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Mollie Bailey

October 30, 2009

Pennsylvania National Tidbits

•    McLain Ward was almost unbeatable this year. He won the leading open jumper rider trophy after the topping the $25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump and $25,000 NAL Open Speed Final on Goldika 559, the $10,000 Gem Twist Gambler’s Choice and $5,000 Kick The Clouds Open Speed with Miss Liberty 7, and the $5,000 Southside Open Speed aboard Esplanade 7. He only loosened his stranglehold on the blue ribbons in the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National when Phillipa dropped the back rail of an oxer to finish 10th.

October 23, 2009

Pennsylvania National Tidbits

•    When Leah DeMartini, Bronxville, N.Y., started leasing Vida Blue from Laura King, the mare had already been entered at the Pennsylvania National in the older age division, and the rules didn’t allow DeMartini, 15, to switch to the other section. But Jennifer Waxman was only too happy to fill in and pick up the large junior hunter, 16-17, and high-point large junior hunter honors along the way.

October 23, 2009

Lyle Scores A Hat Trick At Pennsylvania National

Accurate riding by Abby O'Mara earns the veteran junior hunter his third consecutive Harrisburg tricolor.

When Don Stewart Jr. says he’s never seen Lyle go better than he did this year at the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg, Pa., he knows what he’s talking about.

October 17, 2009

Let's Fly And Pessoa Take Off In Harrisburg

When Rodrigo Pessoa headed back first for the jump-off in the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W aboard Let’s Fly, he knew he’d have to find a way to shake off the five strong riders following him.

“When you go first with good riders coming behind you, you have to come up with something,” said Pessoa. “There was this little gap after fence 2 to go inside, and I thought if I did that it would be hard enough to be beat. I thought I had to do it and take the chance, and it worked out for me.”

October 17, 2009

Nijinski and Toben Dance to the Top

Most of the riders in today’s amateur-owner hunter, 18-35, classes spent the morning relaxing and getting themselves mentally prepared for this morning’s two over fences classes, but not Darby Toben. As the Redfield Farm road manager, Toben found herself at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., at 4 a.m., checking on the horses and longeing her mounts, when most of her peers were still asleep.

October 16, 2009

Chiron S Shines At The Penn National

Most people wouldn’t choose the Pennsylvania National as the first show back for their horse after a long break.

After all, the best amateurs in the country flocked to Harrisburg, Pa., to ride for $15,000 in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

But Paige Johnson had a feeling that Harrisburg was the perfect locale to bring Chiron S back to competition, and her hunch paid off with a big win in today’s classic. That blue ribbon also helped her tie with Chloe Wormser and Udiana for the amateur-owner jumper championship.

October 16, 2009

Gurney Gets It Done

The Other Brother didn’t look unusual as he galloped calmly around the ring at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show today, Oct. 16, but he felt totally different to Jennifer Gurney than her usual type of ride.

Before she got him, Gurney had always ridden and shown homebred, off-the-track Thoroughbreds. But the switch to a big-strided, easy-going Hanoverian suited her just fine.

“I normally ride fixer-uppers, so he’s a huge change of pace,” said Gurney, who trains with Gary Duffy. “It’s a huge change—but he’s really my dream horse, and we clicked right away.”

October 15, 2009

Jayne Leads The Way In Harrisburg

If you told Maggie Jayne yesterday that Francesca would claim the regular conformation title at the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg, Pa., she never would have believed you. The lovely mare won the model, but over fences they were having trouble getting in sync.

“Usually I do her first, then Madeline [Thatcher] does her in the juniors after me,” said Jayne. “She was so quiet in the first class I had a huge chip. Then in the next class I overdid it and almost did five strides in a six.” 

October 13, 2009

Lone Star Wrangles A Win At The Pennsylvania National

Even though Douglas Wheeler could have made it to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show to watch his Lone Star vie for the regular working hunter title, he opted out.

“Douglas can get a little superstitious,” said Hunt Tosh with a laugh. “He couldn’t come to Capital Challenge [Md.], and when his horse went perfectly there he was scared to come here.  So he stayed at home and watched it on the Internet.”

October 12, 2009

Mitchell Makes A Splash At The NAL Children's Hunter Final

Meg Mitchell doesn’t have as many opportunities as most of her peers to prep for the Pennsylvania National. Since she started working with Jeff and Keeley Gogul, she usually only gets to ride at shows, because she and her mounts live in different states.

But that didn’t stop the Nashville, Tenn., native from rising to the top of the $10,000 NAL Children’s Hunter Final, today, Oct. 12, in Harrisburg, Pa., aboard her Oksana.

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