Eleven new equitation champions were crowned on Saturday, October 2, during Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Prominent among Saturday’s champions at Prince George’s Equestrian Center was Riley Hogan of Warrenton, Virginia, the winner of the fifth-annual EMO Insurance/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East.
Riding Wengen, Hogan topped a large field of 153 entries over three phases of competition, including flat and gymnastics phases held on Friday and a final jumping phase held on Saturday.
Hogan finished the flat phase in 18th place, but her score of 89 in the gymnastics phase catapulted her to second place in the round and also put her in second overall on a score of 218.50 going into Saturday’s third phase. A brilliant final round and subsequent score of 93, multiplied by a coefficient of two and combined with her score from Friday, gave Hogan an overall score of 404.50, a 14.50-point lead over second place.
Lauren Jorgensen of Albuquerque, NM, finished with reserve champion honors after all three rounds on a score of 390 riding her own Adolesco. Third place went to Addison Keyworth of Whitefield, ME, riding her own horse Liam.
Hogan, who was also the champion in the 17-year-old equitation division on Saturday, has been competing in this final at Capital Challenge for three years and notes that doing well in the class is something she’s worked toward, but it will also serve as a foundation from which to build for the remainder of the equitation finals season. “I was ecstatic; I mean it was unreal,” she shared of her win. “[This class] was a pretty big goal, and it definitely gives me a boost of confidence going into the [Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunt Seat] Medal Finals, [ASPCA Maclay Championship] and [Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals].
“I think this class really helps you feel the pressure of the [big equitation] finals at a lower height,” she continued, “which can make for a better experience especially if it’s your first or second year and you haven’t done many equitation finals.”
Staying cool under pressure is something Hogan was prepared for, especially on the heels of her recent reserve champion honors at the ASPCA Maclay Region 5 Championship. Heading into the final phase in second place, she made a concerted effort to keep a level mindset. “I took a deep breath when I walked in and tried to keep myself calm. [Wengen] was right where I needed him to be so I didn’t have to worry and could focus about keeping myself in the right head space.”
Though the win was exciting in itself, the experience of doing well at this show in particular made the win even more special. “I grew up showing at this venue with my pony so it’s nice to have a big recognized show close to home,” she concluded. “It’s really very fun.”
For her victory, Hogan received a trophy, cooler, and rider sash as well as Parlanti and Essex Classics gift certificates, a saddle pad, and a Straight Arrow gift bag.
Hogan’s mount, Wengen, owned by Donald Stewart, was named Best Equitation Horse, and received a CWD gift certificate, a silver keeper trophy, and a bridle ribbon.
For her second-placed finish, Jorgensen received a picture frame and rider sash as well as a saddle pad and Straight Arrow Gift bag.
The top 12 riders received saddle pads embroidered with the EMO Insurance logo, rider sashes, and Straight Arrow gift bags.
On hand to help present the awards to the top finishers was Sue Bopp from EMO Insurance, and USHJA President Mary Knowlton. This year marks EMO Insurance Agency’s second year sponsoring the 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final classes, first introduced in 2017, but the equine insurance agency has been an integral part of Capital Challenge since the show’s inception.
Earlier in the day, the North American Junior Flat Equitation Championship title was awarded to Dominic Gibbs, 17, of Colorado Springs, CO, for the third consecutive year, and nine age group equitation division winners were named as follows:
Faith Schuttemeyer of Boynton Beach, FL, in the 12 & Under Equitation
Cecelia Perry of Boynton Beach, FL, in the 13 & 14-Year-Old Equitation
Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL, in the 13 & 14-Year-Old Equitation Section B
Francesca Guidi of Hingham, MA, in the 15-Year-Old Equitation
Sofia Cady of Austin, TX, in the 15-Year-Old Equitation Section B
Analise Manoog of Centerville, MA, in the 16-Year-Old Equitation
Grace Debney of Hampden, MA, in the 16-Year-Old Equitation Section B
Riley Hogan of Warrenton, VA, in the 17-Year-Old Equitation
Dominic Gibbs of Colorado Springs, CO, in the 17-Year-Old Equitation Section B
Equitation weekend, presented by Bigeq.com at the Capital Challenge Horse Show concludes on Sunday, October 3, with the Palm Beach International Academy North American Junior Equitation Championships beginning at 7:15 a.m. and immediately followed by the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals. The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues with more hunter, jumper, and equitation competition on October 5-10.
EMO Insurance/USHJA 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final - East Results
Place / Rider / Horse / Overall
1/Riley Hogan / Wengen / 404.500
2/Lauren Jorgensen / Adolesco / 390.00
3/Addison Keyworth / Liam / 388.600
4/Eve Westfall / Bon Amour / 388.125
5/Kaitlyn Roman / Pacific Heights / 382.40
6/Isabel Rudaz / Diasandro / 381.200
7/Kate Hagerty / Spotlight / 379.475
8/Kaitlyn Kiely / Cool De Reve / 379.325
9/Lucas Mejia Fanjul / Lucky Quid / 377.750
10/Ariana Marnell / Coltino / 377.125
11/Paige Walkenbach / Quadro D’Ag / 376.550
12/Elianna Kirson / Ilyana / 375.275