Looking Back at the 2023 Winner’s Circle

Sarah Allison Steffee Sportsmanship Award: Julia Rice
Each year, a special panel of judges awards the Sarah Allison Steffee Sportsmanship Award to the junior or young rider who exhibits the most exemplary conduct around the showgrounds. For her fantastic sportsmanship, manners, dress, and consideration of others including her own horses, Julia Rice of Hinckley was honored with this award in 2023.

Julia was a busy competitor at last year’s Classic, riding multiple horses in the hunter and jumper rings while cheering on her fellow exhibitors. Alongside the Sportsmanship Award, she brought home a second-place finish in the $1,500 Open Speed Stake and the Children’s Jumper Reserve Championship with Metro Lass, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Abby Lockwood of Apex, N.C. She was also the Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Champion with To Be Des T, her 11-year-old Warmblood gelding.

$9,999 Mini Prix: Stefanie Portman and Acapulco
Professional Stefanie Portman was on fire during the 2023 horse show, supporting the horses and riders of Quiet Meadow Farm while competing successfully in several major classes. The Burton resident strives to tailor each horse’s training program to their unique needs, developing a partnership with their riders to withstand any challenges in the show ring. Her focus on building confidence and knowledge was no more evident than on her own 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Acapulco, with whom she swept every class she entered last year. The pair took top honors in the High Schooling Jumper, $1,500 Open Speed Stake and $9,999 Mini Prix.

Stefanie also made several successful appearances in the hunter ring, including a fifth-place finish in the $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Famos Amos, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jodi Fryar of Aurora.

$7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby: Campbell Kahn and Big Casanova
Securing the blue ribbon in the $7,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby was Campbell Kahn of Moreland Hills riding Big Casanova. Campbell has worked hard to develop her partnership with her 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding, which was apparent every time they stepped into the ring during last year’s Classic. The duo put forward fantastic rounds in the hunter and equitation classes all week; they secured not only the Derby win but also championships in the Junior Hunter 3’3”/3’6” Classic and Large Junior Hunter 3’6” and 15-17 Equitation divisions. Campbell also finished sixth in the Derby with Coconut On The Rocks Z, a 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Blackheart’s LLC.

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