May 23, 2018
Tenn. Hunter Jumper Classic
West Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association (WTHJA) hosted the Regional II-rated Tennessee Hunter Jumper Classic on Labor Day weekend, September 1-3, 2017 at the Germantown Charity Horse Show arena in Germantown, Tenn. The show featured the $500 Saddles 'n Such WTHJA Hunter Derby and the 5th Annual Doggie Derby.
Remnants of Hurricane Harvey had blasted through the mid-south on Thursday, August 31, with excessive rainfall – from 4 to over 6 inches – flooding, and multiple tornado warning and sightings. Fortunately, the storm moved out by Friday, but left the Memphis area soaked. Footing in the arenas was a bit sloppy on Friday, but by Saturday, the weather was sunny and warm.
Sunday featured a new Horsemanship division, in which competitors ride over fences, on the flat, and complete an oral knowledge test with the judge. Hanna Hudson, riding Penten’s Logan, won the 11 & under Horsemanship. Lilly Johnson, with Illuminate, won the 12-14 Horsemanship.
Following horsemanship classes was the WTHJA Hunter Derby, won by Mia Bozof riding Dicaprio. Mary Mielenz, with Playbook, was reserve champion.
Then came the Classics. Catherine Sanders, riding Impeccable, won the WIHS/NAL/Adult Amateur Hunter Classic. Ava Swords, aboard My Way, was Pony Hunter Classic winner. Brianna Wylie and Simply Hamilton were the Children’s Pony Classic winners. Maria Anello and Rhapsody were the Pre-Child/Adult Hunter Classic winners. Sophie Davidoff and Starlight won the Short/Long/Mini Stirrup Classic. Noemi Quatraro rode Belle of the Ball to win the .80/1.0m Jumper Classic. Margot Meyer and NZ Redford cinched the Low/High Child/Adult Jumper Classic.
The show began on a sad note, as WTHJA had lost one of its long-time exhibitors, Linda Brzoza (64) on August 22, 2017. Linda was also on the Board of Directors for WTHJA. Folks at WTHJA wrote: “She will always be remembered for her competitive spirit and her talent with horses, as well as an impressive winning record!”
Brzoza’s talent for bringing along green horses was the subject of a feature article in the Chronicle of the Horse in 2009. “This ease with green mounts formed the cornerstone of Brzoza’s success over the years, as she’s brought along talented but inexperienced youngsters most amateurs would leave to their trainers. Over the years, Brzoza has spent plenty of time picking up ribbons with self-trained mounts, winning a U.S. Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year reserve championship title with her Adelante in 2007,” author Mollie Bailey wrote. “I enjoy working with young horses and bringing them along—I always have. When I was a kid it was the same way; I never got made horses,” Brzoza was quoted in the article.
In addition, Brzoza cared for her own horses at her farm, hauled them to shows, and prepared them herself. “Honestly, taking care of the horses ends up being the smallest part of the job. We’re a do-all situation, and you can spend all day cutting the grass, fixing the fence and keeping the property up,” Brzozia was quoted in the article.
In her honor, WTHJA has created a special year-end award with Perpetual Trophy for the Amateur Owner rider who accumulates the highest number of points in the AO 3’6” and/or the AO 3’3” Hunter divisions. Multiple horses owned and ridden by the same rider will count towards the total. The winning rider will have his/her name engraved on the Perpetual Trophy and receive an embroidered cooler and representative trophy to take home. On Saturday afternoon, WTHJA held the “Doggie Derby” as a fundraiser for the Linda Brzoza Perpetual Trophy.
Find more information about the show and the upcoming Harvest Time show in November at: www.wthja.com and on the WTHJA facebook page. Find full results of the show at horseshowsonline.com.
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