October 21, 2014–The 56th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) began Tuesday with the first day of hunter competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. The day featured professional and amateur hunters showing in the first classes of their divisions as well as year-end championships for the children’s and adult hunter riders. The WIHS continues its six-day competition through Sunday, October 26.
The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship saw 31 entries on Tuesday competing over a course set by Kenneth Krome of Westminster, MD. The top 12 entries returned for round two where 14-year-old Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell of New York, NY, qualified both of her two mounts. The rider won the championship riding Margaret O’Meara’s Monopoly to scores of 84 and 78.5 for a total of 162.5. For the win, she was presented the H. Fenwick Kollock Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Friends of Fen.
Olivia Notman and Castlewood Farm, Inc.’s Signature finished second on a 161-point total with scores of 82 and 79. Krysiewicz-Bell also placed third aboard her horse Early Winter with scores of 81 and 77 for a total of 158.
Krysiewicz-Bell started training with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm in New York three years ago and has seen great progress in her riding. She began riding Monopoly one year ago and showed the 14-year-old Dutch Riding Horse gelding for the first time in Wellington, FL, this winter.
“He is probably the perfect horse,” she smiled. “Everything about him, everything that you would want a horse to be, he is. He is reliable, he is rarely fresh, and he is an amazing jumper. Early Winter is my equitation horse, but I have been riding him in the hunters too and he has been really good.”
Tuesday was Krysiewicz-Bell’s first time showing at WIHS, and it was her goal all year to qualify for the final. This was her last show on Monopoly (a.k.a. Cash) and a wonderful win.
“My rounds today were really good,” she detailed. “I thought that they were smooth. I think I was a little more confident than I have been on them in the past because I just was relaxing and thinking about the quality of the round and focusing.”
“I came down yesterday and I was able to look at the ring and look at the schooling area and that gave me a sense of how it would ride and what the ring would feel like when I was riding in it,” she added. “Also, I got up this morning and I schooled a little in the ring, so I got a feeling of how I would need to ride later today. I had never been here before, and it is wonderful to come here and have this success. I love the ring. It is amazing to be here, and it feels incredible to win.”
Krysiewicz-Bell is a student at Marymount School in New York City and commutes to Heritage Farm four to five days a week after school to ride. This winter she will return to Florida to continue competing.