May 23, 2018
News from Harrisburg
Collierville, Tennessee rider Olivia Yukon and Levonworth were Low Large Junior Hunter Champions at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Hunters with their young riders competing in the Junior Hunter Divisions concluded on Friday, October 13, 2017, the second day of competition at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held at the Farm Show Complex, October 12-21, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
As it turns out, Friday the 13th was Olivia Yukon’s very lucky day! “This is the best day ever!” she told Molly Sorge at the Chronicle of the Horse. “He’s the best horse I could ever ask for. He’s amazing!”
Olivia couldn’t say enough good things about her horse Levonworth: “He was so good! He was absolutely awesome!”
She said they were a little nervous the first day. They had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be in the ring by 5:30 a.m., warming up with 50 other horses! The traffic in the indoor arena was something they had to learn to negotiate, but after the first day, they got used to everything and were more relaxed.
There were 12 competitors in her division and they each had four rounds to complete: three over fences and one on the flat. Olivia and Levonworth “earned top ribbons in every class,” she said.
“I had no hopes of a championship; I just wanted to be in the ribbons. It was an honor just to qualify!” But the championship was hers and the performance of her horse, impeccable. “He even took the tight inside turns in the handy class very well for me,” she added.
This was Olivia’s first time to compete at one of the biggest indoor shows in the nation. She is a junior at St. George's Independent School in Collierville, Tennessee, and she said her parents told her she had one year to make it to the indoor circuit. She has worked very hard all year and “it’s good to see that it paid off,” she said. She attributes credit to her trainer Dave Pelligrini and the folks at Spring Mill Farm in Eads, Tennessee, who have been very supportive of her. She’s still “floating on air” with her success at Harrisburg.
In addition to the Low Large Junior Hunter Championship, Olivia also won the Claire Mawdsley Scholarship, which rewards exhibitors in the Junior Hunter Divisions who attend a traditional “brick and mortar” high school. New this year, two horses were recognized as the Claire Mawdsley Scholarship Small or Large Junior Hunter Champion and each received a scholarship check in the amount of $2,500, a Champion ribbon, and prizes. Eligible riders for scholarship consideration included the 3'3" Junior Hunter division as well as the regular four Junior Divisions – Small Younger, Small Older, Large Younger and Large Older.
Next on Olivia’s agenda, with Levonworth, is the Brownland Farm Autumn horse show, October 25-29, then on to Kentucky for the CP National Horse Show, October 31-November 5, 2017. On Sunday,November 5th at the CP National Horse Show, the nation's top junior riders compete in the final round of the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Finals, followed by the Under 25 Championships and the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Adult Amateur Championships.
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