Hunter Breeding: Spotlight on the Youngsters

Thursday morning began with Hunter Breeding. There was a plethora of yearlings, two year olds and three year olds present to contend for blue and championship ribbons. Arbor Day, owned by Brandon Gibson, was declared Best Yearling and Rappaport, owned by Sue and Chuck Grossman, finished in Reserve. The same pair, in the same order, was chosen as the Best Young Horses as well.

Junior Johnson, with 15 total points accrued, won his way to the Leading Handler Award. Saida and Carol Gelinas topped the Amateur Handlers Class.  HHors D'Oeuvre, Susan Casale, won section A of the Young Hunters Under Saddle and Rhecipe, Craig Eberbach, won section B. There are many winners not listed here, if you are interested check out the list of Champions located near the Show Office. 

To some Breeding day at the show may seem like hour after hour of watching young horses stand and trot in a single-file line (or, as near to single file as one can get when working with wiggly and anxious youngsters), but one must remember beyond their conformation and movement each horse has a story behind it.

One such horse is a young filly, Remarkable, by Redwine (many of his babies were at or near the top of their classes today), a yearling from Maryland. Laurie McDowell, owner and breeder, bred "Juliet" as a replacement for her horse Mark (hence the name ReMARKable). It is a miracle that the filly is even alive, as when she was born she appeared lifeless. After several minutes of resuscitation attempts by Laurie Juliet revived.

Laurie never quite expected to make it to Devon, let along sitting in first place following the jog. The judges pulled Arbor Day from second in the line-up, placing him in first, one spot ahead of Remarkable. A sad thing, but still an amazing win for a young horse that is already a miracle. Hunter breeding comes alive when one remembers that each yearling, two year old, and so on has its own story, in which showing at Devon is now a key feature.

Photos: Arbor Day and Richard Taylor By Nichole Osborne; Remarkable and Junior Johnson