There aren’t many junior hunter tricolors Hannah Goodson-Cutt has failed to capture, after winning championships at all four Indoor shows, as well as the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals with her horse Superman last year. So it was no surprise when she turned in her usual stellar performance during Hunter/Jumper Week at the Del Mar National Horse Show, May 3-8.
With a win in each large junior hunter, 15-17, class, Goodson-Cutt was the clear cut grand champion junior hunter winner, earning the Stash The Cash Perpetual Trophy with Superman, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding. She also took home the small junior hunter, 15-17, championship with Caretano.
“She got [Superman] a bit over a year ago, and he’s just blossomed into a wonderful horse,” said trainer Kate Considine.
“He’s pleasant in the morning; he’s a happy hack and lands on the leads. Also, my 6-year-old daughter walk-trots around on him, and if a horse could smile, he would. He’s just super happy to be part of the family, and I think that’s helped him mature into being the horse that he is.”
This show season will wrap up Goodson-Cutt’s junior career, and she plans to make the Devon Horse Show (Pa.) her final event before she heads off to college at Georgetown University (D.C.).
“It always feels good [to win],” she said. “I still get really frustrated if I don’t win, and it’s my last year, so you don’t want to go downhill as you get older. I actually had never won each class before, so that was pretty cool. Sometimes you can win all the jumping classes but not the flat, so I’m lucky to have a horse who’s a good mover.”
Goodson-Cutt has trained at Willow Brook Stables in Lake View Terrace, Calif., with Considine for the past eight years. They’re like family, and Considine said it will be difficult when Goodson-Cutt leaves for college.
In order to help her student win so consistently, Considine keeps an open line of communication with her about the partnership between the rider and horse and how to approach each day and each round fresh. Goodson-Cutt’s fiercely competitive attitude is also in her favor, according to Considine.
Still, she’s managed to keep a sense of humor when the occasional flub happens in the show ring. Goodson-Cutt laughed off a “full-on chip” to a hand gallop fence in the handy round with Caretano, as she described how she must have made a funny face over the jump.
“It happens,” she said with a shrug.
Reprinted with permission from The Chronicle of the Horse.