Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 14
Betty Oare wasn’t looking for a show hunter when she met Sidenote. She was on the lookout for a new field hunter to take out with Warrenton Hunt (Virginia). So she called Sally Lamb and asked if she had anything for sale. Lamb didn’t, but she did have a horse Oare could borrow to foxhunt. So Oare picked up the horse, Sidenote, and hunted him until she headed down to Ocala, Florida, to show on the HITS circuit.
The next year when show season rolled around, she found herself without a mount and thought once again of the Oldenburg (Furst William—Ginestra), recalling his beautiful jump and rideability. So she swapped his shoes out and tried him in the show ring, winning her first time out.
And her foxhunter-turned-show hunter earned his biggest accolade to date when he and Oare partnered to win the $12,500 North American League Adult Amateur Hunter Championship over Peggy McNeil and For Ever at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
It’s been about four years since Oare, Warrenton, Virginia, has shown at the Pennsylvania National, but she was thrilled to come back at the 3′ height after decades showing in the amateur-owner divisions.
“The NAL is a wonderful organization and to have a nice class here is really great,” said Oare, who trains with Maria Shannon of The Barracks in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Today’s class of adults was a darn good class. Most people who came back were in the 80s. People aim for it now, it’s not just, ‘Here come the adults.’ I’m proud to win that today. It was a good group of people in there today. The horses were nice and the quality was good.”
Scores of 86 and 89 propelled Oare to victory.
“I don’t think I’ve had [an 89] since Estrella,” said Oare referring to her former champion amateur-owner hunter.
“This horse has given me a lot of confidence to the jumps,” she continued. “I’m just lucky to have him.”
Gordon Gallops Up To First In The NAL Children’s Hunter Championship
Abigail Gordon has been coming to the Pennsylvania National for years, but she’s always been on ponies. She made her debut aboard full-sized mounts a winning one when she rode Delightful to the $12,500 North American League’s Children’s Hunter Championship.
Gordon and Delightful earned scores of 87 and 88 on their way to the title over Pop Rocks and Alexa Lignelli.
“I was nervous because I wanted to do well and I just took a deep breath and told myself just to have fun,” she said. “I thought it was so much fun going in the ring.”
Gordon has been riding the Hanoverian (Cassini II—Esperia) for about a year, and he’s her first horse she’s shown at the 3′ height.
“He’s just a great horse and I’m so proud and fortunate to have him,” said the 13-year-old. “He’s great around the barn; he always amazes me every day. I love playing with him. Every time I see his face it just makes me smile; he can never make me upset. I love him so much.
“Every time I ask him to do something, he always relies on me—we trust each other,” she continued. “The main part is that I have fun on him. I never get scared on him, we’re pretty brave together.”
Gordon travels 5 ½ hours from Statesville, North Carolina, to Lexington, Kentucky, to ride with the team at Ashland Farms.
“I can’t thank my trainers enough,” she said. “I’m glad I ride with them because we are all a team; we support each other. “