Harrisburg, PA - Emma Fass, of Newport News, VA, rode her own horse SON OF A SAILOR into the winner's circle today, after clinching the title of the $10,000 North American League Children's Hunter Finals and the Laura Palmer Pickett Memorial Perpetual Trophy at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Alexandra McReady, of Annapolis, MD, and her own CZECH were the Reserve Champions.
"This title means so much!", said Fass. "I've been doing Children's for a long time and it's great to be able to come here and to compete against so many kids that have done so well throughout the year. To do well in this competition means a lot and shows that I've progressed so much over the year".
Peg Seals, who Fass has trained with for the past three years was also thrilled. "I'm very proud of her", said Seals. "I expected no less of her, to be perfectly honest. She's a great student, a great kid, has a great mother that has been so supportive, and the horse just wants to be good at all times. He always puts his heart in anything he does. Everything came together for us today".
The competition was fierce, as the top 30 qualified riders from across the nation competed against each other in the first round. The top 12 scoring entries from that round then proceeded to the second round. Scores from both rounds were then combined to determine the placings and winner. Going in to today's Final, Fass was actually lying 15th in the NAL rankings. She scored an 85 in the first round which put them into second place going into the second round. In the second round, she scored 82.5 giving her a finishing total of 167.5.
"I was really happy with my first round so I tried to make my second round similar", said the 17 year-old Fass. "In the first round I tried to be more ambitious but in the second round I tried to make it prettier and nice".
Alexandra McReady and CZECH also had a super trips, scoring an 83.5 in the first round and an 81.5 in the second to give her a total score of 165.0.
The North American League (NAL) offers year-long Series in six divisions - Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak, Children's Jumper Presented by EquiFit, Adult Hunter Presented by Practical Horseman, Children's Hunter, Pony Jumper, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper. The Series includes classes held at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. The NAL gives riders in these divisions a chance to ride in year-end finals at two major indoor shows - The NAL National Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show at Harrisburg, October 10-19, and the NAL West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, November 12-17. Further information on the NAL is available at www.ryegate.com or by contacting Ryegate Show Services at 717-867-5643 or NAL@Ryegate.com.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the 2011 National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Horse Show of the Year and the sixth ranked horse show in North America in the 2012 North American Riders Group (NARG) annual rankings, is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the U.S. It hosts horses and competitors from across the country with 10,000 spectators attending from the Mid-Atlantic region.
With over 1,400 qualified horses competing for $450,000 in prize money, the show features Hunter and Jumper competition and is the site of the Pessoa/US National Hunter Seat Medal Final Presented by Randolph College, 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 environment with boutique vendors that offer everything from fine art to custom jewelry, clothing, accessories and horse show memorabilia.
Proceeds from the event benefit community equine and youth programs. Since its inception in 1945, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation has donated over $1.5 million to charitable entities.
For more details on show events, competitors and vendors, please visit the show's website, www.PAnational.org or contact the Pennsylvania National Horse Show at 717-236-1600 or by email, eventinfo@PAnational.org.