Langley, BC — Stella Chernoff has been partnered with Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co’s Fay for more than five years.
But they don’t get to spend much time together.
Chernoff, 19, studies at Queen’s University in Ontario, and for eight months of the year, she steps away from the saddle to focus entirely on school. But she’s making the most of her summer. She topped the MarBill Hill U25 1.35m at her final show before returning to campus.
Besting a seven horse jump-off, Chernoff and Fay crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) short track in 35.52 seconds. Georgia Knight (CAN) and Ecolano vs Robano finished close behind in second (35.71s), with Kassidy Keith (CAN) and Fenelon WF third (35.84s).
“I was like, ‘I’m just going to give it my all,'” Chernoff said, “and she gave it right back to me, and she was so good. Down to the last jump, I was like, ‘You know what? We’re clear so far, I’m just going to gallop up.’ And then I sat her down two strides out, and she jumped it so good.”
Chernoff admits, getting to know the now 13-year-old KWPN mare has been a process. The particular grey doesn’t like a bit in her mouth and prefers to be ridden with a long rein—that is, when she is ridden. It turns out, the fact that Chernoff doesn’t have much time to ride suits Fay just fine.
“She doesn’t get ridden at home at all unless we’re jump schooling, so she just lunges. I don’t ride her at the show at all unless we’re warming up for the class or trail riding,” Chernoff said. “After we put those things together, everything came together.”
Chernoff has been repeatedly rewarded for tailoring her program around her mare’s needs. The pair has averaged just 3.08 faults at 1.35m, according to Jumpr App.
“We figured it out now, and honestly, there’s nothing better than like going in the ring with her. It’s just so amazing,” she said. “I trust her 100 percent, and I can tell she trusts me, and there’s just no better feeling than that.”
MarBill Hill U25 1.35m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Fay / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd. / 0/0 35.52
2. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 35.71
3. Fenelon WF / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/0 35.84
4. Connecticut / Makenna Lemstra / CAN / Makenna Lemstra / 0/0 38.77
5. Ielinea JTL / Jaydan Stettner / CAN / Jaydan Stettner / 0/4 34.16
6. Sonny Brigade / Jennifer Clark / CAN / Jennifer Clark / 0/8 38.02
7. Chaccalanda / Olivia Stepheson / CAN / Luis Alejandro Plascencia / 0/8 39.81
8. First Focus Z / Clara McDanniel / USA / Clara McDanniel / 4 69.56
9. Diamantina VH Scheefkasteel Z / Samantha Smith / USA / Y&R Sporthorses LLC / 4 71.47
10. Laviata / Cashelle Levasseur / CAN / Gerard Developments / 5 79.15