Madison Goetzmann and Sirius Black Win NAL Children’s Hunter Finals

Madison Goetzmann, of Skaneateles, NY, piloted Sirius Black, owned by Christina Gellos, to victory in the $10,000 North American League Children's Hunter Finals at the 67th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Monday. Lily Blavin of Scottsdale, AZ, and Pringle were the Reserve Champions.

Madison Goetzmann and Sirius Black (Al Cook photo)

The competition was fierce. Goetzmann was worried about Blavin, who came to the NAL Finals as the year-end division leader. “I was thinking ever before we started that Lily was going to be tough competition because she’s got a lot of nice horses,” said the 12-year-old rider.

They both have nice horses. Blavin and Goetzmann each qualified two entries for the second round, which consisted of the top 12 horses. Normally, they return in reverse order of merit, but the order of go was adjusted to allow each one sufficient time to prepare their horses.

Goetzmann went first in the final round on Balisto scoring a respectable 73 points for a total score of 156. Blavin and Pringle went third and improved on their first round score of 81 with an 84 for an overall tally of 165 points. They were in the lead, but Goetzmann and “Black” received an impressive 87 points in the first round, so they had a bit of a cushion for their second trip. They received a slightly lower score of 86 on their final ride, for an overall score of 173 points and the win. Goetzmann was pleased with their performance.

“I thought my round was really smooth. It was consistent and I was really proud of it,” said Goetzmann. “He is very easy to ride.”

The North American League (NAL) offers year-long Series in six divisions – Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children’s Jumper, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper. The NAL includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada and features two year-end finals: National Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show. The qualifying season for both Finals is September 1–August 31.