Lexington, Ky. – July 31, 2021 – After successful rides in the Stonelea ring on the first day of Amateur-Owner hunter competition on Friday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, several talented riders and their mounts were in contention for the title of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion. After two days of impressive results, it was Helen Voss and her young mount Cantina who bested a field of 16 entries in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35 Hunter division to take home the division championship as well as earn the most points of any Amateur-Owner hunter rider throughout the week to take home the coveted title of Hagyard Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion, presented by Hagyard Medical Institute.
Prior to attending the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, just minutes from her home base in Versailles, Voss, and Cantina just missed winning the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35 Hunter title at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival by a few points. Eager to redeem themselves, Voss and the 8-year-old Trakehner gelding got off to an impressive start on Friday, turning in an 84.00 on their first over fences round earning them a third-place ribbon. The duo then topped their efforts when scoring an 86.00 in their second round, earning a second-place finish. The pair secured a win in the under saddle.
Voss and the young mount entered the second day of the division with their game faces on, turning in not one, but two first-place finishes in the over fences and handy portions of the division scoring dual 85.00s. Cantina, who just earlier this year moved up to the 3’3” division, showcased a seasoned attitude as he impressed the judges with his steady pace and expressive form over the jumps.
Voss was thrilled to earn another crowning achievement aboard her new partner. The pair won the WCHR Adult Amateur Challenge at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in October 2020, only three weeks after Voss purchased the gelding. The Grand Champions are looking forward to the second week of competition at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Kentucky Summer Classic, and are eager to continue their success in the ring.
Hunter competition will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show on Sunday, August 1st, 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 WINNERS CIRCLE
Helen Voss – Hagyard Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion
“Cantina’s great – he’s the best horse I could ask for. I started riding him a little over a year ago and bought him last fall. I feel really lucky to have him; he’s my best friend. He’s so funny – this time last year he wouldn’t even stand still, he was always nibbling and really didn’t care about all of this, so it’s been really cool to see him grow up and mature so much in the last year. For being only 8 he’s been so phenomenal. He stepped up to 3’3” Amateur-Owner division this year, which is really exciting. I know him like the back of my hand and he’s so reliable. I don’t get to ride that much during the week because of work, so it’s nice to be able to come out on weekends and know that I can trust him and depend on him. I couldn’t ask him to be better in general. He was great this weekend and I am really happy with him.”
On the Kentucky Horse Park:
“I love coming out here. I’m from Versailles, so I have shown out here for as long as I can remember. Growing up here, it feels like home. It’s always my favorite place to go. The facility and scenery are beautiful, and the horses love it here. Cantina is really at his best when he’s here!”
On her upcoming plans:
“We will be in Lexington for the next few weeks for the shows where we will be doing all the 3’3”s, and then take some time to gear up for Indoors. It is so nice to be able to come here and relax and feel so at home for the next few shows before the pressure of Indoors starts.”