- By Norman Fine
Traditionally, Monday night is Hunt Night at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg. This year, twenty-two hunt teams from thirteen hunts showed up in formal hunting attire on October 17, 2016 to compete in the evening’s highlight event.
As usual, the course featured a series of single fences to be jumped by each team with the emphasis on maintaining an even pace and equal spacing between the three horses, culminating with the last fence approached on the diagonal to be jumped by the three team members in unison. The winning team was from the Windy Hollow Hunt (NJ)—team members Holly White and sisters Emily and Jane Wiley earning the blue ribbon.
“We did not even realize we won. We couldn't believe it when we walked in and saw them holding up the blue ribbons,” said Jane Wiley. “We are dedicating the win to our pony, Bear, who died last night. He was thirty-one years old and was leased out to a young girl with special needs.”
The team didn’t have much time to practice. White has only been in the United States for a short time because she works for the United Nations and is based in Africa. “We are so thrilled! We have only been able to practice for a month because of my job,” said White. “I think we won because of our overall presentation. We really thought about the beginning and the end, and our horses jumped in good form. I think the combination of the two really helped us out.”
Emily Wiley, Jane’s older sister, was grateful to the Horse Show for dedicating a night to the Hunt Teams. “It's great that the Horse Show supports the sport of foxhunting and the great riders who participate. People should come try it!”
The overall Hunt Night Championship, based on points accumulated over all the classes for field hunters, went to the Farmington Hunt (VA), whose riders traveled four-and-a-half hours to participate.
“We were very surprised to win. We just came to ride and have a good time with our horses, and we won! How exciting is that!” said Elizabeth King, MFH and spokesperson for the hunt. “Last year we had one team, but this year we thought it would be great fun to have two. We've got great riders and we had such a great time. We'll be back again next year!”
The two teams from Farmington included King, Karen Bull, and Jeanette Fellows (Team 1) and Stephanie Gurlain, Elizabeth Uffleman, and Jennifer Daly (Team 2).
Now in its seventy-first year, the PNHS is one of the most historic horse shows in the U.S., featuring the best in the sport of hunters and jumpers and is the launching ground for many future Olympians. Fifteen thousand spectators, and a million live feed viewers enjoy ten days of top national competition as 1,400 top Junior and Adult competitors vie for eight national championships—including the prestigious Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final and the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual and Team Championships. The top jumping riders and horses are expected to compete in the $100,000 Prix de Penn National Grand Prix on the final day of the show (October 22), presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund.
Since the show’s inception in 1947, the PNHS has donated $1.68 million dollars to the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and has donated $350,000 to local therapy and equine groups since 1999. Applications for grants are accepted throughout the year with action upon requests awarded in September.
Other Winners of Hunt Night, sponsored by Kinsley Construction were:
Leading Lady Rider:
Molly Green of the Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD), Team 1
Field Hunters for Riders 35 Years of Age and Under, sponsored by the Hempt Bros, Inc:
Elizabeth Uffleman, Farmington Hunt, Team 2 riding JT
Field Hunters for Riders 36 Years of Age and Over, sponsored by Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC:
Jennifer Daly, Farmington Hunt, Team 2 with Prize
Hunter Under Saddle - Gentleman, sponsored by Roundtop Mountain Resort:
Dr. Csaba Magassy, Potomac Hunt (MD) riding Thunderbride
Hunter Under Saddle - Ladies, sponsored by Carol Copeland:
Molly Green, Green Spring Valley Hounds, Team 1 riding Co-Dependent
Posted October 29, 2016