Medals awarded in USHJA Zones 7 and 8 team and individual championship competition 
Zone 7's Children's Hunter rider Mackenzie Hamilton and Zone 8's Adult Amateur rider Lisa Hooper earn gold in the individual championships 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Parker, Colo.  --- --June 28, 2018 --- -    Competitors from both Zone 7 and 8 earned top honors in the 2018 USHJA Zone 7 & 8 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak,  which  offered both team and individual competition on June 27 and June 28 at The Colorado Horse Park in Parker,  Colorado.

Mackenzie Hamilton and Suzette Jolley's Bijou SSH earned the individual gold medal and numerous prizes. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

Competing in the gorgeous Kathy & Brad Coors Family Arena, Zone 7's Mackenzie Hamilton piloted Suzette Jolley's Bijou SSH to gold in the Children's Hunter individual competition while Zone 8's Lisa Hooper rode her own Overdressed to a clean sweep in the Adult Amateurs. Both riders earned gold medals, ribbons, and numerous prizes, including an embroidered cooler, Charles Owen Helmet, CWD halter, Parlanti Boots, Professional's Choice Pro Performance Schooling Boots, Essex Classics Riding Shirt and FITS Riding breechesAll riders received polo shirts and tote bags from the Championships' presenting sponsor SmartPak. 

Individual gold medalist Lisa Hooper was awarded numerous prizes for her win. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

The individual competition consisted of an under saddle class, a classic derby style hunter course and a handy round. Coming all the way from Bowie, Texas,  Hamilton, at just 14 years old, navigated the t echnical course with style and poise. She trains with Joan and Jim Hensen of Foxglen Farm of Argyle, Texas.

"Joan Hensen, she is amazing," praised Hamilton. "She teaches more from the rider's perspective, in my opinion, she really teaches the rider how to communicate best with the horse. And Jim Hensen is really good with the show approach. Especially under saddle - he is the king of under saddles. He teaches you how to communicate with your horse better, so the judge can see you." 

Hamilton won the under saddle and classic round to sweep the competition by over 50 points. "It was fantastic to compete in this championship; to get to ride in something like this and get the chance to ride with other amazing riders and have this nice course set up for us."

Mackenzie Hamilton and Suzette Jolley's Bijou SSH to earn the individual gold medal in the Children's Championship. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

This is the first time the competition was held at The Colorado Horse Park. "I really liked it. I thought that it stretched them just enough," noted Joan. "It was special which I really appreciate. I think they are all going to come away just a little bit better riders.  A little more mature riders. It was a really nice event for the kids."

Jim Hensen also had kind words to say about the competition. "I think this was the perfect area up here. This is a lovely ring to ride a hunter in..."

This will be the last Children's Hunter competition for Mackenzie, who plans to begin her Junior Hunter career next week. 

Individual medals were awarded to the top three riders. Sydney Murdoch and her own Caswell earned silver while Anna Pemble and Arendelle earned bronze. 

Children's individual medalists Mackenzie Hamilton and Bijou SSH earned gold, Sydney Murdoch and Caswell earned silver, and Anna Pemble and Arendelle earned bronze. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

After recently returning from working with Nick Haness in California, Overdressed and Lisa Hooper had a clean sweep in today's individual Adult Amateur competition. In fact, this pair joined forces just a year and a half ago and have only competed in the 3' division three times.

Lisa Hooper and her own Overdressed earned the individual gold medal in the Adult Amateur Championship. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

" I was thinking that I may have overcommitted myself when I first saw the course and everything," said Hooper of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

But knowing her mare had solid miles, she felt more confident taking on the challenge. She rode Overdressed to a top score of 86 under saddle and piloted the technical over fences courses to a combined score of 155 in the classic round and 144 in the handy.

" I have to admit that I was having a hard time" laughed Hooper. "I'm so used to inside, outside, outside, inside that when I saw the derby course and the handy course, I was convinced that I would forget. So I tortured by my poor trainer, Madelaine, with saying the course over about 50 times before I went in the ring."

Lisa Hooper rides with Madelaine Martinez. "She [Overdressed] just came back [from California] maybe two weeks ago; we haven't had her for very long," stated Martinez. "So both of us have been learning what to do really fast. But it's been super fun and obviously super rewarding so far."

