I travelled down to Lexington, KY to cover the Alltech National Horse Show as a member of the media for the website ChicagoEquestrian.com
I was the official website photographer covering the show. It is always fun to be at these major events and have a media pass :)
There were 3 of us. My friend Brenda, owner of the website, myself and my daughter Melissa. Together we covered all of the Chicago area riders, did video interviews, snapped photo's and had a great time watching our countries best horses and riders compete.
My 2 favorite highlights of the show were the Friday night $50,000 Open Jumper Puissance class. That is basically the high jump class with just 2 jumps in it. A smaller jump to ge tthe horse moving and then a giant wall. Lets see how high you can go! They made it over 7foot and last competitor standing knocked blocks off the jump at 7feet 6 inches! Aaron Vale riding Wodka L. Won the class!
My other favorite class was the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix. This course was set at a height of 5feet 3 inches. With the first round consisting of 13 fences/combinations and the second round of 8 fences/combinations. Riders have a time limit allowed and if they made it through the first round with out knocking down any fences and within the time allowed they advanced to the second round. The winner is the horse and rider that makes it through the second round as fast as possible without knocking down any fences. This is the same competition that they hold in the Olympics, it is VERY exciting!!
The winner was one of the US Olympic team members, Mclain Ward and his Olympic mount Anatres F. They were on fire!!
This win was most amazing to me because just a couple days earlier his father passed away and I just was not even expecting him to be there.
Some of the other riders that I really enjoy watching are:
Jessica Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen's daughter). She also competed in the Friday night Puissance class!
Beezie Madden, also a US Olympic team member. Riding Simon.
Margie Engle riding Indigo. Margie is one of my all time favorites!
There was a field of 34 in the competition with 7 coming back for the second round jump off. It was just lovely to watch!
In addition to all of that high level excitement there is also the ASPCA McClay National finals going on. This year it was the top 150 junior equitation riders from around the country competing through several levels to get down to a winner. Winning the McClay is an astounding accomplishment for a junior rider!
All in all my weekend was a success but certainly quite exhausting! My travel for work this week was canceled due to the N'oreaster hitting the east coast so soon after Hurricane Sandy. I feel bad for all my east coast family and friends but I am NOT complaining about having the week at home to rest up!
Parting shot..... My beautiful daughter!
- Posted by Steph from my iPad