by Beverly Strauss, Executive Director MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Inc.
June 3, 2012, Bel Air
The First Annual MidAtlantic Horse Rescue All Thoroughbred Benefit Show was held Saturday, June 2, at Heavenly Waters Park, Bel Air. Heavy rains and a tornado blew through the area on Friday evening, but Saturday morning was sunny and cool, perfect horse show weather. Attendance was strong and camaraderie was the keyword of the day, as riders and horses from a variety of backgrounds competed in two rings. Show sponsors included Southern States, Dover Saddlery (Sparks), and the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative.
The show started off with the popular In Hand classes, judged by Don Litz, noted Maryland horseman and bloodstock agent. Spectators were captivated by Litz’s commentary at the end of each class. The winner of the War Horse In Hand, Wanaka, sired by Not for Love and out of Aikens Taken, by Slew City Slew, was a MidAtlantic Horse Rescue graduate, shown by his adopter Canby Page. Five mares were presented for the Filly/Mare In Hand. Shannon Bristow’s Three Mile Runner, (Geiger Counter-Hypoxia, by Shadeed) came away with the blue. Poet Prince (Rubiyat-Austrian Princess, by Don’s Choice) won the large Colt/Gelding In Hand class. Although Poet Prince only earned a little over $2K as a runner, he showed his class in the show ring for owner Ciara McMurtrie of Sparks.
The final In Hand class of the day was restricted to horses adopted from an established rescue program, included adoptions from MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Canter MidAtlantic, and Canter PA. Top honors went to Donna Johnson’s Value Well. This was the first horse show for the grey daughter of Value Plus-Countrywishingwell, by Country Pine, adopted from Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Inc.
Hat City, a handsome grey gelding by McKendree-White Foot Fannie, by Goldlust walked away with the Test of Hope Award for the High Point Horse of the day. The friends and family of a bay daughter of Tamaya donated the Test of Hope award in the mare’s name. Test of Hope had succumbed to colic in December of 2011. Ridden by Selina Petronelli, Hat City won the championship in both the Intro Children’s and Children’s Hunter Divisions, as well as the Intro Adult Hunter Reserve ribbon, under Lauren Moran. Hat City also won the High Point Colt/Gelding award, proving that a lackluster race record is no indication of lack of talent in the show ring. His strong performance in the ring sealed the Leading Trainer award for Claddagh Manor, Sparks. Claddagh Manor was also well represented by another grey, Deep Threat (Buddha-Sacred Promise, by Blushing John) who had a champion and reserve to his credit.
Top mare of the day honors went to Chelsie Baba, a daughter of Northern Raja-Sarion, by Sail On Sail On. Exhibiting excellent manners, she took the Pleasure championship and won ribbons in Cross Rail Hunter piloted by 9-year-old Jacqi Needle. Owner Judy Schaefer then took the reins and won the Schooling Hunter Reserve Championship, plus several good ribbons in the Adult Hunter Division.
Alison Juvonen of Unionville, PA was given Houghton Regrets, a son of Deputy Commander-Fabulist, by Devil’s Bag when he was retired from racing in 2011. She turned him into a jumper and he dominated the Adult Jumper divisions at this, his first horse show, earning enough points to win the War Horse High Point Award. Hit the Lights (reg. Fort Myers, by Real Quiet-Five Alarm Blaze, by Vicksburg) showed his versatility for owner Taylor Cox. Another MAHR graduate, this four year old was adopted earlier this year. He quickly took to the show ring, winning ribbons in pleasure, hunter, and jumper divisions and earning both the High Point Rescue Horse and High Point 4H/Pony Club awards.
Finally Fran Burns’ Dustin’s Dreamer, (Reg Token Gesture, by Saucy Token-Let Me Do Sum Good, by Obligato) won several blue ribbons in the Adult and Schooling Hunter divisions ridden by Michelle Kasler. For every blue ribbon Dreamer won, Fran donated money to Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue through the Dustin’s Dreamer Blue Ribbon Fund, as a way of paying it forward.
Friendly competitors, hard working volunteers and staff, supportive sponsors, a beautiful venue, and talented horses made for a lovely day, while raising funds for MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Inc., a 501c3 non profit organization that buys thoroughbred ex-racehorses from feedlots and kill pens to place in homes as pleasure and sport horses. At the end of the day people were already planning for next year’s show.
The Equiery welcomes your sport stories and photos! Stories and photos will not immediately appear online, but will be reviewed by the editor and publisher for appropriateness and will be considered for either online posting or printing in an upcoming print issue, or both. Send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org . The Equiery reserves the right to edit comments or letters that are published in print or online.