Harrisburg, PA - It was just her second visit to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, but 12-year-old Victoria "Vixie" Press piloted Olivia Jack's Love and Laughter to top honors as Grand Champion Pony Hunter, Large Pony Hunter Champion and Best Junior Rider Award, Pony.
The humble young rider from New York, NY, rides with Patricia Griffin and Heritage Farm. Press first tried Love and Laughter at the PNHS last year before deciding to lease him. "He is so smooth and has such a big stride you don't even have to adjust him. We were champions at Winter Equestrian Festival and Reserve Champion at Pony Finals this year, but riding here is more exciting because it feels very important," said Press. In addition to riding in the Large Pony Hunters, she has a Medium pony and just started competing on a horse as well.
There was a lot of "laughter" in the Large Pony Hunter division as Love and Laughter was the Large Pony Champion and reserve champion was Dr. Betsee Parker's For the Laughter ridden by Victoria Colvin. The Championship was sponsored by Willow Brook Stables and Kate Considine.
In more pony hunter action, the Medium Pony Hunter Championship sponsored by Pennsylvania Chamber Insurance was won by Anna Demetree's Blondie, ridden by Parker Wright of Tampa, Fla. Reserve champion was Trillville owned by Bibby Farmer-Hill and ridden by Kriss Eisaman.
The diminutive ponies were topped in the Small Pony Hunter Championship by Flashback, owned and ridden by Madeline Schaefer of Westminster, Md. Reserve champion was Hi Lite, owned by Madison Goetzmann and ridden by Madison Maners. The championship was sponsored by Double G. Stables.
Junior weekend will conclude tomorrow with the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Final presented by Randolph College.
In addition to the world-class equestrian competition that will run through Saturday, October 23 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, the PNHS offers a unique shopping environment with boutique vendors.
General admission for Sunday, October 17 to Friday, October 22, is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. General admission for Saturday, October 23, is $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. As always, children under 6 are admitted free in general admission seating. Convenient parking is also free.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is proud of its tradition of supporting equine and youth programs. The show benefits the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
Details are available at the horse show's website at www.panational.org or by calling the horse show office at 717-770-0222.
Photos: Grand Champion Pony Hunter Love and Laughter and rider Victoria Press. Al Cook Photos