Hunter competition kicked off at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in the Claiborne Ring, starting with the Ariat National Adult Medal on Friday. Eleven amateur athletes entered the ring with their mounts attempting to earn the highest score. At the end of competition, however, it was Emily White and her own Scandeek who claimed the blue ribbon.
The two phase class asked athletes to first compete over a course of nine fences. Upon completion of the course, horse-and-rider combinations were given a numerical score. The second phase of competition asked the riders with the four highest scores to return to complete a specific test. Judged on equitation, riders entered the ring prepared to jump a shortened version of the course that included a number of roll back turns, a halt, and a trot fence.
White and Scandeek, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood, scored an 81.5 in the first round of competition. Asked by the judge to return in the top four, White and her longtime partner completed the test utilizing a number of options for handy turns that stood out from her competitors. Additionally, White demonstrated a textbook halt, which was asked to be completed following the third fence on course. The pair, hailing from Goshen, Ohio, competed at the World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Wilmington, Ohio throughout the duration of the winter circuit, regularly placing in the top three.
Second place was captured by Elise Iafrate and Corlandos, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood. The pair scored an 81 during round one, just making it above the cut-off score. Iafrate and her own Corlandos regularly compete in the Adult Amateurs hunters at WEC.
Abbygale Funk and Clear Sailing claimed third place in competition, scoring an 83 in the first round. As the last to go in the first round, their score would put them in the top position heading into the judge’s test.
Hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue on Saturday morning in the Stonelea Ring at 8 a.m. with the Large Junior Hunters, and in the Claiborne Ring with the Adult Amateur-Owner 36-49 hunters.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Emily White – Ariat National Adult Medal
“I’ve had him for five years now and have been showing him in the equitation since I’ve had him. I’m really excited to get to do the adult equitation classes now. He is really awesome to ride. He has a great canter to him and is really easy to find jumps on. He can be a little silly sometimes, but that’s one of the reasons I really like him. He is quirky enough to keep things interesting and has allowed me to keep learning. Everyday is a new day with him.”
On competing at Kentucky Horse Shows:
“This is my first time back at Kentucky Horse Shows in awhile since I’ve been in school. I’m so excited to get the opportunity to come back here and show again.”
Ariat National Adult Medal
Place / Rider / Horse
1. Emily White / Scandeek
2. Elisa Iafrate / Corlandos
3. Abbygale Funk / Clear Sailing
4. Anna Koenig / Ballendro