Harrisburg, PA - Emma Kurtz and Victoria Colvin cantered off with all the division titles for Junior Hunters at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Kurtz, who hails from Hudson, OH, won both the Small and Large Junior Hunter - Riders 15 and Under Champion ribbons, while Colvin, Wellington, FL, took the Small and Large Junior Hunter - Riders 16-17 Champion titles.
Kurtz, 14, won the Small Junior Hunter title with Kahlua, an 8 year old bay Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Isabel Aldridge, and the Large Junior Hunter rosette with Fredrick, an 11 year old chestnut Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by David Gochman. Kahlua also won the Junior Hunter Winners Stake, a class open to horses who placed either first or second in Junior Hunter Division classes.
Colvin won the titles with two of Dr. Betsee Parker's horses. Ovation was named Small Junior Hunter - Riders 16-17 Champion and Small Affair was Large Junior Hunter - Riders 16-17 Champion. In addition, Ovation won the EMO Agency Junior High Five Award which is given to the horse who achieves the highest score in any Junior Hunter class.
"It was exciting," Colvin said of her Championship wins. "Yesterday went well, today was even better." Colvin's other mount in the Small Junior Hunter, Canadian Blue, had an off day on Thursday, placing 25th out of 28 in the Handy round. He returned to form on Friday to win the final over fences class of the division. "Today Canadian Blue won the battle but Ovation won the war," explained Dr. Parker. "Ovation is the winningest Junior Hunter in history and I'm not too upset that he didn't win the final class. Tori has been with him for 7 of his 15 years. It was very special and nostalgic to win [the Championship] one last time."
"I am glad Canadian Blue came out with the blue ribbon," added Colvin. "Because he was in a bad mood yesterday, I don't know why, he was amazing in the morning when I rode him and then he went in and he was spooky. He does that sometimes, he gets really green, then he works out of it, but not yesterday, he even got a little worse. So he went to bed last night and when we took him out this morning he was better. So I'm very happy about that. Ovation was a little tired and had a rub, but he went very well."
It was a bittersweet moment for Colvin who ages out of the junior ranks at the end of the season. "I've been doing this for a very long time so I think it will be fun to move on and do some new things, but it is sad too."
Recognized as a premier equestrian event, The Pennsylvania National Horse Show runs October 8-17 and has been held indoors at the State Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA since its inception in 1945.
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