Hough Set To Defend Her Title At National Horse Show
FL November 19, 2003 Lauren Hough is the first rider
in the 120-year history of The National Horse Show to attempt to
win the National Horse Show Jumper Championship three times in a
row. The 26-year-old Californian, now based in Wellington, Florida,
holds the distinction of being the last rider to win the title at
Madison Square Garden when the show was held there for the final
time in 2001. She successfully defended her title in 2002 at the
shows new home in Wellington, Florida. This years $100,000
National Horse Show Jumper Championship CSI-W presented by Lexus
will be held on Friday, November 28, starting at 7pm in the Internationale
Arena at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. Hough, a member of
the US team at the 2000 Olympic Games and a member of the US Gold
Medal team at the 2003 Pan American Games, is looking forward to
the possibility of adding The National three-peat to
her list of achievements. Certainly it would be a great thing
to accomplish three times, Hough said. You need a lot
of luck to make that happen, but it would be a great honor and were
certainly going to give it our best.
120TH National Horse Show is scheduled for November 26-30, 2003,
at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club show grounds in Wellington,
Florida. Stadium Jumping Inc., the company that produces the Winter
Equestrian Festival at this venue, is producing The National here
for the second consecutive year.
mount for the National Horse Show Jumper Championship in 2001 was
Windy City; in 2002 she rode her Sydney Olympic mount Clasiko. She
will again ride Clasiko in the 2003 Championship. Clasiko
really likes that field and hes in very good form right now,
explained Hough. Clasiko is a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned
by The Clasiko Group, a large syndicate of Californians in which
Hough has a share. Winning the Championship last year was Clasikos
first and only Grand Prix victory. Since then, Hough and her horses
have been globetrotting, producing consistent results at top-rated
events: Clasiko placed second, third, and fifth in Grand Prix classes
at the 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival, and was sixth in the $127,210
ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows in Canada; Windy
City competed in the Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany, where the US
team tied for third; Cinoa placed second at the $50,000 New Albany
Classic Grand Prix in Ohio. But no wins. Perhaps the Internationale
Arena is Clasikos lucky place? Exactly, confirms
the pressure to win the National Horse Show Jumper Championship
with that of competing in the Olympics and Pan Am Games, Hough said,
Ive always done well under pressure, but in a confident
way. Do I feel confident that I can win on Friday? It has to be
your lucky day, but I feel confident that my horse is in very good
form and weve had good results this year so were certainly
going to give it a shot.
is riding in The National Horse Show specifically to defend her
title and will only be competing in two classes the $25,000
Palm Beach Post National Welcome Qualifying Stake CSI on Wednesday,
November 26, and then the $100,000 National Horse Show Jumper Championship
on Friday, November 28. She will be coaching several students competing
in the show during the week. A new class, the $100,000 Chesapeake
Petroleum AGA Championship CSI, has been added this year on Sunday,
November 30, but Hough has not decided whether or not shell
compete. If he performs well on Friday I might just call it
hat trick win would be a fitting finale for 2003, as the next goal
for Hough and Clasiko is a trip to the 2004 Athens Olympics. Certainly
if Clasiko stays in the form that he is in, Id like to give
it one more shot. I think hes certainly capable of that,
she states, adding, You have to have a very talented horse
to jump big jumps like that and a lot of luck on your side, so I
hope it all goes my way again.
there any competitors Hough is particularly on the lookout for?
Anybody. Everybody, she laughs. Anyone thats
showing at that level is very talented and has fantastic horses.
I could name 10 people. It takes a lot to get to the place that
were all at so I have the utmost respect for everyone thats
competing at that level and I treat them as threats. I see anyone
as tough to beat.
was always a big fan of the show at Madison Square Garden, but was
impressed with last years National at its new Wellington home.
I hope they have as much success running the show as they
did last year. I was a big skeptic and I thought that they put on
a really, really great event. Im looking forward to it being
as good as last year.
age 12 and under are always free. General admission seating for
adults, Wednesday through Saturday (on Friday, there will be separate
day and evening tickets), will be $10/each, with Sunday priced at
$15/each; children over the age of 12 and seniors (65 and older)
will be $7/each. Diamond Horse Shoe Club and box seating information
and reservations can be obtained by calling (800) 237-8924 or the
Special Events office at (561) 753-3389.