Articles: Press Release
Elu De La Hardiere Races to Blue in the
NAL $25,000 Open Jumper Speed Championship
Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810,
Annville, PA-October 25, 2005-Out of a field of 18 it was
Michael Walton, 37, and Elu De La Hardiere who raced to claim the blue in
the North American League (NAL) $25,000 Open Jumper Speed Championship held
at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pa.
Walton and Elu De La Hardiere stopped the clock clean in the
speed class, posting a time of 59.865 seconds, and edging out second-place
finisher Laura Chapot who posted a 60.016 on the board riding Sprite.
Walton, a professional rider from Valley Forge, Pa., is no
stranger leading the victory gallop on the 13-year-old Selle Francais. They
have picked up a number of grand prix wins in the three years that Walton
has been in the irons, including four this year alone.
Walton admits the horse is naturally very fast. He added, "He
likes scary situations, tight corners, close fences. He is really brave
Elu De La Hardiere has placed second to Laura Chapot's Little
Big Man twice and that fact was on Walton's mind knowing that Chapot would
be contesting the course after him. Walton stated, "It is a one-shot deal.
You have to be clean and fast. It's a balance. My horse is fast, but
doesn't have big stride, so I let him gallop on to the final jump, gave him
his head and left it up to him."
Walton has competed in the NAL since 1998 and has qualified for
the championship the past five years.
He said of the NAL, "It is good fun. There are lots of
qualifying opportunities. Here at Pennsylvania National, this class, with a
purse of $25,000, offers a lot of money for a Speed Horse."
The North American League (NAL) runs season-long series in six
hunter-jumper divisions - Children's Hunter, Children's Jumper, Adult
Hunter, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper and Open Jumper Speed. Each series
culminates with a championship final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show
in Harrisburg, PA in October. Riders need not be members of the NAL to
compete in any qualifying classes, but only current members earn points
toward year-end finals. For more information, a list of qualifying
competitions and results, please see the Ryegate Show Services website at
1 Michael Walton/ELU de la HARDIERE 0.00/ 59.865
2 Laura Chapot/SPRITE 0.00/ 60.016
3 Jimmy Torano/MARLO 0.00/ 61.755
4 Joe Fargis/DIAMS III 0.00/ 63.214
5 Todd Minikus/GAME BOY 0.00/ 63.264
6 Margie Engle/HC's CHARLIE BROWN 0.00/ 63.503
7 Callan Solem/MIANTA 0.00/ 64.775
8 Mary Lisa Leffler/KARTOUSCH 0.00/ 68.038
9 Schuyler C. Riley/ANATOL 0.00/ 69.958
10 Nona Garson/MORGAN 0.00/ 69.966