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    Maclay showdown challenges riders

    Special to the Horsetrader - October 1st, 2017 - Show & Event News

    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — It was a big equitation evening in the Blenheim Farms Indoor Arena Sept. 23. Opening ceremonies included a beautiful retirement ceremony and inception of a new Best Equitation Horse Award, the Vigo Perpetual Trophy, followed by a presentation of the Shelby Drazan Memorial Award to deserving junior rider, Juliette Joseph.

    Meanwhile 38 riders prepared to ride the Jasen Shelley designed NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Region 8 Championship course, vying for a chance to compete at the highly-anticipated ASPCA Maclay Championship.
    Blenheim EquiSports hosted the NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Region 8 Championship, one of five Regional Championships. The top placing riders from these classes, along with the three upcoming Regionals, generate the list of over 150 qualified junior riders that will take on the challenges of competing in the Alltech Arena at the CP National Horse Show in Lexington, Ky., Oct. 31-Nov. 5.

    As always, the indoor arena track illustrated a rider’s ability to focus and execute the questions asked. It demanded adjustability for careful jumps, a collected pace for short lines, an open step for forward lines, as well as the skill to navigate jumps off tight turns.

    After the culmination of the jumping phase, judges Timmy Kees and Christina Schlusemeyer called back 30 riders in three groups for the flat phase. With the final group of three indicative of the top 10 in the class, the judges then required a work-off of their top six riders.

    Returning in reverse order of preference were: Augusta Iwasaki, Laila Klinsmann, Breanna Bunevacz, Claire Archer, Katherine Dash and Emma Crosbie.

    The test included a canter directly to 6, 9a, 10, 8 and a sitting trot back to the line. Iwasaki, who has been in the hot seat several times in her short but successful riding career, executed the tests flawlessly, setting the standard and ultimately moving her up three spots to finish third. Klinsmann rode the work-off without a major fault, maintaining her fifth place spot. Fresh off a win in the PCHA 14-under Horsemanship Medal, Bunevacz rode well and moved up two spots to earn second, and Archer also held her fourth position with a solid work-off.

    Down to the final two, Dash was a bit deep in a couple spots, and bumped down to sixth. Under pressure as the final rider, Crosbie remained consistent as she had throughout the class and executed a smooth track, earning her victory.

    “It’s really surreal,” Crosbie said. “I’ve dreamed of riding in the Maclay ever since I could remember.”
    A freshman at Auburn University, Crosbie is an NCAA athlete and gets the chance to ride and compete on a variety of horses.

    “When I come home, Emily Esau-Williams and Dayle Fischer train me and they are awesome,” she said. “I’ve been riding with them since I was a freshman in high school.”
    She also spoke about her mount, Quadro D’Ag, who is owned by barnmate Theresa Boucher.

    “This is my second time doing the Regionals, both times on him,” the champion explained. “Last year it was good and I qualified but I was pretty green. I didn’t take this horse back East last year, but I am going to take him this year.”

    Although Vigo retired from the show ring earlier in the evening, his memory will live on with the inception of The Vigo Perpetual Trophy. Awarded to the Best Equitation Horse at the NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Region 8

    Championship each year, the judges’ pick in this inaugural year was Acortair, owned by Further Lane Farm and ridden to second place by Breanna Bunevacz.
    Shelby Drazan Memorial Award

    In memory of Shelby Drazan, an excellent equitation rider and good friend to many, Stacy Drazan, Mackenzie Drazan and Teal Orlin announced and presented the second annual Shelby Drazan Memorial Award. This award was established by the Drazan family, together with HE Tex Sutton Forwarding Company.

    Based on sportsmanship, integrity and passion in the show jumping arena, as well as in their community, junior rider Juliette Joseph was selected as the 2017 recipient. She will be awarded round-trip air and ground transportation for one horse and equipment to the 2017 Indoor Horse Show Circuit; air transport provided by HE Tex Sutton Forwarding Company. Additionally, the Drazan family will provide $2,000 towards the Dover USEF Medal entries at the Pennsylvania National Horse show in Harrisburg.

    MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/10A_maclay

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