• 69 competitors from 21 nations competed, with teams from 17 nations.
• The field included five former individual World Champions: Zoltán Lázár of Hungary, World Champion in 1997; his brother Vilmos Lázár of Hungary, World Champion in 1999, 2001 and 2007; Riny Rutjens of the Netherlands, World Champion in 2003; fellow Dutch driver Mieke van Tergouw, World Champion in 1995; and Rainer Pointl of Austria, World Champion in 2005.
“When I was little, I would watch the junior hunter ring and think ‘Wow, it would be so amazing to be like them someday.’ And now it seems like I’m living that dream,” said Caroline Ingalls.
Ingalls is living the dream indeed, riding Small Town to the grand and large junior hunter, 16-17, championships at the USEF Junior Hunter Finals West Coast, held Aug. 11-12 in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
When Kilian McGrath’s invitation to show Peter Rabbit at the USEF Junior Hunter Finals West Coast arrived in the mail, her mother threw it away. “We thought it would be too much because Peter is so green, especially because we’d heard about how spooky and hard the courses can be,” McGrath said.
But trainer Leslie Steele talked them into entering, even if it was just for the experience and mileage.