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Woodside Labor Day Classic Wraps Up With a Flurry of Finals

Sister Act Dominates the Pony Division

Woodside, California. Competition was intense in the hunter rings over Labor Day weekend at the Horse Park at Woodside, as the second to last show in the 2008 Woodside Show Series concluded with a flurry of hunter and equitation finals on Monday morning. At the Woodside Labor Day Classic (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1), the quiet, tense spectators watching during the second round and work off of the Carousel Junior/Amateur Medal Finals finally took a collective breath when rider Jill Stevens was named champion. Stevens was among the top eight riders called back for a work off that included starting counter-canter at the entrance to the ring, halting on a straight line after a two stride, and jumping the last two fences without stirrups.

Sixteen year old Stevens trains with Hope and Ned Glynn of Sonoma Valley Stables. “As trainers we were really pleased with the fact that she rode so consistently,” said Ned. “She won the first round, was second in the second round, and rode a great work off. She was on her “A” game for all three portions, which is what it takes to win a medal final.”

The Carousel Medal Finals were generously supported by sponsors Jake’s Place, Shaw’s Saddlery, Carousel Saddlery and Sheri Scott Photography. Scott photographed all riders through eighth place in an elaborate awards ceremony, and all top riders were awarded prizes ranging from a bucket of horse supplies and leather halters to a cooler and sterling silver Carousel ring for the winner.

Without a break in the action, the $1,000 Northern California Pony Hunter Final and Woodside Pony Equitation Championship kicked off one ring over. Eligible ponies qualified for the Hunter Final by completing at least two courses of pony heights at the show, and equitation riders had to have first or second place finishes under their belts in 2008 pony medal classes to enter the Championship. Ten riders qualified and competed, but the day belonged to twin sisters Stephanie and Erica Engle, who traded off the top spots in both classes. The 13 year old riders train with John Bragg’s Bridgeport Farms, and are coached by Jennifer Davis.

Stephanie took champion on her pony, Blue Me Away in the Pony Hunter Final, while her sister Erica was reserve with Onstar. The sisters were thrilled with the results, and were even more surprised when they entered the ring for the Equitation championship by keeping the blue and red ribbons in the family. This time Erica placed first, with Stephanie hot on her heels in second. And no, the judge wasn’t seeing double; these twins are fraternal.

“It was awesome,” said Davis. “The girls ride really well and I thought they’d do well but none of us expected this result. They knew that they rode well and they were really excited they were that successful.”

The Woodside Fall Finale, the final show of the seven show series will be held September 25-28 and the winner of the trip to Maui will be decided. Jennifer Davis has a slight lead over Beverly Jovais. or more information, point standings, and complete show results visit http://www.langershows.com.

 

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