Richards, Kahle, Carlson, and Ziegler Win ASPCA Maclay Regional Qualifiers
RELEASE: September 22, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
Four regional qualifying competitions were held recently for the 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championships. The 2009 ASPCA Maclay National Championship will be held at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament on October 28-November 1, 2009.
The winner of the Region 8 qualifier, held at the Oaks Blenheim Fall Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA, was 15-year-old Cayla Richards of Calabasas, CA. Richards trains with Jenny Karazissis and rode her horse Asparagus, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, to the win.
This was Richards' second time competing at the regional qualifier, and this year will be her first trip to the National Championships. "I've never been there, so I'm excited just to see what it is like," she mentioned. "I only get to compete back East once or twice a year. It will be nice to see all of my competition. They're the best riders in the country at that show."
Richards beat out 34 other competitors in her region and led the class through the jumping, flat, and work-off phases. "The course was definitely pretty tough," Richards conceded. "There was an option to do the inside turn to a two stride, vertical-vertical, and I might have been the only one to do it. That might have gotten extra points from the judges."
Richards believes that her win at the Region 8 qualifier will help when she travels to the East Coast. "It was definitely good practice for indoors because it was a small indoor ring like back East. That gives my horse and me confidence going indoors and knowing that we can win if we put in a good round," she said.
Canadian rider Cassandra Kahle will also be making her first trip to the ASPCA Maclay National Championships this year. The 16-year-old from Langley, British Columbia, won the Region 7 qualifier, which was held at the NorthWest Autumn Classic in Monroe, WA.
"I thought the course was very challenging and a lot different than anything I'd ever ridden, but I had a good time doing it," Kahle noted. "I'm looking forward to the experience in Syracuse. I've never been to New York!"
Kahle rode Batik, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Terry and Alicia Hayes, in the qualifier. This was Kahle's first time competing at the regional qualifier, since an injury last year precluded her riding in last year's class.
"This year was the chance for me to get back to classes that I wanted to do last year," Kahle said. "Batik's owners were willing to pay for me to show at the regional and the qualifying classes; it was something we agreed to work for. I really appreciate the Hayes' support and the opportunity to ride a nice horse like Batik. We have had an amazing show season this year. Thank you also to Bobbie Reber for her support and mentorship, to my brother Colton Kahle, who is also my groom, and to my mom Natasha Brash, who is my trainer."
Audrey Carlson repeated her win from last year in the Region 6 qualifier at the High Prairie Fall Classic in Parker, CO. The Boulder, CO, resident rode Mister Knightly, a 13-year-old gelding that she has leased since May.
"We had a really solid first round jumping, and I felt pretty confident going into the flat phase that I should be able to make the top four," Carlson remarked. "They asked the top four riders to remain in the ring for the work-off. I got nervous watching the first three riders because all had good work-offs, but I was able to stay on top."
This was Carlson's third time competing at the regional qualifier, and this year will be her second time at the ASPCA Maclay National Championship. "It's really exciting but really intimidating to show at Syracuse," she admitted. "It feels like a completely different world compared to out here. I don't know a lot of the kids as well as I do around here. My goal this year is to have fun with each of the finals. My goal was to do well at Regionals so that I could continue because this is my last juni