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Kelly Tropin Returns to Claim Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter Title

 
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Kelly Tropin and Chablis
 
The amateur-owner hunter athletes took center stage on Thursday morning as the 2017 CP National Horse Show continued to award championship titles.
Eight years after her performance in the ASPCA Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show, Kelly Tropin returned to the Alltech Arena aboard Libertas Farm LLC's Chablis to top the Amateur-Owner Under 35 Hunter division, sponsored and presented by Suzanne Thoben Marquard, claiming the championship and the winning cooler, sponsored by Archibald Cox III, and ultimately earning the title of Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter and the "Ruxton and Scot To Do" Challenge Trophy. Tropin and the 9-year-old Warmblood gelding captured wins in the stake class as well as in the under saddle class, and claimed a second place ribbon in the handy round to earn the "In Dutch" Memorial Perpetual Trophy and the "Scot To Do" Challenge Trophy. Lindsay Maxwell rode her own Baranus to the win in the handy round to take home the reserve championship award.
 
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Kelly Tropin and Chablis
 
Catch Me and owner Becky Gochman continued their domination of the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division with wins in Wednesday's over fences and under saddle classes in addition to Thursday's handy round to ultimately claim the championship tricolor. Gochman could not dream of a better partner than "Snoopy," a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding who has guided her to a year full of championships and blue ribbons in their amateur season debut. The pair also earned the same championship title after sweeping the division at the Capital Challenge Horse Show. Staying true to form, Catch Me also claimed the Judith Murch High Performance Hunter division, presented by the Corrigan family and Winners Circle Trailer Sales, on Wednesday with Scott Stewart. The Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division reserve championship and the William and Margaret Marquard Memorial Trophy was awarded to stake class winners Virginia Fout and her own Cristiano.
Following the completion of the amateur-owner hunter divisions on Thursday, junior hunter competition began where Elly Ficca and her own Quatrain captured back-to-back wins in the Junior 3'3" Hunter over fences and handy rounds. Ficca and the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding secured maximum points ahead of Friday's stake and under saddle classes to determine the champion.
Junior hunter competition will continue through Friday beginning with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division at 9:05 a.m.
 
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Becky Gochman and Catch Me
 
 
FROM THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Kelly Tropin – 2017 CP National Horse Show Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter
On Chablis:
"I'm really proud of my horse and I'm really grateful to ride such an amazing animal. He's the horse of a lifetime for me. He's only 9 so I hope we have many more years together, but I'm really proud of him because he's been champion now at Washington, Harrisburg and the National [Horse Show]. I really wanted him to have the opportunity to do well at this show. He's such a careful, spectacular jumper and he's not spooky at all. We like him a little fresh and explosive over the jumps. We don't like him to get too tired for the second day. That speaks to what a wonderful horse he is — that he's 9, can be fresh and just walks in the ring and does his job. He's wonderful."
On training with Peter Lutz and Mary Manfredi:
"Not only is he my only hunter, he's the only hunter we have in the barn with my trainers Peter Lutz and Mary Manfredi. They're amazing horse people. They do everything to make Chablis the spectacular horse he is. He does the same gymnastics as the grand prix horses and my amateur jumpers that I have."
On the National Horse Show:
"I haven't been to this horse show since I did the Maclay finals and I remember walking into the ring in 2009 and crying thinking, 'This is my last horse show ever, I'm so sad.' Almost 10 years later, I wish I could've said to myself then, 'You'll be here again and you'll be fine, it'll be better than you ever thought it would be.' I'm back and it's been really nice. It's an amazing show. I love all of the indoor shows, but this one is really special."
Becky Gochman – Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division champion
On Catch Me's championship:
"It was a great way to end the season. 'Snoopy' of course is the ultimate horse and he is just a blast to ride. He's a wonderboy and knows his job. He wants to please and is just a really smart horse. Sometimes I feel like he's not real because he just feels like I made him up in my imagination and he came true — he's really one of a kind. For our first go of our amateur season, he's surpassed all of my expectations."
On Catch Me's schedule:
"I'm just enjoying him and I hope that we continue to do that along the way so he lasts a really long time. I think he does spread joy. When people look at him, they get a kick out of him."
 
 
 
RESULTS
Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division champion:
Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman and owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC
Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Under 35 Hunter division champion:
Chablis, ridden by Kelly Tropin and owned by Libertas Farm LLC