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Lillie Keenan Wins USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup at U.S. Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast

RELEASE: August 1, 2013

Lillie Keenan and Clearway jump their way to the top of the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup (ESI Photography)
Lillie Keenan and Clearway jump their way to the top of the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup (ESI Photography)
Saugerties, NY
– Lillie Keenan of New York, New York and Clearway, owned by Heritage Farm, Inc. were the ones to shine during day two of the U.S. Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. The pair topped a field of 65 to win the prestigious USHJA / Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup.

Keenan led the first round with a score of 95, which was combined with a 94, the top score in the handy for a two-round total of 189. “The course was very fitting for today’s field – it was successful at whittling down the numbers without causing any disasters,” said Keenan. “It asked all the right challenging questions and my horse was able to answer them all.”

Clearway and Keenan became a partnership at the beginning of last year under the direction of Andre Dignelli and, according to Keenan, they were a perfect match from the very beginning. “Clearway is a very special horse and this class really suited him,” she said. “He was able to showcase his big step with a nice galloping hunter course in the first round and then we were able to show off our turns in the handy round.”

The top four riders returned in the third and final round in which they switched horses and were tested on new mounts. Keenan worked off in the final test with Levkoi, an entry owned by Redfield Farm and originally ridden by Morgan Ward of Milford, New Jersey. Despite very different ways of going, Keenan piloted Levkoi to a score of 95, which landed them with a total score of 284 and the win.

“Clearway and Levkoi are polar opposites. Our first jump in the schooling area was pretty horrible,” said Keenan with a smile. “He’s much hotter than Clearway. They go in different bridles and they both respond well, but just in different ways. We were able to get it worked out after only two warm-up fences and he proved that he is a really lovely horse.”

Of the top four that worked off in the USHJA Hunterdon Cup, Hunter Holloway of Topeka, Kansas rode Hays Investment Corp.’s Blige to a final score of 256.5 to earn second place. Third went to Abby Bertelson of Weston, Massachusetts aboard her own Eclypso with a final score of 245. Ward and Levkoi posted a 241 for fourth.

Complete results from the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup are available at HitsShows.com.