Smith And Carmen Win National Horse Show Hunter Championship
At 120th National Horse Show
FL November 29, 2003 Ken Smith, 36, of Wellington,
Florida, riding Carmen for Millridge LLC, won the National Horse
Show Hunter Championship on Friday night, November 28, as one of
the highlights of Jumping Under the Stars at the 120th National
Horse Show in Wellington, FL. The show runs from November 26-30,
highlighted by the $100,000 AGA Championship on Sunday, and Dressage
at the National, November 28-30.
top 12 horses that qualified in competitions held earlier in the
week were eligible to compete in the final two jumping rounds on
Friday night to determine the hunter champion. Smith qualified seven
horses for the final. In addition to his win, Smith also placed
second, third, fifth and sixth. We had a good night, for sure,
said Smith. It was an accumulative score throughout the week
so you really had to have a horse that was consistent. They were
all good steady horses so that worked in our favor nicely.
was second going into the evenings competition, but managed
to improve an already impressive average. She was never under
an 85 average throughout the whole five rounds, which was pretty
spectacular, said Smith. Carmen is a Second Year Green horse
jumping 39. Smiths client purchased the 10-year-old,
16-hand, chestnut German-bred mare after the Pennsylvania National
Horse Show in Harrisburg this year as a mount for him to make up
for their daughter to ride eventually. Henrietta Armstrong, whose
parents operate Millridge LLC, currently shows with Smith in the
childrens hunters. Her mount Storyline placed second in the
Championship with Smith piloting.
pointed out Carmens attributes that impressed the judges and
clinched the victory, One of her good qualities is shes
a beautiful mover between the jumps. She goes across the ground
real nice. She has a real spectacular jump when she gets there,
so it all kind of flows together nicely.
seven horses to show, Smith said his ground crew of 13 people produced
a team effort that made the win and good ribbons possible. We
had nine grooms, plus my wife, my assistant trainer, and my barn
manager, and we also had Whitney Roper help get the horses warmed
up before I got on to jump them, which really helped a lot.
quick changes of mounts and jumping two courses twice with seven
horses didnt faze Smith mentally. From a riders
standpoint you try to win on every one, for sure, he said.
But as far as changing horse to horse, thats what we
do all the time. We know the horses, weve shown them out there
all week, so we know their ins and outs, and how theyre going
to be. The only question mark for Smith was how the horses
would react to the bright lights in the Internationale Arena grand
prix field. They all really rose to the occasion. We had a
lot of young horses that hadnt been out there before that
really were good, he said and noted that the sell-out crowd
and lights were a positive factor. It adds a little excitement
to it. Its just exciting to go out there with that many people.
It was a beautiful night and the jumps were beautiful and the course
was beautiful. It really was a special night.
stressed that the most important factor of his winning night was
the owners of the horses. The Armstrongs owned the first two,
and then I have another really great owner, the Russos Christy
owns Miracle who was third, and Elizabeth owns Cavalier who was
fifth. Sue Stanleys horse Eminence was sixth. Theyre
the ones that really make it possible.
summed up his win in the National Horse Show Hunter Championship
succinctly, It was probably the highlight of my career, for
complete results visit www.nhs.org or www.stadiumjumping.com
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