Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 14
The pre-green divisions of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show can be a bit of a wild card event. For young horses, the first venture to indoors can be overwhelming. People sitting in the stands, the crackle of the announcer’s mic or the flash of a camera strobe can sometimes unnerve them.
It takes an unflinching rider to give the new talent of the sport a positive first indoor experience to set them up for a positive future. Today, Peter Pletcher proved he had mastered that skill as he rode to the pre-green and the 3’3” pre-green championships respectively on XOXO and Voila. XOXO also topped the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Stake.
Pletcher just recently got the reins on Voila. Typically, owner Kyle Owens tacks up the 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Verdi—Lord), but he suffered a broken hip and femur earlier this year.
“He normally would be doing these horses, so I sort of got to step in and take over—and get the glory so to speak.”
Owens bought the gelding two years ago and started him in the pre-greens and the adult amateurs. Halfway through the year, he moved up to do the 3’3″ pre-greens and the low adult amateurs. He was champion in the low amatuer-owner, 18-35, at the Washington International Horse Show (D.C.) and subsequently took the grand low amateur-owner title.
“He’s a little ahead of the game but he’s straightforward and super sensitive and has a good brain,” said Pletcher.
XOXO, a warmblood by Last Man Standing is owned by Forest Hill Farm and just came to Pletcher this summer during the series in Traverse City, Mich. The grey gelding showed twice with him before heading to the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championships where he finished 10th.
“He’s 4 years old which is the biggest point, because he goes around like he’s a really super, super made horse,” said Pletcher. “He acts so mature for a 4-year-old. To walk in this ring, it’s pretty amazing.
“Outside, inside, people, stands, he seems to like it all,” he finished.