November 21, 2013--Sarah Nieman of Coquitlam, BC, Canada and her mount Danton won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series West Coast Championship, held at the Las Vegas National Horse Show.
Prior to the Championship Final in Las Vegas, the 2013 West Conference regular season came to a close at the L.A. National Horse Show. Eduardo Sanchez Navarro and Virgo topped the Amateur-Owner standings while Hannah Holik and her Cupido De Laubry topped the junior standings. This season marked the second year that the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series has held a West Coast Championship Final in addition to its traditional Final at the Alltech National Horse Show.
Twenty-two horse-and-rider combinations started the competition for the $10,000 Junior/Amateur Show Jumping Hall of Fame West Coast Final at Las Vegas. Of those, six advanced to the jump-off by riding without penalty over the 15-effort first-round course designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Three then went clean again over the seven-jump tiebreaker course with the fastest time of 34.959 seconds being turned in by Nieman on her 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood.
Hannah Holik placed second with a clean jump-off ride in 35.105 seconds on Cupido De Laubry and Hannah Von Heidegger was third with a clean jump-off ride in 36.151 seconds on E-Unanime De La Haie.
"My horse saved me," Neiman said after her win. "Sometimes we get a little excited and overzealous.? We just went as fast as we could and fortunately he left all the jumps up!? This is our first time at Las Vegas and it's a great horse show.? It was so exciting to be here.? I've never won a big class like this before; this is the first time I ever got to lead a victory gallop. It was really cool and a lot of fun!"
Among the prizes Nieman received for her win were an engraved Wellfleet Halter and a gift certificate donated by SmartPak and an engraved polished pewter trophy. She also received a book honoring the men, women and horses who have received our sport's highest honor, enshrinement in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series West Conference Winners
The week before the Championship Final at Las Vegas, Eduardo Sanchez Navarro of Mexico emerged as the winner of the Amateur-Owner division of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series' West Conference riding Virgo. The pair was able to secure their top spot with impressive finishes throughout the 2013 season.? Navarro was named the Hall of Fame's Rider of the Month for August after first place finishes at the Showpark August Festival, Showpark Racing Festival and Blenheim Summer Classic II.
Hannah Holik of Jackson Hole, WY topped the West Conference Standings in the junior division. With her partner Cupido De Laubry, Holik impressed throughout the 2013 season winning classes at the Colorado Horse Park Spring Warm Up I and the Summer in the Rockies II. As mentioned above, she narrowly missed winning the Series' West Coast Championship Final at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, with a second-place finish less than two-tenths of a second behind the winning time.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1987 and formally opened in 1989.? It was organized to promote the sport of show jumping and to immortalize the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame is located at the Kentucky Horse Park.? Plaques honoring those who have been honored with induction into the Hall of Fame can be seen at the Horse Park's Rolex Stadium.? Mementos and artifacts from the sport's history are on display as part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame collection at the United States Hunter Jumper Association's Wheeler Museum at the Horse Park.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series holds classes under Grand Prix rules and specifications for amateur-owner and junior riders at approximately one hundred horse shows across the country.? The Series keeps separate standings for juniors and amateur-owners in two conferences, East and West.? The Series is designed to give amateur-owner and junior riders an opportunity to compete at higher levels and serves as a proving ground for many riders who aspire to someday represent the United States in international competition.
Regular season standings conclude following classes at the Washington International Horse Show in the East and Los Angeles National Horse Show in the West.? Series standings help determine entries for the year-end Championship Finals (which do not count in the season standings) at the Alltech National Horse Show and Las Vegas National Horse Show.? Riders from both conferences - East and West - are eligible for either or both Finals.