Madeline Thatcher is Unstoppable at Equifest II Horse Show
RELEASE: August 10, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Lauren Fisher
Thirteen-year-old Madeline Thatcher of South Jordan, UT, had an amazing weekend at Equifest II as she won an unprecedented six classics, three championships, and two reserve championships at the horse show, which was held July 28-August 2. Thatcher showed alongside her sister, 16-year-old Kelsey, and trainer Maggie Jayne, at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL.
Thatcher started the week off by winning both the championship and reserve championship honors in the Small/Medium Pony Hunter division. She rode Mr. McGregor to the championship for owner Steve Schaefer, and earned the reserve championship with her pony Hillcrest Blue Cwilt. Thatcher also took home the championship honors in the Large Pony Hunters with Beau Rivage, owned by Casey Green.
Along with the division championships, Thatcher earned top honors in both Pony Hunter Classics during the competition. She rode Beau Rivage to first place and Hillcrest Blue Cwilt to second place in the $1,000 Pony Hunter Classic. She then proceeded to take all three top spots in the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic, placing first with Hillcrest Blue Cwilt, second with Beau Rivage, and third with Mr. McGregor.
Following her success in the Pony Hunters, Thatcher rode to the reserve championship in the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under with her horse Capone, and then continued on to sweep the competition in the Children's and Pony Jumpers.
Thatcher rode her horse Victor to the top prize in both the $1,500 M&S Children's Jumper and $5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Classics, which earned the pair the championship tricolor in the Children's Jumper division. Along with her success aboard Victor, Thatcher rode Alex Jayne's Kinda Blue to a win in the $1,500 WIHS Children's Jumpers and took home another victory with her pony Bally Mac in the $1,500 NAL/M&S Pony Jumpers.
"It was an amazing weekend," she smiled. "The ponies did quite well. I won all three of the Children's Jumper Classics and the NAL Pony Jumper Classic with Bally Mac, which was exciting because it was against some pretty tough competition."
"I don't think I have ever won that many classes at one show," Thatcher laughed. "This is one of the best weekends that I have ever had. Including winning the pony classics, I won six classics total, and I have a lot of coolers and trophies to bring home. It felt really great; it was definitely a good weekend, and I was really happy with it."
After her incredible sweep of the competition this weekend, Thatcher is now sitting at the top of the standings for the Showplace Leading Rider Series, leading the way to the $10,000 Weathertech.com Leading Children's/Adult Rider Bonus that will be awarded at the end of the 2009 season.
"I am really hoping that holds," Thatcher stated. "It is pretty competitive, but I think it will since I will be showing there again in the fall. I am going to try to stay at the top because it has a $10,000 bonus, which would be great to win."
Thatcher then headed to Lexington, KY, where she competed at the 2009 USEF Pony Finals, showing a couple of catch rides along with her ponies Hillcrest Blue Cwilt, Beau Rivage, and Bally Mac.
"I really like that it is just ponies here," she added. "It is a really big focus, and there is definitely a lot of good competition. I really love coming and doing the pony jumpers. It is three nights in a row and the crowd comes to support you, so that is really fun."
Along with Thatcher's multiple victories, Kelsey Thatcher had a great weekend competing at Equifest II as well. Kelsey showed her horse Mirasol to the championship tricolor in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 after placing first in all four classes over fences and second under saddle. She followed that up by winning the championship and reserve championship honors in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17, earning the championship with Gianni and the reserve with Madeline's Junio