The 68th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA, is underway.The two-week event kicks off with the highly anticipated Junior Weekend, Oct. 10-13, featuring competition among junior hunters, pony hunters and junior jumpers.The weekend culminates with the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal final on Sunday, beginning with the 6:15 a.m. course walk and a 7:00 a.m. start time.This year marks the 18th anniversary of Pessoa's sponsorship of this prestigious junior equitation final. The Pessoa Company, founded by Olympian father and son Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa, designs saddles distributed in the United States by English Riding Supply.
Peggy Murray, Pessoa Brand Manager, is a fixture at the Pessoa/USEF Medal Final and has the honor of drawing the name of the rider who will go first on Sunday morning as well as awarding the prizes to the winner.
"Drawing the first rider is done the night before at the dinner. It's always exciting and a little nerve wracking. Some riders hate to go first, others love it - it's very emotional.The Pessoa/USEF Medal final is a hallmark of the equitation world and we are very proud to play a role in supporting these outstanding young equestrians," says Murray. She will be present the entire weekend, along with local Pessoa dealers.
For those who can't be in Harrisburg this weekend, the entire Pessoa/USEF Medal Final can be seen live on the USEF Network. More than 240 riders have qualified for the Pessoa/USEF Equitation final for 2013. A complete list of riders can viewed here.To qualify, riders compete throughout the year in the Pessoa/USEF class and must achieve points.View the complete qualifying criteria.This year's competitors include Maclay regional winners Charlotte Jacobs, Michael Hughes (who also won Oct. 6's USET Talent Search in Glandstone, NJ),Ashley Foster, Christina Firestone, Hunter Holloway, Kelly Cruciotti and Olivia Champ.
Murray also does the honors of presenting the winners with prizes. These include:
Special USEF Medal Edition of the Pessoa Heritage Pro
A set of Veredus Baloubet Jumping Boots
Commemorative Ovation Halter and Lead Shank
Pessoa Bridle and Martingale
Veredus Carbon Gel Boots
Commemorative Ovation Halter
3rd thru 10th receive a Set of Veredus Carbon Gel Boots and a Commemorative Ovation Halter.
The trainer of the Pessoa USEF Medal winner receives a $500 gift certificate from the English Riding Supply Catalog and a Pessoa Lunging System, the training system for lunging developed by Nelson Pessoa.