Devon, Pa. - The 2019 USEF Junior Hunter National Championships – East Coast concluded with Ellie Ferrigno and Cleopatra’s Smile claiming the Overall Grand Championship in the 3’6’’ section with a total score of 258.00 points on Tuesday, July 9, at the Brandywine Horse Show. Caroline Passarelli and Lalique earned the Overall Grand Championship in the 3’3’’ section with a total score of 253.80 points.
Seventeen-year-old Ferrigno (Newton, Conn.) put her best foot forward throughout the two days of competition, which included a classic round, handy round, and under saddle components. Cleopatra’s Smile, Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc.’s 10-year-old Holsteiner mare by Cassini I, and Ferrigno were awarded the Monarch International Perpetual Trophy as Overall Grand Champions in the 3’6” section thanks to their stellar performances over Skip Bailey’s (Littlestown, Pa.) impressive courses. Watch their winning ride.
“I actually only rode [Cleopatra’s Smile] for the first time last Thursday. She has been amazing,” commented Ferrigno, who trains with Val Renihan, Emmy Ferrigno, and received help from Don Stewart during the week. “I went in to the ring and picked up a gallop and everything came up perfect out of stride.”
Accumulating scores of 106.40 in the classic round, 46.80 in the under saddle, and 104.80 in the handy round, the pair won the coveted title by just over two points. Their scores would also earn them the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 3’6” section championship along with the perpetual trophy, donated by Pam and Wayne Baker. Additionally, Cleopatra’s Smile was presented with the War Dress Memorial Trophy, donated by Cleta S. Turbow and Pamela J. Rush, for winning the Best Mare Award.
“It’s a really big deal to me,” Ferrigno said of the memorable win. “It’s really special to me to now have [won] something that is so important and so many amazing people have won the award in the past.”
Capturing the Overall Reserve Grand Champion honor in the 3’6” section was Hallie Grimes (Houston, Texas) and Custom Made, Can We Keep It? LLC’s 14-year-old Mecklenburg gelding by Chambertin. Grimes and Custom Made earned the title with a total score of 255.60 points after their performances over two days of competition. In the classic round, the pair received a score of 102.40. During the second and final day, they received a 53.40 in the under saddle and 99.80 in the handy round, with the help of trainers Berry Porter and the team at North Run. Grimes was also awarded the Champion Owner/Rider award.
The Overall Grand Champion in the 3’3’’ section was awarded to Passarelli (High Falls, N.Y.) riding Lalique, Elite Equines LLC.’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare. Over the course of two days, the pair swept the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 3’3’’ section, earning scores of 101.60 in the classic, 51.40 in the under saddle, and 100.80 in the handy round. The pair rode to a total score of 253.80 to clinch the 3’3’’ Overall Grand Champion title. Passarelli and Lalique were presented with the Montserrat Perpetual Trophy donated by Ashley Herman. Watch their winning ride.
“This is my first time coming to Brandywine for Junior Hunter Finals and it’s a great venue here [at Devon],” Passarelli said. “They make it very special and I really like it. The horses really perform well here. I think they know that it’s a big deal and they know they’re coming somewhere special and they rise to the occasion.”
Passarelli trains with the team at Heritage Farm, as well as David Laks and Alex Hamer, and she credits her success to the support of her trainers. Passarelli and Lalique are a fairly new partnership. The pair first competed together just two months ago in May at the Old Salem Spring Horse Show series where they earned the championship tricolor during both weeks of competition.
Of Lalique, Passarelli said, “She tries hard for you and she wants to win. It was kind of an instant partnership. We recently took time off and we went to different shows, but we reconnected the other night here. She really tries hard and it’s really special being able to ride her.”
The Overall Grand Reserve Champion in the 3’3’’ section was awarded to Ella Bostwick (Wellington, Fla.) aboard Bode Well, Melissa Burns’s nine-year-old Zweibrücker gelding out of Aprio. Bostwick trains with Christine Bostwick in Wellington, Fla., and the pair also earned the in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’3’’ section championship, riding to an overall score of 251.70.
Section Champions Crowned at 2019 USEF Junior Hunter National Championship - East Coast
The Small Junior 15 & Under 3’6” section champion title was awarded to Jenna Drago (Aurora, Ohio) and Sandriano, Peter Pletcher’s 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding. The pair earned a total of 249.30 points to win the perpetual trophy, donated by Geri and Whitney Roper.
In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under 3’6” section, champion honors were awarded to Brooke Brombach (Wimberly, Texas) and Classico, Erica Moe’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, with a total score of 247.70 points.
Maggie Hill (Jackson, Wyo.) and Cassanto, Stella Styslinger’s 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, trained by Jack Towell and Liza Boyd, captured the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 3’6” section champion tricolor with their score of 255.16. The pair walked away with the perpetual trophy, donated by Christina Schlusemeyer.
The champion in the Small Junior Hunter 3’3’’ 15 & Under section was awarded to Morgan Kazerman (Reisterstown, Md.) riding Skorekeeper, her 15-year-old Warmblood gelding, a total overall score of 245.90.
Diana Beinstock (New York, N.Y.) was awarded the championship tricolor in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under 3’3’’ section riding Casa Loma, Streett Moore’s 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, to a total score of 246.10.
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Visit the US Equestrian Learning Center video library to find out more about the hunter discipline with Geoff Teall, what judges look for in a winning hunter round with Danny Robertshaw, and get a few handy hunter exercise tips from Hope Hobday Glynn.
Photos by: ©Anne Gittins