Inside Capital Challenge: Derby Champion Hunt Tosh, CCHS Team Member Sue Harada, 2021 Artwork
September 9, 2021 - Upper Marlboro, MD
Photo by Jennifer Wood Media
Photo by Jennifer Wood Media
Photo by Jennifer Wood Media
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Glass
A Q&A with Derby Champion Hunt Tosh
Hunt Tosh swept two major awards this summer, claiming victory in the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with Cannon Creek, owned by the Wheeler Family, and in the 3'/3'3" Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship with Twain, owned by Ceil Wheeler. Hunt is a regular competitor at Capital Challenge Horse Show. He won the WCHR Professional Finals in 2009 and captured the $25,000 Green Hunter North American Championship three times: in 2014 with Gotham, in 2015 on Largesse, and again in 2017 with Lights Out.
When was the first time you attended Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS)?
Hunt: It’s hard to remember! But I think the first year would have been 2000 or 2001.
What is your fondest memory of CCHS?
Hunt: Capital Challenge is awesome. I would have to say winning the WCHR Pro Finals; my daughter Maddie’s first blue ribbon in Small Pony Hunters – I remember her winning the handy class; and when my wife, Mandy, won the WCHR Adult Hunter Challenge with Whoville. Those are the top three memories for me.
What is your favorite thing about CCHS?
Hunt: The fact that they feature the young horses; the future hunters. You see so many of the best young horses in one spot and can watch the up-and-coming horses for the next couple of years. It’s always fun to see young horses coming along.
What do you think makes CCHS special or unique?
Hunt: They do so much for the riders. There are so many extra classes and championships, like the Pro Challenge and Pro Finals. I think it’s a great horse show with so many different feature classes offered for us. The future hunters of course are great. It feels like the beginning of the fall indoor season, but the show invites young horses and gives them a place to show off and learn without having to qualify and have big pressure.
What are your plans and goals for the 2021 edition of CCHS?
Hunt: We have a great group of young horses coming along. Since Capital Challenge wasn’t held in Upper Marlboro, MD, last year and with other changes, we opted out of indoors. It’s been a two-year hiatus, so it will be fun to get back and have a real fall series and have CCHS as the first one to see where our horses are and how they are coming along. We have a group of all new horses, so it will be great to see how they’re going. Both Twain and Cannon Creek will be there. This is Cannon Creek’s first year doing the hunters. He showed as a jumper in Europe, but the “Derby Finals” was his sixth horse show in this country. We haven’t shown him inside, so this will be a new experience for him as well.
Meet CCHS Team Member Sue Harada
What is your history with the Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS)?
Sue: I was visiting Jen and Billy Glass in Bokeelia, FL, back in 2003, and we were talking about Capital Challenge. It came up that they could really use someone with a financial background to do their books. I piped up, "I could probably do that." Meanwhile, I was newly married and had a career as a financial advisor. I knew nothing about horses or horse shows, but I had a job doing bookkeeping for various small businesses throughout college. In 2004, I started working with Capital Challenge. My career as a financial advisor was flexible enough that I could do both.
What is your professional background?
Sue: I started as a financial advisor in 2000. I continued with that career until 2017 when I took the plunge and started my company, Equine Financial. Upon entering the horse show world in 2004, I quickly saw that there was a real need in the industry for people with a financial background. I now work with all sorts of equine-related businesses, helping them manage their books and improve their bottom line. I think it helps to not be involved with the horses! I am passionate about helping people make money, improve their businesses, and save. In this industry especially, people work very hard for their money, and their money should work hard for them in return. I love putting the tools and organization in place so that my clients’ businesses become more profitable.
Where did you grow up and where do you currently reside?
Sue: I was born in Delaware but grew up in Rochester, NY, and moved to Maryland after college. Maryland is where my family is from, and it was always my plan to move there. I now live in Annapolis, MD, with my husband who is a financial advisor and two very active boys. I have a 16-year-old swimmer and a 12-year-old hockey player. We are lucky to both have jobs with flexible schedules that allow us to spend lots of time with our kids!
What is your background with horses?
Sue: I have no horse background whatsoever. That said, I have become quite a fan of the sport!
Why is Capital Challenge special to you?
Sue: Capital Challenge has opened my eyes to a whole world that I never knew existed. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come from being introduced to this industry. I have met so many interesting people over the years and am grateful for the many friendships I have made along the way.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Capital Challenge?
Sue: I am excited for us to be "back home" in Upper Marlboro in 2021 and to put on our greatest show yet. I am thinking this is the year we should bring back the light show!
What’s a fun fact about you?
Sue: Jen Glass and I are first cousins; our moms are sisters. She and I are the closest thing we each have to a sister, and I am grateful to be able to share experiences in this crazy business with her.
A Note About Safe Sport to All Capital Challenge Participants
The management of Capital Challenge Horse Show thanks you for participating in our event and for your support of USEF’s continuous efforts to provide the safest environment possible for our athletes and other participants. Strategies for safeguarding athletes continue to evolve, and we, along with USEF, are fully committed to keeping pace with best practices.
We would like to remind all participants that they are bound by the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code, USEF Safe Sport Policy, and Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies, also known as the MAAPP. This includes the SafeSport Training requirement for adult members and participants who have regular contact with minor athletes. Additionally, please be reminded about reporting obligations. For any concerns that are non-sexual in nature, please use the USEF Safe Sport Incident Reporting Form available on the USEF website. Concerns or suspicions regarding sexual misconduct must be reported to https://safesport.i-sight.com/portal and the authorities if a minor is involved. All of this information can be found in the USEF Safe Sport Policy.
Please take a moment to review the new USEF Safe Sport web pages on the USEF website to find comprehensive resources regarding USEF Safe Sport efforts. You can also contact Sarah Gilbert, USEF Safe Sport Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or concerns relating to the USEF Safe Sport program.
Thank you for your support and for helping Capital Challenge and USEF bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible!