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Avery Hinson Triumphs in THIS National Children's Medal 14 and Under With Rio's Reflection

RELEASE: February 10, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Avery Hinson and Rio's Reflection (Anne Gittins Photography)
Avery Hinson and Rio's Reflection (Anne Gittins Photography)
Wellington, FL
- Avery Hinson of New Albany, OH, bested a class of 29 junior riders during Saturday's Taylor Harris Insurance Service's (THIS) National Children's Medal class during week five of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Hinson led the class with her twelve-year-old Warmblood gelding, Rio's Reflection, with a score of 87 points.

Maria Moore finished second aboard Angela Moore's Arizona with a score of 86. Blythe Ruppel piloted her own Charade to a score of 86. Parker Wright and Miss Ticket to Ride, owned by Barbara Milanese, rounded out the top four riders called back for the test and finished fourth with 85 points.

Hinson and Rio's Reflection competed during the latter part of the 2012 season in both hunter divisions and equitation classes, but Hinson has decided to focus on equitation classes for 2013. "Competing only in the equitation classes has let me focus more. It was difficult to adjust to riding Rio in both hunters and eq," Hinson described. "I like equitation more than hunters because you can focus on yourself."

Hinson's secret to success is a close bond with her big bay gelding and grueling no-stirrups lessons. "Most of my lessons are no stirrups, so that's pretty torturous, but we get through it" Hinson laughed. "Even in the short amount of time I've had Rio, I feel a connection with him. Everything I ask him, he does it for me."

"I have to spice him up [in the ring], but he's just a big puppy dog for his size [an impressive 17.2 ½ hands]. He loves his job," Hinson continued.

Hinson was fifth in the order for the large class, but her strategy for the course full of twists and turns, designed by Danny Moore, made her impossible to beat. Despite going early on, she remained in the lead for the entirety of the class. "The course rode really well for me. The lines were pretty open, but having to do those inside turns afterwards was most challenging. I chose the inside turns as much as I could, and that really paid off in the end for me," Hinson described.

Hinson will continue to compete in the THIS Children's Medal with Rio's Reflection, but has her sights set on the ASPCA Maclay classes as her ultimate goal. Both equitation classes are hosted weekly at the FTI WEF. The THIS National Children's Medal Finals will be held in conjunction with the Capital Challenge Horse Show (MD) in October.