Las Vegas, Nev.—Nov. 19, 2023—The Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships concluded five days of competition at The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W on Sunday, November 19. The week of exciting competition saw more than $257,500 in prize money and 2,000 ribbons awarded to riders across the country.
Topping the Stake and Flat class and a red ribbon for the Handy under their belt, 24 Carot, owned and ridden by Brooke Parkinson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were crowned the USHJA Children's Hunter 14 and Under Championship title. The pair also were awarded the Grand Champion Children’s Hunter and High Score Children’s Hunter Rider for a score of 86 in the Stake class.
The reserve champion title went to Marvel, owned by Lynne Maclean and ridden by Caylin Garnett, of Incline Village, Nevada, after a blue ribbon finish in the Handy and a red in the Welcome.
Vianey Flores, of Edinburg, Texas, rode her own Malita Be-St Z to a blue ribbon in the Welcome and red ribbon in the Flat and Handy. This earned the pair the USHJA Children's Hunter 15-17 Championship title.
Beforeanythingelse, ridden and owned by Emma Lancaster, of La Selva Beach, California, took home reserve champion honors.
Taking a clean sweep in the division to earn the USHJA Small Junior Hunter 3'3" Championship title was Yours Truly, ridden by Rosemary Bilson, of Van Nuys, California, and owned by Barbi Pappas. For their efforts, the pair were awarded the title of Grand Champion Junior Hunter and given the Grand Junior Hunter For Fun Perpetual Trophy donated by Bridgeport Farm.
"Truly has been in our barn for about two years now," said Bilson. "His owner, Barbi, is very close to me and I see her every day at the barn. I'm a working student for my trainer, so I ride him a lot at home, but this is the first time I have shown him."
"All of the pieces came together and it was just an incredible week," she continued of her rides. "This is the second time I have done the Junior Hunters, so it's kind of unbelievable and incredible [that I won]. Going into [the ring] yesterday, I wanted to be consistent and give him good rides. I know he always shines in the ring, so I just wanted to be the best partner for him."
"I love being here, I first came here when I was 11 and showed in the Affiliate 2'6'' classes with a horse I was leasing at the time," Bilson reflected. "I have not been back since and to be champion here is just the most amazing feeling; it's really close to my heart. It honestly makes me speechless [to have won] and I want to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this horse; he is just so special."
Picking up reserve honors was Semi-Automatic C, ridden by Taylor Matalon, of Roswell, Georgia and owned by Matalon Equestrian LLC. The pair took second in the Handy class.
Quirin, owned and ridden by Isabella De Bernardo, of Aptos, California, topped the Welcome and Handy classes to take home the USHJA Large Junior Hunter 3'3'' Championship title and the Large Junior Hunter Division Perpetual Trophy donated by Balmoral Farm and Mr. and Mrs. Carleton Brooks.
Earning a second-place finish in the Welcome and Handy rounds, Cheers!, owned and ridden by Olivia Aul, of Bellevue, Washington, took home reserve championship honors.
Paige Walkenbach, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, continued her victories with San Pedro 15, owned by Walkenbach Equestrian LLC, by claiming the USHJA Junior Hunter 3'6'' Championship title and earning the High Score Junior Hunter Rider award with an 89 in the Stake class. The pair also topped the Handy round and took second in the Flat.
Picking up reserve champion was Kate Parker, of Laguna Beach, California, aboard her own Simply Spectacular, after finishing first in the Welcome and Flat class.
Samantha Cristy, of Sammamish, Washington, rode her own For Adventure, taking the title in of the USHJA Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Championship. Together, they topped the Welcome and the Handy classes, while picking up second in the Flat class. The pair also earned the High Score Adult Amateur Hunter Rider honor after posting an 88 in the Stake, as well as the Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter and Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Riesling Perpetual Trophy donated by Cheryl and Michael Rubenstein.
"[This win] is definitely a top one. For Adventure has been an amazing partner," Cristy said of her mount, who is stepping down following the show. "We've had many wonderful awards, but I think this is definitely going to stick with me."
