National Sunshine Series I Hunter Round-up

National Sunshine Series I Hunter Round-up

THERMAL, CA (November 4, 2015): Excitement filled the air at National Sunshine Series I with anticipation for the $100,000 USHJA Hunter Derby debut on Saturday, November 7, as hunter riders continued to prepare for the Week II main event. 

John Bragg, of Laguna Beach, California, and Lukatoni, owned by Pamela Moellenhoff closed out the weekend winning the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. Boasting double 87s for a total of 174, and two consecutive round highs, they sealed the deal with just two points between them and the second place rider. 

As round one came to a close it was anybody’s game with a handful of competitors receiving scores in the mid-80s. Bragg moved up to go sixth in the second round order and he proved to be in peak condition when he bested the prior five competitors, to place him at the top of the charts for the time being. 

Ninth in the second round order was Michael Leon and Spot On, owned by West Coast Equine Partners LLC. The pair, who earned and 86 in the first round, quietly and craftily made their way through the course hoping to prevail over Bragg. Leon received another 86, totaling 172 for second place. 

Hugh Mutch aboard Bunistar, owned by Naomi Rubin, anchored the final round order. With a first round score of 83, they cruised to a cool second round 86.5 for a total of 169.5 and third place.  Fourth place was presented to Buddy Brown and Finally Ours, owned by Derby Hill, while fifth place went to Philip Cillis and Julie Hancock’s Willow CBF.






R.1 Score

 R.2 Score




Pamela Moellenhoff

John Bragg






Spot On

West Coast Equine Partners, LLC

Michael Leon







Naomi Rubin

Hugh Mutch






Finally Ours

Derby Hill

Buddy Brown






Willow CBF

Julie Hancock

Philip Cillis







Elena Canova

Hugh Mutch







Woodvale Inc

Hugh Mutch







Cindy Fox

John Bragg





John Bragg and Lukatoni take home a $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix blue ribbon from National Sunshine Series I in Thermal, CA. 

$3,000 West Coast Pony Hunter Finals
Ponies took center stage at National Sunshine Series I for the $3,000 West Coast Pony Hunter Finals. Stella Wasserman, of Beverly Hills, California, rode Silly Putty, owned by Skyler Fields, to a well-deserved victory with scores of 84 and 85, for a total of 169, to take home the blue ribbon.  

Sara Someck rode her own Pocket Pony to second place with scores of 74 and 84, totaling 157. With scores of 77 and 78, for a total of b155, Katalina Rickard and Snapshot, owned by Kate Considine, received third place. Rickard and her second entry of the day, Elite Hollywood Smoke, owned by Micaela Kennedy, followed in fourth place with scores of 70 and 80, totaling 150.  Rounding out the top five, Sophie Peizer and Page 6, owned by Norgan, Inc, had scores of 72 and 77 for a 149 total. 

Unique to the National Sunshine Series, this iconic class gives young hunter riders the opportunity to showcase their hard work and dedication to the sport in a finals-type setting. By providing an inclusive show schedule pony enthusiasts can prove themselves in the ring while associating with the high performance riders showing in a nearby hunter or jumper ring.

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Score R.2 Score Total
1 Silly Putty  Skyler Fields Stella Wasserman $800 84 85 169
2 Pocket Pony  Sara Someck Sara Someck $550 74 83 157
3 Snapshot  Kate Considine Katalina Rickard $400 77 78 155
4 Elite Hollywood Smoke Micaela Kennedy Katalina Rickard $300 70 80 150
5 Page 6  Norgan, Inc Sophie Pelzer $260 72 77 149
6 Mr. Monk Mackenzie Jones Mackenzie Jones $240 68 73 141
7 Mighty Quinn Paseo Farms, LLC Ashley Penner $225 58 - 58

Stella Wasserman and Silly Putty on their way to a $3,000 Wes Coast Pony Hunter Final win at National Sunshine Series I in Thermal, CA. 

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
It was a ‘Happy Friday’ indeed for Lindsay Maxwell, of Los Angeles, California, and Widget, owned by Tracey Burroughs, who claimed last week’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Calm, cool and collected they received scores of 83 and 86, totaling 169, for the blue ribbon, although it was a two-round game of cat-and-mouse with the second place finisher. 

As the second to last entry of round one, Maxwell received an impressive 83 which bested all of the previous competitors, but with one entry left, nothing was set in stone. Grace Pearson and her own Camblaso took their first trip of the class and cruised to a new round high score of 84, to top Maxwell. 

In the second round, it came down to the final two yet again. Maxwell wowed the judges receiving the round high of 86 to bump her to the top spot. Maxwell’s fate was unknown, as she waited for for Pearson, the last entry of the day, to give the course a second chance. With a small mistake at the second obstacle, Pearson received a score of 83, for a total of 167 and second place. 

Mia Minervini and her own Casperia earned third place with scores of 76 and 81, totaling 157. Following in fourth place was Pearson on her second mount of the afternoon, Cenerife, owned by Barbara Pearson, and fifth place was awarded to Julia Damour on her own Bookmaker with scores of 73 and 75 for a total of 148.  

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Score R.2 Score Total
1 Widget  Tracy Burroughs Lindsay Maxwell $450 83 86 169
2 Cambiaso  Grace Pearson Grace Pearson $300 84 83 167
3 Casperia Mia Minervini Mia Minervini $200 76 81 157
4 Cenerife  Barbara Pearson Grace Pearson $150 82 73 155
5 Bookmaker Julia Damour Julia Damour $125 73 75 148
6 Mr. Brando  Gwen McCaw Sophie De Selliers $100 74 69 143
7 The Secret's Out Jill England Madison England $100 75 67 142
8 Cecilia  Gwen McCaw Gwen McCaw $75 72 68 140

Lindsay Maxwell and Widget cruise through the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix course for the win at National Sunshine Series I in Thermal, CA. 

About HITS, Inc.

HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the Village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, and Virginia.

While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by MortgageCall, in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*, presented by Wells Fargo, in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS! Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail