Harrisburg, PA – October 19, 2013 – Ellen Toon, of South Salem, NY, and her aptly named horse INVINCIBLE, were crowned Amateur-Owner Grand Hunter Champions today at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. This is the third time the pair have won this prestigious title.
“To be a Champion here is like a dream for anybody, but to be Champion here three times – and especially on him – means a lot to me”, said Toon, who purchased the horse in Europe seven years ago when he was a stallion. “He was a jumper and it took a little time to turn him into a hunter, but he’s just been like a dream horse. I can do a lot of things with him. I show him in the 3’3″ Derby, and I have a lot of fun with him. He’s competitive everywhere and he’s just so easy”, said Toon.
Toon’s trainer and husband of 17 years, Jim Toon, received the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Groom’s Award, which was especially fun for her. “Sometimes when we only have one horse we go to the shows together. He does most of the work as well as the training, but we do it together and we do enjoy it. It’s great that he got the Groom’s Award. He worked very, very hard this week,” she said with a grin.
Colby Hassfurther and her horse OPTIMIZED won the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 Championship earlier today, and the Reserve Championship went to Jazz Johnson Merton and KINGSTON, owned by James Johnson.
“Winning this Championship means the world to me”, said Hassfurther who is a senior at the University of Texas. “I go to school and I only get to ride every couple of months while I’m at school, so it’s really awesome to come here and do so well”, she said. “I’m so happy right now!”
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the 2011 National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Horse Show of the Year and the sixth ranked horse show in North America in the 2012 North American Riders Group (NARG) annual rankings, is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the U.S. It hosts horses and competitors from across the country with 10,000 spectators attending from the Mid-Atlantic region.
With over 1,400 qualified horses competing for $450,000 in prize money, the show features Hunter and Jumper competition and is the site of the Pessoa/US National Hunter Seat Medal Final Presented by Randolph College, the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships, North American League (NAL) National Finals and the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
In addition to world-class equestrian competition, the horse show offers a unique shopping environment with boutique vendors that offer everything from fine art to custom jewelry, clothing, accessories and horse show memorabilia.
Proceeds from the event benefit community equine and youth programs. Since its inception in 1945, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation has donated over $1.5 million to charitable entities.
Horse show competition can be viewed live free of charge at www.usefnetwork.com and live scoring and results are available at www.Ryegate.com.
For more details on show events, competitors and vendors, please visit the show’s website, www.PAnational.org or contact the Pennsylvania National Horse Show at 717-236-1600 or by email, eventinfo@PAnational.org.