Meet the 12-year-old junior hunter champion with very big ambitions

  • The rising star of Sunday’s final day of hunter competition in the second week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was 12-year-old Rylynn Conway, who rode Perseus YC to champion in the Junior Hunter 3’3″ 15 and under division.

    The talented young rider of Fair Haven, NJ, and Mountain King Ranch LLC’s 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding were awarded top honors after earning two firsts, two thirds and a seventh place.

    A competitive field of 25 came forward for the division and the pair remained at the top of the class throughout both days of competition, winning under saddle as well as an over fences class with a score of 86.

    Rylynn only paired up with Perseus YC two months ago so is still forming a parternship with the son of Paparazzo, but the ribbons have been accumulating already.

    “He loves all people and his treats, which he gets a lot of since he’s perfect,” said Rylynn, who is trained by Beacon Hill Show Stables. “I love his jump and how he moves as well.”

    When assessing what gave her the advantage, Rylynn explained: “I think I stood out in the handy because I tried to make super tight turns.”

    This is her first time showing at the Winter Equestrian Festival, so she is thrilled to kick things off with a winning start. Her hopes for the rest of WEF are to stay consistent and continue earning championships with Perseus YC in the Junior Hunter 3’3″ 15 and under division.

    “Everyone is so nice, and I really enjoy the competitive atmosphere,” said Rylynn, summing up her first impressions.

    The reserve champion title went to Clara Propp riding Aquitaine Equine’s Inquisitive. The New York, NY, rider took home two firsts and a fourth place.

    Competitions for hunter, jumper and equitation continue on Wednesday, January 27, for the third week of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

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