Las Vegas, Nev.—Nov. 19, 2022—Affiliate Hunters, Affiliate Jumpers, and the final USEF/USHJA Jumper National Championships wrapped up on Friday, November 18 at the 2022 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships. Held during The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W, the day culminated in Junior and Amateur competitors contesting the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
USEF/USHJA 1.10/1.15m Children's Jumper National Championship
Nicole Buie, of Racho Santa Fe, California, claimed the $10,000 1.15m Children's Jumper Grand Prix on her way to the USEF/USHJA 1.10/1.15m Children's Jumper National Championship with Diavisto, owned by Fairbanks Valley Farms, LLC. Isabella Uhrig, of Greenwood Village, Colorado, and her own Juan Bay took reserve.
"I've had Diavisto for two years. When we started, we did one show in the .90m and moved up to the 1.0m. But we've been doing the 1.10m for about a year now," said Buie, who claimed a national title for the second year in a row. "Last year I was champion in the Low Children's and won the Grand Prix."
USEF/USHJA 1.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Jumper National Championship
The USEF/USHJA 1.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Jumper National Championship saw Marissa Rose, of Hartsburg, Missouri, take the top tricolor aboard Emellar Stables LLC's C'est Lumpi. The pair won the $1,000 1.10m Adult Jumper Welcome on their way to the championship. Elena Townsend, of Beaverton, Oregon, and her own Bally Graffan took reserve.
USEF/USHJA 1.20/1.25m Junior Jumper National Championship
Harper Gottlieb, of Costa Mesa, California, piloted her own Skara Glen's Clarissa to the top of the $10,000 1.25m Junior Jumper Grand Prix and second in the $1,000 1.20m Junior Jumper Speed, securing the USEF/USHJA 1.20/1.25m Junior Jumper National Championship. Finna W, owned by Alora Sporthorses, LLC and ridden by Shylee Elimelech, took reserve after winning the $1,000 1.20m Junior Jumper Welcome.
USEF/USHJA 1.20/1.25m Amateur Jumper National Championship
Aboard Marlena Carlson's C Quel, Audrey Carlson, of Boulder, Colorado, claimed the win in the $1,000 1.20m Amateur Jumper Welcome and $10,000 1.25m Amateur Jumper Grand Prix, leading them to be crowned winners of the USEF/USHJA 1.20/1.25m Amateur Jumper National Championship. Jayme Omand, of Sacramento, California, secured reserve champion aboard her own Ferrari.
USHJA Affiliate .70m Children’s Jumper Championship
Kaitlyn Williams, of Riverside, California, nominated by Inland Empire Hunter Jumper Association piloted her own Wrecking Havoc to the top of the $500 .70m Children's Affiliate Jumper Welcome to bring home the USHJA Affiliate .70m Children’s Jumper Champion title. Elina Liebert, of Elizabeth, Colorado, riding Alexia Honegger's Sugar Rush took home the reserve champion. The Colorado Hunter Jumper Association pair were also first in the $500 .70m Children's Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix.
USHJA Affiliate .70m Adult Jumper Championship
Natalie Kennel, of San Diego, California, and nominated by the Greater San Diego Hunter Jumper Association, took home the USHJA Affiliate .70m Adult Jumper Championship win with her own Prince of Fire. The duo also took home top honors in the $500 .70m Adult Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix and the $500 .70m Adult Affiliate Jumper Welcome. Reserve champion was Montana Hunter Jumper Association nominee Christina Choate aboard her own WH Apocalypse. From Alberton, Montana, Choate also took home the blue in the $500 .70m Adult Affiliate Jumper Speed class.
USHJA Affiliate .80m Children’s Jumper Championship
Isabella Smith, of Sparks, Nevada, and nominated by the Sierra Nevada Horse Show Association, was victorious with Kathy Smith's Sassy Sister, taking home the USHJA Affiliate .80m Children’s Jumper Championship. The pair took home the win in the $500 .80m Children's Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix and second place in the $500 .80m Children's Affiliate Jumper Speed. Sophia Austin, of Hidden Hills, California, piloted her own Cascade into reserve champion. The pair was one of four of the 2022 Outreach Backstage Pass recipients to compete in the USHJA Affiliate Championships this week.
