Devon, PA - July 7, 2012 - As the Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS), rolled into its tenth day of the heat wave, the Amateur-Owner Hunters attempted to beat the hot weather early this morning. Taking center ring for the day's first presentation was Lindsay Mutschler and Fielding, earning the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship and the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter Circuit Championship. The Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters were next to begin their weekend in the Dixon Oval, and Jane Maguire and Tina Furey each earned blue ribbon honors.
The competition got underway at 7 a.m. at the Devon Show Grounds, beginning with the Amateur-Owner Hunters. Lindsay Mutschler of Chadds Ford, PA, and Fielding took home two blue ribbons this week, as well as a red ribbon, which was good enough for the championship award. This is their second week at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, and they were also presented with the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter Circuit Championship for their consistent efforts in the ring.
"Yesterday he was really good, and he went beautifully during the flat class today," noted Mutschler. "I loved my handy round, that's really his thing. He started as a dressage horse and this is his third year doing the hunters. Fielding likes to just get on a gallop and go, so we were really focused on that here. He's still a little green, but in this ring I was able to get that step and just stick with it."
Bridget Hallman of Oyster Bay, NY, and her talented mount Do Tell were also at the top standings this week in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, earning two wins over fences for the reserve championship. The champions from last week were also the winners of the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunter Circuit Championship.
"Do Tell was phenomenal, he loves it here," expressed Hallman. "This ring is so much fun to ride in, especially on one where you can just loop the reins and get a fun gallop. I thought all my trips were really good. He jumped every jump gorgeous, high, and lofty. He went around beautifully. Consistency is such a key with all of these horses and it's so important. It's great when you have one you can trust and know is going to be there day in and day out. Do Tell tries for me every time, he wants to win, he loves what he does."
The Amateur-Owner 3'3" 18-35 Hunters began their first day of competition next, and it was Jane Maguire of Ft. Washington, PA, and Nickleback that led the way. The talented duo took home a blue and red ribbon for their efforts in the over fences classes. The winner of the second class was Katie Nelligan of Newtown Square, PA, and Black Jax.
"With Nickleback, once you find the rhythm, everything just flows very nicely," explained Maguire. "He has a really nice rhythm. You have to collect him and use a lot of leg to shape him. I've owned him for two years and before that he was doing the Second Years, and we've done the Children's, Juniors, and Amateurs together."
Next in the Dixon Oval was the Amateur-Owner 3'3" 36 and Over Hunters with Tina Furey of New Canaan, CT, and French Kiss dominating the competition. With scores of 86 and 85, Furey took home the victory in each of the over fences classes. Susan Kelly of Allentown, PA, and Enticing followed with second place in the first class, while the red ribbon in the second class went to Blair Balmer of Wayne, PA, and Black Tie.
"I thought French Kiss was nice and quiet for both rounds today," commented Furey. "I've had him for over two years and I started doing him in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" this winter in Florida. He likes a nice, soft ride. I have to keep pace and keep him in front of my leg, and he doesn't look at any of the jumps. This is my second year at Brandywine and it's so exhibitor friendly. You have the atmosphere of Devon without the pressure."
Several other special presentations have been made during the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Jennifer Burger's Aate took home the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title while his rider, Louise Serio, earned the Leading Hunter Rider Award as well as the Leading Lady Rider Award. Tyler Weith followed with the Leading Gentleman Rider Award, and the Supreme Professional Hunter Circuit Championship went to Carino, owned by Terry Morrison and ridden by Paul Mathews. Finally, the Barry G. Balmer Memorial Horsemanship Award was presented to Lizzy Traband for her demonstration of sportsmanship and horsemanship.
The Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue later this evening with the $5,000 Get Real Get RAW USHJA National Hunter Derby. The nation's top horse and rider combinations will gather at the Dixon Oval to showcase their mounts over the derby course and vye for the winning honors. Tomorrow, the horse show will come to a close with the Junior Hunter and Pony Hunter divisions.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photo Credit: Lindsay Mutschler and Fielding won the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: AnLi Kelly-Durham/PMG