November 1, 2013--"I was very excited to come here because I've never shown here," Portela said. "I didn't get to show last year because I ride with Jimmy Torano, and he judged last year. After [the Pennsylvania National Horse Show] and [the Washington International Horse Show] this year I was pumped and ready and wanted to come and do well."
Portela had previously shown at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, so she had high expectations coming to the Alltech National Horse Show in its new home at the Kentucky Horse Park. Those expectations were fulfilled as she came away with two championship tricolors.
"This horse show is a beautiful horse show, and it's a beautiful facility," Portela said. "It's exciting to be here. It's definitely a lot different from the Garden. The ring is huge, and the jumps are beautiful."
Finishing in reserve behind Portela and Winner in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" 36 and Over Hunter division were Missy Luczak-Smith and Positano.
In the Amateur-Owner 3'3" 18-35 Hunters, the division championship went to Katherine Oberkircher and Bozeman.? The pair took the blue ribbon in this morning's handy round before being presented with the championship honor.
Oberkircher has had Bozeman for three years, and this year is also their first time competing at the Alltech National Horse Show.
"I think I was more nervous to be here than he was," smiled Oberkircher. "It hasn't even fazed him at all. Ever since I first got him, he has been amazing. He's always the same when he comes out. I've been really lucky with him because right now I'm in school, and I don't get to ride him as much. He totally takes care of me every time."
Oberkircher, who trains with David and Kara Raposa, is a senior at the University of Richmond, where she's studying Communications with an English minor. After graduating, she plans to continue showing Bozeman in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters.
"I've learned a lot from him, and I think he's learned something from me," Oberkircher said. "Once I'm graduated, hopefully I'll have even more time to devote to riding. We'll keep going to the shows, and we'll keep doing what we're doing."
Finishing in reserve in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" 18-35 Hunters were Christina Fisher and Johnny.
While the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters came to a close Thursday, the Amateur-Owner 3'6" Hunters kicked off their two days of competition. In the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over division, the first blue ribbons went to Katie Robinson with Rock Steady and Nancy Hooker with Castlewalk. In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters, the win in the first class went to Lori Snetsinger and Wish List, while the win in the handy round went to Colby Hassfurther and Optimized.
The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions conclude Friday morning at the Alltech Arena. The Junior Hunters will also get underway Friday morning, starting with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunters at 7 a.m.