Invited to judge the highly competitive hunter divisions for the 2013 edition of the Alltech National Horse Show are Linda Hough, of Wellington, Florida, and Joe Darby of Southern Pines, North Carolina. Both Hough and Darby are inductees in the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame and are two of the most popular and highly-rated hunter judges in the United States.
For more than two decades Hough ran Sutton Place, a highly successful hunter/jumper barn in her native Northern California foothills. Her top hunter Bavaria was named the 1990 Chronicle Horse of the Year and later that same year she was awarded the California Horsewoman of the Year. In 2004 Hough was recognized with the WCHR Lifetime Achievement award, the Daniel P. Lenehan Perpetual Trophy and in 2005 was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.
Joey Darby, also a member of the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, was one of the nation's best hunter riders and trainers. Over the years, he had numerous national champions and rode to tricolors at some of the finest horse shows in the country. He has officiated as a top rated hunter judge at the best shows across the nation.
For the all-important ASPCA Maclay National Championship, the Alltech National Horse Show has tabbed Chrystine Tauber, the newly elected President of the United States Equestrian Federation and Robert Ridland, who just recently took the reins as the new Chef D'Equipe of the United States Show Jumping team, replacing the legendary George Morris.
Tauber, is a past equitation champion herself, winning both the AHSA Medal and ASPCA Maclay Finals in 1965. She is a top rated USEF judge, course designer, trainer and rider and has been involved in the governance of the sport for nearly forty years. In addition to the presidency of the USEF, she serves as the vice president of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association. Tauber has judged all the major equitation finals, most recently judging USEF Medal Finals. She has also judged the IHSA Finals and the NCAA Finals twice.
Robert Ridland recently was named as the Show Jumping Chef d' Equipe to succeed George Morris after the 2012 London Olympic Games. He has twice represented the U.S. as a member of the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team, in Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976. He had posted grand prix wins at the American Invitational, the Grand Prix of the United States at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York and the Grand Prix of Switzerland among many other. Ridland, like Tauber, has been extensively involved in the governance of equestrian sport, including several terms as a board member of the United States Equestrian Federation and the USET. He is a world-renowned international course designer and has been a television commentator for ESPN, CBS and for NBC at the Barcelona and Athens Olympic Games.
The Course Designer for this year's Alltech National Horse Show is Conrad Homfeld. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, aboard Abdullah, Homfeld was a key member of the Gold Medal United States Show Jumping team and won the Individual Silver Medal as well. He has designed courses all over the world for some of show jumping's most important events, including the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mason Phelps, Jr, the President of the National Horse Show Association, commented on this year's panel of judges and course designer, saying, "Once again, we've got an all-star line-up for the Alltech National Horse Show. Linda Hough and Joey Darby are two of America's most respected horse people. They should do a fabulous job with the hunters at this year's show," he said. "To secure both Christine Tauber and Robert Ridland for the Maclay Finals is a real coup. And, when you add in Conrad Homfeld as Course Designer, that makes this year's event very special."
The 2012 Alltech National Horse Show takes center stage on October 29 through November 3, 2013, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to the top rated hunters and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, the show features world-class international, open, junior and amateur-owner jumpers competing for the biggest prize money on the United States indoor tour.