Lexington, Ky. – May 14, 2022 – Amateur-Owner hunter competition took to the StoneLea Ring on Saturday morning as riders presented their best performance to vie for the title of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion. Awarded to the competitor with the most points accumulated in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” and 3’6” 18-35 divisions and Amateur-Owner 3’3” and 3’6” 36+ divisions, Stephanie Danhakl and Austen emerged victorious to be named Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
The barn favorite, Austen, is no stranger to the spotlight. The 6-year-old Westphalian stallion first impressed the judges on Friday morning in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division with his exquisite jumping form and pristine presentation. Their high scores over fences and win in the flat class helped them to top the leaderboard and best the Amateur-Owner hunter competition. Danhakl and Austen continued their winning ways on Saturday morning, soaring over the beautifully built hunter course in the StoneLea Ring to a first and second place over fences. Jenna Drago and Sandriano followed closely behind in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division to take Reserve Champion honors.
Danhakl took the ride on Austen in 2020 when they instantly began wowing judges with their impressive, traditional hunter technique. Stepping into the ring together for the first time at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in 2020, the pair claimed the Grand Adult Hunter Championship and became familiar with victory early in their partnership. The duo has frequented the winner’s circle and continues to prove their dominance in the ring.
Hunter competition will return to the StoneLea Ring at 8:00 a.m. with the USHJA National Hunter Derby followed by the highly anticipated USHJA International Hunter Derby.