Maclay Results from the 126th National Horse Show November 03 2009, 0 Comments

I’m sick. And whiny. Caught something evil from the boy. So while I’m here feeling sorry for myself, here’s a report from this weekend’s National Horse Show held in Syracuse, New York. I’ve borrowed liberally from the Phelp’s Media Group‘s wrap-up press release of the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

The 126th National Horse Show was a great success this year. The highlight event, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, was held on Saturday, October 31. The 126th National Horse Show is featured at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament in the War Memorial at the Oncenter Complex in Syracuse, NY.

When the 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championships came to a close, it was 17-year-old Zazou Hoffman of Santa Monica, CA, who prevailed through three rounds to win this year’s coveted equitation final.

In the first round of competition, 150 riders were tested on a course designed by the judges, Bill Moroney of Middleburg, VA, and Jack Towell of Camden, SC, in cooperation with course designer Richard Jeffery of Dorset, England. The riders who rode the first course smoothly, out-of-stride, and with style were the ones called back in the top 30 to test on the flat. Three groups of 10 were tested, and from there the judges called back the top 24 riders for a second round over fences. The top 24 returned with Samantha Harrison of La Canada, CA, called back on top.

The course for the second round was a unique design, with 12 jumps available for riders to make their own nine-fence course. The trot jump was required, as was a hand gallop to a fence of their choice.

After the second round, the judges made the decision to call back four riders for a test after the second round. The test included a broken line, two rollbacks to oxers, and a bending line down the long side of the ring to finish. While the test looked relatively simple, the catch was that the riders had to do this without stirrups.

The first rider called back was Samantha Harrison on Triple Lutz. Harrison had a smooth round, but had several rubs at the jumps. Following her was Hale of Odessa, FL, on Urco. Hale had a very solid test and performed a nice slice across the third jump after the first rollback. Fifteen-year-old Chase Boggio of Canton, GA, was next in on Golou II. While he had some slight rubs, his body stayed quiet, his leg was solid, and his pace never wavered.

In addition to today’s second place finish, Boggio won the North American Equitation Championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, was seventh in the USEF Medal Finals, and placed second in the WIHS Equitation Classic Finals. However, those ribbons were on his usual horse Graphiq. Today, he rode Golou II, owned by Horizon Hill Farm. The last to test was Hoffman, who had to feel the pressure of being on top. Hoffman placed third in the National Championship last year, and this was her last competition as a junior rider.

Hoffman and Ivy, the horse she rode last year, performed a smooth test and made the work without stirrups look very easy. The crowd erupted after she jumped the final fence, but she would have to wait for the awards presentation, and the countdown of the top ten riders, before she knew the outcome.

The judges rewarded Hoffman’s style and consistency with the honor of winning the longest-running and most historical of the equitation finals. She said through tears, “It’s unreal. It’s nice to see that I’ve improved that much over last year. I was just so excited that it finally happened and that I finally did it.”

Hoffman trains with Missy Clark, John Brennan, and Kristy McCormack at North Run and spends much of her time on the East Coast as a working student. The North Run team was in tears when Hoffman was announced as the winner. Clark said, “I’m so thrilled for Zazou. She’s worked so hard. She’s such a great worker and really devoted to the whole part of horsemanship. It isn’t just about riding for her. It’s the whole picture, which is really refreshing and unusual. She’s in the barn working all day. She really deserves it, and I’m very proud of her.”

Judge Bill Moroney pointed out that Hoffman made smart decisions that eventually put her to the top of their list. He commented, “She was consistent. In the second round, she created a course that suited her horse. They had a shot to show off, and it did change the order a bit. That’s what we liked about her. She continued to ride forward. She didn’t get overly conservative and try to play it safe.”

The ASPCA President Ed Sayres spoke to the riders and brought the issues of equine and animal welfare to light. “In the past, the winners of the Maclay have been ambassadors and helped with all of the issues that horses are facing in this country. We’re proud to make you part of this, and we look forward to working more with you,” he remarked.

Final Results: 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Rider, Horse, Hometown, Trainers

1. Zazou Hoffman, Ivy, Santa Monica, CA, Missy Clark, John Brennan, Kristy McCormack

2. Chase Boggio, Golou II, Canton, GA, Christina Schlusemeyer, Bob Braswell

3. Morgan Hale, Urco, Odessa, FL, Don Stewart, Jr.

4. Samantha Harrison, Triple Lutz, La Canada, CA, Karen Healey

5. Laura Pfeiffer, Catwoman, Temperance, MI, Polly Howard

6. Lucy Davis, Patrick, Los Angeles, CA, Archie Cox

7. Lillie Keenan, New York, NY, Logan, Andre Dignelli, Kirsten Coe, Patricia Griffith

8. Amber Henter, St. Petersburg, FL, Triumph, Christina Schlusemeyer, Bob Braswell

9. Hasbrouck Donovan, Gainesville, FL, Almost Famous, Don Stewart Jr., Bibby Farmer Hill

10. Molly Braswell, Ocala, FL, The General, Bob Braswell, Christina Schlusemeyer