Las Vegas—November 18, 2018—Today, riders earned National Championship titles in seven sections of Hunter competition, as the AON/USHJA National Championships at The Las Vegas National Horse Show, CSI4*-W concluded. Sections for Pony Hunters, Children’s Hunters, Adult Amateur Hunters, Open 2’ and 2’6" Hunters and USHJA Affiliate 2’ and 2’6” Hunters wrapped up, including Classic Hunter rounds and Grand Hunter Championship titles awarded.
Pony Hunter Championship
Leading the Pony Hunter competition was Jackie Stary, who rode her own Blue James Blue to the Championship and overall Grand Pony Hunter Championship titles. Stary also took home the blue ribbon in the Pony Hunter Classic. Reserve Champion of the Pony Hunters was Denim Wellhouse riding Arkham Investments LLC’s Brownland’s Last Call. Wellhouse was also named High-Point Pony Hunter Rider.
Children’s Hunter Championship
Makena Reeves wrapped up her weekend earning the Grand Children’s Hunter Championship and High-Point Children’s Hunter Rider titles. Reeves was also crowned Champion of the Children’s Hunter, 14 and under, section on her own Quincy. Earning the Reserve Championship of the younger section was Victoria Simonds aboard her own Valentino.
In the Children’s Hunter, 15-17, section, Allie Desimone rode to the Championship title aboard her own Lord Livingston, and Marie Langer earned the Reserve riding Caroline Goodman’s Quinero.
After earning National Championship titles in the Jumper and Equitation rings, Elisa Broz shined in the Hunter ring aboard her equitation mount, Beforeanythingelse, owned by Constance Broz. They earned the blue ribbon in the Children’s Hunter Classic.
Adult Amateur Hunter Championship
Champion of the Adult Amateur Hunter, 18-35, section was Betsy Christianson riding Excel Sporthorses’ XL Action. Earning the Reserve Championship was Julia Greenspan riding her own Spot On.
Courtney Harrell and Coltrane, owned by Kevan Husky, earned top honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter, 36-50, section, and Kate Churchfield took the Reserve Championship aboard her own Queensland.
In the Adult Amateur Hunter, 51 and over, section, Nicole Lean rode Bianca Jenkins’ Grande Noir to the top earning the Championship title, and Amy Brubaker, riding her own Frascati, was crowned Reserve Champion.
Brubaker and Michelle Kerivan’s Convaro earned the blue ribbon in the Adult Amateur Classic. Julia Greenspan and Lean were named Co-High-Point Adult Hunter Riders. Lean also earned the Grand Adult Hunter Championship title to wrap up the Adult Amateur Hunter competition.
USHJA Affiliate Hunter Championships
The USHJA Affiliate Hunters saw horse-and-rider combinations that qualified through their USHJA affiliate member organizations compete at 2’ and 2’6” fence heights.
The Champion of the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’ section and representing the Greater San Diego Hunter Jumper Association was Emilie Melnychuk aboard her own Aragon. Reserve Champion was Kimberly Stubblefield, representing the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association, riding her own Pendleton.
Champion of the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’6” section was Amy Gau, riding David Hopkins’ Taj Capri, and representing the Oregon Hunter Jumper Association. Noah Nelson, representing the Greater San Diego Hunter Jumper Association, earned the Reserve Championship title aboard his own Holy Smokes.
USHJA Open Hunter Championships
Earning the Championship title of the USHJA Open Hunter 2’ section was Laura Owens, riding Alejandro Guitierez’s Noblar SM. Ava Grant and her own Silver Dollar won the Reserve Championship.
In the USHJA Open Hunter 2’6” section, Courtney Harrell and Kevan Husky’s Coltrane returned to earn the Championship title, while Londyn Samlaska and her own Future Romance earned the Reserve Championship.
The inaugural event included riders from nearly every USHJA Zone who descended on the beautifully decorated South Point Arena & Equestrian Center. National Championship titles were earned across Hunter, Jumper and Equitation sections, with 26 medals, 1,450 ribbons, 34 horse coolers, 70 sponsor awards, and seven perpetual trophies awarded during the six-day event.
In addition to great competition, members also participated in free educational seminars, including a session with Sharon Classen, the physiotherapist for the 2018 U.S. Gold Medal World Equestrian Games Show Jumping Team; a Judging seminar, led by USEF R-rated judge and USHJA Certified Trainer Diane Carney, a course walk with USEF Youth Chef d’Equipe Di Ann Langer, as well as informational sessions with the official horse show farrier and official horse show veterinarian.
Exhibitors also enjoyed the electric atmosphere of Las Vegas and the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, which also houses the Equestrian Center, a casino, spa, movie theater, restaurants and two bowling alleys. A variety of vendors and shopping, The Las Vegas National CSI4* Longines FEI World Cup Qualifying class, as well as exhibitor hospitality added to the overall National Championship experience.
As the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services, AON is the title sponsor for the USHJA National Championships for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The USHJA extends thanks to AON, as well as Championship awards sponsors Essex Classics, Prize Possessions, FITS, Shapley's, SmartPak, C4, and Savannah School of Art and Design, and USHJA Official sponsors: Charles Owen, Official Helmet; CWD, Official Saddle; Parlanti, Official Riding Boot; Professional's Choice, Official Horse Boot; and Rood and Riddle, Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy.
The USHJA also thanks the following perpetual trophy donors: Balmoral Farm & Mr. and Mrs. Carleton Brooks (Large Junior Hunter Championship Perpetual Trophy), Tapestry Farm and the Struve Family (Green Hunter 3' Championship Perpetual Trophy), Steve and Lisa Hankin (Green Hunter 3'3" Championship Puissance R Perpetual Trophy), Cheryl and Michael Rubenstein (Grand Adult Amateur Riesling Perpetual Trophy), Showplace Productions & Patrick and Nicole Boyle (Equitation 14 & Under Leading Rider Perpetual Trophy and the Equitation 15-17 Leading Rider Perpetual Trophy), Patrick and Nicole Boyle (Showplace Productions Overall Top Equitation Rider Perpetual Trophy donor).
For more information, including complete AON/USHJA National Championship results, visit showpark.com.
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 50,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world's best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United. Aon is a broker for Great American. Great American is a contributor to the AON/USHJA National Championships.