridge Farm.
Fieldstone Equestrian & Show Facility is one of New England's premier equestrian event venues. Its 100-acre show grounds are located just 28 miles south of Boston, MA. The recently renovated facility offers nine all-weather hybrid sand/felt/fiber show rings, permanent and temporary stabling, ample parking, and a state-of-the-art all-grass Grand Prix field.
For more information on the Fieldstone Summer Showcase, please visit www.showfieldstone.com, call 781-679-0701, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Abigail Hopkins and One Hot Pepper Photo Credit: Anne Gittins
Lexie Loher and Upstart Photo Credit: Anne Gittins