The Midwest Indoors II show on November 15-19, 2023, showcased the highly anticipated WEC – Wilmington Medal Final on Friday evening, November 17, at the R+L Annex Arena at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington in Wilmington, Ohio. A total of 27 athletes competed over a jumping phase with tracks built by Joe Carnicom (USA) and a flat phase. Riders were asked to showcase their skills and technique in both the WEC Medal Final 2’-2’6” and the WEC Medal Final 3’-3’6″.
In the 3’-3’6” section, it was Elizabeth Rinehart that finessed each phase to impress the judges for the win. The junior rider of Rinehart Farms in Westfield, Indiana, who is finishing out a successful finals season, spoke about how competing in WEC Medal classes contributed to her success.
“This class has been really helpful throughout the year,” she said. “It is really nice to have an extra equitation class for practice at the shows. Coming here and showing in the indoor really helped when we went to USEF Medal Finals and ASPCA Maclay Finals this year!”
Rinehart also commented on her new mount, “His name is Lincoln. This is my second time showing him; the last time was a little over a year ago. My horse has been out with an injury, and he needs a couple of months off. We needed a horse to do this, so they let me ride Lincoln and he was perfect.”
Though the ride was new for Rinehart, she wanted to take all the risks. “One of his strong suits is turning, so my plan was to stay as tidy as I could everywhere and make the jumps all look smooth,” she noted.
In the 2’-2’6” section, 12-year-old rider Corrigan Janiak perfected the track, and maintained her leading position with a strong flat test to take the top spot riding Sugar Rush, owned by Leslie Janiak.
“Sparty [Sugar Rush] is such a good boy in the ring. He has a little bit of attitude on the ground, but he always makes up for it in the ring! He always takes care of me,” remarked Janiak.
The young rider of Oxford Farm in Toledo, Ohio, was pleased with the opportunity to get more equitation classes under her belt and looks forward to 2024.
“I do the pony medal classes on Sparty. I think the WEC Medal was definitely helpful because I was able to get more experience throughout the year. Having an extra chance to get in the ring with Sparty is so good for both of us. I am going to try and qualify for this class again next year and hopefully qualify for USEF Pony Finals in 2024!”
Janiak was enthusiastic about the WEC Medal track, “The course was so fun today! I loved all of the lines and the rollbacks. The two end jumps were my favorite parts of the course.”
Both Rinehart and Janiak took home a GoTrax Scooter for their win, while their trainers received a wood tack trunk from Dandy Products.
WEC Medal Final 3-3’6” Results:
1 Lincoln, Elizabeth Rinehart, Andrea Stout
2 Lucky-One, Ellie Welte, Madison Hills Farm
3 Castlebridge Cassius, Lily Kosal, Lily Kosal
4 Flynnigan, Emily Kowalchik, Emily Kowalchik
5 Diatano Ps, Carolyn Meng, ThinksLikeAHorse
6 TBF Independence, Kasey Wares, Kasey Wares
7 Guest List, Ava Roof, Ava Roof
8 No Worries, Elaina Davis, Sarah Oelerich
WEC Medal Final 2’-2’6” Results:
1 Sugar Rush, Corrigan Janiak, Leslie Janiak
2 Surf’s Up, Brooke Barket, Brooke Barket
3 Czech Mate, Marcella Dhority, Marcella Dhority
4 Cinda, Vivien Kosal, Vivien Kosal
5 Just My Style, Maxwell Brown, Jordan Ayres
6 Princess Fancy Feet, Ava Heath, Chloe Bender
7 Cabernet, Briana Ancalmo, Sarah Oelerich
8 Taylored To Fit, April Whitlock, April Whitlock
Sarah Sturges and No Doubt Earn Top Honors in the $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby
Earlier Friday evening, Michael Pegg designed the tracks that drew a crowd to the R+L Arena to ultimately watch Sarah Sturges (USA) and No Doubt (Nerrado x Abba II) earn two of the highest scores of the day to take top honors in the $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby.
Sturges, of Cincinnati, Ohio, caught the ride on Abby Wagner’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding and impressed the judges to earn scores of 90 and 93.
“I watched Trevor [Hawthorne] go, and he laid it down. His horse is super scopey, and he did a beautiful job,” said Sturges. “My horse is such a classic hunter that I really tried to stick with my plan. I wanted to stay handy but smooth and let his jumping style speak for itself. I thought everything rode really nicely. If I could change anything I would have landed right after the trot jump, but he made such a beautiful effort everywhere else that it worked itself out.”
Summer Hill Dominates the $30,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Grand Prix
The stands of the Standlee Sanctuary were packed on Saturday, November 18, as exhibitors gather to watch 22 jumper athletes tackle Robert Barton’s (USA) track that saw seven combinations successfully move on to a nail-biting jump-off round. Summer Hill (USA) ultimately dominated the $30,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Grand Prix, earning first place with her own Lausbub 458 (Lord Pizzaro x La Lolita) in 38.295 seconds, and third place with her La Belle SCF (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Belle Bleu S) in 38.479 seconds.
A regular grand prix outing for Hill turned out to be a night to remember for her and her team at Fairbanks Riding. Kevin Gallagher (IRL) rode to second place with Procyon SCF, the first and only baby out of Hill’s top mare La Belle SCF.
Gallagher was tidy around the track with the eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Procyon SCF, to finish on a time of 38.393 seconds, just shy of Hill’s winning time, but just enough to surpass his dam for second place.
Not only were there familial ties for Hill, but she also claimed the win aboard her most special eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding in just his second ever grand prix.
“I got Bubs when he was six. I don’t think anyone saw in him what I saw, that’s for sure, because they all questioned me,” she said. “He has really just turned out to be so special to me. I think every once in a while you come across a horse and everything about them is your favorite. Through and through he is the one horse that, from start to finish, makes me smile every day that I sit on him.”
For full coverage of the Midwest Indoors II Show, visit https://worldequestriancenter.com/news/.
Competition at WEC – Wilmington returns with the Winter Classic I Show on November 29-December 3, 2023.