Saturday night at the 129th Edition of the Alltech National Horse Show, the American Saddlebred Divisions concluded their amateur division championships of Three Gaited, Park Horse and Five Gaited. The return of the Saddle Horses to the Alltech National Horse Show at the Alltech Arena in Lexington, KY has been met with much enthusiasm.
Kentucky is a hub of some of the most celebrated trainers in the American Saddlebred world and it is only natural that with the move of the Alltech National Horse Show to the area, that the American Saddlebreds return to the fold of the tradition rich show.
The crowd was keyed up after enjoying the extremely exciting $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix, a spectacular FEI World Cup qualifier. When the jumps were cleared and the ring was dragged the $1,500 Park Horse Amateur Championship began.
|David Rudder and Phind the Treasure (Brooke Jacobs photo)|
|Jacqueline Manzo and CH HIs Supreme Reflection (Brooke Jacobs photo)|
|Gabe Deknatel and CH The Daily Lottery (Brooke Jacobs photo)|
David Rudder and the phenomenal Phind the Treasure didn’t disappoint and producing a performance that wowed the crowd and earned them a blue ribbon. Rudder rode the striking mare for owner, Joan Hamilton. This was a fitting end to the season for the Reserve World Champion who holds the title for the second year in a row.
“She’s a wonderful mare,” said Rudder. “She loves to be in front of the crowd. She is all show horse. We are so happy to have Saddlebreds back in the Alltech National Horse Show.”
The country’s top competitors showed their elegance, refinement and power as they vied for the win in the $1,500 Three Gaited Amateur Championship. CH His Supreme Reflection, ridden by Jacqueline Manzo and owned by Kimberly M. Jones put on a show that raised the house and earned the nod of the judge for the first place ribbon. In second place, was I Spy A Firefly, owned and ridden by Candi Aversenti.
“He’s a 10 year old gelding that ‘s been a top show horse ever since he was two, said trainer, Nelson Green. “He’s had an incredible career. He is the crowd favorite just about everywhere he goes. He’s a real campaigning show horse. When he was two he was shown as a Fine Harness Horse, then Melissa Moore had him. He was shown as a Park Horse very successfully. This is his second year as a Three Gaited horse. He’s a genuinely a nice horse. He makes my job easier.”
“The first night he got a little stage fright because of the configuration of the ring. The shrubbery around the bottom of the rail frightened him-she had problem cantering him. So tonight we took him in the warm up area and cantered him back and forth.”
“He’s wonderful. I’ve been riding him for five years,” said Manzo, who hails from Michigan. Tonight was a little more intense than normal because our first class- he was a little star struck. So it was a little nerve wracking but as soon as we got in there, I knew he was going to handle it and it went well. He’s a good thinking horse, he was just really scared the other night.”
Manzo is a mother of two children who also ride Saddlebreds, she spends her summers in Versailles to ride and show with Nelson Green, a veteran Saddlebred trainer.
I showed at the National Horse Show in New York as a kid and when they moved to the Meadowlands,” she continued. “I was really exited when I heard they were going to add the Saddlebreds to the Alltech National Horse Show.”
The $1,500 Five Gaited Amateur Championship got the crowd going, especially when they announcer asked the competitors to “rack on.” Once again, CH The Daily Lottery (Studly) ridden by Gabe Deknatel was unbeatable. The horse was spot on, with every request from the announcer, Deknatel and Studly obliged, performing flawlessly.
“When he comes out to work every day, he takes every step the same,” said Deknatel. “So in a way, he is kind of a machine. We were both calm and we felt good so that made it easy. This horse was nominated by the USEF for Horse of the Year it was a pleasure for us to come to this USEF horse show and participate with the other Saddlebreds and the jumpers. We really enjoyed watching the jumpers. It was a was great way to end the year.”
For more information about the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show go to: http://nhs.org