Genevieve Zock Wins 2012 USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup Classic

July 26, 2012



Lexington, KY - 17 year-old Genevieve Zock of Scarsdale, NY is enjoying her final junior year of competition and she can now add the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup Classic Champion to her list of accomplishments. Zock bested 63 of the sport’s top junior equitation riders to clinch the victory.



Held during the East Coast Junior Hunter Championships, the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup is a rare equitation event that embodies equitation’s fastidiousness with the handy skills of the hunters. The Hunterdon Cup is open to active USHJA junior members who have won a USEF Medal, ASPCA Maclay, USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, or WIHS Classic event between July 2nd - July 1st of the qualifying year. The competition consists of three rounds over fences; the Hunter phase, the Handy ride, and the Work Off round in which returning riders change horses and repeat all or part of previous courses. Course designer Bobby Murphy of Lexington, KY was tasked with creating challenging 3’6” layouts which included two fences with no ground lines and tested each competitor’s horsemanship skills. At the conclusion of the second round judges Scott Williamson of Wellington, FL and Bob Braswell of Ocala, FL had narrowed the field to four riders for the Work Off; Genevieve Zock, Hasbrouck Donovan, Lillie Keenan, and Meredith Darst.

Genevieve last competed in the Hunterdon Cup in 2008, but decided to make the most of her last junior year by making the trip to Kentucky for this event. Joining her was beloved mount Confession owned by Double H Farm, whom she’s been riding for the past year and half. “He hadn’t done any equitation when we got him, so we sort of did it together and he learned so fast. I really trust him. It was so cool being in this stadium [the Johnson Arena known as the Rolex Stadium] and being able to gallop around in that big ring! He [Confession] has a huge stride, so it’s nice to be able to get him to open up because he’s so beautiful and can really go. The first round I was relaxed, and he is so scopey and adjustable that I felt I would be able to do any stride or any distance—he is amazing.” Genevieve shared. However, she did confess to getting a small case of the jitters by the Handy round, “I was a little more nervous- I don’t really get nervous so it was weird trying to check myself.”

Heading into the Work Off round, Genevieve was .50 points behind the current class leader Lillie Keenan of New York, NY who held a 178.50 score over Genevieve’s two round combined total of 178. The final round found the top four riders facing more than a technical layout; they were required to switch mounts. “I was actually doing some breathing exercises, but once I started going I was good.” Genevieve laughed. She partnered with Monterrey, the mount of Lillie Keenan, and it didn’t take but a moment for the pair to fall in sync. “I just tried to be as neat as possible, I tried to adjust more and on the last jump I tried to open up a little. I loved his cantering! I just tried to do the best I could.” Genevieve said. That positive attitude and effort landed her a 90 score and clinch the championship.

Presenting awards for the 2012 Hunterdon Cup winners were Cathy Sacher, Owner and President of Essex Classics, Shelby French, CEO of USHJA, Sarah Milliren, 2011 Hunterdon Cup winner and Nancy Jones, Zone 7 Committee representative.

Title sponsor, Essex Classics, provided each of the 64 exhibitors with a gift certificate for a riding shirt. As Champion, Genevieve was awarded a bevy of goodies that includes a custom cooler, a Charles Owen helmet, a Grand Prix riding jacket, one pair of Pikeur Breeches and Konigs tall boots provided by the official Awards Sponsors Grand Prix, Pikeur and Konigs, plus a keeper trophy to celebrate the perpetual trophy donated by Diane Carney and Lynn Jayne. Reserve Champion Hasbrouck Donovan trots away with an array of gifts that included a Charles Owen helmet, SG-Stretch Leather Gaite half chaps and Grand Prix Aquasport Zip paddock boots provided by Grand Prix/Pikeur/Konigs.

Genevieve’s name will also be added to the USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Class perpetual trophy. While she isn’t eligible to compete again, Genevieve will be invited to return in 2013 to present awards to the new winner.

Official Top Ten Results for the 2012 USHJA-Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup:

Champion - Genevieve Zock -Trainer Val Renihan with overall score of 268
Reserve Champion - Hasbrouck Donovan - Trainer Donald Stewart with overall score of 262
3rd – Lillie Keenan - Trainer Andre Dignelli with overall score of 261.50
4th – Meredith Darst - Trainer Mindy Darst with overall score of 254.75
5th –Victoria Colvin - Trainer Peggy Gehman with overall score of 171
6th –Kelcie Brophy - Trainer Allison Sweetnam with overall score of 170
7th – Barbara Ann Merryman - Trainer Andre Dignelli with overall score of 165.25
8th –Abigail McArdle - Trainer Frank Madden with overall score of 164.50
9th – Kalvin Dobbs - Trainer Abigail Blankenship with overall score of 163
10th – Lizzie Vanderwald - Trainer Aaron Vale with overall score of 161

Also concluding Wednesday were the East Coast Junior Hunter Championships, with Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL clinching the overall Champion title aboard Inclusive. Overall Reserve Champion honors went to Vivian Yowan of Lexington, KY and Whatever.

Additional East Coast Junior Champions include:
Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under - Vivian Yowan riding Whatever
Small Junior Hunter 16-16 - Shawn Casady riding Glass Castle
Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under - Victoria Colvin riding Inclusive
Large Junior Hunter 16-17 - Meg O’Mara riding Walk the Line

The West Coast Junior Hunter Championships concluded Tuesday, July 24, at the Del Mar Horse Park in Del Mar, CA with Olivia Esse of Calabasas, CA taking the overall Champion and Reserve Champion spots with Small Affair and Illusion, respectively.

Other West Coast Junior Champions include:
Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under - Kelli Cruciotti riding Targo
Small Junior Hunter 16-17 - Olivia Esses riding Illusion
Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under - Kelli Cruciotti riding Bayside
Large Junior Hunter 16-17 - Olivia Esse riding Small Affair


USHJA congratulates all the Junior Hunter Champions and competitors on a great showing! Visit the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup Classic web page or contact Carrie Vaught at 859.225.6703.

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