The American Horse Shows Association's (AHSA) second successful National Championship of Eventing was conducted at Foxhall Farm CCI***, Atlanta, GA, May 3-6, 2001. AHSA Secretary General, Sherry Frank, presented the Guy V. Henry Memorial Cup to Karen O'Connor from The Plains, VA, who also received the $60,000 first prize for her victory on Prince Panache. The event boasts one of the richest prizes in the sport with a total purse of $210,000. The Guy V. Henry Trophy was first presented to the AHSA National Eventing Champion, Tiffani Loudon, at the inaugural event in 2000.
The AHSA National Championship marks the end of Prince Panache's three-day event career. "In the four-star events since the 1998 World Equestrian Games, he's finished in the top three every time," said Karen, including his 1999 Rolex win and his Sydney Olympic team bronze medal. "He's done everything for the sport and for his country," she added proudly.
Referring to the future of this AHSA National Eventing Championship, host Jim Richards said, "I'm very excited about this event," and he was also pleased with the way the course rode. "I thought it was fair and safe," he added. The hospitality afforded to competitors and visitors alike at Foxhall Farm was greatly appreciated. The riders were full of praise for their host for presenting a great competition that was complemented with a Kentucky Derby party among many other sideshows.
"It is such a beautiful facility," said Karen O'Connor. "The riders are so impressed with the motivation and zest," she added, referring to Jim Richards and his organization.
Last year's winner, Tiffani Loudon, said, "I love the place, it's got a great cross-country course. He [Jim Richards] does everything first class, it's really spectator oriented which is going to be a big plus for the sport." Tiffani finished 10th this year riding Papillion and officially retired her 2000 winner, Makabi, during the afternoon performance at Foxhall.
Another talented Virginian and two-time Radnor champion, Kim Vinoski, finished runner-up on Winsome Adante. "I'm thrilled for Linda Wachmeister, she's a great owner," said Kim. Rolex champion, David O'Connor, came in
third riding Tigger Too.
Cross-country course designer, Mark Phillips, designed a true three-star track that resulted in eleven out of the forty finishers jumping clean inside the time and he was pleased with the way the course rode.
"The corners rode easier than I thought they would and the vast majority of riders stepped up to the task and rode it super. I think it's at the level it needs to be, I wouldn't make it more difficult but I wouldn't make it more easy," he reflected.
The American Horse Shows Association, as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country's largest multi-breed organization, the AHSA has over 70,000 members and recognizes more than 2,600 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.