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Press Release


Christopher Payne and Holden

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Christopher Payne and Holden Ride to the Top of ESP Spring 3 $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: New Hope LLC
Release Date: 2013-04-26

Wellington, FL - April 26, 2013 - After coming off of a brilliant winter circuit, New Hope LLC has continued to shine in Wellington, FL. The Equestrian Sport Production Spring 3 Horse Show proved to be no exception to the success of the team at New Hope as they brought home numerous tricolors, taking the top spots on the leader board in both the hunter and jumper rings. It was under the lights Saturday night that professional rider Christopher Payne truly shined, guiding Holden to the first place finish out of a field of 28 horses in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic.

It was with true finesse that Payne took the top call in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic. Under the scrutinizing eyes of the judges, he piloted Holden to the high score of 91 in the first round, returning for round two, which was held under the lights. His high-scoring first round had him return last, and the anticipation was high as he executed a nearly flawless second round course for the top score of 92 from the judges. He wore a target on his back as the other competitors attempted to mimic his first round efforts, but his final score of 183 points sealed their fate as the night’s victors.

It's a great event,” Payne described. “They're not very many opportunities for the hunters to go in the evening, so it really felt special.  Holden seemed to really enjoy being out there under the lights!”

Earlier in the week, Holden took the top spot with Payne in the irons in the Diptera 3’3” Open Hunters, walking away with the championship. The 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding also took the championship in the Adult Amateur 51 & Over Working Hunters with owner Susan Moriconi, and the third place award in the $500 M&S/NAL Adult Hunter Classic.

Christopher Payne navigated Harlan and Good Call to the two top positions in the Performance 3’3”/3’6” Working Hunter division. Payne and his own Harlan took two first place ribbons over fences, as well as the second and third place ribbons. Harlan sealed the deal with a second place finish for their efforts under saddle. Aboard Good Call, owned by La Reve Farm, Inc., Payne caught the judges’ attention, and Payne stood center ring for both championship presentations, taking home the coveted tricolors with both mounts.

In the First Year/High Performance Working Hunters Payne and Channing, owned by Susan Moriconi, took home the reserve championship. Moriconi’s Clarity also had a chance to shine in the Pre-Green Hunters, eventually earning the championship after sweeping the over fences with Payne in the irons.

Julie Holzberger and her own Revealed took the Diptera 3’ Open Hunters Championship. They once again proved successful in the $500 M&S/NAL Adult Hunter Classic, riding to the first place finish. Young and talented Jane Brooks and Lifeline took the UHealth Children’s Hunter Championship, as well as riding to the blue ribbon win in the $500 M&S/NAL Children’s Hunter Classic.

In the jumper ring, Sarah Sturges and Sambalita rose above 31 entries in the $2,500 NAL Low Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Classic to ride to the top of the leader board. Sturges easily navigated the first round of the jumper course with no faults in 70.312 seconds, and moved on to the jump-off with her eye on the prize. Although Sambalita is a new mount for Sturges, the two performed as though they had been building a relationship for years. She took the reins and adeptly secured the first place with the blazing time of 31.405 seconds, leaving all rails in place for the fastest double-clear effort.

As the Equestrian Sport Production Spring Series comes to an end in Wellington, FL, there is no doubt that New Hope LLC will continue to rake in the tricolors as they begin their approaching tour. Belford and Payne of New Hope LLC have trained some of the country's top show hunters and are continuously adding numerous accolades to their already impressive record. The team has consistently earned championships at the nation's top horse show, and their inspiring program has helped transform horses, as well as develop some of the sport's top riders and trainers. For more information please contact


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