“He is just so much fun,” said the diminutive Iwasaki. “I am so blessed to be able to ride him. He is perfect. You always know he will never jump a bad jump. He wants to go in and do well. I have always wanted to be Champion at an indoor show so this is really exciting.”
Iwasaki has a little charm that is braided into the mane of the horse. “His name in the barn is ‘Poker’ so he has poker cards as his charm. All the horses I ride have charms,” said Iwasaki with an impish grin.
Reserve Champion in the division was Garfield and Sophie Gochman, Palm Beach, FL. Garfield, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, won the championship in 2016.
Emma Kurtz, Hudson, OH, was named Champion in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Division with Enticement, owned by Rebekah Warren. The pair garnered 16.5 points for their performance the Division and received the Tindle Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Robert D. Haas Family.
“I got the ride on her in June and we have been working with her all summer,” said Kurtz. “She actually just got accepted to come here on Wednesday morning. It is really awesome to get in, and go in the ring and be so good. She gives you the best feeling in the air. She just curls around herself and just jumps in great form all the time. My favorite part about her is that you get to the jump and just put your hands on her neck and she just jumps. It is an amazing feeling. I don’t do that on any other horse I ride. I had no expectations coming in, but she was great.”
Annabel Revers, Weston, MA, and Kingpin, owned by Beechwood Stables LLC, was the Reserve Champion in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Division with a point total of 16.
After a disappointing first day of competition where they could do no better than 16th place over fences, Mimi Gochman, Palm Beach, FL, and Evermore, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, returned to their winning ways to claim the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under Championship with a decisive win in the final class with a score of 90 points. They amassed a total of 20 points in the division to claim the Rev. Dr. Betsee Parker Perpetual Trophy for the second year in a row.
The Reserve Champion title went to Mayfield and Brooke Morin of Los Altos Hills, CA, who rode the gelding to a second-place finish in the final class with a score of 89, for owner Strasberg Morin Inc. The pair garnered 18 points to be named Reserve Champion in the division.
The Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship was awarded to Chapman ET and owner/rider Raleigh Hiler from Sudbury, MA. The stunning grey took the tri-color with a division total of 17 points over the two days of competition.
“This is unbelievable,” said Hiler. “I don’t really show my horse that often, so this is so cool. I have never won a championship at such a big show. They make such a big deal out of it that you feel so special.
“I got him two years ago and he has been great,” continued Hiler. “He is awesome. He is pretty young, he is only 9, but he has been there, done that. I was really nervous going into the class, my heart was beating so fast, but after the first two jumps I settled in and it was fine. He is so fun to ride, his jump is unbelievable, so comfortable to the jumps and he jumps up so high. It is so smooth and easy for him.”
Hiler and Chapman ET were awarded the John Bryner Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Bedard Family for their winning performances over the two days of competition.
Reserve Champion was MTM Hands Down, owned by Beechwood Stables LLC, and rider Annabel Revers.