Monday, November 5, 2012

ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Sitting in the Alltech Arena at the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show watching the 152 riders go through the course was absolutely a joy to see. The course was deceivingly difficult. Looking at the course it seems simple but ended up being more difficult for some that were not prepared. It resembled a course that would be present at a George H. Morris Clinic. A beautiful APSCA jump in the middle of the arena to a tall skinny planter with no standards to the last wall jump which has a long hand gallop approach. There was plenty of time through the course where a rider could over analyze and lose focus. Those that were fortunate enough to make it through as planned with excellent equitation were called back for later testing. Watching these hardworking junior riders is always inspirational.

Only three Chicago riders made it into the second part of the Maclay National Championship: Taylor Schmidt, Catherine and Lauren Tyree. They had to perform in separate groups showing off their remarkable flat work. After watching the second round, even more riders were eliminated, including Taylor Schmidt. The Tryee's are still in the race for the win. While patiently waiting to hear what the third part was going to be; the ring was in a quick disarray while the course was rearranged, it became evident that they would be riding the course backwards. After watching the final group go through with nail biting moments, there was still no clear winner. The top four were called back into the ring and a Chicago rider was lucky enough to make it. Catherine Tyree. They had to switch mounts and ride the course backwards again. Everyone was on the edge of their seats anxiously waiting to see who would succeed and who would fail. They were called out of the ring and a few silent minutes passed by while the judges decided the winner. The top riders were asked backed into the ring as the riders were called with their standing. As we got closer to the top four it was evident that two Chicago riders were to be in the top 10. Lauren Tryee placed 9th and after her diligent and hardwork Catherine Tryee placed 3rd. The ring exploded with applause. Watching her move through the 152 spots to reach the top 4 was amazing. The Maclay National Championship truly shows the level of horsemanship and skill that these riders are capable of.

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