Traverse City, MI - July 31, 2011 - It was yet another gorgeous, sunny day for the final day of hunter competition at Horse Shows by the Bay. Over the past four weeks of the show series, scenic Traverse City has offered exhibitors almost nothing but quintessential summer days. The R.L Polk Main Hunter Ring was no different today with the Amateur-Owner Hunter and Adult Amateur Hunter divisions wrapping-up their competitions. Weatherly Stroh and Sigfried, owned by Susanne Stroh, continued their winning streak, as did Lindsay Lyden and Copperfield, owned by Fox Meadow Farms. The Hunter Classics in both divisions were the day's highlights, offering spectators one final chance to appreciate the elegance and style that the hunters have put on display throughout the series.
The Amateur-Owner Hunters got their morning off to a jump start. Kelsey Wickham and Wait and See Farms' Just Because earned the blue ribbon in both the hunter and the handy rounds today. Moira Corcoran and her Pacifico took home second in the hunter round, just ahead of Jovanna Haddad and Veron in third place. This duo won both over fences classes yesterday. Following Wickham in the handy class was Sara Gentry aboard Olivaire with second place. Shawna Yeihey and her Benchmark took home the yellow ribbon in the handy course. After all the points were tallied for the two days of competition, Just Because and Kelsey Wickham earned the champion honors with 34 points. Reserve champion went to Jovanna Haddad and Veron with 27 points on the board.
Sigfried and Weatherly Stroh earned the top call in both the handy and the hunter rounds today in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3'3", which meant that she won all but one of the over fences classes. Abigail Wijek was on top of her game once again today with Magic Man and took home second place in both classes. In the hunter round, Sherri Werner and Unlimited earned third place, while Amy Stanley and her Saneffo Z received third place in the handy round. It was a close call for the champion title, a matter of just 6 points. Stroh and Sigfried earned the prestigious honors with an impressive 38 points, just ahead of Abigail Wujek and Magic Man with their 32 points. That was the third time champion honors have been granted to Sigried and Stroh in this division at Horse Shows by the Bay. The pair also took home the prize during Series I and III. The duo was also honored with the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion title, and Stroh earned the OVATION Leading Amateur Owner Hunter Rider Award for accumulating the most points throughout all of the Horse Shows by the Bay series.
After the conclusion of the 3'3" Amateur-Owner Hunter, 10 of the Amateur-Owner riders in both height divisions came back to participate in the $2,000 Horse Shows by the Bay Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic. This event consisted of two over fences rounds, after which points were totaled and prizes awarded. After both rounds, Shawna Yeihey and Benchmark earned the fourth place ribbon, just behind Abigail Wujek and Magic Man. Kelsey Wickham and Just Because showed their consistency and took home the red ribbon. Stroh continued her winning streak with Sigfried and took home the top honors of the class. The pair earned an 82 in the first round and an 86 in the second round, demonstrating their incredible fluidity and connection.
Lindsay Lyden and Fox Meadow Farm's Copperfield once again earned champion in the 18-35 Adult Amateur Hunter division. The pair was also champion in the division during Series III of Horse Shows by the Bay. Coming in just one point behind Lyden was Micah Gentry aboard INXS with 27 points, to win the reserve champion. Also continuing a winning streak was Terri Irrer and Rhythmicon, owned by Debra Gross, taking home the champion title with 30 points in the 36-49 Adult Amateurs. Susan Calka and her Happy Sport happily jumped their way to the reserve champion. Sue Hehl and her Something's Cookin' earned the champion prize in the 50+ Adult Amateur Hunter, after winning three of the four over fences classes. Hehl also was Grand Adult Hunter Champion with 36.5 points. Hehl and her horse had previously won the NAL/WIHS $1,000 Adult Hunter Classic during Series III, and earned champion honors in the 50+ Adult Amateur Hunter during Series I. To add to her winnings, Hehl was also given the OVATION Leading Adult Hunter Rider Award.
The second round of the NAL/WIHS $1,000 Adult Hunter Classic followed the three sections of the Adult Amateur Hunters. The riders' second hunter round during the Adult Amateur division was scored as the first round of the classic. As they returned for the second round, a beautiful flowing course, Sue Hehl showed everyone that she and Something's Cookin' were the ones to beat. After all scores were given, Alana Andrew and her Born To Roll earned fourth place, just behind Elizabeth Perry and Conelly, owned by Pennington Farms. Susannah Ross and her Olive jumped into second place, showing a smooth and assured round two. Giving it their all on the last day at Horse Shows by the Bay, Hehl and Something's Cookin' were all smiles as they took home the top honors in the class. "We are so proud and honored to host such great riders and horses, which makes being able to honor them with such prizes as the OVATION Leading Rider Awards and Grand Champions even better. The show has been such a success this year and we cannot wait for next year," commented Alex Rheinheimer, show manager.
For more information or to view schedules, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com or call 231-267-3700.
Photo: Sue Hehl and Something's Cookin' Credit: Katie Anich/PMG