Devon, PA - June 30, 2012 - The sun was shining at the historic Devon Show Grounds as the equitation riders took their turn today in the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal and ASPCA Maclay at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series horse show, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS). Heritage Farm was on top of their game today, with wins in both medal classes. The Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal title went to Isabelle Caccamise, while Lauren Fabiano received top honors in the ASPCA Maclay.
Riders in the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal competed over a course consisting of nine fences today in the Dixon Oval. Riders started on the left lead over a single on the quarterline, bending to an oxer at the end of the ring in six strides. Next, they continued up the diagonal over two coops, set a stride apart. After, they had to make a tight turn to a diagonal vertical at the end of the ring, creating a long bending line off their eye to a single oxer placed on the opposite diagonal. From there, riders rolled back over an oxer set on the longside, took a sweeping turn to single on the diagonal, and ended with a tight rollback to a vertical end fence.
The top four riders were called back into the ring for the final test. Once the riders had all lined up, the judge instructed them to canter three fences, hand gallop an oxer, halt, and return to the line on a loose rein.
Abigail Wagner and Luigi were the first to test and started out nicely, but had an unfortunate stop at one of the canter fences. Wagner maintained her composure and finished strong, their performance keeping them in the fourth place position. Lauren Fabiano and Aram VDL was the next to test and put in a solid performance with no major errors. Their consistent performance was good enough to move them from third to second place. Isabelle Caccamise tested in second aboard Topper. The duo's test was smooth and fluid, with a bold hand gallop to fence eight, moving them up to the top of the class for the win. Lillie Keenan and Monterrey tested on top, but missed the lead change through the rollback, moving them down to third place.
"I was really happy with Topper, he's been going really well this weekend so we just tried to make all the turns and tried to make it look really smooth," commented Caccamise "I definitely thought the test was fair. I thought I could have done better in my test, the first jump wasn't the best, but I thought everyone rode really well and it was a good test."
Caccamise added, "Topper is an interesting horse, he has a really light mouth, he's very sensitive to your hand. It took me awhile to learn how to ride him, but once you get it down he's a good horse, he's awesome."
Next up was the ASPCA Maclay, with a course that began with a forward six stride vertical to oxer on the diagonal. Then, the riders continued up the opposite diagonal over two coops, set as a one stride, followed by a short turn to a vertical at the end of the ring and rolling back to a vertical with natural fence rails. Next, they continued with a long approach down the diagonal to an oxer, and ended with a nice four stride vertical to oxer line down the long side by the in-gate.
After many solid trips and a competitive flat phase, it was Lauren Fabiano who was named winner of the ASPCA Maclay, aboard her young equitation mount Aram VDL. Despite her horse's age and limited experience, the duo was exactly the package the judges were looking for in today's class. Taking home second place was Madeline Placey aboard Asten, with Julia Acierno and Aragon coming in third.
"Aram VDL just turned seven, so he's really green and this year has been a learning experience for both him and me. It's been really exciting to see him grow as a really good horse. He's very strong, so it's taken awhile to figure him out but he's finally really evolving so he's really fun," explained Fabiano. "It was a really fun trip, I really liked the course and I love the show. This is my second year at Brandywine. It's really fun, I love being able to ride in the Dixon Oval and it's a great experience for me and the horses."
Tomorrow, the Pony Hunters will take over the Gold Ring at the Devon Show Grounds during the final day of the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Later in the afternoon, the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA International Hunter Derby will be the highlight event in the Dixon Oval. On Wednesday, July 4, riders will return for the second week of the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, featuring Saturday night's $5,000 Get Real Get RAW USHJA National Hunter Derby.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photo Credit: Isabelle Caccamise won the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: AnLi Kelly-Durham/PMG.