My Oh My, owned and ridden by Allison Talbot, of Bellevue, Washington, claimed reserve champions after a first-place finish in the Flat and a second-place finish in the Welcome.
After earning a blue ribbon the Flat and Welcome classes, Entertainment, owned and ridden by Meredith Pleasant, of Woodinville, Washington, took home the USHJA Adult Amateur Hunter 36-50 Championship title.
Dana Myer, of Rosehill, California, collected reserve honors on her own Bastille after earning a red ribbon in the Welcome and Handy classes.
Nicole Lean, of Racho Palos Verdes, California, and her own Quintessa WSS placed second in the Welcome and Handy class, which crowned them the USHJA Adult Amateur Hunter 51 and Older Championship title.
Owner and rider Heidi Kane, of Corona Del Mar, California, with Favorite, earned reserve honors of the division.
Helicon Surprise Notice, owned by Molly Rinedollar and ridden by Lillian Loftin, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, claimed the USHJA Small Pony Hunter Championship title. The pair earned the Small Pony Hunter High Score Award on a score of 84 in the Welcome Conformation, a first place finish in the Stake and a red ribbon in the Handy.
Claiming reserve champion was Invinciblue, owned by Leslie Pinkerton Nelson and piloted by Maclean Sennhenn, of Incline Village, Nevada. Together, they topped the Handy and Flat classes and came second in the Stake.
The USHJA Medium Pony Hunter Championship title went to Monarch Farms LLC's Dreamworks, ridden by Taylor Morrow, of Rancho Santa Fe, California. Together they topped the Welcome Conformation and came second in the Handy class. For their efforts, they were awarded The Oaks Medium Pony Champion Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the Meadows/Smith Family.
Taking home the reserve champion honors was Aimee Lafayette's Farmore Royal Gala, ridden by Hannah Hutter, of Reno, Nevada, after they picked up a win in the Flat Class.
The USHJA Large Pony Hunter Championship honors went to Orchard Hills Dun Up Right, owned and ridden by Sami Citro, of Lincoln, California. The pair topped the Welcome Conformation and Handy classes and came second in the Flat. For their efforts, they took home the Among the Stars Perpetual Trophy donated by Knightsbridge Farm and the Grand Champion Pony Unforgettable Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the Oaks.
After finishing first in the Flat class, Chapeau, owned by Rivers Edge and ridden by Taylor Morrow, of Rachno Santa Fe, California, claimed reserve champion.
Carmen Gonzalez, of Santa Cruz California, rode her own Espoir to victory in the USHJA 3'3" Hunter Seat Medal and earned herself the USHJA 3'3" Hunter Seat Medal Perpetual Trophy donated by Ledges Sporting Horses and Clay and Donna Struve. De Bernardo and Quirin claimed reserve honors.
A combined EMO Insurance/USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal and USHJA 3'3" Adult Jumping Seat Medal saw Krista Taylor, of Seattle, Washington, collect the tricolor and USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Perpetual Trophy donated by Ledges Sporting Horses and Clay and Donna Struve aboard her own Rock For You.
"He was a star. I think our flat work made us stand out. We practiced all year on the flat," said Taylor. "I think his counter canter really stood out—we were able to hold it both directions—and he extends his gates really beautifully."
Reserve went to Lauren Owens, of Kirkland, Washington, and her own Automatic.
Noah Nelson, Santa Barbara, California, was presented the Showplace Productions Overall Top Equitation Rider Perpetual Trophy sponsored by Pat & Nicole Boyle after sweeping the Equitation 15-17 Championship.
Samuelle Leerkamp, of Indianapolis, Indiana, and nominated by the Indiana Hunter Jumper Association, collected her second title of 2023 in the USHJA Affiliate .90m Children’s Jumper Championship, after topping the Affiliate .80m Children’s Jumper Championship earlier in the week. Aboard her own Idol of Kings, Leerkamp took first in the $500 .90m Children’s Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix along with the win.
