Revealed and Julie Holzberger of Fairfield, OH revealed their championship ways by winning in the $10,000 North American League Adult Hunter Final, presented by Practical Horseman, at the 67th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show. This was the first year Holzberger competed in the Final and her first time at Harrisburg.
|Revealed and Julie Holzberger (Al Cook photo)|
“I am so thrilled,” said Holzberger. “I love competing here and in the NAL. I am so blessed. You always have a high expectation. You always go into it striving for something great and then I always have to step back and say, you know what, it’s not about that, it’s about riding consistently and doing the best I can.”
Holzberger and “Clay” as he is affectionately called did perform the best in the first round receiving the highest score of 87 points in the field of 28 qualifiers. Holzberger was surprised with the result, but not her groom.
“I was so excited when I received the highest score in the first round. Clay is just such an amazing animal,” said Holzberger. “It was funny because Fred, one of our grooms said ’87, 87’ when I walked into the ring. Then I walked out with an 87 and he said, ‘see!’ I told him to stop because I still had one more round to go.”
Holzberger had a right to be concerned. The pair received an 81.5 for the second round, which gave them a total of 168.500, just barely ahead of Laurie Barna of Dallas, PA, and Laguna who received a score of 84 points in each round for a total of 168, a mere .500 behind the leader.
Holzberger trains with Dave Belford and Chris Payne of New Hope Farm in Cincinnati, OH, and gives them much of the credit for her success.
“They are such amazing trainers, I adore them. I have been with them for almost ten years. I can’t imagine my life without those two as my mentors,” said Holzberger. “I stopped riding for 25 years and came back to it ten years ago. I never intended to come back and compete. I just wanted to ride for pleasure and the next thing I know I own a horse and I’m showing and I’m like, wow!”
Holzberger had no time to celebrate her victory. “I have a plane to catch in two hours because I have to work tomorrow,” said Holzberter. “I wish I was staying so I could celebrate! I think I get in at midnight.”
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. Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in any qualifying classes, but only current members accrue points towards the year-end finals. Annual fee is just $35 per rider. Further information is available at http://www.ryegate.com
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. Learn more at http://www.panational.org