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Press Release


Emma Wujek and Vivian Yowan

Vivian Yowan and Character

Emma Wujek and Lucky Times

Helen Voss and Friend Request

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Junior Hunter Champions Named at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Written by: Elaine Wessel
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2015-07-03

Traverse City, MI – July 3, 2015 – Junior Hunters took center stage in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring today at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, and with the age and size groups combined, competitors needed to outshine the rest of the pack in order to come out on top. Expertly navigating the hunter tracks presented to them, a few select riders were able to do just that to take the division’s rosette.

The young riders entered in the Junior division at the 3’6” height, sponsored by Hillside Farm, were the first to have a crack at the tricolors, with Vivian Yowan and Emma Wujek heading into the second day of Junior competition with more than one advantage above the rest. Yowan and Wujek not only had multiple mounts entered in the classes, but also consistently placed at the top of the judges’ cards. The California split-division had entrants competing in two jump classes yesterday, with Yowan earning firsts in both portions of the handy round aboard Ransom, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC and Character, owned by Belhaven Stables LLC. Wujek held her own as well, claiming first in the over fences and the second in the handy aboard Claire Azar’s Lucky Times, among other placings. Four more horses were split between the two riders, including Laura Stern’s Harrison, Amanda Foard’s Julian, Boggs Hill Farm’s Anytime, and Crackerjack, another Saddle Ridge LLC horse.

Friends Yowan and Wujek, both out of the Lexington-based Boggs Hill Farm operated by trainer Tim Goguen and his wife Kelly, both took more top-three placings to secure their leads, and ended up sharing the spotlight as champions.

“It’s been a really great start to the first week of the series for the farm,” Yowan reflected after win. With numerous champions and reserve champions crowned in only the first three days, Yowan and her barn mates have been setting a ferocious winning pace.

Yowan seems to have found a few trusty mounts to carry her for her last year as a junior. Although they have only been partnered together for a few months, Character effortlessly helped her to the champion honor today.

“He is so scopey, which makes him great for this. He has done the 4’ divisions and the High Performance Hunters in the past, so this is easy for him,” she said of her mount.

Ransom and Yowan also took the runner-up position in her section of the split division, earning her both tricolor ribbons.

Look for Yowan later in the month at the North American Junior Young Rider Championship in Kentucky as a part of the Junior Show Jumping team. She will be riding Vornado van den Hoendrik, owned by Stone Hill Farm. The pair was one of only two clear rounds in the $25,000 Antares Welcome Stake this afternoon, ultimately earning the second place.

Champion in the second group of the Junior 3’6” Hunters, Emma Wujek and Lucky Times earned 36 cumulative points to best the rest of the horse and rider pairs. Coincidentally, the grey horse has a tie to the show itself, as it is under the training of Abby Blankenship out of Carmel, IN, the wife of show manager Tom Blankenship.

A few points behind Wujek and “Lucky,” Absolut and Martha Ingram rounded out the top two placings. Absolut is owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC.
Bringing the jumps down just a few inches to the 3’3” height, a new group of riders took their turns under the watchful eyes of the judges. Earning a first and two seconds today, Kandis Wrigley’s Friend Request, with Helen Voss in the irons, navigated his way to the top of the leaderboard. The pair earned a total of 38 points, ten points ahead of the second-best entry, to take the win.

Voss and the gelding have only been together a few weeks, but the rider has quickly taken a liking to him.

“Friend is a super easy and calm horse. He knows his job in the ring,” she said of the horse. Friend Request recently came to Ashland Farm, where Voss trains with Ken and Emily Smith, in order to be sold. The team is travelling to a number of shows throughout the summer circuit, hoping to find the horse a new owner and give him more show experience.

As for Voss, she plans to continue showing this summer, mainly focusing on the equitation, and will appear at her respective Maclay Regionals and Medal Finals later in the year. Texas A&M University will gain another rider to their equestrian team in the fall in the soon-to-be freshman. Although she looks forward to the upcoming events, Voss is happy to be in Traverse City.

“We have been coming here for three or four years. We love this show; it is one of our annual favorites,” Voss commented.

Claiming the second position overall, Gg Equine Holdings’ Zekiel and Sarah Mechlin also put in two strong trips top end up with 28 points in the division standings.

The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival at Flintfields Horse Park will continue to serve as host for competition over the course of the next four weeks. Tomorrow’s hunter action continues with the championships awarded to the Amateur Owner Hunters. Later in the week, riders will have the opportunity to compete in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. For more information, please visit or


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