Lexington, Kentucky - The Alltech National Horse Show, 129th edition, scheduled for the Alltech Arena in Lexington, Kentucky on October 31 through November 4, 2012, today announced the line-up of judges for the Hunter divisions and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship for this year's event. The debut of the Alltech National Horse Show last November closed with great excitement, receiving unanimous and rave reviews from the equestrian community. More than 560 horses and 350 riders from nine countries, including nine Olympic veterans competed in 2011 and this year's event should prove to be even more successful.
Invited to judge the highly competitive hunter divisions for the 2012 edition are Phillip J. DeVita, Jr. from Apopka, Florida and Jimmy Torano, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Both DeVita and Torano are two of the most popular and highly rated hunter judges in the United States, having officiated at most of the top ranked shows in the nation.
Devita has marked the card at all of the fall shows over the years, including the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International and the Capital Challenge Horse Show. DeVita also officiated at the National Horse Show during its heyday at Madison Square Garden in New York. He has also designed the course and judged the ASPCA Maclay Finals on two occasions.
"It's an honor and privilege to be invited to judge at the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington," De Vita said. "Having been a judge at the old National Horse Show, one of the greatest shows in the world when it was held at Madison Square Garden, it's really special to be asked to return and be a part of this exciting rebirth under the direction of Mason Phelps and under the great sponsorship provided by Alltech. They have done an amazing job in reestablishing this show to the classic it once was."
Torano, one of the nation's most respected and sought after judges, has also officiated in the hunter divisions at all of the top shows. In addition, he has judged all of the national finals including the USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, the USET Finals, the USEF Pony Medal and the ASPCA Maclay Finals. "When they asked me to judge the Alltech National Horse Show this year, I jumped at the chance," Torano stated. "The National Horse Show has been a top, top, top show for years and years and I am honored that they asked me to be a part of the 2012 production."
For the all-important ASPCA Maclay National Championship, the Alltech National Horse Show has secured two of the country's most respected horsemen, California's Hap Hansen and the legendary George Morris.
Mason Phelps, Jr, the President of the National Horse Show Association, commented on Hansen and Morris. "You know, the terms all-star and legendary are sometimes tossed around too often and too easily. But, when you speak of George Morris and Hap Hansen, you truly have two of the nation's legendary equestrians," he said. "George Morris is the authority on equitation in America and Hap Hansen, in addition to being one of the most successful grand prix riders and trainers of all time, is a great judge. We're thrilled to have them on board for 2012."
Hansen, from Encinitas, California, is one of the nation's winningest grand prix riders of all time with nearly $2,000,000 in prize money won. He was named the AGA Rider of the Year in 1990, the AHSA Rider of the Year in 1994 and was awarded the prestigious CPHA Lifetime Achievement in 2006. As a trainer, Hansen's students have won the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals twice and the CPHA Adult Medal Finals and have competed at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. He is also one of the country's most requested judges.
George Morris, the Chef d' Equipe of the United States Equestrian Team that won Gold medals at back to back Olympic Games in Athens and Hong Kong attended last year's debut of the show and noted at the time, "The Alltech Arena is an ideal location for the National Horse Show, it is perfect for all the horsemen and horses, and it really captured the feel of Madison Square Garden. The Alltech National Horse Show has brought back class, something that has been lacking in horse shows today."
The 2012 Alltech National Horse Show, 129th edition, takes center stage on October 31 through November 4, 2012 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to the top rated hunters and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, the show features world-class international, open, junior and amateur-owner jumpers competing for the biggest prize money on the United States indoor tour.
Photos: Jimmy Torano and Phillip DeVita have been invited to judge the hunters at this year's Alltech National Horse Show. PHOTO CREDIT: © Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.