Syracuse, NY - This weekend junior rider, Leah DeMartini of Bronxville, NY, had the opportunity to compete with her talented mount Vida Blue during the 127th National Horse Show in Syracuse, NY. Together DeMartini and Vida Blue took home the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter Reserve Champion Honors after they won the handy round and placed second in the other two over fences classes.
At the end of the week, Vida Blue was also named the High Point Junior Hunter Over Fences for receiving more points than any other junior hunter in the three jumping classes.
"Vida really likes it here, but I think more than that I've really learned how to ride her," noted DeMartini. "It's taken me a little while to figure her out but now that I have I am really happy because she's so great. I don't get nervous because I think it's more about experience in the ring. It's different riding inside when the jumps come up quickly, so after doing the indoor shows, all the repetition has helped. I really like this ring and think the horses are very comfortable here."
"Her handy round was so smooth even with all the hard options," said DeMartini's trainer, Susie Humes of Greentree South. "It was one of the hardest handy tracks I've seen in awhile, and the fact that she went out there and executed everything so precisely was exciting. I am very proud of her!"
"This was a great ending for Indoors for Leah, it was really well done," Humes continued. "She's ridden so well, she's very determined and very focused. I've very proud of her, it's a great way to end the year and I couldn't be happier. I'd like to give a big thanks to Ken Smith for coming up to help, and of course Andrew Lustig (Elm Rock's rider and co-trainer) and all the support we get from friends."
"Leah really just rose to the occasion and persevered through indoors," said Smith. "It was great to see it all come together for her this week and I'm just so proud of her."
"I just want to thank Ken Smith for his help, and of course Susie and Andrew for everything. Its been a great year and I am excited about Florida," said DeMartini.
During 2011 DeMartini will head back to Florida to compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).