Pennsylvania National Horse Show Shakes Up the Schedule for Its 62nd Year
RELEASE: September 6, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Stephanie Lawson
Venerable national horse shows like the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS), held October 18-27, at the Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA, are all about tradition. Much of the thrill of winning one of the 11 national championships decided at the show is joining the lists of equestrian greats in whose footsteps winning riders follow. So, year after year, competitors can almost set their watches by checking what’s in the ring.
Until now, the $65,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National, the show’s signature event, has traditionally led off the final night of the show. In 2007, the grand prix—one of the most coveted events in show jumping and the hour that decides the American Grand Prix Association Horse and Rider of the Year—will be the last class of the competition’s 10-day run. The grand prix will be preceded by championship classes for hunters, jumpers, draft horses and American Saddlebreds, which will run almost continuously from 8 a.m. to about 8 p.m., when the horn will sound for the country’s top riders to enter the ring for the show’s biggest event.
Between the show’s opening horn at 8 a.m. Thursday, October 18, and the grand prix’s exciting conclusion, nearly 1,200 of the finest American and international show horses and riders will compete at the show, America’s largest indoor multi-breed horse show and one of the equestrian world’s premier events. $340,000 in prize money is offered. Tens of thousands of horse enthusiasts from throughout the region and across the U.S. will enjoy the unparalleled competition, special attractions, excellent shopping, and the opportunity to watch the cream of equestrian sports in action.
The same top riders, many of them Olympic, World Cup and Pan Am Games medalists, who compete in the $65,000 Grand Prix Saturday night, spend nearly a week at the show contesting a number of horses. Each evening session, Tuesday through Friday, October 23-26, opens with an exciting jumper class
The Penn National begins with four days of competition for junior riders under age 18. Among the eleven national championships decided at the PNHS is the Adequan/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships. Held Friday night, October 19, the competition is the only USA Junior Olympics-Equestrian jumping event and one of three legs of competition for these talented young riders. On Sunday, October 21, more than 200 young equestrians ride for hunter equitation’s pinnacle, the prestigious Pessoa/USEF National Hunter Seat Medal Final. Thirty percent of past winners have gone on to represent the U.S. in international competition. More than 1,000 qualifying classes are held at recognized competitions, resulting in about 400 qualifiers.
For the sixth year, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show will host the National Horse Show ‘Good Hands’ Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, which was held for 70 years at the National Horse Show in New York City. In addition, the PNHS will host the American Saddlebred Horse Association Northeastern Regional Championships, with awards for the top American Saddlebred horses from the northeastern U.S. region that stretches from Virginia to Maine, and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Saddle Seat Equitation Challenge. The PNHS is also the site of the North American League championships for adult and children’s hunters and jumpers, open jumper speed horses and pony jumpers.
A week of varied equestrian competition begins Monday, October 22, as mid-Atlantic foxhunters gather for Hunt Night, an evening of friendly rivalry. Spectators will be treated to an amazing variety of equestrian athleticism Wednesday through Saturday, October 24-27. with competition for graceful hunters, thrilling jumpers, high-stepping American Saddlebreds, thundering draft horses, easy-going western horses and speedy roadster horses and ponies.
The World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance each evening, Wed