Harrisburg, Pa. – The 2022 Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships (Prix des States) kicked off on Thursday evening at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Thirty-seven young athletes entered the coliseum for Phase I of the individual competition, which runs over three days.
Hunter Champey (Bedminster, N.J.) started her run in the championship with a decisive victory riding Escada, a 2009 KWPN mare owned by MDHT Equestrian, LLC. Finishing nearly two full seconds faster than her closest competitor, Champey will have the lead heading into Phase II on Friday.
“Looking at the course, I knew it was going to be based all on time, getting from one end of the course to the other,” said Champey. “I just thought, ‘Get around, and let the horse jump herself and let her do her thing,’ because she is a very fast horse and great in turns.”
Champey has been riding Escada for almost two years and says that she’s naturally fast and scopey, and that the partnership they’ve built is key to their success together.
“I was happy with the whole round. It was one of my best rounds with her and I’m just really proud of her and myself for having that great of a round,” said Champey. “It’s my first Prix des States ever, so I’m really happy that I started off on the right foot and got the win and got the confidence boost for the rest of the time here.”
Zayna Rizvi (Wellington, Fla.) rode Exquise Du Pachis, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Optimus Agro NV, to the second-best round of the first individual phase, giving her a converted score of 1.07 penalties. Stella Wasserman (Los Angeles, Calif.) with her own 2012 Zangersheide gelding, Eldorado Wp Z, finished Phase I in a close third position with 1.40 penalties.
Competition resumes tomorrow with Phase II of the individual competition at 4:30 p.m. and the Prix des States Team Championship at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Watch all the action live from the 2022 Neue Schule/USEF Jr. Jumper National Championships and all of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show on USEF Network.