Junior Hunter Championships decided Friday at the Washington International Horse Show

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Jennifer Kappler for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Photo Credit: Grand Junior Hunter and Large Junior Hunter Champion 15 and Under, Sara Green with groom Amanda Longo and Wellington. Photo © 2006 Jennifer Wood/PMG Pictures. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

Junior Hunter Championships Decided Today at the 2006 Washington International Horse Show

Washington, D.C. – October 27, 2006 – The Small and Large Junior Hunter Stake and Under Saddle Classes were held today in the Verizon Center at the 48th Annual Washington International Horse Show. The final two classes of the junior hunter divisions decided the championships.

The 2007 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) serves as one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive indoor equestrian events, with prominent riders, Olympic veterans, and superstar equines competing for top honors and fabulous prize money. The WIHS, held October 24 - 29, 2006, is located at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., home of the Washington International Horse Show since 2000.

The Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under Stake was the second class of the morning, and it was won by Sara Green on Wellington. The pair is trained by Bobby Braswell, and Green started showing Wellington for him and owner Sara Rutenberg in Ocala, FL, this past winter. "He is 15 and used to do all of the big equitation classed for many years," Green explained. "He is fun as a hunter because they get very loose with their necks from doing the equitation, and he is great in the Handy," she said.

The pair was first and second over fences yesterday and won the Stake today, making them champion of the division, and it gave them the Grand Junior Hunter Champion honors. "I was reserve champion last week at Harrisburg, but I have never been champion at Washington before," she smiled. Green is 15 but rides as 14 and has one more year to compete in the younger division. She is looking forward to the possibilities of showing Wellington again next season. The reserve champion was Oniedan owned by Brian Walker and shown by Taylor Brown.

The Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under champion was Breckenridge, owned by Monarch International and piloted to the title by Nicoletta Heidegger. The reserve champion was Sublime owned by Stone Hill Farm and ridden by Jessica Springsteen.

"I was champion at Washington on Starwood in the past, but this is Breckenridge’s first time at Washington with me," Heidegger said. The pair has been together for two and a half years. "I have had sort of a bad indoors so far, so I was not expecting much," she explained. "I knew that Breckenridge was going well the whole time, I just wasn’t riding my best. So I thought it would just be a practice year, because it is my first year at indoors on him," she concluded.

Breckenridge finished first and fourth yesterday in the over fences and won the under saddle today. "We definitely did better than my expectations, and he was fantastic," the 15 year old from Los Angeles, CA said. "I wasn’t worried about Breckenridge. I was worried about myself, and I knew if I could pull it all together that he would be there to support me. When you win the first class, it feels like it might be all down hill from there, but we did a good job after that, and I tried to hold it all together the best that I could," she concluded.

The Large Junior Hunter 16 -17 champion was Miracle, owned by Christy Russo and shown to the title by Jack Hardin Towell Jr. The reserve champion was Socrates, ridden and owned by Addison Phillips. Miracle and Towell won both classes over fences yesterday and were third over fences today.

The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship was won by Carita, owned by Reed Kessler and shown by Addison Philips. Reserve champion was Lyle, owned by Mrs. Randolph Rinehart and piloted to the win by Megan Massaro.

"Carita has a huge stride and a smooth jump," Phillips said. "She was perfect at Harrisburg, and she pulled through here." The partners won both over fences yesterday and were third in the Stake class today.

Best Child Rider On a Horse – Jack Hardin Towell Jr.

Grand Champion Junior Hunter – Sara Green - Wellington

There will be many exciting events to come, including the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, and a $25,000 Puissance. Hunter competition continues tomorrow in the brand new WIHS event, the AHJF Nation’s Cup Hunter Challenge, as well as the pony hunters.

 

Photo Credit: Grand Junior Hunter and Large Junior Hunter Champion 15 and Under, Sara Green with groom Amanda Longo and Wellington. Photo © 2006 Jennifer Wood/PMG Pictures. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.