Lexington, Ky.—August 29, 2019—After two days of bi-coastal competition, North Hill Farm’s Quite A Star (Qredit—Feiner Dance) earned the coveted title of Overall Grand Champion of the 2019 Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF/USHJA Hunter Breeding National Championships, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare. Linda Mancini’s Caberneigh (Cabardino N—Special Consideration) was named the Overall Reserve Grand Champion.
Judges Chance Arakelian (New Canaan, Connecticut) and Jessie Lang (Jackson, Wyoming) evaluated the young hunter prospects on Saturday, August 24, at the Virginia Young Horse Festival in Lexington, Virginia, and on Wednesday, August 28, at the Showpark All Seasons in Del Mar, California.
2019 Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF/USHJA Hunter Breeding Overall Grand Champion Quite A Star, owned by North Hill Farm. Photo: Shawna Simmons of SAS Photography
“We’re looking for the horse that we think is going to go on and do the most in the hunter divisions,” said Arakelian. “We’re looking for a future star that will be big-strided and jump a big jump.
“She was really well balanced; she has a beautiful neck and shoulder,” said Arakelian of the Overall Grand Champion filly, Quite A Star. Fellow judge Lang concurred saying, “She’s athletic-looking, moved well and had a lovely expression.”
Bred by Margaret Sherman (Lewes, Delaware), the 2-year-old Oldenburg filly also earned the East Coast Best Young Horse title with handler and trainer Emily Anne Belin-McDonnell (Honey Brook, Pennsylvania), and won the 2-Year-Old Fillies class with handler Susan Weigand (Mountain Top, Pennsylvania).
“She belongs to Maggie Neider [of North Hill Farm] in New York,” said Belin-McDonnell. “I have several foals from this filly’s mother. I’ve had a bunch of them that did the performance divisions, and we call the Feiner Dance mare ‘The Golden Goose.’ I’m so thankful to have such a great person who raises those young horses initially.”
Linda Mancini's Caberneigh earned Overall Reserve Grand Champion and East Coast Reserve Best Young Horse Titles in the 2019 Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF/USHJA Hunter Breeding National Championship. Photo: Shawna Simmons of SAS Photography
Caberneigh, owned and bred by Linda Mancini (Warwick, New York) and handled by Belin-McDonnell in the 2-Year-Old Fillies class and by Susan Sisco (Aiken, South Carolina) in the East Coast Best Young Horse Championship class, also earned the East Coast Reserve Best Young Horse title in addition to the Overall Reserve Grand Champion title.
With several top placings throughout the day, Belin-McDonnell was named the East Coast Best Handler.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be able to show at an event like this,” said Belin-McDonnell. “I appreciate people like Keedie Leonard, Kimmy Risser, everyone on the Hunter Breeding Committee, and all of the sponsors for giving us the opportunity to do this. I know it’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s not always as popular as the grands prix, but it’s a super important part of developing horses in this country, so I’m appreciative that we had the opportunity to showcase our horses here.”
Following Wednesday’s West Coast competition, Cambria (Rivermon—Capella), a 2-year-old Holsteiner filly owned and bred by Amy Concha (Carlsbad, California) and handled by Carleton Brooks (Encinitas, California), earned the West Coast Best Young Horse title. Cambria also earned top honors in the 2-Year-Old Fillies class, and handler Brooks was named the West Coast Best Handler.
Cambria, owned and bred by Amy Concha and handled by Carleton Brooks, earned the West Coast Best Young Horse Title. Photo: Captured Moment Photography
“I always liked the conformation horses and I did racehorse sales,” said Brooks, a longtime supporter of hunter breeding in the U.S. “They had hunter breeding in the ‘80s on the West Coast and then they stopped it, so I wanted to start it again to grow the sport. I enjoy the detail and sportsmanship of hunter breeding.”
West Coast Reserve Best Young Horse title went to the 3-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse filly, Glorious (Artrageous—Laced in Krymsun), owned by Joann Niffenegger (Corona, California). Handled and ridden by Kim Tasker (Tujunga, California), the filly won the 3-Year-Old Fillies class and was second in the 3-Year-Old Under Saddle.
“She was bred and is owned by my amateur client Joann Niffenegger, who showed [Glorious’] mother in the Adult Amateur hunters and at AQHA shows,” said Tasker. “[Glorious] was started under tack by myself less than six weeks ago, so I’m very proud of her for being second in the 3-Year-Old Under Saddle. I am really looking forward to starting her over fences, as she is an amazing jumper.”
Joann Niffenegger's Glorious won the West Coast Reserve Best Young Horse title placing first in the 3-Year-Old Fillies class and second in the 3-Year-Old Under Saddle. Photo: Captured Moment Photography
Coordinated by the USHJA in 2019, the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF/USHJA Hunter Breeding National Championships aim to increase awareness of the Hunter Breeding sport and provide an arena for handlers, owners and breeders to showcase their talented young horses.
