Upperville, Va. – June 11, 2021- Stephanie Danhakl and Bright Side triumphed over a strong field of amateur competitors to earn the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship on the final day of Amateur Hunter classes at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show.
Danhakl and Bright Side, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, earned the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter honors after receiving a first and two seconds over fences, and winning the under saddle class in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 18-35 division. The pair received the San Siro Perpetual Trophy, donated by Tracy Weinberg & Weinberg Brokerage Group. Danhakl was also awarded the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider Award for accumulating the most points over the 3’6” and 3’3” Amateur-Owner divisions. In addition to Brightside, she competed Tufton Avenue, Baker Street, Enough Said, and Golden Rule to take home the James J. Piehler Memorial Trophy.
Closing out Friday’s competition in the Parker Main Hunter Ring was the $5,000 Markel Insurance Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic. Jaime Auletto and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding Geronimo topped the class, while Arriana Boardman and Adelina finished second and Lexi Selldorff rounded out the top three. Chris Norden from the Markel Insurance Company was on hand to present the awards.
Hunter competition will return to the Parker Main Hunter Ring Saturday at 7:30 am with the WIHS Equitation Hunter Phase and the Junior Hunter divisions. Saturday will also include the leadline classes, Family Class, and the side-saddle competition. Pony hunters will vie for tricolor honors in Hunter Ring 2 Saturday.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Stephanie Danhakl & Brightside – Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter & Leading Amateur-Owner Rider
On Bright Side:
“His barn name is Rio. I’ve had him for about two and a half years. He was circuit champion at [the Winter Equestrian Festival]. He’s really consistent and I am very confident in him.”
On his performance this week:
“He did really well. He was first and fourth yesterday. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, windy, rainy or snowy – he always comes and tries his best and he’s really just a fun horse to ride.”
On showing at Upperville:
“I love it here. I really love the ring. I love that it’s on a bit of a hill, so it really feels like you’re out in the countryside. The environment of Middleburg is so beautiful with the rolling hills and all the trees and the green grass. I am really fond of riding out of the ring. At home I do fox hunting. I like to stay out of the ring as much as possible, so I felt very much at home here in this sort of setting.”