Sunday, February 20, 2011
Hunters: Wellington: WEF: Olivia Esse and Small Affair Win WCHR Junior/Amateur-Owner Palm Beach Hunter Classic Spectacular
Esse and Small Affair Take Charge in WCHR Spectacular
Traveling all the way from Los Angeles, CA, to ride in the WCHR competition, 17-year-old Olivia Esse made her trip worthwhile with a big win in the WCHR Junior/Amateur-Owner Palm Beach Hunter Classic Spectacular aboard Small Affair, owned by Iwasaki and Reilly.
Twenty-six competitors qualified throughout two weeks of competition to compete in today's class. The top eight scoring competitors then returned for a second round. The cut off to return for round two was an 84.62, with the highest returning score of 91.5 held by Olivia Esse and Small Affair. The top eight riders returned in reverse order according to their scores and last to go, Esse and Small Affair earned an 88.50 in their second round to win the class with a two round total of 180. The junior riders ruled the class, taking home seven of the top eight awards.
Victoria Colvin rode Scott Stewart's horse Inclusive to the highest second round score of 89, which combined with their first round score of 87, placed the pair in second place overall with a 176 point total. Hayley Barnhill and Heartfelt, owned by Susan E. Gordon, earned a 175 to finish in third place. Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm LLC's C Coast Z earned a 170 for fourth place. Amateur rider Alise Oken finished with a 169.12 aboard her horse Take Away to finish in fifth place.
Class winner Small Affair is an eight-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Elf D'Or out of Eva De Fontenay. Esse leases Small Affair to show in the Junior Hunters, and he also competes with professional rider John French in the new Performance Working Hunter 3'6"-3'9" division. French and Small Affair were champion during both weeks five and six in their division and Esse rode the gelding to a championship during week six and a reserve championship during week five. Today's win was an exciting way to top off her two weeks in Florida as Esse will be flying back to California this evening.
"I was a little frustrated warming up for the first round, but then when I got into the huge field it was relaxing; you just gallop and it was a lot of fun," Esse stated after her win. "He felt really good even though he has been showing all weekend. He is probably a little tired, but he was great. He is really fun out in the big field; he has a big stride so sometimes he is harder to ride in the smaller rings. Out here he can really stretch out and give his all."
"He has a personality; he can be kind of sassy sometimes but every time he gets in the ring he is a total show horse and he just really performs," Esse noted.
French added, "You can't force him to do anything, especially as a young horse. We went slow with him and he has just gotten better and better. He is still a little cranky some days, but you just know what buttons to push and not to push them too hard."
Commenting on the trip from the west coast, French noted, "When you come all the way here for just two weeks it is not very long, so a win like this definitely makes it worth coming."
Esse agreed, saying, "It was a lot of fun. I really love it out here at this show. It is so competitive; I just want to do well and it is always fun out in the big international ring."
The USHJA would like to thank its generous sponsors for the 2011 WCHR Hunter Classic Spectacular, including: Ogilvy-The Official Therapeutic Saddle Pad of the USHJA, who will be supplying therapeutic saddle pads to the top six riders in both the Professional and Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Spectaculars; Essex Classics, who will be providing riding shirts to the high score Professional and Emerging Professional riders and to the high score Junior and Amateur riders on Sunday morning; and Arc De Triomphe (ADT), the Official Saddlery of the WCHR, who will be supplying bridles and bridle bags to the winners of each WHCR Classic.Final Results: WCHR Junior/Amateur-Owner Palm Beach Hunter Classic Spectacular
1 SMALL AFFAIR OLIVIA ESSE REILLY AND IWASAKI 91.5/88.5 180
2 INCLUSIVE VICTORIA COLVIN SCOTT STEWART 87/89 176
3 HEARTFELT HAYLEY BARNHILL SUSAN E. GORDON 87/88 175
4 C COAST Z LILLIE KEENAN CHANSONETTE FARM LLC 86/84 170
5 TAKE AWAY ALISE OKEN ALISE OKEN 84.62/84.5 169.12
6 SANZIBAR VICTORIA COLVIN KAREN LONG DWIGHT 86/81.5 167.5
7 MADISON LILLIE KEENAN CHANSONETTE FARM LLC 89.25/70 159.25
8 TAKEN HANNAH GOODSON-CUTT NANCY AMLING 85.25/71 156.25