Aiken, S.C.—September 16, 2019—Chrissie Catto and Wyette Felton took the gold medals at the end of Individual Competition at the USHJA Zone 4 Children’s and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak, on Sunday, September 15 at the Aiken Fall Festival II. With an overall score of 419, Catto took the title in the Adult Amateur division, while Felton topped the Children's with an overall score of 423. The Championships consisted of an under saddle, classic hunter and handy hunter round, which were both designed by Dean Rheinheimer. Judging the Championships, hosted by Equus Events at Bruce's Field in Aiken, South Carolina, were two panels comprised of Betsy Perry, Carol O'Brien, Gary Young and Erica Huyler.
Intuition and Chrissie Cato jumping in the classic round of Sunday's Individual Championship. Photo by Tori Bilas/USHJA
Adult Amateur Chrissie Catto, from St. Augustine, Florida, attributed much of her success Sunday to her mental toughness from her work with Remarqueable Athletic Solutions. Catto’s horse, Intuition, has lived at home with her for three years and they compete in the Adult Amateur Hunters and the occasional National Hunter Derby. She also lends “Amigo,” as he’s known at home, to her 6-year-old son to show in leadline. “He loves the stadium at Tryon!” said Catto.
Remarking on her two rounds today, Catto said, “For my first round, things just kind of flowed, and for the handy I went in with a big derby gallop feel and everything just came up right out of the turn. He jumped really well.”
Chrissie Catto topped the Adult Amateur podium on Sunday after the Individual Championship and took home prizes from the event's numerous sponsors. Photo by A&S Photography.
Next to Catto on the podium were Tricia Barr in silver position on a score of 393 and Brittany Wyatt with the bronze on a total of 354. Barr commented on what attracted her to the Championship: “I grew up watching the Olympics and thought that’s what I wanted to do… this gives you the feel and format of getting to be on a team and then going onto an Individual Final.” Barr believes the format is especially encouraging for young riders who hope to excel at the top levels of the sport one day.
Wyette Felton took home Individual gold as well as Team silver with her mare Empress. Photo by A&S Photography.
Wyette Felton, coming from Milton, Georgia, rose to the occasion, receiving strong scores in all three of Sunday's rounds of the Children's Individual Competition. After taking home team silver on Saturday, she reflected on her preparedness for Sunday’s handy: “[I still show] the ponies so I know handy rounds but [Empress] is still a little bit green so I had to be more conservative than handy, but she was just so good.”
Felton, a first-time Championship participant, had so much fun with her fellow riders and teammates that she said she would definitely participate in the event again if she weren’t planning to move up to the Junior Hunters next. “I think my favorite part was our karaoke night yesterday. A bunch of girls from the Children’s went in [one rider’s] trailer and we were just singing!”
The Children's podium riders all showed friendly camaraderie and celebration of one another's success. Photo by A&S Photography.
Taking the silver medal in the Children’s was Mary Caroline Nolan of Marietta, Georgia, with her own Timoteo on a score of 415. McCall Massey and Vintage Z secured bronze on a score of 401.5.
All Zone Championship riders received polo shirts and tote bags from the Championships' presenting sponsor, SmartPak. For their wins, riders are awarded ribbons, and the gold medalists took home numerous prizes, including an embroidered cooler, Charles Owen helmet, CWD halter, Parlanti paddock boots, Essex Classics Show Shirt and FITS Riding breeches.
The USHJA extends special thanks to J.P. and Megan Godard and the entire Equus Events team for hosting the Championships, Chef d’Equipe Kat DeMas Mulkey for leading the teams, and presenting sponsor SmartPak for their generosity and support of the sport. USHJA also thanks awards sponsors Charles Owen, CWD, Parlanti, Essex Classics and FITS Riding.
For more information about the USHJA Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak, visit ushja.org/ChAAHunter.
Adult Amateur Hunter Individual Results
Rider / Horse / Hometown
GOLD: Chrissie Catto / Intuition / St. Augustine, Fla.
SILVER: Tricia Barr / Big Girls Don't Cry / Wellington, Fla.
BRONZE: Brittany Wyatt / Just A Dream / Fayetteville, Ga.
4: Susan Davidson / Calliope / Mount Pleasant, S.C.
5: Theresa Sanders / Banderas / Charleston, S.C.
Children's Hunter Individual Results
Rider / Horse / Hometown
GOLD: Wyette Felton / Empress / Milton, Ga.
SILVER: Mary Caroline Nolan / Timoteo / Marietta, Ga.
BRONZE: McCall Massey / Vintage Z / Aiken, S.C.
4: Mia Bakotic / No Question About It / Alpharetta, Ga.
5: Emily Giovino / Good Egg / Lake Wales, Fla.
6: Lucile Milliken Sammataro / Pisani / Columbia, S.C.
7: Olivia Lonneman / Big Bang / Charleston, S.C.
8: Stuart Rumsey / Urian / Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Presenting sponsor of the Championships SmartPak Equine was founded by riders and horse owners for riders and horse owners in 1999 with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements to horses. Their patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly. In addition to the SmartPak supplement system, they offer a broad line of horse health, show apparel, tack, and canine supplies sold online and through their catalogs. More information is available at smartpakequine.com.
About the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association
The United States Hunter Jumper Association, as the official hunter/jumper affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, is a competition-based sport organization that serves our members through educational programs, awards and recognition, communication and rules. We provide a wide array of programs for all hunter/jumper levels, and we are mindful of the well-being of our equine partners. Additionally, we are committed to preserving the history of our sport and through our Foundation we support charitable and benevolent services. Learn more at ushja.org.