USHJA Affiliate .80m Adult Jumper Championship
Kennel also rode to victory in the USHJA Affiliate .80m Adult Jumper Championship and the $500 .80m Adult Affiliate Jumper Welcome, this time with her own Elvinue Rouet PS. Emily Martinez, of Sparks, Nevada, piloted her own Parlay to reserve champion. The Sierra Nevada Horse Show Association nominated pair also came out on top in the $500 .80m Adult Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix.
USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2' Championship
Emily Guichard, of San Pedro, California, riding Kimberly Guichard's Willow and nominated by the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association took home the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2' Champion title. The duo took home first in one of the $500 USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2' Over Fences classes and were second in the $500 USHJA Affiliate Hunter Under Saddle. Kendra Alcock, of Parker, Colorado, and her mount Royal Warrant were reserve champions of the division. Nominated by the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association, the pair won one of the $500 USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2' classes.
$25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby - Junior/Amateur
Fifty-nine Junior and Amateur competitors took to the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday night where not one, but two winners claimed the top prize. Junior Paige Walkenbach, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, topped the 30 entries in Section A aboard Walkenbach Equestrian LLC’s Princeton. The pair earned a two-round score of 175 to edge out reserve champion Hailey Eynon, of Rolling Hills Estates, California, and KHC Farms, Inc.’s Exquisite RW.
“I have a little bit of an advantage just because I do the Equitation, so it was easier to do the Handys and I kind of know where I am. But I was just really going in to have fun because that's what I kind of have as a mindset for Derbies. He's just such a good boy and I know I can always trust him,” said Walkenbach.
“[Vegas] is a really cool experience. It's really different from back East, which is also indoors. This is my second year coming and I've really just enjoyed the experience so much,” she continued.
Aedan Mooney and Balko d'Elle finished the evening by leading the victory gallop in Section B, which saw 29 horse-and-rider combinations compete. The Golden, Colorado, rider and the gelding owned by Carolyn Becker scored a 174 overall to top the section. Nicole Stern, of Redmond, Washington, and her own Delegate took reserve.
"Winning this class is super incredible. It's just amazing to be here and qualify here's; it's pretty cool. You're against top riders and being here with some green horses that haven't been here before, it's pretty incredible to see them just shine and be successful," said Mooney.
Walkenbach and Mooney tied as Leading Junior National Hunter Derby Riders, and Stern was named Leading Amateur National Hunter Derby Rider.
Awarded to the Jumper rider who showed off the most bling and sparkles in the spirit of Las Vegas, the Bling Award was presented to Affiliate .70m Adult Jumper Reserve Champion Choate.
The 2022 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championship continue through November 20 with live streaming coverage of all classes on USEF Network. Live results are available on ShowgroundsLive.
The USHJA extends its thanks to Blenheim EquiSports and The Las Vegas National team, Title Sponsor Marshall & Sterling Insurance, and to current supporting and division sponsors of the USHJA National Championships. The USHJA also wishes to thank Official Sponsors CWD, Exhibitor's, Nutrena, Parlanti, and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Pharmacy; and USHJA Championship Sponsors Boy O Boy Bridleworks, Charles Owen, Essex Classics, FITS, Helite, Human Touch, Prize Possessions, RingsidePro, Redingote Equestrian, SmartPak and State Line Tack.
A special thanks also goes to the following division trophy sponsors: The Oaks, The Smith Family, The Meadows Family, Knightsbridge Farm, Kevin and Elisabeth Price, Ledges Sporting Horses, Bridgeport Farms, Blenheim EquiSports, The Las Vegas National Horse Show, Balmoral Farm, Mr. and Mrs. Carleton Brooks, Tapestry Farm, The Struve Family, Steve and Lisa Hankin, Cheryl and Michael Rubenstein, Showplace Productions, and Patrick and Nicole Boyle.
For more information about the Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships, visit ushja.org/NationalChampionships.
Photos: Andrew Ryback Photography