Washington, D.C. - October 20, 2009 - The opening day of the 2009 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) ended with an evening session for Children's and Adult Hunters. The two divisions each had a two-round $10,000 championship. Sienna Sumavielle rode Lexington to the win in the Children's Hunter Championship, while Ainsley Sadlo and Vermilion took first place in the Adult Hunter Championship. The 2009 WIHS runs through Sunday, October 25, at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.
In the $10,000 Children's Hunter Championship, Sumavielle and Lexington started out the first round with a combined score from three judges of 232. They were consistent with their scores and were awarded a 237 in the second round for a total of 469 for the win. Dani DiPietro and Davenport came in second with a score of 466, while At Last and Leigh Anne Kline were third with 451 points. For their win tonight, Sumavielle and Lexington were awarded the H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Fen.
Lexington, owned by Margaret Horowitz, is a 16-year-old gelding, and Sumavielle (14), of Ridgewood, NJ, has been riding him for two years. This was Sumavielle's first time showing at the WIHS and it was her goal to qualify for this year. "I was so excited," she said of the experience. "I was a little bit nervous coming in here for the first time, but then after I did my first round I just calmed down and my horse was great. He just went right around."
Vermilion and Ainsley Sadlo
Sumavielle said that showing at the WIHS is "definitely a different experience from outside," but that it was "so much fun." She added, "I am my own toughest critic so I really wanted to do well."
Ainsley Sadlo of Atlanta, GA, made it worth her while to take time off of work to compete at the WIHS. She and Vermilion (right) led from the first round with a score of 252, and kept the lead in the second round with a score of 246 for a total of 498 points. They beat Keep the Faith and Katie Meagher (481.25) and Kathryn Clapp on Donnerkind (457.5).
Sadlo has worked for AT&T for 15 years, and she has found a way to balance her career and her sport. "I am thrilled to be here, and it is sort of surreal," she went on to say. "Slowly the office found out about what I was doing because I kept missing so many days and they were like 'Where are you?' So I started describing what it's like to show at Washington and how this sport started in fields and valleys and hill and dale. Suddenly you are unloading your horse in the middle of the city street, you are warming up in the basement around posts and then you go into this beautifully decorated, presented ring to lights, camera, action."
Sadlo has been riding Vermilion, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding, for a year and a half. They worked on qualifying for the WIHS all year and this was their final goal. "That is the best he has ever gone indoors. We live in Atlanta, so there are no indoors," she smiled. "He was good at Capital Challenge, he was better at Harrisburg and he was best here; he was great here."
Sadlo found Vermilion through her trainer Havens Schatt, and she works with Daniel Geitner in Atlanta and boards with Julie Curtain. This was her third time competing at the WIHS, but it was Vermilion's first time here. "It just clicked, it really did. I am just thrilled and I can't tell you how far he has come," she said.
Competition continues tomorrow for the hunters with championships for the professional hunter divisions as well as the amateur-owner hunters. The $10,000 Children's Jumper Championship rounds out the day session, while the evening session begins at 6:30 p.m. with the $10,000 Adult Jumper Championship and ends with the first class for the Amateur-Owner Jumpers.
Lexington and Sienna Sumavielle
Final Results - $10,000 WIHS Children's Hunter Championship
1. Lexington, Sienna Sumavielle 232+237=469
2. Davenport, Dani DiPietro 245+221=466
3. At Last, Leigh Anne Kline 217+234=451
4. Miracle, Lexi Johnson 223.5+217=440.5
5. Listen, Grace Glover 213+222=435
6. Front Row, Taylor Schmidt 223.75+210=433.75
7. Business As Usual, Sophia Bednarik 225+204=429
8. Silver Tide, Emma Leonard 215.5+212=427.5
9. Castille, Ali Selman 216+210=426
10. Oksana, Margaret Mitchell 237+180=417
10. Laguna, Janelle Cyprich 223+194=417
12. Maghee, Morgan Hurd 232+183=415
Final Results: $10,000 WIHS Adult Amateur Hunter Championship
1. Vermilion, Ainsley Sadlo 252+246=498
2. Keep The Faith, Katie Meagher 228.25+253=481.25
3. Donnerkind, Kathryn Clapp 231.5+4226=457.5
4. Just Ask Me, Phoebe Weseley 218.5+235=453.5
5. Escapade, Lindsay Kramer 224+229= 453
6. Juliet, Kathryn A. Davilli 215+235=450
7. Caspian, Courtenay Cohen 228+214=442
8. Keeneland, Marissa Cohen 226+202=428
9. Pommegranate, Heather Geller 238.5+184=422.5
10. Something's Cookin', Sue Hehl 217+203=420
11. Indulgence, Judy Ruth 227+165=392
12. Saracen, Lisa Williamson 232.75+135=367.76
Photo Credit: Sienna Sumavielle rode Lexington to the win in the $10,000 Children's Hunter Championship. Vermilion and Ainsley Sadlo were victorious in the $10,000 Adult Hunter Championship. Photos © 2009 Jennifer Wood/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.