Douglas Wheeler's Gotham continued his winning ways, capturing the top spot in the $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championship with Hunt Tosh. In a strong field of the best young horses in the country, Gotham jumped to two top scores of 89.90 and 88.65 for a total of 178.55 for the win.
For their win today, Gotham, Tosh, and Wheeler were awarded the Beverly Brooks Solter Memorial Trophy, donated by Hilary Scheer Gerhardt and Zan Martin Dillon. Gotham also picked up the EMO Future Hunter Trip of the Show, sponsored by the EMO Agency, Inc., with a 91.5.
Tosh said of his trips, “Round one I thought he was spectacular. (Round two), maybe a little out of gas compared to the first round. Everyone jumps three-foot (in the championship), and he usually jumps 3'3”. They were a little smaller than he normally jumps. For him, he maybe needed a little more jump in the second round, but he was still really good.”
Havens Schatt and The Closer, owned by Jane Pittman, finished second after a strong second round score of 90.60. Added to their first round score of 86.35, they finished on a total of 176.95.
Holly Orlando and Cathy Zicherman's Dominik improved in the second round as well. They had an 86.70 in the first round and an 89.60 in the second round for a total of 176.30 and third place.
2014 marks the first time Tosh has won the Future Hunter North American Championship, and it capped an extremely successful week for Tosh. “This is such a prestigious class for a Pre-Green horse. For (show managers) Billy (Glass) and Oliver (Kennedy) to make it happen at this horse show is awesome. I don't know that there has been a horse that has won this class and hasn't gone on to have a great career afterwards. It really is special to win it. He went great the last two days, and then come back a third day, is a lot for the young horses, to come back and win again. We love that horse and are fortunate to have him.”
Owner Douglas Wheeler gave credit to Will Roberts, who they bought Gotham from in early August. “Will did a beautiful job of bringing the horse along,” he said. “Hunt was absolutely fantastic with all of the horses, but especially the young ones. He's a very patient, talented horseman. We cannot thank him enough for the job he does for all of us.”
Wheeler and his brother, Kenneth Wheeler Jr., have a dedicated plan to buy young horses, guide them through their Pre-Green years, and develop them for further careers. He said that the Future Hunter North American Championship is one that his family have wanted to win for a long time. “To come and compete on this stage with that company of horses is just such a special thrill. It's special because of how special this horse show is to us. To have our name on the trophy with horses like Showman and Bacardi, to win at this show, is just huge to us,” he expressed.
Tosh termed this year's Capital Challenge as “a fairy tale week,” with five championships and today's victory. “We've had good weeks, but to have every horse do this well and win the (Future Hunter) Championship? This is probably the best week we've ever had,” he said.
Wheeler added, “Because this show focuses so much on the hunter discipline and made the hunters so special, and is such an integral part of our industry now, personally for us as a family, it's absolutely important to support this show. The hunters are all we've ever done and that's what we'll continue to do, to focus on hunters. The entire management staff does such a great job to focus this horse show on the hunters. You can see how successful it's become and what a bright future it has moving forward.”
Dr. Betsee Parker's Celebration and Scott Stewart won the Grand Future Hunter Championship sponsored by David Belford and Christopher Payne/New Hope LLC & Susan Moriconi. They were presented with “A Rare Diamond” Perpetual Trophy donated by “The Friends of Mickey.”
The $1,000 Senior WCHR Under Saddle victory, sponsored by Arcadia Farm, went to Andover, ridden by Ashley Cedillos for Savanah Stuart. They were presented with the Hollywood Challenge Trophy donated by Paula Polk Lillard.
Special thanks go to the grooms of the winning horses today. They include:
- Green Conformation Hunters: Scripted/Pancho Gomez
- First Year Green Hunter Sec. A: Truman/Francisco Marin
- First Year Green Hunter Sec. B: Casanova/Jose Guitierrez
- Regular Conformation Hunters: Showman/Juan Bernardo
- Future Hunter Championship: Gotham/Gelacio Buenaventura
- WCHR Pro Challenge: Come Monday/Hector Garcia
Final Results: $25,000 Future Hunter North American Championship
1 189 GOTHAM HUNT TOSH
92.00 93.00 86.75 88.75 89.00 89.90
88.00 88.50 87.25 87.50 92.00 88.65
2 536 THE CLOSER HAVENS SCHATT
84.50 85.25 87.75 86.75 87.50 86.35
89.00 89.00 92.00 92.00 91.00 90.60
3 542 DOMINIK HOLLY ORLANDO
90.00 88.00 84.00 86.50 85.00 86.70
92.00 90.00 88.00 89.00 89.00 89.60
4 324 CELEBRATION SCOTT STEWART
88.00 91.00 90.00 88.25 87.80 89.01
86.00 86.25 83.75 84.75 83.75 84.90
5 1373JADE DAVID RAPOSA
87.00 87.00 88.00 89.00 90.00 88.20
85.00 86.50 84.50 84.50 84.50 85.00
6 1072SOCHI COLIN SYQUIA
85.00 85.00 85.00 87.00 87.00 85.80
87.00 86.00 88.00 88.00 85.00 86.80
7 535 CAPITAL CITY HAVENS SCHATT
83.50 84.00 82.50 88.00 88.00 85.20
88.00 88.00 84.00 87.00 88.00 87.00
8 537 BREEZE HAVENS SCHATT
83.75 86.50 84.75 85.25 87.25 85.50
85.50 85.00 85.75 84.00 86.00 85.25
9 232 BOSS JOHN FRENCH
81.00 80.00 87.50 87.75 86.50 84.55
86.00 87.00 86.50 85.00 84.00 85.70
10 312 ENOUGH SAID SCOTT STEWART
84.00 84.75 87.25 88.50 86.80 86.26
83.00 84.00 84.75 83.50 83.50 83.75
11 191 TROUBADOUR HUNT TOSH
85.50 86.00 84.00 86.00 85.50 85.40
84.00 83.00 83.00 83.00 82.00 83.00
12 554 MIRROR IMAGE AMANDA STEEGE
85.50 85.50 86.25 85.75 85.00 85.60
80.00 81.00 78.00 79.00 78.00 79.20
The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues tomorrow with championships for the Amateur-Owner 3'3” and 3'6” Hunters and three sections of Adult Amateur Hunters. The WCHR Amateur-Owner Challenge 3'3” and 3'6” will be held in the afternoon, and the $10,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Challenge will wrap up the evening festivities.
Additional highlights of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will include the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup (two rounds held on Oct. 3-4), the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals (Oct. 3), and the WCHR Professional Finals (Oct. 3).
For full results, more information, or to watch the live webcast, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org. Like the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook and on Twitter @capchallenge and Instagram @capitalchallengehorseshow. For behind-the-scenes photos, videos, and more!
In its 21st year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year's show will take place on September 27-October 5.
Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country's best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.