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Molly Sorge

October 30, 2008

It's Up Chiqui Again At Pennsylvania National

Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui did just what they do best in the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W—they went fast.

“I was going to go as fast as he can, which is pretty fast,” Farrington said.

October 24, 2008

McHugh Returns To Win At Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championships

Traveling from Aiken, S.C., to Middleburg, Va., for the Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championships of America was just like going home for Susan McHugh.

McHugh used to live in Round Hill, Va., but moved to Aiken five years ago.

“It was wonderful to go back—I miss the land and the beauty of it and the people. I knew so many people that it made it extra special,” she said.

October 20, 2008

Up Chiqui Repeats In $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W

After Todd Minikus had turned and burned around the jump-off course of the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W, it didn’t look like anyone could catch him. Until Up Chiqui and Kent Farrington came into the ring. 

Farrington set Up Chiqui alight, shaving every turn and slicing every angle, causing the crowd to gasp.  On the long gallop to the last oxer, Farrington went all-out and as Up Chiqui skimmed over the rails, the crowd roared.  They’d stopped the timers more than a second faster than Minikus and taken the win.

October 19, 2008

Toon And Goodman Have Good Times In Amateur Divisions

Invincible was just that today, Oct. 18, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.  Ellen Toon rode the flashy bay gelding to the grand amateur-owner and amateur-owner, 36 & over hunter championships. 

“He’s just super easy,” Toon said.  “He always tries to be good and he tries so hard at the jumps.”  Toon and “Shaq” earned a second, third and fourth over fences and a fourth in the under saddle before winning the final stakes class to clinch the tricolor.

October 18, 2008

Lion King Rules In NAL Adult Hunter Final

Lindsey Mohr was a bit nervous before the NAL Adult Hunter Finals on Oct. 17.  “I was sitting up in the stands, shaking,” she said. “But then once I got on, I was fine and didn’t think about it.”

Her rounds belied her nerves, as she rode Lion King to two smooth trips, scoring an 85 and an 86, to win.  The victory was a repeat of their NAL title in 2004.

October 17, 2008

Goldika Gets It Done In Pennsylvania Big Jump

The $25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump was a bit of a drama-filled event.  Veterans McLain Ward and Goldika 559 prevailed in a three-horse jump-off over young up-and-comers Brianne Goutal and Michael Morrissey.

But there was a lot of action in the first round, too.  Course designer Michel Vaillancourt built a really tough triple combination, with a triple-bar in, two tight strides to a vertical and another tight one stride to another vertical.  The B and C elements of this combination fell like rain all night.

October 13, 2008

Taylor Land Is All Golden In Junior Jumpers

Taylor Land added individual gold to her Zone 4 Prix des States team gold tonight, Oct. 11. She came into the final phase of the four-round competition in the lead, with just 2.07 penalties to her name. She’d earned those penalties points by placing fourth in the welcome speed round, but was the only double-clear round the second night in the Nations Cup format of the team competition. 

“I was nervous when I watched the first few go, but when I got on, I kind of told myself, ‘Whatever happens, happens,' ” Land, 16, said. “Everything came up very fast tonight.”

October 10, 2008

TNT On Top In Pony Jumpers

Little sisters frequently get their older sisters’ hand-me-downs.  Abbie Ross isn’t complaining—she got the winning pony jumper TNT from her older sister, Lillie. 

Lillie had done her share of winning on TNT, including the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) circuit championship, but Abbie proved she wasn’t to be outdone by winning the NAL Pony Jumper Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Oct. 9. 

October 10, 2008

Onassis In Charge Of Junior Hunters

Sarah Ward laughed when she remembered the first time she tried Onassis.  “He’s really springy.  When I picked up the trot, I almost fell off!” she said.  She’s come a long way since then, riding the flashy bay to the grand junior and large junior, 16-17 hunter championships at the Pennsylvania National on Oct. 9-10 in Harrisburg, Pa.

September 26, 2008

Horse Of A Lifetime: Ifeel Like A Snake

This grumpy gray gelding gave the Burke family two decades of grand memories.

There’s a tree marking Ifeel Like A Snake’s grave at Charlie and Dana Burke’s farm in Franklin, Tenn. It’s not a flowering tree or a graceful willow—it’s a holly tree. “We planted holly because it’s prickly, like him!” said Dana, Charlie’s wife.

The aptly named Ifeel Like A Snake was just as famous for his snarky attitude as he was for his longevity and talent.

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