Hannah Isop and Braven Bring Home Young Hunter 6 and Under Championship at HITS-on-the-Hudson II

Saugerties, N.Y. – June 2, 2022 – Developing a young horse takes time and patience, but for Hannah Isop that patience is beginning to shine through with her young mount Braven. She has been working with the 5-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding for two years, along with owner and trainer Tracy Freels of Harkaway Farm. They have competed in the Young Hunter 6 and Under division five times this year and earned a tricolor every time. On Thursday, Isop and Braven garnered the division’s championship honors at HITS-on-the-Hudson II to add another exciting award to their impressive resume.

 Hannah Isop and Braven

“I love that there are so many options for the young horses and more experienced horses [at Saugerties],” expressed Isop. “We're a farm that does both, so it gives us great divisions for horses to do – anything from the walk-trot to the grand prix. For the young horses, it’s definitely a great show to gain mileage. They always have a warm-up ring open, and they offer a lot of different divisions for them. They offer paddocks, so we bring all our young horses up here so they can get turned out and be with the barn and slowly gain exposure.”

This week, Isop and Braven were very consistent in the Young Hunter 6 and Under division, winning two over fences classes and placing second in the other two over fences classes, as well as the under saddle. The judges rewarded Braven’s beautiful rounds with the division’s championship title. Kamille Marcussen and Daily Planet won an over fences class and the under saddle to take home the reserve championship award.

 Kamille Marcussen and Daily Planet

Isop and Freels saw a free-jumping video of Braven as a 3-year-old and his beauty and jumping ability stood out enough that they knew they wanted to begin developing him for the hunters. “We've slowly brought him along, and we’re very excited about him,” said Isop. “He's extremely athletic and brave, just like his name. Even though he's still quite young and learning, he has such an amazing canter and rhythm to him that you can really carry a little pace and float the reins. He really enjoys his job!”

This year, Braven will continue to compete in the Young Hunter 6 and Under division with Isop. She hopes to show him in a National Derby by the end of the summer and thinks he will eventually make a top International Derby horse.

Hunter action at HITS Saugerties will continue over the next two weeks of the Spring Series as part of the complete HITS-on-the-Hudson season, which runs through September at the world-class facility. The Saugerties Spring Series will feature a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday, and a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby week III. Classics in the Short Stirrup division, through Junior and Amateur-Owner Hunters highlight hunter competition every week, including the Bit o’ Straw Classic and Novice Children’s/Adult Classics, all qualifiers for the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Finals.

 Hannah Isop and Braven