USHJA Zones 3 and 4 earn medals in first team and individual hunter championships of the year

Zone 4's Lucy Thornhill and Lindsey Irvin win individual championship Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter titles respectively


Conyers, Ga..  – June 23, 2018 –  Competitors from both USHJA Zones 3 and 4 earned medals in the 2018 USHJA Zones 3 & 4 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak, which offered team competition on June 22 and individual competition on June 23, during the Atlanta Summer Classic II at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. 

Zone 4's Lucy Thornhill on her own Winter Romance and Lindsey Irvin on her own Matias took top honors in today's Children's and Adult Amateur individual competition, respectively, earning gold medals, ribbons and numerous prizes, including an embroidered cooler, Charles Owen Helmet, CWD halter, Parlanti Boots, Professional's Choice Pro Performance Schooling Boots, Essex Classics Riding Shirt and FITS Riding breeches.

Lucy Thornhill earned the gold medal aboard Winter Romance in the Children's Individual Championship. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA 

Thornhill, 16, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., has had her Thoroughbred cross Romeo (Winter Romance) for about a year, after a 6-month lease proved they were perfect partners. That partnership proved itself again, as the pair navigated their first handy course together, earning the top spot in that class of 11 competitors.

"Romeo was an angel today," said Thornhill, who trains with Bruce Christison of Christison Stables in Camden, S.C. "I'd never done a Handy on him, and I was so nervous. My trainer told me [Romeo] could do it, so I told myself to just go in and have fun, and I did!

"[Winning the individual championship] is surreal. I don't feel like it happened! I told my mom, 'I can't believe that just happened.'"

Thornhill, who earned an overall score of 415 (an average of 83 across the three phase championship), was followed by Zone 3's Ellison Beaver, 16, of High Point, N.C., who rode her own Devoted to an overall score of 398 (an average of 79.6) to capture the silver medal. Rounding out the Children's medalists was Madelyn Jadick, 15, of Wilmington, N.C., who rode her own Vinski TT to the bronze medal.

Ellison Beaver and Devoted earned the silver medal in the Children's Individual Championship. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA

Madelyn Jadick and Vinski TT earned the bronze medal in the Children's Individual Championship. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA

The Adult Amateur card saw 18 contenders, but with two solid over fences rounds in which she took every high option, Lindsey Irvin of Woodstock, Ga., on her own Matias ended up on top with the gold medal for their total score 415 (an average of 83).

"Considering I came in and just wanted to have good rounds, rounds I was proud of, and for him to give me everything he had, I just felt like I had to do the same," said Lindsey Irvin. "It is such an over-the-moon feeling."

The pair, who have trained with Melinda Sise of MDS Farm in Alpharetta, Ga., for the last three years, have been together for seven years now, but Irvin notes she didn't show him much when she first got him due to school.

"Once I graduated I made myself commit to going back to a show barn, so I found Melinda.  And, she's just been wonderful and helped me get back io being able to show, having that confidence to get back in the ring because I'd lost it," said Irvin. "For having shown as long as I did as a junior, when I first started showing again I was really nervous about everything. She's just made such tremendous strides with me and him. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude."

Lindsey Irvin and Matias earned the gold medal in the Adult Amateur Individual Championship. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA 

At 19 years old, Matias is "goofy" at home according to Irvin, but he loves to horse show. Irvin says she would love to return to the Championships in 2019.

"You don't really get to see that team aspect in the Hunters. It was a lot of fun," said Irvin. "It's that new kind of exciting thing, and the adults were all supportive of each other. There was so much camaraderie between the teams. It was a lot of fun! I'd like to think we will be back next year if he continues the way he is and I do too."

Irvin was followed by Zone 3's Coleman Murray of Greensboro, N.C., riding her own Cape Town to the silver medal and a total score of 409 (an average of 81.8). Zone 4's Rachel Griffin of Brandon, Fla., rode Kevin and Mary Eufemia's Kaaterskill to the bronze medal.

Coleman Murray and Cape Town earned the silver medal in the Adult Amateur Individual Championship. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA Rachel Griffin and Kaaterskill earned the bronze medal in the Adult Amateur Individual Championship. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA

Individual medals were presented to the top three in each section, and ribbons presented through eighth place. Full results for the Children's Individual Championships are available here. Full results for the Adult Individual Championships are available here.

This unique Hunter championship includes a team component, and this year's championships saw three Children's and six Adult Amateur Hunter teams vying for their respective team championship titles on Friday, June 22, 2018.

In the Children's team Championship, Zone 3 beat out the home zone by 6 total points to garner the gold medal. The USHJA Zone 3 Children's team of Ellison Beaver riding her own Devoted, Elizabeth Ragsdale riding her own Rose, Charlotte Andersen riding her own Audacious, and Sophie Blondel riding her own Califernia, led by Chef d'Equipe Deloise Noble-Strong, earned the top title.

Classic Company's Bob Bell presented the Children's Champion team of Ellison Beaver on Devoted, Elizabeth Ragasdale on Rose, Sophie Blondel on Califernia and Charlotte Andersen on Audacious with Zone 3 Chef d'Equipe Deloise Noble Strong. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA 

"It was super exciting because I know hardly any of these kids have done this before," said Deloise Noble-Strong. "They got such a kick out of it; they learned a lot; and they had their first experience on a team. It was really special. They have a lot of memories to go home with and to take back all the swag that goes with it, they're never going to forget it."

Zone 4's team of Mia Bakotic riding her own No Question About It, Madison Ramsey riding Kevin Eufemia's Clever, Lucy Thornhill riding her own Winter Romance, and Madeline Jordan riding her own Tribecca, led by chefs d'equipe Amy Center and Kat DeMas Mulkey, earned the silver medal in an extremely close finish. The bronze medal went to a combined Zones 3 and 4 team of Zone 4's Camryn Cass riding Highridge Farm LLC's Zaragoza 4, Zone 3's Madelyn Jadick riding her own Vinski TT, and Zone 4's Isabella Lafferty riding her own Argento, who were led by all three chefs d'equipe.

In the Adult Amateur team championship, the combined Zones 3 and 4 team of Coleman Murray riding her own Cape Town, Shelby Edson riding Sally Lamb's Musette, and Lindsey Irvin riding her own Matias, led by chefs d'equipe Deloise Noble-Strong, Kat DeMas Mulkey and Amy Center, earned the top spot.

Zone 3 Chef d'Equipe Deloise Noble-Strong, Classic Company's Bob Bell, Zone 4 Chef d'Equipe Amy Center and Zone 4 Chef d'Equipe Kat DeMas Mulkey present gold medals to the combined Zones 3 & 4 team of Shelby Edson on Musette, Coleman Murray and Cape Town, and Lindsey Irvin on Matias. Credit: Megan Lacy/USHJA 

"Having a combined team win the Adult Championships was very exciting, said Zone 4 Chef d'Equipe Kat DeMas Mulkey. "There was really good camaraderie; the fact we get to do it together and the fact the combined team won made it really special."

The Zone 4 team of Diane Welter riding her own Violets Are Blue, Kelly Thumel Frohsin riding Patchwork Farm LLC's Thriller, and Rachel Griffin riding Kevin and Mary Eufemia's Kaaterskill, led by chefs d'equipe Amy Center and Kat DeMas Mulkey, earned silver medals. The Zone 3 team of Sable Fetty riding her own Tattered Lace, Shannon Casey riding Sally Hamlin's Cio Pepe, and Morgan Geelhaar riding her own La Sandro, led by Deloise Noble-Strong, earned bronze. The bronze medal Zone 3 team stood out highlighting their "green team" designation with green pompoms in their tails and green yarn in their braids to match their team's green arm bands. 

"I think the team concept in Hunters is really cool, especially for the Adults. I think that these riders yearn for something different, and it's also a great way to meet new people who compete in your division," said Zone 4 Chef d'Equipe Amy Center. "Everything has been wonderful. Bob always does a great job with the horse shows and the hospitality, so something like this that's fun you want to put it at a horse show like this."

The championship courses were designed by Allen Rheinheimer, and the Championship judges were Kathleen Stamps, Mike Lowry, Woody Dykers and Cathy Courtwright.

All riders received polo shirts and tote bags from the Championships' presenting sponsor SmartPak. Medals and ribbons were awarded to the top three teams, with the gold medal team receiving embroidered coolers.

For comprehensive Children's team results, click here. For Comprehensive Adult Amateur team results, click here.

USHJA extends special thanks to Bob Bell and the entire Classic Company team for hosting the Zones 3 & 4 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships. USHJA also thanks presenting sponsor SmartPak, as well as awards sponsors Charles Owen Helmet, CWD, Parlanti, Professional's Choice, Essex Classics and FITS Riding.

For a complete list of Championship dates and for more information on the USHJA Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak, visit . Qualifying is still open for Zones 1, 2, 9 and 10.

About SmartPak
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

Media Contact:
Megan Lacy
(859) 225-6723