By: Kristin Spinning
The Equine Chronicle Equitation National Championship
The finals of The Equine Chronicle National Championships in Equitation were held on the last day of the Arizona Sun Circuit. The tournament style competition saw the field of nationally ranked amateur and select riders progress through the Sensational 16, the Exceptional 8, and finally down to the Four, who would ride head to head to determine the champion.
In the first pairing of the amateur semi-finals, Neita Miller and Gota Lota Style scored a solid 265. They were followed by Carey Nowacek with Lethals Hot Weapon, whose pattern earned whistles and shouts for its grace and precision. The run scored a 286.5. In the second semi-finals pairing, Carly Estreich-Lueck and Kamanyawannadance edged out Kara Flentje and Immortalised by a slim .5 to advance to the finals.
Carey returned to the course for the final round and turned in another fine ride that scored 274.5. Carly’s second ride on the pattern earned a 267.50. Carey Nowacek won the champion buckle and another title to add to her impressive resume. All of the Four received embroidered leather bomber jackets.
Karen Lee Tegner-Manseth and Definately A First were first to go in the Select Amateur ride-off. They came into the tournament ranked 10th in the country and scored a 263.50. Laurel Champlin and Look N Hott were ranked 2nd and had secured the Select Amateur Equitation circuit award. Their run in the semis only posted a 258.50 though, eliminating them from the competition.
The next pairing saw 7th ranked Sharon Forbes-Hanks and Hot Lil Asset ride against Anne Wilson and Give Me The Goods, who were ranked 5th. Sharon had a precise pattern and scored 273.5 to move on to the finals.
The final run presented a few challenges for both riders, yet they finished with smiles and laughter. Karen scored a 239.5, while Sharon went off pattern and was disqualified. Karen was presented with the Championship buckle and all Four ladies were awarded jackets.
Farnam National Championship Horsemanship
The Farnam National Championships in Horsemanship were decided at Sun Circuit after three goes of tournament style competition reduced the field of nationally ranked amateur and select riders down to just four.
The Four Select Amateurs were up first in front of the judges and crowd. Sissie Shank with Oughta Be Western were first up in the head to head Semi Final rounds. They scored a 213.5. Linda Coakley and Rockstar N The House rode the pattern for a 218.5 and advanced to the finals. Kent Ray Taylor and Dont Think Twice started the pattern after having a week of good rides. They scored a 260.5 and edged out Gayle Scharf with A Speed Demon to advance. After a few minutes to collect their thoughts, the finalists showed the pattern one last time. Kent found a few more plusses in his second go and scored a 264 to take top honors.
In the amateur semi finals, Angela Wade and A Soxy Dream, who were ranked 5th in the nation, rode off against Cassie Riggert with Born Blazed. Angela’s score of 268 advanced her to the final round. The second match up saw Brook Ingstad with HP Ima Foxy Dreamer ride head to head with Natalia DeVencenty with Moonlite Madnez. Natalia came into Sun Circuit ranked number 2 in the nation. They had a very pretty run and scored a 272.5. In the final round, Natalia put even more polish on her pattern and scored a 273.5 to win the Championship title and buckle.
The Four in both the Amateur and Select divisions rode in a head-to head competition to determine the champions. The Four all received embroidered, leather bomber jackets. Exhibitors who made the Sensational 16 received t-shirts and the Exceptional 8 were recognized with ball caps.