Las Vegas, Nev.—Nov. 18, 2023—Nineteen more championship tricolors were awarded on November 17 at the Marshall & Sterling Insurance/USHJA National Championships at The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W. From the National Hunter Derby to the Affiliate Jumpers, riders from across the country competed in three rings at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.
With 50 total entries contesting the $25,000 USHJA Junior/Amateur National Hunter Derby, Section A took to the South Point Arena first. For the second year in a row, Paige Walkenbach, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, topped the section with Princeton, owned by Walkenbach Equestrian LLC. A two-round score of 185 secured the pair the lead ahead of Alexis Apostol, of Seattle, Washington, and Archway Equestrian Sports, LLC's Conquest.
"This is my second time winning Section A of the Derby with Prince," Walkenbach said, reminiscing on her 2022 victory. "I'm super grateful that I've been given the opportunity to come back to Las Vegas and I am so grateful for Prince for taking me around a second time. It feels very special winning it again with him."
Walkenbach continued her domination in Section B with San Pedro 15. The Arizona native and the gelding owned by Walkenbach Equestrian LLC posted an 181 across two rounds to claim the second tricolor of the evening. Hannah Wright, of Broomfield, Colorado, rode her own Almond Joy to the reserve title.
"He is so much fun to ride, it's like you are on a cloud," Walkenbach said of San Pedro 15. "It is really cool [to win both sections], I didn't think that would happen and it's special with the whole team here. I want to thank everyone who works behind the scenes to make this possible and it's awesome to see everyone come together."
For her efforts, Walkenbach earned the Leading Junior National Hunter Derby Rider title in both sections. The Leading Amateur National Hunter Derby Rider honors in Section A and B went to Apostol and Catherine Westling, of Huntington Beach, California, respectively.
The USEF/USHJA 1.10/1.15m Children's Jumper National Championship saw Ashlin Goodwin, of Santa Barbara, California, lead the victory gallop aboard her own MTM Emilia Air Heart. The duo claimed the $1,000 1.10m Children's Jumper Welcome on their way to the champion title.
"I have only owned her since May of this year and she is a total sweetheart," Goodwin said of her mount. "She has been amazing this whole week and this is the biggest win we have together so far."
Isabella Uhrig, of Greenwood Village, Colorado, rode her own Juan Bay to the Reserve honor for a second consecutive year after topping the $1,000 1.10m Children's Jumper Speed.
Eleanor Fulbeck, of San Luis Obispo, California, captured the USEF/USHJA 1.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Jumper National Championship with her own Zaldorado after taking second in the $1,000 1.10m Adult Jumper Welcome and $10,000 1.15m Adult Jumper Grand Prix.
"This week was really great and I could have never imagined this win," Fulbeck exclaimed. "We were just very consistent and I feel really lucky to have him and my trainer, Amanda Garcia, who I have been riding under for nine years."
"Zaldorado did the 1.20m Jumpers before coming to me, and at 19 years of age, he feels great and is all game," Fulbeck said of her mount's background. "He gives me all of the confidence to show. After this, we going to take a few months off and chill. He goes on trail rides once a week with a friend. We will keep showing if he feels good and wants to do it."
May Seto, of Oakland, California, rode her own Be Good Z to the top of the Grand Prix and the reserve honor.
Madeline Ang, of Arcadia, California, rode Horses of Olympia LLC's Lady Kira to the USEF/USHJA 1.20/1.25m Junior Jumper National Championship title after topping the $10,000 1.25m Junior Grand Prix and claiming a second-place finish in the $1,000 1.20m Junior Jumper Welcome.
Haley Honegger, of Elizabeth, Colorado, and Wilde Hilde, owned by Alexia Honegger, finished with reserve honors after placing first in the $1,000 1.20m Junior Jumper Welcome.
After coming out on top in the $1,000 1.20m Amateur Jumper Speed and a second-place finish in the $1,000 1.20m Amateur Jumper Welcome, Amy Gallagher, of Scottsdale, Arizona, rode her own Curacao Du Borget to take the USEF/USHJA 1.20/1.25m Amateur Jumper National Championship honors.
Coming home with the reserve honors was Elizabeth Shapiro, of Orange, California, after she rode her own Campari 310 to a first-place finish in the $10,000 1.25m Amateur Jumper Grand Prix.
Coming in from Cave Creek, Arizona, and nominated by the Arizona Hunter Jumper Association, Brooklynn Wuolett jumped her own Whitehedge Cardinal to be the USHJA Affiliate .70m Children's Jumper Champion. The pair topped the $500 .70m Children's Affiliate Jumper Welcome by having the fastest time by over two seconds and took second in the $500 .70m Children's Affiliate Jumper Speed.
The reserve champion was Kameron Berry, of Lakeway, Texas, and Slackberry Bedrock, owned by Kathy Slack. The pair was nominated by the Texas Hunter Jumper Association and took first in the $500 .70m Children's Affiliate Jumper Speed.
Rosalie Baker, of Dayton, Nevada, and Tilburg, owned by Keighley Bader, took the USHJA Affiliate .70m Adult Jumper Championship title. The pair was nominated by the Sierra Nevada Horse Show Association. On their way to the championship title, Baker and Tilburg topped the $500 .70m Adult Affiliate Jumper Welcome.
Lauren Wilson, riding her own Alley Oop claimed the reserve title. They were nominated by the Orange County Horse Show Association and took the win in the $500 .70m Adult Affiliate Jumper Grand Prix.
