Devon, PA - July 1, 2011 - The performance hunters excelled this afternoon at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. In the Dixon Oval of the famous Devon Show Grounds in Devon, PA, the highlight divisions included the Performance 3'3" Hunters and a Performance 3'6" - 3'9" Hunters. Both included a handy round over fences, giving riders and their horses ample opportunity to show off their skills.
Kaitlyn Skog and Wilco, owned by Caren Seidle of Wayne, PA, were today's big winners in the Performance 3'6" - 3'9" Hunters. The duo took home a first place ribbon, a second place ribbon, and a third place ribbon to finish the day as both the division champion and win the Grand Champion Performance Hunter title.
"The toughest part about being out there this afternoon was that my horse was a little quiet today," said Skog. "I guess he was a little tired from yesterday, so I had to put on my extra big spurs. I've had Wilco since the beginning of May, and he's so much fun; I've learned so much from him already. I just leased him for the summer, so he's been awesome so far. We've been having a good time here at Brandywine and it's been great to have something so close."
Skog continued, "I want to move up and do the High Performance Hunters soon. Wilco can do it, it's just me that needs to learn a bit. We just moved up to the 3'6" height, and it's important to get him out in front of me, he still sometimes goes behind my legs." In addition to her equestrian pursuits, Skog is a sophomore at Oklahoma State University and studies biosystems engineering.
The Performance 3'6"-3'9" Hunter division was generously sponsored by VIS Consulting and Gillian Grant. Taking home the reserve championship honors in the division was Samantha Schaefer on Zendor Z, and the duo won the USET Talent Search later in the day. "He's a green equitation horse, so we used him to kind of prepare for the USET later, explained Schaefer. "We were just going for a smooth experience. He was great in the handy because he's an equitation horse, so he likes to show off a bit."
Sponsored by David and Wendy Twing, the Performance 3'3" Hunter division demonstrated equally competitive action in the Dixon Oval. The championship went to Molly Sewell aboard Olivia, with the pair earning a first place ribbon and a second place ribbon. Sewell also took home a blue ribbon and a red ribbon in the same division on Gisele. Olivia is owned by Christina Vozza of Bloomfield Hills, MI, and Gisele's owner is Porter Allen of Boerne, TX. Reserve champion was Erin Stewart, who rode the appropriately named Tenacious steadily over today's course.
Earlier today, the $500 North American League (NAL)/Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Children's Hunter Classic was held in the Gold Ring. The young riders' enthusiasm was as palpable as the warm temperatures, with many of the participants scoring over 150. Kristen Bowman rode her own horse, Rhinebeck, to a blue ribbon, completing her two rounds with a final score of 72. Bowman also picked up a seventh place ribbon for her turn on Noble Blue in the same event. Noble Blue is also owned by the 14-year-old Bowman, who trains at Derbydown in Kennett Square, PA. Second place went to Parker Wright on Caligo, while Shannon Hogue came in third on Love Struck.
"I've been riding for about eight or nine years," said Bowman. "Rhinebeck likes to lead swap, so when he's on the right lead I have to really try to keep him there. He has a lot of fun though, and he likes to be in the ring. Brandywine has been a lot of fun so far, and we're having a very good day."
Riders of all ages can continue to spend part of their summer at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, which will continue through July 10, with a local day of competition on July 11. Upcoming highlights include the Amateur-Owner Hunter championships and the $3,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday under the lights.
For more information on the Brandywine Valley Summer Series Horse Show visit http://www.brandywinevalleysummerseries.com/index.html.
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Skog and Wilco Earn Grand Championship Honors at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: Robyn Keyster/PMG.