The 2017 Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park saw impressive performances from the CCI1* competitors from October 19-21. The combinations headed into Saturday’s show jumping phase hoping for a strong finish. Bethany Hutchins-Kristen and Geluk HVF led from start to finish in the USEF CCI1* Eventing National Championship for the Richard Collins Trophy, while Elizabeth Scheltema and Bill Owen rose to the top of the leaderboard in the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship for the Harry T. Peters Trophy.
Hutchins-Kristen (Dryden, Mich.) and Geluk HVF, the six-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion she owns with her mother Marian Hutchins, began their winning weekend on Thursday by earning a dressage score of 42.2. A double-clear cross-country round over Jay Hambly’s course kept them in the lead on Friday. Hutchins-Kristen and Geluk HVF knocked one rail over Brody Robertson’s show jumping course to finish as the USEF CCI1* Eventing National Champions with a score of 46.2.
“I think the thing with this sport is you always have high expectations when you work as hard as we do and you have done your homework,” Hutchins-Kristen explained of her win. “You come with the expectations that you could go home with a top placing, but it is also just a little bit of luck at the end. That’s the thing with this sport.”
Geluk HVF is the fourth generation of horses produced by Haven Valley Farm, a small-scale breeding operation Hutchins-Kristen runs with her mother. Hutchins-Kristen competes his dam, Bronte HVF, at the two-star level, and she has high hopes for Geluk HVF. “He has just got so much heart, he tries so hard, and he loves to compete,” she said. “I think he got here and it is like show time, so that is a lot of fun. He is still a little bit green at times, but I look forward to him continuing to develop. I think the sky is the limit for him.”
Hannah Leahey (Bloomington, Ill.) and Cassinova, her eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding, earned the USEF CCI1* Eventing Reserve National Champion title thanks to their strong performances. After sitting in fourth after dressage with a score of 47.9, they moved up to second on a double-clear cross-country round. Leahey and Cassinova closed out their CCI1* performance with a faultless show jumping round to finish on their dressage score.
Third-place finishers Robin (Andrew) Walker (Grass Lake, Mich.) and SBT Barolo, the seven-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding he owns with Roger Schramm and Alston Kerr, also managed to close out the competition on their dressage score. The pair tied for fifth on a score of 48.8 after the first phase, and two double-clear jumping rounds allowed them to have a solid finish.
In the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing National Championship, Scheltema (Caledonia, Mich.) and Bill Owen, Kathryn Scheltema’s 13-year-old Hanoverian/Hackney-cross gelding, steadily climbed the leaderboard to claim the National Champion title. After they started the competition in a tie for third with a dressage score of 45.3, faultless cross-country and show jumping rounds allowed the duo to move to second then, ultimately, the top spot amongst the junior and young rider combinations.
“I came here to get around the course and really just for the experience,” Scheltema stated. “He is pretty new to me; I have only had him a year. We haven’t shown a lot this year, so we really just wanted the experience.
“He is great. He was Waylon Roberts’s Pan American horse [in 2015], so he has been there, done that, so I feel very safe with him. That has been very good for my confidence,” Scheltema said of her dependable mount.
Colin Gaffney (Akron, Ohio) and Timaru, his 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, were consistent performers, allowing them to take home the USEF CCI1*-JR/YR Eventing Reserve National Championship. In fifth place after dressage with a score of 45.6, the pair rose to third and then second by adding no jumping penalties to their score.
Ashlyn Hayworth (Grapevine, Texas) and Borasco, her eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, began with a dressage score of 45.3 to put them in a tie for third with the eventual winners. They had no jumping penalties but a time penalty of eight-tenths on cross-country, and had a single rail and one time fault in show jumping for five faults, finishing in third on a score 51.1.