Shiloh Roseboom, 12, of Corona, CA, has competed at the Capital Challenge Horse Show for the last four years, but Saturday, October 5, marked a major highlight of the young rider’s visits to the 10-day show held annually at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Aboard Heavenly Patch of Blue, Roseboom claimed the Small Pony Hunter championship before ultimately being awarded the Grand Pony Hunter championship title and the Best Pony Rider Award, sponsored by Archie Cox and Brookway Stables.
“It’s special because I've never really won anything big quite like this,” said Roseboom, who rides with Christa Endicott. “Last year, the best I got was fifth, so this year something really actually happened!”
Roseboom has had Heavenly Patch of Blue for five years, and her long-time relationship with the 13-year-old Welsh Pony, owned by Enchantment Farms LLC, has made “Annie” a partner that Roseboom really trusts in the show ring – including when it comes to executing difficult maneuvers.
“I was the only one to do an inside turn in the handy. I went inside of the trot jump after the first jump,” explained Roseboom, who topped a field of 42 entries to win the handy class with a score of 89.50. “It was really tight, and they moved it in more for the mediums and larges. I also did it on my medium, but that wasn't very successful! The first time it was good; the second time not as much!
“We tried [the turn] in the warm-up ring too, with just a little flower box,” said Roseboom. “My pony was like, ‘Whoa! What's that?’ I almost flew off the side. Then we did it a few times, and she was like, ‘Okay, I know what we're doing,’ and it ended up really well!”
In addition to winning the handy class, Roseboom and Heavenly Patch of Blue earned a second over fences and fourth in the under saddle before winning the Small Pony Hunter division championship, sponsored by Bitloft Game Studio, and the Grand Champion Pony Hunter title, sponsored by Enchantment Farms. For the Small Pony Hunter Champion honor, Roseboom was also awarded the Harper Taskier Wright Memorial Trophy, given in memory of Harper by her loving parents, Michael and Alexandra Borissoff Wright; friends; and family.
“I thought this year was just really good,” said Roseboom. “It’s my final year at indoors on [Heavenly Patch of Blue], but I'm going to ride her at [the Devon Horse Show next spring]. Then she's going to go to my little sister, Devon.”
While Roseboom claimed the Small Pony Hunter championship, the reserve championship came down to a hack-off between Payton Flanders on Marantha Flash and Eva Mackenzie aboard Farmore State of the Art, with Mackenzie, of Darien, CT, ultimately clinching the tricolor.
In the Medium Pony Hunters, the competition for the division championship also concluded with a hack-off, this time between Alexa Karet aboard Astro Boy and Clara Propp riding Island Grace. Propp, of New York, NY, and Island Grace ultimately finished as the reserve champions while Karet, of Pittsburgh, PA, and Astro Boy, owned by GC Ponies, LLC, claimed the championship.
“My trainer Tom [Wright] always tells me that I used to be a cling-on,” said Karet, who first tried Astro Boy at Capital Challenge three years ago and has been riding him ever since. “Astro would go around, and he would take care of me. Now he’s really taught me how to find distances. According to my mom, I now have presence in the ring. I actually kind of know what I’m doing now.
“My first round yesterday, we got an 88,” continued Karet. “There was no pressure, and I went in relaxed. I was really able to focus, and I was able to remember everything that happened. I used to be super nervous. Now when I go in, I can relax a little bit and really have perspective. If I don’t do well, I still love the ponies, and I’m still going to keep riding.”
Following another tie and hack-off, marking the rare third tie-breaker of the day, the Large Pony Hunter championship, sponsored by World Equestrian Center, and the Tampa H.S. Trophy, donated by Dr. Suzanne Smith, went to Savonna Adell and Spellbound, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables, LLC. The division reserve championship went to Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL, riding Prestige.
Additional pony hunter awards presented on Saturday included the Pony Hunter EMO Trip of the Show, given to Payton Flanders and Maranatha Flash for a high score of 92.50, and the Stewart-Warner Cup, given in memory of Laurie Gilbert Stewart & Mary Warner Brown by Donald E. Stewart, Jr. and Louise Serio, and awarded to Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL.
The Children’s Hunter Pony champion and two Junior Hunter champions were also named on Saturday afternoon, with the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division title, sponsored by Treesdale Farms, going to Emily Williams of Newhall, CA, and her own Beach Boy.
With two wins over fences and a second place under saddle, Williams and Beach Boy also clinched the High Point Junior 16-17 Hunter award, sponsored by Somerset Farm.
