By: PNHS on Oct. 20th, 2018

Mirror Image and Toon, from South Salem, NY, won the 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunter Championship on their way to the Grand award by earning the blue ribbon in four of the five classes contested in the division.

“This is my first time back at Harrisburg in two years,” said Toon.  “I had shoulder replacement, and as is typical when you are older, it takes a while to get back to where you were.  But she [Mirror Image] is a rock.  This is the first year we are showing her without a professional and she has just been amazing. 

The 3’6” Amateur Owner Hunter Championship, Riders 18-35, was awarded to Jef Lauwers and Sutherland, owned by Peter Pletcher.  Lauwers, who is based in Magnolia, TX, and Sutherland, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, won the title with 34 points.  Reserve Champion went to Kelly Tropin and Chablis with 32 points.  The two have a very friendly rivalry.  “Everyone in my division is so tough,” commented Lauwers.  “Especially Kelli and Chablis.  He is such a nice horse and she gives him such a nice ride, it was exciting until the last moment to see who would take the Championship because she would win a class then I would win a class.  It is a good rivalry, it keeps you sharp.

“Keifer is really amazing,” said Lauwers. “Every time we show he is so consistent.  He is the perfect horse to take you to the next level in this sport.  He wants to win and that is the fun part.  He gives you such a relaxed feeling, ‘like I’ve got this’.  He is teaching me about the hunters.  He is my horse, the one that we are going to keep until the end of time. I am really thankful that I have a horse like him.”

The EMO Agency Amateur Owner Hunter High Five Award, given to the horse and rider who garnered the highest score in the division, was awarded to Kelly Tropin and Chablis.  The pair received a score of 90 in the Amateur Owner Hunter, Riders 18-35 over fences class.

Adonis Bautista, the caretaker of Mirror Image, received the Grooms Award for his services.  Rubin Medina won the Grooms Award for his care of Sutherland.