Golden and Pochron Claim Top Spots in Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, Presented by SmartPak

Crete, Ill.—July 23, 2019—Dr. Sharon Golden of Plymouth, Minnesota, and Dayna Pochron of Westland, Michigan, claimed the Individual Adult Amateur and Children’s Hunter Championship victories, respectively, Sunday, July 21, to conclude the two-day USHJA Zones 5 and 6 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak, at HITS Chicago at Balmoral Park.

USHJA Zones 5 and 6 fielded 22 horse-and-rider combinations to contest the team and individual championships in an innovative and fun format that has earned accolades by participants. Riders competed on four Children's and three Adult Amateur Hunter teams Saturday and all participants returned Sunday to vie for the separate Individual Championship Sunday. Patrick Boyle designed the courses throughout the event. Panel 1 judges included Randy Roy and Christine Tauber. Panel 2 included Alex Jayne and Maggie Jayne.

Adult Amateur Hunter Individual Championship winners take in their victories. Pictured from left: USHJA onsite representative Morgan Thibodeaux, Chef d'Equipe Ryan Sassmannshausen, silver medalist Ashley Abbruzzi, gold medalist Sharon Golden, bronze medalist Leea Bridgeman and Chef d'Equipe Janine Weatherby.

Photo: EQ Media/USHJA

In the Zone 5 and 6 Adult Amateur Hunter Individual Championships, Dr. Sharon Golden and Cordiarado earned the highest overall score to nab the Gold medal. Ashely Abbruzzi of Novi, Michigan, and Finesse earned Silver, and Leea Bridgeman of Prospect, Kentucky, and Carlotta took Bronze.

In the under-saddle class, Bridgeman took first, Donna Struve placed second and Lindsay Vail followed with third. Donna Struve and Sabrina took the derby round with Golden in second, Bridgeman third and Abbruzzi fourth. The final handy round concluded with a first for Jessica Ianello Brosche, a tie for second between Golden and Abbruzzi, and Vail in third.

The ‘Golden Girls’

Maybe it’s in the name, but it seemed Dr. Sharon Golden was destined for gold this weekend in the Zones 5 & 6 Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak. Golden helped her team to a win in the team competition Saturday, July 20, and secured the top spot in the individual overall championship Sunday.

Sharon Golden and Cordiarado work together to bring home the gold in the Adult Amateur Hunter Individual Championship. Photo: EQ Media/USHJA

“I feel like it was just a huge accomplishment!” Golden said. “It was a challenging course, but he was so brave today. My trainer had just given me the best advice. Kim [Barone], I just love her. She knows me and she knows the horse, and she just does an amazing job getting both of us ready.”

Golden had some extra support from the sidelines in daughters Jenna and Alison Golden and sister Anne Meyer, who competed in the Zone Team Jumper Championship with her horse Stella Luna. Golden and Meyer live in Plymouth, Minnesota, while Golden’s girls reside in Chicago, so the group loves coming to the Hunter Championships at HITS Balmoral Park because it serves as a sort of family reunion time.

Golden’s daughter’s, who primarily showed hunters up until their second year in college said they enjoy watching their mom and aunt compete. “She rode when we were really young, but once we started showing she focused on getting us prepared, so it’s fun to help her and get us prepared,” Jenna said.

“Now we just show up at the shows and get to watch them and be nervous for them instead of them being nervous for us,” Alison said. “It’s a lot of fun, but it makes us miss riding a lot.”

Meyer said overall this week of competition has been fun, especially with her sister.

“We’ve had the highs and the lows together, but we’re very fortunate to be part of Kim and Andy’s program and they’ve found us some amazing horses that we are so lucky to have.”

Dayna Pochron and O'Rion Reach for the Stars

Dayna Pochron’s top performances with O’Rion helped her take the top spot on the podium, earning the Gold in the Zone 5 and 6 Children’s Hunter Individual Championships. Grace Griffin, from Wayzata, Minnesota, and Forest earned the Silver medal and Lily Forney of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, won the Bronze.

Silver medalist Grace Griffin, gold medalist Dayna Pochron and bronze medalist Lily Forney celebrate atop the podium as the top individuals in the Children's Hunter Individual Championship. Photo: EQ Media/USHJA

The judges gave the nod to Taylor Collins in the under saddle class placings with Elizabeth Klein in second and Forney taking third. Pochron won the first over-fences derby round with Forney in second, followed by Griffin in third. The final handy round concluded with Griffin in first, Collins in second, and Pochron and Sinead Fennelly tied for third.

