Lexington, Ky. – July 25, 2020 – The Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park featured a full schedule of Amateur-Owner hunters Saturday morning at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, all culminating up to the coveted Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion award, sponsored by Visse Wedell. Garnering a total of 40 points in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter 36+ division, Jeanine Cash and Freedom topped the field of 33 horses entered in the four Amateur-Owner divisions to walk away with the Grand Hunter Champion tricolor.
Cash, who purchased Freedom only a few short months ago, was ecstatic with the result of her fairly new partner. The nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare jumped to scores of 82, 85 and 84 in the over fences classes, including a score of 85 in the handy where the pair effortlessly executed the trot jump and rollback turns. Cash and Freedom also claimed the top spot in the under saddle class for the mare’s floating movement on the flat.
Imported in January of 2020, Freedom has already claimed a number of championship ribbons in the Adult Hunters and Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunters, despite showing in the 1.20m Jumpers before being imported from Europe. After a long search for the perfect hunter partner, Cash knew the second she sat on Freedom that they were meant to be. Freedom’s transition to the hunter ring was a natural one with her correct jumping style and movement. Cash is looking forward to getting to know the mare a bit more before moving up to the 3’6” division.
Hunter competition will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show on Sunday, July 26, with Small and Large Junior Hunters starting at 8:00 a.m. followed by the USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Stonelea Arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jeanine Cash – Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion
“Freedom is a horse that I bought right before Week 4 of WEF. I started her off in the Adult Hunters – she had been doing the 1.20m in Europe and she had never been a hunter before. I bought her as a 3’3”-3’36” Amateur horse from Brady Mitchell and she was just imported at the time. She had never shown in America and right after I bought her I showed her in the Adult Hunters during WEF 4 and 6 and she was Champion both weeks. Then we decided to step her up into the 3’3” but it got caught short because of the COVID, so we brought her home for a while. I train with Holly Hill Farm and they have the most beautiful farm and most beautiful turnout. It was just really nice to get to know her a little bit! I took a lot of lessons and trail rode a lot while we were home. Our first show back was Princeton and she was Reserve Champion there in the Amateur 3’3” Hunters. There really wasn’t a big transition for her into the hunter ring. I think she really wanted to be a hunter but she just needed to learn to take a deep breath and realize that she didn’t need to land and go fast. It really didn’t take her long to figure it out and it was a really natural transition for her.”
On being Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion:
“I am ecstatic. There is so much emotion with her because I had been looking for a long time, especially for a really special horse like this. We tried a lot of horses and when this one came into play, I just knew I had to have her. I bought her right away – I just had a feeling. I have been riding for 40+ years and I knew what I wanted. I wanted something small and I love mares, so the second I got on her I said ‘There is no other horse out there. This is the one!’ She is kind, sweet and she loves to trail ride. Her favorite thing is to eat! She has a big turnout at home and she loves her life. She has acclimated so well to the States and to the hunters. I just want to say a big thank you to Caitlin Venezia, Patti Harnois and Cathy Grady for helping me find such a wonderful horse.”
On her plans for Freedom:
“I still want to get to know her better and I still think I can ride her better than I have been. I think there is still a lot more to figure out about her so when I am ready I will move her up to the 3’6” division.”
On showing at Kentucky Summer:
“I have always been a fan of the Kentucky Horse Shows. I have been coming here for the last two years and with COVID, I think they have done a fantastic job of spacing people out. They have officials here to remind us about the protocol and I think overall, everyone is doing their part. They have made the most of a very stressful situation and I can’t say enough good things about the horse show and how well it is run.”