Wellington, Fla. – April 14, 2022 – Sunset View Farms is proud to acknowledge another successful winter season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). After thirteen weeks of competition, their horses collected a banner of tricolors and blue ribbons. Their young horses SVF Hay Maker and SVF James made substantial progress throughout the season, while their veteran mounts Hobbs Lane, Insightful, and Worthy boasted continued success.
“I’m thrilled with the performance of all the Sunset View Farms horses. This WEF season was a new experience for me with me not having my daughter showing and introducing sale horses,” shared Sunset View Farms owner Kristen Hamel. “It’s been a learning curve for me! We are excited to see how this new venture grows.”
Insightful started his WEF debut later in the season but didn’t miss a beat. Piloted by Rasmussen, the nine-year-old Warmblood gelding rode to secure the championship during WEF XI in the USHJA 3’ Hunter division. “Although our debut was late, Insightful did great and was just happy to be back in the show ring,” said Rasmussen.
Worthy and Rasmussen earned top ribbons and consistent high scores throughout the season in both the Performance 3’3” Hunter and Performance 3’6” Hunter divisions. During WEF XI, the pair also finished fourth in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on the Stadium Derby Field. Rasmussen and Worthy closed out the season with reserve championship honors in the Performance 3’6” Hunter division during WEF XII.
Rasmussen said, “Worthy was great. He and I took most of the season to get back into a rhythm after I took some time off. By the last few weeks, the two of us just felt in sync again. Our goal is to get back in the International Derby ring together.”
The Sunset View Farms young hunters made impressive strides each week in the show ring, demonstrating their developing style and skill coupled with a great attitude. SVF Hay Maker and Rasmussen took to the ring for the first time this season in the USHJA 2’6” Hunter (First Year Shown) division and earned a tricolor all three times the pair showed together. SVF James and Rasmussen moved up to the Green 3’3” Hunter division this circuit, earning ribbons each week in classes full of competitive entries. The pair competed in the young horse’s first USHJA National Hunter Derby this circuit during WEF VII, and returned for another during WEF XI to finish with high scores each time.
“Hay Maker has been so fun because he is such an old soul. He came right out of the gates knowing his job and has stayed consistent. ‘James’ is a really cool horse and has so much potential. Mentally he’s still a bit young, but as far as showing goes, it’s all very simple for him so it’s been fun to bring him along,” said Rasmussen.
Hobbs Lane competed with top junior rider Olivia Sweetnam this season. Sweetnam and Hobbs formed a strong partnership from the very beginning, which propelled the duo to a very successful circuit earning three tricolors throughout the six weeks they showed together. During WEF I and III the pair earned champion honors, and during WEF VI World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week, Sweetnam piloted Hobbs to reserve champion, winning a class with a score of 90. They also saw a 10th place finish in the $5,000 WCHR Junior 3’3” Hunter Classic.
Sweetnam remarked on this season by saying, “I’m so grateful to be able to ride such an amazing horse as Hobbs this circuit. His effort, jump, his personality – just everything about him really – makes him wonderful. He walks into the ring trying to win every single class. A million thank you’s to Maria Rasmussen and Katie Wood for their help, and to Sunset View Farms and Kristen Hamel for the amazing opportunity to pilot such an incredible horse!” Trainer, Maria Rasmussen, is excited for the future with this pair as they head off to Junior Hunter Finals and indoors together.
The Hamel family looks forward to the continued success of their performance horses. Sunset View Farms looks forward to showing at the Kentucky Horse Shows and World Equestrian Center Ocala throughout the Spring.