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Press Release


Giavanna Rinaldi and Romance

Sophie Gochman and VIP Z

Sophie Gochman pats VIP Z.

Emma Wujek and Puppet

Emma Wujek and Puppet

Emma Wujek and Cuba

Summer Hill and Eclypse

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Giavanna Rinaldi and Romance Win $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic

Written by: Allyson Lagiovane
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2016-07-16

Traverse City, Mich. – July 16, 2016 – An unfamiliar pairing was spotted in the hunter ring at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival as Giavanna Rinaldi piloted a new horse, Romance, around the Small Junior Hunter division. Romance, a mount owned by Amanda Derbyshire, is normally seen competing with Mimi Gochman, but the circumstances were different for Saturday afternoon’s show.

After Gochman sustained an injury on Friday, she took the rest of the show weekend off, leaving Romance without a rider to finish the Small Junior Hunter Division. Rinaldi was asked to step in to help with the division, as well as compete in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic.

“The horse was super nice,” Rinaldi said of Romance. “He gave a great feeling over the jumps, super smooth, always gave one hundred percent effort. And Mimi did a great job with him yesterday too.”

Rinaldi and Romance earned a spot in the top twelve call back for the classic after receiving an 87 during their first over fences round. The pair topped their score, earning an 88 and besting the field of 19 riders to win the blue.

Gochman watched from the sidelines as Rinaldi patted Romance after their winning round. “It was amazing!” Gochman said of Romance’s performance with Rinaldi. “I’ve known Romance for a really long time, maybe the most out of all of my horses. He was my first horse to ride, which is really special. You have to know him well, and Gia knew him really well, and did awesome.”

It was a successful day for the Gochman family, as Sophie Gochman piloted VIP Z to the second place finish in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic with scores of 83 and 85. Rounding out the top three was Brett Burlington on Due West, earning scores of 83 and 80.

Rinaldi also helped Gochman earn the overall championship title in the Small Junior Hunter division after winning two blue ribbons on Romance. During Friday’s portion of the division, Gochman rode Romance to a first place in the handy round, as well as a fourth and a seventh.  

When Gochman was asked if she was feeling better and getting ready to compete again, she excitedly replied, “Yes! I’ll start showing again next week.”

Emma Wujek and Puppet returned to the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division defending their championship win from week one. After earning two firsts, two second, and a third place ribbon, Wujek and Puppet, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, now have two consecutive championship wins under their belt.

Of Puppet, Wujek said, “He was good, he’s just super tired. But he’s such a great horse. His canter is just like you’re floating on a cloud!

Wujek also dominated the Large Junior Hunter division riding Cuba, an entry owned by Missy Clark. Wujek and Cuba earned two first place ribbons, as well as two seconds and an eighth to clinch the reserve championship title.

Wujek added, “I had to do Cuba second. Puppet was awesome, he was feeling good,” she laughed, “And then I came in and beat him on Cuba! They were both awesome. Cuba is cool. He’s more up and down where Puppet is more big and long. He has a great jump, and he’s really fun!”

For the Large Junior Hunter 16-17-year-old division, Summer Hill took home the win riding Holly Orlando’s Eclypse. Hill and Eclypse almost swept the division, accumulating four firsts and a third during their two days competing in the division. Brett Burlington and Popish Farms, LLC’s Due West took home the reserve champion ribbon in the division.

Competition for World Championship Hunter Rider Week at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will conclude Sunday, July 17, after the Glory Days Farm, LLC $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

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