John French and Snow Day Snatch 3’6” Green Hunter Championship

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Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography John French and Snow Day - World Championship Hunter Rider

John French riding Snow Day claimed the 3’6” Green Hunter division championship on Thursday, June 15, 2023, to kick off World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition at the Saratoga Classic I, held during the 25th anniversary Saratoga Horse Shows, at White Hollow Farm in Stillwater, NY.

French of Wellington, FL, began riding Snow Day, owned by Ellie Sadrian, at the end of April. Despite their recent partnership, the pair produced four consistent, picture-perfect rounds to impress the judges.

“Snow Day is a relatively new ride for me, and this is my second show with him,” explained French of the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding sired by Eric Lamaze’s 2008 Olympic champion mount, Hickstead. “He was bought to eventually be a junior hunter. He had not shown in the 3’6” until I started riding him, and he has really stepped up nicely.”

During the first day of the division on Wednesday, French and Snow Day won both over fences classes and also strutted to the top prize in the under saddle. The duo secured an additional blue ribbon as well as second place on Thursday.

“He likes to be left alone and ridden with a very light contact,” commented French. “I never have to worry about him hitting a jump. He is very careful, and I think he has a pleasant way of cantering around. Everyone who saw him go the first day commented on how cute and relaxed he looked, probably because I did not pick up the reins. He goes around the ring very quietly and then snaps his knees over the jumps.”

Although French has ridden to many championship titles during his career, this marks his first victory at Saratoga Horse Shows.

“I’ve shown a lot, and there are not many shows I haven’t been to, but this is my first time here,” said French. “It’s a beautiful setting, and the rings are very nice. I like that the rings are conveniently located to each other and the barns. I’m really happy to be here. I’m looking forward to visiting the town as well when I’m done showing.”

Hunter, jumper, and equitation competition continues on Friday, June 16, highlighted by the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Press release Saratoga Horse Shows – Celebrating 23 Years

Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography – John French and Snow Day jumping to the 3’6″ Green Hunter championship title.

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