The Championships were open to yearlings up to 4-year-olds of any breed. Classes included an Amateur/Junior Handler class, 3- and 4-Year-Old Under Saddle classes, a 3-Year-Old Hunter Hack class and a 4-Year-Old Conformation Over Fences class, in addition to in-hand classes for yearling to 3-year-old fillies and colts or geldings. Classes were judged on athleticism, conformation, way of moving, quality, substance and suitability to become hunters.
“It’s a great time in these horses’ lives and it’s a wonderful steppingstone to get them prepared for the performance divisions,” concluded Belin-McDonnell. “We’re always looking ahead with whatever choices we make for them now. We want to make sure we have their performance careers in mind, so getting them out to show in a nice venue like this in front of lots of people and promoting the sport with nice young horses is very important. The whole process of preparing them to show well here helps them later in life be solid citizens, so they’re confident later in life to go do whatever you ask of them.”
The USHJA would like to thank the many donors and supporters that helped make these Championships possible, including presenting sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare; Class donors Whitney Brunner, Margot Snowden, Frederick Cooper, Elizabeth Capor, Sheila Murphy, Harriet Schiele, Kimmy Risser/Hickory Manor Farm, Ryan Pedigo/Pedigo Hanoverians, Vicki Hunton/Olde Oaks Farm, USHJA Zone 10, Laura Mateo/Reflections Farm, Barbara Ellison/Wild Turkey Farm, Joe and Ann Norick, Chad Mahaffey/Malibu Valley Farm, and Blue Tree Farm; Ribbon and Trophy donors, Doug Snell, Carleton and Tracy Brooks/Balmoral, Ryan Pedigo/Pedigo Hanoverians, Virginia Horse Show Association, Kristen Cyron, USHJA Zone 3, USHJA Zone 4, Outer Beaches Realty, Elizabeth Capor, Frederick Cooper, Karan Aurelius, James Hagman/Elvenstar Farm, and Amy Hess/Avant Equestrian; Groom Tote donors, Carol Cockcroft, Rhett Destefano/Twin Oaks Farm, Nicole Marin, Chuck and Sue Grossman, Heather McInerney/Timeless Sport Horses, USHJA Zone 3, USHJA Zone 4, U.S. Sport Horse Breeders Association; Product donors, Shapley's, SmartPak, EquiFit, State Line Tack and Quillin Leather & Tack; Exhibitor Party donors, Taylor Harris Insurance Agency, Harriet Schiele, Mike and Michelle Guardino; and the generous friends of the Sallie B. Wheeler Championships, Bank of America, Jessie Lang/Rendezvous Show Stables, Mary's Feed & Tack, DaMoors, The Engraver and Tara Ardalan.
Yearling Colt/Gelding – Alls Well (Apiro—Chips of Clay), a 2018 Westphalian colt bred, owned, and handled by Jamie Sullivan
Yearling Filly – Reality Star NHF (Rosenthal—Feiner Dance), a 2018 Oldenburg filly bred and owned by North Hill Farm, handled by Emily Anne Belin-McDonnell
Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding – Cabalero (Cabalito—Allegria), a 2017 Belgian Warmblood gelding bred and owned by Elizabeth Capor and handled by Charlie Brown
Two-Year-Old Filly – Quite A Star (Qredit—Feiner Dance), a 2017 Oldenburg filly bred by Margaret Sherman, owned by North Hill Farm and handled by Emily Anne Belin-McDonnell
Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding – Santos (Sir Wanabi—Lillemor), a 2016 Oldenburg gelding bred and owned by Julianna Hennessy, handled by Emily Anne Belin-McDonnell
Three-Year-Old Filly – Brilliancze MFH (Balta—VPRST Viola), a 2016 Deutsches Sportpferd filly bred by Christina Burke Frey, owned by Kimberly Hennon, and handled by Robert Croteau
Amateur/Junior Handler – Austin Faxon handling Renaissance (Rosenthal—Pardon Me Boys), a 2016 Oldenburg filly bred by George K. Horeis and owned by Lori Johnston
Four-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle – Gin and Juice (Sterling—Harlow), a 2015 Brandenberger gelding bred by Amanda Taylor, owned by Patricia Michael, and ridden by Alexis Robinson
Four-Year-Old Conformation Over Fences – Harbor Cay (Gatsby—Flashing Phone), a 2015 Warmblood gelding bred by Elisha Massong, owned by Elizabeth Demars, and ridden by Susan Sisco
Three-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle – Will Emblazon (Willemoes—Anastazia), a 2016 Oldenburg gelding bred by Hil Cat Farm, owned by Rachelle Goebel, and ridden by Christopher Webb
