Harrisburg, PA – October 17, 2011 –Double Down gave Elizabeth Adelson of Tulsa, OK a belated birthday present with a win in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children’s Hunter Finals at the 66th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Monday. Adelson just turned 14 last week and she had even more reason to celebrate in Harrisburg after receiving a score of 90 points in the first round of competition, the highest of the 29 qualifiers in the class.
“The first round was my highest score of all time,” said Adelson. “I was really happy, almost crying. I was thankful for my horse because he was really good.”
That score put her in the lead for the second round, with the top 12 returning in reverse order of merit. Nicole White, 15, of Moorestown, NJ and Wahlberg were in second place with a first round score of 86.00 points, so they competed before Adelson. When White received another score of 86.00 points, Adelson began to feel the pressure. "I liked watching the others go because I like to compare the scores, but the pressure was definitely on,” said Adelson. “When Nicole got an 86, I felt some pressure.”
Adelson received a lower second round score of 82.50 points, but her overall total was 172.500 points to White’s 172.000, which was good enough for the blue ribbon. “I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Adelson. “He was perfect. I couldn’t ask for him to be any better.”
The NAL offers a year-long series in six divisions – Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter presented by Practical Horseman, Children’s Jumper, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper, and the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper. The series includes classes held at hundreds of horse show across the United States and Canada.
Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in the qualifying classes, but only members earn points toward the year-end finals. With the annual membership fee only $35, most riders join in hopes of earning a trip to Harrisburg for the East Coast riders and in Las Vegas for the West Coast competitors. The 2011-2012 NAL qualifying period began on September 1, 2011 and runs through August 31, 2012.
For more information regarding the NAL series, including series specifications, current standings and a list of upcoming events, please call (717) 867-5643, email to NAL@Ryegate.com or visit www.ryegate.com.
Competition at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg continues through October 22. Highlights of the Horse Show include: Hunt Night, Western Night, and culminates on Saturday with the featured event, the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix de Penn National.
In addition to world-class equestrian competition, the PNHS offers a unique shopping environment with boutique vendors that offer everything from fine art to custom jewelry, clothing, accessories and horse show memorabilia.
General admission for Tuesday, October 18 to Friday, October 21, is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students, except for Wednesday, October 19. On Wednesday spectators can download a coupon for free admission at www.panational.org. General admission for Saturday, October 22, is $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. As always, children under 6 are admitted free in general admission seating. Convenient parking is also free.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is proud of its tradition of supporting equine and youth programs. The show benefits the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
Details are available at the horse show’s website at www.panational.org or by calling the horse show office at 717-770-0222.
Photo: Double Down and Elizabeth Adelson Win the $10,000 North American League Children’s Hunter Finals