Nominated by the Indiana Hunter Jumper Association, Samuelle Leerkamp, of Indianapolis, Indiana, piloted her own Idol of Kings to the USHJA Affiliate .80m Children's Jumper Championship title after winning the $500 .80m Children's Affiliate Jumper Welcome and $500 .80m Children's Affiliate Jumper Speed.
Jet Pilot ridden by Payton Kirby, of Paysun, Utah, and owned by Sara Kirby took reserve honors after taking second in the $500 .80m Children's Affiliate Jumper Welcome and $500 .80m Children's Affiliate Jumper Speed. Kirby was nominated by USHJA affiliate Creekside Equestrian to show this week.
For their efforts topping the $500 .80m Adult Affiliate Jumper Welcome and $500 .80m Adult Affiliate Jumper Speed, Rosalie Baker, of Dayton, Ohio, and Keighley Bader's Tilburg claimed the USHJA Affiliate .80m Adult Jumper Championship title. The pair was nominated by the Sierra Nevada Horse Show Association.
Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Joyce Williams jumped her own Dude Diligence into reserve honors after taking second in the $500 .80m Adult Affiliate Jumper Speed and was nominated by the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association.
Section A of the USHJA Affiliate 2' Children's Hunter Championship went to Golden Backstage Pass Winner, Kaylee McKinster, of Peoria, Arizona, and Molly Rinedollar's Helicon Surprise Notice. The pair topped the two Over Fences classes and the Under Saddle. Scout Swainston, of Layton, Utah, and Avon Calling, owned by Kari Swainston, took reserve. McKinster was nominated by the Arizona Hunter Jumper Association, and Utah Hunter Jumper Association nominated Swainston.
Olivia Krezel, of Bozeman, Montana, and Laura Love's Macaroni claimed their second title of the Championships in Section B after winning the USHJA Affiliate Equitation 17 & Under 2' Championship on Thursday. Fellow Bozeman, Montana-native Alice Griffin earned reserve. Both riders were nominated by Yellowstone Hunter Jumper Association.
Kendra Alcock, of Scottsdale, Arizona, swept the USHJA Affiliate 2' Adult Hunter Championship, claiming champion and reserve with her own Royal Warrant and Quirock, respectively. Nominated by the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association, Royal Warrant and Alcock topped two Over Fences and the Under Saddle.
Taking the title in Section A of the USHJA Affiliate 2'6" Children's Hunter Championship was Audrey Wilson, of Seattle, Washington, and her own Gin & Tonic. The duo, nominated by Washington Hunter Jumper Association, swept the division, earning the blue ribbon in all classes. Sophia May, of Bozeman, Montana, and Yellowstone Hunter Jumper Association, earned reserve with Bucourlos, owned by Elizabeth Geise.
Elle Novosel, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, and the Oregon Hunter Jumper Association, collected the tricolor in Section B and a win Over Fences aboard her own CR Velaris. Reserve went to Golden Back Stage Pass winner, Ellie McEnery, of Rosie, Illinois, and her own Scout. McEnery was nominated by the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association.
Each champion earned the USHJA 2'6" Children's Affiliate Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the USHJA Executive Director.
The USHJA Affiliate 2'6" Adult Hunter Championship saw co-champions celebrate the win. Asa Cadiz, of Duvall, Washington, rode her own Reign to the tie with Elizabeth Tisher, of Parker, Colorado, and her own Champagne Charlie. Each was presented the USHJA 2'6" Adult Affiliate Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the USHJA Executive Director. Cadiz was nominated by Washington Hunter Jumper Association, and Tisher was nominated by Colorado Hunter Jumper Association.
Erin Boatwright, of Newport Beach, California, took reserve with her own Azucar. The pair was nominated by the Orange County Horse Show Association.
Kalea Iuliano, of Santa Cruz, California, and her own Unique De La Chesnee took the USHJA Equitation 14 and Under Championship title and Equitation 14 and Under Leading Rider Perpetual Trophy donated by Showplace Productions and Patrick and Nicole Boyle after topping an Over Fences class.
"This is my second year with him and this is my last show with him," Iuliano said of her mount. "He has been so amazing and it's really nice to end on such a high note together as this year's champion."
Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Allyn Marie Creel and Carolyn Becker's Balko D'Elle took reserve honors after picking up second place in two Over Fences classes.
Taking a clean sweep across the Flat and Over Fences classes for the USHJA Equitation 15-17 Championship title was Noah Nelson, of Santa Barbara, California, piloting Jill Hamilton's On Point. Nelson also was awarded the Equitation 15-17 Leading Rider Perpetual Trophy donated by Showplace Productions and Patrick and Nicole Boyle.
Walkenbach, aboard Walkenbach Equestrian LLC's Izar, claimed reserve after placing second in the Flat and Over Fences.
The USHJA Equitation 18 and Over Championship title went to Rollin Sykes, of Pacific Palisades, California, aboard R & R Stables LLC's Canavarro, where the pair topped the Flat and an Over Fences class.
"I've had him for seven years and we have shown a lot here in Las Vegas," Skyes said of her mount. "We always have the best time, but this is the best we have ever done. I am excited to have won this year [after taking reserve last year] and improving on that is just the best."
Catherine Westling, of Huntington Beach, California, aboard Casanoa Z, owned by Morris Simchowitz claimed reserve honors after winning an Over Fences class.
Jumper competitors donned their sparkliest adornments for the annual Bling Award, donated by Emellar Stables LLC and Quail Run Horse Centre Inc. Mackenzie Poelking, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, and a Golden Backstage Pass winner, nominated by Horse Show Ventures, earned the honor on Friday.
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: Tricia Booker/USHJA, Andrew Ryback Photography