Traverse City, Mich. – July 17, 2021 – The Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions closed out on Saturday of World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week during the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Week II. Each section of the Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions crowned their champions and reserve champion, along with the completion of the 3’3” and 3’6” section classics. John Ingram and Koala stole the show in the Polk Family Hunter Ring and captured the Pine Hollow Farm Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Classic victory.
Ingram rode his own 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding to a two-round classic score of 175. The pair carried over a score of 87 from Friday and earned a second round score of 88 on Saturday. Ingram also captured the championship title with Koala in the Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 Division. They took first and second place in the over fences on day one and carried the success into day two where they earned a second in the handy round and placed second in the under saddle class.
Susan Baker and Just So, a 9-year-old Warmblood gelding, earned the reserve championship title in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Over 35 Division. The combination took a win in the first over fences round on Friday, then captured a third in the handy round and a win in the under saddle on Saturday.
Kaitlin Porath was crowned the champion in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 Division. She piloted her own 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Breaux, to a win in the first over fences round and the stake round on the first day, and continued to earn a second in the handy round and a third place in the under saddle class on the second day. The pair was also crowned the overall Grand Champions in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6”.
The reserve championship honors in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 Division was given to Kelly Tropin Whitridge and Chablis. Over the two days, the pair took home a first, second and third over fences and the win in the under saddle, and also finished second overall in the class with a total score of 173.
Preceding the conclusion of the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Divisions was the Clouds End Farm Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Classic. Martha Ingram with John and Stephanie Ingram LLC’s Airport 48, were the winners with impressive scores of 88 and 90. They also closed out their respective section earning the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Grand Championship.
Hunter competition in the Polk Family Hunter Arena will conclude in Week II on Sunday, July 18, with the $10,000 Traverse City Hunter Derby, Presented by Luxe EQ. The Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week will also be honored following the results of the derby.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
John Ingram – $1,000 Pine Hollow Farm Amatuer-Owner Hunter Classic Winner
On his success during WCHR Week:
“[WCHR weeks] are the ones you really try to aim for in the hunters. To do well is what we plan for, and it’s really wonderful when a plan works out. We’ve had Koala, a 16 year-old, for a while now. He’s a really good horse, he’s super careful. Even after five or six years, I’m riding him better and better, so that’s gratifying. The jumps are pretty here, the weather is pretty, the ring is good, it’s just set up for things to work out well. It’s great when they do.”
On his performance in the classic round:
“[The best] was probably the part after the two-stride coming around, we just quietly picked up the right distance exactly what I wanted going into the seven line to try to help him be careful and not have rubs. He zipped right around to the last single oxer and that went well. That canter to circle around when you know things have gone well and you’re hoping the judge feels the same way is great. It’s a beautiful day.”
On riding with his daughter:
“I’m really proud, my daughter Martha did super well and beat me, which is great when your kids do better than you. It’s incredibly wonderful to have a kid that not only does it, but does it well. It’s not just about doing well, she loves the animals and she’s a really special young woman. It’s fun to do it with her. It’s not so easy to compete with her, she’s really good! If you’re going to get beat by your own child, what’s better than that?”
On competing at the Traverse City Horse Shows:
“Big kudos to Tom Wright and Torrey Hardison, they really help us get the horses prepared right. To Ivan [Rakowsky] and others, thank you for all the investment here in Traverse City, it’s terrific. As a competitor and sponsor, we really appreciate you continuing to upgrade the facilities. This is really it for us, so I look forward to coming back next year.”