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Maggie McAlary Triumphs in Large Junior 16-17 Hunters at Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, FL March 3, 2007 The Zada Enterprises LLC Wellington Masters finished the Saturday portion of competition and awarded two hunter tricolors. In the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, Sarah Wards Blink and Maggie McAlary won the championship. The Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter champion was Reese, ridden by Shaw Johnson Price.

McAlary is one of three junior riders to pilot Blink this winter. Ward purchased Blink, a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Voltaire, from the Towell family this winter after the talented horse won huge championships with Jack Hardin Towell Jr. last year. Ward has just moved up to the junior hunter division, so they made a decision to have another rider pilot Blink to gain qualifying points for the Devon Horse Show in May.

Addison Phillips rode Blink early on, and McAlary has ridden Blink the past two weeks. I have to thank Heritage Farm and Andre Dignelli for loaning their riders to me, Jack Towell acknowledged. Both Addison and Maggie are wonderful riders and great girls. They were fantastic.

Sarah has been a great sport, he added. Shes enjoyed watching these girls ride her horse. Shes learning very quickly, and shell be a great match with Blink.

Ward affirmed, Im so lucky to have Addison and Maggie ride him; they were awesome. It was really nice to have such great riders on him.

This week, McAlary and Blink finished second and third over fences on the first day and was first and third today. The reserve champion in the division was In Style, ridden by Grace Socha for Paige Cole.

Towell had nothing but praise for the horse that has been in his family for two years. Hes just a wonderful horse. He was just five when we started showing him, and hes only seven now. Hes really starting to come into himself and learning what hes doing, he explained. Hes got so much personality, and hes smart as a whip. Hes knows exactly what hes doing. I tell you what, hes so elastic and life is so easy for that horse. He can stretch and do the weirdest things youve ever seen a horse do with his body. Its easy for him to jump.

With his championship this weekend, Blink will most likely be qualified for Devon, so Ward will pick up the riding duties on Blink. This is her second junior hunter, and she feels that his experience and success in the ring will only help her. Hes so sweet, and he loves his job so much. Hes willing to do whatever I ask him to do. Its nice knowing that hes done so well. I know hes going to take me where I need to go, and hes just going to be great for me. Im really excited.

By selling Blink to his student, Towell was able to keep one of his favorite horses. Hes been our horse and hes been great, so hopefully hell be great for Sarah too. Luckily, we got to keep him in the barn, he conveyed. Hes been one of the two best horses Ive ever had, him and Monday Morning. Im really crazy about this horse. I dont get attached to too many of them, but Im attached to this one.

The Amateur-Owner Over 35 champion today was Reese, ridden by Shaw Johnson Price. Price won the under saddle class and one over fences class to take championship over Dresden and Cindy Firestone.

Hunter action at the sixth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival concludes tomorrow with championships in multiple divisions for the adult, junior and pony hunters, as well as the amateurs.

Photo Credit: Blink and Maggie McAlary, champions in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo 2007 Randi Muster.


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