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Summer in the Rockies III Junior Hunter Championship Up for Grabs After Friday’s Hotly Contested Cla Print E-mail
Parker, CO – June 21, 2013 – The first day of Junior Hunter competition at Summer in the Rockies III set up perfectly for an exciting showdown on Saturday, as three different competitors each won a class to put themselves within reach of the championship. Marnina Seller on Levitation won over fences, Emily Ryan on Parrot Bay scored in the handy, and Amanda Hauser on Calido’s Son took first place under saddle after finishing second to Seller and Ryan in the earlier classes.


Isabel Johnson and Seraldo

Isabel Johnson and Seraldo

Marnina Seller and Levitation

Amanda Hauser and Calido's Son

Calido's Son

Emily Ryan and Parrot Bay

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Seller and Levitation led off the division with a blue ribbon over fences. “He felt really good,” Seller said. “I did a warm-up before, which made him not spooky at the other jumps. He was really good at the first jump. The second jump he backed off a little bit. The five-stride was good, the seven was really good and I felt the two was one of my best twos I’ve ever done on him. And he ended up first!"

Seller said Levitation’s background as an equitation horse – the pair also competed in the ASPCA Maclay qualifier – helps with his rideability. “He stays consistent and makes riding to jumps easy,” she explained. “He’s not bouncy, so you can tell the distance really well.”

Seller, who trains with Laurie Jueneman, said she enjoys coming to the Colorado Horse Park for a change of scene and a chance to socialize. “I like being able to see my friends from down here and to have kind of a second life, since I live in Vail,” she said. She competes primarily around Colorado at the Horse Park, Colorado Springs, and Estes Park.

Going into Saturday’s final Junior Hunter classes, she hopes to build off Friday’s good performance. “I want to stay consistent,” she said. She plans to school over higher fences before the class to encourage Levitation to levitate just a bit more and pick up his feet. In the longer term, Seller has her sights set on Maclay Finals. She just moved up to 3’6” this year and wants to do her best with the new challenge.

Emily Ryan and Parrot Bay took third place behind Seller and Hauser in the first class and then improved in the handy to notch the win. “I thought the courses were good, especially in the handy,” Ryan said. “The handy was stronger than the first round, that’s for sure. My horse kind of covered up my mistake in the first round. He was good." 

Parrot Bay changed disciplines after Ryan bought him and is thriving in his new home in the hunter ring. “I bought him as a jumper/equitation horse, but he’s just so slow and pretty that we put him in the hunter ring, and he loves it,” Ryan said. “So he’s super, super handy, he’s really easy to turn, and he has a really nice pace to him.”

He made a smooth transition to the hunters and seems to enjoy the more relaxed pace. “I need to kick that horse to go forward!” Ryan laughed. “He’s very lazy. So now he’s a nice little hunter horse who does some equitation classes.”

“He has a really good presence to him,” she added. “He’s always happy – I’ve never seen his ears back. He’s extremely happy. He’s really soft and he’s really fluid. He can cover mistakes really well.” 

Ryan is aiming for Sunday’s $15,000 USHJA International Derby. While nervous to be stepping up to that level for the first time, Ryan is confident in her horse. “I’m excited because it’s my first big derby and also his,” she said. “He’s obviously jumped bigger, but I haven’t. I’m a little nervous about the 4’ options, but I know he’ll be fine. He’s a good boy.”

Sitting just behind Seller and Ryan in the first two classes was Amanda Hauser, whose consistent rounds over fences and subsequent win in the under saddle class suggest she will be a top contender on Saturday. She noted a couple of areas from each round that she hopes to improve upon with Calido’s Son.

“At the beginning of the first round, I didn’t get his canter quite up, but after that he helped me out and moved up with me for the rest of the round better at the canter,” she said. “And then he used to do jumpers a while back, so when I did a couple of those shorter turns in the second round, he went into jumper mode a bit.”

“But he’s usually pretty good about coming back to you - he’s kind of lazy,” she added. “So one second he’s like, ‘Oh, yay, turns!’ and the next second he’s like, ‘I’m good.’”

Hauser, who trains with Heidi Hildebrand, also competes in the Modified Junior Jumpers. She and Hildebrand shared the ride on Calido’s Son to claim a recent championship in the Performance Working Hunter 3’3” division at Summer in the Rockies II. Hauser is now on the hunt for her own championship when the Junior Hunters continue Saturday.

In the ASPCA Maclay qualifier, Isabel Johnson’s practice paid off to land her the win on All Seasons Farm’s Seraldo. “The course was a lot of bending and turning and he’s a really stiff horse,” she said. “We actually spent a lot of time practicing our shape. I was glad it all came together. It turned out to be a really good course for me, so it was fun.”

Johnson and Seraldo navigated the twists and turns of the Scott Starnes-designed course with ease, putting together a smooth round. Johnson identified a tight rollback after the second jump leading into a five-stride line as the biggest challenge going into the course, but she put together a plan and made it work for her. “I went inside and it worked out really well,” she said.

Johnson, who trains with Paul Rohrbach and Corky Shaha at Wells Bridge Farm in Parker, is making a successful debut in the equitation ring this year. “This is my last year as a junior, but it’s my first year doing the equitation,” she said. “I’ve never had an eq horse. So our goal was just to qualify for the finals, and we are. It’s good to do that this early in the season. I hope to just keep getting better and have a good last year and do well at finals.”

