Washington, DC, Oct. 29, 2011 - The WIHS Equitation Classic Finals concluded this evening with a significant win for Chase Boggio, 18, of Canton, GA. Boggio rode Massimo, his ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini, through the first two phases of competition, finishing with a score of 85.33 in the hunter phase and an 89 point total in the jumper phase. Returning for the final work-off sitting in second place overall, Boggio’s ride aboard Elizabeth Benson’s mount Calito 7 scored an 87.83, giving him a three round total of 262.166 for the win.
Boggio earned the victory over Hayley Barnhill, of Collierville, TN, who totaled 259.999 with scores of 87, 86.67, and 86.33. Barnhill rode Elizabeth MacWilliam’s Camora in the hunter/jumper rounds and then piloted Boggio’s mount Massimo in the final work-off.
Third place went to Elizabeth Benson, of Whitehouse Station, NJ, with a three round total of 258.499. Benson rode Horizon Hill Farm LLC’s Calito 7 to scores of 87 and 90.33 in the first two rounds. Her ride in the final work-off aboard Sarah Milliren’s mount Vancouver, owned by Elvenstar Farm, scored an 81.17.
Boggio was presented The WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. G. Ralph Ours, III and was awarded a pair of custom chaps provided by Journeymen Saddlers, Ltd. Tonight’s victory was particularly exciting for the rider given that he had previously been in the top ten for this class three times before finally putting his name on the elite list of winners. He finished seventh in 2008, second in 2009, and eighth in 2010.
Massimo was awarded The Lugano Memorial Trophy donated by Stoney Hill as the winning horse of the night. In last year’s competition, Massimo helped put rider Lillie Keenan in the winner’s circle after she rode the big gray in the final work-off. This year he carried both the first and second place finishers through excellent rounds. Trainer Christina Schlusemeyer found the talented gelding in Europe two years ago and knew that he would be the perfect horse to guide Boggio to a national championship.
“I purchased Massimo in November of 2009, and he has been amazing for me,” Boggio explained. “When I tried him in Europe he was very green and could not canter in a straight line. I told Christina he could never do the equitation, but she said ‘He’ll do it, just watch’. He has just been so easy; he never does anything bad. Massimo truly is the deluxe equitation horse.”
Commenting on his victory, Boggio smiled, “It means a lot to win here. I’ve been second in pretty much every big class that there is in the United States, so it feels good to finally win one.”
“I got very lucky,” he added. “I honestly think that it was fate because I got switched on to Calito, who I leased last year. He’s an amazing horse and it only took me three jumps to get to know him again. I was really happy with him, and Massimo of course.”
See Chase Boggio and Massimo in their jumper phase round. All show videos available at www.shownet.biz
Schlusemeyer proudly commented on Boggio’s success, declaring, “This is our happiest day to date. Chase is such a hard worker. He takes it seriously, and he should be a good example to all other equitation riders - if you want it, you can get it.”
Second place finisher Hayley Barnhill spoke about her ride on Massimo, noting, “I was really happy with Chase’s horse. He’s a big strided horse and I thought he was great.”
One of Barnhill’s trainers, Missy Clark, explained that her rider had an unexpected horse change right before this week’s competition. Barnhill got her top finish riding not just one, but two unknown horses - a true testament to her skill and composure in the show ring.
“Hayley has never shown Camora, so she had two that she had never ridden before, but she was amazing,” Clark stated. “She rode like a true double national champion; she really rose to the occasion. We were graciously loaned Camora at the last minute, and you don’t see that generosity very often.”
Judge Steve Wall remarked on the ability of the top two riders, acknowledging, “These two have always been near the top and today was their day; the cream rises to the top. There are riding styles in the two of them that are more polished and more finished.”
Watch Chase Boggio's winning final round on Calito 7. All show videos available at www.shownet.biz
The Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Champion sponsored by North Star was Red Hot, ridden by Michael Hughes. Samantha Schaefer and Sugar Ray were the reserve champions. They won the Foxbrook Perpetual Trophy in honor of Space Citation donated by Joy Slater.
Hughes has been riding Red Hot, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Indoctro, for two years. "He's very red hot," Hughes laughed. "He's so much fun to ride and he's such a great teacher in the jump-offs because he's so fast."
Hughes said of the class, "The course was very difficult; I didn't think there was going to be as many clear as there was, but there were so many good horses and riders in the class. I kept the same pace the whole way around. I never really slowed down. He is very careful, you just have to watch the last couple of jumps."
The Washington International Horse Show concludes tomorrow with a day full of pony competition as well as the WIHS Regional Finals.
For full results, more information, or to watch a free live feed of the show, please visit www.wihs.org.
Final Results: WIHS Equitation Classic Finals
1 735 Chase Boggio 262.166
Scores : 85.33, 89.00, 87.83
2 739 Hayley Barnhill 259.999
Scores : 87.00, 86.67, 86.33
3 748 Elizabeth Benson 258.499
Scores : 87.00, 90.33, 81.17
4 749 Meg O'mara 256.416
Scores : 84.50, 82.92, 89.00
5 781 Sarah Milliren 252.916
Scores : 82.25, 90.00, 80.67
6 740 Charlotte Jacobs 250.748
Scores : 86.42, 85.67, 78.67
7 731 Shawn Casady 250.199
Scores : 87.67, 82.20, 80.33
8 763 Allison Toffolon 243.999
Scores : 83.00, 82.67, 78.33
9 755 Lauren Tyree 242.999
Scores : 85.83, 86.83, 70.33
10 213 Victoria Colvin 242.083
Scores : 83.33, 82.75, 76.00
Photo Credit: Photos © Shawn McMillen Photography These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.