Susan Humes Adds Students’ Championships to History of the National Horse Show
Wellington, FL – December 5, 2006 – Susan Humes, a highly respected trainer and horsewoman, has a longstanding history with the National Horse Show Association of America, Ltd. Humes’ background encompasses years of successful riding, training and judging at Madison Square Garden, as well as an impressive family history with the NHS that dates back to its origin in 1883. She also serves on the Ladies’ Committee for the National Horse Show.
This year, Humes enjoyed the winner’s circle once again after her student, Alexandra Thornton, and Tobasco took home the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter Championship. Tobasco, owned by Dunwalke LLC, won two over fences classes and captured two second place finishes. In addition, the duo received fourth place in the Junior/Amateur-Owner National Horse Show Hunter Championship after leading the first round with a high score of 90.
“It was really fun to ride Tobasco on the field and to gallop to all of the single fences,” said Thornton after her championship. “I’ve never ridden on the big field before.”
“It was her first time riding in the Juniors at the National,” added Humes. “And this event is only her sixth horse show since moving up to the Junior Hunters. I think she did a wonderful job; I’m thrilled with her and with all of the Dunwalke horses. Alexandra competes as a 12-year-old and has only been riding at this level for about a year and a half. I am very proud of her - she always digs down and gets it done!”
When Saloon, owned by Whitney Roper, and Jennifer Waxman took home the championship in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters, Humes was ecstatic. “Saloon was my horse before and was Grand Champion here with Whitney [Roper] when I trained her, so it couldn’t be more perfect!” exclaimed Humes. Waxman trains with Ken and Emily Smith and resides in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “Emily is my greatest pal, and I always wanted Saloon to go to her because she is such an outstanding trainer and horsewoman. The match of Saloon and Jen is genius- Jen is truly an amazing young rider, and I think Saloon goes better now than he ever has! Also, it is thanks to Ken and Emily that I have Tobasco. They called me, along with Don Stewart, last year from Washington and said to ‘come on down, this was THE one.’ So we did, and he is! Alexandra is good friends with Jen [Waxman], so we’re all really excited. They might end up as Co-Grand Champions of the National Horse Show - it is like a Disney movie!”
After such successful performances, Saloon and Waxman and Tobasco and Thornton did indeed tie for the National Horse Show Grand Junior Hunter Championship. Humes’ two horses were presented the co-grand championship honors after a great competition. Saloon also finished in third place in the Junior/Amateur-Owner National Horse Show Hunter Championship.
Other Dunwalke LLC mounts earned impressive awards at the event. Ken Smith piloted For The Music to the reserve championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters. High Noon took home good ribbons in the Large Junior 15 and Under classes with Thornton, as did For The Music. “We were close with Wyatt [High Noon],” said Humes. “He was second and fourth over fences, but he is a new mount for Alexandra and understandably small things still need adjustment.”
Kacey McCann, who trains at SBS Farms with Jennifer Alfano and Susie Schoellkopf, guided Agincourt, also owned by Dunwalke, in the Small Junior 15 and Under Handy Hunter class on the Internationale field.
“We asked Kacey to ride Agincourt because he’s only 6 and that is a big field, and we knew he would jump really high,” explained Humes. “I just thought that since Alexandra has only shown him in two classes at 3’6’’- and that was yesterday- and she rode all of her horses so well, that it would be better for Kacey to ride him. Alexandra has her children’s jumpers here too and plenty to ride. I thought that Kacey could give him a good experience out there. She rode him beautifully and was a complete pleasure to work with.” She articulated, “What a wonderful representative for our sport that young lady is - perfectly turned out, respectful of her animals and trainers, and she epitomizes good sportsmanship. She was laughing after she came out of the Grand Prix ring because Agincourt jumped so high out of the combination,” she smiled. “At the same time she was patting him and thanking Alexandra for letting her ride him. It is obvious that she has been trained by the best in horsemanship and sportsmanship at SBS.”
The Dunwalke Team is busy preparing for the winter season and recently welcomed Phil Kiley, who has worked for Michael Matz, Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld, Deeridge Farm and Turtle Lane, to work as their new barn manager. “He is a great horseman, and he has consented to come out of retirement. Actually, he was dragged out, kicking and screaming,” laughed Humes. “He is going to run the barn for us, at least through Florida.” Susan Humes and Alexandra Thornton will show next at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
Photo Credit: Co-Grand Junior Hunter Champions, Alexandra Thornton with Tobasco and Jennifer Waxman with Saloon, with trainers Susan Humes and Emily Smith. Photo by: Randi Muster.
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