Dec. 1, 2005 -- Ashley Alden, 17, of Deer Park, Ill., riding American Saddlebred LA Blues, was crowned champion of the 2005 U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Saddle Seat Medal Final, held November 19 as part of the United Professional Horsemen's Association/American Royal National Championship Horse Show in Kansas City, Mo.
Judges for this year's final included Sandy Sessink of Eugene, Ore., Brent Jacobs of Georgetown, Ky., and Lewis Eckard of Hildebran, N.C.
Smith topped the class of 24 entries in the two-phase competition that required both rail work and patterns in both rounds. She is instructed by Kenny and Donna Pettry-Smith in New Lenox, Ill. As champion, Alden will have her name engraved on the Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy and Helen K. Crabtree Perpetual Bronze. In addition to these awards, she also received a Freedman Harness World Cup equitation saddle and gold medal sponsored by USEF.
The reserve championship was awarded to Emily Garten, 16, of Lebanon, Ohio, riding American Saddlebred Highpoint's Syncopated Rhythm. Garten is instructed by Erin and Kathy Boggs in Spring Valley, Ohio. Both the champion and reserve champion received Blue Ribbon Custom Coolers by Royal Riders, leather halters and rose bundles. All exhibitors received commemorative gift bags and were honored at the USEF brunch after the preliminary round.
Results of the 2005 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final:
1. Ashley Alden of Deer Park, Ill., instructed by Kenny and Donna Pettry-Smith
2. Emily Garten of Lebonan, Ohio, instructed by Erin and Kathy Boggs
3. Kyle Gagnon of Livermore Falls, Maine, instructed by Francis and Marcia Garone
4. Shana Jo Brown of Holly, Mich., instructed by Jenny Taylor
5. Mandy Martin of Newburgh, Ind., instructed by Lillian Shively
6. Jacqueline Beck of Aliso Viejo, Calif., instructed by Bonnie Zubrod and Cindy Boel
7. Michelle Krentz of Hartford, Wisc., instructed by Bob Griffin
8. Jessica Moctezuma of Hardwick, N.J., instructed by Nealia McCracken
9. Brittany McGinnis of Fishers, Ind., instructed by Lillian Shively
10. Rachel Machamer of Acworth, Ga., instructed by Andy and Lynda Freseth