Las Vegas, Nev.—Nov. 19, 2023— Amateur Owner Hunter competitors stole the show at the Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships on Saturday, November 18. Competition wraps up on Sunday at The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W with the final Hunter, Jumper, Equitation and Affiliate classes.
The USHJA Amateur Owner Hunter 3'3'' Championship title and The Soon To Be Grand Amateur Owner 3'3" Champion Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the Smith Family went to Olivia Brandon, of Seattle, Washington, owner and rider of The Lucky One. The pair took first in a Flat class and second in the Handy.
"Logan is 7 and I have had him for almost two years," Brandon said of her mount. "He has the best brain and he is always game, I feel like the lucky one to get to ride Lucky One. He is a barn favorite, very social and very easygoing with little to no prep."
"He went great today," Brandon continued. "There was a lot to look at in the first round and he was impressed. He rose to the challenge and put his best foot forward today. This is my first time here and it has been a bucket list item forever so this win makes it even more awesome. The show is so special and fun with all of the camaraderie and presentations; I will be back for many years."
Collecting reserve honors was Jenni Ryan, of La Jolla, California, and her own Pajamas. Together they claimed the Welcome and came second in the Flat.
Emily Williams, of Newhall, California, rode her own Beach Boy to take the USHJA Amateur Owner Hunter 3'6'' Championship title, the Antwerp Grand Amateur Owner 3'6" Champion Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the Meadows Family and Grand Champion Amateur Owner Hunter title after the pair topped a Handy and a Flat class.
"Beach Boy is a longtime partner of mine," Williams said. "I have had him for eight years and he was my Junior Hunter before moving into the 3'6'' Amateur Owner Hunters. This is only our fourth show of the year, so I wasn't sure what to expect coming in, but he has always been a great partner for me. In 2019, we showed here in the 3'6'' Junior Hunters and won together, so winning in this division together was really special."
Claiming reserve honors was Eleanor Hellman, of Petaluma, California, riding Sabrina Hellman's Gijon after winning the Welcome.
Earning the High Score Amateur Owner Hunter Rider award was Teresa Mann, of Boseman, Montana, and her own Fabulous for a winning score of 88 in the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter 3'6" Stake.
The Bling Award donated by Mary Knowlton, Emellar Stables LLC and Quail Run Horse Centre Inc. went to Pamela Rozell, of Whitefish, Montana.
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, Julie Mercer/USHJA