Articles: Press Release
Ten National Championships To Be Decided At
56th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show
August 13, 2001
Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
(717) 898-5874 (717) 898-1458 fax
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held October 11 to 20 at the Farm
Show Arena, Harrisburg, PA, is not just the country's largest multi-breed
indoor horse show. It's also the setting for the country's fiercest
equestrian competition, as ten coveted national titles will be decided during
the show's ten day run.
One of only three USA Junior Olympics-Equestrian events is the American
Horse Shows Association/Black Entertainment Television National Junior Jumper
Championship. Teams of the top four riders under age 18 from each zone, or
region, of the US, compete over jumps for Junior Olympic gold, silver, and
bronze medals on Friday night, October 12. The young riders compete for
individual titles on Thursday and Saturday, October 11 and 13.
The Junior Jumper championships precede by one day the American Horse
Shows Association/Eisers and Pessoa National Hunt Seat Equitation Medal
Championship. More than two hundred top young riders under age 18, from
nearly every state and Canada, vie for their ultimate prize, the Medal that
recognizes the best young equitation rider in the country. Riders endure a
grueling day of competition and advanced tests over fences as they are judged
on their horsemanship and control. The field is slowly narrowed until a
handful of finalists is given a final test, which may be as difficult as
jumping a challenging course without coaching and on a horse they've never
before ridden. The list of riders who have won over the past 53 years reads
like a Who's Who of American equestrian sports, many of whom have gone on to
represent the US internationally in Olympic and World Cup competition.
One of the country's largest organizations for amateur, professional and
junior riders, the North American League holds its year end championships at
the Pennsylvania National. The NAL's 1,500 members take 38,000 rides over
the course of the year; the 20 to 30 most successful horse and rider
combinations are invited to compete for the championship in six divisions at
the Pennsylvania National.
A national title for Grand Prix jumper riders will be held for the fourth
year on Friday evening, October 19. The North American League Open Jumper
Speed Series $25,000 Championship showcases top professional riders on the
true speedsters of the open jumper ranks--those who jump high and go fast.
Riders have qualified for the finals by competing successfully throughout
2000 over fences 4'9" high at shows from Florida to Ontario and in the
midwest. The North American League Pony Jumper Championship will be held on
Thursday evening, October 11. This championship is open to the top 20 riders
under 18 who have qualified on their ponies (14.2 hands and under) over the
Other national titles decided at the show are the North American League
Children's Jumper Finals and the North American League Children's Hunter
Finals, Tuesday, October 16, the North American League Adult Jumper Finals,
Saturday, October 20, and the North American League Adult Hunter Finals,
Friday, October 19. These championships are for amateur adults and children,
competing over fences no higher than 3'6". Qualifying points are earned by
horses and riders as a team--a rider at the top of the standings must compete
in the championship on the horse on which he or she earned the points. About
four hundred qualifying classes are held at shows in the east, midwest,
California and Colorado.
Pennsylvania is home to more foxhunting clubs than any state except Virginia,
so it's only fitting
that the North American Foxhunting Horn Blowing Championship be held at the
Pennsylvania National. Created by the Master of Foxhounds Association in
1995, the championship will be held during Hunt Night, Monday, October 15.
The championship features the winners of regional competitions, who execute
the four traditional melodies that communicate to hunters spread over a wide
area the movement of the hounds in the hunt field.
Other world class championships are held at the PNHS, among them the
$50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National, part of the Budweiser/American
Grand Prix Series of Showjumping, held Saturday night, October 20, and the
$25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump, Thursday, October 18. Both are used by the US
Equestrian Team to pick the horses and riders who will compete
internationally under the American flag.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, America's largest multi-breed
indoor horse show, features competition for more than 1,100 horses from
across the US: hunters, jumpers, draft, saddlebred, western pleasure and
roadster horses and Hackney ponies. For a free brochure or to order tickets,
phone (717) 975-3677.