Bohlin Saves Best for Last in Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy 2’6″/2’9″

Langley, BC — Elizabeth Bohlin (USA) was the final rider to enter the ring for the Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy 2’6″/2’9″ Friday evening at Thunderbird Show Park.

It was a long wait through the class of 34 combinations through the multi-phase, single round competition. But Bohlin hadn’t paid much attention to how the class was trending. She determined to stay in the moment and focus on her own plan.

That plan would prove best on the day. Bohlin and her 11-year-old mare Idea-K were commanding winners with a 178 total score. Erin Baldry (CAN) and November Rain—who held the lead for almost the entirety of the class—finished second (169), with Calisto and Kaia Hanna (CAN) third (167). Bohlin and Idea-K received base scores of 86 and 84 from the two judging panels, with 8 high option points added.

“I try to stay really present, so I can just do what I need to do. That’s why I don’t like to really follow the class. I just stick to my plan,” Bohlin said. “My trainer told me to make sure that I stayed kind of to the left of an oxer so I could make this one inside turn that the person before me hadn’t made. My horse got a little wild at that point, but it worked!”

In the Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy, the first half of the course is meant to be ridden as a Classic round, with the second half ridden as a handy test. Both phases are jumped consecutively, with both a 2’9″ and 2’6″ height option. Creating more derby opportunities for riders competing at smaller heights, the competition is open to junior and amateur riders who do not compete at heights above 2’9″ at the show; riders must jump the highest height at which they’ve been competing.

“It’s a super great program,” Bohlin expressed. “My horse is 19 and I moved her down [in fence height], so this gives us something to do that’s still challenging.”

Bohlin felt her partner rise to the occasion, as the special class raised the atmosphere at the Dina Happy Hunter Arena. She and Idea-K have been paired for five years.

“She came from the Czech Republic. She used to do the 1.20m and 1.30m jumpers, and now she’s doing the Adult Eq and hunters with me,” Bohlin said.

The pair has now won their last two derby outings. They plan to return to tbird in August to attempt a three-peat.

“We’re [also] going to do the PCA 2’9″ Jr/Amateur Medal Finals at the Oaks. It’s another stretch-thing to challenge us as we’re getting old,” Bohlin chuckled. “Fingers crossed!”

Betker Family Jr/Am Hunt & Handy 2’6″/2’9″
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score

1. Idea-K / Elizabeth Bohlin / USA / Elizabeth Bohlin / 178
2. November Rain / Erin Baldry / CAN / Erin Baldry / 169
3. Calisto / Kaia Hanna / CAN / Megan Dalton / 167
4. Stonecountry’s Rolls Royce / Isabella van der Werf / CAN / Isabella van der Werf / 164
5. Almost Famous / Samantha McFadyen / CAN / Lily Grynspan / 162
6. Delight / Trinity Hall / CAN / Meghan Rawlins / 160
7. Kilkenny Winston / Emily Bongers / CAN / Yuli Arad / 154
8. Hermes van’t Goovahof / Elliette Kirby / CAN / Elliette Kirby / 153
9. In Your Dreams / Eloise Clark / CAN / Stephanie Clark / 150
10. Erek / Hannah Cossey / CAN / Summer Cossey / 149