Gochman and Portela Are Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champions at WIHS

October 24, 2013–The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition on Wednesday and awarded championship honors as well. The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6″ championship was awarded to Becky Gochman of New York, NY, riding David Gochman’s Sambalino. The pair earned the Frank Counselman Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by Friends of Frank Counselman. Gochman was also presented with the Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Rider Award for the 3’6″ level for her success in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6″ Over 35 division.

Becky Gochman and Sambalino | Photo Copyright Shawn McMillen Photography

Winning the division championship, Gochman and Sambalino placed sixth over fences and second under saddle on Tuesday and then dominated the competition on Wednesday with back to back wins and scores of 90 and 92 in the handy and stake classes. Ace of Spades and Emily Morin finished in reserve after placing second, second, and fourth over fences and first under saddle.

Gochman was also presented with The Shari Hollis Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by the Late Col. J.B. Hollis and Ms. Jeannie Hollis, which is presented to the overall winner of classes 54 and 64 in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6″ stake rounds for Sambalino’s high score of 92. This was the third year in a row that the pair earned the award.

After her winning presentation, Gochman explained that Sambalino, an 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba Hit, tends to excel on the second day of competition at WIHS each year.

“The first day has always been kind of so-so, but he seems to pick it up in the handy class,” she noted. “He’s a horse who likes to pay attention, so I think he especially enjoys the handy classes because he just waits for your direction, and he can really show off then. His stride is so adjustable tha

“I love this show so much, being the last city show left,” Gochman detailed. “I have such a good time here with my husband. This is the show we go to without the girls in the beginning of the week and we have a fun time. We enjoy the town a lot.”

After four years together, Gochman and ‘Samba’ have formed a great partnership, and they stay in top form thanks to help from trainers Peter Pletcher and Steve Weiss. Gochman is very careful to keep Samba in good shape and hopes that someday her daughters will be able to show him as well.

“We know he is a very special, one of a kind guy,” Gochman stated. “We take the best care of him, and he gives us everything back. God willing, my kids will be able to ride him in a few years if we take good care of him, and I would love to see that.”

“He is just so pretty and sweet and easy on the eyes,” Gochman described. “He’s like a stuffed animal, and he just goes out there and poses. He is kind of crabby in the warm-up areas, but once he gets out under saddle, he couldn’t put his ears more forward than he does. He’s a ham. When he wants to win, he does it by himself. All I have to do is look and let him know where he is, and he is into it. He is a real show horse.”t he really can make anything work. All I have to do is look where I’m going and make sure he knows where he’s going, and he will do his job for sure.”