Porter and Dragonfly's Acerado Win NAL Children's Hunter Final and Lauwers and Sutherland Take NAL Adult Hunter Final at The Pennsylvania National Horse Show
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - October 16, 2017 - Jaden Porter and Dragonfly's Acerado won the North American League (NAL) Children's Hunter Final and Jef Lauwers and Sutherland won the NAL Adult Hunter Final held during the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.
Porter, 14, from St. Louis, MO, and Dragonfly's Acerado, owned by Dragonfly Farm, took home the blue ribbon in the $10,000 North American League Children's Hunter Final.
Porter and the 10-year-old Dragonfly's Acerado, or 'Poodle' as he is known in the barn, won the NAL Final, a two-round competition open to junior riders on either horses or ponies who have competed in NAL classes throughout the year, with a total score of 172.5.
The pair had a lovely first round which garnered them a score of 85, the third highest score of the round. They then came back in the second round and turned in a trip that was even better than the first and received a score of 87 points from the judges, for the win.
"I want to thank everyone who got me here," said Porter. "Especially my parents and my trainer, Stephanie Petersen, for making this all possible. I have always wanted to win something big and it has finally happened. I am very happy to have this honor.
"I am a very nervous rider when it comes to something big, so I just tried to be as confident as I could, even if it was false confidence, and just feel like we were going to do great, and it worked. My horse is very sweet, I have been riding him for a year now. This is my first year on horses. I really loved ponies, but it is really fun to step up to the horses, because it just felt like I was getting somewhere. I picked the NAL classes because I felt confident in the starting my first year off in the three-foot division. This Final was the goal. I wanted to go all year, and I got here and I did well so I am very happy about that."
"He is pretty perfect, and they complement each other very well," said Stephanie Petersen, Porter's trainer.
The $10,000 North American League Adult Hunter Final was awarded to Jef Lauwers and Sutherland, owned by Peter Pletcher. Lauwers, who recently moved to the US from Belgium and is now based in Magnolia, TX, and Sutherland, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, had the top scores in each of the two rounds, 87 points, for a total of 174 points for the win.
"I know Sutherland is good and always nails it," said Lauwers. "If I just stay calm and make it smooth he jumps amazing. He jumped both rounds really well. I have been riding Sutherland since the first Kentucky show. I started to do him in the NAL and the Adult divisions and I think that every Classic and NAL he won. He is a really nice horse, an incredible mover and jumper. He is my first hunter that we are going to keep and he will help build my career. I am really thankful that I have a horse like him, one who has the possibility to become a truly amazing horse.
"It is a different style of riding here in the US, it is a little bit of an adjustment to ride loose and calm, and not really ride up to everything, but I am getting used to it. I love the hunters, how they are all about the horse, the elegance and the riding of the course. It was a really nice switch from jumpers."
The NAL hosts National Finals annually at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, and West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in Las Vegas, NV. Both Finals include the following five divisions - Children's Hunter, Adult Hunter, Children's Jumper Presented by EquiFit, Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper.
The NAL qualifying period runs September 1 through August 31. NAL competitions are open to all who wish to compete, however points are only awarded to current members. For more information regarding the North American League, please call (717) 867-5643, email to NAL@Ryegate.com or visit www.ryegate.com.
About the Pennsylvania National HorseShow
More than 400 qualified Junior and Adult competitors from the U.S. and abroad will vie for more than $500,000 in prize money and eight national championships - including the prestigious Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, and Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual and Team Championships. "Junior Weekend" will take place October 12-15, followed by "Senior Week," October 16-21 which includes the Open Jumper and FEI competitions. This year's show will again host three internationally sanctioned FEI CSI3* rated jumper classes including the $35,000 Keystone Classic, $40,000 Big Jump, and the $100,000 Prix de Penn National Grand Prix presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, the culminating event which will be held on Saturday evening, October 21 and will feature over 40 top riders from seven countries, including six Olympic veterans.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization, provides support for therapeutic riding and equine rescue programs. The Foundation makes grants exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to acquaint, teach, and train the public in therapeutic equestrian endeavors and to support equine rescue efforts. Proceeds from the show benefit the Foundation.
The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is a private, charitable fund. It accepts grant proposals for the benefit of charitable, educational, or scientific purposes, exclusively from tax-exempt, charitable organizations. The issues where the Fund focuses its resources reflect Lindsay's personal priorities and values: improving the lives of children with special needs; enabling access opportunities to education; and providing care, compassion, and protection to animals.
Further information, updates, promotions, ticket information and more is available at www.PANational.org or by calling 717-770-0222.
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