Arabesque and Clara Propp Claim Third Consecutive Grand Championship at Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships
Clara Propp and Arabesque are undefeated at Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships. Three years in a row, the pair has taken the championship in the Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 & Under division, as well as the 3’6” Overall Grand Champion title.
Propp, of New York, NY, rode the Aquitaine Equine-owned mare to high scores on day one in the classic phase of the Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships, then took the under-saddle victory on day two, and followed up their success with the win in the handy phase for a total score of 269.9. At the conclusion of the day in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, that score was the highest of all the 3’6” divisions, earning them the grand championship.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Propp, 16, said of being named champion and grand champion for the third year in a row. “I think I can happily retire from this [championship] now. There was definitely some stress and pressure coming into this year. I wanted to live up to the years before and I think we did just that. I’m really happy about it.”
Coming in with a bit of pressure, Propp knew just what to do and could rely on her partner to take care of her. “I just tried to go in and know I can do it and she can do it,” she explained. “We had to stay calm and ride the course how it was set. I know this horse so well. She can be so handy and so slick. That was the plan going into the handy. Everything went to plan and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Propp’s partnership with Arabesque is three years in the making, and each year the mare has come in even stronger. “She’s awesome,” Propp said of the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare. “Throughout the years I’ve had her we’ve formed a really strong bond. This horse never lets me down. She always performs for me and I just need to match her. It all comes together really nicely. She’s so special.”
Along with her two championship titles, Arabesque also earned the title of Best Mare in the 3’6” section of the Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships.
“I love [mares]; I think they have a lot of personality so it’s easier to form a connection with them,” Propp continued. “They’re a bit tricky but once you learn them they’re so beautiful. I would say she’s a typical mare. She doesn’t love other horses. She allows me to kiss her but never on the nose. When she’s in the ring on her own she doesn’t act like a mare, but she can be a little sassy.”
Moving into the higher levels of the jumper ranks, Propp plans to move away from the Junior Hunters after competing at the indoor horse shows in the fall of this year. She plans to keep Arabesque in action in international hunter derbies and continue to higher levels of the sport.
“She’s just so awesome here,” Propp said of Arabesque’s performance specifically in Traverse City. “She loves this ring and loves this show, and so do I. It’s a beautiful place.”
Avery Glynn of Petaluma, CA, was named Grand 3’6” Reserve Champion with Day Won, owned by Balmoral, after topping the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 section with a total score of 268.42.
In the first division of the day, the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 & Under, Paige Walkenbach of Paradise Valley, AZ, and Ever So Often, owned by Walkenbach Equestrian LLC, took the championship. Djuna Lauder of Los Angeles, CA, claimed reserve with Deja Blue, owned by Roaring Fork Farms LLC.
In the Small Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17, Glynn and Day Won were named champion, while Eleanor Rudnicki of Conroe, TX, and Advent, owned by Marta Rocha, took reserve.
While Propp and Arabesque took all three blue ribbons in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, Hailey Guidry of Poplarville, MS, and Symbolic, owned by Bella Kay, finished in the reserve championship position.
Glynn took victory again in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 section, this time earning the championship aboard Spoken, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian LLC. Caroline Signorino of Basking Ridge, NJ, was named the reserve champion with Small Love, owned by Elizabeth Reilly.