After narrowly missing out on the championship title at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in October, 17-year-old Emma Walters, of Lancaster, New York, and Crisp redeemed themselves by earning the Junior 3’3” Hunter Grand Championship at the National Horse Show.
The pair claimed the 3’3” Junior Hunter, 16–17, section championship after winning Friday’s initial over fences round, Saturday’s stake class and placing second under saddle and third in the Handy round. Walters guided Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s 12-year-old warmblood gelding to the accolades.
Walters has been a working student for SBS Farms, Inc., since the spring of 2017 and worked in the Buffalo Equestrian Center’s lesson program prior to that. All of her hard work certainly paid off on Saturday as she ended her fall indoor season, and first time competing at the National Horse Show, with a tricolor.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Emma Walters – On winning the overall Junior 3’3” Hunter Grand Championship with Crisp:
“It feels great. He was reserve champion at Harrisburg, and now he’s champion here. He’s been really great the whole year. I started with him in the Children’s Hunters two years ago, and then I started doing the Juniors last summer. It’s really redeeming after Harrisburg. He is just really special, and I’m glad that we all got to be here for it. I never would have thought I would be here doing this.”
On competing at the National Horse Show for the first time: “It’s kind of surreal. I’ve watched it on the live stream before, but it looks so different [in person]. To actually ride in this ring is so cool.”
Susie Schoellkopf – Trainer and executive director of the BTRC
On Crisp: “He won the first year of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship with Hunt Tosh [in 2013]. He belonged to the Wheeler family and, luckily for us, they ended up donating him, and he did the therapeutic program for a year. He’s such a sweet, kind horse. It’s unbelievable. I just felt that Emma could do well with him in the Children’s Hunters, and it went from there.”
On Emma Walters: “She has worked her heart out. She’s been president of the IEA club at the Buffalo Equestrian Center, and she’s always helping the other kids. She has an amazing attitude, and there are never any doubts about the horses that I put her on. She’s such a specialized rider in the Hunters. She does it so well. I think that when we go to Florida, she’ll end up doing Hunters and maybe a little Jumpers. Emma and I both want to thank Archie Cox. He’s a great friend of mine who stepped in to co-train [Emma and Crisp] at Harrisburg and here.”
Special thanks to Phelps Sports for the press release and photographs.