Harrisburg, PA - October 13, 2014 - Chelsea Ireland of Chesapeake, VA, and her horse SURELY claimed victory today, winning the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Adult Hunter Finals against a very competitive field of 29 entries. Riders compete all year across the nation to qualify for the Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
"It feels great to win!" said Ireland. "My horse has been such a good girl ever since we've had her. I'm excited for her to get a blue ribbon. She just came back from being injured, and the win made it even more exciting because we didn't get to practice much this year."
Ireland and SURELY produced a smooth first round over the 10-fence course which scored 84.00 points. The pair produced an even better ride over the second round 8-fence course to score 86.00, giving them a total score of 170.00 which shot them straight into the winner's circle. In addition to the champion title and first place prize money of $3,000, Ireland also won the Lisa A. H. Cudahy Perpetual Trophy. Ireland earned 1,050 points this year in the 2014 NAL Adult Hunter Division.
Melanie Jeanes, of Dallas, TX, and her own CARRERA took second place, producing two harmonious rounds which earned them 83.50 in the first round and 84.00 in the second round. This was Jeanes' first year competing in the NAL.
"It was so much fun, and it was probably the best experience I've ever had." said Jeanes, who finished fourth place overall in the 2014 NAL Adult Hunter Division with 3,355 points. "To be second in the NAL Finals means the world to me. It's really gotten my confidence up. The courses were beautiful, really open, and rode very well."
When asked about her mare CARRERA, Jeanes was almost moved to tears. "She's been a hunter for 4 months, and she's just incredible. I love her more than anything in the world. She has the biggest heart - she's so brave and so smart. She doesn't even need me, she could do it all herself!"
Chelsea Ireland and SURELY receive their award from Annette Longenecker of Ryegate Show Services Inc. (c) Al Cook - alcookphoto.com
$10,000 North American League Adult Hunter Finals Results
Place/ Horse/ Rider/ Round 1/ Round 2/ Total Score
SURELY/ Chelsea Ireland/ 84.00/ 86.00/ 170.00
CARRERA/ Melanie Jeanes/ 83.50/ 84.00/ 167.50
GEDDAWAY/ Sherri Geddes/ 87.00/ 79.00/ 166.00
LEAD STORY/ Charity Durgin/ 83.00/ 82.50/ 165.50
BELLEFIELD/ Emily Miller/ 81.00/ 83.00/ 164.00
CONTINA/ Jacquelyn Maggiore/ 82.00/ 80.00/ 162.00
MESSICK/ Kyle Owens/ 78.00/ 82.00/ 160.00
LAGUNA/ Laurie Barna/ 80.00/ 78.00/ 158.00
EMERALD CITY/ Sarah Gorrell/ 76.00/ 79.00/ 155.00
TYCOON/ Laurie Barna/ 77.00/ 73.00/ 150.00
EASTWOOD/ Linda Corvari/ 79.00/ 70.00/ 149.00
The North American League (NAL) offers a great opportunity for competitors across the country to compete in five divisions including Children's Hunter; Children's Jumper, Presented by EquiFit; Adult Hunter; Adult Jumper, Presented by SmartPak; and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper, Presented by UltrOZ.Riders and horses compete all year in order to qualify forNational Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show.
The qualifying period for the NAL runs from September 1 through August 31 and anyone can compete in NAL qualifying classes. However, only current members are awarded points. Joining the NAL is the best way to ensure that you get the points necessary to make it to the finals and annual memberships are only $40 per rider.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the U.S., hosting horses and competitors from across the country with 20,000 spectators attending from the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 1,400 qualified horses competing for $485,000 in prize money, the show features national Hunter and Jumper competition and is the site of the Pessoa/USEF National Hunter Seat Medal Final, the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships, North American League (NAL) National Finals and the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
In addition to world-class equestrian competition, the horse show offers a unique shopping experience with boutique vendors showcasing one-of-a-kind, equine inspired products including jewelry, fun fashion and accessories.
The 10-day event is being held from October 9th to 18th at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. Proceeds from the event benefit community equine and youth programs. Since its inception in 1945, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation has donated nearly $2 million to charitable entities.
Live coverage of the competition, scoring results and more details on the show are all available at www.PAnational.org.