Hunter Riders Set to Take Center Stage Once Again at 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show

Sep 6, 2017 - 2:39 PM
For Immediate Release
Sarah Madden for RCPHS

New York, NY – September 6, 2017 – The 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature show hunters for the third consecutive year in one of the most spectacular horse show venues in the world. Hosted at Wollman Rink in Manhattan’s iconic Central Park from September 20-24, 2017, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show will usher in many of the country’s top professional, amateur, junior, and pony hunter riders to compete on Saturday, September 23 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale for the event – CLICK HERE to purchase yours today! Visit for more information.

The classic and timeless English discipline derived from the origins of fox hunting will display both elegance and precision, as a day of assorted hunter classes presented by The Gochman Family and Dr. Betsee Parker will entertain throughout Saturday afternoon.

The afternoon will begin with Amateur Hunter, Junior Hunter, and Pony Hunter divisions ahead of the competitive 2017 U.S. Open Hunters Duchossois Cup presented by The Gochman Family & Dr. Betsee Parker, featuring many of the countries top riders. Competitors will include: Scott Stewart, Morgan Ward, Maria Rasmussen, Ben Phillips, Erica Quinn, Alexis Silvernale and Katie Cooper, among other notable names.

A highlight of the week for spectators and participants alike is when the pony riders take to Wollman Rink, giving some of the nation’s top young hunter riders a chance to shine in Central Park. Riders will include include Zola Thompson, who took first in last year’s Pony Hunter Exhibition sponsored by The Gochman Family, and will also feature Lucy Thornhill, who secured third place in 2016.

Winners from last year’s $2,500 Junior/Amateur Owner Classic Exhibition sponsored by The Gochman Family are also expected to return for the 2017 edition of competition, including Stella Styslinger, who captured third place in 2016, alongside Sophie Gochman, who took fourth, and will also feature top riders, Mimi and Becky Gochman.

The $50,000 Duchossois Cup has become a staple class during the week of competition for hunter competitors and honors the late Bruce Duchossois. 
“We’re really looking forward to this third year of hunters at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” said Becky Gochman, both a sponsor and competitor at the competition. “We really believe in this great environment to be able to show the horses where many different kinds of people can see them, and the background of the park and cityscape is just a wonderful setting.”

Speaking to the growth of the Pony Hunter division, Gochman commented, “The Pony Hunter division is just perfect to bring a little bit of joy to the show. The children get to pick a song to be played along with their round, and even though it’s competitive, it’s a very relaxed and joyful environment for both the pony and rider.”

The inaugural U.S. Open winner at the 2015 Rolex Central Park Horse Show was Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY, aboard Miss Lucy. Although Alfano was unable to repeat her performance in 2016 due to an injury, she spoke fondly of her Central Park experience and strongly urged people to watch and support the hunter classes that take place at this historic event.

“We had such an amazing time at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” she said. “It was so exciting to compete with the New York City skyline as the backdrop. The fences were fun and interesting for the horses and riders, and they all performed so well in the venue. Although I’m disappointed that I couldn’t compete last year, I am making my plans for 2017!”

The $1,000 Pony Hunter class gives the smallest competitors their own time to shine in Wollman Rink.
Gochman, a successful amateur hunter rider in her own right, feels it is important to include each of the hunter divisions in high caliber horse shows and elaborated, “It’s such a traditional sport, and while the jumpers often get to go in the more exciting venues, I think that the hunters are such a great tradition in the United States that we really need to work to keep it going and to offer good prize money and venues to keep the sport at the top of its game.”

Fans of equestrian sport won’t want to miss Saturday’s hunter competition at the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show, in addition to a full schedule of equestrian disciplines returning in 2017. Make your plans to visit the Big Apple for U.S. Open equestrian competition and see the top names in horse sport!

The U.S. Open $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex will air on NBC Sports Network on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.

A portion of ticket sales will benefit a lengthy list of New York, as well as equestrian based, charities.

Seating is limited and the demand for tickets is expected to be high.

All seats have unobstructed views. All ticket sales are final, non-transferrable; no refunds or exchanges. Gates open 30 minutes prior to the start of the event. All prices exclude tax and fees.

For more information, please visit

JW Marriott Essex House New York is the Official Host Hotel of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, and is located on beautiful Central Park South, offering expertly curated experiences, impeccable service – and breathtaking views of the park since 1931. Click here to reserve your room at the JW Marriott Essex House New York today at

For Reserved Seating questions, please contact 1-844-319-CPHS (2747) or email

For VIP Table Sales, please contact

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit or Facebook at and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Credit ©MegBanks/RCPHS. Photos may be used only in relation to this press release.

Categories: News, Press Releases

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