San Juan Capistrano, Calif.—Sept. 24, 2020—Once again hosted by Blenheim Equisports' International Jumping Festival in San Juan Capistrano, California, the 2020 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Southwest Championships concluded on September 17 with two new champions. In the 3'0"/3'3" section, Joie Gatlin and Educated Guess took the top spot, while Nick Haness and Reese's claimed the 3'6"/3'9" section.
With $5,000 up for grabs in the 3'0"/3'3" section of the Championships, 10 horse-and-rider combinations took to the course. Gatlin took an early lead aboard Clover Lane Farm, LLC's Educated Guess with an 82 in round one and held that spot to the end, adding a second round score of 87 to finish with a 169.
"I was very pleased with my first round on Educated Guess; he was nice and even with his pace and jumped very well. I was even more pleased with his second round. He fixed a couple of minor things from the first round and really jumped well in the second round. I was very excited about our score of 87; he definitely deserved it," said Gatlin.
"I think that the Green Hunter Incentive program is super. We need to encourage owners to have and bring along young horses for our sport and this is a great way to showcase them. Very exciting for an owner to have a nice young horse and for it to be recognized," she continued.
Jenny Karazissis and Heidi Kane's Cartier Du Rouet rode to a two-round score of 165.5 to take reserve in the section, and Leslie Steele and Marian Giffin's Golden Ticket finished in third with a 162.
The $5,000 3'6"/3'9" section saw Nick Haness and Reese's on top of the leaderboard from beginning to end. After grabbing a 10-point lead in round one with an 85, Haness and the gelding owned by West Coast Equine Partners, LLC earned an 87 in round two to finish with a total score of 172. Veteran USHJA Green Hunter Incentive program competitors, the duo took fourth in last year's 3'0"/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship.
"Reese’s has been my partner in the show ring since his U.S. debut in 2018. He is a really special horse and he loves to win. He puts in 100 percent heart and effort into every round he does, which really paid off for the win in the Championships," Haness said of his mount.
"Although the championships in Kentucky were cancelled this year, it was really special for our West Coast to hold a Regional Championship because it provided our owners a chance to proudly showcase their quality horses, and having a special event, even regionally, was appreciated and fun to participate in," he said.
Rounding out the top three, Karazissis and owner Kane claimed their second reserve of the day, this time with Magic and a 156. Tami Cabaniss's score of 144 aboard her own Inkwell earned her third.
The USHJA extends a special thank you to the Blenheim Equisports team for hosting the Championship.
This was the fourth of five Regional Championships available to USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program participants. The remaining Championship, that for the Central region, will be held 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 McCool Photography
Placing - Horse - Rider - Owner
1 - Educated Guess - Joie Gatlin - Clover Lane Farm, LLC
2 - Cartier Du Rouet - Jenny Karazissis - Heidi Kane
3 - Golden Ticket - Leslie Steele - Marian Giffin
4 - Arrivederci - Chad Mahaffey - Malibu Valley Farms, Inc.
5 - Dot Com - Lexie Looker - Lexie Looker
6 - Picnic - Jenny Karazissis - JKLM Partners
7 - Game Day - Nick Haness - West Coast Equine Partners, LLC
8 - Paperboy - Julia Rossow - Julia Greenspan
9 - Timeless Romance - Ashley Weiman - Romance Sport Horses
10 - Wilten's Bubblegum - Lexie Looker - Lexie Looker
Placing - Horse - Rider - Owner
1 - Reese's - Nick Haness - West Coast Equine Partners, LLC
2 - Magic - Jenny Karazissis - Heidi Kane
3 - Inkwell - Tami Cabaniss - Tami Cabaniss