VALENTINE WINS THE $100,000 NATIONAL HORSE SHOW HUNTER CHAMPIONSHIP
New York, NY-November
3, 2001- GG Valentine, owned by Barbara Kearney and
shown by Jennifer Alfano, was crowned the victor in the $100,000 NHS Hunter
Championship at the 118th National Horse Show (NHS) at Madison Square
Valentine was tenth coming into the evening's competition, but received
highest score in both rounds to secure top honors. Owner Kearney was in
"She put the exclamation point at the end of the sentence tonight,"
Kearney. "I still cannot believe it. I am so thrilled."
Rider Alfano agreed. "I don't think there will be a better day than
She's such a special horse and she really likes her job. She rose to the
Strapless, owned by Clara Lindner and ridden by Emily Williams, was Reserve
Paige Rassas and her horse Chica Bay won the $15,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper
class with the fastest clear round in the event narrowly defeating Vanessa
Stevenson and Fortunato. Rassas had a time of 58.32 seconds to Stevenson's
57.63. Rassas felt riding last was the key to the victory.
"It was a definite advantage to go last," said Rassas. "There
was not too
much pressure because there was only one clear so my plan was just to
medium speed and put in a clean round."
The $15,000 BET on Jazz Junior Jumper event was won by Georgina Bloomberg
riding her gelding Husker Du going slightly faster than the only other
pair in the class, Dignified ridden by Evan Coluccio and owned by Ashmont
Farm Ltd. The victory surprised Bloomberg.
"I didn't think we went that fast," said Bloomberg. " I
didn't realize we
won until it was announced."
The prestigious NHS "Good Hands" Equitation Championship Final
was won by
Sarah Thordsen of Waukesha, WI, riding her horse CF First Light of Dawn.
The 16-year-old high school junior, who hopes to become a pediatrician,
showed remarkable composure on her first try at the Garden.
"I wasn't scared, I was excited," said Thordsen. "I felt
lucky to be here."
The National Horse Show, America's oldest indoor horse show and
the most prestigious year-end championship show, continues on Sunday with
the nation's top
horses and riders in the $150,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of New York and
National Horse Sports Foundation Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner
Final, the BET on Jazz Junior Jumper Grand Prix and the Maclay National
for the ASPCA Horsemanship Classes. Tickets range from $15 to $75 and
at the box office. This year's National Horse Show benefits the New York
Parks Enforcement Patrol and Auxiliary Mounted Unit.