October 12, 2015 - Samantha Karp, 18, of Wellington, FL, is on a winning streak. With her mount, Zetina B, she won the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children's Hunter Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. The pair were also the year end point leaders in the East Coast Children's Hunter Division of the North American League.
The riders contested over a course of nine fences, including a one stride combination, artistically created by course designer Allen Rheinheimer, and before judges Ralph Caristo and Linda Hough.
Today's competition featured two rounds over fences, scored on a numeric basis. Karp and Zetina B were the high scorers in the first round, where the bested a field of 30 by garnering the top score of 87 points. The top twelve were then invited back to compete in round two. The pair again posted the high score of 87, for a total of 174 points.
"I got her almost a year ago," said Karp, referring to "Tina". "She was supposed to be my jumper and a few weeks into the Winter Equestrian Festival I decided that I really didn't want to do the jumpers. We didn't know what to do with her then we decided to try her in the hunters, not really to win but just to see if I liked doing that better, and her first week out she won. Since then she has won almost every show she has gone to. She has been enjoying it as much as I have, I think."
"She had done really well in the jumpers and the equitation, but I wasn't the best at riding her in that," Karp said with a laugh. "Now that we started this, I think we have both found something that we really like so we work well doing it together."
"She is a great horse, and so willing. The first week out we gave her the corrections and she did really well with them so she learned really fast. This will be my only season on her. I plan on moving up to the 3'6" Amateur Owners next year, and I'll get new horses for that. I hope a good children's hunter rider will get her and have as much fun on her as I have. She is a good horse."
Zoe Ganek, 14, from New York, NY, and Paparazzi, owned by Felecia Weiss, were Reserve with a score of 83.5 in the first round and 84 in the second round for a total of 167.5 points. The pair moved up from fourth place to second place after posting two solid rounds.
"My goal was to give good, solid, consistent rounds," said Genek, who was thrilled with the result. "I didn't have a ribbon in mind. And it worked out in my favor. This is my last show if I don't get off the waiting list for Washington, so I am thrilled. "Phil" as he is known in the barn, has taught me a lot, which has paid off for the other horses I ride, so I am very grateful to him for that."
The NAL offers a great opportunity for competitors across the country to compete in five divisions; Adult Hunter; Children's Hunter; Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak; Children's Jumper Presented by EquiFit; and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Presented by UltrOZ. The qualifying season for the NAL runs from September 1 through August 31. Anyone can compete in NAL qualifying classes, but only current members are awarded points. Joining the NAL is the best way for riders to get the points necessary to make it to the finals. Annual memberships are only $40 per rider.
Recognized as a premier equestrian event, The Pennsylvania National Horse Show runs October 8-17 and has been held indoors at the State Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA since its inception in 1945.
Known locally for its contributions to the community and globally for excellence in competition, PNHS attracts top Hunters and Jumpers, sport horse enthusiasts and spectators who find the show exciting, educational and inspiring. Visitors enjoy the intimacy of one competition ring, a full concourse of shops and a variety of special events.
Proceeds from the show benefit the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation dedicated to youth programs and The Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation supporting equine programs. PNHS is proud of its contributions, proud to be consistently recognized by the Show Hunter Hall of Fame and the North American Riders Group, proud of its heritage and looking forward to a bright future.