November 16 & 17, 2013
Gary Zook Memorial Laura Pickett Memorial
Adult Medal Final Young Riders Medal Final
Photo credit : Susan M. Carter Photography
MID – ATLANTIC EQUITATION FESTIVAL
HOSTS RIDERS FROM ZONES 2 &3
REVIEWS ARE IN-“IT’S A BIG HIT!”
Equitation riders gathered at the Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD November 17-18 for the first annual Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival. Saturday’s classes featured 5 age group championship sections including Marshall & Sterling, Farnam, Ariat and THIS Medal classes. All top flat class riders became qualified for the MAEF Flat Equitation Championship ride off. New Jersey’s Teagan Long bested the field winning a beautiful SmartPak bridle after group testing along with an individually ridden flat pattern in front of judges Chuck Walker (FL) and Rick Eckhardt (VA).
While exhibitors enjoyed a welcome reception, Saturday evening showcased the Big EQ riders. Kendall Casaccio of Cape May, NJ decisively dominated both the USEF Medal and the ASPCA Maclay.
Under the watchful eye of judges Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Fargis and USET rider Cynthia Hankins, each Sunday’s Finals class was contested over two rounds of Alan Lohmann’s colorful courses, culminating in testing of the top riders.
“Alan’s courses were perfect for separating the best riders but not so difficult that anyone had any real problems. It was great that all riders improved and had higher scores in their second rounds” enthused Cynthia.
Caitlin Lane of Leesburg, VA rose to the top in the Adult Championships on her dad’s “Sliver”. “Sliver is part of the family” she smiled. Caitlin works full time as a director of the Washington International Horse Show. “I haven’t had too much time to show this year, but this show looked like it would be a lot of fun”.
Called back in second place just behind Kaley Pratt of MD after the first two rounds, her decisive hand gallop to the first jump appeared to pave the way to her success. Caitlin contested the class in a twelve year old well loved saddle that she had won as an award years ago. “Winning a new custom Bruno Delgrange saddle was much appreciated!” she laughed. Caitlin’s name is now the first to be engraved on the “Gary Zook Memorial” Trophy.
When Kendall Cassaccio left New Jersey she didn’t know quite what to expect attending a brand new show. “It was really fun and an all equitation show? We were all over that!” Kendall rides with Eleanor Robinson and her daughter Chrissy, but only Chrissy was able to make the trip with her this year. Riding Palermo Show Stables “Sabotage Z” she was also not called back in the first spot and had to test her way to the top. “I love riding in this ring. It’s bright and the footing is good and helps to give your best performance” she concluded. Kendall drove back to NJ with the “Laura Pickett Memorial” Trophy in memory of the beloved Maryland trainer. And to top it all off she found out the day before that she had been accepted at University of Tennessee and will ride for their NCAA team the Skyhawks. .
The $1000 trainer’s award was won by Patty Foster of Rolling Acres. Patty’s group had a great weekend also taking home the team award.
The “Donna Vale Sportsmanship” award was voted on by fellow exhibitors, management, the horse show secretary and our in gate starter with Samantha Wright getting the majority of the votes.
At the end of the day it was all summed up by judge Joe Fargis. “This is a great show with a great future. Very well done.”
Some of the other winners included:
Best Thoroughbred Horse: All Decked Out, Rhys Drewyer
Best Equitation Horse: Air – Time, Taegan Long
Scholarship Award: Charlotte Powers, Michigan State University
Collegiate Rider Award: Carly Zeigler, George Mason University
For full results, information on next years’ show and updates visit the website at www.midatlanticeq.com and enter for the giveaways.