The First Weekend of 2012 ASPCA Maclay Regionals Filled With Fiery Equitation Competition

It was an exciting weekend for the top equitation riders as they competed in numerous ASPCA Maclay Regionals to vie for a spot in the coveted Finals at the Alltech National Horse Show.

Hunter Holloway wins the Region 5 ASPCA Maclay (CJM Photography)
Jeffrey Tolson wins Region 6 ASPCA Maclay (Brian Ryder/Horse and Ryder Photography)
Sara Nordstrom wins Region 7 ASPCA Maclay (Jay Goss Photography)
Alexis Graves wins Region 8 ASPCA Maclay (Captured Moment Photography)

The competition was stiff as the top junior riders go head-to-head in a battle of the best and the chance to take it all. Hunter Holloway took the Region 5 title. Jeffrey Tolson was presented with the Region 6 Championship, while Sara Nordstrom piloted her mount to the Region 7 top honors. Alexis Graves rode to the top of the ranks for Region 8.

The ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class has been held since 1933, and it is one of the most prestigious competitions for junior riders in the United States. Its winners are some of the biggest names in the equestrian sport. Previous winners include: William Steinkraus in 1941, Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), and Nicole Shahinian Simpson in 1992. The 2010 ASPCA winner was Hayley Barnhill, and Sarah Milliren took the title during last year’s 2012 Alltech National Horse Show.

The Region 5 Maclay Regionals were held last weekend during the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show in Lake Saint Louis, MO. It was Hunter Holloway who rode to the top of the class, earning the top score, and catching the judges’ scrutinizing eye. Caroline Mcleese took the second place honors, while Kristen Lutz rode to the third place award.

The High Prairie Fall Classic welcomed competitors to Parker, CO, with a challenging equitation course and a contest that proved fierce for Region 6. Jeffrey Tolson came out on top, rising to the challenge and leaving nothing to chance. Caroline Adelson was awarded the red ribbon, while Kelli Cruciotti finished in third.

Sara Nordstrom piloted her mount to the Region 7 Championship during the NorthWest Autumn Classic in Monroe, WA. She posted a fantastic round, securing the top spot. Ali Cornish was presented with the second place ribbon for her efforts, while Lauren Myers took the third place honors.

The West Coast 2012 ASPCA Maclay Regionals took center stage in the Blenheim Indoor at the Oaks Fall Classic held in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Thirty-four riders qualified for the event, but it was Alexis Graves, trained by Nick Haness, who rode to the top of the ranks. Hannah Von Heidegger, one of Karen Healey’s students, took the reserve championship. The third place was awarded to Morgan Geller for her beautiful efforts throughout the class.

It was a fantastic start to the ASPCA Maclay Regionals. This upcoming weekend will see Regions 1-4 get underway. Region 1 and Region 3 will compete on Sunday, September 23, at the Grand Fall Classic and the Southeast Medal Finals, respectively. Region 2 will host the best riders at Old Salem Farm on Saturday, September 22, while the Kentucky National tests the nation’s best, as well.

The top qualified riders from each region will travel to the 129th Alltech National Horse Show held at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, for the ASPCA Maclay National Finals in November. The anticipation is high as the riders and their talented mounts compete for the coveted title.