USA Equestrian (formerly AHSA) announced today that Pessoa and Miller's are the title sponsors of the 2001 AHSA/Pessoa & Miller's National Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Final to be held on October 14th, during the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, PA, October 11-20, 2001. The sponsors name has changed to reflect the merger of former sponsors, Eisers with Miller Harness.
Judging this year's championship are Ronnie Beard and Ellen Raidt-Lordi. The championship is decided after two or three rounds of competition and judged on equitation, which is the rider's ability to ride their horses with control, competency and compatibility. In the first round, riders are judged over a jumping course. Between 20- 25 riders must be called back for a second round.
The Hunter Seat Equitation Medal is a coveted AHSA prize and proves to be a significant stepping-stone for international competitions as 30% of past winners have gone on to represent the U.S. internationally. This year, over a thousand Hunter Seat Equitation Medal qualifying classes were held at AHSA recognized horse shows throughout the country, resulting in approximately 400 young riders qualifying for this event.
Last year's champion, Sarah Willeman, adds her name to the Adrian Van Sinderen Memorial Trophy, joining famous winners from the past, including Victor Hugo-Vidal, George Morris and Katie Monahan-Prudent. This year's winner will receive a special "keeper" trophy, a Triple Crown Custom horse cooler, a "Jubilee" Pessoa saddle, a pair of Pytchley breeches and an "On Course" jacket, courtesy of Miller's and Pessoa.
The AHSA founded the Equitation Medal program in 1937 under the guidance of its fourth President, Adrian Van Sinderen. For the first decade, the Hunter, Stock and Saddle Seat disciplines were all contested together in the same ring for the Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy for the Equitation Final. In 1948, the Hunter, Stock and Saddle Seat Medals were separated into individual competitions with medals awarded to each of the three equitation seats.
Miller Harness Company, the title sponsor of the Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Championship, is the North American distributor of Pessoa saddles, which are designed by Brazilian show jumping legend, Nelson Pessoa. Pessoa believes in the principles of horsemanship and classical riding as preparation for success in grand prix show jumping, and became involved in this sponsorship because of his desire to support trainers and riders in their pursuit of the American system of equitation. Miller's is the world's leading distributor and manufacturer of equestrian apparel and equipment offering over 30,000 quality products for all riding needs available in the best tack shops worldwide. Since 1912, Miller's has worked closely with the world's top riders and trainers to create products that meet the ever-changing trends and demands of today's discriminating rider.