Eva Mackenzie named Grand Pony Hunter Champion; Halloween Hunt Teams bring WIHS 2021 to a close. See you next year!

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Mill Spring, N.C. – October 31, 2021 – The 2021 Washington International Horse Show presented by MARS Equestrian™ came to an end on Sunday, October 31, with the final winners being crowned at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, NC.

Eva Mackenzie of Darien, CT, and her own Farmore State of the Art ended their week by claiming the Grand Pony Hunter Championship title. For this honor, Mackenzie was awarded The Miles River Moonglow Perpetual Trophy donated by Scott Novick and Rustic Woods.

Mackenzie, 11, and the 15-year-old Welsh Pony gelding by Eyarth Grenadier won three over-fences classes in the Small Pony Hunter division to claim the tricolor ribbon, which led them to the Grand Champion honor. For their division championship, Mackenzie was presented with The Stombock Saddlery Challenge Trophy donated by Stomback Saddlery in memory of E.P. (Bud) Stombock.

 

Eva Mackenzie and Farmore State of the Art were named the Grand Pony Hunter Champions. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

“He started me out in the small ponies,” explained Mackenzie. “I’ve had him for two years, and I’m so happy because this is my last show with him. I was so excited. We didn’t get anything in the hack, but I was so proud of him over fences. He’s so fun to ride. I know him so well. He is so easy and just carries himself to the jumps. He is so smooth through the air.”

Mackenzie and her trainer, Chance Arakelian, are grateful for everything that Farmore State of the Art has taught the rider over the past two years. Although the pony will be leased out the next two years, he will return to the Mackenzie family for his retirement.

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Eva Mackenzie and Farmore State of the Art in their grand champion presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, Maddie Flocks, Chance Arakelian, and WIHS President Vicki Lowell. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

WIHS Brings the Fun on Halloween

After a long weekend of serious competition, pony hunter riders demonstrated their creativity when they dressed up in costumes for the WIHS Halloween Hunt Teams. Eleven teams of three riders participated in the class, and a winner was announced for each height section. The overall best dressed costume went to the team “Call Me Cruella” after they won the small pony section of the class.

The “Call Me Cruella” team consisted of Hailey Guidry of Metairie, LA, and Honor Hill Farm LLC’s Benjamin Buttons, Katherine Mercer of Wellington, FL, riding her own Clovermeade Pop Secret, and Lily Epstein of Coral Gables, FL, aboard her own Pepsi. The three riders came up with the idea of being Cruella de Vil with their parents, who also hand-made the detailed costumes.

The Call Me Cruella hunt team. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

“We were hoping to do this at Devon, so we have actually been planning this costume for about a year now,” explained Guidry. “We loved jumping the three jumps together. Doing it as a group was so fun.”

The victorious team in the medium pony hunter section was “Super Mario Cart.” The three winning riders were Emi Richard of Middlefield, CT, riding Carrie Hutton’s Game Plan, Marielle Walrath of Locust Valley, NY, and Rendezvous Farm’s Foxmor Secret Powers, and Finley Clement of Indian Trail, NC, aboard her own Small Business.

“We originally had a long list of options for costumes,” said Walrath. “We were brainstorming and came up with Mario Cart. Jumping the last jump together was awesome. It was just so fun to have a class where there wasn’t any pressure.”

The Call Me Cruella hunt team in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector and WIHS President Vicki Lowell. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

The final team to earn a blue ribbon was “Ghost Busters” in the large pony section of the class. This team included Madeline Rubin of Mooresville, NC, on Briar Field Farm, LLC’s Rockaway, McKayla Brombach of Wimberley, TX, and Millennium Farm Inc.’s California Dreamin’, and Maya Thomas of Minocqua, WI, riding her own Until Tomorrow. Unlike some of the other teams in the competition, the “Ghost Busters” came up with their costume idea just in the nick of time.

“It was very last minute,” admitted Rubin. “We got the team together last week one night around 11 p.m and we barely got our costumes in on time. We just hoped to go in there and survive. It was so fun being in there with my friends. I loved having the music playing and I got to sing along while I was riding. It was just so much fun.”

The Super Mario Cart hunt team. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

“I Want Candy” was the team to secure the second-place ribbon in the small pony section and in the medium pony division it was awarded to “The Greatest Showman.” “The Wicked Witches” flew to a second-place finish in the large pony section of the class. Third-place honors for the small, medium, and large pony sections went to “The 3 Amigos”, “Day of the Dead”, and “The Powerpuff Girls” respectively.

The Washington International Horse Show would like to thank the Tryon International Equestrian Center as well as all competitors, sponsors, staff, and exhibitors for a successful 2021 event. For more information on WIHS 2021 presented by Mars Equestrian™ please visit www.wihs.org.

Ava Barnes received The Gochman Style of Riding Award. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
The 2021 WIHS Halloween Pony Hunt Teams. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

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ABOUT WIHS

WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and is recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (CSI4*-W), US Equestrian (6* Jumpers, Premier Hunters), US Hunter Jumper Association, Maryland Horse Show Association, and Virginia Horse Show Association.