It’s good to know that occasionally grand prix riders miss too!
The crowd gasped a couple of times as Lauren Hough blazed around the $50,000 Chartis International Speed class. Once when she and Ohlala left out a stride to an oxer and flew through the air effortlessly, and another time when she flat-out galloped to a vertical and missed.
“I had a really big chocolate chip there!” Hough said, laughing at herself. “But she was amazing and cleared it; I don’t know how she did it. It wasn’t one of my smoothest rounds, but it all worked out.”
Ever have that dream that you’re late for a big, important class? You’re due to show in a class that would clinch you a championship at a major indoor show, but your clothes are back at the hotel and your horse isn’t braided?
Lisa Williams lived out that scenario this morning. Thankfully, with the assistance of many helping hands, she made it to the ring with San Morino on time to win the amateur-owner hunter, 36 and over, stake class and claim the division championship.
Chris Payne left the Alltech National Horse Show with a pair of tricolors. They might have been the red, yellow and white of reserve championships rather than the blue, red and yellow of champions, but he didn’t mind one bit.
“This show is iconic. It’s the horse show, in my mind as a hunter rider, and the true pinnacle of the year. When you have a horse that has the talent and quality to compete at the National Horse Show and be in the ribbons, it’s the kind of thing that drives you the whole year long,” Payne said.
Barney Ward, former show jumper and father of two-time show jumping Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward, passed away on the evening of Oct. 27 after a battle with cancer. He was 71.
Barney grew up in Providence, R.I., and rode as young boy but did not have formal lessons. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, he spent a year playing football professionally, eventually playing for a farm team of the New England Patriots. He left football, however, to pursue life as a professional horseman.
Missy Clark announced on Oct. 18 that Olympic team gold medalist Peter Wylde will be joining her team at North Run in Warren, Vt., and Wellington, Fla., for the 2013 season.
Wylde, who rode Fein Cera to individual bronze at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, and team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, has been based in Europe for 12 years and currently runs his business in Germany.
The look on Tommi Clark’s face after she completed her high performance handy hunter round was a curious mixture of elation and surprise. When the announcer revealed her score, an 86, her smiles began.
Imagine being a young professional hunter rider, rubbing shoulders in the Pennsylvania National warm-up area with riders like Peter Pletcher, Louise Serio and Hunt Tosh. Then, imagine winning there.
Dana Scott just wanted to qualify for the final individual round of the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships. So, when she landed from the last jump as the individual gold medalist, she couldn’t quite believe it.
Scott, 17, and her KM Whatever RV were the only pair to not have a single rail over the four rounds of competition.
As Meg O’Mara circled for the last time, having jumped her third course, a hint of a smile played over her lips. She leaned forward and patted her horse. To the causal observer, it looked like she was cool, calm and assured of her success.
“It was just about the only time I breathed!” O’Mara quipped. “When they read the test to us, I started having a mental breakdown for like 30 seconds. I didn’t know what was going on. But I decided I just had to go out there and ride. I couldn’t freeze, because that’s usually what I do.”