To watch the last test of the ASPCA Maclay Finals, I was sitting in the stands amongst some junior riders who had competed but were done riding for the day. As Lillie Keenan rode her final round, I heard them whisper in almost reverential tones, “She’s just so good,” and “Look at that upper body; she has such control,” and “God, that was nice.”
The judges have called for no more testing. "Lillie slammed the door shut on it. I don't think there's anything more that they could ask from her. I think Lillie's the winner," said Jimmy Torano on the USEF Network live feed.
Katie Dinan's trainer McLain Ward turned around from where he stood at the in-gate and gave her a big thumbs up. He'd just watched the last two riders in the jump-off for the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix and neither had beaten her.
As they walked out of the ring after the last amateur-owner, 36 and over class, Katie Robinson was prepared to congratulate Nancy Hooker on the division championship. That is, until she heard the announcer call her and Rock Steady’s names to walk back into the ring for the tricolor.
“We’ve been buddies a long time, but I don’t know who invited him here,” Todd Minikus wisecracked in the press conference for the $100,000 Double H Farm Open Jumper class at the Alltech National Horse Show.
At that, Francois Mathy Jr., laughed. He’s on his first visit to the U.S. indoor shows from his home in Belgium, so he’s making the trip count by winning right off the bat. And he’s not even trying that hard.
Whoops, whistles and “yeeeows” filled the air as McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Hunt Tosh and Jennifer Alfano battled it out in the ring. But there wasn’t a jump to be seen.
“Rack on!” was the cry, as these four maestros of the hunters and jumpers took to another challenge—they rode five-gaited Saddlebreds in the Saddlebred Hunter Challenge, Oct. 30 at the Alltech National Horse Show. Their Saddlebred star counterparts swung a leg over a hunter for their portion of the competition, jumping a 2’6” hunter course.