Thermal, Calif. – Feb. 12, 2022 – As the final day of competition for the amateur-owner hunter athletes during Desert Circuit V at the Desert International Horse Park (DIHP), each horse-and-rider combination battled it out for valuable points toward the championship in their respective divisions. In the Horse Pilot Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter 18-35 division, it was Lindsay Maxwell who came out on top riding Diplomat. Irene Neuwirth and Juan Carlos claimed championship honors in the Casa Luigi Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter 36+ division.

Lindsay Maxwell and Diplomat

Maxwell took a commanding lead in the Horse Pilot Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter 18-35 with her 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding during Friday’s portion of the division. After riding to first and second place over fences, as well as sixth place under saddle, the pair was well situated for Saturday’s classes. Returning to Hunter 2 with confidence Saturday, the duo rode to a first and third place over fences to clinch the championship title. Though Maxwell just recently started riding Diplomat, with the gelding newly making the transition from the show jumping to hunter arena, their top result Saturday prove they have a bright future ahead.

Sybil Rose and Ciacolini

Sybil Rose and Ciacolini, an 11-year-old German Sporthorse gelding, were hot on the heels of Maxwell and Diplomat at the conclusion of Friday’s classes. In addition to a third place under saddle, they earned eighth and third place over fences. Saturday, Rose navigated Ciacolini to first place in the handy round and second place over fences to ultimately receive the reserve champion honors. Immediately following, the Casa Luigi Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter 36+ championship was awarded to Irene Neuwirth and Juan Carlos.

Lindsay Maxwell and Diplomat

In addition to champion awards, amatuer competitors also took to the DePaolo Equine Concepts Amatuer-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter Classic for one final shot at a ribbon. John Bragg rose to the occasion aboard Guess Who, claiming a total score of 178 to walk away with first place honors. Neuwirth and Juan Carlos rounded out their day of awards with a second place in the DePaolo Equine Concepts Amatuer-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter Classic on a total score of 176. Third place was awarded to Kim Hall riding Lost Emerald to a two-round total of 170.5

Hunter competition during Desert Circuit IV will conclude Sunday, Feb. 13, as junior competitors vie for the championship in their respective divisions.


Lindsay Maxwell – Horse Pilot Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter 18-35 Champion

On the handy round:
“This is actually my first time showing Diplomat in the [Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter]. I just got him recently. We did one week in the [Amateur-Owner 3’3’’ Hunter] and he was great, and we just decided to move up. It’s only his third show as a hunter. He was doing the Green 3’3’’ Hunter and just stepped up to the Green 3’6’’ Hunter, long winded way of saying he’s only done one handy before today. But, he was doing the jumpers and we just decided to go for it. I love handy rounds and I knew he’d really follow me well around there, and he did. He was there for me every step of the way. He’s been a blast to get to know and ride. I’m really happy with how well this week went and I’m really excited for the future with him.”

On Diplomat and their partnership:
“I got him recently. This is just his third show as a hunter and my first show in the [Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter] with him. He’s 7-years-old. He did the first-year green hunter with Nick Haness, and was really successful in that. So we decided to do the amateur-owner. Obviously it went really well and I’m just thrilled. He’s really a special horse and so much fun to ride. Nick Haness found him and is continuing to show him in the open hunter. Nick has such a great eye for horses, we love getting them through Nick. We’re very excited for what’s to come with him.”

On her goals with Diplomat over Desert Circuit:
“I think that he’s going to be a really spectacular derby horse as well, so we want to continue to get some more good miles at the 3’6” height. We are definitely looking towards the WCHR Spectacular Week VIII. We’re really excited to hopefully be able to do that with him.”

“I love having new horses and young horses here at the Desert Horse Park because it’s such a fantastic facility. Management does such a great job and you get to expose them to so many different rings and classes. There’s lots of great offerings here. We love being out here in the desert and I think it’s a fantastic place to keep developing him. The goal is definitely the WCHR Spectacular Week VIII, and I think this is a great place to do it.”


DePaolo Equine Concepts Amatuer-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter Classic 
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. Guess Who / John Bragg / 89 / 89 / 178
2. Juan Carlos / Irene Neuwirth / 86 / 90 | 176
3. Kim Hall / Lost Emerald / 84.5 / 86 | 170.5
4. Solitaire / Mollie Hartung / 85 / 83 | 168
5. Antwerp / Alexis Meadows / 83 | 84 | 167
6. MTM Do Right / Didi Mackenzie / 84 / 82.5 | 166.5
7. Diplomat / Lindsay Maxwell / 84 / 82 | 166
8. Democracy / Katherine Williams / 80 / 84 | 164
9. Ciacolini / Sybil Rose / 82 / 67 | 149
10. Givenchy / Ashley Kaplan / 78 / 75 | 153
11. Paperboy / Julia Greenspan / 78 / 65 | 143
12. Can Do This VA / Shannon Kelly / 80 / 45 | 125