Harrisburg, PA – In a historic win, United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Zone 2 took home its 13th team gold in the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF Prix des States Team Championship, part of the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships, at the 74th Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. on Friday.
Winning an unprecedented 13th time in the Neue Schule/USEF Prix des States Team Championship, the Zone 2 team consisted of Ned Cunniffe (South Salem, N.Y.) riding Buckle Up, Whipstick Farm Ltd’s 13-year-old KWPN gelding; Mimi Gochman (New York, N.Y.) aboard Street Hassle BH, Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 13-year-old Selle Francais stallion; Sophie Gochman (New York, N.Y.) riding Carola BH, Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 12-year-old KWPN mare; and Sophee Steckbeck (Clarksburg, N.J.), riding Alania, Steckbeck’s 10-year-old mare of unknown breeding. The team rode under the guidance of Ralph Caristo as their Chef d'Equipe.
“I’ve had Stevie (Street Hassle BH) about three years now,” said Gochman. “He is super reliable and has consistently done the high Junior Jumpers and Prix des States twice now with me. He’s got a great personality and tries his best every single time.”
Regarding the success of the team, only incurring four faults after two rounds, Gochman noted a sense of security going into the second round. “I did my best, as a team we did our best, and it’s nice to have it assured that we [as a team] were going to do well. It was nice to go in and just focus on our rounds. I went in just trying to go clear. It was fun!”
In round one, the first three riders in Zone 2 produced fault-free rounds. With a drop score in hand, anchor rider Sophie Gochman elected to sit the round out as the official drop score for the team. In round two, Steckbeck incurred four faults but maintained Zone 2’s team lead.
Riding for team silver and bronze, Paige Matthies (Lake Leelanau, Mich.) with Dirkie Z, Barbara Smith’s 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding,
from USHJA Zone 5 and Savannah Hemby (Argyle, Texas) and Czechmate, Andrew Bourns Sport Horses Inc.’s 13-year-old Czech Warmblood gelding, from USHJA Zone 7 were chosen for the jump-off after tying for second place with 12 faults. In the end, Zone 7, also consisting of Ashley Shaw (Ellisville, Mo.) with Adico, Shaw’s 14-year-old Anglo European gelding; Genevieve Munson (Rogers, Ark.) with Zonderling, Mark Holden’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; and Stella Swarr (New Orleans, La.) with Anos Veros, High Hopes Farm LLC’s 14-year-old Warmblood gelding, won the silver medal with a clear jump-off round, ending on a team score of 12 faults. Zone 5, which also included Caelinn Leahy (Maple Park, Ill.) with Dymendy, Twenty 23 LLC’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare; Kyle Perkovich (Long Grove, Ill.) with Hit Me Van'T Zorgvliet, Perlovich’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding; Alexandra Pielet (Highland Park, Ill.) with Helene Ve, Co-Pielet LLC’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, took home the bronze after pulling a rail in the jump-off.
View the complete results here.
Find out more about the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships.
USEF Network will livestream Phase III of the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships, which will determine the individual champion, on Saturday beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET.
For photo galleries, leading ride videos, and more from the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper National Championships follow USA Jumping on Facebook, US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram, and USEF Network on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.