Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 12, 2021 – The 2021 USHJA Young Jumper Championships concluded on a high note Sunday with the Final Competition for Five, Six, Seven, and Eight-Year-Old age groups. In the Six-Year-Old finale, it was Soehnke Theymann who rode Henrietta to the top overall honors after producing multiple clear efforts throughout the three days of competition.
Set in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, athletes and their six-year-old horses made their way under the arches to compete one last time. Following a victory in Thursday’s Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship Second Qualifier, Theymann and Henrietta (Contefino X O Black Cherry) topped the leaderboard heading into the final day. Two clear rounds and a fourth place finish in the Final solidified the German’s spot leading the victory gallop. Bred and owned by Platinum Capital Management USA LLC, Henrietta was awarded with the best U.S. Bred Horse at the conclusion of the division, and Platinum Capital Management USA LLC received the U.S. Breeder Bonus.
The overall second place honors were given to QBS Equestrian’s Doonaveeragh Balou (Wild Balou Bill X Doonaveeragh Seabrae), who was piloted by Matthew Williams and bred by Ivan Gardiner. Rounding out the top three was Catherine Tyree aboard QBS Equestrian’s Cantalupe V/D Holtenhoeve (Canaletto Z X Polarsterne Van de Richter), bred by Luk Bloemen.
Kicking off the day of competition in the Jumper Annex Ring, Five-Year-Old Young Jumpers took to the arena for the finale of their division. Solid performances throughout the three days of sport led Jill Gaffney and Freestyling Farms’ FF Loyalty (Ogano Sitte X Hoblesse) to the overall victory and the Best Young Horse Award. The overall second place honors went to Gail Dady’s Tornado PJ (Taalex X Crispy Jo PJ), bred by Dr. Jacobs, with Agustin Rosales in the irons. Third place went to Patricia Kobble’s Chin-Chimney (Coeur D’Hannah X Quendollien). Bred by Kobble herself, Chin Chimney was piloted by Samantha Schaefer to ultimately take home the best U.S. Bred Horse award and earn Kobble the U.S. Breeder Bonus for the Five-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships.
In the Seven-Year-Old Final, Gaffney and Freestyling Farms’s FF Blade Runner (Jordan Z X Bright Eyes) took home the championship honors out of the 15 horse-and-rider combinations. Reserve honors were awarded to Sandra Dalman and Dalman Show Jumping’s Elite Girl (Elvis Ter Putte X Fontarina), bred by Festut Lewitz. Completing the overall podium was Quentin Judge and Double H Farm’s HH Janneke B (Floris X Golden Girl B), bred by G.F. Brinkman.
The final age group to compete in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring were the Eight-Year Old jumpers. A field of 10 horse-and-rider combinations competed over the same course as the seven-year-old division, but with jumps that were raised to meet the standard of 1.45m. Filippo Pignatti took home the blue ribbon in the final class of the division on Ideaal ES (Ukato X Renata), owned by Take the High Road LLC. Brooke Kemper dawned the division championship title after her cumulative performances on MTM Kappa Kappa Gamma (Casiro X Sue), overtaking Filippo Pignatti and Ideaal ES, who were awarded with the reserve champion tricolor honors. American professional, Andrew Welles was the overall third place finisher with the Itasca Group’s, Idol H&H (Action Breaker X Mantana). Sandra Dalman was the proud recipient of the Best U.S. Bred Horse award in the division, with Dalman Show Jumping’s Drake (Dulf Van Den Bisschop X Caretina 3).
Rounding out the afternoon of awards, Trevor and Jill Gaffney of Freestyling Farms LLC received the Leading Owner award, presented to the top-performing owner from all age groups. The Leading U.S. Breeder amongst all five age groups emerged as Muny Sunk Stables.
In its first year in Traverse City, the 2021 USHJA Young Jumper Championships saw unprecedented success. Horses from five to eight years old competed over a three-round format that featured First and Second Qualifiers, culminating in a Final set from 1.15-1.40m based on each age section, as well as a Consolation Classic for horses not competing in the Final. In addition to prize money through fifteenth place, incentives and bonus prize money were offered for United States breeders and American-bred horses.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Soehnke Theymann – USHJA YJC Six-Year-Old Final champion
“Henrietta is bred in California by Platinum Capital Management. The mother was a grand prix horse, Black Cherry, and the dad is Contefino, who was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California and I got the ride last summer. I did not have a lot of expectations because she was a little on the small side and lazy on the flat but we took her to her first show and she has been winning ever since. She is a clear round machine and we call her our little rocket. She just wants to go in the ring and win.”
On his plan for Sunday’s competition:
“We were quite good the first two days and we had some cushion because we had already placed second and first. I knew that if I made it to the jump off that I would be pretty safe. Because of that, we were fourth in this class, but I am excited to still be able to be champion.”
On the incentives for U.S. breeders:
“Most of my horses are bred in the United States so I think it is very important to use this platform to produce good horses and perform well for the owners. Having a nationwide championship is a great concept and I hope that it continues to take off and grow. I hope that show management will give us a chance to continue to show young horses in a more affordable way so that the breeders and owners are encouraged to have them perform.”
On the USHJA YCJ program:
“I think without those horses we can’t do the sport, especially in the states. I think in Europe, the breeding is big there, but based on my experience I know a lot of breeders are retired or stopped breeding. So I think we have to start thinking about producing here in the United States. Especially for someone like me that comes to the show and carries their own horses, and also for the customer it’s very expensive to produce young horses.
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“It’s fantastic. The footing is great, and I hope next year we get to jump the five year olds in the big ring. I think it’s a great atmosphere, a great horse show. It’s my first time in Traverse City and I really like it, great course designers, good management, very accommodating, we like to be here and it’s been great.”