“This is my third year coming here, so I was pretty relaxed,” said Pochron. “He was so good yesterday, honestly, I couldn’t have asked for any better. Today he was just as good and the scores reflected that.”

Dayna Pochron and O'Rion jumped to a victory in the Children's Hunter Individual Championship.

Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography

Pochron and her teammates rode to a silver-medal finish in the team championship Saturday. She said she and her teammates had solid second rounds, and it was a fun event. “Thanks so much to my trainers and my mom for letting me come to this show, my parents, and of course, my horse, I can’t do anything without this guy.”

All Zone Championship riders received polo shirts and tote bags from the Championships' presenting sponsor SmartPak. For their wins, riders are awarded ribbons, and numerous prizes, including an embroidered cooler, Charles Owen helmet, CWD halter, Parlanti paddock boots, Essex Classics Show Shirt and FITS Riding breeches.

Photo: EQ Media/USHJA

The USHJA extends thanks to Patrick Boyle and the entire team at HITS Chicago and Balmoral Park for hosting the USHJA Zones 5 and 6 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak. USHJA also thanks presenting sponsor SmartPak, as well as 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  

Adult Amateur Hunter Individual Results

Rider / Hometown / Horse / Zone / Derby / Handy / Overall

GOLD: Dr. Sharon Golden / Plymouth, Minn. / Cordiarado / Zone 6 / 163 / 162 / 406

SILVER: Ashley Abruzzi / Novi, Mich. / Finesse / Zone 5 / 148 / 162 / 388

BRONZE: Leea Bridgeman / Prospect, Ky. / Carlotta / Zone 5 / 162 / 137 / 386

4: Lindsay Vail / White Bear Lake, Minn. / Gatsby / Zone 6 / 144 / 152 / 379

5: Sierra Osborne / Lincoln, Neb. / Double Clear’s Flat Sexy / Zone 6 / 135 / 148 / 355

6: Maeve O’Sullivan / Waukesha, Wis. / Rigoletto / Zone 5 / 128 / 151 / 355

7: Donna Struve / Lake Bluff, Ill. / Sabrina / Zone 5 / 168 / 86 / 339

8: Jessica Ianello Brosche / Lake Forest, Ill. / Astaire / Zone 5 / 87 / 173 / 334

9: Jessica Bertoglio / South Barrington, Ill. / Ivan / Zone 5 / 126 / 96 / 302


Children's Hunter Individual Results

Rider / Hometown / Horse / Zone / Derby / Handy / Overall

GOLD: Dayna Pochron / Westland, Mich. / O’Rion / Zone 5 / 168 / 170 / 417

SILVER: Grace Griffin / Wayzata, Minn. / Forest / Zone 6 / 164 / 175 / 415.5

BRONZE: Lily Forney / Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Atlas Peak / Zone 5 / 165 / 160 / 405

4: Carly Haimerl / Powell, Ohio / Euphoric / Zone 5 / 157 / 164.5 / 399

5: Sinead Fennelly / Schaumburg, Ill. / Bravo / Zone 5 / 145 / 170 / 394.5

6: Taylor Collins / Oxford, Mich. / Optimo / Zone 5 / 136 / 172 / 390

7: Hannah Reed / Pleasant Valley, Iowa / Fischer / Zone 6 / 151 / 161 / 387.5

8: Madison Grider / Prospect, Ky. / Vendome DH Z / Zone 5 / 157 / 151 / 383

9: Brooke Tegtmeyer / Bartlett, Ill. / Blue / Zone 5 / 140 / 156 / 372

10: Chloe Rogers / Omaha, Neb. / Miss Magoo / Zone 6 / 134 / 160 / 368

11: Elizabeth Klein / Simpsonville, Ky. / Exclusive / Zone 5 / 129 / 154 / 364

12: Olivia Barkell / Plymouth, Mich ./ Skyfall / Zone 5 / 95 / 147 / 320

13: Natalie Bertoglio / South Barrington, Ill. / Cracker Jack Z / Zone 5 / 58 / 81 / 216

Release by EQ Media for USHJA

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