Three-Year-Old Hunter Hack – Forever Friends (Friend or Foe—Stephanie’s Castle), a 2016 Thoroughbred gelding bred and owned by Phyllis Jones and ridden by Olin Armstrong
Hanoverian, donated by the American Hanoverian Society: Soireé 18 (Westporte—Baltic Royalty), a 2018 Oldenburg gelding bred and owned by Nicole Urchin, handled by Emily Anne Belin-McDonnell
KWPN (Dutch Warmblood), donated by the KWPN of North America: Lyric (Sir Sinclair—Willow), a 2016 KWPN filly bred by Ruth Anne Kershaw, owned by Karen Raach, handled by Jay Raach
Westfalen, donated by Westfalen North American: Alls Well (Apiro—Chips of Clay), a 2018 Westfalen gelding bred, owned and handled by Jamie Sullivan
RPSI (Deutches Sportpferd): Brilliancze (Balta'Czar—VPrSt Viola), a 2016 RPSI filly, bred by Christina M. Burke Frey, owned by Kimberly A. Hennon, handled by Robert Croteau
American Quarter Horse East, donated by AQHA & Joann Niffenegger: Cruze On Over (The Krymsun Kruser—Its All Over), a 2018 AQHA filly bred by Jay and Kristy Starnes, owned and handled by Jennifer Gebhart
Oldenburg, donated by the Oldenburg Registry of North America: Cambridge (Cunningham—Gabriella), a 2017 GOV filly bred and owned by Amanda Woodall, handled by Emily Anne Belin-McDonnell
Belgian Warmblood, donated by the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association: Cabalero (Cabalito—Allegria), a 2017 Belgian Warmblood gelding bred and owned by Elizabeth Capor, handled by Charlie Brown
Belgian Sport Horse (SbS): Marvelous ESH (Findus—Aaliyeh Bint Alize), a 2018 Belgian Sport Horse filly bred by Jennifer Dachton, owned by Dachton and Frederick Cooper, handled by Robert Croteau
Two-Year-Old Filly – Cambria (Rivermon—Capella), a 2017 Holsteiner filly bred and owned by Amy Concha, handled by Carleton Brooks
Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding – Embelished (Artrageous—Laced in Krymsun), a 2016 Appendix Quarter Horse stallion bred and owned by Joann Niffenegger, handled by Kim Tasker
Three-Year-Old Filly – Glorious (Artrageous—Laced in Krymsun), a 2016 Appendix Quarter Horse filly bred and owned by Joann Niffenegger, handled by Kim Tasker
Amateur/Junior Handler – Joann Niffenegger handling Glorious (Artrageous—Laced in Krymsun), a 2016 Appendix Quarter Horse filly bred and owned by Joann Niffenegger
Four-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle – Wylar PF (Wellesley—Mercedes), a 2015 Hanoverian stallion owned by Jan Say and bred and ridden by Ryan Pedigo
Four-Year-Old Conformation Over Fences – Hendrix (Cascarillo—Urieliana), a 2015 KWPN gelding owned by Theresa Bouchar and ridden by Emily Esau-Williams
Three-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle – Best Man (Bon Coeur—Diamond E), a 2016 Hanoverian gelding bred by Hanke Eits, owned by Beth Luth, and ridden by Nick Haness
Three-Year-Old Hunter Hack – Best Man (Bon Coeur—Diamond E), a 2016 Hanoverian gelding bred by Hanke Eits, owned by Beth Luth, and ridden by Nick Haness
Hanoverian, donated by the American Hanoverian Society Song Bird PF (Sam Steele—Mercedes), a 2017 Hanoverian filly bred, owned and handled by Ryan Pedigo
Holsteiner, donated by the American Holsteiner Horse Association: Cambria (Rivermon—Capella), a 2017 Holsteiner filly bred and owned by Amy Concha, handled by Carleton Brooks
KWPN (Dutch Warmblood), donated by the KWPN of North America: Just Amazing (Just The Best—Mosegardens Carina), a 2017 KWPN filly bred and owned by Tish Quirk, handled by Emily Esau-Williams
Westfalen, donated by Westfalen North American: Coronet’s Daffodil (Coronet D'itonneur—Pretty Woman), a 2017 Westfalen filly bred and handled by Rachel Jansen Jones and owned by Jones and Rex Equine
RPSI (Deutches Sportpferd): Coronet’s Begonia (Coronet D'itonneur—Brescia), a 2016 Deutches Sportpferd filly bred, owned and handled by Rachel Jansen Jones
American Quarter Horse West, donated by AQHA and English Special Events: Glorious (Artrageous—Laced in Krymsun), a 2016 Appendix Quarter Horse filly bred and owned by Joann Niffenegger, handled by Kim Tasker
Oldenburg, donated by the Oldenburg Registry of North America: Luminous (Shine—Clara K), a 2017 Oldenburg filly bred by Olde Oaks Farm, owned by Kristina Novak and handled by Kyra Plymire
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.