Articles: Horse News
Sarah Milliren Garners 2011 ASPCA Maclay National Championship Title at
Alltech National Horse Show
Photo Credit: Sarah Milliren of Sapula, OK, won the 2011 ASPCA Maclay
National Championships. Photo Credit: Rebecca Walton/PMG.
Rebecca Walton for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexington, KY - November 6, 2011 - Today marked the final day of
competition at the Alltech National Horse Show, 128th Edition. The
highlight event at the Alltech Arena in Lexington, KY, was the 2011 Maclay
National Championship for the ASCPA Alfred B. Maclay Horsemanship Classes -
Presented by Hadfield's Saddlery. Riders worked all year to qualify for
this event and after three phases of competition and a final test it was
17-year-old Sarah Milliren of Sapula, OK, leading the victory gallop and
taking home the championship honors.
In the first round of competition, 198 riders were tested on a course
designed by the judges, Cynthia Hankins and Kip Rosenthal in cooperation
with course designer Richard Jeffery. The fences included bending lines with
inside options, as well as a vertical-oxer or oxer-vertical double
combination option followed by an oxer-oxer combination. The end of the
course included a snaking line of obstacles with the ASPCA fence and a
technical vertical-vertical fan bounce. While some riders had difficulties
during the first round, the course was very inviting overall and gave each
rider many opportunities to show off their horsemanship.
The riders who rode the course smoothly, out-of-stride, and with style were
the ones called back in the top 36 to test on the flat. Three groups of 12
were tested, and from there the judges called back the top 18 riders for a
second round over fences. The top 18 returned in the following order, with
Michael Hughes called back on top and Milliren in second.
1 - Savannah Jenkins
2- Genevieve Zock
3- Julie Fowler
4 - Chloe Schmidt
5 - Emma Schauder
6 - Brittany Hurst
7 - Megan Bifano
8 - Catherine Tyree
9 - Conor Perrin
10- Chase Boggio
11 - Schaefer Raposa
12 - Victoria Colvin
13- Michael Murphy
14 - Charlotte Jacobs
15 - Demi Stiegler
16 - Elizabeth Benson
17 - Sarah Milliren
18 - Michael Hughes
The second round of today's competition began with a snake line and
continued with a trot bounce, followed by a hand gallop to a triple
bar. Riders then had two direct diagonal lines with an inside turn, followed
by a walk transition and then a vertical-oxer combination. They finished
with a smooth turn over the ASPCA jump towards the gate.
Michael Hughes of Ocala, FL had a difficult time with a lead change after
the triple bar, which proved costly and eventually earned him sixth. Chase
Boggio of Canton, GA, and Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, each produced
smooth trips with a good hand gallop to move up in the ranking and place
fourth and fifth, respectively.
The judges asked Milliren, Demi Stiegler of Landera Ranch, CA, and Elizabeth
Benson of Whitehouse Station, NJ, to return to the ring for further testing,
as just a point separated the top three. They were asked to switch mounts,
with Milliren riding Stiegler's Vigo, Stiegler riding Benson's Calito 7, and
Benson riding Milliren's Terrapin Station. The three finalists then had to
show over the course once more aboard the new mount without any warm-up or
advice from their coaches.
Returning in reverse order, Benson led the way but had a slight bobble at
the first vertical causing her to lose her stirrup. She regained her balance
despite a previously broken wrist, but had a late change after the triple
and eventually placed third. "The second round I thought was a really good
course for Calito. I started with the first jump a little too weak, but
still fine, then he was perfect through the Swedish, amazing through the
trot jump, which is not my forte, but he covered it okay. I thought that the
rest we did really well, and he made it really easy. When I switched onto
Sarah's horse, I hadn't seen her go, so I wasn't really sure how to ride him
at first. I took the first jump a little too open and then was caught by
surprise when he gave me a big jump."
Stiegler was next and kept a conservative pace at the beginning resulting in
light rubs, and a slower hand gallop. The pair quickly became more in sync,
and finished the round nicely to earn the reserve championship. "During the
second round I thought my horse was really good for both of us," she
explained. "I think the first six I had gotten a little closer than I
wanted, but the rest was really good. After switching on to Elizabeth's
horse, I just have to say that she does a great job riding him; he is not an
Milliren was the last to go and she quickly proved that she came to win. She
picked up a nice pace from the beginning and was very smooth through all of
the turns and options. The talented young rider showcased an exemplary hand
gallop and her wonderful horsemanship garnered her the judges' top call and
the ASPCA Maclay National Championship title.
"It's so exciting, I'm so happy," beamed Milliren after leading the victory
gallop. "I was surprisingly not nervous about the course, I was excited
because I knew that it was a good course for the horse I was on. For the
second round I had moved down, so I knew I had to give it my all. I was a
little nervous with my horse at first because he was a little spooky, but he
did great. After switching onto Demi's horse, I think I used a little too
much hand, he wasn't very happy with me, but I really liked riding her horse
and he was a lot of fun."
"Sarah is a natural, easy, works really well under pressure; one day when I
grow up I want to ride like her," laughed trainer Joey Brumbaugh.
Milliren also trained with Don Stewart and Bibby Hill during the summer
after meeting Stewart at a clinic, and they arranged for her to ride
Terrapin Station this year. "Any horse that I put her on, she gets the job
done," he noted. "She came back and forth and I helped to polish her a bit
and giver her some depth in her riding, but she really is a natural. She can
ride pretty much anything you put her on."
"During the final test, Sarah looked like she had ridden that horse her
entire life," said judge Kip Rosenthal. "When she picked up the gallop to
start the course she just went after it. She made it clear that either she
was going to win this thing or blow it, but either way she was going to take
a shot. After seeing her, it was over."
Mason Phelps Jr., President of the National Horse Show concluded, "All of
these riders performed beautifully today. I am glad to say that the Alltech
National Horse Show has a new home and a new beginning, I am really pleased
that we are here at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park."
The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one
of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United
States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian
sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot
(1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), Stacia Klein Madden
in 1987, and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2009 ASPCA Maclay
National Championship winner was Zazou Hoffman, of Santa Monica, CA, and in
2010 Hayley Barnhill was named the winner.
Founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse
Show is America's oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major
fixture on the national and international sports and social event
calendars. The National Horse Show Association's primary activity is the
annual production of the National Horse Show and all ancillary events. Over
the years, the National Horse Show has provided financial aid to many
worthwhile charities. For more information on the Alltech National Horse
Show please visit www.nhs.org.
Final Results: 2011 ASPCA Maclay National Championship
1 SARAH MILLIREN
2 DEMI STIEGLER
3 ELIZABETH BENSON
4 CHASE BOGGIO
5 VICTORIA COLVIN
6 MICHAEL HUGHES
7 CATHERINE TYREE
8 SCHAEFER RAPOSA
9 SAVANNAH JENKINS
10 CONOR PERRIN