Check the barn aisles the night before the ASPCA Maclay Finals this weekend, and I’d bet you won’t find too many Maclay riders out there on a ladder, braiding their own horse for the class. In fact, it might be just Rachael Davis there in the dark.
The ASPCA Maclay Finals get underway at 6:30 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 31 for the first round of jumping. There are 153 riders on the order of go for the class, which will be run in a two-day format for the first time this year.
Heritage Farm head trainer Andre Dignelli broke his femur while riding at home in Katonah, N.Y., on Oct. 6.
“I was riding and the horse was afraid of oncoming traffic and he spun,” said Dignelli. “It was kind of a freak thing; I got dislodged and landed on my hip and fractured my femur.”
Dignelli broke the femur in three places, and surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City inserted two rods into his right hip in a procedure on Oct. 7. Dignelli also dislocated his shoulder in the fall.
As Kelli Cruciotti’s horse Darius was walking away from the ring after the awards ceremony, he was spooked by his championship ribbons from his victory in the Private Tutoring Services North American Junior Equitation Championships. A fairly green horse, the 7-year-old warmblood of unrecorded breeding hadn’t had a lot of experience with the equitation division. So, coming into the medal final, Cruciotti was hoping to gain experience for her new mount, and was surprised to come away with the win.
It was all Caitlin Boyle in the 2014 USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Cup Classic at the U.S. Junior Hunter National Championship-East Coast (Pa.). She took the lead after the hunter round when she scored a 92, giving herself a four-point margin over Ashton Alexander, and never gave it back.
What do you get when you take the best 29 riders at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, whisk away their trainers, and make them prepare for and ride over a championship course on their own? Plenty of top rounds, and astronomical scores to boot.
Winner Lillie Keenan earned a raw score of 96 in the George Morris Excellence In Equitation Championship, as did third-placed Gabrielle Bausano. Michael Hughes (second) and Megan MacPherson (fourth) both earned marks of 94.