George H. Morris was flipping through the Oct. 24 & 31 issue of the Chronicle when a photograph stopped him and inspired him to call into the Chronicle office to sing the praises of the rider.
It wasn’t a photo of a famous equitation rider or a grand prix jumper. It was eventer Kelsey Horn riding Swingtown to the win in the 4-year-old division of the U.S. Eventing Association’s Young Event Horse West Coast Championship (Calif.).
Thirty years ago, on the world’s biggest stage of show jumping, a relative unknown snagged the individual gold medal in the World Championships in a result that thrilled the world.
In her first appearance in an international team championship, Canadian Gail Greenough headed into the final four up against individual Olympic silver medalist Conrad Homfeld, French star Pierre Durand and British legend Nick Skelton.
Taegan Long could not have had a better weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival. She walked away from the Nov. 11-13 show in Upper Marlboro, Md., with not only five blue ribbons in equitation classes, but also the tricolor from the Mid-Atlantic Equitation Young Rider Championship.
The grand finale of the dressage show season, the U.S. Dressage Finals will be held Nov. 10-13 in Lexington, Ky. All levels, from training level to open Grand Prix, will compete for national titles to be awarded to professional, amateur and junior riders.
It's four days of the country's best dressage, and the Chronicle's Lisa Slade will be there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to document it all with stories on the winners, behind-the-scenes details and gorgeous photos galore at www.coth.com.
"They're going to have to beat that," George H. Morris said in the EqSportsNet live feed commentary as Hunter Holloway finished her Round 2 course in the ASPCA Maclay Final. And his words were prophetic, as no one could beat her.
"Her position is so classic, so correct," Morris said. "And the execution was virtually flawless." Holloway’s Round 2 performance in the ASPCA Maclay Final catapulted her to victory. Her flawless counter-canter tour, combined with her precise and soft ride, made the judges put her on top.
Julia Tait has big dreams. But she doesn’t have the budget for a horse to show on the circuit. So what does she do? She works hard and takes advantage of every opportunity.
Tait, 16, hasn’t ever owned a horse, but she’s headed to the ASPCA Maclay Final. “This is only my second year doing 3’6”. I always wanted to do this, but I never thought it would happen so soon. It’s definitely crazy that it happened so fast,” said Tait.
The ASPCA Maclay Final kicks off at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Kentucky Horse Park's Alltech Arena in Lexington, Ky.
Round 1 has 176 riders on the order of go and the schedule estimates that it will conclude at 1:15 p.m., on Saturday. The flat phases (there are usually three sections called back for the flat phase) are scheduled for 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 6. The second round of jumping will run immediately after that.
Diane Carney and Rachel Kennedy will be judging the Maclay, and they also designed the course.
“There’s something about bringing your own horse along that’s so rewarding. Who knew a quirky 3-year-old I found on Facebook would turn into such a competitive and strong athlete?” posted Lizzie Walters on Facebook a few weeks ago after she and her mare, Proven Reputation, jumped a clear round in a 1.05-meter jumper class.
Walters finished that post with the sentiment: “So proud to have a horse that can hold her own in other disciplines and here’s to hoping that all this summer’s cross training will pay off.”