The Hunter Classic, Halter, and Horsemanship: A Great End to the Weekend at Congress
Sunday at the Quarter Horse Congress began with the same sunny skies that had graced the rest of the weekend, but a grey blanket covered the sky by afternoon. The threatening rain never fell, and the sunshine came out once again in early evening, much to the happiness of all exhibitors!
The Celeste once again hosted fence classes, from the Green, Progressive, and Junior Working Hunter, the first Equitation Over Fences class, and more working hunter to lead into the Hunter Classic Non Pro and Open, sponsored by ERS Wireless Communications and The Hull Family. This stakes class “shook up” the hunter classes that have been in the Celeste this far, such as a bending line, two stride line, and three foot fences. Riders were scored on their go, the top fifteen of which scores made it to the final round. The combined scores after the Handy Round (finals) determined final placings.
The Open round was first, with some absolutely gorgeous rides from some of the top hunter quarter horse trainers today. Riders such as Lanie DeBoer, Alfred Hewitt and Chuck Briggs floated around the course, every ticked pole or rubbed fence felt by the whole crowd. After the final horse went in the preliminaries, the fence crew changed the course, and riders were allowed to walk the course, figuring out what number of strides would be best for their horse, and what path to take from fence to fence.
A brand new fence, both in placement and actual fence, caused some horses to look carefully around the course, but ultimately there were some wonderful rides. A big PleasureHorse.com congratulations goes to Reserve Champion Ryan Painter, riding Come On Ya Want To Dance, winning $2,582. Alfred Hewitt kept up his great Congress experience, winning his second Congress Champion with Deep Blue Skies, owned by April Speyer. Alfred has placed in every class so far, and was all smiles when we found him after the class. “Is your head going to fit in the trailer tonight?” joked a friend. The successful ride brought home $3,369.
The Non Pro saw over 40 horses in the show pen, with youth and amateur riders alike vying for the win. Although a little less flawless than the Open round, there were still some great rides on the more challenging course. The riders rode the preliminary round, and fifteen riders were called back for the new Finals round course.
The fifteen riders were wonderful, with the riders adapting to the changes in the fences and lines. It was Only Royal Blue who took the Reserve Champion with Samantha Roper in the irons, taking home $2,848. And a major congratulations to college freshmen Madison Eichstadt riding Its My Lucky Detail to an impressive win, winning a check for $3,702 along with her rosette and Congress Bronze.
Congratulations to all riders on great rides in the Celeste today, we can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!
The Coliseum saw Halter begin in the morning, the mares taking over the show pen.. From there, the cuteness factor went up about a thousand times as the Small Fry riders competed in Horsemanship. The Coliseum also saw longe line stakes classes, and the first go for the NSBA Maturity Open Hunter Under Saddle. The finals are tomorrow, along with Stallion Halter, more Longe Line classes and the first go of the NSBA Maturity Non Pro Western Pleasure Stakes.
Be sure to check out the candid photo galleries from around the grounds this past weekend, and be sure to keep checking in on the latest results, news, show coverage and more on our 2013 Congress Show Page!
Best of luck to all exhibitors, as the Congress really starts picking up as the Pleasure and pattern classes begin. We’ll be cheering you on!