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[Harrisburg, PA] The Zone 5 team captured the gold medal in the $15,000 Randolph College/USEF Prix de States Team Championship at the 67th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on the evening of Friday, October 13th.
The team members were: Kalvin Dobbs of Tallahassee, FL riding Winde; Abigail McArdle of Barrington Hills, IL on Cosma 20; Lillie Ross of Wheaton, IL aboard Pako; and Catherine Tyree of Chicago, IL on Wetter.
Abigail McArdle. Photo ©Al Cook
Following a modified Nation’s cup format, the teams jumped the same course twice with one drop score permitted from each round. At the conclusion of the first round, the challenging Alan Wade designed course yielded only three clear trips. The team from Zone 1-8 was on top of the leader board scoring eight faults. Zone 2 was only one point behind with nine penalties. The Zone 5 team was in the mix with a first round score of 12 faults and Zone 4 had 14 penalties.
The riders returned in reverse order of merit for the final round, which meant that all the pressure rested on the shoulders of the team’s final rider. Ross and Dobbs had already gone without fault so another clear would give Zone 5 a score of 12 faults and the gold medal. As McArdle entered the arena the announcer told the story, which surprised her.
“As I was going into the ring for the second round I heard the announcer on the way to the first jump and I said ‘Oh!’ I felt a little bit more pressure,” said McArdle. “We had such a great team, I was really happy to be a part of it.”
The 18-year-old rider rose to the occasion with a faultless ride clinching the gold for her team.
“Any team competition is really fun, especially when we all know each other,” McArdle continued. “We just want to do well, it’s a big deal.”
With the silver and bronze medals still to be determined, anchor rider Dana Scott held the fate of the Zone 1-8 Team in her hands. A clear round meant that they would win silver with an overall score of 16 faults. Teammates Sydney Shulman already went clear on Little Lady d’Elle, Taylor Alexander and Vicky stood on 20 penalties for the drop score and Madeline Thatcher scored eight faults aboard Licapo. Scott and KM Whatever RV left all the rails intact and impressively negotiated the only double clear of the evening.
The Zone 2 Team of Meg O’ Mara and Sinatra IV, Lydia Ulrich with Santos Utopia, Charlotte Jacobs riding Kachina and Mattias Tromp on Vosqinus took home the bronze with a final tally of 25 penalties.
The scores from Friday’s Phase II class and Thursday’s Phase I carry over into Phase III of the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championship, with the top 60% qualifying for Saturday’s competition.
Junior weekend wraps up on Sunday with the USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Equitation Finals presented by Randolph College. The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the U.S., hosting horses and competitors from across the country with 20,000 spectators attending from the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 1,400 qualified horses competing for $420,000 in prize money, the show features Hunter and Jumper competition and is the site of the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships and the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
In addition to world-class equestrian competition, the PNHS offers a unique shopping environment with boutique vendors that offer everything from fine art to custom jewelry, clothing, accessories and horse show memorabilia. The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is proud of its tradition of supporting equine and youth programs. The show benefits the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
Details are available at the horse show’s website at www.panational.org or by calling the horse show office at 717-770-0222.