Georgia Bell, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Hunter Jumper Association, took reserve with her own Hermione.
The USHJA Affiliate .90m Adult Jumper Championship went to Hanna Erickson, of West Jordan, Utah, with her own Executive Call. The pair were nominated by Creekside Equestrian and took first in the $500 .90m Adult Affiliate Jumper Speed and $500 .90m Adult Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix.
Sebastian Erhan, of Portland, Oregon, and Oregon Hunter Jumper Association, rode his own King Blue to the reserve honor.
You've Got A Friend In Me, owned and ridden by Lyla Simmons, earned the USHJA Affiliate 1.00m Children's Jumper Championship title. The pair from Austin, Texas, was nominated by Texas Hunter Jumper Association and went on to win the Speed and Grand Prix classes together.
Nominated by the Texas Hunter Humper Association, Madison Slack, of Austin, Texas, aboard Kathy Slack's Vidocq De La By earned reserve honors after topping the Welcome class and placing second in the Speed.
Nominated by the Arizona Hunter Jumper Association, Lisa Johnson, of Surprise, Arizona, jumped her own Calliope to the top of the Welcome and Speed classes to earn the USHJA Affiliate 1.00m Adult Jumper Championship title.
"I have had Callie since she was born," Johnson said of her mare's background. "I bought her mom 17 years ago and decided to breed her, so I was there when she was born. I started her [under saddle] and I was the first person to jump her."
"I ride with Lucy Alabaster and Bailey Fuller from Sweetwater Farms and we have one of the best barns in Arizona," Johnson said of her barn family. "Everybody's super supportive from showing Grand Prix to the walk-trotters; everybody goes to every ring to support everyone."
"This is our first time in Las Vegas and I couldn't be more proud of her on how she performed this week. She walked into every ring and was just like 'I got this.' The rings are a little bit smaller than what we're used to, but everybody is so friendly and amazing showing here; I can't wait to come back next year," she continued.
Kristen McClellan, of Lindon, Utah, and iJump Horse Shows, order her own Birdie Du Givre to claim reserve honors after taking second in the welcome.
The USEF/USHJA 1.00m Low Children's Jumper Championship title went to Ciara Stiles, of Krum, Texas, after jumping Jenny Wheelan's Daisy Adair Z into first for the Welcome and second in the Speed.
A blue ribbon in the Speed class earned Madilyn Findlay, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Molly Heroy's Fiona the reserve champion title.
For the third year, Kym Smith, led the victory gallop for the USEF/USHJA 1.00m Low Adult Jumper Championship. Aboard her own Konnichiwa, the Middleburg, Virginia, rider topped the $1,000 1.00m Low Adult Jumper Jumper Welcome and $1,000 1.00m Low Adult Jumper Jumper Speed on her way to the win.
Jacqui Lorenzen, of Castle Rock, Colorado, collected reserve with her own Imna Mosa.
The USHJA extends its thanks to Blenheim EquiSports; Title Sponsor Marshall & Sterling Insurance; USHJA Official Sponsors Nutrena, CWD and Parlanti; and USHJA Championship Sponsors Charles Owen, Exhibitor’s, SmartPak, Human Touch, Prize Possessions, Essex Classics, Helite, RingSide Pro and Boy O Boy Bridleworks.
A special thanks also goes to division trophy sponsors Balmoral Farm, Bridgeport Farms, Cheryl and Michael Rubenstein, Emellar Stables LLC, Kevin P. Price, Knightsbridge Farm, Ledges Sporting Horses, Mr. and Mrs. Carleton Brooks, Patrick and Nicole Boyle, Quail Run Horse Centre Inc., Showplace Productions, Steve and Lisa Hankin, Tapestry Farm, The Meadows Family, The Oaks, The Smith Family, and The Struve Family.
For more information about the Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships, visit ushja.org/NationalChampionships.
Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography