Tyler, TX - November 6, 2008 - Today was the second day of the 2008 Dallas Harvest Horse Show at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, TX. The show, which runs through Sunday, is being held to benefit Habitat for Horses and had a beautiful, sunny day for competition today in the hunter rings.
It was a great day for distinguished hunter rider Peter Pletcher today. The Texas native was champion in three divisions including the Green Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter and Three Foot Pre Green Hunter divisions. Other champions included Emily Williams and Unikat in the Regular Working Hunters, Nancy Sutherland and Vancouver in the Amateur Owner Hunters Over 36 and Amanda Goldman and Undercover in the Amateur Owner Hunters 18-35. Goldman and Undercover were also the Overall Amateur Owner Hunter Grand Champions.
The day started off with three big wins for Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX. Pletcher kicked things off with a championship win in the Green Hunter division riding Alta Basaldua's horse Argentum. Reserve champion in the division was awarded to Will Roberts riding North Shore for owner Woodland Way, Inc. of Indian Wells, CA.
Alta Basaldua of Kingwood, TX has been very proud of Pletcher's success with her horse Argentum. "It is a perfect partnership between him and Peter," she said. "I have never had a horse like this, ever and it just hasn't hit me."
"He is amazing, he is just a gentleman," Basaldua said of the horse. "He is like a business man; he is perfect and he will do anything for cookies, he loves cookies."
The next division of the day was the Green Conformation Hunters with another championship win going to Peter Pletcher, this time riding Becky Gochman's As Always. Not only was Pletcher champion of the division, he was also reserve champion riding Camira, owned by Melanie Barnes of Austin, TX.
Pletcher is from Magnolia, TX, just about a three-hour drive from the Texas Rose Horse Park, so he is always happy to have a nice show close to home. "It is a beautiful place and they try hard to make it a nice show, so it is a big plus for us here in Texas, Pletcher said.
Following those wins Pletcher had yet another win in the three-foot Pre Green Hunter division. Pletcher rode Priscilla Flawn-Chopp's horse Petra to the championship win in the division with reserve champion honors going to Will Roberts and Chicago, owned by Teri Miller of New Caney, TX.
The Regular Working Hunters also competed this afternoon with the championship win going to Emily Williams and Unikat, owned by Bernadette Mulliken of Plainview, TX. Reserve champion was Laureen McKenzie riding Lord Rasso, owned by Karen King of Tulsa, OK.
Williams, of Wellington, FL was happily surprised to win the division since she was riding Bernadette Mulliken's jumper horse in the class.
"He was really good considering he has never done the hunters in his life," Williams laughed. "I did the grand prix on him here last week. I didn't expect him to go as smooth as he did. It was a nice gift; he is just really sweet."
The Amateur Owner Hunters were the next to compete for division championships. In the Amateur Owner 36 and Over division Nancy Sutherland and Vancouver, owned by Margot Sutherland of Olathe, KS were awarded the grand championship. Dolce and owner/rider Sue Takata of Athens, TX were awarded reserve champion.
Sutherland and Vancouver are currently leading the country in points in their division. "It is something that I wasn't planning, but in April it just started happening for me," she said. "He started winning and it has just been the most awesome year."
"They say everyone gets one and this is it, this is my one horse of a lifetime," Sutherland continued. "He is a pet, he is a friend, he is just great."
The Amateur Owner Hunters 18-35 division was good to Amanda Goldman of Shreveport, LA today. Goldman was champion of the division with her horse Undercover and reserve champion with her horse Maestro. Goldman and Undercover were also presented with the award for Overall Amateur Owner Champion.
Goldman has owned Undercover for a year and a half and explained that she has learned a lot from the horse. "He has been amazing. He has allowed me to learn and allowed me to do so much with my ride; He is so much fun," she stated.
The Dallas Harvest Horse Show hired two outstanding and very experienced women to judge their hunter classes this year. Those two women, Mindy Darst and Betty Oare, held a judges clinic last night and explained what they are looking for in a good hunter horse. Their remarks were certainly exemplary of how they pinned their classes in the hunter rings today.
Both Darst and Oare agree that it is always nice to have another person to judge with and compare notes. They both spoke of how they want to be able to enjoy the performance when a horse enters the show ring. "I consider judging horse shows a privilege," Darst said.
During the clinic Darst spoke of the natural balance and rhythm that she likes to see in a good hunter horse and how important the horse's expression is. Oare spoke of how important it is for a horse to carry itself well and have good manners in the show ring.
Both judges agreed that they like to see a rider who has a light contact with his/her horse. It is important for the rider to have some contact with the horse's mouth, but not too much, and not too little, they explained.
"People don't realize how hard it is to make it look like nothing's happening," Oare stated.
These two ladies have done an exceptional job judging this week here in Tyler, TX and the clinic was very educational for everyone in attendance. Oare and Darst will continue their excellent hunter judging for all of the hunter divisions as the 2008 Dallas Harvest Horse Show continues on.
For more information, please visit http://www.southboundshows.com
For full results, please visit http://www.horseshowsonline.com
For more information and to view adoptable horses please visit http://www.habitatforhorses.com
Photo Credit: Argentum and Owner Alta Basaldua Presented the Championship Win in the Green Hunter division with Rider Peter Pletcher. Photo (C) 2008 Lauren Fisher/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/peter-pletcher-hunter-dallas-harvest-11-08.html">Peter Pletcher Tops Hunter Championships With Three Division Wins at the 2008 Dallas Harvest Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com