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Sunday - October 7, 2001

The inaugural National Hunter/Jumper Council National Finals concluded at the Capital Challenge Horse Show today, with the presentation of five titles. The NHJC National Finals have been well received and has brought the Council more visibility. Organizers of the Capital Challenge were honored to host the NHJC National Finals.

Kendle Handtmann and her family of Carpenteria, CA purchased Remember Me from Europe, they were buying the handsome chestnut mare as a Grand Prix prospect. "In 1999 Susie (Hutchison) started showing her in the hunters," explained 14 year old Handtmann. "She did really well, and last year she did the Regulars with Susie and I did her in the Juniors."

The pair qualified as the Zone 10 representative for the NHJC National Finals at the Capital Challenge. "I was happy to be able to represent Zone 10," said Handtmann, and she was very excited when she learned she was the NHJC National Finals champion.

Action Z (Zone 4) was one of two dual NHJC National Finals winners. Jenny Jones rode him to the reserve champion 2nd Year Hunter title, and Courtney McKay rode him to the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under win for owner Kristine Shoemaker. "I have had a lot of fun riding him," said McKay. "He is so big that he is easy to find the jumps on." "These awards are fantastic," added trainer Keith Powell. "I think it is a great thing and another incentive for people who are showing."

In the Children's Hunter division, the turnout was so large that the NHJC offered awards in both the 14 and Under section and 15-17 section. Kacey McKee Jenkins of Potomac Falls, VA (Zone 3) rode Jahari to the win in the younger division. "He was reserve champion for the NHJC in the First Year Hunters," said Jenkins, "and I was thrilled when I heard we won for the Children's!" Jenkins has been showing for just over a year, and credits trainer Katie Huber for her accomplishments.

Amy Avitabile of Norfolk, MA earned the right to represent Zone 1 with Blue Whisper in the older section, and the 17 year old rider clinched the NHJC National title. "This is the first time I have come to this show and I am really excited," said Avitabile. Blue Whisper is an eleven year old Thoroughbred, and the pair have enjoyed considerable success throughout the year.

The NHJC presented 24 different championships throughout the Capital Challenge. For a complete list of results and more detailed stories, please contact the NHJC or visit the website at Sunday's results are listed below:

Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under
CH Remember Me - Kendle Handtmann, owner Zone 10
RC Brillo - Celia Goetzl, owner Zone 3

Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under
CH Action Z - Kristine Shoemaker, owner Zone 4
Courtney McKay, rider
RC Monte Blanc - RCG Farm, owner Zone 1
Juliana Starbuck, rider

Children's Hunter - Horse 15-17
CH Blue Whisper - Amy Avitabile, owner Zone 1 Children's Hunter - Horse 14 & Under
CH Jahari - Kacy Jenkins, owner Zone 3
RC Watson - Kristen Hinther, owner Zone 10

Children's Hunter - Pony
CH Charlie Chaplin - Nicole Lakin, owner Zone 2
RC Jewel of the Nile - Tiare Angelo, owner Zone 7

Junior Jumper
CH Nighty - Andrew Ramsay, owner Zone 10
RC Zero Gravity - Elizabeth Sanden, owner Zone 7

Zone Team Competition
CH Zone 10
RC Zone 4


The National Hunter/Jumper Council is the official hunter/jumper discipline organization of the USA Equestrian. As such, the NHJC seeks to represent the interests of all hunter/jumper competitors, horse shows, and organizations in the United States.
The NHJC is divided into 12 geographic zones, with the chairmen and vice-chairmen from each zone serving on the Council's 30 member Board of Governors. Each chairman of the six USA Equestrian hunter/jumper discipline committees serves also, rounding out the 30 member governing board.
In addition, the NHJC has many other committees dealing with specific issues relevant to the hunter/jumper sport, such as education, grass roots, stewards, judges, show management, show standards, drugs and medications, young rider and junior jumper championships, and planning.
The NHJC is also committed to communicating with its hunter/jumper constituency through a variety of media, including "Equestrian" magazine, the NHJC website (, and its quarterly newsletter, "The Council Connection." For more information, contact Marnye Langer, Director of Communications.

Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.