About Overdressed, known as Ta-da in the barn, Hooper gushed, "She's just very pleasant to ride. She's just lovely."

" We are looking forward to having a lot of fun with her in the future," stated Martinez.

Betsy Checchia and her own Otter Pop earned silver while Kristen Davison and C.Quel earned bronze. 

Individual Adult Amateur medalists Lisa Hooper and Overdressed earned gold, Betsy Checchia and Otter Pop earned silver, and Kristen Davison and C.Quel earned bronze. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

The Children's competitors kicked off the 2018 USHJA Zones 7 & 8 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships on June 27 with friendly team competition. Completing three phases of competition, an under saddle and two classic hunter style courses, the USHJA Zone 8 Children's team of Audrey Bruening, Olivia Rardin, Annie Veenstra and Alison Bradley, led by Chefs d'Equipe Jenny Paisley and Laurie Grayson, emerged as the gold medalists. Zone 7's team of Sydney Murdoch, Mackenzie Hamilton, and Anna Pemble, led by Chefs d'Equipe Patricia Jellerson and Matt Cyphert, earned silver medals. 

Gold medal USHJA Zone 8 Children's team of Alison Bradley, Olivia Rardin, Annie Veenstra and Audrey Bruening with Chef d'Equipe Jenny Paisley. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

The combined Zones 7 & 8 Adult Amateur team of Jenna Reid, Amy Coretz, Grace Slaff, and Anna Corley, led by Chefs d'Equipe Patricia Jellerson and Matt Cyphert, piloted their mounts to top honors. Zone 8 riders Betsy Checchia, Lisa Hooper, Kristen Davison, and Anna Lawrence, led by Chefs d'Equipe Jenny Paisley and Laurie Grayson, earned silver. Riders exhibited great teamwork and sportsmanship, praising their fellow teammates and competitors for their efforts. 

Gold medal combined Zones 7 & 8 Adult Amateur team of Anna Corley, Jenna Reid, Amy Coretz and Grace Slaff with Chef d'Equipe Patricia Jellerson. Credit: Captured Moment Photography

The championship courses were designed by Jasen Shelley, and the Championship judges were Sue Ashe, Jay Mullen, Frank Willard and Jim Zulia.
 
USHJA extends special thanks to Marion Maybank and the entire Colorado Horse Park team for hosting the Zones 7 & 8 Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak. USHJA also thanks presenting sponsor SmartPak, as well as awards sponsors Charles Owen Helmet, CWD, Parlanti, Professional's Choice, Essex Classics and FITS Riding. 
 
For a complete list of Championship dates and for more information on the USHJA Children's and Adult Amateur Hunter Championships, presented by SmartPak, visit  ushja.org/ChAAHunter Qualifying is still open for Zones 1, 2, 9 and 10.

Children's Individual Results:
 Placing  Zone  Horse  Rider Owner
1 7 Bijou SSH Mackenzie Hamilton Suzette Jolley
2 7 Caswell Sydney Murdoch Sydney Murdoch
3 7 Arendelle Anna Pemble Anna Pemble
4 8 Enjoy Olivia Rardin Graham MacDonald
5 8 Three Rivers Audrey Bruening Woodhaven Stables Inc.
6 8 Late Night Alison Bradley Alison Bradley
7 8 WT Levioso Annie Veenstra Annie Veenstra


Adult Amateur Individual Results:
Placing   Zone  Horse  Rider Owner
1 8 Overdressed Lisa Hooper Lisa Hooper
2 8 Otter Pop Betsy Checchia Betsy Checchia
3 8 C.Quel Kristen Davison Kristen Davison
4 7 Ddominicc Anna Corley Corion LLC
5 8 Sirius Black Anna Lawrence Anna Lawrence
6 7 Eliza-Brentina Grace Slaff Grace Slaff

About SmartPak
Presenting sponsor of the Championships SmartPak Equine was founded by riders and horse owners for riders and horse owners in 1999 with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements to horses. Their patented SmartPakā„¢ supplement feeding system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly. In addition to the SmartPak supplement system, they offer a broad line of horse health, show apparel, tack, and canine supplies sold online and through their catalogs. More information is available at   www.smartpakequine.com

Media Contact:
Megan Lacy
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