Seraldo has proven to be a valuable equitation partner for Johnson. “He’s great,” she said. “He’s so rideable and adjustable. He’s really good at leaving right from the base and jumping well from there, so I can get him up the lines. He’s great in technical courses because he’s so easy to get forward and back.”

Junior riders also competed in a two-part qualifier for the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals. Riders began with the Washington Jumper Phase and then moved on to the Washington Hunter Phase. Elizabeth Adelson rode Bull Run’s Rubicon, owned by Four Fillies LLC, to the Jumper Phase win, while the Hunter Phase went to Alessandra Sozzi and Zygo. Kelli Cruciotti and Monterrey proved most consistent throughout both classes, picking up second in the Jumper Phase and third in the Hunter Phase en route to the overall victory.

Along with the conclusion of the Junior Hunters, Saturday at Summer in the Rockies III will feature Amateur Owner Hunters. Show jumping will be in the spotlight on Saturday with the afternoon’s $30,000 Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix, while the hunters take center stage on Sunday for the $15,000 USHJA International Derby, $5,000 USHJA National Derby and $2,500 CHP Pony Hunter Derby.

Results: Summer in the Rockies III – Friday, June 21, 2013 (Number/Horse/Owner/Rider)

225. Junior Hunter O/F
1. 1364/Levitation/Marnina Seller/Marnina Seller
2. 853/Calido's Son/Amanda Hauser/Amanda Hauser
3. 924/Parrot Bay/Emily Ryan/Emily Ryan
4. 809/Patita A./Grace Howard/Jordan Dean
5. 647/Uriela CWF/Audrey Slouka/Audrey Slouka
6. 915/Brunello/Megan Engel/Megan Engel
7. 972/Golden Girl/Lindsay Gersoff/Lindsay Gersoff
8. 1420/U2/Kramig LLC/Samantha Kramig
226. Junior Hunter Handy
1. 924/Parrot Bay/Emily Ryan/Emily Ryan
2. 853/Calido's Son/Amanda Hauser/Amanda Hauser
3. 809/Patita A./Grace Howard/Jordan Dean
4. 915/Brunello/Megan Engel/Megan Engel
5. 647/Uriela CWF/Audrey Slouka/Audrey Slouka
6. 1364/Levitation/Marnina Seller/Marnina Seller
7. 972/Golden Girl/Lindsay Gersoff/Lindsay Gersoff
8. 1420/U2/Kramig LLC/Samantha Kramig
229. Junior Hunter U/S
1. 853/Calido's Son/Amanda Hauser/Amanda Hauser
2. 924/Parrot Bay/Emily Ryan/Emily Ryan
3. 972/Golden Girl/Lindsay Gersoff/Lindsay Gersoff
4. 647/Uriela CWF/Audrey Slouka/Audrey Slouka
5. 809/Patita A./Grace Howard/Jordan Dean
6. 915/Brunello/Megan Engel/Megan Engel
7. 1364/Levitation/Marnina Seller/Marnina Seller
402. ASPCA Maclay
1. 927/Seraldo/All Seasons Farm/Isabel Johnson
2. 1409/Cakebread/Kathy Mason Maechtle/Ireland Maechtle
3. 657/Jazzo/Kali Barnes/Kali Barnes
4. 647/Uriela CWF/Audrey Slouka/Audrey Slouka
5. 648/Zygo/Alessandra Sozzi/Alessandra Sozzi
6. 971/Rocket Man/Lindsay Gersoff/Lindsay Gersoff
7. 1364/Levitation/Marnina Seller/Marnina Seller
8. 948/Balaika du Ry/Abigail Graham/Abigail Graham
405. Washington Jumper Phase
1. 895/Bull Run's Rubicon/Four Fillies, LLC/Elizabeth Adelson
2. 1408/Monterrey/Kelli Cruciotti/Kelli Cruciotti
3. 927/Seraldo/All Seasons Farm/Isabel Johnson
4. 914/Casco/BTP Investments LLC/Brooke Pettet
5. 884/Hutton/Lexi Mulkey/Lexi Mulkey
6. 648/Zygo/Alessandra Sozzi/Alessandra Sozzi
7. 881/Hidden Creek's Sinnamon/Reagan Hill Farms/Hunter Bacon
404. Washington Hunter Phase
1. 648/Zygo/Alessandra Sozzi/Alessandra Sozzi
2. 927/Seraldo/All Seasons Farm/Isabel Johnson
3. 1408/Monterrey/Kelli Cruciotti/Kelli Cruciotti
4. 914/Casco/BTP Investments LLC/Brooke Pettet
5. 895/Bull Run's Rubicon/Four Fillies, LLC/Elizabeth Adelson
6. 1409/Cakebread/Kathy Mason Maechtle/Ireland Maechtle
7. 884/Hutton/Lexi Mulkey/Lexi Mulkey
Washington Overall
1. 1408/Monterrey/Kelli Cruciotti/Kelli Cruciotti
2. 895/Bull Run's Rubicon/Four Fillies, LLC/Elizabeth Adelson
3. 927/Seraldo/All Seasons Farm/Isabel Johnson
4. 914/Casco/BTP Investments LLC/Brooke Pettet
5. 648/Zygo/Alessandra Sozzi/Alessandra Sozzi
6. 884/Hutton/Lexi Mulkey/Lexi Mulkey

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