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Emma Wujek and Puppet

Emma Wujek and Puppet

Paige Matthies and Justified

Brett Burlington and Due West

Brett Burlington and Due West

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Emma Wujek Sweeps Junior Hunter 15 & Under Division at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Written by: Allyson Lagiovane
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2016-07-09

Traverse City, MI – July 9, 2016 – The second day of the Junior Hunter divisions took place on Saturday, July 9, as junior riders vied for top honors in both the Junior Hunters and the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic. In the Junior Hunter 15 and Under division, it was 15-year-old Emma Wujek who pulled of an impressive clean sweep to earn the championship aboard Puppet.

Puppet is owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC and has been with Wujek’s for over a year. Wujek said, “I started showing him at WEF this past year. He’s just such a great horse. He can be spooky sometimes, but that makes him so great, that’s why he jumps so amazing.”

Puppet’s impressive scope in the ring definitely showed as the pair soared through their courses. Wujek and Puppet ended up sweeping the 15 and Under division, securing five first place ribbons and the championship tricolor. “He was so good,” Wujek said of Puppet. “And he just jumped so amazing today. He was really tired, but he was great.”

Wujek is no stranger to Flintfields Horse Park, and has been competing there for six years, including last year during the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival inaugural year. Wujek lives at Grosse Point Farms Michigan, and is conveniently located near the horse park.

She explained, “I just love the show, and it’s so close, I have a cottage in Bay Harbor which is like 45 minutes away, so it’s nice to go back and see my family on Mondays.”

The reserve championship in the 15 and Under division went to Paige Matthies riding Justified, an entry owned by Dudley Smith. Matthies’ winnings totaled four second place ribbons and a sixth place ribbon.

In the Junior Hunter 16-17 Division, Brett Burlington had three different horses that she was competing on, but it was with Due West, owned by Allison Sweetnam, that she took home the championship win.

“We call him Wesley around the barn, and he’s really straightforward,” Burlingotn said of the horse. “He has such a nice canter and the distances show up really easily. I’ve been riding him for a long time now, on and off, and he’s always been really great.”

Burlington and Due West earned two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth throughout their two days in the Junior Hunter 16-17 division, enough to win them the  championship title. Burlington earned top ribbons on each of the horses she was competing on.  

When asked how she manages to remain such a versatile competitor, she explained, “I just have to make sure that I practice with switching from equitation to hunters to jumpers, which thankfully I get the opportunity to ride a lot of different horses so I’m used to having to do that.”

Giavanna Rinaldi and Bugsy Malone were the pair to finish as the reserve champions in the Junior Hunter 16-17 division. Rinaldi and Bugsy Malone, owned by Alex Jayne, earned two firsts and three thirds competing in the division.

Familiar champions pulled out top scores in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic. Wujek’s winning streak continued as she navigated Puppet to a total classic round score of 171 to earn the blue. Matthies also impressed in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic, earning a 169.5 on Justified to secure the second place. Rounding out the top three was Summer Hill riding Holly Orlando’s Eclypse to a total score of 167.

The first week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will conclude in the Main Hunter Ring on Sunday, July 9, with the Glory Days Farm LLC $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. For more information, visit


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