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Tina Dilandri of Karen Healey Stables Places Second in ASPCA Maclay Region 8 Qualifier

San Juan Capistrano, CA – September 20, 2006 – This past weekend at the Oaks Blenheim Fall Tournament, all focus was on the Region 8 qualifier for the ASPCA Maclay National Championships. Karen Healey Stables posted incredible results for yet another year when they placed six riders in the top 12.

The highest ranked rider was 14 year old Tina Dilandri of La Jolla, CA. The up and coming talent has only been riding with Healey since June of this year, and she rode in the qualifier on RSVP, who is only six years old. Of RSVP, Healey mentioned, “We’ve done a ton of flatwork with him. He’s really come along beautifully.”

Healey was complimentary of Dilandri and said, “Her focus is incredible. She’s quite mentally strong for only 14.” As for her success at such a young age, Healey pointed out, “This was her first time in the Regionals. I don’t think she was quite as nervous as the others!”

Riding Kyle, 16 year old Hannah Selleck of Thousand Oaks, CA, finished fifth. Shelby Wakeman (15) of Westlake Village, CA, and San Francisco were eighth, Alexandra Conforti (17) of La Cañada, CA, and The Graduate were ninth, 16 year old Veronica Tracy and Guns N’ Roses of San Juan Capistrano, CA, were tenth, and La Cañada resident Michelle Morris (15) on Eventual was twelfth.

Healey said that her riders might have felt the pressure of a Maclay qualifier; if riders are not in the ribbons, they most likely will not show in the National Championship. “At the CPHA Foundation finals last week, everyone rode brilliantly. You could tell that nerves kicked in this weekend,” Healey commented. “They all rode well this weekend to get the job done.”

At a qualifier such as the one for the Maclay National Championships, Healey explained that many riders will ride for a ribbon, but not necessarily for the win. “It’s a factor of that class. You go to not make a big mistake and not lose. You want to be safer and not take risks like you would in a normal class. It’s the nature of the beast,” she said with a smile.

Healey will have a big group of riders traveling East this fall to compete in the indoor circuit of equitation finals. “This is an older, more seasoned group,” Healey acknowledged. “They’ve been through the process. I think they’re more comfortable now. I’m really lucky that I’ve got such a good group of kids and horses.”

Healey has been one of the top equitation trainers for decades, and she attributes her riders’ success to a few different reasons. “They practice a lot,” Healey laughed. “I try to make sure that there’s nothing they haven’t seen when they get to the Finals. This year, this is the strongest group that I’ve had in a long time.”

Karen Healey Stables will compete this week at the L.A. International Jumping Festival in Burbank, CA, on September 20-24, 2006. The group of junior riders will then travel East to compete at the Capital Challenge Horse Show on September 30-October 8, 2006, in Upper Marlboro, MD.

Photo Credit: ASPCA Maclay Region 8 second place finisher Tina Dilandri prepares with trainer Karen Healey. Photo © 2006 Karen Hobstetter/PhelpsSports.com.


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