September 9, 2013--Sunny Drescher of Hinesburg, Vermont put on a dominating performance in the National PHA Junior Medal Final at HITS Saugerties this weekend. Piloting her own Sting, a seven-year-old Westfalen gelding, to the top score of 86 in the first round, Drescher led the class from start to finish, mastering the test and clinching the blue ribbon.
The National PHA Junior Medal Final highlighted the Friday of HITS Championship Weekend at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York and welcomed a field of 21 riders to the expansive Strongid? C 2X Grand Prix Stadium. Olaf Petersen Jr. of Meunchen, Germany set the course.
"This is definitely the biggest win I have ever had on this horse," said Drescher at the conclusion of competition. "These courses were so much fun and I just love riding in the grand prix ring."
Karin Immerman of The Professional Horsemen"s Association presented awards to the top ten and was very pleased with the level of riding the Final produced. "This is a big venue for a lot of these riders. This ring carries a lot of gallop and asks very technical questions, but it works out so well for a Final like this - it should be challenging," she said. "The footing was perfect and the jumps were gorgeous, which is really helping our organization to advance."
Not overlooking her top score in the first round, Drescher moved on with the top four to test, which is where she really showed off. The test included a circle on the counter canter and Drescher nailed it. "She landed on the counter canter and completed the circle, which is a very sophisticated movement," said Immerman. "I judge horse shows and she did it as well as it can possibly be done."
For Drescher, the win was the product of a team effort and she was quick to give credit to Sting, a horse she has been riding for two years. From here, she said she is eager to jump to more successes with the gelding.
Behind Drescher, Vanessa McCarthy of Sea Girt, New Jersey finished second with a first round score of 81 aboard her own Ralph Lauren. Just one point shy of second, Emily Orchant of New York, New York was third in the irons of her own Woodstock with an 80. Fourth went to Jordynn Shafer of Tinton Falls, New Jersey and Missy Clark"s Dynasty. They rode to the second-highest score in the first round with an 82. Sara McDermott of Rochester, New York capped the top five with Leslie Miller"s For the Record. They earned a 78.5 in round one.