Temecula, Calif. – May 17, 2019 – Teamwork was the name of the game in the $10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge during Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National Horse Show, with hunters and jumpers partnered to vie for the top honors in the unique crowd-favorite class. Thanks to their overall score comprised of the highest hunter marks of the class and one of the fastest jumper times, the combination of Shiloh Roseboom and Jason McArdle, aboard Venice and Da’s Mooi Man, respectively, captured the title ahead of a talented multi-discipline field. Thought the two had never met prior to Friday, they overcame their lack of familiarity and implemented their combined skills to make for the perfect team. In the Large Junior 3’6” Hunters for her age group, Molly Hutchinson directed Crazy In Love to three top placings to secure the early lead heading into Saturday’s championship crowning.
The $10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge added an inventive twist to standard equestrian competition, this time with hunters and jumpers teaming up to combine their talents. Scores were calculated by subtracting the time from the jumper portion of the course from the score awarded by a judge to the hunter counterpart to determine a final tally, with the highest score winning the day. The hunter half of the duo rode first over appropriate natural fences, followed by the jumper horse-and-rider pair navigating eight brightly-colored obstacles. Entering new territory in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, many of the hunter horses were entering the expansive ring for the first time, making for an extra challenge for some of the riders.
The second pair to ride, Ava Aguilar and Estelle Navet set the early standard for the class, with Aguilar navigating Freedom to a hunter score of 80 while Navet piloted Sirko to a quick jumper portion in a foot-perfect 32.22 seconds, giving the team final marks of 47.78 to take the initial lead. Immediately following, Charlotte Murray and Univers Theod improved upon the highest hunter score to date, garnering a score of 82 from the judge’s panel. Teammate Alexandra Murray and Voulez-Vous’ jumper time of 35.35 seconds kept the combination in contention, but landed them on a composite score of 46.65 to settle for second in the rankings with plenty of pairs yet to ride. Halfway through the order, the team comprised of Emma Mann-Meginniss and Matt Archer, riding Erolie and Elysian, respectively, inched into the lead with a final tally of 47.84, comprised of an 84-point hunter score and a 36.16-second jumper time.
Before Mann-Meginniss and Archer could get comfortable in the lead, Emma Lindstrom with Coraggio and returner Alexandra Murray with RMF Fara Van De Maltahoeve ensured that their skills would propel them to the top of the scorecard, earning an 83 during the hunter phase and breaking the beam in a clear 32.07 seconds to finish on a score of 50.93, jumping to the head of the class. The youngest athlete in the pack at only 11 years old, Roseboom jockeyed Enchantment Farm LLC’s Venice to an effortless round around the hunter fences, earning marks of 86, the highest of the afternoon, to set her team up for success. Her counterpart Jason McArdle with the ride on Da’s Mooi Man, owned by Fairbanks Valley Farm, LLC, maintained the momentum, clocking in a fast time of 33.38 seconds to finish on an overall score of 52.62. As the final challengers, Allison Krohe and Katey Kozeny give it their best efforts, but were unable to match the score put forth by their earlier competitors, solidifying Roseboom and McArdle as the $10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge champions.
Junior hunters began their divisional competition Friday, and starting out the weekend strong, Hutchinson piloted Crazy In Love to a successful day in the Large Junior 3’6” Hunters for the 16-17 age group. After her stellar performances today, Hutchinson will enter Saturday’s competition as the overall leader for the division. Hutchinson took the blue in one over fences class with a smooth, consistent round that showed off her horse’s style and ability, and took second in the other round to put her ahead of the pack. She then came back in the under saddle and rode exceptionally well to add another blue ribbon to her collection. Crazy In Love is a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Hutchinson’s trainer, Hailey Flowers. The pair have been together for just under a year now as Hutchinson steps up to the bigger junior hunters.
Hunter competition will continue at Galway Downs for two final days of the second week of the series, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby attracting the best hunter horses and riders Saturday, followed by a series of hunter classics throughout the day Sunday to conclude the week.
Shiloh Roseboom – $10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge winner
On her horse, Venice:
“My horse Venice is really sweet and he is up to do anything I ask him to do. He is a really special horse to have. I thought our round was really good and he really did well. He knew what his job was supposed to be. I was happy [to get an 86] because the round was pretty good.”
On the class format:
“I thought it was really fun that they had something like this to do because they don’t have this at other shows, and this is a huge opportunity.”
Jason McArdle – $10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge winner
On his horse, Da’s Mooi Man:
“I rode Da’s Mooi Man. I have had him eight or nine years now. He is a really good speed horse for 1.20m and 1.30m, and is a really quick, really careful horse. He was absolutely fantastic today.”
On the class format:
“I think it’s great! I was talking to Ali [Nilforushan] yesterday and trying to figure out how it worked. I went in the office and saw [Shiloh’s trainer] and asked if they had someone, and that’s how we became partners. She was absolutely brilliant, so after she went I was just thinking ‘I hope I don’t screw this up.” We almost did, but luckily we left it up and everything was great.”
$10,000 NEE Hunter/Jumper Team Challenge
1. Shiloh Roseboom – 86
Jason McArdle – 33.38
Total – 52.62
2. Emma Lindstrom – 83
Alexandra Murray – 32.07
Total – 50.93
3. Emma Mann-Meginniss – 84
Matt Archer – 36.16
Total – 47.84
4. Ava Aguilar – 80
Estelle Navet – 32.22
Total – 47.78
5. Charlotte Murray – 82
Alexandra Murray – 35.35
Total – 46.65
6. Philippa Melski – 81
Carissa Loew – 39.98
Total – 41.02
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