The reserve championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters went to Maggie Hill of Jackson, WY, and her own O’Ryan.
In the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, Hill claimed the championship aboard her own Cassanto after winning both of the division’s over fences classes. The reserve championship in the division, sponsored by Beacon Hill Show Stables, went to Ella Reinauer of St. Louis, MO, riding her own Unanimous.
The Children’s Hunter Pony Championship, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Gary Duffy and Little Brook Farms, Inc., went to Natalie Shin of Larchmont, NY, and Effervescent, owned by Ava Pearlman. Winning the division’s reserve championship was Peyten Seltzer of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, aboard Ontario, owned by Olivia Hershey.
Ellie Beard Takes a Shot to Win $10,000 North American Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic
Junior and Amateur-Owners Jumpers took their turn in the spotlight in the evening hours of Saturday for their classics. Winning the $10,000 North American 1.20m – 1.25m Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic was Ellie Beard of Franklin, MI, riding her own Ad F16.
Beard and Ad F16 prevailed in an 11-horse jump-off from the original field of 31 that navigated the Joe Carnicom-designed course. “It was a little nerve-wracking because it was my first night class, but my horse was great,” Beard said. “There were a lot of fast riders in the jump-off, so I knew I had to take a shot and be quick. Everything just kind of fell into place. This class was a good start to the indoor season.”
Beard, 16, has ridden Ad F16, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood, for a year and a half. “He wants to win just as badly as I do,” she said. “He’s really quick on the ground and very careful, so I can turn a little over the jumps.”
While Beard lives in Michigan, she rides with Ken and Emily Smith at their Ashland Farms in Wellington, FL. She spends as much time as she can with them during the summer, and flies to Florida on the weekends to show at the Winter Equestrian Festival during the winter. “It’s a lot, but it’s worth it,” she said.
Beard, who also placed second in the $2,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Welcome on Thursday, accepted the Best Low Junior Jumper Award, sponsored by Whish, LLC.
She got to celebrate her win with her friend, Lily Walton, 20, who also rides with the Smiths at Ashland Farms and was awarded the Best Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Award, sponsored by South Haven Farm. Walton is from Shelbyville, KY, and attends the University of Miami.
Walton has owned Etou, an eight-year-old warmblood gelding, for just a few months. “I sat on him the first time and knew he was the one for me,” she said. “There’s nothing that scares him. We both give each other a lot of confidence.”
Beard topped the class over Graciela Robert on Casanova B and and Lauren McCaulley on Tenacious D.
Graciela Robert Accelerates to Win $10,000 North American Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
While she had to settle for second with Casanova B in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, Graciela Robert wasn’t going to be beaten in the $10,000 North American 1.30-1.35m Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic. Out of a field of 11, the jump-off field was down to just three riders. Robert went in the middle of the jump-off with Fineman and took no chances.
“I know the horse that went behind me was a fast, quick horse, and my horse takes a little more time in the air, so I focused on being faster when I landed and going to the next fence and on my turns,” she said. Her strategy worked, as she and Fineman stopped the timers with a clean round in 35.98 seconds, almost two seconds faster than Emma Callanan on Futuro Certo CSG, who clocked in at 37.82. Robert returned for the victory gallop for the blue and the Remy Martin Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres and Melanie Wright, for Seaman.
The win was a bit bittersweet for Robert as her time with Fineman, a 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, is coming to a close. Trainer Amanda Lyerly put the pair together at the beginning of the year, and Robert credits him with restoring her confidence. “In the beginning, he was such a teacher for me,” she said. “He knew when to save me, and when not to! He’s an, ‘I know my job, now I need to teach you,’ kind of horse. That’s what I needed at the time, because I had a little bit of a confidence issue with my low junior horse. Fineman has helped me ride Casanova B better, too.”
Robert, 18, just started her freshman year at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where she plans to double-major in equine studies and graphic design. She also was just selected to ride on the SCAD Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. This was just her second time competing at Capital Challenge. “I like starting the indoor season here,” she said. “It’s more friendly than some of the other indoors, and I like how you start a day outside. It was nice to do what I normally do and then bring it into the indoor, which can sometimes get hard but went well here.”
Third place went to Emma Seving on Brighton Bay with a clean jump-off round in 38.52 seconds.
With her win in the classic, Robert also won the Best Medium Junior Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Whish, LLC, and the Congressional Cup as the overall winner of the North American Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Challenge. Jaime Auletto claimed the Best Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Sweet Oak Farm, after her round on Brazzaville.
To learn more about the Capital Challenge Horse Show, visit www.capitalchallenge.org.