Schaefer Raposa Triumphs in Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals

Harrisburg, PA – October 16, 2011 – Schaefer Raposa of Clinton, NY, triumphed in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals presented by Randolph College at the 66th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Sunday.  Brittany Hurst, 18, of Jackson, NJ, finished second.  Raposa had competed in the Finals five times and was emotional about her medal winning performance. “This means so much to me to win.  It means so much to my parents, especially my dad,” said Raposa.  “I have never even gotten a ribbon before in the class so to win is just amazing.”

What made the win even more amazing was that Raposa had to overcome adversity minutes before competing in the second round.  While schooling for the competition, her horse Charlie Z lost his shoe, which meant that her preparation time was cut short.  The shoe was quickly replaced, but it had an effect on Raposa.  “When I was watching my dad run back and forth I started to get nervous,” said Raposa. “Once I went in and started the course then the nerves went away.”

Equitation Judge Jimmy Torano believed the way the 17-year-old rider handled the situation was what put her over the top.  “I know for me as a rider that would kind of be a little frustrating,” said Torano.  “When she came in the ring and she nailed it I was really impressed.  I thought it was outstanding.”

Chrystine Tauber, the other equitation judge, agreed with Torano. “What she did was come in off that situation and really be cool.  She laid down a wonderful second trip,” said Tauber.  “I also thought that Brittany was great.  She was very consistent and kept moving her way up from the first to the second round.”                        

Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm had 20 students in the competition including the top two.  He was extremely proud of his students.  “It was a big moment and made me very, very proud,” said Dignelli. “I have been helping Schaefer since she was riding a pony.  Brittany was new for me because she rides with Emil Spadone, but I knew she was a very good rider and I had a very good horse. I thought she rode my horse incredibly.  I feel lucky to be a part of it.”

A total of 233 junior riders participated in the prestigious equitation event that began at 7:00 am.  The top 25 were called back for the second round in the afternoon and the top four riders were tested further to determine the medal winning positions.  The final four were Katie Tyler, Hurst, Allison Fithian and Raposa.  The final course consisted of seven jumping efforts involving tight turns, a trot to a fence, a counter canter to a fence and a combination.

Competition at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg continues through October 22.  Highlights of the Horse Show include: Hunt Night, Western Night, and culminates on Saturday with the featured event, the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix de Penn National.

In addition to world-class equestrian competition, the PNHS offers a unique shopping environment with boutique vendors that offer everything from fine art to custom jewelry, clothing, accessories and horse show memorabilia.  

General admission for Saturday, October 16 to Friday, October 21, is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students, except for Wednesday, October 19.  On Wednesday spectators can download a coupon for free admission at  General admission for Saturday, October 22, 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 or by calling the horse show office at  717-770-0222.

Top Ten Results
1. Schaefer Raposa
2. Brittany Hurst
3. Allison Fithian
4. Katie Tyler
5. Abigail McArdle
6. Kristen Mohr
7. Alexa Anthony
8. Morgan Geller
9. Genevieve Zock
10. Hasbrouck Donovan

Photo: Schaefer Raposa in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals presented by Randolph College