Harrisburg, Pa., Oct. 16
Victoria Press enjoyed the horse show of her young career at this year’s Pennsylvania National. She and Olivia Jack’s Love And Laughter claimed the large pony hunter and grand pony hunter titles, as well as topping the pony hunter classic. She also picked up two red ribbons aboard her other mounts, large pony Midnight Hour and medium pony Hillcrest Kilkenny. The judges rewarded her great riding with best child rider on a pony honors. Betsee Parker’s For The Laughter finished as the reserve large pony, with Victoria Colvin up.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Press, who trains with Patricia Griffith of Heritage Farm. “I’ve never been champion at indoors before, so this is pretty special.”
Press clinched the grand pony title with a big win today in today’s large pony hunter stakes, where Midnight Hour took second.
Press, New York, N.Y., and Love And Laughter paired up at this horse show last year, when she was looking for a special large pony.
“He’s so much fun to ride. He’s smooth with a huge stride,” she said. “Here the lines were a little long, but they were no problem for him.”
The 12-year-old will continue to campaign Love And Laughter and her other large pony, but she will be passing the reins of her medium-sized mounts on to a younger rider after indoors. She’s already started winning on horses, claiming the WCHR Children’s Hunter Classic aboard Notoriety, at Capital Challenge (Md.).
The medium pony champion, Blondie, finished right behind Press in the stakes, thanks to careful riding by Parker Wright. Bibby Farmer’s Trillville finished in the reserve spot, ridden by Kriss Eisaman.
Wright had never shown the chestnut mare, owned by Anna Demetree, before, but he had the chance to school her a bit, so they weren’t complete strangers.
“She’s very adjustable, and she has a great rhythm,” said Wright. “I schooled her at Capital Challenge once, just not in the show ring. She’s just an awesome pony.”
This is the Wright’s first season on the fall indoor circuit, and he’ll be heading to the Washington International (D.C.) next week.
Another newbie to the Harrisburg winner’s circle claimed the small pony award. Nine-year-old Madeline Schaefer made headlines aboard her own Flashback, thanks to a little help from her older sister Samantha, alongside trainer Griffith. Three ponies hacked off for reserve, with Madison Maners’ Hi Lite, ridden by Madison Goetzmann taking the ribbon over Parker’s Elation and Emily Elek’s Hillcrest’s Lorelei.
Madeline earned the tricolor after a bold trip aboard “Flash” in yesterday’s small pony handy hunter class and a red ribbon in the conformation class.
“I think she feels really comfortable on Flash, because he’s pretty little and so is she,” said Samantha.
Maddy follows in Samantha’s footsteps, as that rider claimed the small pony title aboard Halycon Hawthorne at this horse show in 2002.
Molly Sorge will be ringside from the first rider in the ring to the end of the final work-off, bringing you a play-by-play of all the equitation action. If you’re here at the show, you can follow along and join in the conversation on your laptop, iPad or iPhone. If you’re at home you can chime in as well, all brought to you by Wendy Soloman’s Private Tutoring Service.