Articles: Press Release
The Stars of Show Jumping Will Compete in Harrisburg
Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
(717) 898-1458 fax
The thousands of fans that pack the Farm Show Arena on Grand Prix night
of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show know they can count on seeing the
country's best riders race over massive fences against the clock.
Savvy fans know they'll see the same stellar riders and great horses
each of the last five nights of the show.
This year, they can look forward to watching the WORLD'S best riders, and
to meeting some of the horse world's most famous stars. Among the 42
professional Open Jumper riders accepted at the Pennsylvania National are
members of the equestrian teams of Canada, Ireland and the United States.
While watching top riders is exciting for spectators, qualifying for the
show is vital to riders. "This is one of our biggest events, it's a World Cup
qualifier," said 2000 Olympic rider Laura Kraut. "The Pennsylvania National
is a goal for everyone, every year. I've been coming here since 1979" when
she first competed as a junior rider at age 12.
Three Canadian riders expect to make the trip to the show, which runs
October 10-19 at the Farm Show Arena, Harrisburg, PA. Ian Millar, Canada's
all-time leading rider and an international celebrity, is an eight-time
Olympic veteran who has represented Canada in each Olympics since 1972.
Millar, of Perth, Ontario, is a World Cup and Pan American gold medalist. He
will be joined in Harrisburg by World Cup champion and two-time Olympic
veteran Mario Deslauriers of Bromont, Quebec, and Jill Henselwood, Oxford
Mills, Ontario, a veteran World Cup champion.
Kevin Babington spent much of September at the World Equestrian Games in
Spain, contending 11-year-old Carling King as a member of the Irish team.
Babington, a member of the gold medal Irish team at the 2001 Samsung Nation's
Cup in the Netherlands, came to the US more than a dozen years ago to work at
an equestrian camp and now resides in Blue Bell, PA. Babington will compete
Carling King, the 2001 Samsung Nation's Cup leading horse, in the $60,000
Budweiser Grand Prix, October 19, and other classes, and Hill Cruise, winner
of five consecutive speed championships this year, in the $25,000 North
American League Speed Championships on Friday, October 18.
Ten of the top twelve American riders, as ranked by the US Equestrian
Team on September 13, 2002, will compete at the show, which offers $325,000
in prize money. Among them are two of the four members of the American team
currently competing at the World Equestrian Games in Spain, and all four
members of the 2002 gold medal Nation's Cup team which competed in Calgary,
Canada in early September. Riders ranked among the top ten who will compete
at Harrisburg include:
Seven-time American Grandprix Association Rider of the Year Margie Engle,
Wellington, FL, currently the top ranking American rider and possibly the
most accomplished American rider competing today. A veteran of the Sydney
Olympics, Engle has won team silver at the Pan American games and team gold
at Nation's Cup events.
Los Angeles Olympic team Gold Medalist and Atlanta Olympic Silver medalist
Leslie Howard, Westport, CT, currently competing at the World Equestrian
Games in Spain. She is currently ranked second.
Sydney Olympic veteran Laura Kraut, Oconomowoc, WI, who has won the $60,000
Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National with Anthem in 2000 and 2001. She is
currently ranked third.
Kraut's Olympic teammate Lauren Hough, age 25 of Ocala, FL, currently
ranked fourth among the American riders.
Schuyler Riley, Wellington, FL, World Cup veteran, currently ranked fifth.
Nation's Cup gold medalist Beezie Madden, Cazenovia, NY, who has won the
Grand Prix at Harrisburg three times. She is currently ranked sixth.
27-year-old McLain Ward, Brewster, NY, a Nation's Cup gold medalist, World
Cup veteran and the youngest rider to pass the $1 million mark in Grand Prix
winnings, who led the AGA standings much of 2002. The 1998 AGA Rider of the
Year, he is currently ranked eighth.
Five of the riders will sign autographs and meet fans Friday night,
October 18 following the North American League Speed Championship. In
addition to Laura Kraut they are:
Molly Ashe, Wellington, FL, who was selected to represent the US at the
2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain (she withdrew due to an injury to
Nona Garson, Lebanon, NJ, a member of the 2000 US Olympic Show Jumping Team
Todd Minikus, Loxahatchee, FL, USA Equestrian's 2001 Equestrian of the
Aaron Vale, Rembert, SC, a member of the gold medal US Equestrian Team that
competed at the 2001 Nation's Cup in Drammen, Norway.
` Autograph pages featuring four-color photos of the riders will be
available free of charge at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. The
autograph session will be held Friday night, October 18 immediately following
the NAL Speed Finals in the Hall of Champions, on the lower level of the Farm
Show Arena adjacent to the in-gate.
It's not just professionals who cross the ocean. Typically, amateurs
from as far away as Ireland and Saudi Arabia travel to Harrisburg to compete
at the Pennsylvania National.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is the country's largest multi-breed
indoor horse show, with more than 1,100 top horses and riders from nearly
every state and Canada. The show hosts 11 national championships and awards
$325,000 in prize money. The show runs October 10-19 at the State Farm Show
Arena, Harrisburg, PA. General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for
children under 12 and seniors, except on Saturday, October 19 when all
general admission tickets are $10. Reserved seating is available October 19.
For tickets or a free brochure, phone (717) 975-3677 or visit
Note to editors: Photos of and interviews with riders and press credentials
are available-phone (717) 898-5874.
Shertzer/Lawson Marketing and Publishing
P. O. Box 8412
Lancaster, PA 17604
(717) 898-1458 fax