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Meghan Caraway Triumphant in T.H.I.S. National Children's Medal Class at Horse Shows by the Bay

Ariat Adult Medal and Adult Equitation Championship Goes to Julie Fontaine

Traverse City, MI - July 25, 2008 - It was another beautiful but very windy day at Horse Shows by the Bay in scenic Traverse City, MI today. The horse show is in its second of three weeks of equestrian competition running from July 16-August 3 at Flintfields Horse Park. The Taylor Harris Insurance Services (T.H.I.S.) National Children's Medal and the Ariat Adult Medal classes were both held in ring 3 today with some very talented horses and riders competing.

With a class of twenty-six competing in the T.H.I.S. National Children's Medal, only the top four were called back to test. The test consisted of several simple changes of lead down the long side, a trot jump, a roll back turn to a canter jump, halt and then a two-stride line down the other long side to finish it off. The top four riders all executed the test very well, but it was Meghan Caraway of Grosse Pointe, MI and her horse Feuertanz who came away with the win.

"I actually was not expecting to win because I was called in fourth," Caraway said. "So that was quite a bit of a surprise."

The sixteen year-old rider is a high school junior who trains with Polly and Meg Howard out of Fox Meadow Farm in Temperance, MI. She just has her one horse, Freddy, as he is better known around the barn, and they compete together in the Children's Hunters 15-17 and the 3' Equitation divisions. She purchased the 9 year-old chestnut gelding from Germany in April of last year.

"He has come a long way in the past year because when we bought him he did not know how to jump at all," Caraway said of the horse. "We have been working with him a lot."

"I love how he rides," she continued. "He has a really soft mouth and I love the way he moves because he really moves from the shoulder. He also has a nice extended trot and his jump is round but comfortable, so it does not throw me. He is really responsive and just an all-around nice horse."

Following Caraway in the top four line-up was Lacey Gilbertson of Lake Forest, IL and her horse Umiro Van Beek in second place. Third place went to Isabella Tillman of Beverly Hills, MI on her bay mare Enchantress, and fourth place honors went to Shelby Benjamin of Lake Forest, IL with Cardoso.

Following the children's medal class in the afternoon was the Ariat Adult Medal class. Just eight riders competed and the best four were again placed to test for top honors. The adult test consisted of cantering the diagonal line, trotting one fence, halting in the middle and then cantering the last fence. Julie Fontaine of Wellington, FL and her horse Romanof completed the test flawlessly and were victorious in the class.

"That was awesome," Fontaine exclaimed after her win. "The test was great. I was surprised that I got to move up from fourth to first place. We have been practicing our trot jumps a lot and it definitely paid off."

Fontaine, who did the equitation when she rode as a junior, has been competing in the jumpers with Romanof for a while now and has just recently come back to doing the equitation as an adult, just for fun.

"Romanof seems to enjoy it, and I enjoy it too," Fontaine said of the transition from jumpers back to equitation. "It is easy for him and it is fun for me because it brings me back to my old equitation days since I have been an adult rider for awhile now."

Fontaine trains with Rob Bielefeld and has had Romanof for four years. The eleven year-old horse has been great for her. During today's competition, Fontaine and Romanof not only won the Ariat Adult Medal class, but they were also champions of the Adult Equitation division.

Coming in just behind Fontaine in the top four of the Ariat Adult Medal was Kathleen Hendges of Clarklake, MI with her horse Manhattan for second place. Third place went to Sue Hehl of Temperance, MI on Something's Cookin' and fourth place was awarded to Terri Dandino of Monclova, OH on her horse Foreign Encounter.

Tomorrow's highlight class is the $10,000 ASG/USHJA International Hunter Derby, which will run in the Team Elmer's Grand Prix Ring at 6 p.m.

For more information on Horse Shows by the Bay and the fun events planned for competitors and spectators alike, please go to http://www.horsesportsbythebay.com.

Photo Credit: Meghan Caraway and Feuertanz: T.H.I.S. National Children's Medal Winners. Photo (C) 2008 Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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