GLADSTONE, N.J. — Aug. 19, 2019 — The final day of the 2019 edition of Monmouth at the Team kicked off with a festive breakfast sponsored by the Gara family and included Mimosas and build-your-own Bloody Marys with Sourland Mountain spirits. Monmouth at the Team is a boutique hunter/jumper horse show held at Hamilton Farm home of the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation headquarters and former training grounds for equestrian greats who represented the U.S. in international competition. For the fourth consecutive year, the show was a sell-out.
Three-foot equitation riders were the first to return to the Main Ring at Hamilton Farm this morning for classes including the Sore No More Children’s Medal, the NJHSA Mini Maclay and the THIS National Children’s Medal.
Following the equitation divisions, seven combinations took to the ring for the Large Pony section of the Children’s Hunter Pony division. After accumulating points from several over-fences classes and an under saddle, Chase Hollow Equestrian Partners, LLC’s ‘Bel of the Ball and Sophia Chimenti received the title of Grand Champion.
The 14-year-old pony mare has been a part of the Chimenti family for several years as she originally advanced Sophia’s older sister, Mia, through the pony ring.
“We’ve had Bel for about five years and my sister rode her all the way to zone finals in the Children’s Hunter Pony,” Chimenti said. “I hope to be able to do the same with her.”
She also took the victory in the $500 M&S Children’s Pony Hunter Classic against all large, medium, and small ponies.
“At home, we have really been working on everything you would see in a classic round or test,” she explained. “We do a lot of repetition on finding good distances and practicing rollbacks because I’m still learning how to figure those things out.”
Not one to be beaten, Sophia’s older sister, Mia Chimenti added another Grand Champion ribbon to the family’s collection for her performance in the Junior Hunter 3’3” division with Ericsson. She and Chase Hollow Equestrian Partners, LLC’s 13-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding won three out of four classes in the final division of the day.
“It’s very cool for Sophia and I to be able to do this together,” said Mia. “It’s very helpful to have another eye on you that rides that you trust to give you feedback and I try to do the same for her.”
The final Top Trip of the Day was also awarded to Chimenti for her high-scoring round in the Junior Hunter 3’3” Handy. Stal De Eyckenhoeve donated an embroidered vest to accompany the ribbon to Chimenti.
“He tries so hard every time he goes in the ring, but especially in the handy rounds,” she explained of the gelding. “He seems to know the second that he goes in for the handy that something is different and he gives it even a little bit extra if that’s possible!”
Chimenti also pinned a second and two third places in the morning equitation medals with her other mount, Jassini, which she credits for her success in the handy round.
“Some of the turns in this morning’s medal classes were very similar to the ones we had to perform in the handy, so I felt I knew the track much better and was more prepared.”
Show owners Tucker Ericson and Michael Dowling thank Ramble on Farm for and Dominique Damico for their sponsorship and Devoucoux for donating a prize of a beautiful bridle. Los Queñes River Lodge and Chilean Adventures sponsored a welcomed ice cream social on a warm day.
Ericson and Dowling express their gratitude to all the sponsors, exhibitors, staff, spectators, family and friends that help to make the event such a resounding success. Mark your calendars for next year when Monmouth at the Team returns to Hamilton Farm Aug.10-17, 2020.
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