Stillwater, N.Y.—Sept. 17, 2020—Alexandra Carlton and Cimorene topped the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive East Championship at Saratoga Fall, September 12, in Stillwater, New York, after recently moving up to the 3'6" section. Leann Kelly was reserve champion on Devon Michaelson's Exclusive, and Taylor Knapp and her own Brigantinos placed third.
"I was really pleased with how she went," Carlton said about her mare, Cimorene. "It was just a fun morning. My barnmates participated in the class too, so that also made it fun."
The Championship featured two rounds, and the combined total score for both rounds determined the champion.
The 3'/3'3" and 3'6"/3'9" sections were combined at the East Championship. Both Carlton and Kelly competed at the 3'6"/3'9" height, and Knapp earned the top spot for the 3'/3'3" height.
Knapp said this is Brigantinos' first full year of showing, and she was pleased with his performance and that he settled in for the second round after coming out a little fresh.
"Brennos is really brave and straightforward and has a great sized stride so he is really dependable in the show ring," Knapp said. "I'm thrilled with how he's performed this weekend and all season. This was my first year competing in the Green Incentive program, and it's been a great experience. I think it's great opportunity to showcase developing horses."
Since Carlton, of Madison, Connecticut, and Cimorene just moved up to 3'6" they didn't originally have the Championship on their radar.
"It was a super last minute decision," Carlton said. "My horse just started doing the 3'6" in Saugerties. She was really good. We thought it looked like a fun class."
Carlton has also participated in the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships in the past. She purchased Cimorene when the mare was a 3-year-old, and she and her trainer, Kristi Smith, have worked hard to bring her along.
"The past couple years she’s finally started to come into her own," Carlton said. "She's become one of my most fun horses to ride. She's safe; she's honest; she's all the right things. She's turning out to be a nice horse that I’m really lucky to be able to ride. But she doesn’t care about that though, she really just cares about food."
Courses were designed by Patrick Rodes, and the Championship was judged by Scott Williamson and Spencer Chapin.
The USHJA extends a special thank you to Southbound Saratoga Management Group for hosting the Championship.
"Saratoga has done a lovely job all summer making sure their horse shows are safe and has put so much effort into making the exhibitors happy to be there," Carlton said. "It was overall a really good, well-executed event."
This was the third of five Regional Championships available to USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants. Remaining Championships include the Southwest Championship at the International Jumping Festival, September 16-20, in San Juan Capistrano, California, and the Central Championship at the Harvest Horse Show, October 28–November 1, in Katy, Texas.
USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants can choose from one of five regional championships held across the country. Exhibitors may choose whichever regional championship they want but horses may only compete in one regional championship per year. Each regional championship is two rounds, and the combined total score for both rounds will determine the winner. Prize money is awarded through twelfth place, and each championship will offer a minimum of $10,000 in prize money spread across all the sections offered. Horses must be enrolled in the program to be eligible to participate.
Learn more about the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program at ushja.org/GreenIncentive.
Photos by Alison Hartwell Photography