Harrisburg, PA - October 11, 2013 - The pouring rain falling outside the Pennsylvania National Horse Show could not dampen the spirits of horses and riders inside the Farm Show complex today for the famed Junior Hunter Championships. Perfectly groomed and braided horses received their final touch-ups before entering the ring, as the competitors donned their fitted shadbelly tailcoats.
In the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under Championship, it was Victoria Colvin and Dr. Betsee Parker's amazing horse Ovation that entered the winner's circle once again out of 28 starters - a spotlight this duo has become very familiar with. Hunter Holloway and Lyons Creek Bellini were the Reserve Champions. "Hunter is ferociously competitive and a really top student", said Don Stewart, Hunter's trainer for the past 2 years.
Lillie Keenan won the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship aboard Brodeur, a 6 year old gelding owned by Madeline Placey, while the Reserve Championship went to Cloe Hymowitz and Rose Hill Farm's ENJOY, another successful pair during this show.
In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Championship, it was once again Victoria Colvin and the 11 year old chestnut gelding WAY COOL, also owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. "He was a little spookier today", said Colvin, "so I just rode him more forward".
Colvin's fellow barn-mate and close pal Lili Hymowitz claimed the Reserve Champion title with Statement. "He's a pretty straight forward horse to ride", said Hymowitz while grinning from ear to ear. "I rode a little more forward today which seemed to work!"
Lillie Keenan strutted her stuff in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship with Walk The Line, owned by Don Stewart. "He's a very, very special horse - quirky and fun", commented Keenan. The dark bay gelding was imported as a 5 year old by Mindy Darst, who described him as a horse that could be very opinionated. "From day one he walked the line!" she said with a laugh.
The $5,000 Junior Hunter Winners Stake was the culmination of the hunter champions, but it was Victoria Colvin and Ovation who kept their cool and produced the perfect round to win this highly-contested class.
"I think Ovation is very well named, but I think he should have been named Standing Ovation", said owner Dr. Betsee Parker. "He's sometimes a grump, but he's a showman and knows when it's time to put on the ritz! I'm humbled by my horse - there have been some huge champions in their day, but none of them touch the accomplishment of Ovation. He is the 'winning-est' Small Junior Hunter in history", beamed Parker.
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.