April 2015 Issue - page 9

PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
April 2015
Page 9
Pennsylvania Horse World
Expo is one of the biggest and
best in the country, and with Penn
National and Parx racecourses
nearby it is surrounded by Thor-
oughbred people.
It should be no surprise then
that despite the light crowds for ear-
lier sessions, it was standing room
only in the 2,200-seat EquineArena
for Pennsylvania’s Most Wanted
Thoroughbred Contest on March 7.
The four contestants had
been carefully selected from
among 27 applicants for their
ability to perform in front of a
crowd and inspire an audience to
favor Thoroughbreds for riding.
Hanging Tree (show name
Hakuna Makata) and his rider Ol-
ivia Rickards showed just how well
it can turn out when the right four-
year-old off the track is matched
with the right twelve year old girl.
Their absolutely rhythmic, relaxed,
and forward ride over the course of
jumps showed why they made it to
the USEF Zone Finals and beat so
many warmbloods over and over
again in their eight years showing
together. They made it all look easy
and their trust in each other was
moving to watch.
Tractor (show name Old-Fash-
ioned Love Song) and Monica Fiss
of Windswept Stables had his rac-
ing connections from Sylmar Farm
on hand to cheer for them. They
demonstrated what can happen
when racing folks team up with
good riders to find the right niche
The judges asked the crowd at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg,
PA to help them pick the winner of Pennsylvania’s Most Wanted Thor-
oughbred Contest, held at PAHorse World Expo. Jumping bareback
helped Proud Chestnut, just two years off the track, and rider Kimberly
Nevitt take home the honor.
Photo by Rough Coat Photography
Proud Chestnut is PA’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred
for a good horse. Tractor wasn’t
much faster than a tractor on the
track, but in front of this crowd he
showed the movement, the pres-
ence and the talent that sport horse
buyers shop for in Europe. They
have been winning in their first
combined training events and they
very nearly won at the Expo.
Petey Cap and Emily Daig-
nault both started out on the track,
and thanks to CANTER Pennsyl-
vania they found each other. They
demonstrated the tight turns and
galloping style that have made them
tough to beat on the jumper circuit,
and turned the crowd on when
Emily insisted on raising the jumps
six holes. Emily asked the crowd to
root for the “little guy” and it nearly
worked to give her the win.
Proud Chestnut (show name
Pardoned) and her tactful rider
Kimberly Nevitt came to Pennsyl-
vania to smash stereotypes, and
they did. Who would think that a
chestnut Thoroughbred mare in her
second year off the track would
hit the A-circuit and wind up 11th
overall in the 3’6”green hunters
for all of NY, NJ, and PA? And
who would expect her to do that
barefoot with a rider who could
only afford to attend those shows
by braiding everyone else’s horses?
That wasn’t enough to give them
the win. They had to prove them-
selves to this crowd. Three lead
changes on a straight line, jumping
courses in a neck rope, jumping
bareback, rein backs, western-style
sidepasses, and beautiful form over
fences sealed the deal.
Judges Sue Smith of CAN-
TER PA, Bev Strauss of MidAt-
lantic Horse Rescue, and Peter
Giangiulio of PA Horse Breeders
and Castle Rock Farm couldn’t
agree on a winner. They asked
the crowd for a final applause for
each horse and it was wild for all
four. It was pretty clear, however,
that things got a little louder for
the barefoot chestnut mare, Proud
Truth. Kimberly went home with
the $500 check from PA Horse
Breeders Association, and the
others got $100 from RRP. All
four got big tubs of Cosequin
ASU from Nutramax and saddle
pads and shirts from RRP.
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