Doug King on Classic Oro won the $7,500 Jumper Classic, the featured event of the Ludwig's Corner Horse Show, on Labor Day weekend.
The 68th edition of the annual Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show and Country Fair fought the rains and won. A Labor Day weekend tradition in Chester County, the show drew riders and drivers from across the area in spite of damp conditions.
The featured event of the three-day show, held Sept 3, 4, and 5, was the $7,500 Jumper Classic, won this year by Doug King of Malvern, PA on Classic Oro. King had three horses in the Classic, and finished in the ribbons with all of them, but Classic Oro was the only one of his trio to go clean in the first round to return to the jump off.
Classic Oro was one of only five horses to earn his way to the jump off. A Selle Francais bred in Argentina, King got the 9 year old from Frank Chapot. “I’m trying to build a new string, and get some grand prix horses again,” King said, going on to characterize the horse. “He seems like he’s been my number one horse. I’ve only had him in three shows. He doesn’t want to hit jumps. He’s so careful, he seems to have a lot of scope when he gets in that ring.”
King was not bothered by the wet conditions. “I think the footing was fantastic. It’s not easy. The jumps were not gigantic, but it’s a long course. You make a mistake, you have one rail down, you can’t win,” he said. “I know he can come through so I was trying my hardest.”
King is a long time fan of Ludwig’s Corner. “We’ve been coming here for 40 some years. My dad brought me here when I was 5 years old. It’s a tradition, it’s sport,” he said. “I had won this class before on my old horses John Patches and Henry Higgins. I don’t have them any more - now he’s won a class they’ve won and that’s sort of special.”
Last year’s Jumper Classic winner, Ariba, owned and ridden by Wilhelmina Horzapa from New Jersey also returned. Although she did not make it to the jump off round in the classic Horzapa was among the four fault horses, finishing in sixth place. She was also the winner of the $100 jumper class.
“I think he’s a little more muscular. We’ve been doing a few bigger classes so he’s a little more ready for it,” Horzapa compared her small gray horse’s performance to last year. “I usually show height groups. He’s not really big enough for the Grand Prix’s.”
Like many riders, Horzapa who rides from Beacon Hill, likes the scheduling of Ludwig’s Corner on the holiday weekend. “It’s convenient for me, it’s Monday, it’s my day off.”
In the hunter divisions, the Grand Hunter Horse Championship went to Beyond, shown by Rachel Tennyson Gallagher of Graylyn Farm, who also happened to have donated the award. She did not anticipate being the winner, but she is very pleased with the horse. “I love him. I’ve had him for two years now. I was lucky enough to have Scott Stewart let me ride him.”
She is also a big fan of the Ludwig’s Corner show. “I love it – it’s one of the bigger shows in the area. Everything everyone does is so special. They put out the effort to make it the best it can be. You can tell in all the details it’s a wonderful show.”
The Low Children’s Hunter Horse Champion was Benjamin Moore, ridden by Kayla Haines of Honeybrook. PA. “I just started riding him in February. He’s great, we just clicked,” Haines said. “He can be slow and he likes to play at times but he’s an amazing horse.”
Haines also enjoys returning to Ludwig’s Corner at the end of summer each year. “I like the environment. It’s really friendly, I know quite a lot of people here and it’s really well laid out and organized.
All proceeds from the annual horse show go to preservation of the 33-acre show ground property as open space. One of the new features at Ludwig’s this year was the new schooling area with all new footing. Even when the rains came down heavily, the footing held up for the horses. That commitment to continuing improvements is one of the characteristics of the show that keeps people coming back.
For complete results, visit www.ludwigshorseshow.org.