Lexington, Kentucky – August 22, 2021 – Junior Hunter riders competed at the StoneLea Ring on the final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show to compete for the coveted title of Grand Junior Hunter Champion. Awarded to the horse-rider combination with the most points collected in the Large Junior 3’6 ”16-17, Large Junior 3’6” 15 & U, Small Junior 3’6 ”, Junior 3’3” 15 & U and the Junior 3 ‘ 3 ”Hunter 16-17 Divisions, Mary Caroline Nolan and Custom Made were the pair to emerge victorious, claiming the title of Grand Junior Hunter Champion among a competitive group of athletes.
Mary Caroline Nolan and Custom Made
The Junior 3’3 ”Hunters finished their division on Sunday with a regular hunter trip followed by a technical cell phone round consisting of 8 obstacles. Many riders struggled with getting close to the first fence followed by a quick rollback to a trot jump, but Nolan and Custom made took up the challenge and put down a seemingly perfect lap that earned them a manageable score of 88 that ended up being them at the top of the class.
Nolan and Custom Made, a 16-year-old Mecklenburg gelding owned by Hallie Grimes and leased from Nolan, started the first day of competition on Friday afternoon with a ferocity that would ultimately put them in a good position for the second day of competition. The dynamic pair finished third in the first round on Saturday with 84 points and would also take home victory in the undersaddle class from a competitive group of 18 horse-rider pairs.
Mary Caroline Nolan and Custom Made
The second day of competition for the Junior Hunter divisions took place on Sunday morning in the StoneLea Ring. Five sections of the Junior Hunters competed for the Division Champion and the Grand Junior Hunter Champion. In the end, Nolan and Custom Made prevailed after doing two nice rounds. The pair were one of the first in the Junior 3’3 ”Hunter 15 & U Division to try their hand at the first round, impressing the judges with their fluid pace, consistency and form on every jump, earning them a score of 84 after With a constant first lap, Nolan and Custom Made proved to be a force to be reckoned with as they put down a dazzling, hands-on lap and earned them an 88 score, putting them at the top of the class.
The Junior Hunter Divisions finished competing in the StoneLea Ring at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. The competition for the KHJA starts on Wednesday, August 25th and runs through Sunday, August 29th.
FROM THE CIRCLE OF WINNERS
Mary Caroline Nolan – Grand Junior Hunter Champion
Made to measure:
“Custom Made, also known as Red in the Barn, belongs to Hallie Grimes. I leased it for this year. He’s a bit older, so we’ll only focus on the Junior 3’3 ”Hunters and then unfortunately his lease comes in December. He was just so amazing. He is the cutest horse I have ever met and I can always trust him. If it’s a little long or a little deep, he just goes along with it. He is perfect.”
To the upcoming goals:
“I’ll take part in the Capital Challenge and hopefully in the hall when I get in. We hope to end the year strong in the Junior Hunters. I also plan to move up to 3’6 ”on some of my other horses in the New Year. I want to do the 3’6 ”riding classes and just become constant in these classes. I just want this year to end well and consistently and next year is really the ultimate goal. “
In the plan for mobile phones:
“The first lap today went really well. I was hoping to get just one very smooth and consistent lap. I walked in and out to the last and saw that the distance was getting a bit long, but Red just stepped over to the plate and took care of me. I was so happy with the way it went and he’s always just so perfect. He’s just a great horse. “
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“This was my only week here at the Kentucky Horse Shows. I haven’t been back since Pony Finals 2019 so it’s been a minute. As always, it’s great and I love it here and the horses too. “