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Shachine Belle Claims Two Hunter Championships At 120th National Horse Show

WELLINGTON, FL – November 27, 2003 – Shachine Belle, 30, of North Salem, New York, celebrated a Happy Thanksgiving morning in the Internationale Arena, claiming two championships at the 120th National Horse Show in Wellington, FL. The show runs from November 26-30 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club show grounds, highlighted by the $100,000 National Horse Show Jumper Championship on Friday evening, the $100,000 AGA Championship on Sunday, and Dressage at the National, November 28-30.

Belle rode Attaché owned by Ellen Toon to First Year Green Working Hunter Champion. “He went like a very nice smooth hunter, very pleasant to look at,” said Attaché’s trainer James Toon. “He made crisp jumps and showed relaxed motion at the ends of the ring. The judges liked the fact that he made special efforts over every jump.” Attaché is a seven-year-old Oldenburg warmblood gelding that the Toons imported as a three-year-old. He is new to the First Years, having just started in late April. “This was a nice end of the season win,” said Toon. “We feel very strong about him, that he has lots of talents and will go on and hopefully become a very famous horse.”

Belle started riding Attaché as a Pre Green hunter two years ago. “He’s a very big horse, and he has a huge stride,” said Belle, noting that the grand prix field suited him. “It allowed him to canter and show how big and scopey and powerful that he really is. He jumped so high and it was so easy. Smaller rings are harder for him because he’s got to make himself smaller, so I think that’s why he was so good here.”

Belle claimed her second championship of the day aboard In Disguise, riding him to Second Year Green Working Hunter Champion. The seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding is also owned by Ellen Toon and trained by James Toon. “He’s an amazing horse,” stated Belle. “He’s won everywhere we’ve brought him. We’ve been working up to this. Yesterday in our first class he was a little cautious and after that he was spectacular the way he normally is.”

At last year’s National Horse Show, In Disguise was champion as a First Year Green Horse in the Green Conformation. Belle is enthusiastic about The National Horse Show in Wellington. “Here it’s great because you don’t get many opportunities to ride in that field. The footing is perfect and the courses are so much fun. That’s why you come. You have to support it when you get the chance.”

Jocelyn MacDonald, 24, of Upperville, VA, and Mistress Connie owned by Mary Laura Cramer won the Ladies Hunter Side Saddle Under Saddle class. Seventy-five percent of their score was determined by performance, manners, style and way of going. ‘Appointments’ accounted for the remaining 25%, which includes proper tack and the stylish habit, top hat and veil along with a sandwich case. “I have turkey on white, of course,” said MacDonald in the Thanksgiving holiday spirit, “with the crust cut off, cut in quarters and wrapped in linen.” MacDonald and Mistress Connie, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare, have been partnered for three years and won the sidesaddle championship at last year’s National Horse Show. “She’s got lots of style,” said MacDonald. “She has a beautiful way of going and she’s always picture perfect. She knows what her job is and I don’t expect anything less from her because she always gives me 100%.”

Riders in the Rost Arena treated spectators to music and dancing horses presented by Frieze Frame Friesians. Using synchronized choreography and Spanish music, two beautiful gray Andalusians performed a Pas de Deux, a black Andalusian gelding costumed in dramatic red performed a routine of exciting trick riding; and a black-and-white Romany Gypsy horse led off the finale quadrille of eight black Friesian stallions in Medieval and Renaissance costumes. In the Internationale Arena, Mexican charro Gerardo Diaz wowed the crowd with his horsemanship and roping maneuvers.

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Children age 12 and under are always free. General admission seating for adults, Wednesday through Saturday (on Friday, there are separate day and evening tickets), is $10/each, with Sunday priced at $15/each; children over the age of 12 and seniors (65 and older) are $7/each. Diamond Horse Shoe Club and box seating information and reservations can be obtained by calling (800) 237-8924 or the Special Events office at (561) 753-3389.


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