Far Hills, N.J.—June 4—Hannah Sue Hollberg of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was on a winning streak at the Essex Horse Trials on Sunday, claiming victory in both the $10,000 Open Intermediate and Open Preliminary divisions with two horses that are fairly new to her. Some difficulty on cross-country did not stop her mount Hachi from claiming victory in the Open Intermediate with a score of 101.6, while Open Preliminary partner Rockster finished on his dressage score of 27.3.
The Essex Horse Trials has become a tradition for families looking to spend an exciting and fun-filled weekend in their own backyard. Featuring some of the nation’s top riders with their Intermediate and Preliminary horses competing in the thrilling sport of eventing, the two-day comeptition took place June 3-4 with dressage and show jumping at the iconic Hamilton Farm, home of the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey, and exhilarating cross-country at the historic Moorland Farm in Far Hills.
“The weather couldn’t have been better this weekend,” Hollberg said. “It’s unfortunate we’ve had so little rain lately, but they did a great job with the footing and put on such a great show. It’s so much fun coming here because of all the tailgaters. With everybody cheering for you, it feels like such a big-time event, and I wish more people would come to enjoy such a beautiful show.”
In the Open Preliminary division, Hollberg’s focus on flatwork with Tricia Arnold’s 9-year-old Morgan gelding paid off as she and Rockster claimed an early lead and held it throughout the weekend.
“The jumping’s always been there with Rockster, but when I first got him in January, he was a little off the bridle,” Hollberg said. “I’m so thrilled that he came in and won the dressage this time, and with the best score he’s ever earned. Then he jumped clear in the show jumping, and I knew he’d be amazing on cross-country. Once you get him in and out of the box, he’s on autopilot. He deserved this win completely.
“Tricia’s had him since he was 4, and I’m so grateful she reached out to me when it came time to sell him,” she continued. “I hope to find him a perfect little rider because he’s so ready for someone else to just have a blast riding around.”
In the $10,000 Open Intermediate division, Hollberg and Hachi sat in second place overnight following Saturday’s dressage and show jumping tests. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Christa Schmidt and Jacqueline Mars, did not have the best cross-country run with 40 jumping penalties, but Hollberg used this as a positive learning experience with the goal of moving him up to Advanced.
“I just got him in late December from Phillip Dutton, who took him up to the three-star level in about two years,” Hollberg said. “He was a show jumper before that, competing at events like Spruce Meadows [Canada]. He’s such a character and a really cool horse, but we’re still getting to know each other. I did one CCI3*-S at TerraNova [Myakka City, Florida] this spring, and I’m still sorting out his bit and working on our turns.
“I thought it was a great course today, but he jumps so big that we didn’t quite lock onto a few of the questions,” she added. “This was a pretty hard track, but now I know where we’re at as a team. That’s really why I wanted to come here with him. It’s always such a good event, and I learned what we still need to work on.”
Other division champions included Caroline Pamukcu of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, and her Billy Be Jolly in Open Training (24.3); Sierra Lesny of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and Edith Rameika’s Sebastian in Training Rider (28.1); Lee Maher of Springtown, Pennsylvania, and Redfield Farm’s Redfield Lennon in Open Novice (18.6); Peyton Brienza of Califon, New Jersey, and their The Brave Little Toaster in Novice Rider (27.2); Kylie Stangle and Janina Parmelee’s Redfield Mikke in Open Beginner Novice (25.5); and Savannah Gibbins of Califon, New Jersey, and her Kenzo De La Roque in Beginner Novice Rider (28.8).
In addition to Sunday’s cross-country, families also enjoyed the popular Peter Chesson Memorial Classic Car Show with nearly a century of eye-popping automobiles on display. Scott Sampson of Hampton, New Jersey, won the Peter Chesson Memorial Award for his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.
“It’s the kind of car my father would’ve liked,” said Tim Chesson, Peter Chesson’s son. “It’s fast, looks good, makes a lot of noise and has a big engine. Congratulations to Scott, and thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s show.”
For full results, click here.
Registration for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! Join the USEA in St. Louis, Missouri, this Dec. 7-10 for a weekend of mingling with fellow enthusiastic eventers to partake in discussions about the future of the sport. This year’s event will include a keynote address by Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist and author, a celebration of champions at the Annual Awards Dinner, and more! The city of St. Louis also has so many opportunities to sight-see and explore.
The second and final day of competition at the 2023 USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships was all about precision as the 6-year-old CCI2*-S Championship competitors tackled both jumping phases and the 7-year-old CCI3*-S Championship pairs conquered Mogie Bearden-Muller’s cross-country track at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina.
Equine Network is thrilled to have the support of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) for the third annual Horse Week event brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim.
It was a busy day at Stable View Oktoberfest in Aiken, South Carolina as all FEI divisions and a few national divisions kicked off their competition weekend, including the 2023 USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships. Both the 6-year-olds and 7-year-olds got their chance to shine down the centerline at the start of the day, with the 7-year-olds also giving their best effort across Michael Vallaincourt’s show jumping track later this afternoon.