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Kacey McCann Places Third in ASPCA Maclay Region Two Qualifier

Saugerties, NY – September 6, 2006 – On Monday, the first qualifier for this year’s ASPCA Maclay National Championship was held. Region Two (East), which includes New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, held their qualifying show at the HITS-on-the-Hudson show grounds in Saugerties, NY. Kacey McCann (15) of Palmyra, PA, rode Comanche to third place in the qualifier. McCann trains with Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano at SBS Farms Inc. of Buffalo, NY.

The Region Two Maclay qualifier is one of the most hotly contested competitions of the year. Many of the top riders in the country belong to this region. The top riders advance to the National Championship, which is held this year during the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament on November 1-5, 2006 and is produced by the National Horse Show Association. McCann noted, “There were a lot more people in this qualifier than the one I rode in last year. All the top equitation trainers were there, and there were a lot of really good riders.”

At last year’s ASPCA Maclay National Championship, McCann wowed the crowd when she gave a steady performance to become the reserve champion. This year, McCann returns with more experience and will be one of the riders to beat at the competition.

The first phase, however, was the qualifier. Region Two is one of the most difficult competitions at which to qualify; more than 60 competitors entered the class.

McCann rode Comanche, a seven year old Warmblood gelding that is new to equitation classes. After a solid over fences round, McCann joined the top 40 in the under saddle phase, which was divided into three groups. She then became one of six asked to return for a test, which included such questions as a hand gallop, a tight rollback to a one stride, a turn on the haunches, and a trot fence. “It was challenging, but it was a good test for me and my horse,” McCann divulged. “Starting out with a hand gallop gets you going because you can’t be cautious with those!”

After the test, McCann and Comanche were awarded third place, an extremely good finish for the young rider and green horse. The pair has only been together since May, and they have only shown at two venues. “This was Comanche’s first big class,” McCann explained. “He’s still green. I wanted him to have a good trip. We’re still trying to even out simple things, like collecting, lengthening, and adding strides in lines.

“He’s a naturally talented horse though,” she went on to say. “He picks things up quickly. He passed our expectations quickly and has come so far in just a few months. I’m really happy with him.”

McCann credited her trainers, Schoellkopf and Alfano, and thanked Alfano for her help in preparing Comanche. “I owe a lot to Jen. She’s been a huge help with our success in the ring,” McCann said.

McCann’s plan with Comanche now is to get him used to indoor arenas before the National Championships. They will first compete at the 60th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, which is held on September 13-17, 2006. The show is held at their home base at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center.

They will then move on to the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD, and will compete in the USEF Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA.

For more information on SBS Farms Inc., the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, or the 60th Annual Buffalo International Horse Show, please visit http://www.thebtrc.com or email becandbtrc@aol.com.

Photo Credit: Kacey McCann and Comanche, third place in the 2006 ASPCA Maclay Region Two qualifier. Photo © 2006 James Leslie Parker.


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