More Equitation Riders Qualify for the R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship at the Desert International Horse Park
For Immediate Release
THERMAL, Calif. – March 13, 2021 – More equitation riders added their name to the qualifying list for the esteemed R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship which will be held under the lights in the grand prix ring during Week VIII of the Desert Circuit at the Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) in Thermal, CA. With only one week left to qualify for the championship, riders were working hard to get on the coveted qualifying list.
The class is named in honor of the well-known rider, trainer, and judge Ronnie Mutch, who for many years operated Nimrod Farm in Weston, Connecticut. At Nimrod, Ronnie produced a number of Medal and Maclay winning riders and horses, including Ronnie’s own son Bert Mutch, a well-known West Coast rider and trainer.
The Equitation Championship is a two-round class during which riders must walk the course, school their horse, and ride the class, all without any coaching from their trainers. After competing over the first-round course, the top ten returned for a second round to contest a technical jumper-style course. To qualify, riders need a top three finish in either the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunt Seat Medal, the ASPCA Maclay Medal, the Platinum Performance Talent Search Medal or the WIHS Equitation phases.
Adding her name to the list from the (302)The Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunt Seat Medal Section A on Friday was Madison Sanders, 15, of Semi Valley, CA, aboard Calvandani Z. Sanders rides with Heatherly Davis and Edelweiss Farms. Sanders wants to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay and Dover/USEF medal finals this fall after riding at the National Horse Show 3’3” medal finals last year, earning a fourth place overall ribbon in the finals event.
The top honors in the B section of the Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal went to Stella Wasserman, 16, of Beverly Hills, CA, on Princeton. Susie Schroer and the team at Meadow Grove Farm train the duo. The eight-year-old Princeton, owned by A.F.M. Investments, is a newer ride for Wasserman, who has been showing at the DIHP for most of the winter circuit.
Stella Buckingham, 16, of Los Angeles, rode to the victory in the Platinum Performance Talent Search Medal. Buckingham rides with Q of E Farm and trainers Katie Hauss and Tasha Visokay. Buckingham just started riding the eight year old Cash Money, who is making the change from the jumper ring to the equitation ring.
“He’s very green to the equitation. He’s never really been exposed to the flowers and the hunter jumps so it’s all brand new to him but he’s come a long way,” said Buckingham.
Buckingham will continue to develop Cash Money and will also start riding another seasoned equitation horse belonging to her trainers. The ambitious young rider has two jumpers that she is moving up to the 1.40m on and won a High Junior Jumper class earlier in the week on Eames MZ, owned by the Santa Rosa Group. Buckingham’s goal is to compete in all of the medal finals this fall.
“My trainers are very supportive of anything I want to do and are always game. They are very easy people to get along with and really support my goals,” added Buckingham.
Brooke Rose Morin of Laguna Beach, CA, won the WIHS Jumper Phase aboard Bournedale. Morin rides with trainer Lee Flick and the team at Bridgeport Farms and can be found in the junior hunter and jumper rings as well.
Avery Glynn of Petaluma, CA, won the WIHS Hunter Phase aboard Temple Lucky Kiss. Glynn is no stranger to the winner’s circle in multiple arenas. In 2020, Glynn won the Overall Grand Reserve Championship in the National Junior Hunter Finals aboard Fluer De Lis. She also adds her name to the qualifying list for next week.
The R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship will be livestreamed from the DIHP. To view the action, visit the website at Deserthorsepark.com and click on the “Watch Live” tab.
About the Desert International Horse Park
With nearly 1.3 million square feet of competition and riding space, the Desert International Horse Park is one of the largest equestrian facilities in North America. Offering multiple weeks of world-class equestrian competition from October through March, the facility is a destination location for thousands of equestrians, their horses, family and friends for several months annually. Competitors from all over the world travel to Thermal, CA to not only compete but to enjoy everything the desert has to offer.