Devon, PA - June 30, 2012 -It was all about the juniors during the fourth day of the Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS). The riders were thrilled to showcase their mounts in the Dixon Oval at the prestigious Devon Show Grounds. After laying down beautiful trips with her talented mount North Shore in the Junior 16-17 Hunters, Kathleen Fisher returned to center ring to be presented with the Junior Hunter Grand Championship. Today's other championship riders included Victoria Press and Maya Nayyar from Heritage Farm, while Allison Toffolon earned the Best Child Rider Award.
The Junior 16-17 Hunters were the first to compete in the Dixon Oval today. After placing second in both of yesterday's over fences classes as well as the under saddle, Kathleen Fisher of West Chester, PA, and North Shore stepped it up in today's first over fences classes. They earned the top call with a score 83, which was good enough to also net them the championship honors. Following with the reserve championship was today's handy winners, Taylor Willever of Pen Argyl, PA and Eloquence. At the conclusion of the Junior Hunter divisions, Fisher and North Shore were also presented with the Junior Hunter Grand Championship for their efforts this week.
"I'm so excited, North Shore is so great," smiled Fisher. "This week he just really relaxed in the ring. He was really consistent and smooth. You definitely have to be supportive with him and let him know you're there so that he's confident and knows what you want him to do. If he trusts you, he's really good."
After a disappointing week at the Devon Horse Show, Fisher and North Shore returned home and focused on preparing for Brandywine. Fisher noted, "I was really discouraged after Devon, but then I decided to work harder. We haven't jumped at all, but we've been doing a ton of poles and gymnastics, just lengthening and shortening and pushing him off each leg. He has never lengthened his stride so much, and he's been so great."
Fisher concluded, "I love this horse show. I think it's so great because it's so laid back and relaxed, but you still get to go into the Dixon Oval."
The Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters were next, with Victoria Press of New York, NY, riding to both the championship and reserve championship awards. First, she piloted Photo Shoot to a first place finish today, as well as two second place finishes yesterday, claiming the championship award for owner Peakewood Pharm of Marshall, VA. Press and her second mount, Akinda won both over fences classes yesterday and followed with the reserve championship honors.
"I rode Photo Shoot a couple weekends at WEF, but he is a catch ride for me," explained Press. "He's a little bit slow, but he's really fun, you kind of just pony kick him around. He's really sweet, and he will do anything for you."
Press continued, "Akinda is pretty straightforward. She doesn't like when you sit, so you have to kind of stay off of her back. Akinda is a mare, so she's has a real personality and opinion, and if you don't ride her the way she likes then she kind of gets upset. She's really fun though, and always she's really good."
The final division to compete was the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters, where Maya Nayyar of New York, NY, rode to the top of the standings aboard Tenacious. The talented duo won yesterday's under saddle class, and also placed second in both over fences classes. The reserve championship went Lillie Keenan and C Coast Z, who won both of today's over fences classes with scores in the high 80s.
"Tenacious was really good," stated Nayyar. "We did really well yesterday. He's feeling really good and fresh. He's naturally forward, but he needs a little leg to support him. We will go to the Hampton Classic next, and I am hoping to qualify for Indoors."
Following the conclusion of the Junior Hunter divisions, Allison Toffolon was named as the Best Child Rider, and also won the Equitation Style Award. Toffolon was the winner of the WIHS Equitation after earning scores of 88 and 87, and also received excellent scores in the Junior Hunters. ""It feels really good to win this award," she commented. "My Junior Hunter Carlsson was great and our rounds were really good. My equitation horse Class Action was also awesome, and did really well in the WIHS equitation, which is really exciting. I love Brandywine, it's really nice to be here and I love showing in the Dixon Oval."
Another special award at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series included the Barry G. Balmer Memorial Horsemanship Award. The first week's award, the Romeo Sullivan Memorial Sportsmanship Award, went to Jennifer Bauersachs of Spring Hill Farm, who was chosen by her peers for the special honor.
The Adult Amateur Hunters were last to show in the Dixon Oval today. After winning two over fences classes in the Adult Amateur 46 and Over Hunter division, Clementina Brown of Loxahatchee, FL, and Isis were awarded with the championship prize. Their efforts were also good enough to claim the Adult Amateur Hunter Grand Championship. The Marshall and Sterling Adult Hunter Classic was also held today, and it was Hope Batchelor and Joy Ride, owned by Joanne Copeland of West Chester, PA, that earned the top call and blue ribbon prize.
The first week of the Brandywine Valley Summer Series will conclude tomorrow with the Pony Hunter divisions, and the highlight event, the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA International Hunter Derby. Competition will resume next Wednesday, July 4, 2012, with exciting hunter/jumper action at Devon Show Grounds. The feature class will be 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: Kathleen Fisher and North Shore won the Junior Hunter Grand Championship at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.