Saturday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show began with the naming of the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion presented by Visse Widdel in the Stonelea Ring. Following suit from the professional hunter divisions earlier in the week, two horse-and-rider combinations tied for the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion title. Anna Rossi on Cakebread and Vanessa Mazzoli on Oh Brother both earned a total of 42 points from the Amateur-Owner 3’3” division to earn the coveted grand champion tricolor ribbon.
Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ and 3’6″ competitors returned for the second day of the competitive divisions, vying for the grand champion award, with their final over fences round and their handy to impress the judges. The divisions concluded with the challenging handy round which included a trot fence, a two-stride combination, a bending line and several roll backs. Mazzoli and Rossi remained unphased, both winning their section of the handy.
Cakebread, a 12-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding, has been partnered with Rossi for four years and the pair are no strangers to the winner’s circle. Fresh off being champion at the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic in Moreland Hills, Ohio, their top placings both days earned them the championship tricolor for their section of the Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter division. On Friday, Cakebread earned a first and second place in Section B of their over fences rounds as well as second place in the undersaddle. Rossi and Cakebread couldn’t be stopped on Saturday, winning both over fences classes of their respective section to solidify their championship and grand championship.
Mazzoli’s 12 year-old bay Warmblood gelding, Oh Brother, also impressed the judging panel both days. On Friday, Mazzoli and Oh Brother captured first and second place in section A of the over fences and took the top call in Section A of the under saddle. Oh Brother stayed consistent, earning second and first place, respectively, in the over fences round and handy round of their section on Saturday, securing the championship ribbon and tie for grand champion. The duo will also return for next week’s competition before heading to compete throughout the indoor circuit in the fall.
The hunters will continue in the Stonelea Ring on Sunday with the conclusion of the Junior Hunter divisions and the day will conclude with the prestigious USHJA National Hunter Derby.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Anna Rossi – Co-Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion
“He is a horse that I’ve had for four years. I train with Rachel Kennedy and I’ve been working with Rachel with this horse for two of those years. He is a lovable, sweet and kind animal and he is definitely my best friend.”
On Cakebread’s performance today:
“I thought he was on it today — he was definitely on his mark. I’ve known this horse for so long that when I wake up, I can tell if we are going to have it or not, and today we definitely had it! He was right there for me when I needed him. He’s comfortable and sweet and very well balanced. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about him because he never does anything wrong. I know if anything is going to happen it’s me so it’s always good when I can pull through for him as well.”
On what’s next for her horse:
“We’ll show here next week and then take a break during Pony Finals. Then we are back for Bluegrass and then we will go back home. He lives in Brookeville, Maryland at ESP Farm.”
On showing at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show:
“I love it here. There is so much room to go ride out in the fields. My horse particularly loves the cross country jumps even though every time he goes out there he realizes how lucky he is to be a show hunter. He walks up to the jumps and goes, “Uh huh, not a career change for me today!” But I really love the open space and fresh air. I’m from Washington, D.C. and it’s suffocating in the summer so it’s nice to be out here in the rolling hills and grass.”
Vanessa Mazzoli – Co-Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion
On Oh Brother:
“He’s super sweet and lovable. He is perfect. I’ve had him for a year and a half. He’s so easy, he has a great rhythm, he jumps super smooth and floats down the lines. He’s a good boy and very handy. I usually train with Scott Petrie of Petrie Show Stables but today I trained with Brandon Gibson.”
On her plans for the future:
“We will be here next week and then Bluegrass [Festival Horse Show] and Kentucky National before heading to Capital Challenge, Harrisburg and then back here for the National Horse Show.”
On showing at the Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC competitions:
“We love it here. Our barn is 10 minutes from here so it’s very close and easy to get to and it’s by far our favorite show. We come to pretty much all of them!”