October 27th, 2022 – Lexington, KY – Competition at the 2022 National Horse Show returned Thursday, bringing back the top adult equitation riders for the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) NHS Adult Equitation Championship. The THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship is one of the most coveted titles for adult amateur riders. The class was split into two separate sections, welcoming ages between 18 and 24 and ages over 25 to ride for championship honors in their respective division. Eva Bernstein claimed the tri-color in the 18-24 section while Julie Hogan topped the 25 and over section.
“This is a great class. It enables people to compete at this very high level, some who have never been at this level before,” commented president of Taylor Harris Insurance Services, Michael Taylor. “We are very happy to be able to grant that opportunity to them.”
Bobby Murphy (USA) set an inviting, yet technical first round track. Including two combinations and sweeping bending lines, the riders were asked to demonstrate their horse’s rideability while keeping a consistent, proper position to the base of each jump. At the conclusion of the first round over fences, each rider was invited back for a flat phase, where the judges then chose 25 riders to come back for a second over fences round. Murphy added unrelated bending lines and jumps off of short turns, encouraging riders to flaunt their adjustability.
Concluding the second over fences round of the 18-24 section, four riders were invited back into the Alltech to work-off for the championship title. After demonstrating two simple changes of lead into a counter canter, a balanced halt before cantering up to an oxer, and a sitting trot to the lineup, Eva Bernstein came out on top, besting the field of 48 seasoned adult amateurs. Aboard the 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Donald Stewart, Bernstein answered all of the questions asked of her through each phase. Claiming the second place honors was Anna Koenig aboard her own 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Constantin.
“This is my first time doing this final and it is also Gladwell’s first time. He’s only six, so I really wanted to go in and make it a positive experience,” commented Bernstein. “It is such an honor to be showing here. It is so much fun and the environment is great.”
In the 25 and over division, Julie Hogan and Ferndale, a 9-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Avery Jansen, was named champion. Hogan handled the courses with ease, keeping Ferndale at an even and consistent pace as the pair made quick but calculated work of the bending lines thanks to Hogan’s soft hand and Ferndale’s lofty stride. Reserve Champion was awarded to Jeanine Cash and Boccaccio, her 14-year-old Rhinelander gelding.
“This was an extra special experience for me – there were a lot of people and a lot of forces that went into making this experience possible,” said Hogan. “I have to give a very special thank you to Avery Jansen and Margo Jansen for sharing their fantastic Ferndale with me for this horse show, as well as for some other shows throughout the year. Overall, it really was one of the best experiences of my riding career. I’m so so grateful for everybody and all of the horses that were involved in getting me here today.”
Competition will resume Friday, October 28th in the Alltech Arena with the Junior Equitation classes, beginning at 7:30 AM (EST).
THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship 18-24
(Rider / Horse / Owner)
1. Eva Bernstein / Gladwell / Donald Stewart
2. Anna Koenig / Constantin / Anna Koenig LLC
3. Catherine Kramer / Audi 2000 Z / North Run
4. Owen Gajoch / Westeros / Samantha Gajoch
5. Sierra Roberti / Impossible Dream VM / Sierra Roberti
6. Bennett Kitchens / Clearview / Hannah Dodd
THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship 25 & Over
(Rider / Horse / Owner)
1. Julie Hogan / Ferndale / Avery Jansen
2. Jeanine Cash / Boccaccio / Colin Cash
3. Margrethe Munkdale / Look At Me / Round Meadow Farm LLC
4. Wynatte Chu / Contador / Wynatte Chu
5. Julia Gildea / Tristram 7 / Julia Gildea
6. Charlotte Keesler / River Street / HAV LLC