Rodrigo Pessoa couldn’t watch the jump-off for the $75,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W during the Pennsylvania National, but from what he heard in the schooling area it wasn’t an average short course.
“We didn’t have a screen there, but when I heard scores like 20, 8, 12, and 4, I said ‘This is kind of unusual,’ ” said Pessoa, who tacked up HH Ashley for tonight's featured class.
Victoria Watters figured out a foolproof way to deal with her nerves on the day of the $10,000 North American League Adult Amateur Hunter Finals—she channeled them toward something concrete.
“I was so nervous,” she said “It’s stupid, I know, so I made a bet. I said, 'There’s two beautiful alpaca coats up there, and I told [trainer Anne Thornbury] if I get that prize money, we’re going up there and going shopping.' I just took my nerves and put them toward another goal!”
For Ariana Snowdon, just attending the Pennsylvania National fulfilled a lifelong dream. The fact that her horse, C. Quito, scored the regular conformation championship after a long trek from Jackson Hole, Wyo., simply served as the icing on the cake.
“I’ve never been to Indoors, but I’ve always dreamed about it,” said Snowdon, who owns the horse with her mother Margot Snowdon. “But we said, ‘We have this amazing horse, let’s see what we can do.’ ”
Hunt Tosh knew he’d have his work cut out for him as he headed into the ring aboard Lone Star for the regular working handy hunter class at the Pennsylvania National. He could hear the whoops and cheers from the schooling area after a spot-on lead-off performance by Rosalynn and Kelley Farmer, and he'd had all day to think about their close race for the division championship. After finishing half a point behind her at Capital Challenge (Md.) last week, he felt especially compelled to give Betsee Parker’s horse a serious ride.
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.
When Reed Kessler made her way into the ring for the $15,000 Randolph College/USEF Prix de States championship, she could knew she could afford to knock down a pair of rails and her Zone 2 would still win gold. But she didn’t rest on her laurels.
The 16-year-old clocked a second clear round aboard her long-time partner Flight anyway, and Zone 2 won handily with a team total of 0 faults.
“These girls are great,” said Chef d’Equipe Ralph Caristo. “They’re great riders, with great horses and great trainers. I’m just a cheerleader.”
The course for the $5,000 NAL Pony Jumper Finals may not have been to her mount’s liking, but Jessica Karsin Landis wouldn’t let that get in the way of her mount claiming blue. Oliver Twist has a notoriously short stride, so when Steve Stephens set three in-and-outs at the Pennsylvania National, Landis knew she’d have a challenge.