Doughty and Driediger Highest Amateur Point Earners in 2009 for the Arabian Horse Association
RELEASE: February 25, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Hilary Nixon
Photo Courtesy AHA/Conley Driediger (Conley Driediger with gelding, Winning Afire+//.)
Alexis Starer Doughty of Cape Charles, VA, and Conley Driediger of Yarrow, BC, Canada, were named the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) Adult and Youth Amateurs of 2009, respectively. Doughty earned an impressive 646 points at 22 AHA-recognized shows in 2009, while Driediger earned a whopping 485.5 points from 17 shows. The AHA Amateur Achievement Award program began in 2002 and tracks the points of individual adult and youth amateur riders, handlers, and drivers over the course of a year.
In 2008, Doughty made an appearance as one of the top 10 point-earners, coming in at sixth place with 205.5 points. Earning more than triple that amount of points in 2009, Doughty says she didn’t set out with a goal to earn nearly 650 points but credits her success, in part, to her location. “We sit in a great place here in Virginia. We can hit several different regional shows—Region 15, 16, 12 and 14 are all fairly close,” said Doughty.
While Doughty rode several horses during the year, her main point-earner was One More Round++// (Al Jassur Laddin x Winifred), a 2004 bay Anglo-Arabian that earned AHA’s High-Point Horse of the Year Award. With the help of trainer Ben Flynn and husband Bill, Doughty earned her first National Championship at Sport Horse Nationals with One More Round. “That was my first and only national championship, and since we bred him...that was a special win,” she said.
Doughty plans to keep her amateur status and continue showing for the fun of it. “My husband and I own a company together that we do for full-time work, so we spend most of our vacation and travel time at horse shows...it’s a lot of fun to show and travel together,” added Doughty. “I’ve been riding so long, I want horses to remain my passion and not make them my profession.”
Conley Driediger, the Youth Amateur Award winner, enjoyed a fantastic 2009 that included winning Equine Canada’s Junior Equestrian of the Year. The 17-year-old showed two geldings, C Sir Madre++++// (Psymadre x C Fahleen) and Winning Afire+// (Afire Bey V x Win Me Ribbons), in six classes, including hunter pleasure, country English pleasure, show hack, halter, sport horse in-hand and sport horse under saddle.
Driediger chalks her point-earning potential up to “working hard, consistency and independence. I ride both of my show horses five days a week, and my mom is glad that she doesn't need to baby-sit me at shows or at home. I clip, sand and bathe the horses before the show, and I can tack up my horse, do an ultra good job that rivals the best, tie my own tie, and make it to my class on time looking sharp at the shows.”
At only 17, Driediger already holds a deep appreciation for the Arabian breed. “I like how diverse, sensitive, and tolerant they are...we fuss and fix until they look like perfection, and they don't complain. Sometimes I actually think they like it, and I am often amazed, from my own experiences with Madre and Cade, how hard-working Arabians can be. They are incredibly intelligent and far more sensitive than other breeds, and they can do pretty much anything. What's not to love?”
The top ten point-earners from the Achievement Awards program receive a screen printed, three-ring binder briefcase from Schneiders Saddlery. In addition to the briefcase, Doughty will receive a $1,500 gift certificate from Schneiders Saddlery, a Montana Silversmith belt buckle and a Top Ten briefcase. Driediger will receive a $1,500 scholarship, a Montana Silversmith belt buckle and a Top Ten briefcase.
*The top ten point-earners in both the adult and youth amateur categories are: Adult
1. Alexis Starer Doughty, Cape Charles, VA, 646
2. Tracy Ratliff Lord, Augusta, GA, 496
3. Alexandra Ramage, Xenia, OH, 465
4. Laura Wolsey, Langley, BC, 292.5
5. Lance Bowman, Paducah, KY, 228.5
6. Jennifer Freeberg, Webster, NY, 206
7. Mallory Creter, Chester, NJ, 196
8. Brianna York, Philomath, OR, 189
9. Jessica Grissom, Columbia City, IN, 174
10. Natalie Hunt, Cookstown, ON, 164 Youth
1. Conley Driediger, Yarrow, BC, 485.5
2. Madison Stevens, Los Angeles, CA, 472
3. Kentley Dean, Hope Mills, NC, 322.5
4. Daniella Gray, Aldergrove, BC, 308
5. Caitlin Pigott, Whittier, CA, 298.5
6. Katie Pelphrey, Louisville, KY, 289
7. Sarah Esqueda, Whittier, CA, 262.5
8. Isobelle Ehret, Wetaskiwin, AB, 232.5
**9. Emily Howser, Louisville, KY, 229.5
**9. Emily Phillips, Yorba Linda, CA, 229.5
*Standings are subject to change pending final verification.
** Amateurs who earn the same number of points share a placing.