Ireland's Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna win the $100,000 Prix De Penn National. Al Cook alcookphoto.com
Horses as therapists was an ongoing theme at the 71st annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held October 13-22 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. The show’s presenting sponsor, The Lindsey Maxwell Charitable Fund, is administered by 27-year-old amateur/owner hunter rider Lindsey Maxwell from Los Angeles, CA. Her desire to support the PNHS Foundation’s mission to provide funding for therapeutic riding programs was a tribute to her older brother, Benjamin, born with Downs syndrome and cerebral palsy, who loved to ride and who passed away in 2003.
The show, whose foundation provides annual grants to therapeutic riding programs and other equine charities as well as community groups through the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation, held the Inaugural PNHS Foundation Therapeutic Championships. Hunter rider Louise Serio judged the fourteen competitors on their equitation. Riders qualified by participating in one of three qualifying competitions held around the state this summer.
Winning the Walk/Trot Assisted Class was Charles Turnbaugh of Newville, PA, riding Mister Sneedercise. Second place was Gabrielle Arce of Shermans Dale, PA, on Lucy. The Walk/Trot Unassisted class winner was Rhiannon Calp, riding Rio. Second place went to Grace Strayer from York, PA, on She's My Lucky Charm.
The PNHS Foundation honored the Therapeutic Horse of the Year, Clyde, from Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy in Philadelphia, PA.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, under first-year Executive Director Susie Webb, increased prize money for the Grand Prix de Penn National to $100,000 this year and Irish rider Daniel Coyle took home the lion’s share. After placing second the previous two nights in the show's first two FEI 3* classes, Coyle, riding eighth of 10 in the jump-off, blazed over the Bernardo Cabral-designed course and finished clean in 33.63 seconds on Fortis Fortuna, an 11-year-old, Belgian-bred mare to claim the win. Placing second was local hero Callan Solem of Chester Springs, PA, who had taken the lead from Ilan Bluman of Colombia with a clean ride in 35.44 seconds on VDL Wizard. Bluman, first up in the jump-off, finished third with a clean round in 36.13 seconds on Ladriano Z, owned by Blue Star Investments.
Less than a blink of an eye separated the top two in the $40,000 Pennsylvania "Big Jump". Leslie Burr-Howard of Darien, CT, and Quadam triumphed over Irish rider Daniel Coyle and Ridley by 1/100th of a second in the first of three FEI events.
Although 11 entries went clear in the first round, only ten elected to come back for the jump-off. Local rider Callan Solem chose not to take VDL Wizard back into the ring. Irish Olympic veteran Kevin Babington had 12 faults on his first mount, Mark Q, but fared better with Shorapur going double clear in 34.63 seconds for third place.
Leslie Burr-Howard returned Friday night to win the $35,000 Keystone Classic with Donna Speciale. For the second consecutive night, Irish rider Daniel Coyle took second place, this time on Tienna.
Burr-Howard's impressive record earned her the Open Jumper Speed Championship. Coyle was named Reserve Champion.
Andrew Kocher was just hoping to have a couple of clear rounds in the $10,000 Dash for the Cash but the State College, PA, resident won first and second place in the Wednesday night Open Jumper class.
Kevin Babington, Gwynedd Valley, PA, came close to dethroning Kocher with Super Chilled going clear in 61.643, which was good enough for third place.
Fun and Scott Stewart made multiple trips to center ring, picking up awards for Champion Green Conformation Hunter, Grand Champion Hunter and Leading Hunter Rider.
Fun, who is owned by David Gochman, won five of the six classes offered in the Green Conformation Hunter division, and placed third in the other, earning a total of 49 points. Reserve Champion in the Green Conformation Hunter division was Patriot, ridden by Hunt Tosh for the Wheeler Family.
Catch Me, a 9-year-old grey gelding ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by David Gochman won the Grand Green Hunter Championship. Reserve Champion with 27 points in the division were Christopher Payne and Maypine Farm's Truman.
Jaime Auletto, Philadelphia, PA, and Carla, who is owned by her mother, Suzanne, were named Amateur Owner 3'3" Grand Hunter Champions.
Amy Jo Magee, Coatesville, PA, and Little Lady captured the Championship in the Sidesaddle Division. Seeya Layta, owned by Sharon MacDonald and ridden by Jocelyn MacDonald, were the Reserve Champions.
Farmington Hunt Club of Charlottesville, VA, defeated nearly two dozen teams to take home the Hunt Night Championship. The club traveled four and a half hours to participate in the popular event. The two teams of Farmington Hunt Club included: King, Karen Bull, Jeanette Fellows (Team 1) and Stephanie Gurlain, Elizabeth Uffleman and Jennifer Daly (Team 2)
A total of 22 teams with three riders from 13 Hunt Clubs participated in the Hunt Team competition. The team from Windy Hollow, Vernon, NJ, took home the blue ribbon. Holly White and sisters Emily and Jane Wiley made up the team.
T.J. O'Mara was in disbelief after taking top honors in the Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final, presented by Randolph College. The 17-year-old Rumson, NJ, resident moved up from fifth to first to win the coveted title. Annabel Revers of Weston, MA, jumped from 13th place after the first round to the runner-up spot and McKayla Langmeier, East Granby, CT, was third.
Following a preliminary round of 276 riders, the top 25 were called back for the second round, which was whittled down to the top four. The final test of six jumps included a roll back from the second fence, counter canters at the third and fourth fences and a hand gallop to the final fence.
O'Mara’s sister Meg won the Medal Final in 2012.
The team from Zone 2 took home the Team Gold for the second consecutive year with the best possible score to win the Prix des States Team Championship of the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships. Zone 4 won the Silver and the Bronze went to Zone 5.
The Zone 2 team consisted of Madison Goetzmann (Skaneateles, N.Y.) riding Wrigley, Katherine Strauss (Southampton, N.Y.) aboard All In, Lauren Fischer (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) on Tosca du Feugre, and Eliza Month (Scarsdale, N.Y.) with Calumpi. Three of the four went double-clear to finish with a zero fault score.
In a modified Nations Cup format, the seven teams and individual riders jumped the same course twice with one drop score permitted from each round. At the conclusion of the first round, Zone 2 held a slight lead with a zero score and Zone 4 was second with four faults.
In a nail biting fight to the finish, Katherine Strauss, 17, took top honors riding All In, in the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper Individual Championship. Strauss also won the William C. Steinkraus Style of Riding Award.
Sophie Simpson, Jupiter, FL, and Why Not won the Individual Phase One. Katherine Strauss and All In took second place.