Harrisburg, PA – October 18, 2013 – Emilie Rucci, of Pittstown, NJ, and I SPY A RAINBOW won the $4,000 North American League (NAL) Pony Jumper Finals today at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
Out of eleven starters, only four made it to the jump-off. Spectators – including the top jumper riders – filled the best seats in the house and encouraged the smaller competitors with cheers and ‘clicks’ at moments where the ponies might have had a moment’s hesitation.
Rucci and her 9 year old home-bred I SPY A RAINBOW raced around the jump-off course cutting corners wherever possible, and crossed the timers in 34.107 seconds. Merrill Harvey and PANDAMONIUM had a faster time in 29.522 seconds, but they incurred 8 jump faults which relegated them to second place.
“Jumping in the NAL Pony Jumper Final means a lot to me because this is probably our last pony jumping show ever – I’m getting too tall for him”, said Rucci. “He’s probably going to do hunter ponies now, and I think he’s tired of doing jumpers. He always tried really hard and he tries to go clean. He doesn’t go very fast, but he can turn really, really well”.
“I thought the course was fun, they didn’t make it boring but didn’t make it impossible, so it was just enough to keep them interested”, said Rucci.
When Rucci was asked what kind of courses she prefers, she said, “I like jump-offs the best. They’re shorter and I just like to go fast!”
The North American League (NAL) offers year-long Series in six divisions – Adult Jumper Presented by SmartPak, Children’s Jumper Presented by EquiFit, Adult Hunter Presented by Practical Horseman, Children’s Hunter, Pony Jumper, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper. The Series includes classes held at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. The NAL gives riders in these divisions a chance to ride in year-end finals at two major indoor shows – The NAL National Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show at Harrisburg, October 10-19, and the NAL West Coast Finals at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, November 12-17. Further information on the NAL is available at www.ryegate.com or by contacting Ryegate Show Services at 717-867-5643 or NAL@Ryegate.com.
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.