Maverick Helmer Wins Inaugural USHJA 3’3″ Jumping Seat Medal Finals – East

Upper Marlboro, MD – The Capital Challenge Horse Show hosted two major equitation championships, as well as five age group equitation divisions, on Saturday, September 30, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.

Clinching equitation final victories on the second day of the Bigeq.com Equitation Weekend were Maverick Helmer of Roanoke, VA, the inaugural winner of the United States Hunter Jumper (USHJA) 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Finals, and Ashley Foster of Brookeville, MD, winner of the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships.

Maverick Helmer of Roanoke, VA, won the USHJA 3’3″ Jumping Seat Medal Finals – East.

Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Helmer secured his USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Finals-East victory after three phases of competition and a challenging work-off. 

Judges Linda Andrisani and Chance Arakelian presided over the class, which attracted 39 entries over two days of competition. Following the Flat, Gymnastics, and Jumping phases, Helmer and Rachael Davis were fewer than five points apart. Therefore, they were required to work off over a second, shortened course with a tight time allowed, designed by Kenny Krome.

Davis went first and accrued five time faults, scoring a 79, and providing Helmer with the opportunity to consider his strategy. In the end, Helmer’s tighter turns and quick pace scored an 80 and clinched the title without time faults.

“The work-off was really fun. It tested your ability to ride at a quick pace but still required you to think and execute really well. I thought my work-off was decent. I wasn’t overly pleased, but I went for it and tried to make it work as best I could.” – Maverick Helmer

Helmer, 16, credited his horse Canterbury and trainer Stacia Madden and the team at Beacon Hill for helping him to achieve success this year. He finished with a score of 477 points, with Davis as reserve champion with 474.5.

WINNING ROUND

Ashley Foster Rides to North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championship Title

The win in the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships went to Ashley Foster of Brookeville, MD, riding Carlsberg.

The 21-year-old rider was awarded scores of 86.33 in both rounds of jumping to finish on a cumulative score of 172.66. At the conclusion of the two rounds, Caroline Ingalls of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, sat just behind Foster in the standings with a cumulative 173.33 score, after earning scores of 86 and 87.33.

With less than a point separating the top two riders, the judging panel – comprised of Linda Andrisani, Chance Arakelian, Brian Lenehan, Bobbie Reber, Danny Robertshaw, and Steve Wall – asked Foster and Ingalls to return for additional testing, before ultimately awarding Foster with the win. 

“It was extremely nerve-wracking! I feel like such an old lady, because I cannot tell you how nervous I was before going in there.” – Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster, pictured with her parents Kevin (left) and Patty Foster (right) and groom Alfonso Perez, claimed the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships on Saturday.

Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

WINNING ROUND

12 & Under Equitation

Champion: Mimi Gochman of Palm Beach, FL, riding Pappy Van Winkle

Reserve Champion: Avery Glenn of Penngrove, CA, riding Ullrich

Division sponsored by Caraneen Smith and Bigeq.com

16-Year-Old Equitation

Champion: Emma Kurtz of Hudson, OH, riding Carl Reserve Champion: Nina Columbia of Kinnelon, NJ, riding Checkland

Division sponsored by Lise Revers and Beechwood Stables

Capital Challenge Equitation Champions

13 & 14-Year-Old Equitation

Champion: Ellie Ferrigno of Newtown, CT, riding RF Remarkable

Reserve Champion: Natalie Jayne of Elgin, IL, riding Cinzano

Division sponsored by Robyn & Demi Stiegler, Citrus Hill Farm, and Bigeq.com

Groom awards sponsored by Erin Duffy

15-Year-Old Equitation

Champion: Paige Matthies of Lake Leelanau, MI, riding Blurred Lines

Reserve Champion: Madeline Schaefer of Westminster, MD, riding Correndo

Division sponsored by Caraneen Smith and Bigeq.com

17-Year-Old Equitation

Champion: Haley Redifer of Barboursville, VA, riding Ballon

Reserve Champion: Cooper Dean of Fayette, AL, riding Kori D’Oro

Division sponsored by Caraneen Smith and Bigeq.com