Harrisburg, PA - It was a night to remember for Jill Wilson as she swept the competition and claimed blue ribbons in the hunters over fences, under saddle, and team events at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Hunt Night sponsored by Kinsley Construction.
Wilson, of Louisa County, VA, also won the Leading Lady Rider Award for her overall performance aboard Sally Lamb's All Aboard, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. This marks her fourth year competing at Harrisburg and her second year in a row winning this award.
"He (All Aboard) loves this place," she said of the mount she's been riding for four years. "When he's here he jumps well, moves well - he just floats."
In the Field Hunters 35 and Under class Wilson and All Aboard gracefully cleared the course earning them the top spot out of a lineup of 21 competitors. Next they bested the competition in the Ladies Under Saddle class of 29 competitors. The duo also turned in a winning finish in the Hunt Team competition with the Keswick Hunt Club Team One from Keswick, VA.
The Hunt Night Championship was awarded to Keswick Hunt for the second straight year. The team accumulated 37 points throughout the evening's events.
In horning blowing competition, Huntsman Steve Farrin won the North American Fox Hunting Horn Blowing Championship after a tie-breaking round of competition during the Masters of the Foxhounds Association-sanctioned event.
"This is my third year coming to Harrisburg," said Farrin of Ringoes, New Jersey's Amwell Valley Hounds. "I was the runner-up twice and I had to win it. It is pretty competitive especially at hound shows."
Farrin won the competition with the call of "Gone Away." "Standing on that white box in the ring is more nerve-racking than calling anywhere else," he explained of the pressure felt being before the arena size crowd.
Also featured during the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Hunt Night were Terrier Races and a Parade of Hounds.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) continues through Saturday, October 23. Special attractions include Tuesday night's Local Night, Wednesday night's Western Night, Thursday night's Pennsylvania Big Jump, Friday's carriage racing, and the grand finale, Saturday's $75,000 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 19 to Friday, October 22, is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. General admission for Saturday, October 23, 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 organization.
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: Hunt Night Leading Lady Rider Award Winner Jill Wilson and All Aboard (Al Cook Photo)