September 4, 2013--The top young horses from across the country displayed their qualities in hopes of claiming a title at the 2013 Sallie B. Wheeler/US National Hunter Breeding Championship. Judges Sharon Stewart-Wells of Ruidoso, NM and Deborah Sands of Encinitas, CA traveled to both coasts to assess the entrants. The Championship began on August 28 at the Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament in Del Mar, CA, then moved east on August 31 to the historic Warrenton Horse Show in Warrenton, VA.
For the sixth time in the Championship's two-phase history, the East Coast's Champion Best Young Horse won the Overall Grand Champion title. Rainier (Eloquence x Countess Sabrina/Private Account), owned by Cismont Manor Farm and Meridian Partners and handled by Richard M. Taylor, claimed top honors in the 2013 Sallie B. Wheeler/US National Hunter Breeding Championship, receiving the Dave Kelley Perpetual Trophy.
"I thought he would do great! He is a horseman's horse as well as a crowd pleaser," Kenneth Wheeler, Sr. said of Rainier. "When I first saw him at Devon, I felt he was one of the most outstanding individuals I had seen in a long, long time. He loves to show himself and is very balanced-moves great- and I think he is so perfect that he should carry that over to jumping style."
The two-year-old Warmblood gelding also won the Champion Best Young Horse - East title along with his Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding class. As the breeder of the Overall Grand Champion, Amanda Taylor won the J. Arthur Reynolds Memorial Trophy.
The Overall Reserve Grand Champion also went to an East Coast horse when Waterford (Westporte x Red Hyacinth/Dark Hyacinth), a yearling Oldenburg gelding, received the title. Owned by Carol Cockcroft and handled by Matt Davis, Waterford also won the Reserve Champion Best Young Horse - East title and his Yearling Colt/Gelding class.
On the West Coast, the fillies dominated in competition for the regional young horse titles. The Champion Best Young Horse - West honors went to Good Luck (More Than Luck x Molly Malone/Gragenit), owned by Tish Quirk and handled by Carleton Brooks. The two-year-old Dutch Warmblood filly won her Two-Year-Old Filly as well as the KWPN of North America breed registry award. Rosebud (Ragtime x Misty View/Star Choice), a two-year-old Oldenburg filly owned by Sue Lightner and handled by Sue Lightner and Diane Yeager, won the Reserve Champion Best Young Horse - West title. In addition, Rosebud also won The Oldenburg Registry of North America award.
Other top horses also received breed registry awards for the West Coast entrants. By Designz Estrella (Crimson Z x By Design), a two-year-old Oldenburg filly owned by Star Lane Farms Inc. and handled by Emily Esau-Williams, received The Oldenburg Horse Breeder's Society award after finishing third in the Two-Year-Old Filly behind Good Luck and Rosebud. The American Holsteiner Horse Association Award went to De Suena (Liocalyon x Maaike/Ahorn), a two-year-old Holsteiner filly owned by Ashley Norris and handled by Maria Matzger.
On the East Coast, Alika Bay (Aloha x West Baby/Way West), a yearling Oldenburg filly owned by Chase Meadows Farm and handled by Brandon Gibson, won the Oldenburg Registry of North America award. The American Hanoverian Society award went to Francheska AH (ES Fielding x SPS Malena/Maurice), a two-year-old Hanoverian filly owned and handled by Kate Palmquist. Resplendent (Rosenthal x Pardon Me Boys/Domestic Dispute), a yearling Oldenburg filly owned by Amanda M. Woodall and handled by Emily Belin, won The Oldenburg Horse Breeder's Society award. The Foxwick Farm Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the leading Thoroughbred on the East and West Coasts, went to Turn For Home (Jumpstart x Megan's Navy/Polish Navy), a two-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Foxwick Farm/Marcia A. Heylin and handled by Chip Leonard.
These top young hunter horses would not be able display their winning attributes to the best of their abilities without the expertise of their handlers. The Leading Handler - West award went to Sue Lightner and the Leading Handler - East award went to Emily Anne Belin. Each phase also had an Amateur Handler class. Barbara J. Dunning with Rendezvous won the West Coast class and Ashley Norris finished second with De Suena. On the East Coast, Katie Wozniak won the class with Beste Reflection while Lyndsey Tipton finished second with Rumor Mill.
For more information on the Sallie B. Wheeler/US National Hunter Breeding Championship, click here.