Articles: Press Release
56TH Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Heidi Hill (717) 843-3817
Ten days of high flying open jumpers and extraordinary juniors at the
Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg closed on a high note. Summit
Syndicate's Anthem, ridden by USET member Laura Kraut, won the $50,000
Budweiser Prix de Penn National. Theirs was the only double clear round of 27
Riding third in the jump-off, Kraut edged Todd Minikus and Oh Star who
had the fastest time, but dropped a rail on the final fence. McLain Ward,
leading open jumper rider at the show, was third. Viktor clipping a rail on
the second fence. The crowd was enthralled, applauding with increasing
enthusiasm at every clean fence, and groaning as poles and planks thumped to
Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, designed courses throughout the
week that pleased the audiences and challenged the riders to ride. On opening
night, with the first of the three phase, Junior Olympic jumpers, he said, "I
didn't go as big as I could have. It's a more traditional course, putting the
emphasis on jumping, not speed. It is their first time indoors and I want to
build the horses' and the riders' confidence." The juniors ride the same
horse three nights in a row.
Alex Jayne's Kinda Blue with Maggie Jayne aboard won the first phase of
BET/AHSA jumper event in typically clean and speedy order. Her speed would
cost her the individual Championship in the final phase. Jonathan Phillips, a
freshman at Emory University, took the Individual BET/AHSA title, riding
Jewel's Idiam to the only double clear round. Jayne riding after him pressed
too hard, taking a rail on the second to last fence and obliterating the
Phase two, the team event features the four top qualifying riders from
each of 10 national zones. New England Zone 1, the defending champions,
entered the jump-off in fourth. It was the Mid-Atlantic, Zone 3, region that
really wowed everyone. Of 30 riders, theirs was the only team to boast
no-faults coming into the jump-off. Each team could drop a score.
Anchor rider for Zone 3, Paige Johnson of The Plains, VA rode knowing her
team was counting on her. The announcer extolled the task before her, but, as
she said, "I didn't hear it. I knew I couldn't get nervous, just wanted to do
well, for the team."
The team aspect of the BET/AHSA series is fun. Junior riders shout
encouragement, applaud and flaunt decorations touting the "BEST ZONES."
International Grand Prix jumping is often done in a team format.
Junior weekend culminated in the AHSA/Pessoa & Miller's Hunter Seat Medal
Class. The first of 267 competitors entered the ring at 7 a.m. and the
final rider rode about 12 hours later. After each 50, a standby list was
announced. Twenty-five came back for Round two. A list of 10 survived and of
those, only six were tested a third time. Randy Sherman of Pasadena, CA won
the medal, awarded around 8 p.m. A class dedicated to determining the best
rider, Sherman was awesome. He doesn't own an equitation horse. His mount,
Don Stewart's Gladiator, was chosen three days earlier. Sherman didn't have
much time to celebrate. He had to hurry home to play football. He is a
three-letter athlete at his high school.
Charlie Jayne on his fathers horse Ivy finished second. Where Sherman was
free flowing, Jayne was perhaps too conservative. His horse did win Best
The juniors left and open jumpers came. Days were filled with mild
mannered hunters and western pleasure horses, carts of all sizes and shapes
and the ever alert, fiery saddlebreds.
When the sun went down, fences went up and grand prix jumpers took the
spotlight. Jeffery's courses grew in size and complexity. "Speed kills," he
said, and it certainly made the longish courses with the twisty, bendy turns
harder. The shows leading open jumper rider McLain Ward described the first
course as welcoming, but admitted he and several other riders had requested a
change in another course later in the week.
Whatever difficulties, he may have had, the crowd was entranced, coming
away from the show with renewed appreciation for Olympic athletes that do
their job without hype, different ways people of all ages can enjoy equine